G-ASVO

Herald G-ASVOa

Handley Page HPR.7 Herald 214 Series – c/n 185

With BAF from Jan 1977 to Nov 1993

Given Name – ‘Kirsty Keegan’

BAF’s longest serving Herald by a considerable margin of two years was Victor Oscar – a 200 series Herald that had come to the airline via British Midland. She had been a regular visitor to Southend prior to her acquisition, especially being as the smaller Heralds were more increasingly replacing British Midland’s Viscounts on the Channel Island routes that had been been so popular during the early 70s. She arrived at Southend on January 7th 1977 and like many of her BAF stable mates, went on to develop a long and extensive history of leases which saw her serving with airlines in the UK, Middle East and Africa.

Four months after her purchase, she went to Gulf Air and then on to Europe Aero Services before returning to SEN late in 1978. The following Herald G-ASVO 2January, she would be leased to BIA on their Channel Island routes to destinations such as Amsterdam, before going to Air UK for a short stint at the beginning of 1980. Needless to say, between these leases, she would be seen on a number of European routes flying for BAF, being seen at Brussels, Basle and Dusseldorf during the late 70s. However, in 1980 that she would again depart on lease, this time to Nile Valley Aviation, replacing BAF Herald G-APWA on their internal, Cairo taxi service route. She would remain in Africa until late 1982, serving with Libyan Arab Airlines and AGIP Oil, before eventually returning to Southend. From 1983 onwards, she would remain with BAF although she was leased out to sister company, Guernsey Airlines for the ’83 summer season.

Due to a large number of Viscounts having been purchased by BAF during the early 80s, the number of Heralds had been halved from a total of 14 aircraft in 1978 to just 7 at the beginning of 1984. However, G-ASVO and her sister Herald G-BAVX would continue to soldier on with charter andHerald G-ASVO 1 freight flights well into the 1990s, outliving a good number of the Viscounts that had initially been acquired to replace them. From the mid-80s onwards, Victor Oscar became a common site at many of the London airports and Manchester, flying passengers to among others, Jersey, Basle and Dusseldorf, while as the decade moved on, she would more increasingly find herself hauling post and freight around much of Western Europe. By November 1993, she had been sold on to the Dart Group PLC who then leased her to a company that had already purchased or procured a good number of former BAF Heralds, namely Channel Express who had been running them into SEN nightly on UPS services until they were finally replaced with Electras in the early 90s.

Needless to say, Victor Oscar would give her lessor almost 3-1/2 years of sterling service until she was inadvertently taxied into a lamp-post at Bournemouth in April 1997. The damage was too expensive to repair and as a result, she was declared DBER and broken up, although the cockpit was retained for preservation.

 

History of G-ASVO

10/64 to 3/73

SADIA as PP-SDG

3/73 to 1/77

British Midland Airways as G-ASVO

1/77 to 11/93

BAF

11/93 to 8/97

Dart Group PLC (Leased to Channel Express)

Fate

DBER at Hurn – 4/97 and B/U – circa 8/97 although the cockpit was saved

 

Cockpit still extant at the Highland Aviation Museum, Inverness

 

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

Many thanks from the SAAD Admin Team.