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BEA; the privilege

Old 30th Jan 2023, 11:31
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BEA; the privilege

Interesting mix of crew.
The captain was master of the guild, big cheese cheese in training but didn't appear at the lane inquiry and took early retirement (as did the future queen's grandfather who had flown the south American tour with Prince Philip).
Cat's eyes cunningham who was part of the myth that carrots helped with night vision and crucified the way the Trident was operated at the inquiry.
The guy in the met office I think was Ross, a line trainer and a delight to fly with.
P2 was the late Geoff Brouson who took my wedding photographs. Would guess he was one of us that took 20 years to a command but benefitted from crystallisation which paid out a 6 figure pension 20 years ago. (Not me,).
Trying to put a name to P3.
A fabulous aircraft if allowed to fly it all manually and a wonderful lifestyle even if I was skint.

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Old 30th Jan 2023, 18:54
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I spent a lot of time as a youngster flying with my family on BEA Tridents to various destinations around Europe, particularly the med area. I used to love running down to the gate looking at the different tails with, One, One-E, Two and Three. They were to me all very glamorous and exciting. I read your book blind pew, a great read and I was horrified to read you had to swap seats with the steward in the climb 'don't worry his taken the exam' I might have been in the back! The number one airline.
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Old 15th Feb 2023, 17:28
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Blind Pew , think the P3 is Graham [graeme ] Blackman .
Agree on Ross , surname slipped memory banks but nice guy all the same , later a Queens award for valuable service in the air .

rgds condor .
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Old 16th Feb 2023, 07:41
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years ago I always thought BEA were one of the worst airlines going

But now I realise that they led the way to the modern airline industry where comfort, attention to detail, passenger and crew welfare could be jettisoned without a care - years ahead of their time!
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Old 16th Feb 2023, 08:22
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Originally Posted by Asturias56
years ago I always thought BEA were one of the worst airlines going

But now I realise that they led the way to the modern airline industry where comfort, attention to detail, passenger and crew welfare could be jettisoned without a care - years ahead of their time!
Obviously you've never flown on Ryanair.
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Old 16th Feb 2023, 08:34
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Condor you are correct..a story recounted about a visit from gill grey at briefing a couple of weeks into April..Graham we’ve had a couple of letters requesting supersonic certificates..what have you been up to?
Brand new 757 on shuttle..ladies and gentlemen welcome abord our Supersonic flight to Glasgow; perhaps you do not know but BA and Boeing have developed a supersonic version of the 757.
Full throttle take off..V2 climb..transitions to a very step climb up to cruise level..abrupt level off and acceleration to normal cruise.
Ladies and gentlemen we are now in supersonic cruise.
Gill I suggest to write a letter pointing out the date..1st April.
Sadly passed away in First class on his way back from the Caribbean.
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Old 16th Feb 2023, 15:05
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"Obviously you've never flown on Ryanair."

I have of course but Ryanair started years after BEA - I can remember the surly staff, the less than clean tables, the take it or leave it attitude of the whole operation

Ryanair brought lack of service to a new level but BEA were there a long time before

BEA were a LCO without the low costs
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Old 16th Feb 2023, 19:52
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I bought a whisky on a Ryanair flight to Szczecin; it was in a transparent sachet which apart from the colour of the liquid it contained was indistinguishable from the vodka or the rum. The Polish guys sitting across the aisle from me had duty frees so they got the real thing and offered me some.
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Old 17th Feb 2023, 08:13
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And yet they're one of the world's most successful airlines!

tells you all you need to know about humanity drive for the lowest possible price
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Old 17th Feb 2023, 09:43
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Blindpew ' Admire all your posts in all sections. The bit about Gill threw me into deep nostalgia (that is a part of the overall Forum )) and while sad at news of his passing, had to reflect upon ; - What a way to go ! -

Dragged into the BA merger as a Northeast Trident First Office, I decided to quit. Got jobs everywhere but Laker 1-11 at Gatters won. Typical, one had to join the next day ! Colleague of mine also quit and told me he just went into Gill;s Office, handed in less than three month's notice, apologised, and left..

I stormed in, gave one day's notice telling Gill I had succeeded in getting in to CX and had to leave the next day. He was an absolute Gentleman, worked around the three month bit, chopped away at leave etc, shook hands and wished me well.

Laker contracted BEA for the 1-11 course and there I was, Heston again, a week later. Bumped into Gill. "What are you doing here ?" he politely asked. Red faced,I came up with nonsense and Gill just smiled. Nostalgia indeed.

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Old 17th Feb 2023, 09:52
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Originally Posted by Asturias56
And yet they're one of the world's most successful airlines!

tells you all you need to know about humanity drive for the lowest possible price
There was no choice at the time apart from flying to Berlin and getting a taxi - about 150 miles. Had there been an alternative carrier operating between London and Szczecin I would have used it. I was disgusted with the cabin crew eg making rude signs behind a passenger's back etc.

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Old 17th Feb 2023, 16:08
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blind pew, I was in the flight planning room at Colombo Airport in the late seventies. We were taking a DC8 to Kuwait when John Cunnigham sidled up to me and asked for help to fill in a flight plan to China for a Trident he was delivering. The last time I had seen him was when he was demonstrating a Comet a long time before at Farnborough. He looked very old to me!.
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Old 19th Feb 2023, 22:21
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Gordanmac; thanks likewise..had one of your guys on my 10 course who was great fun to wind up along with one of our T1/2 group who steadfastly defended the old BEA monitored approach where Pm did the levers.
Did you come across « Tim » in Laker who went to SR?
Remet Gill at my one and only Icarus meeting about 5 years ago - hadn’t seen him since I attended a leaving party for BB who was on his way to CX..think I was the only one who hadn’t mastered the handshake as full of them..My association was that BB had asked me to teach the co owner of a Jodel to fly..I did 3 of the 5 hours but on my last tempt I spent half an hour swinging the prop with my very pregnant wife in the cockpit when it suddenly fired and scared the proverbial out of me..so I pushed it back into the hangar and vowed I would never hand swing a prop again. Unfortunately I’m a hypocrite and a few years ago I saw a Taylor monoplane for sale in Kilkenny and at silly money I thought I could fly in around the coasts of the British Isles then France and dump it. It had been bought by a Methodist ex hunters after being restored by a mate of a mate who was ex air corps and 747s and had won the PFA award for restoration of a comet iirc. The Meth (he was very particular of telling us about it) had bought did and after some extensive training by a fellow retiree AIrlingus pilot on a cub took her up..it took 3 attempts to get it in the ground whereby he telephoned the restorer and demanded he buy it back as it didn’t fly like a 747. Eventually I got it going but he wouldn’t let me fly it even if I gave him a cheque for thé full price as he said my widow would be able to cancel it. As he had sabotaged it to stop others flying it I thought discretion is the better part of valour and accepted that I had paid for his tea and cake for a day out (back of the queue when we came to the till).
Brakedwell..guess we would have met as I was in the VC10 in 78/9..never met the guy but was very impressed by his testimony at the inquiry - not so much by eating copious amounts of carrots.
Where you there when a super was backed up to the terminal so that the engineers could complete the severe turbulence check on the T tail?
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Old 20th Feb 2023, 08:59
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blind pew, no I didn't know anything about the "bent" VC10. We were a DC8 slip crew in Colombo waiting to take the aircraft on to Kuwait with 45 tons of fresh lamb on board that had been loaded in Perth, Australia..
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Old 20th Feb 2023, 10:07
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I don't think that VC10 was bent, it just needed a standard check of the tailplane structure after encountering some turbulence
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Old 20th Feb 2023, 12:17
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I flew on BEA and BOAC quite often pre merger , I dint think there was much differentce.

BA cabin crew could be a bit surly -ts shorthall by the way- and a night in Berlin in January isnt as nice a 3 days in Barbados . BOAc crew could be aloof and snooty
To compare with Ryanair is just silly -different worlds

A mornign trip down to Rome having had a reasonal attempt at an Englsih breakfast as your trident ate up the miles over France, spacious cabin, no stupid gimicks was very pleasant flying experience



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Old 21st Feb 2023, 08:28
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It was one of my group from BEA on his first line trip as I was..at the time I was way on the backside of the learning curve as although 6 years on the gripper command decisions weren’t up to me. Chris who was PF went to divert around a rocket cumulus..it was explained to me 25 years later by the BGA national coach which is when a small cumulus goes ballistic and looks like the cloud left by a Saturn rocket launch..absolutely no use for gliders as short lived. The line flying instructor decided that PF was being a big girls blouse and steered through it which left around 10 pax being taken to hospital having damaged the ceiling as well as a seat or two when they came back down. IIRC bergerie and I were scheduled to continue to Mauritius but went a day or two later to Hong Kong via a close encounter with an Air India 747 over the Bay of Bengal.
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Old 21st Feb 2023, 10:01
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blind pew ; Sorry. Do not recall a "Tim".. I was one of a group of 7 NE sponsored cadets. I think. only two stayed in BEA . Other NE First Officers also stuck with it and wound up flying sideways on the T3 as P3 ! Others did well in going all over the place; Brit, Orion, CX., etc.. I often wondered what happened to all of them.

One of our Flight Engineers on the T1E went over to some place called "Tech pubs" ! Git himself the Tristar manuals, taught himself and passed the ARB at the first attempt. gaining a job with GF. He knew I was keen on the 707 (fancied Iranair) and advised me to do the same. Te och Pubs guy was very nice. Having struggled with the Viscount ARB and then again with the Trident ARB I didn't get too far with a self-teach of the mighty 707 and went to Laker.

ARB Course for the bus-stop jet was back at Heston with the same fella who took me through the Trident re-sits. Made it at the first attempt for Fred's 1-11's though.

Aaaah the sweet nostalgia.
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Old 22nd Feb 2023, 10:13
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There were great times and opportunities Gordomac for those that were adventurous…I shied away from CX and sultan of Oman as I didn’t want to be a real Johnny Foreigner, an early command on 146 at Sarfend (they went skint after two years)..in a fit of indecision I did an FAA ATP in 8 days in LAX and got an offer of sponsorship for a green card but decided that taking 2 months unpaid leave on top of 47 days annual leave was the way to go. Although I lost my license at 44 I still managed 6 basic types and dog knows how many gliders etc since then.
Went to Chinatown in SIN yesterday which I first visited in 78 and last 83…how the world has changed…
Freds brother..ex Lancs and BOAC was a mate of my dads and lived around the corner in Leigh..bit of weirdo as front garden was layered in used cat litter.

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Old 19th Mar 2023, 12:22
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No 1 in Europe

For all BEA aficionados don't miss TPTV Tuesday 21 March at 7.20 a.m "BEA: Number One in Europe." Made in 1971 to celebrate 25 years of BEA. A fascinating day in the life of the airline on land and in the skies.

Whoops, forgot about post #1!


Last edited by happybiker; 19th Mar 2023 at 12:25. Reason: Post #1
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