PPRuNe Forums - View Single Post - Global Aviation Magazine : 60 Years of the Hercules
Old 18th Jun 2015, 13:28
  #3251 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Age: 67
Posts: 710
Metric stuff!

Having departed the "mob" to join British Airways, in 1988, I had left behind me a Fat Albert Fleet with four vertical arrays of engine instruments and fuel gauges that measured lbs. Twenty years later, and retired from commercial flying (due to the lack of FE positions), I succeeded an interview process to return to Trials Flying (with QinetiQ) at Boscombe Down as a civilian Heavy Aircraft Flight Engineer. To my delight, I was sent to Lyneham for a Ground School refresher course and several flight sims to get mw back into "on speed pressure up" with Fat Albert. To my horror I found everything had gone metric and those four vertical arrays of analogue engine instruments had been replaced with very small digital gauges that I could barely read.

For the hell of me I just couldn't get the metric numbers ingrained into my head, however, everything else came flooding back "in spades". Pete Fryer was still running the groundshool and, as far as I'm aware, I was the very last FE to be taught within that establishment. In the sim, it was Pete Harker who mentored me through my refresher training. All went well, except for those b*&&%y engine instruments... and not getting out of the habit of no longer talking to the engine during start-up... Fuel flow, Ignition, Oil Pressure, blah, blah! Anyway, it was a great pleasure to get back out onto the flightline to pre-flight an aeroplane, except, what's with all of this additional electronic malarkey? The flight deck looked more like the backend of a Vulcan... with extra boxes and knobs that I'd never seen before! Three weeks later... with the wheels firmly tucked away, I'm heading west across the pond for Newfie-land, Bangor, and then down to Florida to have some turrets fitted to the rear end of the aeroplane. Six weeks later, return to Florida (courtesy of BA) to pick up the aeroplane and fly it back to Boscombe to complete some performance testing; then back to the Gulf of Mexico to find some still-air for the real flight trial... No.4 shut-down and carrying out several performance climbs over the Gulf. Thank you Aunty Betty for allowing me back to fly Fat Albert again... and the TriStar; but that subject is for a different thread!

Thank you to everyone for your input to this fabulous thread... keep it up! However, let's have less of the "exchange of small quantities of liquid"... that was in Glander I think!

TheChitterneFlyer is offline