G-BEBB

herald-g-bebb-bee

Handley Page HPR.7 Herald 214 Series – c/n 186

With BAF from Jul 1976 to Apr 1985

Given Name – ‘Wendela Keegan’

Yet another Transavia Herald would come to SEN via Keflavik on July 16th 1976, having made a long crossing of both North America and the Atlantic. While she may have remained with the airline for almost 9 years, about half of this time would be spent either with lessors or parked up with some of her parts having been removed. Initially, Bravo Bravo would hit the old cross-Channel favourites, but would soon become a regular sight at Dusseldorf, the one airport that she seemingly visited the most while under the tenure of BAF and her lessors. That said, she would also be seen at many other airports including Dublin (19/1) Teeside (28/3) and Heathrow (17/6) on BAF charters, while the rest of 1977 and the whole of 1978 would see a glut of visits to Ostend and the aforementioned Dusseldorf.

With BAF having disposed of the air tours side of the company to British Island Airways early in 1979, G-BEBB would be one of several Heralds to be herald-g-bebb-air-uktransferred as part of this deal. By April she had been adorned in BIA livery and became heavily involved once more on the Dusseldorf route while also flying between Gatwick and the Channel Islands. While many of the Heralds were later returned to BAF at the end of 1979, Bravo Bravo would almost immediately be transferred over to Air UK, later turning up at SEN on the odd occasion to fly the Channel Island routes that had recently been abandoned by British Midland. During June 1980, she would also put in an appearance at the Blackpool Air Show, although whether this was a visit for pleasure or as the result of a service being operated in and out of the airport there is unknown.

Returning to BAF at the beginning of August 1980, she was quickly turned around for what would become alaa-baf-herald-g-bebb glut of leases to various North African concerns. During the same month, she left for Libya to join Agoco Oil for two months before returning in October for an overhaul. By February 6th 1981 she was off again, this time flying domestic services for Air Algerie until the very end of April, then returning to SEN until June when she would head to Egypt and replace Herald G-BEYE on the Nile Valley air taxi routes that ran between Cairo and the smaller airfields/airports nearby and in doing so, would become the very last BAF Herald work this service. This contract would last for four months and after a month or so back at Southend, on December 29th she made her way back to Libya flying for Libyan Arab Airlines until April 1982.

From this point on she would remain mostly idle at Southend and it wouldn’t be until September that she was put back into service again. However, her resurrection was to be short lived and on the 13th, she was flown from Southend to Nice where she would become a back up and spares aircraft for the Heralds that were at the time working for another of Keegan’s concerns, namely Trans Azur Aviation which flew from St Tropez to Nice and a couple of other French destinations. As the autumn went on, parts were slowly removed from her and by the end of the year, it would have appeared to the casual observer that her effective service life had come to an end. However by January, she had been restored to an airworthy condition and was subsequently flown back to SEN.

It is unclear whether she was put back into service or given an overhaul after her return, but the last chapter in her BAF history would be written inherald-g-bebb-janus May 1983 when she went off on her very last lease to Janus Airways and apart from a few visits for maintenance, this would herald in (no pun intended!) the end of her Southend history. As far as Bravo Bravo herself was concerned, she would fly with Janus until September 15th 1983, when she was ferried from Lydd to Hurn for storage. At the beginning of 1984, the aircraft itself would be transferred into the ownership of Panavia Air Cargo although it would remain engineless at Hurn, becoming more dilapidated as the months went on. Again, her end looked as though it was nigh, but in April 1985, she was finally bought by Channel Express and restored to service as a pure freighter.

 

History of G-BEBB

1/65 to 7/76

SADIA/Transbrazil as PP-SDH

7/76 to 4/85

BAF as G-BEBB

4/85 to 2/93

Channel Express (rr as G-CEAS – 1/83)

2/93 to 11/97

Dart Group PLC (Leased to Channel Express)

Fate

WFU at Hurn – 2/97 – B/U – 11/97

 

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Many thanks from the SAAD Admin Team.