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Earl of Rochester
16th Nov 2010, 18:02
http://www.abpic.co.uk/images/images/1261727M.jpg (javascript:popUp('/popup.php?q=1261727'))

S76C G-PACO arrives at Fairoaks 8th November 2010

Registered to 'Cardinal Helicopter Services' Isle of Man but does anyone have further details about this aircraft's operations?

Dedicated to PPRuNer PACO!


Brilliant Stuff
16th Nov 2010, 18:25
I heard PACO on the airwaves a few nights ago and had to think of PACO.:ok:

17th Nov 2010, 07:14
Earl: PACO is the newest S76 in the UK (as far as I know) and the latest 'ride' of John Whittaker - he of the Peel Group Homepage - The Peel Group (http://www.peel.co.uk/)


Peel own a number of airports including Liverpool, Doncaster and Durham as well as ports (Glasgow) and are HQ'd at the Trafford Centre Manchester.

I think PACO should contact John for infringement of username! :p


17th Nov 2010, 09:54
You know I always wondered if it had been used - I'll have to think of something else when I get my own helicopter (yeah, right!) :) The best I've done so far is get it on my Corvette in Canada:



Brilliant Stuff
17th Nov 2010, 18:33
G-Info says it's a S76 C how come it's not a C++ which I would have thought is the latest standard until the D comes online proper.
I know nothing about S76's hence the question.

18th Nov 2010, 09:11
Just had a look on G-INFO

CHC S76C models G-SSSC & G-SSSD (formerly Humberside BP aircraft) are designated on the database as S76. They have the Arriel 1S1 engine.

G-PACO is in fact a S76C++ with Arriel 2S2 engines fitted

Brilliant Stuff
18th Nov 2010, 09:51
Cheers Jon.:ok:

18th Nov 2010, 10:58
Noted the list of the DoW aircraft and it does not mention this company Grosvenor Aviation Services at Manchester Ringway, was this another of his companies ?

If so can add:-

G-POLO Piper PA-31 Navajo Chieftain 350
G-OCAL Partenavia P.68B
G-OGRV Piper PA-31 Navajo Chieftain 350


Earl of Rochester
20th Nov 2010, 06:37

Earl of Rochester
20th Nov 2010, 07:10

G-???? at Warners Holiday Camp. c. 19??

Mr Osato's Brantly B2 in "You Only Live Twice"


20th Nov 2010, 13:35

Grosvenor Aviation was an air taxi company based at Manchester Airport. Nothing whatsoever to do with the DofW and his companies. If memory serves, the last owner of GAS, was the then owner of Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C.

21st Nov 2010, 09:18
Earl - I wondered that too. Had a front seat view watching the resident Brantly B2 returning to land and shut down at the Helicopter Museum in Weston this year and couldn't believe how close the disc is to the bubble, only just clears it!

21st Nov 2010, 18:56

Thanks for the clarification, it was just a hunch, nothing else to go on just the coincidence with the name and how close it was !

helipixman :ok:

21st Nov 2010, 20:06
For the 'Earl.'

The machine I owned was G-AWDU which I purchased late 1970s for exactly £2000! It was the injected B2B version. I only flew her for around 20 hours before it was sold, but the type was smooth to fly with well harmonised controls and adequate power. Interior headroom is tight for a six footer. The rotor blade cabin clearance was certainly marginal, but I've not heard of any incidents resulting other than the Graham Meyrick accident when the type shed one blade at Kidlington. A second blade entered the cabin at head height resulting in the fatality.

As is fairly normal, th PFM specifically excludes using collective to slow the rotors, but I imagine even with the double 'flapping' hinges, the higher blade angle would increase the cabin clearance until at lower rrpm when the disc was prone to blade sailing.

Elfan Ap Rees will have much more personal info on handling having operated the type for many years.

Regards to all. Dennis Kenyon.

21st Nov 2010, 20:12
And oh ... I think it was Oxford's Peter Pekowsky who did the B2 flying in the 007 film with of course our wonderful 'Wingco' Ken Wallis flying his 'Little Nellie' gyroplane machine. In fact there were several 'little nellies' used on that shoot much of which was filmed in Japan.


21st Nov 2010, 20:21
And coming in again ref the 206 pics. Around 1975 I purchased two Jetrangers from the then Bell distributor CSE, as a job lot being the one pictured, which I registered ... G-BBUY and a second G-BBUX. Memory is getting difficult but I'm sure I sold the BBUY machine to a certain Bill Gates who ran a chain of building supply businesses. My good mate & original mentor, Capt Bill Bailey DFM taught Mr Gates to fly from scratch, first on the Enstrom and then on the 206. Cannot recall from this range who purchased G-BBUX. Regards. Dennis Kenyon.

22nd Nov 2010, 04:16
Dennisimo! Brilliant! I knew there couldn't be a post on this thread that didn't somehow relate to you!

Earl: 206's - I recall seeing the Compass 206 running around the UK as well as Dennis'/Air Anglia G-BBUY.

G-BHXU and the 'Thompson Crew' were of course a common feature throughout the UK in the early 80's. The Treasure Hunt show was awful (especially the studio component) and which was a shame as I very much liked Kenneth Kendall as a person. But, like most aviators, I would endure Rice's wobbly bottom for the sake of observing Thompson going in and out of various locations across the UK. By virtue of its association with the show 'XU' must have been one of the most recognisable 206's in the UK! Although I only got to watch a few shows I believe in one of them they landed at Rochester!

I would certainly like to know more about the French 'airlec' JetRanger - especially which vineyard she was visiting.

However, the 206 which is of most interest to me is the 'USA' JetRanger. This was in fact N50005 which was shipped to Russia in June 1978 and was the entrant for the US team at the World Helicopter Championships held in Vitebsk, Russia in July '78. As far as I recall the US team didn't collect any awards that year but I think that may have won on the next occasion?

05 was then flown to the UK (where CSE swapped her shorts for pop-outs) after which she attended the Farnborough Airshow in September '78. As far as I know, she was the first Bell (as opposed to AgustaBell) 206 III in the UK. At Farnborough she was bought on behalf of the race horse trainer Vincent O'Brien by Irish Helicopters and delivered to Dublin the same month where she was registered as EI-BFK.

I have around 200 hrs in this craft from the early 80's when she served with Vincent. In those 200 hrs I flew quite a collection of characters including Stavros Niarchos (Greek shipping magnate) who I collected from Shannon (he had arrived on his private 737 from Athens en route to the Kentucky Derby). Another regular passenger during '82 was a chap called Charlie Haughey to whom Vincent would regularly lend the craft (you know how these political arrangements are).

Though not especially liked by a number of people, I always got on with Haughey. I didn't delve into his politics - as a person he was both warm and sincere and I spent many a weekend on his private island in the Blaskets with its stark (memorable) Eastern Atlantic seascape.

Charlie was a keen sailor and I eventually convinced him to try his hand at flying the Ranger. Most people when you give them the controls of a 206 for this first time tend to enter a sort of 'pendulum' swing with the cyclic but Charlie never did. He managed to keep her on course and altitude with remarkable ease - given that this was his first time ever to control a helicopter.

While I didn't manage to inflict the flying bug on Charlie I later discovered that my 'helivangelism' had not been in vain as his son, Ciarán (who was also on board during the occasion of his dad's first lesson), was keenly interested and apparently ended up buying an aircraft.

I shall not quickly forget flying the Haughey family around the Emerald Isle during the summer of '82. There was some stunning scenery along the South West coast and some equally memorable encounters with a number of Irish characters.

Some abstract linking; G-BHXU belonged to Castle Air (Roy Flood). My godfather's company sold Roy his first 206 (G-BAKX) which had previously been owned by Mohamed Fayed. 'KX' was then sold to Ireland in August '79 (a year after Roy had bought it) and became EI-BHI which I also flew - but that is another story!


long box
22nd Nov 2010, 08:54
EoR I love seeing some of the old 206's, the ones I know are BBUY which became G-HMPH, which was owned by Ray Flowers of Direct Helicopters, and operated by Aeromega, I have flown that one a time or two, it is also in the picture with HRAY carrying our pleasure flights for Southend Air Show from the promenade, can you imagine being able to that now! I have flown HRAY, which has become OMDR, which is now owned by Castle Air. BAUN became OAMI, which spent a bit of time with Elite Helicopters and finally BEHG bacame LSPA and then INVU operated by Burman, I have also flown her as well.

22nd Nov 2010, 13:06
Here are a couple fo shots of G-STEF from my collection (mentioned earlier in thread).




22nd Nov 2010, 14:32
G-EYEI was imported from America by Clyde helicopters around 1987. The colour is the old livery from Barr's Irn Bru which, at the time, was not well known out of Scotland. It was repainted silver around 1989.
George Muir (RIP Wee Man) flew her daily for Radio Clyde's "Eye in the Sky" traffic reports that were sponsored by, you've guessed it, Barr's Irn Bru.
The photo is taken from the hanger door area at the Heliport in Glasgow probably around the time of the Garden Festival in 1988 when the City Tours were at their peak.
Sadly the machine was involved in a fatal accident early in 1990 when the engine stopped during a snow storm.


22nd Nov 2010, 17:06
Earl: I didn't comment on BAVI because I imagined there may be others with first hand recollections of this craft and her demise.

Regarding Trent, both Mike Strangways and David Dixon are gone now and as sad as that is - so is the story of BAVI. I don't recall all the details so apologies beforehand if there are any inaccuracies but BAVI's incident was fairly well known in the 70's.

From what I recall BAVI had only been in the Trent stable for a matter of weeks before it was involved in a crash with fatalities to all on board, pilot (I don't remember the name) plus 3.

I do remember that it was a Farnborough year '78 and that it was around Spring that BAVI went down over the Channel (apparently in poor weather).

Perhaps there are others who recall the incident with more detail including the pilot's name.


22nd Nov 2010, 19:28
Do you know who's two-tone brown 206 was alongside the Aeromega aircraft?

That's G-FLCH. Also operated by Aeromega.

Brilliant Stuff
22nd Nov 2010, 20:14
I found sitting in the B2B like sitting in a sun lounger, well comfy.

Love the paintjob on G-AWDU, well done that design.

22nd Nov 2010, 21:03

Little to report, accident was 29/5/78.

ASN Aircraft accident 29-MAY-1978 Bell 206B Jet Ranger G-BAVI (http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=65651)

22nd Nov 2010, 21:59
Another "Oh my Gawd" simply because the colour scheme on Brantly G-AWDU is as she was when I owned her in the 1970s but presumably since repainted ... And just checked my log book to find I bought her on 10th October 1977. An entry shows I later demo'd her in March 1978 to a certain Wing Commander Cobb who I think was the buyer. I delivered her to the customer at Battersea.

The 'full & free' check did not produce a blade contact with the bubble and I seem to recall that the actual clearance was in the order of 9 inches or say 225 mm in old money.

Here's another for the memory boxes. Did anyone on here fly the Helicopjet? I think she was registered F-HMSX or similar. I did a 'tethered' air test at Issy heliport on the 'Periferique' around 1976 ish. The type was a four-seater built from two Panhard CT24 cabins (floor and roof panels) with four 'tip thrust' blades ... a la Fairey Rotodyne ... driven by a the Djinn jet engine. I recall the engine was started by a hand pull on a cabin interior mounted 50cc 2 stroke engine! I've got a picture somewhere if people become interested. I believe only one was built and it was orange!

Just another titbit from this mine of useless information.

Regards to all 'Nostalgia' addicts. Dennis Kenyon.

22nd Nov 2010, 22:06
Oh and Pete Pekowski was one of the BEAS pilots at Oxford late 1960s and early 1970. I never actually met the guy but his reputation certainly preceded him. Wasn't there also a 'Bunny' Austin flying at the time?

Dennis K

22nd Nov 2010, 22:10
And for 'S' ... I've got an idea the pilot was 'Larry' Lamb who I believe had his family on board when he flew into the sea in poor viz. DRK

John Eacott
23rd Nov 2010, 08:25
Since Barry's name has been invoked, he took delivery of a 109C at Essendon Airport many years ago: the box it arrived in was big enough to sell to the third world as a housing estate!



A lovely bloke, I could always expect a call whenever a bike race was on at Philip Island, usually along the lines of "Maaate, have you got a spare seat?" Having his own 109 only marginally reduced the calls ;)

Terrible loss to the bike and helicopter community, we remember Baz every year with a Memorial Ride from Bairnsdale to Philip Island for the MotoGP :ok:

Plank Cap
23rd Nov 2010, 13:58
Cranfield, 1988 and my old training mount G-AZMB. Both Mike and Sue Strangways were regularly in attendance and instructors Stan Sollit, George Warren and Joe Wright passed on many decades of wisdom. Happy days..........


Earl of Rochester
27th Nov 2010, 17:52

B206 G-AYTF at Redhill 1978

http://lh6.ggpht.com/__dRpfF8qlVM/TPFLPrg6LhI/AAAAAAAAAFI/Yy7IVYTb2lc/Gilles%20Villeneuve%20at%20the%201979%20German%20Grand%20Pri x%20at%20Hockenheim.jpg

Gilles Villeneuve lands his AB206 at the 1979 German Grand Prix held in Hockenheim. No registration details sadly.

http://lh3.ggpht.com/__dRpfF8qlVM/TPFKnhSPIcI/AAAAAAAAAFE/IZiEba7Z4H8/Gilles%20Villeneuve%20at%20the%201979%20German%20Grand%20Pri x%20at%20Hockenheim%20%28b%29.jpg

Notice the pitch on the blades aka collective 'braking'!

http://lh5.ggpht.com/__dRpfF8qlVM/TPFL6Xj6KRI/AAAAAAAAAFM/l0u9wKwIXtI/s512/Gilles%20Villeneuve%20at%20the%201979%20German%20Grand%20Pri x%20at%20Hockenheim%20%28c%29.jpg

Villeneuve at the '79 German Grand Prix where Colin Chapman was also present

'James Anthony McCaughey'.


G-JAMI unknown location c. 1980

27th Nov 2010, 18:16
Outside Hangar 6, Coventry Airport. AKA Dollar Helicopters


27th Nov 2010, 19:12
TRC is younger than me, and he will remember this bird! It was Walter Wolfe's 206, based for much of the time in Monaco (where I had to visit for 50/100 hr checks, stay in a hotel, eat well, and ogle the near naked girls on the beach:D................) and then Giles would fly me/us back to the airport at Cannes.

Oh what hardship!

And a thought, 5 will get you 10 Geoffers probably delivered her from Frosinone; she was an Agusta model. Was operating when I joined Manns Autumn 1979

There's some food for thought, cheers for the memory of those beautiful............ beaches (of course)

29th Nov 2010, 19:20
A photo of G-AYTF at Elstree in the 80s



2nd Dec 2010, 14:51
Earl: Great to see Cy Rose's Brantly along with the workshop photo of the Dancer, many thanks. :ok:

I knew that Villeneuve was a pilot but there were so many in those days (both fixed and rotary wing) and I didn't get to meet them all. G-JAMI, as you rightly point-out was, to the best of my knowledge, the second 206L registered in the UK and one of only three 'straight L's' (I think) with the third being G-BFTR (Hanson). I think Heart of England (JAMI) performed a cross-charter for Ferranti but that's about the extent of the involvement as I recall.

On the matter of the Dancer (G-AYTF) being at Bristow's - that I can answer!

The Dancer was bought from new from CSE in the early 70's by Douglas Bunn (developer of Hickstead jumping ground). Being a neighbour to Ferranti my godfather lost no time in befriending Bunn and inviting him to the Beehive where the Colonel showcased the process of 'Ferranti-ising' an aircraft.

To 'Ferranti-ise' an aircraft involved (for the 206) installing a custom VIP interior, applying a high gloss polyurethane finish to the fuselage and adding a small array of avionics which included; VOR, ADF, Decca's DANAC moving map display and Ferranti's in-house stability augmentation (auto-stabilisation) system (SAS).

By all accounts Bunn was impressed and my godfather doubtless believed that he had gained a new client. That was until Bunn received Ferranti's quote!

The story goes that Bunn called up Bob posing the question; did my godfather wish to sell him a new helicopter? From there, there was some sort of exchange which ended with the Colonel quoting the phrase 'horses for courses' whereupon Bunn hang up!

But, it didn't end there. Some weeks after the phone altercation Bunn appeared in the skies over the Beehive, landed on the grass near Bob's office, left the Dancer turning and burning, walked into my godfather's office and told him he was en-route to Bristows who had evidently offered him a better 'deal'!

This was one of the few Ferranti stories I got to hear from Major Warby who recalled watching Bob escort Bunn back to the Dancer, advising him not to leave the craft unaccompanied while still running, and expressing his disappointment that Ferranti would not be servicing his mount.

According to Warby, Bob stood for many minutes watching the sky as Bunn disappeared and for those who knew Bob they might understand why. To this day I have never met anyone quite so enamoured by everything to do with helicopters as he was. Bob would form attachments with each of the aircraft he flew, giving them names and referring to his encounters with them as though recalling aspects of a treasured friendship.

Beneath the falling out between Bob and Bunn was, I believe, a frustration that the connection was not ultimately realised for at heart the two men were highly compatible with Bob already possessing many close alliances with those in equestrian pursuits including Robert Sangster and a number of Arabs at least one of whom would later go on to support Hickstead.

For Bunn's part he merely wanted to 'jump' in his craft, fly it and have it maintained from time to time and which I am sure Ferranti could have done but, as Bob no doubt explained, their specialty was in supporting executive aircraft - or in creating them!

When Bunn bought a brand new 206 III from Alan Mann in '78 (G-JUMP) the Dancer was taken in on part-ex and sold on to Colin Chapman.

Colin was already a Ferranti client and earlier on in this thread it was mentioned that PPRuNer Speechless Two had participated in at least one Ferranti charter for Chapman when he collected King Constantine II of Greece from the Team Lotus base at Hethel and flew him to Brands Hatch.

So, the connection to the Dancer was restored but, by the time Chapman had bought the aircraft Ferranti was is its closing days and it was Bob who recommended to Colin that he maintain his support from Mann's.


A Ferranti 206 advertising the fact that it was 'Ferranti Stabilized'

Helipixman: What can I say, you have stunned me twice now! First off with G-CHOC which, it was believed by some PPRuNers, did not exist - and now with the Dancer in its JPS livery - Bravo! :D

It is extraordinary how something as simple as a photograph can evoke so many memories and emotions for aside from my godfather's many encounters with the aircraft she retains a special place for me too in that this was the first helicopter I received instruction in (thanks in large measure to Colin), was the first (and only) helicopter that I have experienced an engine failure in and was the helicopter I performed my first solo in (on my 17th birthday) at Booker courtesy of Antonio 'Nobby' Clarke!

Thanks for all the memories - your efforts in sourcing these images motivates me to recall these events from times past.


ps: Bunn evidently passed the flying bug on to his son (Jonathan?). What I heard was that he purchased a Gazelle which he pranged but, this happened long after I left the UK so I am not sure of the details.

2nd Dec 2010, 22:27
For 'S' ... the pic you have was with yours truly at the controls. Just checking log book to refresh my memory. Collected G-AYTF from Hethel and flew to my home at Mill Hill on 22nd Jan 1983. I flew her with Bob Smith for a company check on 26th August the same year. I was using her for parachute freefall dropping the Black Knights at Bordon on 20 June 1984, and she was sold to Chris Tennant shortly after. I also seem to remember she had a Collins 841 two-axis autopilot with which you could do a back course ILS! The brain cells aren't all dead yet! Regards to all, Dennis K.

3rd Dec 2010, 11:59
Stumbled across this thread while researching 'Dancer'. In 1980 she was repainted in Essex Petroleum colours to reflect the Lotus F1 team's sponsor of the time. Only a black and white scan from Jabby Crombac's "Colin Champan - The Man and his Cars" I'm afraid, but thought you might be interested.


The Villeneuve pics look like that's an ex-Walter Wolf machine. Villeneuve didn't drive for him in F1 but did drive his cars in the Can-Am series.

3rd Dec 2010, 20:24
Well well, wonders never cease on the Rotorheads forum!

Thanks FBB for this image. :ok: These were in fact the first colours worn by the 'Dancer' during her tenure with Lotus and this was how she looked the first time I flew her.

Having eluded us for many months I now have several sources promising additional photos of this aircraft including an offer from Clive Chapman (Colin's son).

Back in the UK I also have photos of her (in both the Essex and John Player colours) but, I shall not be there until Easter next year whereupon I shall have to embark on a mamouth task to unearth them but, I shall do just that!

Dennisimo! I suspected that this might have been you. Presumably this was just before you bought her?


6th Dec 2010, 15:44
In answer to post 338 the Gazelle owned by Jonathan Bunn was G-BXZE and suffered its accident at Hickstead on 3.9.01, apparently he had just dropped off his father !

He replaced this with Jetranger G-PEAK.


17th Dec 2010, 12:36
Update on the Villeneuve machine mantioned on the previous page. A very helpful chap at the Musee Gilles-Villeneuve tells me that she was registered G-BCYP. G-INFO shows that as an Agusta-Bell 206b and registered to Alan Mann at the time. She has subsequently been registered as G-TPPH, G-UNIK, G-JIMW and most recemtly G-OYST.


Saint Jack
18th Dec 2010, 04:45
fatbaldbloke: (wonderful name by the way) What is that object on top of the engine oil tank fairing, it seems it would block the oil cooler exhaust.

18th Dec 2010, 08:02
Saint Jack
That's a HISL and fitted just aft of the oil cooler matrix egress. When Villeneuve had the machine it had a conventional anti-coll but I suspect subsequent usage required the fitment? Bit hazy here but there was a requirement, I think, for pipeline patrols and such after a tragic air-to-air with a military fighter. ~ VFR

18th Dec 2010, 10:12
High Intensity Strobe Light - before anyone asks.

VFR, I always thought that an egress was a female egret.

18th Dec 2010, 13:18
:ok::):):D:D:D VFR
PS Smowing here in Essex-by-the-sea...........again

Yellow & Blue Baron
20th Dec 2010, 11:42
http://lh6.ggpht.com/__dRpfF8qlVM/TQ9OG71fzDI/AAAAAAAAA9Y/XM43YQ2Viw0/s800/Polaris%20155%20Fairoaks%20Dec%2018%202010%20%5Bby%20Trevor% 20Warne%5D.jpg

Polaris Aviation EC155 at Fairoaks December 18th 2010

long box
20th Dec 2010, 13:44
I have not look at the TALY thread for a few days, the first thing I see is OYST, we currently look after her maintenance, really nice Agusta Jet Ranger, I got a parking ticket in her last year from a very nice traffic warden!

3rd Jan 2011, 18:28

G-AXEJ attending the Flight International Business and Light Aviation Show at Cranfield on 3rd September 1977

Originally bought by Air Gregory (see page 15 of this thread) in 1971 this aircraft was registered to PPRuNer Palma at the time this photo was taken.

An additional image of AXEJ appears on the http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/417831-ferranti-helicopters-2.html thread and mentions that the craft appeared in an episode of 'The Persuaders' (starring Roger Moore and Tony Curtis) in 1972 at which time the aircraft belonged to FJ Wallis Ltd.

I'm not entirely sure but I think it may well be Palma at the controls in this image.


3rd Jan 2011, 20:38
Slight thread offshoot, but seeing the Air Gregory H500 EJ ... I was wondering if anyone knows of any pictures of the 'quirky' Spoonair stand backdrop at that 1977 Cranfield event. (cartoon line drawing of self and my boss Roy Spooner hanging from an Enstrom helicopter) Helis on stand static display that year (Aug 31 thru' Sept 3) were Enstroms G-BENO & G-BALT. My log book records that I demonstrated to the following names. Mr G Boston, J McKillivary, a Pedro Moron! an A Althani, P Newbury, then Strudwick, Andrews, Turner, Skinner Coundley and Turnbull. Anyone know of them now. Also a certain Keith Emerson. (Emerson, Lake & Palmer.)

1977 may have been the year, the Maule 'Lunar Skyrocket' crashed into the fixed wing static display taking off the wing of a PA28 and the year a Bo105 was constantly demonstrating full stop E0ls close to the ATC building.

Helicopter Hire had a Russian contra rotating Kamov 26 on show .... just a COF with more memories! Dennis Kenyon.

Yellow & Blue Baron
5th Jan 2011, 17:43

The Queen's helicopter arrives at Blackbushe 5th Jan 2011


An old UK Jet Ranger - maybe someone knows the story behind it!


11th Jan 2011, 14:28

When Prime Minister Harold Wilson visited Newport Docks in 1967 to open a major new timber wharf, some of the officers on duty stood in front of the ministerial helicopter for a photograph. Included in the picture, wearing a motorcycle helmet, was motorcyclist Pc Percy Sharland.

The local Divisional Commander, Superintendent William Voyle was not a man noted for his sense of humour but he smiled when he saw the photograph and sent it to the editor of the British Transport Police Journal at Force Headquarters with a note to the effect that the Docks Division were proud to announce that it had taken possession of a police helicopter and that Pc Sharland had been trained as its pilot.

When the article was published it certainly came as news to the chief constable and it raised a few eyebrows until the truth came out when everyone could see the funny side of it.


11th Jan 2011, 19:07
Ah ... the wonderful old Brantley 305, wheels and all! I remember flying her at the Brantley-Hynes factory in America. (Alva Airport OK, I seem to recall)

A pig to land without tucking in the wheels and the occasonal in -flight 'bounce' had to be experienced to be believed. But she was a five seater and a few were sold in the UK in the early 1970s. Freemans of Bewdley were one of the original customers.

Dennis K.

12th Jan 2011, 08:04
Encyclopaedic no less :ok:
I'm old enough to remember Freemans of Bewdley! When did they put up the shutters, then? Poss in 70s? I was abroad for all of that decade and just (occasionally) back on home leave. They were based South Midlands, correct? (All these questions :O!)

Perhaps they merged with Rotorspan? And come to that I just Googled r'span and no website :confused:, so is Mike Jenkins still in residence there I wonder.

All questioned-out now, must be an ARA (= Age Related Ailment; more alcohol required this evening :ok:)

Earl of Rochester
12th Jan 2011, 10:38
A record of some of the UK's first Brantly 305's:

G-ASUM s/n 1005 > BEAS Jul '64 > Sold to USA Sept '66.

G-ASXF s/n 1014 > BEAS Oct '64 > Air Gregory Sept '70 > Express Aviation (Biggin Hill) Nov '71 > De-registered '82.

G-ATLO s/n 1028 > Thomas Sopwith Dec '65 > BEAS May '66 > Bouley Investments (Channel Islands) Sept '66 > Douglas Arnold Aviation & Shipping (Ashford) Aug '68 > John Willment Properties Oct '69 > Freemans of Bewdley (Aviation) Ltd. (Worcestershire) Apr '76 > Destroyed '76.

G-ATSJ s/n 1024 > BEAS May '66 > Thomas Sopwith May '66 > Endeavour Aviation (Brighton) Dec '67 > Alan Mann Racing (Byfleet) Nov '68 > Sunderland Print (Worcestershire) Jul '69 > Autair Jan '75 > Robert Ryan Jul '75 > Destroyed '81.

G-ATUR s/n 1029 > BEAS May '66 > Cyril Lord Nov '66 > Turriff Construction Jun '68 > Shackleton Aviation Nov '71 > De-registered '73.

G-ATUS s/n 1030 > BEAS May '66 > Quinton Hazell Ltd. Sept '66 > A&B Cars Aug '68 > Destroyed 1970.

G-ATYB s/n 1035 > BEAS Jul '66 > Sold to Ireland Aug '67.

Re: Freemans of Bewdley Brantly 305 G-ATLO: The aircraft was conducting a maintenance test flight which departed Freemans private airstrip at Astley, Stourport-on-Severn near Hereford on 1st October 1976 to investigate abnormal levels of vibration. At some point during the flight the Brantly encountered 'extreme vibration' followed by a loss of control resulting in a crash into a copse.

The accident report reads: "The first impact was with trees which tore away the main rotor assembly together with its gearbox from the aircraft. The fuselage then continued for a short distance through the trees before striking the ground slightly nose down a few yards further on. Although all of the occupants were wearing seat belts, the pilot was knocked unconscious in the impact, the observer was slightly injured and the other passenger was thrown clear into some light vegetation. Immediately after impact the aircraft caught fire but the less injured of the two passengers was able to extricate the pilot before the fire developed. The other passenger made his own way away from the wreckage. The aircraft was severely broken up during the impact sequence and much of its structure was destroyed in the ensuing fire."

The investigation was to discover that the front right main gearbox attachment bolt had failed due to fatigue.

The report reads: "The fracture occurred at the shank of the bolt remote from the threaded portion and within the bore of the gearbox flange. A corrosion pit was present at the origin of the fracture. The fatigue exhibited a smooth acceleration in the spacing of the striations to the final instantaneous fracture which was of a tensile nature. The fatigue markings were of a course, banded type and their uniform appearance suggested that they were associated with 'stop-start' transitions in the loading pattern and probably representative of individual flights. A count of the fatigue bands suggested that 90% of the fatigue growth was achieved in 20 to 30 loading cycles. No certainty could be applied to the number of cycles in the first 10% of growth but it was estimated that they amounted to no more than 200 and possibly much less. It was not possible to determine whether the fatigue had been present during the aircraft's long period of storage. A hardness test on the half of the bolt which had not been fire damaged yielded a tensile strength of 74 tons PSI which is within the required specification. The contact face between the gearbox flange and its airframe mounting point showed evidence of hammering which was absent from the other gearbox attachment points."


13th Jan 2011, 19:01
Earl, thanks for the background information on the Brantly 305's - most interesting.

I am largely unfamiliar with the operations of Freemans of Bewdley but would be keen to learn more.

Re: serial no's 1029 and 1030 G-ATUR and G-ATUS these were affectionately referred to as 'Arthur' and 'Atticus' the latter having been owned (I presume under the name of Quinton Hazell according to your record) by Denis de Ferranti. Denis's brother Sebastian also owned a Brantly (a B2 as opposed to a 305).

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-arRfDVLGSt4/TnsD3nnoZvI/AAAAAAAAE9k/HYS-fOg0Dqo/G-ATUS%252520at%252520Manchester%252520%252528Drawing%252520by %252520Alfonso%252520Damiani%252529.jpg
Brantly 305 G-ATUS on the Fairey Aviation apron at Manchester's Ringway on 7th August 1967 (Drawing by Alfonso Damiani from an original photo by Paul Tomlin) For an image of G-ATUS check here (http://www.edendale.co.uk/MAIP/CORP.BC2.html)


13th Jan 2011, 20:09
E of R, the wheels on the 305, when the aircraft is in flight,with the oleos fully extended,will be inclined inwards(not track),so when landing on a firm surface(tarmac/concrete),,if you just lower the lever,you can roll the tyre off the rim; so it is necessary to edge forwards as the lever is lowered ,so the oleos `splay out`. Not too much of a problem on grass ,as it has plenty of `give`.
Anyone who was trained on `Sycamores` will undoubtedly tell tales(as the u/c had a similar `dangle`, on early training solo sorties,of trying to land back on the dispersal `spots` at Ternhill in the correct manner.If you touched down lightly,and lowered the lever a little too quickly,chances were a change in RRPM would start `ground resonance`,followed by an armful of collective and RPM and a rapid leap airborne again. After several of these attempts,you would back off and land on the grass to await an instructor to come out and get you `home`, or ATC would tell you to land on the grass ,and they`d ring the DI..
Of course ,it wasn`t helped by the fact that the Studes crewroom was facing dispersal,so one would be faced by a `goofer`s gallery` of others,dancing about ,attempting to distract one on the final perilous part of the exercise,in view of the `Waterfront`,and the CFI`s Office in the Tower.You knew you had some mastery of `the Beast` when you could arrive back,and land smoothly,without bending the tyres,and without G-R.....Character building,and a sore left wrist....

14th Jan 2011, 15:56
Sorry for the late participation to this thread. I was employed by Blades Helicopters and later TAL-AIR and have photos of G-RODS and G-LRII (LRII in Castle Air colours, taken at Liskeard, and later in the blue and white).

Someone was asking if anyone knew who flew LRII. Uncle Ian flew both LRII and OLDN (the latter involved in the Gartree Prison escape).

I will root out the photos and post them asap.


Sandy Toad
16th Jan 2011, 10:58
G-BAVI in February 1976

16th Jan 2011, 12:39
Just few comments on the Brantly 305. Earl's list shows ALL seven 305 that appeared on the British register. To my knowledge all were either destroyed or exported, so no 305 in the UK and certainly no flyer. I am doubtful there is a 305 in Europe.

Freemans of Bewdley was a plant hire company run by three brothers, Barry, Howard and John Freeman. They orginally acquired Terrier G-ARLP and then moved into rotary wings when they acquired Brantly B-2B G-ASXE. This was replaced with G-ATLO. They may have dabbled (more than dabbled, it would seem, they owned 4 B47s !!) with a Bell 47 but cannot come up with a registration. The demise of 'LO brought about the end of the Freeman's aspirations to be in the helicopter hire business.

G-ASUN was a B-2B so certainly is NOT the a/c illustrated in the photo in msg 354. Choice appears to be beween 'SUM or 'SXF.


Sandy Toad
16th Jan 2011, 13:29
Hi Earl,
Yes it was Oldway Helicopter Services.


I took over from Lyall Thompson and this brochure was produced during his reign.
The previous photo was one of my last flights in BAVI. It was taken at my parents house in Warwickshire shortly before I departed for Dubai.
After I left, Peter Morgan who was a Merthyr Tydfil solicitor and boss of Oldway - who were mainly a property company - sold the helicopter but I never found out where she went and only read of her demise much later on. She was Serial No 960.

16th Jan 2011, 14:12
G-ATSJ at Halfpenny Green - 1969ish...


16th Jan 2011, 17:21
The nostalgia thread seems to have been busy today. :ok:

Sycamore: Charming reflection of your Sycamore training days. All I can say is that you can be grateful they were not holding up score cards from the crew room in the way that many ground crews are fond of doing when air crews are performing autos!

Re: tyres rolling off the rim of the Brantly - I am wondering how this was solved among fixed-wings?


The Bücker Bü 133A Jungmeister also had inward facing wheels but did these 'roll off the rim' in the same way as the tyres on the Brantly were prone to doing?

XTEC: Look forward to seeing your images.

Sandy Toad: Great to see some more shots of BAVI - there are in fact very few images of her around. Even more interesting to note the existence of 'Oldway Helicopters'. I thought I knew most of the UK's civilian operators from the 70's but there we are, something new. :ok:

Nige321: What an excellent photo of ATSJ. 69ish means (according to Earl's records) that it was either still with Alan Mann or had moved on to Sunderland Print.

More Brantlys


G-ASXF at Plymouth on 15th April 1967. Operated by BEAS.


'Arthur' G-ATUR at Coventry 20th November 1971 bearing the name of its owner, Turriff Construction. Thanks to copyright holder Carl Ford for this shot.

http://lh6.ggpht.com/__dRpfF8qlVM/TTAlJZbQTHI/AAAAAAAABUs/nNZZ2kZbCNU/G-ATSJ%20Gloucester%20Staverton%2011th%20June%201966%20RAeS%20 Show.jpg

G-ATSJ at Staverton (Gloucester) 11th June 1966 for the RAeS Show and owned at that time by Thomas Sopwith.

Earl: To resolve the conundrum of which 305 is in the Newport Docks photo; If ASUM was sold off to the States in '66 and if ASUN was a B2 (as confirmed by Planemike) then it can only be G-ASXF! To confirm this if you look carefully at the Newport Docks photo you can just make out a winged motif painted on the gearbox housing cover (it appears similar in design to the old Silver 'C' gliding award). This same motif appears on the photo of ASXF (above) and means that the PM's office had chartered the craft from BEAS to carry Wilson in '67.

JKAY: There were less than 50 305's built and, to the best of my knowledge only one remains flying. It is owned by Gary Goldsberry of Mooresville, Indiana, USA. If you are going Stateside and would like to fly in it I shall see if I can arrange it with Gary. Given your penchant for performance cars you might want to try having a go in the Hughes 500 sometime - they can be a lot of fun!


16th Jan 2011, 18:45
Savoia, the approaches and landings were `scored` ,usually the waving of fingers,but I never got above `2`!
Sandy-T, the name of Lyall Thompson,and his `oppo` Harvey Johnson( assuming that Lyall was ex-RAF),used to strike fear into us young helo heros in the Far East,as they were `the Trappers` Trappers of Transport Command and CFSH...Only answered to God...! They would turn up about every 9 months and `select`pilots/crews to fly with on various sorties to either `confirm` your T-C Cat(egorisation),or possibly upgrade,or worse,drop it....As I`d spent a couple of weeks doing what one may call `Periodic training` with the Squadron and Wing Trappers,on Support,VIP,and SAR training,our hero here was sent forth as the `sacrificial lamb` to do it all again with `THEM`.At the end of a weeks training, fingernails worn off,and then sent in to see the Boss and `Them`,I had my Cat. card returned , stamped `A` Cat.....since then it`s been all downhilll!! (I think they were very ,very nice chaps ,really...

16th Jan 2011, 22:10
....thank god they built the Huey "Iroquois", or only god bloody knows what my band may have ended up been called......

Well, I wondered where you got the name from. You might have called yourself 'Jarobinson' otherwise.

Trying to think of some more unlikely ones......... (doubt if I will though)

long box
17th Jan 2011, 08:48
XTEC, I was around when Thamesdown leased G-RODS to Blades, it would be great to see any pics you have of her, she was a heavy but fantastic helicopter, I will see what I can find

JKAY, if you have pm we have a helicopter right up your street, I will send you details and you would be more than welcome to have a go

17th Jan 2011, 15:33
I have done a little more sleuthing: may have been premature writing the 305 out of the UK rotary scene entirely. The mortal remains of 'SXF may live on at Amen Corner Binfield Berkshire. Brantly 305, G-ASXF (http://www.abpic.co.uk/photo/1057462/) Have a source that reports it there in 2007. Confirmation of its continued existence appreciated.

Restoration project, anyone ???!!!!


17th Jan 2011, 18:41
Going back a few posts ... I have to thank Sycamore for answering Earl's question to me and his neat explanation for landing the B305 without doing in the tyres. Personally, I never got the hang of it and in the end just 'cheated' by doing a gentle five knot run-on landing every time. Chicken stuff I know but it worked.

It was in 1977 that I visited the Brantly-Hynes so called factory in Oklahoma. I say 'so-called' simply because the parts department consisted off a couple of hundred spares laid out on the hangar floor, dust and all! My boss, Roy Spooner was thinking of taking on an agency but I got cold feet after my flight test. The beast had the oddest way of holding the turn ... a series of short bites is the best way I could describe it.

I met the new Brantly owner Mike Hynes and was intrigued when he showed me the chart of his planned helicopter sales which showed a monumental spike virtually doubling the existing sales. When I questioned the reasoning, Mike Hynes explained that would be the point when he bought out the Enstrom factory!

Keep the super pictures coming please.

Dennis K.

17th Jan 2011, 19:34

I looked for the photos of G-RODS today, I must have put them in a safe place! Will keep looking.

I did find a photocopy (again originals somewhere at home) showing 4 photos of G-LRII in the hangar at Liskeard, same colour scheme as G-BHXU. One photo also shows G-SPEY in the background, and another shows an Aeromega toolbox.

Also found some old promotional literature. CB Helicopters and London & Suffolk Air Services (Captain Voy and Captain Dickin).

When I am in the office midweek, will upload.


19th Jan 2011, 18:38
Someone had posted details of the remains of a 305 which now seems to have gone. Was going to say that it should be recovered to a museum and the fuselage restored as opposed to being left rotting outside!

Comments on the 305 have prompted me to post the following thread: http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/440101-bring-brantly-britain.html on the off chance that someone may be interested in seeing this craft come across to the UK.


Did a craft known a G-BBVI ever feature in your repertoire of Enstroms? If so, then here she is:

http://lh3.ggpht.com/__dRpfF8qlVM/TTctaGSXYwI/AAAAAAAABaU/b3BXkZxE1Uw/BBVI%20Farnborough%207th%20Sept%201974%20%28John%20Hamlin%29 .jpg

Enstrom F-28A G-BBVI at Farnborough on 7th Sept 1974 (Photo: John Hamlin)

Applying a 'Colonelism' I suppose this craft could have been known as the Great Bl**dy British Virgin Islands or maybe even God what a Beautiful Blonde how Very Interesting!


19th Jan 2011, 22:09
For Savoia,

Hi over there ... yes, as the European Enstrom distributor, G-BBVI was the first 'Presidential' model I purchased from the Menominee factory (half covered in doors with side pockets.) I displayed the type every day of the week at the 1974 Farnborough Show whch was was then called the SBAC exhibition. (Society of British Aircraft Constructors)

I especially remember the occasion because most of the week was flown with torrential storms blowing across the airfield ... the Cunims looking seriously ominous with Laffan's Plain in the background. Your published pic gives some idea and I also have pictures of myself sheltering from the storm in the cabin parked on the runway piano keys. (where your pic was taken alongside the Skyvan) I seem to recall it was the year that the Blackhawk slid into the runway off a slow downwind roll. The fire crew approached the wreck from a downwind position and the foam from Farnborough's new Carmichael fire tender wasn't reaching the heart of the flames. Sadly the crew died later in the local hospital.

I also recall a certain fixed wing pilot, Jeremy Smith, demonstrating around seventeen spins in the new Piper Tomahawk to lay the claim that the type couldn't recover from a developed flat spin.

G-BBVI was later sold to the mighty (in those days) CSE at Oxford for their new helicopter school ... being the second of six Enstroms they purchased from my firm which they operated in the early/mid 1970s. One of them ran up 6,000 hours of training. The very tall Lord Waterpark himself took delivery.

* Info courtesy of DRK's mine of useless information! Dennis Kenyon.

Hell Man
23rd Jan 2011, 13:14

This Brantly 305 was built for Tom Foster of St. Louis and included (as can be seen) wheel spats.



Ahh de Havilland
27th Jan 2011, 19:27
This has been a really informative and enjoyable thread that has prompted me to do a little research which I now add as my contribution...

Freemans of Bewdley
operated as Freemans Helicopters and joined in the rush to by British military surplus Westland-Bell 47G's in the mid 70s. In the end they bought 4:
G-BBVP (3.74-9.86), G-BBZL (6.74-8.77), G-BCYY (3.75-6.77), G-BCYZ (3.75-4.77) that they used for crop-spraying & general charter.
The company also operated as a maintenance company at the Astley base, but only airframe & engines. The avionics work was outsourced to Douglas Hooper & Company at Staverton.

Denis de Ferranti
I did a trawl of various sources and put together what may be the complete DdeF fleet:
G-ASCS Grumman Mallard - 8.62-11.67
G-ASLO/EI-AVK Brantley B2 - 9.63-10.75
EI-ARU Brantley 305 - 8.67-1.68
EI-ASW JetRanger - 4.68-12.68
EI-ATY Hughes 500 - 5.69-1.72
G-ASSM HS 125 Srs 1 - 5.70-5.76
EI-AVN Hughes 500 - 2.72-7.93
EI-AWA JetRanger - 12.72-3.85
EI-AWY MU-2B - 3.74-10.80
EI-BJL Citation II - 7.80-3.93
EI-BPM AS350B 4.85-6.93
A really varied and interesting collection made all the the more real by the anecdotes from PPRUNE.

However I am not sure that the attribution of Brantley G-ATUS to DdeF is correct. I have seen this listed in a caption on one website but G-INFO shows it regn to Quinton Hazell Ltd. The eponymous Sir Quinton Hazell (1920-1996) is credited as the man who broke the cartel of the motor parts industry & changed the way automobile components were manufactured and sold in Britain in the post-war years. It therefore seems more likely that G-ATUS was his personal heli.

D de F's brother Sebastian had G-ASEW Brantley B2 4-63 to 4.67 and also had access to the Ferranti fleet beginning with G-APVD Widgeon & G-ATFV Bell 47J, followed by JetRangers G-AVSN & G-AWJW that became the nucleus of Ferranti Helicopters.

Marc de Ferranti
Given that D de F registered his aircraft in Ireland, it has always been my assumption that the Denis Ferranti Hoverknights fleet were for the use of Marc (MD of Denis Ferranti Meters) (his son?). These were Cessna 337s (G-AZAV & G-AMARK) plus AS350B (G-MARC, G-MSDJ, G-SMDJ).
I have always thought that the company's name always sounded like a 'Flying Circus' and I expect there is a good story behind it. I wonder can anyone oblige?

Well this message is probably long enough and so I will end it before it becomes too boring.

28th Jan 2011, 17:53
Great stuff de Havilland :ok: (Although this would have been an ideal post for the http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/417831-ferranti-helicopters.html thread).

To the best of my knowledge your list appears fairly accurate (and a most useful confirmation of the information I already possess).

Those 'in the know' include PPRuNer Helipixman and Paul Tomlin of Edendale Graphics both of whom have a substantial awareness of the various Ferranti fleets.

I would be intrigued to discover the background on 'Atticus' (G-ATUS) as I had always imagined that Denis operated this while it was registered to Quinton Hazell but, we may be entirely wrong (it wouldn't be the first time). Identifying the shield on the side of Atticus might be a good start.

I am in touch with several members of the Ferranti family and will try and discover the origins behind the naming of 'HoverKnights'.

* * *

Some BEA nostalgia:

http://lh5.ggpht.com/__dRpfF8qlVM/TTGTfPbzlUI/AAAAAAAABWc/iYBaJOZr8no/BEA%20Bell%2047B%20White%20Waltham%20June%201952%20%27Sir%20 Balan%27%20BAE%20Exp%20Hel%20Unit.jpg

Bell 47B of British European Airways (BEA) known as 'Sir Balan' at White Waltham in June 1952. The craft was operated by BEA's experimental helicopter unit. (Photo: Frank Hudson)


Ahh de Havilland
31st Jan 2011, 12:43
I also had a look at 'Atticus' (G-ATUS) shield in the photo posted in this thread and it looks like some sort of animal in the heraldic rampant position in red & gold on a black background.

I thought it might be the Quinton Hazell logo but that is red dragon on a white background (see link Quinton Hazell logo, Vector Logo of Quinton Hazell brand free download (eps, ai, png, cdr) formats (http://www.logotypes101.com/free_vector_logo/59313/Quinton_Hazell.aspx)).

Could it be a Ferranti family crest? or even Sir Quinton's own?

Perhaps your contacts could confirm?

Re the Ferranti info, glad to be of help. I look forward to your Ferranti Helicopters tribute site later this year.

red button
2nd Feb 2011, 09:42

My name is Constantine. I am trying to get in touch with Roy Spooner of Spooner Aviation.
About a year and a half ago, I bought a 1976 white lotus esprit registration number OPH 633R. I am currently restoring it to it's original condition. I have been in touch with Lotus Cars and for their archives, they have sent me a certificate of vehicle provenance which includes the original owner. The selling dealer was a company called Bell and Colvill based in West Horsley, and the original owner was Spooner Aviation LTD of Shoreham-by-sea. The car is currently back in Norfolk being reupholstered by the man who worked at Lotus in 1976.

I would really like to get in touch with Mr Spooner to find out some more information about the history of the car. Any contact information would be very useful.

I hope someone out there can help me in my search.

My contact details are:

Constantine Herodotou

[email protected]

Tel. +357 99404576

red button
2nd Feb 2011, 09:54
YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. (http://m.youtube.com/index?desktop_uri=%2F%3Fgl%3DGB%26hl%3Den-GB&hl=en-GB&gl=GB#/watch?xl=xl_blazer&v=l45eMHI7AUE)

2nd Feb 2011, 17:03
De Havilland, have been looking into the identity of the shield and, much like you, initially thought it could have been Quinton Hazell's red dragon/griffon but believe it is most likely a lion. Am trying to get a copy of both Quinton's and Denis' coat of arms.

Will certainly keep you posted on the progress of the Ferranti site. Much now accomplished and still much to do!

Red Button, Dennisimo (aka Dennis Kenyon - former world helicopter free-style champion and former MD of Spoonair which was owned by Roy Spooner) should be along soon and will hopefully be able to answer your question.

Some more nostalgia, this from Redhill:

http://lh4.ggpht.com/__dRpfF8qlVM/TUmYptJEGTI/AAAAAAAABe4/_HxLccf4Mx8/WS-55%20Srs%203AYNP%20Redhill%20HMC%202%20Sept%2073%20%28Trevor %20bartlett%29.jpg

Westland Whirlwind WS-55 Srs 3 G-AYNP on contract to HM Coastguard seen at Redhill on 2nd September 1973. (Photo: Trevor Bartlett)

How 'Bristowers' used to train:

http://lh5.ggpht.com/__dRpfF8qlVM/TUmZaFUv07I/AAAAAAAABfM/f2gorELjwcA/UH12C%20APMR%20Redhill%202%20Sept%2073%20%28Trevor%20Bartlet t%29.jpg

Hiller UH-12C G-APMR at Redhill on 2nd September 1973. (Photo: Trevor Bartlett)


2nd Feb 2011, 20:16
Red Button ... If you send me a PM, I can give you the info you are seeking as I flew my old boss Roy Spooner into West Horsley when he purchased the car from Bobby Bell. Dennis Kenyon.

red button
2nd Feb 2011, 21:55
Hi Dennis

Thank you very much. Have sent you an e-mail through this site, and I have also sent you a PM.

red button
2nd Feb 2011, 21:58
Hi Dennis

Thank you very much. Have sent you an e-mail through this site, and I have also sent you a PM.

I would also like to congratulate you all on a very pleasant an interesting thread.

Best regards


7th Feb 2011, 18:16
This image is a tag to the posts appearing on page 15 in which Air Gregory is discussed:


Air Gregory Hughes 300C G-AWVL at Denham on 5th September 1970 (Photo: Chris England)

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/__dRpfF8qlVM/TVADZtRPaJI/AAAAAAAABg8/3xjYIDrm-rU/AB%20206B%20G-AYBE%20Middle%20Wallop%2028%20July%201973%20%28Trevor%20Bart lett%29.jpg

AgustaBell 206B G-AYBE at Middle Wallop on 28th July 1973. (Photo: Trevor Bartlett)

GAYBE was registered to United Marine Ltd. in April 1970. She was then shipped off to France in May of 1977 returning to the UK in March 1996.

Any details about GAYBE's operations while registered to United Marine would be most welcome.


7th Feb 2011, 18:26
And the daft thing is ... the lane in the picture behind the 269 AND the rickety gate are still there forty years later!


7th Feb 2011, 19:07

269A more like. High speed tail rotor, low center console, RHD, short mast and all! Pure class right down to the colour!

9th Feb 2011, 15:46
Doubtless old hat for British PPRuNers but I had never seen this Robbo before!


G-NOXY landing at Manchester Barton on 8th February 2011 (Photo: Brian Thompson)


Another swell Brit Copter!


Brilliant Stuff
10th Feb 2011, 16:12
Love the R44.

18th Feb 2011, 20:08
Hi, my first time on here, so I hope I'm posting this on the correct thread- apologies if I've got it wrong.:)

I'm not a pilot, but was once a little girl who was the proud owner of a small blue pedal car. I was looking at some old photos with my mum last night and came across this one taken on the car park of the De Tabley Arms, Ribchester, Lancashire on 28th October 1969.


I now own a little 2 seater MGF sportscar and so posted the photo of my first ever convertible on the MGF/TF forum. To my delight, within an hour someone had been back on to tell me that 40 odd years on, G-AWDU was still flying!!!:ok:
I have stumbled across your forum whilst trying to find out some more information about the helicopter. I hope someone finds this picture of interest. I'd love to know who the pilot was if anyone recognises him.
LancashireLass ;)

18th Feb 2011, 21:39
No idea who the pilot was but from 1968-1973 DU was owned by A Smith (Culcheth) Ltd, 38 Bond Street, Leigh, Lancashire. Data from the G-INFO site.

18th Feb 2011, 22:08
What a great photo Lancslass but that helicopter spoils the shot ;) Your pedal car looks like an early Cortina or perhaps a TR4??

18th Feb 2011, 22:22
Thanks for the replies, I'm reliably informed by the petrolheads on the MG forum that it's a model of a Ford Corsair! A company called Crayfords converted 3 real standard Corsairs into ragtops, all for showrooms, and these were the inspiration for the pedal cars.

The address in Leigh would make sense, as it's not too far from where we lived (in a straight line at least!)
No-one can remember why the helicopter landed there, just that my older brothers wanted to go and look at it so walked across- apparantly I INSISTED on 'driving' - some things never change !!!:)

18th Feb 2011, 22:43
DU was owned by A Smith (Culcheth) Ltd

That company had a B206 in the early 70's flown by Steve Colton(?) - not him in the B2 though.

19th Feb 2011, 03:33
LancashireLass: Welcome to the Nostalgia thread on Rotorheads! Yes, you've come to the right place and, well done on your inaugural post!

At the time of your photo the craft in question was jointly owned by A. Smith Ltd (as mentioned by CharlieOneSix and TRC) and by F.V. Alderman, also of Lancashire. Hopefully before long, someone may come along and identify the pilot for you.

Smith and Alderman sold the aircraft (a Brantly B-2B) in 1974 to A&B Cars of Newton-le-Willows in Merseyside. Towards the end of the 70's the aircraft was bought by one of the UK's celebrated helicopter personalities and a regular contributor to this thread - Dennis Kenyon.

If you skip back to page 16 you can read Dennis' comments on this aircraft (post #310) and on the same page in post #315 you can see what the aircraft looks like today.


Brilliant Stuff
19th Feb 2011, 08:24
Cracking Photo.:D:D

19th Feb 2011, 21:48
This has been a fantastic thread !! Hopefully Ive managed to post the next photo which I believe is G AYBE landing at the Hover's Factory in Merthyr Tydfil around 1975/76.

I have always thought that this machine was owned by Oldway Properties in Merthyr Tydfil and was flown by Julian Verity.

At the time, 1974/1976 there were only 2 privately owned Helicopters in South Wales (Possibly Wales) the Oldway Jet Ranger and my dads (Gerry Hill) Hughes 500C, G BBXF, based 3/4 miles away in Aberdare.

My dad was taught to fly by Mike Smith at Air Gregory in Denham back in 1972, sadly he was killed in his 500 in June 1976.

Some 20 years later I was about to learn to fly at Swansea Airport, one afternoon I bumped into Mike, who was there doing a friend of mine's LPC, after not seeing him for over 20 years I persauded him to teach me, it turned out that the Hughes 300 G AYLX that I owned a share in was the same machine that mike taught my dad to fly in some 20 years earlier !!

I have my dads first log book and it looks really strange when you compare it to mine and see the entry's as both pilots in command G Hill / M Smith with the same call sign G AYLX with almost the same exercises but with different dates 1973/1993

He bought his first Helicopter from I beleive Air Gregory, this is a picture of it landing at the Jolly Sailor Pub in Neyland Pembrokeshire in approx 1973. In the background you can see the unfinished Cleddau Bridge.

Mike would regularly drop in if he was in Wales and stay with us, the next picture is of him landing a dark coloured Hughes 500 at our house again approximately in 1974/1975, unfortuantely I can't make out the call sign.


20th Feb 2011, 05:11
Tailboom: What a great post, bravo!

Great to see GAYBE at the Hoover factory. It would be wonderful to discover who the special visitor was that day. One sees that GAYBE is still wearing her ground handling wheels (as per post #383) and which would have made my godfather cringe!

Merthyr Tydfil is of course an interesting place and this particular Hoover factory was where the bulk of their washing machines were manufactured. This same Merthyr facility also had the dubious honour of being the location where Sinclair's C5 'go-kart' was built. Merthyr was also home to Teddington Aircraft Controls who, among other things, manufactured the thermostat used by Rolls-Royce in the production of their Merlin engines. Another tidbit on Merthyr is that this is where, while testing drugs for the treatment of angina, it was discovered that one particular formula possessed certain 'elevating' properties. The drug was dropped as a solution for angina but went on to become known as Viagra.

GAYBE does resemble BAVI, Oldway's 206, which also sported a red airframe but in the scheme preferred by Bell (as opposed to Agusta) in the late 60's and early 70's. PPRuNer SandyToad posted a photo of himself lifting off with BAVI from his parent's home in Warwickshire on page 18 (post #359) as well as a copy of the Oldway brochure on page 19 (post #362).

Merthyr-based Oldway Helicopters sold BAVI to Goldington Investments of Hertfordshire in September '76 who in turn sold her to Trent Helicopters in March of '78. However, just weeks after buying her, Trent lost BAVI in a tragic accident which occurred in poor weather over the Channel with the loss of all on board.

I am sorry to read of the loss of your father in G-BBXF and which also seems to have been a weather related accident. God knows we have all been there Tailboom and I am recalling one of my own scenarios, also in a Hughes 500, where I got socked in a valley with nowhere to go and had to resort to drastic measures to get myself out.

Similarly sombre are your reflections on G-AYLX which, I only discovered some weeks ago, was the aircraft in which my dear friend Dennis so tragically lost his son. For what its worth my only piston hours (12 in total) were in AYLX, also with Mike Smith.

As you will have discovered many years ago, aviation is a bitter-sweet affair which can take you to the upper extremities of satisfaction one moment and plunge you into the depths of despair the next. It is perhaps the reason you can find helicopter pilots who reflect this polarity in their character. Many tend to be 'all or nothing' types.

Dennis will I am sure agree though that flying is for some a drug which, once hooked, places you beyond rehabilitation!

I dedicate this post to the memory of your father Gerry Hill and also to that of Dennis' son, Dennis Kenyon Jnr.


20th Feb 2011, 21:33
Savoia thank you for your kind words.

It was interesting to see that you flew 12 hours in G AYLX with Mike Smith, as said previously Mike tought me to fly and I then went on to do my Instructor Course with him, I was aware of the tragic accident with LX, it deeply shocked and upset me, I have not met Dennis yet, but read all his posts and articles on Pprune and Blades with great interest.

Mike has been very kind to me over the years and I can honestly say that the 12 weeks I spent living with him and Mary at their home in Banbury was an experience not to be missed, I can understand how Mike and my Dad became such good friends, what a fantastic character !!

21st Feb 2011, 18:10

Bell 47B G-AKCX arrives on the roof of a Paris department store in late 1947 as part of a promotional visit to France. The tailboom depicts the wording "Irvin Bell Helicopter Sales Ltd., Letchworth, England" a company which was established earlier the same year as the result of a partnership between Leslie Irvin (founder of the Irvin Air Chute Company), Scottish Aviation and the Bell Aircraft Corporation of Buffalo, New York.


BEA S-51 G-AJOV Dragonfly known as 'Sir Lamorah' being readied for the service from Liverpool to Cardiff via Wrexham Heliport. Liverpool Airport 2nd June 1950. (Later sold to Autair).

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/__dRpfF8qlVM/TWFzaFljtQI/AAAAAAAABro/ZH2CcDlHRBk/BEA_Bristol_171_Sycamore_at_London_Gatwick%20Sir%20Gawan%20A pr%201955.jpg

The BEA Bristol Sycamore G-AMWG known as 'Sir Gawan' rests between sorties at Gatwick in April 1955.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/__dRpfF8qlVM/TWFyfouj3kI/AAAAAAAABrM/EzbjA7v2PJY/s512/2%20-%2030th%20July%201956%20Florence%20Desmond%20Duneborough%20H ouse%20Ripley%20Surrey%20-%20Copy.jpg

Actress Florence Desmond, one of the wives of the late Charles Hughesdon, socialises with friends at one of her husband's rotary garden parties held at Duneborough House in Ripley, Surrey on 30th July 1956. (For more on Charles Hughesdon and his helicopter garden parties see page 10 of this thread).


BEA S-61 G-ASNL lands alongside the Queen Mary in the 60's.


The inimitable Mike Smith with an Air Gregory Hughes 300 pitching to a representative of the Metropolitan Police c.1960's. (For more on Air Gregory see page 15 of this thread. For more on the Metropolitan Police see pages 8, 13 & 14).

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/__dRpfF8qlVM/TWIIQm54SjI/AAAAAAAABsE/ArQ1cCft_FI/1976%20ronnie%20peterson%20grand%20prix%20germany%20nurburgr ing.jpg

The Swedish racing driver Ronnie Peterson arrives at the 1976 Grand Prix in Nurburgring, Germany courtesy of Uniroyal's 500C.


21st Feb 2011, 20:05
A warm 'thanks' for my friend and flying colleague 'S' and 'Tailboom' for your kind remembrances and the dedication for my son Dennis Junior. My log book tells me I first flew LX at Shoreham in 1976 and I'm trying to recall the pilot who flew it in for me to try. (well built tallish chap - maybe Richard Reeve?) It was the standard 300C red/white in those days. I purchased the ship in 1998 when I re-registered it as G-ZAPS. At age 18, young Den passed his ;pre-instructor course' flight check in it with Mike Smith at Wellesbourne, just one month before the fatal day. Thanks to you all for the memories even tho' so uinhappy. But as 'S' says ... rotary aviation IS a powerful drug and I have to stay with it. AND my ownership of the B2 G-AWDU is also a fond memory.

Trying to forget the horror of March 2000 I can ... even now say that my last ten years in helicopter aviation have probably been my best ... Hoping to be a writer and aviation correspondent, since 2000 I've gotten to fly.

S-61 with my mate Glenn Stracey on SAR at Portland. BK117 air ambulance with Luke Morgan at Sterling, EC 130 with Maverick over the Grand Canyon, the Bell 429 at Blackbushe, then EC 135 with Essex ASU and ditto the Hermes version at Eurocopter, Kidlington. At some time, I tried the Westland Scout and Wasp for LOOP. What else. A couple of months ago I flew the Rotorway 162F with Kevin Longhurst and just this week, Jeremy Taylor's beautiful Gazelle for the new BLADES and only yesterday Robinson's R66. Some God took something away from my life ... but also brought something back.

Bless all flyers out there, fly safe. Dennis Kenyon.

23rd Feb 2011, 17:54
Calls for assistance in building the early history of http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/443466-alan-mann-helicopters.html has yielded a number of emails including one today in which an image of G-BBUX was attached.


Bell 206B G-BBUX belonging to Peter Cadbury at Blackbushe on 11th July 1976 (Photo: Peter Nicholson)

The first thing which drew my attention was the golden Pegasus towards the rear of the fuselage which looked decidedly similar to that which appeared on Cadbury's craft. A little bit of research and lo and behold, she was indeed in the Cadbury stable. So, just as with Mr Chopper's disclosure on page 7 that Cadbury had owned an Ecureuil, this has come as another welcome revelation.

Cadbury's rotorcraft would therefore seem to have been:

G-BBUX Bell 206B Dec '75 to Sept '77
G-CHOC Bell 206B Sept '77 to Nov '80
G-JANY AS 350B Oct '79 to Nov '81

Trivia: Interestingly both BUX and CHOC were Bells as opposed to AgustaBells but both passed through Mann's at various points. BUX was infact bought by Mann's from William Monks builders merchants of Sheffield in August of '75 - the same firm that Mann's went on to sell G-WIZZ to in '77.

Almost as soon as Mann's took delivery of BUX it was sold on to Peter Cadbury. Mann's were doubtless involved in the re-sale of BUX to British Car Auctions in '77 when Cadbury took delivery of CHOC.

Thanks to Tarman we know that CHOC was previously D-HMAC and which one assumes was imported from Germany on behalf of Cadbury by Manns.


23rd Feb 2011, 20:51
Good evening Savoia,

We all love this thread and the memory jogging nostalgic pics that keep appearing ... now you show G-BBUX which I flew many times before selling. In the early 1970s, I was pretty active in sales having sold 300 aircraft or so while I was with Spooner Aviation. I purchased two B206s one week and registered them consecutively. G-BBUX and G-BBUY. I sold G-BBUX to a Mr Bill Gates of the Monks Group but taught him to fly on an Enstrom from his Hunstanton holiday home which you could do in those days. Most of the flying was done at Norwich Airport. Being a weighty fellah, he hated the piston and in short time, I took the Enstrom, G-BBBZ back for the new Bell. The price for a new Forth Worth B206 was £84,000 believe it or not. The Enstrom 28A just £23,000.

AMH were the Agusta Distributor in the 1970s, but I purchased the above two Fort Worth machines from the Bell distributor, CSE at Kidlington.

Now who do I remember at Fairoaks AMH. The old boss himself of course, who was always bringing back boxes of huge fresh salmon from his Scotland home. He was also a good model aircraft flyer. Alan Mann sponsored the Frank Gardner Lotus Cortina which I raced against around 1967/68. I never won though! There was a Dave Green in the maintenance division. Chief engineer was a Jock something, a nice rotund fellow who was an ace diagnostic engineer. I was talking to Gary Savage just a week or so ago. Gary would have been with the company in the 1970s as was Ken Davies the Bell 47 instructor whose party pice was to autorotate to the centre of the field, touch skids down only to lift off for a 180 degree turn still without power.

I'm pretty sure Alan Mann raced in his early days. All happy memories for me and hopefully others.

Bye for now. Dennis Kenyon.

26th Feb 2011, 07:41
Bravo Dennisimo!

What is extraordinary is that for as many different craft emerge on this thread .. you have had some connection with most of them. Great stuff!

In Speechless Two's excellent recollections of his Rhodesian expedition on page four of this thread, he posted an image of the chief engineer assigned to their operation from Dollar Helicopters, one Roy Neep (below).


I now discover that there was a Dollar 206 bearing his name:

Bell 206B G-NEEP at Coventry, May 1989 (Photo: Bill Teasdale)

Is it reasonable to assume therefore that this craft was indeed named in his honour?

Some years back we had an engineer who requested if we could re-register one of our craft after the name of his girlfriend! He offered to pay the re-registration fees and so we duly obliged. As I understand it he took a number of 'saucy' images of his lass in various poses around the aircraft. Sadly I never got to see them.

This post goes to all the ground crews whose (mostly) fantastic work keeps us going!


26th Feb 2011, 09:10
Dollar had a habit of registering aircraft with company people's names.

G-CULL - Mike Cull was chief pilot & instructor in various operations with Dollar. He did my 206 conversion at Norwich.

G-ORME - Mike Orme was a company pilot and then became a director.

G-DOLR - self explanatory

G-NEEP - as previously mentioned.
This aircraft had a tracker system fitted so that British Gas could keep an eye on us - strangely once the circuit breaker had been found in the boot, the system never seemed to work :E
Many happy hours flying all of the above.

Incidentally, when Roy Neep retired, his position as engineering director was taken by a certain John Cloggie who is now a big cheese at Bristow

Comms Boy
26th Feb 2011, 12:15
Does anybody remember Tony New who from memory was the British Gas observer? He had the best job in BG, spent 3 days each week flying along all the transmission mains around the country. Tried in vain at getting a job with that section.

27th Feb 2011, 18:45
Now who do I remember at Fairoaks AMH.... There was a Dave Green in the maintenance division. Chief engineer was a Jock something, a nice rotund fellow who was an ace diagnostic engineer.

Dave Green and Jock Graham were Mann Aviation - the fixed wing mob in the next hangar.

Ken Davies the Bell 47 instructor....

It was Ken Summers. Ken Davies was the DoW's pilot.

27th Feb 2011, 20:26
Ah TRC..Now I remember that wonderful Ken Summers... and course Ken Davies who I should have remembered as I met him up at Lord Grosvenors majestic place .... 'Tis the sinility of it all ... ten thousand apologies! DK

28th Feb 2011, 08:12
British International S-61N G-BFFJ undergoing cosmetic changes at Dunsfold on 27th August 2009 (Photo: David Reeves)

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/__dRpfF8qlVM/TWthSPmlMjI/AAAAAAAAB0A/EfSFz4Udpzc/BFFJ%20Dunsfold%2027%20Aug%202009%202%20%28David%20Reeves%29 .jpg
And was transformed some hours later into this (Photo: David Reeves)

This BIH S61 was hired by Rainmark Films in 2009 for the production of 'The Special Relationship' a movie documenting the relationship between Bush and Blair.

The respray evidently took place in the Top Gear hangar at Dunsfold, taking just a few hours, after which the craft was dispatched to a hotel in Wiltshire which was portrayed as 'Chequers' in the film.

The aircraft returned to base, the paint was washed off and it was back in regular service the following day.

Does anyone know which country house hotel this might have been and, out of curiosity, which type of paint is used for these type of applications?


Brilliant Stuff
28th Feb 2011, 14:09
Very nice.

1st Mar 2011, 05:45
Some painting is done with a material called Spray-Lat, it is put on thick with an air gun or roller and once dry can be peeled off in sheets with the residue washed off. Lots of production companies use it.

1st Mar 2011, 22:24
Here is a picture of my dad Gerry Hill flying Miss World 1972 into Port Talbot Plant in 1973, its a shame that I didn't have a picture from the other direction, but ive copied the caption on the back of the photo

Miss World Belinda Green Visiting Port Talbot Plant with Gerry Hill 1973, the reason she was flying in the Hughes 300c was that she opened the Aberdare Motorshow earlier in the day.
The Back of The Previous Photograph, I looked her up on the internet and her name is Belinda Roma Green and not "L"

The next picture is of the daughters of my Dad friend, "Frank The Bank", he was the local Bank Manager of the TSB in Aberdare around 1973, my dad used to land on a disused tennis court at our home, where he also stored New VW Beetles that were waiting to be sold in his VW Dealership in Hirwaun Aberdare

And finally G BAAN hovering over the new VW Passat in the Brecon Beacons again around 1973

2nd Mar 2011, 18:43
Stumbled across a website about "Alec Wortley Helicopters" that I thought might be of interest to those involved with the rotary nostalgia thread:

DR ALEC WORTLEY HELICOPTERS (http://alecwortley.co.uk/HeliHistory.htm)

The gallery section shows a number of B47 photographs, but mixed in with them are two containing B206s (including G-BALC) and two with a Westland Scout.

The site makes for some interesting reading - including an invoice from Dec 1978 that demonstrates how aviation was just as expensive 32 years ago!


3rd Mar 2011, 09:04
.... including an invoice from Dec 1978 that demonstrates how aviation was just as expensive 32 years ago!

It's always been expensive, but some costs these days have increased out of all proportion.

In 1972 ish, the hourly rate in the UK for a 206 was £60, about twice the gross weekly wage of a working man, much as it is now. However, the landing fee for a 206 at Battersea then was £3.00 (£1 per 1000lbs) - about 10% of said weekly wage.

What's the landing fee now for a 206 (if it's even allowed to land there now), and what percentage of the weekly wage does it equate to?

3rd Mar 2011, 09:17
Does anyone know .... which type of paint is used for these type of applications?

If it was done in this country it's more likely to have been a water-based paint with a gloss laquer on top. It stays on even in the rain.

I've been involved with the temporary painting of maybe 20 helicopters using this stuff, easy and quick to put on and take off. Five of us did a Mi-8 in black gloss in about 5 hours on, and a similar time to clean it off again.

There's an aircraft paint spraying company in the UK that have been doing this for years, and have got it sorted.

I have also been faced with a 355 that had been done in a rubbery coating that started to inflate itself around windscreens and doorframes in flight - not ideal - and a pair of 205's completely covered in Fablon. I would definately recommend that you DON'T do either of these processes, especially if it's likely to get rained on.

3rd Mar 2011, 15:29
How thoughtful of Dollar to name his craft after his vital assets ;) - well done!

Thanks for the comments re: paint. One tends to think of paint as being highly adhesive and I have always wondered therefore how it just 'washes off'!

Fantastic nostalgia by Tailboom and Helisdw! :ok:


3rd Mar 2011, 16:04
When we first mentioned Peter Cadbury (aka Peter the Cad or just PTC) around page two of this thread, I had an inkling that (given PTC's effervescent nature) we might happen upon one or two discoveries.

From my time living in the UK (early 70's through '84) I recalled Peter owning a helicopter, a Bell 206 named G-CHOC. Enter PPRuNer MrChopper who disclosed that PTC had owned an Ecureuil, G-JANY, so named after his last wife. Great stuff! Then last week I was emailed an image of G-BBUX which also turned out to be a 'Cadbury-Copter'. I was astonished!

Today I came across a response on the Aviation History and Nostalgia forum which read as follows:

FAStoat wrote: On May 3rd 1975 I flew G-AXNZ into Preston Candover to be met by Maurice Gore, to be flown back to Blackbushe in the Air Pegasus Aztec. Unforunately this was needed to be elsewhere so Peter Cadbury fired up a Yellow and Black JetRanger, G-BAKU, and we flew back to Booker in that. I had only had a go in a Gazelle before, so was a bit kackhanded with the very twitchy control on the JetRanger when you had too firm a grip. I remember Peter being very amused at this. Anyway we got back to Booker safely.

"No problem" I thought. "This (G-BAKU) was obviously one of Mann's 206's which PTC probably had on loan but no .. blow me down .. this was also PTC's. Fantastic!!!

Well I never! From one to four helicopters courtesy of PPRuNeland and some faithful friends who regularly mail me aviation images to add to my growing assortment of photos.

I am especially pleased over the discovery of BAKU as, unlike PTC's other 206's, this one (presumably his first 206) was an Agusta variant.

PTC's helicopter line-up now looks like this:

G-BAKU AgustaBell 206B May '73 to Sept '75
G-BBUX Bell 206B Dec '75 to Sept '77
G-CHOC Bell 206B Sept '77 to Nov '80
G-JANY AS 350B Oct '79 to Nov '81

As you might imagine, I am now keenly on the prowl for an image of BAKU.

Also from the 'other' nostalgia thread:

Chevvron wrote: Peter rang us (Farnborough Air Traffic) one Christmas asking when he could deliver our Harrods Hamper. At that time, Farnborough was officially closed from Christmas Eve until after New Year, but some of us who didn't want to take leave went in anyway. We arranged for Peter to enter the zone which he did in a Squirrel G-JANY. He landed and got out, and to our surprise was wearing wellies and courdorys.

Great Stuff! The last wellie-wearing pilot I encountered was in 1980 when the late John Akroyd-Hunt (former Alan Mann pilot) came up with PPRuNer TRC (so I believe) to rescue The Dancer (Colin Chapman's 206) after her engine went out. He was quite the 'flying farmer' replete with chequered shirt!

Personal Message received (and copied with permission):

Loki wrote: This is the second time Peter Cadbury's name has come up in the last 24 hours! Yesterday I was at a reunion of Heathrow ATC staff (I was at LHR 1970-1973). There were many anecdotes told, some being about Cadbury. Because of the proximity of his private airstrip to the London Control Zone, he relied on ATC to be flexible to allow him to operate. Needless to say, he often offered trips to ATC staff. I went once from his Hawthorn Hill site down to Plymouth, where he was the chairman of Westward TV. We turned up early on the morning and had to help his "man" to push the islander out of it`s hangar .. other people were often offered drinks prior to departure. I know there is a Heathrow veteran who has a wealth of stories regarding Peter Cadbury. You might try the ATC forum for a response.

Please keep the Peter Cadbury stories coming. We've already mentioned the time he burnt a hole in the coat of an Alan Mann mechanic (oops, again, sorry .. engineer) when he selected the cabin heat (on an early model 206) during ground runs and I also related the story about him taking a Bishop for a spin and scaring him half to death!

PPRuNer Chevvron also wrote:

I arranged a trip with Peter one day in G-BESO. It was at Bembridge for maintenance, a company pilot was going to bring it back to Candover, then we would go back to Bembridge to drop off the pilot and return to Candover.

When I arrived, there was no-one there but, after a couple of minutes, a JetRanger popped up over the hedge, came in and landed. Janie (Peter's wife) got out and said "Peter says do you want a quick ride while he's got it running?" Naturally I said yes, went over, opened the passenger door, put one leg in and we were airborne!! Hardly had chance to sit down let alone fasten my seatbelt!!!

Peter explained they'd had his grandchildren for tea and he'd just taken them home.

Peter certainly seems to have been quite the man!

Peter Cadbury (centre) accompanied by his wife Benedicta and Douglas Bader (who was best man at their wedding) at the Royal Court Theatre on 30th July 1959

Anyone with stories, photos or other material relating to Peter Cadbury and his flying days .. please feel free to chip in.


Alec Wortley
3rd Mar 2011, 17:56

I am the administrator for a site called Alec Wortley Helicopters. On the site are a number of old photos, press articles, letters, invoices etc. relating to the two Bell 47 G3B1 helicopters that this company owned and operated between 1979 and 1983. The two helicopters were G-CHOP and G-BGMU, both ex-military and both still airworthy. There are also a few pictures of Bell 206Bs and Westland Scouts. The URL is DR ALEC WORTLEY HELICOPTERS (http://alecwortley.co.uk/Heli.htm) If anyone would like more information, or copies of the pictures at higher resolution, feel free to let me know!

Sandy Toad
3rd Mar 2011, 18:26
When I first went to Dubai it was because of John Akroyd-Hunt whom I had known from Navy Junglie days. He had been asked to find a driver for a new 206 being sold to a Sheikh in the UAE. I went out to Dubai at very short notice in March 1976.
As well as the new 206 there was an older 206 with a Pegasus on the side and I was told it was ex Peter Cadbury. I recall it as Dark Blue with Yellow but can't be certain. I never flew that one as I was told of some interesting starts it had had when the Sheikh was between pilots :ooh:
It was still on the UK register as there wasn't a UAE Register then but I'm not sure of the registration. I wonder if this was G BAKU? Timing would fit.
I will check for photos next time in UK but don't think I have any. Interesting times!

4th Mar 2011, 03:22
ST: What a small world it is!

G-BAKU was delivered to Mann's from Agusta in December 1972. She was then sold to Cadbury in May of '73 who in turn sold her to Horsley Wood and Co. Ltd. in June '75. The next entry on the register simply states that the aircraft was transferred to the UAE in February 1976.

Images of BAKU are scarce, in fact so far I have been unable to source any.



4th Mar 2011, 11:07
My records have it taking up UAE registration A6-AYX.
ammended record, difficult to read the writing.

4th Mar 2011, 12:54
Savoia, the S61 was flown to Breamore House, just south of Salisbury for the day of filming. As you say, the aircraft was painted overnight and back to Cornwall to fly the line the day after filming. It appeared in the film for all of 5 seconds!

4th Mar 2011, 13:50
UAE registration is A6, you will need to correct your records.

4th Mar 2011, 15:18
WiganAirways: Great to see you back on the thread!

Actually there was no need for you to amend your original post as, to the best of my knowledge, there was no aircraft registered as A6-AYX. As Sandy Toad mentioned, at the time of BAKU's arrival in the UAE they had no aircraft registration system. That actually arrived later the same year, on 5th November to be precise.

BAKU was sold to Pakistan where she was registered, as you originally posted, as AP-AYX. From there she moved on to the US and was registered as N54618 and N730HP respectively and became one of those rare breeds - a US domiciled Agusta-built JetRanger.

BAKU doubtless carried her British registration during her tour in the UAE (as Sandy Toad suggested).

Also in the UAE in '76 were these 206's belonging to ADH:

N8108J at Abu Dhabi Bateen (AZI) on 30th October 1976. This aircraft did go onto the UAE register and became A6-BCA. (Photo: Terry Murphy)

Rev&Checks: Many thanks. :ok:

Some Assorted Nostalgia:

The late great John 'Chalky' White's former mount seen here at the Leicester Airshow on 26 August 1979. (Photo: John Bell) Evidently participating in a JCB promo.

Also in '79 was this B206B N36BL which landed on a rather steep slope in Willowbrook, New York State. The landing necessitated positioning the aircraft beneath power lines. Another angle shows the slope as being more agressive than depicted here.

If there are some American PPRuNers interested in Helitack ops from the 70's then you might enjoy this: https://picasaweb.google.com/117415185821542027787/The1970S#


4th Mar 2011, 16:39
Thanks Savoia, I'll change my scribble back to AP.
The nearest I have is sister ship G-BAKT S/N 8341

photo at
S/N 8341, G-BAKT | Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/wiganairways/4813363996/in/set-72157622968099184/)


4th Mar 2011, 18:09
G-BAKT - Was hoping to have left my ramblings of this craft for the Ferranti site but, seeing as you mentioned her .. there's probably no aircraft which has as much significance for me as KT.

My father met Col. Bob Smith through Sebastian de Ferranti. Bob and my father evidently hit it off striaght away and remained friends for life. As a result, my father invited Bob to become one of my godparents.

At some point Bob felt he ought to expose his godson to the 'other side' of aviation (my father being a reasonably accomplished private fixed-wing flyer). Several attempts were made, without success, one which occurred just a few minutes after I had left our home when Bob landed with G-BBBM on our property. I was as 'devastated' as an eight year old could be!

Bob promised that the following weekend (without fail) I would be introduced to the helicopter experience. Up until that point the only contraption which had captured my imagination was the Hovercraft, which I loved, especially Hoverlloyd's red and white beasts.

Lo and behold the day came when my father drove me to the Beehive at Gatwick. Sadly on that day Bob was off somewhere with Sebastian but, in his stead we were greeted by Ferranti's Deputy CP, a chap called Chris Hunt.

When we entered the hover I exclaimed "Its just like a hovercraft!" not knowing that we were headed to Ramsgate where Chris was to spend the day filming the Hoverlloyd beasts for an advert. It was a day of bliss for the young Savoia!

At the end of it all when we returned to the Beehive I had never been so sure about anything - I knew with all certainty that I wanted to fly helicopters.

Like many, there are numerous aircraft in which I have encountered memorable experiences but .. KT was by far the most significant for me.

Precious memories indeed!

G-BAKT landing at Glasgow in 1978 wearing the colours she sported while owned by Ferranti. (Photo: Robert Pittuck)

KT was bought by Ferranti from Julian Sacher and sold some years later to Express Helicopters of Southminster, Essex. She then moved on to Burnthills and thereafter Gleneagles.

Ferranti Deputy Chief Pilot Chris Hunt

After working for the British Aircraft Corporation Chris was commissioned into the Royal Engineers (1965) from where he was seconded to the Army Air Corps gaining experience in Malaya and Hong Kong. He joined Ferranti in 1973.


4th Mar 2011, 19:07

After Gleneagles she went to Kwik Fit Euro Ltd., as G-FLYR ,11/89, sadly destroyed in an accident at Glamis Castle on 13/7/97.


5th Mar 2011, 10:47

Have added another of Gleneagles Jet Rangers, G-AWOL


and Clyde Jet and Long Rangers G-EYEI / G-STVI



Saint Jack
6th Mar 2011, 02:28
Looking at G-BAKT in Post #424, I believe this is the first time I've seen a 206 flying with the ground-handling wheel fitted. I remember that they had/have a spring-loaded retaining pin but nevertheless they came off the float pans easily after lowering the helicopter. I can't help feeling that should one come off in-flight it could do a substantial amount of damage.

6th Mar 2011, 06:10
Wigan: Great stuff! STVI is doing a great job of maintaining yaw .. despite her lacking a starboard vertical stabiliser. ;)

SJ: Clear evidence that KT was no longer in the Ferranti fold. Flying with ghw's attached was strictly 'verboten' as Col. Bob would say. Not however due to reasons of safety but .. aesthetics!

The ghw's did, as you say, dislodge quite easily once tension was released and one assumes therefore that for flight they were fastened by some additional means to the skid.

Some further blasts from the past include this Air Kilroe 206 and Compass' BEHG (which has featured previously on this thread) departing from in front of the Robertson's Foods hangar at Bristol in August 1986.




6th Mar 2011, 07:55
Savoia : You noticed all is not as it seems on this photo, :D the photo is two stuck together, as EYEI and STVI (STeVIe), landed a couple of minutes apart, it looked good to combine them, and with a wee bit of photoshop. http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/thumbs.gif


the real one.

6th Mar 2011, 08:10
Ferranti Deputy Chief Pilot Chris Hunt

Enough gold braid to sink a battleship - check.

"White gloves" - check

"White seat harness" - check

Headset from Lancaster bomber with "white trimmings" - check

Incidentally this appears to be pre-shoulder harness days.

Did this guy moonlight as the butler as well?

Pure class! How things change.

6th Mar 2011, 21:34

G-AZBS registered to Peter Cadbury 17.8.72 (Sold it to B.E.A.S as photo)


G-BAKU (location unknown)


G-BAKU (With Heli Gulf Titles, again location unknown)



all pictures from my collection.....


6th Mar 2011, 22:46
Looking at G-BAKT in Post #424, I believe this is the first time I've seen a 206 flying with the ground-handling wheel fitted. I remember that they had/have a spring-loaded retaining pin but nevertheless they came off the float pans easily after lowering the helicopter

Not an unusual sight in the 70's. A few operators flew like this. Usually into Battersea, which was half the size then as it is now, for handling and parking against the wall. Some operators modified the wheel attachments so they wouldn't come off without tools.

G-BAKU (location unknown)
The Location is without doubt Mann's hangar at Fairoaks. It's pre early April 1978 as G-AXGO went to the great hangar in the sky on the 14th of that month.

7th Mar 2011, 04:58
Bravissimo signore Elipix! :D

Helipix, what can I say, you've done it .. again! Fantastico!!!

When it seemed as though the trail which led us to BAKU might have run cold resulting in a disappointing finale without any material evidence .. you came to the rescue with a most satisfying reward for the ramblings of the nostalgia thread! Again, well done! :ok:

Not only have you uncovered BAKU complete with her golden pegasus but, your image of her in colour in the UAE must, one presumes, be just as Sandy Toad last remembered her!

BUX is also looking good, Greenham perhaps? Then, as if this wasn't enough .. you've gone and uncovered a fifth helicopter from the Cadbury collection .. mama mia Elipix! And I was so sure that after our discovery of BAKU we had ascertained the full extent of Peter's fleet!

As with TRC I also noted AXGO at TRC's and VFR440's former place of work. AXGO, I am sure, along with AXJC, belonged to Charles Hughesdon.

As TRC mentioned, AXGO was written off but on 2nd March 1978. A synopsis of the accident reads:


I don't suppose you have an image of G-AZAG in your superb collection? This was the personal mount of Lord Dulverton but, to-date, I have fully failed to source any pictoral evidence of her existence!

To conclude, I am reasonably certain that, this time, with the discovery of AZBS, we have finally completed PTC's line up of rotary assets.



7th Mar 2011, 06:18
Savoia, try here for G-AZAG image:
CSE ? G-AZAG | TransportPhotos.com (http://www.transportphotos.com/air/photo/MS00830-1)

10th Mar 2011, 12:44
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/__dRpfF8qlVM/TXjQwZzPVSI/AAAAAAAACBA/UrS7jKXXjU0/G-APTH%2047J%20Blackbushe%205%20Mar%2072%20%28Trevor%20Davies% 29.jpg
Bell 47J Ranger seen at Blackbushe on 5th March 1972 (Photo: Trevor Davies) This craft experienced quite an assortment of owners including BEA and Autair. At the time the photo was taken APTH was registered to David George (he of Sloane fame). The craft was eventually sold to Germany in 1992.

AgustaBell 47J Ranger I-MINR seen at the Volandia Aviation Museum at Milan's Malpensa airport. (Photo: Stefano R) This craft was operated by Agip Mineraria throughout the 1960's.


14th Mar 2011, 08:42
I've put out feelers in the past for the late great John Dicken but have so far only encountered moderate success.

John was a good friend to Col. Bob Smith (Ferranti) and had the rare privilege of flying one of the UK's few bank-owned-and-operated corporate helicopters, the fourth Bell (as opposed to AgustaBell) 206 to be registered in the UK.

John's corporate mount from the late 60's G-AWOM belonging to Queen's bankers Hambros. Photo courtesy of PPRuNer Helipixman and the Helipixman Collection

John was a keen Ferranti fan and, according to Bob, would have joined the Ferranti team had he not been caught up elsewhere. He took quite a bit of flack (as did the Ferranti pilots) for wearing white gloves when he flew!

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/__dRpfF8qlVM/TX2j53xw59I/AAAAAAAACEs/WYIRnMK_u2Q/206L1-II%20DWMI%20%28Glenwood%29%20Farnborough%205%20Sept%2090%20% 28Don%20Hewins%29.jpg
During the 1980's John could often be seen flying 'Gone Drinking With My In-laws' and I recall, on numerous occasions, his visits into Brooklands c.1982-84. (G-DWMI at Farnborough on 5th September 1990. Photo: Don Hewins)

There were rumours about John dressed in a nun's outfit for a filming job he did and I am keen to verify this, better still to obtain a copy of the image!

Any information at all about John's career would be gratefully appreciated.


14th Mar 2011, 13:01
Wandering through an innocuous corridor of Leeds General Infirmary recently, I happened to spy some more rotary nostalgia embedded in a mural.


I'm presuming this is a Whirlwind enacting the rescue at Leeds Town Hall, but I'm afraid I don't have any more information. The accompanying newspaper article is only partly reproduced on the mural and doesn't contain the date of the rescue (although I'm guessing this must of been during the 1960s or 1970s?).


I'd be all the more supportive of hospital art projects if a reference to local rotary activities was seen to be a ubiquitous requirement!


14th Mar 2011, 14:59
On ITV4 today was an episode of The Saint, and my attention was drawn to G-AWJL, Bell 206A S/N 181, New 16/05/68 to Point to Point Helicopters Ltd, Watford, but destroyed 22/07/69, managed to get a couple of 'snaps' from the telly, looks like the Captain is wearing white gloves!http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/thumbs.gif


managed to get a couple of decent, well from a telly, shots.


14th Mar 2011, 18:32
G-AZAG as requested by Savoia in post No.433
Photo from Helipixman collection

14th Mar 2011, 19:02





This colour scheme was for a Noel Edmonds heli fest (for Mr Blobby !!) Note the British Gas titles (bet they were happy)

14th Mar 2011, 19:16
Did Mr Blobby put the registration on with felt tipped pen?


14th Mar 2011, 19:20


This scheme was done in washable paint for a film in Ireland ? Anyone know what film ? Photo taken by Helipixman at RAF Finningley Air Show 17.9.94 after flying in from the Yorkshire Helicopter Centre pad in Doncaster. Used for pleasure flying then departed for its filming sortie.

I flew in this helicopter just over 30 times during its ownership by Yorkshire Helicopter Centre and use by Lothian Helicopters (happy memories)

It is still in the UK now registered as G-BZEE.....


14th Mar 2011, 20:58
Anyone know what film ?

It was called "The Run of the Country"

I remember it well. We had to fly up and down just inside the Irish border painted to look like a British Army helicopter. Not ideal really.....

We were delayed leaving Ireland by a day, so to get the machine back in time for its next job we went direct Dundalk Bay to Wallasey - 120 nm. At 61 miles to run, the ENG CHIP light came on. Floats fitted but no bottles installed. Me and him in immersion suits, five-man dinghy, flares, etc.. Conversation was a little stilted.

We turned towards Valley where the Sea King lives. When asked to continue not above something uncomfortably low for the last few miles, they kindly raised the circuit height of the swarm of Hawks and we landed to the massed blue lights of the airfield fire service.

The chip was, of course, a whisker - but as far as we were concerned it might have had a full part number on it. The last Eng Chip that he had resulted in he engine stopping 15 seconds later.

We had to night stop at Valley because they couldn't raise even a RAF plod to do the necessary Special Branch stuff.

A stimulating few days.

15th Mar 2011, 18:22
HeliSDW: Great Stuff! One has to admit that happening upon rotary nostalgia in an hospital is something of a rarity. One wonders whether there would be milage in helicopter SAR crews befriending their local hostelries and perhaps donating a couple of scrap parts (tail rotors etc.) along with a couple of framed photos of their craft. Presumably this does already happen among some of the pubs closest to SAR bases? At on-base flying clubs/watering holes this sort of memorabilia is almost taken for granted but it would be great to see more aviation nostalgia out in the 'ordinary' places. (Still can't believe the UK gave in to a no smoking ban in pubs!).

Wigan: Great Stuff Too! Earlier in this thread there was mention of a 500C belonging to PPRuNer Palma which appeared in an episode of the Avengers. Always great to see these 'helicopter TV stars' from the 60's. Given the slightly broader dimensions of the 206 you posted I'm assuming you have a wide-screen set! http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/wink2.gif

I will match your red low-skid 206 (G-AWJL) screen appearance with one of my own .. G-BAKS (also mentioned earlier in this thread) and which appeared in a Bond film. Can't recall if John Crewdson flew her or whether it was someone else! Either way I think that BAKS may have shared a similar fate to that of AWJL. http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/sowee.gif

BAKS getting ready to uplift 007!

Helipix: What can I say? I am in admiration, and immensely thankful for your comprehensive collection of UK registered helicopter images - in particular 206's. Brilliant! Your contribution towards our efforts on the Ferranti site are deeply appreciated.

Re: AZAG: In your image she wears the name 'MBJ Cadogan' on the forward door and which doubtless reflects her ownership by Cadogan Foamwork and Reinforcing between 1975-78.

However, prior to 1975 she was owned by Lord Dulverton of Batsford Park in Gloucestershire (from June '71 to October '75). Dulverton was of course the President of the Imperial Tobacco Company which in the 1980's sponsored a couple of aircraft which have previously been mentioned on this thread; Colin Chapman's Bell 206 'The Dancer' (G-AYTF) wearing the John Player livery and Noel Edmond's AS350B (G-NOEI) sporting Marlboro's red and white motif.

It would be most interesting if there was anyone who remembers flying Lord Dulverton around in the early 70's.

Lord Dulverton's AB206A which he owned between 1971-75. (Photo: Helipixman)

Equally nostalgic of course is 'Chalky' White's AB206B G-OJCB. I find it impossible to look upon this craft without remembering Chalky. His spirited flying was always fun to watch (especially as a youngster) and, well, he was just one heck of a nice guy.

I remember visiting an Italian restaurant (I wish I could remember the name) near Brooklands (a couple of times) with my godfather and Pat McHaffey and being flown there in Chalky's craft. My godfather and Pat had some sort of friendly rivalry between them. Bob drove a Rolls, Pat a Ferrari. Bob's pilots wore white gloves, Pat's wore black. Ferranti flew Agustas, Hanson flew Bells .. and so it went on. Of course being of Italian origin it was hard for me to begrudge Pat's appreciation of Italian food and cars and which sympathy was met by protestations from my godfather over issues of 'loyalty' lol!

Back to Chalky, and what I believe was JCB's first helicopter, delivered in April of '78 - presumably via Mann's as she was an Agusta. 'CB' had a bespoke interior (seats and side trimming) in which the initials 'JCB' were woven into the fabric. She was fitted with Ferranti's Stability Augmentation System and carried a Decca DANAC navigator. Chalky loved the Ferranti SAS!

Chalky White's runabout. Great memories of a thoroughly great guy. (Photo: Helipixman)

Moving on, have you noticed how given the right promptings [images] (Helihub's Anglian Windows A109 on the Alan Mann thread and Helipix's camouflaged G-OJCB on this page) it is possible to uncover vital nostalgic reminiscences from both VFR440 and TRC!!!

I hope during my next visit to the UK, with the help of the appropriate lubricants, to get the memorgy cogs of both sufficiently turning so that the site we are working on will contain a good number of interesting stories!

Am still searching for any information about John Dicken's career.



Saint Jack
16th Mar 2011, 02:03
I remember John Dicken from 1965/6 when he was a Flight Lieutenant on 66 Squadron at RAF Seletar flying Belvederes. I recall he was a very jovial and well-liked person who, along with a small handful of other squadron pilots, (a Flt. Lt. Langwothy rings a faint bell) would frequently call airmen (‘enlisted men’ to some of you) by their Christian names. Though I doubt that the squadron commander at the time, Sqdn. Ldr. ‘Bunny’ Austin (whose death was recently posted on PPrune) would have been happy to hear it.

16th Mar 2011, 07:50
Savoia, I think it was Marc Wolf who flew G-BAKS in "For Your Eyes Only". John Crewdson and Nigel Brendish were also involved in the filming.

Excellent thread this, even for a fixed wing aficionado!

Anyone remember a Bell 47H G-AZYB that used to live in a shed by a road in Bordon? Came across it on a school trip back in about 1975... G-INFO says "Destroyed" with the owners address at the same location, wondered what happened to it.

16th Mar 2011, 08:31
Treadigraph: You are always welcome in helicopter nostalgia territory and you've struck luck with GAZY-B in that she still 'lives' (albeit in static form) at the helicopter museum at Weston-super-de-la-Mare!

The story of her restoration can be found here: Restoring the Bell 47H-1 (http://www.hmfriends.org.uk/restorbell47h.htm)

At the museum she wears a predominantly red scheme based on the colours she wore when she was sent to Antarctica between 1957-59 where she flew from the support ship the MV Polarhav and the King Baudoin Station in support of the Belgian Antarctic Expedition.

After her polar expedition she remained in the cooler climes being sold to Norway then Sweden prior to arriving in the UK in June 1972 where she became the possession of Tywford Moors Helicopters until she was bought by your friend George Watt of Olivers Farm in Lindford, Hampshire in February 1973.

This is probably how you remember her though:

Bell 47H-1 G-AZYB at RAF Greenham Common on 7th July 1974. The craft was destroyed ten years later on 21st April 1984 at St. Mary Bourne near Thruxton.


16th Mar 2011, 08:55
Cor, she has a interesting history, thanks Savoia! Memory is a bit vague, though the reg stuck in my mind for some reason. Hopefully I shall be reunited with her later this year as I am planning to visit the musuem at WSM after the Bristol Balloon Fiesta in August.

Very first aviation memories were of helicopters rather than fixed wing - lived in Penzance under the flight path of the Scilly Isles S-61N and can also recall, aged perhaps three, being scared in the garden by a loud and penetrating drone - it turned out to be a helicopter and probably a Wasp out of Culdrose.

I still want to do the Scilly Isles flight before the S-61Ns are retired, will try and get it sorted this year.

16th Mar 2011, 09:40
There I was yesterday googling to see if my old employer was still with us and I arrive here. The first page I looked at mentioned me ! It has taken an age to read the whole thing, but very interesting and nostalgic.

I was deputy CE at AMH 1977-79. I remember most of these aircraft. I came out of a/c engineering straight after that so my memories have not been smudged by years of different aircraft.

G-AZYB belonged to George ? who owned the Mazda dealership in Bordon. Broxford motors I belive. It was one of the first tasks I was given as the new and only A/B 47 licenced engineer in 77. It was in a bit of a sad state with the old 200hp Franklyn engine's hours having been extended for the last time. I told Roy (chief) that we had to source a new donkey from America. Mark (salesmanager) was delighted and decided that this would be a great time to talk George into upgrading. This was a waste of time as he loved the machine.

TRC, Dave Hessey and myself set about the 1200hr check and fitting a (£7000) new engine. All went well and George was delighted.

How are you Tom? That is me watching you playing with G-Tally pedals. I've still got all my hair (not quite the same colour)

How are you Geoff, remember across London on 5 cyls in G-Lift?

And yes it was my bloody coat !! more about that later!

Senior Pilot
16th Mar 2011, 10:32

Welcome: no doubt you can straighten out a few of the stories here :cool:

16th Mar 2011, 10:36
NJT: A very warm welcome to the nostalgia thread on Rotorheads and bravo on trawling through twenty odd pages of blitter-blat trivia!

It was my godfther, Col. Bob Smith (Ferranti Helicopters), who told me about the espisode when Peter the Cad wanted to warm himself up and decided to select the cabin heat while his trusty engineer was round the side with the cowlings up. I hope he bought you a beer .. and a new coat!

Now of course, thanks to PPRuNers such as Helipixman and FAStoat (the latter from the stiff-wing nostalgia thread), I have no clue as to whether this incident happened with BAKU, BUX or CHOC!

Planning to be in the UK later in the year and to meet up with TRC and VRF440 and it would be good if you could also make this shindig!

There's also an http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/443466-alan-mann-helicopters.html thread (some have asked why) but I believe once sufficient nostalgic evidence has been collected the reason will become clear.

Again welcome, and we look forward to your reminicences from those days when things were, well let's just say .. different.



16th Mar 2011, 12:59
Mark Langford had been desperately trying to put together a deal selling one of our fleet machines, probably G-BCWM or G-BCEU (Glendyne ). However, another machine was bought by Cadbury instead, at a lesser price. This was to prove false economy as there were numerous problems with the C of A and the additional work was far more than the saving. This did not help with the relationship .
G-CHOC was one of those machines that always managed to leak a small amount of oil and would be messy and very difficult to identify the source. Clean it all, ground run, all ok. 1 hour flight all clean. 2 hours and all oily again!
One Friday afternoon Roy said Cadbury had been on the blower and would like me to check out CHOC on my way home. I was commuting from Salisbury daily and could call in on my way. I duly arrived at Cadbury’s bungalow in Preston Condover about 6:30pm on a dark windy, wet evening. I knocked the door and we went up to the hanger. We Pulled Choc out past an Islander onto the hardstanding and were getting ready when a sleek piston twin gave a low pass and all the runway lights in the hillside came on. Very impressive, he said who it was (his son I think) in their plane, but he was landing somewhere else and was just buzzing.
Anyway we got CHOC running and I was torch in hand, ear defenders on panels open having a look to see where the oil was coming from. She was on low skids so not too difficult to have a good shifty. After a couple of minutes I started to smell burning and was looking for smoke when I looked down and saw the janitrol heater had been fired up and had been torching its way through my clothing. Coat,pullover,shirt only my vest to go!
I was tired wet and cold so when I opened the pax door and told him it was a bad idea lighting up the heater (I can’t remember my exact words)he got the message. He was nearly apologetic and after we put CHOC back in the hanger he proudly presented me with an old well worn Lillywhites jacket 2 sizes too small and called it quits.
About 2 weeks later John Akkers came visiting and said that Mr Cadbury had decided he would give me £20 instead and he wanted his jacket back. No point arguing.
Our fleet machines all used to sustain regular damage from seat belts being shut out of the passenger side where they would hammer against the honeycombe tub and dent it. G-CHOC was the only aircraft where we repaired damage from seat belts sustained on the pilot’s door side !!!

16th Mar 2011, 18:37
Back in 1982/3, I was looking to buy a Jetranger and visited Alan Mann and was interested in a nice machine painted a dark green with a gold stripe. I was told this was painted in the colours of the owners Rolls Royce, anyone recall this machine as I cannot remember it being discussed here?

16th Mar 2011, 19:23
Newforest ... probably G-TREE (I seem to remember her being in that paint scheme in her early days.)


16th Mar 2011, 19:31
Dennisimo Ciao! Great to see you back on the thread again!

Newforest: The craft in question was G-SPEY (formerly G-BIGO) and I was also told about her association with RR but would like to learn more.

As far as I was aware the last 'corporate' helicopter to be owned by Rolls in those days was G-BATB (a Bo105) which was bought by Ferranti who then operated her under contract on behalf of Rolls.

NJT: Great stuff! :ok:

I'm sure we shall happen upon some more stories as time goes by - hard not to with a character like that!

Because the records showed Cadbury as being CHOC's first owner I mistakenly believed that Cadbury had bought her new from CSE (given that she was a Bell as opposed to an Agusta). Then on page 11 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-haven-rotary-nostalgia-posts-g-taly-11.html) Tarman disclosed that CHOC had originally been D-HMAC below:

Bell 206B D-HMAC

G-CHOC at Blackbush in 1978 (Photo courtesy of Helipixman)

I was intrigued when I saw HMAC because I was imagining the Cad requesting that his craft be repainted in an identical scheme to HMAC's - even including the white piping around the circumference of the windshield - until it dawned on me .. the Cad .. ordering a full repaint? No! And I am now fairly certain that the reason CHOC's scheme followed HMAC's so faithfully is because he probably settled for having the red portions painted over in the Air Pegasus navy blue as opposed to ordering a full strip down and respray. At least that's what happened to the Pitts Special he bought from Rothmans!

Do you have any recollections of importing HMAC from Germany?


16th Mar 2011, 21:22
KS and WM were both aircraft operated by Dollar at Coventry. I remember KS as the heaviest 206 as it had floats (at the time) and also a Janitrol heater. Only one I ever flew with one - fuel burn changed from 26US gp/h to 29.5.

Looking on G-INFo, I note that WM was owned in it's early days by the now Sir Norman Foster, a very smooth pilot who I had the pleasure of flying with on a few occasions.

NJT - I think you are mistaken with G-BCEU - it is a Cameron hot air balloon according to G-INFO

16th Mar 2011, 21:42
I was told this was painted in the colours of the owners Rolls Royce, anyone recall this machine as I cannot remember it being discussed here?

Aaah, the missing apostrophe! The owner of the helicopter had a Rolls Royce car in those colours, there was no connection, as far as I know, with Rolls Royce, the aeronautical company. The registrations quoted don't ring a bell (!).

16th Mar 2011, 22:31
Newforest: It is interesting because, as mentioned, SPEY was rumoured to have had something to do with Rolls. If this was the case then certainly it was somehow connected with Craggan Chaise in Edinburgh who were the initially registered owners of SPEY.

AgustaBell 206B G-SPEY

In her early days SPEY always wore pop-outs and became fairly well known in the UK after being bought by Roy Flood's outfit when she became the communications relay aircraft for G-BHXU in a television series they (Castle Air) were involved with.

Seeing as we now have a trio of ex-Mann PPRuNers who regularly visit this nostalgia thread I am hopeful that someone may be able to identify the green and gold aircraft in question. There were not terribly many 206's in those colours in the UK during the late 70's early 80's, two perhaps three at most.

Re: BCEU, NJT perhaps meant BBEU?

I have additional details about BAKS (and BBEU for that mattter) but its getting late so I shall leave that for another post!


17th Mar 2011, 03:49
Thats how I remeber her as well, do you have any other Twyford Moors related photo's? I worked there a young un-licensed Engineer between 1973 and 1974 just before their demise, unfortunately all my old photo's from that period are lost!


17th Mar 2011, 04:44
Stacey Hi

Yes, there are several PPRuNers with images of Twyford ships and at least a couple of pilots who flew with them have visited this thread. I shall browse through my image bank and see what I've got.

In the meantime .. any registrations you might be able to russtle-up would be great. :ok:

Most importantly would you be able to describe a little about TMH, some of the characters involved, what sort of work they did, where they were based etc.



17th Mar 2011, 07:12
Speaking of TWM's machines

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/__dRpfF8qlVM/TYG_Yavp2WI/AAAAAAAACMA/T4bfeyfgrCg/Westland%20Gazelle%20SA341G%20G-BAZL%20at%20Greenham%20Common%20in%20July%201974%20%28Fred%2 0Willemsen%29.jpg

WA-341G, c/n 1073, produced as TWM001 for Twyford Moors; regd 16/5/73 G-BAZL for Westland Helicopters Ltd.; delivered 17/9/73 at Southampton to the Twyford Moors (Helicopters) Ltd.; regd 25/9/73 same reg to Twyford Moors Helicopters Ltd.

17th Mar 2011, 08:21
Here Goes for names of the 'Top of me Ead'

Colin York General Manager
Mike Janes Chief Engineer
Brian Hazel Inspector
Martin Veneman LAE
Roger Leale LAE
Chris Elms LAE
Henry ? Fitter
Tony Brown Fitter
Dave Chapman (Deceased)
Dave Blake Fitter
Simon Cousins Fitter
Chris ? Stores
Sid ? Overhaul Shop

As for registrations memory vague but G-BAZL stands out as she was the first Aerospatiale Gazelle in UK I believe.

Aircraft types

Bell 47 D1, G, G2, J2A, Enstrom 28 including one that had been converted to turbine and back to piston again, like to know the story on that one!, Hughes 269A, 269B, 300's, Fairchild Hiller F110's and a Westlands Dragonfly parked around the back, whose blades were written off by the labourer driving the grass cutting tractor over them when they were stored underneath the tailboom for safe keeping!!

The sketch of drinking beer with Vfr440 and reminicsing sounds like a good Idea!

17th Mar 2011, 08:23
Thats her!!


17th Mar 2011, 08:43
Stacey, glad to help you recall some good memories :)

Re the first civil Gazelle in UK, actually it was also Westland produced c/n 1039 G-BAGL regd Oct72 for Point-to-Point Helicopters ;)

17th Mar 2011, 08:45

Where did Roger Leale go after TM?

G-BAZL was used for special-branch operations in and around London when TM had the Metropolitan Police contract.


17th Mar 2011, 09:07
Roger went back to Bristows for a contract in India I believe, then to Dubai where I met him again in 1978 when he was chief Engineer for Aerogulf along with Marti Slater and I was with Bristow Dubai, he then left there of into the wild blue yonder to resurface again in Doha as Chief Engineer in 1981 he left long ago around mid eighties I think and Thats where the trail goes cold I'm afraid, if he's still kicking he must be creeping into his eighties by now!


17th Mar 2011, 09:55
Roger Leale

Roger Leale was last seen when I was doing an engineering audit of the Oman Royal Flight in the early nineties, when he was about to spend a weekend camping on an island. Roger was the C/E of the Oman Police Wing. He is probably in his seventies!

17th Mar 2011, 11:00
Stace, good recall there. Mike Janes is now retired and living in Cardiff. Haven't seen him in a bit but he has a full head of black hair (still!). :suspect:

As to the 'taking of tea', I am sure that S and TRC would be delighted to have your company. I believe you have been known to sip the occasional G & T; have you advised S or shall I............?!! :)

Take care and love to the family catch you soon? ~ VFR

17th Mar 2011, 15:17

Joe McGachy MD of Clyde Helicopters pulling LR STVI onto the pad,1988, seems only like yesterday.

Also George Muir the 'Eye in the Sky'

17th Mar 2011, 18:04
at Clyde's Heliport doing shuttles to the Golf at Troon 1989.




17th Mar 2011, 19:47

This aircraft is memorable (for me anyway) for two reasons in particular.
It had self-stripping paint – a previous re-spray by someone hadn’t been done too well, and every time it got back from a trip there’d be another bit missing. We reckoned that it enabled the pilot to find his way back by following the blue specks on the ground.
The other reason is that the Fairoaks Cricket team were very kindly loaned AG by Donald McQueen (a charming man, who either owned it or had a fair bit of authority over what it did) for a return match against RAF Odiham. They had turned up in a Puma for the first game, so not to be outdone we visited them in a pair of 206’s, with a run and break over their airfield. (We found our way back using the bits of AG as a nav aid).


We had to do a spruce insert repair to one or the M/R blades after the owner whacked a trailing edge into something in his showroom while wheeling the machine out to come to us for it’s annual birthday. The first we knew of the damage was when we heard what sounded like the Flying Scotsman coming towards us. It had been ‘temporarily repaired’ with masking tape by the well-meaning owner.
Geoffersincornwall might remember doing a compass swing on a very hot day – if he pedal turned left the helicopter would land uncommanded.
She ended up at the Heli Museum after an engine failure, and the subsequent forced landing cracking the casting at the end of the tailboom. With no spare available worldwide that was the end of her working life.


Hello Nick, great to hear from you after – what – 31 years or so? We’ll have to all meet up at Savoia’s expense and catch up.


A Bell 47G-2 owned by Donald McQueen and imported by him. Memorable for two reasons again. Engine oil pressure that was always a bit on the low side, and also the fact that it had no hydraulic shut-off valve when it arrived. We had to ‘retro-fit’ something that should have already been there.


Should be made famous for being the reason why Manns built a 206 fuselage repair jig to replace its roof.
Went to BCAL and that’s the last I saw of it.

The green and gold 206 in question is almost certainly G-SPEY.


I remember watching a TMH 269A on the Met Police contract overpitching into the Thames one hot summer morning. It was replaced on the contract with a B47, and then the Gazelle – we always assumed that was why they went to the wall, running a contract with a 341 at 269A prices (probably a wrong assumption though).
The auction of TMH assets was (I’m quite sure) administered by the infamous Wally Holmes. All the stuff that was left to auction had been carefully arranged so that anything worth having would be accompanied in the same lot by a load of worthless junk. Two well known CEs of the era conspired to bid against Wally in the hope that he’d end up with some of the crap, it backfired a few times and we ended up with things like an almost complete set of 206 fixed float tubework, and a B47J cabin that was so battered you couldn’t have kept chickens in it.

Did Brian Hazel go to PLM/PDG?

17th Mar 2011, 20:03
Great reflections on Bond and Clyde (above) as well as Twyford Moors - please keep the stories from TMH coming!

On the previous page I posted a screenshot of G-BAKS in response to something similar by WiganAirways on page 22 where G-AWJL appeared in an episode of The Saint.

G-BAKS was first mentioned on page 3 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-haven-rotary-nostalgia-posts-g-taly-3.html) of this thread when, as we discussed John Crewdson, PPRuNer Low Flier noted that John had handed over the job of flying BAKS in the Bond movie 'For Your Eyes Only' to Marc Wolfe. It was of course this movie which made BAKS 'famous' as it were and herewith is the flying sequence from the 1981 film:

YouTube - James Bond (For Your Eyes Only) helicopter sequence (HD)

Here's the interesting thing (well, for some at least); at the time BAKS performed her role in Bond #12 she was owned by the Lord Dulverton who's first 206 (G-AZAG) appears on the previous page (courtesy of Helipixman) - we are still on the lookout for anyone with recollections of Lord Dulverton and his helicopter operations.

BAKS, an AgustaBell 206B, began her life in 1972 being delivered to her original owner, Galliford Construction of Banstead in Surrey, in December the same year. Galliford's pilot was a chap called Chris Powell an ex-RN Commando role pilot. When Galliford's closed in 1976 Chris joined the Ferranti team, initially at their Gatwick base then moving to Shoreham. Chris went on (as did many of Ferranti's pilots) to join BCalH and was posted to ABZ where he became S-76 fleet manager. (Details courtesy of PPRuNer Speechless Two).

After Gallifords BAKS was bought by Lord Dulverton of Oversley Castle, Wixford, Alcester, Warwickshire, who kept her until 1994 when she was sold to Stephenson Marine of Wrecclesham, Farnham under whose tenure BAKS met her demise.

It was on 14th November 1997 that BAKS was destroyed while returning to Goodwood in Sussex from having completed a charter to Basingstoke in Hampshire. The accident report (http://www.aaib.gov.uk/cms_resources.cfm?file=/dft_avsafety_pdf_501372.pdf) reads: "The fuselage had impacted in an almost inverted attitude with initial ground contact made by the aircraft's nose followed by the cabin roof. Prior to this, one rotor blade had already struck the ground destroying that blade and causing the detachment of the rotor hub from its mast." The accident was weather related and the pilot was killed. (I would been keen to know if anyone recalls who was lost in this tragedy).

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/__dRpfF8qlVM/TYJhJiwevZI/AAAAAAAACMc/MsuUmhq874s/AB206B%20Coventry%2027%20June%2079%20%28Alan%20Mosiezny%29.j pg
BAKS outside the Dollar hangar at Coventry on 27th June 1979. (Photo: Alan Mosiezny)

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/__dRpfF8qlVM/TYJhZHnZH-I/AAAAAAAACMk/vuHGZIb2XM4/Leicester%20Air%20Show%2026%20Aug%201979%20%28John%20Bell%29 .jpg
BAKS at the Leicester Airshow on 26th August 1979 [on her way to collect the commentator for the Red Arrows]. (Photo: John Bell)

BAKS over Westminster painted in the colours of the MI6 front 'Universal Exports' in the role that made her famous during the filiming of Bond 12.


17th Mar 2011, 20:42
TRC's post 'landed' as I was preparing mine .. great stuff!

I've noted yours and Stacey's and VFR's comments re: the shindig. I shall take care of the tab for the 'lost evening' to be!

TRC, I will PM you prior to my next visit to the UK and you can then perhaps coordinate with the others. Hopefully you can choose somewhere reasonably central for us all to meet and, given our intentions, it is probably best to identify somewhere with accommodation as I doubt whether driving will be on the cards for a while afterwards.



17th Mar 2011, 21:01
... re: the shindig. I shall take care of the tab for the 'lost evening' to be!

That's a very generous offer - but have you taken leave of your good senses man?? You'll have to thumb a lift back to sunny Italy after sponsoring such an evening.

I'll gladly sort something out with the others - NJT, VFR and I are fairly handy for London, but Stacey will have to wangle some leave from lovely Doha.

I'll leave any further invitations to you and your bank manager.

17th Mar 2011, 21:12
TRC: According to your own recollections you drove my godfather on the back of a motorcycle from Battersea to the Waldorf at a time when he was unable to secure any other means of transportation!

Let's call it my appreciation for getting him there in one piece.


17th Mar 2011, 21:13
Yes he did. In fact, though a little fuzzy, I believe he initially went to Scotland with the intention of running a rabbit farm? If I am wrong someone please correct the addled brain cells. But then did some occasional contracting work. I shall see PB next week and HE will know. Will report back.

I saw him from time to time whilst travelling about but am fairly sure he went to the big bar in the sky - where he has joined old mutual friends in racking up my bar bill, (and I'm pleased to settle it when the time comes!!) _ VFR

17th Mar 2011, 22:06
... you drove my godfather on the back of a motorcycle from Battersea to the Waldorf ..

That's true, but when I offered it was very tongue in cheek.

.. am fairly sure he went to the big bar in the sky ..

Chris, in that case it is the person I thought it was, and I can confirm that he is sitting on a stool in that bar. Lovely bloke.

18th Mar 2011, 14:24

I can't give you the name of the pilot killed in G-BAKS, but as I recall, it was a guy who initially did his PPL with Bruce Holben at Blades (as I did) and then went on to do his CPL.

It's been interesting watching this thread - the way I got into helicopters in the first place was that I used to charter Geoff Cox in his Jet Ranger back in the early '80's, who used to fly me, along with clients in an out of Battersea to our family home in Surrey. I used to drive to Brooklands to meet him to get a few extra minutes flying time out of the charters.

The Jet Ranger he used (I'm afraid I can't remember the registration) was later sold to a man in Greece, and he and I flew it out there. He retired thereafter.

18th Mar 2011, 16:26
Estepo: Ciao!

On page 10 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-haven-rotary-nostalgia-posts-g-taly-10.html) Charlie Hughesdon (owner of Tradewinds Airlines) was discussed. At that time I enquired about his pilot who I had met several times at Brooklands. On page 12 TRC confirmed that Hughesdon's pilot was Geoff Cox. I recall him being slightly tall, slim, greying and extremely polite. I was only a young lad in those days but he always took time to indulge my inquisitiveness. A true gent!

I don't know the full extent of Hughesdon's rotary fleet but a couple of pages back on page 22 Helipixman posted an image of G-BAKU (one of Peter Cadbury's 206's) and, barely visible in the hangar behind it, was G-AXGO. Hughesdon bought AXGO in October of 1975 but the craft crashed and was written-off three years later in April of '78. Brief details of the accident appear in post #433 of page 22.

Hughesdon then bought G-BTWA a Bell 206B which had been owned by Baron Heinrich von Furstenberg in Germany. Hughesdon took delivery of TWA in October '78 and, intriguingly, kept her in Furstenburg's old colours even retaining his Baronial crest which appeared on the craft's tail.

As you say, the craft was sold to Greece in June 1985. Please tell me that you took some photos of the delivery flight!

In the accident report for G-BAKS the following is mentioned in relation to the pilot:

"The pilot's flying experience had been gained exclusively in helicopters and his various licences related solely to this type of aircraft. He had gained his Private Pilot's Licence in 1984 and had then progressed to a Commercial Pilot's Licence in 1989 and an Airline Transport Pilot's Licence in December of 1990. His initial flying as a professional pilot had been from Shoreham, near Worthing, and he subsequently moved to Goodwood in 1995."

Is there anyone with any clues as to whom this may have been?

Charles Hughesdon's second Bell 206, G-BTWA arriving at Battersea and doubtless being flown by the venerable Geoff Cox and perhaps being chartered by Estepo!


18th Mar 2011, 16:47
CHOC arrived at Fairoaks as D-HMAC from Germany. I’m not certain but I think Nigel Thornton collected it. To my recollection we (engineering) had not carried out any inspection prior to purchase. The UK mods and C of A was carried out by us under the watchful eye of Jack Clifton our CAA surveyor. I am a little hazy on this (help TRC) but I think we had to open up the main Transmission for a visual inspection. One of the spider bearings was all stripey, so we sent it all off to JGS at Heliwork for repair. A nice surprise for Mr Cadbury.
I do remember being very envious of a beautiful barrel roller spider bearing and gear ( with zebra rollers) which Roy Matthews acquired as the most expensive paperweight in Kent.

G-BBEU was the 206 I was thinking of, it was owned by The Lord Glendyne, or so the steel ID plaque said. The Jig repair was carried out before my time but I have a horrid feeling that someone in their wisdom decided that Cherry rivets were stronger than the original solids and would be ok. The whole repair was repeated when the CAA /Bell decided that Cherry rivets had to come out ! Then again that may have been Tony Walkers first machine? reg ?? Tom?

I noticed last year that Donald McQueen has passed away. I had no Idea he was such a celebrity :- Lieutenant-Commander Donald Macqueen - Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/military-obituaries/naval-obituaries/8100531/Lieutenant-Commander-Donald-Macqueen.html)

18th Mar 2011, 16:53

Thanks for the reply! To my horror, and shame, I don't think I do have any photos of our flight to Greece. I remember clearly though, that when we got there, the new owner was there to meet us, and wanted Geoff to take him on a brief flight to welcome the machine.

Geoff would have none of it, saying that the machine's insurance was valid for the ferry flight only, which left the new owner slightly bemused......... He probably jumped in it anyway as soon as we'd left.

I remember a few photos of TWA outside our house - mostly because I was about 20kgs heavier than I am now (too many business lunches), and I always seemed to look like I should have just rolled rather than climbed out of the helicopter. The photo of TWA landing at Battersea is 90%+ one of our charters because I'm pretty sure I recognize the person in the back from the Rank Organization.

I used to suffer incredible guilt trips by never seeming to offer clients a trip in the front - I just couldn't bring myself to do it. They were clients after all, but my interest, generated, and encouraged by Geoff Cox meant that I've now enjoyed 25 years of rotary flying - I now own G-LEDR, a Gazelle which is usually here with me in southern Spain.

Happy days!

18th Mar 2011, 17:05
.. I now own G-LEDR ..

And of which I posted an image on the Gazelle Thread (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/160829-gazelle-buying-flying-32.html) 11 days ago!

If you happen upon any photo's of TWA (when you were heavier) please do post them and, if you were down Surrey way you might have been not far from TWA's owner, Charles Hughesdon who lived in Ripley.

Also in Ripley was an outfit call Ben Turner Helicopters about which I am keen to discover more information.

Happy flying.


18th Mar 2011, 18:49
NJT: Thanks for the clarification on CHOC's ancestry. Can you also confirm that you painted over HMAC's 'red bits' or whether she was stripped down and repainted?

I mentioned Ben Turner Helicopters in the previous post and G-BBEU (a Bell) was delivered to Ben Turner Helicopters in August '73. From BTH she moved on to Heli-Air then Alan Mann. In January '78 she was bought from Mann's by International Messengers, a courier company founded by Andrew Walters, a close friend to my godfather Col. Bob.

Andrew had in fact approached Bob requesting whether Ferranti could supply a good quality used 206 but, since this request came in '77, the year Ferranti lost G-AVSN at Biggin Hill, there wasn't much they could do. SN had swiftly been replaced by the veritable G-BAKT which Ferranti was unwilling to sell as their fleet was fully committed at that time.

Bob did however manage to persuade Andrew to purchase a new Agusta-built 206 and shortly thereafter Ferranti placed this order with Mann's. The new aircraft was delivered in November '78 as G-OIML and was, to the best of my knowledge, the first Agusta-built JetRanger III in the UK. She was owned by International Messengers but operated by Ferranti. Unusually for a managed aircraft, IML wore Ferranti's livery complete with the Royal Mail cypher.

Back to BBEU; IM sold her to Hanson in July '81 whereafter she was exported to Uganda (via Autair) in June of the following year to become 5X-MIA. There she flew for the Uganda Police Air Wing until, as with every rotorcraft they have operated, she crashed during operational flying.

But .. I am at a loss to understand EU's BCal livery as she was never actually registered to BCal. One can only suppose that while owned by Hanson she was perhaps leased to BCal. Similarly NJT's recollection of her being owned by the Lord Glendyne - perhaps that was during her time with Mann's. Can anyone elaborate?

Any finally, what happened that necessitated her roof being changed?

BBEU at Brooklands (I think). (Photo: Graeme Lovell)

BBEU at Brooklands wearing the BCalH livery. (Photo courtesy of Speechless Two)

BBEU was of course one of a pair bought by Ben Turner, her sister ship being BBET (below) but that is another story!

Bell 206B G-BBET seen at Greenham Common on 6th July 1974. (Photo: Peter Nicholson)


18th Mar 2011, 19:30
S ... as you know, Ben Turner was based alongside the old wharf north of Ripley village. Don Donelly was one of the principals. I landed there in the early 1970s to demonstrate the new Enstrom to Don. I seem to remember he was a New Zealander or at least had the accent. In fact an ex-girlfriend, one Sylvia ... worked as their receptionist for a year and I used to drop her off for work most mornings. I'll go through my logs and see if I can come up with some reg numbers of the time.

I also landed in the back garden of the local Ripley manor house but can't recall the names involved. I do recall playing cricket for the Ripley Village team when I couldn't concentrate on the ball due to the noise of the Helicopter party over the brick boundary wall! The Hon CF Hughesden I understand. Happy days once again.

Dennis K.

18th Mar 2011, 21:39
Nigel Thorton

I was with Nigel in Abu Dhabi 1972-73, I heard that he had an accident but I do not have the details, does anyone have the story?

18th Mar 2011, 22:03

The roof was changed due to suspected honeycombe delamination as per the Bell rep. It was decided to build a jig at Fairoaks rather than send the fuselage to Sweden (I think). During the 6 months or so that it took to sort the jig out, EU sat in the corner getting steadily smaller as the duty ‘Christmas Tree’.
We cut various bit out of the old roof after it was replaced but it seemed sound – oh well.

Tony Walker

He owned two 206’s consecutively – the second one was G-BTWW - can’t remember the reg of the first, and I think it was WW that needed the jig after a rather abrupt arrival into a ploughed field in S. Yorks.

Which roof job had the wrong rivets installed is beyond my capacity to remember, there were a lot of 206’s through that jig over the years, including a Ferranti machine.

Nigel Thornton

Nigel was killed when the Alouette II that he was flying hit wires in Yugoslavia while working on the film ‘High Road to China’ in 1982. Also aboard were a fixed wing pilot and the helicopter engineer, Andy Anderson, who had replaced me only the day before.


The name Stephenson keeps ringing a nagging bell on this one.

19th Mar 2011, 08:29
Wasn't G-SPEY 'lost at sea'? I seem to recall an engine failure en-route to the Channel Isles, ditched (no injuries, fortunately) and then sank. This was post our sale to Castle Air, I think.

I remember with great affection CAA's Jack Clifton; super chap. At my interview he told me that he was going to go for an OU degree in History upon retirement. I hope he succeeded; if he's still with us he'll be an 'elder' of the tribe; if he's not, then he'll be imbibing the odd glass of red wine upon my (huge) bar tab up there. Cheers Jack!

As an anecdotal tribute, just so everyone knows, Jack was the CAA liason officer with the development of Concorde. Had all the French team going with the response "Mustn't grumble" to the frequent "Comment ca va?" Completely confused!! :D He also endeared himself (to us, if not the French partners) by listening to a presentation by the Chief designer which everyone applauded. When asked what he thought of it he announced, loudly "Never heard such a load of bollox"............ :oh: This got him an interview at (then) Brabazon House, and the appointment as Surveyor-in-Charge at Weybridge.... !

Of such memories is the chequer-board of life fabricated. ~ VFR

Ahh de Havilland
19th Mar 2011, 09:21
G-SPEY wasn't the Castle Air B206 "Lost at Sea", she's still going strong still with Castle Air. She's joined the company in 1982, was sold in 2004 only to bought back in 2008

It was the actual star of 'Treasure Hunt' G-BHXU that ditched off Alderney on 29.6.95 piloted by Michael Malric-Smith, en-route Liskeard-Deauville. The engine gear box packed & engine stopped 17 miles from Alderney at 1000ft. Michael carried out engine off landing & ditched in sea - aircraft rolled over and started to sink in about one second. Escaped under water using short term air supply system (STASS) (first time used by civilian crew in anger). 2 crew Picked up by Navy about 45 mins later and flown to Guernsey, then back to base with Keith in G-TELY. Rigged the spare (G-SPEY) left at dawn the next day to France and completed job on time. G-BHXU sank & was not recovered.

Speaking of Green & Gold helicopters... my first experience of the B206 was in the green and gold G-BALC of Pork Farms - almost exactly the same colours as one of their Pork Pies. We were treated to a low level flight across flooded fields around Gloucester after completing a compass swing at Staverton one Saturday morning in 1977.

I don't suppose any one has any photographs of G-BALC in her Pork Farm livery?

19th Mar 2011, 09:30
Few pics of G-FILM taken day before the accident:
High Road to China_0002 pictures from college photos on webshots (http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2960053350098921485WuwCDt)

There are still bunch of pieces at the Grobnik airfield (near Rijeka, Croatia) hangar...

Ahh de Havilland
19th Mar 2011, 09:39
Ben Turner was a firm of agricultural engineers and tractor distributors, however when I googled them an interesting report from 1972 came up:

"Ben Turner & Son (Helicopters) is 45 per cent owned and last year was appointed sole UK distributor for “Agusta” one of Europe’s largest helicopter manufacturers. Earlier last year Lieut-Col Robert Smith, managing director of Ferranti Helicopters was appointed a non-executive director of Ben Turner (Helicopters)."

Quite interesting in the context of this thread.

I didn't know BT had been the Agusta distributor. I thought it had always been Alan Mann. Wonder who the other owners of BT were?

Finally the account mentions that the Chairman and MD of the parent company was John Wakeham - wasn't he later a minister in one of the Thatcher governments? But more interesting, didn't he also own helicopters via a company called Patgrove? I seem to recall a JetRanger & a Hughes 500 in the seventies followed later by B206 G-BKCM in the '80s.

Perhaps another of Dennis Kenyon's customers?

19th Mar 2011, 10:50
De Havilland: Col. Bob spoke to me about a 206 emblazoned with the wording 'Pork Farm Sausages' so I am also keen to discover an image of BALC so painted!

.. Lieut Col Robert Smith, Managing Director of Ferranti Helicopters was appointed a non-executive director of Ben Turner Helicopters.

Well there you go, something else I didn't know about him!

Further details relating to Ben Turner Helicopters would be keenly appreciated.

There is a back story involving Ferranti and Agusta and which would not have pleased old man Mann. Negotiations between the two were being conducted in the mid-70's and included elaborate plans for a new distributorship facility but .. the details of that story will be brought out in the Ferranti site.

VFR: SPEY was involved in an incident, although not a ditching:

"The helicopter was engaged on a filming task at low level for which an approved exemption to the Air Navigation Order (1995) had been obtained. The passenger, who was the camera operator, had completed the third of four filming sequences and the pilot then flew to the fourth location. The pilot was aware of an 11 kilovolt (kV) powerline which ran alongside a road but did not see the 33 kV powerline which ran across the valley. After the helicopter had flown into this powerline, and although there was no apparent damage to the helicopter, the pilot made a precautionary landing in an adjacent field. A second company helicopter was despatched to the site with an engineer. The engineer inspected the helicopter and, with the exception of cracks to the lower windscreens, the damage appeared to be contained to the casing of the external camera mount which was then removed. The helicopter was assessed as serviceable to return to its base. Subsequent engineering investigation by the company discovered 'lightning discharge' type damage to some of the avionics and structural elements of the helicopter.

An AAIB Inspector examined some of the components from the helicopter and noted various areas of damage that appeared to be the result of high voltage electric current passing through the machine. In particular, a number of meshing gears within the main rotor gearbox showed pitting of the working surfaces of the teeth and evidence to suggest that internal damage to bearings had occurred. One of the main rotor blades was found to have suffered electrical arcing type damage on the trailing edge near the root, and further such damage at the tip. Both that blade and numerous gearbox components were judged to be damaged beyond repair."

Interesting to see the damage electricity can inflict on a gearbox!


19th Mar 2011, 11:50
a couple of shots of Castle Air's BHXU / SPEY and one from the Jersey local paper 1986 in action filming an episode from the Island, and BHXU crashed near Alderney, the northern most Channel Island.




19th Mar 2011, 19:00
... a 206 emblazoned with the wording 'Pork Farm Sausages'

Pork Farms helicopter operation was known to us as 'Pork Choppers'.

20th Mar 2011, 02:49
Back in the late 80's while flying G-BAKT for Gleneagles, I had the pleasure of following Annekas bottom as it ran out of the Castle air 206 and up to the control tower at Carlisle airfield. It was even better in the flesh than it looked on tv.. :ok:

20th Mar 2011, 07:54
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/__dRpfF8qlVM/TYWtPRmpt-I/AAAAAAAACPs/TNMg78SDIUA/AS350B%20Farnborough%209%20Sept%2078%20%28Paul%20Thallon%29. jpg
F-GBBQ (bring your own sausages) at Farnborough on 9th September 1978. (Photo: Paul Thallon)

G-BHIV (location and photographer unknown)

First registered in December 1979 to McAlpine's then to Marley Tiles of Riverhead in March 1980. Was re-registered as G-COLN in April 1984 then: G-UNIV Sept '88 > G-RAHM Dec '89 > G-WILX May '90 > G-JOSS Aug '99 and finally G-JESI in December 2003.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/__dRpfF8qlVM/TYWtltMALwI/AAAAAAAACPw/alPkpDxECn0/s800/AS350B%20Farnborough%204%20Sept%2084%20%28Mick%20Bajcar%29.j pg
G-NOEI at Farnborough on 4th September 1984. (Photo: Mick Bajcar)

First registered as G-BHIU in December 1979 then became G-MORR in January 1980 and finally G-NOEI in March 1984 prior to being destroyed on 8th October 1985.

An additional image of NOEI appears on page 11 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-haven-rotary-nostalgia-posts-g-taly-11.html) of this thread.


20th Mar 2011, 22:46
A couple of photos in answer to post no. 482 by Savoia.

As a young lad watching the helicopters at Battersea Heliport G-AXGO was a very regular visitor. Often a very well dressed pilot would get out once the rotors had slowed sufficiently and then stop them with his brolly.
If my memory serves correctly he also wore a bowler hat ?

G-AXGO Bell 206A was registered to Tradewinds Helicopters Ltd, 24.10.75.
Converted to a Bell 206B II at some stage ? Then crashed into River Severn at Denby Island on 2.3.78

G-BTWA Bell 206B Jetranger II was registered to Charles Hughesden 30.10.78. This was cancelled 25.6.85 and became SX-HBV

Tradewinds Airways also owned another Bell 206A Jetranger G-AXJC but unable to trace any photos ?

all photos from the Helipixman collection


21st Mar 2011, 10:37
The things some people want a helicopter to do, Captain George and G-BOUY doing the honours.


21st Mar 2011, 18:44
Helipix: As always, fantastic! Where would the Nostalgia thread be without your pictorial contributions? There would be many gaps and incomplete stories but .. thankfully we have you and the Helipix Collection! Well done. Another great image of Estepo's G-BTWA!

Does anyone have any clues on the location of Helipix's two images? I was thinking that AXGO could have been at 'Redders' (Redhill) but am not entirely sure. BTWA outside the hangar with the HS125?

Reference was made to G-AXGO by both myself and TRC on page 22. Sadly, she crashed into water during a 'water sampling sortie' on 2nd March 1978. However, before her demise she was owned by Charles Hughesdon's 'Tradewinds Airways' and registered to their Gatwick office. It is quite possible that Geoff Cox flew this craft. AXGO's first owner was Stewart Smith & Co. to whom she was registered in May 1969. She was the 33rd overall JetRanger registered in the UK and the 8th Bell (as opposed to AgustaBell) variant.

At some point, either under Stewart Smith's or Charles Hughesdon's patronage, AXGO was leased to John Dicken who, as mentioned previously, was a good friend to my godfather. Consequently Ferranti would hire aircraft from John (and others) when their fleet were committed.

Herewith is a quote from a former Ferranti pilot: "Ferranti hired John's 206 G-AXGO, and I flew it for the day having picked it up at Brooklands. I thought it was a very “loose” machine and after about 5 hours flying (for Plessey) I landed at the Beehive. As I shut down the aircraft began rocking and my engineer’s face went white. The mast was at a slight angle and one of the bearings at a lateral gearbox attachment point had popped out but was still retained in its housing – no wonder it felt loose!"

Wigan: Great nostalgia! One sees the paper promoted the local Indian restaurant but failed to mention George Muir's firm! Wasn't their a group of Brits in the 80's (or so) who used to set-up meals in unique locations and raise funds for charity? A balloon and Kili (Mt.Kilimanjro) spring to mind.

Herewith another shot of BOUY from Wigan's own collection:

BOUY at Clyde's Heliport (Photo from the WiganAirways Collection)

At some point during Clyde's ownership of BOUY (from '91 to '96) them seem to have attracted some sort of sponsorship from BP. Perhaps someone knows the details? When this happened BOUY was re-registered as G-GOBP as seen below:

Bell 206B G-GOBP at Duxford in August 1991. (Photo: Martin Laycock)

GOBP was participating in a competition involving various 'celebrities', in this case with the then Radio 1 DJ Bruno Brooks, during Helifest '91.

Sadly, as with AXGO (and several of the craft we have covered in recent pages) BOUY was destroyed, while registered as G-LGRM, on 11th September 2000.

An excerpt from the accident report reads as follows:

"The helicopter left Caernarvon to carry out a pipeline survey in North Wales. The forecast weather was for a westerly wind of 10 to 15 kt and visibility greater than 10 km. In the Snowdonia area the forecast was for reduced visibility in cloud and rain. As the helicopter approached Snowdonia the actual conditions, as reported by the pilot, deteriorated as expected to a visibility of 3 to 6 km in rain showers with an overcast cloud base of 1,000 to 1,500 feet in the mountains.

The pilot reported that, with deteriorating conditions ahead and to the right, the helicopter was turned to the left towards a steep hillside and descended in order to maintain ground visual contact. During the turn an unidentified amber caption on the central warning panel illuminated and an undemanded yaw to the right developed.

The pilot did not specifically identify the caution but suspected a tail rotor failure when corrective action on the yaw pedals did not arrest the yawing motion. The pilot therefore turned in the direction of the yaw in 'an attempt to fly out and regain directional control'. But the helicopter continued to yaw to the right and in doing so intermittently entered cloud. Ultimately the helicopter made contact with the ground and broke up. The pilot and observer who were both wearing lap and diagonal seat belts survived with minor injuries.

Subsequent examination of the helicopter showed that the tail rotor drive system was fully functional at impact. Furthermore, the pilot could not be certain which amber caution he had seen illuminated."


21st Mar 2011, 19:17
BOUY was repainted and reregistered 2/91, for Radio Clyde's afternoon traffic reports, 'Barr's Irn Bru' sponsored the morning reports, and BP sponsored the afternoon reports, so BRDL was the Irn-Bru one, and GOBP was BP's one, photo's are from the repaint and the unveiling ceremony for the press .

New Paint Job
New registration
ready for the press unveiling
test flight with George,

and the 'Irn-Bru' .



'Chuffer' Dandridge
21st Mar 2011, 19:22
Nigel Thornton

Nigel was killed when the Alouette II that he was flying hit wires in Yugoslavia while working on the film ‘High Road to China’ in 1982. Also aboard were a fixed wing pilot and the helicopter engineer, Andy Anderson, who had replaced me only the day before.

The fixed wing pilot was David Perrin, Rothmans solo Pitts pilot. The film about him, "Man in the Sky" is one of aviation's classics!

21st Mar 2011, 19:27
Chuffer, thanks for that - I couldn't remember his name. Sorry if it appeared disrespectful, I should have tried to look it up somewhere.

21st Mar 2011, 23:17
Photo of G-BTWA was outside McAlpine Aviation at Luton Airport...


22nd Mar 2011, 08:27

Excellent thread and the index makes it even better........

Thanks and well done......!!!


22nd Mar 2011, 09:20
Planemike thanks.

While I edited the index I cannot take credit for its compilation which was performed by one of my staff 'Mark' who is an aviation enthusiast (albeit planks).


22nd Mar 2011, 13:59
After the BP contract was up, GOBP became OBRU, and both JR's were now in Barr's Irn-Bru colours

G-BRDL as VH-FRL, photo from Barossa Helicopters.

and after Clyde was taken over by Bond both moved on to pastures new, OBRU to Scotia Helicopters, Cumbernauld, but BRDL went to Australia, to Barossa Helicopters, South Australia, and ran BRDL as VH-FRL for nearly 10 years, 1997 to 2006, she retained the Irn-Bru colours,Bridgette Kies of Barossa told me they liked its colours, even retained a Scottish saltire flag, - St. Andrews - on the engine cowl, sadly sold on in 2006 and crashed in Queensland in 2009 as VH-JTI.

Ahh de Havilland
22nd Mar 2011, 19:55
I think the three JetRangers (G-AXGO, G-AXJC, G-BTWA) could be considered primarily to be Charles Hughesdon's personal a/c, even though available for charter through Tradewinds Helicopters.

CFH was the majority shareholder in Tradewinds and was Deputy Chairman of Stewart, Smith & Co, a firm of insurance brokers.

23rd Mar 2011, 07:59
Wigan: Great to see OBP and BRU going through their respective changes! I used to see an IRN-BRU 206 running around Aus .. now I know where she came from!

De Havilland: I'm sure you are right. There used to be another chap Surrey-way who used to potter about in a 206, somebody Gardner .. I think! Seem to remember him taking delivery of a new Bell 206 on shorts, orange in colour. Basic from the factory - not a single option added!

I recall being somewhat surprised to see Bell still turning out new 206's with the original back-breaking seats. I asked a Bell rep about this and made reference to the relative comfort of the Ecureuil (Squirrel) seats. I seem to remember him referring to them as 'unnecessary' or similar.

The Bell guys I met in the early 80's were quite blasé about the Squirrel .. a short-lived attitude I am sure!

Westland Wessex Mk 60 G-ATCA over Ford's Dagenham plant on 9th July 1970 en-route to Belgium, yes Belgium, flying the one millionth Ford Cortina car where its new owner awaited its arrival with keys in hand. At the time Ford decided to conduct this 'special export' TCA was registered to 'Westland Charters' who had clearly leased the craft to Bristows who went on to buy her in March of '71.

Vauxhall decides to do something similar on 17th July 2006 (albeit on a far shorter journey) over Tower Bridge en-route Billingsgate Market with their Corsa debut.
(Operator: Helicopter Services Ltd, Wycome Air Park)

A Skytech Mi26 doing 'its thing' with a Volvo truck.


24th Mar 2011, 17:01
G-ASNL 'Arsenal' first appeared on page 20 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-haven-rotary-nostalgia-posts-g-taly-20.html) landing alongside the Queen Mary in the 60's. Here she is seen at 'Pants Ants' (Penzance) in Cornwall. I'm fairly sure it was 'Arsenal' that went for a swim when she became a 'BA' 61.


25th Mar 2011, 06:03
Robert Wlison and Wattie Cameron load a deer carcass onto the side rack of a Bell 47 piloted by Milt Sills (right) in 1964. This uplift of game is touted as being the very first venison recovery flight in Kiwiland.

Westland Wasp HAS1 - more than likely having just recovered a dan-bouy, with crewman about to haul in the strop and flight deck crew preparing to clear the helideck prior to landing on a Tribal Class Frigate (F131) in the Persian Gulf in 1969.

Bell 206 of the New York Port Authority Police Department overhead Manhatten. The twin towers of the WTC still under construction. (Photo: Chuck Howard c. early 70's).


25th Mar 2011, 13:32
Where Clyde started, a Hughes 500C, G-GASA, leased in 3/86 for a year until G-EYEI arrived in 1987, Traffic report was sponsored by Racal Vodaphone.


G-CHLA, AS355F1 was an addtional Police Helicopter, still registered as G-REEM to Heliking Ltd., with a Jersey Channel Island address


The Glasgow Heliport hanger and signage




25th Mar 2011, 17:12
G-ASNL went to the USA in '83, 'SNM is recorded as destroyed (http://www.aaib.gov.uk/cms_resources/11-1971%20G-ASNM.pdf) in November '70.

'SNL was presumably the one that would disturb my afternoon nap when I was still in nappies in '64/'65. These days it's the Met's EC145s looking for Croydon ne'er-do-wells interrupting my siesta in the office!

25th Mar 2011, 17:42
I don't think it's true to say the Wasp is 'being recovered'. It looks more as though it has just recovered a dan-bouy and the crewman is about to haul in the strop while the flight deck crew clear away the deck for landing. The Tribals had the smallest decks and largest wardrooms of all the frigates as I recall - there must be a moral there somewhere.

25th Mar 2011, 18:10
Wigan: Great to see a public transport 500C. There can't have been many in the UK. Also CHLA in the days when Police ships looked respectable before they introduced the 'police-state' black and yellow! You can read a little about CHLA when she became REEM on the Monaco (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/429438-monaco-news-views-associated-interests-2.html) thread. Not the most inspiring type face used in the Clyde Helicopters signage but .. each to their own! ;)

Treadigraph: Thanks for this info. I haven't yet had the time to investigate properly but, if memory serves, 'NL' joined her sister 'NM' in going for a swim and I think it was just the fuse shipped back to the US. Did I read somewhere that she became one of the Carson re-builds? More research required when I get a moment.

Rotarywise: Wasp tag amended accordingly.


27th Mar 2011, 11:10
Clarification of the details relating to G-ASNL and G-ASNM:


Registered to BEA in December '63 and transferred to BAH in October '69.
The craft was ditched on 11th March 1983 in an incident attributed to a failure of a spur gear in the main rotor gearbox leading to a rupture of the gearbox casing. Though she remained afloat after ditching 'Arsenal' sank during the subsequent salvage operation.
The aircraft was sold to the US in October '83.
ASNL accident report (http://www.aaib.gov.uk/cms_resources.cfm?file=/4-1985%20G-ASNL.pdf).
ASNL during her ditching on 11th March 1983


Registered to BEA in February 1964.
Destroyed in an incident on 15th November 1970 which was attributed a sudden loss of engine gearbox lubrication resulting in a double engine failure. The aircraft sank within 5 minutes of ditching.
ASNM accident report (http://www.aaib.gov.uk/cms_resources.cfm?file=/11-1971%20G-ASNM.pdf).
ASNM at Tees Valley (Teeside) on 31st July 1967 en-route ABZ from EGSM (Beccles)


27th Mar 2011, 12:02

In memory of Nigel Thornton, Andy Anderson and David Perrin… the photo taken during filming the ‘High Road to China’ movie 1982, a few days before the tragedy. Location: Grobnik airfield, Rijeka, Croatia (exYugoslavia).

27th Mar 2011, 13:15
Just for the record, I can say with absolute certainty that the passenger in the photo was not involved in the accident - and I'm pretty sure that the pilot is not Nigel Thornton.

A system of rotating the crew was used on the film, and that passenger had left before the accident. If the pilot is who I think it is, he had also gone back to the UK maybe a week prior to the accident.

I replaced the engineer in the photo some two or three weeks before Andy replaced me - the day before the accident. Nigel came out while I was there, can't remember when though.

Not criticising, just getting things straight.

27th Mar 2011, 16:18
After some discussion taking place on the Alan Mann (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/443466-alan-mann-helicopters-2.html) thread regarding the late John Crewdson ...

1954 During the MUBA (Munstermesse Basel is an exhibition organised yearly in the city of Basel) the company Flugzeughandels of Zürich rents the Westland-Sikorsky S-51 G-AJHW. The British helicopter is used to advertise the products of Henkel, producer of the laundry detergent Persil.

It is piloted by John Crewdson and is also used as an aerial surveillance platform by the police. In 13 hours the pilot transports 66 passengers in 29 flights.

(Details courtesy of Mario Bazzani).


27th Mar 2011, 18:24
John Crewdson's career came to an abrupt end through the catastrophic failure of the main rotor head on the Alouette II he was flying.

A summary of the accident report (http://www.aaib.gov.uk/cms_resources.cfm?file=/3-1985%20G-AWAP.pdf) reads:

"The report concludes that the accident was caused by the disengagement of the main rotor head retention bolt, with consequent detachment of the rotor, due to corrosion of the engaging threads between it and the mast.

Contributory factors were the application of a different aeronautical grease from the one specified for use during assembly of the rotor head, the presence of a sulphate contaminant from an unknown source, the omission of a main rotor head inspection which had become due 207 hours prior to the accident, low aircraft utilisation which resulted in long periods of time between successive inspections and an extension of the overhaul period of the main rotor mast assembly."

Elro said: Look at how horrifyingly corroded the threads are in the highlighted report!
Images herewith:

The bolt recovered from G-AWAP



Vertical section through mast showing corrosion product in thread (x1.4)

View showing loss of thread form in mast and evidence of vertical smearing at 'A' (x12)

As with G-FILM this was a most tragic event and I clearly recall how saddened my godfather was when he learnt of John's demise.


27th Mar 2011, 18:32
TRC, I appreciate your kind explanation. I'll try to obtain the original photo and make some hi-res scan...

27th Mar 2011, 18:39
Looks like the late PM is the pilot and SN in the back. (Sorry for being cryptic, but I sometimes feel uneasy quoting names on here for some reason, although I have done it before).

I have some photos of this job somewhere. I'll post them if they are relevent - and if I can find them.

27th Mar 2011, 20:12
Tony Walker
He owned two 206’s consecutively – the second one was G-BTWW - can’t remember the reg of the first, and I think it was WW that needed the jig after a rather abrupt arrival into a ploughed field in S. Yorks.

It's all coming back to me - Tony's first 206 and the one that needed the jig was G-BEPP. Got a few photos of it being recovered and I'll stick them in here if they scan reasonably well.

G-BEPP in the field having been righted and dragged laboriously on to the track. Note the damage to the windscreen centre post and co-pilot's door post caused by 6 feet of main rotor blade hitting them both on the way to a 270 yard personal best, stopping just short of the A1 (M).

28th Mar 2011, 08:41
TRC: Not really familiar with Tony Walker - any background info you can offer?

The field appears not too dissimilar from that in which we put down the 'Dancer' (G-AYTF). I've always wondered how the she was recovered because, from what I recall, the field had hedgerows and ditches surrounding it - perhaps you flew it out of there?


28th Mar 2011, 11:10
another strand to George's life, about 1986/87, he became a disc jockey on Clyde 2, with his easy going music and stories.


also a book, photo's from the 'Eye in the Sky'

and a wee bonus, a cutting with a photo of Heli Leeds G-AYMX

Clyde Helicopters type face was Radio Clyde's, so both Clyde's used the same.

28th Mar 2011, 14:24
A few more shots of the Irn Bru helicopters......

G-BRDL at Glasgow Heliport

G-OBRU at Edinburgh Airport

G-OBRU at Cumbernauld shortly after sale to Scotia Helicopters

G-BUXS at Glasgow Heliport

G-BUXS at Edinburgh Airport, a rare shot.... Irn Bru titles covered over with Lothian and Borders Police titles. Used for the Commonwealth Heads of Group meeting (CHOGM) in Edinburgh. Lothian and Borders do not operate their own air support unit. It would be interesting to learn if they have operated any other leased helicopters for special events in the past.


28th Mar 2011, 15:01
I believe my first ever flight in a helicopter was in G-FILM back in Ireland when it was owned by Irish Helicopters registered EI-AUI. Same machine.

28th Mar 2011, 16:13
Wigan/Helipix: Brilliant nostalgia from Clyde and Irn-Bru. :D

One has to chuckle at the 'unfinished' state of the Alouette family (and others for that matter). Still, a true lightweight workhorse which continues to perform to this day!

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/__dRpfF8qlVM/TZGr57Zos6I/AAAAAAAACec/vKHFae0jzZo/s800/awfy%20plymouth%2030%20June%2068%20SA318C%20%28Chris%20Engla nd%29.jpg
SA318C Alouette II seen at Plymouth on 30th June 1968. (Photo: Chris England)

'Saddle bags' mounted abreast the fuel tank?

Of course if the Al II was 'finished' it would look something like this ..



29th Mar 2011, 10:46
'Saddle bags' mounted abreast the fuel tank

They are emerg floats. Self-contained with integral bottles each side. On and off in no time.

I'm very pleased that they decided to not 'finish' the Al II/Lama...

I believe my first ever flight in a helicopter was in G-FILM back in Ireland when it was owned by Irish Helicopters registered EI-AUI. Same machine

Yes it was. Mann's bought it from Irish Helicopters.


Originally G-BANR of BEAS from 1-73 to 6-74, then it went to Ireland (according to G-INFO anyway).

29th Mar 2011, 13:53
Something that disappointed us was at a HCGB or some such event at Sandown Park.

It was shortly after Mann's aquired the machine, and it was entered into the concours competition. Bearing in mind that it was built in 1961, it looked in really great shape.

The competition was won by a brand new Enstrom. I think it was judged by some 'celebrity' actress, but surely someone could have given her a bit of a clue as to what 'concours' was all about..

29th Mar 2011, 15:12
.. it was entered into the concours competition.

Lol! Well if it was a Concours d'Elegance then I have to say I am not surprised!

"Brand new Enstrom" .. "celebrity actress" .. sounds like the perfect environemnt in which 'the Menace' (aka Dennisimo) might flourish! :E


30th Mar 2011, 13:08
Newforest wrote:
Back in 1982/3, I was looking to buy a Jetranger and visited Alan Mann and was interested in a nice machine painted a dark green with a gold stripe. I was told this was painted in the colours of the owner's Rolls Royce, anyone recall this machine as I cannot remember it being discussed here?

Have been trying to sort out which craft this may have been. We've tried SPEY but Newforest didn't seem to recognise her.

How about FSCL (below) which was owned by Thirsk Aviation in Felixkirk? Probably more brown than green but .. you never know!


Newforest are you sure it was green and gold? Could it have been BCYP (below) as flown by Gilles Villeneuve?

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/__dRpfF8qlVM/TPFKnhSPIcI/AAAAAAAACfo/nott0hRSq-8/Gilles%20Villeneuve%20at%20the%201979%20German%20Grand%20Pri x%20at%20Hockenheim%20%28b%29.jpg

Still searching.


30th Mar 2011, 16:17
Sorry Savoia, should have replied earlier, G-SPEY definitely looks like the object of my desire, the reg. just didn't click. :O

1st Apr 2011, 19:41
Newforest: Well I'm glad we got that sorted out. SPEY, in her day (ie: while with her original owner) was indeed a fine aircraft. :ok:

Wigan: Great to see AYMX in your earlier post. For a time she was owned by Christian Salvesen and I would be keen to discover something about their UK ops (c. 1971-72) in case anyone knows.

The Crewdson Files

John has been mentioned several times on this thread and there is a conversation regarding his role in the film 'The Spy Who Loved Me' currently taking place on the Alan Mann thread.

The Sealand saga:

John Crewdson (third from right) with Roy Bates (to his right) in Aug/Sept 1978.

In 1978 John was involved in the retaking of Sealand from Alexander Achenbach - a German lawyer who had stormed the former fort in August of the same year. Evidently John mentioned that after years of being involved in films where weapons were being waved in his direction - it was 'interesting' to experience it for real during the retaking of Sealand!

Presumably atop Sealand's helideck is the ill-fated G-AWAP, parts of which (recovered from its crash) appear at the top of this page. From TRC's explanation in #530 AWAP is wearing the saddle-bag style pop-outs. Does anyone have a good photo of AWAP?

Additional comments on Crewdson appear on pages 3 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-haven-rotary-nostalgia-posts-g-taly-3.html), 8 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-haven-rotary-nostalgia-posts-g-taly-8.html) and 26 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-haven-rotary-nostalgia-posts-g-taly-26.html) of this thread as well as on page 3 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/443466-alan-mann-helicopters-nostalgia-thread-3.html) of the Mann thread.


Thank you for your comments on Tony Walker in response to my post #525 on this page which in turn was in response to TRC's #524 also on this page.

Great that you taught him to fly - sounds like he was a warm and friendly character! Would still like to discover how BEPP ended up in a field!

A couple of shots which you may recall:

G-AVUK at Biggin Hill on 21st May 1972. (Photo: Stephen Rendle).

Prior to being recorded as destroyed in 1983 this craft seems to have shared a fair number of owners including: Twyford Moors, Federated Designs, Monitor Holidays, Richard Lester, Gerald Dommatt and of course Spooner.

AgustaBell 206A G-FSDG at Brands Hatch on 6th October 1985. (Photo: Keith Sowter).

Known to me as being a sister ship (of sorts) to the late great 'Juliet Whisky' (G-AWJW) a former stalwart of the Ferranti fleet.



1st Apr 2011, 21:28
Herewith some more reg/pilot names for 'S' and beliieve it please, but i also owned G-AVUK which was purchased from Ken Reid of Twyford Moors in 1972, being the very first Enstrom I flew and in fact the very first to come into the country from Menominee. It was actually an F28 (no A suffix) and was unique in that it didn't have a collective lever friction fitted.

I sold it later to Richard Lester, and taught him to fly. Richard was a lawyer who sadly had to spend time as the guest of HM at Ford. It was then sold to Jimmy Meyer of Federated Homes at Dorking who later part exchanged it for a 280C Shark, (G-OFED)

I especially knew dear John Crewdson as he was one of my first Enstrom customers when his Helicopter Hire company purchased G-BCOT, G-BENO & G-BBRS. (BBRS on Police ops over London! .... G-BCOT was totalled on a night hover air test when a careless engineer coupled up the three push/pull M/R pitch rods 120 degrees out of sequence ... just think through the revised handling!) I flew with John in G-AWAP a couple of times and again filming the first 'Rollerball' circa 1974. On one refuelling occasion ex-Pinewood, the Blackbushe re-fueller looked at the 'Energy Corporation' sign written on the nose for the film and said he'd send the bill there! John's second son Nick later trained for his PPL (H) with me on a Sikorsky (Schweizer) 300 as did his beautiful daughter Kate, (remember the useless Westland 430 G-KATE)

Ref B206, G-FSDG ... that machine was bought from us by Derek Chandler of Flair Soft Drinks, hence the reg with G-FSDA being the first 206 machine in the series that his company Flair Air operated. G-FSDG was originally a C18 A model but around the late 1970s was converted to the C20B version. Derek Chandler's first ever heli was an Enstrom 28C-2 (G-BHAX) I supplied circa 1976

Just call for more 'anorak' information. Dennis Kenyon.

2nd Apr 2011, 19:17
Dennisimo, great stuff! :ok:

The Agusta A101 as seen in 1964. Count Domenico Agusta third from right.

L-R: Raoul Hefner, Cyril Unwins, Sox Hosegood and Keith Turner. 1st January 1952. Early flight test of the Belvedere.

Hiller 12 flown by Jimmy Harper.

Jimmy Harper was the third Briton to qualify as a rotary-wing pilot. In 1940 he became an instructor on Cierva autogyros. He later became CFI at the RAF Helicopter Training School in Andover. He was also a test pilot for the Airborne Forces Experimental School.

After leaving the service he turned his attention to flying helicopters commercially becoming aviation manager and chief pilot of Pest Control Ltd.


3rd Apr 2011, 18:38
I made the briefest of contributions to his thread earlier on and have avidly followed its progress. It has brought back many happy childhood memories of watching helicopters flying back and fore across the sky where I lived. The detail in this thread has revealed the reasons why. I lived between Ripley, Fairoaks and Brooklands from the mid-70's and from aged 6 I remember looking skyward every time I heard a helicopter. Almost without exception it would be another Jet Ranger or best of all a Bell 47. Over time I developed a keen interest in helicopters and would often persuade my parents to pay a visit to Fairoaks or to Battersea when we travelled into London. Several years later I was fortunate enough to join the RAF as a pilot and rather than follow my heart and head off to helicopters I followed the stream and was very lucky to fly the Tornado GR1/4 for 14 years. I have now retired from the RAF and like many of my predecessors joined a civilian airline. Perhaps I should have followed Dennis K's path and made the transition to helicopters. I doubt I will ever be able to afford to now, but this thread has definitely re-kindled a childhood passion, long may it continue. With 7 years to age 50, I have half promised myself that I will set aside a little (a lot I think) every month and at the very least try and solo in a helicopter (perhaps even a Jet Ranger) on my fiftieth birthday!!! Thanks for the memories......:ok::D

3rd Apr 2011, 20:40
Hofmeister: Welcome back! :ok:

Your previous contribution (post #186 on page 10) may have been brief but .. it was invaluable in that you identified Baron von Furstenberg's 206 as D-HJFF which became G-BTWA.

Without this information we would not have gone on to discuss Charles Hughesdon or his pilot Geoff Cox and neither would we have been likely to mention the other aircraft in Hughesdon's stable. Hughesdon in turn spawned conversations related to Ripley which led to a brief exposé on Ben Turner helicopters.

More recently an enquiry from Estepo regarding Geoff Cox cropped up and we were able to offer an immediate response mainly because of your introduction of G-BTWA and her link to Hugheson. So, your contribution continues to ripple across the pages!

I suppose we all suffer from 'the grass is greener' syndrome to some extent and in this regard I recall an encounter in the right hand seat of a GIII. We launched from a murky Teterboro when my friend stiffened the climb and in just a few seconds we were atop the stratus leaning back heavily bolting skywards and being greeted by the fading glows of a departing sunset. At that moment I remember thinking: "damn, I'm in the wrong job!".

I am fascinated that the Tornado remains as indispensable as it is. In virtually every conflict it is cited as being the primary fighter/bomber despite the fact that commentators keep saying it is going to be replaced! A great aircraft I am sure though.

Regarding your inklings towards the blitterblats .. keep going! I read on another thread the other day that someone had a student in this 70's (I think)! There may even be a generous Rotorhead willing to grant you a pole of their ship to further stir your leanings towards the spinning wings!



3rd Apr 2011, 21:07
For Hofmeister.

Its always great to see a fixed wing airman lust after rotary flight ... but sadly you won't be training on a Jetranger as our dear EASA are disallowing ab-intio tuition on anything with five seats !! Its been on the JAR cards tho' for over ten years! Whither the R66 methinks.

Anyway, welcome back to our wonderful world with whirlybirds. Every man (and woman) of us is totally addicted.

Dennis Kenyon.

4th Apr 2011, 12:53
A couple of pictures of G-AWAP


with Film Flight titles (Helipixman collection - photographer not known)


with Helicopter Hire titles (Helipixman collection - photographer unknown)


4th Apr 2011, 13:42

I'm sure there are many Rotorheads, myself included, who'd like to help you get to a stage where you could solo a helicopter without making a fool of yourself. Most importantly, we need to think about how to organize this in a way which hopefully doesn't cost you anything.

I was talking to my wife the other day, and casually mentioned my cost calculation of financing 1200 odd hours of mostly turbine rotary.

I'm feeling better every day now, and am expected to make a full recovery. Apparently, my new teeth look fine - they say it would have been better if I hadn't swallowed my own when she punched me squarely in the face.

4th Apr 2011, 14:22
Don't be silly Estepo!

One can never annunciate proposed expenditure with one's spouse on the basis of figures alone. They must be contextualised within the framework of female thought and priority!

For example: Frequent day trips must be rationalised against the threat of stagnation in maintaining the status quo to become essential missions during which vision is focussed, new goals set and inspiration rekindled.

Overnight escapades (without the missus) must be explained as possessing the potential to reveal exotic and previously unknown retail outlets laden with all manner of unique and beautiful examples of shoes, handbags and dresses.

Longer excursions usually require 'madam's' presence whereupon her participation as an essential companion must be unequivocally communicated along with assuraces of stops along the way at sufficiently romantic locations with promises of relaxed conversation over lingering reflections of past moments of passion combined with promises of impending encounters of similar if not greater intensity!

Communicated this way I've found is usually good for about half a mil!



4th Apr 2011, 14:46
Oh how I agree :ok: :ok: It's a hard and long road but this exquisitely erudite explanation I shall learn word-perfect for future encounters. Might save me a beating with the handbag (or worse still the interminable silence).

We should respect such wisdom, obviously gained from a full life's experiences :O


4th Apr 2011, 19:47
For Hofmeister.

Sir, if you can secure a suitable helicopter ... Enstrom, Sikorsky 300 or similar (not R22) ... being semi-retired and wanting to put a few things back into our industry, you have my instructional services on a complementary basis. It would be a priviledge to train a guy with your aviation background ... I'd just ask you to pick up my petrol travel costs. With your experience, I guess I'd have you off safely solo circa 15 hours, say 4-5 days if we worked hard. Obviously need a consenting airfield, but these days we can train at an unlicenced site, subject to the FI being satisfied it broadly meets the CAA criteria. I'm licenced to train on the turbine Enstrom 480, B206 and MD 500 but I'm pretty sure the most recent EASA rule changes say we can no longer use the five-seater type. Good luck. Dennis Kenyon.

4th Apr 2011, 20:21
.. if you can secure a suitable helicopter ... (not R22)

Excellent! :ok::E

Dennisimo, what the heck is EASA upto with this five-seat business?


4th Apr 2011, 20:28

You are a true gent. I have sent you a Private Message.

Best Regards


4th Apr 2011, 21:06
It must have been mid 78, I was standing on the raised AMH luxury platform (pictured in an early post 431 next to G-BAKU) working on a tail rotor . Our training machine Bell 47 G5A G-BBRI was working away on the other side of the airfield. For some reason the CAA had decided that tax payer’s money would be well spent teaching one of their senior office clerks how to fly a helicopter. Garry was banking the cheques.
Anyway all was peaceful, with Kate Bush gently reverberating around the hanger, when the steady whirring of Romeo India changed to a series of muffled crumps, followed by silence. TRC and I looked at each other, downed tools, and we went over to the door to see what had happened.
Sirens were blaring and the crash truck was on it’s way . The student was practicing sloping ground landings and had touched a blade. When the crash truck arrived the pilot had his chin touching the end of his nose, and was scratching around in the remains of the cockpit. It transpired that he wasn’t badly injured, he was just looking for his teeth !

5th Apr 2011, 06:17
Helipix: Bravo, again, for your sterling contribution. Your range of helicopter images really is most impressive. Well done.


Humbled ..

Dennis is one of Britain's 'great naturals' in the art of helicopter flying and those to have been schooled by him are privileged indeed.

Sam Manekshaw

I remember Col. Bob telling me about the day he spent with Indian Field Marshall Sam Manekshaw and how impressed he was by the man's character.

Perchance, would anyone have an inkling as to the following:

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/__dRpfF8qlVM/TZquNoUz0iI/AAAAAAAACk4/kdGcSYcOdCU/Field%20Marshall%20Sam%20Manekshaw%20at%20Battersea%20headin g%20to%20Sandhurst..jpg
The late great Field Marshall Sam Manekshaw photographed at Battersea en route Sandhurst.

Any clues as to the type of craft, the year or perhaps even the driver?


5th Apr 2011, 09:39

We need to get you going, so if you'd like to do an hour or so familiarization flight in G-LEDR, and can make it to Bourne Park near Andover, I'll organize it.

I'm in Spain, but I'll ask John Davis (recently retired Senior Standards pilot for the Army) if he'll take you up.

Should give you a taste of the rotary world, which I'm sure you'll never look back from.

Wonderful offer from Dennis - I hope it works out for you.

5th Apr 2011, 10:41
Well done Estepo! :D That is wonderfully generous of you.

Hof: It would seem as though the rotor-beat of your childhood memory has finally caught up with you. 'Jump in' dear friend!

Estepo's and Dennis' generosity is indicative of the character of so many I have met in the rotary world. Long may it continue.

Lashings of compliments all round!


5th Apr 2011, 11:22
The aircraft was a Gazelle and the driver was a Major Scott-Hopkins, probably 1984.


5th Apr 2011, 12:07
The individual on the left is the legendary (some might say infamous) Johnny Johnson, manager of the then Westland Heliport.

5th Apr 2011, 19:15

I have sent you a Private Message, but I would also like to thank you publically as well for your extremely kind and generous offer.:D


5th Apr 2011, 19:51
Hof: 'Another one bites the dust' springs to mind! I'm sure you will love it though.

Tam/TRC .. many thanks. :ok: I shall add the image (with your much valued information) to the Colonel's digital scrapbook to join the legion of characters he encountered during his career.

Johnny Johnson is a name I've read about a number of times across the threads - I think Dennis mentioned him at least once. Never knew him or even recognise the name. The chap I was familiar with was someone called Ward who I think was a controller.

He didn't much care for people loitering in his cab (other than to pay their fees and be off) but, he had a female colleague who was slightly more tolerant of youngsters and it was with her collaboration that I got to 'hang out' in the cab for many an hour while Bob was across the other side of the river at Ferranti's head offices.

On most occasions he would leave a collection of notes (whatever he had in his pocket, which usually wasn't much, he was Scottish remember) with Battersea's ground handlers with the charge "Look after the wee lad would you."

Back to Johnson; how did he gain his notoriety - there must be some stories there TRC?

The Crewdson Files .. continued ..

Dennisimo mentioned John's daughter (whom he taught to fly) and Helicopter Hire's WG30 G-KATE (below).

Helicopter Hire's WG30 G-KATE (so named after John's daughter) seen at Plymouth on 2nd June 1984. John Crewdson's name appearing beneath the forward door. (Photo: Chris England).

If I have my facts straight the craft was leased from Westland before being sold to British International in 1989. Check out the curvature on the main rotor blades compared say with an S76!

As a project the WG30 was however an unmitigated disaster!


6th Apr 2011, 09:05
Does anyone have any information of an operation that worked out of Rainton North Yorkshire in the late 1970s and early 80s? Rainton is just North of RAF Dishforth.

I believe one of the a/c they operated was Hiller G-BEFY, if that is any help.

G-INFO tells me -BEFY was registered to Farm Supply Company (Thirsk) Limited from October 76 - 0ctober 80.


6th Apr 2011, 09:57
http://%5CRotor-396d023%5CUser%20Data%5CTimAusten%5CMy%20Documents%5CMy%20Pi ctures%5CPoster%20PhotosJust wanted to say great thread.

My father flew the Ferranti and BCal Jetrangers from Cranfield in the late 70's before moving on to fly the BO105, Bell 222's and AS355N for the Met Police.

Has brought back some great child hood memories!