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RAF Finningley AAITC

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RAF Finningley AAITC

Old 19th Feb 2009, 20:21
  #101 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Ice Station Kinloss
Posts: 26
Unfortunately of an age that the huts at Swinderby were the old ones by the Newcomers Club - condemned when we went into them!!, and all two man rooms.
KonfusedofKinloss is offline  
Old 19th Feb 2009, 21:41
  #102 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Glos
Posts: 8
I always found that whatever pain and discomfort I encountered on the ITC was more than compensated for by the very accommodating ladies of Doncaster. For a couple of beers and a bag of chip they would rub me better with unparalleled enthusiasm and relish.
XEng is offline  
Old 2nd Mar 2009, 12:51
  #103 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: u.k.
Posts: 54
AAITC Finningley

Davejb & CG I reckon I did my stint @ FY around the time you were there I was on the early 80's course. I agree Mick Evans was a top bloke and FS John Hoath was certainly playing the role of DI, a couple of guys on my course saw a real human side to him when things went wrong at home. Sadly there were also a vast minority of sad gits one flt eng arch** being one who despised all aeops and [email protected] miss an opportunity to state it.
Memories of Otterburn and Hag Dike have faded but were important in the building the characters of the guys who finally graduated. Memories of the social life around FY (remember the Buzzard and Bastar*) will stay with me so will some of the friends I met there.
For what it's worth our course motto (penned by a loadie) was "Cheat If Need Be", sometimes we got away with it.
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Old 2nd Mar 2009, 17:03
  #104 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Forres
Age: 64
Posts: 637
FS Hoath,
silver tongued charmer....

Actually, I'm pretty sure he was a Sgt when my course arrived, and was promoted to FS before we got onto the main course 2 months later.

Didn't really have a great deal to do with the chap, other than a spot of drill now and then. (Pete?) Shepherd as Flt Cdr was a nice chap, there was an ex ranker Sqn Ldr Education officer ... (whose name now escapes me, Tom?) ... who was a good guy, very few people to actively dislike although there weren't that many I felt like sending Christmas cards to in subsequent years <g>

There were a small number of large egos, however, to ignore as best you could...it's probably the same in all training setups, and no different to life when you get to the sqn anyhow.
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Old 2nd Mar 2009, 17:52
  #105 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Richard Burtonville, South Wales.
Posts: 1,833

Just saw your post of 19th! For the record, one foot was on the floor at all times (was that ever a 'rule' or urban myth)!

I was at Swinderby, on 8 Flt from 29 Aug79 for 6 weeks, then to Finn. The sarge there, a bloke called Robertson (another tidy bloke) always referred to me as "You there, Aerocrat". Ring any bells? Oh, just remembered, 58 blokes, 49 (ish) Jocks.

charliegolf is offline  
Old 2nd Mar 2009, 18:01
  #106 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: North of the M4
Posts: 211
I wouldn't for one moment wish to compare the time on the hills with many of the Army marine courses, but spending several days cold, miserable and knackered certainly brings out the best or worst in people and is a very good leson in human nature and natural leadership. There was an ex Yorkshire Miner Eng Student on our course who really stood out from the crowd as a leader. Always willing to put himself before others and very enertaining without an ego. Probably the only person to do a 15 minute talk on changing tappets, bringing his own car engine into the classroom to use as a prop, oil and all. Even Lazz and Reves lost their cool and cracked up during that particular talk.

Conversly, it was noticeable that one or two other individuals became quiet and self contained on the hills putting very little into the team effort. Miraculously, they always seemed to come out of their shell in a big way when the DS were around watching and when it was their turn to lead. Two I can think of went to cranners and came back as AEO's.

The best part of the AAITC wa the fact that unlike Cranners, no time was wasted dressing up and running around with guns pretending to be soldiers.

The other important lesson from the whole AAITC experience is if you are on a hill in pitch dark with an objective to achieve, never give the map to a Navigator.
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Old 2nd Mar 2009, 19:34
  #107 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Lincolnshire UK
Posts: 19
195 Aaitc

To everyone who was on 195, I hope this finds you well and I'd like to wish you all the very best. What a top group of people you turned out to be and I'd be honoured to buy each and every one of you a very big drink.

Stating the obvious, but the AAITC was different to OT - it was the first part of AIRCREW training and instilled something special. Those that graduated out of the AAIC have something that, in my opinion, makes them a cut above... and 195 were a pleasure to work with.

Oh - CG, really enjoyed working with you and Ian Leigh on Moortreks
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Old 2nd Mar 2009, 20:20
  #108 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Ice Station Kinloss
Posts: 26
yep Robbie was a top bloke, very much in the John Hoath mold. IIRC our Cpl was a guy called Dave Garstang - had done a few bits & pieces in Ireland, but wouldn't talk much about it.

First morning of 91 was spent in the dark in the GST building getting our introductions from Mick in torchlight, as a Taceval had been called at Oh God o'clock. Us DE guys totally lost and the old sweats getting hauled off to do some guarding somewhere.

Best memory of John Hoath was phoning up some day and and all you got was the end of ........TH. Saw him do it one time, he started answering it as his hand touched the handpiece with the "Flight Sergeant Hoa" bit done before he'd got the mouthpiece anywhere near his mouth.

He also loved to get our own Frank Spencer doubling around the square with a chair above his head, after falling asleep in yet another Admin lecture.....

Happy days
KonfusedofKinloss is offline  
Old 2nd Mar 2009, 23:59
  #109 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2007
Location: North West
Age: 68
Posts: 90
Topcliffe 72

Oh those words, Hag Dyke, in fact I did Topcliffe in 72 and found the ITC a breeze, however, I had arrived from Henlow OITC (Failed) where I had been beasted by experts, well a certain rock who’s name I have long forgotten. I was therefore very fit and had a handle on what was expected, which made things easier.

I will say that my flight commander was an immaculately dressed utter gentleman whose wise advice saw me through the course. Rumour had it he could sing from 2200 to 0400 without repeating himself and had some of the best ever songs from the Shackleton era. Which he produced in a cottage on said Hag Dyke on the last night.

Their approach to ITC was to test you and stretch you and assess your breaking point without actually breaking you and they did that very well. From the many comments made it seems their successors failed to emulate them, which is strange as some of those guys mentioned in previous posts, were going through Topcliffe as students at the same time. I have a lot of dirt on one in particular, he was an ex radio operator on marine craft, but then I doubt he would have told you that.

I have a fondness for the moors as both my wife (to be – and still is) were on the same ITC and we struggled across those ‘turks heads’ together.

Or have I blotted out the horror of it all.
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Old 3rd Mar 2009, 07:06
  #110 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Back in Blighty
Age: 69
Posts: 173
During my couple of years driving the Dom I had my only experience of working with AEOps & AEs. I have to say I was impressed by the diligence and enthusiasm of the product coming through. Indeed the right hand seat student was almost invariably better prepared than the more common baby Nav.
I do remember being somewhat taken aback by the rather abrupt
'instructional technique' being employed by some of the staff, particularly Eng. As a QFI for more than 20 years I believe a student finds it easier to actually learn if treated with some politeness and respect.
Good Luck to all who completed it.
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Old 3rd Mar 2009, 08:35
  #111 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Pleasantville
Posts: 15
Charliegolf - I too was on 8 Flt starting on 29 Aug 79 (my 17th birthday!) with the DS Sgt Robbie Robertson and I think the Cpl was Dave Garstang. Top blokes who were utterly professional in everything that they did. I started off as a techie and then did the AAITC in the early 80s but I seem to recall that there were 3? people bound for Finningley - one a jolly ginger haired Scot, first name Jim, who I subsequently bumped into when I arrived at Ice Station Kilo.

Slightly taken aback by your comments. If you had bothered to read my post, you would see that I hadn't actually used any 'gutter' language and I was simply stating that provided it doesn't cross certain boundaries people should be allowed to express themselves - as I said, it's views like yours that is just the sort of PC nonsense that people get fed up of - if people can't take the criticism, they shouldn't dish it out.
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Old 3rd Mar 2009, 09:26
  #112 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Quite near 'An aerodrome somewhere in England'
Posts: 25,557
50+Ray, I went along on some of those Dom trips whilst holding between a ME refresher course and the '10 OCU. I would agree with you - as no doubt would the pilot who was flying us one day. After making sure he knew where we were whilst the baby navs confused themselves in the back, he suddenly exclaimed "F*** it!" and extracted a piece of paper from his pocket. "Err, Captain to Signaller, you have just obeserved (long list of Sovietski boats) at this position with a MLA of 270 at 20 knots.....which means that in about 10 minutes half the Russian navy will bump into Flamborough Head. Send message to (boat peoples' HQ)".

"Signaller to Captain, Roger"

Much shuffling of bits of NUCO, NAMAT or something, then some demented woodpecker noises for a few seconds....

"Signaller to Captain, the HF has just packed up"

"Ah well, you did your best, so I'll give you a tick for the trip. I suppose if the navigators can find out where we are sometime soon, we can always phone your report in!"

I always said that a weekend in a wet tent plus a couple of hours in a Chipmunk would be one of the most cost effective pilot aptitude methods the RAF could have. If people can put up with turning their ankles on that b*****d turks head terrain, plus a couple of nights watching rain pour down the inside of a leaky tent, feasting on oatmeal block and compo bully beef hash, they should be able to cope with most things military!
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Old 3rd Mar 2009, 10:42
  #113 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Warboys
Age: 51
Posts: 284
Originally Posted by FE Hoppy
Did I really? Well blow me! Was I any good?
oh yes, big boy

If you are who I think you are then we went through Swinders on 17 flight (being both ex cadet FS's we ended up teaching the rest of the flight Drill & SLR training while the rock-apes stacked Zs in the mess)

Of course 146 AAITC was just after Top Gun came out so no one in Camelots ever lost that loving feeling, did they Hoppy?

Some Photos of 146's Wall building in the Dales:
146 AAITC pictures by atkinsjs - Photobucket

As you always went down for a nap after Dinner (growing boy), one night everyone on the room put a blanket on you, you were a bit reesty & sweaty when you woke up!

I remember on that first Sunday Night, Jake mcqueen giving us a briefing "For want of a better word" and "Chester Drawers" spring to mind. Something he did say was that everyone would break at some point, after that it would be easy andyou would pass.

I broke up at Otterburn, I was carrying a couple of Ice cream board 'DZ' markers and lagging behind. Trevaskus said something annoying (makes a change...), so I ran up to him, lifted the boards above my head... and then luckily came to my senses. turned and ran up the particular hill screaming...he did look a little fearful for a second though!

Last edited by Wessex Boy; 3rd Mar 2009 at 16:30.
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Old 3rd Mar 2009, 16:06
  #114 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Norfolk
Posts: 299
Having been chopped from 131 ITC on med grounds, I ended up holding as an aircrew cadet at Finningley for the best part of 3 years - still a record, as far as I know! I worked in the Exped Store in the old SSA, and went on every hills exercise (Dales, Otterburn & Moortrek) from late 1985 to summer 1988 (about 15 ITCs, I think), laying out those bloody pine poles, barrels, ropes etc etc for you lot to carry back down again! Despite it being a waste of 3 years, I have nothing but fond memories of Finningley, Doncaster, Gatehouse, and plenty of the blokes going through the course. Also, I worked for some real gents - CG who posts on here being one them, and the aforementioned Mike Butler - who inspired me to take a different career path in the Service. Happy days - even if I was only paid £15 a day!
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Old 3rd Mar 2009, 17:38
  #115 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: GONE BY 2012
Age: 47
Posts: 151
How many ex-ITC cadets have gone through IOT?

Just been wondering how many graduates of the ITC have gone on to careers as Officers in the RAF and other services.

Bet it is quite a high percentage - I know of at least 10 from my era!

Just goes to prove that the ITC is the harder course
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Old 3rd Mar 2009, 19:37
  #116 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Richard Burtonville, South Wales.
Posts: 1,833

there were 3? people bound for Finningley - one a jolly ginger haired Scot, first name Jim,
That was Jim Rodger (same spelling as on the aircrew knife). Good bloke, struggled with his weight, hopefully won?

charliegolf is offline  
Old 3rd Mar 2009, 22:31
  #117 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: A 1/2 World away from Ice Statio Kilo
Posts: 404
Lazy bugger

Is it just me or does Hoppy not appear too industrious in the photos. He carried this trait throughout his time at ISK as I remember .
Truckkie a few have done the dirty deed over the years a couple of us had to move to the colonies though does that still count?
Charlie sends
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Old 3rd Mar 2009, 22:49
  #118 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Warboys
Age: 51
Posts: 284
Concentrated Relaxation

He did always seem to turn up at my mixer when I was just starting the mix, which menat he had to hang around for a while.....

(How I blagged myself onto running a mixer for 2 days I will never know!)
Wessex Boy is offline  
Old 4th Mar 2009, 16:21
  #119 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Lincoln
Posts: 2
91 AAITC - Taceval first night! Andy M (LM) and I had just returned from York in his Morris 1100 (compulsory red bucket seats) having had a few and were sewing on our Eagles when the sirens went off. 5 Hours later under a Vulcan with SLR in hand and a hangover to kill a normal person - what am I doing??
John Hoath - top bloke. I remember one of the chaps knocking on his door and being summoned in to find him reading a paper. Stude asks if he could see the Flight. 'No' was the reply, then he puts the paper down and says 'but you can now'! Ho Ho Ho.
Admin lessons always put me to sleep hence running with a chair above my head around the parade square (normally with RK) became the norm.
Hope all you chaps ex 9 Flt and 91 AAITC find yourselves well.
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Old 4th Mar 2009, 18:46
  #120 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Richard Burtonville, South Wales.
Posts: 1,833
Andy M.

Could light a fire by rubbing 2 blocks of ice together! Friggin' pyromaniac.

Top Bloke.

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