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mobydog

What is your greatest flying experience?

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being thrown back into the seat as the captain hit the burners on concorde.

Rodders

i hate you lol

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There are a few memories.

First off was a flight in an Air UK F-27 out if Liverpool organised by the Merseyside Aviation Society. So what you may ask? It happened to be the last departure from the old terminal and after a bit of a jolly, the last arrival too (if I remember correctly) after waiting for a RAF C-130 to land first. Inbetween, the pilot beat up the old runway at zero feet and full power. "Not done that since leaving the RAF" said the pilot over the tannoy. Needless to say we all enjoyed it and gave a big cheer!

I also flew from Heathrow to Liverpool by Concorde again with the MAS. This time the pilot went past the airport and circled over Southport "so that I can show my mum what I fly".

However, the most memorable was a relatively short hop from Grand Bahama to Kissimmee in a twin engined six seater in 1981 (don't remember the type). Talking to the pilot beforehand I asked if I could ride in the co pilot's seat. Wish granted. All went well until we encountered a rather bad thunderstorm and were being thrown about. Now I'm a flying junkie and like to 'feel' the flight, but on this occasion even I was a bit perturbed. Glancing over to the pilot, he seemed calm enough. Visions of Flight 19 below me in the Bermuda Triangle sprang to mind. When we landed I asked the pilot whether he was worried or not. "No - see those pensioners there in the departure lounge? I'm flying them back in a minute after a day out to Disneyworld."

To this day I don't know whether I survived or not and am in some sort of bizarre parallel universe, because very little in life has made sense since then!

Happy flying.

Trevor

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Hiya.

Best commercial experience was an Airline (Emirates) completely stuffing up my booking, and actually sorting it on the spot and booking me there and back on business class, (yes, they used to do things like that). What made me laugh the most was that there were only like 50 people on the plane back to Joburg, so how could they have 'lost' my booking. Anyway, Business class is niiiiiiice.

My bestest flying experience was in Libya, just before the rather heated bunfight exploded.

We were building a dam in the middle of the desert (go figure), and it turned out to be next to a Libyan Airforce 'base' (a couple of containers, a mottly collection of vehicles and a few helicopters).

Being there for a few years previously, we got to know a few of the chaps from the local town.

Anyway, cut a long story short, the day before they stopped all flights out, two Mi 24's landed on one of our platforms, about 300m from our offices, the loadies came running over, screaming at us that we have to get out. After a little explanation, they basically advised us it was best to leave the country, now, so we grabbed our laptops and within minutes we were winging our way to Tripoli.

It wasn't until we landed at the airport that it finally clicked, hey, I've just been in a Hind... yeah, obviously we had a couple other things on our minds.

I don't know who the officer was that accompanied us to the airport, but he got us on a flight to Malta, something we were extremely grateful for.

Cant really explain the experience, as we were nipping ourselves so much, but I can recall they are very noisy inside...

Steve

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1) Flying lesson in a Robin 2-seater back in the late 1980s… instructor and self flying straight and level at about 3000ft under unbroken stratus early in PPL training - when out of the cloud popped a pair of Tornado GR1s, flashing past on either side before popping back up and leaving us wobbling around in their wake. Probably a good 500 hundred feet between them, but it felt like a fag paper from where I was. My instructor was chuckling - apparently one of the Tornado pilots was an ex-pupil of the flying school who sometimes 'paid a visit'.

2) Air Atlantique DC3 pleasure flight with my Dad over Bedfordshire.

3) Flying boat tour around Malta on honeymoon. My first watery take-offs and landings, with fantastic views to boot.

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Though I have never been a pilot, I have had a number of great flying experiences such as ridge surfing in a 2 seat Schweizer sailplane over Elmira, New York, and flying in Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome's 1929 New Standard biplane over the Hudson River valley.

Then there were the great flying experiences I had as a USAF C-141 Flight Engineer: night aerial refueling operations; low level cargo drops in support of the USMC; paratrooper drops in support of the US Army; cruising along the fjords of Greenland with the altimeter showing 2,000 feet and the cliff tops towering above us; flying at altitude over the Arctic and experiencing the Aurora Borealis as multi-colored shimmering veils of light stretched across the night sky; cruising at 41,000 feet above the Atlantic, looking up and seeing a white arrowhead pass above us in a flash and being told it was the Concorde at 65,000 feet.

But my most memorable experience was flying in a US Army Blackhawk helicopter. I was a C-141 aircraft mechanic on TDY to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, home of the Army's 101st Airborne. One quiet afternoon me and some buddies wandered over to the helicopter end of the field and asked if we could take a ride in a Blackhawk. The Army guys were happy to oblige; I think they wanted to show us Air Force "weenies" what real flying was all about. Our pilot proceeded to take us on a white knuckle, nap of the earth flight, weaving in and out of the treetops, roaring down narrow creek gullies, pulling up violently to avoid hills, then diving to hug the ground and get back in the valleys. We eventually landed in a large open area where troops were on maneuvers with M60 tanks and APCs. We were asked to get off to give some of the soldiers a chance to ride in the Blackhawk, and while we waited they let us drive the tanks and APCs. Driving the M60 tank remains my most memorable driving experience! After hanging with the tanker troops for a while, the helicopter came back to pick us up and treat us to another wild ride back "home". By the time we got back, my knees were weak, and when I saw the tree branches stuck in the landing gear I literally dropped down and kissed the ground.

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OMG,....There have been a few,......

.....low level over the Bristol Channel and through the Welsh mountains in the jump seat of an RAF Herk prior to reaching a DZ on Salisbury Plain and jumping out of it,........there were only 4 of us jumping and we had the whole Herk to ourselves,...heaven!

.....looping over the sea off the Welsh coast in a US Navy marked Stearman,.....and in the same aircraft we flew past the Liver Buildings before entering low level cloud,....we were below the level of the famous birds as I remember looking up at them before the cloud enveloped us and the pilot did a brilliant wing over to pop out below the cloud again and we raced it back to the old Speke airport before it became socked in!! Fantastic pilot.

.....flying in a Harvard in Florida,.....we followed a pair of Mustangs to the runway and again the pilot was a great bloke who let me fly for most of the time.

......last of all,.....flying in a Tiger Moth from Duxford and formating with the Dragon Rapide which was carrying my wife and son!

The worst flight was a night time low level casevac in an RAF 33 Sqn Puma in Turkey in the early 1990`s using maps which were years out of date with unmarked power lines appearing out of the gloom all of the time, so our eyes were out on stalks looking forward on the way there, no GPS or NVG`s back then, just this awful map which didn`t even show half of the roads appearing underneath, a stopwatch and a compass plus the blackness outside! Thankfully the Pilot and Loadie were brilliant and we got to the casualties OK, and better still we stabilised them and got them to hospital alive,....but .it was like a butchers shop in the back and as we hovered between blocks of flats at 400 feet in order to land in the car park below I managed to catch one of the casualties by the belt as he tried stepping out of the now open door after he had obviously thought we had landed,.....the doors had been opened by the Loadie (an ex Bootneck and great bloke) as he was looking all round, under over and behind to help the pilot ease us down in between the rows of balconies which surrounded us,.. adorned with rather shocked looking locals who mostly stood dumbfounded as we passed rather closely by,....apart from one woman who just carried on beating her carpet over the rail!!! The Turks were ever so grateful for our help and later treated us all to a slap up meal, plus I got to fly as co-pilot for the afternoon next day (including flying in a formation comprising of three Puma`s and three German CH-53`s, plus flying with underslung guns and abseling by Belgian Para Commando`s), I was also recommended for a GOC`s Commendation upon return home, so it wasn`t so bad after all! I`m glad that we did it but it was rather dicey to say the least! These were the days before MERT, but at least no one was shooting at us!

I also missed out on a flight in an RAF Hawk when my FAC course was cancelled due to my unit being disbanded during Options for Change in 1992,..which also meant that I lost a 6 month long detachment to Belize and the chance of my first stripe,...so thanks for that Mr. Major!

If anybody would like to offer me a flight in a Spitfire 2 seater or the BBMF Lanc then I`d be very grateful!!!,..yeah right,...like that is going to happen!

Cheers

Tony

Edited by tonyot

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Mine would without a doubt be my first solo in a Robin DR400, looking across when downwind to see the straps on the empty seat made it seem quite surreal, closely followed by my first solo landaway, a real sense of achievement.

My first flights with the Air Cadets also stick in my mind, Hercules XV306 and Chipmunk WP900 out of RAF Hullavington in the early 90s....happy days!

The only regret I have is not flying in Concorde before it was doomed, I remember it doing pleasure trips at Fairford and only being a kid could no way afford to fund it.

Cheers,

Carl.

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As others have said, the first solo has to be top of the list!

Mine was from Lydd in a C152, G-OBAT with Cinque Ports Flying Club. The rate of climb was certainly impressive once the instructor had got out!

OBAT.jpg

I flew the JSPC BN2T Islanders for a while in Bad Lippspringe and had a few joy rides in helicopters, but the best by far was a ride in a CH-53 although I did get rides in Lynxes and Gazelles, all of which were brilliant fun.

A few years ago I hit an aviation milestone and clocked up 10,000 hours. There was no way I was going to do my 10,000th hour in an Airbus, so decided to go to Kemble and do the magic number in a DHC.1 Chipmunk, the first aircraft that I had 'flown' as an ATC Cadet way back in 1978 from Manston.

195847_1004683395644_9410_n.jpg

Chippyphotos034_zpsd3c2e4ad.jpg

But my stories are boring compared to the many fantastic experiences that many of you have had. I'm extremely envious of anyone who had the chance to fly in Concorde or fast jet formation flying!

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1) Pitts Special S2B, all the usual aerobatics at White Waltham. Tiny aircraft and the pedals to person in the rear seat were right by your side. Just long enough to squeeze in two people with one meaty engine up front. Was a lot of fun in the air, didn't handle very well on the ground and you could see hardly anything. I absolutely loved that plane, iconic aircraft. It was a training flight, the instructor was competing in the national aerobatic championship and spent a bit of time in future years in the red bull air races.

2) My first passenger jet experience was special, we landed in hong kong at kai-tak right in the middle of one massive storm. Was an awesome sight descending in the eye of the storm, then right over the buildings into kai-tak. The next leg was on to Sydney, was on a 747 as one of only three passengers.

I bitterly regret not flying on Concorde, got to actually booking the flight with travel agent, but he let me down sorting the flights out. My mother was losing her battle with cancer, and I had other things on my plate to sort out. By the time I started to get on my feet again, Concorde was no more.

Paul

Edited by paulj

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Not necessarily my best aviation moment, but certainly up there as the best career moment was flying the Airbus A340-500 for the first time on line as Captain.

199603_1004683795654_1690_n_zps3d642fc8.

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Not as exciting as some.

No 1. doing stall and spin recoveries during the morning of 1st September 1979 - I got married at 2.30 that afternoon. I remember more about the flying!

No 2. coming back from the honeymoon in the cockpit of an Air Anglia F-27 from Jersey to Norwich on a beautiful day. From mid-Channel, over Beachy Head, across London, all at 15,000 feet standing between the seats, and talking to the pilots about the exploits of 'Boy' Soons throwing the Dutch Troopship around like a fighter. They had never seen him, but did pull the F-27 about a bit while I held on. Don't know what the passengers thought.

No 3. sitting 3 hours late in row 7 of Flash Airlines 737 SU-ZCF, with the cowlings off No 1 engine and a pile of spanners on the tarmac. It had gone tech and they were running the engine up with a full load of pax to see if it was OK. They closed it up and we took off from Aswan to Abu-Simbel in February 2003, then came back a few hours later in the same A/C. In January 2004 it crashed into the Red Sea with the loss of all on board. There was a history of poor maintenance and the aircraft was banned from EU airspace prior to this.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_Airlines

That was the third a/c I have either flown or flown in that departed from controlled flight!

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Difficult to choose but on reflection it has to be my first ever solo, in a ATC Slingsby T31.

It was more the 30 years ago but I can still remember my instructor saying in his broad Cornish accent, "You bought er down like a feather, Ansome solo".

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No 1. doing stall and spin recoveries during the morning of 1st September 1979 - I got married at 2.30 that afternoon. I remember more about the flying!

Lol :coolio:

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I have fond memories of the ATC Air Experience Flights in a Chippie in the late 70s and early 80s. And also with the Cadets gliding from Swanton Morely in Slingsby T.61s.

But my most awesome experience happened twice, when in 2005 and 2006 I managed to blag a ride on an RAF Tristar tanker for the Queens Birthday Flypast over the palace with a Typhoon T1 and Jaguar GR.3 escort.

DSC_13091a.jpg

Typhoon-13136.jpg

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Probably not as interesting as some, here's mine though:

1. Being taken along with the ATC cadets from the Squadron my dad was helping with, to RAF Woodvale on the 28th May 1993 to see the Royal Naval Historic Flight Swordfish pair and the Fairey Firefly which took part in the Battle Of The Atlantic flypast in Liverpool on the 29th... This is most memorable as being only 9 and not weighing much when the three aircraft started up to do a test flight, I was literally blown off my feet and was held vertical by my dad & another Cadet due to the prop-wash from the Swordfish.

2, My first ever aerobatic flight in G-ASHS a Stampe & Vertongen SV.4C, after finishing changing the wheel on a PA38-112 (modern apprenticeship at Liverpool airport) I was asked if I'd like to take a flight as it was also the end of the working week. I was asked if I'd done any aerobatics before but never had a chance to answer as I was asked to pre-flight the aircraft, and press the brakes as the owner was hand swinging it.
We flew around 1500 feet over Liverpool and Southport we commenced the aerobatics over Burscough to which the first thing we did was barrel roll, then a couple of loops and Stall turns, before I was allowed to try my hand at the same maneuvers.

3. Flying back from Fuerteventura in an Air Atlanta L1011, was in the jump seat from take off and Landing back at Manchester.

4. First Take off and Landing at Liverpool, was in a Piper Tomahawk with the owner of the flying school & maintenance company, was asked to taxi out & speak to the tower and after taxing to runway 09, I took off and after an hour or so of flying around liverpool I lined up to land on 09, and after worrying for the whole flight I managed to land with the owner congratulating me after taxying back to the hanger.

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But my most awesome experience happened twice, when in 2005 and 2006 I managed to blag a ride on an RAF Tristar tanker for the Queens Birthday Flypast over the palace with a Typhoon T1 and Jaguar GR.3 escort.

OK Andy, you win! that must have been an incredible experience! Twice!!

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Got a ride with the 171st ARW PA ANG KC-135 - Nose art: Heartbeat of America . Went over western Ohio / Kentucky, flew a racetrack route and refueled some C-5s out of Dover AFB. When the big boy bellied up to the bar, it pushed so much air ahead of it, you could feel the 135s tail lift.

Best part was I got to fly the boom. That summer at the Cleveland National Air Show, I took my son on one, got him on the couch and showed him how to fly the boom. I gathered quite an audience and the boomer asked me where I flew. I laughed and after everyone left, I told him. He said I'd done OK. Whew!

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This was quite fun

Fokkerlow.jpg

How many times did you shout "daga daga daga" with a big grin on your face?

Trevor

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Greenham Common 1979 in Lancaster PA474 in the colours of KM.B 44 squadron, I was down there working on a Vulcan for the Air Tatoo (was it called that then?)

Flew in the bomb aimer/nose gunner position. It was superb I must go into the deep store under the stairs and see if I can fin the slides.

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Looking 'up' through the canopy of a chipmunk (I believe WP692 now at Hendon) and seeing the Severn bridge...fantastic.

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