Paco: Bravo on finding a photo of WOSP. I have been scouring the net looking for her in an attempt to complete a collection of aircraft images from Speechless' Rhodesian mission. I was pretty certain that WOSP was the newest of the aircraft sent out for the elections and indeed I see she as a JR III. Years since I've seen that bird!
'Shepherd One' is the designation normally assigned to the fixed wing aircraft carrying the Pontiff (usually Alitalia outbound), helicopters use different call signs which vary from country to country. In Italy helicopters from the Italian Air Force use 'Volo Papale' (Papal Flight) followed by the sequential number of flights made by the Pope from the beginning of the calendar year.
Geoff: 1982 Papal visit: Was Chris Hunt involved at all? Were there two aircraft used for this operation?
The Vatican does not own any aircraft. Domestic Papal flights (Italy) are carried out by the Aeronautica Militare (Air Force) whose unit at Rome's Ciampino airport (CIA) operate a small fleet of AgustaSikorsky AS61 3Ds one of which (the Vaticopter) is used for Papal assignments.
AS61 3DTS of the Aeronautica Militare at Ciampino - home base of the Volo Papale (Papal Flight)
Aeronautica Militare Celebrating their 50 year anniversary
John Paul II on board the Holy See King!
Night time arrival for Pope Benedict XVI at Vatican City Heliport
Vatican City Heliport aka 'Il Punta di Freccia' (the arrowhead) situated at the Westen most extremity of Vatican City State
Map of Vatican City depicting the arrowhead shape of the city wall (extreme lower left) which surrounds the heliport
One of the Papal pilots .. Francesco Bigiotti
Last edited by Savoia; 13th Sep 2013 at 09:48.
Reason: Repair photo links
More thread drift I'm afraid ........ I'm not a heli pilot (although I do fly fixed wing and gliders) - but my father-in-law was.
He claims to have been one of the first pilots to introduce the Jetranger into the UK, and spent some time perfoming demo's of this type all around the UK as it gained popularity. I'll check through his logbooks with him when we next meet to see if he had any connection with G-TALY. He went on to fly as a company pilot for a chap named David Brown (in Huddersfield I think) as well as doing a lot of instructing. He retired from chopper flying about 10 years ago now.
. TechCons: Following the recent renaming of the thread (many thank Speechless,Senior Pilot and Heliport) I shouldn't think there will be too much concern about thread drift.
Welcome to the thread (as Earl would say). The fixed-wing thing ... we won't hold against you!
If your father in law flew for David Brown (as in David Brown of David Brown Tractors) then you could well be right. David Brown were based in Huddersfield so I'd say there's every chance that the aircraft below could be the one he flew as it was one of the earliest JetRanger's in the UK.
We'd love to hear the details and ... especially ... to receive any photos your FIL may have tucked away in log books, attics, cellars or any other location!
G-AWOL, Farnborough, 1970
AWOL (why are you absent dear?) was the 3rd Bell (as opposed to AgustaBell) 206 JetRanger to appear on the UK register and was the 1st 206 B-model (Bell) in the country.
The initial owner was David Brown Tractors of Meltham, Huddersfield, who purchased AWOL in July 1968.
TechCons you are welcome to PM me your FIL's details. I have a feeling he may have known my godfather who did mention having had dealings with David Brown.
Last edited by Savoia; 30th Jul 2010 at 08:21.
Reason: Additional Detail
- 1968 sold to David Brown Tractors
- 1971 sold to Camlet Helicopters
- 1974 sold to Darmead Ltd
- 1977 sold to Terry Drury Racing
- 1977 sold to Express Helicopters
- 1982 sold to Gleneagle Helicopters
- 1984 sold to Tagshaw Ltd
- 1987 sold to Jonathan Palmer and re-registered at G-REVS
- 1992 sold to Helispeed Ltd
On 17th September 1994 G-REVS (formerly G-AWOL) crashed at the Hambleton Hall Hotel in Leicestershire and was destroyed. The pilot was re-positioning the aircraft after having touched down on what he believed to be uneven ground. While re-positioning he managed to hit a tree. No fatalities.
AWOL after it had become G-REVS
Last edited by Earl of Rochester; 8th Jun 2013 at 09:58.
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)