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RAF Common 117.9

Old 30th Nov 2018, 19:10
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Drifting the thread just a bit, might I ask if that Prentice was subsequently flown to South Africa via Khormaksar?
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Old 30th Nov 2018, 20:46
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Originally Posted by old,not bold View Post
Yes, well, easy enough in a biggish aircraft, I imagine. Not so easy in a Prentice on route to Sharjah from UK decades ago, with a box of 80 crystals bought for the route. The prehistoric VHF, mounted right behind the pilot seat with a controller on the panel, had 4 channels (A, B, C, D), rarely enough for a complete flight. So "Contact TWR on...." often meant acknowledging, switch radio off, find crystal for TWR frequency, reach behind seat, feel for the crystal in the channel to be changed, pull it out, push in replacement, unplug aerial feeder from set, also by feel, plug in bit of wire with bulb on the end, switch on, use left hand to transmit, right hand to twiddle the aerial tuner for max light, pull out wire with bulb on it, replace aerial feeder, call TWR. By definition, this often took place while on final approach, enough time in a Prentice at approach speed if started 1-2 miles out or before, but the aircraft still had to be flown while all this was going on. ATCOs were sometimes insensitive enough to comment adversely, even rudely about the delay, and occasionally seemed unable to understand and accept the explanation that changing crystals takes time and patience.

I've always thought that simply pushing buttons to select a new frequency is for sissies.
The bulb from the compass could be used for tuning!
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Old 1st Dec 2018, 04:11
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Originally Posted by ICM View Post
Drifting the thread just a bit, might I ask if that Prentice was subsequently flown to South Africa via Khormaksar?
I remember reading a story in 'Meccano Magazine' in about 1960 of a Prentice being flown to Australia with only a 4 channel set and no spare crystals; didn't even have 121.5.
Can't remember the reg but the aircraft was named 'Koomela'.
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Old 1st Dec 2018, 12:52
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Originally Posted by ICM View Post
Drifting the thread just a bit, might I ask if that Prentice was subsequently flown to South Africa via Khormaksar?
Yes, that's the one, routed from Sharjah to Masirah, then Khormaksar, then onward.

2 intrepid RAF officers, Pilot and Nav, did it, and sold it when they got to Durban. The idiot who flew it from Gatwick to Sharjah, map-reading all the way was, of course, in the Army, seconded to TOS.
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Old 1st Dec 2018, 15:50
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OK - just as I remembered it from sometime in 1967. Dick Weldon, then on the Sharjah Twin Pin squadron and who had gone through Nav School with me, volunteered to do the Nav bit on that trip, and there was a pleasant reunion as they went through Aden. (I was there with 105 Sqn at the time.)
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