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Post Info TOPIC: Anecdotes


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RE: Anecdotes


I served on FEC's 1960-62 as a 'flying spanner' on TG507 and WJ333, both modified to VIP standard.


I was very interested to read of Hastings engines cutting out. One morning I arrived late to work as TG 507 was taxying out for a post service air test. We heard the engines being checked out at the end of the runway, a slight delay, then power for take-off, we thought, a few seconds later, silence! We waited for the crash, nothing. Then we were told by the tower to go and tow her back to dispersal. After much investigation, it was discovered that the Graviner system had been incorrectly set during the service, and the vibration of the engines had set it off, killing all four engines! Fortunately there had been a mag. drop, and the pilot had tried to 'burn' it off, we estimated that had the mag. drop not been there, the aircraft would have just got airborne before the engines cut. To add to the drama, as there were insuficient 'ballast boxes available, half the squadron ground crew were on board.

regards Pete Flounders



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Hello John,

I was a member of the Royal Navy, and served in the Far East during the Early 60's, But the Story I would like to tell was a Hastings stationed at Lagos, Nigeria. I was a member of a Naval Party on Ascension Island in 1962, we were flown off the Island by a Hastings to Lagos to catch a flight back to the UK. The pilot told us that they headed for the nearest point of land which was Ghana (Gold Coast) and then flew down the coast to Lagos. I think he just tried to wind us up a bit, when he said in case they have to ditch, we will be near land.

Kind regards

Ken UK



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Have read your page with interest, I recount my experience as a passenger on Hastings TG502 whilst on the ground at Ottawa, Canada in the winter of 1966/7.
At the time, I was a Senior Technician in the RAF, based at Boscombe Down. We were support crew to a Vulcan (XH 606) doing cold weather trials at CEPE Cold Lake, in Northern Alberta. The general procedure was for the Vulcan to fly ahead and the ground crew to follow in a Hastings, which was either TG500 or TG502, which were both used as support aircraft at Boscombe Down at the time.
This aircraft had made the trip to Cold Lake, many times without incident, and an overnight stay at Ottawa was part of their usual itinerary, were the aircraft was left outside for the night. After boarding the aircraft for take off from Ottawa, the usual crew checks were being carried, out before start up, when the captain emerged and asked for the rear door to be opened and the boarding ladder lowered. After a few minutes, he called for everyone to disembark, which we all did. It was quite cold, about minus 20, but not unusually so for the time of year. Since all passengers were either engineers or technicians we gathered around to be shown the problem. The captain explained that he had been unable to move the elevators when checking the controls from the ****pit, which was a mandatory pre-flight check, hence is sudden disembarkation to find the reason. We all observed that the normal gap between the elevator and its surrounding tailplane was none-existent, and therefore the elevator and tailplane were seized together. A Special Incident Report (SIR) was raised and the aircraft towed in to the heated hanger.
Within 10 minutes, the previously, none-existent gap had opened to over 8mm, and the elevators were free. Since several airframe men on board had experience of rectification modifications to the Elevator Horns which had caused at least one previous crash of a Hastings, they were none too happy to leave things as they were! The last rib of the tailplane was therefore moved about 10mm away from the elevator, and the now spare metal trimmed flush, leaving a gap that could easily accommodate a hand thickness. Thoughts were voiced about this happening at 7000 feet, which was our normal cruising altitude and the resulting inability to control our altitude by normal means! We carried on to Cold Lake, via Winnipeg, without incident and the same aircraft made the same trip many times later. Why it happened this one time, no one seems to know. It was concluded that freak weather conditions had caused it, but I always thought that the air at 7000 feet was always colder than at sea level, were Ottawa, on the St Lawrence Seaway is located!.
Hope you found this interesting. Has anyone heard of a similar occurence?

 

Peter Kay



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I don't know what you might consider an 'interesting story' about that old work horse but in the 4 years I worked on them they certainly clocked up some air miles doing a variety of jobs from troop transport....I was at Lyneham during the Suez crisis and saw troop movements at that time,to CaseVac jobs airlifting sick and wounded, and I did a short spell on Mobile Servicing Flight at Edinburgh Field, Adelaide, sending supplies up to Maralinga where they were testing the H bomb.
At Edinburgh Field we were resposible for keeping two Hastings aircraft fully servicable at all times to keep the supplies flowing to Maralinga.
I once spent all night , with other trades of course, doing an engine change, the old Hercules engine, so it was ready for the early morning daily trip.
We had a good relationship with the aircrew who kept us supplied with refreshments, mainly liquid if my memory serves me right and we all did a good job for 6 months in 1958.
We flew back to Lyneham in the Hastings stopping at Darwin, Changi, Negombo, Karachi, Habanniya, El Adem and home. Took me a total of 6 days to get back and God wasn't the inside of a Hastings loud and noisy. I had flown out in a Comet and it had taken 26 hours what a difference!!
Later in 1963 when I was on 43 Squadron with Hunters, the squadron did a trip to Athens to 'show the flag' as it were, and all the ground crew and kit etc went out by...yes you guessed it , the good old Hastings.

Keith Griffiths



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A story of that time came to mind about one of our bods towing one of the big jacks into the no 2 hangar. The doors were just open enough for the tractor to get through but there was a Hastings parked just inside, it's tail towards the door. The problem was that we all knew the David Brown tractor would fit under the elevators if you ducked your head, but he forgot the jack on the back which didn't. It ended nearly up to the leading edge of the elevators and he got taken away in 'chains'.
One of my jobs was the ground equipment in the no 1 hangar to see the trolley acc's were always charged at least 4 hours a day, air bottles full, tyres OK etc. For this I got 4 gallons jerry can of M.T. fuel. In those days of fuel rationing this had red dye in it as only commercial vehicles could use it. The civvy' Police outside would stop anyone to check the carby' for red stains. If there were any you were for the high jump. Our fuel ration for a motor cycle was about two gallons a month so extra was always useful. We found that we had some left over from this supply and didn't like to waste it. This especially as we were washing the hanger floors with 44 gallon drums of drained 100 octane a/c fuel. This was no good for bikes as it leaded up the spark plug.. What we did find out was that if we got a big stale loaf of bread from out the back of the cookhouse it would solve the problem. All you had to do was pour it through the end of the loaf longways,. This loaf was put into a funnel and the fuel drained into one of the Pyrene 2 gallon brass cans. These were scrounged from out the back of the fire department. It came out white and clean and pure and enabled some of us to go on a 48 hour pass now and again.

 

Anon ex Lyneham

Seeing that you are a Hastings buff I thought you might like a couple of stories re' them.These are from Lyneham in 1950/51. When tyre checking at night one of our bods when checking the tail wheel heard a noise from up inside the tail wheel bay. This Hastings was doing night flying and circuits and bumps which happened most nights. To check on this noise he climbed up into the tail wheel bay for a quick look. As the a/c had back tracked on the runway it was ready for take off. The problem was that the pilot didn't wait for the torch to be waved to tell him all tyres were OK. He opened up the engines and away he went with our man up in the tail wheel bay. You may remember that at that time the tail wheel was fixed down due to u/c problems. This was lucky as he stood with a foot on either side of the bay and held on tight. After twenty minutes or so the a/c landed and went back to the caravan at the end of the runway. Our man did another tyre check, waved him off and went back into the van to rest. The controller asked where he had been and then the S*** really hit the fan. The crew was grounded and a major investigation took place as you can imagine. Number two story, one of our bods doing night tyre checking ran out and miss judged his distances. He ran straight into the outer prop which didn't do him much good. The first thing the crew knew was when they checked outside with an Aldis to see what was happening and saw him all over the perry track. Those wheel checks were always a bit dicey, especially in the dark.  There wasn't much room between you and the props.

 

Anon ex Lyneham

 



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