Old Faht has been rambling on for five years now on this page about a lifetime of experiences, all of which have been factual, although the reader may be forgiven in believing some to be work of fiction.

There used to be many colourful characters within aviation in the past and it is unfortunate, albeit necessary, that eccentricities can no longer be accepted in modern aviation practice.

I recall one captain called John (or `sir’ as the culture of the time demanded), a well known individualist, who upon arriving at `check in’ was advised by the enthusiastic Red Cap (dispatcher) that his aircraft was fuelled up and ready to depart. Now, fuel decisions among others are the domain of the captain after due considerations about route and weather, etc. John, unphased turned to the operations staff and said “ this gentleman in the red hat will be taking this flight, I am off home”. With that he turned and marched off leaving the the aircraft, passengers, staff, uncle Tom Cobbly and all grounded. In those days “captain was God”, there were no repercussions.

The same captain, faced with an awkward passenger. Cabin crew reported that the `problem’ was seated in the front row just behind the flight deck. He was refusing to sit down and generally making a confounded nuisance of himself. John gets out of his seat and approaches the miscreant. “Now what is the problem sir” ask John. “I am not being ordered about by those dolly birds and I will sit when I am ready” answered the offender. “Well” retorted John, I am telling you to take your seat and obey the lawful instructions of the cabin crew”. “If I don’t?” came the querulous reply. “Then” continued John, “I shall go to the flight deck where there is a bloody great axe, return and bury it in your thick skull”. There was no further argument. Come back the days before PC ness and the unequivocal authority of command!

I believe that captain has long gone now, he was part of a bygone age.

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