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Post Info TOPIC: Pilot [Hastings]


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RE: Pilot [Hastings]


HASTINGS C MARK 1  527  VAERLOSE NORWAY 8 16 MAY 1967

DATE: 8-16 MAY 1967

PLACE: VAERLOSE, NORWAY

AIRCRAFT: HASTINGS C MK1  527

CREW: FG OFF DACOSTA (CAPT) FG Off TILLOTSON (CO PILOT) FG OFF ? (NAV)

 

The route was Colerne - Gadermoen ( Denmark) Vaerlose (Norway) for a night stop then return to Colerne direct the following day. Before engine start on the return journey, the engineer spotted an oil leak from the number 4 propeller boss. On removal of the spinner, with tools loaned from the local Braathens Safe  airline, he founds that the leak was more serious than originally thought a sealing O ring had obviously failed.

As a result of priority signals passed to base, after a couple of days we received a prop spanner and a couple of O rings. The engineer, who was working above and beyond duty fitted one of the O rings and tightened the prop boss nut. The manual specified tightening to 500ft/lbs. As we had no torque wrench we borrowed a length of stout piping from the local aircraft engineering workshops which we placed as a sleeve over the handles of the prop spanner.

The lightest member of the crew was the navigator who weighed in at about 140lbs. We got hold of an empty orange box, stood the navigator on it and told him to hang onto the extended spanner handle as we kicked the box away. This highly technical procedure resulted in a torque of at least 500ft/lbs (4 x 150 = 600). On the subsequent engine run, oil sprayed everywhere! We discovered that the wrong O rings had been sent Beverley instead of Hastings!

While awaiting the arrival of a technician with the correct O rings we were now 5 days over what was planned as a night stop. At this point, as we were having a few drinks in a local bar the engineer remarked Ive got to go back to the hotel my shirt needs a rest!

When the technician arrived and fitted the correct O ring, we were intrigued to see how he determined the 500ft/lbs tightening torque. He didnt he got a sledge hammer and gave it severe whacks until it was tightened!

On our 6th day of the nightstop and on our way back to Colerne we got a grade 1(mandatory) diversion for weather to RAF Lossiemouth. While at Lossiemouth we had to get our Navigator on a train back to base as he was due to sit his promotion exam to Flight Lieutenant and we had to wait for a replacement! Eventually after an 8 day nightstop, we arrived back at Colerne !

Hence the old adage Time to spare? Go by air!

 

FRED DACOSTA MBE Sqn Ldr RAF (Retd)

Nov 2020

 



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Hastings Pilot Fred wrote:

HASTINGS C MARK1 TG 619 RAF BALLYKELLY NORTHERN IRELAND
DATE: 15 JAN 1968
PLACE: RAF BALLYKELLY
AIRCRAFT: HASTINGS C MK 1 TG 619
CREW: FLT LT FRED DACOSTA(CAPT) SQN LDR RICHARD STORER (CO PILOT /SQN CDR)

I had been on Radio Flight, Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) Farnborough, for about six months. As there were a couple of Hastings aircraft on the flight, I was posted there as the resident Hastings Expert. None of the other 4 pilots on the unit had flown the Hastings in squadron service.
On this sortie, from RAE Farnborough to RAF Ballykelly the boss, Dick Storer, (ex Hunter and Vulcan pilot) said to me I tell you what, you fly it up to Ballykelly and show us how it should be done!
I should mention, that even compared to other Cmark1 Hastings aircraft, TG619 was a heavy beast. On approach to the runway at Ballykelly I was a tad fast nearing the threshold so, using my vast Hastings experience, ordered the engineer to close the throttles, thinking the surplus speed would see us nicely to the touchdown point. Not so! As soon as the throttles had been closed the beast gave up on flying and did a three-point landing in the undershoot. From there it bounced on to the runway.
While I was coping with this arrival and sorting out a slight crosswind, I was aware of a peal of laughter from the other pilot Dick pointing and saying And you are supposed to be the expert!
After shutdown, the mud was hosed off the underside and the only damage was to my pride. However, it did cost me a few beers in the Mess bar later?

FRED DACOSTA MBE Sqn Ldr RAF (Retd
Nov 2020


 If this is the same Dick Storer Fred, you can find him here https://baylham-house-farm.co.uk/about-us/ S/Ldr Dick Storer was OC of The Red Arrows he now runs the Rare Breeds Farm at Baylham, near Needham Market, Suffolk. 



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Yes we have visited Dick Storer at his farm in the past. Worth a day out when circumstances allow!


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