Nimrod Stuff

Message
Author
Pontius Navigator
Chief Pilot
Chief Pilot
Posts: 7684
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:17 am
Location: EGXJ Lincolnshire
Gender:
Age: 77

Re: Nimrod Stuff

#21 Post by Pontius Navigator » Fri Mar 13, 2020 9:39 pm

UP, until you mentioned it I had quite forgotten that callsign though we did innumerable Tapestry sorties. It was jointly funded by Age and Fish (70%) and Department of Energy (30%) and together they funded a Nimrod.

Whenever we had nothing better to do, or were near the rigs, we would log the time and bill DoE.

User avatar
G~Man
Snr FO
Snr FO
Posts: 217
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2015 4:16 pm
Location: Northern California or on a fire somewhere.
Gender:
Age: 57

Re: Nimrod Stuff

#22 Post by G~Man » Fri Mar 13, 2020 10:32 pm

Pontius Navigator wrote:
Fri Mar 13, 2020 9:39 pm
UP, until you mentioned it I had quite forgotten that callsign though we did innumerable Tapestry sorties.
Ahhhh the many hours flying around the North Sea at 200' looking at fishing boats.... Those were the days..... Standard NATO tea and honkers stew in the oven.....
B-) Life may not be the party you hoped for, but while you're here, you may as well dance. B-)

Pontius Navigator
Chief Pilot
Chief Pilot
Posts: 7684
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:17 am
Location: EGXJ Lincolnshire
Gender:
Age: 77

Re: Nimrod Stuff

#23 Post by Pontius Navigator » Sat Mar 14, 2020 8:40 am

G~man, remember one pea soup day checking rigs, no idea what we hoped to find. Called up by a chopper who asked what the weather was: "base 200, vis about 1-2 miles."

May as well go home he said, my platform is 300. As I said we loved that DoE was paying. Just worked out the rate, about 2p/mile or £4/min. 😁

User avatar
CharlieOneSix
Chief Pilot
Chief Pilot
Posts: 2872
Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2015 12:58 pm
Location: NE Scotland
Gender:
Age: 76

Re: Nimrod Stuff

#24 Post by CharlieOneSix » Sat Mar 14, 2020 10:41 am

Back in the mid/late 70's we were detached to Penzance Heliport flying to the Wimpey Sealab drilling ship many miles west of the Scillies. It was very comforting at weekends in the winter when not a lot was happening aviation wise in those parts to have a passing Nimrod offer a flight watch....
The helicopter pilots' mantra: If it hasn't gone wrong then it's just about to...
https://www.glenbervie-weather.org

User avatar
Undried Plum
Chief Pilot
Chief Pilot
Posts: 3124
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2018 8:45 pm
Location: 56°N 4°W

Re: Nimrod Stuff

#25 Post by Undried Plum » Sat Mar 14, 2020 12:36 pm

On my first day aboard Piper I was given an extensive tour of the whole platform by the OIM. I very clearly remember him saying "If this thing catches fire it'll be like a large nuclear bomb."

Immediately below the accommodation was the process machinery which cleaned up the oil so it was fit to be sent through the export line to Flotta. The system had been designed for up to a quarter of a million barrels per day, but the actual throughput was over 360,000bpd. They put so much oil through that line, and at such a very high pressure, that they actually burst the hydrocouple half-way to Flotta. The DoE ordered a Nimrod to keep a continuous watch on the repair operation 24x7 until a repair was effected.

Incidentally, the film Local Hero was very firmly based on the acquisition of the land for the Flotta terminal. The megalomaniacal oil tycoon had his name changed from Armand Hammer to Arnold Happer to keep the lawyers happy. The gangly young mutlilingual Scots Surveyor had the spelling of his (my, actually) surname slightly altered and many of the other characters were based on real people too.

Emergency evacuation was to be by helicopter, not lifeboats. Part of my job was to co-ordinate those flights until I dropped, then hand over control to Watchdog . When the General Alarm was sounded the procedure for people inside the accommodation was to gather at the foot of the wooden (!) staircases and await the Abandonment signal from the Control Room. Then to go upstairs in groups of 19 for the 61s and 9 for the 212s and be ferried either to the adjacent floatel or to Claymore. On that dreadful night the first explosion took out the Control Room and killed the operators, so there never was an Abandonment Alarm. Anyway, the fire was so intense that there was no prospect of landing a helicopter on the helideck.

I'd moved on a decade before the fire, but I worked on the body recovery for a couple weeks. Bloody grim.

Rescue 137 had a film crew aboard who disembarked aboard Tharos (floatel and rescue/firefighting vessel). Here's the resultant film:

Boac
Chief Pilot
Chief Pilot
Posts: 9738
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 5:12 pm
Location: Here

Re: Nimrod Stuff

#26 Post by Boac » Sat Mar 14, 2020 1:34 pm

We had a co in DanAir whose son went out on a 3 day college 'famil' and never returned. Devastating for all.

User avatar
CharlieOneSix
Chief Pilot
Chief Pilot
Posts: 2872
Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2015 12:58 pm
Location: NE Scotland
Gender:
Age: 76

Re: Nimrod Stuff

#27 Post by CharlieOneSix » Sat Mar 14, 2020 1:43 pm

I had a small part in the Piper Alpha night as relayed here: viewtopic.php?p=137923#p137923. I've said it many times but the radio op on the Tharos fire fighting vessel deserved formal recognition for the way he handled things for many hours. We arrived on scene at about 2300 but without a winch we could do nothing and the Nimrod asked us to shut down on the Ocean Victory to await instructions whilst the winch equipped helos did their job. It was about 0300 we departed for Aberdeen Royal Infirmary with 3 stretcher cases, 4 walking wounded and a couple of medics.

I wrote a more detailed story of the night for a yet to be published book about North Sea oil/gas exploration.

That's us arriving at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary in G-BKFN in this video at 2:12....
The helicopter pilots' mantra: If it hasn't gone wrong then it's just about to...
https://www.glenbervie-weather.org

User avatar
Undried Plum
Chief Pilot
Chief Pilot
Posts: 3124
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2018 8:45 pm
Location: 56°N 4°W

Re: Nimrod Stuff

#28 Post by Undried Plum » Sat Mar 14, 2020 1:50 pm

I lost a very good friend in that fire. He was a Survey technician and bloody good. His Surveyor, whom I also know very well, had just sent him across to the platform from Tharos to re-align an Artemis unit when the first explosion occurred. The Surveyor was beside himself with grief and an irrational feeling of guilt.

User avatar
Undried Plum
Chief Pilot
Chief Pilot
Posts: 3124
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2018 8:45 pm
Location: 56°N 4°W

Re: Nimrod Stuff

#29 Post by Undried Plum » Sat Mar 14, 2020 2:21 pm

I think it's worth mentioning the extraordinary heroism of the standby boat crew Silver Pit. The MOBboat repeatedly went in to the fire to rescue men from the lower deck and the boat landing stage. Two of them lost their lives. Several (I think five) George Medals were awarded to those men.

User avatar
FD2
Chief Pilot
Chief Pilot
Posts: 2249
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2015 10:11 pm
Location: The South Island
Gender:
Age: 73

Re: Nimrod Stuff

#30 Post by FD2 » Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:16 am

Harrowing watching it in that clip. I remember sitting rotors running on deck one day for a crew change when they had to change over flares as the heat and fumes were blowing back across the helideck. Even through the cockpit windows it was warm on our faces. Someone fired the Very pistol across the unlit gas which had been turned on a few seconds before and it ignited like the 'towering inferno'. I looked at the HLO and said "I wouldn't like his job." He replied "He doesn't like his job either", and that heat from the newly ignited flare really felt like it was burning our faces till they turned it down a bit. To see that big explosion on the film makes the hairs stand up on my neck. I was away from North Sea work by the time of the disaster.

I was not impressed by that strange and mysterious man Armand Hammer when I flew him from Aberdeen to Kirkwall and then on to Flotta. He only had eyes for Margaret Thatcher and possible UK investment in Oxy.
Don't worry about avoiding temptation. As you grow older, it will avoid you. - Sir Winston Churchill

User avatar
TheGreenGoblin
Chief Pilot
Chief Pilot
Posts: 5863
Joined: Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:02 pm
Location: Little-Storping-in-the-Swuff

Re: Nimrod Stuff

#31 Post by TheGreenGoblin » Fri May 15, 2020 3:12 am

Have been reading about some of the incidents and accidents that befell the Nimrod.

This incident and the ensuing outcome tickled my funny bone...

This was quite literally a cock up...
Besides servicing misfortunes there were flying events which might well have ended in disaster but didn’t. One particular incident was the case popularly known as ‘the 80-ton glider’. I have mentioned before that crew drills were the reason that the Nimrod worked, with separate acoustics, radar and ESM all feeding in to the tactical navigator. But pilot drills were also very important; an MR1 was on patrol at night at 12,000 ft and the two outboard engines had been stopped to give optimum time on cruise. The co-pilot was flying the aircraft and the captain was talking to the tactical navigator. The air engineer was trying to re-attach some piping lying on the floor. There was a loud bang and No 2 engine surged. The exhaust gas temperature suddenly went off the clock and the co-pilot decided he had better shut the engine down quickly. He reached down and shut the second high pressure cock from the left, unfortunately forgetting that the No 1 engine high pressure cock was already closed. No 2 engine then No 1 failed completely so that with the good engine having been stopped by the co-pilot the aircraft became a heavyweight glider. The next thing that happened was that the lights went out so the air engineer thought there had been a total generator failure which was absolutely correct but, of course, not due to an electrical fault and he started going through his drills. The co-pilot, not sure what was going on, luckily continued to fly the aircraft and started to descend to keep the airspeed up. The captain appeared at high speed to find out what was happening while the engineer was swearing at the co-pilot asking what the ‘fxxxxxx xxxk’was going on. The captain sized up the situation straightaway and did windmill relights on the outboard engines knowing that those engines had to be good as they had been shut down. By the time the aircraft reached 5,000 ft the aircraft was no longer a glider and a rather subdued crew returned to Kinloss. In those days crew drills had not been perfected, human error was not recognised, discipline had to be maintained and somebody had to be court martialled. The legal department first thought of having a go at the engineer for swearing at an officer but on second thoughts went for the co-pilot.

Quoting Bill Speight in Flight Safety Magazine: “Throughout my long association with the RAF the legal branch has not been one of the most successful elements and this court martial was definitely not one of their finest hours. An incident during the hearing probably destroyed any hope of anyone taking it seriously. The air engineer was called to the stand and on cross examination by the prosecution got himself into a bit of a Tiz Waz. He was under the impression that the judge advocate, who was dressed in his entire regalia including his legal wig, was like the judge one sees in a legal court. When asked by the prosecutor to whom he was addressing his remarks, the air engineer replied:

“‘That gentleman over there.’ “‘What gentleman?’shouted the frustrated prosecutor. “‘The one wearing the sheep skin headset’ replied the beleaguered engineer.”

Apparently this brought the whole court into hysterics and the case was dismissed shortly afterwards, not because of the air engineer, but because there were no procedures in place to guard against human error. After that standard operating procedures ensured that no engine could be shut down without confirmation by another crewmember.
Ref: Nimrod Rise and Fall - Tony Blackman
A boy has never wept nor dashed a thousand kin you can play jacks. Girls do that with a soft ball and do tricks with it.

Pontius Navigator
Chief Pilot
Chief Pilot
Posts: 7684
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:17 am
Location: EGXJ Lincolnshire
Gender:
Age: 77

Re: Nimrod Stuff

#32 Post by Pontius Navigator » Fri May 15, 2020 6:52 am

Nice one TGG.

Abort? The take off brief was along the lines of:

Any flight deck crew member noticing a malfunction before V1 call abort. Any other crewmember report concisely on crew intercom.

Now it so happened that this trip was some sort of pilot trainer and down the back, in the galley, was a spare pilot, the Australian exchange officer.

It was a not untypical Kinloss day, cold, grey and wet. As the aircraft accelerated water streamed back over the windows in pleasing shades of orange and red, illuminated by the anti-cols.

Our antipodean hero, only ever used to calling Abort from his Sim sessions reacted as trained, as did the flight deck crew. I don't know whether they had passed V 1 but it was pretty close.

Pontius Navigator
Chief Pilot
Chief Pilot
Posts: 7684
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:17 am
Location: EGXJ Lincolnshire
Gender:
Age: 77

Re: Nimrod Stuff

#33 Post by Pontius Navigator » Fri May 15, 2020 6:59 am

Not to denigrate the Australians, one of whom lost his life executing a landing in the forest after a massive bird strike. Both pilots on the flight deck died, the rest survived.

Not long before the stn cdr had said that we were overdue the loss of an aircraft. The number bought had uncle attrition losses and after 10 years he said we were due a crash.

Noel Anthony was awarded a posthumous AFC.

User avatar
G~Man
Snr FO
Snr FO
Posts: 217
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2015 4:16 pm
Location: Northern California or on a fire somewhere.
Gender:
Age: 57

Re: Nimrod Stuff

#34 Post by G~Man » Fri May 15, 2020 5:16 pm

I flew with Bill Speight a couple of times.....from what I remember, there was always laughter.

I was on NFTC for my last 3 years in the mob, (Nimrod Flight Trials Unit), we we technically under 18 Group HQ and not Kinloss, although we were physically based at Kinloss. Our crew was a little "different", in that we were commanded by Sqn Ldr McGrory, an AEO vs a pilot Captain. We were also more relaxed than most other crews, (dress, attitude, etc).

I remember one flight, we had a visiting pilot acting as P1 as our primary P1 was sick. This visiting pilot was not accustomed to our "lax attitude". After about 6 hours in mid-atlantic, the following conversation occurred:

Radar Operator: "Captain, Radar, the radar is fuc*ed, give me a few minutes and we will have it back on line".

Visiting P1: "Radar, that is not the correct way to say these things.... one should say "Captain, Radar, I have a problem with the radar, give me a few minutes and we will have it back on line".

Radar Operator: "Ooops sorry P1, ......... Captain, Radar, I have a problem with the radar, give me a few minutes and we will have it back on line".

Visiting P1: "Thank you radar, what appears to be the problem"

Radar: (you all know what is coming), "No clue---it's fuc*ed".

Another time, we had a co-pilot, (P2), who was not that well liked, we had been flying about 9 hours I think, with in-flight re-fueling, not much chatter on the intercom until:

P1: "Oh, a shooting star---did you see that?"

P2: "Damn, missed it, did you make a wish?"

Someone in back, (we all knew it was McGrory, but he never admitted it): "Are you still here?".

Some of the best times I ever had were part of NFTC flying Nimrods. Behold our crew "leg" that would hold about 3 or 4 pints of beer when full:
10339377_10203783477487409_9011222511804129835_o.jpg
10339377_10203783477487409_9011222511804129835_o.jpg (50.43 KiB) Viewed 134 times
B-) Life may not be the party you hoped for, but while you're here, you may as well dance. B-)

User avatar
TheGreenGoblin
Chief Pilot
Chief Pilot
Posts: 5863
Joined: Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:02 pm
Location: Little-Storping-in-the-Swuff

Re: Nimrod Stuff

#35 Post by TheGreenGoblin » Fri May 15, 2020 5:25 pm

Now that bloke really is pulling somebody's leg... =))
A boy has never wept nor dashed a thousand kin you can play jacks. Girls do that with a soft ball and do tricks with it.

User avatar
G~Man
Snr FO
Snr FO
Posts: 217
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2015 4:16 pm
Location: Northern California or on a fire somewhere.
Gender:
Age: 57

Re: Nimrod Stuff

#36 Post by G~Man » Fri May 15, 2020 5:40 pm

TheGreenGoblin wrote:
Fri May 15, 2020 5:25 pm
Now that bloke really is pulling somebody's leg... =))
That would be me.....in a former life...... And here when the "leg" was full....
004-1.jpg
B-) Life may not be the party you hoped for, but while you're here, you may as well dance. B-)

Pontius Navigator
Chief Pilot
Chief Pilot
Posts: 7684
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:17 am
Location: EGXJ Lincolnshire
Gender:
Age: 77

Re: Nimrod Stuff

#37 Post by Pontius Navigator » Sat Jul 18, 2020 7:55 am

Couple of dits:

One day a luckless submariner, one of ours, was spotted by an oil rig support Help out of Sumburgh. C16 or mate maybe called it in on Common and before you could say I wonder if . . . And the Watchdog Nimrod was there like a terrier after a rat. He was soon joined by a second not wishing to miss the fun. Voice in the they "you look like bees round a honeypot down there."

Another time, our ex-cookout was in a Jetstream doing his multi-engine refresher training prior to leaving the air force and going civi. Don't know how he swung that one. Anyway 'Rusty' Ironside and his instructor were bimbling along down Ramsay Sound towards Kyle of Lochalsh when Rusty spotted the periscope. Regardless of being in a danger area Rusty immediately went into a screaming Jesus around a periscope. The IP, not being ex-kipper was a bit surprised.

I saw Rusty a few years later, white shirt, 4-bars, still grinning.

Boac
Chief Pilot
Chief Pilot
Posts: 9738
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 5:12 pm
Location: Here

Re: Nimrod Stuff

#38 Post by Boac » Sat Jul 18, 2020 9:50 am

Not sure what a 'cookout' is, but 'free' 'civvy licence' multi-training on an RAF aircraft was pretty much the norm for 'multi' pilots leaving the RAF in my day - not, of course, for fast-jetters. All very useful and financially advantageous. We had to pay at a flying school for our ratings. Cost me £3000 in 1982.

Pontius Navigator
Chief Pilot
Chief Pilot
Posts: 7684
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:17 am
Location: EGXJ Lincolnshire
Gender:
Age: 77

Re: Nimrod Stuff

#39 Post by Pontius Navigator » Sat Jul 18, 2020 9:58 am

Cookout = copilot
Cookin was the duty knocker in the galley
Once the food was ready it was cookout to the copilot.

I admit to making some of that up. But while we all enjoyed hot meals we always fed the pilots separately and with different main meals. I think we did have a problem with a fish dish once.

The US flight rationing was interesting with an eat by time on the box which was often before departure time.

User avatar
CharlieOneSix
Chief Pilot
Chief Pilot
Posts: 2872
Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2015 12:58 pm
Location: NE Scotland
Gender:
Age: 76

Re: Nimrod Stuff

#40 Post by CharlieOneSix » Sat Jul 18, 2020 10:37 am

Boac wrote:
Sat Jul 18, 2020 9:50 am
....... 'free' 'civvy licence' multi-training on an RAF aircraft was pretty much the norm for 'multi' pilots leaving the RAF in my day......
Same in the RN for helicopter pilots when I left. The only type that had a civvie equivalent in those days was the basic training Hiller 12E so it was back to 705 Squadron amongst the studes for 3 hours flying. The Senior Pilot did the final flight and had CAA authority to sign off the 1179 to get it on the licence. Never flew the 12E again.
The helicopter pilots' mantra: If it hasn't gone wrong then it's just about to...
https://www.glenbervie-weather.org

Post Reply