Thursday, 22 October 2009

There Are Old Pilots, And Bold Pilots…

A man who was arrested after he shone a torch at an Apache attack helicopter flying "10ft" above his garden will not be charged, police have said.
I’d think not. Who’d convict, after hearing the details?
Torben Merriott, 63, of Stradbroke, Suffolk, was arrested on "suspicion of "acting in a manner likely to endanger an aircraft" on 18 September.
But as he pointed out, he had no choice:
Mr Merriott, who runs a stage lighting firm, criticised police for being "heavy-handed" and "wasting resources". He said he might complain.

He said he was awoken by an "almighty noise and vibration" at 0100 BST on 18 September.

"My first reaction was that it was an earthquake," he said.

"It was a clear night but pitch black and I could feel the vibrations beating against my chest - very frightening.

"That was when I realised it must be a helicopter really low and very close. I couldn't see any navigation lights from the direction of the noise so I shone my torch."
How else was he supposed to see what the hell was hovering over his house?

And what were they doing there in the first place? If the MOD don’t want people shining torches at their choppers, then don’t hover over remote farmhouses at the dead on night. Simples!
Mr Merriott said he found it hard to be believe the pilot would have lost control in the face of his torch.

"Don't tell the Taliban that all they need is a 10-quid torch to bring down some of our finest young fliers in their multi-million pound, high-tech gunships," he said.
Well, it’s not a gunship, but this one certainly wasn’t brought down by the Taliban, or by a recently-awakened citizen with a torch:
An RAF helicopter pilot swore as he flew his aircraft just 5ft above a taxi before a fatal crash in North Yorkshire, an inquest has heard.

Pilot Dave Sale was heard to say "let's scare the shit out of this taxi", two hours before the Puma crashed near Catterick Garrison on 8 August 2007.

The inquest also heard that the Johnny Cash hit Ring Of Fire was being played over the cockpit speaker.
No need to worry about light sleepers, RAF. Try worrying about some of your pilots instead!


Anonymous said...

So is that one more innocent added to the DNA database?

I don't understand why the police don't take the DNA of the victims of crime, especially if they're unconscious or dead. Maybe they do - they'd all add to the stats.

And while they're at it why not collect a sample from everyone who uses the NHS? After all "nothing to hide, nothing to fear" as I once saw tattooed on some fat bird's fearsome arse. Don't know who she was but she had a stab-proof vest absolutely stuffed with fifty-pound notes; I don't know how the police afford them.

Oldrightie said...

Crap education produces crap people.

JuliaM said...

"I don't understand why the police don't take the DNA of the victims of crime, especially if they're unconscious or dead. Maybe they do - they'd all add to the stats."

It's probably not occurred to them. Yet! :)

"Crap education produces crap people."

In that case, things aren't going to get better, are they? I thought the Forces knocked all that out of people, but it seems not, in this case...