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Old 25th Aug 2009, 06:08   #201 (permalink)
 
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I agree with Tercarly. There were no Aussie postings on the VC10 fleet. The 747 posting in 1976 would have been Melbourne. The first of my many postings was in 1978 when they moved to Sydney. What fun!!!
O.K. ! Memory ! I was on the last 707 posting before we pulled out, thought VC-10's took over the route then - can't remember about the posting, but as the 707 posting had been deemed no longer viable, I guess there was no chance of the VC-10 getting them.

Agree that 747's to Melbourne started them again
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Old 25th Aug 2009, 08:53   #202 (permalink)
 
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But didnt the 707 fleet have Hawaii postings as well?

VC10s took over the route to Oz but no postings. !!!!!! As I said we just flew round the world east and west about. They were 21 day trips possibly longer!!!!
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Old 26th Aug 2009, 10:49   #203 (permalink)
 
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But didnt the 707 fleet have Hawaii postings as well?
Yes. I was on one of the first ones, Summer 1961, we operated SFO - HNL - TYO v.v. The 707 took over from the Brit. 312, crews of which had sat for 3 months in HNL with nothing to do, awaiting each day for Pres. Eisenhower to sign some Air Service Agreement to allow them to operate SFO - HNL. When the agreement was finally signed, BOAC changed the type to the 707.

The RAF had a detachment on Hickam, 1 S/Ldr 2 F/Lt. and 3 s.a.c. servicing the Hastings that passed through en-route to the Atom Bomb testing ranges near Christmas Island.

The local school allowed the children out early on Thurdays, to see a tail-wheel aeroplane !

The RAF S/ldr. had to entertain the Chief of Air Staff and attendant A.D.C. on one visit, he took them to the Cannon Club, the US Army Officers Club inside Diamond Head. His entertainment allowance from the Air Ministry was 25c / day !

Our cabin crew were operating a Round the World Service, so had a couple of days 'slip' in HNL each way. The RAF had a water-ski boat - we had stewardesses. We reached an amicable arrangement. I first water-ski'd on the lagoon adjacent to the airport, which was later filled in to become the Reef Runway, 08R. In later years I used to tell my crew that I had learned to water-ski on this runway. They thought I was mad.

It was the era of the Magnificent Seven movie, there were 7 BOAC crews on the posting, the 7 S/O's adopted the theme tune from the film as 'our' signature tune !!

Came out of the Night Club in the International Market Place one early morning, stopped by the Police, did I know where I was ? Yes, Honolulu. Smart ass, this is Kalakaula Avenue, a 25 mph zone. Why aren't your lights on ? Why did you do a U turn, got your arm around your girl friend and I think you've been drinking ( correct !). Licence - wot's this, a Limey licence ? Suppose we call it $10 for speeding ? Done, and I don't need a receipt !!

Happy days.

I got married as a result of that posting. !!
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Old 26th Aug 2009, 16:17   #204 (permalink)
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I think I could just about cope with a Hawaii posting! I did 3 Sydney ones and thought they were just grand, but that was on 747. I always thought 707 got the best deal with the nicest and most exotic trips. On VC10s, the drawback of the aeroplane was being mainly Afrika Corps! I never liked it, and never did, and don't now. Thankfully now it is just a mountain top on a horizon!

Being brought up on Hawaii-50, I always thought it the most exciting place. I was overwhelmed to be on my first trip there, so I went onto Waikiki Beach near Diamond Head in 1972, hired a longboard and swam out pretending I knew what I was doing. Carefully watched the others and repeated, and I was away. Couldn't wipe the grin off my face- surfing off Diamond Head, and in Paradise!
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Old 26th Aug 2009, 22:44   #205 (permalink)
 
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Yes, the Honolulu posting was hard to take !! a single, 26 yr old, being paid to live there, a change of cabin crew every 3 days, with side trips to San Francisco and Tokyo in the middle of the Japanese economic, photographic, and electronic revolution ! The Ginza was exciting, too ! Narita hadn't been invented.

In those days the only hotels on Waikiki Beach were the Hilton Hawaiian Village, the pink Royal Hawaiian in the middle, and the Princess Moana at the other end. It is now wall to wall concrete high-rise.

The BOAC Base Captains' office was on the first floor of the BOAC 'shop', which was a 2-storey building on the corner of an intersection in the middle of Waikiki, and unbelievably that little shop is still there, all by itself - albeit a bit smarter now - totally overshadowed by all the high rise, the Real Estate must be worth zillions, it is currently the local Gucci store.

Now 75 I still managed to climb to the top of Diamond Head in June - I have the T-Shirt ! - the view is just as breathtaking nearly 50 years later - can't complain !

I can trace it all back to compulsory National Service of course, I deferred it as long as possible but was eventually dragged off kicking and screaming, I guess it gives real meaning to the phrase ' Don't Get Mad, Get Even ' ! I think I won.

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Old 27th Aug 2009, 14:04   #206 (permalink)
 
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On the VC10 Round the World trips we used to stay at the Reef. Nice place Honolulu but pricey to eat and drink there. I liked the next stop or the stop before that depending on which way you were going which was Fiji. My wife and I went on a fantastic boat trip to one of the islands around there. It was like being in paradise. Super barbeque, drinking and swimming.

Hotel in Fiji not so great though with terrible rooms, rusty old taps on the washbasin and no discernible hot water either. A friend of mine in QANTAS told me that he woke up one morning having been aware of something running across his pillow all night - to find rat droppings on the pillow. Same hotel. The sheets barely fitted the beds and Im told that they just turned them over to make them last 2 occupants.

Cant be as bad as the crew hotel in Bandar Seri Began though. I had a room there once where it was termed a suite for the Captain. It was termed that because it couldnt be let (the room that was supposed to be the sitting room) as there was a 8' x 4' peice of plaster board out of the ceiling. As I was on the Allowances and Accom committee at BALPA at the time went out looking for a better hotel the next day. It would appear that the hotel we were in was the "best" one.

When I rang down for glasses for crew party was offered something else that was a close pronunciation of glasses.

Its all changed there now though. Modern hotels etc.
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Old 27th Aug 2009, 15:14   #207 (permalink)
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I always thought it was the Golden Age of BOAC. When the natives used to salute the arrival and departure of the weekly BOAC flight! The Connies and Strats, discovering the world, Hawaii postings. I joined in 70 and discovered the world, but others had 'been there' before. I saw 747s in and learned my trade on the North Atlantic and loved it- but I do look enviously at the old pictures of early 707s and Strats and Navigators using Loran and starshots. That is when it was skill- miss Bermuda and you die!
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Old 28th Aug 2009, 08:03   #208 (permalink)
 
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The Strats. were welcomed to Kano by a Tribesman sat on a camel blowing the Nigerian equivalent of a Didgeridoo ! long horn, anyway.

I've just been chatting to one of my microlight students about navigation - not a major hazard in Northern NZ, most times you can see both coasts ! - and mentioned using a sextant in a 707, the reaction is usually, Oh Yeah, silly bugger, but this time I was surprised by the reaction - like, wot's a sextant !!

One dark and dirty night on the North Atlantic, was beavering away with all the modern aids known to Man, like Astro, Loran, Consol, when the door opened and a pax asked if he could have a look. Turned out he ferried light aircraft across. I asked him how he navigated ? He looked at me as if I'd crawled from under a stone, explained that there was a ship permanently stationed around 40 West, Ocean Station Charlie, and another near 20 West, which had beacons, and he had a radio compass, so he just tuned in Charlie and set off from Newfoundland. The ships were some 1,000 nm apart if I recall ? Maybe a bit less ?

Not long after I was involved in a crossing where Gander asked all the aircraft who could transmit, and get a response, on 121.5 to report position. Turned out that 4 light aircraft had set off and only one had suitable navigation equipment so the other 3 formated on him - and got seperated. Eventually one of them was located and turned towards Iceland and ditched about 40 nm South of the coast, and a chopper from Keflavik managed to fish him out. The other 3 were never heard from again.

Innocence is Bliss.

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Old 28th Aug 2009, 20:20   #209 (permalink)
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Navigation is indeed a totally lost art thanks to 30 years of INS. Sextants, periscope mounts, Loran C, Consol, Air Plots, Grid Navigation......all consigned to the bin. It is very sad, but inevitable. In the long hours over the Atlantic, I regale any young pilots unfortunate enough to fly with me with the story of Consol, how the Germans set it up during the war for N. Atlantic U-boats at Quimper, Vigo and somewhere else, and how it worked, and how I used to follow through how it was used, and listen to it counting the dots to get a radial. And how the British knew what it was straight away, and could have 'demolished' it, but found it really rather a splendid navigation aid anyway, so we happily used it as well. Nobody ever quite explained to me why the Spanish were setting up a German navigation aid in the war when they were neutral?

Aeroplanes used to be met by Hawaiian girls in grass skirts and flowers strategically covering bits that needed covering, and local agents in fezes. Nowadays we fly round people with mullets and singlets wearing running shorts that don't hide the budgerigar they obviously have hidden in their shorts, and thongs (sandals!). Something of the romance of modern aviation vanished when the masses were introduced to air travel! They demolished it.
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Old 28th Aug 2009, 21:29   #210 (permalink)
 
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I have often come across this attitude of the poster who said that BOAC crews and its successor were arrogant etc. It largely stems from jealousy that we had a marvellous airline. (And they secretly wanted to be in it!!!!!!)
I think you have your finger on the button there. My father who flew the
VC.10 back in 1960's always looked at BOAC and Pan Am crew with a slightly 'green' tinge! He loved the Juan Tripp uniform - cap in particular.

This thread should be re-nmaed; The BOAC VC.10 era/memories! Are there no other former VC.10 pilots left? Perhaps not. (Excl. RAF of course)
Great stories though!

I had to go and take another look at the 'Old Mans' Logbooks.
There is an entry for a flight in G-ARVB out of Boscombe in March '64 and under 'Duty' it states Noise Abatement.

How the decibels have reduced over the years
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Old 28th Aug 2009, 22:24   #211 (permalink)
 
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I keep a sextant on my desk at work and someone asks, what's that? I repsond that it the new standby nav system for the 787. Lot's of blank stares I'm afraid.

Agree when looking back at my career, the nav days at Pan Am were some of the most interesting. I did not stay at Pan Am for long as the airline was shrinking as opposed to many of the others in the US at the time. No regrets, but I'm glad I can say I did it.
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Old 28th Aug 2009, 23:14   #212 (permalink)
 
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Consol ....

Quote:
Quimper, Vigo and somewhere else
Bushmills, Lugo, Stavenger, Ploneis and Nantucket ( -. .- -. 194 Kc. )

Would count - say 35 dots and be up to about 15 dashes and the door would open and a raucous voice would shout ' anyone for a coffee ? ' Oh! for C---sakes, shut up ! start again..... one, two, three.........

One had to have a vague idea of ones' position, i.e. an Air Plot, as it was possible to get the same count from various positions around the station, or of course get another position line from a different source to resolve the ambiguity. Good fun - in retrospect !

Always seemed to get a bit off course due to an unexpected windshift around 49N / 10W coming 'up' to Lands End homebound, one Captain reckoned it was a glitch in the Isogonal of Mag.Var'n. at that point. Could be right. ( nothing to do with Consol of course. )
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Old 29th Aug 2009, 16:31   #213 (permalink)
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Yes, Bushmills. Did we really install a German navigation aid during the war? And Nantucket? Seems a very bizarre form of international collaboration. I suppose it stopped lots of planes and ships getting lost in the great wastes!
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Old 29th Aug 2009, 23:16   #214 (permalink)
 
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Nantucket and Bushmills were best from a reception point of view, I seem to recall, for no good reason that I can think of, and I think NAN was the only station on the USA side, certainly the only one serviceable throughout the 60's.

Loran was the primary aid of course, and on Strats and Brits, having matched the signals on a cathode ray tube one had then to switch to another visual mode, and literally count the blips along a base scale; on the 707 we had an EDO Loran receiver, and as one turned the knobs to match the signals so a series of mechanical digital numbers were turned, so that one could read off the result instantaneously.

It worked - most times - but on nights of poor reception the signals were hidden in the 'clutter', referred to as grass - 'cos that's what it looked like, and one of my early instructors gravely told me that I would have to carry a pair of scissors in my Nav. bag - to cut the grass !
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Old 2nd Sep 2009, 21:43   #215 (permalink)
 
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VC10 nostalgia continued

I was a regular passenger on the BOAC VC 10 flight to and from Dubai from late 1969 to mid 1971, at least four times a year on oil business. The VC10 went on to Karachi. Two memories stand out; the Refuelling stop at Beruit in 1969 with spent bullets and broken glass at the terminal building. All later refuelling stops were at Akrotiri. Secondly, the visits by BOAC aircrew to our oil camp barbecue in the desert outside Dubai on ?Saturday evenings which we had to put a stop to after those visits were reported in the UK press. Any Ex BOAC staff remember the desert visits?
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Old 2nd Sep 2009, 22:04   #216 (permalink)
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Mearns

Went to one of your bbq's on 27/06/70. Ended up back at the Carlton in the early hours. (not flyng til 30/6........honest). Happy days.

Dave
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Old 2nd Sep 2009, 22:56   #217 (permalink)
 
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Ahhhhhhhhh !! The Carlton ! and the sailing club just the other side of the bridge. Flt Eng, stubbed his toe on an object in the sand one day, proved to be a bl***y big Mercury outboard half-buried. He made a few enquiries at the club, traced the local, indigenous, owner who announced that he had bought another one and didn't want it anymore, so F/E whistled up his Stn.Eng mate and a Land Rover, and crated it up, stuck a crew label on it and loaded it into the hold that night back to LHR.

Saw him later, said once the sand had been washed off, it was as new.
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Old 3rd Sep 2009, 21:30   #218 (permalink)
 
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Minor thread drift

I went on in 1970 to take the Gulf Air charter flights , DC3, Skyvan and F28 to Azaiba , Oman and then on to Central and Southern Oman. I never got back to overnight at the Carlton as our company personnel were banned. Now I now know of a possible culprit of the alleged bad behaviour.
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Old 21st Dec 2009, 17:33   #219 (permalink)
 
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No apologies for bringing this one back up. Rather sad to find my late brother's slide collection recently: including these taken at White Waltham in 1977. Maybe not so dramatic as some, but they've not seen the light of day since.





and this.......must be a replica?



And finally, and just because I like it, the most elegant colour scheme of all, departing Entebbe around 1970:

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Old 15th Feb 2010, 06:07   #220 (permalink)
 
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Can anybody tell me what the departure frequency of the BA591 LHR-JFK-LAX-HNL-NAN-MEL flights would have been in 1969?
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