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Best flight - Worst flight

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Best flight - Worst flight

Old 17th Nov 2014, 04:27
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Worst: any Vulcan trip on which an alternator failure after take off necessitated endless circuits to burn off fuel.

Best: a trip in an A-4 out of Ohakea in 1973. We flew the RNZAF Gold low-level route over the South Island culminating in an attack on Queenstown via Milford Sound. Finished off with F/O Rod Murdoch's aeros sequence over Rotorua. Met him ( now an NZ Airways captain) in Hong Kong a couple of years ago for a few drinks and reminiscences.
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Old 19th Nov 2014, 19:00
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Can't think of a really bad flight, but my best flight was two years ago from MAN to LHR on a BA A319. Only passenger on the plane, so we took off from halfway down the runway, and launched after what felt like a couple of seconds of acceleration. First class service for the 35 minutes flying time and got to spend mucho time in cockpit before and after.
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Old 20th Nov 2014, 09:55
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Best was jump seat in BA Concorde G-BOAD, Manchester to Paris (via Biscay for mach2 at 60,000'), in there, headset on, from pre-start checks in Manchester to shut down in Paris. Absolutely amazing! And what a view!

Or was it when I met the BBMF threesome in the Manchester LLR while flying the Chippy and got a lovely barrel roll from the Spit?

Worst was probably Ryanair Dublin to Manchester, only travelling with them because my booked Aer Lingus flight went tech.
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Old 21st Nov 2014, 19:50
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Best - a Belfast from Lyneham to Belize, via Keflavik, Gander and Nassau - LHS, RHS, Nav Seat, WOP Seat, Bench seat, ramp seat then sleeping in the folds of a landy roof when I couldn't stay awake any longer.

Worst - Scheduled UA flight La Guardia - O'Hare - MSP about 30 yrs ago. Equipment change from a DC10 (I think) to an MD11 at the gate, seating was a free-for-all, eventually got airborne and the Cpt announced,"We have not yet determined our specific route or final destination at this time, but we will proceed towards Chicago until we hear differently."

Cue a major riot by half of the pax who were skiers and at least 6' 6" with onward reservations to Aspen or somewhere. Talk of assisting the decision making process which might well get you in serious trouble these days.

Eventually - All ended happily
Old 22nd Nov 2014, 02:00
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Best - for job-satisfaction, the extraction of a large number of troops in marginal weather conditions, from un-friendly territory, would be difficult to better. For the simple thrill of it - first-solo x-country in a Chippy.

Worst - possibly a night low-level trip from West Freugh to Jurby in the back of a Bo-105 of the Dutch Army. In a thunderstorm.
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Old 22nd Nov 2014, 08:48
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Worst, PIA (Prayers in the Air), waited all day in Karachi for the fog to clear at Pershawa. Passengers finally herded on board and off we went, to land at Islamabad!

Someone offered to arrange a 'fast taxi' but I chose to hire a car and driver for what was technically not part of the flight but certainly the worst part of the journey and that includes the next day leg to Kabul on a C206.

Best flight, any of the many that have landed at NZCH or NZAA.
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Old 22nd Nov 2014, 11:19
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Best flight was first solo

Worst was the last one, miss the view.

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Old 22nd Nov 2014, 15:24
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Worst Flight: As an apprentice at DH (before I became a stressman and knew better!) we used to go to the Flight Test hangar to cadge a test flight ride - Comet 4's then. Funny, but this day nobody else hanging around wanted to go on this particular one. Turns out it was stall tests to see which wing stalled first. If we stalled once, we stalled 20 times (well it felt like 20, twas a long time ago). Don't think my eardrums were ever the same after that!
Best Flight: Same place, similar aircraft but a proving flight. Flew to France, to Scotland and via Ireland on the way back, all without stopping. A smooth flight on a clear day, you could see for miles. Bracks, the Chief Engineer, always looked after apprentices and there was an full food hamper on board.
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Old 23rd Nov 2014, 09:34
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Ah, de Havilland in the 1950s, Mick!
I seem to remember word had got about that the stall tests were to be avoided - but they still used apprentoid mass as it could move itself for different CG positions, unlike the lead blocks (but the lead wasn't airsick).

I'm told by ex-Vickers folk that Vanguard power-on/power off stall tests were the worst flights in the industry.

(DHApprentice 1956-61)
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Old 23rd Nov 2014, 11:03
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Best has to be my first powered solo - Tiger Moth T8191, 3 October 1963.

Worst is Ryanair, STN-PIK, June 1996. 100% fit on boarding, had asthma by the time we landed and had my ATPL medically suspended for 5 months as a result until I could pass a Class 1 again at LGW.
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Old 23rd Nov 2014, 11:47
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DC3, Nutts Corner to Renfrew. Priviliged to sit in the right hand seat aged 8 1/2 yrs old. Captain was a family chum.

Old 23rd Nov 2014, 13:38
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My most frightening one was in a DH84 Dragon (aged 7 - my first flight).
Takeoff was from the Blackheath airstrip in the Blue Mountains and a few moments later we were over the escarpment looking down at the gorge a couple of thousand feet below.
I was not used to that kind of thing!

The most exhilarating, was not long after my first launch from Bald Hill at Stanwell Park (700ft AMSL) under my hang-glider when I realised I was indeed getting the lift the place is now famous for.

p.s. That may have something to do with my moniker.

p.p.s. I should add that I've had a few frights and exhilarations since then but it's the early memories that stick.

Last edited by Stanwell; 23rd Nov 2014 at 15:04. Reason: add ps
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Old 19th Jul 2015, 12:21
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Another pair from the hard-disk of memory.

Stansted to Guernsey in a Shorts 360, tossed about like a leaf in a storm with a landing like a bag of bricks. Great tribute to a tough little aircraft, but a nightmare for our nerves.
Air Canada to Vancouver. Three seats each after two fillet steaks, red wine and apple crumble to follow. A calm flight, good sleep, good music, spotless toilets and spectacular views of the Rockies later, followed by rapid transit through the airport. All very pleasant!
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Old 20th Jul 2015, 10:55
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Passing IFR check ride.
Flying up the Potomac, landing DCA (ILS 3, circle 33) in a 172 @ 300 hours TT.
Flying Air-Air combat in T34s. Skywarriors based out of Charlie Brown Field near Atlanta.

3.5 hour flight solid IMC, no autopilot + slightly ill
X-Cty from Des Mones, Iowa to San Antonio Tx = boring terrain and boring co-pilot. Had to turn off the headset volume - I don't think he knew I did that, just kept on droning on and on like the engine.
Flying IFR approaches with the wind 40kts at 3000 ft. That was a dive and drive localizer!

Basicaly: It's better to be on the ground and wish you were up there, than to be up there wishing you were on the ground.

Last edited by HookEcho; 20th Jul 2015 at 12:07.
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Old 20th Jul 2015, 21:27
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Worst was probably SAY (Salisbury as was now HRE) to JNB in October-ish 1970 in an Air Rhodesia Viscount. That wasn't the problem. The problem was the CB storm and us at 16,000 ... to observe it from the inside.

Many best ...
My first ever, LHR~JNB Via FCO + NBO in Dec '65 on VC-10 will never be forgotten and being 'driven' by my nephew in a J41 operating within South Africa on a scheduked service. He was First Office then and I was in the jump seat. Felt deeply proud.

But, like it is for others:

8th August 2003 LHR~NYC on BA0001 ... I was broke and could NOT afford the flight but could not afford to miss the chance. So it all went on the credit card but I got one of the SST out/Sub rtn flights.

It was worth it.

Last edited by PAXboy; 20th Jul 2015 at 21:55.
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Old 21st Jul 2015, 01:32
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Best - cadet camp at Chivenor 1957 first flight ever, and in a Chippy. Yeh!! Mind you a 10 to Muhurraq in '65 was pretty good as well. Mind you it was a troop ship so the jockey just stuck the nose up and she wented. Did she ever.

Not sure whether worst - Boom of a Bubbly Singers, Cocos Islands, Port Hedland, Alice Springs - Laverton Melbourne. Saw a lot of Australia at low altitude. It just kept going and going and going and going.

Last edited by alisoncc; 21st Jul 2015 at 01:45.
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Old 21st Jul 2015, 21:21
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Best flight, difficult, maybe a Chippie early in the evening at first ATC annual camp as a cadet at the now named Campletown airport known to generations as RAF Macrahannish, or in the back of the mighty Chinnok.

Concorde takes a lot of beating see the world from FL 500 and the earth's curvature but maybe one of the best was in a Lear 35 heading out of Liverpool, with an American captain who said to me 'you like flying ***' Yes I do ****. We taxied out to the end of the runway at the Hale end of the runway and sat, he ran the engines up until the aircraft shook dropped the brakes and down the runway we hurtled. wheels off and retracted at 20' kept her low until we were over the river and climbed like a homesick angel. just at 9000 went into a spiral climb whilst awaiting clearance from MCR. Landing back at our home airfield dropped like a Stuka on speed flared it onto a nose off high alpha landing and put the nose-wheel down at the end of the runway and taxied in.

Worst, none really, only one near troublesome was on a Comet 4c of Dan Air which blew and engine over Northern France on the way home from Italy and we landed at Gatwick walk over to the next Comet go on and flew to Manchester.
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Old 24th Jul 2015, 12:54
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You lucky dog PAXboy!

I went on many a VC10 and Concorde on the tarmac but never managed to squeeze a flight on either, unfortunately. I often sat in my car behind both on take-off just for the noise and re-heat from the latter. Remarkable. I always thought that the VC10 had an air of superiority, serenity and spaciousness about it, and the SST was in a class of her own - a super Comet 4, jet bomber surrogate, stuff of dreams. Modern stuff is very fine, but I find are all very similar and lack individuality personality.
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Old 25th Jul 2015, 15:28
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Best was first flight in a Mustang A68-144 at RAAF Base Schofields near Sydney. I was 21 at the time. Only had 218 hours in my log book having only flown Tiger Moths and Wirraways. Amazing acceleration on take off and very noisy but once settled into climb in training area and trying some aeros, I just wanted to stay up there all day.

Undercarriage wouldn't extend for landing, so pulled Pilots Notes Mustang from my flying suit pocket and read the instructions on what to do. That worked OK and happy ending except for holding off too high and did a very firm three-pointer.

Worst trip for frights was flying a 737 Taipei to Guam at night with typhoon forecast in the North Pacific to be close on our track 500 miles out from Taipei. In thick cloud we kept close watch eye on our radar expecting to see first of storms surrounding the eye 180 miles ahead. Lots of tiny echoes on the radar which I wrongly diagnosed was radar reflecting off large waves. The air was suspiciously calm when it should have been bumpy. Without any warning from the radar we ran smack into violent turbulence and lightning. Double checked the radar and realised it had failed. We didn't know exactly when it had packed up. We were now flying blind. Turned 90 degrees away from planned path of typhoon but still got beaten up in cloud. Use lightning flashes to pick our way between build ups. Eventually saw moonlight between clouds and set course for Guam again. Very glad that the 737 was a strong aircraft

After seat belts switched off, one of the young Pacific islander air hostesses appeared at cockpit door and asked if could we do it all again for the rest of the flight as she loved the turbulence because she didn't have to serve dinner to the passengers.. When ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise, came to mind...

Last edited by Centaurus; 25th Jul 2015 at 15:44.
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Old 25th Jul 2015, 18:46
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Worst flight was back in the '70s - a DC-10 into Lisbon at night. I remember the F/O was flying it. He must have been quite new because he made a god-awful approach and landing. Circling round on to 03 the bloody fool cut the corner thinking he was being slick, and lost sight of the field. During the final descent into what was a black hole, even I remember the Captain calling "you're getting bloody low!!" Thankfully, the runway eventually turned up and that lovely machine was unceremoniously thrown at it. I remember the looks from the dead-heading crew as they disembarked. They said it all.

The F/O wanted to quit but, over a few beers a bit later, was persuaded not to by the wonderfully understanding Captain - Charlie Gwyther, whose predictions about the F/O's future turned out to be quite true.

I was that F/O, and I still shudder when I think about that arrival - by far the worst I ever flew.

The best? Every other flight I made in a DC-10 over 12 years. As a Captain, it was the worlds best machine for commuting between one eating and drinking house and another - ably assisted by a committee!


Last edited by Regulation 6; 25th Jul 2015 at 18:58.
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