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Holiday jets again - this time, the Boeing 707 and 720

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Holiday jets again - this time, the Boeing 707 and 720

Old 2nd Jun 2021, 21:41
  #41 (permalink)  
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The first time I flew on a 707 was on a Wardair affinity* charter from Calgary to Gatwick in the early 70s. They had two - a 707-311C and 707-396C.

Here's CF-ZYP at Gatwick with a CP Air DC-8 behind:

Who does the other DC-8 belong to?

* Before the rules were simplified, passengers had to be members of an association that chartered the aircraft. I was a member of the Calgary Firefighters Association!
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Old 2nd Jun 2021, 21:53
  #42 (permalink)  
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Other DC8 looks like Capitol Airlines and is that that a Caledonian Britannia in it's background ?
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Old 2nd Jun 2021, 21:54
  #43 (permalink)  
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That's a Capitol DC-8 beyond.
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Old 2nd Jun 2021, 22:07
  #44 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by arthur harbrow View Post
Air Gambia, early nineties, out of Gatwick.Seem to remember there was a Honduran registered operating that route on a couple of occassions.
But the Air Gambia flights between Banjul and LGW we're fully scheduled flights, not holiday "charter" flight's.

If your going to use Air Gambia as an example that might even include other fully scheduled airline's operating the Boeing 707 into the UK at the time such as Air Lanka and Air Seychelles. But again the topic is regarding holiday charter airlines that operated the Boeing 707/720 during the 1970/80's.
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Old 2nd Jun 2021, 22:14
  #45 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by N600JJ View Post
Air France used to fly 707's, so did Qantas and Varig
As did many, many, many other airlines but the topic is ..... "Holiday jets, this time, the Boeing 707 and 720".

The thread is a follow up up to the two previous thread's regarding Boeing 727 and Boeing 737 holiday charter operators and airlines.
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Old 2nd Jun 2021, 22:21
  #46 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by rog747 View Post
Yes MAOF went on to eventually operate both of the ex Invicta 720B's (BA and BB) that had come through the bargain basement from Monarch.

MAOF also flew one of the 3 ex TransAsian/Tigerair/Tempair/Templewood/Air Transcontinental B707-120B's, G-TJAA being one of the pair of 707-139's ordered by Cubana in 1959 NTU due to the embargo, but were bought by Western, then sold to Pan Am.

were the other 2, ex AA -123B's going to Monarch as G-BHOX and BHOY.
MAOF went on in 1984 to obtain from British Airtours 707-336B G-AXXY

The last Holiday 707's in UK -

Along with G-AXXY British Airtours also flew 707-336C G-AVPB -
both were used on the 1982 series of ABC Charters LGW to EWR, TPA YYZ and LAX plus IT's to the Med replacing the older RR 707-420's.
BEA Airtours had also, along with DA, BD, CA, GK, BY, Lloyd and Donaldson flown their 707's on the first Affinity Group and ABC Transatlantic Charters in the early years.

Laker had replaced in 1978 their 2 707-138B's with 2 old 707-351B (SCD) models bought from Cathay Pacific - again using one of these 707's on the dedicated ICA Barbados route.
Laker went under in Feb 1982 and the unique -351B's never got sold on.

In 1982 BMA British Midland refurbished their 2 707-338C's G-BFLD and LE with a new wide-look cabin, fitted out with 212 new seats and Galleys.
A larger 757 Type 1 Door & Slide Exit aft of the wing was fitted to replace the previous hat rack hatch door.
Soon after BMA's all-Cargo 707-321C G-BMAZ (Ex N448M) also received the same treatment, and joined the other two flying on IT charters from MAN, BHX and EMA to the Med, plus long haul Charters to LAX JFK YVR and YYZ, mainly from LGW and MAN. They flew SKI flights in the winter too.
BMA never got the USA scheduled licences they had sought to fly those from LHR, so the 707's were sold in 1985.

Monarch had finally retired all of their 720B/707 fleet as their new 757's arrived by 1983.

The 707 continued to be seen at various UK airports in to the early 1990's operated by some weird, and some maybe dodgy outfits flying or slogging them on AOG or ACMI Sub-Charters for the likes of Air Europe, Paramount, Britannia etc.

European 707 and 720 charter operators like Conair, Condor, TEA, Maersk, Transavia, Sobelair, Eagle Air, Air Berlin USA, had all began to obtain newer jets like the A300, 727-200 and 737-200's.
summer 89 saw lots of MEA 720’s at NCL in particular subbing for Paramount as you say.
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Old 2nd Jun 2021, 22:47
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Both MEA Boeing 720s and the Air Gambia 707 did quite a lot of sub-charters in the mid 1980s. When the Air Europe 757 had its mishap at Funchal in 1987, they ended up using the Air Gambia 707 still in half Air Mauritius colours and a Zairean-registered 707 from Scibe Airlift on subcharter flying in formation to cover the schedule. [Lord only knows what the CAA and any airline compliance department would make of such wet-lease activities nowadays.]

We'd flown out on holiday to the Canaries on G-BLVH a few days before its incident in Funchal and ended up quite badly delayed on our return with AE flights from Arrecife to both Gatwick and Manchester due to leave at much the same time. The Air Gambia and Scibe 707s both arrived in ACE amidst much noise and black smoke flying for Air Europe which raised my hopes that the return trip was going to be quite exciting ... until 757 G-BPGW then rolled up as well - and guess which one we ended up on!

The British Midland 707s did a whole series of Los Angeles charters in 1984 for the Olympics. I think it was early 1985 when G-BFLD, BFLE and BMAZ as the remaining trio of 707s were retired.

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Old 3rd Jun 2021, 06:09
  #48 (permalink)  
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The interior shot of the Monarch B720B is G-AZFB, not FE. Monarch never had one registered G-AZFE.

Great photo though and happy memories of flying on those aircraft for days out in Corfu, Malaga etc......
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Old 3rd Jun 2021, 08:01
  #49 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by dc9-32 View Post
The interior shot of the Monarch B720B is G-AZFB, not FE. Monarch never had one registered G-AZFE.

Great photo though and happy memories of flying on those aircraft for days out in Corfu, Malaga etc......
Good spot dc9-32. 'FB indeed.....fat fingers on my part. Return flight, OM4327 on 01.02.80 was on G-BHGE. Due to fog at Linate, we caught up with 'GE in Genoa....first time I'd ever seen the Med.

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Old 3rd Jun 2021, 10:19
  #50 (permalink)  
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Not really applicable to this thread but I flew out for a 12 month working Holiday in Zimbabwe from a very warm Gatwick in June/July 1983 on board an Air Zimbabwe 707-330 (ex Lufthansa),the flight was full and the cargo hold was being loaded for a long time .
We rolled along the rwy forever it seemed and actually got wheels off just before the rwy threshold lights (or so it seemed).
I returned to Zim a couple of times for gliding holidays,in 1985 I flew out courtesy of Swissair,I think it was an A310 ? out of Gatwick to Zurich or Geneva ? and then it was a lovely DC8 down to Harare,hardly any pax on board so got great service from the Hosties incl endless drinks ,I guess the return was also DC8 to either Zurich or Geneva and then A310 to Gatwick.
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Old 3rd Jun 2021, 11:19
  #51 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by GBYAJ View Post
summer 89 saw lots of MEA 720’s at NCL in particular subbing for Paramount as you say.
MEA became quite expert at both long and short term leasing out during the various difficulties in Lebanon - the 747s spent a long time with BA. They operated sometimes still from Beirut airport, barriered off, and when things got too difficult there moved over to Larnaca in Cyprus. They were a pretty professional operation throughout, which probably aided various CAAs helping them along by OK'ing the subcharters and other work they did. They kept 707s longer than anyone else (were they the last 707 operator scheduled into Heathrow ?) as they couldn't get hull insurance when on the ground at Beirut, where they lost more than half their fleet over time. Nor could anyone else get such insurance, which gave MEA an effective monopoly there.

I met a full MEA crew on a BA flight London to LAX, 1980s, who were positioning out to collect a 707 which had been undergoing the Quiet modifications at a California MRO. In uniform, the four of them had been given a squashed 4-across seat in the centre of Y in the BA 747, and having arrived from Beirut earlier in the day, were looking decidedly travel-weary by the end. Most of the pax around didn't notice the difference of uniform details, and spoke to them as if BA crew.

Do I recall a 707 operator (Omega ?) who used to turn up on holiday flight subcharters well into the 2000s ? Possibly the last one.
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Old 3rd Jun 2021, 11:23
  #52 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by TCU View Post
Good spot dc9-32. 'FB indeed.....fat fingers on my part. Return flight, OM4327 on 01.02.80 was on G-BHGE. Due to fog at Linate, we caught up with 'GE in Genoa....first time I'd ever seen the Med.

Anyone spot the mistake in the side view? Only one overwing exit! Most 720s in regular airline service had only one each side, but this limited seating capacity to 149 (not a problem in normal mixed class airline layouts of the time), This was no good for IT work so airlines like Monarch had an extra exit fitted (as on a 707) to increase capacity to 165.
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Old 3rd Jun 2021, 14:13
  #53 (permalink)  
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707 Memories and photos -
There are some great posts and old photos above on here - superb!

I love the Spearair story (although they are Holiday DC-8's)
I saw both of theirs on the deck at Tenerife Los Rodeos early 1973 after we had stepped off the BCAL 707C that had just flown us in from LGW on a Horizon Holidays Sunday charter.
I do have a snap of that somewhere of all 3 parked next to each other.
Seems the founder owners of Spearair, Sterling, and Conair were all big ''characters''.

Thankfully, like the Holiday 1-11's, there were not too many serious incidents with Holiday 707's from the 1960's onwards.

That is up until the terrible Azores crash in 1989 of an Independent Air 707-331B flying Italian holidaymakers from Bergamo to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.
All 144 on board were killed when the 707 struck Mt. Pico Alto while on approach to Santa Maria Airport in the Azores for a scheduled stopover.
Causes included the Pilots failed to conduct an approach briefing, where they would have discussed the MSA of 3000 feet, then the incorrect setting of the Altitude Alert by 1000 feet too low, with the 707 descending in IMC to 2000 instead of the MSA of 3000 feet that was cleared by ATC.
An incorrect QNH given by ATC also led to the 707 being 240 feet lower than it should be, and the Crew's mistake in routing first to the VOR instead of the NDB.
Although the GPWS sounded multiple alarms before impact, the crew did not respond.
It was also noted that the AIRNAV charts being used for this airport were outdated by 27 years. The fact that their approach chart did not indicate that the primary NAV aid was the NDB, not the VOR; had this distinction been made clear, the crash would not have occurred as the plane would not have flown over Pico Alto in the first place.
Without any one of these factors the crash would not have happened.
In fact they almost missed the mountain anyway: had they been flying just 35 feet higher, they would have cleared the ridge.
Another question was why the Crew did not react to the GPWS alarms which sounded seven seconds before impact. Given how close they already were to clearing the mountain, time to react would have been sufficient to gain 35 feet and avoid the ridge. And yet no one in the Cockpit made any move to prevent the accident. Investigators turned to the NTSB for help in examining Independent Air’s pilot training.
The NTSB was disturbed to find that Independent Air was not teaching its pilots how to respond to GPWS alerts, even though this training was required by the FAA.
US investigators had previously recommended that the FAA check whether Operators were complying with this rule, but the FAA inspector assigned to Independent Air had NOT done so, and responses to GPWS were not covered in the airline’s training manual.
Independent Air did not have its own Simulator, so they sent it's Pilots to train at another airline which had configured its 707s differently, including their SIM.
When speeds and descent rates used at Independent Air were replicated in that SIM, the GPWS tended to go off during normal approaches. When this occurred, the Instructors either turned off the GPWS or outright told student pilots to ignore it.
This had conditioned pilots to believe that GPWS alerts during an approach were usually not real, and it was no surprise that when the alert sounded on flight 1851, the pilots reacted exactly as trained — by doing nothing at all.
There is an interesting Book, all about this little known crash by Francisco Cunha.
IDN 1851: The Santa Maria Air Disaster. (Il disastro delle Azorre): Independent Air 1851 - The Story of Portugal´s worst air disaster.

Other Holiday 707 incidents include a Sabena/Sobelair 707-329 whichcrashed in 1978,during a bounced landing on the nose gear at TCI Tenerife Los Rodeos.
There is a home video film of the crash-landing taken by a passenger in the Terminal waiting for the same plane to go home to BRU on.
The nose gear collapsed and the 707 OO-SJE skidded down the runway, catching fire, but all 198 on board escaped OK. The 707 burnt out on the runway.
Windshear on final was a possible factor.

Landing Video here -



In 1979 Quebecair Holiday Charter Flight QB714 from YYZ, a 707-123B was approaching UVF St Lucia's Hewanorra Airport when it was caught by windshear.
When already over the runway threshold the aircraft stopped descending The Co-Pilot, who was pilot flying, retarded the throttles.
However at moment the aircraft had passed the windshear zone it suddenly slammed down onto the runway from a height of 6 m.
The Boeing 707 bounced twice, causing the nose gear to collapse. The Captain skilfully kept the Boeing 707 on the runway as it slid for 2000 feet and came to rest 4100 feet from the threshold. There was no fire. All 171 on board escaped OK.
The aircraft was a write off and was broken up at St. Lucia.

In 1981 another Sobelair 707 OO-SJA operating flight OO1915 to Tenerife Sur TFS and Las Palmas LPA, took off from runway 02 at BRU Zaventem Airport.
As the airplane was climbing through an altitude of 7000 feet there was a violent explosion in the no. 3 engine. An uncontained failure had caused a serious fire in the engine.
The first extinguishing bottle was fired, but to no avail. The fire finally went out after the second bottle was fired.
The Crew returned immediately to the airport and were cleared for an emergency approach to runway 25L. While turning onto finals, the airplane overshot the extended centreline of runway 25L. The captain then decided to land on runway 25R.
After touchdown thrust reverse of engine nos. 1 and 4 was selected, and maximum wheel brakes were used to try to slow down.
The pilot was afraid that the aircraft couldn't be stopped on the runway and steered the Boeing 707 off the left side of the runway.
All 118 on board escaped OK.
The aircraft was damaged beyond repair and withdrawn from use at Brussels.
The engine failure was attributed to a fatigue failure of a fan blade of the 10th stage of the compressor.

All told, the 707 on holiday charter flights had quite an impressive safety record.

Last edited by rog747; 3rd Jun 2021 at 14:34.
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Old 3rd Jun 2021, 20:09
  #54 (permalink)  
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Rog747: Seems the founder owners of Spearair, Sterling, and Conair were all big ''characters''.

Oh yes, it seems the business attracts big characters.
Rumour was that mr Keihänen copied the fur coat theme from Simon Spies.

The Spearair story has lots of twists. So much that couple of years ago there was a tv series made out of it, beginning from 1972 and the first Spearair holiday flight.
Theres been songs written about his businesses too.
But as one can imagine there are a million stories to tell of a guy who farmed trouts in his swimming pool at home.

I'd love to see the picture of the spearairs, if you can find it.

I apologise the off topic, this has nothing to do with 707's. But goes with the holiday theme though.
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Old 3rd Jun 2021, 21:24
  #55 (permalink)  
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CP Empress of Sydney
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Old 3rd Jun 2021, 21:35
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CP Empress of Sydney
Didn't last for long. Written off after 12 weeks.
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Old 3rd Jun 2021, 21:47
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One other "holiday" 707 accident, fortunately without casualties, was Airtours' G-APFK which was lost during crew training at Prestwick in March 1977.
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Old 3rd Jun 2021, 23:03
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Originally Posted by SOPS View Post
Cathay never had 707s
Oh yes they did. Ex Northwest ones. I flew on one ex CX 707 with Laker from LGW to ORD on 30 April 1378, and the same airframe back to LGW 4 weeks later.
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Old 3rd Jun 2021, 23:52
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British airtours B707 hard landing at Heraklion and flown home against the advice of the station engineer.
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Old 4th Jun 2021, 00:41
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Originally Posted by Thaihawk View Post
Oh yes they did. Ex Northwest ones. I flew on one ex CX 707 with Laker from LGW to ORD on 30 April 1378, and the same airframe back to LGW 4 weeks later.

These sort of uniformed comments are unreal 🤔
Cathay Pacific Airways purchased 12 former Northwest Orient Boeing 707 aircraft in 1971.

Cathay Pacific Airways first Boeing 707-355C VR-HGH entered service on the 24 August 1971 from Hong Kong to Tokyo via Taipei and Osaka.
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