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Fifty-four years of flying!

Private Flying LAA/BMAA/BGA/BPA The sheer pleasure of flight.

Fifty-four years of flying!

Old 15th Sep 2020, 23:13
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If I bend the rules very slightly and include rotorfossil and Capt Scribble (who both appear to have stopped flying just last year), I make that 1389 years! Mostly in light aircraft and/or gliders.

Particularly impressed by Quietplease who went solo before I was born!
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Old 16th Sep 2020, 01:30
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My goal is to beat the famous Canadian DH test pilot, George Neal. First solo 1935 last flight alone in his Chipmunk, 2015. 80 years of flying !
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Old 16th Sep 2020, 10:23
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Originally Posted by Big Pistons Forever View Post
My goal is to beat the famous Canadian DH test pilot, George Neal. First solo 1935 last flight alone in his Chipmunk, 2015. 80 years of flying !
Good luck with that!
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Old 16th Sep 2020, 10:43
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Aged 96! How old was John Houlder of Elstree when he stopped flying? Over 90 I think? I think Ken Wallis was still flying his autogyros at 90+ as well...
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Old 16th Sep 2020, 17:12
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First flight where I handled the controls on 27 Aug 1962; Piston Provost XF680 from RAF Little Rissington.
First solo in Mk 3 XA305 (actually 3 solos to get my Proficiency Badge and BGA A & B Certificate) 7 Nov 1964 from RAF Halton.
First powered solo on 21 Oct 1971 in C150 G-ATKF from Marshalls Cambridge, sent off by the instructor who was flying that same aircraft when it had a mid air with a Varsity out of Oakington. Awarded PPL on 17 Nov 1971 about 4 weeks later (it was part of my ATCO training with NATCS).
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Old 17th Sep 2020, 00:30
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14th August 1963, Unfortunately can't add the whole 57 years as I had a 29 year lay off before I built my Searey. Stopped four years ago, lack of aircraft and funds!
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Old 17th Sep 2020, 00:56
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First handled controls: Piper Tri-Pacer, KHFD (Hartford, Connecticut, USA), 1963, Age 14


First Solo: Cessna 152/N757WW, KSSI (St. Simons Island, Georgia, USA), 1976, Age 27

(The aircraft in the foreground.)

First Soaring Solo: Grob 103 Twin Astir (Caesar Creek, Ohio, USA) 1985, Age 36


At 71 years of age, my memory isn't what it used to be, but those aircraft and the day I first flew them are emblazoned indelibly in my most precious recollections. A couple of women, too!

- Ed

Last edited by cavuman1; 18th Sep 2020 at 16:58. Reason: Spelling
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Old 17th Sep 2020, 13:37
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Remembering the Swinging Sixties!

Surprised and delighted to see your post, congratulations! I was so pleased to see my old lady friend GARJC in your post, and find that she is still alive and well after all these years! I first flew G-JC on the 27th of April 1964, 3.5 hours into my abinitio PPL, the previous time being on sisters, GARJH GARNJ and GARJP. There were about eight Colts at Oxford at that time. I made my first solo on 14th of May in GARJG, having to do two circuits as I was eased out by a non-radio Hornet Moth! Those days were as close to the Wright Brothers as to the present day!
I didn't fly often over the next couple of decades, but spent forty satisfying years in ATC, latterly I took to flying again in GAVWN, (alas since destroyed!) a PA28R and a beautiful "Gentleman's Ariel Conveyance "
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Old 17th Sep 2020, 17:30
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Next week it will be 51 yrs since I soloed a C-150. I hope it will be a good day to fly my Ventus to celebrate.
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Old 17th Sep 2020, 19:13
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I believe that Neville Duke was an active pilot for 66 years and by active, I mean ACTIVE - fighter pilot, test pilot, world speed record holder etc..
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Old 18th Sep 2020, 06:34
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I have certainly stirred up a hornet's nest of memories! My flying at White Waltham was on an RAF Special Flying Award, which was the equivalent of a Flying Scholarship for non-Air Cadets.

My goal is to beat the famous Canadian DH test pilot, George Neal.
BPF, that's my goal as well. We''ll see who gets there first! I've got a head start on you.

I was so pleased to see my old lady friend GARJC in your post
JayDoubleyou,

In 1966, WLAC had JC, JD, JG and KR (which was a bit of a dog) plus Chipmunks G-AORF and G-AOTH for spinning. My whole PPL was non-radio, including landing at Kidlington and Sywell!

A couple of women, too!
cavuman1, that allows a nice segue into the story of my fiftieth anniversary in 2016. I was working in Saigon and I mentioned to a friend of mine that it was the fiftieth anniversary of my first solo and that I was disappointed that I could not fly.

The next time I visited my friend’s bar (a good kind of friend to have), I discovered that she had looked at my Facebook page and downloaded a picture of me when I really was India Four Two and had it iced onto a cake. Here’s the cake and the presentation by Hoa and her sister Binh. It more than made up for not being able to fly. By the end of the evening, I definitely needed more than “eight hours between bottle and throttle”!





Last edited by India Four Two; 18th Sep 2020 at 07:17.
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Old 18th Sep 2020, 09:51
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Originally Posted by Grayfly View Post
I can only add another 45 years.

First solo 23rd August 1975, Edinburgh (now international) Airport. Sent off by Hugh Allan of Edinburgh Air Centre In C150 G-BCCC
I remember Hugh 'I'm shorry I was shpeeding occifer but I'm drunk and thought I'd better get home as quick as possible' Allan although Bob Drummond did my checkout there in Oct '72 in G-AWES.
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Old 18th Sep 2020, 14:17
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I42: yes you certainly stirred up some memories. Thanks for that.
You say:
My whole PPL was non-radio, including landing at Kidlington and Sywell!

Mine, in the Tiger Moths (post 20, above), was not only non-radio, but non-flaps, none tail wheel (just a skid) and non brakes, and my solo cross-country was to Luton.

Laurence
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Old 18th Sep 2020, 14:33
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21st September 1993 was my first solo (almost 27 years to the day). Stapleford (the one in sunny Essex) in one of their C152's - G-BNJC. Most instructors though that particular aircraft was a bit of a dog but I always had a soft spot.
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Old 19th Sep 2020, 12:20
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Great tale India! I love to fly, but I've never done it as a driver, apart from a couple of short grips in a glider many years ago.
Wishing you many more enjoyable hops. 👋
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Old 20th Sep 2020, 06:22
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Thanks TLDNMCL. Come to Calgary in the summer, when the COVID dust has hopefully settled and I'll give you a ride in our DG-1000S.


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Old 20th Sep 2020, 09:36
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Originally Posted by chevvron View Post
I remember Hugh 'I'm shorry I was shpeeding occifer but I'm drunk and thought I'd better get home as quick as possible' Allan although Bob Drummond did my checkout there in Oct '72 in G-AWES.
Both great chaps, learnt a lot. I also spent many hours in AWES.
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Old 20th Sep 2020, 12:22
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Originally Posted by Jay Doubleyou View Post
Surprised and delighted to see your post, congratulations! I was so pleased to see my old lady friend GARJC in your post, and find that she is still alive and well after all these years! I first flew G-JC on the 27th of April 1964, 3.5 hours into my abinitio PPL, the previous time being on sisters, GARJH GARNJ and GARJP. There were about eight Colts at Oxford at that time. I made my first solo on 14th of May in GARJG, having to do two circuits as I was eased out by a non-radio Hornet Moth! Those days were as close to the Wright Brothers as to the present day!
I didn't fly often over the next couple of decades, but spent forty satisfying years in ATC, latterly I took to flying again in GAVWN, (alas since destroyed!) a PA28R and a beautiful "Gentleman's Ariel Conveyance "
G-ARNJ is also still current (as is G-ARNE, which I fly) and owned by the Chairman of the Vintage Piper Aircraft Club
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Old 20th Sep 2020, 19:28
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First unpowered solo 1972. First powered solo 1973.

First solo while getting paid was in 1977 (Done nothing for a living but flying ever since).

Still flying as PIC for a living.

48 years from scratch to now.
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Old 20th Sep 2020, 20:53
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I42 , like you , thanks to an RAF Special Flying Award at Marshalls of Cambridge , and Mr Whittaker sending me solo on 23/7/71 . Like Chevvron in C 150 , G-ATKF .
I've been privileged to enjoy 36 yrs of commercial , and thus far 10+ yrs of instructing . As well as a share in a Rollason Condor , seeing the seasons change from Wessex skies .

rgds condor.
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