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tangmere atc 60's and 70's

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tangmere atc 60's and 70's

Old 9th Jan 2020, 23:25
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Sad to report that Bill Verling (my Dad) died in 2017. I wish I knew all your real names as I might be able to put names to faces as I spent just about every weekend at Tangmere from 1963 to 1970. I have Dad's photos from 623 and a lot of cine film of those days. If anyone was at his retirement as CO event where he was presented with a beautiful silver tray, my Dad cherished that tray, it had pride of place in his flat and was polished every week. It now has pride of place with me. I have photos from that evening
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Old 10th Jan 2020, 08:52
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Originally Posted by 76fan View Post
I am interested to see that a couple of you here logged your ATC launches and flight times. My gliding tuition was at Hendon, at weekends probably in 1960, where I seem to remember we had to be careful when landing to avoid the posts stuck in the ground and which marked the intended housing development. I did enough to get solo for my three quick circuits from about 900 ft but I don't remember any personal logging of launches, airframe numbers or flight times. Is that due to my memory loss or was it not done at all the schools?
Recorded in 3822 (record of service book) ?
ISTR logging my prof course launches in 3822 but mine went awol many years ago,luckily I had copied the details into my first 'proper' Log Book.
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Old 20th Jan 2020, 21:57
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Hi. I recall Tangmere very well. It was where I had my first gliding experience( in Sedburgh XN148) as a member of the ATC (Horsham Squadron) between 1967 and 1970. What is special is that 50 years ago to the day on Saturday coming I started my gliding course there I also recall well Dennis Rogers and Bill Verling. Especially Mr. Verling as he checked me out for my soloes in a T.31 Cadet.. (in XN250 April 11th 1970)
Slightly earlier recollections of Bill Verling were of his Tiger Moth G-ASXB, kept in the glider hangar and an impromptu display of loops in a Sedburgh one summer evening as we were about finished for that evening. He landed on the taxi way or the grass alongside, between the concrete blast walls and T2 hangar!

Last edited by paulj53; 21st Jan 2020 at 20:28.
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Old 8th Mar 2021, 11:08
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That sounds like Dad. He loved gliding and always said how lucky he was to have had the opportunities that he had.
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Old 8th Mar 2021, 11:10
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Hi I wondered if your Dad was still around. I have a couple of photos of him from those days, you, or he might be interested
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Old 10th Mar 2021, 00:41
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When i was based at 615 (just up the road at Kenley) rumour had it that Bill would do inverted circuits in the Swallow !! Wish I had met him.
The Comper Swift G-ABTC had been rebuilt at Tangmere when owned by the Station Commander J A Kent.
Tangmere and Kenley both classic battle of Britain airfields, and both got hammered. Kenley never extended for jet operations whist TG got a much longer runway. When Al Pollock flew his Hunter under tower bridge he had taken off from TG.
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Old 10th Mar 2021, 13:09
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I nearly came to a sticky end at Tangmere towards the end of an Argosy Captain's Conversion Course at Thorney Island in June 1964. I took off from Thorney to drop a pair of nine thousand pound Boscombe Platforms on runway 25 at Tangmere. The first drop was perfect, but the second platform became a big problem when it stopped on the rear sill and the drogue extraction parachute wrapped itself on the tailplane. The centre of gravity was so far back that the nose pitched up and it needed the strength of both pilots to stop the nose pitching up to vertical. The stick shakers were going and the speed was falling off when the Boscombe Platform fell off the rear sill. and the nose dropped violently. I managed to pull out at around 200 feet, when the stick shaker finally stopped vibrating, and we flew back to Thorney feeling very shocked. The second Boscombe Platform landed in a ploughed field to the west of Tangmere, fortunately without causing any damage.
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Old 11th Mar 2021, 08:10
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Brakedwell,
very scary. I am surprised the AQM was not injured or even fell out during the climb. We has a similar incident when I was on JATE. A platform malfunctioned and hit the back of the a/c on exit. A little further forward and I would not be writing this !
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Old 11th Mar 2021, 11:23
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ancientaviator62, I seem to remember the AQM stayed forward when dropping Boscombe Platforms, but they were the last ones I dropped as we only used One Ton Containers in the Radfan a few months later.
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Old 11th Mar 2021, 18:08
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Which reminds me of a (fortunately) funny story. The first time I got involved with dropping a double MSP (Medium Stressed Platform) I was a young co-pilot flying with my learned ancient captain who went by the name of Dad Owen. Each platform had a Land Rover and trailer sat on top. Our Loadmaster was a famous MALM who was very definitely Scottish. He was briefed to give us a commentary as the drop progressed. The navigator pulled the handle up front at the dropping position and set things in motion.

"The furst load is moving"
"The furst load is passing me"
"The furst load is gone"

And the same again with the second.

The daft bu**er was standing by the para door at the back of the aircraft as they shot past him at the speed of light just inches from his nose instead of staying safely up front.

He never did it again..​​​​​​​
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Old 11th Mar 2021, 18:09
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Which reminds me of a (fortunately) funny story. The first time I got involved with dropping a double MSP (Medium Stressed Platform) I was a young co-pilot flying with my learned ancient captain who went by the name of Dad Owen. Each platform had a Land Rover and trailer sat on top. Our Loadmaster was a famous MALM who was very definitely Scottish. He was briefed to give us a commentary as the drop progressed. The navigator pulled the handle up front at the dropping position and set things in motion.

"The furst load is moving"
"The furst load is passing me"
"The furst load is gone"

And the same again with the second.

The daft bu**er was standing by the para door at the back of the aircraft as they shot past him at the speed of light just inches from his nose instead of staying safely up front.

He never did it again..
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Old 12th Mar 2021, 08:03
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When the Herc OCU was at Tangmere we used it as a DZ as well. Even after the OCU moved up to Lyneham we used Tangmere for troop uplifts. On Hercules all heavy drops the loadmaster stayed forward of the load (s) to manually release the extractor parachute in case of finger trouble or electrical failure.
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Old 12th Mar 2021, 09:56
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On the Argosy the Navigator went downstairs and laid in the nose, using thle switches and no doubt looking out of the nose window. The loadmaster, I seem to remember, stayed at the front for heavy drops, but was down the rear when dropping parachutists.


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Old 12th Mar 2021, 10:11
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Great thread!
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Old 12th Mar 2021, 10:22
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Apologies for the thread drift but the loadmaster on the Herc was forward of the load for all extracted sorties and aft for para drops and manually ejected loads.
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Old 12th Mar 2021, 12:45
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No 21 Argosy Course, airdrop phase in summer 1966. A trainee Nav, the late and very tall Andy McHugh, was on a 1-Ton drop at Tangmere. He called 'Green On' when required, the load moved and extracted ..... but the main chutes malfunctioned and did not open, causing the pallet full of ammo boxes filled with gravel to make a neatly shaped hole on the runway.
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Old 12th Mar 2021, 17:19
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And if I remember right, the aiming point at Tangmere was the letter "S" in a circle on runway 25 just before the intersection. (Today's piece of useless information).
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Old 12th Mar 2021, 18:53
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Never mind Jock, we both like being useless now!
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Old 12th Mar 2021, 22:13
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Just a little attempt to close the thread drift! In June and July 1964 RAF Tangmere hosted the University of London Air Squadron's summer camp. As a non-flying groundpounder member of the Squadron I saw many drops on the airfield, and was aware of Tangmere's ATC being extremely diligent in keeping such operations separate from those of keen undergraduates in Chipmunks. Halnaker windmill was, as I recall, the 'hold' and got quite busy at times.
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Old 13th Mar 2021, 08:45
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Visited Tangmere just once; mid '60s I scrounged a flight from Bovingdon in an Anson to deliver someone there.
As we passed over Bognor, I was amazed to see the pier was derelict having been destroyed by fire shortly beforehand; I well remembered it from visits to Butlins in 1960, '61 and '62.
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