707-138s AT AVALON

Bill Fishwick was a member of the engineering arrival crew when the first 707, VH-EBB, arrived in Sydney on 2 July 1959. As the 707s were delivered, they all became regular visitors to Avalon Airport near Geelong in Victoria during crew training details. Bill travelled on several of these flights to Avalon, taking with him a camera loaded with Kodachrome. Bill takes up his story:

"I did five trips down there in the July, August and September months of 1959. EBB was the first aircraft to arrive in Sydney. It came in on a Thursday afternoon. Next evening we were on a Super Connie regular service to Melbourne. The other nine flights were on the 707. I flew on EBA, EBB, EBC, EBD, EBE and EBF. Going down, the flights were early morning time. The return trip was always in the late evening, except for two. One started out at low altitude to Bendigo, there had been a sales promotion in town, so we did a low flypast. Around the town with left wing down, level up, two seconds later right wing down and around again. The other daytime trip was a four hour one to get back to Sydney. Left about 1600, cruise along at 35000 or so feet and then do a jet penetration into Sydney. The idea was to come over an airport at cruise altitude and then come on down in two big spirals and land. On this occasion we went over Sydney airport runway at perhaps 1000 feet or so, then back to altitude and off to Brisbane. Another jet penetration around dusk, up again and away to Sydney for last descent. It was interesting to see Sydney as we came down the first time. The other trips home were done in the late evening. It was interesting to do a normal descent along the coast up from Wollongong to Sydney and see all the lights on the way on the left side."


The following images were taken by Bill Fishwick.
They are mostly on Kodachrome.

(all are linked to larger images)



Bill Fishwick's Career with Qantas

Bill Fishwick started a five year apprenticeship with Qantas as a Ground Engineer on 30 January 1952, the day after his 15th birthday. He completed his apprenticeship in 1957 in Lockheed Servicing. When the first B707-138, VH-EBB, arrived in Australia, Bill was a member of the engineering arrival crew. Subsequently he worked in Boeing Servicing where he obtained a license on the B707 airframe and later Pratt and Whitney JT-3D engine. Later he was promoted to Leading Hand [now Senior LAME position]. In 1971 he did Boeing 747 and P&W JT-9D engine courses. In the 1980s he completed courses on the B767 airframe and engine. A number of other courses such as B747 Combi, SP, Supervision etc were undertaken over the years. In the late eighties, Bill spent a year in an office job helping to get the EMCOST system up and running. He returned to servicing and then did relieving positions as Tango Base and Tango One operator at the International Terminal. Bill moved to a full time position as Tango Base operator in the late 1980s. His entire career between 1957 and 1991, except for EMCOST, was spent in a servicing environment in the hangars or at the International Terminal. In 1991, he was offered a 'Golden Handshake' and retired aged 54 on 23 July 1991 after 39 years, 5 months and 24 days with Qantas.

See also Bill's recollections of 707s at Avalon