The Tony Cutting Gallery Pt 1
Tony has kindly shared a photo of his time flying DH Herons with Sierra Leone Airways, whilst with BUA and I am pleased to show them here. Sierra Leone Airways were managed by BUA and BCal for many years.
Please, if anyone else has similar, I would be please to share it online
DH Herons (9L-LAG + 1 other) at Hastings in Sierra Leone - 1967
I was based in Freetown when BUA were operating for Sierra Leone Airways. The Herons were ex Morton Air Services aircraft, I was one of a few BUA pilots who volunteered for a short term loan from BUA pending the appointment of permanent pilots. The little girl in the photo was my daughter, Naomi, aged four; together with her little boyfriend belonging to our ground engineer at Hastings.
My wife and I had a fantastic time in Sierra Leone, a beautiful country and lovely people despite the often horrendous weather in the summertime. It was very much bush flying to small airstrips up country, quite challenging at times flying low to avoid rain and cloud with bad visibility in difficult terrain with no radio aids, bit of a change from the lovely VC10.
The Herons were operated from Hastings, a small ex-wartime strip, on the opposite side of the river and also took passengers to the main airport at Lungi, as well as serving the diamond mines at Kenema and Yengama and other short strips hacked out from the bush. You needed a bit of a sense of humour at times, not everybody's cup of tea but I really enjoyed my short posting away from the VC10.
Happy days which included ferrying one of the Morton's Herons from Gatwick to Freetown via Lisbon and Las Palmas, one of the enjoyable perks of the job!
I found a few more SLA Heron photos in the archive and these are shown below, including 9L-LAG at a wet Gatwick, and also the airports of Freetown.
Freetown - Lungi & Hastings Airports
Heron 9L-LAG at LGW
And the SLA Herons are still in use on Flight Sim programs, here is a rendering of 9L-LAD and a photo of the actual aircraft too.