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Old 19th Apr 2017, 17:51   #101 (permalink)

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OK, quiz time. This may be apocryphal, and I may be totally wrong, but:

At which RAF airfield, now disused, was an aircraft forced to overshoot due to a sheep having been hit by a train?
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Old 19th Apr 2017, 18:29   #102 (permalink)
 
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oooh ... are we in to GROVE and DEEPDENE territory here?

<pokes distant memory cells>

Damn ... where was that place with the proximate railway?
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Old 19th Apr 2017, 18:35   #103 (permalink)
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Herod,
At a guess, Ballykelly, where the Belfast - Stroke City (Londonderry) main line crossed the main drag several hundred feet up from the threshold. My Vigilant school, 664VGS, used to hold summer camps there when we were based at Belfast City (BHD) where I noticed that the runway had been shortened to bring the threshold inside of the railway line and which was heavily fenced off with razor wire and other security devices.

Our operation there sometimes caused a bit of confusion for those operating into Eglinton airfield about five miles to the west, which was at the time trying to get itself sorted out as a regional hub and had one or two Ryanair flights a day. Teaching circuits to a student one day and listening out on the Eglinton tower frequency, I heard the controller warn an inbound Ryanair flight that "Ballykelly is active and there is traffic downwind for 26" the pilot asked Eglinton "Where is BallyKelly?" and before the controller could answer I just said on the radio "Look out your left window" as an Airbus or a 737 sailed past us sliding down the ILS.
And, of course, in 2006 there was the EirJet Airbus, the crew of which, due I believe to a lack of appropriate nav plates/maps or whatever, landed on R/W 26 and much to the surprise of the crew and passengers was almost immediately surrounded by green land rovers and people in camouflage fatigues who were pointing guns at them. Oooops.

Oh, and talking of apocryphal, I did hear that it all depended as to who pressed the right button first, signalman/controller as to whether the train got right of way or the traffic on finals.
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Old 19th Apr 2017, 18:38   #104 (permalink)
 
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That sounds familiar!

An 'overseas tour' I happily avoided.
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Old 19th Apr 2017, 18:41   #105 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Gemas Strip in Malaya
Quote:
pilot of his Gazelle
When was that? The Gazelle didn't enter Army service until 1973.
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Old 19th Apr 2017, 18:44   #106 (permalink)
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MPN, I don't understand why. From what I understand, it was a much sought after posting and the airfield was a delight, tucked out of sight of the main camp and MQs at the bottom of the hill and overlooked by Binevenagh Mountain.
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Old 19th Apr 2017, 19:04   #107 (permalink)

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Well, that didn't take long, did it?. There may be others but, yes, it was Ballykelly I was thinking of. Home to the original 72 Sqn N.I. detachment in August '69.
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Old 19th Apr 2017, 19:55   #108 (permalink)
 
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Guetersloh certainly had a railway, and I seem to remember cattle on the airfield, but not sheep. If not within the perimeter, then certainly only just outside. We could see them from Met., which was at the base of the control tower/ wing ops.
During a spectacular thunderstorm, a lightning strike earthed in a bunch of cows ............ as to injuries, I know not, but the event was recorded for posterity in the Obs Book.
Amost every sort of weather phenomenon could be recorded within the coding system, but "cattle struck by lightning in the vicinity" defied attempts to encode it.
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Old 19th Apr 2017, 20:53   #109 (permalink)
 
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Talking of barriers, the one at Lossie was the source of endless amusement to the inmates of Gordonstoun, who thought it was funny to jump the fence and raise it during the night. The heavies, getting fed up with this, wired the case to the mains. It must have worked, as they were commended on their initiative, but had to un-wire it.


If we were working on the barrier, we would isolate it locally, so nobody at the tower could raise it whilst we were working on it.
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Old 19th Apr 2017, 21:14   #110 (permalink)
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Strange place that Gordonstoun. We had a period of intense activity at Lossie once, but because there were exams being held just across the fence, circuit patterns were changed and certain flying curtailed. And on another occasion a foreign student was discovered to be partaking of certain illegal substances and was expelled. Daddy sent his no.2 private aeroplane, a Boeing 737, to Lossie to convey him home, somewhere east of Cyprus.
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 07:52   #111 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by Fareastdriver View Post
When was that? The Gazelle didn't enter Army service until 1973.
Ah, probably a Scout, then. It was 1969, Exercise Square Hole.
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Old 21st Apr 2017, 05:01   #112 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by ACW342 View Post
Herod,
At a guess, Ballykelly, where the Belfast - Stroke City (Londonderry) main line crossed the main drag several hundred feet up from the threshold. My Vigilant school, 664VGS, used to hold summer camps there when we were based at Belfast City (BHD) where I noticed that the runway had been shortened to bring the threshold inside of the railway line and which was heavily fenced off with razor wire and other security devices.

Oh, and talking of apocryphal, I did hear that it all depended as to who pressed the right button first, signalman/controller as to whether the train got right of way or the traffic on finals.
I was there as a cadet on ATC camp in 1963 and we were told trains had priority.
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Old 21st Apr 2017, 05:46   #113 (permalink)
 
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...only if the train was departing on track?
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Old 21st Apr 2017, 07:58   #114 (permalink)
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We liked Ballykelly. We had the only flushing toilets on the airfield. We knew when we had a 'scramble free' window when the train was due, but the hovercraft down the runway was unpredictable in all senses.

Then after a few beers in Limavardy, a steak butty in the mess, before a late night supper back at the dispersal.

Bomber Command crews were never underfed.
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Old 21st Apr 2017, 08:43   #115 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by Pontius Navigator View Post
We liked Ballykelly. We had the only flushing toilets on the airfield. We knew when we had a 'scramble free' window when the train was due, but the hovercraft down the runway was unpredictable in all senses.

Then after a few beers in Limavardy, a steak butty in the mess, before a late night supper back at the dispersal.

Bomber Command crews were never underfed.
Flushing toilets were installed in airman's barracks by '63.
I know because I was sitting on one one day when one of my mates reached over from the next cubicle and pulled the chain!!
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Old 21st Apr 2017, 11:58   #116 (permalink)
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sooo.... someone pulled your chain then?
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Old 21st Apr 2017, 12:00   #117 (permalink)
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chevron, unless the barracks were situated in the dispersal areas, only the V-force dispersal had flush toilets there.
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