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Court Line

Old 8th Oct 2007, 19:38
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Yes Pete Varley was an ex Gloster Test pilot and famed for his Javelin displays-as was Dickie Martin -who was also with Courtline.
Both have sadly passed on.
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Old 14th Oct 2007, 20:46
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Just out of curiosity, does anyone remember a captain called Fred ? who flew for Court Line? He lived in Harlow.
I knew him through friends when I lived in Harlow for a short time in 1969/70, but I can't now remember his surname.

If so, where did he go after the demise of CL?
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Old 15th Oct 2007, 04:53
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The only Fred I remember was Sheldrick, a very large man. A joy to fly with.
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Old 15th Oct 2007, 08:57
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Originally Posted by stevie.C View Post
probably the most innovative airline of its day (remember seat back catering) on the 1-11's.
As I understand it seatback catering was a considerable nuisance, which however did not dissuade Dan-Air at least, who picked up some of the One-Elevens after Court ceased trading, continuing with it on those aircraft so fitted for years afterwards. Notably the mechanism which held the two meals for outward and return sectors locked in place until the latter was released at the outstation was none too robust and it was all too easy for the outbound passenger (especially probing children) to fiddle with a coin and release, and eat, the return sector meal as well. It seems there were spare meals carried on board to overcome such problems but on occasions these were not sufficient !

Goodness, if the pax were so desperate for such in-flight catering they must have been hard times indeed !

Originally Posted by Gooneyone
....Leeward Islands Air Transport. They used local crew to operate Avros and BAC 111s inter island.
I believe the One-Elevens were only used in the Caribbean in the winter (their peak season), and balancing aircraft usage between summer in the UK and winter in the Caribbean was a key part of the decision to buy LIAT in the first place, aside from Court's various investments in hotels etc in the region. Certainly in the early 1970s work for a UK-based IT operator during the winter with a large fleet of new short-haul aircraft must have been very thin.
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Old 18th Oct 2007, 08:07
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Seat Back Catering

I think 'elf & Safety' would have a fit about seat back catering. Slice of pork pie or sandwices sitting in a cardboard box with no cling film, the return catering sometimes sitting there for several hours in variant temperatures!
We did have spares as 'break ins' often happened usually with a note left I remember one saying " a foreign mouse got her first". It really was very unappetising - the crew never ate them!!
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Old 18th Oct 2007, 20:17
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Oh the memories! That wonderful Rat Pie!
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Old 29th Oct 2007, 17:25
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Talking Courtline Reunion

In answer to Steve C. the next reunion is all set up for October 2008. Ding & I will be putting out all the details after Christmas, when hopefully everyone has a new diary! We always have a memory corner so anything new to add to it will be great. - the van has to stay outside, mores the pity! Crispin Maunder has set up a Courtline web site that will be launched in the next few weeks, all the information about it will be on PPRuNe. I hope this answers all your questions for now.
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Old 29th Oct 2007, 17:39
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Red face Reply to Dave Kingman

I received your e-mail about the very last day - so sad, I will never forget the customs & excise guy bounding up the steps and slapping a impounded sticker on the side of 'our baby' . I have a copy of the Daily Telegraph with a front page spread and photograph so I would be very intersted in the old photo that you have if you can e-mail it to me. Better still bring it to the next reunion with you as well.
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Old 24th Feb 2008, 08:31
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Luton Ramp

I was a 'Ramp 1' for one glorious year up to the end and would love to catch up with other OU people , names that stick in my mind are Malcolm Sutcliffe Ken Brooker and Kingsley Leighton all Ops and Pax services people.
Does anyone remember the Clarksons cruise where everything that could go wrong did. Late departure from LTN gales all over the Med a coach drivers strike in one port of call and various other disasters. My self and two other ground staff Heather Shoreland and Mervyn Berrill were sent out to Palermo to 'meet and greet' the returning pax and smooth the return trip.........I was in the Jump seat on the Pink Tristar.... On finals to Palermo the Capt told me that WX across all of UK was out due to fog and we would have to night stop . We went into the departure lounge and made an announcement to the waiting very pissed off pax that their ordeal was to continue . Coaches were arranged and the pax sent to a hotel . We returned to the A/C to collect as much gin as we could carry and went off with the crew to a much better hotel than the pax were in and started a party in the Captains room . I remember being in the hotel lift with all the cabincrew and two unknown British men who asked what we were doing , we told them a party was under way and would they care to join us which of course they did , they turned out to be two Conservative MP's on some junket to Italy . The rest of the night is a little hazy but I do reacall bedding going out of the window at some point ! Our return the next morning was subdued to say the least and the arrival at LTN was met by all the top brass from Head office and Clarksons. I just about made it down the steps and fell into the 'Ramp One' minivan to be driven home . I was just 21 and it was all such fun !
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Old 24th Feb 2008, 08:59
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Court ramp-You have a pm.
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Old 25th Feb 2008, 11:08
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Autair 1967

I'm hoping that there may be some ex-Autair readers of these posts - I'm researching the non-scheduled operations of various British Independent carriers in the summer of 1967, and am lacking data on the Autair HS748 and Ambassador operations during that season.

If anyone has any information they could share, I would be most grateful - routes, schedules, scans of logbooks etc ??

Hope to hear from you !
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Old 26th Feb 2008, 17:25
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Thanks Wasdale, and apologies for not responding sooner.

It was indeed Fred Sheldrick.
I remember him as a great chap.

Tudor
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Old 1st Mar 2008, 10:25
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The use of Seat Back catering was only thought up to increase in Flight Bar sales as in those days much of the flight profit came from the Duty Free Bar
It gave the cabin crew more time to flog the booze !

The Heralds were from Handley Page due to Non availablity of the Ambassadors from Globe Air

When Autair bought the Bac1-11's the MD said he wanted BAC to take the Ambassadors in part exchange but he said we wont bring it up until we have squeezed all the discounts.At the grand finale meeting the MD said to BAC we need you to take the Ambassadors in part exchange without batting an eye the BAC MD said "no problem, I will send my man up to weight them "!!


I have been away for the last couple of re-unions but will hopefully make the October one.

Incidentally Fred Kozo and Dave Cater are still gainfully employed ( I think)
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Old 1st Mar 2008, 16:57
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Gotthetshirt??

not sure who gotthetshirt is, but the reunion details will be on the Courtline website very soon Crispin Maunder is just finishing it off for Ding & I. I think we all remember Fred & Dave good to hear they are well - I'm sure Fred still has a bit to say about life!
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Old 1st Mar 2008, 22:30
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Originally Posted by captain.speaking View Post
I'm researching the non-scheduled operations of various British Independent carriers in the summer of 1967, and am lacking data on the Autair HS748 and Ambassador operations during that season.
Any such research obviously starts with Tony Merton-Jones' book.

1967 was the last non-jet year for Autair - the One-Elevens started to arrive in 1968. They were building up their scheduled services as well as charters.

Their fleet was very mixed in this year. The Heralds had arrived, in addition to the 748s and Ambassadors, and the Bristol Freighter, the last of the Dakotas and the last two Vikings were still laying around, not certain how much use these got, if any.

Their main charter base was Luton, unlike other operators of the time they didn't particularly spread themselves round the country (Clarksons used Dan-Air for a lot of their various provincial departures). They did operate out of Bristol/Cardiff this year, then lost it, but Court returned there later.

They also operated in a bit of a different way to other holiday operators. The other major ones would tend to do a Saturday morning from Luton or Gatwick etc to Palma, then a Sunday night, then a Saturday night, etc, as they built up over time. Clarksons would just get Autair to do a Saturday morning from Luton, then duplicate it, then triplicate it, etc, as loads required, so in high season the bulk of the charter fleet might set off from Luton for the same trip pretty much together. With Court Line this was part of the rationale for buying the Tristars, because they built up a number of points which three or more One-Elevens would serve together. What this overlooked (and it was surprising that this was so) was that whereas you might do this in August, you could be down to a single One-Eleven on the run in May or October. This worked OK where costs were principally by the hour - don't operate all the fleet, don't get many of the costs, but the Tristar was of course indivisible in this way out of peak season, and there had been some over-optimistic expectation of how business might build up outside the school holidays - the season was much narrower in time 35-40 years ago.
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Old 2nd Mar 2008, 17:04
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Last time I saw Fred was in BASCO AUH. He shouted my name fom the other side of the hangar. Could only have been him. Thought I was back in H61 at LTN!

Temps
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Old 3rd Mar 2008, 06:16
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WHBM

In 68 the DC3's had gone. Also do not remember the Bristol freighter?
We had the Beverley that we could not get UK civil certification on.
So that went to Beverley !

The Tristar was always planned to cover the winter longer range market and operated to the Caribbean to support the Court Line interests( hotels and airline) there. Which of course it did.
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Old 4th Mar 2008, 06:48
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1968 was one year on and the fleet had changed a lot. The One-Elevens had started arriving.

In 1967 the Bristol Freighter was G-AIFS and the last DC3 was G-APPO. Both had gone by the following year. The last Vikings were G-AGRW and G-AHPB, which were deregistered during summer 1968.

The Beverley came later, in 1973, intended to move RB.211 engines round to wherever a Tristar had conked out. With only two aircraft in the fleet it didn't show much confidence in the new engine. For many reasons, including the certification paperwork, it was never got into service of course. It would have been a hoot to see it making it to St. Lucia !
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Old 4th Mar 2008, 11:30
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WHBM

The L1011 had an RR RB211 engine.
It was the first big fan engine made in UK
It was unique in a 3 spool design
Its development had driven RR into bankruptcy (and nearly Lockhed)
We had the only ones in Europe.

I would say it was very prudent not to be overconfident

TEMPS

was that Gamco ?? rather than Basco
Fred went to Gulf Air after Court Line ( With a spell with the CL receiver) and was with them until he retired a couple for years ago. He was the GF rep in Gamco AUH.
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Old 4th Mar 2008, 12:37
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I think it would have been even more prudent to have bought an engine-carrying aircraft that actually worked !

I guess Court got the idea of the Beverley from TWA. They had a Fairchild C-82 Packet, another ex-military type that was really unknown in the civil world, wich was based in Paris and turned up at various European points with spare engines and engineers as required and would doubtless have many spotters (or new FO's) saying "whatever type is that". But the TWA operation across Europe was on a completely different scale.

Did anyone ever propose painting the Beverley pink ?
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