08 February 2002


New members joining this week are:

Brian Lewis from Melton Mowbray, UK

Dougie Betambeau from Swindon, UK

Rip Kirby from Basingstoke, UK

Welcome to the OBA!


From:       David Barton, Kings Lynn,
Date:        01 February 2002 06:05
Subject:    XV216 Pisa

Hi Tony,

With regards to the e-mail from Scott Innes concerning Hercules XV216 which crashed at Pisa.

As far I remember this was during exercise 'Libration' in February 1971. This was a joint para exercise and I believe there were three Hercules doing a low level formation over the sea and for whatever reason, this one just went into the sea and yes, the crew and all the Italian paras. perished. 'F Troop' were based at Hal-Far Malta making several trips picking up chutes, vehicles etc from the DZ - I think you were on this one Tony.

I know there was some bad Italian press regarding crews seen drinking but this was quickly put down.

Again if my memory serves me right, we did take some of the aircraft remains back to either UK or some other base.

Cheers, Dave Barton

[Ed:  Yes, now I recall that Dave.  Ian Berry has a few words on the subject later on in this newsletter.  I recall that "F Troop" recovered a Harrier from Decimomannu in Sardinia early on in the 70's, where the luckless driver shot himself down on the firing range running through his own munitions that had ricocheted!]


From:     Rip Kirby, Basingstoke,
Date:       Fri, 01 Feb 2002 18:49:13 +0000
Subject:   (No subject)

Well, contrary to popular belief, that old rogue Rip Kirby, the man of whom it was once said who  has not yet disappeared back to Scotland to run a croft. Yep - he is alive and well living in deepest darkest Hampshire serving a 2nd tour on Mams Mobile and taking his first tentative  finger typing steps into Movs Cyberspace. Looking forward to checking out the Movs websites and catching up with the gossip soon.

Cheers y’all


[Ed: Thanks Rip – nice to have you on board]


From:        David Howley, Melton Mowbray,
Date:         02 February 2002 10:37
Subject:     RAF Transports

Dear Tony,

Will you please put this on the OBA.

Philip Birtles, 6 Nursery Close, Stevenage, Herts SG2 8SD is undertaking research into RAF Tactical lift transports and is keen to talk to air and ground crew who served on them - Dakotas, Valettas, Yorks, Argosies, Andovers, Hastings and Belfast.

For some reason or other he has omitted the good old Beverley - it must be an oversight.

Time for the movers to put in their oar!




From:         Jack Riley, Hervey Bay Qld.,
Date:          01 February 2002 19:16
Subject:      Re: Old Boys Briefs 020102

Dear Tony

Re John Bell's report on Chas and Pam.  Don't blame me and me Sheila, mate... they were only here for one arvo.



[Ed:  I heard it was you that got him started Jack!]


From:         Keith Parker, Thumrait,
Date:          03 February 2002 05:38
Subject:      Airport Inspection

It's nice to know that there is a God up there looking after Movers


Keith Parker

The FAA is set to unleash a firestorm of criticism early next week when it issues a directive to airlines calling for "close, hands-on inspection" of all women with large breasts who are checking in for flights.

The agency had considered this step for some time, as is quite easy to conceal large amounts of C-4 inside a brassiere, but after last month's incident when a terrorist concealed explosives inside his shoes, the FAA feels it has no choice but to proceed.

Tests have shown that a 42D bra can easily contain sufficient explosives to fatally damage a 747.  And many bras, especially the very popular Wonderbra, have wire harnesses built in which can easily be adapted to a detonation mechanism.

"The problem is not the size of the mammaries, per se, but to determine if what is inside them is indeed, the real thing, so to speak.  Breasts have a certain feel, a certain consistency of texture, which is far different from C-4, and about the only way you can determine if the real thing, as it were, is to subject them to a vigorous pat-down and squeeze," an agency spokesman said yesterday.

Critics, especially NOW, have been quick to voice their opposition.  "It's profiling, it's sexist, and it's discriminatory," NOW's legal counsel reported.  "And besides, it's not the chest measurement, it's the CUP size that counts.  Everyone knows a 32D is far more dangerous than a 38AA."

NOW is going to write to Atty General Ashcroft to demand that he personally take a hands-on approach to developing standards for these inspections.  "As women, NOW recognizes the need for enhanced security, but come, on, this is a dangerous jiggling of our Constitutional rights."

NOW has stated that they will advise all their members to refuse to be patted down and squeezed, rather they will suggest that their members remove their blouses and bras at the check-in gate to prove that they are not concealing any contraband.  When told of this, the FAA spokesman responded, "YEEECCCHHH!  Have you ever seen these NOW ladies?"

Aside from increased airline safety, another positive from this new directive is an expecting quintupling of the number of applicants of for the position of security screeners at airports.  Indeed, demand for applications is so high that the government is considering lowering the starting salary.  Said Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, "Obviously, if you have a popular job position, where people are beating down the door to apply, you don't have to pay a competitive wage.  This could save the government, and ultimately the airlines, billions each year"

In a related development, it is expected that Hollywood celebrities like Madonna, Pamela Anderson, and Jennifer Lopez, will soon abandon their private jets, in order to fly commercial.

Paparazzi are already scoping out the best locations.

The new security procedures will no doubt result in lengthy delays.  "Before, when we had delays at airports, we would say that planes were 'stacked up,'" one FAA wag noted, though off the record. "This gives a whole new meaning to the term 'stacked,'" he snickered.

When asked what was the FAA's policy on breast implants, the spokesman said that were well aware of the question and were studying it avidly, but "they needed more time to get their hands around the size of the problem."

Finally, the White House has announced that former President Bill Clinton has volunteered his services free of charge to train Airport Screeners.

[Ed:  Many, many thanks Keith – now, where was that airport security application… ]


From:       Taff Newington
Date:        03 February 2002 17:37
Subject:    (no subject)


Taff Newington  BZZ 1985 - 1995

I have been employed as a Branch Manager for Sandrair International Limited for the past 5 Years Started in Ashford Middlesex Moved to Oxford and onto God’s country

Please could you keep me posted of all Movers Leaving the Mob and wanting to settle in Wales, Oxford & Possibly Heathrow.   I have occasional vacancies and since Leaving I have made good contacts in Heathrow, Oxford and Wales.

Sandrair Has a number of offices throughout the UK and I can speak to branch Mangers and find out availability

Work Telephone      01792 881444
Work Fax                 01792 884633

Address                   SandrAir International limited
Unit 2
Hendy Industrial estate

Look Forward to hearing from you

Taff N

PS Any Idea on the location of John Ayre?

[Ed:  Thanks Taff - I've placed the advertisement in the Jobs Page on the website]


From:          Phil Clarke, Vienna,
Date:           06 February 2002 07:01
Subject:       This week’s competition

Hi Tony,

At 1240 Zulu today (about 45 mins time) the last operational Belfast will be landing here in Vienna, chartered from Heavylift by yours truly, to transport a Boeing 777's GE90 engine inlet cowl from UK to here.  The Boeing 777 and the catering truck hit it off quite well!!!!!!!!!!!

The Belfast is G-HLFT, and before demob it's service number was XR365.

Today's question:  XR365 also had a name - what was it?

First correct answer recvd at my e mail address after Friday's newsletter gets the famous Lauda Air Crew Cap.

I have my digi camera with me so hopefully some piccies to follow.

Cheating permitted by everyone except Webmasters!

Keep at it


[Ed:  Thanks for this Phil - very generous.  Why can't I guess this one?]


From:       Phil Clarke, Vienna,
Date:        06 February 2002 09:38
Subject:    Belfast

Hi Mate,

Just got back from offloading the Belfast - real nostalgia trip.

Good for Heavylift PR too as everyone from the airport came along for a look-see.

A few changes - the Band-Stand has been removed and the para doors at the rear sealed off, but would you believe all the Loose and Role equipment is original.  Yup - the tensioners, the chains and the roller system.  I looked at them and thought - Christ I was actually using this very gear 35 years ago - and it still looks in perfect nick, though the tensioners were a bit stiff to open.

Hopefully the photos I took will be OK,  but no software on the work computer so will have to wait til I get home tonight to check em out.

None of the crew ex mob - so no guess-who games this time.

See You


[Ed:  Quite a nostalgic time for you Phil - I had some wonderful trips in the Belfast - including "Around the World in 18 Days" the account of which can be found in the Articles Pages on the site]


From:        Ian Berry, West Swindon,
To:            Scott Innes, Worcester,
Date:         06 February 2002 13:18


Herc CMk1 XV216 went down into the sea off Pisa on 9th November 1971. It was flown by a 24 Sqn crew and was carrying a load of Italian paratroopers plus a PJI dispatcher and was one of a stream of Hercules when it dived into the sea. No one witnessed this event and the findings are I believe still inconclusive. I can only asume that all the bodies were recovered as the RAF crew definitley were and one is buried in the Lyneham village churchyard. I was at Lyneham at the time (pre UKMAMS arrival) and remember several boxes of instruments being returned from Pisa after salvage for investigation.

Incidentally 30 years to the day 9th November 2001 24 Sqn held a memorial service in the village church at Lyneham.

I also remember that we lost an Andover in a crash carrying the falcons display team further down the road at Grosseto just a few weeks before, apart from the ALM I believe all survived. The aircraft broke open aft of the wing and all the Falcons made it through the jagged gap. The ALM was killed by the 26 seat dinghy departing it's housing on the ramp at high speed on impact. At that time it was shaped like a big bass drum and sat in an open housing held in by a quarter inch thick bungee cord! After the accident the housing was modified.

Hope this fills in the gaps.

Ian Berry


From:       Robert McFarlane
Date:        06 February 2002 18:41
Subject:    Armstrong Whitworth Albemarle

Dear Webmaster,

I am writing to ask whether you have any photographs or web addresses for images, of the Albemarle Bomber. A friend of mine, Robert Walker, flew this aircraft during the war, crashing one in Italy after being damaged by ground fire. He is most anxious to obtain photgographs of the aircraft.

Hoping you can help in this,

Thanking you,

Yours sincerely,

Robert McFarlane

[Ed:  Thanks Robert – here you go Scotty – something to get your teeth into!]


From:      David Berry
Date:       Wed, 6 Feb 2002 20:36:42 –0000
Subject:   Some assistance please

Hello Tony

I have been browsing around looking for anything on 'The Net' that might be useful to me in the production of a new edition of my RAF Britannia History - 'The Whispering Giant in Uniform' Mark 1 sold out! In my searches, where I put in everything I can think of in the way of Britannia days I kept on coming with your site! Congratulations!

Mind you, it was interesting that a number of items originated from myself!

I have decided to work on a Mark 2 of 'The Whispering Giant in Uniform'. A lot of material has come my way since the first edition. That first one was 'a labour of love'! So, I'm a sucker for punishment!

Is there any way you can help me? Well, immediately, 'Yes.' Would you please put me in touch with Ian Berry and Ian Stacey - I would very much like to use their photographs. I hope they will agree as I think that our mutual era is worth putting on record. Is there anyone who is going to write the MAMS book?

Hope you can help me - if you have any other material then, obviously, I would be interested.

Congratulations on the site - it looks good - and I know that's not without effort!


David Berry

[Ed:  Thanks David – Would both Ian Berry and Ian Stacey respond please?  As for a UKMAMS book – there was one produced in the early 90’s by (Sqn Ldr) Jerry Porter entitled “UKMAMS, Moving in Mysterious Ways”  If you contact John Belcher he might be able to come up with a copy]


From:     Scott Innes, Worcester,
To:          Ian Berry, West Swindon,
Date:       Thursday, February 07, 2002 9:22 AM
Subject:   Re: Andover


The only Andover crash I can find occured a year after 216. This was on 8/4/72. Andover C1 XS609 of 46 sqn crashed near Sienna, Italy - wing hit ground during take-off following engine failure. There were approx 42 aircraft accidents that year!

I'm assuming this was the same aircraft you mentioned?




From:       Ian Berry, West Swindon,
To:           Scott Innes, Worcester,
Date:        Thu, 7 Feb 2002 11:25:19 -0000
Subject:    Re: Andover


Yep, that must be it. The reason I knew about the dinghy missile was because between Jan and Mar 1974  I was attached to 46 Sqn as part of UKMAMS Abingdon to take part in ex Mirza. We were operating from Khartoum and flew every other day to Wau and Tonj (see photo on images 1970s page)  on the border with the Central African Republic. There were 2 Loadies with me, Barry Speller who was last heard of in New Zealand and Stu Wright who was later on Hercs and amazingly was on the same coach trip to Brussels in December! It was he who told me of the problem with the dinghy housing which was then modified by fitting a hinged door closed with a pip pin.

The squadron I'm afraid is going to the dogs. Apart from the DAMOs and Pax staff everyone is now dressed like a soldier and the young boys eat, drink and work in the same clobber - very hygienic! We get no support from the officers though as one of the Sqn Ldrs was heard to reply that he was 'for it' as officers didn't have to pay for combat clothing!  Morale is low and the PVR rate is still high - nobody seems to give a stuff as to why everyone is 'banging out'. This latest Op otherwise known as Blairs' Folly has seen one out of every nine movers either deployed or on stand-by for deployment. All this for the deployment of 3000 troops, it's obvious we've forgotten the lessone learnt during the Gulf War. Brize Norton is far busier than Lyneham but they too are deploying men overseas.

As you are aware most jobs have been civilianised and last week we were held to ransom by the MT drivers when we couldn't get two pallets of AOGs moved from Brize to Lyneham as all the drivers were 'out of hours' and the controller wouldn't authorise any overtime! As it was they were taking 5 hours to travel the 30 miles between and no one is asking questions...

Even though a brave fight is going on to save Lyneham I suspect we'll lose the fight as no money is now being spent on maintainence and the Terminal for one is crumbling. The Med centre wiring has been condemned and they are now in a Barrack Block and the Dental Centre is now a Portakabin in the Gen Office car park!

During Geoff Hoons' visit to Lyneham one of the 'singlies' asked why even prisoners had their own room with sink and toilet and he didn't - there was no sensible reply.

The C130J is still not performing as advertised but the new winch will arrive shortly! One tried to fly itself last week when in the gales it 'hopped' over it's nosewheel chocks on Bay 24 and ran backwards onto Bay 30 missing other frames but impaling itself on a concrete plinth - whoops!

The whole fleet is now metricated and just when we 'oldies' are gettig used to it in comes a C17 which operates in imperial!!

The RAF has procured a couple of hundred new 108" x 88" pallets for the C17 known as  Capewells. On their first use it was discovered that they wouldn't fit into the side guidance system on the C17 and were quarantined. JATE have now trialled one and it 'self destructed' at 9,000 lbs. Transpires that the UK firm which assembled them under licence was 90 degrees out, as well as screwing on the restraint shackles rather than bolting them on. All are unusable! Knowing the MOD the firm will probably get away with it and not cough up compensation.

Anyway, as Barry Hay (ex-OC UKMAMS) once said to me "this is another one of my diatribes!!". Your fault for asking me 'how's it going?'  The bottom line is the troops both mobile and base are still working hard and in spite of all the problems are 'winning the war'.

Speak to you later.


[Ed:  Sounds like the Squadron needs a morale boost or three!]


Well, that's it for this week

Have a great weekend

Best regards