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Old 3rd Nov 2018, 12:17
  #12 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: SE England
Posts: 108

Quite a few years ago, as a wet behind the ears baby North Sea pilot, I ended up on shift on a Tuesday morning going to one of the rigs in the Piper Field.

The outbound flight was uneventful, I took a quiet moment in the radio chatter and paperwork to admire the sun coming up and soak in my self-satisfaction at managing to wangle my way into the LHS of an S-92.

After we landed on and offloaded, out came the HLO with the usual tattered blue bag full of hot lard - does life get any sweeter? Anyway, instead of the usual tap on the shoulder and thumbs up gesture as he left the bag of vegan-friendly health food for consumption on the homebound leg, our man gestures to us indicating he wanted a word -

"One of your passengers today is the OIM - he's leaving us for the last time after 18 years! Is there any chance you could do a flyby for him?"

"Of course, no problem." says the Captain.

Five minutes later and the pax are their bags are on, the aircraft is secure and the checks are done - 'Piper Traffic, time 51, XXXX lifting for Aberdeen'

We're airborne, and lazily looping round the back of the rig, positioning for a slow flyby not far above deck level - as we get closer we see about 20-30 of the rig crew have come to pay their respects to their offgoing boss.. they're all huddled together on the helideck waving merrily! Aww, isn't that nice

As we get closer though, there's a shuffle of activity from the assembled oilies...

Jackets and overalls are flying in every direction as the group make the switch from waving to baring their hairy white arses Braveheart style at their erstwhile leader!

I could barely fly with the tears in my eyes and the uproarious laughter from the back was audible over the whine of the aircraft.

Genuinely one of the funniest moments I can recall in all my years of flying - I've had more spectacular flights, more fraught flights, more taxing flights and more worthwhile flights but as far as sheer entertainment that's one of my favourites.

The OIM came up to the front of the aircraft as he diesmbarked, shook us both by the hand and thanked us heartily - it was nice to be able to have made his last flight a memorable one.

RIP to those who have lost their lives in this industry over the years.

Last edited by FC80; 3rd Nov 2018 at 12:54.
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