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  • 2 weeks later...

Stop me if I have told this one before.


I did my RAC Control Signaller AFV Class 1 course at the Radio Wing, Bovington in the summer of 1978 (it was the last Larkspur Con Sig Course). Since Bovvy is the home of the Royal Armoured Corps, there was an antenna farm on the roof of the Radio Wing that allowed Bovvy to talk to units all around the world.


Early in the course our instructor (a sergeant in the Royal Hussars) told us the following story. There had recently been an RAC Signals Instructor course run there. One candidate was tasked to prepare and deliver a lesson on the A43 ground to air man pack radio.


He went through all the blurb and as he came to the end of his demonstration, he pointed out the BEACON setting. "Switch the set to this mode and the set will act as a beacon to guide aircraft to you."


He continued with the lesson. Five minutes later there was a roar as a fast jet passed over the Radio Wing at zero feet. The candidate, barely pausing, went on, "... and that's how the BEACON works."


Followed a second later by a crash as the antenna farm, displaced by the backdraught, came down on the Radio Wing roof.


It turned out that this instructor candidate had a mukker flying Phantoms out of Yeovilton. He had airtime to fill so he agreed to a mock attack on the Radio Wing.


The candidate got a bollocking but passed his Instruction Practical module.

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