Spotlight: Phinal Phling from 56

Paul Adams reflects on that summer of '92

Right: Taken the weekend of our Phinal Phling party in July '92. Myself, a lecky and a sooty had a short notice detach to Belgium. It was the last air show to take place abroad with a British Phantom at it. Though the aircraft was flown by a display crew, the only thing the aircrew did was a low flypast of the airfield from take-off. They literally folded the undercarriage up on take-off, pulled 90 degrees right to bring them over the top of us, even though they had been warned not to do it!

Left: This shot is the back of Andy Green later of Thrust SSC project. You know, the roller skate with a pair of Phantom engines strapped to it. Andy was the display pilot. The guy with the tash to his right was one Sqn Ldr Barmby I believe. He was know to us all as Mr Steps because he wouldn't get out of an aircraft without a set!

Right: This crew decided to watch the local display team from on top of Alpha to get above the crowd, the second guy proving that a Phantom isn't as easy to get onto without a Fletcher tank fitted. By the time he faffed around, the display was half over. In the back of the photo you can see a wet patch. As usual we had be parked onto a slope and the old girl had siphoned out some fuel. Before we saw her off, we had to top her up.

Left: Taken again around July/August time at RAF Waddington, near Lincoln. We had officially disbanded now and only had a few people left, even Snec's had to do 'see ins' at this time of the squadron due to the shortage of people. The Belgian F-16s wanted dissimilar combat training and we were right up their street. For a squadron that didn't exist, we put up a good fight for them, as the telemetry readings came back in real time! Missing fasteners was the norm and one (I believe 'N') came back missing a panel and 'G' readings that needed to be seen to be believed!

Right: This was 'Yankee' grounded by radar failure, strange as normally they performed well the more they were used, but failures did happen. The less the radar was used, the more often it broke, or that's the way it seemed!

Left: This is 'Yankee', 'Delta' and 'Hotel' from left to right as you see them. The photo was taken from on top of 'November' while she waited to find out if she would be scrapped at Waddo or fly home to be scrapped - but she made it home to rest!