Friday, July 24, 2009

Show Off......

'Nor, be prepared when OC Flying goes back'......'Why?' I asked. 'He lost a bet and had to pay for dinner at the Rest House'. I received the call from my colleague at Kroh a day after I came back from there.

You see, during the Selamat Sawadee Ops, communist terrorists (CT) taking potshots at nuri became routine. In addition to BASO (Brigade Air Support Officer), a major, Air HQ also assigned an FAC (Forward Air Commander) of the rank of Lt Col stationed at Kroh. If I remember well, one was the OC Flying and the other was the OC 12 Sqn - F5E sqn. Both of them were from Butterworth Base. They were there on rotation basis just like us. Their roles and the reasons for their presence there? I was not privy to know. Maybe to ensure that all air requests must be fully justified. Both of them used to follow me on a few sorties. I supposed they wanted to have the 'feel' of flying in hostile environment.

During this period, we didn't practice 'straight and level' flights. We carried out tactical flying to stay alive but within the aircraft and our own limitations!

My colleague, let's name him Capt A, was from the Base and was tasked to assist me in troop/freight lifts from Kroh to LPs. And, he was to replace me the next day for the weekly detachment. We managed to complete the task of the day. He agreed to my suggestion that he took over the detachment that day and I would then fly back to the Base.

FAC was not aware of this arrangement. He knew that I was going back the next day and Capt A was my replacement. He was having tea with the CO of PFF (Police Field Force) at the Rest House when I took off for Butterworth. To say bye bye to Kroh, I performed a low level flypast over the grass strip and carried out a steep turn and climbed for the Base. I never realised that all this while FAC was watching my antics.

'Look at Capt A ...likes to show off', commented FAC. The CO rebutted this comment saying that it was not Capt A because he knew it was unlike Capt A to do such flying. FAC insisted that Capt Nor Ibrahim would not do such a thing. So they bet for dinner; FAC said Capt A and CO bet otherwise. Well, when FAC went back to the mess, there he was.......Capt A. Free dinner for the CO.

As for me, I had my bush jacket ready for formal interview and waited for the call.....! The call never came. He took it sportingly. He was a pilot too and, for all you know, he did more daring flights in his younger days. I was then about 30 years old - young and daring pilot but not crazy....he...he..

Don't believe me? See the certificate 'Anugerah Terbang Selamat'(Flight Safety Award).

Note: RMAF mispelled my name and my service number was 410316, not 4103116. 2429 hours was the command hours.

OC Flying migrated to Australia, OC 12 Sqn retired as Air Force Chief, Capt A retired as a Colonel, and yours truly... a major and 'migrated' to Jitra.

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