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  • Straight and Level: 14 Mar 2006

Straight and Level: 14 Mar 2006

The truth will out
Nephew Peter Gray, Budgie News’s very own rotor head and tilt-thingy test pilot writes:
“I was gobsmacked to read in the 50 Years Ago column (Flight International, 7-13 February) an item entitled the ‘Ice-cream Waver’. It was me, your intrepid helicopter and tiltrotor test pilot! I had gained an RAF flying scholarship with the Air Training Corps while still at Enfield Grammar School and learned to fly the wonderful Tiger Moth. My enthusiasm to continue flying was such that I took a weekend job selling ice cream in a van. It was very lucrative and I also fell in love with my very pretty assistant. When she was on another job, I flew low over her ice cream van at about 300ft. Twice. She waved and I was delighted. Then, quite rightly so, the UK Civil Aviation Authority prosecuted me. The RAF tried to defend me, but to no avail. I must be the first person to have been prosecuted by the CAA. Unfortunately – not being a very well-organised person then – I had let my pilot’s medical certificate expire. So the report stated that I was “unlicensed”. The chief flying instructor of the Herts and Essex Flying Club, Peter Ayles, who went on to be one of the pioneers of the hovercraft, told me later my real mistake was going round the second time during my low-level beat up. “Do it once and fly off,” he said.
The next day, Maj Draper, branded by the press as the ‘Mad Major’, took our Auster under all the Thames bridges, downwind. I come from an exciting background. I hope this does not disturb you.”

Straight and Level Mar14,2006

Heinz in space
It turns out a few more varieties of H J Heinz’s foods will travel into orbit this year after being selected by NASA as “bonus food items” for the crew of the International Space Station.
Will this mean the new rhyme on the ISS will be:
“Beans, beans, good for your heart,
The more you eat, the more you...er...float?”
Apparently not, thank goodness. The new Heinz foods cleared for launch are barbecue sauce and seafood cocktail sauce, which join other condiments already in space – tomato ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard and mild taco sauce – all of which are part of the standard US condiment kit that goes to the space station. So now you know.
Nearer to thy god?
(Overheard in Budgie News office)
Rollo Freelunch: “Says here the author of ‘God Is My Co-Pilot’ has just died.”
Monty Orangeball: “Hope he’s been on a crew resource management course.”Gravitational moment = crash

50 years ago inverse colors TN

Read Flight from 1956 or read
Uncle Roger's web log.
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