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Intra Jersey-Guernsey

Old 5th Jun 2017, 00:17
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Intra Jersey-Guernsey

I'm coming towards the end of work on a book on the history of Aurigny, for publication next summer, and have realised I've left something of a blind spot on Intra, which was in many ways a very comparable (if more DC-3 orientated) Jersey-based operation.

Aurigny began operation on the Jersey - Guernsey route in May 1968, and BEA relinquished it on 31 March 1969. In May 1969, British Midland applied to compete on the basis that Aurigny wouldn't provide sufficient capacity (particularly for transfer passenger with fixed onward connections) but the ATLB turned it down, saying that it had 'noted that Aurigny are prepared to operate a system of priority reservations for interline passengers on their high-frequency summer services'.

Intra was formed in early 1969 and applied (see bottom right of this page from Flight archive) to the ATLB to fly JER-GCI with a Dak. I can't seem to find a record of the outcome of this application, but it seems it wasn't granted and Intra's first scheduled service was to Staverton in 1971.

That's most of my research on this so far. Could anyone tell me:
  • What aircraft would BMA have planned to operate on JER-GCI?
  • Why was Intra unsuccessful in its application and does anyone have record of this?
  • When did Jersey European begin and end operations on JER-GCI? Did the ATLB become more liberal or was there another reason it was allowed to compete?
  • Finally - off-topic here but worth a shot - did Jersey European ever operate Alderney - Shoreham with Twin Otters in 1985? The service was timetabled but I can find no record of it beyond this.

I appreciate this is a rather extensive and specific list of questions, but any info - or wider anecdotes (for it's them that make a book) appreciated. I know about the 1981 Jersey European Islander crash in St Andrew, covered in the book as follows (for your entertainment):

The aircraft crash-landed in St Andrew, hitting a stone wall (which broke off the left undercarriage leg), going through a five-bar gate and a hedge, crossing a road and finally stopping in the driveway of a guesthouse near the Dairy. A drinker who was staggering home, rather the worse for wear after a fine night at the Hangman’s Inn, recalled that he had ‘never sobered up so fast’ when the stricken aircraft emerged straight through the hedge in front of him. ‘I got stuck in the pub after that because the police closed the bloody road. Guess what, I got p****d again till I realised (at closing time) that I could walk through the grounds of the hospital to get home...
Thanks for any help in advance.
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Old 5th Jun 2017, 10:37
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BMA would have planned to use their Viscounts, of which they had a fleet of 10 (and nothing else) in summer 1969. Not so much based there as just fill-ins on the local leg of flights from the mainland (principally East Midlands and Luton) serving both islands, which they were already operating, where they did not have local traffic rights. I believe it's long been a sore point about mainland carriers picking up local passengers as fill-ins on any inter-island legs, and the old (London-based) UK licensing authorities seemed to go backwards and forwards over time on whether to permit this or not.

Intra was started in 1969 when British United decided they were never going to make any money on their various Channel Island routes, inherited from the old Jersey Airlines. Some of the management went along with a reorganisation into a reduced British United Island Airways, later BIA, while others left and formed Intra Airways. They were denied a hoped-for licence for Jersey to Guernsey schedules, so for a couple of years existed on just charters with one DC3. The service to Gloucester Staverton, and another to Cambridge, came their way when BMA pulled off these routes, which they had been operating with Viscounts. Normally a DC3 in summer, the would charter an Islander from their erstwhile competitor Aurigny in the off-season. Something of a come-down from BMA's Viscounts.

Intra is of course, after various name and management changes along the way, what we now know as Flybe.
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Old 5th Jun 2017, 13:37
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So far as I remember, Alderney - Shoreham was operated by both Aurigny, and Metropolitan Airways at one time or another. The latter also flew to Exeter (notable for running out of fuel short of Exeter on one occasion and landing in a field.
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Old 5th Jun 2017, 15:06
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Alderney to Shoreham was also operated by Rockhopper.
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Old 5th Jun 2017, 17:56
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Wasn't the Viscount incident an Alidair flight from Santander?
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Old 5th Jun 2017, 18:15
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Originally Posted by Cymmon View Post
Wasn't the Viscount incident an Alidair flight from Santander?
I think the error is in the location, not the operator, as Alderney Air Ferries (later operated as Metropolitan Airways) had Islander G-BEOC run out of fuel in 1980 and make a forced landing just short of Bournemouth, when arriving from Alderney.
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Old 6th Jun 2017, 06:56
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The Islander landed in a field where Bournemouth Hospital now is. I know the guy who took several jerry cans of avgas to refuel it for the short flight to Hurn.

The Alidair Viscount landed in a field near Ottery St Mary. No injuries but it was written off.

I had forgotten about the Metropolitan services to Alderney. We used to do compressor washes every evening on the Twin Otters after flights to The Islands.

Also remember Intra DC-3, Islander and Viscount at Hurn.

Another C.I. operator in the '70s was JF airlines of Portsmouth, with a Heron, an Islander and a Trislander.
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Old 6th Jun 2017, 08:00
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Another C.I. operator in the '70s was JF airlines of Portsmouth, with a Heron, an Islander and a Trislander.
and S.A. (Prestwick) Twin Pioneer..... (x2) G-APHX & PHY.

Last edited by Planemike; 6th Jun 2017 at 10:41.
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Old 6th Jun 2017, 08:40
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Just about every scheduled operator in the UK has run services to the Channel Islands over time. It was a particularly popular destination for those airlines which ran domestic services aimed at business travellers, as it peaks opposite to business travel peaks - at weekends in particular (certainly in summer), and, on weekdays, even with prop aircraft, an early morning domestic business round trip from somewhere to say Glasgow and back could then fit in a late morning flight to the Channel Islands before further afternoon/evening business destinations.
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Old 6th Jun 2017, 09:47
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I certainly remember seeing a JEA Twotter in Alderney on a Shoreham service.

Looking in my logbook I think it would have been 2/10/85.
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Old 6th Jun 2017, 10:18
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I had forgotten the Twin Pin. I used to work on the others.

The Heron was G-ANNO and it went to British Aircraft Corp. as a comms. aircraft after JF airlines ceased. It had a DF (not ADF), in the blip over the cockpit. Very antiquated aircraft for a company building Concorde, 1-11s and fast jets.

Thread drift:- Also remember going to the Hanover air show in 1972 and saw Concorde arrive followed by its DC-3 support aircraft.
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Old 6th Jun 2017, 13:46
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I wonder, does Shoreham hold the record for being both the most frequently attempted and least successful point of departure for scheduled services to the Channel Islands and France?
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Old 6th Jun 2017, 16:28
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Originally Posted by fauteuil volant View Post
I wonder, does Shoreham hold the record for being both the most frequently attempted and least successful point of departure for scheduled services to the Channel Islands and France?
Probably. Some of the others would be Paris, Dinard, St.Brieuc, Caen, Swansea, Plymouth, Norwich, Gloucester & Bournemouth. Perhaps Bournemouth would be the leading contender !
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Old 7th Jun 2017, 07:13
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There were two companies - JEA based in Jersey and JEA Ltd based in Bournemouth.
The CAA Flt Ops reckoned that the two should be seperated because of the number of types the original JEA was operating. Peter Glenister went to Bournemouth with the Viscounts, Dakotas, and Dart Herold and I remained in Jersey with Bandeirante, Twin Otters, Two Islanders and another twin piston which went to Aviation Beauport. JEA later developed into sd360, Ex air Anglia 748s and then the DASH8. Quite what it has now I don't have a clue. For one antartic season, one of the JEA pilots went south to see if JEA could manage the British Antartic Survey but he reported back to me of severe problems with one of the pilots and a low flying accident because of one of them.
Fly Be was formed with JEA and not , as far as I know, JEA Ltd - ie Intra Airways. I think the latter was always in court in Jersey for quite a lot of irregularities such as base checks done in the flying club bar and so on.
As for the Islander running out of fuel inbound Jersey to Guernsey, it had full main tanks and a previous pilot who had just flown it had selected tip tanks and exhausted the fuel up to the point where it came down in the field just using tip tanks. Thr CAA agreed with me that the fuel useage was consistent with 2.5 round trips to Guernsey and though it could not be proven, the tip tanks were in use on that flight into the field short of the runway. The previous pilot did something similar on an island in the Indian Ocean but I was told nothing about it until I inquired. That did not excuse the operating pilot from checking though so he carried the can. As for JEA and the dates of Jersey +/- Guernsey route, I don't have a record. As for operating Alderney with Twin Otters, I would suspect one of the Trilanders went unserviceable, though Aurigny did attempt Twin Otter ops and unlike piston engines, the starts on the turbines went against the totals on the PT6 engines. I think the PT6 was fantastic unless it had fancy zero pitch latches for water and snow ops (British Antartic Survey did),and always flew at least 40 minutes to make it more viable than a piston engine. Apart from a light747.400 the Twin Otter was the nicest aeroplane in the world though it did have a few things every pilot should know.
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Old 7th Jun 2017, 19:20
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I've just added a few Intra pics here...
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Old 7th Jun 2017, 20:44
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As for the Islander running out of fuel inbound Jersey to Guernsey
If I'm not mistaken this would appear to be the third running out of fuel forced landing by a commercial passenger service to be mentioned in just a few posts.
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Old 7th Jun 2017, 22:50
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Thanks all v much for your replies; the sheer amount of knowledge does much to take the 'rumour' (for once) out of PPRuNe. WHBM, would you happen to know what BMA's Viscount fleet was in 1969 in terms of the split between 736s and 836s? Haven't had much luck on researching this. Running into pedantry here but want to get the facts right. Thanks also to Flap40 and 5aday for your contributions on the ACI-ESH query, which I probably shan't ever resolve with any degree of certainty. Thanks for the pics Jerbourg; remarkable to see G-AVLJ still based in JER nearly 50 years on.

In 1974, Intra was granted the licence for 30 weekly returns between Shoreham and Guernsey and/or Jersey op. by Islanders (an application for a cargo service op. by Daks having been turned down by the ATLB). Does anyone know if this operated and if so were tickets sold inter-island? It seems that Islanders G-BBZD left the fleet in October 1975 and G-BAVT in January 1976. Here's a photo of one of them on a lease to Brymon at Plymouth in the 'mid to late 1970s' (featuring a splendid pair of flared trousers).
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Old 8th Jun 2017, 10:14
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Aero Mad

For info on the BM Viscounts go to;

Vickers Viscount Network - A Virtual Museum dedicated to the Vickers-Armstrongs VC2 Viscount

Click in 'record' then 'Owner/operator fleet record'. Select British Midland then click on 'go'. There are full details of all the BM Viscounts and dates of service.

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Old 8th Jun 2017, 13:23
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The nine Viscount 800s in that list which came to BMA in early 1972 were from South African Airways.

If I recall correctly they had been advertised for sale. Mike Bishop personally travelled to South Africa with sufficient funds in place, he thought, to buy a good one. When he got there he found he was the only bidder and he managed to buy the entire fleet, plus the spares stock, with what he had arranged for just one. Presumably SAA were just glad to get rid of them.
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Old 8th Jun 2017, 13:50
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To clear up one item: the Islander fuel starvation in Guernsey on 18 September 1981 was the subject of a formal AIB Report

And another for Cymmon and dixi188 : the Viscount fuel starvation on approach to Exeter is here:


Last edited by Soddit; 8th Jun 2017 at 13:52. Reason: Add second report
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