CMPA Central Newsletters

July 2005

by Lorne Bowerman.
I was waiting for someone to take the bull by the horns and write something like a newsletter or infomation sheet for us. I was waiting for someone to ask my opinion on what should go into a newsletter that would be of interest to everyone. I am still waiting.....

I am hoping the website can give some insight to those who are serving now from those who have served. As well I think the reverse is very desirable so that we dinosaurs can look at the marvelous things that are being done in imagery now. Some thoughts on the change of how we are employed then and now would also be worth reading. Humour and funny stories always make good reading. I will try a bit of everything for this edition.

Every time I use my Canon G2 for digital recording, I am amazed how smart it is. I can take a photo of our square dance club in front of and on a stage in a local school, and have even illumination all the way from the corners of the ceiling and floor and right to the back of the stage. Remember trying to do that with a bunch of #22 bulbs and spending hours making enlargements to burn in the over exposed centre image.

And to take a shot, then use the lens zoom control to zoom in on the recorded image to see how sharp the image is stills blows my mind.

My First Real Job in the RCAF

I enrolled in February 1948 at RCAF Stn Trenton. I wanted to be in the Air Force. What I was didn't make much difference to me then. Photography was open so I filled one of those slots.

After two months of Manning Depot at Trenton, I was sent to Rockcliffe to await the start of the Photo Course # 10 in the summer. I was sent for useful employment to the Photo Unit and given my first real job in the RCAF- cleaning the washroom on the main floor just outside the vault and across from the Studio. Easy work. I didn't have to even break a sweat. It sure beat pitching hay for 8 hours a day in the hot sun. And I had the Saturday afteroon and Sunday off (yes we worked Saturday mornings with one "48" per month) to hoot and howl. I was made. I had arrived. I could hardly wait until I reached the exalted rank of AC1 to really be into big money.

It didn't take me long to learn that doing a very good job gets you a lot farther that doing a poor one. I did the best job I could and I was proud of the work I did.

I drew $10 one pay and $13 the next. Wow! I did what I wanted. Spent what I liked. And I still had money left on the next payday. Coke was a nickel. Hamburgs were 15 cents. Sports were always available. I was well fed in the Mess Hall. There was nothing more I needed in my life then.

Things changed greatly after that, but I still look back with fondness on my first real job in the RCAF.

Some Humour with a Military Twist

"Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never encountered automatic weapons." - General McArthur

"You, you, and you ... Panic. The rest of you, come with me." - U.S. Marine Corp Gunnery Sgt.

"Though I Fly Through the Valley of Death ... I Shall Fear No Evil. For I am at 80,000 Feet and Climbing." - At the entrance to the old SR-71 operating base Kadena, Japan

"You've never been lost until you've been lost at Mach 3." - Paul F. Crickmore (test pilot)

"The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire."

"Blue water Navy truism: There are more planes in the ocean than submarines in the sky." - From an old carrier sailor

"If the wings are traveling faster than the fuselage, it's probably a helicopter and therefore, unsafe."

"When one engine fails on a twin-engine airplane you always have enough power left to get you to the scene of the crash."

"Without ammunition, an Airforce would be just another expensive flying club."

"What is the similarity between air traffic controllers and pilots? If a pilot screws up, the pilot dies; If ATC screws up, .... the pilot dies."

"Never trade luck for skill."

The three most common expressions (or famous last words) in aviation are: "Why is it doing that?", "Where are we?" and "Oh S...!"

"Weather forecasts are horoscopes with numbers."

"Progress in airline flying: now a flight attendant can get a pilot pregnant."

"Airspeed, altitude and brains. Two are always needed to successfully complete the flight."

"A smooth landing is mostly luck; two in a row is all luck; three in a row is prevarication."

"I remember when sex was safe and flying was dangerous."

"Mankind has a perfect record in aviation; we never left one up there!"

"Flashlights are tubular metal containers kept in a flight bag for the purpose of storing dead batteries."

"Flying the airplane is more important than radioing your plight to a person on the ground incapable of understanding or doing anything about it."

"When a flight is proceeding incredibly well, something was forgotten."

"Just remember, if you crash because of weather, your funeral will be held on a sunny day."

Advice given to RAF pilots during WWII: "When a prang (crash) seems inevitable, endeavor to strike the softest, cheapest object in the vicinity as slow and gently as possible."

"The Piper Cub is the safest airplane in the world; it can just barely kill you." - Attributed to Max Stanley (Northrop test pilot)

"A pilot who doesn't have any fear probably isn't flying his plane to its maximum." - Jon McBride, astronaut

"If you're faced with a forced landing, fly the thing as far into the crash as possible." - Bob Hoover (renowned aerobatic and test pilot)

"Never fly in the same cockpit with someone braver than you."

"There is no reason to fly through a thunderstorm in peacetime." - Sign over squadron ops desk at Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ, 1970

"If something hasn't broken on your helicopter, it's about to."

Basic Flying Rules: "Try to stay in the middle of the air. Do not go near the edges of it. The edges of the air can be recognized by the appearance of ground, buildings, sea, trees and interstellar space. It is much more difficult to fly there."

"You know that your landing gear is up and locked when it takes full power to taxi to the terminal."

As the test pilot climbs out of the experimental aircraft, having torn off the wings and tail in the crash landing, the crash truck arrives, the rescuer sees a bloodied pilot and asks "What happened?". The pilot's reply: "I don't know, I just got here myself!"