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Dom War Stories

Old 24th Jan 2011, 15:56
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Late '70s, old Shack mate and I were posted to the same Nimrod course. He was a Dom Staff Pilot at Finningley, whilst I was a JP QFI at Linton - not a million miles away. He rang me and suggested that we should both go to St Mawgan and sort out our MQs.

So, three days later, Dom arrives at Linton, I climb on board, we have lunch at Sun Station South, and I am back in the bar at Linton in time for a Samuel Smith's or twain.

OC Flying had been asking who was the VIP he didn't know about. When he discovered that said 'VIP' was a Flight Lieutenant on his staff, he laughed and bought me a pint!
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Old 25th Jan 2011, 19:24
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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State of Emergency

Nav Instructor to stude "Right Sonny, time for your simulated emmergency call on Guard. Are you happy with the Format?"

Stude nav "Yes Sir"

Nav Instructor "Off you go then, just press the tit and speak"

Stude nav, presses tit, pauses "MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY....."

Nav Instructor "WHAT THE F***, GET OFF THE BL***DY RADIO YOU STUPID A**E"

Dom Pilot "SHUT UP YOU LOT BACK THERE, I AM TRYING TO COPY A BL***DY MAYDAY!!!!"

Happy Days!
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Old 26th Jan 2011, 17:06
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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Not a war story per se, but I was always amazed at the number of tins of 'weightless' beer that could be accommodated in the aisle when returning from a landaway in Germany.

Headroom was at a bit of a premium on those return legs too, I seem to recall.
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Old 26th Jan 2011, 17:54
  #24 (permalink)  
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Ah, but it was only a 2-man crew.














the four passengers are a lot lighter.
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Old 1st Feb 2011, 01:06
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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Late 80s/Early 90s?

Who was that pilot who used to be asleep before top of climb??
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Old 1st Feb 2011, 01:50
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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Who was that pilot who used to be asleep before top of climb??
On a Dom I'd suggest it would be almost all of them...
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Old 1st Feb 2011, 03:30
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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Ah the good old days when the tired pilots would hand over control to the RHS. Remember one trip when just after rotate the captain said you have control.......he had been told that we get grumpy when we dont get to fly too much...... but not that soon after rotate we talked about it and he was much happier with the real story.
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Old 1st Feb 2011, 04:13
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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Ah the good old days when the tired pilots would hand over control to the RHS. Remember one trip when just after rotate the captain said you have control.......he had been told that we get grumpy when we dont get to fly too much...... but not that soon after rotate we talked about it and he was much happier with the real story.
Not that unusual actually. I was a staff pilot on Doms 87-92 and quite a few of the LLTS Nav Instructors were quite useful pilots. With one of them I usually had my hands on the control column twice each sortie - once to unlock the flying controls before take-off and once to lock them again after landing. My Navigating was far more dangerous than his flying.
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Old 1st Feb 2011, 09:23
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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Not that unusual actually. I was a staff pilot on Doms 87-92 and quite a few of the LLTS Nav Instructors were quite useful pilots. With one of them I usually had my hands on the control column twice each sortie - once to unlock the flying controls before take-off and once to lock them again after landing. My Navigating was far more dangerous than his flying.
While I was holding in the Nav Sim at FY prior to starting my OCU, I was invited to participate in an overnight Dom SCT to Wildenwrath - we had to pick up the German Exchange Officer who had been home on business. We arrived at lunchtime - a few beers were followed by a trip to the NAAFI to buy our Duty Free which was promptly drunk during the afternoon. Another batch of Duty Free was bought in time for the bar to re-open in the evening. As the bar closed, our pilot met an old mate leading to our duty frees being consumed again. Next morning, our pilot was not feeling particularly well but fortunately the Nav Instructor was working his way towards a CPL, and he flew us home with me (a group 1 Nav) quickly learning about airways flying in the back. The pilot enjoyed a good sleep for most of the way home.
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Old 1st Feb 2011, 18:30
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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Not that unusual actually. I was a staff pilot on Doms 87-92 and quite a few of the LLTS Nav Instructors were quite useful pilots.
Yeah,
but unfortunately Fergie is an Eng, and the closest I ever saw him manage by way of fine control of an aerial chariot was to hit the throttle quadrant with a spanner. (Fair enough, I think he was aiming at the Co-pilot at the time, but missed).

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Old 1st Feb 2011, 19:47
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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Spanner Dave.....seem to remember having a baseball bat with co-pilot co-ordinator written on it, that was for real bad mistakes I suppose the occasional spanner was for trivia.....But I didnt miss that often!!!!!
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Old 2nd Feb 2011, 08:43
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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Who was that pilot who used to be asleep before top of climb??
His first name was Pete if I remember correctly and 3 times in one trip I had to nudge him. Worst still was one of the Dom pilots who had the autopilot engaged in azimuth at low level and just pushed and pulled on the stick to get over the bumps. He may have been ex Victors and I remember him asking to see where we were of the med level map whilst at 500' west of Montrose.
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Old 2nd Feb 2011, 10:40
  #33 (permalink)  
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Talking of ex-Victors, one driver some 30 years ago whose name goes with Baa, had been the Co on the same crew as my co-nav had been plotter.

We did the low level sortie over the far north of Scotland. With KM navigating we flew a straight line route over every hill and corrie. When is came to my turn we snaked every which way staying as near 500 feet as we could and grabbing radar fixes when I could.

On recovery he blithly declared internal aids to land and left me to do a radar approach from TOD on to the runway - thanks!

He said that as I had been a Nav Rad (8 years previous) he knew I could do it.
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Old 2nd Feb 2011, 18:32
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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Well,
here's a boring siggie stude story (in 15 chapters) then....feel free to skip it...

1) Radio (HF) trip, late 1978, I climbed aboard and found the morse key was physically broken. I have no idea why, but we continued, and I pulled the wires out of the key and sent morse by, essentially, banging them together. The Sqn Ldr screen kept passing me contact reports. Now, my morse was so ropey that I probably improved as a result, but I was a bit surprised in the debrief (I thought I'd get at least a DFM for it) to hear that the problem obviously wasn't too bad as I had been able to keep sending messages out no bother.

2) Or, more interesting (ie a 2 on a 1-50 scale) - late afternoon, we go out to fly up by Aberdeen. I get into the RHS after climbout, pilot (to my surprise - I still believed in "steely-eyed killers" back then) - has a back support and glasses. Viewed side on his glasses are clearly quite powerful, sod 'X diopter lenses' these are more like 10 x 50 Bausch & Lombs, or those 6" binos they used to sell in Exchange and Mart ex-Russian borderguards....

Anyway, 'Yorkshire ATC (or whatever) to piddly jet, air defence traffic in your 10 O'clock, call visual'...

"Can you see them yet?" Says intrepid birdman. I begin to worry...
"Err, I imagine it's that Vulcan with the two F4's trying to dogfight left and high" I reply, having previously thought "It's on his side, and you'd have to be blind no to see them, as they're about 5 miles away". He peers, nose pressed to windscreen, and says "Hmm, I think I can see them...." while I call Whitby ATCC (or whatever) to report contact, which involves a large tin triangle, two tooms, and a lot of smoke as the Vulcan keeps turning inside the F4's and, probably, calling 'Fox 2' over the radio if they were anything like Nim pilots post 1982....

A BIT LATER...

We progress up the coast (sort of). The baby navs are a bit out, my VOR fixes show us heading steadfastly towards Sweden.... The screen Nav is Canadian, he pops up to tell us he knows they are screwing up a bit and wants to allow them plenty of rope..... Eventually we get a fix, baby navs reckon we are just off Aberdeen or somewhere on the right map, and we should turn on heading whatever for home, pies, warm ale and medals. I look out of the window and see Finland close on the starboard bow (well, it seemed like it at the time) and mutter about the fuel and distance to go.

The pilot, blithely confident, chuckles and says it'll all work out okay. Alright for him, I say to myself, he's probably got paid up insurance policies.

As a bit of an anti climax, we land on the remaining fumes, after a record breaking endurance flight of 3 hr 15 in XS 739... well, back then it seemed a big deal, as my fuel calcs kept showing us getting a bit close on gas and I had no idea which way was up <g>

I flew with the same pilot 2 days later, beer is a wonderful tool for recovery.

3) Just before Christmas 1978, trip to Bruggen. Power cuts all over Germany, so we went Bruggen - Laarbruch - Bruggen... no idea what we did, but I was back in the mess completely gubbed at 8pm in time to win the cost of my duty frees and a few extras on the mess 1 armed bandit, having gone into Elmpt to watch the 'moving wallpaper' show - it's getting bad when you roll back to camp exhausted only to find out it's 7.30. Bob H**** (dry screen spent much of the night in a mixed sauna, as he detailed to us the following Monday as we flew back, lucky chap).

4) Dom intro:

I was at the back of a group of 10 or so (12?) studes when the ground instructor gave us the once over for the Dom - then tested us individually. Back then I was actually quite shy, I hadn't wanted to push folk out the way when he said 'flip this to turn the lights on' etc... looking back only an idiot would have tried to demo anything in a Dom door and cockpit to 10+ studes in one go, but screens were minor deities so it was my fault....

So, when he tested me, I had no idea which switch he'd pointed at. Frankly the only thing he'd described that I ever got a glimpse of was the toilet, which he didn't linger over.

Being a touchy feely outfit back then I was told I was slightly above the recourse line, and probably queer to boot. I resolved then and there not to trust my screens again (especially in matters of a personal nature). So I read the pilot's notes, repeatedly, excessively. I ended up, after the usual pilot/stude systems quiz one day, with the pilot saying "I bet you even know the colour of the aircraft batteries" (as my air screen later told me). Unfortunately I misheard it as a question, and thought "Christ, I've no bloody idea!" When in doubt, make it up, so I said "a sort of grey green colour, but they're usually a bit dirty". I have no idea to this day what colour Dom batteries are, but I do know that on that trip I wasn't asked any more questions about any aircraft system.


5) Finally, a whinge, for the screen who turned up 5 mins before briefing, having left me toi find and update the nav bag without supervision or help, who then complained that I hadn't waited in Flt planning for him beyond 15 mins after he was meant to be there and I was beginning to really panic about having my prep time halved, then said my flight had been pretty good so he wasn't going to put me on report but if I ever turned up with unclean boots and long hair again... D*s, you were then (at least), a complete w****r. I bought you a pint years later, and told you that, so this shouldn't come as a complete surprise.

Is it just me, or does everyone eventually find out that flying training is just a series of accidents, random events, enlivened by a few good thrashes? I bet damn near every siggie out there has had the same mix of good and bad before they ever got near the kipper fleet.

Dave
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Old 3rd Feb 2011, 04:03
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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I really had a great time reading this one.
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Old 3rd Feb 2011, 12:55
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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I suggest there was more than one sleepy pilot.

The guy who used to terrify me had the same initials as a Swiss numberplate.

VC10 captain retired, they were so concerned about the load he was carrying, they removed his thin stripe to help him with his burden.

In the climb, he used to scream 'I hate this ****ing aeroplane' and hammer the glareshield with his fists.

I used to have to nudge him awake to change the Squawk . . .

Happy days . . .
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Old 3rd Feb 2011, 13:14
  #37 (permalink)  
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DD, yes I knew him, that's the man.

They wouldn't let him back on 10s and eventually caved in and gave him Andovers. He then turned it down as his wife had a high-powered job in publishing oop north and he couldn't afford to go dawn saaf.

I had previuously done time with him in ASI Ops.
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Old 3rd Feb 2011, 14:43
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Ah, him. Met him when I held at the Dom squadron briefly after escaping from the Wetdream as their boss was to be on the next VC10 course with me.

Barking mad. But there were some really amusing characters on that outfit as well, of course.

On one trip we did, the captain suddenly realised he'd forgotten something, then fished out a piece of paper and announced "Ah, Signaller from Captain. Position blah, we've just seen (long list of Sovietski shipskis) MLA 120degM, speed 15 knots. Which means that in about 10 minutes time they'll bump into Flamborough Head! Send your message to Starfleet or whoever".

"Captain from Signaller, Wilco!"

There followed a few seconds of demented pecking on the morse key, followed by "Captain from signaller, the HF's U/S!".

"Roger, back to sleep then, siggy!"

I always wondered what the boat people at the other end of the CW message made of the bit they'd actually received...

No such fun these days, regrettably.
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Old 3rd Feb 2011, 14:54
  #39 (permalink)  
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Remember one sortie, FY-STN-Aberdeen ie right hand down-a-bit all the way.

Reached the Stornoway turn and the stude called for a LEFT turn. Pilot queried it and nav corrected.

Reached the Orkney turn and once again the stude called it wrong - 50-50/Ask a friend didn't exist in those days. Pilot queried it.

Stooging down the North Sea, practice emergency and diversion to Aberdeen declared. Quick as a flash the Nav came up with a new heading and AGAIN called the turn wrong.

This time Captain Cnut did as he was told and turned the long way round. Once established inbound we were fuel priority with insufficient fuel to fly the instrument procedure. Unfortunately I didn't have my nav rule with me!
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Old 3rd Feb 2011, 18:28
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Wasn't because the poor sod was facing backwards was it?

I had met the aforementioned VC10 skipper in BAH at a room party when I was on Hercs and he was an absolute pain in the ears (the well known anagram).

I almost felt sorry for him, but only 'almost'. My favourite character was named after a well known Doncaster Fish and Chip shop - Michael R. I loved flying with him. Oh and Rod Peck.

Concord wasn't much fun and was a crap Sqn Commander. Same rank, but a perfect gentleman was George B who lived in York if memory serves. What a nice man.

Must admit, I enjoyed some of the flying, but the a/c was crap in my opinion - cold feet !!!

Nostalgia's not what it used to be eh?
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