It appears he survived and became a co-pilot with British Airways Helicopters based in Sumburgh, Shetland. He flew the S61N helicopter servicing the platforms and rigs in the Brent Oil Field.
This true incident happened in the dark of a winter's morn many, many years ago. FD2 was flying for BAH at the time but I hasten to add he was not involved in the story. I'm indebted to him for the copy of the poem below. With all the huge amount of metal on an offshore platform it was usual to switch your compasses from slaved to DG whilst on deck as otherwise they could be highly inaccurate when you took off. It was normal to put the heading bug to your heading on landing as a reminder of the correct setting. For whatever reason Albert and his Captain did not realign the compasses before take off. As with nearly all northern North Sea helicopter flights they were on maximum payload and minimum fuel.
FD2 emailed this to me:
A couple of comments - there is a little bit of artistic licence - there is no way they had been flying for 3 hours before they discovered their error......and if you expect to find a woman behind every tree then you've never been to Shetland where virtually no trees exist......but on with the story.....read it as Stanley Holloway would have done it......It was night in the East Shetland Basin and they forgot to align the compass to a near correct heading and either didn't switch to compass after take off or just didn't do a rough check with the E2. Either way there was a massive discrepancy between their heading and what it should have been and they were several miles downwind to the east before they discovered the problem. As they were right on minimum fuel for Sumburgh they worked out it was Norway or bust.
. The Tale of Albert Ramsbottom
(Reproduced as a timely reminder to those who've been there, and a caution to those youngsters who haven't - yet) .
You've 'eard tell of young Albert Ramsbottom
And `ow `e were eaten by t' cat
then regurgitated just after
and you may think that that were just that —
Well Albert continued 'is learnin'
And turned out to be really bright —
The subject 'e found `e were best at
were 'elicopter theory of flight
To fly the North Sea was t' ambition
of this lad from the Lancashire slums
and 'e 'eard of an outfit at Gatwick
wot were run by unprincipled bums
BAH were the name o' that Comp'ny,
they were quite short o' pilots at t' time
so they gave to young Albert some training
and declared 'im ab-initio — on line
Now women were vital to Albert
(wot with 'im bein' batchelor free)
so they posted 'im northward to Sumburgh
where there's one be'ind every tree
Now when Albert stepped off the budgie
the weather were sunny and waarm
so they gave 'im a Captain to fly with
and assured 'im 'eed come to no 'arm
So Albert were 'appy in Shetland
Wi' ev'nins o' squash an' more beers
`e thought 'e might even be 'appy
to stay there another ten years
But winter were comin' round t' corner
Wi' fog, wind, more fog and some rain
No sweat for a young lad like Albert —
It were just like home summers again.
It 'appened one day in December
Our lad `e were workin' on 'A's
(that don't mean you 'ave to fly early,
you just get first choice of delays)
`E picked up 'is brief from Op'rations
the usual standard, no more
weather from six hours beforehand
locations from ten days before
'E worked out 'is plannin' quite carefully
the figures 'e passed back to Ops;
the Captain should be 'ere just shortly,
the charters are circlin' on top.
The Captain arrived and changed t' fuel state
The weather ('e said) wasn't good
('e were right, as they both found out later)
'ow 'e knew Albert never understood
The Captain, `e then took young Albert
to t' coffee bar just up the way
"If tha wants to get hands on t' controls, lad
it's two coffees and your turn to pay!"
Ops finally got it together
The flight was all ready, they said,
but no one had told t' engineers yet
and t' aircraft were still in the shed.
Some time later they boarded the aircraft
later still and the start crew arrived
even later and most things were working
(if I'd said 'all' you'd know that I lied).
They taxied across the main runway
for a passenger spot at Wilsness
nineteen pax, eighteen seats and no loader
"by gum" said our lad "what a mess".
One last problem could be air traffic
they'd face yet another delay
but they're told if they look where they're going
they're clear to take off straight away.
So dodging the charters on finals
they vibrated their way into t' blue
all went well till they reached Kilo 50
and narrowly missed Watchdog Two.
The Brent was it's usual confusion
the paperwork quickly built up;
refreshments provided by Alpha
(cold black coffee in white paper cups).
The return trip were goin' quite slowly
and soon it were perfectly plain
that young Albert's plannin' were faulty
and they might not see Shetland again.
They'd been flyin' for over three hours
when suddenly Albert exclaimed
"I think this 'ere kite's flyin' backwards,
but I don't see how I can be blamed!"
The aircraft continued to travel
and seein' the sea in their track,
the Captain were restive wi' Albert
as 'e didn't know 'ow they'd get back.
At last they saw land down beneath them
and the Captain (a lad wi' some skill)
made an excellent landin' wi t' wheels up;
bent t' hull in two places but still.........
They found that they'd landed in Bergen
and Management gave them both hell
but t' Captain told Albert "Don't worry,
we can claim for a dinner as well!"