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Moonee Ponds International Airport(YMEN)

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Moonee Ponds International Airport(YMEN)

Old 5th Jul 2010, 07:59
  #81 (permalink)  
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Nice photos in a locally produced aviation magazine showing B707 Airforce 1, PanAm B707 and RAAF Convairs, Viscounts and Mysteres bringing in the VIP's for Harold Holts funeral in 1967.

Wonder want the local residents thought about the B707 departing over the suburbs leaving a trail of black smoke. Imagine the anti-airport brigade if that happened today!!!!

Last edited by Stationair8; 5th Jul 2010 at 08:42.
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Old 6th Oct 2012, 00:13
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Post RPT Essendon

Probably a Qantas Electra (L188) or maybe an Air NZ DC8-50 but these would have been in mid-60's.
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Old 7th Oct 2012, 12:33
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I recall being called out (late 70's) to ferry an Electra from En to ML that had diverted due fog.

Taxied out for 35 expecting a quick t/o and left base for 27..but not so.

Trip took 50 mins !

Must have been one of the last to use the Bend. Lobbed in there in Nov of 62in RHR a 182, to drop someone off. The E-W rwy was all that was useable and I recall taxiing to the eastern end of the rwy which disappeared under a factory.

From memory, construction may have already started on the WGB.

Really urinated off that I never took as many pics as I should have.

PS...anyone recall the BOAC comet that landed short on 35 at EN..yes 35!

Sixties sometime I think. The wheel marks were there for a long time . Cared for I s'pose by the groundsmen,

Last edited by emeritus; 7th Oct 2012 at 12:39. Reason: addition
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Old 7th Oct 2012, 15:58
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IPEC DC9 evening departure from 08.
Fallsy blasting off in BSJ.

Or the time the Skybird boys marshaled a RAAF Herc into one of the bays in front of the flying school instead of letting it proceed down to the hardstand at IPEC where a marshaller was waiting. Hilarious.

Graham Innes having a tough time one morning in a Mitsu with a runaway trim from 17.
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Old 9th Oct 2012, 10:47
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Remeber the Cheyenne they operated for corporate charter
Rewmember it well because of the dodgy artificial horizon which showed a bank angle during straight and level in VMC so you knew it was crook. As far as I recall no one wrote up the defect but word of mouth warned pilots to be careful in IMC.
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Old 9th Oct 2012, 11:30
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I did occasional moonlighting on a DC3 freighter with old Bill Brown of Brain and Brown fame. I think it was in the early Seventies. He told me to get comfortable in the copilots seat one dark early morning while he did a walk-around inspection. Then he hopped into the left seat and started the right engine which was ran OK. Then just as he moved the mixture to rich to catch the left engine there was an mighty bang from that direction. Bill looked through his glasses across to me and said WTF was that? I said "Dunno, Bill but sounds expensive" and while he was dithering as Bill did, I cut both mixtures.

Bill climbs from his seat and walked around the left engine and found a inch missing from the tip of a blade of the port prop. The culprit was the observers safety belt buckle hanging way out from the hamburger door (small freight door immediately behind the pilot). Bill hadn't done a very good walk-around inspection otherwise he would have seen the belt trapped under the bottom of the freight door and dangling from the door. As the port engine started, the belt was pulled into the prop which passed within inches of the hamburger door. Now you could see why the freight door was called the hamburger door.

I thoughts that's it - the prop blade is rooted so I may as well go back to bed at home. But Bill pulls out a metal file from somewhere and grabs a servicing stand and I watch in mouth-open amazement as he spent the next ten minutes filing the prop tip to iron out the jagged bits. After an exemplary career in the RAAF I now knew I was in GA.

We eventually got airborne and there was no vibration so Bill must have known what he was doing I guess. When we returned from Tassie to EN later that day he gave me the landing from the RH seat. Now I had been an instructor on RAAF Daks and thought I knew all about what surprises a student can do to you, but I tell you what, old Bill really caught me out after I had done a greaser in a strong northerly on 35. As the tail of the DC3 lowered the aircraft began to swing into the gusty crosswind and I was ready for it when suddenly the rudder totally jammed leaving us with no rudder control.

I was only able to keep it straight by harsh dabs on the starboard brake which set off the gear warning horn with the side strain. DC3's could do that to you sometimes in a strong crooswind as the tail came down. I couldn't move the rudder pedal and glanced down to find that bloody old Bill had deliberately engaged the automatic pilot shortly after touch down. The autopilot did its job only too well and centralised the rudder against my pedal pressure. I said to Bill WTF are you doing to me? I was only trying to help you sez Bill.

Now in the DC3 it was common practice to engage the autopilot while taxiing in a strong crosswind in order to stop the huge rudder surface from banging from side to side which you could not prevent with sheer leg power. Bill should have waited until the end of the landing roll and then asked me did I want him to engage the autopilot which I would have quite happy to accept.

But no - the bugger engaged the autopilot as I was trying to sort out the crosswind swing (the DC3 is a tail-dragger with all that means in a crosswind - meaning they swing harshly). So now the rudder was jammed central with 600 PSI hydraulic pressure holding the rudder fore and aft and me trying to use full rudder to keep straight. Thanks for nothing dear old Bill - but a lovely old codger for all that. He died many years ago.
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Old 9th Oct 2012, 12:01
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IPEC DC9 evening departure from 08.
You should have seen it from inside the cockpit.
Quite a few leather washers made on those take-offs.

Last edited by dogcharlietree; 9th Oct 2012 at 12:25.
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Old 9th Oct 2012, 12:35
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IPEC had the old B&B Argosy VH-BBA (from memory a 100 series), then bought VH-IPA and VH-IPB (200 series) from Gabon. DC9's were VH-IPC and VH-IPF. DC3 was VH-EWE.
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Old 9th Oct 2012, 20:15
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Without digging into the archives to check how far the memory has drifted, I recollect that BBA went O/S with Seeds and Co for a while and then came back home as IPD ?
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Old 9th Oct 2012, 20:17
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(shaking the cobwebs off.....) Damn it....I think you're correct.
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Old 10th Oct 2012, 04:01
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The one aeroplane that has not been mentioned that flew from Essendon are the B170 Bristol Freighter's that were operated by Air Express. They could actually be operated single pilot legally although A/A flew them 2 pilot with a "radio operator" in the second seat. They were a very good freighter and would carry about 1/2 as much again as a DC3 about 5-10 knots faster using about 1/3 more fuel. The only problem with them was that they were Very, Very NOISY inside the cockpit with the straight out exhaust from 1980 hp just outside your side window!
I have about 15 hours on them in my logbook although I have flown at least 10 times that, I could only book the hours with the Training Captains. My first flight was with a Captain that knew my tailwheel background and said, " Älan it's just like a big Auster" and it was certainly easy to handle using basic technique, and most Captains would fly leg for leg. The most memorable flight was on the return leg from Launceston and this Captain offered to do the walk around preflight and suggested that I settle myself in Left Hand Seat, All went well until just after settling in cruise when I was hand flying in actual IFR the aeroplane felt quite sensitive and it was quite hard work to fly accurately. It was daylight by the time we arrived back at YMEN and after breaking right from the 26 approach path to land on 17 on short final a company aeroplane waiting to T/O made some sort derogatory remark to us and then the tower wanted to know if we wanted to get out in a hurry. After parking we then found out why the comments and my difficulty flying the aeroplane was because the pilot access a fold down door about 2' x 3' was hanging down in airstream! My own built-in "Äirbrake"under the nose, however It was a good honest aeroplane! Interesting times!
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Old 10th Oct 2012, 08:59
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...ahhh yes the old Bristol freighter, poor buggers who went to their watery grave mid 70's where no doubt wishing they where in something more powerful.
Gee just did a quick Google on the old Bristol..........Christ they have crashed more times than I have had hot meals since the 40's!

I also recall the old Canberra bombers up the nth end of the drome, I have an old photo of them looking derelict but never could figure out how to post pix here.
The Piagio twin piston job, the old Cat looking more like a Hills clothes line & the CB bombers along with many other old machines are now only memories in us old buggers fading minds!
That's when Australia was a nation of happy proud people who had an exciting & rewarding aviation industry..........that too is gone along with the ghosts of many a nice time:-)
Progress, the nail in the coffin for all things of the past


Last edited by Wally Mk2; 10th Oct 2012 at 09:07.
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Old 10th Oct 2012, 11:05
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poor buggers who went to their watery grave mid 70's

brings back sad memories. The right seater I trained up for his various theory exams and he was set for a great career .. a very bright and talented young fellow.
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Old 10th Oct 2012, 21:38
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The Bristol went down on the 10th of May 1975. The Captain was Les Barnes, ex-ANSW, who came out of early retirement to go flying again.
After the accident they changed to a two pilot operation with both pilots holding an endorsement. I was in the group of new Co-Pilots and did my endorsement with Len Veger at Mangalore. I will always remember the line of cars parked on the highway watching this bellowing beast bounce around the circuit. It did indeed fly like a big Auster but with 56 inches of manifold pressure at 2800 rpm on take-off. No mixture controls, they had carby shut-off levers and automatic leaning. Auto-coarse, electrical tail-wheel lock, I could go on. Pommy madness in engineering at its very best. I enjoyed it, but it was kind of scary at times, especially at high weights during the winter nights. 'SJG' only had a LLZ with no G/s which made life difficult. We called the other one, 'ADL' "Adolf" which seemed very apt. It now lives behind a fence at the Moorabbin Air Museum were it can do no further harm.
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