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Thread: Up Up and Away.

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    Default Up Up and Away.

    Did any of you know that British Caledonian Airways And British Airways Helicopters operated a shuttle service between Heathrow and Gatwick airports. Only one helicopter, owned by British Airports Authority and operated by both the airline companies I have already mentioned was used for this service. Considering the fact that the M 25 motorway didn't exist at this time, this was very good idea. The helicopter involved was a Sikorsky S-61 aircraft. It carried twenty six passengers who paid 12 for this journey. You could also board the same aircraft when it took off again to return to Heathrow.
    I know this as I was employed by BAA as a member of a passenger search and frisking team.

    Regards from
    Fouro.

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    Default Re: Up Up and Away.

    Can only remember doing the journey between the two airports once and that was by coach, seemed to take forever, would have willingly paid the 12 if the helicopter was going but cannot recall any information about it.
    Rgds
    J.A.

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    Default Re: Up Up and Away.

    Although I was on rigs for many years and flew every month sometimes every two weeks by chopper the most interesting chopper ride, with great views, took place when I was in the MN and paid of the Nordic Texas, in Mobile Alabama, where it was for repairs, we flew to La Gardia airport in New York, and then took a chopper, a Chinnook, to JFK airport flying across Manhatten at night in the winter and it was a moonlight night. We should have gone by bus but there were problems with snow on the roads so went by chopper instead.

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    Default Re: Up Up and Away.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arton View Post
    Can only remember doing the journey between the two airports once and that was by coach, seemed to take forever, would have willingly paid the 12 if the helicopter was going but cannot recall any information about it.
    Rgds
    J.A.
    I had a similar experience to JA,travelling between Heathrow and Gatwick airports.A crew change in Genoa in March 1970 involved we replacements flying Cambrian Airways ,-[Cambrian-a Welsh airline was incorporated into the giant British Airways in 74 ],from Liverpool (Speke,as it was then, before it became John Lennon Apt.) to Heathrow. No helicopter shuttle at that time,so it was a fleet of private hire Zephyr 6's to Gatwick-no M25 so it was the 'A' roads all the way round Surrey to Gatwick,and that was two and a half hours in the morning rush hour, squashed into the back of the car with a big burly engineer either side-no,not lucky me !
    Strangely enough the onward flight from Gatwick to Genoa was on a British United Airways flight which would be bought out by British Caledonian in November 1970,eight months later-I looked that one up.So that's presumably shortly after that Brit.Cal inaugurated that sorely needed Airports Shuttle.
    Mind you,for a crew change with luggage several choppers would have been needed,so it would still be cars again then I suppose !
    Getting from Heathrow to Gatwick by road back then took as long as flying from Gatwick to Genoa....Attachment 34832
    Last edited by Graham Shaw; 25th June 2022 at 03:52 PM.

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    Default Re: Up Up and Away.

    British Caledonian was owned by British & Commonwealth, which origins could be traced to Clan Air.
    Vic

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    Default Re: Up Up and Away.

    The helicopter shuttle service started in1978 was proving to be a success. Up until 1986 over 60,000 people had used the service. The CAA granted the service a licence extension but when the M 25 opened in 1986 the transport secretary Nicholas Riddley revoked the licence extension and so ended a successful Heathrow-Gatwick Airports helicopter shuttle service.

    Regards from
    Fouro.
    By the way, the helicopter journey from both airports only took 15 minutes.

    Fouro.

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    Default Re: Up Up and Away.

    One might ask what happened to the American Sikorsky S-61 helicopter which was bought by British Airports Authorities for 2 million pounds specially for the Heathrow-Gatwick shuttle service.
    Well, after research in 2006 it was found it had been scrapped languishing in weeds somewhere in Brazil. Apart from this Baron Ridley had caused the loss of fifty one jobs into the bargain. British Caledonian had depended on the airlink shuttle for survival. So, like Sir Freddie Laker's British United Airways, in two years time, British Caledonian Airways were non existant.

    Regards from
    Fouro.

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