BOAC in the old days

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TheGreenGoblin
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Re: BOAC in the old days

#21 Post by TheGreenGoblin » Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:54 am

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Re: BOAC in the old days

#22 Post by TheGreenGoblin » Sat Aug 01, 2020 1:51 pm

In the pantheon of the Gods...

A list of some of the Imperial Flying Boat Captains and other types of deities from all across the Empire including (me being a South African chauvinist) Cape Town's (or Paarl's) Capt Rhinhold Ferdinand Caspareuthus...

Pilots of Imperial Airlines - Above Olympus

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Re: BOAC in the old days

#23 Post by Pontius Navigator » Sat Aug 01, 2020 2:45 pm

Flying with overnight stops was the way to travel, none of this metal tube stuff. Even in the Vulcan we did it the civilised imperial style departing at 10am arriving in time for afternoon tea or breakfast depending on which way we went.

One day, driving down the road we overtook a flying boat (as you do), actually a bit of a flying boat on a low loader. Years later I think it was the same one I saw at the RAF Museum. It was an amazing piece of joinery smooth wood all highly polished. I think it was a Southampton with open cockpits. There was an open hatch for the boatswain to handle the mooring, aft of the pilots was an open area for the navigator. His table was of wicker construction as was his chair.

Then there were the Sunderlands complete with galley, washroom and bunks.

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Re: BOAC in the old days

#24 Post by ian16th » Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:42 pm

Pontius Navigator wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 2:45 pm
Then there were the Sunderlands complete with galley, washroom and bunks.
At RAF Lindhome BoB Day 1954, a Sunderland flying over low & slow, was part of the display.
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Re: BOAC in the old days

#25 Post by Pontius Navigator » Sat Aug 01, 2020 6:11 pm

Ah, days when everywhere had a BoB day.
A friend of mine said let's go. I had no idea. We cycled off to Hooton Park where an RAuxAF unit were doing their own thing when over a thousand people turned up.
They put out a call for any passing trade. One I remember was a Shackleton that had come off a display at Sealand.
It closed in 1957, I was at school on '56 so it must have been 54 or 55.

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Re: BOAC in the old days

#26 Post by Pontius Navigator » Sat Aug 01, 2020 6:15 pm

Not sure the operators but we had regular ancient aircraft out of Speke for the Isle of Man. Bristol Freighter and later a Carvair, also a regular Dragon Rapide.
Must have cost a fortune flying your car across and same for Lydd to Le Touquet. Flying really was for the rich in those days.

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Re: BOAC in the old days

#27 Post by G-CPTN » Sat Aug 01, 2020 6:40 pm

Pontius Navigator wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 6:15 pm
cost a fortune flying your car across and same for Lydd to Le Touquet.
Flying really was for the rich in those days.
Indeed, but there were sufficient rich people to fill the few places on the aircraft (until the Hovercraft arrived).

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Re: BOAC in the old days

#28 Post by Pontius Navigator » Sat Aug 01, 2020 6:47 pm

We used to use the Hovercraft. We used to travel first class. It was ego boosting. On arrival, just like an aircraft, there was a surge for the exit. We were led out by a stewardess "make way for the first class passengers"

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Re: BOAC in the old days

#29 Post by ExSp33db1rd » Sun Aug 02, 2020 3:46 am

Ah! But some remember those days with fondness and most were not as arrogant as that.
Agreed, but we only remember the ones that were ! I'm happy to have "learned my trade" at the hands of many of the old timers, and now remember the antics of the few notable ones. I've mentioned elsewhere that if I had survived four years of being sat at the front of a Lancaster, or similar, being shot at all the time, I too might well have developed the same domineering attitude, who knows ? Also, later in life one of my colleagues reminded me that some of the old timers couldn't manage an IFR instrument let-down to save their lives ( some of them ) but pop out of cloud too high, too fast, not lined up, not configured for the approach and say " the runway's over there, Sir" (never forgetting the Sir ! ) they would straighten up and fly an immaculate visual approach to a perfect landing, but ask some of the young co-pilots we were teaching to do that from minima on an ILS approach, after performing a copy book instrument let down, and .... !! Horse for Courses I guess. Sometimes I wish that these days my microlight students would put their iPhones down for a few seconds and actually fly the damned thing. ( yes, some m/light a/c do have Garmin GPS controlled autopilots ! )

O.P. Jones. You will see from the photographs that his Captain's uniform only bore three gold rings. I was told that he was once at a foreign airport when he saw a USA airline captain, considerably younger than himself, walking through the passenger terminal in a uniform bearing four rings. He was apparently so incensed that someone so young, and a foreigner at that, was so decorated, that he was instrumental in getting the BOAC Captains uniform changed. Can't verify the story of course, but highly probable.

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Re: BOAC in the old days

#30 Post by Rossian » Sun Aug 02, 2020 2:46 pm

Some of the old arrogance did hang over into the BA of today. A mate of mine, a civilian instructor, told me of one of his latter students, a young lady who was as sharp as a barrel of monkeys and good at driving the a/c too.
When she fronted up for her first line flight she was rostered with one of the crusty old remnants who looked at her sourly and informed her that the best thing about her was between her legs, harrumph. Quick as a flash she came back with "Captain, the LEAST useful thing about you is what is between your legs, shall we start the check list?" Not a very chatty trip to follow. My informant, not exactly an example of "wokeness" and sensitivity himself, admitted that he raised his hat to her spirit. I wonder where she is now? (and,no, I don't know her name).

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Re: BOAC in the old days

#31 Post by Pontius Navigator » Sun Aug 02, 2020 3:07 pm

ExSp, I have flown with a fair number of bemedaled veterans and know of only one PITA BoB Ace and Air Marshal. As driver's airframe on our nav course these pilots, including Poles, were unfailingly polite and helpful. In contrast some of the younger English pilots could be bloody awkward. When I was in training we often flew unscreened, an awkward sod could destroy a below average stude.

Years later I was instructing and my stude perpetual called left when he meant right. My pilot, without consulting me, when ordered to turn left to Aberdeen on a practice diversion did exactly that and did a 270 degree turn.

What he also did was completely stuffed up the Aberdeen procedure as we were now critical in fuel and had to get priority for a direct approach.

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Re: BOAC in the old days

#32 Post by ian16th » Sun Aug 02, 2020 4:29 pm

Pontius Navigator wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 3:07 pm
As driver's airframe on our nav course these pilots, including Poles, were unfailingly polite and helpful.
PN,
Were there still many Polish NCO pilots at Lindholme, when you wet through BCBS?

We had quite a few when I was there.

One guy, his name sounded like 'Pianocheck', was a Lincoln driver, he was renowned for flying a Lincoln like a Spitfire.
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Re: BOAC in the old days

#33 Post by TheGreenGoblin » Sun Aug 02, 2020 4:56 pm

Pontius Navigator wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 3:07 pm
ExSp, I have flown with a fair number of bemedaled veterans and know of only one PITA BoB Ace and Air Marshal. As driver's airframe on our nav course these pilots, including Poles, were unfailingly polite and helpful. In contrast some of the younger English pilots could be bloody awkward. When I was in training we often flew unscreened, an awkward sod could destroy a below average stude.

Years later I was instructing and my stude perpetual called left when he meant right. My pilot, without consulting me, when ordered to turn left to Aberdeen on a practice diversion did exactly that and did a 270 degree turn.

What he also did was completely stuffed up the Aberdeen procedure as we were now critical in fuel and had to get priority for a direct approach.
Chirally or left-right confused. Apparently Antoine de Saint-Exupéry may have suffered from this syndrome...

I suspect he may have tended to be a dreamer at some stages of his flying career which resulted in some serious accidents.

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Re: BOAC in the old days

#34 Post by G-CPTN » Sun Aug 02, 2020 5:02 pm

"Army right!"

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Re: BOAC in the old days

#35 Post by Pontius Navigator » Sun Aug 02, 2020 5:16 pm

Ian, indeed, I would need to check my log book for Hastings drivers but in 67 there were still Poles on the Varsity Sqn

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Re: BOAC in the old days

#36 Post by ian16th » Sun Aug 02, 2020 8:45 pm

Pontius Navigator wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 5:16 pm
Ian, indeed, I would need to check my log book for Hastings drivers but in 67 there were still Poles on the Varsity Sqn
So BCBS did split the squadrons by a/c type eventually?

While I was there we had 2 squadrons, each with a mix of Varsity's and Lincoln's.

At least with Hastings & Varsity's all of the engines were Hercules.
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Re: BOAC in the old days

#37 Post by Pontius Navigator » Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:18 pm

Yes, the Hastings did simulated radar bombing for V-Force Nav Radar and the Varsity for visual bombing for V-Force Nav Plotters, Canberras and Argosy. I blagged my way onto the Visual course as I was going to become a Weapons Officer.
Checked my log books, I was wrong, no Poles on either type in my log book but there had been on Varsity and Meteor at Nav School.

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Re: BOAC in the old days

#38 Post by ExSp33db1rd » Mon Aug 03, 2020 5:07 am

Polish Captains ? Recall flying as co-pilot with one, nice guy but his English wasn't the best. I could understand flight deck commands, like "Gear Up" however he pronounced it, but light conversation was impossible. Flying from Karachi to Teheran I attempted, hopelessly, to contact Teheran on HF with no result. Eventually, in frustration I threw my headset off and muttered some profanity. He said " Let me try, my friend " What followed was totally incomprehensible to me, as he attempted to call Teheran Radio in a garbled Polish/English accent. Teheran came straight back, at which he handed the job back to me to request clearance etc. from them. When I had finished I said : "You bastard, how'd you do that, I've been trying for ages " He just smiled and said " It's the way you hold your lips, my friend "

Do you remember the one ( not Polish ) who delayed the 9.00 pm BOAC Stratocruiser First Class Monarch Service to New York, whilst he caught a bus to his home in Reading and back ( not even BOAC Captains could afford a car in those days ) to get another pair of uniform trousers 'cos someone had stolen his from the locker he kept at the crew reporting office ? Crew scheduling told him not to bother, they would call out the standby. You DO NOT use the standby, this is MY Monarch service tonight, he retorted. That hit the London Evening Standard of the time next day, BOAC Captain delays Monarch service to collect his trousers, was the headline.

Unfortunately I have to name one to complete this tale. One Captain Burt had a reputation for shouting his requests and demands, and earned the nickname of "Barker Burt." One day a new stewardess appeared on the flight deck with the crew tea and coffee, and said " Here's your tea, Captain Barker" At this he swung around and said "My name's not Barker, it's Burt". "Oh ! hello Bert, she said, my names Jane, pleased to meet you"

Fill in your own blanks to imagine his response !!

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Re: BOAC in the old days

#39 Post by TheGreenGoblin » Mon Aug 03, 2020 5:29 am

ExSp33db1rd wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 5:07 am
Polish Captains ? Recall flying as co-pilot with one, nice guy but his English wasn't the best. I could understand flight deck commands, like "Gear Up" however he pronounced it, but light conversation was impossible. Flying from Karachi to Teheran I attempted, hopelessly, to contact Teheran on HF with no result. Eventually, in frustration I threw my headset off and muttered some profanity. He said " Let me try, my friend " What followed was totally incomprehensible to me, as he attempted to call Teheran Radio in a garbled Polish/English accent. Teheran came straight back, at which he handed the job back to me to request clearance etc. from them. When I had finished I said : "You bastard, how'd you do that, I've been trying for ages " He just smiled and said " It's the way you hold your lips, my friend "

Do you remember the one ( not Polish ) who delayed the 9.00 pm BOAC Stratocruiser First Class Monarch Service to New York, whilst he caught a bus to his home in Reading and back ( not even BOAC Captains could afford a car in those days ) to get another pair of uniform trousers 'cos someone had stolen his from the locker he kept at the crew reporting office ? Crew scheduling told him not to bother, they would call out the standby. You DO NOT use the standby, this is MY Monarch service tonight, he retorted. That hit the London Evening Standard of the time next day, BOAC Captain delays Monarch service to collect his trousers, was the headline.

Unfortunately I have to name one to complete this tale. One Captain Burt had a reputation for shouting his requests and demands, and earned the nickname of "Barker Burt." One day a new stewardess appeared on the flight deck with the crew tea and coffee, and said " Here's your tea, Captain Barker" At this he swung around and said "My name's not Barker, it's Burt". "Oh ! hello Bert, she said, my names Jane, pleased to meet you" Fill in your own blanks !!


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Re: BOAC in the old days

#40 Post by FD2 » Mon Aug 03, 2020 5:45 am

About 1958 as an 11 year old my dearest wish was to visit Heathrow and have a goof at the aircraft. My great uncle obliged during a visit to London and we went up to the open observation deck where all these amazing machines were standing around in front of us. Pride of place in my mind went to the Stratocruisers of BOAC which I thought were amazing. Also in the mix were Comets and Caravelles. I can't remember any more as I've lost my 'spotter's' book :( but just to be in the open air with all that activity around me has stuck in my mind, as well as the glamour of the crews we passed in the terminal on our way back to the car park.

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