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WI WO L P a r t 2 PaulBonhomme

“ D i s p l a y i n gt h eL i g h t n i n g ”

Avi at i onPr of i l e

OneLastTi me,Baby

TheFi nalTomcatDi spl ay

Mi l denhal l ’ sC1 35s

PLUS: Ecl i pseAer ospace

ThenandNow

TheSi ngapor eAvi at i on Museum Br ooksFuel-A Ret r ospect i ve


“ Af t er my f i r s tf our t r i ps , whenI ’ dhads omel andi ng i s s ues ,t heyputmewi t ha bl ok ec al l ed J oc k By r ne,a r eal l yex per i enc edol dhand and he s ai d‘ Ah – Ik now whaty ourpr obl em i s ’and he s or t ed me outon t he nex ts or t i e–whi c hi tt ur ned out ,was ac t ual l yt o hav e beenmyc hopr i de. “ Youhadt ogos ol oont r i p s i x and t hey gav e me t o J oc kandIwents ol oont r i p s i xandahal fbas i c al l y . ” Thes ewer eonl y30mi nut e s or t i es i n‘ The Tub’( t he t wos eat er )s ot hel ear ni ng c ur v e was pr et t y muc h v er t i c aland,onc ey ou’ dgot at i c kf or s omet hi ng y ou wer e ex pec t ed t ok now i t f r om t hen on – i twas n’ t c hec k edagai nunt i lt hef i nal t r i poft heOCUandt hatwas onl y hal fan hours ot hey c oul donl ypi c kaf ew t hi ngs t oc hec kany way ! “ Iwasv er yl uc k ydur i ngmy RAF c ar eer as I f l ew s omet hi ng l i k e 45 t y pes i nc l udi ng Mi r ages , F15, Mi Gsands uc hl i k e–butf or me t her e wasnot hi ng l i k e f l y i ngt heL i ght ni ng. ” Eac h ai r c r af t had a di f f er entf eel ,eac honewas s l i ght l yuni que,buti twasa f undament al l y s t abl e and i nc r edi bl y power f ul mac hi ne. ” “ The i ns t r ument s howev er wer edr eadf ul !


” Nots omuc ht hei ns t r ument st hems el v esbutt hewayt heywer es etupwi t has t r i ps peedai rs peedi ndi c at or , t hel i k esofwhi c hnoonehadev ers eenbef or e,andt hes t andbyi ns t r ument swer en’ tmuc hbi ggert hana wat c hf ac e,whi c hmadei tqui t et r i c k yi fanyoft hemai nonesf ai l ed. “ Al s o,t heal t i met err eal l ys houl dhav ebeens or t edoutdur i ngt heai r c r af t ’ ss er v i c el i f e.Bel ow300k not si twas aboutr i ght ,c er t ai nl yac c ur at eenoughf orf l y i ngi nt hec i r c ui tf orex ampl e,butat300k not si thad300f tof er r or ,s oi fy ouwer ef l y i ngat1500f ti twoul ds how 1200f t .At600k not si thad1500f tofer r or ! “ I nt heear l yday st heai r c r af tf l ew l ow l ev elni ghts or t i esov ert heNor t hSeaandi fy ouwer ec r ui s i ngar ound at300k not si twasok ay ,butasy ouac c el er at edt oc has eat ar gett heal t i met erwoul dac t ual l ybegi nt ounwi nd –noti deali fy ouwer ei nc l oud,s oat600k t st heal t i met erc oul dr eadmi nus1250f t( bel ow s eal ev el ! )s ot hey s t oppedt hos es or t i es . ” As i mul at orwasi noper at i onatBi nbr ookbutJ onc onf i r mst hati twasv er ybas i candr eal l yonl yus ef ulf or l ear ni ngt heL i ght ni ng’ ss y s t emsandf orpr ac t i s i ngemer genc ypr oc edur es . “ Wedi dex per i enc eal otofemer genc i esi nt hej etandi fy oudi dn’ tgett hem r i ghtt heywoul dbi t e–t her e wer en’ tr eal l yanys ec ondc hanc es .Thebi gges tar eaofc our s ewast hef i r esbutt hatwass ol v edt oanex t ent j us tbef or eIc ameont ot heai r c r af twhent heydr i l l edhol est oal l ow l eak i ngf uelt oes c ape. “ Themai nt hi ngt houghwasal way spi l otwor k l oadandt hepi l ot swhogotc hoppedf r om t heL TForwer es adl y k i l l edi nac c i dent s ,wel l ,t hatwasus ual l ydownt owor k l oad. TheL i ght ni ngwaseas yt of l ybutdi f f i c ul tt o oper at ewi t hs omepi l ot ss t r uggl i ngt ous et her adarANDk eepev er y t hi ngel s ei nor der . ”


I twass omet hi ngJ onnear l yf el lf oulofhi ms el f ,oneni ghtov ert heNor t hSeawhi l ehol di ngCAP( CombatAi r Pat r ol )onex er c i s e. “ I ’ dbeenc r ui s i ngar oundf orr oughl yanhourat350k not sonapi t c hbl ac k ,moonl es sands ol i dl yov er c as t ni ght ,s neak i ngof ft ot het ank erf r om t i met ot i me,whent heFi ght erCont r ol l er spi c k edupat ar getandt ol d met oi ni t i at eamaxr at ec l i mbandt ov ec t oreas t .I tt ur nedoutt obeanF4Phant om andhewasc r os s i ng mynos e,abouts i xmi l esawayandat26, 000f t .Heobv i ous l ypi c k edmeuponhi sr adars ot ur nedi nand s t ar t eddes c endi ngt oev ademe.Iputon60°angl eofbank ,30°nos edownandpl uggedi nmaxr eheatt o goaf t erhi m. “ Aqui c kl ooki nt her adarboot( whi c hwasl i t er al l yl i k eawel l i eboot ) ,not hi ng,bac kt omyi ns t r uments c an andI ’ m at24, 000f t ,AOBandat t i t udeasex pec t edandI ’ m atMac h1. 1–i t ’ sal lgoi ngwel l .Headbac ki nt o t her adar–gothi m –butt hi si swher eIs c r ewedup.Wehadahandc ont r ol l erwi t habout16f unc t i onsoni t andIs pentj us taf ew s ec ondst ool ongus i ngt hi s ,t r y i ngt ogett heF4hi ghl i ght ed,s owhenIc ameoutof t her adart oc hec kt hei ns t r ument sagai n,If oundt hatIwasat21, 000f t ,poi nt i ngv er t i c al l ydownands l owl y r ot at i ngaboutmyax i satMac h1. 3! “ Youc an’ tj us tpul latt hats t age,s oIwenti dl e/i dl e,poppedt heai r br ak esout ,al t hought heydon’ twor kat s peedsabov eMac h1. 25,andwor k edoutwhi c hwayIwasr ot at i ng.Iwasgoi ngt hr ough18, 000f t ,s t i l lat Mac h1. 3,whenIs t oppedi tr ot at i ngands t ar t edpul l i ng.


“ Ev en t hen upgr ades wer e bei ng i mpl ement ed,es pec i al l yt ot her adar andal s ot hemi s s i l es .Wedi dn’ tt el l any oneaboutt hel at t eri nc i dent al l y , t he f ac tt hatwe c oul ds l av et he s eek er i nt he Red Top wi t hout ac t ual l ybei ngl oc k edont oat ar get , s o we c oul dc l ai m mor ek i l l si n ai r t oai rc ombat ! “ We f oughtagai ns tal lt he newer ai r c r af t ,t hel i k esofF15andF16 f orex ampl e,and ourt ac t i c s and appr oac h of t en put us on t he wi nni ngs i de,des pi t et heageoft he L i ght ni ngandi t ss y s t ems–nott hat t heywer eal lt ot al l yout dat edbyt he way . ” Theaut opi l otwasf ant as t i candt he r adarwasv er y eas yt oc ont r oli n t er ms ofwher ey ou want ed i tt o poi nt . “ We woul d al s o do t hi ngsl i k e put c haf fi nt he ai r br ak es ,whi c h was obv i ous l yaones hott ac t i c .


“ Tax y i ngouty ouhadt oi gnor ey ourus ualr out i neands ayt oy our s el f‘ don’ tc hec kt heai r br ak es ,don’ tc hec k t heai r br ak es ’el s et heSt ai s hmadey ougooutands weepi tupf r om t heai r f i el di fy oui nadv er t ant l ydumped i tal lt her e!


WIWOL

When Iwason Li ghtni ngs. . . . . . . . . . Part2


L i f ewas n’ teas yf orj uni orpi l ot sonei t heroft het wooper at i onal s quadr onsandJ ons ay snowt hatt hef l i ght c ommander swer e“ r eal l yt oughbl ok es ”andt hati twasa“ v er yhar ds c hool ” . “ I ’ m notk noc k i ngt hem,Is ur v i v edandgott hr oughi t ,andi twast hes amef oral lt heJ Ps ,butIl os tc ount oft henumberofor der l yof f i c erdut i esIhadt odobec aus et heywer en’ thappywi t honet hi ngoranot her . I tc er t ai nl yens ur edt haty oupr epar edf orev er yt r i pasbes ty ouc oul dasy ouhadt ot r yands t ayaheadof t hegame,ands omeoft hebl ok esc oul dbequi t et er r i f y i ng! ” Al lnew ai r c r ew hadt ogot hr oughf or mals t ages ,s omeofwhi c ht heydi dn’ tev enk now wer ec omi ng,t o ac t ual l year nt hei rs pur sont hes quadr on. “ Unt i ly ouwer er at edas‘ L i mi t edOper at i onal ’y ouwer er eal l yawas t eofs pac e,andt hatt ookabouts i x mont hst oac hi ev e,wi t ha‘ Ful l yOper at i onal ’r at i ngt ak i ngaf ur t hery ear . “ Thatf el tqui t egr ownupbutt her ewer es t i l lv ar i ousot herbi t sandpi ec est haty ouc oul dqual i f yf orand t hatwoul d ev ent ual l y al l ow y ou t o do t hi ngsl i k e par t i c i pat ei n whatIt hi nk wasone oft he mos t ‘ danger ous ’ ,andIus et het er ml oos el y ,t hi ngswedi dasL i ght ni ngpi l ot s–anex er c i s ec al l edCof f ee Char l i e. “ Thi ss i mul at edWor l dWarThr eeandwoul dnor mal l yi nv ol v eL i ght ni ngsandPhant omsagai ns tahos tof Canber r as-s omet i mesupt ot hi r t yoft hem –al lofwhi c hwoul dempl oyf ul lj ammi ngandus eal lt her adar s i t es .Cof f eeChar l i eal way st ookpl ac eatni ght ,i nc i dent al l y ,andy oul ear nedal otont hos eex er c i s es .


“ The‘ t ank er ’wasi nt her i ghtpl ac e,att her i ghtt i meandatt her i ghthei ghtbut ,j oi ni ngupwi t hi ti nt he dr eadf ulweat hert ookl ongert hannor malandbur ntmyf uelr es er v es . “ AsIev ent ual l yj oi nedal ongs i dewhats houl dhav ebeenaVi c t ort ank er ,Ir eal i s edt hati twasac t ual l ya Canber r a.Bas i c al l y ,i twasat r ap! “ Thev oi c ej ammi ngwashor r endousonCof f eeChar l i eandont hi spar t i c ul arni ghtt heCanber r asgues s ed t hatwewoul dn’ thav ehear dt het ank er st r ans mi tt hatt heywer emov i ngt hei rpos i t i onbac kbyaboutf or t y mi l es ,s ot houghti twoul dbef unt ot ak ei t ’ spl ac eands eewhathappened…Ihappened! “ Theguys i t t i ngont hel ef thands i dewaswav i ngatmeoutoft hewi ndow,notk nowi ngInowdi dn’ thav e enoughf uelt or eac ht hec oas t ! “ Iwass i x t ymi l esoutt os eaatt hi spoi nts os wi t c hedt oGuar d,dec l ar edaMay dayandt heSARhel i c opt er l aunc hedf r om L ec onf i el dt opl uc kmeoutoft hes eaf ol l owi ngt hei nev i t abl eej ec t i on. “ For t unat el yat ank erhear dmet r ans mi tandc ameuponf r equenc y ,as k i ng‘ Woul dy oul i k eust oc omet o y ou? ’ “ Yespl eas e! “ Thank f ul l yIwasabl et ot anks uc c es s f ul l yandt henheadedbac kt oBi nbr ook .Youonl ydot hatk i ndof t hi ngonc eand,asIs ai d,y oul ear nedal otonCof f eeChar l i e.


“ I fi twasani c edayy oul anded wi t h800l bsoff uel oneac hs i de,of whi c h 400l bs was unus abl e.To putt hati nt oc ont ex t ,y ou’ dus e 150l b permi nut e whi l et ax y i ng! Thatnumbergav ey ouenoughf or j us tonemor ec i r c ui ti fy ourbr ak e c hut ef ai l ed and y ou had t o go ar ound. “ Yougoti nt er r i bl et r oubl ei fy ou c ame home wi t h bel ow t he mi ni mum, and r i ght l ys o, but equal l yy oual s ogoti nt ot r oubl ei f y oul andedwi t ht oomuc h,s oy ou got v er y good at l andi ng wi t h ex ac t l y800l bsoneac hs i de. “ Ther e was one t r i c ky ou c oul d us ei fy oul andedwi t hl es s ,whi c h wast ot ax ii natagoodr at eand

t hen br ak e heav i l y ,whi c h made us ual l yr un out of f uelbef or e t hef uelgaugeneedl esf l i c kbac k t ax y i ngi n. upt o800l bs . “ Fl y i ng t he ac t ual c i r c ui t was “ I fy ou qui c k l yt ur ned of ft he r el at i v el ys t r ai ght f or war d–i twas el ec t r i c st heneedl ess t ay edt her e al way ss t oppi ng aL i ght ni ng t hat – al t hough y ou had t o as kt he wast het r i c k yt hi ng. gr ound c r ew f or a ‘ bat t er y of f r ef uel ’s ot heyk new whaty ou’ d Thet y r eswer et hi nandatav er y done! hi ghpr es s ur eandt hebr ak eswer e notr eal l ygoodenough. “ I tgoeswi t houts ay i ng t hatAi r Tr af f i c Cont r olatBi nbr ook was “ I ft hec hut ef ai l edonawet7500’ ex c el l ent–i tr eal l ywasmadeup r unway ,y ouwer eal mos tc er t ai nl y oft hebes tpeopl e,andt hos eat goi ngof ft heend. ” our di v er s i ons , Sc ampt on and Waddi ngt on, wer e pr et t ys har p Uns ur pr i s i ng,per haps ,wheny our t oo. appr oac hs peedi s175mphwi t ha t ouc hdown s peed of165mph – I fy ou di v er t ed t o Waddi ngt on pr et t y qui c k by any one’ s wi t h mi ni mum f uel ,y ou woul d s t andar ds .


“ I twas s o power f ult hatev en wi t ht he engi nes at f as ti dl e, whi c hy ouhadt odot ok eept he el ec t r i c s on s oy ou c oul d get ai r bor neagai ni ft hec hut ef ai l ed, t he ai r c r af t woul d t r y t o ac c el er at eont her unway . “ Thepowerr eal l ywasas t oundi ng and s i ngl e engi ne c i r c ui t s ,f or ex ampl e,wer enoi s s ueatal l–i t wasqui t e happyon one engi ne andy ou’ dj us taddas mi dgemor e power . ” Hav i ng r et ur ned t o Bi nbr ook f ol l owi ng hi st ourasaQFI ,J on c ompl et ed af ur t hers t i ntwi t h5 Squadr on bef or er ej oi ni ng t he L TFasSeni orI ns t r uc t or–bynow v er ymuc honeoft he“ ol dboy s ” .


“ TheSt at i onCommanders ai dwes houl dpr obabl yadj our nbac kt ot hes quadr onsatt hatpoi nt ,andt henex t dayheas k edmei fIwoul dl i k et odi s pl ayt heai r c r af t .Nat ur al l yIs ai dy es . “ I ’ dhadt heoppor t uni t yt odos omeaer osont heHawkbutImus ts ayt hatIwasnev err eal l yagi f t ed aer obat i cpi l ot .Thes t y l eoft heHawkdi s pl ay ,f orex ampl e,wast oopr et t yf ormyc apabi l i t i es ,butIwaspr et t y goodatt hr owi ngaL i ght ni ngar ound! ”


J onbel i ev edt hathec oul dput t oget hera good r out i ne and k eep i tasc l os et ot he c r owd and, obv i ous l y , as noi s y as pos s i bl e.He appr oac hed J ohn Al di ngt on who had di s pl ay ed t hej eti n1986t ogr eatef f ec t , hopi ng f or s ome adv i c e,but J ohn t ol d hi m‘ No – y ou s or t y our s el fout .I ’ l lt el ly oui fy ou doany t hi ngwr ong! ’ “ Asar es ul tofBar r y ’ sac c i dent t heSt at i onCommander ,( J ohn Spenc er ) who was a r eal l y t ough nut , bec ame my s uper v i s orand he nev ert ol d me, not onc e at any s i ngl e poi nt dur i ng t he s eas on, whet herhe ac t ual l yl i k ed my di s pl ayornot ! “ Is t ar t ed wi t hac ompl et el y c l ean s heetofpaperal t hough J ohnSpenc erdi dc al lmei nt o t el lmet her ul esandt oi nf or m met hathewasgoi ngt owor k mev er yhar dandt hatIwoul d pr ac t i c ei nal ls or t sofweat her t opr epar emef ort hes eas on– i nc l udi ng t he wor s t pos s i bl e c ondi t i ons t hat I mi ght be ex pec t edt odi s pl ayi n. “ Hi s br i ef was : ‘ You ar e di s pl ay i ngf ort hepubl i c ,notf or ot her L i ght ni ng pi l ot s and I wanty ou t o mak e babi esc r y and c hi l dr en l et go of t hei r bal l oons .I fy ou do t hatt hen y ou’ v edoneagoodj ob. ’ J ondes i gnedhi sdi s pl ayr out i ne and t her e was j us t one manoeuv r et hatr ai s ed a f ew ey ebr ows–anof f s etbar r elr ol l whi c h woul d al s os ee J on’ s L i ght ni ngt ur ni ngt hr ough45° .

I twasac t ual l yt heonl yt hi ngIc oul dt hi nkofdoi ngt hatwoul dgetme bac kont hedi s pl ayl i neatt hatpoi ntt hatk eptt hi ngsni c eandnoi s ys oI r es ol v edt opr ac t i c ei tatal t i t udeandi fhe,orI ,dec i dedt hatwewer en’ t happyt henwewoul dt ak ei tout . “ J ohn s t ar t ed eac h debr i eff ol l owi ng a pr ac t i c e by f ol di ng hi sar ms , gl ar i ngatmeands ay i ng‘ Wel l ? ’ “ Iwoul dt hens pi l lt hebeansast owhathadgonewel lorhadn’ tgones o wel landt henhewoul dwal kof f !Inev ergot‘ t hatl ook edgood’or‘ t hi s l ook edgood’–t heonl yt hi ngIdi dgetwas‘ k eepi tl oweront ak eof f ’ ,I nev erhel di tl ow enoughf orhi m!


“ Ev er y onehadt hei rown‘ s af e’s peedf orr ot at i onandy oudi dn’ twantt opul lt oos oonasy oumi ghtnot ac t ual l yhav eenoughf l y i ngs peedwhi c hwoul dobv i ous l ynotbeagoodt hi ng.J ohnAl di ngt ondi dadv i s eme her eands ugges t edIr ot at eatas peedIwasc omf or t abl ewi t handgr adual l yr educ ei tunt i lIr eac heda c r i ngi ngs ens at i on! “ So,Ir ot at edat270k t s ,t oabout70° ,ai mi ngt oz oom t o800f t ;buty ouhadt obev er yc ar ef ulnott or ot at e i nt oc l oudast hatwasani ght mar e!Ial s ot ur nedaway45°bef or epul l i ngup,ens ur i ngt hatc r owdgotaf ul l bl as tofr eheatandc oul dt hens eet hec l as s i cL i ght ni ngr ot at i oni npl anv i ew. “ Thebi gges tpr obl em wast hatbyhol di ngi tl ow,i tac c el er at eds oqui c k l yt hatt henos ewheeldi dnotal way s r et r ac ti nt i me( 250k t s ) ,buti tal way sdi dev ent ual l y . “ Unl i k emanyf as tj et s ,t heL i ght ni ngc oul dl oopi nj us t4000f t( t hes ameasaHawk )s omyf ul ldi s pl aywas pos s i bl ei nwor s eweat hert hananai r c r af ts uc hast heF4Phant om c oul dmanage. “ Themos tdi f f i c ul tpar t ,aspr edi c t ed,wast heof f s etbar r elr ol last her ewasabi gr i s kofget t i ngt henos et oo l ow.Ont heoneoc c as i onIdi d( ataFr enc hAi r s how)Ius edf ul lr eheatandpul l edl ot sofbuf f ett os t ays af e, howev er ,t hatex t r abuf f etc os tmes peedandIendedup100k t ss l ow f ormynex tmanoeuv r e-amaxr at e t ur nawayandabi gwi ngov er .Ic ur edt hatpr obl em bys hak i ngt hewi ngst ol ookl i k et heai r c r af twasdoi ng amaxr at et ur nwhi l s tIwasac t ual l yac c el er at i ng!


“ Tof i ni s hIal way sdi das l ows peedpas sat190k t st henanot herbi gwi ngov ert oac c el er at et oabout600k t s dur i ngt hemanoeuv r e. Iac t ual l yai medt ogett oMac h0. 95as ,wi t habi tofl uc k ,Ic oul dgetac l oudof c ondens at i onar oundt hec oc k pi t-t hedangerbei ngi fIac c el er at edanymor eIwoul ddr opas oni cboom and t hatwoul dgetmei nt oal otoft r oubl e. “ It henpul l edt henos eupt o70°t os eehow hi ghIc oul dget ,hopef ul l yt omak ec ont r ai l s .I nf ac t ,ai rt r af f i c us ual l ys t oppedmegoi ngabov e24, 000f tbec aus eofai r l i net r af f i cbutIc oul deas i l yhav egot30, 000f ti n undert hi r t ys ec onds .The t r i c k wast hen t os el ec ti dl e power ,and di v e al mos tv er t i c al l y down ( i na c or k s c r ew)t obeont hebr eakt ol andi nf ul lr eheat ,l es st hanonemi nut eaf t ers t ar t i ngt opul lup!Mybi g pr obl em wast hes t eepdi v eas ,ev enwi t hi dl eandai r br ak es ,t her ewasahuger i s kofgoi ngs uper s oni con t hewaydownaswel l . “ Ial way sl andedonmi ni mum f uelandhadt ohav epr i or i t yt ot ax ii norIwoul dl i t er al l yr unoutofgas ,I n f ac t ,Igotbaul k edt wi c edur i ngt hes eas onbyt heRedAr r owsast heyt ax i edoutandIhadt obet owedbac k i n!Asy ouc ani magi ne–t hewhol et hi ngwashugef un. ”


J onwasal l oc at edt woF. 3sf orhi sdi s pl ays eas on,XP741( AR)andXR716( AS) ,andper f or medmor et hant hi r t y s howsac r os st heUni t edKi ngdom andEur ope.Hewaswel lawar eoft hepas s i onandaf f ec t i ont hatt hepubl i c f el tf ort heai r c r af t ,es pec i al l yasi tr eac hedt heendofi t ss er v i c el i f e. “ I twasi nc r edi bl er eal l y .Onegr oupofl ads ,It hi nkt her ewer ef i v eoft hem,l i t er al l yf ol l owedmear oundt o ev er ys how–Is omet i meswonder edhowt heymadei tt ot woont hes ameday ,godk nowswhats or tofs peed t heywer edr i v i ngat ! “ Is aw t hem atones how,t her ewer et hr eeoft hem t her et hatday ,and,asi twasqui et ,Iwander edov erand as k edi ft hem i ft heyhadev er yac t ual l ys ati nt heai r c r af t .Theydec l i ned,s ay i ngt hati ft heyf ul f i l l edt hatdr eam t hent her ewoul dbenot hi ngl ef tf ort hem t ol ookf or war dt o! Ones l i ght l ydi f f er entev entt hatJ onwasi nv i t edt owast heannualBat t l eofBr i t ai nFi ght erPi l ot ’ sAs s oc i at i on gat her i ng,s t aged t haty earatRAF Al c onbur yand at t ended bya hos tofv et er an f i ght erpi l ot s ,St at i on Commander sf r om RAFf i ght erbas esands eni orof f i c er s .J ohnSpenc ert ol dt heor gani s er st hathewoul donl y at t endi fhec oul dbr i nghi sdi s pl aypi l ott oper f or mf ort hegues t s–s oJ onat t endedt heev entaswel l .

“ I twas n’ ts etupasadi s pl ayobv i ous l y ;t her ewasnodi s pl ayl i nemar k edorany t hi ngl i k et hat–j us tf i f t yors o c hapss t andi ngoutont hepani nc l udi ngt hel i k esofRol yBeamont( Engl i s hEl ec t r i candL i ght ni ngChi efTes t Pi l ot )who,i nc i dent al l y ,Ihadac t ual l yf l ownbef or ei naT. 5. “ Ias k edJ ohnSpenc erwhathewant edmet ous easadi s pl ayl i neandher epl i ed‘ Wel l ,t hey ’ r eal ls t andi ng her e,It hi nky ous houl dpr obabl ygetasc l os easy ouc an. ’ “ AsIwal k edawayt opr epar ef ort hedi s pl ayhec al l edout ,‘ Oh,andJ on’-It ur nedt os eewhathewant ed– ‘ gof ori t . ’


“ Ihadapr et t ygoodi deawhat hemeantbyt hats oIwentof f and f l ew f ort hem and It hi nk t heyr eal l yenj oy edi t ;i twasal l v er ys af e and v er y noi s y and pr obabl y des t r oy ed what r emai nedoft hei rear dr ums . “ As I ’ m wal k i ng i nf r om t he ai r c r af tJ ohnc aughtmyey eand j us tnoddedatme–t hatwasas c l os eashegott oac ompl i ment al ly earandIc anonl yas s ume hewashappywi t hi t ! ” RAF Bi nbr ook ’ s f i nal ev ent , bi l l ed as ‘ The L as t L as t L i ght ni ngShow’wass c hedul ed f orAugus t1987and,i nt her un up t ot heday ,pi l ot spr ac t i c ed oneoft hepl annedhi ghl i ght s– adi amondni nef or mat i on. I nc l as s i c Br i t i s hf as hi on onl y one t hi ng c oul d s poi l what woul d be a f i t t i ng, publ i c s endof ff or s uc h an i c oni c ai r c r af t–t heweat her . Gues swhat-i twasawf ul ! “ Ont hedayoft hes how J ohn Spenc erwasi nt het owerandI gotc al l edi nt os eehi m.Hes ai d ‘ l ook J on, we’ v e got 40, 000 peopl eoutt her eandt heymi ght nots ee any f l y i ng.Whenev er t he c l oudbas e per mi t sIwant y ou t o get ai r bor ne and do s omet hi ng’ . “ Is ai dt o hi m ‘ Whatdo y ou mean by s omet hi ng? ’and he r epl i edbyt el l i ngmet hat‘ i ft he c l oudbas e get st o 300f tt hen z oom upanddownat300f t ,i fi t get st o500f ty ouc andoy our f l atdi s pl ay–butev er yt i meI t el ly out ogetai r bor nebec aus e t hec r owdi sget t i ngr es t l es s ,go andgetai r bor ne! ’ .


“ Ty phoonmadet hatL i ght ni ngl ookl i k et hr eewheel ed wagon. That was a bi g s hoc kf or me, i t was s t agger i ngl ygood.Iwoul d qui t e happi l yhav e gone f r om L i ght ni ng t o Ty phoon,butnot hi ng el s e woul d hav edr aggedmeaway . “ Idi dei ghty ear sont heL i ght ni ngi nt ot alandi twas t he pi nnac l ef orme.You c an’ thel p but ……. Idon’ t k now,how c anIputi t ?I t ’ sl i k ewheny ous eeanol d Bent l eydr i v epas t ,y ouhav et os t opandl ook .Youf el t t heaer opl ane,t heywer eal ldi f f er entandi twasv er y f or gi v i ng,buty ouhadt or es pec ti t . “ Ther ewasnot hi ngl i k ei tandi nmy2000s or t i es ,apar t f r om t hef ewwher eIs c ar edmy s el f ,Ii nv ar i abl ygotout oft hec oc k pi ts mi l i ng. ”



When I Was On Lightnings (WIWOL)