BKS Readers Stories
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(David Corbin's father was the commercial
Manager for BKS/British Air Services - Geoff Corbin)
I was mad about aircraft as a kid and would go on and on about them. Anything in the sky would get me rattling off the type and airline. Occasionally dad would take me up to LHR to go spotting. Considering we lived in Sunninghill and we would go up on a Saturday I feel a little guilty these days that I'd dragged him back up there on one of his two days off ! I work at LGW so know well now how he might have felt!!
I think sometimes he did combine work with these 'sorties' of mine and recall one time (God only knows how young I was but I'll guess around 6-7) he met up with their Chief engineer (well I always regarded him as such) and we went out onto the apron. You'd never do that today!!! We eventually arrived by a Britannia that was parked out at the back of beyond and in front of a Pan American cargo shed. We got into the aircraft via 'Lower 40' -that amazed me no end- and arrived in the cockpit. Do you know that quintessential smell of a Viscount/Vanguard/Britannia cockpit? It reeks heavily of electrical equipment and was unique to those turbo prop aircraft of the time in my opinion. I recall it even now, some forty years on!
I'm rambling now so will cut to the story. Ernie (the eng') began to run the engines up and I was in the co-pilot's seat flicking switches to do my part as it were. The memory of the noise, the blasts of flame out the exhausts as # 3 & 4 kicked into life and the whole aircraft shaking on stand as the throttles were pushed some considerable way past idle, still lives with me as clear as ever. One other image sticks in my head too and that was of a short-sleeved light blue shirt adorning a guy wearing dark 'aviator' style sunglasses who was leaning against the Pan Am shed watching the Brit' going through it's paces! Pure magic. The final part of this experience was after shutting down and climbing out, an Airfield Ops (or Police car, I'm not sure which) turned up. I recall my father saying we'd best get along before they asked what we were doing there!!! Very happy memories.
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