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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 158178
Last updated: 10 October 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic VAMP model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
de Havilland Vampire (J 28A)
Registration: 28019
MSN: EEP/42167
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:AB Safe & Fire Doors Building, Ulvsunda industrial area near Bromma -   Sweden
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:Bromma (BMA/ESSB)
Destination airport:Bromma (BMA/ESSB)
Stalled into a safe-factory at Ulvsunda road, on a tight left hand base RWY 31. Pilot Karl-Erik Löfdal killed. Code: F13-red D. According to a rough translation from Swedish into English of an eyewitness account (see link #1):

"It is Sunday, June 1, 1947, the day of the big air party at Bromma. About a hundred thousand people have marched to the airport to view demonstrations of both military and civilian aircraft. Many of them have paid admission, others have chosen to watch for free from the surrounding high slopes and rooftops. The amateur photo was taken at 14.55. The site is the Ulvsunda industrial area just outside the eastern airport boundary. Around some cars, people stand close together, suddenly still and wondering. They hear the sound of a jet engine roaring far too closely.

But they see nothing. But only too well, on the other hand, is the spectator who stays on the roof of AB Safe and Fire Doors' light gray workshop building. The majority have crouched or lay flat in a panic. Some are still standing up - as if paralyzed in front of the sight of a howling jet fighter, which is practically at eye level rushing straight towards them. At the last moment - just when the photo is being taken - the plane has tilted slightly to the right. In this way , all the people who stayed on the roof managed to survive. But the driver died when a few seconds later he hit straight into the wall,straight in and through one of the workshop's large windows.

The image was spread in the press under headlines such as "Bragd at the last minute saved hundreds of lives" or "A pilot's heroic death". In addition, it was about the then much talked about J 28 Vampire, the newly acquired first jet-powered plane in the service of the air force, which has now crashed in front of a large audience. But in contrast to the cold reactions around Gripenhaveriet during the Water Festival in Stockholm in 1993, this Brommahaveri was embraced with a warm and empathetic interest from the public. This manifested itself in all sorts of speculations and theories about the pilot's thoughts and deeds during the very last minute of his life. But why crash? Uniquely, almost the entire Air Force crash commission was in the audience.

In addition, several cameras and a few film cameras had documented the course of events. Still the cause of the accident was never fully clarified."The accident was probably caused by a misjudgment on landing" is the somewhat dull conclusion of the huge accident report six months later. The pilot selected for the show, Lieutenant Karl-Erik Löfdahl, was one of the most skilled pilots to handle the fast Vampire. Among all the propeller-powered aircraft of the day, the display of this new futuristic speed marvel with its "sales unit", as the jet engine was then called, would be the highlight of the air show.

Löfdahl carried out his three-minute long "elegant and fast-paced" show completely according to a previously agreed program. This had been tested a few weeks earlier in front of an expert audience in both Norrköping and Gothenburg. A narrow, concluding landing maneuver had then been integrated into the show itself. But now something went wrong.

After the implementation of the short, but for the pilot's very strenuous program, Löfdahl set up the landing lap too frugally to be able to focus on the runway. He may also have been stressed by the fact that the next program item, a passage of two divisions of low-flying B-18 bombers, had already taken possession of Brommafältet - but a minute and a half too soon. Clearly disturbed, Löfdahl was seen ducking during the formation and starting a new landing lap. Fatal enough, this was carried out as narrowly as before and with constant loss of height, despite full engine power at the last moment.

Many eyewitnesses appeared in the press with personal memoirs. Karin Adamsson's sympathetic comment is representative: "I was standing on the roof of the safe factory together with my four children. There were a lot of people who in one way or another struggled up the fire escape. A young couple with a small child of two years who played on a blanket and an invalid with a straight leg. It seemed to me that the pilot with full intention put the machine down in the factory, when he realized that he could not reach the runway. The slopes around the field were packed with people, the factory area and Ulvsundavägen as well. There was nowhere else to go ... even if it meant death."



Revision history:

11-Aug-2013 13:12 T-Bolt Added
11-Aug-2013 17:12 harro Updated [Aircraft type]
17-Apr-2015 12:10 Masen63 Updated [Registration, Cn, Operator, Location, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
07-Jan-2017 15:34 TB Updated [Aircraft type, Cn, Operator, Location, Phase, Departure airport, Destination airport, Narrative]
04-Aug-2020 20:25 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Cn, Location, Source, Narrative]

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