RAFairman's Blog

An RAF Airman's Blog

Bueno Estente…!

Earlier this evening I was flicking through the Sky Channels and came across an episode of “The Fast Show” and in particular the sketch was the famous Chanel9 News and weather. If you’ve not seen it, the weather girl on there gives the forcast in a mad language but essentially says that everywhere is going to be “Scorchio”.

This reminded me of a trip we once made across the Atlantic with some Tornado F3’s. We were working on the Towed Radar Decoy that was fitted to the aircraft which was to undergo a trial in the vast deserts of Nevada. (Unfortunately this meant that we had to stay in Vegas…but into each life some rain must fall. But I digress.)

The Tornados couldn’t make it all the way across the Atlantic and so we had to stage through the Lajes in the Azores. The engineers put the aircraft to bed and we raced to the hotel where we were to spend the night.

Here we arrived and were allocated rooms all along one corridor and we ruched to the rooms for a shower and to get changed so we could go out for a beer and some food. As is the RAF we, all the doors of the rooms were left open as we set about checking out the facilities. Each room had a TV – unfortunately with only one channel. Almost as one people turned the TV on and of course the local Azores weather forecast was on – in the local language of Portugese, presented by a young lady.

And as if as one…all that could be heard shouted from each room was “Scorchio!”.

That night turned into a very, very long night…so long in fact that I didn’t get back to my room until about 5:30am – having been to a very nice club on the beach, and made sand angels with a couple of locals who were quite friendly. The only thing about getting back at 5:30 was the fact that we had a call for the aircraft at 6:30. So a shower and a change and I was in the lobby of the hotel with my bag – and the bed unslept in.

The bonus was that we were flying across the Atlantic in a VC10 tanker which only had sbout 30 seats and the rest of the cabin was empty…enough space for me (and my room mate Mike – who’d been out with me all evening) to stretch out in and get a lot of sleep. I don’t remember anything of the rest of the journey to Bangor in Maine, where our next stop over was.

And that night involved a newly opened bar. A baseball hat tucked into my back pocket and a very grumpy couple of bouncers who seemed to think it was a gun. But that is another story…

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