View Full Version : Who did the Bristow HP course?
Following on from the George Bedford retires thread, who has some memories of their time spent at Redhill sweating their way to a CPL(H)?
Scheduled for 2 hours free practice in the R22, (especially on a Friday afternoon-mostly spent looking for pubs in the local flying area!)
Trying it on with the secretaries, (and failing).
Zero speed autos.
An evening spent in the Six Bells, (if we could afford it, both financially, and not flying the next day).
The talk given by the local plod on drug misuse. I was eating peanuts, not the uppers honestly!
Picking up the telephone as I was passing in the white house and Les Craven informing me I had passed all the writtens and flight tests and was therefore entitled to a CPL(H).
All the written stuff, and the exams and the flight tests and the potential chop rides.
Having had a number 1 haircut at the weekend, being informed by Uncle Les to get our photos taken for the licence.
Being awarded 2 weeks duty student for alledged misdemeanors.
Ahh, happy days, but I couldn't do it again!
8th Dec 2005, 17:57
Reckon you might have partaken of Mrs. B's cuisine and listened endlessly to the only music selection in the downstairs bar...something by Abba as I recall.:E
8th Dec 2005, 18:40
Did anyone train in the mid 80's on the Bell47? I Was wondering if anyone remembers Martin Forde, and/or they were instructed by him?
Would love to train on the 47's, only really possible up to PPL(H) level.
P.s Please no personal attacks!
Van der Sar
8th Dec 2005, 20:30
All the best to George for his retirement.
How the hell did Derek Jones ever fit in an R22 is beyond me. And for all those years.
Finally learning to hover.
Trying it on with the secretaries, (and succeeding).
Flying the London heli lanes.
First Solo then the yard of ale.
Trying it on with more secretaries, (and succeeding).
Being handed a CPL(H) by Pym White and told to report to North Denes for instrument flying training.
Crash landing in a local field!!!!!!
Not managing to bed all the secretaries.
Enduring a Neville Feast (bless him) radio aids lecture and hearing the same story about nimrods for the umpteenth time.
Only being allowed to drink one yard of ale.
Losing a fellow class mate due to an engine failure at night, (god rest his soul).
Not being able to try the drugs PC plod brought to his "don't try this at home this lecture"
Fantastic year and would love to be that young again.
8th Dec 2005, 21:25
I will own up to HP15 in 1980. There were 10 of us on the course and I think 5 are still flying rotary. The course members included Nick N and Paul Q who will be well known to those in Aberdeen.
We were trained on the venerable Bell 47 G2. Limited power almost all of the time.
Martin Forde was my instructor. He was 'exacting' to say the least. I can see and appreciate where he was coming from - now.
In those days we lived in The Ivy House up on the A25. It was run by Mrs B and her son. At breakfast time her Siamese cats would walk all over the kitchen surfaces and she would cook the bacon etc with a cigarette hanging out of her mouth.
Les Craven was in charge of the G/school and we were there when Taf Walker started. One member of our course was brilliant at whistling at the exact pitch of the feedback noise on Taf's hearing aid - Chris!
Taf had a Daf 'rubber band' car which didn't enjoy having the ratios changed on the move. TC guilty that time.
Ah the memories - and now 25 years ago!!
8th Dec 2005, 21:57
Ivy House....those cats...the sad few of us who couldn't afford to go home at weekends...the strange son....nicking the car keys out of the ignition down Nuffield Hill - "Where ya gonna going to go now?"....I don't recall secretaries other than the fearsome Mo...but was all a very, very long time ago.
9th Dec 2005, 10:03
I was on an HP course when the numbers were in single figures....... pre Ivy House.
We stayed at what was originally known as Glovers Farm at Charlwood. It then became Gatwick Garden Aviaries and then changed again to Gatwick Zoo. Terry & Sheila were our hosts and many a good time was shared by all round the area. A recent trawl through Google showed that, very sadly, it closed down a couple of years ago.
The Half Moon at Charlwood was a regular haunt, as were The Chequers, The Six Bells, The Hunters Moon and various other retreats.
The BHL Training School consisted of CFI Stan Sollitt, Lemmy Tanner, Mike Wood, Joe Wright, Dick Tudor, Stuart Clegg, Tony Barnetson & Jerry Simmons.
Chief Ground Instructor - Dave Finn, ably aided and abetted by Tom Foreman and Jimmy James.
Basic training started on the Hiller 12b/c and continued on the Bell 47G2. (The Hillers were eventually dismissed and the whole course run on the 47G2, which was replaced by the 47G4 and eventually by the R22- thankfully I never got to fly the R22!)
I worked at the school many years later as an instructor while Martin Forde was there. George Bedford, recently retired from HAI, was the principal and Derek Jones the CFI.
Life at Glovers Farm was fun, especially during the Summer months when we could walk through the aviaries the Terry & Sheila were building up and teach Jack, the Cockatoo, to say nice alliterative things about Mr Finn....!!
A thoroughly enjoyable, but very challenging period of my life.
Later edit following comments by Hippolite re "practise engine failures" by removing the car keys ... seems to be a common theme with HP students as my course did this as well. We also practised SBF's (Simulated Brake Failures) during which the driver had to bring the car to a halt without use of the foot brake pedal, nor by doing anything too wild like a handbrake turn etc.
Regards to all fellow "HP ites"
9th Dec 2005, 14:09
The memories come flooding back! Removing KM's car keys from the 1100 and giving him practice engine failures on the way home from the pub! Mrs B changing all the rooms while we weren't there. Fartin Morde and the REVS REVS...the nights in the basement bar, the party at the waitress's house with rhubarb wine, and the collapsing ceiling in the tv room after letting the bath overflow and never owning up to Mrs B!! The one potato each at dinner after a days flying.
"Gentlemen, you are all bastards" so often quoted by Les Craven. The Bell 47G2 which dumped the lever in the hover taxy when Derek was doing the test flight straight after he had lectured us not to ever take our hands off the collective to adjsut the carb heat....
Taf's DAF with the rubber band and John Bleaden dropping the tray after we had all whispered and made Taf turn up the volume on his hearing aid..poor bloke!
Thanks for the memories!
Thridle Op Des
9th Dec 2005, 14:55
Another survivor of HP15, a great bunch of guys along with the boys from HP14 who made sure our progress tests were given more fear factor with suitably embellished horror stories.
Desperately trying to find Edenbridge in the night and more importantly - Redhill on the return leg (without resorting to calling Gatwick Radar - you know who you are!)
Trying to stretch £5.75 across a whole week.
Mrs. B's helium pies.
Mrs B's tearful tantrum when we persuaded TC to complain about the food.
Having our suspicions about the TV room ceiling.
Listening to Les drone on and on about his no-instruments-IF-upside-down-in-a-thunderstorm experience.
Flying in the best training helicopter ever made (I had a quick pre TRE 'experience flight in a R22 and was terrified).
Attempting to fly a G2 with my knees while unwrapping an OS map hoping not to get lost in the next 15 seconds.
Getting lost in 15 seconds and 're-discovering' Greenham Common.
Still one of the best times of my life, but not realising it at the time, thanks to everyone who was there.
9th Dec 2005, 17:56
I was on HP6 in 1975. My instructor on the Hiller was Dick Tudor followed by Lemmy Tanner and Mike Wood on the 47G2.
I wonder what has happened to the other HP6ers. Would love to hear from them.
anybody know where Derek Jones is now?
may have retired? last i heard he was in ABZ
9th Dec 2005, 21:51
I was lucky to do a short period at Redhill training school for some recency flying when I left the military back in 197..... Stan Sollit was the Principal in those days ( I ran into his son in Lagos a few months ago and when I found out that he's 50 now it made me feel really old!!).
I was later privileged to go back for a few happy years as an instructor there during the days of George and 'The Deke', and am always pleased to hear of ex-students doing well. I'm sure that some of the students we had thought we were being hard on them, but I believe we helped some very promising young men and women start off with a very good grounding in aviation. I try and keep in touch with quite a few of my old students and am happy to hear of the progress they have made to jobs like directorships in other international companies, or even happy flying in Africa as I still am. It was a very happy and rewarding period of my career and it was a sad day when Bristow decided to close down FTS, though George did his best to keep up the same standard when he went to HAI.
It might be interesting to hear from all the old Bristow HPs and instructors and find out where they are and what they're doing now.
9th Dec 2005, 22:40
Hi Thridle Op Des - slightly off topic but how's life progressing in the sandpit? I'm still happy with the decision I made..so far!!
10th Dec 2005, 06:04
I believe Derek helps out at HJS Helicopters in the Aberdeen zone every once in a while. Although I think he's retired from 'active duty'.
10th Dec 2005, 08:26
Any ex HP's, or anybody else for that matter, know where Dick Ball is these days? He left Bristow many moons ago to join the plank wing brigade.
10th Dec 2005, 10:47
If this is the Dick Ball who was also in BCAL Helicopters, he lives in Nottinghamshire. I have his address and phone number, but no email details, so if you would like to PM your details I'll give him a call so he can contact you.
Edit: as flyer43 now knows from my PM, whilst he and I were talking about the same Dick Ball, the contact I had from a membership list turned out to be a Barracuda pilot from WW2!!!:uhoh:
I had a fascinating chat with the Barracuda guy but it doesn't help flyer43 who is still looking for the ex HP course Dick Ball.
10th Dec 2005, 13:55
Have exchanged PM's with Speechless Two and it turns out that there is another R Ball around. Hard to believe I know, but there we go. A very much appreciated try though.
Anybody else know the whereabouts if Dick Ball - left Bristow Helicopters circa 1982 + or -
10th Dec 2005, 20:03
HP Rules OK
We are out there still - the subliminal mafia of dear old Alan Edgar Bristow.
Those that chose to remain in Helicopters have enjoyed the experience. Many who went to fly planks have often yearned for the freedom that these craft deliver.
Simulated brake failures in the Commer mini-bus were fun - perfected by Dick Ball. The handbrake was on the front wheels - 20degs nose down guaranteed when applied.
You couldn't beat the "Hiller Killer Oil Spiller - it's a thriller!"
Much water under the bridge since those days in 1976 - geez it was a hot summer. The Hiller could not hover taxy downwind with two-up without touching the ground.
The unsung hero of instructors (ground) Jimmy James the best of the very best. His disciplined approach to Nav and Flight Planning saved my bacon on a nasty night with total nav failure(Decca/ADF) in IMC single pilot and nobody else on board 180 nautical miles from anywhere and my family tucked up in bed in Aberdeenshire.
The fag packet tactics he taught me were beyond reproach.
I went back to basics and found the haven of the crane barge following a casevac delivery to ABZ. A good breakfast and a few hours of shuttling to round the night off!
In these days of GPS etc my worry quotient is much reduced.
Cheers Jimmy and all you HP stars - we have come a long way since the southern hover square.
PS FLYER 43 - remember the Chicken Fricash*t? Found Mike White today! Corporate Jet Jockey now - shame on him!
14th Dec 2005, 16:33
Derek Jones is examiner and part time instructor at HJS Helicopters, Culter helipad, Aberdeen.
I was very fortunate to have attended on of the later HP courses at Redhill. A great experience; one which I certainly didnít appreciate at the time, but one which I recall fondly.
I distinctly remember Tony Wilson Pepper (TWP), the Met instructor. Many an afternoon was spent daydreaming in his class as he went on about flying the DC10 into Nairobi, dodging the ITCZ and dealing with high energy approaches. Well some of it must have stuck as I remembered it all when I operated in to Nairobi myself last week (alas in a plank).
John Cole was a great gut too. He was the Nav instructor who helped me scrape through the exams.
The flying was fantastic with a great bunch of instructors. Iíd love to do it all again.
22nd Dec 2005, 15:14
I was on HP34. Great time with a good bunch of lads on our course and the ones before and after us. We were in the White House before it was all joined up with the annexe.
I had Alan Boswell as my instructor. Top man. Did the full syllabus and more besides. Met him recently at Oban whilst rotors running refuel with a tap on the shoulder through the DV window.
Always remember TWP (Tony Wilson Pepper) telling his DC10 tales. Including the classic advice to a helicopter pilot "If you got a problem sit on your hands and wind the VSI down...check"
I also remember LC's stories getting larger and larger by the course. Nick Bill would enquire what was on the agenda for our ground school that day then give a superb impression of LC and the story to go with that lesson. True to form it was exactly as we'd heard the night before only embellished slightly more for the new audience.
We also used to sit and time the "hopefuls" on interview day. The shortest was 15 seconds from door to door. He wasn't offered a place on the course!!
Have a feeling it was Jemy who managed a yard of Pernod and Black for his solo party. Impressed that he was alive after that and even more impressed when he went off to the 6 bells to finish the evening!! If it's not you Jemy apologies!
One of the great mysteries.. Whatever happened to our line book???