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Norwich Airport Memories

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Norwich Airport Memories

Old 7th May 2020, 18:30
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Norwich Airport Memories

Norwich Airport memories please on Royal Mail Centre, Air UK maintenance base and IT operations. I think the 757 is the biggest jet to operate out of NWI, but stand to be corrected.
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Old 7th May 2020, 18:43
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One of the earliest games on the Commodore 64 was an night NDB approach to a Norwich runway. It was written by, I believe, an Air UK pilot, Then, it was rocket science; now, it was pathetic.
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Old 7th May 2020, 19:35
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B767 used to operate regularly from Britannia to USA and Dominique Republic. The largest public transport flight was an A330 as a replacement for a A320. So plenty of room per pax. The Short Belfast was a regular visitor for training. We had B747 a short while ago for a training approach and go around.
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Old 7th May 2020, 19:46
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Originally Posted by stopbar View Post
B767 used to operate regularly from Britannia to USA and Dominique Republic. The largest public transport flight was an A330 as a replacement for a A320. So plenty of room per pax. The Short Belfast was a regular visitor for training. We had B747 a short while ago for a training approach and go around.
Any idea what years Sabre Airways operated out of Norwich? I presume it was 737s to Malaga and Alicante. Donít think the 727s ever put in an appearance?
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Old 7th May 2020, 20:50
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Sabre were Late 90ís/early noughties I believe. B737/200. I remember a hot and windless departure which ran pretty much the entire length before lifting. Exciting days.
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Old 7th May 2020, 21:20
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Slightly of topic
I was going offshore for 2 weeks to Seafox 4 in 2010 during the World championships football.
SF4 was just on the UK side of the southern North Sea for Shell. There was a weekly (Dutch) crew change flight from Den Helder on which I was added.
There were low hanging clouds over the SF4.
After 4 rounds through the clouds over the SF4, the legs were not in sight and we diverted to Norwich. We waited several hours at the base of ....? in the PortaCabins just North of Bristow hangars.
I think we flew with DanCopter or the likes from Den Helder in a AS365.

I cannot remember the base/operator on Norwich side?

After a night over in a down town hotel. We had an uneventful flight to SF4 the next day and 2 weeks of beautiful weather and football offshore.
The Dutch made it to the finals.



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Old 7th May 2020, 22:18
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Originally Posted by hatton View Post
Norwich Airport memories please on Royal Mail Centre, Air UK maintenance base and IT operations. I think the 757 is the biggest jet to operate out of NWI, but stand to be corrected.
Did my night QCC to Norwich from Biggin H. Still recall that like it was yesterday as Eastern were bored and were glad to chat so I had radar vectors to finals .... from around Colchester! Did a "stop and go" but was being followed by RW traffic from a rig offshore. His terse Tx to Norwich Twr "Does that mean he is actually stopping on the runway when he lands????" had the BEST sarkie response ever from Twr - along the lines of "Well what the f do you think the word 'stop' means? Yes, he will!". I could hardly fly a stable approach I was laughing so much! Ah, such happy days - sadly long gone!!!!! Cheers, H 'n' H
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Old 8th May 2020, 15:05
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I spent 12 fun years on AirUK and KLMUK maintenance at NWI. From trying to prevent a F50 prop from turning during start up (Trying to locate an engine fuel leak but with hindsight a stupid thing to do) to using reverse pitch on a ground run on an F50 to deliberately soak the outside guy with surface water. I had a funny moment on a F100 engine run once. The post maintenance EGR on the F100/F70 could take all day sometimes. I was usually the outside man and I used to take the ramp van across so to get some respite from the elements. At the time we used the threshold of disused runway 22 for EGR's. We started the runs and I did all the external engine adjustments which took a couple of hours. The cockpit guys had loads of other functionals to do so I parked the van close to the nose and I sat in the van with the headset/long lead connected through the window. After another couple of hours I must have dozed off. When I woke up, the engines were still running so I hadn't missed much...... or so I thought. I looked to my left out the van window and was surprised to see a RAF Gazelle parked up about 100 metres away. Good God I thought. How did I not hear that land. I then turned my head to the right and I was shocked to see the entire Red Arrows team parked up in a neat line starting 70 metres from my van. I really must have been quite far gone.... oops.
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Old 8th May 2020, 15:15
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There are some nice pictures of the 1958(?) Battle of Britain Display on the Air Britain Photo's website. I remember this as it was the first air display I ever went to (c7 years old).
The main item I remember was of the Skyblazers F100's smoking a cartwheel in the sky. Very impressive.

I still visit the airport each week (apart from the recent COVID 19 restrictive times) as I help out at one of the businesses on the airport. It's an interesting place at times, due to the visitors
to KLM Engineering and Air Livery. There are airliners from a heap of operators routing through, for service and/or repaint. The latest being BA's ERJ170/190 series. I wonder how many of those will go back on the line?

On my last visit, just as the restrictions kicked in, here were close to 30 airliners parked across the airfield. Having been climbing the walls the last six weeks, I can't wait to get back there, if only for a change of scenery!

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Old 8th May 2020, 15:23
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Eastern Apron

Bristow's have/are moving from there to the western side of the airport. The air ambulance are temporarily using the eastern whilst there hanger is being rebuilt.
KLM Engineering are part way through erecting another large hanger on the eastern side, for aircraft maintenance.
This could make life interesting for we humble PPL's who operate from Norwich. Every time the wind is from the south, you get lot's of eddies on final, which adds interest
to the exercise. With these large hangers there, it could make it even more fun.........
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Old 9th May 2020, 09:24
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Was RAF Horsham St Faith was it not? I went there with my ATC squadron on "Summer Camp" probably about 1960, and have a photograph of us in front of a Hunter. I believe that it was here that I also got a flight in a Meteor T7.
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Old 9th May 2020, 22:07
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Originally Posted by stopbar View Post
B767 used to operate regularly from Britannia to USA and Dominique Republic. The largest public transport flight was an A330 as a replacement for a A320. So plenty of room per pax. The Short Belfast was a regular visitor for training. We had B747 a short while ago for a training approach and go around.
Britannia charters to the USA and Dominican? Are you sure? I'm not convinced there was anything regular. Maybe a one off to Orlando on the 757 in the 90's but I'm pretty sure there has been no regular IT long-haul from NWI.
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Old 10th May 2020, 10:48
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Originally Posted by bobward View Post
KLM Engineering are part way through erecting another large hanger on the eastern side, for aircraft maintenance.
Just curious..... where are they siting that new hangar? Is is going on the eastern apron, north of H8 or are they putting it on the grassed area between H7 and H2?
Nice to see that they are doing well enough to increase capacity yet again although the Covid 19 situation might render the extra capacity redundant in the short to medium term.
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Old 10th May 2020, 11:15
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there were one or two MCO charters one summer during the MCO hey day in 90's , don't recall any flights to D Rep though !
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Old 15th May 2020, 20:51
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Remember a jolly in the Bal Air DC6 reg HB-IBS from Norwich in 1981 (I think), the aircraft was in beautiful condition.

Also remember watching an RAF helicopter lifting a Varsity (?) from the northern apron and flying it as an underslung load to a musuem, Flixton I think it was, probably about the same time.
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Old 16th May 2020, 07:44
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Somewhat busier in 1944-45 than this morning..........

B24 Liberators of the 458th BG lining up for take-off.



Photo credit American Air Museum (Roger Freeman Collection).
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Old 16th May 2020, 08:44
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Originally Posted by oldbalboy View Post
there were one or two MCO charters one summer during the MCO hey day in 90's , don't recall any flights to D Rep though !
My old Britannia AW pals say they did not ever do any long hauls from NWI - If any MCO's did operate maybe it was Leisure 767?
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Old 17th May 2020, 15:49
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New hanger

Vendee,
They (being two sheds) are going up alongside the existing KLM Engineering ones. That's behind the old eastern apron.
I think the former Bristow hangers have/are being taken down.
Incidentally, work is also progressing on the Air Ambulance hanger on the western side as well.

Going back a little, I think the original main run way was 04/22. This points directly into the centre of Norwich city, which lead to some nasty incidents in WW2.
Now this is used for aircraft parking, with 09/27 being the only runway.
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Old 17th May 2020, 16:50
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I trundled happily between Norwich and Amsterdam with Air UK for
about 15 years. Finished in 1995. I had a slightly special arrangement
and used to buy tickets for a year at a time. Was fortunate to have stopped
by the time KLM took them over. Missed the shambles when they changed from the F50
to ???, but omitted to employ enough qualified crew to operate the schedule.
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Old 17th May 2020, 18:28
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esa-aardvark: Many of your trips would have been on Mr Fokker's finest; the predecessor of the F50. Now THAT was a classic aeroplane.
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