The Royal & Ancient Order of Bush Pilots


Founded 2005

"The Royal Order" is a society of like-minded aviators who have flown in various places and engaged in various activities around the world. One of the qualifications of this unique organization is that an individual must be able to relate with a particular keenness a precise aircraft orientation, attitude or maneuver previously attained while employing use of the phrase "and there I was..." Admission to the society is solely by discretion of the founders, and inductees must demonstrate an appreciation in the application of Nut Powder. For those unfamiliar, a summary of Royal Order Terminology is provided below.


Antoine de Saint Exupery
Charles Lindbergh
Admiral Byrd

Jimmy Angel
Beryl Markham
Amelia Earhart

Sir Ernest Shackleton
General McAuliffe
Wiley Post


COMMAND DECISION -- any decision made by any member of the Royal Order at any time.
EXECUTIVE COMMAND DECISION -- a unilateral command decision often made by Wilga pilots, pilots who have been shot down while flying fighter jets, pilots who have flown upside down in an N3N, and some FAA employees.
ROAD ACROSS THE RUNWAY -- an observed occurrence conflicting with logic, but nonetheless occurring.
BEHIND ENEMY LINES -- a place where normal people usually don't go, but where members are usually found.
THREAT LETTER -- a warning to cease and desist (or face dire consequences) delivered to Royal Order members. Due to questionable backgrounds, experiences, activities and lifestyles of Royal Order members, any member at any time may receive a threat letter.
POSITION REPORT -- employed when operating behind enemy lines to provide position information to other members.
STEALTH MODE -- mode utilized to move covertly without position reports to other members.
SPY IN A CAN -- a drink.
AK-47 VODKA -- another drink.
NUT HOUSE -- meeting point for members.
INDUCTION -- process by which recruits are inducted into the esteemed Order.
NUT POWDER -- very important --
JEEP -- official ground transport.
WILGA -- form of aerial transport commonly used for induction.
EXPEDITION -- official journey with a specific purpose.
NORMAL -- not something officially recognized.
I WILL NOT PUT THAT SHIT ON MY NUTS -- expression used by some recalcitrant inductees.
I-CHING -- Chinese procedure employed by the Order -- "when the way comes to an end, change; having changed, you pass through."
PHURBA -- official three-bladed Tibetan dagger used to "remove obstacles."
WHEELS UP PARTY -- a party held anytime that a visiting member leaves town.
PULL PITCH -- a phrase meaning "let's get out of here."
EXTERNAL LOAD PERMIT -- something that you should have before leaning out of the door of the Wilga.
USE OF LIPS -- an African technique occasionally used by members of the order to point in a certain direction.
ANYTIME FROM NOW -- unit of time used by members to communicate what time they will return to a place.
SMITH -- a term meaning to "ignore with egregious intent" sometimes inflicted upon members of the Order.



 Members of the C-47 Hump Crew (Alan Searle, Barry Arlow, Bob Small with Yingshan Jiang) being inducted into The Royal & Ancient Order of Bush Pilots with a full application of Nut Powder in front of The Hump Bar in Kunming, China after the last ever flight "Over The Hump" on 15 Oct 2016 --


Captain Philips, Young Tom and the Right and Honorable Kishore Patel of Superior Aviation -- Exclusive purveyor of Bush Aircraft to the intrepid National Geographic Wildlife Documentary Air Force that traversed the length and breadth of Africa on numerous occasions in search of Black Rhinos, Pygmy Elephants, and other elusive creatures.


Captain Xiao Ying is the overall commander of the Chinese Division of the Royal & Ancient Order of Bush Pilots. She is CEO of Wild Winds China and a passionate aviator -- 


It is not often that we get to meet a real live Captain Jack Sparrow -- but we did it. With over 15,000 hours, including service in Mauritania and 25 years in the skydiving business, Captain Jack was presented a can of Nut Powder for his tactical prowess and love of the PC-6.  




The largest gathering of flying N3N aircraft ever assembled -- in Hal's hangar -- as reported by CC of the Royal Order.


Executing "And There I Was" maneuvers at 26,300' with D. Sherpa and G. Sherpa and no Oxygen on the North Slope of Mount Everest after a successful summit on 17 May 2010 with frostbite on all toes -- Expedition Report




Induction of Air American Les Strouse & Biological Engineer Mark Daniels. (in front of M151-A1 Jeep and Helio Courier H-295). The Helio was used extensively by Air America for operations in Laos and Vietnam. Mark Daniels is the chairman of the Aeronautical Archaeological Society and has an advanced degree in Aviation Hieroglyphics. Mark has flown the Wilga, and these were his comments: "I didn't know it until the first time I flew it, but the Wilga is the reason I wanted to learn to fly. It is loud, has a powerful radial engine, is designed and built by the same people who produce perhaps the world's best sausage. The funny looking gauges and the air-driven prop, as well as the bizarre starting procedure gives me the sense that when I climb in I am passing through an elite ritual of the truly eccentric in a bid to enter a sort of crankcase nirvana. It has a rumble that makes a Harley seem like an espresso machine. And it is hard to fly. My legs are still sore from using the rudders two days ago, and that's the way it should be. The plane has almost no brakes and a very high center of gravity. It may look like an insect, but it is the kind of insect you would find around Chernobyl. It is about as forgiving as Lewis in the 8th round, and although I don't know for sure, I would imagine that if you make a mistake with this one, you will end up as chicken food chop-quick. Highly recommended."


Chief Counsel of the Royal Order standing in front of the bullet-ridden old Entebbe Airport control tower with Ugandan Aviation Security Inspector Mr. Tito Nyarwekaka Kankya. Immediately following this photo, the Chief Counsel entered into the now-abandoned tower and conducted a full reconnaissance of all the relevant rooms including the glass tower cab on top. The bullet holes hail from Big Daddy Idi Amin's day, when the Israelis conducted a nighttime covert operation to recover some of their compatriots. For more information -- search "Raid on Entebbe."


By unanimous decision, The Royal Order has awarded the first ever Royal & Ancient "Certificate of Merit" to Kenyan Innovator Mr. Gabriel Nderitu for his "service in the line of duty." We commend Mr. Nderitu for his courage, initiative and innovativeness. There was once a man from Lake Turkhana who very wisely said, "it is only a matter of sand." Therefore, we salute Gabriel and wish him continued good success in the truest and highest spirit of the Order.


The first ever Russian Member of the Royal Order was recently inducted. Mr. Andrei Solov was born in Kharaganda, Kazakhstan. For this reason alone, he is fully qualified to be a member. However, he has also established the first Russian chapter of the Royal & Ancient Order of Bush Pilots herewith referred to as "EE TOGDA" (and there I was in Russian). Andrei is a fully qualified hydro-samolyot pilot and Russia is the country which produces AK-47 Vodka (official Vodka of the Royal Order). Andrei reports that the temperature in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, varies from -40*C to +40*C and that it is very difficult to build in this environment, because everything moves due to the contraction and expansion of the steel used in the construction. Andrei is an admirer of President Nazerbayev. He is a Dictator, of course, but his vision has led the country in the right direction over the past 20 years of his rule. As the Soviet Union broke up in 1991, he invited professors from Moscow University to Kazakhstan to be his Ministers and lead the country in developing an open Asian economy. Andrei has advised us that Kazak people have a saying, "your home is where you are."


Cinematographer Bob Poole has been a member of The Royal Order for a long time, but he just didn't know it. His first film for National Geographic was "Flight Over Africa" and there were many opportunities in that film for depicting aerial maneuvers solely by the use of one's hands (but occasionally Bob has been known to point with his lips as well). Bob has now made over 100 documentary films and shot aerials from over 50 different types of aircraft. He is fluent in Swahili and is a great lover of Nut Powder.


Chief Counsel of the Royal Order inspecting a Chinese Mig-23 aboard the Soviet Carrier Minsk in Shenzhen, China - August 2009


 Recently inducted Rob Driscoll executing maneuvers above Hadley Harbor in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. This may be the first actual aerial "and there I was" rendition ever recorded.


And there we were... inducting Rob Driscoll into the Royal Order and vibrating with Cooke in the forbidden "verboten" tower of the BAD Schachen in Germany. Rob's father saved Wings Field in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania from overzealous land developers. Anyone anywhere in the world who saves an airport is automatically appointed an honored member of the Order with the highest standing.


Chinese AN-2 equipped with floats - located and photographed in Beijing 2010 by the Chief Counsel of the Royal Order before a historic ride from Beijing to Shanghai by Harley-Davidson motorcycle.


Inducting Peter Balmer into the Royal Order after receiving a checkout in a Pilatus Porter in Interlaken, Switzerland. Peter has 2,500 hours in the PC-6 with over 5,000 glacier landings. He was unaware of the existence of the Royal Order, but subsequently very pleased at his induction. The PC-6 is powered by a PT6A engine with 550 horsepower. The propeller can be reversed on landing permitting extremely short field operations.


Krittika Toumtong and DO-27
Inducting Khun Krittika into the Order in front of a DO-27 in the Dornier Museum next to Lake Constance in Germany (Jun2010). The DO-27 was flown by Dr. Bernhard Grzimek during the making of the documentary film "Serengeti Shall Not Die" in Tanganyika, Africa. His son died in this aircraft after striking a vulture in flight near the edge of the Ngorongoro Crater. One of the members of the Royal Order found the remains of this original Dornier in the bush on the edge of the crater.


photo Krittika Toumtong
And there I was... at 7,800 feet eating pretzels with a couple of Marmots. Members of the Royal Order are often called upon to perform various tasks.


And there he was... Doc receiving instruction from Nud on how to start Boom's tractor. Nud is a senior advisor to the Order and a good friend of Smith.


 Warren Claytor and Graham (wearing a high-visibility shirt) demonstrating a steep dive during maneuvers on Nantucket Island (Jun 2010) on a mission to honor Schlog (one of the greatest schlongers of all time).


"The Wop" -- Located by the Chief Counsel of the Royal Order in New Delhi, India whilst on a mission behind enemy lines in Jun-Jul 2010. Official name: Wapiti Mk 2A. This was the first aircraft to fly through the Khyber Pass and was used in the Indian Airforce from 1933 to 1942.


David Schoettle reported a successful mission transporting Roman Catholic Friar Chris of Portsmouth Abbey, RI to Teterboro, NJ by Lear 31A on Valentines Day 2013. Chris is a strong believer in Nut Powder and has been attempting to proselytize Friar Chris to the delights of Nut Powder.


It is not often that we get Peter F. Cooke behind enemy lines, but there he was at 5 a.m. in Cambodia vibrating in front of the ancient Khmer ruins of Angkor Wat. Cooke is no stranger to Asia. He was coach to the King's Cup Thailand Elephant Polo team in 2004 and leader of the Hong Kong ass-signing expedition in 2006. Cooke celebrated his arrival in Cambodia by wearing his uniform and shaving his chest.


Induction of Has Smith (at breakfast) near the Royal Order HQ.
Hal's comment after induction: "
Outstanding, I am extremely proud to be a member!  I made liberal use of nut powder on my first roll in my N3N last month, hanging in a 65 year-old harness pushing the nose up while inverted.  (I have since ordered Hooker Harnesses). Oh yes, the engine stops firing whenever you are inverted. I could have used more nut powder, but it was all I had.  I remembered later I actually held myself down (up) into the seat with the stick and later wondered what I would have done had I pulled the stick out?!  So I am returning to BKK to restock before the next try."


Induction of Afghan Flying Club co-founder Captain Jersey. Jersey hails from Bavaria, but he has enjoys working in Sudan, Congo, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Burundi, Indonesia, and other war-torn areas of the world. He owns Ulbi WT01 "Wild Thing" tail-dragger (with 120 HP Jabiru engine), and has successfully performed the Nut Powder ritual. "Herewith I seek to become associated with the esteemed Order. As you can see, I'm a man of good standing (but rather unconventional flying) & well suited to perform the required hand movements... And there I was ... during the approach briefing with Captain Frazer (of Airserv) for Baghdad International 32 Right - maximum sink rate in steep spiral descent." Jersey's plan is to return to Kabul, Afghanistan with the first aircraft for the Afghan Flying Club (anytime from now), and he is also looking forward to visiting New Zealand to attend "Warbirds Over Wanaka" (Easter Weekend every year). Jersey is also a "Wilga Lover" because it has a big loud engine that turns the wrong way, which he calls his "deuxieme bureau" (terminology that he picked up in the Congo). Jersey has shared with us a link of Bush Planes in action --


Aside from his duties as Chairman and CEO of Nestle, Peter Brabeck has a passion for glacier flying in Switzerland and has flown in many parts of the world. Maria is from Colombia and when not serving as Ambassador, she also enjoys exploring far and forgotten corners of the world.


Khun Supap Puranitee is one of the most enthusiastic aviators on the entire continent of Asia. When he is not flying his PC-12, he is busy making all the cans that contain The Royal Order Nut Powder.


Very auspicious new inductee, The Venerable Khenpo Rinpoche Chime Tsering is the director of Siddhartha Foundation in Nepal. Khenpo oversees 3,000 Buddhist Monasteries in Nepal, and his brother is the head of the Nepal air force and a very experienced helicopter pilot. Khenpo was teaching us the 5 poisons - ignorance, attachments, anger, pride, jealousy - and that the 5 poisons are the enemy. The way to damage the 5 poisons in one's life is through meditation. Khenpo's example was a Doctor who gives medicine; if you don't eat it, you can't get better. In Buddhism, the teacher gives the way, if you practice, you can accumulate good Karma. Meditation involves a 7 point posture - Feet in Lotus position (discipline), Right hand in Left hand (samatee), Back straight (honesty), Arms in a circle (Om Dharma wheel), Neck straight (no left, no right), Eyes looking down nose (to liberate sentient beings from samsara), Tongue in middle of mouth (no attachments to eliminate desire). All expectations in life come from desire. Breathe in (the goodness of Buddha, the 5 elements, prosperity, long life) and breathe out (the 5 poisons). Kick out all thoughts. Do this for 15-20 minutes. This meditation is the path to Dharma and health. Khun Suchard was also inducted into The Royal Order. He is a keen follower of Khenpo Chime and a very skilled Mooney "bush pilot." He is a part owner of the Wilga and the pioneer of the Phuket Airpark project.


Induction of Uchida San, Worawoot, and Dave Floyd in the new Coconut Jungle. This was truly a historic day. Previously, Dave "don't-put-that-shit-on-my-nuts" Floyd was reluctant to join the ranks of The Royal Order. He soloed a J-3 in 1954, a T-38 in 1962, was shot down twice in an F-5 over Vietnam, but he was having a little trouble soloing a C-150 in Bang Phra. Some gentlemen from The Royal Order suggested that Dave should consider some Nut Powder. Dave was reluctant, and continued to not solo in Bang Phra. Dave eventually came to understand the dictates of the I-Ching, "when the way comes to an end, change; having changed, you pass through." Subsequently, Dave soloed, and now he enjoys Nut Powder. Fellow inductees include Uchida San from Japan who is in training to become "DokoDayMo, OreeChow Piloto" (anywhere landing can pilot) - the Japanese version of Bush Pilot - and Khun Worawoot (manager at TFC) who is a keen planter of coconut trees. Dave is also the coach of Black Dog Polo


Khun Chatchaya is the chief photographer for The Royal Order. She is jeep-qualified. When she drove a World War II vintage Ford MB Jeep named "Smith" from Bangkok to Bang Phra, she was stopped three times by the police. The jeep had no top, one headlight, some brakes, not much clutch, and too much free play in the steering, and no license plates. The first police took her license. She told the second police that they couldn't have her license, because the first already took it. The third police asked her why she was driving an open jeep from Bangkok at night by herself, and she invited the senior officer to drive with her. They let her go too. Khun Chatchaya is the CEO of Thai Jeep and is a fully inducted member of The Royal Order.


Induction of Nick Thompson (with his wife Gaye next to the Wilga). Nick was born in Enfield, England and works in Hong Kong. He used to be a cartographer in Rhodesia. He has driven a Jaguar from Durban to Harare, a Jeep from Doha to England, and after scuba diving in Maldives and Aquaba in the Red Sea discovered a book about Captain William Shakespeare - a British Political officer in Kuwait in the early 1900's who befriended Ibn Saud, which lead to the creation of The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (previously part of the Ottoman Empire). Nick spent many years in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Abu Dhabi, and Oman. He met his lovely wife Gaye in Tanzania. He worked on oil rigs in Australia and Philippines. He soloed a Tiger Moth in 1973, and he loves "taildraggers." His dream is "to spend the rest of my life with the woman I love," as King George V said when he abdicated the British Throne for Wallis Simpson. Nick's dad used to fly DC-3's in Burma in World War II and died after crashing into the Ngong Hills in Kenya. Nick's favorite books are "Cape to Cairo" by Grogan and "First Light" (about grammar school in UK). His favorite character is Lord Nelson (who lost and eye and an arm) because he was a great Admiral with big balls but also had the common touch and compassion for his men. He is planning to build a flying replica of the Spitfire.


The Computer Graphic team for the film "First Flight" have been there too -- for the past 3 years, they have been waiting and sometimes working on the intrepid film about the early days of aviation in Siam. This is the first Thai movie to have real aerials and everyone in the whole world is waiting to see it. Maybe finally in early 2007. "Awaitings which ripen hopes are not delays."


Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, the intrepid crew of Saberdancer were there too... more details forthcoming.


Khun Rolf and Shmirmaxe have recently opened the German Chapter of the Royal Order -- "Und Ich war Da" (and there I was...). Rolf and Shmirmaxe are great pioneers of Thai skies in their Remos G3. Here there are positioned in front of an ATV that Rolf had just soloed. Rolf is a great fan of Klinsmann and Lahm, because they are "workers on the field."


Induction of Henrik and Johan from Sweden - - with their Diamond Diesel Twin-engine Aircraft. They love Nut Powder and will be promoting the benefits around the world.


Induction of Norman in Dokkrai with assistance from new members Johan and Henrik. Norman used to be a professional golfer, and then the CEO of American Standard, but now he is in charge of promotion and marketing of Nut Powder for The Royal Order. Norman has pioneered the new labeling technique on Nut Powder cans. Norman is a very keen aviator and explorer of parts unknown.


Bulgantsetseg Munkhbat is from Mongolia. Her short name is "Bulgaa." She was recruited in the Gobi Desert and took the 32 hour train from Ulaan Bataar to Beijing, then flew to New Delhi and traveled to Agra to be inducted into The Royal Order in front of the Taj Mahal by our Chief Counsel and his Coordinator. She is now working on her MA in Linguistics.


Induction of Royal Thai Air Force Major Surapol (in the Bushpilot Clubhouse)


And there we were with Khun Wanpen, one of the former Commanders of the "Blind Bats" squadron in Ubon, and one of Thailand's famous aviation characters -- Police Col. M. L. Term Snidvongs (Mom Term) -- at his airstrip in Klang.


Dr. Dick and Ben Claytor really were there at Oshkosh in 2007, and whilst wandering around, they saw an airplane that looked just like Great Grandmother Mary Ingersoll's 1931 Waco-F. Upon further inspection of the logbooks, they found that this aircraft was indeed based at Wing's Field in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania and most probably the same one owned by Great Grandmother Mary Ingersoll. It is a very small world -- and there they were 76 years later. Good job to Dr. Dick and Ben for finding long lost Bushelfoot  --
WACO F2 NC11483
WACO F NC11210
Nov 1931----11/3/34
Source: Holy's Private Pilot's Log Book! (Courtesy of Nud).

NUTS! -- photo by Chief Counsel of The Royal Order
Photo taken by Chief Counsel of The Royal Order in honor of General Anthony McAuliffe of the 101st Airborne Division who replied to a German surrender ultimatum during the siege of Bastogne in World War II with the simple, clear, concise word - "Nuts!"

Royal Order Member -- John Goulet on scene in Indonesia
The Royal Order warmly welcomes new member and veteran Bush Pilot John Goulet. Here John is pictured on the beach near Bugis, Indonesia. The tribe that lived here were originally Sulawesi pirates who could not live on the mainland Indonesia, because the locals did not want them there -- so they moved here and built stilt villages in the tidal swamps slightly offshore. They loved to raid the English ships off the Sumatra coast and earned their reputation as the Bugis men of Indonesia. English mothers would tell they children that if they got out of bed in the middle of the night that the “Bogie Men” would get them. The Bugis tribes have also migrated to Malaysia and Philippines, so the "Bogie Men" can get you there too. John has been arrested several times, has visited a number of different jails, and has been kidnapped and held for ransom on three occasions. He has also led over 12 kidnap release raids or "extraction" tactical operations in Nigeria. He has been shot at, but never hit (to his knowledge), on two of these extraction flights. John has a webpage which chronicles his activities -- and -- When John signs his name, he writes the words "Red Green" after his name. The colors are a behavior based safety management system that uses psychological profiles to determine how someone will behave in any given circumstance. You do the “test” and the outcome determines your profile and, to make the assessment easier, it assigns you a color for others to better understand and be able to deal with your particular quirks. Knowing how someone reacts to certain situations helps them and the people who work with them to understand how they can get hurt and how they can hurt others in a work situation with the goal of preventing accidents and injuries. The idea is that, no matter how bizarre someone appears or behaves, as long as you understand WHY they do what they do, you can find ways to work with them… You can look up John's profile on the Equilibria web site -- -- John explained to us that "Red Green" is a “Thinking Director,” amd it is best to not underestimate him.

AVIATION HISTORY - AN-2 shot down by Civilian helicopter (Air America, Laos)
On Jan. 12, 1968, as helicopter pilot Ted Moore watched in amazement, a formation of North Vietnamese air force AN-2 Colt biplanes attacked a secret U.S. Air Force radar base on a mountaintop in Laos. Two Russian-built biplanes dropped mortars, fired rockets and strafed the field with machine-gun fire, seeking to destroy a critical outpost in the U.S. air war against North Vietnam. The painting by aviation artist Keith Woodcock, "An Air Combat First," depicts the confrontation in 1968 in which two North Vietnamese aircraft crashed. To Moore, who was in the air flying an Air America Bell helicopter -- a civilian version of the UH-1 Huey -- the scene was reminiscent of a different time and place. "It really did look like World War I," Moore, 68, recently recalled. "It was a Red Baron type of attack." Moore was an Army helicopter pilot who had been recruited to fly for Air America, a CIA-owned and operated proprietary that supported intelligence agents and military personnel in Asia for more than 30 years during the Cold War. Site 85, a secret radar station 15 miles from the North Vietnamese border atop one of the highest mountains in Laos, gave American bombers the ability to attack in all weather, a critical capability during the Rolling Thunder bombing campaign. Moore and his flight mechanic, Glenn Woods, were on a mission delivering artillery ammunition in the area when they spotted the drab-green biplanes attacking the base. Moore radioed a warning to agents on the ground, but the attack killed several Hmong guerrillas defending the base. Moore's helicopter was supposed to be unarmed, but Woods had packed a piece of contraband -- an AK-47. "When Glenn told me he had an AK-47 with him, I decided we'd make chase," Moore recalled. Moore said he never had a chance to ask Woods why he was carrying the assault rifle, though it was not a huge surprise. "If you go down and don't have a weapon, you're toast," Moore said. "Some of the crew chiefs packed heavy." The Colts -- versatile, Russian-built biplanes first flown in 1947 -- were faster than the helicopter, Moore said, but he gained on the planes when they flew low and then tried to climb in the mountainous terrain. "I closed on them and made a dive," Moore recalled. "I knew I had one chance to get them, and if I missed, I was a goner." Woods fired the AK-47 from the door of the Huey. One of the planes immediately crashed and burned, while a second plane, also hit, flew on for several miles, then crashed into a ridge. Moore and Woods thus had shot down fixed-wing aircraft from a helicopter -- "a singular aerial victory in the entire history of the Vietnam war," according to historian Timothy N. Castle, author of "One Day Too Long: Top Secret Site 85 and the Bombing of North Vietnam." Moore was hauled before superiors and interrogated, but after initial consternation his actions were commended. "I was a little out of line in what I did," he recalled. Two months after the aerial battle, Site 85 was destroyed and 12 U.S. Air Force personnel were killed during a raid by North Vietnamese commandos. Woods died the following year in a helicopter crash. Some 86 Air America personnel were killed in action, beginning with flights over China, Korea and Dien Bien Phu, Vietnam, and continuing through the Vietnam War, according to William Merrigan, 72, a McLean resident who served as legal counsel for Air America from 1962 to 1975. 

C-130 Hercules Lands on U.S.S. Forrestal
On October 1963, the U.S. Navy decided to try to land a Hercules on an aircraft carrier. The four-engine C-130 with its bulky fuselage and 132-foot wing span in moderately rough seas 500 miles out in the North Atlantic off the coast of Boston became the largest and heaviest aircraft to ever land on an aircraft carrier, a record that stands to this day. Lt. James H. Flatley III was the pilot. The Navy was trying to find out whether they could use the Hercules as a "Super COD" - a "Carrier Onboard Delivery" aircraft. The airplane then used for such tasks was the Grumman C-1 Trader, a twin piston-engine bird with a limited payload capacity and 300-mile range. If an aircraft carrier is operating in mid-ocean, it has no "onboard delivery" system to fall back on and must come nearer land before taking aboard even urgently needed items. The Hercules was stable and reliable, with a long cruising range and capable of carrying large payloads. The aircraft, a KC-130F refueler transport (BuNo 149798), on loan from the U.S. Marines, was delivered on 8 October. Lockheed's only modifications to the original plane included installing a smaller nose-landing gear orifice, an improved anti-skid braking system, and removal of the underwing refueling pods. "The big worry was whether we could meet the maximum sink rate of nine feet per second," Flatley said. As it turned out, the Navy was amazed to find they were able to better this mark by a substantial margin. In addition to Flatley, the crew consisted of Lt.Cmdr. W.W. Stovall, copilot; ADR-1 E.F. Brennan, flight engineer; and Lockheed engineering flight test pilot Ted H. Limmer, Jr. The initial sea-born landings on 30 October 1963 were made into a 40-knot wind. Altogether, the crew successfully negotiated 29 touch-and-go landings, 21 unarrested full-stop landings, and 21 unassisted takeoffs at gross weights of 85,000 pounds up to 121,000 pounds. At 85,000 pounds, the KC-130F came to a complete stop within 267 feet, about twice the aircraft's wing span! The Navy was delighted to discover that even with a maximum payload, the plane used only 745 feet for takeoff and 460 feet for landing roll. The short landing roll resulted from close coordination between Flatley and Jerry Daugherty, the carrier's landing signal officer. Daugherty, later to become a captain and assigned to the Naval Air Systems Command, gave Flatley an engine "chop" while still three or four feet off the deck. Lockheed's Ted Limmer, who checked out fighter pilot Flatley in the C-130, stayed on for some of the initial touch-and-go and full-stop landings. "The last landing I participated in, we touched down about 150 feet from the end, stopped in 270 feet more and launched from that position, using what was left of the deck. We still had a couple hundred feet left when we lifted off. Admiral Brown was flabbergasted." The plane's wingspan cleared the Forrestal's flight deck "island" control tower by just under 15 feet as the plane roared down the deck on a specially painted line. Lockheed's chief engineer, Art E. Flock was aboard to observe the testing. "The sea was pretty big that day. I was up on the captain's bridge. I watched a man on the ship's bow as that bow must have gone up and down 30 feet." The speed of the shop was increased 10 knots to reduce yaw motion and to reduce wind direction. Thus, when the plane landed, it had a 40 to 50 knot wind on the nose. "That airplane stopped right opposite the captain's bridge," recalled Flock. "There was cheering and laughing. There on the side of the fuselage, a big sign had been painted on that said, "LOOK MA, NO HOOK." From the accumulated test data, the Navy concluded that with the C-130 Hercules, it would be possible to lift 25,000 pounds of cargo 2,500 miles and land it on a carrier. Even so, the idea was considered a bit too risky for the C-130 and the Navy elected to use a smaller COD aircraft. For his effort, the Navy awarded Flatley the Distinguished Flying Cross.


By executive command, The Royal Order fully fully recognizes and approves the Smith System of Defensive Driving with immediate effect (23sep2011). The Royal Order recognizes that Defensive Driving applies not only to drivers, but to Bush Pilots as well. Defensive driving prevents accidents. The Smith System for Defensive Driving employs five basic principles. Each principle is designed to reduce the risks involved in driving by teaching drivers to anticipate dangerous situations. By driving defensively, traffic-related injuries are reduced, even in adverse weather conditions. An important rule in defensive driving is anticipating other drivers' errors, mistakes in judgment and/or carelessness.
Aim High
"Aiming high in steering" is the first principle of the Smith System. A driver who "aims high" looks far ahead and further than the drivers around him. Knowing traffic conditions up ahead keeps a driver alert to possible slowdowns. A driver who is aware of slowdowns or accidents can avoid rear-end collisions and warn drivers behind him of slowdowns by tapping his brakes.
Get the Big Picture
A driver who "gets the big picture" is aware of her surroundings at all times. This principle teaches drivers to be aware of how closely they are being followed and whether any driver nearby is driving erratically. Awareness of these things allows a defensive driver to anticipate the mistakes of other drivers and to position herself accordingly.
Keep Your Eyes Moving
This principle of the Smith System asks defensive drivers to be more aware of driving conditions and surroundings than other drivers on the road. Drivers who keep their eyes moving constantly take account of traffic conditions, driver behavior and road conditions.
Leave Yourself an Out
The fourth principle of the Smith System is the "leave yourself an out" principle. Drivers who leave themselves an out make sure they are not following too closely in anticipation of slowdowns. Drivers who leave themselves an out also avoid being surrounded by other drivers by choosing outside lanes.
Make Sure They See You
The "make sure they see you" principle prevents possible accidents by making others aware of their surroundings. Ways to make sure other drivers see you include avoiding driving in another driver's blind spot and making use of headlights, signal lights and horns.

Here we have the Chief Counsel of The Royal Order in a Navy N3N demonstrating the correct use of one's lips in a turn to the left.

Royal Order News
This all started one day when we were having a conversation with Gayle in the clubhouse -- The rest is history.
Co-Founder Richard has been appointed Chief Counsel of The Order.
Practice Helicopter Flight Maneuvers to stay current.
Definition of Bush Flying and why we love it.

"One good nut deserves another"

Founders of The Order
Tom & Richard

"and there I was"