Sunday, 22 July 2012

Mike Wood & 'Mole'

Out in Ascension - Mike Wood far right
Flt Lt Mike Wood was a co-pilot on Victor K2's with 57 Squadron from September 1977 until December 1982. Following the Captain conversion course on the OCU he joined 55 Squadron until April 1985.

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.

DATE         TASK

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.

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