Frequently changing photo’s from TAS Members and narrative from Peter Hampson featuring Manchester’s 80 year’s of operations will be published here ….This month a selection from March and February through the years…
Lets start January with a vintage shot of a beautiful vintage jet aircraft (one of my personal favourites). Captured taxying along the East side of Pier B complete with parachute braking system is Air France Caravelle F-BJTS on 3rd January 1979 (40 years ago). Something tells me the breaking coefficient on the runway was a bit “iffy” at the time hence the use of a little extra support? Don’t think health and safety would probably allow the stands and taxiways to remain operational in such conditions these days (at MAN). In fact, if I remember rightly the Ground Handling Trade Unions were flexing their muscles throughout the freezing conditions that week too? (Way above me at the time). However, the following photos capture the evidence and it was all hands to the deck to try and keep the airport operational and safe. I worked in the Tower Block at the time and remember “volunteering” with other office staff clearing snow with a shovel trying to keep the passenger walkways clear along Pier B. My camera was never far from my side but guess then I never realised I would be showing the photos to fellow enthusiasts 40 years later via the Internet!!! What???
Snow…what snow? “Air France 962 the taxiways are reported as being a little slippy – please taxi with caution”. Peter H
4th January 1979 saw the very first B727 executive jet visit Manchester when the Flour Corporations N4002M arrived just after mid day. I don’t believe it was a diversion as I seem to remember hoping that it wouldn’t be diverted away due to the adverse conditions at MAN. The aircraft “got in” from Bangor and parked on a semi cleared stand at the end of Pier B. Bucket loads of a chemical called UREA (now banned) were used to de ice the area at the rear steps…didn’t want one of the VIPs to slip as they were welcomed to Manchester. Peter H
2nd January 1979 …for obvious reasons the airport was closed for most of the day today! This Swiss registered HS125 almost looks at home at the end of Pier B. These were the days when Manchester had very little snow clearing equipment and that which it had was far from reliable….Peter H
Following several days of almost continuous snow and ice conditions the aprons by 5th January 1979 were very icy with compacted snow. Seen below a Sudan Airways Boeing 707-123 ST-AHG (leased to Air Malta) struggles to push back from Pier C.
A somewhat “rutted” Pier C apron made life difficult for handling aircraft in January 1979.The Manchester blue skies were somewhat deceptive as the day time temperatures failed to rise above freezing. Britannia B737-200 G-BFVA prepares for a departure from the end of Pier C. Photo Peter H
Every picture tells a story! A “Snowed in” British Airways Viscount G-AOYG on Manchester’s Domestic Pier “A” – January 1979.Peter H
January 1985.British Caledonian had a diversion policy in place which meant they would divert direct to Manchester often off loading pax, arranging transport and onward connections asap . It wasn’t uncommon in the mid eighties to see a number of BCAL DC10’s on Pier B, although 4 in a row was quite a rare catch! Peter H 10th January 1985.