British cadet served with RAF College Cranwell in GB, 1960-1963; officer served as pilot with No 4 Flying Training School in GB, 1963-1964; served with 231 Operational Conversion Unit in GB, 1964; served with No 16 Sqdn in Germany and Malaysia during Indonesian Confrontation, 1964-1966; served with Royal Air Force attached to Fleet Air Arm in GB, Far East, Aden and Mediterranean, 1966-1968; served with Royal Air Force in GB, 1968-1969; served with Royal Air Force attached to 736 Naval Air Sqdn Fleet Air Arm in GB, 1969-1971; served with No 237 Operational Conversion Unit in GB, 1971-1972; served with No 12 Sqdn in GB and Europe, 1972-1975; served with No 79 Sqdn No 1 Tactical Weapons Unit in GB and Gibraltar, 1975-1976; served with No 237 Operational Conversion Unit in GB, 1976-1979; officer served with RAF Staff College in Bracknell, GB, 1979-1980; staff officer served with Royal Air Force in GB, 1981-1984; officer served with 237 Operational Conversion Unit in GB, 1984-1987; served with RAF Central Flying School Examining Wing in GB and various places, 1987-1989; served with RAF Support Command Headquarters in GB, 1990-1992; served with RAF Linton-on-Ouse in GB, 1992-1994; served with Defence Export Services Organisation Ministry of Defence in GB, 1994-1997; reserve officer served with Cambridge University Air Sqdn in GB, 1997-2004; served with No 5 Air Experience Flight in GB, 2004-2009
REEL 1 Background in GB, 1942-1960: father's service with Royal Air Force; childhood interest in aviation including first flight and visit to RAF Biggin Hill; gaining of scholarship to RAF College Cranwell; knowledge of father's war service; activities during school holidays at RAF College Cranwell; aviation books and films; question of favourite plane; membership of Air Training Corps at Sherborne School; reason for not taking a flying scholarship; process of joining Royal Air Force including tests and interviews at RAF Hornchurch and RAF College Cranwell; disadvantages of having father in Royal Air Force; news of acceptance; gaining required A Levels; preparations for departure; journey to and reception on arrival at RAF College Cranwell including background of cadets. Aspects of period as cadet with RAF College Cranwell in GB, 9/1960-1963: accommodation including storage of kit and heating; haircut; details of squadron; organisation of course; storage of rifle; cleaning of boots; pattern of training; discipline and punishments. REEL 2 Continues: changes after 1/1960 including visits to mess; description of RAF College Cranwell; rifle cleaning and drill; story of drill competition; details of uniform; movement around college; visit to Lincoln; further details of uniform; heating in accommodation; relationship with recruits; treatment from senior cadets; change of accommodation, 12/1960; details and storage of car; leisure activities in Lincoln; first flights at Cranwell in de Havilland Chipmunk; duties as mentor to next intake; education including selection for external degree; daily routine; classes about aviation; sports; Sundays. REEL 3 Continues: accommodation and batman in Second Year; facilities in main college; pattern of training; details of Hunting Jet Provost; description of flying lessons received in Hunting Jet Provost; learning to land and take-off; progression to solo flight; sector reconnaissance flight; aerobatics; flying in cloud; experience at end of first year of flying training; navigation training; flying in formation; night flying including effects on body from flying. REEL 4 Continues: clothing worn during flights; emergency training including dinghy and parachute drill; tests during time at Cranwell; completion of degree; award of wings including background to posting to fighter training. Aspects of period as officer with No 4 Flying Training School in GB, 9/1963-2/1964: details of RAF Valley and course; training in flight simulator; description of Folland Gnat's longitudinal control system including dealing with emergencies; other details of Folland Gnat; reaction to possibility of being posted to V-force; reactions to posting received. REEL 5 Aspects of period as officer with 231 Operational Conversion Unit in GB, 5/1964-9/1964: details of English Electric Canberra and RAF Bassingbourn; flying with one engine; details of course; make-up of students; memories of navigator, Vic Avery; training given in nuclear weapons; leisure activities; roles of and relationship between pilot and navigator; lectures on captaincy; details of English Electric Canberra; journey to Laarbruch. Aspects of period as officer with No 16 Sqdn in Germany, 9/1964-2/1965: details of RAF Laarbruch; role and readiness of squadron; routine including leisure activities and changes to emergency state of airbase; delivery of nuclear weapons; bombing practice; working-up period including differences with English Electric Canberra in squadron and flying in Germany; methods of not flying into East Germany; flights in GB, Mediterranean and North Africa; details of English Electric Canberra Mk VIII; secondary role of squadron. REEL 6 Continues: situation in and posting to Malaysia; journey to Malaysia. Aspects of operations as officer with No 16 Sqdn in Malaysia during Indonesian Confrontation, 2/1965-6/1965: details of RAF Kuantan including accommodation and facilities; defence of station; communications; ground attack capabilities of English Electric Canberra Mk VIII; targets; bombs carried and delivery method; use of flares; night flying from RAF Kuantan; ground attack alerts; opinion of chances against an attack; operational difficulties; navigation including problems with maps; problems from wildlife and climate; trick played on visiting staff officers; cooking facilities; rations; clothing worn; staff of base; leisure activities including visits to Singapore; details of flight back to Germany including stops en route; briefing before flights; details of flights including visits to air weapons ranges, navigation exercises and simulated attacks on RAF Kuantan; debriefing. REEL 7 Continues: description of night flying sorties; simulated attacks on shipping; Indonesian attacks on Malaysia; squadron attack on Indonesian Commandos; return to Germany; background to posting with Fleet Air Arm including reaction of colleagues to his volunteering; interview before posting; journey to Lossiemouth, summer 1966. Aspects of period as officer with Royal Air Force attached to Fleet Air Arm in GB, Far East, Aden and Mediterranean, 1966-1968: details of RNAS Lossiemouth; changes to language and atmosphere; Navy attitude to airplanes; familiarisation period with Hawker Hunter including reasons for training with this plane; background of unit members; details of Blackburn Buccaneer Mks I and II. REEL 8 Continues: further details of Blackburn Buccaneer; weapons carried including nuclear weapon; photo reconnaissance and re-fuelling; taking-off from an aircraft carrier including description of the steam catapult; initial problem faced when landing on an aircraft carrier; process of landing on an aircraft carrier including equipment used; story of first arrested landing on an aircraft carrier; landing during day; exercises; story of launching missile upon on landing; purpose and rate of flights in Far East from HMS Victorious; shore visits. REEL 9 Continues: trip to Thailand; periods at and details of RAF Changi; leisure activities in Singapore; period at Aden including flights over the area and items carried; story of problems landing following a fly past; voyage through Suez Canal; background to posting in Mediterranean; roles of aircraft; shipping attack exercises; knowledge of squadron role; activities during 1967 Six Day War and reactions to situation; return to RNAS Lossiemouth; night flying from an aircraft carrier including process of landing. REEL 10 Continues: need for accuracy when landing on an aircraft carrier; arguments over problems with Blackburn Buccaneer on take-off and subsequent tests and changes; operation of ejector seat for when underwater; landing on aircraft carrier with one engine; details of and problems with hydraulic systems; emergency drills including training in flight simulator; emergency barrier used on aircraft carriers; details of clothing worn in cockpit including anti-G suit and other methods to return blood to the head; description of Blackburn Buccaneer cockpit including getting in and equipment; roles of and relationship between pilot and navigator. REEL 11 Continues: return to and activities at RNAS Lossiemouth, summer 1967; fire onboard HMS Victorious during re-fit and subsequent removal from service; background to return to Royal Air Force. Aspects of period as officer with Royal Air Force in GB, 7/1968-4/1969: details of instructor course undertaken at Central Flying School, RAF Little Rissington, including make-up of a flying lesson; description of instructing student pilots at No 4 Flying Training School to fly the Folland Gnat including learning when to intervene; details of and problems with Folland Gnat including background to introduction of Folland Gnat for training; description of and problems with the controls. REEL 12 Continues: opinion of the Folland Gnat; return to RNAS Lossiemouth. Aspects of period as officer with Royal Air Force attached to No 736 Naval Air Sqdn Fleet Air Arm in GB, 4/1969-3/1971: journey to and arrival at Lossiemouth; initial training given to pilots in ground school and Hawker Hunter; description of a first flight with a student in a Blackburn Buccaneer including potential problems; details of later flights including operational conversion and practice weapons ranges. REEL 13 Continues: night flying and fighter training; training later gained with squadron; training given to students for landing on an aircraft carrier; background to and description of ejection from Blackburn Buccaneer Mk I during a lesson including items gained following use of parachute or locator beacon; subsequent activity on airfield; injury; details of later Blackburn Buccaneer Mk I accident with student crew and subsequent withdrawal of aircraft; hospitalisation; return to Royal Air Force. Aspects of period as officer with No 237 Operational Conversion Unit in GB, 3/1971-4/1972: details of unit at RAF Honington; visit to RAF Hospital at Ely; building-up of unit; details of role including differences from role at RNAS Lossiemouth; problems with engines and supply; problems with training Blackburn Buccaneer crews; reaction to posting away from unit. REEL 14 Continues: marriage, 6/1972, including reason for wearing mourning bands; Aspects of period as officer with No 12 Sqdn in GB and Europe, 4/1972-3/1975: details and role of unit; movement of squadron in support of Royal Navy including to Stornoway and Europe; navy personnel with squadron; description and use of Martel missile aka Missile, Anti-Radiation, Television system introduced; involvement in Martel trials; devising tactics for use of Martel missiles; limitations with and reliability of Martel missiles; further details of devising tactics for use of Martel missiles including listening to Soviet fleet and exercises; description of process of firing Martel missiles; difficulties for pilot and navigator when using Martel missiles; specialist nature of work; testing of Martel radar system in McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II including near accident. REEL 15 Continues: recall from leave during Turkish invasion of Cyprus, 7/1974; preparation of Blackburn Buccaneer for overseas service; loss of equipment during maritime exercise; organisation of flying programme; finding a target at night including problems with disorientation; award of Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air; posting to RAF Brawdy. Aspects of period as officer with No 79 Sqdn No 1 Tactical Weapons Unit in GB and Gibraltar, 3/1975-1976: details of unit; initial course undertaken; joining of No 79 Squadron; role of unit; opinion of single seat Hawker Hunter; flying at RAF Brawdy; operational role and exercises; details of squadron presence and periods at Gibraltar including reconnaissance of Soviet fleet; pattern of training given to students at RAF Brawdy including flying training. REEL 16 Continues: further details of training given to students at RAF Brawdy including weapons training and air to air combat; end of course sortie; adaptation of course depending on posting of pilot; further details of air combat training including types and results of sorties; story of near mid-air collision; advantage of sorties between mismatched opponents; knowledge of Soviet air force; discussion of training given including weapons carried by McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II; details of weapons training courses given to instructors including background of students; details of RAF Brawdy including accommodation and presence of US Navy. REEL 17 Continues: promotion to squadron leader; period with No 237 Operational Conversion Unit at RAF Honington including description of and involvement in Queen's Birthday Fly Pass, 1976-1979; posting to staff college. Aspects of period as officer with RAF Staff College in Bracknell, GB, 1979-1980: details and role of course including visits out from Bracknell and thesis; visits to NATO, West Germany and Berlin; details of RAF Staff College at Bracknell; posting received. Aspects of period as staff officer with Royal Air Force in GB, 1/1981-1984: duties at RAF High Wycombe; knowledge of approaching 1982 Falklands War; initial expectation of Royal Air Force involvement in the war; transfer of command from Strike Command to Fleet Headquarters; involvement in ending Royal Air Force presence in Omaha; story of visit to Calgary during return journey. REEL 18 Continues: promotion and posting to RAF Brampton, 10/1982; role as wing commander including details of Hawker Siddeley Hawk and Handley Page Jetstream; flying and description of Hawker Siddeley Hawk including comparison with Hawker Hunter and Folland Gnat; problems with Hawker Siddeley Hawk; further details of role including make-up of staff and examples of problems faced; flying of Handley Page Jetstream and its use in training; later training given to Handley Page Jetstream students; role as wing commander. Aspects of period as officer with 237 Operational Conversion Unit in GB, 5/1984-5/1987: movement of unit to Lossiemouth; operational role of unit including description and use of laser guidance system; exercises and visits to weapons ranges; support given to Dutch Air Force including story of incident during an exercise. REEL 19 Continues: story of incident during an exercise; details and opinion of role as squadron commander including story of fatal accident. Aspects of period as officer with RAF Central Flying School Examining Wing in GB and various places, 5/1987-1989: details of posting; history of RAF Central Flying School; role and make-up of Examining Wing; training aircraft in Royal Air Force; testing of Red Arrows; relationship with Army, Navy and overseas forces; details of visits overseas; details of Handley Page Jetstream and its use in training including dealing with an engine failure. REEL 20 Continues: further details of training given to students in Handley Page Jetstream; details of flight plan submitted before take-off; joining of an airway; changes to flight plan; leaving an airway and landing including holding patterns; details of auto-pilot systems; opinion of Handley Page Jetstream; story of visit to Swiss Air Force; details of Air Transport Fleet; flying of helicopters including description of Aerospatiale Gazelle; problems with flying helicopters; advantages of helicopters. REEL 21 Continues: learning to fly helicopters; details of Westland Wessex; description and uses of the Hawker Siddeley Hawk; learning to fly new aircraft; learning to fly the Avro Shackleton and reason for doing so; story of training given to an No 8 Squadron's commanding officer including description of flying Avro Shackleton; problem of morale among Avro Shackleton co-pilots and idea put forward to help alleviate this; replacement of Avro Shackleton; details of the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team aka the Red Arrows including selection of new members. REEL 22 Continues: training of Red Arrows pilots including own involvement and dealing with emergencies at air shows; process of examining instructors including results and upgrading; reactions of flying schools to Examining Wing visits; differences in teaching between flying schools; commandant's visits abroad including example of one to Switzerland; details of examining visits overseas including countries visited and example of trip to Jordan. REEL 23 Continues: details of examining visits overseas including countries visited and example of trip to Jordan; need for tact while visiting overseas air forces; situation in Kenya at time of visit; details of examination trip to Kenya; visit to Sultan of Oman's Air Force including flights in Short SC.7 Skyvan; details of examining visit to Singapore; story of alcoholic squadron leader; retirement of Hunting Jet Provost; details of its replacement, the Short Tucano; process of introducing Short Tucano into service. REEL 24 Continues: problems with and opinion of Short Tucano and its production; variety of aircraft flown during posting; examining visit to Dubai; involvement with gliding standards and practices including learning to fly different types of gliders; flying of gliders including landing; examination of glider instructors; reflections on posting; promotion to group captain. Aspects of period as officer with RAF Support Command Headquarters in GB, 1/1990-1/1992: details of role; organisation of fly past for Queen Mother's 90th Birthday, 1990, including method of getting all planes into place at the right time; writing of plan for treatment of wounded troops returning from approaching war in Middle East, 12/1990. REEL 25 Continues: writing of plan for treatment of wounded troops returning from approaching war in Middle East, 12/1990; putting plan into action during 1991 Gulf War; collection of items from US for Joint Air Reconnaissance Intelligence Centre; story of problems on return from US; further details of role including daily routine; problems with training restrictions during 1991 Gulf War; preparations for next posting. Aspects of period as officer with RAF Linton-on-Ouse in GB, 1/1992-1994: details of station and others in area Eeles commanded; retirement of Hunting Jet Provost including example kept for display; naval training presence; contracting of training to civilian companies; problems encountered with new system and overcoming them. REEL 26 Continues: arguments with civilian company over use of airfield at weekends; problems created by having civilian instructors; maintenance of standards; later changes to civilian contracting; other duties and problems as station commander including representation of RAF in York; discipline and punishments; story of Budgerigar kept at station; story of fight among brothers in the married quarters and subsequent hearing; reflections on posting; accommodation; housekeeper; duties of wife; entertaining; pastoral care duties; dealing with complaints about noise including effects of Short Tucano's introduction. REEL 27 Continues: story of noise complaints file from one man; relationship with nearest civilians in Linton-on-Ouse and Newton-on-Ouse; handover of post and departure from airfield; details of short term role at RAF Innsworth. Aspects of period as officer with Defence Export Services Organisation Ministry of Defence in GB, 1994-1997: accommodation; details of role as air liaison including use of the Red Arrows; work with No 5 Air Experience Flight in Cambridge; search for civilian work and departure from Royal Air Force. Aspects of period as reserve officer with Cambridge University Air Sqdn in GB, 1997-2004: history and role of university air squadrons; training given to students already selected for RAF; make-up of staff; details of headquarters and airfield used; discipline; process of selection for squadron including description of interview and medical; activities of squadron; students joining Royal Air Force and help given to them. REEL 28 Continues: organised non-flying activities during term time and holidays; success of university squadrons; movement of squadron to RAF Wyton; transport arrangements; reasons for leaving service. Aspects of period as civilian in GB from 2004: details of period with No 5 Air Experience Flight, 2004-2009; retirement; work with Guild of Air Pilots and Navigators including details of the newsletter; question of favourite aircraft.