25 April 2003


25 April 2003


A new member joining us this week is Pete Webber from Swindon, UK (Now at the Movements School and researching history for the 60th anniversary of trade training in 2004.)


From: Ian Berry, Swindon, UK
Date: 19 Apr 2003 15:29
Subject: Beware of the Dog!

Dear All,

The following attachments concern a real life incident which happened in the USA whilst carrying a pit bull terrier. Al Hart, our cargo expert, says that on at least one occasion the Army wanted to submit a Dangerous Cargo Certificate when moving a Rotweiler as they considered it Dangerous Cargo.



p.s. Tony Geerah is posted into Lyneham on 19 May as my replacement although I'm not due to finish work until the end of May. My last serving day is Oct 24th. Tony however is planning to attempt what is known as a fastrack commision in June. So far we are the only trade not to be succesful since it's introduction some five years ago. Tony (Geerbox) is also the organiser of the annual movers Top Table and the next one should happen again in November.

Aircraft Damage on F282/22Jul A/C 5EJ Forward Compartment

Inbound flight 282 from San Diego arrived at New York JFK at 2148 on gate 8. Ramp control was notified by the captain to be careful when opening the forward compartment door. (Below is Ramp CSM Harry Cadet’s statement). 

At 2135 hours I received a call from Ramp Control advising me that the cockpit called about a noise heard in the forward compartment. I checked the offload of flight 282’s inbound and there was a dog and some mice on board. We started to open the cargo door of Aircraft 5EJ, when I noticed the curtain fastener was sticking out from the bottom of the door. I had Mr. Gittens turn on the lights and I peeped in the vent hole I saw a pit bull staring at me.

The captain came down and I asked him if he could see if the passenger was on board. As I ran up to see if he was able to get the pax, he was escorting the passenger down the bridge. We repositioned the belt loader and Mr. Gittens, the passenger and myself went up to get the livestock. The passenger held the canine’s collar to calm him down as we proceed to open the cargo door fully. I then assisted the passenger to place the canine in the kennel. As I attempted to secure the kennel’s door I noticed that the bottom rod was bent and I was unable to get it to lock in. I then called CSM Dillahunt on the radio advising him that the livestock on flight 282 was loose and the kennel was damaged. In addition to that I was going to release the livestock to the passenger at the terminal since there was no way I could ensure that the livestock wasn’t going to get loose again. I escorted the passenger into the baggage claim area. Mr. Gittens rode with the dog to ensure that he wouldn’t break loose again. What was happening after we placed him back in the kennel and then into the cart, was the pitbull kept hitting his head against the door of the kennel trying to get out again. 

CSM Dillahunt advised me that he was going to fax a copy of the airway bill so that I could have the passenger sign for the shipment. I stayed with the passenger for about ten minutes in the terminal, and we checked the dog to make sure that there was no injury. I looked in his mouth and his gums were okay and there was no sign of any cut or bruises. Mr. Schwerdt came over to the inbound bag room and advised me that the dog had done some damage to the aircraft. I called Peter Hegmann to advise him that there was damage to an aircraft that was found on arrival. Peter and I walked over to gate 8 and when we walked up the belt loader and look in the F1 position of the aircraft, we were in shock. The pitbull had clawed through the avionics access panel and ripped approximately 5 coaxial cables in the aircraft. According to Mr. Schwerdt the captain stated that he lost some communication during flight. I never looked in the cargo compartment when we first got the livestock. My main concern was getting the livestock to his owner safely. I really feel that we must revisit the way we tender shipments of livestock in the future. 

Harry Cadet

I (George Pastrana, CSM Cargo) went down to the baggage claim area and had the passenger sign the Airwaybill. As I was returning to cargo, I received a radio call from Tony Dillahunt of possible aircraft damage on inbound flight 282 and I went to gate 8. I went up the belt loader into the forward compartment and saw the lower right side of the forward bulkhead panel mangled by the dog. The dog also chewed up at least three cables/wires. (See pictures). These 3 cables belonged to the #2 VHF radio, ACARS and ADF systems of the aircraft. There was also a PPS shipment of mice (awb 56219262) from World Courier located in the F1 compartment. The dog gnawed on the corners of the 2 containers but was unable to get at the mice. An AC-18 was filled out and was given to the driver. 

Since the dog had damaged the forward bulk compartment. I went back into the terminal to locate the passenger, the dog and the kennel to take pictures. The passenger had already left the area and the security guard said they had left right away. The kennel was not issued from AA. Harry Cadet said it was a green kennel, size 400 series and was made by Daski.

The maintance GFO Bill Doyle gave an estimate of at least 24 hours to repair the damage done by the dog.


From: Ian Berry, Swindon, UK
To: Pete Webber, Brize Norton, UK
Date: 20 Apr 2003 10:58
Subject: 60th Anniversary of Movements Training School


Best of luck in your endeavours in compiling material for the above event. 

I was responsible for the 40th event and managed to obtain APs, original Trim Sheets, photos etc some of which still hang in the School building. However, the bad news is that I gather several 'new brooms' have been through the School archives since I moved on and literally thrown out items of great movements historical interest. Were it not for Bruce Oram a couple of years ago giving me the opportunity to 'root through' a big box of photos he'd rescued from the skip the situation would be worse. 

The same has happened incidentally to the souvenirs and memorabilia which were in the Mobile Crewroom at Lyneham - they've all ended up in the skip or someone's house (remember my comments re the swordfish beak now worth £500!). After 10 years of stating to each new OC that we needed a proper Sqn Historian nothing has happened and so my enthusiasm is starting to wane.... 

Once again, good luck in your efforts.

Ian Berry


From: Charles Collier, Marlborough, UK
Date: 20 Apr 2003 14:14
Subject: Images Picture

Hello Tony,

Thanks to John Bell and Ian Berry for confirming that it was Stu Elliot in the images picture at the 1973 AOC's.
I distinctly remember an occasion when Sgt Stu Elliot gave us a slight scare just before we moved the sqn from Abingdon to Lyneham. He was suddenly taken ill whilst working at the Abingdon HQ. His pallid colour and demeanour gave me the reason to call the medical centre to hospitalise him for what I suspected was a minor heart attack!

I'm glad to know he survived as most people do nowadays. Does anyone know Stu's address?  He should join the association, I'm sure he would be welcomed on board - as a scribbler


[Ed: Thanks Charles - just a reminder - the OBA is open to RAF chaps who have been, or currently are, on the active strength of an Air Movements squadron, regardless of their trade.]


A successful rancher died and left everything to his devoted wife. She was a very good looking woman, and determined to keep the ranch, but knew very little about ranching, so she decided to place an ad in the newspaper for a ranch hand. 

Two men applied for the job. One was gay and the other a drunk. She thought long and hard about it, and when no one else applied, she decided to hire the gay guy, figuring it would be safer to have him around the house than the drunk. 

He proved to be a hard worker who put in long hours every day and knew a lot about ranching. For weeks, the two of them worked, and the ranch was doing very well. 

Then one day, the rancher's widow said to the hired hand, "You have done a really good job and the ranch looks great. You should go into town and kick up your heels." 

The hired hand readily agreed and went into town one Saturday night. However, one o'clock came and he didn't return. Two o'clock and no hired hand. He returned around two-thirty and found the rancher's widow sitting by the fireplace. She quietly called him over to her. 

"Unbutton my blouse and take it off," she said

Trembling, he did as she directed. 

"Now take off my boots." 

He did so, slowly. 

"Now take off my socks." 

He did. 

"Now take off my skirt." 

He did. 

"Now take off my bra." 

Again with trembling hands he did as he was told. 

Now," she said, "take off my panties." 

He slowly pulled them down and off. 

Then she looked at him and said, "If you ever wear my clothes to town again, I'll fire you on the spot." 


From: Jim Aitken, Brisbane Qld., Australia
Date: 21 Apr 2003 15:33
Subject: 15 Minute Offload by Aussie Movers

Hi Tony

The article below is an account of an RAAF Herc flying into Baghdad with a cargo of humanitarian supplies. I thought that the 'turn around ' time to offload 7 tonnes of cargo with the props still running was pretty impressive. Of course with the load palletised as is the norm these days it may not be so impressive.

As the guys from my era will attest, in the early 50's, palletisation was unheard of. Loads were sorted case by case in the cargo shed according to their weight as directed by load control. The individual items of freight were ferried out to the aicraft on a flat top 'gharry' and individually manhandled to the correct compartment.

Towards the latter part of the 50's there was a "Red Devil" forklift brought into action and that was followed by a "scissors truck loader". I believe it wasn't until I re-joined in 1958 that palletising was the new order. Being on the Loading Party in those days was very much a physically demanding job.

A friend of mine in the USA has sent me some info on the Hercules anti-Missile defence system which I will send as a separate mail.

Hope your Easter was a safe and happy one.


Jim Aitken



Here is the post flight report by an Australian crew flying humanitarian aid into Baghdad earlier this week:

Aid plane takes anti-missile steps
Monday 14 April 2003, 2:30 PM

Australian Defence Force spokesman Brigadier Mike Hannan said the crew of the Hercules and special forces commandos on board to provide security noticed flashes in the sky as they came in to land in Baghdad.

"The aircraft's early warning system was activated on the way in and flares were launched as a precautionary measure," Brigadier Hannan said.

"(But) there's no evidence to suggest that the aircraft was locked on (to) by a missile or any other type of weapons system."

He said sometimes electromagnetic radiation could trigger the early warning system.

After the plane landed, the commandos fanned out to provide a defensive perimeter as almost 7,000 kg of stores were unloaded.

The plane kept its propellers turning and was on the ground for about 15 minutes.

"All in all it was a successful mission, and will go some way to alleviating the shortages of medical equipment and supplies in Iraq," Brigadier Hannan said.

Two more Hercules left the RAAF's Richmond base in Sydney as part of Operation Baghdad Assist and are due in Iraq.


From: Jim Aitken, Brisbane Qld., Australia
Date: 21 Apr 2003 12:00
Subject: C-130

Me again Tony,

Eric Husband was at school with me in the late 40's early 50's and we were able to renew acquaintance through the Friends Reunited website.

Eric worked as an aerodynamicist with Lockheed in the US from the early 60's and as he explains, much of his career revolved around the C-130. 

His reference to the "flare and chaff" anti missile defence system incorporated into the Herc was interesting in the light of the report of the RAAF Herc landing at Baghdad recently and having to deploy the flares when it appeared that a missile had "locked on".


Jim Aitken

Hi Folks,

A guy can retire from the aircraft business but you can't take the aircraft interest away from the guy. At least it seems that way. I worked with the C-130 cargo aircraft, on and off, but mostly on, for my 33+ years at Lockheed.

This is an extraordinary aircraft, originally flown in 1954 but has seen many versions and upgrades up to the present day. It is not just a military plane, for it is in everyday use on humanitarian missions, particularly including support for earthquake and famine relief, all over the world. It can ship just about anything to anywhere no matter what the landing site, and if there is none then it can airdrop whatever is needed. The C-130J is the latest aircraft version, and the last one I worked on. The C-130J was the first aircraft to land in Baghdad just over a week ago when the place was dark and there were no landing systems working. It is probably the only aircraft in production that could do that, although the customized Special Ops aircraft can also operate in those conditions.

These days just about every C-130, which is in-service with many nations around the world, is equipped with flare and chaff dispenser systems. This is an operational necessity for a transport aircraft particularly when making a slow approach to landing, when it may be exposed to ground-to-air missiles. The deployment of the flares is a spectacular sight, especially at night. The flares are released when the crew early warning system is activated indicating that they have been 'lit up' by radar and a threat is therefore present. The flares are then released to divert the attention of the heat-seeking missile sensors, and the pilot may also take evasive action by maneuvering his aircraft.

This video clip, named 'Angel-Decoys', has been circulating on the internet for a while and I thought you might like to see it. It is only 15 seconds long but is quite 'entertaining', especially if you like fireworks. It is a 2.7 MB file so it may take some time to download it, either to play or to save to your files, depending on your connection. Be patient, I think you will find it worthwhile. The popular use of the name 'Angel' decoys was derived by observing the pattern resulting from the interaction of the aircraft trailing vortices with the developing smoke cloud associated with the flare deployment. This particular video was evidently taken over the ocean so I would suppose the aircraft was on a test flight. 

Have a good day y'all

Eric in Georgia


From: Dennis Martin, Woking, UK
Date: 21 Apr 2003 05:11
Subject: Movements

I came across this page which shows that today's Movements Clerks are identical to those of 50 years ago - still no mention of a Movements School though. 

Senior Aircraftman Robert Holtam is a Movements Operator at RAF Lyneham. He works on the passenger desk, checking names and paperwork, as well as helping load and unload the transport aircraft which take people, mail and military equipment all over the world. 

"The RAF go by their own tests, not school results. I come from this area but I don't talk about work with friends in my village because I get fed up with them always asking, "Where are you going? What are you doing?" Five of us here always come off shift and go out together. You make good friends, there's a bond between us all. I've got my own room in the barrack block. The rooms have been renovated and it's really up to you to make your own decent. 

'The majority of the work's steady, not a mad rush. You might stay an extra half hour at the end of your shift to explain any problem to the guys who are just coming on. If people aren't willing to stop and listen, they don't get anywhere. If you're one of the people needed to load Land Rovers into the back of a Hercules aircraft, you'll get driving lessons. The same if it's a fork lift truck - you'll get a fork lift qualification. On the mobile team you're working with aircraft, you go all over the world on the Hercules, you meet people from different walks of life - a bit more of a challenge than plodding around the local town or doing factory work."


From: Ian Newlands, Didcot, UK
Date: 21 Apr 2003 15:45
Subject: Something for Osama (and Saddam!)

Hi Tony 

Thought I would pass this little ditty on for the next OBB if it is possible to include PowerPoint items. Still enjoy reading the old line shoots. Hope you are well and all the best to all in the Gulf .

All the best

Foddy (Ian Newlands)

[Ed: Something for Osama (and Saddam!)  This is a PowerPoint file - for those of you that don't have the PowerPoint application on your computers you can download the free viewer from Microsoft here: Download ]


From: Dave Cromb, Brisbane Qld., Australia
To: Charles Collier, Marlborough, UK
Date: 21 Apr 2003 21:19
Subject: OBB 041803

Hello Charles,

Keep up the good support of the OBA - your sagas are most interesting.

Re: Perim Island, I can't find it on any maps, can you pinpoint it for me. Is it in the Red sea or Gulf of Aden?

I' m somewhat mesmerised by the Arabian Gulf area and have been since my Masirah holiday in 1972. I am seriously considering joining the MIVA (Masirah Island Veteran's Association).

The articles on Aden are very enlightening, alarming and amazing. There was not a lot of publicity given to what was in reality a terrible and embarrasing situation for the British Goverment. I should be thankful that I was spared the ordeal.

I am currently reading a very good book, "Aden Under British Rule,1839-1967" by R J Gavin. Very informative indeed and I would recommend it.

Can anybody out there tell me what has evolved in Aden in recent times? C'mon Bedu Bob, Nosey Parker & Legs I'Anson, get those digits working.

Thanks in anticipation everybody and keep up the excellent work Tony.




From: Jack Riley, Urangan Qld., Australia
Date: 21 Apr 2003 10:26
Subject: Training

Dear Tony

Good to see Dennis Martin's piece on the Imperial Flatulence.

Training.... what training ? 

Although to be fair, as the attached will show "they" did eventually catch up with me after 13 years on the job.

Something to do with Sea Movements before I went off to HQ Middle East on the Joint Movements Planning Staff.

Overlook the trumpet blowing... I had a start !!!



From: Don Hunter, Johannesburg, South Africa
Date: 22 Apr 2003 07:55
Subject: Re: Beware of the Dog!

Regarding Ian Berry's Beware of the Dog piece - I KNEW I shouldn't have married her.....!




From: Jim Aitken, Brisbane Qld., Australia
Date: 23 Apr 2003 17:51
Subject: Behind the Scenes!

Hi Tony

Thought you might be interested in this entry in my website guestbook. Now we know what those Transport Command crews got up to... racing BOAC across the 'pond' to get the best rooms at the Lexington!!

Jim Aitken

Name: Geraldine Gregory 
From: Gloucester, England 

Comments: Great website, brought back a lot of memories. I used to meet up with a lot of RAF crews when I was an air stewardess with BOAC. We sometimes raced across the Atlantic to New York, it was great fun. When I was a first class stewardess, I'd take the crew's tea to the flight deck, and they would say, we've got a bet on with an RAF aircraft heading for JFK! We used to stay in the Lexington Hotel, on 45th Street, so would the RAF. I also used to visit Bahrain and Singapore, we used to meet up with RAF crews all the time, Oh! yes and the Rest House in Karachi, en-route out East. Those were the days, they were fantastic! In fact the RAF now have the VC10's I used to work on, they were great aircraft - some of the best! 


The owner of a golf course in Texas was confused about paying an invoice, so he decided to ask his secretary for some mathematical help. 

He called her into his office and said, "You graduated from the University of Texas. If I were to give you $20,000, minus 14%, how much would you take off?" 

The secretary thought for a moment, then replied, "Everything but my earrings." :o)


Well, that's it for this week

Have a great weekend!

Best regards