Saturday, 23 April 2011

Last victims of the Focke Wulf 190 ! spectacular accident of an NC 900 at Le Bourget November 1945 IL 2 over Courland or perhaps a Yak 3 over Berlin during May 1945. What/who were the last aircraft to fall victim to the Fw 190?  Perhaps the spectacular accident of a French Fw 190 (NC 900) in November 1945 at Le Bourget provides the answer. French NC 900 photo courtesy Jean-Yves Lorant. Click on the image for a closer view

Saturday 10 November 1945, Le Bourget, Paris. Capitaine Rebierre taxied out, turned onto runway 21, released the brakes of his Fw 190/NC 900 No. 13 and powered off down the concrete strip. He had barely got airborne when his fighter's BMW engine stuttered, coughed and froze. A splattering of oil on the windscreen immediately reduced forward visibility. The hapless pilot managed to turn south and attempted to put back down on the airfield. However the nose of his stricken machine was now pointing at an oblique trajectory from the runway and heading directly for the dispersal assigned to aircraft of the RLAF or réseau des lignes aériennes françaises. No fewer than eight aircraft were parked up on the apron at that moment, including Goéland F-BACX, Siebel 204 F-BOAP, two Bloch 220s and no less than four AAC1 Toucans, the French Junkers Ju 52.

View of runway 21 at Le Bourget with the parking area for RLAF aircraft in the top left of the picture

The pilot just had time to jettison his canopy as his NC 900 hit the ground at speed. The first aircraft that the careening Fw 190 ploughed into was the Goéland, which lost most of its starboard wing torn off. Narrowly missing Bloch 220 F-AOHD, NC 900 No. 13 continued its spectacular run-out by smashing into Ju 52 F-BALI before finally coming to a stand under Ju 52 F-BALI. The damage to the last Ju 52 was catastrophic - hit broadside on, the Toucan was literally sawn in two. Amazingly the NC 900 pilot Rebierre somehow survived unscathed and no injuries were sustained on the ground.

The wreck of Ju 52 F-BANO. Note the impact on the port wing, virtually torn off. To the left of the picture are more AAC1's and two Morane 500 'Criquet' - or Fieseler Storch light aircraft. Pictures of the accident reproduced courtesy of the editor of 'Avions' magazine, Michel Ledet

More on French use of Luftwaffe types on this blog