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First solo.

Old 29th Sep 2013, 21:41
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MAINJAFAD #96

That is indeed Four Counties Queen of the skies, now you have me wondering. Indeed I was blighted with service on AEW 3, which allowed me lots of time to service gliders for 4Cs. Whoever you are, thanks for the photograph and the memories. Great times were had.

Smudge

PS, drop me a PM, I can't work out anything from your "moniker".

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Old 30th Sep 2013, 02:44
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That is indeed Four Counties Queen of the skies, now you have me wondering. Indeed I was blighted with service on AEW 3, which allowed me lots of time to service gliders for 4Cs. Whoever you are, thanks for the photograph and the memories. Great times were had.

Smudge
Smudge, I started flying at 4Cs in mid Aug 86 while at Newton on the Bloodhound Mk2 Missile course (originally TG3 L Tech AD by trade, hence the JAFAD in my user name) and was one of the three West Raynham guys who flew at Syerston until the two who could drive were posted to RAFG / PVR'ed to become a God botherer. I moved across to Fenland after April 87 for a few months and was on the verge of getting Bronze C when a number of factors including a long illness forced me to give up. After that 90% of the postings (normally nowhere anywhere near a RAFGSA club) or AD site shift patterns (2 days, 2 nights, 4 off), normally in conjunction with the posting at the extreme points of the compass made getting back into the sport and keeping current a non starter.

Well off Topic

A few 4C's memories

Worst Landing ever: R36 on the first flight on the morning after the 86 AGM and the first introduction to Wobbly via some members of the most eastern club in RAFG. After bouncing almost all the way to the winch and after towing the aircraft back to the launch point was met by the duty instructor shaking his head with the comment, "Sorry mate, I'm going to have to ground you for that".

JLR water ballast bombing the bus on the flight that finally got him his Gold.

Mixed Naked Conga Team

Monster hunched up in the back of the K7

Kelly Dog.....ROGER!!!

Happy days indeed

A few more photos (mostly taken off damaged slides after a water leak in the loft where they photos were stored) or taken on a 10p Russian camera I brought at a jumble sale in 1979 (the 1983 ones)

Drags and R57 (funniest thing I saw with that one was the expression on the face of a guy who forgot that the U in WULF actually needed an action by the pilot in that aircraft after he found the cockpit was a lot lower to the ground than it should have been following a much faster and bumpy halt than normal).



The Janus (R9) only flew in her once when the weather was too windy for me to fly solo in anything. Got to learn about windshear on the approch though, plus did the fastest speed in any glider that I ever flew in.



One of the Mk IIIís at Wethersfield taken in mid-82 during the USAF open house (with two 16 year old PPruners (Myself and Aber Ratman) either side of the cockpit). It may have been the one I did my first solo in (WT917) which would you believe is the one with the motor on it that Coff has posted a photo of or one of the other two aircraft I flew on that course (WT913 and WE790).



My first experience of Syerston wasnít with 4Cís, but a week course at ACCGS in March 83. As the photos show the weather was awful and we only got one days flying in the whole 5 days. The Venture is either XZ552 or ZX555 (I think itís 555 as that was the one I flew in). Somebody may have the Barge in their logbook. (I only ever flew in two, WB899 and XW150 at Debden).





Never took any photos of the rest of the 4C's fleet at the time (The Grob 103B (2nd solo, three years after the first), The K7 (First ever spin entry and recovery ) or the Ventus (R15???).

Last edited by MAINJAFAD; 1st Oct 2013 at 21:03. Reason: Edited for 2.30 AM induced lack of good English.
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Old 30th Sep 2013, 20:57
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MAINJAFAD,

Brilliant, now;

"Drags and R57 (funniest thing I saw with that one was the expression on the face of guy who forgot that the U in WULF actually needed an action by the pilot in that aircraft after he found the cockpit was a lot lower to the ground that it should have been when he came to a much faster and bumpy halt than normal)."

Your amusement might have been at my expense. I wheeled up R57 on my first flight in it. As I always said afterward, I preferred R36, gear welded down, no mistakes, but the "wheels up" with the Astir was exactly as you described it. I knew I was in the poop when the only person to walk to the aircraft to assist was Ben Benniston, the CFI. Back on thread then chaps, and apologies.

Smudge

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Old 15th Apr 2018, 11:32
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first solo

My first solo was at Doncaster Flying Club . Aircraft GBFFE on the 18.08.1989 , instructor Barry Thompson aka top gun . After a quick circuit check we landed , taxied to the threshold , Bazzo said , " stop her here " , he then took off his DC`s put them on his now empty seat and said , " your ready , have fun and dont destroy my expensive headset " . The next fifteen minutes , Doncaster had a large circuit for a grass strip , was a mixture of sheer exitement and horror . One of those very special days akin to your passing out parade and joining the fleet .
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Old 16th Apr 2018, 12:50
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Mine too was at South Yorks Flying Club at Donnie. April 1971, left alone in a Condor (on a Flying Schol) by Jim Watson, retd Sqn Ldr (Vampires I recall). He piled in when he or his student hit the glider cable a couple of years later....
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Old 16th Apr 2018, 13:52
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Grob Tutor, Church Fenton almost 25 years to the day after my godfather (Jag and Tornado Pilot) on the same airfield but in a JP!
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Old 16th Apr 2018, 14:58
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Thumbs up

Yes I can still clearly see my instructor getting out of the Vigilant motor glider. It was 2003 up at RAF Syston with the VGS unit as a young cadet like many on here...best place to start! I remember my stomach dropping as the instructor flung the canopy open...hopped out down the wing, closed the canopy and gave it a whack and thumb up before walking off into the distance......
I canít remember getting the thing airborne but I certainly remember it being light and reaching circuit height way before downwind, an unexpected curve ball for a young cadet! But the peace of and quite of solo flight will never be forgotten....all I remember on the landing was the cones whizzing past and a thud....so I did something right. 7000 hours later and still the best job I could wish for
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Old 16th Apr 2018, 15:20
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Oh no! Was the cone OK?
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Old 16th Apr 2018, 16:23
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August 1991, at the age of 17 in a Viking glider at a VGS. ZE682


Best way to go about it, I think. The winch launch got you up to 1000ft so fast (about 20seconds), you didn't really have time to think about what you were up to until you pulled the release and trimmed out (with the trim in an odd position). Then you think to yourself "Great! Now I just have to get back down..."


There are two types of people on their first solo circuit: talkers and singers.


First solo with a donk: C-152 G-BHRM at Wellesbourne Mountford on a Flying Scholarship. We were each assigned an aircraft for the course, that one was mine. RM used to terrify other studes if they were detailed to fly a solo sortie in it, because it had larger fuel tanks (6hrs vs 4) and taking off with 50% more fuel had the effect of the frangible fence looming much larger in their windscreen than they were used to. Cheers, Rodney!
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Old 17th Apr 2018, 04:01
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Originally Posted by hoodie View Post
Oh no! Was the cone OK?


They could use it again! Just....
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Old 17th Apr 2018, 09:34
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Originally Posted by Cat Funt View Post
There are two types of people on their first solo circuit: talkers and singers.
I was a singer, 'The Windmills of your Mind' from The Thomas Crown Affair when I soloed at the Two Rivers Gliding Club at Laarbruch in 74/75. Sang the same song when I soloed a microlight at Halton a couple of decades later. Prior to those memorable occasions I soloed a parachute at Neatheravon when I was definitely a talker, just one word, 'f...' and repeated throughout the drop. As the world got nearer to my feet it changed to 'Oh f...'
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Old 17th Apr 2018, 13:26
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I was also a singer 'Going Underground' by the Jam. No idea why.

1st solo - Venture RAF Syerston September 1981. Thank you Flt Lt Tapson............

Arc

P.S. I also swore lots on my first parachute jump..............'and feet together...'
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Old 17th Apr 2018, 15:52
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Summer of 1976 Kirby Cadet, West Malling, strukkie Brian Edmondson.

Summer of 1977, PA-28, White Waltham, strukkie John Hilton

Summer of 1980, JP5A, Barkston Heath, strukkie Ted Hudson

The only thing I remember is Ted Hudson's celebratory snap-roll at about 100ft after take-off on the way home to Cranwell.

Anyone know where any of those guys are, out of curiosity? All pre-web and seem not to have left a trace. Every one of them a gentleman (of a distinctive kind in JH's case, but still a gentleman.)
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Old 17th Apr 2018, 17:30
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Edmondson was at WM when I was a staff cadet there. I think his nickname was 'Mr Mann' (no idea why).

If I remember rightly he worked for Digital (a company long since subsumed into the company HP and its associates).

He was still flying at WM in the mid 80's when I moved on.

Arc
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Old 17th Apr 2018, 19:48
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Got a horrible recollection of being told that Ted Hudson died a few years back. Be delighted for someone to tell me I'm talking arse...
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Old 17th Apr 2018, 20:12
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First solo

Canít remember much about first jet solo, JP 3 at Acklington just after 18th birthday, in 1962, or my glider solo at Catterick in 1960, but first solo on the 767 many years later was different! Almost 300 blissfully ignorant pax behind me, but the REAL pressure was my wife on the flight deck!

THAT is pressure !
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Old 17th Apr 2018, 21:07
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but first solo on the 767 many years later
but the REAL pressure was my wife on the flight deck!
It must have been difficult for her to do a crash course on V1s, V2s, undercarriage and flap operation.
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Old 18th Apr 2018, 00:16
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Flying Scholarship in a Cessna.

Took me by surprise. Instructor called the tower to change callsign, saying "first solo" as I was about to shut down after a circuits sortie. The doors of the Fire station opened and men in silver suits clambered aboard one of the fire engines.

Very sprightly take-off in the absence of the QFI, but otherwise didn't think about being alone until I had a bit of time on the downwind leg when his unfamiliarly empty seat looked rather strange.

Made a complete arse of the approach. Too high; too fast and too much power. Struggled manfully to sort it out with 40į flaps, but by 100' I had to admit failure and go around (called "overshooting" in those days).

My 'second' first solo, in the JP, was sweet as a nut. Pure perfection. By then I'd flown 20 or 30 hours solo in the civvie aircraft so the experience of not having a consultant sitting next to me held no fears and I nailed the speed and altitude and glidepath like I knew what I was doing.

My first solo in a JetRanger was illegal as hell, but that was in Iran and the locals simply presumed I was qualified to fly the thing. It was during the Revolution of Flowers when the Shi'ite hit the fan and I flew it like I stole it. Fortunately it's a very easy aircraft to fly and as there was only me and an hour of fuel and a few boxes of documents, the torque and temps weren't a problem. I got what amounted to an MiD from a famous writer for that one.
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Old 18th Apr 2018, 05:31
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26 June 1960 Kirby Cadet Mk III at RAF Hornchurch.
ATC Gliding Proficiency, A & B solos.

30 June 1975 Fournier RF5 at Biggin Hill.
First Power solo.
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Old 18th Apr 2018, 06:00
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Angel

On 17 Aug 57, a month after turning 17, I flew solo in a tiger Moth at Thruxton after 6 hours tuition from scratch. No drama, but will never forget the sheer fun of it. Big thrill soloing the Gnat at Valley! Wow! Far more worry though when age 24, as a RAF JP3/4 QFI at Church Fenton, I was sending young guys solo. Two nearly gave me heart attack!
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