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Old 12th Sep 2008, 16:34
  #257 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a
1st solo since 1941

Hello Cliff, you are a fellow Liverpudlian. I was at the "Inny" (Liverpool Institute) circa 32/34 (Long before the Beatles were there) and lived in Wavertree. We went to Blackpool around '36 and I joined the RAF in '40 when I was 18. I was lucky enough to go to the USA with the very first of the Arnold scheme and was chased across the Atlantic by the Bismarck which was sunk by our only escort,the Rodney while we were still ploughing through the waves at 30 knots to the misery of all of us in the bows wishing that the Bismarck would catch us , so bad were the conditions. I won't go into my long career now but I was also at Darr Aero Tec (Albany Ga,) and graduated in jan '42. I flew from then almost without interruption until 1982 when I retired . Briefly my career was Class 42a U.S. ,OTU, Blenheims, 105 Sqdn. (First "Mossie Sqdn 2 group.,51 Sqdn ., 4 group Halifaxes ,1943/4 ,Bomber Command. Bomber Command Instructor's School, Doncaster. Instructing people how to be good Instructors !, Empire Flying School, Hullavington as a Tutor. demobbed to join BEA's short lived Check Flight at Aldernaston. Disbanded when Labour Government virtually banned all European travel. Went to Air India as an Instructor when they went International, Back to England with Flight Refuelling flying Lancastrians loaded with fuel on the Berlin Airlift. No Jobs when that packed up so freelanced (Thirty shillings an hour) at Croydon on Rapides, Gulls, Oxfords etc. Joined Shorts at Rochester teaching Naval Pilots how to fly on instruments (Two stage amber ) Windscreens with amber panels, pupils with blue glasses..result they saw black so had to fly on instruments. Instructor could see ,more or less, through amber panels.! Then in 1952 Sabena needed pilots. They had over 1500 applications as they did.nt want licences and I was one of the lucky thirty who were taken on and I flew thirty years with them on .practically all their aircraft from D.C.3's,Convairs to 707,s,DC10s and 747s. Over 50 types of aircraft and total 25,100 flying hours. Ther it is in a nut shell. Looking forward to hearing from you. Best regards, Reg