I was lucky enough to be standing right by the edge of the runway with a camera when this happened. The camera, an RAF K24, used 5" wide roll film, was originally designed for aerial photography, with two hand grips, a trigger, and a large crank for advancing the film. It weighed about 20 lb. and was not ideally suited to high speed action photography!.
This was not something I normally did. I was a pilot, not an official photographer, but I had signed out this camera to record the performance of a new towed-target launching system we were developing on the Trials Flight.
Click on an image, then click your browser's BACK button to get back to this page
When the nose wheel collapsed it forced the guns in the nose back into the fuel tank, which ruptured. As it skidded past a few yards away, I captured the instant the fuel caught fire.
After it passed, leaving a trail of burning jet fuel, I started running towards where it was coming to rest, hoping like hell the pilot would be able to get out by himself.
The fire was hard to put out since the airfield's main fire truck was being repaired and the only one available was this small auxiliary with a limited amount of foam and CO2 extinguishers. Here you see the fire suppressed in a fog of CO2 while the aircraft is being turned to point in a safe direction. The guns were still loaded and the ejection seat still armed, so there was real danger of explosion. But everyone got lucky, particularly the pilot and photographer!