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First Flights

Old 26th Jun 2013, 10:22
  #21 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: East Yorkshire
Age: 70
Posts: 65
Around 1973, aged 23, from HSA Brough in a DH Dove, G-ARBE. A trip to RAF Leuchars to ground run an 892 Sqn. Phantom as part of an investigation into pressure surges in the engine fuel feed system.

On the return trip we had just lined up on the runway when the QRA aircraft were scrambled. We trundled down to the first intersection, pulled off the runway and sat and watched two 43 Sqn. Phantoms go thundering past. Wonderful.
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Old 26th Jun 2013, 11:40
  #22 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Nottinghamshire
Age: 58
Posts: 689
A Cessna 1xx from Southport beach when I was about 10. You parked up and paid the pilot.. well my Dad did - i was always banging on about wanting to join the RAF!
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Old 26th Jun 2013, 11:44
  #23 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Bed
Posts: 184
Chippy at Valley, ATC camp Aug 1984 - would love to know who flew me...had SMEEF on his helmet or something like thatand all sorts of other things ...and onto JP's 5 years later leading to my nice big Airbus now. I owe SMEEF?? a lot!
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Old 26th Jun 2013, 11:48
  #24 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Hants
Age: 51
Posts: 688
A Handley Page Herald out of Southampton to Jersey when I was about 10...and I was scared whitless for most of the journey I seem to recall!
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Old 26th Jun 2013, 12:18
  #25 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: South of Old Warden
Age: 82
Posts: 1,380
As a young erk on 68 Sqdn, in a Meteor NF II whilst on detachment to Sylt in '56. It was the first flight of the day to check the weather, prior to air to air firing commencing. Took off in clag then broke out in to stunning blue sky, which I've always enjoyed doing ever since.
Over a 20 year period I flew in all the aircraft I serviced and a few more besides. Only one I missed out on was the mighty Vulcan.
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Old 26th Jun 2013, 20:52
  #26 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Plymouth
Age: 57
Posts: 66
1971 aged 9 years old with my father in a PA28-140, 42 years on and father now aged 88 and flying with me. Happy days then and now
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Old 26th Jun 2013, 22:48
  #27 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: AndyCappLand
Age: 97
Posts: 7,642
First Flights

One culture shock after another. Feet don't touch. Chased from pillar to post at ITW. Across the Atlantic (never been further than I.O.M.). Canada. Erk one minute, "Aviation Kay-det" in U.S. Army Air Corps the next. Put back in civvy clothes. Drive wrong side of road, use funny money. Florida, bloody hot ! Carlstrom Field. Never flown before, stuffed in back seat of lovely blue and yellow Stearman, kind of thing Biggles used to fly. No ASI.

2nd September, 1941. First entry in logbook (careful best handwriting): "Stearman (U.S. Air Corps PT-17) Pilot: R.W.Greer. Pupil: J.D. ###### - "Dual Instruction" - ".38 (minutes) - get him ! (every minute counts).

Completely shell-shocked. What was it like, and what did we do, and what were my thoughts ?

Can't remember a single thing (sorry). Why did I do it ? Seemed a good idea at the time, I suppose.


PS: "Beverley Hillbillies" marvellous. Thanks, Smudge......D.

Last edited by Danny42C; 26th Jun 2013 at 23:03. Reason: Add Material.
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Old 27th Jun 2013, 08:15
  #28 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Somewhere close to retirement v2
Posts: 3
In my teens last century my first flight was in an Islander on a pleasure trip from Flamingoland. Take off was interesting as we had to avoid a large tree carefully planted on the end of the (grass) runway. Absolutely loved the sensation and was hooked. My dad thought it was a waste of money...... Too intellectually challenged to become a pilot but as an airman flew in Lightning, Nimrod, Chippie amongst others and latterly Tucano. Can't complain really.
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Old 27th Jun 2013, 08:24
  #29 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: sussex
Posts: 1,589
First flight in Anson VG 994 on 25/7/56 from the then RAF Usworth when I was in the ATC. I was lucky enough to live in a house on a new estate which was about 100 yards from the airfield fence. Last mil flight on Dec 24 1996 Hercules C MK1 XV 196 to Split and back.
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Old 27th Jun 2013, 09:05
  #30 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a
Hastings at Lindholme 1967, circuits with GEE I think, knarled old Master Pilot "failing" one engine after another - young snotty sweating trying to keep up with the bells and horns.
Old 27th Jun 2013, 09:16
  #31 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: South of England
Age: 69
Posts: 627
Hi Coff.

Just spotted your post at #9. I did my GH in a Tri-pacer (flying schol) and my (part time) instructor was a (full time) milkman from Carlisle. We used to fly his milk round.

Happy days!

Rgds SOS
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Old 27th Jun 2013, 09:31
  #32 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: W Sussex
Posts: 64
BOAC Britannia; London to Salisbury, S Rhodesia; took 2 days; stopped at lots of places en-route to refuel. Only about 20 passengers on board; joined Junior Jet Club. Sat at the front a lot. Got goodies including cardboard cutout Britannia kit. Arrived inspired.
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Old 27th Jun 2013, 09:50
  #33 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Just outside Newbury
Age: 51
Posts: 245
1st - Chippy at Kinloss on camp in 1982;
2nd - Hunter with 208 Sqn at Lossie in 1984
3rd - Jag with 226 OCU at Lossie in 1985
Then some gliding stuff at Kinloss.

Gave me bags of enthusiasm for GD(P) but could not make up for my cack handling skills.
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Old 27th Jun 2013, 10:05
  #34 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 178
First flight as pax: B707 LHR to Luqa with Air Malta aged 6, trip to the cockpit included!

First flight U/T: glider (forget the type) out of Wycombe Air Park aged 17.

First flight U/T in RAF: Bulldog T1 aged 18
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Old 27th Jun 2013, 10:10
  #35 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 299
Auster (unrecorded reg.) out of Luton on August 5th 1953. My father was the pilot.
I subsequently gave him his last flight in an AA5 on September 4th 1992.
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Old 27th Jun 2013, 10:22
  #36 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Old Hampshire
Age: 63
Posts: 558
Aged 8 in a BEA Viscount from Ringway to the Isle of Man for a holiday. In flight catering was the Barley Suger sweet offered by the stewardess before take-off 'to help your ears to pop.'
Since then I've taken numerous Air cadets on their first flight, in Sedburghs, Venture or Vigilants, where my sole aim has been to convert the quiet/worried/shaking teenager into a grinning aviation junky.
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Old 27th Jun 2013, 11:43
  #37 (permalink)  

Gentleman Aviator
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Teetering Towers - somewhere in the Shires
Age: 70
Posts: 3,374
First flight: Silver City Air Ferries Bristol "Super Frightener" from Lydd to Le Touquet with Dad's trusty Ford Consul (or was it a Zephyr by then?) in the back. About 1960-ish so me 10 or 11. Was delighted that the airframe was "Quatorze Juillet" which was the same as my Airfix model (G-ANWK)!

First RAF Flight (and so first HOTAS!): Air Experience Chipmunk from (?) Biggin as an Air Cadet in (?) mid 1960s - no record held, but that's where the passion started!

First RAF solo: Chippy again of course, August 19th 1968, WG 308 from Linton (well, Rufforth as it was a first solo).

First Rotary solo: Sioux at Ternhill - XV 311 November 5th 1969.

Last edited by teeteringhead; 27th Jun 2013 at 17:22.
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Old 27th Jun 2013, 12:02
  #38 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Lounge Bar, 'Kebab & Calculator', Melksham
Posts: 154
Vague memories of being dragged as a toddler to a large and noisy aircraft whilst screaming that I didn't want to get on. Managed to re-enact the performance with staggering accuracy for an entire RAF career.
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Old 27th Jun 2013, 13:28
  #39 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Tamworth, UK / Nairobi, Kenya
Posts: 613
First flight, UK to USA, I was 4, can't tell you what the plane was...

First real flight in a real airplane (PA24-260D as opposed to aluminum tube) in 1980. (story below)

First lesson, C172 1990

In 1980, I was working in Ventura California, for a software development company. One of our customers was a man who everyone called "Pappy". I asked one of the guys I worked with why everyone called him Pappy, I assumed it was because of his last name, which was something like Papadopolousinskilemonov, I don't know if I have enough letters in that name, and I don't really remember it anyway. Anyway, the guy I asked said I needed to ask Pappy that question, so I did. And what he told me really peaked my interest. He started out bay saying "Have you ever heard of Pappy Boyington?" Now, I was a bit taken aback, because I had heard of him, had seen, and loved, that television program about the Flying Black Sheep. But I realized that if this guy was Pappy Boyington, first, his last name wouldn't have been Papadopolousinskilemonov, but second, I thought Pappy Boyington was 35 or 40 during dubya dubya two, so he'd have to be 70 or 80 years old at the time, and clearly this man was only about 60, so I said to him "But you can't be Pappy Boyington?" And he said, "No, but I flew with him in World War Two." Well you wouldn't have to be a genious to understand how a 20 year old kid like me, who'd always looked up at passing planes and thought to myself I'd love to give that a try, would have been intrigued by that statement. "But that still doesn't explain why everyone calls you Pappy," I said. And he responded "No, but the reason they called him Pappy was because he was old enough to be the father of most of the guys who flew with him, and in the Korean war, I led a squadron of pilots flying F86 Sabres, and they all called me Pappy because I was old compared to them."
We had work to do, so I didn't press it too much that day, and besides, he didn't act like he wanted to tell me much more than that. But the next week, when I went for our weekly meeting, I asked him about it and he asked me if I wanted to "hear about the war, or about the flying". To which I reply, "I want to hear about the flying, I'm not much of a fan of war," which was the right answer, because it turned out he wasn't too crazy about war any more either. Anyway, I offered to take him to lunch, we went, and he regailed me with stories of learning to fly, flying P47s and F86s and others in between. After lunch, back to work, but at the end of our meeting he asked "What are you doing this Saturday?" "Not much," I replied. Then he said "I have to change the oil on my plane, would you like to help?" I didn't have to think twice, "Sure, when? where?" He gave me directions and told me when to meet him.
Saturday came around, none to soon believe me, and I went to the airport to meet him. I found him out on the apron, with his station wagon next to his plane, a Piper Comanche, PA24-260D. He was sitting on a small stool and it was obvious he'd just about finished changing the oil, but I was on time, so he must have planned it that way. Anyway, he gave me a rag and asked me to wipe the cowling. Of course I did my best, and was soon told "That's about as clean as I've seen her in ages, son, you can stop now, I have to give her a test flight, want to come along?" I'm sure you know what I said to that!
Of course it was great. I was immediately in love with small planes. We took a fairly short flight, but I can still remember taking off, he had me take the controls. It turns out he had a flight instructor rating as well, but hadn't done any real teaching since the military. Anyway, I can remember him saying "Pull harder, like you mean it." He ended up having to help me as I was a bit too cautious. The flight was too short, they always are. On the way back as we entered the pattern, the gear wouldn't go down properly, and he had to raise up a part of the floor and manually extend the gear, I remember him saying something about a "large rubber band", and that the cost of all things airplane was ridiculous (years later, when getting checked out in a PA24, I found out that when you do that you have to put the plane up on blocks to get the gear to operate with the motor again). He landed, I said my goodbyes, and went home, still flying.
The next week, at our weekly meeting, he said "I have to change the oil in my plane this weekend, do you want to help?" "Um," I replied "didn't you do that last weekend?" To which he said "Yes, but this is my other plane." Needless to say, the next Saturday found me at the airport, helping to change the oil on his Twin Commanche, but this time I got there just before him, and I did a lot of the work. On this flight, he had me sit in the left seat, and I taxied, and took off. Wow! That plane had a lot of power! He basically stayed hands off for quite some time, told me to head toward that mountain peak, and then that one, and around we went for what was probably just 15 minutes or so. And then he said, "Head for the ocean" So I did. When we got over the Pacific, he said, "Let me have the plane" and he took us down to what seemed to be about 5 feet above the water (It was probably a lot more, but it sure seemed like it was that low). Let me tell you, flying along at 200 knots about 50 feet above the water is a major thrill. One of many that I've had over the years, but probably the one that I remember most of all, it's right up there with my first solo, getting my PPL and passing my IR, to be honest, it comes a close second to the birth of my kids!
Over the next few years I took a lot of 'introductory' flights, until one day, one instructor asked me when I'd like to start taking lessons (I've always wondered why that's not a question that every instructor asked me after an introductory flight), so I started lessons, and the rest is, well, history.
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Old 27th Jun 2013, 15:17
  #40 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 926
First Flight - Dan Air BAC-111 aged 11 (1978), School Skiing trip - broke my leg.

First P/ut - C150 G-BAXU Woodvale Jan 1981.

First RAF - JP5 XW295 Cranwell, Mar 1988.

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