Scottish Aviation Pioneer
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Malcolm S Tipper, e-mail, 26.11.2020 13:45

Hi Nobby

We exchanged email some time ago. Since then I had a hiccup and lost your email address, hopefully I have now contacted you again


ROBERT NIELD, e-mail, 31.07.2020 10:33

Hi Gordon
Afraid your name doesn't ring a bell but no doubt I have a photo of you.
See my post under Ben King. Unfortunately Terry died a year ago this week. I have group photos of "A", "B", "C" flights and a squadron photo taken Christmas 1956. If you would like to email me direct I can let you have copies if you wish.

Robert nield, e-mail, 30.07.2020 14:12

Hi Ben
Something odd seems to be happening with my emails to you.did you receive the two photos I sent?

ROBERT NIELD, e-mail, 26.07.2020 17:25

Hi Ben
I am sorry to hear about Terry. I have only just found this post.I joined "B" Flight (Pioneer) 267 Squadron in May 1955 as a J/T Air Wireless Fitter and left in April 1957 as a Corporal.
I knew Terry well as we worked and lived together for a long time. I have a good photo of him but sadly a little deteriorated over time. I also have many photos of other members of the squadron mainly taken at the Sqdn and Flt Xmas parties 1956.
I flew in 12 of the Pioneers including XJ466 the casevac conversion and clocked up about 150 hours flying as a crewman.
Best wishes Bob

GORDON KNIGHTON, e-mail, 19.05.2020 16:53

Hi Stuart
Have just discovered this site and your post.As it was quite some time ago I hope you are well and safe in the lockdown. I remember you well, I was with A flt on 267 sqdn from early May 56 to 31 Aug. 57.Just over the walkway to you with Taffy, Terry and Reg.I played football for 267 through the heat and monsoon and we won the camp trophy. I remember we got a lift in ambulance to visit you in
Frasers Hill. You also got me a trip into one of the forts with you as crewman, and I took the controls of the Pioneer for 10 minutes or so. Frightening.I still remember each Xmas the Voice Dakotas flying over KL and camp, Xmas Eve 57, playing carols instead of propagander tapes. Many of my friends felt Nation Service was for them a waste of time ,but for me in KL, on 267 squadron with servicemen like yourself, it was a great and still unforgettable experience. I eventually went to Training College and taught Boys PE in a local Comp.for 20 yrs or so a far cry from Airframe mech on Pembrokes and Harvards.I ll finish with this memory ,on my second day on 267 squadron you urged me to go up as a passenger on a training flight in a Harvard .When I was strapped in , ground crew started to take bets as to how long it would take the pilot to make me airsick. I dont know who won the bet.I came back a deep shade of green.Happy days.Thanks for the memories.Best wishes.Gordon.

john mcphail, e-mail, 01.05.2020 23:11

i was stationed at KL from 1954 to 1957 in ASF & the engine & also did a spel as crewman on the pioneer. In 1966 i was the engine chief on 21sqdn twin pioneer. I probably knew your dad Sorry to hear about his
health, I was a JT when i arrived & a cpl when i left king regards john

John(Nobby)Hosier, e-mail, 18.08.2017 18:51

I was a pilot on 209Sqn Seltar from 1966-68, and served under Phil Burton. Probably the most enjoyable and testing flying I ever did. Some of it made exciting memories. Trying to take off from Kota Tinngi without selecting flaps, realising that I was not going to clear a ridge when leaving Chabai on a 'casevac' to Ipoh, and my first attempt at landing on HMS'Bulwark'. When training we were allowed go to any airstrip and use our discretion as to whether to land. I spent a lot of airtime finding and photographing as many strips as I could, which can be found on my Youtube films.

Ben King, e-mail, 10.03.2017 19:13

My Dad Terence(Terry)King was with pioneer 267 squadron between 1953-58 and worked on pioneers in Malaysia sadly he has Alzheimer's now but his fondness of these aircraft is still clear.

Colin Rutherford, e-mail, 06.08.2016 20:06

I started my apprentice Building the wing Jigs for this Aircraft then Twin Later Both Jetstreams { 32 & 41 )

neil mckinnon, e-mail, 01.03.2015 23:10

I was cpl radio fitter 209 sqdn Kuching,Sarawak 1964-65
Loved the Single Pin and the TwinPin. Flew as observer with the crazy Poles, beating up the native fishermen and dodging the 225 whirlies up and down the river.
Love to chat with old 209 bods.

Adrian Wijeyewickrema, e-mail, 30.10.2014 04:07

A pristine example of this aircraft is displayed in the Sri Lanka AF Museum at the Ratmalana airport (RML) sporting its original RCyAF colours. Please email me if interested in one of my pics which I will be happy to contribute to your website.

Stuart Moles, e-mail, 17.07.2014 11:32

Sorry needed to correct my email address

Stuart Moles, e-mail, 17.07.2014 11:29

I spent 2.5 years on 267 son 1954/57 and although an engine mech on A flight spent quite a bit of time as crewman on B Flt single pins. Great aircraft and could get into the jungle forts without any problem. My claim to fame was when the starter firing pin broke (Koffman Starter) stranding us in a fort. We got the engine going again by swinging the prop with a sack and a length of rope and pulled by three local natives once we had primed the cylinders by turning over the prop with switches off of course

A. ANDERSON, e-mail, 08.06.2014 17:45


Siva, e-mail, 18.12.2013 19:33

From my postings in 2009 and occasionally following the comments at this site, this is to inform all here that I have in my possession an "Aeromodeller Plans Service" Plan of the Single Pioneer. This Plan was drawn in 1953 by a R. Burns, and is described as a " 52 inch wingspan Flying Scale Power Model powered by an Albion 1.49cc IC engine.
I bought it in the eighties from ASP with the intention of converting it to a Scale RC Model. Looking at the state of Aeromodelling these days this would be perfect for modern 'electrics'........The Plan is in good condition, very comprehensive and shows full size formers, fuselage, wings and tail. I still harbour the thought of building it 'someday', but I am willing to make reproductions for any one interested.

Barry Ropere, e-mail, 30.10.2013 18:24

Having done a year’s unaccompanied tour on 225 Squadron in Borneo 1964-65. I returned to RAF Odiham and worked on Twin Pioneers used for training aircrew. I was posted to RAF Seletar in 1967 and joined 209 Squadron. The SEP & TP’s were separate and I spent 18 months on first line servicing of TP’s with regular detachments to RAAF Butterworth. Supplying the Northern Forts and Dr. Bolton’s supplies when space was available. I did two trips to East Malaysia, flying unescorted from Seletar to Kuching via “Penjabu”? A small beacon in the South China Sea the only landmark reference for the navigator. The last trip was to visit airstrips in Sarawak, Brunei and Sabah, to land wherever possible and to photograph the strips from the air and the approach view from the cockpit. If we were able to land we assessed the amenities fuel, fire extinguisher, radios etc. We also recommended the safest escape lane if an aircraft suffered an engine failure on take-off. The RAF was handing over to the Malaysian Air Force and JARIC’s AIDU were to publish a new strip directory for pilots. We were at RAF Kuching the week it closed, flying on to RAF Labuan, where we daily flew into the interior returning to develop our films each night. We had numerous hydraulic leaks before discovering a serious kink in the hydraulic tank vent pipe. Caused by somebody trying to remove the tank without first separating it from the pipe. On discovering the mistake the pipe was disconnected and the kink remained unnoticed behind a supporting cleat. When checked the vent pipe appeared to be clear but when operating flaps slats and brakes it caused the weakest pipe in the system to fail. Luckily the Borneo Airways crashed TP at Lawas Mission proved to be a source of spare parts. I never did see a copy of the 1968 strip directory. RAF Labuan closed and we returned to Seletar. My SEP experience was very limited. A pilot, marking targets for 20 Squadron Hunters, dropped a smoke grenade in the cockpit and I was asked to try and devise a safer system of dropping the flares. I took a vary pistol barrel and welded a circular plate with about ten holes in its outer circumference. This plate was painted like a pie chart in the colours of the flares being used. I took two ex Beverley aircraft fuel dip sticks and trapped the flare handles between them. From each flare a cable ran through a tufnel block up to the plate above the barrel. The pilot could then select the colour and pull the pin out, the wing strut being level with the ground, it worked well. Unfortunately the senior armament officer, I believe it was Wg Commander Wallace of gyrocopter fame would not allow us to use the vary pistol mounting and as an engine fitter I couldn’t find a suitable place to mount it. so gave up the idea. However 209 Squadron disbanded and I finish my tour at Changi. The SEP’s went to 20 Squadron at Tengah and I got a telephone call to say did I know what became of my flare delivery rack. I said it should be in the bottom of my locker in 500 hangar. Perhaps somebody knows if they ever found it ?

Doug Michael, e-mail, 01.10.2013 23:51

I have just discovered this site. My late was employed at Scottish Aviation Ltd Prestwick. She worked as an upholsterer and she designed the Pioneer's pilot's seat.So I hope you pilots out there had a comfortable journey...She left a lot of information about what happened at Scottish avaiation during and after the war

Sue Hunter, e-mail, 14.11.2011 05:02

Whilst researching the twin and single pioneers for a book I'm writing about my Dad's life I came across this site, and was interested to see the name Richard Barcley. Like his father, mine also flew one of the single pioneers out from Prestwick to Kuala Lumpur in 1959. Dad's aircraft FM1012 flew with a twin piloted by Air Cmdr N.C. Hyde, and they were the last of a batch being delivered to the RMAF for use on jungle air strips. Once Jack had landed safely in KL after his epic flight of 26 days, my mother, brothers Richard & Stephen, and myself, boarded the P&O liner Strathmore and sailed to Singapore. From Singapore we were ferried up to KL in a twin pioneer. My father, Flt. Lt. John (Jack) Ward and wife Jean were friends of the Barclays - I have recently been looking at photographs from those days and there are several of them together at fancy dress balls at the Selangor Club (The Dog) and other social events. My brothers and I attended Bourne School. Jean and her friends Libby Colterjohn and Marie Otley spent time at Dr. Bolton's facility teaching the aborigines how to sew. We lived on base at Sungai Besi until Dad was posted home to the UK in October 1962. After an 18 month stint at RAF Lindholme Dad was again posted out to the Far East, this time to Singapore. He was with 209 squadron, RAF Seletar, until he retired from the Air Force in October 1966 and emigrated to New Zealand. We lost Dad this year, aged 88 and he is survived by Jean, Susan, Richard & Stephen. Dad loved his years as a pilot, especially those flying the pioneer in and out of jungle forts and onto aircraft carriers. For those who might have known them, Wing Cmdr. George Frain also emigrated to NZ and he passed away several years ago. Squardron Ldr. George Charles emigrated to NZ, and then to Australia, where at aged 92 he lives in Brisbane with wife Grace.

Martin Shelvey, e-mail, 31.07.2011 10:34

I was Elect fitter on 209 sqdn 1959-1962 and knew most of the blokes here I accompanied servicing teams up country to Kroh and other locations also Borneo and Brunei.
I would like to hear from any ex 209 bods that I do not already have on my e-mail list.

John Hieron, e-mail, 31.03.2011 00:35

i served with the RAF at Kuala Lumpur in the years 1955/57. While in holiday in KL in March 2011, i visited the old airfield , I was kindly shown around the MRAF camp that no longer has a runway, i can confirm the museum at the airfield does have on display a single and twin engine Pioneers mk2,.

Michael Taylor, e-mail, 02.01.2011 16:20

My late father Charles Taylor was at KL for nearly 4 yrs, 3 of which was as Flt Cmdr of the SEP on 267 Sqn. On one trip into a jungle fort he was carrying the Adjutant General, who was on a tour of inspection in Malaya. As my father was on the final circuit having reduced speed to just above stall, an Army Auster, being flown by a major, anxious to be there to meet and greet the general, radioed that he was a major and insisted on landing first, forcing my father to go around. `My father witnessed the general giving the major something of a dressing down. At the same location on another occasion he was being flown in a Sycamore, by the CO of the helicopter squadron investigating the possibility of extracting a SEP, which one of the squadron had managed to get stuck in the trees on take off. The Sycamore suffered rotar failure and father and S/L Frank Barnes hit the ground rather hard. My favourite memory of the SEP was father touching downand lifting off between two set of rugby posts at the army school I first attended in KL.

Dave Barford, e-mail, 23.10.2010 02:21

I want to build a large scale 9 foot wingspan rc model of single Pioneer and would very much like any technical drawings and possibly handbook or cockpit/ dashboard controls/ layout etc, can anybody help? PS i was at alexandra grammar (boarding)in the 1950's. Lived in PENANG

Phil Burton, e-mail, 26.08.2010 09:48

I had the priviledge of being SEP Flt Cdr on 209 and then 20 Sqns at Seletar and then Tengah 1967-69. It was the best flying I ever did and I grew to respect this tough aircraft and its abilities whether it was landing on carriers or on the interesting 'one way in' strips. We trained as Tactical Transport pilots then some of us became airborne Forward Air Controllers using techniques from the UK, the early Malayan campaign and Vietnam. Our most interesting trips were with Special Forces and the mission that we maintained in Laos. Everybody shot at us, including the Royal Thai Air Force. We ended up flying either over 3500 ft or very low - well under 50 feet. Night approaches into remote strips were also an event to be remembered. We had a lot of crunches, but no fatalities.

There is a SEP preserved very well at the Cosford Museum, XL702 I believe, for the modellers that want to see the original. It's in silver finish, unlike the camouflage that we used (although we tried other scemes for Thailand and Laos, none of which deterred the shooters)

On the short take off, I once annoyed ATC at Tengah after being asked to take off immediately and took off from the holding point: they weren't amused. We could do backwards circuits at Seletar by getting airborne, climbing then slowing down to drift slowly backeards if the breeze was strong enough, then accelerating in the descent back on to the runway: at night that was a real laugh....

Richard Barclay, e-mail, 01.06.2010 17:41

My father, Flt Lt Barney Barclay was stationed at KL with the RMAF until 1965 when were repatriated as a family back to UK. He flew both Single & Twin Pioneers out of jungle forts, his log books make fascinating reading. He ferried singles from uk all the way to Malaysia on several occasions, a trip that couldn't possibly done in this day and age!

Alex Carder, e-mail, 23.03.2010 16:30

Re Ashly GS Lim. I was Flt Cdr of Single Pioneer Flight in the early 1960s. It was a super a/c and I enjoyed many flights into the jungle forts Chabai, Betau, Legap etc. I was lucky enough to fly Dr Bolton the Aborigine doctor on his fort rounds. My experience in the RMAF ranked highly in my service career.

Ken. Weatherill, e-mail, 28.01.2010 20:35

I was a J/T Electrical fitter (air) and was stationed Kuala Lumper in 1957 on FWASF one of the aircraft types I serviced was the Single Pioneer. I managed to have several flights on air-test on the Pioneers, great for taking photos from. I remember folowing a road and the cars were going faster than us. One Pioneer I remeber servicing was XE512 which I belive flew in a Farnborough air display and the electics were not to the F700 so I remarked all the fuses to what they actual did (not to the F700). Most of our Aircraft we servised came from 267 Sq. and included the 3 Voice Dakotas (Faith, Hope, and Charity).

ron huntley, e-mail, 04.01.2010 22:46

i was at an airshow at RAF Colerne in the late fifties and a single pin was going to do his display . there was a stiff wind blowing ,the aircraft reved is engine against the brakes raised the tail without moving released the brakes and rolled about a yard and was airbourne. very impressive.i have been a fan ever since of the pioneer

Paul Glover, e-mail, 14.11.2009 00:46

I was a radio mechanic(air) on 845 squadron on hms bulwark 67/68 in the far east. I was on the flight deck when a Sin Pin carried out deck landings - amazing aircraft.

Chris Applegarth, e-mail, 15.09.2009 01:24

My father George Applegarth flew the single pin in the uk and far east. I have lots of photos and some film of the aircrat, including the landings on HMS Bulwark in the Sumatra Straits. I'd be happy to share my info and would like to hear from anyone who flew with my father or the single pin.

Ashley GS Lim, e-mail, 11.08.2009 20:55

I believe that I have some old photos of the single pin, pilot's handbook, some old data about the old forts, the approaches to the landing strips and discriptions of the strips e.g. Fort Tapau, Fort Kemar, Fort Legap, Fort Betau anhd Fort Chabai. Its somewhere in my attic. At the moment, I'm too lazy to go searching for these documents unless someone REALLY wants them. I also remember the approaches to landing and the takeoff techniques and departure path of these Forts. Also the approach for parachute drop to Fort Betis. Ash

Roy Follows, e-mail, 23.06.2009 12:05

At present I'm writng a book about the little known twelve official jungle forts, that played an important role in defeating the communists in Malaysia. I my self was the commander of Fort Brooke ,but because of it being in a mountainous area it was one of the two forts that had no run way .I'm interested in photographs of jungle Forts and Pioneers at the forts etc. Thanks Roy.

siva, e-mail, 07.06.2009 18:51

Hi Ashley, Great to hear from you old boy......
BTW, Robert Lam asked me to tell you that you still owe him that Single Pin Propellor, that he had apparently left behind at Fort Kemar, in the highlands, that you had promised to bring back for him !!!
If you ever get here again, let's go jungle flying again. I've got just the right ticket for you.

Ashley GS Lim, e-mail, 07.06.2009 01:49

Hello, all you fearless jungle pilots out there! I read Siva's comments and decided to leave a comment here. Thanks for bringing up those old and bold memories. Together with Ian Michie, we were the last 2 pilots to fly the SEPs operationally in the RMAF. Yes, my a/c FM 1011 should still be in the museum! My last a/c type was B747-400. I'm "retired" now, living in the west of Ireland.

Siva, e-mail, 14.05.2009 21:05

I was kid eight to tweleve when I hung out by the airport fence at Sempang airport WMKF, in the midddle of Kuala Lumpur and watched with amazement at the comings and goings of Single Pioneers and twins as well in the 60's. Just as soon as I was able to, I cycled through to the flying Club at the airport and learnt how to fly and my best Instructor was a single Pin pilot from the RMAF, who taught me amazing feats of jungle flying in modern day 'spam cans'. He and I flew up and down Malaya as charter pilots and he showed me those numerous jungle forts where we sometimes landed ( in the spam cans). He taught me how to handle those strips, putting it down and stopping in two hundred yards ! There IS a special technique in jungle strip flying and I learnt a heck of lot. Thanks Ashley Lim Guan Siew, if you are reading this, somewhere. I still have in my possesion, the RAF's last Edition ( 1969) of their "Airstrip Directory", Malaysia and Brunei, with details of all these jungle airstrips. Amazing piece of work.
Ashley and I later joined Malaysia Airlines, where we now fly 747s. And I still teach Single Pin STOL techniques on spam cans at the Flying Club...........

Mike McCarthy, e-mail, 04.05.2009 11:45

I was at school in Singapore in the 60's (Changi Grammar), where I joined the Air Training Corps (No. 2 (Overseas) Squadron) at RAF Seletar. We were brilliantly placed for loads of passenger flying, so I had many hours in both the single and the twin pioneers of 209 Sqn. In the single Pin in particular, it was amazing to see both the leading and trailing edges of the wing just keep extending as we flew slower and slower above Seletar airfield. We seemed almost to be hovering at one point! Happy days.
P.S. I also remember the Single Pins landing on HMS Bulwark in the Sumatra Straits, where they then flew casualty evacuation missions to Changi, where the British Military Hospital was located. The casualties had usually been flown from the Brunei jungles via Wessex helicopter to HMS Bulwark. Seems like yesterday in some respects!

Tony Brookes, e-mail, 05.02.2009 22:37

I worked for 4 years as a radio technician at K/L in Malaya and flew with this versatile aircraft in and out of jungle airstips I can vouch for the tremendous power weight ratio as we had a mad Polish pilot jerry Klinger whowas airborne in the aircrafts own length!Squadron boss was Sqdn Ldr Hamilton are you out there ex SAC Brookes

ismail, e-mail, 22.10.2008 13:54

an example of this aircraft can still be found at the royal malaysian air force museum at kuala lumpur.although not in its best of condition it is still a complete airframe and they kept it in the hangar.since i`m a scale aircraft modeler i would like to know where i can obtain an accurate 3d drawing of this aircraft?

col cruden, e-mail, 09.07.2008 04:54

as a committed,(half way there) aeromodeller of the "pioneer" (flying scale model,) I am desperately in need of 'photos,mostly cabin/cockpit, of this unique aeroplane....any any, any input you may be able to provide will be gratefully recieved and most faithfully applied.

Jim Mortimer, e-mail, 22.06.2008 20:52

The chief stressman at Scottish Aviation during the design period was Jake Hislop. My uncle Alex F Hamilton was also a stressman at the time and went on to join the pionerer spacecraft design team in the USA. I myself started a Design Engineer Apprenticeship at Prestwick before going on to do a dgree copurse at the Royal College of Science and technology, Glasgow.
My chief memories of the Pioneer are of Group Captain McIntyre "flying the flag" by hovering the Pioneer over Kilmarnock in even light winds and of witnessing a spectacular take-off at a model air-show at an old fighter field (now a housing estate)at Prestwick. The Pioneer had an advertised take-off run of 50 yards and so when the visiting plane was ready to depart, I paced out 50 large steps ahead of the `plane at the runway side. The pilot, at that time as I remember it, was Flt. Lt. Capper who spotted what I was up to. There was a stiff breeze that day, so he reved up, released the brakes momentarily and the tail lifted. He held it there for 30 sec or so, increased the revs further, released the brakes and went up at a 45 deg angle. I swear the wheels did not remain on the runway for more than half a revolution!
I`d love to find a simulation for Microsoft Flight of either this or thetwin Pi. Simulator 2004

Terry Turner, e-mail, 22.10.2007 22:55

I was fortunate to be a crewman on Single & Twin pioneers with 209 sqn 1959/1961 initialy based at Kualar Lumpur and subsequently Seletar. As crewmen we were able to carry out servicing up to primary star level with the occasional rectification as req'd. I spent several hundred hours in and around Malaya and Borneo with sole responsibility for up to four aircraft on detatchment for several days at a time.From an engineering point of view they were remark'ably reliable despite the demanding operational requirements and hairaising airstrip locations. I have considerable admiration for the pilots& nav's who had to fly these type of sorties. One particular memorable occasion was landing and take offs from the aircraft carrier H.M.S Bulwark in the south China seas. I have many unforgettable experiences of my time with 209 sqn.

jerry webb, e-mail, 19.12.2006 13:52

I was lucky to be on 209 sqdn. raf seletar, and flew many hours up and down malaya and borneo. I was an engine fitter so became very familier with the leonides .1961/64

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