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A.S.T. Perth (Scone) 1966

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A.S.T. Perth (Scone) 1966

Old 11th Dec 2015, 10:53
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Heck - CFS A1 on SUNDERLANDs - sounds awesome
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Old 11th Dec 2015, 11:34
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I didn't know Pooch had been an instructor, however I knew he liked hunting etc., once some of the game ended up in our meals ...... with bits of fur still attached!

Don Pow was the head C150 instructor and I was his only student. After teaching me some aerobatics in "his" aerobat, he said I was not to do any solo, but if I did he advised me to do them in a certain area so as not to get caught!

My instructor on the C310 was Hector Skinner, a very nice fellow and a great instructor ..... he must have been as he got me through my IR flying with the minimum of fuss!

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Old 11th Dec 2015, 12:23
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Engineering school is now part of Perth College,do not think there is anything but flying club there now - such a shame.
Not so.

Commercial Training (courses)

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Old 11th Dec 2015, 16:34
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Chris: no, it was after I had left the UAS at the end of 1969.

G-ARCR I remember it well because we both strapped in with me waiting for a suitable erk to come and prime us! Gordon, taking another drag from his habitual fag saying " you're not in the f****g RAF now! Get out and do it yourself!" A nice, needed introduction to the civil world!
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Old 11th Dec 2015, 17:47
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Hector Skinner; now there is another name to conjure with. I didn't meet Hector until about 35 years after I had been to Perth. By then he was a CAFU Examiner for the CAA. He came into the simulator one night to renew my TRE/IRE rating. He was a very pleasant and straightforward chap and all went well.

A year or so later, I was waiting to go into the simulator to examine one of our crews. I noticed from the simulator tech log that the CAA were already in residence and Hector's name was on the crew list. The curious thing was that the drawbridge into the simulator was still down so, therefore, the motion had not been switched on. It was quite strange to hear all the noises but the machine was not moving a muscle.

Anyway, the crew door eventually opened and as Hector walked past me. I said Hello and made the comment that flying aeroplanes would be so much easier if they didn't move. I received a wry smile.

No doubt we shall eventually get on to the Dai H-H stories!
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Old 11th Dec 2015, 18:48
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Glad to have triggered many interesting memories of Scone here - if not yet 1966! Keep 'em coming...

Thanks Dave, I had forgotten that the Coupar Angus prang was as late as December. But most of us visited the accident scene. Just shows one can't take everything in accident reports entirely on face-value...

Quote from asmccuk:
"My Scone experiences also included flying with Glasgow UAS on Chipmunks from Jan 55 to Dec 56, and practice forced landings at Errol.
I remember the names of Nugent and Critchley, and there was at least one Hamilton.
The Scone circuit with non radio Tigers, on radio Chipmunks, occasional Harvard and Oxfords and Ansons was a good learning process!"

By 1966, minor changes only! The Errol area was fairly busy, with power lines nearby and Dundee (Riverside) not far off. No sign of Tigers, Harvards, Oxfords or Ansons. But the circuit may have been even busier than in your day. Our Hamilton was a senior C310 instructor called Bill, IIRC, though my logbook unexpectedly shows only his first initial as "C".

Longer ron, was that Peter Foote in 1972? We had a senior instructor called R Foote, who flew both types, but I don't remember his first name.
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Old 11th Dec 2015, 23:20
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We had a senior instructor called R Foote, who flew both types, but I don't remember his first name.
That was Ray Foote...........
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Old 12th Dec 2015, 00:09
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longer ron thanks for the video clip, it brought back some memories and I even recognized one of my old ground instructors Mr Allen. Although a good instructor he was a bit of a prophet of doom, the first oil crisis was taking place and he was of the opinion that a flying career was doomed!
Here is another video from 1994:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nudfy4OXXds

There is an "AST Scotland old boys" page on Facebook. Not a lot of information from past students, but quite a bit of news/ advertising for AST.

I know they do some pilot training, however it seems to be a shadow of its former self. When and what happened to cause the decline of pilot training?

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Old 12th Dec 2015, 15:49
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I went over to Errol one day with Tommy Blyth in Tiger Moth G-ANNG to learn how to do "runway landings" (Perth was all grass in 1958). Tommy briefed me that we would be doing touch-and-go landings and that he wanted me to keep the tail in the air to save wear on the tail skid. This I did but when I opened the throttle after the first landing, the runway disappeared sideways and Tommy had to take control rather rapidly. That was when I learned about swing on take-off! I never did it again - not even on the Piston Provost.
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Old 13th Dec 2015, 10:30
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Gordon Lockhart was my instructor at Perth in 1965. I did my PPL courtesy of Her Majesty on Chipmunks, complete with electric starters. I remember my cross country to Aberdeen (or Dyce as it was then). I asked for help in finding the field from the coast and was told to "turn left at the sausage factory". That was Lawsons of Dyce of course, now long gone. Happy days.
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Old 14th Dec 2015, 07:46
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AST Perth 1966

Hello Chris,

I was one of 21 cadets on Course 33 which began on 6th March 1966. Most were Aer Lingus trainees and a couple of years ago a course photograph came my way from an Aer Lingus source. When I have worked out how I can post it, I will use it as a base for a bit of reminiscing of those times. Tragedy, romance and intrigue...stay tuned to pPrune, folks!
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Old 14th Dec 2015, 09:49
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Hector Skinner; now there is another name to conjure with.
Hector was our next door neighbour when I was a kid and he was working for CAFU. He would often knock on our door during the school holidays and ask if I'd like to fly on the CAFU HS125 the following week. It took less than a nanosecond to say "yes please!"......

A gentleman.

DH
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Old 15th Dec 2015, 08:05
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ast Aug1966 -Nov67

A long time ago, but some things this old fart remembers.Singles instructor was Dave Blair ex RAF I think he flew Swifts and F86 spent some time in the Antartic
after leaving the Airforce On the C310 seems to remember Willie Hamilton also remember Perth was Closed many times to the 310 waterlogged
CSman Terry Morgan
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Old 15th Dec 2015, 23:41
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Flying Instructors - 1966 (incomplete list)

More nice anecdotes! Thanks Terry, for reminding me that Capt Hamilton of the Cessna 310s was referred to as "Willie".

I can list many of the instructors because after my first - Alec Pedell - left for Hamble soon after sending me solo I found myself flying with many of the rest. So here's my list, in no particular order, with their call-signs (used only on singles, IIRC) in brackets.

C150 and/or DHC-1: Alec Pedell (93), Geoff(?) Chandler (85), Cyril Sweetman (90), Ernie Holmes (96), Hugh(?) Allen (82), D. Kirkpatrick (97), R. Elliott (93), Gordon Lockart (92), D. Kirkpatrick (?), Don Pow (88).

Singles & C310: Ray Foote (98).

C310: C. "Willie" Hamilton, J. Stone.

ciderman, Aberdeen airport (EGPD/ABZ) is still known aeronautically as Aberdeen-Dyce. Slightly more helicopter activity than in the 1960s!

JW411, Errol touchdowns were strictly verboten by our day, which was a pity. (May have been obstructed?) Must admit I could never find the ground on wide, paved runways - day or night. Like sinking into a bottomless pit... Guess you would agree it's much easier on taller aircraft.

Last edited by Chris Scott; 16th Dec 2015 at 14:23. Reason: Types clarified. Title added.
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Old 16th Dec 2015, 07:50
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Would that be the same Hugh Allen who I knew, though not very well, when he was CFI of the Lothians Flying Club at EDI in the early 70s? Nice chap.

Sadly, he was killed in in 1981 when his C172 flew into a hill in Fife.
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Old 16th Dec 2015, 12:12
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Dave,
That seems probable. Only flew with H. Allen once (July '66), but seem to remember he was large and good-looking. I hesitate to say it in case of error, but IIRC he had been the instructor involved in the Chipmunk practice-forced-landing accident in the May. (The student [Doug X] completed CPL/IR training without further incident, and was later a close colleague of mine for many years.) Perhaps Manoir will remember.
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Old 19th Dec 2015, 03:54
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Chris Scott

Longer ron, was that Peter Foote in 1972? We had a senior instructor called R Foote
I would not argue with anybody about his first name Chris - it was a long time ago
The guy I flew with seemed fairly elderly (remembering I was only nineteen ),not too tall,maybe slightly pedantic and a little 'nervous' perhaps ? I am 500 miles from my old logbook at the moment but doubt I put his first name in anyway.

rgds LR
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Old 19th Dec 2015, 10:48
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AST, Perth 1966/67

Chris, Dave,

The name Hugh Allen rings a bell and I have a vague memory of a tallish, thin guy - but that's all.

My instructor on singles was Wing Commander Dave Blair, soft-spoken and a real professional.
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Old 19th Dec 2015, 22:18
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AST, 1966

AST 1966
There were 21 students on Course 33 when it began on 6th March 1966. Fifteen were Aer Lingus Cadets, five (including myself) sponsored by Cambrian and one, Mike King, a private student as far as CPL who had his I/R sponsored by Cambrian.

No previous course had this many students. This may have been the reason Pooch initiated the requirement that all students wear name-badges. This did not go down well with the Aer Lingus chaps who complied...but with their names in Irish!

The Aer Lingus cadets were on a different deal to the rest of us. Once they had passed their CPL they returned to Dublin to be type-rated on the Viscount and on which they completed their I/R.

Later in the year saw the arrival of the BEA/BOAC trainees on Course 37. They had a mixed reception - being perceived by some as being rather 'superior' (or words to that effect). That was not my experience - I struck up one or two passing friendships with Course 37 students.

As mentioned earlier, Dave Blair was my instructor on singles. I remember him as a soft-spoken quintessential Scottish country gentleman. On Cessna 3I0s I had Footy (Ray Foote?). I remember Lew Hurrell's pre-flight briefings though not actually flying with him. Jamie Hunter and Jack Robertson were two of the ground instructors whose names I recall (Jamie did Met and Jack taught us Nav Plot and Flight Planning, if I remember correctly).

It was, by its nature, intense but the weekends gave us time to catch our breath. At one point three of us from Course 33 were dating three sisters who lived locally.

Six months into the course, Aer Lingus chopped three of their Course 33 trainees. There was an industry downturn. What happened was that Aer Lingus appears to have leaned on AST and the students' progress reports were used as the excuse. Three others were warned that they might not be kept on unless their performances improved.

In the event two of the three were taken back on by Aer Lingus after their families took legal advice. One of these, Brian Murphy later developed motor neuron disease which permanently grounded him and his death followed not long afterwards. Brian and I kept in touch for a while after we left Perth. One day in June 1967, he phoned me to tell me about the crash of a Viscount (EI-AOF) near Ashbourne, County Meath. It was on an early morning training flight and all three on board, the instructor and two cadets were killed. One of the cadets was our fellow Course 33 student Rory Power (RuarÝ de Paor). RIP.

Manoir (John McGurk).

Last edited by Manoir; 2nd Feb 2016 at 13:34. Reason: Add detail
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Old 21st Dec 2015, 17:02
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April 1965

I did an ATC flying scholarship at Perth from 1 to 29th April 1965 so must have been there at the same time as MCDHU (post #10). There were six of us but one left after a couple of flights. Accommodation was tight so we were put up in the sick bay.


The only name I remember was Primrose. I do recall one guy was on a Special Flying Award and one was a Sea Cadet, the rest of were ATC or CCF. As we were in uniform the Sea Cadet said he felt a bit of a pratt climbing in and out of a C150 in his bell bottom blues !


The instructors were Peddell and Lockhart - Gordon Lockhart, know as "Gee". They were both excellent. Did my PPL test with Pooch Nugent. I recall he was a big chap and hardly left any room for me in the C150. I remember being taken into Bob Critchley's office at the end of the course and introduced to him in respectful tones. It was like meeting royalty.


Two guys got to do their training on Chipmunks. They were chosen on the basis of previous Chipmunk experience. I had probably more than either of them but couldn't prove it as I had not kept a log of air experience flights in my ATC ID booklet. Big mistake !


I enjoyed the whole experience immensely. Some good nights in pubs in Perth and also visiting QV School in Dunblane with one of the guys who was an FP. We also toured about the countryside in a mini-bus one of the guys borrowed from his mother in Blairgowrie. I went back to Perth the following year to keep my licence current and flew with Bob McAuliffe.


I didn't make my career in flying but I still fly PA28s at Fife airfield.
Chris Anderson

Last edited by KayKay; 21st Dec 2015 at 17:17.
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