The Portcullis Club was privileged to be given the opportunity to examine three Pilot’s Flying Log Books belonging to Captain Geoff Aspinwall.
Born in 1921, Geoff is one of the ex-RAF members who flew in Coastal Command during WW2. These log books span from his early days as a trainee pilot back in 1941 to when he finally stopped flying at the age of 62 in 1983.
During his service, Geoff flew the Liberator and the Lancastrian, as well as the Avro York, the Skymaster, the Douglas DC-3 and the Lancaster during the Berlin Airlift.
Here are a few pages from his log books we would like to share with you. Please click on the image to view a larger version.
“This note added 60yrs later (6/8/05). Heard on Command radio “Atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima.” during this flight over Palestine. Cheers from crew.”
“7.10.45 – Whilst taking off from Malta in Liberator KL685, No.1 engine remained in fully fine pitch. The all-up weight of the aircraft was 59,000 lbs, which included 26 troops. Pilot decided to climb to 6,000ft, feather No.1 engine and continue to his destination, Castel Benito, rather than fly around for a few hours to reduce weight for landing.
Reasons for this decision were as follows, the schedule had already been delayed 12 hours by a weather diversion, Malta is not a Liberator servicing station and the pilot had the use of No.1 engine at full power in extreme emergency.
A three engine landing was made at Castel Benito without further incident. Here a new constant Speed Unit was fitted and the aircraft continued enroute a few hours later.
3.11.45 – On another occasion whilst on route from Oakington to Castel Benito with 26 troops, boost on No.4 Engine dropped to 25″ and started vibrating – position about 100 miles North of Istres. F/L. Aspinwall suspected icing as he was in cloud at 8,000ft., temperature +2° C, and he took usual vital actions. This produced no results, so the engine was feathered, The pilot decided to land at Istres and Group were informed and an E.T.A was passed. A successful landing was made on three-engines at Istres, where it was found that a cylinder had blown off its mounting and the explosion also removed half the engine cowling covers.
F/L Aspinwall has constantly shown extreme resourcefulness and has a fine flying record.”
Geoff now leads a quiet life at his home in Sanderstead and enjoys his weekly visits to the Portcullis on Sundays.