A Signed Limited Edition Print that captures, in print,
probably the finest moment in the history of the magnificent
Blackburn Buccaneer!

 
Sent to War to do a job at the twilight of service! A job that the aircraft that replaced her couldn't yet do on its own! All in a role that was at the opposite end of the scale to what she was designed for! That's why the Buccaneer was loved by all that flew her, stood the test of time (and still is in South Africa) and was a 'thoroghbred, through and through'!

The job the Buccaneer Force was tasked to do during the first Gulf War in 1991 was to laser designate targets for the Tornado! These included Bridges, Runways, HAS (Hardened Aircraft Shelters), Ammunition and Fuel Dumps etc.
However, as the war progressed and Air Superiorority was accomplished, they also went on to 'spike' and drop their own Laser Guided Bomb's onto targets of opportunity!

Our print captures one such moment on 27th February 1991

This is our tribute to one of the finest British Aircraft Ever made!
We trust you think it fitting as we do?

'Sky Pirate'

Sky Pirate
27th February 1991, Wg Cdr Bill Cope (the Commanding Officer of the Buccaneer Gulf War Detachment) rams the Buccaneer's throttles through the gate following a 50 degree dive attack to gain maximum power to escape the 'Triple A' bursts which recklessly fire into the sky. Behind Wg Cdr Cope and Flt Lt Carl Wilson, an Iraqi An-12 cub burns, totally destroyed by their daring and tenacious self designated Laser Guided Bomb attack on the Shayka Mazhar Air Base just South of Baghdad

On 27th February 1991 2 Buccaneers took off from Al-Muharraq, Bahrain to attack the Shayka Mazhar Air Base south of Baghdad. One was XX901 flown by Flt Lt Glenn Mason and Sqn Ldr Norman Browne and the other, XX894 flown by Wg Cdr Bill Cope and Flt Lt Carl Wilson. (This aircraft was always believed to be XX885 but it wasn't and we have the Pilots log books and auth sheets that confirm this!)

Following a successful attack with Tornados on the runway intersections, Flt Lt Glenn Mason in a second Buccaneer, noted a number of aircraft on the ground.
(watch the video below)

At this very late stage of the War, due to air superiority, the Buccaneers left their usual sidewinder fit at base and carried an extra 1000lb LGB increasing their load to two. One on the Port outer and the other on the Starboard inner pylon. The other pylons being
taken up by the Pave Spike Laser Designator (always on the Port inner) and the Jammer.

With frantic calls giving positions and headings, clearly aware that the longer they stayed in the area, the more the possibility they could be hit by the keen Triple A batteries below! And, without really the time to have a chat about it! Both aircraft quickly took the opportunity to self designate their own weapons and attack their newly acquired ground targets.

Whilst keeping constant look out for SAM's both aircraft pulled around hard to get to into a position to release their weapons. Energised familair voices over the R/T continued as the radios relayed compass bearings and running in headings! Both aircraft finally got into a position to attack!


Flt Lt Glenn Mason and Sqn Ldr Norman Browne DFC, went in first. The attack was a direct hit! However, the bomb which hit the aircraft did'nt explode! The disappointment in Norman Browne's voice is overwhelming, when he confirmed it had hit its intended target but had not gone off!
(It was originally thought that the a/c was an Iraqi An-12 Cub.
We now know it was a C-130 that was captured from the Kuwait AF)

Wg Cdr Bill Cope (the Buccaneer Detachment Commander during the Gulf War) and Flt Lt Carl Wilson, went in second from approx 290 pointing the nose at the targeted Antonov 12 in a dive of 45 - 50 degrees.
Bill Cope hears through his head set over the intercom, the total frustration of Carl's voice as he beckons the Pave Spike to aquire its target faster then it can! "Come around, come around..."
Then, within a millisecond, the frustration turns to concentration as the Nav's black and white TV screen is zoomed and then fills with a four engined An-12!

At approximately 16000ft as Carl Wilson transmitted to his Pilot, "Happy" (the target was 'spiked') the 1000lb Laser Guided Bomb was released. 20 seconds later the bomb found its mark!
The result was a 'direct hit' on the starboard inner wing with a huge explosion probably due to full fuel tanks. This most daring and tenacious attack was seen by millions on the television on news reels around the World! Some even suggested it was dropped by a F-117A Stealth Bomber!

(The whole attack can be seen in our YouTube video below!)

 

Sequence images taken from the Pave Spike video show the moment of impact and the total destruction of the An-12

Shayka Mazhar Air Base taken in 1995 by satellite.
The exact spot where the An-12 was hit can be seen at the point of the arrow. As you can see, the once taxi way is no more and is the same colour as the surrounding area! What's left of the Hardened Aircraft Shelters (HAS) can still be seen also!
'Sky Pirate' has been released not only to commemorate the Buccaneer's from Lossiemouth that were called upon to 'support' the Tornado force during the Gulf War!!! But also as a final tribute to the Banana Jet that once again did 'The Business' in an environment totally at the opposite end of the spectrum to what it was originally designed to do!! So, to make each one complete, they have also signed by the Aircrew who carried out this mission, Group Captain Bill Cope and Flt Lt Carl Wilson

Each limited edition print has been personally signed and numbered by the artist, and countersigned by both Aircrew who flew this mission.
The former Commanding Officer of 208 Squadron, Grp Cpt Bill Cope, who led the Buccaneer Gulf War detachment at Al-Muharraq, Bahrain and Flt Lt Carl Wilson the Navigator who 'Spiked' the An-12

Grp Cpt Bill Cope signing the Prints
(photograph included)


3 EDITIONS TO CHOOSE FROM

OPEN
(unsigned)

SIGNED AND NUMBERED EDITION OF 1000 PRINTS

(signed by Bill Cope and Carl Wilson)

AIRCREW EDITION OF 100 PRINTS
(signed by 27 Distinguished Buccaneer Aircrew)

 

 

27 Signatories make up our Aircrew Edition
The Signatories span the entire history of the Buccaneer!
From the original Test Flights to the Royal Navy, The Royal Air Force
and of course, the Gulf War in 1991
The Aircrew Edition surely must be the ultimate Buccaneer Collectors piece!

Air Chief Marshall Sir Michael Knight KCB AFC BA DLitt FRAeS
Vice-Admiral Sir Edward Anson KCB FRAeS (RN)
Air Commodore Graham Pitchfork MBE BA FRAeS (RN & RAF)

 
Grp Cpt Bill Cope (G)
Wg Cdr Roger Hyslop (G)
 
Wg Cdr John Sullivan (G)
Sqn Ldr Pete Beckett
 
Sqn Ldr Norman Browne DFC (G)
Sqn Ldr Dick Catterall
 
Sqn Ldr Tim Couston (G)(ex Red Arrows)
Sqn Ldr Damian D'Lima
 
Sqn Ldr Gary Davies
Sqn Ldr John Fraser (G)
 
Sqn Ldr Dave Gallie (G)
Sqn Ldr John Green (ex Red Arrows)
 
Sqn Ldr Paul Harrison (G)
Sqn Ldr Phil O'Dell
 
Sqn Ldr Jon Parsons
Sqn Ldr Rick Phillips (G, RN & RAF)
 
Sqn Ldr Mike Scarffe (G)
Sqn Ldr Steve Tait (G)
 
Flt Lt Neil Devine
Flt Lt John Parker
 
Flt Lt Mark Rodden
Flt Lt Carl Wilson (G)
 
Flt Lt Phil Walters (G, RN & RAF)
Mr Mike Addley (Test Flights)
G = Gulf War

 

Sir Edward during his illustrious career was promoted Lieutenant Commander in 1959 when on loan to Blackburn Aircraft Limited as a Test Pilot. During this appointment he was closely associated with the development of the Buccaneer strike aircraft. On his return to the Royal Navy he was chosen to command the first RN Buccaneer Squadron – No 801 Naval Air Squadron – in 1962 and served with the Squadron embarked in HMS Ark Royal and HMS Victorious.

Vice-Admiral Sir Edward Anson signs our 'Aircrew Edition'
(Photograph included with this edition)

Sqn Ldr Rick Phillips signs the 'Aircrew Edition'
Rick, an ex Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and Gulf War Pilot, flew the last ever Buccaneer off HMS Ark Royal.

(This was also the LAST EVER steam catapult launch from a RN Aircraft Carrier!) He has just under 3500 hours on the Mighty Buccaneer!

For 33 years the Buccaneer served us admirably!
From the Royal Navy, the Royal Air Force and the
South African Air Force.
AND
at the very twilight of her years she went out to
the Gulf and did the Business!

'Sky Pirate'
is my tribute to this amazing aircraft


This painting took 3 years to plan! Interviews with many Aircrew that took part! Access to log books, photographs and satellite imagary for technical accuracy and then, and only when the draught sketches and drawings where given the 'OK' by the Aircrew who took the 'Bucc' to War, did we go ahead!

Then many many miles were covered in collecting the Signatures by these most distinguished Buccaneer Mafia! I am proud and honoured to have produced this painting and equally that 'Sky Pirate' was endorsed by all who saw it!

I would like to think that you shall agree with me, that this message is conveyed well within the title, which not only represents the Buccaneer's finest hour in the Gulf, but equally pays homage to the Navy and the Air Force eras! 'Sky Pirate'

 


'Sky Pirate'
Buccaneer XX894 on full power and climbing away
after totally destroying an Iraqi An-12 cub on 27th February 1991
Flown by Bill Cope and Carl Wilson

Print size: 29 x 22 ins

Open
Edition size:
Price: 25.00
Signed and Numbered
Edition size: 1000
Price: £75.00
Aircrew Edition
Edition size: 100
Price: £150.00


If YOU have ever been connected with the Buccaneer
or have anything to contribute to the site in way of tales, stories etc then
PLEASE email me, Andrew

Also if you are ex aircrew, we can put you in touch with the BAA
(Buccaneer Aircrew Association)

Enjoy your tour and please, if you have any questions at all, PLEASE just ask away!
We are here to help you find what you are looking for!

e-mail:info@avcollect.com

www.blackburnbuccaneer.co.uk

 

 

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