Military AircrewA forum for the professionals who fly the non-civilian hardware, and the backroom boys and girls without whom nothing would leave the ground. Army, Navy and Airforces of the World, all equally welcome here.
240 OCU RAF Upavon late 70's Night guard as the fleet were parked outside. Both of us walking along checking the aircraft on a glorious silent morning with a light surface mist in the valley and picking fresh mushrooms on the airfield in the early morning dew, collecting them up and frying them on a pan on top of the tent paraffin heater with a knob of butter scrounged from the mess, then sitting outside with my partner in crime eating them as we both watched the sun come up over the plain.
Bit banal I know but being a tech instructor at Cosford where I was also a life guard at the pool and being on the key list thus being able to take my wife and kids to a 25 metre pool on our own when we wanted. That was a bit special looking back on it although you sort of take it for granted at the time.
Also I was flying gliders from there and used to ring the UAS in the summer to see if there was a possibilty of a staff continuation ride in a Bulldog where I used to bend the wings off it in some spirited aeros. With instructor alongside of course.
Watching the sun rise on the airfield at RAF Eastleigh, [about 5500 ASL if I recall!]and marvelling at the stunning beauty that was Africa, and this was Long before Robert Redford did his thing in the Tiger Moth in "Out of Africa!"
Putting a Two Star Army General into the Monsoon Ditch with the rotor wash from a Wokka......remembering the sight of his spit shined boots being the last part of him to enter the green slimy horrible smelling water! One of those "You had to have been there!" moments that one can treasure forever!
The squadron had recently been re equipped with a new type of aircraft. We normally didn`t fly at high altitude - but today I was about 50 yards behind my leader in a climbing turn to port. I had just thought how beautiful our new aircraft looked against the clear blue high altitude sky. It now started to "contrail" - which added even greater beauty.
At that moment Porky called "Reheat, Reheat - GO !!"
I will never forget that moment, as his afterburner kicked in .... His contrail had now became Enormous by comparison !!
It was one of the most memorable & beautiful moments in my life as I flew close alongside his contrail - enjoying the awareness of our speed - & how Lucky I was to be there experiencing such Beauty & Excitement !!
Wonderful Days !!!
After struggling through the OCU with all kinds of personal and family problems I was finding A VC10 tanker captaincy a bit of a problem until one day, on taking my seat in the fun bus, everything fell into place, not quite with a flash, but with a very positive feeling and from then on all went well.
2 great memories (amongst a whole lifetime of them):
A split brain Jnr Tech was posted onto my flight at Church Fenton sometime in 1980 and I soon decided he was commissioning material; coached him and put him up to Biggin Hill. I was so proud when eventually he made Wg Cdr.
24 December 1984 2345 Hrs, my first (of 2) daughter was born in TPMH at Akrotiri.
25 December 1984 1000 Hrs AOC turns up and tickles No, 1 daughter (still got the photo).
1300 Hrs, Christmas lunch in TPMH maternity ward, chief anaesthetist (Wg Cdr) turns up in full operating theatre dress with face mask and carves turkey with a v large scalpel.
And now both daughters brighten my life every minute of every day.
We'd been on an all nighter out of Ballykelly in a Shackleton MK2 shadowing a Kotlin SAM in the most horrendous weather with line squall after line squall, and we'd had a largish incident involving a massive down draught while passing through the line of least resistance of one such squall. We were only at the usual 1000ft and I don't know how low and close we went - and I don't want to know. The inside of the aeroplane was total carnage with quite a lot of damage and with quite a few bruises amongst the chaps. As a result we instantly gave up chasing the Russian ship and set course back to BK where the weather was the exact opposite -just beautiful -and I and a couple of others walked back from the aeroplane to flying clothing with a skylark whistling and twittering away overhead in calm winds and CAVOK. I felt quite good to be alive that morning and got out of my immersion suit and the thick green thermals and stood in the shower for what seemed about an hour. I seem to recall that aeroplane didn't fly again and was stripped out and burned. I left BK the same week destined for St Mawgan and the Nimrod OCU while the rest of my crew went to MDSU at Honington.
Night aerobatics over Leeds in a Linton based Piston Provost. I was a CCF cadet at the time. The sensation reinforced my desire to become a pilot. One year later, not only could I spell pilot, but I were one! Only a PPL at that stage, but Fighter Pilot was not far beyond that.
I remember the excitement of arriving on my first operational station and hearing the noise for the first time, then seeing the aircraft in full reheat as it took off and knowing that I'd soon be working on them.
40 years later, I can still spend hours watching aircraft take off and land (and I'm not a spotter by any means).
Early summer in the late '80's at Brize. Having been away from UK for 7 months, the moment the doors opened on the Tri* the smell of new mown grass from the airfield grass cutters swamped the atmosphere................I knew I was home.
Every time I fire up the Flymo now, it brings it all back.
Very small beer by comparison with the front line -- but flying a Vigilant out of Syerston a couple of weeks ago in crystal-clear bright blue sky over an incredibly beautiful frosty countryside was magic. Seeing an A4 Pacific at full bore hauling a charter train northbound on the East Coast Main Line with steam hanging above the railway for miles behind it made the trip even more memorable.
Somewhere near the German border on exercise with the Army in 1970-ish, heavy rain, deep trenches for infantry training. Us (RAF FAC section) in wet, muddy camouflage uniform trying to keep warm and relatively dry. Area received a visit by AOC RAFG and his ADC kitted out in their finest number ones plus greatcoat and very shiny shoes but sans sword. Watching them tip-toeing along duckboards which were slippery with mud. Squaddies and us trying to keep straight faces. Alas, neither AOC or ADC slipped on muddy duckboards.
Inner German Border patrol in a Puma not too long after the Wall came down. Our shadow seemed equally happy with his lot. Of course, it was too early for either of us to realize that the stability brought about by the Cold War was about to disappear.
Last edited by Cows getting bigger; 23rd Dec 2012 at 18:51.