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Old 6th Mar 2009, 13:29   #61 (permalink)

 
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Sud Aviation apparently never realised that a two-crew cockpit was the way of the future.

This, and the modernised, redundant, systems that went with it was the One-Eleven's biggest contribution to aircraft design.
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Old 6th Mar 2009, 13:36   #62 (permalink)
 
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Regarding deep stall, the Victor accident is widely regarded in a number of reports and publications as the first time the phenomenon was recorded as such but, with a number of T tail designs operating in service or as prototypes well before the accident, it would seem unlikely that the situation hadn't arisen previously and had either gone unrecognised or been masked by other factors.
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Old 6th Mar 2009, 17:10   #63 (permalink)
 
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A wonderful time. BOAC had a wonderful young attractive cabin crew.
Anyone remember a stewardess called Angela W (my big sister, and much better-looking than I) on BOAC VC10 (and 707) cabin crew circa 1970? She's 61 now, and flew at a time when BOAC crews enjoyed long stopovers in some pretty exotic locations.

Anyone else recall the hospitality in, for example, Abu Dhabi? BOAC crews seem to have had a similar status to senior British diplomats then - and were expected to behave accordingly. I bet there are some great stories to be told from those days; and earlier...

Apologies for slight thread creep.

Last edited by XV490; 7th Mar 2009 at 11:53.
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Old 8th Mar 2009, 15:36   #64 (permalink)
 
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Creeping further away from the thread, since you mention it, I had a passing acquaintance with the administration of BOAC/BA crew accommodation in the Gulf, AUH even, at that time........

IIRC, there was an absolute requirement that the accommodation for the Flight Deck had to be in a more expensive hotel than the Cabin Staff, and The Captain had to have a better room (usually a suite) than the FO and FE. I wouldn't be surprised in the FO needed a better room than the FE, but I do not remember that being the case.

So we put the Flight Deck into a very, very expensive but dreadful hotel, and the Cabin into a slightly less expensive but infinitely better one. There's a revolutionary in all of us.

That stopped eventually, and the whole crew was allowed to use the same hotel. The price was higher than that paid by anyone else, to cover the cost of items stolen from the rooms. They never remonstrated; they just kept a list of who stole what and charged an averaged add-on to pay for it. This list was always produced when contract renewal time came round. The company was happy to pay the additional cost, to avoid trouble.

Only certain people did this; but the inventory against some of the names, over a 2 - 3 years period, was impressive. Quite a few houses in the Camberley region must have benefited.

I recall that the items included a 5 ft high mirror (carefully unscrewed from the wall by a Captain who took the screws as well), a complete ceiling fan, a coffee table, hair-dryers, lots of table lamps, towels, bedding, pillows, crockery and so on.
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Old 8th Mar 2009, 21:57   #65 (permalink)
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So we put the Flight Deck into a very, very expensive but dreadful hotel, and the Cabin into a slightly less expensive but infinitely better one. There's a revolutionary in all of us.
Well it sounds fun, but in fact all pilot crew hotels were subject to BALPA inspection. Their remit was to check hotels for safety features and adequacy within the budget available. For the nearly 40 years of my tenure, we were happy to rely on BALPA's decision. More than alleged 'quality' was considered- location, local facilities, dining and convenience were all balanced. There was a dedicated BA BALPA department for this. Often it was preferable to stay at different hotels than the crew- removal of hotel facilities was not usually a pilot thing and it was not conducive to a good relationship with the hotel. Some of the stories are fun, but frankly I don't believe them! A 5' mirror, coffee table? Sounds more like 'an inside job' to me! I do know that dressing gowns, towels and ash trays could be removed- it's a simple matter to tell the airline and wait for the crew on arrival! Not something you will tend to find career minded pilots doing. Nice stories, but.......
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Old 8th Mar 2009, 22:17   #66 (permalink)
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My memories don't tie up with your recollections old,not bold. Can you imagine bringing a ceiling fan, or coffee table, down to the lobby for pick-up? As Rainboe says, nice story but.....
I can only remember staying with the cabin crew at the Gulf stations. In Bahrain we stayed at the old Imperial Airways rest house until we moved to the Gulf Hotel (with the cabin crew). In Dubai we all stayed at the Carlton, which was just about the only hotel available. The last time that I had the pleasure of flying with Rainboe was to Dubai in August 1974.

Dave

Last edited by Captain Airclues; 8th Mar 2009 at 23:58.
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Old 8th Mar 2009, 22:31   #67 (permalink)

 
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Rainboe & Airclues

Did the VC-10 have a frequent problem with overheating brakes?

I remember as a pax on a flight back from Bangladesh, the gear stayed down for half an hour after take-off for that reason.

Maybe there wasn't enough water on the Dacca runway that day.

When the gear finally went up the famous silence was all the more appreciated.
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Old 8th Mar 2009, 22:37   #68 (permalink)
 
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<< In Dubai we all stayed at the Carlton, which was just about the only hotel available.>>

Aah, the Carlton - stayed there often on freighters - 707's that is! At the time that was about the city limit of Dubai. Also 'Bristow's" bar, the only place to get a beer.
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Old 9th Mar 2009, 15:32   #69 (permalink)
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Dysag

I can't remember any brake overheat problems but it's 35 years since I have flown a VC10. Perhaps BEagle could help, as he has more recent experience.

Dave
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Old 9th Mar 2009, 16:16   #70 (permalink)

 
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Dubai. Also 'Bristow's" bar, the only place to get a beer.
Mentioned in Despatches here. Old Dubai, sixth piccy down. What a hoot that was in its day.

Bristow Photos
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Old 9th Mar 2009, 16:36   #71 (permalink)
 
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The VC10 doesn't have brake temperature gauges and if the brakes were thought to have overheated during taxy out to the RW, the aircraft wouldn't then have taken off!

I suspect the reason for leaving the undercarriage down might have been for some other cause.....
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Old 9th Mar 2009, 18:01   #72 (permalink)
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I remember as a pax on a flight back from Bangladesh, the gear stayed down for half an hour after take-off for that reason.
I suspect your memory is playing tricks! Leaving gear down for 30 mins would be a big problem, slow speed, low altitude. The flight probably transited Calcutta for Dacca and the F/E told the Captain on the walkaround that the brakes felt rather hot! It wouldn't have been for more than 10 mins absolute max! It had no problem with hot brakes, but you would take care on short sectors.

The VC10 does hold a special place in my affection. It was a lovely plane with no vices. We had a far better world coverage than BA has now- round the world trips. The Conways were ultra reliable, but the surges were extraordinary! They always self recovered. It was ultra comfortable, supremely quiet (up front), and incredibly stable- there was no 'shudder' or shake at all inflight. All in all, a thoroughly splendid aeroplane to tour the North American colonies and the pink bits on the world map!
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Old 9th Mar 2009, 22:39   #73 (permalink)
 
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Complete nonsense, Old not bold!

The requirements for hotel accommodation for both flight and cabin crew were clearly laid down and a little different. In both cases there had to be 24hr room service, quiet rooms and blackout curtains.

The Captain got a better room (quite right too) but not necessarily a suite. If a suite was available at a reasonable price it would be put in the contract. If it was not in the contract but one was available on the day hotels would often consider it commercially justifiable to give it to the Captain (BOAC had large numbers of Management Captains out on the routes and hotels valued their airline contracts).
The First Officers did not get a better room than the Flight Engineer.

The flight crew did not get better hotels than the cabin crew. More often than not there was only one hotel that fitted the criteria and both crews would stay together. Where there was a choice the cabin crew representatives often stated a preference for, say, a beach hotel if available whereas the flight crew representatives invariably preferred a city centre location. It happened that in those days city centre hotels were usually of better quality, but not always (It did however have a positive effect on flight crew meal allowances). The big luxury beach resorts had yet to appear in most places.

Flight crew did not generally pilfer from rooms. It wasn't worth losing their (then) well-paid jobs for. Your story is ... just that. Cabin crew had relatively low basic pay rates in those days and they were more tempted. However this only became a significant problem when the Gulf region began building new 5-star hotels and fitting them out with crystal. The Alain Palace at AUH was one of these and you may have been thinking of that.

BOAC did not turn a blind eye to pilfering, which was a serious offence if reported to them. Hotels themselves however did occasionally turn a blind eye as their contracts were very lucrative and in those days passengers would often be attracted to the hotels where the crews stayed. Where crew were caught red-handed the hotel would usually make an "offer" (for that person to replace the item, or pay for repairs) which crew members invariably accepted to prevent the Company becoming involved.




On the separate subject of VC10 delayed gear retraction, with no brake temp gauges fitted there were brake cooling charts to be consulted instead. On a very short turn-round under some conditions they could require the gear to be left down after takeoff. I certainly remember operating Dacca-Calcutta with the gear down all the (not very long) way. I doubt the charts by themselves required such a long extension though.
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Old 9th Mar 2009, 23:24   #74 (permalink)
 
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Tealeafing from hotels!! No, say it wasn't so!!

On the odd trip East that I used to undertake many years ago, an RAF Navigator (Sqn Ldr, in fact) used to carry two RAF holdalls. One for his kit and the other for anything that wasn't nailed down in the hotel rooms.

Invairably, holdall 2 outweighed holdall 1 on RTB.

He was caught out once, to my certain knowledge, on being asked at Checkout the whereabouts of the Silver Service Coffee Pot that Room Service had provided the previous evening.

In the minibus to the airport, he moaned a bucketful as he wanted the Silver Coffee Pot to "complete the set he had at home".

Being invited to stay at his for the weekend was akin to staying at the Intercontinental. Talk about 'home from home'.

Last edited by taxydual; 10th Mar 2009 at 17:41. Reason: Sp
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Old 10th Mar 2009, 10:29   #75 (permalink)
 
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Here are a couple of poor photos taken in June 1976 through a rather dirty cabin window of a BA 747.




An East African example at Heathrow.



British Airways example at Nairobi. In my opinion the worst livery BA ever had.
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Old 10th Mar 2009, 11:59   #76 (permalink)
 
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<<BOAC crews seem to have had a similar status to senior British diplomats then>>

Well, some of them I met in Africa seemed to think they should be treated thus! The BEA crews were much more down to earth and great fun to work with.

One Christmas Eve an overflying BOAC VC-10 said to us: "The Captain has instructed me to wish you a Merry Christmas". Our Watch Supervisor's response is not printable!!
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Old 10th Mar 2009, 16:14   #77 (permalink)
 
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Rainboe, Captain Airclues, et Albert Driver.......

Interesting responses to my anecdote about managing crew slip accommodation; I don't want to get into a slanging match, even in a gentlemanly fashion, but I can assure you that every word was fact, not a "good story" etc etc.

Of course, crews who behaved like that were - and I guess still are - a small minority.

Large items could easily be removed during the slip, not at the end of it. The hotel that lost its mirror (looking-glass to you, Rainboe, I suppose) was the first Hilton in Abu Dhabi; anyone who used it will remember that there were several ways of leaving other than past the concierge.

Certain aircrew, not only BOAC/BA, could become quite querulous about minor tribulations which the majority would take in their stride. On these occasions I had a useful last resort, handed to anyone in danger of becoming boring................

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Old 10th Mar 2009, 22:49   #78 (permalink)
 
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62K I''m equally off thread - for which I apologise. I was due to fly from London Heathrow to Philadelphia at about the same time (1970)...I was looking forward to flying in a SVC10. Due to fog at LHR I found myself on a very early TWA 747 which left from T3 before the airbridges were installed. 9 abreast in tourist I recall - and the movie: "The Life of Mr Soames."

At JFK I transferred to an AA 707 100 which still wore the "old" livery. Coming back I remember a standard VC10 from JFK. The ultimate flying experience. Until I travelled Ascot class to Sydney in 1977....but that's another story...
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Old 11th Mar 2009, 10:30   #79 (permalink)
 
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YOUR STORY HAS TOUCHED MY HEART
Yup. That's exactly the attitude that turned the once world-beating BOAC/BEA into the fragmented, team-spirit-deficient, back-biting, people-unfriendly mess that BA is today.

Thanks for your contribution, Oldnotbold. Be proud.




Back to the VC10......
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Old 13th Mar 2009, 11:27   #80 (permalink)
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Still trite old recycled gossip that, over the years, develops a sort of 'folklore' of its own. Yes some crewmembers used to 'borrow' dressing gowns and odds and ends. But 'looking glasses' and 'coffetables'? I don't think so! In those days Customs wanted receipts for EVERYTHING imported. That gets conveniently forgotten. In another 20 years it will be 'sofas' and 'double beds'!

People actually believe these fables now, like the guy with a truck in Arizona who strapped a Hercules jetpack on the back and buried himself in a cliff, aand the old lady who dried off her poodle in the microwave, and I just got sent YET AGAIN the story of the man who sets the cruise control of his campervan and goes into the back to make a coffee. Time, and the number of tellings, gives it a strength of truthfulness of its own. There will be people peddling this garbage forever. No escape.
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