Glenview Naval Air Station, IL Vulcan Bomber Crash, Aug 1978


Glenview Naval Air Station, Ill. (UPI) -- The pilot of a British Vulcan bomber, who died in a crash along with three crew members, apparently intentionally aimed the plane for a garbage dump to avoid hitting a residential area.
"It would be a miracle in a way if he just landed there (in the dump) accidentally," said John Egbert, chief of the naval station's public information office. "That is the only open area surrounding the naval center and it's entirely possible he was headed there to avoid a bigger tragedy."
Federal and local aviation officials said their investigation of the Friday crash should be completed next week.
The British Vulcan bomber crashed and burst into a ball of flames shortly after takeoff from the Glenview Naval Air Station, killing all four Royal Air Force crew members aboard and scattering their bodies several feet from the wreckage in a nearby landfill a mile north of the naval station.
Killed were:
The Commander, CHRIS EDWARDS, 31.
Co-Pilot, SIMON FARLOW, 32.
Navigator, NIGEL THOMAS, 29.
Air Electronics Officer, JAMIE HAMILTON, 36.
The delta-winged bomber, which was to practice maneuvers for Chicago's Lakefront Festival air show during the weekend, developed trouble several minutes after takeoff, officials said.
Bil Kozuch, 26, an employee of an auto body shop near the station, said he watched the plane climb after takeoff.
"It started to nosedive and he (the pilot) banked left toward Northbrook, where a lot of people live," Kozuch said. "He made that left hand bank and then he banked back to the right and went right into the dump and crashed."
"He obviously turned to miss going into the residential area and causing a catastrophe."
The charred body of the pilot was found about 100 yards from the crash site lying near a railroad trestle. Another body was found under a wing of the plane. Two others were discovered several feet from the craft, which shattered into dozens of smaller smouldering fragments, many lost amid tiny heaps of acrid garbage.

Chronicle Telegram Elyria Ohio 1978-08-12


Chris Edwards

I knew Chris very well; we were at Cranwell together.
On 20th July we will be celebrating our 50th Anniversary of arriving at the RAF College Cranwell in 1964.
We will be thinking of Chris, and sadly the many others of our Entry who died in the service of their country.
Chris Coville and the Members of 91 Entry, RAFC Cranwell 1964-67

Chris Edwards (Pilot)

Still have fond memories of RAF College days together
and home life in Northwood Hills Area in England.


Hello. I too seen the Vulcan. I was at home with my older brother. We had the "old-time" multi-band tuning radio, listing. I LOVED Glenview NAS! And finally knew enough to where to tune-in at, Glenview tower. And when the Chicago air/water show happened. Almost every weekend I had my Dad drive just off Willow Rd, the north end of runway (35). Where we would stay for a couple of hours.
But, Dad gotten a new job, and I had to stay home that weekend. So me and my brother sat at our front porch and watched/listened. We heard the tower give clearance for the Vulcan to take-off runway 17, the southern facing one. We were about 2 1/4 away from the base, Dell Rd. With the trees in our way, we seen the Vulcan in a steep left bank, heading back to the base. Then, what sounded to me like someone slammed a car door the next block over. And then seeing the thick black smoke rising. Then we heard, what we never heard before, a siren coming from the base. Then the tower saying that the base and its airspace was closed. Then heard that one of the "Hueys" was taking-off and going over the crash site.
Because my brother, at the time, was into listing to local emergency management, he tuned-into Northbrook fire. They were dispatching to a plane crash at the base, so were other locals towns.
One thing that caught my memory, just after we heard the bang, and seen the smoke. We wondered why we never seen/heard the Vulcan again? He, my brother said," maybe it crashed"?
We moved to PA. early next year. I never did see an official report of what really caused the crash. And lost the Chicago Tribune pictures, they had on there front page. Is that yours? Can you make me a copy?
Thanks, Wesley Hayes

Vulcan crash

I was stationed at NAS Glenview when this tragedy happened. Every year there was a Vulcan sent to perform for the Chicago Airshow, I was fasinated with the Vulcan and it was one of my favorite aircraft to watch of the many that were at the show. I was outside the BEQ and watched the vulcan take off. They went into a steep climb and only seconds later the aircraft looked to have flamed out and stall. Only a few seconds before impact it sounded as though they got the engines to restart but it was just too late.The aircraft burst into a ball of flame. I jumped in my truck and drove as fast as I could and was actually the first naval person at the site. I assisted one of the corpsman ( Jack ) from base looking for survivors and sadly we found the pilot Chris Edwards. It's been many years and this tragedy still sticks in my mind. If possible is there any way I could get copy's of the the photo's that you have? i may be able to identify some of my old shipmates in them and answer some questions you may have in regard to them. Airman Bob Belsky NAS Glenview 1977-1980 barnaclebob58@aol.com

Crash Pictures

I took pictures of it taking off, flying and crashing. Those were my pictures of the explosion and the aftermath that were published in national papers.

I was caddying at nearby

I was caddying at nearby Sunset ridge when the majestic vulcan bomber began to climb and then the engines just cut off all of a sudden and ther plane nosedived and a huge ball of flames went in to the sky that friday afternoon-what a catastrophe..



1978 plane crash

I was only 6 years old and I witnessed this plane crash from only a few hundred yards away. I was watching the plane try to practice for an air show and it came down and exploded. I rode my bike home and told my Mom what I saw. It was in Glenview Illinois, 1978.

vulcan bomber crash aug 1978

i'm researching some old navy real photos and i believe i have 11 of them on site of crash. shows reporters on top of hill, but the photographer of these was down in the midst of things including body bags.

Vulcan air crash

This has given me more information regarding the crash than ever before, and although It has upset me so very much it has also enabled me to put some demons to rest as the pilot of that Vulcan was my darling Husband.