View Full Version : VALE Reg (Mice) Meissner

13th Jul 2005, 04:31
Reg pulls the pin as AIP Editor at Airservices Australia on Friday, July 15, after 15 years in the role.

While many in the industry probably have never had any contact with Reg, those of us who have regard him as one of the few people in Airservices who could spot bullshit at 100m and was never backwards in coming forward when he thought real stupidity was about to occur.

Mice could never be described as a diplomat – full and frank barely covers the ground a Reg statement about the latest silly missive from management would.

Having had the good fortune to come into contact with Reg in his RAAF days, he was, allegedly, the nation’s oldest fighter pilot at one point, I learned that what he didn’t know about flying probably would fit on the back of a postage stamp. I also met through him some very dangerous people, especially in bars.

Being the fisherman he is Reg, in his retirement, plans to fish every stretch of water he hasn’t already in the Commonwealth. If you happen across him be aware that joining Reg in a drink should only be entertained after a long period of training, said training to include the consumption of vast amounts of alcohol over a long period of time.

As a younger man I was once invited to join Reg and his mate Ron McGrath, aka Magilla, in a Guinness or two. Several billion dead brain cells later I departed to crash into a horizontal position while the RAAFia duo departed to eat and find other victims. You have been warned!

Reg, happy fishing and may you never again hear the call “no joy”.

Clinton McKenzie
13th Jul 2005, 04:42
And he did manage to beat that Lamborghini in a drag race. Of course, he did cheat a little by taking a leak and emptying all the change out of his pockets before jumping into the Mirage he was flying at the time….

15th Jul 2005, 05:37

Not sure about Mice ever being the nation's oldest fighter pilot - but he certainly claimed to be the world's best. Didn't he ever tell you?

Mice, enjoy your well earned retirement.

Mr McGoo
16th Jul 2005, 07:35
I believe he also set the 'Short Field Landing' record for the Mirage on his last flight. Stopped the French Lady in about 1500 feet. His formation callsign at the time was almost always "Bacchus 1" (for reasons mentioned above). :D

Captain Sand Dune
17th Jul 2005, 22:02
- but he certainly claimed to be the world's best. Didn't he ever tell you?

...don't all fighter pilots?!:D


Ascend Charlie
17th Jul 2005, 22:39

You have the story a bit bass ackwards:

The RAAF chose the lightest aircraft in the fleet, put the minimum amount of fuel in it, and looked for the scrawniest pilot - and found Mice.

The owner of the Lambo, Paul Halstead, thought this was really unfair (he was a big fella) so he removed his loose change and had a piddle.

When the flag dropped, Paul had the jump because Reg still had to light the burner after releasing brakes, then bring the burner up. He caught the Lambo just before the quarter mile marker, and continued airborne for a min fuel circuit.

And yes, as well as being the oldest, he was the best.

17th Jul 2005, 23:04

You're probably spot on - my memories of those good ol' days as a groundy at 77SQN are fading fast.

I watched the drag from a distance and got the account of the pre-drag preparations third-hand.

Someone should organise a Mice Memorial drag – Hornet and, what? Maybe an F40? Or perhaps the nice folks at Temora could get a Mirage back in the air....

18th Jul 2005, 03:10
I think to be fair to Mice (given the unassuming person that he is) (?) he never claimed to be the world's greatest fighter pilot.

He always claimed to be the world's second greatest fighter pilot. He based this on the assumption that there must be someone better than him - he simply hadn't ever met such a person.

Reg, you are a legend! Not just for your days of testing both the aviation and alcoholic envelopes, but for your good humour and fearless ability to tell it like it is.

I will miss your valuable experience, stories, advise and most of all the safe haven from Canberra's political correctness you provided.

Best [email protected]#$%& wishes!

18th Jul 2005, 08:26

Not quite. Many years ago, at the then HQOC Officers' Mess Bar at Glenbrook, at a 'Pay Night Buffet' (remember those?), I witnessed Mice trying to convince a visiting RN pilot that he (Mice) was the world's best fighter jock. After some little time of listening politely, the visiting RN pilot turned to the barman, and asked for a pair of scissors. On receipt of same, the visiting RN officer then cut off Mice's tie, just underneath the knot. For once in the time that I knew him, Mice was speechless!

Mice had characteristics of leadership that endeared him to his troops. He was never afraid to get his hands dirty; and would never ask anyone to do something that he wasn't prepared to do himself. And he could fly the Mirage!

Clinton McKenzie
18th Jul 2005, 10:35
As I recall I was in Butterworth at the time, Ascend Charlie, and I only heard about it through the ‘rumour ripple’ – probably got reversed and exaggerated at the first retelling!

The only time I had the honour of meeting and talking with Reg was, ironically, in his post-RAAF capacity as AIP manager. Which reminds me – the next time we meet I must remonstrate with him about the cockpit-unfriendly brick that the AIP’s become, although I’d guess that the format wasn’t his bright idea and he would have expressed his views on the subject frankly and fearlessly at the time.

18th Jul 2005, 18:23
I must remonstrate with him about the cockpit-unfriendly brick that the AIP’s become

If it was absolutely up to Reg, the AIP would be one page in length, half of which would contain four letter words or derivatives thereof. Penalties for stupidity, butt-kissing, political correctness and inability to handle an aircraft properly according to a few fundamental rules would be swift and final.

Thank Reg that the AIP isn't the size of a small suitcase. If it was left to ATC-trained personnel, it would be. And if the responsibility for the AIP was left to the whims of the AsA senior management, they'd scrap it completely in favour of whiteboards and pilot education coarses in mind-reading.

Reg worked out long ago that shooting people in peacetime is a jailable offense - and unfortunately that even applied to some air traffic controllers and managers. He's leaving a good team without an engaging storyteller and entertainer. The AsA offices will be a lot quieter without him. I feel sorry for the Commonwealth waterways tsnake. There'll be no peace and quiet with Reg around, even in his retirement.

eagle 86
19th Jul 2005, 05:33
I met Mice on a couple of occasions - once on a Huey det to Billsville I witnessed a verbal battle between an ex-Mirage jock undergoing helo course (no names, he is still an active helo operator) and Mice - something about "pipper on target" - that went well beyond O God Double 0. Next morning launched in the backseat of a Miracle as Mice's No 2 for a spot of 1v1! Interesting experience!
Oh for the day's of Yore when the world as we knew it had a fair share of aviators similar to Mice, people who knew how to do the job and were not hamstrung by rules for the sake and without the dogooder's PC bullshit of today.

20th Jul 2005, 03:51
Knew Mice well at Willy in the 70's..... got the dead brain cells to prove it.....

As memory serves, it wasn't a Mirage... to quote Mice... twas "a flaming aluminium death tube strapped to my ar$e..."

good times, unique bloke...

20th Jul 2005, 11:35
I can't recall Reg ever telling me he was the best but, like Neddy, can recall numerous occasions when he proclaimed himself the second best, as Neddy attests. I can only add that a longtime blue suiter who flew with Reg once told me that in his role as a Mirage FCI he had turned out many very good fighter pilots, something I suspect Reg is very proud of.
And I do recall Thursday nights up the hill at Glenbrook.

Save your pity, the fish know what they are in for! Maybe we will see a repeat of the fishing trip with his son, also an aviator (driving Eurotigers with the Army the lucky bastard), when they took a helo to FNQ, landed by a river and fished for a week, if memory serves correctly. I did wonder for a while why the crocs didn't go for Reg until I worked out that he was a) packing heat or b) the crocs recognised a fellow natural-born killer and extended him a little professional courtesy. I firmly suspect the latter.

3rd Aug 2005, 11:33
Geez.... I can't believe this is the total response to this thread. Goddammit, the guy was a legend in his own lifetime. If we don't get some more responses/funny stories/anecdotes I'll......... I'll..... I'll bloody well tell Mice... and we all know what his reaction will be. And we don't want him yelling at us now do we..... (shudder)

3rd Aug 2005, 13:29
Well I thought he was the World’s Oldest Fighter Pilot when I first met him in 1970!

4th Aug 2005, 08:38
Flexible Response

Given your lack of bio details, I can only assume you were in short pants at the time.


Totally agree.

Another memory I have of Mice is when he was Air Staff Officer at HQBUT in the early 80s. I was there for a staff visit on the day the annual promotion list came out. There was the usual rite of passage in the Mess. Unfortunately, Mice was destined to dine on the Feast of the Passover that night - which he did in his usual flamboyant and in vino veritas manner.

I was due to RTA the next day via the BU. I recall boarding the acft feeling a little less than pristine. We duly got airborne and became established in the climb. To my surprise, on looking out of the hold window, I saw a Mirage closing on us. The pilot waved, and then rolled over the Herc several times. Guess who?

What a guy. What a shame the RAAF senior management of the day lacked the intestinal fortitude to promote a man who could inspire and lead. What a loss!

15th Feb 2006, 12:21
For those who may not know, Mice passed away in tragic circumstances nearly 2 weeks ago. There is going to be a memorial service in Canberra, possibly next week (details not known yet). It will be standing room only where ever they have it.

You can see what a great guy he was from the previous posts when he retired.

He will be sadly missed by everyone who knew him.

Would like to hear more stories about him if anyone has any. Let him live on in our memories of him.

Capn Bloggs
15th Feb 2006, 13:57
The world's greatest fighter pilot (despite that fact that he said so! :D ). He was (still is) a legend.

Condolences to Gail and family.

15th Feb 2006, 19:41
For us non ACT people, would greatly appreciate details of the memorial service being posted here when known.

Time Bomb Ted
16th Feb 2006, 00:54
For those who may not know, Mice passed away in tragic circumstances nearly 2 weeks ago.

Oh Bugger. What happened?


Roller Merlin
16th Feb 2006, 11:16
As sent out by 9 SQN Association Online Inc...


Following Reg`s funeral last week, the family has decided not to participate in a celebratory Wake as earlier planned. Understandably, Mice`s untimely passing has deeply affected Gail and her family, as it has all of us.

Should anyone wish to partake of a `remembering Mice` drink at the Canberra Club (West Row, Civic) I will be happy to arrange it. Convenient accommodation (discounted) is available at the Quest Serviced Apartments across the street from the Club. Should such a gathering proceed, then a couple of us here in Canberra feel the afternoon of Saturday 4 Mar, say at 3pm, could suit.

That date may appeal to interstate visitors to Canberra as a two hour drive to Temora on the next day would allow people to visit the flying display day at David Lowy`s Aviation Museum (www.aviationmuseum.com.au). Such `fly-ins` are held approx four per year, and usually feature Winjeel, Vampire, Meteor, Canberra, Spitfire, Boomerang, Kittyhawk, Birddog Cessna, `Connie`, Neptune, Mustang, etc displays.

Please call me, email me, if anyone is interested in such a gathering – happy recollections will be the order of the afternoon. Response numbers will dictate Canberra Club arrangements.

Should anyone wish to convey condolences to the family, then the relevant address is as follows:

Mrs Gail Meissner, 93 Langdon Ave, Wanniassa, ACT, 2903


Geoff Schmidt

Geoff Schmidt Associates
Recruitment Specialists - Defence & Aerospace
Tel: 0418 210526 02 6255 8999 (AH)
Email: [email protected]

19th Feb 2006, 22:29
Sincere condolences to Gail and her family.

I believe there will not be a Memorial Service, at the request of the family, however, I believe a reflective Saturday afternoon for Reg (Mice).

From an email source:
"Should anyone wish to partake of a “remembering Mice” drink at the Canberra Club (West Row, Civic) I will be happy to arrange it. Convenient accommodation (discounted) is available at the Quest Serviced Apartments across the street from the Club. Should such a gathering proceed, then a couple of us here in Canberra feel the afternoon of Saturday 4 Mar, say at 3pm, could suit."

Please PM me if further details are required.

Capn Bloggs
1st May 2006, 08:50
A nice touch by AsA for one of the best...
The caption reads "TO THE MOON - In memory of Reg (Mice) Meissner, Australian AIP Editor, 1992-2005"
Hear hear.

10th May 2006, 11:54
Mice was a particularly unique man who inspired the lives and aspirations of most of the young fighter pilots of his time. And his humour, guidance and influence is probably responsible for the survival of many of us to this day.

Our condolences and love to his staunchest supporter and best mate, Gail.

19th May 2006, 16:11
Oh Bugger. What happened?

What did happen to the bearded one ?. PM to me if appropiate.