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  1. That is really stunning Eric !.... cant wait to see in the flesh
  2. When Eric and I started exchanging Mirage technical info many moons ago he said one day I will build a Mirage that's significant to you. Here we see A3-13 to me perhaps the most significant Mirage of all well to me. A3-13 as built by Eric was as I flew her in the dawn Strike of My Fighter Combat Instructors (FCI) course. The Dawn strike is the FCI course graduation ride. Graduation from FCI course is the pinnacle of any RAAF fighter pilots career. Wearing that little blue shield shoulder patch is something pretty special. The course is close on 6 months long and covers the full gambit of RAAF fighter operations. It includes basic flying instruction, (you do a lot of backseat time), Air to Air, Air to ground. Lots and lots of live weapons work. Its full on 6 months of ramped pressure were you every move is scrutinised and assessed without mercy. At the culmination of this course is the “Dawn Strike†In my day this was An Amberley to Williamtown trip. Pretty much all the airspace between Amberley and Williamtown in a 100nm wide corridor below 30,000 to ground level was exercise air space. Every available aeroplane from Williamtown was sent up to defend against the strikers from up north …. the graduating FCI course. Here is the story of my dawn Strike. The day before. We arrived into Amberley around 1300hours the day before. Aircraft parked all over the airfield each separated by a designated distance … standard when HE weaponry is around the idea being is that if one aircraft goes up the others wont get caught in the mess. No time for resting straight into the Bomber bonkers crew room a quick coffee then bam FCI course into the briefing room. The whole of 2OCU is there all the instructors sitting in the rear with 5 seats for the FCI course at the front. We all know whats coming but having never done it have yet to grasp the magnitude of what the next 20 hours will bring. At this point the Tasking order is given. This includes the number of aircraft the weapon load out the time on target and the expected enemy air defences. Gulp its huge Our strike package is 16 aircraft we can anticipate 25 or so enemy aircraft defending. The target is Singleton weapons range with a first light TOT and 5 minute window to get all the aircraft through the target. Each aircraft configure with 2 x RPK10 with 4 MK82 low drag bombs and a centreline 286gal tank. Then the moment of truth who is going to lead this Gorilla? Tradition says the guy who Dux's the course leads the push “Kels†the youngest on our course got the guernsey . An immediate sense of euphoria sweeps the room with us all congratulating Kels. We are soon reminded by the boss we have a big push to plan and time is limited... and don't forget you can still get scrubbed even on the dawn strike for a **** up. Its now about 5PM and the planning process starts. The time line is established working back from the TOT (including 6 seconds bomb time of flight). The critical time is Brakes release at time XX plus or minus 0 seconds. We then establish the Beginning and end of sortie briefing time. Now we know how much time we have to plan co ordinate get the maps done (no PC's back in my day) No inertial system either so its Map reading heading time airspeed. I am delegated the job of coming up with the actual attack plan from the IP to the target. Others are delegated map making tasks, Getting the comm plan and frequencies sorted getting the chosen frequencies to the troops for pre loading in the aeroplane. Making sure the engineers know exactly what time we need to start engines. Working out the taxi plan since we are all distributed over the entire airfield.... one guy taxis in the wrong order and the plan is compromised. Make sure we have the transport to get everyone to their aeroplane on time …. We live and die by that bloody clock on the wall. …. shizer its already 7PM. I have just about finished the Attack plan then realize to my horror I have used the wrong scale template to set up the Pull up turn radius … back to the map draw re do the bloody things. Yep happy with them off to the photo copy machine to run off some black and white (colour photo copiers were considered national assets in those days) copies of the IP to target attack plan. Which includes IP tracks and timings to de conflict each aircraft from each others Frag envelopes. This was done by a combination of timing and different delivery profiles throughout out the strike package. Kels has just started to write up the Mission brief on the blackboard (No Power point etc in those days). He needs to make this a true Rembrandt presentation, Precision aligned text make sure you use a minimum of 3 colours … otherwise the QFI's will be shaking their heads . Make sure the Chalk maps you put on the board are to scale (remembering the Vu Graph method to do that). The presentation must be breath taking to all who enter the briefing room and first glance the Mission.... Shizer its now 11PM briefing is in 3 hours. …. no one has eaten for the last 7 or so hours …. sleep ...whats ….. that might a quick doze before briefing.... if you can clear your mind ! So The planning is done. Off to the mess for a shower something to eat … raided the kitchen as I recall as none of the mess staff were still up. A an attempt at a doze then beep beep of the alarm at 0130.... Ok this is it. The 5 students are their first of course and the remaining 2OCU instructors roll in. at 0159 Mission lead (Kels) brings the focus and shuts down the idle chatter straight into the Time hack …. “in 10 secs it will be 0200 ….. 5-4-3-2-1 ….. Hack 0200†…. everything depends on timing. The brief is straight between the eyes no interjections delivered in unbelievably punchy style. 40 mins later it is over. We have 15mins to reflect on both the Course we are just about to complete and focus on the mission ahead. We “walk†that is jump into the various crew buses to be transported to our HE armed aeroplanes all over Amberely airfield. I arrive at my Miracle for the mission A3-13 looking menacing in the portable flood lighting. 4 bombs on board with little red flags still hanging from the fuses. A quick good morning to the crew chief and head gunnie …. though to be honest my mind is so immersed in whats ahead it was a formality rather than a warm greeting … the guys all know the magnitude and our mind set. I preflight the jet and the gunnies remove the tags from the fuses, the RPK10 intervoltmer is correctly set the jet is good. I strap in then start my Left to Rights ….. F.... ! the freq coding has not been done first flexibility test for the night I rapidly start punching numbers in to no fewer than 15 studs … without this the comms plan will collapse. I later find out that all of us were doing the same thing). Anyway get through doing it fingers crossed I didnt stuff anything up. Right on time I here “Maple Hunter Check ….. Hunter 2 ….3 etc†responds amazing everybody is there . “Hunter Start†… we are off. Everybody gets a good start and the slow planned taxi to deliver everyone in order to the runway. Right on time we commence the line up and on cue The first aircraft rolls … Pitch black The AB plumes pierce the night sky. Everybody gets airborne and joins up in 4 ships. We now push south at 20-25000ft. At Williamtown the same thing is happening as our adversaries launch to their pre defined CAP points. … though a few nasties have obviously launched a bit earlier. Just south of Inverell the first tap comes **** that was early we are still at medium level We immediately initiate the planned initial moves. For Kels and I thats a Full burner unload and run from the threat. This is going to eat up into our combat fuel allowance. The plan essentially now breaks all the four ships into pairs for the target ingress. All still MUST hit their IP's exactly on time regardless of their evasive flight paths as Frag separation is paramount. Kels and I descend into the weeds with the first vestiges of dawn light colouring the eastern horizon. Though its still bloddy dark and getting darker as we descend holding 600Kias all the Way down … booming away.We seem to both acknowledge the dark but keep pressing down figuring there will be enough light to get in the weeds … there was just. As we hit low level.... Whoosker a pair of Mirages goes straight between us … no chance they twill be able to turn around and run us down. About 20miles to run to the IP timing looking good … 2 Black Dots just ahead of us cresting a ridge line …. squeeze down lower don't think they have seen us. We carry on the 2 Black dots pass down the left hand side Macchis ! Ok no problem we are so fast they are no longer a threat. … a Final check of switches … cant afford to stuff this up … all good just the Master Arm to go. We hit the IP I hack the clock and I start collapsing in from spread as briefed on to Kels wing for the roll in. We do this to ensure that the number 2 is not fragged by 1's bomb. I know we are close to the pull up point.... ready for the AB... I see Kels Burner light mine lights up I press a little closer to kels .A firm 4G pull up to 30degrees nose up, hanging in on the wing the Roll in still in Full burner … quickly up to the left hand cockpit sill Master Arm on ...yellow light on … back outside hanging on Kels wing AB out ….. finger over the Bomb release button... The instant I see Kels bombs move I pickle as well ….."Thud Thud thud thud" as the RPK10 cartridges in each rack do their stuff and force the bombs away from the rack. …straight into the recovery. An immediate separation into line abreast to fight our way home. The Miracle now transformed without the weight an inertia of the MK82's. Room for a quick yes we did it and to the second. We here the remaining strikers hitting the target. We get hit once on the egress but defend ok then the run for willy. Now there are accepted rules about low level run ins at RAAF bases but everyone knows that on the Dawn strike nothing will be said so we will "give it a nudge" Kels and I scorch through initial in spread 600 Kias at er about 100Ft Pitch into the circuit and land. As we taxi in we see everybody else screaming in all "giving it a nudge" pairs at time...hell that looks good. I taxi into the lines shut down and a sense of amazing euphoria comes over me … I have done it FCI course complete. After around a minutes worth of soul searching I feel the ladders going into the port size of the fuselage … a young airman bounces up the ladder a beaming smile on his face … that looked F....... awesome sir …. how did it go …. The smile on my face says it all …. Good one he says as I give him the Face blind pin to insert. Slowly we all gather in the flight line hut for us the students its a very special time none of us could have got through FCI course without the unflinching support of each other a very special group of people. Into the de brief which for the very first time has none of the aggro and aggressive (though constructive) staff input that we have endured for the past 6 months. Pretty much everything went as planned bombs on target on time... no note worthy stuff ups smiles on everyone's faces. Then straight to the mess for the biggest Champagne Piss up breakfast I have seen. The RAAF has 5 new FCI's. At around 9 Am we leave the “breakfast†for a shower and a shave then the official awarding of patches and certificates … we have been awake for over 24Hrs Brian Durieu “Harvs †Sean Trestrail “Ttail†Dick Hiser “Dick†Barry Kelly "Kels" Jim Barden “Buzz†.... At the post strike champagne breakfast (RAAF Official) The little blue patch that means and says so much And that it is why A3-13 is such a special jet to me. Brought to life again by Erics amazing skills. I hammered Eric to do some RPK10's from the very first time I talked to him. And here they are modeled to amazing accuracy. Thank you Eric A3-13 is a very special jet and your Mirage is a very special model. I look forward to seeing her at the expo. --------------------------------------- In the YouTube link below to the 77 SQN Mirage movie. The opening Night taxi scenes for the first minute are of the dawn Strike as we all taxied and took off at Amberley. Then starting at 8:44 to 9:44 you can see the the actual weapon deliveries of the dawn strike. A3-13 with me is the trailing aircraft in the very first pair. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ez3NVTem8Po
  3. Absolutely Gob smacking .... beautiful work Eric !
  4. Looking Stunning Eric masterful work on the 2 OCU fin Flash. The RAAF paints names on Fighters from time to time. The first aeroplane I had my name on was A3-12 at 77Sqn. Now Eric's master piece depicts A3-13 this was the aeroplane I flew on my final ride or graduation ride "The Dawn Strike" at the completion of my Fighter Combat Instructors (FCI) course many years later. Now these two aeroplanes A3-12 and A3-13 are linked ... kind of Freudian really. At the time A3-12 had my name painted on it it had just received a replacement wing from none other than A3-13 so it was A3-12 1/2. The Mirage was having fatigue issues at the time and some wing swapping was going on. A3-13 subsequently received two completely new wings. Little did I know then that A3-13 was to be a very special aeroplane to me. It was the aeroplane I flew at the end of FCI course ... this course the most intensive course in Aviation I have ever done ! .... some stories there too As to A3-13 she is still alive and well in Pakistan
  5. Very Shrewd reply Cheetah11 I sense in your ID some inside inside Knowledge
  6. Haha a book, well Eric I have actually considered one. Once I retire which is is not that far away it might come to fruition. The name is all ready set "Oscar Amedee Dashpot and me" would be its title I ll leave it to the sleuths out there to figure that one out
  7. Scramble ! Sitting in the aeroplane on Alert 2 at Tengah in the old RAF Lightning Alert sheds. Telebrief cable plugged in providing secure comms. This cable just pulls out as you taxi off. The aircraft is pre flighted with most switches made. From the scramble order the requirement is to be airborne in 2 minutes. After around 30mins in the cockpit The Telebrief comes alive with Singaporean accented chatter : "Tengah Alert 1 Mirage" "Mirage A3-13 Become Mission 501 Alpha" "Mission 501 Alpha" "Scramble Gate Climb Angels 35 Vector 040" "Call Gombak GCI 15" "Mission 501 Alpha Scramble" So began an eventful trip. scramble from Alert 2 in the "lightning sheds" A quick Flash of the landing light to alert the troops. Hit the start button and 1min later taxing from the Lightning sheds on to Rwy 36 Tengah. No take off clearance required as Scramble clearance by default gives the Clear take off. Already at Full dry power as I align with the runway check for 600deg T4 yes lift the Throttle lever up initiating AB light off see the red AB inj light come on followed almost instantly by the Yellow AB on light. Smartly advance the throttle. Passing 125Kias gradually ease in some backstick, at around 165Kts commence the rotation to 10 deg nose up. As soon as I am airborne pull the gear up. Hold the attitude and accelerate into the Full AB climb schedule at 450Kts. Start the climb at around 25 degrees nose up. Gunsight in Missile mode, Missile Master on, Gun Master on, Verify Missile Stby switch on, Master Arm on. Passing 16,000ft convert to 0.9Mach to follow the schedule. In next to no time level at 35,000ft. Across to Gombak the GCI sight and check in. After all the excitement of the scramble I check in with Gombak. I am told that the contact I was scrambled for has dropped off the radar. Probably gone to low level I think. Gombak then says "set speed Saunter CAP in present position at Angels 30". so I set up a CAP holding 0.9M running East West pretty much at right angles to any expected Threat to Singapore. After two goes around the pattern I see 4 tiny Triangles darting down below in the weeds in Battle 4 heading South ... jammiest pick up ever. I tell Gombak I am engaged and roll in on the 4 ship. This is a 30,000feet vertical conversion on 4 Mirages doing around 540knots. As I arrive at low level I am just out of Sidewinder range but with reasonable overtake. They are really really low and haven't as yet seen me. Okay get lower than them so I am not skylighted. I ease it down doing around .95Mach/620Knots .... shitbags I really am low. I see the 4 ship just crest a small ridge line ... easy don't come up too early just skim the ridge. As the ridge line comes up I ease the stick back ....BAM from somewhere up front, Radar drops off line Master Fail light On, DAMP light on the fail panel ... and Dampers popped .... aeroplane still flying engine still going ...... Heart rate off the clock .... **** I must have hit a tree or trees coming over the ridge I thought.... I was really pushing the Low flying a little .... Keep it going up need to get it slowed down and above Minimum Ejection altitude. level off around 6000feet and ease the throttle back ... no issues engine ok. I declare a PAN on the radio (Green set) .... nothing, do the same on the Red set (Standby radio) .... nothing .... Bummer radio failure as well ! Rotate the IFF mode selector round to EMERG ... if the IFF is working it will now be transmitting 7700 on mode 3 and setting off alarms in all the ATC/GCI centres telling everyone I have a problem. Ok lets start heading for Tengah and take stock of the situation. Aeroplane is flying OK (though without the Dampers ... no big deal), Engine going nicely, No radios, No radar. I get back to 300knots (Min drag speed) and track towards Tengah. I hit final around 8nm out at around 2500feet. Time for the gear hope its all right ....I am still pretty sure I have hit trees and thats whats causing the issues. Gear goes down just fine....Phew ! Now lets just slowly decelerate and see if she responds normally (ever mindful of unseen damage). I get down to 200Kias and all is good. OK lets fly final at 200Knots a little faster than normal but gives a little bit more margin. at around 3Nm I see a Green light from the tower ... clear to land. Normal touch down.... hold the nose up .... wait for 160knots then pop the chute.. I feel the reassuring Tug as the chute deploys ... phew not a good time for a chute failure. I use the full length of Rwy18 at Tengah, Jettison the chute and then taxi in to the ORP at the end of the runway and shut down. Put the seat pan and face blind pins in to safe the seat. Waiting at the end of the strip are the troops with a tow motor and a ladder and of course the Fireies. I look at the troops faces as they approach the aeroplane expecting to see incredulous looks and finger pointing at bits of Malaysia jutting out from the underside. Unbelievable no such thing they just stroll up put the ladder on to the cockpit side and jump up to verify the seat pins are in and ask what the problem is ? .... Ok be careful here Ttail I say to myself ... I just say I frightened myself and had a major electrical issue. I get off the ladder and attempt to nonchalantly check out the underside of the aeroplane. To my surprise absolutely nothing clean as a whistle ! Ok I didn't hit anything then so what the hell happened? how am I going to write this up in the 500 ? (Technical log ... same as the form 700 for the RAF types). I catch ride back with the troops as the jet is towed back to the hangar exchanging the tale of how I was chasing these 4 Mirages then bam etc etc. I decide to write the aeroplane up exactly as the events transcribed but not talking about any possible tree strikes just the hard facts of the failures. Off to the crew room and had a chat with the flight commander a great guy and told him the sequence of events including the possibility of tree strikes but no evidence on the aeroplane. No probs let that be a lesson to you was the guidance given. About an hour later the phone rings and the WOE says I better come over and have a look at the jet in the hangar. Fearing the worst I stroll over and see about 6 troops all peering into an open equipment bay (The one behind the cockpit on top of the fuselage that Eric re shaped . I clamber up the work stand and peer inside ... shitbags clearly been a fire in there. It turns out at some stage a minor electrical fire had occurred in the equipment bay ... that caused the radar to drop off line, the radios to fail and the dampers pop. It would seem the power failure occurred at exactly the time I started the pull over the ridge line. The BAM I felt was the radar antenna losing stabilization and slamming to its gimbal limits as the G came on . Another day in the life of a Squadron pilot. None PIC T Shirt Circa 1979.... complete with typos
  8. Victor K2 talking about Jane . ..... Just Jane ..... "Jane of the daily mirror" .... actually Jane Leighton Porter married to my God father Arthur Leighton Porter a Typhoon pilot in WWII ..... small world .... apologies for thread creep
  9. Australian Cowboy Pilot ! So successfully got through 2OCU and was posted to 77Sqn for a short period then off to Butterworth and joined 3 Sqn. Flying in Butterworth was fantastic ... far enough away from home to getaway with minor flying misdemeanors. A time before Mobile phones and Youtube.. even regular Friday afternoon "Gold top" beat ups went unscathed . Alas not everything went unnoticed. We were allowed to fly supersonic over Malaysia with certain rules regarding Altitudes and deceleration points etc. I forget the exact rules but there wa a caveat that you had to be Subsonic I think 20nm before Butterworth or Singapore. Around 3 times a year we participated in Air Defence Excercises (ADEX) this involved RAAF,RMAF,RSAF,RNZAF and occasionally the RAF. Basically Butterworth attacked Singapore or Vice versa .... though the Malaysians wouldnt allow the Singaporeans North of the KL Kuantan line ..."They cant be trusted" as quoted by a senior RMAF officer at a briefing in Butterworth !! Though RAF,RNZAF and RAAF aircraft could go anywhere. Any way ADEX's were lots of fun and generally the normal day to day rules were relaxed a little. So Along comes the ADEX. 3SQN in Butterworth were the Aggressors. ADEX tasking was planned and issued by IADS a joint service multinational HQ Air Defence command. These tasking orders comprised a series of Lat/Longs altitudes and time to be at each waypoint. In the task I had I was clearly to be a "High Energy Target" I plotted the turn points and the respective times. The track called for a high level transit to Singapore a 180 degree turn then back to Butterworth. Looking at the timings the required ground speed for the last Waypoint into Singapore and out required a Mach number of at least 1.2. Okay no probs its an ADEX so I thought so no issues with the Mach number and supersonic rules. Supersonic Fuel flow data for the Mirage was a little rubbery in those days coming directly from a French IIIE figures. so I planned based on these and if the fuel was going ok I figured to let the French lady have her head of Steam. I dully arrived at my planned acceleration point on time and commenced the acceleration. M1.2 came nicely fuel was good so let her continue. I arrived over the final waypoint (Singapore) doing a very comfortable M1.4ish.... having successfully out run at least 2 intercept attempts.(Their contrails seen) so over the final waypoint lets start the turn. I rolled into a 60deg left bank looking down at the island below. I was fascinated at the Shock wave sitting around the aeroplane its presence being visible by a subtle change in refraction at the wave boundary. It was also even more fascinating that when you varied the G the wave moved with the stick input ... giggle giggle this was fun. Anyway played with this throughout the turn until on the way home. Got to my Bingo fuel value so decelerated transonic and cruised back to Buttewrorth very chuffed, On time on target not intercepted good stuff. Landed and back to the Squadron crew room. On arrival I am told to go to the CO's office immediately ... Oh O ! I politely knock and enter gulp there is the Boss and the Commander of IADS present. "Where were you Boggy at 0937 hours this morning ?" "Exactly on TOT over Singapore Sir" ... I said proudly. "Yes we and the whole bloody island know that ....You have boomed the hell out of the place !". "Whats more it would seem you targeted the CBD !".... Err Sir I was there at the required time as per the ADEX tasking .... "Really ... what are the rules reference Supersonic Flying and Singapore ? " err It was an ADEX sortie Sir with specific timings that required Supersonic flight to achieve the TOT's. Commander IADS now looking a little perplexed/sheepish. Either way I was Pilot Officer so I was going to cop it no matter what. "No Boggy the rules apply at all times you stuffed up" "Yes Sir" I reply smartly. Then he says what exactly did you do as the Boom was way more than can be expected at the altitude you were flying at. I explained the turn and playing with the shockwave. "You ever heard of focused boom Boggy ? " ....... clearly I had NFI .... "No Sir" I replied enquiringly. "Well Boggy when you turn a turn can have the effect of focusing the boom a little like a lens, increasing the intensity of the boom at the surface" So I had learnt another amazing fact about Supersonic flight .... A weeks Orderly Officer was my reward for my Transgression/completing the mission precisely as tasked. Though anonymous castigation continued in the Singaporean press. ...As it turned out I had picked the time and day that Mr Lee Kuan Yew was stepping aboard his VIP jet for an overseas tour. Mr Lee was apparently not impressed. A week later I receive A paper cutting from an Aussie newspaper Headlined "Aussie cowboy pilot sonic booms Singapore" The narrative going to say that the cowboy pilot was going to be sent home for his misdemeanor ....well I didn't and the weeks orderly officer was punishment enough for doing my duty....On time on target. Never did find out if some IADS boggy task planner got matted over his planning. I did store away my new found knowledge of Boom focusing might be able to use that one day
  10. That is looking really stunning Eric !
  11. Looking fantastic Eric ! The race between the Mirage and the masseratti was indeed flown bty Reg Messiner one of natures gentlemen a a RAAF Fighter pilot Icon. Reg was my first flight commander at 2OCU he tutored his young charges well. Mirage Night Solo.... Gulp something you wont ever forget ! 1977 2OCU Night Flying Well I had survived the early Mirage Day conversion sorties. Now time to terrorise the instructors by doing it in the dark (many years later I had to endure the same student inflicted terrors). Basic Mirage conversion Night Flying syllabus was basically Instrument work and then into the circuit. With its combination of very high landing speeds pretty poor cockpit lighting (never fixed in the Mirage) night flying was a pretty taxing on the new student. First landing at night was from the instructors point of view a leap of faith. It comprised a straight in approach from around 7nm final. With its high nose up attitude from the time you intercepted final until perhaps 1nm the instructor couldn't see the runway. Anyway then it was into the circuit. Even more awkward than the day with the lack of horizon etc. The base turn in the Mirage was around 50degrees of bank 200Kts and in moderate buffet at amber/Red (sometimes deep purple) incidence). In the early days precisely judging the last stages of the roll out on to final was a little awkward due to the high Angle of Attack that caused a significant amount of pendulosity between the flight path and the pilots eye line. Anyway eventually convinced the instructor I was err competent (or he was too scared to fly with me again) and so night solo came along. Usually you did your first solo in the dual as that was what you had been checked out in. In my case all the duals were US so the authorising officer said send him in a single. Ok but the only single was A3-49 and it was in clean configuration (for Airshow display flying). I get the brief from my instructor that (having never flown any Mirage clean at this point) that it will be a little more nippy than the Dual with 2 supersonic tanks on it. But just keep to the brief and you will be ok. Dont forget you only have 600Gallons of fuel rather than the usual 820gall. So out to the jet looking magnificent without a single external store on it to mar the French ladys impeccable lines. Pre flt the jet strap in and start. So far so good. Taxi out to the ORP and hold. It was a requirement for First day or night solos that the student did his pre take off Vital Actions (VA's) in the ORP stationary and not on the move. So a quite moment of reflection. A look around the cockpit to make sure I haven't forgotten anything … “err Gun Bay transfer switch ….well I don't have a lot of gas so maybe just turn it on in case there is any fuel in there then I will at least get it†… “yep good idea†…. Gun Bay Transfer switch On. Now lets start the VA's …. 'Trims neutral .. Speedbrakes in†… Maple 78 confirm ops normal from the tower …. err Maple 78 affirmative I confidently say. “Look outside says the tower. Shitbags smoke everywhere almost looks like Fog ??? Then from Maple Ops …. Turn off the Gun Bay transfer switch boggy … its full of smoke oil !†Groan embarrassment this is going to cost me beers. Anyway Off goes the switch and fog miraculously clears . Ok complete the VA's and into the night. Well yes it was sprightly but exhilarating performance. A quick 20mins I survive and night solo was over. Off to the O's mess for celebrations and award of the Mirage pin for day night solo. Copious beers later (most at my expense) I am surrounded by a group of hostile “natives†next thing a full charge ensues with general stacks on type behaviour.... the net result Is I am left there with literally just a flying jacket on …. the remains of my Flying suit on the floor. No problems keep drinking until the wee hours. Wake the next morning wondering why I only have half a flying suit and flying jacket on . Well night solo done. Now time to start learning how to use the aeroplane as a weapons system
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