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558 Test Flights

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 1:31 pm
by Yorkie
Hiya

Silly Question time....

Who decides where the test flights go? is it the crew or someone upstairs?

It appears to me that MW likes flying home as we often see her over York (Twice the other week and low as well) and i presume because they can use elvington to fly over to practice displays (it being big and empty).

BTW MW lives at the wrong side of york, so 558 flew over my in laws house twice in a week, not mine! I was just told, so matter of fact oh the vulcan flew over today again. you should have been here.......... X(

Re: 558 Test Flights

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 1:38 pm
by Mayfly
The aircrew do - taking into account weather, NoTAMS and the like and if they are combining the sortie with anything else like a PD.

Re: 558 Test Flights

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 1:44 pm
by Yorkie
Mayfly wrote:The aircrew do - taking into account weather, NoTAMS and the like and if they are combining the sortie with anything else like a PD.


Thanks MF explains why she is always over here!

will the crew have "favourite routes" that they know really well. like i say 558 flies over my in laws house, in almost the same piece of airspace everytime she is over and very low... (not far from MW house)

[just to say i'm assuming MW was flying, otherwise the other crew were just waking him up]

Re: 558 Test Flights

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 1:53 pm
by Mayfly
Basically yes and no!! :))

many have a favoured area where they like to fly but 558s aircrew don't have luxury of taking 558 for a jolly, they always have a task of some sort to complete when she's in the air so the over riding factor is flying in appropriate airspace and because of engine life, FI and fuel costs that also means something fairly close to where they are based if at all possible.

Apart from Waddington airshow or a transit to Leuchars when she was based at Brize or Lyneham we never saw her up here.

Re: 558 Test Flights

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 3:39 pm
by Yorkie
Thanks MF.. Living in Yorkshire has it's benifits.....

and i saw MW driving down the A64, only noticed him because of his number plate..

I said the the wife I WANT THAT..... Oh thats Martin Withers :) and he did notice the club sticker in the back of the car.

Re: 558 Test Flights

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:06 am
by MrTim
I bumped into him on the services at Barnsdale Bar on the A1 a few years back. It was the leather jacket I first noticed :)

Re: 558 Test Flights

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:16 pm
by Mayfly
MrTim wrote:I bumped into him on the services at Barnsdale Bar on the A1 a few years back. It was the leather jacket I first noticed :)


I hope you weren't driving at the time!!! :))

Re: 558 Test Flights

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:44 pm
by Hihonyr8811
A few months ago (might have been last year, the months all seem to merge into one :)) ) Waddington told them they couldn't pass/transit through something (MATZ springs to mind but I can't remember) because of inbound circuit traffic.
So presumably they do a quick route change on board to avoid something like that? as it wasn't a NOTAM as far as I know.

Every single time 558 has been to Waddington for circuits or what ever (apart from the air shows), I've been either at Doncaster or somewhere else and missed it =)) =)) ~x(

Re: 558 Test Flights

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:53 pm
by Xplumberlives
The MATZ is normally up to about 3000 feet! ;)

Re: 558 Test Flights

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:57 pm
by Mayfly
MATZ = Military Air traffic Zone, controlled by the Air Traffic Authority, normally the Station ATC but not always, the standard is 5 miles radius from the datum, normally the centre of the runway.

You can get an extension for the approaches. They would just skirt around it if refused permission to pass through it which could be for a number of reasons. [or as XP has said transit over it.]

If you see a map they use for planning there is a narrow gap between Cranwell MATZ and Conningsby MATZ which is why we get a lot of transit aircraft over the village.

Re: 558 Test Flights

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 7:11 pm
by Hihonyr8811
I'm not saying it was that, we're talking several months ago and my memory isn't that good :))
I just know they had to go around something :)) that was my main point.

Coningsby are alays sending LWP through that gap :))

Re: 558 Test Flights

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 7:21 pm
by Mayfly
We have something in common - I've never seen 558 at Waddington either - been 3 times and she never turned up even once and of course when I don't know she going she appears ~x(

Re: 558 Test Flights

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 7:48 pm
by MrTim
Same with me and Church Fenton. I'm either away, at Donny, or, as was the case last time, waiting at CF only to be told by someone 'in-the-know' that 558 has problems and has aborted the display (which turned out to be utter rubbish).

So I have yet to see 558 in my own backyard.

Re: 558 Test Flights

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:15 pm
by Mayfly
I believe Tim they couldn't find clear airspace to complete the air test - then sods law as soon as they radioed to say they wouldn't be doing the display blue skies appeared and they continued with their original plan but by then it was too late the word was out.

The same happened in 2008 when 558 couldn't make Southport then the front shot through at lightning speed and it was Duxford that couldn't be met.

Re: 558 Test Flights

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:20 pm
by Xplumberlives
Mayfly wrote:We have something in common - I've never seen 558 at Waddington either - been 3 times and she never turned up even once and of course when I don't know she going she appears ~x(




Oh yes you have, your husband was flying her with the Lancaster and we were celebrating!

Re: 558 Test Flights

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:33 pm
by Mayfly
=)) =)) =)) =)) I had forgotten that!!! but I did mean doing practice displays other than at the airshow

Re: 558 Test Flights

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:40 pm
by Jigsaw
Xplumberlives wrote:
Mayfly wrote:We have something in common - I've never seen 558 at Waddington either - been 3 times and she never turned up even once and of course when I don't know she going she appears ~x(




Oh yes you have, your husband was flying her with the Lancaster and we were celebrating!


I was there too. Drove up from Ely, got drenched and LOVED every minute of it :D

Re: 558 Test Flights

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:45 pm
by Mayfly
Jigsaw wrote:
Xplumberlives wrote:
Mayfly wrote:We have something in common - I've never seen 558 at Waddington either - been 3 times and she never turned up even once and of course when I don't know she going she appears ~x(




Oh yes you have, your husband was flying her with the Lancaster and we were celebrating!


I was there too. Drove up from Ely, got drenched and LOVED every minute of it :D


:-o Sounds like something unsavoury going on!! =))

Re: 558 Test Flights

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:51 pm
by Jigsaw
:-o Pam, I'm shocked at your mind :)) :))

Re: 558 Test Flights

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:52 pm
by Mayfly
[-x [-x [-x No NO Trice No Jigster...

That was me being polite :))

Re: 558 Test Flights

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 9:07 pm
by Jigsaw
Mayfly wrote:[-x [-x [-x No NO Trice No Jigster...

That was me being polite :))


Precisely. I rest my case ;)

Re: 558 Test Flights

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:29 pm
by MrTim
Mayfly wrote:I believe Tim they couldn't find clear airspace to complete the air test - then sods law as soon as they radioed to say they wouldn't be doing the display blue skies appeared and they continued with their original plan but by then it was too late the word was out.

The same happened in 2008 when 558 couldn't make Southport then the front shot through at lightning speed and it was Duxford that couldn't be met.

Thanks Pam. That pretty much clears up that mystery. All except the engine trouble bit. Reckon that was just a case of Chinese whispers from the original issue though. Very annoying for myself and all the other people who were at CF that day who made their ways home and missed it.

Re: 558 Test Flights

PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:14 am
by Mayfly
Not sure but I think it was engine checks they were doing at the time, so that's where I dare say the confusion came in.

Re: 558 Test Flights

PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 6:10 pm
by Ducati Boy
:D
MrTim wrote:
Mayfly wrote:I believe Tim they couldn't find clear airspace to complete the air test - then sods law as soon as they radioed to say they wouldn't be doing the display blue skies appeared and they continued with their original plan but by then it was too late the word was out.

The same happened in 2008 when 558 couldn't make Southport then the front shot through at lightning speed and it was Duxford that couldn't be met.

Thanks Pam. That pretty much clears up that mystery. All except the engine trouble bit. Reckon that was just a case of Chinese whispers from the original issue though. Very annoying for myself and all the other people who were at CF that day who made their ways home and missed it.


Tim,
Its always a shame when folk don't get to see what they want and can be very frustrating and disappointing. :( However, its always good to keep in mind that while aircraft spotting is a very enjoyable hobby, :) aside from actual booked displays, the aircraft crew are actually doing a job of work in real time on a test flight. There is rarely a fixed timetable because, through no fault of their own any number of things can happen to change their planned sortie times and locations. They may have to divert or repeat checks or even abort and RTU, thats why its a test flight.

Must say though, folk waiting cause themselves a lot of grief by passing information and mis-information around by tweeting etc on internet and mobiles faster than the crew get to make changes they have to make. That seems to result in a lot of "factual bull***t", sometimes passed by those scanning ATC converstaions and making their own incorrect interpretations. That then appears on a forums before the aircraft has landed and the engineeers even get to investigate what happened. Even we engineers get the wrong gen from such people and it can be very worrying to hear of a problem with your aircraft when she is still up there! :((

Every one and a dog gets to posting before they even know what actually happened. Not much to be done to improve any of that I guess, but ask folk to consider before passing on mis-information.

As for missing out on an aircraft not arriving for a test flight, that folks is the chance you take when you follow aircraft. :D

Re: 558 Test Flights

PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 6:38 pm
by Jigsaw
On the flip side. I benefited from it. Got to see her leave RHA and return as well ;) :D :ymapplause:
I, like many, will never tire of seeing 558. Again I applaud you all for the fantastic jobs you do to ensure it happens :ymapplause: