The Blog of
Nadine Dorries
RAF Boscombe Down and operation Hawk
Posted Sunday, 17 May 2009 at 16:40

 

 

An early start tomorrow as I head for RAF Boscombe Down to meet my Air Commodore.

 

Tomorrow is operation Hawk day.

 

On Friday morning I had the official medical (including the undignified pot!) and was measured up for the ejector seat. I only just made it within normal ranges. If my arms had been a fraction shorter we would have had to abort this very important mission. And I would have been happy to. Being able to reach the ejector seat button is something I have to be able to do.

 

I was also told I couldn’t lose any weight this weekend as again, I just made it into normal ranges. If I do lose any weight and did have to press the ejector button, the seat would tumble over and over. I have to be weighed again just before we go up. So, I’m sat here eating a packet of Club biscuits.

 

I will be sat in the front seat and flying at up to 600 miles per hour and during the low level sortie, at only 2000 feet. That is going to be something.

 

I will also be wearing an anti G suit. For anyone who doesn’t get that, sat here, I am at G1.

 

When we turn we will go up to G4 – 5 which means my body weight will increase by  4- 5 times  and my blood will drain from all my vital organs down into my boots.

 

The anti G suit will inflate at this point applying pressure balloons against my legs and stomach and will push the blood back up. I only have a low blood pressure anyway and so I reckon there could be a chance I will black out at this point. Good job the test pilot will be in the rear and in control!

 

When you are in space you are at negative G which is why you are weightless.

 

Can you imagine what it was like for our WW2 pilots who had to use the Valsalver movement when breathing to push the blood back up?

 

This is a picture of me with American pilot, Derek, who normally flies a T38 in the US.

 

 

 

We are stood in front of a framed picture which contains a folded American flag. That’s pride for you. Something we need to work hard at getting back in this country. Cleaning up the MP allowance system would be a good start.

 

We will blog a few naff pictures from the blackberry early, as once again, I’ve lost my camera. Budge, an ex pilot is taking me down in the morning with his camera and so we will post the better pictures later. We also hope to put a video on You Tube, if allowed.

 

I am taking an anti emetic before I go up and apparently it will take all day for me to recover.

 

I really can’t believe I’m doing this and so hope I don’t bottle out before take off.

 
 
 
Dave said:
Responded: Sunday, 17 May 2009
Is this an early BIRTHDAY present, Nadine?
 
 
Ken from glos said:
Responded: Sunday, 17 May 2009
Young lady, Low level at 2000 feet ! you get nosebleed at that height !!Knock off a zero.
 
 
Nadine said:
Responded: Sunday, 17 May 2009
No Dave, the MOD don't do birthday presents. Well remebered though :) Ken, I am sure he said 2000. It cant be 200 surely?
 
 
Anonymous said:
Responded: Sunday, 17 May 2009
How can an MP with the nickname 'balls of steel' bottle out?
 
 
Stephen said:
Responded: Sunday, 17 May 2009
Wow! When I wrote that this was a high octane site I should have known what was coming next x
 
 
Mike H said:
Responded: Sunday, 17 May 2009
You lucky girl! One minor correction. You can experience negative G if, for instance, the aircraft does a steep turn where you and the pilot are on the *outside* of the turn. Bit like a roller-coaster. negative G at the top of the hill, positive G at the bottom. Negative G is very, very uncomfortable - blood rushes to your head instead of your feet. Stomach contents too, if you're not careful! Out is space you experience zero G unless your spaceship is rotating or accelerating in any direction. If you chicken out you will never get my vote again! ;-)
 
 
Dave said:
Responded: Sunday, 17 May 2009
Yes I know they don't (I'm only trying to remind the faithful that the 22nd is nearly upon us) I did look on the Red Arrows website and apparently anyone can request a flypast- but sadly not for birthdays or funerals, so you'll have to make do with an e-card :-) Have a good week.
 
 
Mike H said:
Responded: Sunday, 17 May 2009
Ken's probably right. 2000 feet is hardly 'low level'. 200 feet sounds more like it. Damn, I'm jealous!
 
 
Mike H said:
Responded: Sunday, 17 May 2009
Forgot to say - make sure you get a go at flying it! Perhaps not when at 200 feet, though, eh? :-) It is, after all, a trainer. It's what the Hawk was designed for, so make sure you insist on taking the controls at some point. Aircraft have to be treated like women - a nice gentle touch and the sensitivity to pick up how she's reacting, if you see what I mean. ;-)
 
 
Nadine said:
Responded: Sunday, 17 May 2009
Mike H, You are the most knowledgeable man I don't know !
 
 
Dave said:
Responded: Sunday, 17 May 2009
Low level flying is defined as anything below 2000 feet above ground level. Perhaps they could arm the Hawk with the two sidewinder missiles and the cannon. You could then do some target practice on the Telegraph and Sky offices:-)
 
 
Mike H said:
Responded: Sunday, 17 May 2009
lol! :-)
 
 
Anonymous said:
Responded: Sunday, 17 May 2009
Jeez I'm jealous. I will have your site up on my computer all day tomorrow. I could be sacked, I work for a Labour MP :-)
 
 
Sally said:
Responded: Sunday, 17 May 2009
Don't you dare back out. Do it for the girls!
 
 
Mike H said:
Responded: Sunday, 17 May 2009
Something to get you in the mood. Wind up the volume first... :-) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0oaG7sE7oI
 
 
Keith said:
Responded: Sunday, 17 May 2009
Flying scares the living cxxp out of me so rather you than me....but enjoy the day! Have fun.
 
 
Tom said:
Responded: Sunday, 17 May 2009
Mike H, I'm getting quite jealous now. Pack it in. :)
 
 
Dave said:
Responded: Sunday, 17 May 2009
Nadine, you will be fine. I used to do this for a living. The altitude is considered low-level for a training mission. In combat low-level would be something like 100 feet or loweer. Do pay very close attention to the flight briefing, as that will be where they discuss the flight, especially emergency procedures. Our aircraft had a command eject functionality, which means that as the pilot, I could initiate the ejection and eject both of us from the aircraft. Good Luck, you lucky lady
 
 
Anonymous said:
Responded: Monday, 18 May 2009
Hope you are not charging the cost of the packet of Club biscuits to your expenses ;-) ...
 
 
Dave said:
Responded: Monday, 18 May 2009
Another article about you by Tom Clark in the Guardian this morning. They seem determined to punish you Nadine.
 
 
Tiger Moth said:
Responded: Friday, 22 May 2009
I think you will find, if you do a little more physics, that in a near circular orbit you will be subject to zero G. That is less than +1 but it is not really negative. Fly inverted if you want negative G.
 
 
 
Contact Nadine
Nadine Dorries MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
via e-mail at: nadine.dorries.mp@parliament.uk
or Telephone on 020 7219 5928

 
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