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End of an Era at Aberdeen

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End of an Era at Aberdeen

Old 26th Mar 2015, 10:04
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End of an Era at Aberdeen

I believe the last 3 based AS332 L1 Tigers departed Aberdeen on 3 low loaders on Tuesday. GTIGC GTIGS and GBLZJ have departed for pastures new. This ends about 40 years of the L1 at Aberdeen and with CHC gradually flying their L2's into storage in Poland will leave only Bond with L2's here.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 12:45
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The first L (L1 came after) was S/N 2023 G-BJXC then re registered G-TIGB and was delivered in late March 1982. It first flew commercially to the Thistle Platform around mid - April that year after route proving flights. It ended up in Australia.

G-TIGC was the second 332L delivered to ABZ and was contracted to Amoco for flights to the North West Hutton. G-TIGE followed for Marathon Oil (Brae A) then G-TIGD, another Amoco aircraft.

G-TIGS was delivered in 1983 and went on contract to Mobil for flights to the Beryl A Platform. G-BLZJ was a newcomer, it must have come after I left ABZ so I never flew that one.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 15:00
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Any guesses which and how much the highest timed 332L in the world is?
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 16:21
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Any guesses which and how much the highest timed 332L in the world is?
GTIGE must was the front runner, three trips a day, minimum, for Marathon, but GTIGC must be in the running for the widest traveller of the Bristow stable.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 16:43
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G-TIGE had almost 41,000 hours over a years ago.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 21:18
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G-TIGE passed 42000 Hrs and leaves Norwich on a lorry tomorrow so sad times as no more AS332L/L1 left
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 22:12
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Only a handful of the S61 on the UK register passed that figure, so something of an achievement.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 22:54
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332L (Tiger for you BHL guys!) - horrible twitchy thing. RIP

Tiger was never an L1, it was a cheap and cut down L. No brakes on the LHS, etc, well done Bristow!
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 23:24
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My mistake, I didn't know there was a difference between the L and L1.. must have been impossible to spot.. other than the Bristow colours.
Does anyone know where they're all going?
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 23:33
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Thanks
Jeez! When I left them they had about 20k hours and they were manky then!
God knows what they were like at the end.
Off to get scrapped?
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 01:11
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Off to Vector Fleetlands I was told, probably to be rebuild or split up for spares.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 02:34
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Same happening in OZ with the 332,

I know of 3 that went on the back of a truck last week to be split up for spares.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 09:03
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My mistake, I didn't know there was a difference between the L and L1.. must have been impossible to spot
Yes, it is - the L has the Makila 1A and the L1 has the Makila 1A1 with slightly better OEI performance in hot/high conditions. Not sure that would be of any use in Aberdeen though!
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 12:30
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No brakes on the LHS, etc, well done Bristow
The majority of military Pumas and super Pumas only have one set of brakes. When Bristow ordered them that was the norm.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 14:10
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The British Airways ones certainly were brakeless from the LHS.

Really nice aircraft when it was all set up and working. My memory though is of weekends as an FO doing endless ground runs.

Fly one again, yes but I'd take a 61 first. Happy days.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 17:38
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The AS 332L Bristow Tiger suffered in its early days from insufficient developmental test flying by the manufacturer prior to introduction into service. It was certainly not merely a stretched Puma and several of the new innovations proved inadequate for the tough regime of the North Sea.

Problems with the Main Gear Box and drive shaft fairings prompted hasty first aid fixes from the manufacturer which then had to be trialled by line pilots on revenue flights, a far from satisfactory state of affairs.

A visit to Aberdeen by the Chief Project Test Pilot for Aerospatiale produced stunned disbelief at the intensity of the flying programme and the comment, `No wonder you are having problems!`

The Tiger eventually went on to serve with great distinction as witnessed by the numbers of hours amassed over the years.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 17:54
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The British Airways ones certainly were brakeless from the LHS
Bristow, having not been successful gatting the registration GTIGA off it's Tiger Moth owner, then went the whole hog and used up the rest of the alphabet apart from GTIGQ which was verboten. They started running out of contracts with GTIGW so there was a problem with the other three.

They arrived at Redhill in a green state and they were sold/leased on to Canadian Helicopters where they received Canadian registrations. Fortunes changed and they came back to to UK and went onto the North Sea in British Airways Helicopters/BIH livery but with a Bristow GTIG* registration.

I have a feeling that Bristow tried to buy them back but helicopters were like hen's teeth then.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 20:04
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My recollection of the original BAH AS332Ls G-BKZE, G and H was that they were fitted with LHS brakes. Perhaps they were introduced at some point after delivery, assuming Border Reiver is correct?

G-TIGZ was the only ex BHL machine that found it's way back to the UK with BIH/CHC. The other two (X and Y) never did. The re-use of TIGZ was very deliberate by BIH management.

Re: G-TIGA, the re-allocation of any registration on a different airframe is not permitted in the UK. So it was not the Tiger Moth owner that spoilt the plan, it was CAA policy. Here's an extract from the CAA website:

"Any UK registration marks that are currently in use or have been registered in the past are not re-issued to a second aircraft to avoid any confusion. An individual airframe may have more than one registration mark in its lifetime, but a particular registration mark can only apply to one airframe."

Last edited by Variable Load; 27th Mar 2015 at 22:42.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 20:20
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A Chinese registered 332L, B7951 was the first one bought by the then China Overseas Helicopter Corp. That was quite early in the production run, somewhere around GTIGH. That had twin brakes, three axis autopilot, digital fuel guages and nice Sogat seats. A slight problem was that it had metric instruments calibrated in kilometers and metres as opposed to the knots and feet of the G reg on site.

We used to step from one to the other with no problem until somebody at Redhill found out then we had to go through the rigmarol of having a 'differences' book plus intensive briefing.

Their subsequent aircraft went to knots and feet even though China still has metric flight levels but it was nice sitting there at 250 indicated and a very stable altimeter.

Their subsequent L1s, built as L1s as opposed to being re-engined were far faster and more economical than any of the Ls or ex Ls..

Last edited by Fareastdriver; 28th Mar 2015 at 06:01.
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 04:43
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Certainly at delivery the co pilot had no brakes. As one of the first two FO's on the fleet it was a big difference after the 61. Certainly one run on landing on the short runway at Shetland revealed that the Captain had forgotten.

With high back pax seats, carpet and IFE they delivered a different product to the Tiger. Different in having external life rafts as well I think?

My involvement finished after 18 months with a move to the 214 a totally different experience. Where these days would you get 3 large types in 4 years?
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