Peter Hughes

I was not a maintainer as such but worked on Phantom FGR2 and F4J seats at ASF Wattisham and The Falklands Armoury in the 80’s.

During the change-out of FGR2’s from Wattisham to The Falklands, my team worked 24-7 under Captain ‘Wild’ Bill Flannagan of USAF. That man was the best man-manager of all time and would come in on nights and at weekends to cook us a BBQ with his wife and Labrador. At end of shift he would pour us a Bud.

At the end of the 9-month operation he gave us all a month off on top of our annual leave.

Things were not always good. One night my colleague fitted seats prior to air-test and the boss did the Independent Checks. On days, my Cpl. Did the Vital Checks and I did a Before Flight prior to the Station Commander’s air test. I found that the manual-separation handle and many of the rocket pack lock-wiring was missing so it had to be survival pack out and seat out; then a full refit.

My Sergeant and fellow JT got busted to JT and SAC. It was hard to speak up, but it was the right thing to do. On that day I grew up a lot! It is tough to stop a job but it is easier than the alternative.

Keep up the good work MB!

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