View Full Version : The Rotary Nostalgia Thread

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28th Jul 2011, 05:36
Nigel thanks.

I flew with Rotorwork in PNG in the late 80's but had always been under the impression that it had been started by a chap called Tony Karas. Perhaps I was mistaken.

I was aware that Ferguson had two JetRangers in Niugini, P2-FH? and from what I recall they were both bought by Mal Smith (Pacific).

Was Jim the one behind Ferguson Helicopters Australia?

Managed to retrieve this article (below):

MORE than half a century after plucking a sick Aboriginal boy from the vast desert interior of Western Australia, helicopter pilot Jim Ferguson has learned that the boy survived to become a respected artist who still paints today.

The discovery came when the 79-year-old retiree read an article about the Canning stock route in The Weekend Australian last month, which recounted the story of artist "Helicopter" Tjungurrayi's childhood rescue and transfer to Balgo, where today he paints colourful canvasses worth tens of thousands of dollars.

More (http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/helicopter-kid-turns-up-50-years-on/story-e6frg6pf-1111116827705)

Intriguingly, Jim's encounter was captued in this photo below:

Bristol Sycamore, Western Australia, c. 1957

I am wondering just how many Sycamores there were in Aus? I'm ashamed to admit that until we began looking at Aussie nostalgia I wasn't aware that there were any and had (perhaps wrongly) assumed that the earliest ships in Aus were Bells.

And .. there seems to have been an American Jim Ferguson flyer who featured in a Camel ad - quoted as saying:

"I want a real cigarette - one with plently of good taste. That's why I smoke Camels and have done for 10 years. It's all cigarette - all the way."

Jim Ferguson
Helicopter Pilot


One has to chuckle!

Nigel Osborn
28th Jul 2011, 06:38
Tony Karas joined Rotorwork in 1966 with about 40+ hours & when Jim had ripped him off sufficently, joined Helicopter Utilities. When they folded he with others formed hevilift in PNG. He now owns the Noosa golf club & would have at least 20,000 hours.

Jim started Ferguson Helicopters as an offshoot of Rotorwork to mainly handle the Sydney jobs. The original owners of Rotorwork were Jim & 3 engineers, Keith ( died a while age from a brain tumour), Jim, a wonderful character, & Gordon; all 3 knew the 47 inside out. Jim won a large gravity survey contract in 1966 which set them up financially, even though there was a tragic accident in Sydney in a 47 while filming near the Opera House when the entire tail gearbox dropped into the harbour & all 3 on board were killed. The wreck was later used in the Skippy series!

There were at least 2 Sycamores in Oz. I think Jim wrote one off in the Kimberleys & the wreck is probably still there. The other one took off from Bankstown & crashed soon after & not repaired.

You are stretching my memory to the max!!

28th Jul 2011, 07:07
Nigel, your mental aerobics are much appreciated and I am most pleased to understand the genesis of Rotorwork's formation and intrigued that Ferguson's (Aust) was in fact an 'offshoot' of Jim's PNG business.

The Sydney Harbour crash - was this the notorious ABC crash below?


(I apologise for what I fear may be an attempt at 'black' humour in the speeded-up sound track accompanying the footage. If that was the intention then it is wholly inappropriate and the poster should feel duly ashamed. However, this was the only clip I could find).

On the Sycamore's I was going to say that the example in the WA photo was that belonging to Ansett but, although the colours are the same the scheme is different.

I would be very keen to receive an image of one of the Surf Rescue 206's where the name 'Ferguson' is visible. I believe the name used to appear on the nose.

Nigel Osborn
28th Jul 2011, 12:43
Yes, that was the 47 accident that I mentioned. Extremely sad day for the 3 on board & very nearly disasterous for the company. The only lucky point was that it was a saturday morning & so the office the 47 entered into was empty.

I won't go on about the accident except to say the pilot, James R, could not do anything to prevent the disaster. His child saw the news flash on TV & told his mother that Dad was dead just as she was preparing lunch for the family.:ugh:

29th Jul 2011, 17:35
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Xlvmk-2b0yI/TjLCpKAsVgI/AAAAAAAAEPc/8OEjKxv17CE/BIBJ%252520Farnborough%2525204%252520Sep%25252080%252520%252 528Bill%252520Teasdale%252529.jpg
Enstrom F280C Shark G-BIBJ at Farnborough on 4th September 1980 (Photo courtesy of Bill Teasdale)

Presumably one of Dennisimo's early Shark demonstrators; 'BJ' was sold to W. Kendrick & Sons of Walsall, West Midlands about six months after having been imported by Spooner. Her last UK registered owner was Christopher Swift of Huntingdon after which she is registered to Startrade GmbH of Siegen, Germany (while remaining on the UK register). She was sold to Australia earlier this year.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-w6P6kkr8wJU/TjLDwwdIJdI/AAAAAAAAEQE/l1xP0nDBepQ/Cranfield%2525202%252520Sep%25252077%252520%252528Peter%2525 20Nicholson%252529.jpg
Bell 206B G-BBCA belonging to Time Aviation seen at Cranfield on 2nd September 1977 (Photo: Peter Nicholson)

This 1973 'B' model 206 was first delivered to Ben Turner Helicopters of Ripley but, most interestingly for me, appears to have been the second 206 in the Hambros Bank stable after G-AWOM. She was registered to Hambros between 1973-77 after which she went on to serve with Time Aviation, Air Hanson, Helicopter Hire and a host of additional owners concluding with Heliflight of Staverton before being transferred to France in 2009. Interestingly, she managed to maintain the same registration despite her many owners.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-LyaMzDUwlo4/TjLDN81bIpI/AAAAAAAAEPw/RvAg8z8BkTc/OHTL%252520Farnborough%2525204%252520Sept%25252080%252520%25 2528Bill%252520Teasdale%252529.jpg
S-76A G-OHTL at Farnborough on on 4th September 1980 (Photo courtesy of Bill Teasdale)

Delivered to Hanson's late December 1979/early January 1980 and was probably the UK's first S76. Also visible in this shot (far right) is 'Rainbow' from the Queen's Flight Benson and Martyn Fiddler's control cab (far left). In those days Farnborough's heliport operations were managed by Martyn under the name of Hascombe Aviation. The initial heliport management contracts were held by Ferranti and, if memory serves, my godfather sub-contracted Martyn to carry out this function on their behalf. When Ferranti disbanded Hascombe took over this contract in their own right.

Regarding OHTL, in this image she sports the 'Spirit' badge which I seem to recall had to be removed as a result of a trademark infringement suit which had been filed against Sikorsky for the use of this name.

Some more trivia: OHTL was involved in a ground incident at Brooklands when the chap towing her across the grass strip between the north side pads and the old runway threshold hit a drain cover collapsing the left landing gear and bringing the 76 down on one side of her belly. The incident had only just occurred when my godfather and I arrived in the Towers LongRanger so this must have been 1981/2. Next time we visited a concrete towpath had been installed!

After Hanson's, OHTL seems to have gone around a number of the well known corporate operators including Magec, Lynton and Premiair where, from what I understand, she continues to fly albeit under the registration G-BURS.

G-OHTL flying members of the rock group 'Queen' during their 'Magic' tour

29th Jul 2011, 20:49
Yes Savoia ... G-BIBJ was originally sold to Bill Kendrick but wasn't ever our demonstrator. G-BENO served in that role circa 1976 to 1980 ish. I exhibited G-BIBJ at Farnborough around 1981/2 I seem to recall. At the show, I flew that wonderful gentleman and Farnborough commentator John Blake so that he could talk from experience of the type's performance and handling. I re-purchased her in the early 1990s for rather more than she was sold for ten years earlier! (I still have the sales board at £65k) At the time she was the lowest TT Enstrom Shark around. I displayed her at the Redhill Heli-Tech, (the muddy one) circa 1992/3 ish and alongside the 480. Then sold again to Robin Warwick in NI where I taught him to the PPL stage at Londonderry one Christmastide.

PS. I always thought that B206 G-BBCA was a British Car Auctions machine. Oh and keep them pics coming please.

Dennis Kenyon.

30th Jul 2011, 06:33
Dennisimo, Bentornato!

I always thought that B206 G-BBCA was a British Car Auctions machine.
Ah yes there was a similarity in the registrations but I suspect you were recalling G-TBCA the 1977 manufactured LongRanger originally supplied by Ferranti to Mohammed Al Fayed in August '77. You may well have seen the craft at Shoreham c. 1978-79 when she flew as G-BFAL, the UK's first LongRanger. When Ferranti folded she was sold to CSE and in April 1980 was bought by British Car Auctions who re-registered her as G-TBCA.

After leaving BCA's service she became G-OLDN (see below) and remained operational (mainly in Scotland I think) up until around 2009. More recently she was sold as scrap/spares to Canada but only after putting in a good 32 years of commercial service as mentioned.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-Jfd9i9wWdDY/TjOMOvPiwfI/AAAAAAAAEQ4/B6St6tcQGsI/G-OLDN%25252013%252520May%25252006%252520%252528Gerry%252520Hi ll%252529.jpg
Bell 206L G-OLDN (formerly G-TBCA) in Edinburgh on 13th May 2006 (Photo: Gerry Hill)

BCA went on to purchase a 109 in 1984, G-GBCA below:

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-LQ9I8IJhzEw/TjOTHaXAj2I/AAAAAAAAERs/V-T3M5Ebrvc/109%252520Mk%252520II%252520Farnborough%2525208%252520Sept%2 5252084%252520%252528Derek%252520Heley%252529.jpg
Agusta 109A Mk II G-GBCA at Farnborough on 8th September 1984 (Photo: Derek Heley)

G-BENO served in that role circa 1976 to 1980 ish.
Denissimo's demonstrator G-BENO at Denham c. 1980. Evidently the floats were fitted after Dennisimo mentioned to engineering that he was going fishing for the weekend ;) (Photo: G. Truman)

As mentioned in post #55 on page 3 the first time I saw Dennis (Biggin Hill 14th May 1977) he was flying BENO where he performed his impressive routine which, in those days, included a bucket of water dangling from the front skid as he performed his masterfully-controlled nose-down pirouettes. At the end of the display the bucket was presumably as full as it was when he began! I badgered my godfather to introduce me to Dennis and which he graciously arranged at the Spooner tent. Sadly, the following day Ferranti suffered the worst accident of its brief ten-year history when a Tiger Moth entered the main rotors of G-AVSN, Ferranti's first 206 and the UK's fourth JetRanger overall, the first three being delivered to Bristow.

Oh and keep them pics coming please.
No problem!

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-xkUM0wxYXzc/TjOOMN_S3UI/AAAAAAAAERU/F6aYjWMPCYU/F28A%252520Cranfield%2525208%252520Sep%25252073%252520BALAS% 252520%252528Stuart%252520Jessup%252529.jpg
Enstrom F28A G-BATU at Cranfield's Business and Light Aviation Show on 8th September 1973 (Photo: Stuart Jessup)

Imported by Spooner in March 1973 and sold to Dick Hampton (Earth Moving) of Alton, Hampshire later the same year.

30th Jul 2011, 11:10
Hi Sav.

Registration history for G-OLDN is,

G-BFAL Genavco Air Ltd., ( London ) 24/08/77 to 09/07/79
C.S.E. Avn. Ltd., Kidlington 05/09/79 to 09/04/80

G-TBCA British Car Auctions ( Avn.) Ltd., Hindhead 09/04/80 to 08/03/84
Autoclenz (UK) Ltd., Radlett 08/03/84 to 02/10/84

G-OLDN Autoclenz (UK) Ltd., Radlett 02/10/84 to 18/05/89
Midas Identicar Ltd., Radlett 18/05/89 to 28/06/89
RCR Avn. Ltd., Fareham 28/06/89 to 05/11/90
A.G.M. Davis, Godstone 05/11/90 to 12/10/92
Gulfstream Air Svs. (UK) Ltd., Taunton 12/10/92 to 25/11/99
Von Essen Avn. Ltd., Taunton 25/11/99 to 21/04/05
Sky Charter UK Ltd., Redhill 24/04/05 to 28/06/11

to Canada 28/06/11

Whilst with Sky Charter, it was leased to Lothian Helicopters for a time , between the loss of G-IANG and the delivery of G-LILA, the Scottish connection, other side, so it would be Hearts or Hibs http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/thumbs.gif

30th Jul 2011, 13:45
Wigan, thanks for this info! :ok:

Aussie Rangers cont ..

In post #804 above a 'Butler' 206 is pictured. Here below is another (perhaps the same) 206:

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-9Pbz9dIz_Kc/TjQGCQunCFI/AAAAAAAAESM/k9Cdkud0R7E/B206B%252520JR%252520II%252520VH-FVF%252520Eagle%252520Farm%252520Brisbane%25252025%252520Mar ch%25252079%252520%252528Bruce%252520Linwood%252529.jpg
A Butler Aviation Bell 206B JetRanger II VH-FVF at Eagle Farm Airport in Brisbane on 25th March 1979 (Photo: Bruce Linwood)

This 206 appears to wear a penguin (?) on its tail as with the aircraft in post 804. Given the date of the above photo I imagine this must have been one of the first Aussie Rangers to have the nitrogen bottles fitted outside.

Does anyone have further details on Butler Aviation?

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-v9POL0YYoGQ/TjQGB4M1p1I/AAAAAAAAESQ/hSy9bBWjNF0/B206B%252520VH-WHW%252520Heron%252520Island%252520GBR%252520Feb%25252076%25 2520%252528Brian%252520Nichols%252529.jpg
Helitrans Bell 206B VH-WHW on Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef in February 1976 (Photo: Brian Nichols)

Evidently Helitrans provided a 'shuttle' service to and fro Heron Island!

30th Jul 2011, 15:50
This is Clyde Helicopters G-BRDL in use with Barossa Helicopters, South Australia as VH-FRL, retained its 'Barr's Irn Bru' colours throughout its time with Barossa, 1997 to 2006, when sold was repainted and registered VH-JTI, sadly crashed in Queensland in 2009, fuel starvation, sad loss for a grand machine.

photo from Bridgette Kies, Barossa Helicopters.

WA http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/wink2.gif

30th Jul 2011, 16:54
Repainted .. and still wearing the Saltire by the look of it. How thoughtful of those wonderfully accommodating Aussies!

Another Saltire-wearing craft was this RN SAR King:


(I do so enjoy Hogmanay in Auld Reekie).

30th Jul 2011, 17:07

When she was with Barossa, retained the orange and blue that she carried at Clyde, down to the saltire on the near side, after sale was repainted into a modern two shades of green and yellow stripe livery, lost the saltire then - 2006 -, Bridgette told me they liked the orange colour scheme, and the saltire.

The Sea King I take it is from RNAS Gannet at Prestwick?
'Rescue 177' maybe

WA http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/smile.gif

another of VH-FRL, bit of good parking....:D


31st Jul 2011, 21:55
Yes Savoia,

Sadly I was fifty yards from the Ferranti 206/Tiger Moth collision being parked at the 03 (then) threshold waiting lift-off clearance when the Bell lifted from the adjacent grass. The pilot failed to make the standard look-out turn and lifted with four pleasure flying pax and climbed into the underside of the landing Tiger Moth. The M/R blades severed both wheels from the Moth as the M/R hub system parted from the Bell 206 airframe. Very fortunately for the spectators, the hull and M/R assy impacted just a few feet clear of the crowd line or I may have witnessed another Farnborough disaster.

Loved the G-BATU Enstrol pic outside the Spooner show tent at Cranfield. I gave the task of training the buyer, a certain Dick Hampton, to that wonderful character ex-Squadron Leader Tony (Nobby) Clarke, DFC. How could any parents called Hampton name their male child Dick!!!

Does anyone have a pic of the cartoon painted and displayed inside the Spoonair tent at the Cranfield show. The cartoon featured myself as a uniformed CP with a dozen rings and wings, my boss Roy Spooner with loads of pound notes tumbling from his pocket, and our Chief Engineer Bob Myatt dangling beneath a 1920 type helicopter spannering up the 'Jesus nuts' all while airborne.

Reference the float equipped G-BENO Enstrom. I hate to tell of the day I half sank the machine on landing to participate in the boat show at Brighton Marina. My ground/water handling boat crew attached the mooring ropes to the floats and not the skids which when pulled promptly shifted along the skid tubes allowing the spinning T/R and half the airframe to disappear beneath the waves!

The local rag ran the headline ... Shoreham pilot 'Plops In' to Boat Show.

More DK cock-ups on request.

Dennis Kenyon.

1st Aug 2011, 07:04
While the Department of Trade (Accidents Investigation Branch) concluded that Ferranti's pilot was to blame for the accident, citing failure to perform a 360° clearing turn prior to take-off, it should be noted that the Tiger Moth (the pilot of which had a total of 100 hours flight time and was authorised to wear spectacles for corrected distant vision) was, crucially, radioless.

Needless to say my godfather never accepted these findings emphasising the fact that the pilot of the Moth had never read the NOTAM covering the special arrangements for the show and which included the requirement of prior notification and disallowed landings on the grass runway towards which the Moth was headed. [The location of the operation of Ferranti's 206 has been allocated by Biggin Hill on the assumption that, with the grass strip closed, the allocated area (including the air space above it) would be free from traffic.]

An excerpt from the report reads: "The accident would most probably not have happened had the pilot of the Tiger Moth taken the simple precaution of telephoning Biggin Hill before departure and ascertaining if it was possible to use the grass strip, particularly as the NOTAM stated that ALL aircraft will have to use runways 03/21 ONLY and that the grass strip [to which the Tiger Moth was approaching] was closed during the show."

The Biggin Hill disaster of 1977 has been credited with shaping legislation which eventually required all aircraft be radio-equipped but, as with much progress in aviation, sacrifice was required. In this case Hugh Lovett and his four passengers. (RIP)

A more in-depth analysis of this crash (along with the alarming images of Ferranti's 206 being struck by the Moth) will be detailed on the Ferranti site.

More Floating Entroms ..

Enstrom clearly had a garage sale going on in the early 80's for their float gear as can be seen by another one of Dennisimo's 'floating Entroms' below:

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-lPYjBGvsHXA/TjZE_fmBJuI/AAAAAAAAEUE/oQQjO9etGOY/F28C%252520Shoreham%252520Dec%25252080%252520%252528Keith%25 2520Sowter%252529.jpg
Enstrom F28C G-BHAX at Shoreham in December 1980 (Photo: Keith Sowter)

This craft was sold to one of Dennisimo's longstanding clients, Flair Soft Drinks of Leatherhead, Surrey, who also bought (through Dennis) the ex-Ferranti JetRanger G-AWJW.

The last time I saw Cy Rose (Cranfield '79) he had just bought an F28C (I think) - at least it looked similar to the craft above.

2nd Aug 2011, 08:10
Well, I had to drop this in given that the craft in question is leased by a firm (Elitop) who are located in my neighbourhood.

Originally on the Japanese register this craft seems to have been bought by Russels Farm of Watford in 1994 but by 2009 had been acquired by Giuseppe Mazza (who's initials appear for'ard of the exhaust) and who brought the craft to Italy but, for reasons I am unaware of, has elected to maintain her on the British register. As mentioned, she is currently leased by Elitop of Montichiari which is south-east of Brescia (east of Milano) and roughly halfway along the road between Brescia and Lago di Garda (Lake Garda).

She is pictured in Albenga which is part of the Italian Riviera known as Il Riviera delle Palme (the Riviera of palms) in the Province of Savona.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-PIQEUw0LOaE/TjekhqEuOdI/AAAAAAAAEV0/Bjcn05Kx7Ac/AS350BA%252520G-FIBS%252520Albenga%252520%252528Villanova%252529%25252024%25 2520Jul%25252011%252520%252528Luigi%252520Maccio%252529.jpg
AS350BA G-FIBS (formerly JA9732) at the Aeroporto di Villanova d'Albenga on 24th July 2011 (Photo: Luigi Maccio)

5th Aug 2011, 08:18
British Army Westland-Bell Sioux XT228 in Bahrain in 1969

While our small RAF contingent was baking in the relentless sun of Bahrain at Hamala Camp in July 1969 with the Royal Anglian Regiment, this Army Sioux suddenly turned up.

I have since learned that it was sold in 1979 to become D-HAFR, and subsequently OE-CXS in Austria, D-HHBB and OE-CXS again before being scrapped.

The registration D-HAFR is now carried by a Bell 205A-1.

- Peter Langsdale

6th Aug 2011, 10:38
Here's G-AWOL in Liverpool 1984. Operated by Red Rose Helicopters.
This was my first flight in a helicopter and got me hooked.


6th Aug 2011, 10:58
Here's G-AWOL in Liverpool 1984

Was it still leaking?

6th Aug 2011, 23:59
My Dad came along thought the machine seemed a little worn. No oil though. :)

7th Aug 2011, 20:46
In post 810 (http://www.pprune.org/6604710-post810.html) G-BBCA made her Nostalgia Thread debut when I mentioned that she was the second craft belonging to the Hambros Bank stable. Hambros and the late John Dicken have been the subject of my interest although, so far, I have been unable to gather much information. What G-BBCA threw up however was an outfit known as 'Time Aviation' (registered in London) which joins the ranks of smaller British helicopter operators with which I was previously unfamiliar. Others have included Freemans of Bewdly, Twyford Moors and BenTurner - the latter, so I was to discover, having accommodated my godfather as a director.

Today a second Time Aviation 206 cropped-up, G-BBFB:

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-WksBWaXn_jI/Tj7QAt7dP3I/AAAAAAAAEW4/YmPa0Jmt_78/s800/B206B%252520II%252520G-BBFB%25252018%252520May%25252074%252520%252528Jonathan%25252 0Walton%252529.jpg
Bell 206B JetRanger II G-BBFB belonging to Time Aviation as seen at Biggin Hill on 18th May 1974 (Photo: Jonathan Walton)

Wearing the same minimalistic (predominantly white) livery, trimmed only by the slightest blue and red stripes, BBFB finds herself surrounded by nostalgia! To 'FB's' side is a Sopwith Camel which was designed by Sir Thomas Sopwith father of rotary-wing flyer Tommy Sopwith who was discussed some pages back. To 'FB's' rear quarter is a Sea Fury (or so it appears) which was designed and manufactured by Sir Thomas' company Hawker, so named after Sopwith's Chief Test Pilot, Harry Hawker. The Sea Fury remains one of the most exquisite WWII fighters ever built and still thrills with her distinctive sound, a sampling of which can be heard here (http://www.field-recording.org.uk/aircraft-sound-recordings/hawker/hawker-sea-fury/#tabs-120).

In the photo the 'Time Ranger' obscures a quartet of Pitts Specials from the Rothman's Aerobatic Team one of which, clearly, is G-BADY and the other just might be G-AXNZ. 'NZ' of course was the Pitts purchased by the late great Peter Cadbury (aka The Cad) and a comment from PPRuNer FAStoat on another thread reads:

Andrew Chadwick is a name that comes to mind as the engineer that Peter Cadbury hired to modify the Pitts. He fitted spades under the ailerons and flared them adding droop to get a faster rate of roll.
While on Rothmans, Brian Lecomber (who I think used to fly as RAT 4) was a dear friend to my father and was present during my first encounter with the sauce in the late 70's at Yeadon Aero Club, Leeds. I still recall that the barmaid was named Hilda, lol!

From Time Aviation BBFB moved on to Hanson's, in 1978, who retained her until 1981.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-S562sV-T1P0/Tj7ebGyubqI/AAAAAAAAEXQ/PLC_mPUbW70/s720/FB%252520Battersea%25252015%252520Jul%25252081%252520%252528 Peter%252520de%252520Zeeuw%252529.jpg
G-BBFB - the subject of attention at Battersea Heliport on 15th July 1981 (Photo: Peter de Zeeuw)

I would be keen to discover further details about Time Aviation.

7th Aug 2011, 22:15
Look out, fix-winged content! The Sea Fury is the late Ormond Haydon-Baillie's G-AGHB which was badly damaged in Spencer Flack's first Sea Fury prang in Germany - it was eventually rebuilt with a P&W R4360 and is now a Reno racer (http://www.warbirdregistry.org/furyregistry/fury-wh589.html). I suspect the Camel is actually a Pup, either Shuttleworth's or one of the examples rebuilt by Des St Cyrien; the other Pitts is G-BADZ. I was seven miles away as a Jet Ranger flies, 10 years old and not allowed to attend on my own! :{

max roll rate
8th Aug 2011, 12:12
Hi Peeps

i was wondering if any of you may have pictures or stories relating to helicopter operations at Oxford/Kidlington, i would love to see some pics of the Jet rangers G-BRMH G-BLCA G-OJFR G-STST G-MFMF . i worked at oxford on the flight line 1983-1995 and can relate to lots of the people and helicopters discussed in this fantastic thread, my father Dave Brown was the chief engineer at CSE for 43 years so i grew up around the place i can remember seeing the MET 222,s being build up in the hangar and to a young lad i thought they were the best looking gadget i had ever seen. Instructors at the school during my time were Bob Harris, Hugh Cahoon, Mike Smith, Graham Forbes, Andy gutteridge, George Warren. Look foward to see what comes back

Regards Chris Brown

11th Aug 2011, 21:02
Dear Chris

I'm sorry that there haven't yet been any 'bites' in response to your post but, Rotorheads is an unpredictable place so keep checking because someone may well come back with some interesting information.

In the meantime what I can do is highlight some of the history behind G-BRMH which previously flew as G-BBUX; a craft covered earlier in this thread.

BBUX was imported by CSE (she was a Bell) in 1973 and was sold to William Monks of Sheffield in 1974. I know very little about Monks other than apart from being a builders merchant, William Monks had a passion for rotorcraft. Dennis Kenyon was also involved in this sale:

Dennis Kenyon wrote: I purchased two B206s one week and registered them consecutively G-BBUX and G-BBUY. I sold G-BBUX to a Mr Bill Gates of the Monks Group but taught him to fly on an Enstrom from his Hunstanton holiday home which you could do in those days. Most of the flying was done at Norwich Airport. Being a weighty fellah, he hated the piston and in short time, I took the Enstrom, G-BBBZ back for the new Bell. The price for a new Forth Worth B206 was £84,000 believe it or not. The Enstrom 28A just £23,000.
In 1977 Monks would buy the Agusta-built 206 G-WIZZ from Mann's which was later acquired by one of Dennis Kenyon's business partners, Peter Millward. Prior to her delivery to Sheffield, WIZZ sailed into Fairoaks from Agusta's facility in Frosinone (south east of Rome along the road to Napoli) courtesy of PPRuNer Geoffersincornwall. WIZZ's delivery story can be read on page 2 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-2.html) where you will also find the 'Wizz the Bizz' poem. A photo of WIZZ on the tarmac at Gatwick (during her delivery flight) can be found on page 3 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-3.html).

The helicopter industry can get a little incestuous at times, as you will see from the following: From Monks BBUX was bought by Mann's who sold her to Peter Cadbury becoming (in 1975) The Cad's second 206 after G-BAKU. Photos of BBUX in the Air Pegasus (Peter Cadbury's charter company) livery can be seen on page 20 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-20.html). Also on page 20 is a photo of the great Mike Smith from his Air Gregory days. Further images, courtesy of PPRuNer Helipixman, of both BAKU and BBUX, appear on page 22 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-22.html).

From Cadbury's BBUX went on to British Car Auctions and eventually full-circle to CSE in 1980. In '81 she was sold to RMH Stainless Steel when she began her journey as G-BRMH and which passage ended when she was exported to Belgium in 1996.

My father Dave Brown was the chief engineer at CSE for 43 years ..
Well, if he's still around he should have a sackful of stories surrounding the servicings and shenanigans associated with the aircraft of CSE's many and varied clients some of which you must already know about, so please .. spill the beans lol!



11th Aug 2011, 21:38
Hi Savoia ... knowing you like accuracy this is just to say that in 1982 I purchased G-WIZZ as a damaged helicopter, (heavy landing at Leeds/Bradford) but sufficiently heavy to be bought from insurers for £17,000. The previous owners were the Robinson family (a lawyer practice) from Weybridge. My Skyline engineering division re-built her for AOC work until she was sold. Note the famous G-WIIZZ registration on one side which few spotted, apparently not even you for a while!

Regards to all nostalgists. Dennis Kenyon.

12th Aug 2011, 10:50

Knew Hugh Cahoon (huge balloon) from my brief stay with Agricopters in Chilbolton circa 1983, where he used to freelance for Peter Boitel-Gill back in the good old days.

Seem to recall he made the most splendid home brew wine which that year was a vintage "Hiller Killer".

Great character, hope he's still with us.


Brilliant Stuff
12th Aug 2011, 20:05
G-MFMF has been with SWEB now WPD at Bristol 1986. Last time I saw her 2 months back she was getting a new tub.

They also run G-BARP and G-ZAPH which is new to the fleet.

12th Aug 2011, 23:09
Mmmm ...

Anybody got a clue as to where G-OIML (aka G-TCMM or G-JMVB ?) might now be ....

I flew it around for a bit when with Trent Air Services back in 1981/2.

It was a very nice machine ....


13th Aug 2011, 07:14
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-0aRHUf8_WfE/TkYfnGmg28I/AAAAAAAAEaA/C-Hiqs5nX74/s720/AB%252520206III%252520OIML%252520Cranfield%2525204%252520Jul %25252082%252520%252528Michael%252520Haslam%252529.jpg
Agusta-Bell 206B JetRanger III, belonging to Autair Ltd (Freddie Wilcox) and leased to Trent Helicopters, seen at Cranfield on 4th July 1982 (Photo: Michael Haslam)

From post 483 on page 25 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-25.html) of this thread:

My godfather persuaded Andrew Walters (owner of International Messengers) to purchase a new Agusta-built 206 and shortly thereafter Ferranti placed this order with Mann's. The new aircraft was delivered in November '78 as G-OIML and was, to the best of my knowledge, the first Agusta-built JetRanger III in the UK. She was owned by International Messengers Ltd but operated by Ferranti. Unusually for a managed aircraft, IML wore Ferranti's livery complete with the Royal Mail cypher.
As stated above, IML was bought new through Ferranti via Mann's by Andrew Walters and from there was sold to Freddie Wilcox (Trent). After Trent she was bought by James Montford Victor Butterfield (September 1982) when she became G-JMVB.

Among her latter owners was Southernair of Shoreham whereafter she crossed the Irish Sea flying for a time with Westair of Shannon becomming G-TCMM. In 2004 she was acquired by the pilot's shop Transair and was again based at Shoreham. After a further UK owner she again returned to the Emerald Isle, this time to Wexford, (still keeping her UK registration) before finally being shipped-off to Australia earlier this year.

13th Aug 2011, 23:00
Mmmm ...

Savoia ... Thank you so much .... brought back some fond memories ... I will have to try and track her down if she is still here in Oz ...

Cheers :D

14th Aug 2011, 07:39
Nigel Osborn wrote: That Farnborough video reminded me of 1964 when 848 Squadron flew in the airshow with the Wessex 5.
Since reading this comment I've been keeping my eyes peeled for any '64 images of Wessex in the Farnborough vicinity but, alas, I've not had too much success. There was a RAF HC2 on display that year and I do have a shot of that!

However, 1964 was supposedly the year when two Wessex demonstrated their in-flight refuelling capability (below):

Presumably Nigel remembers seeing this demonstration?

Another Wessex from '64 would have been this Mk 5 at Yeovilton:

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-18Bkq6jXhlc/TkdsgtsqyQI/AAAAAAAAEbw/3Q9aGrTGI-Y/RN%252520Wessex%252520HU5%252520Yeovilton%25252025%252520May %25252064%252520%252528Alex%252520Christie%252529.jpg
RN Wessex HU5 at Yeovilton air base on 25th May 1964 (Photo: Alex Christie)


Of the 848, just two images, one of which is likely to be of greater relevance to Nigel than the other:

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-M_NMSaTzL64/Tkds3epGX2I/AAAAAAAAEb4/dAHDlm4G1hU/WW%252520HU5%252520XT471%252520from%252520HMS%252520Bulwark% 252520at%252520Edinburgh%252520Summer%25252073%252520%252528 Peter%252520Nicholson%252529.jpg
Westland Wessex HU5 XT471 of 848 Squadron attached to HMS Bulwark visiting Edinburgh during the Summer of 1973 (Photo: Peter Nicholson)

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-SiD7szaWv3Q/TkduwYFEp9I/AAAAAAAAEb8/76oEN98R7Ts/C%252520Flight%252520848%252520Nanga%252520Gatt%2525201965.j pg
Westland Wessex Mk 5 of 848's 'C' flight in Nanga Gaat in 1965

Some of the narrative associated with the above image reads: "On arrival in Singapore we disembarked for the RM barracks Sembawang and NAS Simbang where we prepared the helicopters for operations in the jungles of Borneo swapping the sand and green camouflage for the jungle green colouring that now denoted us a jungle bunnies.

After the period of preparation we once more embarked on the Albion and proceeded to Borneo. On arrival off Kuching 'B' and 'C' flights flew off to their respective areas of operation. We had now exchanged our Navy blue for the green uniforms of our Royal Marine brothers but we did not seem to convey the same outwardly appearance that the 'Bootniks' achieved and I suppose most of them were a little weary of 'Jack' with a rifle in his grasp.

'B' flight was to operate from our rear base at Sibu and 'C' flight was on its way up country to Nanga Gaat which was a few miles from the Indonesian border where the Gaat and barley rivers met. As we flew down the river it became apparent on just how much 845 Squadron had suffered whilst operating here. In the trees was a wreck of a Wessex 1, one of two that had collided as they approached the forward airbase. This was more compelling as Scouse Rothwell, a Naval Air Mechanic who had been in my class at Ganges and Condor had perished in the incident.

It was as it we had entered another world. We had all heard about the head hunters of Borneo but never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine I would live amongst them. The Iban tribesmen were used by the British forces as border scouts and one of my first sightings of them was as they disembarked from one of the Wessex."

Another Wessex character from this period was W.H. Sear:

'Slim' Sear climbs aboard the Wessex

W.H. "Slim" Sear, OBE, AFRAes, was Chief test pilot of Westland Aircraft from 1952 until 1967. "Slim" Sear went to Westland after flying with the RAF and the Royal Navy and graduating from the ETPS and was responsible for the development and production flight testing of all the company's rotary-wing aircraft during his tenure. He played a prominent part in developing the all-weather and anti-submarine capabilities of the Wessex and was closely associated with the development of turbine types.

He was responsible for flight development on the Westminster which was, at that time, the UK's largest helicopter and, latterly, the anti-submarine Wessex Mk 3. He received an OBE in 1963 in recognition of his flight test work.

14th Aug 2011, 07:43
CASA register has G-OIML re-registered VH-SHH to an aerial survey company near Jindabyne NSW.

14th Aug 2011, 13:06
Mmmm ...

Hofmeister ...... Thanks for the info .... :ok:

14th Aug 2011, 16:17
Following on from the mentionings relating to Nigel's Wessex days; Roi Wilson who was a senior pilot with 848 when they formed:

Capt. Roi 'Tug' Wilson ex-848 Sqn

"Wilson was already an experienced fixed-wing pilot when he converted to helicopters. He was not discouraged when engine failure forced him to ditch a Dragonfly in the Solent in March 1953.

He commanded the search-and-rescue flights in the carrier Eagle between 1953 and 1955, making nine aircrew rescues, most of them in the icy waters of the Denmark Strait.

The Royal Navy was quick to recognise the potential of the helicopter as a commando carrier, putting it to work in the Malayan conflict. From 1955 to 1957 Wilson was senior pilot of the newly-formed 848 naval air squadron, which flew the Whirlwind, ferrying troops deep into the jungle where they were taking on communist insurgents.

On one occasion he conducted a daring mountainside rescue of a critically-injured soldier by flying into a makeshift jungle clearing barely wide enough for the rotors and with no room to turn. Having hoisted up the casualty, he had to change from hover to horizontal flight while reversing out of the clearing in the fading light, drawing power at the limit of its performance from his machine.

The next morning, whilst flying over dense jungle, he again suffered engine failure, but successfully conducted an engine-off autorotation and managed to land in a tiny clearing, preserving both aircraft and crew.

For his conduct during these two incidents he was awarded the DFC.

Next, whilst serving on exchange with the US Marine Corps from 1957 to 1960, Wilson flight-tested a two-bladed Hiller helicopter, a type which had suffered a number of unexplained fatal crashes after the rotor hub had snapped off. He survived, and his work helped explain the potentially fatal consequences of zero gravity manoeuvres in helicopters.

Wilson volunteered for the Navy as a naval airman 2nd Class in 1941, learning to fly at Kingston, Ontario. By 1943 he was employed ferrying aircraft over North Africa, and on September 23 – while flying a Supermarine Walrus amphibian from Nairobi to Alexandria – his undercarriage collapsed on landing at Juba, Sudan. The aircraft was badly damaged, and Wilson enjoyed his first near-fatal incident.

On December 18 1950 Wilson suffered yet another engine failure in his Fairey Firefly of 812 naval air squadron, having to ditch in rough seas eight miles east of Comino Island, Malta. Caught by his straps, Wilson sank with the aircraft but managed to cut himself free; he shot to the surface, injured and minus his one-man dinghy. His observer, Lieutenant James Hawker, was already in his, and Wilson climbed in with him. Both men were rescued after a two-hour search by the submarine Tabard.

From 1966 to 1968 Wilson was commander (air) in the carrier Albion, involved in the withdrawal from Aden and in the Confrontation to prevent the Indonesian takeover of Borneo. In 1971 he became Chief of Staff to Commander British Forces Malta during the withdrawal from the island. In 1974 he was appointed CBE.

His last appointment was as Captain of the Royal Naval College, Greenwich. As director of the lieutenants' course, one of his students was the Prince of Wales.

In a flying career spanning 64 years, he flew 3,000 hours on more than 40 aircraft types in the Fleet Air Arm. He flew a total of 6,000 hours from his first solo in a Miles Master in 1941 to his last logbook entry in 2005, when he piloted an Enstrom helicopter."

(Excerpts from Wilson's obituary in the Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/military-obituaries/naval-obituaries/5195775/Captain-Roi-Tug-Wilson.html))


15th Aug 2011, 04:57
The Kenyon Files:

Dennis wrote: My Skyline engineering division re-built her for AOC work until she was sold. Note the famous G-WIIZZ registration on one side which few spotted, apparently not even you for a while!
Yes I heard about that! Perhaps your signwriter was suffering from dyslexia or something because on The Dancer he managed to paint another 'typo' this time Skyliine (with two ii's too!) and yes .. I didn't notice it until The Clarke had me standing directly in front it specifically quizzing me as to whether I noticed anything unusual and to which my initial reply was - no! "The mind sees .." and all that! I think Antonio's response was "bloody useless" or words to that effect, lol!

Does anyone have a pic of the cartoon painted and displayed inside the Spoonair tent at the Cranfield show. The cartoon featured myself as a uniformed CP with a dozen rings and wings, my boss Roy Spooner with loads of pound notes tumbling from his pocket, and our Chief Engineer Bob Myatt dangling beneath a 1920 type helicopter spannering up the 'Jesus nuts' all while airborne.
Dennisimo, you've enquired a couple of times about this. Would it be worth quizzing old man Spooner as to its whereabouts? Sincerely speaking I'm not sure where to begin on this one. Do you recall who the artist was?

More Kenyon-copters:

G-BBPO would have been another Kenyon-copter; bought by Spooner in 1973 she moved up to Wigan's world (Glasgow) where she flew for Airgo for about a year. After a couple of years back with Spooner she was sold to one of Dennis' longstanding clients, Flair Soft Drinks who, from my count, must have bought something in the order of a half dozen aircraft from the Maestro!

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-l3LGNKQdETQ/TkidpVvm4KI/AAAAAAAAEdE/v986QhzEcqI/E%252520F28A%252520Shoreham%252520Dec%25252080%252520%252528 Keith%252520Sowter%252529.jpg
Enstrom F-28A G-BBPO at Shoreham in December 1980 (Photo: Keith Sowter)


15th Aug 2011, 15:43
Max roll rate,

I was a fixed wing instructor at Oxford between 1986 and 1988, Hugh used to give me the odd flight in the helicopters as he knew I was very interested in them, I well remember him teaching me to hover a Jetranger before putting it away for the night. In return I revalidated his fixed wing licence.

I'm afraid to say that I'm fairly sure he was killed some years back in a Jetranger crash whilst lifting from a confined area at the owners house. The Jetranger belonged to European Aviation.

max roll rate
17th Aug 2011, 08:57
Hi Jetranger111

Yes I thought that was the case with Hugh , real shame as you say he was a top chap , so were you on the commercial side or with the GAC at Oxford? .

Just looking at the pics of the enstrom and wondered if any of the Oxford ones are still about , I remember G-BBPN and G-BBXO but I’m sure there was at least one more on the fleet ,

After the Enstrom’s came a few R22 ‘s G-RACH is the only one that springs to mind.

and then a long list of SCHWEIZER 269C they broke a few of those in my time
but no one ever got badly hurt an extremely strong helicopter .

I will try and dig out any pictures’ I can find from my dad’s albums and post them at a later date

Regards Chris

Ahh de Havilland
17th Aug 2011, 10:21
Just a couple of minor corrections to the caption for Westland Wessex HU5 XT471 visiting Edinburgh during the Summer of 1973 (Photo: Peter Nicholson).

The a/c was with 846 Squadron not 848 Squadron, note the crest behind the cockpit. Secondly 846 Squadron wasn't attached to HMS Bulwark at that date.

In May 1972, the squadron was relocated to RNAS Yeovilton as the Wessex Headquarters and Trials Squadron (hence the "VF" on the fuselage side). It was only in February 1979 that the squadron was deployed aboard the commando carrier HMS Bulwark.

Ahh de Havilland
17th Aug 2011, 10:35
I looked up the details of the crash in which Hugh Cahoon was killed.

The JetRanger was G-BFJW of European Aviation and the crash was on 16 Dec 1996 at Parkway, Herefordshire, details as follows:

On take off in poor visibility, a/c drifted backwards from hover, main rotor struck tree & separated. A/c destroyed. 3 fatalities.

AAIB Field investigation: The helicopter was seen to climb in the hover to a height of about 20 ft. It then moved slowly backwards and upwards until one of the main rotor blades hit a tree. The force of this collision caused the rotor to detach itself and the helicopter was turned and thrown rearwards. The helicopter was flown in a controlled manner up to the time of the accident and the pilot had commenced a transition to forward flight by tilting the rotor disc forwards. Apparently, this was not done sufficiently to prevent the helicopter drifting backwards until it hit the trees. It was a dark night with considerable cloud cover and the lights of the adjacent house would at that time have been positioned below the helicopter and on the side away from the pilot and therefore out of his field of view. The effect of such a lack of visual clues would be to exacerbate the difficulty the pilot would have had in appreciating the rearward drift of the helicopter, possibly caused by the wind, in what was a very confined area. Safety Recommendation 97-22 made regarding minimum safety standards for corporate operators.

17th Aug 2011, 11:55
I'll tell you one thing..... It wasn't the first bit of wood he hit in his career :eek:

Talk about the proverbial cat...

RIP Huge.

17th Aug 2011, 12:58
The a/c was with 846 Squadron not 848 Squadron, note the crest behind the cockpit. Secondly 846 Squadron wasn't attached to HMS Bulwark at that date.

I think I have to challenge Ahh de Havilland's correction. If you slightly enlarge the photo in question there is clearly a red circle around the inside of the yellow outer part of the crest. That does indicate the aircraft belonged to 848 Squadron at that time as the red circle is part of the 848 crest. The 846 crest of a winged horse with a serpent in a wavy blue/white sea is totally different.

Also from Lee Howard's excellent new book "Fleet Air Arm Helicopters since 1943", XT471 was allocated to 848 in May 1971 with side letters VF/A when on Albion and VF/B when on Bulwark. There were several incidents whilst on 848 from that time until XT471 was allocated to RNAY Fleetlands on 17/12/75 including damage to blade folding mechanism on Albion on 5/8/71 and a starboard engine failure on deck of Bulwark on 7/6/73. So this helo was definitely allocated to 848 on Bulwark in summer 1973 as indicated in the text alongside the photo taken on 24/7/73 in Savoia's post #835.

XT471 was reallocated to 848 in June 1982 for the Falklands conflict and after that went to various other units before dumped at Dishforth by June 1994. There is no record of the airframe ever being allocated to 846 Squadron.

17th Aug 2011, 21:06
My daddy worked for them before joining Bristow about 1968-69 I believe flying a H269A. No other info I'm afraid :ugh:

Ref above, anybody else have anything moors on them? :ok:

21st Aug 2011, 23:27
Hi Savoia,

Apologies for the absence (but even we 'olduns' still have to work now & then) ... The artist who dreamed up the DRK/Roy Spooner/Bob Myatt cartoon was the inimitable Wreford Fisher of Embassy Aviation, Sandown. A lovely character and a fine cartoonist.

Now G-BBPO (Serial No 176 - I'm an anorak at heart!) was sold by our sales division no less than six times. Graham Miller of the LONS country club, Derek Chandler of Flair Air, then Airgo up at Edinburgh, later Guy Moreton who farmed in potatoes, (hope you are well guy) and next a couple my brain wont recall. Oddly the heli was crashed on its original delivery flight when the engine quit on take off after a rainy night out with water in the fuel. The pilot reported that on the EOL landing run a small helicopter overtook him. (the T/R assembly!)

PO was originally fitted with Air Cruiser floats, hence the pitot tube above the nose ... in fact I was flying her just a couple of months ago at Shoreham training the owner's 16 year old son. I also flew her in the the 2008 WHC 'freestyle' event at Eisenach in Germany, but not having the turbo I didn't put on much of a show.

In the 1970s, we sold CSE ... and the two 'Lordships' - Iveagh and Waterpark, no less than six Enstrom 28A models. Registrations from my log book on request. And by the way the CSE school put 5,000 hours on G-BBXO ! Earlier the school had used the B2 Brantley until one shed a blade in the hover with Graham Meyrick on board who was sadly lost. Cy Rose's (he of Enstrom G-BAWI) son Greg was on board at the time and happily unhurt.

Oh such happy days days ... am I getting too old! But to perk myself up, I'm still displaying and scheduled to perform at Duxford Heli-Tech next month, probably the Sikorsky/Schweizer 269C, G-BWAV. Maybe an Enstrom 480.

Keep the 'nostalgia' stories coming lads. Dennis Kenyon.

Nigel Osborn
22nd Aug 2011, 04:38
With 847 replies, now 848, it just shows how old everyone is! After all if you are young, you haven't had time to have too many memories.:ok:

22nd Aug 2011, 05:42
Yes indeed Nigel. I received a PM just yesterday from a well-known Rotorhead urging me to keep-up posting on the Nostalgia Thread so there's still a keen desire from some to continue reminiscing!

I've no objection to continue dropping images and notes from times past but I am mindful that there are Rotorheads who possess interesting images which remain stashed away in attics, cellars, log books and all manner of dubious locations! It would be great if some of those to whom this applies could make the effort to retrieve them, get them scanned and posted onto PPRuNe - for the sake of posterity!

If its too much like hard work then may I recommend the exploitation of your children or grandchildren for this purpose remembering always .. that this is for a good cause! :E

Finally, there are numerous drivers and mechanics reading PPRuNe who possess a mental library full of amusing, engaging and oft times humorous anecdotes from their aviation career. It could be your former CO performing a 'blooper', a CP trying to start-up with the tie-downs on or some entertaining story about the shenanigans of various clients and owners etc.

I've relayed a number of such incidents relating mainly to my godfather but I know there's a veritable ocean of additional information and stories out there so, please, nostalgia readers, dip in and tell us your experiences whether grand or modest!

A message from Maggs:

My Dear PPRuNes:

I'm with Savoia on this one. Those of you with memorabilia from your rotary days really should allow the next generation to benefit from your wealth of experience, not only from an operational point of view but also in your humour and indulgences.

I very much enjoy reading the Rotorheads pages although I remain perturbed by Britain's inability to lead the field in this industry. I never wanted Alan to sell-off his interests in Bristow but to keep it among a consortium of exclusively British owners - now look where it is! Most disappointing.

Nevertheless, there's always this forum to reflect upon Britain's (and other nations) rotary triumphs and either myself or my son Mark (who knows the Kenyon well) will be keeping an eye on your ramblings.

Best of luck,


Maggs & Co. with one of Alan's 76's on 30th May 1987

22nd Aug 2011, 21:07
Well well ... now we COFs have the blessing and a green light from past 'Royalty' ... I'd better dig out the log books and post some of my dafter pics. Any one want to see me in 1970s flairs, posing masterfully astride Enstrom's Air Cruiser floats while sinking slowly into Brighton's marina? And there's more! Dennis Kenyon.

24th Aug 2011, 13:17
Does anyone remember the Bell 206 used by the Sunday Express flown by ex SK pilot who supposedly challenged a Tonka crew to climb to 10,000 ft and supposedly beat them in his yellow bird?? :)

My very first ride in a chopper which inspired me to be what i do to this day...back in summer 93 at North Weald Airshow







24th Aug 2011, 15:29
Ahh .. 'Bravo Mike'!

G-BBBM was a Bell-built 206B (1973 model) and was one of Ferranti's managed aircraft. The records have the owner as 'Firstcliff Ltd' but what I remember is the name 'Bob Woods' who, I assume was the registered owner of Firstcliff. Bob was one of the clients for whom my godfather continued to provide helicopter services after the demise of Ferranti and as a result I got to meet him, on several occasions, one of which was a trip to Cheltenham to bet on the gee gees.

As mentioned many times, both here on Nostalgia and on the Ferranti thread, my godfather had names for everything and everyone (you would have to have known him to understand) and 'BM' was the 'Brave Brave Black Man' and which used to be communicated in the Colonel's best African accent (if there is such a thing). I have no clue as to how he came up with that name but that is how I always remember him referring to this craft.

From being managed by Ferranti she was sold to Manfred Mann and then to Carl Beaman's show at Battersea later being bought by the Express in 1989. She was finally sold to Belgium in 1996.

27th Aug 2011, 07:36
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-Z6Udv9d2tFE/TliVlTVETvI/AAAAAAAAEqU/-hD_wJ6JqE4/AB%25252047J%252520IAF%252520MM80131%252520Glasgow%252520Ren frew%25252010%252520Apr%25252058%252520%252528Iain%252520Mac Kay%252529%252520demo%252520to%252520BEA.jpg
In 1958 this Italian Air Force Agusta-Bell 47J Ranger MM80131 was seconded to Agusta for the purpose of a sales tour of the UK. Among her various stops was Glasgow's Renfrew Airport where this photo was taken on 10th April. Agusta were conducting a demonstration for BEA but that's about all I know. Any further info greatly welcome. (Photo: Iain MacKay)

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-vGJCE2RtmPQ/TliVmJ4omzI/AAAAAAAAEqc/PbmyDkZjWYw/C.1954.%252520Captain%252520H.%252520M.%252520Burrell%252520 RAN%252520%252528right%252529%252520with%252520aircrew%25252 0on%252520board%252520the%252520aircraft%252520carrier%25252 0HMAS%252520Vengeance%252520behind%252520is%252520a%252520Br istol%252520Sycamore%252520helicopter.jpg
On page 41 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-41.html) there are some images of Aussie Sycamores and this is an addition to that collection. Capt HM Burrell RAN (right) with aircrew on board the aircraft carrier HMAS Vengeance c. 1954

27th Aug 2011, 18:36
This image just in today from the acclaimed black and white collection of RA Scholefield and which I simply couldn't resist posting ..

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-xdRwj1AQLR8/TlkxwSx4ZbI/AAAAAAAAErk/DRgnmQ7gEIY/SA%252520321F%252520Super%252520Frelon%252520F-BMHC%252520Le%252520Bourget%2525203%252520Jun%25252067%25252 0%252528RA%252520Scholefield%252529.jpg
Sud Aviation SA 321F Super Frelon F-BMHC attending the Paris Air Salon at Le Bourget on 3rd June 1967 (Photo: RA Scholefield)

Developed from the initial SE-3200 Frelon testbed this triple-engine design first flew on 7th December 1962 as was one of the largest Western helicopters of its day. On 23rd July 1963 a Super Frelon broke the FAI (http://www.fai.org/) helicopter world speed record achieving a speed of 217.7 mph.

The Super Frelon enjoyed elements of international collaboration with the design of its six-bladed main rotor and five-bladed tail rotor being outsourced to America's Sikorsky Aircraft and its main transmission being designed by Itlay's Fiat SpA. But, this was typical of Sud Aviation's forward-thinking approach to aviation. The company was, in my view, one of France's greatest 'modern' aircraft developers who gave us the likes of the Caravelle and Concorde. Other Sud-inspired rotorcraft include the Alouette family, Gazelle and Puma.

The Frelon still flies-on of course in the form of the Chinese Z8.

28th Aug 2011, 10:22
Commenting on your last two posts Savioa

One of the Aussie pilots must be Don Farquarson who later joined Bristol's as a test pilot on Sycamores through to Sea Kings..no longer with us I'm afraid but noted for his eccentricities.

The Super Frelon pictured was leased to Olympic Airways (nee Onassis ) for a couple of summer seasons in the late sixties but didnt make any money .It was then used for training Chinese and Iraqi pilots before being put out to grass in the 1980s.It now resides in The Helicopter Museum at Weston-super-Mare,brought to the UK from Marignane by road,courtesy of Bristow in the days when they had their own transport fleet and were a lot more generous than today.At the time it was the biggest helo ever moved by road in Europe and quite a challenge logistically especially as les Frenchies wouldn't allow use of the motorway and it had to come on A roads to Cherbourg ,which required permission from every local authority Mayor en route.Tony ? Bristow's transport manager tore his hair out trying to secure permissions I recall.......

....and the AB47J was purchased by BEA and by SWEB at Bristol ,so the sales tour must have worked.........ah nostalgia !

31st Aug 2011, 14:03
Heli1 thanks for your comments. :ok:

The Super Frelon F-ZWWE used in the speed trial

The speed trial was conducted by renown Sud Aviation test pilot Jean Boulet who has featured previously on this thread

Jean Boulet at the helm of the Super Frelon on 23rd July 1963 when the world speed record was achieved

The Frelon's sponsons were removed and its undercarriage replaced by stumps for the record-breaking flight.

1st Sep 2011, 08:23

Tony Bird was BHL's Transport Manager.

2nd Sep 2011, 07:52

Another Aussie Ranger ...

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-cbGKSPuLf8Y/TmCJA8daiKI/AAAAAAAAEvg/y6KZ9CljKmU/VH-EPQ%252520206B%252520II%252520SYD%252520Kingsford%252520Smit h%25252029%252520Dec%25252001%252520%25255BScenic%252520flye r%25255D%252520%252528Craig%252520Murray%252529.jpg
Bell 206B VH-EPQ at Sydney's Kingsford Smith airport on 29th December 2001 (Photo: Craig Murray)

More Aussie Rangers on page 41 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-41.html)

2nd Sep 2011, 12:36
VH-EPQ was actually white but was parked too close to the fence on the Redfern side of the airport on 28th December 2001. The owners were very unhappy.

2nd Sep 2011, 14:32
Running the risk of being pedantic here - this is a professional forum for professional people after all - but they are Jet Rangers.

This (http://bell47.net/Family/47JBrochure.jpg) is a Bell Ranger... :8

2nd Sep 2011, 16:05
I'm still chasing around for pics of 'The dancer', particularly in here Essex Lotus days. The chap who sent me this pic says she also appeared in a Martini livery at one point, I'm guessing with a green base colour to match the Lotus F1 cars of the time (1979).


2nd Sep 2011, 18:12
Epiphany, too funny! :ok:

TRC: I think that'll be a round on you for the pedantics - lol!

FBB: Its been a while, welcome back! Dear God it brings a tear to the eye to see the Dancer wearing her Essex scheme .. and which is how she looked when I first flew her. She was probably the first JetRanger in the UK to sport reflective 'chrome' tape and which, at the time, looked somewhat snazzy!

I have several photos of her (in both Essex and JPS colours) but, these images are back in Blighty and which I shall recover when I next visit.

Great work, well done! :D

As mentioned some time back, Essex Oil owner and Team Lotus sponsor David Thieme had a LongRanger on the French register using the same colours but with a different scheme. It would have been one of the first LongRangers in France (1979) and, if I remember rightly, the reflective tape was applied lengthwise along the fuselage in thin stripes. She sported an all white leather interior with white sheepskin rugs and was a sight (for a young lad) to behold!

A Swissman in Italy!

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-echKBkMHzco/TmEZNkextXI/AAAAAAAAEwQ/M0OSmFvuLPU/s512/AS332C1%252520SP%252520HB-ZKN%252520Italian%252520Alps%2525201%252520Jan%25252007%2525 20%252528Marina%252520Cozma%252529.jpg
An AS332 C1 HB-ZKN Super Puma belonging to Eagle Helicopters on the Italian side of the Alps on 1st January 2007 (Photo: Marina Cozma)

A Swiss Super P (oops, TRC's about ... I mean Super Puma) ventures over to the Italian side of the Alps on New Year's Day 2007 to carry out lift work. In the full size version of this image it is not possible to see anyone occupying the co-drivers seat! Not required?

2nd Sep 2011, 18:39
TRC: I think that'll be a round on you for the pedantics .............. oops, TRC's about ...

Why not use the right name, or am I missing something?

3rd Sep 2011, 04:42
An Air Gregory trio 'somewhere' over Blighty in 1975 during the making of the film 'The Copter Kids'

Had initially thought that this was G-AVEE and G-AXPL (both of which appear on page 14 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-14.html)) but, the ownership dates do not correspond with the year of the image so, am still on the hunt for the identities of these craft.

Re: the 47, I'm not sure if Gregorious (Air Gregory) had a 47 .. but will endeavour to find-out.

3rd Sep 2011, 08:34
Ah memories,
I have this on video from then I was a kid. Great music too :ok:

3rd Sep 2011, 08:35
Savoia, are you related to Steve Wright by any chance?

He has the same difficulty using the right names as you seem to do.

... Gregorious ...
etc, etc....

3rd Sep 2011, 09:32
Ah TRC .. you're not gonna let this go are you! Never mind, but I'll give you some stick over it when we meet-up for our shindig!

You are basically homing in on one of my character traits, my use of nicknames - generally intended to communicate a personalisation of an individual, organisation or object. From age 8 when my parents divorced, my godfather (whom you so kindly drove to the Waldorf) and whom you rescued (along with me) from a field in Norfolk when Colin Chapman's 206 packed-up, played a significant role in my up-bringing. He was the one who taught me to fly and it was through him that I gained exposure to the aviation world in which I was to carve out my first career. One of Col Bob's traits was his extensive use of nicknames (which I have mentioned numerous times both here and on the Ferranti thread) and I guess it was inevitable that some of this was going to rub off!

For example, I never once heard him refer to Alan Mann as Alan Mann, it was always Manfred Mann! John Froud one of the Ferranti mechanics was always 'Wee Johnny Froud' etc. On a post (I think on this thread) where I conveyed his secondment to CSE when the Bell 222 test pilot was grounded by Heathrow and he ended-up flying the demonstrator N2221W, the ATCO's at LHR were in hoots of laughter the entire Ascot week because of the Colonels RT announcements "This is helicopter N222 ... pause ... One Whisky" with an inflection on the 1W which was intended to reflect the ordering of the drink! Yes childish, perhaps immature even .. many things no doubt but, qualified in psychology (as many management consultants are these day) I am also aware that light-hearted antics have their place in professionalism. Stress levels, confidence and a generally more open and accessible 'culture' are all merits of encouraging a moderate degree of humour, spontaneity, personalisation .. whatever.

Now, aside from this, people have their distinctive personalities. Some will wish to conduct their discourse (both private and professional) in a strictly orderly manner revealing no personal character traits of any significance. Others may be freer in their conversations or wish to convey something of the 'spirit' of their message and this is where the personalisation of one's communications begins to evolve.

My godfather was known for calling everything and everyone by special names. Ask the likes of Martyn Fiddler or the ex-Ferranti Bo105 training captain PPRuNer Speechless Two about the Ferranti days and what were known as 'Colonelisms'! My little expressions are as nothing compared to the antics of the Colonel and you should be thankful that I never engaged in the 'Star Trekisation' of equipment and instruments which occurred among several Bristow crews! Again, hilarious!

Perhaps its something which comes with age, that one frets less and less about taking everything so seriously .. or perhaps I am wrong and we should be explicitly serious, continually!

Anyway, that's me. If my use of non-standard names causes confusion, is offensive etc. then I will do my best to diminish this habit but, I would appreciate a little more feedback (perhaps from others) to confirm that my bast*rdisation of certain words really is a pain in the **!

3rd Sep 2011, 11:56
No complaints from me Savvers!

3rd Sep 2011, 17:30
............................................................ ..............................

3rd Sep 2011, 18:22
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-F-2cAocv6aM/TmJsn8KbR3I/AAAAAAAAEx4/5GpwEFmWAnQ/s800/Vickers%252520Viscount%252520735%252520EM%252520Cas%252520Do n%252520Feb%25252080%252520%252528David%252520Eyre%252529.jp g
The late John 'Chalky' White blasts off from his home base of Castle Donington in JCB's Agusta-built (and Ferranti stabilised) JetRanger II in February 1980. Vickers Viscount 735 in the foreground parked in front of the JCB hangar (Photo: David Eyre)

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-5vX9rx5P0yw/TmJsnoH7jyI/AAAAAAAAEx0/tOS_qwOM4ug/S76A%252520Farnborough%2525208%252520Sept%25252082%252520%25 2528Don%252520Hewins%252529.jpg
An S76A G-OAUS, registered to Aston Upthorpe Stud, arrives at Farnborough on 8th September 1982 (Photo: Don Hewins)

4th Sep 2011, 09:46
In the full size version of this image it is not possible to see anyone occupying the co-drivers seat! Not required?

Min crew = 1?

Even the 225 is "1"

4th Sep 2011, 21:13
RVDT thanks. Just unusual to see the Super P being flown single pilot!

Nigel Osborn wrote: Jim started Ferguson Helicopters as an offshoot of Rotorwork to mainly handle the Sydney jobs. Jim won a large gravity survey contract in 1966 which set them up financially, even though there was a tragic accident in Sydney in a 47 while filming near the Opera House when the entire tail gearbox dropped into the harbour & all 3 on board were killed.

The Bell 47 mentioned by Nigel (VH-AHF) at Bankstown airport in February 1966 - wearing 'Rotor-Work' titles (Photo: Greg Banfield)

VH-AHF crased near Circular Quay on 10th December 1966, evidently due to the failure of a t/r retention bolt

5th Sep 2011, 08:15
In the full size version of this image it is not possible to see anyone occupying the co-drivers seat! Not required?

VFR only it's single pilot....

5th Sep 2011, 13:24
G-OAUS was one of two S76, the other being S76B G-BOYF, owned by the Maktoums of Dubai and operated originally by Air Hanson out of Blackbushe.Kerry Packers was another machine

7th Sep 2011, 07:57
Schinthe thanks for that. Details of the registrations of Packer's previous craft (both UK and Aussie) would be appreciated.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-RSzw5SueTnM/TmcewhCoXeI/AAAAAAAAE0g/JCyHw0OdoKY/Bell%25252047J2%252520Moorabbin%252520Airport%252520Victoria %25252020%252520Jan%25252063%252520%252528Red750%252529.jpg
A Trans Australian Bell 47J2 at Moorabbin Airport, Victoria on 20th January 1963 (Photo: Red750)

Evidently this 'Heli Cab' was used in the shuttle service between Melbourne and Essendon.

BEAS Brantly B2 at Brocket Hall, Hertfordshire in 1968 during the filming of the Avengers (Photo: Uncredited)

A Brantly B2 G-A??? somewhere in Blighty in 1968. (Thought it could be 'Hellstreet' (Elstree) or Sywell .. but honestly don't know!)

The First Helicopter Assault!?

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-1EP13zfef34/TmcexVq-IvI/AAAAAAAAE0o/8cm9BDQQtiQ/worldwinds%252520hms%252520theseus%2525201956%252520suezinva sion.jpg
Westland Whirldwinds aboard HMS Theseus in 1956

"45 Royal Marine Commando onboard Royal Navy Ships are to fly ashore to link up with British and French Paratroops already on the ground from an earlier fixed-wing aircraft parachute assault to regain control of the vital world waterway. The French Paras jumped on the east side of the canal to take Port Fouad, and south of Port Said on the west. The 3rd British Parachute Battalion jupms in to take an airstrip and marches east to take Port Said on the west side of the canal. 45 Commando is to Air Assault directly afterwards into Port Said, where a bitter city fight erupts. It was the world's first amphibious combat helicopter "Air Assault". 41, 42, Commandos came ashore by conventional landing craft backed by 6th Royal Rank Regiment Centurion heavy tanks and French AMX-13 light tanks. In a matter of hours the Suez Canal and a strip of land 25 miles south are in Anglo-French control before the cease-fire."

7th Sep 2011, 17:58

The Brantly, MGB and posing models are at Kidlington (Oxford, occasionally now known as LONDON Oxford)........


PS The "PIPER" sign on the building roof and the PA-28 are a bit of a give away!!

7th Sep 2011, 21:19
Planemike, grazie! Shortly after posting the image it did occur to me that the location may well have been BEAS' home base so thanks for the confirmation. :ok:

G-BBET debuted on page 25 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-25.html) and was the sister-ship to another Bell-built 206, G-BBEU:

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-NlVeODThLe4/TmfYqI68SMI/AAAAAAAAE1A/lxG1RIf50Ts/B206B%252520II%252520G-BBET%252520Biggin%252520Hill%25252017%252520May%2525201974%2 52520%252528Jonathan%252520Walton%252529.jpg
Bell 206B JetRanger II G-BBET at Biggin Hill n 17th May 1974 (Photo: Jonathan Walton)

Advertising seems to have been the order of the day for BBET not only with some sort of placard in the rear passenger window but, when enlarged, the tailboom reveals wording indicating the craft's owner as 'Madrey Properties'. From Madrey she was bought back by her original owners, Ben Turner and from Ripley she was sold to Italy in the Christmas of '74.

A venerable 'BEAD' indeed!

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-7Z8gL6VAVhM/TmfZnxgW43I/AAAAAAAAE1Y/27Hnv6VqZp4/WG-13%252520Lynx%25252010%252520Sept%25252076%252520%252528Stev e%252520Fitzgerald%252529.jpg
Westland prototype WG-13 Lynx G-BEAD at Farnborough on 10th September 1976 (Photo: Steve Fitzgerald)

This prototype first flew on 21st March 1971 and was seen here re-engined with P&W PT6Bs as opposed to the originally installed Rolls-Royce Gems.

Ahh de Havilland
8th Sep 2011, 14:31
I have found one of Kerry Packer's S-76s: VR-BNR/VP-BNR regn to Sunningdale Investments Ltd, and I think this might be the UK example as it was noted at Blackbushe on several occasions during the period it was registered (1992-1998).

The company was also the registered owner of a DC-8 VR-BLG/VP-BLG that was operated at the same time as 'BNR.

9th Sep 2011, 12:22
... that the people who gave Britain the likes of the Percival Proctor (http://www.airport-data.com/images/aircraft/large/366/366387.jpg) also made a foray into rotary-wing design!

In 1951 a helicopter division was formed by Hunting Percival and design work commenced on a medium-sized helicopter designated the P74. This machine had a teardrop-shaped fuselage with the two-seat cockpit in the nose and a large cabin running the full length of the fuselage. Beneath the cabin floor was a Napier Oryx gas generator which fed compressed air to the tips of the three rotor blades. The prototype was completed in the spring of 1956, carrying the military serial number XK889. Ground testing commenced but the Oryx engine was insufficiently powerful and the P74 failed to fly. It was planned to fit a more powerful Rolls-Royce RB.108 turbine but the rationalisation of the helicopter industry later that year resulted in the P74 project being cancelled.


The lack of gearbox and simplified coupling of rotor to the aircraft meant that a tilting rotor hub could be used and drag hinges were not needed.The low torque coupling at the mast meant that very little was needed in the form of lateral control. The P74 rotor was expected to be quieter in operation than tip jets following tests with a Derwent engine powered rotor. The stainless-steel rotors were thick in cross section to allow for the necessary ducting to the tips and non-feathering - as a result ailerons were fitted to the blades.


The rotor blades used ailerons on the trailing edges with pitch control achieved by a screw jack. The unusual engine location necessitated exhaust pipes coming through the cabin wall between the rows of seats, creating an unenviable amount of din and heat for the intended passengers.


The Hunting Percival P74 was intended as a demonstrator for a new type of helicopter. It worked on the tip-jet principle, but unlike the Hiller Hornet with its individual ramjets, the P74 had a gas generator under the cabin floor which fed compressed air through triple ducts to the three-bladed rotor, each blade of which had triple ejector ducts.

Months of testing in a static rig showed up many problems with the power system which refused to develop full power and maximum gas flow. Finally these problems were fixed and a first flight attempted. Despite the efforts of two pilots on the very stiff controls, the P74 resolutely refused to fly. One engineer associated with the project says that a consultant designer used the wrong formula for calculating lift. All the figures added up but the P74 went nowhere. Actually it was ordered to be towed across the airfield out of sight, and that is about the last anyone heard of it.


And that .. in the 1960's Westlands were planning a commercial tilt-rotor?

Proposed Westland Tilt-Rotor G-AXXP (1968)

10th Sep 2011, 09:18

On 3 June 1959, 110 Squadron was reformed at Kuala Lumpur from the merger of No. 155 Squadron and No. 194 Squadron, initially equipped with the Westland Whirlwind HC4. These were, in April 1960, supplemented by the Bristol Sycamore HR14 with the Whirlwinds being replaced by the much more capable Gnome engined Whirlwind HAR10s in July 1963. The Sycamores were finally retired in October 1964.

From 1966 the squadron also operated in Brunei and Borneo until November 1967 during the Indonesian crisis. It then continued its normal duties in Malaya until the Far East Air Force was run-down. The squadron disbanded on 15 February 1971.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-pZgNkm2DU9Q/Tmsd2ad8JaI/AAAAAAAAE4Q/bEvVwIjDpFQ/110%252520Sqn%252520-%252520Sqn%252520Ldr%252520Richard%252520Hadlow%252520front% 252520centre.jpg
No. 110 Sqn photo; Sqn Ldr Richard Hadlow front centre

The Whirlwind dispersal at Seletar

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/--fup9D_cMz0/Tmsd3l7yiGI/AAAAAAAAE4Y/VWkjLfzxgvY/s576/Sgt%252520Flt%252520Eng%252520%252527V%252527%252520sign%252 520courtesy%252520of%252520Sgt%252520Pilot%252520%252527Fred A.%252527%252520%2525281966%252529.jpg
A Sgt Flight Engineer in front of a Whirlwind. The 'V' sign comes courtesy of Sgt Pilot 'Fred A.' (1966)

RAF Westland WS-55 HAR Mk.10 XR481 over Brunei Bay

10th Sep 2011, 18:58
Being a Whirlwind fan, as an engineer it was the first helicopter I stood under the whirling blades of, I also became an 'amatuer' winchman on them for Bristow's in Dubai, two questions, is it indicative of the rank that the officer is adopting the legs apart 'big balls' stance and all others are adopting the rather feminine legs crossed stance? and two 'Fred A' I used to know a Certain 'Fred A' in Nigeria who now resides in Cyprus ( Surname Ayris)


11th Sep 2011, 05:22

A couple of Bristow Whirlers have cropped-up on pages past including this one from page 19 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-19.html):

http://lh4.ggpht.com/__dRpfF8qlVM/TUmYptJEGTI/AAAAAAAABe4/_HxLccf4Mx8/WS-55%20Srs%203AYNP%20Redhill%20HMC%202%20Sept%2073%20%28Trevor %20bartlett%29.jpg
Westland Whirlwind WS-55 Srs 3 G-AYNP on contract to HM Coastguard seen at Redhill on 2nd September 1973. (Photo: Trevor Bartlett)

And this one from page 34 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-34.html) (the same page where you are posing in front of the 'Jabberwock'):

A Bristow 'Whirler' (behind Douglas Bunn's 206) in Alan's Shoppe at 'Redders'

Re: the 'leg folding' photo, yes slightly effeminate (as you say) and doubtless designed to accentuate their fearless leader Richard Hadlow, lol! (Did you observe how the chaps on the right all have their legs folded one way and those on the left another - grief!).

Regarding the Sergeant pilot offering his 'victory salute', sadly all I have is 'Fred A' - perhaps someone may come along providing confirmation of his surname but it would need to be a Fred who served with the RAF in Asia in the mid-to-late 60's.

A couple more Whirlers (RAF) to be posted (maybe later today).

Ahh de Havilland
11th Sep 2011, 10:00

A review of the footage on You Tube reveals that the Allouette was G-BBJE (registered owner Medminster Ltd) and Hughes G-AZVM (regn to Air Gregory).

The footage of the B47 only shows blurred images of the regn so an ID was not possible but it's colour scheme is most yellow and there is a name on the fuel tanks that might be Autair, but that might be totally wrong.

The film seems to recycle the same flypast taken from different angles several times and the premise is that the helicopter are surveying for oil hence the underslung loads. Interestingly the Chief Pilot and the kids father is played by Derek Fouldes (Bernard from Yes Minister).

12th Sep 2011, 19:05
A glance back to Tuesday 8th January 1980 when one of Bristow's S76's broke the London-Paris speed record which, surprisingly, had until then been held by 'Sox' Hosegood flying a Bristol Belvedere!

Hosegood's best time was 1hr 40mins in the Type 192 whereas Le Grys managed a best time of 1hr 11mins.

Flight International 19th January 1980


BHBF's Crew: Frederick Le Grys, John Allerton, Douglas West
Observers: Capt Eric Brown & Carolyn Evans
Courier: Michael Fopp

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-3r66e9OOtIs/Tm5RrgMuukI/AAAAAAAAE5Y/Hj5ZSY4Yr3M/s800/S76A%252520G-BHBF%252520Aberdeen%252520Dyce%25252013%252520Jul%25252083%2 52520%252528Don%252520Hewins%252529.jpg
S76A G-BHBF (still wearing her 'Spirit of Paris' name) at Aberdeen's Dyce on 13th July 1983 some three and a half years after her record-breaking flight (Photo: Don Hewins)

13th Sep 2011, 06:02
Ah de Havilland; thank you for your efforts in tracking down the registration of Packer's 76 as well as confirmation of the registrations of the aircraft in the 'Copter Kids' movie - much appreciated! :ok:

Film Copters Cont ..

Air Gregory's Alouette II G-BBJE featured previously on page 29 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-29.html) while G-AZVM seems to be a new entrant.

As you say, she was registered to 'Air Gregorius' (1974) and prior to that (in 1972) to Finance and General Investment and John Wakeham.

Hughes 500C G-AZVM at Cranfield (no date) in the colours worn while with Air Gregory. (Photo uncredited)

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-60aA_Drhj6U/Tm7q9poRp6I/AAAAAAAAE6A/y47cKIUNerc/s720/500C%252520AZVM%252520Heythrop%252520Park%252520Hotel%252520 %252528Heli%252520Cham%252529%2525208%252520Aug%25252004%252 520%252528KBM%252520Photography%252529.jpg
G-AZVM in more recent times visiting the Helicopter Championships at the Heythrop Park Hotel on 8th August 2004 (Photo: KBM Photography)

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-AXvxmo-Nids/Tm7q-dvfl8I/AAAAAAAAE6I/1dqE2XLb-tI/Sky%252520Riders%2525201976%252520%252528Greece%252529%25252 0David%252520Dixon%252520-%252520George%252520Nolan.jpg
This 206 was used in the making of the 1976 movie "Sky Riders" (filmed in Greece). The pilots are credited as being David Dixon and George Nolan.

Evidently, and according to the write-ups, James Coburn decided to perform himself the stunt of clinging onto the undercarriage!

industry insider
13th Sep 2011, 06:50

Would that be Fred Ayris?

Nice picture of G-AYNP with the old Bristow Auster J1 in the background G-APOA which I used to fly from time to time when I could find someone to give me a prop swing.

13th Sep 2011, 08:58
Aye aye, I.I. !

Could well be Fred Ayris given that Stace came up with the same name. Truly don't know however as the photo only mentions Fred "A" thereby leaving us all in the dark plus .. good ol' Fred is standing behind the Whirler!

Regarding the Auster; my godfather used to fly them before he joined the AAC. In those days he was an Officer in the Royal Artillery and was seconded to the RAF to join their Air Observation Post Squadrons which flew sorties on behalf of the Army.

Keeping it 'in the family', Ferranti's Operations Manager was the late great Major "Warby" Warburton ..

.. an Army observation pilot in North Africa, Italy and Burma.

After the Operation Torch landings at Algiers in French North Africa in 1942, "Warby" - a nickname which reflected his warm and colourful personality - was quickly in action spotting artillery with 651 Squadron.

It was a perilous occupation, pottering about over enemy positions in an a fragile, unarmed, single-engined Auster that seemed more suited to a flying club than to the hazards of war. Derived from the American Taylorcraft, this light monoplane cruised no faster than 100mph, and was restricted to a range of 250 miles.

As the First Army made its bold but unsuccessful dash for Tunis, there was a constant demand from Air Observation Post (Air O.P.) crews for tactical information. Careless of the risk, Warburton circled enemy positions and directed artillery fire. Constantly attacked by enemy fighters, he was also highly vulnerable to ground fire. But Warburton became known as "The Artful Dodger", so canny was he in manoeuvring his Auster until German pilots were forced to break off their attacks for lack of fuel.

He was awarded the Croix de Guerre in recognition of the operations he had flown in support of the Free French 19 Corps around d'Oum El Abouab, where his courageous observation in the face of enemy fire made possible the destruction of an ammunition dump and artillery battery.
More Aussie [Jet] Rangers ..

Agusta-Bell 206A JetRanger VH-BHW at Jandakot Airfield, WA, in 1970. This craft was originally G-AWIM (the 18th 206 on the British register) but was transferred to Bristow's Aussie ops in 1968 (Photo: Peter Rye)

20th Sep 2011, 16:07
I recall Savoia, you mentioned your godfather flew the Westland Widgeon for Sebastian De Ferranti.
You mentioned it was a bit of a wild stallion, any idea why that was the case? Were they more trouble than the Dragonfly they were derived from?

As they were so rare Im quite interested in any stories about Widgeons and those who flew them.

There was one based at the old Iona hangar in Dublin around 1958 for a while operating under Shamrock Helicopters but that was shortlived.

Anyone have any other Widgeon stories?


22nd Sep 2011, 12:37

I have responded to your query via the Ferranti Thread (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/417831-ferranti-helicopters-5.html).

Following on from G-AZVM (above) I wanted to re-cap on the Hughes' which have cropped-up in pages past:

G-BESS on page 38 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-38.html) when she was owned by Dennis' business partner Peter Millward

G-BAYN and G-BKTK on page 34 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-34.html)

G-BIOA, G-HOOK, G-GOGO and G-GASA on page 30 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-30.html)

G-BEJY on page 29 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-29.html)

Essex Hughes

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-idwXG1BBVbY/TnskA-nh62I/AAAAAAAAE-M/ehamt5Caiz4/G-BESS%252520500D%252520North%252520Weald%2525201%252520Jul%25 252090%252520Fairchild%252520Boxcar%252520in%252520backgroun d%252520%252528Malcolm%252520Clarke%252529.jpg
Hughes 500D G-BESS (registered to Fairview Securities in Ilford) at North Weald on 1st July 1990 with Fairchild Boxcar in background (Photo: Malcolm Clarke)

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-V1qm0hxAHe4/TnskCAlLtQI/AAAAAAAAE-Q/hkSiSXkL1XA/s800/H500D%252520G-HEWS%252520Farnborough%2525204%252520Sep%25252084%252520%252 528Mick%252520Bajcar%252529.jpg
Hughes 500D G-HEWS (registered to John Carroll of Brentwood) at Farnborough on 4th September 1984 (Photo: Mick Bajcar)

25th Sep 2011, 05:33
Saunders Roe Skeeter Mk 10 XK479 fitted with dual controls for RAF training evaluation and seen here being flown by a Saunders Roe crew who performed a landing on a flat-bed truck during the seventh Society of British Aerospace Companies display held at Farnborough from September 3rd-9th 1956. The aircraft was delivered to the RAF on 18th December 1956 (Photo uncredited)

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-MGJwKEgsp-w/Tn632OIVIUI/AAAAAAAAFAc/nxBHmSpqyoQ/Royal%252520Dragoon%252520Guards%252520hel%252520team%252520 Ulster%252520Tattoo%25252014%252520Sept%25252068.jpg
British Army Sioux during the Ulster Tattoo on 14th September 1968 (Photo uncredited)

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-zCBNeDwo-cE/Tn649qbd-uI/AAAAAAAAFAg/ZrL_PQypU-M/G-ASHD%252520Exeter%252520Airport%25252015%252520July%25252064 .jpg
Brantly B-2A G-ASHD belonging to Pontin's departs Exeter Airport on 15th July 1964 (Photo uncredited)

25th Sep 2011, 12:01
Some may recall that on page 38 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-38.html) an image cropped-up of the Led Zepplin guitarist Jimmy Page being dropped-off at Knebworth House in August 1979 for a rock concert.

With the much appreciated assistance of Nostalgia Thread supporter Ahh de Havilland we were able to ascertain that the craft in question was in fact the [then] recently discussed Tommy Sopwith's G-GINA.

Now an accompanying photo has turned up of the post-landing and in which the pilot can be seen. Is this Tommy or someone else?

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-u2X2i4R5QCM/Tn8UFWh_JYI/AAAAAAAAFBs/M2OO0OYUOlE/Jimmy%252520Page%252520Knebworth%252520Festival%2525201979.j pg
Tommy Sopwith's AS350B G-GINA (the first Ecureuil delivered in the UK) lands at Knebworth House in August 1979 to deliver Led Zeppelin front man Jimmy Page for a concert


25th Sep 2011, 12:16
Is this Tommy or someone else?
It's someone else........

Looks like R.K. to me.

26th Sep 2011, 14:22
Thanks TRC! Mor(s)e code I see! ;)

Brantlys in Britain

In the 60's it seems as though the Oxfordshire Police were of the belief that to deploy dogs with the assistance of airborne support would give them a lead over the criminal elements they were fighting! One can only presume that the exercise was conducted in cooperation with BEAS given the location and the type of aircraft deployed. Hopefully they had some fun during the trials.

In Italy helicopter-deployed-dogs are all the rage, especially for surf-rescue missions; see post 47 on the Coffee Break (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/430155-coffee-break-3.html) thread to read more about that.

Brantly B2 with 'dog box' installed

Is this a youthful 'Antonio' Clarke in the righthand seat?

Field Recovery

The Hughes 300 G-BWMA is recovered from a field 'somewhere' on 27th October 2005 (At least they're using an Iveco!)

For Wiggy!

Some time back Helipixman treated us to a selection of images of the Agusta-Bell 206 G-OJCB in her different schemes over the years and then we did a bit on Celtic (Jet) Rangers. Here's OJCB when she ventured up to Wigansworld:

Agusta-Bell 206B G-OJCB at Glasgow International

26th Sep 2011, 16:28
Mor(s)e code I see!
OK, here you are, this has a extra clue to the name.

.-. --- -... .. -. -.-

26th Sep 2011, 17:05
Lol, okay thanks.

Well didn't this name crop-up before somewhere in the context of him driving with Mann's for a bit?

26th Sep 2011, 17:24
Well didn't this name crop-up before somewhere in the context of him driving with Mann's for a bit?

No, he was never involved with AMH, in my time at least.
He was Macs, or European - or both, can't remember. I know who it is for sure.

26th Sep 2011, 17:41
Makes sense as I believe Tommy was involved with European Helicopters also.

Technical question; the Alouette II in the first photo on this thread (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/464700-breighton-fly-2011-a.html) wears a painted exhaust. Presumably this isn't painted directly onto the exhaust - is this then some sort of muffler or other attachment to the exhaust?

26th Sep 2011, 19:19
It's the cabin heater heat collector, IIRC.

G-FILM had a white (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/443466-alan-mann-helicopters-nostalgia-thread-9.html#post6704077) one.

26th Sep 2011, 19:33
TRC thanks for that :ok: and yes, I see that yours was white!

I am sure that this device must have collected heat very well (and sometimes wonder how the paint stayed on). Just never recall seeing this on the Lamas we had in Papua New Guinea. Anyway, cabin heat wasn't really required there, despite the high altitudes.


27th Sep 2011, 12:42
Hi Sav.,

G-OJCB may have been leased in by somebody, never registered to a Scottish address, but G-ODIL, in the same colours, owned by the Yorkshire Helicopter Centre, as was G-OJCB, had a name on it , don't know when, McKenair, seen a photo of it, name was on the nearside front door.

27th Sep 2011, 15:15
.... had a name on it.... McKenair.... name was on the nearside front door

McKenair is a charter broker run by an ex-AMH ops person. They specialise in things like moving lots of people in and out of Silverstone, etc.

As far as I know they sub-charter rather than lease. Might well be wrong though..

27th Sep 2011, 18:43
Thanks for that Wigan. Keep posting any additional info you have on interesting Scottish copters from times past. :ok:

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-zsf_g6H1JnA/ToISqRR3veI/AAAAAAAAFFk/ukAN3CeVrgU/SA313%252520AL%252520II%252520G-AVEE%252520Plymouth%252520Roborough%25252028%252520May%25252 067%252520%252528Chris%252520England%252529%252520RBA%252520 Hel.jpg
SE3130 Alouette II G-AVEE at Plymouth Roborough Airport on 28th May 1967 (Photo: Chris England)

Another fabulous image from the celebrated Air-Britain photographer Chris England (Chris - thanks for the many permissions you've given to post on PPRuNe :ok:) seen here at Plymouth's Roborough Airport in 1967. At the time AVEE was registered to RBA Helicopters of Reading, Berkshire.

I'm not entirely sure but ... I think this was the craft used during the production of the 60's series 'The Prisoner'. The Prisoner was first broadcast on 29th September 1967 so the timeline fits (just) presuming they conducted filming earlier the same year.

G-AVEE (to be confirmed) during the filming of The Prisoner which starred Patrick McGoohan who is seen above (right)

From RBA AVEE was sold to Gregorious (Air Gregory) and then to Medminster (the same company Ahh de Havilland mentioned on the previous page in relation to another Alouette II G-BBJE).

I do miss the days of hearing the wonderful acoustics of the Artouste spooling into life .. simply delightful!

industry insider
27th Sep 2011, 23:08
The old Renault 10 in the background completes the picture's charm!

28th Sep 2011, 03:42

My mum has confirmed that my father was the pilot of G-AVEE for the filming of the prisoner in PM, Wales. She mentioned that he came back to the hotel dressed in the same clothes as Patrick M was wearing for the scene where he tries to fly the Alouette of the beach.

Wow, I would have been about 9 then! :ok:

28th Sep 2011, 14:42

A link to a site on the helicopters used in The Prisoner,

The Prisoner - classic TV series with helicopters review for Rotary Action at rotaryaction.com (http://www.rotaryaction.com/pages/prisoner1.html)

seems a French registered Alouette II was used as well, the one with the floats, also mentions John Crewsdon as well.


Ahh de Havilland
28th Sep 2011, 15:16
Robin Keith was the first MD of McAlpine Helicopters and went on (in 1987) to form European Helicopters in partnership with Tommy Sopwith and Lynton Group Ltd (headed by Christopher Tennant). Lynton owned 40% of EHL and the other two shareholders 30% each.

The company was formed to carry out corporate helicopter rebuilding, maintenance, sales and consultancy but there was some controversy when it sought to win the Aerospatiale helicopter distributorship away from McAlpine Helicopters. 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 and EHL was absorbed into Lynton along with Air Hanson and Magec Aviation. Later Lynton sold the combined helicopter operations and maintenance business to Sir Robert McAlpine & Sons and merged with the operating arm of McAlpine Helicopters (McAlpine Aviation Services formerly OSS) to form PremiAir.

McAlpine Helis carried on as the Eurocopter distributor until it was purchased by Eurocopter in 2007 and became Eurocopter UK.

Incidentally Lynton was/is also a major shareholder in PDG Helicopters when its subsidiary Dollar Helis merged with PLM Helis. Do they still have an interest?

It's amazing how few degrees of separation lie between all those famous names of the UK Heli industry?

28th Sep 2011, 15:31
The Lama helicopter F-BNKZ AND G-AVEE are one and the same machine S/N 1203


28th Sep 2011, 15:36
I.I. Brilliant, I was wondering which vehicle it was!

Griffo that's great, especially if you are able to elaborate a little more on who RBA Helicopters were - another company I've never heard of before.

Well done Wigan, quite right, all the filming which took place for The Prisoner was done using a French-registered Alouette II F-BNKZ as the image below depicts:

Alouette II F-BNKZ during the filming of The Prisoner in 1967

But .. as Tarman has discovered, BNKZ is one and the same as our beloved AVEE both of them carrying the same construction no. 1203 as confirmed below:

Patrick McGoohan stands next to F-BNKZ at the very place where her construction no. (1203) is conveniently painted on the canopy

Now for another Nostalgia Thread conundrum. G-AVEE flew as F-BNKZ (the registration of c/n: 1203 while with her former owners Heli Union). Presumably shortly after the filming she went onto the "G" register.

However, a shot taken of BNKZ's panel during the filming of The Prisoner reveals the application of a diligently placed Dymo label advertising G-AVEE. So, one wonders which registration did she actually fly under!

F-BNKZ's panel revealing the G-AVEE call sign

Regarding John Crewdson, perhaps he also flew with RBA at that time?

Ahh de Havilland, thank you for your summary. Somewhere in there Hansons became Signature Aviation for a while - I recall because I dropped-in to Blackbushe around 1990-ish with a client and in those days they were trading under such a name.

28th Sep 2011, 16:22

I only know that back then heli jobs were as rare as hens teeth, and this was one of several jobs dad had after leaving the navy before he got a real job with Bristow circa 1968.
Previous to that he was with Twyford moors.

RBA was the first company to bring in the Alouette to the british register, but the director of the firm, John somebody went bust after a few years.

Keep the thread going, its excellent :ok:

29th Sep 2011, 05:31
Griffo, great stuff!

When you get back to Blighty perhaps you might rummage around and see whether you have any photos from your Dad's flying days as I am sure they would be mighty interesting!

Keep the thread going ..

I'll do my best but .. I'm conscious that there are plently of PPRuNers out there with access to family photos which would be fascinating to many. Furthermore there are several lifetimes of aviation related stories and anecdotes waiting to be told - so, anyone reading this who has been sitting on the fence with regard to posting some history .. please get off and begin posting. Then perhaps one morning over breakfast (when I most frequently browse PPRuNe) maybe I will be able to sit back and read some interesting helicopter nostalgia for a change, lol!

More Floating Alouettes!

Alouette II OH-HIS at Inari in Finland in 1968 (Photo: Antti Pesonen)

In 1968 this Finnish Alouette II was positioned to the lakeside village of Inari in Finland from where the craft would uplift Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands to facilitate their visit to the Lemmenjoki goldfields.

The photo was taken by the pilot, Antti Pesonen who credits the chap on the float as being the copters mechanic (although to me he seems to be wearing what appears to be a military uniform, while the craft is clearly on the civil register) another conundrum no doubt.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-t0tdN0i3Oic/ToP4japg4_I/AAAAAAAAFHo/f5T2d-UNiHk/s512/President%252520and%252520Mrs%252520Truman%252520welcoming%2 52520Queen%252520Juliana%252520of%252520the%252520Netherland s%252520and%252520her%252520husband%25252C%252520Prince%2525 20Bernhard%25252C%252520at%252520Washington%252520National%2 52520Airport.jpg
President and Mrs Truman welcoming Queen Juliana of the Netherlands and her husband Prince Bernhard (in Naval uniform) at Washington National Airport on 2nd April 1952

In The Hills

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-i7UYdqXCRlE/ToP0-8PctyI/AAAAAAAAFHc/KUwLtK-lRqE/6%252520Jun%2525201955%252520-%252520Jean%252520Moire%252520lands%252520a%252520Bell%25252 047%252520helicopter%252520on%252520top%252520of%252520Mont% 252520Blanc%25252C%252520at%252520an%252520altitude%252520of %2525204%25252C807%252520m%25252015%25252C772%252520ft%25252 0-%2525202.jpg
The French aviator Jean Moire lands his Bell 47 G2 F-BHGJ atop Mont Blanc (Monte Bianco) at 4,807 metres (15,772 feet) on 6th June 1955

Of course Monte Bianco properly belongs to Italy but, I shan't get into that now.

We've been enjoying some great views of Nepal courtesy of Vertical Freedom on the RATW Thread and here is some Nepalese nostalgia:

Agusta-Bell 206 JetRanger 9N-ABE of Royal Nepal Airlines high in the Himalayas

Anyone with further details of this craft and when she flew for Royal Nepal would be appreciated.

4th Oct 2011, 05:42
Tanti Auguri Dennisimo!

The Maestro turns 49 today! (Well okay, a number which rhymes with 49).

Dennis, many happy returns and all good wishes for the coming year!

The Maestro in Austria during the World Helicopter Championships

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-2ARwSnNGCAs/ToqHXwLUJKI/AAAAAAAAFJ8/TxXVVrbAhi4/G-BYKF%252520North%252520Weald%25252023%252520May%25252004%252 520%252528Jo%252520Hunter%252529.jpg
Dennisimo displaying G-BYKF at North Weald on 23rd May 2004 (Photo: Jo Hunter)

The Maestro with scholarship winner Georgie Dixon

Two Jags Dezza! :E

Dennisimo's Jaguars

“I acquired 1 DRK through a private advert in the Sunday Telegraph in 1972,” says Dennis. “I bought it from a lovely blonde lady in Ilfracombe for £250. I always have a little smile when I think back on that special occasion!”

"The striking combination of great registration and E-Type Jaguar has even caught the eye of the boys in blue. One Sunday afternoon, I was driving past Kenley Airfield in Surrey, when a police car coming the other way stopped me. I wondered what on earth I'd done. The police driver wound down his window and called out, ‘Excuse me Sir, I just wanted to have a drool!’"

“I purchased the E-type new in 1970 as an ex-demonstrator. It is a 1969 ‘One and a Half’ convertible model, serial E2054. It is still virtually as new and absolutely original. Many are the times I've been told ‘I bet you’ve pulled some girls in that car’. My standard reply was .. ‘They’re not rust patches down the side of the bonnet: they’re conquest notches!’.”

“I have taught quite a few motoring racers in my time” Dennis recalls. “The late Barry Sheene, God bless him; the 1986 F1 world champion Alan Jones, who I was with when he won the USA Formula One Grand Prix in the car park of Ceasars Palace in Las Vegas! Also Jonathan Palmer and the rally man, Tony Pond. Even Mark Thatcher, who bought his Bell Jet Ranger from my company.”

Dennisimo is keen on the saying "You're as old as the woman you feel" and I'm wondering, with the various references to the opposite sex, whether you have any Italian blood in you Dennis! Lol!

Anyway for your appreciation of the fairer sex and for your spirited flying you may consider yourself an honorary Italian! ;)

Some birthday nostalgia:

Do you remember this ship, G-BALE. First delivered to Patrick Everard of Ratcliffe Hall Leicestershire in January '73 and then onto OATS in October '75. From OATS she went to Reynard Racing Cars prior to ending-up with John Woodhouse under who's patronage she perished.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-iKj0pF-swL0/ToqK-xJOQnI/AAAAAAAAFKk/EpFtUY5ejMA/F28%252520OATS%252520Kidlington%25252029%252520Jun%25252078% 252520%252528Peter%252520Nicholson%252529.jpg
F28-A G-BALE belonging to OATS at Kidlington as seen on 29th June 1978 (Photo: Peter Nicholson)

Another old flame may have been G-BASV. Bought by Spooner in '73 then on to Michael Hughes of Beaconsfield later the same year. Then she went to Quantel Ltd, next to Margaret Adelaide and finally, as with BALE above, to OATS (CSE) who managed to finish her off!

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-tuFWCpIFG_g/ToqRPTn0TjI/AAAAAAAAFLE/DYRKSN0pOhE/F28A%252520Booker%2525201975%252520%252528Peter%252520Ashton %252529.jpg
F28-A G-BASV at Booker in 1975 (Photo: Peter Ashton)

I have to drop in this image (below) from 1977 at Biggin Hill (taken on the day I first met you) when you were flying the ubiquitous G-BENO from whence the Colonel dervied his 'Dennis the Menace' nickname.

Dennis is observed bowing his head (see below) just prior to commencing his display. Word is that he was reciting one of his pre-display prayers which went something like this: "Dear God please let me perform an outstanding f**king display, one that will attract the attention of the most gorgeous girl in the crowd so that she will feel compelled to come and look me up when I'm done. I'll treat her right - I promise!"

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-_26yYeLqoMc/ToqK-oj8WCI/AAAAAAAAFKg/znR6yVW1l-o/s720/Biggin%252520Hill%25252014%252520May%25252077%252520%252528P eter%252520Nicholson%252529.jpg
The Menace about to commence his trademark performance at Biggin Hill on 14 May 1977 (Photo: Peter Nicholson) ps: In those days the Kenyon used to pick-up a bucket of water with the left skid prior to performing his pirouettes!

And finally, the Maestro in action in September last year:


Question: The Menace would have been 48 (or a number which rhymes with 48) when performing the above display. How many people do you imagine are delivering such performances at this age? Precious few one imagines. Bravo Dennis! :ok:

Ah Dennis, all the best for a great day.



4th Oct 2011, 09:38
The nostalgic thing about the top picture is the Bedford truck like the one my dear late dad drove in the fifties, sad he did not live to enjoy my heli adventures!

8th Oct 2011, 09:50
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-Maq5aNk6VlA/TpAXwNIXdsI/AAAAAAAAFL8/Q7P-8g-Qd1w/s558/Whirlwind%252520HAS.22%252520%252528WV222%252529%252520an%25 2520Westland%252520Whirlwind%252520HAS3%252520helicopters%25 2520%252528XG580%252520525%25252C%252520XG576%252520526%2525 20and%252520XG582%252520529%252529%252520of%252520705%252520 Squadron%252520RNAS%252520Ford%2525201957.jpg
Whirlwind HAS22 (WV222) with Westland Whirlwind HAS3 helicopters (XG580 525, XG576 526 and XG582 529) of 705 Squadron at RNAS Ford in 1957

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-k4_TMEhtP4Y/TpAXwbe3ihI/AAAAAAAAFL4/XVUJlto6Dyk/s800/Westland%252520Dragonfly%252520HR3%252520%252528WS-51%252529%252520B-984%252520aboard%252520a%252520RN%252520carrier%252520in%252 520Copenhagen%252520harbour%2525201950%252520%252528Flemming %252520Fogh%252529.jpg
Westland Dragonfly HR3 (WS-51) B-984 aboard a Royal Navy carrier in Copenhagen harbour in 1950 (Photo: Flemming Fogh)

8th Oct 2011, 10:09
..... and XG576 became G-AYNP "Cygnus" with Bristow in the early 70's. Photo in Savoia's post #882.

12th Oct 2011, 22:46
Dear all,

In advent of showing Pan Am tv series, I watched the trailer below

Pan Am - Trailer - YouTube

and shows an S-58 and trying to rack my brains to what choppers they flew through the decades. I recall they flying Bell 222, Westland WG.30 in the 80s but can anyone else shed light what else they flew?


14th Oct 2011, 10:46
For those not averse to a bit of a read, I offer the following piece and would be immensely grateful if those with a better understanding of all things Bell would be interested in contributing any comments, corrections or informed opinions where appropriate.

Bell Helicopter: A Potted History

For thee decades Bell Helicopter created products which defined an industry and, in the process, established themselves as a dynamic manufacturer with a reputation for delivering reliable rotorcraft. By 1970, after the successful launch of the last of the 'Three Great Bells' sales of Bell products seemed unstoppable - Bell was at the top of the pile, was the name on everyone's lips and were an aviation force to be reckoned with. From these heady days emerged a renewed commitment to their XV-3 project and which effort took the form of the XV-15, a development which was to usher in a new breed of rotorcraft and take the helicopter further and faster than it had ever been before.

But, and with the exception of the aforementioned tilt-rotor endeavour, Bell's residence at the crest of rotary ingenuity and market dominance was to wane as the influence of the Three Great Bells gave way to the efforts of competitors and Bell, perhaps affronted by the 'audacity' of others to tread where they had once flown, found themselves in more pedestrian times and which seems to have lasted as long as their initially encountered success.

The Three Great Bells

Bell's legacy was built on their creation of three supremely successful designs, the Bell 47 (1946), the Bell 204 (1956) and the Bell 206 (1966). Each of these aircraft pioneered important aspects of early rotary-wing operations, each were commercial triumphs and each became icons of the industry.
"By the autumn of 1941, Arthur M Young had been testing helicopter scale-models on his farm in Pennsylvania for some thirteen years. After this period of research, many failures and his big breakthrough with the invention of the stabiliser bar, Young had perfected a design that would appeal to a manufacturer. Young's first attempts at interesting aircraft companies in his machine met with little enthusiasm until one of his friends visited Bell's factory. This led to an appointment for a demonstration on 3 September, 1941. Larry Bell and Arthur Young reached an agreement in due course and, on 24 November, 1941, Young and his assistant, Bart Kelley, arrived at Bell to supervise the initial building of two prototypes as specified in the contract. On 23 June, 1942, Young and his team (some fifteen people) were installed in an old Chrysler agency and garage in Gardenville, a suburb of Buffalo. Dave Forman was assigned to supervise the project."

The result of the Young-Bell alliance was that Bell agreed to fund the production of a number of full-scale prototypes (designated the Bell 30) the first of which NX41860 had an open cockpit, an enclosed fuselage and a fixed three-wheel landing gear. The craft was powered by a 178hp Franklin piston engine which drove a two-bladed main rotor and a two-bladed (anti-torque) tail rotor. It was only the third helicopter to fly in America.

The Bell 30 during a test flight and from which the Model 47 was to emerge

From the Bell 30 emerged the model 47 which was certified on 8th March 1946 and went on to become the world's first commercially successful helicopter. By the end of the year Bell had delivered its first examples of the 'YR-13 [later H-13] Sioux' to the US Army and from there the model 47 went on to achieve worldwide popularity with close to 6,000 examples being produced. Among the 47's numerous achievements were an altitude record of 18,550 ft, the first flight of a helicopter over the Alps and non-stop distance record of 1,217 miles between Hurst, Texas to Buffalo, New York.

Bell's refinement of the original Model 30 into what became the 47 was to reveal one of their key traits - namely their ability to apply often substantial improvements to tested designs and which process resulted in the development of highly capable products. This technical 'morphing' resulted in some 18 variations of the Bell 47 as well as the larger 47J Ranger.
A full decade after the certification of the 47 the Bell 204 was to make its maiden flight on 22nd October 1956. The model 204 had been developed in response to a US Army requirement published the previous year for a casevac and utility helicopter. The 204 was, much like its predecessor, of ground breaking design this time offering substantially greater performance over the model 47 Ranger (its closest relative) thanks largely to its 'revolutionary' Lycoming turboshaft engine.

"The US Army's first order was for three prototypes for testing, under the designation XH-40, the type having the H-40 designation allocated to it at that time to identify it in the USAF helicopter category. The first of these prototypes made its first flight on 22 October 1956, and these were used by Bell for their test program. Just before the first flight, six examples of the pre-production YH-40 were ordered by the USAF, all being delivered by August 1958. One remained with Bell, but the remainder were distributed one each to Eglin AFB and Edwards AFB, and three to Fort Rucker, for trials. Duly ordered into production, nine of the definitive pre-production HU-1A were delivered on 30 June 1959, and were followed into service by 74 production examples, of which 14 went to the Army Aviation School at San Diego. The latter aircraft had dual controls and were used as instrument trainers. First major use overseas was with the 55th Aviation Company in Korea, and HU-1As were among the first US Army helicopters to operate in Vietnam."

The XH-40, later to become the 'Huey' makes its maiden flight on 22nd October 1956

The 'Huey' as it was to become known (derived from the 204's original 'HU-1' military designation) did not fail to benefit from Bell's morphing process from which numerous variants were developed including the larger 205 series. The type became synonymous with the Vietnam War, was embraced as an icon of the military helicopter and debuted Bell's trademark 'whop' - the distinctive sound created by the Huey's two-bladed rotor.

The Huey's success was almost unfathomable with the type becoming the the light/medium utility workhorse of the industry resulting in the production (all variants) of more than 16,000 units. Bell had arrived.
While busy churning-out Hueys by the hundred, Bell received another request from the US Army, this time for a Light Observation Helicopter (LOH). The requirement was fielded among a string of manufacturers including Bell, Hiller and Hughes who were the final three contestants. Bell's proposal, the D-250, was endorsed (along with Hiller's) at the design phase but failed to make the grade when it came to the 'fly off' which took place between Bell's redesignated entrant the YOH-4A, Fairchild-Hiller's YOH-5A and Hughes Aircraft's YOH-6A.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-RAp9BXDINns/TpgK6MAO1FI/AAAAAAAAFPQ/tiMw5TIQ9XE/s800/Task%252520Force%252520Whirlwind%252520group%252520YOH%25252 04%25252C%2525205%25252C%252520and%2525206%252520Hunter%2525 20Leggett%252520May%25252018%2525201964.jpg
L-R: Bell's 'Ugly Duckling' YOH-4, Hiller's YOH-5 and Hughes Aircraft's YOH-6A lined up at the US Army Camp, Fort Hunter Liggett. In the foreground are the members of 'Task Force Whirlwind' the group who were responsible for evaluating each of the LOH contestants. Photo taken on 18th May 1964

Bell's response to this failure was to apply their now well-honed morphing skills to the YOH-4 prototype in an attempt to develop a product for the civilian market. Less than a year after their failure at the LOH trials Bell had transformed their 'Ugly Duckling' into the sleeker all-new model 206 which made its maiden flight on 10th January 1966. It was to become one of the most successful civilian helicopters ever produced with over 7,000 examples delivered and a fleet time in excess of 50 million hours. Bell had arrived - again.

The End of an Era

It was at the apex of their ride of glory (from the late 60's to the mid-to-late-70's) that Bell made some questionable choices the results of which were to unravel their well woven success.

With endless Huey's continuing to roll out of the factory for defence forces the world over and with 206's filling the skies with profusion, Bell's confidence was bulging at the seams and it was little wonder therefore that the company which was now such a rotary-wing force began targeting the heavier market which had largely been served by Bell's kinsman rival, Sikorksy.
But it was this ambition, in the form of the 214ST, which was to herald the beginning of a series of Bell-blunders relating to the civilian market from which I sometimes wonder if they ever recovered. The 214ST, though aimed at the offshore and heavier utility markets, was spawned by a funded requirement from the Iranian government which, once jeopardised, forced Bell to reconsider the 214ST's future. It was at this point that Bell, in my view, could have looked more closely at the difference in demand between their original customer's requirements and the markets they now intended to penetrate, and which they did, but - it was in their analysis that I tend to believe they may have misjudged the market.

"The 214ST was originally designed specifically for production in Iran with development funded by the Iranian Imperial government. An interim prototype was built by Bell in 1977, introducing two 1,625 shp General Electric CT7 engines and incorporating a stretched and widened fuselage. Construction of three definitive ST prototypes began in 1978 but the fall of the Shah in 1979 forced Bell to rethink the original military transport plan, and to re-launch the aircraft with their own funding as a 7,938kg gross weight commercial helicopter produced at Fort Worth."

Bell's devotion to their two-bladed recipe was a hindrance which may well have cost the 214ST its success in that while the type also suffered from non-rotor-related issues the perception among many was that the retention of the two-bladed format sought to borrow credibility from the goodwill earned by the undisputed performance of the 214ST's hardworking smaller sister, the Huey. The two-bladed format had reached its zenith and there was curiosity as to where Bell would go next ... a 30 seat two-blader perhaps?

As it was the 214ST had a blade chord to rival the Chinook and designers knew that with a growth in AUW there was always going to be a problem (in terms of dynamic loads) from trying to swing around two massively heavy paddles as opposed to several smaller (and crucially lighter) ones. The result was that the 214ST was Bell's first substantial commercial failure.

Stirrings Across the Atlantic

By the mid-70's, abundantly aware of Bell's resounding success with the 206, Aérospatiale were working on their answer to the JetRanger, the Ecureuil, which first flew on 26th June 1974. At the same time Bell was developing the 206L LongRanger which, as with her smaller sister, would prove to be a success - but the launch of the Ecureuil had sounded the death knell for the JetRanger even if it was to take the better part of two decades to achieve.

Speculation suggests that Bell's response to the Ecureuil was one of confidence (some suggest complacency) based on their belief in the 'superior' qualities of the LongRanger (with its 'Nodamatic' suspension) combined with the faithful subscription of satisfied Bell customers to the 206 series. Perhaps it was hard in those mid-to-late-70's, with 206 orders pouring in by the day, to perceive that this French manifestation possessed the potential to eradicate the 206's seemingly endless appeal?

A Hand on the Tiller

Protective of the immense success of its Huey product Bell did however display adamancy in sustaining this marque at the fore of her field. Two crucial developments kept the Huey alive; firstly, and hot on the heels of the launch of the 206, was the release of a twin variant, the 212, in response to a Canadian Armed Forces requirement and which development enabled Bell to successfully compete among sections of the offshore market. The second development was Bell's perception in recognising the benefits of replacing the two-bladed rotor with something more efficient and which resulted in the 412. Together these initiatives would see the Huey fly into the 21st century thus securing its place as the world's most popular helicopter.
For me personally one of the more surprising responses to one of Bell's developments was the 222. In my mind the 222 should have been a resounding success fed by Bell's legion of satisfied single-engine clients but, as we know, this was not to be.

"The first of five prototypes of the Model 222, described as the first commercial light twin-engined helicopter to be built in the USA, flew for the first time on 13 August 1976. FAA certification for a Model 222 in preproduction configuration was received on 16 August 1979. The production 222 received approval for VFR operation on 20 December, and the first delivery, to Petroleum Helicopters Inc, was made on 16 January 1980. FAA certification for single-pilot IFR operations in Category I weather conditions was granted on 15 May 1980. A Model 222 delivered to Omniflight Helicopters on 18 January 1981 was the 25,000th Bell helicopter built. Another became a flying testbed for Bell's Model 680 rotor system. Production ceased in 1989."

The 222's launch to market (1980) was perfectly timed, intentional or otherwise, in that the progression towards twins in the corporate world was underway and many of those preparing to upgrade were Bell customers. The 222 provided a viable contrast to the Agusta 109 and an alternative for those wanting something smaller than an S76. But, the craft was let down by the initially poor performance its Lycoming engines and by generally high maintenance costs including those relating to the Nodal suspension system.

The failure of the 222 made it easier for Aérospatiale's 355 model to flourish and provided impetus to the ongoing refinement of Agusta's 109 series. In the process Bell lost out on a formidable slice of an important market, a market they had dominated for over a decade.


If the 214ST and 222 did not classify as anomalies, the former reaching only 100 units of production and the latter 240, then the 206LT TwinRanger certainly was with just 13 examples delivered between 1994 and 1997 and one can be forgiven for wondering where Bell's strategy and marketing team had gone when this (and other) projects were tabled!

In a similar vein, and in more recent times, one might question the viability of the 427 and whether the sales achieved warranted the expenditure invested and then there were those which never reached production including the 400 TwinRanager and the militarised TexasRanger.

In the End

Bell was a company which literally changed the way people flew. Like many, I grew up surrounded by Bells, was taught on Bells and went on to fly Bells during my stint as a professional pilot. They were reliable, practical aircraft. Bell's products were used across three decades to pioneer almost every form of helicopter operation and have flown from the frozen seas of Antarctica to the dusty deserts of the Sahara and just about everywhere in between.

Bell have sustained themselves with defence contracts, with their brave tilt-rotor technology and in supporting their impressive global population but their presence within those sections of the civilian market they once dominated has been steadily diminishing. Given the success of the 206 series its seems incredulous that Bell were unable to capture the light-twin market and one can only sympathise with their efforts in the shape of the 222, TwinRanger and 427. Perhaps the 429 will triumph where its predecessors failed?

Bell were also unable to penetrate the heavy market relying on their 'get out of jail' card, the trusty Huey (in the form of the 412) to represent them in the medium sector and the 407 to run against the Ecureuil in the single market. When the BA139 emerged I thought "well done" - the type seemed a natural successor to the Huey/412 .. but then Bell pulled-out of the project.

These days Bell are talking more about their commitment to the civilian market but, and especially in the light-twin market, they find themselves doing so from the outside looking in - a predicament few of us would have perceived possible in the 70's.

With European manufacturers having refined their skills and offering a comprehensive array of capable products Bell will find it harder than ever to reassert their influence in the civilian market but, a good (reliable, capable and economic) or revolutionary product will always create a market for itself. The question remains .. will Bell once again create such a product for the civilian market?



15th Oct 2011, 09:12
Westland Gazelle SA341G G-BCHM, owned by Westland Helicopters, at Battersea Heliport in 1977 (Photo: Anton Heumann)

Plank Cap
16th Oct 2011, 14:31
Longside, Peterhead, mid 1980s. The airfield was at the time operated by Bond Helicopters Aberdeen, and PLM used to drop in for fuel from time to time. G-BDBR in distinctive plum colours complete with load lifting tackle bolted on. If memory serves PLUM was also their call sign.



16th Oct 2011, 21:51
Thanks for the birthday wishes Savvers ... and I'm admitting it ... the big 'Eight O' arrives next year! So as I'm rambling, just to say I surely worshipped the wonderful John Crewdson who in the 1970s after I left Royal Air Force planking ... showed me so much of the rotary world. As time allows, I'm putting together a story of his incredible career. But don't try to land at landing pad he used for 'The Prisoner' series. The hotel have installed a swimming pool on the site although the charismatic JC would no doubt have found enough space for a B105's skids. The concrete boat remains firmly cemented to the wharf tho.' ... and if you're looking for a quaint 'weekend away' hotel, Portmeiron does nicely!

The birthday pic in blue was taken on the balcony of a hotel in France by the River Meuse while overnighting on my way to the 2002 WHC in Aigen. I've added more than a few little laughter lines since then! ... And I've been a 'Jag Man' since the 70s so I guess if the blood was Italian, I'd own Ferraris. Thanks anyway Savoia for the honorary club membership.

Not sure why I'm looking down in G-BENO but I like your 'saying a prayer' idea. You might be interested to know it can work ... cos a couple of years later at a Fairoaks Air Show, I was introduced to a female helicopter fan. We married the same year!

And knowing you're a stickler for accuracy, just to say G-BALE was sold to TONY Everard, who with fellow Enstrom owner Cy Rose, was a founder member of the HCGB. Tony Everard conveniently ran the Everard Brewery.

Now here's an idea ... there's surely enough 'nostalgia fans' on here to have a COF boozy get together some how, somewhere. Who's up for it?

Safe flying to all out there and guys, please keep this wonderful thread going. Dennis Kenyon.

18th Oct 2011, 17:19
Have just read this thread from start to finish - wonderful stuff! I gained my rotary licence in 1985 on F-28A G-BALE, mentioned on an earlier page, buying blocks of hours from Adrian Reynard and being taught by the late and much lamented Hugh Colquhoun. If anyone wants to see it I can muster a pic of Brantly B2B G-WASP (my second Brantly) which I co-owned in the early nineties, joining the other two owners when it was more or less a shell and a box of bits in the back of a hangar. Little did I know we had a five-year task ahead of us, including one or more trips to the US for parts, but CSE Engineering (inc the redoubtable Arthur Thurley) got it airborne in the end.

Sadly school fees and a growing business then curtailed my rotary wing flying, though I have continued to fly a plank. For the past six months I've been thinking I might revert and buy an F280 Shark, so if anyone knows of a really good one, please advise. I've looked at a couple, (at least one of which appears on this thread) but not gone ahead for various reasons.

18th Oct 2011, 19:43
Runnerbean, welcome back! :D

I commend your effort in reading the entire thread ... phew! I actually trawled through it the other day to up-date the index which I plan to post if and when page 50 appears. Yes, there's certainly a lot of interesting stuff here and .. plenty more out there which we are waiting to see come in.

Please do 'muster a pic' of G-WASP. To spur you on I'm posting what's available through the Air-Britain collection (below). Please do relay any stories you have from your days with WASP.

Didn't know Arthur Thurley but I am sure there are those here who may have.

If you are looking at returning to rotary-wing why not PM the venerable Dennis Kenyon (also a former Brantly B2 owner). What he doesn't know about the F280 series isn't worth knowing and he would doubtless be able to steer you in the right direction regarding any good 'deals' which might be around. As you know, its a buyers market at present. If your budget is a little thin then you could always look at shared ownership as indeed you did before. From what I've heard, co-ownership with a genuine friend seems to work better than groups of three, four or more.

Btw, Dennis also has some history with G-BALE.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-oq4wLn_rKAc/Tp3PREYyGYI/AAAAAAAAFUs/WXrQiemc7bc/s720/Brantly%252520B2B%252520RAF%252520Wyton%25252015%252520Jul%2 5252084%252520%252528Derek%252520Heley%252529.jpg
Brantly B-2B G-WASP as seen at RAF Wyton on 15th July 1984 (Photo: Derek Heley)

A brief run-down on WASP's history:

Began life as G-ASXE in 1964 when imported to the UK by the Brantly distributor; BEAS. Bought by Freeman's of Bewdley in 1968 and then on to Sims Automatics of Glasgow in 1976. The following year she was registered to Donald and Elizabeth McGillivray and a Mr Walter Glen t/a Wester Air (Scotland).

Ahh de Havilland wrote on the Alan Mann thread: Wasp was headed by Don McGillivray and operated G-CHIC Hughes 269 in addition to G-WASP, G-BUZZ & G-WOSP. Don also had a Campbell Cricket (G-AYHH) which was replaced by G-WASP. G-CHIC was regn to Wasp on 31.7.79 but crashed soon after on 13.11.79 near Betws-y-Coed when it struck trees shortly after t/o. Wasp were based to quote Flight in a small hangar behind an industrial estate in north Glasgow, and all the aircraft were regn to the same Glasgow address as Sims Automations so there may be a financial link.

From West Air/Wasp Helicopters she went on to serve with a number of private owners including yourself.

18th Oct 2011, 22:16
OK, I'll get that pic off the loo wall in the next day or two and scan it - we repainted the aircraft in the same colour scheme as G-AWDU but retaining the black and yellow base colours. We sold it to Nigel Minchin who also had B2B G-AVIP (ex Keith Duckworth). I think Nigel's theory was that if he had two Brantlys, at any given moment there was a sporting chance that one might be airworthy. Don't know how that theory panned out. I seem to remember that, like Dennis, he also had a Jaguar E-Type Series 1.5 with a 3 x 1 reg no.

I have met Dennis on a number of occasions (a collection of clocks at Booker springs to mind) and flew with him as pax once in a Jet Ranger at Biggin - I doubt he will remember - he did what I suspect was a favourite party trick by autorotating it onto the ground and then lifting it off again on the remaining blade inertia and doing a 180.

20th Oct 2011, 06:07
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-4KDyYRgNqFY/Tp-3c3ywutI/AAAAAAAAFXI/dSFG-I16xJs/s640/HR%252520B206%252520VH-FHZ%252520Antarctica%252520c.%2525201970%252520%252528Robert %252520Reeves%252529.jpg
Helicopter Resources Bell 206B VH-FHZ in the Antarctic c. 1980's (Photo: Robert Reeves)

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-96n4SBqacdk/Tp-3c3retgI/AAAAAAAAFXM/yqngCVuJHe8/s565/Jet%252520Ranger%25252C%252520Hobart%252520Domain%25252C%252 520Tasmania%25252C%252520October%2525201969%252520Russ%25252 0Ashton.jpg
Agusta-Bell 206A (operator unknown) at Hobart Domain, Tasmania, in October 1969 (Photo: Russ Ashton) Any details relating to this image including the operator and registration would be appreciated

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-spwTSjgbvDQ/Tp-3eOxMwoI/AAAAAAAAFXQ/-D5eybMZdeI/s640/Kiowa%252520Caboolture%25252C%252520Aus%25252029%252520Mar%2 5252006%252520%252528Bert%252520van%252520Drunick%252529.jpg
Bell Kiowa at Caboolture on 29th March 2006 (Photo: Bert van Drunick)

More Aussie JetRangers on pages 41 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-41.html) and 43 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-43.html).


20th Oct 2011, 07:00
Hi Sav,

It could be Bristow's G-AWIL AB206A 8049 4/68 to VH-BHV 8/68 or G-AWIM AB206A 8050 4/68 to VH-BHW 8/68, these two moved to Australia.


John Eacott
20th Oct 2011, 09:43
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-96n4SBqacdk/Tp-3c3retgI/AAAAAAAAFXM/yqngCVuJHe8/s565/Jet%252520Ranger%25252C%252520Hobart%252520Domain%25252C%252 520Tasmania%25252C%252520October%2525201969%252520Russ%25252 0Ashton.jpg
Agusta-Bell 206A (presumably Bristow?) at Hobart Domain, Tasmania, in October 1969 (Photo: Russ Ashton) Any clues as to this ship's registration would be appreciated

Unlikely to be Bristow: not their colours, and unusual for them to have anything to do with a Jettie in Tassie :hmm:

It's possibly Airfast: maybe even Vowells although not their colours either.

Nigel Osborn
21st Oct 2011, 08:02
FHZ could not be c.1970 as Helicopter Resources didn't form till 1985 when Bill English of Vowells bought Rotor Services, Darwin, & Hookway Aviation, Hobart. The new name came from a company ballot.
The 206A wasn't a local 206 plus that doesn't look like the Hobart Domain as in 1967 the grass was nicely mowed & I don't recall a concrete cricket pitch!!

21st Oct 2011, 08:31
Ah well, how some photos are labelled these days beggars belief! If however one can ascertain accurate details .. all the better.

Re: the Tasman 206; If I remember rightly the initial batch of eight 206's delivered by Agusta to Bristows in 1967 (three in March and five in August) were all pale blue in colour.

industry insider
21st Oct 2011, 08:39
Indeed Sav,

Bristow Bell 206s were all light blue until the advent of the red white and blue colour scheme. The 206 in the picture does look very like the light blue BHL colour scheme of the late 60s.

21st Oct 2011, 10:03
Look at post #887 on this thread :8

21st Oct 2011, 10:15
S61-S92 wrote: Look at post #887 on this thread

Agusta-Bell 206A JetRanger VH-BHW at Jandakot Airfield, WA, in 1970. This craft was originally G-AWIM (the 18th 206 on the British register) but was transferred to Bristow's Aussie ops in 1968 (Photo: Peter Rye)

Yes I did think of VH-BHW (and this may well be the craft given that Wigan has also mentioned her) but .. the Bristow name is missing on the Tassie photo and, presumably, this would have been on there before she was shipped-out to Aus?

21st Oct 2011, 12:09
Mmmmm ...

Vowell Air Services IIRC only had 2 B206A (converted to 'B' spec.) machines (VH-AAL & VH-PMR) up until about 1978 when VH-FJC (a 206B) then joined the fold ....

I'm sure there were probably others after 1982 ... but by then the desire to operate the AS350 machines became the flavour as the H500 were disposed of ... Sk76 arrived for the Antarctic contracts etc etc ...

Ahhh the "good ol' days" :D

21st Oct 2011, 13:51
Vowell Air Services Hughes 500C VH-BAG at Bankstown in May 1970 (Photo: Greg Banfield)

VH-BAG at Jandakot in May 1971 (Photo: Geoff Goodall)

VH-BAG was registered to Vowell Air Services on 11 Feb 1970, before going on to other owners. Like its stable mate, VH-BAD, it was used in Antarctica and took part in the 1986-87 Scientific Expedition to Heard Island (The third chopper used in this expedition was VH-HED).

Despite a rather serious crash in New Guinea in 1988 (where it failed to clear a 9,500 ft saddle), it was obviously repaired, since it was sold in February 1993 to New Zealand where it became ZK-HIA. Its last Australian owner was Masling Rotor Wings of Cootamundra.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-2qCeLZAzO9A/TqF1YmxWTjI/AAAAAAAAFdE/j1PbTKA-fQk/s840/B206B%252520III%252520VH-FHV%252520Perth%252520Jandakot%2525201981%252520%252528Sid%2 52520Nanson%252529.jpg
Vowell Air Services B206B III VH-FHV at Perth Jandakot in 1981 (Photo: Sid Nanson)

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-YTcgIWvQflU/TqF1Z0IABGI/AAAAAAAAFdI/_25Nfj7g7jA/s720/VAS%252520206%252527s%252520Port%252520Hedland%25252027%2525 20Jul%25252083%252520%252528Wal%252520Nelowkin%252529.jpg
Vowell Air Services Bell 206's VH-PMO and VH-PMR at Port Hedland on 27th July 1983 (Photo: Wal Nelowkin)

Masling Rotor & Wing. I have a feeling they used to be the Aussie Hughes distributor?

21st Oct 2011, 18:24
Anyone have any stories about private/corporate Dragonfly/S-51s from the late 40's onwards? And especially when the last one would have flown?
Stories and memories are probably hard to come by these days but you never know.

22nd Oct 2011, 00:00
Mmmm ...

.. Masling Rotor & Wing. I have a feeling they used to be the Aussie Hughes distributor?

I seem to remember REX Aviation being the Hughes distributor ... but then it was so long ago .... I could be wrong :ugh:

Whatever .... somewhere in the attic I have some pics of VH-FJC on duty at Thursday Island in the Torres Straits '78-80 .... I shall try to get my act together!! :rolleyes:

22nd Oct 2011, 05:46

As you've probably seen, there's not much out there on the fifty or so Westland-built civilian Dragonflys. If you do happen upon any interesting information please do share it with us.

In the meantime ..

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-39qeTJKWAok/TqJQ2IjNR1I/AAAAAAAAFeY/7kFK4pehh6M/s860/WS-51%252520Mk1A%252520Manchester%252520Ringway%25252023%252520 Aug%25252051%252520%252528RA%252520Scholefield%252529.jpg
Westland WS-51 Dragonfly Mk1A G-ALIK at Manchester's Ringway on 23rd August 1951. Westland's demonstrator making the second visit of a helicopter to Manchester's Ringway. It gave demonstration flights to local dignitaries. Later rebuilt as a Widgeon and re-registered G-APPS (Photo and notes courtesy of celebrated Airliners photographer, RA Scholefield)

A pair of BEA Dragonflys (Sadly, no further details)

Westland WS-51 Dragonfly HR3 B-983 aboard a British carrier in Copenhagen Harbour in the mid-50's (Photo: Flemming Fogh)

This craft was fitted with a Sproule net used to scoop aircrew out of the sea. Christ would doubtless have been pleased at this literal application of his instruction to be fishers of men! Another image of this Dragonfly on the previous page (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-46.html).

The R-5 but I think you might find it interesting


23rd Oct 2011, 21:48
Even an R-4 with no wheels in that video, very odd. And 17 people "on" an R-5 ! wonder what health and safety would make of that.

24th Oct 2011, 14:13
And 17 people "on" an R-5. Wonder what health and safety would make of that!
This was back in the days when the elves and their over-developed sense of safety were nowhere to be seen - t'was the age of freedom of innocence!

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-jzQq_GDCoqM/TqVqv_Yc0JI/AAAAAAAAFgM/Q8cp0kNNcqs/s640/B2%252520G-ATFH%252520Cloucester%252520Staverton%25252011%252520Jun%252 5201966%252520%252528John%252520Black%252529%2525202.jpg
Brantly B-2B G-ATFH at Gloucester's Staverton Airport on 11th June 1966 (Photo: John Black)

Imported by BEAS in '65 then sold to Roger Woodward (presumably his first craft) in '72 and the following year to Sydney Cole of Newport Pagnell. In '75 she was sold to CW Udale Plant Ltd under whose patronage she perished on 10th April 1976.

An excerpt from the accident report reads:





More Brantlys in Britain on pages: 16 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-16.html)-20 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-20.html) & 44 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-44.html)-45 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-45.html)

25th Oct 2011, 12:52
Chopper 2004 wrote: Dear all, In advent of showing Pan Am TV series, I watched the trailer belowand shows an S-58 and trying to rack my brains to what choppers they flew through the decades. I recall they flying Bell 222, Westland WG.30 in the 80s but can anyone else shed light what else they flew?


I cannot think of any additional types employed in the Pan Am shuttle service of the 1980's.

As you know, Pan Am outsourced this activity to Omniflight Helicopters (the outfit founded in 1962 by Dan Parker, grandson of George Parker the founder of the Parker Pen Company).

Pan Am offered a shuttle service between East 60th Street's 'Manhattan Heliport' and New York's three main airports, namely: JFK, Newark and La Guardia. The shuttle was complimentary for First Class ticket holders.

The Pan Am shuttle service was probably the last New York airport-helicopter-shuttle service to operate until the arrival of US Helicopter in March 2006.

Onmiflight initially leased/purchased 4 Bell 222's to service their contract with Pan Am. Although I am not certain as to when Omniflight commenced these operations, I am fairly confident that it must be circa 1980.

An Omniflight Bell222A collects First Class passengers from New York's Newark Airport for the short hop to East 60th Street Heliport in Manhattan

Pan Am arranged for Omniflight's aircraft to access spaces at all New York's major airports which were adjacent to the stands of their arriving aircraft. Above, 222 No.3 awaits passengers at JFK

Bell 222 pair at the East 60th Street Heliport aka the Pan Am 'Metroport'. (This image taken from the 1983 movie 'Scarface').

In 1984 Omniflight leased 2 WG30's from Westland to add to the 222 fleet:


An Omniflight WG30-100 over Manhattan c.1984

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-zPDaZzg-mSA/TqaeqWerqQI/AAAAAAAAFiA/kpmlAey3jTc/s797/WG30-100%252520East%25252060th%252520St%252520HP%2525201%252520Ju l%25252086%252520%252528Bill%252520Hough%252529.jpg
Omniflight Westland WG30-100 at the East 60th Street Heliport (Pan Am Metroport) lifts into the hover on 1st July 1986, now wearing Pan Am's larger style letters in blue, to depart along the East River for New York's JFK Airport (Photo: Bill Hough)

Then in 1987 something happened which I remember reading about in Flight (article below) and which, at the time, I found astonishing given the severity of the FAA's judgements against Omniflight. Even if Omniflight were guilty of all these transgressions I was of the view that the FAA would have given them a short grace period to get their act together rather than shut them down overnight as it were.

However, there is doubtless a backstory to this event and which might help put things into perspective:


A piece of Pan Am heli-shuttle memorabilia:

Pan Am Shuttle Luggage Tag


FH1100 Pilot
25th Oct 2011, 15:42
RE: The Pan Am helicopter shuttle. I happened to be working at the time for Pan American World Services (PAWS), a subsidiary that had all the branding of Pan American World Airways without the benefits. PAWS ran the E60th Street "Metroport" and employed a much-younger me as a lineboy/driver/heliport operator (in that order).

The shuttle began, using Omniflight's 222's and later the WG-30's. It was going like gangbusters until the unfortunate day in September of 1982 when one of the pax wandered into the tail rotor of a running 222 while both pilots were belted into their seats. The passenger did not survive.

Subsequently, all of us who were working that day were summoned up to the (then) Pan Am Building for a meeting with (among others) Ed Acker, the airline's CEO. There was a lot of grimacing and tsk-tsk'ing about what a shame the accident was. PAWS people (I won't name names) assured Mr. Acker that everything had been done to prevent this accident, but it was "just one of those unfortunate things." Acker seemed to agree.

But me being Mr. Big Mouth (even back then), I meekly raised my hand and mentioned that we actually could have done better, because we hadn't given the passengers any kind of briefing.

There were some puzzled looks by the PAA people in the room. It was asked by someone very high up in their chain-of-command (Acker himself or possibly a lawyer) what type of briefing the passengers had prior to be let out on to the ramp with running helicopters; surely they were warned about the tail rotor? And then commenced a certain shuffling of feet and averted glances.

Admittedly, the FAR's only specify that passenger briefings be done prior to takeoff, not prior to boarding. PAWS personnel were not required to brief pax; if it was required by FAR then it was the pilot's responsibility. Omniflight was operating under the assumption it was a "91" (non-commercial) operation since the service was ostensibly "free."

It came out at that meeting that neither Omniflight nor Pan Am were doing *any* passenger briefings. The meeting did not end on a good note. Shortly afterward, big signs in multiple languages appeared in the passenger waiting areas, and pre-boarding briefings were instituted.

However, just down the East River at the 34th Street heliport (made infamous with the recent crash of that Bell 206 there), New York Helicopter (a distant, no-relation follow-on) of the original New York Airways) was running a similar "scheduled" service between Manhattan and the three New York area airports (primarily for TWA, which explains the red and white livery of NYH aircraft).

I left "Pan Am" and went to work for NYH as an SIC on the slow, clunky S-58ET. The Pan Am guys were always bragging about how fast their sleek, modern, retractable gear 222's were. Heh. We'd both leave Manhattan at the same time bound for JFK. As the 222 was touching down at the Pan Am Worldport, we'd be on short-final for the TWA (now JetBlue) terminal. On short legs, extra cruise speed doesn't count for much.

Good times.

The FAA ultimately said that Omniflight/PAWS had been running a 135 charter operation without, oh...ANY of the items (training, documentation, CERTIFICATE) that is required for such things. The service was then discontinued. Pan Am (the airline) never liked it all that much anyway. It was hugely expensive, and we never got the impression that the airline felt that it pumped up First Class bookings all that much. If anything, it was just an advertising thing.

FH1100 Pilot
25th Oct 2011, 16:03

One of New York Helicopters SA-360C Dauphins, N49533 ("New York 1"). It is painted up for a movie shoot which I believe was "The Soldier" so this had to be around 1981. The helicopter is on the ramp of Island Helicopters/New York Helicopters in Garden City, N.Y. You can still see the red cloth interior. The "paint" was a rubberized material that came off under the stream of a high-pressure water hose. Notice the modular emergency floats.

25th Oct 2011, 16:57
FH1100, how wonderful to have an American on Nostalgia!

I have an abundance of North American nostalgia in the form of images but have never been inclined to post this material as I didn't think we had much of a following Stateside.

A couple of queries in case you know the answers: Do you recall when the shuttle service began - I'm assuming 1980. Also, did the aircraft use any special call signs?

Re: Omniflight .. my understanding is that they were a fairly respectable operator with a good track record in the Gulf. Was this the case as far as you are aware?

New York Helicopter .. yes, now it comes back to me. In fact they (and not Omniflight) would have been the final shuttle operator prior to the advent of US Helicopter. Do you known in which years they spooled-up and terminated operations? Also, do you have an image of one of more of the tail-dragger Dauphins in NHY's red and white livery? I would love to see that for old times sake! 'New York 1' .. lol .. what an excellent call sign! :ok:



25th Oct 2011, 19:03
Many thanks Savoia and FH1100 for that and I've watched the opening of The SOldier (having seen the ski chase shown during the motion picture BLue Jean Cop where Sam Elliotts character is watching The Soldier in the cinema where he lives!) and wasn't sure if the scene with the Dauphin was shot in Europe or States :cool:

I remember seeing pictures on Airliners.net and Helispot of New York Helicopter S-58T and SA360/365c

25th Oct 2011, 23:16
Sorry for posting in this thread, but could not find the link for new post.
I was looking on the web for any info on Allouette G-AWFY, when I came
across this forum. May I say how enjoyable it has been reading the posts.
In the late seventies and into the early ninties I was very interested in
crop spraying, and had a friend who was the manager at N Hutchings of
Edwinstowe in Nottinghamshie. I took photos of all thier machines including "AW". If any member of the group would like me to post or send
them PM with the photo's of any of the following helecopters, it would be my pleasure.
G-AWFY Allouette
G-AYTF J Ranger
G-AZRU J Ranger

All are in Crop Spraying fit, and G-AYTF was in the JPS black colour scheme.

John Layden.

26th Oct 2011, 05:37

A warm welcome to the Nostalgia Thread - great to have you with us!

I think I can safely say that we would love to see your images, especially given that several of the craft have previously featured on this thread.

Any commentary you can offer on the Hutchings operation would also be appreciated. Not quite the same as crop-spraying but my first commercial assignment was a three-year UN contract in East Africa spraying locust and quelea bird (the latter had to be sprayed at night!).

G-AYTF (known as "The Gay Dancer" or just "The Dancer") has special significance for me being that this was the aircraft I performed my first solo in (under the watchful eye of the late Antonio 'Nobby' Clarke). It was also the first (and only) craft in which I suffered an engine failure.



26th Oct 2011, 10:06
Dear Sav, thank you for your kind welcome.
My main aviation interest has always been helicopters, and in particular Crop Sprayers, as a young twenty year old in the mid seventies I would jump on my motorcycle camera slung on my back and head out to where they were working. There were several regular companies that worked this area (North Notts) at that time. Agricopters from Thruxton, N Huchhings from Edwinstowe, only ten miles from me, Farmwork Services from Metheringham in Lincolnshire, Miller's from Wickenby airport, primerrily stuck with Ag-Cats though, Linc's Aerial Spraying, Pawnee users, John Holburn Farm Helicopters from Grantham, and a couple of others from North Yorkshire.
Over the years I got to know one or two of the outfits very well, they would often allow me a ride up when the pilot had only half a tank to finnish off. N Hutchings was the main sprayers in this area with it being local, I got to know them very well and became friends with the manager of the company and the pilot. The manager was a chap called Chris ?? his surname just escapes me, and the pilot was a Kiwi by the name of Ross Harvey, Ross was Tragically killed in a sight seeing flight about fifteen years ago, his good friend Jamie Mckenzie (also a crop sprayer) was also killed in the same accident I believe, he flew with a company from Thirsk in North Yorkshire in the eighties.
Hutching first started using Helicopters in or around 1977, they started with a Hiller 12E. they bought Alouette G-AWFY in 1980 I think, they used this aircraft for around three years, it was sold on to Italy for a Alpine Medevac company, unfortunatly it was written off in an accident near Bergamo in Northern Italy not long afterwards. They then loaned G-AYTF for a season, this was resplendant in its JPS black colour scheme, it always looked out of its depth with the spraying gear attached, compared to its more glamourous usual commitments.
After G-AYTF went back they then took delivery of another Jet Ranger G-AZRU, this looked like a new machine very clean. they had this jet for only one season I think. Right up until the early nineties when the EU basically outlawed Aerial Crop Spraying Hutchings finnished of using a mixture of Bell 47's, hired in machines. At the time, all thier maintenance work was carried out by a company at East Midlands airport.
Looking at my old photo's brings the memories flooding back, they were good times, Chris being a motorcycle fan himself used to swap me a flight in the Heli for a ride on my bike, (not a bad swap I think), Ross would deviate off his return route to allow me to overfly my home, or any other landmark I wished to take photo's, a true gentleman.
Below I have included a couple of shots of "TF", I shall in due course upload the others, especially the Alouette G-AWFY, which has a special place in my heart.
Regards... John.

ps having difficulty inserting image, have not done this before
help would be most welcome.

26th Oct 2011, 12:34
John - Interesting stuff! Meanwhile ..


Presumably PLM's first 206, G-BAYA. Being a Bell model she was imported by CSE in '73 and sold to Provincial Helicopter Charter (who became Metropolitan Helicopter Hire) almost immediately. Then on to Goldington Investments and eventually PLM in February 1976.

Less than a year later on 11th January 1977 BAYA came to her demise during a filming sortie at Loch Avon in Invernessshire.

An excerpt from the accident report (http://www.aaib.gov.uk/cms_resources.cfm?file=/1-1978%20G-BAYA.pdf) reads:

The helicopter was on a daytime photographic flight in visual meteorological conditions (VMC) over the frozen surface of Loch Avon carrying a pilot and cameraman. It was in a slow acceleration at about 25 feet above the loch surface and at about 40 knots indicated airspeed (IAS) when suddenly a high rate of right yaw developed. After rotating through one and a half turns the helicopter crashed on to the loch. Both occupants survived and were rescued at 01:15 hrs on 12th January by a Royal Air Force (RAF) helicopter after and air and ground search.

The report concludes that although the main rotor had severed the helicopter’s tail rotor drive shaft at some time in the accident sequence it could not be shown that this was the cause of the loss of yaw control. The cause of the accident could not be determined.

More PLM nostalgia on pages 39 & 46 as well as page 7 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/443466-alan-mann-helicopters-nostalgia-thread-7.html) of the Alan Mann thread.

26th Oct 2011, 16:59
Here we Are Sav, I think I may have solved it.. John.




26th Oct 2011, 17:02
And the other Jet Ranger, G-AZRU..




26th Oct 2011, 17:55
Great stuff John, well done! :ok:

I have to say that seeing both of these craft fitted with spray gear is incongruous with my recollections of them! The Dancer was of course Colin Chapman's personal mount while AZRU used to carry about the late James Hanson (he who was once engaged to Audrey Hepburn)!

It seems as if Dennisimo sold the Dancer directly to Hutchings while AZRU was probably leased from Dollar?

Regarding Ross Harvey .. this name rings a bell. I have a feeling some of the Kiwis I worked with in PNG may have mentioned him and, if so, then it was most probably in connection with flying, either in the Antarctic or deer hunting back in NZ!

Keep the photos and stories coming.



26th Oct 2011, 20:23
Hi Savoia ... sorry ... G-AYTF wasn't sold to the Hitchings name. About July 1984 my firm Skyline at Wycombe Air Park sold it to Chris Tennant's new business. I remember December 1982 flying the dancer back direct from Colin Chapman's airfield at Hethel and seem to recall she was the first 206 I'd seen with the Collins 841H autopilot fitted. She spent the whole of the Christmas break parked in my garden on Mill Hill opposite Shoreham Airport. Skyline opened for business at Wycombe in January 1983. Regards to all.
Dennis Kenyon.

27th Oct 2011, 05:40
Morning Dennisk.

Thank you for that info, its nice to put these little pieces of imformation together, for me anyway.. Regards, John

27th Oct 2011, 06:34
Ciao Dennisimo!

Re: The Dancer, the records state:

1) Feb '71 - Douglas Bunn (Hickstead Jumping Grounds)
2) Jan '79 - Alan Mann
3) Sept '80 - Team Lotus (Colin Chapman)
4) Apr '83 - Skyline Helicopters
5) Sep '83 - Dennis Smith, Hawridge Court, Bucks
6) Jan '85 - Neville Hutchings, Mansfield, Notts

I assumed that Dennis Smith was perhaps one of the Slykine partners - either way from Dennis she seems (on the record at least) to have been sold straight to Hutchings!

.. and seem to recall she was the first 206 I'd seen with the Collins 841H autopilot fitted.
Followed just a couple of months later by another 206 you bought which also had a Collins 3 axis fitted .. G-TALY!

She spent the whole of the Christmas break parked in my garden on Mill Hill ..
And the next year the Colonel and I followed suit collecting G-TALY (now G-CSKY) before Chirstmas and returning her after the new year. In fact, that was the Colonel's last Christmas in the UK.

Island Helicopter Corp.

FH100, were Island the predecessor to NYH and do you recall these craft?

An Island Helicopters Bell 206L over New York (date unknown but presumably c. 1979)

An Island Helicopters SA360C N360CP refuells at East 34th Street Heliport in August 1979

27th Oct 2011, 15:50
Just expanding the thread a little more, here are a few shots of "FY".





27th Oct 2011, 17:14
This was my life before joining North Scottish in 1984.... Stinkin, Dirty, non romantic way of getting hours..... And SCARY AS ****...:eek:

27th Oct 2011, 18:21
Hi Griff,

Dont't put yourself down ,proper flying... mens work. John.

27th Oct 2011, 22:04
Hi again Savoia,

I didn't appreciate TF was at one time owned by Dennis Smith. I knew that Dennis well having purchased his DH Dove, (G-AHLB) or something like that in the mid 1970s. It was registered to Alarm Systems, Dennis' Smith's company. Dennis purchased an Enstrom, but sadly much later, he changed it for a Rotorway and lost his life when he suffered an in-fight M/R blade failure.
BW to all Dennis K.

Oh and I've found a pic of G-AYTF that was taken when I landed at Leeds Castle, (inside the moat!) ... the occasion was a company pleasure flying do for the Eden Vale firm. I'll try & get the pic to you via e-mail. It had the JPS logo still so must have been taken early 1983. DK.

27th Oct 2011, 22:14
Hi Dennis and Sav.

Have been looking through my photo's this evening, having took on board what Sav posted regarding registration info for "TF", ie Nev Hutchings seemingly purchasing it in 1985, It looks like I have boobed in marking RU and TF as pictured in 1984, they are in a batch with my oldest daughter, and yes it was the summer of 85, my utmost opologies if this may have caused any confusion..

regards.. John.

28th Oct 2011, 02:32
Hi laydo, Sav, Griffo,

Greetings from the Great White North.

You seem to be the men in the know re 80's spray companies in Blighty :ok:. Did you come across an Aussie guy name of Tim, last name eludes me for now,(but had a really hot Lincs girl for a wife,again, name eludes me). Last I know of him doing Ag work, was for Miller, out of Wickenby I think,late 80's early 90's. Was mostly plank, but had a few hours rotary,spraying in Blighty thoughout the 80's. Last time I had a beer with him was in Louth,Lincs (the Wheatsheaf), be the Millenium, Xmas time,he was living there, me visiting family as an expat Ludensian. We became good buddies, he was really interested in the International rotary scene as Ag was about done/done in the UK. Me flying Notar, 350, 205,212,longline ops and fire fighting, at the time,as I am doing again, in Canada really interested him. Put him in touch with the guys hiring at the time. We stayed in touch for a while, then as happens all the time in this industry, lost contact. Any leads or contacts would be great. Love to talk to the fella again, and have a few more beers in Blighty.Keep the nostalgia coming, remember as a kid on hols from boarding school, laying between the potato rows on our farm in Lincolnshire,hiding from the flagmen(before AgNav et al) getting nailed by the flyboys doing aerial spray.......:eek: If only I knew, well still passing me medical :ok:.

Regards all you guys/gals in Blighty,


28th Oct 2011, 07:20
Ciao Newfie

While my first commercial assignment was agricultural it was Africa-based and so, I'm sorry to say, I have little awareness of the UK 'ag scene' as it were.

Those on here who have an inkling of what went on are our new member Laydo, veteran image supplier Helipixman and Nostalgia Thread Patron .. Dennis Kenyon. Between them one should be able to gain a fairly good list of UK spraying companies.

On page 29 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-29.html) Helipixman lists the details of some ag firms (Elipix, if you're still around could you please reload the images in your post #576 on page 29 - as they've gorn!).

Hope you have luck finding 'Tim' from Down Under. Btw, if you're in Newfoundland and have any images of helicopters in snow - I would be grateful as I have a growing 'snow copters' collection.

John: Great images of AWFY :ok: You mentioned this craft had specical significance for you? I must say that the Alouettes/Lamas seem more suited to this type of work than the 206 (although the 206 does more than a fair job) but the booms on the Alouette blend well with her aft framework!

Given your interest in crop dusting and in Alouettes, I'm arranging some images which I hope you will enjoy. (Just awaiting the various photographers permissions). Regarding AWFY, we have a rather nice shot of her on page 27 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-27.html) in her early days with Heli-Union (UK) when she wore a teal blue colour. The image was taken by Nostalgia Thread friend and celebrated Air-Britain photographer Chris England.

More Alouettes ...

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-3lRa1-430Ks/Tqo-s-uPRII/AAAAAAAAFlM/7rfC2KgwYZ0/s860/SA315B%252520G-AZNI%252520Coventry%25252023%252520Aug%25252086%252520%25252 8Peter%252520Fitzmaurice%252529.jpg
Dollar Helicopters SA315B Lama G-AZNI at Coventry on 23rd August 1986 (Photo: Peter Fitzmaurice)

AZNI was imported by BEAS in '72 then sold to Dollar in '78. Though listed as being exported to the US, AZNI looks suspiciously similar to the tragically mangled wreck which appears in post #569 on page 29 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-29.html).

Dennis, you can email me the image. Grazie! :ok: Trying to track down Dennis Smith's Dove!

28th Oct 2011, 09:12
Hi Newfie.

Could this be your friend, this is the only clear shot showing the pilot.
I have plenty of photo's of Miller Ag-Cat's, and Pawnee's, but unfortunatly
only the a/c.

regards John.


28th Oct 2011, 09:47
During my time at Dollar, there were at least 3 Lama's.
G-AZNI, G-BNNF, and a.n.other that I can't recall. They were unfortunately regularly recovered to Coventry in conditions like the picture on Page 29. They were rebuilt from the Registration plate up-wards back to a flying aircraft. Due to the nature of the work they were being used for, it was seen as an occupational hazard, plus it kept Michel and Les Corbett and others in continuous employment! I remember the two aircraft being damaged in Peru. Upland Goose was the company Ops director at the time so he may remember more of that incident. Also one came back from Kenya (1992?) in multiple pieces. We had been flying in support of the Nissan works rally team on the Safari Rally with it and a Long Ranger L4 which we had leased to do the job. The Lama had been in a confined area fuelling site and had come out heavy and had over-pitched, coming down in a crumpled heap.
Unfortunately I have no pictures of this time as my :mad: ex-wife destroyed them all. :mad:

28th Oct 2011, 11:57
Lol - oh dear! You'll forgive me for laughing but whenever I hear of the antics the ladies get up to (especially when it comes to destroying the property of their spouses) I have to chuckle! Its so childish. When during the final sordid days of my first marriage my ex picked-up a Limoges enamelled vase I had bought for a princely sum in Brussels - I began to laugh and said something like "really", "fine, go ahead if it will make you feel better." To my surprise she put it down!

Re: Dollar's Lamas, sad indeed. An over-pitched Lama in Kenya, wow! You've said it was a fuel site so I'm guessing it must have uplifted a full tank and had full pax .. plus!

John: The fields in your photos seem fairly flat and obstacle free. In Italy, France and elsewhere some of the spray targets are not so accommodating:



28th Oct 2011, 17:05
Thanks for those couple of excellent vids Sav, very nice..

The area where I live, northern central UK is relatively flat, with only undulating rolling hillsides, the biggest obstacles for the dusters are the telephone cables and low voltage power lines, as in the shot below. I actully saw this Management Aviation (Metheringham) come to grief, the pilot was a little shaken, but ok.. BA was taken away on a flat bed truck.



29th Oct 2011, 00:52
laydo, Sav,

John, many thanks for posting the Miller pic, yep I think you got my buddy in one, the power of PPRUNE..:ok:. I am planning to come visit the UK over Xmas this year with the wife. I'm sure I will bump into him in the pub..:). I seem to recall the surname Wilson, from Queensland if that rings a bell.


I live in St Johns, and yes have many 'snowcopter' pics. Funny you should ask, as I am in a remote drill camp in N.Ontario right now on tour, and we had our first snowfall of the winter last night,aprox 5cm, nothing for our standards, but I think my engineer took some pics as it cleared and the Northern Lights appeared. I was even impressed with my 350 B2 sillouetted against them and the snow,and have seen many beautiful sights in my years in Canuckland.Internet is very slow here, but when I get off tour will send many snowcopter pics for your collection, pm me your email....:ok:

Thanks again guys for posting all this nostalgia, and keep them coming. Days are getting very short and nights very long here, winter has arrived. It really passes the time on weather days or the long nights on tour reading all this great stuff....:) Best Regards, Newfie.....

29th Oct 2011, 15:00
Its not Aussie Rangers or Ag birds but would anyone know anything about the time G-APTE stayed in Ireland during the winter of 1960 as a "Shamrock Helicopters" machine?
I presume it was a marketing exercise by Westland but maybe not, any ideas?


29th Oct 2011, 15:39
Shane, interesting stuff!

Mindful of your interest in Widgeons and Dragonflys I have been in contact with a couple of friends in an effort to glean a little more information .. and images. The information is scarce but I've received a couple more images (including two examples from Italy and which I shall post during the week).

As you know, BEA ran a 'service' between various cities including a destination in Wales and there were also a couple of railway companies who got in on the act although I am still trying to verify whether the railway companies utilised rotorcraft.

Here below is one of the images sent to me after making some enquiries subsequent to your post on the Ferranti thread:

Westland Widgeon S-51 Series 2 G-AKTW in 1948 (Photo uncredited)

First registered to Westlands in February 1948 this craft was then re-registered as G-APPR and sold on to Bristows in November 1961. In June 1962 (still under Bristow's employ) she ventured south to Nigeria.

29th Oct 2011, 18:42
These ag pictures are great! Some more operators …

- A Penniston (Trading as Apple Aviation)
- ADS (Aerial Ltd)
- Agricola Aerial Work Ltd
- Agricopters Ltd
- Air-Ag Developments; (Formerly Zanji Ltd trading as Davies Aerial)
- Bowker Air Services
- Brown & Forsyth; (Trading as Fosse Helicopter Services Ltd)
- Ciba-Geigy Aerial Spraying
- Dollar Air Services
- Farm Aviation Services Ltd
- Farmair Ltd
- Farmwork Services (East) Ltd
- G & S C Neal Ltd
- GSM Helicopters
- Helicare Ltd
- Helicopter Farming Ltd
- Helicopter Hire Ltd
- Helicrops Ltd
- Heliscott Ltd
- Helispray
- J O'Brien (Trading as O'Brien Helicopter Services)
- JEF Aviation
- Jim Pearce; (Trading as Sussex AG)
- Peter Charles (Air Farmers) Ltd
- Point to Point Helicopters Ltd
- S M Ring (Trading as S & J Contracting Services Ltd)
- Skegness Air Taxi Service Ltd
- Sussex Services Ltd
- W D Clifton, P W Sleath & D B Goss (Trading as Boston Aviation Services)

This is from some CAA files archived at the Museum of Rural Life. Some are the fixed wing names already mentioned in this
thread, operating Pawnees or AgCats.
The National Archives | Access to Archives (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/a2a/records.aspx?cat=007-aviation&cid=1-1-1#1-1-1)

The CAA files start about 1980, so the frantic days of the late 1970s crop spraying are missing … when lots of suitable and “cheap” a/c came onto the market. And probably a time when the “Aerial Application Certificate” was probably at its least onerous! You only need to look at the numbers of ag a/c registered, and the amount of bumps & scrapes, to get an idea of how much ag flying was going on in Britain.

Some operators are missing off the list.

Not on the list is Heliscot (not Heliscott) at Inverness. They were headed up by the well-known Major Francis F Chamberlain, who kindly put up with my endless questions. They operated UH-12Es G-BDFO, G-BEDK, G-BEFY and G-BFLR at various times.

G-BFLR had the much-talked-about low volume Micronair rotary atomizer spray units, their benefits being somewhat outweighed by the over-engineered spray booms, too heavy compared with the lighter Simplex booms.

There was a potato farmer not far from Longside airfield, name of Norrie, who operated 12E G-BDYY for a time as AGN Helicopters, whose ex Blue Eagles Sioux pilot Mr Vavangas (also well known I believe!) also kindly put up with my questions.

Lastly, DM Carnegie, an agricultural contractor based at their farm next to the then-secret Cold War USN communications site (RAF Edzell) operated a lovely reworked B47G-3B-1, G-BHBW, one of the bulk sell-offs of the AAC’s Sioux. IIRC Heliwork acquired lots of them. This one was zero-timed by Heliwork I believe, resplendent in white and dark blue. Certainly
cosmetically they had done a lovely job on this machine.

When I saw G-BHBW in 1980 it had not long started spraying work, operated for Carnegie’s by Gleneagles Helicopters with maint support from Perth and flown by Pat Orchard. Pat found himself sitting in a pile of scrap in a field a few months later when one of his rotor tips just clipped the door runner frame of a barn, one of those that pokes way out beyond the edge of the building. Luckily Pat just had a few bumps and scratches I believe. A nice gent, another who was happy to answer questions
from a daft bystander.

There must have been sufficient cash and profit in the game, as next year the Carnegies returned with a beautiful BRAND NEW 12E, G-DMCH. It was flown by Martin Nash, who I believe had attended to the purchase (and was maybe involved with operating the Bell, I believe he was involved at Gleneagles?)

The owners liked the Hiller better - it would lift a lot more gallons than the Bell 47. Mr Nash and the Carnegies put up with yet more questions and were kind enough to find me a place in their ground crew truck for the day, buy me a bag of chips at the end of the day, and give me a flight in the Hiller.

When I saw G-DMCH first, it was only a few weeks into the UK, all shiny and new, crisp red & white paint job, firm-looking seat cushions and a nice clean carpet on the floor.

Martin Nash flew the first season of spraying and then I believe concentrated on his a/c brokering business. The following year a New Zealander flew the Hiller, Peter something. He had been a long time at this, lower, and getting into awkward little bits of fields, but it never looked dangerous, he seemed like a machine, very consistent. Another pleasant guy, he was over here for our summer, his wife worked in the hotel/pub, and then they were off back to NZ for their summer.

By now, although the 12E was only a year old, it was hard to tell the colour of the machine, the seat cushions were flat and the floor carpet had vanished altogether!

“Stinkin, dirty“ as griffo says - the chemicals just got absolutely everywhere. The crew constantly battled to try and keep the bubble clean enough and the nozzles working properly. When the Scottish weather allowed, the pace was impressive - pilot and ground crew just attacked it all day, with a few short breaks, fill, spray, fill, spray, refuel. By the end of the day, you knew they’d been working hard, half of them were asleep on the drive back.

G-DMCH soldiered on, drivers and machine keeping out of trouble, until the eng packed in while bracken spraying in 1991, pretty good going for an ag helicopter, another pile of scrap but just light injuries thankfully.

Others regularly passing through Scotland on spraying jobs were Dollar, I recall another ex-Sioux of theirs, G-BGHN, being w/o when the sprayboom trailed thru the wheat, luckily just a few scratches for Ken Hall.

Phil Slattery's website has lots of good nostalgia about Dollar's forestry work: The Slatts Pages Index (http://www.slatts.ukfsn.org/index.htm)

I also remember seeing a spray 269C operated by Heli-Highland in the mid 80s?, the reg G-BSCD sticks in my mind, but G-INFO doesn’t help (still current as G-IBHH). I recall seeing the wee spray tanks on the 269 and thinking “the price to the farmer must be good for this to be worth it”, but lower operating costs, mind you.

I also remember seeing Sioux G-CHOP come through doing spraying at the end of the 80s.

I have some pics of most of these aircraft, if I can only find them!

Many of the Hillers in the late 1970s were the just-sold-off RN 705 Sq fleet: UK Serials (http://www.ukserials.com/results.php?serial=XS)

One of them, later to become G-BDOI with Management Aviation, was even still spraying in Hungary last year: Kukorica permetezés Hiller UH-12E-vel / Spraying cornfield with Hiller UH-12E - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZFksh57d-o)

While G-BBLB, BBLC, BBLD, BBLE, BBLF and BBLG were the ex Canadian forces “Nomads”: Canadian Forces Hillers (http://www.ody.ca/~bwalker/CAF_Hiller_details.html)

The Hillers and Bell I saw used Simplex spraygear:
http://www.simplexmfg.com/brochures/SimplexManufacturingSpray3300(2009)Brochure.pdf – same as laydo’s pic of G-BBBA

They also had an Automatic Flagman, a device presumably largely redundant these days due to Ag Nav GPS and the like. I recall Carnegies used a mix of real flagmen as well as the AF. Although the AF was cheaper than using a bloke in the field, the Carnegies found the price of the flags was extortionate, and had a go at making their own (after all it’s just a bit of cardboard with some lavvy roll attached), but it was too fiddly, IIRC.

Apologies for this long rambling post, but the photos brought back good memories of impressive people and flying.

Any chance of posting the Bell & Hiller pics, laydo?

30th Oct 2011, 11:36

Well done Watson! :ok:

Your list should provide a useful resource for those investigating the UK's rotary agricultural heritage. Hopefully others will chip in with the names of additional operators.

In the meantime, some agri-nostalgia:

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-BxMm7UfJQWs/Tq0lQ2inQJI/AAAAAAAAF7o/LUQmas_xios/s650/Carl%252520Agar%25252C%252520a%252520founder%252520of%252520 Okanagan%252520Helicopters%252520Ltd%252520%252528later%2525 20Canadian%252520Helicopters%252529%25252C%252520on%252520an %252520early%252520crop-spraying%252520job%25252C%252520c%2525201950.%252520Courtesy %252520Jack%252520Schofield.jpg
Carl Agar, founder of Okanagan Helicopters (later Canadian Helicopters) flying a Bell 47 in early crop-spraying operations c. 1950 (Photo: Jack Schofield)

Another US-based Bell 47 engaged in agricultural operatrions also c. 1950

And for something this side of the Atlantic ..

Hiller UH-12A (Date and location unknown)

G-ANOB was first registered to Pest Control of Bourn, Cambridge in May 1954. From the she moved to Fison Airwork before being bought by a Richard Bradbury of Eastleigh in 1960. Evidently she was employed in spraying ops.


Shane; for you:

The number of those still around able to relate first-hand their experiences of flying the likes of the Sycamore, Widgeon or any number of aircraft from the 40's and 50's are becoming scarce. Take my godfather, 90 this year and, as with most of his generation, he doesn't stray online so any feedback regarding flying ops in these craft will need to come through family members or friends. But, let's keep at it because it would be good to receive some reports on how these aircraft flew (as you originally asked). I mean where can one go to read a 'flight report' on something like the Widgeon?

The Widgeon was an interesting project and one has to admire Westland's confidence in making the required investment to enhance upon the Dragonfly. They certainly achieved an improvement when it came to aesthetics in that the British Widgeon looked more reasonable than the American Drangonfly - or at least that's my view.

Some nostalgia for you .. The Widgeon (as you doubtless know) was the first aircraft to land at Westland's Heliport in Battersea and here below are some details of that event:


Prior to the official opening of Westland's new Thames-side heliport, the first flight into it had been made by company helicopter test pilot John Fay in Westland Widgeon G-ANLW on the morning of April 8. He had brought the aircraft from Yeovil and positioned at Heston, where three M.T.C.A. officials were taken aboad, before making the first landing on the T-shaped concrete platform just up-river from the Battersea railway bridge.

Westland's Battersea Heliport in 1959

Day-to-day management of the heliport will be under the control of Mr. J. S. McHutchen, who is a senior controller appointed by International Aeradio Ltd. I.A.L. will be responsible for helicopter control and will man the control tower during daylight hours. One hour's prior permission is needed before landing-on, but this in any case is normal time for filing a flight plan. Control will be by single channel V.H.F. and there will be a telephone tie-line with London Airport control. Initial approach to the heliport will be over Castlenau reservoirs or Greenwich Marshes before joining the river and thereafter flying over-water up to the landing platform.

P. D. Bayetto (left), air traffic controller and J. S. McHutchen, Heliport Manager

As with all operations from the new heliport, this flight (and several others made by the Widgeon before it left for Blackbushe the same day) was under visual conditions. The actual limits on operations a minimum of 800ft ceiling and half-mile visibility are determined largely by the need to manoeuvre safely during take-offs and landings; pinpointing the site itself is easy enough with the aid of two big power stations Fulham looming large on the opposite bank, Lots Road just down river. Navigation is a question of following the river and mentally ticking-off bends, bridges and power stations, but it is complicated by the officially imposed necessity of keeping clear of the river banks and, during the approach, leaving room to manoeuvre the helicopter while remaining over the water.

Westland Widgeon G-ANLW becomes the first helicopter to land at Battersea on 8th April 1959 with John Fay at the controls

During a demonstration flight made by John Fay for a member of Flight's staff the wind was south-westerly blowing slant-wise across the river which at this point runs S.S.W. to N.N.E. Smoke from the Fulham power-station chimneys gave a very clear indication of its direction (and incidentally smelt peculiarly pungent). Facing downstream for take-off, the Widgeon was lifted-off vertically and slightly backwards for 100ft, keeping the platform in view, and then climbed to 500ft and accelerated up the river. This altitude is likely to be the M.T.C.A.'s recommended cruising height over the river. It is only 100ft above the undesirable cruising height band of 20-400ft (height required to initiate autorotation), but greater altitudes are undesirable because of possible interference with London Airport fixed-wing traffic. During the demonstration the Widgeon was flown up-river as far as Hurlingham House, turned for a quick run down-river past the heliport and over Battersea railway bridge and then turned into wind over the centre of the river before forward speed was reduced to about 20 kt I.A.S. for a descent to the plat-form at a steady 150ft/min.

With this particular wind direction operation is straightforward enough, although gust effects are noticeable as it blows between the chimneys of Fulham power station. In other wind direct ans, different techniques must be adopted; an east wind is perhap the most inconvenient as it necessitates taking off facing towards the river bank and making a turn over the centre of the river before accelerating up- or downstream. If necessary an approach can be made into wind with the helicopter drifting backwards and side-ways; there is a 180 deg arc of manceuvring, space and the pilot's visibility from the particular helicopter will partly determine the actual approach path used.

G-ANLW departs Westland Heliport with the Fulham power station visible in the background

Article: Flight International

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-XwuRPDUtVc8/UWgu7wrIycI/AAAAAAAAM4o/egduO9A8pQI/w84-h67-no/Play+Icon.png (http://www.britishpathe.com/video/air-news-6/query/battersea+heliport)
Official Opening of Battersea


30th Oct 2011, 12:28
What an excellent piece, and a great insight into the Scottish
spraying scene. well done. I will be posting the Bell's and Hillers
later this afternoon.

By the way, if you look at the Hutchings Jet Rangers the "flagman" dispenser can be seen very clearly just above the skid, it seemed
to work very well.. John.

30th Oct 2011, 15:53
Here are the Bell's







And a Unknown serial, Yellow Dollar machine

30th Oct 2011, 16:11



G-BBLO Sloane Helicopters

G-BBLE Central Helicopters Leamington

Hope these are of interest Gents.. John

30th Oct 2011, 16:19
John, brilliant! Most enjoyable. :D

30th Oct 2011, 17:17

The Orange and white 47 was a G5 and I am certain was the aircraft that Dollar sold to a company called Napair aerial spraying services in Riyadh Saudi, which was then Cypriot registered. I flew it on the aphids contract out there in 1984. She suffered a tail rotor failure and was probably written off.

Unfortunately my pics book is in Cyprus so I cannot post pics on this one. :(

Brings back some horrid memories, but I grew a pair in those days at such a tender age :ok:

30th Oct 2011, 17:23
Hi all ... this thread gets better and better, but surprised that my boss's old firm of Spoonair Ag Services hasn't been listed. (circa 1977-1980.) Also just love the occasionally forgotten 'names' that crop up (no pun intended) . At its most active the Spoonair business employed three Enstrom 28C turbo models on cereal work, bracken and the ever present spuds! Maneb was the order of the day for those I seem to recall. Then some fiery stuff for Septoria and 'Rincosporium' ... have I got that right? We also did a bit of stubble turnip seeding.

The company had some some good contracts with Boots, ICI (Plant protection) and local farmers. Two of our pilots were ex NZ guys being David Cook and Derek Alexander. The pair of them would whip through anything up to 100 acres an hour. (£4 an acre was the going rate then.) Paul Manning was our specialist Ag man. I'm hoping Savoia will get two or three pics of self at work using the Enstrom on hillside bracken while pulling some huge blade-tip vortices. I can remember Ray Peel at $$$ who was always very helpful to us as newcomers. Was Brian Izzard our Chief Ag pilot? Sorry guys ... the memories fade these days. BW to all. Dennis K.

30th Oct 2011, 19:35
Superb John – those pics are just great http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/thumbs.gif

They sum up the day-in, day-out, of operating in such close proximity to just about everything that could bite your bum!

Were those low-slung Simplex tanks for B47s only? I never saw them on a Hiller, but Simplex came out with a later, cleaner-looking version http://www.simplexmfg.com/brochures/SimplexManufacturingSpray4500-4600(2009)Brochure.pdf (http://www.simplexmfg.com/brochures/SimplexManufacturingSpray4500-4600(2009)Brochure.pdf)

Dennis you are right – that list is definitely not complete … Farmers Weekly used to have an annual list of operators, would be good to track down a copy. Dennis I remember writing to your good self asking about your ops and you replied with a very detailed letter. Thanks http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/smile.gif

Also a lot of info from Agricopters, John Crewdson even sent a copy of his aerial application manual. Very kind. Wish I had kept it rather than having a “clear out” http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/puppy_dog_eyes.gif

Chemicals. Always seemed to have such nothing, made-up sounding names. I remember Maneb. I also recall volunteering to flag a field when the guys had gone ahead to the next field and Martin had to spray a small, odd-shaped field, studded with hillocks and wires. I got drenched, but luckily it was “just” Fubol, a fungicide against mildew on barley. Looking back it was “nothing” compared to those Lama vids Sav posted http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/eek.gif

BTW I was looking at the current Aerial Application Certificate CAP 414, and see the first issue was June 1978. Bet it was a lot shorter than the current one.

Cheers gents.

31st Oct 2011, 15:14
From pages past:

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-BB3L2dMJzdE/Tq63SuvNFyI/AAAAAAAAF9M/cZpv-4aik5M/s800/E%252520F-28C%252520G-BBBR%252520Shoreham%25252025%252520July%25252079%252520%2525 28Keith%252520Sowter%252529.jpg
Spooner Aviation Enstrom F-28C G-BBBR at Shoreham on 25th July 1979 (Photo: Keith Sowter)

Dennisimo's Spoonair Ag Services Enstrom F28 (above) from page 13 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-13.html).

Hiller UH-12A belonging to Pest Control Services (probably G-ANOB from post #968 above) as flown by Jimmy Harper

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

After leaving the service he turned his attention to flying helicopters commercially becoming aviation manager and chief pilot of Pest Control Ltd. of Bourn, Cambridge. (Originally displayed on page 27 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-27.html)).

Nigel Osborn
31st Oct 2011, 21:58
I think his son was Peter, a very accomplished helicopter pilot in the RN; lost track of him years ago but I bet he did well.

31st Oct 2011, 22:36
Yes he did do well. Was posted to Boscombe Down for the ETP course and rejected by the RAF because the minimum rank for the course attendees was Lt. (Peter was a Sub Lt) - so the Navy promoted him to Acting Lt and on he went. Years later he was posted to ETPS as a tutor - wait for it - as a Lt. The RAF duly rejected him on the basis of his rank - minimum rank for tutors was Lt Cdr. He was once again promoted to Acting Lt Cdr and served his time at the School.

I had the pleasure of working with him in between those two postings as a QHI in 706 NAS when he was put in charge of the brand new all singing all dancing Sea King Simulator. This 1972 vintage device was of course not a patch on modern devices and had no visual system at all. It was a boon for instrument work however and Peter, along with Peter Jago (ex-Phantom jockey) helped us to develop a coherent strategy for teaching the skills required for instrument flying.

Peter left the RN and joined the CAA as a test pilot but quickly rose through the ranks to become - not quite sure of the correct title but something like - Flight Operations Director.

Last I heard he had retired and wasn't too well but that was a while ago.


John Eacott
31st Oct 2011, 22:55
Peter was on 826NAS when it first formed with Sea Kings, and I also recall he had an odd set of wings on his shoulder from some other previous life. They are in this photo, I'm sure someone will set me straight within the hour!


He was also generous enough to loan me his MGB-GT to tow my Cooper on a hired trailer, which all ended in tears. Another story for another day ;)

31st Oct 2011, 23:51
I last bumped into Peter a couple of years ago, having flown with him way back in 1965 and again on many occasions during the 80's when he was a test pilot with the CAA. Earlier this year he was working in India but I don't know in what capacity.

Nigel Osborn
1st Nov 2011, 00:47
Having been in 707 in 1963 with Peter, he looked so young I thought he may have stayed a Mid for ever!!
I don't recognise that shoulder badge either!

1st Nov 2011, 08:32
Some of the Squadrons mentioned in recent posts:


Forgive me if this is too obvious but having never met a CAA test pilot in person .. is their primary function that of certifying new types?

Shane, I promised I would post an Italian Dragonfly; herewith:

Westland-Sikorsky S-51 Dragonfly Mk1A I-MCOM at Villa Taranto on the shores of Lake Maggiore c. 1953

2nd Nov 2011, 05:51
Nostalgia Thread Index
Page 50


British Registered

G-AJHW (S51) ... page 26
G-AJOV (S51) ... pages 6 & 20
G-AKCX (B47) ... page 20
G-AKFB (B47) ... page 19
G-AKTW (Widgeon) ... page 49
G-ALIK (Dragonfly) ... page 47
G-AMWG (Sycamore) ... page 20
G-ANLW (Widgeon) ... page 49
G-ANOB (H12) ... page 49
G-APMR (H12) ... page 19
G-APTE (Widgeon) ... page 49
G-APTH (B47) ... page 22
G-ASHD (B2) ... page 45
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-ATFH (B2) ... page 47
G-ATFM (S61) ... page 32
G-ATJY (B2) ... page 17
G-ATSJ (B305) ... pages 19, 20, 34
G-ATUR (B305) ... page 19
G-ATUS (B305) ... page 18
G-AVCA (B2B) ... page 44
G-AVEE (AlII) ... page 46
G-AVII (B206) ... page 37
G-AVYX (B206) ... page 31
G-AWAP (Al II) ... page 27
G-AWDU (B2) ... pages 16 & 20
G-AWFY (Al II) ... pages 27 & 48
G-AWGU (G206) ... page 40
G-AWJL (B206) ... page 22
G-AWJW (B206) ... page 3
G-AWOL (B206) ... pages 5, 22, 39, 42
G-AWOM (B206) ... page 22
G-AWUC (B206) ... page 39
G-AWVL (H300) ... page 20
G-AVEE (Al II) ... page 14
G-AVUK (E28) ... page 27 & 28
G-AYBE (B206) ... page 20
G-AYCM (B206) ... page 39
G-AYMW (B206) ... page 31
G-AYMX (B206) ... pages 5 & 27
G-AYNP (Whirlwind) ... page 45
G-AYTF (B206) ... pages 17, 34, 40, 44, 48
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-AZNI (Lama) ... page 48
G-AZRU (B206) ... pages 18 & 48
G-AZVM (H500) ... page 45
G-AZYB (B47) ... page 22
G-BAAN (H300) ... page 21
G-BAEH (H300) ... page 14
G-BAFD (Bo105) ... page 35
G-BAKF (B206) ... page 3 & 32
G-BAKS (B206) ... pages 23 & 24
G-BAKT (B206) ... page 22, 31
G-BAKU (B206) ... page 22
G-BAKX (B206) ... page 38
G-BALE (F28) ... page 46
G-BALT (F28) ... pages 13 & 15
G-BASE (B206) ... page 33
G-BASV (F28) ... page 46
G-BATU (F28) ... page 41
G-BAUM (B206) ... page 40
G-BAUN (B206) ... pages 16, 40
G-BAVI (B206) ... pages 16, 18, 19
G-BAYA (B206) ... page 48
G-BAYN (H500) ... page 34
G-BAYX (B47) ... page 49
G-BAZL (SA341) ... page 24
G-BBAU (F28) ... page 32
G-BBAZ (H12) ... page 49
G-BBBA (H12) ... page 49
G-BBBM (B206) ... pages 8, 13, 40, 43
G-BBBR (F28) ... pages 13 & 49
G-BBCA (B206) ... page 41
G-BBET (B206) ... pages 25, 44
G-BBEU (B206) ... page 25
G-BBFB (B206) ... page 42
G-BBHW (SA341) ... page 39
G-BBJE (Al II) ... page 29
G-BBLE (H12) ... page 49
G-BBLO (H12) ... page 49
G-BBPO (F28) ... pages 13, 42
G-BBRS (F28) ... page 8
G-BBUX (B206) ... pages 20 & 22
G-BBUY (B206) ... page 16
G-BBVI (F28) ... page 19
G-BCHM (SA341) ... page 46
G-BCVZ (B206) ... page 36
G-BCWM (B206) ... pages 6 & 12
G-BCWN (B206) ... pages 11 & 12
G-BCYP (B206) ... pages 17 & 27
G-BDBR (B206) ... page 46
G-BDKD (F28) ... page 37, 38
G-BDRY (H12) ... page 29
G-BEAD (Lynx) ... page 44
G-BEFY (H12) ... page 29
G-BEHG (B206) ... pages 16 & 22
G-BEJY (H500 ... page 29
G-BENO (E280) ... pages 3, 41
G-BEPP (B206) ... page 27
G-BERJ (B47) ... page 29
G-BESS (H500) ... pages 38, 45
G-BEYR (E280) ... page 30
G-BFFJ (S61) ... page 21
G-BFJN (B47) ... page 49
G-BFNC (AS350) ... page 32
G-BGHO (B47) ... page 49
G-BGIF (AS350) ... page 38
G-BGIL (AS350) ... page 38
G-BGIM (AS350) ... page 38
G-BGWJ (S61) ... page 32
G-BGYF (B206) ... page 38
G-BHAX (F28) ... page 41
G-BHBF (S76) ... page 45
G-BHIV (AS350) ... page 25
G-BHXU (B206) ... pages 16 & 25
G-BIBJ (E280) ... page 41
G-BIMU (S61) ... page 32
G-BIOA (H500) ... page 30
G-BKTK (H500) ... page 34
G-BKXE (AS365) ... page 24
G-BLSY (B222) ... page 14
G-BLZN (B206) ... page 39
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) ... pages 4, 39
G-BWAV (H300) ... page 13
G-BYKF (F28) ... page 46
G-CEDK (Citation X) ... page 1
G-CHLA (AS355) ... page 26
G-CHOC (B206) ... pages 11 & 23
G-CPTS (B206) ... page 34
G-DWMI (B206L) ... page 22
G-EJCB (A109) ... page 8
G-EYEI (B206) ... page 9, 16, 22, 24 & 27
G-FERG (AS350) ... page 38
G-FIBS (AS350) ... page 41
G-FSCL (B206) ... page 27
G-FSDG (B206) ... page 27
G-GASA H500) ... page 26
G-GBCA (A109) ... page 41
G-GINA (AS350) ... pages 38, 45
G-GOBP (B206) ... page 25
G-GOGO (H500) ... page 30
G-HEWS (H500) ... page 45
G-HOOK (H500) ... page 30
G-IINA (AS350) ... page 35
G-JAMI (B206L) ... page 17
G-JANY (AS350) ... page 8
G-JESI (AS350) ... page 35
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, 40
G-NOXY (R44) ... page 20
G-OAUS (S76) ... page 44
G-OBRU (B206) ... pages 26 & 27
G-OHTL (S76) ... page 41
G-OIML (B206) ... page 42
G-OJCB (B206) ... pages 2, 22, 23, 44
G-OLDN (B206L) ... page 41
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, 38
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-WASP (B2) ... page 47
G-WILL (B206) ... page 15
G-WIZZ (B206) ... pages 2 & 3
G-WOSP (B206) ... pages 5, 6, 29, 38
G-XXEB (S76) ... pages 18, 35
B-983 (Dragonfly) ... page 47
B-948 (Dragonfly) ... page 46
XK479 (Skeeter) ... page 45
XR380 (AlII) ... page 36
XT228 (Sioux) ... page 42
XT471 (Wessex) ... page 42
XZ322 (SA341) ... page 38

Non-British Registered

CF-FZX (B47) ... page 49
D-HJFF (B206) ... page 10
D-HMAC (B206) ... pages 11, 13 & 23
EI-ASW (B206) ... page 35
EI-BHI (B206) ... page 36
EI-BLY (S61) ... page 33
EI-BPK (S61) ... page 37
F-BHGJ (B47) ... page 46
F-BIEA (Al II) ... page 27
F-GBBQ (AS350) ... page 25
F-WHHF (Alouette II) ... page 12
HB-ZKN (AS332) ... page 44
I-CDVM (B206L) ... page 13
I-MINR (B47) ... page 22
I-MCOM (Dragonfly) ... page 50
I-PFDC (AS355) ... page 6
N109BS (A109) ... page 17
N2221W (B222) ... page 12
N38BL (B206) ... page 22
OH-HIS (AlII) ... page 46
OY-HAO (S61) ... page 33
VH-AHF (B47) ... page 44
VH-AND (B206) ... page 16
VH-BAG (H500) ... page 47
VH-BHW (B206) ... page 45
VH-DJW (Kiowa) ... page 47
VH-FHV (B206) ... page 47
VH-FHZ (B206) ... page 47
VH-FRL (B206) ... pages 26, 41
VH-FVF (B206) ... page 41
VH-JTI (B206) ... page 41
VH-MXE (A109) ... page 35
VH-PMO (B206) ... page 47
VH-PMR (B206) ... page 47
VH-WHW (B206) ... page 41
ZK-HCI (FH1100) ... page 36
ZK-HPP (B206) ... page 16
ZS-HDZ (B206) ... page 16
5B-CBV (S62) ... page 33
5N-ACN (Alouette II John Eacott) ... page 10
9N-ABE (B206) ... page 46

Aircraft with Undisclosed Registrations

Abu Dhabi 206's ... page 22
Agusta 101 ... page 27
Al II's in Turkey ... page 29
Army Lynx painting at Aldergove ... page 36
AS 355 with Vauxhall Corsa over Tower Bridge ... page 26
BCalH S-61 ... page 5
Bell 206's in Rhodesia ... pages 3 & 4
Bo 105’s ... page 30
Brantly B2's ... page 16
'Brantly in the Docks' ... page 18
Bristol Belvedere ... page 12
Bucker Jungmeister ... page 19
Concorde with helicopters ... page 32, 37
Enstrom 280L Hawk ... page 31
Ferranti Stabilised 206 ... page 17
First Kiwi Deer recovery flight (B47) ... page 26
German Air Force Sycamores ... page 40
German Air Force Vertol ... page 15
Gilles Vileneuve JetRanger ... page 17
Heli Air Monaco AS365 ... page 6
Hillers (assorted) ... page 30
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
Percival P74 ... page 44
Pope's Helicopter ... page 5
Puma landing on Mobil seismic ship ... page 36
RAF Whirlwinds ... page 44
Rather Pleasant Passenger boarding a B407 ... page 14
Rhodesian Alouette III ... page 4
Rhodesian Spitfire ... page 4
Royal Navy Hiller 12’s ... page 40
S-62’s ... page 33
Saunders Roe Skeeter ... page 12
Selection of AeroGulf Helicopters ... page 9
Selection of 'Classic' 206's ... page 16
Selection of LongRangers ... page 36
Selection of MetPol 222's ... page 14
Selection of Sabena Helicopters ... page 12
Sierra Leone Sea King ... page 33
Skytech Mi26 with truck ... page 26
Sox Hosegood ... page 27
'Spy Who Loved Me' 206 mock up ... page 4
Sunderland Flying Boat ... page 1
Super Frelon ... page 43
UniRoyal Hughes 500 ... page 20
US Airways S51 ... page 10
Westland Wasps (RN) ... page 6, 26, 30
Westland Whirldwind (RAF & Bristow) ... pages 12 & 19

Miscellaneous Images

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
Field Marshall Sam Manekshaw ... page 28
Gay Absalom & Nobby Clarke ... page 35
Gen. Peter Walls ... page 4
Gilles Villeneuve ... page 17
Helicopters in tow ... page 31
Helicopters chasing vehicles ... page 31
Jimmy Harper ... page 27
John Crewdson ... page 27
Ken Gregory ... page 14
Lake Como ... page 6
Margaret Thatcher with S76 ... page 43
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
SS Uganda Cruise Ship ... pages 30, 32
Stacey’s Sopwith replica ... page 34

2nd Nov 2011, 06:07
Topical Index

Agusta S61 Silver ... page 6
Alan Mann ... page 15
Alan Mann Racing ... page 14
Baron Heinrich von Furstenberg ... page 10
Bell Helicopter: A Potted History ... page 46
Brantly 305 ... pages 18 & 19
Charles Hughesdon ... pages 10 & 20
Christian Salvesen Antarctica ... page 15
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-BATB ... page 31 (Sea King recovery)
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
Nostalgia Thread First Anniversary post ... page 38
'Ode to Taly' ... page 1
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
UK LongRangers ... page 13
Westland Heliport ... page 49
'Wizz the Bizz' Rhyme ... page 2


Air Gregory ... pages 14, 20, 44
Alec Wortley Helicopters ... page 21
Ben Turner Helicopters ... page 25
Clyde Helicopters/Heliport ... pages 8, 24 & 25
Colt Aviation ... page 36 & 37
Dollar Helicopters ... pages 21, 48, 49
Dublin City Helicopters ... page 37
Freemans of Bewdley Aviation ... page 40
Gleneagle Helicopters ... page 40
Island Helicopters (New York) ... pages 47 & 48
Kestrel Helicopters ... page 39
Masselaz Helicopters ... page 38
Oldway Helicopters ... page 19
Omniflight and the Pan Am New York Shuttle ... page 47
PLM Helicopters ... pages 39, 46, 48 (& page 7 on the Alan Mann Nostalgia Thread)
Twyford Moors Helicopters ... page 24
Vowell Air Services ... page 47

Themed Posts

AgriCopters ... pages 48 & 49
Aussie Nostalgia ... page 41, 44, 47
Aussie Rangers ... pages 41, 43, 47
Bölkow Classico ... pages 30, 31, 36, 40
Brantlys in Britain ... pages 16-20, 44-45, 47
Celtic Rangers ... pages 38, 40
Cigarette Copters ... page 40
Dragonflys & Widgeons ... pages 46-50
Early Ecureuils ... page 38
European Rangers ... page 36
Great Gazelles ... pages 24, 39, 46
The Kenyon Files: ... pages 3-6, 8, 10-11, 13-21, 25, 27-28, 30-32, 34-35, 39-40 42-43, 46, 49
Tommy Sopwith & Endeavour Aviation: ... pages 33-35
Views of Hughes ... pages 29-30, 34, 38, 45
Whirling Winds ... 44-46


Alouette 318 G-AWLC ... page 9
Charles Hughesdon's helicopter garden party ... page 10
‘Chopper Squad’ ... page 41
Crop Spraying in France ... page 49
Dennis Kenyon flying display ... page 46
Enstrom autorotation ... page 30
Farnborough ‘The Golden Years’ ... page 40
Karl Zimmerman Bo105 display ... pages 31 & 32
Marc Wolfe's flying scene in 'For Your Eyes Only' ... pages 3 & 24
Pan Am trailer ... page 46
Russian nostalgia ... page 37
Sikorsky R5 and S51 ... page 47
Sydney Harbour Bell 47 crash ... page 41
Vintage Bell 47's ... page 10

* * *

2nd Nov 2011, 06:53

I cannot work out why but there are huge chunks of this thread that have passed me by. I have just caught up with Red Flag's posts (pages 6 etc) for the first time and owe him a huge apology for not coming up at the appropriate moment with the necessary denials and hope the possibility of legal action will be long gone. My very best regards to Ken and his son. The ferry flight was 'interesting' to say the least.

To make up for my absence I attach a picture of me and my old friend A-AZTI which became the UK's first air ambulance in April 1987. She has been converted to the role by Rotortech Bourne and donated by Bond Helis for the 3 month trial that went on to be the rest of the year and then onwards for the next 24 years courtesy of the First Air Ambulance Trust. Photo c/o Peter Chesworth who was on assignment to The West Briton newspaper. The West Briton was running a fantastic support agenda for the AA and made a huge difference. There is a full account on The Cornwall first Air Ambulance, how it started (http://www.livingincornwall.com) which with some embarrassment is running a story about my role in that epic story. Don't beat me up - it's all to do with the upcoming celebrations for 25 years and we will be auctioning the smart red overalls I used to wear on that operation to raise more cash for a unit that is very proud of its 20,000+ missions. The auction venue is likely to be close to the start date of April 1st (next year) and before any wag chips in I am not selling them because I can't fit into them any more - but they would be right, either they have shrunk or.... ! :{



2nd Nov 2011, 08:31
Geoffers, no problem - great to have you back!

Just to fill in some blanks in terms of connections - I came to know PPRuNe through PPRuNer Speechless Two (who you will know as T.D.) the last surviving member of the Ferranti team who is still contactable.

I hope this won't go to your head but TD mentioned to me that you were one of the more 'accomplished' pilots he encountered during his career and that you conducted his first sim training session with BCalH on the S61. Evidently on the first time round someone knocked a switch and the virtual craft aimed straight for a hangar, lol!

I also know you consult for AgustaWestland in the operation of what I assume are their new generation full flight simulators (CAE manufactured for Rotorsim?) and that you spend an appreciable amount of time in my homeland.

You doubtless spend more time there than I do at present as I am engaged with mainly fixed-wing (airline) clients in the Middle East and Africa and only get back to Milano for Christmas and Easter.

I would love to hear a little more from your days with Alan Mann and even BCalH. What did you think of the 214ST - I always thought it was just a bit too big for a two-blader?

A small tribute to Speechless Two who, living-up to his name, is rarely heard from these days!

PPRuNeR Speechless Two aka T.D. - Bolkow Training Captain with Ferranti Helicopters c. 1975

Flew helicopters with the Royal Navy from 1963 to 1968 serving in the Far and Middle East on anti-submarine and search and rescue operations. After leaving the forces he joined the South Western Electricity Board where he conducted powerline surveys and executive liaison duties prior to joining Irish Helicopters in 1972 where he flew oil rig and lighthouse support. Speechless Two then worked with the property developer Mackenzie Hill flying a corporate Bo105, G-BAFD, (later bought by Ferranti) prior to joining Ferranti in 1974.

While with Ferranti 'Speechless' became Ferranti's Bolkow Training Captain. When Ferranti was sold to BCal (1979) Speechless Two remained with the new company eventually becoming Chief Pilot of BCalH.

Speechless Two with SWEB's G-AVYX (the 11th JetRanger delivered to the UK) at SWEB's headquarters prior to an executive liaison flight


2nd Nov 2011, 13:05

Dont mention 214st to T.D. he had " an experience" on the same day I was flying a S76 in Aberdeen... The mayday was heart rendering to say the least and I have to admit there were tears streaming down my face as the drama unfolded... Long time ago and I have since tamed the beast myself in the hot mountains of Oman. Ours are long since retired and we now toy around with a few Italian girls....

2nd Nov 2011, 13:23
Griff yes, I am aware. In fact he sent me the evidence (in the form of photos) of his 'safe' arrival on terra firma. Then there was another incident (or perhaps the one you are referring to) which took place at sea but, again, I believe they got down safely - thank God.

It seems you and Geoffers share something in common in respect of the Cornwall Air Ambulance?

.. and we now toy around with a few Italian girls ...

Yes, I recall an image you posted with one on a hilltop (long nose .. I think?). Hope they are fairing well in the sand and heat!



2nd Nov 2011, 16:42

Yes it was the first 214st incident where they lost a drag brace and when they put the mayday call out the vibration was so severe that the transmission sounded like the head had come off. Very upsetting for all in the air that day.

Geoffers started the first air ambulance in 1987 and I joined in 89 when Geoff Bond was the full time pilot.. He is spot on with the a/c though, it was G-AZTI until we got the stretch G-CDBS.

Happy days...:ok:

I still bump into Geoffers in Sesto every 6 months.

2nd Nov 2011, 18:21
was Ian Marion involved in that one as I recall,where is he now?


3rd Nov 2011, 05:14
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-satmnMXao-8/TrIcQNkaBfI/AAAAAAAAGC8/tFZsfBjo4qo/s720/The%252520Battle%252520for%252520Tumbledown.%252520A%252520c asualty%252520of%252520the%252520Scots%252520Guards%252520is %252520rushed%252520by%252520stretcher%252520to%252520a%2525 20Gazelle%252520helicopter%252520for%252520evacuation%252520 on%252520Goat%252520Ridge%25252C%252520below%252520Mount%252 520Harriet%252520June%2525201982.jpg
Battle for Tumbledown: A casualty of the Scots Guards is rushed by stretcher to a Gazelle helicopter for evacuation on Goat Ridge below Mount Harriet in June 1982

British Army Gazelle on UN duty over Dancon territory, Cyprus 1990

Pilot Profile: Andy Berryman

Andy Berryman with Gazelle

Andy Berryman joined the Royal Navy in 1979 and served on 845 and 846 Squadrons as a Commando Helicopter pilot. Attended the Central Flying School in 1985 and served on 705 Squadron as a Qualified Helicopter Instructor gaining an A1(H) QHI qualification. Trained at the Empire Test Pilots’ School in 1989 before serving with Rotary Wing Test Squadron, Boscombe Down as a test pilot. Responsibilities as test pilot included the introduction of the Lynx HAS Mk8 into Royal Naval Service; Sea King, Wessex and Gazelle project duties: icing project pilot, NVG project pilot and SHOL project pilot.

Returned to operational service in 1992 with 846 Squadron including duties as Senior Pilot before returning to the Empire Test Pilots’ School as a tutor. In 1995 became Staff Aviation Officer to the Commodore Amphibious Warfare responsible for all aspects of amphibious aviation for the Royal Navy and Marines. Saw operational service in Northern Ireland, the South Atlantic, Lebanon and Bosnia.

Completed three seasons as display pilot on Gazelle, both solo and as team leader in formation team, and competed in both the World and British Helicopter Championships winning eleven national and international trophies, including twice British Helicopter Champion on two occasions. Awarded the Air Force Cross in 1989.

Left the Royal Navy in 1996 to become an airline pilot, currently flying the Boeing 747-400 with British Airways. In addition, Andy carries out instructional flying on light turbine helicopters and corporate helicopter operations on Agusta 109 and Gazelle.

Andy conducts Crew Resource Management training for both fixed and rotary wing operators and commissioned the James Bibby simulator at Liverpool University in 2000 and continues with both student studies and R&D as a consultant.

3rd Nov 2011, 20:32
Super to see Andy's profile on PP. I met the great guy at the WHC event at Cranfield in 1986 when he pipped my entry for a fourth place in the heli 'freestyle' event. Andy was flying his superb Gazelle. That year the freestyle first place was taken by Herman Fuchs who deposed the former winner - the wonderful 'Karl (Charlie) Zimmerman. Both were flying the Bo105. 1986! ... my goodness how the years keep whizzing by. Dennis K.

4th Nov 2011, 00:36
Great stuff Sav.

Nice shot of the Dragonfly in Italy.

I spoke to Pearse Cahill yesterday(the man in overalls at the Iona hangar in the pictures) He started Iona Airways in the mid 1950s at Dublin Airport. He is 94 now and couldn't really remember any details about the Widgeon being there. Still though its great to make a link with those who were involved way back when.

This might interest you, its Ferranti ralated too see p246 . Instrument flying the Widgeon.

westland wessex | 1961 | 0237 | Flight Archive (http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1961/1961%20-%200237.html)

attitude director | system ferranti | navigation display | 1961 | 0244 | Flight Archive (http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1961/1961%20-%200244.html)

4th Nov 2011, 00:51
Anybody know which Hiller UH-12E crashed (pilot walked away unhurt) whilst crop spraying in Ireland around 1990/91 it was on a G reg I think?

4th Nov 2011, 10:20
Shane, that was a most enjoyable Flight article, grazie. :ok:

I'm posting (below) a couple of the more interesting images which appeared:


A stroke of luck to find a photo of the instrument panel for G-ALIK and which craft, as you may recall, appeared on page 47 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-47.html).


I never knew there had been a proposal for a 'Covent Garden Heliport'!


An additional Westland design planned next to Waterloo Bridge.


An S-62 goes swimming in the Thames opposite Battersea!

4th Nov 2011, 10:29
Have found some of my old photographs and the one below is an experiment to see if the Flikr system works OK. The picture was taken during a rescue back in 1970. 824 NAS was on Ark Royal, working in the North Sea during a gale when we were involved in two rescues. On the second one they sent a photographer with us. I'll post the others if there is any interest. The guy in the picture was a deckhand and we have just plucked him from the deck of his sinking ship.


4th Nov 2011, 10:48
Geoff, a great shot! :ok:

I'll post the others if there is any interest.

The interest is confirmed!

What I have discovered is that just about every aviation photo in existence is of some interest to someone and for which reason I shall, when I get back to Blighty, scan what I have.

Senior Pilot
4th Nov 2011, 11:13
Have found some of my old photographs and the one below is an experiment to see if the Flikr system works OK.

I fixed your link, Geoff: Flikr needs the image opened in a separate tab, as a .jpg, and use that url to embed.

ISTR you have posted these photos before on another thread, with the survivors having a tot with the Admiral while you were (no doubt) having a cuppa in the ACRB?

4th Nov 2011, 11:51
Thought I would practice with the new Flickr 'toy', I'll try again. Sorry about the repeats but these are what I have on board my Mac until I get to back to the loft in Blighty.

G :)

4th Nov 2011, 12:09
Post #1000. Congratulations Savoia - great thread which I always enjoy reading.

4th Nov 2011, 12:26
Looking at Heli Air Monaco's history page on its website they started ops in 1976 with an Enstrom F-28 and flew a jumbo load of passengers in its first year (as in 747 passengers :D:cool::ugh:

Unfortunately on the website its not a full proper photo of their F-28 so does anyone here remember Heli Air Monaco when they started up or have photos of the F-28?


4th Nov 2011, 18:29
Chopper: The Monaco Thread (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/429438-monaco-news-views-associated-interests.html) commences with a brief synopsis of Heli Air Monaco's history which I guess (without looking at the HAM site) is essentially the same. HAM is an intriguing outfit and probably the longest running (and most successful) helicopter airline in the world. Yes, they've had a few incidents over the years but, set against the number of trips flown and passengers carried, their safety record is superb. Interestingly, aside from 'flight seeing' operations this is probably the largest (in terms of passenger volume) single-engine public transport helicopter service in the world.

Heli Air Monaco, along with the Swiss operator Air Glaciers (which started in 1965) are two of the European light helicopter operators I greatly admire.

Re: the Enstrom, I'll try and dig up her registration and see if we can't get a better image and regarding the numbers yes, the little F28 chugged back and forth with (I guess) two pax, day after day all year round!

Estepo wrote: Post #1000. Congratulations Savoia - great thread which I always enjoy reading.
As with most things which are encouraging in this life the thread is very much a team effort - a product of numerous and varied contributions which combine to make it interesting. The exciting thing (if that's the right word) is that what has been debuted so far is merely the tip of the iceberg in terms of the available nostalgic material out there (much of it being stashed away in the lofts, cellars and garages of PPRuNe members!).

Given that we just displayed a couple of Gazelles on the previous page it seems only fitting to take another look at yours! ;)

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-kzDWhYLsePM/TrQjW_gMheI/AAAAAAAAGJ0/4bEzVo2BaZE/s720/WG%252520HT2%252520Malaga%252520Jan%25252009%252520%252528Br ian%252520Richards%252529.jpg
PPRuNer Estepo's Westland Gazelle HT2 looking resplendent in the Malagan sun. Malaga Airport January 2009 (Photo: Brian Richards)

4th Nov 2011, 20:49
We've used HAM aircraft lots of times.

Including in Corsica, Morocco, Hungary and in Dubai.

The Dubai job required a 350 to be taken to bits, flown on a 747F, re-assembled for a couple of day's work and then taken to bits and sent home again.

Have some pics somewhere........

Love the exhaust plume in the pic above btw.

4th Nov 2011, 23:52

PH-NZD - in Ceuta North Africa. Short term contract for 5-6 months replacing a 412 on the Malaga run. 3 Brit pilots (Gerry Tompkins, Pete Whalley and yours truly plus Brit engineer Paul Draper and local fitter Francesco.


PH-NZK - en route Den Helder (NL) to Port Alberni, Vancouver Island for major overhaul at Coulsons. Via Liverpool, Halifax, Wawa, Thunder Bay, Winnepeg, Calgary, Kamloops (where this picture was taken)


The Ferry Crew - 2 x Coulson engineers plus Gerry and yours truly

(when you fly across Canada low level VFR you come to the conclusion that there is only one word to describe it - EMPTY. You could be forgiven for thinking that what the world does not need is another tree or another lake. A place of tranquility and quiet beauty.)

4th Nov 2011, 23:58

G-SPEY on TH Duty - Whatever the pilot community thought of the programme it was immensely popular with the public and enjoyed the best ratings of any Channel 4 programme. Anneka was great to work with and here she is with my Mum and Dad and my two daughters. The eldest daughter was given the silver 'seal' by Anneka which was the 'Treasure' on the episode that finished at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary. Great team, great fun and thoroughly professional bunch.


PPS - Dad was fitter in the FAA during the war. Apparently he joined up as a 16 year old seaman but was found on the dockside at Pompey with his head under the bonnet of a truck when a burly RAF Sergeant, charged with recruiting trainees for the Air Arm said 'ello ello, just the kind of lad we need, sign here young man and join the greatest bunch of aviators the world has ever seen'. He did, became a Leading Air Mechanic and worked on Seafires, Corsairs, Albecores and Swordfish.

5th Nov 2011, 06:40

.. and I also came across this ...


Nigel Osborn
5th Nov 2011, 07:54
Interesting seeing Gerry with grey hair!! I remember him as a young fresh faced lad in Doha straight out of the RN.....told us he had flown with Prince Andrew at Yeovilton!!!!!!!!!!!!

5th Nov 2011, 08:02
In my dreams ........ don't let the wife see that. Actually on one occasion I was lucky enough to spend a rare day off during the 6-week shoot on the beach in Wales with Anneka (in bikini) ........ but had to share her company with the rest of the production team.

It was during one shoot in North Wales that SPEY made it to 20,000 feet - well 19,150 as I chickened out when the rate of climb dropped off. It took a while to get down!


5th Nov 2011, 08:54
I was visiting the ACRB at YL on an away day from CU (dangerous territory for a 'pinger'). Shared my breakfast table with a jungly puke who sat opposite me reading the Daily Mirror. I was reading the back pages whilst he worked his way through the inner contents. When I finished my bacon and egg I peered across at the figure hidden by the newspaper and thought I recognised the pate. When he put the paper down it turned out to be Prince Charles. I've been dining out on the story of how PC and I had breakfast together ever since.


5th Nov 2011, 21:35

Don't ask me how I found this, but it may revive some fond memories for you :ok:

Anneka didn't really do it for me at the time, but after seeing this;

Anneka Rice in a bikini - YouTube

I have seriously changed my mind.

Sorry for the thread drift Sav !


7th Nov 2011, 03:20
pps: Dad was fitter in the FAA during the war. Apparently he joined up as a 16 year old seaman but was found on the dockside at Pompey with his head under the bonnet of a truck when a burly RAF Sergeant, charged with recruiting trainees for the Air Arm said 'ello ello, just the kind of lad we need, sign here young man and join the greatest bunch of aviators the world has ever seen'. He did, became a Leading Air Mechanic and worked on Seafires, Corsairs, Albecores and Swordfish.

Bravo! :D

It was during one shoot in North Wales that SPEY made it to 20,000 feet - well 19,150 ..Ah well, you've beaten my ceiling then which was 17,800ft in a 206L pulling out of Porgera goldmine in Papua New Guinea. The 206 does get a little sloppy at those altitudes! Was your ascension related to SPEY's role as a comms craft for your lady friend?

Tarman: I think this thread probably thrives on such drift! (And Senior Pilot's well worn tolerance!) ;)

More AgriCopters ...

Bell47 Lincolnshire c. 1980's

I'm sorry to say that I have failed miserably in my attemp to decyper the registration of the above Bell. Its something like G-BOWI/J etc.

A Hungarian registered Alouette II (SA318C) ha-ppi-ly douses a field in the region of Székesfehérvár c. 2009

HA-PPI demonstrating the Alouette II's chameleon-like ability (and aesthetic symmetry) in accommodating spray gear as though it were a natural extension of her airframe! ;)

And ..

A Puma from the Argentine hospital ship Bahia Paraiso (painted white in accordance with the regulations of the International Red Cross) alights on the temporary helideck of the good ship SS Uganda during a repatriation flight for wounded Argentine soldiers. June 1982

7th Nov 2011, 05:10
Mmmm ....

........ The 206 does get a little sloppy at those altitudes! .......

Yes ... a bit like trying to fly a bowl of runny porridge as I remember!

Ahhh .... Porgera ...... Hagen .... Goroka such memories :eek:

Nigel Osborn
7th Nov 2011, 05:31

Why did you pull up to such a height as the highest mountain is only just over 14,000!!
I twice took a Wessex 5 to 18500, first time from Culdrose at night with the mad Mike G, the second time at Labuan with a SAS Sergeant major who wanted to get the altitude record for the highest parachute jump in that part of the world! The jump was witnessed by Viscount Slim's son who although in his 40s, was a tough as any of his men.

7th Nov 2011, 06:33

In those days Porgera was owned by the Canadian mining corporation Placer. A couple of their senior execs had ventued out from 'Placer Towers' to see the Papuan operation for themselves and were due to return (a process involving a transfer to Hagen, then Moresby, then Sydney and onwards). A King Air had been dispatched the previous afternoon and failed to access the strip and so later the same day I was sent to retrieve them. As with most afternoons in PNG the weather with sh*te and I only just managed to creep in to Porgera inches before last light. :(

Over dinner the North Americans conveyed with sincerity that their impending departure from the mine was an urgency of the utmost priority (I think they had had enough) and that they 'must' depart the following morning by any means.

The next day Porgera was socked-in with all the gaps and saddles closed but .. there was clear sky in an oval above the mine and, reading the desperate expressions on the faces of the Canadians I promised to 'give it a go'. On the way up (spiraling in a corkscrew) I raised the office on the HF who confirmed that Hagen was open. A Specific (Pacific Helicopters) Puma had just crossed East to West around Wabag and confirmed that the WX south of Porgera was okay so, it was just a matter of overcoming the impressive layer of altostratus and which was eventually achieved at around 15,500ft but I needed a little more altitude in case I needed to 'run' (or even glide) back to the hole over Porgera while making the short crossing atop the muck!

Another PNG story was that of a young newbie with some fixed-wing experience who managed to get himself inadvertently into IMC. He was driving a Specific 'D' model and decided that 'out the top' was the best solution and which (I think) was achieved at around 25k. When eventually the ship came back to Goroka (via a number of other places) maintenance had to replace the strap pack!

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-xrt5ERicsHI/Trd__p0HnRI/AAAAAAAAGMw/qm6yXacW9D0/s595/Lord%252520Louis%252520Mountbatten%252520%252528centre%25252 9%252520and%252520Gen%252520Sir%252520William%252520Bill%252 520Slim%252520%252528right%252529.jpg
Lord Louis Mountbatten (centre) and Gen. William 'Bill' Slim (right)

My godfather flew both Lord Louis and Bill Slim on numerous occassions and has several hand written notes from the two of them and which I hope to retrieve on my next visit to the UK.

Spinwing: Servicing the mountaintop repeaters was always interesting - trying to aim the craft so as to arrive over the 'pad' at the same time that everything ran out!

7th Nov 2011, 07:10
I think that the Bell 47 looks like G-AZMB ?


7th Nov 2011, 07:45
Mmmmm ....

......trying to aim the craft so as to arrive over the 'pad' at the same time that everything ran out! .....

Ahhhhh YEssssss .... a skill which has served me so well many times whilst trying to sling loads with a 212 at high DA's ..... often found myself 'nesting' atop the load atop the pad ... sometimes the only way to get a useful load where it has to go .... :O


7th Nov 2011, 08:11
TH Days-
Yes....... chasing the signals from Anneka's chest mounted (sigh) radios (1xUHF and 1xVHF) as they squirted out from a hole in the roof of a Welsh slate cavern.

G, :E

parasite drag
7th Nov 2011, 09:03
Much of the Roger Moore 'Spy Who Loved Me' remote control scene was filmed with a full size mock-up. It later stood in the AMH hangar at Fairoaks for a few years gathering dust.

Here is the mock up:

http://www.abpic.co.uk/images/images/1244135M.jpg (http://javascript%3cb%3e%3c/b%3E:popUp%28%27/popup.php?q=1244135%27%29)

Mock up of AgustaBell 206B JetRanger used by Pinewood Studios during the filming of 'The Spy Who Loved Me' (1977) now stored at the James Bond Museum in Cumbria.


Sorry to bump this one back up but I noticed a little error reading through this great thread.

EOR, the picture you show is not the Stromberg mock up used in filming, it's the hull of G-OBAY (note the low skids) that I sold to the owner of the now closed Cars of the Stars museum in Keswick, Cumbria a few years back....

G-OBAY met an interesting 'end'..worth a Google for those interested

Now I'll get my coat :ok:


7th Nov 2011, 23:58
Anybody know who was involved in Airwork (Ireland) Ltd who operated there in the late 70s?

EI-BCA Hiller UH-12E ex G-BDYY Crashed Tallaght, Co. Dublin, 31-Jul-77, repaired, cancelled 02-Mar-78, to G-BDYY, SX-HCD

EI-BES...Bell AB.206B 13-Jun-78...G-AZRU Cancelled Aug-80, to G-AZRU

EI-BEV...Bell AB.206B....8026.......12-May-78...G-AVVH, HP-644, G-AVVH Ltd..Crashed Kilruddery, Co. Wicklow, 24-May-79, cancelled 15-Jun-81

EI-BHE...Bell AB.206B....8405.......10-Jul-79...F-BVEM, OO-MHS Cancelled 24-Jul-80, to G-BHSM, D-HOCH

This possibly prompted Irish Helicopters to get in on the Ag game with..

EI-BIY ABell 47G-3B1 Soloy Irish Helicopters (became G-BEHG)

EI-BKG Westland Bell 47G-3B1 Irish Helicopters (became G-BEHN)

Brilliant Stuff
8th Nov 2011, 20:00
Sav please tell you had oxygen for your high jinks.....

Nigel Osborn
8th Nov 2011, 20:50
No, big lungs.:ok:

9th Nov 2011, 16:24
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-qD6pS78NUjY/TrqqzWRuB_I/AAAAAAAAGNM/QCSVSr_8KSc/s800/SA318C%252520Alouette%252520Astazou%252520Duxford%2525201968 %252520%252528Tony%252520Clarke%252529%2525202.jpg
SA318B Alouette II Astazou G-AWAP (unknown location) in 1968

The Maestro Dennisimo wrote on page 46 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-46.html): ... just to say I surely worshipped the wonderful John Crewdson who in the 1970s after I left Royal Air Force planking ... showed me so much of the rotary world. As time allows, I'm putting together a story of his incredible career.
This being the case you will doubtless visit his exploits surrounding the production of the 1962 movie 'The War Lover'.

In 1959, novelist John Hersey’s "The War Lover" was published, creating the story of a volatile B-17 combat pilot who enjoyed his job just a bit too much. The setting was a fictional B-17 bomb group operating from England with the Eighth Air Force. Columbia Studios adapted the book for the silver screen in 1961. The film was shot in England, arrangements having been made to utilise Bovingdon airfield as the fictional bomb group’s base. A number of British war films, including 633 Squadron (1964) and Mosquito Squadron (1969), were also filmed at Bovingdon.
Nothing like a good buzz job to get the juices flowing! In this case one of the War Lover's ex-PB-1Ws being flown by John Crewdson for a key scene in the movie. Crewdson flew the airplane solo for the sequence (Photo: David Kay)

Sadly, no story covering the life of the late great John Crewdson would be complete without reference to the ill-fated Alouette topping this post and seen above in 1968 wearing 'Film Flight' titles.

Crewdson bought her in 1974 and operated her for a decade until that fateful day in 1984 when she met her demise. An image of the corroded bolt attributed to causing the detachment of AWAP's main rotor (as well as the link to the accident report) can be seen in post 518 (http://www.pprune.org/6334097-post518.html) on page 26 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-26.html).

Brilliant Stuff wrote: Sav please tell you had oxygen for your high jinks ..
For the benefit of our freshman flyers .. Absolutely! [cough] Yes!


9th Nov 2011, 20:11
Gill Aldham on the Paravision Rig for the Tradex Exhibition opening ceremony.

P.s. First post so hope image works!

9th Nov 2011, 20:13
G-AWAP presumably in it's Film Flight days so maybe Elstree.

9th Nov 2011, 20:15

Here's a nice 206 for your nostalgia posts, Ex Air Logistics ship in its new Heli Hire colours.

9th Nov 2011, 20:20

Prior to painting in its new colours.

9th Nov 2011, 20:49
Does any one have any pics of VH-FHF, Bell 206 used for Wales Rescue, Sydney, and subsequently used in the TV show Chopper Squad.



9th Nov 2011, 21:07
Squirrel Grosso!

Check out post 804 on page 41 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-41.html).

I am also looking for an image of the same Surf Rescue craft - specifically a shot showing the word 'Ferguson' written on the nose. This would have been mid-70's!

9th Nov 2011, 21:10
Unfortunately I was working at Heli Hire at the time G-AWAP went down.

The loss of John marked the beginning of the end and I left about a year before it ceased trading after 8 happy years in the maintenance side.

AWAP was the workhorse of the fleet and rarely at SEN for long, with extended periods spent away with early Heli-Tele work for Marconi or electricity work.

Occasionally used as a pax ship for joy rides.

9th Nov 2011, 21:21

G-BDKD met its end while at Heli Hire and was put down to a MRH Damper Seal fault or something.

Just one of a number of Enstroms at HH included BCOT, BBRS and BALT for a time too.

9th Nov 2011, 21:33
I thought these pictures of ANLW may be of interest.

The aircraft was made airworthy again, turned into a "Spoof" Dragonfly with a false nose and used in "The Eye of the Needle"



9th Nov 2011, 22:07
Not sure how this "Permalink" thing works but the unidentified B206 in the background behind G-EYRE 206L1 is G-CORC.

Belonged to Keiron Corcoran whose brother Paul owned G-PCOR.

Both aircraft were based in Kent.

9th Nov 2011, 22:45

G-BRTB Imported for a Martin Ridsdale who operated out of Blackpool I think as Northern Helicopters or something like that in the late 1980's.

9th Nov 2011, 22:53

One of two Ex-Icelandic Coastguard Bell 47G's that Helicopter Maintenance Rebuilt.

G-WYTE and G-BJFI (Pictured) were rebuilt and certified as 47G2A-1 ships.

G-WTYE I think was laid to rest in Doncaster last time I heard but BJFI disappeared after flying for Harvest Air for a while.

Does anyone know where BJFI ended up?

Oh, excuse the silliness of my collegue with a wheel pole!!

10th Nov 2011, 03:19
Ahhh PNG Savoia. I was taking my 'altitude' check on top of Mt Wilhelm near Goroka (circa 14,0000 feet I think) with Gary Freeman (RIP) and he was demonstrating the technique of flying a bowl of porridge. I was trying to pay attention but kept getting distracted by bits of helicopter that littered the approach to the pad. Gary knew the history of each crash.

Concentrates the mind wonderfully :ooh:

10th Nov 2011, 04:45
Tjef, what a great collection of Southend nostalgia! Bravo, fantastic! :D

G-BGYF featured at the genesis of this thread (page 3 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-3.html) in fact) where she can be seen amidst a 'sea' of JetRangers in Speechless Two's wonderful reminiscences of his Rhodesian expedition. On page 2 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-2.html) PPRuNer Low Flier admitted to having flown YF and referred to her as the 'Raspberry Ripple' 206! A further photo of YF (taken during the filming of "Hopscotch") appears on page 38 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-38.html).

BGYF was touted as being the craft used in the filming of 'The Spy Who Loved Me' but .. as she was imported in July '79 and the filming took place in 1976, I don't see how this was possible! Would you happen to know which 206 John used for this movie (filmed mainly in Sardinia)?

It is great to see this craft in her AirLog livery and which, in my view, was a more pleasing arrangement than her 'Raspberry Ripple' effect. Indeed in her AirLog colours she bears a resemblance to the late Lord Dulverton's 206 (G-AZAG) a photo of which (courtesy of Helipixman) can be seen on page 22 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-22.html).

Sadly, and as you probably know, sometime after returning to the US to become N152AL again, she was involved in a crash in which the pilot was killed. Details of the accident may be found here (http://aircrashed.com/cause/cFTW01FA048.shtml).

Regarding BDKD the 'Bad Kid' PPruNer Gaseous mentioned in June that the craft was nearing a rebuild and posted an image of her on page 37 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-37.html) at Battersea wearing Police titles. A further image of her appears on page 38 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-38.html) at Epsom and I dare say that Dennisimo has some interesting history with this craft along with John's other Enstroms.

The photo of G-AWAP at the Tradex Fair is great although I am keen to learn a little more about the function of the 'Paravision Rig'!

Of G-ANLW; this was of course John's second Widgeon - the first (G-APVD) having been sold to him by my godfather in 1972.

Here are some shots (with Shane in mind) of G-ANLW in her pre-Helicopter Hire days:

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/--mAiBfFu75A/TrtROIQtxvI/AAAAAAAAGOQ/LmWc6xl-wYU/s700/Westland%252520WS.51%252520Widgeon%252520G-ANLW%252520leased%252520by%252520Sabena%252520during%252520t he%2525201958%252520Brussels%252520World%252520Expo.jpg
ANLW was assigned on a short term contract from Westland to Sabena in Belgium during one of the Expo fairs. (I'll have to dig up the year)

ANLW with Westlands conducting float trials

Around 1983/4 I hired a couple of different 206's from HH. Each time they were flown by a reasonably young chap but .. I simply can't remember his name and, worst of all, I can't remember the registrations of the craft. One was on shorts however and the other wore pop-outs.

Epiphany wrote: Ahhh PNG Savoia. I was taking my 'altitude' check on top of Mt Wilhelm near Goroka (circa 14,0000 feet I think) with Gary Freeman (RIP) and he was demonstrating the technique of flying a bowl of porridge. I was trying to pay attention but kept getting distracted by bits of helicopter that littered the approach to the pad. Gary knew the history of each crash.

Concentrates the mind wonderfully.

Very sorry to hear about Gary. :( I remember him one time providing me with the etymology of his name 'Freeman' and, though interesting enough, seemed somewhat out of context during the middle of a C&T sortie. A quizzical glance on my part brought him back the matter at hand!

They say that PNG sorted out the men from the boys. Perhaps. What I remember is losing five friends in one year - a couple of them plank drivers. In fact I think PNG was probably one of the ultimate testing grounds for the smaller stiff wings - creeping up valleys towards a one way strips with little or no room for manoeuvre and dodging the weather (in and out of IMC) on almost every flight. One can think of better places to fly!

10th Nov 2011, 06:30
Hi Savoia,

In 1983/84 HH had the two Jet Rangers G-BBUY & G-BBCA. "CA" was always on low skids and "UY" on Pop-Outs. I have a picture of "UY" in its splendid Orange & White scheme which I can put on here.

The "Spy Who Loved Me" 206 was G-BAML by the way and filmed in Sardinia by the ill-fated G-AWAP. G-BAZN was also used on occasions - Somerton Rayner I believe!

With regards to the Paravision rig, I only saw it used for for the Tradex in 1977 and presumably went back to Film Flight days.

It resembled someone on a parachute so maybe was used for filming parachutists in the air.

Some of the things we did in those days would have been frowned upon and highly illegal now!

I have to say that Heli-Hire/Heli-Maintenance gave me the best grounding that an engineer could have in my apprenticeship and would like to take this opportunity to thank the late John Crewdson, Gill Aldham, Nick Phillips, Dave Hitchin and laterly Richard von Isenburg for 8 fantastic years.

Also will put on some pics of the Air Log 212 which was operated just prior to the G-KATE WG30 era.

Finally, I wonder why was N152AL flying on an "Experimental" Airworthiness certificate when it crashed?

Oh, and the reasonably young chap was probably Howard Mersey who I followed to Aeromega where I worked for 11 years until 2000. Howard is now in Flight Ops at the CAA and I am a QM in a 145 Maint organisation looking after a variety of airlines across europe.

industry insider
10th Nov 2011, 07:52

Anyone know of any pictures of WG30 G-KATE while she was owned by Helicopter Hire but was mostly leased to British Airways Helicopters?

10th Nov 2011, 08:54

Best I can do I'm afraid. This was from Westland themselves during one of the pre-delivery test flights. The beast was nothing but trouble from the word go!

industry insider
10th Nov 2011, 10:19
Thanks tjef

Although spending much time with BAH on the Southern North Sea, she always wore HH colours.

10th Nov 2011, 12:16
Tjef many thanks for clarifying (at long last) the identity of the aircraft used in the filming of the 'Spy Who Loved Me.' :ok:

In 1983/84 HH had the two Jet Rangers G-BBUY & G-BBCA. "CA" was always on low skids and "UY" on Pop-Outs. I have a picture of "UY" in its splendid Orange & White scheme which I can put on here.
Yes it all comes back. Didn't realise that I had been in both these craft! An image of BBCA appears on page 41 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-41.html) and on page 16 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-16.html) BBUY (in which Dennisimo had some involvement) can be seen wearing her Air Anglia livery. Please do post a shot of her!

Some of the things we did in those days would have been frowned upon and highly illegal now!

I think many of us could say something similar. The 'age of innocence' has all but past and with it much of the (sometimes) frivolous spontaneity which at times could be quite entertaining! It has all become somewhat 'serious' for many in recent decades.

Finally, I wonder why was N152AL flying on an "Experimental" Airworthiness certificate when it crashed?

From the accident report:

The operator reported that the helicopter was being used for the development of a helicopter autopilot system ..
Oh, and the reasonably young chap was probably Howard Mersey ..
Well if you speak with him please convey that Bob Smith's godson extends his regards.

Anyone know of any pictures of WG30 G-KATE while she was owned by Helicopter Hire but was mostly leased to British Airways Helicopters?
From page 28 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-28.html):

Dennisimo mentioned John's daughter (whom he taught to fly) and Helicopter Hire's WG30 G-KATE (below).

Helicopter Hire's WG30 G-KATE (so named after John's daughter) seen at Plymouth on 2nd June 1984. John Crewdson's name appearing beneath the forward door. (Photo: Chris England).

If I have my facts straight the craft was leased from Westland before being sold to British International in 1989. Check out the curvature on the main rotor blades compared say with an S76!
Westland WG30-100 G-BIWY at the 'Beehive', London Gatwick, in May 1982 (Photo: Richard Vandervord)

10th Nov 2011, 14:09

Those were the days!!!

John Crewdson in the Alouette picture on an oil platform. We were heavily involved with "Sealand" the gun fortress off shore which Roy Bates and his wife turned into a principality!

In the workshop picture are David Hitchen, John Dunkley and Fred (Cannot remember his surname).

10th Nov 2011, 14:14

As promised the beautiful "UY" complete with "Otis Lifts" sticker ready for the Open Golf at Sandwich. We were based at Leeds Castle.

"CA" was very dour in comparison (I have never liked the 206 on low skids!) and I think was painted a dark blue when we bought it.

"YF" was in a different scheme for someone but I cannot remember who.

11th Nov 2011, 05:14
Eccellente Tjef! :ok:

I really am enjoying your Helicopter Hire memorabilia, great stuff, and yes this is how BBUY was clothed when Howard performed the honours for my early 80's charters.

Now c'mon Tjef, spill the beans on some of the more light-hearted antics that the late great JC got up to - he must have done something amusing .. at least once!

Shane; I'm still making enquiries regarding your interest in G-APTE, the Westland Widgeon you posted on page 49 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-49.html) and which was working with Shamrock Helicopters.

I sent a 'round-robin' email to the 30 odd photographers I usually pester for permissions to post on PPRuNe and so far what I have is this ..

I was told that Westlands offered G-APTE to Aer Lingus to see if they would help develop a market for the helicopter and that through them it flew with another company for a while. Its all a bit sketchy but I remember being told something like this.
In the meantime you might enjoy this British Pathé clip of your craft making her way to the isle of Inishturk off the coast of County Mayo in 1961:

BRITISH PATHÉ CLIP OF G-APTE (http://www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=41996)

Ahh Inishturk! The island of the wild boar, home to the Emerald Isles finest catches of lobster and former dwelling place of the patron saint of Columbia Helicopters! Rumour has it that when a mining company offered to develop the vein of gold which runs through the heart of the island the inhabitants said [Irish accent on] "Ah now, it'll be alright there. We don't need to spoil God's handiwork just because the little leprechauns get itchy feet whenever they walk on our land!".

Oh and Shane, I saw a movie the other day called 'The Guard' (a story set predominantly in Galway). I've not enjoyed a movie that much in a long time - fantastic!


11th Nov 2011, 13:14
Came across this in Paul Beaver's Attack Helicopters published in 1987 by Arms & Armour and the photograph note says that this Air Hanson PLC Bell 222A was rigged up for a movie but does anyone know what production did this star in?



11th Nov 2011, 13:51
EGJB - Les Casquets - 1982 -1984







11th Nov 2011, 14:06
those are fantastic pics of BATC, best ever, thanks!

11th Nov 2011, 14:08
That's what I like about this place.
I've been flying helicopters for almost 20 years now but have never heart about or ever seen a Westland WG-30 before.:ok:

11th Nov 2011, 15:09
Hi Spunk,

You have not missed much!!

The WG30 was yet another british, low production aircraft which failed to make the grade.

HH had it in mind for a contract for offshore however when the figures were worked out, fully laden it could get out to the rig and halfway back when fuel would run out!! Bring on the 212 (N142AL/G-BIDC) Pics to follow!

How many people knew HH had a 212?

KATE had a number of problems such as a replacement mis-machined gearbox casing which affected the flight controls and it nearly beat itself to death on the ground. Horizontal stabiliser had a habit of falling off when the titanium spar failed (Yes, titanium failure) due to the amount it vibrated.

KATE also was blessed with sliding doors on both sides and having flown in it the noise and vibration was terrible. I thought the Bo105 (Boiled egg with a stick up its a!s!) was bad enough when you flared until this!

11th Nov 2011, 15:17

"YA" The workhorse that replaced "AWAP" and acted as "Hele Tele" cameraship for London Marathon's, Boat Races galore!

Got a fair few thumps on the head from the skid on this beastie whilst load lifting on Foulness Island.

Capt Phil Bartley was the usual jockey for this beast!

Best job we ever did with this aircraft was the original British Airways flying towers of money. Anyone remember that?

Basically, in the advert all you saw was a pile of money coming into land at an airport.

I truth, we had a large wooden structure covered in dollars lookalike paper and flew up and down the 06/24 at SEN.

Fine until a strop broke!!!

As I said before, fun days they were!!!

11th Nov 2011, 15:45
...this Air Hanson PLC Bell 222A was rigged up for a movie but does anyone know what production did this star in?

The film was 'Ishtar' (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093278/), shot in Morocco in 1987.

11th Nov 2011, 17:04
Oops, sorry but appear to have taken over this thread somewhat with Helicopter Hire stuff. Please say if I have outstayed my welcome!!!

Truth is it was such a diverse operation to work for with Crop Spraying one minute, load-lifting, working on film sets joy-rides, Power Line & gas patrols there were never any dull moments.

Anyway, more pictures.............................

Highland Helicopters (Who are they?)


11th Nov 2011, 21:07
For sure, JC's company Helicopter Hire was a star of the 1970s. I got to know the team really well, JC and his super lady Gill Aldam, Phil Bartley and Marc Wolf and David Voy. For a couple of years they were my best Enstrom customers having operated, 28A, G-BCOT (crop spraying, G-BBRS with the Met police, ditto G-BENO) All the family were flyers, beautiful daughter Kate who took her first few lessons with me at Shoreham and No. 2 son Nick Crewsdon who also learned to fly with me on the 300C at Shoreham. Nick is now a pretty experienced rotary man with many licence types and lots of film work to his credit. I keep in touch with Gill who keeps her good looks as well as she ever was.

In the late 1970s John and I did some flying together on one of the Enstroms for the film 'Rollerball' - the first version. Had 'Energy Corporation' logo on the nose which on one occasion prompted a Blackbushe refueller to say he could send the charge on to the corporation! In the 1970s, he introduced me to some early Police flying with the Strathclyde Force, the London Met and the infamous Big G Chief Constable at Kidlington. I have to say I learned so much from a great aviator.

Daughter Kate is a qualfied hospital GP and son No 1 flies the airbus with Virgin. JC's list of film credits is legendary and if the Mods will allow, I'll shortly post around two dozen films where John did both camera and story ship flying.

Sadly it all ended when John was lost with the Aerospatiale following a M/R hub failure while on a water sampling flight. Yes a wonderful business and a wonderful family. Oh and there is a Crewdson Road in Crawley.

Hope these imputs help keep this superb thread upfront. BW to all. Dennis Kenyon.

11th Nov 2011, 22:03
Nick & Kate Crewdson have been getting all the mentions on here but most of my dealings have been with Johnny who I believe was John's son from his first marriage.

Met him at HH when he was walking around the workshops sporting a "CRASS" tee-shirt.

Many years later I came across him again during my Bristows days and again at Aeromega.

He was always a friendly understated chap who always did the job well.

I think he spent a lot of time on the deadly "Gas Contract" where I think he flew for Dollar plus other operators. Also believe that he did some time on the North Sea.

Not seen Johnny for a good few years but personnally have been out of helicopters for coming up to 12 years now.

In answer to Savoia's earlier question regarding JC's antics, he was a very quiet man but a damn fine pilot. As HH progressed he became more the businessman than the flier.

11th Nov 2011, 22:47
Mentioned on here earlier was the accident involving G-BCOT whilst carrying out ground runs and hover checks after maintenance at SEN outside Hangar 2, the home of HH.

It was gone 5:30p.m, pitch black when the aircraft was wheeled out for David Voy to run.

Geoff Dentith and Mary (Can't remember her surname) were the engineers supervising the run and being a mere apprentice I was walking out to my motorbike which was parked by some cars alongside where "OT" was being run on my way home.

As I walked across, Geoff D was alongside watching belt engagement etc when the aircraft went light on the skids, tilted backwards then started to go over to one side and swivel round.

At this point I dived behind a car but heard the horrendous din as the blades hit the concrete. After it went quiet I came out from behind the cars to see "OT" facing the opposite direction, back on its skids, one toe section missing and GD sitting alongside the aircraft.

Poor "OT" was sitting there looking like a palmtree with the rotorblades curled around the mast in an odd fashion.

Geoff D had a thigh injury and IIRC limped for a fair while afterwards but was a very lucky man. David Voy was an absolute star (As he always was) to get the aircraft back on its skids.

As someone else on here said, the three control tubes which went up the mast were twisted I think due to mal-assembly of the swashplate. As the aircraft went light on the skids the control tubes tried to correct orientation giving a massive cyclic input with the end result.

Lucky escape all round, with the "BDKD" incident, BBRS with a couple of scares over London with David Voy and IIRC Steve Forde I never really had a great liking for the F-28A (Sorry Dennis:)) I think we had a loan Enstrom F-28A for a while (G-BALT maybe) which when we returned it to Shoreham a Pitts or something similar taxied into it not long after.

Give me the Bell 47 anyday!!!