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Shrieking Gazelles

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  • Yes, it is F-GDXX, and here is another shot. Both this photo (and the one you posted) are by Guy Brochot.

    F-GDXX was sold to Canada in 1999 and became C-GEPX.


    • Grazie mille Zis!

      A look at the 'Bugatti Gazelle', F-GPFP (cn 1708), from her landing at Phalsbourg-Bourscheid Air Base in 2007:

      The 'Bugatti Gaz' landing at Phalsbourg-Bourscheid in September 2007 (Photo: Paul Schaller)

      F-GPFP about to touch down .. and displaying the characteristic Aérospatiale right skid low hover profile (Photo: Paul Schaller)

      Safely down and at rest (Photo: Paul Schaller)

      Phalsbourg-Bourscheid Air Base is a former United States Air Force base situated in in the Moselle département of Lorraine in north-eastern France, which is about 2 miles (3 km) west of Phalsbourg and 29 miles (47 km) northwest of Strasbourg.


      • Indeed, she looked fabulous even as Police machine as seen here.

        Foto: Olaf Jurgensmeier 1994


        • Yes, she's looking good in her police markings!


          Westland Gazelle WA1418, an SA341C HT2 - now ZU-HBH, as seen at Pretoria's Waterkloof Airport on 20th September 2014
          (Photo: Jacobus Saayman)

          This craft was displaying its anti-poaching capabilities and seems to be one of two Gazelles engaged in anti-poaching duties in South Africa. Although not initially obvious, there is in fact one dog on each skid in addition to the anti-poaching officer.

          Prior to becoming ZU-HBH .. 1418 was in New Zealand flying as ZK-HBH and prior to that was a Royal Navy Gaz which flew as XX441 which spent some time with the Sharks, as seen below.

          Westland Gazelle WA1418 SA341C HT2 XX441 CU-38 as seen in Christchurch, New Zealand on 10th November 2001
          (Photo: Frank Schaefer)

          WA1418 seen here in 2001 on her post-delivery test flight in Kiwiland.


          • md600driver
            md600driver commented
            Editing a comment
            piloted by her owner anton

        • ZK-HBH was fitted with super-short skids (so she could fit into a container) and was shipped from New Zealand to South Africa in late September 2010. Luckily, this meant she missed the devastating earthquake which hit Christchurch a few months later in February 2011!

          Once in South Africa ... she became ZU-HBH


          • Another take of HBH .. this time with the rappelling dogs a little more visible!

            ZU-HBH performing a rappelling demonstration with dog-accompanied anti-poaching officers


            • Canadian Gazelles!

              SA341G C-FEMF (cn 1058) as seen at Vancouver International Airport in February 1981 (Photo: Gary Vincent)

              Seen here while owned by Finning Tractor & Equipment.


              • And here she is again, also at Vancouver, some years later with an up-dated paint scheme.

                March 1987 (Photo: Mike Head)


                • Nice one Zis!

                  Another perspective of the ex-Crabtree Gaz, RA-05703, which featured on the previous page:

                  Westland Gazelle RA-05703 (ex G-CDXE and XZ299) as seen in Russia on 26th October 2013 (Photo: Aleksandr Medvedev)


                  • I-PNIC landing at Eurotech's facility in Caiolo, Sondrio Province, in northern Italy in August:

                    Finally, after many years of asking, my question is answered about whether it is possible to shut down a Gazelle (like a 'normal' helicopter) without first bringing the rotor to a stop. The benefit (as I see it) is less wear on the rotor brake.

                    Grazie Jonny!

                    ps: In the video description I use the word 'landing' advisedly - as it looks as if there may be a wee bit of training going on!


                    • Also, never open the doors with spinning rotors. If there is some wind (or cyclic input to front), the blades will hit the doors. Several doors were already destroyed doing so.


                      • It's predecessor (I-PJCG, No 001) was lost in 2003 due to what might be called 'relaxed operations'

                        The report said "The pilot left the a/c with rotor running when left-seat passenger touched the flight controls causing the helicopter bounce 10ft off the helipad, hitting the nearby house ..."


                        • SA341H Soko Gazelle (12755) as seen at Konstantin Veliki Aerodrome, in Nis, Serbia, in October 2006 (Photo: Pedja Stamenkovic)


                          • And here is 12755 in her "younger" days.

                            Zemunik, Zadar Air Base, 1990 (Photo: Emil Pozar)


                            • Nice shot Zis!

                              SA341G (stretched Gazelle) HA-PJB as seen earlier today, 6th November 2014, at Bournemouth Hurn Airport (Photo: John Coates)


                              • And here is HA-PJB when she was in the US (flying as N2TV) stopping to re-fuel.


                                • Lol, great shot Zis. Makes a nice addition to the 'Gaz Humour' gallery!

                                  This underscores the wisdom of travelling with the ground-handling wheels while away from 'home'. It reminds me too of a wee incident I had in Papua New Guinea when (having urgently needed to visit the gentelmen's room at a local airport) I came back to discover the fuel man topping-up the craft with AVGAS! Alarmed I radioed base on the HF (no mobiles in those days) whereupon the chief mechanic asked how much I had in the tank before refuelling and how much AVGAS had been pumped in. I explained that there was a 50/50 mix of JET A and AVGAS. To my surprise he said "Get in and fly!"

                                  When I got back to base some days later he explained to me that during cold weather ops in Alaska he sometimes specifically mixed AVGAS with JET A-1 in order to improve the freezing point down to around -60°C (from about -40°C for regular JET A-1).

                                  So, in an 'emergency' it should be possible to top-up your Gazelle with regular gasoline but .. to be safe, I would recommend obtaining the advice of someone knowledgeable about fuels to verify this.

                                  Another view of PJB .. when she was on the UK register:

                                  HA-PJB when she was G-BZLA as seen at Redhill Aerodrome in Surrey in 2004 (Photo: Adam Bailey)

                                  ps: ​Do you have any idea why PJB moved this craft from the 'Yugo' to Hungarian register?


                                  • I wouldn't do it, but the Astazou engines can run on 100% AVGAS. It is written into the POH. Max 30°OAT, max 6500ft and max 25 hours between overhauls. If possible, add 2° of mineral oil.


                                    • From what you've mentioned about Astazou overhaul costs .. that could end-up becoming some very expensive fuel!

                                      Classic X-Craft

                                      Great Lakes Helicopters SA341G C-GDUG as seen at an unidentified airport in Canada in 1978
                                      (Photo: Mike Ody courtesy of George Trussell)

                                      Originally imported to Canada as CF-BBN .. I think!


                                      • SA341F Gazelle RA-05702 in flight over Russia, November 2014 (Photo: Aleksander Markin)


                                        • This was Slovenia's first helicopter, hence the registration S5-HAA. It is an ex-Yugoslav Soko Gazelle which was w/o in 1994 and then exhibited as a gate guard at Brnik airport. Later it was luckily removed from this position, refurbished to it's original "TO-001 Velenje" livery and exhibited at the Park of military history at Pivka.


                                          • Nice to know that Slovenia's first helicopter was a Gaz. Well done Slovenia!

                                            Do you have a shot of her at her new home in the military history park?

                                            More Classic X-Craft ..

                                            Some lovely images from 1980 of the X-Craft when she was flying in Canada as C-GDUG. Photos courtesy of Avia member XB.

                                            SA341G (cn 1042) C-GDUC as seen in Canada on 28th July 1980 (Photo: Ed Tercier courtesy of XB)

                                            SA341G (cn 1042) C-GDUC as seen lifting a Bell 206 on 22nd June 1980 (Photo: Ed Tercier courtesy of XB)

                                            There are no further details accompanying the bottom photo but, given the date, this may well be the X-Craft lifting the Shirley Helicopters JetRanger which crashed at Rundle Park in Edmonton on 19th June 1980 (just three days prior to the photo).


                                            • It is nice to see the X-Craft from the 80's and also to see a Gazelle lifting a 206!

                                              Originally posted by Savoia View Post
                                              Do you have a shot of her at her new home in the military history park?
                                              Of course, have a look:


                                              • Nice one Zis. I imagine it is an interesting museum!

                                                F-GFCI May Be Leaving Italy

                                                So sad to report that we may be losing one of only three Gazelles in the country with the recent 'For Sale' notification surrounding F-GFCI which has been a long-term resident in Italy. See for sale details here.

                                                Aérospatiale SA341G Gazelle F-GFCI as seen at Aeroporto di Voghera-Rivanazzano on 24th August 2013 (Photo: Bianrobi)

                                                This craft may leave Italy if sold outside the country (and which is quite likely). This will bring our population back down to two, namely I-PNIC and I-PTEC.


                                                • G-CBGZ departure:


                                                  • Rare American Gazelles

                                                    Unfortunately both of these are Vera Lynn photographs but, hopefully, Zis may be able to provide us with a little more information.

                                                    Presumably an SA341GS. The only notes accompanying this photo are that the craft was previously owned by Corsair Helicopters of Santa Monica

                                                    N505KH .. I think (from what one can read). A notice on the shack reads 'Cheater's Speed Shop - Auto Repair'

                                                    Certainly some repair required to this craft which appears in a sorry state.


                                                    • N125ME is presently N150SF, at the time of the photo owned by Seahorse Aviation Inc.

                                                      Standing in front of the somewhat damaged N505KH is owner Charles "Cheater" Bella who was hijacked together with his helicopter and forced to assist in aiding an escape from the New Mexico State Penitentiary in July 1988.

                                                      Btw, N125ME photo was taken by Aaron Fitzgerald so no need for "VLP credit" in this case.


                                                      • Ah Zis .. how grateful we are to have someone like you who can tell us about the world's Gazelles. Grazie mille!

                                                        More Gaz in Belgium ..

                                                        SA341GS YU-HVZ (cn 1295) as seen at Kortrijk-Wevelgem Airport in northern Belgium on 6th November 2014 (Photo: Diopere Geert)


                                                        • This one belongs to my friend Peter. He flies a lot with it and he likes it very very much, way better than the EC130 he owned before.


                                                          • From EC130 to a Gazelle - fantastico!

                                                            I heard that somebody once traded an MD600 for a Gaz!

                                                            XB, me and Zishelix and the Avia readers would be very happy if you, Kurt, Peter and the owner of N505HA could one day get together in the same place at the same time with your craft and take a photo of them. AFAIK, since the creation of the Gazelle there have never been four civilian examples living in northern Belgium/Netherlands - so this would be something to record for posterity!

                                                            * * *

                                                            Oh Happy Day! (Well it is Sunday!)

                                                            I am very pleased to announce that I have just spotted a string of comments by none other than Mr Crabtree Gazelle himself - new Avia member MD600 (aka Steve) - who Zishelix and I have been hoping to see here on Avia since we 'opened shop' so to speak.

                                                            Steve has posted a number of replies throughout the thread in the past couple of days (the messages are tagged under existing posts and are highlighted in deep blue). It is incredible to see his involvement with so many craft - bravo MD!

                                                            Steve .. a very warm welcome to Aviafora and congratulations on your many 'Gazelle achievements' over the years. We look forward to any Gazelle news items, tips, info, photos (anything in fact) which you may wish to contribute.

                                                            I know that Zishelix will be as pleased as I am to have you aboard as well as Aviafora's co-owner Phil Croucher (aka Filippo).


                                                            • md600driver
                                                              md600driver commented
                                                              Editing a comment
                                                              how do i post photos i cant seem to get it working