Those Were the Days!!!! Aviation from the Archives 1967 part 1

In the first of a 4 part series branch chairman Brian Richards takes a look back at the Aviation events of 1967 from January to March.

THOSE WERE THE DAYS!!!!  January 1967

The first of a short series to mark the 50th anniversary of the branch yet, despite my efforts, I couldn’t find too much information on January 1967 movements in our corner of England although on 25/1 Northolt had both USAF MAC Rescue HC-130H 65-0970 and Italian AF C-119G 46-80 visit, and around the turn of the month Beech 18 PH-UDH graced LTN and brand new Aztec F-BOEZ landed at LHR. Many UK airfields also witnessed demo flights by N3233Q, the first Cessna 401 in Europe. At Redhill new resident Alaparma Baldo 75 I-DONP was behind many enthusiasts – including me –finding the urge to visit that airfield during the month.

The UK Register was suffering from its usual post-Christmas lull but that didn’t stop an influx of Cherokee 140’s being registered for UK Piper Distributor CSE Aviation, Viscount restorations G-APNE and G-APNF for British United and BKS (at SEN) respectively, plus the BEA Trident 2E fleet G-AVFA-G-AVFO. Interestingly 2 pre-war Mosscraft were restored, G-AFHA and G-AFJV.

Aircraft production in the UK was dynamic in 1967 including BAC 111 YS-18C for TACA, G-AVBW for Laker and TI-1056C to LACSA. The DH125-3A version was popular and G-AVAG was exported to the USA and with G-AVGW (for Beecham), G-AVHA and G-AVHB being registered. Autair ordered 2 BAC 111 and became the 25th operator of the type. Somewhat ambitiously BAC also submitted an offer to the USAF for the supply of 8 BAC 111 for CASEVAC equipped with a large loading door and a retractable covered ramp, each able to carry 30 stretcher patients over 2,000 miles.

Australia’s Royal Flying Doctor Service ordered 2 Beagle 206 to replace Drovers, Lufthansa placed an option for 3 Concorde (orderbook now up to 72 for sixteen airlines). Elsewhere Air Canada ordered 17 DC-9-30 and Cessna announced it had produced a staggering 8,148 aircraft in 1966 including 3,187 of its 150 model.

The Royal Navy’s last Meteor, T7 WS103, was WFS in January and flown to Kemble for disposal. RAF 80 Squadron, based in Aden with Beverleys, celebrated its 50th anniversary. Overseas the French Air Force ordered 8 Cessna 411 and Brazil ordered 40 Cessna T-37C.

In Vietnam after a 48 hour shutdown of operations over the New Year, on 2nd January the USAF had its biggest air battle to date with F-4C’s of 8thTFW downing 7 MiG21


THOSE WERE THE DAYS!!!!  February 1967

Seemingly from reports this month was very quiet for STN visitors although there were LHR fog diversions on 6/2 in the shape of British Eagle Britannia G-ARXA and BEA Comet 4B G-APMB. College of Air Training PA-28 G-AVBA (23/2) is recorded and Bell 47G-2 G-AVDO was delivered and took up residence on 24/2.

Elsewhere in February, SEN saw many GA visitors such as Safir OO-JEN, Cessna 210D D-EMWJ and Aztec F-BNFR, with SEN and LTN sharing the customs clearance duties for Reims built Cessnas on their delivery flights to UK buyers, with LGW seeing a wide selection  ranging from Horizon F-BNQR to Philips new Falcon 20 PH-LPS and Caravelle 7T-VAI. LTN witnessed Comanche G-AVGA and Cessna 310 OO-SEK.

Additions to the UK Register included UK built Beagle 206s G-AVHO to G-AVHS, more ex US registered Viscounts for Channel Airways G-AVHE & G-AVHK along with their BAC 111 G-AVGP, plus the usual new Cessnas and not so new Jodels.

Fokker Friendship production was very active with deliveries in the month such as PK-PFB to Permina, VT-DVT and VT-DVG to Indian Airlines, PI-C531 (note the then country prefix) to Philippine AL, XY-ADN to Union of Burma Airways (DBR June 1981), and AP-AUS to PIA. Also heading to Pakistan, for the Air Force, was new Trident AP-AUG.

On 1st February another name disappeared when Pan American-Grace (Panagra) was absorbed by Braniff.

On the military scene the 1st Jet Provost T5 made its maiden flight 28/2, one month after the FF of the attack/reconnaissance version of another trainer the SAAB 105.  The RAF announced its intention to order 25 Chinook to replace its Belvederes, and rather belatedly it was announced that following the well publicised numerous accidents the Luftwaffe F104 (nicknamed Widowmaker) the fleet would be retrofitted with Martin-Baker ejector seats; in total 116 Luftwaffe pilots died in F104 accidents.

In SE Asia the 22nd saw Operation Junction City commence with the only US mass paratroop assault of the war when 249 helicopters of varying types dropped 845 troops of the 173rd Airborne Brigade; including ground troops nearly 300 US servicemen were killed. Elsewhere USN A-6 Intruders mined two key rivers.



STN visitors for this month  included PH-DSG DC-7F KLM with a cargo of pigs, WJ945 Varsity ILS runs, G-AVEW BAC III  Laker A/W, 5N-APW PA-30, plus G-APFP B707 BOAC crew training, which then made an emergency landing at LHR and two Forney F-1A G-ARHF with G-ATFP back to White Waltham after the latter’s rebuild. Amongst SEN visitors were 3 DC3 on the 14th -D-CADE, D-CADO & D-CORA plus DC-6A PH-MAM of Martinair and LTN hosted CF-ULD Commander 680E and F-BOJO MS760 Paris.

The UK register saw then usual Cessna and Piper additions, a smattering of MS880B, and its first JetRangers plus 6 used Viscounts including G-AVIW and G-APPU (restored) for Channel Airways at SEN. Beagle 206 production was already faltering with new fuselages going straight to store, but Pup prototype G-AVDF was being readied for its maiden flight.

On the airline front Britannia ordered a 4th B737, Varig 10 HS748 and KLM 3 Boeing 747 plus Air India ‘s initial order of 4 taking total orders of the type to 99. Locally built Carvair F-BMHU crashed at Karachi on the 8th and N1063T DC-9 TWA collided midair with a Beech 18 on the 9th.   These were amongst the 9 reported airliner losses this month.  Deliveries included HS748s A10-595 and A10-596 for the RAAF, and VP-BCK, with RAF C130Ks XV179,180, 183, and 184 all to Cambridge for pre-acceptance mods..

On the military side, the 1st RAF VC-10 entered service saving 12 hours on the Britannia flights to Singapore, and also began phasing out the Comet C2 along with its remaining Beverleys and the rather ancient Hastings’. At the faster end Javelins FAW9 were already being replaced by the EE

Lightning F3 and F6 in the UK and overseas.

Newspaper headlines featured the 13th March flight by an ex Aeroflot pilot who stole An-2P SSSR-04959 and attempted to defect to Turkey, but was shot down and killed over the Black Sea by a Soviet MiG17.

Finally a truly incredible story from SE Asia when on March 10th US aircraft attacked the iron and steel works at Thai Nguyen, North Vietnam, for the first time. The F-4 Phantom of Capt Earl Aman suffered serious damage from AA fire and lost the bulk of its fuel, so Capt Robert Pardo instructs wingman Aman to lower his F-4’s tailhook so Pardo can manoeuvre behind and underneath, which then enables Pardo to place the tailhook against his F-4’s windscreen. Despite having one of his own engines on fire Pardo pushes Aman’s powerless F-4 for 90 miles and across the Laos border, then all 4 men eject where they can avoid capture.