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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 4th Jun 2016, 15:05
  #4381 (permalink)  
 
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Null
Every cloud, as they say. I was on 6Hr standby when there was a call out to take a hydraulic flush team to a crew needing "pool time" in the one below. As befits the efficiency of Group, when we suggested the quickest way to the beleaguered frame on a pacific island was to fly the gyro route over the pole from Bardufoss to Elmendorf it was turned down because they had already booked us into Gander. With the eng team all assembled we then launched across the pond. Another night stop was in Sacramento and a third in Hawaii. Such a drag. We were all good mates by the time we arrived on the island, with a healthy kitty and a fund of top of climb stories. What a sorry bunch met us though. They were half way through a global trip and had already been out twice as long as planned and had broken down everywhere.
Well the boys got stuck into the flush and eventually the filters didn't look like we were panning for silver in Nevada. The crew kept the team supplied with fluids and scoff till it was all done and we repaired to the Regent (Apparently it's [email protected] now) for a libation. At this stage the stranded captain asked us if we wanted the rest of his global because of low morale in his crew who wanted to go home. This time Group did agree and the following day we planned to go to Whenuapai and the global crew prepared to take our frame home. (It had run like a sewing machine on the way out). Whilst changing all our kit over - and nicking their route bag - one of the eng team said "can we go with you?" which sadly we couldn't do. There were still unexpected good times in these 6Hr call outs though.


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Old 4th Jun 2016, 19:23
  #4382 (permalink)  
 
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Looks nice, Dougie!

My swansong from A Line (and the RAF) was also supposed to be a global, in a westerly direction, BUT --- somebody in the ground engineers section burgled my route !

Instead, I was given a 'Cable' which, courtesy of two west Africa stopovers, included several rapid visits to the facilities in my hotel room in J'burg, followed by a trip to the pharmacy across the road for some jollop (2 parts sand to 1 cement). I was given (actually paid for!) a beaker-full of gunk to drink on the spot and a large bottle to take away. The man in the white coat also advised me to visit my GP on my return to Chipnum.

On hearing that I had obtained the magic elixir, I was approached by the captain who, rather sheepishly, asked if I had obtained some anti-trots stuff. The remaining jollop was shared around the crew and seemed to do the trick for most.
However, one of our two flight engineers failed to appear in the hotel lobby on the morning of our departure and was left in the care of the Air Attache (IIRC). After several days recovering, he eventually returned to UK via civvy airline.
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Old 4th Jun 2016, 23:29
  #4383 (permalink)  
 
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Route Burgling ?

Null - "My swansong from A Line (and the RAF) was also supposed to be a global, in a westerly direction, BUT --- somebody in the ground engineers section burgled my route ! " - I doubt that a Ground Engineer ever took a route from an SVC, most GEs would be more than grateful for the rest mate ! Wherever the destination, after a couple of years, a route is a route ........ I never did a global in 7 years as a GE, perhaps my ugly mush didn't appeal to my boss. I did loads of Banner A and B's over Christmas grants though, being one of only a few GEs who lived on "the patch" at the time. And not to forget the aircrew who flew those trips too. I left my job as a GE because of an airborne accident that meant I could not do my job properly anymore. I was never given a a"swansong" and never believed I was entitled to one. Here's a story from my time as a Sgt rigger on A line B Shift;

I arrived back on the Herk fleet and was posted to ALSS B shift which was one of the best postings I had in 30 years of service. After a few months on shift, our shift Flt Sgt asked if anyone was interested in doing an SVC slot on a Goose flyer. A night stop Goose bay and back. The trip would take place in our off shift time, so basically, it was giving up my own time. No one volunteered, so, as the new boy, I did. Anyway, the night before the trip set off the GE who I was accompanying called me and said that the route had been revitined, we were to take an engine change team to Bermuda to recover a broken frame. With a B line engine change team on board I asked if there was a need for me. Get on board, Do what I tell you and enjoy the trip he said. Well, night stop Gander, 3 days in Bermuda and get back to work for the last of our four nights shift. I was amused at the reaction of my fellow tradesmen on shift, who all pointed out that, as I was a "new boy" I should have informed the shift boss of the change of route once I knew of it, so that "more deserving" shift members could go.

Many GE's spent their time doing Deci Scheds, Banners and Gander flyers. I never heard one complain. As a "linie" I would never have expected a "right" to a "swansong"! Sorry if I come across as somewhat bitter, I'm not really, I just wonder who the GE was who stole your swansong. As I recall it was the job of the GE to accompany the aircraft down route, if Group said it was a 2 GE route, then the boss put 2 GEs on it, I believe most long range routes, as was the one I and Tucker Thompson accompanied Dougie on to Australia, were designated as 2 GE routes, is that what you call Burgling ? OK, rant over, no offence meant Null and apologies in advance for biting, keep on posting guys.

Smudge
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Old 6th Jun 2016, 07:20
  #4384 (permalink)  
 
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I think I have mentioned before my last trip was on Xmas eve to Split and back. As I was the ALM Leader this was my decision as it allowed another of my 'troops' to go off for Xmas leave.
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Old 6th Jun 2016, 09:11
  #4385 (permalink)  
 
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Smudge,

I told the original story out of synch with the actual chronology, so the events below actually took place before my swansong; therefore, a reverse irony is involved.

In those days there was a manpower shortage in the GE's section, which made it all the more galling when 'my' route was pinched by one of them.
No names here but he was a known self-seeker who left the service in '79, I believe.
Included in his many talents were his innate ability to start a fight in phone box, reporting sick when a duff trip came up, and causing one captain to question both his personal qualities and his technical abilities. This captain formally requested that Lyneham Ops should send somebody else to fix the job that he couldn't do, as he (the captain) had lost all confidence in the aforesaid GE. I drew the short straw - after I arrived and was briefed by the captain on what had taken place things were a little fraught between us two lineys. He resented my being called out to his job, while I had a similar sentiment towards him! As I mentioned earlier, when I discovered he had somehow wangled me out of my prized route, I was not entirely chuffed!

Due to the shortfall in GE numbers, several of us trade managers were checked out on other trades and possessed over-signing chits for basic-level coverage away from base - I would not pretend to have the same training as a GE in other than my own trade; that is why some SVC trips had a mix of several trades. Not necessarily an economic use of manpower or the defence budget, I know, but that was the situation - we just did what we had to do.

As for the entitlement to a 'Swan song' - there was no actual right to one, although there was an unwritten protocol in existence. I might add that I bear no malice towards GEs (well, perhaps one) - some of my best friends were such, one of whom I still correspond with almost 40 years on.
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Old 6th Jun 2016, 22:30
  #4386 (permalink)  
 
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An apology

Null,

I do apologise if that last post of mine was somewhat testy. I had no wish to "have a go", and yes, even in my time as a GE, there were one or two who didn't enhance our standing with the Aircrew at times. By heck, didn't you work some funny shift patterns back then. When I got back on Albert at Lyneham 87 ish as I recall, ALSS worked a simple 12 hour shift, 4 days of days, 4 days off, 4 nights and 4 days off, repeat. It seemed to suit most at the time, and I had never had a job in the service that gave me so much time off. Becoming a GE put me back to work big time. I think from my records I averaged 276 days a year, away on route, for the six or so years I did the job. Anyway, again, apologies if my post seemed a tad heavy, I'm getting on a bit you know !!

Smudge
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Old 7th Jun 2016, 12:40
  #4387 (permalink)  
 
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smuj,
fear not. Anyone who has had a cursory glance at the posts on this thread can not but be impressed by the good humour and lack of aggro therein. It is one of the drawbacks of this type of conversation that irony, humour and facial expression, all things we take for granted in everyday life are virtually impossible to reproduce.
Keep posting !
I was having a much needed garage clear out when I chanced upon my Dulles Page orange screwdriver. Have you still got yours ?
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Old 7th Jun 2016, 14:49
  #4388 (permalink)  
 
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Smuj
AA62 beat me to the post but I concur with all he said. A chat over a black sheep in the 5 Bells covers a lot more ground than a slow typed story in these pages.
Having a son in the R.E.M.E. and a father in law who was my Sqn Eng O it has always been a very good plan to hearken to the words of engineers, both air and ground. Large Eng Dets like the Gulf, Asi, and Rhodesia down to lone GE's have saved a lot of grief in my time.
One springs to mind of an engine snag on the way into Vegas with Tornado spares. After the engine was shut down the copious amounts of oil flowing artistically along the nacelle spelt "night stop" in my understanding. Nellis banished us to the hazardous loading area with words like "you're not dripping that stuff all over our pristine ramp".
When the replacement hose arrived the next day the GE said "This has not been pressure tested, Captain" which was relayed to Lyneham. "Proceed" we were told. After a tentative engine run we lined up, set Take Off Power and gathered speed down the runway. Next thing was the call "Abort,Abort inboards only" Lots more oil on Nellis runway. Banished once again to the hazardous loading area with dark threats and orders to proceed to Base Ops for debrief.
This was one occasion that we wouldn't say that the Loadie told us to do it.
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Old 7th Jun 2016, 16:09
  #4389 (permalink)  
 
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aa62,

I still have it somewhere, but not sure of its exact location presently. I do remember that the handle extension, could be used as a "dumpy" screwdriver, mounting point exited the handle whilst I was still a GE, so, I ended up with two seperate screwdrivers. It was always a handy piece of kit though, and saved many a GE having to drag his whole tool kit outside the aircraft.

Dougie,

Had a similar experience on our way back from the Far East. We had an ignition relay failure on No 1 Engine, and no spare in the FAP. I had one in my spares bag, acquired whilst somewhere in the states, but my fellow GE on the trip suggested we check the part number was good. So, we engrepped Lyneham Ops and were informed that it was not the correct part, and we would take a 24 hour delay whilst the correct item was sent. ISTR we were in Abu Dhabi at the time so we set off to enjoy the creature comforts of the hotel and await arrival of the spare. It duly turned up on the next evenings BA flight. We waltzed it through customs and unpacked it ready to fit. On checking it was exactly the same part number as I had in my spares bag. We advised Lyneham, and were eventually told the correct item would arrive on tomorrow's flight. Enjoy the pool ! Well, any who know will know that there's a little "trick" with the ignition relay, designed for when you need to get out of dodge fast. That is to start the engine, and once self sustaining transfer the relay to replace the dodgy one. It gets a bit drafty behind the prop, but done properly perfectly safe. The option was discussed, and offered, no one was interested. The "injuns" we're not coming over the hill. All we needed was to start the engine and do one leg to Akrotiri where the correct item was awaiting us. Eventually Lyneham relented and allowed me to fit my spare relay, the wrong item remember. The engine started fine, we informed the crew and were airborne within a few hours for Akrotiri.

On arrival at Akrotiri, one poseur and former GE Mr Libby, was very welcoming and soon had stores deliver the proper relay to us on the TASF pan, the part number was identical to my spare. So, in agreement with the crew, we said nothing, cleared the one flight only on my relay and flew home the next day. On our return I was hauled over the coals as to why I was carrying an incorrect spares item with me en route. Luckily our GE boss had done some checking of his own and found the following. When we had contacted Lyneham Ops from Abu Dhabi, the Flt Sgt eng ops guy had rung the line to confirm the part number of the ignition relay. The line had sent a man out to the hangar and he confirmed the number of the relay on the nearest engine to him with open cowlings. This was passed to eng ops, who then used it as "the standard", you guessed it, the one checked in ALSS was in actual fact a spare, fitted somewhere other than Lyneham and was indeed the wrong item. My spare was the correct item, as were the six or so held in stock at AKR. Talk about embarrassing, but I never got an apology for my "stand up when I address you Chief" ! It all sounds a bit of a shambles really, and I suppose it appears that way. The problem was that at the broken end of the supply chain, as GEs often were, we had no control of anything until it pitched up at the coal face. One GE told me of recieving a replacement window somewhere in Africa. On getting hold of it, the box clearly marked "Heavy Item, 16 lbs weight" was in fact the correct, but empty, transit box for that particular window. It only weighed about 2 lbs, yet no one had queried this from Lyneham Stores, through the engineering pre issue check through transit with BA etc etc. All part of life's rich pageant in those days I think. Regards to you all, keep posting about those good old days, it do make I chuckle.

As a quick follow up. If I recall correctly a fellow contributor to this thread, R4H, was one of the two Captains who had "driven us" to Hong Kong, pretty sure the other was one S/L Chris O'B***n. Perhaps he remembers the incident.


Smudge

Last edited by smujsmith; 7th Jun 2016 at 16:30. Reason: Update from failing memory
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Old 9th Jun 2016, 12:23
  #4390 (permalink)  
 
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Just a quick addition to the spares/equipo's issue (proving that it was not unique to you Poms). We needed to replace the fixed waveguide for the radar on one of our birds (I think after a lightning strike) and duly order the part expecting a huge box to arrive as this item runs from the radar unit in the nose wheel well, through the forward bulkhead to the antenna in the radome and has many changes of direction. So we were totally gobsmacked when this smallish box was passed over the stores counter. Assuming we had been shipped the wrong part we opened the box to see a folded up waveguide - some enterprising equipo had obviously decided that space in his warehouse was more important than a working part so had crammed a mangled mess into the smallest box that they could find. It would have taken a fair amount of effort to bend that waveguide like they did.
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Old 9th Jun 2016, 12:27
  #4391 (permalink)  
 
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wardie,
as an ex Air Radar Fitter your post doubled me up almost as much as your waveguide !
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Old 9th Jun 2016, 12:38
  #4392 (permalink)  
 
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Nice one Wardie,

I once heard of a 16 foot long replacement hydraulic pipe arriving to recover a down route aircraft, in a 3 foot long box. Similarly mangled as your waveguide was. I wonder if both RAAF and RAF Suppliers were trained to the same syllabus ?

Smudge
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Old 9th Jun 2016, 17:29
  #4393 (permalink)  
 
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Ordered 5 ft of rubber pitot static hose for a job on the Andover.
You guessed: It was not coiled but cut into five one foot lengths.
Perfectly true
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Old 9th Jun 2016, 18:59
  #4394 (permalink)  
 
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Could one of the GEs enlighten me as to what SVC actually stood for?

2000+ hrs Albert and I never did find out (aside from the fact they were generally SACs, helped the GE, and were valued crew members and part of the 'Party Room').
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Old 9th Jun 2016, 21:31
  #4395 (permalink)  
 
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Ex ascoteer,

I will attempt my interpretation of the term. In my "Yoof" I was allowed a couple of trips to Belfast and Malta as an SSVC, I understood it was meant to stand for Supernumery SerVicing Crew. The trips I did, as an SSVC, were always as an assistant to a qualified Ground Engineer, and usually required me to do all the bits of an A/F (After Flight) or B/F(Before Flight) servicing he didn't fancy doing. In my experience, when it was a T/R (turn round) servicing, I did the lot and the GE went with the crew to collect the duty free allowance, mine being donated to the crew total was the norm. I may well be wrong but I believe that SVC was a simplified version of SSVC which I described from earlier days. As a GE it was always a pleasure to take one of the hardworking linies down route, and it always made their day when SAC, Jnr Tech or Corporal, they were taken on as part of the team. Something that I am proud of to this day. One thing the C130 fleet should be very proud of, from top to bottom all who served were given their due respect. As a quick aside, I was once given an SVC for a trip to Belize with a small extension "in theatre". The SVC was an SAC (W) admin clerk from SHQ. From startup at Lyneham, to shutdown on return, that young lady took so much interest in what was going on, I swear, she could have gone to ALSS or BLSS on return and produced a good days work. Having spent many a year on other. Aircraft, I would suggest that Albert, the crews and the ground personnel all stood out with a common purpose in getting the job done, regardless of trade or status. Something I am proud I was part of to this day.

Hope that helps EX Ascoteer, Gopher 01 might have a better explanation of the SVC conundrum. BEing the oldest Ex GE on the thread

Smudge
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Old 10th Jun 2016, 13:28
  #4396 (permalink)  
 
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Talking SVC terminology

I will accept Smudges invitation to comment on the SVC question as , as he puts it the oldest G.E. on the site, ( I hope he means oldest as in seniority in the job not as in Anno Domini but he might be right there.) An SVC ( Servicing Crew ) was generally but not always another engineering tradesman allocated to assist the G.E. on route when there was either a shortage of G.E.s or the route didn't justify the use of two G.E.s but there was a need for two man working e.g. cold climes in the winter where a safety man was required would be a prime example.
It was also a very good morale booster as there was a certain amount of SVC trips spread round the station to non technical areas, to give some people who would not otherwise get to see what the aircraft they backed up in their way went out and did. I took, over my ten years as a G.E., many people from around the station on these trips and the general comment was that there was a lot more going on down route than they had imagined and that some of the things that they experienced would affect the way they did their tasking back at Lyneham, that if they were a little more careful with say spares re-supply a lot of problems down route would not occur.
In general SVC were a good idea, as always you got the odd plonker, explaining that a certain informality on the frame was accepted but that when in a normal military environment that normal military conventions applied was required at times.
Spares resupply was always a bit of a lottery, being stuck in Nassau waiting for a Turbine overheat keyer unit to come from Southern at Miami who wouldn't supply it until Command paid for the Tacho Genny they had a month before, was a bummer, more days on the beach until somebody paid up, and sitting in Oman after a valve housing leak waiting for a Techie to arrive to assist with the task and the PRC to seal the housing, Techie arrived fourteen hours later by Gulf Air, PRC turned up four days later as it was DAC and had to come out civvy freight and before you ask we weren't allowed to use sealant from the SOAF as it might not be the right stuff, echoes of Smudges part no debacle. That and sitting in St Louis waiting for a prop change kit which turned up without the prop lifting dolly securing nut, it was only about 2 foot across easy to miss! And I could go on, the list is if not endless certainly rather long.
See you on the Eighteenth Smudge, should be a good day.
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Old 11th Jun 2016, 20:11
  #4397 (permalink)  
 
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Gopher 01,

As always, thanks for your more mature insight into the meaning of the various acronyms that befuddled our former lives. And no inference as to your advanced years by any means. I reckon that you have fully explained the SVC, including the occasional inclusion of non engineering personnel as such. My own "eye opener" came when a Jengo from B line jumped on the aircraft one morning and told me that he had taken the SVC slot on a Belize Schedule, and that he would also be writing a report on my performance. Was he an SVC, or a trapper ? Did it matter? When the No 3 engine blew its Labyrynth seal on shut down at Dulles, we needed to work, not posture. So, an Engine change, and having exchanged eng reps, a recovery frame was launched with replacement donk, and Engine Change Team. They will arrive in two days time I was told. So, Jengo says, "right, game on" downtown Washington for two days. Not so says I, you are filling an SVC slot, tomorrow morning at least will be spent preparing the prop and engine for dropping. All required hoists etc will be booked, and once the aircraft is as far as possible readied for the recovery team, we can get a bit of sight seeing in. I will give the young Officer his due, he rolled his sleeves up and we got stuck in the next morning. He was miffed at missing out on the sight seeing offered by the aircrew. By around 1500 local we had done the prep, our only job now was to help with the transfer of our load to the recovery frame, and continue with that aircraft to Belize. We had a very enjoyable time that evening and I was happy to take the young fellow to the Smithsonian and a Limo ride around the sights of DC. The next day, our day off, we did a White House tour and enjoyed a walk around the Lincoln and other memorials, including the Vietnam rememberence wall. He certainly said he enjoyed the time, and whatever his report on me, I retired as a Ch Tech, I must have got something right. I just say, he was the only Jengo I ever saw with the cuts you always acquire from taking locking wire off, in preparation for an engine change.

Hope you have a good day on the 18th Gopher, unfortunately I'm otherwise engaged that day. I will attempt to arm Tucker T with a beer token from me to you, in the hope I can add to your enjoyment of the evening. Regards to all who know me.

Smudge
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Old 12th Jun 2016, 23:07
  #4398 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Wiltshire
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Going through some old CDs and came across the Royal Air Force Air Power CD from 2000 with this little video of Lyneham.

View My Video

Apologises if it has already made an appearance on this thread.
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Old 13th Jun 2016, 16:59
  #4399 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Norwich
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C130 search and rescue

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-g7wp_-QX0
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Old 13th Jun 2016, 20:15
  #4400 (permalink)  
 
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A C-130 overflew my place about 20 minutes ago on its way to what is probably a civilian MEDVAC mission.
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