The German air controllers at Frankfurt Airport are renowned as a short- tempered lot. They not only expect one to know one’s gate parking location, but how to get there without any assistance from them. So it was with some amusement that we (a Pan Am 747) listened to the following exchange between Frankfurt ground control and a British Airways 747, call sign Speedbird 206.
Speedbird 206: “Frankfurt, Speedbird 206 clear of active runway.”
Ground: “Speedbird 206. Taxi to gate Alpha One-Seven.”
The BA 747 pulled onto the main taxiway and slowed to a stop.
Ground: “Speedbird, do you not know where you are going?”
Author’s Note; I have been doing some pretty serious stuff on the site recently and to balance it out about I have decided to start a new series of light hearted stories with a military theme. So welcome to the first instalment of the “Morale Officer” series.
The late Captain Mickey Munn – an all-round fine fellow, highly experienced pilot and, at the time, Sergeant in the Red Devils (UK Parachute Regiment display team) – was piloting a Britten Norman Islander to jumping altitude with a full load of hairy-arsed paras crammed into the rear of the aircraft. With no warning at all, a bang and a flash of flame, the port engine blew itself to pieces. Mickey’s hands flashed around the cockpit as he brought the aircraft under control. As soon as the aircraft was straight and level he turned to his passengers and said: “Phew. I think you chaps should…” But his words tailed away as he gaped at the empty passenger cabin. At the first sign of trouble, the paras had leaped from the aircraft and were at that moment floating serenely towards the earth. Mickey landed safely to tell the tale.
It has become a tradition for major UK retailers in recent years to battle for the accolade of the Christmas advertisement. Undoubtedly the reigning champion the past few years has been the John Lewis store. Well the crew of HMS Daring have spoofed the latest advert about a lonely penguin.