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Old 12th Sep 2008, 15:53
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Age: 99
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All To Be Taken With A Pinch Of Salt

With reference to andy's1991 post above , comment, mastering the computer. I spent yesterday afternoon typing , more or less what appears below, saving every paragraph in M.S Word as I went along. Then copy, and into PPRuNe. Then paste , nothing there, and nothing in word. Found some of it in Word pad. So Rewrite.as below..

In December ,we practiced all the previous exercises. Plus formation flying , night flying cross country, navigation, and pinpointing.

Formation flying, was first practiced flying dual, with instruction on flying line astern, echelon to port, echelon to starboard, and changing position.. We flew a few feet apart, watching our leader, and hoping he knew where he was going.. We later practiced this solo, and enjoyed it immensely .

Before night flying training , we were told that it took twenty minutes to obtain full night vision, and could be achieved by sitting in the dark, and that it took only seconds to destroy it, if suddenly exposed to a bright light. We flew dual initially. With the exception of the billets the airfield was completely blacked out (no lights) We had only the goose neck paraffin flares along the left hand side of the landing path. and the Christmas tree, previously mentioned After night flying dual, we were allowed to go solo. This was quite pleasant, as we could tune our aircraft radios to the local radio station, W.B.B.Z and listen to music, this was quite novel as even cars didn’t have radios in those days, and no local radio stations, in the U.K The only person on duty at night, was the airfield controller, who seemed completely bored. On landing the procedure was to call “Two nine five on the base leg. Wheels down, and locked. Pressure up. Gas on reserve, ready to land . Over.. The controller would reply “Land when clear, out” . I suppose this reply meant that if any thing went wrong, then it was the pilots fault. One night a cadet called out "Lucky Strike means fine tobacco, so round,so firm, so fully packed etc (a W.B.B.Z radio advert) , a tired voice replied "Land when clear") Some of our comedians , who had heard that an empty uncapped coke bottle would scream when dropped from an aircraft , took a few empties with them and dropped them on the local Japanese prisoner -of -war camp, at Tonkawa.

We also had our final navigation test in December, this consisted of flying two thousand miles in three legs. Ponca City to Waco Texas, Waco to , I think it was Galveston, but forget, certainly down to the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf back to Ponca. This took two days. But more about that later, my fingers are worn out.
Link training that month amounted to five hours, marked as armaments and nav course flying. But what this included in a Link, I haven’t the slightest idea.

If my fingers haven’t recovered soon, instead of writing I will sing you the following ribald irreverent mess songs, We are leaving Khartoum by the light of the moon/. -- Bless em all/.-- They scraped him off the tarmac like a lump of strawberry jam./ -- Take the joystick from out of my stomach--- ---and assemble the aircraft again.// Shire, Shire Somerset shire, the skipper looks one her with pride // When this blinking war is over (with explicit instructions to where the wing/co can stick his spitfire)/ Will not sing My name is mucky Lilly, There's a street in Cairo or Eskimo Nell. Wonder if these songs are still sung in the mess.
I might also recite "There's a one eyed yellow god to the North of Katmandu".
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