The Rescue Operation

On 29th June 1989 G-APIM was offered to Brooklands Museum and so in July Brooklands Curator of Aviation, Julian Temple and Roger Hargreaves of `Proteus Aero Services' inspected G-APIM and agreed with B.A.F. on a long term loan of the Aircraft to Brooklands Museum for Preservation and static display.

Natioanl Rescue Brooklands Belle and Milly Tant lift the Viscount ready for loading. Photo by Andy LambertThis webmaster Andy Lambert (then the Managing Director of Brooklands based National Rescue) was asked to coordinate the aircrafts recovery.

Between August 1989 and February 1990, Proteus' Mick Bates under took temporary repairs to the aircraft and dismantled it ready for transportation.

To assist him Andy drove his Militant Crane "Milly" to Southend to help with dismantling. You can read more about Milly on her own website here

Milly spent three months at Southend as the guest of British World Airlines, dismantling VSP. On the 11-02-90 Milly was joined by the Brooklands Belle pictures above (Milly's jib can just be seen at the back) and some members of the Brooklands Recovery Engineering and Salvage Team (BREAST) Website

The main fuselage was loaded and transported by NRG making 'IM' the only Viscount to travel under the River Thames (via the Dartford Tunnel) on its way back to its birthplace at Brooklands.

The Viscount is transported by road on a Natioanl Rescue low loader Photo by Andy Lambert
On its way back around the M25 it was stopped by Surrey Police just one junction before the Brooklands Exit, because they thought it was getting too dark to travel! It therefore spent the night in a lay-by at Leatherhead and continued to Brooklands next morning.

Next day the official unloading took place, in the presence of Stephen's family, The Mayor, Sir Peter Masefield and Sir George Edwards. Since that momentous day, many hours of hard work and fund raising have gone into preserving this historic and relevant exhibit at Brooklands Museum.

During May of 1990 the 'Friends of Viscount Stephen Piercey' were formed to raise funds to keep the project going. Since then with the aid of BAF the Friends have flown 'fund raising Viscounts trips' (usually in YN with Capt Colin Towle), to all kinds of places including:- France, Jersey and Duxford, plus several local tours including beating up Heathrow's main runway at a few hundred feet.  Regrettable with the loss of Viscount from service in the UK, the flights have now stopped.  

There is a short video on the aircrafts recovery and some of those trips Here


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