04 October 2002


From:     N. Sivasothi, Singapore
Date:      28 Sep 2002 11:55
Subject:  Probert's 1965 "History of Changi"

Hello there,

It is with great interest that I found an online version of Sqn Ldr H. A. Probert's 1965 "History of Changi" on your web site.

I had been intending to reproduce the book recently, when I chanced upon it at Changi Chapel and Museum. I am involved in an attempt to convince the authorities that in future plans for Changi, the history of the area should be incorporated. One of these aspects is the military history. See [no longer valid]

I have since inserted a link to your site. This will be helpful. The modern internet is certainly a helpful thing in preserving our past!


N. Sivasothi
Research Officer
Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research
Department of Biological Sciences
Block S6, #03-01, Science Drive 2
The National University of Singapore
Kent Ridge 11920 SINGAPORE

Tel: +65-6874-8869
Fax: +65-6774-8101
Web: [no longer valid]


From:     Arthur Wardle
Date:      29 Sep 2002 05:21
Subject:  Mystery Photograph Suggestions

Could it possibly be the arrival of the first VC-10 [known to us homebound squaddies as VC-10derness) in July 1968..I am not sure of runway headings at  Sharjah so this is just a guess..  Sharjah was a good posting and our regiment  even held our amalgamation parade there in 1968..fusilier ..

[Ed:   Wrong!  See last week’s briefs for the answer…]


From:     Fred Martin, Godalming, UK
Date:      30 Sep 2002 05:16
Subject:  Last Week’s Puns

This one really plumbs the depths!!
The celebrated Spanish saxophonist Juan Toofree asked his government for funding to provide a safe learning centre so that Spanish Sax players can become the best in the World.  The Spanish refused so Juan trawled the World to find a country that would support him.

After much effort the Friendly Scots came to his aid and provided a custom built Sax centre near Fife. The local population were very excited to have such a celebrity in their midst and the local newspaper next day carried the banner headline: JUAN TOOFREE FOR FIFE SAX HAVEN !!!!!

I told you it was bad!!
Best Wishes

Fred Martin

[Ed:  Try as I might…. I have read and re-read this…..  I still don’t get it!!]


From:     Ian Berry, Swindon, UK
To:         Martin Liggett, Swindon, UK
Date:      28 Sep 2002 02:28
Subject:  Death of John Hughes


Just got back from a trip to the North East yesterday and Sam Heaphy rang to say that John had died in the last day or so after his long fight with cancer. He was visited by his widow who asked that you, amongst others be informed. I believe the funeral is this Thursday [03 October] at the Swindon Crematorium at 3pm. Sam has further details if you care to ring him on 01793-852030.




From:     Charles Collier, Marlborough, UK
Date:      30 Sep 2002 16:50
Subject:     Re: Old Boys Briefs 092702

Hello Tony,

As a new reader of your OBA journal I thought that I might add a few reminisces.

Back in 1970, I was a DAMO at RAF Changi, Singapore. One busy evening on shift with the schedule VC 10 turn-around carrying the usual complement of pax plus a couple of VIPs; two Hercs from RAF Lyneham - one a schedule; the other a special. There was also a Britannia trainer carrying RAF air trooping pax.

With all these aircraft being worked on for departure a tropical storm erupted. Then my radio reported the arrival of a Royal New Zealand Air Force Bristol Freighter of No 41 Sqn., based at RAF Changi but - this time from Vietnam - it had arrived in Squadron lines and had pax!  I responded that they had a low priority and would be collected when a bus was available.

The rain persisted and finally a bus was despatched to collect the 41 Sqn pax who had been sheltering under the aircraft wings! They were taken to the inbound lounge for the usual pax processing. I thought no more of it and dealt with the other ac departures. It was them that my radio called me to attend the VIP lounge ASAP!

On arrival at the lounge I met a very upset brigadier. I recognised him as Chief of Staff of the Singapore Brigade. Of course, I immediately apologised that he had be collected last but owing to the circumstances I was not aware of his arrival beforehand. He agreed that as an indulgence passenger he knew that he had no special privileges. However, after waiting under the aircraft wing they were taken by bus to the terminal and processed. What had caused him so much annoyance was that the RAF police immigration chose to call forward by rank. He then assumed that he would be given first processing - but no! Finally with only the brigadier left in the lounge the RAF corporal called for "bombardier Worsley!" That was the limit! Apparently the Americans had given the brigadier the wrong rank initials on the manifest. Hence the misunderstanding.

So, it is always as well to check all circumstances irrespective of their individual priority

Keep smiling everybody



[Ed:  Thanks Charles for that interesting memory.  I wonder if anyone else has had a similar experience?]


From:     John Bell, Cairns Qld., Australia
Date:      30 Sep 2002 23:58
Subject:  Aviation Quotes!

Famous (and less so) quotes from the world of aviation - wise words, thought provoking, at times cynical but mostly for fun!

There's nothing like an airport for bringing you down to earth. (Richard Gordon)

[London] Heathrow has been described as the only building site to have its own airport. (anon)

I did not fully understand the dread term 'terminal illness' until I saw Heathrow for myself. (Dennis Potter, in The Sunday Times, 4 June 1978)

It's no coincidence that in no known language does the phrase 'As pretty as an airport' appear. (Douglas Adams, 'The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul)

It's better to be down here wishing you were up there, than up there wishing you were down here.

An airplane will probably fly a little bit overgrows but it sure won't fly without fuel.

Standard checklist philosophy requires that pilots read to each other the actions they perform every flight, and recite from memory those they need every three years.

Forget all that stuff about thrust and drag, lift and gravity, an airplane flies because of money. (all anon clichés)

A commercial aircraft is a vehicle capable of supporting itself aerodynamically and economically at the same time. (William B. Stout, designer of the Ford Tri-Motor)

The three worst things to hear in the cockpit: The second officer says, "Oh shit!"  The first officer says, "I have an idea!"
The captain says, "Hey, watch this!"  (anon)

A recession is when you have to tighten your belt; depression is when you have no belt to tighten. When you've lost your trousers - you're in the airline business.  (Sir Adam Thomson)

Listen up gentlemen, or something's gonna happen that none of us wants to see. Besides that, you're (tickin') me off!"

Approach, what's our sequence?"
"Calling for the sequence I missed your call sign, but if I find out what it is, you're last."

Request Runway 27 Right."
"Approach, do you know the wind at six thousand is 270 at fifty?"
"Yeah, I do, and if we could jack the airport up to fifty-five hundred you could have that runway. Expect 14 Right."

"How far behind traffic are we?"
"Three miles."
"That doesn't look like three miles to us!"
"You're a mile and a half from him, he's a mile and a half from you...that's three miles."  I(all from ORD ATC tapes)

Good judgment comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgment.

A male pilot is a confused soul who talks about women when he's flying, and about flying when he's with a woman.

Everything in the company manual - policy, warnings, instructions, the works - can be summed up to read, 'Captain it's your baby.'  (all anon)

Do not let yourself be forced into doing anything before you are ready. (Wilbur Wright)

What is the cause of most aviation accidents?  Usually it is because someone does too much too soon, followed very quickly by too little too late. (Steve Wilson, NTSB investigator, Oshkosh, WI , August, 1996.)

If the Wright brothers were alive today Wilber would have to fire Orville to reduce costs. (Herb Kellenher, Southwest Airlines)

I decided there must be room for another airline when I spent two days trying to get through to People Express. (Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Atlantic)

If Richard Branson had worn a pair of steel-rimmed glasses, a double-breasted suit and shaved off his beard, I would have taken him seriously. As it was I couldn't . . . (Lord King, Chairman British Airways)

Sue the bastards.  (Sir Freddie Laker's advice to Richard Branson regarding British Airway's dirty tricks campaign against Virgin Atlantic)

[Ed:  Thanks John - good stuff!]


Rumour Corner

'Biggles Airways' plan to put RAF into tourism business

RAF pilots would fly tourists to southern Spain and other holiday destinations under a £13 billion private finance initiative scheme being considered by defence chiefs.

Spare aircraft crewed by reservists would be leased to commercial airlines during peacetime to raise revenue for the armed forces under a proposal dubbed "Biggles Airways" by a sceptical union leader.

Details are disclosed in confidential documents prepared by the UK-led Air Tanker consortium, which is offering to supply 20 Airbus A330s to the RAF to replace its ageing VC10s and Tristars.

The new aircraft, intended to refuel fighters and bombers in midair from 2008, could be converted to commercial passenger use "in hours", according to the Ministry of Defence.

The Air Tanker documents show the consortium believes it can use planes not required by the RAF for active service or training to make money under the PFI deal.

"There is a substantial difference in the number of assets [aircraft] needed to meet peak [crisis] RAF requirements and normal peacetime use," the documents note. "Spare aircraft could be used to generate commercial, third party revenue, rather that sitting on the tarmac doing nothing."

The MoD is to sign a 27-year PFI contract next year for the refuelling tankers and the consortium, which includes Rolls-Royce, is competing with Boeing for the £13bn deal.

An Air Tanker source said RAF markings would be painted out and the aircraft, to be based at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, would be fitted with conventional seating.

"You can use them for holiday flights to Malaga," said the Air Tanker source.

The proposal has met resistance from some union officials who believe PFI risks undermining public services.

John Edmonds, leader of the GMB general union, said: "This is another example of the government's obsession with privatisation. How is it going to look when the prime minister has to tell George Bush the RAF cannot bomb Baghdad because it is stuck on a Club 18-30 mission to Benidorm?"

Tim MacMahon, Air Tanker marketing director, said: "PFI is a vehicle that allows the MoD to have a full wartime capability in peacetime when of course not all that capability is required. The ability to generate third party revenue from aircraft not fully required in peacetime reduces the overall cost to the taxpayer and ensures a full wartime capability to the MoD."

The MoD said RAF requirements would take precedence but a MoD spokeswoman said the contract did include "the use of aircraft commercially at times".

[Ed:  Surely this has to elicit a response from Pig Clarke!]


Greek Cypriots turn against British bases

Thousands of Greek Cypriots protested yesterday against the presence of British military bases on their island, and the prospect of the installations being used in an attack on Iraq.

The protesters converged on the RAF communications base at Akrotiri, one of the most important listening posts in the world, and vital for US-led intelligence gathering on Iraq and Iran.

Dimitris Christofias, the island's parliamentary president and powerful communist party chief, said Cypriots did not want the bases on their soil and feared reprisals if they are used to launch attacks on Iraq.

The bases - kept as overseas territories by Britain when it granted independence to Cyprus in 1960 - were used for the deployment of British troops during the Gulf war.

"What worries us most is Britain's assertion that the bases have been targeted by Iraqi missiles," said Green party MP George Perdikis, citing Downing Street's dossier on weapons of mass destruction allegedly held by Iraq.

Mr Perdikis said there were fears that giant antennae being erected at the base could be prone to terrorist attacks.

Violent riots have erupted over the masts in the past 18 months over fears that they will damage the environment and impair the health of local residents. Mr Perdikis branded yesterday's larger-than-usual protest as just "the start".


A man is dining in a fancy restaurant and there is a gorgeous redhead sitting at the next table. He has been checking her out since he sat down, but lacks the nerve to talk with her. Suddenly, she sneezes and her glass eye comes flying out of its socket towards the man. He reflexively reaches out, grabs it out of the air, and hands it back.

"Oh my, I am so sorry," the woman says as she pops her eye back in place. "Let me buy your dinner to make it up to you," she says.

They enjoy a wonderful dinner together, and afterwards the theatre followed by drinks. They talk, they laugh, she shares her deepest dreams and he shares his. She listens.

After paying for everything, she asks him if he would like to come to her place for a nightcap ......... and stay for breakfast.

The next morning, she cooks a gourmet meal with all the trimmings. The guy is amazed!! Everything had been SO incredible!!!! "You know," he said, "you are the perfect woman. Are you this nice to every guy you meet?".

"No," she replies, "You just happened to catch my eye.".


From:     John Belcher, Chippenham, UK
Date:      03 Oct 2002 07:57
Subject:  Virus Infection


A suggestion that all members who have not got up to date virus checkers either get one and keep it up to date or visit this link to check to see if their PC is infected with a new virus called ‘BugBear’.

The virus appears as a normal message with an attachment and is sent out from the infected PC without the owner’s knowledge.

I received a copy of this virus today but my virus checker stopped it. However it can disable some virus checking software!


[Ed:  Thanks John.  There are a lot of hoax virus reports out there – but this one is genuine.  Personally, if I see an e-mail with an attachment and I either don’t recognise the sender, or the attachment has a weird or “exe” file extension I just delete it right away.]


Well, that's it for this week

Have a great weekend!

Best regards