G-APIM

Viscount G-APIM

Vickers 806 Viscount – c/n 412

With BAF from Feb 1984 to Jun 1989

Given Name – ‘Viscount Steven Piercey’

India Mike was amongst the second batch of six, 806 Viscounts bought from ex-British Airways stock. She arrived at SEN from Cardiff on February 3rd 1984 and went straight into the hangar for an overhaul until July, eventually flying her first service for BAF on the 21st. In the BAF tradition of naming their aircraft, the following month G-APIM was christened ‘Steven Piercey’, in remembrance of the young aviation photographer and founder of Propliner magazine who sadly lost his life doing the work he loved at the tender age of only 26. His father (Capt. Ray Piercey) had previously flown this aircraft on many an occasion and thus it was a most fitting tribute that the aircraft should be named after his son.

India Mike would spend her first autumn and winter with BAF up in Aberdeen flying the oil contract routes, finally returning to Southend in the early spring of 1985. Apart from passenger trips to Exeter in May, Manchester in June and Birmingham in October, not much is known about her activities during this year but in December, she was somewhat curiously renamed ‘Halley’s Comet’ for a short period, before returning to the Steven Piercey name at the end of January 1986. This year would bring more in the way of charters and freight flights with her being seen at Cologne, Coventry and Gatwick during the early part of 1986 after which she went into temporary storage for much of April and May. However, by the end of May she had been reactivated and headed north again, being seen in Aberdeen shortly afterwards and then at Newcastle in June and Birmingham in September.

Her service history for the winter of 1986 and spring of 1987 is something of a mystery, although by the summer of 1987, she had been hauled into the APIM collhangar for an overhaul and the application of the BAF ‘British’ livery. However, unlike many other Viscounts, India Mike was not to see much in the way of extended service with BAF, despite the fact that she had fewer hours than many of her stable mates. Her last flight was made two days before her operational life was brought to a somewhat ignominious end on 11th January 1988 when a Shorts 330 inadvertently collided with her while parked on the main apron at Southend, writing her off in the process. She then sat at SEN for another two years, her damage covered with plastic to protect her cockpit interior from the worst of the weather.

With four Viscounts, having recently been withdrawn permanently from BAF service, her future seemed brook-visc-g-apimuncertain and many were of the opinion that she would eventually be sent to the rear of the airport with the others, where she would also be reduced to spares to keep the rest of the fleet flying. However, in June 89, she was offered to Brooklands Museum on a 99 year loan. Over the next few months, her damage was temporarily patched up and the aircraft was prepared for the move to its new home. On February 10th 1990 she was finally placed onto a low loader and moved from Southend to Brooklands where she immediately entered preservation (see the video below). Since then, she has been under the care of a dedicated and professional team of volunteers who look after her along with the rest of the Brooklands collection. To date, she is the only complete 800 or 810 series Viscount to have been preserved in the UK. You can see the move by clicking on the video link below…

G-APIM Recovery & Transport to Brooklands

For more details on the accident itself, see the ‘Prangs’ page above.

 

History of G-APIM

6/58 to 11/71

B.E.A

11/71 to 7/73

Cambrian

7/73 to 4/82

British Airways

4/82 to 1/84

Stored at Cardiff, Wales

1/84 to 7/89

BAF (DBR 1/88)

Fate

Moved to Brooklands 2/90

Preserved at Brooklands Museum (To visit the museum website, click below)

Brooklands Museum Website

 

Do you have any other, interesting snippets of information about this aircraft or indeed, any pictures that you would like to share? If so, then please contact us on saadinfomail@gmail.com

Many thanks from the SAAD Admin Team.