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HAMBLE Course 712

Old 13th Jun 2020, 11:09
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HAMBLE Course 712

News of the 50 year re-union on the "Where Are They Now" forum launched me into so much nostalgia that I am thinking of pitching up for the bash even though I never went to the College ! Halcyon days indeed. I failed part one of the Selection Procedure and Mr A H Abbott's rejection letter was one of the most comforting I ever received .

You had to be good just to get on the Selection Course ! General Certificate of Education was very hard in those days. Hamble wanted at least five passes at 'O' level including maths English Language & a science subject. Two further subjects were required at 'A' level with sciences preferred. Music, Art, knitting, Cookery etc were all excluded and no-one had ever heard of Theatre Lighting . This was just a carbon copy of the RAF Cranwell requirement & much of the selection testing was also copied.

With all that and aged between 18-24, the application form was a challenge and a pre- med with your own GP was required.

Through the hoops and off you went on a rail warrant to Hamble. Met by the College bus at Southampton and whisked off for Part one of a three visit selection procedure.

Fed, watered and nicely accommodated in your own room at the College (beat the hell out of OASC Biggin), one commenced at 0900 next morning for a welcome chat by Mr Abbott. At question time, I asked what the selection rate was. 10 of us there were told that currently, only two out of us 10 would be invited for part 2. I felt immediate compassion for the other 8 who were clearly bound for rejection. Getting the nice reject letter two weeks later caused much grief but I did what Abbott recommended and applied to BUA.

As we emerge from lock-down and I lurk about PPRuNe on the week-ends, the news of a re-union after 50 years gave much needed uplift. I failed in 1965. Can we have a re-union for failures please. Most of us went on to enviable success as Airline Pilots elsewhere and would have much to contribute .

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Old 13th Jun 2020, 14:38
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Reading ‘Gordomac’ reminded that selection is not the end of it!
Courses Prior to mine often had a ‘chop’ rate of 30%, but with change of Principle the rate significantly reduced with approximately seven going from 712.
I made to halfway through the advanced flight prior to the axe falling. 42 years of commercial aviation followed and I am still involved in training new pilots.
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Old 13th Jun 2020, 17:30
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Hamble 1965

I also failed in 1965 . I completed my University degree and joined the oil industry. After 20 years I gained my PPL then I bought an aircraft. I am still working to afford the upkeep of my aircraft. I may have to retire if oil finding goes out of fashion. Mearns Loon
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Old 14th Jun 2020, 11:13
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See (?) , two fabbo stories already. Actually, 3 because I did quite well too. Giving some thought to "Where Are They Now", calling all Hamble failures. Might make for really interesting reading.390cruise ; your case reminded me of how gut wrenching it must have been for many who passed selection but then got chopped during the course. I might have been saved by not getting past part one of the selection procedure! At least there were other opportunities in those days. Gloomy times now for anyone who has the same passion as we did, then.
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Old 15th Jun 2020, 06:24
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Chopped but not gone

Two on my course went onto commercial flying after being chopped. One was the first command of our group, the second featured in a gun running tv program. A further chopped went into flight dispatch sired a future queen.
Met Pearce at a Hamble reunion and asked him why they chopped so many, he denied it had ever happened.
An infamous one who was chopped whilst I was there shot a pouf's dog whose owner was entangled with Jeremy Thorpe. The trial gave us that famous secret policeman's ball sketch.
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Old 15th Jun 2020, 09:48
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Me too. Failed part one of the selection procedure.Fellow candidate got through but failed subsequent stage. He went on to get sponsored by BKS and after a while set up his own B707 freighting company. He got caught flinging bags of the white stuff out of doors and windows at Stansted into the awaiting arms of tipped of cops hiding in the woods. I think he did 10 years at HM pleasure.

I went on to another sponsor too and served the profession with 40 odd years and 22000 hours. Colourful times and people eh ?
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Old 15th Jun 2020, 10:06
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An infamous one who was chopped whilst I was there
One of several threads about him...

My older brother used to live within the circuit at Bursledon when I was in my teens; when staying with him, I'd often nip across the valley on his bike and watch the parade of Cherokees and Barons for a while. Warm sunny day, light aeroplanes, grass airfield...
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Old 15th Jun 2020, 10:39
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He got caught flinging bags of the white stuff out of doors and windows at Stansted into the awaiting arms of tipped of cops hiding in the woods.
Should that not be Southend?
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Old 16th Jun 2020, 09:04
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Be interesting if you could have a go again now and see if you would get through.

Not quite the same but I failed my eleven plus. Recently I took a similar exam on line and passed. Unfortunately now the schools aren't open. Will I ever succeed?
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