G-AOYJ/G-BLOA

Viscount G-AOYJ

Vickers 806 Viscount – c/n 259

Leased by BAF as G-AOYJ from Apr 1981 to Jul 1984

With BAF/BWA as G-BLOA from Aug 1984 to Aug 1996

Given Name – ‘Viscount Jock Bryce OBE’

Viscount Yankee Juliet was seemingly destined to live two distinctly separate lives during her tenure with BAF, the first part of it carrying passengers around the country and to the Continent. She arrived at Southend on April 14th 1981 and after an overhaul, she was sent off on lease to Air Algerie where she would assist with the flying of their domestic services. She returned to SEN at the end of 1981 and the following year, she would be put to work on BAF’s scheduled routes between Southend and Basle, Dusseldorf and the Channel Islands while she would occasionally turn up at Birmingham flying passenger services from this airport too. While she may have initially been purchased by Jeremy Keegan’s Southend based Panavia Air Cargo Ltd, she would invariably spend the rest of her life with BAF, eventually being transferred into the ownership of this airline after the collapse of Panavia in 1984 and as such was re-registered as G-BLOA.

Her next lease would see her departing to serve with Manx, flying passenger services between Heathrow/Manchester and Dublin at the end of 1984viscount-g-bloa-guernsey and again at the end of 1985. The following year would then see her operating more in the way of ad-hoc charters when during 1986 she was seen both at Tours and in Zurich while more unusual services would witness her flying more happy sun seekers between Newcastle and the Channel Islands. In 1987, she would spend some time working for BAF’s sister company Guernsey Airlines, supporting other company aircraft that had been employed on the lucrative Channel Island to mainland routes which would also see her turning up at a multitude of other British airports such as Aberdeen, Birmingham, East Midlands, Glasgow, Manchester… and of course Southend too. However, at the end of the summer of 1987, Guernsey was sold on to Aurigny and Oscar Alpha returned to SEN where she was stored until the following spring.

In May 1988, fate once more smiled upon Oscar Alpha and she was summarily selected as being the most favourable aircraft to undergo conversion into a BAF ‘Freightmaster’ and it was from this point on that she would be removed from passenger services, stripped of her interior and like her sister ship G-BBDK, fitted out in a manner befitting her new role. In July 1988, she emerged from the maintenance hanger resplendent in her all silver Freightmaster livery and flew her first post-conversion flight from Southend to Glasgow on the 4th, while her first continental trip would see her departing for Milan two days later on the 6th. In such a configuration, she would become a regular sight on the popular freight runs between the south and north of the UK, frequenting Birmingham, East Midlands, Glasgow, Manchester and Southend. As the year of 1989 began, she went off on lease with Securicor running important documents and cargo between Birmingham/Coventry and Dublin returning to BAF one year later in January 1990.

After this, she became a regular visitor to SEN where she would engage in a good number of charters, including the hauling of newspapers to the north and the transport of Ford parts into Southend from Belgium and Spain. Her last full year of service occurred in 1992 and this would also witness her making newspaper runs between Manchester and Belfast. However with the re-branding of BAF as British World in April 1993 and turbine operations subsequently moving to Stansted, Oscar Alpha became excess to requirements and was withdrawn from service. By mid-94, she could be seen engine and rudderless at the rear of the airport and by mid-1995, she had been moved to the end of the old 15/33 runway where she would remain until being scrapped roughly one year later.

 

History of G-AOYJ/G-BLOA

1/58 – 10/70

B.E.A

10/70 – 4/74

Cambrian

4/74 to 4/81

British Airways

4/81 to 8/84

Panavia Air Cargo

8/84 to 8/96

BAF

Fate

WFU at SEN 6/93 – B/U 8/96

 

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