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A.S.T. Perth (Scone) 1966

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A.S.T. Perth (Scone) 1966

Old 16th Mar 2016, 02:34
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The first snow of 1966 came early in February.

The a/c is an AST Cessna 310 D: either G-ARCI or G-ARBC
They were still flying 7 years later, I started my IR training on these aircraft in Nov '73. My instructors were Captains Bob Critchley, Dave(?) Blair, Ray Elliot and Hector Skinner who ended up being my main instructor, a lovely fellow who got me through without any problems!

Hey CSman, did you get your pprune name from Cyril Sweetman?

Chris Scott thanks for starting this thread. Although I started my training at AST 6 or 7 years after you, a few of the photos posted brought back memories

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Old 16th Mar 2016, 08:21
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CSman

No ,my user name is the old Cambrian Airways code CS, great days, Cardiff Bristol Southampton Paris Lovely lunch and return all with a DAK
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Old 17th Mar 2016, 21:18
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Quote from Manoir:
"The list of AST instructors and staff on your 26th January post doesn't mention Dave Blair, my instructor on singles. I wondered if, by chance, he was seconded from the R.A.F. This might explain why his name was not on the AST payroll and therefore not included in your source material."

That's quite possible, John, or could he have joined AST after that list was prepared?

Hi Offchocks,
Well, it's nice to be praised for self-indulgence: thanks! Re the two C310Ds, Bravo-Charlie and Charlie-India, they represented the whole fleet until G-AVDB, a C310L with redesigned wing-tip tanks that may have improved lateral stability, arrived in Jan/Feb 1967. Perhaps it was also on the fleet in 1973?

I seem to recall that one of the Ds had to land premeditatedly with partial or no L/G (sorry, U/C) on the grass at Scone some time in 1966. The skipper may have been Willy Hamilton, and one engine was conventionally feathered and the prop rotated to horizontal prior to the approach. The landing went well, but there may have been some rippling of the nose fuselage skin. I wonder if Hoddy, whose dad was the station Chief Engineer (see post #98), might remember the aftermath.
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Old 18th Mar 2016, 00:57
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Hi Chris Scott On 10th Nov. '73 my third training session was on G-AVDB with Dave Blair (Captain Blair as was required then!)

CSman I also flew DAKs after AST, it was with Air Anglia out of ABZ, up and down to Sumburgh and night freight to AMS, nothing flash like lunch in Paris!
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Old 18th Mar 2016, 13:15
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G-AVDB, a C310L with redesigned wing-tip tanks that may have improved lateral stability, arrived in Jan/Feb 1967. Perhaps it was also on the fleet in 1973?
I left the RAF in July, 1974 and went to Perth to obtain the Instrument Rating to complete my application for the ATPL. At that time the 310 fleet was something of a mixed bag, with little or nothing by way of standardisation of aircraft or equipment. At that time the fleet comprised (IIRC):-

GARBC (310 D)
GARCI (310 D)
GAROK (310 F)*
GAVDB (310 L)
GAVUV (310 N)
GAYGB (310 Q)

*This was the aircraft in which Hughie Green had his encounter with Soviet Migs in the Berlin corridor; it was a bit cranky to handle and we wondered whether overstressing the flaps in that confrontation had something to answer for.

Last edited by NutherA2; 22nd Mar 2016 at 13:34. Reason: Typo & sloppy proof reading
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Old 22nd Mar 2016, 09:33
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February 1966 (cont'd)

Hello NutherA2,
Did you find that the later models of C310 were slightly more stable, laterally, than the C310Ds? Presume G-AVDB is the C310L you refer to on your list.


Not everyone was grounded during the snowy spell of February 1966...



Apron, looking roughly east


This seems to have been taken just after Foxtrot-India had landed. Think it fair to say that the hill in the background was the most prominent landmark in the circuit, and may have been roughly the end of the downwind leg of a L/H circuit for Rwy 23? Met buffs will note the Stephenson's screen.

Last edited by Chris Scott; 22nd Mar 2016 at 13:43. Reason: First image improved.
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Old 22nd Mar 2016, 14:00
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February 1966 (3)

Taken on the same day as the three previous, the parking direction of the aircraft in these two photos of the Scone apron confirms that the wind was in the east or NE.

Deep and crisp, but not so even


One of the four DHC-1s that AST operated. Statistically, it had a 50/50 chance of surviving the year
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Old 7th Apr 2016, 20:43
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The Tower

Scone had a very high number of a/c movements, for obvious reasons. This photo was taken in the winter of 1966/7, by which time I had sufficient credibility to ask permission to take it. The ATCO may be McFarlane, whose Christian name escapes me. The student was a regular in the Tower.



We cadets weren't on first-name terms with any of the staff or instructors, our mutual relationship being rather like that at a boarding school. Hence some of the staff were awarded unofficial nick-names, used only between cadets. In contrast, when I joined my first airline, the majority of captains expected to be addressed by their first names once the cockpit door was closed.

This photo, taken to the SW like the one taken recently and posted in January by dont overfil, seems unfortunately to have been more about recording a striking sunset than the aerodrome buildings in the foreground. The buildings, however, are remarkably similar, although the water tank has since disappeared. The lights of the distant city of Perth can just be seen making their presence known in the dusk.


Last edited by Chris Scott; 2nd Mar 2017 at 10:16. Reason: Top image photobucket URL amended to reinstate image.
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Old 8th Apr 2016, 18:49
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Scone Chipmunks (cont'd)

The halving of the AST Chipmunk fleet from four to two during the course of 1966 has already been mentioned in this and the next two posts, and here.

The University Air Squadron Chippies were another matter. This photo was taken from the Tower (probably on the same winter's afternoon as the two in my previous post). A close look at the nearer of the two a/c reveals the R/H spin strake just forward of the tailplane.



Our a/c didn't have that safety feature...


Last edited by Chris Scott; 2nd Mar 2017 at 10:16. Reason: Top image photobucket URL amended to reinstate image.
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Old 8th Apr 2016, 19:16
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The ATCO standing up is Bill Fogden. Went to Shoreham, and then I think returned to Perth.
He came to Carlisle in 1982. Died 10 years later from lung cancer.
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Old 8th Apr 2016, 21:41
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Quote from parkfell:
"The ATCO standing up is Bill Fogden."

Thanks. It's great to post a photo that triggers someone's memory, if somewhat poignant in this case. Evidently a bad guess on my part. The name sounds familiar, but Bill Fogden is not on the early-1966 list of staff, prepared nearly a year before the photo was taken.

See what you mean, EGQL64, but the student-assistant was, I think, Indian - not Vulcan! The low, winter sun and shadows have added to the confusion in an over-exposed Kodachrome slide, which is 49 years old...

Last edited by Chris Scott; 8th Apr 2016 at 22:04.
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Old 16th Apr 2016, 07:51
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As Nuther A2 points out, G-AVDB arrived in early 1967, as I and fellow Course 33 students were beginning I/R training. DB had a quite different cockpit lay-out, especially on radio/nav. This made the learning process more difficult in the early stages. One of our number, Norman Lane, put forward the suggestion that each student be detailed to fly only on DB (or one of the earlier 310s such as BC). I opted for DB (Norman did too, as I recall). This proved to be a winner.

Last edited by Manoir; 16th Apr 2016 at 17:16.
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Old 22nd Apr 2016, 23:22
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G-AVDB

Quote from Manoir:
"As Nuther A2 points out, G-AVDB arrived in early 1967, as I and fellow Course 33 students were beginning I/R training."

Yes, although my first Cessna 310 sortie was to Blackpool in G-AVDB in early February (1967). That may have been its first training flight. Note the modified wing-tip tanks of the "L" model, when compared with the "D" models G-ARBC and G-ARCI (see earlier photo).



Quote:
"DB had a quite different cockpit lay-out, especially on radio/nav. This made the learning process more difficult in the early stages."



Quote:
"One of our number, Norman Lane, put forward the suggestion that each student be detailed to fly only on DB (or one of the earlier 310s such as BC). I opted for DB (Norman did too, as I recall). This proved to be a winner."

Well John, you were spoiled. Course 32 was offered no such concession!
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Old 27th Apr 2016, 12:36
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Scotbill: was that autogyro in fact the Kay Gyroplane G-ACVA? I saw it at Scone in 1962.

Laurence
The Kay Gyroplane was most recently part of the East Fortune Museum and a picture of it is below.

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Old 11th May 2016, 09:00
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On Page 2 was the comment:
No doubt we shall eventually get on to the Dai H-H stories!
Page 7 already and there have been none!


In both those advert movies (1970s/80s and 1994) had Robin Drew as an ATC. He had become one of the 'fixtures'! Apparently he made the 'closing down' broadcast on AST's last day 'in spectacular style'!

(NutherA2, was that you in the twin in the 1970s/80s advert?)
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Old 11th May 2016, 15:21
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Hi Trossie,

"In both those advert movies (1970s/80s and 1994) had Robin Drew as an ATC. He had become one of the 'fixtures'! Apparently he made the 'closing down' broadcast on AST's last day 'in spectacular style'!"

When was AST's "last day", and do you mean just Airwork's?
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Old 11th May 2016, 15:38
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Chris,

Airworks involvement ended some time in the early/mid '90s when Bristow Helicopters became the new owners of AST.

As a Flying School AST shut down around early '96.

(The Engineering School has continued as a part of Perth College.)

Flying training has continued there since under various owners, but very, very small-scale compared with the hey-day of AST, just flying club training and only two or so aeroplanes for any M/E IR training.
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Old 11th May 2016, 17:11
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Yes, Trossie, well spotted.
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Old 17th May 2016, 07:50
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G-AVDB

Brilliant pics, Chris!

Where's Footie?:
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Old 15th Jun 2016, 18:37
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CSMan,

I'll be in Cardiff on 7 and 8 July. Would you be available for a catch-up over a beer?
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