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-   -   Bristow in Germany...1970's? (https://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/526437-bristow-germany-1970s.html)

Good Vibs 27th Oct 2013 20:39

Bristow in Germany...1970's?
Did Bristow work offshore for a short period in Emden, Germany during the early 1970's?
Did they use a Whirlwind?

TipCap 27th Oct 2013 20:54

Yes I believe they did.

I believe W.W. was one of the pilots.

Story about the aircraft having problems and might have ditched, successfully. When they craned the whirlwind up, it was attached by the MR head which unscrewed itself ...... or that could have been an urban myth that filtered down to the rest of us many years later


Savoia 28th Oct 2013 05:20

TipCap: It would appear that your urban myth is founded on fact!

Originally Posted by Dave Ed (Post 5497407)


The photos and info below were sent to me by Dick Jones a few years back.

Emden, West Germany, Winter 1964. The aircraft was Whirlwind S55 Mk3 D-HODE operated by United Helicopters GMBH.

Arriving at Emden Heliport after a rig trip

The crew wore immersion suits and there was no heating in the helicopter.

A few names:

Engineers: Dick Jones, Basil Davey, Horst Voigt.

Pilots: Marcel Avon, John Waddington, Willy Weitzel.

Ground Crew: Karl Ackermann, Hans Joachim.

by Dick Jones

1964: WS55 series 3: Whirlwind D-HODE (Westland demonstrator). Note paint scheme.

Capt. Willy Weitzel had an engine failure close to the rig Mr. Louie. He landed the machine perfectly on the sea, and the helicopter was manoeuvred to the rig and hoisted alongside from its lifting eye by the rig crane. It was suspended there for most of the day until a rig supply boat came alongside and the helicopter was lowered on to it without a scratch. The supply boat then returned to Emden docks where a huge dockside crane was positioned overhead and the helicopter attached, still by its lifting eye. The crane operator was positioned way up in the clouds and when signalled to raise the helicopter, it was snatched off the boat rapidly to height of about 30 ft and then the lifting eye unscrewed itself and the helicopter did its last hover before gently descending back on the boat with a crunch.

I believe the helicopter was returned to Westlands and rebuilt.




Good Vibs: From what I understand, the compliment of Bristow Whirlwinds which were despatched to Germany included:

G-AOYB (cn WA191) which became D-HOBI
G-APRW (cn WA296) which became D-HODA
G-ASOU (cn WA402) which became D-HODE (above)
G-APKC (cn WA250) which became D-HODY

Westland Whirlwind Mk I G-AOYB which became D-HOBI

Westland Whirlwind Mk III G-APRW (as seen at Redhill) which became D-HODA (Photo: BCal Tribute Collection)

heli1 28th Oct 2013 13:30

Yes D--HODE was rebuilt and went to Nigeria n 1966. It was eventually donated to Zaria College in Lagos in 1981 for GI.
g-APRW didn't last as long...ditched off Natal coast in 1975.

Good Vibs 30th Oct 2013 19:30

very sad photos of DE
Wow..Excellent info.
Thousand Thanks.

More questions and I hope for answers despite all the years gone by.

I assume because of its sad fate D-HODE was not there to the end of the contract.
Did another one come over to continue it.
If so, which one and when?

Did any of the others listed ever make it to Germany. Or was this just a paperwork excercise that never got further.

I find this a very interesting part of the history of Offshore Helicopter work in Germany.

It would be interesting to have a list of all those helicopters that the crew's got down safely after an emergency only to have them destroyed during their recovery!

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