The story behind found by Heinkel He 115 8L+FH starter i august 2005, when Hydrographic Office contacts Venneforeningen Aviation Museum Sola and informs that they are testing new sonar equipment. The testing will mean that they will scan large parts of the bottom of Hafrsfjord. They offer themselves to check out the positions where the museum believes that there is reason to believe that there may be crashed plane on the bottom. In September, reports the back that it was not made findings on the relevant positions. In contrast, they found a fly in a different place in the fjord, and that the sonar image shows a clear outline of a large plane that lies at the bottom.
Sonar image Tor Arthur Andreassen made Venneforeningen
Found allows Venneforeningen control, i september 2005, asks Gordon Boring and bear forest to lead efforts to verify that the discovery is of such quality that further work would be prudent. They link up with Tor Arthur Andreassen, which is both an experienced diver and member of the Friendship Association. He gets the task of organizing and conducting diving on found. Already on the first dive, i september 2005, it is taken pictures of the aircraft's characteristics. It quickly becomes clear that one has found a plane that appears to be in good condition.
The plane and the accident
The plane turns out to be a Heinkel He 115 B / C, work number 2398 that belonged 1./Küstenfliegergruppe 906 and characterized 8L + FH. It has the following loss report wrecked 28. December 1942.
Notification of loss 8L + FH
The plane had bombs on board when it was found. This suggests that it had been looking at an operational mission. According loss report shall incident have occurred as a result of that it was not possible to land against the wind. I war diary Air Force 5 shall 2 Heinkel 115, associated 1./Küstenfliegergruppe 906, Having taken off from Stavanger harbor. They have in the period 08:35 to 09:55 driven nærsikring of German ships. The mission has been canceled due to bad weather conditions.
A copy of the War Diary
The aircraft as it was found on the fiord
When the plane was found lay it on 45 meters on the back of the mud. It was with a few degrees inclination in the longitudinal and lateral direction. The nose was partly down into the sludge, while the tail fin sticking around. 0,5 meters into the sludge. The starboard wing was covered with mud from the tip and 1 meters inward toward the root. It was also sludge meters further inward along the front edge list. On the opposite side were ahead list on the starboard wing deck out to a few meters in from the wing tip.
In the autumn 2005 it will be made a number of dives. The divers will pick up the machine gun in the nose. Detaching forward starboard pontoon, and bolt and remaining fixing fork from the front port flottørfeste. This last rod was broken. Said, and some other smaller parts, taken up and preserved, before they are put to the exhibition in the hangar.
The diving on the plane was carried by a fixed group composed, based in Stavanger Dykkersenter. The core consisted of 3- 4 individuals who were the only ones known aircraft's exact position. There was also down a group of Stavanger Dykkerklubb. But these were followed closely by the core group, and the aircraft's exact position remained a well kept secret. november 2005 informs Venneforeningen Rogaland Police if found by plane, and that in the rear part of the shelter is found two bomb like objects. 7. December 2005 retrieves Defense My Command Dypdykkergruppe up bombs and ensures that they are blasted.
Right of disposal of aircraft
20.02.2006 get Sola Aviation Museum permission, from Forsvarsmuseet, to raise and dispose of the aircraft on the fiord.
Forsvarsmuseet gives Venneforeningen permission to raise plane
There was now a long period of discussions about what a desirable and should do with plane. Therefore, occurred during the period 2006, until autumn 2011, very little down at the bottom of the fjord. It was finally concluded that the plane yet should remain at the bottom. This is because one had the necessary financial and human resources available to raise and to work further on the plane.
Until the fall 2011 therefore, it was quiet around the aircraft. Then took a new group work to assess what should be done. Now, the strategy changed. An observer is no longer raising and restoration as a process. The idea is now considered elevation, and a subsequent restoration and using plane, as two independent processes.
This new group contacts Amundsen Diving on the conditions for an eventual elevation. The firm offers to raise the aircraft on favorable terms. Late autumn 2011 held a membership meeting in Venneforeningen, where subject is a possible raising of the plane. This causes the local dive group to create a plan and risk assessment for the elevation of the plane. They present shortly after its variants. Their offer is to raise the aircraft at no cost to Venneforeningen.
Diver group will carry out the operation with the use of volunteer divers, by means of winch, and without the use of balloons. Effort Means shall be obtained through the help of local entrepreneurs.
Organization of salvage of aircraft
5. January 2012 convenes Egil Endress they Venneforeningen as, So far, has been engaged in a new effort to bring about a recovery of the aircraft. Here established what has since called for Steering. The meeting is the start of an extensive, controlled and systematic process. It decided to organize the raising conducted under the auspices of a project. To raise and lift the plane into the country, with a subsequent disassembly, and then stored in a freshwater tank, will be a complicated and complex process. One therefore chooses, to ensure a good overview of all the elements of work, to break the project down into several sub-projects. Egil Endress manager main project project. Each of the projects had their own mandates to work within.
One project was to investigate, and get built a large betongkar on the lawn next to the hangar. Upstairs in this were the aircraft stored submerged in fresh water. Helge Nyhus lead role.
Diving and elevation plane was another subproject, and Tor Arthur Andreasen responsible. Subproject responsibilities and duties ceased at the moment when the weight of the aircraft was transferred to the mobile crane.
Lifting of the plane out of the water and onto the land is a third subproject, Roar Henriksen as manager and lifting charge.
preparations for, disassembling, and location of the aircraft components into the trough a fourth sub-project. This work is led by Kjell Naas and Roar Henriksen.
To prepare the catering of those who would participate in the efforts to dismantle the plane, as well as obtaining the necessary working clothes and protective gear, A fifth sub-project. This is Stian Skarbøvik responsible for.
Government relations and: providing the necessary emergency response equipment from contamination, was a sixth subproject. This work is Gunnulf Løge responsible for.
Photographic documentation of the aircraft, as it was when it came up from the sea, and photographic documentation of the procedure that was made in connection with dismantling and storage, is a seventh subproject. In addition, the Rasmus Svihus and Arnfinn Pettersen that the exact location of the aircraft marks the character of the plastic tablecloths.
Petter Ramsdal are responsible for security and organization of parking, Roadblocks and "spectator zones".
It is during the winter and spring 2012 worked continuously and simultaneously with all subprojects. A series of meetings in the Steering Committee ensures coordination and monitoring across subtasks.
Construction of betongkar for storing aircraft in freshwater
When assessing which way we're going to save the plane on, there are several different options to choose from. One possibility is to use the used containers from the oil industry, adapt and clog these, and then save the aircraft's main components Up in these. Another is carrying the same parts to a suitable freshwater, and store them there. A third possibility is to build a betongkar on the lawn north of the museum's hangar. In this plane can be stored in fresh.
It is this option Steering, in January 2012, bet on. The time we have available to build the pool is short. The first weekend in June is singled out as the time at which the aircraft is to be lifted on land. That is why a number of things that must be studied, decided and implemented in a short period of time. One of many details, is that we need to know the necessary internal targets in the pool, and mutual positioning between the different parts. For this use a Revel Heinkel 115 scale kits. The parts of the kit is placed around until we found the best relative placement. We want visitors to be able to see parts of the plane while it is stored in water. There are therefore two windows in the walls. Cockpit and tail sections are placed closest to the windows. The pool will be placed on the lawn immediately adjacent radar. Sola Municipality will be contacted and we get permission to build this. It is carried out statistical calculations, and made reinforcing drawings pool. Helge Nyhus, who leads the work, have a busy time with many simultaneous things that need to be closely monitored. In parallel with work on concrete vessel, we are working on a plan B, which is to examine the local fresh water one can use to store the plane in. There will be added a link to the note regarding the storage of aircraft in freshwater;……..
Stangeland is as usual in place.
We were totally dependent on support from the local business community if we would be able to realize the construction of a concrete pool. And we really got this help. This, in the form of a comprehensive support from a number of companies in North Jæren. These supported the construction of the pool of money or goods and services, without charge or at greatly reduced rates.
In early April, dug Stangeland out the plot for us, and it is clear that Godalen School skole`s barley line can begin arming and shuttering work. 10. May the sun precast, and the work of formwork and reinforcement continues.
The building line at Godalen High School stands for formwork and reinforcement work
The school must adhere to their school route, and they can not guarantee us a final date for now they are done. Two weeks prior to the raising of the aircraft remains even much reinforcement work.
Torkel Tan Jorgensen and Kjell Naas are two of several members from Friendship Society as pipes for that pool should be completed in time.
Members of the Friendship Society begins therefore also bind reinforcement on the days where the school's students are focused on other issues. We are under great time pressure to get the pool ready in time.
Dugnad will is big at the local business community. Many companies gave us great help in the construction of the pool.
Last week of May molded walls. Inside formwork described 1. June, the day before the plane lifted onshore. The exterior must stand until after we Thursday 7. June has lifted the last parts of the plane into the pool.
When we subsequently consider the decision to build a concrete pool, and construction of this, it is clear that the decision was correct and that we are proud of the way this was resolved.
Diving Group, with Tor Arthur Andreasen as the prime mover, begins around Easter in 2012 To prepare the raising. The work is difficult because visibility at the depths where the plane is very bad. To help divers navigating the plane put it down bambuspinner.Etter that all float struts are removed, it is clear that one can benefit from the attachment points of the links on the fuselage to fasten hoist.
The divers choose to use a barge equipped with a "moon pool" (through well) to raising. In this set aboard a compressor and a winch.
The plane has large wing surfaces located towards the bottom mud. There is therefore a danger that one intends to apply large forces to get loosened plane of the substrate. To reduce the force that must be used to get loosened plane of the substrate, are alternately pumped water and compressed air, down through a hose to a number 10 mm. tube, under the wings. This allows the aircraft without any problems can be lifting off the ground it has rested against in almost 70 year.
Foto David Gutteridge
On the way up from the bottom of the fjord stops a lifted at about. 30 meters. Here is the relatively clear water, and good conditions for photographing plane while it is still under water. When the promise is come up to just below the barge, is this – with the plane hanging below – towed to the seaplane harbor.
A milestone is passed and the next sub-project assumes responsibility for the aircraft
Here, the weight of the promise of one of the Nordic Crane`s mobile cranes. At this milestone passed, and next subproject will assume responsibility for the plane. When the weight is transferred to the tap, released barge from the aircraft and towed away.
There are several particularly critical points in their efforts to improve and get lifted the plane out of the water and onto land. Such a point is to get the aircraft to detach from its base at the inlet bottom, without having to apply it to large forces. the next, and possibly the most critical, is the point where a lifter plane out of the water.
Raising project had all the time a proven relation to the risk of the actual lifting operation. One had therefore beforehand broken operation into several phases, and discussed the risks and measures related to each of these. It was predefined clear evidence of the transfer of responsibility, and how these would affect the interaction between divers, crane and hoisting project.
Nordic Crane lifted the aircraft on land for us without charge for job
A lifting charge was designated. Its mission was to lead and make decisions related to the lifting operation. He was and our only contact with the crane operator. It was decided that the time where the responsibility for the aircraft, was transferred from the divers to the lifting liable, was when the weight of the plane hung in the mobile crane.
Roar Henriksen in the role of lifting charge
Divers spreader is arranged with two additional, and certified lifting lugs, which is located outermost in each end. Here crouched faucet stuck, and diver barge could be detached from the yoke, and hauled out between the chains that came down from the mobile crane sling.
It was early become clear that Nordic Crane, without taking up paid, would lift the plane out of the water and onto the land for us. In good time before the lifting operation was held a coordination meeting between divers, raise responsible and crane operator.
One element of uncertainty was obviously what the aircraft will weigh at the moment it is lifted out of the water. Here it plays in a variety of conditions, bl.a. the amount of residual silt inside the aircraft's countless small and large rooms. Although the divers made a major effort to flush and pump out sludge, became available lifting capacity problems. But sober guys, for everything and sense, eventually managed to get jammed plane safely out of the water, and further into the country.
Here stood there ready and waiting about. 100 euro pallets, borrowed from various local businesses, and a now long forgotten the number of decommissioned large tires. On top of this, the aircraft was carefully laid down, still belly up.
Soon put to rest down the pallets and tires
A very long day was now finally, and the night was clear and wondered outside the enclosure around the old seaplane slipway, before we could finally say goodbye to the wayward crane operator and his great mobile crane. Again after us on the slip, there was a unique aircraft, that we, together with divers and Nordic Crane, had lifted safely into the land. It was gone almost 70 years ago airplane had last seen daylight slowly disappear.
Disassembly of the plane
We wanted early to provide us an overview of what is expected of challenges and work, when the aircraft was lifted ashore. Therefore made Roar Henriksen description of a disassembly of the aircraft. Here were the tasks broken down into its individual elements. This gave an overview right down to the detail level, while it gave us a picture of where we would face the risk of aircraft and personnel involved. With this as a basis, we started work on the detailed planning the different part operations.
Birger Larsen started loosening a wing nut
We had to planning available two German manuals for aircraft. Beyond this building we planning on experiences from the dismantling of other German aircraft.
We saw earlier in the project the importance of having a good dialogue with the relevant authorities. Gunnulf Løge claimed responsibility for safeguarding this contact, both the authorities and other, who had interests that would be affected by a recovery of the aircraft.
It was unclear how much oil and gas that was left in the tanks of the plane, and we wanted to have a contingency against any leakage from Hafrsfjord. We were therefore borrowed enough booms to be able to close again around the aircraft.
It was clear that the plane had to be landed with belly up. For that it should not occur more damage to the tail fin, cockpit and propeller, we had to put up stacks of pallets. These were placed on each side of the cockpit, between this and engine mountings. In this way the aircraft's main emphasis laid on the wing main beam.
In addition, it had to be a stack of pallets under each wingtip, and beneath the abdomen.
Mapping the necessary tools
Since we had a good overview of the disassembly, we could early start gathering together the necessary equipment and tools. Kjell Naas and Roar Henriksen made a thorough overview of what the different work teams would need the tools and other equipment.
This was then systematically placed in boxes with a good overview of the contents.
Cordoning off the area
There was a great interest about the raising of the plane, and we counted on a large influx of onlookers in seaplane harbor. Therefore we had to have a plan for driving on area, Parking and places where onlookers could reside. It was early decided that Petter Ramsdal should be responsible for cordoning, Parking and Security.
We got blocked off the area surrounding the aircraft, in a way that made visitors still could get close to the plane, without disturbing those who work on dismantling.
The main aim of the cleaning of the plane in this first stage was to remove surface free of mud and impurities. Likewise we would flush the sediment out of the wings and fuselage, to reduce weight. This also gave a better access for disassembly of the aircraft.
Gunnulf Løge started cleaning
The challenge of cleaning is that a risk of personal injury paint, badges and emblems. Moreover, smaller portions damaged, or disappear before they are properly registered.
For the aircraft would fit in water pool, and at the same time in the future could be moved around, it had to be divided in its five main sections. All rudders were also dismantled. This made it easier to handle the larger sections.
Dismantling the starboard flaps
The work was led by Kjell Naas and Roar Henriksen. If there occurred changes in relation to the plans should these be consulted, and they had the right to make final decisions. The dismantling was planned by the principle that the fewest possible interventions should be done on the plane. Accordingly, should all wires, tube, stag wire and the like, dismantled in its natural interconnections. Therefore it should not be dismantled more components than necessary, to separate the main sections apart. To ensure a good documentation should all engage photographed before a part can be removed.
With a good overview of the tasks that awaited, we could early schedule an organization of work. This was sectioned into subtasks, the remaining engine should be released from the wing, cockpit and nose sections to be resolved from the center section, left and right wing tip to be resolved from the center section, and rear wings were detached from the block and the abdomen is separated from the center section. In addition, should the plane be cleaned, and documented photographically. Working groups were given beforehand described clearly defined tasks, that they should resolve on its own.
Workwear and protective clothing
Efforts to dismantle the plane make that many had to work under difficult conditions. It was therefore necessary that all were equipped with full sets of work clothes and protective gear.
Kristian Helland started to dismantle a wing strut
Stian Skarbøvik took the task of charting all the required sizes, and obtaining equipment to weigh. When more than thirty people were involved, was this a larger puzzle. But all were satisfied, and a great sight it was with so many equally dressed people, standing at the tip of Sømme Bryggen.
It was held two community meetings in the weeks before the plane was raised. Participants include those who would participate in efforts to clean and disassemble the plane. Roar Henriksen had prior to the collections made a presentation of the different tasks. In the presentation were given suggestions for solutions. We also used the opportunities to put together work teams, and to discuss this and that about the job that awaited us.
As we got loosened sections apart, had these transported away to the water basin. Again Asked Nordic Crane up with a big, and free, crane trucks with driver. The sections were added to the bottom of the pool, and fended off with large tires. It had previously made a detailed plan for a mutual passage of the various sections. Smaller parts that hatches, instruments and the like were placed in large plastic containers, filled with water and stored indoors
Port engine disassembled and lifted out of the plane
Documentation and labeling
It was determined that all the parts were released from the aircraft to be marked by means of plastic signs, with unique numbers and colors. Before parts are loose they should be photographed, along with a tablet where it is written, where the parts are located. To ensure that a later will manage to get back to where from one part has been dismantled, the aircraft was divided by its five main sections. Each of these had a unique character, that was used in conjunction with unique numbers on the nameplates.
It was necessary to do a thorough photographing aircraft exterior condition, before any cleaning or intervention was made. We secured us detailed images of all components' location, both outside, and to the extent that it was possible, also inside. In particular, it was important to ensure systematic images of aircraft marks, camouflage and other bemaling. The photography had to be done in a way that clearly showed color, design and location.
It was important to document all the details before dismantling
All technical details should be photographed before and after disassembly, with regard to a recent restoration and the return to original state. Below should be particularly emphasized attachment points where sections and components are bolted.
In addition to shooting the character Rasmus Svihus and Arnfinn Pettersen of all color scheme, badges and emblems on plastic tablecloths.
There were more than thirty people involved in the efforts to dismantle the plane, and we had planned to work throughout the weekend. Consequently, it must be okay for food and catering.
Ulf Svendsen made sure ale got it the catering they needed
Ulf Svendsen undertook successfully the task of making sure that all stomachs were satisfied, and all souls happy. It was set up a big party tent to use for dining and resting.
Here ensured Ulf constantly for the hungry or thirsty heroes got what they needed by catering.
When we planned how we would dismantle the plane, we had to rely on two books for the plane, and previous experience with the dismantling of German planes. What we are not good enough, foreseeing, the amount of equipment that had been installed in the cockpit. Much more of this than what we had planned for, had to be dismantled and removed from the plane, before we got access to loosen the main sections apart. Consequently, the two technical managers in a largely concerned with screwing. Ongoing problems that emerged had therefore to a large extent be solved by the various working groups. But we got dismantled aircraft in its five sections, and we managed largely to comply with the proposed requirements for dismantling. No one had hurt himself, airplane had not suffered any damage as a result of the large amount of work which had been performed. Granted, the last section is not lifted into the water basin before Thursday night, four days later than planned. Very many people had been stopped by seaplane harbor to watch on the plane and work, and many pleasant conversations had come about as a result of these visits.
Now, in retrospect, we have allowed to conclude that both the raising, planning for dismantling, construction of a water reservoir, lifting of the plane onto the land and eventually dismantling and storage in the water basin, was completed both on schedule, and without damage was inflicted on people or fly. This is a good legacy for a complex operation, which was planned and carried out by volunteers, who spent much of his free time on this task.
And it was so many more who contributed, thanks to you all
And to the end, again thank all the entrepreneurs who with their large and small contributions made it possible to salvage the plane.
Want to know more about what has happened with the plane after it was placed in the water pool, You can read about this under the tab Work on 8L + FH