Aviation History and Nostalgia Whether working in aviation, retired, wannabee or just plain fascinated this forum welcomes all with a love of flight.

RAF Sharjah

Old 13th Jan 2012, 15:33
  #121 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 609
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
That's a very evocative picture, brakedwell. We may have discussed this before, but I checked out the location of Al Khatt on some old maps we have, and find it was very close to what is now Ras al Khaimah international airport. So much so that I wonder if it was the basis of that later development. I hope to be able to go and check it on the ground one day as part of my ongoing interest in what happened to all these stirps that you people used.

Laurence
l.garey is offline  
Old 18th Jan 2012, 02:53
  #122 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Sharjah - UAE
Age: 39
Posts: 51
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you all for contributing with such wonderful memorable pictures I can imagine how you all had great times during those days... I think the real joy of flying an aeroplane was in your times when everything was manual ..... the planes of 50s and 60s were true pilot's plane! Today the technology does everything for the pilot and all he does is just sit like a dummy and warm the seat! In your times sirs, aeroplanes were TRULY and TOTALLY in control by the pilot! Today aeroplanes are self-controlled! No excitement, no thrill.... sometimes we feel if only we could go back in time isn't it?
captain_salman is offline  
Old 18th Jan 2012, 10:26
  #123 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: uk
Posts: 951
Received 15 Likes on 9 Posts
Laurence

I'll be in the UAE 2 - 12 March, along with a number of old f***s living their past, aka the few TOS veterans still upright. We are on a 50th anniversary (of TOS formation) trip generously hosted by the Abu Dhabi Government.

We'll be based in Abu Dhabi, and going on excursions to places such as the Liwa, as I understand it. If you are in the UAE it would not be too difficult to meet, although I will not have my own transport.

I could easily pack some memorabilia including our maps from the 1960s, which I have conspicuously failed to copy and send as promised in the past. Airstrips in use at that time are marked; many were just for patrol re-supply and only used very occasionally. No doubt others will bring their mementos too, for use as we exchange largely untrue tales of our exploits.
old,not bold is offline  
Old 18th Jan 2012, 10:59
  #124 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 609
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the information, old one! I had heard of the TOS project, and thought I might get involved, but nothing so far. I am now away from the UAE, although I have been back a few times and made the most of the trips to visit some of the former RAF/TOS bases my friends out there occasionally come across.
Send me an email (I think you have my address).

Laurence
l.garey is offline  
Old 19th Jan 2012, 03:59
  #125 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Sharjah - UAE
Age: 39
Posts: 51
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Pardon my intrusion sir old, can I come along too ? I wish to meet anyone from this RAF era, Mr Laurence I wish to meet you too! please keep us posted if you do have any plans to visit UAE. I am hoping to see this old Sharjah map mentioned, wondering where all the airstrips were and how the town and souqs of old Sharjah were!

I must have compared old and new Sharjah in Google Earth more than a thousand times now!
captain_salman is offline  
Old 20th Jan 2012, 11:11
  #126 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Under the clouds now
Age: 86
Posts: 2,501
Received 13 Likes on 10 Posts
Gulf Aviation DC3 VT-DGS accident

When a leased Kalinga Airlines DC3 flying for Gulf Air went missing on a scheduled flight from Doha to Sharjah I was called out to search the sea for wreckage between Doha and Sharjah. Later in the day a Shackleton from Aden and a Dharan based USAF C 54 joined our Pembroke in the search, which was hampered by strong NW winds and blowing sand. The search was abandoned after one week, but rumours of gold bars on board, hijacking and sabotage persisted for several months. Pilots familiar with the area were convinced the DC3 crew, who were new to the Gulf and unfamiliar with the winds, had overflown Sharjah before descending towards the mountains in the east




In December 1960 a traveller from the Musandam Peninnsular turned up in Ras al Khaima with a story about strong smells and circling vultures near his mountain village around the time of the accident. A new search for the wreckage of VT-DGS was authorised and a PR Canberra from Cyprus photographed the area with a view to finding a landing area suitable for a Twin Pioneer.

On January 26th 1961 while on a Twin Pioneer detachment at Sharjah I was tasked to find and mark a suitable airstrip on the Musandam Penninsular. Armed with an aerial photograph, the Lat and Long of a promising looking area and a large cannister of lime-wash our adventure began.

Shortly before departure a corporal engine fitter asked if he could come along for the ride, which I agreed to immediately as he might be useful. With Master Navigator “Yorkie” Gladwyn in the right hand seat we headed east towards the mountains.




We arrived overhead the designated area and circled down to 200 feet above the sandy basin. After 30 minutes looking for a 400 yard stretch of a flat, obstacle free, ground we were about to give up. Rocks poked through the surface at critical intervals and the most promising area was scattered with small trees and what looked like groups of vertical gravestones. As Yorkie said: “ It’s no good let’s go back and have a beer,” I saw a clear run close a line of “gravestones”.

After landing (without hitting any obstacles) I turned the Twin Pioneer through 180 degrees and shut down, forgetting to raise the flaps and slats! The line of (engraved) gravestones would be a good marker along the left hand edge of the take off run.

There was no sign of life when we got out of the aircraft. Before long a group of locals appeared from the northern side of the bowl. At least two of the older men were armed with knives resembling narrow swords and sticks topped with small hatchets. Nobody had a rifle. We shook hands, I began to relax. The corporal took some photographs and then went to collect the lime-wash with Yorkie. While they were inside the aircraft a young women launched herself through door and lay on the floor face down. I heard raised voices and a bang when something hit the port flap. One member of the group grabbed the women by her ankles and dragged her backwards out of the aircraft. She landed heavily and let out a cry. I shouted to Yorkie, “Switch on the booster pumps!” hoping the buzzing noises would frighten them away. Unfortunately Yorkie was not familiar with the switches!

Very conscious that we were outsiders who had landed in their graveyard, and it was almost certain no Europeans or vehicles had been there before us I pushed my way through the crowd and pulled the door shut. They moved away quickly when the starter cartridge fired and the starboard engine burst into life.








Things are turning nasty.


Visible dent on flap trailing edge.


Exit route west


I decided to land at the TOS camp at Khatt and talk to the CO. Initially he was angry our landing, but then he admitted that the TOS had been looking for an excuse to send an expedition into the Musandam Penninsular for years. As it was a foreign country (Oman) and closed to Europeans he always knew the chances were slim. The vulture story was the excuse they had been waiting for, but HQ Persian Gulf would not approve launching a search party unless an airstrip was available for casevacs and resupply by Twin Pioneer.

Footnote - The Sultan got to hear about out visit and a new search was never approved. The wreckage of VT-DGS was discovered several years later in a dried up river bed about forty miles east of Sharjah. The TOS camp at Khatt must have been close to what is now Ras al Khaima International. And yes I did feel a bit like Biggles at the time!

Last edited by brakedwell; 20th Jan 2012 at 15:31.
brakedwell is offline  
Old 20th Jan 2012, 11:33
  #127 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 609
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Lovely stuff, brakedwell! You deserved any "light refreshments" you got at Jahili after that!

Laurence
l.garey is offline  
Old 20th Jan 2012, 11:41
  #128 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 609
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
old,not,bold: please check your PMs. I sent you one!

Laurence
l.garey is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2012, 12:36
  #129 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Sharjah - UAE
Age: 39
Posts: 51
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
brakedwell, thank you for sheding light on this incident... I am curious to know where exactly the wreck of VT-DGS was found. Was it near the current RAK Int.l Airport ??

this thread is becoming interesting fellows
captain_salman is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2012, 13:11
  #130 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Under the clouds now
Age: 86
Posts: 2,501
Received 13 Likes on 10 Posts
Salman, I am sure it was some way south R al K Int in the region of what is now Al Dhaid/Manama. There were no tarmac roads and very few settlements in those days. I can't remember how long it was before someone came across the wreckage as I was back in UK, but it must have been two years at least. The DC3 hit a low cliff on the eastern side of a dried up waddi and disintegrated into small pieces. Apparently the remains, covered in sand, were very hard to see. If there was gold on board it was never recovered!!
brakedwell is offline  
Old 3rd Mar 2012, 16:55
  #131 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Sharjah, UAE
Age: 27
Posts: 14
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Smile RAF Sharjah in 2012

I visited the Al Mahatta Museum (RAF Sharjah) on March 2nd 2012 and was quite shocked to see the airport's rooms and courtyard kept in the original manner. The aircrafts in the main hangar are also in good condition. Sadly, the ATC tower is not opened for visitors. I will be visiting the old airport soon, and will photograph the other hangars outside and the taxiways which are now car parks. I took some photos of the aircrafts and ATC, but I'm not being allowed to post attachments yet... BTW, the Comet's cockpit smelt like heaven.
Savio Lodh is offline  
Old 4th Mar 2012, 07:12
  #132 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 609
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Welcome to the thread Savio. We have talked a lot about Al Mahatta in the preceding posts, but it is good to have up-to-date news.

https://sites.google.com/site/lgarey...lmahattamuseum

Laurence
l.garey is offline  
Old 4th Mar 2012, 10:32
  #133 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Sharjah, UAE
Age: 27
Posts: 14
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank You Mr. Laurence Garey. Your article on the Jebel Akhdar War is amazing!! The only RAF crash I knew was of the Wellington bomber of 1943. The anniversary of the crash still comes out on the local Gulf Newspapers. I live quite close to RAF Sharjah (Mahatta Airport) and my grandad used to work as an electrician in RAF Thumrait, Oman.
Savio Lodh is offline  
Old 9th Mar 2012, 10:03
  #134 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Sharjah - UAE
Age: 39
Posts: 51
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Dear Savio

Since you live in Sharjah perhaps we could meet and explore this area together, there are many things to be discovered and stories to be told. As I am living in this area for more than 15 years I am aware of which parts of RAF parts still exist and how the times have changed from what it had been and how it is now.

Let me know when it is convenient for you to visit the area
captain_salman is offline  
Old 9th Mar 2012, 10:06
  #135 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 609
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I wish I could join you two! I shall be transitting Dubai tomorrow on my way to South Africa, but not stopping for more than 4 hours, around midnight. Maybe another time.

Laurence
l.garey is offline  
Old 9th Mar 2012, 10:13
  #136 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Sharjah - UAE
Age: 39
Posts: 51
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It would have been a pleasure accompanying you sir, surely we will meet soon
captain_salman is offline  
Old 9th Mar 2012, 10:27
  #137 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Under the clouds now
Age: 86
Posts: 2,501
Received 13 Likes on 10 Posts
Lovely stuff, brakedwell! You deserved any "light refreshments" you got at Jahili after that!
Laurence

I must admit we had a couple at Al Khatt - to calm the nerves of course!
brakedwell is offline  
Old 12th Mar 2012, 17:45
  #138 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Bristol
Posts: 1
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
RAF Sharjah - do you remember it in the 50s and 60s?

Hi all, I'm helping a friend with PhD research concerning the history of RAF Sharjah. We are looking for anyone who might have been there in the 50s or 60s and, among other things, remembers the base cinema there. This is unique academic research and we'd like to hear from anyone who would be happy to talk about their recollections and experiences. If you can help we'd love to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me on my personal email address.
Thanks for your time, Dave Cox, Bristol.
email [email protected]
Daveyuk is offline  
Old 13th Mar 2012, 20:30
  #139 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Sharjah - UAE
Age: 39
Posts: 51
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Good reminding about the cinema in the RAF Sharjah premises, I believe it was the very first cinema in the Trucial States during the time! If anyone knows about RAF Sharjah's cinema please share your valuable information here!
captain_salman is offline  
Old 13th Mar 2012, 21:04
  #140 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: herts
Posts: 1,838
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I was saving these for the Which Aerodrome thread, but I thought that they were more appropriate here - I hope they are of the right airport.

These were both taken during the war. I've included links to a full sized version.

This one is "Airport At Sharjah, Arabia."

The full size version (4508x3519) can be found here

The next one is "Control Tower And Installations At An Airfield At Sharjah, Trucial Oman, Arabia"

Again the full sized version (4500x3510) is here

Last edited by nvubu; 13th Mar 2012 at 21:54. Reason: spelling
nvubu is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.