Jump to content
This site uses cookies! Learn More

This site uses cookies!

You can find a list of those cookies here: mysite.com/cookies

By continuing to use this site, you agree to allow us to store cookies on your computer. :)

TOPGUN88

Early BEA pilot training aircraft 1940/50s

Recommended Posts

Looking at some early airliners I have I was wondering what were the aircraft that they used for training for such aircraft as the vickers viking, dakota etc and if any of them wore company logos. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An interesting question Topgun.

 

During the late 1940's and 1950's the vast majority of crews came from the Royal Air Force and the Fleet air air arm.All had to complete written examinations to gain civilian licences and gain an instrument rating to enable them to operate in accordance with instrument flight rules.A lot of that instrument "flying" practice was undertaken in link trainers a early ground based simulator of sorts.

Actual flying test would have been Civil versions of the Oxford and Anson operated by the Ministry of Aviation subsequently the Board of Trade and CAA who had a Civil aviation flying unit at Stansted using Doves.

With licence in hand the candidate would then either be given a set o technical notes on his perspective type for self study or undergone a series of lectures concerning the technicalities of the particular aircraft he was going on to.Flying conversion would have been carried out in a member of the fleet too the best of my knowledge no airframes were specifically set aside for the purpose.

 

Much later The two Corporations(BOAC&BEA) jointly set up the College of Air Training at Hamble to provide training for a new generation of pilots for the booming 60's."hamsters" as the cadets were known trained on Chipmunks and Piper Apaches later replaced by Cherokees and Beechcraft Barons.

 

As an aside employees of the corporations had access to Chipmunks of the Airways flying club at Booker which IIRC carried a simplified BOAC livery.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's maybe a little later than the period you're interested in but if you can get hold of it there was a self-published book on Amazon called "Trust me, I'm the Pilot" by a writer who went through Hamble. I forget his name but he was a hereditary aristocrat - Baron de something or other. He was a close friend of the P2 on Papa India and that tragedy features quite prominently in the story. It's probably the worst-written book I've ever read and it seems to have gone from Amazon but it did provide a fascinating insight into pilot training in the late 60s/early70s and subsequent life in BEA which sounds nightmarish. It actually made me quite glad that short-sightedness had put paid to my own thoughts about applying for a BEA/Hamble cadetship in 1969/70.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For anyone interested in the subject I recommend getting a copy of Safety was no accident The History of the UK Civil Aviation Flying Unit 1944-1996 by James Fuller.It does contain some photographs of the aircraft operated in the early years.

 

ISBN 978-1-4669-6892-9 Trafford Publishing 2012

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Trust Me I'm the pilot" by Baron de Tourtoulon.A certain Aviation Bookshop in Tunbridge Wells had a stack of copies during the Summer.

 

As Skoda driver says an interesting read but spoilt by the author having an axe to grind.

 

Regarding Early Scottish commercial aviation Flight of the Starling by Eric Starling is a must.It covers the pre war Years right through to his retirement in the early 1970's by which time he was on the Viscount.The volume contains an extensive section on the Scottish Air Ambulance operations that BEA undertook with Two Glasgow based Herons.It was Thee but the company lost One in an accident.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

+1 from me for "Flight of the Starling". A superb book for anyone interested in flying, not just Scottish aviation. Eric Starling was probably a more reasonable person than Baron de Tourtillon but even he had his share of issues with BEA management and bone-headed "rule-book" types. He has a fund of entertaining stores about flying the Viking (which he disliked), the DC-3, the Heron and the Viscount among others.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another good read about flying in the 1950s and 1960s is A E Gilman's "Croydon to Concorde". I bought my copy around 1980 and have read it multiple times.

 

As has been mentioned, in the immediate post war period, most new recruits to BOAC (and the newly established BEA) were ex RAF or Royal Navy so just really needed to obtain a commercial rating and type rating on the types they were expecting to fly. Many were from RAF Dakota units so going on to fly Dakotas with BOAC or BEA was fairly straightforward.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can find some information here:

 

BOAC - An illustrated history by Charles Woodley.

Tempus 2004 / 2006

 

Chapter 16 BOAC Crew Training

 

modelldoc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My Grandfather worked for Bristol, and during the mid 1950’s onwards spent a lot of time training aircrews on the Britannia. He also spent a few years travelling to central and southern America. I understand from what he told me was that a lot of pilots would travel to Filton for training on the Britannia, and later Concorde.

Unfortunately he passed away several years ago and there was so much I never asked him about his career.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I gather from some of my mates in the game that there weren't many on the line with BEA who didn't have issues with BEA management. The general view seems to have been that management was out of touch, arrogant, introverted and absolutely assured that they didn't need the advice of mere pilots on how to operate an airline.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@jyguy has basically answered the question..they didn't have their own training aircraft.

My friend joined them after leaving the RAF and had to pay for his own Commercial Pilot's Licence and Air Navigation Certificate whilst being paid a token retainer by BEA.

PM sent with more detailed info.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...