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#3589927 - 06/11/12 03:36 PM Met a legend: Eric "Winkle" Brown - and some flying pics :)  
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semmern Offline
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semmern  Offline
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Oslo, Norway
Sola Air Station in Stavanger, on the south-western coast of Norway celebrated its 75th anniversary this weekend. We went over there with our three Tiger Moths painted up in Norwegian Army Air Corps colours, as well as a lot of other planes from Kjeller. We departed on Thursday evening, but due to a couple of the guys being a bit late, we had to spend the night in Kristiansand on the south coast. Not too bad, but the weather on Friday was reported to be bad, with two occluded fronts coming in from the south, so we got up early and headed out to the airport. We just managed to get out before the weather closed in. Fortunately, Kristiansand is close to the southern tip of Norway, and so we were soon heading north out of the weather, but we did have an hour or so of marginal VFR with some rain showers. Fortunately you don't get wet in the Tiger Moth until you land and stop the airplane smile

We went along the coast, since our planes are more than 70 years old, and heading directly over the mountains is something we don't do unless we have to.

Starting out, the weather was nice. I'm in 145, leading the formation.



The formation lead does all the ATC calls, and navigation.
Navigating in the Tiger Moth can get a bit interesting at times, due to the limited space onboard, so there's no room for folding charts or finding documentation. This means that you have to be well organized. I have a kneeboard that I keep all airport plates, etc. in, and I fold the charts carefully so I won't need to do so in the cockpit. Fortunately, the compass, an old RAF P8, is absolutely wonderful. Large, legible and very accurate, it is the only liquid airplane compass I've ever been able to use for actual navigation, rather than just indicating the general direction of travel.

The next day we had to negotiate some cloudy weather with rain showers. This pic is taken from our Cornell on the way from Kristiansand to Stavanger, about 10am.



I didn't bring a camera to the show, but it was a good one! I'll see if I can get some of the pics my friends took, and post them here. We had the Patrouille de France, Aerostars and Turkish Stars display teams over, as well as a Saab Viggen, J29 "Flying Barrel", the Red Bull P-38 and DC-6, two Polish MiG-29s, an An-2, F-16s, PBY Catalina etc.

We also attended a lecture by Eric "Winkle" Brown, the famous test pilot, with the world record for the most types of aircraft flown; 487! He also holds the world record for highest number of carrier landings, and was the first person to land a jet on a carrier. He also interrogated Heinrich Himmler and Herman Gring after the war, due to his knowledge of German. At 93, he still travels around giving lectures!

I was lucky enough to get to talk to him, and he signed my logbook, as well as the inside of one of our Tiger Moth luggage compartment hatches. He is still genuinely interested in all things that fly, and very interested in us flying 260 nautical miles to the show around a sometimes inhospitable coast. He was also very, very friendly and very nice to talk to. It is a meeting I will never forget!

Me talking to him:


Signing our Tiger Moth:


and my logbook:


All in all, a wonderful weekend!

This pic is from yesterday, on our way home. I'm still in 145, leading the formation smile Weather on our flight back home was better, but we still had to dodge some showers and isolated CBs, and we flew on top for a while, as well as through a rainbow smile



In all my years I've never seen the like. It has to be more than a hundred sea miles and he brings us up on his tail. That's seamanship, Mr. Pullings. My God, that's seamanship!
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#3589929 - 06/11/12 03:44 PM Re: Met a legend: Eric "Winkle" Brown - and some flying pics :) [Re: semmern]  
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Gopher Offline
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Midlands
Oh wow. That is bloody fantastic!
You know, you're ticking off all of these lifetime achievements really rather quick - save some for the rest of us, eh? biggrin

Absolutely bloody marvelous.

#3589933 - 06/11/12 03:51 PM Re: Met a legend: Eric "Winkle" Brown - and some flying pics :) [Re: semmern]  
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PanzerMeyer Offline
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All I can really say semmern is "wow". Thanks for sharing those pics!


“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”
#3589945 - 06/11/12 04:15 PM Re: Met a legend: Eric "Winkle" Brown - and some flying pics :) [Re: semmern]  
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Rakov Offline
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That's great thanks!

#3589953 - 06/11/12 04:25 PM Re: Met a legend: Eric "Winkle" Brown - and some flying pics :) [Re: semmern]  
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No105_Archie Offline
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N. Atlantic east of Canada
thanks for posting ....and you lucky bastage for meeting Eric Brown biggrin


Archie Smythe

carpe diem
#3589954 - 06/11/12 04:27 PM Re: Met a legend: Eric "Winkle" Brown - and some flying pics :) [Re: PanzerMeyer]  
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Biggles07 Offline
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Gaaaah, I'm so Jealous! biggrin Smashing stuff Semm, great pics and even greater meeting 'Winkle' Brown, absolute Brit legend....I'd be star struck hehe. biggrin

Does anyone know if it is Brown doing this experimental "flexible deck" landing with the Sea Vampire in this clip? I know he did the worlds first jet carrier landing wheels down (but can never find film of it...only the photo), but was just wondering if this is him on the job too? Wouldn't surprise me if so.



"I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals".

Sir Winston Churchill
#3589985 - 06/11/12 04:50 PM Re: Met a legend: Eric "Winkle" Brown - and some flying pics :) [Re: semmern]  
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Cold_Gambler Offline
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That's awesome! Amazing that Mr. Brown is still so spry and active... we should all be so lucky.

Nice of him to sign your 'Moth.


looks very modernishy-phoney-windows eighty-tabletty like

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#3589998 - 06/11/12 05:03 PM Re: Met a legend: Eric "Winkle" Brown - and some flying pics :) [Re: semmern]  
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kaa Offline
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France
Wow, I have his book about the german planes he tested! he shot down a FW-200 as a Fleet Air Arm pilot, in a martlet , didn't he ?


"Anyone can shoot you down if you don't see him coming but it takes a wonderfully good Hun to bag a Camel if you're expecting him."
Tom Cundall.
#3590296 - 06/12/12 01:56 AM Re: Met a legend: Eric "Winkle" Brown - and some flying pics :) [Re: semmern]  
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wheelsup_cavu Offline
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What an excellent day! Thanks for sharing the pictures semmern.


Wheels


Cheers wave
Wheelsup_cavu

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#3590549 - 06/12/12 02:53 PM Re: Met a legend: Eric "Winkle" Brown - and some flying pics :) [Re: semmern]  
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Trooper117 Offline
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Thanks for posting!
Only been up in a moth once, but I'm going to do it again..

#3590670 - 06/12/12 06:51 PM Re: Met a legend: Eric "Winkle" Brown - and some flying pics :) [Re: semmern]  
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Legend Offline
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Great story, Semmern! Must have been impressive to meet a gentleman like that. thumbsup


There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the universe is for it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more inexplicable.
There is another theory which states that this has already happened.
#3590741 - 06/12/12 08:28 PM Re: Met a legend: Eric "Winkle" Brown - and some flying pics :) [Re: semmern]  
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NineLives Offline
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I love this thanks for posting.

If you have not already you should read Wings On My Sleeve and Wings Of The Luftwaffe.

#3590821 - 06/12/12 10:54 PM Re: Met a legend: Eric "Winkle" Brown - and some flying pics :) [Re: NineLives]  
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semmern Offline
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semmern  Offline
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Oslo, Norway
Originally Posted By: NineLives
I love this thanks for posting.

If you have not already you should read Wings On My Sleeve and Wings Of The Luftwaffe.


I have smile

One more thing - You would expect a 93-year-old to have a weak grip when you shake his hand. Not so with Capt. Brown. His grip was as strong as mine. His eyes were clear as ever, and he could still recall an amazing number of details about the planes he had flown, such as the top speeds of various marks of Spitfire, the sweepback angle of the Me-262s wings, the wingspan of a Me-163 and such. I am still completely in awe of having met such a great man!


In all my years I've never seen the like. It has to be more than a hundred sea miles and he brings us up on his tail. That's seamanship, Mr. Pullings. My God, that's seamanship!
#3591021 - 06/13/12 09:53 AM Re: Met a legend: Eric "Winkle" Brown - and some flying pics :) [Re: semmern]  
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Simbo_Sim123 Offline
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Tonyrefail South Wales
So lucky meeting a legend like him mate.
Just fancy having Oswald Boelke,Eric Brown,Hannah Riech,Douglas Bader and Werner Molders around a dinner table with a Balvenie or a Glenmorangie to keep them company !








Paul


Mae hen wlad fy nhadau yn annwyl i mi,
Gwlad beirdd a chantorion, enwogion o fri;
Ei gwrol ryfelwyr, gwladgarwyr tra md,
Dros ryddid collasant eu gwaed.
Gwlad, gwlad, pleidiol wyf i'm gwlad.
Tra mr yn fur i'r bur hoff bau,
O bydded i'r hen iaith barhau.

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