EP-HBF was pieced together at Redhill from two crashed a/c from Iran and became Serial no. 003. She was then ferry flown back to Iran in October 1970 via Marignane (for some mods), Italy, Greece, Turkey and into Iran. There was an ADF but didn't know how to use it!! Andre (?) Brilhault was the French engineer in the picture but not sure which airfield is shown. Thought it might be of interest after all these pics of important looking modern machines!!!
Last edited by phive; 4th Jul 2008 at 19:07.
Reason: correction and addition of date!
I took the first AB206A in Iran, (EP-HAO), into a place called Bahregan, north of Bushier, on 7th April 1968 to replace the Hiller on the Agip operation and flew it there for a month before I moved on to Indonesia. At that time the Allouette IIIs were based on Lavan Island supporting a French operation.
It was interesting to see EP-HBF once again.I was part of the team that rebuilt it at Redhill.Little more than a ser.No. plate and a cabin floor when we started it,it was quite satisfying when it flew off to Iran. Jean Dennel gave me the chance to go with it but I declined ,(I cannot remember why now)
phive - Yes, sadly that was the same aircraft, brand spanking new and about three months late in delivery, AGIP were thrilled I hear!!!
However, in fairness to JG he didn't go below. A heavy radio had been loaded in the cargo hold at the rear, on arrival at the rig, (very shallow water, very high leg with helipad on top), all pax got out and disappeared down the ladder leaving JG well out of balance. No response to his repeated radio calls at all. JG frictioned down the controls and got out to unload the radio himself but the helipad was steel with no grip of any sort and almost immediately the aircraft started to move, JG just got out of the way in time to see it go over the side! There was a sort of rule/convention that if there was only room for one helicopter on a pad then one shouldn't shut down for fear of a subsequent failed start but when I was in AUH on a WS55/3 contract the company insisted we shut down for three or four hours at a time during well testing etc. JG was a great guy and every one felt sorry for him, the good news was that he kept his job.
We had to do some fairly extensive skin work on 'DL for that respray. The mag alloy skins were rather susceptible to corrosion in such a salt-laden atmosphere. Anyway, one day Pat Patterson (Deep South DPC/Conoco honcho) was watching us and after a while said, "What kinda rivets y'all using?". To which Dave Atkinson replied, "Well, we're not all using the same kind of rivet", which caused us to fall about with the giggles while Pat P wondered what the hell he'd said to cause such merriment.
It loses something in writing it down - I think you had to be there.