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					                                                   Branch Secretary : Alan V. J. Eley
                                                                             46, Cricket Lane
                                                                              Lichfield, Staffs
                                                                                  WS14 9ER
                                                                              01543-264674
                                                                    E-mail : avjeley@tiscali.co.uk

                                                    April 2012 Newsletter

April 1st is very near             Pilots with a sense of adventure are required to fly the
Met Office Contingency Aircraft, a Cessna 421C (rather strangely registered G-HIJK) on
flights in and near clouds of volcanic ash such as the matter ejected many miles high from
that Icelandic volcano in April 2010. The 1997 built Cessna is pressurized for high-altitude
flight and powered by two Teledyne Continental turbo-charged engines to give it greater
resilience when encountering ash that would damage turbines. It carries an array of sensors
to enable it to detect ash concentrations at different levels and also to take measurements of
actual atmospheric contaminants for analysis. Cranfield Aerospace was called upon to fit the
equipment to the aircraft, which packs the aircraft, leaving room only for a crew of three.
The operator DO Systems is a special missions company based at Bournemouth Airport (it
also fitted special reconnaissance equipment to three DA.42 Diamond Star twin turbo-props
G-DOSA/ B/ C and flew them on MoD missions over Middle East battlefields in recent
years). The Cessna 421C will have the facility to gather data on ash and other atmospheric
pollutants and transmit them by satellite communications to receivers on the ground
managed by the London Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre, which will then tell airlines when
and where it is safe to fly. All these measures are to prevent ash from a volcanic eruption
bringing air travel across Europe to a standstill, as happened for five days in April 2010.
(This is actually a genuine news item, but good luck to pilots flying through ash clouds)
Branch meetings          Our meeting on Tuesday 28th February, featured a superb
presentation by Capt Caroline Gough-Cooper, Chairman of The British Women’s Pilots
Association. She has been an airline pilot flying 748s for British Airways, F-27s and Electras
for Channel Express and F-27s and Dash 8s for Flybe. Not only that, she has her own
Robinson R.22 G-TCAL and flew it to Moscow in 2002 to take part in the World Helicopter
Championships, winning the title of Ladies World Champion (she regained that title at the
next contest, held in 2005). She told the story of women in British aviation over the last 100
years, bringing in many well-known names and also a host of new names of ladies who
astonished the world with their exploits in the 1920s and 30s, before telling the story of the
ATA with women pilots delivering over 300,000 military aircraft during WWII.
      On Tuesday 27th March we are to have our Annual General Meeting, when you can
hear about our branch’s activities in the past year, study the financial statement supplied by
our Treasurer, vote for new blood on the Committee if you wish, and have your say on how
we run the branch in the months ahead. We hope to have an especially good turn-out for this
meeting, as we have invited a high-ranking RAF officer (Group Captain Mark Heffron, the
Station Commander of the Strike Command HQ at High Wycombe) to talk about the Royal
Air Force’s future role as well as its recent past. He will have some interesting things to tell
us and you will surely have a lot of questions to ask.
Airport Security The usual warning to be on your guard when in and around airports.
 If you have any suspicions that a terrorist act is about to happen at an airport or airfield,
       use the hot-line direct to the Anti-Terrorist Squad : 0800-789-321.
Airline news          -      Singapore Airlines has announced the retirement of its last
Boeing 747. Its first 747 delivery was 9V-SIA (c/n 20712) on 31st July 1973 and it has since
then acquired or leased more than 90 of the type and operated the world’s largest fleet of
747-400s with 51 examples in service at one time. 747-412 9V-SPQ will make a special
commemorative flight between Singapore and Hong Kong (and back again) on 6 th April
2012 to mark the retirement of the final SIA passenger 747 after nearly four decades of
flying “The Queen of the Skies”. The airline still operates 9 freighter versions of the 747,
which it calls ‘Mega Ark’.
                      -      Another airline saying farewell to a much-loved aircraft type is
British Airways, which has now seen its last 757-236 fly out to a new life as a freighter.
G-CPET (c/n 29115) entered service in May 1998 and flew the airline’s last commemorative
flights around the UK back in October 2011, painted up in the airline’s red-tailed ‘British’
colour-scheme from 1984 as worn by the first few BA 757s before they switched to the
‘Landor’ scheme with the so-called ‘fag-packet’ crest on the tail. G-CPET was flown to the
USA in mid February still wearing its BA red-tail colours but with new engines fitted and
with the registration N956FD to indicate its new owner, Federal Express.
                        -      Scandinavian Airlines System has been named as the most
punctual airline in Europe for the third consecutive year, and also the third most punctual
airline in the world, after All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines. SAS carried over 27
million passengers in 2011, two million more than the previous year. SAS operates a rather
mixed fleet of Airbus A319s, A320s, A321s, A340s, Boeing 737s, Bombardier CRJ-700s
and MD-80s. Cost-cutting will be helped by the retirement of SAS’ remaining MD-80s
within 18 months. SAS faces stiff competition on many routes from low-cost carrier
Norwegian and has to reduce its administrative and operating costs if it is to maintain its
reputation and stay in business.
                    -      Ryanair has stepped in to fill the void in services to and from
Hungary following the demise of Malev. The Irish low-cost carrier launched the first six of
32 new routes from Budapest on 17th February
                      -        Manx 2 is to launch a daily service from Oxford Airport to
                        th
the Isle of Man from 8 May, using a leased Jetstream 32 G-LNKS. The airline claims
passengers will appreciate the convenience and personal service that Manx 2 can offer
from a small regional airport.
                      -       Easy jet staff celebrated 10 years of operation from London
Gatwick Airport in late February. This outpost of the low-cost airline currently serves 94
destinations with 50 based Airbus A319s and A320s. 25 % of all Gatwick movements are
now Easy jet flights.
Industry news         -      Another nail in the coffin of the British aircraft industry comes
with the imminent closure of the BAE Systems factory at Brough in Yorkshire, where
once Buccaneers rolled off the production lines. 845 of the 1300 skilled workers who are
currently building the Hawk jet trainer will be laid off and the famous Blackburn factory
closed down for ever. Robert Blackburn set up his Blackburn Aeroplane and Motor
Company there in 1916, with the Swordfish and Buccaneer being perhaps the most famous
designs to be produced there. BAE Systems has most recently turned out 24 Hawk T.2s for
the Royal Air Force and had hopes of selling a large number of very similar Hawk trainers to
the US military, but progress has been slow in this area and the company has had to cut back
its work-force to meet falling demand for its products.
                       -      Rumours are spreading that Great Britain’s order for F-35
strike fighters for the Royal Navy may be switched back from the F-35C version requiring
conventional take-off and landing (using steam catapults for take-off and arrester-gear for
landing) to the F-35B version with STOVL (using ski-jump ramp for short take-off and then
a vertical landing on the stern). Since the Harrier force was disbanded HM Government had
favoured the F-35C which would have allowed inter-operability with French and US
carriers. In fact £250 million has already been spent on changing the design of the two new
Royal Navy carriers HMS Queen Elizabeth and Prince of Wales to accommodate steam
catapults and arrester-gear !
                       -      Airbus is having to face more unwanted publicity as it faces
up to a relatively minor possibility of the nose-cone of its A380 coming loose in severe
storms and turbulence. The company is to check all the fasteners in use and strengthen them
if it proves necessary, replacing aluminium rivets with titanium fasteners. 68 A380s are in
service around the world.
                       -       After severe criticism of Rolls-Royce’s handling of the RR
Trent 900 engine blow-out on a Qantas A380, the Derby-based company is to set up a
safety committee with a view to coping better with mechanical incidents with its products,
especially from the public-relations aspect - this is common with the oil and gas exploration
industries. Rolls-Royce was forced to take 53 early-build engines out of service, replacing
them with engines on aircraft still on the A380 production line in order to keep airline
services going. Rolls-Royce paid Qantas £62 million in compensation, this was in addition
to the cost of the investigation into the accident (£54m). It was one of the most expensive
engineering disasters ever experienced and Rolls shares fell sharply at the time (late 2010),
but have since recovered. Rolls-Royce’s reputation was dented for a period but the engine
company made a record pre-tax profit of £1.16 billion in 2011, so there has been no lasting
effect from the Qantas incident. With multiple orders still rolling in for new Airbus and
Boeing aircraft, RR has an aero engine order-book worth £62.2 billion.
                       -        A new-generation Rolls-Royce Trent engine, the XWB,
which will be a principal power-unit for the largely composite Airbus A350 airliner, has
been test-flown under the wing of an A380 flying test-bed aircraft, in the number 2 position.
It has a power rating of 84,000 lbs thrust and will take the first A350 (a -900 variant) aloft
in mid 2013. The first flight of the Trent XWB in the A380 test-bed was from Toulouse on
18th February and lasted more than five hours : it covered a wide range of power settings at
altitudes up to 43,000 ft, flying at speeds up to Mach 0.9.
                          -         Following pressure from airlines, notably Qatar Airways,
Airbus Industrie has now agreed to set up a conversion line for turning passenger
A330s into freighters – it had refused to do this until now, preferring to sell new A330
freighters to the airlines (at a much higher price). The conversion of A330-200s and -300s is
to be carried out at an Airbus subsidiary factory at Dresden, with entry into service for the
first aircraft being planned for 2016.
                           -          The Boeing 787 has achieved two official records during
                                   th
a journey around the world on 6 -7th December 2011. The sixth flight-test aircraft N787ZA
left Boeing Field at Seattle with 6 pilots among the 13 people on board. It weighed 212
tonnes on take-off, of which 103 tonnes were fuel, and flew non-stop via New York and the
Mediterranean to Dhaka, Bangladesh covering a distance of 10,710 nautical miles (a record
in the 200-250 tonnes weight class previously held by an Airbus A330 that flew 9127 nm in
2002). The 787 had 13.6 t of fuel remaining on landing. During the 1 hr 52 min stop for
refuelling in the Bangladeshi capital, some 200 people toured the new twin-jet. With a
further 86 tonnes of fuel in its tanks, the 787 then flew on eastwards over China and the
Pacific Ocean. It landed back at Seattle with 9.1 tonnes of fuel remaining, even after
accelerating to Mach 0.88 for the final 6 hours of the flight. The total elapsed time for the
round the world flight was 42 hrs and 26 minutes. Two observers from the US National
Aeronautic Association were on board to verify the flight and later handed Boeing two
certificates that confirmed the time for the around the world flight and the record for the
longest flight for an aircraft in the 787’s weight class. [This was not the longest airliner
flight in history – that honour goes to the Qantas 747-438 VH-OJA ‘City of Canberra’ that
flew non-stop from Heathrow to Sydney in 20 hours 9 minutes on its delivery flight in August
1989, a distance of 11,185 miles. The aircraft landed with 5.6 tonnes of fuel remaining
from the 103 tonnes loaded at Heathrow, enough to fly for a further 45 minutes ; it carried
five pilots, two cabin crew and sixteen passengers]
                          -       A surprise for watchers at Heathrow on 2nd March was
the first visit by a Boeing 787. This was JA805A of All Nippon Airways which was forced
to divert from Frankfurt at the end of a long flight from Tokyo, because of fog and low
visibility. Other possible diversion airports on the continent such as Munich and Paris /
Charles de Gaulle were similarly fog-bound. The 787 positioned back to Frankfurt later
in the day, ready for its return flight to Tokyo/Haneda. ANA now has five 787s in service.
                         -        The first Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental was handed over
     th
on 28 February, leaving the company’s factory-airfield at Everett in Washington state for
a two-year completion process, since the aircraft is intended for life as a VIP transport.
Registered A7-HHE and with construction number 37544, the first 747-8I is destined for
Qatar’s Amiri Flight. It first flew on 30th January 2012 and will be fitted out with all the
luxury trimmings at Wichita, Kansas, with final completion and handover at Lufthansa
Technik’s Hamburg base in 2014. A further eight VIP aircraft are on order for six customers.
Airport News                 -       The new Berlin Brandenburg Airport, that is to
replace Tegel as the principal airport for the German capital, is well on track for its opening
on 3rd June 2012. Constructed on the far-side of the old Schönefeld Airport, the new
terminal facilities were checked out by teams of volunteers in early February, playing the
part of passengers to try all aspects of the airport’s services. Check-in desks were manned
and luggage was dropped off and boarding-passes issued before the 250 volunteers were
checked by security and then shown to their boarding gates. Further tests will take place on
30 separate days with a total of 10,000 volunteers helping the airport authority to iron out
any problems before the official opening in June (the Germans are nothing if not thorough).
                               -       Southend Airport’s new terminal building was declared
                       th
open for business on 5 March, followed closely by the inauguration of the 984 ft runway
extension at the west end of the airport. Now Easy Jet is making preparations for its first
services on 2nd April, it will fly to Spanish destinations such as Alicante, Malaga, Barcelona,
Ibiza and Palma, as well as Faro, Belfast, Jersey and Amsterdam.
                            -       Luton Airport has submitted plans for developments
that would seen passenger capacity increase to 18 million per year. The road access would
be re-configured, a new multi-storey car-park would be built, and runway/taxi-track
improvements made, allowing high-speed turn-offs for landing aircraft, with no need to
back-track down the runway.
New on the scene             -    These are the new GB airliner registrations this month,
with more of the new series of 737-800s for Thomson Airways, another ‘big bird’ for BA
and two more A320s for Easy Jet, replacing lower-capacity A319s now returned off-lease.

  Reg.          Type           c/n        p.i.      Operator               Further details
G-CGYU        Avro RJ.85      2275      OO-DJN      Trident Leasing,       Reg. 20/ 2/ 12
                                                    Kemble
G-CHAK          737-505       24647     LN-BRO      European Aviation,     Reg.     22/ 2/ 12
                                                    Bournemouth
G-EZUL         A320-214       5019         -        Easy Jet               Reg.     8/ 2/ 12
G-EZUM         A320-214       5020         -        Easy Jet               Reg.     3/ 2/ 12
G-LEAP          Turbine       2183      G-BLND      Britten Norman Ltd     Re-reg. 10/ 2/ 12
                Islander
G-STBF        777-336ER       40543         -       British Airways        Reg.     21/ 2/ 12
G-TAWB         737-8K5        37242         -       Thomson Airways        Reg.      6/ 2/ 12
G-TAWC         737-8K5        39922         -       Thomson Airways        Reg.     13/ 2/ 12
G-TAWD         737-8K5        37265         -       Thomson Airways        Reg.     23/ 2/ 12

Sightings at Zürich during the time of the World Economic Forum
The week of the gathering of world leaders at Davos, in Eastern Switzerland is clearly a
time to see a lot of the biz-jets and airliners that bring them (according to Jet Aviation which
handled the bulk of the business aircraft that brought heads of state and other dignitaries into
Zürich for the World Economic Forum taking place in Davos, a total of 460 aircraft were
handled in a three-day period). Enthusiast Alec Wilson was among many hardy souls who
braved the chilly wastes of Zürich Airport and Dübendorf airfield between 27th and 29th
January, sending in a monumental report that includes several hundred aircraft and quite
a few helicopters (Dübendorf is basically a Swiss Air Force base that houses the Swiss
Military Air Museum and two of the remaining airworthy Junkers 52 tri-motor transports -
for the duration of the Economic Forum it was a relief landing-ground for many biz jets
bringing VIPs to the event). In all cases the aircraft’s construction number is given as well
as its registration, type designation and operator.
Day 1 -- 27/01/12
First outing of the year and an early start from the Travelodge, Heathrow Central for the
0532 N9 bus (£1.35 with Oyster as opposed to £4.50 Hotel Hoppa) to Terminal 5 for
BA710 at 0725 to ZRH & the annual visit for the World Economic Forum & associated
movements the event attracts. My aircraft for the 75 minute flight to Switzerland was A319
G-EUPN. Surprisingly it was only around 50 % full. I arrived to a cold and drizzly ZRH
around 1000 local & once through immigration and with my bag dumped in a left luggage
locker (at a cost of 6 Swiss francs), it was up to level 11 of car park 6, where I stayed until
around 1330 before going to the terrace on Terminal B in time for the 2 hour photo tour at
1430. (More on the terrace later.)
Log of 33 airliners at Zürich on Day 1 – 27th January (excludes Swiss) :
9V-SKM Airbus A380-841 065 Singapore Airlines
A4O-DC Airbus A330-243 1049 Oman Air
A7-ACI Airbus A330-202 746 Qatar Airways
A9C-KI Airbus A330-243 532 Gulf Air (on maintenance.)
9A-CQC De Havilland Canada Dash 8Q-402 4258 Croatia Airlines
CS-TNN Airbus A320-232 1816 TAP Air Portugal
D-AEBH Embraer Emb-195-200LR 19000447 Lufthansa Regional
D-AEME Embraer Emb-195-200LR 19000308 Lufthansa Regional
D-AFKB Fokker F.100      11527 Lufthansa Regional
D-AGES Boeing 737-75B 28108 Air Berlin
D-AGEU Boeing 737-75B 28104 Air Berlin
D-AGPK Fokker F-100 11313 Lufthansa Regional
D-AGWP Airbus A319-132 4227 Germanwings
E7-AAD ATR 72-212 464 Bosnia and Herzegovina Airlines
EC-HQL Airbus A320-214 1461 Vueling Airlines
G-LCYO Embraer Emb-190-100SR 19000430 BA Cityflyer
HB-IIR Boeing 737-86Q 30295 Privatair
HB-IOQ Airbus A320-214 3422 Belair
HB-IOR Airbus A320-214 4033 Belair
HB-IOS Airbus A320-214 2968 Belair
HB-IOW Airbus A320-214 3055 Belair
HB-JIX Airbus A320-214 1210 Hello
HB-JIZ Airbus A320-214 0936 Hello
HB-JOZ Airbus A320-214 4631 Belair
HS-TLD Airbus A340-541 775 Thai Airways
HS-TNB Airbus A340-642 681 Thai Airways
JY-AYN Airbus A319-132 3803 Royal Jordanian Airlines
LZ-HBG British Aerospace 146-300 E3146 HemusAir
OH-BLG Boeing 717-2CM 55059 Blue1
TC-JHA Boeing 737-8F2 35740 THY Turkish Airlines
UR-GAP Boeing 737-4Z9 27094 Ukraine International Airlines
VQ-BBC Airbus A320-214 3835 Aeroflot Russian Airlines
YL-BAE De Havilland Canada Dash 8Q-402NG 4289 Air Baltic
Day 1 - Government/Corporate/GA :
06-0500    Gulfstream C-37B 5152 United States Air Force
251        Gulfstream G4 1160 Irish Air Corps
356        Boeing 737-528 27426 Peruvian Air Force (FAP-356 under port wing.)
3A-MGA     Dassault Falcon 900EX EASy 195 Prince Albert of Monaco
4K-AI02 Airbus A319-115LR 2487 Azerbaijan Airlines
4L-GAA Canadair Regional-Jet 850 8046 Georgian Airways
4O-AOB Embraer EMB.195 200LR 19000283 Montenegro Airlines
97-0400 Gulfstream C-37A 521 United States Air Force
A7-AFE Airbus A310-308 667 Qatar Airways Amiri Flight (on maintenance)
B-8095 Gulfstream G550 5059 Deer Jet
B-8100 Gulfstream G550 5024 Deer Jet
CN-AMK Cessna 560 560-6047 Royal Moroccan Air Force
CN-RBS Hawker-Siddeley 125-900XP HA-0091 Corporate
CS-DHB Cessna 550/551 550-1009 NetJets Europe
CS-DRQ Hawker-Siddeley 125-800XPi 258783 NetJets Europe
CS-DUE Hawker-Siddeley 125-750 HB-11 NetJets Europe
D-AXTM Bombardier Global Express 9102 FAI-Rent-a-jet
D-BEKY Dassault Falcon 2000LX 201 Corporate
D-CCEU Cessna 650 650-0190 Air Traffic
D-CCFF Cessna 680 680-0114 Corporate
D-CEFO Cessna 560 560-6082 Air Hamburg
D-IAAW Embraer EMB-500 50000245 Arcus-Air-Logistic
D-ICKM Beech B200 BB-1005 Alpha Executive Flugbetrieb
D-INDY Eclipse Aviation 500 000246 Corporate
D-IOWA Cessna 525 525-0624 Corporate
D-IPOD Cessna 525 525-0193 Corporate
D-ISMS Piper PA-42-1000 42-5527018 Corporate
EC-JYQ Learjet 60     60-249 TAG Aviation Spain
EC-KBR Gulfstream G550 5124 TAG Aviation Spain
EC-KJH Bombardier Global Express    9094 TAG Aviation Spain
F-HHSC Cessna 525      525-0499 Corporate
G-CMAS Embraer ERJ-135BJ 145-01142 Execujet (UK)
G-LALE Embraer ERJ-135BJ 145-01017 London Executive Aviation
G-ORYX Hawker-Siddeley 125-900XP HA-0048 Corporate
G-WLVS Dassault Falcon 2000LX 141 Corporate
HB-CZT Cessna T.182T T182-08931 Private
HB-CZX Cessna T.182T T182-08965 Private
HB-DBF Ruschmeyer R90-230RG 006 Private
HB-FOQ Pilatus PC-12-45 349 Lions Air
HB-FVM Pilatus PC-12-47E 1291 Corporate
HB-HEH FFA AS 20215 004 Private
HB-IAU Dassault Falcon 2000EX 14 Cat Aviation
HB-IHQ Bombardier Global Express    9011 Corporate
HB-IUT IAI Galaxy 007 Corporate
HB-JFK Embraer EMB-500 500-00062 Corporate
HB-JGI Dassault Falcon 7X 67 Rabbit Air
HB-JGJ Gulfstream G450 4122 Corporate
HB-JIL Cessna 680      680-0179 Corporate
HB-JRA Bombardier 604      5529 REGA Swiss Air Ambulance
HB-JRB Bombardier 604 5530 REGA Swiss Air Ambulance
HB-JRG Bombardier 604 5659 Corporate
HB-LEL Piper PA-34-200 34-7350313 EFOS Flight-Charter AG
HB-LHW Cessna 402B 402B-0926 EFOS Flight-Charter AG
HB-LIN Piper PA-60-601P 61P-0571-7963248 Corporate
HB-LRV Piper PA-31T 31T-7820017 Corporate
HB-LTW Diamond DA 42 42.063 Private
HB-LZR Diamond DA 42 42.342 Fliegerschule St Gallen
HB-NCB Rockwell Commander 112A 165 Private
HB-OHC Piper PA-28180 28-3623 Private
HB-PPH Piper PA-46350P 4636045 Private
HB-PQG Piper PA-28R-201T 28R-7803047 Private
HB-VMU Cessna 560       560-5066 Jet Aviation Business Jets
HB-VMY Cessna 550/551 550-0964 Jet Aviation Business Jets
HB-VNU Cessna 500/501 500-0282 Corporate (Stored, allocated N282SA,
         but this reservation expired 30/06/11)
HB-VOP Cessna 525A 525A-0385 Corporate
HB-XWB Agusta A-109K2 10002 REGA Swiss Air Ambulance
HB-ZCU Robinson R44 0986 Heli Sitterdorf AG
HB-ZHK Robinson R44 11283 Heli Sitterdorf AG
HB-ZOO Eurocopter AS.355 NP 5751 Corporate
HB-ZVG Agusta A-109E 11780 Skymedia
HL8200 Gulfstream G550 5233 Corporate
HP-1A   Embraer ERJ-135BJ 145-01066 Panamanian Government
I-SEAR Dassault Falcon 900EX EASy 183 Corporate
I-TOPH Hawker-Siddeley 125-850XP 258809 Sirio
JY-RYN Cessna 650 650-7029 Raya Jet
M-HSNT Bombardier Challenger 300 20233 Corporate
M-VQBI Bombardier Global Express         9213 Gama Aviation
M-YBJK Gulfstream G550 5316 Corporate
N101MH Gulfstream GV 609 Corporate
N14VH Cirrus Design SR-20 1115 Private
N155AN Gulfstream G550 5029 Corporate
N170SW Bombardier Global Express         9042 Wal-Mart Stores Inc
N176CL Dassault Falcon 900EX        110 Corporate
N194WM Bombardier Global Express          9277 Corporate
N197KA Dassault Falcon 2000LX 182 Corporate
N1KE    Gulfstream GV 574 Corporate
N208LT Bombardier 604 5440 Corporate
N229DK Dassault Falcon 900EX EASy 229 Corporate
N262MP Cirrus Design SR-20 1425 Private
N273JC Dassault Falcon 7X 18 Corporate
N298W Dassault Falcon 900 45 Corporate
N2BD Dassault Falcon 900EX 72 Corporate
N303TP Gulfstream G IVSP 1411 Corporate
N3546 Gulfstream GV 672 Corporate
N376G Bombardier Global 5000 9164 General Electric Company
N3975A Bombardier Challenger 300 20170 Corporate
N437GA Gulfstream GIVSP 1437 National Air Services
N494EC Gulfstream G450 4226 Corporate
N505D Gulfstream G550 5323 Corporate
N51QZ Cessna 421C 421C-1237 Corporate
N550KF Gulfstream G550 5095 Executive Jet Management
N56UH Gulfstream G500 5158 Corporate
N585A Gulfstream G550 5110 Saudi ARAMCO Aviation
N585JC Gulfstream GV 618 Executive Jet Management
N586D Gulfstream G4SP 1439 Corporate
N606CH Gulfstream G450 4089 Corporate
N628BD Gulfstream GV 628 Corporate
N637TF Bombardier 604 5637 Corporate
N653MK Gulfstream G550 5211 Corporate
N670RW IAI Galaxy G200 160 Corporate
N674RW Gulfstream G550 5234 Corporate
N67TM Gulfstream G IVSP 1409 Corporate
N697A Gulfstream GV 662 Corporate
N6D     Bombardier Global Express 9191 Corporate
N716CG Dassault Falcon 2000LX 174 Corporate
N733H   Dassault Falcon 2000LX 219 Dassault Falcon Jet Corp
N741SP Dassault Falcon 2000LX 207 Corporate
N752GM Cessna 750 750-0276 Corporate
N7600S Dassault Falcon 900EX EASy 173 Corporate
N761XP Hawker-Siddeley 125-850XP 258761 Corporate
N787AD Dassault Falcon 7X 73 Corporate
N795BA Gulfstream G550 5031 Corporate
N801DE Dassault Falcon 2000LX 203 Corporate
N885WT Gulfstream G550 5237 Corporate
N888GQ IAI Galaxy G200 167 Corporate
N900CH Dassault Falcon 2000EX 1 Corporate
N905T   Bombardier Global Express 9179 Corporate
N907AT Aero Commander Turbo Commander 690A 11105 Corporate
N910JW Dassault Falcon 900 31 Corporate
N917GA Gulfstream G550 5317 Corporate
N966E Dassault Falcon 900EX EASy 126 Honeywell International
N9895   Dassault Falcon 2000LX 184 Corporate
OE-FCP Cessna 510 510-0019 Corporate
OE-FHB Cessna 525A 525A-0049 Corporate
OE-FMY Cessna 510 510-0106 Corporate
OE-FSG Cessna 525A 525A-0203 Tyrolean Jet Service
OE-GEH Cessna 560 560-5755 Avcon Jet
OE-GGP Cessna 560 560-5701 International Jet Management
OE-GSZ Cessna 560 560-5763 Avcon Jet
OE-GTH Beech King Air 350 FL-702 Corporate
OE-GVP Learjet 60 60-407 VistaJet
OE-IDG Bombardier 604 5654 Global Jet Concept
P4-VVF Bombardier Global Express   9147 Global Jet Concept
PP-AAD Cessna 680 680-0260 Corporate
SP-LIH Embraer EMB.175-200LR 17000288 Polish Government
T.18-3  Dassault Falcon 900 77 Spanish Air Force
TC-AHS Hawker-Siddeley 125-800XP 258504 Corporate
TC-SGO     Dassault Falcon 2000LX 180 Corporate
TP-01      Boeing 757-225 22690 Mexican Government
UR-ABA     Airbus A319-115CJ 3260 Ukraine Government
UR-HBD     Beech 350 FL-469 Aerostar (UR)
VQ-BIL     Beech 400XP RK-480 Corporate
VT-HJA     Raytheon Hawker 4000 RC-26 Corporate
VT-JSB     Bombardier Global Express  9114 Corporate
VT-ONE     Gulfstream G IV 1231 Corporate
YR-RUS     Cessna 510 510-0045 Direct Aero Service
After the tour it was back to the car park until about 1815 hrs, before going to the Hotel
Welcome Inn, Kloten, to thaw out!
Day 2 -- 28/01/12
From the Hotel Welcome Inn, Kloten station is a 3 minute walk where a 30 minute train
journey, changing at Oerlikon, will get you to Dübendorf. The airport is a 5 minute walk
down the road. Single-fare zone 21 was 4.10 Swiss francs. Similarly, on the return, change
at Oerlikon for ZRH airport, same fare & approx.30 minutes journey time.
Just these ten aircraft were at Dübendorf between 0900 & 1000 hrs :
G-IDRO Bombardier Global Express  9286 Corporate
HB-AEU Dornier Do.328-310 3199 Swiss Jet AG
HB-JGJ Gulfstream G450 4122 Corporate
N312P Dassault Falcon 7X 72 Executive Jet Management
N343FX Bombardier 605 5761 Flexjets
N385WL Gulfstream G550 5196 Corporate
N443M Gulfstream G550 5199 Chevron Petroleum USA
N808JG Gulfstream GV 598 Corporate
PR-BTG Dassault Falcon 7X 106 Corporate
VT-SBK Dassault Falcon 900EX 89 Corporate
And outside the Ju Air hangars at Dübendorf :
HB-HOP Junkers Ju.52/3mg4e 6610 of Ju-Air
HB-HOY Junkers CASA 352L 96 of Ju-Air
There was nobody about to give permission for hangar access.
The strangely named Flieger Flab Museum of Swiss military aircraft is located here,
but as I saw it last year I gave it a miss.
I got back to ZRH at around 1045. Similar pattern/log format to the 27th. I was on the 1430
ramp tour which was a little more relaxed. A lot of aircraft had already departed and there
were only around a dozen people on the tour. Hence a little more time was spent around the
Jet Aviation ramp "gleaning" things out the hangars and one GA hangar was
open for inspection!
Another 27 airliners seen at Zürich on Day 2:
4X-EKI Boeing 737-86N (28587) of El Al Israel Airlines
9A-CQA De Havilland Canada Dash 8Q-402 (4205) of Croatia Airlines
9V-SKN Airbus A380-841 (071) of Singapore Airlines
A6-ECH Boeing 777-31HER (35581) of Emirates Airlines
A7-AHQ Airbus A320-232 (4930) of Qatar Airways
E7-AAD ATR 72-212 (464) of Bosnia and Herzegovina Airlines
EC-JNB Canadair Regional Jet 900 (15057) of Air Nostrum
EC-KFT Airbus A319-111 (3179) of Iberia
G-ISLF ATR 42-512 (546) of Blue Islands
G-LCYF Embraer Emb-170-100LR (170-00298) of BA Cityflyer
HB-JHQ Airbus A330-343X (1193) of Edelweiss Air
HB-JLP Airbus A320-214 (4618) of Swiss International Air Lines
HB-JOZ Airbus A320-214 (4631) of Belair
OH-BLG Boeing 717-2CM (55059) of Blue 1
OH-LKN Embraer Emb-190-100 IGW (190-00252) of Finnair
OM-TVA Boeing 737-86N (32243) of Travel Service Slovakia
SE-DJO British Aerospace 146-RJ85 (E2226) of Malmo Aviation
TC-AAK Boeing 737-8FH (35094) of Pegasus Airlines
TC-JCT Airbus A310 304F 502) of THY Turkish Airlines
TC-JRE Airbus A321-231 (3126) of THY Turkish Airlines
TC-JRL Airbus A321-231 (3539) of THY Turkish Airlines
TC-SNG Boeing 737-8HC (36530) of SunExpress
TC-SUI Boeing 737-8CX (32367) of SunExpress
TS-IOM Boeing 737-6H3 (29498) of Tunisair
TS-IOR Boeing 737-6H3 (29502) of Tunisair
VP-BDO Airbus A319111 (2091) of Aeroflot Russian Airlines
YL-BAJ De Havilland Canada Dash 8Q-402NG (4309) of Air Baltic
Government/Corporate/GA seen at Zürich 28/1 :
102001 Gulfstream G IV / Tp102A 1014 Swedish Air Force
2585   Embraer ERJ-135 VC-99B 14501078 Brazilian Air Force
CN-AMK Cessna 560 560-6047 Royal Moroccan Air Force
CN-RBS Hawker-Siddeley 125-900XP HA-0091 Corporate
CN-TJB Learjet 45 45-112 Corporate
CS-DHF Cessna 550/551 550-1025 NetJets Europe
CS-DKG Gulfstream G550 5127 NetJets Europe
CS-DKI Gulfstream G550 5166 NetJets Europe
CS-DNR Dassault Falcon 2000 120 NetJets Europe
CS-DRU Hawker-Siddeley 125-800XPi 258821 NetJets Europe
CS-DXZ Cessna 560 560-5796 NetJets Europe
D-AVIB Embraer ERJ-135BJ 14501109 Vibro Air
D-CEFO Cessna 560 560-6082 Air Hamburg
D-IPVD Cessna 525A 525A-0218 Corporate
EC-KMK Cessna 680 680-0178 TAG Aviation Spain
EC-LIY Gulfstream G550 5279 Gestair
F-GLSA Dassault Falcon 50EX 348 Corporate
G-EDCM Cessna 525A 525A-0213 Air Charter Scotland
G-FBKA Cessna 510 510-0096 Blink
G-LGKD Gulfstream G550 5172 TAG Aviation (UK)
G-RUBE Embraer ERJ-135BJ 145-01100 London Executive Aviation
G-XXZZ Learjet 60 60-328 GAMA Aviation
G-YAGT Bombardier 605 5756 Ocean Sky Aviation
HB-CFT Reims-Cessna F.172P 2133 Motorfluggruppe Zurich
HB-CHC Reims-Cessna F.152     1936 Private
HB-CKG Reims-Cessna F.172P 2251 Motorfluggruppe Zurich
HB-CYC Cessna 172RG 172RG-0556 Motorfluggruppe Zurich
HB-CZT Cessna T.182T T182-08931 Private
HB-CZW Cessna T.182T T182-08719 Private
HB-CZX Cessna T.182T T182-08965 Private
HB-DHG Mooney M.20K 25-1170 Private
HB-EFM Beech V35 D-8414 Private
HB-GJH Beech C90 LJ-972 Corporate
HB-IHQ Bombardier Global Express 9011 Corporate
HB-JGQ Bombardier Challenger 300 20237 Execujet Europe
HB-JSS Dassault Falcon 7X 02 Cat Aviation
HB-KHR Cirrus Design SR-22 2973 Private
HB-LEL Piper PA-34-200 34-7350313 EFOS Flight-Charter AG
HB-LIN Piper PA-60-601P 61P-0571-7963248 Corporate
HB-LKM Piper PA-34-200T 34-7970106 Private
HB-LRV Piper PA-31T 31T-7820017 Corporate
HB-LRY Piper PA-34-220T 34-33132 Flugschule Eichenberger AG
HB-LTW Diamond DA. 42 42.063 Private
HB-LUV Cessna T303 T303-00058 Private
HB-LZR Diamond DA. 42 42.342 Fliegerschule St Gallen
HB-PDI Piper PA-28-181 28-7990338 Private
HB-PIV Piper PA-28-181 28-8190002 Motorfluggruppe Zurich
HB-PMT Piper PA-28-181 28-90151 Motorfluggruppe Zurich
HB-PQG Piper PA-28R-201T      28R-7803047 Private
HB-RSC Lockheed C-121C 4175 Super Constellation Flyers Association
HB-VKW Hawker-Siddeley 125-800B 258246 Corporate
HB-VMY Cessna 550/551 550-0964 Jet Aviation Business Jets
HB-VNE Beechjet 400A RK-318 Corporate
HB-VOD Cessna 525 525-0415 Jet Aviation Business Jets
HB-VPG Embraer EMB-505 50500068 Jet Aviation Business Jets
HB-ZCU Robinson R.44 0986 Heli Sitterdorf AG
HB-ZHK Robinson R.44 11283 Heli Sitterdorf AG
HB-ZKQ Eurocopter EC120B 1316 Heli Sitterdorf AG
HL7227 Boeing 737-7HF 35977 Corporate
I-SNAW Dassault Falcon 2000 12 Corporate
J-755  Gulfstream GIVSP 1325 Pakistan Air Force
JY-AYN Airbus A319-132 3803 Royal Jordanian Airlines
LX-AFD Dassault Falcon 900DX 615 Global Jet Concept
LX-DEC Cessna 680 680-0253 Corporate
LX-EVM Dassault Falcon 2000LX 181 Global Jet Concept
LX-INS Cessna 560 560-5727 Corporate
M-APWC Learjet 60 60-326 Corporate
M-GSKY Bombardier Global Express 9420 Corporate
M-SAIR Dassault Falcon 900B 141 Corporate
N176CL Dassault Falcon 900EX 110 Corporate
N229DK Dassault Falcon 900EX EASy 229 Corporate
N303TP Gulfstream GIVSP 1411 Corporate
N312P    Dassault Falcon 7X 72 Executive Jet Management
N343FX Bombardier 605 5761 Flexjets
N376G Bombardier Global 5000 9164 General Electric Company
N383LJ Learjet 60 60-383      Bombardier Aerospace Corporation
N385WL Gulfstream G550 5196 Corporate
N388WS Bombardier Challenger 300 20108 Corporate
N444HE Boeing 737-39A 23800 Corporate
N452QS Gulfstream GIVSP 1352 NetJets International
N466M Neico Lancair LC-41-550FG 41780 Private
N494EC Gulfstream G450 4226 Corporate
N505D Gulfstream G550 5323 Corporate
N528QS Gulfstream G550 5042 NetJets International
N608CH Gulfstream G450 4098 Corporate
N637TF Bombardier 604 5637 Corporate
N666NN Piper PA-34220T 34-49226 Private
N697A Gulfstream GV 662 Corporate
N751NS Hawker-Siddeley 125-750 HB-23 National Air Services
N761XP Hawker-Siddeley 125-850XP 258761 Corporate
N795BA Gulfstream G550 5031 Corporate
N804AS Bombardier Global Express   9141 Corporate
N82CN Bombardier 604 5395 Corporate
N885WT Gulfstream G550 5237      Corporate
N900CH Dassault Falcon 2000EX 1 Corporate
N907AT Aero Commander Turbo Commander 690A 11105 Corporate
N917GA Gulfstream G550 5317 Corporate
N920DS Boeing 737-75V 28579 Corporate
N9895 Dassault Falcon 2000LX 184 Corporate
N999NB Gulfstream G IV 1234 Corporate
OE-FHB Cessna 525 525-0049 Corporate
OE-GGP Cessna 560 560-5701 International Jet Management
OE-HMS Dornier Do.328-300 3121 Tyrolean Jet Service
OY-PNO Dassault Falcon 2000EX EASy 103         Air Alsie
OY-WIN Bombardier Global Express    9280 Execujet Europe
P4-TPS Gulfstream G550 5193 Corporate
RA-67227 Bombardier 605 5803 Corporate
S5-ADD Bombardier 605 5754 Elit Avia
SX-IRP IAI Galaxy G200 142 Gainjet
TC-FIB Bombardier 605 5747 Corporate
VQ-BSC Bombardier Global Express    9297 Corporate
VT-IAH Airbus A319-115X 2837 Corporate
XA-AHM Gulfstream GV 548 Corporate
Day 3 - 29/01/12
Final day and after breakfast I was on the 0830 hotel shuttle bus to the airport. Checked in,
dropped the bag and was on the MSCP for another spell of "cold" spotting just after 0900.
Stayed here until about 1300 when I moved inside to the comfort of Terminal E for my BA
flight back to LHR. A virtually empty terminal and I was able to sit near gates 22/23
unhindered. Nothing that arrives or departs will be missed from here and it also gives views
across to Heliport West which can't be seen from the car park, hence the group of seven
helicopters. Significantly quieter than before but enough to stave off any boredom.
23 airliners seen at Zurich 29/1 until departure at 1700 hrs :
4O-AOP Fokker F-100 (11332) of Montenegro Airlines
4X-EKT Boeing 737-8BK (33030) of El Al Israel Airlines
9A-CQF de Havilland Canada Dash 8Q-402 (4301) of Croatia Airlines
9V-SKP Airbus A380 841 (079) of Singapore Airlines
A4O-DG Airbus A330-243 (1227) of Oman Air
A6-EBE Boeing 777-36NER (32788) of Emirates Airlines
A7-AHR Airbus A320-232 (4968) of Qatar Airways
B-6133 Airbus A330-243 (982) of Hainan Airlines
D-ABFT Airbus A320-214 (4674) of Air Berlin
D-AEMD Embraer EMB.195-200LR (19000305) of Lufthansa Regional
D-AIDG Airbus A321-231 (4672) of Lufthansa
E7-AAE ATR. 72-212 (465) of Bosnia and Herzegovina Airlines
HB-JHK Airbus A330-343X (1276) of Swiss International Air Lines
HS-TND Airbus A340-642 (710) of Thai Airways
OE-LEE Airbus A320-214 (2749) of Fly Niki
OH-BLN Boeing 717-2K9 (55053) of Blue1
OY-KFD Canadair Regional-Jet 900 (15221) of SAS Scandinavian Airlines
OY-KFG Canadair Regional-Jet 900 (15237) of SAS Scandinavian Airlines
S5-AAI Canadair Regional-Jet 200LR (7248) of Adria Airways
TC-AEP Boeing 737-82R (40724) of Pegasus Airlines
TC-JRJ Airbus A321-231 (3429) THY of Turkish Airlines
UR-GAK Boeing 737-5Y0 (26075) of Ukraine International Airlines
VP-BQW Airbus A320-214 (2947) of Aeroflot Russian Airlines
Another 40 Corporate/GA aircraft seen at Zürich on 29/1 :

D-CJJJ Cessna 550S S550-0086 Corporate
D-CLAT Cessna 525B 525B-0085 Corporate
D-COST Cessna 680 680-0153 Corporate
D-ICTA Cessna 550/551 551-0051 Corporate
D-INDY Eclipse Aviation 500 000246 Corporate
D-IVVA Cessna 525A 525A-0147 Corporate
EC-HYI Dassault Falcon 2000 150 Gestair
F-HAGA Cessna 525B 525B-0258 Corporate
G-CIEL Cessna 560 560-5247        London Executive Aviation
G-IDRO Bombardier Global Express 9286 Corporate
HB-DHZ Mooney M.20M 27-0046 Private
HB-FOW Pilatus PC-12-45 411 Corporate
HB-GJH Beech C90 LJ-972 Corporate
HB-IGI Dassault Falcon 900EX 83 Cat Aviation
HB-JGJ Gulfstream G450 4122 Corporate
HB-JLK Dassault Falcon 7X 44 Corporate
HB-JOB Dassault Falcon 7X 80 Corporate
HB-JST Dassault Falcon 7X 17 Cat Aviation
HB-ZCP Agusta A-109E 11075 Karen SA
HB-ZHG Agusta A-109A 7213 Karen SA
HB-ZHP Agusta A-109S 22025 Swift Copters
HB-ZPX Agusta AW-109SP 22230 Skymedia
HB-ZRW Agusta AW-109SP 22207 REGA Swiss Air Ambulance
HB-ZUU Agusta-Westland AW139 31152 Swiss Jet AG
HB-ZUV Agusta-Westland AW139 31236 Air Engiadina
I-FXRI Piaggio P-180 1189 K-air
M-MMAS Bombardier Global Express    9267 Corporate
M-YAAA Bombardier Global Express 9136 Corporate
M-YBST Bombardier 604 5620 Corporate
N1812C Bombardier Global Express 9075 Corporate
N250LG Dassault Falcon 7X 12 Corporate
N415P Gulfstream G550 5312 Corporate
N443M Gulfstream G550 5199 Chevron Petroleum USA
N451NS Gulfstream G450     4082 National Air Services
N5MC Gulfstream G IV 1218 Corporate
N725LB Bombardier Global Express    9129 Corporate
N808JG Gulfstream GV 598 Corporate
OE-GRZ Cessna 525B 525B-0219 Jet Alliance
OE-INU Bombardier 605 5749 VistaJet
OO-CEJ Cessna 525     525-0172 Corporate
SP-ZSZ Bombardier Challenger 300   20044 Jet Service
SX-CDK Embraer ERJ-135BJ 14500998 Corporate
SX-GJN Bombardier Global Express BD-700-1A10 9260 Gainjet
TC-AZR Dassault Falcon 900EX EASy 236 Corporate
VP-BBP Dassault Falcon2000 160 Corporate
VT-SBK Dassault Falcon900EX    89 Corporate
YU-BUU Cessna 525A      525A-0411 Corporate

Finally, a note on the new viewing deck on Terminal B. Entrance is 5 Swiss francs
with the usual PAX style security check.. A radio/SBS or similar is recommended as
anything landing runway 14, (which is most arrivals) cannot be seen after landing unless
they taxi round. Most departures use runway 28 & you need to be quick to read these off
as Terminal A obscures the first half of the runway. Occasional departures off runway 32
will be missed altogether, especially if the cloud base is low.

The airport have to be congratulated on the new terrace, however there were many
enthusiasts, not just from the UK on the car park and I heard many comments about the deck
on Terminal E not being open. And the two photo tours that I went on weren't full. Whether
this will have any influence next year, only time will tell.

My flight back to LHR in newish A320 G-EUYM was full, it took just under 90 mins.
Information about the hotel that Alec used during his three-day visit :
Hotel Welcome Inn, Kloten is about a mile & half from Zurich airport.
Single room was about £80 per night which doesn't include breakfast. Not cheap, but then
Switzerland isn't cheap. A twin room would be about £55 per person. The breakfast was
buffet style & included hot, (scrambled eggs/bacon & baked beans) as well as the usual
continental fare + cereals, fruit, etc. It worked out about £11.Very comfortable room
with all the amenities you'd expect. The hotel has a restaurant & bar. Other restaurants
are nearby in Kloten.
A Shuttle Bus operates from the airport arrivals level at approx. every 30 minutes
(every 15 minutes during peak times). No problem with pick-up from the airport but going
to the airport it's recommended you book with reception. They will give you a time-table.
There are 2 other hotels nearby (Fly Away and Allegra) which maybe worth a look and each
is served by the same courtesy bus.

The short history of Darwin Airlines This second-tier Swiss airline came into being in
2003 when a group of pilots and airline staff met at Lugano/Agno Airport in Switzerland to
form a replacement for the national carrier Swissair, which went bankrupt in March 2002
in the chaotic trading conditions that followed the September 11th attacks on New York the
previous year. Suddenly Lugano had lost all its connecting flights save the one with Zürich
and Darwin Airlines’ first priority was to put Lugano back on the airline map (this lakeside
city had been the main hub of the Swissair subsidiary Crossair). A start-up fund of nine
million Swiss francs was collected to enable aircraft to be leased, staff hired and all the
arrangements made for services to start in 2005. Initially two 50-seat Saab 2000s HB-IZG
and -IZH were used for services to Geneva, Paris/CDG and Rome/Fiumicino ; as time went
by more routes and aircraft were added. By mid 2010 it had six Saab 2000s, then in
November of that year the airline merged with Fly Baboo, the Geneva-based regional carrier
which was operating two Dash 8-400s HB-JQA and -JQB.
          Recording a turnover equivalent to £26.5 million in 2010, Darwin has gone on to
establish itself as an ‘economy business airline’ engaged in scheduled and seasonal services,
charter and ad hoc flights, as well as offering ACMI contracts (aircraft, crew, maintenance
and insurance) for other airlines needing extra capacity, Swiss International Air Lines for
one (Darwin flies four rotations a day between Lugano and Zurich for the national carrier,
which is now a Lufthansa subsidiary). With a combined fleet of six Saab 2000s and two
Dash 8-400s Darwin operates to 21 destinations in all. It has links with eight Italian
destinations under a code-sharing agreement with Alitalia. The name Darwin has nothing to
do with the city in Northern Australia, rather it refers to a gradual evolution of the low-cost
airlines model, avoiding the temptation to grow too fast and providing a quality service that
will encourage customers to come back again and again (it offers sandwiches, muffins and
biscuits as well as alcoholic drinks, tea and coffee during its flights). Easy Jet is clearly a
major competitor on certain routes, but Darwin is quietly confident and expects to carry half
a million passengers in the year ahead. The Fly Baboo branding is now thought to be
unsuitable for the airline’s image and all eight aircraft will bear Darwin Airlines titles from
now on.
The slightly longer history of SkyWork Airlines                       With the motto
‘Your Personal Way to Fly’ SkyWork has been operating in Switzerland since 1983
as a flight training school, changing in 1989 to charter and business flights with a Cessna
340. In 2004 it acquired a Dornier 328 for use in the charter market in conjunction with tour
operators. A further two 328s have been added to the fleet based at Bern-Belp Airport,
near the Swiss capital. In 2009 the first scheduled service began, travelling to Rotterdam.
A Dash 8-Q400 HB-JGA was also acquired and in 2010 the network expanded to take in
Berlin, Hamburg and Barcelona. Palma has now been added to the list of destinations
served from Bern and in March 2011 a six-times weekly London City service was launched.
This proved extremely popular and has now increased to eleven times a week. This new
popularity co-incided with a smart new livery comprising mainly blue, white and yellow.
By the end of 2011 further destinations were added : Elba, Ibiza, Rome, Vienna, Madrid,
Budapest, Amsterdam and Belgrade, with flights to Cologne and Nice to be added in 2012.
The fleet of three 31-seat Dornier 328s HB-AEO, -AER and -AES has been joined by three
Dash 8-Q400s HB-JGA, -JIJ and -JIK, which have 14 business and 58 economy-class seats.
At a time when many airlines are finding it hard to keep going, Skywork is spreading its
wings across Europe and looks set to prosper. Its fleet offers the right size of aircraft and a
quality of service that appeals to business people and tourists alike (it is the first airline to
offer its passengers for use during the flight, ten iPads being handed out free of charge on
each flight, allowing passengers the chance to read the latest newspapers and magazines on-
line, or to play games find out travel information in up to four languages). Complimentary
in-flight snacks are distributed, ten different types of culinary delight being available to suit
the destination of the day, along with a free bottle of water (hot drinks or alcoholic drinks are
available to purchase). Skywork aims to make flying the special experience it once was.
A report on the Russian connection with Shannon Airport Lying near the
west coast of Ireland, Shannon Airport has long been a popular fuel-stop airfield for aircraft
crossing the North Atlantic, especially those heading westward (British Airways A318s
taking business-class passengers to New York need to stop there on the outward journey but
are carried further and faster by prevailing winds and overfly Shannon during their return
journey to London City Airport). Until fairly recently Aeroflot had made extensive use of
Shannon for its flights to North and Central America. Under a contract signed in 1975, Aer
Lingus was to provide ground handling services at Shannon and this led to Ilyushin Il-62
CCP-86610 being the first of the many when it landed on 17th September 1976. It was
followed by many more Il-62s, Il-18s, AN-12s, An-22s and even Tu-114s. All went well for
a while until the cost of Western jet fuel rose dramatically in 1978, when Aeroflot switched
its refuelling stops to Gander in Newfoundland. A unique deal was then dreamed up by the
Shannon Airport manager at the time – this involved Soviet jet fuel being shipped in and
offloaded into a specially-constructed fuel farm for the sole use of Aeroflot. The first tanker
with Soviet fuel arrived in June 1980 and off-loaded 1.25 million gallons, leading to
Aeroflot aircraft making 192 fuel stops there in the remainder of that year. A problem arose
with certain Aeroflot passengers (notably Cubans en route to the USSR) taking advantage of
their time on the ground at Shannon to escape their minders and seek political asylum ! In
1983 the airport authority received permission to sell the cheaper Soviet fuel to other airlines
making transit stops there, in order to entice traffic to the airport and enable Aeroflot to use
the money to offset its own hard currency expenses. Figures for 1980-85 show that Aeroflot
used Shannon for 4,765 transit stops and carried about 500,000 passengers through the
airport. There were some days when seven or eight IL-62s and Il-86s could visit over a 24-
hour period. The year 1992 was the peak of Aeroflot activity through Shannon. A typical
week’s flights that summer listed the following flights, all starting from Moscow and
stopping at Shannon en route to New York/JFK (3 times weekly), Washington/Dulles,
Miami, Chicago/O’Hare, Havana and Lima (3 times weekly), Havana and Kingston/Jamaica
via Managua/Nicaragua, Havana and Mexico City. Aeroflot started to modernise its fleet
soon after the end of the Soviet Union in 1991, taking its first Western-built aircraft (767s)
to Shannon for crew training to be carried out in September 1994. The following year
Aeroflot’s first DC-10-30F could be seen at Shannon, on crew-training flights prior to the
freighter entering service. Around this time the price of Russian-supplied jet fuel rose to a
similar level to Western fuel and the shipments to Shannon came to an end.
          In May 1995 Aeroflot began to base two Il-62s at Shannon in what it called a
‘wayport’, whereby the Irish airport would be used as a hub for its trans-atlantic services.
Feeder services in short-range aircraft such as the Tu-134s of Belavia flew passengers in
from Minsk, St Petersburg, Bratislava and Berlin/Schönefeld, usually on a Friday, with the
aircraft overnighting before they took passengers newly arrived from the Americas back to
CIS destinations, while the passengers from the CIS travelled further across the Atlantic in
the long-range Aeroflot aircraft. In 1995/6 Shannon handled 2,400 annual transit stops by
Aeroflot and other CIS airlines, with ‘the Russian village’ (as it became known) housing up
to 225 Russian aircrew in 20 houses, plus others who stayed in a block of flats in Shannon
town. No wonder Shannon was christened ‘Little Moscow’ by some ! In 1995 when
Aeroflot had acquired sufficient Western-built types, it began to fly non-stop services
between Moscow and the USA with 767s and A310s, resulting in far fewer stops at
Shannon. Likewise the Il-96 in its heyday had the range to reach Cuba and other Latin
American destinations non-stop from Moscow and was rarely seen at Shannon.
           In 1998 an aircraft painting facility was established at Shannon for use by Aeroflot.
A new hangar large enough to house aircraft up to the size of the Il-86 was built with
proceeds from the Duty-Free shops patronised by Aeroflot passengers at Shannon. Brand-
new aircraft such as Tu-154Ms would arrive from production plants in Russia in primer
finish to be painted in Aeroflot colours. Soon aircraft coming back off lease from other
carriers visited Shannon to be repainted in Aeroflot colours as well. The change from Soviet
Union to Commonwealth of Independent States in the summer of 1991 brought in a host of
Aeroflot aircraft for the ‘new’ Russian flag to be painted on their tails and the CCCP marks
to be replaced by the RA- prefix. One of the earliest and most interesting Aeroflot to be
painted was a DC-8-61 5N-HAS (of Hold-Trade Air, c/n 45912) which was put into
Aeroflot/Armenian Airlines joint colours for a six-week lease in 1991. This is believed to
have been the first Western jetliner to have worn Aeroflot colours. Eventually the hangar
was also made available for the painting of airliners from outside the CIS. Air Livery ran
the facility for some years before it was taken over by Lufthansa Technik and then following
a management buy-out, by the current users Eirtech Aviation.
           Many Soviet VIPs including members of the government made transit stops at
Shannon, their flights being undertaken in Aeroflot-marked aircraft (mostly Il-62s) with
civilian registrations – they were of course flown by Soviet Air Force personnel. The Soviet
(and later Russian) government Il-62Ms were distinguishable from the standard Aeroflot
aircraft by the extra communications equipment housed in a long fairing on top of the
fuselage. The same applied to Il-76s passing through to Cuba, presumably en route to Cuba
with military cargo.
            Over the years Shannon developed a close relationship with operators of the giant
Antonov An-124 Ruslan freighter. The first two aircraft to visit were CCCP-82005 and
82031, which made fuel-stops at the end of December 1988, carrying relief supplies from the
USA and Canada after the Armenian earthquake. The airport was ideal for An-124 flights
because it had a long runway and wasn’t too busy. This was important as the start-up and
pushback procedure for the aircraft is quite a protracted affair. In fact the aircraft requires
four minutes on the runway to stabilise the thrust during engine run-ups before commencing
take-off. Following the break-up of the Soviet Union, the operators of the An-124 became
aware that they had a uniquely big load carrier with which to make a lot of money, and the
An-124 is still frequently in use to fly outsize loads that have included jet engines for AOG
(aircraft on ground) situations, also huge components for power-stations, not to mention
Hawk jet trainers being delivered to Canada and US Army helicopters requiring immediate
transport to the USA ; even the RAF has called in ‘the big Antonov’ to fly dismantled RAF
Tornadoes and helicopters to and from the Falklands and various battlegrounds. The
Russian freight company Volga-Dnepr established a marketing and operational agreement
with UK cargo specialist Heavylift, while the Antonov Design Bureau (ADB) of the
Ukraine, where the aircraft are built had a similar agreement with Air Foyle of the UK.
Volga-Dnepr set up an Irish subsidiary to carry out line maintenance on its An-124s in 1996.
This work was carried out in the open on a remote part of Shannon Airport, as many as six
An-124s being seen on some occasions, with engine-changes taking several days to
complete. In 2006 the company shifted its maintenance operation to Leipzig, Germany to be
nearer to its bases in the CIS. Another An-124 operator was Polet Airlines, whose two
aircraft RA-82069 and 82070 were regular visitors in the mid 1990s. An even larger
Antonov freighter the one and only An-225 Mriya has made several visits to Shannon, the
first in November 1991. Its six-engined layout, huge wing and twin tail fins make it a very
distinctive shape in the sky.
                Apart from the aircraft arriving for painting and maintenance, Shannon is a
much quieter place than in the years of Russian domination ! Ryanair and Aer Lingus are
now the main users, with United Airlines operating a daily flight to the USA and British
Airways A318s call in for fuel when travelling westbound as explained earlier. A few other
airlines use the airport for crew training flights, but the airport is no longer the hub of
activity it once was when Soviet- and Russian-registered aircraft came and went regularly.
The annual Russian ski-flight invasion of Salzburg The beautiful Austrian city
of Salzburg is renowned as the setting for ‘The Sound of Music’ and is noted as being the
birthplace of composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, but for thousands of Russians its main
attraction is the opportunities for skiing and snowboarding in the nearby Alpine ski resorts.
After the break up of the Soviet Union in 1991 it was at first only the super rich who could
afford skiing holidays in the West, but in recent years such winter breaks have become more
affordable and it now seems as if some resorts in the Salzburg area are now used only by
Russians and Eastern Europeans. Salzburg Airport receives a large number of ski flights in
early January, the aircraft are parked in and around Terminal 2, with many additional staff
being hired to deal with baggage handling and to drive the passengers to and from their
aircraft and then off to their chosen resorts. Smaller regional airliners are then obliged to use
the General Aviation area for parking due to the large number of visiting airliners. The
record number of arrivals in one day is believed to have been the 38 flights from Russia and
former parts of the USSR on Saturday 13th January 2007. During the 1990s and early 2000s
the Tupolev 154 undertook most Russian flights into Salzburg, but larger types are now seen
more often, for example on 9th January 2012 three wide-bodied Il-96 aircraft of Aeroflot
were to be seen on the tarmac together. Now almost all the airliners seen are Western-built,
some even as large as Boeing 747s and 777s (noisy jets such as the MD-80, Tu-154, Tu-134
and Yak 40/42 are banned on noise grounds). Russian and CIS airlines represented have
been TransAero, Vladivostok Air, I Fly Airlines, Red Wings, Kuban, Ukraine International,
NordAvia, Rossiya, RusJet, Ural Airlines, Donbassaero and even Air Bashkortostan ! An
increasing number of super-rich Russians use business jets as their means of arrival, some
being RA-registered but a lot chartered from Net Jets and similar companies.
                  Saturdays seem to be the busiest days for ski flights, with airliners from all
over Europe arriving to disgorge passengers into the freezing Salzburg air. Many of these are
Scandinavian airlines that include SAS, Cimber Air, Norwegian , Malmo Aviation and Air
Finland. Such a large number of flights attracts spotters and enthusiasts from all over
Europe and the airport authorities at Salzburg have provided a usefully-sized open-air
viewing terrace on top of the terminal building. Viewing of aircraft is possible from a variety
of places around the airport perimeter, not just from the terminal : there is a mound close to
the taxiway, from which excellent views of passing aircraft are possible, permitting close-up
photos over the fence without a ladder. The airport authorities are to be congratulated for
their positive approach to aircraft enthusiasts. Well-wrapped against the cold, around 1000
enthusiasts (many of them photographers) could be seen on Saturday 13th January.
Surrounded by mountains on three sides, Salzburg Airport poses a challenge to pilots of
landing aircraft ; airliners circling to make their final approach are often well-placed for
photos with snowy peaks behind them.
The Singapore Air Show                Held at Changi Airport/Exhibition Centre between 14th
and 19th February, the Singapore Air Show was one of the most important shows in the Far
East. All the major western aerospace companies were represented, especially Eurocopter,
Embraer, Bombardier and Gulfstream, although Airbus showed only the A318CJ executive
airliner and the A330 tanker-transport, missing a trick or two to Boeing who proudly showed
off the 787 and also had a B-52 in the air and a C-17 listed in the programme as doing
aerobatics ! Other Boeing products in the static display were a KC-135 and E-3B AWACS,
together with the final Singapore Airlines 747-412 9V-SPQ. New to this show was the Twin
Otter 400 promoted by Viking Air of British Columbia, whose upgraded machine is now
building up a healthy order-book. Local performers in the flying display were a team of five
Royal Malaysian Air Force Mig-29Ns called appropriately ‘The Smokey Bandits’, an F-
15SG and F-16C of the Royal Singapore Air Force, and the Roulettes a formation aerobatic
team of 6 red and white painted Pilatus PC-9s. The flying display seemed rather short-lived,
lasting no more than an hour, but it included some brilliant aerobatics by the Blair
Aerosports Rebel 300, a single-engined CAP.10B look-alike.
Preservation news          -       13 aircraft of the Coventry-based Classic Flight have
been donated by Mike Collett, Chairman of Air Atlantique, to become the basis of a new
organisation, called TCAT (The Classic Aircraft Trust). Nine of these are British-built jets
(Canberras WK163 and ‘VN799’, Jet Provosts XM424 and XW433, Meteor T.7 WA591 and
NF.11 WM167, Vampire T.55 ‘XJ771’, and Venoms ‘WK436’ and ‘WR470’). The others
are Anson WD413, Chrislea Super Ace G-AKVF, Pembroke XL954 and Twin Pioneer
G-APRS. As a charitable trust TCAT will be able to benefit from tax advantages such as
Gift Aid from visitors to the AIRBASE and fund-raising activities to increase its revenue
stream, which has slowed down in recent years (as an example of the expenses involved, a
new RR Avon is needed if the former record-breaking Canberra WK163 is to fly again – this
will cost £200,000 to buy and fit). Two of the longest-serving DC-3s in the Air Atlantique
fleet are to move to East Midlands Airport to join RVL (the former Atlantic Reconnaissance
company) for a new career as oil-spill sprayers when needed. DC-3 G-AMRA is to remain
at Coventry, together with the Devon VP981, Dragon Rapides G-AGTM and G-AIDL,
DC-6A G-APSA, Shackleton WR963 and Nimrod XV232 and a number of smaller types
(Proctor, Prentice, Chipmunk). Having spent a small fortune on acquiring and preserving all
these aircraft, Mike Collett is anxious that they should not have to be sold off and leave the
country. His vision in preserving these classic British aircraft is to be applauded.
                             -        The RAF Museum at Cosford now has its own
Lockheed Hercules C.3 transport aircraft since the arrival of XV202 last August. It was
finally moved into its permanent display position on 13th December by a team of RAF
technicians and engineers from 47 Sqn. This aircraft was one of 30 C.1s converted to C.3
standard, out of the order for 66 aircraft originally delivered from 1966 onwards. The
conversion by Marshalls of Cambridge involved lengthening the fuselage by some 15 ft.
                            -         The Fairey Gannet AS.4 XA460 that has been in
store at AeroVenture museum in Doncaster for many years has now moved to the care of the
Ulster Aviation Society at Long Kesh, Northern Ireland. Coded ‘768’, the anti-submarine
aircraft once served with 849 Sqn at Brawdy and often patrolled the waters of the Irish Sea
and North Atlantic around Northern Ireland.
                               -        The original prototype Beagle 206X G-ARRM that
has been undergoing restoration at Shoreham Airport in Sussex was transported on 10 th
December to the Farnborough Air Sciences Trust Museum for public display. The aircraft
originally took to the air in on 15th August 1961 – it is not expected to fly again.
Military news              -       The Russian Government has ordered 92 Sukhoi Su-34
long-range strike aircraft to replace the ageing fleet of Su-24 Fencer swing-wing bombers
operated by the Russian air force. Six are already in use at the Russian test and evaluation
centre at Lipetsk, with 10 more due to be delivered this year under the terms of a previous
contract. There are plans for the service to eventually field a total of around 120 Su-34s
assigned to five squadrons. Meanwhile the Russian Navy is to receive 20 advanced-
specification Mig-29K Fulcrum single-seat fighters and 4 Mig29KUB two-seat trainers after
an order was signed in late February. Deliveries are to be made between 2013 and 2015,
with the aircraft to be flown from Russia’s only aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov,
which currently operates Su-33 naval fighters.
Bravest of the Brave                 Professor John Houlder
              John Houlder, who has died at the age of 95, was Britain’s oldest registered
pilot and was perhaps best known as the manager of Elstree Aerodrome, which he took over
in 1952 and managed personally until 2010. He was the owner of Cessna 310C G-ARBI in
the 1960s and in 1968 he took delivery of a very smart twin-engined Aero Commander 680E
registered G-AWOE, which still resides in the large black hangar at Elstree, wearing a very
distinctive colour-scheme of black, white and orange. It is thanks to John Houlder and his
welcoming attitude to aviation enthusiasts that we can still get permission to wander freely
around the aerodrome at Elstree (keeping a sharp look-out for approaching aircraft on the
aprons and taxiways, of course). He was to fly this aircraft on many long-distance
expeditions, as explained later
           John Houlder had made a name for himself at a much earlier stage of his life
as a marine engineer and was in fact to become a Visiting Professor of Ship and Marine
Technology, receiving that honour from Strathclyde University in 1982. His early years
gave no hint of his later passion for flying. John was born at Epsom, Surrey in February
1916, but hated school and at 16 he became a £2 a week apprentice fitter in a ship-repair
yard. He greatly enjoyed this work, sharing digs with three other apprentices and studying
most evenings (he passed top in the examination of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers).
His father took him away after three years and made him learn shorthand and typing, after
which he joined the London shipbroking firm H Clarkson, becoming personal assistant to the
shipbroker responsible for all the chartering of tankers for Standard Oil of New Jersey (now
Esso Petroleum). The family shipping firm Houlder Brothers operated a line of refrigerated
ships between London and South America and John’s interest in the business led to him
joining the family firm as a junior director in 1935 when he was just 19. The next few years
saw him taking a growing rôle in management of the shipping-line, travelling across the
world with the ships and gaining a thorough knowledge of marine engineering. Family
shipowners since the middle of the 19th century, the Houlder Brothers in 1911 became a
subsidiary of the Furness Withy. John made his name in the enlarged group, being popularly
referred to in the office as ‘Mr John’ - a title that stayed with him to the end of his life. He
was sometimes to be found on his hands and knees in the naval architects’ office with a
Meccano set, designing new cranes for the ships he ran.
           In February 1938 he took flying lessons at Brooklands Aerodrome in Surrey and
four months later bought his first aeroplane, a sixth-hand nine-year old Gipsy Moth, in
which he immediately flew to Hungary to take part in the Hungarian Aero Club’s Magyar
Pilota Piknik, a trip he always considered the adventure of his life (in fact he navigated from
the UK to the other side of Hungary by following railway lines). The following summer the
outbreak of war prevented him from being prosecuted for dangerous low flying when he
performed a slow roll very low over a friend’s house and garden in his next aeroplane, a
Miles Hawk. He joined the Territorial Army and was attached to the Royal Artillery. He
was posted in turn to Norway, Egypt, Crete and then Tobruk where he found himself in
charge of the dockyard at the age of 24, as second in command of all the dock area, where
supplies for the beleaguered garrison were being brought in by merchant ships with Royal
Navy destroyer escorts. They could only unload for two hours in the middle of the night
before having to leave safer waters, as the Germans had complete air superiority over
Tobruk at that time and the Italian Army had encircled the city. John’s task was to organise
the 100 New Zealanders and 50 Australian troops of a Railway Construction Company, 1000
Libyan army labourers, a Jewish Pioneer company and a gang of Arab lightermen with
experience of unloading ships. Soon after his arrival he was made their Commanding Officer
with the rank of Major and told to get on with it. However the Italian shelling of the city
continued and John was hit by shrapnel, losing the use of his left arm completely, a handicap
that he refused to accept, leading a long and active life that many would envy. He was
repatriated by destroyer, marrying en route the nurse who looked after him. He was
delighted to be appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire - MBE (military) -
for his work in organising the Allied supply-chain in North Africa.
          Back in England and after a period of convalescence, expecting to be invalided out
of the Army, he took on a job as a civil servant in the War Ministry’s Transport Department,
but was soon called in to assist Combined Operations at their Experimental Establishment at
Westward Ho and then in London. He devised and tested specialist kit for landing stores
and other equipment during D-Day. To see how his equipment worked he went over the
Normandy for three weeks shortly after the invasion - he visited the landing beaches and
took charge of the port of Courseilles, which had escaped demolition. Later he was sent to
India to assess requirements for amphibious operations.
             Post war, John Houlder returned to the shipping business, focussing on ship
design and operation, steering Houlders into purpose-built ore carriers, gas carriers and drill
ships. As offshore technology rapidly advanced, the family company specialised in semi-
submersibles and diving support vessels. His most notable achievement was the design and
delivery of an underwater construction vessel nicknamed “Uncle John”, for which he was
awarded a Gold Medal by the Institute of Marine Engineers as well as the President’s Award
of the Society for Underwater Technology, of which he later became President himself.
John Houlder’s leadership of this project led to him being appointed CBE in 1977. John’s
business career was centred on ship design and operation. He became a director of Furness
Withy in 1954 and was chief executive of Houlder companies for several decades. His last
shipping connection was as a director of Hadley Shipping, on whose board he served for 64
years. His style was sometimes reminiscent of an absent-minded professor, so it seemed
fitting that he actually became Visiting Professor to the Department of Ship and Marine
technology at Strathclyde University, Glasgow in 1982, where a lecture hall has been named
after him.
              John’s main hobby was always flying, closely followed by his passion for
birdwatching. John was keen to take up flying again after the war – it was to become his
major interest in life : he did a course of aerobatics at Luton, followed by a blind-flying
course (flying ‘under the hood’ in a Tiger Moth gave him a life-long confidence in flying on
instruments). His father then gave him a Miles Messenger and this soon gave way to a Miles
Gemini, the first of several twin-engined aircraft. He used to fly in this aircraft to friends’
houses up and down the country : in the nose locker he had a roll of electric fencing that he
would set up around the aircraft on arrival to keep the sheep from scratching themselves on
his precious aeroplane ! When he took on the Cessna 310 in the early 1960s he designed a
supercharger that would increase its performance when flying over the Alps (the CAA soon
approved this modification). He himself served on various technical committees of the Air
Registration Board (later the CAA). In 1949 he was invited as a civil pilot to attempt the
new Instrument Rating that had been introduced two years before. He passed this test and
subsequently held an Instrument Rating uninterruptedly for 59 years, longer than any other
British pilot.
            By the mid 1950s John was comfortably installed as manager of Elstree. He was
invited by Lord Aldenham in 1950 to run the then derelict Aldenham aerodrome where
Wellingtons and Halifaxes had been maintained and repaired during the war, and he took out
a 40-year lease on the site. He subsequently extended the lease ‘to accommodate his
aeroplane’ as he put it. He even wrote the computer programme for the accounting at this
busy GA airfield. Until the age of 93 he was actively engaged in the day to day management
of what became under his stewardship a thriving airfield, one of the busiest general aviation
fields in the country and the nearest to Central London. As often as not, he was to be found
in the tower keeping in radio contact with the student pilots from the London School of
Flying or the Elstree Flying Club.
            In 1966 he became a founder member of the Air Squadron, an organisation that
existed to foster the spirit of adventure in aviation, with just 100 members who strove to
emulate the great flights of the early days. John flew abroad frequently, visiting Russia,
Tanzania, Pakistan, Morocco, North America, South Africa, Norway, Poland and Serbia.
Often the airport authorities found it hard to believe the elderly gentleman climbing out of
G-AWOE was not just the pilot, but also the owner of the aeroplane ! He was a regular
supporter of the Air Squadron’s Awards Day at RAF Cranwell as well as the Air Squadron’s
annual visits to RAF stations. In 2000 he was awarded the Air Squadron’s Gold Medal for
his largely solo flight to North America and back at the age of 84.
            John regularly flew his Aero Commander to the family cottage in the Shetland
Islands to indulge his passion for bird-watching, to his wife’s family house in Ireland and to
Switzerland. He made over 100 flights to Samedan, the high-altitude airfield near St Moritz
for skiing holidays, even sleeping in his aeroplane on the rear seat that opened out to make
a bed. Unnervingly, he pioneered a method of flying up the valleys of the Alps in zero
visibility by comparing a series of his own photographs with the images coming up on his
radarscope. When he travelled by commercial airliner to Buenos Aires to visit Houlder
Brothers’ properties in Argentina, he is said to have booked three adjoining seats in
Economy Class, taking a screw driver with him to remove the arm-rests so that he could
stretch out and sleep ! His PPL was validated to allow him to fly Argentine-registered
aircraft when he made widespread aerial searches for the breeding areas of flamingos.
           John’s long-distance flights in the Aero Commander were legendary : in 1995 he
flew out to Zanzibar, East Africa, two years later he took G-AWOE to Pakistan, in the year
2000 he flew the Atlantic to undertake a long tour of the USA, Canada and Alaska, being
subsequently awarded the Gold Medal of the Air Squadron for that largely solo voyage In
2000 he also received the Royal Aero Club’s Cowburn and Kay Trophy (the ‘Old and Bold’
Trophy). Houlder, who had many thousands of flying hours to his credit, undertook another
African tour in his aeroplane in March 2003. As he reached his late 80s the Civil Aviation
Authority could scarcely believe that he was still competent to fly, but during his annual
assessment he repelled efforts to ground him by flying the most complicated instrument
patterns perfectly. His much favoured and well-travelled Aero Commander, which he
nicknamed ‘The Black Beast’, had its co-pilot’s seat removed to allow the fitting of a map
cabinet for all his flying charts and documents. Alongside its original Lear autopilot from the
1960s with its autoland capability, he added no fewer than three GPS units. Because of his
unique modifications, the flight manual carried a restriction naming John as the only
authorised pilot.
            A man of immense intellect, great charm and a wicked sense of humour, John was
renowned for being what the Scots might call ‘careful’ (maybe this is why the Elstree
‘tower’ is a still a somewhat ramshackle building far removed from the state of the art ATC
buildings at Biggin Hill or Fair Oaks). With over 15,000 flying hours to his name, he was
justifiably described by one aviation journal as being a ‘one-man English aviation
institution’). A colleague who works in the tower at Elstree said “He was a bit of an
eccentric and a real character : everyone at the airfield loved him very much for all the
work that he had done. He was the perfect English gentleman in many ways”. At the age
of 92 he himself finally decided that he should fly with a safety pilot on board and had the
co-pilot’s seat and dual controls refitted to G-AWOE, which remains in its familiar place in
the big black hangar at Elstree. Two years ago John took a back seat from his work at the
aerodrome, but still went flying until he was 94. John Houlder died on 2 nd February 2012,
just two weeks short of his ninety-sixth birthday.
Trips and visits             We have been offered ten places on a morning visit to the
Rolls-Royce Heritage Centre in Derby on Wednesday 30th May. As usual let me know
as soon as possible to reserve a place on this trip, which tells the story of all Rolls Royce’s
famous engines from the RR Eagle of WWI to the ‘R’ type used in the Schneider Trophy
racers, the Merlin and Griffon of WWII to the Avon, Conway RB.211 and Trent series of
today. Our previous trip, back in 2003, was a most interesting visit.
I have listed below the trips that the West Midlands Branch is organising for its members
(in heavy print) in 2012, plus a selection of other airshows, fly-ins etc that may be of
interest during the year. A very good place to check on aviation events in Great Britain is
the Royal Aero Club’s web-site : royalaeroclub.org/calendar of events
Let me know in good time which of our branch trips you want to go on. Branch trips are
generally by car to keep the costs down and often include stops en route at extra ‘targets of
opportunity’ : farm-strips, gliding-sites etc. No foreign day-trips are listed here at the
moment, but we expect to announce these shortly.

 Saturday 14th April               Daffodil Fly-In, Fenland
 Saturday 14th                     Aerobatic competition at Breighton, Yorks
 and Sunday 15th April
 Saturday 14th                     Old Buckenham Air Races
 and Sunday 15th April
 Sunday 6th May                    Shuttleworth Collection Spring Airshow,
                                   Old Warden, Beds
 Sunday 6th May                    Abingdon Air and Country Show
 Sunday 6th May                    Open Day and fast taxi runs at Bruntingthorpe
 Monday 7th May                    Popham Fly-in with Classic Vehicles and Aerojumble
 Saturday 12th                     Aerobatic competition at Sleap, Shropshire
 and Sunday 13th May
 Saturday 19th May                 Spring Evening Airshow, Old Warden, Beds
 Saturday 19th                     Vintage Balloon Inflation Days, Lakeside Lodge,
 and Sunday 20th May                     Pidley, Hunts
 Saturday 19th May                 Branch trip to Gatwick and Heathrow
 Friday 25th                       Elvington Wings and Wheels
 to Sunday 27th May
 Saturday 26th May                 Vintage Glider Club Rally, Sutton Bank, Yorks
 to Sunday 3rd June
 Sunday 27th May                   Duxford Jubilee Air Show
 Wednesday 30th May                Branch trip to Rolls-Royce Heritage Centre at Derby
 Saturday 26th                     Southend Festival of the Air
 and Sunday 27th May
Saturday 2nd             Gliding competitions at Lasham and Aston Down
to Sunday 10th June
Sunday 3rd June          Shuttleworth Midsummer Air Show, Old Warden
Friday 8th June          Sea-front Air Show, Dawlish, Devon
Saturday 9th             Air-Britain Fly-In, North Weald
and Sunday 10th June
Saturday 9th             Cleethorpes Air Show
and Sunday 10th June
Saturday 9th             De Havilland Moth Club Charity Flying Weekend
and Sunday 10th June     at Old Warden
Saturday 9th June        Branch trip to Marshalls at Cambridge Airport
Sunday 10th June         Royal Observer Corps Open Day at Stoke Golding
Sunday 10th June         Jodel Fly in Dunkeswell, Devon
Wednesday 13th June      Branch trip to Southend, London City and Stansted
Friday 15th              Aerobatic competition at Compton Abbas
and Saturday 16th June
Saturday 16th June       Old Warden Evening Air Show
Saturday 16th June       Queen’s Birthday Flypast over the Mall, London
Saturday 16th June       Welshpool Carnival Air Show
Saturday 16th June       Helicopter Championship, Sywell
Saturday 16th            Gliding Championship, Husbands Bosworth
to Sunday 24th June
Saturday 16th June       Wings and Wheels event at Wickenby, Lincs
and Sunday 17th June
Saturday 16th June       Cockpitfest 2011 at Newark Air Museum
and Sunday 17th June
Sunday 17th June         RAF Cosford Airshow 2011
Sunday 17th June         De Havilland Fly-in at Panshanger
Saturday 23rd June       International Air Day, RNAS Yeovilton
Saturday 23rd            Sea-front Air Festival, Lowestoft
and Sunday 24th June
Saturday 23rd June       Gliding competition, Shenington
to Sunday 1st July
Saturday 23rd            Herefordshire Aero Club Open Weekend at Shobdon
and Sunday 24th June
Sunday 24th June         Old Buckenham Air Show
Wednesday 27th June      Branch trip to Manchester Airport
Friday 29th June         Festival of Speed, Goodwood, Sussex
to Sunday 1st July
Sunday 1st July          Military Pageant Airshow, Old Warden
Wednesday 4th July       Branch trip to Bournemouth (including the
                         Bournemouth Aviation Museum on its new site)
Saturday 30th June       Gliding competition on the Long Mynd, Shropshire
to Saturday 7th July
Saturday 30th June       RAF Waddington International Air Show
and Sunday 1st July
Saturday 30th June       Flying Legends 2011, Duxford
and Sunday 1st July
Sunday 1st July          Shuttleworth Collection Military Pageant,
                         Old Warden, Beds
Saturday 7th July        Royal International Air Tattoo, Fairford, Glos
and Sunday 8th July
Saturday 7th July        Vintage Wings and Wheels, North Coates, Lincs
and Sunday 8th July
Saturday 14th July       Farnborough Air Show Public Days
and Sunday 15th July
Saturday 21st July       Evening Airshow, Old Warden
Saturday 21st            Sunderland International Air Show
and Sunday 22nd July
Friday 27th July         Opening of the Olympic Games
                              (they end on Sunday 12th August)
Saturday 4th             Gliding competitions at Husbands Bosworth
to Sunday 12th August          and Nympsfield
Sunday 5th August        Shuttleworth Military Pageant Air Display,
                               Old Warden, Beds
Thursday 9th August      International Balloon Fiesta, Ashton Court, Bristol
to Sunday 12th August
Thursday 9th August      Eastbourne International Airshow, Sussex
to Sunday 12th August         (free seafront display)
Saturday 11th August     August Evening Air Show, Old Warden
Saturday 11th August     Combined Operations display, Headcorn, Kent
and Sunday 12th August
Sunday 12th August       Blackpool Air Show
Wednesday 15th August    Weymouth Carnival and Air Show
Wednesday 15th August    Branch trip to London light fields
Saturday 18th August     Portsmouth Air Festival
Saturday 18th August     Flying Proms, Old Warden
Saturday 18th            Gliding competitions at Bickmarsh and Dunstable,
to Sunday 26th August    Wittering and Lasham
Sunday 19th August       Sywell Air Show
Friday 17th to           International DH Moth Rally, Belvoir Castle,
Sunday 19th August              Leicestershire
Sunday 19th August       Tiger Club aerobatic competition, Headcorn
Thursday 23rd            Clacton Airshow (free seafront display)
and Friday 24th August
Sunday 26th August       Children in Need Charity Airshow with classic and
                              vintage vehicles, Little Gransden, Cambridgeshire
Sunday 26th August       Best of British Show, Cotswold Airport (Kemble)
and Monday 27th August
Sunday 26th August       Wings and Wheels 2011, Dunsfold, Surrey
and Monday 27th August
Thursday 30thAugust              Bournemouth Air Festival (free sea-front display)
to Sunday 2nd September
Saturday 1st                     Aerobatic competition, Leicester
and Sunday 2nd September
Saturday 1st                     Fly to the Past Air Show, Oxford Airport
and Sunday 2nd September
Saturday 1st                     RAFA Shoreham Air Show, Sussex
and Sunday 2nd September
Sunday 2nd September             Shuttleworth Pageant Air Show
Sunday 2nd September             Helicopter Fly-In, Breighton
Wednesday 5th September          Branch trip to Cranfield and Luton
Friday 7th                       Gliding competition, Saltby, Leics.
to Sunday 9th September
Saturday 8th                     Duxford Airshow
and Sunday 9th September
Saturday 8th                     Southport Sea-front Air Show
and Sunday 9th September
Thursday 13th September          Branch trip to RAF Shawbury to see the storage
                                 hangars
Thursday 13th September          International Air Display, Jersey
Saturday 15th September          RAF Benevolent Fund Airshow, East Kirkby, Lincs
                                 (home of the Lancaster ‘Just Jane’)
Saturday 22nd September          Branch trip to Gatwick and Heathrow
Sunday 23rd September            Cold War Jets Open Day, Bruntingthorpe


In next month’s newsletter             We take a look at the Al Mahatta air museum in Sharjah
which among other exhibits has the nose section of a De Havilland Comet 2 G-AMXA in
BOAC colours – this is the same airframe that was once mounted on the spectators terrace at
Gatwick Airport ! Also more details of the Swiss Air Force museum at Dübendorf and we
consider the state of aviation in India as Kingfisher Airlines stands poised on the brink of
collapse. Plus the list of GB airliners that have been sold abroad, or been cancelled from the
British register in 2011 for other reasons (held over for lack of space this month), and news
from Seattle that Boeing is planning a new version of the 777 with longer wing-span and
some use of composites in its main structure, technology borrowed from the 787 design.
Your last chance for cheaper Air Tattoo tickets                If you want to take advantage
of cheaper ticket prices for the Royal International Air Tattoo at Fairford on 7th - 8th July
(currently £34) you have only got until 31st March . After 31st March the Earlybird offers
are over and the standard price will be £39 plus £4 booking fee. Call 0800-107-1940 to
book your Earlybird tickets now.
The days are getting longer, and warmer, so it’s time to be planning what aviation trips are
possible this year. Enjoy the hobby !

                                                                               Alan.

				
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