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Trident at Booker.

Old 16th Feb 2011, 16:53
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Cool Trident at Booker.

Anybody remember the splendid Air Displays at Booker in the late sixties early seventies? I recall at one show seeing a BEA Trident (was it inbound to Heathrow from Brussels?) doing a super fly-past. I understand some of the pax were NOT AMUSED! Gosh and then there were the Red Arrows going hell for leather in their Gnats - they blew all my Ian Allan stuff and binos off the top of my minivan pulling out from the bomb-burst. Ray Hanna in a Spitfire in the days when Spitfires were still a novelty and a Vulcan too if my memory serves me right.

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Old 16th Feb 2011, 17:47
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I remember the one that coincided with Booker's hosting of the Kings Cup Air Race in 1972. A Vulcan made a very noisy display which I enjoyed much more than my one year old daughter. Sadly, I don't remember anything else about the day.
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Old 16th Feb 2011, 18:25
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Ahhhh Booker! I also remember a BOAC VC 10 doing a low level high speed fly on the way to Heathrow which impressed me somewhat. I had never seen a commercial aircraft do anything like that before. Also recall Ray Hanna "cutting the grass" in a Spitfire PR9. I think it must have been 1971. Did the sun always shine in those days!
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Old 16th Feb 2011, 18:42
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OUAQUK. Yep, I remember it well!! I think it was inbound from Geneva, I thought it was a great display, although you are quite correct about less than amused passengers.!!!!. I had a pleasure flight in a Cherokee [!],that day and was allowed to handle it to give the guy a rest!!!. I subsequently did my PPL there. I also remember Don Bullock displaying B.17 'Sally B' as it now is. My wife and I were sitting by the tower [I was flying in those days] when, having finished his display and spotted a group of us on the grass by the tower. Buzzed us very, very low, and scared my wife badly.
Sadly it was no surprise to hear that he ended up in a smoking hole at Biggin.
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Old 16th Feb 2011, 21:23
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Old 16th Feb 2011, 22:18
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Ah, sad that none of the names in that programme are with us any more (save David Brown for the Jet Ranger of whom I know nothing). Presumably the Fourniers were Brian Stevens and David Perrin.

No Rothmans...

JEM60, Don Bullock in the B-17 would have been later, I think it didn't arrive in the UK until about 1975.
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Old 17th Feb 2011, 09:10
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I was at a Booker air display in the late 60s when a BOAC VC-10 and a BEA Trident both made approaches and overshoots before continuing on to Heathrow.

The story I heard was that they were invited to do so, rather than bore holes in the sky in the Garston stack. I cannot imagine that happening today!

I also remember the immortal PA "Would Mr. ....... please return to his Spitfire?"
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Old 20th Feb 2011, 22:41
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The 1968 display, I think, a 707-436 flown by Capt 'Dizzy' Neville, opened the show by an approach to 25, gear down, to a go-around from over the threshold. He then hauled it round and came blasting back at high speed, departing to the east. The Trident, inbound from Brussels, closed the show by cruising gently past, not coming below approx. 1,000 feet above aerodrome level! Fair enough, as it had pax on, unlike the BOAC 707.

Four Jet Provosts (The 'Pelicans'?) flew in and parked before their display. The Red Arrows in Gnats, Sallly 'B,' and Neil Williams, I think, displayed the Jetstream. Featuring also the British Airways Flying Club Cherokee 'Haggis' formation team, led by CFI Hamish Hamilton, for which part of the display I was press-ganged into doing the commentary! I have a Super 8 movie, since transcribed onto video, which will now have to be transcribed onto an even more modern media.

11th July 1971 ... ah yes, I was in Antigua!


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Old 21st Feb 2011, 12:02
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Made my first ever flight at the 1972 Kings Cup Display at Booker. A circuit in G-AXRN a Humber Airways BN Islander, sat up front next to the pilot. Sure impressed a 13 year old.
D
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Old 21st Feb 2011, 12:14
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Originally Posted by Georgeablelovehowindia View Post
The Trident, inbound from Brussels, closed the show by cruising gently past, not coming below approx. 1,000 feet above aerodrome level! Fair enough, as it had pax on, !
I can recall (alas, dimly) that a pax on the Trident flight wrote a detailed criticism of this which was published in Flight magazine the following week or so. Someone might like to dig the relevant letters page up from their archive.

Garston/Bovingdon would seem to be an unusual stack for an inbound from Brussels in the first place.
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Old 21st Feb 2011, 17:17
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The Trident made its sedate approach from the direction of Henley, so it must've been worked around the zone from Biggin, where it normally would route to on a BRU or GVA.
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Old 21st Feb 2011, 18:14
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Agree about Biggin from GVA but it would have been Lambourne from BRU.

Before LAM and BNN I think Garston was the hold for everything form the North and Epsom from the South but could be wrong about that.

Can't remember when Garston ceased to be the holding point form the North; pretty sure it was in 1968.
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Old 21st Feb 2011, 18:34
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TREADI Yes, you are right, it was later. My punctuation skills failed me on that post, and made it seem as if it was the same display. It wasn't, of course. Cheers.
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Old 24th Feb 2011, 16:57
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Wycombe Air Park Rally September 1971

Hi OUAQUKGF - I think we may have been at this one - I brought the Standard 9 along - I have just dug out the negs from this and Leavesden, Teeside, Luton and others. I will now have to buy a film scanner but will post in due course.

Ray
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Old 25th Feb 2011, 00:02
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G-ALHI

Are you sure about Sally B? I left the UK in 1970 and I don't remember seeing or even hearing about any B-17s in the UK.
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Old 25th Feb 2011, 15:55
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Well of course, having searched high and low, I can't lay my hands on the video! However, having watched it - and the Super 8 movie - on numerous occasions, there is a B17 of some description duffing up the tower.

What has come to light is the whole week's recording of 'Airport 86' introduced by Mike Smith and Sarah Greene from LHR. This is from a time when 757s were the latest thing, BA had still not been privatised, Swanwick wasn't even a distant gleam, and Ms Greene had the mandatory big shoulder pads and 'explosion in a candyfloss factory' perm of that era!

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Old 25th Feb 2011, 18:23
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Sending Ray a pm.

Just sent you a pm. Rgds T.
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Old 25th Feb 2011, 22:52
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G-ALHI, it's got to be 1976 plus. Saw an article in Flight by Daryl Stinton around then with a view of Sally B at Booker (I think) very close cropping the dasies.
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Old 26th Feb 2011, 12:54
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I too was standing along the crowd line circa 1968, and could not believe my eyes as the 707 made its low approach over Booker, and neatly oiled my mother's washing-line along with everybody else's under the approach path. It was REALLY low and quite magnificent! Having been gliding there since 1959, to see this happening at MY little airfield left quite an impression I can tell you! My participation at this Show was flying a Thruxton Jackaroo, (my first and only flight on type), doing knife-edges along the crowd line. As a current Tiger Moth pilot, my only pre-flight briefing was that "it climbs, cruises and crashes at 86 knots, (or was that 68?)". Yes, quite!
The displays were always spectacular and well-supported by the participants, and certainly nothing like it could be contemplated today.
Rather like the tacit approval of John *********, a local CAA Flt Ops inspector present on the field, to thrash the living daylights out of the place one quiet Sunday morning, (23/9/79), as I departed in an Intra DC-3 that I'd parked-up for the weekend to see my parents, quite the highlight of my flying career, and professionally filmed by Charles Lagus. I never did see the film, but would dearly love to, if anyone knows of his whereabouts.
Booker seems to be facing a very uncertain future at the moment with the threat of a massive football stadium and business park, with aviation well and truly sidelined, (or read between the lines........curtailed..........stopped altogether?). Booker residents, be very very careful what you wish for, there will be no repenting at leisure!
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Old 26th Feb 2011, 15:41
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treadigraph: Yes, clearly the 'Sally B' was at a much later display. I'm pretty sure that the 707-436s had gone from BOAC before 1976. Our mutual friend, the late Ken FitzRoy, was flying them for BEA Airtours in 1974.

ABUKAYBOY, I know exactly who you are, and I remember your weekend visit in the Dak.

" ... a local CAA Flt Ops inspector ..." otherwise known as 'The W. Wingco' I presume! The last time I saw him, many years ago, he'd joined the general exodus to White Waltham.

It's a pity about Booker, but it does seem that its great days are over.
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