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Old 24th Dec 2012, 11:09   #61 (permalink)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: North Queensland, Australia
Age: 64
Posts: 57
Cruising back into Darwin just before dawn in September 1998 on the first operational use of NVG for RAAF Caribou. We had been out for about eight hours at low level, dropped off a patrol of "bad guys" (we were enemy air), and watching the NVG sunrise as we approached Darwin. You could see the 'sunrise' creeping in from the east - until you flipped the goggs up and realised it was still pitch black outside. After teaching night tactical nav by moonlight through an open cockpit window, it was a God-send to see what we were trying not to hit...
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Old 24th Dec 2012, 11:13   #62 (permalink)
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Warrington, UK
Posts: 3,150
Thermalling in a glider with three buzzards just off the wing tip.

Hovering in a Lynx in a confined area, manoeuvring around with just small movements of the cyclic, thinking "wow".

Looking outside the cockpit and being amazed at the lack of any visible means of support(as opposed to you FW types who can see your wings).

Just flying.
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Old 24th Dec 2012, 11:54   #63 (permalink)
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: France
Age: 73
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I'll go with sharing a thermal witrh buzzards
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Old 24th Dec 2012, 12:03   #64 (permalink)
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 59
Early 80's, Biggin Hill OASC - as a naive 18 year old in my ill-fitting suit, walking out of the block towards the Mess for breakfast as the sun was rising early on a beautiful cold, crisp Autumn day. It had the unmistakable atmosphere that only traditional stations have - old brick buildings and barrack blocks, along with the beautiful waft of bacon and eggs cooking.

My first taste of life on an RAF station and enjoyed (nearly) every minute..
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Old 24th Dec 2012, 12:08   #65 (permalink)
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Nottinghamshire
Age: 57
Posts: 657
Laying in the grass on stag at a rail head near Hereford. The lights getting low, suddenly all hell breaks loose and a pair of Tornados come through the valley. presumably having targeted the facility and blow through with the burners on. Great feeling watching them do the business! Sounds corny I know, but it's what we were all there for.
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Old 24th Dec 2012, 12:34   #66 (permalink)
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Witney UK
Posts: 617
If I am allowed another one. As the captain of the airborne spare Viictor for ihe Paris Air Show/Buccaneer crash mentioned earlier, seeing the looks of horror on the faces of the lead Victor crew as they climed out after the trip and then the relief when they learnt that the Bucc crew had survived
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Old 24th Dec 2012, 14:23   #67 (permalink)
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: East Sussex UK
Age: 60
Posts: 6,997
Doing night aerobatics in a Chipmunk with my QFI S/L John Shelton RIP ... Can't remember what JSP318 said about such things
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Old 24th Dec 2012, 23:04   #68 (permalink)
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Surrey
Posts: 348
As a very green first-tour engineering officer in the 1960s, accompanying SASO on a post-servicing air test on the Auster AOP9 which was used as a hack by group headquarters. Numbers complete and noted, was amazed to be taught by said officer how to fly round a cumulus cloud with port wing inside the cloud, and cabin and starboard wing outside it.

Those were the days.
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Old 24th Dec 2012, 23:11   #69 (permalink)
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: northofwhereiusedtobe
Posts: 1,027
Thermalling in a glider with three buzzards just off the wing tip.
Flying wise - I would definitely go for thermalling with the big birds in africa...fantastic
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Old 25th Dec 2012, 00:09   #70 (permalink)
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: liverpool uk
Age: 61
Posts: 994
Being given the phone from one of my staff nurse's when in charge of a major Cardiac and Chest ICU in the UK. She said it was the MoD checking about a young VSI patient who had been admitted following an RTA. They said it was to check his condition because his brother was far away in harms way. I replied he was a Comp A, knowing I'd set in motion a system that would bring his brother to his bedside soonest. Just the very humble and outsider now start of a long chain of amazing people. Best thing I'd done in many years, with just one phone call and the lad was eventually discharged from hospital.

Being an ex PM, thankfully knew the system.

Last edited by air pig; 25th Dec 2012 at 00:10.
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Old 25th Dec 2012, 00:14   #71 (permalink)
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: surfing, watching for sharks
Posts: 3,245
A flight attendant bringing us (non alchoholic)drinks on a reposition flight.

The two TACAN rule anyone?

The other guy was single and obliged her at the overnight.

I went to my room, damnit.
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Old 25th Dec 2012, 00:30   #72 (permalink)
Join Date: May 2003
Location: SAUDI
Posts: 202
Early morning in a vertical roll watching the snow topped mountainís being replaced by the white beach and blue yoggin on the wing tip. Feeling only as you have as a six, ten or 12 year old with that vibrancy of just being alive as if you can feel every molecule of air that you are breathing and every bit of sunlight touching you with this feeling being compounded and multiplied by getting out of a shite desk job and back into the air.

Watching fog spilling over an escarpment and flowing down onto the plains as the sun rose to crystallise and magnify the colours.

The sudden realisation that I was no longer working at it and that is was just happening which meant I was now a professional amongst the other professionalís.

And possibly more than anything else.......... being surrounded by like minded people.
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Old 25th Dec 2012, 03:10   #73 (permalink)

Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Canada
Posts: 2,899
I was a bit tense pre-solo in the Bulldog. An ex-Lightning Instructor took me up on his night SCT. "We aren't supposed to do night aeros any more. Here's my sequence".
Next morning I went solo. Two days later I arrived at Binbrook on a week's visit. We spent the first 13 1/2 hours drinking as it was the Boss's leaving do. At the end of the week, thanks to an ex-UAS Sqn pilot, I was airborne in a Lightning. I got 15 minutes stick-time. When we landed, it was announced that Argentina had invaded the Falklands.

Hell of a week.

Last edited by Fox3WheresMyBanana; 25th Dec 2012 at 03:13.
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Old 25th Dec 2012, 06:39   #74 (permalink)
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Cyprus
Age: 85
Posts: 156
Three of the ages of aviation man:
Pulling the release knob in a glider and feeling the winch cable fall away.
Sitting in the mid-upper turret of a Shackleton on a dark, dark, arctic night and looking down on the strength of those long tapering wings, the steady glow of the Griffons' exhaust stubs and up at the millions of stars stretching right down to the horizon.
Sitting down with a Nimrod crew for a pre-dawn breakfast and realising that I hadn't put my teeth in. .
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Old 25th Dec 2012, 08:03   #75 (permalink)
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Lincolnshire
Posts: 542
Flying an approach into Wattisham down to decision height and not going into the fog blanket.
Merry Christmas!

Last edited by Geehovah; 25th Dec 2012 at 08:03.
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Old 25th Dec 2012, 08:40   #76 (permalink)
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: 23, Railway Cuttings, East Cheam
Age: 13
Posts: 3,112
breaking out on top of 8/8 cloud and sitting in the sunshine
Still makes me smile. Dropping back underneath tends to do the opposite.
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Old 25th Dec 2012, 11:57   #77 (permalink)
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: St Albans
Posts: 72
Forget all this flying stuff. Consider this.

Hullavington Mess in the early 1960's - tea time and a steward enters the ante room bearing the first tray of toast. By the time he reaches the table the gannets (aka students) had swooped and cleared the lot.

And the special memory? I got the last piece
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Old 25th Dec 2012, 12:22   #78 (permalink)
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: northofwhereiusedtobe
Posts: 1,027
231 OCU (canberra) - winter 1973ish...we were doing a 3 tank change outside (large bag tank in rear fuselage)...one of our sergeants was being helpful and taking a turn lacing up the tank,it was a very cold job and the snow was getting quite deep...so the rest of us repayed that kindness by rolling a huge snowball (at least 6 feet dia) and placing it behind his car... but what with the weight/pressure under that huge snowball...it froze solid to the ground and he could not move his car
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Old 25th Dec 2012, 13:01   #79 (permalink)
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Aberdeen
Age: 58
Posts: 17
Flying ultra low-level formation with a Kenyan AF Hawk (flown by an RAF exchange officer) in a Gazelle with the collective in my armpit. Got some cracking photos as well.
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Old 26th Dec 2012, 01:38   #80 (permalink)

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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Why oh why would I wanna be anywhere else?
Posts: 0
Honington. 0-dark-00, the night frost and the fog transformed to an eerie orange hemisphere with the Buccs lurking in the gloom and the shadows of the northern H dispersal. The flashing lights and the air of anticipation as the first of the nukes is trucked out from the SSA. Nobody allowed within the 'ring of steel' exclusion zone except for the cops and the plumbers and the certifying aircrew.

Exercise yes, but that was what we were there for if the real thing had happened.

2nd treasured memory: The trip in the BBMF Lancaster for the rehearsal for the RAF 75th at Marham. Was just before I left the RAF after 30 years and what a memory! The rehearsal was done in stupendous CAVOK weather but the 75th itself was an almost complete wash out.

Last edited by sisemen; 26th Dec 2012 at 01:55.
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