View Full Version : G-WLAD British Midland and Airways Cymru

7th Nov 2014, 21:43
First of all thankyou to everyone who contributed to my BIA/Air Anglia thread.

Now then, does anybody know the circumstances that led to British Midland leasing this BAC 1-11 from Airways Cymru ? And how it ended up on the LBA-LHR route in October 1985 ?

In March 1985 BMA proudly replaced the Viscount with the DC-9 on the aforementioned flights (except for the weekends). The DC-9s in question were no spring chickens but decidedly more up to date than the Viscount. I recall the LBA management being quite chuffed at the arrival of the DC-9, coming just a few months after the runway extension had been opened. Then, after about seven months, G-WLAD appeared. The DC-9s were gone from LBA and didn't come back to displace the upstart 1-11 until March 1987.

Why did all this happen ? Where did the DC-9s go ? Why LBA ? Why not Teesside, or Edinburgh or Glasgow ?

By the way I usually like 1-11s. However I always thought using this noisy specimen on a new "DC-9 jet service" was something of a backwards step.

7th Nov 2014, 22:21
Was that the year two of the three DC9s were stored at Teesside for a period.

8th Nov 2014, 07:41
I didn't know that any of the DC9s had ever been stored whilst BMA had them, although it would obviously explain a shortage of jets. I knew BMA had started a gradual withdrawal of the Viscounts and one or two of those ended up at Teesside.

8th Nov 2014, 13:26
What year was the 'final' BMA DC-9 flight out of LBA?
I remember flying on a 'special' charter DC-9 to commemorate the last one.
Would be early 90's probably - I was doing my PPL at YAC at the time.

8th Nov 2014, 13:57
I think the LBA route was, or could easily be adapted as, a closed diagram using a single aircraft. That would have simplified operation on what was presumably a 'damp' lease with Airways Cymru flightdeck but Midland cabin crew. Teeside might have been similar but IIRC by then had fewer daily rotations than LBA so a/c swapping onto other schedules more likley to be part of daily rotation..

Putting it on EDI or GLA would probably have seen it swapping between routes. Even if it had it's own diagram there would be a problem with differing capacity and seat layouts cp the nines (or 737). More so if weather or other operating exigencies meant a/c had to be 'bumped' forward to fulfil a delayed schedule.

Midland 331
8th Nov 2014, 14:23
Was this the time of Midland's expansion into Europe? I'd left by then. Maybe they were short of aircraft.

The 1-11 certainly appeared on MME from time to time. As did the leased 737-200, EI-BTR. And both Leeds and Teesside had five rotations a day. Teesside certainly contributed more revenue than Leeds.

The general (unpublished) policy was to put the "nines" on the prestigious trunk routes where there was competition. The Leeds and Teesside were captive market "cash cows", so had to make do with whatever was available. Hence the 1-11 and the leased "73".

So "our" DC9 often got stolen after the first morning (high-revenue) rotation, positioned to LHR/BFS/wherever if a "9" had gone tech., and we had to wait for a Viscount or spare "9" to position to Teesside to do the (much-delayed) mid-morning flight, which happened to be chock-full of interliners. And caused us much work in re-routing and placating the passengers.

Sir Michael was actually more of an "O'Leary" than was generally acknowledged. A cunning entrepreneur, or exploiter of captive markets? Discuss.

And us poor ground staff were the front-end of this juggling of aircraft and disruption. The regular punters could see through this cleverness more than "Ops" probably realised.

Another twist to this policy was to put the -30 series on routes like BFS, just to sabre-rattle against BA, even though the -10/-15s we had were bursting at the seams.


8th Nov 2014, 14:41
Airbanda, could you please explain what you mean by "diagram " in this context ?

On reflection, had BMA used the 1-11 on the Edinburgh and Glasgow routes they would have been up against BA's relatively new 757s. At Leeds BMA had the Heathrow market to themselves so could probably get away with using anything.

It was a damp lease I believe. IIRC Jeff Price was the senior captain.

BMA must have scored a good deal with Airways Cymru. I wonder why they didn't seek out more 737-200s, or even more DC9s ?

8th Nov 2014, 18:15
Using diagram to mean the daily schedule of a particular aircraft. A W leg diagram, as operated by Britannia in their 76 on operation at Leeds, would be MAN>PMI>LBA>PMI>MAN.

Maybe I'm confusing aviation and railway terminology.

8th Nov 2014, 19:56
Thanks Airbanda, I think I understand. I've used "pattern" in that context but not "diagram".

The last BMA DC9 flight from LBA was in 1994. Thereafter it was a mix of Fokker 70/100 and 737 Classic until the A319 appeared in 2006. Then Embraers, then nowt ...:{

11th Nov 2014, 06:20
The GWLAD operation was 'interesting' to say the least. Despite the 'normal' LBA menu of low cloud, crosswinds, icy runways etc, the aircraft rarely diverted. In fact there was one particular day when a slippery runway with crosswind precluded most of the other flights, but GWLAD completed all five rotations to Heathrow!

I suspect it was quite popular with the passengers if not with the local residents!


Midland 331
11th Nov 2014, 11:49
I'd guess that times were a bit hard at the airline (they folded in 1988), hence they were trying to avoid the extra costs of diversion.

In a similar vein, I once watched a 1-11 launch off 05 at Teesside looking quite heavy and which immediately started dumping water-meth. Everyone else was using 23, but this chap appeared to want to take advantage of a very slight breeze off the sea. Most strange, I thought.

I had a contact at the handling agent. "Oh Yes", he said, "We were a bit creative with the load sheet, us and the captain". It appeared to be tankering quite a lot of fuel.

A week later, the airline had ceased flying.

11th Nov 2014, 18:59

I used to work with an ex-BMA DM at LBA. I am informed that G-WLAD was also a very reliable aeroplane (but then so were the Viscounts and DC9s) but some of the seating was rather old fashioned. Lloyd loom, wicker or something equally quaint ! I don't know what the passengers thought about the aeroplane. Academic really when they didn't have the alternative of a BA 757 (or Trident). I do know that both the 1-11 and DC9 were equally capable of waking folk up at 7 a.m. Proper jets in those days !

I remember the sistership, G-YMRU, turning up every now and then sporting its Airways Cymru colours. Must have confounded the passengers even more.

11th Nov 2014, 19:09
I remember the sistership, G-YMRU, turning up every now and then sporting its Airways Cymru colours. Must have confounded the passengers even more.

IIRC the BM livery on WLAD was not 100% identical in colour etc to the 'home' fleet. No that that's unusual, the Air Anglia livery on BM's HP Herald G-ASVO, when leased to cover a Friendship on overhaul c1975, sported a very oddly proportioned 'A' on the tail.

Matched for aspect ratio on fin of HPR-7 v F27 rather than house style?

11th Nov 2014, 20:05
Airbanda. Funny that you should mention the paintjob on WLAD. It was the first aeroplane I saw in the Diamond scheme and I think it was just the Quebecair colours with some extra paint and design here and there. And then it was adopted by the BMA fleet proper. But that's my prejudiced opinion coz I never liked the Diamond scheme. Even compared to the two-tone blue stripes it looked cheap.

Midland 331
11th Nov 2014, 20:17
The Leeds BMA regular punters always seemed a hardy lot, used to frequent weather delays, so I guess that they would just be glad to get in and out more or less on time, never mind the colour of the seats!

12th Nov 2014, 15:38
331. The LBA passengers had to put up with one or two eventualities. Obviously the weather was frequently a major factor, as it still is, but BMA put on an excellent service. For the first five years LBA-LHR was a Viscount operation. Once the runway was extended then the variety started. The aforementioned WLAD, F27, Eurocity DHC7, dammit even a DC9 ! And the ATP too. Wot a mix. Sad to see BMA at Leeds go from one route to several to nothing. Same story elsewhere though.

H49. There is a private message for you.

Midland 331
12th Nov 2014, 18:05
As a student, I used to live under the 32 centreline in Headlingley, and as my dad, plus a number of other family members used to work for the airline, I almost felt like saluting as the Viscounts passed.

I'm always surprised the the two runway excursions were so successfully "hushed up".

The British Midland ticket desk staff at Leeds were a fearless, stoic "breed apart", well-used to rerouting dozens of interliners due to missed connections, such were the frequency of delays.

I seem to recall that Capt. Bruce Morgan got a "nine" in (pre-extension) during stiff favourable winds due to Teesside being out. It was a change for Leeds winds to work to advantage.

12th Nov 2014, 18:12
If you haven't already seen it type "Glasgow Airport 1984" into YouTube and watch the film from that year. It features G-BFZL in a semi-starring role along with a few DC9s and Caledonian, Britannia etc. I suspect at the time WLAD was still in Canada.

13th Nov 2014, 11:47
I seem to recall that Capt. Bruce Morgan got a "nine" in (pre-extension) during stiff favourable winds due to Teesside being out. It was a change for Leeds winds to work to advantage.

Nines were not unknown before the runway extension. Martinair dropped in occasionally on charters every now and then. IIRC some were ship's crews bound for Hull. Even if HUY could have handled a 9 at time it was still a few years before the Humber bridge. Quicker by the M62 than ambling through lanes from Kirmington to Barton on Humber and then waiting for the ferry, DEPV Faringford, to waddle over.

There's also an 'on this day' moment here. 13 November 1976 was one of those days when much of the country was in fog. Low lying stuff so LBA for once was out of it. May have been a couple of prop diversions but the star was an Aviaco DC-9, EC-CTS. Out of either Las Palmas or Tenerife for Birmingham.

Outbound load was only about 50 and he went direct. Used rather more runway than the Britt 737s, took 33 (oddly in near still air) and rotated around the 10/28 intersection.

14th Nov 2014, 02:41
If the One-Eleven was leased by the hour, Leeds would give the least flying hours per day of the BMA jet requirements at the time.

Airways Cymru had a hard time financially, they got their One-Elevens but never got anything in the way of a good long-term charter/IT contract for them (the original aim), so doubtless were glad to get some good flying hours out of one of them.

Must have been a couple of years before this, but three of us went from LHR to Leeds on a business day trip. Returning to the airport in the evening the cloud/fog had come down (a regular event there) and the Viscount hadn't made it in. There was a coach being organised which was taking a while and not really what we had paid airfares for, so we surrendered our reservations and got a cab off the Leeds/Bradford terminal front straight to the Heathrow T1 car park. Driver didn't quite seem to understand where Heathrow was exactly, and it was rather foggy on the M1, but it was a significant saving of time for us, and also cost when we cashed our tickets back in to the travel agent.

I never flew in G-WLAD as such, although I remember seeing it as such once on the Palma apron, but before it's stint with Quebecair in Canada it had originally been G-ATPI with British Eagle from new, and was the first jet I ever rode in, Liverpool to London, departing off the old runway at Speke.

14th Nov 2014, 08:15
Airbanda - remember the Aviaco DC-9 very well.
Also the Stirling Caravelle OY-SAH in May 78 I think. I have a photo somewhere.

15th Nov 2014, 13:00
i was at BMA 76-85 at LHR traffic/ops coordinator and we started the LBA taken over from BA whilst i was working

(we also at LHR had IOM EMA NQY BHX LPL jet MME jet - then came the big time with GLA EDI BFS and we got 2 DC-9 -32's as well as the 6 small 9's)
the 707 sometimes did the GLA flights when British Rail/Airways were on strike

LBA was pure BMA Viscount territory at first and the BMA baby 9's rarely went there as they had no LE flaps and the original LBA runway was too short for any high weights.
Martinair 9's were -32/33 and had LE devices so could do LBA.

2 BMA Viscounts got pranged there in landing accidents in quick succession and ZLT was infact a w/off and was rebuilt with (?) BAPF's wings and reincarnated as G-BMAT

did the ghastly F27 i think do LHR-LBA sometimes?

BMA/Bish were offered SAS DC 9-21's which had all the -32 wings/LE kit/bigger engines with the short body but the CAA stick pusher regs costs were prohibitive, likewise that McDouglas offered the Super 80 as well but that was discounted eventually due performance issues at Jersey and being too long back then for some domestic T1 stands at LHR.

The CYM 1-11 came after my time sorry but i did fly on it after i left back from MME - and i agree with all the comments about poor old LBA pax getting a rough deal sometimes!
I did fly in the said 1-11 too with British Eagle to Venice in 1967!

its name was Supreme

15th Nov 2014, 13:18
Hello WHBM. We've discussed 1-11s before. Last time it was the Adria Rombac machines from 1987.

WLAD seems to be quite a talked about aircraft. I think BMA sub-leased it to Manx when the DC9 finally returned to Leeds Bradford so the IOM had a turn at ear-bashing. I still don't understand what happened with BMA to necessitate leasing it in the first place. Obviously it made its mark though.

For their own part, before they disappeared, Airways Cymru operated an extensive programme for Thomson from Bristol and Cardiff, and to an extent, Glasgow and Manchester. They had a pair of new 733s and the old Britannia black sheep, G-BAZI, by then. I can only speculate on the effect these acquisitions had on Airways Cymru's fortunes but they should certainly have made some brass from the BMA lease.

The F27 definitely operated LHR-LBA for a spell in the mid to late eighties, usually at weekends. By then the Viscount was all but gone from the schedules but not before G-AZNA received the Diamond treatment

Midland 331
16th Nov 2014, 09:37

Interesting to read about the options of the -21 and the -80! I wonder what the stand issue was, as Paramount did some work for BA on the MAN shuttle some time in the late-,80s, which would have involved the Novembers and Alphas.

I worked for SAS after Midland, and enjoyed some sprightly nose-up departures on the -21. I think one is/was still kicking around in the U.S. as a para-dropper, the folks using the rear stairs, D.B. Cooper-style. 12.5K in 4 minutes, I've read. It has the edge on a Skyvan...

Ironically, just before I left in 1994, a wet-leased SAS -21 turned up on LHR-MME, complete with travelling engineer, a kind of odd convergence of my aviation past!

Back (roughly) on topic - I think the Cymru damp-leasing was down to a shortage of aircraft, as Midland had started some short-haul European routes (Paris and/or Amsterdam?). And, as I mentioned further up the thread, there was always the impression that the prestigious trunk routes had to take priority over everything else, so no chance of having a leased aircraft on there. And I suspect that there was some slack in operational planning to stick a spare 9 on if one went sick. Leeds and Teesside, from being the top routes, suddenly became poor relations. I even suffered an hour and a half on an ancient. vibratory F27 one night up to Teesside.

Teesside also had the 732 EI-BTR for a while, flown by some Vietnam vets, and truly bonkers, according to a stewardess who worked with them (the late and lovely Kim Lerner).

16th Nov 2014, 12:52
the Super 80 was offered around the time once first new a/c deliveries were occurring to Swissair (1980?)

the LHR stands deemed a problem back then were A7/9 plus B2 B10 and
an extra stand was made next to that iirc B12?

N39/41 was used often by BMA and that too would then have been too small
for a Super 80
the Jersey issue seemed more important though as the runway was too short for it

how nasty an F27 on the MME!

16th Nov 2014, 13:10
Speaking of 737s I also remember a Trans European machine in the late eighties painted in half a Diamond scheme. This aeroplane often used to drop into LBA from Teesside on its way to Heathrow. Probably only took about ten minutes.

If I remember rightly BMA were looking at the MD87 to replace their entire fleet of DC9 "Classics". As the short body variant stand depth at Heathrow shouldn't have been a problem. But then there's the Jersey performance question...

If Paramount were subbing for BA on the Shuttle flights with their MD83s then surely they would have been parking on stands suitable for 757s, thereby negating the depth problem. However I'm not familiar with Heathrow so correct me if I am wrong.

Whatever happened I'd argue that Sir Bishop seemed to know what he was doing. I have little doubt that the DC9 Classics would have stayed around longer if not for European noise regulations. Well built and reliable. As for WLAD, who knows ??

16th Nov 2014, 13:27
i was at BMA 76-85 at LHR traffic/ops coordinator
Ah. Then you may have been peripherally involved in what was my finest hour at check-in, probably about 1982-83.

BMA had started Glasgow, and I was making a trip up there. There was a cheap "non-changeable" return fare on the 13.00 lunchtime flight, which saved the office budget a bit over the BA Shuttle (goodness knows why I did this, I never saw any personal benefit from doing so). Just before setting off from our office in The City to the Underground about 10.45 a phone call comes in from our Australia office which went on and on. Suddenly I realise it's 11.30, roar out of the office to the District Line, out to Barons Court, wait and wait for a Heathrow Piccadilly, OhMyGodI'mNotGoingToMakeIt, finally onwards .... how many more stations .... three minutes a station .... oh no Hounslow West to Hatton Cross is a huge distance ,OhMyGodI'mNotGoingToMakeIt .... finally into Heathrow tube station at 12.48, leap up escalator and along passages, no queue at BMA, told "just a chance", no queue at security, aircraft on first stand on right down the pier (stand 2 ?), give BP, in, doors of the DC9-10 close behind me, OTD at 13.00, 12 minutes after I arrive in the tube station :)

Now then, rog747, if I'd just missed it, would you have kindly endorsed my non-endorseable onto the 15.00 ?

Also recall going up to Teesside, maybe 1988, in one of the ex-Indonesian DC9-30s. Full reverse and braking on touchdown. My briefcase whizzes forward down the aisle most of the way to the front. C'mon guys, MME's runway is not that short.

Last DC9 I ever rode in was about 1995, returning from Edinburgh one evening, which by then was all 737-400 on BMA, but there was an aircraft sub and a DC9 was on the rotation. More than a little tatty inside, but I believe ValuJet bought the last ones from BMA.

how nasty an F27 on the MME!I more than once had to endure one on Waterford to Luton. My last-ever Dart-powered flights. Noisy little thing abeam the props.

As for WLAD, who knows ??Ended up like so many One-Elevens with Okada Air in Nigeria, last heard of derelict and dumped at Benin over there, towards the end of the 1990s.

Midland 331
16th Nov 2014, 17:36
> aircraft on first stand on right down the pier (stand 2 ?), give BP, in, doors of the DC9-10 close behind me, OTD at 13.00, 12 minutes after I arrive in the tube station.

B2/4 were great for that type of fun. In my time at SAS, I used to travel Teesside-Heathrow-Manchester on free staff tickets, sometimes allowing me to disembark at B2 or 4, dash across the corridor to The Shuttle Lounge, and be sat on the Manchester within ten minutes. A whole lot more fun than driving, and cheaper, too. Not to mention free drinks and/or jump-seating on the way back. As well as getting paid.

>Now then, rog747, if I'd just missed it, would you have kindly endorsed my non-endorseable onto the 15.00 ?

Probably my domain as a young ticket agent, circa 1983. Your BMA "Keyfare" was normally utterly unchangeable. But on the trunk routes, head-to-head with BA, there was always the desire to not lose punters to "The Enemy". So you may have had a chance. BMA Heathrow appeared to have it's own way of doing lots of things... :-)

>C'mon guys, MME's runway is not that short.

The trick was to make the high-speed exit off 23 which led straight onto the ramp. Achievable on a good day without too much drama, but occasionally the crews tried just a bit too hard, resulting in a mild "eyeballs-out" effect.

Ryanair always seemed to make it, though...

16th Nov 2014, 18:52
flew out with airways Cymru on a page and moy charter to nice for the Monaco Grand Prix in 84 went out on there tatty ex bia 1 11 but came home on there very smart painted up 1 11 wlad only trouble had was due to sheer traffic of aircraft at nice due to Grand Prix believe there was 3 airfrance concordes there plus ba Concorde the airport was heaving and flight was delayed by 3 hours unable to get a good picture of aircraft

16th Nov 2014, 19:08
remember the Aviaco DC-9 very well.
Also the Stirling Caravelle OY-SAH in May 78 I think. I have a photo somewhere.

You and I probably know each other other than by our monikers here then...

I'm sure I have a pic of OY SAH as well but on a 'basic' camera and with prints/negs still somewhere round my mother's place.

If you remember Dave W of that era he's currently putting up several scanned slides from seventies on FB every week .

16th Nov 2014, 22:20
Here's the old girl in all her glory

New to British Eagle : http://www.airliners.net/photo/British-Eagle-International/BAC-111-304AX-One-Eleven/1597173/&sid=47623c5e761946026212463268655612

Canadian sojourn (actually 15 years, 1969 to 1984) : http://www.airliners.net/photo/Quebecair/BAC-111-304AX-One-Eleven/0344682/&sid=6b2e1b638aff7b49c4ca81a1a4d42ad3

Airways Cymru c/s, back home as G-WLAD : Photos: BAC 111-304AX One-Eleven Aircraft Pictures | Airliners.net (http://www.airliners.net/photo/Airways-International-Cymru/BAC-111-304AX-One-Eleven/1248701/&sid=7f5bae194b34b03b70805fae9857a487)

BMA c/s. You can see it was a minimalist livery adaptation, and in fact the Airways Cymru scheme was not a million miles away from the BMA Diamond scheme anyway : Photos: BAC 111-304AX One-Eleven Aircraft Pictures | Airliners.net (http://www.airliners.net/photo/British-Midland-Airways/BAC-111-304AX-One-Eleven/2042975/&sid=7f5bae194b34b03b70805fae9857a487)

Manx scheme. Complete and full repaint : Photos: BAC 111-304AX One-Eleven Aircraft Pictures | Airliners.net (http://www.airliners.net/photo/Manx-Airlines/BAC-111-304AX-One-Eleven/1165089/&sid=7f5bae194b34b03b70805fae9857a487)

A current view of Benin City airport, Nigeria, with what look like a lot of One-Eleven fuselages etc dumped in the weeds. I reckon it's one of these : https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Benin+City+Airport,+Airport+Road,+Benin+City,+Edo,+Ni geria&hl=en&ll=6.310702,5.596493&spn=0.003007,0.005284&sll=7.830731,2.625732&sspn=6.13563,10.821533&oq=Benin+city&t=h&hq=Benin+City+Airport,+Airport+Road,+Benin+City,+Edo,+Nigeri a&z=18

17th Nov 2014, 13:45
Enjoyed reading this thread brought back memories..

BM had promised the travelling public jet aircraft on the LBA-LHR route when the runway extension at Leeds was complete, However at this time I think there was only 8 DC9s in the fleet 6-DC9-10 and 2 DC9-30. These where assigned 2x GLA 2 x BFS 2x EDI and 1 for MME and LBA, this meant that there was no spare capacity for disruption and engineering, I would guess this was not a great idea especially when competing with BA on the former routes so as a short term measure a jet of comparable size was leased in to cover the operation. Why was it placed on the LBA route well as a forumer earlier has mentioned you could base the aircraft with crew at LBA and let it run backward and forward to LHR as a self contained operation, whilst on the other routes crews and aircraft where based at both ends so it was sensible to keep aircraft types the same, In the case of the MME route if though there was only one aircraft assigned to this route during the day due to the tight schedule it often changed aircraft to maintain the schedule.

If I remember correctly once BM had sourced more 9s the plan was for Manx to operate one on the IOM-LHR run and some Manx crews actually had commenced their training on the BM 9s in readiness for this then there was a change of plan and the 1-11 was transferred to Manx until they obtained their 146. The only reason I can think for this change was the runway length at Ronaldsway was not really suitable for the 9 or the 1-11 with a full payload.

17th Nov 2014, 17:48
yes WHBM!
we/1 would have got you most likely without fuss on the next one FOC normally as standby - especially if it was a regular or a mr/mrs 'nice'
but if it was full we always asked to use the 1 or 2 jump seats on the Dc-9's if the skipper and no.1 were agreeable (99.999% were)
we did that for full fare pax, not just staff as people wanted to get home and loved the jump seat ride and they still got food or a dinner!
frantically ringing the caterers for 92 meals for the BD338 or 340 and the bloke saying but thought you only seat 90!

Terminal 1 Gate 2 or 4 was perfect for LMC's - we never left anyone behind and checkin would squawk me if any runners...we even opened the doors again sometimes if at all possible.
On my shift i tried to get aircraft airborne at ''departure time'' rather than pushing back as we could normally slip onto a runway intersection and take off quickly in front of the Q - as long as the doors were not closed before -10 we could skip off and try and get going fast as usually we did not need full length runway.
the hold ups to this were always Shell not turning up or late bags to the a/c.

we normally never caused anyone grief if they missed a flight - we got them home
we (sometimes the girls would come to me and ask) but usually it was a yes just put them on the next one on sby. get them away.

midland 331 you are right we did do things a wee bit differently at LHR LOL!
yes we had firecracker and keyfares but it was so simple to just put someone on the next flight at the CI desk or the gate and keep them happy.
Our ethos was you have paid for seat and you wanna go home.
also the seat plan was a sticker! (no computers)

things were fun at LHR
we turned around a very late running MME DC-9 on B2 in 5 minutes - i still have kept the telex from the Fuhrer congratulating me and the staff for doing that (or the jet ban would have screwed usú royally)
50 pax off, hardly any bags to load/offload, splash of fuel and 92 punters at the bottom the steps waiting to board the a/c whilst the girls did a quick run through the cabin for the trash and crossed the belts - boarded the herd superfast and the the 9 was at 4000' again within 12 minutes of arriving on blocks.

the good old days - we could transfer pax from a late inbound to another gate in the van or our car to make a connection - all so easy and people were so grateful

17th Nov 2014, 21:31
You guys probably know more about the arrangements, but after the last passenger flight of the day LHR-EDI there was a Royal Mail postal flight each way, leaving each end about 23.00 and arriving shortly after midnight. I believe the mail was carried in special pouches fixed over the seat units. I also believe it was the only scheduled landing into Heathrow so late, and was a Post Office special arrangement outside normal slots.

Once, driving inwards to London on the M4 just after midnight, I had just passed the Heathrow exit when lights from the left appeared in the sky, which I am pretty sure would have been this flight inbound. At first I thought it was coming in on 23, but it was just a bit further on and made a tight banked turn onto short final for 27 Right, they must have been hand flying it. Of course, it was the only aircraft around. What fun for the guys up front !

These where assigned 2x GLA 2 x BFS 2x EDI and 1 for MME and LBAWhen did Liverpool get a DC-9 service ?

18th Nov 2014, 00:58
When did Liverpool get a DC-9 service ?

OCT 78 -OCT 80 then OCT 88-MAR 92 the years inbetween was a mixture of VC8 and F27 and Manx 360 and SF3

9th Apr 2016, 14:25
I've just remembered that WLAD had a starring role in BBC Airport 1986. Mike Smith took a jump seat ride behind Capt. Jeff Price and chum on the BD413 from LBA to LHR one foul November morning. He radioed Peter McCann at LATCC on the way down. The weather at Heathrow was terrible but WLAD landed on the first approach. I wonder if she was CATII equipped.

Loved that series. A real eye-opener.

30th Apr 2016, 18:07


1st May 2016, 21:08
there was a Royal Mail postal flight each way, leaving each end about 23.00 and arriving shortly after midnight.

IIRC that was the BD8801/8802. Direct routings and short approaches were often flown, as I remember.

2nd Nov 2017, 06:28
The Airport 86 film I've referred to above can be found on Vimeo. The quality isn't the best but it's perfectly adequate. Good to see the old banger in action, defying the lousy weather at both ends of the route.