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  • A couple of short clips which were taken on a recent flight from Thruxton to Leeds East Airport (formerly RAF Church Fenton). The first is an en-route clip and the second shows the landing.


    Comment


    • Savoia
      Savoia commented
      Editing a comment
      Nice one Adrian!

    • Zishelix
      Zishelix commented
      Editing a comment
      Smooth pilotage, fine scenery... looks like a nice flight Thansk for sharing, Adrian!

  • Yes, Savoia, both XX411 and XX402 were 'Sea-Bass' cabs. Here is XX411 kicking up some snow in southern Norway in January 1979


    We'd become 'temporarily disorientated', apparently and not (as I thought) hopelessly lost. So the whole squadron put down in a field to ask a farmer the way.
    Last edited by Warty; 4th October 2016, 16:33.

    Comment


    • Savoia
      Savoia commented
      Editing a comment
      Ah Warty .. you've made my day! Helicopters in snow are my all-time favourite category of helicopter photos. I have about 550 helicopters in snow photos about 300 of which you may see (if you are interested) in one of my online albums here > https://plus.google.com/photos/10309...081?banner=pwa

    • Warty
      Warty commented
      Editing a comment
      Zis, yes the farmer was a great help - they can normally be relied on to find their land on a map

      Savoia, some amazing photo's there. Guessing that they are not all you're own work.
      Last edited by Warty; 5th October 2016, 09:01.

    • Savoia
      Savoia commented
      Editing a comment
      I think I have a grand total of five photos which I have taken of blitterblats in snow (I think they are all from my flying training at Booker taken during a wintery January more decades ago than I care to remember) and none of them are in that album!



  • The Battle of Mount Tumbledown: A casualty of the Scots Guards is rushed by stretcher to a Gazelle helicopter for evacuation on Goat Ridge, below Mount Harriet (to the east of Port Stanley) on 14th June 1982

    Not sure is this was a Sea Bass bird as her markings are not clear. Perhaps Warty can tell us a little about who flew Gazelles over the islands during the Falklands War. I suspect it was is mainly the Marines and the Army.

    Regarding the Battle of Mount Tumbledown: The Battle of Mount Tumbledown was an engagement in the Falklands War, one of a series of battles that took place during the British advance towards Stanley. On the night of 13–14 June 1982 the British launched an assault on Mount Tumbledown, one of the highest points near the town of Port Stanley, the capital, and succeeded in driving Argentinian forces from the mountain. This close-quarters night battle was later dramatised in the BBC film Tumbledown.

    The attacking British forces consisted of the 2nd Battalion, Scots Guards (2SG), mortar detachments from 42 Commando, Royal Marines and the 1st Battalion, 7th Duke of Edinburgh's Own Gurkha Rifles, (1/7 GR) as well as support from a troop of the Blues and Royals equipped with two Scorpion and two Scimitar armoured vehicles. The Argentinian forces defending the mountains were Commander Carlos Robacio's 5th Marine Infantry Battalion (BIM 5). The defending Argentines were already proving costly in lives. In the shelling that was directed by Sub-Lieutenant Marcelo de Marco of the 5th Marines from his observation post on Tumbledown Mountain, four Paras and one REME craftsman were killed on Mount Longdon and another seven Paratroopers were wounded and a Welsh Guardsman was killed while riding a motorbike in the Fitzroy-Stanley track.

    Comment


    • Savoia
      Savoia commented
      Editing a comment
      Grazie Warty. Was pretty sure it was the wire-guided system (not sure if there was any other, I don't think so). More than likely the Avimo-Ferranti sight. My late godfather was a test pilot on the Saunders Roe P531 in the 1950's and participated in some of the developmental test flying for the gun sight several years later once it had become the Scout. We've got a short thread about the Scout here > http://www.aviafora.com/forums/forum...westland-scout

    • Warty
      Warty commented
      Editing a comment
      Cheers, I have made a couple of correction points on the Scout thread but am a bit limited in what I can do right now. My computer room has been converted into a spare bedroom for the next week because of visiting family

    • Savoia
      Savoia commented
      Editing a comment
      Oh no! Just as we are getting used to enjoying your input! Ha ha, no problem, your contributions whenever you are able are much appreciated.

  • Savoia, if you like Gazelles in snow then you may enjoy this:


    Some Lynx as well as they tended to operate together back then. Gazelles very often acted as spotters, finding targets for the TOW-missile-equipped Lynx.

    Comment


    • Savoia
      Savoia commented
      Editing a comment
      Fantastico Warty !!!

  • Here is another video which some may enjoy. The same unit but in a different location:


    Comment


    • We are very pleased to welcome Warty to Aviafora and have very much enjoyed the photos, videos and information he has provided in recent days.

      Warty has linked an interesting article from Flight International providing details about 3 CBAS and which I am reproducing below for the convenience of our readers.

      Many thanks to Warty .. and a warm welcome to the thread!

      Flight International 6th February 1982



      ROYAL Marines Commando aviation units receive remarkably little publicity. This is especially true of 3 Commando Brigade Air Squadron (CBAS), Royal Marines, whose Gazelle and Scout helicopters wear RM titles and operate under Commando Forces control. The squadron is based at RM Coypool in Plymouth, with one six-aircraft Scout Flight, and three three-aircraft Gazelle Flights. A further three-aircraft Gazelle Flight is located at RM Condor, near Arbroath, Scotland, as part of 45 Commando Group.

      CBAS is not large, with an all-rank total of around 193. A typical Flight has four pilots and three aircrewmen; maintenance is done by Army specialists. To compound the multi-service element further, storemen come from the Royal Army Ordnance Corps. A recent development is the use of naval airmen for ground handling duties, and for the servicing of safety and survival equipment. Whatever their service origins, most non-RM personnel undergo the full Commando course in Devon, part of basic training for all Marines.

      Each Flight has a Nato-assigned active-service role, and part of CBAS is scheduled for Alliance northern reinforcement. This involves CBAS in extensive arctic-warfare training, including mountain flying, and at least three months a year are spent in northern Norway. Flights move out into the wilds, relocating every few days.

      Flights have a wide variety of operational tasks, with reconnaissance and observation the most important. Aircraft act as commando "eyes", and communications equipment is designed with this in mind. The standard RM helicopter radio package consists of one VHF (AM) set, one VHF (FM), and one UHF. HF radio is to be fitted shortly to overcome communications difficulties encountered in the mountainous regions of Norway.

      There are a number of CBAS alternative roles, varying in importance with the prevailing tactical situation. Of these, the most important is tank-killing, followed by air observation (all CBAS aircrew are AOP-qualified); forward air control (50 per cent of aircrew are FAC-qualified); and airborne command and control at either brigade or commando level. All CBAS aircraft can be fitted for casualty evacuation, the single stretcher taking only a minute or two to install. Alternatively, up to three walking wounded can be accommodated.

      Despite the considerable bulk of their winter clothing, three fully equipped marines can be carried. Up to 400kg can be carried in the light resupply role (usually underslung), taking advantage of a recent fenestron modification which has increased Gazelle payload by 100kg. Provided that they do not interfere with operational priorities, liaison tasks can also be performed, and both aerial photography and limited flare dropping are possible.

      Most of the AOP task involves the direction of fire from the light Royal Artillery commando batteries attached to Commando Forces, but gun support from other units can also be spotted. If required, these can include warships lying offshore, although these are normally controlled by RA specialists put ashore for the purpose.

      The provision of CBAS aircraft to act as communications relay stations is of immense value in mountainous areas. One reason for the Gazelle's popularity is its adequate power reserve to cope with sudden downdraughts (another is its reliable and totally efficient cabin heater). It is, however, very sensitive to turbulence, and requires careful handling in these conditions. The FAC task can involve any British or Nato strike aircraft: in CBAS it has a firm US Navy/US Marine Corps bias.

      CBAS Flights spend time embarked on various Royal Navy and Nato assault ships normally used to ferry aircraft, equipment, and personnel to their operational areas. An alternative method is to fly the Scouts and/or Gazelles to a suitable airfield, fold or remove their rotor blades, and load them on board Royal Air Force C-130 Hercules. Flights have become skilled in rapid packing and moving, so a departure "from cold" can be accomplished within a few hours.

      Overland ferrying "the long way round" is also possible, but an active service deployment would involve a route over the Low Countries, West Germany, Denmark, and most of Norway. This presupposes that sufficient time is available, and the acceptability of tired aircrew on arrival.

      As the Gazelle and Scout are both more economic for light resupply than either the Wessex, Puma, or Sea King, CBAS Flights are kept busy ferrying men and materials to and from forward locations. Tactically, both RM types are often better than the larger aircraft, especially when movements require concealment. All Flights have reduced personnel transportation to a fine art, although arctic warfare produces the added complication of skis, a loadmaster's nightmare not often encountered elsewhere.

      Both CBAS types stand up well to the extremes of arctic cold and are cleared for peacetime operation down to —36°C. Special types of oil, grease, and hydraulic fluid are used, and at night gigantic "sleeping bags" are fitted around engine, transmission, and cockpit areas, with an additional camouflage bonus. Aircraft concealment is a vital part of many CBAS tactical procedures.

      Continuous specialist training is essential to maintain aircrew skills. This has not been helped by restrictions imposed over the past few years, and flying training hours have suffered. Low-flying to fixed-wing standards is inapplicable to commando operations, where every fold in the ground, and every sizeable piece of vegetation, assumes tactical importance. Recent expansion of UK low-flying areas has been welcomed by Flights, but for really intense tactical training they make use of special sites around the UK.

      The vast and unpopulated areas of arctic Norway are also well-used, with the snow-covered terrain and lack of readily identifiable landmarks bringing their own problems. On active service, weather limits would necessarily depend on pilot judgement and operational demands. But in peacetime the criteria are visibility in excess of 1km and cloudbase above 300ft. Night limitations are double.

      Flight in heavy falling snow is not permitted, nor is operation into conditions of known icing. As both would nullify the kind of "contact" flying usually required, neither should normally be necessary. In controlled airspace CBAS aircraft operate under special VFR conditions, and, since Gazelles are now fitted with stick feel and stability augmentation, long flights are less tiring.

      Scouts have been in RM service since 1979. To provide the Commando Brigade with airborne anti-tank capability, four are fitted with four SS-11 missiles each. Each of the replacement Lynx, due in service this year, will carry eight TOW. In the anti-tank role, the aircrewman is also the air gunner. Gazelles replaced the Sioux in 1974, and no replacement is presently in sight. Apart from the anti-tank aircraft, and the availability of a pintle-mounted General Purpose Machine Gun, all CBAS helicopters are unarmed.

      CBAS aircrew are volunteers recruited directly from the Royal Marines, and all are required to have previous RM ground-based experience. Almost all officers are holders of regular Royal Marines commissions, and when they apply for pilot selection are typically Lieutenants aged between 21 and 23, with one or more commando tours at troop level.

      Other ranks, who hold the majority of pilot postings, and all those for aircrewmen and air gunner, average between 25 and 32 years old. All must have qualified for promotion to Senior NCO, and hold additional educational qualifications. This gives around eight or nine years' RM experience.

      Both officer and NCO pilot candidates have to pass the Joint Service Aircrew Selection Board at RAF Biggin Hill. Flying training is carried out by the Army Air Corps at Middle Wallop, with Airwork providing some 60hr on Chipmunks as the first stage. Phase Two is on Gazelles, with instructors provided by Bristow, and absorbs a further 60hr. The third phase involves 115hr on Gazelles to reach an operationally acceptable standard, with final training during the pilot's first posting.

      When finally declared operational, the typical RM pilot remains with his Flight for some three years, then is sent on to further ground-based duty with the Corps. His second pilot posting can be to either a Flight, or to a Naval Air Commando Squadron. The USMC and Royal Netherlands Marine Corps share a limited exchange scheme with CBAS; a number of Army Air Corps personnel are also exchanged with RM aviators.

      RM aircrewmen candidates also go to Biggin Hill for assessment, and if successful are posted to Middle Wallop for a 14-week course. Ground school occupies the first four weeks, and includes such basics as a thorough signals check and the theory of gunfire support. Equipment recognition is taught, with a strong bias towards Warsaw Pact armoured fighting vehicle and aircraft identification. Two hours are spent on the SS-11 missile simulator, after which the pupil is tested to assess his suitability for air gunner training.

      Six weeks' flying school then follows, covering pre-flight inspection, aspects of map-reading, and increasingly difficult tactical problems. Two more weeks cover further tactical training to operational level, and the final fortnight is spent in simple aircraft piloting. In case of pilot incapacity due to wounds, or for any other reason, this enables the aircrewman to follow a simple flightpath and to make a run-on landing.

      Aircrewmen selected for missile training spend around four weeks on the SS-11 simulator and on firing drills. After live missile firings at Otterburn range, the successful trainee qualifies as an air gunner, and much of his future CBAS career is then spent with the Scout Flight. Additionally, some RM aircrewmen serve with Naval Air Commando Squadrons.

      To date the Squadron has escaped defence cuts or reduction of tasks in support of both national and Nato roles for the Royal Marines. In its 13 years of existence, CBAS has seen worldwide service ashore and afloat, both operationally and on exercise in: Singapore, Malaya, Thailand, Sarawak, Brunei, Hong Kong, Bangladesh, Australia, Aden, Nigeria, Mediterranean, West Indies and Caribbean, Belize, France, Holland, Germany, USA, Canada, and Norway.

      https://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarch...0-%200314.html

      Comment


    • More RLE ..


      SA341F2 ZU-RLE (cn 1678) as seen at Pretoria's Waterkloof Airport on 17th September 2016 (Photo: Gary Shephard)


      Forum News
      Find out why we are supporting brave.

      Comment


      • Zishelix
        Zishelix commented
        Editing a comment
        Finally to see it 'fully dressed'! I like her c/s, retro and modern in the same time Excellent photo as well!

      • Savoia
        Savoia commented
        Editing a comment
        Yes, she's looking good. Seeing the Caterpillar logo reminds me of the Finning Tractor Gaz C-FEMF even if 'MF' never actually sported the logo herself! > http://www.aviafora.com/forums/forum...=3246#post3246

    • CAA MANDATORY PERMIT DIRECTIVE

      Main Rotor Hub Torsion Bars - Inspection

      The UK CAA issued yesterday a Mandatory Permit Directive affecting Westland AH.Mk1, HT.Mk2 and HT.Mk3 Gazelles - inspection of the main rotor hub torsion bars.

      This extends the applicability of an EASA AD to cover the UK ex-military fleet, as identified in Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin No. SA341/342-05.40. Several cases of cracks were found in the polyurethane coating of the main rotor hob torsion bars, P/N 704A33633274 installed on military SA341 machines and which parts may also be installed on civilian 'G' & 'J' variants. May indicate or lead to corrosion.

      http://publicapps.caa.co.uk/modalapp...detail&id=7565

      Comment


      • Savoia
        Savoia commented
        Editing a comment
        As you say, this is an extension of an earlier one issued by 'Hairbus' on the same matter. Either way, one doesn't want to be driving around with faulty torsion bars. We have a very sad story in Italy involving I-OLLY and an appalling failure by Aerospatiale in the matter of torsion bars. The UK also suffered a tragic loss of an Army Gazelle through this same failure and which we covered earlier in the thread. Having said that, this new issue involves something to do with the bar coating which, if breached, could obviously lead (as mentioned) to corrosion or degradation of the internal straps.



    • XZ934 Start and Depart


      Peter Unwin's SA341D G-CBSI (cn WA1736) ex-XZ934 departing his Nutfield helipad in Surrey.

      (Perhaps we might name Peter's pad .. 'Peyton Tree Helipad' ).

      For a photo of this craft departing the same pad, see here.

      Comment


      • More 934 ..

        Seeing as 934 has cropped-up, here she is from a shot taken last month:


        Rushmere Helicopters Bell 206 G-OCFD departing the Gatwick Aviation Museum on 4th September 2016
        SA341D G-CBSI/XZ934 seen behind

        Comment


        • G-CBJZ


          SA341D G-CBJZ (cn WA1734) as seen at Hamburg Airport on 25th September 2016

          Ex-RAF training bird.

          Comment





          • SA341G N266E (cn 1099) as seen at Reading Airport Pensylvania on 15th June 1977 (Photo: Peter Micholson)

            This craft was manufactured in 1973 and later became F-GEHB.

            Very little beats these classic 70's civilian Gazelles; skid fairings, tailrotor driveshaft covers, fenestron covers and the frequent use of the oranges and browns so prevalent at the time. Brilliant!

            Some trivia: Although perhaps a little difficult to see, this craft is fitted with the xenon-filament 'white strobes' attached to the navigation light assembly (just north of the baggage compartment door) and which I only mention because Whelen (who manufacture these) had only just released this item thereby making this one of the first Gazelles to be fitted with this lighting system.

            To see her as F-GEHB, click here.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Savoia View Post
              Very little beats these classic 70's civilian Gazelles...
              Don't forget curtains on the rear door windows!

              Comment


              • Savoia
                Savoia commented
                Editing a comment
                Absolutely! How could I forget? What is a 70's civvie Gaz without curtains? Fantastico!

            • Unidentified BAG in Germany



              Of this shot the photographer writes: "A British Army Air Corps Gazelle at a village in northern Germany in June 1978. I seem to recall that it was near Sibbesse, but as yet I haven't been able to positively identify it."

              Comment




              • ZU-RHH in sunset (by HBPhotography)

                Comment


                • Savoia
                  Savoia commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Beautiful shot there Zis! This would make a great poster or print.



              • XX411

                We made mention of XX411 on the previous page where Warty provided details of the tragedy surrounding her downing.

                Having ditched, it seems as if the craft was subsequently recovered and below are a couple of post-ditching photos the first revealing the pilot's side of the canopy which evidently took direct hits from small arms fire.





                SA341B XX411 (cn WA1359) post-ditching Port San Carlos, the Falkland Islands, May 1982

                Comment


                • N1198G

                  SA341F2 N1198G (cn 1198) as seen at LO Simenstad Municipal Airport, Osceola, Wisconsin on 10th September 2016 (Photo: Jeremy Dando)

                  Comment


                  • Gazelles Over London


                    SA342M Gazelle Viviane from 3e RHC (Régiment d’hélicoptères de combat) as seen over London on joint exercise with the RAF in September 2016

                    For more Gazelles Over London, see here.

                    To see the 'Gerbil' lifting-off from Helicentre Aviation in Leicester last week, click here. (Note: Mouse over the image on this page to activate the video feed).

                    Comment


                    • md600driver
                      md600driver commented
                      Editing a comment
                      'To see the 'Gerbil' lifting-off from Helicentre Aviation in Leicester last week, click here.'

                      It's not a 342.

                    • Savoia
                      Savoia commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Amateurs unfortunately Stefano!

                  • Speaking of 342's


                    SA342M Viviane 3862-GAL (cn 1862) during a night shoot at RAF Northolt in October 2016

                    More poster material!

                    Qualified Engineer?

                    Would you like to participate in a short-term assignment working on the procurement strategy for the Gazelle replacement?

                    If so, click here.

                    Comment


                    • Zishelix
                      Zishelix commented
                      Editing a comment
                      AH Mk1s are going to be replaced?! Few moths ago we find out they're safe until 2025.
                      http://www.aviafora.com/forums/forum...=5907#post5907

                      I missed something?

                    • Fene Strong
                      Fene Strong commented
                      Editing a comment
                      They have been given the extension to 2025, but they are still having to look at cost options to see if it could be cheaper to replace them or keep. Bearing in mind it would take possibly until 2025 for the Government to get contracts in place. They should be safe for a while yet.

                    • Zishelix
                      Zishelix commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Ah so, the Government want to conduct the replacement process properly. That seems commendable!

                      Thanks FS!

                  • A Chinese SA342L seen here trialing smoke and wearing markings used during military exercises back in the 1990's.

                    Comment





                    • SA341B XZ290-F (cn WA1489) as seen at Middle Wallop on 10th May 1992 (Photo: Kerry Taylor)

                      This bird was a member of 670 Rotary Training Squadron based at Wallop. Rumour is that she remains in Army service with 665 Squadron at JHCFS Aldergrove.

                      Comment


                      • XZ290 seen at Swansea Airport on July 15th, 2011 (Photo: Roger Winser)



                        By the way, a poster sized drawing of the same machine could be found here.

                        Comment


                        • Savoia
                          Savoia commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Nice one Zis!

                          I'm sure if those training birds could speak they would voice their gratitude at being liberated from enduring endless autos, firm landings and splayed skids!

                        • Fene Strong
                          Fene Strong commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Still operational....



                      • Newly Registered

                        N341GG SA341G, c/n 1181, ex C-FEDG; SOUTHERN AIRCRAFT CONSULTANCY INC TRUSTEE (UK); 13-Oct-2016.

                        (C-FEDG was cancelled 17-Sep-1993, but apparently never was registered again until now).

                        Comment


                        • Zishelix
                          Zishelix commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Jos, much appreciate your valuable inputs! So glad to have you here

                        • Savoia
                          Savoia commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Si, grazie Jos. We look forward to seeing this bird when she's complete!

                      • Kiwi Gaz


                        Ex-Navy Shark SA341C ZK-HTF (cn WA1436) as seen at Wanaka in New Zealand on 30th March 2002 (Photo: Heath Cron)

                        From her time in NZ. This craft is now a Crabtree Gaz.

                        Comment


                        • MAG (More Army Gazelles) ..


                          SA341B XX432 (cn WA1385) as seen 'somewhere' in 1986

                          Can anyone advise whether the above colour scheme was the original standard paint for most Army Gazelles and, if so, when was this changed to the current lighter arrangement.

                          Comment


                          • Warty
                            Warty commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Speaking purely from my own experience this was standard between the mid 70s to late 80s. Don't recall any others being different either (Beaver, Scout, Lynx). Can't honestly comment outside this time frame.

                            But here's a theory: during this time, their main role was as observers/spotters for anti-tank Scouts and Lynx in northern Germany. Even those in the UK were backup for this role. When you are hiding in the woods of Northern Germany, this is a pretty good paint-scheme. Two main things changed after that. Firstly, the re-unification of Germany and the collapse of the Warsaw Pact/USSR meant they would be based less and less in Germany. Secondly, they had more jobs to do in more sandy areas.
                            Last edited by Warty; 17th October 2016, 20:21. Reason: typo

                          • Savoia
                            Savoia commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Grazie Warty, great stuff! I certainly remember the Scout in these colours.

                            Interestingly, among the privately owned 'Gaz war birds' there don't seem to be any which pay tribute to this original scheme.

                          • Warty
                            Warty commented
                            Editing a comment
                            I think you are right that there doesn't seem to be one remaining that's painted like this. Odd, considering that most of them were like this for 15 and maybe 20 years. Even out in Alberta (BATUS) they were black and green - even though there is virtually no black or green as far as you can see on the training area. They have a nicer colour scheme out there nowadays though.



                        • IAC SA342L 237 (cn 1772) as seen at Casement's Baldonnel Aerodrome in June 1997 (Photo: Frank Grealish)

                          Comment


                          • XZ290


                            SA341B XZ290-J (cn WA1489) as seen at an unidentified location in 1977


                            XZ290 appearing seven years later with 656 Squadron, seen here at Murray Heights in the Falkland Islands on 25th March 1984

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Warty View Post
                              I think you are right that there doesn't seem to be one remaining that's painted like this. Odd, considering that most of them were like this for 15 and maybe 20 years. Even out in Alberta (BATUS) they were black and green - even though there is virtually no black or green as far as you can see on the training area. They have a nicer colour scheme out there nowadays though.
                              There is a Batus colour scheme being sprayed as we speak, complete with day glow orange paint.

                              Comment


                              • Savoia
                                Savoia commented
                                Editing a comment
                                Is this for a Bourne Park bird, or one of your own?

                            • Originally posted by Savoia View Post
                              Is this for a Bourne Park bird, or one of your own?
                              It will be one of mine. She is an ex-Shark, but I am putting her in Batus colours.

                              Comment


                            • Sorry I can't find a photo of a Gazelle in BATUS colours. So here, as a consolation, BATUS from a Gazelle:

                              Comment


                              • Savoia
                                Savoia commented
                                Editing a comment
                                I know I dropped my keys 'somewhere' around here!
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