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Old 28th Oct 2013, 05:20
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Milano, Italia
Posts: 2,424
TipCap: It would appear that your urban myth is founded on fact!

Originally Posted by Dave Ed View Post


The photos and info below were sent to me by Dick Jones a few years back.

Emden, West Germany, Winter 1964. The aircraft was Whirlwind S55 Mk3 D-HODE operated by United Helicopters GMBH.

Arriving at Emden Heliport after a rig trip

The crew wore immersion suits and there was no heating in the helicopter.

A few names:

Engineers: Dick Jones, Basil Davey, Horst Voigt.

Pilots: Marcel Avon, John Waddington, Willy Weitzel.

Ground Crew: Karl Ackermann, Hans Joachim.

by Dick Jones

1964: WS55 series 3: Whirlwind D-HODE (Westland demonstrator). Note paint scheme.

Capt. Willy Weitzel had an engine failure close to the rig Mr. Louie. He landed the machine perfectly on the sea, and the helicopter was manoeuvred to the rig and hoisted alongside from its lifting eye by the rig crane. It was suspended there for most of the day until a rig supply boat came alongside and the helicopter was lowered on to it without a scratch. The supply boat then returned to Emden docks where a huge dockside crane was positioned overhead and the helicopter attached, still by its lifting eye. The crane operator was positioned way up in the clouds and when signalled to raise the helicopter, it was snatched off the boat rapidly to height of about 30 ft and then the lifting eye unscrewed itself and the helicopter did its last hover before gently descending back on the boat with a crunch.

I believe the helicopter was returned to Westlands and rebuilt.

Good Vibs: From what I understand, the compliment of Bristow Whirlwinds which were despatched to Germany included:

G-AOYB (cn WA191) which became D-HOBI
G-APRW (cn WA296) which became D-HODA
G-ASOU (cn WA402) which became D-HODE (above)
G-APKC (cn WA250) which became D-HODY

Westland Whirlwind Mk I G-AOYB which became D-HOBI

Westland Whirlwind Mk III G-APRW (as seen at Redhill) which became D-HODA (Photo: BCal Tribute Collection)
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