Saturday, 30 March 2013

Gulf War Pilots Reunited

Andy Kellet (left) & Sid Buxton reunited with XL231
Andy Kellet was the last Captain to qualify on the Victor K2, he was also a Captain on XL231.  He visited by prior arrangement on Thursday 28th March and brought along former Victor K2 Co-pilot Sid Buxton.  Both are currently airline pilots flying for British Airways; Andy on the Airbus A320 and Sid on the Boeing 777.

Andy qualified as a K2 Captain at the young age of 26.  Both Andy and Sid operated the Victor through the Gulf War of 1991 and up to the end of operations in late 1993.  Sid had the honour of carrying the Standard of No55 Sqn at the Disbandment parade of the last Victor squadron.

Sid back in his familiar seat
Sid Buxton's flying career has been varied and interesting. He flew Douglas DC-3 Dakota's with the Rhodesian Airforce before joining the RAF and moving onto the Jet Provost and the Victor. Both subsequently flew the VC-10 at RAF Brize Norton before leaving the RAF.

Despite almost 20 years passing since both had been inside a Victor it was apparent that the memories were very clear and the flightdeck was becoming familiar again after an hour or so sat in there with the aircraft powered up. They said it was just the same, smelt the same but inside is too clean "bloody hell it's clean in here, they were never this clean, you must have a vacuum in here!!" - that spring clean last weekend certainly didn't go un-noticed!  Many tales were recalled and the day passed very pleasantly.

Andy back in the Captains seat
In August 1993 Andy had landed XL231 with one of the refuelling hoses stuck in 'trail' ie fully extended!  We looked at the entry in his Logbook and I then cross-referenced it with XL231's log book (MOD Form 700) and was able to enter Andy's name in as the Captain. It was only one entry for many in the aircraft's history but, it was gratifying to personalise that particular one.  Both Andy and Sid's names appear in the Form 700 records reporting many minor issues through 1990-93.

I am sure Andy and Sid will be back for another visit soon and may even do a guest article for the blog! Hopefully we will be able to share their Operation Granby tales in a later post. It is always an honour meeting ex-Victor crew; it really does make all the hard work worthwhile.

Please do get in touch if you served on Victor's we would love to hear from you.

No comments:

Post a Comment