Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Cheetah Magazine December 1978

Cover, Cheetah Magazine December 1978 Cover Page

Pg10-1, Header

In I960 it was decided for the first time to include a Regular European Battalion in the Army order of battle and as a result No. I Training Unit was established at Brady Barracks, Bulawayo. No. I Training Unit not only provided personnel for the Battalion, which was formed later, but also provided personnel for C Squadron, The Special Air Service, and the Selous Scouts a reconnaissance squadron

The 1st Battalion, The Rhodesian Light Infantry officially formed on 1st February, 1961. This day is now recognised as the Regimental Birthday.

In the latter part of 1961, the Battalion from Bulawayo to the new barracks in Salisbury, Cranborne Barracks, having just returned from operations on the Northern Rhodesia - Congo border.

In 1964, the organisation and role of the Battalion was changed from the conventional infantry unit to a Commando Battalion. The wearing of the Green Beret was also introduced.

Colours were presented to the Battalion on 19th June, 1963, by the then Governor, Sir Humphrey Gibbs, K.G.M.C., O.B.E., on behalf of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

On 27th June, 1970, the Regimental Colour was trooped before the Prime Minister, The Honourable I. D. Smith, I.D.

Regimental traditions which form an important part of Battalion life, are gradually being built up. Two are noteworthy, namely the Regimental Quick March, "The Saints", and the mascot — the Cheetah.

For the past few years the Battalion has borne the brunt of border control operations in Mashonaland and has been engaged in numerous, most successful operations against terrorist gangs that have infiltrated into Rhodesia.

(a): To establish liaison between the Regiment, E.R.E. and ex-members.
(b): To nurture the traditions of the Regiment.
(c): To organise social functions for the re-union of all ex-RLI members
(d): To rehabilitate wounded ex-soldiers.
(e): To render guidance to members leaving the Regiment.
(f): To offer welfare assistance to widows.
(g): To assist with the Public Relations of the Regiment.
(h): To raise funds.
(i): To implement any projects which may, from time to time, be approved by the National Executive Committee.

Branches at;

Head Office:

Volume: 1: Number: 2 - December 1978

Pg1-1, RLI emblem


Editor: Capt D. P. Hobson
Art Work: Capt M. L M. Blackman

Please all correspondence to:

The Secretary
RLI Association,
P.O. Box 8294.


Pg2, Cheetah December 1978



"I was delighted to receive the first edition of 'Cheetah', the regimental newsletter In a new and attractive format. At the same time, I was honoured and privileged to be invited to write a Christmas message for this issue.

Christmas is traditionally a time for families to draw together, spiritually, mentally, and where possible, physically, and I welcome and applaud the renewed efforts by the RLI Association to keep all those who wear the Green and Silver In touch with each other. The Association has done good work in the past; may the present surge of effort result In even greater effectiveness.

It seems so many years ago that I took my leave of the Regiment as CO, but what I said then still applies, and is even more appropriate now. I remarked that when the going became really tough, and when all the chips were down, I hoped I would find myself among RLI guys and bolstered by their morale, spirit, and fighting qualities. With the RLI on our side, we can only be winners! But more than that, the camaraderie and will to fight, provide the best environment in which to be. The going hasn't become all that tough and the final play Is not yet to hand, but we live in momentous times, when the future of our civilization and standards are at stake. Thank God for the incredible RLI; the country owes you so much, and I have so much pride In still "belonging" through the Association.

A happy Christmas to all members and families of the Regiment and the Association; and full confidence In the maintenance of standards, opportunities, and pursuit of happiness in 1979 and beyond."

It gives me great pleasure to write a few notes for the Christmas edition of "The Cheetah"elsewhere in the magazine are details of all the happenings in the Commandos. Suffice to say that we remain operationally the most flexible unit that has ever been created. From chasing Gandangas in hot steamy TTLs to special operations in places where our passports are for strange reasons not recognized. Add all this to our remarkable success in Fire Force operations and I am pleased to tell you that the characteristics of the Cheetah, i.e. speed and aggression in the kill are very much alive and well. Statistics can be misleading and At very best an absolute bore, however our statistics for this year alone show that we have accounted for +/-483. Not all this has been achieved without tragic loss ?f life of nine and others wounded. To the families of the RLI who have suffered and grieved, as we have over the loss of loved ones please accept our deepest sympathy. They will be remembered with pride. At this time of year I would like to thank the wives, girlfriends and families of the RLI who have to put up with the constant tensions of belonging to our unit. Without their support, I am sure, morale would take a nose dive. Like everyone else in our unsettled country everyone is wondering where exactly we are going. I believe it is important for the morale of the Europeans to see their RLI still strong and together. Help us keep it that way. To all members of the RLI family both serving and away from us I wish you all the best for the coming festive season. Finally to the Editor and staff of our brand new Regimental magazine our Congratulations and Thank You for your effort.

Yours faithfully,
(I. R. Bate)
Lieutenant Colonel,Commanding Officer.

Pg5, Cheetah Magazine December 1978


News from the Op Area
After a few months absence, the Big Red found itself on Fire Force once again. Although the bush trip was not a record one, it was fairly successful both on and off the field. Off the field, Lt Neil "Orca" Storey made sure his last fling with the Commando was a hefty one, whilst on the field 2Lt Gavin Wehlburg was introduced to the Crack and Thump side of operations, So successful was this introduction that towards the end of the bush-trip the young subbie had to be loaded into a chopper, so laden was he with grenades and bullets. Wherever he landed there was sure to be a fierce punch-up.

During breaks, a hardcore card school was always on the go, Bastard Bridge and Black Bitch being the favourites. Here 2Lt Bob Graves, the butt of most jokes since the departure of Neil Storey, procured the name "Flash", due to his amazingly sluggish reactions during the hours of play.

The Commando was visited by General Hickman, and we have since heard he is not too keen to return, having been served raw potato salad over lunch by the normally efficient CSM Edwards. The burly W02 Edwards in turn earned himself the title "Mtoko Mauler", for reasons best kept quiet. However Big Red is interested to see a certain Pro wrestler from that area has since retired.

An interesting side-line to the bush-trip was the fitness kick of the beefy 2i/c. Unfortunately, on the second day of his rigorous schedule, Lt Mich Walters found that sharp sprinting after a four-year lay-off was a trifle far fetched, as did his Achilles tendon. Nevertheless, this injury was accepted with much delight by the Andrew Fleming nurses, and there was much scheming about who's turn it was on night duty, when Big Mich was wheeled in.

This bush-trip was split, the first month being ground deployment, and then back to Fire Force for two weeks. So it was an with large packs (loaded mostly with paper-backs), and a spot of pressure on the feet. The lightest pack belonged to Sgt Stu Taylor, who was often observed moving off on his 7-day deployments with a maximum of two tins strapped to his ancient webbing, normally chopped ham.

Lt Dick Stent spent his days moving from Gomo to Gomo„ searching for one best suited to sun-tanning. Anti-tracking in his case was useless, a« his trusty sergeant Merv Bramwell, suffering continually from the dreaded gypo guts, left a fresh trail wherever the call-sign moved.

O.C. Major Fred Watts suffered from this affliction along with the Commando, and his I.A. drills in the K-car when nature called were fairly interesting, ensconced as he was inside a chopper, flak-jacket, jump-suit, and in mid-air.

It was about this time that Cpl Ed Nel had the O.C. in K-car foxed for a while. Finding himself under pressure with his stick, in thick bush, Ed's answer to the high-orbiting choppers call of "Where are you?" was a confident "I am above you, . . . now".

Pride of place goes to the O.C. and Colleen on the birth of a son (albeit without wings on the right shoulder and a moustache). Congratulations.

Congratulations also to Cpls.. John Foran and Errol Lottering on their respective weddings.

O.C. to Major
Neil Storey to Lt.
Rich van Malsen to Lt.
Tony Edwards to W02.
Jimmy Lynch and Trevor Penna to L/Cpl.

Three very prominent members of the Commando over the last few years have left, and will be greatly missed. Lt Ian Scott, posted to 4 Bde, Lt Rich van Malsen (the aggressive goblin) is the Battalion's new R.S.O. and Lt Neil Storey has left the army. We owe much to their hard work and humour, and to them a big thanks and good luck.
The same to: '
Cpl. Pappy Bolton, posted to Engineers
Al Chambers on finishing Intakes 156 and 157.

Once again the 'Big Red took 1st prize in the Industrial Section at the Gatooma Show, thanks to Neil Storey and his team, who worked hard to achieve this. Needless to say, a fine thrash was had by all as well. The death of Sergeant Coenie Marnewech has saddened the Commando. The popular and able Mamie will be greatly missed. Cheers, mate.

Pg7, Cheetah Magazine December 1978"


1. Marines in as weapons (4).
2. American soldiers and two learners get the measure (4).
3. Gunners angle one on for the quota (6).
4. Fire eater swallows nothing for the horse (?).
5. Marksman without the right direction gets the bird (5).
6. Cardinal in the explosive gets temporary shelter (4).
7. Pole and point mixed up to run off (5).
11. Equipment that always lets the soldier down
12. Order nothing for this elite unit (8).
13. Old soldier will drop behind (3).
14. Cover from air attack on the golf course
16. Cutting part of the sword (4).
17. Backward Royal Academy takes it easy to detain (6).
20. Quiet, lost from the shake. That's where it comes from (5).
22. Initially British Territorials (1,1,1,1).
23. Positive solution (3).

1. Mad because the grenade was tossed around (7).
6. See 21 across.
8. Search for somewhere to shoot (5).
9. Military Intelligence and fifty join it with. 1st Class backing for part timers (7).
10. New spelling.
12. Unaccompanied in the saddle this Officer (7).
14. Is, the answer (2).
15. The Band Master won't score runs with this, but he mustn't stop (5).
16. Phoning the enemy over the wedding. No likely! (8).
18. The Royal Marine comes in to fade badly Should have worked the land (6).
19. See 21 across.
21, 6 and 19. What the Nanny did to the messy sentries? (7,3,5).
22. Attempt the answer (3).
24. Negative responses to the targets? (10).
25. Encountered at the weather office briefly (3)

Keep Scrolling for the Solution.

Pg9, Cheetah Magazine December 1978


Once again it is time to go to print and update you with the Commando. Since the last contribution the Commando seems to have travelled many, many miles and have twice had to move literally from one side of the country to the other. This with its inherent punctures, breakdowns and mishaps seems to have occupied a fairly large amount of our time.

At the last time of writing the Command, as can be seen from the last notes, was taking flak from a large number of directions. The flak and other things that were flying around appear to have settled somewhat. With the departure of five members of our local Mafia to the glorious holiday resort located in an obscure corner of Brady Barracks, things have almost returned to normal, except that most of the junior NCOs proved to be card holding members of the Mafia. This has created a problem with leaders. When we say almost to normal we mean it. Various members were alleged, by you know who, to be carrying a very lucrative trade in ter weapons. This led to many searches and long hours of questioning; the boot of a small car was searched as "they" had it on good int that it contained a 14,5mm heavy machine gun. Alas, they were disappointed and departed, without even a red face.

As normal the population of the Commando has fluctuated considerably with postings in and out and member* leaving on completion of their time.

Capt, Pete Hean as 2I/C, posted in from Adjutant. Welcome Pete and hopefully your profound knowledge of administration will greatly assist us.

C/Sgt Stew Hammond as CQ, posted in from MT. As Stew is a qualified driving tester the Commando can now move legally,

2Lt Duff Gifford. A national service subbie fresh from Hooters and now OC 8Tp. Good luck, but don't burn your body out before we can use you.

L/Cpl Jerry Doyle. Having reported him as leaving in the last notes Jerry is now back. His intention to return to Canada came unstuck after a long bout in the Lions Den. On attempt ing to purchase an air ticket he discovered that he had no funds.

Sgt Keavney on temporary attachment. Another 'Brit, we are becoming inundated.

Capt Jesse Hickman across the fence to HQ2Bde. Thanks Jesse for all your work and no doubt .you will be a frequent visitor during R and R.

W02 Authur Budd on posting to 2RAR as RQMS. Good luck Authur and thanks.

L/Cpl. Fig Figueredo, L/Cpl Richard Bratt, L/Cpl A Boise — On completion of time. Thank you all for your services. Good luck in civvy street.

Also back with us for a short period are various members of Intakes 156 and , 157 doing their first TA call-up. It's good to see them back and hope they enjoy it.

There have been a few promotions in the Commando which probably accounts for our greater turn over of beer:

Cpl. Nick Clayton to sergeant and posted to 6 Tp.

L/Cpls. Danny Danielson, Nico Boer and Tony Braunswick to full corporals.

Tpr. Steve Devine to Lance Corporal for the second time.

Congratulations all-of you.

It is with great regret we record the death in action of Tpr Andre Botes on 22 June 1978. Our deepest sympathy to Mrs 'Botes, family and friends.

Finally we have a number of wounded and injured members:

Sgt. Fraser Brown. 'Minor injury to his leg as a result of an electric detonator going off accidentally.

Tpr. Jordie Jordaan. Shot in the head in a contact. Fortunately it was his head as he has recovered very well and is now on holiday in Durban, per kind favour of the Terrorist Victims Relief Fund.

Tpr.Roger Emery. Head injury as a result of a vehicle accident. Now convalescing at Tsanga Lodge.

Tpr. Steve Bacon. Shot in the leg in a vehicle ambush. Not serious, just enough to leave a scar to show his grandchildren and tell war stories about.

Get well quickly all of you and look forward to seeing you all back in the fold.

Solution to Crossword
1, Angered; 8, Range; 9. Militia; 10, Neo; 12, Colonel; 14, Be; 15, Baton; 16, Engaging; 
18, Fanned; 21 6 and 19 Changed the Guard; 22, Try; 24, Objectives; 25, Met.

1. Arms; 2, Gill; 3, Ration; 4, Dragoon; 5, Snipe; 6, Tent; 7, Elope; 11, Parachute;
12, Commando; 13, Lag; 14, Bunker, 16, Edge; 17, Arrest; 20, Udder; 22, T.A.V.R.; 23, Yes.

Pg11, Cheetah Magazine December 1978

Well the lovers have done it again! For the second bush trip in a row we have proved that we are able to MAKE LOVE AND WAR by beating, for the umpteenth time, the Battalion record for the number of kills in a bush tour, (a record we held anyway). During 13th June to 25th July 1978

we managed to account for 80 charlie tangos (their last tango in Mtoko) and in our latest tour, 9th August to 20th September, 1978, 84 Chenjis (a lover's derogatory term for a terrorist) were exterminated. Come on -the other Commando's we can't carry you all the time! See our new Training Manual "All's fair in Love and Martial War" on general issue to all lover personnel (or would be Lovers).

Lt Jug Thornton has passed onto other pastures and has been posted to Battalion HQ for a while. Once again it is noted that the battle-hardened Strike Force knew where to look for true talent. Tug goes nursing his "Old K car injury" after a profitable and exciting tour with The Lovers and we wish him a fond farewell.

2Lt Fabian Forbes, our mangwanani specialist is off to Training Troop for a while to teach Shona customs. A place will be reserved for you in the Commando until February next year so see you then with luck.

2Lt Andre Scheepers has now successfully passed the SAS selection and we wish him happy soldiering and good hunting in his new unit.

W02 John Norman, DMM, Congratulations on your new promotion -and well deserved award of the DMM. W02 Norman ha* been posted to Training Troop and we wish him luck and thank him for all the excellent service he gave 3 Commando.

C/Sgt John "That Reject from Andrew Fleming" Coleman has successfully passed the Potential Officer Course, Officer Selection Board and is attempting to coerce the staff of Hooterville into issuing him a pip or two! You know what they say about Bullshit bafflles brains? Jokes aside — good luck Colour, we hope to see your dazzling shoulders in the near future.

Sgt Paul Abbott is off to destinations unknown. We thank him for his creditable operational service and with him luck in his new appointment.

NEW LOVERS KARIBU (i.e. Welcome)
2Lt Chappie "wet behind the cars" Rosenfels is now the new leader ol 14 Troop.
CSM Terry Miller has taken over as Chief Whip.
C/Sgt Brian Lewis is now the new "mustard to custard" specialist.

Karibu to the following new trooples: Michael Chance, Eike Elsaeiser, Rodney Taylor, Keith Rogers, Alan Palmer- Jones and our new Doc, Cpl Pete Rice.

Cpls. Norris and Percy Hodgson are doing service with Training Troop. What with 2Lt Forbes, CSM Norman, Cpl Norris and Cpl Hodgson all overseeing the training, the other Commando's can relax with the knowledge that they will in future receive an injection of lover fighting ability, charm and fortitude, otherwise only experienced in 3 Commando. We hope that it will serve to bring the other Commando's up to an acceptable standard!

The Commando deeply regrets the loss in action of two of our fighting lovers. Tprs Simon Clarke and Joe Byrne died fighting for Rhodesia. Both excellent soldiers who will not be forgotten by the Commando. Our sympathies to their families.

TROOP NEWS (for which Commando HQ would like to apologise to all readers)
11 Troop. Since the last issue we have undergone numerous changes — for better or worse is highly debatable. We say our fond farewells to 2Lt "Rommel" Forbes who goes to Training Troop (there goes the standard of recruits), C/Sgt John Coleman on Potential Officers Course (him an Officer?) and finally to Cpl Bob "Shoulders/Basic" Smith to D.R.R. (we hear by special request of RhMP). Thanks to you all and best of luck.

From 12 Troop comes Sgt (check in the last issue for attributes) Coom. Our two faithful NS "Please can we go on Stop 1, Banana 6 and all externals"—Mesham and Anderson return to the fold with happy heart. To them and the new bunch of Troopies — Welcome.

Our heartiest congratulations to L/Cp.l George Galloway on his well-deserved BCR. Confirm you only did it for a few days off in town,

Enough is enough and we end with a quick "It really did happen" from our new Troopies.

"Mark, do you have the Cammo Cream?"
'No, ask the Tracker."

"Matshonga, do you have the Cammo Cream?"
"Aaah Eweeh!"— plus the rest.

12 Troop. 12 Troop, or "Mobile Flex Unit", continues to ripple around the Camp, barebreasted with biceps bulging. First of all we would like to say good-bye to Sgt "Fonz' Coom who has gone to impart good manners and "how to behave in public" lessons to 11 Troop. Hellos to C/Sgt "Daisy" Flowers, Tprs Rock Botha, Yank Elsaesser, Gordon Fry and welcome back to our TA member, Jerry Stander, with his Mobile Daglo Panel. Welcome back also to the two flexes who have recovered from flex injuries, Claude Botha and Alex Nicholls. The latter has returned from his three monh skive, deep in-love, and is heard to hum himself to sleep with "The Wedding March".

Derek Bowhay, who has returned from the "Donkey Wallopers" after discovering that cleaning out horse manure wasn't such a skive. He has excelled himself on the Volley

Ball court — when no one else is available to play. "War Story" Walsh has left us for a month's vacation, all expense paid at a well known hotel in Bulawayo where no doubt he will recount his experiences to spell-bound listeners, "Piggy Watt and Chalky are at the moment oozing charm and sex appeal to the birds in Durban and no doubt we will hear about it when they return. "Star Wars" Gillespie continue to cook like an extra-terrestrial alien scattering the enemy in all directions. "Blob" Wilkins has swelled the ranks with his considerable flex frame. Well, that's all, keep flexing.

13 Troop. Well a lot has happened since our last news. Some for good and some for bad and some mediocre and some. . ,

Starting from the top, Lt Rog Carloni has taken over from 2Lt Andre Scheepers (that's the bad news!) Cheers to 2L Scheepers and well done on your recovery and passing SAS Selection, Cpl Percy Hodgson has been attached to Training Troop for a while but will be back!

Question: "What do you get with Happy Wedding Bells?'
Answer: "Unhappy bank managers and in-laws."

Cpl Jimmy Gibson and Ed Wandel have got — unhappy bank managers — congratulations and condolences.
Congratulations and farewell to Mark Wentzel who married a day after his discharge. Cheers Wentt and good luck.

Welcome to National Servicemen, Tprs Pascoe, Weave and Taylor, Also welcome back to Tpr Bain who is now a T.A., poor lad!

L/Cpl Gavin Fletcher recently departed to the Okavamba Swamps to try and locate the rare Okavamba bird, who travels around on safaris looking for a mate. Well, he didn't make it, so he's back looking for that rare Rhodesia bird seen any lately?

14 Troop, 14 Troop welcome their new officer ? Lt D. C Rosenfels. Last bushtrip after attempting to break a leg on Para Course, he was only able to hobble about until the next course came up which he passed without any serious damage to his body (we think).

At the moment Cp,l Norris is attempting to gain his third stripe while Fergus O'Brien is busy trying to swop his MAC for a stripe. L/Cpl. Warren is on holiday despatching RAR and has just written asking for a posting to them and a big pot of Cammo Cream,

This bush trip started off with four weeks of pack slogging including mountain climbing and swimming lesson where 2Lt Rosenfels had the problem of being wet up to his neck while the majority of us only got our knee caps wet

The four-week episode came to an end on a sad note with the loss of Tpr Joe Byrne doing his second bush trip .with us Our sympathy and respects to his family and friends in the U.S.A. We also send our condolences to family and friends of Tpr Simon Clarke of New Zealand whom we lost the previous bush trip.

We say good-bye temporarily to "Nick the Greek' Amyrosiadis, who's mastered the art of fire and movement He is now acting head waiter, with a damaged shoulder. Another departure was that of L/Cpl Condon, who decided that the beach and sun of South Africa were far more pleasant than six week bush trips and is now AWOL

Finally we would like to welcome Tprs Leighton, Foulds Palmer-Jones and Rogers to the Troops,

LOVERS VIBES. We hope to produce a song for each of Cheetah. Herewith the first:

(Sung in a slow Scottish drawl)
I'm lying in bed, I'm in Room 26
And I'm thinking of the things I've done
Like drinking with Troopies 
And boning my boot
And counting the Medal's I've won.

"Oh Sergeant is this the adventure you meant,
When I put my name down on the line,
Oh you talk of the sunshine, the booze and the birds,
And I'm asking you Sergeant

I've a brother in Jo'eys
With long curly hair
When I signed up he said "I was mad"
He said shooting floppies just was not his scene
That brother of mine wouldn' t cull.


But I can put up with most things
I've done in my time
I can even put up with the pain
But what do you do,
With a round in your head
When you're facing a lifetime in bed.


I had 18 bottles of whiskey in my cellar, and I was told by my wife to empty the contents of each and every bottle down the drain, or else! I said I would, and proceeded with the unpleasant task. I withdrew the cork from the first bottle and poured the contents down the sink, with the exception of one glass, which I drank. I extracted the cork from the second bottle, and did likewise with it, with the exception of one glass which I drank. I then extracted the cork from the third bottle and poured the whiskey down the sink which I drank. I pulled the cork from the fourth bottle down the sink, and poured the bottle down the glass which I drank. I pulled the bottle from the cork of the next, and drank one sink out of it, and threw the next down the glass. I pulled the sink out of the next glass and poured the cork down the bottle, then I corked the sink with the glass, bottled the drink and drank the pour. When I had everything emptied, I steadied the house with one hand, counted the glasses, corks, bottles and sinks with the other, which were 29, and as the house came by, I counted them again, and finally had all the houses in one bottle which I drank. I am not under the affluence of incohol, as some thinkle peep I am. I am not half as thunk as you might drink. I fool so feelish, I don't know who is me and the drunker I stand here, the longer I get.

Training Troop Blues
One it often asked why the instructors in Training Troop wander around muttering incoherently and spend what little leave is allowed them in Ward 12 with the screaming meemies.

The following list showing the nationalities which have passed through the Battalion should be a sufficient answer.

How do you persuade a German to cut out goose-stepping or teach an Eskimo about bush survival.

Australian, American, Argentinian, Austrian
Belgian, Brazilian
Canadian, Chinese. Chilean, Czech
Danish, Dutch
English, Eskimo
Finn, French
German, Greek
Italian, Irish, Israel
Mauritian, Malawian
New Zealander
Portuguese, Polish
Russian, Rhodesia
South African, Spanish, Scots, Seychelles, Swede, Swazzi, Swiss
Tanzanian, Turk

Pg15, Cheetah Magazine December 1978


Quite a lot of water has flowed under the bridge since our last contribution, most of it completely censored except for:

FAREWELLS. The Commando bids a very sad farewell to its first CSM, WOII 'Phil Payne who is posted as RSM at Balla Balla. He has our congratulations and sympathies and will be sorely missed, his appetite for cowboy books, other "bookies", brandy and biltong will severely hit the viability of the south Matabeleland economy.

Other farewells include Sgt van Vuuren (now a bankrupt toy manufacturer!), Charlie "Brown" (out of work astronaut), Bisley Coetzer and Wily Kuhn (now married to Chunkie Mclver's sister), Gary Lieberman, "Mother" Walters, Mike Watson, BCR, "Gonzo" Taylor and Lance Landsdell.

WELCOME. We welcome to our ranks Lt Brian Carton Barber (new OC Recce Troop who is a mixture of anthropologist, author, women's adviser to Readers Digest and a soldier in his spare time). We also welcome numerous new members to the 4 elite" including various rejects from Grey Scouts, other Mongolians and a smattering of others well acquainted with the geography of the Central Police Station.

1. L/Cpl "Buzzard" Doulgeris (Parachuting is my life!!) on failing his PJI course.
2. Trooper "George" Wondrum on the purchase of a suit. He is hoping to buy a tie next R and R.
3. Trooper Dickens on managing to carry two full water bottles plus webbing a distance of 80 metres.
4. Cpl Russell Phillips for possessing an exhaustible supply of friends who have cheap radios and tape recorders for sale.
5. Lt Prinsloo on having lost his virginity.
6. Lt Willar on having regained his virginity.

Other news of significance consists of:

a. Presentation by the Air Rhodesia hostesses to the Commando of a handsome cheque which will be used to purchase a custom-made inter-troop parachuting trophy.
b. Constant improvement of the Commando lines by the planting of lawns, hedges and other flowering miscellanea.

A certain WO2 on having landed by parachute in in potentially hostile area, at the top of his voice —
"Gather around me, I'm a married man!"

Life progresses apace with only the odd operational deployment to spoil an otherwise tranquil existence. The Commando hopes to be back for Xmas (we held an excellent Open Dance despite our absence) and look forward to inviting all our friends, ex members and other disreputable dignitaries to : party to be held on or about 15th December (wording taking directly from a Comops Operational Directive).

At the Association Cheese and Wine Party

Pg17-1, Cheetah Magazine December 1978
The RLI Association Committee meets In the "Cheetah's Lair, 
From left to right — (Inset) Capt "Hobo" Hobson, Capt Colin Dace, RSM Ken Reed, Col John Salt, Harry Springer, Wally Watson, Carrie Taylor (Secretary), Lt Norman Neville, Basil Rushforth and Maj Charlie Aust.

Pg17-2, Cheetah Magazine December 1978
Lt Genl Walls Is seen chatting to Mrs. Bates and (back view) Mrs. Adams.
In the background Is Pat McLaughlin

Pg17-3, Cheetah Magazine December 1978
Looking rather pensive—
RSM Ken Reed. Air Lt Mike Strauss and WO 2 Allan Beattle


Pg19, Xheetah Magazine December 1978
A Memorial Statue is to be cast in bronze of a typical Trooper of Rhodesia's crack airborne Light Infantry Regiment, The RLI. This life-size Statue will stand on a plinth in the centre of the "Holy Ground" in the RLI Barracks.

The Statue to the "Incredibles" will commemorate those members of the Battalion who have died in action from the beginning of the war. Over this ten year period a total of 52 members of the Unit have been killed in action and 11 have died whilst on Border Control Operations. There were a total of 29 non-operational deaths during this period.

In return the RLI have achieved the highest kill rate of my unit in the war. Although reluctant to release complete terrorist casualty figures accounted for by this remarkable Unit, it is believed they number in the thousands. Renowned for their aggressiveness and professionalism, the RLI has been the spearhead of the nation.

In addition to the Statue being erected in the centre of the "Holy Ground", the surrounding "Holy Ground" is to be re-organised and the area suitably prepared to add to the beauty of the Memorial. Furthermore the Chapel will undergo major renovations, including a complete refitting of the pews and general furnishing as a mark of respect to those who have given their lives for the Country.

The design of the Statue has been undertaken by Captain Blackman and will be cast in bronze in Rhodesia by Mr R, Fiorini. The project is being organised by the RLI Regimental Association. Should members of the public wish to make contributions to the Memorial Statue and to the renovation of the 1 RLI Memorial Chapel, donations should be sent to the:-

1 RLI Association, 
P.O. Box 8294, 
Telephone: 703463, extension 148.


Pg21, Cheetah Magazine December 1978
Gilly Parker Seen opening thE New court. (Photo: Courtesy The Rhodesia Herald)

On 30 November this year a two-year-old ambition was finally realised when Mrs. Gilly Parker officially opened the new squash court at RLI, dedicated to the memory of her late husband, Col Dave Parker — The "King".

It is fitting that The King be remembered in this way because it was he who, indirectly, was the cause of the whole project. WOII Len Monson, the chief instructor at the RLI gymnasium, recalled that, when Col Parker first took over command of 1RLI, squash was about as viable here as the dodo. During his tenure as CO he encouraged the revival of the sport to a large extent and, in the process, sowed the seeds of interest in Len Monson, himself. As a result, attention was paid to the game (what else can you do when an 85 kg ex Rhodesian wrestler asks you to play!) and RLI fielded a team in the Mashonaland SRA 6th league, which team included Col Parker, himself an avid squash player. Eventually, when The King moved to the corridors of power, he left behind (among many other things) a very healthy squash contingent at RLI.

In 1977 Len Monson went down to South Africa on a recruiting drive, as part of an army team. While he was down there, encouraging people to join our happy band (assisted, no doubt, by the odd application of a judicious half-nelson) he used every trick he knew to boost recruitment and one of these tricks involved using a technique known as "talking bulls...", particularly with regard to the extent of sporting facilities available at RLI. When he returned to Rhodesia his conscience got the better of him and he took a long, critical look at our sporting facilities, with a view to improving them as much as possible. One glaring shortcoming which quickly made itself apparent was the lack of adequate squash facilities and it was decided that a new squash court, with a reasonable seating capacity and good payability, would be built.

Fund-raising for the venture, which was undertaken solely by the members of the gymnasium, began in earnest in October of 1977. Among the activities which were most successful were a "Match-Legs-To-Head" competition which raised $6 000, a Ball, held at the RLI Amenities Hall, which raised $350 and two gambling nights held for members of the Battalion. These raised a total of $400. Additional capital plus materials was raised by attacking various members of the public — their support, as always, was ready and generous. To all of them a great big vote of thanks.

Under the able directorship of Len Monson the new court, along with a few other sundry (ladies' change-room and sauna) and not-so-sundry (pub) additions, started to take shape in mid-1978. Unforeseen snags, such as rock in the ground, added over $1 000 to the original cost and several grey hairs to Len's head. However, work has progressed steadily until now, and the project is virtually complete. The court will have seating capacity for over 150 people and the pub overlooks the court as well, which means that further spectators can combine the best of both worlds if they so wish. The playing surface of the court has been finished to the standard required by International players and it is hoped that it will become a very popular venue for top-class matches. One statistic which is somewhat staggering is the price of the glass back-wall which is a feature of the court. This little fixture retails at something like $5 500. Woe betide the man who puts a crack in that!

For those who were at the opening ceremony it was worth remembering the reasons for the existence of the court and its adjuncts. We cannot think of a more suitable memorial than this to the memory of a man who was himself so vital and energetic. He would have loved it.


"Come on Doctor, let's have it. How am I?"
"Well, your teeth are all right, but those gums will have to come out."
* * *
The teacher was warning the children against catching cold in the rotten, snowy, freezing weather. She said:
"I had a little brother once who was only six years old and one day he took his brand new sled out into the snow. But he caught pneumonia, and three days later he died."
Silence. Then a voice asked:
"Where's his sled?"
* * *
"Uncle John! Gladys has eaten a poisoned mushroom!"
"I'm busy, Fred."
"Uncle John! Now Gladys has fallen in the river! She's drowning!"
"The mushroom would have got her anyway."
* * *
Three ministers of religion:
A Church of England Vicar, a Roman Catholic Padre and a Jewish Rabbi, were discussing how they split up their offering.
"I", said the Vicar, "am quite methodical about it. I count up the total and divide it into two, put one half aside for Heaven and take the other myself."
* * *
"I", said the Padre, "am not so painstaking, I split up the collection into two halves. I take the right-hand one for myself. I leave the other for the Almighty."
"And I", said the Rabbi piously, "consider both your systems unethical. Should any of my congregation show generosity I throw the cash— all of it — up to Heaven. Should any of it by chance just happen to come down again, then of course it's mine."
* * *
Pupil: "Me slept with Daddy last night."
Teacher: "No, I slept with Daddy last night."
Pupil: "Must have been after me fell asleep, teacher."
* * *
"Does granny still slide down the bannisters?"
"Yes; but I've put barbed wire there now."
"Does it stop her?"
"No, but it slows her down."
* * *
The tough guy was bragging about his older brother, who had spent his boyhood with Al Capone, the infamous gangster.
"My big brother once socked Capone right in the kisser," he said.
"I'd like to shake your brother's hand," said one of the impressed listeners. "Well," commented the tough guy, "we ain't gonna dig him up just for that."
* * *
Said the little boy to his father: "Daddy, what would you have been if you hadn't married mummy?"
"A bachelor, son," said father.
"And what would you have been mummy, if you hadn't married daddy?"
"A spinster," answered his mother.
"Well," said the little boy, "What would I have been if you hadn't got married at all?"
"Keep your mouth shut," said his dad, "You are going to be a traffic warden anyway."
* * *
A woman was in London during the days of the trams, and she approached a policeman and asked, "If I put my foot on the rail, will I get electrocuted?"
"Only if you put your other foot on the overhead cable, madam!"
* * *
A man charged with murdering his wife stated that she was always saying, "hang the expense . . . hang the ex pense," so last night he did!
* * *
True quote from Johnny Craddock, after Fanny had been demonstrating how to make doughnuts—"and I hope all your doughnuts look like Fannies!"
* * *
"Did you ever have this before?"
"Yes, Doctor."
"Well, you've got it again!"
* * *
A crowded No. 2 bus is heading down the Grassmarket at high speed, when the conductor notices that a sweet little old lady wants to get off at the Greyfriar's Hotel. Being unable to reach his bell-push due to the crush, he struggles to the front of the bus and knocks on the glass behind the driver's head — SCREECH!

The driver hits the brakes hard and the bus slews to a halt with tyres smoking and passengers thrown into a pile at the front of the bus. The conductor wriggles his way out of the melee, only to find the driver sitting in the seat, white faced and trembling with fear.

"What's the matter?" he asks. "Never, NEVER, do that again," the driver stammers, "I used to drive a hearse."
* * *
A young lady sat in her stalled car, awaiting help, when two young men walked up and volunteered their aid.
"I'm out of petrol," she explained. "Could you push me to a garage?"
They readily put their muscles to the rear of the car and rolled it several blocks. After a while one fellow looked up, exhausted, to see that they had just passed a garage.
"How come you didn't turn in at that one?" he called out.
"I never go to that garage," the girl shouted back. "They never give trading stamps!"
* * *
An African chief, complete with his entrouge, visited
Britain and stayed in a luxury hotel. Whilst eating his first meal the chief became thirsty.
"Fetch water," he ordered.
A servant came back shortly afterwards with a glass of water. The chief drank this but still felt thirsty.
"Fetch water," he ordered.
The servant went off but returned empty handed.
"Why no water?" he demanded.
"Sorry, Chief," the servant replied. "White man sitting on well."
* * *
"Daddy, why can't I play with the other kids?"
"Shut up and deal."


Pg24, Cheetah Magazine December 1978
Life Membership;
He must have served in the Regiment and badged R.L.I. 
He must pay Life Membership Subscription of Thirty Dollars ($30,00).

Full Membership;
He must have served in the Regiment and badged R.L.I.
He must pay Annual Subscription of Three Dollars ($3,00) per calendar year.

Associate Membership;
He must have served in the Regiment for a minimum period of one year, as an attached personnel; in other words, any other Corps other than R.L.I.
He must pay Annual Subscription of Three Dollars ($3,00) per calendar year.

Cover Bk, Cheetah Magazine December 1978
Back Cover of magazine.

If you can assist with the page "Jokes for the blokes" then please mail the page to Eddy Norris at orafs11@gmail.com

The following advertisements appeared in this magazine:-

Ad4, Cheetah Magazine December 1978

Ad6, Cheetah Magazine December 1978

Ad8, Cheetah Magazine December 1978

Ad10, Cheetah Magazine December 1978

Ad14, Cheetah Magazine December 1978


Ad16-2, Cheetah Magazine December 1978

Ad18, Cheetah Magazine December 1978

Ad20-1, Cheetah Magazine December 1978

Ad20-2, Cheetah Magazine December 1978

Ad20-3, Cheetah Magazine December 1978

Ad22, Cheetah Magazine December 1978

Ad23, Cheetah Magazine December 1978

Pg1-1, RLI emblem

Monday, 28 May 2012

Strip Roads Gave Good Service


Below is another story extracted from the book 'Know Your Rhodesia and Know Nyasaland'.

The 'Strip Road' was a uniquely Rhodesian concept. It was essential for the development of the very young country, a mere 40 years after the Pioneer Column had first entered the country, to construct a road network. This was of course not immediately possible because of financial constraints. This meant that the development of the country would have to be delayed until the necessary finances became available, OR an alternative would have to be implemented. The 'Strip Road' concept was arrived at essentially as an interim measure. This would allow for the development of a much needed funcional road network while financial resources were being built up to construct a fully tarred road infractructure.

Driving on 'Strip Roads' was of necessity a mutually collaborative effort because two way traffic was travelling on a single set of strips. Overtaking and passing oncoming traffic required that the two vehicles move over to use the relevant strip while completing the move. The 'low level' bridges were all built as 'single lane' structures, so right of way was determined by which car arrived at the bridge first. A simultaneous arrival at opposite end of the bridge was usually settled by courtesy of the drivers, a flash of the headlights giving the other car the 'go ahead'. 

Strip Roads Header, Strip Roads Gave Good Service

MENTION SOUTHERN RHODESIA to any South African or overseas motorist who has visited the Colony and he will invariably comment, in uncomplimentary fashion, about our strip roads.

But they have served a useful purpose, enabling many more miles of road to be built than would otherwise have been possible.

The strips have been in existence since the early 1930's. They are now being replaced by fully tarmacadamised roads, which to-day are found on most of the main routes. In a few years, every motorist hopes, the strips (now old and calling for constant patching) will have ceased to exist. Meanwhile, let us not forget the good service they rendered at low cost.

The first strip road was built from Gwelo to Selukwe. Mr. Stuart Chandler. Chief Road Engineer at the time, followed this up by building concrete strips from Bulawayo to the Matopos and from Salisbury to Beatrice in 1932.

The cost of building concrete strips was so high, however, that an alternative method had to be employed, so Mr. Chandler changed to the bitumen strips which became the standard type.

Experiments were carried out with asphalt in 1932 and the first of the strips as we now know them were laid. By the end of 1933, 54 miles of bitumen strips had been laid at an average cost of £320 a mile—a saving of more than £200 a mile on the previous method.

By 1939 there was a total of about 2,000 miles of strips. They were built to last 10 years, but with the coming of the war they had to last longer than was intended and there are now some strips in fair condition that are more than 20 years old.


It was in 1930 that the Chief Road Engineer of the day, while travelling along the well-worn trucks in the Eastern Districts, was inspired with the idea of surfacing these tracks in some way or other. This was the beginning of the "strip" roads so characteristic of Rhodesia.

At first concrete was used but tar macadam was found more suitable. These roads, which have two narrow tarred strips an axle base apart, were considered a great luxury and at one time constituted the country's main roads.

Many parts of the world, including countries in the Far East, asked for details regarding their construction. To-day these old tracks which served the country so well can only be found deep in the country, for they have been replaced by excellent modern roads or have become swallowed up by the bush.

During those years many low-level bridges were constructed on the main roads, usually with money given by the Beit Trustees. These made travelling less hazardous but there were occasions when flood-waters over-topped them by many feet and travellers were often caught between two rivers where they waited for hours and even days. These times have gone and the low-level bridges have been replaced by concrete structures, many of which take traffic far above the level of any hazards.


Srtrip roads2, Strip Roads Gave Good Service
Lundi River Old Low Level Bridge (West-Left) and Current Bridge completed in 1961

Strip Roads3, Strip Raods
The approach to flooded Lundi low level bridge near Rhino Hotel. January 1974

Strip Roads4, Strip roads
Lundi River in flood - the low level bridge, near the Rhino Hotel. January 1974

Strip Roads5, Strip Roads
Old low level bridge and current bridge. Bubi River Zimbabwe. 28 December 1987

Strip Road6, Strip roads
Strip road between Fort Victoria and Birchenough Bridge

Strip Road8, Strip roads
Crossing the Lundi, 1890
Photo taken from 1975 edition of NADA. 
(The 1890 photograph is of the Pioneer Column crossing the Lundi River)

Strip Road8-2, Strip roads
The Lundi Crossing, 1974
Photo taken from 1975 edition of NADA. 

NADA represents the NAtive Affairs Department Annual

Strip Roads7, Strip roads
New bridge under construction. Low level bridge still in use. Circa early 1960s

End of Article

Thanks to Nick for sharing his memories with ORAFs.

Comments are always welcome, send them to Eddy Norris at orafs11@gmail.com

Old Strip Roads
By Neill Jackson

I read with interest your article on the old strip road system in Rhodesia and remember well travelling on them with my parents, when I was still atjunior school.

I attach a couple of photos taken during a trip 'home' in 2005, for nostalgia's sake. This would have been the main Bulawayo to Vic Falls road and the strips are still in use as access to the elephant rides and walking with lions activities about 20km outside Vic Falls.

You are most welcome to use these photos if you wish.


Thanks to Neill for sharing his memories and photosgraphs with ORAFs.

Strip Roads9, Strip roads

Strip Roads 10, Strip roads

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Ndege Magazine: July 1963


Vol. 2 No. 2: July 1963



A Look at Flight Safety
Good Show - P.S. Dolby; Cpl. Podnore
Bush Survival?
Determination of Safety-Height
Loose Article?
Good Show - S.A.C. Borejszo
For the Workers.
Hats on Please.
New Classifications.
Good Show -Jnr. Tech. du Toit.
Third Man Theme
One Boy's Ambition (?)
Ndege Crossword
Dear Sir
Alcohol and the Pilot
Desert Survival in the Aden Protectorate
Good Show - Cpl. Tech. Borchardt
Accident Analysis
Know Your Aircraft - Provost T.Mk.52.

The opinions expressed in 'NDEGE' are the personal views of contributing writers; they do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the Royal Rhodesian Air Force. Unless otherwise stated, contents should not be construed as regulations, orders or instructions.

The Editor reserves the right to make changes which he believes will improve the material without altering the intended meaning.

The printing of this publication has been approved by the Chief of Air Staff. Contributions are welcome, as are comment and criticism. All correspondence should be addressed to the Editor, 'NDEGE', Headquarters R.R.A.F., P.O. Box 8131, Causeway.

From the "Accident Analysis" yow may notice that we have had 93 Special Occurrence Reports between January 1963 and June 1963. This represents an increase of 300 per cent over the corresponding period last year. On initial examination this percentage increase would appear to reflect adversely on the professional ability of the Royal  Rhodesian Air Force. However, further reflection indicates that this increase is good news as it shows that the drive for improved Flight Safety is having its effect. Incidents of a type not previously reported by you are obviously new reaching the 765(B) stage. Well done, and keep the forms flowing!

Recently we heard a pilot say that he had filled in so many 765s that he must surely be the 'S.O.R. King". We realize that it might be inconvenient at the time to fill in these forms, but remember that the effort spent is well worth while, as in every case there is a lesson to be learnt. In reply to "S.O.R. King" we would say, "Be neighbourly, pilot, so that we may all benefit from your unfortunate experiences."

Let us illustrate, from an actual case, how important it is to be conscientious about your Special Occurrence Reporting.

When a pilot of a Pembroke selected undercarriage down he noticed a peculiar light sequence. With the undercarriage down a main wheel indicated a red and a green light at the same time. By the time the aircraft returned to base the snag had apparently "cleared itself", so the pilot made no mention of the incident in the F.700.

Some time later another pilot, flying the same aircraft, was confronted with the same sequence of lights. On this occasion, however, he was engaged on a practice asymmetric approach. He had no alternative but to overshoot and, due to the limited power available at this altitude, overshooting in a Pembroke, even with the undercarriage up, is an interesting performance. To further complicate matters there was insufficient pneumatic pressure to raise the undercarriage. However, the pilot managed to unfeather the engine before he ran out of height, and landed the aircraft safely.

It was indeed fortunate that the pilot was on a practice asymmetric exercise, otherwise he would have been faced with a situation which could only have ended in one way - an accident - and why? - All because a simple in-flight incident did not reach the S.O.R. stage.

Colonel Charles E. "Chuck" Yeager
Commandant, AF Aerospace Research Pilot School
Edwards Air Force Base, California

There are two ways of looking at safety. One is the saving of human life, equipment and money. The other, and one I don't think we exploit enough, is the fallout of haying a good flight safety record. As the record improves, a vicious circle effect occurs - actually, it is a 'beneficial circle. Morale of the pilots and maintenance crews is raised as accidents decrease. This stimulates them to do a better job and safety benefits further. This is often inadequately stressed in our safety programs. High morale and stimulation are, I believe, extremely important in maintaining a low accident rate.

I have been asked to comment on some of the concepts that are recognized as keys to safety. I'll just briefly hit a few of these.

SUPERVISION: I think the commander should be more interested in safety than any other single individual particularly in a fighter squadron. He can play a most effective role because of his experience. Usually his experience is much greater than that of his younger pilots. He can watch and see that his pilots don't go beyond a certain area where he got caught himself at one time. Experience is a most wonderful asset when dealing with younger pilots.

DISCIPLINE: Discipline is trying to iron into the man to disregard the urge that all people have to fly an airplane a little farther than the other guy, a little faster, a little lower on a low altitude navigation flight. I think it ,ia hard, maybe impossible to ensure effective discipline after a man grows up and becomes a pilot) this is something he should have learned when he was young.

MAINTENANCE: There is no way to overemphasize the importance of good maintenance. The safety record hinges, in large measure, on the condition of the equipment flown. And this becomes more important every day. Take the case of a fighter pilot; he is asked to know the delivery technique and all the figures involved for nuclear weapons, conventional weapons, navigation, inflight, refuelling, gunnery, so many things his brain is saturated. Believe me, to-day if you get a sloppy ground crew or poor design of systems you can kill a pilot and tear up an aircraft with no chance for the pilot to prevent it. The younger people coming into the maintenance field should really be impressed with the importance of good equipment and thorough knowledge of the equipment they work on. The mechanic must know the equipment much better than the pilot if we are to have an outstanding flying safety record.

DEVOTION: I think this is a vital ingredient ii an effective Air Force, and one that is largely an individual development. Our best people are extremely devoted to the Air Force and the mission of the unit to which they are assigned. It isn't easy to explain how a guy can stand alert 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and be ready to give his very best, his life if necessary, any minute of that time. This is what separates the men from the boys.

TRAINING: This is surely a key factor. A man can learn so much on his own, but we think he can learn much more if there is a good training program in his unit.  When I had an F-100 squadron I knew that there was much that had to be taught to a new pilot to get him combat ready. Most of this had to do with the weapons, the weapons system in the aircraft and their use, There just isn't time, at this stage, to teach the basic fundamentals of flying. I think that our training command and also our tactical commands have gone a long way in giving the operational units pilots who are well trained in flying. When this is the case the commander doesn't have to worry about whether or not the pilot can take off, fly formation, in weather and land. Another thing, flying time that maintenance can generate is becoming so limited that time can't be devoted to boring holes and learning to fty in an operational outfit. New aircraft, such as the T-38, help here. A man comes into a tactical outfit with experience in operating at tactical speeds.

Another point on this training bit : no point in wasting training time getting a pilot proficient in a manoeuvre he will normally never have to perform. Spins are, I think, an example of this. I use myself as an example because I know more about myself than I do about any other pilot; I have never gotten an airplane into a spin inadvertently. I think a pilot should be taught to recognize the approach to a spin and aotion to be taken to prevent a spin. —If a pilot gets an aircraft into an inadvertent spin he is a pretty dull tool for not recognising the approach to a spin. This is my own personal opinion. The more you teach a pilot about spinning diff rent types of airplanes and let him experience spinning a little, then it not only builds confidence but it builds recklessness in that he does not respect a spin because, he says "well, I can get out of a spin so I might as well fly this airplane straight up." There are many different modes of spin in modern aircraft because of the compactness, small wings, high tails, and such that it is almost impossible to come up with one recovery technique for all modes of a spin. When this is the case, every once in a while a pilot gets into a spin mode that he doesn't know how to get out of, or can't get out of, so you lose an airplane and the pilot. I understand that a single recovery technique has been developed for the T-37,  but this doesn't erase the accidents.

This would probably be as good a point as any to wrap this up. In my opinion, you don't have to be a research pilot to realize a payoff through knowledge of equipment and the judgment to operate within its limitations and your limitations. The dividends are just as big - and I'm talking of the pilot's life now - in any airplane in the Air Force inventory. This, to me is the real meaning of safety, and the best way I know to prevent accidents.


Flight Sergeant Dolby and Corporal Podmore were the Fire/Crash crew on duty at R.R.A.F. Thornhill on 7th January, 1963.

During a stream take-off of two Vampire aircraft, the pilot of the second aircraft abandoned take-off on a red Tory signal fired by the Crash Crew.

The Fire/Crash crew had acted promptly when they noticed three small dogs run onto the runway behind the lead aircraft.

Flight Sergeant Dolby and Corporal Podmore are to be congratulated on their excellent look-out and immediate action which prevented the second aircraft from colliding with the dogs during the take-off run.

GOOD SHOW - Flight Sergeant DOLBY and Corporal PODMORE

Is this situation covered in the R.R.A. F. Supplement to A.M.P. 214 ?

(Flight International - November 1962)

The usual procedure is to draw on a map or chart a belt to include on either side of the intended track a certain number of miles as a margin, and to find by inspection the highest hill within the belt; add some arbitrary figure (e.g., 1,500 ft) for vertical clearance and the result is the safety-height. It sounds simple enough, but there are some specific principles which must be respected.

Diagram 1 is an example of the procedure (the example is a fictitious one). For flight between A and B the safety-height is clearly 2,677 ft + 1,500 ft = 4,377 ft.

Next consider Diagram 2. It looks very similar, but there is an important difference. In Diagram 1 all that was necessary was a comparison of the 1,292 ft. with the 2,877 ft. and the selection of the higher figure.

In Diagram 2, however, it is not sufficient just to compare the 1,292 ft. and the 1,573 ft.} the hill dominated by the 2,877 ft. is still relevant.

How does one know that it is still relevant ? Only from the contours; the key fact is the intrusion of the hill's contours within the belt. Without contours the picture would become Diagram 3, and who could then say whether or not the 2,877 ft. hill was relevant ? It is thus possible to formulate Rule 1 :

In determining safety-height, contours have an essential function.

Returning to Diagram 2, what is the safety-height ? The highest ground within the belt is the intruding part of the 2,000 ft. contour; and in the absence of any further evidence, the worst must be assumed, which is that it is all up to 2,877 ft. The safety-height is therefore the same as in Diagram 1, i.e. 4,377 ft. This enables us to write Rule 2 :

The effective spot-height mav not always be found within the belt: it can often be outside it.

Now look at Diagram 4. It would be easy here to make the mistake of taking the relevant hill to be the 1,573 ft, but this cannot be assumed to be the highest ground within the belt : the highest is possibly the spur of the 1,000 ft contour protruding into the belt from that same 2,877 ft hill. How high is this spur ? The part of it within the belt is shown by the contours to be above 1,000 ft but not above 2,000 ft. It has, therefore, to be assumed to be 2,000 ft and the safety-height 3,500 ft. We thus arrive at Rule 3.

The height of the highest ground within the belt is not always determined from a spot-height: it may have to be deduced from the values of the contours,

This principle is illustrated further by Diagram 5. The safety-height here should not be based on the 1,573 ft, but on the hill at the top left with no spot-height on it; this hill is potentially up to the next contour, i.e. 2,000 ft, so the safety-height is again 3,500 ft.

Comparison of the two hills in Diagram 5, i.e. the 1,573 ft, and the one without a spot-height, demonstrates that the function of a spot-height is not really to show the height of a point, but rather to show how low it is permissible to overfly the area within the contour enclosing it. This leads to Rule 4.

Within the top contour of a hill there should be one spot-height.

The correct and incorrect use of spot-heights is further demonstrated by Diagram 6; the safety-height here is not 2,138 ft. but 2,500 ft. Consider the potential height at X; from the contours one can see that it is less than 1,000 ft., but not how much less. It could in fact be up to 999 ft. anywhere, so the 638 ft. spot-height is redundant and misleading.

Therefore, Rule 5 :
Outside the top contour of each hill (i.e. anywhere between the successively lower contours or between the bottom one and the coast) there should be no spot-heights at all.

SUMMING- UP:  in calculating safety-heights it is not sufficient just to search the belt for the highest spot-height; instead it requires a logical process of deduction using the contours as the basis.


1.As the above article has received a wide circulation I feel I must help to put the subject into proper perspective and perhaps add to the 'pot'.
2.The calculation of safety altitude falls into two categories:-
(a) For Flight Planning purposes.
(b) For In-Flight purposes.
3. It appears that there is no civil in-flight procedure similar to our own for calculating safety-height, although the article does hint at the need to adopt such a procedure. The procedure we use is applicable to all types of aircraft.
4. The crucial questions in this issue are:  How ? Why ? When ? and Should ? - safety-height be calculated for both categories mentioned above.

Flight Planning
5. The current A.S.I, indicates "how" the calculation should be made. Very simply - the highest ground (NOT spot height) within 20 mm of track, plus 10%, plus 1,500 ft and the answer, normally, rounded off to the next 100 feet. For example, a flight from Thornhill to Beira (they don't let us) would involve a height of 8,004 ft. which, using the above system, gives a safety height of 10,400 ft.

6. To deal with the question "why" let us refer to the above example. Taking, say, a Provost, the pilot should file an IFR flight plan with a minimum safety Flight Level of 115 (oxygen ?) for the 'odds plus' track sector which he would have to use. Therefore, if the FIC boffins ask him to descend to FL 95 en route then he is in a position to request that he stays put.

In Flight
7. For In-Flight planning the zone calculation is much more important and takes a little longer, but relatively simple if you know the accuracy of the aids you use. The system is based on the error of the last fix and accumulates at the rate of- 10% of the air distance flown since that fix.
Should your speed be less than 300 knots TAS then it accumulates at 30 nm per hour. E.g., assume a Canberra takes a three-star astro fix in good conditions at a TAS of 420 kts. and one hour twenty minutes later the navigator wishes to construct a zone of error this is how it would look:-

 8. From the diagram it will be seen that the pre-flight 50 nm wide zone has now been replaced by one some 132 nm wide. Perhaps Mt. Canigou would never have happened if such a system had been in force.

9. Why, When and Should in this case are straight forward. When a descent is required, in an emergency or otherwise, it is nice to know how LOW it is safe to go. If the height of the ground below is established the two variables in this conjecture are :-

(a) What aids are available.
(b) How good is your pressure setting.

10. We all know our own Break-off Altitude so that deals with the first. The second is a bigger headache and the limits do need clarification. If you have the latest pressure setting you may descent to 500', if not then the limit is 7001. I leave it at that and await comments from readers.

11. The only unanswered question is "should" we pre-flight plan safety altitudes ? Taking a Canberra, on the Beira/Thornhill run the pilot is not likely to be interested in an 8,004' hill if he has to divert back to Beira. He would climb to 40,000 plus, conserve his fuel and, when calculating his zone for a descent some 80 miles out, would probably find that the highest ground he has to consider is about 1,000*. Thus the 10,400' calculation was of no use.

12. Naturally the question is where to draw the line and still keep the procedure simple. I like to think along these lines -

(a) What crews actually do now.
(b) World wide application to avoid rules of thumb.
(c) The operating height of the aircraft in service and future aircraft.
(d) Where our aircraft may operate.

13. The Canberras have been to Pakistan and Everest at 29,028 feet is not far away. This would give a safety altitude of 33,500' so I come to the conclusion that only flights below say F1 350 require a pre-flight safety altitude calculation.

14. Oh! Yes! I nearly forgot that thia was about the article, which I read a few times and came to similar conclusions. To verify the case I took a map at random and evolved an illustration of the sort of incident which might happen here in Rhodesia.

15. At position l6l7S:2807E the only spot height within 50 nm is 3250' giving a safety altitude of 5,100. This position is, in fact, close to one of our Squadron's home town which is itself at a height of 5098'! It might have been two feet the other way!

16. Well, this is the system in use, and this may be the solution to its drawbacks:-

(a) Insist on all routes being fully drawn on topographical maps.
(b) Modify the A.S.I.

The factors against 16(a) are time to get airborne,consumption of maps and the natural tendency that it is not really necessary". The last point has already been considered and I feel that, on the case put forward, if above a certain altitude no calculations were required pre-flight then perhaps no one would take the easy way out! I am sure that the defaulters are mainly the high-level types.

17. My last point is that on the "Summary of Suggested Action"
Item (l)  I am in full agreement with.
Item (2) I am not in favour with as I like to know exactly how high some places are.
Item (3) I think we all appreciate the use of contours.
Item (4) Is an excellent suggestion and is worthy of action now.
Item (5) Is well covered in Service flying.
Item (6) We have an in-flight procedure which allows for these occasions.


S.A.C.  Borejszo, an airframe fitter on No.6 Squadron, was detailed to carry out a pre-flight inspection on a Canberra During the inspection he noticed that the front pin connecting the bomb door to the hydraulic jack not split pinned and that the pin had partially moved out.

Had this pin moved out completely the jack would have become detached from the bomb door, with possible serious results, depending on the position of the bomb doors at the time.


Senior Technical Staff Officer

"I went a more technical Job."
"Squadron servicing limits my capabilities - dammit its semi- skilled work - take the 'duff' bit off and fit a serviceable bit."

"What's the benefit of mugging up real engineering theory when we never get a chance to apply it."

These and similar statements have been declared by many and various technicians employed on squadron servicing. Some technicians have made such remarks in earnest, some however, have an ulterior motive: to remove themselves from 1st line pressures, detachments, night-flying and view 2nd line work as a Haven of steady routine and set working hours.

Admittedly, squadron ground crews are restricted in the depth of their servicing tasks, especially if they have reoently experienced a T.T.B. where the Board Members have posed questions that might well embarrass a specialist design engineer!!

To go back to the beginning now you've got the drift - "I want a more responsible job than 1st line servicing offers" - this sort of statement and thinking is wrong - Wrong, WRONG, WRONG.

The work done by squadron ground crews is one of the most important and VITAL tasks. Defects located on routine 2nd line servicing fortunately have not caused an accident. Any defect found on 1st line in use aircraft, irrespective as to when it is observed, may and in certain known cases has assuredly prevented an S.O.R. or even worse a full fledged accident. The message then to 1st line crews is VIGILANCE - this must be the key note. Vigilance and close observation - keeping eyes open continuously for the most obscure and minute tell tale evidence that if not found could lead to a contingency ranging from a minor occurrence to one of grave and serious consequence.

The truth contained in the foregoing paragraphs is bome out in the text of numerous Flight Safety Magazines in that seldom do their pages contain 'Good Show! reports to technicians other than those specifically employed on 1st line servicing.

1st line Servicing Safety - the Keynote is VIGILANCE



Much has been said and written from time to tine on retention of current masks and helmets during and after ejection. So, even though no surprise - here's the straight scoop!

From 1st January, 1961 to 30th June, 1962, a total of 339 ejections were recorded in the USAF. Of this total, 71 per cent of the individuals receiving this boot in the pants retained their masks and helmet - not an enviable record, but it's the best we can give you so far. There is hope for better things, however, if we consider some of the variables - namely, the chin strap and visor.

First, let's consider the chin strap - that little piece of fabric that you carry the helmet by which when fastened becomes a rather Irritating little gadget, particularly on hot days. The record shows that with it fastened during ejection your chances are 81 per cent in favour of retention but when unfastened only 41 per cent are retained.

How about the visor ? Well, with the chin strap fastened and visor down, 91 per cent of the hard hats are kept - but with the visor up this drops to 72 per cent. On the other end of the scale, with the chin strap unfastened and the visor down only a mere 57 per cent were retained and, worse yet, with the visor up only 33 per cent kept them on.

It boils down to this: Your chances of retaining your hard hat are doubled if you will take the time to fasten your chin strap before take-off. If you will also remember to lower your visor before ejection you can increase your chances in favour of retaining your equipment by another 20 per cent. How about the old wives tale that if you fasten your chin strap, the helmet may break your neck (on ejection) ? Nothing to it! No reported cases of broken necks from this cause - that chin strap will let go long before your neck. On the other hand, many pilots landing in trees and among rocks have reported it was real nice to have that extra shell on their noggin. There's not always a soft pile of straw or sand waiting for you.

Remember - keep your head (and your hat) by fastening the chin strap before take-off and lower the visor before ejection. Assuming proper fit of helmet and mask, your chances in favour of retention are excellent.



To Calculate the EL-CEE-EN, you gotta have a lotta gen,
L.C.N., it tells you how
To put to use an aircraft's MAUW,
To make a first class runway plough.



Junior Technician du Toit

Jnr. Teoh. du Toit, an engine fitter on No.2 Squadron was carrying out a Primary Inspection on a. Vampire when he found a minute fragment of metal in the jet pipe. Further investigation revealed a number of damaged turbine blades. The engine was removed for strip examination.

On a previous occasion he intercepted an aircraft as it taxied out of dispersal - he had noticed that the ejector Seat safety pin had not been removed.

A special Good Show to Jnr.. Tech. du Toit for showing on these two occasions exceptional alertness and a conscientious approach to his duties.


Eight years ago, one rainy night, a transport aircraft began an IFR approach to a Pacific Island. The pilot reported out of three thousand. He was cleared to two thousand, but did not acknowledge. Observers saw the aircraft descend over radio towers, landing gear extended, landing lights on. Sixty—six were killed when the plane exploded against the face of a mountain nine and one-half miles north of the intended base of landing. Investigators expressed the belief that the radio towers had been mistaken for radio range station towers - both had the same lighting system.

Last year, at another Pacific Island, another transport crashed during an attempted instrument approach. This time the aircraft was on course, just 1000 feet too low.

And in between there have been many other like accidents.

In an attempt to find out what can be done to prevent such accidents from happening to perfectly good airplanes flown by qualified crews, we queried MATS, As the following point out they put much stock in the navigator.

"Navigator to pilot - over Shad intersection at 0145, ETA. Sea Isle VOR 0225, fly the 325 radial of the Sea Isle VOR". From this it sounds as though the navigator's job is finished. The flight from Lajes to Dover has reached controlled airspace and letdown for Dover will begin upon reaching
the Sea Isle VOR,

That may have been the way it was done once, years ago, but not any more. It would seem pointless for a person to complete 95 per cent of a project then close up shop and quit. However, that is the case when a navigator spends eight or ten hours guiding an aircraft across an ocean, only to turn off his equipment, fold up his charts and put his head on his arms.

This business of navigator monitoring works on departure as well as on arrival. The heart of monitoring is a comprehensive briefing, including emergency plans such as returning to the airfield after takeoff. To monitor the progress of the aircraft effectively the navigator must know what is planned. He learns this as the aircraft commander gives the before-takeoff of before-approach briefing. Prior to takeoff he must have the SID before him and must know how the radios will be set up on navaids. He copies all clearances in order to verify that the pilot reports correctly and complies with all instructions. With the aircraft commander busy flying and listening to instructions from ground controllers and with the copilot changing communication frequencies, tuning and identifying navaids, plus of course the challenge and reply checklists, a third man to constantly  check the aircraft's flight path provides a sizeable safety contribution. Transposition errors such as, cleared to 2700 feet, heading 120, aircraft actually flying heading 270, altitude 1200, are far less likely to occur. It has happened. Don't bet your life on its not happening again.

In radar equipped aircraft the navigator can make an even greater contribution. Radar provides an excellent means of checking position and terrain clearance. Though the APS-42 wasn't designed as an aircraft detection device, a good set does quite well. The navigator has much more experience and time to tune in a sharp return. From an Aircraft Accident Summary we learn, "An aircraft was cleared for an IFR takeoff (200-foot ceiling and one-half mile visibility) , Shortly after takeoff the aircraft struck a hill two miles from the end and one-fourth mile to the right of the runway, The aircraft was destroyed by impact and fire. Investigation revealed no material failure. The primary cause of the accident was attributed to pilot factor in that the pilot failed to maintain his outbound track," In this case the pilot either drifted off his heading or turned too soon. A monitoring navigator should have noticed this, and possibly prevented the crash.

There's a job for the navigator on airways too. Particularly in congested areas, 500 feet too high or too low can make the difference between life and death, Policy in one unit is for navigators to call 50 feet above or below assigned altitude. Monitoring of IMF and VHF frequencies on airways allows the navigator to keep track of all instructions relayed by ground controllers. These often have to do with altitude changes and clearances to reporting points.

But, when all the hours of empty ocean are behind, when landfall is made - this is the critical period. Fatigue has had a chance to do its insidious work, mental relaxing is a natural tendency and getting every one "up" for the last crew effort provides the AC with a real challenge. A case in point , . the aircraft commander was advised that destination weather would drop below the two-mile visibility minimum. He continued and began the approach with one-fourth mile viz and a partially obscured sky. Inbound to the airfield the aircraft began to disintegrate due to unexpected contact with the terrain. The plane was destroyed by its self-generated fire three hundred yards short of the runway. Primary cause was listed as pilot factor in that the pilot descended below published minimums. The aircraft had operated normally in all respects prior to the crash. Would this accident have been prevented had the navigator called 50 feet above minimums?

Prior to arrival over the last fix before destination, the type of approach should be decided upon and the procedure outlined on the let down plate reviewed. The navigator should have his own copy of this plate and should complement this with a local area chart. He should know, before descent begins, all pertinent information - field elevation, runway headings, relationship of obstacles to the field, emergency safe altitudes and, of course, approach procedures. As the approach progresses he monitors the radios - UHF, VHP and inter phone - as well as headings, altitudes and relative aircraft position. The navigator may never be called upon to say a word. He's like the backstop on the baseball field, or the spare tire on an automobile, a useless item until a need arises. But to have him and not use him would be like turning an ILS off while making a GGA.

In addition to repeater indications of pilots navigational instruments, the navigator on radar equipped aircraft has a real ace in the hole. With radar calculates such sophisticated approaches as ILS; he can point out, or at least monitor, ranges and bearings to the field, or more important, range and bearing of obstacles. These obstacles might be high terrain, weather or other aircraft, any one of which could serve as the disastrous obstacle to a safe landing. Radar also provides him with a good cross check of the accuracy of other navigation systems - ADF, VOR, TAGAN, even GCA - systems which he has checked and assured are tuned and identified as briefed by the AC.

Some of the more modem aircraft are equipped with Doppler radar. Drift and ground speed indicators of this equipment are particularly valuable. The navigator can pass drift information to the pilot and ground speed to provide the all important, accurate ETA which means a better planned approach. Using search radar the navigator can give directions for flying an approach. With Doppler he can set information for an automatic approach similar to the ILS coupler approach.

If you plan to initiate the navigator into the departure arrival team there are a few difficulties that, forewarned may mean forearmed and smooth this phase. First is the area of attitudes. If there are those who have the idea, "He's the pilot, that's his responsibility; I'm the navigator, that's my responsibility, and ne'er the twain shall meet" . . . get the ungarbled word to these troops. Second, since navigators get little formal training in the intricacies of airways and instrument flying it is essential that navigators be completely conversant with all flying regulations and procedures. Third, navigators, especially the least experienced, show a reluctance to approach the pilot with the suggestion that he might be wrong. Standboard navigators and pilots can correct this situation. Fourth, provide the navigator with his own set of publications. If necessary, the navigator can copy pertinent information from the pilot's plates, but a duplicate set is more satisfactory.

Why not use this third man as a second pilot? The navigator has acute hearing and vision, is highly trained in planning and monitoring the path of an airborne aircraft, and has little else to do during departure and arrival. The antenna of his receptors can be locked on heading, altitude, airspeed, clearance, compliance. No mag drops or tailpipe temperatures distract him while a transmission is received from New York, San Francisco or Tokyo. If you have this third man, put him on your team!


If you haven't already read this, it may evoke a laugh ... or at least a smile. A third grader in a California school wants to "be an airline pilot when he grows up. This is his essay on the subject, as reported originally in United Air Line's 'SHIELD' magazine, UAL's employees' publication:

"I want to be an airline pilot when I grow up .... because it's a fun job and easy to do. That's why there are so many pilots flying around today.

"Pilots don't need much school; they just have to learn to read numbers so they can read instruments. I guess they should be able to read road maps so they can find their way if they get lost.

"Pilots should be brave so they won't be scared if it's foggy and they can't see, or if a wing or a motor falls off they should stay calm so they'll know what to do. Pilots have to have good eyes to see through clouds and they can't be afraid of lightning or thunder because they're closer to them than we are.

"The salary pilots make is another thing I like. They make more money than they can spend. This is because most people think plane flying is dangerous except pilots don't because they know how easy it is.

"There isn't much I don't like except that girls like pilots and all the stewardesses want to marry the pilots so they always have to chase them away so they won't bother them.

"I hope I don't get airsick because I get carsick and if I get airsick I couldn't be a pilot and then I'd have to go to work."


1. I duly crash a means of power transfer (10)
7.: Donation to expostulate disaster?- possibly but this i» no charity (4,1,7)
9.: Expel, but nevertheless an uplift (5)
11.: His might rise if you resort to 15 (3)
12.: They may break records and even glass too (4,5,4)
13.: A sharp instrument in the law laid down for carpenters (3)
14.: Duty earns a shilling and need a filter for this atmosphere (5)
15.: A sub-aqua young resident doctor, we hear. But not on the level (6,2,4)
17.: The Flight plan should be for a change of wind (10)


2.: Does this signify the challenge for a racing duel ? (7,5)
3.: Olde English 'request sounds like fire tender item (3)
4.: May be all right for midget jivers but could be disastrous to flyers (3,5,5)
5.: A prerequisite of good flight planning, (2,8)
6.: Positively non-U old ibis ribs might make them thus if resorting to cannibalism (7,5)
8. Making out load sheets at 11 p.m. could make him venomous (5,5)
9.: It seems a broken stud should be removed this way (5)
10. When to read the rest of NDEGE (5)
16. Neck-a-neck has its own implications (3)

Dear Sir,

1.: It may be presumptuous of roe to write this letter, but I know of an easy way for you to help me to help you, and I can't keep quiet any longer. When I start to fix an aircraft I'm like Jack Webb: "I need the facts." More often than not, you don't give 'em to me - in writing, that is. The proper reporting of your inflight troubles will not only cut down my work, it'll give you a safe aircraft the next tine you fly.

2.: Some pilots think that ground crew spend their time drinking coffee, playing cards, and writing "Ground-run and found Serviceable" in the Form 700, but this is not always true. Quite often, in fact, your grumbling about your aircraft condition should be aimed at yourself. In some instances brevity is appropriate, but the lack of details in many write-ups is absurd.

3.: Like most ground crew I want to do a good job and maintain a good aircraft, but without a few clues I'm lost, and I'm really frustrated going around in circles trying to figure out where to start. Perhaps a few simple rules will help to straighten things out.
(a) Write it. Talking about it with the Flight Engineer or the Duty Crew is fine, but sometimes they don't tell me about it.

(b) Write in all the details. If it's about an engine, tell me the altitude, power settings, instrument readings, temperatures. If it's about a radio, tell me which channel and whether it's the receiver or the transmitter, and what kind of noise it makes. Be specific. Don't be afraid to use more than one block for the report if you need more space. Tell me everything.

(c) Tell me what checks you have made and what the results were. You seldom stop using a piece of equipment without some effort to make it work or to find out what's wrong, and I may not be able to duplicate your tests on the ground.

(d) The last rule is to write everything down as it happens. You'd be amazed at the items people forget after they are on the ground and in a hurry to get home.

4.: I hope I've made my point, sir. With your help maybe I can get the Technical Officer off my back, give my ulcers a rest, and even quit beating my wife.




Flying whilst drunk has never constituted a significant problem in Aviation, as the result of this is obvious to all. However, flying while suffering from a hangover caused by the after effects of alcohol is of some significance and has been occasionally implicated in aircraft accidents.

Certainly no harm can come from taking one or two moderate drinks before the evening meal and then flying an aircraft the next morning. This is not true when the individual imbibes repeatedly throughout the evening and night and then flies early the following day.

Alcohol is absorbed directly into the blood where it ls accumulated.. The rate of absorption being muoh more rapid than its elimination. The distribution throughout the body is fairly uniform, except that in the brain and spinal fluid the rise and fall in concentration occur more slowly.

The body of an averaged sized individual can eliminate about one third of a fluid ounce of pure alcohol per hour. Therefore, if not more than four fluid ounces of whiskey or equivalent amount of alcohol is taken it appears safe to fly after twelve hours. If more than this amount has been consumed then at least eighteen to twenty-four hours should elapse from the time of the last drink before the pilot is fit to fly an aircraft.

The pilot, therefore, may not appear drunk but he is still under the influence of alcohol until such tine as the aloohol has been eliminated from his system, only then will his reactions and judgment have returned to normal.

Lines of yellow,
Lines of black,
Diagonally they go,
Operate when servicing-
Experimenting - NO! It
Pull to test,
Push to fire,
That's the thing to do.
Don't try it any other way,
Including you.....ENG. II

by Fg. Off. P. Marrow

1.: Introduction.
Any air-ground operations undertaken in the Aden Protectorate are likely to be against the Yemen border tribes, or dissidents within the Protectorate who receive arms, etc., from Yemen sources. These tribesmen will be well armed with modern rifles - the high-velocity 8 mm Mauser is a favourite - so don*t think they can't hurt you. If you are forced to crash-land or eject get as far away as possible from the tribesmen you have been "shooting up" : if they catch you, you will probably die, unpleasantly.

2.: Before undertaking an Operation.
Inspect your survival kit and ensure it is complete. Study your maps, and mark in any new wells, waterholes, Government forts and camps, villages and roads, etc.

3.: If you crash-land or eject.
 Stay with, or get to, your aircraft, and STAY PUT. "Walk back" only as a last resource. Your crashed aircraft will still be of use to you, you can use pieces of it to construct a shelter, for instance. Your chances of being found are better if you remain with the crash, you are easier to locate from the air than if you start walking. Furthermore, the Bedouin is intensely curious, and a crash in his neighbourhood will, for a certainty, be investigated.

4.: General hints.
(a) If possible crash-land or eject near a cultivated area - crops mean water and shade, and usually an Arab village.
(b) A date-palm oasis is also usually a sign of water in an area.
(c) Exert yourself as little as possible during the day - rig up some kind of shelter and rest.
(d) If you eat, do it after sundown - it doesn't make you so thirsty as eating by day.
(e) During the day, cover head, neck, arms and legs from the sun. A dark material is best as it reflects the sun's rays - this is why the Bedouins' tents are usually dark in colour.
(f) Remember though days in the desert are hot, nights can be bitterly cold. Do not discard any clothing, you will need it at night.
(g) When you drink, do it slowly, moistening lips and tongue thoroughly then drink in small sips. Do NOT gulp water, ration yourself and use your salt tablets.
(h) Do NOT drink un-purified water - you will get dysentery,
(j)  Do NOT drink alcohol - it makes you thirstier.
(k) Do NOT drink urine - you will poison yourself.

5.:  What the desert offers.
To a would-be survivor, the desert offers very little help. Wild life is scarce, and with only a pistol, you are in a poor position to kill game. Vegetable life is scarce and none of it contains drinkable fluid. Some plants, particularly those with milky sap, like euphorbias, are poisonous and the sap is a skin irritant. Watch out for reptile and insect life; snakes are occasionally seen, but a more common menace are scorpions. These insects like to get into one's bedding, clothing and boots for warmth, so examine these before use. A scorpion bite is not usually fatal but it is extremely painful.

A dry "wadi" or Watercourse can often be found and will provide shelter from sun and sandstorms. Furthermore, even a dry wadi may yield water - dig on the outside of curves, as water is more likely there than on the shallower inside curves. See Fig. 1.

Fig 1. Dig for water at points X

At night especially in the colder season (September-April), dew forms in the desert, and a shallow pit dug out and lined with any suitable material (parachute) will provide a small amount of moisture by condensation. Collect dew before it evaporates at sun-up.

6.: Sandstorms.
These are unpleasant, and may last for some time, but the only answer to it is DO NOT PANIC - STAY PUT. Rig up some kind of windbreak and cover your mouth and nostrils and STAY PUT. A sandstorm can, in a few hours, completely alter the contours and appearance of the surrounding country. If you give way to panic and try to walk out of a sandstorm, the sandstorm is a killer.

7.: Water.
(a) Cultivation or date plantations are usually a sign of water.
(b) Native wells and waterholes are usually very deep - you will need a long rope to lower a container, your parachute lines are ideal for this.
(c) Dry wadi beds can sometimes be made to produce water (see para. 5).
(d) Note any convergence of roads or native tracks. They usually converge at a waterhole.

(e) Note any herds of camels, goats, etc. - they will be pastured not far from water.

8. Hints on dealing with the Bedouin.
(a) Do not be in a hurry arid fluster, the Bedouin does not appreciate it. He prefers a quiet, roundabout approach to a subject.
(b) Approach a Bedouin camp from the front always. If you come on it from the rear, you may see his womenfolk unveiled. This is offensive to the Bedouin.
(c) Carry a full cigarette case - even if you do not smoke. The Bedouin appreciates being offered cigarettes.
(d) Deal always with the Sheik or headman of a tribe, or camp, or the head of a village.
(e) If offered food, eat with your right hand only. The Arab uses his left for toilet purposes, and it is the worst of bad manners to eat with it.
(f) Belching over one's food is considered highly complimentary to one's host, as showing appreciation of his good food.
(g) Kneel to eat - you will eat out of a communal dish - or sit with your feet tucked under you. It is rude to point the soles of one's feet at anyone.
(h) Offer to pay for whatever you are given, it may or may not be accepted.
(j) Do not make fun of anything the Arab does, particularly his religion and customs. Remember, he can save you.
(k) Do not mention an Arab's womenfolk in conversation in any way  as far as you are concerned, they do not exist.
(l) Ask for assistance : do not demand it.
The more you know about the Arab, his customs, and way of life the better for you - a few hour's reading on this subject may be of immense value to you. If you can learn a few words of Arabic they may come in very useful to you. A few specimen sentences are

9. Arabic.
I am an Air Force Officer from Aden
I want water: ANA ISHTEE MOYA
I want food: ANA ISHTEE AKAL
I am ill/tired: ANA MUREEBV'TABAAN
What is the name of this village ?: EISH AL ISM HAQ HATHA MAHAL ?
Is there a Government camp near here:  HUL FI MAHAL A'DOLA QARIB NA ?
Thank you: shukran/afwan/salaamtad 'eik
Does anyone here speak English ?:  HUL ANDUK EI WAHID HUNA YARED ANGREEZI ?
The Government will give you money if you send me to Aden: AD'DOLA BAGIBLUK MALI INKAAN T'URSULNI ILLA ADEN
I have here a paper from the Government: ANDI HUNA WARRAQA MIN AD'DOLA
Please send a message for me to any Government fort.

10.: Walking back.
Only attempt this as a last resort and if you do:-
(a) Walk by night and navigate by the stars as well as your compass.
(b) Walk in short spells (one hour), then rest for ten minutes.
(c) Tuck your slacks into your socks or improvise puttees - these will reduce the amount of sand you are liable to get working into your shoes and socks.
(d) Empty your boots of sand whenever you halt.
(e) Change your socks (if you have a spare pair) when you halt, otherwise swop socks from one foot to the other.
(f) Do not attempt to carry to heavy a load if you walk and ensure your load includes as muoh water as possible, even to the exclusion of other items.

11. Conclusion.
The desert is a bad country for all except those, like the Bedouin, who are born in it; it offers little help to the would-be survivor of a crash. Furthermore, the desert will kill you if you let it do so. The only answer is to TAKE THINGS EASILY - it will do you more harm than good to lose your head and act hurriedly. So  RELAX, HUSBAND YOUR WATER SUPPLY, and DO NOT FLAP, if you want to give yourself the best chance of getting out alive.

The Chart Below Shows Days of Expected Survival in the Desert

Note that by using shade or otherwise reducing temperature a few degrees is as effective and as important in increasing survival time as water.

* No exercise and remaining quiet.
** Walking at night until exhausted and resting thereafter.


Corporal Technician Borchardt

Cpl. Tech, Borchardt, an engine fitter on No. 5 Squadron, noticed what he thought to be fuel spilling from the port engine of a Canberra as it was turning out for a squadron exercise.

The aircraft was recalled and inspection of the engine revealed that the oil filler cap was open and a large amount of oil had spilled out.

Cpl. Tech. Borchardt is to be commended for his prompt action which undoubtedly saved the pilot from being faced with an emergency in flight. Certain damage to the engine was also prevented.

GOOD SHOW - Corporal Technician BORCHARDT

Aircraft: Provost T.52
Place: Near Salisbury
Date: 4th February, 1963.

1.: A pilot of No.4 Squadron R.R.A.F. New Sarum was authorised on a continuation training detail which was to include aerobatics and low flying.
2.:Half an hour after take-off A.T.C. received a message that an aircraft had crashed near the Salisbury Motel.

3.: The Board of Inquiry found that the pilot was directly responsible for the accident in that, whilst carrying out unauthorised low level aerobatics he mishandled the controls and induced a spin, from which there was insufficient height to effect a recovery.

4.: AVOIDABLE - Pilot Error.

Ndege Comment.
5. This accident brings the total number of fatal accidents since the formation of the Rhodesian Air Force to NINE. With one exception, every fatal accident resulted from either disobedience of flying orders (by the pilot), or lack of airmanship or a combination of both.

Aircraft: Alouette
Place: Seki Reserve
Date: 25th March, 1963.

1. A pilot of No.7 Squadron was on a routine squadron check and the testing officer took over control after several exercises had been completed.
2. The testing officer was occupying the centre front seat of the aircraft where a cyclic control and rudders were fitted, but no collective pitch lever. This meant that he had to fly with his left hand on the cyclic pitch and the right hand on the collective lever; that is, in the reverse to normal. As a result of this, during the approach to a landing in a cleared area in the Seki Reserve, the testing officer applied the incorrect control movements which caused the tail rotor to strike the ground.

3 The tail boom and tail rotor were extensively damaged.

AVOIDABLE - Aircrew Error.

Ndege Comment
5. The testing officer authorised himself as captain of the aircraft and accepted the aircraft in a configuration in which he could not properly exercise control for the flight involved.
6. The accident was the direct result of a deplorable lapse of airmanship on the part of the captain of the aircraft. He was held fully responsible for the accident and was interviewed by the D.C.A.S.

Aircraft: Vampire T.ll
Place: Thornhill
Date: 17th January, 1963

1.: When the pilot selected undercarriage down on the downwind leg, after a formation brake and landing, the port main wheel light remained red while the nose wheel and starboard main wheel looked down.
2.: Normal emergency procedures failed to get the port wheel down and a successful "wheels up" landing was carried out on the runway.

3.:  Investigation revealed that the tyre and inner tube had been pierced by the shank of a 1/16" drill.

4.: AVOIDABLE - Servicing Error,

Ndege Comment.
5.: In the absence of proof to the contrary it must be assumed that the drill shank was present during assembly of the inner tube and outer cover.
6. : Mod/Vamp/3320 which prevents a flat tyre from Jamming the D-door in the up position, is not embodied in R.R.A.F. aircraft and Headquarters R.R.A.F, has ruled that it will not be embodied.

Aircraft: Alouette
Place: Macheke
Date: 21st March, 1963.

1.: A pilot of No. 7 Squadron, R.R.A.F. Thornhill, was authorised on a reconnaissance flight of the Police landing zones at Macheke, Headlands and Inyazura.
2.: A landing was made at the Macheke School grounds to assess the area for a possible night landing zone. After take off the pilot gave a short flying demonstration for tho benefit of the school children.
3.: While descending to a lower altitude for a final "bow" before departing the pilot allowed the aircraft to pass into the vortex ring state and there was insufficient height to effect recovery before the aircraft struck the ground heavily.
4.: Investigation revealed extensive damage to the fuselage and tail boon.

5.: AVOIDABLE - Aircrew Error.

Ndege Comment.
6. The pilot was interviewed by the D.C.A.S.
7. The vortex ring state occurs under certain conditions when a descent, under power, is made with little forward motion. In these conditions the main rotor disc rotates within its own wake so that a ring of turbulence is formed at the end of the blades. Increasing the angle of attack on the blades aggravates the situation with the resultant increase in the rate of descent.

An accident looking for somewhere to happen.

Incomplete pre-flight briefing.
Lack of consideration for individual capabilities.
Improper evaluation of conditions or capabilities of individuals.
The individual himself.
Lack of specific, clear instructions or directions.
Failure to notify people concerned of changed conditions.
Inadequate or Improper inspection.
Allowing an unsatisfactory situation that could be corrected to exist.
Failure to provide adequate directions and regulations.
Release of improperly maintained aircraft for flight.
Failure to provide the proper training

Aircraft: Provost
Place: New Sarum
Date: 18th March, 1963

1.: A pilot was authorised to carry out an air test on a Provost after the surge valve and oil cooler unit had been replaced.
2.: After twenty minutes the pilot noticed excessive oil on the cockpit floor and returned to base. The oil temperature and oil pressure  were normal throughout the flight.

3.: A check on the oil system revealed that 4½ gallons had been lost due to the improper tightening of the oil pipe connecting the oil tank to the anti-surge valve.

4.: AVOIDABLE - Servicing Error.

Ndege Comment.
5.: During an engine change on a Provost at Thornhill in June, 1961, the bracket attaching the anti-surge valve to the fireproof bulkhead was found fractured.
6.: The oil pipe connecting the oil tank to the anti-surge valve was too short and tightening the union nut distorted the bracket. This problem was overcome by lengthening the pipe which is a standard manufactured item of fixed length.

7.: The N.C.0. i/c Aircraft Servicing Flight submitted a written report to his Station Technical Officer on his findings and on the modification required. Local station action was taken but this important information was not passed on to Headquarters to enable the correct follow up action to be taken. It has, therefore, taken this incident to produce an authorised modification to overcome a defect that had been detected two years previously I
8.: In conclusion we pose the question - why was the oil leak not discovered during the ground run ?

Aircraft: Canberra B2
Place: Near Thornhill
Date: 10th December 1962.

1.: During a routine night navigation exercise at flight level 400 the pilot of a Canberra noticed the Mach meter increasing from 172 to ,73 for no apparent reason. The engines were throttled back to regain the planned A.I.S. but the speed steadily increased. Power was reduced further, first by 50 r.p.m. and then by 200 r.p.m. with no effect on the indicated speed which by then was reading .76.

2.: The throttles were closed and air brakes selected at .78. At .84 the bomb doors were opened. The V.S.I, and altimeter indicated a high rate of CLIMB as the speed INCREASED steadily to .89 (A.S.I, reading 260 kts). Soon after reaching .89 the speed began to fall off, the nose was depressed, bomb doors closed, airbrakes retracted, but the speed continued to decrease.At .72 power was applied but the speed continued to fall off. As the needle of the A.S.I, passed through the clean stalling speed of 100 kts there was no stall indication. When the needle reached the "at rest" position on the A.S.I., there was a marked nosedown change in trim followed immediately by violent compressibility effects.

3.: The pilot regained control at 30,000 feet. This height was maintained by reference to the altimeter and engine r.p.m., the A.S.I, and Mach meter indicating ZERO. After two to three minutes the A.S.I, crept up slowly to 200 kts. and the appeared to operate satisfactorily.

4.: The pilot continued with the exercises which included dropping a bomb. A slow handling check was made before landing back at base.

5.: The pitot/static system was checked and the drain vent in the pitot head was found partially blocked* Water was present at the rear of the pitot head and some had entered the aircraft pitot pipelines,

6.: UNAVOIDABLE - Technical Defect.

Ndege Comment
7.: We have here an S.O.R. where the classification could quite easily have been "Avoidable - Aircrew Error", had there been less height available.

8.: No mention was made of the artificial horizon in the pilot's report. The A/H is electrically operated and has a good record of serviceability. The aircraft had been airborne for fifty-one minutes;  more than sufficient time for the pilot to check on the serviceability of the instrument, unless the "new instrument flying technique" does not embrace the artificial horizon! It is appreciated that the pilot had limited experience but initially we feel he did not pay attention to the basic principles.

9.: Another point which sticks out like a sore thumb is that the exercise was completed with a suspect A.S.I. Surely the two navigators in the crew on this occasion realise the dangers of dropping a bomb with the A.S.I, system suspect — UNLESS there was good reason for no longer suspecting the Air Speed Indicator.

Aircraft: Canberra
Place: Near Thornhill
Date: 7th January, 1963.

1.: At 39,000 ft. O.A.T. - 30°C Indicated, (approx -50°C True) the pilot of a Canberra, authorised for Continuation Training, raised the nose and closed the throttles. At 125 kts he lowered the nose and gently opened the throttles. Both engines immediately flamed out,

2.: At 21,000 ft, overhead Thornhill, a successful relight of both engines was effected.

3.: The Technical Officer declined to comment!

5.: AVOIDABLE - Pilot Error.

Ndege Comment.
5.:  It appears that the pilot was experimenting as a result of a previous incident at night when he got into difficulties arising from the malfunction- ing of his A,S.I, and Machmeter.

6.: The pilot was authorised on a Continuation Training detail. We find it hard to believe that this authorisation included stalling at 39,000 ft.

7.: Too often in the R.R.A.F. serious and in many cases fatal accidents have been attributed to pilots ignoring or going outside the terms of their authorisation. This pilot's irresponsible action could have quite easily resulted in the loss of an expensive aeroplane. Apart from the money involved, this would have been a totally unwarranted reduction in R.R.A.F. striking power.

Aircraft: Canberra
Place: Near Thornhill
Date: 14th March, 1963

1.: Nineteen minutes after take-off an aircraft was recalled by Thornhill approach because fuel had been seen leaking from the port engine during taxying.

2.: When the aircraft returned to base the oil filler cap on the port engine was found to be open. Five pints of oil had been lost.

3.: AVOIDABLE - Servicing Error.

Ndege Comment.
4.: Disciplinary action was taken against the airman who had not ensured security of the filler cap after a "Pre-flight" inspection.

5.: Nineteen minutes could have proved an expensive delay. It appears that due to some confusion in the control tower the wrong aircraft was checked. Fortunately the mistake was discovered and the correct aircraft was then recalled.

Aircraft: Pembroke
Place: New Sarum
Date: 6th February, 1963

1.: At 200 ft on the final approach of a practice asymmetric landing the pilot noticed a peculiar light arrangement on the undercarriage indicator. The port main wheel indicated both red and green lights, the starboard main wheel and nose wheel lights had gone out. When the pilot had selected undercarriage "Down" he had initially obtained three green lights.

2.: Overshoot action was initiated but the undercarriage would not retract and the aircraft could not maintain height.

3.: The feathered engine was restarted and the aircraft was landed safely.

4.: Six retraction tests were carried out on the undercarriage and in each case the indicator lights operated correctly. Examination of the undercarriage system revealed no defect apart from perished rubber sleeves on the port under-carriage micro-switch. These were replaced.

5.: A thorough study of the undercarriage wiring diagram showed that if there is a short in the micro-switch it is possible to obtain Red and Green lights from the same wheel at the same time.

6.: It would not be established why the undercarriage failed to retract but tests proved that a minimum pneumatic pressure of 350 p.s.i. is required to raise the undercarriage and flap

7.: Unavoidable - Technical Defect.

Ndege Comment;
8. See "Editorial".

C.A,S. - 1 copy
D.O.A.S. - 1 copy
S.A.S.O.  - 1 copy
S.O.A.  - 1 copy
S.T.S.O.  - 1 copy
D.A.P.I.  - 1 copy
S.E.S.O.  - 1 copy
O.C. V.R.  - 1 copy
C.F.S.O.-  - 1 copy
H.Q. Distribution  - 1 copy
RRAF/5059/4/Air  - 1 copy

O.C. R.R.A.F. New Sarum - 1 copy
Flying Wing - 2 copies
Technical Wing - 4 copies
Administrative Wing - 1 copy
No .3 Squadron - 2 copies
No.4 Squadron - 2 copies
No.7 Squadron - 2 copies
No.1 G.T.S. - 2 copies
S.S.Q. - 2 copies
C.E.D. - 2 copies
Officers' Mess - 1 copy
Sergeants Mess - 1 copy
Airmen's Mess - 1 copy
A.P.F.S.- 3 copies

O.C. R.R.A.F. Thornhill - 1 copy
Flying Wing - 2 copies
Technical Wing - 4 copies
Administrative Wing - 1 copy
No.l Squadron - 2 copies
No.2 Squadron - 2 copies
No.5 Squadron - 2 copies
No.6 Squadron - 2 copies
No.2 G.T.S. - 2 copies
S.A.T.C.O. - 2 copies
S.E.O. - 2 - 1 copy
S.S.Q. - 2 copies
Officers' Mess- 1 copy
Sergeants'  Mess - 1 copy
Airmen's Mess - 1 copy

No. 101 Squadron V.R. Bulawayo - 1 copy
No. 102 Squadron V.R. Gwelo - 1 copy
No. 103 Squadron V.R. Salisbury - 1 copy
No. 104 Squadron V.R. Umtali - 1 copy
No. 105 Squadron V.R. Lusaka - 1 copy
No. 106 Squadron V.R. Ndola - 1 copy
F.A.L.O. Rhodesia House - 2 copies
Federal Military Attache, Pretoria - 1 copy
Ministry of Defence - 2 copies
S.A.A.F. Headquarters - 6 copies

Avoidable ...

Avoidable ...

Eve Eden

Ack. La Boheme

End of Magazine

Thanks to Rusty Theobald for getting a scanned copy of the magazine to ORAFs.

Extracted, OCR and recompiled by Eddy Norris for use on the "Our Rhodesian Heritage blog.

Comments are always welcome, please send them to Eddy Norris at orafs11@gmail.com

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