Middle Wallop 26 Sept 08 - A day with the Blue Eagles

Photos of operational aircraft from bases, airports and "spotter" outings
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Kieron
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Joined: Thu 18 Sep 2008, 2:06 pm

Middle Wallop 26 Sept 08 - A day with the Blue Eagles

Post by Kieron »

Around this time of the year, the Blue Eagles and the Army Historical Flight take the opportunity to thank their sponsors and associates by inviting them to the airfield for the day. During the visit, everyone is briefed about the current status of the team and any issues arising with the historic airframes. With the last airworthy Skeeter grounded in 2007 due to airframe issues, the Alouette will be the next problem as it is due for a new engine in 2010 at a cost of around £110,000.
On the plus side was the first appearance of the Apache display during 2008 and its participation in the RAF Role Demo which, hopefully, will be repeated next year.

Major George Bacon is presented with a framed copy of the Blue Eagles March, which was especially written for the team by Warrant Officer Gooch (right)

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Blue Eagles OC Ops Mgr Major Richard Jarvill (left) with Capt Gus Aylward, the Alouette display pilot

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Blue Eagles Scout display pilot Capt Buzz Robinson

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During the afternoon, the invited sponsors are flown by all the team members of the Blue Eagles, with some of the lucky ones managing to get flights in two different types..

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Dever Springs Trout fishery, which is stocked with some large trout and are often visible from the air

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Although commonly referred to as the DLO at Andover, the Defence Logistics Organisation has been amalgamated with the Defence Procurement Agency (DPA), and is now known as HQ DE & S (Defence Equipment and Support)

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Major Iain Johnston, Gazelle display pilot and Blue Eagles Team Leader

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..and a recent arrival at Middle Wallop is Defender T3 ZH004

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POD
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Re: Middle Wallop 26 Sept 08 - A day with the Blue Eagles

Post by POD »

Looks like you had a nice day Kieron! :smile:

kev
:rock:
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F-86
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Re: Middle Wallop 26 Sept 08 - A day with the Blue Eagles

Post by F-86 »

Some nice pic's there, looked like a great day out. :clap:

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Hellfire
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Re: Middle Wallop 26 Sept 08 - A day with the Blue Eagles

Post by Hellfire »

Some good shots. Was William still around or had he moved on by this time?

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absolutangel
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Re: Middle Wallop 26 Sept 08 - A day with the Blue Eagles

Post by absolutangel »

Like the pics, and it sounds like a great day.

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Davef68
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Re: Middle Wallop 26 Sept 08 - A day with the Blue Eagles

Post by Davef68 »

Looks a like a fantastic day - and good spot on the Defender!!

Why was the Skeeter grounded?

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viking9
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Re: Middle Wallop 26 Sept 08 - A day with the Blue Eagles

Post by viking9 »

Davef68 wrote:Looks a like a fantastic day - and good spot on the Defender!!

Why was the Skeeter grounded?

Skeeters lost their CAA 'Permit to Fly' last year because some tw*t at Wallop decided to ask Qinetiq to do a stress analysis of a main rotor blade after a small amount of corrosion was found on the main spar. The man at Qinetiq decided that the MRBs should be re-lifed to 28 hours instead of 1,000 hours! On hearing this the CAA promptly withdrew the permit for all Skeeters. A friend of mine who owns the only other airworthy Skeeter, XL809 (G-BLIX) had endless arguments with the man at Qinetiq who even alleged that when Saunders-Roe carried out their stress testing they didn't know enough about it!

FWIW, I flew in Skeeters and maintained them for a number of years in the AAC and never heard of a main rotor blade failure on one. In fact the fabric covered blades were amazingly resilient. It was hoped to devise an NDT technique at RNAY Fleetlands but that has now been sold into private hands and nobody is interested. If the Skeeter had been a Spitfire or other warbird there would have been a great hue and cry at a blanket grounding of the aircraft but nobody seems to care about a great little helicopter which for many years was the eyes of the British Army at the sharp end in the Cold War.

As a former PFA inspector, involved in the authorisation of homebuilt aircraft for permits, I personally feel that the CAA is going against the spirit of the 'Permit to Fly' which is for aircraft which cannot fulfil the requirements of a full C of A and should not be listening to organisations like Qinetiq.

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ross@macsgrafs.co.uk
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Re: Middle Wallop 26 Sept 08 - A day with the Blue Eagles

Post by ross@macsgrafs.co.uk »

This is so par for the course, always someone poking thier nose in where it's not wanted or needed.

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capercaillie
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Re: Middle Wallop 26 Sept 08 - A day with the Blue Eagles

Post by capercaillie »

That Defender is very nice.

Surely the Belgian Defence Force or German Army could supply a replacement engine for the Alouette at little cost? £110K seems immoral for a replacement.

Looks like you had a great day :clap:
"The surrogate voice of st24"

Quid59
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Re: Middle Wallop 26 Sept 08 - A day with the Blue Eagles

Post by Quid59 »

Hi
I shot that defender in July passing through Malta as VH-HYH

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