View Full Version : The Rotary Nostalgia Thread

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28th May 2012, 20:24
On page 33 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-33.html) we showcased a small selection of S62's including a sister ship to the craft below.

Now Jeremy Hughes (who provided most of the images for the London to Paris post above) has come up with the following S62 shot from 1960:

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-EdU1EiFwZ1A/T8PadO8kIpI/AAAAAAAAI-M/Zk5-3qgDFgQ/s0-d/S62A%2BN976%2BWorld%2BWide%2BHelicopters%2BBiggin%2BHill%2B1 960%2B%2528Jeremy%2BHughes%2529.jpg
Sikorsky S62A N976 belonging to World Wide Helicopters as seen at Biggin Hill in 1960 (Photo: Jeremy Hughes)

This craft was evidently damaged during a ditching in Qatar on 10th April 1969 while flying for Shell and was subsequently repaired and sold to Cyprus Airways where she flew as 5B-CBT in 1973. The craft was then sold to Gulf Helicopters in 1975 where she flew as A7-HAB.

1st Jun 2012, 08:09
We've showcased a couple of pleasant historical videos on Nostalgia and here's another (produced by Shell) to add to the collection:


Interesting moments include: Westland's G-ALIK performing a take-off captured in slow motion at 7:17, The Bristol Type 171 Sycamore at 9:37 followed by the Cierva Air Horse, the Skeeter and Gyrodyne. Night flying with the Dragonfly as well a Dragonfly in Wales also feature.

2nd Jun 2012, 06:28
An Agusta-Bell 206 of the Sultan of Oman's Air Force in the company of a Bell 205, also of the SOAF, over Oman in 1975. Iran donated an entire squadron of 205's to Oman in the 70's. (Photo: Agusta Archives)

2nd Jun 2012, 15:27
Schreiner Air Transport
Indonesian Air Transport

Dad was in Indonesia Feb '72 until Jan '73.
More Jungle, more clearings. Flying Allouette II and III around Bontang, Sankaliran, Sanga, Saminda, Koriroang, Dteupa, Jepu, Balik, etc.

Allouette III

Carefully? loading some cargo.
Fuel Delivery

Time for a quick cigarette whilst refuelling:)....

....and off

2nd Jun 2012, 21:30
Wildboy, I flew with Wally many times ,in Borneo and occasionally in Singapore during `Confrontation`,or one of `Britain`s small Wars`. I think Wally was the youngest member of the `Master`s Mafia`,or the infamous group of `Master` aircrew on 103 Squadron. For those unfamiliar with the RAF rank structure , Master Pilot/Navigator/Signaller/Quartermaster/Gunner/Observer were the top ranks of Non-Commissioned Aircrew in the RAF. As such,you didn`t get there very easily ,usually you had vast experience of operating aircraft,how to avoid onerous duties that fell to other lower or even Commisioned ranks,doors were opened for you by Officers,even saluted you(generally a mistake),you could leap tall buildings in a stride,walk through walls,without getting dust on you,even run faster than a speeding train,if you used the powers bestowed on you.....The same as Station Warrant Officers,or a Regimental Sgt Major...or Regulator Chief PettyOfficer in the Navy....God always asked his Secretary to `Request` an audience with them.......

The other ones were MPlt. Jack Trigg,and MPlt. Dougie Ponsford,who can be seen to Wally`s left in the photo meeting/greeting some VVIP (Dougie Ponsford always reminded me of the picture of `The Laughing Cavalier`,and Jack reminded me of Arthur Askey with `bottle-bottom` glasses....Sorry ,forgive me `Masters` for taking your names in vain... !

I was ,kind of,allowed to fly with these guys,and Master Navigators and Signallers,as an SAR crew at Seletar and Butterworth(on holiday),as I had also started as an NCO Sgt Pilot,but had been `Turned` and been `forced` to be commisioned,despite my desire to one day become a `Master` like the `Others`....so I was `accepted`.....
Wally was known (only in hushed and whispered words`) as the` Persil-Pilot`,never to his face,or whenever a `Master` was within 100yds...when he wore the VIP flying suit..

He was always `dapper` shall we say except for the fact one could wrap one of the `tropical` flying suits around Wally twice,as evidenced by the earlier pictures.
I don`t have any particular anecdotes or tales about Wally,except to say one could always listen to their stories of `times past ` and `daring-do` that they had collectively experienced,and take away the `pearls-of-wisdom`, to think about and maybe use/adapt with the times,because when you are 21-22 or so,you consider yourself invulnerable/know-it-all,but they`d been there,seen it all before ,got the `string-vest`(t-shirts hadn`t been invented),and were here....
Wildboy ,a little `tongue-in-cheek` but your Dad was a real `good-guy`,able to dish out the `banter` with the best.... Sycamore..

Edit ;later; WBy,if you`ve got Wally`s `MasterPilot` rank badges/armbands/ medals...then treasure them,they`re special....

3rd Jun 2012, 19:42
Sycamore- Hi, Thanks for you post.
Funny and interesting. Really good to hear from you. The names of Dougie Ponsford and in particular Jack Trigg ring a bell(is Jack in the earlier pic too?). I know Jack was mentioned a lot By my him. I know Dad was 'Dapper' He always wore a shirt and tie and i know he thought there was no reason to let your standards down even in the sweltering jungle.
I do have a good collection of his RAF bits and peices including Aircrew Categorisation cards, rating cards( can only find the white and green, but know he got master green in '64,'65,'66,'67) Badges, books etc. Also his Caterpillar club and Martin baker club cards and tie. RAF_LEUCHARS (http://www.ejection-history.org.uk/BASES_RAF/Leuchars/raf_leuchars.htm)(16th November 1954)
I have his GSM and Borneo medal (Ive applied for a posthumous issue of the PJM a few months ago, but not heard anything back yet)

I dont know if you know what badge or medal he's wearing in this shot (he's also wearing it in the Persil-pilot pic). I've always wondered.
Thanks again, & thanks to Sav and PPRuNe for letting me hog a lot of space in pages 77-79 to be a proud son. I'm almost at the end of my picture record.(maybe a few more Jet ranger shots for good measure).
Just need to find the thread to post Dads Meteor and Hunter pics next;)

5th Jun 2012, 05:21
Dear Ben

The reminiscences from your father's flying days have been a wonderful illumination to our little thread and I know that many Nostalgia readers have thoroughly appreciated your contribution. Thank you.

I am thrilled that I met your Dad that day at Biggin Hill (late 70's) when he was on the gas patrol and to have subsequently 'met' his son through PPRuNe!

Please do keep involved with the thread and pop-in whenever you can!





HM Frigate Unicorn was built at Chatham Dockyard, Kent and launched in 1824. A superstructure was built over her main deck and she was laid up "in ordinary", serving as a hulk and a depot ship for most of the next 140 years. Her lack of active duty left her timbers well preserved and in the 1960's steps were initiated to convert her to a museum ship.

Though steps were taken (including the addition of the totally new bowsprit) to restore Unicorn to a similar condition as her sister HMS Trincomalee, this plan was changed as it was discovered that the ship was the only example of a wooden frigate of her type existing in ordinary and, as a result, the decision was made to preserve her in her current condition.

The Unicorn was never rigged and only went to sea for the voyage from Chatham to Dundee during which she was under tow. It is thought the roof that covers her upper deck has never been replaced.

An RAF Westland Whirlwind oversees the transfer of HM Frigate Unicorn from Earl Grey Dock to Dundee Harbour on 13th November 1962. The Unicorn is being towed downriver by tugs 'Castlecraig' (ahead) and 'Harecraig' (astern)

A Westland Whirlwind engages in Flag Officer Training at HMS St.Vincent at Gosport in Portsmouth in 1963

One is tempted to say that the Whirlwind above is RN given its training duty but .. the markings appear distinctly RAF-like!

As a dog lover one is glad to see the chap on the left with a mutt at his heel!

John Eacott
5th Jun 2012, 06:24
One is tempted to say that the Whirlwind above is RN given its training duty but .. the markings appear distinctly RAF-like!

The Whirlwind (HAS22?) is probably the Admiral's Barge for Flag Officer Sea Training, in RN colours which would have been emerald green with a white stripe. All Admiral's Barges were that colour, and when various Flag Officers moved into using aircraft it followed that they (the aircraft) would have a suitable colour scheme. The same was applied to fixed wing, e.g. FONAC had a green/white Sea Hawk in the 1960's.

5th Jun 2012, 13:15
John thanks.

We did touch on the 'Green Parrots' on page 9 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/123915-what-about-wessex-makes-people-so-fond-9.html) of the Wessex thread but I have yet to dig-up a 'white top' Whirlwind photo (in colour).


On page 20 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-20.html) of this thread we looked at the Agusta-built 206 G-AYBE and which included a photo by PPRuNer 'Tailboom' of the craft landing at the Hoover factory in Merthyr Tydfil.

More G-AYBE ..

Agusta-Bell 206A G-AYBE landing at the fuel pumps at Coventry Airport on 14th February 1974

G-AYBE was bought by United Marine of London in 1970 (presumably from Mann's) who kept her until 1977 when she was exported to France and flew as F-GALU.

F-GALU visiting Southampton Airport c. late 70's

From France G-AYBE (F-GALU) returned to the UK in 1996 to fly as G-CBHH for Helisport of Biggin Hill. Later the same year she was purchased by Arena Aviation of Crawley who re-registered her G-GUST. GUST went on to fly for 'Dragon Helicopters', 'GHE Realisations' and DNH Helicopters before being withdrawn from use in 2011.

John Eacott
5th Jun 2012, 13:29
John thanks.

We did touch on the 'Green Parrots' on page 9 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/123915-what-about-wessex-makes-people-so-fond-9.html) of the Wessex thread but I have yet to dig-up a 'white top' Whirlwind photo (in colour).

Airfix featured the Admiral's Barge Whirlwind HAS22, many years ago:


What looks like Eagle or Ark's flight deck in the background seems a bit out of proportion: I think we'd all have liked to operate from something that size!

8th Jun 2012, 21:52

On page 76 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-76.html) 'Monkey Boy' made an enquiry relating the the Marley Tiles Co. TwinEcureuil G-BMTC.

At the time of MB's enquiry we were only able to source an image of Marley's single-Ecureuil G-BHIV but, it is now possible (thanks to photographer Adrian) to see the craft in question:

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-iDiJYhdIs34/T9JvirngLdI/AAAAAAAAJD8/L12lMMX7lPU/s0-d/AS355F2%2BEcureuil%2BII%2BG-BMTC%2BMarley%2BTiles%2BHayes%2B1984%2B%2528Adrian%2BBatchel or%2529.jpg
Marley Tile Co. AS355F2 Ecureuil II G-BMTC at McAlpines 'Hayes Heliport' in 1984 (Photo: Adrian Batchelor)

9th Jun 2012, 16:54
Now held at the Helicopter Museum rather than the Sea Front Green at Weston-Super-Mare (21/22 July this year, arrivals day 20th)....these from 2006







11th Jun 2012, 06:58
Yoyo: Great to see you back! :ok:

Aussie Surf Rescue Rangers

Bell 206B Jet Ranger VH-FJR (cn 0168) of Butler Aviation as seen at Brisbane's Eagle Farm Airport on 15th September 1979

More Aussie Life Saving 206's on pages 41 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-41.html) and 73 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-73.html).

industry insider
11th Jun 2012, 11:38
A30 (and Sav)

Wasn't G-BEWY an ex Bristow Bell 206?

11th Jun 2012, 11:47
Aye Aye I.I. - its been a while!

She was indeed; see here (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/287207-bristow-photos-93.html).

13th Jun 2012, 05:27
More Aussie nostalgia with this Jayrow JetRanger parked at Melbourne's Moorabbin Airport (what great names they have Down Under .. among my favourites being Wollongong, Come By Chance and Mt. Buggery!).

Sadly no reg or date - my apologies.

A fixed-float Bell 206B belonging to Jayrow Helicopters rests with her sister ship at Melbourne's Moorabbin Airport

The craft wears the humble moniker "THE Helicopter Company"!

17th Jun 2012, 07:40

One of the Nostalgia Thread's newest photographic contributors Jeremy Hughes (who provided much of the material for the post on the London to Paris Air Race on page 78 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-78.html)) has kindly offered us a wonderful photo of the Brantly B2 G-ASHD:

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-d-KnWhlEW1k/T919GPLzBvI/AAAAAAAAJGM/S2NTpplrcKY/s0-d/Brantly%2BB-2A%2BG-ASHD%2BBiggin%2BHill%2BMay%2B1963%2B%2528Jeremy%2BHughes%252 9.jpg
Brantly B-2A G-ASHD as seen at Biggin Hill in May 1963 (Photo: Jeremy Hughes)

This craft was bought by Pontin's holiday camps of Bournemouth just one month before this photo was taken but went on to crash in the Colne river near Brightlingsea on 15th February 1967.

Also in the photo is G-ARVY (another B2) which was imported by BEAS in 1962 but, as with ASHD, 'came a cropper' on 28th August 1964 while practicing autos near Kidlington.

In case you are thinking "G-ASHD that rings a bell" you would be right. She first appears on page 45 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-45.html) in a shot taken at Exeter Airport in 1964.

500 Fan
19th Jun 2012, 12:53
Here is an interesting photo of one of the Hughes 500Ds operated by Greenpeace (ZK-HTN).

(Apologies. I have no details on the photographer or copyright holder.)

It is seen in Dublin Port and I think the date is sometime around 1990 and, presumably, the titles on the tail boom refer to some campaign they were carrying out related to the the Sellafield Nuclear Plant.

500 Fan.

23rd Jun 2012, 14:22
I remember seeing it there at that time, yes it was an anti-Sellafield campaign. I think the boat is the Rainbow Warrior II, as French special forces had mined and sunk the Rainbow Warrior I !

25th Jun 2012, 06:43
To compliment 500 Fan's Hughes is this kind contribution from Nicola in Rome:

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-MU82peeK8lU/T-f_Agy319I/AAAAAAAAJIo/2t2EkB2OMu4/s0-d/BredaNardi%2BNH500D%2BI-CFSN%2BCFS%2B14%2BOstia%252C%2BItaly%2B31%2BMay%2B12%2B%2528 Nicola%2BMaraspini%2529.jpg
Forestale BredaNardi NH500D I-CFSN CFS 13 in Ostia, Italy on 31st May 2012 (Photo: Nicola Maraspini)

The Forestale crew push 'Eagle 13' through the streets of Ostia (along the Tyrrhenian coast near Rome) in preparation for the craft's display in the static exhibition at this year's Rome International Air Show which was held at the beginning of June.

More from Jeremy Hughes ..

Hiller UH-12E4 G-ASAZ at Biggin Hill in May 1963 (Photo: Jeremy Hughes)

This craft was bought by Rent-A-Copter (my godfather would have cringed at the name) in 1962 before moving on to Bouley Invesments in 1968 and Bell Fruit of Nottingham in 1974. In 1976 she was bought by Morland Beazley Helicopters of Hampshire and I don't know why but, for some reason, that name is familiar!

Fairchild Hiller FH-1100 (Serial No. 10) G-AVTG at RAF Wethersfield on 1st June 1968 (Photo: Stuart Jessup)

Complimenting Jeremy's UH-12E4 is Stuart's FH1100 owned (at the time of the photo) by the same outfit as G-ASAZ .. Rent-A-Copter.

Tragically, this is the craft which crashed so spectacularly at the 1969 Paris Air Show at Le Bourget on 5th June in which the craft's British pilot perished. Can anyone recall who was flying AVTG on that ill-fated day?

Nigel Osborn
25th Jun 2012, 07:10
The Hiller was flown by one of my RN instructors, Terry McDonald (sp?). Terry started as a RAF fixed wing pilot, moved on to fly a VC 10 for the Nigerian president at a time when they were being removed rather frequently. Terry used to joke " Whose the president today?". He then joined the RN to become a helicopter pilot, was a great character & good instructor.
Apparently the weather in Paris was very bad & while flying just below the low cloud base, something broke & the Hiller pitched upwards into the cloud & reappeared virtually upside down, crashed & killed him instantly. Hiller of course said it was pilot error & that Terry had lost it in cloud. Having had an instrument rating in both planks & helicopters for 20+ years, I highly doubt it. Very sad loss.

25th Jun 2012, 08:03
Nigel, thank you for that feedback. It was indeed tragic.

I would concur that the accident appears to have been a mechanical failure (the footage, to me, certainly seems to support that) and I think it was extremely cowardly (but not altogether unsurprising) of Fairchild to level the blame at the driver.

Yes, there was a low overcast that day, but this did not have any bearing on the abrupt change in attitude which G-AVTG experienced.

Nigel Osborn
25th Jun 2012, 08:42

Do you have a video of the accident?

25th Jun 2012, 09:03

It makes for depressing viewing (which is why I didn't post it) but .. here it is:


Nigel Osborn
25th Jun 2012, 13:04
That is really terrible. I vaguely remember reading a report years ago but can't remember the details. I think a control rod broke.

25th Jun 2012, 19:51
Denissimo - its been a while since I last heard from you! I suppose you recall the tragic accident (above) involving Nigel's former RN flying instructor at the Paris Air Show?

A friend emailed me a scanned copy of your article in this month's 'Flyer' - well done!

In the article you make mention of Ferranti's Meteor so .. here she is:

Armstrong Whitworth Meteor 14 outside the Ferranti Flying Unit at Edinburgh's Turnhouse Airport in 1971 (Photo: Lorence Fizia)

Ferranti donated this aircraft to the Museum of Flight at East Fortune Airfield in Lothian although I am not sure whether she is still there.

25th Jun 2012, 20:06
A quick look on the Museum website shows G-ARCX as still being at East Fortune.


26th Jun 2012, 19:35
Terry Macdonald was a super chap - been there done it and ended up teaching little prunes like Nigel and myself to not hit the ground in the wrong attitude.

Famous also for calling a particularly unpleasant pilot - he will know who he is - "trackless" and when asked why he said because he was so low that his bum rubbed out his tracks in the mud.

Wonderful pilot and character - so unfair.

29th Jun 2012, 17:22
Bast0n; I don't suppose you have a photo of the late TM in your superb collection?

Some great 80's nostalgia from Garry Lakin and Adrian Batchelor. (My thanks to both gentlemen for their contributions).

All the craft featured are familiar to the Nostalgia Thread, but its great to see these new additions to our collection:

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-PQ0dLFPGLlw/T-oJZYeFqQI/AAAAAAAAJKI/3digJYL6FG8/s800/AS355F1%2520G-JLCO%2520Hatfield%25205%2520Jul%252086%2520%2528Garry%2520La kin%2529.jpg
John Laing's AS355F1 TwinEcureuil G-JLCO departs BAe Hatfield on 5th July 1986 (Photo: Garry Lakin)

With this photo Garry has traded places with Adrian because the thread's best photo (to-date) of the Laing Ecureuil was from Adrian's collection and which can be seen on page 76 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-76.html). JLCO nows flys as VONF but there is further info back on page 76.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-3U7KQRMC95Y/T-oJZCI1HpI/AAAAAAAAJKM/eD_kJ7QSbZg/s800/SA%2520341G%2520G-BBHW%2520Leavesden%25201981%2520%2528Adrian%2520Batchelor%25 29.jpg
SA341G Gazelle G-BBHW at Leavesden following her respray in 1981 (Photo: Adrian Batchelor)

BBHW makes her debut on Nostalgia on page 39 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-39.html) wearing her red and white scheme inside a hangar at Glasgow in the 70's while she was with McAlpines. Then on page 57 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-57.html) is a photo from Anton Heumann (the Swiss photographer who took a shot of one of my favourite LongRangers .. the Monégasque registered 3A-MSX which can be seen on page 58 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-58.html)) of 'HW' at Luton three years after Adrian's shot.

BBHW's history began (briefly) with Bruce Fletcher Contractors of Leicester in 1974 after which she went to McApline who kept her until 1991 (so we are told). She then goes through a string of owners until she ends up with 'Cropspray Ltd' of Marksbury in Bath. I've never seen a Gazelle spraying crops!

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-1mn9Fo6tep0/T-oJZZDq-6I/AAAAAAAAJKQ/7_u-TsOZW_s/s720/B206B%2520G-BBBM%2520Leavesden%25201983%2520%2528Adrian%2520Batchelor%25 29.jpg
Bell 206B G-BBBM at Leavesden in 1983 (Photo: Adrian Batchelor)

G-BBBM was an ex-Ferranti managed 206 which began life wearing a pleasant two-tone red and brown scheme (see page 13 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-13.html)) but which went on to accommodate a variety liveries including those for Rothmans (page 40 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-40.html)) and the Daily Express (page 43 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-43.html)). She wore several other schemes too!

29th Jun 2012, 19:43
Hi all and to respond to Savoia,

Glad you enjoyed my piece on the G;oster Meteor in FLYER magazine and I'll be a regular contributor for the forseeable future ... although while occasionally writing articles on fixed wing, the plan is to mostly cover helicopters. The current 'Summer' issue will have my X2, X3, X4 story and the future for hi-speed helicopters. August will be UK Flying Training.

Thanks Savoia for posting the picture of Meteor 14 G-ARCX displaying her so-called red 'Mentadent' stripe, but being an awkward old sod when writing, I occasionally include the odd deliberate error. The true COFs on here may recall the 1950s toothpaste advert wasn't about Mentadent at all. The actual jingle went ... "You'll wonder where the yellow went ... when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent." Somewhere along the line, the Mentadent/Pepsodent nomenclature got reversed and Ferranti obviously didn't notice. How quaint! Regards to all. Dennis Kenyon.

1st Jul 2012, 10:34
Found some negatives from the Clyde days,

If I remember, a police officer accidentally set off the floats.

BiRDLe getting a bit of loving care.

the BOUY getting the windscreen washed ready for another adventure over Glasgow.

and BOUY and BRDL on the pad together


2nd Jul 2012, 19:48
Welcome back Wiggy! :ok:

Helping us maintain the Clyde theme .. this kind contribution from Derek Heley:

Bell 206B G-EYEI at Glasgow on 6th February 1988 (Photo: Derek Heley)

Some will recall that this craft met her demise (with tragic consequences) at Giffnock, near Glasgow during police operations in January 1990 having inadvertently entered a snow storm.

5th Jul 2012, 19:00
Bell 47G-1 G-ARIA at Biggin Hill in 1961 (Photo: Jeremy Hughes)

Jeremy continues to feed us with great images of rotorcraft past and has today forwarded a delightful shot of G-ARIA taken in her delivery year.

More about G-ARIA on page 71 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-71.html).

Brilliant Stuff
5th Jul 2012, 21:20
Am reading Allan Bristows Biography at the moment and loved the registration of Lord Beaverbrook's first helicopter.:D:D:D

5th Jul 2012, 22:57
I worked on IA when she was at Fairoaks in Decca colours - originally a 47D - but a G when I was involved.

6th Jul 2012, 07:02
TRC is (as always) correct. The little songbird (ARIA) did in fact start out as a 'D' model later being up-graded to a G1. I saw this craft many many times as a wee lad accompanying my father (as opposed to godfather) where, for a handful of years he kept a plank at Biggin.

Mushroom: We are indebted to the small army of photographers whom I constantly 'hasstle' to provide us with unwatermarked copies of their handiwork to post on PPRuNe. Over the past year or so several of the photographers have become keen followers of the Nostalgia Thread and which of course is great. To them we say a big thank you!

Brilliant: Have yet to read the biography but will doubtless pick-up a copy when I next visit the wetlands (Blighty). Yes, Beaverbook (what an amazing chap) did have a rather rudely registered craft - one I was planning to do a piece on at some point - so, your mentioning of her may well hasten this! One can only assume that the ribbing he received was a pain in the **se!

The aviation connections with the Beaverbrook family are many; his daughter, for example, the Hon. Janet Kidd had her own Bell 47. Whether she was a flyer or had her own driver I am not sure (perhaps Denissimo recalls!). And there are further connections which, with Senior Pilot's approval, I shall post for they do deviate somewhat off-course, lol!

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-vfO8UAdEHH4/T_aFGvWt9_I/AAAAAAAAJMc/K4R9LpAjp2I/s720/AB%252047G-2%2520G-AWSK%2520Farnborough%2520Sep%252070%2520%2528Mick%2520West%2 529.jpg
The Agusta-built Bell 47G-2 G-AWSK as seen at Farnborough in September 1970 (Photo: Mick West)

Above; Janet Kidd's Bell 47 attending the 1970 Farnborough Airshow. Just visible in the background is G-AWOL the Bell produced 206 belonging to David Brown Tractors of Huddersfield.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-_gOYIjJIhnE/TkwCK2SrPyI/AAAAAAAAEsk/zoZQ5jD5y48/s428/Hon%2520Janet%2520Gladys%2520Kidd%2520%2528n%25C3%25A9e%2520 Aitken%252C%2520later%2520Campbell%252C%2520later%2520Montag u%2529.jpg
The Hon. Janet Kidd (1908-1988)

8th Jul 2012, 08:43
PPRuNer Savoia parks Rotorwork Hughes 500D P2-AHN outside Manum Island Catholic Church, Papua New Guinea, in 1988

I feel for the SAR boys hammered for picking up a side of beef and I do confess that I am guilty of many such misdemeanors in times past!

To be fair though .. while I didn't request permission from 'The Dick' (Anderson) I did tell him that I had used the craft to attend Mass .. and for the simple reason that there wasn't any other available transport - and which was true!

His response .. "You can buy me a beer" .. which I duly did at the Hagen Aero Club.

8th Jul 2012, 19:26
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-xDkZ0cFktgQ/T_nZo4N9p_I/AAAAAAAAJNw/OYeD80VPTC8/s0-d/RAF%2BWestland%2BWhirlwind%2BHAR10%2BXP403%2BCullercoats%2B8 %2BApr%2B72%2B%2528Albert%2BGilmour%2529.jpg
RAF Westland Whirlwind HAR10 XP403 as seen at Cullercoats on 8th April 1972 (Photo: Albert Gilmour)

Albert Gilmour is a new contributor to Nostalgia and receives our thanks for this wonderful shot of an RAF Whirlwind from the early 70's.

My first 'encounter' with Cullercoats was in 1980 when it appeared in the lyrics to 'Tunnel of Love' on the album 'Making Movies' by Dire Straits (read Mark Knopfler). The verse included the phrase "From Cullercoats and Whitley Bay". Back in those days there was no internet return an instantaneous answer - one instead had to access an atlas of the UK and trawl through the index and, if the name didn't appear, you were left with the task of randomly searching through those map sections you felt were most relevant. All great fun of course!

11th Jul 2012, 06:39
A member of HMS Cardiff's helideck crew takes a break atop the stores carrier of the ship's Westland Lynx during the Falkland's conflict in 1982

Westland Lynx from HMS Cardiff equipped with Sea Skua air-to-surface missiles

Senior Pilot
11th Jul 2012, 09:06
A member of HMS Cardiff's helideck crew takes a break atop the stores carrier of the ship's Westland Lynx during the Falkland's conflict in 1982

Immersion suit, ready to fly: aircrew.

Probably the Lynx observer: he looks familiar! Pilot was Lt Chris Clayton: later Rear Admiral Clayton. They had a few 'happenings' during the Falklands campaign, notably two Daggers tried to take out the Lynx after jettisoning their external tanks and engaging with cannon :ooh:

13th Jul 2012, 15:35
They had a few 'happenings' during the Falklands campaign, notably two Daggers tried to take out the Lynx after jettisoning their external tanks and engaging with cannon.
I suppose the most notable event involving HMS Cardiff was the tragedy which struck the Army Gazelle XX377.

When I went out to Kenya there was an ex-Army chap (Tim Ward-Booth RIP) flying as CP for Freddie Wilcox's outfit - he had been in some sort of 'incident' during the Falklands, also involving a Gazelle, but I was never able to determine exactly what.

14th Jul 2012, 07:33
F15 HMS Euryalus as seen on the River Tyne on 21st October 1978

HMS Euryalus (F15) was a Leander-class frigate of the Royal Navy. Like the rest of the class, Euryalus was named after a figure of mythology. She was built by Scotts Shipbuilders of Greenock and launched on 6th June 1963. She wascommissioned on 16th September 1964.

F15 was the sixth Royal Naval vessel of the name and had a strong liaison with the Lancashire Fusiliers, whose motto (Omnia Audax) she bore from the 4th Euryalus landing its 1st Battalion at W Beach, Gallipoli where the Regiment "won six Victoria Crosses before breakfast"!

Euryalus' Officers in early in 1968

Euryalus' Wasp being wheeled out of the ship's hangar (Photo MD Thomas)

I never cease to be amazed by the generous allocation of space afforded shipborne hangars! ;)

17th Jul 2012, 18:00
Silvercraft SH-4 ZS-HDR taken at Grand Central Airport, South Africa, on 31st August 1973 (Photo: Steve Aubury)

Steve Aubury has kindly contributed the above photograph and asked me to do a little write-up on it and which of course I am pleased to do.

Quite how Steve's specific Silvercraft (cn. 20) got to South Africa I don't actually know. What I can say is that according to Italian records, cn. 20 was sold in 1972 to Slot Aviation of South Africa. As Steve informed me in his mail, this craft crashed on 27th June 1974 and the record states that she was at that time owned by Astaa Helicopters with the accident occurring at a place called 'Marble Hall' in the Transvaal. Beyond that I don't have much more .. so those with any further awareness of ZS-HDR and her history are welcome to supplement this meagre offering.

Regarding the SH-4 in general; this was a joint venture between a new Italian company 'Silvercraft' (formed in Milan in 1962 and about which I know very little) and an existing Italian aircraft manufacturer Siai-Marchetti (about which I know a little more).

Under the guidance of Emilio Bianchi the SH-4 (originally designated as simply 'XY') was designed as 3 seater piston aircraft (basically an Italian take on the Bell 47). The first test flight of the XY took place in October 1963. The SH-4 (as it was to become) was of all-metal construction, incorporated a semi-rigid rotor, a corrugated tailboom and was powered by a 235shp Franklin 6A-350-D engine.

Five prototypes were built of which I-SILX (cn. 01) made its maiden flight at Vergiate in March 1965 with Dario Pavan at the controls. With the aid of Fiat Aviazione Motori (who manufactured mechanical parts for the rotor transmission) a production batch of 50 SH-4s was planned at Sesto Calende in Varese, Northern Italy, (actually at the northern end of Lake Maggiore).

Silvercraft began deliveries in 1970 but the ran into difficulties which were related to the Franklin engine (now out of production) and, as a result, only 21 SH-4's were produced with individual examples being exported to Brazil, South Africa, France and Holland and two aircraft being delivered to the Italian Air Force. Production ceased in 1977.

The SH-4 was certificated by the RAI and FAA in September 1968, being the first helicopter of all-Italian design and construction to receive both Italian and US certification.

SH-4 I-RAIX at an unknown location but quite possibly Le Bourget (Photo: Henk Wadman)

The Silvercraft's panel (Photo: Damiano Gualdoni)

The SH-4 during crop-spraying trials in Northern Italy (Photo: Silvercraft Archives)

~ ~ ~

Seeing as this is a photographer-induced post I thought I would mention something about Albert Gilmour who contributed the delightful photo of the RAF Whirlwind at Cullercoats on the previous page.

In his email to me Albert wrote: "I am now 89 and just getting into this internet business and which I find great fun. Before my retirement I was a steam then diesel locomotive driver. One of my hobbies was painting in oil, mainly industrial subjects, trains also of course. I am very glad to be able to contribute my Whirlwind photo."

Albert Gilmour during his locomotive driving and oil painting days

Some photos of Albert Gilmour and his locomotives can be seen here (http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157628539471101/).

17th Jul 2012, 22:53
I like his look-very Quentin Smith

Big Bucks Bernie
19th Jul 2012, 16:25
Silvercraft SH-4 ZS-HDR taken at Grand Central Airport, South Africa, on 31st August 1973 (Photo: Steve Aubury)

Steve Aubury has kindly contributed the above photograph and asked me to do a little write-up on it and which of course I am pleased to do.

Quite how Steve's specific Silvercraft (cn. 20) got to South Africa I don't actually know. What I can say is that according to Italian records, cn. 20 was sold in 1972 to Slot Aviation of South Africa. As Steve informed me in his mail, this craft crashed on 27th June 1974 and the record states that she was at that time owned by Astra Helicopters with the accident occurring at a place called 'Marble Hall' in the Transvaal. Beyond that I don't have much more .. so those with any further awareness of ZS-HDR and her history are welcome to supplement this meagre offering.

I happened to come across another photo of ZS-HDR taken at the Aviation Africa Airshow held in October 1977 at Lanseria Airport:

To see the photograph, click here (http://www.aviationpics.co.za/morenews.asp?filename=125201271441.txt) and scroll down.

ZS-HDR is a Silvercraft SH-4 and is seen in the main static area as part of the STOL Aviation display on 6 or 7 October. The machine has the construction number 020 and was registered in May 1972. It apparently crashed on 27 June 1974; therefore it has been rebuilt since then. The helicopter in the background is Alouette III ZS-HBL.

According to the list of aircraft that participated at the airshow, ZS-HDR also performed a flying display on the 7th of October 1977 (see here (http://www.aviationpics.co.za/morenews.asp?filename=125201265455.txt)).

23rd Jul 2012, 21:10

Arsenal and Arsenam (two former BEA S61's) debuted on this thread back on page 26 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-26.html).

Besides being among BEA's first 61's these sister ships were known for their love of the sea!

On 15th November 1970 G-ASNM ditched in the North Sea 50 miles to the east of Aberdeen due to a gearbox lubrication failure (accident report here (http://www.aaib.gov.uk/cms_resources.cfm?file=/11-1971%20G-ASNM.pdf)).

13 years later, on 11th March 1983, G-ASNL followed suit ditching 75 miles north east of Aberdeen - also due to a gearbox lubrication failure although this time it was identified that this had been caused by the failure of a spur gear (accident report here (http://www.aaib.gov.uk/cms_resources.cfm?file=/4-1985%20G-ASNL.pdf)).

G-ASNM undergoing 'amphibious capability testing' prior to entering service on the Scilly Isles route in 1964

G-ASNL arrives at St. Mary's Heliport in the Scillies

A pleasant shot of Arsenam at Battersea to follow soon.

24th Jul 2012, 15:47
If that is the particular aircraft I am thinking of, my father put it into Bass Strait when the fuel pump failed during an attempted landing on an oil rig in the mid 1960s. If anyone recalls the incident, I would like to hear from them.

24th Jul 2012, 22:10
Austbeacon: Welcome aboard!

You may see a photo of the aircraft your father flew at the top of page 41 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-41.html) of this thread.

The craft in question was a single-engine S62 (as you mention) as opposed to the twin-engine S61's which appear in the post above but 'hewn from the same rock' so to speak!

Your father's aircraft was registered VH-AND and he ditched on 24th August 1967 in the Bass Strait.

As we have a number of venerable Aussies reading this thread I am confident that you will get some feedback!

If you can source any photos from your Dad's helicopter flying days .. we would love to see them.



Nigel Osborn
24th Jul 2012, 23:08
I remember a S62 ditching near an oil rig in the Bass Strait; it was floating quite happily until the seamen attached a line to tow it. In doing so, they upended the 62 & ruined it!
I'm not sure if another one ditched later as Kevin G was the pilot. Another 62 flown by Brian E ditched off Gladstone a short while later. No injuries to any one.

25th Jul 2012, 07:10
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-GZz7fcjQEcg/UA22aSUs3GI/AAAAAAAAJXY/ewMXWcD8kCQ/s0-d/Leyland%2BJournal%2Bfor%2BSeptember%2B1965%2BThe%2BBEA%2BSik orsky%2Bhelecopter%2Bis%2Blifting%2Bnew%2Bparts%2Bfor%2Bthe% 2BFulham%2BPower%2BStation%2Bfrom%2Ba%2BLeyland%2BComet%2Blo rry%2Bbelonging%2Bto%2BSamuel%2BWilliams%2Band%2Bsons%2BLtd% 2Bat%2Bthe%2BBattersea%2BHeliport.jpg
BEA S61N G-ASNM (aka Arsenam) lifts parts destined for Fulham Power Station from a Leyland Comet lorry belonging to Samuel Williams and Sons at Battersea Heliport c.1965

The wording on the boom reads: "Sikorsky S-61N powered by two General Electric CT 58 110 Engines".

29th Jul 2012, 07:40
Built in 1971 PH-NZD was an 'N' model S61 which spent the bulk of her operational life flying with KLM. She also served on contract with Irish Helicopters where she flew as EI-CTK before retiring to the US where she has flown variously as N445HD and N489WC.

Word on the web is that this craft was rehashed into a 'T' model for export to Afghanistan.

S61N PH-NZD at Amsterdam's Schipol Airport in the mid-70's (Photo: Roel Bekkering)

Also in the frame are PH-NZF (running) and PH-NZA. In this shot NZD wears a Coat of Arms below the cockpit side window but, as yet , I have been unable to verify the identity of the arms.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-2kpO9u0gZ3g/UBTfxKgUISI/AAAAAAAAJYE/fpUc_K19pBg/s766/S61N+PH-NZD+Cologne+Bonn+Konrad+Adenauer+Sep+73+%28G%C3%BCnter+Grond stein%29+promoting+ford%27s+new+transit.jpg
S61N PH-NZD at Cologne's Bonn Konrad Adenauer Airport in September 1973 (Photo: Günter Grondstein)

NZD is seen here preparing to hook-up to a 'body-less' Transit van during a promotional operation for Ford Motors.

There is a further (more recent) shot of NZD taken when she was in the UK in 1997 and for which we are awaiting permission.

One of the things I like about both these photos is that they capture something of the involvement of ground crews and so perhaps this post can be dedicated to their often unsung efforts. On this note I do have another shot of G-ASNL (see above posts) with some great ground crew interaction (coming soon).

As always - with thanks to our contributing photographers who are always mailed a link to the Nostalgia Thread when their images are posted.

2nd Aug 2012, 17:16
BEA S61N G-ASNL being loaded with flowers; most probably the Scilly Isles route c. mid-70's

Bristow's S61N G-BBHL 'somewhere .. sometime' going for a swim (no further details)

BBHL joined the Bristow fleet in 1973 and remained in their care until 2008 when she was shipped Stateside.

2nd Aug 2012, 18:20
Nice pic of the flower power 61 Savoia,

They still provide that service for the Narcissus growers in the islands today and a real pungent mini me version of the mass produced daffodil they are to. Almost too sickly a smell. :yuk:

Unfortunately today, they have withdrawn the BIH service non-effective October, so the end of an era which my dad was involved in way back when I was a grasshopper in school in Helston. Happy days back in the 60's :ok:

2nd Aug 2012, 18:48
Born in Hayle in '64 and spent the first few years of my life hearing G-ASNL and her sisters shuttling backwards and forwards to the Scillies. Maybe the first aviation sound I ever heard...

The sad news of the service withdrawal today :mad: has finally made me book seats there and back in September before the opportunity to ride in these fine old birds is lost for good.

Hope common sense prevails and the service for the Scillonians can maintained...

Plank Cap
2nd Aug 2012, 20:29
My money's on Spiggie Loch, Shetland whilst based at Sumburgh.

4th Aug 2012, 00:13
G-ASNL was salvaged from the bottom of the North Sea , I believe, rebuilt in the USA and now a 'Shortski'


G-ASNL (http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6857111942/) by A30yoyo (http://www.flickr.com/people/[email protected]/), on Flickr


"Farmington Fire" (http://www.flickr.com/photos/rustlingleafdesign/1100870822/) by Scott Stringham "Rustling Leaf Design" (http://www.flickr.com/people/rustlingleafdesign/), on Flickr

4th Aug 2012, 06:33
Griffo, Treadigraph, Plank .. thanks for the feedback! :ok:

The presumption was that BBHL was 'somewhere' in Scotland but I was hoping that someone would recognise the scenery and which you have done. I'm guessing that the shot was taken early-to-mid 80's.

Yoyo, great to see you back and with great images too!

More Classic 61 ..

British Airways S61N MkII G-BCEB arrives to collect a consignment of Royal Mail in Penzance in 1980

Royal Mail being loaded aboard G-BCEB

Plank Cap
4th Aug 2012, 06:48

See my post above, number 1615, for HL's swimming spot........ early to mid 80's about right I'd say. If I remember correctly, intentional dunking of the old '61 ceased around the end of the 80's, much to the pleasure of the Engineering Department.

As an aside, I was aboard a CHC (Thai Flying Service) S61N that may or may not have (to protect the guilty!) 'swam' intentionally in about 1996, to celebrate the retirement of a very senior Canadian pilot. Different rules, happy days.........

4th Aug 2012, 08:33
Plank, it was your post to which I was referring! :ok:

Can I take it from your username that you have moved over to the dark side?

Re: BBHL .. the record states that she became N346HH after being shipped to the US in 2008 but .. as there is precious little (read nil) information about that registration I am guessing that she may have been one the conversions sent to Afghanistan?

4th Aug 2012, 10:40

G-BBHL became N364HH and seems to be still alive, some details from FAA are, it is registered to EP Aviation LLC, Illinois, has a Certificate Issue date 19/11/10 and expiration date of 30/11/13, Status - Valid, and Airworthiness date 13/11/08, from CAA, deregistered from G-BBHL as going to USA 29/09/08.

:ok: Wiggy

4th Aug 2012, 12:39
Whilst on the subject of S61s, does anyone know the current whereabout of BIH's G-AYOY ?


Plank Cap
4th Aug 2012, 12:46
Sorry Savoia, I get it now.

For my sins now flying planks in the desert, but still try and keep the rotary ticket alive from time to time with a bit of AS350 / B206 action. Scariest, coldest, hottest, wettest, happiest, poorest and generally all round best ten years of my professional life!

Plank Cap

4th Aug 2012, 13:07
Planemike: AYOY was with British International until last year and then (as with many 61's) was sold back to the US where she became N457ES (Carson Helicopters) and then N476AW (US Dept. of State). I think this time this craft was one of those shipped out to Afghanistan!

Plank: Ah well it happens .. even to the best of us! (Yuh .. right!). Even I was forced to 'walk the plank' in my post-rotary days albeit in consulting and with the airlines but .. also in a hot place with lots of sand. ;) You should post some images of your 'blitterblat' days though!

Wiggy, welcome back. Tell me, what happens at the old Clyde Heliport these days?

4th Aug 2012, 14:14
Thanks................. Savoia

Rgds Planemike

4th Aug 2012, 14:32

Still the same old things, home of the 'Ra Polis' and the Ambulance EC 135's, not like the old Clyde days of Jet Boxes and the 105 buzzing about..

:( Wiggy

5th Aug 2012, 05:59

Michael Vincent O'Brien was an Irish race horse trainer from Churchtown, County Cork, in the Republic of Ireland. In 2003 he was voted the greatest influence in horse racing history and was previously voted the most accomplished trainer of national hunt and flat-racing horses.

He trained six winners of the Epsom Derby, was twice British Champion Trainer, won three Grand Nationals (in succession) and trained the only British Triple Crown winner since World War II - to name but a handful of his many achievements.

Vincent was a wonderful, respectable man who just happened to always carry a paper bag full of chocolate bars whenever he flew and which, as a youngster, greatly endeared me to him! He treated me with kindness (because this was his nature and also because he had great respect for my godfather). On those rare occasions when there were too many passengers for me to join him and the Colonel aboard the Ranger he would tell me to drive his blue BMW (which he would leave at the helipad) back to the main house and to return with it on his arrival .. and this despite the fact that I was well below the legal age for driving. But .. it was always great fun as I did far more flying than I did driving!

He would often go for walks with his two black Labradors (whose names now escape my memory) and, when doing so, would frequently pass by the pilot's house to see if I wanted to accompany him and which offer I never refused. He spoke very little and I remember one time we concluded a lengthy walk after which he said "thank you" and which had been his only words since collecting me! I guess he enjoyed seeing me playing with the dogs along the gallops .. or that he was simply occupied with his thoughts!

I visited Ballydoyle (Vincent O'Brien's home and training stables) during several school holidays over a two year period and it was during that time that my love of flat racing was born (I was already a horse-lover and keen rider at school). Vincent's passion for horses was almost as infectious as my godfather's love of flying and if there is such a thing as a 'horse whisperer' then Vincent was certainly such a one. His ability was that of being able to read the silent communications of each of his horses, their various expressions such as a flick of the tail, a stamp of the foot, the movement of their ears and eyes .. it all meant something to him and the horses for their part seemed to 'sense' they were being 'read' whenever he was about. This connection between man and beast was something I had never before witnessed (and I am obviously discounting pets here) and it fascinated me.

As Vincent was working his magic with the horses I would be spell-bound simply watching him! On more than one occasion when one of his priceless thoroughbreds was misbehaving prior to being taken on a run, Vincent would walk over to the beast (which would have one of the stable jockeys atop) and place his hand on the animal's nose, or .. sometimes .. just look into beast's eyes and the creature would visibly calm down. It was (as least for me as a wee lad) incredible.

Regarding his helicopter; Vincent had a Bell JetRanger, the first Mk III in the Republic, EI-BFK. BFK began life as N50005, one of the first JetRanger III's off Bell's production line. In 1978 she was shipped-off to Russia where she contributed as part of the US team in the World Helicopter Championships which were held in Vitebsk in July of that year. After the championships she was flown to the UK where, in August, CSE swapped-out her 'shorts' for 'pop-outs'. She then attended Farnborough in September and was, to the best of my knowledge, the first Bell (as opposed to Agusta-Bell) 206B III in the UK.

Prior to Farnborough Irish Helicopters had contacted CSE declaring their interest in acquiring a new JetRanger on behalf of their client (Vincent O'Brien). Immediately after Farnborough (and still wearing her 'stars and stripes' livery from the WHC) N50005 was flown to Dublin where she was promptly re-registered as EI-BFK and her American flag and 'USA' livery sprayed-over. (However .. every time you opened the boot you could see where the 'stars and stripes' had once been .. lol!).

Vincent O'Brien, Ballydole and Tipperary shall forever retain a special place in my heart.

The late great Vincent O'Brien (1917-2009) at Ballydoyle Stables near Cashel in Co. Tipperary

Approaching Ballydoyle with the southern gallops and water tower in view

A youthful Savoia dismounts Vincent O'Briens Bell 206B JetRanger III EI-BFK at Ballydoyle Stables in 1980. We are clearly back from the races (most likely The Curragh or Leopardstown) as I am still wearing the racing badge

5th Aug 2012, 06:16

I have fond memories of flying in and out of Ballydoyle in a B222 and 430 to pick up his son-in-law on many occasions, another real gentleman and pretty talented trainer as well :p

I have spent hours there and Coolmore totally transfixed by the scenery and those beautiful animals.... Very happy days :ok:

8th Aug 2012, 07:13
Vincent kept the colours on his subsequent aircraft. EI-BFK was replaced by EI-BNO AS350, this later became G-JRBI in 1983 and was replaced by EI-BOR a Bell 222. The 222 is still in Ireland as N222WX but mothballed at present.

I like Savoia spent many a happy day running around Ballydoyle and later went on to fly there for a number of years in the 222. I also spent many a day after that on the pads of Tipperary with young Griffo....Good Times

8th Aug 2012, 10:27
Griff/CVR: How wonderful to have these experiences in common with you! As you say, delightful times which have left great memories.

Vincent kept the colours on his subsequent aircraft.

Yes, I recall someone contacting the Colonel and mentioning that the Ranger had been swapped-out for an Ecureuil and that instructions had been received from Ballydoyle to paint her up in the same livery.

I suspect that Vincent might not have been aware from where the colours on his aircraft were derived. Only a handful of guys at Irish Helicopters would have been in-the-know as it were.

Here .. BFK when she was N50005:

Bell 206B III N50005, Stateside in 1978, prior to being shipped to the World Helicopter Championships in Vitebsk, Russia

On finals to Ballydoyle. The pad was between the red and white gallop observation tower and the circular training ring

BFK on the pad at Ballydoyle. Easter 1980

8th Aug 2012, 14:47
Hi Savoia,

Thats a rare pic of the USA team's mount, as I've only got b/w photos in Dancing Rotors book by the late Harry 'Ned' Gililand. And the only colour other colour pic in existent was from HAI Rotor magazine interview with 'Ned' in 2004? But the pic of him in the USA team jacket and tie and standing by the cargo compartment of the 206 so no full aircraft shot.

There's also a Bell 206L Longranger used by the USA team , again b/w photo in the book, have you got a colour pic of that please?


15th Aug 2012, 10:08
Chopper: Sadly I don't have the USA Team LongRanger but, if you do source a copy, I'd love to see it!

Westland WG-13 Lynx XX907 at Widdle Wallop on 27th July 1973 (Photo: Mike Freer)

The Lynx was one of three types of aircraft (Puma, Gazelle and Lynx) covered by the Anglo-French helicopter agreement first proposed in February 1967 and confirmed on 2nd April 1968. On 1st December 1972 a long-term agreement was signed between Westland Helicopters and Aerospatiale to formalize and strengthen the existing collaboration programme. Westland had design leadership in the Lynx, which was a medium sized helicopter intended to fulfill general-purpose, naval and civil transport roles. It was the first British aircraft to be designed entirely on a metric basis.

Five basic aircraft were being used by Westland to prove the fundamental design parameters. Following flight testing using two Scout helicopters fitted with scaled-down versions of the Lynx rotor system, the first Lynx prototype (XW835) flew for the first time on 21st March 1971 and was followed by XW837, the third prototype (second Lynx to fly), on 28th September 1971. Third to fly was the Lynx (XW838, on 9th March 1972), the first to have the monobloc rotor head designed for production aircraft.

Then followed, on 24th March 1972, the first flight of XW836, which had previously been used for ground vibration testing. The fifth Lynx to fly (XX153, on 12th April 1972) was a development aircraft for the British Army, the AH.Mk.1 version.

In addition to these five aircraft, a sixth Lynx (XX907 [above], first flight 20th May 1973) was allocated to Rolls-Royce for engine development.

Further airframes were built for static, fatigue and electrical testing.

On 20th and 22nd June 1972, Roy Moxam flying XX153 set up Class E1e international speed records of 199.92 mph (321.74 kmh) over a 9.3/15.5 mls (15/25 km) straight course and 197.909 mph (318.504 kmh) over a 62.1 (100 km) closed circuit. During the flight test program the Lynx rolled at more than 100° per second, dived at 230 mph (370 kmh), and flew backwards at 80 mph (130 kmh).

15th Aug 2012, 12:42
Hi Savoia

Thanks for your reply

Btw Scanned this from an old copy of World Airpower Journal Vol 4 Winter 90/91 and nice to see rare photo of even rarer helicopters used by the FAA.


According the WAP, this was previously used by NASA, I wonder if anyone can shed any more light on this particular airframe or its uses and better still, any more photos of FAA helicopters. Has anyone got photo of NASA NCH-53?

Maybe we could start a dedication to the legendary S-65/C/MH-53 on here and Savoia please could you create a logo for this as I have plenty of pics of MH-53H/M and MH-53E to share on here?


18th Aug 2012, 04:27
Acft mechanics taking lunch by my 58 back in 91 at Ft. Hood.


History in one picture:


19th Aug 2012, 07:33

Sikorsky MH-53M Pave Low IV (S-65A) of the 21st SOS 'Dust Devils' over the UK on 13th September 2007 (Photo: Neil Jones)

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-ROJiowGp0RM/UDCUsC0n6BI/AAAAAAAAJgA/1otnuQVUAYA/s778/Sikorsky+MH-53M+Pave+Low+IV+%28S-65A%29+Knife+51+White+Cliffs+of+Dover+13+Sep+07+%28Neil+Jone s%29.jpg
Sikorsky MH-53M Pave Low IV (S-65A) "Knife 51" of the 21st SOS 'Dust Devils' in front of the White Cliffs of Dover on 13th September 2007 (Photo: Neil Jones)

Two CH-53E Super Stallions receive fuel from a C-130 Hercules while carrying two High Mobility Multipurpose Vehicles during an aerial refueling exercise. The helicopters belong to the Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 772, a reserve squadron from Willow Grove, Pennsylvania currently attached to the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) in support of the war against terrorism. (Photo Cpl. Paula Fitzgerald USMC)

19th Aug 2012, 15:50
What's the minimum speed (Herc) they can refuel at?

I understand it is a stable external load but even then there is a limit on that.


19th Aug 2012, 17:09
Fijdor: My understanding is that the KC-130J (the tanker in the photo above - taken, I should have added, over the Gulf of Aden) has an inflight refuelling speed envelope which ranges from 100 to 270kts. Each refuelling pod is capable of offloading 1,100 litres per minute.

Chopper2004: You've not picked an easy one that's for sure but .. word is that your FAA 'Stallion' is serial no. 153299 and here is some of her history:

Serial No. 153299 was accepted into service on 1st March 1966 and saw a variety of assignments. It flew with the US Navy, US Marine Corps, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and back to the Navy to end its service. While with NASA, alterations and modifications were made to the helicopter such that it could not be returned to its original mission capability. That is why it carries the prefix N for permanent special test in its designator NCH-53A.

It was last painted at the Naval Air Depot, Pensacola, Florida in November 1988. Under the paint, on the right side sponson, a decal/logo with NADC was visible.

The helicopter’s last assignment being with the Naval Air Development Center, Research Development, Test and Evaluation, Warminister, Pennsylvania. The helicopter was recovered from Naval Air Engineering Station, Lakehurst, New Jersey, in July 1999, where it had been stored in a World War II blimp hangar.

June 1966: Naval Air Test Center – Service Tests, Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River, (Lexington Park) Maryland

June 1967: Naval Plant Representative Officer (NPRO), Research and Technology, Sikorsky Aircraft Division of United Aircraft Corporation, Stratford, Connecticut

July 1967: NATC – Service Tests, NAS Patuxent River

July 1968: US Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron HMH 461, “Sea Stallions,” Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River, (Jacksonville) North Carolina

July 1968: US Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron HMH 361, “Flying Tigers,” MCAS New River, NC

February 1969: HMH 361, MCAS Santa Ana, California

July 1969: HMH 461, MCAS New River, NC

June 1971: Marine Air Reserve Training Detachment (MARTD), NAS Willow Grove, (Willow Grove/Horsham) Pennsylvania

February 1973: NPRO Sikorsky Aircraft, Stratford, CT

July 1973: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia as 543

December 1975: Modified to NCH-53A with NASA

May 1978: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Atlantic City, New Jersey

May 1981: FAA, Washington, D.C.

October 1983: Naval Air Rework Facility, NAS Pensacola, Florida

June 1984: Naval Air Development Center, Research Development, Test and Evaluation, Warminister, Pennsylvania

November 1988: Naval Air Depot, Pensacola, FL

Date unknown: Naval Air Engineering Station (NAES), Lakehurst, New Jersey

July 1999: Combat Air Museum

While with the Federal Aviation Administration she seems to have acomplished the following:

"A series of flight tests were conducted to investigate the use of long range navigation (LORAN)-C as a helicopter navigation system in the offshore New Jersey Baltimore Canyon oil exploration area. Tests were flown aboard the Federal Aviation Adminstration (FAA) Technical Center's CH-53A using a Teledyne Systems TDL-711 LORAN Micro-Navigator. The purpose of the tests was to determine the accuracy and operational usability of LORAN-C for offshore en route navigation and nonprecision approaches. The total system accuracy met or exceeded the requirements of Advisory Circular (AC) 90-45A 'Accuracy Requirements of Area Navigation Systems' for terminal and en route phases of flight, provided the proper LORAN triads were selected. The LORAN-C System did not meet AC 90-45A nonprecision approach accuracy criteria."

Not in your FAA colours Chopper but .. as far as my research suggests .. the same craft:

NCH-53A Serial No. 153299 landing at NASA's Langley Research Centre in Virginia in 1975

22nd Aug 2012, 13:14

Hi Savoia,

Mnay thanks for the detailed info and pic of NASA NH-53A, very much appreciated and here's my contribution. The guys out of Sigonella were very kind to bring their MH-53E Sea Dragon to Mildenhall 1995 Air Fete and I think it was the first time the Navy brought thier MH-53E to airshow in UK. As with Bush's visit several years ago, the HC4 when it was at Siognella, brought over their Sea Dragons to support his visit where they were sighted at Newcastle and other airports in the UK. Plus a visit in 2004 to RAF Northolt to support a delegation of congressmen and senators visiting the UK. I sighted a pair of these Sea Dragons over the Cambs countryside from my office on an airfield where I previously worked. By coincidence it turns out my one of my best mates in the RAF who was based at Northolt was on board said pair accompanying the US delegation!

Anyhow please find my scans on here (didnt enter the digital age till nearly a decade later from this!!!! :ok:)



22nd Aug 2012, 13:27

And also on that nice day in May, heres the 21st SOS 'Dust Devils' MH-53H




Senior Pilot
23rd Aug 2012, 01:25
Some real nostalgia: Mechanix Illustrated (http://blog.modernmechanix.com/this-helicopter-car-flies-over-traffic/) from November 1941 :ok:


23rd Aug 2012, 15:01
It would appear that the 'safety trilby ' was de rigeur in those days. I cannot see a chin strap so I assume the downwash kept it on! You think you must have seen it all and then something like this appears. Wonderful!

24th Aug 2012, 11:38
From the Mechanix Illustrated article.

Andalusia Man has Patented Helicopter That Is Queer Apparatus”. Patent Number: 1,230,686 Class 172

Who would have known? :rolleyes:

Senior Pilot
24th Aug 2012, 11:55
The description 'queer' in the original meaning of the word is not unusual throughout Mechanix Illustrated. But not for this October 1923 article :cool:


Latest helicopter makes flight: (http://blog.modernmechanix.com/latest-helicopter-makes-flight/)

THE latest in the helicopter type of flying machine made its initial flight a short time ago when it remained in the air for 1 minute 40 seconds and reached a height of 8 feet. In several later ascensions the machine, carrying two passengers, rose 3 feet above the ground. Helicopters continue to attract considerable attention on account of their ability to rise vertically from the ground and to land in a small area. While the height attained by this helicopter may not seem very impressive, it can be argued that the first trial trip of the Wrights lasted only 59 seconds. The machine was built at McCook field under the supervision of the inventor, Dr. Geo. de Bothezat, a Russian scientist. It is equipped with four lifting propellers, each having six blades and a diameter of 10 feet, and it has provision for flying horizontally. The machine measures 60 feet from tip to tip and has a total lifting capacity of nearly 4,000 pounds.

29th Aug 2012, 17:21
SP: That was a fine find on Mechanix Illustrated! :ok:

Dixon's 'Heli-Car' does somehow resemble a flying wheelchair though!

Schinthe wrote: It would appear that the 'safety trilby ' was de rigeur in those days.
LOL! Yes it was a popular accessory during the first half of the 20th century, especially Stateside:

The late great Sir Igor Sikorsky (left and with Trilby :E) and Mr Orville Wright standing by a Sikorsky XR-4 helicopter at Wright Field, Ohio, in May 1942 (Photo: Sikorsky Archives)

The late Howard Hughes (with his Fedora) on the flight deck of his H-4 Hercules (aka 'Spruce Goose') seaplane in Long Beach Harbour before his epic flight on 2nd November 1947


US Air Force Sikorsky H-5 Dragonfly waterborne somewhere off the US coast at sometime but most likely mid-to-late 40's

Can anyone take a stab as to what the device below the swashplate might be? Clearly an arm leading to some sort of horizontal stabiliser but a most uncommon accoutrement for this (or indeed any) type!

31st Aug 2012, 15:51
Hi all, I found this Sycamore helicopter the other day west of Turkey ck.
Not in the best of condition. Bush fire has gone through at some stage.
Great to see tho !!
The story I had was tail rotor strike, repaired then main rotor strike on lift off, so they just left it there.... 30+ years
16.82583°S, 127.73383°E

How do I up load pics? I have a few of the Heli

31st Aug 2012, 19:54
Last saw that thing in August of '93 on a donkey shoot.

Wasn't a lot left of it even then.

Question is which one is it?

Just in case you thought "bird towing" was something "new" like "long lining."


Saint Jack
1st Sep 2012, 03:57
A very interesting photo RVDT, do you have any more details? Is the load suspended from a hoist/winch or a cargo hook? I'm a little puzzled that the cable is well forward of the main rotor mast despite the load looking rather heavy. Obviously no CofG problems.

1st Sep 2012, 06:55

How to post photographs (http://www.pprune.org/spectators-balcony-spotters-corner/203481-image-posting-pprune-guide.html)

Saint Jack

Looks like they figured it out OK.

Adastra Aerial Surveys (http://www.adastra.adastron.com/default.htm)

Sycamore VH-INO with the magnetometer "Bird" in tow.
Taken at Queenstown, Tasmania in 1957.


6th Sep 2012, 16:50
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-6whrriZjcmU/UEjSmjC-cqI/AAAAAAAAJlE/cUi5Eijok2c/s887/RN+Westland+Wessex+HU5+XT767+Shoreham+July+1979+%28Photo+Pau l+Robinson%29.jpg
Royal Navy Westland Wessex HU5 XT767 touches its tail onto the turf at Shoreham Airport in July 1979 (Photo: Paul Robinson)

6th Sep 2012, 18:27

Later generation machine S55 Series III, looking for copper around the Hajar mountains in the UAE circa 1978-79


Same machine VR-BDL, shorter strop this time loading cement to build a prison in a village up on the 'Green mountain' Nizwa Oman, yours truly underneath risking life and limb!!

9th Sep 2012, 16:53
Great stuff Stace! :ok:

Chopper2004; Some more CH53 memorabilia for you:

USMC CH53 with 'special' camouflage

USMC CH53 flies over Tower Bridge. Most likely from one of the bases where the USMC kept their 53's, ie: Woodbridge, Bentwates, Alconbury or Mildenhall.

9th Sep 2012, 21:27

Many thanks for the pics, though the last picis of the then 67th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron HH-53H Super Jolly Green Giant not USMC CH-53!

In the 80s the 601st Tactical Air Control Wing at the former Sembach AFB now Sembach-Kasserne USAREUR base operated the cargo CH-53H and OV-10 Bronco (FAC) . The H-53 of the 601st had a role of carrying battlefield radar and mobile ATC and surveillance radars.

Originally at Woodbridge and post Desert Storm and closure of bases as the 21st SOS Dust Devils as part of the old 39th Special Ops Wing then moved to Alconbury and in 93 to 95 relocated to Mildenhall as Alconburys airfield would cease ops and that part of the base given back to the MOD. 39th was re designated 352nd Special Operations Group then in 2007 the MH-53M Pave Low I'VE retired from USAF inventory and 21st SOS disbanded. But it will reform with cV-22 late or early next year at Mildenhall.

USMc don't have helos in UK unless on exercise or attending airshows such as RIAT or Farnborough :)

Many thanks

11th Sep 2012, 17:27
Chopper, thanks for the clarifications! :ok:


US Navy S-51 as captured during night time operations at the US Naval base in Anacostia, Washington DC, in February 1949 (Photo: Andreas Feininger)

This US Navy S-51 Dragonfly was fitted with tip lights and photographed lifting from Anacostia naval base at night (aided by a full moon) in February 1949. Andreas Feininger used time-lapse photography to capture the 51's dpearture which, as one can see, has created this impressive 'slinky' effect. Not bad for '49, so I think.


https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-EQdP2qGtAJs/UE9s640ljiI/AAAAAAAAJn0/6lrw5gWvFZI/s639/SAR+Sea+King+from+771+NAS+RNAS+Culdrose+over+St+Michael%27s+ Mount.png
A Sea King from 771 NAS RNAS Culdrose noses forward in front of St. Michael's Mount in Cornwall

The Mount as seen from the Sea King's door

12th Sep 2012, 08:11
A lot of RM's mans & machines in the Gallery part!
Flying Marines Introduction Page (http://www.flyingmarines.com/)

Please remove if the link was already here.

20th Sep 2012, 17:17
Zis, great to see you back, nice find! :ok:

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-0XvjV0EF7Mg/UFtMnSTSbJI/AAAAAAAAJsA/SqhKUW-zMkg/s726/N235B+%28cn+176%29+Three+newly+built+and+float+equipped+Bell +47D-1%27s+of+the+NYPD+perform+for+Bell+Aircraft%27s+cameraman+NY +1950+RAScholefield.jpg
City of New York Police Department Bell 47D-1 N235B (cn 176) accompanied by two additional float equipped sister ships prior to their delivery to the NYPD in 1950 (Photo: The R.A. Scholefield Collection)

Another gem from R.A.'s black and white collection. The airfield isn't mentioned but R.A. has said it was taken in New York and my guess is that these craft may have been photographed at Buffalo Municipal Airport (now Buffalo Niagara BUF).

4th Oct 2012, 07:26
And this time .. the Dragonfly which became a Widgeon!

Westland WS51 Mk 1A Dragonfly c/n WA/H/1

On 10th January 1947 Westland Aircraft signed an agreement (a licence in fact) to build Sikorsky's S-51 helicopter. The agreement gave Westland the power to 'improve' Sikorsky's design and was assigned the designation WS.51. The name Dragonfly seems to have been added later.

The arrangement included the supply of six US-built aircraft to assist Westland during their learning curve in constructing the 51 and to allow for demonstrations to customers while production was ramping up. Westland were assigned sales rights in all markets except North America.

The aircraft incorporated some noteable changes to the US-built versions as most production drawings were modified to suit British engineering practices and local materials. Among the changes included substitution of the 450hp Pratt & Whitney Wasp Junior for the 520hp Alvis Leonides 50.

The WS.51 was produced in two variants, the Mk.1A with the Alvis Leonides engine and the Mk.1B with a Pratt & Whitney R-985-B4 Wasp Junior.

The prototype Mk.1A (c/n WA/H/1) first flew on 5th October 1948 with the registration G-AKTW. While awaiting the arrival of the six aircraft from Sikorsky, this aircraft was evaluated by the RAF and was given the registration XD649. In 1955 this aircraft was converted to become one of three prototypes for the civilian market and which became known as the Westland Widgeon.

WA/H/1 became the first 'Anglicised' version of Sikorsky's S-51. On 3rd November 1958 the aircraft was re-registered as G-APPR and three years later, on 6th November 1961, was registered to Bristows. On 20th June 1962 the aircraft was sold to Nigeria where it became 5N-AGA.

Westland WS.51 Mk.1A Dragonfly c/n WA/H/1 G-AKTW makes its maiden flight from Yeovil on 5th October 1948

c/n WA/H/1 is given the RAF designator XD649 during trials with the service in the late 40's

G-AKTW goes for a swim in Findhorn Bay, Scotland, in 1960 (Photo: The Dave Welch Collection)

For an image of G-AKTW as a fully fledged Westland Widgeon, check out post #966 on page 49 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-49.html) of this thread.

4th Oct 2012, 08:56
Speaking of S-51s, the Dragonfly was the first helicopter in former Yugoslavia! Ten S-51 Mk.1B went into YUAF over Mutual Defence Aid Programme during 1954. C/ns WA/H/95-WA/H/104 allocated JRV serials from 11501 to 11510.

9th Oct 2012, 10:19

Bell 206B III G-BKBY at Leavesden in 1983 (Photo: Adrian Batchelor)

Adrian Batchelor has shared another sample of his great collection of 80's 'Brit-Rotary-Nostalgia' .. this time in the form of G-BKBY.

This was craft was imported by CSE in 1982 and sold to Real Time Control of Watford in August the following year just prior to the Business and Light Aviation Show at Cranfield.

At Cranfield ('83) I met her owner who at the time was being taught to fly by a slighty tall and grey-hairer gentlemen who's name escapes my memory - as does the name of the owner. But, her owner was most gracious and sent me (through CSE) an oversized photographic print of BKBY. It was a smashing shot of BKBY in the hover (at Kidlington I am sure) and looking resplendent in the brilliant sunshine.

From Real Time Control she moved on to ADT Aviation of Hindhead in Surrey where she was re-registered as G-OSUE.

As OSUE this craft was to meet her tragic demise on 14th August 1992 near Crowthorne in Berkshire.

An excerpt from the accident report (http://www.aaib.gov.uk/cms_resources.cfm?file=/Bell%20206B%20Jetranger%20III,%20G-OSUE%2002-93.pdf) reads:




10th Oct 2012, 06:18
Zis: This is for your collection, although you've probably already got it:

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-YIIoKxW6sXk/UHUP4pSvIxI/AAAAAAAAJ1I/69lygdmPS0I/s820/SA315F+RA-05702+Gelendzhik%2C+Russia%2C+5+Sep+12+%28David+Cherkasov%29 .jpg
SA341F RA-05702 over Gelendzhik, Russia, on 5th September 2012 (Photo: David Cherkasov)

This craft appears to be flying over the Russian equivalent of Hollywood!

Not sure whether she's of Aérospatiale, Westland, SOKO or ABHCO origin but .. I am sure your records will soon tell you.



10th Oct 2012, 08:21
Thanks you think on me, Sav :ok:

Of course I spot it, almost few weeks ago at the Óêðàèíñêèé Ñïîòòåðñêèé Ñàéò Àýðîâîêçàë - Ðåçóëüòàò ïîèñêà (http://spotters.net.ua/search/?q=Gazelle&sort=added_desc). Believe or not, I still have no clue which c/n is this. I'm trying to find out but RA/RF register is very difficult to browse...
So, any help in this matter would be much appreciated :)

14th Oct 2012, 14:26
Zis: It is becoming quite difficult to find even a single Gazelle which you do not have in your collection!

How about this one below .. do you have that too?

It was sold less than four weeks ago by Falcon Aviation (http://www.sa341gazelle.co.uk/) in the UK to James Blaylock and Carol Evans and is an ex-British Army Westland-built 341 model. Her Army designator was XX432.

Westland Gazelle SA341 AH1 G-CDNO as seen at Gamston on 15th September 2012 (Photo: Dave Grimsdale)

ps: That is an intriguing web address in your link.

14th Oct 2012, 19:21
Great finding, Savoia! :D

I haven't see G-CDNO in this livery before, just few shots while she was painted light blue back in 2008. I owe you a beer for this one :)

15th Oct 2012, 11:09

16th Oct 2012, 07:21
Pitts Extra: Well you made my day yesterday when your apparition of 'The Dancer' suddenly appeared. Fantastico!

She is such a special craft to me .. being the one in which I performed my first solo (under the watchful eye of the late great Tony 'Antonio' 'Nobby' Clarke) and also being the first bliterblat in which I experienced an engine failure. I have many memories of flying her between 1981 and 1983 while she was under Colin Chapman's patronage and then in 1984 when she joined Dennis Kenyon's stable at Booker.

Your photo must have been 82-83 (as she wore the Essex Motorsport colours in 81) .. do you have any further details on the specific date and location?

Again my thanks, what a super shot of the little girl! :ok:

16th Oct 2012, 08:00
Haha - it is 1982. I found the picture on a website of a friend of mine from a previous career. You can scroll to the relevant part on this site:-

DoubleDeClutch.com | The Right Stuff, The Wrong Way (http://www.doubledeclutch.com/)

Its actually a picture of the helicopter from the Osterreichring. An extract from the site says:-

"In addition to the (Lotus) Elite the JPS-liveried Jet Ranger helicopter was also deployed for the weekend, being used by Colin Chapman to commute from the rather more salubrious hostelry where he and Hazel were staying. Naturally he wanted to land as close as possible to the paddock and was using a small grassed spectator area(!) at the end of the pits as helipad. Mike the pilot and I used to go and shoo the punters away when he was coming in. On race morning Mike and I duly went and taped-off the area and the ‘chopper landed, with the Old Man at the controls, Hazel alongside and Peter Dyke from Players, together with his wife, in the back."

Edit to add:- The guy who runs that site is a professional photographer called John Brooks. Super nice guy and he has been around forever - get in touch I'm sure that he may have other shots..

16th Oct 2012, 08:32
Pitts, many thanks!

Well if this is the Österreichring circuit in Austria in 1982 then I suspect we may be venturing towards the memory-zone of the intrepid VFR440 who may also be able to give us a clue as to which 'Mike' was employed as The Dancer's driver on that occasion.

Perhaps the event with my bare-footed godfather in Klagenfurt occurred the following year in '83 and which would have meant that dear old Colin would have somehow managed to torch two turbines in the same year as I recall that at least one hot section was replaced around Easter '83.

16th Oct 2012, 08:37
In September 1978 I was sitting on top of the Wolf Racing Pits/garage with a bunch of hangers-on. It was the Italian GP and this was Monza. Ronnie Petersen had that terrible crash during the start and subsequently died in hospital. Ronnie was with Lotus but Colin Chapman did not have a helicopter at that race but I was flying G-BCYP, Walter Wolf's 206. It was parked nearby on the infield helipad.

Without discussing it with me Walter went to Colin and offered 'YP' as an ambulance to take Ronnie to hospital. He then came and found me and told me to get ready to fly an injured driver to hospital.

You can imagine that there was a moment of panic whilst I juggled the notion of carrying a stretcher in a helicopter with no fixtures and fittings (actually it would have been physically impossible to carry anyone other than 'walking wounded'). Then there was the matter of 'taking him to hospital'. What hospital? Where? Fortunately wiser heads were already dealing with the situation and Ronnie disappeared in an ambulance.

Situations like that were the reasons why Sid Watkins pushed for (suitably equipped) helicopters (x2) at every GP.


16th Oct 2012, 09:36
amazing stories, you can see one of the helicopters I guess in the background of Pironi's shunt at Hockenhiem 1982 here:-


One other motor racing story that is in my mind comes from the 1982 season.

Giles Villenueve got wiped out at Zolder and there is a piece in a book that talks about how the following day, once all the circus had moved on the only thing left in the paddock was the helicopter Gilles had flown in with. It must have been a grim task collecting it, anyone know who had his helicopter after that?

16th Oct 2012, 10:11
Gilles was one of the few allowed to use Walter's machine and during my flight from UK to Milan I stopped off for fuel at Genoa only to find a disappointed refuel-crew who were used to topping up 'YP' with Gilles aboard. The bowser driver had a motor racing mag and held up the page with photos of all the drivers competing in the Italian GP and asked me which one was I. They should have known that a 6' 4" guy like me could be a lot of things but would never fit in a Ferrari - or anything else like it.

I did have to collect 'YP' from Cannes airport not long after (need to check the logbook) and positioned it to a location near Lichtenstein (again need to check the logbook), it's possible that this flight had a GV connection because GV lived in Monaco or at least close by.

After the race (which was further delayed by our driver Jody Scheckter crashing into and severely damaging an Armco barrier) there was no time to remove all of WW's hangers-on before sunset and chaos descended on our operation. We waited at the GAT at Linate for WW to appear which he did at 4 am and before boarding his King Air came over and told me that he had promised James Hunt (who he just agreed to sign for the '79 season) that I would pick him up at 10 in the morning at Cannes Airport and take him to his home in Barcelona.

He really dropped me in it because I had only a sketchy idea of what that would mean in terms of fuel and had no maps of Spain with me (actually Nick Cook, WW' regular pilot) was used to this manifestation of wealth and kept a box of maps for everywhere in a briefcase in the boot so in the end all seemed OK.

Then the fog descended on Linate as it regularly did at that time of year and put an end to any hope of getting down to Cannes. This was fortunate for I had brought wife Lesley with me and we were not sure if James would have his girlfriend '(called 'Hottie') or any other passengers for Barcelona.

By late afternoon it became apparent that the weather was good enough to head north so Lesley and I set off for Geneva and had an amazing flight over a snow enveloped Simplon Pass and down the Sion valley.

It was an amazing trip for there is not enough space here to tell all but believe me it was a real adventure.


Dennis Kenyon
16th Oct 2012, 21:31
For Savoia,

Lovely to see another pic of the black lady that we called 'the Dancer' ... but knowing what a stickler Savoia can be for dates and accuracy, just to confirm my log book tells me that following my purchase of the Dancer from Colin Chapman, I collected her from Hethel on the 22nd January 1983 (not 1984.) I seem to recall she was fitted with the Collins 841 two-axis autopilot ... a neat piece of kit on which you could fly a 'back course' ILS.

The Mike you knew was almost certainly Mike Hamlin with whom I did the purchase negotiations and who flew the Lotus Navajo and the King Air and who later ran his own business of Hamlin Jet.

Hope this fills the odd blank in your records. Warm regards. Dennis Kenyon.

18th Oct 2012, 18:50
I may be wrong but this post could be my old mate from HEMs. Hi GN

18th Oct 2012, 18:58
I did the odd ferry flight. Many trips with Gary Savage ( where is he by the way). THe most interesting was 2 A109,s for the MOD. I have a bunch of photos from that trip.

19th Oct 2012, 19:21
F28A G-BALT alongside 280C G-BENO probably at Shoreham c. late 70's

21st Oct 2012, 17:25


The writing on this pleasant piece of memorabilia reads:

Flown in Piper Archer PA28, G-BTNH from Biggin Hill to Peterborough from where the Royal Mail was first flown in a helicopter. Then along the route taken by the postal helicopter on 1st June, 1948, to Norwich. Returned to Biggin Hill after landing at Old Buckingham.

Pilot: Peter, Lord of Abbots-Hay
Co-Pilot: Roy St.Clair Finch
Observer: Derek Hardiman

Sikorsky S51 G-AKCU c. 1948

G-AKCU was first registered to Westlands in 1947 and then sold to BEA in January of the following year.

21st Oct 2012, 19:20
I recall my godfather telling me that he had sent-out aircraft from time-to-time to 'dry' various race courses which had become sodden. The Stewards in their attempt to salvage the day were willing to do almost anything it seems!

Stateside they were up to something similar - and here is some footage taken in 1969 when a 206 was called in to dry off the turf for the US Open:

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-8D2HKAT6Ld4/T0Xfuo-GtaI/AAAAAAAAIBI/_0Gb2PKFN3o/s84/Play%2520Icon.png (http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid42806360001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnzBUSGLmd_ ayLQM0b50i830&bctid=1808635283001)

26th Oct 2012, 11:23

Enstrom 280C Turbo Shark G-KENY as seen at Shoreham in 1985 (Photo: Adrian Batchelor)

Well, one might easily be excused for believing the Shark displayed above was named after the 'Maestro' himself but .. unless I am mistaken .. was probably named after a chap called Ken Stokes of Wells in Somerset.

But .. KENY (after becoming OMCP) did end-up in the Maestro's hands when in 1989 he bought her and re-named her G-SHUU for his Biggin-based 'Starline' operation.

And .. most probably, Denissimo has had constant involvement with this craft becase in 1985 she was bought by the rally driver Tony Pond who was one of the 'Menace's' client's during his days with Skyline at Wycombe Air Park.

The last time I saw Tony Pond was in 1984. I was undergoing flight training with 'Nobby' Clarke in G-TALY when Booker got socked-in. Under 'Antonio's' guidance we fluttered down to Tony's home pad .. just as Rowan Atkinson drove up the drive way.

The encounter between 'Nobby' and Atkinson over tea at Tony Pond's was, well .. pricesless!

26th Oct 2012, 11:25
Wiggy: For you!

Westland Lynx AH7 ZE378 and XZ651 at Glasgow City Heliport with EC135T2 G-SPAO on 15th September 2011 (Photo: Ray McFayden)

Not sure how often the Army come through your way but obviously they do!

Dennis Kenyon
26th Oct 2012, 21:01
Oh dear Savoia ... how well I can see why this thread is name "Nostalgia. ... all so true for me. You post a pic of Enstrom 280C the infamous G-BENO at Shoreham, and being an ex 'Anorak' my log book tells me she was serial 1024. (the 28A series started at 001 followed by the 280 'Shark Shape' series at 1000.) The second Enstrom 28A, G-BALT in the pic was serial 123 being the machine on which I made my first helicopter solo. (1973!) ... me standing alongside, and with a full head of hair aged a mere 44!

Yes, G-KENY (280C) serial 1221 was sold to Ken Stokes and I see I made the the first UK C of A air test on her on 2nd March 1982 at Shoreham. Ken made his living with office stationary forms. The second 280C was G-HOVA, one of Spooner Aviation's first ever nut & bolt 'rebuilds' from scratch where a new machine appeared from a few others and parts from the stores. She was sold to a firm called Supaglide who made posh windows in the early 1980s. I think the owners were Les Briggs and Eddy Coventry of the BAC window firm. Eddy later switched to an AS350 and flew it around the UK for charity. (My best wishes if you are out there Eddy)

G-OMCP was probably Jimmy Meyer's business of Federated Homes, (G-OFED) and Meyer's Commercial Properties and yes I bought her and re-sold as SHUU, but this time for Starline Helicopters, being the 16th Helicopter in the SH series. Tony Pond, God now bless him, was a BL Rally driver and good client of my Skyline firm. In those days we seemed to have an inside track on the racing men. Tony Pond, Alan Jones, Ari Vatanen, Jonathon Palmer and even Mark Thatcher who raced a few saloons from time to time. Around 1983, I recall flying him up to Didcot to be fitted in a single-seater. Mark purchased the last in the SH series being B206 G-SHZZ.

Finally just a recollection regarding the Colonel's effort to clear snow. In the 1954 big freeze, the CO at RAF Weston Zoyland ordered we trainee pilot to fire up the school's Meteors and taxi up and down the iced up runway. You don't need to know the result! More tittle-tattle on request ....

Dennis Kenyon.


27th Oct 2012, 05:44
Hi Sav,

Even in the Clyde days the army used to land for a visit, the Lynx and maybe a Gazelle, the odd civil would call in too, A109's and most notable for me was P & O's 365 G-POAV, a posh visitor, the good old days.


28th Oct 2012, 20:31
Ah POAV yes, spent some time with her and her driver .. one David Sale .. c. 1990 at McAlpine's Heli-Centre in Hayes.

The Dauphin is incredibly pleasant to fly and .. with a good load and with good speed .. is right up there with the S76 in terms of the amount external noise she thumps out - lol!

AS365N1 G-POAV at Hayes heliport on 21st August 1989 (Photo: Derek Heley)

Wiggy, they say you've already had snowfall up there!

ps: The highlight of my visit to McAlpine's that day (other than meeting the charming Mr Sale) was to observe his co-pilot carrying around what looked like a car battery with a telephone stuck on top. It was (apparently) an early version of the mobile phone.

28th Oct 2012, 21:52
Hi Sav,

Like the photo of the P & O 365 :D , nice big and shiny, just how I remember her.

As for the weather, I too have heard it has been snowing, mostly up north and east, so Aberdeen will be having it, but as I am in the Channel Island of Jersey just now, so wet and windy.

Wiggy http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/thumbs.gif

31st Oct 2012, 09:56
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-qB77DkeUjhQ/UJD0ArKnm3I/AAAAAAAAKTs/3VYgSgbvnsw/s740/HH-43+helicopter+being+used+in+fire+control+drill+and+pilot+res cue+practice+at+Bien+Hoa+Airfield+during+Vietnam+War+1966.jp g
Kaman HH-43 'Huskie' as seen during a fire control and pilot rescue exercise at Bien Hoa Airfield, Vietnam in 1966

31st Oct 2012, 23:19
http://sphotos-h.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/548378_10151091893416837_3874949_n.jpg, <a href=http://sphotos-e.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/12735_10151091893506837_1247156879_n.jpg,http://sphotos-a.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/63100_10151091893721837_1859466514_n.jpg target=_blank>http://sphotos-e.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/12735_10151091893506837_1247156879_n.jpg,http://sphotos-a.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/63100_10151091893721837_1859466514_n.jpg</a>, http://sphotos-b.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/554076_10151091894371837_1056237934_n.jpg

31st Oct 2012, 23:20

31st Oct 2012, 23:20

31st Oct 2012, 23:21

31st Oct 2012, 23:23

2nd Nov 2012, 08:21

Much of my time visiting my godfather in Ireland involved staying at the Cashel Palace Hotel, which was owned by Vincent O’Brien until about 1980-1 whereafter Vincent accommodated the Colonel in a guest house next door to the main house at Ballydoyle.

But, for several school holidays the Cashel Palace was where I would stay and I have many fond memories of the place.

Now, admittedly, among Irish country houses the Cashel Palace is somewhat modest and there are undeniably many more impressive buildings scattered about Southern Ireland, some of them with truly stunning vistas. But the ‘Palace’ had character, made so by its friendly staff.

The Cashel Palace Hotel was built in 1730 by Archbishop Theophilus Bolton. It was designed by Sir Edward Lovett Pearce who was also the Architect of the Old Parliament House in Dublin, which is now the Bank of Ireland on College Green. In style it can be placed between Queen Anne and Early Georgian.

A crowned harp can be seen over the entrance. This is a ‘fire mark’ issued by the Hibernian insurance Company of Dublin who were in business from 1771 to 1839. They were the first company in Ireland to transact Fire Insurance.

Some of these rooms were damaged during the Wolf Tone Rebellion of 1798. They were remodelled after 1800 in the Regency Style by the 1st Earl of Normanton, then Archbishop of Cashel.

Following a decision by Archbishop Richard Lawrence to transfer the Diocesan headquarters to Waterford in 1833 the Palace was divided for use by the Dean of Cashel and a Canon of the Church of Ireland. The decision was made by the Church to sell the property in 1959 and in May 1962 it was first opened as a Luxury Hotel by Lord Brockett, who also owned the Wicklow Hotel in Dublin and Benner’s Hotel in Tralee at that time.

The gardens contain the descendants of the original hop plants used by Richard Guinis (an agent for Archbishop Price of Cashel in the 1740’s) to brew the first “Wine of Ireland”. Mr Guinis and his son Arthur went on to brew this beer in Dublin and to found the famous Guinness Brewery at St. James’ Gate. The garden also contains a private walk (The Bishops Walk) to the Rock of Cashel upon which was built the 13th Century Cathedral which served as the ancient seat of the Kings of Munster.

The Cashel Palace Hotel as seen from the gardens where begins the 'Bishop's Walk' to the 'Rock' (see below)

The Colonel raising a glass with receptionist Mary and chef Conner c.1980

Barman Dennis who had a full-time job looking after the Colonel's imbibing

No story about Cashel would be complete without mentioning 'The Rock'.

From the Cashel Palace (so named as it was a Bishop’s Palace) could be seen the 'Rock of Cashel'.

According to local mythology, the Rock of Cashel originated in the Devil's Bit (a mountain 20 miles north of Cashel) when St. Patrick banished Satan from a cave, resulting in the Rock landing in Cashel. Cashel is reputed to be the site of the conversion of the King of Munster by St. Patrick in the 5th century.

The Rock of Cashel was the traditional seat of the kings of Munster for several hundred years prior to the Norman invasion. In 1101, the King of Munster, Muirchertach Ua Briain, donated his fortress on the Rock to the Church. The ruins are one of the most remarkable collections of Celtic and medieval architecture to be found anywhere in Europe. Few remnants of the early structures survive; the majority of buildings on the current site date from the 12th and 13th centuries.

The 'Rock' of Cashel

Some may recall HM's visit to Cashel, together with the Duke of Edinburgh, on 20th May 2011 - courtesy of 'Rainbow'

2nd Nov 2012, 11:45
In an idle moment I looked through my log books at the JetRangers I have flown. Some registrations that I'm sure had interesting histories before and after my time.

G. :ok:

Bell 206 A/B

2nd Nov 2012, 12:08
....the JetRangers I have flown

G-AZYB was/is a B47H.
I remember us doing a compass swing on a hot calm day, you tended to land it a lot.

2nd Nov 2012, 12:45
thanks TRC! Yes I remember it well. These are the other 47s you may remember.

Bell 47

and while we are about it the Longrangers

Bell 206 L/L1/L3


2nd Nov 2012, 14:06
G-BOUY at Clyde


3rd Nov 2012, 20:10
Geoffers: A few nostalgic registrations there .. most of which have featured on this thread!

While flying G-CHOC did you happen upon Peter 'The Cad' Cadbury? I am still trying to verify the story about him taking a bishop for a spin in CHOC and scaring him half-to-death after receving the bishop's admonishions to steer clear of his daughter!

I have been hunting for an image of G-BFGT because she was something of a rare bird. From CSE (which was odd at the time because she was an Agusta) she went to Mann's in June of '78 and then to McAlpine's the following year. She seems only to have been in the UK for a couple of years before being shipped-off to Sweden.

Another one of your conquests, G-BWVE, was after my time as she came to the UK in '88. However, in 2000 she ended-up down here with Elialfa where she became I-CMLC (below) and which was also odd because she was a Bell!

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-6jq_cT28A8w/UJV1W6YqIrI/AAAAAAAAKWY/ItxT0wXHZso/s640/B206III+I-CMLC+Ozzano+EmiliaGugielmo+Zamboni+5+Jun+10+%28Varani+Ennio% 29.jpg
Bell 206B JetRanger III I-CMLC Ozzano dell'Emilia on 5th June 2010 (Photo: Varani Ennio)

6th Nov 2012, 16:43
'The Don' has kindly donated this photo of Karl 'Charly' Zimmerman's Bo105 to the thread:

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-INBSLaAwLVs/UJlHVrPnaaI/AAAAAAAAKXo/BZjXoNgaBU0/s720/Bo105M%2520Castle%2520Ashby%252026%2520June%252086%2520%2528 Don%2520Hewins%2529.jpg
German Air Force MBB Bo105M 8054 (as flown by Karl Zimmerman) attending the World Helicopter Championships at Castle Ashby on 26th June 1986 (Photo: Don Hewins)

Also at the '86 WHC was this Gazelle:

Roger Savage with Ray Dewhurst at the 1986 WHC at Castle Ashby

(Zis, I am sorry but I've been unable to trace the registration of this Gazelle. Hopefully over time we will get it).

6th Nov 2012, 17:46
Malcolm Wilson Motorsport's G-RALE leased to Air Cumbria, I'd say ;)

6th Nov 2012, 18:40
Geoff, just checked my logbook and found that G-AZYB was the first Bell 47 I flew after leaving the Army, it was on the 11 Jan 73, I also flew G-AYOE, G-AYOF, G-AYOG, G-ATZX, G-ASLR (Bell 47J2). I can't remember which but one of them was a D model with wooden blades, got jack stall avoiding a low flying fighter and needed both hands on the cyclic to recover. All at Twyford Moors Helicopters no doubt JimL will remember them too.

7th Nov 2012, 08:04
Well done Zis. Never even heard of an 'Air Cumbria' before but, there we are, that's what this is all about .. uncovering the past!

Westland Gazelle SA341 AH1 (with skis and skid-mounted float bags) sitting on the 'Relief Landing Platform' (aka the hangar roof) aboard the RFA Fort Austin during exercise 'Cold Winter' in northern Norway in March 1989 (Photo: Kevin Slade)

Kevin says: "I should think the RLP was being used to allow the main flight deck to be used by the Sea Kings. The Gazelle was visiting for a liaison meeting as we had a large Marine detachment aboard. Pretty sure it was Exercise Cold Winter and we were in northern Norway. I remember we stopped in Altafjord as a task group and we were off the Lofoton Islands a few times. Just a shame I couldn't get the registration for the Gazelle."

The RFA Fort Austin seen with a Sea King utilising the RLP

7th Nov 2012, 11:00
Also at the '86 WHC was this Gazelle

No it wasn't. The 3 Gazelles at Castle Ashby were 1 from the Sharks at Culdrose (Lt Andy Berriman, CPO C Hunter) 1 from CFS Shawbury (Flt J Allen, Alm H Jones) and XX409 from the Army Air Corps ( Capt John Cowie and Sgt J Snaddon.)

7th Nov 2012, 14:36
Geoff, just checked my logbook and found that G-AZYB was the first Bell 47 I flew after leaving the Army, .......... I can't remember which but one of them was a D model with wooden blades, got jack stall avoiding a low flying fighter and needed both hands on the cyclic to recover

YB was actually an H1, the others were G2's, and after it was written off in an accident was restored as OO-SHW and is in the Helicopter Museum in Weston-Super-Mare. The D-1 I flew in '69 (G-ASJW - the Air Britain photo of it in December 1969 at Plymouth Roborough matches my logbook)) was a pig if the irreversibles were not set up perfectly and the feedback forces in the cyclic could be horrendous if you moved the cyclic sharply - much as I expect you felt in avoiding the low flying jet.

I came close to stoofing JW in on one occasion because of the feedback forces experienced when mishandling the cyclic in a steep turn and sadly John Zwozny (ex-RN) was killed in JW in 1971 due to the irreversibles not being set up right. He pulled up at the end of a spray run and never came out of the manoeuvre.

Dennis Kenyon
7th Nov 2012, 19:59
Having participated in the 1986 WHC 'freestyle' section at Cranfield, I was fortunate to spend the evening with the German team and also meet that nice Navy guy, Andy Berryman who I seem to recall putting on a fine Gazelle display for the fourth place. Charlie Zimmerman (B105) had held the WHC freestyle event for the previous two championships, but for the 1986 event was pipped by Herman Fuchs who also displayed the B105. Zimmerman later told me over a pint (litre or two!) that his wife explained that for the last few years she had been sleeping with a world champion but as he had only made second place ... she was now sleeping with a new man! Quaint sense of humour or what! 1986 was the event when I lost the tail rotor half way though my display routine and as a consolation prize, the German team presented me with a signed wall tile plaque. It still stands in the hall. Keep 'them' stories coming please. Dennis K

10th Nov 2012, 07:30
GSA: British Open Helicopter Championships then perhaps, would that have been held alongside the WHC? Either way, Roger Savage had posted on his site that he won a competition in the Gazelle showcased on the previous page in the 'late 80's' at Castle Ashby.

Denissimo wrote: "1986 was the event when I lost the tail rotor halfway though my display routine and as a consolation prize, the German team presented me with a signed wall tile plaque."

It must have been quite disconcerting .. bang in the middle of a display too! I think from past posts you mentioned you got her down safe .. did you use a run-on landing technique to land her? Either way, well done! :D

More Cadbury ..

Geoffers mentioned in his list of JetRangers flown that he had encountered the celebrated G-CHOC and I am waiting to hear whether he had any dealings with the man himself!

Earlier in the thread when we were discussing Cadbury PPRuNer MrChopper informed us that 'The Cad' had at one time kept an Ecureuil in his stable .. G-JANY .. a new shot of her (for the thread at least) appearing below:

Peter Cadbury's AS350B Ecureuil G-JANY at Manchester International Airport on 2nd September 1981

More JANY on page 8 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-8.html).

Dennis Kenyon
11th Nov 2012, 11:17
Not sure if I should be writing this .. but facts is facts! G-JANY was for the lovely lady Jane, formerly Jane Mead ... unhappily the former wife of a good friend and Enstrom customer, Humphrey Mead.

Many years earlier I met the great man Peter of G-CHOC ... a genuine lovely guy who would chat to all. He became the buyer of my Piper 180 Archer at the time. He also used to land an Aztec at his Berkshire strip which needed more than a touch of care. DRK.

Dennis Kenyon
11th Nov 2012, 11:32
And yes ... I did manage a non-damaging 60 knot run-on landing. As I have said elsewhere, the problem occurred at high power when the up-going T/R blade intercepted the left hand T/R control cable. In my case the loose end wrapped itself around the T/R transmission which then seized.The Enstrom factory had experienced a few similar failures on crop spraying ops. The fix was to move the cable outlet point closer to the tail cone centre line increasing blade clearance and also increasing the tension on the T/R control turnbuckles plus a pilot pre-flight check for oil-softened blade flapping stops.

I completed a further 13 years of trouble free displays but suffered the same failure again at the 1999 Biggin Hill Air Fare. My fault for not checking ... as the local engineers didn't know about the 'Kenyon Hole' modification or the flapping stops. But with a fair number of T/R failure practices behind me, I again managed a non-damaging landing. Now approaching 1400 public displays with no further problems. Keep the nostalgia flowing guys. Dennis K.

14th Nov 2012, 08:30
Bravo Denissimo! :D

On the latest page of the Wessex Thread (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/123915-what-about-wessex-makes-people-so-fond-21.html) there is a photo of a MkV Wessex departing Battersea while overflying a Hughes 300 which is quite literally stuck in the mud.

As mentioned in the photograph's caption, this craft was G-AXXD which served with Twyford Moors Helicopters from 1970 to 1981.

PPRuNer PA News has offered some excellent commentary on this incident and which warrants a further look at this little craft (below):

Twyford Moors Hughes 300 (269B) 'somewhere' on 29th April 1971 (Photo: Keith Harper)

The hangar behind 'XD' says 'Glos Air' who, if I remember correctly, were based at Bournemouth's Hurn airport and who I think used to look after some of the late Spencer Flack's aircraft (he of G-FURY, G-FIRE and G-HUNT) but I don't know for certain whether this image was taken at Hurn or elsewhere? Tywfords were evidently based at Southampton.

Another Hughes 300 which was 'floating' about at the same time was G-BBIP. This was a 269C which was owned by Point-to-Point Helicopters of Watford between 1973 and 1978 and seen (below) at an undisclosed location wearing police markings; presumably for police trials or even a small police contract:

Point-to-Point Helicopters Hughes 300 at an undisclosed location (no date available)

One notices that this craft wears the BHAB logo as (so I think) did the UK's first civilian Gazelle.

14th Nov 2012, 08:38
...a Hughes 300 which is quite literally stuck in the mud.
I worked at Battersea at the time and was there on the day it happened.

I can write an account of all the bizarre events if you like, it was full of drama and hilarity - but not necessarily at the same time.

14th Nov 2012, 08:44
Hi - the image of G-AXXD is from my Flickr and was taken at Gloucester/Staverton by a colleague in 1971. Glos Air were based at Gloucester at that time prior to moving to Hurn some years later.
Gloucestershire Airport - A View from the Cafe (http://www.flygloster.co.uk)

14th Nov 2012, 08:45
I can write an account of all the bizarre events if you like ..

TRC, are you compos mentis the morning?

Asking that question on this thread !!


C'mon then .. fire away and let's have the details .. that's what this thread is all about!

14th Nov 2012, 08:54
C'mon then .. fire away and let's have the details

OK, when I get a minute..

14th Nov 2012, 09:01
Well, in preparation for TRC's regalement (at some point in the near future) of the Twyford Moors 'ditching' on 17th August 1973 at Battersea .. let's re-set the scene with a copy of the snap from the Wessex Thread:

A 'White Top' Wessex (aka Green Parrot or Admiral's Barge), used for liaison duties by senior Royal Navy types and most probably a Mk V, departs Battersea Heliport in London on 17th August 1973 and overflys a 'parked' Hughes 300 (G-AXXD) belonging to Twyford Moors Helicopters

14th Nov 2012, 10:14
EGBJDH: I post literally hundreds of photos each year on PPRuNe alone and maintain a pretty high ratio of 'permissions to post' (around 80%+ I'd say) but .. it is sometimes difficult to contact those who are hosting photos on various sites so, my apologies for re-posting without your consent. I've still not figured-out (for example) how to contact Flickr and Picasa photo-hosting account holders as there seems to be no provision for doing so?

I hope however that I have your colleagues name correct in the photo credit?

Thank you for confirming the airport location .. makes sense 'Glos Air'!

14th Nov 2012, 11:18
I was surprised by the apparent conflict between the photo above of G-AXXD as a Hughes 269B and G-AXXD as a Bell 206 in the photo on Page 64 #1279 on this thread http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-64.html#post6990118 but it seems the Bell 206 registration in the post has been misreported in the text, it should be G-AXXO. Shame, I thought I had stumbled on a mystery there....

14th Nov 2012, 11:38
C16: Yes I understand. If you look at the photo of AXXO in the post you mention (#1279 on page 64) you will see how easy it was for 'Yoyo' to read her registration as 'XD'.

On the following page in post #1282 I do mention (by way of subtle correction) that the craft was 'AXXO' and which, up until that point, we had been searching for in order to help complete our collection of 'A' reg British JetRangers.

Not to be confused of course with Stuart Smith's G-AXGO (also seen on pages 64-55) which was later bought by Charles Hughesdon and which, to connect everything together, also ended-up in the drink!

14th Nov 2012, 12:13
Now I fully admit that my memory isn't 100% nowadays but I can recall John Evans struggling on several occasions to get the 269 airborne out of Battersea and my battered memory recalls flying into Battersea on the day of G-AXXD's arrival in the Thames mud.

The trouble is that on the reported day of the ditching in post #1709 above - August 17 1973 - my logbook shows I was flying overseas so I couldn't have been there. However on August 17 1974 my logbook shows I flew into Battersea during the afternoon.

I also recall a forced landing of the 269 into a field east of the heliport about a week before the Battersea incident and seem to think all these events were not long after Twyford Moors got the contract. So, 1973 or 1974? Hopefully I have not gone totally doolally!

The perceived difference in the year might explain heli1's post on the Wessex thread that there is no record of Ted Heath signing the visitors' book on the 1973 date.

I await TRC's recollection of events - he may remember the year.

Plank Cap
14th Nov 2012, 12:16
Now there's a name from the past.......... I flew in her as a 12 year old lad after my father caved in under pressure. Always fascinated by helicopters and this was my first experience of one in the air. Denham, 1977 and Point to Point indeed. Dad forked out for a 15 minute jolly around the local countryside, and as I stepped out in stepped the late great Raymond Baxter, en route to an engagement somewhere no doubt......

Little did Dad know that short flight was to set in motion a career of 15000 hours (so far.....).

To hover is divine......

espresso drinker
14th Nov 2012, 13:02
Not wanting to give my whereabouts away, but I'm sat here watching a piece of UK rotorcraft history being moved into a nearby 'shed'. Westland 30, G-BKKI, Serial Number 003.

I think that they are getting it flightworthy to send up to the north sea.:E

Sorry, no photo's, official secrets act and all that. Probably get shot for posting this.

I'm sure that someone can educate me why this aircraft was never a commerical success.

14th Nov 2012, 13:07
ED: I've offered my view on that question on the Westland 30 Thread (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/65254-westland-30-threads-merged-4.html) in post #76.

espresso drinker
14th Nov 2012, 13:09
Sorry, no need to educate me. Just found the Westland 30 thread. :)

14th Nov 2012, 20:48
I don’t remember the date – August 73 or 74, but Ted Heath certainly arrived at Battersea while we were sloshing about in the mud – but he left office in March 1974, so...

Whatever the date, it was a warm and calm summer morning. The aircraft was a H269A – the type with lollysticks for tail rotor blades. The police comms gear in those days was about half the size of a tea chest and looked heavy. There were only a few policemen in the observers job, and this morning they definitely sent the largest they had.

Battersea in those days was about half its present size. This often meant that there was a certain amount of overflying of parked aircraft. That morning the police aircraft had to lift itself, a pilot, full fuel, a large policeman and all that radio gear over a parked 206. All on that warm and calm morning.

I was able to watch the ensuing drama from a safe distance – the poor little 269 wound itself up into a frenzy of noise and leapt into the air, clearing the 206 by plenty. Then came the sorry sound of engine and rotor rpm slowing down. Yawing and descending it disappeared from view towards the river bed – some 15 feet lower than the platform, shortly followed by silence and what looked like a couple of bucketfuls of water thrown up in the air like you see on comedy sketch shows.

The crash alarm went off, but we were already running. When we peered over the edge there was the aircraft sitting upright if a little lopsided in about a foot of water and another foot or so of soft mud (fortunately, the tide was on its way out, at high tide it would have been under at least ten feet of water). The main rotor was coasting to a stop, the tail rotor looking like half a swastika and the tail rotor driveshaft like a corkscrew.
The pilot had his door held open with his foot, and a faraway look in his eyes, the policeman had put his head through the canopy behind him, only injuring the plastic as far as I remember.

In no time we were joined by the Fire Brigade and a couple of ambulances. The Fire Chief checked that we had disconnected the battery, and - incredibly - instructed us to open the fuel drains and let just about a full fuel load go into the Thames. This not only astonished us, but the thought of all that lovely 100/130 going to waste was almost too much to bear.
While we were watching the river turning green, one of his guys came down and asked him “Chief, who taught that Ladder driver to drive? He’s just backed into my pump - smashed the windscreen, and the dashboard is on the seats”.

Round about this time Mr Heath arrived on the H in a Wessex – I remembered it as a red QF one, but it may well have been a Green Parrot – anyway, his trademark toothy grin did look a bit forced.

That's how I remember it..

John Eacott
14th Nov 2012, 20:57

Great description: you didn't happen to be there when the 206 parted company with its rotor assembly?

Re the police radio, my Dad was I/C the helicopter trials for the Met using a couple of AAC Sioux/B47s in 1965: one memory was the (valve?) driven monstrosity sitting on the skids. That and TOM refusing to let me go for a flight when invited as it may be seen as bad for his image as Inspector :sad:

14th Nov 2012, 21:24
John, do you mean G-AXAY with John Perry, on the Plessey contract?

I was at Battersea then, but the accident was nowhere near there. Co-incidentally I did go from there to work at Manns who operated that aircraft on that contract.

14th Nov 2012, 22:03
Great post TRC! I did some trawling on t’internet tonight and found the article from Police Air News “Police Aviation – a history 1914-1990” that PA News seems to have used in his recent related posts on the Wessex thread. The article seems to confirm by the following two extracts that the date of XD’s incident was 1974, just two months after Twyford Moors was awarded the contract:

From June 27, 1974 Air Gregory lost its Metropolitan Police contract to Hampshire based Twyford Moors [Helicopters] Ltd…….…….The first public exposure of the new contractor was at the National Police Air Rally on 23 July 1974.However the article then refers to the first of the three incidents that happened to XD as being on Saturday 11 August. In 1973 that date was indeed on a Saturday, but on a Sunday in 1974. The next incident is shown as occurring on “the following Monday” with the final excursion into the Thames being “later that same week”. So still no further forward on which year!

EDIT: Ah, the clincher! From the "Flight" archives, the National Police Air Rally in 1973 was from May 22-23 but in 1974 was from 23-24 July - as stated in the Police Air News article quotes above - at Shoreham Airport so I'm now convinced my little grey cells are still working - XD's Thames outing was in August 1974!.........Although I've now seen PA News latest post on the Wessex thread where he has records of all the incidents being in 1973. Enough - filed under too difficult.

14th Nov 2012, 22:35
Well, the fact that Ted Heath wasn't PM in August 74 would make it unlikely that he'd have had VIP treatment with the RAF or RN probably makes it unlikely to have been in 74.

I had the front pages of all the evening and following morning papers with yours truly in the pics - all the press were there for Ted's arrival - but long lost now.

15th Nov 2012, 03:07
1974 I think, I joined Twyford Moors as a young fitter in late 1973, and I remember going to Battersea with the Engineering Manager Colin York to pick up a Hughes on a low loader and drive it back to southhampton after being in the Company for a few months.

John Eacott
15th Nov 2012, 03:51
John, do you mean G-AXAY with John Perry, on the Plessey contract?

No: there was a 206 that (IIRC) lifted from Battersea only to have the jesus nut come loose. Rotor assembly went up, fuselage went down, fortunately from a low altitude as all on board just got a bit damp :eek: Back in the '70s with no internet or mobile phones, so by the time the story travelled it may have been well embellished :p

Memory is hazy, someone is bound to remember the actual details/story?

15th Nov 2012, 07:05
Great stuff TRC! :D

One would think, with the litany of events encountered (seemingly one after the other) that Twyford's name must have been mud with the Met!

So .. how did you prevent yourself from sinking into the mud as you squelched around 'XD' and how, in the end, was the craft recovered from the river?

Were you at Battersea when Jock Cameron inadvertently inflated the pop-outs on his 206 runabout (G-AWGU) requiring him to plod along on his journey back to Gatters (LGW) at a paltry 80kts (or whatever it was)?

15th Nov 2012, 07:49
...lifted from Battersea only to have the jesus nut come loose
I've not heard of that one!

A 206 did go into the river within swimming distance of Battersea after the engine stopped. Very early 70's, before my time there.

Another one went into the drink off the barge in the city, late 70's - don't remember the cause though.

Well, I didn't even remember it being August let alone which year. I deduced - probably incorrectly - that the Ted Heath VIP flight would only happen if he were PM. Someone will nail it officially, but wish I still had the newspapers.

The mud was very soft for the first foot or so, but firmer below that. You can see a few boards we put down in the photo.
A mobile crane from the wharf next door clattered round and lifted it onto the platform - no exciting underslung loads - quite a dull recovery really.


I saw several 206 & 206L either arrive with popouts blown, or blow them on the ground. GU may have been one of them.
Had to help a very well-dressed lady over a float when the things popped in flight - she got a fair coating of French chalk no matter how careful we were.

15th Nov 2012, 12:07
I saw several 206 & 206L either arrive with popouts blown, or blow them on the ground.

Ah well .. pilots and finger trouble TRC!

'Twas mentioned afore that Air Gregory were providing H300 support to the Met prior to Twyfords:

Air Gregorious Hughes 300 G-AZEJ on contract to MetPol in 1972 (although seen here in a TV role)

AZEJ (a 269C) was registered to 'Medminster' of Richmond in London from 1971 to 1976 whereafter she was bought by Autair who sold her to South Africa in 1980.

15th Nov 2012, 14:39
That's either one very long or two normal white 'S' Type Jags in the back ground - Just like mine!!


G. :ok:

15th Nov 2012, 16:27
What a beautiful car!

Well, you share something in common with 'The Menace' (other than being a legendary helicopter pilot ;)) in that he also has a classic Jag (albeit an E type).

It looks like the 'Morse Car' (which I think was a Mk II) but .. the tail on yours looks a little different.

When I was schooling in Britain, for a police force to buy a 'foreign' car was verboten. They tell me however that if I was to visit Britain today I would see Skoda police cars and which of course I know is perfectly ridiculous!

Seeing as a photo of a Hughes prompted a Jag .. perhaps I can use your Jag to prompt a Hughes ...

A 1976 advertisement commissioned by British Leyland's North American office in Leonia, New Jersey, to promote their Jaguar coupe - taken in front of a 'Hughes production facility'

Perhaps the only flash of inspiration BL had!

15th Nov 2012, 16:38
..... surely a beauty. There was a drop head of the later model built by Jag as an experiment but it never made it beyond the exhibition stand.

I'm on the waiting list for the new 'F' Type.

This particular waiting list is the one kept by the misses and I think she calls it the "In Your Dreams" List. It hasn't made much progress of late!

G. :{

Plank Cap
16th Nov 2012, 06:06
Geoff, that's a lovely S Type, and have to agree with you the XJ coupe is (was) just the business....

One of PLM's JetBangers circa mid 80's, Longside, Aberdeenshire, and below, as we've widened the net a little, may I offer my own pride and joy........



1964 Series 1 FHC 3.8, restored from this...........!


16th Nov 2012, 06:39
What a cracker! Looks gorgeous.You have obviously spent much time and money on it. I started a nut and bolt restoration on mine in 1991. Hope to finish it soon.... then it will be time to begin again.

G. :ok:

16th Nov 2012, 10:07
I spoke to another Battersea groundcrewman on the phone yesterday who was also there on that day.

He is convinced it was 1973 - he wasn't working at Battersea in Aug 74 -assuming that is was August.

Even better, he's got a press cutting with a photo - if he can find it.

16th Nov 2012, 16:20
Che bell'auto Planko!

I've always thoroughly enjoyed the sound of the 'E' Type.


BDBR was delivered to Mann's in '75 and then sold to William Monks (builders merchants) of Sheffield (for whom Geoffers delivered G-WIZZ from Frosinone). Monks then sold her to PLM in '77 and she stayed with them until 1986 when she was sold to Westwood Engineering of Plymouth.

Just after PLM sold BDBR, they took delivery of one of their first Ecureuils .. G-NIAL which was already a 'Highlands Squirrel' in that she was bought by Timothy Laing of Perthshire (in 1984) who then sold her to PLM in 1987.

PLM AS350B G-NIAL as seen at Glasgow Airport c. 1987 (Photo: Charles Mac Kay)


Bravo TRC. I must say that it would be good if we could get a copy of the clipping .. you know, for posterity and all that! Plus .. we are keen to see a youthful TRC, lol!

We've showcased this little snap (below) before but, it befits the page:

The 'great' Mike Smith with 'someone' alongside G-AZEJ during her time on contract to Metpol. Most likely taken at Denham c. 1972


16th Nov 2012, 16:28
...Mike Smith with 'someone' ...

That's the famous Inspector Corner of the Yard - I think.

Actually the face is familiar, the more I look at the pic.. but I can't think who it is.

16th Nov 2012, 20:35
Nice to see G- NIAL again, I remember her well in that colour scheme when Graham Pryke used to fly her around 1986/87 ( the photo is taken at Glasgow Airport btw).

If I recall Timothy Laing was in fact the 'L' in PLM although I stand to be corrected on that !


16th Nov 2012, 21:49
I was seriously doubting the date and my sanity.

I have just returned from the loft with the 3 inches of clippings covering Met Police 1939-79......... phew..... shows I seriously need to digitize even more of the massive collection.....

Anyway Evening Standard Tuesday September 4, 1973 is the dated cutting with the image... four figures by the aircraft... including Sergeant Ron Potter of the police unit who supplied me the copy about 20 years ago.

Earlier in the binder is an extract log listing Mike Smith as flying Hughes 500 G-AYNK on 22/1/73 and a 'brand new' G-BAEH on 7/3/73. That same log sheet shows Gaye Absolem flying G-AYLX on 22 December 1972. I mention her only because she was probably the first ever employed woman police pilot.... always a bone of contention these 'firsts' but I am sure she has the accolade.

That earlier image of a Point to Point 300 may fit in with the Met Police contract January 24 to February 14 1975.... there were six short-term contracts brought in after Twyford Moors went bust in 1975. Buut I seem to recall they also worked for some other police units on a one-off basis ..... back to the loft?

I have just checked back to the text in the online book and yes the 1974 date relating to Air Gregory should read 1973. I will get it changed as soon as I can. I need to clarify the source relating to the Rally... different binder, back in the loft!

17th Nov 2012, 08:57
Tarman: Its been far too long since we saw you on Nostalgia! Many thanks for identifying NIAL's correct location (now amended accordingly).

PAN: Well done for your efforts. You could always call up the local scout master and find out whether the local pack would like to undertake a history project, come over and scan your archives! Perhaps the missus could bake some cakes and brew-up some tea for them while you regale the assemblage on the finer points of the UK's general aviation history! ;)

Either way, many thanks for making the effort to clarify the dates. Bravo! As you've probably read, one of TRC's former colleagues is trying to find this very article but, I am wondering, is there a way you could scan it (or at least the photo .. which should, in theory, contain a mugshot of sorts of the venerable TRC!)?

Full Circle

On the previous page I tender an apology to PPRuNer EGBJDH for ripping the photo of G-AXXD at Gloucester from his Flickr collection. The photographer's name is credited in my post but .. I do like to get the permission from the various album hosters as well if at all possible. Sometimes its not.

EGBJDH turns out to be a chap called David Haines who has a website (http://www.gloster.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/index.htm) which hosts a number of archive images from Gloucester's Staverton Airport and which contains some interesting shots which, with David's approval, we shall be showcasing on the thread over the coming weeks.

David also has a collection of images (not published on his website) and which he is willing to share with us and so we shall look forward to these also.

In the first of these images from 'Dave's collection' we look at a sister-ship to Planko's G-BBIP .. as this is probably the closest association we will achieve with this craft:

Hughes 300 (269C) G-BBIS as seen at Sywell Aerodrome on 30th June 1978 (Photo: Keith C. Wilson courtesy of David Haines)

BBIS was bought by a Mr William Peter Brierley-Jones of Nantwich, Cheshire in 1973, then in a coincidental joining-of-the-dots we see that BBIS is sold (as with AZEJ further up the page) to South Africa .. also in 1980.

I don't know to whom in South Africa AZEJ and BBIS were sold or even if they went to the same customber but .. I can tell you that in a place called Harrismith, in what was known as the Orange Free State in South Africa, was once an outfit called Kovisco (perhaps they are still around) who in the early 80's had a small fleet of Hughes 300's which were used for live deer (or Springbok) capture for use in creating their game flavoured 'biltong' products and, just maybe, these craft ended-up there!

18th Nov 2012, 00:10
The image from the Evening Standard.

Your starter for ten...... the crouching figure is Sergeant Potter....


And some more 'Battersea' to add to the pot.... a few taken in the skies nearby in 1980 to mark the launch of the first Bell 222 G-META.




and finally one taken in November at Lippitts Hill when the then Home Secretary Willie Whitelaw joined Commissioner David 'The Hammer' McNee in the launch.


'The Hammer'? Do not think he was a DIY man...... paper talk from Glasgow it seems.

18th Nov 2012, 07:24
PA News:

For acts of nostalgia, above and beyond the call of PPRuNing .. please accept this small token of appreciation from Nostalgia readers for your efforts in uncovering the details surroudning G-AXXD's swim!


Presented to PPRuNer PA News for his excursion to the attic (and back) and for making the 'extra effort' on Nostalgia

So, can we assume that TRC is second from the left!

18th Nov 2012, 08:10
In the late seventies our 206 pilots flying into Battersea were concerned that if they ditched in the Thames would the pop-out floats operate from the automatic switches which were supposedly salt water switches we didn't know how far the salt water went inland. One of them obtained a jar of water from the Thames (I never asked how) and we checked the switches and they operated as they should.

18th Nov 2012, 08:44
"Salt Water Switches" .. what on earth are they and where would they have been fitted on a 206?

I must say, I think I would rather execute a manual float inflation prior to splash down lest one be subjected to that sinking feeling!

Oldlae, by the time you joined Twyford's was AXXD still about and did they make her airworthy again because one sees that she remained on the register until 1981?

18th Nov 2012, 09:11
I had AXXD as lingering on the register until 1981.

Now some more...

Here is META well before its November 1980 delivery...... there is something wrong with what you are looking at.... anyone know what?


Two others from 'up North'... trhe Heliconair Brantly B2 operation... G-ASEI i think in these....



18th Nov 2012, 09:29
Yes that's TRC allright. Shock of unruly hair which he still has (unlike my good self :() And 'up to his knees' again :D - somethings never change - VFR

18th Nov 2012, 18:47
Hi All,

New to the forum. I am the guy standing next to Sgt Potter in the picture of the 269 in the mud. I am also the crewman who TRC spoke to about the date.

I remember the day well because as TRC said it did become a comedy of errors including Ted Heath exiting a "green parrot" and then tripping over the flood gate lip on the pad to which a loud Whoops and laughing followed, as we though he was going to land nose down on position 7.

Oh those were the days.

18th Nov 2012, 19:01
I know that there is a seperate Crewdson thread but these stills from a 1976 TV offering [aired on the BBC as far as I am aware but it was made by a now defunct production company] that has lots of period features closer to this thread.

Oddly there is no obvious reference to this on the Crewdsen thread.






and an image not from the film [it is on 16mm and a v poor video that this was snatched from] but of the aircraft at Battersea, photographer u/k.


19th Nov 2012, 00:47
PA News.
G-META had the Helitelly mounted on the starboard side when delivered in Nov 80 and for the next 6 years that I flew it. After a couple of years the Met wanted the new smaller version but as in any government department the funds were not available of an upgrade?

19th Nov 2012, 08:43
PA News: Some great nostalgia, bravo! Wonderful to see John. There have been a number of mentionings about John both on this and the Alan Mann thread as well as the 'Helicopter Flying Through Tower Bridge thread' but, I don't think there is a specific 'Crewdson thread'.

You've raised another British helicopter outfit with which I was unfamiliar 'Heliconair', evidently based in Darlinton, Durham. There was a time when I believed I was aware of the vast majority of UK operators from the 70's but .. this thread has fully erased that perception! Outfits such as Oldway, Masselaz, Alec Wortley, Kestrel and Freemans of Bewdley have all 'surprised' me. I suppose there must have been numerous smaller scale companies scattered about the regions and which by virtue of their 'vernacular' operations were not so well advertised. What it does demonstrate (as was evidenced by the UK's helicopter population in the 80's) is that the UK (relatively speaking) has keenly embraced civilian rotocraft operations over many-a-decade!

KT19: A warm welcome to the Nostalgia Thread. Please feel free to narrate any additionally interesting stories you may have from your days at Battersea (and elsewhere for that matter) including, especially, any antics that TRC may have embarked upon and that he may otherwise be reluctant to admit to, lol!

Pofman: I was curious as to the 'anomaly' which PA News could be referring to but concluded that it must be 'something' to do with the Hele-Tele although I couldn't think what! Please do convey any interesting moments you may have experienced during your time with Metpol driving the 222!

G-METB demonstrating her starboard accommodation of the substantial hele-tele system

More Twyfords ..

Twyford Moors Hughes 300 (269C) G-BBIW as seen at Greenham Common in June 1974 (Photo: Keith C. Wilson courtesy of David Haines)

Another Twyford's 300 (also sold abroad in the 80's) this time to the Netherlands in 1984.

19th Nov 2012, 09:35
On the nose Pofman.

It was decided to fit the Marconi Heli-Tele on the port [left!] side mainly because the BO105 G-BFYA was already flying with it on that side and the Alouette had also been so equipped..... but it ran into technical problems.

The massive ball was interfering with the tail rotor - likewise fitted on the same side.

Incidentally I ran into a Marconi Heli-Tele ball at ILA Berlin this year.... fitted to a DLR BO105 D-HDDP in the static and still marked up as being a Marconi although I suspect the internals bore little resemblance to the 1980 originals.

Heliconair was owned and run by the brother of actress Wendy Craig. His plans of c1963 actually invisaged an NPAS set up with a number of B2s spread across the UK. Right idea but way ahead of its time with the wrong type.

Dennis Kenyon
19th Nov 2012, 20:59
As ever ... loved the shots of an early Enstrom. The first 28A model to have the floor mounted vertical console. 'Twas sold new circa 1974, serial circa 264 or so I recall. That really wonderful gentleman John Crewdson decided to use a few Enstroms 28As on Police work over the big city and I got the Job doing the early demonstrations for his Helicopter Hire company at Southend. It didn't last of course when someone decided the Police needed two engines and enter the B 222!

Heli Hire ended up with no less than the following Enstroms
G-BBRS ... Police duties
G-BCOT ... Ditto.
G-BDKD ... Ditto.

And later the first turbo C version. The infamous G-BENO. I seem to remember Nick Cole the Mini race down at Lydd, took a later delivery of the BDKD. He had been one of the early single seat FJs at Brands Hatch. Best wishes to all.

Dennis Kenyon.


19th Nov 2012, 21:38

19th Nov 2012, 21:51

20th Nov 2012, 07:49
222 Crash: Wasn't this the one where tail rotor control was lost and they performed a run-on at Hatfield?

Bristow Hiller UH-12E G-AWME as seen at Redhill in May 1974 (Photo: Keith C. Wilson courtesy of David Haines)

This Bristow Hiller may have operated in Bremuda (or even Bermuda for that matter) and Nigeria but was eventually sold to South Africa where it became ZS-HED.

Quite what the pair of S-58's (or so they seem to be) are doing at Redhill I am not sure.


20th Nov 2012, 08:15
The Hiller was probably on the Bermudan register as did many of Bristow machines when it operated overseas. The S58's would have been destined for conversion to S58T with PT6 TwinPacs.

industry insider
20th Nov 2012, 09:12


Oldlae is correct. The S-58s (x6 or 7 of them) were purchased from the Luftwaffe and were converted to S-58ETs with a PT6 Twin Pac, Weather Radar and Decca etc. They were early Single Pilot IFR aircraft and went to Aberdeen.

I would date that picture around 1974 taken outside Hangar 5 at Redhill





20th Nov 2012, 11:03
The Bermudan CAA had a local office in the top right hand drawer of Alistair Gordon's desk. That's where my Bermudan validation came from I'm sure.

G. :E

20th Nov 2012, 11:09
GINFO suggests G-METB is owned by:-


Did it go bust???!

20th Nov 2012, 11:36
Did any work actually take place in Bermuda?

I.I. .. I can't see your images for some reason!

Did it go bust???!

Now that's just the sort of thing your 'Prezza' would have shielded you from .. a police force going bust, lol!

Photographer (and Nostalgia Thread reader) Steve Aubury has just emailed this additional shot of the 'Bad Kid' G-BDKD for the thread:

Helicopter Hire's Enstrom F-28A G-BDKD as seen at Elstree on 29th June 1976 (Photo: Stephen Aubury)

I'm sure we had someone on here a while back saying they were working on BDKD with a view to making her airworthy once again.

20th Nov 2012, 12:03
N82807 became G-BCRU with Bristows, it was destroyed in an accident on the rig Forties Charlie in 1976. AAIB (http://www.aaib.gov.uk/cms_resources.cfm?file=/6-1977%20G-BCRU.pdf).

20th Nov 2012, 17:25
Here's some of my Father's photo's while in the Army with REME attached to the Army Air Corps.
They were taken in the late 1960's while his Squadron was on exercise in Australia. The ship, RFA Sir Galahad sailed down from Malaya to Rockhampton with Scout's and Sioux.
Hope you like them.







20th Nov 2012, 17:26
More Rotary Nostalgia in this Flickr set - including the Redhill shot above

Keith C Wilson General Archives - a set on Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/egbj/sets/72157632051418234/with/8201529618/)

20th Nov 2012, 19:02
BDKD was airworthy a year or so ago in someones back yard in the North West ..... I last captured it in the grounds of the Whitefields Hotel at the end of the M45..... in 1993.... but corresponded with the last known owner in 2008. It is registered in Preston.

The Met 222 crash took place when the aircraft was practicing ILS approaches into Hatfield and the T/R failed.... just what the ILS approaches were all about! It was agreed to be Bell's fault.... a new mod they had just fitted to the 222 failed so they picked up the repair tab.

20th Nov 2012, 20:12
SWBKCB: Yes this is David Haines' Flickr stream and we shall be featuring several of these aircraft on the thread over the coming weeks. Much of what you see has in fact been loaded today.

PA News: I remember the incident but couldn't recall what had caused the t/r failure. One imagines it was a 'healthy' bill that Bell had to pick-up!

I do miss hearing the wonderfully distinctive Bell 'whop' over London .. and elsewhere. Seem to recall one of the 222's visiting Epsom Downs one year.

StrangeSteve: A warm welcome to Rotorheads! Many thanks for posting these wonderful images of your father's days with REME on the previous page. We have a number of ex-REME 'drivers' on PPRuNe some of whom may recall this exercise.

Great to see the Scout in action .. and indeed the 47! :ok:

21st Nov 2012, 07:29

Keith Wilson's now well advertised collection of rotary-wing photos gives us an opportunity to look, in a little more detail, at those remaining 206's which constitute the very first JetRangers which operated in Britain in the late 60's and during the 70's.

Keith's images have been collated (as previously mentioned) by David Haines and come to us with goodwill from both Keith and David.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Yss8p594wS0/UKwDHeiRbvI/AAAAAAAAK1E/nEkp_KfgjwM/s720/G-AWRI%2520JetRanger%2520Staverton%2520Oct%25201974%2520photob y%2520Keith%2520C%2520Wilson%2520via%2520flygloster.co.uk.JP G
Bell 206A JetRanger G-AWRI at Gloucester's Staverton Airport in October 1974 (Photo: Keith C. Wilson courtesy of David Haines)

AWRI was the 27th 206 registered in the UK and the 5th Bell example. She was bought by Air Hanson in October 1968 and sold to the Trident Television Group (which livery she wears in the above photo) in April 1972. In 1976 she was sold to a customer in France.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/--YsOg5D71F0/UKwDINOEHcI/AAAAAAAAK1A/kvOVEaZ-mlo/s800/G-AWRV%2520%2520Oxford%2520March%25201974%2520%2528Keith%2520C %2520Wilson%2529.jpg
Agusta-Bell 206A JetRanger G-AWRV at Oxford's Kidlington Airport in March 1974 (Photo: Keith C. Wilson courtesy of David Haines)

AWRV was the UK's 28th 206 and was bought (presumably from Mann's) by Alexander Gilmore of Balmore, Torrance in Glasgow, also in October 1968.

The following year Gilmore sold 'RV' to Sagil Helicopters of Lynedoch Crescent, Glasgow and so, for a time, she remained a 'Celtic Ranger.'

Now I was going to have a go at 'Wiggy' for not raising this previously unheard of Sagil Helicopters .. until I realised that he did in fact mention them on page 39 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-39.html). Sorry Wiggy!

As mentioned back on page 39, these (below) were some of Scotland's earliest operators:


If anyone has knowledge of any additional operators, please do chip-in.

21st Nov 2012, 15:47
Now that that truth is out about Hillsboro' and newspaper payments to police officers in London isn't it time someone demanded an Inquiry into the Met 222 purchase !
A more unsuitable buy at the time I couldn't imagine ,what with the noise levels and all !

21st Nov 2012, 19:22
H 1 - remember the time scale. Mid 70s to date is 35 years. A lot of people here were not born then. What mid/light twins were available? Bo 105, S76, Bell 212,A 109, Dauphin or Bell 222. With an original idea to have SWAT capability the B105 was too small and the S76 and B212 too large. No room in the back of 109 and no headroom in Dauphin.
After a couple of low hovers we operated normally at 1,000ft where you could see all you needed, use the loudhailer, and generally not create too much noise-what gets people is not the DB level but the beat, and avoid the F/W passing overhead.
AB -The prime task was the major consideration above running costs. We could easily get airborne in 2 minutes as in the B105. As a work environment it was fast (150kts initially) with a beautiful ride, low vibration, manoeuvrable and quiet. I once spent 9.5 hours flying one day with no discomfort.:)
Unfortunately the LTS101 let the aircraft down.

21st Nov 2012, 19:46

The name Alexander is nicknamed 'Sandy' in Scotland.

Sagil hellicopters Is probably short for Sandy Gilmore.( a local garage owner )

Lynedoch Cresc in Glasgow is an area full of accountant's offices so it's maybe just a registered office.

You couldn't land a helicopter there, that's for sure.

Hope this helps.


21st Nov 2012, 21:10

21st Nov 2012, 21:31








21st Nov 2012, 21:39
Good to see CB at the 222 controls - what is he doing nowadays? Probably retired.

Anthony Supplebottom
21st Nov 2012, 21:57
In that last photo it looks as if the fixed wing are G-RNDY and G-PUSI and that in the middle is OO-GSM?

I may have to adjust my glasses!

22nd Nov 2012, 07:02
Heli1: I think the rationale behind why Metpol went for such a noisy aircraft was explained on page 14 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-14.html) in the transcript of the conversation between the Bell Helicopter representative and the Police Commissioner (and from which post I PPRuNed the 222 shots above!).

Pofman: We mentioned the t/r failure and subsequent crash at Hatfield. Do you recall which t/r component had failed?

Tarman: That is an excellent piece of deduction! Makes sense when you look at it with that understanding. "The name Alexander is nicknamed 'Sandy' in Scotland." Yes well, the British and their nicknames! ;)

Shane: That is a great clipping - and what a 'force' Gordon White and James Hanson would become in the years following this photo!

The caption states that the picture was taken in 1968 and my assumption is that it was taken at the end of the year (possibly December). Reason being .. the craft we can see with a company logo emblazoned on the fuselage is one of the David Brown JetRangers:


David Brown purchased their first 206 in August 1968 (the ubiquitous G-AWOL). The other 206 in the frame appears to wear a similar colour scheme and so I imagine this to be DB's second 206 which they purchased in November of the same year .. G-AWUC. Both AWOL and AWUC have featured on this thread but never wearing 'shorts' in red livery with the David Brown emblem so, this is a welcome image indeed, bravo! :D

Supplebottom: I think the aircraft in the middle is actually OO-TSM but .. close enough!

22nd Nov 2012, 12:30
After retirement if my memory serves me correctly, they eventually ended up with Omni in Portugal.

My old company Rotortech Ltd when it was under Bond in the 80s did some mod / design work on the Heli-Tele for the Met 222.


22nd Nov 2012, 20:26
The fault that had caused the original failure of the tail rotor drive was traced to the fatigue failure of an aluminium alloy spigot incorporated in the yaw control linkage of the tail rotor system, immediately to the rear of the engine bay. Following the fracture of the part the tail rotor became disconnected from the rudder pedals, thereby depriving the pilot of control and depriving the t/r of thrust. The drive to the rotating blade was unaffected, it was just turning ineffectually. In the crash the blades had suffered no obvious damage.

The part involved in the failure had recently been replaced under a Bell modification scheme. In the light of the AAIB findings the manufacturer accepted that the cause lay with their modification and agreed to fund and undertake the complete repair and refurbishment of the 222. Accordingly it was shipped across the Atlantic and rebuilt during 1985 and 1986.

Not quite what it says in the AAIB report but close.

23rd Nov 2012, 08:40
PA News: Many thanks for this background info, much appreciated. It has filled a 'historical hole' for me!


Hughes 500C (369HS) G-AXPL (location as yet unidentified) as seen in April of 1974 (Photo: Keith C. Wilson courtesy of David Haines)

G-AXPL began life with Air Gregory at Denham in 1969. Then in 1970 she was sold to a Michael Pearson (The Hon.) aka the 4th Viscount Cowdray (he of Cowdray Park Polo Club). From the Cowdray estate she was registered to Bardsey Management of London in 1973 and then two years later was shipped-off to Australia where she became VH-PMY.

I should like to appreciate the significance of the 'HS' designation which follows the numerical designation '369' on this craft's registration document for those au fait with all things Hughes!

Hughes 500D (369D) G-BFAY at seen at Cranfield on 6th September 1979 (Photo: Keith C. Wilson courtesy of David Haines)

This craft was bought by Sloane Aviation in October 1977 and remained with them until moving to Yewlands Engineering of Ilford in Essex in 1981. She was only with Yewlands for three months before being returned to the US where she evidently became N29707.

24th Nov 2012, 01:25
Mmmmm ....

I can actually remember when G-AXPL arrived in Melbourne ... I was then part of the engineering crew at Vowell Air Services (later to become 'Helicopter Resources') involved in the strip and rebuild for its CoA ...

IIRC one of our senior engineers got an all expenses trip to UK to do the prior purchase 'due diligence' (I think it was Kevin Gibson) on the machine ...

Anyway turned out to be a pretty good machine ... flew nicely and I seen to think it did a few trips to the Antarctic ?? ...


24th Nov 2012, 07:03
.. I seem to think it did a few trips to the Antarctic.

I have no way of being sure whether VH-PMY is in this photo but .. if she was still operational in '81 then there might be a chance that she was the Hughes on the right.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-qtwU62dvSQk/ULB8by0eR7I/AAAAAAAAK6U/_Umu2Mcdtzo/s794/MV+Nella+Dan+-stern+view+pushing+through+pack+ice.+Antarctica+1981+Novembe r+30.jpg
A view of the helideck aboard the MV Nella Dan as she pushes through pack ice in Antarctica on 30th November 1981. Bell 206 VH-WNB in the foreground with two Hughes 500C's in the rear one of which (on the left side of the photo) is most likely VH-BAG

500 Fan
24th Nov 2012, 10:20
I think the Hughes 500 on the right might be VH-BAD. The base of the single letter on the centre panel of the nose bubble is just visible under the JR rotor blade and it looks like it could be a "D". Here is a link to a photo of VH-BAD, another Antarctic Warrior.

VH-BAD(3) (http://www.edcoatescollection.com/ac1/austb/VH-BAD(3).html)


Regarding the "HS" attached to the Hughes 369HS version of the Hughes 500, here is my latest attempt to unravel the various early designations assigned to this type by the manufacturer. This information is based on the contents of various sales booklets and brochures released by Hughes from 1966 onwards and found on ebay.

Hughes 500, Hughes 500M and Hughes 500U
Although certificated as the "H369", the marketing folks at Hughes decided to give the new (in 1966) civilian version of the Hughes OH-6A the name "Hughes 500". The earliest document I have refers to these three versions, the "Hughes 500" which was aimed at the Executive Transport market. The Hughes 500M was similar to the original OH-6A and featured just a few detail changes and was aimed at the export military market. The other version was the "Hughes 500U" which was the basic version for use in the utility role. Only Ship No.1 was flying when this particular booklet was released so the 500U designation was a proposed title for the utility version but was actually never applied to a flying airframe.

Hughes 500E (HE) and Hughes 500S (HS)
The first eleven 500s built from 1966 onwards were a mix of prototypes and early production ships. Five of these were certificated as the "Hughes 369H". Three were retained by Hughes for testing and the other two were sold to customers (Ships No.1, and 6). Four were constructed as military HM versions, two as HS versions and finally the first HE.

The Hughes 500 was, by about 1968, given the designation "Hughes 500E" with the "E" designating it as the executive transport version. This had the plush interior and was marketed as a five seater! This is the Hughes 369HE. The Hughes 500U designation was replaced by the "Hughes 500S" which again was the basic utility version. This is the Hughes 369HS. (I'm not sure what the "S" standards for). The military Hughes 500M was the Hughes 369HM and was also sold to a few civilian customers, EI-AVN and EI-ATY being two civvie M's. It seems the the Hughes 500E and 500S designations weren't really pursued by the Hughes marketing department and the "real" Hughes 500E didn't appear until 1982. The design was further refined in 1970 and was marketed as the Hughes 500C from there on, while still retaining the Hughes 369 HE and HS certifications. The C was the final production version of the 500 with the four-blade main rotor and Y-Tail.

What actually constitutes a Hughes 500C is open to debate. Is it a 500 with a C-20 engine and metal tail rotor blades or does a 500 with the C-18 engine and metal tail rotor blades also qualify as a 500C? Many will tell you that there are plenty of 500s marked up as "C's" and have the C-18 engine so I'm not sure. The marketing literature does refer to the C-20 engine as being part of the upgrade. I hope this helps but it may well muddy the waters further!

500 Fan.

Nigel Osborn
24th Nov 2012, 12:00
Both BAD & BAG did several trips to the Antarctic, I had the pleasure of flying both in Tasmania. Strange to say but BAD used to beak down more regularly than BAG! Maybe the letters should have been changed!

24th Nov 2012, 13:48
Another early operator on behalf of Police were-World Wide helicopters from Biggin Hill who provided a Bell 47 Nxxx registered to Southend Constabulary in 1960 or 61 based at the Kursaal car=park just east of Southend Pier. I used t have a picture taken from the Southend Standard but cannot locate it right now.

25th Nov 2012, 13:21
Many thanks for your welcome.
All the best

25th Nov 2012, 17:38
Mr. Osborn said: "Strange to say but BAD used to break down more regularly than BAG!!
Well, seams the reg's letters makes difference Photos: Antonov (PZL-Mielec) An-2 Aircraft Pictures | Airliners.net (http://www.airliners.net/photo/1011089/) ;)

I hope you don't mind my off topic comment :)

25th Nov 2012, 21:01
G-BDKD was mothballed following a main bearing failure in 2008. Parts were removed to repair the crash damaged G-BRZG which I bought, flew for a year and subsequently sold.

Since then BDKD has been repaired and refurbished but is not quite ready to fly again yet. The engine was fixed by Norvic. The tailcone went back on last week having had a new coat of paint (after 15 coats were removed!). I have a lot of new parts including new TR blades and gbox. Nearly new MR blades(200hrs) etc etc. I hope to have her flying again in the spring.

Its looking good so far!

edit. I love the new pics of KD that keep emerging on this thread. I have owned her for 12 years now and have done over 1000 flights. I'm very fond of her.

7th Dec 2012, 07:02
Just a small attempt to keep the thread „airborne“ until Savoia back
http://img40.imageshack.us/img40/6371/griffjul89.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/40/griffjul89.jpg/)
SA.341G c/n 1063 while with Griffair Ltd. during Jul 1989. Badly damaged in heavy landing on Hall Lane Farm, Runcorn 07.03.1990. and w/o in July same year.

Btw, Sav hurry up, Rotary Nostalgia is already on 4th page and slipping down! :)

9th Dec 2012, 12:47
Grazie Zis! :ok:

On page 53 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-53.html) we have a photo which captures Aeromega 206's at the Westcliff Leisure Centre during the 1980's.

Herewith a little more Aeromega nostalgia:

Aeromega Bell 206B JetRanger II G-BBUY as seen at Cranfield in August 1987 (Photo: Malcolm Clarke)

BBUY, although wearing Aeromega's livery was registered to 'Hecray' at the time of this photo. The following year this craft became G-HMPH.

Aeromega 206's at the Southend Airshow in 1987

Left to right: G-FLCH (registered to 'Quakebrook') now flying as G-NATO, G-BBCA and perhaps G-BBUY and .. at the very end .. a Gazelle.

Aeromega pilot Rob Flexman collects material to be published (probably in a daily newspaper) from a snowbound Hillbrow Farm on 17th January 1987

15th Dec 2012, 09:20
Design Nostalgia:


Bell evidently allocated design numbers (prefixed with a "D") for their various projects. This was D-18, an early four bladed design. It looks as though it should be contra-rotating but I don't think it is, hence the tail rotor.


This project was designated D-1007 and was intended to be nuclear powered, to fly at 175 kts and was some 300ft long!

Ah, atomic helicopters .. those were the days!

15th Dec 2012, 18:47
53 years ago today:

President Dwight D. Eisenhower arrives aboard the USS Des Moines (CA-134, Des Moines-class heavy cruiser) courtesy of a US Marine Corps Sikorsky HUS-1 Seahorse on 15th December 1959. The cruiser was moored in Athens harbour, Greece and the President was accompanied by USN Capt. Evan P. Aurand. The visit was part of Eisenhower's 'Eleven Nation Goodwill Tour (http://www.eisenhower.archives.gov/research/finding_aids/pdf/US_Information_Service.pdf)' which took place between 3-22nd December. (Photo: Courtesy of US Naval Historical Center)

15th Dec 2012, 22:04
Here's some of my photo's, these being from the early 1990's taken when Northern Electric were putting in a new feeder near Wynyard Hall, County Durham.





This next shot from what I can remember the pilot had to do a 360o turn to try and keep the pole under control as it was a windy day:






15th Dec 2012, 22:32
This Robinson R22 was based at Croft Racing Circuit


I was lucky this day as I got to Teesside Airport and this AAC Lynx was in, watched him for about half an hour before he took off and as the pilot lifted, he did a 360 degree turn in front of me and then flew over head.



This was Noel Edmonds piloting his own Squirrel, G-HELN into Stoneleigh for the Kit Car Show one year.



This Jet Ranger, G-DOFY was doing Pleasure Flights at the same event.


I can't remember where I snapped G-HRAY, it may of been in Yorkshire at a Steam Rally.

15th Dec 2012, 22:34
These Jet Rangers were under going maintenance on 21st October 1993 at Teesside Airport







Again this was Teesside Airport but on a different day.

Hope you like them all.

17th Dec 2012, 17:00
Steve great shots, most enjoyable! :ok:

The aircraft below first debuted on page 68 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-68.html):

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-M0YqPunzzo0/UM9UecZbATI/AAAAAAAALB8/D0D0jth0REU/s800/JetRanger+G-AYMW+Gatwick+11+Jun+1971+%28+Keith+Harper+David+Haines%29.JP G
Bell 206A JetRanger G-AYMW at London Gatwick Airport on 11th June 1971 (Photo: Keith Harper courtesy of David Haines)

In the photo on page 68 'MW' is still wearing 'shorts' whereas here we see her on 'pop-outs' and with the addition of a Decca DANAC (moving map) navigator having been installed (the teardrop antenna beneath the baggage compartment).

AYMW was registered to BEAS in November of 1970 and was sold to Wykeham Helicopters in September 1973 and with whom she remained until 1984. During that time she evidently spent some seven years in Eire (between '73 and '80).

From 1984 she was a 'Dollar bird' but came a cropper in County Meath (Ireland) in 2004.

An excerpt from the accident report reads:

"The helicopter was engaged in aerial filming of the Megalithic Passage Tomb at Newgrange, Co. Meath. During its fourth orbit of the mound, the helicopter was seen to yaw suddenly to the right and spiral out of control. Appropriate corrective action by the Pilot, ie of opposite left pedal, reduction of collective and pitching the nose down to increase airspeed, proved ineffective as the helicopter continued yawing right in a spiral descent. The helicopter impacted heavily into a field immediately east of the mound, but remained upright. The three persons on board suffered various sudden impact injuries and were transferred to hospital by the emergency services a short time later. There was no fire. Distribution and analysis of the wreckage and the evidence of an eyewitness determined that the helicopter was fully intact at the point of initial impact. An engineering investigation did not find any technical fault that could have accounted for the accident. Onboard film footage recovered from the accident site did, however, provide evidence that the helicopter was operating in a part of the flight envelope where it was susceptible to loss of tail rotor effectiveness (LTE)."

18th Dec 2012, 09:09
Westland Whirlwind HAS.7 of 848 Squadron from HMS Bulwark, with Royal Marine Commandos in the snow at Worthy Down in December 1959

19th Dec 2012, 07:25
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-B0TFbi2g00M/UNF0d1Lqr0I/AAAAAAAALEY/SbfT1jhurf4/s646/early+80%E2%80%B2s+First+Lady+Imelda+Marcos+inaugurating+the +new+PUMA+helicopter.jpg
Imelda 'Shoes' Marcos Christens what is probably a 330 J model Puma of the Philippine Air Force by pouring Champagne over its nose c. early 80's

Information about Pumas in the Philippine Air Force is sketchy but, word on the web is that there the 252nd Helicopter Squadron of the 250th Presidential Airlift Wing was based in Villamor Air Base and in the early 80's operated at least one 'J' model Puma. I am wondering, if they had a 250th Presidential Airlift Wing does this mean they had 249 Airlift Wings beforehand? ;)

Aérospatiale SA 330J 'Presidential' Puma of the Philippine Air Force c. early 1980's

This aircraft was evidently the Philippine Presidential transport of the early 80's and accommodated an air conditioned VIP interior and may have been the craft which the 'Steel Butterfly' was Christening in the top photo although the craft above seems to lack the emergency floats.

I don't think the PAF had many Pumas in their inventory.

500 Fan
20th Dec 2012, 19:16
I'm not sure if the Antarctic Hughes 500s featured previously in this thread or the Hughes/MD500 photo thread but here is an interesting photo.

Copyright: Carl McMaster.

The photo was taken during the 1975-76 Antarctic season. I'm not sure if it was an ANARE operation or some other Australian Antarctic project. The helicopters are two Hughes 500s from Jayrow Helicopters. They travelled to the continent on the Nella Dan vessel with another helicopter (presumably another 500) and a Pilatus Porter. Vic Barkel was the Senior Pilot on this trip. I wish there was more information available on the Jayrow Antarctic Operations from the late sixties and early seventies. I'm sure it would make for a great book!

500 Fan.

Plank Cap
20th Dec 2012, 23:38
Gotta love those pics of the 500s in the snow, but don't they look odd without the skid leg spats on? Anyone know why they would have been removed?

21st Dec 2012, 04:16
Mmmm ....

Yes ... those 500's belong to Vowell Air Services (they're still in their blue paint scheme which didn't change till the following year) and it looks like they are at the Mount King Base camp in Antarctica. I vaguely remember it being some 400 Nmls from Mawson. I think the year might have been was 1976/7.

The bare U/C legs was to allow for easier 'role change' when removing the 'pop out float' kits and vice versa (anyone who has done this job knows what I mean!!) and to make it easier to tie the a/c down on the ship and on the 'Ice'.

Vic Barkel was the lead pilot (he came over to Vowells when they got the contract) he was 'The Man' in the Antarctic Divisions eyes ... I seem to remember Lt Col. Alf Argent (ANARE) also was there as well as Bill English and I think(?) Brian Miller.

The Pilatus Porter was sent by 'Forrester Stephens Aviation' ... and flown by Dick Trippett (ex Aus Army) their Engineer was I seem to remember a (Swiss German ?) named Holger ????? ... oh didn't we have lotsa fun getting the drift snow out of it after a Blizzard struck ...

Anybody there then will probably still be nauseated by the smell of a Frey Bentos Steak & Kidney pie anywhere near them!! (and you DID have to have been there !!).

I think(?) the 500 behind the intrepid explorer is VH-PMY ... the others will be VH-BAG and VH-BAD.

Ahh the memories come flooding back :yuk::yuk::yuk:

Edit: might have possibly been the 77/78 expedition .. time blurs all memory ..
largish scruffy bloke in centre frame might be **** Robinson/Robertson (???) who was the senior aircraft engineer on site ???

500 Fan
21st Dec 2012, 16:58
Apologies for stating those 500s belonged to Jayrow when they were, in fact, Vowell machines. The website where I found the photo stated they were Jayrow, although it did seem odd that they didn't have the standard orange Jayrow paint scheme.

The crash of a Jayrow Hughes 500 during the 1973-74 season was mentioned previously here on PPRuNe and here is a first-hand account of that incident. These are the words of Andrew Turk, who, I believe, was a mapper or geologist and was a passenger on the accident aircraft.

"After about a fortnight of surveying from small nunataks and high mountains, the helicopters arrived to move my party to Burke Ridge. I had a new assistant who had lately spent time at Mt. Cresswell camp and brought stories of several aircraft 'incidents' involving one of the pilots. To reassured him, I decided that I would fly in that pilot's helicopter to lead onto the ridge, and he could follow with the other pilot.
We took off from Mt Newton early in the afternoon, circled the survey mark and took aerial photographs before heading South towards Burke Ridge, located at 65 degrees 25 minutes East longitude; 74 degrees 40 minutes South latitude.

I was always apprehensive of helicopter travel. As the fixed-wing aircraft pilot said: "Helicopters don't really fly, they just defy gravity". But my overwhelming feeling was of awe as I looked down on the towering mountainside of rock and ice. Burke Ridge was an exciting destination, viewed by previous expeditions but never occupied and this was my chance to get measurements to link the most southern rocky ridge into our growing geodetic survey network. To put it accurately on the map.

We came to the ridge, thin and steep, running roughly North-South, and assessed the prospects for a landing near the summit. We circled and I took off my helmet to take aerial photographs. There was a snow patch about five metres wide near the summit which looked like a possible landing site, but the wind howling in from the South-West made the helicopter buck. I turned to the pilot and said: "If its too hard to land I'm happy to carry the gear up the hill". He shook his head and banked the helicopter for an approach into the wind. I put my helmet back on and tightened the strap.

When we were about ten metres from the ground, the wind streaming over the ridge pushed the tail of the helicopter making it veer violently off line and to quickly lose altitude. Instead of powering forward into the wind, the pilot chose to turn the machine to the right to try to move away from the ridge.

The helicopter skid just caught the rocky edge and the machine somersaulted over the western face of the ridge. Death seemed inevitable as the tail and main rotors broke free and the engine screamed. The noise was horrific as our world tumbled down but I thought "you never know your luck", placed my left arm across my face and huddled down. The few seconds more of descent seemed like minutes as the helicopter continued to disintegrate and metal struck my helmet and left arm. Then all was still, the helicopter stuck in a rock outcrop and me hanging from my seat belt. I released the belt, climbed from the shattered bubble, and pulled the pilot out. We ran as fast as we could across the rocky hillside till about fifty metres from the remains of the helicopter. I expected it to explode as the load included several car batteries and plastic containers of fuel but it just sat there crumpled among the rocks and snow and hissed.

The pilot pulled the emergency radio from his trouser leg pocket and called the other helicopter, hovering high overhead, saying that the wind conditions were terrible, not to try to land and to radio for help. The pilot of the other Helicopter later told me that he was so overcome by watching us crash that he would have been incapable of landing to pick us up.

I thought my left arm was broken, as I couldn’t move it, so I tied it inside my coat and started searching the hillside for parts of the load that had spilled from the helicopter as it bounced and broke up. I was elated to find my field books with the records of the past fortnight's observations. Next I located the survey equipment. The tellurometer was smashed but the sturdy theodolite was still in its cast iron case, although the base was cracked. However, I could see where a bolt from the exploding engine had pierced the case, left its hexagonal impression on the telescope focussing barrel and ricocheted away, rendering the theodolite inoperative.

The pilot called me over. Manning, the survey party leader, waiting on Wilson Bluff for the measurements had heard the emergency message and was calling me on the radio. He barked three rapid-fire questions: Is anyone dead? Are you badly hurt? Can we still get the measurement?" I answered no to each. By this stage I was feeling a lot safer but very weak so I settled myself among the rocks to await developments.

The Porter fixed-wing aircraft had been taking aerial photographs about a hundred kilometres away when the pilot heard the emergency message. He quickly returned to Mt. Cresswell camp, refuelled, took on board the expedition doctor who happened to be there, and flew towards us. When we saw the Porter circling the ridge, looking for an area of ice without crevasses to land, we climbed down the rest of the hillside.

As we reached the ice we saw the Porter coming towards us on its skids. It stopped about thirty metres away and the pilot jumped from the cockpit and ran towards me opening a can of beer. "Here, get this into you" he said. Declining, I turned instead to the doctor and a syringe of morphine. The four hour flight back to Mawson and the trek down from the airstrip were mostly a blur for me and it was not until I was safely inside the small medical room at the base that I could relax. I was safe and all my defence mechanisms collapsed. I vomited and wept."

I hope this is of interest.

500 Fan.

24th Dec 2012, 18:23
Because the Reindeer had trouble with the humid temperature in Malaya Santa got help from the Army Air Corps, this was him at Kluang in 1969.
Happy Christmas


Dennis Kenyon
24th Dec 2012, 21:06
As much to keep our favourite thread on the front row of the grid... and to say it was good to see one of my old Bell 206s G-SHCC turn up. CC was in fact the third helicopter I purchased in 1988 having started my second new company Starline Helicopters at Biggin Hill. She was purchased as a twin of G-SHBB and originally sold to that affable Welshman, Gwyn Humphreys. Other B206s in the SH line up were G-SHJJ, SHRR, SHVV and SHZZ, the latter bought my Mr Mark Thatcher. To close by wishing all Ppruners a really good Christmas and a promising 2013. God bless us ... everyone! Dennis K.

24th Dec 2012, 22:06
Engineers visible with the 206's at Teeside

Paul Harbottle
Eric Gilmour
Andy Mclaren
Frank Washford

500 Fan
25th Dec 2012, 15:47
Here are a few seaonal photos. This vessel is the "Nella Dan". It supported Australian expeditions to the Antarctic between 1962 and 1987. It played host to numerous helicopters including those from Helicopter Utilities (Bell 47 and FH1100), Jayrow Helicopters (Hughes 500), Vowell Air Services (Hughes 500 and Bell 206) and (I believe) Chopperline (Hughes 500D). It also transported other forms of transport including the DHC Beaver, Pilatus Porter, amphibious landing craft, the Sno-Trac tracked vehicle and the VW Beetle! The helicopter landing pad was approximately 100 square metres in size and must have felt positively airport-like when compared to some of the compact helidecks on show in the "Superyachts" thread.


It looks like one of Vowell's blue and red 500s is resting on the stern in the photo above.



The aforementioned A.N.A.R.E. VW Beetle.


Finally, here is a beautiful photo of Jayrow's colourful Hughes 500 VH-SFS cruising along in front of an impressive background.

Copyright: Commonwealth of Australia/John Manning

500 Fan.

25th Dec 2012, 16:13

The H-34's at Redhill were made into the S-58T's BHL operated for a while. The registrations were....working from memory.....

G-BCDE, DF, DG, RW, RV, TX and a few others I think....one crashed killing one passenger, and the others got sold off with some going to South Africa.

26th Dec 2012, 05:27
Mmmmm ...

500Fan ... some memorable pics you have dug up .... they take me back !!! :)

You remind me that I must have some 500 slides from my various trips to Antarctica that I must go through and digitise ... perhaps when I get home (?) I shall do so and hopefully post same ...

Thank you ... :D

500 Fan
26th Dec 2012, 09:42
Hi Spinwing. I'm glad you like these photos. The whole area of Antarctic Aviation Operations is a fascinating one. I reckon the only place more remote than Antarctica that man has visited is the moon. If you have more Antarctic 500 photos hidden away, please dig them out when you get a chance. They will be appreciated.

500 Fan.

26th Dec 2012, 18:49
I hope you'll permit the intrusion of a fixed wing PPL (and engineer) with a few pictures I took during my youth. I would get a PPL(H) - but only if I could afford the H500 to go with it....

(Apologies for the less than perfect scans)

Dundee August 1979 (I was completing an RAF cadet flying scholarship):






Lilford Park Show (near Oundle, Northants) late 1970s?



Lilford Park Show 1980:


RAF Halton Show 1982:


RAF Halton Show 1984:


East of England Show, Peterborough, 1981:



East of England Show, Peterborough, 1979:



Not sure where or when (H500 G-BMJH, Long Ranger looks like G-L???):


26th Dec 2012, 18:54
And three more:

Barton (not sure when):


Sibson, Peterborough (not sure when):


Loch Fyne circa1997. We were up there with a Stearman for a film - Marc Wolff was involved. Enstrom belonged to a friend who came up for the ride!


28th Dec 2012, 07:42
StrangeSteve: Thank you for the Scout photos on the previous page, wonderful!

EricFerret: I had a job picking you out in the photos .. I think you may have put on some weight since our days in Africa, lol! Happy New Year!

500 Fan: Great shots as always (I have some more 500 nostalgia on the way). Tell me, do you suppose the shot with the Beetle is to scale? If so .. then I never realised how large penguins were!

SmartHawke: Some great nostalgia there, thank you. I think this may be the first time G-BFZE has appeared on the thread and so this is much appreciated. Without checking the files I think she may have been the second or third Ecureuil in the UK after Tommy Sopwith's - certainly one of the first having been delivered to 'Valley of Gleneagle' Helicopters in October 1978.

Great to see some other JetRangers in your collection, some of which have made rare appearances on the thread.

You enquired about the registration of the LongRanger in your photo. There was only one 206L in the UK with that colour scheme and that was G-LRII, owned by Castle Air and painted in similar colours to the 'famous' G-BHXU (the helicopter which transported Anneka Rice around during her Treasure Hunt days). G-LRII was flown (at one time) by one of our own .. PPRuNer Geoffsincornwall!


A little game of snap to match your shot of AVIG:

Bristow Agusta-Bell 206B (upgraded from an 'A' model) and the first 206 delivered to the UK, G-AVIG lands at Gloucester's Staverton Airport on 13th March 1980. This aircraft perished in Antarctica on 5th January 1985 in poor visibility conditions (Photo: Keith C. Wilson courtesy of David Haines)


And another 'snap' to match your shot of G-BFAY which in fact recently cropped-up for the first time on the thread on page 89.

Sloane Aviation Hughes 500D departing Farnborough in 1978

Hughes 500C (369HE) G-BFYJ as seen as Henstridge on 10th April 1988

Another new entry for the thread BFYJ and another new operator for the list of 'lesser known operators' with 'YJ' having been bought by Wilford Aviation in 1978.

industry insider
28th Dec 2012, 10:23

G-AVIG was on the Redhill Flying Training School at the time of the low skid picture above. It was mainly used for Command Course training. I think it was also based at Dalcross when the BO105 was on maintenance. I last flew "IG" in September 1981 according to my logbook.

28th Dec 2012, 17:13
Well done I.I., at least you have the UK's first 206 in your log!

Was told that AVIG and AVII became somewhat 'canine' towards the end but, they seem to have done a great job overall across the years!


BA S61N G-BEWL at Dublin Airport with a USMC VH-3D on 3rd June 1984 (Photo: Ken Meegan)

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-YDT-tU9lpyM/UN3cnbkeOfI/AAAAAAAALKQ/NDkvHXqopAQ/s774/Helijet+S61N+C-GBSF+Victoria+Harbour+Heliport+13+Nov+2006+%28Dan+Barnes%29. jpg
Helijet S61N C-GBSF at Victoria Harbour Heliport, Canada, on 13th November 2006 (Dan Barnes)

Sikorsky 'Snow' King - somewhere cold!

28th Dec 2012, 18:43
Savoia, interesting to know of 'IGs heritage and the registration of the Long Ranger (looking closely at the original that would be the machine's identity). I've edited my post - the photos of G-BFAY were in 1979.

I'm pleased to know the pictures of interest.

29th Dec 2012, 10:12
SmartHawke: Yes your contribution is much appreciated.

As mentioned, this is the first image of G-BFZE on the thread as photos of her have been rarer than red squirrels in Piedmont!

Here is the only shot I have of her:

Valley of Gleneagle Helicopters AS350B G-BFZE as seen at Edinburgh's Turnhouse Airport in 1980 (Photo: Robert Pittuck)

Clearly 'Gleneagle' picked-up a job from Barratt's who (perhaps understandably) did not wish to haul G-BEKH or G-HELY up to WBS (wee bonnie Scotland)!

Some more joining of the dots .. if you can bare it?

You posted a photo of the JetRanger G-BHYW which, as it happens, was bought in 1983 by .. Gleneagle Helicopters.

You also posted a JetRanger photographed at the Lilford Park show near Oundle. This helicopter was G-BAKF. "KF" was (back on page 3 (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/419023-rotary-nostalgia-thread-3.html) of this thread) one of the 'mystery' helicopters in Speechless Two's photographic journal of his exploits in Rhodesia during their elections of 1980.

G-BAKF was operated by Dollar Helicopters at the time of your photo .. who in turn were the owners of another JetRanger you posted .. G-BALC, which you photographed at the RAF Halton Show in 1984.

Now G-BALC was of interest to us some while back on the thread because before her days with Dollar she was owned by F.W. Farnsworth of Nottingham. Now what (one may ask) was significant about F.W. Farnsworth? Well, not much really, except that they traded as 'Pork Farms' and (according to my godfather) this helicopter at one time used to have the slogan "Pork Farm Sausages" emblazoned across her hide! This was a matter of some buffoonery on the part of my godfather who chided her pilot enquiring if they were going to apply for the call sign "Pork Farms 206" or perhaps even "Sausage 1". All done in good humour of course!

And seeing as I have mentioned the Colonel .. G-BBBM (which you also posted) was at one time (1973-74) operated by my godfather before being sold to Alan Mann. The craft ended-up being purchased by the Daily Express newspaper who owned her for 7 years before selling her to a Belgian buyer.