Flying Doctor Service | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Flying Doctor Service

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Flying Doctor Service

Flown by my late father.

Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Friday, January 1, 1960


Many thanks for Widgeon for posting this one. It brings back fond memories of those 'good old days'. I am sure this was the chopper that flew up to the Lion Rock immediately after a Hawker Hunter crashed into it in about 1962. I think earlier on another one either crashed or had had a forced landing somewhere in Saikung when its tail rotor fell off when in flight. Talking about fond memories I can't help asking if anyone knows the fate of that Vampire (or Venom?) that had been parked next to the fire station at Kai Tak for ages? It came to stay there I think after RAFHK converted to Hawker Hunter.

I think that you are referring to WR497 'F' which was refurbished externally and put on display outside the airport fire station.  I expect that it was scrapped, although I have no confirmation of the fact.

Seen here at the 1955 Farnborough air show.

If my memory serves me correct, my late father, in his role as Qualfied Helicopter Instructor, was flying with a Chinese cadet pilot on approach to Sek Kong Airfield.  The aircraft had just reached the hover when a tremendous gust of wind unceremoniously dumped the chopper on the ground, the impact of which snapped the tail rotor off, something that came as a bit of surprise to me as I was watching the landing at the time!  Fortunately, there were no human casualties, just a bent helicopter and a lot of paperwork to fill in.

I am unsure about how the RHAAF managed to repair the unflyable helicopter, but I suspect that it was transported on a 'Queen Mary' semi-trailer back to the engineering base at Kai Tak.

The Sai Kung incident occured later in 1965.

Venom WR539 ex 28 Squadron previously on display at Sek Kong and Kai Tak is now held by the De Havilland Aircraft Museum, London Colney, Hertfordshire, UK.

However, it is listed as being stored off site, not on public view.

Earlier mentions of this aircraft have noted it is only the fuselage/cockpit pod.

No doubt the museum can provide more info on its status.