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Thread: Mitchells do Fly In IMC

  1. #1
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    Mitchells do Fly In IMC

    David Tallichet and Lester Addie flew B-25 Always Dangerous from St Johns, Newfoundland to the UK via the northern route. According to the book, Flying Film Stars, the Mitchell was accompanied by an executive aircraft which had modern radio and navigational instrumentation. I am seeking to confirm that this is fact.

    Piper Aztec N9990Q was present with the five Mitchells on the film set at Bovingdon and then Little Rissington. What was the significance of this aircraft and could it be the escort that accompanied the Mitchell on the northern route? It would be helpful to know to whom N9990Q was registered at that time (in May/June 1978). Perhaps someone can help.....

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  3. #3
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    According to this link
    https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=...N9990Q&f=false

    Piper Aztec N9990Q was used as the camera ship for Hannover Street.
    IIRC didn't Jeff Hawke disappear over Greece? in a Piper Aztec is it the same one?
    "Everybody's doing it so why the hell should I ?" Black Sheep- Gin Wigmore

  4. #4
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    According to an FAA registry search -

    N9990Q

    Name ADDIE & ASSOCIATES INC
    Street 1219 CITY NATL BK BLDG 25 W FAGLE
    City MIAMI
    State FLORIDA
    County DADE
    Country UNITED STATES

  5. #5
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    Jeff's plane was Piper Aztec G-OESX (previously owned by David Essex) and crashed off Italy on 21st November, 1991.
    http://www.flightmemory.com/ I have been round the world 11.83 times!

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    Ah! never knew the details,just heard the story .Thanks
    "Everybody's doing it so why the hell should I ?" Black Sheep- Gin Wigmore

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    https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=186301

    Aaah, but how much story do you know?! Jeff had rented the plane, then had it painted in a camouflage scheme and took it abroad. The rental period expired, but the owner of the plane never reported it as missing. There were rumours of course as to be expected, that he was using the plane to smuggles guns.
    http://www.flightmemory.com/ I have been round the world 11.83 times!

  8. #8
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    Stangman - Thanks. Yes I have that book but there is no actual evidence that N9990Q was a camera ship. There were some air-to-air sequences trialed near Little Rissington on 31st May 1978 but this was using Aztec G-BJDH which had a camera slung under the belly. Incidentally, the film Hanover Street had no air-to-air sequences, everything being shot from the ground.
    Last edited by shadowrichards; 24th March 2018 at 10:31.

  9. #9
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    Bazv - Thanks. Do you have any dates. I am particularly keen to know to whom it was registered at the time of filming Hanover Street in May/June 1978.

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    I am no expert on the FAA Registry website but it is possible that Addie Inc owned the a/c from 09/08/1977 to 09/17/2009
    Reason for Cancellation Export

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    I will ask on a Facebook forum as the B-25s landed at Luton and presumably were accompanied by the other aircraft?
    Whipsnade's most wanted BIG BROWN BEAR!

  12. #12
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    Great, as I don't do Facebook myself. The Mitchell landed on 16th May 1978 at Luton. There are no movements for Luton at this time in either Air Pictorial or Air Britain....

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    I asked a lady who has known Lester Addie since back then. She was supposed to have gone from St. John's to the UK with Addie and Tallichet in "Toujour au Danger". But due to the delayed departure on account of fog she eventually had to return to Halifax. Anyway, according to her there was no mention of an Aztec coming along, nor was there one present at St. John's when the B-25s got ready to leave.

    Unfortunately, Addie is apparently not in the best of health, and does not communicate by e-mail.

    T J
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  14. #14
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    T J Johansen - thanks for that. I think your lady was mentioned in the documentary Mitchells do Fly in IMC, though I would have to watch it again to confirm that.

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    According to Wikipedia, an Aztec cruises at 150 kts and a B-25 at 200 kts. That could possibly be an indication of the former not having been used as an accompanying aircraft.

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    There is the possibility that the older aircraft would be flown throttled back with the engines operating at lower revs. This would reduce the strain on them and also extend the safety reserve on endurance as they would be burning less fuel per mile

    The above is a suggestion only, not knowledge.

    Moggy
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  17. #17
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    I had the same thought, but hadn't gotten around to digging out the manual. According to the TB-25N Flight Manual, max. endurance cruise is at something between 155 and 180 mph, depending on gross weight and altitude. For example: if they flew at a gross weight of 28,000 lbs and 5000 feet, they would have set 21 inch MP and 1500 rpm, burning 82 gallons per hour and seeing 168 mph IAS. That's 148 KT, not too far off the cruise speed of that Aztec.
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  18. #18
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    I was at Luton on 14/5/1978, the day 4 B25`s arrived , there was no N reg Aztec with them.
    5B-CBG which became N9990Q was seen at Hurn in August 1978 still marked as such some 3 months later, see link below.

    https://abpic.co.uk/pictures/registration/5B-CBG

    G-ANPK

  19. #19
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    David Tallichet did not fly Always Dangerous on the southern route with John Hawke and his formation of four,he preferred the northern route and flew that as a singleton (slightly later ?).

    The OP was asking if the Aztec flew across with Tallichet and Lester Addie to provide Always Dangerous with nav and radio assistance.

  20. #20
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    G-ANPK - I question either the date (August 1978) attributed to the photograph of Aztec 5B-CBG or the fact that this is indeed the previous identity of N9990Q. This link https://abpic.co.uk/pictures/registration/N9990Q clearly shows N9990Q with Mitchell Georgeous George-Ann at Bovingdon 21 May 1978 and it is recorded in the movements for Staverton airport 31 May 1978 from and to Little Rissington (source 'Airstrip' Midland Counties Aviation Society July or August issue).

  21. #21
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    The image post # 18 on abpic is dated 25/08/76
    Last edited by bazv; 14th April 2018 at 23:20.

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