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

Atlantic Barons

Old 10th Jun 2019, 23:30
  #21 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: The right side of the Pennines
Age: 69
Posts: 144
Heard tell of one, when in the early days even Barons couldn't afford a car, and he travelled to the airport on the Reading "B" bus, as it was then, but didn't like travelling in uniform on the bus so placed a locker in the crew reporting office and changed before and after flight. One night, preparing for the evening Monarch, Stratocruiser flight to New York, he found that someone had stolen his uniform trousers !

He informed scheduling that the Monarch Service would be delayed that evening, as he had to catch the bus home and back to collect another pair of trousers. No problem Captain, replied scheduling, go home and we'll call the Standby Captain. No way, he said, tonight's Monarch is MY command, it'll have to wait. And it did ! I believe the next day's London Evening Standard had the headline - BOAC Captain delayed the Monarch passengers to collect his trousers.

Such was their "power". Imagine it happening these days !
YorkshireTyke is offline  
Old 11th Jun 2019, 08:55
  #22 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: The Smaller Antipode
Age: 84
Posts: 11
A notorious BOAC Captain know as ‘The Razor’ due to his surname required everyone to address him as Captain G*******sir.
I knew him as Ron "the Blade" ( for the same reason ) . Once addressed as Captain xxxxxx, with a soft G, as was normal for that name, he barked "it's a hard G, for a hard man." but I recall hearing of an event, details forgotten now, when he stood up for his cabin crew who were being shafted by the local staff, and won the day on their behalf. No problem, he was reported as saying, "they were MY crew "
ExSp33db1rd is offline  
Old 11th Jun 2019, 15:29
  #23 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: A place in the sun
Age: 77
Posts: 718
As a young co-pilot, I use to enjoy making case studies of the captains I flew with. Despite what is sometimes said, most of the Atlantic Barons were perfectly OK and most were good pilots and good commanders. It was the exceptions who stood out and who gave the others a bad name.

In pursuit of my studies (!!), I once had the temerity to have a couple of beers with 'The Blade' and inquire why he demanded always to be called 'Sir'. Surprisingly, he didn't hit the roof but explained at great length how, in his view, standards of behaviour were slipping and he was determined to stop it. When I suggested his method seemed counterproductive he didn't see the point. But at least he didn't lose his temper with me.

On another occasion, when I was in the right hand seat, we were flying with an engineer with whom he had had a 'major disagreement'. He refused to speak to him even while in the air. He ran the flight by saying, "Mr, B (that's me), please ask Mr. D to give me 86%." Or, "Mr. B, please ask Mr D for the remaing fuel on board."

To give him his due, he was icely polite, but what a way to run a flight deck!!
Bergerie1 is offline  
Old 11th Jun 2019, 21:13
  #24 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Singapore
Posts: 259
Favourite reading material of the Atlantic Barons at 30 West ? The Telegraph of course .
Phantom Driver is offline  
Old 11th Jun 2019, 22:38
  #25 (permalink)  
Gnome de PPRuNe
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Too close to Croydon for comfort
Age: 55
Posts: 5,407
Cryptic crossword?
treadigraph is offline  
Old 12th Jun 2019, 03:00
  #26 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: The Smaller Antipode
Age: 84
Posts: 11
Favourite reading material of the Atlantic Barons at 30 West ? The Telegraph of course .
No, the "Pink un" F.T. Stock Market prices !
ExSp33db1rd is offline  
Old 12th Jun 2019, 03:06
  #27 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: The Smaller Antipode
Age: 84
Posts: 11
There were moments of humour of course. Although we are not naming names, and rightly so, this tale can only be told by doing so, apologies to all concerned.

Capt Burt was known for his stentorian style of address, and was given the nickname Barker Burt. One day the stewardess came on to the flight deck with his coffee, and said " Here is your coffee, Captain Barker." at which he swung around and replied " My name's not Barker, it's Burt."

"Oh ! my name's Jane, pleased to meet you Bert" said the girl, as she held out her hand.

I'll draw a line over subsequent remarks !
ExSp33db1rd is offline  
Old 12th Jun 2019, 05:02
  #28 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: A place in the sun
Age: 77
Posts: 718
YorkshireTyke,

Aaah, the trouser story! As I heard it, the captain in question was Captain B Prxxxx who very much liked a smart appearance, wearing immaculately pressed trousers, he kept said trousers in his locker in 221. (221 was the reporting point in one of those prefab buildings on the North Side of London Airport, as it was known then).

Another captain, a large genial man (let's call him Captain Jxxxx Jxxxxx) was fond of practical jokes and decided to hide the trousers in another locker. Of course, as expected, Captain B P hit the roof and refused to take the Monarch service until they were found. How long that took, I have no idea, but I do know the flight was delayed for some time.

Despite what has been said about the NABs, there were some lovely blokes amongst them, very good pilots and good commanders.
Bergerie1 is offline  
Old 12th Jun 2019, 05:37
  #29 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: The Smaller Antipode
Age: 84
Posts: 11
Another story, from the days of Piston engined throttle consoles, with power, mixture, pitch, carb heat, reverse etc. some 16 levers ? One of the NAB's asked the F/Eng. why he was wearing white gloves, some sort of affectation, maybe trying to upstage the NAB himself perhaps ? Well Sir, ( not forgetting the Sir ) replied the F/Eng. when we have an engine failure approaching V.1, and you order an abandoned take off, I want to know which fuc***g hands are mine !

Tho' we're talking of NAB's, many F/Eng's were themselves a legend. I recall suggesting to one of them on an early trip of mine, that maybe I should consider learning Italian, or Spanish on the West African routes with their Rome and Barclona slip patterns ? No lad, he replied, you only need to know one phrase in any language, WorldWide. " 2 beers please, my friend will pay " !! Served me well.
ExSp33db1rd is offline  
Old 12th Jun 2019, 07:16
  #30 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: A place in the sun
Age: 77
Posts: 718
And what about the F/E when in Rome and the ground power was not immediately available. The captain asked him to hurry it along. The F/E replied he could speak Italian and then lent out of the DV window (or it may have been the forward door) and yelled, "Dove le fu**ing ground power!"

Happy times!
Bergerie1 is offline  
Old 12th Jun 2019, 07:39
  #31 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Quite near 'An aerodrome somewhere in England'
Posts: 25,267
A clip from the old movie Out of the Clouds - James Robertson Justice as the Captain vs. Robert Beatty as the Ops Officer:
A real Baronial speech!
BEagle is online now  
Old 12th Jun 2019, 09:09
  #32 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: The Smaller Antipode
Age: 84
Posts: 11
I remember him well ! In the days before the scrambled egg hats, too.

Who's on the flight deck running the engine ? Ops. Officer ? The other guy was a Captain, too.
ExSp33db1rd is offline  
Old 12th Jun 2019, 16:13
  #33 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 841
I’m sure James Robertson-Justice must have had a second job as a BOAC Captain as I am convinced I flew with him!
vctenderness is offline  
Old 13th Jun 2019, 08:19
  #34 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: In front of a computer
Posts: 1,799
As a junior F/O on the 1-11 fleet I got to fly with a few former BOAC colleagues - the system in those days was a longhaul co-pilot had to take shorthaul as a first command.
It was fascinating how a couple of chaps had become imbued with the BOAC style even though they weren't much older than me whereas others (from the same fleet) were just great guys who I tried to emulate.

I think the NAB command style relates in some way to the sea captains of old who were treated as god onboard and had the crew trembling in their boots!

PS If I ever get round to writing my book I've got some cracking tales about about the likes of "Ron with a hard G" and his ilk.
PPS Definitely flown with James Robertson Justice more than once
ETOPS is offline  
Old 13th Jun 2019, 08:51
  #35 (permalink)  
Nemo Me Impune Lacessit
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Derbyshire, England.
Posts: 4,030
I knew him as Ron "the Blade" ( for the same reason ) . Once addressed as Captain xxxxxx, with a soft G, as was normal for that name, he barked "it's a hard G, for a hard man." but I recall hearing of an event, details forgotten now, when he stood up for his cabin crew who were being shafted by the local staff, and won the day on their behalf. No problem, he was reported as saying, "they were MY crew "
Met 'Capt. G******' in the early seventies at a crew hotel in the Middle East, . I was billeted in the hotel for nine months awaiting company accommodation. Often socialised with the crew and found that most of the FOs, whilst acknowledging he could be a martinet at times, liked flying with him as he was most generous giving away flying to the co-pilots. Me not being BA found that he was often quite amused at his own reputation!
parabellum is offline  
Old 13th Jun 2019, 09:09
  #36 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: The Smaller Antipode
Age: 84
Posts: 11
A psychiatrist died and was met at the Pearly Gates by St. Peter, who said - " I'm glad you've come, we're having a bit of trouble with God, he thinks he's a BOAC Captain."
ExSp33db1rd is offline  
Old 13th Jun 2019, 19:27
  #37 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: London
Age: 74
Posts: 276
Flew with G too many times.

After taxi out at Addis in. VC 10, , he would not allow me to taxi the jet although I was the handling pilot. I announced ”pre take off checks complete” . He retorted “ pre take off checks complete SIR” . I replied: thank you, I have control, He stared with daggers drawn.

After take off I rolled off the bank to 15 degrees as required by the Flying manual before retracting flaps.
He refused , stating flaps were to be retracted ONLY with wings level.

I then queried what other non standard procedures he required. No response, just a sullen silence.

Heard about this guy within 15 minutes of joining BOAC.

CRM ?

Sorry Captain G ( like one other would-b e training captain, I think he failed the check! I crossed swords with, M -B) you were a danger on the flight deck. I contrast his behaviour with so many of the wonderful ex WW 2 captains from whom I learned so much, one of whom, after an engine failure on take off told me “ just get on with it old boy”. Let me do everything as handling pilot, booked me hotac at LHR , a made a highly complimentary comment in my training file. Contrast Captain G !

That said, in the SEZ on a three day slip, he, G, managed to remain invisible for a full three days.

After nearly twenty years as a captain myself I have NO Time for this form of conduct in an aeroplane of any form.

Last edited by RetiredBA/BY; 14th Jun 2019 at 08:27.
RetiredBA/BY is offline  
Old 14th Jun 2019, 10:25
  #38 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: LEEDS
Posts: 780
Not BOAC but a British airline. I heard a tale not long ago of a SFO who was up for his first command and whose conduct is reminiscent of these Atlantic Barons. His training captain was, by and large, satisfied with his protege but bluntly informed him he would not be signed off until he significantly improved his attitude towards other pilots, cabin crew, dispatchers, fuellers and so on. This story is less than ten years old. Makes me wonder where these pompous, ill-mannered prats come from.
Mooncrest is online now  
Old 14th Jun 2019, 10:44
  #39 (permalink)  
Gnome de PPRuNe
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Too close to Croydon for comfort
Age: 55
Posts: 5,407
Pompous ill-mannered prats seem to inhabit all walks of life - several of the architectural and engineering grads who joined our business over the years were incredibly self-regarding and needed a serious bringing down to earth; one in particular threatened to complain to his director about my refusal to organise changing the mugshot on his building pass to one that made him look cooler. Who sees it unless he is showing it round his friends? I replied "OK, let's go and see Geoff now, I'll enjoy watching him rip you a new ar$ehole for wasting the time of three senior members of staff".

Most of my contact with aviation people is through this site; in my experience those who have done the most are least inclined to boast and incredibly tolerant of the bumbling enthusiasts and neophytes like me.
treadigraph is offline  
Old 15th Jun 2019, 03:29
  #40 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: N/A
Posts: 2,672
"The Story of TransAtlantic Flight", David Beaty
Those hours over the Atlantic taught me a lot. Most of the ex-Imperial Airways Captains were characters, and sometimes they would reminisce over the good old days when the Master, particularly of a flying boat, really was a king. A guard of honour of station staff saw him on board. If things were not to his satisfaction, there was hell to pay. One flying-boat Captain had turned back to his point of departure because milk for his tea had not been put on board. I learned of presents, of jewels being given to aircrew who flew eastern potentates, of magnificent soirées in their honour, of the time the captain ate the special oysters put on board for Royalty visiting Australia, and of the compliment he paid the Catering Manager on this long-overdue improvement in the flying rations
bumbling enthusiasts and neophytes like me
Had you down as a Concord skipper treaders , you certainly know stuff that puts some of us to shame.
megan is offline  

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.