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Ansett and the Fokker Friendship

Old 15th Sep 2010, 20:45
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When I was in Blighty someone (Air Yuk/Anglia?) was using Fairchild Hillers not many Fokkers to be spied, the Poms built their own dinosaurs (Dart Herald) no need to buy them off the Dutch
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Old 15th Sep 2010, 21:32
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Dunno about any Fairchilds in the UK, but a few did survive for a while outside of the USA. The yanks took a good basic design and unecessarily complicated it with prop brakes, an APU and freon air-conditioning. The cockpit (sorry 'flight compartment' - the word 'cock' was unacceptable in polite circles in the USA back then) layout had some notable differences like two sets of power levers with the HP cocks (sorry, 'valves') in the centre of the pedestal. It made going from the F27 to the Fairchild and back again on the same day interesting as one grabbed for the wrong lever. They stretched it into the FH-227 and to save weight used lighter metal (in the skin, I think). Result was all sorts of extra X-ray inspections. Not one of the better American success-stories.
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Old 17th Sep 2010, 01:20
  #43 (permalink)  
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Did Ansett have any QC Friendships?

So no one knows why Ansett leased FCB to Setair in the early 1980's?

The centre run in the F-27 must have been an interesting trip for the crew's.

Did Ansett SA run the F-27's into Kangaroo Island?

Must be plenty of stories and photos out in Pprune land about the Fokker F-27 that need to be told.
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Old 17th Sep 2010, 01:43
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Fond memories of AN QC Fokkers in the wee hours of the morning.

Track trips were THE cream of AN flying if we are honest.

Some stories are better not told ...... (most of them are in Nanny's book anyway).
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Old 17th Sep 2010, 02:00
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Okay what is a track trip?

The stories need to be told, names can be changed to protect the innocent.
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Old 17th Sep 2010, 02:16
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track trip = centre run

You could be opening a Pandora's Box here ... protect the innocent ? What about the guilty ?

And it's not just AN .. TN used to run in parallel. Some of the best flying and greatest social fun that most of us ever had.
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Old 17th Sep 2010, 04:24
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Did Ansett SA run the F-27's into Kangaroo Island?
Yep, also to Broken Hill, Mt Gambier, Port Lincoln and Whyalla. They also had the Santos contract to Moomba - they folded very shortly after losing that moneyspinner.
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Old 17th Sep 2010, 05:01
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This thread has drifted slightly off-topic; I’m amazed nobody has seen fit to mention two distinct and unique features of Ansett’s F.27’s.

The initial Ansett F.27–200’s (VH-FNA to, I think, FNL) were fitted with the Sperry AL30J pneumatic autopilot. Its patent unsuitability was obvious; this was allegedly fitted because at the time Ansett were the Sperry agents in Australia! To use this, you had to ensure that your coffee cup was empty, your full harness was tight, all of the indicator indices were aligned, quietly review the “recovery from unusual attitudes” procedure, take a deep breath and engage – for very good reason this was known as “the hijack box”! Eventually sanity prevailed; all the -400’s and -500’s, plus the -200’s acquired from both MMA and All Nippon had the excellent Smiths SEP2 (electric) autopilot.

Apparently someone in Ansett Engineering had a love affair with pneumatics as the F.27 was also cursed with the Walter Kidde Nose Wheel Steering System. It was readily apparent that it lacked both feel (I always suspected an elastic band hidden somewhere in the linkage) and authority; a small movement of the steering wheel produced no apparent result; an infinitesimal further movement produced a huge lurch as the nosewheel promptly turned through a large angle! Even worse was the lack of any mechanical stop at the end of the steering range. The danger here was during a tight turn the noseweel would castor and reverse itself – you were then well and truly stuck! Allegedly in the cause of standardization, but due more I suspect to a sense of bloody-mindedness and making life hard for the pilots, Engineering persevered with this woefully inadequate NWS for all Ansett F.27’s. When the six F.27-500’s (VH-FCA to FCD) were ordered, Fokker initially declined to fit these units as they were no longer in production. Not to be outdone, engineering scoured the world’s rubbish tips, airline’s long-forgotten stores shelving and museums of torture instruments to locate six second-hand examples, which ended up in the “new” Friendships…

But Fokker’s “Mighty Mouse” certainly was a character-building aircraft. I have some 4500 hours on type (in fact the most of any type I’ve flown) and in all honesty I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.
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Old 17th Sep 2010, 05:36
  #49 (permalink)  
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East-West and a young sru.

For me the F27 taught me patience and a bit of forward thing. It seemed to have an inbuilt delay from input to response … waiting … waiting … ah that’s it. . The brakes, NWS as DORA-9 posted, and roll rates required a bit of thought when flying a bad wx circuit.

Loved the thing – you actually had to manipulate all aspects. Flight idle into Syd from top of decent without touching the power levers until touch down – a challenge but could be done (got to love the Fuel trimmers! – I know that’s cheating lol)

It was all about good management

Have also done a bit of time on the F50, But the F27 will always be the “Pilots” airplane to me.
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Old 17th Sep 2010, 07:31
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Not quite - min of 40 psi torque OR zero torque (layshaft flutter could occur between these two values).

But sru presumably isn't ex Ansett, as they had a real "thing" about flying the F27 like a jet, which implied some power on during the approach.
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Old 17th Sep 2010, 12:23
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S8
So no one knows why Ansett leased FCB to Setair in the early 1980's?
Setair were trying to get in to Turbine acft and had been exploring the BAe748-2B for some time. The two Airline policy was still in vogue and despite operating 3 DC3's, the management apparently decided that a leg in could be obtained by leasing an F27 from Ansett in early 1983. It was based at Essendon for a short time and although it was a passenger acft it was only ever used as a freighter by Setair and was probably seat loaded. It was crewed by Ansett and no Setair pilots were ever endorsed on the type. I don't remember if it was used on routes other than Essendon - Launceston.

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Old 19th Sep 2010, 07:11
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Thanks for the answer, blackburn.

It always intrigued me why Ansett would lease an aircraft to somebody competing on the Bass Straight freight runs.

Did the Ansett F-27's do the centre run every day?

Anyone recall the schedule?

Weren't the Ansett-MMA Fokkers that hardest working aircraft in the Ansett fleet?
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Old 20th Sep 2010, 06:38
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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One of Air Uks Heralds is at Duxford(great day out on saturday), minus its fin. Who nicked it?
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Old 20th Sep 2010, 09:47
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SA8

Did the odd Track trip from 70 to 75. The last of the "social" trips where you had a few days with the same girls and got to know them, sometimes in the biblical sense!

Most of the girls bidded for the track trips for the fun, be it with the crew or with a remote b/friend. I met my wife of 38 yrs in the crew taxi into the Midlands Motel !!
As I recall a few of the Traffic Officers and some of the charter pilots were frequently the hosts of rowdy parties. One party in particular some one threw a bucket of water and it was on for all.

The junior Hostie was being checked by the senior and I can still see the look of dread on her face as someone threw a bucket of water over the check hostie. Said check hostie was apparently held in some dread by the troops and so her sense of humour was an unknown quantity until then. No one made it out dry.

The Survival Kit ....a large cardboard box full of stuff for a barbie was kept at the Motel. The guys were on daily allowance whereas the girls were still on meal allowance at the accomodation.
Girls would sign the meal chits at motel and instead of 2 meals they would give us 4 steaks plus extras which with a flagon or 3 that we bought equipped us for a great bbq.

Track schedule....as I recall it was something like this..

Sat pm...AD-AS o/n...crew ch

Sun...AS-TC-KN-DN...o/n

Mon...DN-KN-TC-AS...crew ch
AS-TC-KN-DN...o/n
Tue...DN-KN-TC-AS...crew ch
AS-TC-KN-DN....o/n
Wed..DN-KN-TC-AS...crew ch
AS-TC-KN-DN...o/n
Thur..DN-KN-TC-AS...crew ch
AS-TC-KN-DN...o/n
Fri....DN-KN-TC-AS...crew ch
AS-OD-LC-AD

Most of the time the a/c was FNI..I'm sure it knew the way without our input! Occasionally one would be saddled with a QC a/c FNR,FNS.FNT which had a higher basic weight and made life a bit harder if there were alternates required.

Anyone remember Jack Watkins(?)who owned the cabs in AS and BIG Clive the cabbie in DN? Story goes that Jack decided to put in a pool at his place and anyone volunteering to man a shovel would be provided with free beer to keep the enthusiasm up. Jack also liked a beer now and again, like now..and again. He had his suppy of darwin stubbies and occasionally a nav bag would be found in the forward locker with 4 or 6 empties inside. On arrival in DN the bag would disappear and the next morning it would reappear in the locker with full stubbies inside.

I can still see Jack sitting at his radio in shorts and singlet with a stubbie close by. Occasionally he picked up high ranking US military people off the Starlifter that came in every thursday luchtime but he would never say where he took them.I suspect they had another base there besides Pine Gap as years ago talking to Don Elford he said in the 50's when he was doing aerial survey work up there, they were approached by some Yanks to photograph an area just outside AS. Payment was in cash and they took the film with them.

In those days there were no tourists around during the summer and so loads were a lot less, making it easier with holding/alternates.
Got caught once in Oodnadatta on a trip AD- AS. Had a heavy load on a QC with 60 mins on AS. Only way out was to refuel in OD. The fueller there was not all that reliable but Traffic in AD rang him and told him we needed fuel and a rough est of amount.

Arrived to a temp of low 40's . Port tank was refuelled and I was then told he would have to go back to the farm and fill up the tanker. Eventually arrived back to say that he could not get the fuel to pump out of the u/ground tank. Terrific!! Full load of pax in the non a/c shed that was the "terminal" and stuck between a rock and a hard place.

After about an hour n a half I was adv that AS had taken the 60mins off.
Fortunately I just had enough fuel to get to AS albeit with 700 lbs more in the port tank. Checking the manual I was just on the fuel assymetry limits.

Apparently the fit hit the shan when I put in the Gen Flt Rep. There were apparently questions in the house at the highest level within Ansett n BP.

Lots of stories to be told,some will not but still many more.
Loved the cameraderie between ground/aircrew and AN/TN. The trip was very competitive between them n us with alot of fun and skulduggery to get away first.

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Old 20th Sep 2010, 11:12
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One of Air Uks Heralds is at Duxford(great day out on saturday), minus its fin. Who nicked it?
The other one used to be on the spotters deck at Gatwick... not sure if it still is... although that was a Channel Express one. Didn't think Air UK ever flew the Herald... they were an F27 operation.
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Old 20th Sep 2010, 12:19
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Several people here talking about the "track trip" through the centre.

When I was based in Tennant Creek in 2008 one of the local storekeepers (who was sometimes the local airline agent) had a pin board at the back of his shop on which clippings about aviation were pinned up. One of the newspaper clippings was a photo showing three F27s' at the airport, TAA, Ansett and I think Bush Pilots but it may have been Connellan.

This was of course when Tennant Creek was a prosperous gold mining town hence the daily flights. One of the locals also told me a story of having to wait as a passenger until 3 am for the temperature to drop enough so that a F28 could depart. I bet that ruined the F & D times for the crew.
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Old 20th Sep 2010, 12:25
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wait as a passenger until 3 am for the temperature to drop enough

Not uncommon.

I can recall a track trip on the Friendly where we blew a water-meth hose at Tennant. MEL sent up a ginger beer to fix the bit but there we were with nil stocks of water. Departed dry at around 0-dark-30 to get a temperature just low enough to scrape over the end of the strip. They were fun days on the Fokker.

On another occasion, on the B727 freighter after a week of 40+ at PER, we had to delay the evening flight back to MEL until a lot later than scheduled for the same reason.
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Old 20th Sep 2010, 19:46
  #58 (permalink)  
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Didn't they have some sort of Track trip in AIRNSW?
As well as call the check list do all the bloody paper work etc the FO got to empty the honey pot in dust, flies and 35C+
Bugger that for a box of soldiers
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Old 21st Sep 2010, 05:15
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Some answers/info for posters.

Stationair8.

The last F27 commercial service was on 26 Jul 89 MKY-HTI-CNS with FNQ (now in Museum at Caloundra)
The first F50 commercial service was on 16 Nov 87 SYD-DBO with FNA.
The last F50 commercial service was on 29 Jun 91 to MEL with FNJ.
The Setair freighter lease was from 13 Dec 82 to FCB. The a/c would position from/to Tullamarine.

There were 4 x F27-400QC's. FNO, FNQ, FNR, FNS, and FNT. FNU was a F27-600 purchased from Air France ( F-BOOD ) 12 Aug 70 with the 'big door' but no QC floor. This a/c once flew PER-MEL nonstop with a payload overflying the 2 fuel stops on a Friday pre VFL Grand Final and upon arriving in MEL did a quick MEL-BWT-MEL to cover another unserviceable F27.

Fantome. FNH came to grief at LST on 17 Mar 65 with Joe Waxman and Eddie York during a single engine go-around.

Tinpis. There were no AN F27's being operated in late 1989. All 10 X F50's were in service. ( F50 is technically F27-50 )
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Old 21st Sep 2010, 09:16
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Speaking of longish F27 flights ...

Not AN, but I remember flying in an EWA F27-500 from SY-NF when I was a bitter younger.

I remember the first couple of seats were removed and replaced with freight. It actually gave us, the SLF, some extra room to get up, move around and look out at the ( minimal) scenery. I remember overflying Balls Pyramid.

The departure ex NF was the most interesting part. Back tracked past the runway end, way into the dirt, stood on the brakes, gunned it, shook it, let go and we slowly clawed our way airborne as the ocean cliffs dropped below us. This was in the days before the new runway.
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