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Beverley or Hasting tales please

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Beverley or Hasting tales please

Old 21st Aug 2020, 11:01
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Taken at Kindley Bermuda
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Old 21st Aug 2020, 12:46
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Old Duffer please ?

“(The story of how a Beverley was overloaded by 7000 lbs at Labuan is for another Thread on another day!)

Old Duffer”
From the Caribou thread, your contribution would be very much appreciated.
Thanks
David
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Old 21st Aug 2020, 18:26
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My experience of the Hastings is only training to be a Vulcan Nav Radar on the T5 out of Scampton. We used to get airborne with two or three student Nav Rads and weave intricate patterns in and out of Lindhome and Tumby Radar Bomb Scoring Units dropping dozens of Type 2 (High level, level) tone “bombs”. Occasionally when not on the scope we would pluck up the courage to venture towards the front of the aircraft where a selection of grumpy old aircrew were doing mysterious things. There was even a real navigator who would assist us sprogs with helpful tips like “ Are you sure about that steer “ and “ well, you missed that”.

Of the Beverley I have no experience, but I did have the privilege of working with the late Barry Chown, a Buccaneer navigator of renown, but before that he had another life as a Beverley (I think) siggie. He used to tell a story about a parade for a visiting dignitary in the Far East. Some senior officer had the brilliant idea that it would look most impressive if one of the resident Bevs would land in front of the parade and the Far East Air Force band were to march out of the back, resplendent in white dress uniforms, instrument glittering in the sunshine. . The rehearsal went fine but the SO decided that it took too long after the aircraft landed for the band to emerge. He decreed that the aircraft should land with the band already formed up in the freight bay. Come the day a little too much braking was required to stop at the appointed place. The doors opened, the ramp came down......... and a single bass drum rolled out!

Last edited by Timelord; 22nd Aug 2020 at 10:13.
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Old 22nd Aug 2020, 06:58
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The AD, as requested above, a couple of Beverley yarns.

The place is hot and humid, the year 65 or thereabouts and the task is to move a cargo of ammunition and other stuff across the mountains to another base.

The Beverley has a big hold and hence plenty of capacity, bulk wise but it’s always careful to make sure the payload doesn’t affect the range.

Anyway, the Army made up and packed the load which they then presented to the RAF air movements staff, together with a schedule of the load and its various weights and dimensions. The duty movements officer accepted the load (a bit like liar dice, I suppose) did not check weigh it or even a sample of it and it was duly put into the aircraft, with the trim sheet calculated using the offered weights.

The aircraft used almost every inch of the 6600 feet offered and staggers into the air. The crew then warn ATC that they are having problems and suspect they are significantly overweight. The captain decided that it was unlikely that he will be able to climb over the mountains and after considering the options decided to fly around the coast to the destination and on arrival, carried out an overweight landing procedure.

The load was offloaded and check weighed and is found to have been some 7000 lbs above the aircraft’s max AUW. Needless to say there was a big stink about it but it could so easily have been a fatal accident.

The second story was told at the RM Museum Eastney, Portsmouth on 12 Dec 12, the occasion of an event to mark 50th anniversary of the Brunei Revolt.

The British forces responded rapidly to the revolt and flew in troops and equipment to Labuan before getting across Brunei Bay.

It was decided to lift a company of the soldiers into an airfield on the Brunei coast and it would possibly be an opposed assault. The captain of the Beverley told how the clamshell doors had been removed and that the company would stand up in the hold and secured from falling out but capable of deplaning rapidly. He had decided on a ‘tactical approach’, difficult with the clatter of four Bristol Centaurus engines and told how he had approached from the sea, popped over the trees, slammed the aircraft on the ground and threw it into reverse – then, as he stated to huge laughter, ‘I opened my eyes’! Once the troops were gone in a matter of seconds, he roared off down the remainder of the airfield and took off. He recounted somewhat indignantly, that on return to Labuan a bullet hole was found in the fin.

There were two events that day which aren’t really to do with the Beverley but are worth telling.

First, Major General Julian Thompson invited those who attended to make a contribution and said a ‘silent collection’ would be taken – no coins only notes!

The second relates to an attack on the town of Limbang, in which 5 RM were killed but they released all the hostages, amongst them a young baby girl. One the RM corporals called Rawlinson, had been awarded an MM for the rescue and I was sitting at his table for the lunch. The principal host brought a woman to the table and introduced her to Rawlinson and the rest of us. The woman then said to Rawlinson: “You won’t remember me but I’m the baby whose life you saved and I’ve come from Australia to thank you” – there wasn’t a dry eye in the house!!

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Old 22nd Aug 2020, 07:06
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OD,
Thank you sir. Very much appreciated.
David AKA The Avgasdinosaur
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Old 22nd Aug 2020, 09:07
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OD's overweight Beverley story reminds me of a tale told by a Hastings 48 Sqn captain. It didn't concern Hastings though but helicopters. He had been detached to the Borneo forward area during Confrontation as an Air Liaison Officer and part of his duties included raising manifests for troop and cargo loads. The helicopter pilots were barely able to clear the surrounding trees of their jungle clearing. All the troop weight figures used were standard, and as the troops concerned were Gurkhas he reasonably assumed that should have left room to spare. Nonetheless it was insisted that actual weights be used, so a set of Butchers Scales were hung on a tree branch and Gurkhas hung one by one by their webbing, and sure enough all were well under average weight. Then their kit was hung in their place. The branch groaned, the scales went to full tilt. The packs were opened to discover in the place of socks spare pairs of, etc ; extra grenades, ammo, knives, etc, etc. Normal operation was resumed thereafter.
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Old 22nd Aug 2020, 10:25
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Bevs could become overweight for reasons other than load. Took one out to Aden to replace another which we brought back for major servicing. Routed through Khartoum, significant for temperature/perf restrictions. Climb-out was painful and struggled to make the cruise. Later heard that, on stripdown, several thousand pounds of sand was recovered from between the freight bay floor and the skin - collected from years of operating 'up-country' strips in the Protectorate.
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Old 22nd Aug 2020, 10:55
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Re Chugalug2's post above, something similar was witnessed with 103 Sqn in Cyprus operating the Sycamore 14. The CO was one of several 'Prices' who commanded helicopter sqns and this one was JL.

The Sycamore had a small cabin and hot and high, performance was poor. JL decided that to get the most out of the beast, arbitrary weights should be replaced by weighing what was actually tasked to be carried. He procured some bathroom scales and these were carried around and used where possible and they did make a difference but four squaddies instead of three was an advantage!.

Ever after, JL was known as 'Bathroom Scales' to identify him from 'Tailrotor' (that was JW) or HT, who didn't have a nickname!

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Old 22nd Aug 2020, 13:25
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Angel FL290-?

I was on duty as a controllers assistant in the Northern Dairies ops room when one of my colleagues took a handover from Midland (the a/c not only climbing out of their airspace but possibly still in the their overhead?) an unrestricted climb to an unspecified height , much to our surprise, was requested by the pilot. The aircraft was a Hastings of 1066 Flt out of our own airfield at Lindholme (Latterly HMP) I can't remember the year but it was probably'71. As far as I remember the a/c got somewhere in the region FL 290 - 310 . This was about 11:00 - 11:15. After coming off console I caught the 12:00 shift change bus back to Lindholme which was duly stopped at the traffic lights on the A614 whereupon that same aircraft we had been controlling came screaming? well, roaring down the runway at low level only to pull up and perform a "sort of" wingover type manoeuvre before turning downwind to land. I think the occasion was to mark the pilots last flight or similar. I'm sure there are others out there who can fill in the gaps in my memory.

A342
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Old 22nd Aug 2020, 17:04
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Here is a Hastings story told me by a friend who was a captain on the type. I was holidaying with him and his wife in Singapore, 1966/67-ish. I have no idea if it is true. I assume the Hastings were operated out of Changi, but I could be wrong.

This was in the days before CRM. His colleague, also a Hastings captain, was returning from a task and joined very long finals for a Changi runway. As they neared the airfield, the captain, who was the handling pilot, called for whatever degrees of flap. The co-pilot replied on the lines of, "Very well, but I think you are a bit early for that." The captain made no reply but continued and landed.

After landing, the captain taxied his aircraft to the far end of the runway, stopped, and said to his crew, "The co-pilot is getting out now" and left the co-pilot to walk back to the office. The aircraft was then taxied back to dispersal.






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Old 22nd Aug 2020, 21:04
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I rejoined the RAF in 1951 having left in 1947. After wings refresher on Harvard’s at Oakington and Wellingtons
at Swinderby, I was posted to Dishforth. I did the ground school for the Hastings, but no flying. I was posted to Topcliffe on the day that our King died. I was a sergeant at the time. The orderly sergeant came to my room and said “Do you want to go to East Africa tomorrow? Yes! Briefing at 5, take off at six. The new Queen was in East Africa, Mombasa, in the stand in Royal Yacht, the ShawSavill liner Gothic. The Queen had by now returned
to U.K. by BOAC, and we were to bring back her staff and luggage, including Rear Admiral Charles Lambe.
we took Hastings 491. Two Captains, two navigators, a Flight Engineer,a Signaller, a Loadmaster, and me.
Flying over France, I was standing between the two Captains and confessed that I had never flown a Hastings.
Consternation, so I was put in the Captains seat, strapped in, auto pilot switched off, and obviously coped. So I was able to do my share of the flying. Our first stop was El Aden, after nine hours. Then one hour stop. tea and fuel, and off again. 12.45 to Mombasa. One of the Captains was aSouth African, so when dawn came we were over Lake Rudolf with all the flamingos. He let down to 500 feet and we crossed Kenya, almost Safari Lovely.
when we landed at Mombasa we were taken to a very nice hotel for breakfast and sleep.
Take off was at 1800, no airport lights, so we had to be away before dark. Heavy aircraft now, so we had to land at Khartoum for fuel, and on our way again to Castle Benito. Now Idris. Fuel again and on our way to London. Over the Sahara on my stint, the Admiral asked me if he could sit in the other seat. Luckily he didn’t ask me how many hours I had on Hastings. When we landed in London, an equerry came to the aircraft. Said that he had been sent by the Queen to thank us. First RAF duty for the new Queen. Meal laid on in restaurant and then back to Topcliffe. What a trip

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Old 23rd Aug 2020, 09:17
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Originally Posted by Fareastdriver View Post
By going to Google Earth and searching for Long Pasir, Sabah, you wil find the villiage of Long Pasir. A few hundred metres to the west just before the river one can see the outline of the old airstrip that was used during Confrontation in the 1960s. This airstrip was originally built buy the RE and it needed a fair amount of earth moved to complete it. The answer to this was an Air Portable Grader, of which the only example was in Singapore. This was asked for and it was flown to Labuan complete with specialist dispatch crew.

Local knowledge was not required so they prepared the grader for dropping the next day. The Beverley took off, positioned for the run in to Long Pasir and at precisely the right moment the grader slid out of the back.

I have mentioned nylon parachutes before.

Returning to Google Earth if you look at there southern end the is a irregularly shaped hole filled with water. It would have been deeper but the Gurkhas just filled it in over the top.
I think you refer to Long Pasia, looks like the airstrip regularly floats since the water buffalos are wading up to the neck in the pictures.

004°24'25.47"N 115°43'28.39"E

IG

Last edited by Imagegear; 23rd Aug 2020 at 09:28.
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Old 23rd Aug 2020, 10:23
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Originally Posted by ACW342 View Post
I was on duty as a controllers assistant in the Northern Dairies ops room when one of my colleagues took a handover from Midland (the a/c not only climbing out of their airspace but possibly still in the their overhead?) an unrestricted climb to an unspecified height , much to our surprise, was requested by the pilot. The aircraft was a Hastings of 1066 Flt out of our own airfield at Lindholme (Latterly HMP) I can't remember the year but it was probably'71. As far as I remember the a/c got somewhere in the region FL 290 - 310 . This was about 11:00 - 11:15. After coming off console I caught the 12:00 shift change bus back to Lindholme which was duly stopped at the traffic lights on the A614 whereupon that same aircraft we had been controlling came screaming? well, roaring down the runway at low level only to pull up and perform a "sort of" wingover type manoeuvre before turning downwind to land. I think the occasion was to mark the pilots last flight or similar. I'm sure there are others out there who can fill in the gaps in my memory.

A342
Hi ACW 342.. I was the air engineer on the flight you are talking about. I checked my log book and it was on 30 June 1972. The aircraft was one of our C Mk 1A reg TG 568. We had been on a round robin dropping people off at Cottesmore and Chivener. On the leg home we decided to see what altitude we could reach and we received clearance to FL 270. We made it after a protracted climb but the propeller rpm was very unstable. We were actually passed over to Northern Radar as a JP.. The captain was Des Pankhurst a wartime Sunderland pilot from New Zealand and one of the nicest guys you could ever meet. I joined 1066 son from 204 Sqn Ballykelly as a volunteer because I wanted to avoid the Majunga Support Unit that was forming at Honington. I had a great time at Lindhome and I really enjoyed the good old Hastings. I left 1066 Sqn for Nimrods in Feb 1973. I later flew on 747's as well as The Mighty Hunter.
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Old 23rd Aug 2020, 10:24
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Always written in my log book as Long Pasir so it must have been that spelling in 1966. My copy of the RAF Airstrip Directory published in 1969 has changed it to Long Pasia.
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Old 23rd Aug 2020, 13:08
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RAF Seletar in the 1960s was one of the largest and busiest airfields in the air force with transport and rotary wing aircraft in large numbers.

The Belvedere sqn (66), decided it would be a good little jape the hold a Dining In Night inside the aircraft and this was duly done, apparently with a table and chairs squashed in and the food handed up. Not to be outdone the Beverley sqn (34) went one better and they put a mess dining table in the hold and got airborne and flew around Singapore for a couple of hours holding a dinner in mess kit and with speeches and all.

I wasn’t there for either event but am reliably informed by several sources that this happened – and if it didn’t it should have done!!
OD
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Old 23rd Aug 2020, 16:56
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Originally Posted by Wwyvern View Post
Here is a Hastings story told me by a friend who was a captain on the type. I was holidaying with him and his wife in Singapore, 1966/67-ish. I have no idea if it is true. I assume the Hastings were operated out of Changi, but I could be wrong.

This was in the days before CRM. His colleague, also a Hastings captain, was returning from a task and joined very long finals for a Changi runway. As they neared the airfield, the captain, who was the handling pilot, called for whatever degrees of flap. The co-pilot replied on the lines of, "Very well, but I think you are a bit early for that." The captain made no reply but continued and landed.

After landing, the captain taxied his aircraft to the far end of the runway, stopped, and said to his crew, "The co-pilot is getting out now" and left the co-pilot to walk back to the office. The aircraft was then taxied back to dispersal.
I think the Captain was a chap called George Luckings. The story was quite well known although I heard it all took place at Colerne where I was based from 1964 to 1967 before we changed over to the C130.
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Old 23rd Aug 2020, 17:15
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34 Sqn at Seletar, 1966. (Taken with my half-frame Olympus on Agfacolor slide film)




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Old 23rd Aug 2020, 20:49
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Walkerman

George Luckins was a Herc' skipper on 48 ( '67 -69 or 70 ) IIRC he was on Brits immediately before Hercs then went back to them after his Herc' tour.

A real character - I believe he was a Flt Eng at the tail end of WW2, maybe in Bomber Command, then shortly after the war was commissioned as a pilot. He was 44 when I was 22 so probably born in 1924. He retired in 1974.
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Old 24th Aug 2020, 08:45
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George Luckins

Judith, George's wife, tells the story that, when George was a Britannia Captain, if the ground handling crew down route got wind that he was coming through, they would pay someone else to do they shift!
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Old 24th Aug 2020, 08:55
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Beverley Tales

In 1960 an Abingdon Beverley was sent to Le Bourget to recover 7 Sqn Valiant ground equipment to RAF Honington after the Paris Air Show. The load included some very heavy nitrogen cylinders which were lashed laterally to the aft part of the cargo hold. A good lunch was enjoyed by all in the French Officers' Mess, including wine.
Returning somewhat late to the Beverley the captain, Ron Wing I think, made a rather spirited take off, at which point the cylinder lashings became loose and they were rolling around the cargo floor. Some fast work by the Quartermaster and Movers soon recovered the situation and all retuned safely to Honington.
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