Dennis: At the time I was with Skyline you were involved with something or other, I don’t remember what, but I think you and Bob had at least one chat by phone.
During the course I stayed with Tony and his wife (If I recall correctly she held some civic post within the community – I remember several times a mayoral looking car coming to the house and Mrs Clarke being decked out in ceremonial apparel). His ‘hot to trot’ question was usually posed immediately after breakfast heralding the short drive to Booker. On the way home he would normally stop at one of his favoured hostelries in Marlow for a post-work pint where he would jokingly assassinate the skills of his students. He was, on all counts, a wonderful person.
One day on a nav exercise Booker got socked in so Tony decided to drop in on one of your clients, Tony Pond, to whom I think you sold an Enstrom. His bird wasn’t there that day so we were able to put down on his neatly constructed pad. As the blades were milling down (this was in TALY) a maroon coloured Aston Martin appeared in the driveway with a chap called Rowan Atkinson behind the wheel (at the time embarked upon a television series called Not the Nine O’Clock News). Tony (Pond) was the perfect host and the lot of us were served a fine afternoon tea. I sat back waiting to see what amusing comments might emerge from the comedian but was treated instead to the spectacle of Tony being largely oblivious of Atkinson’s identity and which led to a line of questioning about the actor’s work and which was, well, priceless! We had a good laugh about it in his pub that night.
You may be right about the TALY story running out of steam but, there may be a couple of puffs remaining. PPRuNe contributor GeoffersInCornwall (who delivered TALY from Frosinone to Fairoaks) has threatened to enter the stratosphere of his environs (loft) and locate evidence of the delivery! This will represent the first image of TALY since post #1 (a big event for this thread).
If you have any TALY/CSKY or AYTF photos we’d love to see them.
I hope your 429 review went well and that it made the cover of Blades!
G-AWLL in Glasgow after your Rhodesian expedition This aircraft was originally McAlpine's (1968) before being sold to 'Valley of Gleneagles Helicopters' as they were then.
You mention that your Rhodesian exercise was in February 1980 and I’m guessing this brought you back in time for perhaps the only VVIP charter in BCal’s history.
It was the morning of Sunday 30th May when Bob and I were aloft (and I’m reasonably certain we were northbound out of Heathrow) when we shared the same airspace as two BCal aircraft operating (I think) as Papal One and Two. Papal One, if memory serves, was under the command of Chris Hunt (the chap who inducted me into my first helicopter experience). Were you around fro this event?
Remarkable how little information is available about this job.
Good to see you on the thread and to see 'BI' outside Stretton Hall. The instrument panel brings back many memories!
Savoia - I wasn't involved with the S61 Papal flights as I was on the S76 by that time, but the visit was May 1982 not 1980. GeoffersinCornwall may have been involved but I'm not sure about that. I do recall that when the Pope sat down in one of the 61's his seat support collapsed....very embarrassing!
A thought - maybe the mods should rename this thread "A haven for rotary nostalgia posts" to reflect the way it has developed?
Last edited by Speechless Two; 28th Jul 2010 at 16:21.
It's good to see G-JLBI (part of the 'Midlands Thee' with TALY and OJCB). I do recall seeing it at Brooklands but with the Alton Towers logo having been applied. Also to note the comprehensive avionics fit (for a single) and of course the DANAC system. Great stuff!
Are not Papal flights designated as 'Shepherd One'? You are right, there is very little online about this event. It would be interesting to know more. Shame that of all the seats in the S61 the one for His Holiness had to collapse!
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!
Earl: '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?
Yes this is how I remember JLBI! Seeing as this is now officially a 'nostalgic' thread how about some stories from your time with Alton (or any other interesting episode?). I join Savoia in saluting your find of WOSP (I too had been searcing for an image).
Thank you for the clarification. I was under the impression that the Pope had his own helicopter based at the Vatican?
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
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 07:21.
Reason: Additional Detail
That was a brilliant post on the Papal Flight. Highly informative and immensely interesting. Great stuff! Love the various names for the 'Papal Copter'.
Also your swift response to TechCons .. you seemed to have identified the prospective aircraft almost immediately. It will be interesting to know if this is the one TechCons believes his father in law flew.
I was looking for a post from you on the Alan Mann thread (as you had mentioned Mann's earlier on in this one) maybe later.
To follow on on Savoia's information about AWOL I offer the following:
- 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.
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 a privilege it is to post the 'great man of helicopters' himself!
Like many, I've never met you but heard much about you (and seen at least one of your displays) over the years.
Re: the always leaking 206 - This is the most faithful record of ownership I could trace but I think that Harold Bamberg and Tagshaw Ltd may be one and the same because Tagshaw's registered address was at: Cowarth Park House, Sunninghill, Ascot.
Tagshaw were owners from '84 to '87 when Jonathan Palmer then took over and re-registered the aircraft as REVS.
Can I pose what I imagine is going to seem like a stupid question and one which will make me the enemy of R22 followers - the Enstrom, especially the Shark, is a pretty sleek contraption and not bad on space for a small helicopter.
How come then it never swept the market in the same way as the Robinson did and which, by comparison is cramped (and in my view) profoundly ugly!
It is cost alone and, if so, just how much more expensive is the Enstrom over the R22 as an overall percentage in terms of buying and flying?
. Earl: Good morning, you are clearly an Earl-ley riser! Thanks for the compliments - not a patch on your original explanations of TALY's ops though!!!
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.