Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Military Aviation
Reload this Page >

Gaining An R.A.F Pilots Brevet In WW II

Military Aviation A 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.

Gaining An R.A.F Pilots Brevet In WW II

Old 5th Aug 2013, 16:31
  #4121 (permalink)  
Danny42C
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
It's dark in here, Mum.

MPN11,

This is exactly the sort of stuff I need ! I read it with great interest, but I've so much to write about the "Bendix", that I'll stay with that for a while (and there are some good stories to come). So let me climb into my MPN-1 and tell the tale in the same way. Up the little wooden steps, into the door at the end of truck. Don't remember any curtain, but not quite full dark inside, think there was some subdued lighting. The door was mostly left ajar (except when the air-con was on, obviously). Why would that be ? Think, obliging mech comes out of rest caravan with tray of tea, mounts wet wooden steps, is faced with closed door, all inside too busy to answer knock, tries to open with good hand...?

First on the left was a menacing access panel: "Danger - High Voltage - To be kept Closed at all times when Equipment Operating" (or words to that effect), probably with a skull and crossbones to lend emphasis. This warning was reinforced by a Safety poster stuck on the opposite panel to your right. This showed a coffin with the cheery caption:

"You'll end up in a Wooden Box
If you Jam the Interlocks"

Carefully skirting this, you came (on the left) to the two Director's PPI tubes, then the Tracker's display with his little wheel, and right at the end my place of business, Talkdown with Errormeter and his display. Now I have to think hard. On the right of my display I had a spring-loaded switch to the Squawk Box in Local. On the desk at the bottom was my three-way Transmit key: off-sprung on-locked on. Radio selectors somewhere. Fast Scan switch near Transmit key. And that's about it. Of course I'd have a direct-line phone to Approach, Director would have a monitor on Approach Channel. Behind me, the other side of the truck was packed with electronics which were no business of ours.

Confession is good for the Soul. I try to keep my Posts absolutely factual, but there's always a temptation to spice-up some irrelevant item. Before the Sherlock Holmeses among you get on to it, therefore:

The Man said he got in the back of the truck and sat on the left, didn't he ? We've all seen pictures of the outside of the truck, haven't we ? Left is the "hot" side, which looks at the aircraft. So the truck must lean that way. So he must lean that way too, so must his desk. Certainly his mug will dance about, but not off the desk, but towards the display (no, never heard of one tipping over yet).

I remember well the details given in the previous Post about CPN-4 - the two upper and lower screens in a set - the UV lights (I remember at Thorney, how our shirt-cuffs shone after laundry in something "Whiter than White") - Dosimeter badges ? Wot's them ? (we were expendable in '58-'59 , I have to suppose). More on them when I come to Thorney later.

Somewhere on Google/Wiki I've seen a shot looking into a MPN-1 through the back door, but can't recall where, and in any case it was very poor, couldn't see a thing.

Much to mull over here - thanks MPN11.

EDIT I:
26er

The West Raynham story was burned into the soul of every Air Trafficker of the day, for as it was told to me, it was the ATC cock-up of all time: a copybook example of How Not to Manage a Diversion. Seems the whole lot were thrown at Marham without warning or attempting to arrange an orderly flow, with the inevitable result.

As for the Two Controllers at Once: assuming Raynham had an MPN-1 (and I don't think any CPN-4s had come in then), two whole Precision approaches couldn't have gone on at once - apart from anything else you have only one Errormeter and no way can poor Tracker switch between two blips so quickly, even if two Talkdowns (who would need to be on discrete frequencies) could huddle together close enough to read the same cursor. So that's your Glidepath gone for a start.

What might have been possible was to use the two PPI (Director's) tubes to do simultaneous PPI talkdowns (step-down or continuous descent), but it would have been very inaccurate, and carry an enormous risk of misidentification.

Another fanciful possibility was for one Talkdown to do "short" (two-mile ?) runs, with Director (who would really have to be 'on the ball', as would Tracker) feeding them on at three mile intervals at (say) 500 ft.

I really have no idea, but I don't buy the "super Controller" bit. Perhaps Raynham had two MPN-1s ? (Doubt it).

EDIT II,

MPN11,

Can't keep up ! Yes, that's the CPN-4 in all its glory. And the MPN-1 had us seated t'other way. No difference.

CPN-4 was touted as air-transportable. What did we have in '58 which could lift that ?

Danny.

Last edited by Danny42C; 5th Aug 2013 at 17:57. Reason: Additional Material.
 
Old 5th Aug 2013, 17:28
  #4122 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Often in Jersey, but mainly in the past.
Age: 78
Posts: 7,633
Received 82 Likes on 39 Posts
Lossiemouth CPN4 GCA up the steps, turn left for the Ops Truck. Consoles on the left as you enter, precision antennae pointing away to the right [away from you in that photo]. Perhaps the MPN1 was laid out differently?

I'm sure our turntables/trucks were horizontal - and I think we could tilt the search antenna, which was dead posh. No spilt coffee, Sir

MPN11 is online now  
Old 5th Aug 2013, 20:38
  #4123 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: West Sussex
Age: 81
Posts: 4,692
Received 86 Likes on 30 Posts
Danny, many thanks for your Birthday wishes which I am glad to say are somewhat premature. The PPRuNe computer will count inexorably down to the next one, send its personal greetings and then click the meter under my tag over one more unit to mark the March of Time. But kind of you nonetheless.

Your description of the MPN-1 at full chat conjures up a picture similar to that of Compass Rose as Jack Hawkins puts it about in a heavy Atlantic sea with crockery et al sent flying. Who could have guessed that the unflappable voice giving the talkdown was doing so from a washing machine at full spin?
Your ploy of pairing description with MPN11 would seem to be a good one, so that the differences in set up and procedures are the better aired between these two generations (of the kit that is :-). I don't know if that will work out for you both though, it is of course as ever at the discretion of the authors.

Yes, sorry about the size of the "Principles of Radar" tome. There may be interesting snippets to be picked at though, for every possible system at that very early period seems to be covered.

dobbleyew eight, welcome to the fray and thanks for the interesting tale about the Ukrainian flak. "But there wasn't any, Holmes". "Exactly Watson, exactly".
Chugalug2 is offline  
Old 6th Aug 2013, 11:24
  #4124 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Often in Jersey, but mainly in the past.
Age: 78
Posts: 7,633
Received 82 Likes on 39 Posts
Originally Posted by Danny42c
CPN-4 was touted as air-transportable. What did we have in '58 which could lift that ?
I gently prod one of your grey cells, Sir, and offer you the Blackburn Beverley - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
MPN11 is online now  
Old 6th Aug 2013, 12:29
  #4125 (permalink)  
Cunning Artificer
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: The spiritual home of DeHavilland
Age: 76
Posts: 3,127
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ah the Blackburn Beverley. Usually we went to Valley by Beverley and to other places by Hastings. On one occasion we deployed to Macrihanish in a Beverley, carrying our own fire truck with us while theirs was broken. One wonders what would have happened had we crashed on arrival.

We regarded it as luxurious at the time. Glory days.

Here's the upstairs "Business Class accommodations.
"


Last edited by Blacksheep; 6th Aug 2013 at 12:40.
Blacksheep is offline  
Old 6th Aug 2013, 14:29
  #4126 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Often in Jersey, but mainly in the past.
Age: 78
Posts: 7,633
Received 82 Likes on 39 Posts
Your photo? May I post that on a forum somewhere else?
MPN11 is online now  
Old 6th Aug 2013, 19:06
  #4127 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 5,223
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
A good illustration of the hole in the floor that someone fell through coming out of the toilet even further aft.

A good one that has just been posted in Jet Blast.

'What is the similarity between air traffic controllers and pilots?
If a pilot screws up, the pilot dies; but If ATC screws up, .... The pilot dies.'
-Sign over Control Tower Door-
Fareastdriver is offline  
Old 6th Aug 2013, 19:37
  #4128 (permalink)  
Danny42C
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
CPN-4 into Beverley ?

dubbleyew eight,

Marvellous story ! Welcome aboard ! All's grist that comes to the mill (pace the Moderators, of course).

I've always thought that Hitler's policy of forcibly enlisting his newly subject menfolk into the Wehrmacht could be a two-edged sword. Fine when things are going well, but when they start going wrong......(as we know to our cost from the Indian Mutiny - but at least our sepoys were all volunteers)......D.

Chugalug,

God bless the "Compass Rose", and all who sail in her ! It wasn't too bad, we quickly got used to it, and every later GCA was peaceful (apart from the roar of the generator truck next door).

I have to stick to one Station at a time to have any grip at all on my memories, and there's still two years of Strubby to go - which were not without incident ! At the moment, the new boy is looking at the "Bendix" at Sleap (and wondering: "in what nightmare was that dreamed up ? - one thing's for sure, it'll never fly !").....D.

MPN11 and Blacksheep,

Could a Beverley really stow and lift a CPN-4 (even just the business half ?) And what would you do about the tophamper ? (Seriously, would it have been remotely possible to take out the "business class" floor and still retain structural integrity - which surely would be the only way to get the giant giraffe into the aeroplane ?) And what were the lace curtains ? Hammocks, probably ? (I ask from genuine ignorance).......D.

Now, we've really got the ball rolling !

Goodnight, all, Danny.

PS. I offer you: "Oral History - John V. Diamond - The Radar Pages"
www.radarpages.co.uk/oral/jdiamond/jdiamond2.htm‎Cached

Hope it'll work (I'm no good at this)...D.


EDIT:

Works for me; embodies a wonderful account of Strubby which I cannot better. But on the second page he gives an account of the Truck which is plain mistaken. Having directed you to the site, must point out the errors in one short section (my corrections in italics) to you lest you be misled.

(Note: it appears that CPN-4 is just a MPN-11 al fresco, as it were - out on the airfield. ACR7 was of the same kind: ACR7C was out in the cold, ACR7D nice and snug in the Tower).

************

Employment In Defence Of The Realm 1954 to 1959.

John V. Diamond

".....The equipment was MPN-11A. (No, MPN-1) It could run on mains (the Hundred Amp Plug) or from the diesel generator on the back of a 10-ton truck. (the "Matador") The radar and truck were never uncoupled as the truck was also the prime mover if we had to change runways. (AFAIK CPN-4 was never a Prime Mover and did not change runways - MPN-1 was and did)".

......"The airfield power varied from time to time so the diesel would become the primary power source. It would take two men to turn the motor over by hand (I seem to recall doing it myself, but that may be just a wishful memory) and to get enough speed to knock out the CRCVs (compression release valves ?) and fire the motor!".

"The rest room was a caravan coupled to a mobile workshop truck...... (Correct)"

and a bit later:

".....but to see the Lancasters taking off was spectacular.....(Lincolns, in fact)".

Having said that, Mr Diamond's wonderful memoir can serve as my "Introduction to RAF Strubby ('55-'58)" and I hope he will pardon my "lifting" the small section and my few niggles.

Danny42C

Last edited by Danny42C; 6th Aug 2013 at 23:57. Reason: Additional Material.
 
Old 6th Aug 2013, 19:55
  #4129 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Often in Jersey, but mainly in the past.
Age: 78
Posts: 7,633
Received 82 Likes on 39 Posts
Fareastdriver, you may be a beetch, or we may know each other. If that's late 60s, of course.

Declare your age, and station, and if it begins with T you are cool
MPN11 is online now  
Old 6th Aug 2013, 20:46
  #4130 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: 5909N 00238W (IATA: SOY, ICAO: EGER)
Age: 80
Posts: 812
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Danny42C - try this link
ricardian is offline  
Old 6th Aug 2013, 22:07
  #4131 (permalink)  
Cunning Artificer
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: The spiritual home of DeHavilland
Age: 76
Posts: 3,127
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Business Class was in the tail boom Danny: taking the floor up would have left one's feet dangling in what passed for a slip stream on the old beast. I don't know if your mobile radar unit would fit in a Bev, but we definitely had a Fire Engine in there. These photos will give you some idea.

http://www.pprune.org/aviation-history-nostalgia/408296-blackburn-beverley-albums-2.html#post7535865

Last edited by Blacksheep; 6th Aug 2013 at 22:19.
Blacksheep is offline  
Old 6th Aug 2013, 23:27
  #4132 (permalink)  
Danny42C
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
ricardian,

Thanks ! Tried it, first said "oops, it's lost", clicked on Google Search, up came the goods !

Very worth while reading - but see the edit in my last Post.

Ta again. Danny
 
Old 6th Aug 2013, 23:38
  #4133 (permalink)  
Danny42C
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Beverleys.

Blacksheep,

Silly me ! Thought first class was on upper floor in main building (like a 747) - (this is what comes of "shooting from the hip" !)

A fire engine - yes. But what if it has eight-foot horns sticking up on top ?

As always, will defer to the experts,

Danny.
 
Old 7th Aug 2013, 09:57
  #4134 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: West Sussex
Age: 81
Posts: 4,692
Received 86 Likes on 30 Posts
Danny, your Radar Pages link doesn't work because it is "cached", ie as stored on your machine, not live from t'net. So you get it but we don't. I think this should do the trick though:-
Oral History - John V. Diamond
Very interesting article, and very appropriately "period"!
Chugalug2 is offline  
Old 7th Aug 2013, 13:53
  #4135 (permalink)  
Danny42C
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Chugalug,

Thank you, as always, for your kind advice and assistance from my earliest days in that cyberspace in which I blunder about like a bull in a chinashop.

It's the Old Dog/New Tricks problem, I'm afraid !

By the way, did you have these net curtains/hammocks (?) in your Hastings and C-130s ? Are there no lengths to which the RAF will not go to pamper the pax ? In my day you had your shallow metal bowl to sit in in the Daks, and that's your lot. Kip ? - what's the matter with the floor ? (if you were lucky, you could grab a mailbag or two).

Happy days, Danny.
 
Old 7th Aug 2013, 15:04
  #4136 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: east ESSEX
Posts: 4,449
Received 31 Likes on 22 Posts
Danny,bit of `sideslip` here,but Smuj will no doubt be along to regale tales of `hammock slinging`...I think it was/is the first important part of the GE`s Course..
There have been several occasions where GEs have not made it back to the crew accomodation as they have worked overnight to get `Albert` (C130) serviceable,and have been found peacefully snoring when the Flt Eng turned up..They were well known for cat-napping anywhere,even across bar-stools....!
Great bunch of guys,and now dolls ,even...
sycamore is offline  
Old 7th Aug 2013, 16:36
  #4137 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Often in Jersey, but mainly in the past.
Age: 78
Posts: 7,633
Received 82 Likes on 39 Posts
Hammocks? Had a pleasant 2-day trip from Lyneham to Little Rock in a Herc, with my string hammock slung from the beams above the ramp. Bit cold [ice on the ac skin inside] but a very soothing swinging motion.

Anyway - back to Danny42c. It's his party right now.

Last edited by MPN11; 7th Aug 2013 at 16:36.
MPN11 is online now  
Old 7th Aug 2013, 19:43
  #4138 (permalink)  
Danny42C
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Danny sees an Enemy in the Camp.

(This is taking me away from Sleap and my main thread, but that's my own fault, I started it, so I must tell the whole story)....D.

Of course the challenge was taken up; Providence put a hidden gremlin into the mix. After each "run", Tracker spins his little wheel down ready for the next customer. He would appear at the limit of range, say 7-8 miles. Director would have the aircraft down to 1500 ft at that point, at circuit speed, cockpit checks complete and three greens for landing (or whatever), ready for his handover to Talkdown at 6-7 miles.

But at 7 miles Glide Path is at 2100 ft, so Tracker's blip is so far down under that even at maximum depression he can't get his line onto the blip until, with the reducing range, the blip plods along (right to left) till it approaches the sloping GlidePath. * Then, as the range continues to close, he winds up steadily to keep his line exactly over the blip. That's all he has to do.

* ILS Glidepath needle (noted by one who has only ever "flown" them in the Link) behaves in a similar way.

Talkdown has one eye on his own blip, and the other on the Errormeter. When his blip first appears at limit of range, E/mtr needle will show at bottom stop. Then as range closes it rises steadily until at 50 ft below G/Path, Talkdown will say: "Do not acknowledge further instructions, you are five miles from touch down, commence descent at your normal rate of descent" - and the game's on, to end (you both hope) 2 minutes later with the rubber on the runway and another Satisfied Customer. Our Gremlin bides his time.

He is crafty beyond belief. Unerringly he goes for the weak point - the Tracker's cursor. (Surely not !) After each run, Tracker spins the little wheel down. Sometimes (repeatedly ?) it hits the stop with a bit of a bump. The pea bulb in the cursor may be jerked just a wee bit out of position. This may introduce a danger out of all proportion to its insignificant cause.

The light is, as it were, "contained" inside the cursor, but behaves in strange ways. With the pea bulb dead centre, the scribed line should get all the illumination, the top and bottom edges remain unlit and invisible (or at least faint) over the tube. But if it's out of position on Tracker's cursor? A case can arise (and cases had arisen at Sleap) in which the top or bottom edge of the Cursor was so much more brightly illuminated than the scribed line that it could easily be mistaken for it. It was not uncommon for two lines to appear at the same time; Tracker could interpret these as top edge over scribed, and so follow the lower, whereas what he was actually seeing was scribed over bottom, and he was following that.

Suppose this went unnoticed in the darkened Truck, what would be the effect ? Tracker would wait for his next blip as before. His false line is lower than the true one, so the blip would meet it sooner (by about half a mile, but that need not worry him, the aircraft is not always exactly at 1500 ft when it appears). Talkdown's E/mtr would bestir itself a bit early, no cause for alarm, the system should easily accommodate a bit of deviation if it is properly set-up.

Now the situation would develop with all the inevitability of a Greek tragedy. Everything would look and sound absolutely normal to any observer. The aircraft continues on the G/path - E/mtr says so. Talkdown is happy, Pilot is happy.

But he's on a false glide path - about 150 ft below the true one. If he continues on it, head down in cockpit on instruments until told to "Look ahead for the Runway" (as a good Pilot should be), he will touch down among the approach lights about a half-mile short of the threshold. And no one can work out why.

Ring any bells, anyone ?

From an armchair, it is easy to pick out "Why didn't"s. Why didn't Tracker see that his line no longer met ground at touchdown, but half a mile before, while Talkdown is saying "you're on the glidepath ?" (but Tracker's orders are to keep the line on the blip, nothing more, all the time - he is to mind his own business, and nobody else's).

Why didn't Talkdown query the aircraft height when it looked to be meeting G/path half a mile too soon ? (why should he, talk-down would last about 15 seconds longer, but that was all).

IMHO, it could all so easily have been avoided. That was the real tragedy.

More about that next time, to round off a story in which four good men had died.

(I must make it clear that my attribution of this cause to the accident in question is entirely subjective - I cannot prove it, but I firmly believe it, and it was a belief shared by all the Sleap instructional body at the time).

Goodnight once more, chaps,

Danny42C.


For the want of a nail.....
 
Old 7th Aug 2013, 20:27
  #4139 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Wiltshire
Age: 70
Posts: 2,063
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Sycamore, thanks for that (mate) I feel obliged to produce a small diversion.

Life in the hammock.

I learned, very early, In my career as a Ground Engineer that a hammock was an essential item of increasing your operational efficiency. Many was the pond crossing, 12 plus hour leg et al where, landing with a minimum 14 hour ground time produced snags, which ensured that I would not see the back of that particular airfield until departure, with my rested crew. I offer one, recollection of a route of my own, where the hammock proved the saviour of the Queens shilling.

I was tasked, mid Gulf War one, to a trip to Travis AFB, California (I had never been to California). Our job was to collect and return some of the latest Sidewinders available (I believe they delivered a head on attack capability). Routing was Lyneham - N/s Gander - Travis (24 hrs crew rest) - Gander - Lyneham. Funny thing, this was a "rest trip" from having already spent 30 plus days in theatre, and due back to Riyadh less than a week of return from this. I was knackered. All went well, until we landed at Travis AFB, home to Lockheed C141, where on landing the Flt Eng informed me that the "Cargo bay conditioning pack was not working very well", and of a couple of other minor snags. Off went the boys to downtown wherever, and I, having had a lovely 9 hours of hammock, set to the snags. The main prob was the cargo bay pack, I had a replacement for the broken FCSOV (Flow Control and Shut Off Valve) but no sealing gaskets in the Fly away pack, sadly I have to admit I failed as a decent GE because I should have had them in my bits and bobs bag. Anyway, a bit of walking round the airfield, arrested twice and finally bumping in to a C141 Crew Chief lead to my acquiring the bits I needed. I put it all back together and fixed the other bits and bobs. The crew arrived, 2 hours before our "on time", take off time. I had the Flight Eng run the GTC and run the Cargo pack to leak check the FCSOV. All well and as I'm putting the panel back on, a thing the size of a humming bird alighted on my left arm and stung me. It looked like a wasp, but about 5 times the size we get in blighty. The royals arrive just after, all is well and we zoom off into the atmosphere to get the cargo home.

As we could not make Gander direct from Travis, a refuel stop was scheduled at Offutt AFB. The Loady woke me top of the drop in to Offutt, bugger, my left arm was twice its normal size, in fact to relieve the pressure I had to cut through the arm of my growbag. We landed, Nav says "I'm taking the GE to sick quarters, this thing is looking bad". Flt Eng says, I'll do the refuel etc, Captain and Co go to ops to Flight Plan. Long story short, I, the GE get grounded by the USAF Doctor for 24 hours. On return to the aircraft the Nav explains this to Captain, who says, "OK, I'll ring ATFOC (Air Transport Fleet Operations Cell at HQ Strike (Commonly known by crews as Fatcock)) and we will be leaving the GE here. The Flt Eng can do the servicing at Gander and back to Lyneham on time". On return from Ops the Captain, looking a bit nonplussed, says that Fatcock said to remain with the GE and take the 24 hour hit, depart after the 24 hour delay and flag (refuel stop) Gander for Lyneham. I never heard of an aircraft being delayed for a GE, and have to say that the Captains first suggestion made good sense, however, mere mortals down route must obey the mighty Fatcock.

On arriving at our hotel, and being full of "big wasp" venom, along with about 5 jabs and 10 or so pills, I turned up in the bar for the crew "wind down beer". I believe I got around half a pint down before I fell off the bar stool. For me, Offutt was a crap night stop (I bet Beagle knows better from Vulcan days). I was cleared to fly the next day and we set off. I wore my growbag with one sleeve missing, and slept most of the way back home in my hammock. I did do the turn round and refuel at Gander. I did do a straight 24 hrs from landing to take off at Travis on that trip, which may have made my ability to resist the sting from the big Wapppity a bit dodgy. But for me, and the rest if the crew, it was a hell of a long trip. I could relate many more times when the simple hammock allowed me to be fit and ready to work on arrival, and, allowed the aircraft to depart on time. The hammock, like the GEs wallet is a mysterious device !!!

Now, back on thread with Danny. Apologies for the diversion, I plead a slight challenge earlier.

Smudge

Last edited by smujsmith; 7th Aug 2013 at 22:13.
smujsmith is offline  
Old 7th Aug 2013, 20:52
  #4140 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hove
Age: 71
Posts: 1,026
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
sycamore,

You brought back a memory for me.

Back in the early 80's I worked for a civil american airline (Transamerica) which operated C-130's, well the L100 version to be more correct.

Now us folk in ops were allowed to odd fam trip and I got given one which was a nice run around for a few days. BCAL (as pax) to Frankfurt followed by the L100 Frankfurt-Cairo-Amsterdam-Gatwick.

So clicker gets to Cairo in the aircraft carrying some electrical gear. We get on the parking spot and await the offloading crew, and wait, and wait until finally they turn up. By this time flight deck crew have been fast asleep for a few hours. Again after a long wait the cargo is off loaded although I spend most of the time making sure the loadies don't raid the crew supplies.

Next is to load a cargo of green beans back to Amsterdam and so the Loadmaster and I wait and wait etc (you know the drill now) and at long last it turns up. Now Egyptian loadies are not known for their thinking and most of our time is spent rearranging their efforts in order to keep within C of G limits and where I was shown how to roughly check it was OK using a fag packet and the nosewheel strut (packet fits with lots of room=tail heavy and can't fit in gap=nose heavy).

By the time this has finished there's only a couple of hours left of the 14hr crew rest so we both go to the hotel to wash, change and back out to the airport.

Now all the time we are there the aircraft is guarded by the Egyptian armed forces, who like the loadies were more interested in nicking food and fags from the aircraft.

We get to the aircraft and among others there is a squadie, with AK47, standing between props 1 & 2 which the crew want to start. Micky, our Loadmaster is standing in front of the engine pointing to the props and making circles with his hand. Abdul stares at him. More circles, more staring. Finally Micky decides more positive action is required and grabs Abdul and pulls him away. Abdul gets slightly annoyed and goes to unsling his AK47. Captain takes note and so starts both engines, albeit against normal op procedures. Abdul then twigs how close he was to getting a good number 1 haircut and decides the ramp is not the place to be and legs it. We all decide that if he gets into the next Olympics he's going to beat Seb Coe hands down.

We are now up at FL190 when number 2 decides it didn't like the earlier treatment and wants to overheat. That results in a diversion to Athens and a 3 hour stay on the ground until a herk engineer is found and problem sorted.

Clicker is now knackered and wanders back to the cargo hold, rests his clapped out body onto a few cardboard boxes of green beans and falls asleep completely ignoring four noisy Allison engines a few feet away.

That was my only ops trip in 7 years service!

Last edited by clicker; 7th Aug 2013 at 20:58.
clicker is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.