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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Me....The Hollywood Actor

One of the flying collections that I treasure most is the flying 'log book' - "BUKU HARIAN PENERBANGAN PEMANDU"; a diary of sorts. It is an official document where we pilots have to record the hours flown, the name of the aircrew, airframe number, day/night flying, etc, etc. Well, it was while 'studying' the log book when I saw OD 494 Paper Tiger written in it.

Classic movie buffs.....if you 'accidentally' watch "Paper Tiger", starring David Niven, let it be known to you that yours truly 'acted' in that film too....he....he. I was then a co-pilot in No 10 Sqn, RMAF Kuantan. I did not know why the Flight Commander detailed me to fly for this task....maybe I was the most handsome co-pilot in the squadron...he...he, syok sendiri! Jangan marah.

Well, from 7th through 14th August 1974, one Nuri and one Alouette 111 (from No 3 Sqn) helicopters were tasked to assist in the filming of the Paper Tiger. Nuri aircrew involved were:
  • Capt (U) Eddy Yong - captain
  • Capt (U) Nor Ibrahim - co-pilot
  • S/Sgt Md Isa - AQM
  • Airframe # - 1714
  • Tasking # - Gading 494
Capt (U) NC Lee was the Alouette 111 pilot. Sorry I could not remember the name of his AQM.

Review summary. Mr Bradbury (David Niven), an apparently posh and well-educated, ex-military Englishman is hired as tutor to the son of a Japanese ambassador, Koichi Kagoyama (played by Ando). He becomes a trusted friend, who boasts about himself during his British Army service being a hero telling hi "War Stories", but some painful truths are revealed after he and the boy are kidnapped by political terrorists. It comes to the point when Mr Bradbury has to live up to his "action man image he makes out to be.

Directed by: Ken Annakin
Release date: November 5, 1975

The role of the nuri was to fly the 'fictitious' troops in the mission to rescue the 'hero' and the boy. And the role of the 'mini cooper' was to fly the camera crew to film the nuri's flight. The flight took place around Bukit Takun, the limestone hill behind the present Perangsang Golf & Country Club. During those times, the club had not  existed yet. In fact, it was  still an active mining area.

The actual flying action was on 14 August 1974. I have forgotten whether we flew to Templer Park prior to the actual date of the filming since it was not recorded in my log book. Anyway, we took off from RMAF Kuala Lumpur early in the morning to position the aircraft  and  were briefed by the film crew. When the time came for  A C T I O N,  up...up and away around Bukit Takun. The captain flew the nuri while yours truly was just holding SSL (Speed Selector Lever- simply...throttle) and monitoring......Ts' &  Ps' (Temperatures &  Pressures).



Bukit Takun in the background of the Perangsang Templer Golf & Country Club, Rawang

The beautiful part was that, the film crew captured the face of your handsome co-pilot instead of the captain of the aircraft. I suppose all heroes must have moustache just like Zorro....and I have that...he...he!

Imagine, for that few minutes of filming, we had to stay for 1 week in Kuala Lumpur! By the way, the emblem/insignia of the fictitious Air force was painted over the RMAF emblem/insignia on the nuri. This was done at the KL Base. The film company used 'water-washable' paint. When the filming was over, all that was needed to be done was to pour water over it, and presto.......1714 and the emblem/insignia reappeared!

You know what we had for lunch? Nothing less than.......nasi bungkus! Fat hope to get the 5-star hotel meals served to those 'mat saleh' actors.

Capt Eddy Yong took our photograph with the late David Niven. Capt Eddy, if you read this blog and still keep the photograph, please e-mail it to me, thank you. It is a real pity that I do not know how to search and download the actual photograph of the nuri flying around the Bukit Takun. My level of computer literacy is still in the kindergarten stage. You can read my introduction to computer via this link - sitiroffinimy.blogspot.com under the title "The Quick Brown Fox".

 Computer experts, if you happen to watch this movie, please capture the part where it shows the nuri flying around Bukit Takun. I would really appreciate if you could e-mail the photograph in question. Thank you.




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