Sunday, 20 March 2016

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Portmoak - DG-300 Glider Winch Launch and Ridge Soaring

Portmoak soaring

I flew here in March 2004. A great site.

My other ridge flights as a young man were at "Huish" near Upavon, Westbury White Horse, Doing my five hours at Devizes, a failed attempt at Halton, and at a ridge near Kemble, all with encouragement of John Williamson.

Take a look here.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

ACM Sir Theodore MCEVOY

Sometime in 1962 it must have been. For some reason we were flying from Biscester probably the time I was towed to Halton to try for my 5hours.

The highlight of my few days there was the honor of flying with Sir Theodore MCEVOY in the Eagle two seater as his safety pilot!!! As it was only my second trip in this aircraft ....
The moment the aircraft started to move on the launch it was like being on rails. Perfection.
What a great gentleman.

obituarys thanks to
ACM Sir Theodore MCEVOY (1915-25)
died on 29 September 1991, at the age of 86.

In spite of his illness, he was an outstanding fighter leader. As Station Commander of RAF Northolt, he formed the Polish Fighter Wing in 1941, after they had fought magnificently in the Battle of Britain, the previous Summer. Now they became part of Sholto Douglas's aggressive policy of taking the war to German-occupied France. Following some severe losses, Mac decided to test conditions for himself and flew with the wing, but was bounded on the way home. Badly wounded he crash-landed his badly-damaged Spitfire at Lydd - in the middle of an anti-invasion minefield, from which he was gingerly rescued by the Home Guard!
He went on to build a reputation as one of the most accomplished RAF staff officers of the Second World War, progressing as Group Captain, Operations HQ Fighter Command in 1942, Senior Air Staff Officer No. 11 Group in 1943 and of No. 84, the fighter group which supported the Normandy landing, in the following year. Mac became Assistant Chief of Staff Policy in 1945 and Director of Command and Staff Training after the war ended.

He learned to pilot helicopters and, at the age of 51, took a refresher jet course at the RAF Flying College, Manby. In 1950, he had become Assistant Chief of Staff Training and then in 1954 RAF instructor, at the Imperial Defence College. It was at this time, in 1954/55, that he became President of the HOBC, of which he was a life member. Two years later, he went to Fontainbleau, as Chief of Staff, Allied Air Forces, Central Europe, returning in 1959 to the Air Ministry, as Air Secretary. He continued to fly a variety of aircraft including Meteors, until his retirement in 1962, after three years as Air ADC to the Queen.

Apart from his calligraphy and gardening, Mac played golf as a pastime and enjoyed turning out in a foursome of which the other members were the legless Douglas Bader, the fingerless Arthur Donaldson and the one-armed Gus Walker.

There follows two widely differing appreciations by his contemporary Teddy Mautner (1912-22) and the son of another leaver of the twenties - Gustave J Muteau (1921-25). On behalf of the Association (to which Mac had been making annual donations since its foundation in 1962) we would wish to express to Marion (with whom he had celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary in 1985) our deep-felt pride of her late husband. Also, to their daughter Jill and son, Robin.


Theo was a contemporary of my late father (Gustave F Muteau 1921-25), and was instrumental in getting him posted to RAF Intelligence where his knowledge and expertise in languages could be properly utilised in WW2.

As a result of his friendship with my father he heard of the abominable state of my handwriting and decided that I should be privately tutored by him - as he was, despite his injuries, one of the most noted calligraphists in this country. You see the result, which has been my normal handwriting every since.

To see him at work with his quills and pens was a great privilege, which I enjoyed for many years. But my most lasting memory of this great OH is of him inspecting the CCF at Westbere Road. It was painful for him to stand for more than a few minutes, even with the aid of his two canes but he handed them to his ADC and proceeded to inspect the whole Corps - not just the front rank as many inspecting officers were prone to do - and then to stand to take the salute as we marched past. For well over an hour he walked and stood unaided; often stopping to chat to us. He told my father later that he was in agony the whole time but he refused to let us down! What a man!

Truly a parfait knight and a gentleman.

C Muteau

Air Chief Marshal Sir Theodore McEvoy KCB, CVE. Did he, in 1915, envisage this description of himself in later years? I would not be surprised. When, to us other boys, aeroplanes were just dots in the sky, by "Mac" they were recognised as Bristol Fighters or Sopwith Pups, or whatever. If ever there was a boy with a firm and fixed ambition as to what he wanted to do in life it was Mac and flying. After becoming a cadet-officer in the School Cadet Corps, he went on to Cranwell and passed out - predictably - with the Sword of Honour two years later in 1925.
From then his career through the Royal Air Force was one of steady promotion, and this in spite of a crippling disease of the spine, spondylitis, which overtook him before he was 30. Whilst it was developing it caused him intense pain, and it was small consolation that once his spine had set in its curvature it no longer hurt, but he was never afterwards able to stand straight. The fact that he was not invalided out of service is proof of his outstanding qualities as an airman and a staff officer.
He played a leading part in RAF activities throughout the war, particularly as Group Captain Operations HQ Fighter Command, and he served in Normandy, being mentioned in despatches. Subsequently he rose to be Chief of Staff, Allied Air Forces, Central Europe, at Fontainbleau. On the way up the ladder as Station Commander, Northolt, in 1941 he formed close links with the Polish Air Force fighter units, and received a high Polish decoration.
Retired in 1962 at the age of 58 he occupied his time in a variety of interests, including gliding, calligraphy, he wrote an exquisite italic hand, becoming President of the Italic Handwriting Society - and glass engraving, where in spite of severe eye disability he was able to apply his calligraphic talent to glass. He also busied himself politically in anti-Communist activities and will have been gratified to have lived to see the turn of events in Russia and Eastern Europe. Mac is survived by his wife Marian, and a son and a daughter, and grandchildren.

E E Mautner (1912-22)

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Sailplane And Gliding ref J S Wiliamson

ref John Willi

and ref; the calculator. This is the latest reference I can find for Him.
his link gave me the quote below.

"Ref "John Willy" - John Williamson - I remember him well and the calculator. Back in 1966 when he was a Flt Lt at RAF Locking he taught me to fly gliders in the then "Mendips" RAF Gliding Club. Wonderful days, T21, Tutor, Prefect, Oly 2b and a Grunau 2 (with its original German markings). Rotten site though, sea breeze front used to wipe out all thermal lift."

Gain of height in 1957 26,500 feet.

I remember him talking about this one day and saying how he was all iced up in the cockpit and it took an hour to get down as the 
Weihe had no air brakes.

de Havilland Cup (gain of height): JS.Williamson

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Carrying Pasengers in a T21

Carrying Passengers in a T21.

On 4 August 1963 John Williamson signed me off as fit to carry passenger in the T21. As this meant sitting in the left hand seat, it meant using the left hand for the stick and right hand for the spoilers. As in all other gliders it was the opposite hand, it took some getting used too. I was helped a lot as at the time I was in the process of getting my PPL flying Austers at Wolverhampton, and in the Auster it was Left  hand seat flying so I had got used to it.

Later that day I took my first passenger, a Mr Hicks, the second was a Mrs White so indicates my log book, both 4 minute circuits.

The next day (Sunday 5th August) another 16 passenger flights, all short with one exception of 17 mins thanks to the cook house thermal..

A fun day.

Olympia 463 Hot Ship?

Olympia 463 Hot Ship?

8 June 1962 I converted to the Olympia 463 which was a fairly new machine for the club as far as I can remember. It was a 35 minute flight and I enjoyed something that had a bit more penetration than the Oly 2.

As It happens this was the only flight I ever had in this machine as someone broke it a week or two later in a competition. So I was back to an Oly 2 again next time out.