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LUTON History and Nostalgia

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LUTON History and Nostalgia

Old 22nd Nov 2016, 14:15
  #1821 (permalink)  
 
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I did 2 trips on the Ambassador. The first was a jolly to Copenhagen and back. I believe it was the last of a series of charters as it was full out with Danish passengers outbound and we were the only ones on the return.

The second time was to Luxembourg, which was a Clarksons four day wine tasting trip to Germany. It was supposed to be an Ambassador both ways, but it went tech for the outbound trip, so ended up going out on a 1-11 from Birmingham instead, where it had diverted to the night before! We did come back on GALZZ, which I believe was the last flight of an Autair Ambassador.
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Old 22nd Nov 2016, 14:18
  #1822 (permalink)  
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The Autair Ambassadors were definitely used on the Blackpool-Luton
...and according to this they continued up to Glasgow.

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=...0Luton&f=false

It is worth scrolling up and down the page for some general interesting photos and facts about Autair

Last edited by LTNman; 22nd Nov 2016 at 14:35.
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Old 22nd Nov 2016, 14:32
  #1823 (permalink)  
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Confirmation that in 1964 they operated Ambassadors and Vikings to Blackpool.

This from their timetable

http://www.timetableimages.com/i-or/ou6406i.jpg

http://www.timetableimages.com/ttimages/ou1.htm
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Old 22nd Nov 2016, 16:28
  #1824 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by LTNman View Post
Confirmation that in 1964 they operated Ambassadors and Vikings to Blackpool.
Many thanks to everyone who has replied. I should have worded my statement slightly differently i.e. "not used on scheduled runs once the Heralds and 748s came into service". Just wondering where the Ambassadors flew after then - I have vague recollections of IT flights to the south of France but I could be wrong. I see the 1967/68 timetable has a scheduled route Luton-Berne. Was this operated for long and which aircraft type? Any info very much appreciated.
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Old 22nd Nov 2016, 16:44
  #1825 (permalink)  
aceatco, retired
 
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They did. When G-ALZS slid off the end of the runway on 14 Sep 1967 it was on a charter back from Luxembourg. If memory serves, it had a local WI on board and the poor dears had to get off in the mud! Fortunately there were no injuries.

If you goggle the reg you can find a pic by airpixbycaz of it being broken up on the apron after its mishap.
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Old 22nd Nov 2016, 17:08
  #1826 (permalink)  
 
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For info cj, both my flights were after the Herald and 748 entered service, April 1968 and September 1968.
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Old 22nd Nov 2016, 17:28
  #1827 (permalink)  
 
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If you scroll down on LTNman's link to 'Colours in The Sky' you will find an example of my sweat and tears which produced the Crew Roster which gives you an idea of some of the Ambassador destinations in August 1966. One Ambassador operating the schedule: BLK-LTN (ex nightstop) then LTN-BLK-GLA-BLK-LTN then LTN-BLK and nightstop.

Most IT Charters with the Ambassador were operated to the Mediterranean Resorts, south to Djerba, also north eastern Italy (Rimini and Treviso) and Athens. Also many charters to destinations in what was then politically Western Europe. Not a great deal in Scandinavia apart from Denmark. I do remember how one winter we undertook an MOD charter to Bardufoss in Northern Norway. Unfortunately we had failed to appreciate the very low temperatures that would be encountered there and the Ambassador promptly went AOG as a result of the hydraulics icing up. I'm not sure if the crew got home in time for Christmas or not!

There were also regular charters from Luton to Berlin and back for Service Families at Christmas. A series of charters was operated to Hamburg for Licensed Victuallers Associations who visited the Breweries. As a callow youth I went along on one of these flights and have never been the same since.
The Ambassadors also operated 'Works Outings Charters' The Dutch bulbfields and Northern France being popular destinations in this respect. On a personal note I wangled a seat for my cousin and myself when we sent two Ambassadors to Le Touquet for the day on a 'Works Outing'. Together with the flight engineer and some of the cabin crew we hired a car, stocked up in the market and drove off on a glorious day for a picnic in a wonderfully isolated coastal spot. It was only on leaving there that we noticed the notices regarding land-mines.
From time to time Autair's Ambassadors acted as flying classrooms for the local schools. I recall going along and giving the commentary when we took a party of children down to the West Country to look at the Severn Bridge which had recently opened. What a stunning photo that would have made with the old Ambassador circling over the bridge. Dave Hampson was the skipper.

While I was with Autair the company performed their last Mediterranean or Middle East Tour in 1966 when the Ambassador with one crew was tasked to trundle all the way round the Med in a leisurely fashion and be away for three weeks or so over Christmas. I was sent to London with the Crew's Passports to obtain the necessary visas. I think the tour visited Israel and thus had to route to and from Israel via Cyprus and then onwards to Egypt. I remember taking my dog with me to a deserted Luton Airport on Christmas Day to check the ops teleprinter and the progress or lack of it by the Ambassador.

Happy Days!

Last edited by OUAQUKGF Ops; 23rd Nov 2016 at 10:08.
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Old 22nd Nov 2016, 21:37
  #1828 (permalink)  
 
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Between leaving school and joining the RAF I had a summer job working for Harry Carrass (is that how one spells it?) Catering driving a van putting the catering on Autair’s aeroplanes.

I remember sitting waiting for the arrival of G-ALZS to de-cater it and to take the bar back to customs.

I also remember there being no casualties until they were all back in the terminal building, and it was then reported that someone stood up, called for quiet, and asked all present to;

‘thank the good Lord for our deliverance from harm’

At which point a couple of the ladies fainted and needed medical attention.

All the temps working for Harry got the sack at the end of the summer season, but for a least a couple of months it was very ‘interesting’. How I remember the parties and the egg fights at 2am!

It even got me a ride in the back of one of the Heralds when Hazelden gave one of the pilots what I now know was a base check.

How times have changed!
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Old 22nd Nov 2016, 22:22
  #1829 (permalink)  
 
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Despite a London-Berne service being featured on Autair's Timetable for Winter 1967/68 I cannot remember such a service operating. No mention of Berne on Autair's Summer 1968 Timetable. Perhaps they were hoping to start a winter service for Skiers. They certainly operated a series of ski-holiday charter flights roundabout that time using the HS748s and flying from Luton to Zurich. Still it's a long time ago and I could well be wrong!
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Old 23rd Nov 2016, 09:38
  #1830 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by OUAQUKGF Ops View Post
I recall going along and giving the commentary when we took a party of children down to the West Country to look at the Severn Bridge which had recently opened. What a stunning photo that would have made with the old Ambassador circling over the bridge.
I wasn't there at the time so this is the best image I can do...

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Old 23rd Nov 2016, 09:50
  #1831 (permalink)  
 
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Brilliant!
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Old 23rd Nov 2016, 10:51
  #1832 (permalink)  
 
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Looks even better in FSX..


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Old 25th Nov 2016, 19:24
  #1833 (permalink)  
 
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cj- lovely pix, but the Severn is brown, not blue!
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Old 26th Nov 2016, 12:19
  #1834 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by LGS6753 View Post
cj- lovely pix, but the Severn is brown, not blue!
This was 1966 - pollution hadn't been invented. Have added a bit of mud.



Last edited by cj241101; 26th Nov 2016 at 16:54.
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Old 26th Nov 2016, 19:47
  #1835 (permalink)  
 
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Does anyone by any chance have any colour photos of the Luton Flying Club Cessna's in their original 1960's colours? G-ARZF, G-ASTV, G-ASUE and G-ASVF are the ones I am looking for. Google search draws a blank.
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Old 26th Nov 2016, 20:48
  #1836 (permalink)  
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Here's one but probably not what you are looking for

GASUE in 1965 after it acquired a new fuselage. There are some on the FB group Luton Classic Movements but I am unsure of the copyright.

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Old 26th Nov 2016, 21:15
  #1837 (permalink)  
 
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further to my post 1830.

I left school in July 1967, did a flying scholarship immediately, and then went to Harry's to cater Autairs aeroplanes.

During that flying scholarship Phil J*****ry sent me solo on G-ASUE the first week in August 1967. Nice to see her again!.
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Old 26th Nov 2016, 21:23
  #1838 (permalink)  
 
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Thanks vintage ATCO. Gives me an idea of the shade of brown which is what I am looking for. I remember G-ASSO and G-ASTV as red, G-ARZF as a different scheme in blue and G-ASVF as dark blue. They were repainted around 1968 with larger registrations.
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Old 27th Nov 2016, 17:59
  #1839 (permalink)  
 
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Having perused some of my fathers old slides I found this from July 1967. Shows Cessna 150's G-ASVF, G-ASUE (I think) and Tri-Pacer G-ARDT.

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Old 27th Nov 2016, 19:14
  #1840 (permalink)  
 
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After hitch-hiking through Germany in late summer 1966 my chum and I flew as pax DUS-LTN in an Autair Ambassador early in September (can't remember the exact date or the aircraft reggie).

The flight was uneventful until mid-cruise when one of the cabin crew dropped a tray of cutlery in the galley. The clatter instantly silenced all conversation in the cabin for a few moments, with the passengers nervously looking for the source of the noise.

The night landing was firm, but of course in those years the threshold of R26 sloped upwards and therefore required an earlier flare and later power reduction to avoid same, especially in strong westerly wind conditions when this topographical anomaly triggered an associated downdraught.

IIRC the theshold was raised some years later to reduce this problem.
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