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Global Aviation Magazine : 60 Years of the Hercules

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Global Aviation Magazine : 60 Years of the Hercules

Old 20th Feb 2016, 21:12
  #4161 (permalink)  
 
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As I was casually browsing this thread I happened upon a picture of Sqn Ldr Dave "Grumpy" Wri**t.
I have summoned my cardiologist.
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Old 21st Feb 2016, 15:31
  #4162 (permalink)  
 
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I liked flying with him (Dave W), he just didn't suffer fools . . . gladly or otherwise.
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Old 21st Feb 2016, 15:54
  #4163 (permalink)  
 
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I liked flying with Dave W. He was foisted with me for my D to C PRT. He wasn't happy, but at the end (as it all went well) he grudgingly put in a good word with Jock G**** my leader. To my astonishment the next year he REQUESTED my presence, and I almost upgraded to B. The next year he INSISTED on me and I did upgrade (courtesy of Trev P********). On our flying check out with John St****** there was some monkey business with seat swapping involving climbing where one should not, and I saw two quite elderly gentlemen laughing like twenty year olds. Cool guys, and a pleasure to fly with.
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Old 22nd Feb 2016, 17:02
  #4164 (permalink)  
 
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Re Dougie's photo, post 4156
There are a few of us, from the original Reservist Trial, who have operated Albert in the RAF, RAFVR and RAuxAF.

The rightly much admired Stu Vince "held my hand" to fly Albert as part of the parade flypast at Cranwell, on 5 April 1997, when all those in the RAFVR moved into the RAuxAF. Much better than being on the parade!
Apparently the RAFVR still exists but there is no one in it. An empty cupboard!

Interesting how some of those, who were dismissive of the Auggies and reservists when they were regulars, changed their views when retirement allowed them to continue in the Auggies.

I'm just glad that we made it work for all those who followed.

1066
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Old 24th Feb 2016, 08:09
  #4165 (permalink)  
 
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1066
The Hercules Reserve Aircrew which formed at Lyneham in 1999 within the OCU were tasked with keeping 5 crews on limited readiness. By the time the OCU was disbanded in 2001 the HRA became 1359 Flt embedded in LXX Sqn. At its apogee the Flight fielded 9 CR crews employed on Ops Telic and Herrick. I once represented the OC R*y H***** at a RAuxAf commanders conf at Cottesmore and the various Sqns lamented their recruiting figures. The Chair said "We will bypass 1359 Flight". Somebody asked why and the young lady from Biggin Hill said "Because they have 100% manning and a waiting list!"
The Flight asked for Squadron status but that wasn't granted for another 10 years and the rather diminished force at Brize is now 622 Sqn.
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Old 24th Feb 2016, 18:19
  #4166 (permalink)  
 
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Published on 22 Feb 2016
We interviewed Martin Oxborrow, he is an ex RAF C-130 Pilot and one of the stars of the 1980 BBC documentary 'Fighter Pilot'

He talks about his life flying the Hercules, filming 'Fighter Pilot', the Falklands and also mental health.
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Old 26th Feb 2016, 21:18
  #4167 (permalink)  
 
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I've just read, on another thread, about a Victor tanker that reeled its hose overboard over Germany, and just missed a house. I wonder if Albert ever had a similar occurance ? For the life of me I can't see how it could happen, but then, as I understand it the Victor and Albert shared the same HDU set up. I'm busy trying to remember my HDU course back in the late 80s, and am struggling. I bet there's a loady or two who can help.

Smudge
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Old 27th Feb 2016, 08:20
  #4168 (permalink)  
 
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Smudge,
as I recall there was a drill for jettisoning the hose in the event it would not rewind. Never heard of it being done in anger though. We had a manual rewind system, the handle for which was positioned in the most awkward position possible over on the starboard side of the ramp. During the tanking course we all got to try it. Thankfully that was as close as I got to using it.
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Old 27th Feb 2016, 09:53
  #4169 (permalink)  
 
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Mel Bennett

Anyone ever come across Mel Bennett on the Herc fleet? He was a RAFVRT Flying Officer when I knew him- a great, inspirational bloke who was down to earth. He wore a 'iron cross'-like medal round his neck on parade (apparently earned in an escapade saving the Sultan of Brunei). Would love to hear any stories. He sadly died a couple of years ago.

TT
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Old 27th Feb 2016, 11:07
  #4170 (permalink)  
 
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As I recall, the Victor had a sort of guillotine arrangement for cutting through the hose if they couldn't wind it back in. The worry was that it cut through in an area where the hose was still partly wound on the drum. If the aircraft had been up at height for any length of time the part of the hose still touching the drum could freeze in place. When the aircraft descended into warmer air, the hose could suddenly be freed and drop off. This was not a problem somewhere like Ascension Island, but could have disastrous consequences over populated areas. As a result of this there were occasions when the crew chose not to cut the hose, but to land with it trailed. If there are any Victor men lurking here, I am sure they will but me right.

I don't think we had the cutting system on the Hercules, but relied on the fire axe! I have had a couple of occasions when the ALM had to wind the hose in manually. On the course they had told us it would take more than one person to achieve it. My ALM managed on his own - partly because he was a big chap, but also the hose was only partially out and probably hadn't got fully into the air flow.
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Old 27th Feb 2016, 12:15
  #4171 (permalink)  
 
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Mel Bennett

TT. Years ago (1985) I held with the AEF at Manston and he was there as a very junior officer. He delighted in going to dining in nights as the most junior officer and thus Mr Vice. His No5s had clear lines where he'd had his senior officer rank braid removed.

A fine man and I enjoyed hearing him tell of the early days of the RAF C130 fleet.
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Old 27th Feb 2016, 19:20
  #4172 (permalink)  
 
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AA62 & WIDN62,

Thanks both for your replies. I did a couple of MPA tanker rotations as a GE, but only enjoyed one flight in a tanker, when it was doing its job, and that only because I begged a ride, rather than tasking. Sounds like the manual rewind system was akin to the MLG wind down, I believe 360 turns of the winding handle from up to down (each side). Don't envy the loadies that task. Curiously I remember the HDU course I was sent on (as a GE) to qualify me to accompany tankers "down south" on rotations. It was really interesting learning about the VC10 wing hose systems, I'm sure the instructor was as bemused as we were on why we needed to know that. It's an intreaging thought of a hose, letting go on approach to LYE, over West Swindon

Smudge
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Old 28th Feb 2016, 08:44
  #4173 (permalink)  
 
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Smudge,
winding the gear down was a lot easier than winding in the hose ! You may recall that it was the airflow that unwound and trailled the hose. So a fully extended hose would require much muscle power to manually rewind.
The ALM who did it on his own not only must have been strong but the hose could not IMHO have been fully extended.
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Old 28th Feb 2016, 16:49
  #4174 (permalink)  
 
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Snatch

I don't recall a hose being cut at Lyneham but we did have a bit of a scare when the airborne mail retrieval kit was about to be released to service. The then Wg Cdr Ops decided to have a go himself to prove the kit and that's when it went wrong. The height to fly so that the hook would engage the suspended line was 40 ft and the good Wg Cdr was rather higher than that on the live run. The grapnel foul hooked the line and a 100lb bag was yanked into the air. The direction of flight was opposite to that shown in the pic but it gives an idea of the choice of escape which was to stay right of the M4 and turn before Wootty B (seen at the right). Any likely catastrophe was however averted when the line parted and the bag was dumped into Tockenham pond where it may still be.


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Old 28th Feb 2016, 19:07
  #4175 (permalink)  
 
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AA62,

Yes, as I said, it was not fully in the airflow and yes, he is a little bigger than you. Your clue is that he is an engine driver!
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Old 29th Feb 2016, 07:04
  #4176 (permalink)  
 
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WIDN62,
the ALM in question can only be Mick C !
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Old 29th Feb 2016, 11:50
  #4177 (permalink)  
R4H
 
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AAR Lost basket

Wasn't there a case of a Herc tanker basket coming off and the HDU reeling in the hose at vast speed? Not sure if this actually happened or whether it was taught as a possibility.
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Old 29th Feb 2016, 22:46
  #4178 (permalink)  
 
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Someone should know R4, I know that at least one probe nozzle was left in a tankers basket during my days on the line. I also heard, but it remains simply chatter, that a receiving Herc returned to Lyneham with a Victors basket on its probe at one point. I'm sure someone, somewhere can verify or otherwise put to rest these fables.

Smudge
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Old 1st Mar 2016, 07:44
  #4179 (permalink)  
 
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R4H,
I seem to recall at least one instance of a FJ removing the basket. This would result in the hose rewinding at high speed. There were systems in place to slow the hose down but if it happened then the drill was for the ALM to evacuate the lookout postion ASAP. This was because a flailing hose spewing fuel in the cargo compartment was not conducive to his continued good health. It was suggested that cowering between the front and rear tanks was the best option.
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Old 2nd Mar 2016, 02:49
  #4180 (permalink)  
 
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R4 I can confirm it did happen I was the Eng on board, it was on our MPA detachment and the loadmaster was found in a very small space, it was as we were reeling the hose in so without the basket it came in at a great rate of knots and filled the cargo compartment with fuel. The then Staish was about to be refueled off us and scarpered back at a great rate so he could land before us as we were leaking fuel from everywhere. We were there during the winter and when the FS Officer came to talk to us about what happened and I mentioned that if the basket hit a sheep it would be easy to find as the beta lights were radioactive he launched the RIC to go search for the said basket, to this day I don't think it was ever found and we kept clear of the RIC because they were out there days in the snow. Micky B was the loadmonster.
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