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The Rotary Nostalgia Thread

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  • "The Flying Pork Pie"

    In the predecessor to this thread on another forum, there was some discussion relating to G-BALC, a JetRanger operated by Pork Farms Air Services, the flying arm of Pork Farms, a prominent Pork Pie manufacturer. At the time there was no photo available of the a/c in Pork Farm colours, and I promised to dig out some I took but with a Kodak Instamatic in 1977 - hence the quality. As a newly approved member of this forum I take pleasure in fulfilling that promise.

    The following images were taken at Staverton Airport on 12th March 1977. As can be seen the a/c didn't carry any company logos but was in the same colours as the company packaging. The chap in the red jumper is the Pork Farms pilot, whose identity was sought in the previous thread, but was not established. Perhaps this will help!

    Pork Farms Air Services Bell 206B JetRanger II, G-BALC (cn 913), at Staverton Airport in Gloucester on 12th March 1977.


    • Ahh de Havilland .. what a wonderful surprise .. welcome aboard!

      Thank you so much for these lovely shots of G-BALC and which, I am certain, are the very first to appear in the public domain.

      Fantastic to see her at last!

      I wish I could recognise the driver but, he isn't personally familiar to me. Perhaps over time we will discover his identity.

      As mentioned on the old thread, this aircraft was a source of amusement for my late godfather, who would muse as to whether she flew under the moniker 'Pork Pie 1'.

      If only they had registered her G-PORK!


      • Love seeing the old JetRanger colour schemes from the 70's.

        I see that serial no 913 has been upgraded to a 206B III, and is still flying in France as F-GJGV:

        Bell 206B JetRanger III F-GJGV at Dinard–Pleurtuit–Saint-Malo Airport on 18th February 2011
        (Photo. Sylvain Gourheu)



        • Tarman, how lovely to see you back!

          Thanks for letting us know that the 'Pork Pie' still flies .. and still wearing gold and green!

          The Nostlagia Thread has been privileged to showcase a number of 'photo firsts' when it comes to UK JetRangers - this one from the old thread:

          Originally posted by Sandy Toad on 16th January 2011

          Taking off from my parents home in Warwickshire with G-BAVI in February 1976
          G-BAVI was a 206B (cn 960) originally belonging to Oldway Helicopters of Merthyr Tydfil in Glamorganshire (1973) and which ended-up with Trent Helicopters in 1978.

          Here are two additional and rare shots of BAVI:

          Bell 206B JetRanger II G-BAVI as seen in May 1978

          Bell 206B JetRanger II G-BAVI as seen in May 1978

          Sadly this craft was lost over the Channel on 29th May 1978 (just days after these photos were taken) with all on board (four persons) tragically perishing.


          • More G-BALC

            G-BALC with its first owner Modus Developments titles at Coltishall 17.9.73 (Helipixman collection)

            G-BALC with Dollar titles (Helipixman collection - photographer unknown)

            G-BALC with Dollar and in its United Nations colours (Helipixman collection - photographer unknown)


            • Originally posted by Savoia View Post
              If only they had registered her G-PORK!
              Well someone did eventually use that registration and another one which is just as apt.

              Photos by Helipixman


              • G-BALC is not the only flying Pork Pie

                Another owner Michael Easey of Easey Pigs Ltd has had two helicopters both of which show Pig logos.

                photos by Helipixman collection


                • Sorry, little bit off-topic... Re silly G-regs, seems there was no HOGS sequence but I found this one instead


                  • Ah Elipix .. you've done it again .. digging-up otherwise impossible-to-find photos of helicopter we discuss. Bravo!

                    Love the black and white of G-BALC at RAF Coltishall. Great to see the 'Dollar' shots too, and quite 'in keeping' with how the Dollar craft frequently appeared (ie. with dirty tails).

                    Thanks too for the 'Pork and Pigs' registrations .. plus the 'Easey Coptes'.

                    Denissimo has seen this page and emailed the following comments:

                    Originally emailed by Dennis Kenyon

                    I feel as though I recognise the pilot in the photo of G-BALC, but no name to hand yet. I did have a Norfolk customer who graduated from an Enstrom, G-BBPO, F28A then a 28C and then onto a Jetranger. He was a pig farmer and always had a pig logo on the nose of the aircraft.

                    Regarding G-WSEC, you won't be surprised to know of my connections with Malcolm (not Mike) Easey. He was a routine customer of the Spooner Aviation/Southernair business and I think ended up owning a B206. In the mid 1990's I flew in to his farm in Norfolk as I had been asked to display his Enstrom, G-WSEC, at the Kilpeck Air Show (Herefordshire). I have a video of the display taken by my son. I think the Kilpeck air show only happened a couple of times.

                    Regards to all

                    Dennis Kenyon
                    Zis, there was in fact a G-HOGS .. she was a Cameron air balloon (as per below). The Chief Pilot for Hunting in the late 80's was a good friend, and an ex-Concorde driver!

                    Cameron SS Pig 90, G-HOGS, as seen at Ashton Court on 8th August 1997 (Photo: Bill Teasdale)


                    • Originally posted by Savoia View Post
                      Zis, there was in fact a G-HOGS


                      • More Classic 206 ..

                        Agusta-Bell 206B JetRanger II G-FLCH as seen at North Weald Aerodrome in June 1986 (Photo: Barry Friend)

                        Initially imported by Mann's as G-BGGX in 1978 (and may well have been flown by Geoffers), but became 'Fletch' in 1982 when operated by 'Fletchair' which was an offshoot of Fletcher Motors of Leeds. In the above photo she is seen having been leased to Aeromega Helicopters.

                        In 1988 she was bought by Defence Products Ltd. whereupon she became G-NATO. She was eventually sold to Belgium in 1990.


                        • On the old thread we managed to cover the bulk of British 'A' reg 206's but .. there were a couple which didn't make it and (I think) this craft was one of them:

                          Bell 206A JetRanger G-AYDK (cn 337) as seen at Fairoaks Airport in 1970 (Photo: Bill Bushell)

                          This craft was the 44th 206 to be registered in the UK and was the 13th Bell-built example (the others having been built by Agusta). She operated with Fairoaks Aviation Services for about a year until being exported to Zambia in 1971.


                          • Seeing as I mentioned Geoffers in the post before last concerning 'Fletch' .. I thought it may be an idea to take another look at G-WIZZ:

                            Originally posted by Geoffersincornwall

                            This helicopter was the first - or at least very nearly the first - 'out-of-sequence' - reg in UK. When I called LGW on the way in for Customs Clearance they refused to believe I was using a 'kosher' callsign!!

                            It was indeed delivered with high 'tubes' which made it very tricky when I had to do the old chip-detector 'service' in a field north of Troyes. The delay caused us to divert into Melun which is listed as a civvy airport but turned out to be the French equivalent of Boscombe Down and 'Les Gendarmes de L'Air' were not amused. A little bit of play-acting and a second chip-detector removal was meant to be 'window-dressing' but when a large 'whisker' was found sticking on the end of said detector all seemed to be understood. Unfortunately they said 'well now you have fixed it you can go on your way'. We knew the weather was cr*p and with only an hour of daylight we turned to the Met man who was horrified that any self respecting VFR helicopter man could be asked to proceed against the worst mother nature could offer - the dreaded 'warm sector'.

                            One call to the Commandant and we were given a true airman's welcome and the entire team of Gendarmes De L'Air swung into action and we were taken to a local B & B via the local supermarket to buy a wheel of local Brie each. The driver was able to convince us that a Renault 4L with three-up and a load of bags would make an ideal rally-car and I swear he took the corners on two wheels. Suitably impressed we hoped that the ride the following morning would lack the same sense of urgency.

                            Got to UK on schedule without further incident.

                            G-WIZZ on her delivery flight from Frosinone to Fairoaks in 1977, seen here at Gatwick Airport where I cleared customs
                            Now it just so happened that Geoff's account of delivering G-WIZZ inspired 'someone' to come up with the following ditty!:

                            Wizz The Bizz!

                            G-WIZZ was the bizz with her pretty black paint and her very neat name so quaint!
                            So Geoff with the boys set off with their toys and landed in a field north of Troyes.
                            With her intermittent blips Geoff clambered her hips which helped to name him ‘Geoff n' Chips’!
                            The delay of the day could have been such a gloom when up so soon sprang Melun.
                            Geoff acted away the Gendarmes looking grey and wishing he would leave that day!
                            Then in stepped a vet he was looking after met saying ‘better let them stay as yet’.
                            Then off to the ‘tel you could hear Geoffers yell as the Renault 4 screeched to the door!
                            What the Capt’n failed to say in between the cheese and wine were his antics with a maid divine!
                            Then onto England under power where Geoffers fought with Gatwick tower who refused that the WIZZ was the bizz!
                            “Now I didn’t choose this bizz called WIZZ ‘twas the owner’s little ‘tis and the problem is not mine but his!
                            So you’d better let me pass afore this comes a little farce and we be calling one another silly ar*e!"
                            And here's WIZZ, eight years after her delivery:

                            Agusta-Bell 206B JetRanger II G-WIZZ (cn. 8540) as seen at Leavesden Aerodrome in 1985 (Photo: Adrian Batchelor)

                            Seen in this shot while under the ownership of the Hubbard Reader Group, and while taking on fuel at Leavesden. This craft was originally imported for William Monks builders merchants of Sheffield in 1977, and was initially delivered from Agusta's Frosinone factory to Fairoaks Airport in Surrey, courtesy of Geoffers, as mentioned above.

                            Many thanks to Adrian for the use of this photo.


                            • Even More Classic 206 ....

                              G-BGGX Agusta Bell 206B JetRanger II imported by Mann's for Willowbrook International Ltd (George Hughes)

                              Photo Helipixman Collection

                              then sold and re-registered as G-FLCH for Quakebrook Ltd t/a Fletchair (Fletcher Motors)

                              Photo Helipixman Collection (photographer unknown)

                              Photo Helipixman Collection

                              then sold and re-registered again this time as G-NATO to Defence Products Aviation Ltd and then to Proteus Petroleum Aviation Ltd

                              Photo Helipixman Collection (photographer unknown)

                              Then sold in Belgium becoming OO-VWE

                              Photo Helipixman Collection (Photographer Helipixman)
                              Last edited by Helipixman; 13th July 2015, 18:37.


                              • G-ONPP & G-VNPP

                                Two Hughes 369 helicopters mentioned somewhere before by DK in connection with The Nigerian Peoples Party ....

                                Both registered to Flintgrange Ltd G-ONPP (22.3.83) and G-VNPP (30.3.83)

                                G-ONPP became G-ROMA, G-ROPI then restored to G-ROMA until it was cancelled 16.12.99

                                ​G-VNPP was ex G-BDKL and EI-ATY and became G-HSKY, one of the Skyline fleet.

                                Both pictures taken at Shoreham (may even be DK inside), Helipixman Collection - Photographers unknown.


                                • A fantastic assortment of photos there Elipix, bravo!

                                  Seeing G-BGGX in Mann's colours from the 70's certainly brings a tear to the eye!

                                  Lovely photos of 'Fletch' and just great that you've managed to capture her with both her original 'Fletcher Motors' titles as well as the Aeromega badge as per the shot I posted. Btw, in that photo, were you at Luton? For I see the Helitech hangar in the background. The Colonel used to know Fred Coates pretty well.

                                  Great to see the Hughes 500C's .. even if the oleos do look a little deflated!

                                  Something from your (and Wiggy's) neck of the woods ..

                                  Bell 206B JetRanger III G-WOSP (cn. 2545) as seen at Glasgow International Airport in 1994 (Photo: Stewart Robertson)

                                  Imported for Wasp Helicopters of Glasgow at the end of November 1978, this was the first Bell-built JetRanger III in the UK. The first Agusta-built JetRanger III was Ferranti-managed G-OIML which was imported at the beginning of the same month - November 1978.

                                  Aviafora co-owner Filippo (Phil Croucher) used to fly this craft.


                                  • Sav, the photo of G-FLCH was taken outside Helitech at Luton, but maybe not by me after all (I can't remember)? I lived just North of Luton for a while and watched many of the Robbos arrive and photographed a good few.

                                    You mention under the photo of G-WOSP that Phil flew it? Did you mean G-WOSP or G-OIML ?

                                    I flew around as a pax in G-WOSP many times.



                                    • Well they are just great photos (as always) Elipix!

                                      Phil used to fly G-WOSP and many others including the Towers LongRanger (G-JLBI), G-NOEL and many more).

                                      Let me try and coax him onto his own website to tell us a little about his flying escapades!


                                      • Indeed I did.

                                        That photo would have been taken at the Burnthills hangar in Glasgow - I used the fly the PA 31 in the background as well!

                                        Although it originally belonged to Wasp Helicopters, it was later bought by Burnthills Aviation who operated it in support of their Highland Helicopter Service.

                                        Here is a photo of WOSP which I took on some island somewhere! I think it might have bee Arran:


                                        • Some Rotary Nostalgia for Phil......

                                          G-JLBI Bell 206L-1 LongRanger at Elstree Aerodrome (Helipixman)
                                          This became F-GLGD and is still currently registered.

                                          G-NOEL Agusta Bell 206B JetRanger II at Silverstone with G-OIML and G-BTWA.
                                          This became G-RODS then G-JWBI and is still currently regsitered

                                          Another shot of G-NOEL outside Alan Mann, Fairoaks (photographer not known)

                                          Lastly a shot of G-OIML for SAV !

                                          G-OIML Agusta Bell 206B JetRanger III Seen at Cranfield (Helipixman)
                                          This became G-JMVB, EI-BXX, G-TCMM and lastly VH-SHH

                                          Last edited by Helipixman; 16th July 2015, 13:22.


                                          • LAKESIDE HELICOPTERS, Edinburgh

                                            This is a company I worked for as ground crew in the 90s flying all over Scotland and sometime further afield i.e Silverstone etc. Mixed memories...

                                            G-BHYW Agusta Bell 206B II (8043) at Talls ships pleasure flying, Aberdeen

                                            Sadly this crashed at Farelton Knott, Near Kendal when it was hit by Tornado ZG754 23.6.93 during pipeline inspection.
                                            Both pilot and passenger killed. Tornado landed safely at Warton.

                                            G-BPWI Bell 206B III (3087) seen pleasure flying at Scone Palace, Perth

                                            This is a much travelled heli - started its life flying in Mexico before moving to New Zealand, Australia and Malaysia.
                                            Sadly crashed in forced landing due to engine failure and rolled over at Upper Edgebold, Near Shrewsbury 4.10.13

                                            G-WOSP Bell 206B III (2545) seen near Colwyn Bay during para dropping.

                                            This heli was sold in Spain becoming EC-938 (import reg), EC-CGN and then to SE-JIP

                                            Lakeside used another heli which was owned by Kwik Fit - G-FLYR !

                                            All photos by Helipixman


                                            • More G-WOSP....

                                              A few more photos I have in my collection of this JetRanger

                                              Helipixman Collection (photographers unknown)


                                              • G-RODS was with us at Thamesdown Helicopters at Lyneham (I was Chief Pilot). Rod Crook owned the company, hence the name.



                                                • Some more shots of G-WOSP:

                                                  G-WOSP while flying with Burnthills (Photo: Wigan Airways Collection)

                                                  G-WOSP in 1985 on the Motherwell side of Strathclyde Park (Photo: Wigan Airways Collection)

                                                  G-WOSP in 1985 on the Motherwell side of Strathclyde Park (Photo: Wigan Airways Collection)

                                                  This aircraft was also sponsored by Clyde Radio for a time.


                                                  • Ah Wiggy .. how lovely to see you .. welcome aboard!

                                                    Lovely also to see these classic shots of G-WOSP!

                                                    Elipix: More fantastic photos - bravo!

                                                    This is the fist time for me to see G-NOEL in that blue-tone scheme. I see this is from the time that G-OIML was with Trent (Mike Strangeways).

                                                    Lovely also to see G-JLBI .. the one aircraft that both Phil and I have flown!

                                                    Here's a shot of 'IML' just one month after her delivery:

                                                    Agusta-Bell 206B JetRanger III G-OIML (cn 8560) as seen at Battersea Heliport in January 1979

                                                    'IML' was owned by International Messengers Ltd. (founded by Andrew Walters, a friend of the late Colonel) and was a replacement for G-BBEU.

                                                    She was the first JerRanger III in the UK, followed closely (just a matter of weeks in fact) by the Bell-built G-WOSP.

                                                    Ferranti managed 'IML' on behalf on International Messengers, and the craft is seen above wearing Ferranti's livery, as she would be employed by Ferranti for charter operations when not required by IML.


                                                    • Originally posted by Helipixman View Post

                                                      Agusta-Bell 206B JetRanger II G-NOEL at Silverstone with G-OIML and G-BTWA (Photo: Helipixman)
                                                      Elipix do you have a date for this photo?

                                                      I am guessing that it must be between 1980-81 and that this is the original colour scheme that was applied to Noel's aircraft after he bought her.

                                                      I see from this photo that she still had the seats from when she was registered as G-BCWN - later on she had a white leather interior. Also, I didn't realise that she had colour-coded pop-outs fitted from when Noel first bought, in fact I thought these were only added when he gained the Sony sponsorship.

                                                      VFR and or TRC would surely have known more!


                                                      • Helipixman
                                                        Helipixman commented
                                                        Editing a comment
                                                        Sorry Sav - not sure of the exact date, but probably early 80s as you say, and yes I agree about the seats.

                                                    • Another ex-Mann 206:

                                                      Agusta-Bell 206B JetRangerII G-BCYP (cn 8440) as seen at Leavesden Aerodrome c.1984 (Photo: Adrian Batchelor)

                                                      Seen here with a 'CB Helicopters' sticker.


                                                      • Mentioned in post 175 G-OIML was a replacement for G-BBEU.....

                                                        G-BBEU with G-OIML in background (Helipixman collection)

                                                        Helipixman Collection

                                                        G-BBEU was registered to IML Ltd 18.1.78 - 22.7.81 having been purchased from Alan Mann Helicopters. It was sold to Air Hanson who sold it in Uganda becoming 5X-MIA and was written off.

                                                        Look out for next post soon.. Thamesdown Helicopters


                                                        • Lovely shots there Elipix!

                                                          More G-BBEU ..

                                                          Bell 206B JetRanger II G-BBEU (cn 1121) c.1980

                                                          G-BBEU & G-BBBM as seen at Battersea Heliport in 1980 (Photo: Anton Heumann)

                                                          After BCal bought Ferranti, G-BBEU ended-up being painted in BCal's colours (for about two years) following the same arrangement Ferranti had with G-OIML (ie. that the craft was utilised for charter while not being employed in IML's service).

                                                          The Colonel was involved with 'EU' from her initial import by Ben Turner Helicopters in 1973 (where he was a director), then again when IML acquired her, and eventually with her sale to the Uganda Police Air Wing where, as with so many rotorcraft which joined that organisation, she met her eventual fate.

                                                          G-BBEU had a sister ship, G-BBET, which Ben Turner imported at the same time as 'EU'.


                                                          • Of G-BBET ..

                                                            Bell 206B JetRanger II G-BBET (cn 1102) as seen at Biggin Hill on 17th May 1974 (Photo: Jonathan Walton)

                                                            In December 1974 G-BBET was sold to Italy where she became I-AGUO .. and where she still flies.

                                                            Bell 206B JetRanger II I-AGUO (cn 1102) Aeroporto di Biella-Cerrione, 2 April 2006 (Photo: Marco Toso)