Out of the Blue: The Sometimes Scary and Often Funny World of Flying in the Royal Air Force, as Told by Some of Those Who Were There


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Out of the Blue – The sometimes scary and often funny world of flying in the Royal Air Force – as told by some of those who were there.

Foreword by Air Marshal Cliff Spink CB CBE FCMI FRAeS RAF R’td.

There’s a saying in the Royal Air Force: if you can’t take a joke, you shouldn’t have joined. It’s a perfect example of the wry humour that permeates the mind-set of Service personnel, and it resonates throughout this book. Whether the tale is set in the air or on the ground, it offers a glimpse of what life was, and probably still is, really like in the RAF.

Over a period of two years, three ex-military pilots, who joined the RAF on the same day and have been life-long friends, collected the stories. Sometimes terrifying, occasionally outrageous, and frequently funny, they show that the business of flying military aircraft sporadically throws up challenges that even the most capable of aviators struggle to meet. Without exception, the stories are related with a refreshing candour that acknowledges the failures as well as the triumphs on each author’s part. Equally importantly, they are presented in a way that anyone can enjoy, regardless of whether or not they have any knowledge of flying or military life.

Many of the events recounted here happened during the Cold War, when the surreal world of potential nuclear conflict was the backdrop to day-to-day operations, and nearly all the stories appear in print for the first time. Indeed, it is true to say that, from an aviation perspective, they are frequently more remarkable for the fact that the protagonist got away with it rather than demonstrated great flying skill.

Amount going to charity £3.32/.43 (at current rate)