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Old 9th Aug 2016, 13:02
  #2798 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: uk
Posts: 2,848

I was one of many fitters rounded up and sent to Fleetlands to get as many helicopters as possible flying for the Spithead Review. (Weather was poor on the day, and a sensible decision was made not to fly many of them). I can't say if the aircraft fleets were airworthy (better chance in those days than in the last 25 years), but there was certainly a lot of pressure to get some right old crates flying which would otherwise be stuck in a storage hangar hoping someone would set fire to them. (Arson being a not-unknown event at Fleetlands in those days, although confined to the fishing club's hut!) A couple of "events" I recall are a less-than-qualified US exchange pilot flying a Wasp calling an unnecessary Mayday resulting in a heavy landing on a cricket pitch, and a Wessex crew taking the opportunity to move a crewman's furniture to his new house during a test flight - and fracturing a fuel line with his 4-poster. I was marshaling and like a prat stood there while the crew bolted past me toward the control tower. Safety issues, certainly, not least giving me that job after 2 minutes training.
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