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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 19th Mar 2016, 09:53
  #4241 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: UK East Anglia
Age: 62
Posts: 669
Originally Posted by CoffmanStarter View Post
Here you go AA62 and the wider ALM community (and yes I know it's an A400M not a Herc K) ...

'Ascot 401' ... very amusing

Formula 1 : 'Fast and Furious'
Good one Coff - Airbags not required!
Reminded me of Ted Strong driving his Quads off the ramp (US Civi 130 - could not get permission to do it from a Mil A/C - Also used a big steerable square) RIP Ted you left an impression on me.
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Old 19th Mar 2016, 19:47
  #4242 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Wiltshire
Age: 67
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Flyer Flier,

Thanks for that last post, and the magic memories brought back from your photographs. ALSS was a very special place for those who served there, as I suppose, was BLSS for "them" !!!! By the time I arrived there circa 87, I had variously seen the delights of life as a rigger on Vulcan, Lightning, Jet Provost, Chipmunk and Bulldog, Nimrod AEW and a remote Scottish VASS. None approached the camaraderie or determination to meet the tasking that I found at RAF Lyneham. We simply didn't go home till the aircrew had their required steeds. I think many of the operators on this thread would agree with my statement. I was lucky enough to spend the latter part of my time in the service as an AGE, which gave me an insight in to Albert away from Lyneham, the commitment of the crews to getting the job done and the back up offered by both LSS organisations to people like me, many miles from home and needing advice. Your C flight guys (Simes and Mick) are to the best of my knowledge both well, and still in the vicinity. Thanks again for the photographs, worthy of this ever building record of Albert in RAF service, we all contributed to its success.

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Old 25th Mar 2016, 21:49
  #4243 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 583
Totally agree Smuj, I worked on BLine, both C and D shift and on A line on the primary and the mods team, the latter with my leg in plaster. I agree that we all worked hard on getting the frames in the air I was a bit luckier than you I was on the line 73 to 77 so they were that bit newer. Enjoy d coming back as aircrew to find some of the old faces still around.
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Old 25th Mar 2016, 23:36
  #4244 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Wiltshire
Age: 67
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Hey Fergineer, vintage groundcrew you truly are. I was heading for Cyprus in 73 after a two year experience of Albert at Colerne. Thanks for your backing that even us pond life took a pride in getting the frames on time and on target ! Your return as a "seat holder" on the fleet was most welcome. I know I'm not the only ex GE who enjoyed your company down route. Tucker Thompson sends his best regards.

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Old 27th Mar 2016, 21:04
  #4245 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Doncaster
Posts: 463
All that ALSS and BLSS, there was nothing wrong with LSSA and LSSB - I remember a SENGO arriving and insisting it was changed around - bloody plonker as it separated the two lines in the phone book (remember them?).

Having done my time at Colerne, I was grateful not to be a 'liney' at Lyneham - they had it much rougher than we did doing the Base 2 and 3 checks.

GEs ensured my flying gloves stayed a lot cleaner than they would have done - thanks guys. Only one or two exceptions . . .
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Old 28th Mar 2016, 14:49
  #4246 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: M4 Corridor
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Ground Engineers

Personally I was delighted with the inclusion of a G.E. in the crew for route and dets. On a previous "whistling" transport type I always had to shin along very thin Dart engines quite high off the ground to check oils and fit engine blanks. When I arrived at Lyneham there was no need for the "Qualified 1st line servicing" entry in the log book anymore. There have been occasions where all the crew had to muck in to help out but under close supervision. I would like to say that I wasn't on the crew who rolled a mainwheel down the ramp at Davis Monthan then had to chase it down as it raced off along a line of mothballed A10s. The U.S. crew chief said that the wheel narrowly averted the biggest aircraft loss since Viet Nam.
G.E.s were a force to be reckoned with. Gentlemen I salute you.

Last edited by Dougie M; 28th Mar 2016 at 15:28.
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Old 28th Mar 2016, 18:06
  #4247 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Corinium
Age: 67
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Dougie's story reminds me of an incident that happened at Bardufoss in early 89. I was No 2 ALM on the trip still relatively new to the fleet and beginning to enjoy it after several years rotary. After dropping our load of marines we taxied out to take off, began the run and then aborted due to an engine problem, so taxied back in. After the GE and Eng played with the problem and a quick eng run we taxied out for another go. Same thing happened so we taxied back in with thoughts of night stop!!!! As we shut down a Norwegian who had been in the follow me vehicle brought us loads of melted rubber and it appeared that the Port mainwheels had locked and the friction caused the ice to melt turn to steam and off came the tread. Call to Lye Ops and not only were we to get the engine parts but 2 mainwheels s well. The next day our rescue flight came in and the other loadie J**** O**** and I went to meet it. The Loadie on the other aircraft, one of our Female brethren was a little stuck off loading the bomb trolly with the wheels on, so ever gallant we offered to do it for her. J had control of the winch and I had the heavy end. Using dunnage to clear the ramp hinge we lowered the ramp from horizontal. Toe ramps fitted, Norwegian mover on the chock I gave it a shove!! Oops we had left the handle on the winch the chock man jumped clear and it whistled off the ramp trailing the cable behind it and buried itself in a snowdrift. We sheepishly rolled up the cable returned it to the young female loady and pushed our wheels to our aircraft. I never did hear what was said by the rollies at Lyneham. But I certainly learn't about off loading from that.
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Old 28th Mar 2016, 18:48
  #4248 (permalink)  
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Some good posts there Gentlemen, and like all ex GE's, I'm always grateful for a pat on the head. I always looked at being part of the crew as a team effort. There was little, in my day, that a GE could offer once the wheels were retracted and we were on our way. Maybe spell the "Loady" on Tea making duties on a long leg, it was always nice to get a few minutes at the sharp end to learn a bit about how Albert was operated, and procedures that were never taught to us GE's in the normal course of our training. I believe, after I left in December 94, the GEs were given flying pay, and were expected to partake in certain airborne activities, though that may have come as a result of reduced manning of the aircraft with the J. For me, the best of times were when having stuck with a "bent beast" overnight, and got it ready to depart on time, the crew would often turn up with a nice breakfast treat for me, in appreciation. Happy days for all I reckon.

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Old 29th Mar 2016, 09:11
  #4249 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2001
Location: UK
Posts: 85
Keeping the Show on the Road

Many of the recent posts have echoed the theme of working together to keep the show on the road. Here is one example of how we used to work as a team to ensure that we could hand over a serviceable Hercules (C130 A-Model) to the crew that the following day would fly on up to Thailand or Vietnam, or both.

In the mid 1960s I had the great pleasure, as an RAF pilot, of operating with No 36 Squadron RAAF that was based at Richmond, just outside Sydney NSW. When I arrived, in 1965, the first Australian contingents were being deployed to Vietnam and our Squadron was tasked to provide regular support through 'services' operated at least weekly via Butterworth on the west coast of Malaya.

As there was confrontation with Indonesia, we couldn't fly the direct route via Darwin (this came later) so made our first day's sector Richmond - Pearce (near Perth, WA). On the second day we flew to Cocos Island for refuelling before going on up to Butterworth sneaking around the top end of Sumatra (if we got too close our 75 MHz airways marker beacon receiver would flash, reputedly from a harmonic of the Indonesian gun radar, causing us to ease out to sea just a little bit more!).

Inevitably we reached Butterworth at dusk when rays from the setting sun flickered off the three-bladed propellors - and from time to time triggered an engine fire warning! The drill was to shut down the engine and fire one shot of extinguishant into it, but not a second unless there were clear signs of flames or smoke. Generally, the warning, if it came, occurred only as we were on finals, so the remaining flight time was going to be brief.

We had no RAAF ground engineering support at Butterworth, so after we had parked the aircraft the flight engineer would make ready to inspect the engine, assisted by the captain, the loadmaster would attend to the cargo which might include perishable commodities such as fresh Australian milk, the navigator would hasten off to arrange accommodation in both Messes, and I, as the co-pilot, would go across to the RAF line engineers and borrow steps, tools, etc to enable the inspection to proceed and a replacement bottle of fire extinguishing to be installed (we always carried two spares).

It didn't matter how long the job took, for the crew that had brought the previous Hercules up the week before would take over the following morning and fly the aircraft into and within that part of Vietnam where the Australians were based, then on to Ubon in Thailand for the overnight stop (to keep the aircraft safe). When we had finished the task, the Officer's Mess bar would probably have closed, but the Sergeants' Mess would still be open and that's where we all went. The officers first removed their hats and rank badges (epaulets) before trudging through the palm trees to join the flight engineer and loadmaster. All was prearranged! On arrival, our NCO crew would take us to the senior SNCO who would formally welcome us to the Mess and invite us to have a beer. We, having learnt beforehand of this gentleman's name, would politely thank him for the welcome but decline the beer for this would already have been acquired by our crew. I had then, and have now, the greatest respect for those SNCOs for the support they gave to the aircrew who, they knew, would likely be flying to the war zone in the very near future or who had just returned from it. Fantastic support that I shall never forget! We then awaited the arrival of the next 'Service' flight from Richmond before completing whatever tasks were required and subsequently taking the aircraft back home to Richmond.
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Old 29th Mar 2016, 18:33
  #4250 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2013
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What a great story, and proof positive that "Albert" crews, of whatever nation, will always help when they can. I can relate a story from my own experience when transiting through Aviano on the way to an Ascot "something". Our night stop held the promise of some good Italian wine, food and a nice change from the Op Granby stuff we had all been involved in for seemingly ages. So, having landed I, as the GE started to put my perfectly serviceable Albert to bed. I was pretty much finished and wrapping up the paperwork when a camouflaged chap with an American accent asked to come aboard. Welcome says I, and he duly took a seat on the bottom bunk, as I continued to sign up the 700 at the Navs station. He had a problem, he had a blown bleed air fitting on his Albert, and, the blown joint was not one of the usual sizes, so he had no spare in his "go pack" ! Well, I wasn't carrying a ranger pack, but as usual for all GEs did have my trusty "spares bag", in my case the RAF hold-all I had been issued at RAF Halton in 1969, full of "bits and bobs". Looking through it we managed to find a new clamp and gasket, which we fitted and I had the pleasure of doing a ground run on an "H" as he did the leak check.

Fast forward to that evening, sitting in the hotel bar having a beer with the crew who were still there and this very charming lady walks in, asks me if I'm Smudge and asks if she can take me out to dinner. Well, how does one refuse, so off we went. I discovered that the lady was the Captain of the "H" and heading Gulfwards, she was genuinely grateful that I had assisted her crew chief in ensuring they could continue on task, on time. My reward was the look on our co pilots face as I was "picked up" in the bar, he told me the next day that GEs had gone up in his estimation. I paid for dinner, and a few drinks before escorting the Captain back to her room (door). Truly, more proof of international Albert cooperation.


Last edited by smujsmith; 17th Apr 2016 at 19:24.
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Old 1st Apr 2016, 08:12
  #4251 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: M4 Corridor
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Time Out

On another (ahem) Eastabout I was with a crew rendered unserviceable in Guam. We were accommodated in the Okura hotel which was overrun with tiny Japanese people all visiting the place where grandpa never made it WWII. Even the staff were mostly of Nipponese persuasion and addressed you in short microbursts of speech. Our GE a veritable fair haired man mountain worked through the night to restore Albert to flying status. The wind down beers reserved for him were left untasted and it was decided that the rest of the crew would leave him to his well earned kip and go up to Andersen Field to negotiate an onward itinerary. Grope were already on top of it having received the GEs engrep and we found that we were expected to launch in two hours. Best get the GE up here we thought and phoned the hotel. Planning and prepping were complete when the GE arrived blinking in the daylight.
"Worst experience of my life" he reported." I was well out of it when there was a hammering at the door. I opened it and there was nobody there. Then I looked down and a tiny Japanese wearing a khaki safari suit screamed at me. "Orificer say, You go NOW" I thought I was in the Bridge on the River Kwai dream and I'm only just over it"
He had his own wind down slab in Honoruru.

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Old 7th Apr 2016, 09:16
  #4252 (permalink)  
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Re #4226


Is that Stingray floating in the Dead Sea with you?
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Old 7th Apr 2016, 15:07
  #4253 (permalink)  
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Yes. Ex Eastern Union Sep 89. He left the water 10 secs later when the "healing salts" got through to his flux afflicted fundament.
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Old 7th Apr 2016, 20:45
  #4254 (permalink)  
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Location: Doncaster
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I remember the Okura well - didn't it have long thin ponds full of enormous carp leading up to the entrance . ?

Where's a thunderflash when you need one ?
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Old 7th Apr 2016, 21:58
  #4255 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: UK
Posts: 65
RAF Anniversary 1st April

Hello again all,
I saw all the 1st April 98th RAF anniversary stuff this week and it reminded me of where I was on 1st April 1988 on the 70th anniversary.
So, I thought I would pop up my photos of the memorable trip we undertook on that day when I was down on 1312 Flt at MPA. We decided to mark the anniversary with a flight down to South Georgia to deliver the mail by air-drop to the Royal Marines at Grytviken. The crew let me invite along my friend and colleague Chris who was the Engineer Officer on the 23 Sqn Phantom detachment. We had both started Cranwell on the same day four years previously and been through training together on the same courses, so it was a nice co-incidence to be both posted down there at the same time.
The first pic shows the 1312 Flt building, complete with its mortar gate guard left over from the battles a few years earlier.

The next pic below is taken from our Q aircraft pan at "Albert Square" looking across towards the ATC tower and the fire crew to the second Hercules pan.

This next shot will have been taken over on the cross runway between the hangars of the Phantom det, where one of their aircraft has just landed and taken the RHAG with a problem. In the distance across the other side of the main runway is the white visiting Tristar in front of the large Timmy hangar.

So off we go and from the air you can see why the accommodation blocks at Mount Pleasant were called the "Death Star" from the Star Wars film. Albert Square and ATC can just still be seen the other side of the airfield next to the lake in the top left of the pic.

It's a long flight down to South Georgia from MPA, so Andy the co-pilot checks we haven't fallen asleep yet back on the bunk.

Finally the awesome scenery of South Georgia hove into view.

Certainly very impressive from our vantage point.

George the loadie makes sure he films it all for posterity up in the cupola.

Now that is what you call a glacier.

And there is Grytviken, looks like a good place to get away from the rest of the world.

Down the back the Air Dispatcher prepares the first drop of the mail out the rear door. You can see one of the internal fuel tanks of the tanker fit making it crowded down the back of XV203.

As we headed around for another pass, the Marines in their RIBs collect the first drop. As it was also April fools day, we couldn't resist attaching a bunch of empty bluey letters to the outside of the next drop, which fluttered down as if the mail had burst open causing the RIBs to rush around frenziedly until they realised the joke,.... I'm sure that wasn't standard RT phraseology they used afterwards.

After the skipper Laurie brought us around for the last drop we headed off for a quick look around the local area. It was then time to say our good-byes and set off homeward for the long return flight to MPA.

Back at Albert Square it was time for tea and medals and a photo to mark the occasion. In fact Chris on my left in the pic has only recently retired as an Air Vice Marshal. It's nice that 32 years since we joined up together, we have still kept in touch.

Finally an appropriate Falkland Islands sunset shot, which I am sure anyone who has been down there will fondly remember.

All the best for now and I will dig out some other trips with the K when time and computer allow. Cheers Steve
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Old 8th Apr 2016, 05:36
  #4256 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
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FF ... Simply outstanding photos, many thanks for sharing with us
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Old 8th Apr 2016, 06:48
  #4257 (permalink)  
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brilliant pics thanks.
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Old 8th Apr 2016, 09:49
  #4258 (permalink)  
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Location: France
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Thanks for the memories - signed for those buildings from the contractors in Jan-May 86
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Old 9th Apr 2016, 12:44
  #4259 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Norwich
Age: 75
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Major David E. Sutherland, USAF Retired talks about his time flying the C130


Last edited by Jackw106; 11th Apr 2016 at 10:31.
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Old 11th Apr 2016, 10:30
  #4260 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: sussex
Posts: 1,601
Some of the Hercules posters might like to look at the link on the Canadian Hercules fire thread. And get out the prayer book !
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