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Almost Missed Australia While Bombing

During my time at 77 Squadron, flying the Mirage, we spent time at the bare base Learmonth on Australia’s North West coast.  This was a very good detachment with excellent flying to be had.  On one such detachment the Squadron ran a bombing program with a gradual build up to quite complex operational style missions…

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A Close Call in a Hercules

After about two years flying as a copilot on the venerable C-130 Hercules I was being groomed for captaincy and as such I was doing a lot of flying with the Squadron executives to ensure that I was capable of being a captain.  On this particular mission I was programmed to fly with the Commanding…

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The Mirage Heavy Landing

I am proud to say that I have only ever damaged an aircraft once that was my fault, although I have been guilty of some other silly mistakes during my career.  So what did I do?  I was in 77 Squadron at the time and one of the Squadron luminaries decided that we should attempt…

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Going for a Spin in the Mirage

The flight manual for the Mirage IIIO was quite specific in prohibiting spinning the aircraft. A spin in an aircraft is when one wing has lost all its lift (stalled) and the other is still producing some lift, this usually occurs at slow speeds and high angles of attack when the aircraft enters an unbalanced…

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Close Call in a Mirage

During my time flying Mirages I did have a few close calls. The first was while I was in 3 Squadron in Butterworth Malaysia. The Squadron was running a ground strafe program on the air weapons range known as Song Song. Song Song was an island to the North of Penang and on its Eastern…

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The Legend of Sherry and Frills

Around 1987 I was the Introductory Fighter Course Flight Commander at No 2 Operational Conversion Unit (2 OCU), I was a Squadron Leader and service protocols required that junior officers addressed Squadron Leaders as ‘Sir’. Friday afternoons were the time that all the fighter Squadrons got together in the back bar of the officer’s mess…

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The Short-haired Wig Era

I graduated from the RAAF School of Technical Training (RSTT) in June 1971 as an instrument fitter, a trade that I really enjoyed. I was posted to RAAF Base Williamtown in New South Wales, near Newcastle, were I got to work on the Mirage and Macchi aircraft. Having been brought up on the Gold Coast…

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The C-130 Hercules Crew Swap Prank

Whenever we were tasked with carrying Army passengers in the Hercules we always looked to carry out some sort of prank to heighten their anxiety when flying with us. This particular prank was instigated by the Loadmaster on my crew for the task of carrying some 80 Army personnel from RAAF Base Richmond to Rockhampton…

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The Attempted Space Shot

During my early days of flying the Mirage IIIO for the RAAF we focused heavily on conducting intercept missions that were designed to catch high flying bomber aircraft.  These missions were done both day and night.  The Mirage radar was not very good and you would be lucky to detect a bomber at 15 nautical…

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West Irian Adventure in the C-130 Hercules

During my time at 36 Squadron flying C-130 Hercules I was tasked to take a Hercules into West Irian or Indonesian West Papua.  This was incredible because the Indonesian government would not let any foreign military personnel any where near any part of West Irian.  The task required us to enter the country at a place…

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