Vickers 806 Viscount – c/n 266

With BAF/BWA from Feb 1984 to Jun 1996

Given Name – ‘Viscount Aberdeen’ and ‘Viscount Gatwick’

G-AOYR would be one of the six, second batch Viscount that turned up at the beginning of 1984. Purchased in January, she was then given a series ofbaf-visc-g-aoyr-1st-rwb checks at Cardiff before being flown to Southend on March 14th. However, it would be almost 2 months before she was put into service and during this time, she was adorned in a BAF livery before finally making her first revenue flight from Luton on May 5th. Two days later, she would depart to Scotland for 5 days on lease to Loganair and then settled down to a summer of charters and scheduled services, spending much of June and July operating in and out of Manchester while August would see her departing for Aberdeen where she would remain for much of the rest of the year operating the oil contract flights to Sumburgh.

By the early spring of 1985 she was back at SEN where she was refinished in a British Caledonian Commuter livery (which was bcal-visc-g-aoyrmodified further in July) and on the last day of March this Viscount departed to Gatwick from where she would fly the airline’s route between Gatwick and Brussels. However, with a slow down in services during the winter months, Yankee Romeo was then sub-leased to Virgin Atlantic who put her to work on their Gatwick to Maastricht route from December to January, accompanied by BAF Viscount G-AOYN. Needless to say, YR was not restricted purely to B.Cal’s Brussels route and would often be seen at other airports such as Dusseldorf, Glasgow Rotterdam during the spring of 1986, the latter being flown on behalf of B.Cal. 2-3 times daily between January & March 1986.

By May 1986, Yankee Romeo had returned to BAF where she continued to operate in B.Cal. colours, that was until the company decided to kick up a stink about it and thus YR was subsequently pulled into the hangar and quickly painted in BAF’s ‘British’ livery. She was then returned to service being seen at both Manchester and Manston the following month while visits to Gatwick and Glasgow would be made during July. Her history for the next 12 months is rather hazy although by July 1987, she was seen operating a passenger service out of Birmingham before turning up at East Midlands in September fitted out with protective window panelling for freighting work. It seems that YR would remain based at EMA until circa mid-1988 when once again, she was selected for another stint of oil company support work at Aberdeen.

However, before departing for chillier climes a day’s R&R would be spent at the 1988 Farnborough Airshow both as a ground exhibit and as part of baf-g-aoyr-farn-88-air-showthe flying display. She was then dispatched to the north to join fellow BAF Viscounts AOHM and AOYG and would remain based there until the early spring of 1989. By April of the following year, Yankee Romeo was back on passenger flights operating out of Luton during April 1989, from both Dublin and Newcastle in May while in June, she would head back across the Channel on a service to Ostend. Then in the autumn, YR returned to SEN for a well deserved overhaul and a livery upgrade and would not appear on the Southend apron again until late October 1989.

Resplendent in her new BAF colour scheme, YR would spend much of the winter of 1989/90 hauling newspapers down from Scotland and freight to Dusseldorf. baf-visc-g-aoyr-3rd-rwbIn March she would go off on lease to Aer Lingus for a week flying passengers from Dublin to the U.K. thanks in part to the late delivery of one of their aircraft. Indeed, the next two years would be extremely busy time for BAF with numerous charters keeping the Viscounts occupied. The season would get off to a good start with passenger charters being flown to Jersey at weekends while a good number of freight flights would be flown from various European destinations to Southend on behalf of Ford, a number of which YR would fly. For much of the year this Viscount would be based at SEN, operating flights to and from the airport.

Much of the same would transpire in 1991, although there were some interesting distractions for this Viscount, one example occurring in June when she spent a few days flying around the middle of Continental Europe on V.I.P. charters between Salzburg and Genoa on the 14th, Genoa and Strasbourg on the 16th and Strasbourg-Saltzburg on the 17th, before positioning to Frankfurt two days later from where she would fly another passenger charter to Leeds. Another departure from the norm would also take place on the 22nd when YR flew another V.I.P. charter, this time between Southend and Le Mans with Jaguar racing fans, returning to SEN the following day. However, by the winter it was back to business as usual and for the most this comprised of a mixture of ad-hoc passenger charters and cargo work.

November 1991 would herald in the beginning of a number of trips to Holland with live eels, these being carried a couple of times by YR. In the meantime, this aircraft would stand in on Birmingham European passenger flights between Birmingham and Belfast on the 4th while Ford parts would be flown from Dusseldorf to Cardiff on the 7th. Then on the 11th, YR would head off for a day of services with Manx flying their Liverpool-Belfast/Dublin routes. Moving towards the winter, YR would resume newspaper flights this time between Glasgow and Belfast on November 30th and December 12th while passenger charters would involve a flight from Southend to Beauvais on December 7th. The infamous chick flights would be temporarily resumed on the 13th when YR transported a load to Prague. However, poor weather caused the aircraft and the airline to make the first ever visit to Dresden where refuge was taken until the weather had improved and the Viscount could continue on her way.

Needless to say, 1992 would continue in a rather frenetic fashion with January offering plenty of work. YR would head off to Rotterdam on the 7th to collect a marine crew that needed to be repositioned to Humberside while on the 14th and 16th, she would fly Ford spares from Germany to Southend and Liverpool respectively. The 21st would see a repeat of the 7th, although this time this shipping crew would be collected from Antwerp and on the following day more car spares would be hauled in from Germany to Luton, this time on behalf of General Motors. There would be no let up in February either with YR returning to BAF’s scheduled cargo flights although the Southend-Basle service on the 2nd would be operated from Birmingham due to Southend being somewhat unusually fogged in for much of the day.

While the summer of 1992 was quieter than previous years, YR would be kept busy occasionally operating between Southend/Manchester and the Channel Islands. July would also bring quite a bit of cargo work with the onset of a lorry drivers strike while August 12th would witness a particularly choppy day in the Channel and thus AOYR and AOYN were sent to Bournemouth from where they would run services to and from the Channel Islands in lieu of the now harbour bound hydrofoils. Passenger services would continue into the winter with Yankee Romeo once more being dispatched to Aberdeen for more oil contract work although as per usual, other work would also be carried out when things were quiet, such as on January 9th when she flew between Aberdeen and Bergen and on the 20th, standing in on BA flights between Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Manchester.

On January 26th, YR was replaced at Aberdeen by Viscount YN being as the former was required for a charter to Rotterdam. However, much of her last year in service would be spent in and around Scotland, while the summer would see her again, taking up a mixture of Channel Island passenger charters and cargo work for Ford. The winter of 1993/94 would be the very last for YR and once again she spent much of it in Aberdeen. By the spring, she had again returned to Southend and with the exception of a few charters and passenger flights to the Channel Islands she was eventually withdrawn from use after making her last flight on April 20th 1994. By the end of the year, she had been towed to the north western corner of the airport both rudder and engineless where she would languish until finally being broken up in June 1996.

Viscounts at SEN inc. G-AOYR – Last Passenger Services


History of G-AOYR

4/58 – 12/69


12/69 to 11/70


11/70 to 4/74

TFR to Northeast

4/74 – 3/82

TFR to British Airways

3/82 – 1/84

Stored at Cardiff, Wales

1/84 – 6/96



WFU at SEN 4/94 – B/U 6/96


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