G-AOYP

g-aoyp-brit-air-tours

Vickers 806 Viscount – c/n 265

With BAF/BWA from Apr 1981 to May 1997

Given Name – ‘Rita’ and ‘Viscount Corbiere’

Unlike most of BAF’s other Viscounts, G-AOYP would be spared the indignity of long term storage at Rhoose Airport in Cardiff. In fact, her very lastair-alg-viscount-g-aoyp commercial flight for British Airways took place on March 26th 1981 when she flew a Scottish domestic service between Glasgow and Inverness. Then, 6 days later she would be ferried to Cardiff where she would sit for only 9 days more before being delivered to Southend on the 10th. This Viscount sat idle at Southend for a short period however, her official registration taking place on the 24th, while the BA logos and titles would be removed and replaced with those of Air Algerie, Yankee Papa’s very first lessor. She subsequently departed for North Africa on May 12th and arrived back in the UK again on March 11st 1982.

However, Yankee Papa did not return to Southend, instead making her way to Cardiff where BAF had set up a temporary engineering base in the former British Airways facility where they were preparing the ex-BA Viscounts for service and maintaining those that were already flying for the airline while Southend would for the time being, deal with the remaining Heralds. While there, she received an overhaul, a new ‘Bee’ livery paint job on her tail only and a change of titles. By April 8th, she had appeared on the Cardiff apron resplendent in her somewhat unconventional livery and by the 10th, she had been dispatched on a ferry flight to Jersey for almost a year of flying for BAF, turning up on the familiar routes of Dusseldorf and Channel Islands while flying charters out of such airports as Luton and Manchester.

By March 1983, the ‘BAF’ tail initials had been removed and she was handed over to sister airline BAF Air Tours with whom she would also beJersey Viscount G-AOYP 2 registered to on March 2nd. During her month with this wing of BAF, Yankee Papa would be seen at a multitude of airports including Dublin, Gatwick, Hurn, Jersey and Manchester flying I.T charter services and sometimes freight. However, come the middle of April YP had been leased and transferred to another of ‘Mike’ Keegan’s many companies, this time Jersey Air Ferries (see CAB/BUAF/BAF/BWA ‘Other Histories’ menu). The aircraft’s main titles were changed slightly to reflect this, while a rather curious looking lion was placed upon the rear stabiliser. For the next few months YP would fly ad-hoc and I.T charters, plus a few scheduled services which would see the aircraft turning up at Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and Rotterdam amongst others.

Again, these services would only last for a short period and by early November she had been returned both to Southend and to BAF ownership. A short lease saw her going to Gibraltar Airways while their own Viscount G-BBVH was being overhauled between November 28th and December 12th, baf-no-titles-visc-g-aoypbut she would continue to fly in her Jersey livery well into 1984. It would seem that for the first half of ’84, YP was based at East Midlands from where she would fly to the Channel Islands, although a short break would see her returning to Southend on August 10th to have her first ‘red, white and blue’ scheme applied and was seen at Gatwick on the 25th in this livery, although it would appear that the fuselage titles were removed some time after this, YP later being seen operating at both Dusseldorf (pax) and East Midlands (cargo) without them (Does anyone know why?). Sufficed to say, come November she was back at SEN for an overhaul and the titles were then restored.

Her history for much of 1985 months is rather sketchy although BAF titles and the name ‘Viscount Corbiere’ were eventually applied to the aircraft inbaf-g-aoyp-1st-rwb March. It is possible the the aircraft was removed from service for a few months as there is no photographic record of her during 1985, except for one visit to Newcastle. That said, by December of this year she would go off on lease to Virgin Atlantic, receiving the requisite white, grey and red scheme of this airline and the name ‘Maastricht Maiden’ before being put into service on their Gatwick-Maastricht route. Unfortunately, on her very first trip to Maastricht, YP ended up bursting a tyre as she landed at the airport. Thankfully, nobody was hurt and the flying rubber caused at the most, minor, superficial damage to the aircraft and she was quickly returned to service.

As far as this lease was concerned, it would last through to December 1987. However, Yankee Golf would sometimes return to BAF for a few weeks at a virgin-visc-g-aoyptime and was as such put to work on the odd charter such as Gatwick-Guernsey on May 17th 1986, the Scottish oil contract where she found herself in September 1986 while in August 1987 she was seen for a short period on BAF’s scheduled Southampton-Channel Island route. The last few months of Yankee Papa’s lease to Virgin would then see her moving to the Luton-Dublin service, this change taking place on July 8th 1987. She was summarily renamed and would be the first of two BAF Viscounts to carry the name ‘Dublin Lady’ this title also later appearing on the cockpit of Viscount G-APEY when she started working the route in January 1988.

Following her return to Southend, she would again be dispatched to Scotland where she was seen inviscount-g-aoyp Glasgow during May and July 1988, after which she then headed back to Virgin for another stint with the airline supporting G-APEY on the Luton-Dublin service until May 1989 when both aircraft were returned to their owner. As before, Yankee Papa would occasional return to Southend during this lease too. On her return she was re-painted in BAF’s final livery and was ready for service again on May 22nd. Come September, she was back at Aberdeen no doubt helping out on the Sumburgh oil route. The following year would see Yankee Papa receiving an overhaul, being spotted at SEN in July without her props, although either prior to this or indeed before this, she had accompanied G-AOHM to Leuchars where they would collect British Open golf players and their staff and take them to Heathrow.

In 1991, Yankee Papa would start to carry out a lot more cargo work and was suitably fitted out with protective window panelling. On May 21st, she transported a load of Ford spares from Dusseldorf to Liverpool, while a week later on the 28th, this Viscount would open a new route from Aldergrove to Amsterdam carrying the first load of eels to Holland. Then on June 15th, YP was called upon to take a load of newspapers from Southend to Paris and on the 19th, she would haul a load of day old chicks to Milan although this trip would leave from Stansted. Charters came thick and fast during this year and while the winter saw a small downturn, there was still plenty to do. More newspaper flights were flown at the end of November and on December 5th she would inaugurate yet another route when she was dispatched from SEN to fly the first of many Fed Ex charters between Brussels and Paris during the winter with G-BBDK which flew Brussels-Heathrow, although these aircraft would occasionally swap routes.

However come the New Year, there was still no rest to be had and asides from the Fed Ex trips, YP was called upon to fly the Southend to Dusseldorfpf-visc-g-pfbt route on February 2nd which departed from Birmingham due to fog. Needless to say, 1992 would continue in much the same way although certain routes would wind down for the season with Yankee Papa flying one of the very last chick charters on June 17th. Then on July 8th, she would be routed to Rotterdam for a cargo flight to Pau. The end of the year would herald in yet more parcel flights, although this time from the Parcelforce base at Edinburgh, where YP would be stationed for several days from November 20th and by December 6th, the chick flights were back with YP flying between Southend and Prague. Two days later, this Viscount would head to Ireland to operate a couple of freight flights for Iona and Boxing Day would see the resumption of newspaper flights too.

Moving into 1993, Yankee Papa would continue to keep up a hectic schedule with a cargo flight to Dusseldorf on January 2nd, a newspaper flight between Glasgow and Aberdeen on the 13th and yet more freight being hauled between Southend/Liverpool and Dublin on the 24th. However, a re-branding of the airline in April 1993 witnessed a huge shake up and as such, all night operations were transferred to Stansted under the new British World banner. The following spring would see Yankee Papa being painted up in Post Office colours after which she was sent to work for Parcelforce, effectively bringing her BAF career to an end. She finally returned to Southend at the very beginning of March 1997 and sat idle until being sold to South African outfit Heli-Jet who finally had her flown out of SEN on May 23rd.

 

History of G-AOYP

5/58 to 4/74

B.E.A

4/74 – 4/81

British Airways

4/81 – 5/97

BAF/BWA – Re-reg to G-PFBT 3/94

5/97 to 1/08

Heli-Jet Aviation

1/08 to 3/12

Unknown owner in S.Africa

3/12 to Pres

Dave Walkley, Gauteng, S.Africa

Fate

WFU and B/U at Lanseria Airport, South Africa 4/06 (Forward fuselage preserved)

 

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

Many thanks from the SAAD Admin Team.