BACK TO SCHOOL

IAN BLACK DESCRIBES HOW AIRCREW MADE THE TRANSITION TO THE PHANTOM-A TYPE HE DESCRIBES AS “THE CHOICE OF KINGS”

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The scarab badge of 64 Squadron and trellis motif of 228 OCU on the fin of FGR.2 XV492 – it served with the unit from 1977 to 1979. KEY COLLECTION
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Arrestor hook deployed and gear down, FGR.2 XV488 served briefly with 228 OCU from 1978 to 1980. KEY COLLECTION
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On finals to Coningsby in July 1979, FGR.2 XV488. KEY COLLECTION

It’s the late ‘70s and the Cold War is below freezing… Having graduated from officer training, my next port of call is the Aviation School of Medicine at North Luffenham in Rutland. Much of my time is spent sitting in high-ceilinged classrooms learning all that needs to be learnt on the physiology of flight. Then there is the practical instruction, which involves being decompressed and ‘hypoxiated’ to simulate oxygen failure and in-flight emergencies.

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