I do have a pic of G-AYTF in JPS black'gold taken when on 16th April 1983 I flew a charter into Leeds Castle. (actually on the lawn inside the moat!) Not allowed now I believe. But I'm not familiar with getting pics posted here. I can e-mail if you give me an address.
Yes Jonathan Palmer who purchased 'Always With an Oil Leak' G-AWOL, commenced his flying training with me at Southern Air and once I started my own business at Wycombe (Booker) in 1983, he became our first PPL (H) student. Tony Clarke did the remainder of his flying.
Also I think D of R's schedule of owners is missing one entry on G-AWOL, so I've checked log book No 4 to find the following. G-AWOL first flown by me when it was either owned or leased to Harold Bamberg for a short period based at Coworth park, near Ascot. (Bamberg being the B of the once mighty BKS Airline ... ie Bamberg, Keegan & Stevens) I operated it from 4th Feb 1986to my last flight being its position to its airfield base at Leavesden on 29th August 1986. It may be that Bamberg's Eagle Aircraft business never registered the machine! I have a photo of AWOL on the lawn at Coworth Park in its Fawn, Orange & Dark Brown scheme.
Back to G-AYTF. Log book tells me I picked the machine up from Lotus at Hethel on 22nd Jan 1983 and used it on Air Taxi work until 20th June 1984. I did quite a few Para Drops at Bordon using this machine. It was around this time that I was flying G-AWJW and G-CSKY.
At Skyline we had a fair range of posh customers and the racers and rally guy customers. Tony Pond, bless him being one of them as was the Finnish rallyer, Ari Vatanen, bike racer, Barry Sheene and Alan Jones the F1 driver. They all flew G-AYTF with me and Barry initially purchased his own Enstrom, G-BGMX and later the Hughes 500 G-STEF after his good lady Stefany McClean. Then along came Mark Thatcher who purchased B206, G-SHZZ from my firm. (the last of the SH series as I went right through the SH ... A to Zs which followed the SKY registrations.) Then I started the GO series with G-OSHA, B C etc. Oh such Halcyon days!
Sorry once again. This mine of useless information is still active tho' More similar info on request.
What Limits: I do apologise - I completely missed your post which snuck in at the end of page 4! Welcome. Sounds as if you had some expereinces of your own out there. The Puma's and Gazelle's, were these from the UK defence forces?
VFR440: AWOL must have been sold to David Brown by CSE who, I think, were the first Bell distributors. However, Bell were under considerable pressure in the early 70s to roll out 206s off their production line (such was their popularity) and, as a result, I believe, that throughout most of Europe, Agusta sales of the 206 may (initially) have out paced Bell.
Resultingly, Alan Mann (as the Agusta distributor) were pretty busy for many years and put up a good show in terms of sales and service. Several 'Bell' owners brought their 206's to AM perhaps not only because of their capable service but maybe also to do with their location.
Dennis: What can I say .. every aircraft which appears for us to reminisce over .. you've had something to do with! Perhaps we should rename the thread "Dennis K's Ex-Mounts" but, in retrospect, this may throw up some contributions from birds of an un-Halcyon nature!
Yes I had several conversations with Mark T while with you. The first time we met I had just returned in TALY from a solo cross country task set by Nobby. As I dismounted, Mark began questioning Nobby as to my identity. I was only just 17 (but looked about 15) and he of the Moroccan sands was apparently 'concerened' that I might not be old enough to legally fly (can you imagine a question like that posed to someone like Tony!).
Barry Sheene, didn't he live somewhere near Brands Hatch (Aynesford or somewhere?). My Brother (a motorcycle fanatic) was his friend and was a passenger (more than once) in the 500 you sold him. I think you were in Shoreham in those days?
Back to Mark T. After clogging the aiwaves with 'Kilo Yankee's' in your first round of registrations is seems as if, besides 'SH' and 'G-OSH' you were also trying to zzzap the airwaves once again! What I mean is .. you suddenly started collecting a lot of sleep! As in Zzz's .. G-SHZZ, G-BUZZ, G-WIZZ .. shall I continue .. !
Well its all great stuff Dennis. I sometimes wonder if its right to look back like this but, I think it can't be bad. Life, to a large extent is a collection of memories and to have good ones is a blessing indeed. Just so long as we don't dwell there too long!
I'm PM'ing you my email address where you can send me any photos of AYTF (and AWOL) plus anything else of interest and I'll get them online.
Mention of G-AWOL has had me tracking back through the logs. I was pax on 10 May 1983. This J/R was based at Blackpool Airport for a year or so, with newly established operator, Red Rose Helicopters. Apart from charter work, it also spent a great deal of the summer months on pleasure flights around Blackpool Tower. I am trying to find the photos (without success), but as I recall it was all yellow, with large 'Red Rose' titles and logo, and black top.
David Brown tractors were based at Huddersfield Crossland Moor airfield with a twin-engine de Havilland DH104 Dove. If memory serves, Crossland Moor was originally built by DB as his private base, near the Meltham factory.
I have photos of G-TALI and possibly G-TALY, which are also proving hard to locate. I was speaking to Ken D a few weeks ago and will be meeting up with him again next month. The Duke's late father had this Grumman Goose (bottom of page). The present Duke has, in recent years, had a succession of jets, ranging from a HS125; Cessna Citation models 501 and 650, and currently a 750 Citation X, all of which have been based at Chester-Hawarden.
When I flew G-ONOW it was was predominantly black with some white. I have to go and scan a couple of pics.
When I flew it it was still an A with a dicky battery, but the few times I interacted with her she did not fail me, though once a mate and I flew her down to the Chewton Glen for a cup of tea only to find on our return to the aircraft the No.1 engine cowling wouldn't lock anymore so we had to borrow some duct tape from reception in order to get us home.
By then she was a tad tired. Glad to see she appears to be back in the skies.
...... but Agusta proposed a 'new' S61 in 1980 not long after it became clear that the demand for the S61 was not diminishing even though Sikorsky had ceased production. It was exactly like the Pope's machine on the previous page and I had the pleasure of 'test' flying it on behalf of BCALH. It was going to get the CT7 engine but the model proposed to us was going to have the CT58. Unfortunately the CT7 is a 'front drive ' engine and Alfa Romeo were apparently about to develop a rear drive version for a fixed wing application (can't imagine what??) and AGusta were not prepared to pay the money needed to accelerate the programme. Hence the S61 SILVER as it was to be called, never appeared.
When I flew it the Test Pilot was very keen to show me that it could cruise at 144 kts but when I saw that the Torque was maxed out at 86% (max cont Tq) I figured the gearbox wouldn't last long at that rate abd with the dear old CT58 the fuel consumption would have been horrendous. Still, CT7s, Carson blades, Westland MGB and 6-bladed tail-rotor - could have been a beast.
Interesting trip though. Our evaluation team was collected from Genoa (BCAL had a route to Genoa in those days) in a Learjet and zoomed into Milan before being whisked away to the fabulous Villa D'Este on Lake Como.
Geoff: It would be good to clarify the production run on the Silver. My impression was that a small batch were made including this AS61N1 Silver delivered to the Malaysian Air Force and used to this day to transport their Prime Minister.
M39-01 Agusta AS61-N1 Silver at Ipoh (IPH) Malaysia of the Malaysian Air Force VIP Transport Division.
Lago di Como: Ci, a slender slice of heaven for us on earth to enjoy!
Villa D'Este Lake Como
Villa D'Este Rear Gardens
Approaching Lago di Como
One of the increasing number of helipads being installed at hotels, homes and waterfront allotments around Lago di Como. (AS355N, I-PFDC, of HoverFly).
Il Bugatti Veyron outside GeoffersInConrnwall's Ville D'Este
Cindy Crawford arrives at Lago di Como courtesy of Heli Air Monaco at a pad constructed at one of George Clooney's three lakeside homes. The reason the Dauphin is not square on the pad is because there is an Ecureuil behind it which was used to carry baggage
Sample of the traditional salads and cured meats so prominent in the Lake Como cuisine
Last edited by Savoia; 7th Aug 2010 at 07:01.
Reason: One image removed (too large)
Apologies for being off-line for a mo. Yes Sav ... the 429 air test was spectacular and I'm very aware of the bum-kicking this site occasionally hands out to both Bell and how the ship is described as a B206 on steroids. I don't want to sound too toffee nosed ... but the 429 as I flew her is one of the best handling machines it has ever been my privilege to fly. And it isn't a jumped up 427 either! And by the way, and contrary to popular opinion, the Bell guys did start with a clean sheet of paper AND ... AND the 429 was the first heli ever to be designed following the MSG-3 system. And it shows in the maintenance cycle (200 hours between checks as a starter and no 50 hr/100' back to 50 hr sequence any more.) And vibration is almost non existent at any speeds. Mind, I'm not a highly experienced twin-engine man. Downside? If I were a paramedic, I'd be mighty careful with the rear clam shell door loading! A good 'bum's eye' view of the T/R is vital. Why don't we just stick to side loading like all the USA HEMS operators? Yes, the 429 will be on the front cover of BLADES along with my report and to do it justice I've done around 4,000 words. PS. I'm not on commission! Item 2. Barry Sheene's G-STEF was sold direct to Don Wood at Bournemouth. I flew it with him in November 2000 for his DA. Don had a massive collection of ex F1 cars in his 'Source' hangar. Don sold the machine on himself. 3. E of R ... Yup I've checked the Tagshaw/Bamberg connection. The company was one of Mr B's. Meantime I'm e-mailing the AWOL & AYTF picture direct to S. 4. Sav ... re the ZZZs. I have another .... G-BBZZ Enstrom, but even in semi retirement, I'm never asleep on the job! 5. Mark T wasn't all bad. At Skyline I was launching us for a dual navex ex Booker and as we left the hangar, I said ... "Mark, got your map?" He shot back like a Roger Federer forehand. "There's people out there who say that's the most dangerous thing I should carry!" Nice reply. I don't think his ZZ was the machine he got into trouble with in SA tho'. 6. Enstrom sales ... why didn't she sell? Well the fact is she did. My boss, Roy Spooner offered me a grand for every one I sold. I did 138 sales from 1973 to 1982. For our school to stay competitive with Robinson, the trick was to operate used machines. A five-year old 28A model was making £25,000 when a new R22 was £80k. One third of the interest, a third of the insurance and ditto on depreciation.
Hope this 'nostalgia' thing isn't too offbeat for other PP readers. For my part ... please keep 'em coming.
In my search relating to G-STEF a friend mentioned that STEF had been sold to one of Sheen's family members. Today I've managed to source the name "Jeremy Paxton" - does this ring any bells? See: Helicopter Life
Evidently Paxton re-named STEF to ORRR and then bought a newer model which he named MRRR (below).
G-MRRR MD500E at the Rectory Hotel, Crudwell, 12 May 2010
Last edited by Earl of Rochester; 7th Jun 2013 at 16:43.
Hope I'm not monopolising these helicopter twists & turns, but yes, G-SHAA (first of the 21 SH registrations I used) was mine too as I imported it from Florida in March 1988. She was almost unique in the UK being a 280 Shark but non-turbo. She appeared on the front cover of a now defunct publication called 'Pilots International'. It was sold to the Manchester Helicopter Centre the same year. The only other UK 280 model I know was the second non-turbo I had rebuilt and registered G-SHRK. Formally Barrry Sheene's G-BGMX 280C and now owned by Vanguard Helicopter at Henstridge. I was training in her at Compton Abbas just last year.
In June 1988 I purchased Jeremy Paxton's Enstrom 28C G-BNBS as he was upgrading to Barry's turbine. I registered that one as G-SHDD ... SHBB & SHCC were 206s. SHFF and SHGG two more Enstroms. SHJJ another 206, SHKK & SHLL both Hughes 269s, SHMM & SHNN more Enstroms, SHOO & SHPP back to Hughes 300s, no SHQQ but SHRR was a 206. SHSS, SHUU, SHXX were Enstroms again and SHVV & SHZZ the final 206s in the SH series. SHWW was an Enstrom sold to Dennis Smith, sadly later lost in a Rotorway ... RIP, but I didn't use SHYY. PS. Am I becoming a reggie anorak?
WigginAirways posted a link on the Ferranti Helicopters thread which led to another image of WOSP (below):
B206 JetRanger III G-WOSP (as flown by Paco) being operated by the Hills which were Burnt!
- Dennis K
Far from being boring I think it is interesting to understand how some of the registrations we see have come about. Tracing origins helps to gain a better overall awareness of the industry (me thinks!).
For you ...
Westland's Wasp (such as the type RotaryWise is soon to add to his flying collection!)