Such a sad loss for our industry ... how well I remember the great Alan Mann greeting me in the early 1970s on the tarmac of Fairoaks Airport, with a warm, "Welcome to the industry Dennis" ... this in spite of the fact that my employer Roy Spooner was starting a competitive business at the airfield. A true gentleman of aviation and one who will be missed. We all respected you Alan. May you 'Rest in Peace.'
Having worked at Fairoaks for many years I was privileged to have been on good talking terms with Alan for which I feel very honoured. A true Brit and an inspiration to many. His life of motor racing, aviation, fish farm, etc must have provided a fascinating and colourful lifestyle. Sadly he joins several others that were part of the truly fantastic Group of Companies of its day. Lets hope a good amount of AM memorabilia is preserved. RIP indeed Alan.
Having spoken to a colleague who has spoken to Henry Mann today, the family will be holding a private funeral tomorrow (28/03/12).
Henry has also said that the family are planning a memorial service in Romsey on Thursday 3rd May where all wishing to pay their respects will be most welcome. Time to brush off those old uniforms chaps!
Further details will be posted as they become available.
It was Alan who gave me my first job in the aviation business back in 1982 working as Ground Crew at Fairoaks; later at FJC, Heathrow for twelve very happy year. Alan was a great man, highly respected in the business and I am proud to have known and worked for him. No doubt he is up there now smoking a Malboro and talking with John Ackers and a few others! RIP Alan.
Location: Italy & Cornwall in equal measure - usually
Ah - Barratts
Yes I was there then. Seem to remember the ex-Army chap who flew the new Barratt's Agusta 109 didn't realise that his military 'Master Green' counted for nought and had to do a check-ride with the man from CAAFU. The candidate turned up at Fairoaks wih his shiny new toy only to be confronted by a puzzled examiner who said, "where are the screens". "What screens?" came the reply.
Never in the field of human endeavour has any pilot been so unprepared for what followed. The kind examiner did not give up but came into our office and borrowed a copy of yesterday's Daily Telegraph and some masking tape and duffed-up some screens out of the newspaper.
I am not sure at what stage the examiner realised that Johnny Pilot couldn't tell a hold from an iLS but let's just say that he, Johnny, expected a military style test and - FAILED.
Per Ardua etc
Last edited by Geoffersincornwall; 19th Oct 2012 at 06:54.
Hi Savoia I was the Chief Eng at AMH from 1976 to 1986. Many happy times. Only found out on 18th about the loss of Alan Mann. I only joined the PPRuNe then. I have a few photos of times gone by especially the A109's from the Argies.
Used to lob into Fairoaks from time-to-time during the years you were at AMH and though you probably wouldn't remember me you may remember my godfather, Lt. Col. Bob Smith, ex-Managing Director of Ferranti Helicopters.
One of the last aircraft Ferranti ordered through Mann's was on behalf of their client, International Messengers of Sunbury, an AB206 III, G-OIML which was delivered at the end of 1978. You may recall her passing through the 'Mannstead' as she wore Ferranti's Dijon yellow colours and was the first Agusta-built 206 III in the UK (to the best of my knowledge).
Please do post as many photos as you possibly can of your time at Fairoaks and, just as importantly, divulge all the terrible (but necessary) stories about that great 'cacophony' of pilots and mechanics who were once known as Alan Mann Helicopters!
A youthful Savoia with Agusta 109A G-HWBK at the Mannstead in 1982
ps: There is a separate thread on the AAC 109's here.
I certainly remember Bob Smith. I looked after his helicopter at British Airways Gatwick with his helper/ cleaner/ driver Pete Smith.
The A109's I mentioned where picked up by G Savage, Major( cant remember the last name, a MOD civil servant and myself.
We flew the aircraft across the Alps,via Monaco and the Lyon valley.
On arrival in the UK an assement of their serviceability was made and we where able to account for all the flying done in the Falklands. We estimated the cost to return them to be about £20,000 or so. However the MOD did not agree and spent close to half million. We did not argue!! I have some photos crossing the Alps. Will try to send them