05 October 2001


Joining us this week are:

Mick Clark from Doncaster, UK

Ray Webster from Long Eaton, UK

Welcome to the OBA!

From:       Ian Bell, Masirah, Oman
Subject:    Re: Old Boys Briefs 092801
Date:        Fri, 28 Sep 2001 08:14:46 +0400

Ian Berry

Hi mate.....It's Dinger.

Sitting in sunny Masirah trying to run the ATOC out here. As you can guess I'm up to my ass in Americans and C-17s at the moment, so is Keith Parker at Thumrait.

Sorry this is so short, but here comes yet another aircraft!!!!!!!!

Take to you soon.

From the K.O.S.


[Ed:  Sounds like you have your hands full Dinger - just be sure to keep your head down!]

From:     Scott Innes, Worcester, UK
Subject   Hoax
Date:      Fri, 28 Sep 2001 10:29:00 +0100


The flight number in wingdings is a hoax. A very well known one. The flight number is completely made up.  Just put Q33NY into Google and one of the links is to some sort of  police/us marshal's forum.



Ps. I look after our sonicwall internet firewall at work. On the 11th/12th/13th/14th September, the biggest website hits were ones for  Nostradamus. So don't believe those hoaxes either.


[Ed:  Thanks Scotty - I hadn't verified the information at the time of going to print.  By the way, I saw your photographs on the Flight Simulator site ]


From:           Steve Williams, Lincoln, UK
Subject:        Mystery Photograph Suggestions
Date:             Sat, 29 Sep 2001 13:43:17 +0100

Hello Tony,

If you want, I can bore the pants off you by elaborating on Ian's email about the CASA in Alaska.

The task was way back in the Spring of 1988, the team consisted of Richard Fogden, Ken Morris,  Me, Dibs Loveridge, Rip Kirby, Kenny Thompson and a MAMS engineer who I unfortunately forget the name of. The photo was taken at Prudhoe Bay with Rip on the condec, Dibs in the cab, and I think it may be me on the other side of the vehicle. We used to rotate half the team at Prudhoe Bay and the other half down at Elmendorf. In order that we didn't attract attention to what we were doing we were given the cover story that we were on a scientific expedition from the University of Nottingham.

As you can see the ramp of the CASA is on dunnage, this is because when the US Navy originally planned the project it built a wooden ramp extension, the theory being that the torpedo would slide down the ramp on to a cradle. Best made plans and all.. the torpedo just grounded straight into the deck. So that night in the hotel restaurant we came up with a plan, actually drawn on serviettes so we could show it to the CASA pilots, where the condec would reverse into the CASA and lower its rear suspension, and the torpedo would go up on to the condec.Thankfully this system worked well.

The hotel we stayed in at Prudhoe Bay was different. Prudhoe Bay is actually on the North Slope of Alaska, and is oil industry country, consequently no alcohol is allowed, especially because of the  native Indians and their love of the stuff. Anyway, the hotel, although built out of portakabins, had an excellent restaurant, gorgeous waitresses, and it was all inclusive, just help yourself to donuts fruit etc 24 hours a day. The first night I was there confused Shirley, one of the waitresses, as to simplify the admin we used to take on the identity of each other, so for that night I was Ken Morris.

Shirley's first words to me were, '' What is the difference between kinky sex and perverted sex?''

Me: '' I don't know''

Shirley: '' Kinky sex you use a feather, perverted sex you use the whole chicken.''

The CASA pilots were characters as well, both came from the oil fields of Oklahoma, and not only flew the aircraft but serviced and refuelled it. I flew onto the ice with them one day to collect a torpedo. We flew north for about an hour and landed on 8 foot of ice next to a few tents that looked like Ice Station Zebra. It was through this ice that the they would cut a hole to retrieve the torpedo after it had been fired from the submarine. The next day the airstrip cracked and an alternate had to be made.

Do you remember how the condec used to backfire occasionally if it had been left idling for a period?  Well, it did this one day at Prudhoe Bay.... the unfortunate thing was that it coincided with Ken dropping a torpedo off his forks whilst going into the Evergreen hangar. I think Ken aged 10 years that day, in times of stress one seems to forget that these things were inert!

I seem to recall that when the team came to Elmendorf  from Florida they opened the Para Doors and were well wrapped up in their Parkas and cold weather gear. This surprised a little as we were just in short sleeves, they had heard the captain say the ground temperature was 15 degrees and assumed because this was Alaska he must mean 15 below. In fact it was a lovely spring day.

Ahhh.. the good old days. Greetings to the rest of the Op Bilbo team.

Cheers - Steve Williams

[Ed: You're right Steve - the good old days - we all have those very special memories of some magical moments!]


From:       Ian Bell, Masirah, Oman
Subject:    First Annual Kabul Air Show
Date:        Sat, 29 Sep 2001 17:03:00 +0400

Hi Guys

The Brit side of things !!!

First Annual Kabul Air Show Scheduled
(AP) Kabul, Afghanistan
17:52GMT - Sept. 27, 2001

Citizens of Afghanistan are reportedly looking forward with great anticipation to reports of an international air show to be held in the skies over their nation.

 An unnamed official informed us that "Now the rest of the world will look upon our beloved city with great honour just as they do Farnborough, England and Paris, France",  referring to the sites of two other famous international air shows.

The exact date and time of the upcoming Kabul International Air Show has not yet been announced. It is believed that event organizers feel that such an announcement would detract from the fun of the celebration by, "spoiling the surprise".

 Unlike most air shows the Kabul Air Show will feature almost no static ground displays but will have an unusually high number of aerial  demonstrations and fly-bys. "We are most pleased by this feature of our air show. Instead of a lot of different kinds of aeroplanes just sitting around on the tarmac, the aircraft attending our show will actually be up in the air demonstrating what they do best!" we were told.

Participation will probably be heaviest by aircraft of the United States Air Force and Marine Corps. Including appearances by F-15's, F-16's, A-10's,  B-52's and Apache helicopters. It is rumoured that opening ceremonies will feature a tomahawk cruise fireworks display. A few B-2's, and F-117A's may also help out in some unseen capacity.

Several other counties have expressed an interest in sending representatives. These include all nineteen nations in the NATO alliance as well as Australia. The excitement generated for this gala event has even prompted the Israeli Air Force to apply for participation.

Of course, no one is more excited than the Afghan people themselves. Great numbers of them are in the streets of Kabul looking constantly heavenward in gratitude for the historic event, which will soon take place in their skies.

It has been observed that some are so concerned about missing the show that even as they bow to the East they keep snatching worried glances towards the West. Thousands, in fact, have been seen leaving the city and fleeing to the mountains carrying food and blankets - obviously anxious to get a good vantage point for the air show, and to make a picnic of it.



[Ed:  Should be quite the show - but let's just hope that no innocent people are hurt - or worse]


From:         Kevin Stanger, Lincoln, UK
Subject:     Change of e-mail address
Date:          Sun, 30 Sep 2001 19:38:46 +0100

Please note that my e-mail address is now it would seem x.mail has closed down.

Keep up the good work

Best regards

Kevin "Geordie" Stanger

[Ed: Thanks Geordie - I have taken care of it]


From:       John Belcher, Lyneham, UK
To:           Jerry Allen
Subject:    Tristar
Date:        Wed, 3 Oct 2001 21:29:41 +0100


Re the problem with the Tristar at Dulles not being cleared for take off below - something very cold.  In 1994 I was on task with Taff Kelly, Ian Berry, Don Hazlewood and some others on a Red Flag. Taff and I were left at Goose Bay while the rest headed down to Nellis. The plan being that the Tristar would do 2 shuttles from Goose to Nellis and we would go there on the last lift.

However as things do - it didn't go to plan!  Taff and I were stuck in Goose for 3 or 4 days when the Tristar diverted to Minneapolis as Goose was too cold for them to land and they didn't want to get stuck there.  I suppose the 'no rates' had no influence on them either. Well it was about -200C,  but Air Canada seemed to find it warm enough. The Tonka's had made it to Nellis - it had next to no equipment and all their chaff was in Goose. It got to the stage where the Flag was going to have to go ahead without the RAF.

The aircraft captain was told that he would either land at Goose or back at Brize to have a talk with the AOC!  Surprisingly enough the very next day the Tristar arrived and collected the freight and 2 Muppets and took them to Nellis and then repeated the flight the next day.  So the problem with the Tristar and the cold was still going on in 1994.


[Ed:  Okay - nuff's enuff - bring back the Beverley!]


Well, that's it for this week.  It's Thanksgiving Weekend here in Canada - Columbus Day south of the border, so we're all going to eat and drink and drink and drink...........

Have a great weekend

Best regards