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Horse-play in the Mess

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Horse-play in the Mess

Old 31st Aug 2014, 11:34
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Horse-play in the Mess

When responding to a discussion in Jetblast I referred to an RAF Court Martial in 1992.

Post 31 of this thread: http://www.pprune.org/jet-blast/546574-guilty.html

The convictions were quashed by the Court Martial Appeal Court.

Just out of curiosity, does anyone here know if those involved continued their RAF careers?
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Old 31st Aug 2014, 12:43
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I know that Aitken went on to fly for BA as there was a case some 10 or so years later when Gibson's (the Nav that received the 35% burns) wife (BA cabin crew) was expected to fly on the same a/c as Aitken. I don't think the other two involved returned to the RAF.

Edit: BTW the incident was June 1989. The outcome of the appeal may have been 1992, but the three of then would have been discharged long before then.

Last edited by Courtney Mil; 31st Aug 2014 at 13:13.
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Old 1st Sep 2014, 06:41
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Thanks Courtney.

BTW, I found a report on the internet about the subsequent employment case you mention.

Mrs Gibson claimed breach of contract and unfair dismissal in 2007.
BA said she was never asked to work with the captain involved.
There was a pre-tribunal hearing but I don't know if the claim was pursued or, if it was, the result.

BA faces tribunal
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Old 1st Sep 2014, 08:42
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There was a chap who let off a flare after a Dining In at Boulmer in c 1992; the 'system' was not at all sympathetic to him: he was kicked off station the following day, kicked out of the then Fighter Control Branch and stripped of his Permanent Commission. At no stage did he face a disciplinary hearing of any kind - all the actions were 'administrative'. I believe he went on to follow a rather lack-lustre career in the Secretarial Branch before vanishing into the Foreign Office. I hope the FCO had a sense of humour...
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Old 1st Sep 2014, 10:57
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Old 1st Sep 2014, 13:05
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Reminds me of 2 occasions at Coningsby some years ago. The piano burning after a Dining In Night. The car on top of the burning piano. Fire brigades from a 20nm radius being called out. Who was driving the car? Senior officer disappears into the night. Could it be the AMP in years to come? Someone must be able to tell the story fully?

The other occasion was 29 Sqn inviting a piglet into a Dining In when WW was Stn Cdr. I understand that the sense of humour was tried to the full. But still, no careers were ruined on that occasion!
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Old 1st Sep 2014, 13:11
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The second of the incidents you mentioned, Dominator, was banned from discussion at the time. And it's referred to as the "Pink Rabbit" incident, not the P-word.
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Old 1st Sep 2014, 13:12
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Wonder if these guys have hit that "Google remove my information from searches" button a la Max Mosley.

Not a great moment in Chiv's history, for anyone involved.
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Old 1st Sep 2014, 13:18
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I would go further than "not a great moment", Chris. The Mess was famous for brilliant high spirits, but that was just shocking.
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Old 1st Sep 2014, 14:00
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Courtney,
I guess that you were one of those reprobate F/Os on 29 at the time. Surely the 25 year rule applies and the Pink Rabbit is out of the hat by now! Even WW may raise a smile (or sniff)?
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Old 1st Sep 2014, 14:53
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My twin brother may have been there. But I won't say anything that might cause W to raise a smile!

Edit: I'll see if I can dig the story out of my website for you after happy hour chez Les Courtnages.
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Old 1st Sep 2014, 15:14
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CM

Extend your happy hour. Your previous post on the topic (clicky)
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Old 1st Sep 2014, 15:35
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Thanks, Wrath. Saved me the trouble.
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Old 1st Sep 2014, 16:10
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Courtney Mil wrote:
The Mess was famous for brilliant high spirits, but that was just shocking.
Agreed.

But in earlier days, I was on the first Hawk course at Chiv and we had a rather meagre combined mess, whilst the new one was being built (facing the wrong way, I gather.... ).

At the first Dining-In night, the usual pranks took place. Starting with the usual cling film between seat and pedestal in the loos. A WIWOL knew how to make nitrogen triiodide, which was carefully applied between two bits of kneepad plastic hidden under the block - as the PMC smote the block with the gavel, there was a loud bang and the game was on. During the meal, crow scarers outside the mess went off with monotonous regularity; as soon as the loyal toast had been made, a well-timed slow burning fuse deflated a met balloon full of French chalk powder up in the eaves....

A few other japes, which I can no longer recall. But the bar had a shiny stone floor; I watched with interest as a banger came spinning across the floor, to stop at bottom dead centre under a rather plain (that's being polite) WRAF's blue tube - there was a muffled bang and she hopped away shaking sparks out of her knickers, or so it looked.

Guest of Honour had been a local mayor. Next day, the word came down from on high that such things would no longer be tolerated at Dining In nights - there was to be no noise before the Loyal Toast and nothing destructive thereafter.

Came the second dining-in and the band finished its first piece; the conductor turned to face us expecting the same applause as they'd had the first time. Nothing came, the poor chap turned back and the rest of the band's performance lacked much style. When the Guest of Honour got up to speak, he was another local mayor. He proceeded to say how surprised he'd been - his oppo had briefed him to expect all manner of high jinks, but nothing had happened.... Of course this received considerable applause and laughter from everyone except the Stn Cdr.....

We did a few silly things, but never anything as criminally stupid as setting people on fire. Even 'Afterburners' of flaming Drambuie weren't attempted unless a mate was standing by with a 'safety pint'.....
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Old 1st Sep 2014, 16:43
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At Christmas 1957 at Seletar these Erks celebrated on the parade ground by overturning this instructional airframe.




While the navy (Ark Royal) celebrated with some style by launching the wardroom piano off the flight deck.

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Old 1st Sep 2014, 17:03
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The other occasion was 29 Sqn inviting a piglet into a Dining In when WW was Stn Cdr. I understand that the sense of humour was tried to the full. But still, no careers were ruined on that occasion!
AKA Operation Pink Rabbit (Courtney Mil's description of the event is hilarious)

http://www.pprune.org/military-aviat...ml#post6824605

Which I may add is not quite in the same league as Arson or discharging firearms and explosive devices indoors (the first time I heard of Piano burning, the story also involved dodgems with real cars in the Offices Mess car park (the most damaged car got burnt with the Piano), plus somebody discharging both barrels of a 12 bore into the ceiling of the Officers mess foyer). The funnest story about Piano burning however the last one that got torched at Coltishall. A work colleague's wife worked as a mess hand in the Officer's mess there and he was sitting in the car park waiting to pick her up at the end of the evening. While there he observed the Station master (Air Commodore, detached) and the acting station master (Group Captain) outside the main entrance was having a blazing shouting match on wherever the Piano was going to be burnt or not (The Air Commodore was the man wanting said event to happen, which of course it did). The Group Captain got his revenge later though.
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Old 1st Sep 2014, 19:41
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Spent a rather tedious morning picking the piano wires out of the tarmac in front of the Mess at Colt in 92 or 93. Boss wasn't impressed by the damage down to the Mess car park. IIRC we had bought the piano from an old lady who had wanted it to go to a good home
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Old 1st Sep 2014, 20:01
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Horse-play in the Mess

MAINJAFAD.
The rather annoying postscript to that particular piano burning was that after the JPs had dutifully carried out the torching on the Air Cdr's orders it was the JPs that were left to pay for it. He denied all knowledge.
BV
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Old 1st Sep 2014, 20:22
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In 1975-6, there was a piano in the OM bar at RAF Brawdy, but I don't think anyone ever played it.

A notice attached to the piano stated that, if someone's squadron tradition involved burning a piano, they were at liberty to do so - provided that they would be prepared to pay for its replacement. The cost of which was also prominently displayed.

Whether it was that which ensured the piano's survival, I don't know. Perhaps it was simply the fact that the bar was on the first floor, accessible only by steep stairs?

Summer of '76 and the single seat Hunter - bliss!
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Old 1st Sep 2014, 20:29
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Enjoy the stories from the good old days, the fun police have ensured the mess is a "high spirits" free zone today so there won't be any new ones.......
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