View Full Version : The Rotary Nostalgia Thread

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6th Apr 2011, 12:57
Whirly551, welcome.

Would you care to elaborate on who your father was?

As you may have read, I am involved in sponsoring a website detailing the history of Ferranti Helicopters (and a number of additional operations including Alan Mann and BCalH) and so your father's reminiscences would be most welcome!

At this stage we are still collecting material with the view to launching the site 'sometime' this year.



6th Apr 2011, 13:25

Of course! My father is John Austen and was based at Cranfield during the late 70's with the jetranger.

The majority of the time was with BCal and when they got the contract for the Met Police he moved to Lippits Hill until the late 90's when he retired.

I am sure he would be more than keen to assist you and i know there are a number of photos knocking around from then.


6th Apr 2011, 15:19

Your father's name is not immediately obvious to me but, there could be several reasons for this. First he could have been on short-term (ad hoc) assignment to Ferranti, or he could perhaps have joined after Ferranti became BCalH. Alternatively your father might have been flying for one of the other operators ex-Cranfield, such as Trent, who I believe bought one of the Ferranti 206's.

Either way, any memorabilia, stories and alike shall be warmly welcome. :ok:

If your father has any interesting stories from his time with Metpol we'd love to hear about that too!



6th Apr 2011, 18:49
I remember Johnny Johnson mentioned in post 555 very well and it was nice to see him in the pic on post 549.

As a young lad of 16 I wrote to ATC at Battersea Heliport to arrange a visit to see some helicopters. A Mr Johnson replied and invited myself and brother to come along.

We travelled down by bus from North London and spent a fantastic day in the tower and lounge area chatting to him and the great staff. As the day progressed he pulled out our letter and asked how far away Leavesden was from our home.

To our surprise he then arranged for us to fly up to Leavesden in Gazelle G-BAGJ and even phoned my astonished parents to collect us. A true gent. I then became a regular at Battersea and flew in various Jetrangers on empty legs back to Fairoaks (AM), Redhill (Bristow) and Gatwick Beehive (Ferranti).... great days and I'm sure it would'nt be allowed today.

This was the day I got hooked on helicopters, now live, eat and breathe anything to do with helicopters and have photographed them ever since building up one of the largest collections in the UK. Sadly never learnt to fly helicopters but still hope to.


6th Apr 2011, 20:25
For Whirly551 ... Would your Dad be the 'Bunny Austen' who flew for the old firm of CSE at Oxford, Kidlington in the 1970s. I met him on quite a few occasions when CSE was the Bell distributor and one of my Enstrom Agents.

Dennis Kenyon.

6th Apr 2011, 20:37
Hallo Savoia ... sorry to be so late with a response.

In the early 2000s, the first new rules from JAR arrived and among many other items regarding training types that could be approved such as ... 'no swing-over' dual controls (whither the Robinson breed!) an additional stipulation was 'no helicopters with more than four seats! It seems to have been largely ignored by the CAA but I understand now that EASA are holding the reins, the requirement is to become law. Anyone out there in Belgrano land who can quote the latest position?

If that IS the new situation as I am assured .. for ab initio training, we can kiss goodbye to AS350, B206, MD369, Enstrom 480 and of course the new R66! Ain 't this all good fun!

Fly safe out there.

Dennis Kenyon.

7th Apr 2011, 09:10
Ciao amico Dennisimo!

While nothing to emerge from Euroland or the UK in terms of senseless legislation astonishes me anymore, I am at a loss to understand the rationale behind this 'four seat or more' ban on training aircraft! :confused:

Elipix: Your photographic pile is genuinely impressive and has certainly illuminated this thread in a wonderful way. :D

Regarding your aspirations aloft .. you never know, just sometimes life can surprise us and the way forward in the pursuit of our goals becomes a little clearer but, it does seem as though we may need to start a 'Nostalgia Flying Fund' lol!

On the previous page Planemike wrote:

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.Is there anyone with knowledge of Yorkshire heliops from the 70's-80's who can respond?


7th Apr 2011, 17:32
I took the photo of Burnthill's G-WOSP, in her wasp colours doing pleasure flights at a caravan show,

the artistic shot, looking more like a toy.
and a couple of years later, she was painted brown - or should I say coffee - colour for the Maxwell House sponsored, 'Eye in the Sky' traffic reports for Radio Clyde.http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2503/4187894961_c84d8f91a8_z.jpg


7th Apr 2011, 18:02
Wigan: The first image made a previous appearance on page 6.

WOSP (a Bell) was originally delivered to 'Wasp Helicopter Hire' of Glasgow and was one of the first 206 III's in the country (November 1978). She was however preceded (though just by days) by the delivery of G-OIML (an AgustaBell) to Ferranti.

WOSP was one of PPRuNer Paco's former mounts.


7th Apr 2011, 19:28
Thanks SAV , replaced the photo.

G-NEWS s/n 2547,was sister ship to WOSP s/n 2545, came in about the same time, restored to the UK register last year, after a time away in the USA.


7th Apr 2011, 20:44
Just recieved an old photo album after an AIDS episode ( Aviation Induced Divorce Syndrome) a couple of old photo's, one of a Hughes 500 with red/white and blue stripes, with nth reg G-BEJY, and another of a Bell 47 which I re-built in 1977, and I seem to remember 'Old LAE' did the paperwork, G-BER-, can't make out if it's J as the last letter on the reg or not, seem to remember the aircraft came from South Africa to Bristow's where I was employed at the time and then resold?
I'll try and scan the pics later and post


8th Apr 2011, 21:31

G-BERJ rings a very tiny bell.

9th Apr 2011, 04:11
G-BERJ was a Bell 47 G4A reg 1966, crashed during crop spraying in 1987 (not me!) and written orf.......:ok:

9th Apr 2011, 06:58
Stacey: Sorry about the AIDS issue. However, being in the Middle East you should have picked-up on a rather handy habit they have of collecting wives. Once into the multiples the dynamics change considerably allowing one to migrate between the warmer climes in terms of spousal attitude! :E

BERJ, well, most interesting. Helipix posted a photo of AZAG on page 22 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-haven-rotary-nostalgia-posts-g-taly-22.html). This was the persoanl mount of Lord Dulverton (he of the cigarettes). BERJ would appear to have been the predecessor to AZAG!

Awaiting your scanned photo!


9th Apr 2011, 09:48
Herewith an article I recently read highlighting a geo op in Turkey in 1985 which seems to have gone horribly wrong. Written by the 'helicopter coordinator' for GSI (GeoSolutions International) on the project.

The photos are sh*te and without description and for which I apologise.


* * *

"I was given the Helicopter Coodinator's job because I had worked extensively with helicopters in Indonesia and in the Far East we used them for moving equipment and supplies. This operation was to be a long-line job, like is used in Colorado and places like that. I'd never seen anything quite like it before, not that it would have made any difference.

The contract arrangements were also strange. We were working for ESSO (Exxon), who picked Viking Helicopters out of Montreal, Quebec, and told us to hire them. We paid Viking, and ESSO paid us. But ESSO told us how and what to do with the helicopters. I suppose it was done this way to shelter them from any potential liability.

My job was to arrange for the fuelling, liaise with the Viking people, schedule the day's flying activities, keep up with the billable flying hours, keep up with the radio logs, and spend all day in the field as Loadmaster. This wasn't a very good deal. Eventually, they got Basil Warr, another ex-Far East hand and a Gravity Party Chief to help me. The only good that came out of it was that Basil and I both lost a lot of excess lard that summer. Of course the poor food helped.

Viking helicopters supplied three machines. They were Lamas, which are good for high altitude work. Two of the machines were shipped from the Sudan. The other was leased from Dollar Helicopters Ltd., in Coventry, England, and flown to Turkey. Viking's two machines were clapped out pieces of junk. The HF radios didn't work and they were constantly in the shop. Dollar's machine was fairly new, with working radios, and an engineer who came with it. He was a Frenchman, married to an English woman, who had lived in England for about ten years. He kept his beautiful red ellicoptre in good shape.

In most charter operations there is a chief pilot and a managing pilot. On this job, the manager was the Viking engineer. He was a slick talking Englishman who spent most of his time in the mess tent drinking tea, making the Frenchman do all the work. There was a lot of playing and not a very professional manner among the Viking guys. The chief pilot was a Canadian who came up from Sudan. He was a hot dog. While practicing using the long line, he banged the 55 gallon drum full of jet fuel into the ground a couple of times on the first day. Just as I began to think it was just one of those things that could happen to anybody, he hit a power line while sightseeing down a river. Fortunately, he didn't do much damage, and was able to fly back to camp.

The other original pilot, Mario, was Portuguese. He also came from Sudan. Viking sent in a third pilot, a Japanese named Tony. He was there a few days, and walked around in his Fruit of the Looms because of the heat. After watching his workmates, he told me that they were dangerous and we had better take care. Viking's manager ran him off, but he got the word to GSI in Ankara before he left. It's hard to take a guy seriously who walks around in his drawers , but as it turned out, he was right. By then, I'd been there 7 weeks, and headed for Singapore for 3 weeks of well earned R&R.

While I was enjoying my time off, the first helicopter accident occurred. A new pilot, sent to replace Tony, made a hard landing at a helipad in the mountains, a very hard landing indeed. It was hard enough to destroy the helicopter, though no one was seriously injured--unless you call a broken arm serious. By the time I returned to the crew, the safety brass from ESSO and GSI were there to see what was going on. They mostly bought the BS from Viking's manager and Project Manager, though the ESSO guy gave me a hard time because he didn't like the way Viking was running their operation. With no backup from either GSI or ESSO, I really didn't have much to say about things. I began to see why ESSO had insisted on a GSI Helicopter Coordinator.

The second day back, I was ordered by our Party Chief to stay in camp and run the radio, since the radio operator was out sick. About ten in the morning the helicopter was moving cables and geophones from the back of the line to the front. I couldn't get Mario on the radio. Finally a young turk came on and said there was a problem with the helicopter. He said , "helicopter go boom!" Things got pretty hectic after that. We sent some expats and vehicles out to the staging area where the call came from and found the wreckage of the helicopter and Mario dead.

For reasons known only to Mario--there probably weren't any, he flew into a 110kv high tension line which was overhead the pad where he had been flying in and out of all morning. This line was over 100' above the ground, so it was no problem to miss it. He was likely thinking of something else and forgot about the cable until he struck it with his main rotor. He must have been moving forward fairly fast because he snapped the cable, which was quite thick. It in turn, snapped back on both sides, and caused two grass fires. The wreckage hit the ground not far from where Mario took off. Mario had his head bashed in and was probably killed by the rotor while the helicopter was coming apart. It was a non-survivable crash so we were told.

Our GSI Safety officer just happened to be sober that morning, so he went out with several of the guys who normally worked in camp, and picked up the body. It was packed in ice, and sent to Diyarbakir for whatever the authorities wanted to do with it. They shipped it to Portugal, back to his family. The French helicopter engineer was in a state, so we sent him too. Since his helicopter was finished, his job was too.

It wasn't long until ESSO grounded the remaining helicopter, and converted the operation from a helicopter crew to a mule crew. With no need for a mule coordinator, it was time for me to go."






9th Apr 2011, 11:40
Michel is still around, and accorded the respect as probably the best Al 2/Lama engineer who I ever worked with, that's for sure. Think he's retired now of course. It's a sorry tale you relate from GSI but it rings bells............

Didn't Dollar lose an Al 2/Lama on a geosurvey job in S America somewhere? Right on the top of a mountain but no casualties (I hope) I seem to recall.

But then a 2nd Lama sent to sling out the first one, also 'arrived heavily'. And then there were two............:sad:

Or is my recall all screwed up. I know, why don't we ask TRC - he'll remember if I am talking b****x or not...:ok:

10th Apr 2011, 06:35
HeliSDW wrote on 26th August 2010: "Was the Alouette a particularly common camera platform in the UK?"

This is a somewhat belated response but I believe that if referring to the 60's and 70's the answer could be yes.

Recently there has been discussion involving a couple of Alouette II's which were assoicated with filming. Specifically, Helicopter Hire's G-AWAP (previous page) and Alan Mann's G-FILM on the Mann thread (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/443466-alan-mann-helicopters-nostalgia-thread-2.html). Tragically, both ships were lost while engaged in filming sorties.

On the Mann thread TRC wrote:

"The Al II was chosen for a number of reasons; the large flat floor, large door opening, it could fly as fast sideways as it could forwards and there were several approved mods for various camera installations in existence."

It would seem as though a fair few of the commercial Al II's in the UK during the 60's and 70's were indeed engaged in filmwork:

When HeliSDW made his comment above on page 9 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-haven-rotary-nostalgia-posts-g-taly-9.html) he posted a clip from the BBC archives which featured a Heli-Union Al II, G-AWLC, performing filmwork in 1969.

On page 27 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-haven-rotary-nostalgia-posts-g-taly-27.html) an image appears of another Heli-Union Al II, G-AWFY, which was sold to BEAS and then Dollar. One wonders whether this may also have been engaged in filming assignments?

Another Al II appears on page 14 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-haven-rotary-nostalgia-posts-g-taly-14.html), G-AVEE, being an 'Air Gregorius' craft - one which I encountered at Shoreham in the early 70's and, herewith, another Al II belonging to Air Gregory:

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/__dRpfF8qlVM/TaE8nL0hbnI/AAAAAAAACpg/QqjEfKhzJGQ/SA318C%20G-BBJE%20Alo%20Astazou%20Biggin%20Hill%2018%20May%2074%20%28Ra y%20Barber%29.jpg
SA318C G-BBJE operated by Air Gregory as seen at Biggin Hill on 18th May 1974. The craft was registered in 1973 to 'Medminster' of Putney then sold to Switzerland in 1978. (Photo: Ray Barber)

Anyone with evidence of additional Al II's or Lama's used in filmwork, please do chip in.


10th Apr 2011, 10:22

Many thanks for taking the time to respond, however belatedly, to my original question!

With the 1960s/1970s being a bit before my time, I wasn't sure whether the Al II had been a prominent UK camera ship - I certainly hadn't come across references to it before. Your research would suggest that I perhaps hadn't looked thoroughly enough!

The cynic in me suspected that Francophobia may have played a part in limiting its success/prominence in the UK - of course such attitudes would never prevail today...!


10th Apr 2011, 10:43
I'm pretty sure that airframe was bought by RBA helicopters in 1967 before Air Gregory and did a fair amount of tv and series work as a camera ship.
I know it was meant to work on the prisoner series in Wales but went tit's up and a french AII came in for a few of the episodes. :ok:

10th Apr 2011, 17:51

Sloanes 500?? Redhill Circa 1977


S you were right, jogged the memory straight away, the Cigarrette person it was, have to excuse the 'Hairy Youth!' well we were all young once.


10th Apr 2011, 20:54
....why don't we ask TRC - he'll remember if I am talking b****x or not...

VFR - I think you are correct (as far as I can remember).

"Was the Alouette a particularly common camera platform in the UK?"

Aerial filming from helicopters was pretty basic in the late 60's - early 70's. Just watch films of that era and see how mediocre it was generally, usually done either hand-held or with a cobbled together tripod arrangement carefully deigned to transmit the vibration direct to the lens.

There were a few people on both sides of the Atlantic who realised that things could be a lot better. Peter Allwork and Albert Werry in the UK, and Nelson Tyler and Bob Nettmann in the US (to name just a few) set out to design and build 'proper' helicopter camera mounts.

Tyler and Werry both designed their own stuff - the Tyler Mount and Helivision - and Allwork and Nettmann (with others) developed the Continental mount.

The helicopter of choice for most was the Bell47J - the Continental seat for flat-floor helicopters was referred to into the 90's as the 'J2 Seat', even though it was used in just about every type with a flat floor from AS350's through 109's to S76.

The Alouette II was the natural successor to the 47J, particularly in this side of the pond where J's and J2's were uncommon, with plenty of room inside and a big door. The light helicopters around at the time were no good at all for carrying mounts, the H500 was too cramped and the 206 was an awkward shape in the back. So the gear that had been designed for the J fitted just fine into the Al II. They could also lug the large and heavy Wescam and Gyrosphere systems which fitted fairly simply to the float attachments.

It was really only the shortening supply of Al II's and the increasing numbers of 206's that made the mount manufacturers come up with adaptations to fit the 206. Then of course the 350/355 started to take over from the 206, ironically with the same kit as first designed for the 47J.

Nowadays the small video turrets are common for TV, and the now more widely available 35mm stabilised systems like the Wescam, Spacecam, etc do the feature film stuff usually fitted to 350/355's.

Can't beat a Lama with four up and a Wescam 35mm system at 12,000 feet though.....

10th Apr 2011, 22:46
In response to Planemikes post no 556

I remember reading in an old aviation magazine about Farm Supply Co operating out of an airfield at Rainton. It also mentions engineering was carried out at Felixkirk near Thirsk. Personally never heard of these two fields.

In addition to the heli ops they had fixed wing crop sprayers, G-AZZG & G-BEOD.

The two Hillers operated were:-


G-BDRY Hiller UH-12E c/n 2273 ex XS172 registered to Farm Supply Co 20.5.76. Picture shows it when subsequently owned by G & S.G. Neal, Holbeach, Lincs


G-BEFY Hiller UH-12E c/n 2270 ex XS169 registered to Farm Supply Co. 5.10.76.

Pictures from Helipixman collection (photographers not known)

A little further research shows that they have also owned:-
G-BATT Hughes 269C 6.4.81 - 27.6.83
G-BBHD Enstrom F.28A 13.7.87 - 27.9.89
G-SHNN Enstrom 280C 19.1.90 - 26.2.92

wonder if Dennis K can shed any light on the Enstrom ops here, used for spraying ?

Even further investigation into the current four directors of Farm Supply Co. shows they also have interests in BCS Agriculture, County Crops and Fieldcare Ltd

One of these companies, Fieldcare was previously called N. Hutchings Ltd, in Edwinstowe, Mansfield, Notts.

N. Hutchings also owned helicopters......

G-AWFY Sud SA.318C Alouette II
G-AZRU AB 206B Jetranger
and guess what one of the previous thread helis....
G-AYTF Bell 206B

Related companies ? both in the crop farming industry or just coincidence ?


11th Apr 2011, 00:28
N. Hutchings also owned helicopters...... G-AZRU AB 206B Jetranger

Wasn't G-AZRU an Air Hanson machine??

11th Apr 2011, 02:53

Yes Hanson Trust were the first registered owners of G-AZRU


11th Apr 2011, 05:24
An index has been compiled for the benefit of those wishing to reference the topics, images and videos appearing on this thread.

Regular readers who feel this may be of use, please remember that the index is located on page 29

Aircraft Photo Index

G-AJHW (S51) ... page 26
G-AJOV (S51) ... pages 6 & 20
G-AKCX (B47) ... page 20
G-AKFB (B47) ... page 19
G-AMWG (Sycamore) ... page 20
G-APMR (H12) ... page 19
G-APTH (B47) ... page 22
G-ASNL (S61) ... page 20 & 26
G-ASNM (S61) ... page 26
G-ASUN (B305) ... page 18
G-ASXF (B305) ... page 19
G-ATCA (Wessex) ... page 26
G-ATJY (B2) ... page 17
G-ATSJ (B305) ... pages 19 & 20
G-ATUR (B305) ... page 19
G-ATUS (B305) ... page 18
G-AWDU (B2) ... pages 16 & 20
G-AWFY (Al II) ... page 27
G-AWJL (B206) ... page 22
G-AWJW (B206) ... page 3
G-AWOL (B206) ... pages 5 & 22
G-AWOM (B206) ... page 22
G-AWVL (H300) ... page 20
G-AVEE (Al II) ... page 14
G-AVUK (E28) ... page 27 & 28
G-AWAP (Al II) ... pagse 27
G-AYBE (B206) ... page 20
G-AYMX (B206) ... pages 5 & 27
G-AYTF (B206) ... page 17
G-AXEJ (H500) ... page 18
G-AXGO (B206) ... page 25
G-AXMM (B206) ... page 11
G-AXPL (H500) ... page 14
G-AZAG (B206) ... pages 22 & 23
G-AZBS (B47) ... page 22
G-AZMB (B47) ... page 17
G-AZRU (B206) ... page 18
G-AZYB (B47) ... page 22
G-BAAN (H300) ... page 21
G-BAEH (H300) ... page 14
G-BAKF (B206) ... page 3
G-BAKS (B206) ... pages 23 & 24
G-BAKT (B206) ... page 22
G-BAKU (B206) ... page 22
G-BALT (F28) ... pages 13 & 15
G-BAUN (B206) ... page 16
G-BAVI (B206) ... pages 16, 18, 19
G-BAZL (SA341) ... page 24
G-BBBM (B206) ... pages 8 & 13
G-BBBR (F28) ... page 13
G-BBET (B206) ... page 25
G-BBEU (B206) ... page 25
G-BBJE (Al II) ... page 29
G-BBPO (F28) ... page 13
G-BBRS (F28) ... page 8
G-BBUX (B206) ... pages 20 & 22
G-BBUY (B206) ... page 16
G-BBVI (F28) ... page 19
G-BCWM (B206) ... pages 6 & 12
G-BCWN (B206) ... pages 11 & 12
G-BCYP (B206) ... pages 17 & 27
G-BDRY (H12) ... page 29
G-BEFY (H12) ... page 29
G-BEHG (B206) ... pages 16 & 22
G-BEJY (H500 ... page 29
G-BENO (E280) ... page 3
G-BEPP (B206) ... page 27
G-BERJ (B47) ... page 29
G-BFFJ (S61) ... page 21
G-BHIV (AS350) ... page 25
G-BHXU (B206) ... pages 16 & 25
G-BKXE (AS365) ... page 24
G-BLSY (B222) ... page 14
G-BNPS (Bo105) ... page 13
G-BOUY (B206) ... page 25
G-BRDL (B206) ... page 27
G-BTWA (B206) ... pages 10, 24 & 25
G-BUXS (Bo105) ... page 27
G-BUZZ (B206) ... page 4
G-BWAV (H300) ... page 13
G-CEDK (Citation X) ... page 1
G-CHLA (AS355) ... page 26
G-CHOC (B206) ... pages 11 & 23
G-DWMI (B206L) ... page 22
G-EJCB (A109) ... page 8
G-EYEI (B206) ... page 9, 16, 22, 24 & 27
G-FSCL (B206) ... page 27
G-FSDG (B206) ... page 27
G-GASA H500) ... page 26
G-GOBP (B206) ... page 25
G-JAMI (B206L) ... page 17
G-JANY (AS350) ... page 8
G-JOKE (B206) ... page 2
G-JLBI (B206L) ... pages 5 & 8
G-JLBZ (B222) ... page 7
G-JLEE (B206) ... page 1
G-KATE (WG30) ... page 28
G-LBAI (EC155) ... page 18
G-LIII (B206L) ... page 13
G-LRII (B206L) ... page 13
G-MRRR (H500) ... page 6
G-NEEP (B206) ... page 21
G-NEUF (B206L) ... page 14
G-NOEI (AS350) ... pages 11 & 25
G-NOXY (R44) ... page 20
G-OBRU (B206) ... pages 26 & 27
G-OJCB (B206) ... pages 2, 22 & 23
G-OLLY (Piper Navajo) ... page 2
G-ONOW (Bell 206) ... pages 5 & 9
G-ORRR (H500) ... page 6
G-OYST (B206) ... page 17
G-PACO (S76) ... page 15
G-PRIX (Cessna Titan?) ... page 2
G-REVS (B206) ... page 5
G-RODS (B206) ... pages 11 & 12
G-ROGR (B206) ... page 11
G-SHAA (E280) ... page 6
G-SPEY (B206) ... pages 23 & 25
G-STEF (H500) ... page 16
G-STVI (B206L) ... pages 9, 22 & 24
G-SWEL (H500) ... pages 6 & 20
G-TALI (AS355) ... page 2
G-TALY (B206) ... pages 1, 7 & 17
G-TGRZ (B206) ... page 6
G-TKHM (B206) ... page 22
G-WARM (B206L) ... page 13
G-WILL (B206) ... page 15
G-WIZZ (B206) ... pages 2 & 3
G-WOSP (B206) ... pages 5, 6 & 29
G-XXEB (S76) ... page 18

D-HJFF (B206) ... page 10
D-HMAC (B206) ... pages 11, 13 & 23
F-BIEA (Al II) ... page 27
F-GBBQ (AS350) ... page 25
F-WHHF (Alouette II) ... page 12
I-CDVM (B206L) ... page 13
I-MINR (B47) ... page 22
I-PFDC (AS355) ... page 6
N109BS (A109) ... page 17
N2221W (B222) ... page 12
N38BL (B206) ... page 22
VH-AND (B206) ... page 16
VH-FRL (B206) ... page 26
ZK-HPP (B206) ... page 16
ZS-HDZ (B206) ... page 16

5N-ACN (Alouette II John Eacott) ... page 10

Abu Dhabi 206's ... page 22
Agusta 101 ... page 27
Al II's in Turkey ... page 29
AS 355 with Vauxhall Corsa over Tower Bridge ... page 26
BCalH S-61 ... page 5
Bell 206's in Rhodesia ... pages 3 & 4
Brantly B2's ... page 16
'Brantly in the Docks' ... page 18
Bristol Belvedere ... page 12
Bucker Jungmeister ... page 19
Ferranti Stabilised 206 ... page 17
First Kiwi Deer recovery flight (B47) ... page 26
German Air Force Vertol ... page 15
Gilles Vileneuve JetRanger ... page 17
Heli Air Monaco AS365 ... page 6
Instrument Panel B206A ... page 6
Instrument Panel G-JLBI ... page 4
Lamas (Air Glaciers) ... page 10
Lebanese Air Force Alouette III ... page 12
Malaysian AS-61 Silver ... page 6
Newspaper article George Muir (Clyde) ... page 27
North American Brantly 305 ... page 19
NY Port Authority 206 over WTC ... page 26
Pope's Helicopter ... page 5
Rather Pleasant Passenger boarding a B407 ... page 14
Rhodesian Alouette III ... page 4
Rhodesian Spitfire ... page 4
Saunders Roe Skeeter ... page 12
Selection of AeroGulf Helicopters ... page 9
Selection of 'Classic' 206's ... page 16
Selection of MetPol 222's ... page 14
Selection of Sabena Helicopters ... page 12
Skytech Mi26 with truck ... page 26
Sox Hosegood ... page 27
'Spy Who Loved Me' 206 mock up ... page 4
Sunderland Flying Boat ... page 1
UniRoyal Hughes 500 ... page 20
US Airways S51 ... page 10
Westland Wasps (RN) ... page 6 & 26
Westland Whirldwind (RAF & Bristow) ... pages 12 & 19

11th Apr 2011, 05:24
Miscellaneous Photo Index

Alan Mann ... page 15
Beano Comic Cover ... page 3
Charles Hughesdon ... pages 10 & 25
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang ... page 15
Chris Hunt ... page 22
Clark Gable, Van Heflin, Gary Cooper and James Stewart ... page 10
Colin Chapman with Lotus ... pages 2 & 15
Clyde Heliport (aerial view) ... page 9
Eaton Hall ... page 1
Gen. Peter Walls ... page 4
Gilles Villeneuve ... page 17
Jimmy Harper ... page 27
John Crewdson ... page 27
Ken Gregory ... page 14
Lake Como ... page 6
Mike Smith ... page 20
Noughts and Crosses on motorway ... page 2
PPRuNer PACO's Corvette ... page 15
Peter Cadbury ... pages 9 & 21
Queen Elizabeth ship ... page 10
Roy Neep ... pages 4 & 21

Video Index

Alouette 318 G-AWLC ... page 9
Charles Hughesdon's helicopter garden party ... page 10
Marc Wolfe's flying scene in 'For Your Eyes Only' ... pages 3 & 24
Vintage Bell 47's ... page 10

Topical Index

Agusta S61 Silver ... page 6
Air Gregory ... pages 14 & 20
Alan Mann ... page 15
Alan Mann Racing ... page 14
Alec Wortley Helicopters ... page 21
Baron Heinrich von Furstenberg ... page 10
Ben Turner Helicopters ... page 25
Brantly 305 ... pages 18 & 19
Charles Hughesdon ... pages 10 & 20
Christian Salvesen Antarctica ... page 15
Clyde Helicopters/Heliport ... pages 8, 24 & 25
Colin Chapman ... page 15
Cy Rose ... pages 13 & 17
Dollar Helicopters ... page 21
Duke of Westminster ... pages 1, 2, 16
Exchange between Commissioner of Police and Bell Helicopter rep ... page 14
Ferranti family ... page 19
Freddie Starr ... page 1
Freddie Wilcox ... page 11
Gay Absalom ... page 14
Gilles Villeneuve ... page 17
G-AWDU ... page 17
G-AYLX ... page 20
G-AYTF ... pages 5, 13 & 15
G-AZAG ... page 24
G-BAKS ... page 24
G-BAKU ... page 21
G-BALT ... pages 13 & 15
G-BAVI ... pages 16, 17
G-BBEU ... pages 24 & 25
G-BHXU ... pages 16
G-BTWA ... pages 10, 24 & 25
G-CHOC ... pages 9, 23 & 24
G-RODS/ROGR ... page 11
G-NOEL ... page 11
G-SPEY ... pages 24 & 25
G-TALY ... pages 1 & 2
G-TALY Delivery ... page 7
G-WIZZ ... pages 2, 3 & 13
'High Road to China' (film) ... page 25
John Crewdson ... pages 3 & 8
John Dicken ... page 22
Ken Davies ... pages 1 & 7
Lake Como ... page 6
Noel Edmonds ... pages 11 & 12
'Ode to Taly' ... page 1
Oldway Helicopters ... page 19
Papal Flying ... page 5
Peter Cadbury ... pages 9,11, 13, 20, 21
Pete Wilson ... page 12
Police Enstroms ... page 13
'Raspberry Ripple' 206 ... page 3
Rhodesian Expedition ... pages 3 & 4
Roy Spooner ... pages 19 & 20
'Run of The Country' (film) ... page 22
Saunders Roe Skeeter ... page 10
Sox Hosegood ... page 12
Twyford Moors Helicopters ... page 24
UK LongRangers ... page 13
'Wizz the Bizz' Rhyme ... page 2

11th Apr 2011, 17:51
Stace: I'll see your AutoAlloys D model BEJY with Weetabix's BIOA and I'll raise you two more AutoAlloy's 500's .. HOOK and GOGO! http://www.tunisianloverats.com/images/smilies/Laughing_smiley.gif

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/__dRpfF8qlVM/TaMrcxM-wnI/AAAAAAAACqg/FLLE-OzWn2Y/369D%20BIOA%20Farnborough%208%20Sept%2084%20%28Brian%20Johns tone%29.jpg
Hughes 500D G-BIOA belonging to Weetabix International as seen at Farnborough on 8th September 1984. (Photo: Brian Johnstone).

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/__dRpfF8qlVM/TaMrrBW1ppI/AAAAAAAACqk/EjzeNpcW-l0/500D%20HOOK%20Middle%20Wallop%2023%20Jul%2082%20%28Brian%20J ohnstone%29.jpg
Hughes 500D G-HOOK belonging to AutoAlloys Ltd as seen at Middle Wallop on 23rd July 1982. (Photo: Brian Johnstone).

Hughes 500D belonging to AutoAlloys Ltd as seen at Sywell in July 1979. (Photo: Bill Teasdale).

I don't know whether BIOA was part of PPRuNer Palma's collection or whether he sold this to a family member. I am fairly certain however that Palma was flying GOGO when I met him at the '79 Cranfield Airshow with Mike Smith in tow.


12th Apr 2011, 10:30

Many thanks for the information you have turned up on Farm Supply and in particular the images of the Hillers.

My information was very sketchy, just G-BEFY listed at Rainton. Looks to me that Felixkirk was the main centre of operations. I have not visited Felixkirk but it is a small private airstrip just outside Thirsk. Seem to recall operations started there some time in the 70s. Think Rainton was just a pad.

Interesting that the image of -BEFY shows the skid of what appears to be another Hiller parked alongside.

Hope some more details on Hiller operations appear in this excellent thread. Through the 50s, 60's and in to the 70s around 60 Hillers appeared on the British register. Together with the Bell 47s they pioneered commercial civil rotary flight in the UK.


12th Apr 2011, 11:10
PM: Was also glad to see that Elipix was able to dig up some info for you.

As it happens Felixkirk and Thirsk Aviation made a brief appearance on page 27 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-haven-rotary-nostalgia-posts-g-taly-27.html) where one of their 206's (G-FSCL) was showcased during our hunt for Newforest's green and gold 206.

Some Hiller 'scraps' from one of my rarely-opened archive folders .. just until I can get you something better. Only one item from the UK I'm sorry to say.

Kiwi 'copter man' Bill Black recovering a plank (ZK-CGI) from Lake Duncan in Fiordland. Evidently the aircraft (CGI) was stolen from Taieri airstrip and then ditched!

Exemplifying the term 'one good turn deserves another' the crew of the Motor Stores Lighter HMAS Boronia recover a Hiller from the seas not far from Sydney!

The HMAS Boronia was one of nine 180 tonne wooden stores vessels built for the RAN in 1944-45 with the remainder being built for the Army's water transport units.

Hiller over Leeds (Kent that is!).


12th Apr 2011, 14:42
The Kenyon Files:

Dennisimo! An appalling photo (my apologies) and a craft of which I have no recollection. While I wasn't so up on the UK's F28 population I was aware of a number of the 'Sharks' .. but not this one!

Enstrom 280C Shark G-BEYR as seen at Nottingham (Tollerton) on 21st July 1979. (Photo: John Bell).

Seems to have been registered at first to a 'Guy Morton & Sons' of Cambridgeshire in 1977 then on to a string of companies including 'Computer Consultancy', 'Looporder' and 'Freshmay' before being sold to Norman Bailey trading as 'Manchester Helicopter Centre'.

Dennis, Norman Bailey's name keeps cropping-up - do you recall much about his outfit?



12th Apr 2011, 22:42

Norman Bailey's company (The Manchester Helicopter Centre (http://www.themanchesterhelicoptercentre.co.uk/home/default/)) is based at Barton Airfield (EGCB) - I believe it is now run by his son and they still operate a couple of Enstroms. I was told that in days gone by, a number of Enstroms were sold to MHC students, so I suspect that is why the name/company keeps cropping up.

I was taught to fly by one of the Bailey's former instructors who had an endless array of fascinating stories surrounding the helicopter industry in the 1970s/1980s! It was this same instructor who had connections to the DofW's pilot/helicopters as previously discussed in this thread.

Norman Bailey has authored three books about helicopter flying (entitled "The Helicopter Pilot's Manual" Vol I/II/III) - these are concise tomes but are filled with useful information. They certainly provided a useful starting point on the basic principles of flight.

Sorry not to be able to provide any significant trivia/nostalgia - I am sure others will have much more information to share...


13th Apr 2011, 01:18
Going back a few posts ... so here goes.

Enstroms G-BBHD. (I registered three in one day ... G-BBHC, G-BBHD & G-BBHE) ... HD was serial number 150which was sold new to the Christian Salveson group, but never used for crop spraying being a non-turbo 'A' model. G-BCOT, Serial No 199, WAS a turbo 28C and fitted out as a crop-sprayer using the Aginautics, 3600 36 ft boom spray gear and the Vicon hopper for dry work. This Enstrom had the sad distinction of being written off three times. First in the container while being shipped ex USA factory, second when poor David Voy lifted off at Southend with the three M/R push/pull rods connected up 120 degrees out of sinc. The third occasion was when our American pilot on a Septoriam spray task ducked under some 33KVs and suffered a 'flashover' which brought him down, but pilot was OK. Enstrom G-BBBR was also a sprayer having been converted from the 'A' spec to the Rayjay turbo charged 'C' model. I made a crop spraying publicity film in this one and shared the flying with that great New Zealander, Derek Alexander. RIP and Dave Cook. Enstrom G-BZZZ was the third Ag model again converted from serial 138, a 28A model originally registered G-BBBZ. (what a memory ... honest!) Bill Catchpole (the Bishop!) was our Chief Ag Pilot.

Now the pic listed at Tollerton as G-BEYA wasn't YA. It was one of the first non turbo 280 'Shark'' models to come into the country. (three in all.) actually registered G-BEYR (serial number 1064) which I first UK air tested for CAA certification on July 27 1977. G-BEYA was an original factory 280C turbo Shark sold to Guy Morton, a potato dealer in Norfolk. (Later a Jetranger.) Bless you Guy if you are still aviating. I displayed G-BEYA at the Noel Edmonds, Mr Blobby event at Cranfield circa mid 1980s. I well remember the occasion since half way thru' my display, the 'REDS' decided to taxi their Hawks on to the main runway directly beneath me as I was in the sequence.

'Bill' Bailey .... he of 'the DFM for bringing a Scout back home' in Aden after having his T/R shot off. We both go back to 1973 when he recklessly converted me from the fixed wing nonsense to all things rotary. So you can blame him for allowing me to acquire this mine of useless information.

Earlier items. Yes ... John Wakeham (Conservative) was a fiancial gentleman I met regularly, being a co-director of Spooner Aviation and Air Taxis International Limited, based at Shoreham. And sadly the as yet unamed pilot of G-BAKS was that nice guy, Julian Holdaway who frequently freelanced for my Starline Helicopters business at Biggin Hill. Lost just north of Goodwood on the downs at night.

Finaly, I purchased B206 G-BFND from Bill Warner, (the biggest brother) which I re-registered as G-BYSE for the Wise Group. Earlier, in that red hot summer of 1976, I turned up at Bill Warner's posh home on Hayling Island to demonstrate a non-turbo Enstrom Shark. Then had to get my selling boots on with his 20 stone alongside as we vertically lifted clear of the 75 ft trees with the OAT showing 103 degrees! He soon changed the Enstrom for the Jetranger of course.

I think that's all for the mo ... hope to be back with you all again soon. Keep them pictures coming.

Dennis Kenyon.

PS. All figs are dragged from the memory box (which is 80 next year!) ... so allowances please!

13th Apr 2011, 01:32
Oh ... just a bit I have to add. Auto Alloys - Shot Blast Spares - of G-HOOK fame etc. I think the owner of Enstrom G-BBHD was father & son duo Dan Taylor. Odd because at the time, I supplied four Enstroms to the Taylor surname. Dan Taylor, Trevor Taylor G-BBBZ, Gordon Taylor G-CTRN (Gordon Taylor Royal navy) The fourth was a Taylor who had a metal stock holding business north East London. Sorry I can't recall the Christian name, but Bill Bailey can as he taught him I'm sure.

Dennis K

16th Apr 2011, 06:02
Ciao Dennisimo! Thank you for the ongoing memories and for clarifying BEYA/R's identity. Am glad that Bill Bailey introduced you to the world of vertical flight! :ok:

Regarding BEYA, she still seems to be kicking about, seen here shooting 'half autos' from a newly licenced back yard!

YouTube - Enstrom auto

Some Bölkow Nostalgia ..

Wilfried von Engelhardt studied in England between 1950-1952. He was a helicopter mechanic in Paris (1954) and in Holland (1955-56). In 1957 he trained and qualified as a pilot whereafter he joined Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm becoming their Chief Test Pilot from 1962-1973.

In 1966 he attended the Test Pilot's course at EPNER.

Engelhardt performed the first flight of the MBB Bo105 test bed on 16th February 1967.

After serving as Chief Test Pilot with MBB, Engelhardt became MBB's Director of Sales prior to assuming responsibility for the company's helicopter training centre.

Wilfried von Engelhardt




17th Apr 2011, 01:21
Wigan airways - Remember this one from 1990?


17th Apr 2011, 08:39
Epiphany, Yes I do, the one used while waiting, between the depature of G-BFYA, back to Veritair, and the arrival of G-SPOL.
on the pad, ready for action.
'ra polis' keeping their machine clean.
ahh! that's why, we're on the telly :ok:.


17th Apr 2011, 09:19
Here's G-BFYA from 1990.


17th Apr 2011, 09:31
Epiphany/Wigan, great shots! :ok:

Especially enjoy HSL on the beach.

BFYA was of course a former member of the Ferranti fleet.

Glasgow Heliport on 10th February 2001


17th Apr 2011, 11:05
My YA in action shot,the Govan shipyards in the background

and a better one of the first helicopter G-GASA

and coming into land at Clyde Heliport from G-EYEI


17th Apr 2011, 11:24
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/__dRpfF8qlVM/Taq9goMEaCI/AAAAAAAACwA/_jZwjVkYuF8/ZS-RJU%20AV8%20CBS%20Woody%20Cape%20SA%2029%20Dec%202004%20%28R ob%20Krummeck%29.jpg
ZS-RJU at Woody Cape on 29th December 2004. (Photo: Rob Krummeck)

This CBS model owned by South African 'AV8 Helicopters' made an unexpected arrival at Woody Cape beach in December 2004 when, due to some sort of 'engine trouble', she came down in a hurry performing a 180° turn and some boom-slapping on touchdown.


Senior Pilot
17th Apr 2011, 12:12
Heliport has quite rightly pointed out that this is now such a general Nostalgia Thread that it is time to drop the G-TALY reference and make it The Rotary Nostalgia Thread :ok:

17th Apr 2011, 14:29
G-AZOM at Aberdeen's Dyce airport on 3rd April 1981. (Photo: Derek Heley)

While owned by BEAS this craft seems to have been on lease to Bristow to become one of their rare 105's.

G-BCDH at Cambridge Bourn airport on 16th September 1983. (Photo: Bill Teasdale)

This eventually became a 'Bond bird' but, at the time of the photo, was under the patronage of Management Aviation.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/__dRpfF8qlVM/TarndovIyVI/AAAAAAAACws/S-ANuUgByDg/Elitos%20105CBS%20Pescara%209%20Nov%2082%20%28P.%20Vercruijs se%29.jpg
I-EHBB (CBS variant) beloning to 'Elitos' at Pescara (Italia) on 9th November 1982. (Photo: P. Vercruijsse)


18th Apr 2011, 08:35
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/__dRpfF8qlVM/TavY_Uk8qtI/AAAAAAAACxk/E-KS3FBBcFQ/WW%20HAS1%20Bay%20of%20Plenty%20NZ%20Nov%201990%20%28Glenn%2 0White%29.jpg
Westland Wasp HAS1 over the Bay of Plenty in November 1990. (Photo: Glenn White)

The last time I saw an RNZN Wasp in the flesh as it were, was in June/July of 1990 off the coast of the province of New Britain in Papua New Guniea where an RNZN Frigate was attending negotiations between the PNG government and members of the rebel group the BRA.

Westland Wasp XT788 as attached to HMS Minerva in November 1969. The craft went on to serve aboard the civilian SS Uganda during her incarnation as a hospital ship during the Falklands campaign (1982).

Word has it that XT788 now trawls the UK's supermarket car parks in support of fundraising exercises for wounded service personnel.

The SS Uganda to which XT788 (middle photo) was attached on MEDEVAC duties in 1982

In the early 70's I sailed aboard the SS Uganda as part of a school cruise taking-in the Eastern Med. Memorable moments included food poisoning in Istanbul and a force 9 gale between Alexandria and Heraklion.

Oh, and a nursing assistant in the sick bay who, upon reflection, was probably my first infatuation! In somewhat unoriginal fashion but, lacking experience in such matters, I managed to conjure up what I thought were convincing ailments on a daily basis. When eventually she confronted me with the revelation of her awareness that there was in fact nothing wrong with me and that my visits were merely a ruse to visit her .. I turned a mild-scarlet! In sympathy I was rewarded with a smacker atop my forehead and which only intensified the fever!


18th Apr 2011, 10:49
Ahhhh Savoia - I have similar memories.

I sailed on a school trip to Scandinavia on the SS Uganda in the 1970's and stole my first kiss behind one of the lifeboats. I then later sailed to The Falkland Islands on the SS Uganda on an equally educational and memorable voyage after being transferred to the deck by a Navy Wessex from Ascension Island.

In the late 80's I was flying a Gazelle on an Royal Marines task to Plymouth and flew over the River Fal where I spotted the unmistakable moored hulk of the Uganda sadly rusting away.

Wikipedia tells me that she was finally broken up for scrap in Taiwan in 1992. A sad end to a loyal subject and an old friend.

industry insider
18th Apr 2011, 11:58

Thanks for posting the picture of G-AZOM. I used to fly it in the early 80s mainly on ad hoc work out of Aberdeen. OM was a bit of an orphan among the Super Pumas, S-61s and S-76s of that era. It was often used on a Sunday Flight No 61A Aberdeen - Piper A - Flotta - Aberdeen sometimes via Kirkwall for a fuel stop. Frankly, I never liked the 105 much and I was glad to move onto S-76 as Captain.

18th Apr 2011, 12:11
Epiphany: I'm sure that if Uganda's decks could speak they would narrate an endless verse of experimental romances!

Aye aye I.I. Thanks for that. Were you about at the time of the PA incident (July '88?).

I don't suppose you would be aware of the paperwork behind the craft (no reason that you should) its just the she never seems to have been registered to Bristows - only to BEAS.

I don't have much time in the 105. Did a conversion for a Shell contract, flew a couple of sorties and was then transferred to another contract. She used to deliver this 'bum-frazzling' vibration when re-introducing power on approach but .. I've met drivers with heaps of time on them who love them.



industry insider
18th Apr 2011, 14:10
Sav, I was down at The Denes flying S-76s at the time of the PA accident. It still sends a shiver down the spine. Not sure about GAZOM's paperwork I also remember it being a BEAS aircraft. I did my conversion in Dalcross over a weekend. I probably never got more than 50-60 hours on the thing, as you say, it vibrated one to kingdom come at certain phases of flight. A most enjoyable thread. II

18th Apr 2011, 17:27
The 105 will scare the unwary shitless for the first 100-200 hours, but after that it becomes an extended part of the body and is capable of flight a Bell driver can only dream of....:ok:

I got over 3500 hrs on the type and all though it tried to kill me several times I will love her to the day I die, I had sooo much fun doing the lights and air ambulance work. I can scan a few pics from the late 80's if anyone is interested....:ok:

18th Apr 2011, 17:34
I can scan a few pics from the late 80's if anyone is interested ..

Griffo! Do you really have to ask that question on this thread! Lol!

Bring them on. :ok:


18th Apr 2011, 18:31
Many years ago in the late 70s or early 80s I saw a four seat stretched Enstrom at Spooners, Shoreham. Sadly I never managed to photograph it but from memory it was an Enstrom 280L Hawk (probably a mock up) and carried the false registration G-HAWK.

The 280L Hawk project was shelved.

Having been in contact with the Enstrom factory, only two were built, one flyer and a mock up. I think one is still in the back of the hangar at the factory.

Did anyone else see this or know anything about it or better still photographed it ?


19th Apr 2011, 06:18
Excuse my non computer savvy if the sizes are all wrong..:{

First pic G-BAKT circa 1987/88 outside Gleneagles hangar (old fire station) Edinburgh airport and Cornwall air ambulance 1989.



Next Trinity house ops St.Just again about 1989-90.

My first fatal RTA Marazion 1989.

My mate Geoff doing what he did best in a 105.

Rough Tor Bodmin moor about 1995.

Mods can you re-size if needed please :ok:

19th Apr 2011, 18:57
Great shots Griff and, I dare say, a few interesting stories behind them!

Elipix! Until Dennisimo arrives:

Enstrom 280L Hawk January 1979

A truly atrocious photo, taken from a Flight International (http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1979/1979%20-%200257.html) article, but this is all the evidence I can find of this rare stretched-Shark!

I remember some of the publicity surrounding this project and, for a while, it seemed as if she was gearing-up to become a viable suitor for the private flyers market but, as you know, the programme was dropped.


20th Apr 2011, 12:33
No patient on board honest....:E


21st Apr 2011, 05:18
A great shot Griffo!

Some more 'Bölkow Classico' the first of which (a well known bird which has appeared many times on PPRuNe) should ring some bells for you. She was also the sister ship to Ferranti's G-BATB:

TH's 105 at Swansea on 6th March 1984. This aircraft was used to serve the lightships in the Bristol Channel. (Photo: Tim Rees)

Aerogulf's 105D at Dubai International Airport on 23rd January 1981. (Photo: Steve Darke)


21st Apr 2011, 18:49

I will try and scan a few pics of lightships from the 80's but I don't have many...

Any other Trinity dogs want to chip in???

22nd Apr 2011, 06:12
That's great Griff! :ok: I don't have any photos of the ships!

Back in the day Ferranti ran the NLB contract but .. their service was cut short on 16th March 1978 when a freak wave overcame BATB at Skerryvore Lighthouse:

BATB on NLB contract

Her recovery by RN Sea King after a freak wave engulfed the pad


22nd Apr 2011, 10:27
Unfortunately, all my lightship pics are stuck to a collage board and I cannot scan them :sad:

However, I do have these snaps, top is Eddystone light off Plymouth Ho, and beneath it is Longships light on a typical Trinity day in gods country :ok:


And no, those decks don't get any bigger as you get close :eek:

22nd Apr 2011, 15:29
Back in 1988/89ish the Cornwall air ambulance landed in my village, Blisland on Bodmin moor. I was a scruffy moor kid who was amazed at the bright shiny helicopter i had heard so much about at school.

I was even more amazed that the pilot actually took the time to talk to me,:eek: and give me the enormous responsibility of keeping everyone one behind the gate after the patient was loaded and the helicopter was ready to take off, my first work as ground crew. :ok:

If that was you Griff thank you very much as you planted a seed in my head which due to financial limitations and a few other issues, it remained a very small seed for a long time. :sad:

A few years ago this changed and I am now working as a commercial helicopter pilot,:eek: flying around the beautiful island of Mallorca.:cool: So again if it was you thank you for being that nice helicopter pilot who took a few moments for that scruffy moor boy!:ok:


22nd Apr 2011, 15:55
The handiwork of Karl Zimmerman has been showcased previously on PPRuNe but .. I find it hard to get into the 105 without acknowledging him in some way.

Essential viewing for Bölkow lovers!

YouTube - bo-105 show


22nd Apr 2011, 19:39
These just in ..

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/__dRpfF8qlVM/TbHDk74zHKI/AAAAAAAAC1I/P6YUlAkn4nI/AYMW%20JRII%20Leicester%20Racecourse%2010%20Jan%2071%20%28Br ian%20Johnstone%29.jpg
Bell 206B G-AYMW seen at Leicester Racecourse helipad on 10th January 1971 (Photo: Brian Johnstone)

This craft was bought by BEAS in November 1970 who sold her on to 'Wykeham Helicopters' of Scarborough in September 1973. While with Wykeham she seems to have gone on to the Irish register for a year (in 1980) prior to being bought by Dollar in January 1984.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/__dRpfF8qlVM/TbHDa-lZpMI/AAAAAAAAC1E/KnIlSnnjAEI/AVYX%20AB206A%20Plymouth%20Roborough%2026%20Apr%2083%20%28Br ian%20Johnstone%29.jpg
AgustaBell 206A G-AVYX at Plymouth Roborough on 26th April 1983 (Photo: Brian Johnstone)

This craft was bought by SWEB in November 1967 and became the 12th 206 to be registered in the UK. She remained with SWEB for 19 years until being sold to David Pipe in June 1986.

This craft was a former mount of PPRuNer Speechless Two during his pre-Ferranti days.


23rd Apr 2011, 09:58
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/__dRpfF8qlVM/TbKIyDcDdCI/AAAAAAAAC1k/6s4Jgy5pDe8/AB%20206B%20III%20OO-FVR%20outskirts%20of%20Brussels%20July%201996%20%28Eric%20Co eckelberghs%29.jpg
Agusta Bell 206B JR III OO-FVR on the outskirts of Brussels in July 1996 (Photo: Eric Coeckelberghs)

This 206 autorotated into a field on the outskirts of Brussels during the summer of '96 as a result of fuel starvation! In concluding the auto the tail was severed. The craft was evidently repaired but went on to suffer a further crash resulting in a total write-off. :(

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/__dRpfF8qlVM/TbKKx4js6fI/AAAAAAAAC1s/xcygj364W80/RAF%20SeaKing%20HAR3%20XZ597%20Mt%20Pleasant%20Jan%2091%20%2 8Ian%20Howat%29.jpg
Westland SeaKing HAR3 XZ597 Mt. Pleasant, Falkland Islands, January 1991 (Photo: Ian Howat)

This RAF-king was towed from Mt. Pleasant Airport to Mare Harbour where she was loaded aboard a ship to be returned to the UK for servicing.


23rd Apr 2011, 23:53
Sorry to be away but just completed a pleasant four days oop north with Bill (Norman) Bailey DFM at Barton ... type rating three guys from Hamburg who have decided to start a heli school on the Enstrom!

So now the Enstrom 280L turns up. And funny enough while I was at Barton I was looking at a photo I took of the blue four-seat Enstrom mock-up while it was parked with my Spooner firm at Shoreham. I cheekily put the G-HAWK reg on the side for an exhibition and got no end of complaints from the reggie spotters!

I flew the real Hawk at the 1980 HAI at San Diego. I asked the boss, F Lee Bailey to just add an 'L' to the new four-seat model to help with CAA certification (silly boy!) ... so she initially became known as the 280L Hawk. When I flew her from the exhibition site with the Enstrom CP Bill Taylor, she was just a stretched 280C Shark using the same HIO 360 EAD series turbo Lycoming which wasn't quite enough puff to lift four pax. So all demos were made with just one in the back. In all respects the type was just a heavy 205BHP 280C Shark as the 225 BHP F models hadn't arrived then. I actually sold the first two off the specification ... one to the MD of Northair and the second to a guy in Scotland (he actually commenced legal proceedings later for failing to deliver). To solve the power situation, I suggested to Enstrom engineering they just used the IO 540 'Aztec' six-cylinder 250 BHP engine, but FLB said they didn't intend to put the 280L Hawk into production as they were planning an Allison 250 turbine 480 model! And that is what arrived.

On this tack and when loads of Enstrom Sharks were hanging about in hangars, I approached Bill Bonner, that innovative engineer at Shoreham who raced Jaguar engine F1 speed boats and displayed a water cooled Chipmunk at Farnborough. I designed a semi-mono construction three seat 'plug' the idea being to drag the hangar queens out and slip the plug between the plastic cabin and the engine pylon giving a five seater. Made in the UK was on and the great fixed winger, Derek Page, now Lord Page was interested in securing some Government finance. We even had a hangar standing by in Wales with a rent free first year. All this when the pound was barely worth a dollar! ... and I was already talking to my bank about setting up a world-wide network of sales distributors and investing a million dollars! Some hope, The design would have used the Ford Granada water-cooled engine and at 3000 rpm was especially quiet. It was to be called the Enstrom Skyline after my new company at Wycombe.

Sadly the extreme amount of money necessary for ... design approval, drawing office approval, manufacturing approval and uncle Tom Cobley torpedoed the scheme.

The original flying version of the 280L, which became 380L ... languished at the Enstrom's Menominee plant for many years. I think the blue mock-up was sold to Scandinavia. I invariably look back at one of my many 'missed opportunities' but ain't life like that!

Goodbye all and safe flying.

Dennis Kenyon.

PS. If you are not too bored, read on ...... At a distributor meeting at Menominee around 1980, FLB was pressing all those present to place $5,000 deposits to help with the funding of the new ship. (We ordered two!) One guy meekly asked what would happen to those who didn't. Since Captain Ernest Medina of the Melai Massacre fame was present, FLB just made rapid fire gestures from the hip and said ... "We send in Ernie Medina."

24th Apr 2011, 08:58
In 1990 G-OBIL, R22 was in Clyde's hanger, belonged to Heli-flite of Perth, still about today, still as G-OBIL but now all over red.



R22 Beta S/N 0792 new 1988, with F.C. Noakes,Perth & M.R. Tideswell, Glasgow, T/A Heli-Flite, Perth , 25-01-1990 to 11-05-1992.

24th Apr 2011, 18:03
Funnily enough Griff, I remember seeing that particular angle on several occasions in the past.............probably a Viking shuttle :ok:

24th Apr 2011, 18:07
Salty....... I dont recall :E

24th Apr 2011, 21:16
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/__dRpfF8qlVM/TbSBm3EhErI/AAAAAAAAC9c/G9GxhNPH4pE/Army%20Lynx%20chases%20the%20late%20Richard%20Britton%20at%2 0Ballykelly%20base..jpg
A British Army Lynx pursues the late Richard Britton at Ballykelly

A HeliAust AS350 gets down on the road to capture some compelling F1 footage


24th Apr 2011, 21:39
Ref the great Karl, (Charlie) Zimmerman ... I first met Charlie at the 1986 WHC event at Cranfield. His unbelievable B105 freestyle display took second place to Herman Fuchs similar display. Charlie later said to me something like .. "My wife has been going to bed with a world champion for the last two events, but now as I came second, she is going to bed with a new man." German humour OK. On the final day of the event, I got to fly with him and couldn't even follow his sequence of control movements that produced his inverted flat spin with a roll recovery at around 100 feet! Andy Berryman took a fourth place with his service Gazelle. I suffered my second T/R failure during a max power torque turn when the left hand cable was 'snipped' by the upgoing T/R blade causing the floppy cable end to wind itself around the T/R gearbox and seize. I did manage to get the Enstrom down without damage in a 70 knot run-on landing. Happy days ... I think!

Dennis Kenyon.

25th Apr 2011, 05:35
Dennis, great to see you back! :ok:

No small feat (one imagines) recovering from a t/r failure mid-torque turn. Bravo on getting the bird down in one piece. :D Did you run her on to the grass or tarmac?

I also had the pleasure of meeting Karl Zimmerman although some years earlier c. 1980. An amazing chap with amazing skills!

Before leaving Karl, another clip (this one perhaps even better than the first) with an especially pleasing manoeuvre commencing at 2:30 which begins as a nose-over into bunt, goes inverted, proceeds into a brief tail slide and then recovers back the same way! Stirring stuff for helobatic fans.

YouTube - BO-105 Charly Zimmermann


25th Apr 2011, 09:10
Damn!!! That 2:30 thing is the greatest helicopter maneuver ever!
It'r right next to Linx's backflip, or Lama's takeoff...
Saw a lot of 105 YT videos, guess i wasn't paying attention...
Even RC bunch would've have a hard time performing that!
Teeter totter, haha!!!

25th Apr 2011, 09:58
Hi all, In the early 1980s Bond helicopters flew out of Strubby Lincolnshire. My father worked off shore at this time and I was wondering what happened to the white S58t.

I never had the pleasure of seeing it fly. Whenever I went to pick my father up with my mum it was sat on the ground feeling rather sorry for itself with the main rotors removed.

Also what happened to the 365c ending in KM?

and the s76 G-BMAL

all these helicopters at the time were with Bond Helicopters..... but were are they now?

I hope to God they have not been turned into coke cans or the like that will be just heart breaking.

Kind Regards

Stude :O

25th Apr 2011, 10:55
Dennis - I remember your t/r failure at the Cranfield World Championships. I was just completing my CPL at Trent and the opportunity to watch the greats performing was unmissable. Watching you control the aircraft after the failure (during some amazing aeros) was amazing. I remember you making 5 or 6 approaches to the runway until you thought you had it just right and committing yourself. Zimmermans display was awesome - at that time I had no idea that helicopters were even capable of the things he did in that BO105. A real privilege to have been there.

studentpilotmcuk - I flew with Bond after gaining my CPL (above) at the end of the 80's. G-BMAL was flying for CHC at North Denes up until last year, when it was sold to Canada. According to G-INFO it had over 28000 hours when it was de-registered. KM the 365C was flown at Humberside until it was replaced by the 365N2's. These in turn stopped flying last year when Bristow won the BP and Conoco contracts at HUY.

Of course I should add that Griffo did educate me at Bond into the capabilities that the 365N had...........;)

25th Apr 2011, 12:36

25th Apr 2011, 18:59
Epiphany: I think this may have been how Uganda looked when your boarded her from Ascension:

HMHS Uganda Falkland-bound in 1982

Coming up on The Nostalgia Thread ...

Speedbird One meets North Sea hack

Seeking SeaKings

Classic 61

Cameron's 'Big Jock'

The Kenyon Files: What did Dennis sell Colin

Assorted Alouettes

Cigarette Copters

* * *


26th Apr 2011, 18:40
G-BAKF made her first appearance on page three (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-3.html) when, as part of Speechless Two's regalement of his Rhodesian expedition, KF was revealed as the 'unidentified' 206 among his troupe.

In the inital photo (1978) she wears a yellow and orange livery of similar style to that of G-AZRU which recently appeared on the Mann (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/443466-alan-mann-helicopters-nostalgia-thread-5.html) thread. Here she is seen in one of the Dollar schemes from the 80's.

Accompanying KT is G-BFNC which at the time of the photo (below) was registered a Penelope Pilkington who, one assumes, leased her to Dollar!

KT for her part was registered to Michael Jeremy Belmont during her time with Dollar.

G-BAKF with G-BFNC at Coventry on 16th August 1982 (Photo: Courtesy of Brian Johnstone)


26th Apr 2011, 20:31
Good evening Savoia,

KENYON to LOTUS. One Enstrom F28A, G-BAWI. Possibly serial number 120. About £20k I think, such were prices in those days. Colin Chapman's CP was the lovable Mike Hammelin (later Hammelin Jet) who mainly flew the company Navajo. Am I right in thinking the all-black Lotus 77 was the current beastie in thos days? I usually landed at Mr Chapman's small mansion .... Ketteringham Hall sounds about right, then we needed to fly beneath the trees either side of the river to land at his newly purchased 'Sunseeker' business. Memories, but as ever ... its the age thingy again. 'Twas years later, I purchased G-AYTF around Christmas time 1983.

PS for 'S' ... I also operated another 'dancer' ... Enstrom G-BHTF.

Dennis Kenyon.

27th Apr 2011, 20:56
Just a 'quickie' to answer Savoia ... the 1986 T/R failure occurred during my WHC display routine and having previously experienced the condition circa 1975 when I suffered a T/R drive shaft failure on a sales demo, I'd taken the trouble to think the situation through and keeping the Enstrom power to less than 18 MAP and the speed above 60 knots, with the nose initially yawing to 10 'o clock in a descending, right cyclic approach , I managed the required, 'run-on' landing by progressively increasing power aiming to land ACROSS the runway tracking starboard 30 degrees out of wind and touching down on the right skid first. At a few feet AGL, a further opening of throttle to cushion the landing and swing the nose to 2 'o clock followed by a gentle power reduction returns the nose to around 1 'o clock when a prompt closing of throttle brings the skids to the 12 'o clock position when the cyclic is squeezed forward to touch down skids hopefully in the dead ahead position. Fortunately the runway edges allowed the skids to slide over the ramp as the Enstrom came to a stop upright. Three T/R failures caused by me, but in 14,000 hours ... no engine failure ... yet!

And even knowing the causal condition, I somehow repeated the event on the FX at Biggin Hill 1999, again getting the ship down in one piece on the 21 threshold end. It can't happen now as the Menominee factory have moved the left T/R cable outlet point closer inboard which the Enstrom engineers dubbed 'the Kenyon hole!' How rude!

Safe flying to all. Dennis Kenyon.

27th Apr 2011, 22:50
Ciao Dennisimo, buona sera!

To those of us who have known you across the years you are the undisputed 'king' of Enstrom flyers - presenting this craft to countless thousands at regional and international airshows and doubtless raising the profile of this neat little helicopter around the world. Beyond Enstroms your natural skill, love of aviation and approachable manner have made you the well-deserved rotary icon that you are!

This is to say that .. while managing a t/r failure is among the more challenging of rotary-wing emergencies, it surprises me not that on each occasion you have handled this with skill and aplomb.

The fact that Enstrom nick-named part of their aircraft after you is indicative of your 'synonymity' with the product - an association which I am sure has benefitted the Enstrom Corp. over the years.

Present at one of your t/r failures (Cranfield) would seem to have been a member of the PPRuNe fraternity; 902Jon!

Regarding Chapman .. I shall post a response to this anon.



27th Apr 2011, 23:28
I somehow repeated the event on the FX at Biggin Hill 1999

I recall that, was it really 12 years ago? I remember you had drifted down towards the 21 end; there suddenly seemed to be a fair bit of juggling at fairly low level going on, followed by a sudden set down with maybe a hop and a skip or two - and there the Enstrom stayed! Not sure the commentator was aware there was a problem.

28th Apr 2011, 08:34
The Kenyon Files: What did Dennis sell Colin?

Among the notable gentlemen rotary-wing owners discussed on 'Nostalgia' have been the Duke of Westminster, Cy Rose, Peter Cadbury and Colin Chapman. In true Nostalgia Thread style, Dennis has been involved with all of them!

We are still tracking down the Enstrom sold to DoW and trying to find out which aircraft Dennis demonstrated to Cadbury although the latter might only be uncovered via the pages of the maestro's log book! A photo of Cy Rose's Brantly (G-ATJY) was posted on page 17 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-17.html) but we are still searching for the Enstrom which Dennis sold him.

Regarding Chapman; Dennis mentioned G-BAWI in an earlier post (and we we shall come to BAWI) but .. the craft Dennis sold to Colin was infact G-BAAU.

Now here I was thinking that Dennis, being a man of great flair and possessing panache, would in his efforts with the UK's F1 leader at the time, deliver a sharp looking Shark, perhaps suited in jet black with snazzy accents in gold and silver and upholstered with white leather seats etc.! Imagine my surprise then to discover that what Chapman bought was an orange and fawn F28A!!!

Team Lotus Enstrom F28A G-BAAU at Blackbushe on 10th May 1981 nine days prior to being sold to RHM Investments in Hampshire

I am of course joking Dennis and well aware that Chapman was not into the fineries of executive aircraft. He was however interested in performance so I am still a little 'miffed' as to why you didn't offer him a Shark!

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/__dRpfF8qlVM/TbkMyLo1l9I/AAAAAAAAC_Q/y9x6F-AkENk/F28A%20Bournemouth%20Hurn%203%20June%201988%20%28John%20Sull ivan%29.jpg
F28A G-BAAU at Bournemouth Hurn on 3rd June 1988 while registered to Merlyn Upton (Photo: John Sullivan)

BAAU was sold to John E. Clark and Co. of Bournemouth in August 1972 and bought back by Spooner, intriguingly registered for a time as 'Spooner (Enstrom Helicopters) Limited', until being sold to Group Lotus in July '76.

From Lotus she went to RHM Investments as mentioned above and from there to Dennis' chum Norman Bailey.

BAAU's final owner appears to have been a Stuart Cox under whose patronage she seems to have perished on 15th December 2004 at Coton Hill in Shrewsbury, Shropshire.

An excerpt from the accident report (http://www.aaib.gov.uk/cms_resources.cfm?file=/G-BAAU_11-05.pdf) reads:

"The pilot was on the return leg of a solo flight from Manchester to Nottingham when the engine suddenly cut out. He entered autorotation however the aircraft sustained extensive damage in the ensuing forced landing. On inspection it was found that the aircraft had run out of fuel. Investigation revealed that there was no appropriate data on fuel consumption rates in the aircraft manual, although this information existed in the aircraft’s engine manual. The pilot did not possess a copy of the engine manual and had incorrectly based his fuel planning on the consumption rate witnessed on the aircraft’s fuel flow gauge on previous flights."


28th Apr 2011, 20:14
In my quest for interesting rotary nostalgia I have been searching for an image of a Bell 206 in which Concorde also appears. Alas, there have been no returns to-date.

I did however happen upon this shot of BA's G-BOAC being towed at LHR while a company S-61N was taxiing in the opposite direction!

Sadly, the image quality is less than fair but .. an interesting take nonetheless.

G-BOAC passes company S-61N G-BCEA at LHR in September 1984 (Photo: Air Nikon)


28th Apr 2011, 20:55
Ah well ... the man of great flair, panache and 'uncle Tom Cobley' has a failing memory and now I have the correct registration ... Yes, I remember it well ... as the great Maurice Chevalier would have sung! I think I may have fooled myself by recalling that I actually demonstated G-BAWI to Lotus at his Sunseeker base but actually supplied G-BAAU. The Westland Whirlwind owner, Roger Windley DID buy G-BAWI tho.' My log book for the period remains elusive. Savoia, it wasn't possible to sell Mr Chapman the latest Enstrom's snazzy 280C turbo Shark since they hadn't made the model at the time!

The Enstrom supplied to one of the two founder members of the Helicopter Club of Great Britain, Cy Rose, (the other being Tony Everard) was the first Enstrom 28C-2 turbo model to be imported. Dash 2 'cos it had the one piece cabin glass a la Bell 47 and all the new aircraft in those days were Dash something or other! If I rack my brains enough the reg may pop up. But it was mostly blue with a unique gold and bold colour scheme. I delivered it to Tony's home one Saturday morning just off the M40 near Gerards Cross. (Hedgerley I think)

Hope someone is liking all this! Dennis Kenyon.

28th Apr 2011, 21:12
PS. For Savoia ... I have a piccy of the Cy Rose Enstrom somewhere I know, and will put some effort into finding it. Also have a picture of an Enstrom 280C Shark, G-BENO at the Queen's Jubilee event at White Waltham 1977. The pic has a BA VC10 flying past at about thirty feet AGL! DRK

John Eacott
28th Apr 2011, 23:23
We operated an Okanagan Australia S61 from Cork back in 1981, supporting Irish Helicopters. These photos were from a trip to Shannon: Concorde looks to be missing a bit of the fin :ooh:



29th Apr 2011, 07:45
Dennisimo, that's great and thanks for the continuing narrative of your many and interesting Enstrom exploits! :D

John: Brilliant stuff! I am at a loss however to account for the Concorde. There are no obviously recorded incidents in 1981 which place the bird at Shannon and '81 is well before the type's 'rudder shedding years'. Consequently I have no answer as to the irregular tailpiece. I do however know that both BA and AF used to conduct training sorties ex-SNN.

Out of interest were you performing crew-changes from Cork and in your top photo to whom did the other 61 belong?

* * *

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/__dRpfF8qlVM/TbpXZajodyI/AAAAAAAAC_4/hE2N14BAo1I/ATFM%20S61NII%20ABZ%20Dyce%201%20Mar%2086%20%28Gary%20Watt%2 9.jpg
BA's S61N Mk II G-ATFM at Aberdeen's Dyce on 1st March 1986 (Photo: Gary Watt)

Bristow 61 (no details)

BCalH S61N 'Loch Fyne' at LHR in 1985


30th Apr 2011, 07:36
The Kenyon Files: BAWI & THCoGB

Following on from Dennis' mentionings of The Helicopter Club of Great Britain, herewith is an excerpt from the 'sport' section of a 1967 Flight International article (http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1967/1967%20-%201683.html):


Some interesting names appear in the report which alludes to the participation of three women. Clearly one of these was Gay Absalom. A Rosemary Rose is also mentioned, presumably Cy's wife? Another name seems to be Jeanne Lodge whom I am similarly unfamiliar.

Anyone with recollections of any of the others?

Dennis mentioned G-BAWI:

Enstrom F28A G-BAWI at Biggin Hill on 16th May 1981 (Photo: Geoff Allan)

BAWI's first registered owner (April 1973) seems to have been a Gregory Simon Rose of Red Lodge, Slough. From Rose she went to Roger Windley (Sept '79) in Lincoln and then a string of owners including Glasgow-based Galaxy Aviation, Red Baron Properties of Staplefield and M&P Foods of Sutton Coldfield.

The sign in the above photo seems to indicate an asking price of GBP 24,000. Inflation, inflation!

Also appearing at Biggin on the same weekend, the tail of which is just visible in the above photo, was G-BISD:

Enstrom 280C Shark G-BISD at Biggin Hill on 16th May 1981 (Photo: Geoff Allan)

However, BISD's UK heritage is somewhat brief having been sold to a welding company 'Pioneer' in October of '81 and then exported to South Africa in June of 1984.


500 Fan
30th Apr 2011, 11:58
I think the other S-61N might be this machine;

Photos: Sikorsky S-61N Aircraft Pictures | Airliners.net (http://www.airliners.net/photo/Greenlandair---Gronlandsfly/Sikorsky-S-61N/1348608/L/&sid=f3f2328fab445841ad925563f4650e49)

If not this exact airframe, it appears to be a Greenlandair S-61N.

500 Fan.

John Eacott
30th Apr 2011, 12:42

Out of interest were you performing crew-changes from Cork and in your top photo to whom did the other 61 belong?


Yes, we were supporting a rig south of Eire for a couple of months, living in Kinsale and flying from Cork. The other S61N was from Irish Helicopters, for whom we were working.

A long story, but I left Australia in March to work in Bombay for a month, and got back home in September after shuttling between England, Eire & India. And proposed to the then girlfriend along the way ;)

30th Apr 2011, 13:55
John thanks. Bombay; charming place .. :sad: but great food! Please excuse the trivial nature of my questions but roughly how far offshore were the rigs you were servicing. Its just that I have very little knowledge of the Irish offshore 'landscape' as it were.

Bravo 500! A great piece of investigatory nostalgia. :ok:

You are indeed quite right as the scheme in John's photo is certainly that of Greenlandair. If, as John suggests, it was an IH 61 then perhaps they had bought this from Greenland?

Either way its a great find and well worth posting (below):

Greenlandair's S61N at Shannon on 19th June 1982 (Photo: Fergal Goodman)

Another 61 at Shannon, in more recent times, was BLY:

Irish Helicopters S61N EI-BLY at Shannon on 12th July 1991

Any clues as to the significance of the wording atop BLY's cabin?

Now I do have a story about Shannon and the Colonel.

In the post-Ferranti days Col. Bob flew for a season with the race horse trainer Vincent O'Brien (EI-BFK), this would have been 1980-81. He also assisted another one of his clients, a lawyer by the name of Brendan O'Mahony, who bought an ex-Ferranti-managed craft (EI-BHI). BHI used to be serviced at Shannon (SRS I think) and on one such occasion Bob was staying at the Shannon Shamrock Hotel while he awaited whatever maintenance was being performed on the craft. Brendan, by the way, was another great employer of the term 'craft' when referring to helicopters - delivered of course with his broad 'Hoir-rish haccent'.

Well, there was the Colonel minding his business (yeah right) and pottering about the hotel (mainly between bars) when he heard a pussycat's meow! Concerned, he raised this with the duty manager who quickly assured him that there was nothing to worry about and that it was probably the bagpipes from Bunratty Castle (genuine answer according to the Colonel).

The following day the meows persisted and so did the Colonel this time raising the matter with the general manager and insisting that he was well able to distinguish between the sound of the pipes and a potentially stricken cat (although he admitted to me later that he knew some players of the pipes whose skills may have challenged this claim).

To cut a fairly long but interesting story down to PPRuNe length, the Colonel was unrelenting in his concern for this invisible cat and which culminated in the hotel bringing in builders to dig up part of the main reception floor. Once through the floor the builders discovered a pipe along which the previously muted meows were now being transmitted with considerable clarity. Trouble was, as they started digging (and Bob indicates that they used a small pneumatic drill) the cat retreated further along the conduit! The end result was a scar several metres long across the main floor of the Shamrock's reception.

Needless to say the Colonel was not especially in favour with the hotel management who considered this a waste of time and money as well as a massive inconvenience to the smooth operation of the hotel. Several of the guests were also aware of the fact that the Colonel was at the centre of the disruption to the hotel lobby and he evidently received a number of condemning glares!

On or about the third day of this pussy-hunt with the jack hammering halted and receptacles of milk and fish placed at the last point in the pipe to be breached, the pussy emerged with the help of the Colonel's diligent (and no doubt malt-whiskey-fuelled) coaxing. At the time of the cat's emergence a troupe of American tourists (who had been staying in the hotel and who were vaguely aware of the scenario but, like several others, thought the Colonel was slightly off his rocker) returned from searching for leprechauns (or whatever it is that American tourists do in Shannon) and were stirred by the Colonel's persistence and by the end result ie. the salvation of the pussy!

Cutting out more details; the Americans 'adopted' godfather Bob throughout the remainder of their stay at the Shamrock, inviting him to dinner at Bunratty Castle and hosting him at the Shamrock's bar in the evenings (I think he declined to engage in their day-time pursuits). Before leaving they had a pewter tankard engraved with the wording 'For Pussy Smith' and presented this to him over another dinner.

The local Shannon rag got a hold of the story and attributed the efforts to the hotel's general manager and which helped considerably in pacifying the hotel's owner who, until then had been a keen member of the anti-Smith brigade. A new batch of tourists (having read the local papers) started asking the manager for details of the rescue effort and he became something of a hero among the Stateside tour companies who began recommending the Shamrock and its benevolent 'cat loving' manager. Bob was pleased because this spin helped console the previously fuming manager.

Bob had many stories, in fact wherever he went it seemed something extraordinary invariably happened but, even as a fairly trusting youngster, I sometimes had my doubts about his many escapades wondering how much embellishing was involved!

Some months after this episode (during a school break from the UK) I arrived with the Colonel in Shannon as he had promised me an evening at Bunratty. Moments after we arrived at the Shamrock the general manager cried out from a distance 'Pussy Smith!' and gave him the embrace of a long-lost brother. I got to hear the full story from the manager's mouth and was deeply satisfied to discover that the Colonel's ramblings were all in order! An enjoyable evening at Bunratty (a tad touristy but fun nonetheless) and my first encounter with the 'mead' which, to the teenage palate, was an ideal alcoholic beverage.

The Shannon Shamrock Hotel


500 Fan
30th Apr 2011, 16:34
I am only guessing, but I would say the Greenlandair machine was only leased by Irish Helicopters and retained it's original markings and registration. IHL have in the past leased S-61Ns from KLM (briefly for the Papal Visit in 1979) and Schreiner and both helicopters carried IHL titles but I have never seen a photo of a Greenlandair-schemed S-61N with Irish Helicopter titles. That's not to say it didn't carry them, though.

As for the titles along the upper rear fuselage on EI-BLY, the lettering reads "Roinn Na Mara". Roinn Na Mara is Irish for "The Department of the Marine". I believe the titles refer to the period when EI-BLY served as the interim SAR bird while EI-BHO was being converted into a full-spec SAR helicopter for the then new commercial SAR contract in Ireland. As far as I know, BLY was just fitted with a winch and sea tray for this role while BHO was being converted. BLY had "MARINE RESCUE" titles under the nose, but no "RESCUE" markings on the fuselage sides! Even when EI-BHO arrived after conversion, it lacked "RESCUE" markings on the fuselage sides, although this situation was soon rectified.

I believe a pilot for BLY at that time is a PPRuNer and might be able to add more. EI-BLY must sport one of the the most attractive paint schemes ever to adorn this great helicopter.

500 Fan.

2nd May 2011, 18:58
Anyone with any recollections of either of these two craft?

A Gulf Air S62A sits on the BA/Ferranti pad at Gatwick's Beehive on 15th March 1974 (Photo: Stuart Jessup)


This VIP SeaKing was evidently a gift from Qatar to Sierra Leone. No details sadly although I suspect this may have been taken at Freetown Port.


Nigel Osborn
2nd May 2011, 23:07
That S62A was flown out to Doha shortly after that photo was taken, probably by Johnie Johnson if my memory is right. Gulf had 5 of them & they were great machines to fly, very forgiving, very lady like & stacks of power but slow! Due to politics Johnie had to fly at 10,000 feet over one of the mid east countries which gave him about a 5 knot stall margin & of course no AFCS system. 10 people sat in the back & we had a door for the pilot's privacy!:ok:

3rd May 2011, 05:39
Nigel that's great, thanks!

Any clues as to what the craft may have been doing at the Beehive, were BA involved?

Also, what was the tasking of the 62's in Doha?

Finally, was taught that three-bladed aircraft fitted with wheels (ie: Alouette III/S62) were most susceptible to ground resonance. Was this ever an issue?



Nigel Osborn
3rd May 2011, 06:53
British Airways had a percentage of Gulf helicopters & thus Jock Cameron did the audits. Some of the big maintenance especially of new machines was done at Gatwick & then ferried back to Doha. All 5 S62 were chartered to Shell Oil & operated to the rigs off Doha & Halul Island plus on Sundays we would crew change a rig way up north to Bahrein.
Ground resonance was a problem if the tyres were flat or the oleos at the wrong pressure. Once a new engineer fixed the oleo pressure, I never got ground resonance again. Being ex Navy, I found firm positive landings helped! They were a most reliable machine but mainly thanks to the Vietnam war, for which they were not suitable, they only built about about 100 plus a few S62B which had a S58 transmission.

3rd May 2011, 09:07
I remember working on G-BAWI for Mr Rose when he used to bring it to Twyford Moors in Southampton for maintenance in 73-74, always seem to remember him wearing silvery trousers and redish pink shoes!, also used to bring ayoung chap along with him, son maybe.

3rd May 2011, 09:40
Stace: Well, it takes all types! I'm hoping Dennisimo may dig up some more nostalgic trivia on this matter. In the BAWI post there were a number of names mentioned in the Flight article. Tommy Sopwith was one that I recall my godfather mentioning but I simply can't remember what he did. John Pooley is also there - I knew a Bob Pooley because Col. Bob would frequently attend his rotary bashes.

Nigel: I couldn't put a finger on the total numbers produced for the 62 but, as you say, it was something of a rarity. In the 80's I was visiting Durban and got to speak to a 62 driver (I think he was with Courtline) and recall him saying how docile she was in the hover and that it was as reliable as clockwork!

The 62 was of course mainly deployed as a SARbird serving with the US Coast Guard under the designation of HH-52 and the name 'Seaguard'. She also served with the coast guards of Japan and Iceland. A number of military customers acquired the 62 sometimes in the smallest of numbers and occasionally just a single unit. This includes the air forces of the Philippines and India. The Royal Thai Police also seem to have employed the type.

Among civil operators she was used in a shuttle capacity by both SFO Helicopter Airlines in the US and Fuji Airlines in Japan. A most interesting helicopter.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/__dRpfF8qlVM/Tb-20nYBC_I/AAAAAAAADCs/2rhTiSjMKwk/s512/HH52A%20Seaguard%20S62A%20Av%20Hall%20Fame%20NJ%20Teterboro% 20TEB%20%28Tom%20Turner%29.jpg
Flight deck of the HH52A 'Seaguard' as seen on an example kept at the Aviation Hall of Fame at Teterboro (TEB) airport in New Jersey. (Photo: Tom Turner)

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/__dRpfF8qlVM/Tb-3K2oImZI/AAAAAAAADCw/wpgieHYeI0E/s720/HH52A%20Seaguard%20S62A%20Cape%20May%208%20Sep%2078%20%28Tho mas%20McManus%29.jpg
The Sikorsky S-62A was most widely deployed as a SARbird serving the US Coast Guard under the designation of HH-52A Sikorsky Seaguard examples of which are seen here at the USGC Cape May base in an image from 8th September 1978. (Photo: Thomas McManus)

It would appear that a flying example of this craft is kept in Nigel's backyard as it were - S62A wearing the original USGC colours on VH-ORP as seen at Caloundra in March 2005. (Photo: Rhys Dudley)


3rd May 2011, 09:43
Bristow supplied a 212 from Abu Dhabi flown by Steve ? to Doha with Pete Harris and myself on board 1973/4 as the 62's had IIRC a week's backlog. We expected to stay about 3 days, however, Steve ? (whom I met again later at Eket, Stacey may remember his name) did the job in one day. The 62's were replaced soon after by 212's.

industry insider
3rd May 2011, 11:31

Can't add much about Tommy Sopwith but I do remember he had a Bell 206 registration G-BASE which used to frequent Bristow Redhill in the early 70s.
I think Bristow used to lease it sometimes. I certainly flew in it a few times. It was painted blue and white if I remember.

Nigel Osborn
3rd May 2011, 11:43
I had to go in that 212 as the Gulf content. This happened soon after a 212 had destroyed itself killing all on board off Abu Dabs or was it Dubai.
The 62 were being repainted & there wasn't a backlog as it took only 2 62 to do the job as we carried 10 pax plus there was far more room for freight than the 212 had, also only about 10 kts different in speed & 400 lbs per hour fuel burn off.
I think Oz had two 62. 1 ditched in the Bass Strait & was destryed by the crane driver lifting it out. 1 was set on fire in Bougainville. I don't recall the one in Caloundra, so I'll have to check.

3rd May 2011, 11:48
isn't that big red chopper being driven by that 'orrible bit of gear RS?

It did some maintenace at Caloundra then headed further South for some real big deal??? I remember admiring the paintwork.

If Nigel Osborne comes back on he may also be able to relay about the demise of another 62 (forgotten the rego) from the Airfast stable, not him but two others, doing the old, "you got it, no you got it. trick" in an auto. Early 70's?? That might have been the bass straight turnout??

3rd May 2011, 12:52
Isn't that big red chopper being driven by that 'orrible bit of gear RS?

How I miss the subtleties of Aussie culture, lol!

I.I. I am sure you are right. I have a feeling that Ferranti used to charter his aircraft (pre-G-BASE) in the early 70's (or use him freelance) in the same way as John Dicken. Either way my godfather certainly had contact with him during that time. By the 80's though I think they were no longer in touch so I never did find out what happened to him.


3rd May 2011, 16:05
Savoia, the writing along the top of that S61N EI-BLY that you refer to means "Department of the Marine".

3rd May 2011, 16:43
500/Bolkow: Many thanks for identifying the wording atop BLY's cabin. My Irish isn't what it used to be along with my Welsh and any other Gaelic languages out there!

As 500 mentioned, BLY wears a handsome livery, perhaps the only modification I would have made would be to introduce the white belly with the assistance of a couple of pin-stripes in either matching orange or blue depending on which looked best.

BBB: Well done on this discovery. Most interesting. :ok: A motley crew if ever I've seen one! Lol!



Ahh de Havilland
3rd May 2011, 21:43
A really interesting guy… Son of aviation pioneer Sir Thomas Sopwith (the creator of Hawker Siddeley), Tommy was the classic 1960s eligible bachelor: guards officer, offshore power boat and saloon car champion. He founded a Brighton based car distributorship named after his father’s America’s Cup J-Class yacht “Endeavour”. This was also the name used for his helicopter owning company: Endeavour Aviation.

In the 1980’s he was a partner in European Helicopters of Denham that was co-founded with ex McAlpine Heli’s MD Robin Keith, and Lynton Group.

The company was formed to carry out corporate helicoper rebuilding, maintenance, sales and consultancy but there was some controversy when it sought to win the Aerospatiale helicopter distributorship away from McAlpine Helicopters Ltd. McAlpine sued and won damages and an injunction preventing European Helicopters from approaching Aerospatiale. In August 1990 Lynton Group acquired remaining 60% of EHL's equity from the other partners. European was later absorbed into Premiair along with McAlpine’s businesses not associated with the Eurocopter sales business.

His first wife was killed in the crash of Bell 47G G-BBVP on 20.3.75 . His second marriage was to former Olympic skier Gina Hawthorn.

Tommy’s aircraft were as follows:

G-AMFU Dove 10.65-2.67
G-ATLO Brantley 12.65 regn but not deld then regn reallocated
G-ATSJ Brantley 5.66-5.68
G-ASHW Dove 6.66-5.68
G-AVZG B206 12.67-5.73
G-BASE B206 3.73-12.78
G-GINA AS350B 3.78-5.91
G-IINA AS350B 12.90-2.95

The latter 2 a/c had personalized regn’s derived from his 2nd wife’s name . Most of the aircraft carried the same dark blue livery that had been worn by the yacht Endeavour and then his racing cars. The helicopters operated from his home Axford House, Hants.

3rd May 2011, 22:35
Yes Stacey, The youngster with Cy would almost certainly be his son Greg Rose. Greg was a very special ceramic artist with a reputation and his delicate work sold well around the world. In the early 1970s, Greg Rose was learning to fly at Kidlington, Oxford. Sadly while in the hover, a M/R blade detached from the Brantley B2 airframe killing his instructor Graham Meyrick. Greg was unhurt.

Greg Rose was surely multi talented and I remember him showing me a mid 1950s Ford Thunderbird he had built himself from scratch.

I've rattled brains trying to recall the CAA reg of Cy Rose's Enstrom 28-2 model. The relevent log book and picture is in store, but it would have had to have been G-C something I guess.

Regards. Dennis K.

4th May 2011, 07:01
I.I. My sincere thanks for this piece of information relating to G-BASE. I had always believed BASE to have begun life as a Hanson Home Counties hack engaged in the endless pursuit of ad hoc charters; certainly this was her role in the early 80's when I used to see her almost everywhere I went. From Hanson she became a 'Beamish' bird (ie: Carl Beaman & Co.) and in the end seems to have been exported to Malaysia.

But, prior to Hanson she had a life about which (until yesterday) I was never aware! BASE was bought (one assumes new from CSE being a Bell) and registered to Endeavour Aviation (Brighton) from March 1973 to November 1978. While Ferranti certainly used Tommy's earlier 206 G-AVZG, I am now fairly certain they would also have used BASE given her dates under Endeavour's patronage.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/__dRpfF8qlVM/Tb_6O2l7F_I/AAAAAAAADDI/clmpoqCVlMk/BASE%20Cranfield%202%20Sept%2077%20%28Peter%20Nicholson%29.j pg
Tommy Sopwith's second Bell 206 G-BASE seen at Cranfield on 2nd September 1977 (Photo: Peter Nicholson)

De Havilland: Thank you for this wonderful piece of background information. When I.I. brought up BASE yesterday, and upon checking her original ownership details, I noticed her allocation to Endeavour but wasn't sure if this was a Sopwith company.

I was however aware that Sopwith Sr. raced the sailboat Endeavour in the America's Cup and the reason I knew that is because the chap who sold my father his first boat, George Nicholson, had mentioned that his father, Charles Nicholson, had designed the America's Cup contender for the Thomas Sopwith!

Sir Thomas Sopwith smokes his trademark pipe at the helm of the Endeavour during a leg of the 1934 America's Cup

It would be wonderful to hear more recollections of Sopwith Jr. and Endeavour Aviation and to discover images of the remainder of his fleet, especially his rotorcraft: G-AVZG, G-GINA and G-IINA.


ps: I.I. and De Havilland please accept the Savoia Medal of Appreciation to for your brilliant nostalgic contribution! ;)

To Industry Insider & Ahh de Havilland for
their superlative nostalgic reminiscences

4th May 2011, 09:29
G-BASE was maintained at Bristow FTS at Redhill during my time there until '78, it was normally parked at Brighton racecourse. His driver used to take the car ahead to wherever Tommy took the machine and had a portable windsock to assist in the landing.

industry insider
4th May 2011, 09:38

Thanks so much for posting the picture of G-BASE, it brings back great memories of when I were a young lad!

Ahh De H

I remember now, Endeavour Motors in Brighton. Didn't Tommy lose part of a finger by sticking it up into the rotor disc when gesticulating?

4th May 2011, 09:54
Oldlae: Thanks for that bit of information. Sounds like Tommy Jr. was a bit of a character.

If you worked at Redders during that time do you have any recollections of an aircraft we refer to as the 'Dancer' (G-AYTF) which was owned by Hickstead Jumping Ground developer Douglas Bunn from 1971 to 1979. Evidently the Dancer was also maintained by Bristows.

The Dancer in 'Alan's shoppe' at Redders c. 1978

I.I. Good God! I recall my godfather telling me about a chap who had his finger chopped off while doing something or other. Was that really Tommy Sopwith!


industry insider
4th May 2011, 12:06

I genuinely think it was Tommy, I will do some more checking just in case my memory is playing tricks on me.

Douglas Bunn was personal friends with Alan Bristow, Alan used to have a corporate Bristow "box" at Hickstead and used to enter the carriage driving events when they were held.

Alan often used to be flown to Hickstead in a 206 from the FTS. Pilots used to try to avoid flying with him as he always wanted to take the controls (not a problem in itself, he was a good stick) but the trip to Hickstead encompassed a transit through the Gatwick Control Zone and Alan didn't like to have to hold for clearance, putting immense pressure on the pilot "in command" and his future career.

4th May 2011, 14:41
Lol! Great stuff I.I. Alan was of course well known for his habit of 'having a go' and I suppose that most of us would do exactly the same if we were in his shoes.

Crossing Gatwick could, as you say, often involve delays and it was for this reason that my godfather regularly arranged for Gatwick's controllers to visit the beehive (usually on Saturdays) with their families in order to take them for a spin. Over the years the LGW controllers developed an informal 'priority arrangement' for Ferranti's fleet based on their familiarity with the airfield's operations given that it was their home base. In practice this meant that Ferranti aircraft would be allowed slightly more leniency (pilot's discretion in passing behind a landing craft) when it came to crossing the runway.

Gatwick controllers didn't need to memorise Ferranti's registrations because, along with white gloves and highly polished shoes, Col. Bob insisted that whenever a Ferranti aircraft initiated comms with a new frequency their message was to be prefixed with the words "This is Ferranti Helicopter G- ...." and woe betide anyone who failed to observe this procedure!

Earlier in the thread I related an incident between the Colonel and Douglas Bunn and which I suppose was shortly after Bunn had bought the Dancer.

The Sopwith Files: Tommy Junior

For the benefit of some of the younger Rotorheads we are of course talking about the son of British aviation pioneer Sir Thomas Sopwith (the son of yet another Thomas Sopwith and there are yet futher 'Tom Sopwiths' related to the family and who are still about today) the man behind the production of Britain's foremost fighter aircraft, the Camel and the Hurricane, during two world wars.

Like his father, Tommy Jr. was interested in yachting but later progressed to powerboats :ok: (sensible chap). He was also a keen racing driver along with other private flyers including Alan Mann, Ken Gregory and of course our friend Colin Chapman who bought Douglas Bunn's 206 mentioned above.

I don't know whether it was because of the strong association between helicopter flyers and racing drivers that at one point when you became a member of the Helicopter Club you were also given complimentary access to the Steering Wheel Club - or was it that the latter accommodated the former under some arrangement due to the club's lack of premises? I just don't remember.

As with several distinguished gentleman flyers in the 70's, Sopwith's preferred vehicle of choice for scouting about the country was a Bell 206 Jet Ranger. Thinking about it, I suppose that Peter Cadbury and 'Air Pegasus' would have been one of the closest contemparies to Tommy.

Tommy Sopwith races his powerboat the Avenger in 1970. Though he raced with the number '400' the wording on the back of the boat (partially obscured by sea spray) reads "Double-O-Seven"

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/__dRpfF8qlVM/TcFLk5KzAZI/AAAAAAAADEU/N1RTOSymHt0/Sopwith%20with%20Sir%20Max%20Aitken%20founder%20of%20the%20C owes-Torquay.jpg
Sopwith Jr. (right) stands with Sir Max Aitken founder of the Cowes-Torquay boat race.

A more recent image of Tommy Sopwith although I don't have details of the year in which this was taken.


Ahh de Havilland
4th May 2011, 19:54
Many thanks Savoia - more appreciated than an OBE

Hadn't heard the story about Tommy Sopwith's finger.

I think he was one of the memorable figures of the 60-70s helicopter scene along with Alan Bristow, The Cad, Alan Mann, Sox, Charles Hughesdon, Tony Everard and of course your Godfather (non exhaustive list before I get abuse).

5th May 2011, 13:01
Yes, G-AYTF was maintained by BHL FTS, went to Hickstead a couple of times where the machine was housed in an old barn with rails going out to a platform on wheels for landing on. Douglas once had an engine failure and landed in a sewage farm near Worcester Green near Epsom, you can imagine the language when he told what he had landed in. The engine compressor had failed through corrosion, I am sure that that incident initiated the 600 hr physical inspection of the compressor mandated by the CAA and more frequent compressor washing.

5th May 2011, 14:34
Great stuff Oldlae! So .. the Dancer had an engine-out before the one with the Colonel and I! Well, she seems to have come through them all fairly well.

Sebastian de Ferranti also had a motorised helipad which retracted into his hangar; although I don't recall which house.



Monkey Boy
5th May 2011, 17:28
It would be wonderful to hear more recollections of Sopwith Jr. and Endeavour Aviation and to discover images of the remainder of his fleet, especially his rotorcraft: G-AVZG, G-GINA and G-IINA.

I've been quietly enjoying this thread for sometime now, and I would like to thank all the contributors - it's been an education.

I certainly remember seeing G-GINA / G-IINA and Shoreham Airport on a fairly regular basis in the late 1980's (when I were a lad). Can't say much more than that other than I thought that it was something to do with Recardo's engineering as it always seemed parked close to their building. I am prepared to accept that this information is very wrong now!

5th May 2011, 19:13
The Kenyon Files: The Maestro and His Hughes'

Beside his beloved Enstrom's Dennisimo has been involved with a number of Hughes' also (along with a plethora of other types one should add).

With this first craft I'm just taking a stab at it because I actually don't know whether Dennisimo was involved but .. a couple of pages back we uncovered the little Enstrom F28 G-BAAU which Dennis sold to Colin Chapman.

Now BAAU's first owner was John E. Clark & Co. of Gecco House, Bournemouth who owned her from August 1972 to Januray 1974. What I have discovered is that the same lot bought a Hughes 500 (369) in November 1973 (just prior to selling BAAU).

The craft they bought was previously owned by Autair but, given that Clark/e's (spelled without an 'e' in the first registration document for BAAU and with an 'e' in the second - for the 500) were one of Dennis' clients I'm assuming he may have had something to do with the sale.

Either way Clark/e's traded-up to a 500 which they operated from November '73 until the end of 1975 when the record states the craft was destroyed. Clark/e's 500 was registered as G-BAYN but, I am unable to trace any information relating to the accident report and I wonder .. is there an exhaustive list of UK aircraft accidents? My experience (of which BAYN is but one example) is that there are inconsistencies.

Hughes 500C G-BAYN at Lee-on-Solent on 8th July 1975 (Photo: Brian Johnstone)

We've previously discussed Barry Sheene's Hughes 500C G-STEF and which we know Dennisimo sold him. However, prior to being named after Barry's wife, G-STEF existed as G-BKTK which was bought by Southern Air in June of 1983. She is then registered to 'Suflinks Holdings' (what a name) in the Channel Islands prior to being re-registered as STEF.

While in her original colours she sports an intriguing piece of artwork on her tail which appears to be some sort of creature standing atop what looks like a horizontally placed barber's pole!

I can only hope that the Maestro can fill in the gaps!

Hughes 500C G-BKTK at Shoreham c. 1983 (Photo: Andy Parsons)

MB: Welcome aboard!

What I can tell you is that courtesy of the Nostalgia Thread's leading discoverer of difficult-to-come-by helicopter images, we shall soon be graced with images of most of Sopwith's rotorcraft.

You mention seeing some of the Sopwith fleet at Shoreham in the 80's and the image above is also from Shoreham. Dennisimo was of course based there for an appreciable time along with my godfather for a short season.

Shoreham, so they say, is the UK's oldest licenced airfield and has appeared in numerous television and film productions due mainly to its classical terminal. They say that scenes from the Da Vinci Code were also shot there but I am trying to think which ones those may be. My understanding was that Hanks & co. used a 125 which taxiied into a hangar - was that Shoreham?

Enough for now.


5th May 2011, 20:05

You got the last line right.

Ahh de Havilland
6th May 2011, 14:16

I thought the logo looked like part of a coat of arms and wondered if it was that of the notorious Marquess of Bristol. A quick look at the Bristol coat of arms proves the point; the image on G-BKTK is the crest (i.e. the top of the arms). Bristol, Marquess of (UK, 1826) (http://www.cracroftspeerage.co.uk/online/content/index646.htm)

John Hervey, 7th Marquess, (1954-1999) (Earl Jermyn until he inherited the title in 1985) was the epitome of the "mad bad and dangerous to know" aristocrat who went through the family fortune in a tidal wave of over indulgence, in particular drugs.

Apparently at the controls of his helicopter 'He was an inspired pilot. He couldn't do radar, though. He would steer by an AA map on his knees, while snorting coke off the map. And he would order that all the lights at Ickworth be turned on when he was getting back.'

'Once, after a major bender, he went out to his helicopter, he didn't bother to check anything, he got into it and just went straight up. He didn't notice that there were clouds, he went straight up and came out at the top. There he was, sitting in a helicopter with a blanket of white puffy clouds beneath him. He said he looked around, put it on auto-pilot. He had a cocktail shaker in the cockpit, so he shook himself a Bloody Mary, had a couple of lines of coke and called the control tower in Cambridge. And somehow he came down, going sideways at 150mph and, without crashing, he landed.'

One night he went for a flight in his Hughes at his country estate, Ickworth House. This was after a dinner that included 2 or 3 bottles of claret and a pint of port. After a groggy, hesitant ascent, it then veered forward and up, hovering no more than 80ft above ground. He turned on the searchlight illuminating the part of the house occupied by an employee of the National Trust, to whom he had been obliged to sell the house and estate. Moments later, a squawking, demented cacophony erupted as Bristol screamed: 'I hate you, you b*****d. You b*****d. I hate you, you f*****g b*****d - wake up, you b*****d.'

In 1988 the Jersey police found 13g of coke in his helicopter at St Helier. He did seven months in the island gaol. This wasn't G-BKTK, more likely his later Hughes 500 G-BMJV

Not the best role model but certainly a character.

I wonder if Dennis K has any other stories about the Marquess.

6th May 2011, 19:56
Wonder which one is the Marquess of Bristol?, they do things different on the Island of Jersey.


The Treadmill from the old Jersey Gaol.

7th May 2011, 16:56

One of 'Mr Sopwiths' better creations, this is a Sopwith Baby replica produced by the year of apprentices that I had the honour of learning with, I'm in the picture I'll let you guess which one, we all met the ledgenry Tommy Sopwith at the presentation, you can imagine the effect on a 17 year old avaition trainee!!!!


7th May 2011, 18:03
I must say that this page has given me considerable satisfaction as the deliberations on Tommy Sopwith have continued with a reminder of his 'finger chopping' incident as well as the further general comments.

Oldlae's memories involving Douglas Bunn (Hickstead Jumping Ground owner) and the additional history behind the 'Dancer', an aircraft of special significance to me, have also been immensely enjoyable.

De Havilland's recollections of the Marquess of Bristol are, in a word, classic; and while reading them I imagined myself to be transported back to the days of my youth when at the Colonel's home on Crockham Hill (less than a mile from Winston's beloved Chartwell House) he would regale my father (with the aid of copious quantities of some fine liquor and a plentiful supply of Habanos) with all manner of stories involving various characters from the UK's aviation fraternity.

Regarding Stacey, he did of course give us a prelude to the form of his countenance in post #574 on page 29 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-29.html) but .. in this latest offering he is somewhat younger! I would hazard a guess and say that he's either directly below the roundel or one of the two dark-haired chaps near the centre of the group.

Great stuff all round! Keep nostalging!


7th May 2011, 22:54
Stacey's project with the others of his year must have been a tremendous undertaking, why does the aircraft have an American reg? Was it built from scratch?

I put Stacey (with all the hair) to the far top left of the gathering.

Senior Pilot
8th May 2011, 00:48
Stacey's project with the others of his year must have been a tremendous undertaking, why does the aircraft have an American reg? Was it built from scratch?

It is not an American registration: it is the original military registration allocated in 1915. There is a composite 'original' at the FAA Museum, RNAS Yeovilton


But this is nothing to do with Rotary Nostalgia, is it ;)

8th May 2011, 10:28
Ah, saw what you did with the Rotary thing there, SP...

Fantastic apprentice project - did it have a donk fitted/ did it fly?

8th May 2011, 15:52
Did not fly but had a donk fitted with no internals, it was a 'Rotary' engine and old!!, so rotary nostalgia!! gedit!!
The one in Yeovilton is the one and the same machine, made from parts from Spain and the rest from an Irish bog or so I was led to believe, OLDLAE is correct far left with all the hair.

8th May 2011, 19:51
The AgustaBell 206B JetRanger II G-CPTS belonging to Bruce Aspinall has recently featured on the Oldest Operational Helicopter thread (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/447193-oldest-operational-helo-2.html) as well as on the Alan Mann nostalgia thread (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/443466-alan-mann-helicopters-nostalgia-thread-3.html).

Today I received a message from a family who are friends of the Aspinall's and who have evidently been reading PPRuNe. Their message conveys the sad news that Bruce Aspinall, who has owned G-CPTS for the past 33 years, passed away on 24th April.

This post is to convey condolences to the Aspinall's and their friends.

Mrs 'K' who wrote to me mentioned that: "The helicopter you have referred to on your forum was to have gone for the helecopter equivalent of an MOT this week."

AgustaBell 206B G-CPTS at Blackpool Squires Gate on 28th April 1984 (Photo: Derek Heley)

RIP Bruce.


9th May 2011, 16:14

G-ATSJ Brantly 305 c/n 1024 registered to T.E.B Sopwith 11.5.66 then to his company Endeavour Aviation 22.12.67
Sold to Alan Mann Racing Ltd 13.11.68
Crashed 24.5.77 during ownership of R.H. Ryan


Another shot of G-ATSJ with some interesting aircraft in background.


G-AVZG Agusta Bell 206A Jetranger c/n 8017 registered to Endeavour Aviation, 12.12.67
Sold to Ernest George Aviation 18.5.73 and eventually went to Canada for spares use !


G-BASE Bell 206B Jetranger II c/n 969 registered to Endeavour Aviation, 8.3.73.
Seen on the embankment next to the London City helistop, anyone know what this exhibition was about ?
Sold to Air Hanson Ltd, 22.12.78 and has since been registered as G-OCBB and G-TUCH before leaving the UK as 9M-LLT
Tommy Sopwith was also chairman of the company operating the helistop


G-GINA AS.350B Ecureuil c/n 1016 registered to Endeavour Aviation, 21.3.78 with personal reg for his wife
Sold in the USA as N130FH


Another shot of G-GINA

all photos from Helipixman collection

9th May 2011, 16:25

G-IINA AS.350B1 Ecureuil c/n 2382 ex N908BA registered to Endeavour Aviation, 11.12.90
Sold to TWR Group Ltd, 15.12.95
Since re-registered as G-BWLI before leaving the UK as HB-XJC

Lastly McAlpine Helicopters had the registration G-INAS reserved probably for Sopwith but not used on a helicopter !

all photos Helipixman collection

10th May 2011, 10:30
Ah .. Helipix, you've done it again! When the rummaging through slides and negatives of others was silenced .. the Helipixman Collection triumphed with the delivery of evidence from times past bringing to life our ramblings of a bygone age in British rotary exploits. A well deserved Bravo; for you seem to have captured every one of Sopwith's rotorcraft!

The Brantly 305 G-ATSJ has of course popped-up previously on this thread but, these are great new shots and how wonderful it is to be able to link her with the subject of our latest discussions.

Wonderful too to see the AgustaBell 206A G-AVZG which Ferranti chartered from Tommy when their fleet were committed. One has to admire the VOR antenna arrangement beneath the cabs of so many 60's JetRangers - classic! I bet more than one came home bent!

Of G-BASE, what a unique shot along the Embankment. I am puzzled however by CSE's advertising of both Bell and AgustaBell products although the reality in the early 70's was that both CSE and Mann's ended-up with a number of each through various sales and part-exchanges.

G-GINA looks resplendent in her two-tone blue (not totally in love with the scheme but the colours are great). GINA, to the best of my knowledge, was the first Ecureuil to grace the shores of Blighty!

And finally, G-IIIIINA! Where is that pub .. the 'Sussex Pad' which overlooks an airfield?

Helipix, again, well done - thoroughly enjoyable.



* * *

The Savoia
Medal of Appreciation

Awarded to Helipixman for his tireless efforts in bringing the Nostalgia Thread to life with the aid of his seemingly inexhaustible collection of superb rotary-wing images

10th May 2011, 12:14

Google is your friend - Sussex Pad Hotel just outside the northern boundary of Shoreham Airport. Website Sussex Pad Hotel - HOME (http://www.sussexpadhotel.co.uk/)

Best Regards


10th May 2011, 14:22
Grazie Mille Hof! I just find it strange that I can't remember having seen it during my visits there.

The fact that G-IINA is at Shoreham is a splendid affirmation of MB's post (#668) in which he cited sightings of the Sopwith fleet at the field.

While on pubs, one of my favoured pubs in England is in fact in Sussex; Badgers, just south of Petworth House along the road to Goodwood. They used to serve an interpretation of 'Bubble & Squeak' which was basically a potato pankcake with all sorts thrown in. A simple and inexpensive dish which, when washed down with their local ale, was scrumptious.

More Sopwith ...

It would appear from this Flight Article (1st April 1971) that Tommy was at some point a director of CSE Aviation:


Also, this rather interesting piece (below) which refers to Tommy as Chairman of the BHAB and how he temporarily utilised the 'Mercator' (a Thames lighter) as a helipad during the 1973 London Plane Show. Evidently they logged 100+ movements without any complaints.

Now I am reasonably confident that this is one and the same event which my godfather related to me whereby local residents complained bitterly that they had not been given prior notification of the temporary use of the barge as a helipad stating that had they been notified .. they would have complained .. on principle! Lol .. some things never change!

Flight International November 1973


Monkey Boy
10th May 2011, 15:25
Helipixman - that's exactly how I remember it, always in the same spot! Thanks for sharing the pic! :ok:

Ahh de Havilland
11th May 2011, 12:07
I think the FI cutting from 1973 about the London Plane Show clears up exactly when the photo of G-BASE was taken.

I thought the picture didn't look much like the City Helistop which was on the barge "William" moored next to warehouses on the south bank, near Cannon Street rail bridge. The location looks too grand for this.

The shot seems to have been taken from the terrace of the Festival Hall and shows the Thames lighter "Mercator" used as a temporary landing pad in the backgound. Note also the elaborate street light.

Shame such an event could never happen again.

11th May 2011, 15:41
I remember parking the Trinity House bolkow up in the same spot by the Sussex Pad back in the late 80's.............. By far the best bacon buttes Ive ever had by none :ok: ( heart stoppers)

11th May 2011, 16:44
Ah .. good old unhealthy British food. I do miss it!

Of Shoreham and 105's ..

Ex-Ferranti Bo105D G-BAFD on contract to Sussex Police as seen in September 1988. (Photo: Steve Stoneman)


12th May 2011, 12:37
There have been a handful of comments regarding Gay on this and a couple of other threads and I thought it would be useful to consolidate them:

Plank Cap wrote: Mid 70's and a still vibrant memory of the most gorgeous silver and black Hughes 500C on high skids. As a 10 year old boy my future fate and career were shaped by this image, fully rammed home a few minutes later at the sight of an even more gorgeous long-haired blonde lady purposefully striding out to the aircraft and taking off on some undoubtedly fabulous mission.

To a youngster it didn't get any better.....

CharlieOneSix wrote: That would have been Gay Absalom.

She followed a family trend in joining her father (Roland) in flying helicopters and passed her PPL in 1966. It was not long before she progressed to a CPL in a period when females and helicopters were not an accepted combination in the commercial world. She was 23 when she enrolled at the Oxford Air Training School at Kidlington and got her commercial licence.

Bristows turned her down and, although he was not a party to the original decision, Alan Bristow himself rejected her subsequent appeal. She then got a job with Air Gregory. I remember seeing her at Battersea many times during the early/mid 70's - wonder what became of her?

DennisK wrote: Gay Barratt (née Absalom) flew for my firm many times. She was the lady pilot featured flying the Enstrom Shark, G-PALS in "To the Manor Born." The director wanted a lady 'blonde' pilot and I believe Gay was in fact the ONLY CPL in those days.

Cornish Jack wrote: Of the two memories of the day, one was dropping our smoke grenade UPWIND of the VIP guest enclosure, the other was the arrival of a Jet Ranger and being goggle-eyed at the tall, blonde lime-green trouser suited lady pilot.

Gay Absalom returns to the UK having completed a solo-cross-channel flight to Deuville, France and for which endeavour she received an award from the French Aero Club. June 1967.

..Flight International 9th May 1968

Would be great to discover the 500 of which Plank Cap speaks as well as to find out, as CharlieOneSix suggests, what happened to Gay!

I was pleased to happen upon this image (however poor) of the late-great 'Antonio' 'Nobbly' 'Nobby' Clarke! Besides calling him Antonio I would also refer to him as Leo based on my belief (which he disputed) of his similarity to the actor Leo McKern. Basically, whenever he did anything I didn't fully appreciate I would respond 'Yes Leo'. This exchange most frequently occurred after work when we would stop at his local for a pint whereupon, having purchased not a single round, he would say 'I think this is your round!'

A gentleman flyer much missed!

Leo McKern whom Savoia accused of resembling 'The Clarke'


12th May 2011, 17:56
I don't know the value or otherwise of calorie-enhanced bacon butties, but you have 'cafe-corretto' (Sp?) do you not? Especially in the Winter. Sets one up for the day - well it did me (had 3 of them) prior to a frosty start on ground handling at Aeroporto Torino one cold Feruary morn. :ok:

What a way to live (even if it is now non-pc) :)

12th May 2011, 18:29


On Wednesday 11th May 2011 at the RAF Club in London,
Wing Commander Robert (Bob) Foster presented the Venerable Dennis 'Dennisimo' 'The Menace' Kenyon, with the Royal Aero Club's Diploma.

Dennis Kenyon started flying in the RAF in 1952 and has flown some 85 aircraft types from Tiger Moths to early military jets. In 1972 he joined Spooner Aviation from where he developed one of the UK's most successful helicopter sales distributorships becoming synonymous with the Enstrom brand he promoted. Dennis is qualified as a Helicopter ATPL, Instructor and Type Rating Examiner. He is also an acclaimed display pilot and evaluator.

Dennis has flown 32 differnet types of rotary aircraft and has amassed in excess of 13,000 flying hours. He has performed at more than 1,200 airshows and has appeared in several feature films. He has represented Great Britain in four World Helicopter Championships, winning the aerobatic freestyle title in 1992.

In 2005 he set up a flying scholarship to sponsor to helicopter PPL standard those with a passion for rotary-wing flight. He continues to convey his experience through writing articles on helicopter test flights, flight theory and flight safety.

* * *

Dennis, my sincere congratulations on having received this reward. Well done!


12th May 2011, 19:02
Si, caffè corretto, but this is far from unhealthy VFR. In fact, quite the opposite!

Furthermore, do not waste your time with those little 'shot' glasses but rather indulge in a 'proper' breakfast (below). Regarding political correctness - I try to stamp it out at every possible opportunity, lol!




14th May 2011, 12:21
One is accustomed to seeing a variety of registrations employed across Europe in both corporate and private applications; US, Bermudan, Manx etc. however, Aussie registered craft are less common.

Anyone with knowledge of the ship below?

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/__dRpfF8qlVM/Tc5Ziqt9inI/AAAAAAAADM0/54Tunj7zlDk/109E%20Dromoland%20Castle%2029%20Aug%202004%20%28Trevor%20Mu lkerrins%29%20II.jpg
AW109E VH-MXE at Dromoland Castle on 29th August 2004. (Photo: Trevor Mulkerrins)

Some weeks prior to this photo Dromoland hosted the US-EU summit (below) during which rotorcraft doubtless provided essential support.

George W. walks through the grounds of Dromoland Castle with Romano Prodi and Bertie Ahern on 26th June 2004


John Eacott
14th May 2011, 12:36
That was the Multiplex helicopter: now long gone, it was a 2004 photo! ISTR Multiplex had a little contract in UK to build a footy field or something :p

A check of the rego at CASA (http://casa-query.funnelback.com/search/search.cgi?collection=casa_aircraft_register&collection=casa_aircraft_register&form=&query=&meta_v_sand=mxe&Search=Search&session=1344335542) says that MXE is now a VANS RV-7A homebuilt, registered as of 17 March 2011.

18th May 2011, 08:44
John, thanks for this info! :ok:

Anyone with any clues as to where this 206 is being unpacked from? The craft wears a scheme similar to that of Japan's Aero Asahi.



In the same hangar is a 'devil' (G-DEVL) and a 'Jessie' (G-JESI) below.



21st May 2011, 07:09
Sustaining the theme on this and recent pages of musings from the Emerald Isle, this early example Bell 206 EI-ASW which seems to have been a contemporary of Denis de Ferranti's EI-AWA.

EI-ASW was an early model (1968) 206 (serial no. 180). In fact there was only one Bell 206 earlier than this in the British Isles, serial no. 66 (G-AVTE) which went to a firm 'BSR Ltd.'

Ferranti's 206 EI-AWA was a slightly later model (1972, serial no. 897) but was also a Bell and, curiously, carried the same (slightly gaudy in my view) copper-gold motif although with ASW (as seen below) this is offset with white 'patches'.

In 1972 ASW is then sold to the UK and registered as G-BADS and recorded as becoming the property of Viscount Downe (John Christian George Dawnay) of Wykeham Abbey. Viscount Downe was a contemporary of Sebastian de Ferranti in that he flew his own JetRanger and had his own (albeit moderately sized) electronics company.

I am keen to discover whether ASW was owned by Viscount Downe (originally an Irish title) while on the Irish register or whether she belonged to someone else first.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/__dRpfF8qlVM/TddHUk70YRI/AAAAAAAADRE/RXytoqy03zQ/B206A%20EI-ASW%20Plymouth%20Roborough%2017%20Oct%201970%20%28Chris%20En gland%29%20-%202.jpg
Bell 206A EI-ASW as seen at Plymouth Roborough on 17th October 1970. (Photo: Chris England)

Maintaining the Irish spirit, some contemporary nostalgia below:

QEII arrives with the Duke at the 'Rock of Cashel' in the morning hours of 20th May 2011 courtesy of the Royal Household's S76C G-XXEB

It brings back the memories .. having lived for some time in the shadow of 'the Rock' at the Cashel Palace Hotel during the early 80's in the days when it was owned by Vincent O'Brien.


21st May 2011, 07:36
Well, drifting back through this interesting thread I found a snap in post 644 by Saviol, of a S62A with Gulf Air as the operator. A little piece of history of the emerging beginnings of Gulf Helicopters in Doha Qatar. Originally as I believe, in support of the emerging off shore oil and gas development, two S62s operated out of Doha for a number of years, fist operated by Bristow, then by Gulf Air and later Qatar Petroleum under the Gulf Helicopters banner.
After the introduction of the Bell 212 the S62 sat in glorious isolation *and gathering dust at the developing heliport at Doha until sent as scrap to one of the many junk yards outside of town.
A old friend driving around the industrial area a few years ago tells me that he noticed a dilapidated S62 sitting among the wreckage of old and scrapped cars. A part of the local history lost unfortunatly. **:sad:

21st May 2011, 10:13
I saw Savoia's post 689 and realised that the fabulous anecdote about the Sussex police helo was not, in fact an invention.

They discovered to their chagrin that with the rear door left open the signwriting read


21st May 2011, 17:48
Three S62's were actually sold to Court Helicopters in 78/79, two went to Dubai for a period of time and the third I believe went to S.A., the scrap one was a crashed airframe.
Bristows were there very early on before the S92's with S55 Whirlwinds, and later supported Gulf with leased 212's when the S62's were retired.


21st May 2011, 18:06
Well done Stacy, nice to have the detail. I will pass the history to my old chum next time I contact.:ok:

500 Fan
21st May 2011, 18:57
It looks like this Jet Ranger might have been the first B206 to have been operated by Irish Helicopters Ltd, albeit on a leased-in basis.

According to one source, it looks like it was operated by Helicopter Maintenance Ltd, Irish Helicopters, Welltrade Ltd (01 Dec 1968), and then went into private ownership on the 23 Nov 1970. It was cancelled in September 1972, becoming G-BADS before going abroad as SE-HGH and was written off while carrying this registration in 1977. Two different sources confirm these registrations as being correct for this airframe.

500 Fan.

Phil Kemp
21st May 2011, 20:08
Bristows were there very early on before the S92's with S55 Whirlwinds, and later supported Gulf with leased 212's when the S62's were retired.

Wow, Stacey; that's quite a jump from the WS55 to the S92! :eek:

22nd May 2011, 10:30
An AS 330J (or perhaps one of the eleven NAS 330J's built by Indonesia's IPTN) approaches Mobil Oil's seismic acquisition and research vessel the 'Ted Nelson' in the Malacca Straits c. 1981.


22nd May 2011, 10:35
Sorry Phil!!


27th May 2011, 18:25
if it was the Allouette II it was G AWAP

28th May 2011, 08:38
if it was the Allouette II it was G AWAP

31st May 2011, 06:15
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-1Je3D_mq0cI/TeRuz3fv0FI/AAAAAAAADS0/_AzhcUyisUM/s512/SK%252520Mk%25252050A%252520Nowra%252520NSW%2525201%252520No v%25252098%252520%252528George%252520Canciani%252529.jpg
Royal Australian Navy SeaKing Mk50A trailing the Aussie Navy ensign at the Nowra Airshow on 1st November 1998. This aircraft, N16-100, went on to meet her demise on 2nd April 2005 during Tsunami relief operations on the island of Nias. Sadly 9 Australian Defence Force personnel were killed and 2 seriously injured in the crash. [This photo dedicated to the families of those who perished].

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-CV83BGaX_ws/TeRz71Dc30I/AAAAAAAADS8/6Wtw2b3Mw6o/s512/AB212AM%252520IAF%252520Santu%252520Pietre%252520Malta%25252 09%252520Aug%25252007%252520%252528Peter%252520Tonna%252529. jpg
AgustaBell 212AM of the Italian Air Force at Santu Pietru, Malta on 9th August 2007 air lifting the remains of an AFM 'Bulldog' which crashed during a coastal patrol.


1st Jun 2011, 09:08
One of the early 206L's (c.1979) operating in the Gulf of Mexico was this model owned/contracted to Motorola Communications who employed the craft in support of their offshore radio network which linked the various rigs with rig-to-shore comms.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-uOHtW5xEqYY/TeXnho0EwEI/AAAAAAAADUM/OcBs8Fe20RA/N1077G%252520DXB%2525201%252520Aug%25252080%252520%252528Ste ve%252520Darke%252529.jpg
Bell 206L1 N1077G at Dubai International Airport on 1st August 1980 (Photo: Steve Dark)

Any details relating to 77G's tour in Dubai would be welcome.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-j8KDh6jiQCI/TeXnSlox0yI/AAAAAAAADUA/Bzf_YfDaW1g/206L1%252520II%252520Duxford%252520Aug%25252091%252520%25252 8Martin%252520Laycock%252529.jpg
Bell 206L1 G-EYRE (which has featured several times on this thread courtesy of WiganAirways) seen here at Duxford in August 1991 while owned by 'Hideroute Ltd' of Benfleet. An unidentified 206 appearing in the background. (Photo: Martin Laycock)

2nd Jun 2011, 09:04
Swedish Police AgustaBell 206B SE-HPF at Bromma Airport (Stockholm) on 1st May 1972. HPF was the third 206 delivered by Agusta to the Swedish Police and was up-graded from and 'A' to a 'B' by Ostermans Aero. Sadly, the aircraft crashed in Grantofta in June 1980 with the loss of three souls. (Photo: Rolf Larsson)

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-XnH0kxXqJ8c/TedAHvU4M0I/AAAAAAAADUo/cxevN59HjYM/AB206A%252520D-HARU%252520Jeenwang%252520Germany%25252024%252520Jun%2525207 5%252520%252528Stuart%252520Jessup%252529.jpg
AgustaBell 206A D-HARU at Jeenwang in Germany on 24th June 1975. (Photo: Stuart Jessup)

4th Jun 2011, 08:58

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-ZcbolQ9-hMY/Tenj3dXTeZI/AAAAAAAADWU/hgoXcVkCTe0/SA3130%252520AH2%252520AAC%252520XR380%25252026%252520Jul%25 252075%252520Middle%252520Wallop%252520%252528Russ%252520Smi th%252529.jpg
British Army Air Corps SA3130 AH2 XR380 at Middle Wallop on 26th July 1975. Originally painted (in error) as 'XJ380' (Photo: Russ Smith)

Sandy Toad
4th Jun 2011, 18:20
Pretty sure N1077G though shown on AeroGulf's ramp was bought for Sh Saud bin Rashid al Mu'alla then Crown Prince of Umm al Quwain.
He had learnt to fly on a B206 with Dubai Police Air Wing.
It was re-registered A6-UAQ. Rod Good, ex Bristow, was recruited to fly for him.
It was soon traded up for a Bell 222 UT which then took up the registration A6-UAQ until de-registered from the UAE Civil Register. It then flew as UAQ-1 until sold.
The LongRanger was sold out of country - Sweden??

5th Jun 2011, 06:59
Middle East LongRangers

Thanks ST!

On the off chance that you may know something about it .. G-BFAL .. a Ferranti supplied 206L delivered to the Fayed stable (in those days Fayed's aircraft were registered under the name 'Genavco') was the first LongRanger in the UK (July 1979) however, before becoming BFAL she was briefly registered as A6-BCL. Do you happen to know whether this craft was actually delivered to the UAE prior to arriving in the UK?

More Bölkow ..

G-BATC (which appeared on page 31) graces the cover of Air Pictorial's July 1980 edition advertising their exposé on Trinity House ops. The publication is touted for the princely sum of 55p or (as stamped on the cover) $1.95

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-MJdX-0A48Yw/TesVG5z-XNI/AAAAAAAADYY/EzvIZdP9mRM/Bolkow_helicopter_refuelling_at_Turnhouse_%2525281982%252529 _-_geograph_org_uk_-_870581.jpg
G-AZOM, which appeared on page 30, is seen here refuelling at Turnhouse in 1982

A Canadian Fisheries Department Bo105 sits on the helideck of the MV George Pearkes. Further details unknown.

5th Jun 2011, 10:24
Aldergrove Dispersal: Lynx Crew - REME pilot and door gunner prepare for sortie. Painting by Wynne Hopkins.

The reference to REME brings to mind Bertie Thruster .. in fact if one enlarges the image the pilot even wears a tache!

6th Jun 2011, 07:23
Staverton airfield, Gloucestershire, late 70's early 80's. Anyone with any recollections of this company, the key people involved and something of their operations? They seem to have been connected to a Mitsubishi dealership.

CEA appear to have started out with this 1975 Mann-supplied AgustaBell 206B G-BCVZ. Though operated by CEA the craft was registered to a Fairoaks based outfit 'Camlet Helicopters'

From the 206 they progressed to the Ecureuil most of which carried the letters 'RR' at the conclusion of their registration!



This 1980 Flight International ad makes reference to a Peter Turner. Any additional details welcome.

6th Jun 2011, 07:42
I seem to recall one of our Mann pilots went to work for Colt, Robert xxxxx (TRC will know). They were based Bristol way i think.

More when I can remember it! ~ VFR

6th Jun 2011, 07:54
As I recall, the G-*ORR refered to the family name, MORR was Michael Orr.

Aside from the Squirrels, they had an Aerostar, G-COLT, and either owned or sponsored several hot air balloons.

Owner of the Aerostar was "The Colt Car Company".

Again, if memory serves... they were a sponsor of the Biggin Hill Air Fair around the early 1980s, I seem to remember some of the aircraft there and a car trade stand.

They may also have been the sponsorship of Vic Norman's Zlin 526 and Zlin 50 which had Mitsubishi/Colt sponsorship.

6th Jun 2011, 07:55
The Colt Car Company was headed by a guy called Michael Orr which probably explains the registrations.
The Mitsubishi Colt was a bit of a high performance car in it's day, maybe the aviation side was an offshoot of the Mitsubishi racing arm ?.


6th Jun 2011, 08:52
Hope this is OK and does not worry the copyright police.


6th Jun 2011, 09:18
There was a PPRuNer on here a minute ago trying to post an image of a Kiwi FH1100 but the post has now gone!

This is to say that I've had a go at trying to clean-up your image (below).

New Zealand FH1100 ZK-HCI at Mount Cook in November 1984. The notes state that this craft was the oldest turbine helicopter on the Kiwi register and that she was the first helicopter recorded as landing on Mt. Cook at an altitude of 12,394ft in 1971.

And there I was thinking that landing a JetRanger with 3 POB on Mt. Albert Edward (11,852ft) in Papua New Guinea was a pain but in an FH1100 ... :sad:.

Colt Aviation

Thanks for the responses. :ok:

The name Michael Orr certainly rings a bell and I look forward to any additional responses which may come in from those with memories of this company.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-If0xXdMx9So/TeyFwTB85OI/AAAAAAAADaM/ni6hcszir_E/AS350B%252520Greenham%252520Common%25252027%252520June%25252 081%252520%252528Derek%252520Heley%252529.jpg
Colt Aviation's AS350B G-PORR at Greenham Common on 27th June 1981. (Photo: Derek Heley)

6th Jun 2011, 10:12
Savoia, I dotn suppose you know if that particualr published book "Air Pictoral" on that trinity house operation is still available from any source. I'd be very interested to read it.

6th Jun 2011, 10:29
Bolkow; here (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Air-Pictorial-July-1980-/300563972958?_trksid=p4340.m263&_trkparms=algo%3DDLSL%252BSIC%26its%3DI%26itu%3DUCI%252BIA%2 52BUA%252BFICS%252BUFI%252BDDSIC%26otn%3D8%26pmod%3D30055490 1815%252B300554901815%26po%3D%26ps%3D63%26clkid%3D4516190887 92823820)

There may also be someone with a back copy willing to scan the Trinity article and send it to you!


6th Jun 2011, 10:34
thanks very much for that reply.

6th Jun 2011, 12:40
Going back to Colt Aviation Peter Turner was their chief pilot and today is MD Executive Aviation,still based at Staverton (sorry Gloucestershire Airport).
He is on leave for a couple/three weeks but I'm sure will give the low down if you e mail him and put him in touch with this thread.

Brilliant Stuff
6th Jun 2011, 14:30
Robert Kellie is the ex Mann pilot who used to be heavily involved with Colt.

Robert is now in semi retirement but still offering his considerable experience to Polo Aviation.

Mostly Robert is busy sampling wine with the odd Gin & Tonic thrown in, though he is missing the flying.

Cracking chap.:ok::ok::ok::ok::ok:

Ahh de Havilland
6th Jun 2011, 15:19
I remember this outfit very well, so apologies in advance for a long post.

Colt Executive Aviation (CEA) was a division of The Colt Car Company, the UK Mitsubishi distributor.

Colt began operations with Aerostar G-COLT and recruited Peter Turner from Bristol Air Taxis as chief pilot. When the Aerostar proved unsuitable they decided to replace it with a Cessna 441 but when the type experienced technical problems replaced it with a Commander 690 G-JRMM followed by King Air G-STYR, then King Air 200 G-MCEO. An Aztec G-SATO was added, and rapidly replaced by another King Air G-PTER. All the turboprops were named “Bright Eyes” and had regn based on directors names Jack R Morris-Marsham, Richard STYeR, Michael Charles Edward Orr, Mr Sato, and PeTER Turner.

At the same time as they were replacing the Aerostar they leased Jetranger G-BCVZ from Mann to evaluate helicopter operations, but when they selected the Squirrel G-BFNC was op for a while. Incidentally ‘VZ was the first a/c in the black & white Colt livery. They recruited Robert Kellie as Chief Helicopter Pilot – presumably this was the ex Mann pilot mentioned earlier.

The company’s first owned helicopter was G-MORR, soon followed by a whole family of ORR’s named after various members of that family. The exception possibly being G-MAHO; this crashed into the Humber after hitting a ships mast during a film assignment. A Dauphin was reported on order but never materialized.

Michael Orr used the helicopters extensively to commute from his house in Minchinhampton to Colt HQ nearby Cirencester. This continued when he moved to Devon with G-PTER deputizing in bad weather. G-MORR was his prime a/c and was repainted in a black with red stripes version of the livery with Lonsdale Cars logos when Colt tried unsuccessfully to sell Australian made Mitsubishi’s in the UK.

CEA was a pioneer in the Police market operating for Devon & Cornwall and Thames Valley. Their helis always managed to hit the headlines rescuing topless streaker Erica Rowe from blizzards in Wales, and drying out Cheltenham racecourse. They also established their own maintenance op & became distributor for the Mitsubishi Diamond jet (later Beechjet) importing G-JMSO named Jimbo after Orr’s son. However a/c utilization was low and costs were high. They also paid a top of the market price for Harvard G-AZBN at the Strathallan auction having originally gone after the Hurricane. The Harvard flew around with a large Mitsubishi diamond logo on its underside.

Eventually Mitsubishi tired of Michael Orr’s extravagances (ocean yachts, offshore powerboat racing, hot air balloons, aerobatic sponsorship, lavish HQ building, sponsorship of Mark Phillips’ Gatcombe Country Fair and CEA) and pushed him out. Peter Beaumont his successor canned CEA and sold the business off to Asbon Associates, including the aircraft were sold.

Later Colt realized they really did need business aircraft and had a couple of Citations (G-CCCL Colt Car Co Ltd followed by G-JETC) and a pair Squirrels G-TMMC (The Mitsubishi Motor Co) and G-BMIF. These were operated by Corporate Jet Services headed by Peter Turner and predecessor to his EAS.

Robert Kellie went on to form Helicopter’s UK and Mark Trumble (pilot of the ill fated G-MAHO) to form Police Aviation Services.

Pheww - I pause for breath.

Brilliant Stuff
6th Jun 2011, 16:32
And Rober Kellie did an underslung Job when he was working at Mann which was a Birthday surprise except this turned into a Birthday surprise surprise because the load dropped itself a tad early. :D:D:D. Of course he has the trophy to prove it.

6th Jun 2011, 19:35
..... registered to a Fairoaks based outfit 'Camlet Helicopters'

Camlet Helicopters was/is a name that appeared quite often on Mann operated machines - one of the most famous is probably poor old G-BBRI, the most abused (by student pilots) 47G-5A in the history of anything. Having been bounced and cartwheeled around Fairoaks umpteen times there can't be anything left of the original machine that was brand new from the factory when I joined Mann's in 1974.

7th Jun 2011, 09:16
Heli1 thanks. Have dropped Peter a note via the firm your mentioned and will wait to see whether he comes back. In the meantime, and as you have probably seen, De Havilland has provided a formidable synopsis of Colt's interesting history.

De Havilland; no need to apologise for the length of your posts for they are, without exception, masterful missives; informative, engaging and thoroughly enjoyable!

G-MORR was his prime a/c and was repainted in a black with red stripes version of the livery with Lonsdale Cars logo

CEA was a pioneer in the Police market operating for Devon & Cornwall and Thames Valley.

Robert Kellie went on to form Helicopter’s UK and Mark Trumble (pilot of the ill fated G-MAHO) to form Police Aviation Services.

Never had the pleasure of meeting Robert Kellie but Brilliant Stuff (above) seems to rate him highly. I did however happen upon Mark Trumble in the early 80's in Dublin and there's a bit of a story to it.

Ferranti supplied Mohammed Al Fayed (ex-Harrods owner) with what I believe was his first helicopter in the UK. The ship supplied was G-BAKX a Bell 206B bought from Harrison Construction of Droitwich and delivered to Fayed's company 'Genavco' in March '77. A couple of months later Ferranti supplied Fayed with a second helicopter, G-BFAL, the UK's first 206L and which ultimately led to the sale of BAKX which was bought by Castle Motors of Liskeard. In August '79 Castle Air (as they became) sold KX to Brendan O'Mahony a celebrity lawyer and perhaps one of Dublin's most successful legal minds. I think it was Castle who suggested the services of Mark Trumble in a freelance capacity to O'Mahony and he ended-up flying a couple of tours including a trip to the South of France.

Around 1981-82 my godfather took-up the assignment of flying for the race horse trainer Vincent O'Brien in Tipperary and while in Eire met with Brendan. When Brendan discovered that Bob had been involved with his craft in her former life he insisted on Bob giving a hand whenever he could. Brendan was a flyer but, as with Sebastian de Ferranti, was mindful of his limitations and generally preferred having someone experienced alongside.

Well there we were (I guess 1982) at the Irish Helicopters hangar in Dublin to collect G-BAKX (now EI-BHI) which had been in to have its Sperry AH repaired. It was a short trip (perhaps 7 minutes) from Dublin Airport to Leixlip where Brendan had his home. Shortly after take-off this acrid aroma permeated the Ranger's cabin and the face of the Sperry instrument turned brown. A few seconds later small amounts of thick white smoke emerged from the sides of the instrument panel. Bob very calmly informed Dublin that we were heading back to the field but that comms would off as we had an electrical problem. Dublin tower advised us to proceed to the main apron in front of their cab and then instructed a plank on approach to go around. Bob then switched off the battery and isolated the AH's breaker.

A long story short - when Brendan eventually received the bill from Irish Helicopters he naturally refused to pay for the 'repairs' to the instrument given that it hadn't worked that well. Irish Helicopters then decided that they would take-on their client (one of the country's leading lawyers) in a suit. By the time this came to court Col. Bob was in Kenya freelancing for Freddie Wilcox so Brendan asked "How about your godson, wasn't he on board?" and so I was pulled out of boarding school in the UK and spirited to Dublin where Brendan and his family made a royal fuss over me. Concerned however that the court may not wish to decide the matter purely on the testimony of a 15 year old, Brendan called up Mark Trumble to provide supporting evidence regarding the general manner in which EI-BHI was cared for and as someone who had been familiar with the aircraft.

When my turn came up I did my best to recount the events of the incident and which seemed to have been well received judging from Brendan's beaming face and the limited number of questions from the prosecution.

Mark was then called and, fairly quickly, (and I can still hear the accents of the 'Hoirish' lawyers) the prosecution focused on the fact that BHI was generally kept in the open. Mark went on to state that he had operated several 206's which were never hangared and that this posed no problem .. so long as certain measures were taken! It took less than a second for the prosecution to respond in his finest 'hoirish haccent' "And which measures exactly would they be now Mr Trumble?" Mark then mentioned how in his previous operations he would spray parts of the engine area with WD-40 which he said acted to prevent the effects of unwanted moisture. For the next 20 minutes the court then discussed the merits of WD-40 and whether this practice had formed part of the routine applied to Brendan's craft. Brendan was not pleased as evidenced by the scowl which had appeared across his face.

The fact that the engine bay was nowhere near the instrument panel and that WD-40 probably had little to do with the artificial horizon catching fire did not seem to matter to anyone. At one point in the proceedings the judge asked an Irish Helicopters mechanic about the repair procedures applied to the failed instrument. The mechanic made fleeting reference to a hair dryer (which I don't think is unusual - it was probably a heat gun of some sort) and which statement his Lordship latched onto with zealous intrigue. For the rest of the proceedings the judge would, at every possible opportunity, repeat the phrase "hair dryer!!" with pronounced consternation.

The following day's Irish Times (or whatever it was) on page two .. "Firm Repairs Copter using Hair Dryer". Perhaps needless to say, Irish Helicopters were made to pay for the repair of the unit (which was to be sent back to the manufacturer) and Brendan was awarded damages. He then moved the ship's maintenance to SRS at Shannon.

Ah, these little memories from times past but, I suppose that's what nostalgia is all about!

Bell 206B EI-BHI formerly owned by Dublin lawyer Brendan O'Mahony which became part of a legal dispute between the owner and Irish Helicopters at which PPRuNer Savoia and Mark Trumble gave testimony. When this craft was supplied to Mohammed Al Fayed in the 70's the white circle contained the letter 'F' which many incorrectly assumed stood for Ferranti. When the craft was sold to Castle Motors the 'F' was retained as their owner's surname also began with an 'F'.

9th Jun 2011, 23:24
Hi all,
Would anyone know anything about a short lived operation doing crop spraying in Ireland in the late 70s with a couple of 206s called Airwork?

500 Fan
10th Jun 2011, 10:34
As far as I know, Irish Airwork were not connected with Irish Helicopters in any way. They flew a Hiller UH-12 EI-BCA along with Jet Rangers EI-BEV and EI-BHE and, possibly, EI-BES. I would love to know more about this operation myself. Thanks.

500 Fan.

10th Jun 2011, 21:57
Thats right, thats wht Irish helis got Bell 47 EI-BKG to compete in the crop spraying business.

Also does anyone know anything about the short lived Dublin to Holyhead S-61 service flown by S-61 EI-BPK in 1985, who set it up?

10th Jun 2011, 22:56
Dublin City Helicopters sole S61N taxis towards its awaiting marshaller standing next to an Aer Lingus 747 in May 1985

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-Os60mMqeqmw/TfKQQohVzKI/AAAAAAAADf0/OtcJ8Vt8iNg/%252521BwkNSRQ%252521mk%25257E%252524%252528KGrHqIOKi4Eu3YED tFuBMJk4rP%2525217g%25257E%25257E_12.jpg
Rail-air link advertising poster

Anglesey’s ill-fated Dublin-Holyhead helicopter service

THE Mail took to the skies amid much excitement as “a new and exciting way to cross the Irish Sea” was launched – only to be grounded a mere 10 weeks later.

In April 1985, the new Holyhead-Dublin helicopter service began its five flights a day, and the Mail climbed aboard for the maiden voyage.

“The first £1.2 million Sikorsky N61 copter to arrive at Holyhead’s brand new heliport aroused great interest among workers in the nearby Penrhos industrial estate last week,” wrote reporter Myfanwy Jones.

“They all downed tools and made a beeline for the helicopter, seeking a better view.

“Soon, the helicopter engines began to warm up, producing a tremendous amount of vibration which got the old adrenaline flowing.

“I couldn’t wait to get in the air.

“Then, with a small bump, we rose vertically about 50ft into the air, before setting off on a route around South Stack and Trearddur Bay, then rising to the normal cruising height of 1,500ft and a speed of 138mph.”

TV star Anneka Rice visited Holyhead to launch the service, which could carry 26 passengers and baggage, as well as a crew of two pilots and a cabin assistant.

Peter Powell, from the Holyhead heliport, told the Mail: “This is the first truly international shuttle service in Europe.”

John Riordan, the man behind the venture, said: “We intend to run a first-class service at second-class prices and give our passengers another choice in getting to Britain.”

Waiting passengers could enjoy the “luxurious” heliport’s “spacious lounges, fine restaurant and duty-free goods,” before crossing the Irish Sea in 30 minutes.

The service was expected to carry between 30,000 and 35,000 passengers during its first year of operation, reported the Mail.

While “not without its teething troubles,” it initially seemed to do well: “The new service is already carrying more passengers than expected and bookings were said to be flooding in.”

However, by June, all flights had been cancelled and the staff made redundant.

The service was suspended after the company “failed to get a £250,000 council loan to help them out of a cash crisis,” wrote the Mail.

“The last helicopter flight to leave Holyhead for Dublin left on time at 9.15pm on Monday night, and afterwards the gates to the airport were locked.”

Anglesey’s ill-fated Dublin-Holyhead helicopter service - Mail Series (http://www.theonlinemail.co.uk/bangor-and-anglesey-news/local-bangor-and-anglesey-news/2011/03/30/anglesey-s-ill-fated-dublin-holyhead-helicopter-service-66580-28421735/)

11th Jun 2011, 15:32
Amazing what you can happen across, when looking for the 7-seater craft as by flown by Gilles Villeneuve.

Mr Savoia, Mr Kenyon amazing stuff!!!


11th Jun 2011, 20:22
Sax: Gilles Villeneuve features briefly on page 17 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-17.html) when he arrived at the German Grand Prix in 1979 courtesy of G-BCYP which, at the time, was registered to Mann's but which, according to VFR, was used/leased by a chap called Walter the Wolfe! The 206 is of course a 5 seat ship although perhaps Villeneuve went on to charter the 'L' model.


On page 32 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-32.html) appear two images of S61's with the Concorde subsequent to my disclosure that I had been searching for an image of a 206 with Concorde somewhere in the frame (and which image I am not even sure exists). The same week as the post on page 32 appeared I received an email from one my aviation photographer friends containing the image below:

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-prMP7cOZiTg/Tcbe4rDgZQI/AAAAAAAADIg/fOiwdvHjIvw/s720/Delta%252520DC8%252520N8148A%252520LHR%252520December%252520 1970%252520%252528M%252520West%252529.jpg
Delta Airlines DC8 N8148A departing Heathrow in December 1970 (Photo: M. West)

Now clearly the aircraft is not the Concorde but the photographer did point out that there was a 206 in the shot and perhaps this is as near to the image I was looking for as I will find! My photo-viewing software does not include a programme which allows me to zoom while maintaining pixel integrity so I really can't make out what is written on the 206 but there does seem to be something in the vacinity of where the registration often appears on the tailboom and which leads me to believe that the craft in question just might be G-AVII (the UK's first 206) below:

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-ZVLWiV_d-H8/TdjcQHv9QRI/AAAAAAAADRg/KSvPUeOKA_k/AB206A%252520G-AVII%252520Biggin%252520Hill%25252011%252520May%25252068%252 520%252528John%252520Hamlin%252529.jpg
The UK's first JetRanger G-AVII at Biggin Hill on 11th May 1968 (Photo: John Hamlin)

From what I know AVII (at the time of this photo) had her registration painted on the fuselage around the area of the baggage bay leaving the for'ard section of the tailboom available to display Bristow's then customer - Plessey.

Russian Nostalgia

I have no idea as to whether there are any Russian-speaking followers of The Nostalgia Thread but, if there are, then they may find this of interest:

Part 1 of 6

11th Jun 2011, 21:09
Wow, Nice work, well found!

I wonder who flew it for that brief period, and if they got their old job back shortly afterwards.

Big Bucks Bernie
12th Jun 2011, 00:56
From what I know AVII (at the time of this photo) had her registration painted on the fuselage around the area of the baggage bay leaving the for'ard section of the tailboom available to display Bristow's then customer - Plessey.

Sounds about right :ok: (see here (http://www.pbase.com/fanjetuk/image/110808232))

12th Jun 2011, 14:18
Shane: Some more info and images on DCH!

Dublin City Helicopters
Sikorsky S-61 Helicopter
Registration EI-BPK

Dublin City Helicopters hoped to carry between 30,000 and 35,000
passengers during their first 12 months of operations. The breakeven
load factor would be about 55%, but this was rarely achieved, with an
average of about 40% per flight.

The "block time" (brakes off Dublin to brakes on Holyhead) was about
30 minutes. Departures from Dublin Airport (Pier 1) were at 0700,
1115, 1450, 1630 and 2145, with Holyhead departures at 0745, 1230,
1535, 1930, and 2230hrs. At Holyhead a coach service linked the
helipad with the rail station. The service was marketed jointly with
British Rail as "Helirail"

Holyhead-Dublin London-Dublin
Single UK£35 UK£59
Low season day return UK£45
High season day return UK£56
Monthly return low season UK£53 UK£83
Monthly return high season UK£60 UK£94

During the same period direct air fares London-Dublin were:
Single UK£68
Excursion return low season UK£116
Excursion return high season UK£135
APEX (Basic) UK£94
APEX (Peak) UK£103

The helicopter was delivered Gatwick-Holyhead-Dublin 27.03.85 in full
Dublin City Helicopters colours. Entered service on 03.04.85 with a
basic 5 round trips to Holyhead per day except Sunday. D.C.H. built
their own heliport at Holyhead, it was equipped with approach lights
and PAPI's (Precision Approach Path Indicators) in two directions.

This service did not generate the passenger numbers required and from
mid-May their services were cut to three round trips a day, dropping
the early morning and late evening services.
Operated several shuttle flights between Dublin and the Bruce
Springsteen concert at Slane on 01/06/85.

The 5-per day schedule between Dublin and Holyhead was reinstated at
the beginning of June, but on 6-7 June all operations were cancelled
when the helicopter "went tech." and had to be ferried to
London-Gatwick to fix a gear-box problem. Dublin City Helicopters
suspended operations at the close of business on 17.06.85. EI-BPK was
re-possessed by British Airways Helicopters the following morning, and
departed Dublin at 0810 hrs local for Aberdeen/Dyce.

The Dublin-Holyhead service had been in operation for only 11 weeks.
The company operated about 285 round trips during the 11 weeks, and
apart from the two day downtime for unscheduled maintenance,
operational reliability was good, with very few technical delays and
only a handful of weather disruptions, when RAF Valley
was used as an alternative terminal.

To answer your question, if the above is correct and the craft was leased from BAH and if the lease was on an AMCI basis, then the crews presumably went on to perform other BAH-related work.

Shame really as a 30 minute sector is perfect for blitterblat flying: Execute take-off and clear-up the outbound radio-work, climb to cruise height and set her up for the leg, whack on the AP and let P2 do his thing (he's all keen and eagre anyway). Pour a shot of caffè espresso from the Thermos bottle, read a quarter page of a decent daily, pick up a tune on the ADF while checking-out any interesting shipping .. then prepare for descent and landing! :E

Dublin City Helicopters S61N EI-BPK departs Dublin on 30th March 1985 for the 30 minute flight to Holyhead (Photo: Fergal Goodman)

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-yfI1MUEw8eI/TfS0NeAsfmI/AAAAAAAADhQ/nc9oQjzFhq4/EI-BPK%252520S61N%252520DUB%25252022%252520Apr%25252085%252520% 252528Jacob%252520Struben%252529.jpg
BPK at Dubs on 22nd April 1985 (Photo: Jacob Struben)

BPK again at Dubs this time on 7th May 1985

Apparently DCH intended to move the Irish end of the op to a downtown facility in Dublin and which would have made more sense and presumably attracted greater appeal but, as we've read, the enterprise didn't last long enough.

12th Jun 2011, 21:22
Thanks Sav, very comprehensive. Its a real pity the service didnt last actually. If they went from Dublin city centre it could have been an amazing development too. At least until Ryanair got going.

13th Jun 2011, 01:08
A few pages back Dennis mentioned David Voy autorotating into South London. He was in this. G-BDKD is currently nearing the end of a total rebuild and should fly again later this year.


13th Jun 2011, 05:27
Gaseous, thanks for this shot of the 'Bad Kid' at Batt!

Not sure where Dennisimo has gone in recent weeks, when I last communicated with him he had just returned from picking-up his award from the Royal Aero Club. Hopefully he will drop-in soon.

Please post an image of the Bad Kid once she's all 'done up' and all the best in your endeavours to complete the rebuild.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-TkwlSMyxfUo/TfWMMNhVIqI/AAAAAAAADhk/5yOMtjFepsA/BDKD%252520Epsom%252520Downs%252520mid%25252070%252527s%2525 20%252528Daphnie%252520Parker%252529.jpg
Enstrom F-28A G-BDKD at Epsom Downs c. 1977 (Photo: Daphnie Parker)

The intriguing (read frustrating) thing about this photo is that the aircraft I have been madly searching for .. G-BAKX (mentioned in post #729 on the previous page) is sitting right behind the 'Bad Kid'. Even more frustratingly is the fact that at the time of this photo 'KX' was owned by Mohammed Al Fayed and which is precisely the period from which I am seeking an image! Murphy busy at work me thinks.

Re: the image above, BDKD was of course owned at the time by the late great John Crewdson of Helicopter Hire Southend who were on contract (if I am not mistaken) to the Met.

15th Jun 2011, 01:03

15th Jun 2011, 06:12
Shane - Grazie Mille!

Another entry in relation to G-SPEY. I have finally been able to track down evidence of how she would have looked when Newforest was considering buy her (below):

Craggan Chaise owned AgustaBell 206B JetRanger III G-SPEY at the 'Oaks' c. 1981-82 (Photo courtesy of Wingnut)

Jimmy Page, founder of the rock group 'Led Zeppelin' being dropped off at Knebworth in August 1979 by an AS350

Its difficult to say which craft was used for this charter. The colours appear remarkably similar to Tommy Sopwith's but the scheme on the tail seems to be a slightly different. By August 1979 there were already 8 Ecureuils in the UK belonging respectively to: Endeavour Aviation, McAlpine (x2), Glenagles (x2), Shawline, Lord Glendyne and D. Russell Ltd.

Ahh de Havilland
16th Jun 2011, 18:43

I'm perplexed by this one... Had a quick look at all the likely candidates and found:

Gleneagles: G-BFZE + G-BGCV standard AS cs with orangey-red 'mask' and brown stripes
McAlpine: G-BGHG, BFNC, G-BGIL, G-BGIM (Glendyne), G-BMAV (Masselaz) all were in a standard AS cs - beige with dark blue + white stripes under door and dark blue stripe over window
Shawline: G-BGCW in same cs as McAlpine (as least when became G-FERG soon after)
Cabair/Russell: G-BGIF in standard AS cs with mid blue mask (darker than photo) and with same colour stripes.
Endeavour: G-GINA similar colours but different stripe pattern.

In particular they all have white engine cowlings except G-GINA.

None of these fit the 'Zeppelin' heli which seems to have pale blue mask, dark blue stripe on upper fuselage engine cowling, white stripe under cockpit & doors edged in blue.

Funny how most of these early imports all had the same cs. Lack of imagination?

Speaking of Shawline does anyone know anything about them?

17th Jun 2011, 08:40
De Havilland; thank you for your research efforts. The Zeppelin ship does seem to be something of a conundrum!

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-TvLvoAHlSRI/Tfr4QfJcbjI/AAAAAAAADk0/muMMLEGv1-4/350B%252520Blackbushe%2525204%252520Sep%25252080%252520%2525 28Bill%252520Teasdale%252529.jpg
Ferguson Aviation's AS350B G-FERG landing at Blackbushe on 4th September 1980 during shuttle operations to Farnborough (Photo: Bill Teasdale)

G-FERG was formerly G-BGCW registered to Shawline in December 1978 then to Ferguson Aviation of Leavesdon Herts (would that be an airfield for MD 600 to park his mount while visiting Watford?) in October 1979 (when she became G-FERG) and then to the Colt Car Company of Cirencester (discussed on the previous page) where she became G-EORR.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-SxgSMhpLUBo/Tfr4eTQDeuI/AAAAAAAADk8/Kv3jCAarvzc/Cranfield%2525208%252520Sept%25252079%252520%252528Ray%25252 0Barber%252529.jpg
McAlpine's G-BGIL imported in February 1979 and seen here at Cranfield on 8th Sep 1979. The craft was destroyed in 1982 (Photo: Ray Barber)

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-sYpRtgWP1Pg/Tfr4XgG0sEI/AAAAAAAADk4/uV0BIkYEOVI/350B%252520Cranfield%2525205%252520Sept%25252081%252520%2525 28Alan%252520Mosiezny%252529.jpg
The Lord Glendyne's Ecureuil (delivered to him in February 1979) and seen here at Cranfield on 5th September 1981 (Photo: Alan Mosiezny)

De Havilland, as you say, the bulk of the UK's early Ecureuils were delivered in Aerospat's pastel-fawn with brown accents (above), the exceptions seem to have been Sopwith and D. Russell (below) who employed blue tones.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-NXyCYtLvyvg/Tfr4C8_KIKI/AAAAAAAADks/9e8-hgkOuCo/350B%252520BGIF%252520Elstree%25252028%252520Jun%25252079%25 2520%252528Alan%252520Mosiezny%252529.jpg
D. Russell's AS350B (delivered in May '79) at Elstree on 28th June 1979 (Photo: Alan Mosiezny)

In the absence of any further information I'm going to take a stab at it and say that the Zeppelin ship was probably Sopwith's but wearing a scheme prior to the two versions so kindly posted by Helipixman!

Shawline: If I recall rightly these guys were based somewhere near Brands Hatch (close to where Barry Sheene used to live .. I think). If they are the ones .. then I seem to recall that they were a fairly small outfit, beyond that I know very little about them. Dennisimo would surely know more.

In addition to more info on Shawline it would also be interesting to discover any history relating to D. Russell's aircraft as well as that of the Lord Glendyne.

Ahh de Havilland
17th Jun 2011, 13:41
My knowledge of Shawline is pretty limited too. A base at Brands Hatch, and they closed down very soon after delivery of Squirrel G-BGCW.

According to their advert of April 79 selling up the fleet they had: 2 B206, Hiller 12, the Squirrel (only 24hrsTT) and a couple of ex RAF Whirlwinds. I think one of the B206s was G-BAUM. They also had a Bell 47 (G-BFPP) at some stage.

Ahh de Havilland
17th Jun 2011, 13:54
Robert Nivison, Bt, 3rd Baron Glendyne, senior partner in R Nivison & Co - stockbrokers.

G-BGIM may have replaced a Jetranger but I am not sure. It kept the standard AS cs for a long time but later was resprayed in a gold colour scheme.

From new G-BGIM was operated by McAlpine Helicopters, but it may have moved on to Lynton Aviation before it was sold to Tom Walkinshaw as G-OKAT in 1988.

Interesting registration G-OKAT could it be a reference to Jaguar for whom TWR ran their Le Mans team, and a pun on the cat food brand? Or perhaps a ref to a lady by the name of Kate? Who knows?

Ahh de Havilland
17th Jun 2011, 14:06
One company that always intrigued me was Masselaz Helicopters. They were early purchasers of both the AS350 & AS355, specifically G-BMAV and G-OMAV.

From new they were both operated by McAlpine Helicopters, but OMAV later moved to Lynton Aviation. BMAV had the basic AS cs but with a rampant lion on the door. OMAV had the AS355 prototype cs again with the rampant lion on the door.

Masselaz was a Jersey company but who was the actual owner?

Ahh de Havilland
17th Jun 2011, 14:10

I can't add much certainty on D Russell the owner of G-BGIF. However I think that it may have been owned by the owner of Cabair and operated by them. His name may be David Russell.

I can't confirm any of this but I am sure someone else can.

17th Jun 2011, 14:42
couple of ex RAF Whirlwinds

Very dim recollection of a pair of Whirlwinds noted in a yard near Brands Hatch according to the spotter's rust bible "Wrecks and Relics" back then - might have actually be at been Fawkham Green?

To cast back briefly to TV and filmwork, I've recently watched the excellent "Hopscotch" (Walter Matthau and Glenda Jackson) which stars Helicopter Hire's G-BGYF, presumably flown by John Crewdson, plus a cavorting camoflagued and canopied Stampe which I recall used to live at Biggin... The aerial action takes place off that barge heliport near London Bridge, over Beachy Head, and at an airfield "near Beachy Head" which I don't recognise at all. Anyone recall it and where the airfield was?

17th Jun 2011, 15:53
.... Helicopter Hire's G-BGYF, presumably flown by John Crewdson....

Haven't seen the film, but IMDB credit two helicopter pilots -John Crewdson and Philip Voss. No help with the airfield near Beachy Head though.

17th Jun 2011, 16:32
Helicopter Hire's G-BGYF (which featured earlier in the thread) as she appears in the 1980 movie 'Hopscotch' as recently viewed by Treadigraph

The 'plank' described by Treadigraph from the same film

Was looking at the image of SPEY (above) and the unorthodox tie down used for her 'mainsail' - then I spotted the tip-targets and realised that TRC/VFR must have been tracking her!

Ahh de Havilland
17th Jun 2011, 21:26

Like you I thought that the colours of the heli might indicate that it was Endeavour's G-GINA but dismissed the idea because I thought the first colour scheme featured in this thread was the first one the a/c wore. After your post I had another look and voila!

Thanks to Alain Michot we have evidence of G-GINA in the Led Zep cs at LBG 23-6-95 during the Paris Airshow


In case my attempt at inserting the image fails the link is 023.06.1995 Le Bourget Aerospatiale AS.350B Squirel (G-GINA - cn.1016)! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/4057292945/in/photostream/)

Any guidance on posting photos to the thread much appreciated.


Ahh de Havilland
17th Jun 2011, 21:40
Tonight I was browsing another Savoia initiated thread, this time the Ferranti one, and found a link to a BCAL site that mentioned the following:

Bo105 "G-BFYA was owned by Genavco (al Fayed of Harrods fame) and again operated by Ferranti until bought by them"

Can anyone confirm this?

17th Jun 2011, 22:10
De Havilland: Firstly, bravo on solving the Led Zepplin conundrum and what a great find in digging-up one of the rare images of GINA! :ok:

Secondly, BFYA, to the best of my knowledge, was never owned by Genavco/Fayed. The two aircraft supplied and managed by Ferranti were the Bell 206 G-BAKX (shown in post #742 above) and the Bell 206L G-BFAL (the UK's first LongRanger).

Ferranti were one of the pioneers who introduced twin-engine, IFR all-weather capability to the UK's executive market and, in this regard, it is almost certain that Genavco/Fayed would have chartered one or more of Ferranti's 105's from time to time. My assumption therefore is that BFYA's association with Fayed is through charter and the reference to ownership a mistake.

After the demise of Ferranti I'm not sure who took on Fayed's helicopter management responsibilities but, as you probably know, before long they began recruiting their own crews and ultimately morphed into Air Harrods.


https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-qBXuPpPnGhs/TgEDSAhSXDI/AAAAAAAADmg/-s-bM9kD4Cs/341B%252520XZ322%252520Cosford%25252012%252520June%252520201 1%252520%252528Robert%252520Beaver%252529.jpg
SA341B AH1 XZ322 Gazelle at RAF Cosford on 12th June 2011 (Photo: Robert Beaver)

Army, Navy and Air Force Gazelles recently on display at RAF Cosford. I am intrigued by the the brown-tones, was this a common Army motif?

Also intrigued by the notice behind the cabin reading: NO POWER, NO BRAKES, NO HYDRAULICS and again by the wording on the rear door (beneath the red cross) which reads "Cabin Bulkhead".

The red cross (presumably indicating the location of the first aid kit) was a feature of Ferranti's aircraft but is not something I have often seen elsewhere.

23rd Jun 2011, 08:10


Today is the first anniversary of The Nostalgia Thread and it seemed appropriate to express one's appreciation for the many and varied contributions which have made this such an interesting read over the past 12 months.

Some of the highlights include:

The Earl of Rochester's 'Ode to Taly' on Page 1 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread.html)

Oh Taly, gee Taly, where are you now,
Some place far off or over the brow?

From I-Taly you came and G-Taly were named,
Your very first owner someone so famed.

Delivered by Geoffrey, you gave him a start,
When your little engine produced a small f*rt!

Your pilot a gardener known as Ken D,
Would deliver the Duke for afternoon tea.

Now you are known by the name of J-LEE
But to us you shall always remain G-TALY!

Geoffers delivery of G-WIZZ on Page 2 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-2.html) and the Earl's 'Wizz the Bizz' poem

(This verse should ideally be sung in a style similar to that of Noel Coward’s ‘Mad Dogs’)

G-WIZZ was the bizz with her pretty black paint and her very neat name so quaint!

So Geoff with the boys set off with their toys and landed in a field north of Troyes.

With her intermittent blips Geoff clambered her hips which helped to name him ‘Geoff n Chips’!

The delay of the day could have been such a gloom when up so soon sprang Melun.

Geoff acted away the Gendarmes looking grey and wishing he would leave that day!

Then in stepped a vet he was looking after met saying ‘better let them stay as yet’.

Then off to the ‘tel you could hear Geoffers yell as the Renault 4 screeched to the door!

But what the Capt’n failed to say, was that in between the cheese and wine, were his antics with a maid divine!

Then onto Britland under power where Geoffrey fought with Gatwick tower who refused that the bizz was the WIZZ!

“Now I didn’t choose this bizz called WIZZ ‘twas the owner’s little ‘tis and the problem is not mine but his!

So you’d better let me pass before this comes a silly farce, for, to be sure as it is noon and you resemble a baboon I do not want this to be posted onto PPRuNe”!

Geoffers ferry flight from Frosinone to Fairoaks with G-WIZZ c. late 70's

Speechless Two's Rhodesian Expedition: Page 3 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-3.html)

Rhodesian ground crew assist in making ready one of ten 206's which were flown out from the UK on board DC10's in order to support the Rhodesian election process

Papal Flying and the Holy Sea King: Page 5 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-5.html)

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-RaoaRILA5W8/TgJB_yst3FI/AAAAAAAADpU/OQfkjG8h6EI/A%252520SH-3D-TS%252520AS-61%252520Roma%252520Fiumicino%252520%252528LdV%252529%252520 13%252520Sept%2525202007%252520%252528Mario%252520Serrano%25 2529.jpg
A brief synopsis of Papal flying and the 'Vaticopter'

Lake Como and Villa D'Este: Page 6 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-6.html)

Il Bugati Veyron outside the Villa D'Este where Geoffers was entertained by Agusta back in the day

The delivery of G-TALY from Frosinone to Fairoaks in March 1979 by Geoffers and Ken: Page 7 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-7.html)

Once again the slanderous pen of Geoffersincornwall was at work with the caption reading: "A moment of acute embarrassment as Ken offers to give the ground crew a hand with the bump start. A quiet word in his ear and after a conference with the engineers we confirm that a starter motor is included in the specification." My father asserts that he knew there was a starter motor fitted all along and that he was just trying to be helpful!


The Cadbury Tales: Peter Cadbury (aka The Cad): Pages 9 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-9.html), 11 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-11.html), 13 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-13.html), 20 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-20.html), 21 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-21.html)

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-IApUvL11gmY/TgIqizqEeoI/AAAAAAAADoY/2lwvApLHTw8/PTC%252520with%252520DB%252520and%252520Benedicta%25252030%2 52520Jul%25252059.jpg
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

John Eacott's Legs: Page 10 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-10.html)

Charles Hughesdon: Page 10 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-10.html)

Sabena's Rotary Fleet: Page 12 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-12.html)

Metpol's Bell 222 Op's and the Conversation between the Commissioner of Police and the Bell Rep: Page 14 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-14.html)

The Gregory Files - Ken Gregory and Air Gregory: Pages 14 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-14.html) & 20 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-20.html)

Ken Gregory (centre) with Stirling Moss (right) and Stirling's father Alfred (left)

Gay Absalom: Pages 14 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-14.html), 15 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-15.html) and 35 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-35.html)

Gay Absalom returns to the UK having completed a solo-cross-channel flight to Deuville, France and for which endeavour she received an award from the French Aero Club. June 1967.

The Chapman Files: Colin Chapman, Team Lotus and 'The Dancer': Pages 2 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-2.html) and 15 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-15.html)

Chapman at his private airfield 'Hethel'

Paco's Corvette: Page 15 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-15.html)

The Brantly 305: Pages 18 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-18.html) and 19 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-19.html)

While this subject was 'on the go' the R44-owning musician J. Kay temporarily signed-up to PPRuNe expressing his admiration of the type.

Bolkow Nostalgia: Pages 30 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-30.html) and 31 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-31.html)

The Sopwith Files - Rotary-Wing Flyer Tommy Sopwith: Pages 33 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-33.html), 34 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-34.html) and 35 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-35.html)

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-VuxW26DjIuw/TgIqpLpbqqI/AAAAAAAADoc/oYwkUiwPUaA/Sopwith%252520with%252520Sir%252520Max%252520Aitken%252520fo under%252520of%252520the%252520Cowes-Torquay.jpg
Tommy Sopwith (right) stands with Sir Max Aitken founder of the Cowes-Torquay boat race

The Marquess of Bristol: Page 34 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-34.html)

John Hervey, 7th Marquess, (1954-1999) (Earl Jermyn until he inherited the title in 1985) was the epitome of the "mad bad and dangerous to know" aristocrat who went through the family fortune in a tidal wave of over indulgence, in particular drugs.

Apparently at the controls of his helicopter 'He was an inspired pilot. He couldn't do radar, though. He would steer by an AA map on his knees, while snorting coke off the map. And he would order that all the lights at Ickworth be turned on when he was getting back.'

'Once, after a major bender, he went out to his helicopter, he didn't bother to check anything, he got into it and just went straight up. He didn't notice that there were clouds, he went straight up and came out at the top. There he was, sitting in a helicopter with a blanket of white puffy clouds beneath him. He said he looked around, put it on auto-pilot. He had a cocktail shaker in the cockpit, so he shook himself a Bloody Mary, had a couple of lines of coke and called the control tower in Cambridge. And somehow he came down, going sideways at 150mph and, without crashing, he landed.'

One night he went for a flight in his Hughes at his country estate, Ickworth House. This was after a dinner that included 2 or 3 bottles of claret and a pint of port. After a groggy, hesitant ascent, it then veered forward and up, hovering no more than 80ft above ground. He turned on the searchlight illuminating the part of the house occupied by an employee of the National Trust, to whom he had been obliged to sell the house and estate. Moments later, a squawking, demented cacophony erupted as Bristol screamed: 'I hate you, you b*****d. You b*****d. I hate you, you f*****g b*****d, wake up you b*****d.'
In 1988 the Jersey police found 13g of cocaine in his helicopter at St Helier. He did seven months in the island gaol. This wasn't G-BKTK, more likely his later Hughes 500 G-BMJV. Not the best role model but certainly a character!

How it all began ..

.. an innocuous enquiry as to the whereabouts of the craft in which I performed my PPL!


To all who have contributed, thanks for the memories, and for those who still have photos and stories stashed away in boxes and in the deepest recesses of their minds .. please dig them out and post them on PPRuNe!

Finally, The Earl of Rochester suggested that his poem 'Wizz the Bizz' be sung in a style similar to that of Noel Coward's 'Mad Dogs'! Given the largely British theme to this thread perhaps its not a bad idea for the thread to have its own 'anthem' and 'Mad Dogs' might just fit the bill. Enjoy!


24th Jun 2011, 00:48
Hi all and many thanks to 'S' for his kind words on the Royal Aero Club award. Not sure I deserve the honour, but it was nice anyway, especially meeting the wonderful Wingco, Bob Foster, one of the original 'few' Also my apologies for not being able to respond to a couple of PP requests. But just to say after 43 days without an internet provider, 17 phone calls to SKY totalling three hours, (true) no less than three replacement 'routers' four ADSL filters, and one engineer visit, I simply had to change to BTs excellent Hub 3 model. All is now well ... a process that eventually solved the problem in just 36 hours.

Now G-BDKD was the first 'vertical console' 28A model I imported circa 1974. All later models became the 280 'Shark' shape with the vertical console as standard. Bad Dog was originally sold to a Nick .... (at Lydd) and I'm struggling to recall the surname, but I first met him when he was racing a Mini at Lydden Hill circa 1968 and lapping quicker than my single-seat BT21! If you're out there Nick, my warmest regards.

For 'S' ... I'll trawl back through the last few weeks posts and come back on any items I've not been able to cover while being offline.

Oh and meantime I duly met up with 'The Hoff' ex GR4 man and CO of 9 Squadron up at Marham. A really nice guy and subject to getting use of a rotary for him, we'll be flying together hopefully soon. James kindly allowed me to spend an afternoon with the 1X Squadron pilots and a little over an hour on the Thales GR4 Sim ... 400 knots 100 feet above the Welsh valleys and my head hadn't stopped spinning was still spinning the next day!

Regards to all 'Nostalgias' Dennis Kenyon.

Head Turner
24th Jun 2011, 17:39
Dennis, In answer to a request for info on G NORM. G NORM was operated by Norman Bailey Helicopters based at Eastleigh Airport, Southampton. It was collected from Air Hansons at Brooklands on 22 April 1983 by myself and Mark Thatcher was co pilot. The flight to So'ton was 35 minutes. On 11 May 1984 it crashed in Derbyshire whilst on private hire. Damage was extensive and it was beyond economic repair

26th Jun 2011, 05:56
Dennisimo, welcome back!

In recent pages we have discussed Tommy Sopwith and I suppose it would be great to hear whether you have any recollections of this rotary-wing character, son of Sir Thomas Sopwith! Industry Insider mentioned that Tommy lost a finger courtesy of a set of main rotors and I recall the Colonel relating such a story to me but was unaware that it was attributed to Tommy. He seems to have been based in the Brighton/Shoreham environs so perhaps there are some memories!

Similarly, Ah de Havilland and I were both wondering whether you had any recollections of the "Mad bad and dangerous to know aristocrat" the Marquess of Bristol (page 34 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-34.html)) who at one time flew a Hughes 500C (G-BKTK) which you would later go on to sell to Barry Sheene when it became G-STEF?

While on the matter of 500's, do you recall G-BESS (below) which used to belong to one of your partners at Skyline (Peter Millward). He came in to Booker one day and hit a small post with the tail rotor (perhaps you remember the chain-link affair that existed for a while around the heli-park opposite your hangar). He then proceeded to observe the cool down while the tail began to rattle itself to pieces. I think it was 'Nobby' who ran out to tell him to shut the thing down before matters escalated!

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-wCwiqZ5nXAI/TgazNpr6BQI/AAAAAAAADto/uQo98_y2Ij0/s720/500D%252520Cranfield%2525203%252520Sept%25252077%252520%2525 28Keith%252520Sowter%252529.jpg
Hughes 500D G-BESS seen at Cranfield on 3rd September 1977. Imported by Sloane Aviation then sold to Micro Consultants of Surrey and on to Dennis' former business partner Peter Millward in 1981. Ferranti's AB206B G-AWJW in the background. (Photo: Keith Sowter)

Head Turner: If you are referring to Mark Thatcher scion of mother Mags then, to link it with my previous post, he was the only other student I recall (at the time) who was training on G-TALY. If however by '83 he was already qualified then perhaps he was performing his 206 conversion in early '84 as opposed to undertaking his PPL. For whatever reason Thatcher kept bashing Antonio 'Nobby' about my age quizzing whether I was old enough to be his student. To be fair I had only just turned 17 but looked about 15!

27th Jun 2011, 11:52
Wigan I am responding here in anticipation of further linkages which may well steer us further away from the Mann theme.

Well done on your research regarding Western Air. Its intriguing because there seem to be so many of these firms which one has never heard of before. All relative of course.

WOSP has appeared several times on this thread, initially on page 4 where she is barely visible behind a Gleneagles 206 being wheeled-out to launch by an army of ground-handlers in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). The same image can be seen in post #756 above.

PPRuNe member Paco spent some time flying WOSP and he may have an idea as to the history behind Western. Have there been many Glasgow-based helicopter operators that you know of over the years?

Another shot of WOSP. She was one of the first 206 III's in the UK:

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-AWVisEoDhl4/Tghc6Q_kZdI/AAAAAAAADuA/cXOm6LJHZ24/Strathallan%252520Airshow%252520Auchterarder%252520Scotland% 2525208th%252520July%2525201984%252520%252528Alec%252520MacK ellaig%252529.jpg
Burnthills operated B206B III G-WOSP at the Strathallan Airshow in Auchterarder on 8th July 1984 (Photo: Alec MacKellaig)

27th Jun 2011, 12:44
I've a mind that the owner of G WOSP was called McGilverary (sp?); perhaps Tommy? Something like that comes to mind, but it was a long time ago :confused: (Brain cells only fuctioning on 3 cylinders) - VFR

27th Jun 2011, 12:48
Disregard my previous, Wigan has it all strightened out on the Alan Mann thread, sorry :ugh: - VFR

27th Jun 2011, 22:29
Just to upate on a few of my associated recollections on the individuals and rotary types mentioned. Yes while working with Archie McKenzie's March Helicopters up at Sywell. Original name came when Mike Smith and Archie set up the new business ... Mike & Archie ... I flew his Lordships Hughes 500 and great fun it was hobnobbing about with a Royal Crest on the side.

When visiting his Endeavour Motor car business in Brighton, Tommy Sopwith often parked his AS350 for the day, close to the A27 entrance of Shoreham Airport. As has been mentioned, he was a regular flyer from Shoreham in the late 1970s/early 1980s.

Many stories of Mark T abound. In 1984. being a regular client at Skyine Helis, when on leaving the offices for a practice H2/H4 Heli Lane navex, I called back to Mark ... "Got your map?" His simply replied. "There's more than a few people out there who say the worst thing I can carry is a map!" This followed his well reported car rally foray into the Sahara.

Peter Millward's Hughes 500D, G-BESS was one of the Skyline fleet. In 1984, Peter was unfortunate to lose the engine while flying over Oxford. He put it down safely. However the college who owned the land wouldn't allow entry of the recovering truck without an exhorbitant indemnity. We solved the problem by removing the engine and lifting G-BESS using a second H500 and lowering her on to the platform lorry standing by on a nearby road.

Oh and I have now met James 'The Hoff'. ex CO of 1X Squadron up at Marham. I spent the day with his Squadrom pilots ... not one being over thirteen I swear! I was kindly allowed to spend an hour on the Thales GR4 Sim. Absolutely FAB.

An end titbit. Taking tea in the Squadron crew room, one of the pilots said ... "I'm told you used to fly the Meteor ... when was that?" "1954" ... I had to admit." He raised his eyes. "Over fifty years ago ... My Dad wasn't even born then." Now that has to be the line to end all lines!

Best wishes to all.

Dennis Kenyon.

28th Jun 2011, 07:17
Va bene Vittorio! (ie. no problem VFR). :ok: What with WASP, WOSP and BUZZ .. and then there was a Wasp Helicopters (an altogether separate outfit so I believe) it can become a little confusing.

Ah yes well, the march of time is relentless Dennisimo and it doesn't take long before one realises that life has us on this carousel which jollies us from cradle to grave with alarming efficiency! Still, hopefully, we get to collect some memorable moments along the way and which 'album of life' we might sometimes share with those who have the strength to endure our various tales.

Well done to The Hoff for hosting you with his former Squadron.

However the college who owned the land wouldn't allow entry of the recovering truck without an exhorbitant indemnity.

Apparitions of the elves and their safety culture even then! Shame.

Dennis in his Meteor! ;)

By the way Dennis, if you do have any images from your Meteor days please email me - we should preserve them along with the rest of your photos.

Celtic Rangers ... continued ..

Another obscure (to me) Highlands outfit were Kestrel (on the other side of the bluff ;) to you Wigan):

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-jo3QRgE1jBQ/Tcor0lTeiFI/AAAAAAAADLQ/oCKlVP9I6Wg/B206B%252520G-AWUC%252520Inverness%252520Summer%2525201974%252520%252528Pe ter%252520Nicholson%252529%252520p.jpg
Inverness-based 'Kestrel Helicopters' evidently operated this Bell 206B G-AWUC seen here at Inverness in the summer of 1974 (Photo: Peter Nicholson)

Nigel Osborn
28th Jun 2011, 09:16
Kestrel were an extremely nice company with very friendly staff. I had the pleasure of flying their 47 a few times. Unfortunately the business in the building next door didn't appreciate the noise! I can't remember if I flew that 206. I believe they moved into some offshore work. Must find my 1977 log book!

28th Jun 2011, 16:48
Summer of '74, the JR was registered to Air West Ltd., in Dorset, the bottom of England, so must have been leased into Kestral at Inverness, the top of Scotland, first time I have heard of Kestrel, must have been a small operation, it wasn't until December 1975 that PLM started up, any connection maybe?
As for operators at Glasgow, I think McAlpine had G-OMAV or G-BMAV based there at some stage,just remember Burnthill's, which became Gleneagle's, when they returned - as it were - to Edinburgh, Clyde started up, and moved out of Glasgow to the City centre heliport,Edinburgh had Lakeside Helicopters for while. they had G-WOSP as one of their JR's, and the sad demise of Lothian, wonder where G-LILA is?


28th Jun 2011, 19:36
I recall McAlpine having G-BBHW, a Gazelle, based at Glasgow.
The first time that I encountered G-BMAV was when PDG first had her around 2000.There was a Squirrel based during the late eighties G-NIAL that was registered to Timothy Laing Aviation which was connected to PLM if I recall correctly. It later became G-PLMD

During the mid seventies, shortly before Burnthills was set up, there was a Jet Ranger G-AYCM based at Glasgow. It was registered to Fras-air limited which I assume was Hugh Fraser's company.


Ahh de Havilland
28th Jun 2011, 20:03
I read somewhere that Kestrel were owned by or under the same ownership as Peregrine Air Services.

They were reported as operating a pair of JetRangers - G-AWUC and Lord Dulverton's G-AZAG. I have no confirmation of the later.

I didn't know they had a Bell 47, and would be interested to learn more.

28th Jun 2011, 20:06
JR G-AYCM was with Fras-Air 2/73 to 2/76, another one was G-AWRV new to A.Gilmour,Glasgow, 12/68 to 3/69, then to Sagil Helicopters Ltd, Glasgow 4/69 to 1/70, maybe more will pop up as we go along.


Ahh de Havilland
28th Jun 2011, 20:12
Yes Fras-Air was owned by Sir Hugh Fraser of House of Fraser fame.

The company was sold to Air Charter Scotland in the 80s - this was the ACS run by Geoff Rosenbloom and not the current company of that name.

There's a story that Sir Hugh turned up in his JetRanger at Glenforsa airfield, Mull with several men, they all jumped out & a/c departed. The airfield demanded a lading fee but hey refused to pay on the grounds that the a/c had not actually touched down. The matter was settled when Sir Hugh bought doubles for everyone at the bar.

I too have posted some more info on Western Air Scotland Partners t/a Wasp Helicopter Hire on the Alan Mann thread.

Ahh de Havilland
28th Jun 2011, 20:20
Oh I meant to add that the Timothy Laing owner of G-NIAL was the 'L' in PLM Helicopters. The P was Capt John Poland, and the M was MacKenzie.

There were several Laings and MacKenzies amongst the directors and shareholders of PLM but Timothy Laing was the largest single shareholder and together the Laings had 60% of the shares.

28th Jun 2011, 20:33
Wigan, well done, again! Had totally forgotten about McAlpine's involvement in the Highlands.

Tarman, great stuff! I've posted McAlpine's Gazelle (below).

ADH, brillant!

Am also keen to learn more about everything mentioned above and to discover the registration of the Bell 47 which Nigel flew for the 'nice people' at Kestrel.

SA341G belonging to McAlpine Aviation stationed at Glasgow in the mid-70's (Photo: Martin Stephen)

Ferranti had a 206 based in Edinburgh during the 70's which, to the best of my knowledge, performed liaison/communications with one or more of their factories.

28th Jun 2011, 23:13
Hallo again Savoia,

I'll go through the old archives and see if I can locate a Meteor shot ... but it won't be the one you illustrate. That was a Mk 8 ... I flew the Mk4s!

Like everyone ... just love this thread which sure stirs up some wonderful memories of people, places & aircraft. I had my finger on the G-BUZZ machine which I owned and AOC operated at Redhill in the early and mid 1990s. I understand it later got its rotors tangled up with another heli at WAP. Any news on that happening?

Regards. Dennis Kenyon.

29th Jun 2011, 20:51
Kestrel was the predecessor to PLM. I don't think there was ever a Bell 47 for Nigel and Timothy Laing was not the L of PLM, that was his uncle Hector Laing, although Timothy did become chairman of PLM/PDG. Regarding Peregrine and Kestrel, they were only the AOC holder to which Kestrel was attached to initially.

Nigel Osborn
30th Jun 2011, 02:47
Oh dear, my memory isn't what I remembered it to be! I've found my old log book & for some reason I haven't entered the 3 flights I did on the 47. However I did enter the 1179 check I did on Bell 206 g-awol on 31/8/77, the signing off signature looks like K. Kendall, not too sure of the initial. The office/hangar was just to the north of Perth, fairly well surrounded by businesses who complained at the noise sufficiently to have them move on. I believe the company was owned by a wealthy car dealer who I don't think I met. I've no idea where they moved to but I think they picked up a small offshore contract.
So it wasn't Kestrel but was it Kendall Helicopters, not to be confused with Dennis?:confused:

Looking back many pages I see G-AWOL was owned by Terry Drury(?) Racing, he must be the car dealer I was told about.

30th Jun 2011, 07:33

The incident was with G-BLZN.

AAIB report here (http://www.aaib.gov.uk/cms_resources.cfm?file=/dft_avsafety_pdf_502176.pdf).

30th Jun 2011, 07:49
The Company to which you refer was Gleneagles H/Cs was it not? I seem to recall Kenneth Kendall was the Chief Pilot, and the CE was John Skipper who subsequently moved to Bristow when the Company closed down.

And no, I too cannot remeber the name of the car dealer, other than I think he had a plethora of Mercedes and similar (for which I lusted :D, but couldn't afford! - VFR

30th Jun 2011, 08:58
Picking up on PaddyBoy's report on BLZN in response to Dennisimo's request for further details on the BLZN/BUZZ blade swapping incident:

BUZZ was turning and burning on the pad when BLZN was coming in to land and it would appear as if the driver of BLZN mis-judged the landing by setting down too close to BUZZ. There may well have been extenuating circumstances however (such as BLZN carrying a front seat passenger wearing a 5" skirt).

In the report there is reference to the ground crew having located BUZZ off-centre to the landing spot markings but, markings or no markings, one would normally imagine the set down to be based on the driver's assessment of the approximal separation between the craft.

BLZN also seems to have been part of the Kenyon stable, seen here donning a Skyline sticker on her for'ard door

BUZZ would most likely have been wearing her Virgin livery at the time of the incident. Seen here at Booker on 14th June 1997 (Photo: Charlie Verrall)

Back to bonnie Scotland:

So, some of the Scottish operators were:


G-AYCM seen at Southend on 26th June 1976 having been bought from Fras-Air (Hugh [House of] Fraser) by Express Helicopters of Southminster

.. Mercedes and similar .. for which I lusted ..
Vittorio; we need to talk. Being an engineer I understand your appreciation for mechanical reliability and perhaps even 'chassial practicality' but, I would like to encourage you to consider the mertis of quality and style. For the latter you might cast your eye towards Bugatti, Lamborghini, Maserati or even Ferrari. The pleasure these will bring you and the resultant smile on your face derived either directly from their performance or the associated circumstances which these marques tend to create will, I promise, satisfy! ;)

Nigel Osborn
30th Jun 2011, 10:47

Many thanks for getting my memory up to speed. Yes it was Gleneagles, I knew it sounded like Kestrel! Ken was the chief pilot but I've no idea where he went to when they closed down.
How come they had G-AWOL for me to fly when they didn't buy it till a few years later according to your list?

30th Jun 2011, 12:45
Ken Kendall - if it's the same KK - at some point went to BP at Dyce and was their aviation department guru in the early/mid 1980's. Wasn't John Pinkerton CP at Gleneagles towards the end?

30th Jun 2011, 12:54
AWOL was acquired by Valley of Gleneagles Helicopters Ltd., Perth 9/77,ex Express Helicopters Ltd., then to name change, Gleneagle Helicopter Services Ltd., Edinburgh 10/81 to 12/82, so it looks like it had just been acquired, they also had AWLL, Valley of Gleneagles got it 11/77, from Dickson Motors Perth Ltd ,- the wealthy car dealer ? -, Valley of Gleneagles also had a Bell 212 , G-GLEN, 3/79 to 11/80, maybe a bit of offshore work with this one?



G-AWOL with Gleneagle 1981

30th Jun 2011, 13:37
Thx the name jog, I believe the car dealer was one Tommy Dickson - am I right? - VFR

30th Jun 2011, 17:28

Yes, Tommy Dickson, don't know if he had anything to do with the start up of Gleneagles?, seeing as both were in Perth.


Ahh de Havilland
30th Jun 2011, 17:39
Just to add a bit more to the story. Valley of Gleneagles Helis started operations in April 77 with JR G-AWLL + B47Gs G-BCYY & BCYZ - both registered to Fife & Kinross Motor Auctions (perhaps another part of the Dickson empire?). Incidentally both B47Gs were purchased from Freemans Helicopters that were mentioned earlier in the thread. One or both of these must be Nigel's B47G

G-AWOL joined in Sept 77 and a pair of AS350's G-BFZE & G-BGCV arrived in 78. The Bell 212 G-GLEN was acquired for an attempt to break into the Offshore market. I think this is what brought down Gleneagles Mk1.

The company reformed as Gleneagles Helicopter Services in Feb 81 with BGCV, WLL, WOL later followed by more Jetrangers (BHYW, ZZB, BAKT/FLYR, WOSP) Bo105 (BAFD). BHYW and ZZB were both wr off - the former unfortunately fatally after a mid air with a Tornado. BAKT and WOSP both came from Burnthills when they ceased ops.

The Gleneagles Mk2 seems have ceased ops in 1989 - but I may be wrong.

There is also reports of an Enstrom Shark and a Hughes 500 but I don't have any ID's

Ahh de Havilland
30th Jun 2011, 18:38
Interesting that Gleneagles first JR came from McAlpine's. This was before they became big boys in the industry as Aerospatiale Helicopter distributors. At that stage McAlpine's had a much smaller helicopter operation.

It began with G-AWLL operated from 68-75 presumably for the use of the parent construction group then added Gazelles G-BBHW & G-BBSI. These were all registered to McAlpine Aviation their fixed wing operation. McAlpine Helicopters wasn't created until 1974.

The first of the Gazelles carried McAlpine Aviation colours whilst G-BBSI was in a white and green colour scheme with a gold logo on the tail. so was probably a client's ac. Anyone know whose?

Finally there was JR G-BFGT that was only regn to McAlpine Helicopters between 29 may and 6 July 79. Could this be a trade in for a AS350? Otherwise it was a real cuckoo in McAlpine's Aerospatiale nest!

I wondered if it could have been Lord Glendyne's old ac traded in for G-BGIM but this is just a guess

Prior to joining McHelis it had been with Alan Mann and painted in their full yellow and black livery complete with gold logos.

Anyone know better about these?

1st Jul 2011, 07:17
Checking WOSP's registration history and found she has only been registered to companies in Scotland,

Western Air (Scotland) Partners, t/a Wasp Helicopter Hire, Glasgow
29-11-78 to 14-09-81

Burnthills Aviation Ltd., Glasgow Airport
14-09-81 to 25-10-84

Burnthills Plant Hire Ltd., Johnstone
25-10-84 to 22-05-85

Gleneagle Helicopter Services (Scotland) Ltd., Edinburgh Airport
22-05-85 to 04-04-91

Lakeside Helicopters Ltd., Edinburgh Airport
04-04-91 to 14-06-94

Grampian Helicopter Charter Ltd., Inverurie
14-06-94 to 05-05-95

to Spain 5/95


Gleneagle had her 25-01-83 to 17-04-91

to Lakeside Helicopters 17-04-91 to 18-11-93 cancelled as destroyed
accident date 23-06-93.

It would seem that Gleneagle mk 2 ceased trading in 1991.


1st Jul 2011, 14:44
I just thought I would clarify as people seem to be making up stuff about Freemans Aviation .It was owned by three brothers Barry ,Howard and John.They were at one time the second biggest plant hire company in europe.The Auster G-ARLP was actually brought in for plant servicing.A helicopter then became avaliable G-ASXE (Brantly B2b).Most companies hiring large compressors at the time had a sports ground so the helicopter was used for emergency repair and maintainance of large equipment in the field.Alot of requests for use of the helicopter in a commercial capacity prompted the set up in 1968 of Freemans of Bewdley Aviation limited and the aquisition of four Bell 47 3b1 G-BBVP G-BBZL G-BCYZ BCYY.Later also the aquisition of Brantly 305 G-ATLO.They ran a charter company ,pipeline patrol.Flying school ,Police contact and numerous other activities TV crop spraying etc.The company finally sold the last helicopter in 1986 when my Father retired.So not the short daliance suggested by someone.Im the current owner of G-AWDU the Brantly mentioned also in this thread.Im aware that things get forgotten in the mists of time but please dont guess if you dont know the facts,and give a little credit to some of the first pioneers of Helicopter use in this country.

1st Jul 2011, 17:40
B2B; a warm welcome to the Nostalgia Thread and many thanks for clarifying some of the history relating to Freemans.

If there have been any misrepresentations then, I am sure, (based on my interaction with members of Rotorheads over the past year) that such inaccuracies were unintentional and most likely the product of myself and others attempting to strain one's memory beyond its normal reach!

The contributors and readers of the Nostalgia Thread do, I believe, share one thing in common - an appreciation of rotary-wing history and what those before us have achieved and which attitude I trust will become self-evident as you (hopefully) 'join the club'.

Moving on; renown helicopter personality and former World Freestyle Champion Dennis Kenyon (aka Dennisimo) is one of the former owners of your current craft and may well have a story or two to tell regarding her own history.

Regarding Freemans do you have any more stories or photos you could share with us?



2nd Jul 2011, 06:52

G-AWLL would seem to have been McAlpine's first helicopter and, as suggested, may have begun life as a communications craft for the family. However, there is always the possibility that McAlpine's had a piston ship prior to the arrival of AWLL!

AgustaBell 206B G-AWLL in Gleneagles livery [Perth c. late 70's?] (no additional details)

AWLL was delivered to Sir Robert in July 1968. She was the 21st 206 on the UK register and the 20th AgustaBell variant. From McAlpine's she went to Gleneagles (as mentioned). After Gleneagles she remained a Celtic Ranger for a while longer having been sold in 1983 to F. Lloyd of Clwyd, Wales. As an aside, McAlpine's also owned an HS 125 G-AWWL.

Gleneagle's sister-ship AWOL seen in the post at the top of this page (originally sold to David Brown Tractors in August 1968) was the 24th overall 206 delivered to the UK and the third Bell variant.

Perhaps not so much of a Celtic Ranger as a Ranger in a Celtic province was G-BAUN (below) which, unlike most of her 'indigenous' contemporaries, wore the Saltire (albeit a fairly small one!).

AgustaBell 206B G-BAUN at Inverness c. late 70's (no additional details)

Jed A1
5th Jul 2011, 03:02
I remember Freemans of Bewdley well and can still remember their phone number - Stourport 2222! What a thoroughly nice group of people who obviously had a great passion for what they were doing. I chartered their B47's several times in preference to machines based nearer to my location.

Seeing some of the recent pictures has prompted me to delve into the depths of my memory regarding some of my local operators in the N. W. of England.

I will try this chronologically:

First at Liverpool was Pool Helicopters. They only lasted a couple of months at Liverpool in 1981 using three Enstroms for training. G-BAWI, G-BBBZ, G-BHTF, all I believe leased from Spooner Aviation. I'm sure Dennis would know more.

As an aside, Dennis, I ended up buying Enstrom 280C G-SHNN from Surrey in 2002 and shipping it to the Caribbean as 9Y-HHA. We used it well, putting the best part of 1,000 hours on the machine in one year.

Back to the NW.

Second came Heli-Care at Liverpool in 1982, using three ex Bristow (/Bristish Army) B47G's, G-AXKL, G-AXKR, G-AXLA. These were mainly used for agricultural work. These were eventually replaced by Jetrangers G-BCWM and G-BEPP in '83 & '84. Other JR's were hired from time to time including G-AWLL, G-BAKF, G-BAKS, G-BKDA and my bosses own machine G-TKHM. I'm sure Paco would remember this outfit run by John Ridings (where are you?).

Kilroe Helicopter's used AB206B sn 8557 G-TKHM at Manchester from 81-84. The machine subsequently went to red Rose Helicopters before ending up in Switzerland.

Heli-Care's connection with Dollar matured when Dollar took over their business in 1986 changing the name to Dollar North West. AS350 G-BFNC was virtually permanently based at Liverpool, augmented by a rotation of Dollar's Coventry fleet. This operation I believe was run by Ian Durston.

Around the same time Airward Helicopters (or Wardell Group) were using ex PLM B206LI G-CINE from their Warrington haulage yard (ex Stretton Airfield) for general charter work. They also had an Enstrom but I forget which one.

Manchester Helicopter Charter Co. started with H269B G-AVZC in '87 to be supplemented with B206B G-MHCC in '89. When G-MHCC went for a swim in the Irish Sea it was replaced with ex Laura / Bernard Ashley' B47G, G-BPAI mainly doing pleasure flying.

Pennine Helicopters then effectively took over the pleasure flying market and still operate today with B206L1 G-LEEZ.

7th Jul 2011, 06:12
Great info Jed A!

Below: A list of display pilots at Farnborough '76. About half way down can be found the esteemed Dennisimo scheduled to display the Enstrom Shark G-BDIB.


Italian readers may recall Agusta's Luciano Forzani as well as the team from Aermacchi.

The Bristol 173 'Rotorcoach' replete with (well I was going to say winglets but I think these can confidently get away with being referred to as wings). c. 1953

The 173 was the predecessor to the type 191 (Naval) and 192 'Belvedere' and was a civilian 10 seat (later 16 seat) aircraft. The 173 was cancelled in favour of development of the 192. The first 173 flew in January 1952.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-W3RRdZY0ruk/ThU0grcWglI/AAAAAAAAD1o/tx_W4OUWBbM/Belvedere%252520XG461%252520lifts%252520Bloodhound%252520SAM .jpg
The unmistakabe type 192 Belvedere XG461 (which first flew in July 1958) carrying a 'Bloodhound' SAM. Beneath the 'Belvederian Behemoth' are Bristol's ground crew - although their resemblance to the occasional 'Bristol Company Cricket Team' is uncanny. ;)

To bring the post full circle; a clip from a former Farnborough where another multi-rotored beast is debuted:

Featured in this clip is the Cierva W11 'Air Horse' - a tri-rotored contraption (seen flying with its door open) powered by a single Rolls-Royce Merlin 1620hp liquid-cooled V12

When the Air Horse first flew in December 1948 it was (apparently) the world's largest helicopter. It was one of the world's first tri-rotor helicopters with all three rotors turning in the same direction - torque control being effected by individual rotor tilt to apply corrective thrust.

The Air Horse's blades were resin-impregnanted wood providing them with (for the day) enormous strength and were manufactured (maintaining association with recent posts) by Glasgow-based H. Morris & Co.

7th Jul 2011, 07:38
I remember Cdte Forzani (Luciano) from teh days when at Manns we chased obscure vibrations on the first two A109Ms ex-Falklands. Tremendous pilot and great all round guy; happy memories. Also the late Rafael (Longobardi) with whom I actually enormously enjoyed doing acceptance test-flights at Gallarate - and then the inevitable long lunch if between us we found some insignificant non-compliance! :D

For JedA1.
To add to your list of NW operators c1976 -78 there was a smart JetRanger operated by a trucking company out of Leigh/Warrington I think, Can't remember the name but the pilot was a real gentleman named Alex xxxx (can't remember his name either, but someone here will)


Nigel Osborn
7th Jul 2011, 07:54
That Farnborough video reminded me of 1964 when 848 Squadron flew in the airshow in the Wessex 5. We put on a simulated commando assault complete with jets & numerous explosions....great fun! The surprising thing was how we still managed to fly after a week of fabulous hospitality from the various firms! Not forgetting the Triumph Tina scooters we were loaned which seemed to cause more casualties than flying!:ok:

8th Jul 2011, 08:14
VFR: The chaps from Agusta, for the most part, were always (according to my recollections) super friendly and thoroughly enjoyable to be with. When I would trawl the Farnborough chalets as a youngster with the Colonel there were two groups of people I made a beeline for; the chefs (for obvious reasons) and the test pilots, because surprisingly, spending most of the time discussing performance-related 'shop' with existing and prospective clients they seemed to find it refreshing to humour a young boy's whimsical curiosity. "But why can't a helicopter go upside down" followed by the test pilot's cackle and something like "well, in fact, they can". Most of all do I remember the Agusta pilots handing-over their precious model helicopters, much to the consternation of the sales staff who had them carefully preserved for specific clients and which objection was met with "But hees child, beea nice anda let heem enjoy. De customer he have already airacrafta - why need modela?" Regarding Luciano, Col. Bob knew him pretty well and I met him a number of times.

Nigel: Farnborough '64, would love to have seen your display! The best I can come up with is the footage (below) from '66 with Wessex fleetingly visible at 0:34 & 1:57.


Cigarette Copters ..

The Lord Dulverton (Michael Hamilton Wills) of Batsford Park, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire (discussed previously in this thread) and the former owner of JetRangers G-AZAG and G-BAKS; was closely associated with Imperial Tobaccos who, through various channels were behind the sponsorship of a number of helicopters (and other aircraft) in the early 80's:

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-3vRCixlN8Kw/Thai5R6zKCI/AAAAAAAAD20/9H3jVQXh2_8/206B%252520Biggin%252520Hill%25252018th%252520May%2525201980 %252520%25255Bs%25255D.jpg
[I]G-BBBM sporting Rothmans in 1980 at Biggin Hill

G-AYTF (the Dancer) wearing the John Player livery during the early 80's (DK at Elstree)

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-UZwVIZWPOrw/ThajBCzb1tI/AAAAAAAAD28/6qWU9xNoRWc/Brands%252520Hatch%2525206%252520Oct%25252085%252520%252528K eith%252520Sowter%252529%252520%25255Bs%25255D.jpg
Noel Edmonds (through his manager) secured sponsorship from Philip Morris (owned by Imperial) until such time as Edmonds' association with cigarettes was no longer deemed tenable. (I think the complaints started rolling in from day one in fact - children's TV presenter promoting cigarettes etc.).

There may be more 'Cigarette Copters' out there and, if so, please do chip in.

Saint Jack
8th Jul 2011, 11:59
Ah, G-BAUN (Post #789), I had a fantastic time up in Inverness looking after that machine sometime in 1977/78. working with PG was a dream and I got to see some amazing Scottish scenery. I well remember the time we had to pick-up the Provost (Mayor) of Inverness from an out-of-town location and get him back to Inverness for an urgent appointment - we dropped him off on a traffic round-about in the middle of town - got people's attention but no repercussions. And those wonderful lunch-times and evenings in the flying club (PG's wife was the CFI). But, I'm absolutely sure the helicopter had an anti-collision light fitted - at least when I left it.

9th Jul 2011, 07:53

Working with PG was a dream and I got to see some amazing Scottish scenery.

She is a fair land indeed SJ and on the few occasions that I return to the UK I invariably head north in order to take in a sampling of Highlands scenery and hospitality. If time permits then a little hill walking is usually in order and which pursuit Scotland satisfies completely.

But, I'm absolutely sure the helicopter had an anti-collision light fitted - at least when I left it.

You may (or may not) be surprised to learn that in the UK during the 70's and 80's there were quite a number of 206's sailing around with inoperative anti-collision lights (acl). Aside from the non-functioning units there was a small squadron of aircraft which were defined by the fact that the acl was missing altogether.

G-AYTF (the 'Dancer' - above) never sported an acl during the length of my exposure to her (4 years) as was the case with Jock Cameron's mount (below) and it would seem as though BAUN also fell into this category. I think the feeling (on the part of some mechanics) was that they were a royal pain the solution to which was to simply remove them.

I used to complain bitterly as a youngster to my godfather whenever we flew such aircraft, not I regret to say, motivated by some higher conviction in faithfully following the ANO's but because I used to like to see the light flashing .. especially at night!

AgustaBell 206B G-AWGU at Inverness in 1980 (Photo: Wallace Skackleton)

Have something in the order of 60 hours in this craft from the early 80's when Jock Cameron would lend her to my godfather in the post-Ferranti days. The BA ground crew would recall as 'GU' did not have 'quick fit' dual control receptcles installed and which meant an operation which took the better part of a half-hour to see them fitted.

When Jock Cameron neared retirement my godfather approched BA's board with the recommendation that 'GU' be gifted to Jock in much the same way as Shell had presented Douglas Bader with his own 'ride' upon his retirement.

But, BA did not share my godfather's appreciation for Jock's contriution to Britain's rotorcraft industry (well, not sufficiently enough to hand 'GU' over to him) and sadly declined. The ship (which had always been used by Jock for trundling up and down the country) was sold off to Oman.

Am not going to go into too much detail about AWGU as she has her own page on the Ferranti site entitled 'Closest Cousin' in which her entire history is recorded.

11th Jul 2011, 06:36
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-vMRaNraUjtM/ThqHoimugXI/AAAAAAAAD5Y/aTZ28qmtXFE/Bristol%252520171%252520Sycamore%252520Mk52%252520Weston%252 520super%252520Mare%2525201958%252520%252528R%252520A%252520 Scholefield%252529.jpg
A line up of Bristol type 171 Mk52 Sycamores at Weston-super-Mare in 1958 awaiting delivery to Germany's Bundesmarine
(Photo: R A Scholefield)

My godfather was a test pilot with Bristol and related to me his assignment teaching German pilots to fly these aircraft, perhaps the very examples displayed above.

I had always believed the customer to be one of the Luftwaffe divisions but it may well have been the Bundesmarine as shown.

My understanding is that some 50 or so units were delivered in this transaction.

11th Jul 2011, 18:31
This image is an addition to the 'Bölkow Classico' posts appearing on pages 30 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-30.html) and 31 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-31.html).

MBB Bo105C at Groningen Eelde c. late 1970's. This aircraft flew with KLM from 1976 to 1982 after which it was bought by the Royal Dutch Air Force where it served as B-83 of 299 Squadron. The craft was decommissioned in 2000.

Epiphany, if you're still out there, herewith are some additional photos of the SS Uganda (http://www.seadogs-reunited.com/Uganda.htm) including some which, I think, cover the period when you joined her at Ascension Island.

15th Jul 2011, 07:17
A Celtic Ranger towards the end of her career G-BAUM (sister ship to Bristow's G-BAUN above) was domiciled at Inverness while in the PLM stable.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-f3twE6OsdJE/Th_VqfsSQpI/AAAAAAAAD6c/mFiHShMzm4A/s720/206B%252520Blackbushe%252520April%25252074%252520%252528Ian% 252520Howat%252529.jpg
Bell 206B G-BAUM at Blackbushe in 1974 (Photo: Ian Howat)

BAUM began life registered to Fairoaks Aviation Services which, if memory serves, TRC mentioned was a Mann company. From Fairoaks she went to S.G. Blair & Co. then Shawline at Brands Hatch and eventually on to PLM in '78.

Sadly, BAUM was written off on 13th July 1983. An excerpt from the accident report reads:

"The aircraft was engaged in a lifting operation when an electrical supply pole (which had been carried beneath the helicopter) bounced on the ground and, unknown to the pilot, caused the slack in the lifting wire to loop over the front portion of the left skid. As the pilot applied power to engage his departure the trapped skid (restrained by the wire) caused a rolling moment which the pilot was unable to control. This resulted in the aircraft crashing into the River Almond in a nose-down, left-banked attitude. (AIB Bulletin 12/83). CAA Closure. Company has issued new instructions to pilots."

23rd Jul 2011, 08:34
XS705, XS160, XS166 and XS168 at Groningen-Eelde, Netherlands on 15th August 1973

A quartet of Hiller UH-12's of the Royal Navy making a fuel stop at Groningen-Eelde in the Netherlands.

XS705 later became G-BDYY, EI-BCA and G-BDYY. Transferred to the Greek register on 7th April 1987 where it became SX-HCD.

Originally delivered by sea to RNAY Fleetlands, these UH-12's were built as three-seat dual-control light utility and observation helicopters and were used by the Navy as training aircraft.

23rd Jul 2011, 15:05
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-oa7TUI-GbJE/TirSf_T9v-I/AAAAAAAAEEk/K1nKEVWUxkU/S62A%252520Melbourne%25252014%252520July%25252067%252520%252 528Peter%252520Hough%252529.jpg
Sikorsky S62A VH-AND at Melbourne's Essendon airport on 14th July 1967 (Photo: Peter Hough)

Evidently this aircraft was written-off shortly after its delivery to Ansett.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-jYFFBr4WXFY/TirSfpZDYmI/AAAAAAAAEEg/cl0FZP55FX8/s720/B206A%252520Yarra%252520River%252520HP%25252011%252520Jan%25 252073%252520%252528Wolodymir%252520Nelokin%252529.jpg
Bell 206A VH-AND (the Aussie's permit re-use of aircraft registrations) at Melbourne's Yarra River Heliport on 11th January 1973 (Photo: Wolodymir Nelowkin)

Photographer's Note: Rare 1973 view of Sir Reginald Ansett's Bell 206A helicopter VH-AND taking off from Melbourne's Yarra Bank Heliport, heading back to Tullamarine. I had just arrived after a 10 minute trip from MEL, which cost $7. (Compared to the $2 bus trip, that was great value, even in 1973 Dollars.) The Crown Casino complex now dominates the skyline where the 'Repco' and 'Coca Cola' signs appear. (Morley Ford then sold Falcon cars).

Apparently, Sir Reginald Ansett (1909-1981) would frequently fly himself to work in this 206.

John Eacott
23rd Jul 2011, 20:51
Reg Ansett was regularly flown by his pilot in VH-AND, he made the daily commute from his property at Mt Martha in to town and back every evening. His original hangar (Hangar 3, Wirraway Road) at Essendon Airport was the one that I used: during the renovations when I moved in, his old office was substantially rebuilt. We discovered numerous bolt holes and hidden escape routes plus 'peepholes' into the typing pool area, no doubt to check whether the next appointment was with someone best avoided....

Before AND there was a Bell 47 (actually a fleet:IND, INM and INE plus any others I don't know about), here is one landing at the Yarra Bank helpad. The pad is still there, although a new pontoon and moved 100 yards downstream from the original spot



Corporate helicopter flying obviously hasn't changed much: Reg's pilot (Brian Saw in this shot) would have had a good book as well as the daily paper to read ;)


The 4 Hiller 12E's in Holland would have been the annual 705NAS navex: I scored a trip to Nuremberg in 1969, it took us a day to transit the south coast from RNAS Culdrose to RAF Manston :eek: Crossing the channel was a major evolution, especially donning one man dinghies in a seat that wasn't designed for their use!

Happy days.....and I have a few hours in AND, too ;)

24th Jul 2011, 06:51
John, great stuff! :ok:

I think the top image could in fact be VH-IND though. Any idea as to the identity of the Lt Cdr in your bottom image? Sounds like you've had an interesting career.

Managed to discover details on some of Ansett's early helicopter pilots which included:

Richard Bennett
Phillip 'Phil' Clay
David Fairhurst - Former Channel 10 pilot. Joined in 1982. First Officer S61's.
James 'Jim' Ferguson
Keith Ferguson
Dare M. 'Max' Holyman - Retired as Manager Helicopter Operations in 1978 with 17,800 hrs.
Roy Jones
Edward 'Ted' Kennedy
Arthur 'Dad's Army' Lowe
N. McMillan - Killed during a sortie with VH-INR on 13.3.1960 (RIP).
Darcy Newell - Flew the Yarra River heliport service.
Ronald 'Ron' Newman - Joined Ansett's helicopter division in 1961 as a LAME, qualified as commercial pilot in 1968.
John C. 'Cal' Pain - Sir Reginald Ansett's personal pilot. Later flew S61's from Proserpine.
Andrew D. Pryde
Brian Saw
Paul Stanton
John Stanwix
Robert C. 'Rob' Tingey
C. Ward
Lance Yates

VH-INR at Melbourne's Essendon airport in 1959 (Photo: Richard Maclean)

VH-INR was the first of what would become a substantial fleet of Bell helicopters operated by Ansett-ANA. It was used for a while to transport Sir reginald Ansett between Essendon Airport, the Yarra Heliport and Mt. Eliza. It was first registered in January of 1959.

In March 1960 VH-INR was written-off when it struck power lines and crashed into the Melton Weir (roughly 30 km west of Melbourne). Sadly, N. McMillan and two passengers were killed in the accident.

Was astonished to see this Ansett Bristol Sycamore:

Ansett Bristol Sycamore c.1960 (No additional details)

~ ~ ~

723 Squadron was a Fleet Requirements Unit permanently stationed at HMAS Albatross in Nowra, NSW. As well as communications duties, search and rescue and refresher training for aircrew, the Squadron also provided air support for the AJASS. On 11th March 1953, the Squadron took delivery of the RAN's first rotary-wing aircraft; three Bristol Sycamore HR 50 helicopters. Lt Don Farqarson ran the first helicopter pilot training course at Albatross assisted by Lt Gordon McPhee and Lt Neil MacMillan.

http://www.navy.gov.au/w/images/thumb/Albatross2-11.jpg/500px-Albatross2-11.jpg (http://www.navy.gov.au/File:Albatross2-11.jpg)
RAN Bristol Sycamore at HMAS Albatross in NSW c.1953

~ ~ ~


From Redhill to Point Samson .. in a Wessex!

27th Jul 2011, 09:19
Australia seems to have been among the 'Surf Rescue' pioneers using 206's throughout the 1970's. This example evidently belonging to an outfit called 'Butler'?

Westpac's initial contribution to 'Surf Life Saving Australia' was said to have been AUD 25,000

This Surf Rescue 206 was a popular bird in the 1970's although she performed more for the cameras (see below) than for swimmers

Intro to the Aussie TV series Chopper Squad

In post #803 above, Jim Ferguson is mentioned among the Ansett pilots. Is this the same Ferguson who was behind Ferguson Helicopters? If so, then (if memory serves) it was Ferguson who supplied the 206 which starred in the Aussie Chopper Squad series.

Any additional info on Ferguson would be appreciated.

Nigel Osborn
27th Jul 2011, 14:24
Ref the Wessex flight, I thought Ian Clark & Gordon 'Blossom' Bradley flew it; I don't know A. English.
Jim Ferguson started Rotorwork in about 1965 & the 206 was used for filming & surf rescue. Also Rotorwork provided the 47 for Skippy. He is now elderly & long retired.
Yvonne Butler was one of the first female CPL pilots & provided the 206 for surf.
There's not too many of those Ansett pilots still flying! Ron Newman & his son run PHS in Melbourne & other centres.