Play / pause Loop and Roll

Loop and Roll

  • Roy Finch
  • Interview by: Tod Nicol


I always remembered, heroically, one days,

getting towards the end of the training,

I said, "I've produced some solo aerobatics."

And my instruction was how to do a

slow roll off the top of a loop.

So I did one, it worked perfectly.

I thought, "Oh, this is great fun."

I did another one, that was pitiful.

So have one more, then I'll get back to base.

As something fire came off the top of the loop,

and I thought, "What's wrong? Something's not..."

Realized what was wrong, the whole prop was stationary,

the engine had cut out.

I thought, "Oh God."

Now, we'd done some training about

restarting the engine in flight,

and I thought, "Right, now you've

put it into a steep dive,

just check that this is on,

that's on, so on, and so on, it'd all be

should be as it should, you know, great.

And then, the next instruction was,

"Do not exceed a certain speed, because if you do,

you may pull the wings off."

I thought, "I don't give a damn.

No way am I going to bail out."

There's no way to land there up in Scotland.

I thought, "No, I'll keep going."

I was getting really panicky,

and then suddenly, "Brrp, brrp, brrp."

Up the engine started.

Anyhow, when I got back, my flight attendant,

he was a First World War pilot,

flight attendant Elgie, I told him what happened.

He said, "I can't see how that would happen.

Sir, the engine's... Well."

He said, "Okay, I'll get one of the

erks to have a look at it."

I don't think he ever believed me, and I thought,

"Oh, I can't have your troubles,

I know exactly what happened."

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