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RAF Stanley

Old 15th Jul 2013, 09:58
  #61 (permalink)  
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could you recall how often those QRA sorties were lunched between late 82 and the opening of MPA?
V. late Dec 82 - March 83, - I really can't give you a hard number of launches but things still seemed a bit twitchy, even tense at times and if there was a hint from any of our assets on or around the islands of a possible "problem" QRA would be launched, so it wasn't that infrequent an event.

What then usually happened was you headed west and sat on CAP "just in case" whilst the situation was resolved. I don't recall anybody coming into contact with any Argentinian aircraft when I was down there.

I think there was at least one successful intercept of a (?(the) Electra after I left so your mid 83 date might be right.
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Old 15th Jul 2013, 18:41
  #62 (permalink)  
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Hopefully I can add a little to the debate but you may have to wait until it's published:

Fighters Over The Falklands due out in November

Last edited by Geehovah; 15th Jul 2013 at 18:42.
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Old 15th Jul 2013, 18:54
  #63 (permalink)  
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Gee ... Already on my 2013 Christmas List
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Old 15th Jul 2013, 19:41
  #64 (permalink)  
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I do not recall how often QRA launched for a CAP out to the west, but when I was OC Eng from mid Aug 84 - end Dec 84 we certainly had one "live" scramble in the early morning (0500 or so) which turned out to be a USN (or possibly US Coastguard) P3 which I was told was in transit from ASI to Chile and which had been on the ground at ASI the day before. No doubt one of the F4 operators will recall more details and may even know why there was, apparently, no flight plan received at Stanley.
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Old 16th Jul 2013, 01:54
  #65 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Argentina
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thowman, these are a few of the pictures I mentioned. The last one (4th), it was shot in the early or mid ´90s according to the sources I have.

Uploaded with

Uploaded with

Uploaded with

Uploaded with

Geehovah, are you the author of "Fighters Over The Falkland"? Could not you just briefly (or privatly if you wish) say something regarding this topic?

Also, I´m almost completly sure that there were incidents between March and July 1988 and, again, some time in 1997. Does anyone know the nature of these incidents? Were they "simple" interceptions? I have information of an argentinean ELINT flight around 1987 which was actually able to overflight Byron Heights or the areas close to it... could anyone tell anything on this event? Is the date actually right?

wiggy & John Blakely thank you for your comments!!

Last edited by CAW; 16th Jul 2013 at 02:13.
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Old 16th Jul 2013, 08:19
  #66 (permalink)  
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CAW, I researched the earlier incident and included one of my own. All will be revealed in the book. Forgive me if I don't publish the details in advance.

Last edited by Geehovah; 16th Jul 2013 at 08:20.
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Old 17th Jul 2013, 16:37
  #67 (permalink)  
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It was indeed AM2 matting. I know because I made the bar floor out of it when we arrived on 18 October 1982. It was a good bar though a little short on beer. We tried to get some from Batemans with a promo picture but to no avail. And for all those who weren't there in Stanley days, this is how it was - ploughed field and wellys - not the usual front line aircrew deal.

Dave - if you want some gen on those days PM me.

Last edited by BSweeper; 17th Jul 2013 at 22:59.
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Old 18th Jul 2013, 20:14
  #68 (permalink)  
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Geehovah, thanks for your answer. Guess I´ll need to find a way to get your book. Any chance to get to pre-order it to you so it can be sent down here by November (or before)??

Bsweeper, that´s truly an original picture. Hadn´t seen it before, thou I had read somewhere about the bar set up at RAF Stanley... well, guess there were many of them around.

In case you didn´t know, by late 83, when the MPA construction started, beer was apparently one of the most demanded supplies. If I´m not mistaken, I read at Wickham´s memories of that enterprise, that some time in Summer 1984 something like 4 containers were drunk each month at te construction site.

One last thing, now that some of you are around, could anyone tell anything about the "norwegian rubber hangars" deployed at RAF Stanley? When did they get there? Were they any good? Any incidents you recall with them? (fires, ie)

Thank you,
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Old 18th Jul 2013, 22:00
  #69 (permalink)  
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That wasn't the RAF Stanley bar set up, it was where 29 Sqn det hung out in the evening (after dark) when they weren't in the Portacabin (where half of us aircrew slept - the other half being in the "Rangatraz").

The Hangers were very good despite the appalling weather conditions and wind. How they were set up was a mystery to me but we were very grateful. Far more worrying was the chalk crusher (for AM2 footage) conveniently placed next to the ramp. The dust got all over the place.

I remember we got airborne one day, switched the Master Arm on upon coasting out, and a Skyflash lit up as "Ready" even though it wasn't "Selected" (!?). Pilot was scared stiff to touch a thing. We spent a bit of time keeping the Pucaras company at the end of the runway before the armourers sorted it out.

Turned out that it was chalk dust in the weapon relays behind the Nav's seat even though the canopies were taped down overnight and Hoovers regularly employed for cleaning (our first main request for spares - Signal 29 to 11 Group. Most urgent and Secret - please send a Hoover).

By the way that is a Pucara drop tank in the pic.

The Sweep

Last edited by BSweeper; 18th Jul 2013 at 22:22.
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Old 19th Jul 2013, 00:38
  #70 (permalink)  
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Well, it looks like Phantoms were near the mainland some times...

Also, apparently Mr. Thomas was a Phantom admirer!
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Old 19th Jul 2013, 02:42
  #71 (permalink)  
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Marcantilan, we meet again... it looks like

If my memory doesn´t play tricks on me, I think I remember Freedman´s writings on some plans calling for some "preventive attacks" on the argentinean continental air bases. These plans were supposedly promoted by MT herself around September or October 1982, and disregarded later on. May be, these document you´ve just posted shines a light on the matter...

By the time Sir Lawrence Freedman wrote those words, many of the documents released in 2012, were still "secret". Have you got to see the ones I refer to?


PS: Bsweeper I just sent you an PM.
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Old 30th Jul 2013, 15:44
  #72 (permalink)  
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Back in early 1999, I was enjoying yet another few weeks in the sun drenched South Atlantic. Predictably, our trusty VC10K had developed a fault, deeming it a 'wargoer only', so we were sitting around waiting for a Timmy to bring the necessary part down to us.

One morning, a QRA scramble was ordered, much to our surprise. Piling into the oldest, rustiest and slowest Land_Rover on base, we made our laborious way to the jet, pausing as the F3s thundered off to the west.

Having crewed in and checked in, the next thing we knew was when OC Eng bowled up and demanded to know what we were doing on an 'unserviceable' jet. I told him that it was a wargoer and that, if we were launched, he could either get off or come along.... That seemed to deflate him and he left the flight deck.

Listening to the comms was hilarious. Someone was champing at the bit demanding to know the identity of the suspect aircraft. "Stand by" called the F3 crew.....

"What markings can you see?".
"I said STAND BY! OK - the markings, are you ready to copy?"
"Yes - go ahead!"
"Aerolineas Argentinas!"
"Err. Roger.....continue to shadow".

When we were stood down to RS Crewroom and coffee, I asked one of the Herc mates, young StopStart, if he could do a little research. Stoppers was a bit of an Internet whizz, for those days, so I asked him if there was anything such as which he could find...

Some minutes later, a yell from the office indicated that Stoppers had triumphed. "See if there's a flight schedule", I asked him. There was, so we duly printed it off and sent it down to the TIC-TOC with a 'you might find this useful' memo attached.

Not long after, OC1312's phone rang. It was the Int spooks demanding to know 'the source of this highly important intelligence' - it seems they'd been trying to get hold of an Aerolineas Argentinas schedule for months, with zero luck....

We told them, then realised this was too good an opportunity to miss. Shortly afterwards, OC1435 received the following letter:

El Commandante del Vuelo 1435
Base Aerea Gringo
Fuerza Aerea Malvinas
Islas Malvinas

16 Jan 99

Hola Señor!

In responsing to the requesting por informacion del nuestros vuelos to Argentina, I am pleasing to helping you with your queries. El Boeing 737, avion mucho importante, flies muy frequente en todos los airways del Americano del Sud. She not yet fly to Puerto Argentino or other destino en las Islas Malvinas, pero yo creo que es possible that, if you gringos let our brave boys back to the Islas, el B737 fly to Aeropuerto Malvinas Internacional mucho often.

If you wishing, we fly el Boeing con los flaps y wheels down, so the hijos de putas in los F3 Tornado can catch him if he get off track like other day.

If you wanting to have details of our flight schedules y frequent flyer program, please sending cheque for muchero dinero to myself.

Salud y pesetas y mucho amor,

Jose B Cojones

Generalissimo Manager
Aerolineas Argentinas
236 Calle Galtieri
Buenos Aires
They weren't impressed. Just another merry jape to make the days pass less boringly....

Last edited by BEagle; 30th Jul 2013 at 16:33.
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Old 30th Jul 2013, 16:04
  #73 (permalink)  
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Predictably, our trusty VC10K had developed a fault, deeming it a 'wargoer only'
Was the microwave dodgy??

Or were you not allowed to use charcoal when airborne??
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Old 30th Jul 2013, 16:44
  #74 (permalink)  
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If I recall correctly, it was a B-sys hyd leak. So we planned to use A-sys and s'by brakes until lined up, pressurise B-sys for take-off (giving us normal brakes with maxarets in case we had to abort the take-off) and depressurise it once the gear, flaps and slats were retracted. Then repressurise it again for landing. If we lost B-sys hyd contents during flight, there was every chance of a tyre(s) bursting on landing (no maxarets) - but that was an acceptable 'wargoer' risk. No doubt one that wouldn't be allowed today....

The VC10K2/3 galley was a single hot cup and a small oven. From which, as the groundcrew will doubtless recall, some noteworthy feasts were often produced.
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Old 30th Jul 2013, 18:01
  #75 (permalink)  
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Late on parade, as SATCO May-Sep 83.

Have loads of photos, and access to some by the first bunch of ATCTOs (TacATC) who went down.

I shall not dribble, but I will respond to meaningful PMs.

Oh, it was one on my guys, a diving enthusiast, who explored the Tower water tank, plugged the holes, and gave us the the only functioning flush toilet on the airfield. SATCO held the key, naturally ... "Do you want to trade something?"

Last edited by MPN11; 30th Jul 2013 at 18:04.
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Old 25th Aug 2013, 22:36
  #76 (permalink)  
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Location: Argentina
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Hello to you all!!

I´ve just received this picture. It appears to be either mid or late ´80s, somewhere "in the camp"... can anyone add information?

Uploaded with

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Old 26th Aug 2013, 07:37
  #77 (permalink)  
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I doubt that's on camp, it will probably be a small holding farm - the Phantom crews used to have great relations with locals and would often spend their 2/3 day rest and recuperation time on some of these farms.... Hence the fly pasts like this.

I'm sure some ex Phantom crews will pop up and fill in the details as to which farm this would have been.
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Old 26th Aug 2013, 08:10
  #78 (permalink)  
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lj101, 'camp' is the word used by the bennie....the locals for anywhere outside Stanley and comes from the Spanish word countryside - campo.
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Old 26th Aug 2013, 08:47
  #79 (permalink)  
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I did a search for you as I knew it had been written up before.

The story behind the photo is written up here on this Phantom thread.

If the link doesn't work, it's post 232 in the
Any Phantom stories out there? thread
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Old 27th Aug 2013, 19:03
  #80 (permalink)  
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Thanks to all of you for your answers!!

500N I miss that thread!! Guess I`ll need to pay closer attention to the other Falkland Islands related threads.

Any suggestion which ones I should not miss?

Thanks again,
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