The Flamingo Magazine 1968


1968 was the year The Flamingo hatched out of its shell. Below you will find some out-takes from the magazines of that year.

FOREWORD

by The Commanding Officer

Akrotiri being the largest station in the Royal Air Force, is thus unique in its fund and variety of service tasks, clubs and sports activities, talents, social events and personalities. To this can be added the many colourful attractions which the Island of Cyprus offers, together with our close associations with Limassol; the "wanderlust" amongst the flying wings and squadrons which takes our aircraft and personnel regularly to various airfields and countries between the United Kingdom and Singapore; our daily contact via the Air Movements lounge with passengers from all over the World.

Surely this is the foundation on which any magazine can build and thrive. But collection of news, the editing, production, presentation and printing of such a magazine is no easy task. The voluntary Committee which has so courageously embarked on the ambitious venture of a monthly magazine for Akrotiri is therefore to be congratulated on taking up yet another challenge,. so typical of those we have learnt to take in our stride daily. I therefore earnestly seek your support in encouraging the success of Flamingo by asking you all to "keep the news desk buzzing".

The true Flamingo, I am told, depends for it's existence on systematically filtering the lake beds for its pet kind of microscopic food. It will only migrate to lakes where such satisfying meals are in abundance. It is perhaps significant that 7,000 of these "flaming" birds descend upon our neigbouring Akrotiri Salt Lake annually. I hope our paper Flaming will emulate its parent bird and glean an equally rewarding harvest amongst the news beds of Akrotiri Airfield. The editors will do the filtering; you must supply the food.

The Commanding Officer's lament is our apparent failure to ensure that everyone is kept in touch with the multifarious activities which comprise our daily life here in Akrotiri. Our achievements are great our problems are difficult (sometimes impossible), our stories are legion. If "Flamingo" can succeed in putting across the colourful story of Akrotiri it can rightly claim to be the driving .force in fostering efficiency and happiness which form the essence of good morale and are the enemy of apathy. This is the measure of the challenge. " It is appropriate that this challenge has been taken up in the form of a new and ambitious Akrotiri magazine to be launched as the prelude to the Akrotiri celebrations of the 50th Anniversary of the Royal Air Force. Good luck Flamingo.

I wish you the success you deserve.

Air Commodore D.A. Green


When the Olympic Airways Comet was diverted to Akrotiri in February and landed safely with a defective undercarriage, a tremendous amount of extra work was thrown an to many people. It did not go unnoticed or unappreciated. The Station Commander received thank-you letters an behalf of Akrotiri from Olympic Airways, the Board of Trade, the Civil Aviation Administration in Greece, Sir Austin Strutt, and the AOC in C.
The following letter is typical of them all:
Olympic Airways
Athens, February 17th, 1968

Air Commodore D.A. Green CBE, DSO, DFc.
Dear Sir,
On behalf of Olympic Airways I wish to convey to you personally and to all RAF personnel of Akrotiri Air Force Base, our profound gratitude for the invaluable assistance granted during the forced landing of our Comet flight on February 4th, 1968.
To a great extent, it is thanks to the prompt and efficient manner in which your people handled this incident, that there were no casualties and the aircraft suffered minimal damage for a forced landing.
If we add to that the warm hospitality and friendliness shown to both our passengers and crew, I can say that everything was handled in the most perfect way.
Expressing once more my Company's and my own sincerest thanks, 
I remain,

Yours very truly,
(CH. MA VROKBFALOS) Director General

Pretty Flamingo

S.A.C.W. DOLORES
(LAURIE) DALY
Age 21, arrived in Cyprus May 66, unfortunately soon to leave us in May 68. Interests are swimming, tennis, reading.
Photo by Kevin Ley, Akrotiri Photo Club.


Third Line 103 MU

INTRO - 103 STYLE By Wg Cdr R. STONE

I have been given the honour of the first word for the Maintenance Unit, and on its b half may I start by wishing 'Flamingo', as it takes to wing, a most successful flight.

This Unit has been located at Akrotiri for the last 11 years but I am sure many people living here are not aware of the reason for its existence, or its history, or its origin, which dates from 1916 - two years "before" the Royal Air Force existed. Under 'History -of a Unit' we will tell you this saga in future issues.

Amongst other items we intend to feature, some already in this edition, are: Local opinion polls (topics unlimited), Out and About with the Unit, Rumors and MU Tale-piece.

To do this, we will need help from you and your families. If you have, or even suspect you have, a talent for writing, art, photography, cartoons, in fact anything you think may be of interest, don't hesitate to contact your Flamingo sub-editors (Fg Off Sillence, and Fg Off McGill on extensions 0501 and 0551 respectively).

AS YE CONTRIBUTE, SO SHALL YE READ.

103 OPINIONS

A national Sunday 'Newspaper recently showed the results of an opinion poll on the popularity (or otherwise) of various people and aspects of life. Having heard some of the results violently disputed it was decided to give No. 103 MU (being a strong-minded and independent unit) the chance to express its own opinions on some of the questions in the paper. Certain others closer to RAF life were added.

STAFF CAR PLUS

The recent arrival of the CO's new Staff Car is thoroughly in keeping with 103's tradition for leading the field. Seen here with Fg Off Cantwell, the Unit MTO, and Cpl Madge of MT Flight, the TR is ideally suited to the Cyprus climate. Further negotiations with the Financial Adviser are in hand - it is hoped to obtain a DB6 for winter use.

 

103 MU DANCE

On April 27th, the Unit celebrated the arrival of the summer with a very successful dance at the Peninsula Club. The music provided by the 'Blue Diamonds' alternating with the 'Wednesday Morning', allowed non-stop dancing, which in turn encouraged the use of the slightly cooler atmosphere on the outside patio. The dance also meant a farewell to a considerable part of the Unit. FS Gregory of ARF had parts of his family (shown together in the photograph) in AIS, where Mrs Gregory worked as a typist, and in Unit Headquarters where Vivienne was the CO's shorthand typist. We wish them all a happy tour at Lyneham.

IMPRESSIVE RECORD

The 103 Monarchs, shown displaying their newly acquired Trophies, have built up considerable fame in the recent Season. In addition to winning the 1967/68 Cyprus Inter-Services League Championship, they have achieved the following results in the Cyprus Open Championships.
Mens Singles Champion: Cpl D. Johnson
Mixed Doubles Champions: C/T and Mrs D. Graham
Mens Doubles Losing Finalists: C/T D. Graham and Cpl. P. Merritt.
Open Mens Plate: Cpl T. Merritt
The League team, consisting of Chf Tech D. Graham Sgt Pritchard, 
Cpl Johnson, and Cpl Merritt, had an unbeaten record in the 22 matches played, winning 20 and drawing 2.


Thank you from 893 Sqn

THIS ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN BY LIEUTENANT P. T. DUNCAN ON BOARD HMS HERMES.

893 Naval Air Squadron spent a fortnight at RAF Akrotiri at the end of April and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. The trips out and back from R.N.A.S. Yeovilton are the longest non-stop flights on Sea Vixen records, thanks to efficient wet-nursing by RAF Marham's Victors.
Exercising Cyprus air defence and 'rapid redeployment' by air made quite a change from the Squadron's normal way of life. 893 is the Sea Vixen part of HMS HERMES air group. As such the 'airfield' is a 27,000 ton warship. The 'landing strip' is 300 feet by 70 feet of steel and the 'take off run' is a 120 foot steam catapult.
HERMES is the newest British Carrier. She was launched by Lady Churchill in 1953. She is the first genuine British Warship not to carry a single gun. Her long range defence is by aircraft and for short range she uses missiles. The last two HERMES were also firsts. In 1914 the cruiser HERMES was the first warship to be converted to operate aircraft. In 1919 the next HERMES was the first ship ever built specifically as an aircraft carrier. The present HERMES, although by far the smallest Modern 'strike' carrier is about the most up to date of Britain's three. She has fully angled deck, the latest steam, catapult, Mirror deck landing aid and 984 (the dustbin) radar with Comprehensive Display System of radar. All of these are British Inventions. She is also fully rigged for 'remote control' and 'pre-wetting' against nuclear attacks.
The 'strike' part of the air group is provided by 801 Naval Air Squadron Buccaneer Mk 11'9. They were often seen in your recent exercise, attacking Akrotiri from EI Adem. In normal operations 893's Sea Vixens would accompany them as fighter escort or as secondary strike aircraft whilst sufficient other Vixens remained with the ship in their primary role of air defence fighters.
HERMES: "Eyes" are provided by 849 Squadron Gannet AEW III aircraft with long-range airborne radar. 814 Naval Air Squadron Wessex III helicopters give anti-submarine protection with 'dunking' asdic sets and homing torpedoes. 893 was originally formed in 1942 and was one of the sea-borne fighter Squadrons used to cover the allied landings in North Africa, Sicily and at Salerno. In late '43 and during 44' it operated off the carrier which protected the Arctic convoys to North Russia. The squadron was in action at Suez In 1956 with Sea Venoms (Mk 21) and was the first Royal Naval Air Squadron to be equipped with Missiles. These were 'Fire-Streaks' fitted to Sea Venoms in 1958. The Venoms were swapped for Vixens in 1960 and Mk I's were used flying off HMS CENTAUR during the Kuwait crisis of 62. The same aircraft were on ;patrol off Malaysia flying from HMS VICTORIOUS in 1964, and through most of the 'Indonesian Confrontation'. Mk IIs have been with 893 since 1966 and have been used 'in anger' to support troops in the Radfan and to cover the withdrawal from Aden last autumn. Once again the squadron was flying from HMS VICTORIOUS.

All sorties must end with catching one of the four 'arrester wires' and stopping; once again from about 150 m.p.h., in only 200 feet of deck. At present 893 and HERMES are 'working up' in the Moray Firth. Soon it will be time to depart once more for the East and the trouble spots of 1968 and 1969.

56 SQAUDRON FORMATION - FLYING
by Fg Off Colebrook

Many people in married quarters at Akrotiri may ask why 56 Squadron always practice display flying over the airfield and shatter the peace of the day. I don't intend to apologize for the inconvenience, because the Air Force in here to fly and anybody who joins the service expecting peace and solitude is living in a dream.
We practice over the airfield because it is necessary for display leaders to orientate their show in relation to - a line feature, such as the runway and also keep the aircraft within view of the spectators by reference to ground features. Akrotiri provides the ideal setting, because it is so clearly surrounded by the sea and salt lake.
The other question that seems obvious is, Why do we practice at low level?  Well, this is the altitude at which displays are given and it is unrealistic to fly higher, only to come down on the day of the show. There is more turbulence to cope with nearer the ground. The aircraft handles more sensitively in the denser air and then there is the "fear factor" of seeing the ground so near when in close formation with other aircraft and in attitudes exaggerated from normal flight. All these problems can be overcome by practice in conditions which are probable on the big day.
The purpose of these displays is to keep the public of all nationalities aware of the capabilities of pilots and aircraft of the Royal Air Force: They also help to boost recruiting figures. I know that it was a formation of Meteors at RAF Wellesbourne Mountford that put me on the road to the Royal Air Force, when I was six years old.
Not all our practices are carried out near the airfield. Whenever possible, we start off over the sea, to perfect the individual maneuvers and formation changes. It is only when these maneuvers have to be linked to a complete, co-ordinated pattern that Akrotiri benefits from the technological developments of Messrs Rolls Royce, in multiples of two. To prove the effectiveness of these practices, let me quote you our most recent experience. Half-way through March, the squadron received a request from the High Commissioner at Nicosia. Could we provide a team for a display on the 27th of the month? As you probably read in the local paper this was to mark the opening of Nicosia Airport's new terminal building. Duties and commitments ruled out any of the more experienced members of the squadron, so four of the most junior pilots, who had never done any display flying were selected.
Led by Squadron Leader P.F.Hobley, the formation pilots, myself flying No.2 position, Fg Off Merv Paine No.3 and Fg Off Roy Somerville No.4, were whipped into shape in two short weeks. In that time eleven practices were flown, of which six took place over Akrotiri.
While the new formation team found its feet, Fg Off Tim Curley was scratching his head to devise a single aircraft performance, to fill in gaps when the formation four were out of sight. The results of the two weeks concentrated effort were probably noticed by those of you whose houses are beneath the path of the aircraft. Someone who came off worse than most was Master Nav Hannaby 1563 FIt. He presented the squadron with a vase that shattered when the formation flew over his house in reheat. This has now been added to the trophies of the Squadron museum.
We felt it was all worth while, as we slipped through the low cloud over the Troodos range heading for Nicosia. All of us were soaked, owing to the fact that we had to strap-in during a rain storm to meet the time of arrival deadline. With wet, slippery flying gloves clenching control column and throttles, the display was executed and all too soon we were on our way home, leaving Fg Off Curley to land at Nicosia as planned, not as reported in another paper, "short of fuel".
With the task completed, the squadron reverted once more to the more necessary job of operational training in the fighter defence role.

RE-EQUIPMENT?
Two young sons of a venerable 'chiefy' on 56 Squadron, were perusing the squadron trophies last week, when one of them picked up a relic of the 1914-18 war, a long cavalry sword.
"What do they use these for, Dad?" asked the lad. Quick as a flash and in all seriousness, the other replied, "They carry these in case their guns go U/S". The mind boggles. . . .

ANNUAL INSPECTION BY AIR M.ARSHAL SIR EDWARD GORDON JONES K.C B, CBE, DS.O,D.F.C.
Ch Tech Reynolds explaining Lightning Brake Unit to the AOC in C as part of his visit to the AES presentation.

Members of the internal security standby force, 3 (LAA) Wing.  Provising a demonstration of their mobility for the AOC in C.
The AOC in C presented the trophies to Akrotiri personnel who were successful in the NEAF Small Arms competition. Seen here is Sgt King of 3 (LAA) Wing who won the individual light machine gun championship. The majority of trophies came to Akrotiri including two to 3 (LAA) Wing and four to the Station Shooting Team. Individual winners were Cpl Wiseman, Sgt Bellman and Flt Lt Wood.
Wg Cdr S. E. KING, D.C. Strike Wing is seen here introducing aircrew to the AOC in C.  The crew are from left to right, Flt Lt A Davidson, Fg Off D Thomas, Fg Off R Nutter and Flt Lt G Cohen.

MAMS, WHATS MAMS?

By Fg Off G. R. JAMES

Brrr, brrr, - -Good morning, F/S Chainit, MAMS..
Oh yes, MAMS, what's MAMS?
This all too regular cry has driven me Into print for the sake of all who work In this world-wide organisation.
First things first, no doubt most of you are saying to yourselves, this very same thing, -MAMS what's MAMS? Well to put your minds at rest, it stands for MOBILE AIR MOVEMENTS SQUADRON, which broadly speaking is a very condensed Air Movement Squadron consisting of two or more teams made up of six personnel per team. Because of our mobile capability, at very short notice (one hour) we have adopted the following motto - HAVE BAG PACKED, WILL TRAVEL. Our organisation is world-wide (empire builders) and has squadrons at Abingdon and Changi, sections in Muharraq and here at Akrotiri. Before I explain our functions, I should tell you all that we are all - suppliers- yes, those obstructionists from stores, but we have escaped into the select world of MAMS. I hasten to add that this is not permanent and we'll all soon be back In stores saying, -We've got it, you try and get it!.

What do we do? Where do we do it? Our operational tasks are threefold, firstly, we provide on a temporary basis an air movements organisation at airfields where none exists. Secondly, provision of initial air movement for all exercises and operations carried out at forward airfields and airstrips. Finally, the re-inforcement of existing (static) air movement squadrons on a temporary basis when their workload Is excessive.
Now you know we are, where we are and what we do, let me tell you about some of the unusual tasks we have been called upon to perform. One instance which Immediately springs to mind was the loading into a BEVERLEY of two Arab Polo ponies gifted to H.M. the Queen by King Hussain of Jordan. Another was the hunter stallion 'ROBESPIERCE' a gift from Her Majesty to the Emperor of Ethiopia. The horse was determined not to enter the specially prepared Argosy and finally bolted. Gatwick airport has to be closed to all traffic for some thirty minutes before he was recaptured and safely Loaded aboard.
Don't let me give you the Impression that our job is all "peaches and cream". I must place some emphasis on the arduous tasks carried out by us. For example, during the BORNEO campaign, we opened and ran movement sections at LABUAN, KUCHING, KUANTAN, AI OR STAR and GQNG KEDAH During confrontation, several of our personnel were mentioned in Despatches'.
Our duties in NEAF take us to such places as TEHERAN, ANKARA, LUQA, NAPLES, but the bulk of our work is carried out in that 'Mecca' of the near east EL ADEM, where we are involved in almost all the British and NATO exercises.
We at Akrotiri don't have the opportunity to travel to many exotic places, but our brothers in UK and Singapore seem to spend most of their time in the USA, Canada, Caribbean, Japan, Thailand, Africa and South America. Well someone has to be the poor relation.
I hope that this article has given you a basic insight into MAMS and that in future the cry of MAMS, what's MAMS?- will be a thing of the past.

Letters to The Editor

BUTTON'S BAY

Sir,
I am in sympathy with most of the remarks in your last edition referring to. the situation at Button's Bay this Summer. Experimentation is essential if we are to progress and one cannot condemn any group of persons 'Out of hand without evidence.
However, as the only Youth Worker of Akrotiri and having seen two Summers here I am appalled at the inability of parents and adults generally to discipline net only their own children, but also themselves in the presence of children and young people. Adults also use bad language all too often.
Towards the end of the school holidays I have been sickened by the constant use of obscene language and applauding of equally low conversation by teenagers within easy earshot of adults. Most of us are decent citizens upholding the dignity of human nature. If we are not to be ruled by these moronic individuals and, I suggest they are in the minority, we must speak up and make our standards and principles known 'Or forever withdraw into that apathetic state which allows evil to breed and hastens the disintegration of civilised society.
The main cause for the general emergence of bad language by some young people at this time seems to be that they too are in the same rut as their parents. Apathy is very contagious! If more parents, particularly of younger children, made a big effort to get out and away from the Station more often a lot of this would be eliminated by change of environment.
Taking one's teenagers away can be grim at times and I appreciate this only too well. If you cannot bear to face this, then why not consider encouraging them to take part in one of the organised School journeys or Youth Club holidays? This would give them something to do and later to look back on with pleasure and satisfaction.

The last two paragraphs can be supported by evidence from a study made this Summer on two youth groups away from home. The environment in which we live has much effect upon our behavior at times, but we must face the fact that we too must show ourselves as responsible people. Going back to England will not work a magic change so we might as well buckle to and live the responsible life we and our children expect to lead In the suburbs of Britain.

N.M. Nelson.

Akrotiri Detachment, RAF Nicosa

Sir,
In the latest case of the married families versus living-in personnel, the judgement is against the latter - that they be banned from Button's Bay area.
Mrs McDarmott made a good case in the September edition of Flamingo but I am sure careful analysis would show that the major culprits are the complainants themselves. It is they who bring the pack-up meals and leave litter. A single airmen's litter would amount to an empty packet of cigarettes at the most. As for horseplay, the youths from married quarters seem to do enough of that anyway.
'Cast not the mote from thy brother's eye before looking clearly into thine own'.
SAC Moran

3 Queens Street, Akrotiri

Sir,
We do not think Mrs McDarmot 's letter can pass without comment. The truth is that a good 75% of the bad behaviour on the Button's Bay beach is, as Flying Officer Forster says, from Children and teenagers.
We have never seen airmen sand throwing as we have seen children and teenagers, who are also the horseplay culprits.
Broken glass and other rubbish that Mrs McDarmott levels at the airmen is, in the main, from the married families who have spent their time on the beach and then depart leaving cups, plates, glasses, etc. on the beach for children to play sand castles with or to step on.
It is the same, very old, story of the few, be they airmen, children or teenagers, spoiling it for the rest.

Cpl & Mrs Braiden.

The closing of Button's Bay to single personnel has caused quite a stir and produced more letters than any other single issue raised in this column previously. As always there are no clear cut conclusions and we are all in some way to blame for the poor beach behaviour at Button's Bay and elsewhere. It will be interesting to see whether families can honestly say that there has been an improvement since the restrictions on Button's Bay were introduced. Would some honest, unbiased family member like to write to us on this.

Editor.

TASF RAF. Akrotiri

SWIMMING POOL

Dear Sir,
Flying Officer Forster's letter in the September issue of 'Flamingo' reference the building of the swImming pool at Buttons Bay is a very welcome piece of news for the Akrotiri community.
However, most of the people I have discussed this with have expressed dismay that the pool should be at Buttons Bay, why not on the camp?
The general opinion is that the pool would be more advantageous to all the community on the camp, transport to the pool being eliminated, better attendances at swimming galas, etc.
However, I feel that there must be some very good reasons for the proposed siting of the new pool at Buttons Bay and therefore request that Flying Officer Forster tell the community of these reasons.

Chief Technician Rogers.

Dear Chief Technician Rogers,
In reply to your letter above, I can assure you that when we first considered possible sites for our proposed swimming pool, we examined areas In the centre of the Camp. Such areas as the car park opposite the Astra Cinema and an area behind the grocery NAAFI were among sites which were considered.
The proposed pool is 124 feet long, by 56 feet wide, having a depth ranging from 16 feet to 3 feet 11ins. To fill such a pool, requires half a million gallons of water. In the interest of hygiene, it would have been necessary to change this water frequently. This would be additional to the daily topping up process which would be necessary due to evaporation and spillage losses. This eliminated the question of a fresh water pool due to the excessive demands this would make on our fresh water supplies.
We then considered a sea water pool sited in the centre of the camp. The additional costs of of water "plus any drainage piping, water pumps etc would have greatly increased the cost of the pool, and would have imposed extra heavy annual maintenance costs." 


Why the airfield is closed
By OPERA ONE

(With acknowledgements to "Pravda" and apologies to others)

"At 7000 hours local time on Thursday, 1st August 1968, in response to an appeal from responsible elements within the ruling circles of the Republic of Akrotiria. heavily equipped units of the MPBW and its fraternal allies Cybarco & Zakariades crossed the frontier and deployed within Akrotiria.

This action was completely in accord with agreements entered into by Akrotiria and the MPBW. and will find complete understanding amongst all well-intentioned and honest people.

The shrill outcry of certain reactionary circles is sufficient indication that the action was put in hand not a moment too soon. In view of the hysterical rumours and hostile representations which are being circulated by these sinister groups, it is necessary to examine the circumstances which led MPBW to 'Offer its brotherly hand to the protection and continued development of Akrotiri'.

It should be understood at once that the airfield at Akrotiria is the sole means of livelihood, not only of the thousands of simple working folk at Akrotiria, but also of the many highly skilled engineers of the MPBW who are normally resident there. A threat to the runway Is a direct threat to the way of life of all concerned and is of vital interest to MPBW.

The reader may well ask what was the nature of the threat to the runway. To answer this question it is necessary to review the recent history of the Republic of Akrotiria. As is well known, the continued and frequent landing and taking-off of aeroplanes on any runway is likely to cause damage to the surface. In spite of this the Government of MPBW has been prepared, in the interests of maintaining friendly relations, to tolerate a certain well-regulated amount of such misuse.

However it did not escape the notice of the MPBW that following the appointment to office of a new President and a new Prime Minister, the incidence of landings and take offs rose alarmingly. Furthermore and entirely without consulting the MPBW, new and heavier aircraft were purchased and plans made to buy other aircraft, whose sole discernible role seemed to be to aggravate the damage to the runway.
There was no way of knowing where this process would end, so, in order to protect the standard of living which the working people of Akrotiria have struggled to attain, action was taken. On August 1st, a day Akrotiria will long remember, units of the MPBW and its allies passed in a never ending stream through the frontier pasts. Ordinary people thronged to cheer a welcome. So enthusiastic was the welcome that the small but efficient army of Akrotiria was 'Obliged to surround the area in which MPBW forces had deployed with thick barbed wire. Even these measures were not entirely successful, for 'One may see regularly groups of working people and peasants (and occasionally intellectuals). in friendly and animated discussions with the heroic MPBW forces.

Meanwhile, what of those whose irresponsible activities has caused the damage to the runway? Contrary to malicious rumours that they had fled the Country to establish a government-in-exile in a nearby capital, they have been permitted to leave the Republic in order to enjoy an unexpected holiday in various Mediterranean resorts. They have pledged their loyalty to the President of Akrotiria in his co-operation with MPBW, and will return as soon as the task of reconstruction is complete and the Republic returns to a normal state. In order to ensure that there is no future threat to the runway, elections are being arranged and there is no doubt that new faces will be seen shortly in several government posts.
Readers will, of course, not wish to be bored with the actual details of the reconstruction now in progress, but statistics are always of interest. Before the task is complete, almost 3,000,000 square feet of concrete and tarmac will have been laid. The heroic forces of the MPBW are striving to over-fulfil their norm and there is every reason to expect that the work will be completed ahead of schedule.

Agreement has been reached that the main body of MPBW forces will withdraw once they have assisted in the normalization of affairs in Akrotiria. It will, of course, be necessary for certain units to remain to assist in the completion of other projects. The majority of these other projects are designed to keep the future use of the runway to a minimum. The provision of comfortable rest rooms for aircrews; the construction of hangars' which the ground staff will wish to keep full of aircraft; the provision of special padded rooms in which aircrew can practise their skills without. disturbing others - all these are intended to ensure that drastic action by MPBW need never be repeated. The people of Akotiria will be able to live in peace, sheltered. by the brotherly arm and even vigilant eye of MPBW.


THE CRUSADERS GLIDING CLUB

By Flight Lieutenant M.I. ORREY, RAF
The Crusaders Gliding Club, which operates from Kingsfield airstrip, Dhekelia, makes gliding available to all
members of H. M. Forces and some British National civilians in Cyprus.

AIMS
The Club's avowed aims are:
a. To provide gliding facilities for all ranks of the three services at low cost.
b. To stimulate interest in gliding and soaring generally, to provide healthy outside recreation and to foster and encourage enthusiasm for flying with special regard to those normally employed on the ground. 

FINANCE
Service members pay a subscription of 3 a year and 125 mils (2/6) a launch. Soaring flights cost 15/- an hour 

EQUIPMENT
The Club has two T21 dual-trainers, one Swallow intermediate, and one Olympia 401 high performance sailplane, plus two winches to get them airborne. They also have a Landrover and glider trailers with which to retrieve the aircraft when they land away from home after cross-country flights.

FLYING
The winches launch the gliders to about 1000 feet that gives a 5 minute glide back to launch point. If rising air is found the flight can be extended.
New members with no flying experience are trained from scratch on the dual control gliders. Instructor and pupil sit side by side and over many flights they work steadily through the syllabus until the pupil goes off on his first solo flight. This exciting event comes after some three months of flying training. The pupil will then have earned the International A & B Glider Pilot Certificates. The pupil flies the 2 seat aircraft solo, as this is the one he is used to flying.
Once he, or she, has settled down as a solo pilot he will graduate to the Intermediate performance sailplane, the Swallow. After plenty of practice in the Swallow, plus some advanced training in the two-seater, the Chief Flying Instructor may brief the pilot to do a short cross-country flight, followed by a landing away from Kingsfield. The Swallow can be packed into its trailer for the journey home in some 30 mins. Later, the pilot will graduate to the Olympia 401 high performance sailplane.
To keep costs down the Club's equipment is maintained by members. The skilled members are always willing to teach newcomers their techniques: most find it very satisfying to work on the wood and fabric aircraft in this jet age.
That leads us to the great attraction of gliding. Instead of a roaring engine one uses the elements for power. In
the last year Club Members have made 6 hour flights and have climbed their sailplanes to 14,1000 feet.
During the warm summer months flying stops for an hour for a lunchtime picnic by a nearby swimming pool where Members and their families may have a welcome swim

HOW TO JOIN
If you would like to join, contact Fliqht Lieutenant M. I. Orrey, Akrotiri A616 Ext 14 or Chief Technician W. Dickson, Akrotiri A571 for further details. Or, just turn up at Kingsfield airstrip, by the SBA Police Station, Dhakelia any weekend.