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23rd Jun 2010, 08:22
This thread is dedicated to the memory of my late godfather

Lt. Col. Robert 'Bob' Smith

who taught me to fly and introduced me to the world of rotary-wing aviation


Lt. Col. Bob Smith
6th May 1921 - 20th May 2013

~ ~ ~

Agusta-Bell 206B JetRanger II G-TALY as seen at Cranfield on 4th July 1982 (Photo: Michael Haslam)

Does anyone happen to know what became of G-TALY? I flew her in the early 80's while doing my PPL.

23rd Jun 2010, 08:34
Now flys as G-JLEE from Booker mainly. Plenty of pics on the web. Has also flown as G-CSKY & G-JOKE

23rd Jun 2010, 09:36
Jokerman was Freddie Starr.

23rd Jun 2010, 11:08
now belongs to a John Stanlet Lee from Beaconsfield, registered as G-JLEE, and on 31/12/2009 last last had accumulated 3492 airframe flying hours. Built in 1978. All from G-Info site.

Earl of Rochester
23rd Jun 2010, 15:54

G-TALY's former home was Eaton Hall in Cheshire (above).

In the early 1980's TALY had two regional contemporaries, also Bell 206's, operated by Alton Towers and JC Bamford Excavators respectively.

The Alton Towers aircraft was based a stone's throw away at Stretton Hall and flown by Capt. Phillip Croucher. The JCB aircraft was a little further away at Uttoxeter and East Midlands and flown by Capt. John 'Chalky' White.

All three of these aircraft were up-graded to twins, the DoW to a twin squirrel G-TALI, Alton Towers to a Bell 222A G-JLBZ and JCB to a 109A MkII G-EJCB.

The two TALY/I's were named after the DoW's wife, Natalia, and who is a descendant of the late Russian poet Alexander Pushkin. Both aircraft carried the 'wheatsheaf' symbol taken from the DoW's coat of arms and both were fitted to a high standard of finish with executive interiors and a comprehensive avionics suite.

23rd Jun 2010, 21:06
I had the pleasure of ferrying this machine back from the factory in the winter of 1979 with the DoW's pilot Ken (will need to look up the logbook for his surname - think it was Davies). Ken was the Dukes FW pilot and we (AMH) converted Ken to RW so that he could do the business with TALY. If I remember the trip correctly we had a chip light in Switzerland and had to plop down in a field to check the offending chip detector.

Happy Days


23rd Jun 2010, 22:49
Geoff: You conducted the delivery flight? That is interesting. Which Agusta factory did you collect the aircraft from?

I suppose the a/c must only have had a handful of hours and so a chip detection light might not have been entirely unusual. I imagine a new aircraft must have the same susceptability to chips as one which has just had engine work performed. Presumably it was just dirt that caused the warning?

When I flew her (just after she left the Duke's service) she still had the comfortable high back leather seating as well as a generous avionics fit including an autopilot which I guess was fitted by Manns.

When you mention training existing staff, I think it was Dennis de Ferranti who had his chauffeur trained to fly his helicopter in Ireland - back in the day. If the story is right, he was terrified of the thing! I think it was a Hughes 500.

24th Jun 2010, 09:21
Yes TALY did have an autopilot, and an early one but good nonetheless. The cyclic was not isolated from the servo-actuators, so in hands-off mode it moved around the cockpit correcting attitude and altitude. A little disconcerting! Flew with Ken Davis many times, great pilot. He was officially a 'gardener' since such a position is a claimable expense against the estate. Whereas a pilot isn't.

Your 2nd point about Alan Mann, all is not good there I'm afraid :sad:~ VFR

25th Jun 2010, 23:26
I collected TALY from Frosinone, south of Rome. Interesting flight back through Genoa to Milan where we stopped at Cascina Costa to complete export formalities before heading off over the Simplon. I drive that route regularly now and often think of those ferry flights back to Blighty. I did G-WIZZ with John (Courtney)Horscroft, a couple for our own AMH fleet with Chris Hodgkinson and Brian Beale (YP?) - always during the winter when crossing the Alps was challenging. Every VFR ferry flight with a 'green' 206 (no radios, just a portable VHF, no heater) comes with a tale.

As far as I recall the DoW had a small twin piston (Piper I think). Ken had won over the Duke with a professional handling of an engine failure so was made for life.

Writing this from my Camper beside Lago Maggiore so very close to the scene of the action. Bloody rain has just soaked my washing! Summer in the mountains brings such pleasures.


G. :ok:

PS - lots of photos somewhere in my loft.

Senior Pilot
25th Jun 2010, 23:55
Writing this from my Camper beside Lago Maggiore

PS - lots of photos somewhere in my loft.

A campervan with a loft :eek:

You are a man of many talents, Geoffers :ok:

26th Jun 2010, 09:20
Did you lose your accommodation allowance Geoff? :)

Earl of Rochester
26th Jun 2010, 15:18
Oh Taly, gee Taly, where are you now,
Some place far off or over the brow?

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

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

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

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

26th Jun 2010, 16:14
Great thread, I guess all you pilots could be called Talywags. :ok:

27th Jun 2010, 08:10
G-JLEE was at Aero Expo at Wycombe Air Park yesterday, parked outside Heli Air's hangar

27th Jun 2010, 08:53

Take a look here.....Aerospatiale AS355F1 Ecureuil II, G-TALI, Private (http://www.abpic.co.uk/photo/1133775/)
Aerospatiale AS355F1 Ecureuil II, G-TALI (http://www.abpic.co.uk/photo/1155307/)


27th Jun 2010, 09:22
Thanks LewyC and PlaneMike:

I wonder if JLEE is in the colours (red and silver) as posted by Earl?

It seems the only photos of the original TALY/I were taken at Cranfield, both in month of July, one assumes for the PFA meet. Perhaps DoW and/or 'Ken D' or someone close to the family was an enthusiast!

Earl of Rochester
28th Jun 2010, 07:37
G-TALY's successor was G-TALI:

- March 1983 Purchased by and first registered to the Eaton Estate, Cheshire
- February 1991 sold to Avco Weston, London
- April 1991 sold to Walsh Aviation, Wotton-Under-Edge and re-registered as G-BTIS
- January 2005 sold to Skywalker Aviation, Surrey and re-registered as G-SKYW
- June 2010 sold to Latitude Aviation, Warwick and re-registered as G-NBEL

http://www.abpic.co.uk/images/images/1155307M.jpg (http://javascript<b></b>:popUp('/popup.php?q=1155307'))

TALI at Cranfield (2nd July 1988) for the PFA Rally

Geoff mentioned delivering G-WIZZ seen here below at Brands Hatch 6th October 1985. G-WIZZ originally sported one of the few sets of high skid gear (without pop outs) to be seen on a 206 in the UK in the early days!

http://www.abpic.co.uk/images/images/1077274M.jpg (http://javascript<b></b>:popUp('/popup.php?q=1077274'))

28th Jun 2010, 18:38
This helicopter was the first - or at least very nearly the first - 'out-of-sequence' - reg in UK. When I called LGW on the way in for Customs Clearance they refused to believe I was using a 'kosher' callsign!!

It was indeed delivered with high 'tubes' which made it very tricky when I had to do the old chip-detector 'service' in a field north of Troyes. The delay caused us to divert into Melun which is listed as a civvy airport but turned out to be the French equivalent of Boscombe Down and 'Les Gendarmes de L'Air' were not amused. A little bit of play-acting and a second chip-detector removal was meant to be 'window-dressing' but when a large 'whisker' was found sticking on the end of said detector all seemed to be understood. Unfortunately they said 'well now you have fixed it you can go on your way'. We knew the weather was cr*p and with only an hour of daylight we turned to the Met man who was horrified that any self respecting VFR helicopter man could be asked to proceed against the worst mother nature could offer - the dreaded 'warm sector'. One call to the Commandant and we were given a true airman's welcome and the entire team of Gendarmes De L'Air swung into action and we were taken to a local B & B via the local supermarket to buy a wheel of local Brie each. The driver was able to convince us that a Renault 4L with three-up and a load of bags would make an ideal rally-car and I swear he took the corners on two wheels. Suitably impressed we hoped that the ride the following morning we lack the sense of urgency. Got to UK on schedule without further incident.

Bit of thread creep but what the hell.


28th Jun 2010, 20:24
This has turned into a very entertaining thread, keep the stories coming lads !!
I recall that the first "out of sequence" reg was G-OLLY a Navajo belonging to Robertson's Jam who's logo was a Black Golly. I don't think that it would be allowed these days !

28th Jun 2010, 23:22
Thread creep coming on...........

There are a number of instances of the use of "out of sequence" registrations before G-OLLY. Two that spring to mind are G-EDCA first used in Dec 1927 Genet Moth and G-ATEL Aviation Traders Accountant registered in 1957.

G-EDCA was also used on a deH 60X. One of the very few examples of the "reuse" of a registration on a British civil aircraft.


29th Jun 2010, 18:34
My impromtu visits to terra-firma with trusty steed extended to one embarassing moment whilst returning a LongRanger to UK from the Winter Olympics in Sarajevo in '84 (actually one of several come to think of it - an interesting trip that!). I was breaking my neck for a pee and my dear colleague Cliff the trusty engineer helped me out when we plopped down in a snow covered meadow in Switzerland. I hopped out whilst Cliff held the controls and quickly took care of business. As we lifted I took stock of our 'footprint' - two skid-marks, two boot-marks and a piss-hole in the snow. It definitely had the whiff of an alien visit and I wonder what the farmer made of it next time he checked his land? I had visions of a witch-hunt in the local papers and then being hunted down by the cops. Never heard a thing. Jolly japes!


Earl of Rochester
30th Jun 2010, 08:12
(To be appreciated, this verse should ideally be sung in a style similar to that of Noel Coward’s ‘Mad Dogs’)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2nd Jul 2010, 16:10
G-AYTF entered the Skyline stable just ahead of TALY still wearing her previous owners (Lotus) colours which were those of the tobacco brand John Player (JPS).

My only ever experience of a total engine failure was in AYTF when, approx. 20 mins out from the Lotus base at Hethel in Norwich, she kicked in a left yaw immediately followed by the sound of her little turbine winding down.

My godfather, who was engrossed in unfolding maps at the time, instantly took control guiding the 'Dancer' through a perfectly executed auto from approx. 900ft agl (low cloud base) and landed her across the furrows of a newly ploughed field.

The field's owner dismounted his tractor in a neighbouring field and casually strolled across posing the question, "Can I help you?" I think he thought we had become lost!

Anyway, Manfred Mann came to the rescue. I don't recall the name of the pilot but, he wore Wellingtons which, although strange to observe while he was flying, were most practical! It may not have been Geoff but must, I am sure, have been one of his colleagues.

When my godfather called Chapman (from the farmer's house) to relay the event his response was "Bloody well done! Get on a flight out to Imola (the location of the Italian Grand Prix where we were headed with the Dancer) as I want to buy you a drink!"


Colin Chapman astride a Lotus Esprit (the type used in the film 'The Spy Who Loved Me' where John Crewdson flew a 206 wearing a wig) at the Lotus airfield in Hethel. G-PRIX in the background sporting the John Player colours which were also worn by G-AYTF and which were the inspiration for TALY's repaint when bought by Freddie Starr.

4th Jul 2010, 18:13
Savoia, the take off shot of G-OJCB is at a very old Battersea Heliport, now a much changed place, the aircraft is still flying as G-BZEE as seen in the link below.

G-BZEE photo - Mike Rice photos at pbase.com (http://www.pbase.com/mikerice/image/62502006)

Low Flier
16th Jul 2010, 19:48
although for Crewdson’s ship this would presumably have been for a short time, perhaps just for the period of filming alone! Do you happen to know the registration of that helicopter?

Buggah! I flew that one and I'm damned if I can remember the callsign. That logbook was burned in a removal van fire during a house move a few years ago, along with the photocopies, so I can't even look it up.

It was dressed up like a raspberry ripple when I flew it, just before it was crated up and sent out Zimbabwe to haul ballot boxes in their first election. 1980 IIRC.

One of my memories of it was an occasion when I became intensely suspicious of a couple of very dodgy looking characters who wanted to charter the aircaft for an hour. There was something not right about them. On the pretext of asking the gingerbeers about something or other, I phoned the Special Branch cops over at the terminal building. They rapidly showed up with some uniformed buddies and arrested the pair. Turned out that they were IRA and had intended to hijack me to spring a mate of theirs from prison.

Low Flier
17th Jul 2010, 20:13

Brilliant catch. As soon as I saw the 'YF letters in your photo I had a head-slapping moment.

You can see why I called it the raspberry ripple. It was somewhat akin to the ghastly new Technicolor Yawn paintscheme which was inflicted upon the BEAS 212s circa 1977 when the company was taken over by Brand X.

I guess that photo was taken around Spring 1980 as it's got the high skids. They were put on for the AM contract in Zimbabwe as the job involved much landing in tall grass at the outer polling stations in de bush.

I remember making a bit of an arse of a practice auto in that thing as I stoofed the heels of the skids into the ground in a badly misjudged flare during my first flight with the new skids. No damage, other than to my pride.:O

Wearing a loaded pistol one one's hip when flying a G-reg aircraft was a bit of a novelty! It was a contractual stipulation, in case of any electoral unpleasantness. I think it was the UK Foreign Office (client) who insisted on that. Heaven forfend that anything like election monkey business should happen in Comrad Robert's socialist workers paradise!

Low Flier
17th Jul 2010, 20:21
Going back to John Crewdson, the Bond film in '80 required him to fly Yankee Fox through a disused warehouse on the banks of the Thames. John had something like 360 film credits to his name, in an immensely wide variety of roles, but that one really spooked him. He was very nervous about the expected recirculation effects.

I seem to recall that he declined the job and handed it over to Marc Wolfe.

Edited to add:

I've found a video of the job which Marc Wolfe did.

Dunno why a JetBanger starts to sound like a Stuka in a VNE dive when you push the nose down though! Yankee Fox never sounded like that.:}

17th Jul 2010, 21:32
Can I add two pennorth to this yarn.

I was the guilty party who purchased Lord Grosvenor's (Duke of Westminster) Jetranger and recall his lordship being absolutely adamant that the Reg G-TALY be removed the instant I returned to my Skyline base at Wycombe. As a new business I began registering our sales acquisitions SKY hence quite a few machines had those last three letters in the early 1980s. I think I got as far as G-WSKY on an Enstrom Shark. My co-directors were the irrepressable Trevor Taylor ( a superb pianist) and the innovative inventer Peter Millward.

During the purchase negotiations I flew with Ken D when the estate was operating a Piper Twin-Com but would need to check my log book for the CAA reg. I recall the whole estate was surrounded by its own airfield.

A little earlier, I purchased Colin Chapman's B-206, G-AYTF which as noted was dressed in the colours of JPS. I was happy to retain the black and gold scheme in view of the annual tobacco sponsorship attached. Mr Chapman's pilot in those days was Mike Hamlin (if you're out there Mike - my best wishes) later the Hamlin Jet business. Earlier I had sold Chapman ... of all things ... an Enstrom 28A model, G-BAWI and as a first demo flew the great man from Hethel down to the river where his newly acquired Sunseeker business was based. I gave him a few lessons before Mike Hamlin took over. TF boasted the Collins 841H autopilot as noted earlier. I think Chapman sold the Enstrom to Roger Windley. Serial No 120.

As also noted here, a later purchase was the B206 G-WIZZ purchased from the Robinson lawyer firm following its heavy landing at LBA. The purchase price didn't exceed £20k. My engineering division rebuilt her and following the offer of further sponsorship, she was also painted to match G-AYTF.

Now here's a quirk for you all. Following the paint, a local signwriter was called in to attach the registration. No plastic numbers in those days. On the right hand side he set out the letters as G-WIIZZ. And like the well known 'PARIS IN THE THE SPRING',' phrase not a single person ever spotted the error or at least brought it to my attention, even after I'd been flying the machine for almost a year!

Okay ... so I'm a mine of useless information but I didn't start the drift!!!!

Dennis Kenyon.

17th Jul 2010, 21:43
Oh and thinking and rambling a bit more, my firm also bought and operated G-AWJW ... and correct me if I'm wrong but seem to remember collecting it all of half a mile from the Col Bob Smith's (he of the white gloves) hangar at Shoreham to our hangar in the south east corner.

Happy flying, Dennis K

17th Jul 2010, 21:48
More drift ...anyone know what happened to the Hughes 500 I purchased from Nigeria registered G-OVPP (Go Vote Peoples Party.) I know a sabotage attempt was made on the machine while she was flying for the elections.

Dennis K

Low Flier
17th Jul 2010, 23:17
Thanks to the Mods for allowing an interesting conversation to drift off centreline of track.

Hell Man
17th Jul 2010, 23:31
Even though I'm Stateside and don't know who the hell all these characters are that you are talking about - its still a damn good read. Well done Limeys! :ok:

18th Jul 2010, 06:08
I have photo of G- WIZZ the day we arrived at Gatport Airwick for formal importation at the end of the ferry flight. Can someone host it for me?

G. :ok:

18th Jul 2010, 06:34
Geoff I've PM'd you Speechless' email address (the chap you did S61 sim training with - evidently someone knocked a switch and the craft went from standstill to 100kts straight at a hangar but .. Speechless managed to overcome the obstacle .. to your joint amusement).

Anyway, I'm fairly confident he shall be able to assist with hosting - I mean he's ex-Ferranti so the culture of hospitality is ingrained! :)

18th Jul 2010, 12:14
MPR: You are quite right, the JCB 206 is departing Battersea the corner of the old pre-fab terminal building just visible on the left. I think Carl Beaman may have tried to re-furbish it, if not then Noel Edmonds.

Low Flier: This image of Crewdson seems to be inconsistent with what I was told about him - in that he was always portrayed as 'fearless' when it came to such things and so for him to hand over the work to Marc seems extraordinary but, I believe you, for I did not know the man personally. My godfather always spoke well of John and I think that HH ended up buying at least one aircraft from Ferranti.

Speechless: The Rhodesian operation seems to have been quite comprehensive (by any standards). Could you shed some more light on the op, how many aircraft in total, for how many months, which aircraft (and how many) were used to transport the 206's etc.

It looks like there are two aircraft from Air Hanson. Do you happen to know who the blue 206 belonged to?

Dennis: You were one of my boyhood hero's! I first met you when I was ten (it was at the Biggin Hill Airfair) and I pleaded with my godfather to let me meet you which we did at the Enstrom tent. Needless to say, I was enthralled by your wingovers and 'bucket carrying' displays which I came to see many times over the years.

My godfather had nicknames for everyone; you were 'Dennis the Menace' and which I found comical given that back then you were flying G-BENO, Beano of course being the publication in which DTM featured! The fact that DTM's jumper and G-BENO were black and red only added to the fascination (I was 10 remember).

It is because of you that my godfather (he of the white gloves) sent me to Skyline to do my PPL. You were there when Col. B dropped me off but then you seemed to be away for some time (working on some project) but, you left me in good hands, in this case those of the late Anthony 'Nobby' Clarke who one day asked me to look closely at the side of a recently painted 206 and posed the question 'do you see anything wrong?' to which I initially replied 'no' but seeing the disapproval in his face promptly re-examined the aircraft and eventually spotted the double 'ii' painting error to which you referred.

You created no small havoc naming all the aircraft 'SKY' because everything in the circuit soon became 'KY' and which caused the control tower and surrounding zones to accept the first letter only and the balance read as the word sky! TALY for example became 'Charlie Sky' over the airwaves.

Please tell me that after all these years of promoting Enstroms that Enstrom Corporation have given you your own mount to park on your lawn!

After I finished with Skyline I left the UK and was told that Richard Branson was going to set up corporate helicopter operations at Booker - did that ever happen?

http://www.airport-data.com/images/aircraft/small/321/321236.jpg (http://www.airport-data.com/aircraft/photo/321236L.html)

Dennis Kenyon aka 'Dennis the Menace' during his display at Biggin Hill on 14 May 1977.

http://www.abpic.co.uk/images/images/1118780M.jpg (http://javascript<b></b>:popUp('/popup.php?q=1118780'))

G-BENO at an unknown location in 1978


The Beano comic depicting Dennis the Menace and reflecting the same colours as G-BENO!

Low Flier
18th Jul 2010, 20:32
This image of Crewdson seems to be inconsistent with what I was told about him - in that he was always portrayed as 'fearless'

I've never ever heard of John being described that way.

I'd quite certainly never fly with any pilot who was/is fearless, not knowingly anyway.

This wonderful forum has some quite extraordinary pilots, some of whom I'm in awe. Kenyon and Farley are two such examples.

I doubt very much that either of those two examples could reasonably be described as fearless. Fearlessness is quite incompatible with safe and competent flying, in my opinion.

John Crewdson was an extraordinarily precise pilot. He did a lot of show flying which was right on the edge, but I would not say that he was fearless.

After his Gibraltar whoopsie, in which he crashed a plankwing into the harbour thru a fuel tank selection whoopsie, he lost much of his spleen in life-saving surgery. For a spirited drinker such as John, that would have been a wakeup call if he'd been a reckless kinda guy.

He continued to fly with great spirit. I mean that in the best possible way!

19th Jul 2010, 09:54
Low Flier:
As stated, my godfather only had kind words for John and his flying ability is something I have always admired.

Helicopter Hire eventually went on the buy at least one ex-Ferranti aircraft, an MBB Bo105D, B-BFYA.

This was an impressive operation and I'm wondering how the DC10 must have looked in both holds with 10 airframes and tail booms, 20 blade boxes and tranmission crates plus skids!

I remember 'Spotty' and sorry to hear of his demise (RIP).

I remember G-WOSP (vaguely) and have been trying to find a little more about BARX which also rings a bell!

The unidentified yellow (with orange stripe) 206 is, I am sure, G-BAKF which was registered to Michael Belmont (was he Dollar?).

Keen to hear any stories of this expedition which took place in the final hours of Rhodesia's history.

Were you assisted at all by the Alouette's of the Rhodesian Air Force?

http://www.airport-data.com/images/aircraft/small/372/372306.jpg (http://www.airport-data.com/aircraft/photo/372306L.html)

G-BAKF at the former US depot at Burtonwoord c. 1978


20th Jul 2010, 05:32
Thanks ST, probably the most interesting PPrune post I've ever read.

20th Jul 2010, 07:50
A bloody good read......Thank you :D

Low Flier
20th Jul 2010, 14:01
Good crac, S2.:D

Many thanks also to the prefects for allowing such a free ranging discussion and not doing the thread-nazi thing.:D

It was an event in modern African history and it deserves to be told. Especially the helicopter side of things!:ok:

Earl of Rochester
20th Jul 2010, 16:24
The image posted earlier of Colin Chapman (Lotus cars) displays the John Player colour scheme used to repaint G-TALY when it became G-JOKE. In the same image Chapman was sitting on the edge of a Lotus Esprit which was used in the film ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’.


Caroline Monro, the 'pilot' who 'flew' the Helicopter Hire JetRanger 1977 and is the reason Crewdson had to wear a wig during filming.

Low Flier identified himself as having flown this aircraft but was unsure of the registration … only that it was in different colours, akin to a ‘raspberry ripple’ and was crated up and shipped off to Rhodesia in 1980.

Enter Speechless Two … with photographic evidence of the said Rhodesian op and depicting the ‘raspberry ripple’.

We established that the ‘raspberry ripple’ G-BGYF was not in fact the 206 used in ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ as it was only registered to Helicopter Hire in 1979 whereas the filming took place in 1977 so we are still searching for the registration of the HH JetRanger used in this film.

Earlier Geoff introduced G-WIZZ to the discussion alongside his experience of having delivered G-TALY from Frosinone to Fairoaks. G-TALY ended up being painted in a colour scheme similar that that of WIZZ and which had been taken from the Team Lotus JetRanger AYTF.

The link between TALY and WIZZ was therefore their paint jobs .. plus the fact that Geoff delivered them both from the Agusta factory. This left the connection between TALY and AYTF being with Savoia who flew them both plus .. their paint schemes.

Enter Dennis Kenyon … who seems, with his partners, to have owned all three helicopters plus .. G-AWJW the 206 which Speechless flew on the Rhodesian Election mission. Now who would have guessed those connections?


Alouette III of the RRAF such as would have been in the regions where Speechless and his team worked.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/3a/Roundel_of_the_Rhodesian_Air_Force.svg/100px-Roundel_of_the_Rhodesian_Air_Force.svg.png (http://www.pprune.org/wiki/File:Roundel_of_the_Rhodesian_Air_Force.svg)

Royal Rhodesian Air Force Roundel

20th Jul 2010, 17:01

I will be home at the end of August and will look out the album of photos that I put together after the TALY ferry flight. I know it's there somewhere.

G. :ok:

20th Jul 2010, 20:15
Lt Gen Peter Walls, who was Commander of the Rhodesian Combined Operations, at the time, died this morning. An extraordinary man, who was commander of the Rhodesian C Squadron, SAS during the Malaysian emergency, Mugabe asked him to stay on as head of the army after independence. At this time Gen Walls became famous for a quote

On 17 March 1980, after several unsuccessful assassination attempts Mugabe asked Walls, "Why are your men trying to kill me?" Walls replied, "If they were my men you would be dead."

The helicopter in your post looks like a K car of Fireforce. Fireforce typically consisted of four Alouette III helicopters, each manned by a pilot and technician/gunner. Three were known as “G-cars,” and used for troop transport, while the fourth, called the “K (or kill)-car,” carried the Army unit commander, who directed the operations below. It could also be used as a gunship when required.
When I left the service of Her Majesty I was offered a job flying them, but after a few years mud marining I decided that I should get a civil licence so declined. I was in BCalH with Speechless and well remember feeling jealous that he was going! Of course, since then I've actually spent most of the last 32 years in Africa, but it seemed like such a great thing to be involved in at the time.

20th Jul 2010, 22:33
Just tuned in and thoroughly enjoying the continuing stories ... quite a walk down memory lane for we COFs and the brain cells are stirring nicely.

For Savoia. I had dealings with Peter Cadbury circa late 1970s when I was demonstating an Enstrom to him. In the event he purchased a new Cherokee 180. I landed at his strip airfield somewhere near Maidenhead and I'd have to dig out log books to get the reg nos if asked. He went on to acquire G-CHOC later. I recall one of my Enstrom owners (Humphrey Mead) lost his wife Jane to him but it all seemed to end happily.

Over the years, I did fly some 1234 displays, mainly Enstrom but there's no freebie Enstrom at my garden gate! I did get a dedicated Enstrom painting by an aviation artist ... a nice picture which should be around after I'm long gone.

Yes the Branson empire did eventually buy my old Skyline business but chucked it in rapidly when one of the company B206's (G-BUZZ) landed too close to a second 206. Both were badly mangled.

Back to that wonderful flyer John Crewdson. I flew with him on many occasions at a time when I persuaded him to try out an Enstrom for HH's London police contract. I have a piccy of myself flying Enstrom G-BBRS over the Thames on the police contract. It actually made the front cover of Air Pictorial. The BRS was for my b oss: Betram Roy Spooner .. of the Spoonair business at Fairoaks and Shoreham.

And how about this. Following a M/R head service on the Enstrom G-BCOT at Helicopter Hire, the pitch change push/pull roads enclosed within the mast were re-connected 120 degrees out of phase! I think it was David Voy who was the unfortunate tasked to fly the first blade tracking flight (at night) Not much chance of quickly working out which control sequence might have got him safely back down. But he did albeit with some airframe damage.

But back to John Crewdson. I also flew with JC on the first "Rollerball." 1973/4 ish. I recall landing with him out of Pinewood at Blackbushe for fuel. We still had the film logo ... "Energy Corporation" on the nose resulting in the refueller saying he'd charge it! (we did pay tho')

Much of the Roger Moore 'Spy Who Loved Me' remote control scene was filmed with a full size mock-up (G-BAKS) It later stood in the AMH hangar at Fairoaks for a few years gathering dust. The airborne shots were filmed at the then derelict gasworks on docklands. Sadly G-BAKS was lost on the south downs on its way to Goodwood one night in the early 1990s. (RIP JH)

SO ... so many memories, so many names. I can't believe I go that far back but am still flying most weeks. So thanks again Mods for the consideration AND there must be more stories out there .......

Dennis Kenyon.

21st Jul 2010, 08:01
Geoff: Che sara fantastico! Grazie.

SoggyBoxers: Sorry to hear of the passing of Gen Walls. He was doubtless a capable leader who's contributions to Zim were significant.


Lt Gen Peter Walls (right) c. 1990

It turns out that, on a visit to Hethel, none other than Speechless actually got to drive the very Lotus Esprit used in the film!

Speechless' modesty prevents him from mentioning that he was at the Lotus plant on a Ferranti Helicopters charter for Colin Chapman in which he flew King Constantine to an F1 event where Lotus were racing.

http://cache2.asset-cache.net/xc/50397165.jpg?v=1&c=IWSAsset&k=2&d=E41C9FE5C4AA0A14CE81D66671FCCF25523C636C2D9612A38CD3F17CA2 7CD02AB01E70F2B3269972

King Constantine II of Greece who was flown by Speechless on a VVIP Ferranti Helicopters charter from the Lotus factory on behalf of client Colin Chapman.

Dennis: Its wonderful to know that you are still flying (and therefore also presumably keeping well). There is little doubt that you are one of the UKs leading personalities in the rotary wing industry and which status is well deserved. Speaking of more stories .. you might consider recording a few of your own, there's probably enough material for a good book! Intriguing also that through you, most of the aircraft we've been reminiscing over have been in your possession! How nicely this links everything together. I do wish you and your family every happiness in the years ahead.

Speechless: Dear Friend, where do we begin? Perhaps first of all (I can't get it out of my head) of what Bob's reaction might have been upon seeing JW & ZB, icons of the Ferranti fleet, plastered with stickers and with their ground support being overseen by Roy Neap decked out in his displayed apparel! Smelling salts and brandy, I think, would need to have been at hand!

The only time I flew operationally with Bob (as opposed to being his student) was in his final professional post as ops mgr of Aero Helicopter in Tanzania. This was, for the most part, a bush operation but .. he had the pilots decked out in tropical whites (I have photos somewhere) and which no one had even seen in that region - save with the occasional visiting Naval ship!

You mention the willingness of the Africans to assist (such as with pushing out the aircraft). Having spent many years on the Continent I have become enamoured towards their people. Some of them devils, yes, but most a collection of humble, genuine, loving, passionate and sincere people.

What Mugabe has done to Zimbabwe and for race relations in general, is unforgiveable, and, seeing as no one has had success in effecting his assination, it will perhaps be up to Providence to execute his final judgment.

Such wanting leadership, and the resulting poverty (in every respect) this inflicts on others means that for some of those who may have been pushing your aircraft, this might remain as one of their 'great' stories .. when they tell others how they assisted in 'helping to make ready to fly' the 'white man's' aircraft.

Mercifully, things are changing, gradually. Improved education and steadily growing economies mean that there is now a new generation of Africans empowered as never before and such people are beginning to make their mark, not only in Africa, but around the world. Africa, in my humble view, is the continent of the future.

For Rhodesia the transition to Zimbabwe was essential even as the reign of apartheid had to come to an end in SA. While what replaced Rhodesia, and the impact it has had upon its inhabitants, may be questioned, I have every confidence that, ultimately, it will lead to something better. What was important then was making that all important transition from the 'white man's' regime to local governance and ... in this respect dear friend .. you played a part. Well done!

Sad to hear that Malloch died in his Spit but well done to him for embarking on such an ambitious enterprise.

I noticed that the ex-Ferranti aircraft had their exhaust stacks removed for the transit. Perhaps to offer protection against any knocks.

So, your contract there ended with an auto into Salisbury! I think everyone involved would have offered there applause for a job well done - as in the entire contract.

Extraordinary - given the landscape of helicopter operations in Africa today, to see UK civilian helicopters in these numbers. A great memory indeed.


22nd Jul 2010, 19:43
For Savoia,

A big thanks for your kind words ... we COF's need a little encouragement as time goes by and the young batch of whizz kids come whistling by.

I tell everyone that I'm 'semi-retired' but why on earth would anyone stop doing something that is so much darned fun. In my less busy days, these days ... I'm getting offered some super writing jobs. Off next week to do a piece on the 429 ... normally no one would even let me get in one! Hope it will make the front cover of BLADES.

I see the G-TALY - G-CSKY things seem to have run out of steam, but for me its been a terrific read, especially throwing up so may names of the 1970/80s

And here's a slightly late apology. So sorry we didn't have the chance to chat when you visited us with the Colonel at Skyline in the early 1980s! Not me at all and as you mentioned I must have been off & away on something or the other at that time.

I take it you recall Squadron Leader Tony Clarke's standard pre-flight phrase ... "are you hot to trot." A really lovely man He never forgave me for sending him off on a short flying training job. His customer was a Dick Hampton. You couldn't make it up!

Best wishes to all pruners especially those who remember me.

Dennis Kenyon.

Earl of Rochester
25th Jul 2010, 05:33
Dennis mentioned an incident involving G-BUZZ as heralding the beginning of the end of Virgin Helicopters.

http://www.abpic.co.uk/images/images/1022340M.jpg (http://javascript<b></b>:popUp('/popup.php?q=1022340'))

G-BUZZ alongside company Squirrel at Wycombe Air Park 14 June 1997

26th Jul 2010, 05:10
Talk about memory lane....

For the record, I was the first pilot at Alton Towers, having answered an ad from Peak Aviation, and we collected JLBI from Gatwick, where John Broome handed over the banker's draft. Those were the days when just about everyone had a helicopter, Laings (Francis Davy), Barratts, the lot. Most of us used to meet at the Ship in Weybridge, because either Air Hanson or Alan Manns used to do the maintenance.

Bob Smith took over from me after about 3 months, I went to Kilroes, then I happened to land at Alton Towers one day on some sort of photo job and got offered my old job back. A couple of years later, Rod Wood took over.

I then worked for JCB for a short while, flying their longranger (RIP Chalky - one of nature's true gentlemen, and you are still missed with fond affection).

Funny how life works out.


What Limits
27th Jul 2010, 22:23
More thread drift - its a small world.

Rhodesia - I was there!

Before I went flying, although it was one of the catalysts, (seeing how well looked after helicopter pilots are), I was a PBI. We were stationed at AP PAPA which was in the very north of Rhodesia, in the Zambesi valley near the border with Zambia.

I do not recollect seeing any civilian helicopters although for the election we had a very British Bobby complete with pointy helmet which was a little out of place.

We also were looking after around 2000 guests with about 20 soldiers from our unit. We were also 'bombed' by the RAF on the first day when they dropped several one-ton loads of tentage (without parachutes) directly on our camp!

We also had the daily visit of Pumas and Gazelles bringing in mail and fresh milk in plastic bags - sometimes mixed.

I have two overriding memories - the day when we were 'stood to' loaded and safety catches off ready to defend against an attack by our 2000 guests, and the collective groan that went up aboard the Vickers FunBus on the way home when they announced that Mr Mugabe had won the election.

Just under two years later I was walking through the gates at Middle Wallop to commence my flying career.

28th Jul 2010, 05:04
Yes, I saw the mention, thanks - that's waht prompted me to write! I just wanted to mention that I came back again!

The only interaction we ever had with G-TALY and Ken was the occasional visit by JLB to their place.

Here's a couple of pics of JLBI - and the instrument panel with Decca!

Photo link (http://www.electrocution.com/Scan23.jpg)


28th Jul 2010, 08:29
Dennis: At the time I was with Skyline you were involved with something or other, I don’t remember what, but I think you and Bob had at least one chat by phone.

During the course I stayed with Tony and his wife (If I recall correctly she held some civic post within the community – I remember several times a mayoral looking car coming to the house and Mrs Clarke being decked out in ceremonial apparel). His ‘hot to trot’ question was usually posed immediately after breakfast heralding the short drive to Booker. On the way home he would normally stop at one of his favoured hostelries in Marlow for a post-work pint where he would jokingly assassinate the skills of his students. He was, on all counts, a wonderful person.

One day on a nav exercise Booker got socked in so Tony decided to drop in on one of your clients, Tony Pond, to whom I think you sold an Enstrom. His bird wasn’t there that day so we were able to put down on his neatly constructed pad. As the blades were milling down (this was in TALY) a maroon coloured Aston Martin appeared in the driveway with a chap called Rowan Atkinson behind the wheel (at the time embarked upon a television series called Not the Nine O’Clock News). Tony (Pond) was the perfect host and the lot of us were served a fine afternoon tea. I sat back waiting to see what amusing comments might emerge from the comedian but was treated instead to the spectacle of Tony being largely oblivious of Atkinson’s identity and which led to a line of questioning about the actor’s work and which was, well, priceless! We had a good laugh about it in his pub that night.

You may be right about the TALY story running out of steam but, there may be a couple of puffs remaining. PPRuNe contributor GeoffersInCornwall (who delivered TALY from Frosinone to Fairoaks) has threatened to enter the stratosphere of his environs (loft) and locate evidence of the delivery! This will represent the first image of TALY since post #1 (a big event for this thread).

If you have any TALY/CSKY or AYTF photos we’d love to see them.

I hope your 429 review went well and that it made the cover of Blades!



G-AWLL in Glasgow after your Rhodesian expedition
This aircraft was originally McAlpine's (1968) before being sold to 'Valley of Gleneagles Helicopters' as they were then.

You mention that your Rhodesian exercise was in February 1980 and I’m guessing this brought you back in time for perhaps the only VVIP charter in BCal’s history.

It was the morning of Sunday 30th May when Bob and I were aloft (and I’m reasonably certain we were northbound out of Heathrow) when we shared the same airspace as two BCal aircraft operating (I think) as Papal One and Two. Papal One, if memory serves, was under the command of Chris Hunt (the chap who inducted me into my first helicopter experience). Were you around fro this event?

Remarkable how little information is available about this job.



Good to see you on the thread and to see 'BI' outside Stretton Hall. The instrument panel brings back many memories! :ok:


28th Jul 2010, 14:12
It was my pleasure to hand the flight to Frayne Coulshaw who was the only catholic captain in the team at that time. A young chap who was similarly inclined got to be the cojo.

Yes I believe the seat incident was a bit of an embarrassment for us but apparently he laughed it off.


28th Jul 2010, 17:56
You mean these logos? :) This was after a precautionary landing near LHR due to weather (we made page 11 of the Sun!)

Photo link 1 (http://www.electrocution.com/Scan28.jpg)

Since this thread has gone completely awry, did someone mention G-WOSP?

Photo link 2 (http://www.electrocution.com/scan0005.jpg)

28th Jul 2010, 19:22
Paco: Bravo :ok: on finding a photo of WOSP. I have been scouring the net looking for her in an attempt to complete a collection of aircraft images from Speechless' Rhodesian mission. I was pretty certain that WOSP was the newest of the aircraft sent out for the elections and indeed I see she as a JR III. Years since I've seen that bird!

'Shepherd One' is the designation normally assigned to the fixed wing aircraft carrying the Pontiff (usually Alitalia outbound), helicopters use different call signs which vary from country to country. In Italy helicopters from the Italian Air Force use 'Volo Papale' (Papal Flight) followed by the sequential number of flights made by the Pope from the beginning of the calendar year.

Geoff: 1982 Papal visit: Was Chris Hunt involved at all? Were there two aircraft used for this operation?


29th Jul 2010, 10:24
aka Volo Papale, Vaticopter, Holy See King ...

The Vatican does not own any aircraft. Domestic Papal flights (Italy) are carried out by the Aeronautica Militare (Air Force) whose unit at Rome's Ciampino airport (CIA) operate a small fleet of AgustaSikorsky AS61 3Ds one of which (the Vaticopter) is used for Papal assignments.

http://cdn-www.airliners.net/aviation-photos/middle/6/8/7/1398786.jpg (http://www.pprune.org/photo/Italy---Air/Agusta-SH-3D-TS-Sea/1398786/L/&sid=8898abd5b037594141736f608e0de22e)

AS61 3DTS of the Aeronautica Militare at Ciampino - home base of the Volo Papale (Papal Flight)


Aeronautica Militare
Celebrating their 50 year anniversary


John Paul II on board the Holy See King!


Night time arrival for Pope Benedict XVI at Vatican City Heliport


Vatican City Heliport aka 'Il Punta di Freccia' (the arrowhead) situated at the Westen most extremity of Vatican City State


Map of Vatican City depicting the arrowhead shape of the city wall (extreme lower left) which surrounds the heliport


One of the Papal pilots .. Francesco Bigiotti


29th Jul 2010, 11:19
Here's another one of WOSP - it was loaned to Burnthills Aviation from Wasp Helicopters some time after Don McGillivray's crash. This is me slinging on an Scottish Island somewhere.

Photo link (http://www.electrocution.com/Scan14.jpg)

As for stories, I need more blood in the alcohol stream.....


29th Jul 2010, 12:09
More thread drift I'm afraid ........ I'm not a heli pilot (although I do fly fixed wing and gliders) - but my father-in-law was.

He claims to have been one of the first pilots to introduce the Jetranger into the UK, and spent some time perfoming demo's of this type all around the UK as it gained popularity. I'll check through his logbooks with him when we next meet to see if he had any connection with G-TALY. He went on to fly as a company pilot for a chap named David Brown (in Huddersfield I think) as well as doing a lot of instructing. He retired from chopper flying about 10 years ago now.

29th Jul 2010, 13:57
TechCons: Following the recent renaming of the thread (many thank Speechless, Senior Pilot and Heliport) I shouldn't think there will be too much concern about thread drift.

Welcome to the thread (as Earl would say). The fixed-wing thing ... we won't hold against you!

If your father in law flew for David Brown (as in David Brown of David Brown Tractors) then you could well be right. David Brown were based in Huddersfield so I'd say there's every chance that the aircraft below could be the one he flew as it was one of the earliest JetRanger's in the UK.

We'd love to hear the details and ... especially ... to receive any photos your FIL may have tucked away in log books, attics, cellars or any other location!

http://www.abpic.co.uk/images/images/1013210M.jpg (http://javascript<b></b>:popUp('/popup.php?q=1013210'))

G-AWOL, Farnborough, 1970

AWOL (why are you absent dear?) was the 3rd Bell (as opposed to AgustaBell) 206 JetRanger to appear on the UK register and was the 1st 206 B-model (Bell) in the country.

The initial owner was David Brown Tractors of Meltham, Huddersfield, who purchased AWOL in July 1968.

TechCons you are welcome to PM me your FIL's details. I have a feeling he may have known my godfather who did mention having had dealings with David Brown.


29th Jul 2010, 14:03
Aagh! 'AWOL
known to the engineering fraternity as 'AlWays Oil Leaks'

Never knew why........... cared for by Alan Manns to the mid-80s, I'd say. Wonder where she is now?:hmm:

Earl of Rochester
29th Jul 2010, 16:20

- 1968 sold to David Brown Tractors
- 1971 sold to Camlet Helicopters
- 1974 sold to Darmead Ltd
- 1977 sold to Terry Drury Racing
- 1977 sold to Express Helicopters
- 1982 sold to Gleneagle Helicopters
- 1984 sold to Tagshaw Ltd
- 1987 sold to Jonathan Palmer and re-registered at G-REVS
- 1992 sold to Helispeed Ltd

On 17th September 1994 G-REVS (formerly G-AWOL) crashed at the Hambleton Hall Hotel in Leicestershire and was destroyed. The pilot was re-positioning the aircraft after having touched down on what he believed to be uneven ground. While re-positioning he managed to hit a tree. No fatalities.


AWOL after it had become G-REVS

29th Jul 2010, 21:01
For Savoia,

I do have a pic of G-AYTF in JPS black'gold taken when on 16th April 1983 I flew a charter into Leeds Castle. (actually on the lawn inside the moat!) Not allowed now I believe. But I'm not familiar with getting pics posted here. I can e-mail if you give me an address.

Yes Jonathan Palmer who purchased 'Always With an Oil Leak' G-AWOL, commenced his flying training with me at Southern Air and once I started my own business at Wycombe (Booker) in 1983, he became our first PPL (H) student. Tony Clarke did the remainder of his flying.

Also I think D of R's schedule of owners is missing one entry on G-AWOL, so I've checked log book No 4 to find the following. G-AWOL first flown by me when it was either owned or leased to Harold Bamberg for a short period based at Coworth park, near Ascot. (Bamberg being the B of the once mighty BKS Airline ... ie Bamberg, Keegan & Stevens) I operated it from 4th Feb 1986to my last flight being its position to its airfield base at Leavesden on 29th August 1986. It may be that Bamberg's Eagle Aircraft business never registered the machine! I have a photo of AWOL on the lawn at Coworth Park in its Fawn, Orange & Dark Brown scheme.

Back to G-AYTF. Log book tells me I picked the machine up from Lotus at Hethel on 22nd Jan 1983 and used it on Air Taxi work until 20th June 1984. I did quite a few Para Drops at Bordon using this machine. It was around this time that I was flying G-AWJW and G-CSKY.

At Skyline we had a fair range of posh customers and the racers and rally guy customers. Tony Pond, bless him being one of them as was the Finnish rallyer, Ari Vatanen, bike racer, Barry Sheene and Alan Jones the F1 driver. They all flew G-AYTF with me and Barry initially purchased his own Enstrom, G-BGMX and later the Hughes 500 G-STEF after his good lady Stefany McClean. Then along came Mark Thatcher who purchased B206, G-SHZZ from my firm. (the last of the SH series as I went right through the SH ... A to Zs which followed the SKY registrations.) Then I started the GO series with G-OSHA, B C etc. Oh such Halcyon days!

Sorry once again. This mine of useless information is still active tho' More similar info on request.

Dennis K.

30th Jul 2010, 06:58
What Limits: I do apologise - I completely missed your post which snuck in at the end of page 4! Welcome. Sounds as if you had some expereinces of your own out there. The Puma's and Gazelle's, were these from the UK defence forces?

VFR440: AWOL must have been sold to David Brown by CSE who, I think, were the first Bell distributors. However, Bell were under considerable pressure in the early 70s to roll out 206s off their production line (such was their popularity) and, as a result, I believe, that throughout most of Europe, Agusta sales of the 206 may (initially) have out paced Bell.

Resultingly, Alan Mann (as the Agusta distributor) were pretty busy for many years and put up a good show in terms of sales and service. Several 'Bell' owners brought their 206's to AM perhaps not only because of their capable service but maybe also to do with their location.

Dennis: What can I say .. every aircraft which appears for us to reminisce over .. you've had something to do with! Perhaps we should rename the thread "Dennis K's Ex-Mounts" but, in retrospect, this may throw up some contributions from birds of an un-Halcyon nature! :ok:

Yes I had several conversations with Mark T while with you. The first time we met I had just returned in TALY from a solo cross country task set by Nobby. As I dismounted, Mark began questioning Nobby as to my identity. I was only just 17 (but looked about 15) and he of the Moroccan sands was apparently 'concerened' that I might not be old enough to legally fly (can you imagine a question like that posed to someone like Tony!).

Barry Sheene, didn't he live somewhere near Brands Hatch (Aynesford or somewhere?). My Brother (a motorcycle fanatic) was his friend and was a passenger (more than once) in the 500 you sold him. I think you were in Shoreham in those days?

Back to Mark T. After clogging the aiwaves with 'Kilo Yankee's' in your first round of registrations is seems as if, besides 'SH' and 'G-OSH' you were also trying to zzzap the airwaves once again! What I mean is .. you suddenly started collecting a lot of sleep! As in Zzz's .. G-SHZZ, G-BUZZ, G-WIZZ .. shall I continue .. !

Well its all great stuff Dennis. I sometimes wonder if its right to look back like this but, I think it can't be bad. Life, to a large extent is a collection of memories and to have good ones is a blessing indeed. Just so long as we don't dwell there too long!

I'm PM'ing you my email address where you can send me any photos of AYTF (and AWOL) plus anything else of interest and I'll get them online.


Brilliant Stuff
30th Jul 2010, 18:56
Would this then also be the right place to ask what the latest is of G-ONOW.

I did my rating on her. I noticed on G-INFO life is being breathed back into her but that's all I know. It used to be based in the west country in the middle '90s.

30th Jul 2010, 20:08
I think it has recently departed to the USA

30th Jul 2010, 20:36
Mention of G-AWOL has had me tracking back through the logs. I was pax on 10 May 1983. This J/R was based at Blackpool Airport for a year or so, with newly established operator, Red Rose Helicopters. Apart from charter work, it also spent a great deal of the summer months on pleasure flights around Blackpool Tower. I am trying to find the photos (without success), but as I recall it was all yellow, with large 'Red Rose' titles and logo, and black top.

David Brown tractors were based at Huddersfield Crossland Moor airfield with a twin-engine de Havilland DH104 Dove. If memory serves, Crossland Moor was originally built by DB as his private base, near the Meltham factory.

I have photos of G-TALI and possibly G-TALY, which are also proving hard to locate. I was speaking to Ken D a few weeks ago and will be meeting up with him again next month. The Duke's late father had this Grumman Goose (http://www.edendale.co.uk/MAIP/CORP.BC2.html) (bottom of page). The present Duke has, in recent years, had a succession of jets, ranging from a HS125; Cessna Citation models 501 and 650, and currently a 750 Citation X, all of which have been based at Chester-Hawarden.

Earl of Rochester
30th Jul 2010, 20:39
http://www.abpic.co.uk/images/images/1125485M.jpg (http://javascript<b></b>:popUp('/popup.php?q=1125485'))

G-ONOW, Bell 206A, outside Cabair's hangar, Elstree 29 April 1989

Originally sold to Christian Salvesen as G-AYMX in 1971.

http://www.djibnet.com/photo/2385229565-03708.jpg (http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2110/2385229565_a6e14325fb.jpg)

Brilliant Stuff
30th Jul 2010, 21:32
Cheers Earl.

When I flew G-ONOW it was was predominantly black with some white. I have to go and scan a couple of pics.

When I flew it it was still an A with a dicky battery, but the few times I interacted with her she did not fail me, though once a mate and I flew her down to the Chewton Glen for a cup of tea only to find on our return to the aircraft the No.1 engine cowling wouldn't lock anymore so we had to borrow some duct tape from reception in order to get us home.

By then she was a tad tired. Glad to see she appears to be back in the skies.

31st Jul 2010, 05:12
...... but Agusta proposed a 'new' S61 in 1980 not long after it became clear that the demand for the S61 was not diminishing even though Sikorsky had ceased production. It was exactly like the Pope's machine on the previous page and I had the pleasure of 'test' flying it on behalf of BCALH. It was going to get the CT7 engine but the model proposed to us was going to have the CT58. Unfortunately the CT7 is a 'front drive ' engine and Alfa Romeo were apparently about to develop a rear drive version for a fixed wing application (can't imagine what??) and AGusta were not prepared to pay the money needed to accelerate the programme. Hence the S61 SILVER as it was to be called, never appeared.

When I flew it the Test Pilot was very keen to show me that it could cruise at 144 kts but when I saw that the Torque was maxed out at 86% (max cont Tq) I figured the gearbox wouldn't last long at that rate abd with the dear old CT58 the fuel consumption would have been horrendous. Still, CT7s, Carson blades, Westland MGB and 6-bladed tail-rotor - could have been a beast.

Interesting trip though. Our evaluation team was collected from Genoa (BCAL had a route to Genoa in those days) in a Learjet and zoomed into Milan before being whisked away to the fabulous Villa D'Este on Lake Como.

Those were the days.


31st Jul 2010, 08:07
Geoff: It would be good to clarify the production run on the Silver. My impression was that a small batch were made including this AS61N1 Silver delivered to the Malaysian Air Force and used to this day to transport their Prime Minister.

http://cdn-www.airliners.net/aviation-photos/middle/4/7/9/0887974.jpg (http://www.pprune.org/photo/Malaysia---Air/Agusta-AS-61N1-Silver/0887974/L/&sid=378a18f270c796a968b73439ddbee97e)

M39-01 Agusta AS61-N1 Silver at Ipoh (IPH) Malaysia of the Malaysian Air Force VIP Transport Division.

The 'Coulson' blades (built by Ducommun Incorporated (http://www.ducommun.com/)) do add greatly improved performance and would seem to be part of an up-grade planned for the re-launch of the S61 by Sikorsky as discussed on the PPRuNe thread http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/421244-shake-rattle-roll-s61-style.html

Flight Global article on Agusta AS61 Silver: 1983 | 1162 | Flight Archive (http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1983/1983%20-%201162.html?search=agusta%20109)

Lago di Como: Ci, a slender slice of heaven for us on earth to enjoy!


Villa D'Este Lake Como


Villa D'Este Rear Gardens


Approaching Lago di Como


One of the increasing number of helipads being installed at hotels, homes and waterfront allotments around Lago di Como.
(AS355N, I-PFDC, of HoverFly).


Il Bugatti Veyron outside GeoffersInConrnwall's Ville D'Este


Cindy Crawford arrives at Lago di Como courtesy of Heli Air Monaco at a pad constructed at one of George Clooney's three lakeside homes. The reason the Dauphin is not square on the pad is because there is an Ecureuil behind it which was used to carry baggage

http://www.eatboutique.com/wp-content/plugins/hungred-image-fit/scripts/timthumb.php?src=http://www.eatboutique.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/como10.jpg&h=0&w=480&zc=1&q=100 (http://images.eatboutique.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/como10.jpg)

Sample of the traditional salads and cured meats so prominent in the Lake Como cuisine



Brilliant Stuff
31st Jul 2010, 17:06
Earl - I believe you are right that it was fitted with the A panel. IMHO there had not been any money spend on the interior for a long time.

And yes the G-Info says G-ONOW has been exported since the 20th July.

Love the lake Como pictures.

1st Aug 2010, 08:45
I have a jpeg of G-AWOL Circa 1980 in her yellow Red Rose paint if someone can PM me an email address I will send it

Earl of Rochester
1st Aug 2010, 08:49
- Dennis

I've tried to find an image of Barry Sheene's Hughes 500 but had no success. :uhoh:

The best I can come up with (PPRuNed from another thread) is G-ORRR which, so I understand, is the same aircraft sold (apparently) to a relative of Sheene's!


G-ORRR (previously G-STEF Barry Sheene)

Earl of Rochester
1st Aug 2010, 09:24
- Dennis

Was this also one of your sales efforts?


(No details regrettably)

3rd Aug 2010, 23:25
Apologies for being off-line for a mo. Yes Sav ... the 429 air test was spectacular and I'm very aware of the bum-kicking this site occasionally hands out to both Bell and how the ship is described as a B206 on steroids. I don't want to sound too toffee nosed ... but the 429 as I flew her is one of the best handling machines it has ever been my privilege to fly. And it isn't a jumped up 427 either! And by the way, and contrary to popular opinion, the Bell guys did start with a clean sheet of paper AND ... AND the 429 was the first heli ever to be designed following the MSG-3 system. And it shows in the maintenance cycle (200 hours between checks as a starter and no 50 hr/100' back to 50 hr sequence any more.) And vibration is almost non existent at any speeds. Mind, I'm not a highly experienced twin-engine man. Downside? If I were a paramedic, I'd be mighty careful with the rear clam shell door loading! A good 'bum's eye' view of the T/R is vital. Why don't we just stick to side loading like all the USA HEMS operators?
Yes, the 429 will be on the front cover of BLADES along with my report and to do it justice I've done around 4,000 words. PS. I'm not on commission!
Item 2. Barry Sheene's G-STEF was sold direct to Don Wood at Bournemouth. I flew it with him in November 2000 for his DA. Don had a massive collection of ex F1 cars in his 'Source' hangar. Don sold the machine on himself.
3. E of R ... Yup I've checked the Tagshaw/Bamberg connection. The company was one of Mr B's. Meantime I'm e-mailing the AWOL & AYTF picture direct to S.
4. Sav ... re the ZZZs. I have another .... G-BBZZ Enstrom, but even in semi retirement, I'm never asleep on the job!
5. Mark T wasn't all bad. At Skyline I was launching us for a dual navex ex Booker and as we left the hangar, I said ... "Mark, got your map?" He shot back like a Roger Federer forehand. "There's people out there who say that's the most dangerous thing I should carry!" Nice reply. I don't think his ZZ was the machine he got into trouble with in SA tho'.
6. Enstrom sales ... why didn't she sell? Well the fact is she did. My boss, Roy Spooner offered me a grand for every one I sold. I did 138 sales from 1973 to 1982. For our school to stay competitive with Robinson, the trick was to operate used machines. A five-year old 28A model was making £25,000 when a new R22 was £80k. One third of the interest, a third of the insurance and ditto on depreciation.

Hope this 'nostalgia' thing isn't too offbeat for other PP readers. For my part ... please keep 'em coming.

Dennis Kenyon.

Earl of Rochester
4th Aug 2010, 07:39
- Dennis K

In my search relating to G-STEF a friend mentioned that STEF had been sold to one of Sheen's family members. Today I've managed to source the name "Jeremy Paxton" - does this ring any bells? See: Helicopter Life (http://www.helicopterlife.com/200603/060824142154.html)

Evidently Paxton re-named STEF to ORRR and then bought a newer model which he named MRRR (below).

http://cdn-www.airliners.net/aviation-photos/middle/0/8/7/1706780.jpg (http://www.pprune.org/photo/Lower-Mill-Estate/MD-Helicopters-MD-500E/1706780/L/&sid=e1571692cf69e1b4aa63a55b1e83fa78)

G-MRRR MD500E at the Rectory Hotel, Crudwell, 12 May 2010

4th Aug 2010, 21:23
Thats's G-Shaa going ino Weston with me at the controls, I owned her for about 15 years and have just sold her !!

Earl of Rochester
5th Aug 2010, 19:09
Anyone have any stories of G-TGRZ (ex-G-BXZR). Evidently she used to be owned by Cameron Balloons!


G-TGRZ at the Tiger Helicopter base, Shobdon (location courtesy of RotaryWise)


5th Aug 2010, 20:04
For EoR please.

Hope I'm not monopolising these helicopter twists & turns, but yes, G-SHAA (first of the 21 SH registrations I used) was mine too as I imported it from Florida in March 1988. She was almost unique in the UK being a 280 Shark but non-turbo. She appeared on the front cover of a now defunct publication called 'Pilots International'. It was sold to the Manchester Helicopter Centre the same year.
The only other UK 280 model I know was the second non-turbo I had rebuilt and registered G-SHRK. Formally Barrry Sheene's G-BGMX 280C and now owned by Vanguard Helicopter at Henstridge. I was training in her at Compton Abbas just last year.

In June 1988 I purchased Jeremy Paxton's Enstrom 28C G-BNBS as he was upgrading to Barry's turbine. I registered that one as G-SHDD ... SHBB & SHCC were 206s. SHFF and SHGG two more Enstroms. SHJJ another 206, SHKK & SHLL both Hughes 269s, SHMM & SHNN more Enstroms, SHOO & SHPP back to Hughes 300s, no SHQQ but SHRR was a 206. SHSS, SHUU, SHXX were Enstroms again and SHVV & SHZZ the final 206s in the SH series. SHWW was an Enstrom sold to Dennis Smith, sadly later lost in a Rotorway ... RIP, but I didn't use SHYY. PS. Am I becoming a reggie anorak?

More crappie tittle tattle on request!

Dennis Kenyon.

5th Aug 2010, 20:31
Earl - The 'unknown location' is outside the Tiger Helicopters hangar at Shobdon.

Personally, I'd much rather have the one behind SHAA, but with wheels and not in that ludicrous livery!

Earl of Rochester
6th Aug 2010, 05:20
- Paco

WigginAirways posted a link on the http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/417831-ferranti-helicopters-2.html thread which led to another image of WOSP (below):


B206 JetRanger III G-WOSP (as flown by Paco) being operated by the Hills which were Burnt!

- Dennis K

Far from being boring I think it is interesting to understand how some of the registrations we see have come about. Tracing origins helps to gain a better overall awareness of the industry (me thinks!).

- RotaryWise

For you ...


Westland's Wasp (such as the type RotaryWise is soon to add to his flying collection!)



Earl of Rochester
8th Aug 2010, 18:13
Could this also have been delivered by Geoffers?


Agusta-Bell 206B G-BCWM arrives at Battersea c. 1977

10th Aug 2010, 14:48
Just stumbled across this forum by accident and spotted this thread with interest. My father is Ken Davies, the former pilot of the Duke of Westminster and one-time pilot of G-TALY. Now retired (but still flying) he was actually employed as a Mechanic and not a Gardener and consequently flew as a private pilot and not as a commercial one. He was originally employed as a mechanic for real. The present Duke's father gave him permission to fly his own light aircraft from a disused airfield on the Eaton Estate and later asked him if he would fly a plane for him if he bought one. The rest is history. I will check with my Dad the next time I see him and get him reading this forum but in the meantime to the best of my recollection the sequence of aircraft (FW & RW) was:-
Piper Cherokee
Piper Apache
Piper Aztec
Enstrom Shark
Bell Jet Ranger (I seem to recall that there may have been 2 of them one after the other with G-TALY being the first)
Twin Squirrel
Hawker Siddley HS125
Cessna Citation (again, I think there were 2 of them)
and that's about when he retired so I'm not sure what came next!
I grew up around the planes and the hangar (where my Dad also kept his own light aircraft of various sorts over the years) so remember them all to varying degrees!
I hope that has refreshed/updated a few memories for a few other people!

10th Aug 2010, 14:51
Say Hi For Me! Glad to hear he's still around!


10th Aug 2010, 15:06
Thanks for the warm welcome! I will give my dad a ring tonight and see what pictures he can dig out and I'll scan them and get them posted for you all. One extra little snippet that occurs to me, the pictures of G-TALI the twin squirrel at Cranfield posted earlier would probably have been my Dad and me visiting as the Duke was happy for Dad to use her when she wasn't needed for anything else! We went to quite a few Fly-Ins over the years when his own light aircraft were unservicable for one reason or another. So that explains the mystery of why the Duke's machine was there!

10th Aug 2010, 19:15
Having spoken to my Dad he is going to have a rummage and see what pictures of TALY, TALI and anything else of interest that he can find.

I can now confirm that TALY was the only JetRanger that the Duke owned, the other one I remember was hired (presumably to fill the void between TALY and TALI) and that since the departure of TALI and the move to jets, the Duke no longer owns a helicopter :(

I have pointed him in the direction of the forum and hopefully I can get him on-line soon to make contact himself but in the meantime he sends his regards to everyone who remembers him and asked me to say "Geoff, do you remember the flight back from Rome?" which I'm guessing means more to one of you than it does to me! :)

10th Aug 2010, 19:34
Hey Red Flag
Thx so much for putting me right on the gardener/mechanic issue; comes to all of us with age I am afraid - confusion (to some degree) reigns!

Please remember me to your Dad (I was the Chief Engineer) and it was a pleasure to have him stay one night when G-TALY was being a little difficult anbout compliance with the limits for compressor cases.

And we then woke EVERYONE up at F/O at 6 am with ground runs and a flight test before his departure to Battersea to collect 'Himself'.

Aaaagh, those were the days!:ok:
Best ~ VFR

11th Aug 2010, 05:06
RedFlag: Please let me add my welcome, to the forum and the thread, as well as my appreciation for having made contact with us.

There are, as you have doubtless seen, several PPRuNers who know your Dad, including VFR440 (above), ANW and GeoffersInConrwall and there are plenty of others who know of him.

My godfather was pilot to John Broome (original developer of Alton Towers) and I suppose we may share some similar experiences in that John Broome was an intensely generous man and similarly offered my godfather the use of his aircraft for personal engagements. I have many and fond memories from this period.

John Broome's first pilot is also on the thread: Paco and, as mentioned earlier on by Earl, the Towers aircraft was situated not far from Eaton Hall at Stretton Hall in Tilston.

I am sponsoring the development of a tribute website which is documenting the history of http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/417831-ferranti-helicopters.html and, during the life of this thread, have decided to expand the site to include details of selected corporate and private helicopter operations in the UK from the 70's and 80's and into which your father's story as personal pilot to the Duke would fit nicely! On this matter I have sent you a PM.

Among the characters you will discover here are Dennis K, referred to affectionately by my godfather as 'Dennis the Menace' and who has either flown, owned or has some connection with virtually every flying thing mentioned on this thread! Dennis, as you will have read, bought G-TALY from his lordship whereafter she became G-CSKY and which was the aircraft I did my PPL course in. She was a lovely little thing and I would be delighted to see some photos of her in her prime as it were!

There are many other experienced, knowledgeable and interesting persons on this forum and who you are sure to get to know.

Again welcome, and .. happy posting!


11th Aug 2010, 08:58
It has been quite an event reading through the accumulated thread and picking up on the references to my Dad, it has brought back a lot of memories of my own. I am going to see my Dad this evening (it's his birthday would you believe so finding this thread has been a bit of an extra birthday present for him!:ok:) and I'll see if he's had a chance to find any pictures for me to scan yet!

11th Aug 2010, 22:20
I now have on loan from my Father a wonderful album of photographs & cartoons detailing the collection of G-TALY from Frosinone in March 1979. I will scan the most significant pictures as soon as I can get my scanner set up and working but some of the high points in terms of TALY's history are:-
1. TALY being wheeled off the production line and outside ready for a test flight prior to flying her back to the UK
2. TALY airborne for the first time and on route to Urbe on the outskirts of Rome.
3. TALY outside Alan Mann Helicopters after a 5 day flight across Europe.
4. Before & After pictures of TALY in the hangar for interior & radios to be fitted and colour scheme to be added (there is an interior shot elsewhere in the album of the temporary radio bungeed on top of the panel with a big piece of rubber under it!)
5. TALY being collected by my Dad in her new livery for delivery to her new owner.
There's loads more documenting the whole 5 day journey but not all of it is relevant to TALY herself (several pictures of my Dad and Mr Geoff Newman nursing hangovers seem to feature for some reason :))
I'll get the important ones up ASAP

12th Aug 2010, 13:48
OK, as a newbie there is an excelent chance that i will get the process of attaching the images wrong at least once before I get the hang of it so this will either be the first image of G-TALY to appear since the start of the thread (in which case loads more will quickly follow to tell the story of her collection from Italy) or it will be an ignominious failure and a great let down after the noble Earl's build-up, so here goes:-


12th Aug 2010, 14:14
Once upon a time (Tuesday 13th March 1979 to be exact) two intrepid airmen, my father Ken Davies and his trusty sidekick who now goes by the name of Geoffersincornwall (for reasons that may become apparent later) set off to collect G-TALY from the Frosinone, 50 miles south of Rome.

The first image to record this epic and historic journey is one of my father on the commercial flight out:-
At this point I feel I should explain that the person now known only as Geoffersofcornwall has added a caption casting slanderous and totally unsubstantiated aspertions about my father's intentions towards an air hostess who is just out of shot. My father has been nursing thoughts of legal action over this and other similar allegations ragarding the same trip for the 31 years since this photograph was taken! :eek:

However, on to the moment you have all been waiting for. The intrepid pair arrive at Frosinone and enter the factory to see this gorgeous creature waiting patiently for them on the end of the production line, still in her virginal white colour scheme:-

This is the first known picture of G-TALY before she had even set foot outside into the Italian sunshine. Minutes later and the engineers were wheeling her outside for her test flight prior to handing over the keys:-


Once again the slanderous pen of Geoffersincornwall was at work here too and the caption reads:-
"A moment of acute embarrassment however, as Ken offers to give the ground crew a hand with the bump start. A quiet word in his ear and after a conference with the engineers we confirm that a starter motor is on the specification"
My father asserts that he knew there was a starter motor fitted all along and that he was just trying to be helpful. However 31 yrs on and he's still sulking! :ooh:

One or two people check out the odd thing or two....

and then Snr. Mazzeti hands over the keys.
At this point my father would like to point out that he is not, as appears, standing in a hole but Snr Mazzeti was quite tall!
Snr Buldini, the Chief test Pilot arrived on the official company bicycle (one of the perks of his job apparently...)
And (fanfare please) G-TALY takes to the air for the first time....

Shortly after that, our dynamic duo set off for Urbe, a small airfield on the outskirts of Rome and G-TALY is finally on her way towards her new home.

End of Part One.

12th Aug 2010, 14:43
After arriving at Urbe, the idea was to refuel and head along the coast to Genoa. At the time G-TALY was not fitted with a range-extender and she held fuel for 250 miles. It was 230 to Genoa. It was apparently decided to limit the possibility of buttock-clenching moments by jacking TALY up on one side, filling up the tank, closing it and then letting her down again and having enough fuel onboard to make the trip without (to use my fathers normal understated approach to things) crashing and dieing :bored: The following picture give a taste of the pioneer spirit of the two fearless aviators as you can clearly see the temporary radio bungeed to a bit of rubber on top of the panel:-
Self evidently it worked and they made it Genoa with plenty of fuel in hand only to be grounded by bad weather for the next 24 hrs. The following picture of TALY seen out of a speeding taxi window was actually taken as they arrived to continue the journey after the weather improved and not, as some unscrupulous commentators have suggested, as they tried to make a run for it after deciding the trip would be safer on the ground! :)

With the improvement in the weather they set off for the Agusta factory at Casrina Costa near Milan to complete the export formalities before crossing the Alps

It is at this point my father hopes to retaliate for Geoffers' slanderous remarks elsewhere in the record of the journey.

This is my father hard at work at the controls......
And here is a younger, debauched, Geoffers apparently nursing a monster hangover from the night before (I am going to slip the word "allegedly" in at this point as I don't want to be caught in the counter-suit!)
However the reason for my father's desire for revenge becomes clear when you see the cartoon that accompanies the 2 pictures above and which my father denies catagorically ever happened.....probably....
And on that note...we reach the End of Part Two,

12th Aug 2010, 15:25
Part Three starts with what my father claims is a distortion of the facts.

After leaving Milan they headed to Lugano in Switzerland. At this point the official photographic record of the journey shows Geoffers hard at work first thing in the morning, clearing the ice from TALY prior to the next leg through the Simplon Pass to Geneva.
While the following picture.....
bears the caption "Ken is seen at breakfast the following morning. I'm not saying he is nursing another hangover but he had one hell of a job focusing on the croissant". Once again, this will be presented as evidence when he gets round to sueing for slander!

The fearless nature of our two pioneers (if you look up "fearless" in the theosaurus it gives "mad as a fish" as an alternative) is made clear by the view out of TALY as they tackled the Alps:-
They are in a white helicopter, with minimal instruments, no heater and they are flying over snow which, as my father points out not unreasonably, is both cold (no heater) and white (the colour of TALY) and in the event of a forced landing would have resulting in them not being found until global warming eventually cleared the Alps!

They were at 7000ft, attempting to squeeze over the top of the pass but as they followed the valley west, they ran into snow.

In fact, when disaster DID strike, and that it was obvious that they were not going to make to to the small airfield of Sion, they decided that discretion was the better part of valour and landed at a disused military airfield. The following picture documents what happened next. Depending on who's account you believe they either "enlisted the help of a friendly passer-by to locate a telephone" or they "hijacked a passing car and made a dash for the nearest pub", you will have to decide for yourselves...
What ever happened, the eventually made it safely to Sion where snow forced them to stay for a while.
But they eventually continued (after consuming their own weight in fondu apparently!) and made it to Geneva where they cleared customs.
They then completed the next leg to Troyes and put TALY to bed for night. Im going to draw a veil over the night at Troyes, suffice it to say that wild allegations have been made by Geoffers, denied by my father and are best left unrepeated until the legal action :eek:

From Troyes they set off the following morning to Le Touquet where they completed customs formalities once more and then put TALY's load carrying capacity to the test by investigating French cuisine for lunch :)

With lunch over they set off up the coast to Cap Gris Nez before my father's least favourite part of the trip, crossing the channel. No great fan of water as he can't swim, he has been known to wear a wet suit, life-jacket and deploy floats just to cross the Mersey so this was going to be a challenge....
But then TALY and our heroes caught sight of land....
and they were almost home.

At Gatwick, TALY touched her skids to English soil for the first time while import formalities were carried out...
and then off to Fairoaks for kitting out...
and that brings us to the End of Part Three.

12th Aug 2010, 15:37
TALY sits in the hangar while engineers fit the heater and radios.
and then gets a new colour scheme....
Is it just me or does one of the engineers appear to be doing something unmentionable to her with a hose?! :eek:

And then she gets fitted out with a shiny new black leather interior...
....and my father arrives to take her back to her new home.....
....little knowing that 31 years later the story would be re-told online as the result of the accidental discovery of a forum thread by his son!

Oh and just to finish off properly....."and they all lived happily ever after".

The End.

12th Aug 2010, 18:31
I have followed this thread with great interest, as I am sure many others have as well - thank you to all who have made it such a fascinating read.

My (very) tenuous connection to Ken Davies was that my PPL(H) was conducted by one of his old friends at Barton. During XC Navex trips across the Cheshire countryside and onto Hawarden, I'd hear intriguing stories about their past exploits involving a variety of aircraft!

I'm afraid I cannot add any further to the G-TALY story but I do have something else to offer...

Having grown up in Glasgow, I was interested to see photographs from Scotland that demonstrated B206s in a variety of guises. My brother and father were gifted a helicopter trip in the late 1980s from the Clyde Heliport - I am not sure who the operator was, but my father tells me during the trip, the pilot had to do an "Eye in the Sky" report for Radio Clyde, further suggesting it was one of the B206s. I asked him to send me any pictures he had and the result should be shown below...


Clearly this is not a B206! Tracking the reg through G-INFO, it appears that this was an Alton Towers aircraft at the time (1987-1990). Why it was in Glasgow doing traffic reports and pleasure flights, I cannot say, but thought it might provide another interesting thread drift of nostalgia.

mr chopper
12th Aug 2010, 18:42
As well as Peter Cadbury operating Jet Ranger G-CHOC , if memory recalls I think he operated a Squirrel G-JANY as well


Mr Chopper:8

12th Aug 2010, 19:12
Hey Red Flag
Just FANTASTIC and thank you (and your Dad) very much indeed. Really appreciated. I shall go an get another large glass of red wine and review the pics one more time :ok: ~ VFR

13th Aug 2010, 03:11
Well, the eye in the sky guy was "Captain George" Muir, who is no longer with us. JLBZ looks like it's on a racecourse - Scotland is certainly not its usual place, unless it was on British Tourist Board business, as JLB was a member.

Are you sure it's the right photo? I imagine Rod Wood would have been the pilot.


13th Aug 2010, 06:39
The photo of GJLBZ looks like it was taken at the Glasgow City Heliport at the SECC. 'Captain George' Muir (RIP) was almost certainly flying the IRON BRU Bell 206 (the registration escapes me now) for the 'eye in the sky' traffic report.

Another coincidental connection to this thread is that shortly after that was taken Geoffersincornwall was the CP of the Strathclyde Police operation at the SECC and he knew George very well as Clyde Helicopters operated both the Police Bo105 and the Bell 206.

13th Aug 2010, 07:17
The photo of the 222 is indeed taken at Clyde heliport. I was selling quarry products for a living in 1988 and supplied Joe McGachy (Clyde Helicopter's MD) with the concrete that the helicopter it is sitting on ! (I remember selling it for a very good price in return for some free flying)
I got to know the Clyde guys very well and flew with them numerous times before Mr Bond bought them over.
Their Jetrangers were:
They also had LongRanger G-STVI that was painted in Scottish Television colours (now G-EYRE), a Twin Squirrel G-CHLA and a Bo105 G-SPOL.
The 222 must have been visiting, to my knowledge they never operated it.
I have a number of photos taken around that time that I will dig them out and scan them.

13th Aug 2010, 10:15
I too was puzzled by the photo sent to me. I was fully expecting it to be one of the 206s. I can confirm it is definitely at the Clyde Heliport, as attested to by Tarman.

As this was taken in 1988, my father can't be sure this was the actual helicopter, but he assures me that there were two pilots and six passengers on board for the flight.

It was around the time of the Glasgow Garden Festival which was staged on the river bank opposite the Heliport. The flight was a gift - my brother and I each got to choose what we most wanted (at that time!). Aged 7, I choose to go on the Coca-Cola Roller Coaster...


My brother chose the flight. Not only was I a little disgruntled that he'd had the foresight and imagination to choose a better adventure than me, I never actually made it onto the roller coaster - the day I was due to go I injured my thumb in a car door!

Perhaps missing out on flying at that tender age worked on me subconsciously, as now 22yr later I'm the one flying helicopters!

Apologies for the over indulgent reminiscence...


13th Aug 2010, 12:27
Joe McGachy was Chief Engineer for Burnthills before he went over to Clyde. He rebuilt a beatiful stampe while he was there. I believe he has a hotel somewhere now.

I never did land at the heliport, despite being at the airfield for over four years, which is why I didn't recognise it.


13th Aug 2010, 14:33
a good selection of what Clyde had, and photo's of the Late Great Captain George Muir are on my flickr site, www.flickr.com/photos/wiganairways/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/wiganairways/), and view the Clyde Helicopter set, also a photo of Joe McGachy pulling out LR G-STVI onto the pad, also one time Castle Air pilot Geoff Newman flying JR G-BOUY and John Mulvaney about to lift off in Bo105 G-BFYA, going back to Cardiff after being the Police chopper for the first year, before G-SPOL was delivered, more visitors to the helipad was a 365 G-POAV - I think that is the reg. -, and Army Gazzelle's used to pop in, as well as Bond 365's. :ok:

Captain George | Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/wiganairways/4172612712/in/set-72157622968099184/)

:confused: tried to add photo here, but wouldn't move.

Brilliant Stuff
13th Aug 2010, 15:52
Redflag, Thank You.

13th Aug 2010, 21:35
As this is my first post let me start by saying hello. I have been a member here for a while, but have never contributed, feeling it's not really my place to. I am not a pilot, but since a child I have been compelled to gaze skyward whenever I heard the sound of rotors cutting through the air, and this magic has never really left me. However, as this is a post about nostalgia I feel that I can share my memories.

I grew up and still live in Chester in the north west of England and most of the time, as a boy, when I looked up to see who was flying by it was usually what I know now to be G-TALLY, or another star of this thread G-JLBI. It was John Broomes craft that I saw most often as it must have visited somewhere near to our house on a reasonably regular basis, I would suppose at weekends. One of the two girls who lived in the house opposite to ours was at school with John Broomes children and I remember being extremely jealous when she was one of a very select few invited to a birthday party, at where else but Alton Towers, chauffeured of course in G-JLBI.

It was TALY that I remember liking best tho, a real beauty, and I really do remember not seeing her for a long time and wondering to myself if she had been replaced by the squirrel that would occasionally fly past. That squirrel never really did have the same appeal to me. Now I know that must have been TALI.

Thanks for all the great photos in this thread. I just love the original paint jobs and the skids with emergency pop outs on those old 206s and for me they have never looked better.

I will end my trip down memory lane with a couple of photos. Firstly G-JLBI, I know not where or when. Secondly, excuse the state of the old polaroid, a helicopter not yet mentioned in this thread G-BBBM. I remember my Dad coming home from work, bunging my brother and I into the car to drive back to a nearby hotel he had passed on his way home where this was parked up. I'm the taller of the two chaps in the photo, I think my face says it all...

All the best, Simon.



14th Aug 2010, 11:06
Simo8: I am glad that you have decided to contribute to the thread. While there are several 'non pilot' forums on PPRuNe you are most welcome here too! Yes, helicopters are marvellous contraptions and also quite addictive.

I flew JLBI with my godfather many times and I think young William (John Broome's son) used to have his birthday party every year at Alton because I recall us running a shuttle service from the 'Broomested' in Tilston to the Towers with Will's friends and I think we did this more than once. Although I never went there, my godfather regularly dropped off young Will's at school in JLBI.

JLBI's paint scheme was always a bit commercial with the Alton and 'Trentham Gardens' (another one of the Broome estates) logos featuring prominently. This could not be compared to the more elegant colours of the Duke's aircraft in its white and navy blue with gold accents.

The 206's with the first generation emergency 'pop-out' floats did have a solid and rather pleasing look about them and both TALY and JLBI wore these in the beginning. Certainly flying with the pop-outs gave a kind of lateral stability but, the speed (although mainly weight) penalty often meant that putting on 'shorts' (short skids) was the preference for private operations and indeed this is what happened to both TALY and JLBI. In fact, one of the first things my godfather did when he joined Broome, was to change JLBI from pop-out to shorts - not least of all because he added a Decca DANAC and Schermuly flare system to what was an already heavy aircraft.

Regarding BBBM, I would be keen for any more details of this photo, perhaps the name of the hotel and the date, as BBBM was one of the aircraft managed by http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/417831-ferranti-helicopters.html and I am collecting images of all the aircraft associated with their operations.

Thanks again for your contribution.

WiganAirways: BFYA was a former http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/417831-ferranti-helicopters.html aircraft so has a connection to me through that avenue and POAV, if I'm not mistaken, is an aircraft with which regular thread contributor Earl was connected.

MrChopper: Thanks for the details on JANY, what a wonderful piece of information this is! Jane (Mead) was of course Peter's last (and 3rd) wife who once said of him: "There are always difficulties living with an old sod like Peter" but, she is the one who remained with him till the end and after whom the AS350B (below) is named.

I am still keenly searching for images of G-CHOC which, just like TALY, was a pretty thing with an interesting owner. I know of one occasion my godfather recounted when PTC (Peter the Cad) was ground running CHOC, became cold and turned on the heater (old style with starboard mounted exhaust) while the engineer was leaning into the engine bay. The story goes that he and PTC had a 'heated' exchange over the engineer's burnt duffle coat!

Peter Cadbury's AS350B Ecureuil G-JANY at Cranfield on 5th September 1981 (Photo: Alan Mosiezny)

Peter Cadbury's Squirrel with golden Pegasus motif just visible on the door. On G-CHOC this motif was located near the baggage compartment as previously mentioned by Earl. TALY also had a golden motif, a wheatsheaf, taken from the centre part of the Duke's coat of arms and mounted on TALY's tail.

HelisDW: Thanks for the photo of JLBZ which forms part of Earl's 'Midland's Three' comprising of the former transports of the Duke, John Broome (Alton Towers) and James Bamford (JCB Excavators). All three were located fairly near to each other, all started out as 206's and were up-graded to twins.

RedFlag: What can I say? I really didn't expect to see evidence of TALY's 'birth and delivery' as it were and I had no idea that the journey we would take in seeking to discover more about this aircraft would result in so many interesting twists and turns. I am indeed thrilled that there is a pictorial (and illustrated) record of TALY's earliest days. The past is always fascinating and, more often than not, helps put the present in perspective.

Thanks for making this effort and thanks to your Dad also.



14th Aug 2010, 12:20
Well, since you mentioned the Bamfords, here's the late great Chalky White in one of the 109s at Brooklands:


14th Aug 2010, 13:39
Wigan airways,

Thanks for posting those photos which were a trip down memory lane. I must correct you one one small point however. It wasn't John Mulvaney who returned G-BFYA to Veritair at Cardiff - it was me. John (where are you?) must have been doing a ground run or something when you took the photo.

Funny story actually - Joe McGaghy (bless him), the owner of Clyde Helicopters - sent a few friends around to the hangar at SECC to repaint G-BYFA in the Vertair colour scheme at the end of the Police contract lease (must have been around June 1990). They were not professional aircraft spray painters and did a less than satisfactory job. In fact it looked shocking close up and the Welsh Dragon on the tail looked more like Father Christmas.

I was told to fly it down to Cardiff one Sunday and was not looking forward to the reception I expected when Vertair saw what we had done to their Bo105. Myself and Sgt Eddie Haggarty flew it down to Cardiff via a very scenic route through the Lake District - having a close inspection of a few summits (we were both keen hillwalkers), refuel and lunch at Blackpool and eventually landing at Cardiff heliport in the afternoon.

I was very happy and somewhat relieved to discover that the Veritair office was all shut up and there was no one to witness the sorry looking state of their prodigal helicopter. We ended up leaving it parked at the heliport, put the keys through the letter box, climbed over the fence to get out, caught a taxi to the station and a train back to Glasgow.

Never did find out what Mr Verity thought of the paint job!

P.S What was that wonderful (expensive) restaurant called next to Clyde Heliport in your photos? I had my 32nd birthday dinner there - the first time I ever spent over £100 on a dinner for two - a Kings Ransom in those days. Wonderful summer that...:)

14th Aug 2010, 20:27

Thanks for the correction, maybe John was taking YA up for a test, or maybe trying to dry the paint, I saw a photo of YA on another web site and was in this livery, but no floats, so I take it the paint stayed on.
I made a model of a Sea King in RAF search and rescue colours for Joes son, even down to the single yellow rotor blade, also a JR for George with the reg. G-MUIR, crimson with silver stripes, remember George was also a disc jockey on Clyde 2, with his progamme 'Come fly with me', memories.
Wonder where Jim Bruce the engineer is, did he go to Bond at the takeover, or onto pastures new?

The restaurant was named The Pump House, havn't been at the heliport in years, not the free and easy days of Clyde. :)

Earl of Rochester
15th Aug 2010, 06:10
RedFlag has mentioned that the DoW owned an Enstrom.

Here is another Enstrom G-BBRS an F28A which was registered to Spooner Aviation in April 1975 and then sold to John Crewdson in July of the same year (according to CAA records).

This helicopter seems to have been on trials (or contract) to the Met.

http://cdn-www.airliners.net/aviation-photos/middle/7/0/9/0676907.jpg (http://www.pprune.org/photo/Helicopter-Hire-Metropolitan-Police/Enstrom-F-28A/0676907/L/&sid=553f4841f7e7983baacedb6d2208616b)

Enstrom F28A G-BBRS registered to Helicopter Hire of Southend-on-Sea seen here on trials/contract to the London Metropolitan Police at Battersea Heliport 5th July 1977

15th Aug 2010, 11:49
In reply to Earl's post, I can confirm that the sequence of aircraft (FW & RW) operated by the DoW during the late 70's early 80's were (I will add the regs later when I have had a chance to check them):-
1. Piper Cherokee
2. Piper Apache
3. Piper Twin Commanche (not an Aztec as I previously thought, that one was hired)
These three were all operated by the present DoW's father but used by the current DoW when he was Earl Grosvenor. The Apache was the one that my father made the forced landing in after a twin engine failure in Northern Ireland. As a former RAF glider instructor he made a pretty miraculous landing and everyone walked away unhurt (except my father who cut his nose on the control column!) The newspapers of the time had a great picture of the Apache standing on it's nose in a field after the nose leg sank into the boggy ground !
4. Enstrom Shark
Bought by the current DoW when he was still the Earl. Used as the "proof of concept" that RW was the way forward! and then we get to the "known history" with:-
5. Jet Ranger G-TALY
6. Twin Squirrel G-TALI
then there was a return to FW with:-
7. HS 125
8 & 9. Cessna Citations
My father has promised to dig out some pictures of TALI and I'll ask him to root out some of the Enstrom too while he's at it! :)

15th Aug 2010, 17:24
Savoia, Re. G-BBBM the hotel in question is the Mollington Banastre Chester, I still can't drive past without a quick glance to see if it's back! As for the date, well that would have to be a guess I'm afraid. I did have a look at the polaroid, but alas no date scrawled on the back. I should think 78 or 79 and for some reason, no more than a hunch, I think it may have been quite close to my birthday in late October. Hope that helps.


15th Aug 2010, 23:34
Okay for E of R ... Yes, Enstrom G-BBRS (28a) was leased to John Crewdson and Gill Aldam's Helicopter Hire initially for the Met Police contract and as I have noted here earlier ... Air Pictorial posted a front cover pic of the heli on Police Service. I was tasked by John Crewdson to do a few days 'demo flying' of the type out of Battersea. I also used Enstrom G-BENO on that task alongside demos to the Police at Kidlington and Glascow. Around early 1993 ish I taught John Crewdson's son Nick to fly rotary. As many will understand the non turbo 28a did struggle a bit with three up, but was good in an emergency as David Voy will testify when he suffered an engine malfunction lifting off from Battersea and promptly landed it back on the pad. I think he later also pulled off a successful auto to a railway siding while over London.

I can'r recall from memnory whethewr m y company Spooner Aviation sold the Enstrom to his lordship, but we did sell an F28a to his colleague Lord (Spenny) Compton of Castle Ashby. My first firm knowledge of Lord Grosvenor was when buying the 206 G-TALY (later G-GSKY) when I also flew with Ken Davies in the company Twin Commanche. Spooner were also the Piper dealer in those days.

In the perod 1988 to 1991 or so, I was one of Clyde Helicopters TREs and routinely visited the Clyde Helipad to carry out their Schedule 9 checks (as they were known as in those days) being line & base checks. On those trips, my log shows I flew B206, G-STVI, G-EYEI and with George Muir, John Mulvaney, Ian MacCallum and Ian Georgeson. As an intiguing side note ... it was on a training trip across Lock Lomond with Ian McCallum that from around 1000 feet, Ian called out "there's a sheep in trouble down there." All I could see were hundreds of sheep below. We dropped down to fifty feet and then landed in the rough pasture and as I took control Ian jumped out and ran across to the stranded sheep which I could now see was trapped belly up in a gulley. I watched with fascination as he struggled with about 1 cwt of very wet sheep to get it out of the gulley and back on its feet. By this time he was plastered almost head to foot with the animal's excreta having perhaps been trapped there for a couple of days. As he climbed aboard I learned at first hand how bad is the smell of large quantities of sheep poo in the confines of a Bell 206 front cabin!

More Tittle Tattle ... at that time I seem to recall Graham Pryke was a Clyde company pilot and flying a B 206, he lost an engine in snow while on police surveillance over Glascow. Sadly the policeman lost his life but Graham survived albeit later there was much legal to-ing and fro-ing regarding the wearing of a safety helmets on utility work. MD Joe McGahey was a good friend and customer of my new firm Starline Helicopters based at Biggin Hill. It was Starline that followed my first company Skyline at Booker.

I'd better stop rab itting but some pruners are v interested I can see.

Dennis Kenyon.

15th Aug 2010, 23:43
Oh and while on the registrations department. Helicopter Hire also operated a third Enstrom 28A being G-BCOT, serial 199. Want another yarn.. David Voy was unfortunate to make a test flight at night following some overhaul work on the M.R head. He couldn't know that the three push pull rods enclosed in the mast were connected 120 degrees out of phase. Try working out a controldsequence that would then work. David did damned well to get it down in one piece albeit with heavy skid and resultant damage.

Dennis K

15th Aug 2010, 23:49
OH & Oh ... a third bit of gossip. Peter Cadbury's lovely lady Jane was earlier my good friend Humphry Mead's wife. I got to know Humphry when he bought his Enstrom from us and learned to fly at Spooner Aviation. G-BBRS was for my boss Bertram Roy Spooner. Will any of this make the pages of Hallo?

Dennis K

16th Aug 2010, 04:28

I knew John Crewdson had a pilot son, but I thought that was Johnny?

Never met Nick if you are correct.....

I was flying G-BAKT for Gleneagles in 1988 out of Edinburgh. It had a blue metallic paint scheme with gold accent as I remember. I have a pic somewhere if it's of any relevance to this thread!!!

Great thread by the way, keeps us old farts in "memory lane" :ok:

16th Aug 2010, 05:58

Your mention of Graham Pryke's unfortunate accident reminded me that the day of the accident I was at home watching the Ceefax news on TV. I was due to be at the Clyde Helicopters base in a couple of days for an interview with Joe McGaghy for a Police line pilot job.

I was surprised to see a story 'Police helicopter crashes in Glasgow'. I picked up the phone and called Clyde and spoke with the lady in the office, said how sorry I was to hear of the accident and did they still want me to come up for interview in view of this?

She said 'What accident?'. It has apparently only just been reported by local media and even Clyde had not heard about it at that stage.

After the inquest into the death of the Police observer (who died from a head injury), the wearing of helmets and fireproof clothing was consequently made mandatory. You may see from the earlier photos that the Police observers are only wearing shirts and headsets.

16th Aug 2010, 17:16
You seem to have had more to do with the Enstrom than you recall! :)

I rang my Dad yesterday to ask him to look out some pics of the Enstrom but he was out and while leaving a message with my Mum she recounted a story of her own relating to the Enstrom that might be of interest to you. Apparently my Dad brought a fellow Enstrom pilot home for lunch one day and said pilot repaid the good deed by taking my Mum and my younger sister for a flight in the Enstrom. My Mum was apparently so terrified that she spent the entire flight gripping the pilot's knee, much to my sister's embarassment!:eek:

I have checked the facts with my Dad and apparently the pilot in question was a certain DennisK! Surely you don't forget an incident like that in hurry?! :O

Earl of Rochester
16th Aug 2010, 17:57
Really Dennis - How many times must I tell you about performing aerobatics with first time passengers on board! :}

mr chopper
17th Aug 2010, 17:50
Hi All:ok:

Am I right in assuming that Peter Cadbury is somehow related to the Chocolate company in Birmingham , maybe this would explain why
having G-CHOC is derived from ?


Mr Chopper

Earl of Rochester
17th Aug 2010, 18:15

Peter Egbert Cadbury was born on February 6 1918, the elder son of Air Commodore Sir Egbert Cadbury, DSC, DFC, a First World War ace who shot down two Zepellins over the North Sea from his Sopwith Camel, and went on to become a managing director of Cadbury Bros, the predecessor of Cadbury Schweppes.

Egbert was in turn a grandson of John Cadbury, a Quaker who had started business as a tea, coffee and cocoa merchant in Bull Street, Birmingham in 1824.

Cadbury Bros became one of the world's largest confectioners. Peter recalled as a child being allowed to dip his fingers into vats of molten chocolate.

Cadbury never worked in the family business however but followed his father into flying, with an early career as a test pilot in jet fighters, then qualifying as a barrister, playing a minor role in the Nurenburg War Crimes trials, before deciding his future did not lie in law.

Cadbury was the founder of Westward Television and later on Air Westward but it was his activities in television which were to consume most of his career.

Cadbury was known for his frequent rows with neighbours, the press, and even with his own board of directors. He was more than once involved in fistfights on roads over his driving. He owned a Ferrari, a Bentley, numerous yachts, helicopters, aeroplanes, racehorses, properties in the West Indies, and a succession of grand country mansions, one of which had an airstrip and a hangar for five aircraft.

As a result of his ongoing conflict with the IBA (the then-regulator of ITV) Westward lost the round of franchise renewals in 1980, and were replaced by TSW.

Cadbury was an animal lover who kept a parrot, a great Dane, and a Rwandan gorilla.

He was married three times. The first time was to Benedicta Bruce in 1947 (with legendary Spitfire pilot Douglas Bader as best man), with whom he had a son and a daughter; the marriage ended in divorce in 1968. He married again in 1970 to Mrs. Jennifer Morgan-Jones, who was 27 years younger than he, and with whom he had another son (Joel Cadbury, one time owner of the Groucho Club), before they divorced in 1976. In that same year, he married a third time, to Mrs. Jane Mead, with whom he had two more sons and after whom G-JANY was named.

mr chopper
17th Aug 2010, 18:36
Thanks for the info Earl about Peter much appreciated .:D

17th Aug 2010, 21:00
Oh dear Red Flag ... and E of R ... so now we all know how we get to have one's knee held for an entire flight! Just some spirited cyclic handling.

But seriously, a big thanks for waking up my memory and I've needed to refer to my log book and find that I flew that Enstrom demonstration on 14th February 1983 (Skyline opened for business at Booker the previous month) and yes .... how I remember the incident and somehow seem to recall your Mum's nervous grip was so tight it marked my skin. Certainly would have raised my BP a tad or two!

Keep 'em coming lads.

Dennis K.

19th Aug 2010, 15:00
Previous posts mentioned Jetranger G-AWLL. This machine is still flying in Holland as PH-HWH. I stumbled across this film clip on You Tube showing it's A model Cockpit. (you may want to stick the kettle on first it lasts 40 odd minutes)
I have a special place for this machine as I made my first flight in it at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow around 1976. Unfortunately only one of us still looks the same today !!

Helicopter Flight Emmer-Compascuum - Lelystad (EHLE) (PH-HWH) (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5262687689208465477#)

19th Aug 2010, 18:21
A quick update on the DoW's Enstrom 280C Shark, G-TALY's predecessor (no pics yet but to follow soon I hope).

It was registered as G-BGWS (now G-MOTR) and owned by the DoW while he was Earl Grosver but registered to a company of his called Tern Fisheries.

Bought 30/8/78 and sold 15/6/79 when it was delivered to it's new owner in Shoreham.

My Dad started converting to RW on it 31/10/78 at Oxford Air Training School under CFI(H) Capt. John Black.

I'll post pics as soon as I get my hands on them!

19th Aug 2010, 18:58
Can you rename this thread as a Haven for Llittle Helicopter Memories and Nostalgia.

20th Aug 2010, 05:54
Is this thread only about G registered Jet Rangers or can anyone join in?


20th Aug 2010, 12:22
With EofR's official endorsement to drift away...!

Further to my previous posts about the Clyde operations, I've got a few more to share.

The first shows the Garden Festival site with the Clyde Heliport in the top left corner, as it was in 1988.


Next picture is of G-STVI, complete with ladder:


Finally, picture of G-EYEI subtly adorned with advertising:


PS For those that may recall the confusion surrounding the Alton Towers B222 that may or may not of been pleasure flying in 1988, I have also received some pictures of the mystery aircraft's interior and it appears to a Long Ranger. When further questioned about the episode, my father remained adamant that it was the B222 whilst my brother pointed to a picture of an AS350 he had seen and stated that was the type of aircraft they had flown in. I decided to give up at this point and accept the uncertainty!


20th Aug 2010, 19:38
G-TALY had a number of European contemporaries and, on this one, I would welcome the support of any German PPRuNers who might be able to assist.

This relates to the JetRanger owned by Heinrich von Furstenberg which may have been D-HJEF, D-HJFF or another .. I have been unable to accurately identify the registration.

Any details would be greatly appreciated.

http://cache1.asset-cache.net/xc/3165409.jpg?v=1&c=IWSAsset&k=2&d=45B0EB3381F7834DA5F5BAD4F7B7D302626CBB69DA9636608D143FD4AE 7FC81B

[I]His Highness Heinrich von Furstenberg, with wife Maximiliana, after dismounting their newly acquired Jet Ranger. Furstenberg Castle 1st June 1977. The 206's tail bears the von Furstenberg family colours as similarly displayed by the building's rooftop pennant.


Brilliant Stuff
25th Aug 2010, 17:01
14th April '95 I borrowed it in order to take my sister and her husband out for lunch on the south coast.

25th Aug 2010, 18:29
Since anyone can join in, I submit this

Dubai late 90's AMCP about to depart on an air test from Dubai.


I can't remember the registration but it most probably A6-ALQ as we also had another two, A6-ALG and A6-ALS and the G and S were painted on the nose if memory serves me.

This is looking north from the old Aerogulf ramp. Today the skyline has completely changed with Terminal 2 and a thousand buildings now in the background!

The three 105's were sold to Iran in 2001 and I believe I did the last AGS 105 flight in 'LS prior to handover in April 2001.



26th Aug 2010, 02:43
Yesterday it looked like this:



26th Aug 2010, 12:51
The old Aerogulf hangar prior to development of the airport.

Note the four Jet Rangers, Dubai Police 105 in the background, Cherokees of the Emirates Flying School and UAE C-130 as well as the original EK hangars. All changed now :)


And inside. You can imagine what it was like inside in mid summer!




26th Aug 2010, 14:39
after dismounting their newly acquired Jet Ranger

Poor thing.

26th Aug 2010, 18:28
Stumbled across the archive section of the BBC website with a vintage Alouette on show - link below (afraid I can't extract the video, or find it on YouTube, but it should be viewable via the original site).

BBC - Archive - Aerial Journeys - Bird's Eye View | Green and Pleasant Land (http://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/aerialjourneys/5318.shtml)

The opening sequence shows G-AWLC (SA318C) which appears to have been registered to Heli-Union UK Ltd. 1968-1972.

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


Earl of Rochester
2nd Sep 2010, 07:43
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/2/24/Helicopter_air_mail%2C_1947_.jpg (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/2/24/Helicopter_air_mail%2C_1947_.jpg)

Sikorsky S51 of Los Angeles Airways departs the roof of the Terminal Annex Post Office during the inauguration of the first helicopter mail service in the US. 2nd October 1947.

Earl of Rochester
2nd Sep 2010, 08:20
- HeliSDW

I don't think the Alouette was particularly common in the UK - maybe ten or so.

I remember the standard skids were so low that when landing in grass it looked as though the thing was landing on it's belly!

2nd Sep 2010, 10:57
Earl: thank you for the info re. Alouette. Whilst the 1960's were a little before my time(!), I wasn't aware of the Alouette being in common use in the UK and your post confirmed my suspicions.

Whilst I have no first hand experience of flying the afore mentioned machines, I once idled away an April afternoon in the Swiss village of Arolla by watching an Alouette shuttling up and down the valley, passing close to my hotel balcony.

Interesting picture of the QEII - I suspect that may be the same machine as in the BBC video. I just hope they didn't encounter any FOD-quoits. And of course it goes without saying that all the best ships were Clyde built... (conflict of interest: a Glaswegian in exile!).


John Eacott
2nd Sep 2010, 11:56
Earlier days with an Alouette II, picking up bits of an Alouette III which had inadvertently parked on a stack of drill pipes in the background!


But I'll be on the new QE for its maiden Round the World cruise: not Clyde built, but I wonder where the helipad is?



Plank Cap
2nd Sep 2010, 19:46
As a youngster in the 70s, an Alouette 2 landed quite close to our house on the Isle of Wight in preparation for filming a Martini advertisement. It spent a week or so chasing power boats up and down the Solent and sure enough a few months later the ad appeared on TV (great theme tune ''anytime, anyplace, anywhere, there's a wonderful drink you can share'' etc etc. Though never could figure out if anyplace and anywhere were different in an ad man's mind!)

Certainly do not remember the registration sorry to say, but the sticker on the nose was what looked like a bee or a hornet in a roundel of some sort. Funny what remains in the grey matter afer so many years.

2nd Sep 2010, 20:09
I have been immensely impressed by this thread and agree with many other comments that it has to be one of the best ever on PPRune. So I thought it was time to add to it do some digging.

I reckon the registration of the Jet Ranger mentioned in Savoia's last post was D-HJFF and was re-registered G-BTWA in 1978 in the name of Charles Hughesdon (of helicopter garden party fame) - source G-INFO. In 1985 it was old to a Greek buyer and registered SX-HBV and the website "Greek Helicopters" lists its subsequent registrations as N74EA and N624K. The FAA version of G-INFO lists N624K as a current registration, though Greek Helicopters also indicates that it may have returned to Europe as SX-HBV. As N624K it looks like it may have been in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.

Hope this helps others to perhaps provide more up to date or more detailed information for Savoia and perhaps some photos.

PS Got all this info from a Google search...amazing. Keep up the good work.

2nd Sep 2010, 21:06
EofR here's a vid including some early shots of 47's? carry mail around a busy US city.

There still are a few Alo's flying in europe specifically the UK, where there are roughly only 5 left. :sad:

This machine represents a fleet of about 12~ which were flown by the Army Air Corps as trainers in Cyprus for many years. It was a serious competitor to the Westland Scout.




The only Alo III flying in the Uk right now.

Such an amazing machine to both fly and work on!

John Eacott
2nd Sep 2010, 22:49
but the sticker on the nose was what looked like a bee or a hornet in a roundel of some sort. Funny what remains in the grey matter afer so many years.

That would be B.E.A.S. :ok:

(British Executive Air Services)

3rd Sep 2010, 12:15
RBA Helicopters nr Reading used to operate an alo II back in the late 60's.

I believe my dad used to fly it and did some unique (at the time) ads for british Rail. :ok:

3rd Sep 2010, 13:18
This looks like the one: G-AVEE............



Earl of Rochester
3rd Sep 2010, 16:24
Great to see these UK based Alouette II's and also to see Jeacott's legs! :{ :ok:

A Nigerian registered Alouette - was that the only one in the country or did they have a respectable population of this type?

Seeing as we are touching the Alouettes this is close enough (I think) to throw in some colourful images of its cousin the Lama (although to be honest .. any excuse will do!).

Spirited Llamas!

http://cdn-www.airliners.net/aviation-photos/middle/0/6/2/0885260.jpg (http://www.pprune.org/photo/Air-Glaciers/Aerospatiale-SA-315B-Lama/0885260/L/&sid=b8e75d24a2d93729ea00b1c9059c943e)

Going up!

http://cdn-www.airliners.net/aviation-photos/middle/2/4/3/0885342.jpg (http://www.pprune.org/photo/Air-Glaciers/Aerospatiale-SA-315B-Lama/0885342/L/&sid=b8e75d24a2d93729ea00b1c9059c943e)

Coming down!

http://cdn-www.airliners.net/aviation-photos/middle/2/2/3/0496322.jpg (http://www.pprune.org/photo/Air-Glaciers/Aerospatiale-SA-315B-Lama/0496322/L/&sid=b8e75d24a2d93729ea00b1c9059c943e)

Now you see me!

http://cdn-www.airliners.net/aviation-photos/middle/9/5/0/0385059.jpg (http://www.pprune.org/photo/Air-Glaciers/Aerospatiale-SA-315B-Lama/0385059/L/&sid=b8e75d24a2d93729ea00b1c9059c943e)

Now you don't!

Selected scenes from Switzerland's celebrated Lama operator - Air Glaciers - flying the SA315B.

Well done to the Air Glaciers team for the rescue work they regularly perform! :D



3rd Sep 2010, 19:52
Just another titbit for we older guys ... anyone know the whereabouts of the 1970s business guy - Don Donelly. I had some dealings with him going back to the very late 1960s at his riverside business near Ripley Surrey.

Dennis K

4th Sep 2010, 15:13
Dennisimo! The last time I saw Don Donnelly was at Cranfield in the mid-to-late 70's when he was proudly displaying Heliwork's B47 Soloy conversion. My guess is that he remained with Heliwork for a while longer as I recall my godfather meeting up with him on one occasion to discuss purchasing training aircraft. I'm sure there must be PPRuNers who are aware of what happened to him.

Hofmeister: Well well, wonders never cease in the land of PPRuNe!

In my limited free time I enjoy collecting quality photographs of just about anything. The work of George 'Slim' Aarons is just one of many portfolio's I thoroughly enjoy. It includes priceless images such as this one featuring Clark Gable, Van Heflin, Gary Cooper and James Stewart on New Year's Eve 1957 at Romanoff's Restaurant in Hollywood:

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_6oxx_tG-VHQ/S_rlpmHnMiI/AAAAAAAAGhk/ocdDpQosb7E/s640x480_thumb%5B2%5D.jpg?imgmax=800 (http://lh3.ggpht.com/_6oxx_tG-VHQ/S_rlpNFk7xI/AAAAAAAAGhg/de61AD57968/s1600-h/s640x480%5B4%5D.jpg)

This and other images can be seen at Bluetramontana Style: Slim Aarons (http://www.bluetramontana.com/2010/05/slim-aarons.html) where I was browsing when I came upon the image of Heinrich von Furstenberg's Bell 206 photographed in 1977:

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_6oxx_tG-VHQ/S_rl1xYVa9I/AAAAAAAAGis/LX10CsFW2B8/von_furstenbergs_3165409_thumb%5B2%5D.jpg?imgmax=800 (http://lh3.ggpht.com/_6oxx_tG-VHQ/S_rl1E38pCI/AAAAAAAAGio/yM6tRO3RtwU/s1600-h/von_furstenbergs_3165409%5B4%5D.jpg)

A couple of days after first seeing this image, in the midnight hours and in a scenario not too dissimiliar to Plank Cap's recollection of a bee on the nose of the Alouette, I recalled seeing a 206 making regular visits into Brooklands in the early 80's and which, if memory served, had similar markings.

Enter Hofmeister :D with the revelation that Von Furstenberg's 206 was D-HJFF which became G-BTWA below:


Bell 206B Jet Ranger II G-BTWA (formerly D-HJFF) belonging to Charles Hughesdon operated by Tradewinds Helicopters (a subsidiary of Hughesdon's Tradewinds Airways) arriving at Battersea c. 1983

I scarcely dared believe that HJFF was one and the same aircraft as that belonging to Charles Hughesdon who was a close friend of my godfather (but whom, sadly, I never met) and was astonished that Charles had kept the Baron's original tail markings.

I did meet his pilot however, on several occasions at Brooklands. I recall he was a slightly tall and slender chap, politely spoken and in the early 80's was starting to grey.

Of Charles Hughesdon here is the synopsis tendered at the launch of his book entitled "Flying Made It Happen.":

"Charles Hughesdon is the epitome of a self-made man; a hunter-down of business and a pursuer of pleasure. In A Flying Life he tells his remarkable life story for the first time; a leader and innovator in the field of insurance brokerage, a talented pilot and head of the hugely successful Tradewinds air-cargo company.

As a top business man he mixed with John Paul Getty, Robert Maxwell and Margaret Thatcher. Hughesdon's marriage to film star Florence Desmond in 1937 brought him into contact with all the stars of the day and the couple's home Dunsborough Park in Surrey, became a regular retreat for the celebrity set of the day. David Niven, Jack Hawkins, Ava Gardner, Frank Sinatra, Shirley Bassey and Elizabeth Taylor all feature in this frank and revealing biography.

Hughesdon's relationship with ballerina Margot Fonteyn - an affair that lasted for fifteen years - illustrates his lifelong passion for beautiful women. A Flying Life is the story of an entrepreneur whose passion for his work is matched only by his passion for life."


Now for some joining-the-dots which, I know, is usually Earl's preserve but perhaps you can do that next time friend!

D-HJFF was owned by a continental contemporary of the Duke of Westminster, Baron Heinrich von Furstenberg making the two of them among the few helicopter-owning (both of them had Bell 206's) noblemen in Europe. One could therefore consider HJFF a cousin of TALY's!

The image (the only one available as far as I am aware) of HJFF under Von Furstenberg's ownership is part of the Getty Images stock. John Paul Getty was a freind of Charles Hughesdon who knew both my godfather and Ava Gardner who was a friend to my grandfather!

And .. seeing as Dennis the Menace has become connected to practically every story on this entire thread there seems no point in stopping now. Dennis queried the whereabouts of Donald Donnelly citing his location as Ripley in Surrey which of course was the location of Charles Hughesdon's home, Dunsborough, the venue for his noteable 'fly-in' garden parties which were attended by a colourful assortment of military and civilian guests and, on several occasions, by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.

Perhaps it is pushing it to expect that there is someone who can respond but .. I would be immensely grateful for any information about D-HJFF while it was in the Von Furstenberg stable.

Grazie Mille!


5th Sep 2010, 03:10

Sadly Don passed away in the early nineties. He was JG-S right hand man at Heliwork in the late 70's and early eighties. A very dapper character..reminded me a bit of Roger Moore

5th Sep 2010, 11:41
Found this link on the "Pathe News" archive detailing one of the legendary helicopter garden parties hosted by Charles Hughesdon. Might be of interest to some..............hope it hasn't been linked before.



HELICOPTER PARTY - British Pathe (http://www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=807)

5th Sep 2010, 14:19
Hey H
What iinvaluable footage! The more so that I could strangle some of the mightier-than-thou within the CAA in about 19-mid seventies. Separate thread about Skeeters (now grounded) refers on the disposal of spares (HUGE quantities LOL) from the late Francis Chamberlain's estate; the point is this. Francis and I had worked together in and out of the Army, Middle East, Africa and Scotland over a period of many years. He bought a Skeeter Mk12 and registered it G-SARO as befits its heritage. I attended to the total strip and rebuild - and the 'negotiations', in themselves pretty strenuous conversations as I recall, with the Counter Aviation Authority to try and secure a Private Category C of A. Pushing water uphill would have been easier. In the end, if we were EVER to fly this machine we would have to settle for a Permit - NOT the original intention at all. :sad:

The reason? CAA refused to countenance an application for a C of A on the grounds that one had never been issued and that the aircraft would have to have a full Type-Certificate appraisal (which would have cost ££££1000s and taken me to an early grave, if not retirement). And then here you come, 35 years later, with all the evidence I need to commit legal homicide whilst under the influence of severe provocation and frustration in equal measure. :D

I am enormously grateful. The stumbling block with whom I had to deal was a real :mad:ole . It appears that I may well beat him to that big bar in the sky, in which I shall run up the biggest tab imagineable. Then St Peter can ask him to get his BIG cheque book out at the entrance gates :ok:

Since he is still around, living in happy retirement in Sussex somewhere I understand, I intend to secure his e-mail address and wreck his sublime smugness once and for all by clipping this Pathe film, and requesting an apology. Then I can get on with packing for that great journey happy in the knowledge that 'every LAE will have his day', if you will forgive the adaption of an old adage. :)

Earl, Savoia, Dennis et all sorry for a bit of 'Fred Slippage' here, but I just had to comment. Made my day, I'll have another VERY LARGE glass of red wine then............ hic! Cheers ~ VFR

5th Sep 2010, 14:55
Hofmeister: That was an excellent discovery and the perfect accompaniment to my mentionings above, well done!

I am very keen to hear if there are any PPRuNers who can identify some of the characters in this truly nostalgic clip. A bit before my time but brought some solid emotions nonetheless given how close Charles was to my godfather who, among other things, was a test pilot on the Belvedere and I am now wondering if he was the one flying the type 192 to that event.

I am especially curious to discover the identity of the Sycamore pilot in the grey coveralls with the tache (moustache) at 1:16 in the clip. There is something vaguely familiar about him!

VFR: No need for apologies. I think we all share your frustration. Forgive me if I didn't read your post correctly but .. didn't G-SARO make the air display circuit across the UK for a bit?

German PPRuNers: Any German PPRuNers (or any PPRuNers at all for that matter) with information about the helicopter belonging to Baron von Furstenburg, a Bell 206 Jet Ranger D-HJFF, are very welcome to respond. Any photos or stories about this aircraft's service while with the Baron would be most appreciated.


5th Sep 2010, 17:31
Yes, I think Francis visited a great many of them whenever he could. Based in Inverness it was either a delightful or 'exciting' ferry to the show. I was CE at Manns on one occasion when he appeared, unannounced, rumpled but with a case of Scotch (:ok:) strapped in to the P2 seat, having left a slick of W80 from Birmingham, South to Fairoaks. Yet ANOTHER clutch/primary g'box seal change - overnight; free-hangarage, wash and polish. Ground run and a short air-test and off he went again. What was left of the case of whisky residing with me (how very kind, and typical of him).

It was a good machine. I lightened it by 60lbs it had all O/H components and a zero-time Bristol-Siddley O/H engine; completely recovered blades (another strenuous discussion with CAA, since the Vol 6 MM only allowed patches. I won that one though, since, as they wouldn't give me a C of A , I argued, convincingly, that I wasn't obliged to follow chapter and verse of the MM) :cool:

I went to see this twit at Brabazon House as it was then, and was required to deposit my chain-saw at the desk at reception (I'd just collected it from repair). Security considered it a potential fire-risk; they don't know to this day that it was much more likely to be life threatening. Anyway, from then onwards for several years I would call and announce who I was and someone would mutter "Oh yes, you're the stroppy LAE with the difficult questions - and a chainsaw":)

I think the Americans call this 'leverage'?

Happy days Cheers again.! ~ VFR

5th Sep 2010, 21:38
Hi again all nostalgia fans,

Just another snippet or two to add to the party.

I used to play weekend cricket with the Ripley club. The ground sits squarely alongside the Honourable C S Hughesdon's (as he I think he was) impressive house and the other side of the long wall you can see in the Pathe film clip.
In 1965 I recall how I was struggling to make a batting fifty while a string of rotaries passed over our ground on the approach to one of his pleasant little helicopter gatherings, but I was a confirmed fixed winger in those days.

Thanks for the note on Don Donnelly and I see he worked with John Gordon Stables at Heliwork. Sadly both now gone. JGS was, as many will know, a confimed but successful gambler. He was my Chief Engineer at Starline Helicopters in the period 1988 to the mid 1990s when he once told me he wasn't always clad in engineering overalls and I should see him when he was dressed posh in horse racing attire ... grey mack and wide belt of course plus stylish highly polished gambling shoes. As a thank you for his loyal service I promptly offered to be his personal pilot on Gold Cup day at Cheltenham.

A great day even after I placed a losing £50 on every horse he tipped. The weather closed in for the last race so having kissed goodbye to a final £50 on the tote, we made it to the B206, (G-SHZZ) to watch in the gloom. With rain obscuring the windscreen, John said he thought our horse was in the lead on the run in, but there was no waiting if we wanted to beat the weather home. John called me later to say the teletext said our dobbin had won and we shared £1300 !!!

Happy memories.

Dennis Kenyon

Plank Cap
6th Sep 2010, 06:42
After you'd dealt with spraying those pesky weeds, obviously the rabbit population were next on the farm back in the late 50's. It would appear as difficult to hit anything from the air with a shotgun as it would be to make a commercial success out of the star of this early film clip. Particularly like some of the 'a la mode' moustaches on display!

Click on the photo below after it opens to play the film.

"British Pathe; NEW JET HELICOPTER (http://www.britishpathe.com/embed.php?archive=319)"

6th Sep 2010, 16:46

G-CHOC Taken at Blackbushe in 1978

from my extensive collection of just about 80% of UK registered helicopters.

6th Sep 2010, 17:21
Helipix: Outstanding dear friend! :D

What a pleasant turn of events to see Peter Cadbury's helicopter again after all these years.

Yes, this indeed was Cadbury's personal mount (it also went out for charter under the auspices of Air Westward for a while). This is the same aircraft which 'burnt' a mechanic (oops, sorry engineer in the UK) who was working on the starboard side of the craft when Peter decided he was getting cold! The aircraft had the early model cabin heater with the exhaust located on the outer fuselage below the engine bay.

Again well done Helipix, you have truly made my day!

Well, how about a link between ‘Cadbury’s mount’ CHOC, and TALY? If I remember rightly Cadbury’s copter wore the same colours as TALY, navy and gold. I think she also used to sport a small golden Pegasus aft of the passenger cabin.

Earl: This is your quote from way back on page 2, post #38. You were right .. the Pegasus (not so small) was indeed aft of the passenger cabin.

There is another story about Peter Cadbury involving the disgruntled father of one of his 'acquaintences' who happened to be a Prelate. Evidently Peter took the clergyman for a spin, scared him half to death, then sought his assurances that the matter was put to bed (so to speak) as a veiled condition of returning to terra firma! What a chap he was!

Any further contribution of stories, photos or information from Peter Cadbury's helicopter days is keenly welcome.


Yellow & Blue Baron
6th Sep 2010, 17:44
I have follow this thread with a lot of interest and give it the gold star rating and say well done to everyone making the contributions.

I would like to see a garden party in Sweden like the one for Mr Hughesdon which really looks fantastic. I think those early helicopters had a lot of character.

Savoia - you mention quite a lot your godfather. Do you mind to say who he is?


6th Sep 2010, 17:58
YBB: I am sure it would be possible for you to arrange a garden party in Sweden if you solicit the support of some private helicopter owners (you could ask Michael Savback to help you find them SAVBACK Helicopters - Eurocopter Helicopter sales (http://www.savback.se/)) and perhaps the involvement of the military. Having one or two well known guests always helps to secure attendance.

My godfather was Lt. Col. Bob Smith and you may read something about him on post #20 of the http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/417831-ferranti-helicopters.html thread.


6th Sep 2010, 19:06
Re G-CHOC SN 1125. Here is a photo of her on the German register as D-HMAC.
D-HMAC | TransportPhotos.com (http://www.transportphotos.com/air/photo/AGc11044)


She also carried the South African Reg ZS-HJH. I don't know if she is still flying today, the South African Reg in now allocated to a R22


7th Sep 2010, 04:50
Tarman: This is an interesting development!

I had always assumed (erroneously it now seems) that Peter had bought his 206 new from CSE in 1977 but, your information seems to place this aircraft as having first been sold to Germany.

How intriguing, given our most recent unearthing of helicopter history, that both Charles Hughesdon and Peter Cadbury should have bought their Jet Rangers from Deutschland!

It also seems that Peter faithfully reproduced HMAC's colour scheme from that displayed in your photo (albeit in navy blue) even maintaining the rare white border following the circumference of the windshield.

Thanks for this contribution. :ok:

Deutsche PPRuNers: You are needed! Not only to assist with information about D-HJFF while in the service of Baron von Furstenberg c.1977 but also in assisting with information about D-HMAC which seems to have been in Deutschland about the same time c. 1976/7. I should like to discover the identity of HMAC's owner.

Danke schoen.

7th Sep 2010, 07:33
Jetranger c/n 1125 was D-HMAC, G-CHOC, ZS-HJH, 3B- ??, ZS-HJH. No information on owner, yet.

long box
7th Sep 2010, 12:44
Fantastic thread, sorry I have joined so late, the pictures and comments on registrations certainly prompted memories! I worked for Thamesdown Helicopters whilst at school and when I left, we operated G-RODS, G-ROGR and also had G-NORM ready to be re-built. The maintenance was carried out at Skyline, where I first met the likes of Tony Clarke and Dennis, where we occasionally borrowed G-WIZZ, whilst she was owned by Hubbards. I can remember being told to keep away from G-JOKE whilst being too nosy when it was parked near us one day. We also used to work with Jonathan Palmer when he owned G-AWOL, I remember her when she was yellow with blue camels. After leaving Thamesdown I have remained in the industry and have flown the following Jet Rangers mentioned in the thread G-ONOW, G-WIZZ, G-BUZZ, G-BLZN (which the EOR posted a dash picture, how sad I recognised it!) G-SHCC, G-SHRR. I still operate and fly the 206, fantastic helicopter, there is also a picture of the dash of the Alton Towers 206L, we have an identical 206L1 with IFR kit onboard and the dash is identical. Although I was only just beginning when most of this was mentioned it was certainly the key that made me want to work in the industry. I will put some pics up.

7th Sep 2010, 20:57
How nostalgic to see all those reggies. The SHs for Starline Helis, (the company I established at Biggin Hill after Skyline) the oft quoted G-WIZZ ... then G-BLZN bought from South Africa with over 10,000 hrs on the airframe and which was later pictured on the front cover of the car book 'Cherished registrations hovering above my Jag E ... and of course the infamous G-BUZZ that landed too close to a second rotary on the Skyline helipad at Booker. Exit the Virgin team!

Does anyone recall the oddities of G-RODS when the pilot carried out his 'full & free' check on the cyclic which promptly snapped off at the base of the control!

God bless you all contributors out there and as the wonderful Bob Hope of the 'Road to ... films' once sang. "Thanks for the memories."

Dennis Kenyon.

8th Sep 2010, 01:01
Does anyone recall the oddities of G-RODS when the pilot carried out his 'full & free' check on the cyclic which promptly snapped off at the base of the control!

Yes, I do, (it was me) and it would have been interesting trying to get down had that happened in flight!

I'll see if I can get some piccies of G-RODS.


long box
8th Sep 2010, 08:48
Poor old Phil, snapping cyclics, dogs, pigs, goats, chickens! but looking back it was a memorable experience, I have pictures of you Phil with poor old ROGR I will post them up for you. Incidentially in later years I flew G-WLLY for many hours and I never recognised her as G-ROGR!

8th Sep 2010, 09:28
Long Box: Welcome to the thread!

Never flew WLLY, RODY or ROGR but .. I did meet Roger Woodward (Direct Rentals now MD of Cars Direct Group) a number of times at his apartment-cum-office which I think was somewhere in the Mayfair district. My godfather was looking to lease his aircraft for a season.

When Roger bought the aircraft is was registered as G-AXMM and its original owner (if memory serves) was Freddie Wilcox of Autair who acquired the craft back in 1969 making this one of the early 206's.

http://www.airport-data.com/images/aircraft/small/321/321324.jpg (http://www.airport-data.com/aircraft/photo/321324L.html)

G-AXMM 'resting' in the hangar at Luton 4th December 1977 a year or so after being purchased by Roger Woodward.

http://www.abpic.co.uk/images/images/1061105M.jpg (http://javascript<b></b>:popUp('/popup.php?q=1061105'))

Roger re-registered the aircraft to G-ROGR and re-painted it as seen here on 7th July 1984 at Cranfield. ROGR had one of the first sets of 'coloured coded' pop-outs which came into vogue for a short spell during the 80's.


8th Sep 2010, 10:30
according to g-info the aircraft ROGR has been destroyed some years ago.

8th Sep 2010, 15:57
ROGR later became WLLY , G-INFO has dereg date 23/06/06 as Destroyed, the sad accident happened on the 21st December 2005, near Coupar Angus, Tayside, ' the vertical stabiliser detached in flight, causing the tail rotor & associated gearbox to separate', from Griffin Helicopters accident data base.

long box
8th Sep 2010, 16:21
Great pictures of ROGR, I first saw her when she had crashed at Brands Hatch, chasing a car round the track I think, it was then sent by Rod Crook to Canada and re built, it came back looking fantastic, until it fell of a building a few years later and was once again re -built, before running out of fuel on a pleasure flying event and crashing on a golf course, only to be re built again, poor old girl, would love to see any pictures of RODS

Earl of Rochester
8th Sep 2010, 17:04
Great to see the image of G-CHOC as well as those of D-HJFF/G-BTWA.

http://www.abpic.co.uk/images/images/1063491M.jpg (javascript:popUp('/popup.php?q=1063491'))

G-RODS Manchester (Barton) EGCB 28th May 1989 still wearing the colours of the SONY Corporation who sponsored the aircraft while it was registered as G-NOEL. As with ROGR, RODS also wore colour-coded pop-outs.


8th Sep 2010, 17:08
the second first (of course!) You will know I am sure that Freddie Wilcox disappeared to the big bar in the sky two weeks ago. Finally he ran out of steam, and died peacefully in Oxford, RIP. I worked for him in Africa for a few years; absolutely wonderful pilot. Good boss too, on reflection. A gentleman and not so many of those around.

Secondly, and possibly connected. Yes Autair (aka Court Line if you look at G-INFO) bought the aircraft, but the S/N plays games with my (rapidly diminishing) detail-memory. Was this perhaps subsequently the converted-to-206B standard and registered in Zambia as 9J-RIX for the Tazama pipe-line contract? If 'ole' Roy Neep ever read this thread he would correct me I am sure. It was in the days when J P Martin (John Percy to his friends, including Roy - but not me, I was FAR too junior!) was the 'guvnor', Roy also, the late Peter Hooper, and others. And right at the bottom of the pecking order yours truly, who invariably had the 'privilege' of buying the drinks for these icons of the industry to which I had enslaved myself. Man those boys could shift some beer - I HAD to return to the bush to get enough money together to live. :( Expensive if invaluable experience-curve.

Anyway, I digress. I wonder of MM was indeed RIX? Can tell you of one particularly embarrasing incident with her that taught me a lot....... But we've all been there, right? ~ VFR

8th Sep 2010, 21:09
VFR: I wasn't aware that Freddie had recently gone :( RIP as you say.

A gentleman he was and an enterpreneur too!

AXMM and RIX are, I fear, two seperate aircraft. AXMM's serial no. was 405 whereas RIX's was 331. They were however both Bell's (as opposed to Agusta-Bell) and both started out as 'A' models.

Freddie Wilcox is in many ways responsible for me buying a home (which I still keep) in East Africa.


9th Sep 2010, 02:17
So that was the reason for those colours on G-NOEL. Noel flew that into Alton Towers when he was being courted to replace Terry Wogan on the adverts.

Yes, long box, those were good times, and Rod had a thing about rebuilding aircraft, didn't he? I believe Carol's jet is still sitting at Cranfield - wouldn't want to pay the storage fees on that!

Found a piccie of the JCB longranger the other day - will try to remember to post it when I get back out of Dubai.


Earl of Rochester
9th Sep 2010, 06:17
- Paco

When Noel Edmonds bought this 206 (c. 1980) he was presenting a BBC programme called 'Swap Shop'. The show had impressive ratings and largely captured the Saturday morning children's/teens audience. Resultingly, Edmonds had (by the Beeb's standards) a fairly impressive presenter's salary but .. even for a successful presenter the cost of acquiring and operating a helicopter made some significant financial demands.

Edmond's manager set about seeking sponsors to help offset this cost and, with Edmond's contacts in radio and television production, was able to secure sponsorship from Sony UK.

On one occasion when Sony's worldwide president was visiting the UK he came into Battersea from LHR on a McAlpine AS355 when G-NOEL was departing and later made a comment to Sony's UK MD stating: "I didn't realise we had a helicopter here!" Sony's Japanese offices at the time owned several corporate aircraft including helicopters.

When Edmonds up-graded to a Squirrel (G-NOEI) his manager again 'successfully' secured sponsorship, this time from Phillip Morris who were already sponsoring, albeit it indirectly, the Team Lotus JetRanger.

This second sponsorship was not without its problems though as before long negative PR began to surface questioning the 'appropriateness' of Edmond's bold promotion of Phillip Morris' products (in this case Marlboro cigarettes) and, unsurprisingly, the sponsorship offer was soon thereafter declined.

Edmonds, across the years, has been a friend to the helicopter industry (even operating his own charter business at one point) but, as with his career, was dogged with bad luck on a number occasions and which marred his aviation experience.

Of those I've met who knew him - they all say that at the peak of his popularity, and while he was flying about the country in his various aircraft, he was the epitome of a down-to-earth, approachable and affable chap!


G-BCWN purchased from Alan Mann by Noel Edmonds and re-registered to become G-NOEL

http://www.abpic.co.uk/images/images/1077727M.jpg (http://javascript<b></b>:popUp('/popup.php?q=1077727'))

G-NOEI (ex-G-BHIU) at Brands Hatch 6th October 1985 wearing the colours of Edmond's mid-80's sponsor Phillip Morris


9th Sep 2010, 10:44
I had the pleasure of transporting a lot of celebs at Alton, and I can confirm that Noel is indeed an affable chap - as is Terry Wogan and many others, of course. However, the one that really sticks in my mind, though I never met her, was somebody that all the other celebs going into Hold Tight (a Granada TV program that was broadcast from there) said was a thoroughly professional and nice person - Toyah Wilcox.


long box
9th Sep 2010, 10:55
Phil I have haunting memeories of that jet, poor old Lansen, being put down the intake with rope round my feet, paint brush and WD40 to clean the first stage, deep joy, only to discover that Rod had disapeared for lunch in the club house and I was stuck in there. I remember G-NOEL later to be G-RODS being delivered to Lillybrook when Rod purchased her, lovely Jet Ranger in her day, complete with a bar in the back, huge white leather seats and floats! heavy girl

Earl of Rochester
9th Sep 2010, 14:31
Before we entirely depart the subject of Alouettes ..


Commandant Henry Tessier congratulates test pilot Jean Boulet after he successfully broke the world altitiude record on 6 June 1955 achieving a height of 27,000ft in this Alouette II (Serial No. 2).

The previous record was held by a Sikorsky S-59 which achieved a height of 24,500ft on 6 October 1954.


10th Sep 2010, 12:46
Was Thamesdown operating from near Swindon towards the end ?I seem to recall the heli Museum collecting some battered JetRanger fuselages from a field near there a few years ago.

long box
10th Sep 2010, 13:39
Thamesdown were always based at Lyneham, I think Rod Crook has sinced move on, G-ROGR became G-WLLY and G-RODS is stil flying, not sure what happened to G-NORM, but Rod always had bits of Jet Rangers laying around, like the tail boom from Gaddaffis Jet Ranger that ended up on ROGR! so it is very likely

10th Sep 2010, 14:16
G-WLLY crashed when the vertical fin detached in flight, sadly killing it's 2 occupants.
The AAIB report states :
"The aircraft was constructed in 1969 and had experienced
a chequered history, being involved in a number of
incidents and two major rebuilds. At some stage it had
gained a tail boom of uncertain provenance, which served
to highlight a potentially confusing situation with the
Maintenance Manual, in that the method used to attach
the vertical fin varied according to the serial number of
the airframe, as opposed to that of the tail boom."
It makes a worrying read.


10th Sep 2010, 14:19
on G-INFO as canx as destroyed, date 26/11/84, if you go to www.eglb.org.uk (http://www.eglb.org.uk), gives info on Helicopter operations at Brooklands, and give details of the history of NORM and the accident, and also details of other JR's, LR's etc.

Earl of Rochester
11th Sep 2010, 09:02
And ... while still withdrawing from the Alouette, Lama, Air Glaciers topic; this clip: Extreme Flight with Lama - Video (http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1479704/extreme_flight_with_lama/) involving the skills of ex-Air Glaciers pilot Bernd van Doornick who has logged over 22,000 hours and is credited with being involved in the rescue of more than 5,000 people.

It's hard not to appreciate the 315's 'grunt' when you see Bernd introducing power for the vertical assent!

The Lama still holds (I think) the world altitude record when, in 1972, a 315 took over the title from its younger brother, the Alouette II, by reaching a height of 41,000ft


Skeeter Pilot
11th Sep 2010, 23:11
Forgive me if I didn't read your post correctly but .. didn't G-SARO make the air display circuit across the UK for a bit?

Yes she did. Francis taught me to fly the Skeeter and I solo'd in G-SARO (XL-812) in 1995. We flew the Skeeters all over the country, Francis' last air display was in G-SARO at the Lowestoft Air Show in 1995, the year before he died. I have his last flight on video, he was flying G-APOI (the only civilian registered Skeeter) which we had restored over a 13 year period. I continued to fly his Skeeters for several years after his death.


15th Sep 2010, 19:37
The history of G-AWGU is to be detailed in the Ferranti Helicopters tribute site (due 2011) but until then ..

http://cache2.asset-cache.net/xc/77471192.jpg?v=1&c=NewsMaker&k=2&d=77BFBA49EF878921E86F5CE8BE5D78FB371F7A6C7CB436ABAD62DDBE2D 5B06D16A9CB537790E60C4

G-AWGU 30th August 1969 at Wootton, Isle of Wight, on charter to Track Records delivering musician Roger Daltrey of 'The Who' to the Isle of Wight Festival.

Earl of Rochester
16th Sep 2010, 06:18

King Housein of Jordan reviews this Alouette III at the Rayak Air Base in Lebanon on 12th September 1962. Seated in the back (with moustache) is the Lebanese Defence Minister Majed Arslan.


Earl of Rochester
7th Oct 2010, 07:12
The decline of Belgium's national flag carrier Sabena was another sorry chapter in European aviation - given the company's long and interesting background which included, to a modest degree, helicopter operations:


Bell 47-D1 OO-UBA landing in downtown Brussels in the early 1950's.


S-51 1B OO-CWA operating in the Belgian Congo between 1951-1955. The aircraft was thereafter bought by Westland.


S-55 OO-SHA at Mesbroek in the mid 1950's.


S-55 OO-SHB departing Melsbroek. SHB flew with Sabena from August 1953 to October 1956.


Alouette II OO-SHV bought by Sabena in 1957 and operated in the Belgian Congo as OO-CWH returning to Belgium in June 1959 as OO-SHV and leaving the Sabena helicopter fleet in 1968. The aircraft was used for trials and service in medical rescue operations.

[Also .. because IFR hoods were not available in those days and in order to familiarise pilots with basic IFR conditions (for purposes of preparing crews for inadvertant entry to IMC) the helicopter was left out overnight and then used for early morning sorties while the condensation was still intact! (Not! ;))]


OO-SHV departing Brussels 'Allee Verte' heliport in 1962.


Boeing Vertol V-44 N74057 leased from Boeing for operations during the Brussels Exposition between April and October 1958.


S-62A N976 leased from United Aircraft and used by Sabena as an evaluation aircraft between May 1960 and February 1961.


Boeing 707-329 OO-SJB at Zaventem 1960. Sadly, this aircraft was to be involved in a nasty incident at Berg on 15th February 1961 killing 61 passengers and 11 crew. Sliced in this shot is, I think, an S-58.


MBB BK117-A3 OO-XCY sponsored by Sabena in 1989 for air medical rescue operations and operated by Heli Samu.


ps: Do we have any Rotorheads from Belgium?

13th Oct 2010, 21:01
To Savoia -

I am especially curious to discover the identity of the Sycamore pilot in the grey coveralls with the tache (moustache) at 1:16 in the clip. There is something vaguely familiar about him!

It might be Pete Wilson - evidently Bristol, then Westland.

Of Charles Hughesdon...........did meet his pilot however, on several occasions at Brooklands. I recall he was a slightly tall and slender chap, politely spoken and in the early 80's was starting to grey.

That was probably Geoff Cocks.

To vfr440 -
I was CE at Manns

Do I know you? Does 'Chip Bath' mean anything to you?

Re. G-NOEL, I had the pleasure of conducting the 1200hr inspection that turned 'WN into 'EL. Complete with painting the instrument panel and circuit breaker panel a light beige to match the new interior (and having all the edge-lit and breaker panels re-engraved) what a nightmare.

14th Oct 2010, 07:15
TRC: Well done that man! :D

When I saw the pilot exiting the Sycamore in this clip HELICOPTER PARTY - British Pathe (http://www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=807) I instantly knew he looked familiar and, lo and behold, thanks to TRC we've identified it was Pete Wilson, ex-Bristol test pilot.

Pete Wilson

"Peter Wilson served in India and Burma during WWII. He was an Army pilot, one of six to be selected to be trained on helicopters in November 1946 on Sikorsky Hoverfly 1’s. An Experimental Flight for trials with the Army was formed using Hoverfly 2’s in April 1947, ceasing Operations in January 1948.

In December 1948, Peter Wilson was appointed the Army Test Pilot at the Airborne Forces Experimental Establishment (AFEE) at RAF Beaulieu in Hampshire. In September 1950 he became the first Army Helicopter Test Pilot at the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment (A&AEE) at Boscombe Down.

He voluntarily retired from the Army and joined the Bristol Aeroplane Company as a Test Pilot at Filton, Bristol. He was involved in Testing all the Bristol Helicopters, and was heavily involved with the Sycamore and Belvedere.

In 1960 Bristol Helicopters were taken over by Westland Aircraft. During his time with Westland, he flew the SA330 Puma, SA341 Gazelle and the Seaking. He continued to fly at Yeovil until 26th August 1974. In all 25 years as a Military and Civil Helicopter Test Pilot. He was awarded the Queen’s Award for Valuable Services in the Air on January 1st 1974".

While looking up about Pete, who visited my home together with my godfather on numerous occasions during my childhood, I also came across details of a certain Charles Hosegood aka 'Sox' who was another good friend of my godfather. If memory serves .. Sox, Pete and my godfather regularly got up to no good!

Sox Hosegood

"During the war Charles “Sox” Hosegood served in the Fleet Air Arm,being appointed to the first armed merchant cruiser to be fitted with a catapult. He was among the first British helicopter pilots during the latter stages of World War 2 to be sent for helicopter training in the USA.

On his return to the UK in mid-1944, he served with various experimental units and on loan to the RAF at Beaulieu,where the Experimental Unit originated.

He joined the Bristol Aeroplane Co in 1948,to assist in helicopter test and development. “Sox” became the Chief Helicopter Test Pilot soon after the start of the development of the Sycamore.

After perfecting the Sycamore as the first British certified helicopter,he flew many hours in the company’s Mk.3 demonstrator (popularly known by its last two registration letters “SX” before going on to test the tandem-rotor Type 173 (the first British twin-engine helicopter) and the Type 192 Belvedere.

The Belvedere, a forerunner of the modern Chinook tandem rotor helicopter, was designed after the BAC Helicopter Division relocated to Weston-super-Mare and was first flown at the local airfield in 1957 by ’ Sox’. He displayed XG447 at the Farnborough show in 1958".

My godfather flew as a test pilot with both Bristol and Westlands on a wide variety of aircraft including the Sycamore and type 192 Belvedere.

There is a photo (Aug 2004) of Pete and Sox at the Helicopter Museum checking up on a Belvedere restoration project but the image has refused to load but can be seen here: Restoration of Bristol 192 Belvedere, XG452, Page 2 (http://www.hmfriends.org.uk/restorbelvpge2.htm)

It seems Pete Wilson passed away earlier this year. RIP dear friend. He was always very kind to me as a young boy taking considerable time to explain in 'childspeak' the novelty of helicopters.

Also ... 1953 in Switzerland ...

"19 September - The Bristol Sycamore Mk. 4 G-AMWI piloted by Peter Wilson arrives in Switzerland from England for a series of de-monstrations. During the trials, organized in the period between the 21th and the 27th of September, the helicopter flies people and goods, and takes part in an exercise organized by the Swiss life-saving society on the lake of Thun. The last day of the de-monstration Wilson lands on the Sanetschpass at an height of 2'000 meters, where a power line is being built".

Photo of the visit by AMWI to Switzerland can be see here: heli-archive.ch: 1947 - 1960 (http://www.heli-archive.ch/index.php?id=71&L=1)

On the same page can be seen a photo of Alan Bristow flying an S-51 G-AJHW on helicopter trials. Alan and my godfather flew together in Antartica.


Photo of the type 192 signed by Sox. Full size photo can be seen here: Sox+Hosegood+bristol+173.jpg (image) (http://bp0.blogger.com/_YhGsknrK8Io/R-zJJVHtkOI/AAAAAAAACOM/YfEoGdABmik/s1600-h/Sox+Hosegood+bristol+173.jpg)

TRC - again my thanks.


ps: Tried posting images of both Pete and Sox but they failed - PPRuNe's forum software seems to be deleting anything with the words ' b l o g s p o t'.

However, for those who are keen, re-type the following link into your url: http://thetartanterror.********.com/2006_06_01_archive.html .. but substituting the asterisks for the word b l o g s p o t (without the spaces of course)

14th Oct 2010, 10:03
Sox is still around ......and still occasionally playing golf when I last spoke to him !

Earl of Rochester
14th Oct 2010, 16:23
Re. G-NOEL, I had the pleasure of conducting the 1200hr inspection that turned 'WN into 'EL. Complete with painting the instrument panel and circuit breaker panel a light beige to match the new interior (and having all the edge-lit and breaker panels re-engraved) what a nightmare.

Well done! :D Out of interest how did you re-engrave the breaker panel? These used to be a grey colour, not sure if I have seen a 'colour-coded' circuit breaker panel in a 206 before!


G-BCWN before TRC got his hands on it

http://www.abpic.co.uk/images/images/1063491M.jpg (http://redirectingat.com/?id=42X487496&xs=1&url=http%3A%2F%2Fjavascript%253cb%253e%253c%2Fb%253E%3ApopUp ('%2Fpopup.php%3Fq%3D1063491')&sref=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.pprune.org%2Frotorheads%2F419023-haven-rotary-nostalgia-posts-g-taly-11.html)

BCWN after TRC's TLC!

TRC - do you have any photos of G-NOEL after you performed the re-fit. Also, as I recall, she wore colour-coded pop-outs?

Perhaps Geoffers also delivered BCWN's sister ship BCWM (below) from Italy?


14th Oct 2010, 16:52
I don't remember the timing of the skid change on TALY, but I do recall fitting no end of gadgets to her - dual wipers, sun visors, autopilot, etc, none of which were common mods at the time.
I also remember the inside of the P2 screen being scratched to bu99ery by His Lordship's boots - he'd put his feet up on the de-fog nozzle in flight, so Ken whatsit told us.

The re-engraving was fairly simple once we found someone who could do it. It started off when we made our own edge-lit switch panels, e.g. Fuel valve, Hyd on-off, etc. Having made and drilled the new perspex plate it was first given several coats of 'special' paint in the desired colour of the writing. Then several more coats of the finish colour. A specialist engraver would then cut the wording through the top colour but not disturbing the base colour. Simple. We did the c/b panel the same way but it wasn't lit.

NOEL was also a flying accessory brochure - the first in the UK with a cow-catcher (wire-cutter), an illuminated T/R G-box sight glass, colour co-ordinated float covers, to name a few.
Don't have any photos - didn't take them in those days.

I don't remember whether Geoff delivered both N & M, they were close together I know - a week at the most, so I doubt it.
I remember writing a large 'WM' or 'WN' inside all the cowlings as they were all off at the same time as soon as we got them. We had to take them apart to see why they were working - brand new or not.

Hope this helps.

14th Oct 2010, 17:13
I've just looked back at the photos of TALY, and I am ashamed to admit that it's me doing the unmentionable thing to her (no idea what though) in post 135. I'm also looking in the P2 door a couple of pictures later.
I look like something out of Fleetwood Mac.

Love Geoff's flares - he looks about 15. Those WERE the days, apparently.

14th Oct 2010, 21:17
TRC: Out of curiosity do you happen to know the principal variations between the early Bell and Agusta 206s? My understanding is that aside from being slightly heavier the Agusta 206s used a different paint finish to the Bell factory and applied a rain gutter (eventually added by Bell) over the doors. But there may have been other adjustments?

Geoff Cocks: Anyone with information about Geoff Cocks (Charles Hughesdon's pilot?) and what happened to him post Tradewinds would be appreciated.

N2221W: Came across this image the other day:

http://www.abpic.co.uk/images/images/1029287M.jpg (http://javascript<b></b>:popUp('/popup.php?q=1029287'))

During Royal Ascot week (1981) this aircraft was used by Bell as a demonstrator. Bell teamed up with Hascombe Aviation (Martyn Fiddler) who ran the Ascot heliport and agreed to ferry a string of passengers out of Battersea and other London locations to showcase the 222.

Fairly early on during day one of the exercise LHR instructed N2221W's pilot to contact them by phone upon landing at Battersea - which he duly did. He was told not to fly the aircraft any further! The problem .. Bell's pilot (I believe it was their Chief Pilot) was straggling across the helicopter routes in a fashion unacceptable to LHR. It was either ground the aircraft or recruit a pilot familiar with the routes, r/t protocol and standard navigation procedures around London!

Martyn Fiddler asked my godfather if he would help out, which he did, launching to Battersea in BA's 206 G-AWGU. He then spent the entire week flying the 222 with Bell's CP making sure the craft conformed with the norminal ordinances applicable to navigating in and around London.

A thank you lunch was arranged for my godfather at the end of the event at which, as a young boy, I got to meet Bell's CP at the Copthorne Hotel near LGW.

At the time the episode was slightly embarrassing for Bell and probably hasn't been re-told that frequently but, my godfather and the Bell team hit it off pretty well and remained in contact for some time afterwards when those involved would reminisce with humour Bell's blunder!

Terrible trivia I know. My apologies.


14th Oct 2010, 22:53
I recall doing the pre-delivery bull$hit on this one. The gold lining was real gold leaf. Every - and I mean EVERY - external screw was replaced with a brand new cad-plated one and this included the old-type pan pop-out floats with a million screws a side. The exhaust stacks were removed and polished. The fuel filler cap and pitot were gold plated, as were the Agusta-Bell name plates - except the first time they dissolved in the acid pre-treatment. She looked like a new pin.

I went to the aid of Col. Bob Smith on the occasion of the engine run-down. It was caused by a fractured P2 air pipe - not quite as described as carrying the fuel-air mixture, but as important to an Alllison in terms of it staying running. The other pilot in wellies was the late John Ackroyd-Hunt.
I also had to do a turbine change in Austria with a colleague - JS - after much trial and tribulation, we ended up doing a ground run with Col. Smith in bare feet - can't remember why, but there must have been a reason. (More about him later).

Peter Cadbury
Not convinced his reg was G-CHOC - although it seems reasonable. His 206 came in for a 50 hour check "hardly flown it since the last one, old boy".
Finding fuel chits and landing fee receipts in the pilots door pocket dated for days that he 'hadn't flown' - awkward phone call miraculously jogged the memory. Suddenly, hours flown since the last check had almost doubled.
The engineer with the burned coat - nylon, not a duffel as previously reported - was Nick Thake.

Originally operated and maintained by Mann at Fairoaks.Probably the best paint scheme of the time. Standard Bell 206B pattern, but the colours were milk chocolate brown and a burnt orange on white (yes, very 70's) looked fantastic.

Lt. Col. Bob Smith etc.

When I worked at Battersea, the afore-mentioned Colonel was night stopping and the tower ordered him a taxi.
After about half an hour, nothing had turned up so I offered to take him to the hotel on my motor bike. He agreed, so off we set. He in his full pilot's uniform complete with Cavalry Officer's pattern cap, white gloves and nav bag (pre helmet laws).
We arrived at the Waldorf in the West End and the horrified doorman - all clawhammer coat and top hat was ordered by the Col. to look after the bike. I was told to give my helmet to an astonished reception person - similarly ordered by Smith to "look after the bonnet" (he was from Scotland).
We then processed upstairs where the Col. now ordered drinks from an astounded waiter. When the drinks arrived, were duly paid for and the waiter returned with the change. The Col. whipped the coins off the tray like a gas meter reader leaving about 10p tip (I did say he was Scottish). The waiter retired hurt.
By the time the Col. had returned to the heliport in the morning, someone, had replaced the exhaust blanks on his 206 with a 38DD brassiere. Oh how we laughed.

I have another very funny Lt. Col. Bob Smith story, but I don't think I should recount it here.

I can't comment on the difference in paint finish between Bell and Agusta, but there were minor constructional differences. The gutter as you say, a hinged rather than a 'fall-off-and-hang-by-the-wires' circuit breaker panel, a removable panel under the baggage compartment, hand-sewn leather covers on the Hyd Servo pipes and probably some things I can't think of.

My brain hurts now.

If I think of anything else, I'll report.

Oh, I have an apochryphal story about Sox Hosegood. Not sure if it's true, but bloody funny none-the-less.

15th Oct 2010, 21:48
Just had to jump in again ... ah the gentle, gentle flyer ... Geoff Cox. My log book shows, and having just left the service, I made my first ever rotary flight with Geoff at Fairoaks on March 23rd 1973. (Enstrom G-BALT) If you are out there Geoff ... how about a game of golf for old times sake.

Then Sox Hosegood. A bit later, I tried to persuade the SWEB unit at Lulsgate Bottom to use the Enstrom for their power line inspections. Sox wasn't at all impressed with the heavy handling of the collective, so my pitch was a failure.

Anyone know any history of B206 G-BBEG?

Dennis Kenyon.

15th Oct 2010, 22:09

BBEG Bell 206A S/N 442 New 1969 ex N2221N

Alan Mann 30/07/73 to 08/11/73,
Graysbrook Leasing Ltd, Guilford, later Shoreham Airport. 08/11/73 to 02/12/74
then what looks like, Shirelade Ltd., Berkshire, 12/12/74 to 26/04/76
then to France, as F-BXSU.:)

Earl of Rochester
16th Oct 2010, 07:17
http://www.abpic.co.uk/images/images/1256804M.jpg (http://javascript<b></b>:popUp('/popup.php?q=1256804'))

MBB Bo 105 DBS, G-BNPS, BHX (Birmingham), 7 February 1988

Thought I'd drop this into the mix as it were. Although at BHX this was evidently one of the first aircraft for the Sussex Police. Am wondering whether Dennis tried selling one of the Enstroms to Sussex in the early days?


16th Oct 2010, 20:01
Thanks E of R ... Yes I did ... and very hard wth some minor success. 'Twas around 1974 when, if I recall correctly, no UK police force had a helicopter ASU. So, as part of my sales campaign, I headed off first to Kidlington and then to Glascow to demonstrate the Enstrom type to the Strathclyde police force and then to Thames Valley at Oxford where I demonstrated to the Chief Constable who went by the name of 'Big Gee' ... being a Mr Gregory.

Neither units took up helicopters at that time, but almost immediately John Crewdson of Helicopter Hire, Southend, gained an interest from the London Metropolitan police. I was asked to demonstrate the type ... the overweight F28A in those days ... being G-BBRS I think. BRS for my boss Betram Roy Spooner of Spooner Aviation, Shoreham. The Met took up a contract with John Crewdson's company and I was tasked with doing some of the early flying. I have a pic of G-BBRS flying along the Thames with the POLICE logo. In 1976 I used the more powerful 'turbo' 280C Shark, G-BENO. I think the Met may have been the first force to use a helicopter full time.

Later I was tasked direct by the Surrey Police at Mount Browne, Guildford to fly an IR search mission and succeeded in locating a lost toddler very late in the evening at Farnham. I actually landed alongside the traffic lights on the crossroads in the centre of the town, having been instructed to do so by my police officer passenger who flashed his 'Home Office' authority card to make the landing legal. Having seen the site recently, a landing wouldn't be sensible now.

Then of course the big twins came on the scene, B222s at Luppitts Hill so no more use of an Enstrom piston single. I know Starspeed's, David Voy did much police flying while with Helicopter Hire and once suffered an engine-out over London. Being a good autorotator (both pilot and helicopter) Dave put the machine down safely and undamaged in the congested area. We are talking about the mid to late 1970s here.

The best known police users of Enstroms were the Pasadena Police who were staunch operators of the Enstrom marque using the type from the 1970s right up to a few years ago, maybe they still do. Nick Agusta was the CP in those days and put 10,000 hours on an Enstrom 28C-2 model.

I know ... I'm a mine of useless information! (but this is a nostalgia post)

Dennis Kenyon.

17th Oct 2010, 07:34

I've read the whole thing now and can fill in some gaps.

TRC: Bravo that man for trawling through twelve pages of trivia (albeit fairly interesting trivia!).

WIZZ - I didn't really have much involvement with this craft but, Geoffersincornwall who, I am assuming must be a former colleague of yours, delivered her from Frosinone along with TALY. WIZZ was originally bought by Monks Builders in Sheffield who owned her from '77 to '82 and I'm guessing it was Monks' owner who requested all the detail you mentioned. For most of her early life she was distinguishable (as my 'wingman' on this thread, The Earl of Rochester, mentioned in an earlier post) by the fact that she was one of the UK's first 206's to be fitted with high skids.

AYTF - Thanks for the clarification on the cause of the engine failure and .. thanks for trudging up to Norfolk with John Akroyd-Hunt (RIP) to 'rescue' me and the Col! I did make a thorough inspection of the engine that morning (promise) although I was only 13 (which would have made this 1980) but had been taught by Ferranti Helicopters engineer John Froud how to DI a 206 at age 10. Needless to say I had to use steps for everything - even to check the t/r! It was an interesting event - Col. Bob was totally engrossed with maps which, at the time of the failure, obscured his forward field of view entirely. I recall the sequence of events pretty well. First a yaw in the aircraft, then the sound of the C20 winding down and finally the engine out pips via the caution warning. Within about a second of feeling the yaw Col. Bob had dispensed with the maps and lowered the collective. Mercifully - there was a fairly large newly ploughed field ahead of us and that's where you would have found us! I remember Bob telling the Savage (I think) that the furrows in the field were quite deep and that you would be better bringing a high gear 206 but .. you and JAH arrived in a 206 with 'shorts' if I remember rightly. How the heck did you move the 'Dancer' (as G-AYTF was known) onto a low-loader because, from what I recall, no semi would have been able to access that field?

CHOC - She really was registered G-CHOC and, courtesy of Helipixman, here is the evidence:


Peter Cadbury's 206 G-CHOC

I recall my godfather telling me about the engineer who got his coat burnt by PTC 'Peter the Cad' so its good to have a name to that incident from so long ago. Poor Nick Thake! Col. Bob knew Peter pretty well. Peter was, by his own admission, a difficult bugger to get along with but, Col. Bob always had a kind word for him and found him to be an amusing an interesting character. God rest his soul.

Btw, do you happen to know if it was Manfred Mann who re-painted D-HMAC when it was re-registered as G-CHOC?

D-HMAC before it became G-CHOC

BBBM - My godfather had names for everything and everyone, it was one of his many quirks which came to be known as 'Colonelisms'! This particular aircraft he would refer to as the 'Brave Brave Black Man' sincerely speaking - I don't know how he came up with that! BBBM was first bought by a client in Sussex in '73 then operated by Mann's during '74 and sold on to another customer in '75. At some point BM's owner (and I think it was a chap by the name of Bob Woods who went on to be one of Col. Bob's loyal clients in the post-Ferranti years) had my godfather manage the aircraft and so she entered the Ferranti stable at Gatwick for a season.

While with Ferranti this is how she looked:

http://ic2.pbase.com/o3/64/252464/1/107431072.pk7iuW5C.000114.jpg (http://www.pbase.com/fanjetuk/assorted_aircraft_pix&page=6)

G-BBBM at Biggin Hill 15th September 1973: Worked on by Rotorhead TRC and managed for a season by Ferranti Helicopters

COL. BOB - Well this man pretty much changed my life as, after my parents were divorced (when I was 8) he played a significant role in my up bringing (if you can call it that!). My godfather was a character, as you may recall, and in the end became mildly controversial for his somewhat unorthodox lifestyle choices! He was though an impeccable 'Army gentleman' with an eye for detail, fiercely loyal to his friends and a man of good will and good humour! Thanks for getting him in one piece to the Waldorf!

The Ferranti Group kept a permanent suite at the Waldorf for a good many years and I'm guessing that's were he would have gone. As I recall, it had a small spare bedroom annex where I stayed on a number of occasions. The last of these visits (for me) must have been around 1980/81. The Col. had been asked to drop a client at Stansted and we were using Jock Cameron's mount G-AWGU (the BA 206). We uplifted Bob's client from the Copthorne Hotel (near Gatwick) and proceeded to STN. After crossing into Essex the weather deteriorated noticeably so that most of the time we were flying in IMC (I do recall GU having the Schermuly flares fitted because Bob was the one who had recommended them to Jock) and it was also fitted with Decca's DANAC moving map navigator.

Whether we were classified as IFR or whether the Col. managed to convince the controllers at STN to let him in on a special I just don't know - what I do recall is arriving at STN in pitch black, in torrential rain and with a thoroughly sodden Martyn Fiddler standing on the apron to receive the pax. Martyn shouted a few words in Bob's ear trying to convince him to sleep over at Stansted but no .. there was an important dinner to attend in the city and so, to Martyn's disbelief we disappeared into the blackness and rain heading for Battersea.

Like many of the rotary characters from the early days, Bob was a determined type and having placed his dinner jacket and patent leather shoes in the baggage compartment there was no way he was going to miss his function!

By the time we approached North London the cloud began to break-up and the city became visible. I think we joined the Thames somewhere around HMS Belfast (perhaps just to the West of her) and the short cruise (around 8pm) to Battersea above the city lights seemed somewhat surreal after the noise and buffeting of rain and cloud during the previous 20 mins or so.

We wafted down to a dark and closed Battersea where I was assigned the job of putting on the overnight covers. When eventually we reached the Waldorf and Bob headed off for his function I was able to call my Mum who was beside herself with concern as apparently a couple of hours before we landed at Stansted a Hughes 300 had ploughed into the ground in the same weather system we had battled!

There are indeed numerous stories involving Col. Bob but, as you say, many of them cannot be recounted in public but, you might wish to send me a PM!

In the meantime please do regail us with the apocryphal story about Sox!!!

* * *

DENNISIMO: I am of course the last person to be amazed that you knew Geoff Cocks - this is afer all the de-facto Dennis Kenyon nostalgia thread! ;)

Dear friend, your knowledge of all the people and aircraft which surface here only endorses your place as one of Britain's 'helicopter heros' and of whom we are all fiercely proud!

Dennis, as I understand it, you flew planks in the Forces - are you to tell me that your first ever rotary wing foray was with Geoff in an Enstrom? How prophetic - given that you were to become 'Mr Enstrom' in the UK!

Was this the craft?

http://www.abpic.co.uk/images/images/1035805M.jpg (http://javascript<b></b>:popUp('/popup.php?q=1035805'))

Enstrom F-28A, G-BALT, seen at Shoreham 25th July 1979

Out of curiosity, who first trained you to fly helicopters, on which type and what was your first assignment upon achieving a CPL(H) - did you start out with Roy Spooner?


Dennisimo at the World Helicopter Championships in Eisenach, 2008

http://cdn-www.airliners.net/aviation-photos/middle/0/5/1/1565150.jpg (http://www.pprune.org/photo/Schweizer-300C-(269C)/1565150/L/&sid=38653bbc5416853b7f468a953a92dbb1)

DK in London (last year)

And ... something else which may russtle up a memory or two for the Menace!

http://www.abpic.co.uk/images/images/1035806M.jpg (http://javascript<b></b>:popUp('/popup.php?q=1035806'))

Enstrom F-28C, G-BBBR, Shoreham 25th July 1979

Seemed only fair having included G-BBBM!



18th Oct 2010, 16:03
So I am looking to see if anybody flew G-LRII a 206 Long ranger back in the 80's, when it was working for TAL-AIR?

I know it ended up going back to the US after its time here but it would be great to find out more about G-LRII while it was here in England.

Many thanks in advance :ok:

P.S I have picture of it when it had mainly a white body and light and dark blue strips if that helps

18th Oct 2010, 21:16
Hi 'S' .... just to answer your queries ... The G-BALT piccy of the F28A was indeed the machine I learned on circa 1973 with Bill (Norman) Bailey DFM. That's obviously the Norman Senior. Bill was contracted to Spooner Aviation at Shoreham to run our Enstrom flying school - mainly for Enstrom purchasers since part of the deal for sales was the purchase price included the cost of the PPL. She was £22,500 new in those days and how well I recall my quirky sales advert of an Enstrom sailing above an M1 traffic jam with the caption ... "Aren't you above all that.' It sure worked 'cos I sold 138 Enstroms from 1973 to 1982 when I left Shoreham to start my company, Skyline Helicopters at Booker. I remember your visit with Col Bob about 1983 was it?

In the early 1972 I held a fixed wing ATPL (being ex service) so all I needed in those days was 300 hours rotary, then 1200 hours for the ATPL(H). No exams at all but there was a CPL flight test which was done with Don Sissons at Redhill. (another 1970s name.) My first attempt at a full stop EOL missed the training square target so Don allowed me a second go. I missed again to which he said "Is this type a difficult machine to autorotate?" Knowing he had zilch hours on type I suggested he had a go when he promply plonked the bloody thing down absolutely dead centre. But he passed me. The PPL (H) course then was 35 hours for a CAA approved school so 30 hours for a fixed wing licence holder.

I got my CPL by flying the 300 hours on the Enstrom in my ten months ... entirely sales demonstrations. Spoonair then had an 'Approved Operations Manual' to carry out public transport work. (no AOCs then!) A Spoonair subsidiary was 'Air Taxis International' and if you see pictures of Enstrom 280, G-BENO you will see the ATI logo and word print on both doors. Log book check shows my first public transport flight was to Battersea in Feb 1974 on Bell 206, G-BBEG.

Here's a final quirk. About 1974 or 75, I found myself sitting in the Shoreham clubroom one Sunday afternoon but it may have been a Saturday. I suddenly remarked to one of the pilots, Its Grand Prix day at Silverstone so why don't we fly up and watch the race. We jumped into the Enstrom and 45 mins later landed in the centre of Silverstone where we met Pat Moss on her little two seat Bolkow fixed wing. No pre-arrival clearance, no PPR, we just went and watched and didn't even get charged admission!!!! Not even sure if there was a Silverstone radio then.

Last time I flew in professionally would have been 1993 when after a squillion holding orbits at the horse racing track, I was told by Dave Ward .. you're number seventeen to land. Happy days!

18th Oct 2010, 21:38
Oh ... I forgot. In the 1970s Spoonair used the Enstrom 28C fitted out as an Ag machine ... Spoonair Ag Services. I flew for Plant Protection (ICI) for the first year until we called in specialist Ag pilots from New Zealand. By then we had three Ag helis, G-BBBR, G-BCOT and .... (my memory has failed me) I still have the sales movie I made 'tho, (no videos in those days) of G-BBBR on chemical calibration and demonstration flying at Shoreham Airport and the nearby Harris Farm of 1,000 acres where I must have dumped a ton of Nitram for fetilizer and Maneb for the spuds. But we did sell an Ag Enstrom to Turkey and three to Greece. Also used the machine for Dry application using the Agrinautics 3600 gear and a Vicon Hopper (Even pinched some for my lawn at home and never stopped mowing three times a week for the rest of the year!)For a while we tried the ULV and CDA systems (one pint an acre) but never found a single customer.

Our Chief Ag Pilot was the venerable Bishop Bill Izzard, (Ex B-Cal S-61 G-LINK - LHR-LGW) ... also those two wonderful New Zealanders, Dave Cook and Derek Alexander. Anyone know of Dave C (Derek is sadly RIP) We used to spray at £4 an acre then and I often managed 100 acres an hour. Good money but we were also competing with David Dollar, Heli-Scott oop North and more than a few others.

Call for more 1970s trivia anytime ... Dennis Kenyon.

19th Oct 2010, 09:09
Dennis, I remember the '70s spraying days only too well. I was 'oop-North' with Heli-Scot and 2 x Hiller 12Es, and in addition to yourself, $$ and others (especially Management Avn, subsequently Bond) who were extreme competition especially in the Borders area. Lucky you to get £4/acre - those Scottish farmers wouldn't go a half-penny above £3.50 :( However there were two unfailing benefits to the work, the Scottish falling-down water, and the Azulex (Azulam?) spraying for bracken at the end of August. Pure unbridled legal low flying and the chemical absolutely NOT toxic. As opposed to some of the other stuff with an organo-phospherous content - nerve gas to those who are unfamiliar with the product!!

However, it was hard work. Flying super early (at first light) before the wind got up, IF all was OK. But the trials and tribulations of having the support crew and truck at teh same location (no Sat Navs then!!), then the spray gear would go U/S; or the helicopter would. Or both and the wind would turn to a howling rainstorm. I've been on Rannoch Moor, abandoned by everybody, with stair-rods for rain (and Hiller doors don't keep much rain out either I discovered) and the final absurdity, of a seagull blown in from the West Coast, that landed on, and put its beak under its wing and quit flying for the day. What ever did we think we could achieve?:{

Now you understand the fondness for the Scottish falling-down water. One final remembered moment. West Coast of Scotland, somewhere South of Oban on a rainy day in May or June. We pitch up for the night at a very definitely up-market Country/Golf club establishement. Tie the machine down and enter the foyer, "When does the bar close?" I ask. "End of October" was the reply...........!

More Fred Slippage there but it IS nostalgia, and sadly those of today do not have the opportunities to enjoy (?) such frivolity. Safe flying, ~ VFR

Earl of Rochester
19th Oct 2010, 19:02
There are very few images available online of G-LRII, in fact the only two I could find were, 1) via NA3T at RGS Group of Companies ? G-LRII | TransportPhotos.com (http://www.transportphotos.com/air/photo/MS00341-2) and which needs a scan request and 2) via MAR at Military Aviation Review (http://www.mar.co.uk/photo-list.asp?category=13&Sort=Registration&Limit=100&Start=40200) available as a purchase at a cost of £1!

The aircraft's history seems to have been:

May 1979: Delivered to CSE
August 1979: Deliveed to Castle Air
1986: Carroll Industries/Aircraft
1991: Air Hanson (prior to re-sale back to the US)

I'm assuming that Carroll Industries/Aircraft (London and Farnborough) must have been the holding company for Tal-Air?

Either way, LRII must have been one of the first LongRangers in the country preceeded from what I can tell by G-BFAL which, I think, was the very first.

LRII did have a sister ship of sorts, an L3 named G-LIII:


Bell 206L3 G-LIII seen at Air Hanson's maintenance hangar at Brooklands, 30th March 1983. Paco's G-JLBI (Alton Towers) Long Ranger in the background

20th Oct 2010, 05:43
British Car Auctions had a LongRanger, about 1980? Early one with the C20B engine and water/alcohol (in a tank in the baggage compartment)
to augment power (or lower TOT) for take-off. It'd be G-?BCA and TRC would know the answer ~ VFR

20th Oct 2010, 10:07
Thanks for that, here is the only pic I have of G-LRII that maybe that will help shed some more light on it, plus its possiable I might have the reg wrong as you can see from the pic I really only have the last three letters:}


long box
20th Oct 2010, 12:55
I think the straight L you are thinking of is G-OLDN, formerly G-TBCA, I owned her for a while, I have her in my log book for many hundreds of hours, I have a huge admiration for the straight L, the odd day in the Summer, she struggles a little, we took the water injection out to save weight and space as we hardly used it. I still look after her now and it flies beautifully

20th Oct 2010, 14:15
Earl, VFR, Long Box .. you are all in fact correct - as explained below:

Heli56 the registration is correct as are the details proffered by Earl on this aircraft. Hopefully someone who flew LRII can give us a few stories.

While LRII was an early LongRanger, it was not the first in the UK.

The UK's first LongRanger was delivered to Ferranti Helicopters in April of 1977. My godfather ordered the aircraft through CSE on behalf of his client an Egyptian businessman called Mohamed Fayed (later to become known as Sheikh Mohamed Al Fayed).

Mr Fayed had been a loyal Ferranti client since 1972 and, inspired by what he experienced with Ferranti once told my godfather "I might start a helicopter business of my own". That was to take some time but in early '77 my godfather sold Mr Fayed his first helicopter a Bell 206, G-BAKX, which had been bought, if I recall correctly, from a builders outfit.

Mohamed Fayed saw the Bell publicity for the 206L in my godfather's office at Gatwick just weeks after having placed his order for G-BAKX and promptly added the LongRanger to the order. The aircraft was registered as G-BFAL and wore pale yellow and light metallic brown over white.

There are photos of my godfather (Col. Smith) and myself with BFAL at Farnborough '78 and at the home of Sy Rose who used to host a Farnborough 'after party' for rotary wingers. These images are at Martyn Fiddler's office at Stansted and which I need to have scanned next time I visit the UK.

BFAL wore various registrations, including G-TBCA, but ended up as G-OLDN and still flies, so I understand, using a C20 variant!

Of the early LongRangers, B-BFAL was the only aircraft to remain in the UK. Also, all of the UK's first 206L's were Bells as opposed to Agusta-Bells and which for Ferranti, even with a managed aircraft, was something of a break with tradition. Quite why Agusta never sold any of the initial 206L's into the UK I don't know.

The second LongRanger to arrive in the UK was Pat McHaffey's (ever competing with my godfather) G-BFTR which arrived somewhere in the middle of '78. This aircraft was eventually sold to Sweden.

The aircraft which is often cited as being the third 206L in the UK, G-BFYG, never was! That registration was identified for Agusta's first UK 206L demonstrator I-CDVM but, when the aircraft came to the UK in '79 (via Manfred Mann) it demonstrated at the Cranfield Airshow where a customer from Austria bought it and so the craft went straight to the Austrian register and the registration G-BFYG was re-allocated.

http://www.abpic.co.uk/images/images/1100371M.jpg (http://javascript<b></b>:popUp('/popup.php?q=1100371'))

Agusta demonstrator I-CDVM at the '79 Cranfield Airshow where it was bought by an Austrian client. This aircraft would have been Mann's first UK 206L had it remained in the country.

Those who attended Cranfield '79 might recall the team from Agusta, it comprised of this aircraft plus a 109A. Agusta were still having trouble with lateral oscillations on the 109 in those days and to which problem my godfather had earlier recommended Ferranti's SAS system. Agusta did in fact resolve this problem with SAS (albeit not Ferranti's).

The Agusta team had allocated two pilots for I-CDVM (one of whom may well have been a Manfred Mann pilot) and were operating demonstration flights for would-be LongRanger customers. I mention this because throughout the show they employed an interesting landing technique involving lengthy run on landings which would slide the 'L' model up to Mann's allocated parking area alongside the 109 which would wheel its way there. It amused spectators if nothing else!

Additional early LongRangers included:

G-JAMI: James McCaughey. Delivered March '78. Re-sold to Sweden.

G-BFTR: Delivered to CSE in May '78 and bought by Air Hanson in November '78. Re-sold to Sweden.

G-DWMI: Glenwood Helicopters. Delivered February '79. Re-sold to Germany.

G-LONG: Air Hanson. Delivered May '79. Re-sold to the US.

Heli56's G-LRII which, as Earl pointed out, was delivered to CSE in May '79 and then to Castle Motors in August '79. LRII was eventually returned to the US. Castle Motors owner, Roy Flood, was also a Ferranti client, similarly buying his first aircraft from my godfather - G-BAKX, Mr Fayed's JetRanger!

G-WARM: Warmco. Delivered in April 1980. Re-sold to the US. This replaced Warmco's existing Bell 206 G-HEAT.

G-HBUS: Willowbrook. Delivered in November of '80. Re-sold to the US. Served for a season with the Toleman Group replacing their 206 G-TPTR.

G-JLBI: Alton Towers. Delivered in December 1981 (imported from Germany, formerly D-HBBZ). Re-sold to France. This aircraft was flown by both my godfather and PPRuNer Paco. JLBI's call sign was 'Alton 1'.

G-BKGG: Alan Mann. Delivered August '82 . Re-sold to Italy in August '83.

G-LIII: Air Hanson. Delivered in December '82. Re-sold to Australia. Became G-CJCB while in the UK.

G-BMKJ: Air Hanson. Delivered January '83. Re-sold to the US in June the following year.

Terribe trivia, but there we are!


Jed A1
20th Oct 2010, 15:14
Somewhere in this history of British Longragers G-WARM (SN 45347) of Warmco Ltd., Mossley, Manchester has a place. It joined the G register in April 1980.

20th Oct 2010, 15:30
Well done Jed! :D

Amendments have been made accordingly.

WARM was rattling around in my mind, I remember her well in the standard Bell scheme, red and blue but with a lot of nasty writing all over it! ;) The craft would visit Biggin Hill regularly.


ps: Have since located an image of WARM, sadly not long after this photo the owner plastered her with ungainly advertising!

http://cdn-www.airliners.net/aviation-photos/middle/6/1/2/1422216.jpg (http://www.pprune.org/photo/Bell-206L-1-LongRanger/1422216/L/&sid=35d085c34dfd7dff12e856264cf982a0)

Space Heating's Bell 206L-1 II G-WARM departing Woodford June 1980

20th Oct 2010, 20:47
Thanks Savoia ... for the super B206 recollections and pictures. Great stuff. But then to be reminded of the gent of helicopter aviation, Cy Rose. Cy was a great Enstrom man and operated G-BAWI (serial 120) for many years out of his home just off the M40. He part-exed this Enstrom with me for a turbo 28C and I'm guessing circa 1980 ish. His son Greg, was a highly talented clay/ceramics sculptor and who actually built a copy of a Ford Thunderbird in glass fibre (no joking.) He even made the chrome mouldings, I last saw the car at Cy's home. Greg learned to fly at BEAS Oxford on the Brantly B2B. Can't recall his FI but Greg was having a lesson with him when the M/R blade left the head. His instructor was sadly killed.

Back to the Enstrom, as Spooner Aviation later sold G-BAWI to the Lotus ace, Colin Chapman. I flew the machine for delivery into his Sunseeker base on the river. Then many years later, (1983 I think) I personally purchased from him the now well known, all-Back B206, G-AYTF in Team Lotus ... Gold Leaf colours & JPS Logo. (John Player Special for the smokers out there.)

Cy Rose was one of two 'founder Members' of the HCGB, the other being the Brewery owner, Tony Everard ... all about mid 1960s I'd guess.

Keep the trivia going guys ... but for we COF's ... so interesting. Dennis Kenyon.

21st Oct 2010, 08:10
Dennisimo: Cy was an incredibly pleasant human being. The last time I saw him would have been at the Cranfield Show in '79. At the same show both David George and Mike Smith were running around in 500's and many of the usual business operators from the 70's - Mann's etc. were there.

Cy walked me around to the Westward (I think) parking area where he told me he had bought a new Enstrom - it was not a Shark. He was very happy with it, told me to climb aboard and began showing me the new radio system (LED display) where you could pre-set radio frequencies and change them at the touch of a button - and he began loading the numbers for his journey home.

He had heard about 'Bob's godson' who could fly (I was 12 then) and when eventually Bob 'found me', Cy told him he was taking me home and that Bob should collect me from there in G-AWJW (which was visiting the show). Cy had wanted to see me fly!

Sadly, there were things to do and so I had to dismount the 'Rose Copter'. As it turns out, the Colonel's pressing engagement was a very boozy evening with a chap called Colin Heathcote (I think) who at Cranfied '79 I managed to harass so much with my professions of how great helicopters were that he promised to 'give it a try'. I understand he later went on the acquire an ATPL(H). He had formerly only ever flown planks!

But Cy always spoke to me as if I was much older than my years and which confidence met with my appreciation. He was simply a thoroughly decent person and, so it might seem, among the last of a special breed of 'helicopter gentlemen' as you say.

(Anyone with a photo of Cy please post or PM me for my email address).

Paco: Do you remeber at the Towers how visitors would sometimes inadvertantly stray into the vacinity of the helipad and enquire 'Is this a ride?'.

Actually Bob did respond to a query from JLB re: the concept but both agreed that it would not be economically viable and that the HSE implications from a CAA point of view (even in the early 80's) would be too cumbersome to make the exercise easily manageable. The main factors though were capacity and cost.

However, it seems that down under, at Dreamworld, they do have helicopter flights!



Note: The image has refused to post. To see the image paste the above link in your URL but substituting the asterisks for the word b l o g s p o t but without the spaces.

21st Oct 2010, 12:25
Savoia - yes, there was a mention of doing rides when I was there, but the rides at Alton needed a throughput of 1000 people per hour, which would be next to impossible even with a fleet, aside from annoying the neighbours (didn't they move anyway?)


21st Oct 2010, 13:31
My first ever flight in a helicopter was in G-WARM at Grappenhall Steam Fair 1983, accompanied by my pregnant partner......!!! Just thought you should know!!


Earl of Rochester
21st Oct 2010, 15:13
Absolutely. Such information is critical! ;)


21st Oct 2010, 17:53
Earl....... Feel a very distinct tugging at my right leg !!!

An excellent thread, the info just keeps on coming........wonderful.


Earl of Rochester
22nd Oct 2010, 05:59
Back when helicopters made proper sounds and were not covered in black and yellow! :yuk:


Lippitts Hill Control Room


Lippitts Hill maintenance room .. oops .. I mean hangar!


On board the 222


Bells over London


Searching ...

I was lucky enough to find a transcript of the original conversation between the Commissioner of Police (COP) and the Bell Helicopter Textron Representative (BHT):

COP: They are not exactly quiet are they?
BHT: The 222 has been designed by Bell's finest and with Police duties in mind. It comes with what we call ACDF (Audible Criminal Deterrent Feature).
COP: Oh, okay, what is that?
BHT: Did you ever watch the film Apocalypse Now?
COP: Yes I did how ..
BHT: Well, our guys at Bell did a swell job of helping the US Army then, and we can do the same for you now!
COP: But how does ..
BHT: The point is Commissioner, when your London criminals here this baby comin' they're gonna run for the hills, or subways, or whatever you have here in London. You see our Army psychologists were able to prove the sound made by our Huey's actually drove fear into Charlie, .. those are your criminals. We've designed the Police version of the 222 to reproduce the best of the Huey's footprint, well, that's what they're gonna call it in the future, .. and we've made the gear retractable!
COP: So what you are saying is that you have applied your understanding of the pschological impact of the sound of your helicopters, taken from their service with the US Army in Vietnam and adapted it to the Police version of the 222?
BHT: Exactly, now you've got it, plus .. it has retractable gear.
COP: So what does this mean for us here in London then?
BHT: Well Commissioner, I would have thought that was obvious! All you have to do is fly around the City and most of your criminals will stop what they are doing, that's the beauty of ACDF!
COP: Really?
BHT: Yessir, that's why I'm here.
COP: And you actually think it will work do you?
BHT: Or your money back (lol).
COP: And the helicopter has a retractable undercarriage?
BHT: Its the real deal, just like a jet, this is the latest thing Mr Commissioner this is the first of its kind. You are gonna be streets ahead of anything else anywhere in the world, even in the US we're still using helos with skids!


On a serious note, the Met pioneered tactical airborne police operations in the UK in that the high standard of fit on the Met's 222's enabled them to provide information which had never before been available in real time. From there, as they say, the rest is history.


22nd Oct 2010, 07:48
It still must retain the award for the "unlikeliest of helicopter type' for a capital city police role - even with 'blade slap criminal deterrent value' or whatever the term Americans use for noisy.

long box
22nd Oct 2010, 08:19
Fantastic pictures of the 222's I am lucky enough to be flying a 222 every week at the moment, superb helicopter, superb noise, yes we all know enviromental etc etc, but what everywhere you take she will draw a crowd away from any of the newer stuff and it is always accepted with great affection. Same theory, its a Bell, it looks right and it will fly right

22nd Oct 2010, 08:49
Anyone got any memories of this longranger?


Earl of Rochester
22nd Oct 2010, 09:21
http://www.abpic.co.uk/images/images/1130714M.jpg (http://javascript<b></b>:popUp('/popup.php?q=1130714'))

Evidently used to be registered as G-BVVV, hopefully someone will have some stories

- Long Box

I was once given a go in this bird ...


... G-BLSY. Master Bates (RIP), encouraged me to perform the 'full freedom of movement' check on the controls but .. I couldn't get the :mad: collective back down!

Rotor George
22nd Oct 2010, 14:53
EoR love the conversation!

22nd Oct 2010, 15:04
:ok: !!!!!!! ~ VFR

24th Oct 2010, 12:21
The mists of time and all that! Air Gregory at Denham, I seem to recall had a few machines (5/6?), though my only input was on occasion to visit to look at/fix an Alouette 2 that they had and also a Gazelle (owned by a gentleman called Mr Absalom, I think). And that's where it all gets a little fuzzy I am afraid. I recall the Chief Engineer (AM) and another contract chap from United Biccies called Russ something-or other. And the fact that Company would use reverse thrust on their King Air to back it into their hangar - at the other end of the airfield.

So not a lot of help - more red wine then ~ VFR

26th Oct 2010, 05:00
If there is anyone with information or photos of G-AWOM, a Bell 206A c/n 280 first registered in the UK on 7 Aug 1968 - I would be keen to hear from you.

This aircraft was owned by Hambro's Bank and piloted by the esteemed John Dicken.

Also, is anyone able to confirm that John moved from Hambro's to Glenwood Helicopters where, I think he flew G-DWMI?


Plank Cap
26th Oct 2010, 05:36
Mid 70's and a still vibrant memory of the most gorgeous silver and black Hughes 500C on high skids. As a 10 year old boy my future fate and career were shaped by this image, fully rammed home a few minutes later at the sight of an even more gorgeous long-haired blonde lady purposefully striding out to the aircraft and taking off on some undoubtedly fabulous mission.

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

26th Oct 2010, 09:17
gorgeous long-haired blonde lady purposefully striding out to the aircraft That would have been Gay Absalom.

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

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

long box
26th Oct 2010, 10:44

Great links for the 222, love the pictures, great times for helicopters in the uk, full and free on the ground in a 222 is impossible as you say, the collective will not budge! I will post some pics later of the beast, it is fantastic to be able to fly one. G-NEUF is now G-LILA, she belongs to Lothian helicopters and operates tours over the bridges, we maintain it for Ian and I fly her often, she is still the same colours.

Earl of Rochester
26th Oct 2010, 10:59
~Long Box~

For the sake of 'Hands On' do you have any stories about LILA you could tell us - a rowdy druken passenger or famous landing .. anything really!

Sometimes in the line of duty we are called to carry celebrities, politicians even models and these events are occasionally worth remembering.

For example .. carrying a passenger (such as the one depicted below) could be regarded as a special occasion or perhaps even a fringe benefit!

Senior Pilot - I am posting a moderately risqué image to support this conversation so please look away from your screen now in order that others may benefit from the point I am wishing to make!




26th Oct 2010, 13:15
My, how we have advanced through these past 14 pages Earl! From the lofty lawns of Eaton Hall in Cheshire to ... this! I must confess though that progress is beautiful!


Great to see some comments on Air Gregory.

Air Gregory was owned by Ken Gregory, manager to Stirling Moss who went on to race in his own right. I know very little about him and have no recollection of my godfather ever having made reference to him.

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

Air Gregory Alouette II G-AVEE seen at Biggin Hill in 1967. In the early 70's this became the first Alouette II I saw - at Shoreham

Air Gregory Hughes 500C G-AXPL at Hullavington on 26th July 1970 with the company's phone number advertised on the tail. (Something my godfather would have strongly disapproved of ;))

Air Gregory Hughes 300C G-BAEH at Biggin Hill on 18th May 1974

Gay Absolom

I am certian my godfather knew her father, he certainly knew Gay and mentioned her to me several times although I never met her - he did however introduce me to Jean Batten (more than once) and the last time I saw her was at Cranfield '79. Somewhere I have a signed copy of her book.


It is inconceivable to imagine that Air Gregory owner Ken Gregory did not know Colin Chapman as Moss, who Gregory managed, also drove at some point for Chapman.

Also, and I need some assistance here, but, didn't Alan Mann also have some links with motorsport in the early days?

~ ~ ~

There must surely be quite a bit of information available about Air Gregory, especially via the Smith family (not my godfather but Mike Smith and his son) and if not then via Denham Airfield iteself perhaps?

Anyone with any more information about this operation - your contributions shall be greatly welcomed!


26th Oct 2010, 16:12
Is that an ad for the new Bose skipping rope?

Yellow & Blue Baron
26th Oct 2010, 18:28
Earl of Rochester, that is the best photo. Very nice! :D

3rd Nov 2010, 23:12
For 'S' .... Alan Mann was heavily involved in saloon car racing. His main driver being Frank Gardner who drove the Lotus Cortina to win the UK championships around 1964/5 if I recollect correctly. It was about the time that Alan Brown of Connaught Cars Ripley was running the mighty 7 litre Galaxy (three Holman Moody Carbs!) with lap records at Brands, Silverstone and Oulton (again I think) I met the drivers many times. Sir Gawaine Bailey, Jack Brabham & Dan Gurney all had a go .. also Jim Clark's name was on the side of Alan Brown's later 'Mustang' as driver in 1964!

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

Keep the fun coming please.

Dennis K.

4th Nov 2010, 13:50
I never met Gay,
But my grandfather used to know of her and her father from his village of Sarratt in herts.
Such a small world, I can't believe I never met her..:confused:

4th Nov 2010, 16:30
Dennisimo! Thanks for that info. Was sure that Mann had some involvement with racing but wasn't sure exactly what. I've since read that he may have had some involvement with Lotus so, it is conceiveable that Alan Mann knew Colin Chapman and that Colin knew Ken Gregory.

I also discovered that Alan Mann's racing workshop built the vehicle for the 1967 film 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang'!


Perhaps the only rotarywing craft ever built by Alan Mann!


I am still on the hunt for the following:

Pictures, stories and info of G-AWOM the Bell 206 owned by Hambros Bank and its illustrious pilot the splendid John Dicken.

Pictures, stories and info of the late great Cy Rose.

Picture, stories and info of Gay Absolom.

Pictures, stories and info on Alan Mann's early days in aviation.

All of this information is wanted for a website I am sponsoring which shall chart some of the UK's helicopter operations in the 70's.

With thanks


4th Nov 2010, 16:45
You might want to pm TRC, he was there! I only came to the fold later (in 1979) so just a 'newbie'!

4th Nov 2010, 22:41
You might want to pm TRC

(Sorry, been away (working))

I was at Mann's from 1974, but I can't shed any more light on AM's early days.

I knew Gay and Roly from my days at Battersea 1972-74. I also remember John Dicken.

I also remember the bitter (seemingly one-way) feud between Air Gregory and BEAS - never got to the bottom of it. The AG boys (MS & BB) seemed to HATE BEAS with a vengeance.

5th Nov 2010, 07:51
Alan Mann knew Colin Chapman VERY well indeed! TRC referred earlier in this thread to the replacement of a turbine on Chapman's J/R. I was involved in that one too as DCE. We orchestrated TRC and JS (known affectionately as Tom-not-bloody Jack and Jack-not-bloody Tom respectively) to go to Klagenfurt where the F1 event was taking place. Initially Colin Chapman called, he thought, the CE. I answered the phone (actually June did but passed it across the desk PDQ becuase of the evident ire). When I spoke he asked "who the hell is this? Oh never mind" and put the phone down. Then called Alan. I had a phone call 2 mins later "Colin says the engine won't start, and what are we going to do about it?"

And there, gentle reader, started the saga which was played out with characters drawn from that Keith Michell song mentioned earlier. As I remember JS was Artful Owl, TRC was Hissing Sid and I sported the moniker of Captain Beaky. Telex in those days so comms addressed accordingly. That came back to bite me because, when eventually things had deteriorated to the point that someone had to pay HUGE sums of duty to the Austrian Customs I was invited for a 'royal interview' to explain what's going on - all a bit difficult, and at that level neither CC nor AM knew who the hell Keith Michell was ..........

In the event JS went to Klagenfurt and reported that the engine was blued everywhere on teh turbine section due to a start without the detent activated. Impossible to turn :sad: The replacement starter/genny he had with him was something less than what was required. It was all too difficult to ship the turbine and CC was jumping up and down so we despatched TRC with a turbine section as excess baggage (I wonder to this day how much that cost?!!) with the edict that he was NOT to let the box out of his sight. Spent the night at Vienna airport with the box at his side!

In the morning, on the apron, 2 x Sveringen Metros, one going to Klagenfurt, the other to Stuttgart and a general Round-robin trip of Germany. Where it wasn't going was Austria................ No prizes for guessing where the turbine went. And when it finally tuned up, 24hrs later, a customs bill of significance to be paid. So I'm left with a crew in Klagenfurt, and no turbine; by this time, an incandescent customer; and the Royal interview mentioned above..................:ouch:

CC left the J/R there in disgust at the sheer incompetence of all concerned! I think it was Col Bob Smith (TRC will remember) who was called upon to do ground-runs and ferry the machine back.

Oh what fun (in hindsight :ok:)

5th Nov 2010, 10:23
VFR: Hilarious friend! Would love to have witnessed your interview explaining the telex comms!

I remember having to act as secretary for Col. Bob in a series of telex messages to a UK based engineer (who's name I think was George Fell or something similar) over 'issues' in Africa but that, as they say, is another story!

TRC makes fleeting reference to Col. Bob in 'bare feet' and I am still waiting for him to PM me an unmentionable story relating to my godfather! Truth is if most of the stories were to be published they would have to be classified as 18+ because the Colonel had a knack for removing his clothes at the slightest provocation - usually to perform one or more of his 'party pieces' which involved brief re-enactments of 'memorable scenes' from fictitious accounts of icons such as 'Scott of the Antartic', 'Julius Caesar' and a performance known as 'Scotland the Brave' to name but a few!

Regarding Colin, TRC mentioned it was the P2 line that broke when the Colonel and I suffered an engine failure in G-AYTF but, I was told that Colin's repeated 'abuse' (God love him) of the wee Allison was more than the tiny turbine could manage in the end. Accustomed to his high performance engines Colin, as my godfather explained, couldn't understand this 'waiting business' after landing and would frequently walk out of the aircraft upon landing and have the Colonel finish up the shut down. When the Colonel wasn't there was another matter - evidently the throttle would make its way from flight to fully closed in one swift twist of the grip!

With the start ups it was ignite, fuel and more fuel, red-lining being the order of the day around the Hethel environs!


Unique and a legend - Colin Chapman

In typical racing driver fashion, Colin had his name enscribed on the pilot's door of his 206.


What happened to Alan Mann towards the end. How did he finish up his days?


5th Nov 2010, 18:23
The post-script to the Kalgenfurt saga is a saga in its own right (nothing with CC was straight-forward). Prior to all this Austrian nonsense, Colin had taken his aircraft to Air Hanson since we at AMH were obviously beyond the pale and had failed (miserably in his eyes) to convince insurers that they should pay for the 2nd, or possibly 3rd over-temped turbine under his, by then magnificently expensive, engine break-down policy.

He burned a turbine whilst there and they obtained a H & S rental engine for him.

It was the rental engine turbine that got burned in Klagenfurt - and you do NOT want to hear of the very convoluted and 'strenuous' conversations that went on between Manns/Hanson/H & S/ Insurers......... for weeks;)

Colin, of course, couldn't see what all the fuss was about !! :D


5th Nov 2010, 18:37
On a separate subject the story of Alan's later days (2002-present) I only have on hearsay, so anyone please correct me if this brief paragraph is flawed. I left the Fairoaks 'family' to start my own Company in 2002. I don't think Alan was very well then, though that is a view with the benefit of hindsight. I returned from the sandpit in 2005, and that was the last time I talked to him. He wasn't well then, and I believe his health has deteriorated significantly since then. I hear he is very ill. Which is very sad, since he was not only a pretty savvy Chairman, he also exhibited an enormous understanding of engineering. One would have to get up very early in the morning to catch him on a technical back foot.

I wasn't involved of course, but understand the Company was sold in 2007 to a bunch of outsiders to the industry and there has been some speculation here on Pprune about the progress of the Company since then. I'm not in a position to comment, as I'm sure you realise.

They were good days in the 80s and 90s; I treasure the memories ~ VFR

6th Nov 2010, 06:34
G-AYTF: Before we leave Colin Chapman alone for a bit - there are still so many stories - I remain astonished that there is no photogrpahic record of the 'Dancer' G-AYTF. This craft would have been at numerous European Grand Prixs as well as at prominent locations and race tracks across the UK and yet there doesn't appear to be a single image of her online!

I do have some images of her stashed away with a friend in the UK and which need to be rescued next time I am there (Easter 2011).

Does anyone remember the 'Dancer' when she was in the colours of one of Colin's first sponsors 'Essex Oil' the 'oil company' based out of a Monaco apartment and run by David Thieme and his secretary (c.1975)? It was quite a snazy affair for its day - a mixture of navy/azure blue with a rich red centre piece edged with silver mirrored accents!

Of equal interest was the Bell 206L which David Thieme owned. This was a French registered craft based variously in Monaco and Nice and which carried exactly the same colours albeit in a different arrangement. I believe the 'Essex' colours were the first ever to use this 'mirrored' finish which I am assuming must have been a reflective tape of sorts. Thieme's LongRanger also had one of the first all white leather interiors (c. 1978) complimented by thick sheep skin floor covers. Amazingly, to this day Thieme's LongRanger remains one of the most dramatic paint schemes I have ever seen on a rotorcraft!

Manfred Mann: (Excuse the Colonelism but hearing Col. Bob refer to Alan Mann as Manfred Mann for nearly 20 years eventually rubbs off). I am beginning to be concerned that I may have another posterity-rescue candidate on my hands! I knew that my godfather's operation Ferranti was poorly documented and had been prepared for some time to invest in the research to dig up what was required to bring this story to life with the help of ex-Ferranti personnel as well as the collation of remaining material about this fascinating company.

While accruing material and stories about Ferranti I decided to broaden the sweep to include a handful of the UK's private helicopter operators but .. now I am beginning to consider Alan Mann.

Firstly there is hardly any detail offered on the existing AMH website about the company's rich history (about a sentence is all) and secondly there is barely anthing anywhere written up about Alan Mann and his entrance into aviation.

So ...

Calling All Ex-Alan Mann Personnel


- Stories of Alan's earliest days in aviation
- Photos of Alan and his staff (especially 60's, 70's and 80's)
- Stories of interesting affairs/incidents with client's aircraft and among the AM team (okay well not affairs of the romantic kind .. unless of course they are accompanied by photos lol!)
- Any interesting photos of the AM team, early AM helicopters as well as images of aircraft belonging to clients


The prominent red and gold colours of Alan Mann racing

I was told that the reason Alan didn't apply the red and gold livery to AMH was because of the involvement of his business associate Niki Papadakis (the Greek shipping magnate) who's corporate colours were yellow and black - can anyone verify this?


A youthful Alan Mann


6th Nov 2010, 15:52

The ajjcollection has one photo of the plane.

8th Nov 2010, 04:53
Newforest: Many thanks - I have ordered this photo! :ok:

Antarctic Incident 1950's

In the 50's my godfather served as Chief Pilot for Christian Salvesen's whaling expeditions in the Antartic flying the Mk I Westland Whirlwind (S-55).

He had reached the outer extremity of his spotting sortie about an hour away from the vessel (either the Southern Harvester or Southern Venturer) when the MRGB depleted itself of its precious content!

The flight manual instruction for such an event was (I believe) to land immediately. Turning to his observer my godfather indicated his preference to remain aloft as opposed to placing the Whirlwind upon the frigid seas a good 80nm from the ship and to which course of action the observer readily agreed.

Just over an hour later they landed back at the ship and when eventually a message was radioed through to Salvesen's base at Leith Harbour on South Georgia island the engineers were at first disbelieving of the event.

Word got back to Westlands that one of the 'Antarctic Whirlwinds' had flown for over an hour with no fluid in its MRGB and they too were astonished by the claim.

Westlands, unable to rationalise this performance, ended up by dry running a Mk I gearbox for more than 6 hours before it seized!



9th Nov 2010, 16:15
Dennisimo: Another view of the first helicopter you flew, G-BALT, which was published online today!

http://cdn-www.airliners.net/aviation-photos/middle/4/9/2/1810294.jpg (http://www.pprune.org/photo/Enstrom-F-28A/1810294/L/&sid=4c4b322e7d6bfb9b57e0813177e711cb)

Enstrom F28A G-BALT at an unusually quiet LHR in 1975

9th Nov 2010, 22:13
Hi 'S' ... still avidly following the thread's progress through the times & years and enjoy some of the earlier types I flew cropping up. Now G-BALT .... ah yes I remember her well. Made my first rotary solo on LT at Shoreham on 5th June 1973. Seem to remember her serial as 127. How daft is that! Capt Bill Bailey later sent me on my qualifying X country on LT .... Shoreham to Sunderland and back! There was an air show there.

The LHR pic was probably taken on my visit September 21st. I sold the machine there to a David Mappin who then leased it back to Spooner Aviation. Such happy and mostly profitable days. In total I sold 138 Enstrom models between 1972 & 1982 after which I left the Spooner business to form my first company, Skyline Helicopters at WAP. Sales were easier then as there was no Robinson or B47 competition and little from Hughes.

In fact the now well-known, G-AYTF ex Colin Chapman was my first heli purchase for Skyline. See earlier notes. She languished in my back garden for a month as I worked out my notice from Southernair who acquired the Spooner business a year earlier.

Then just out of interest, the new business lost two helis on the same day and within minutes of each other. The sad date was April 1st 1982. The local rag's headline was ... "Riddle of double 'copter crash at Shoreham!" That wonderful guy John ZZ was the first to put down on Truleigh Hill following a control malfunction. Number two 'roll over' accident, was the machine that was sent to the site to bring John ZZ and his student back to the airfield. I then jumped into the company Jetranger to bring all three back and as I surveyed the double wreck on the 'Motte & Bailey' sloping ground practice area, how well I recalled saying to myself ... "this is not a good time to have a third accident!" Such memories, although not always good.

Keep the buzz going guys.

Dennis Kenyon.

10th Nov 2010, 12:23
Pity we're on Page 15 now, can we have post #280 back at the top of the page? :D

Earl of Rochester
10th Nov 2010, 13:23
Senior Pilot looked away once, I'm not sure if he will do it again though!

But I agree, it was a very attractive helicopter!!!

In the meantime and for our German Rotorheads, what about this beautifully preserved photo!


Vertol H-21C Shawnee, Itzehoe-Hungriger Wolf, 1964

Earl :ok:


Earl of Rochester
15th Nov 2010, 04:27
Can anyone remember who flew the Anglia Windows 206? I used to see this aircraft on occasion during the 80's.


Anglia Windows AB206 III G-WILL Battersea 5th February 1981