By Tom Eeles
Staff Captain Tom Eeles served within the RAF for forty four years and totaled over 8000 hours of flying in twenty-eight diverse airplane kinds. Tom entered RAF collage Cranwell in 1961 and received his RAF wings in 1963. His first posting was once to No sixteen squadron flying the Canberra. Its function as a gentle bomber squadron used to be essentially nuclear strike, with a secondary function of traditional floor assault via day and evening. sixteen Squadron was once deployed to Kuantan, Malaya. In July 1966 and on personal loan to the Senior carrier, Tom said to RNAS Lossiemouth for a swept wing conversion direction at the Hunter prior to beginning the Buccaneer Operational Flying path. After sixty five hours within the Buccaneer he used to be published to 801 NAS, HMS positive.
In 1969 he joined 736 Naval Air Squadron which was once answerable for education classes for RAF aircrew changing to the Buccaneer. He moved to twelve Squadron dependent at RAF Honington. Their job was once to supply a maritime strike/attack power and a nuclear strike potential in help of the united kingdom nationwide Plan. 1975 observed a flow to seventy nine Squadron flying the Hunter. After a spell on the RAF employees collage, Tom turned employees officer accountable for all points of speedy jet complex flying education at the Hawk at Valley and multi engine complicated flying education at Finningley. In 1983, chosen to command 237 OCU, back flying the Buccaneer at Lossiemouth.
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Additional resources for A Passion for Flying: 8,000 hours of RAF Flying
I began my refresher flying in may well 1984 and presently turned concerned with a Board of Inquiry right into a deadly coincidence that happened at Lossiemouth on 208 Squadron. This used to be a very unsatisfied affair, which made a deep impact on me, really in recognize of the necessity for squadron participants to have belief of their commanding officer, such that they felt in a position to talk about their own issues of him while want be. total, it was once a truly messy company yet we controlled to prevent the following of relatives anguish pointless damage. as soon as that used to be over I accomplished my refresher and took over the unit from the indefatigable Wing Commander David Mulinder in September. No had I taken command, while preparations for us to maneuver north rather started to assemble velocity. there has been going to be a large amount of family upheaval for all involved; we have been going to need to depart our condominium and flow to a married zone that used to be pretty well similar to the neighborhood council homes! Our squadron lodging was once additionally dealing with a tremendous upkeep yet was once a similar development that were utilized by 736 Squadron while Lossiemouth used to be a naval airfield – it was once strong to be again within the outdated construction doing a similar factor back! something i'm going to always remember used to be our eating Out from Honington. the men developed a wide Buccaneer out of cardboard, approximately eight toes lengthy, outfitted with a rocket-launching tube below every one wing. an extended electric cable hooked up the launching tubes to a 12-volt automobile battery. An preliminary trial firing within the empty squadron construction was once really magnificent, with the rockets exploding violently on influence with the wall. The preliminary response was once that it was once too harmful to exploit it within the officials’ Mess, yet, after a couple of beers earlier than the development, the men replaced their brain. It used to be duly suspended from the ceiling of the eating room, with the auto battery hidden underneath the desk. regardless of the makes an attempt of the Mess employees to have it got rid of, it survived and all of us sat all the way down to dine with it placing menacingly over us. On my left was once the Boss of the twister guns Conversion Unit. He requested what the Buccaneer used to be going to do – I defined that it'd be pulled alongside the rail from which it was once suspended and that it's going to sell off a large number of talcum powder on whoever was once lower than – which occurred to be him. He was once no longer amused and we didn’t speak a great deal for the remainder of the night. On my correct used to be OC Ops Wing. He too requested what the Buccaneer could do – I informed him to get down lower than the desk once I had accomplished my speech – solid recommendation, because it became out. while my flip got here to talk, I made an properly rabble-rousing speech vilifying the twister and extolling the virtues of the Buccaneer. while i ended conversing the swap used to be thrown at the battery. there has been a certainly theatrical pause, which confident the diners that it wasn’t going to paintings, then the rockets went off. They unfold all around the eating room, exploding loudly anyplace they hit. How nobody used to be injured i'm going to by no means comprehend.