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Old Aug 31, 2002, 09:44 AM
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UK - in the middle somewhere
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Dawn patrol or Tiger amongst the cows.. Episodes 1 and 2

The pre-dawn sky lightened the surrounding countryside to give the trees shape and detail. The cloudless sky turned from purple to mauve to blue. Hangar Rat, woken in the darkness by the after effects of long distance travel glanced out of the window. The trees stood motionless, not a leaf moved. Decision time was upon him and he did not hesitate – to the hangar now!

Leaving Mrs. Ratty and the Hangar Ratlette sleeping safely in their beds, he crunched across the gravel to the darkened hangar and turned on the lights. It was still too dark in the shadow of Bredon Hill to carry out a pilots work without the help of the recently installed lighting. As the lights flickered on they revealed the shapes of the silent aircraft. The Tiger Moth, resplendent in its new wartime camouflage sat waiting for its destiny – to fly in the breaking dawn and climb into the still air. Despite its brown and green upper surfaces, the yellow sides and undersurface still showed its trainer origins. Time for a pre-flight. Battery checked, controls responding correctly, full movement, radio equipment functioning.

Out on the runway, takeoff was delayed by stray cattle wandering across the field and standing inquisitively, wanting to examine this strange inert bird at close range. After some moments of concern that they might cause some damage, Ratty shooed them away and grasped the controls . It had been some weeks since he had last flown and he felt a twinge of concern that the edge might have come off his flying skills. No time for self doubt – the ‘Moth must fly!

With motor at full revs, he checked the area for obstacles and the Tiger Moth rose into the lightening sky. Freedom again. Climbing upwards, the small aircraft cleared the shadow of the hill and the rising sun struck the aircraft with a blow that was almost palpable. The yellow of the wing undersurfaces glistened like gold and the Tiger reached out into the blue…

Ratty quickly regained his confidence and soon the aircraft was twisting and turning as he juggled the controls to get the best of the little machine. Climbing high to get the early sun, soon the aircraft was only a speck to the observer on the ground. Wing over and plunge earthwards to skim the fields, lift a wing to avoid the tree tops and into the circuit. Approach line correct, power back, nose up and the wheels kissed…. a large moist cowpat…

His flying done, HR returned to the hangar. Here, his skills as a father were called into play. Paper towels in hand, he cleaned the aircraft down lovingly and wondered if he should apply a little talcum powder to prevent hangar rash.

Such is the life of an aviator – a mixture of technical, flying and parenting skills. And on occasion, complete contentment.

Hope you all have a great week end!

And for those in the UK – it looks good for the next few days – get those batteries charged.

Ratty
Cowpat Aviator Extraordinary
Proprietor – Bredon Aviation – an Emporium in the mind
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Last edited by Hangar Rat; Sep 01, 2002 at 04:20 AM.
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Old Aug 31, 2002, 10:47 AM
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Paul Penney's Avatar
Ancaster, Ontario, Canada
Joined Nov 2000
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You COULD have saved yourself some time and just said you landed your TM in some cow dung
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Old Aug 31, 2002, 11:54 AM
Been There! Done That!
boomerace's Avatar
Eugene, Oregon, United States
Joined Sep 2001
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Quote:
Originally posted by Buddly6
You COULD have saved yourself some time and just said you landed your TM in some cow dung
Hey... That was a great story! You should have waited until the Readers Digest condensed version was published if it was too long before reading. Shucks it was a surprise ending I expected carnage!
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Old Aug 31, 2002, 11:58 AM
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Liverpool, UK
Joined Jun 2002
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Re: Dawn patrol or Tiger amongst the cows..

Quote:
Originally posted by Hangar Rat
And for those in the UK – it looks good for the next few days – get those batteries charged.

Ratty
Cowpat Aviator Extraordinary
Proprietor – Bredon Aviation – an Emporium in the mind
I wish matey, 20mph winds here
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Old Aug 31, 2002, 12:42 PM
an earth bound misfit, I
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St. Pete, Florida
Joined Sep 2001
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I thought it was a great story. Good work Ratty!

My 'moth was on dawn patrol here, even engaged in a practice dogfight with another TM.

BC
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Old Sep 01, 2002, 04:23 AM
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UK - in the middle somewhere
Joined May 2002
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Episode 2 - The following Day

But before we start.. Buddly 6 - you will still have to read the whole thing

So, what it is about cattle, that they all look alike from the front?

Anyway, let the story continue…

Our Intrepid Aviator, flushed with the success of the previous day’s missions was found, just after dawn, once again making his way to the field. As with the previous day, the cattle clustered round the grid gazing wistfully at the luscious greenery across the cattle grid and thus strictly off the menu. HR pushed them aside and made his way to the take off point. He had learned well from yesterday’s episode and plotted the landing obstacles before take off. The first flight was repeat of the day before – sun glinting, still air, mist in the valleys below etc etc.

After a short break, the Tiger was airborne again. Time for some precision circuits and approach practice. After circuit number two, Ratty noticed that one of the curious cattle had approached to within ten yards and was standing head on – grumbling in a low deep voice. Ratty ignored it and completed the circuit. On the outward bound leg, the animal caught his eye again – it had locked its gaze on Ratty’s eyes and was dripping saliva from its jaws. And the beast was quite a bit broader in the chest than the rest. It now had HR’s attention. However, Ratty suddenly remembered the Tiger, winging it’s way toward the distant Malvern Hills. He glanced towards the rapidly disappearing aircraft and wrenched it round in the tight turn to bring it back. It turned in and started it’s journey back.

By now, Hangar Rat was emulating a spectator at the Wimbledon lawn tennis finals. His eyes flicked from the aircraft to the nearby, and now closer animal. In a detached way, he wondered why this cow as quite so persistent. He waved the transmitter antenna at the beast but it would not move. In fact it salivated even more and grumbled in an even louder voice. Alarm bells ringing in his head, HR decided to execute an emergency landing and give the salivating bovine his full attention. He throttled back and pancaked the Tiger Moth in what he hoped was a safe area. Now… the ‘cow’…

Though an Intrepid Aviator and from strong farming stock, Ratty decided that it was indeed time to find out what was annoying the animal. Slowly backing off and moving to one side, his eyed focussed on the rear end of the animal. It was no cow! Nor was it a steer. It was a Bull – and it was annoyed by this small animal that dared not to give way to his immense presence whilst in the middle of HIS harem. The following decision was easy - to put some distance and a structure between himself and the Bull. He backed away slowly to within dashing distance of a tree that was quite patently too small to arrest the motion of over a thousand pounds of beef – but it was good enough. Black eyes followed his movement.

Apparently satisfied with the retreat of this puny thing, the bull decided to turn its attention to Ratty’s flight box. Sniff.. Hmm.. and it decided that this was of no consequence. Perhaps because it smelled of cow dung from the day before’s landing on the cow pat. It wandered off, honour satisfied until it caught a glimpse of the abandoned Tiger Moth a short distance away. It’s path veered towards the biplane. Ratty’s heart froze. If the bull decided that this little bird was also annoying. Ratty watched, trying to decide whether he would buy another Tiger – or something else, once the Bull had finished turning the machine into foam chips.

From the ridge behind Hangar Rat, a lonely heifer called. ‘Oh delightful maiden’ thought Ratty – the bull was attracted more by the prospects of the young lady at the top of the hill than the Moth. It veered off and went up hill.

One short defiant flight later, Hangar Rat was tired of trying to be a chameleon and anyway the battery was going flat.

And Oh Yes – it IS all true.

Ratty
Cowpat Aviator Extraordinary
Proprietor – Bredon Aviation – an Emporium in the mind
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Old Sep 01, 2002, 07:17 AM
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Iowa
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you say this is all true.

therefore i can be assured you aren't bull "patting" us?
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Old Sep 01, 2002, 09:30 AM
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UK - in the middle somewhere
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Quote:
Originally posted by ronnath
you say this is all true.

therefore i can be assured you aren't bull "patting" us?
ROFL!!
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Old Sep 01, 2002, 10:22 AM
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Mackay Queensland Australia
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Cows are evil..
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Old Sep 01, 2002, 10:27 AM
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Ancaster, Ontario, Canada
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So what have we learned? Cows make milk that is a good source of calcium, and look good on the barbecue. And they like to eat foam.
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Old Sep 01, 2002, 11:19 AM
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Spokane, Wa. USA
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LOL Wonderful story Hangar Rat ! Enjoyed that one...
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Old Sep 01, 2002, 02:13 PM
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Novato, CA USA
Joined Jan 2002
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Great stories !!! As I read the second, I was wondering if you were going to buzz the bull with the TM to try to ward it off. I suspect I would have followed exactly the course of action you took. Or maybe after seeing the bull I would have just forgotten all about the TM & headed for the tree. TM's seem to have a pretty good record of taking care of themselves, even after losing a battery in flight - not to say that I would have been thinking of anything except the bull.

- Larry
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Old Sep 01, 2002, 02:23 PM
Been There! Done That!
boomerace's Avatar
Eugene, Oregon, United States
Joined Sep 2001
19,187 Posts
Great story... but still no carnage of either you or the Moth.
My Brother in Law had his bull charge him once while he was replacing a steel fence post. He was able to side step the bull and he was so mad he hit the bull back of the head with the steel fence pole he had in his hand! The bull went to the ground and Stumpy (nickname) thought he had killed him ($$$$$ flying away) After about 15 minutes the bull got back up shaking his head and anytime Stumpy was in the field with the bull after that the bull would pretend he didn't see him! Guess you just gotta show em who's boss!!
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Old Sep 01, 2002, 02:35 PM
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I don't suppose hitting a bull in the head with a Tiger Moth would have quite the same effect....

- Larry
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Old Sep 01, 2002, 02:40 PM
Been There! Done That!
boomerace's Avatar
Eugene, Oregon, United States
Joined Sep 2001
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Quote:
Originally posted by sheerLuck
I don't suppose hitting a bull in the head with a Tiger Moth would have quite the same effect....

- Larry
Probably really Pi** him off though!! Not good!!
boomer
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