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D.H. 89A Dragon Rapide G-AIYR       
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  D.H. 89A Dragon Rapide G-AIYR 
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Joined: 04 Apr 2018
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:13 am    Post subject: D.H. 89A Dragon Rapide G-AIYR Reply with quote

Having seen photos of DH 89a Dragon Rapide G-AIYR, I was reminded of my time with this aircraft and may be able to add a little info on it's history. In the mid sixty's I was a part-time aerial photographer with Hunting Survey/Aerofilms and frequently flew in 'Yankee Romeo' from Leavesden Airfield.
At one time we had a Jamaican Pilot who took me on my 'test flight', whilst @ about 500 feet on approach I asked him about the rumour that this aricraft demolished landing lights at Leavesden. He proceeded to tell me that it was him and as he touched down the cockpit suddenly filled with smoke and he 'got lost'. This was not a very encouraging moment on my test flight. However, I did carry on as a camera operator. WE had a masive camera looking down through an aperture in the floor, this camera took 9 inch square pics which were used to make maps.
On one August Bank holiday we were fling over north Norfolk and had to land at Cambridge for fuel. Problem, all services were closed for the holiday so no fuel and not enough to get home. Eventually an unlikely lad asked if we wanted fuel and said to wait there, as though we had any choice. A little later a farmer arrived in a LandRover with several Jerry cans holding enough fuel for the retun to Leavesden.
On another occaision, the plane suffered an engine failure whilst flying over Snowdonia and managed to 'power glide' into Speke for repairs.
It seems that engines may have been the Achilles Heel of this craft.
May God keep her in the air forever.

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