The Pacific: General Aviation & Questions The place for students, instructors and charter guys in Oz, NZ and the rest of Oceania.

Bankstown History and Nostalgia

Old 8th Apr 2018, 01:37
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Australia
Age: 70
Posts: 369
Bankstown History and Nostalgia

In the miscellaneous forums is a section on Luton Airport with reminiscences of its history and people. I thought rather than this forum degenerating into the usual slanging matches a section dedicated to humour, history and people over the years in Bankstown might lighten the mood

Over the next couple of days I'll dig out some pictures I have when I first leant to fly in 1974, especially Sid Marshalls hangar and the Me109 hanging from the roof. But feel free to post anytime.

Dhavillandpilot
dhavillandpilot is offline  
Old 8th Apr 2018, 03:15
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Lost in the space-time continuum
Posts: 0
Originally Posted by dhavillandpilot View Post
Over the next couple of days I'll dig out some pictures I have when I first leant to fly in 1974, especially Sid Marshalls hangar and the Me109 hanging from the roof. But feel free to post anytime.

Dhavillandpilot
DHP, if you've got any detailed photos of the 109, that'd be great. I've always been intrigued by the 109, ever since I found out when I was at highschool that one of my teachers flew them from early '42 until late '44.

With the DB605 pumping out just on 2,000HP at takeoff and the aircraft weighing 3.5 tons (in the later 109's), all wrapped up in an airframe almost exactly the same size as a Cherokee 6, it must've been one hell of a ride!!!
gassed budgie is offline  
Old 8th Apr 2018, 04:42
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: australia
Posts: 1,491
Aahh Bankstown..
.was there in '58 as a 'hangar rat' James Air Charter, who operated little Miles 'Gemini' light twins, 4 seaters. Had been re-engined with flat fours.
With shillings and pennies saved, continued with PPL training, from Tiger Moth to first solo in a Champion 7fc 'Tri-traveller', (and later back to finish PPL on Tigers RACSA Pararfield.

Visited the Marshall hangar many times to have 11 second daydreams, looking at DC 2s, 109, Spitfire, Oscar Dragon etc . Also had some trips in the Gemini with Mr James..

The circuit was full of all sorts of things av-wise, Gannets, Vampires( j u s t got over the fence on departure !) Mustangs and all manner of AeroClub and flying school things. Austers even.!
In one hangar was a Cierva Autogiro...very rare.

Parafield was pretty busy too, Edmund Schneider gliders, radio contolled Meteor from Woomera, Tigers, Chippies, Austers, Rapides and a wealth of others long forgotten.
aroa is offline  
Old 8th Apr 2018, 05:43
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Sydney
Age: 62
Posts: 683
That's more like it. Good on you dhpilot for a sensible thread....
I came into the Bankstown picture fairly late around 1990 after spending lots of time hanging out at Parafield dreaming about growing a pair of wings. I was the last commercial pilot graduating at the Royal Aero Club at Bankstown. The best hang out was the fully licensed club house overlooking the threshold of 11. Plenty schooners and games of pool after hours. The grass parking was littered with all sorts of historic machines, some has grown roots over the years. There was a little yellow Sia Marchetti in amongst the which was flown over from England by a friend of mine. He was kind enough to let me loose on it several times but after two forced landings I politely told him to stick it somewhere the sun don't shine and I stick to my American built muscle......a year later I bought one of the historic machines that has been growing roots on the field.....a Queenair.
Statistics say the birth rate has dropped dramatically under Bankstown airspace after I started flying it and ten years later returned to normal after I stopped......Funny about that....
sms777 is offline  
Old 8th Apr 2018, 06:50
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Adeliade
Posts: 3
Originally Posted by gassed budgie View Post
DHP, if you've got any detailed photos of the 109, that'd be great. I've always been intrigued by the 109, ever since I found out when I was at highschool that one of my teachers flew them from early '42 until late '44.

With the DB605 pumping out just on 2,000HP at takeoff and the aircraft weighing 3.5 tons (in the later 109's), all wrapped up in an airframe almost exactly the same size as a Cherokee 6, it must've been one hell of a ride!!!
Yes sid had some great stuff in that hzngar. I remember as a kid seeing them all in the hangar roof, then as a apprentice helping put the 109 in the container.
Connedrod is offline  
Old 8th Apr 2018, 08:33
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Cairns FNQ
Age: 69
Posts: 179
I had my first ever flight in Sid Marshall's De Havilland Dragon, with the Parramatta Air League in about 1960 or '61.
And over the years, about 5 joyflights in the Pussmoth. One drivers seat and two pax seats behind.
A great collection of historical aircraft.
cowl flaps is offline  
Old 8th Apr 2018, 09:37
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Accruing MilliSiverts
Posts: 530
This bloke is a legend.
So many photographs from that era all across Australia (and the world):

GEOFF GOODALL'S AVIATION HISTORY SITE
Al E. Vator is offline  
Old 8th Apr 2018, 12:41
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Australia
Posts: 4,164
That's more like it. Good on you dhpilot for a sensible thread

I was 19 when first learning to fly at the Kingsford Smith Flying School at Bankstown and after 8 hours of dual, did my first solo in a Tiger Moth VH-AUO on 26 May 1951 . Most dual flights were less than an hour. My instructors were: Stan Birtus (strong Eastern European accent impossible to clearly understand though the Gosport Tube intercom system), Jan Kingma (ditto difficult accent), Tas Dalton (he said SFA because he seemed bored fartless throughout the 35 minute flight) and Bill Burns (ex RAAF Hudsons and the perfect instructor who sent me solo). Bill Burns ARN was 1524. Pilots wore leather WW2 flying helmets, goggles and scarves. Black rubber stains around the cheeks and mouth was caused by the rubber of the Gosport Tubes.

Cleared to take off and land was via light signals from the tower. Or maybe it was an ATC control Van, I don't remember. We certainly had ATC Controllers in a van in the RAAF. Bankstown was all over grass field in those days. Aircraft took off and landed in parallel "lanes." Anything up to five landing and take-off's at the same time. We sure learned to have our eyes swivelling in all directions. We kept a close eye on the tower or van on final in case you got a red light meaning go-around. After landing, you turned 90 degrees and stopped, and kept an eye on approaching aircraft on mid to short finals. You waited for a flashing green light from the ATC Aldis lamp to taxi. When the green light was aimed at you it was time to taxi like the clappers across the landing "lanes" to the tarmac before someone tried to land on top of you.

When you got to the tarmac there was usually someone to grab your wingtip to help you turn in the small space. (No brakes in the Tiger Moth only a tail skid that made sparks on tarmac). If no one was there, the instructor made you get out of your cockpit and he would taxi with you on the wing tip. if you were solo you stopped at the entrance, shut down the engine and then hopped out and go to the tail, lift it up and turn the aircraft around.

I sat in a Wackett Trainer on the tarmac and thought what a hugely complicated cockpit after the Tiger Moth. I thought the same thing a year later when going from a RAAF Tiger Moth to the Wirraway.

I used to walk the one mile from Bankstown railway station (or was it the bus station in those days?) to the aerodrome with a spring in my step and one hand in my pocket feeling the bank notes and cash I had saved up for each flight and a delicious anticipation I was going flying. If flying was cancelled due weather or no instructor available, it was a great disappointment as it could be another week or more before I got time off work to fly again. So with sadness I would hitch-hike back to the railway station to return to my bed and breakfast digs at Double Bay. It was just a village in those days, while now it is millionaires row.

Never mind, there was always dancing lessons at Phyllis Bates Dance "Academy" (a wooden hall) at Double Bay each Saturday night where this doughty lady would ensure we swains would be on one side of the hall gazing longingly at the virgins on the opposite side waiting for the music to start. The girls would knock you back scornfully after you had bravely crossed no-man's land to plead "may I have the pleasure of this dance, please?" Tall boys got the good-lookers while shorties like me missed out or only got a cross-eyed girl with glasses. Having been shamed by a giggling knock back, one would slink back to the safety of the other side of the hall until Phyllis Bates would crack the sh*ts with the choosey girls and order them in no uncertain terms to accept dance offers. I tell you, Phyllis Bates would have scared Donald Trump. There was one attractive girl called Judy Cheal. She was really friendly to everyone. She often wore a tight sweater and a pointy bra underneath. Man, she was stacked. She was sex appeal personified. Naturally the boys always rushed to ask her for a dance. One evening, Phyllis Bates told her off in no uncertain terms that she must never come to the dance hall in that outfit again and ordered her to go home. It was so cruel and unnecessary. I felt so sorry for Judy, as did most of us there. She left the room in tears and never came back again. Just think, if she is still alive today she would be 86 years old..

Thread drift - sorry.

Exciting memories? 1. Watching a Comper Swift land in the lane next to me. It was flown by former RAAF Squadron Leader "Titus" Oats DFC, who flew Mosquito fighter-bombers in WW2. The Comper Swift was a tiny high wing aeroplane with a Pobjoy engine and the cockpit was so small. The pilot had to continually weave the nose to check all clear ahead.
2. Battle of Britain Display with a large crowd watching a RAAF Mustang flashing over the middle of the aerodrome at 200 feet and releasing two drop tanks full of napalm (jellied petrol) that exploded in huge gouts of flame and roiling black smoke. That was indeed awesome in the true sense of the word.

Last edited by Centaurus; 8th Apr 2018 at 14:13.
Centaurus is offline  
Old 9th Apr 2018, 01:04
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: australia
Posts: 1,491
At Parafield, on instructor, German? I think, had a difficult accent, too
But his, or your.. main problem was spitting over the side. You got warning if you heard him 'clear his throat'...but ..you had to watch him then because he used to lean from side to side before he let go..
Watch, wait and move right if he went left.
Get it wrong and you might cop a goozie on the goggles ! Once hit, forever shy !

The smell of cut grass on the all-over field, light signals, and eye balls dancing about to spot all the other traffic....
An abiding memory is a vertical view of PFD from 7000', when diving to turn the prop after an engine shut down. It was winter too, and my hands and feet were bleeden freezen.!

And by and by,.. a cloud took all away.
aroa is offline  
Old 9th Apr 2018, 06:23
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: London
Posts: 1,260
From the tone of these comments, can I assume Bankstown has closed ? Did time there myself a long time ago.
4Greens is offline  
Old 9th Apr 2018, 07:30
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Aus
Posts: 82
Originally Posted by 4Greens View Post
From the tone of these comments, can I assume Bankstown has closed ? Did time there myself a long time ago.
Not quite, but it's only a matter of time, what with the second RPT airport at Sydney being built (effectively requiring the removal of the BK/CN training area), ever-increasing usage charges, and greedy property developers who'd love to sell it all off to the highest bidder.
MagnumPI is offline  
Old 9th Apr 2018, 07:53
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: NSW
Posts: 86
Don't forget the Fairy Fireflies, Sea Furies, vintage helicopters, Bristol Freighters, Catalinas and for a short time the ex-French Navy Lancaster at de Havillands...
TBM-Legend is offline  
Old 9th Apr 2018, 09:13
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Up The 116E, Stbd Turn at 32S...:-)
Age: 79
Posts: 2,969
Re " the ex-French Navy Lancaster at de Havillands... "

Is this the one currently at the BBMF at RAF Coningsby, serial No PA474 ?

I do remember it sitting at Hawkers for quite some time in its French Navy Livery, having come in from Noumea, and one of my former instructors, Mr Arthur Kell, who flew them during WW2, was invited to go along on the ferry flight back to the UK.

Cheers
Ex FSO GRIFFO is offline  
Old 9th Apr 2018, 11:11
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: 'Stralia!
Age: 44
Posts: 453
It's only a recent one, but lines of PA31s landing on all 3 runways stacked up out to prospect as the afternoon bank runs came in... I recall being in a stack of about 15 of them, lined up on all 3 runways. Late 90's was a busy time...
RatsoreA is offline  
Old 9th Apr 2018, 11:44
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: NSW
Posts: 86
Is this the one currently at the BBMF at RAF Coningsby, serial No PA474 ?
No, it is now called "Just Jane" and is returning to flight with a big rebuild...
TBM-Legend is offline  
Old 9th Apr 2018, 18:51
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: London
Posts: 1,260
Where is the second RPT airport at Sydney ?
4Greens is offline  
Old 10th Apr 2018, 00:32
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Lost in the space-time continuum
Posts: 0
Originally Posted by Ex FSO GRIFFO View Post
Re " the ex-French Navy Lancaster at de Havillands... "

Is this the one currently at the BBMF at RAF Coningsby, serial No PA474 ?

I do remember it sitting at Hawkers for quite some time in its French Navy Livery, having come in from Noumea, and one of my former instructors, Mr Arthur Kell, who flew them during WW2, was invited to go along on the ferry flight back to the UK.

Cheers
IIRC the Lancaster on display at the RAAF Association museum in Bull Creek WA has some French naval history attached to it. The same machine i would've thought.
gassed budgie is offline  
Old 10th Apr 2018, 02:17
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Up The 116E, Stbd Turn at 32S...:-)
Age: 79
Posts: 2,969
Isn't that the one that used to be the 'gatekeeper' at Perth Airport until the early 1970's or so... ?

Cheers
Ex FSO GRIFFO is offline  
Old 10th Apr 2018, 04:38
  #19 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Great South East, tired and retired
Posts: 3,484
Where is the second RPT airport at Sydney ?
Badgerys Creek, if it ever happens.
Ascend Charlie is offline  
Old 10th Apr 2018, 04:39
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Australia
Age: 55
Posts: 2,042
Bankstown memories, from the 1970’s
1. Rex Aviation, all those new Cessnas,
2. Ansett General Aviation,
3. Jack Brabham Aviation,
4. Navair,
5. Row upon row of DHC Beavers parked on the grass after the super phosphate bounty was phased out,
6. The written off East West F27 parked over near Nationwide Wide Air Services Hangar,
7. The ME109 in the hangar,
8. The Royal Aero Club of NSW clubroom, bar etc,
9. Adams Aviation,
10. The Piaggio P166’s that we’re used on night freight,
11. The old control tower and briefing office.

From the mid 80’s,

1. Colin Johnson ground school,
2. Bank runner activity,
3 Clark Film Services Twin Pionair and Twin Comanches,
4. The Blimp that was based there on and off,
5. Airtex ATPL subjects with Gavin Selcombe,
6. The Avcentre charter company,
7. One or two quiet ales in the Aero club,

From the very early 90’s

1. Hawker Pacific for a PT6 ground school and that was the last time I have been to Bankstown.
Stationair8 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.