During flying stations , a normal mix of aircraft were normally launched . Those with the longest duration were usually the last to be recovered, this enabled any incidents to be dealt with in plenty of time . during the early sixties the Douglas Skyraider provided the airborne early warning capability, this was an American aircraft that had several variants, the aircraft were painted in the old midnight blue colour, had a huge radial engine,----these were the ones that were the last to be recovered at most times. Victorious had as part of her complement 849 'B' Flight, these were Skyraiders ---crewed by a Pilot and 2 observers, one day during flying operations off the North East coast of Scotland one of the Skyraiders got into trouble and had to ditch, the crew were picked up by a Russian trawler that had been within the area of the exercise, the trawler made off in the opposite direction and a chase began, eventully the crew were retuned safe. Not all that long afterwards the Victorious was en route to Capetown and flying without the luxury of a diversion airfield for a lot of the time, when a Sea Vixen landed on and had its starboard oleo (undercarriage leg) collapse, the aircraft fell onto its starboard underwing fuel tank. This ruptured and caused a fire to start up, pilot and obsever had released the cockpit hood and hatch and made their way out over the Port side, flight deck crews quickly put the fire out, but not before the Vixen had been badly damaged and also 2 Scimitars scorched, that were parked by the island. It turned out that the pilot I believe fractured his leg jumping out------and was that same pilot who had been 'kidnapped' by the Russian trawler. Sea Vixen 216 was struck into the hanger and remained behind a safety curtain so that when open days were held whilst in Capetown --nothing was seen of the burnt wreck.!! Copied from blogs (original entry) - post comments here.