|Out in Ascension - Mike Wood far right|
|co-Pilot Flt Lt Mike Wood|
Mike and his crew were deployed to Ascension Island in the South Atlantic in mid-April 1982 for the Falklands Conflict. Along with his pilot Wing Commander Barry Neal their initial role was Maritime Radar Reconnaissance including tanker sorties both at night and during the day. The most famous of their tanker sorties being the legendary 'Black Buck 1' attack on Stanley which saw numerous air-to-air refuelling in order for the loan Vulcan 607 to make its successful attack.
Ascension became 'home' for many Victor crew's.
|Victor Battle Fleet - Ascension. Mike Wood centre|
|Mole in prime position whilst on tour with the Victor fleet|
Throughout his time in Ascension, Mike was never without his companion and crew mascot 'Mole'
Mike flew XL231 a number of times during his career. The list below details those flights after the Falklands conflict.
07/06/1982 Transit flight St Athan to Marham, following major servicing
02/09/1982 ASI (Ascension Island) to ASI refuelling F4's heading north to return to UK afterproviding air defence of ASI during South Atlantic Campaign
03/09/1982 Transit ASI to Marham
29/09/1982 3 ship formation training
06/10/1982 Rehersal for mansion House Flypast for Falklands London Parade
09/10/1982 Second Mansion House rehersal (my crew led the flypast on 12/10/1982 but in XL232 - XL231 having gone u/s)
16/12/1982 Exercise 6 of OCU captain conversion course. This was a “First Solo” ie no instructor pilot on board, and was a crew navex lasting 3 hrs 40 mins
23/01/1984 ASI to ASI Option 8 refuelling a C130 bound for Port Stanley. When the C130 broke contact he left his probe tip in our centreline hose refuelling basket and the tip was recovered on our return to ASI.
06/02/1985 ASI to ASI option 8 refuelling C130 as above
|Mike's crew led the Mansion House flypast on Oct 12th 1982|
|Mike Wood at RAF Church Fenton|
In April 1986 Mike was posted to Central Flying School at RAF Scampton to train as in instructor on Jet Provost Mk 3 and 5 and completed his last tour at RAF Church Fenton. He continues to spend the remainder of his flying career in commercial aviation, with 17 years flying for Cathay Pacific Airways in Hong Kong operating B747 200, 300 and 400, Tristar and Airbus 330/340 and 340 -600. He is now in his 8th year with Jet2 based at Leeds Bradford flying B757
Mike continues to be actively involved with XL231, riding in the Crew Chief seat on the last high speed run and recently obataining a complete refuelling panel for us.