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Rothmans Aerobatic Team (& Others)

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Rothmans Aerobatic Team (& Others)

Old 26th Mar 2006, 16:31
  #141 (permalink)  
 
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Graham Rutson was a Flight Ops Inspector for the CAA at Gatwick last time I saw him, about a year or two ago. Not sure if he's still there.
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Old 27th Mar 2006, 17:40
  #142 (permalink)  
 
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On-MarkBob:

Send me a PM and I will reunite you with Rod.
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Old 28th Mar 2006, 22:04
  #143 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
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RodtheSod

Hi Bob, Norman et al,

Great thread! I considered joining last year but thought interest had waned. Thanks JW411 for putting me in touch with Bob - why people chose me as a best man, or even godfather, heaven knows. Thanks Jabberwok for the nice pic of me in G-BADY attacking the tower at, I believe, Ronaldsway - did you take it?
It was interesting to read the different versions of the 'Threadneedle'. Tim Mills (9th Feb 2004) describes the version we did with Marcus as leader although we pulled up to about 70 degrees before bunting to the same angle of climb and reversing back to a second opposition with No4. The trim change was horrific in the bunt from about 90 to 190mph at the bottom and the trim lever was far too far away in my state of terror. The first time Marcus and I practiced this as a pair with me in the 2 slot, he was so surprised and mesmerised to see me still in close at the end of the bunt he forgot to pull until we'd passed through the vertical. There followed a distinct lack of airspeed and ideas and we both auto-rotated, him to the right and me to the left. The image of his Hartzell and spinner head-on and about 6ft from mine is permanently etched in my memory bank. By the time either of us had regained sufficient composure to speak on the radio we were 20 miles distant and diverging! Would love to see more pics - my last ex-wife destroyed most of mine.
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Old 29th Mar 2006, 08:21
  #144 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2001
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Thanks Jabberwok for the nice pic of me in G-BADY attacking the tower at, I believe, Ronaldsway - did you take it?
Indeed I did. Here's a longer sequence from the June '79 display..


Someone got seriously ribbed for not having smoke on but I forget who..




Pretty close to the tower..



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Old 29th Mar 2006, 08:46
  #145 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2001
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I only have one shot from June 1980.. Was that the year strong winds stopped the display?

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Old 29th Mar 2006, 10:57
  #146 (permalink)  
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Right, here are On-MarkBob's photos, with his descriptions!:


I believe we were in transit from Kota Kinabalu to Tawau crossing the virgin rain forest. We had to fly high to get over the foothills of Mt. Kinabalu which rises to 14,000 feet. That's me in BADZ with Rod Rea in BADY on my right wing. Taken from the Islander by John Brobyn. Interestingly, Rothmans gave us all parachutes for the crossing as the only realistic method of survival should we have an engine failure and end up having to crash land in the tops of the trees!


This is the Islander over the sea off Guinea Bissau in the story I have just told on earlier on this thread.


Here's G-SOLO just before it's maiden flight at Teesside Airport. I don't have the negative and the print is now well worn! The chap with the interesting barnet is me!


The team: Alan Dix, George Powell (Rothmans Rep), Rod Rea, Marcus Edwards and Brian Lecomber. Location is somewhere in Malaysia. Note the PSP below the feet (pierced steel planking) that played havoc with the tail wheels. I had to fly one of the Pitts into Singapore to have it welded back on after it broke off taking part of the rudder post with it.

Last edited by treadigraph; 23rd Apr 2007 at 21:27. Reason: Re-linking photos
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Old 30th Mar 2006, 08:21
  #147 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: to the left and down
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Not wanting to be a butt-in-ski or such, but I'm thoroughly enjoying the thread. Have no connections to the team or a/c except one small detail.
I picked up four 1/72nd plastic kitsets by "LS" way way back, probably mid 80s, of the Rothmans Pitts. Come time for a break after one or two major kit projects I'm finally going to finish them.
I still think the blue & white scheme surpasses much of the red stuff I've seen these days.
Many thanks for the pics, fellers. Major help.
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Old 30th Mar 2006, 18:25
  #148 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
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The Colours

Hi, RiskyRossco,
If you need the colours for your models they are:- Fiat Orient Blue, Ford Olympic Blue, Ford Diamond White, and Mid Chrome yellow. Even after all these years they are forever etched in my memory. Funny how we can remember such crap and the names of the people I shared a little of my life with I find difficult. Since I got involved with all this I have now been in touch with Rod, Norman, JB and BT (Bob Thomson), Just a few more to dig up and we will be a full team again!!

Bob.
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Old 30th Mar 2006, 21:08
  #149 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
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How kind of you, Bob! Thank you, dear Sir.
The kits have all the decals however, closer inspection of the photies tells me the yellow and dark blue are off by a fair bit.
Well, you live and learn.
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Old 30th Mar 2006, 21:23
  #150 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
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A completed example of the LS Pitts. I think it is still available but with a Toyota sponsor set of transfers.
g45
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Old 31st Mar 2006, 05:37
  #151 (permalink)  
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Grow45, from distant mmory of that kit, your pic must be about 500% size! It's tiny...

I've seen the LS Rothmans kit available on a website that sells kits in the last few days if anyone wants one - PM me for details (I'll be back late this evening!)
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Old 31st Mar 2006, 06:13
  #152 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
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Great to see this thread back on top, splendid stories from after my time, and those pictures took me back thirty two years or so!

I'm glad someone else was terrified doing the dreaded formation bunt, rodthesod, I thought it was just me. I must admit, we never got up to the near vertical again before pulling through, so far as I remember, and am quite glad we didn't. I nearly did when leading David Perrin through a practice shortly after he joined us. He seemed to be coping so well that I thought about it, but sensibly never did, for reasons rodthesod mentions. But David was a natural, even then, and would have coped, as he did like a duck to water when he took over from Neil Williams in the team. Very nice young chap, and a great loss.

If I knew how, I would post a picture of the suave sophisicates of the 74 team, to compare with the rough old lot who came later! Great pictures, thanks.

Tim (Blue 3, as was )
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Old 31st Mar 2006, 10:41
  #153 (permalink)  
 
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Yep, grow, that there be the critter. And, yepyep, she don't take much space. Since splashing paint on the first one my skills have improved and the stripes will look a whole heap neater.
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Old 31st Mar 2006, 10:49
  #154 (permalink)  
 
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RiskyRossco & Grow45

For your models RAT , certainly in my time, never used the optional sliding canopies - we 'ad it tough in them days. Seriously, too much trouble to open if we had to exit in a hurry.

Tim Mills

Thanks, I thought I was alone in my fear. The box slow roll used to get a bit hairy at times too. I got seriously close to Marcus on occasions and I think we once may have touched. As No2 I was always short of rudder power as airspeed decayed in the last 1/4 and, in the early days, I sensed the ground was a bit too close as I skidded out of position.
The Hairyside always followed a loop to gain entry speed and the whole thing, including initial climb and No4 rejoin took too long so we dropped it in favour of a complete vic outside loop. No4 did a mini-solo while we climbed, and it was a doddle for him to rejoin when we were back on top of the bunt with low speed. We did the full looping display if we had 1100ft cloudbase, but I always sensed the proximity of grass/water when we bottomed out.
Yes, Dave P was fantastic (RIP) and he could do it all without exceeding any limits unlike at least one of his notable predecessors.
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Old 31st Mar 2006, 21:29
  #155 (permalink)  
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Tim, send me your pic, I'll happily add it to the collection in my hidden company directory! (They'll suss me one day...) [email protected]
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Old 1st Apr 2006, 07:40
  #156 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Tim Mills
If I knew how, I would post a picture of the suave sophisicates of the 74 team, to compare with the rough old lot who came later! Great pictures, thanks.
Tim (Blue 3, as was )
If treadigraph runs out of room (or when the boss finds out what he's doing!), send the pics to me and I'll put them on the web for you. I was at Cranfield College at the time and saw many of your displays - at the time I thought "I must get one of those" and did. I went on to lead a Pitts formation aerobatic team down here for a while.
You guys were an inspiration to a whole generation.

Last edited by djpil; 12th Apr 2006 at 09:18.
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Old 2nd Apr 2006, 10:02
  #157 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
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Thanks Treaders and djpil, in fact PPRuNe pop had already offered, and I sent them to him, with many thanks. Maybe he will put them on if he thinks they are worth it, quality not all that hot, I'm afraid.

I see your team, djp, was in 1980, how did it go? I used to visit Luskintyre, near Maitland in the early 90s, when I was doing ground school lecturing at the Cessnock flying school. They had four Pitts, I think, ex Jordanian if I remember, but I never knew if they formed a team there; I know one of the chaps there used to give an excellent individual display in one of them.

Rod, fun wasn't it, the box slow roll I mean. Of course I never tried it as No2, but certainly found the ground looking rather close as we went into it, and still can't really work out how it all worked as No3, but don't lose sleep over it these days!

Oh well, aged ride on, and even older tractor these days, quite exciting enough!

Tim


And as promised here are a few of Tims' pics:


Taken by Flight photographer flying with MIke Finlay No2 position, Iain Weston leading, self No3

Briefing by Iain, self looking apprehensive, Mike looking relaxed.

Left to right, self, Mike, unknown (apologies to whoever), Iain, Manx in characteristic attitude and humour!

Suave sophisticates during visit to give displays over Monte Carlo. Neil Williams shaking hands with Prince Rainier and hiding Mike. Also present Iain and self, and Gregory Peck and friend amazed at meeting these celebrities! During the visit, Neil took Princess Grace for a flight, and Iain flew Princess Caroline, they enjoyed it.

Team over Monaco harbour, Iain in front, Mike No2, self No3, and Neil in the box. Shortly after this Neil had to leave and David Perrin joined, flying No2 (as though he had been doing it all his life ), with Mike going to No4 and doing all the clever bits Neil used to do.

Tim, Perhaps you can click 'edit' and just add narrative as you would like. PPP

Last edited by Tim Mills; 20th Apr 2006 at 12:18.
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Old 12th Apr 2006, 09:33
  #158 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
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Our team earned a lot of money for our club and was successful for many years. A tragic accident a few years after I left.
The guys at Maitland didn't do any formation aeros that I'm aware of. Phil does a great display. We'll probably discuss this again over a bottle of red this weekend at the national championships.
Somewhere I have some Super 8 movies of your displays. I distinctly recall that box slow roll at Paris ('75?), it looked difficult.
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Old 13th Apr 2006, 08:54
  #159 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
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Thanks djpil, and please give Phil my regards if you see him. He probably won't remember me, I was the chap with the whistful expression wandering about the hangar full of Pitts and lovely reconditioned Tiger Moths. We did talk of my Rothmans time,and he asked me our display sequence. I couldn't remember it well and so I'm afraid was not much help. I do remember his display, I think he practiced over Cessnock now and again. Splendid.

I wasn't in the team when it went to Paris, only did one year, 74, and having had my fun thought I ought to get a proper job! That and a mutual agreement with Manx that my suddenly becoming a grandfather wasn't exactly the youthful image required!

That roll, difficult to start with, but became routine with practice. Being on the inside of the roll to the left, I worried about the first half, and delighted to see Rodthesod hated the last bit, when the ground was rather adjacent to him as No2!
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Old 13th Apr 2006, 13:22
  #160 (permalink)  
 
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Snoop Just a looker-in!

As a raw newcomer to flying training, I remember in '81 drinking long into the night with John Maclean & Marcus Edwards at Sunderland Flying Club, after they'd given me a flip each, with full routine . They could only use one of their Pittses - G-BDKS; the other being grounded with a tailwheel problem.

RIP, gentlemen.

Kev
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