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Tramatoa

Flying a council house from the upstairs loo

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19 hours ago, Scimitar said:

Some footage of an ex-RAF HC2 in service with the Uruguay Navy.

 

weren't they ex 28 Sqn ?

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1 hour ago, hendie said:

weren't they ex 28 Sqn ?

Some were.

If you click on the link in post 129 on page 6 it lists the ex-RAF serials.

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On 11/18/2018 at 10:36 AM, Tramatoa said:

Ah, MEK 😢, dear departed friend. Now there was a proper solvent. Long departed from Civil Aviation along with Toluene and Trike. Shame really as it was outstanding for certain jobs if used responsibly. The stuff we get now is a poor substitute (but hey, it isn’t killing us quite so quckly 😳). 

To think we used to spray the outside of Walter every three days with PX24 (military WD40). Masks were optional for the old boys who just stood downwind. No wonder our waterproofs were like oilskins.

I still use MEK on a daily basis as a solvent/additive in commercial inkjet printers. It was always the last cab of the day that would shed its blade tape. Stood on the SARTU pan you could hear it whistling well before it reached the airfield boundary.

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A couple showing the area around the cockpit.

Note how rough the strips are on the panel which opens to clear the winch when the main panel is opened.

Note also the black rotorhead.

f1cc72fc-4899-49d1-ae28-8fbdacd948b2.jpg

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On 12/24/2018 at 2:16 PM, Tramatoa said:

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Last post before Christmas and for those of you who have never seen one before this is the legendary ‘Jesus Nut’ which I came across in the garage earlier. I have actually got two, one is a clock which I was presented with when I left SARTU, and this one which I turned into an ashtray for my long departed mate Geordie who I used to stay with on a Wednesday night to break up my week when I first went contracting. A beautiful looking piece of machining on someone’s part, and only ever used once.

Begs only one question, who’s Wessex is missing a ‘J’ nut 😂

 

Scimitar, the rotorhead is dark blue not black, at least I never saw a RAF cab or RN cab with a black head, only light grey or dark blue near midnight blue. I’m sure someone might put me right though😃

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One of my few remaining ex-RAF mates came round for a brew earlier and the subject of C Flt/SARTU came up. He was posted in much earlier than me, went onto Pumas in RAFG then returned. When I mentioned the winching trainer he told me he clearly remembered it arriving, the framework being installed by a contractor and it being lifted into place. Apparently it was green and white when it arrived and was missing its nose door and tail boom, which ties in with the history we have for it.

One story I had forgotten about was from roughly 1990 when the engineers from C Flt and SARTU were pooled, much to the distress of both parties, and there was much talk of an imaginary wall between the two units. In typical fashion my shift copped for the whole Christmas period so to alleviate the boredom we built a cardboard wall exactly half way up the adjoining corridor, complete with painted brickwork, a three dimensional fireplace and all the trimmings. Now if one of you has a photo of that I will be impressed............

 

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Been looking for this for a long time and finally found it after today's garage tidy-up; date on the photo is Benson 6 October 1981 and code on the nose is AK. Any ideas which Wessex and was it repaired? Oleos, tyres or poor pilot technique?

 

Oct81

 

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I think that is the same picture I saw in the Haynes Wessex manual.

I was convinced that it was the one I went to as ASF crash crew at Odiham in about 1979.

My Brother in law, also ex Odiham Wessex thought it was Odiham circa 1981 when another one went over.

So we were both wrong!

 

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5 hours ago, Sabrejet said:

which Wessex and was it repaired?

From UK serials

16/10/1981 XR509 AK Wessex HC2 72 Sqn Fell on to its side during a ground run at Odiham, Hampshire. To 8752M at Benson

Probably as a result of ground resonance to which the Wessex was susceptible

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I thought it was Odiham too, that looks like No. 1 hangar in the background.

 

I'd heard plenty of tales of Wessex going over on their first ground run out of ASF due to ground resonance - quite common on Wessex apparently.

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1 hour ago, Scimitar said:

From UK serials

16/10/1981 XR509 AK Wessex HC2 72 Sqn Fell on to its side during a ground run at Odiham, Hampshire. To 8752M at Benson

Probably as a result of ground resonance to which the Wessex was susceptible

Weird: the photo is dated 6 October so I think '16/10/1981' should read '06/10/1981'.

 

Thanks for the info!

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On 11/30/2018 at 6:09 PM, perdu said:

You can pick and mix the small windows fuselage off the H34 and the twin Gnome nose off the HU5 and the proper tail cone from Rotorcraft

Or put the (way too wide by the way) nose filter bit on to a Frog Wessex which is a far better fuselage to start from

I have ordered the tail cone and should be getting a Sea Horse soon. Made a start turning the tail rotor blades. Now what about a square bubble window? Been looking at Hendie's build of this hybrid, don't think mine will have anywhere near as much detail! I hope to correct the steps and fuel filling points though. 

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Posted (edited)

While visiting the museum at Doncaster a couple of months ago with Thing 1 the subject of ground resonance came up. Two specific incidents came to mind. The first related to XR519 at Shawbury on the 7th December, 1990. This aircraft was being started up after maintenance, the rotors were engaged and stabilised normally then a violent oscillation developed which rolled the aircraft onto its left side. My recollection was that this was attributed to a damper of the incorrect stroke number being fitted and I think a Tech Notice (or whatever the military equivalent was) was issued at the time to highlight this. As the old grey matter isn’t quite what it once was I had a look at the accident report before issuing Biggles with her weekly quiz question and shock, horror, I had got it wrong. This incident was put down to a corroded Drag Damper Valve and this was presumed to have occurred in storage prior to installation. Regardless of the cause the aircraft went from stable running to a pile of twisted metal in seven seconds. 

The second incident took place on the pan at Valley when we were carrying out a winch wash. I was doing the washing, one of the lads was dragging the cable out with the old strop and doubler arrangement we used and someone else was on the edge of the circle with a leather glove to support the cable as it paid out. We were winding back in with me squirting the PX24 into a rag wrapped round the cable when a hot shot did a fancy flare onto the next dispersal. Our aircraft tipped over about thirty degrees at which the loadie disappeared into the cabin at a rate of knots, the pilot hauled up on the collective and the strop guy pulled the release, letting the cable go. I just went down on one knee automatically as the main wheel sailed past my head and fortunately everything missed me completely. As he established a low hover I just calmly walked out on autopilot, it wasn’t until later that you think about it. In our world it was just something you joked about, but the captain put a right rocket up the other pilot and looking back now it still gives me a feeling of satisfaction at how we all just reacted without thinking. A great bunch of blokes you could really trust. 

Neither incident was down to the accepted norm of tyre pressures or oleo pressures.

Edited by Tramatoa
Removal of drivel

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8 hours ago, Tramatoa said:

While visiting the museum at Doncaster a couple of months ago with Thing 1 the subject of ground resonance came up. Two specific incidents came to mind. The first related to XR519 at Shawbury on the 7th December, 1990. This aircraft was being started up after maintenance, the rotors were engaged and stabilised normally then a violent oscillation developed which rolled the aircraft onto its left side. My recollection was that this was attributed to a damper of the incorrect stroke number being fitted and I think a Tech Notice (or whatever the military equivalent was) was issued at the time to highlight this. As the old grey matter isn’t quite what it once was I had a look at the accident report before issuing Biggles with her weekly quiz question and shock, horror, I had got it wrong. This incident was put down to a corroded Drag Damper Valve and this was presumed to have occurred in storage prior to installation. Regardless of the cause the aircraft went from stable running to a pile of twisted metal in seven seconds. 

 

I was at Shawbury on 2FTS when this happened. I was in the crew room with a group of the shift, the cab in question was ground running between 2 and 3 hangars when a loud bang was heard the the sound of engines running down. We all looked at each other and then a wheel bounces passed the window and out over the pan. Reg Dixon, the hangar foreman, said “that’s not supposed to be there” and with that we all left the side door and went to see what caused the noise.

The test pilot and one of our guys were seen climbing out of the copilots window, a bit shaken but otherwise ok. This all happened on a Friday and as I remember it, it snowed the next day with the Wessex still on its side on the ground running spot.

Tramatoa is perfectly correct, the damper was found to have been fitted straight from stores, however it had sat in stores for over 20 years without inspection or checking the preservation oil, and so corrosion had built up between the steel piston and the alloy casting.

This was the third Wessex ground resonance I’d seen and has etched itself on me to be most aware when starting the rotors, especially if I’m marshalling.

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If you think about it the poor old Walter was a prime candidate for ground resonance, a long stroke undercarriage with all the mass of the MRGB high up not counter balanced by the mass of the engines lower down, lets face it two Gnomes would be nowhere near the mass of the piston engine of the original design that they replaced.

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Apologies for my disappearance.

I thought today I would ease myself back in and look at the 300’ winch and frame as fitted to the SAR aircraft, so back to XT604 at EMA courtesy of NABE3. 

0597a81a-6dd9-42ed-bcbe-29b23a0f553d.jpe

There are several things here which need highlighting. Firstly, the hook is not as I remember it, ours didn’t have the grab ring which I would think of as a Navy thing. The hook I remember had a buffer spring which sat at the upper end. This is also missing it’s pip pin and lanyard. After the tragic loss of Dave Bullock on C Flt 202 Squadron due to the cable snapping an emergency hook was introduced into the role kit. This consisted of a hook body attached to a rectangular piece of steel plate which was slotted in a specific way and stamped with a sequence for splicing it on and lived in a pouch on the LHS rail. 

The cable could be cut by the pilot by pressing a button on the Cyclic, guarded by a yellow and black striped cover. This could be confused with the SACRU release button and I recall an experienced NCO doing the routine function check in the hangar getting a bang and a clunk instead of the usual chattering. He quipped he couldn’t understand the fuss because he’d only cut six inches off the end of the cable.

The winch itself is missing it’s hydraulic pipes which should plumb into the three connectors on the side of the fuselage. The pump on the forward face of the casing has two rigid hydraulic pipes which always struck me as a bit fragile but I don’t recall them ever being damaged either in service or during installation. Replacements used to be delivered in a wooden crate from the Winch Bay at Finningley, which was a remote building in the middle of nowhere which meant a trip out from the hangar in the black Escort estate for an hour or so. They were a pretty reliable bit of kit, the commonest reason for replacing one was birdcaging of the cable which wasn’t tolerated. In use the cable was always kept under tension and a couple of winch weights (of the inert variety) were also carried in the role kit, these consisted of a canvas pouch with a D ring containing a lump of lead. Very occasionally you would get a birdsnest when the cable hadn’t wound onto the drum correctly and you would be faced with yards of cable in the cabin and an apologetic Winchman. 

The moveable lamp is interesting in that it was modded up on the flights, possibly as part of the wash up after XT674 crashed in Scotland after the Main Rotor clipped a rock. We were presented with a box of bits and had to ad-lib a bit. The shroud was bent to suit and attached by small L brackets riveted on and the handle was aluminium with a grey anodised finish and knurled grip. The friction device was quite poor and they used to be quite floppy.

The black sleeve on the frame was hard rubber and was presumably to stop the cable chafing against it. The frames had an issue with the fitting on the edge of the Transmission Platform where the small bracing struts attached. The bearing in here could wear over time allowing the frame to move, again not tolerated for long by the Growbags. You can make this out below the recessed area at the lower edge of the Servicing Platform door.

that got the old grey matter going, hope it is of interest to you.

Tramatoa

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2 hours ago, Tramatoa said:

Firstly, the hook is not as I remember it, ours didn’t have the grab ring which I would think of as a Navy thing.

 

That is how I remember the hook, albeit a different color.  Go back to Scimitars post no 257 and take a look

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I agree it seems that there is lots of evidence that these were used, but definitely not on yellow cabs between 1986 -91. I’ll see if I can find an example of what I mean and get back to you. It’s funny how we all have our own memories of what is correct, I guess with such a long service life it’s inevitable.

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9faf97d9-4b43-419e-9eea-86d0b248b616.jpe

There we go, courtesy of Bobsyouruncle in post 216. The hook had a helical spring with a stainless end cap and rubber grommet where the cable went through  it, presumably to stop it making hard contact with the bell mouth on the winch when it reached full up. I’m pretty sure the pip pin was secured with red para chord. 

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4 hours ago, Tramatoa said:

Firstly, the hook is not as I remember it,

That's two of us then so I looked back through the thread and it appears that the SH cabs with the winch fitted have the hook with the ring. I can't find a photo of an operational SAR cab with that hook though. The ones that have it seem to be in museums.

4 hours ago, Tramatoa said:

The cable could be cut by the pilot by pressing a button on the Cyclic,

Was there a facility for the nav to blow the cable too?

I ask as I was splattered with cordite residue because I was standing outside on the edge of the door photographing the Tighnabruaich type D lifeboat when he blew the cable.

No intercom discussion until after the event.

A type D can accelerate faster initially than a Wessex and on that occasion he took off with the winchman on board but still attached. The cable caught on the bracket for the flotation gear gas bottle and got very tight and couldn't be winched out to retain the slack.

Fear was that if released at the boat end it would have shot up into the rotors.

Some bang it makes!

Learned later that lifeboat helmsman got sacked as he'd been drinking.

 

Another winch story just popped into mind.

When washing the cable at Connel det,after a couple of lifeboat exercises we found that it had three broken strands so we declared u/s.

Tech guys got busy and new winch was readied at Leuchars.

On returning to the aircraft discovered that groundcrewman who dealt with those bits had removed the winch and it was in a bin bag in the cabin.

He told the pilot that it would save time at Leuchars and save weight on the way back too. Not sure if he was joking about the weight bit.

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3053b17f-fbc1-4bbf-8c5e-be1d41f47215.jpeb1f57e53-e2b8-4016-86ca-3f5e2a90c04f.jpe

Co-pilot’s Cyclic From the Walkround section.

Right side has a blank where the winch cable cutter would be, left side has a guarded cargo release switch for the SACRU. The ‘Chinaman’s Hat’ is for the searchlight on the underside of the nose door. Rocking switch at the front would be Radio transmit switch and I assume the thumb switch on the left hand side is autopilot disconnect? 

I didn’t ever get to see anyone cut a cable so can’t comment on the resultant bang but the Flotation Gear made a very impressive bang when our Leckie set it off!!

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