30 Million Quid and no CD player…
I got a new car this weekend. It’s not Brand new, but, well it’s newer than the 9 year old Golf I had that was stuttering on its last legs. Or wheels. Whatever.
The old one had a cassette player. Yeah! How 1990’s, and the change between the old car and the new one (a CD PLAYER – WOW!) got me to thinking.
In the 90’s I was working on 29(F)Sqn when it was flying Tonado F-3’s. The Navigator would have to load the mission data for the flight using a data tape. On a standard C-90 cassette.
Yeah. A £30million aircraft. With a tape deck in it. It also served as a cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and also as a standard cassette deck which allowed for the aircrew to have something to listen to. (Phil Collins was always popular.)
The tape was loaded by pulling up a lever and then pulling the cassette unit upwards. It then moved through about 75 degrees so the tape could be fitted into the machine and the the unit was replaced back into the cockpit “dashboard”.
OK, this is fairly boring stuff and I know it, but it’s quite inportant in building upto the following short story.
One day I was seeing in a jet and after the engines had been shut down the ladder for the aircrew was pushed up to the side. The cockpit canopy raised and the aircrew unstrapped themselves from their ejection seats.
The Navigator looked a bit sheepish, and glanced at the Pilot who looked at me and laughed at him.
The Nav paced slowly down the steps with something behind his back as he approached me. “Errrr…” he started.
He produced the deck of the Cockpit Voice Recorder…which he had pulled right out of the dash of the jet!
“This came off in my hand. Errr…I’m sorry…I think I broke it…!”