Email your photos & stories



For the Korean War site by Simon Coy

Click Here










The trustee old Chipmunk in 1963 - For many of 89 this was their first solo aircraft


Chipmunks and smart cars on the North Airfield


The RAF's basic training aircraft in 1963 - the De Havilland Chipmunk


The "A3" Chipmunk flight - Cadets - left to right...

Rear - Shimmons, Griffiths, Foulger, Synnott, Yates, Carter, Walton - Instructors?

Front - Liddell, Lovegrove, Cresswell, Johnson, Waugh



Left - First Solo - Allan Macdonald getting his final brief from Flt. Lt Couchman - 'Now remember if you bounce 3 times and it's still not down start saying "Our Father......"!


Right - The reward you got for getting back on your own!



Dick Northcote and Malc Caygill

During the dark cold war days of '64 waiting to be scrambled in their Chipmunk!!!!


Saturday entertainment at Cranwell North

Left to right - Ford Popular, De Havilland Tiger Moth, De Havilland Chipmunk, Slingsby Sedbergh


Just to prove that we lived on the edge at Cranwell - all the above came to grief!


The Ford Popular - sold by Flt Cdt Shuster to Flt Cdt Coville lost a a back wheel on it's first solo run whilst being driven by Flt Cdt Quigley!

The De Havilland Tiger Moth - Ended tail up in a hedge whilst being piloted by the Commandant Air Commodore Lyne's wife!

The De Havilland Chipmunk - Ended upside down in a potato field following an engine failure on take-off whilst being piloted by Flt Cdt Rowe!

The Slingsby Sedbergh - Ended up as firewood following a cable break and stall whilst being piloted by Flt Cdt Donnelly!

Happily no one suffered more than injured pride!



Happy Ending


Under the masterful supervision of Dick Shuster 89C fixed the Ford, the insurance company's  pay out fixed the Tiger, the excellent Cranwell ground crews fixed the Chippie and the Sedbergh's remains helped keep the stoves hot in "the Pits" - a happy ending for everyone!

Especially the Tiger Moth as here it is repainted in RAF colours and still alive and kicking in Sweden at Västeräs Airport

(Stockholm International according to Ryanair - just a mere 100+km away from the city)




Serious flying training at last


From the Chipmunk to the Jet Provost suddenly made us work a bit harder at our flying! 

Above the "Chippy" instrument panel - Right the "JP" instrument panel


It wasn't until a we had been at Cranwell for almost 2 years that we were allowed to get our hands on a "Jet"


 Our JP training started in July 1965...

Above - The morning line-up              Left - John Liddell giving his JP a hug!


Cockpit briefing

Line abreast

Left is the certificate that initiated your career as an RAF Pilot -

 Very similar to the one they gave you for your first solo in a Chipmunk - in fact the same, but on faster paper!



These were the initial target

A Flight Cadet's trusty steed - the "Mini Jet"


Eventually with lots of blood, sweat and tears you get to earn your wings


These photos were taken during the final phase of the flying course (we were doing formation)  around June/July of 1966.  Chris Saunby was flying a solo trip in 67,  Brian Synott was dual in 69 and Pete Thompson was safety student with the instructor in the lead aircraft. Pete took the air to air photographs with Chris's camera. 

I am sure that you will agree that the photographs are excellent and rare record of our younger days. Our thanks go to Chris for resurrecting them from old slides and providing them. And our belated thanks and thoughts go to Peter.

The Formation Team - Chris Saunby, Brian Synott and Pete Thompson

The scruffy flying suits certainly made them look dashing, slim and good looking - but then we were!


Chris moves in

As the old wartime song goes ....  "Coming in on a wing and a prayer"

"Nice one Saunby - Now let's try a barrel roll!"



Snotty can't resist getting in the middle with "Soixante Neuf"



Navigators got to ride in bigger things!


The flying "Pig"

But with all sorts of kit for navigators to play with....


Siesta time at the 'Pig Farm'


Every so often the "pigs" and "mini-jets" got together for a day out

24 JP's and 4 Valettas practicing for a passing out parade




A joyful sight after a hard trip - Runway 27

(although we must have had to guess which runway it was in those days, for the MOD doesn't appear to have had enough paint to paint on the numbers - or maybe we were so good that we simply kept wearing them out by landing on them !!!)

How many aircraft can you spot - click on the airfield photograph and take a close look!


And after a hard days flying what do you do? ........

...... get stuck into a hard nights drinking!

Left to right - Scotty (Having trouble seeing), Dick Shuster (Having trouble sitting), Pete Thompson (Making trouble), Dave Foulger (Having trouble focusing) 

Front - Keith Jackson (Having trouble finding himself)

Somewhere underneath - one or two more "C" Squadron drunks (In trouble)! (count the feet and hands?)

(Although judging by the worn out footwear they've either given some old tramp a bed for the night  or it's an Engineer doing a stress test on the buckling bed?)

Click here for the history of the JP


Click here for Chipmunk info


Click here to return to the top