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Author Topic: EGAD History  (Read 7231 times)

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Offline smudge

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EGAD History
« on: June 24, 2017, 07:47:32 AM »
The Flood, 1982

Here's an article by the late Jim McMeekan about the day he found his Ercoupe submerged at EGAD..

http://www.asmn85.dsl.pipex.com/EEN/EEN23/EEN23.html

Scroll down until you see the boat towing a Cessna*. 



Mr McMeekan's G-AROO was one of two originally bought by the UFC in 1965 to replace Tiger Moths and Austers.  Sold to Ireland in 2014 but what happened to it subsequently?  Removed from G-reg but doesn't seem to have appeared on the EI-reg.

The other was G-ARHD, sold to the Enniskillen Flying Club but written-off after 21 November 1973 when it made a forced landing in a snowstorm south of EGAB EGAE, per NISPOT's correction.

A third Ercoupe  in NI was G-ARHC, with the Eglinton Flying Group from 1968 - 1974 and which is still flying in England.




* That C175, G-ARFM, is an interesting case.  It is noted in the Air-Britain Big Book as having been 'dismantled at Newtownards' and the CofA lapsed in 1979, which tallies with a change of ownership from local individuals to Foyle Aviation in 1980.  So what was it doing there engineless in 1982?  Sounds like an interesting story.

Foyle Aviation Limited was incorporated 13 February 1979 as NI13357 and struck-off 15 July 1983.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2017, 09:42:19 PM by smudge »

Offline Angry Turnip

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Re: The Flood, 1982
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2017, 11:22:46 AM »
Jim was a really nice man,always had time for anyone interested in talking about his aircraft,or flying in general;he used to be at Ards most weekends in the summer,and G-AROO was one of my favourites,but I never did manage to blag a flight in it from him,despite dropping a few hints. :)

Offline NISPOT

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Re: The Flood, 1982
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2017, 01:35:11 PM »
The remains of G-ARHD Aircoupe were still lying on Learmont Mountain in The Sperrins in April 2007

Offline smudge

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Re: The Flood, 1982
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2017, 07:49:05 PM »
Must have been quite an adventure for the crew just finding the nearest farm, and in a snowstorm.

Aha, found it.  Bleak place.

https://www.bing.com/maps?osid=f4b0fd1f-0abb-413f-936a-c05a86a253a4&cp=t44ddzgd7zk0&lvl=18&dir=270&style=b&v=2&sV=2&form=S00027

Learmount Mountain Oblique Imagery Bing.com


Bing steps-back to a higher zoom level when using that link but just click + several times to zoom-in to maximum and it should be at the top-centre of your screen.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2017, 10:20:12 PM by smudge »

Offline smudge

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Re: EGAD history
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2017, 10:35:53 AM »
Here's an odd anecdote from history.  After the helicopter-aided Mountjoy prison-break in October 1973 the RAF assessed its ability to intercept light aircraft over NI and determined that a Puma with a GPMG in the doorway was sufficient to counter everything based here except for the case of a particular Cessna 337 which could theoretically outrun it at 180 knots. 

I thought initally G-BACF at EGAD but that doesn't seem to have transferred over until 1982.

Perhaps even more surprisingly, at that time there were no private helicopters based in NI.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2017, 10:44:50 AM by smudge »

Offline smudge

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Re: EGAD history
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2017, 09:05:48 PM »
July 1968, courtesy of the Newtownards Chronicle

Here's a visitor that surprised me!

Prince Philip arrived by Royal Flight Andover at Bishop's Court.  The main purpose of the his visit was to see the Strangford Lough Wildlife Scheme.  The Duke was driven to Castleward where he was received by the Prime Minister and Mrs O'Neill.  Subsequently by motor-boat around the Lough, including landing on Mahee Island and Island Reagh where he opened the car park.

Then by boat to Kircubbin, visited Mount Stewart and by car to "Ards Airport" where he was met by the Andover and departed home, making him the first ( and I think only ) Royal to have flown through EGAD.

By my reckoning that also makes the Andover the second- or third-heaviest aircraft to have used the airfield, after that F100 that did a touch and go and possibly ahead of a B-17 that called by during the war.


One might ask why he didn't return to Bishop's Court: possibly because at the time the Portaferry ferry wasn't in operation, its specification was only just being discussed with the yard at Cork and work on the slipways didn't commence until November that year.  So it would have been a long journey back.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2017, 09:11:55 PM by smudge »

Offline Angry Turnip

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Re: EGAD History
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2017, 10:42:22 PM »
I wonder did he say anything deeply inappropriate ?  ;D  He has form for it. ;)

Offline smudge

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Re: EGAD History
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2017, 08:54:26 AM »
I managed to find a connection to EGAD in order to post this lovely photo...

March 1970
Quote
Miss Valerie Lemon was voted "Miss Ulster Television 1970" on the "Who's for Morecambe?" show.

Alderman Frank Higginson of Morecambe presented the award to Valerie who is from Ballywalter, County Down, and who works in the Ulster Flying Club in Newtownards.

She is twenty-two years of age and has the figure 36 : 24 : 37.


Good old Newtownards Chronicle making sure we have all the pertinent information there.

Oh Valerie is already on the Internet!

In March 1971 she married a gentleman from the Cliftonville Road, Belfast and hence made the front page of the Chronicle again!
« Last Edit: November 27, 2017, 07:29:32 PM by smudge »

Offline smudge

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Re: EGAD History
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2017, 07:38:58 PM »
A photo of a photo found in PRONI ( D4433/2/22 ).

Spitfire F.Mk.22 PK388 of 502 Squadron RAuxAF noted as 'out of fuel' at Ards on 26 / 27 November 1950.

Presumably the situation was remedied and it was sent back up to the 'grove.


Also misfiled in the same box were photos of personnel of 3502 ( Ulster ) Squadron Fighter Control Unit RAuxAF.  Mostly taken at Eden More Hotel in Whiteabbey in the 1950s.  I'd never heard of that unit before, I'll have to dig into it.

Quote
In 1950 the house and demesne were adapted as R.A.F. Edenmore, a base for No.67 NI Reserve Group and No.3502 (Ulster) Fighter Control Group.

http://www.newtownabbeytoday.co.uk/lifestyle/farewell-to-edenmore-1-5094201

   
Quote
After the formation of the three Maritime Headquarters Units about which my predecessor told the House on 6th November, 1959, there remained twelve Fighter Control Units. One of these, No. 3502 (Ulster) F.C.U., was disbanded when a maritime unit was opened in Belfast in July. We have now decided that the eleven remaining Fighter Control Units must also be disbanded.

http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/written_answers/1960/dec/09/fighter-control-units
« Last Edit: November 27, 2017, 07:50:01 PM by smudge »

Offline smudge

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Re: EGAD History
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2017, 02:04:18 PM »
Between June and August 1971 temporary traffic lights were installed on the Comber Road near the threshold of runway 09 [ now 08 ], operating between 10:00 and 16:00 on Tuesdays and Thursday.

They were intended to stop traffic when Shorts were using 09 for STOL trials with a Skyvan.  It had already been tested on a marked-out section of the runway at EGAC but for valid data they had to perform 'live' tests on a short runway, hence the choice of 09 / 27 at Ards. 

The data was not specifically for the Skyvan but for informing new regulations around the use of civilian STOLports. However Flight in 1971 noted that Shorts were working on reducing the Skyvan's published field requirements so perhaps there was a useful secondary benefit to the trials.  And the second attachment is from Aviation Week's Paris show report in 1971 discussing the Q-STOL initiative for the Skyvan.

Source: notice in Newtownards Chronicle, 03 June 1971
« Last Edit: November 28, 2017, 02:36:25 PM by smudge »

Offline smudge

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Re: EGAD History
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2019, 12:13:25 PM »
Just noticed this on eBay, a shield for the UFC 17th International Air Rally:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/MILITARIA-RAF-ROYAL-AIR-FORCE-REGIMENT-SQUADRON-ULSTER-FLYING-CLUB-17TH-SHIELD/372397533760

Nothing to do with the RAF Regiment, he probably just put that in the title to get clicks.

It was held at EGAD from 08 to 10 August 1986.

Offline smudge

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Re: EGAD History
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2019, 09:49:17 AM »
The previous Air Rally shield still hasn't found any takers, but another one has appeared on the Bay of Hopes.  From 1990, looking for £16.70. 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Ulster-International-Air-Rally-Silver-Jubilee-Plaque-1990-Ulster-Flying-Club/113672933108

Offline smudge

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Re: EGAD History
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2019, 11:37:43 PM »
Log book and ephemera of Mr WRH Young who learned to fly with the UFC in 1962 / 63:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/173889386204

Starting bidding at £14.95.  Just look at those registrations!  G-ARHD, G-AROD, G-ARNH...

And those names.  Hello Mr Woodgate ;)

Update: it didn't sell, so he relisted it at £16.45.  eBay Logic!
« Last Edit: May 08, 2019, 11:17:53 AM by smudge »

Offline acw347

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Re: EGAD History
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2019, 11:42:43 PM »
Tubby Dash is another legendary name around the club.

Offline Sneaky_Nikon

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Re: EGAD History
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2019, 11:18:44 AM »

It was held at EGAD from 08 to 10 August 1986.

I think that was the year the old flight office was almost lost to a Top Gun style fly-by from a Cessna Crusader.
Architect, Architect. VENGEANCE one one on fours.....

Offline smudge

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Re: EGAD History
« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2019, 12:27:34 PM »
We've previously discussed Aircoupé G-AROO which used to live at Ards under the ownership of Jim McMceekan.

A visit to the Transport Museum at Cultra reminded me that one of his electric milk floats is on display there, in the lower gallery of the Rail & Road building.


Sadly the Land, Sea & Sky building down the hill is still in a sad state.  Neither of the McCandless gyros have returned from 'restoration', the Sealand is still boarded-up out of view and the 330 cockpit & cabin section is closed for repairs.  No improvement since I was last there in 2017  :( 

Offline Angry Turnip

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Re: EGAD History
« Reply #16 on: May 10, 2019, 12:41:58 PM »
That is so cool,no side doors on them yokes,poor Jim must have been foundered in the winter.

Offline smudge

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Re: EGAD History
« Reply #17 on: May 21, 2019, 07:34:20 AM »
Found this snippet in Flight issue of 11 September 1969, regarding the delivery of Skyvans to the Austrian air force:

Quote
Qualification trials have recently been completed by Austrian parachutists flying from the Newtownards airfield

Big strapping Austrian parahunks in our wee provincial town!