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

BMA Viscount

Old 13th May 2020, 09:29
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: derby
Posts: 131
BMA Viscount

Just wondering what the longest routes were for the BMA Viscounts i.e. did they operate to Spain with a refuelling stop. Comments please.
Thank you.
hatton is offline  
Old 13th May 2020, 12:39
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: britain
Posts: 281
Viscounts could easily manage UK to southern Spain non stop
bean is online now  
Old 13th May 2020, 16:17
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Dorset UK
Age: 66
Posts: 1,083
As long as you have enough fuel.
EXETER or Ottery St Mary.
dixi188 is offline  
Old 13th May 2020, 16:22
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: 50+ north
Posts: 803
Had no problem operating direct SOU/PMI.
TCAS FAN is offline  
Old 13th May 2020, 16:26
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 1,788
Back in the mists of time BMA ran a late night IT from BHX to MAH, so they probably did others as well, and also the Viscounts were used for the pilgrims traveling to Lourdes, and the destination airport on the BHX departure board was Tarbes. At the time I believed the airports of Lourdes and Tarbes were different but having looked online it appears as though they are one in the same. Whether there were actually two airports back in the 70s, or if Lourdes didn't have an airport of it's own back then I don't know. I'm sure someone else will!

I'll do a bit of research into the BHX / MAH and see what I come up with, as I've got several of the old Birmingham Airport Timetables from that era that were published by an organisation called "The Airport Timetable Company" who I think were from Manchester. Did they pubvlish timetables for other airports? I would have assumed so, as they couldn't have made much from the 6d, then 3p monthly Birmingham one.
ATNotts is online now  
Old 13th May 2020, 16:39
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: britain
Posts: 281
Originally Posted by dixi188 View Post
As long as you have enough fuel.
EXETER or Ottery St Mary.
i like it🤣
bean is online now  
Old 13th May 2020, 17:43
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: uk
Posts: 820
Originally Posted by TCAS FAN View Post
Had no problem operating direct SOU/PMI.
Hmmm...depending on how many seats were blocked off?

The BAF Viscounts could only reach PMI from SEN if some seats were unsold, or by selling every seat and flight planning to Nice with a diversion to PMI with a fuel plan to match. So that's what was done, BAF being BAF under Mr K.

(I know some would argue that was legal and safe, but I'm not among them.)
old,not bold is offline  
Old 13th May 2020, 17:56
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 1,788
Originally Posted by old,not bold View Post
Hmmm...depending on how many seats were blocked off?

The BAF Viscounts could only reach PMI from SEN if some seats were unsold, or by selling every seat and flight planning to Nice with a diversion to PMI with a fuel plan to match. So that's what was done, BAF being BAF under Mr K.

(I know some would argue that was legal and safe, but I'm not among them.)
The BAF fleet were ex BA V.802s and V.806s, which I understood had shorter range than the V.810s that British Midland operated. Were the BAF fleet weight restricted off Southend's runway or was it a matter of the aircraft's capability to make PMI non stop at MTOW?
ATNotts is online now  
Old 13th May 2020, 18:18
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: London UK
Posts: 6,409
BMA Viscounts, like Cambrian before them, did Liverpool to Palma. The later BMA fleet were fairly high spec, being ex-South African Airways with the most powerful engines available to handle the 6,000 ft elevation at Johannesburg.

I once used most of the Southend runway in a C152. Separate story, but it wasn't a huge length.
WHBM is offline  
Old 13th May 2020, 19:04
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 79
With respect to longer Viscount sectors - one of my earliest passenger experiences was a return journey Newcastle to Toulouse Blagnac alongside a full load of teenage exchange students on board. We were due to spend three weeks with a French family.

it was an Intra V700 series Viscount and sector length was over three hours.
Cuillin Hills is offline  
Old 13th May 2020, 20:18
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Here 'n' there!
Posts: 338
Originally Posted by dixi188 View Post
EXETER or Ottery St Mary.
Remember this very well - for a really odd reason! We were running a Theatre production at RNAS Culdrose which was Wardoom Night (ie for the Horfficers) when, a way into the production, all of a sudden, a large chunk of the audience started to leave the performance. Now, we'd never had that bad a reaction to one of our productions before ...... so, in a way, we were very relieved when we found out that it was caused by a general "call to arms" should it be required (providing SAR/CASEVAC/etc). Even happier when the safety of all on board was confirmed. Nearly 40 years ago - how time flies - without the need of fuel!

H 'n' H
Hot 'n' High is offline  
Old 13th May 2020, 23:30
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: London UK
Posts: 6,409
Originally Posted by Hot 'n' High View Post
Even happier when the safety of all on board was confirmed. Nearly 40 years ago - how time flies - without the need of fuel!
They were very lucky.

Notably, in the 1990s I met from time to time a business executive (non-aviation). Discussion over coffee one time led to his background - that he had been in 1980 one of the administration staff at Alidair East Midlands HQ. Within a few sentences we were at the Exeter accident, whereupon, after his surprise that I had knowledge of the detail, he described what had taken place back in the office afterwards, when all the prior fuel deliveries to the aircraft, the consumption logs, engine hours, everything, was got out and recalculated. Now the key issue was running out of fuel when the gauges were known u/s and the tanks had not been dipped to check. But the calculations they did led them to believe that, though they had the detailed tickets for fuel delivery that the crew had with them, the fuel delivered on one of the two occasions in Santander was distinctly light compared to what the signed ticket showed.

Having told me what I already understood, about the captain's ultimate responsibility, etc, he then described that the final fuel delivery, though they had the captain's ticket for it, was never billed through by the agent in Spain.

It was an ad-hoc charter. The Plymouth-Santander ferry had broken down in port in Spain. Alidair got the rush job for relief flights, positioned East Midlands to Santander, ran the first flight to Exeter with pax to be coached on to Plymouth, then ferried back to Spain and ran the second load to Exeter, the accident flight.
WHBM is offline  
Old 14th May 2020, 06:37
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: UK
Age: 62
Posts: 37
BMA VC8 charters in my time there were BHX-MAH and LPL-PMI (both night flights) plus we did Lourdes as well with the DC-9.

I did a LPL-Palma one night to go on my hols then connected in the morning with the 07.00 Iberia B727 to IBZ. (having gone up to LPL on the last DC9 of the day from LHR)
The flight from Liverpool was a nice sojourn - flight time was around 4 hours IIRC and the skipper came down the back and sat with me to eat his hot dinner.
We were not quite full and did not tech stop.

2 weeks later I flew again on the late IB IBZ-PMI to get our Viscount back to LPL then jump on the first DC-9 down to LHR....
Having left IBZ with a choice of 6 direct LGW and LTN flights I could have easily got on with my free non-rev ticket and my ID card - I knew the Agents well at both IBZ and PMI...
Anyway got to PMI in the middle of the night and looked up at the departures board and to my horror the BD LPL flight said cancelled...No idea why but it was late summer season.
Dashed over to the Agents office and he said where do you want to go? I said London..But why you wanna go to LPL ?? he looked puzzled....Don't ask I said...
Look at the board, tell me what flight...
There was a Laker to Gatwick so I said that one - Fine he said, DC-10 big plane plenty seats no problem - come we go - quick...This was just after the 1979 groundings had been lifted!

Phew - he ran me out to the DC-10 and I ran up the back steps and I got the back row of 3 to myself...All a bit anxious lol

When BMA did many more IT charter flights in the 70's with Viscounts from all over the UK I was not aware of any need for tech stops but I can ask some old BMA pilots and let you know.
rog747 is offline  
Old 14th May 2020, 07:01
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: LEEDS
Posts: 855
The BMA Viscount operated the LBA-LHR schedule during the 1980s. Not a lengthy flight compared to the likes of LPL-PMI but potentially extended considerably by time spent flying round and round the LBA hold waiting for the visibility to improve!
Mooncrest is offline  
Old 14th May 2020, 08:05
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Germany
Posts: 803
A viscount service LBA/LHR was run by BKS, which morphed into Northeast and eventually was taken over by BA. BKS had one long scheduled flight from LHR to Klagenfurt. I know this because a family member took it once and asked if they might see the Gossglockner mountain (Austria's highest peak) in flight. 'See it Madam, we will have to fly round it!' was the response. I suspect the steward was joking as the service ceiling and performance of the viscount was more than adequate. In later years I flew the 737 in and out of Klagenfurt a lot and it makes me wonder how BKS trained for it. We had special sim qualification for Salzburg, Klagenfurt and Innsbruck. You could only be P1 if you were current in the sim. It did not however stop our operations listing Klagenfurt as alternate for Venice irrespective of whether the captain was legally allowed to fly there or not, but that is another story.
lederhosen is online now  
Old 14th May 2020, 08:49
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Here 'n' there!
Posts: 338
Originally Posted by WHBM View Post
They were very lucky. ....................
Quite! Looking at the photos it was vary fortunate it happened where it did and the Capt seemed to know a good place to head for. Very lucky indeed.

As an aside for all who are unaware, there is/was a great site at Vickers Viscount Network - A Virtual Museum dedicated to the Vickers-Armstrongs VC2 Viscount - erm, which seems to be down right now. Not sure if a temp disappearance or if moved/closed down - maybe someone knows. Hopefully it will be back as it is/was a great Viscount resource.

H 'n' H
Hot 'n' High is offline  
Old 14th May 2020, 09:35
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: London UK
Posts: 6,409
Originally Posted by rog747 View Post
.All a bit anxious lol
We presume that after a fortnight in Ibiza in youthful times there was plenty else to have occupied your mind ...
The BMA Viscount operated the LBA-LHR schedule during the 1980s. Not a lengthy flight compared to the likes of LPL-PMI but potentially extended considerably by time spent flying round and round the LBA hold waiting for the visibility to improve.

Did a BMA Viscount day return once LHR-LBA, by chance met a colleague on the same flight. Back to the airport in winter gloom in the evening, the inbound didn't make it in (I think the alternate was back to Heathrow), They were just starting to think about organising a coach to London. This seemed a poor alternative, so meeting said colleague again we both cancelled our tickets, went out to the terminal front, and got a somewhat bemused cab driver to take us direct to the LHR Terminal 1 car park. Ended up being cheaper than two air tickets. However, he didn't quite seem to know where London was or how far, and we had to give quite a bit of guidance. Had to give him part of the fare at Watford Gap services for fuel. Left him at about 11pm at the T1 set-down area. I hope he got home ...

Last edited by WHBM; 14th May 2020 at 09:47.
WHBM is offline  
Old 14th May 2020, 11:57
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Bedfordshire
Posts: 10
Back in the late 70s as a young engineer for BMA we had some 707s flying for Air Algerie, at one stage we were desperate for tyres, eventually mission control at EMA promised to send some, we were hoping for 6, 8 maybe 10, they sent a Viscount direct to Algiers, two wheels, then turned round and went straight back, was that max load for a Viscount on a flight that long?
classic200 is offline  
Old 15th May 2020, 05:45
  #19 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: France
Posts: 132
Hot 'n' High, Vickers Viscount Network link:

A Virtual Museum dedicated to the Vickers-Armstrongs Viscount

Ddraig Goch is offline  
Old 15th May 2020, 06:27
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Here 'n' there!
Posts: 338
Originally Posted by Ddraig Goch View Post
Hot 'n' High, Vickers Viscount Network link:

A Virtual Museum dedicated to the Vickers-Armstrongs Viscount
Cheers! Not sure why my links to it had stopped working. Not sure what got me into aviation but Viscounts between Bulawayo and Joburg in the 60's sure helped!
Hot 'n' High is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

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