View Full Version : Heathrow - Your first flight

14th Feb 2007, 21:54
Millions have flown in & out of Heathrow, so whether pax or pilot, do you remember the first flight into or out of Heathrow?
When, what airline and what type?
I have some interesting airfields in my logbook - but never EGLL, but my first flight in and out was on a delivery flight to Transcontinental. Who on earth were they....go on - you tell me:D

Mods - hope suitable in this section?

14th Feb 2007, 22:03
December '69 - BOAC VC-10 to Embakasi. May have stopped en-route, but I was only five and don't remember more than that - and I lost my Junior Jet Club log book! :{

If I can find the exact date (still have passport somewhere with Nairobi entry stamp!) I'll bet one of you illustrious lot could find out the reg, Captain, etc...:ok:

14th Feb 2007, 22:11
R.A.F. Trooping flight.Feb 14 1964 [co-incidence, or what?] ATA 0 it's dark and flippin' COLD...just back from Borneo [wearing a Singapore Special Lightweight suit], via British Eagle Britannia from Payar Lebar [Singapore], Colombo and Kuwait.
We flew out from Gatwick, on a Caledonian [Super, so said the Hostie] DC7C

14th Feb 2007, 22:22
Not Changi, Chiglet? That was a long way in a Brit from SIN
Were you sat facing aft, like in the BUA 1-11's for trooping flights?
Transcontinental flight was into Heathrow from Filton - in a Brit, either LV-PPJ or PPL.
You thought it was cold in the U.K.;) The flight ex EGLL (it was December 1959) went to...Idlewild via Goose Bay and that was sooooo cold.
Treadigraph - was headed to Embakasi in '64 but from LGW in one of the light blue & gold 10's. Old man flew it to Entebbe and then family on staff travel - flight full and we got offloaded:ugh: Took forever to get to the beach!

14th Feb 2007, 22:43
February 63 - middle of the coldest Winter in my lifetime. BEA Viscount to Dusseldorf.

Feather #3
15th Feb 2007, 01:25
From logbook 2 of 5 -

19Jun70, VH-EBX, B707-338C, BAH-IST-FRA-LHR

I can recall the holding [at whatever the aid near LAM was then] and having to write down all the levels/freqs/hdgs as the "simple" cockpit had no reminder/flip-flop stuff in those days.

AND, then to go out for a drink with the crew, you had to wear a suit in LON town or they wouldn't take you. [Around the same era, one of our F/E's was told by the Capt. "You're not an Officer of the crew and therefore we won't be socialising with you in London."......different age.] OTOH some [considerable!] time later, the S/O on my 1st command trip to LHR had two pairs of jeans; he wore the blue ones everywhere else and saved the white ones for LON!!

Amazing stuff when you think back.

G'day ;)

15th Feb 2007, 02:56
Into Heathrow , my first commercial flight , from Manchester in 1969 (?). Bealine Vanguard (GAPEB) student standby return Lstg5 !!!!! Back on one of the new 1-11s (GAVMJ) that evening . Funny how one remembers these things .

Jolly Foreigner
15th Feb 2007, 05:52
First passenger flight from LHR 29 Aug 1986 to AMS on a BA 757, first operating flight to HKG, 7 Aug 1996 VS A340-300 (the ground hugger!) as part of a four man crew.:ok:

15th Feb 2007, 06:22
First ever flight was on East African Comet 4 to Entebbe, 1st April 66, flight no EC717. My mum still has the ticket.........
Still have a perfect picture in my mind's eye of the Curtiss C-46 which followed us as we taxied out to the runway.

33 years later, and equally memorable - my wife & I in seats 1A & 1B on Concorde G-BOAG having won a long weekend in Barbados in a BA competition. Same runway too, but no C-46 this time.

15th Feb 2007, 06:46
LHR-CGN December 1977 on a Lufthansa 737-200, back again two weeks later on a 727-200. Still got the tickets too.

15th Feb 2007, 07:01
Bunch of sproggets the lot of you.

1949 Dragon or Rapide. Down to the Tower of London and back standing beside the (lady) pilot.

henry crun
15th Feb 2007, 07:07
An Air Canada DC8 to Vancouver sometime in 1966, but an earlier trip out of Croydon to Geneva in a Dak in winter was more interesting. :)

15th Feb 2007, 07:08
Transcontinental eh? Brings back memories of a hurried spotting visit to London Airport on 18th January 1964 to cop one of their Brits on the north side in the fog.. Piccy here:

My first ride out of Heathrow was on a Vanguard in June, 1967 en route to Malta, where I started my ATC career. Great flight. During the flight the captain came out and saw a lonely boy of about 12 years old, presumably heading to or from school, and beckoned him to the flight deck. I later went up and was amazed to see the boy in the captains seat! They were the days...

15th Feb 2007, 07:17
4 nov 73. B/A vc10 G.ASGB.dhahran.dubai.dacca.singapore.darwin.brisbane.i dont think you ever forget your first flight.we were buzzed over india by an iaf hunter a couple of times.

15th Feb 2007, 08:13
First flight ever BEA Viking to Malta out of Northholt, took 9 hours via Nice and Rome and back in a DC3

15th Feb 2007, 08:32
05aug62 Britannia G-AOVJ BA632 Prestwick London
and back same day 707 G-APFE BA563.

Used to confuse immigation and customs no end as these were international flights and of course Prestwick passengers were travelling without passports.

15th Feb 2007, 08:47
That pic has brought a tear to my eye. Never ceases to amaze me how there is always someone else in the aviation world who can relate to others memories. Fabulous.

15th Feb 2007, 08:51
My first Heathrow departure was a familiarisation flight in a BOAC 707 which did a few circuits at Bedford before returning whence it came. Summer 1968.
First commercial departure was in a BKS Britannia to Newcastle, first international departure was a Finnair Caravelle to Helsinki. Possibly most unusual (for LHR) would be a British Island Herald operating a Sabena Antwerp service.
Renfrew - Used to confuse immigation and customs no end as these were international flights and of course Prestwick passengers were travelling without passports.
During a posting to Prestwick in 1969 I used to fly PIK-LHR on the BA606 coming through from Toronto. The domestic passengers - never more than ten or so - would be seated at the back and accompanied by a Customs man to make sure they didn't interact with the transatlantics. Then when everybody else was off the aircraft they would be led through bits of Terminal 3 which bypassed customs & immigration. In the other direction there were no problems.

15th Feb 2007, 08:54
Summer 1957. British European Airways Pionair (DC3) to Jersey.:)

Atcham Tower
15th Feb 2007, 08:56
Starways Dak G-AMPY Speke-LHR Oct 1958. Later did the bus tour with my Dad and saw the unique Canadair C.5 in the BOAC maintenance area. A North Star with radials. And for HD's benefit and possibly envy if he never got the chance to fly in one, I later took a day trip to the Paris Air Show in a Starways DC-4.

15th Feb 2007, 09:10
1947? G-AHEN LHR-PIK-SNN(wait for replacement screen)-YQX(stuck for a few days waiting for the jetstream to die down cos we couldn't make it to YUL)-YUL. No I can't remember all this - its all from what my parents told me later - I was only 2 years old!

The next time was as a second officer with BOAC on 707-436's and it was my first trip as a u/t nav in June 1967


15th Feb 2007, 09:13
Aahh, the DC-4. HD must have been in one.
Is there anyone out there who remembers a red strap being pulled out of the overhead panel on landing - was it something to do with stopping the windshield cracking from vibration? Maybe it is just my imagination, but it really was a long time ago since J/S on those from SEN to Ostend.

15th Feb 2007, 09:17
No, to my immense regret I have never flown in a DC-4. I have been semi-promised a ride if I ever get to South Africa again but for various reasons I don't think that'll be on. Might be on a Catalina in a few weeks tho'!
Been in a Dak... on honeymoon to Jersey. We expected a Herald, but it went tech so they wheeled out a Dak. Brilliant!

Arem mentioned: "nav". You have my respect, sir; not many about nowadays.

Midland 331
15th Feb 2007, 09:27
I arrived from LBA on the jumpseat of a Viscount in 1980, 28R, into a dusk sky.

The lights, complexity of taxiways, radio traffic, and general activity left a profound impression to a 20 year old student!


15th Feb 2007, 10:07
Feb 1968 in a British Eagle BAC 1-11 after having made an emergency landing en route BHX-PMI in another British Eagle 1-11 a couple of hours earlier.

The BHX-departing aircraft suffered an engine failure just after take-off aircraft, with the benefit of hind-sight it sounded like a compressor stable - a rapid string of muffled bangs and then an announcement by the Captain that he'd shut down an engine and we were diverting to LHR.

I remember the lights of central London as we circled for a night landing at LHR accompanied by emergency services with 'blues and twos' after touchdown. We disembarked down the rear steps under the whistling APU and were parked in the middle of Cravelles from Iberia and Alitalia. The sound sight and smell were wonderful!

I was ten years old and it was my first ever flight. Mum stayed serenely calm throughout, whereas Dad - who got claustrophobic on aeroplanes - as soon as we were in the departure lounge at LHR headed quickly to the bar to calm his nerves.

Mum thought all airliners had four engines and that losing one of these was no big deal. As Dad got his drink she heard other passengers praising the pilots for the single engine landing and discovered the 1-11 only had 2 engines. "I will have that drink after all," she shouted across to my Dad!

Level bust
15th Feb 2007, 10:30
Early 1968. Autair HS748 (GATMJ) to Blackpool. Should have gone from Luton but the a/c had diverted to Heathrow the previous night.

15th Feb 2007, 13:38
Early '50s (possibly 1951) in a Handley Page Hermes routeing: LHR - Rome - Cairo - Khartoum - Entebbe - Dar es Salaam.
Think the aircraft was named 'Heron' but can't find the reg at the moment.
In those days you dressed UP to go travelling......not DOWN!
Aaaaaah what a way to travel!

PS Although very young I clearly remember departing from the 'temporary' terminal near the Bath Road. Any pictures of those buildings on the net?

15th Feb 2007, 14:28
Mine was LHR - DUS on a LH 727, won a competion at work (used to work for an LHR Freight forwarder at the time) went from DUS - FRA on their high speed train service and back to LHR the same day on a 737.. Thanks Luftansa!:)
ps was 1982 or 1983 I think!

15th Feb 2007, 15:07
My very first flight was in a Hunting Clan Bristol Britannia 317. G-APNB. London Heathrow to Nicosia, Cyprus in November 1959. Trooping flight.
I was 8. Fantastic. I really enjoyed it.


15th Feb 2007, 15:15
June 1953, from the old North Side: Heathrow - Tripoli - Kano - Accra. BOAC Canadair Argonaut G-ALHI 'Antares'. (Now do you get the GeorgeAbleLove bit?) Except the final phonetic should be Item, not India. Only my friend - and total Anorak - 'Discorde' has ever corrected me on it! :)

(arem must've been one of the first Hamble graduates to get into BOAC. BEA took all the ones from the first courses. Their arrival caused great excitement amongst the stewardesses. Up to then there had been a dearth of young pilots, just about the only 'eligible batchelor' being in his early forties, IIRC.)

pax britanica
15th Feb 2007, 15:29
A bit later than some, despite growing up on top of the place I was a late starter on flying.

Thanksgiving Day (November2??) 1971 LHR -JFK on BA175 a pretty new 747.

A BOAC despatcher friend of my old mans and our neighbour ( staff travel trip of course, me and a pal going to Barbados via NY) showed us around the aircraft before boarding.Where would you like to sit said he indicating the vastness of economy class.We chose a couple of seats in front of the wing (no chance of that in Y these days). When we got back to his office he checked his his terminal ,yes they did have computers of a sort then and said-Oh they 'e been allocated already-never mind I dont suppose those passengers had any idea so we will put you two in there.-click click tap tap and its done.


15th Feb 2007, 15:49
29th Jan 1997 - straight out of Oxford, from a Piper seneca to a 737-400 LHR - GLA. Remember freezing when I first spoke to delivery Wasn't quite Oxford Tower

pax britanica
15th Feb 2007, 16:02

You are very modest

As a long time airband listener and heathrow brat I often wondered if pilots got nervous doing their first trip ata mega airport. However in spite of your nervousness I bet you felt that you really had made the big league when you first got to say 'Good morning London AB xxx ready to start for .......' and I am sure you ahd earned it too after the long road to an airline flight deck

Taff Missed
15th Feb 2007, 16:09
BOAC Super VC10, LHR - JFK, 29 Sep 1972. Still got the ticket and Boarding Pass in the attic (but God knows why).


15th Feb 2007, 16:13
Aaahh.. Oxford ATC and Heathrow ATC. Done 'em both and there is a slight difference. Heathrow Ground was like a rest cure after the previous carnage!

15th Feb 2007, 16:25
I see all the old friends recalling their past here :)

My first time in was on British Eagle One Eleven G-ATPI in September 1968, coming down from Liverpool. A surprisingly high speed turnoff/swerve from 28R. Did they do those so long ago ? Yes they did.

The sad bit is, despite NOT being a spotter, that registration is not in any notes or anything but is in my head, and has been so for nearly 40 years.

15th Feb 2007, 16:51
Early 50's I think; Dragon Rapide of "Aggie's Airline" over London at not a great height. Unbelievable now.

15th Feb 2007, 17:18
Terrific replies and nice to know the topic evokes such brilliant memories.
Whoever mentioned age SSK - I was first carried on a Britannia at the age of 11 months, or so I'm told! Must confess, it's about the only flight I do not remember.
But hey, memory gathering pace today, we did not end up in Idlewild on that delivery flight, but Newark and sadly I recall looking out of the Greyhound bus at the N.Y. skyline. Plane went on down to B. Aires.
Great to see some replies from you guys strapped into the r/h seat, let alone the left.
So come on, who is going to spoil the Hermes, Rapide, Britannia, Viscount, Vanguard, 1-11 and VC.10 et other memories and declare that they think it might have been in an SST:*

Feather#3 - did you ever drink in a pub somewhere near the Gloucester Rd. in the early 70's with some expats from SIA?

15th Feb 2007, 17:55
I shared my Heathrow career with Concorde; we started around the same time but she saw me out and I shed a lot of tears when I watched the very last take-off. We bought our #1 son a ride on Conc for his 21st birthday and he never ceases to remind us about it - we never made it unfortunately. One of our most treasured possessions is a galley container from the Concorde fleet which some dear friends bought us for Christmas... Sad, I know, but my wife and I are loony about such things.

15th Feb 2007, 19:08
Brilliant thread. BOAC Boeing 707-436 G-APFG, 21st July 1964, London Heathrow to Hong Kong.

Those were the days when the HKG route was via Frankfurt, Rome, Beirut, Bahrein, New Delhi, and Bangkok to Hong Kong, the shortest sector (to Frankfurt) being 1 hour 23 min. and the longest (to Bangkok) being 3 hours 43 min. Window seat 16F in economy gave a first class geography lesson on all the daylight legs, as no one insisted on the window blinds being pulled down so that people could watch a film or have a mandatory doze so as not to disturb the peace of the cabin crew.

A meal was served on every sector, and they were of a quality that would be a credit to Business Class today. All the passengers were smartly dressed, the men in suits and a good proportion of the ladies wore hats.

Thanks to Captain Jasinski for an inspiring visit to the flight deck on the final leg - I've been 'in the business' ever since!:)

15th Feb 2007, 19:57
Early '50s (possibly 1951) in a Handley Page Hermes routeing: LHR - Rome - Cairo - Khartoum - Entebbe - Dar es Salaam.
Think the aircraft was named 'Heron' but can't find the reg at the moment.More likely "Hero", G-ALDM.

15th Feb 2007, 20:10
When, what airline and what type?1954. Air France. Viscount I think. I remember a lot of whistling (Dart-type) noise as we boarded but that could have been from another one nearby. BEA had them then, yes ?

15th Feb 2007, 21:55
In those days you dressed UP to go travelling......not DOWN! Aaaaaah what a way to travel!Yes, I remember them too because our parents made my elder sister, brother and I be turned out smart for our first flight as a family in December 1965.

I had visited LHR before, from our home in Cambridge, to see my sister off on a school exchange trip to Rome in 64 or 65. She was on Alitalia so it was probably a Caravelle??

On Dec 4th or 5th 1965, BOAC VC-10 for JNB via CIA (IIRC) and NBO. Being a family of five, we had a row to ourselves and I had the aisle seat of the three, so as to be nearest to my parents - yes I was the naughty one who needed to be controlled! We were smartly dressed and took it in turns to sit at the window.

Rome was just a blur but Nairobi was MAGICAL. To get off the plane and walk around the airport in the middle of the night?? was VERY exciting to a nine year old! When we got out at NBO, my sister immediately said that the night time 'sound track' was just like Daktari!

Then to JNB in the blazing morning sun ... I have made that journey many times since by Super VC-10 and 741/2/3/4 and 343 and shall be making that journey again in April on (probably) a 346. Watching the dawn come up over Africa NEVER fails to thrill me.

Yes, I too lost my Junior Jet Club log book. :sad: :\

Whilst it is true that I loathe BAA at LHR, I have an enduring love for the field itself and the many trips made from it. Even this week, dropping a friend off at T1 (SAA to CPT!) made me feel all cosy.

I cannot refrain from saying ... 8th August 2003 on G-BOAC. For me, it was altogether perfect to ride on 'BOAC' and I also have a galley container but I bought it for myself!! :O

[There is a sudden loud rustling of anorak from the wardrobe. :ooh:]

15th Feb 2007, 22:06
1961 before I got in a Viscount. Went to Lisbon, but that was out of LGW.
Did Bealine have them in '54? I can't keep going up to the loft to check these historical facts;)
Was the VCV in service by '54?
Fast forwarding, think last flight out of EGLL was off Rwy 23L albeit the sole surviving one at the time. Sure was a windy night.
Longest flight into Heathrow was a bit like D120's outbound but obviously not quite so inspiring as cannot remember sector times let alone seat number (but it was in a very comfortable section with a lounge above:D staff travel was great apart from offloads)
It was SIA's inaugural 747 service via.....umm, Bangkok, Bombay, Bahrein, Athens, & Frankfurt or Amsterdam. Everywhere we landed the Press came out and local dignitaries - think it was well over 22 hours. Even got a commemorative coin in a paperweight or similar.
Lucky you PAXboy - but will someone remember Concord (as it was first spelled down in Bristol) as their 1st arr/dep at LHR......there's bound to be one out there!!
I'll never know what I missed - the old man left Bristol's/BAC before it flew and I only got in it on the ground.

15th Feb 2007, 22:54
1961 before I got in a Viscount. Went to Lisbon, but that was out of LGW.
Did Bealine have them in '54?
It would appear so.
1 April: Tourist fares introduced on BEA routes throughout Europe.
3 April: BOAC introduced Comet jet services to Tokyo, reducing the flight time to 33 hours from the previous 86 hours.
On 18 April BEA began the world’s first sustained airscrew-turbined airliner passenger service with Vickers Viscount V.701 G-AMNY flying London-Rome-Athens-Nicosia.And google turned up this: http://daveg4otu.tripod.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/viscountprod.txt which indicates around 45 or so Viscounts were in service by the end of '54.

**** I'm getting old, they still look 'new' to me :O

15th Feb 2007, 23:37
PAXboy: Yes, your sister almost certainly flew on a Caravelle.
Rome Ciampino on your VC10 ... probably not, unless perhaps Fiumicino was out in fog. FCO opened in 1960 (or 1961) when Britannia 102s were still the mainstay on the African routes.

16th Feb 2007, 00:33
My first out of Heathrow was not as early as some: an Air Canada DC8L to Montreal in 1974. It sticks in my mind because it had smoking and non-smoking sections. One on one side of the central aisle and t'other on t'other. To a non-smoker this did not constitute a smoke-free area in any way at all!


16th Feb 2007, 01:49
April 68 BA to Lisbon. I reckon it was a Trident as our party sat in that area with seats facing each other. I don't recall anyone paying for the drinks.

16th Feb 2007, 06:13
BOAC Boeing 707-436 G-APFG, 21st July 1964, London Heathrow to Hong Kong....... All the passengers were smartly dressed, the men in suits and a good proportion of the ladies wore hats......
Thanks to Captain Jasinski for an inspiring visit to the flight deck
I have a BOAC timetable for 1956 with some small ads with artwork interspersed. There is one photo showing a couple in their seats on the aircraft being waited on by the steward. The man is in his EVENING WEAR, no less, black tie et al, while his wife is in full regalia including her diamonds and neclace. They seem aged about 65. This I guess is how the image was of long-haul in those days. The irony is that it was aboard primitive, excessively noisy from the props, hot in the tropics (because the air-con was poor), bumpy (due to low flight levels), fatiguing aircraft taking maybe a couple of days to reach their destinations. And they dressed like this.

Regarding "Captain Jasinski", an article in Propliner magazine a while ago about the BOAC Canadair Argonauts in the 1950s said that BOAC at the time had a couple of Polish flight deck crew, ex-Polish Air Force Spitfire pilots based in Britain in WW2 who had married British girls and stayed on. Possibly the same.

Air Canada ..... smoking and non-smoking sections. One on one side of the central aisle and t'other on t'other. To a non-smoker this did not constitute a smoke-free area in any way at all!This strange arrangement lasted longest on Eastern European airlines, into the 1980s. Can't imagine why but there must have been some basis for it.

ViscountsBoth BEA and Air France were among the earliest customers for Viscounts, they came on line in 1952-3.

Junior Jet ClubIt never fails to amaze me the number of children from BOAC days who remember these, and indeed possibly still have them. What a gift to airline promotion they were, possibly the most cost-effective bit of airline PR there was. Are you listening, someone in BA marketing over at Waterside ?

ConcordeYes, greatest arrival, of course. 3 hours 8 minutes from JFK. Once only, alas.

16th Feb 2007, 08:02
For me, it was July 1964, LHR-BSL. But I can't claim to remember anything as I was only 5½ weeks old.

My Junior Jet Club logbook is, fortunately, safe at home. Unfortunately, it only starts in 1974. I think I could probably reconstruct much of my previous flying from the collection of ticket receipts, though, which I have continued to maintain even though recently they have been far less glamorous than they used to be.

16th Feb 2007, 08:52
I recall about the last three rows down the rear of Royal Brunei 767's set aside for smoking into the 1990's - I think 92 was about the last time I flew in one.
No alcohol served on board, but you could take your own and cabin crew would chill a bottle for you to have during the meal service:ok:

16th Feb 2007, 14:50
First flight into Heathrow was in BEA Vangaurd G-APEL in May 1968. Fare was 29 shillings.

Last flight into Heathrow was in a PA31, G-CITY in 1996. Landing charges 624 quid!

16th Feb 2007, 15:25
First LHR departure was by BEA Trident to LeBourget, July 1966.
On the same holiday, Icelandic CL-44 JFK to KEF to LUX and
return. Surface LUX to London and Paris to LUX.
First flight - Piper J3 at age about 13,
Next, USAF C-47 ADW <> Stewart AFB, New York,
probably 1951.

First commercial DCA to LGA, Martin 202 or 404, about 1954
then continued by Sikorski helicopter of NY Airways to EWR.
I worked for an aviation enthusist :)

16th Feb 2007, 15:39
I arrived at Heathrow in 1959 (I think, you´ll have to forgive me as I have a lousy memory except for the important things in life one of which is mentioned below) after a memorable flight ( my very first) from Singapore.

I was 19 years old in the M.N. and having been away form home 11 months my Company paid for me to fly. The plane was a Brittania whose 4 engines kept going all the way.

We were treated royally, I seem to remember most of our meals being served on the ground at properly laid tables and waiters smartly dressed.

1. We flew Singapore-Colombo-Bombay-Karachi-Beirut-Rome then Heathrow. Due to the runway being blocked at Bombay (a plane ahead of us crashed on landing-so we were told, we had to make it to Karachi instead.

2. On the Singapore to Colombo leg we were able to view a couple one of whom had flown from Sydney and one who got on board at Singapore ( who had presumably never met before) join the "mile high club" decently covered by a tartan rug.

That was our in-flight entertainment and very enjoyable too.

Thanks to all the BOAC pilots who I flew with and BA also, having spent many happy cockpit hours since that first flight ( The good old days)


16th Feb 2007, 16:50
12th April 1990 - LHR-CDG (and coincidentally T4's 4th Birthday so free chocolate).

This was in a BA 763 G-BNWC. 16.5 years later I was in the driving seat. Full circle.

16th Feb 2007, 19:26
PeterPallet - of course all four Proteus engines kept going - GK430 senior along with his colleagues spent hours testing them in all sorts of places and climates.
However, one quit on him many years later and after a diversion to Entebbe, the crew became restricted guests of the Ugandan Gov't:uhoh:

16th Feb 2007, 20:40
According to my Junior Jet Club Log Book, my first flight into Heathrow was on 27th May 1958 on Stratocruiser G-ANTY leaving Kano the previous day and routing via Rome. 8hrs 15 mins flying time to Rome from Kano and 3hrs 10 mins to LHR. I can't make out the captains name. It looks like it might be Squires. A later one is Capt. Fletcher on Britannia G-ANBH on 29th August 1959 Kano-Barcelona-LHR.

16th Feb 2007, 21:09
Yep, tou are right. I landed at Payar Lebar, and departed Changi. Next trip was as [unofficial] P2 in a PA31 :ok: , then MAN-LHR-SIN-BNE ans back

16th Feb 2007, 23:00
August 1963, BEA Comet 4B, Reg unknown, LHR to Fornebu. Aaah!, them was the days... :cool:

- P. :D

17th Feb 2007, 10:36
Thanks for the reply.

Re: GK430 Senior, do you keep up the family tradition ??


17th Feb 2007, 11:41
I later went up and was amazed to see the boy in the captains seat! :eek:

Flying back to Singapore from UK leave, around 1977, we'd levelled off after leaving Calcutta. Middle of the afternoon, BA 747, and half full. My two boys, 6 and 9 years old, were restless and the F/E came walking past. 'Any chance I can take them to the flight deck' I ask. 'No problem, go upstairs and talk to the 'hostie'.

So off we went and arrived at the flight-deck door. F/O is at the F/E's panel, right hand seat is empty. The Captain turns around, ignores me and says 'Come in lads. Ever flown a 747?' he says to the elder. 'Er - No'.
'Jump in and I'll show you how'. Number 1 son gets himself into the right hand seat and off comes the Autopilpot. 'OK' says Cap, 'Turn right'.
And right we go. 'Now come back onto (heading) or we'll get lost'.

This went on for five minutes or so, snaking our way across the Bay of Bengal.
Then younger son has a go but can't see over the glare shield. No problem says Cap, 'Just watch the big ball in front of you'. And off we go again.

After fifteen minutes or so, Cap turns to me and says, 'What do you do in Singapore?' .. he'd realised from the boys' comments that they knew something of aircraft living, as we did, on Seletar airfield.

I was tempted to mention the CAA who had an office in KL, but he was too nice a guy for that sort of shock. Surname began with V I recall.

How the world has changed. You try and tell youngsters that today .................

17th Feb 2007, 12:09
How the world has changed.Indeed, how it has (http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19940323-0).

:eek: indeed!

17th Feb 2007, 12:32
I did wonder how long that would take and Globaliser gets the bisquit. But the two things are worlds apart - if you read the report.

Gordon Fraser
17th Feb 2007, 15:56
May 1961 - Air India B707 to Dum Dum, Calcutta via Paris, Frankfurt, Rome and Cairo. After 3 1/2 years working in India, returned to England via by BOAC VC10, overnighting in Bahrain. Both experiences exceptional - superb cc service and meals. Although travelling economy, it was better than todays business class!!. I made a quick visit to England in July 1961, again a round trip by Air India. I was 15 minutes late for check-in on my return leg and AI were good enough to hold the aircraft on the taxiway and I was rushed aboard with my luggage by small car:ok: . Changed days indeed.

17th Feb 2007, 17:32
Tunis Air 727 charter Paris to Djerba and return, August 1978. Cockpit open
house. Some kids got to sit in right (F/O) seat.

Yes, how things have changed.

17th Feb 2007, 17:56
<< J/S on those from SEN to Ostend.>>

Was the Captain 'gentleman jim' Plunket? - I seem to recall my father saying he did most of the DC-4 flights - The only time I flew on it was when my father took it up to Wymeswold for a post delivery maintenance check

17th Feb 2007, 20:01
First flight from Heathrow was late June '54

BOAC Canadair Argonaut DC4M to Nairobi - Eastleigh via Rome, Cairo, Khartoum and Entebbe & possibly Benghazi between Rome & Cairo

DAD was EA DCA ATCO and was on the apron to meet us in Nairobi

First visit to Heathrow was 48/49, seeing off one of Dad's RAF mates on a York possibly Hunting

Most memorable flight out of Heathrow was a SAA B707 for Nairobi via Athens in Jan 64 must have been one of the last SAA flights through rather than round Africa for many years - the Take off & climb out of Heatrow was IMPRESSIVE

PZU - Out of Africa

17th Feb 2007, 22:08
Taken my eye off the ball.
peterpallet: Have thus far avoided one family tradition, perhaps due in part to avoiding Victoria's Lake flies since a kid back in '63. Some close shaves along the road to maturity however;)
Heathrow Director Thanks for the link to LV-GJB. Senior flew that first on Dec 19th 1959 (Sao Paulo-Caracas) and continued training some Argentinians with amazing names right through until Feb. He flew Caracas -Idlewild on Dec 25th and due to what must have been a wicked past, left back to Caracas on Boxing day. see below for some DC-4 bits.
AREM In '61 he was flying various aircraft including DC-4's. Regret I do not see the name you mention in his logbook that relates to this period - he only flew with other Captains whilst trainig or ATL.98 test flying. There is a Capt. Lane and on one day they did Sothend - Palma and Palma - Heathrow in G-AOXK
4.35 outbound and.....5.35 inbound. Try telling that to the kids of today:D
Suppose there was that "black Saturday" some years back when it came to a standstill and some manged to get back from Palma via the Ocean.
Other DC-4's at the time for Heathrow Director; G-APID; G-AREK; G-APNH;
G-ANYB must have been the original Carvair.
Arem - pm me and will check name to see if in the book.
Excuse long digress.
Forget It's such a shame we can't go back to the way it once was:ugh:

17th Feb 2007, 22:15
As a wide eyed youngster with his Dad on the 31st May 1975.
It was a BA Boeing 707-436, G-ARRB to LBG, chartered for a day trip to the Paris Air Show.

Since then in excess of 100 or so with TAP alone to OPO, plus a few others to elsewhere.

Never thought all those years ago that terminal two would end up feeling like a second home....


Captain Airclues
18th Feb 2007, 01:08
21st October 1969. LHR to JFK on BOAC VC10, G-ASGE operating as a trainee navigator.


18th Feb 2007, 04:26
Too young to remember but a Valetta in 1951 was, apparantly, my first depearture from LHR. Four days to Changi.

In later years flew regularly (from 1963 on) to a place called (it says in my passport) Aden Colony in Britannias and Comets. Still have a BOAC Junior Jet Club log book with these flights.

On one trip was given - at the tender age of 12 - the task of escorting elderly grandmother who's comment - when going from the West London Air Terminal and arriving at LHR - was:

'Not as nice as Croydon!':ugh:

18th Feb 2007, 05:46
June 1963.....inbound from Manchester in a BEA Vanguard (through a fairly impressive thunderstorm), spent a few hours in the roof gardens on T1, then off to Nicosia via Athens on a BEA Comet. I still remember the phenomenal rate of climb off 28R, late one Saturday night on a lightly loaded sector! Oh... and you could fly half way around the world for the same price today!!
Those really were the days!

18th Feb 2007, 11:02
Gordon Fraser's post reminds me of the time I was late for a BEA Viscount flight from Ringway to Turnhouse in April 1969. I was on my way home for school holidays and had missed a train. By the time I got to Ringway it was just past the departure time and I was sure I had missed the flight but they had kept the flight waiting, checked me in as I only had hand baggage and rushed me out to the aircraft. All four engines were running with the steps in place up to the back door. As soon as I was in my seat the door was closed and off we went. Grand days indeed.:p

Sultan Ismail
20th Feb 2007, 09:23
First flight with Air France Viscount to Orly, Paris in July 1955, on a school exchange trip. Second time in an Air France Constellation to Orly in July 1958.

And then many times to Geneva with Swissair Caravelles and the occasional BEA Vanguard.

Cost in 1955 11 pounds return, in 1958 14 pounds return and then the Geneva trips were 22 pounds return (1961 to 1966).

First long haul out of Heathrow was an SAA 707 to Joburg in June 1969, routing via Sal in the Cape Verde Islands, I'm with PAXBOY on the African sunrise, have really lost count of the trips up and down over the next 25 years.

Now avoid Heathrow like the plague, fly to Zurich and then short haul to London City, magic!

20th Feb 2007, 11:26
1974 - BEA Trident to Malta, via Rome, where we became an Air Malta flight (they didn't yet have their own a/c). Came back via Naples in another Trident.

20th Feb 2007, 18:25
Wycombe, you just reminded me; did the same trip in a Comet but can't remember when.

Sultan The way our taxes are going, we'll look back and think those days were cheap...relatively:ugh:

Golf Charlie Charlie
20th Feb 2007, 19:34
For what it's worth, first Heathrow departure was a BA Trident 3 to CDG on 1/1/75 on G-AWZK - airport was deserted. Return on an Air France 727-200 a couple of days later.

First long-haul out was in August 1975 on an Aeroflot Il-62 to Moscow and onto Tehran. From that trip, I returned into LHR from Baghdad on a brand new Iraqi Airways 707-320C, via Geneva, with about 8 passengers on the final short sector. Yes, I know, how times change !

20th Feb 2007, 20:40
Not quite as long ago as most replies but first flight from heathrow was in the early eighties on a BA shuttle to Aberdeen, short working trip, friday to monday and was amazed to be on one of BA's first 757's Only about 30 pax each way as the oil boom was in its decline.
Arriving back at heathrow I coulndn't be bothered with the train/bus/taxi option so used my airline ID to get a 10% fare on Caledonian Link to Gatwick for about £12. First ever helicopter flight, Brill!!
As an aside / thread hijack, didn't the powers that be decide that once the M25 was finished there would be no need for a helicopter link between Heathrow and Gatwick? yeah Right:hmm:

Sultan Ismail
21st Feb 2007, 16:13
As an aside to my earlier post #74, those first flights in 1955 and 1958 originated at the Air Terminal on the South Bank, site of the Festival of Britain 1951. The later Geneva flights we joined at the West London Air Terminal in Kensington (Earls Court).

It was great to check in, have a snack or a drink, no coffee culture in those days, and then take the appropriately named bus to Heathrow.

As I recollect it was free, I say again FREE, tell that to the Heathrow Express.

22nd Feb 2007, 08:32
HD said in part "I shared my Heathrow career with Concorde; we started around the same time but she saw me out and I shed a lot of tears when I watched the very last take-off. We bought our #1 son a ride on Conc for his 21st birthday and he never ceases to remind us about it - we never made it unfortunately."
Well some of us get all the luck for as SLF I managed 44 Concorde flights from '76 to 85 [Thanks to the companies I worked for] all of them absolute heaven to be on. Seat 10A or 10D mainly. One JFK-LHR flight was delayed [snow] a little. We arrived at LHR a few minutes before my Norwich flight Shorts 360 was due to leave. I had given details of the flight earlier. Anyway we got to our stand. I was called to the door [hand luggage only, thankfully] and there was a Customs type and a BA rep. We walked down the outside steps to the tarmac - a car was waiting - the customs man chalked my bag - I was whisked off at high speed to eventually catch up with a taxiing Shorts 360 - it stopped - the rear door/steps opened and I climbed aboard. Oh Concorde! what magic spells you wove! The Texan ladies with their 25 carat diamond rings sparkling the cabin, Truman Copote well pi**ed, and some so called "Stars" making fools of themselves. Twice doing JFK LHR in 2 hours 55/7 minutes. The best was the entire flight in the jump seat behind the "Boss". I still get a buzz when I think of those magic trips. :)
Aviate 1138

22nd Feb 2007, 14:09
September 30 1958. KLM Viscount 803 LHR - AMS, from the old north side "terminal". At AMS we changed to a KLM DC6B and flew to Khartoum via Frankfurt, Athens and Cairo. We had an engine failure en route and had to wait ages at FRA to change the failed P&W radial. I can still remember the oil leaking back over the wing. You could read a book from the glare of the exhaust stacks at night. Most of the flight was at around 14000 ft so we had superb views of the Alps. Great flight!

22nd Feb 2007, 15:46
Aviate 1138
Fancy paying to fly on Concorde and expecting that in-flight service, only to end up on.......the jump seat, How tough was that:{ ;) :) :D :ok:

18th Mar 2007, 14:59
Catching up with this thread after a month ...
Georgeablelovehowindia PAXboy: Yes, your sister almost certainly flew on a Caravelle.
Rome Ciampino on your VC10 ... probably not, unless perhaps Fiumicino was out in fog. FCO opened in 1960 (or 1961) when Britannia 102s were still the mainstay on the African routes.Ah, thanks for that, it would have been FCO then, as it was rainy but not foggy. We were there around 20:00 I think but do not have the timetable. It was mid-winter so dark until African sunrise.

jeppsboreAs an aside / thread hijack, didn't the powers that be decide that once the M25 was finished there would be no need for a helicopter link between Heathrow and Gatwick? yeah Right I heard that the folks running the service forgot to renew the license application in time and then got stuffed by the folks who lived on the ground and were early forerunners of Hacan. But I also heard that the revised plan of refitting the GatLink machines with various electronics to allow them to fly higher was considered too costly. My guess is that anyone wanting to set up such a service today, would find the Hacan lobby insurmountable, leave alone the cost of it. My uncle and aunt lived in Surrey under the GatLink path and each time it went over they grumbled and I looked up thinking, "Wow - I wish I was on board" but I could not say that!

aviate1138 Your stories of being on the jump seat of Concorde will not be tolerated :suspect: and you should now make a public apology. ;)

This has been a great thread and wonderful to read. All the talk of Viscounts ... I cannot claim the early flights but maybe one of the last? When my mother went to live in the IOM in 1981, the BA service was VIS until 1988 when the 146 was introduced. I don't reacll my last VIS but found myself by chance to be on the very first commercial 146 rotation on the route and champagne all round.

[Thread drift] My first VIS was Air Rhodesia in October 1970 from SAY (Salisbury as was) to VFA (Victoria Falls as is) for a sightseeing day trip, complete with wing downs over the falls - first one side then t'other so all could have a good view. Then landing and a ground trip to the lip of the falls, lunch at the Vic Falls Hotel, then a short trip on the Zambezi above the falls and back to SAY - what a fabulous day that was for a 14 year old!

But at LHR, I must have had about ten round trips to IOM on the Viscount before they went out of service. As I recall, that route was the last one operated in the UK by the type? The short runway at Ronaldsway was what kept them in service and the 146 was the best replacement, with it's descendant RJs still operating daily into IOM but from 'another place'.

18th Mar 2007, 17:26
BRU/EBBR-LHR/EGLL in the Summer of 1956, in a BEA Airspeed Ambassador. I only wish I knew which one it was :sad:

24th Mar 2007, 13:20
I took a picture of LHR as it was in Summer of 1956 from 10,000ft in a Varsity calibrating the ROTOR radar station at Chenies (near Bovingdon) in Hertfordshire. Click the link below.


In 1956 the North Terminal with the silver shapes of airliners is on the left alongside the Bath Road (A4). This terminal was used by airlines on intercontinental and transatlantic routes. This Terminal was housed in pre-fab buildings and was still in use until 1960 (I have a photo of a friend boarding a Pan Am B-707 bound for Baltimore taken at this terminal in late 1960).

The centre island as shown consisted then of the ‘Europa Building’ (now Terminal 2) which can be seen at about 2 - 3 o'clock in the centre island, whilst the future 'Oceanic Terminal' (now Terminal 3) for long-haul flights (visible at about 5 o'clock in the centre island) was under construction.

The black strip running top to bottom on the left as it wends its way westwards is the A4. It was to be another nine years before the first stretch of the M4 was built connecting Central London with Heathrow.


25th Mar 2007, 00:55
Many thanks thawes for that and the link to your Bovingden pics (not least the one of Berko where I lived for many years).

The fine image of EGLL in 1956 - does anyone have a recent pic from the same persepctive??

25th Mar 2007, 01:29
Aug 1961 Britannia 102 G-APLL LHR - Rome (FCO?) from the North side. Still got a pic taken on the tarmac as I walked out.

India Four Two
25th Mar 2007, 05:44
1st Nov 1970 AC851 DC-8 (-60?) London to Calgary to start my new job in the oil industry. The first time I had flown in a commercial jet at the age of 23. Hard to believe these days.

Calgary was fogged in due to upslope conditions, so my first night in Canada was in Vancouver. I knew Calgary wouldn't be quite the same as Vancouver, but I wasn't quite prepared for the reality of the Prairies in winter!

I had another memorable flight into Heathrow about 10 years ago. We had arrived at Heathrow on a L1011-500 (AC never referred to them as Tristars) about mid-day after leaving Calgary the night before where it was -35. There was a short delay getting the doors open and then the purser announced in an amused tone "There will be a delay in unloading your baggage, because of the extremely low temperatures here at Heathrow" . After a short pause, he said "It's -5!".

25th Mar 2007, 23:50
> The fine image of EGLL in 1956 - does anyone have a recent pic from the same persepctive??

Microsoft does. Try Microsft Live at:


In the Live Search Box type in Heathrow, in the options box on the left select aerial, select 3D and zoom-in. Place your position to the west of LHR and use the 3-D tilt option to tilt the image accordingly. Resolution can go down to 10-yards or less which is quite impressive. FWIW go west from the threshhold of 09L and about 150 yards from M25 a B737? can be seen on finals, it has a blue top fuselage, white / silver wings and red horizontal tail.

Because LHR T5 in the image is still very much WIP with lots of earthwork I suspect image is dated 2005/6.


26th Mar 2007, 00:09
First week of October 1964. Trooping flight back home after one year in Aden, flown by BUA, should have gone to Gatwick but they were fogged out so we diverted to LHR. Customs gave us a very rough ride after a year overseas for Queen and Country!:confused:

26th Mar 2007, 00:26
September 1990 was my first visit. Kind of stuck together with God's glue - was back there a while ago and it's nice to see that some things haven't changed!

26th Mar 2007, 02:00
Well, I've actually only flown in there once, and being that I am not a pilot yet, that was as a pax.

It was last year, april of '06, with SAS.
A 737, and can't remember what one, but it was fun to try and get around, aswel with me going straight through the passport control, and my friend standing there for about ten minutes with the officer :)

Getting out wasn't as fun though, as it was when the SAS strike of '06 had started, and we had to get a shocon through ARN to get back to OSL :P

But as I said - Only one, but I bet there's more to come :)

29th Mar 2007, 19:22
1955 BOAC Argonaut to Dar es Salaam via Rome.
Mother refused to get off in Rome during refuelling as all 3 of us sprogs were under 5 yrs of age and she felt unable to cope. Father had gone ahead on a cattle ship which took 5 weeks.

30th Mar 2007, 07:32
I-DIWA Dc8 Alitalia Lap to Rome 14 July 1968 and WI back 2 weeks later.

30th Mar 2007, 08:47
Mine was the Link S61 from Heathrow to Gatwick.

Last minute decision to go was made on the morning of the flight, remember it as if it was yesterday....aahh, memories.

Since then, too many to remember although a particular Austrian flight to Vienna sticks in my mind. I can't think of any flight since that went up like a saturn rocket than the MD80 that operated that flight did.

Keep it going folks.

Little Blue
30th Mar 2007, 09:00
September 1989, on a British Midland ATP, from EMA !
Was on my way to Dublin, as a staff pax, and we had no interline agreement with EI , at the time, so no chance of direct from EMA.
Since then, It must be hundreds ! !
Oh, how I love the Queens building !!:\

30th Mar 2007, 12:18
Amazed that this is still going strong - saw it disappear to the back pages before I went on leave.

Anyone with memories of arr/dep off 23L/05R or who's got a longer memory on 23R/05L.

Okay, so latterly it was just 23/05;) Remember dep 23 on Christmas Eve back in the late nineties on a wet & windy night in a Qatar A.300.

30th Mar 2007, 13:40
Landed my Tri-moth on 23 in the 80s.

Good fun!

30th Mar 2007, 15:03
ChrisVJ - not such a sproglet.

First Heathrow flight was also first flight in 1949. Like you, Rapide of Island Air services (it says on my photo). I believe the 'lady pilot' went on, at a much later stage in her career, to run the simulator in the hotel at Victoria station.

Ten bob joy-ride from the viewing area, off the Bath Road. (Deckchairs for the spectators and a chestnut paling fence to keep you off the taxiway.)

I remember the airliners were nearly all polished ali, and flew their ensigns from the flightdeck (probably cockpit back then) roof.

And by and by, a cloud took all away (as Roger Bacon might have put it)

30th Mar 2007, 15:39
Landed my Tri-moth on 23 in the 80s.
Good fun!
Was this Christmas Day, by chance ?

Golf Charlie Charlie
30th Mar 2007, 19:55
Yes, was there any truth in the rumour I heard some years ago that up until the 1980s Heathrow was so quiet on Christmas Day that PPLs could visit, even in light singles ('glide clear' rules nothwithstanding) ? I am sceptical, but........

30th Mar 2007, 20:19
First landing 5 September 1957 BOAC DC7C G-AOIB from Prestwick.
First take off 9 September 1957 BOAC B377 Stratocruiser G-AKGL back to Prestwick via Burtonwood.
The good old piston engine days!
Fascinating stuff for an impecunious apprentice! (A bit less than a weeks wages for the round trip!)

31st Mar 2007, 08:33
Around September 10th. 1957. Air Ceylon Constellation. London - Zurich - Cairo - Bahrein.. A great adventure for a 17 year old going to his first job.......

1st Apr 2007, 09:09
First flight from LHR was in 76 in a BA 1-11 (G-BBMG I think) to JER. Since then many many flights. Most unusual was a familiarisation flight in a Merchantman in the late 70s to VIE and STR, took off at about 10:00 and as we lumbered out over South London the Captain was looking out his side window and telling me how he had grown up in Wimbledon and pointing out a few places. I looked round and both the F/O and F/E were out of their seats and all of us were looking out . Also flew on the last BA Viscount in and out of LHR. I had been trying to fly on one for a few weeks the last route was INV but every day I was off they subbed it with a 1-11.The day I finally managed to fly as we walked out to the a/c we were piped on board and also greeted by the Mayor of Inverness, it was only when I asked the cabin crew that they said it was the last Viscount service. Spent a few hours in INV then flew back to LHR again with the piper.I think we operated them out of BHX for a while after but no more LHR services.

1st Apr 2007, 12:18
So many Viscount stories. Must have been the staple diet of LHR in the good old days. I don't think I have flown on one since about 1961 to Lisbon.
I think we have heard more tales of prop flights than jets, but then this is "History & Nostalgia"!
I wonder what types we are missing? Perhaps should not go there.
Have we had a Breguet Deux Ponts:hmm: Never recalled seeing a Curtis C-46 there, but bet someone has! Convair 440 - 580?

2nd Apr 2007, 19:56
Convair 240/340/440 (440 'Metropolitan') certainly, Sabena amongst others.

And I remember a Saab Scandia. 1956? Anyone flown in one of those?

2nd Apr 2007, 21:51
1968 LHR to Newcastle on a BKS Britannia. £7.10.00 standby ! What a bird !

3rd Apr 2007, 08:05
1968 LHR to Newcastle on a BKS Britannia. £7.10.00 standby ! What a bird !

Wouldn't have been around Christmastime, would it? That was my first 'commercial' departure from LHR.

Got bumped off the first flight I stood by for - was told that there was enough space for me but not my bags.

3rd Apr 2007, 08:30
Easter time-ish I think. Returned south from Teesside to Luton on Autair Herald calling in at Hull (Brough) for about £6. Only 4 pax on board ! But am now guilty of thread drift as not mentioned LHR.

3rd Apr 2007, 09:19
Sptting Image:ugh: :ugh:
.....thread drift - understatement!

Mind you, I flew into LHR on SIA's inaugural 747-200 service and then got on a Midland Herald to Birmingham. Talk about extremes and I don't mean the aircraft. Collected by bags from some system outdoors at BHX:rolleyes: Prehistoric and it was only as far back as the '70's.

9th Apr 2007, 10:10
8th October 1953 for the start of the London to Christchurch (New Zealand) air race.

As a sideshow one could take a trip over the Thames and Hampton Court in a DH Rapide for 15/-, which I did.

I have a photo taken at the time which can be seen here:



9th Apr 2007, 10:42
April 24th. 1960, G-AMPO Dakota, Starways from Liverpool

9th Apr 2007, 18:36
My first experience of LHR was in late May 1963, aged 11, landing at death 'o' clock in the morning on a BOAC Britannia after a somewhat eventful trip. The flight had originated in Singapore (but we had to turn back due to the outer right side engine problems necessitating a wonderful 3 days in the Raffles hotel) which then went via Calcutta (which shortly after takeoff a sudden and violent drop in altitude), then Karachi (crew change and delay due to the aircraft having to have all the loaded fuel drained and new fuel put on board also necessitating a short stay in a hotel), then on to Istambul the flight being very adventurous to my boyish outlook with the most spectacular thunderstorms at night all around us (at Istambul we were escorted off the aircraft by a lot of army guys all with machine guns and held for an hour before being escorted again by the army back on board) finally arriving at LHR to find that all our luggage had to be opened and searched by HM Customs & Excise. What a great plane the Britannia was. You had a real sense of takeoff being pushed into the seat. And of course it flew through the weather rather than above it thereby producing vomiting adults all around causing me to wonder what was wrong with them and why they didn't enjoy the rollercoaster of a ride, particularly Calcutta-Karachi. And of course the Junior Jet club and log book for the captain to sign and my wings badge! Oh those were the days. We even had a captain who had a bad stutter. Totally incomprehensible announcements but it all added to the sense of adventure. And separate gents and ladies toilets as well, each having a separate room to wash up in. Fantastic caring service by the cabin crew too.

9th Apr 2007, 20:54
Was talking about colonial flights home to Heathrow with a friend this weekend. When did the Comets stop the Nairobi run? Did the VC10 take over directly from them? Year??


10th Apr 2007, 08:24
First trip was in the early 60s in a BEA Vanguard from London Airport to Gibraltar. Something to do with the currency limits in those days; the UK was being run by an incompetent Labour government and you were only allowed to take so much money out of the country. But going via Gibraltar and thence to Spain via the ferry was apparently OK.

The flight was delayed due to technical reasons. Whilst waiting, BEA generously allowed us either a coke or tea/cofee and either a ham or cheese sandwich. But not a coke and a ham sandwich as that was 3d over their limit....:rolleyes:

My mother had bought 200 cigarettes from the duty free shop and opened a packet whilst waiting. Some customs nerd appeared from somewhere and demanded that the packet be resealed and the appropriate duty paid. Petty minded little people like that were the bane of travelling in those days; immigration was a breeze and security checks unknown - 'Customs' was the only bar to straightforward travel.

Eventually we were allowed to board the Vanguard; the flight was uneventful and I spent several minutes in the cockpit being shown the route chart and various instruments etc by the BEA captain, smartly attired in uniform complete with hat!

10th Apr 2007, 10:34
Was talking about colonial flights home to Heathrow with a friend this weekend. When did the Comets stop the Nairobi run? Did the VC10 take over directly from them? Year??

It was in 1965-66, and yes the BOAC VC-10s took over directly from the Comet 4s. It was one of the last routes for the Comets.

If you were on British United (who did Nairobi from Gatwick via Entebbe in those days, somewhat infrequently), then their VC-10s took over from Britannias at the same time.

10th Apr 2007, 11:04
What can I say - you did not love BUA?
Flew in Britannias to East Africa with BUA in '62 and '63. Then the old man flew me to Entebbe in the VC.10 in '64. The 7.5 hour flight sure beat the 11-12 hr flog in the Britannia.
And just to make you happy WHBM.....we got offloaded in Entebbe:ugh:
I was also taken to Gib at about the same time, but in a BUA 1-11 from LGW.
What was it a £25 or £50 limit on taking sterling abroad for exchange? Made Gib very popular and my mother bought more than 200 back and I remember a good deal on three bottles of spirits.

No Cirrus/Maestro and holes in the wall.
Had American Express even been born?

10th Apr 2007, 11:36

Something to do with the currency limits in those days; the UK was being run by an incompetent Labout government and you were only allowed to take so much money out of the country.

Try telling that to the kids of today! :eek:

1960's passport below. Round the World trip on 15 quids worth of US$. Mind you, I seem to remember a ball in San Franciso, and much the same in Hotel Street, Honolulu.


10th Apr 2007, 12:08
Petty minded little people like that were the bane of travelling in those days
Nowadays they all work at security.

10th Apr 2007, 14:40
1983 on an Air Malta 737-200 en-route to Libya. My most memorable Heathrow experience was arriving in the last Libyan Arab Airlines 727 before the sanctions / embargos stopped the direct flights. We werer not allowed onto a stand with a jetway. Police surrounded the aircraft, all flashing lights and Heckler & Kochs dangling around their necks. The captain (Brit) pulled a great fast one. He asked the Police if he could disembark the passengers with hand baggage only. Much to the Senior plod's surorise 98% of the passengers headed for the stairs in the tail. Nobody with any sense took hold baggage through Tripoli! I now avoid the place like the plague.

10th Apr 2007, 15:43
GK430 Had American Express even been born?Yes indeed this is from Wikipedia:

American Express was founded in 1850, in Buffalo, New York, by Henry Wells, William Fargo, and John Butterfield as an express business. In 1882, American Express launched its money order business to compete with the US Post Office's money orders. This product quickly spread to Europe where no such financial product existed.

Sometime between 1888 and 1890, J.C. Fargo took a trip to Europe and returned frustrated and infuriated. Despite the fact that he was president of American Express and that he carried with him traditional letters of credit, he found it difficult to obtain cash anywhere except in major cities. Mr. Fargo went to Marcellus Flemming Berry and asked him to create a better solution than the traditional letter of credit. Mr. Berry created the American Express Travelers Cheque which was launched in 1891 in denominations of $10, $20, $50, and $100.

15th Apr 2007, 03:36
BEA Viscount, early 1974, handling test flight, fresh out of a heavy maintenance check (Wings, tail and engines removed, I was working with the guys on the Empennage), to fly over Boscombe Downs. Remember the winds were all over the place and so was the aircraft as we left, did many stalls, (gear down, gear up) and on our return the wind blew us around quite a bit, several of the other guy's were vomiting over the newly refurbished interior, they were politely asked to clean it up. The views from those big windows were quite good, and I didn't quite believe the acceleration of those 4 Dart engines when we were leaving, alright so it was empty.

Felix Saddler
15th Apr 2007, 03:47
Last november, a BA domestic from newcastle onboard an a320!

Ace Rimmer
18th Apr 2007, 08:52
Actually I don't really remember the first time out - but it was an early Pan Am 707 and you had a tech stop in Shannon westbound...I also remember a day in 1970 when returning from a holiday in the UK when N747PA taxied by gawd it just looked soooo biiiigggggggg - cue one very excited seven year old!

20th Apr 2007, 11:43
1955. Aged 4. DH89A Dragon Rapide (no definite record but possibly G-AGJG, now airworthy at Duxford) owned by Aggie Agarzarian's Island Air Services and piloted by my great uncle Gp.Cpt. Gordon Carey. Flew down the Thames to the estuary and back, which kick-started an early passion for aviation that has never dimmed.

Best arrival at LHR was the morning of the '87 Great Storm. TWA 742 from New York landing in a lively fashion on 23 after an enforced four hour sojourn at a very crowded Dublin airport. Charmingly talkative captain announced that he had never landed on 23 before and that it had no instrument landing system - "but we're going to give it a go 'cos we want to get you folks home - if you still have one"!

20th Apr 2007, 12:14
1955. Aged 4. DH89A Dragon Rapide (no definite record but possibly G-AGJG, now airworthy at Duxford) owned by Aggie Agarzarian's Island Air Services and piloted by my great uncle Gp.Cpt. Gordon Carey. Flew down the Thames to the estuary and back....
This is possibly the same aircraft which still does sightseeing trips from time to time at weekends, down to overhead London City at about 3,000 feet, then turning west along the Thames. It passes over our house and the DH engine sound always makes me look out at it.

That makes it an aircraft still performing the same task after 52 years or more. Is this also some sort of record ?

20th Apr 2007, 13:11
Originally Posted by Seloco
1955. Aged 4. DH89A Dragon Rapide (no definite record but possibly G-AGJG, now airworthy at Duxford) owned by Aggie Agarzarian's Island Air Services and piloted by my great uncle Gp.Cpt. Gordon Carey. Flew down the Thames to the estuary and back....

This is possibly the same aircraft which still does sightseeing trips from time to time at weekends, down to overhead London City at about 3,000 feet, then turning west along the Thames. It passes over our house and the DH engine sound always makes me look out at it.

Actually WHBM it is more likely to be G-AKIF, which operates pleasure flights from Duxford with Classic Flights, whereas G-AGJG is privately owned. I used to fly on G-AKIF as a schoolboy in the 1960s, when it was owned by the Surrey and Kent Flying Club (aka "Sorry and Bent"!) at Biggin Hill, where my great uncle was by then a flying instructor.

Classic Flights also operates G-AIYR from Duxford, so that is another possibility. I'd like to think that I have flown in all three aircraft over the years. Ah, de Havilland!:)

20th Apr 2007, 15:24
1981 (I think), BA Trident 3, LHR-AMS. What a machine! Sound you could actually feel.

20th Apr 2007, 22:17
- First ever flight was as an 8 year old on a BEA Viscount 806 EDI/LHR in July 1962. :ok: BEA V806s were split F & Y at that time. Connected later in the day to a BEA (very new) Vanguard for a 'night Y' flight LHR/BCN.
(was at LSI 20 years later to watch the very last BA V806 schedule G-AOYM depart for KOI/INV/GLA - May82 :{ )

20th Apr 2007, 23:37
1966 BEA Comet 4B Heathrow to GLA for 2 pounds 10 shillings The start of my aviation career

22nd Apr 2007, 23:27
10th August 1960. BE 8060 LHR-JER V802 Viscount G-AOHR. Capt D J Turner. Steward J Clifford. Absolute greaser in JER.

First ever flight, as well as first from LHR. We were going by BR ferry from Weymouth, but they went on strike - so good old Dad said "sod it - we're not having our holiday ruined .. we'll fly" (frankly, we couldn't afford to.)

This small boy never looked back.

5th Jan 2008, 04:24
Yes,Capt Plunket did fly the Channel Airways DC4 (G-ARYY), I was a traffic officer for Channel based at Jersey,I did the loadsheet and trim etc,We all loved the DC4 cos sometimes No3 would not start we would then take all the paxs off and put them in a holding gate while we started the other three engines,The plane then would take off on three and do an air start for No3 then land keep all engines running, load the scared to death pax on the port side through the front (Very Small Door), I would stand by the steps with No2 prop whizzing round only a foot or so from my back,I always went up in the jump seat for an airstart,sometimes there would be 2 or 3 of us and we would clammer and stand between the Capt & F/O, That was just one of the many things that happened in what I call the good old days of commercial flying, I am not 100 % if Capt Plunkets first name was Jim but when he signed the loadsheet it did read J Plunket,so its a good bet his first name was Jim !, This is just one of the escalades that happened at Channel. Enjoy, Peter.

5th Jan 2008, 11:24
I think Paya Lebar was correct for Singapore in 1964. Changi came a bit later. I flew Zurich-Athens-Bahrain-Colombo-Paya Labar with Singapore Airlines in October 1974 in 707 9Q-BBB then on to Sydney in 9V-BEX, then back a few days later in BBB again and BEW. Captains were Kanga (?) and Freeman.
My first from Heathrow was 18 December 1966 in BEA Trident G-ARPP, then back in January 1967 in RPD (Capt Bell). My son was 2 months old and we wanted to show him to his grandmother in France!

old,not bold
5th Jan 2008, 14:01
Aer Lingus Viscount to Dublin 1954.....very soon after its introduction, I think. Present T2 was the only terminal, very leisurely and friendly atmosphere. My very first flight, apart from a trip or two in a glider. Magic, all the way!

5th Jan 2008, 15:03
I do not remember my first flight into Heathrow but I remember landing on 24 with the last surface wind being given as 79 knots! I had a letter from one passenger complimenting me on the landing but I am sure I never landed it, I was just hanging onto the contol column!

5th Jan 2008, 15:05
Yes,Capt Plunket did fly the Channel Airways DC4 (G-ARYY), I was a traffic officer for Channel based at Jersey,I did the loadsheet and trim etc,We all loved the DC4 cos sometimes No3 would not start we would then take all the paxs off and put them in a holding gate while we started the other three engines,The plane then would take off on three and do an air start for No3 then land keep all engines running, load the scared to death pax on the port side through the front (Very Small Door), I would stand by the steps with No2 prop whizzing round only a foot or so from my back,I always went up in the jump seat for an airstart,sometimes there would be 2 or 3 of us and we would clammer and stand between the Capt & F/O, That was just one of the many things that happened in what I call the good old days of commercial flying, I am not 100 % if Capt Plunkets first name was Jim but when he signed the loadsheet it did read J Plunket,so its a good bet his first name was Jim !, This is just one of the escalades that happened at Channel. Enjoy, Peter.

Hello again Peter do you remember the GANTB incident (Clive was on the scene soon afterwards)

6th Jan 2008, 00:52
Yes I remember GANTB incident, I was day off that day but I did find some photos of it and put them on my Friends Reunited web page under the Heading "Channel Airways The Url is >
http://englishpeter.myfriendsreunited.com (http://englishpeter.myfriendsreunited.com/) <

I also have one photo of G-ARYY in that lot, I did hear a wee story about that day TB went down that the Farmer that worked the field that TB went down in complained to one of the firemen about who would pay for his damaged crops, The Fireman Decked Him !, :D Peter.

6th Jan 2008, 08:27
My first flight from LHR was to Kano on a BOAC Stratocruiser in 1958Unfortunately I had been on more than one flight out of LHR before my parents got me a BOAC junior jet club log book

10th Jan 2008, 16:15
Peter excellent stuff could that Captain have been Eric Bryson, I will put a seperate post/theread about GANTB

10th Jan 2008, 17:50
First flight was in a DH Dragon Rapide reg unknown from LHR Central over the reservoirs and back for 10 shillings, operator not known but could it have been Oll0y in 1953? But first commercial from LHR southside on Silver City Airways to Nicosia via Tunis and Malta for groundfeeding in 1959. Think the aircraft was a DC6 and seats faced backwards towards the tail.

Geezers of Nazareth
10th Jan 2008, 23:24
My first flight out of Heathrow was in 1967, almost certainly in February ... my father, my elder brother and I went to Paris for a few days. I can rememebr that we flew in a Trident, and we took-off on runway 23.

Next trip was in summer of '67 (July or August) when we went by BEA Vanguard to Malta. I remember it was a night flight, and was quite pleased to be able to 'stay up late'! I also remember stepping out onto the air-stairs at Luqa at about 3am in the morning and the heat felt like I was being slapped across the face by a wet flannel! A family of 5, staff travel to Malta, all for under £30. Luvverly-jubbly.

12th Jan 2008, 10:44
December '56, BEA Dakota to RAF Whan aka Koln/Bonn airport.
£ 11.00 return Forces concession. I remember it being a very bumpy climb-out.

12th Jan 2008, 12:49
Feb '62 Berne for a skiing holiday, DC6, can't remember which holiday charter carrier. The whole holiday package was about £45 I seem to recall.

I did have a lot of ATC hours before then in Anson, Chippie, Provost, Hastings, Beverley and Lincolns (main holiday occupation was hitching to any RAF base and badgering the Cadet Liaison Officer - "Oh, it's you again").

12th Jan 2008, 18:51
Fitter2: Feb '62 Berne for a skiing holiday, DC6, can't remember which holiday charter carrier

This one maybe?


13th Jan 2008, 09:57
I was amazed to see this thread resurface to the front page again, so I wondered when my father first flew into Heathrow. Mind you, I don't actually know the date of Heathrow's inauguration....okay, I'm lazy, Google would no doubt inform me.
So I guessed this must have been his first flight there and back in '53. But now that I have re-checked, this was indeed '55.

13th Jan 2008, 13:18

What a brilliant log book page! Sept 17th interests me, in the Avro Ashton, marked "B of B". Battle of Britain? It might have been a fly-past rehearsal because Sept 17th 1953 was a Thursday and RAF Biggin Hill's display (were there any others, then?) would have been on Saturday the 19th. Could this in fact be Saturday 17th September 1955, and not 1953? Because Britannia G-ANBA was not registered until 7 January 1954...

Heathrow was well established by 1953 - the London to New Zealand Air Race started from there that year, and the RAF even managed to lose a Vulcan there in the fog, IIRC.

13th Jan 2008, 18:24
Apologies, you are so correct - it was indeed '55.
You must be extremely knowledgeable. I presume B of B was a Battle of Britain display somewhere - Bristol area? Neither flight that day was very long and I recall my father stating that the Ashton's endurance was limited and could catch the unwary out.
How do you know when the Britannia was first registered? G-INFO certainly does not hold that data.
A worthwhile digression:ok:
If the thread continues, perhaps I'll post one or two of his other EGLL visits!

13th Jan 2008, 19:00
As you say, a worthwhile digression. I got G-ANBA's details from a treasured old book The Civil Aircraft Registers of Great Britain 1919-1985 published by The Aviation Hobby Shop ('tahs'), which is a mine of information. I think you can still find it on the bookstalls at big fly-ins such as that at Popham. It says for G-ANBA:

B.175 Britannia 102 c/n 12902 Reg'd 7.1.54 Canx 10.3.70 Scrapped at Luton 6.70

- you can see it is very useful in answering the occasional question.

I was at the RAF Biggin Hill display that day in 1955 - I was 10. Thanks to a Christmas clear-out of the loft (which I am now seriously reconsidering), I have the programme from that day in front of me. The Ashton is not specifically listed in the flying programme, although it does say 'Numerous other aircraft will fly past either singly or in formation during the afternoon'. And they did - and, in one year out of the five or six I went, I do remember seeing the Ashton fly past. I'll see if I can find it in another programme.

To give you an idea of just how good those early B of B displays were, here is one item from 1955:

'Demonstration low level ejection from a Meteor'

It was Martin-Baker's aircraft, of course, and there was a dummy in the seat, but it didn't half impress. Why don't they (we?) do that any more?

A bit off-thread, sorry, but it's 100% History and Nostalgia I hope everyone will agree.

14th Jan 2008, 17:56

Trying to maintain a Heathrow theme, was G-APNA based there with Hunting Clan?
On one day (March 8th) they did HKG-SIN and SIN-Calcutta 10hrs 55 mins wheels off to wheels on.
Then on 9th and 10th all in one hit, Calcutta - Bombay - Istanbul - LHR - Filton in 20 hrs 20 mins airborne (taxiing not included.) I think there was another thread running recently - perhaps in Mil Forum trying to estimate how long troopers used to take to the U.K. from Changi
20hrs 20.....tell that to the kids of today:)

Digressing back to Martin-Baker and exciting ejector seat demos, my mother knew Doddy Hay (quite well) in her teenage years many years ago in Bonnie Scotland.

14th Jan 2008, 18:50

Quite possibly, because I 'spotted' G-APNB and that was almost certainly at Heathrow. Both aircraft were Britannia 317s, both registered 9.5.58. 'NA was withdrawn from use at Baginton on 31.5.72 and scrapped in July '73. 'NB was w.f.u. at Luton in March '71 and broken up the following November.

In the 1960 edition of Civil Aircraft Markings, both aircraft are shown as belonging to British and Commonwealth Shipping Co. (Aviation) Ltd. Would that mean a Heathrow base? By the 1971 edition, both aircraft are owned by Donaldson International Airways, presumably at Luton.

Hope that helps. Please see your PMs for a little more.

16th Jan 2008, 11:07
The "independent" Britannias were delivered to Hunting-Clan and to Air Charter in 1958-9, Hunting based at Heathrow and Air Charter at Stansted. Both were principally used on UK to Far East military charters, including to Christmas Island in the Pacific; some of the latter trips found it more efficient to route out over Asia and home over America, doing a round-the-world journey.

In 1960 these two companies merged (with others) to form British United, which was owned principally by British & Commonwealth Shipping, hence the ownership listed above. BUA consolidated their operations at Gatwick. The Britannias then got transferred onto the BUA Gatwick to Central and East Africa schedules which had been run for many years by these same two founder airlines, starting with Vikings and progressing up through Viscounts. Fuel stops galore and extraordinary aircraft to use on long-haul routes, the Britannia made the transition to more mainstream aircraft. BUA replaced them after a few years with the VC-10 and sold the Brits off to people like Donaldson (who operated out of Gatwick and Glasgow).

To the fore in both the Britannia and the VC-10 purchase decisions was, of course, Freddie Laker, MD of Air Charter and then of BUA.

Charter Britannia operators out of Heathrow may seem surprising nowadays, but British Eagle persevered substantially with them until they went out of business in 1968, holiday charters to the Med, military to various points, freight loads, etc, as well as using them on a couple of their schedules.

16th Jan 2008, 11:33
Only 3 times in 37 years of flying!

Aug 1972 Cessna 172 Left seat but with a chap who had been before.
Aug 1996 B 757 Capt
Sept 2003 " "

Hope to go again one day.

16th Jan 2008, 14:07
First and only up to now.
March 1975, BA 747 to Miami with'Jet Age Tours' to watch the Daytona 200.:)

16th Jan 2008, 14:24
Aug 1972 Cessna 172
However much did that cost in landing fees ?? !!

16th Jan 2008, 16:04
I went into there for the first time only last week, 11/01/2008. I haven't even been in there as a passenger. It was a medical flight to pick up a blood sample. But its certainly interesting going in there in a seneca with B747's and Airbus' all around.

"Speedbird ???, expect late landing clearance due to light twin on final".

Too F***ing right!!!!!

16th Jan 2008, 20:01
Just out of brief interest another Log Book clip
Aged 8 with Dad - Heathrow to Filton.
The date must be 17th or 18th August 1951
I see his next flight to New York 17h 39m Total Flying (totals out of range of my scanner)


16th Jan 2008, 20:23
Late 1949 or early 50, BOAC Avro York London (after overnight delay due to "weather/fog over France")- Tripoli ( 8 hour delay awaiting midnight to enable astro navigation across the Sahara AND a daylight landing into Kano)- Kano ( 24 hour delay with cracked fuel pipe awaiting spare on next flight)- Lagos. I've been addicted to and involved with aviation ever since.

16th Jan 2008, 22:15
WOW, skylion, hope you are not moaning ? I would have loved to have been there and then ! My favourite aircraft ! strange though it may be ! Would love to have to overnight somewhere in the world just because the poor old york was a little under par ! Love it Keith.

17th Jan 2008, 11:56
WHBM - Thanks - just needed confirmation. Now tempted to post log book page with, amongst others, Brits and VC.10 flights - but none from LHR.
It was a relief to do LGW to Entebbe on a 10 in 7+ hrs instead of holidaying down there in the Britannia in around 12 hrs.

I reckoned the only way I would get into Heathrow in L/H seat would be doing a Medevac - 'pricemic' thanks for keeping that dream alive!

Spacegrand has gone on to bigger & better things, but you must hold some sort of record in a 172. The only single I recall seeing there over the years was Sheila Scott's Comanche - at least I think it was, but I stand to be corrected.
Daresay Heathrow Director could list many.
I'm afraid Yorks were slightly ahead of my time, so I shouldn't complain about Britannia speeds!

23rd Jan 2008, 07:17
1st flight out of Heathrow.
As an Engineer,
Sept 1965,MEA Comet to Beirut, in company with 5 pilots (one named Roy Bartrum,Comet Captain), to bring back 3 Doves and 2 Herons for Riley conversion from Amman to Luton.
Although not first flight out, repeated the same journey 4 weeks later outbound with BOAC in VC10(what a climbout,horizontal curtains and flying blankets), direct to Amman to bring one Dove back via the same route home,pilot on this trip was Eddie Wild. What memories .

24th Jan 2008, 22:56
Our first flight - a VC10 to TLV Oct65 ( with my wife of one day)

My daughter - first flight was on Concorde 8 months before she was born.
(Now that must be a rare claim.)
It was an engineering trip round the bay. My wife won the raffle and got the jump seat for landing.
My Daughter had seat 1A on her next Concorde to WAS.
On her final trip back to LHR on a Sunday night shortly before it retired a burst tyre left Concorde sitting sadly on the end of 09L and a two hour wait for a coach.

I eventually got an interesting leg into MIA.
SIX- yes just a total of six SLFs so the takeoff was impressive with such a light load.
Jump seat into MIA and then an unusual situation, a U turn in a cul de sac due to a mix up on gate nos. A most odd feeling forward of the nose gear.
So that included a sunset, a sunrise in the west and another sunset.

25th Jan 2008, 10:10
My first flight into Heathrow (incidentally also my first Jet commercial flight) as a passenger - May '71 - from Le Bourgeut in BEA Trident 1. Nearly had an orgasm as the Spey's revved up for Take-off. It was a late friday afternoon lightly loaded flight, enabling me to get home in time to watch the Cup Winners Cup Final replay on tv (Real Madrid v Chelsea)!

Skipness One Echo
27th Jan 2008, 15:27
GLA-LHR, Sat 27 June 1992 on G-ELDG, an ex Austrian DC9-32 flying for British Midland. This was only my second ever type as my previous flights had been on the BAeATP and boy was a jet something different. The service was great and they had light grey leather seats at that time, awfully slidey (!) Back to Scotland on G-OBMB, a B737-300. *sighs* Happy days........and looking at some of the above posts 1992 isn't as recent as we'd all like to think :{

Hooligan Bill
27th Jan 2008, 21:51
EGLL-LMML BEA Trident 2 sometime in 1968.

Doors to Automatic
27th Jan 2008, 22:14
August 1980 LHR-CDG-LHR BA L1011.

Aircraft and a half!

22nd Aug 2009, 21:53
Just a slight deviation from the topic but thought it just might interest you. First flight was on Vickers Viking, G-AGRW. Had just started in the airline game as an aircraft electrician with a company called Overseas Aviation at Gatwick (well its nearly LHR) We had taken the main section of the port wing off because of a fuel leak. Well after completion that called for a test flight, so having not flown before asked if I could go up. No such thing as health and safety in those days and if the ARB were not around then there was no problem. We flew out over Brighton climbing all the way. When over the sea the dear pilot decided to see if he could make me and others sick so did some serious nose dives. His excuse was that he was testing the wing!!!!
As you can read all was well and the aircraft now sits on plinths next to a Macdonald fast food place near Vienna airport.

23rd Aug 2009, 09:16
Never flown the 336, but was current on the 337.
Never been to LHR before...NO charts.......very gusty...23.....

I think after the 3 touchdowns, to south side....picked up the owner. a Mr H. Green, (he of the quiz games), and took him to Exeter.

Retruned back to London by train.


23rd Aug 2009, 09:38
Hughie Green was a pilot........

"Green served as a pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force, ferrying aircraft across the Atlantic with RAF Ferry Command. After being declared bankrupt following a failed legal action against the BBC, he married Montreal society beauty Claire Wilson and took Canadian citizenship, working in the aircraft industry as a ferry transport pilot, a stunt pilot and from 1947 on his return to London involved in business activities that included selling aircraft."

23rd Aug 2009, 10:47
First flight was on a Dove training up to Cranfield, Blackbushe and all over the place. First flight as a real airline pilot was as a 2nd officer with Jack Latus as the Captain. It was an 18 day trip to Tokyo and back. Stopped everywhere there and back.

23rd Aug 2009, 19:09
My first flight out of LHR. As a pax, on a Pan Am Boeing 747, September 6th, 1970. My mother, sister brother and I were flying to JFK to join my father who was working in the US at that time.

I was six years old and can see now in my mind that beautiful white 747 in Pan Am colours with the blue cheatline and globe on its tail parked by the terminal as we boarded.

I have kept a 'Passenger Flying Log' book all my life, recording each flight I take! It's like a diary of one's life in a way and brings back so many happy flying memories.

It was a beautiful day, blue skies and although we were just flying economy, we all dresssed well for the occasion, mother and sister in posh frocks, my brother and I in suits. Yes we used to fly like that in those days! It was quite an event. I can still smell that Jet A1 fuel coming from the aircrafts APU as we climbed aboard.

Taking off and gripping the seat as we thought the wing and engines were about to fall off as they flexed. Only to be re-assured by a well dressed Pan Am Stewardess that it was quite normal for them to flex!

Enjoying a economy class meal 40,000 feet above the Atlantic, we all felt VIP's! Then the excitement of the in-flight movie! Landing at JFK and meeting my father.

Happy days! I believe we departed some time late morning or lunch time, no idea of flight number or aircraft registration, is there some way to find out? I did not record the registrations in those days. I guess there could not have been too many 747's flying in 1971, this must have been one of the first.

pax britanica
23rd Aug 2009, 21:54
The first of oh so many as it turned out was Thanksgiving Day 1971 on BOAC 747 -100 to JFK and onward -on a standard VC10 to Barbados a regualr BOAC alternative to direct V10 service to the Caribbean.
Even though I was 20 I was very excited as it was my first flight -staff travel c/o Dad and we picked out own seats thanks to the guy who lived two doors down and was a BOAC Redcap Despatcher. Thanksgiving Dinner on board too- Pumpkin pie and all.
En route to two weeks holiday with my best mate and a couple of his airline friends -only way four twenty-ish lads could afford the Caribean in 1971 was airline staff travel. An adventure in itself of course with the will we wont we worry about getting on often. Followed by frantic dashes through the terminal to the aircraft just before doors closed if you were lucky and a glum journey home to try again tomorrow if you were not.
Anyone else on here have memories of the tiny little staff travel check in room on the end of Terminal 3 ?? PB. A few dramas acted out there over the years I am sure.


23rd Aug 2009, 22:25
An Ian Allen 'evening Air Cruise ' for an hour, Trident 2. Down to Devon and back, tight turn with plenty of 'g' over Saltash Bridge. Managed to be on the flight deck for the landing on my very first airliner ride. I was still there after we had shut down on stand. Subsequently various 747s and A340.s etc. and Concorde BOAB. Got caught in the morning rush hour on AA 777 the other week, 20 mins in the hold, then shut down just off a taxi-way for 20mins whilst waiting for a stand. Always found Heathrow a magical place from my early plane watching days of BEA Pionairs, Hunting Clan Yorks, Stratocruisers etc.,

24th Aug 2009, 09:21
PB - that brings back memories. (Not with BOAC/B.A. though)

Dropped off at LHR T.3 to go and visit the old man in SIN when I was about 18.
Got to check-in to be informed no staff travel today. Shucks, SIA's first 747 was on the ramp on del from Seattle. Could I get on that - No! Father was on the other 747 going Seattle westbound - darn it.
Got out the next day.

24th Aug 2009, 09:34
My first Heathrow ( LAP North ) arrival was in July 1957 aboard a BOAC Britannia 102 from Nairobi. Also flew from North side in 1958 in a BOAC Argonaut.


Mac the Knife
24th Aug 2009, 10:08
BEA Viscount LHR to Geneva, '57 or '58

Very exciting seeing the Alps through those big windows!

Best thrill was a visit to the flight deck and the pretty hosties.



Ridge Runner
24th Aug 2009, 10:23
First in and out - 02 August 1982 on G-BJXJ, a 737-200. We diverted in. Can't remember why. We should have routed ATH-LGW after a weekend in Athens. The Captain was Dick Brownie. RR

24th Aug 2009, 10:27
pax brittanica.

That staff travel place underneath 221 was a terrible place to be, anxious place as well, as if you actually got your ticket you had to move pretty fast to get through to the gate. Youd never make it these days with security as it is.

Thank God for hotlines at least you know if your going to get on !!!!

I always heard that the best people to know in BOAC/BA were the "space control" people.

26th Aug 2009, 08:33
1948 as an ATC Cadet circiuts and bumps in an Avro Yory of BSAA on 28R

26th Aug 2009, 11:01
First Flight from Heathrow

Dec 29th 1958 BOAC Stratocruiser LHR-FRA-ROM
G-AKGK "Canopus "

27th Aug 2009, 08:39
Thanks for bringing this thread to the top again.

Also thanks to ChrisVJ, Rotorfossil and all the others for confirming my memories of a sightseeing Dragon Rapide trip in the mid 50's. I must have been 6 or 7 and used to visit LAP regularly - ah, the memories fade but the thrill at the time...... I also seem remember watching BEA Daks & Vikings at Northholt about the same era or is my memory playing tricks?


pax britanica
27th Aug 2009, 09:26

Yes the old staff travel centre was stressful place thats for sure.As I rememeb3r it was only fr BOAC /BA Long haul. BEA /Short haul had a different arrangement - just went to the gate i think which I suppose made sense as in one case it was often a case of three flights a week and the other 6 lights a day.

You are quite right about it being useful to know people in load control, as I recall my late father was friendly with someone in staff travel and more than once my ticket had a staff travel code rather than a staff familly member code. Mind you people perhaps never looked too closely because the all important date of joining which priority was based on would have been before I was born if the staff member code was used. Anyway I was always pretty lucky I must say and have happy memories of it-made air travel even more of an adventure.

Ramp tramp

if you go back to the days of the rapide at Heathrow then your memories of Vikings ad Daks at Northolt I quite correct- I am not sure when BEA leftNortholt but I am guessing around 1956 because we moved house in porder for my father to get to Heathrow.
A wonderful time for a kid interested in planes witha huge variety of types and airlines at LHR plus all sorts f oddities like ccasional military flights.light aircraft , blind landing test flights and the unforgetably noisy and bizarre looking fairy Rotodyne giant helicopter thingy a sort of cross between an ATR42 and a Chinook in todays terms. Another example of incredibly complex British engineering with no marketing backing


tristar 500
27th Aug 2009, 19:26
Thread drift!! pax britanica asked when the last BEA service operated from Northolt.

According to my Best Ever Airline book the last BEA service from Northolt was on 30th October 1954 when G-AHCZ "Charles Samson"a DC3 Pionair left for Jersey in the late evening.

pax britanica
28th Aug 2009, 07:12
Ok yes a bit of thread drift but not really irrelevant as Northolt and LHR histories intertwined in those days. Thanks for the info .
Cool nick too, nice plane the 1011-500 lots of time on them back and forth to Bermuda in the 1980s


28th Aug 2009, 07:44
I remember a Sunday School outing from Eastcote to Northolt in the early fifties - I recall there was even a redundant aircraft, from dim memory I think it may have been a Rapide, in the kids playpark. Eastcote was roughly under the Northolt circuit so spent many happy days watchig Rapides, DC3s, Devons, and French Flamants and Noratlas, with US R4D8s, Beech 18s etc overhead.

28th Aug 2009, 08:55
Sometime in 1963, BEA Vanguard to from MAN, for a pre-delivery group visit to the then Ferranti Computer factory in West Gorton. The beast was about the size of a small house with a steel frame that could have been designed by Brunel......the computer that is, not the Vanguard ...........but on second thoughts!

29th Aug 2009, 21:21
October 1987 from Stuttgart to London Heathrow as pax on board a Lufthansa 727-200. These were the days when LH went to Heathrow and BA to Berlin (from Stuttgart, that is...)

31st Aug 2009, 09:50
Thanks to both pax britanica & tristar 500. At least it proves some of the grey cells are still working.

Ah, LAP, standing on top of the Queens building watching all sorts of interesting types and doing the coach tour around the airfield including the maintenance hangars. Such a shame air minded lads & lasses of today can never experience things like that, all in the name of 'security'.

OK, maudlin moment over.


avionic type
3rd Sep 2009, 00:36
March 15th 1958 British Isle terminal [end of now T2] 1800hrs Elizabethen flight to Jersey, return 22nd March 1958 Pionair.[Mission Honeymoon] load 21 honeymoon couples 1 embarrased business man and a mother with a young baby.

3rd Sep 2009, 01:13
June 1960, Heathrow to Idlewild (as it then was) in a KLM SuperConstellation via Shannon and Gander. We were all weighed as we checked in. Return in September was non-stop in a DC7C, also KLM.
This was a student charter. In those distant days we were surprised to find that beer was available on board, and even more surprised to find that it was free!
Someone had brought a guitar along, and most of the 70 or so of us congegrated in the aft cabin for a singsong. After a while we got a request from the captain for some of us to move forward as we were making the plane tail-heavy.
The cost was £70 each, including a Greyhound from New York to Toronto.

3rd Sep 2009, 04:31
September 1969 on my first flight as a new hire First Officer on a DC8-63 for Seaboard World Airlines. JFK-LHR-FRA

Big Eric
3rd Sep 2009, 10:26
EDI-LHR,22nd March 1971 in BEA Vanguard G-APEA.
My first flight.:)

23rd Sep 2009, 20:51
Mine was on British Midland Boeing 737-400 LHR-CDG back in the early 90's, dont remember the Year or the Registration of the plane as I was a toddler.

Although I do remember looking out the window waiting to take off and see Concorde skip the queues and have a beautiful take-offf.


24th Sep 2009, 08:00
Even given this is an aviation site I am amazed how many of us took our first flights out of Heathrow in a Dragon Rapide.

I had my fifth birthday party in the restaurant at the airport, (it was a Nissen hut), that would be Nov. 1949. Actually my birthday is in December but my grandfather, who put it on, was ill and organised the party for about thirty kids (and all their parents,) in November so we could have massive bonfires on the edge of the airport. (He was working on the airport at the time.) I just wouldn't be that surprised to hear about half of you lot were there!

24th Sep 2009, 09:29
First flight on BOAC DC4 Argonaut - June 1956 from Heathrow's North-side "terminal" routeing LHR -Tripoli (bullet-ridden terminal) - Kano -Lagos.
6 months later, returned to LHR on DC4, then after 6 weeks in UK, returned to Lagos on BOAC Stratocruiser (I think my father spent most of the flights LHR-BCN-KANO-LOS in the downstairs bar!). Returned to LHR after 18 months on BOAC Britannia.

24th Sep 2009, 11:43
First flight was a BEA Viscount, LHR - Leeds. Would have been early 70s. I remember that they had only just started this "shuttle" service and the signage at LHR woefully lacked any useful information as to where us shuttle pax had to go.

24th Sep 2009, 13:33
BKS Avro 748 in 1965 for the FA Cup Final. Too much excitement in one day for a little boy, but thanks Dad!

Gone off footie big time since then, but developed an expensive aviation habit....

Steve Bond
25th Sep 2009, 12:23
June 1967, BEA Trident to Le Bourget for the Paris Air Show.

25th Sep 2009, 13:14
Not my first flight ex LHR, but one of my first in..and it coincided with my first sight of a 747 ..PanAm..with #4 exciting people ..at the end of the runway..flames shooting..fire engines etc..and knowing we were lining up to get this newfangled piece of equipment.
Interesting...and WHAT an aeroplane it turned out to be! ( this was prob early 70s or late 60s?)

Euravia First
6th Oct 2009, 20:06
It was the night of September 5th/6th 1964 when I boarded an Air France "special" flight to Perpignan by Caravelle "Lorraine". This was a Fourways Travel charter flight leaving the Queen's building at around 2am. I was 20 years of age and on my honeymoon. The flying time was 1 hour 40 minutes.
The return 2 weeks later left Perpignan for Heathrow at around 5am. I remember hearing loud bangs from the engines when the Air-Links Argonaut charter to Manston failed to start and became the subject of a "regret to advise an indefinite delay" announcement. I felt very superior strolling out to board my jet { wow a jet -- just imagine that }.
Dawn had recently broken when we began the approach to runway 28 left at Heathrow. During the flight the Air France Captain had clearly decided to "play with" we British passengers as he had had made several annoucements consisting solely of the words " Dumpy, dumpy, doo " { in an Eccles type voice for those of you who remember The Goons }. Then about 30 seconds before the touch down he called out " Oh No " and gave a jolly laugh ! All we passengers seemed to enjoy the joke and no one screamed or shouted ! I can't imagine such antics would be allowed today --- even when it is a matter of a French crew transporting solely British passengers ! 45 years later the memories are still vivid !

9th Oct 2009, 20:22
Likewise, Dragon Rapide G-AGJG & G-AGUF Island Air Services 1949-50 with Monique Agazarian piloting, Paul H.

Double Hydco
20th Oct 2009, 16:11
This was the fantastic machine that took me on my first flight from Heathrow, taken using my Brownie 127 camera. TWA L1011 N81025 to Boston in the summer holidays of 1981. The older TWA livery, the crew coach and the PanAm ground equipment give the photo a yesteryear feel.


21st Oct 2009, 19:16
zetec 2
Guess what I saw a few weeks ago!
(I wish I could oblige with all the other great aircraft mentioned on this thread, especially Seaboard World Stretch 8's. I remember seeing them and many others, but no camera then.)


21st Oct 2009, 19:43
My first flight into Heathrow was when I was 6 or 7 my dad saved up enough money to put me, my sister and my mom on a flight from Birmingham to Heathrow just for the hell of it.

My dad worked on the shop floor for Goodyear for years to save enough money to do this, as he knew I wanted to become a pilot.

We went on a Viscount with BEA in the red square colours, I remember going to the flight deck and not being so much impressed with the all the instruments and switches, but with the cupholders that kept the cups of tea in place thereby stopping all the slushing !!

My first trip to Heathrow as a captain was just earlier this year and bought back a lot of childhood memories spending time during summers taking photos of 707's, 747's and VC-10's.

It was nice to be on the other side of the fence !

21st Oct 2009, 20:31
My first arrival at Heathrow was around 1970 ish and possibly the most embarassing thing you could do in aviation !! Myself and an Airline Pilot flew from Norwich to LHR to collect some overhauled radio / nav equipment from Field Aircraft Services, that may sound very sensible, but we were flying in one of these (sample photo) a Gardan GY-80 Horizon
We landed (I think ) on 27R and touched down and stopped on the 'pianno keys' the tower controller could not believe this and asked if we could speed up to the next taxyway turn off, we almost took off again to get there quickly !!! I remember little of the taxying over to Fields at the other side of the airport, but can remember joining the line of aircraft to take off, in front was a BOAC VC-10, and ahead of that was a Pan-Am (I think) Boeing 707, the VC-10 was not a problem as its jet engines are very high above the ground ! but when the 707 increased thrust to move forward we almost took off in the slipstream from its jets :uhoh: But all was well and we left safely although urged by the controller to 'do a left' as soon as possible !!!

Happy Daze ?


24th Oct 2009, 21:32
Hallo there,

I've just unearthed my old flight log and see that my first flight from LHR was to Paris Orly on 29 April 1965 in Trident G-ARPE. Reason for the flight was to visit my German girlfriend who had moved as au-pair from Fleet to a family in Paris and who would cause me to move to Frankfurt 3 months later. Still here, and we are still in contact.

The return five days later was in G-ARPI.....ASN Aircraft accident Hawker Siddeley HS-121 Trident 1C G-ARPI Staines (http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19720618-0:()


4th Aug 2013, 21:59
At the end of 1957 or thereabouts, when I was about four and a bit, my mother, my baby sister and I flew with BOAC from Heathrow to Accra to join my father. I remember landing at Rome; it was hot and dark, the plane was apparently refueling, and for some reason we all had to disembark. The walk to the terminal, I remember as a tired and very thirsty toddler, seemed to go on forever, and I complained vociferously to mum.

Later in the journey we encountered severe turbulence and a storm with big air pockets. The plane was tossed from side to side and up and down. I thoroughly enjoyed bouncing around in my seat and threw myself from side to side to increase the fun. Mother, on the other hand, was absolutely terrified, presumably along with most of the other adults on board.

My sister was thrown out of her cot and had to be retrieved from the other side of the cabin, and thereafter the stewards had difficulty serving food because most of the crockery had been smashed. Children have a different perspective on events. Sadly I don't remember being allowed to go down the spiral staircase or explore the other areas of plane. I was excited to land at Kano, but tired out by the time we got to Accra.

joy ride
5th Aug 2013, 11:30
About 2-3 years old, BOAC Comet flight to Rome then on to Montevideo. The delayed departure from Rome was suddenly brought forward and we had to run from the restaurant to the plane. Climbing up the steps I suddenly realised I had left my half-eaten sausage roll behind in the rush and ran off across the apron to try to find it, and I still remember causing a large amount of chaos and shouting. I remember crawling around the cabin looking at other passengers, these are my earliest clear memories.

5th Aug 2013, 13:32
British eagle Britannia trojan LAP to Barcelona summer 1964 and back on the bounteous,

5th Aug 2013, 22:25
5 September 1957 Prestwick to LHR BOAC DC7C G-AOIB
9 September 1957 LHR - Burtonwood - Prestwick BOAC Stratocruiser G-AKGL
Round trip fare 6 guineas!

6th Aug 2013, 14:07
1970 BN islander to Gatwick very noisy! Couldn't afford return fare so returned to LHR on the 727 ( omnibus)

6th Aug 2013, 14:15
KLM Convair 340 PH-CGI 'Vincent van Gogh' to Amsterdam 1955....same aircraft coming back :-(

avionic type
6th Aug 2013, 17:29
March 58, 6pm Elizabethan to Jersey [honeymoon] new wife's first flight Pionair return. Fare for 2 £16 16 shillings :D:D:D:D

6th Aug 2013, 17:47
Summer 1979, BA Trident 2 from Inverness. Departed the next evening on a BA Trident 3 to Malta.

6th Aug 2013, 19:10
goodness Malta for a trident 3 with a full load must have been a struggle?

6th Aug 2013, 21:43
28th June 1978 G-AWNK, BA B747-136 to Bermuda to visit family. Dad tells me I was a very upset plane mad 13yr old as it wasn't a VC-10

Junior Jet Club, Mid-Atlantic visit to cockpit and first ever sensation of walking down the steps of an aircraft into truly tropical warm air...that sensation will stay with me forever

6th Aug 2013, 22:00
After 27 years in professional aviation I finally did my first LHR....in an A380. Cant be many Brit airline pilots that take that long to finally get there!

7th Aug 2013, 05:51
G-AWNC - BA 747-136. LHR - ORD as my supernumery trip with BOAC. That was June 1973.

First ever flight was BHX-GLA (Renfrew) on a BEA Elizabethan then GLA-EDI (Turnhouse) on a BEA DC3 back in 1960.

10th Aug 2013, 10:11
1st March 1963 G-APFN BOAC 707 to New York. Captain Ayres.

In those days people used to dress up to travel. These days some passengers think dressing up means their best pair of trainers and T-shirt with favourite motif!

TCU wrote first ever sensation of walking down the steps of an aircraft into truly tropical warm air...that sensation will stay with me forever I remember that sensation so well, the sense of wonderment.

From that infatuation with flying that I gained as kid I cannot even start to explain the exhileration I got the first time I flew a commercial aircraft out of LHR which was in the early eighties.

I also flew in March 1966 on G-APFF,another BOAC 707. Captain's signature in junior jet club book hard to read but looks like Kerrigan. Before boarding I remember all the suitcases were lined up underneath the fuselage and before you climbed up the steps you pointed out your suitcase and someone moved it a few feet and then it was loaded in the cargo hold.

That is the first time I can remember any form of passenger baggage security at Heathrow. No memory of handbaggage being checked. It was like getting on a train, noone checked.

So a question, when did airport security at LHR come into effect for checking passenger handbaggage, frisking etc?

10th Aug 2013, 16:14
1949/50'ish, Dragon Rapide G-AGJG Island Air Services with Monique Agazarian up front, quick 10 minutes round the circuit & back, enjoyed it so much Mum & Dad paid for me to have another go this time in G-AGUF, started me on an aviation career, long time ago ! seem to remember Rapides still operating at the time the TU104 made it's first appearance at LHR, sure someone will have dates when that happened, PH.

10th Aug 2013, 19:37
First flight out of LHR was in September'80. A BA Tristar to Kuala Lumpur via Bahrein and Colombo. First flight inbound was on a BA Tristar from Bandar Seri Begawan via Bangkok and Muscat in July'81.

10th Aug 2013, 22:56
If I still had my J.J.C. log book, it would show 5th December 1965. on a VC-10 to JNB. We called at CIA + NBO (disembarking only at the latter. If memory serves, the former was not origincally scheduled for our route but not a diversion.)

I was nine years old and stepping out onto the tarmac at NBO, and into the African night, at about 02:00 local - was a sound that I have not forgotten. My big sister (14) said to our parents that the sound was, "Just like the soundtrack of Daktari"!!!

There were a number of other times through EGLL in the next years (living in South Africa and then studying in Bristol) until 1979, when I moved to London and EGLL became my local field. Although I have lived near LTN, there is only one field I call 'home'. :ok:

12th Aug 2013, 07:01
Just like the soundtrack of DaktariAh! I retired from Borneo 5 years ago but I still miss sitting on the verandah at night with the dog, listening to the jungle sounds. [Mrs.BS preferred sitting under the fan, watching what passed for TV out there.]

joy ride
12th Aug 2013, 11:31
Daktari and The Troubleshooters both had great theme tunes!
By 8 I was familiar with 707s and DC8s then had my first flight in a BOAC Super VC 10. It was like going from a bus to a Bentley.

13th Aug 2013, 14:28
The first ever flight from Heathrow was to San Francisco as I was told by my parents - was a little boy back than.

13th Aug 2013, 17:04
The first ever flight from Heathrow was to San Francisco

Well it might have ended up in San Francisco but nothing could fly non-stop in those days so its first destination was probably Shannon or Prestwick.

13th Aug 2013, 23:58
Not the first flight into Heathrow but almost the most memorable.

BEA Trident from Lisbon to LHR, some other airline from Lima to Lisbon. Late sixties.

At LHR, remote stand. Vicious wind blowing. On descending the rear stairs my glasses flew off, landed on the tarmac and just skidded along at high speed as if on an ice rink. Back then, of course, the lenses were glass so the ensemble must have landed on the frame, no damage ensued. Ably stopped by ground crew boots twenty feet away.

Never forget that. Nor the following landing and that one's aftermath, which coincided with Staines. THAT was memorable.

14th Aug 2013, 03:27
I was 17 on my first flight into LHR as a passenger, it was on a BOAC VC10 in Feb 1968, at the time a wonderful aircraft for passengers and I guess crews as well.
As a pilot I first landed there in a PA31 with Air Anglia on a schedule flight from NWI in Feb 1977.
My last landing as a pilot into LHR was from SYD via HKG, that was in Mar 2012 in a Qantas B747 as the aircraft type was withdrawn from the route. For me it was a sad day, but at least I'm still flying!

1965 BEA
16th Aug 2013, 09:46
My first flight ever was at London Heathrow airport in the 1950s when short joyride flights were possible that lasted around 30 minutes. All I recall is boarding the 6 to 10 passenger, tail-wheeled aircraft and returning to Heathrow following an aerial view of the airfield and surrounding area.

16th Aug 2013, 10:44
My first was from Brussels on a British Midland 737 in 1997. The flight had been delayed as there was a security alert due to a phoned 'hoax' warning from the PIRA. That weekend there'd been issues with suspect vehicles under elevated sections of the M5/M6 and M1 and also on that Monday morning Waterloo had been evacuated. As we came in over London, you could see the crowd milling around waiting to be let back in.

16th Aug 2013, 10:48
February 2007 with BA from Berlin and my bags got lost. They got delivered by taxi two days later.

Retired Redcap
16th Aug 2013, 11:25
August 1963. Heathrow to Dinard in a BEA Viscount.

24th Aug 2013, 23:48
Aerofilms photos of the infant Heathrow
Britain from Above | Rescue the Past (http://www.britainfromabove.org.uk/)

Britain from Above | Rescue the Past (http://www.britainfromabove.org.uk/)

18th Dec 2013, 08:00
1983 aged 8 on a BA Trident 3 to Budapest via Prague. I was so excited that I didn't sleep a wink the night before. In those days they invited kids to go into the cockpit and that was amazing. I remember that the FE had a bright ginger beard and let me listen to his headset :}. Shame this isn't allowed anymore.

joy ride
18th Dec 2013, 18:54
Perhaps my earliest memory is crawling around the cabin floor of a BOAC Comet flying some or all of the way between London, Rio de Janero and Montevideo, probably 1957 or 1958.

Then six years 1964-1968 doxzens of flights between London and New York or Washington DC on BOAC/Cunard Super VC 10s, Pan Am 707s and TWA DC 8s. Often flew in Lockheed Electras with Flamethrowers for engines between NY and Dulles.

Favourite plane by far: Vickers Super VC 10.

At London I loved the open air roof viewing terrace, those lovely BEA AEC Regent airport coaches with 4 windscreens and a poop deck, and those stylish fuel tankers with high windscreens. The variety of planes and vehicles on show there was fantastic, but Dulles Airport was my favourite for its fine terminal building and mobile lounges.

Dave Wilson
18th Dec 2013, 20:11
Christmas dinner on Concorde in '88. I won a competition for one of those pleasure flights that they did. As it turned out they served Crimbo dinner while we were still on the deck. A great experience, managed to get up to Mach 2.02 and FL600 (!) and you really can see the curvature of the Earth through slightly champagne fogged eyes.

Have flown from there many times since but I thought it was a pleasant introduction to Heathrow.

Four Wings
21st Dec 2013, 21:33
10 July 1953 outward BOAC Comet 1 to Singapore inward 12 September 1953 BOAC Comet 1A. Remember: it was London Airport North in those days - terminal was WW11 huts. Still to be seen in early '70s.

21st Dec 2013, 22:10
British Eagle Britannia on a trooping flight to Singapore in March 1967. Route was Kuwait - Columbo - Paya Lebar - a tad under 24 hours.

Think we checked in at West London Air Terminal and drove to Heathrow in one of those typical airport buses of the period.

22nd Dec 2013, 09:00
My first flight into LHR was in an Air UK Handley Page Herald G-BAZJ, from Guernsey. My first flight out of LHR was in Sikorsky S61 G-LINK to Gatwick, jointly operated by the BAA, BA & BCAL if I remember correctly.

22nd Dec 2013, 10:05
Visited Heathrow viewing gallery in 2000 and spent most of the day there seeing various airlines and aircraft that are either no longer with us or no longer fly to LHR.

As a passenger, my first flight was to LHR on a BA A320 from EDI in 2004. My first flight from LHR was 2 days later back to EDI on a BA 757 (G-BPEI)! That 757 would turn to be the only BA 757 I ever flew in, as I used the same one back from BUD-LHR 2 years later and then twice more on the EDI/LHR/EDI run in 2007! :D

26th Dec 2013, 15:38
First flight from 'London Airport' was aboard a BEA Elizabethan "Night Tourist" service to Naples in the summer of 1956. Lovely aeroplane, with great views afforded by the large windows and high wing. Took off over from one of the "28" runways, climbing out over west London. Still remember overflying Nice and the PSP metal apron at Naples.

First ever flight was three years previous, a BEA DC-3 in 1953, from Northolt for a family summer holiday in Jersey. Favourite aircraft, without a doubt, was the Viscount - huge windows and the sound of Darts!