Straight & Level 10 September

One is better than none
The obviously strapped-for-cash Kuwaiti government is sticking one of its Amiri Flight Airbus A300s on the market.
Before you all figure that it’ll be a dinner-party talking point and look nice on the driveway parked next to the Ford Mondeo, we’ll draw your attention to the fine print.
Some way down a list of ‘special conditions’ attached to the sale is the minor point that the aircraft “has only one engine”.
It then goes on to state that the aircraft will not be sold “partially”, shamelessly sidestepping the fact that a single-engined twinjet is partial in anyone’s dictionary. Caveat emptor and all that.

Owning up
Tweet from Heathrow airport: “Here’s a fun fact to kick off your Friday! @heathrowairport is twice the size in area of Gibraltar.” The other difference between the two places? The Brits still own Gibraltar.

Left winger
Ryanair marked World Left Handers Day on 12 August with a 100,000-seat sale, which could be booked on the company’s website by left-hand only.
Ryanair’s left-handed chief executive provides the obligatory quote, although it’s probably the only time Michael O’Leary will describe himself as a “leftie”.

Lax on Lancs
Slapped wrists for us, demands Andy Burrows. “Always nice to see a picture of the Panton Brothers’ Lancaster,” he says. Unfortunately, the airfield where the famed Second World War bomber is on display is East Kirby, Lincolnshire, not “appropriately, Lancashire” as we noted in our Pic of the Week caption in 6-12 August.
The flightcrew responsible for NX611 operate her on taxi runs, he says, “but they definitely haven’t flown her across to Lancashire. Yet.”

Flying Red Adair

Our 25 Years Ago reference to the Piper Alpha disaster prompts our helicopter test pilot Peter Gray to send in his memories of that fateful day.
“I was with Bristow Helicopters, overnighting in Aberdeen to fly to Shetland the next,” he recalls. “I was woken by all the helicopter traffic. The reason was apparent when I switched on the TV. Instead of proceeding to Shetland, I was used to fly an Sikorsky S-61N to the standby platform alongside what was Piper Alpha. 
“The sight was dramatic, even traumatic – the sea on fire and molten metal dripping into the sea.  How those who jumped overboard survived is amazing.”
“I later flew out Red Adair. He arrived in his private jet, no customs or immigration. He got on board my S-61N and I flew him out to the standby platform. Piper Alpha was still burning.”

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