27 September 2002


From:     Keith Parker, Thumrait, Oman
Date:      20 Sep 2002 15:02
Subject:  Masirah Story

Hello Tony

I've been off the "air" recently, yes it still takes 4 weeks to get your phone fixed in the Middle East, anyway on catching up with the OBA I noticed an article about BERS in Masirah so thought I would include this.

During my days with Airwork Vinnell in Masirah we were fortunate enough to have excellent reception of the BBC World Service 24 hour coverage.  Anyway, one morning whilst listening to the news the broadcaster apologised for any interruption to the broadcast for anyone listening in the Middle East but a fire had occurred on the relay station in Masirah Island.  Now being an honorary member of BERS excellent mess I thought I would ring my mate Ian, the chief engineer, to see if he was all right. 

The line went dead and then I heard ".....Oh Shoot!  I've just come back for breakfast and I've left the generator on"  With that he slammed the phone down. We all piled into a truck and headed over to BERS as fast as we could.  We found Ian standing in the burnt out power house, black as the ace of spades eating a plate of bacon and eggs. We all commiserated with him but he was full of himself  - the good old BBC had only been off the air for two minutes, we all opened a beer and drank his health.

What else could we do?

Cheers to everyone

Keith Parker

[Ed:  Thanks Keith....  I guess there's a million stories like that out there... now, if we could only persuade the other members to share them.... ]


From:     Steve Jolley, Wakefield, UK
Date:      20 Sep 2002 07:10
Subject:  Re: Old Boys Briefs 092002

Hi there Tony,

Hope all is well over there,

Just letting you know that for the time being, could you please send the ''briefs'' to

By the way both Dibs Loveridge and myself attended the UKMAMS meet and greet, and the open day.  Had a few ''snifters'', lots of grub, saw a few old faces and managed to ''blag'' a free room each for the 2 nights.  All in all a good weekend!

All the best,

Spider Jolley

[Ed:  I've changed the details for you Spider.  Did anyone take any photographs at the Open Day?]


From:     Bob Dixon, Dauntsey, UK
Date:      20 Sep 2002 09:43
Subject:  Re: Old Boys Briefs 092002

Hi Tony

Dave Barton mentions Exercise Link West and I recall that it was an exercise in air mobility mounted in the UK because the overseas deployment location withdrew permission to operate there.

I was on my first tour, after commissioning, at Leconfield - a lovely station near Beverley before the Army took it over for rubber-wheels training.  It was the first time that I came into contact with UKMAMS who deployed in to load Hastings, Beverleys etc.  I remember it personally as I was, amongst other things, responsible for fuel.  When the powers that be decided to use Leconfield at short notice, the planners forgot that a substantial amount of our fuel was committed to support the MBD (Medium Bomber Diversion) requirements of the V Force.  As a result, I sat at the back of the first briefing listening to some bigwig Group Captain as he waxed lyrical about loads, sortie rates, etc, etc.  When it came to any questions, very conscious of my Pilot Officer stripe and being a new arrival, I asked him what the daily uplift of fuel would be.  He gave a response which was over double our capability, even if fuel was delivered on a 24 hour basis and minimum settling times were allowed.  Following a silence when I explained the problem, he closed the briefing and directed me to stay behind.

Following an aggressive and condescending interrogation from the Group Captain, I invited him to call C-inC Bomber Command direct and ask if he could use the MBD reserves.  In those days nobody called C-in-C Bomber Command and most prayed that he would never set eyes on him, because he was GOD.  I then calmly told the Group Captain to half his flying plan, which he did, and each day I was asked at the briefing how many sorties we could fly that day.

The Group Captain never forgave having to be beholden to me and when we met some 6 years later when he had been promoted to Air Marshal .... but that is another story!

The moral of this story is: that if you are about to be sxxx upon from a great height, get your retaliation in first.  Which after all, is the perfect background for survival and success in the Movements World.


Bob Dixon

PS  Soon there will be an announcement about broader membership of the UKMAMS Association following the earlier questionnaire, the subsequent Council meetings and the AGM at Lyneham at the end of August.  Watch this space!

[Ed:  Thanks for that Bob...  It must have been very satisfying for you to be "in control" so to speak, and at such an early age!]


You know you're living in the year 2002 when....

1. Your reason for not staying in touch with family is because they do not have e-mail addresses.

2. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of three.

3. You call your son! 's beeper to let him know it's time to eat. He e-mails you back from his bedroom, "What's for dinner?"

4. Your daughter sells Girl Scout Cookies via her web site.

5. You chat several times a day with a stranger from South Africa, but you haven't spoken with your next door neighbour yet this year.

6. You check the ingredients on a can of chicken noodle soup to see if it contains Echinacea.

7. Your grandmother asks you to send her a JPEG file of your newborn so she can create a screen saver.

8. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home.

9. Every commercial on television has a web site address at the bottom of the screen.

10. You buy a computer and 6 months later it is out of date and now sells for half the price you paid.

11. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't have the first 20 or 30 years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go get it.

12. Using real money, instead of credit or debit, to make a purchase would be a hassle and takes planning.

13. Cleaning up the dining room means getting the fast food bags out of the back seat of your car.

14. You just tried to enter your password on the microwave.

15. You consider second day air delivery painfully slow.

16. Your dining room table is now your flat filing cabinet.

17. Your idea of being organized is multiple collared Post-it notes.

18. You hear most of your jokes via e-mail instead of in person.

19. You get an extra phone line so you can get phone calls.

20. You disconnect from the Internet and get this awful feeling, as if you just pulled the plug on a loved one.

21. You get up in morning and go on-line before getting your coffee.

22. You wake up at 2 AM to go to the bathroom and check your E-mail on your way back to bed.

23. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. :)

24. You're reading this.

25. Even worse; you're going to forward it to someone else.


From:     Willie Crossley, Whitby ON, Canada
Date:      24 Sep 2002 00:25
Subject:  Notification

Hi Tony,
Kevin Briggs asked me to pass on his new email address since he is having problems with his computer. It is as follows please amend your records.
Sorry I have been very quiet lately but been very busy, also, promoted with the Commissionaires.  I am now the Short term Contract manager and afternoon dispatcher, wow what a promotion.
The site looks great and I want to congratulate you in all your efforts to give us all the tools to keep in touch with our beloved past, invaluable for me Tony, so thank you mate.
Still in Whitby and hope one day to see you and have a beer or two when you get the time.
Best wishes
Willie Crossley

[Ed;  Thanks Willie... I've got Kevin's details changed....  now, about that beer... or two... or three... you did say you had a guest room didn't you?]


From:     Philipp Clarke, Vienna, Austria
Date:      24 Sep 2002 08:09
Subject:  The Greatest Lies in Aviation

We will be on time, maybe even early.

I fixed it right the first time, it must have failed for other reasons.

I'm a member of the mile high club.

I'm 22, got 6,000 hours, a four year degree, and 3,000 hours in a Lear.

We shipped the part yesterday.

We in aviation are overpaid, under worked and well respected.

Sure I can fly it - it has wings, doesn't it?

We'll be home by lunchtime.

Your plane will be ready by 2 o'clock.

Of course I know where we are.

[Ed:  Thanks Phil - haven't heard from you in a long time - I trust all is well?]


There's an interesting thread bashing Movers on the following website  go to the Military Forum and then “crabs in brno”    Here's an extract from one of the kinder types:

Actually, my 'negative synergy' comment wasn't intended to provoke a rash of anti-Air Movs rhetoric. What I was getting at is the fact that one's Vickers Funbus will often arrive somewhere with its own movers on board. They will then have the thankless task of unloading it, which might well include having to manhandle loaded freight pallets in very hot climates (whilst wearing those stupid yellow road-diggers' coats), break down and rebuild the damn things, log all the sundry items which our grunt chums wish to include on the pallet and then reload them back into the aeroplane. Then they have to sort out the passenger manifest and prepare the paperwork. This is then given to the ALM who will check it all, check the pallets, query the contents thereof and finally announce that its OK. Bear in mind that they will scrutinise the movers' paperwork with a fine tooth comb and consult The Book at regular intervals to make sure that some obscure regulation hasn't been breached. Once they're happy, the ac load distribution is then calculated and the trim sheet finalised before the aircrew can confirm that the fuel load is OK and that the pax can leave the air conditioned luxury of their executive airport lounge and be herded onboard for their complimentary Moet and canapés....... Or yummy cardboard box.

Having watched the mobile movs mob struggling in the heat at places like Freetown (or even Hannover in high summer) to turn round the load quickly, I can certainly say that theirs isn't always a particularly easy job!

But, of course, communication is everything and it wouldn't take very much for someone to say "Sorry, the aircraft is being reloaded and refuelled so we'll be keeping you in the lounge until it's ready - but we'll be as quick as we can" rather than lounge around in a yellow coat listening to walkie-talkie squeaks and gargles from the aeroplane, whilst the pax wonder what the heck is really going on! I recall after our APC Det in 1982 looking out of the waiting area at Akrotiri after wondering why we'd been kept hanging around - and there was a step ladder up underneath the wing of 'our' VC10 with some head shaking and chin scratching from the engineers much in evidence. So I rang Air Ops - "Hello, could you confirm that Ascot **** is due to leave at ****Z please?" "No, there's a tech snag which should be fixed in the next hour, so it'll be about 60 minutes late off chocks", came the reply. Then I asked the mover when we'd be boarding "Soon, I think", he said. Told him about the delay but he said that I was wrong. Pointed to the jet outside the window and suggested that he might like to check. He did - then came the Tannoy announcing a 'slight delay'.....

Bucket-and-spade operators have someone to prepare the trim sheet, very simple loads and established routines. So herding the lager louts off and on is indeed pretty simple for them to do in 30 minutes or less.....


From:     Martin Liggett, Swindon, UK
Date:      25 Sep 2002 12:03
Subject:  HeavyLift and Mystery Photo

Would appreciate if you could remove Heavylift loadmaster opportunities from the jobs list as Heavylift have gone under this week.
Regarding the Mystery Photograph -  Funnily enough, the photo is a dead ringer for the VC10 which did the same at Decimomannu, Sardinia, around 85/86, we had loads of fun trying to get it back onto the threshold from the bondu!



[Ed:  That's a shocker... Heavylift gone!  Did they still operate the Belfast... and what's going to happen to it?  I don't suppose the wine in the mess at Deci had anything to do with the VC10 running into the bondu did it?  I always recall that wine was cheaper than water in Sardinia]


The following was received from John Bell by way of Jack Riley… those Aussies eh?

Subject: 40 Really Bad Puns

Check out the puns below....some of them are quite good (and some are not)...

1. Two vultures board an airplane, each carrying two dead raccoons. The stewardess looks at them and says, "I'm sorry, gentlemen, only one carrion allowed per passenger."

2. Two boll weevils grew up in South Carolina. One went to Hollywood and became a famous actor. The other stayed behind in the cotton fields and never amounted to much. The second one, naturally, became known as the lesser of two weevils.

3. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, but when they lit a fire in the craft, it sank, proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it, too.

4. A three-legged dog walks into a saloon in the Old West. He slides up to the bar and announces: "I'm looking for the man who shot my paw."

5. Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root canal?  He wanted to transcend dental medication.

6. A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse. "But why?" they asked, as they moved off. "Because," he said, "I can't stand chess nuts boasting in an open foyer."

7. A woman has twins and gives them up for adoption. One of them goes to a family in Egypt and is named "Amal." The other goes to a family in Spain and they name him "Juan." Years later, Juan sends a picture of himself to his birth mother. Upon receiving the picture, she tells her husband that she wishes she also had a picture of Amal. Her husband responds, "They're  twins! If you've seen Juan, you've seen Amal."

8. These friars were behind on their belfry payments, so they opened up a small florist shop to raise funds. Since everyone liked to buy flowers from the men of God, a rival florist across town thought the competition was unfair. He asked the good fathers to close down, but they would not.   He went back and begged the friars to close. They ignored him. So, the rival florist hired Hugh MacTaggart, the roughest and most vicious thug in town to "persuade" them to close. Hugh beat up the friars and trashed their store, saying he'd be back if they didn't close up shop. Terrified, they did so, thereby proving that Hugh, and only Hugh, can prevent florist friars.

9. Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him.... what? (Oh, man, this is so bad, it's good!) A super calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.

10. There was the person who sent ten different puns to friends, with the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh. Unfortunately, no pun in-ten-did.

11. A bicycle can't stand on its own because it is two-tired.

12. What's the definition of a will? (It's a dead giveaway).

13. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

14. A backwards poet writes inverse.

15. In democracy it's your vote that counts. In feudalism it's your count that votes.

16. She had a boyfriend with a wooden leg, but broke it off.

17. A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.

18. If you don't pay your exorcist you get repossessed. If you then pay them you get dispossessed.

19. With her marriage she got a new name and a dress.

20. Show me a piano falling down a mineshaft and I'll show you A-flat minor.

21. When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.

22. The man who fell into an upholstery machine is fully recovered.

23. A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.

24. You feel stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.

25. Local Area Network in Australia: the LAN down under.

26. He often broke into song because he couldn't find the key.

27. Every calendar's days are numbered.

28. A lot of money is tainted. It taint yours and it taint mine.

29. A boiled egg in the morning is hard to beat.

30. He had a photographic memory that was never developed.

31. A plateau is a high form of flattery.

32. The short fortune teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.

33. Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.

34. Once you've seen one shopping centre you've seen a mall.

35. Those who jump off a Paris bridge are in Seine.

36. When an actress saw her first strands of grey hair she thought she'd dye.

37. Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead to know basis.

38. Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.

39. Acupuncture is a jab well done.

40. Marathon runners with bad footwear suffer the agony of de feet.


Well, that's it for this week

Have a great weekend!

Best regards