Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Misc. Forums > Aviation History and Nostalgia
Reload this Page >

A.S.T. Perth (Scone) 1966

Aviation History and Nostalgia Whether working in aviation, retired, wannabee or just plain fascinated this forum welcomes all with a love of flight.

A.S.T. Perth (Scone) 1966

Old 9th Dec 2015, 16:51
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Blighty (Nth. Downs)
Age: 74
Posts: 2,098
A.S.T. Perth (Scone) 1966

Half a century ago, Airwork Services Training was second only to Hamble in the U.K. as a flying school approved by HMG for training civil pilot-cadets for CPL & IR. We were a minority on the campus, because the school also trained aero-engineering students. Elstree was already providing minor competition for commercial pilot training, IIRC, but Oxford and Carlisle didn't start until later.

The school principal was W/Cmdr (ret'd) "Pooch" Nugent and the CFI was Bob Critchley. The course from ab-initio to CPL and IR cost something over 4000 (yes, four thousand pounds). That included board and lodging, ground school, and about 150 hours on singles (Cessna 150s and DHC-1s) and 30 hours on twins (Cessna 310s). A typical course lasted about 15 months, subject to the vagaries of the weather in the closing stages.

Most (but not all) flying students were airline-sponsored. At the beginning of 1966, cadets represented airlines including BUA (British United, the parent company of which owned the school), Aer Lingus, Cambrian Airways, Malaysia-Singapore Airlines, Nepalese Army Air Service, and Sudan Airways. Courses started at two-monthly intervals, and each generally consisted of a mixture of nationalities/airlines. Later that year, however, we were joined by a course of BOAC/BEA cadets, due to Hamble being oversubscribed.

The airfield runways at Perth were all grass in those days. That made for interesting night-flying in the spring and autumn, when the combination of rain and the high number of movements led to very muddy conditions. (Night-flying training is impracticable in the summer in Scotland.)

Any other PPRuNers that remember Scone around 1966?
Chris Scott is offline  
Old 9th Dec 2015, 19:52
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Great Southern Land
Age: 69
Posts: 509
Okay perhaps not 1966 but seven years later, Pooch and Critchley were still there. The school was busy and there were now two sealed runways and one grass, about 20 C150s, 5 C310s and a couple of link trainers.
The pilot students came from MEA, Tao Domestic ( Now JAS ?), a few Nepalese Army and Air Malawi students, a couple of ICAO sponsored students, one from Dan Air and about six private students of which one was myself. I think the course fees had risen to about 7,000 pounds.
I went back to do my ATPL subjects a couple of years later and not much had changed, but when I went back to show my son about fourteen years ago, the place was now a lot quieter with only private flying and some engineering students.
We all used to have the odd complaint and were happy to leave to start our careers, however when I look back I believe the school was very well run.

Last edited by Offchocks; 9th Dec 2015 at 21:51.
Offchocks is offline  
Old 9th Dec 2015, 22:16
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Glasgow
Posts: 332
Pooch was already there in 1952 when I joined Glasgow UAS. Apart from the Chipmunks, the hangar had Oxfords, Army Austers - and a Cierva autogiro.

Pooch was a hunting and shooting man and proudly contributed some geese to the restaurant one day. Unfortunately they had been hung overlong and he was deeply disappointed by customer lack of appreciation.
scotbill is offline  
Old 9th Dec 2015, 22:54
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Kent
Posts: 15
AST Scone 1966

I was an applicant for a trainee position in 1966. I was not successful but took up flying again 20years later. I was not sure I could have afforded to take up a place if I had been offered a place, as I just left University.
Mearns Loon is offline  
Old 9th Dec 2015, 23:09
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: uk
Posts: 697
Chris: I operated into Scone several times whilst in the Edin UAS 67 - 69
including the "Scone Trophy". Have a vivid memory of Old Nuggent
trying his best to "charm" my then girlfriend at the after social.
Later I was checked out by Gordon Lockart on the schools chippies.

Were you there at the time of the mid-air?
Meikleour is online now  
Old 10th Dec 2015, 06:08
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 584
Scotbill: was that autogyro in fact the Kay Gyroplane G-ACVA? I saw it at Scone in 1962.

Laurence
l.garey is offline  
Old 10th Dec 2015, 11:54
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Frankfurt
Posts: 295
We had a pretty good system at Oxford of chart kits for students and I suggested we try to get Hamble and Perth on the same scheme. Good idea said the boss, let's go. I did the honours by mail and off we traipsed via Heathrow and Glasgow, train and cab to Scone. That was in 1971. The registrar hardly looked up at us but reckoned they were alright thanks...you may leave.

I told him in no uncertain terms in my best Hampshire what I thought of our coming all this way, with an appointment, to be treated so miserably, so he sighed and got on the phone, and Jimmy Hamilton picked us up and showed us the place, nice as pie, and most apologetic. Needless to say they WERE alright, Hamble too, but it was a nice trip.

Ten years later at the Flight Business Show at Cranfield, over the road one evening, I bumped into a fairly short chap in the bog - it was Jimmy, and he was so pleased to have been remembered. I'm glad it wasn't the registrar!

cheers

Last edited by atb1943; 2nd Jan 2016 at 01:58. Reason: not Bob Critchley, but Jimmy Hamilton (Commercial Manager) from my notes of the 1981 Cranfield show. Apols.
atb1943 is offline  
Old 10th Dec 2015, 12:47
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: UK
Age: 79
Posts: 3,736
I did my PPL/Flying Scholarship at Scone in 1958 which was pretty much the start of my long flying career. I was given the choice of training on the Chipmunk or the Tiger Moth and opted for the latter. I first flew with Pooch on 17 July 1958 and he was, I think, known as the Commandant. In fact, he did my PPL test and I told the fearsome story on a previous thread "DH82a".

My main instructors were Tommy Blyth (CFI of the Scottish Aero Club) and Cyril Sweetman (ex-RAF Canberras?). Poor old Tommy, having survived the Halifax and WWII, got killed in a Chipmunk crash with an ATC cadet a couple of years later.

Bob Critchley gave me a couple of lessons and I also flew with Andy Anderson and Bill Lancaster. Some Kuwait Airways students were going through the AST course at the time and I was living next door to a chap called Safir. I believe he went on to be their Chief Pilot.

David Kay, who designed and built the Kay Gyroplane (G-ACVA) would appear in the bar on a Saturday night from time to time. His aeroplane was in the hangar and kept in good condition. It was apparently quite flyable although I never personally saw it airborne.
JW411 is offline  
Old 10th Dec 2015, 13:01
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Glasgow
Posts: 332
Scotbill: was that autogyro in fact the Kay Gyroplane G-ACVA? I saw it at Scone in 1962.
I' m sure you're right. Laurence.

The memory plays tricks as senility beckons- but I seem to recall an array of very good cartoon portraits of the staff done, I believe by one of the instructors.

Does anyone knoow what happened to them?
scotbill is offline  
Old 10th Dec 2015, 16:58
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Sunrise Senior Living
Posts: 1,320
I did my PPL with the Scottish Aero Club at Easter 1965 paid for by the RAF under the guise of a Special Flying Award. My C150 instructors were Peddell and Lockhart. My PPL flight test was done by Nugent and my log book was signed off by Donald Pow. All done in the school Easter holidays.

Great memories of drinking and dancing in Perth in the evenings.
Happy days - half a century ago. Only sim now!

mcdhu
mcdhu is offline  
Old 10th Dec 2015, 18:05
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Scotland
Age: 76
Posts: 452
Odd to see all these names from AST at Scone - I did my PPL there about 1960 - I did the last flight with Tom Blyth the day he and my fellow cadet were killed - it was a shock to the other 3 of us to say the least. A couple of years later I commenced my engineers licence course - enjoyed every minute of it. I am now retired and live about 30 miles away,sometimes pay a visit,have a coffee and feel nostalgic. Engineering school is now part of Perth College,do not think there is anything but flying club there now - such a shame.
bcgallacher is offline  
Old 10th Dec 2015, 18:53
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: morayshire
Posts: 768
I know it's a bit later than the dates in the OP...

....but does anyone remember Archie Kinch who went there probably early/mid '70s?
He was the Sunderland pilot who landed on the Yangtze in the incident of the film.

The Ancient Mariner
Rossian is offline  
Old 10th Dec 2015, 20:53
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: northofwhereiusedtobe
Posts: 1,320
I did my PPL at AST scone courtesy of Philip Sassoon and Aunty Bettys flying club in May/June 1972 - most of my dual was with Peter Foote and PPL test with Gordon Lockhart.Lovely place to fly from - and fairly local as I was a Fife Lad.
Here is a lovely little vid - an AST advert from the past...and I still have that lovely badge on my blazer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEpTA-uncdk
longer ron is online now  
Old 10th Dec 2015, 21:23
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Norfolk UK
Age: 84
Posts: 27
Memories of flying at Scone, before 1966!

Good to read some memories and names from Scone. Thanks for raising the subject Chris.
Although not a commercial student at AST, I had the good fortune to do my ATC Flying Scholarship at Strathtay Aero Club, as it was in these days, during summer 1953, with instructors 'Flag' Johnson and Dave Kay on Tiger Moths. Dave Kay, as CFI, signed off my PPL final test on G-AHUV in July 53. (I think G-AHUV is still active!)
I then flew from time to time with Strathtay/Scottish between 1954 and 1960 to keep my PPL current, being checked out when required by Tom Blyth and Andy Anderson on Tigers, civil Chipmunks and Messenger.
I have a very grainy photo of the Kay Gyroplane G-ACVA in the back of the hangar from that time.
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!
I must go back soon and look around.
Andrew McClymont
asmccuk is offline  
Old 10th Dec 2015, 23:30
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Fife
Age: 84
Posts: 520
Thanks Longeron for the video link, it was something of a surprise to see myself in it.
NutherA2 is offline  
Old 11th Dec 2015, 00:40
  #16 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Blighty (Nth. Downs)
Age: 74
Posts: 2,098
DHC-1 Chipmunks and attrition

After making my OP, I soon realised I should have mentioned the UAS Chipmunks, but I didn't anticipate how many of you would have done flying scholarships, or similar, at Scone. The CPL/IR courses like mine represented most of the flying training by 1966. Course 32 started in January, which suggests that CPL/IR courses might have started in or before 1960 - unless the early course numbers were used for PPL students.

If memory serves, there were around half a dozen UAS Chippies in 1966. (Can someone remind me which university?) They looked smarter than the AST ones, and were fitted with anti-flat-spin strakes. Ours were not, and numbered only four at the beginning of the year, so most of us were allocated to the One-fifties, rarely if ever getting our hands on a Chippie - and then only for dual. The Chipmunk guys, who mainly had some previous flying experience, were regarded with a mixture of awe and envy, although some of us were secretly relieved that we didn't have to cope with a tail-dragger.

By the end of the year, we were down to two Chippies. One had stalled in a low turn over the home of a girl the solo student was trying to impress, passing between two trees before hitting the ground, The engine continued for some distance... The other, flying dual, had failed to go-around from a low approach during a practice forced-landing, hitting a stone wall. All three pilots survived with minor injuries at worst, but from then on the type was more or less inaccessible for the rest of us.

Meikleour,
When you were checked out by Lockart, was it an AST or UAS Chipmunk? No, the mid-air (between two Cessna 150s?) was a year or two after I left.

JW411,
Cyril Sweetman did my flight-familiarisation test on selection, and a progress check at about 20 hrs. I don't think Pooch did any instruction in 1966, and I never flew with the CFI.

scotbill,
I remember those great cartoons of instructors in the flying club. Are you saying they've been removed?

mcdhu,
Alec Peddell was my first flying instructor, and sent me solo on the C150. Couldn't have wished for better, and I was sorry when he left for Hamble soon after. (He was also a yachtsman, IIRC.) Don Pow, as deputy CFI, did my CPL dummy GFT (X/C and General).

bcgallacher,
That must indeed have been a shocking experience, and I trust you hadn't previously intended to pursue a pilot career? In the autumn of my own, I was checked out on a Chipmunk for the first time and sent solo. I was greatly impressed by the abilities of my instructor, a semi-retired, ex crop-spraying guy who told me over a beer that he sometimes earned easy money acting as a safety pilot for the well-heeled, but barely competent, owner of an aerobatic biplane. Two months later, I heard they'd spun out of the bottom of a cloud somewhere in Berkshire. May sound illogical, but it affects.
Chris Scott is offline  
Old 11th Dec 2015, 07:49
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Norfolk UK
Age: 84
Posts: 27
Chris, it was Glasgow UAS at that time.
Andrew
asmccuk is offline  
Old 11th Dec 2015, 08:42
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Reading, UK
Posts: 12,315
Originally Posted by Chris Scott View Post
By the end of the year, we were down to two Chippies. One had stalled in a low turn over the home of a girl the solo student was trying to impress, passing between two trees before hitting the ground, The engine continued for some distance... The other, flying dual, had failed to go-around from a low approach during a practice forced-landing, hitting a stone wall. All three pilots survived with minor injuries at worst, but from then on the type was more or less inaccessible for the rest of us.
Presumably G-AOSA at Coupar Angus (4th December) and G-AOJZ (31st May), respectively, although the BoT report on the former suggests it was also a PFL that went wrong (it did end up in the intended field after hitting the trees ).

Photo here of G-AOJZ, which was recovered and subsequently used as an instructional airframe, spuriously marked as "G-ASTD": https://www.flickr.com/photos/paul-thallon/8473987212
DaveReidUK is offline  
Old 11th Dec 2015, 09:40
  #19 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Scotland
Age: 76
Posts: 452
Chris - I actually intended to be a professional pilot but over the next 18 months my hearing deteriorated to below the required standard. I come from an aviation family so I did the engineering course at Scone - got the Lord Provost of Perths gold medal for top student. Did the next 45 years as a line engineer worldwide - worked in over 60 countries,last assignment was Tashkent in Uzbekistan. Basically worked as a technical mercenary and had a wonderful time,made a little money - I always say I got paid for having a hobby! Now have homes in the Philippines and Fife - off to Manila in Jan to swim with the whale sharks in Oslob and escape the worst of the winter.
bcgallacher is offline  
Old 11th Dec 2015, 10:48
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Fife
Age: 84
Posts: 520
but does anyone remember Archie Kinch who went there probably early/mid '70s?
I joined the staff at Scone in July, 1974 and Archie arrived soon after. We had met briefly in the RAF years before on a jet "refresher course" on Meteors . One of his claims to fame was having obtained a CFS A1 Cat, which he did on Sunderlands!

At AST Archie served as Single-engined Flight Manager, CFI and in 1987 was appointed Chief Instructor when Bob Critchley eventually retired, He lives not far from Perth and we still exchange Christmas cards.
NutherA2 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.