RAF Middleton St. George

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ian16th
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RAF Middleton St. George

#1 Post by ian16th » Thu Jul 25, 2019 11:32 am

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Re: RAF Middleton St. George

#2 Post by Boac » Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:11 pm

Ah! Happy memories (or should that be mammaries.... :)) ) of times there both mil and civil.

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Re: RAF Middleton St. George

#3 Post by ian16th » Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:17 pm

Boac wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:11 pm
Ah! Happy memories (or should that be mammaries.... :)) ) of times there both mil and civil.
Being a native of them parts, it never struck me as a desirable posting.

Seeing as I was almost always working on bomber kit, the chances of me getting posted there were very remote.
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Re: RAF Middleton St. George

#4 Post by Fox3WheresMyBanana » Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:18 pm

Was obliged to drop in there once for customs clearance when I brought a jet back on a weekend (there was a war on). The chaps were remarkably reluctant to poke about among all the black and yellow bits of a fully live armed aeroplane ("What's in the ammo bay?","Ammo"), and much Cyprus brandy was enjoyed afterwards ;)))

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Re: RAF Middleton St. George

#5 Post by CharlieOneSix » Thu Jul 25, 2019 2:04 pm

A great place! Back in the early 80's we used to decamp from ABZ for a few days at a time and take a particularly noisy new type of helicopter there for crew training. We were welcomed with open arms - something the local residents at ABZ did not do!

We never saw the ghost of Flying Officer Norman whilst we stayed at the old Officers' Mess, the St George Hotel...but there again we were never allocated rooms 50 or 51 which is where he embedded his Meteor in 1951.
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Re: RAF Middleton St. George

#6 Post by TheGreenGoblin » Sun Nov 17, 2019 11:33 am

CharlieOneSix wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 2:04 pm
We never saw the ghost of Flying Officer Norman whilst we stayed at the old Officers' Mess, the St George Hotel...but there again we were never allocated rooms 50 or 51 which is where he embedded his Meteor in 1951.
Slightly off topic and a belated comment but the Meteor certainly seemed to create the potential for many ghosts...
A total of 890 Meteors were lost in RAF service (145 of these crashes occurring in 1953 alone), resulting in the deaths of 450 pilots. Contributory factors in the number of crashes were the poor brakes, failure of the landing gear, the high fuel consumption and consequent short flight endurance (less than one hour), causing pilots to run out of fuel, and difficult handling with one engine out due to the widely set engines. The casualty rate was exacerbated by the lack of ejection seats in early series Meteors; the ground-breaking high speed that the aircraft was capable of meant that, during the bailing out process, pilots were typically subject to high g forces hindering movement and the effect of slipstream winds; there was also a greater likelihood of the pilot striking the horizontal tailplane. Ejection seats were fitted in the later F.8, FR.9, PR.10 and some experimental Meteors.The difficulty of bailing out of the Meteor has been noted by pilots during development, reporting several contributing design factors such as the limited size and relative position of the cockpit to the rest of the aircraft, and difficulty in using the two-lever jettisonable hood mechanism.

from Wikipedia

I suppose given all of the above, and that as the first operational jet in RAF service, the book on SOPS and training in a jet had to be written from scratch by pilots who had no prior experience of jet aircraft themselves, only added to the toll.
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Re: RAF Middleton St. George

#7 Post by Capetonian » Sun Nov 17, 2019 12:26 pm



One of the greatest ghost stories ever. Refers to 'Merriam St George.'
RAF Merriam St George - a bit of poetic licence, I suppose, refers to RAF Middleton St George, Middleton on Teesside, now MME, Teesside International, Durham Tees Valley Airport.
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Re: RAF Middleton St. George

#8 Post by Fox3WheresMyBanana » Sun Nov 17, 2019 2:16 pm

This story is played every year at 6:30pm EST on Christmas Eve on CBC Radio. That's why there's a Canadian reading it.

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Re: RAF Middleton St. George

#9 Post by Capetonian » Sun Nov 17, 2019 2:24 pm

It's one of my Christmas rituals to settle down with a hefty tumbler of the best Scotch on hand and listen to this story. I never tire of the story, nor of Alan Maitland's voice and accent.
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Re: RAF Middleton St. George

#10 Post by Fox3WheresMyBanana » Sun Nov 17, 2019 2:51 pm

Me too!

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Re: RAF Middleton St. George

#11 Post by Pontius Navigator » Sun Nov 17, 2019 4:09 pm

TGG, in the NF(T)14, no bang seats and no great emphasis on bailout drills. With 3 tanks our high level trips were about 1.30. Low level, flown at 360kts (great fun) was one hour.

One aircraft on a landaway at Leuchars had a ventral tank leak and had to transit back dirty on internals. Leuchars, Acklington, MStG, Leconfield, Stradishall.

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Re: RAF Middleton St. George

#12 Post by ian16th » Sun Nov 17, 2019 5:43 pm

Pontius Navigator wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 4:09 pm
One aircraft on a landaway at Leuchars had a ventral tank leak and had to transit back dirty on internals. Leuchars, Acklington, MStG, Leconfield, Stradishall.
Did you learn how to use a tank spanner?
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Re: RAF Middleton St. George

#13 Post by Pontius Navigator » Sun Nov 17, 2019 6:30 pm

It was only a 4 week fast jet phase at the end of nav school. Everything was process oriented and spanners belonged to engineers.

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Re: RAF Middleton St. George

#14 Post by ian16th » Sun Nov 17, 2019 8:49 pm

Pontius Navigator wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 6:30 pm
It was only a 4 week fast jet phase at the end of nav school. Everything was process oriented and spanners belonged to engineers.
Vampires and Meteors were the last a/c that were fuelled over the wing.

The tank caps were screwed in place and each a/c carried a 'tank spanner' to remove and replace these caps. These were useful and sought after tools, but aircrew were diligent in checking that they were stowed in their correct position.
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Re: RAF Middleton St. George

#15 Post by k3k3 » Sun Nov 17, 2019 11:49 pm

Canberra's were refuelled over wing, or better said three fuselage tanks and the tip tanks were open line, start with the forward tank and work your way back, then the tip tanks remembering to position the steps to avoid embarrassment when the oleo settled and the tank dropped two feet, apart from that it was just like filling up your car.

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Re: RAF Middleton St. George

#16 Post by Ex-Ascot » Tue Nov 19, 2019 6:24 am

We used to operate the A300-600 with Monarch out of there to take yobs on holiday.
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