Just In...The RAF Anassaurus



According to anonymous sources close to the Pentagon the F-117 stealth fighter was not brought by a Yugoslav anti-aircraft missile. It fell victim to a crash of its on-board computer. That particular plane was one of eight experimental planes whose computer was running on Windows CE operating system. According to the pilot, he was returning back to base when he heard a familiar taah-tahm tune. The sound was very familiar but definitely did not belong to the cockpit environment. A second later the pilot realized where he heard it so many times before. It was a sound of Window shutting down. Another second later the computer screen turned black and the plane began behaving erratically. The pilot attempted to reboot the computer while trying to keep the jet flying. The plane was barely responding to the controls -- a behaviour expected from a "fly-by-wire" aircraft. Unlike conventional planes that can be flown manually F-117 needs the computer just to maintain the straight course. If the on-board computer of F-117 is turned off the plane becomes aerodynamically unstable and even the best pilot cannot control it. Indeed, Windows were still loading when the jet began rapidly changing pitch angle, steeply climbing up and then plunging down. In a few seconds of a wild ride the wings began to flatter and eventually the right wing fractured and separated from the fuselage. The pilot pulled the ejection handles. Though the Pentagon declined to comment the evidence points to the allegations to be true. Air combat command grounded the remaining seven jets from the experimental Windows CE group immediately after the incident. According to an air force technician at Aviano air base in Italy who spoke on condition of anonymity the air force engineers believe that it was the recently discovered "50 days" glitch that brought down the plane. It was recently reported that Windows 98 crashes after 49.7 days of uninterrupted work because of the timer buffer overflow. Apparently, the same glitch was present in the version of Windows CE used in the crashed F-117. Indeed, the flying log shows that the plane was in continuous operation for 50 days. The 2 months preceding the crash the plane was used very extensively. It was never used so extensively before. Even when the plane was grounded for express maintenance and refuelling the computer was not powered down. Switching eight stealth fighters to Windows CE was a part of broader strategy by the Pentagon to control costs by relying on already developed civilian technology and off-the-shelf components. A similar mishap happened a couple of years ago when Windows NT crashed and paralyzed a Navy battleship for 2 hours. It is expected that senior Pentagon officials would hold a news conference on the 1st of April to announce whether or not the U.S. armed forces will continue relying on Windows operating system.

During a reunion of WWI airmen, decorated fighter ace Ole Olsen of Sweden was introduced as a speaker by the MC. During his presentation, Ole was asked by a member of the audience about his most trying moment in battle. "Well," he began, his Nordic accent hanging heavily, "One day, flying over the North Sea, I look behind me, and there's all these Fokkers quickly closing in." At this point, the obviously distressed MC rushed to the microphone and hastily explained: "Ladies and gentlemen, the Fokker was a warplane used by the German forces." "Ya," continued Ole, "that' true, but THESE Fokkers were flying Messerschmitts!"

It seems the US Federal Aviation Administration has a unique device for testing the strength of windshields on airplanes. The device is a gun that launches a dead chicken at a plane's windshield at approximately the speed the plane flies. The theory is that if the windshield doesn't crack from the carcass impact, it'll survive a real collision with a bird during flight. It seems the British were very interested in this and wanted to test a windshield on a brand new, speedy locomotive they're developing. They borrowed FAA's chicken launcher, loaded the chicken and fired. The ballistic chicken shattered the windshield, broke the engineer's chair and embedded itself in the back wall of the engine cab. The British were stunned and asked the FAA to recheck the test to see if everything was done correctly. The FAA reviewed the test thoroughly and had one recommendation: Use a thawed chicken!

One person who used to work for British Aerospace tells a similar story (which he swears is true), that these machines are actually used to fire chickens into jet engines to simulate bird strikes on the compressor blades. To thaw the chicken, someone left it in the gun overnight and performed the test in the morning. The results were somewhat different from the expected, and close examination of the high speed video footage showed a very startled-looking stray cat clinging to a half-eaten chicken as it exited the gun at Mach 0.7.

A Mexican newspaper reports that bored Royal Air Force pilots stationed on the Falkland Islands have devised what they consider a marvellous new game. Noting that the local penguins are fascinated by airplanes, the pilots search out a beach where the birds are gathered and fly slowly along it at the water's edge. Perhaps ten thousand penguins turn their heads in unison watching the planes go by, and when the pilots turn around and fly back, the birds turn their heads in the opposite direction, like spectators at a slow-motion tennis match. Then, the paper reports, "The pilots fly out to sea and directly to the penguin colony and over fly it. Heads go up, up, up, and ten thousand penguins fall over gently onto their backs.

The photographer for a national magazine was assigned to get photos of a great forest fire. Smoke at the scene was too thick to get any good shots, so he frantically called his home office to hire a plane. "It will be waiting for you at the airport!" he was assured by his editor. As soon as he got to the small, rural airport, sure enough, a plane was warming up near the runway. He jumped in with his equipment and yelled, "Let's go! Let's go!" The pilot swung the plane into the wind and soon they were in the air. "Fly over the north side of the fire," said the photographer, "and make three or four low level passes." "Why?" asked the pilot. "Because I'm going to take pictures! I'm a photographer, and photographers take pictures!" said the photographer with great exasperation. After a long pause the pilot said, "You mean you're not the instructor?"

Seems that around a year ago, some Boeing employees in the field decided to steal a life raft from one of the 747s for an upcoming rafting adventure that turned out to be a little more than they bargained for. They were successful in getting the large un-inflated raft out of the aircraft and home without anyone noticing. While on their little adventure down the river, they were quite surprised by a US Coast Guard helicopter coming towards them- almost following them- Hmmmm: A personal escort in case of emergency?? Not a Chance! It turns out that the chopper was homing in on the emergency beacon locator that is activated when the raft is inflated. The "rafters" are no longer employed at Boeing.

You all know about the Darwin Awards - It's an annual honour given to the person who did the gene pool the biggest service by killing themselves in the most extraordinarily stupid way.

The 1995 winner was the fellow who was killed by a Coke machine which toppled over on top of him as he was attempting to tip a free soda out of it.

In 1996 the winner was an Air Force sergeant who attached a JATO (Jet Assisted Take Off) unit to his car and crashed into a cliff several hundred feet above the roadbed.

And now, the 1997 winner:  Larry Waters of Los Angeles -- one of the few Darwin winners to survive his award-winning accomplishment.  Larry's boyhood dream was to fly.  When he graduated from high school, he joined the Air Force in hopes of becoming a pilot.  Unfortunately, poor eyesight disqualified him.  When he was finally discharged, he had to satisfy himself with watching jets fly over his backyard.

One day, Larry, had a bright idea.  He decided to fly.  He went to the local Army-Navy surplus store and purchased 45 weather balloons and several tanks of helium.   The weather balloons, when fully inflated, would measure more than four feet across.

Back home, Larry securely strapped the balloons to his sturdy lawn chair. He anchored the chair to the bumper of his jeep and inflated the balloons with the helium.  He climbed on for a test while it was still only a few feet above the ground.

Satisfied it would work, Larry packed several sandwiches and a six-pack of Miller Lite, loaded his pellet gun-- figuring he could pop a few balloons when it was time to descend-- and went back to the floating lawn chair.

He tied himself in along with his pellet gun and provisions. Larry's plan was to lazily float up to a height of about 30 feet above his backyard after severing the anchor and in a few hours come back down.

Things didn't quite work out that way.

When he cut the cord anchoring the lawn chair to his jeep, he didn't float lazily up to 30 or so feet. Instead  he streaked into the LA sky as if shot from a cannon.  He didn't level of at 30 feet, nor did he level off at 100 feet.  After climbing and climbing, he levelled off at 11,000 feet. At that height he couldn't risk shooting any of the balloons, lest he unbalance the load and really find himself in trouble.  So he stayed there, drifting, cold and frightened, for more than 14 hours.

Then he really got in trouble. He found himself drifting into the the primary approach corridor of Los Angeles International Airport. A United pilot first spotted Larry.   He radioed the tower and described passing a guy in a lawn chair with a gun.   Radar confirmed the existence of an object floating 11,000 feet above the airport. LAX emergency procedures swung into full alert and a helicopter was dispatched to investigate. LAX is right on the ocean.  Night was falling and the offshore breeze began to flow.  It carried Larry out to sea with the helicopter in hot pursuit. Several miles out, the helicopter caught up with Larry.  Once the crew determined that Larry was not dangerous, they attempted to close in for a rescue but the draft from the blades would push Larry away whenever they neared.

Finally, the helicopter ascended to a position several hundred feet above Larry and lowered a rescue line. Larry snagged the line and was hauled back to shore.  The difficult manoeuvre was flawlessly executed by the helicopter crew.  As soon as Larry was hauled to earth, he was arrested by waiting members of the LAPD for violating LAX airspace.  As he was led away in handcuffs, a reporter dispatched to cover the daring rescue asked why he had done it. Larry stopped, turned and replied nonchalantly, "A man can't just sit around."

Let's hear it for Larry Waters, the 1997 Darwin Award Winner.

Alleged to have been posted briefly on the McDonnell Douglas website by an employee there who obviously has a sense of humour. The company, of course, does not (have a sense of humor) - and made the web department take it down immediately.  (In case you don't know: McDonnell Douglas is one of the world's chief suppliers of military aircraft.) The following is not real, nor is it intended for anything but a couple good-hearted laughs. Please read all of the form. You will not regret it!

Thank you for purchasing a McDonnell Douglas military aircraft. In order to protect your new investment, please take a few moments to fill out the warranty registration card below. Answering the survey questions is not required, but the information will help us to develop new products that best meet your needs and desires.

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The list below is rumoured to be genuine. During a flight if a pilot gets a problem he fills in the paper work on landing for the maintainers to fix it. Here are some "problems" and what the maintainers wrote on the bottom of the forms in response.



(P) Left inside main tire almost needs replacement
(S) Almost replaced left inside main tire

(P) Test flight OK, except autoland very rough
(S) Autoland not installed on this aircraft

(P) #2 Propeller seeping prop fluid,
(S) #2 Propeller seepage normal - #1 #3 and #4 propellers lack normal seepage

(P) Something loose in cockpit
(S) Something tightened in cockpit

(P) Evidence of leak on right main landing gear
(S) Evidence removed

(P) DME volume unbelievably loud
(S) Volume set to more believable level

(P) Dead bugs on windshield
(S) Live bugs on order

(P) Autopilot in "altitude hold mode" produces a 200 fpm descent
(S) Cannot reproduce problem on ground

(P) IFF inoperative
(S) IFF always inoperative in OFF mode

(P) Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick
(S) That's what they're there for

(P) Number three engine seems to be missing
(S) Engine found on right wing after brief search

(P) Aircraft handles funny
(S) Aircraft warned to straighten up, "fly right" and be serious

(P) Target Radar hums
(S) Reprogrammed Target Radar with the words

(P) Tapping noise behind panel in cockpit sounds like little man with a hammer.

(S) Opened panel and took hammer away from little man



COLONEL: Successful crossing, well planned and carried out in accordance  with my directives.

--CHIEF: About time that thing worked; hope the Colonel's finally happy.   

--NCO: Changed two wings, a beak, and removed a bad egg, and the silly thing still can't fly! 

--2ND LT: Look at the pretty bird!   

--AIR EDUCATION AND TRAINING COMMAND (AETC): The purpose is to familiarize  the chicken with road-crossing procedures. Road crossing should be  performed only between the hours of sunset and sunrise. Solo chickens  must have at least 3 miles of visibility and a safety observer.   

--AIR FORCE SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND (AFSOC): The chicken crossed at a  90-degree angle to avoid prolonged exposure to a line of communication.   To achieve maximum surprise, the chicken should perform this manoeuvre at   night using NVGs, preferably near a road bend in a valley.   

--AIR FORCE PERSONNEL CENTRE (AFPC): Due to the needs of the Air Force,  the chicken was involuntarily reassigned to the other side of the road.   This will be a 3-year controlled tour and we promise to give the chicken   a good-deal assignment afterwards. Every chicken will be required to do   one road crossing during its career, and this will not affect its   opportunities for promotion.   

--AIR INTELLIGENCE AGENCY (AIA): Despite what you see on CNN, I can   neither confirm nor deny any fowl performing acts of transit.  Questions?   Please see the SSO.   

--AIR FORCE RESERVE COMMAND (AFRC): If it didn't happen on a Saturday or Sunday then we missed it.   

--AIR FORCE FOREIGN TECHNOLOGY CENTER (AFFTC): This event will need confirmation; we need to repeat it using varied chicken breeds, road types, and weather conditions to confirm whether it can actually happen within the parameters specified for chickens and the remote possibility that they might cross thruways designated by some as 'roads.'   

--AIR COMBAT COMMAND (ACC): The chicken should log this as a GCC sortie  only if road-crossing qualified. The crossing updates the chicken's   60-day road-crossing currency only if performed on a Monday or Thursday   or during a full moon. Instructor chickens may update currency any time   they observe another chicken cross the road.   

--PACIFIC AIR FORCE (PACAF): We don't have chickens yet, as they haven't  been funded. The latest projection is for chickens in FY2002, at which time they will be WRM assets assigned to ACC.   

--AIR MOBILITY COMMAND (AMC): The purpose is not important. What is   important is that the chicken remained under the OPCON of USCINCTRANS  and did not CHOP to the theatre on the other side of the road.  Without CHOPing, the chicken was able to achieve a seamless road crossing with  near perfect,   real-time in-transit visibility.   

--TANKER AIRLIFT CONTROL CENTER (TACC): We need the road-crossing time and the time the chicken becomes available for another crossing.    

--AIR FORCE MATERIEL COMMAND (AFMC): Recent changes in technology, coupled with today's multipolar strategic environment, have created new  challenges in the chicken's ability to cross the road. The chicken was   also faced with significant challenges to create and Develop core   competencies required for this new environment. AFMC's Chicken Systems   Program Office (CSPO), in a partnering relationship with the client, helped the chicken by rethinking its physical distribution strategy and  implementation processes. Using the Poultry Integration Model (PIM) CSPO helped the chicken use its skills, methodologies, knowledge capital and experiences to align the chicken's people, processes, and technology in support of its overall strategy within a Program management framework.  The CSPO convened a diverse cross-spectrum of road analysts and retired chickens along with MITRE consultants with deep skills in an efficient substitute for F-22s!       

--Air Education and Training Command:  The purpose is to familiarize the chicken with road-crossing procedures.  Road-crossing should be performed only between the hours of sunset to sunrise.  Solo chickens must have at least three miles of visibility and a safety observer.

--Special Ops: The chicken crossed at a 90 degree angle to avoid prolonged exposure to a line of communication.  To achieve maximum surprise, the chicken should have performed this manoeuvre at night using NVG goggles, preferably near a road bend in a valley.

--Air Combat Command: The chicken should log this as a GCC sortie only if road-crossing qualified.  The crossing updates the chicken's 60-day road-crossing currency only if performed on a Monday or Thursday or during a full moon.   Instructor chickens may update currency at any time they observe another chicken cross the road.

--Tanker Airlift Control Centre:  We need the road-crossing time and the time the chicken becomes available for another crossing.

--Command Post:  What chicken?

--Tower: The chicken was instructed to hold short of the road.   This road-incursion incident was reported in a Hazardous Chicken Road-Crossing Report (HCRCR).  Please re-emphasize that chickens are required to read back all hold short instructions.

--C-130 Crewmember:  Just put it in back and let's go!

--C-141 Crewmember:  I ordered a #4 with turkey and ham, NOT chicken!  Besides, where in the hell are my condiments?! We ain't taking off   'til I get my condiments.

--Fighter Dude:  Look, dude, that was a frag , OK?   I've flown my 1.0 for the day and I ain't got time for no more questions.

--B-1 crew:  Missed the whole show.  We had an IFE so we couldn't get out to see it; you'll have to ask the SOF.

--Air Force Personnel Centre:  Due to the needs of the Air Force, the chicken was involuntarily reassigned to the other side of the road. This will be a 3-year controlled tour and we promise to give the chicken a good-deal assignment afterwards. Every chicken will be required to do one road-crossing during its career, and this will not affect its opportunities for future promotions.

O ‘Reilly’s fundamentals of Aviation


·         Every takeoff is optional. Every landing is mandatory.

·         If you push the stick forward, the houses get bigger. If you pull the stick back, they get smaller. That is, unless you keep pulling the stick all the way back, then they get bigger again.

·         Flying isn't dangerous. Crashing is what's dangerous.

·         It's always better to be down here wishing you were up there than up there wishing you were down here. 

·         The ONLY time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire. 

·         The propeller is just a big fan in front of the plane used to keep the pilot cool. When it stops, you can actually watch the pilot start sweating. 

·         When in doubt, hold on to your altitude. No one has ever collided with the sky. 

·         A 'good' landing is one from which you can walk away. A 'great' landing is one after which they can use the plane again. 

·         Learn from the mistakes of others. You won't live long enough to make all of them yourself. 

·         The probability of survival is inversely proportional to the angle of arrival. The larger the angle of arrival, the smaller the probability of survival and vice versa. 

·         Never let an aircraft take you somewhere your brain didn't get to five minutes earlier. 

·         Stay out of clouds. The silver lining everyone keeps talking about might be another airplane going in the opposite direction. Reliable sources also report that mountains have been known to hide out in clouds. 

·         Always try to keep the number of landings you make equal to the number of takeoffs you've made. 

·         There are three simple rules for making a smooth landing. Unfortunately no one knows what they are.

·         You start with a bag full of luck and an empty bag of experience. The trick is to fill the bag of experience before you empty the bag of luck. 

·         If all you can see out of the window is ground that's going round and round and all you can hear is a commotion coming from the passenger compartment, things are not at all as they should be. 

·         In the ongoing battle between objects made out of aluminium going hundreds of miles per hour and the ground going zero miles per hour, the ground has yet to lose.

·         Good judgment comes from experience. Unfortunately, the experience usually comes from poor judgment. 

·         Keep looking around. There's always something you've missed. 

·         Remember, gravity is not just a good idea. It's the law. And it's not subject to repeal.

·         The three most useless things to a pilot are the altitude above you, runway behind you, and a tenth of a second ago. 

·         There are old pilots and there are bold pilots. There are, however, no old bold pilots.

Remember half the people you know are below average