Military AviationA forum for the professionals who fly military hardware. Also for the backroom boys and girls who support the flying and maintain the equipment, and without whom nothing would ever leave the ground. All armies, navies and air forces of the world equally welcome here.
Reading all the posts so far in this thread just makes me want to say this: Thank you all, for what you did, what you are doing now and what you may be called upon to do in the future, for I am sure you will rise to any challenge.
You are very special people, and I for one really appreciate the effort and sacrifice all of you make, and I thank God for people like you.
Merry Christmas to you all!
Last edited by Shannon volmet; 24th Dec 2012 at 00:11.
Starting the standard clearing turn out of Gib, on a call out for a very sick little girl who had to get to G.O.S. hospital, to be told to contact Spanish ATC who cleared us present position direct LHR. Laughing like hell at the Speedbird callsign, who, when told to take up the hold at 'the park' as we were cleared in direct from the coast of France, questioned why? The immediate offer from London of a diversion to Luton was met with a long silence and muted acknowledgment of his hold timings. Watching every man and his dog do their best to get her into the ambulance as quickly as possible and holding up everything else on the pan to do so. Being number 28 to taxi as we dropped the hospital callsign.... A proper nights work.
was on a shack playing cards with the junior Nav when I spotted the fire warning on number two enginebefore anyone else!!Was a faulty fire detector but we found that most of the graviner fire bottles had not gone of!!Two hours out from Eastliegh!
Coming out of the Ops Block at 280SU on Olympus in winter after a night shift and finding myself standing on the top of a flat plain of white cloud with the sun burning my eyes.
Standing on Measles Rock at Mount Alice watching the F4s streak across the Plain of Lafonia before arcing up the hill and 10ft over my head.
Sitting on the beach at night on Ascension Island with a beer in my hand and watching the MIRV warheads twist and burn their way down through the sky.
At Staxton standing on the grass with the Stn Cdr (Taff Leyland) and the Mayoress of Scarborough after asking Mike Ch*****n if he could do a "gold chain" flypast. Watching him come in from the east dropping towards the top of the fence and turning to Taff and saying "He's fast" as he just cleared the top of the fence and pulled and we, and the bins and everything not tied down, were blown off our feet to lie on our backs and watch him twinkle-roll his way into the heavens. (She loved it too).
Ten weeks in Belize in 79 when I spent 90% of the time sunbathing on the Cayes as they never had more than one Harrier serviceable. A week in San Pedro where I'd spend all day out fishing then get the hotel to cook my catch for dinner. The exquisite headache as I had my first Pina Colada frappe in the evening with my feet buried in the hot sand of the beach bar. The 2 cats at Butcher radar - TACA and TAN and the "pet" boa constrictor we fed chickens when it got hungry. The jungle survival course with bashas, cabbage trees and AK-47s.....
One Saturday summer of '71 (can't check exact date as we are in France for the next few weeks), called out from standby at Lyneham to go to Wittering and collect some stuff to take to Le Bourget for a Harrier that had done a heavy landing,IIRC, at the Paris Air Show.
While en-route the crew of a Buccaneer had banged out at the air show - I think they may have been connected to a Victor tanker for the flypast, not sure but perhaps TTN will know!
When we arrived someone on the ground asked if we could take the Bucc' crew home to Honington; of course we could. The nav was laid out on a stretcher IIRC.
When we arrived at Honington the ramp was lowered and on rushed the Staish and the wives of the Bucc' crew, followed by much hugging and kissing and shedding of tears! The Staish thanked us for getting them home so soon and it gave us a really good feeling of a job well done.
Of course being a Saturday afternoon there was no customs officer there, so we thought bugger it let's get back to Lyneham. Swindon must have had a bad season cos' my mate Norman H, the skipper, got a right bollocking from the miserable customs guy, 'what was his name?', Pearce ?
Fortunately it didn't spoil the good feeling we all still had!
Last edited by Brian 48nav; 24th Dec 2012 at 15:01.
Reason: add a sentence
Andy Marrs (pilot) and Bob Kemp (Nav) were demonstrating air-to-air refueling behind a Victor tanker at low level at the Paris Air Show! The effect of being ‘plugged in’ at low level in the turbulence that existed and vulnerable to the jet wake from the Victor meant that the Bucc was bumping around and eventually bounced one too many times for the pilot and crashed. Both ejected. Andy Marrs came down in his parachute into the fireball but, thankfully, the heat raised him up and the wind carried him clear – he had significant singeing! Bob Kemp walked away and was last seen climbing on board a C-130 to bring him home with a ‘bottle and 200’ which he had managed to acquire albeit he had never been intended to set foot in France on that sortie (or so the story goes)! We were never allowed to do low level tanking demonstrations whilst ‘plugged in’ ever again.
My never ending pleasure during 50 years in the cockpit was breaking out on top of 8/8 cloud and sitting in the sunshine whilst the folks on the ground endured the vagaries of the weather below.
Most exciting moments - shadowing the Turkish Invasion Fleet on it's way to Cyprus in 1974 from a Nimrod (and being escorted away by 2 Turkish fighters which were in turn being shadowed by 2 Lightnings from Akrotiri).
As a young liney on his first squadron in Germany I was offered a flight (my first) in the back of a Meteor NFII. Weather was very claggy as we climbed, then suddenly we broke out of the cloud into brilliant sunshine. I was quite thrilled seeing the cloud tops and being in a totally different world to the one I'd just left. I flew in all the aircraft I worked on, apart from the Vulcan, but you never forget your first time!
breaking out on top of 8/8 cloud
Now there's a coincidence. As you posted olddog I was typing