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Comments Posted By petemears

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Field Deployments by Al Holman

Hi Chris Excellent anecdotes from Al Holman. My question is was he on 20 Sqn prior to 4 Sqn as most of his photos are of 20 Sqn jets? Also a great shot showing the Geseke facilities – I remember the place well, particularly the rat clearance in the buildings we carried out using Racasan in their boltholes, and an open hatch in the old Inn basement that you couldn’t see due to the floor being ankle deep in water. A bit of a shock when one of our ‘Chiefs’ walking in front of me suddenly disappeared down the hole – also full of water. Fortunately, he popped straight back up; if he’d gone, in any other direction than vertical he’d have been trapped in that chamber. So, arguably, the best vertical take off of the deployment! Cheers Pete.

» Posted By petemears On 17/11/2016 @ 14:00

Mo Tiwana R.I.P

Despite years of constant pain Mo bore his illness with dignity and fortitude. Now, a great character and good mate has left us – perhaps the poem below will help lift our spirits in a fianal salute to Mo Tiwana: Do not stand at my grave and weep I am not there; I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow, I am the diamond glints on snow, I am the sun on ripened grain, I am the gentle autumn rain. When you awaken in the morning’s hush I am the swift uplifting rush Of quiet birds in circled flight. I am the soft stars that shine at night. Do not stand at my grave and cry, I am not there; I did not die. (Mary Frye 1932)

Peter Mears

» Posted By petemears On 10/7/2014 @ 13:14

Harrier Display in the UK?

A great idea – I’m signed up! Pete

» Posted By petemears On 25/6/2013 @ 18:39

From Schoolboy to Station Commander

Sorry – that should say ‘providing’ not proving – oops! Pete

» Posted By petemears On 9/5/2012 @ 13:13

A good read- recommended. One frustrating point though, is where the author often refers to people he interacts with throughout his career in an oblique manner i.e. not proving names, which leaves the reader trying to second guess who they might be! Pete

» Posted By petemears On 9/5/2012 @ 13:11

MPs outraged as consultants get £1.1m from deal to axe Harriers

Outrageous beyond words. For those interested, the 2 Harriers saved for UK museums (the remains of the 72 sold for a song to the US Marine Corps) are: ZG477 GR9A in 1 Sqn special markings and ZD433 GR9A in 1 Sqn markings complete with Afghan mission symbols. Both have been roaded to the RAF Museum Cosford and the Fleet Air Arm Museum Yeovilton respectively.

» Posted By petemears On 27/1/2012 @ 10:38

Dump Jets

Further to earlier speculation as to the fate of the Harrier fleet currently bagged up at Cottesmore, is a snippet seen in the September issue of Combat Aircraft magazine in which the editor reports that the fleet has been sold off to the US Marine Corps as a cheap source of spares. These are seen as a welcome relief to the marines, who are now having to stretch out the life of their Harriers due to delays to the now troubled F35B STOVL version of the Joint Strike Fighter. Anyone know any more on this? Pete

» Posted By petemears On 22/8/2011 @ 19:06

Reversing the defence cuts is one U-turn Cameron should take

According to this article Cottesmore’s Harriers have been flogged off to the US Marines for £34m – anyone know if this is true?

» Posted By petemears On 19/6/2011 @ 16:44

Cartoons from 1972

Hi Mike I concur with webmaster – a great idea. Also, if you send your email address to I’ll send you a couple of photos from the HFA bash at Wittering last weekend. Cheers Pete

» Posted By petemears On 21/7/2011 @ 20:32

Harrier T2 XW269 – Restored!

Hi John. Great to hear from you. Will help with your photos if I can, you can contact me at Pete

» Posted By petemears On 7/1/2011 @ 20:57

What a brilliant effort with XW269. I too, flew in her in the summer of 1973 with John Roberts as pilot (later sadly killed in a mid-air collision). I remember the trip like it was yesterday – soon after take-off, flying under 4 Phantoms from Bruggen. On route to the Moselle ‘bouncing’ a Belgian AF Mirage and flying round the castle at Cochem, before departing up to the Gutersloh area and practising simulated attack profiles on some pongo vehicles, followed by aeros and the return to Wildenrath. I was disappointed that we couldn’t carry out a hover though, as the ambient temp was too hot – I guess the 101 engine just couldn’t hack it in those days; but at least I wasn’t sick! Back to the restoration, I see ‘269 is marked as TB (Tee-Bird). When it arrived on 4 in ’71, the first code was M (in red). This is seen in the photo I posted in the Gallery, with some of the Liney’s in front, in which, I think John Knight is 2nd from left front row. Well done to Jet Art Aviation and I too look forward to seeing John’s photos.

» Posted By petemears On 7/1/2011 @ 15:46

Harrier Crash, Kandahar, May 2009

Re the Harrier crash at Kandahar, the date should have read 14/5/09, not 2010! Pete

» Posted By petemears On 14/6/2010 @ 15:46

Hi Chris I believe this was ZG478/68 a GR9 belonging to 1 Sqn, that crashed on 14/5/10 following an engine problem. Look closely at where the ejection seat lands after separation – even allowing for perspective, it looks mighty close to where the two bods are standing! Great piece of film, and Martin Baker gets to save another valuable life too. Regards Pete

» Posted By petemears On 14/6/2010 @ 10:50

IV(AC) History

Hi Chris Sorry to be pedantic, but for the sake of accuracy, I think there is an error in the ‘official’ 4 Sqn history. In the chapter ‘Cold War – Harrier 1’ (page 30) it says that Pete Taylor’s crash in XV794 (4 May 72) was the first 4 Sqn loss. I believe that we lost Chris Humphries in XW918 on 12 Jan 72. Although I recollect ‘918 was in 3 Sqn markings (it was one of four Harriers so marked (XW763, 764 and 917 were the other three) that we operated as ‘our own’ jets for some time, and anyway, Chris was a 4 Sqn pilot. Can anyone else shed any further light on this? Regards Pete

» Posted By petemears On 4/5/2010 @ 19:39

More Photos from Pete Mears

Regarding names to faces on the Ahden line tent photo: As far as I can remember (memory fading rapidly!) the guys are (L to R): Jim Marshall (FS Eng), Ricky Lynn, Frank Tofts, Mick Tinsley, John Duffield (behind cam net), Dave Beswick. Seated: John(?) Finnegan, Bill Leckie, ????? – last face slips my mind.

» Posted By petemears On 4/8/2009 @ 20:03

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