Newsletter 16
Spring 2007
Updated on 16Mar2007
Egyptian chaos
F-35 flies
Harrier - tiger on my back
Harrier news
Hawk news
Hawk vs Goshawk
Hawker apprentices
Hawker people news
Old Hawker Aircraft news
Programme for 2007
RAF Club Camm Memorial
Restored Hawker Nimrod
Restoring Hawker biplanes
Sea Harrier set to fly on
Sopwith - America's Cup
Typhoon and Tempest
Typhoon fund
Published by the Hawker Association
for the Members.
Contents © Hawker Association

    Eric Hayward remembers a day on the outskirts of Cairo...
    During 1976 I spent quite a time in Egypt on a task which was to organise supplies and servicing to keep 120 plus Egyptian Air Force MiG 21s flying. Not the best time of my life, as I had come direct from the clean efficiency of Switzerland to the dirty, disorganised chaos of Cairo; but it was one of life's more memorable experiences.
    I recollect being parked in my car near one of the military bases just outside Cairo, idly watching the world go by, when I became aware of two army lorries, carrying a large group of soldiers, parked on the other side of the street. Presently the first lorry started up ready to move off, but the second lorry's battery was obviously flat so it would not start. All the soldiers disembarked and there ensued a lot arm waving and arguing, as only Egyptians can, which was eventually resolved by one of the soldiers doing something most unusual; making a decision. "Tow it to start."
Egyptian Chaos

   A fairly short length of what appeared to me to be flimsy hawser was found and hitched between the vehicles. All climbed aboard and the front lorry moved off in a series of savage jerks. Having gone about 20 yards three things happened simultaneously: the engine of the second lorry started with a roar, the hawser snapped and lashed viciously around the second lorry's engine, breaking what I believe was the main petrol pipe, which burst into flames. This so startled the second lorry's driver that he just put his foot hard down and rammed the rear of his fellow traveller.
    So we now had two lorries crashed together, on fire, with no fire extinguishers in sight; and dozens of panicking Eyptians, some shouting orders, others just running away. The latter seemed to be a good idea, so I left as well (when in Rome and all that). I never knew the outcome but...anything could happen in Cairo!