The Gazelle Intensive Flying Trials Unit was formed at The School of Army Aviation, Middle Wallop in May 1973 with pilots from all three services, including the Royal Marines. The trials ended in November 1973.



Derek Blevins writes: " This photo was taken on the last day. Unfortunately, Flt Lt Rob Howley RAF was later killed in a Gazelle accident when flying on exchange with the Royal Navy 'Sharks' Display Team.

During the trial, in early June, the first case of Gazelle Jack Stall took place, when a Royal Navy pilot was at Max AUW, low level. The effect of Jack Stall is to revert the controls from servo to manual, and the cyclic stick to flick to the left. As this particular Gazelle was already banked steeply to the left, the Jack Stall made the situation worse, and the aircraft crashed. The trial was suspended for 2 weeks, and all pilots carried out Jack Stall familiarisation flights at Boscombe Down. It became part of the Conversion Course.

Another fault we experienced was a Gazelle that suddenly started flicking from Servo to Manual control every few seconds! It was discovered that the main wiring loom in the tail boom had been crimped too tightly, and two of the wires had been stripped of their protective covering during subsequent flying vibration. These two wires just happened to be for the manual control selection switch, and the beacon. Every time the beacon flashed, the Gazelle controls reverted to manual.

The Gazelle trials were some of the best flying I have experienced, and a 60 flying hours month was achieved most months."