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Author Topic: The 748 Song
Graham Ritchie
Film God

Posts: 4001
From: New Zealand
Registered: Feb 2006

 - posted July 08, 2016 05:41 PM      Profile for Graham Ritchie   Email Graham Ritchie   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Last week after finishing the morning school run a few of us drivers have a stop over for a chat and cup of coffee [Smile] anyway another customer in the café approached me. It was one of our old pilots from the past, great to catch up with him, he retired a few years back as captain flying the ATR72 with Air New Zealand.

Well, I came across this neat music video which happens to include yours truly right at the start [Big Grin] ...fame at last [Big Grin]


Oh! Later I worked for this airline Ansett NZ, until like Mt Cook Airline they closed down there engineering and made everyone redundant. However they did make some brilliant TV adds back then "Fluffy" being one of them. It must be around 16 years since Ansett went out of business but looking back both airlines they were excellent to work for, how times change. Would be nice to come across any 16mm prints of those long ago adds...


[ July 08, 2016, 11:59 PM: Message edited by: Graham Ritchie ]

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Paul Suchy
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 199
From: Westchester, IL, USA
Registered: Jun 2003

 - posted July 09, 2016 07:30 AM      Profile for Paul Suchy   Author's Homepage   Email Paul Suchy   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks for sharing this, Graham. Your swift appearance at the beginning makes you the Hitchcock of music videos!

Paul Suchy

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Steve Klare
Film Guy

Posts: 7016
From: Long Island, NY, USA
Registered: Jun 2003

 - posted July 09, 2016 07:44 AM      Profile for Steve Klare   Email Steve Klare   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Nice, Graham!

A couple of jobs back I had a customer up near Boston and our factory was becoming kind of brain damaged. Every couple of months I had to go up there, have Confession with their Chief Engineer (Man, that guy could scowl!), and then go down to their production floor and help fix the mess we'd made.

American Airlines used Saab ATR as the shuttle between New York and Providence, Rhode Island, and the sales guy picked me up there and drove us off to our act of penance. This was a very similar plane. It flew low, slow and loud: to me it seemed to work very hard just to stay in the air!

One day they sat me next to the starboard prop, and out my window was this high speed whirling multi-hundred pound food processor. Although to be honest if it did drop a blade I probably would still have had a more pleasant flight than everybody else aboard!

-I still miss that job, but not those flights!

All I ask is a wide screen and a projector to light her by...

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Graham Ritchie
Film God

Posts: 4001
From: New Zealand
Registered: Feb 2006

 - posted July 09, 2016 11:12 PM      Profile for Graham Ritchie   Email Graham Ritchie   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks Paul and Steve.

Those old HS748 were built like a brick, ideal for the use in unsealed strips and flying around the Southern Alps. In the summer months North West Winds would roll in from the Tasman Sea, hit those mountains and make for a very bumpy ride indeed. [Eek!]

But in saying that, those 748 aircraft were solid. Passengers might get thrown around a wee bit, but the aircraft itself held together well.

For a while we had the govt contract to fly to the Chatham Islands twice a week. If I was on the weekend roster I used to give that aircraft a good look before signing the paper work, before it headed out over the sea. Also prior to that flight, a rear seat was removed to make way for a large inflatable raft that was fitted near the rear door. The pull cord attached to the seat track, just in case of ditching [Eek!] We would fill the fuel tanks to "max" for the three hour plus flight to the Chatham Islands and for its return flight back in the evening. Loaded with passengers and boxes full of live crayfish for export. Later when the 748 were sold off, a couple went to Air North in Canada, they might be still there.

The Airline did look at the Saab as a replacement but opted for the ATR72. At one point they tried out the British Aerospace ATP, which I thought at the time was pretty good.... the photo below is with me towing it back from a gate.
But it was not to be.

Looking back I do remember one dark winter night having to tow a F27 Friendship to the Air New Zealand hanger and because work was being carried out on a taxiway, they requested that I tow along the main runway. When I approached it I double checked with the tower on this clearance once again, as going onto a main runway was not the kind of place I wanted to be. Anyway the tower again gave the ok so of I went. The tug I was using at the time was a converted farm tractor "gear shift in the middle between your legs" with cement added for weight.

Anyway as I towed away, I looked round and behind me was a Ansett aircraft, behind that an Air New Zealand 737 all following me down the runway, like follow the leader [Eek!] to top things of, the tower wanted a Quantas Boeing 747 that was leaving a nearby gate to get behind me as well as I was leaving the runway. I thought here am I in this old farm tractor with this lot behind me, so requested that the 747 could go on front as these things taxi quicker than I can tow, so the tower went along with my request...let him go first I thought....what a night that was. I could imagine the old tug spluttering to a halt with that lot including the 747 coming up my backside. [Eek!]

memories [Roll Eyes]

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