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

Indian Air Force DC3 at RAF Benson

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

Indian Air Force DC3 at RAF Benson

Old 13th Mar 2018, 10:29
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 9
Indian Air Force DC3 at RAF Benson

Has anyone else noticed that there's a DC3 at Benson? Their Facebook page has good pics.

Apparently it is ex G-AMSV now on the Indian military register as VP905. Was restored to flight at Coventry and is going to be conducting post resto shakedown flights from Benson until mid-April when it leaves for India. From the pictures, looks really nice in those colours.

Cheers, Tac-2-ILS
tac2ils is offline  
Old 13th Mar 2018, 16:49
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Lanzarote/Butuan/Southern Yorkshire
Posts: 354
I thought AMSV had gone to America years ago...?
Flew on her a few times in various locations with Air Atlantique.
Cymmon is offline  
Old 13th Mar 2018, 18:19
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Bolton ENGLAND
Age: 74
Posts: 908
Cancelled 27 Feb 18 from UK register...... The owner, prior to cancellation had an address in Bangalore India.

It acquired US registration N347DK in 2007 but I am not sure it left the country.

Chris.... Yes, with Transair 1954 - 1970, (see below).

Last edited by Planemike; 15th Mar 2018 at 10:31.
Planemike is offline  
Old 15th Mar 2018, 01:00
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Blighty (Nth. Downs)
Age: 72
Posts: 2,052
Ahh, Sierra Victor...

This is how I remember that aeroplane - fifty years ago:

https://www.airteamimages.com/dougla...es_241576.html

November 1967. Operating the early newspapers and mail to Hanover for the BAOR with Captain Joe Rechka. Gatwick runway closed overnight for resurfacing. Hence operating from Southend instead after a night-stop there - pobably in the Westcliff hotel (or maybe the Overcliff).

G-AMSV, a C-47 Dakota with the Transair landing-gear fairings modification, had come to Morton's from British United Airways and one of that airline's predecessors (probably Transair). Morton Air Services had become part of the Air Holdings/BUA group, owned by Cayzer's British & Commonwealth shipping line, but Sammy Morton's name was retained until Alan Bristow's big shake-up of the BUA group in 1968. With BUA (CI) and BUA (Manx) being closed, Morton's then merged with them to become BUIA (later BIA).

Last edited by Chris Scott; 15th Mar 2018 at 01:14. Reason: Link amended
Chris Scott is offline  
Old 29th Mar 2018, 23:44
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Blighty (Nth. Downs)
Age: 72
Posts: 2,052
SV's retirement from BIA

Further to my previous post, here's a news item from the
Guernsey Evening Press and Star, dated 31st May 1974:



This recorded the occasion of Sierra-Victor's last flight with BIA. Morton Air Services, a BUA subsidiary, had merged into BUIA when Alan Bristow reorganised the BUA group in 1968. Later, at the end of 1970, when BUA mainline was taken over by Caledonian to form BCAL, BUIA was not included in the merger. Accordingly, it was renamed BIA. (The scheduled part of BIA later merged with Air Anglia to form Air UK.)

A number of the Morton's Dakota skippers, who were too old to qualify to be licensed on the Dart Herald and were flying Daks simply as a retirement job, had continued flying them through the above reorganisations. They included Joe Rechka, Dudley Scorgie and Dan Skillman, of whom the first two are seen in this newspaper photo. The retirement of SV, BIA's last C-47 Dakota, left them out of a job. Though aged 64, Joe soon found employment on Daks elsewhere, but I don't know what happened to Dudley Scorgie or Dan Skillman.

Joe's main British airline career had been with Transair and BUA, culminating on Viscounts. His career had included test flying, two spells with his native Czech airline, CSA, escaping from Prague in 1939. He had flown Hurricanes in the Battle of Britain and, after his second, post-war stint with CSA, escaped a second time in 1950 when he and two other ex-RAF colleagues commandeered a Dakota and flew it to Manston with their families. But that's another story...

Last edited by Chris Scott; 5th Apr 2018 at 09:49. Reason: (1st) Last para expanded. (2nd) Newspaper date corrected
Chris Scott is offline  
Old 30th Mar 2018, 17:36
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: NORFOLK UK
Age: 72
Posts: 439
Great Photo Chris - fair takes me back. Dudley and Joe looking so youthful!
OUAQUKGF Ops is offline  
Old 30th Mar 2018, 22:57
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Blighty (Nth. Downs)
Age: 72
Posts: 2,052
Originally Posted by OUAQUKGF Ops View Post
Great Photo Chris - fair takes me back. Dudley and Joe looking so youthful!
Joe always looked young, but I doubt Dudley ever did. I remember one return to Gatwick from the early-morning papers/mail run to Hanover or Dusseldorf. We were stuck in the hold at Mayfield for what seemed ages, with Dudley complaining that he'd got a day's business to do up in London. IIRC, among other things he had rent to collect. Does that ring a bell? I never enquired about his previous flying career. Dan Skillman, of course, had flown under the infamous Don Bennett: first with the Pathfinders, and then with the ill-fated BSAA.

Earlier on the day depicted, several witnesses claim that Joe had uncharacteristically beaten up the Tower at Gatwick after take-off. The story goes that, when the BAA duty manager phoned up BIA ops to protest, he was assured that the captain would never be flying a BIA flight out of Gatwick again. Perhaps you can confirm?
Chris Scott is offline  
Old 31st Mar 2018, 08:28
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: NORFOLK UK
Age: 72
Posts: 439
Yes indeed. There is mention of the Dak's farewell on page 4 of the thread:

'Captain John Rose R.I.P'

I think Dudley died in 1985. Thread drift here but I've just come across this.

http://sussexhistoryforum.co.uk/inde...pic=924.5;wap2

Last edited by OUAQUKGF Ops; 31st Mar 2018 at 08:56. Reason: Thread Drift
OUAQUKGF Ops is offline  
Old 1st Apr 2018, 09:42
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: NORFOLK UK
Age: 72
Posts: 439
Being a confirmed flat-earther I've not mastered the correct procedure for quoting. However this is from Pprunner 'Panop' 2008: The aircraft concerned was G-AMSV.

BIA DC-3 last flight from LGW
In late 1974/early 1975 (I forget) British Island (BIA) withdrew its venerable freighter Daks (G-AMSV and G-AMRA) from service. This was to end scheduled DC-3 from LGW after many, many years of continuous operation by many airlines (I believe a few years later some more scheduled Dak flights took place - you can't kill 'em!).

On the final flight out of Gatwick (in 'RA I think) the crew were (easily) talked into the idea of a final goodbye low pass over the field after take off and ATC gave its blessing. Both pilots were old hands who were retiring along with the plane so it was their farewell also.

I, along with a small crowd of other staff wandered out to the edge of the apron (no security bothers then) to get a view of what we thought would be a low pass down the runway after a quick circuit.

To our surprise, and concern, on the downwind leg the aircraft turned for an early base leg and started descending directly towards the assembled group with landing lights flashing on and off. It continued descending to what I guessed was less than 100 feet, straight over our heads, sufficiently low, anyway, that it had to climb to clear the apron lighting which sat on top of the old South Pier directly behind us! It then passed directly in front of the Admin block which, in those days, had an uninterrupted view across the airport, as it climbed away rocking its wings.

Apparently, the BAA Airport Director in his top floor ivory tower office had not been notified of the plans and was somewhat taken aback to see a Dak passing just outside his office, below his window height whilst climbing! He was close to apoplexy, by all accounts by the time he started his phone calls to the various parties involved.

Both skipper and F/O were hanging up their goggles anyway after the trip (LGW-GCI-BOH I seem to recall) and I understand that was all that saved them from some serious investigations.

Last edited by OUAQUKGF Ops; 1st Apr 2018 at 09:59.
OUAQUKGF Ops is offline  
Old 2nd Apr 2018, 22:27
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Blighty (Nth. Downs)
Age: 72
Posts: 2,052
Beating-up Gatwick on Thursday 30th May 1974

Originally Posted by OUAQUKGF Ops View Post
Yes indeed. There is mention of the Dak's farewell on page 4 of the thread:

'Captain John Rose R.I.P'

I think Dudley died in 1985. Thread drift here but I've just come across this.

http://sussexhistoryforum.co.uk/inde...pic=924.5;wap2
Thanks for some interesting research, OUAQUKGF Ops, and I'm hoping that the Mods and the OP will bear with us if we take this matter of Rechka, Scorgie and SV's last flight with BIA a bit further. After all, SV had been with the BUA group, at least one of its predecessors (Transair) and a successor (BIA) for a very long time, as had Joe Rechka and (probably) Dudley Scorgie. My impression was that Scorgie was younger than Rechka, who would have been 63. (Some claimed he was born before 1910, but I never heard any evidence for that.) Scorgie was probably below Rechka in BIA seniority.

The newspaper article seems to back up your quoted witness-statement that SV's last trip with BIA was Gatwick/Guernsey/Hurn, so my guess is that Joe would have shared the two take-offs and landings with Dudley. If Joe decided to handle the last sector, it's possible that Dudley was handling the take-off out of Gatwick. Sadly, I doubt we'll ever know...

As a Second Officer, Scorgie had been the sole survivor of that DH 86A accident at Gatwick in 1936, in which he had not been occupying a pilot's seat. (The DH 86 was a 4-engine development of the DH 84 Dragon biplane, the latter being the predecessor of the better-known DH 89 Dragon-Rapide. Its early "A" versions were notorious for poor directional stability, and that seems to have been a factor in the accident.)

There's a full obituary of Joe Rechka on the Free Czechoslovak Air Force website here:
https://fcafa.com/2010/10/07/josef-rechka/

Understandably, it makes no mention of SV's last trip with BIA, but one of the posted responses is from John Grzegorzek, who was in BIA Ops in the 1970s. He writes:
"I worked for BIA in Operations when that company’s last DC3 flight from LGW (empty positioning to BOH) took place. Joe was rostered for it, together with another skipper, whose name now escapes me. They told us that they had asked permission from LGW ATC for a low run after take off and that this had been approved ‘subject to traffic’. What they didn’t do was get permission from BAA. They took off from holding point Bravo and, as soon as they were airborne, took a sharp left and across the maintenance area, where at that time, the old Morton's hangar still stood. BIA Ops was at the root of the centre pier adjacent to Stand 10 and their intention was to give us a close look before showing their wheels to the tower. They flew across the front of the departure lounge and across the centre pier before heading west again towards the tower. Unfortunately, the Airport Manager’s office was on the sixth floor of the terminal building and he looked down in amazement at the top of this unauthorised DC3 as it passed below his office window. The phone rang moments later and the call was transferred to appropriate senior management. A promise was made to the irate Airport Manager that the pilots would be dealt with as soon as they arrived at BOH. As this was already their last flight for the company, the matter was easily resolved. A call was made to the Airport Manager later in the day to say that neither of the pilots would be flying for the company again!"

John says the flight was an empty positioning to Bournemouth-Hurn, but the newspaper article disproves that with its photo of the aeroplane and crew at Guernsey. "Bravo" was the second entry point for a westerly take-off on Rwy 27 (since re-designated Rwy 26L), but it's not clear if the empty a/c was already airborne at that point or if it started its run from there (probably the latter). The old wooden Morton's hangar was, like several other much larger ones in those days, on the south side of the runway. The single terminal building (nowadays referred to as the "South" terminal) is, of course, north-east of the runway threshold, and in those days had two or three "fingers" projecting from it to the west, in between which were the main parking stands. The main control tower was north of the runway, about a mile west of the terminal building.

So it appears that, after G-AMSV took-off to the west, it performed a tight and then widening 360-degree turn to the left, perhaps in stages, to pass first over the maintenance area, then northwards across the runway approach lights and the fingers and continued turning left towards the control tower. As it passed over the fingers it would have been very close to the six-floor terminal building.

Last edited by Chris Scott; 5th Apr 2018 at 09:46. Reason: Date added to title
Chris Scott is offline  
Old 4th Apr 2018, 08:37
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: NORFOLK UK
Age: 72
Posts: 439
G-AMSV last flight with BIA May not March 1974. Here pictured at Gatwick May 1974. Photo credit airukreunion Richard Vandervord.

OUAQUKGF Ops is offline  
Old 5th Apr 2018, 09:37
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Blighty (Nth. Downs)
Age: 72
Posts: 2,052
Erratum

[QUOTE=OUAQUKGF Ops;10106862]G-AMSV last flight with BIA May not March 1974. Here pictured at Gatwick May 1974. Photo credit airukreunion Richard Vandervord.

Thanks for spotting my typo.
Am making the necessary amendment...

Great photo, BTW!
Chris Scott is offline  
Old 5th Apr 2018, 23:20
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Blighty (Nth. Downs)
Age: 72
Posts: 2,052
Doc Chapman's account of the "fly-past" on 30th May 1974

I'm sure many of us are looking forward to hearing anecdotes from G-AMSV's career with various operators after leaving BIA, but - in the meantime - here is another witness account of her last departure in BIA colours from Gatwick, with Joe Rechka or Dudley Scorgie at the controls.

Dr Peter Chapman - known to countless flight-crew as an AME from the 1960s through to the present millennium - was also the Chief Medical Officer for BUA and BCAL. Joe Rechka was one of his regular customers. His office and medical centre were located adjacent to the old BUA/BCAL operations building at the south-east corner of the aerodrome, just inside the curving perimeter road and - at that time - close to the distinctive Hermes fuselage mounted by the roadside. It's perhaps worth mentioning that, when heading towards the contemporary terminal building (now the South Terminal), the perimeter road straightens and heads due north, parallel to the A23 main road and the railway line, before crossing the approach lights for what was then Rwy 27 (now 26L). It then passes underneath the terminal building, the tallest part of which was the BAA admin block (at least six-storeys high) at the west end of the terminal. Here is Peter's account:

"In the 70's I had a Renault 16 car with a 'sunshine roof'. I was driving with this open one bright day along the peri track, just inboard from the dual carriageway, from my office to the Terminal. There was a sudden roar and a DC3 passed just overhead but it was going the wrong way, my way, right angles to the runway, as if to do a 9/11 into the Terminal building. It then climbed acutely, before hanging for a second in plan view before what seemed a perfect stall turn and off down the runway!! I said to my passenger "That can only be Joe." Indeed it was. Having been given clearance to do a low level run, as he was taking the last DC3 from Gatwick. During subsequent discussions with the authorities he pointed out that he was cleared for a low level run, but no-one had said which way. He was reprimanded - and congratulated."
Chris Scott is offline  
Old 11th Apr 2018, 15:56
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Swindon, Wiltshire
Age: 69
Posts: 266
Originally Posted by tac2ils View Post
Has anyone else noticed that there's a DC3 at Benson? Their Facebook page has good pics.

Apparently it is ex G-AMSV now on the Indian military register as VP905. Was restored to flight at Coventry and is going to be conducting post resto shakedown flights from Benson until mid-April when it leaves for India. From the pictures, looks really nice in those colours.

Cheers, Tac-2-ILS
'VP905'??? Where did that come from?

All pics show it with its correct original RAF serial KN397.
Amos Keeto is offline  
Old 11th Apr 2018, 16:53
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Reading, UK
Posts: 10,683
Originally Posted by Amos Keeto View Post
'VP905'??? Where did that come from?

All pics show it with its correct original RAF serial KN397.
Not quite all of them. How good is your eyesight?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
VP905.jpg (179.2 KB, 48 views)
DaveReidUK is online now  
Old 13th May 2018, 04:00
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Australia
Age: 80
Posts: 24
Can anybody point me to reliable source for the maximum range of a Dak. A friend reported flying as a child from Melbourne to Auckland in 1945,, but that seems to be outside max range, I have seen unattributed reports of 2100 miles as a maximum but perhaps someone can give me the real .figures for pax operations
.

Last edited by reefrat; 13th May 2018 at 04:02. Reason: spelling
reefrat is offline  
Old 13th May 2018, 09:16
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: London
Posts: 7,085
Wikipedia gives 1500 miles (2400km) for the DC-3A; other sources give 1847 nm/2125miles/ 3420km but there is a very wide range of numbers from just over 1000 miles to 2400 miles

2100 miles may be max.fuel

Melbourne Auckland is around 1630 miles (2625 kms) so I expect there was a technical stop or it was a max fuel trip

various mods could change things - I can remember a DC-3 on airborne survey work with two large internal tanks and an endurance of 12+ hours - approx. 2160 nm ....... and a very nasty experience TBH
Heathrow Harry is offline  
Old 13th May 2018, 11:06
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Blighty (Nth. Downs)
Age: 72
Posts: 2,052
Originally Posted by Heathrow Harry View Post
Wikipedia gives 1500 miles (2400km) for the DC-3A; other sources give 1847 nm/2125miles/ 3420km but there is a very wide range of numbers from just over 1000 miles to 2400 miles

2100 miles may be max.fuel

Melbourne Auckland is around 1630 miles (2625 kms) so I expect there was a technical stop or it was a max fuel trip

various mods could change things - I can remember a DC-3 on airborne survey work with two large internal tanks and an endurance of 12+ hours - approx. 2160 nm ....... and a very nasty experience TBH
Yes, fuel tankage must have varied enormously. The 2125 (statute) miles is quoted for three different models of DC-3 in Janes for 1946/7 (including Cyclones and Twin Wasps), whereas the same volume quotes 1500 statute miles for the C-47, which represented the vast majority of post-war passenger ops. FWIW, our C-47s (including G-AMSV) had - IIRC - four wing tanks of about 80 imp. gallons each. The rule-of-thumb fuel-flow for flight planning was 80 gallons/hr (possibly pessimistic), and the nominal cruising TAS 140 kt (162 mph). That suggests a still-air range of only about 650 statute miles without reserves... Enough in our case for Gatwick/Hannover with 3 tonnes of newspapers and mail for the BAOR, using Hamburg as an alternate. OTOH, Prchal, Korky and Rechka flew a CSA Dakota direct from Prague to Manston in 1951...
Chris Scott is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

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