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Harvard' PB at Duxford today

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Harvard' PB at Duxford today

Old 12th Sep 2012, 17:20
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Harvard' PB at Duxford today

Hello everybody, here is an example of conduct that two Ex Training Captains witnessed today, whilst transiting from Elstree to Duxford, to attend an Airline Reunion of old Pilots.

My ex colleague invited me to take a ride with him in a Club PA38, rather than drive down the M25 and then M11, as the Reunion was to take place at Duxford. I was rather pleased as the Motorway was solid.

That said,the flight along the still active Olympics corridor was quite interesting, especially as the Events have now ceased. We duly arrived at Duxford to be told to join downwind left for 24, which we did, we were number 2 on finals, and soon became number one.

At approximately 500 feet, so on short finals, Harvard 'PB called that he was entering the runway ready for take off, and was so cleared as the ATC is advisory only!!

Instead of departing he sat on the end of the runway not making any further RT calls and remained there forcing us to make a go around! This may be acceptable at a Flying Club, when ab initios are doing circuits, but with a Warbird, one would expect the Pilot to be not only professional in his conduct but courteous.

We could have been a Club PA38 with private low houred pilots on board, who might well have been spiked by this and landed over his head, or screwed up the go around from a low level.

We went around, and not a word was spoken, not an apology or anything. This incurred some 10 minutes extra flying time, for which my colleague was duly charged, but that is not the point!

The Harvard Pilot had heard our call on short finals, and was cleared for immediate take off, which he did not do, thus could have imperilled the little craft on short finals.

In my day, this would have at least been a full apology, and furthermore a full round of Beers in the Bar later.

I would point out that I have nearly 2000 hours on Harvards, from 30 years ago, in my Log Book, and suggest the reason for his remaining on the Runway was in fact finger trouble in not selecting the Hydraulic Power lever to energise the system for deploying Flap and raising the Gear, except in a MkIV! In which case it was pure bloody mindedness. This is normally done after the run ups before lining up (950 PSI is required from memory).

The fact that nothing was said, let alone apology, and that it cost money, pissed me off to the extent I am writing this now. More to the point, at the Reunion, it was seen that a Tomahawk had been made to go around by the Harvard stuck on the end of the runway, and when it was stated to be us, we were told it was operated by Mr JR and that he often tends to operate at Duxford as" God".

This pissed me off even more, as in my day when operating with Ormande Haydon Baillie on his Sea Fury and T33, both of which I flew, the said JR was the Tea Boy in "Blenheim Palace". How time flies when this self taught Engineer, now self appointed chief display pilot acts in such an unprofessional, and discourteous manner.

If it was another Pilot then I apologise to Mr JR, and pass my complaint to the real idiot responsible. I thank God I have done all that and got the Tea Shirt and survived into retirement!!!!!!!!!!!!

It should a Beer for all who witnessed it - A fair reminder for the pilot, A La Taxiing showing your slip, or with the Flaps or Airbrake still deployed, which was SOP" a Beer for All for witnessed said transgression".

Last edited by FAStoat; 15th Sep 2012 at 23:19.
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Old 12th Sep 2012, 18:06
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I don't know which bit of this post is the most entertaining. (The Tea Boy or possibly the the Tea Shirt? )
... but I am sure it must have been a grand reunion & wish FAStoat and his colleagues many more of them.
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Old 13th Sep 2012, 13:55
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FAStoat:

John Romain does not operate at Duxford as "God." I have been there about eight years and see him invariably as aware, considerate and courteous. Are you sure he was flying the Harvard?

Alan.
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Old 13th Sep 2012, 14:38
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PB is a Mk 1V...
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Old 13th Sep 2012, 15:52
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Just imagine having to do a bolter in a PA-38. Did you have the hook down?
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Old 13th Sep 2012, 16:35
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As I said!If it was not Mr JR,then I apologise,and hope my complaint is passed to the appropiate idiot responsible.Airmanship is Airmanship,and it was sadly lacking in this case!I would refer you to Thrust Code (12)-"It is a pity that in Wartime we would be on the same side."If 'PB is a MkIV then it was pure bloody mindedness,as he had automatic Hydraulic Pressure for any services required,and should have expedited his departure.The comment concerning "God" was reiterating a succession of comments expressed by apparent Duxford operators,who witnessed the event,and were keen to state their opinion.Not operating from there since the 70s I do not have the knowledge to form an opinion on the manners of said operator,but relate what was stated by several in attendance!!

Last edited by FAStoat; 15th Sep 2012 at 23:20.
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Old 13th Sep 2012, 17:03
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So if it wasn't Mr Romain then tell us whom it was please. Looks like a few ranks closing here

Last edited by funfly; 13th Sep 2012 at 17:04.
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Old 13th Sep 2012, 17:42
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Purely as a matter of interest; I flew into Duxford in my little aeroplane some years ago. I think I was the only aeroplane on the frequency. On finals I was told to land on 24 Grass because the main runway was closed.

So, with my reasonable experience of aviation, I side-stepped to 24 Grass and landed.

Several hours later, I departed from Duxford. I was cleared to taxi to 24 (which I assumed meant the same 24 Grass that I landed upon). I held short of where I assumed the holding point to the grass runway was to be BERATED by the pillock on the other end of the radio telling me to get my arse down to the end of runway 24 (tarmac).

I felt like telling him that I had 17,000 hours of operating large aircraft into airfields such as JFK, ORD and ATL but I bit my tongue and apologised.

I have never ever flown back into Duxford's precious airspace nor shall I ever again.
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Old 13th Sep 2012, 18:01
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JW411

It is obviously far too late to comment on the specific incident, but whatever the reasons may have been, rudeness or 'berating' on the radio is never acceptable and I'm sorry you had such an experience. I understand how even years later it grates on your memory.

Duxford is such a special place for pilots and aviation enthusiasts, it is a shame that you feel you can never come back. I would like to show you how Duxford airfield and its people are today and I would like to invite you back. I am working on 22nd and 23rd September. If you would like to accept the invitation, on these dates or any others, please send me a PM.

Alan.
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Old 13th Sep 2012, 18:14
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Funfly:

I wasn't working on Wednesday, so I really can't say who was flying the Harvard, nor what the pilot's side of the story might have been. I am speaking how I have found John Romain and I do not believe he would deliberately obstruct a landing aicraft in the way described by FAStoat.

FAStoat:

As to your complaint, I think it would be much more effective if you were to call the tower and speak directly to the FISO who was working yesterday. The number is 01223 833376.

Alan.
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Old 13th Sep 2012, 18:25
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Ear bashing

I was doing the bi annual instructor check for a well known Aerobatic pilot in an Extra & while we were in the CCT we kept getting the guy in the tower bleating on that we could not land because of rule 43 ( or something like that ).

The reason was that there was an aircraft who had just cleared the far end of the runway and was not far enough way from the runway, the whole thing was strange interpretation of the rules made even more strange the next day at Gatwick when I am cleared to "land after" when the aircraft ahead has yet to clear the runway.
It all goes to show that common sense is not so common.
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Old 13th Sep 2012, 18:39
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What I find most interesting is that apart from a couple(One of whom was one the finest Trainers I have ever known),NONE of you have offered any sort of mutual criticism of the actions of the Harvard Pilot!!.In fact I would go so far as suggest most of you seem to consider it to be a reasonable action, for a Warbird Pilot to taxi on an active runway whilst an approach and landing is to be made ahead of you,by a little Club PA38,which would obviously be piloted by a poor little PPL,and then baulk his landing,by just sitting on the end of the runway.We continued our approach until 100ft at which point it was obvious the Harvard was going to make no attempt to depart,and then broke starboard and called going around.At that point both of us were considerably concerned that said Harvard was not about to climb up underneath us or arrive at the crosswind point at that same time,as very little airmanship had been shown by him up to this point.Upon landing we just consoled each other that we had both retired and hopefully would not be quite so irritated in future.It was only when met by a bunch of old colleagues and bystanders that various bits of information and obvious issues were imparted to us,hence the need to air the issues here!As the ATC was only advisory,we felt it to be the Pilot's gross bad manners as opposed to the lack of foresight of the controller.
Quite frankly I give up ,as your standards are well below anything I have ever tried to impart into my Students or Trainees/First Officers,and will not give you any sympathy if anything untoward occurs in your Aviation Career.As a Mentor of mine used to say-"You wont get any sympathy if you cock up,remember where it comes in the Dictionary-Between Shit and Syphillis".

Last edited by FAStoat; 13th Sep 2012 at 18:46.
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Old 13th Sep 2012, 19:03
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FAStoat, why so aggressive in your last post? I must have missed the bit where anybody here has suggested that the actions of the unknown Harvard pilot as described are up to standard, or defended such actions.

What they have done is to give their positive opinions of a named individual. That's a commendable thing for them to do, I'd suggest. Unfortunately I can't say the same about publicly berating that individual for something you're not even sure he did.

Why not, as alphaalpha says, call Duxford tower and take your complaint it up via that route? It's far more likely to have a positive outcome for everyone.
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Old 13th Sep 2012, 19:10
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...called that he was entering the runway ready for take off,and was so cleared as the ATC is advisory only!!
...and was cleared for immediate take off
As the ATC was only advisory,we felt it to be the Pilot's gross bad manners as opposed to the lack of foresight of the controller.
There seems to be considerable confusion in the original post about what air traffic service is/was provided at Duxford. As alphaalpha says, it is FIS - so the voice on the RT is a FISO, not a controller, there is no such thing as "advisory ATC", and the Harvard would not - or certainly should not - have been given any take-off clearance, immediate or otherwise.

2 s
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Old 13th Sep 2012, 19:20
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I'll just add one thing to 2 Sheds' post in reply to A and C.

Duxford is FIS and as such cannot approve a land-after. The rules of the air apply and you cannot land on an occupied runway. I know it seem to lack common sense, when we are talking about spam cans on a long runway, but that's still the rule and there's no discretion.

Where there might be room for discussion, I suggest, is at what point does the runway become vacated? Air traffickers will clear an aircraft to land as soon as the preceding aircraft has vacated the physical runway and is till moving. You might take the view that the runway is infringed and therefore still occupied if the traffic has not yet passed the hold. I have never found a definitive reference to this question.

Alan.
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Old 13th Sep 2012, 19:34
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Alphaalpha:

I really do thank you for your very kind reply to my post.

Unfortunately, where I said that I will never visit Duxford ever again means that I shall never visit Duxford ever again.

Nothing personal, but I found your colleague's manner to be extremely offensive and it smacked very much of the "big fish in small pond" syndrome and whilst I might put up with that sort of crap at JFK because I have to, I am certainly not going to risk having another bad experience at Duxford.
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Old 13th Sep 2012, 21:04
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I think we need some balance here.
Whilst I have sympathy with anyone who has to go around due to somebody hogging the runway, I must speak in support of the Duxford folks.
I have flown in to Duxford on two occasions, the second being a CAA safety day. Despite suggestions to the contrary, I found the service to be excellent on both occasions whilst mixing with much faster traffic as I negotiated the circuit in my 50hp hotship.
JW411, give them a chance
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Old 13th Sep 2012, 22:00
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No vested interest in this event other than to say that 'PB is technically a Mk IV but has a T6G direct acting hydraulic system. Not entirely sure what difference that makes to this event but happy to clarify it.

I've lost count the number of times I've had to go around due to somebody lining up without looking. How dare he/she get in your way!

Last edited by 'Chuffer' Dandridge; 13th Sep 2012 at 22:03.
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Old 13th Sep 2012, 22:05
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JW411 - The reception we receive at airfields (and pubs, restaurants, shops, hotels etc.) inevitably colours our views, and someone obviously did a poor job a few years ago at Duxford.

I've been in and out a few times over the last week, and there's no doubt that it's a very special place that is truly unique in the UK. I have no connection to Duxford or the IWM, but just find it a shame that a bad experience a while ago is spoiling your enjoyment today.

Some places deserve a second chance - Duxford is one of those places IMHO.

Ian
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Old 13th Sep 2012, 22:16
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JW411. You never returning to Duxford is certainly Duxford's loss. It is also yours.
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