1,000 hours, Tornado F3 and ice-cold beer. Note the ironic ‘B1 QFI’ visor cover, 1993. Philip Keeble / mediadrumworld.com

By Rebecca Drew

INCREDIBLE pictures have been released in a new book documenting one RAF pilot’s 28-years patrolling the skies during the Cold War and Falklands conflict.

Argentinian Pucara at Goose Green, Falklands. Not one shot down earlier, 1993. Philip Keeble / mediadrumworld.com

Breath-taking monochrome images show the author, Philip Keeble about to go flying in a Tornado F5 and at 20-years-old on a Jet Provost Mk 4. Other photographs show the author standing next to an Argentinian Pucara at Goose Green in the Falklands and another shows the University of Birmingham Air Squadron formation display team posing together.

Spectacular colour shots show the Tornado F3, Phantom F4 and Lightning mid-air.

 

University of Birmingham Air Squadron: ‘The Brums’, 1984. Philip Keeble / mediadrumworld.com

The stunning pictures have been released in the book Patrolling the Cold War Skies: Reheat Sunset by RAF pilot Philip Keeble and is published by Fonthill Media.

“I have three ‘RAF Form 414’ in my possession—my Royal Air Force Pilot’s Flying Log Books. These log books are a record of what aviating in the RAF during the Cold War was like,” said Philip in the book’s preface.

Philip Keeble / mediadrumworld.com

“Not so much in prose, but in hard facts; facts that bring back memories of flying incidences and the events leading up to them—exciting sorties, dangerous emergencies, stupid moments, funny occasions, operational practices.

“This book sets out to put flesh on those bare facts in an exciting, amusing, and anecdotal way. There are episodes that are capricious and rascally; while other sections have a rather more serious theme.

 

 

F4 QRA shed. Note three fuel tanks and flying kit on ladder, 1983. Philip Keeble / mediadrumworld.com

“I risked my neck and got into more than a few scrapes. I flew very low, very high, and very fast with an imprudence that at times was right on the edge of sensibility, but come any war I was ready, willing, and able to fight for my country.

“I have scared a lot of people over the years, especially my crew navigators, and for that I unreservedly apologise.”

Author aged thirty. A QFI on Chipmunks at the University of Birmingham Air Squadron, 1977. Philip Keeble / mediadrumworld.com

Philip Keeble was accepted for pilot training with the RAF in 1965. He went on to have a 28-year career where he flew reconnaissance and fast combat aircraft.

When he left the forces, he became a civilian military simulator instructor both in the UK and in Saudi Arabia.

 

56(F) Squadron F3 over the Cypriot cliffs on detachment. Philip Keeble / mediadrumworld.com

“These log books cover ten different types of aircraft, from my initial days learning to fly on the Chipmunk piston trainer in 1965, right through to the final days of flying the Tornado fighter, and ending in 1994 when I retired,” added Philip.

“As I wrote this book, the memory of some events made me chuckle, some brought me out in a cold sweat, and some brought a lump to my throat.

 

Tornado F3, Phantom F4, and Lightning all in 56(F) colours during 1992. Philip Keeble / mediadrumworld.com
“I hope that you enjoy reading these stories as much as I did writing them.”

Published by Fonthill Media, Patrolling the Cold War Skies: Reheat Sunset by Philip Keeble is now available on Amazon for RRP £30.

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