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mobydog

What is your greatest flying experience?

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Like most people, my experience of flying is mainly civilian airliners. I have been up in light aircraft a couple of times but the best flying experience I had was when I worked a night shift with the West Midlands Police helicopter.
I used to be a police controller, my job was to handle resources and prioritise jobs as they came in. A very stressful and intense role, my main task, as I saw it, was to keep my "troops" safe.
One of the resources at my disposal was 'Alpha Oscar One', the police helicopter.
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The powers that be decided, as controllers, we needed to know exactly the limitations of this unit and how best to deploy them. We were told that we were going to have to work with them for a night shift to get this information.
What a fantastic few hours they were. The helicopter then was an MD 902 Explorer. Each crew has a civilian (usually ex military) pilot and two police officer observers. Without many of the restrictions of civilian aircraft they have a freedom that amazed me.
Dropping thousands of feet like a stone to tag onto stolen vehicles, banking at ridiculous angles and the like. I remember the aircraft circling the location of a dropped car near Birmingham International and the pilot saying "Lads, I need to get out of the way for a minute". When we looked to starboard there were the landing lights of a 737 on finals not very far away!
Doing things that they probably shouldn't because I was on board like flying round the course at Dunstall Park Racecourse and hovering low in Wolve's ground Molineux at 4am.
So, come on. Your best flying moment?
Andy

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I probably have two...

  1. My only flying lesson with BA flying club at Booker about 15 years ago - an hour in a little Piper with a retired ex-BOAC VC-10 pilot as instructor - just pootling around the sky - fantastic!
  2. At 16yrs old waiting to fly a Cape Air HS748 from George to Cape Town and finding it had gone u/s and was replaced by a Cape Air DC-3! A magic flight all at about 10,000ft - very bumpy and noisy and me grinning like a Cheshire cat. Landed at Cape Town and parked next to a SAA Jumbo! Now there was a sight!

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Never done any military flying but did do a few flying lessons years ago, however here are my highlights:

Flying in a Cessna 185 and landing on the Tasman Glacier

Sitting the Co-Pilots seat of a GAF Nomad in and out of Milford Sound and being asked to hold onto the wheel whilst the pilot did his paperwork!

Flying in a DHC Beaver and taking off and landing in vancouver Harbour( yes it had floats)

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Flying in a six-ship of L-39's with the 'Team Rus' Russian aerobatic team based at Vyazma......

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300 US Dollars for 30 minutes - a bargain

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Full story here.

Then there was the flight we blagged in a Beriev Be-200 flying boat at Gelendzhik in 2008.....

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We actually skimmed the water, picked up a load - and then dropped it !!

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Again, more pics here.

I've also flown in various Russian helicopters - Mi-2, Mi-8, Ka-26, plus a few An-2's - all great trips.

Ken

Edited by Flankerman

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Went to Las Vegas in 1992,the pound against the dollar was very good,forked out £180 for the wife and me to go on a helicopter trip to the Grand Canyon.I sat in the co-pilots seat,flew over the Hoover dam,then down to the canyon,where the pilot landed the chopper on the edge of the ravine.Just awesome,and he piped 'Flight of the Valkeries' through the headset.Deffo a bucket list moment!

Dave.

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A few for me. And in no particular order.

Doing shandells in a T21 Sedburgh with my instructor.

STOL take off in a Piper PA18 Super CUB.

Tiger Moth flight

Beaver in Canada ...on floats.....Twice! And from the front seat.

Aeros in Chipmunk

and....

From the front seat in a SNJ Texan over Kissimmee plus lots of hands on time!!!

Oh... and another Harvard/Texan flight from Shoreham!!.

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1. First solo in an ATC Kirby Cadet, flying from Chivenor on a lovely early summer evening. Only 5 minutes, and I was thinking hard all the way round rather than taking in the view, but it was brilliant.

2. Hartford, Connecticut to JFK in an eight-seater puddle-jumper as the sun went down, ending up with a low altitude fly-by of Manhattan in the darkening twilight -- like the opening of a Woody Allen movie, except in colour and with the thrum of the engines replacing Rhapsody in Blue...

bestest,

M.

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Had a ride in one of Air Atlantique's old Daks, quite a long time ago now.

Although not an actual flight, I did have a taxi ride in the Lanc "Just Jane". That was just one of the best days ever, for me. :wub:

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one of the following 4...

1) Aerobatics in a Chipmunk, way back as an ATC cadet

2) soloing from Chivenor in a Venture, again with the ATC

3) numerous right hand seat rides in twin otters and Dash 7s when I worked for the local airline

and

4) looking for submarines in a Nimrod, again with the ATC

steve

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My first solo at the age of 17 at tee side international airport. Had to do a ho around and then circle while a passenger jet landed! Was supposed to be a quick 10 min circuit, think I logged 35 mins in the end!! Instructor was pretty cross but more relived!

Also remember going on an aircadet flight in a chipmunk at the age of 13, barely being able to see over the instrument panel. The pilot was an ex Bucc pilot and flew the chippy like it was one! Especially the landing!!

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First Solo in Piper Warrior PA28 G-BOFY, I can remember every second (and mistake), still my best landing by far though..."Spin avoidance" in the same, 6,000ft to 3,000ft recover and do it over again, loved doing EFATO's too.......those were the days!

One day I'll return.....one day soon I hope!

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Well...

It has to be a trip from Oslo Gardemoen to Keflavik Iceland in a C-130 from the Norwegian air force. In a passenger configuration on the trip up as they were flying to Canada. The return flight was made via Bodø to Gardemoen in a snow blizzard delivering missiles. And I had the pleasure of sitting/lying in the cockpit the hole return flight....

It was amazing when landing in Bodø and when the wind took hold of the aircraft on the apron and we slided along on the ice... The pilot just used the throttles to back us up again..

An amazing trip!

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Would have to be my two years with the Free Northumbrian Air Force (aka NUAS) at RAF Leeming. This was at a time when both 11 and 25 sqns were flying the F3 out of Leeming, with 100 on the Hawk, which always left one feeling rather exposed whilst beetling around the sky!

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My most interesting flying experience were in my military duty. As squadron intelligence officer, I was once allowed to fly in a Mirage III (twin seater, obviously). During some other traning courses with pilots, I also flew the PC-9, PC-7, once the Hawk simulator and the helis (Alouette 3 and Super Puma / Cougar). In the civil life, we were doing some IFR flights in a Beech Baron when I was an ATCO-trainee , which was funny. And once a observer flight in a Swissair A-319 Zurich-Brussels and back. I was even allowed to do the radio coms...

So, not being a pilot, I must admit I have done much with aeroplanes!

Alex

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Not a pilot but lots of great trips in the past....

1. Back seat in a 26 ship Hawk formation over London for the VJ Day 50th Anniversary celebrations in August 1995. Made all the more memorable by declaring a minor emergency on our recovery back into Valley some 45 minutes later.

2. Chasing a Buccaneer formation over the North Sea from the right hand seat of a Hunter T.7 on a late summer evening

3. Flying low level along a Norwegian fjord in a Czech Mil-24 Hind

Happy days

Tiger331

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35 minute flight in the left seat of a OH-58D from the famous Air Cav whilst in

Bosnia back in 1997, countless trips in Lynx and Gazelles from our AAC chums

and weekly flights the Dutch Airforce Alouette to pick up mail and crypto, after the Alouettes

left Bosnia 299 Sqn THG took over in the MBB BO-105's so I managed to blag a few trips in them.

Missed out on a Apache flight which was a real pain.. that was due to getting the crew ratters

on heineken beer the night before as a bribe to fly.. hangover was too bad to get out of bed .... They must of flown to Split the that morning

with really really bad heads :sick:

Newspaper cutting from a Dutch paper showing the flying site at Santici, my det is in the background

the poor old Landrover 110 FFR

PaperCutting_zps29a0c1c0.jpg

I've got plenty of pictures somewhere, just need to find them :banghead:

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Not a pilot but lots of great trips in the past....

1. Back seat in a 26 ship Hawk formation over London for the VJ Day 50th Anniversary celebrations in August 1995. Made all the more memorable by declaring a minor emergency on our recovery back into Valley some 45 minutes later.

2. Chasing a Buccaneer formation over the North Sea from the right hand seat of a Hunter T.7 on a late summer evening

3. Flying low level along a Norwegian fjord in a Czech Mil-24 Hind

Happy days

Tiger331

You don't have to be a pilot to have a great flying experience. I'm not and I started the thread!

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Back in 1988, shore based in the Falklands, having made friends with a variety of RAF types, I convinced a Loadie that he should get me on a Chinook flight for a morning. I had a day riding on the ramp on the mail run around the Islands. Magic stuff.

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I could never afford flying lessons but I was able to get loads of front seat flights in Wessex, Lynx, Gazelle etc., whilst in the forces; plus took controls and flew a DH Beaver from Vancouver Island to Vancouver a few years ago. However, the best flying experience I had was being at the controls of a Harvard/Texan and doing loops and wing-overs etc.

Mike

T-6%20Texan%2006a.JPG

flight_5a.jpg

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Booked on a flight from Glasgow to Belfast, BA had me going to the wrong Belfast airport but had only one spot left on the right plane...the jump seat in the cockpit behind the pilot. Got the cans on hand had a great wee flight. Had a couple of flights in a microlight which was hair raising too.

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Thats the same trip I did Mike!.At the time I got a VHS tape and roll of film to take home with me. And get embarassed at hearing the silly things I was saying during the flight! :blush:

The one I flew was grey with the green bands.

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Doing a wing over in HMS Minerva's Lynx 424 prior to a boarding on some manky ex oil ring support vessel to carry out a stop search for Class A. Then rapid repel on to the vessel and do a siezure with C&E (All perks of the job)

Parachuting out of a Hercy Bird of the Firth of Forth for water borne assault

Perks of the jobby

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