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Tiger Moth - Pakistan
26-FEB-2013 Cliff. Johnston

Tiger Moth - Pakistan

Peshawar, Pakistan

This is the first airplane in which I learned to fly at the Peshawar Flying Club in Peshawar, Pakistan. As much as I wanted to get a photograph taken with me and the airplane, it did not happen. Here my younger brother, Frank, is in the student's seat. This photo was taken in 1960. The flying club had 5 Tiger Moths (tail draggers) and 2 Auster Mk.Vs. While the Auster was a more "modern" airplane, it was not as much fun to fly as the Tiger Moth, IMO.

We used to enjoy flying along the Hindu Kush mountain range to the north in a Tiger Moth with the wind blowing in our faces. The scenery was spectacular. The only problem was that the Soviets had the area covered with their radar. As soon as they would pick up one of us on their radar they would scramble a couple of their MIG 17 jets (if my memory serves me correctly) to take a look at the "situation". It did not matter to them that they violated Pakistan's air space in doing so. The Soviet pilots became accustomed to these scrambles and knew that it was one of the pilots from the Peshawar Flying Club. They would dip their wings as they flew by at a safe distance, smile and wave at us. I would say that we broke up the monotony of their daily lives ;-) Eventually though the Soviet high command got irritated with our flights and complained to the Pakistani government. We were assembled one day and told to stop flying in that area even though it was Pakistani sovereign territory. We agreed to comply :-( and then had a good laugh about it over a cup of tea :-)

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