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End of an era?

Old 5th Jun 2014, 22:49
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End of an era?

I believe I am the last serving ex-Lightning pilot still in the RAF. In about 10 minutes, that was my last working day in the RAF. Did I ever tell you WIWOL ................
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Old 5th Jun 2014, 23:03
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Well, since everything I flew is now in a museum also, go on then.
A dram of Dalwhinnie is now poured and I am waiting with baited breath.........

Congrats, by the way
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Old 5th Jun 2014, 23:22
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Yup, every type I flew is in the Museum; hell 5 airframes I flew are at Cosford.

So please, do tell....

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Old 5th Jun 2014, 23:27
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Which Cosford airframes? - I got laid by a nurse in the Comet on a UAS summer camp
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Old 5th Jun 2014, 23:46
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Bulldog (XX654 'A' the first Bulldog I ever flew in), Jetstream (XX496 'D' I flew as a METS student and later as a QFI), Nimrod (XV249 was an MR2 when I flew her), Hercules (XV202 flew that during the Bosnia conflict), Dominie (XS709 'M' the first Dom delivered and, by the time I was on Doms the one with the highest ZFW and bugger all use for beer runs!).
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Old 5th Jun 2014, 23:52
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Hendon is where my airframes rest. The Tornado F3, the JP5A, and I did my first solo hover in the Harrier GR3.

I have 15 minutes stick-time in the mighty Lightning, so eagerly look forward to a WIWOL tale or two..where's he got to...?
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Old 6th Jun 2014, 00:02
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The JP5A at Hendon is the one I did my first solo in - I believe it was Chid's (Sean Chiddention - sp?) jet later?.

I have some WIWOL time from the early '80s as a pax - I still have my 1000 mph certificate signed by CJ.
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Old 6th Jun 2014, 00:16
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The aircraft is which I did my first solo has been in continuous RAF service for 62 years and is still on charge, but it's a lot less interesting than the Lightning so, like Fox, I look forward to a WIWOL tale or two.

A fabulous aircraft -

Cape Town 2008

RP-E tells me it's the finest aircraft ever built.
Is he right?


ExAscoteer
I'm envious.
I was due to have a flight at the end of the 1983 display season with Mike Thompson, then the RAF's Lightning display pilot - and probably the best in my (amateur) opinion.
Tragically, Mike didn't make it the end of the season.


FL
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Old 6th Jun 2014, 00:23
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A quick search reveals my first solo JP, XW358, still exists in a dark corner of Cosford. I remember that trip well. It was around sunset, directly into sun on the very short Rwy 29 (prohibited to studes you will recall after someone bounced their wheels on a furniture van going up the B-road), and out of crosswind limits.

Wonder if my instructor was trying to let me kill myself? Not that I'd have blamed him!
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Old 6th Jun 2014, 01:13
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The first Vulcan I ever flew in, XH 558, is of course the only one still flying. The captain was Joe l'Estrange. I do hope he's still with us.
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Old 6th Jun 2014, 07:55
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Plenty of WIWOL stories every year at the WIWOL pilots reunion!
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Old 6th Jun 2014, 10:59
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Ali,

Not sure if he's gone now but Harry A (went onto F3's), was still doing the rounds as a 1* at HWY last time I saw him. Maybe some old boys from the Con/Lee/Leu can chip in on Harrys provenance?
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Old 6th Jun 2014, 11:05
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Congratulations on your retirement, don't drink to much

I would heartly recommend this month Flypast Magazine as it has some superb articles all about the Lightning in it, including the tragic tale of the USAF exchange pilot kiiled during a Taceval exercise intercepting a Shackleton, which is sadly a true "we learnt from that".. the guy should never have been in the position he was put in, and the more you read the story, the more you could understand the chain of events that lead up to his ultimate demise.
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Old 6th Jun 2014, 13:15
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Flying Lawyer ... So that'll be WK518 then
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Old 8th Jun 2014, 14:32
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Just been reading they trialled an unguided nuclear air to air missile on the. Lightning. One does wonder what happened if they missed.

Boeing: MB-1/AIR-2 Genie Missile
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Old 8th Jun 2014, 14:50
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Originally Posted by NutLoose View Post
Just been reading they trialled an unguided nuclear air to air missile on the. Lightning. One does wonder what happened if they missed.

Boeing: MB-1/AIR-2 Genie Missile
1.5 kilotons...I think a prox fuse would probably do the job! Wouldn't want to hang around after letting one loose though!!
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Old 8th Jun 2014, 15:33
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The Lightning was the aircraft I joined up for. Never got near one....

Thirty five years ago the RAF were discussing a replacement for the aircraft type on which I began my first tour........ they entered service in 1971.

They have recently upgraded them instead to a Mk 2 spec. Must be one of the longest serving Mk1 types they've had.
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Old 8th Jun 2014, 15:57
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Originally Posted by FlyingLawyer
I was due to have a flight at the end of the 1983 display season with Mike Thompson, then the RAF's Lightning display pilot - and probably the best in my (amateur) opinion.
Tragically, Mike didn't make it the end of the season.
I witnessed Mike doing a superb display at the BAe Hatfield families day a few weeks before that fateful August day at Scarborough, and he'd won the solo trophy at RIAT that year too IIRC.
The solo display at Hatfield was the best Lightning aero's display I'd seen since the legendary displays of Pete Chapman in the white tailed F.3 in the last year of the OCU.

Last edited by GeeRam; 8th Jun 2014 at 19:22.
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Old 8th Jun 2014, 17:52
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One does wonder what happened if they missed
From 10,000 ft away,it might potentially look like this

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Old 8th Jun 2014, 18:02
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ISTR that Mike Thompson was identifiable as the pilot of the aircraft in a well known poster of the Lightning climbing vertically.
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