Test Pilot Engine Trouble, England, 1940 From Adventure With…

From: x planes

Test Pilot Engine Trouble, England, 1940

From Adventure With Fate, by Harald Penrose:

“..Having rumbled in with one engine stopped, it was impossible to taxi, so I switched off the other, clambered out, and began walking to the distant office and hangars.

A small phalanx of RAF personnel came marching towards me armed with rifles and bayonets. Half way we met. They halted with guns pointing aggressively.

‘What is that aeroplane?’ demanded the corporal in charge.

‘A Whirlwind.’

‘Never ‘eard of it. Where are you from?’

I had forgotten that the machine was still on the Secret List. ‘From Yeovil,’ I said. ‘I’m a test pilot.’

‘Then why are you wearing civilian clothes? You could ‘av stole that machine. You’re under arrest. Fall in.’

I tried to explain. It was no good. The scene was ludicrous. ‘Mind those damned guns don’t go off,’ I hopefully said, but he took no notice. Two sharp bayonets were pointing at my tail, and I was forced to march to the Duty Officer for interrogation. Because this had only been a local flight I carried no identity card, so it was not until he had telephoned Westland that my story was believed, and then with charm and apology I was given a cup of tea.”

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