I barely remember this flight – in a Tornado GR1.  I remember my navigator asking me to look over my shoulder (I could, in those days . . .) and being surprised that he was taking a photo.  Because many of the shots are of other aircraft at a distance, I reckon we were "whipping" the formation for a flypast – checking that everyone was in the right place as it's quite difficult to work out when you're in close formation.

Looking at my logbook I see that we practised for a flypast on 29 October 1991, but the only flypast that I can remember from those days was the opening of the Dartford Crossing.  And checking the Wikipedia entry I see that it was indeed opened in October 1991.

In which case, it was a bit of a faff the next day for the flypast itself.  We had all these aircraft in the same bit of sky, four Tornado F3s, some Dominies and the Victor tankers must have been there as well as four Tornado GR1s, but the weather was particularly poor.  All the aircraft were capable of flying in poor weather, but the formation only worked if you could see  far enough, and as we trucked west towards the river to fly past (with HM opening it, I think) the weather deteriorated and the Dominies up front told us down the back that it was cr@p.  The F3 formation immediately pulled out and up, splitting into singletons, thus making it impossible for the GR1s behind to do anything but continue as a formation (four aircraft in close formation in cloud is not something we practised) and turn north for home, which was RAF Marham at the time.  I was not happy with the F3 leader . . .

But we all got home safely and no harm was done.  And I'm glad that I found this sheet of contact prints to remind me of days of derring do :-)

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