EGPL Benbecula

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photos below from Ray Draper

benbecula with manager Stu Jones

PL1  Benbecula tower with manager Stu Jones

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Benbecula TWR

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PL6  Benbecula ’shallow fog at dawn’ – taken 2006   – John Doig

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PL7 from Barry Davidson as is PL8

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and from Alastair C Campbell

“I did Relief Manager duties at Benbecula between 1989 and 1991, usually for 3 weeks at a time.  It was a massive change from work at Glasgow and I got to do proper Procedural Approach, even on one memorable day having a stack with 3 aircraft in it. I don’t know who was more surprised, me or the crews! Anyway, PL09 and PL10 are of the Control Tower at Benbecula.  The angular looking peak on the right of PL09 is Eaval which is about 1100ft and was just to the south of the approach to 24. PL11 is a picture of the ATC desk.  Fairly similar to the desk I was used to at Glasgow but without a DFTI.  I think the switches on the desk, above the white phone, are the lighting panel. You used to stop traffic crossing the runway from one of the military sites by switching on the edge lights! Not sure how that would have gone down now with SRG. PL12 and 13 are looking across the apron from the VCR towards an approaching snow storm.  The fire station can also be seen with the ubiquitous red doors. PL14 is possibly the same day since the snow pattern’s the same on the tarmac.  The BA ATP is the daily flight from Glasgow.  The main Army barracks are the buildings behind the fire station. PL15 is a view up the 06 approach towards Eaval. PL16 is a picture of the firemen from one of my visits.  I remember most of the second names but L-R Kenny ? who was the Head Fireman, Donald McPhee who was his Deputy, Michael MacLean and Charlie ?  I don’t know the individual on the far right.   It’s possible he may have been a relief fireman from Stornoway covering for Derek Campbell who isn’t in the photograph and may have been on leave.   I think Derek is the current Head Fireman at the airport. PL17 is a picture of the same individuals in front of the fire appliances.  When my wife came up to visit me on one occasion,  she was allowed to drive one of the large appliances on the runway, complete with siren and blue lights.  However, they’d never let me near it.  Life can be so unfair sometimes! PL18 is an example of the sort of traffic we used to get, supporting the D701 complex of ranges.  In this case a Heavylift Shorts Belfast.”

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2 thoughts on “EGPL Benbecula”

  1. I visited Benbecula once in the late ’70s. We flew up from Farnborough in BAC 1-11 XX919; haven’t got a clue what the purpose of the flight was but my ATC cadets were due for a visit to Farnborough that day so they went too!
    There was an RAF radar unit just off the NE corner of the airfield (you had to cross the main runway to get to it) with a ‘back to back’ scanner which was there presumably to track any aircraft which might fly through the Army rocket range.
    ‘RAF Benbecula’ was small section at the end of the bar in the Army Officers Mess.
    I visited the tower whilst we were there too; I think Jock Kerr was ATCO -Manager at that time.

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  2. In September 1957 the RAF arrived at Benbecula to provide Air Traffic Services in support of the development of the South Uist rocket range – not sure when the RAF left. The Station Commander at the time was Sqdn Ldr Brundell(?),ex Coastal Command, and the SATCO Flt Lt Lilley.

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