G-AVHK

Viscount G-AVHK

Vickers 812 Viscount – c/n 359

With Channel from Dec 1966 to Feb 1972

This Viscount would have something of a false start with Channel who had initially purchased the aircraft in December 1966 only for Continental to decide that they wanted to hang onto her for a little longer and thus began her first, two month lease before she had even arrived at Southend. However, she would eventually turn up at SEN on February 13th 1967, after which she was re-registered, re-branded and then made her first test flight on the 20th. She was initially put into service on the Düsseldorf service via Rotterdam making her very first flight for the airline two days later on the 20th. Her first and second season would consist mostly of charter work on routes such as Barcelona, Basle, Bordeaux, Genoa, Ibiza, Lyon, Maastricht, Mahon (opened on May 24th 1968), Milan, Palma, Perpignon, Rimini (opened May 27th 1968) and Valencia, while the scheduled services to Ostend and Rotterdam would also see a great deal of her too.

In 1969, Hotel Kilo was chosen as the primary Viscount to fly Channel’s new ‘Scottish Flyer’ service that would begin in January 1969 and thus, her fuselage titling was re-branded to reflect this. The idea was to fly a twice a day, ‘bus stop’ route the length of the country from Southend to Aberdeen while making short, 5-10 minute stops at Luton, East Midlands, Leeds/Bradford, Tees-side, Newcastle and Edinburgh, Scottish Flyer Viscountthe aircraft having been fitted with high capacity batteries to alleviate the requirement for time consuming starts using a GPU. The cabin itself would be fitted with a high density, 69 seat layout, while internal racks would hold the passenger’s luggage which they were incidentally required to carry on and off of the aircraft themselves. To save more time, the aircraft would taxi to and from the terminal on its two starboard engines, while the two port engines would be temporarily shut down to facilitate speedy boarding via the air stairs that Continental had previously equipped the aircraft with. Ultimately, the route was not considered a success after losses of more than £160,000 and the service was officially abandoned for the 1970 season, although in reality, the last flight had actually taken place on November 28th. Needless to say, she would still carry out charter work in between and was instrumental in starting services between Birmingham and Munich on May 24th 1969.

Needless to say, HK continued to soldier on into 1970, flying mostly charters. However, the decision was taken to withdraw her from service despite the fact that her CoA still had more than a year left on it and she flew in to Southend for the last time on the 19th after returning from a flight to Düsseldorf to join the ever growing number of Channel Viscounts that were slowly rotting away at the rear of the airport. Upon Channel’s collapse in 1972, and much like most of the other stored aircraft, she was systematically robbed of parts by Alidair and by June of that year, what remained of her had vanished forever.

 

History of G-AVHK

8/58 to 12/66

Continental Air Lines

12/66 to 2/72

Channel Airways

2/72 to 5/72

Kenneth R. Cork (Receiver)

Fate

WFU at SEN – 5/70 and later sold to Alidair for spares – B/U – 6/72

 

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