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SHFNI Stories!

Old 17th Dec 2013, 17:55
  #641 (permalink)  

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Ah! the Nitesun brackets!

At one time the posters decided to try and get the "dinosaurs" out of Shawbs and on to 72.

I was doing a night acceptance/theatre conversion on one such, who "had a bad back". Doing the running change on the pan at Aldz, he climbed out and managed to get himself on the ground in the middle of the Nitesun frame! From where his bad back () wouldn't let him move!

Got the next pilot in and took off vertically, leaving him on the pan! He returned to Shawbury shortly thereafter.........
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Old 17th Dec 2013, 19:45
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First Production Model 214

A very minor detail, but as I recall the early metal main rotor blades were fitted with static wicks on the tips which disappeared with the introduction of the plastic blades. They were also prone to disappear in flight and it until one hit a member of the ground crew, nobody realised the number that were being lost and replaced as a routine during the AF. Conservative estimate was enough went missing to carpet most of Southern England!
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Old 17th Dec 2013, 19:50
  #643 (permalink)  
 
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Did someone mention Spot4?
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Old 17th Dec 2013, 19:58
  #644 (permalink)  
 
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Did someone mention Spot4?
Only if you are the same one who has seen a few thousand pairs of boots (and a similar volume of Avtur in litres) all over it.
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Old 17th Dec 2013, 22:31
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We are talking about the same Spot 4. It would be fair to say I have been in said boots once or twice and worn gloves that stink of AvTur on occasion, although aviation fuel was not my day job.
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Old 17th Dec 2013, 23:56
  #646 (permalink)  
 
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SHFNI Stories

Must admit I've been in those boots too and as for the smell of Avtur an ever present aroma!!! If you sat in my seat you also had back covered in OX38. After all the Wessex and Spot 4 became my second home on and off from 1980 to 1992.
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Old 2nd Oct 2014, 15:23
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Hey guys, I’m a new member here and only registered to comment on this thread which I came across through Google, whilst researching FOBs and barracks*. I’m a civilian who grew up in S. Aramgh, meaning no disrespect whatsoever I’m probably young (26) by comparison to some of the veteran servicemen who have posted here. Before I go on I'd like to say thanks to all of you for your service.

I grew up ~4-5 miles from Glenanne in a small town land near Mowhan, and we lived mile from a large field which some of you fine pilots occasionally landed in to either drop off or lift foot patrols. Later, when we moved in the early 00’s, I watched and listened to many a take-off and descent into Drumadd as our elevated position looks directly across at the back of the hill which the barracks site is behind.

It’s been fascinating to read this thread and hear some of the stories that have been shared about your time serving here, as well as seeing some brilliant photos. Particularly impressed by the contributions made by Phamous; some of those shots are both historically fascinating and technically excellent! I’m glad to read that it wasn’t all doom and gloom for you guys during tours on the Emerald Isle, despite the seriousness of the conflict outside the OP walls.

I have very little military background; Dad was UDR reserve, stationed at Glenanne through the 70’s and I had a couple of uncles in the RUC, one of whom sadly did not survive the troubles, being shot in Armagh whilst off duty.
I had a few questions which I’m hoping someone wouldn’t mind answering. I apologize in advance for the apparent stupidity of them; I’m simply not familiar with some of the terms you guys have used throughout the thread, mainly in reference to locations, and curiosity has got the better of me.

  • First and foremost, what does SHFNI stand for?
  • TSW?
  • TWA?
  • Ally Pally? (I’m assuming a location nicknamed for Alexandra Palace but obviously don’t know where)
  • Where is R850? I presume Bessbrook Mill from some comments and photos here but am not sure.
  • V813?
  • Y453?
  • Helidet?

There were others I wanted to ask about as well, but I've forgotten them in the process of registering!

*What got me interested in this was seeing that Drumadd has recently been re-developed as Armagh Business Park. I do some work for businesses in the adjacent Hamiltonsbawn Rd Ind Estate and took a drive through Drumadd recently after a site visit. Despite having been a civvy guest on the SAT range up there a couple of nights when I was younger, it’s interesting to see the “other side of the fence” in daylight and have a chance to drive round the surviving buildings. They have made industrial units and dwellings out of everything from the electrical house to the vehicle shed! The (big green) hangar is still fenced off though, despite the developer having bought the whole site. I wonder if they’re keeping it for themselves, to use as equipment/vehicle storage or something along those lines. I’m actually giving some thought to renting a unit at Drumadd to build a bigger workshop & store in. I’m a freelance Electronic Engineer, and have completely outgrown my <200’ sq space at home!

Last edited by UniformNovemberIndia; 2nd Oct 2014 at 19:42.
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Old 2nd Oct 2014, 16:25
  #648 (permalink)  
 
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Support Helicopter Flight Northern Ireland

Tactical Supply Wing as in refuelling out in the field

Helicopter Detachment


bases see

http://www.sinnfein.org/bmgii/barmy.html
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Old 2nd Oct 2014, 16:46
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UNI.

I wouldn't worry. I flew in Northern Ireland on and off for six years and I didn't know what the abbreviations were.
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Old 2nd Oct 2014, 17:02
  #650 (permalink)  
 
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I wouldn't worry. I flew in Northern Ireland on and off for six years and I didn't know what the abbreviations were.
and my lot (next to you ) aren't even mentioned, thank goodness .....
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Old 2nd Oct 2014, 17:27
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TSW? = Tactical Supply Wing. The adonis-like elite of the RAF supply trade without whom helicopter operations in NI would have ground to a halt.

TWA? = Teeny Weenie Airways. A nickname for the Army Air Corps, NI's premier post and pizza delivery system during Op Banner. Nicknames used to describe the other services include 'Crab Air' for the Royal Air Force and 'Junglies' or 'WAFU' (Wet And F@#$ing Useless) for the Fleet Air Arm.
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Old 2nd Oct 2014, 18:56
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R850 - Bessbrook
Y453 - Dungannon
V813 - Aldergrove (I stand to be corrected here, been a while!)
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Old 2nd Oct 2014, 18:59
  #653 (permalink)  
 
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SHFNI: Support Helicopter Flight Northern Ireland
Well flippin' 'eck! I always thought the F stood for Force.

Lifelong learning- something new everyday.

CG
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Old 2nd Oct 2014, 19:17
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Actually it probably is force lol... I was having a brain dump when typing.
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Old 2nd Oct 2014, 19:41
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Thanks all, most of those seem so obvious now that you've told me! There's a good chance someone here flew Dad out of BBK and Drumadd on a few occasions, for foot patrols in S.Armagh or duty in Glenanne. Can anyone shed any light on why their company would have been flown from BBK? He doesn't remember when it was and says they probably didn't even know why at the time.
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Old 2nd Oct 2014, 20:44
  #656 (permalink)  

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UNI,

I see that you're from Glenanne. If I said that 31st May 1991 was a night I won't forget in a hurry (and wouldn't want to happen again), you would probably know what I meant.
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Old 2nd Oct 2014, 21:31
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I certainly would, ShyTorque. Were you on station at the time? We were just talking about that tonight amid discussions regarding BBK. The folks had just put my older brother and I to bed a couple of hours earlier, Mum was in the kitchen and Dad was lying on his stomach, on the sofa in the living room, leafing though an AutoTrader of all things (mechanic by trade and total gear head, rubbed off on me too ) when she went up. He felt it rumble the foundations of the house and they both ran down the hall to make sure my brother and I were all right. I was only 3 at the time so have no recollection of it, but both of my folks and my brother (who would have been 8) remember it vividly. Because of the sheer strength of the shock wave, Mum initially thought it was much closer i.e. in the garage! Dangerous times... Other than sporadic dissident activity and stubborn, patchy support for them, I am very thankful that we now live in a province vastly different from how it was then.

Last edited by UniformNovemberIndia; 2nd Oct 2014 at 21:49.
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Old 3rd Oct 2014, 09:32
  #658 (permalink)  
 
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SHFNI: Support Helicopter Flight Northern Ireland
Well flippin' 'eck! I always thought the F stood for Force.
I thought it was SHDNI, for detachment.
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Old 3rd Oct 2014, 10:18
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Quote:
SHFNI: Support Helicopter Flight Northern Ireland
I thought it was SHDNI, for detachment.
In your time, it was a detachment.

In later years it was never publicised that the largest squadron the RAF had (by a long chalk) was the SH Force, actually based in NI.

Definitely not a detachment in that time.
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Old 3rd Oct 2014, 10:38
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I joined 72 about the same time as the "man with bad back/night sun bracket" event - but fortunately survived a full tour there.

It was amusing to note that below the title of the Auth Sheet folder, "Support Helicopter Force Northern Ireland", some wag had appended the words
"And may the Force be with you!"

BTW, I think I have identified "Teeteringhead!" Hope all is well!
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