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Swing the lamp, pull up a sandbag.

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Swing the lamp, pull up a sandbag.

Old 4th Nov 2016, 09:37
  #121 (permalink)  

Nigerian In Law
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Haven't been there, never done that.
Age: 60
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If Not chuks......

Then who ? Apart from mysterious card violations (much the same way as a bar denizen in Aunties), some enterprising Bar Manager brought in a rule that passed ownership of cards to the Lagos bar if the person who had paid for them hadn't used them for a certain period. It was something like one week longer than a normal rotation.

That worked well for anyone who had the misfortune to go on sick leave (like me), did a conversion or other course that overlapped leave or had a compassionate case.

Great comradeship and an excellent top up to the Jet pay they got after the Dorniers arrived. Good old Peewee Dick !

NEO
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Old 5th Nov 2016, 08:21
  #122 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Germany
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My personal tragedy began with a night-stop in Port Harcourt, followed by a return to Lagos the following day, a harrowing period of work composed of three or even four sectors in cockpit environment that could get up to 25º C. at times.

Next evening, into the bar I went on the stroke of 18, when I discovered that my bar card had been pretty much maxed out, when it had hardly been used before I went on my trip! Then the fellow behind the bar told me that was not even the first bar card, but the second one!
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Old 6th Nov 2016, 00:40
  #123 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: In the Haven of Peace
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Many years ago when I was going through one of my wild phases and during one of my (several) periods of employment with Bristow, NEO and I were both going through divorces and we were based at old Warri Texaco. One of our new pilots had come out with us a few times to Aunty's Kitchen and to try and drive away the night fighters claimed that he was gay. This was of no use as they happily informed him that they could quickly cure him of that . On return from his next leave he had bought a dog collar and bible and when we used to visit Aunties he wore them and we called him Captain the Reverend Jonathan Gaylord Fudgepacker III. I guess it worked because even though he enjoyed a run ashore he always returned home alone.
I wonder if Aunty's is still there? It sometimes used to do very good bushmeat barbecues at the weekend. It was owned by an expat, married to a Nigerian and when he died he was buried in the garden.
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Old 6th Nov 2016, 01:05
  #124 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
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At one time around 20 years ago, working for Aero, I was based in Port Harcourt, married-accompanied. Henrietta's Bar (now a church car park) used to be a good place to eat out in the garden restaurant and I often went there for dinner with my family. It was also known as the BBB (bar, barber shop and brothel - probably because it had rooms available by the hour, night or week). I used to get my hair cut there and my wife would give me a 'pink chit' so I could then go out for a few adult beverages with my chums without her trailing around the local bars on an Okada wondering if I was okay. One time, I had borrowed one of the famous Aero, orange 504 estates to go out with a few chaps (and a chapess) and after a few bevvies at Henrietta's while hair was being massacred, we set off for Cheers Bar. Just after departing there, fairly early at night, though dark, we were stopped about 200 yards up the road by a man claiming we had reversed into his car whilst leaving our parking spot. I had partially lowered the driver's window to talk to him, but Windsock in the back (who had survived a kidnap attempt in Warri when working for Bristow), suddenly got agitated and said she thought we were being set up. I started to drive off when the man reached in the windows in attempt to snatch the ignition keys, so I accelerated away and he threw himself across the bonnet in an attempt to block my view, let go the keys and instead grabbed my throat and tried to strangle me. I was driving around the GRA, going around corners and jamming on the brakes, trying to shake him off, to no avail. Then I noticed flashing blue lights behind and my chums said they were sure we were being pursued and shot at by MOPOL, so I decided to stop. The would-be assailant immediately disappeared into the night as the car was surrounded by a crowd of locals and a MOPOL smashed the driver's window with his rifle, and smashed the butt into the side of my head, breaking my spectacles in the process. One of my passengers started berating the MOPOL until I told him to shut up, stay calm and act cool. After about 15 minutes of negotiating the MOPOL calmed down, about 200 Naira changed hands and we were released to return to Areta for a well-earned drink. There was a dent in the bonnet of that Peugeot for about 3 months after and it drove around for some days with a floral, plastic table cloth in place of the driver's window. I was picking pieces of broken glass out of my face, back and my derrière for more than a week and had large finger-shaped bruises on my throat as memoirs of another memorable run ashore in Pitakwa - the Garden City . Ah, fun days
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Old 6th Nov 2016, 05:32
  #125 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
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I saw a cat that was blacker than that!

Can't top the Mopol encounter, but as to haircuts ....

The Airport Hotel in Lagos had a tiny barbershop around the back, one that sported a fancy diploma from some London School of Barbing. Since my previous coiffeuse had upped sticks for Ghana I would frequent this fine "barbing saloon" when necessary since the barber seemed to know what he was doing.

One Saturday I showed up to find the barber out, with his stand-in a young lady who must have been his country cousin, just arrived from someplace way out in the bush.

The first part, sitting down in the chair and having a tatty sheet draped around me, went okay, but then she sort of gazed at my bonce, all hot, sweaty and disordered, as if I were the first white man she had ever come across as a customer.

Instead of either giving me a shampoo or at least combing everything flat to being with, she started right in by snipping off random tufts of hair that were sticking out, finally achieving a smooth look, which I paid for. Then I left.

Back at the flat I went for a shower, but when I toweled off and looked at myself in the mirror afterwards, my head looked like a golf ball! This really was the worst haircut ever, even worse than those numbers they did in Vietnam where they would adjust the dimensions of the hairline with a cut-throat razor, dry.

I guess the pax all thought I had the mange until it grew out enough to go back to that guy who had supposedly been trained in London.
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Old 6th Nov 2016, 13:44
  #126 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: "Deplorable but happy as a drunken Monkey!
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25 degrees C......oh golly gee....you would need a woolly pully for such Temps had you spent some time in a hot place like the Persian Gulf in late Summer.
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Old 7th Nov 2016, 07:08
  #127 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
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When we had an influx of new guys on the fixed-wing operation, for the Dornier, a real culture clash became apparent. I had to listen to moaning about such things as these:

1. With one pack out the cockpit could get up to 25º C. Yeah, you were left sweating lightly under those conditions, compared to looking like you had been in the shower with your clothes on! You needed bushy eyebrows to fly the Twotter: sweat-catchers!

At one point we got this new CP Lagos, the famous Fast Jet Phil, who decreed that we should not open the Twotter's cockpit windows, that doing that was "unprofessional." Okay, so I used to open the door instead, until he scotched that one too.

The way Phil got his name was by arriving from Doha and telling me, when I asked what he'd been up to there, that he'd been with the Qatari Defence Force and that the Mirage F1 was "an old friend," so that he was a "fast jet pilot."

I told him that was good to know, because I was a "slow Twin Otter pilot." Right then he insisted that we had to go for a quick evaluation ride there at Lagos. Okay, so the next thing was him coming upon me ordering 2:30 fuel for a 30-minute local flight. "What are you doing, taking so much fuel for such a short ride?" asked our hero.

"Well, sometimes they close this place without any notice, so we need enough fuel to go over to Magbon or up to Ilorin and sit around for a while, and then come back with IFR reserves."

"Oh. Well, that's still too much fuel just for a 30-minute hop." I shrugged and said that it was my ride, so my fuel order, that he could do it however he liked when it was his ride.

So we did the ride and it must have gone okay because he never rode with me again. It could be that I frightened him though. With my brilliance!

About two weeks later I bumped into a guy I knew from my time with Schreiner who mentioned he'd just arrived from Doha. Of course I asked him if he knew our Phil.

"Yes, of course. He was working for us there on an evaluation flight we were running for pilot candidates. I was just there to wind it up. We had a couple of Cherokee 140s and he was our Chief Pilot."

"Oh. So ... no Mirage F1s?" Nope, just a couple of Cherokee 140s.

Another time Phil told me that he'd been a "merc" in Africa, even though he looked as if he would not be able to fight his way out of a wet paper sack. Then he told one of the local pilots that he had logged two thousand hours of "combat jet time." This was one busy guy!

Another time, Phil told me that he'd worked for "the Company," meaning, I guess, the CIA. Proof of that was that he used to dress up all in light gray: baseball cap, safari jacket, shirt, and slacks, some kind of CIA undercover agent uniform that did make him stand out. (I think he probably had on light gray underwear and socks, but that's just my guess. I would not want to tell any lies here.) He would get dressed up in that rig, hang a rather large walkie-talkie on his belt, and then go walkabout down the ramp at Ikeja, along with his wife. Given that there was no base station for him to talk to on that walkie-talkie, that made us laugh a bit.

When Phil hit his stride he came up with a fast jet procedure for us to use on the Twotter. Max chat was 50 pounds of torque. That gave you about 160 knots. (Redline is 166, limited by thermal heating of the alloy airframe at high Mach numbers or something like that. Like on the Blackbird. Fast jet pilots know about this kind of stuff; it's not need-to-know for helicopter pilots.)

What we did for efficiency was to approach at 50 pounds and then chop the power at a time of our choosing to let drag, of which the Twotter has more than enough, work its magic to bring the speed back to 115, the limit for the first notch of flaps. "More unprofessionalism," according to our Phil. He wanted to see us settle on 25 torque by the time we were down to about 35-hundred feet, by steady reductions per each thousand feet from 50 torque. That this drove everyone else at Lagos nuts, having this thing come trundling along at 115 knots from ten miles off, mixing it with pattern traffic at up to 250 knots ... what of that? Hell, we were even getting in the way of Aero Twotters, doing that! (I never did master that technique; I just kept on doing it the bush pilot way, max chat to flight idle.)

Last edited by chuks; 7th Nov 2016 at 07:32.
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Old 7th Nov 2016, 11:51
  #128 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: "Deplorable but happy as a drunken Monkey!
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Chuks,

Drinking all that Helicopter Pilot Beer must have had an effect upon you....that rejection of modern high tech super professional stabilized approach notion with just enough fuel to meet legal minimums so as to maximize revenue production by reducing unnecessary weight on all Sectors.

I suppose Phil never grasped the fact that Night Flying in Nigeria did pose some unusual risks when the locals forgot to turn on the Generator or pay the NEPA's electrical bill.....which could create a slight need for a bit of extra time aloft.

Truth is....I sense you have a problem with authority which very much suits you for Rotorcraft flying I would suggest.
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Old 11th Nov 2016, 00:36
  #129 (permalink)  

Nigerian In Law
 
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soggy,

That's not quite how I remember it, but then my mind was perhaps a bit fuddled..... By the way, that divorce happened after I left Warri and went to Aker. And the next one happened at NAF Base....... Oh dear

Our innocent friend Captain the Reverend Jonathan Gaylord Fudgepacker III left under a bit of a cloud (I discreetly put him on a flight to Lagos), then he went to Eket for a short time and resigned.

He's now the Big Aviation Boss in a large multinational oil company. Who would have thought ? Genuinely very pleased for him. I wonder if he ever remembers his former "girlfriend" who had a heroin addicted local boyfriend who was forcing her to extort dosh from him ?

Memories are made of this.

NEO
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Old 12th Nov 2016, 02:45
  #130 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6D95HdXhK4

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Old 12th Nov 2016, 10:59
  #131 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Germany
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NEO, and SASless too ... I did get around to writing that story, which should have reached both of you by PM. I had to split it into two parts because it was too long for one PM. You are free to share it around, but I don't think it's really something of general interest to non-Bristow types. It's kind of grim, with no laughs to be had from it, but it does explain why he disappeared the way he did.

I remember one evening when I was on a night-stop in PH and wanted to go listen to jazz at the Presidential. Goldie had some transport so we went together and soon found ourselves with two local ladies who were obviously fond of aviators. (Talk about a small world: Goldie had been in the same outfit I had been in in Vietnam, the 146th Aviation Company, 224th Aviation Battalion, 509th Radio Research Group, Army Security Agency. I could tell you what we did, except that I'd have to kill you afterwards. It was really, really secret, so that we and the bar girls on Tu Do Street were the only ones who knew.)

I digress. So I explained to the ladies that funds were tight and permission from the Ball & Chain was lacking so that I was there for the jazz and very little else, that I could buy one round of drinks for them, but that was all. It was simply easier to let them sit there, and also to buy them a beer. Hey, it was their country!

I have rather hairy arms, and every so often during the recital this dusky dame would pluck a few hairs while saying, "Oyibo!" I guess this was her way of flirting with me, getting my attention. Business must have been slow that night.

She looked sort of like she'd been in a hatchet fight without her hatchet, and also rode hard and put away wet, so that there's not much more to tell, aside from the usual argument at the end about how I was expected to pay for her company and not just her beer. It was a pretty low-key argument by local standards, not even worth the bother of her screaming at me.

On the other hand, I do have a good story about a guy who ended up back at the BRC with the hell-hounds on his trail. He'd had a lover's quarrel on Friday night, down the line, when he had kicked his GF down the stairs, so that now he had this vague feeling on Saturday morning that he might need to leave Nigeria on the next plane out. All I wanted was to sit there and read my Daily Telegraph, when I ended up with a telenovela instead. You guys probably only know of his very sudden disappearance, not of what happened when he got to Lagos.

Any of you who have ever read A Tale of Two Cities must remember Madame Defarge, she who sat there at the foot of the guillotine knitting, knitting .... So, that was me in the lounge of the BRC, just recording what went around.
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Old 12th Nov 2016, 11:40
  #132 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
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What was secret about what you were doing in Vietnam is you would have been quite embarrassed to admit to it....and the Bar Girls knew it. You only paid for their Tea and Time in order to maintain the truth did not get out.

The rest of the story is you were always looking for the Page Three Girls in the month old papers.

Just as in Vietnam, while in the BRC hid behind the newspaper, you found it hard to break old habits while you did the Nigerian version of knitting as several heads went rolling over the years there.
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Old 12th Nov 2016, 14:52
  #133 (permalink)  
 
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No, it really was secret! I had a Top Secret Crypto clearance! Of course, so did everyone else, when some of those guys were about on the level of Ernest, that guy with "Know what I mean, Vern?"

We had the first versions of what today are called "Guardrail" aircraft, Beavers, an Otter, and the military version of the Twin Bonanza and the Queen Air.

Life was pretty dull, although once our new CO was shot down over the Parrot's Beak when he got a bit lost and caught a bullet in the carburetor on his Otter.

Another time some young WO-nothing wanted to do a really snazzy take-off with the gear coming up just after rotation on his RU-8D. How to do that was to select "Gear Up" on the ground and let the squat switch do the rest. Worked like a charm, except for the way the heavily-loaded aircraft settled a bit. Cue much dinging and clanging of props, plus it busted the gear. After four hours of orbiting Tan Son Nhut and a semi-gear-up landing on a foamed runway our hero was back to what must have been a very warm reception.

I was not into Saigon Tea (and the Torygraph never had a Page Three). I never got that lonely.

I used to go do photography at this Air Force photo club on Tan Son Nhut. There was an RF-101 recon outfit there that used Kodak Plus-X film, literally miles of the stuff, when we could have as much as we wanted. I bought a Nikon F and learned to do photography. So I was mostly a Saigon Warrior. So sue me!
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Old 12th Nov 2016, 15:13
  #134 (permalink)  
 
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Here you go: http://www.governmentattic.org/docs/...s-1-2_1974.pdf

See page 49 for a piccie of an RU-8D, one of the things I used to work on, very secretively.

Imagine going to war in that thing, four guys and a load of gear in what was basically just a civilian BE-50 Twin Bonanza. Way over-gross at ISA plus 15, out there flying around doing skidding turns to keep the dipole antenna array aligned, for four hours at a time.
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Old 12th Nov 2016, 16:42
  #135 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
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If you Secret Squirrels were so good....why did we never locate COSVN HQ that was supposed to be in Cambodia southwest of Loc Ninh?
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Old 12th Nov 2016, 20:25
  #136 (permalink)  

Nigerian In Law
 
Join Date: May 2004
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CopterDoctor,

That photo series has been posted before. It has two flaws; there are shots of the other No 17 (Warri Shell) in it and the real star of WT during that time isn't in any of them.

Nor is soggy.

NEO
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Old 13th Nov 2016, 02:51
  #137 (permalink)  
 
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A colour version of the U-8 image (non-redacted):


Last edited by Thridle Op Des; 13th Nov 2016 at 03:00. Reason: Third time lucky at posting the image
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Old 13th Nov 2016, 06:37
  #138 (permalink)  
 
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I met a retired colonel who had been in the ASA at Vint Hill Farms Station, not far from Manassas Airport. He told me that a lot of the intel we gathered in Vietnam, actually good stuff, had to go up the chain of command and then back down again, due to worries about the bad guys finding out what we knew and how we found it out. That took so long that by the time the information finally made it out into the field it was often out of date.

Some of the secret squirrel stuff was kind of amusing. There was this little box one of the operators carried that was called the KY-28 Discrete Discriminator, basically just a scrambler with four little spring-loaded buttons inside. You set the code and then closed a lid that bore on the buttons so that when the lid was opened, the settings, not even known to the operator, were lost. The guy carrying it was armed with a little S&W .38, and orders were to open that lid upon landing.

That was all very well, but then we were tasked, suddenly one day, with putting hardware cloth over the cockpit windows of our Beavers. When I asked what was up, I was told that the guys had been flying around with the windows open, when a load of top-secret stuff went out the window!

Anyway, when I left we were winning the war, so don't blame me!
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Old 13th Nov 2016, 12:08
  #139 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
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The KY-28....ah yes....what a wonderful system.

Upon being installed in all of our aircraft....it ensured that whereas in the past our communications were garbled, broken, weak, distorted far too often...simply ceased.
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Old 13th Nov 2016, 21:03
  #140 (permalink)  

Nigerian In Law
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Haven't been there, never done that.
Age: 60
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Maybe there should be a new thread: "What Happened In Vietnam" or some similar title ?

No offence, just saying.........

NEO
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