From Borneo to Lockerbie - book launch Geoffrey Leeming
In 1961 Geoffrey Leeming achieved his boyhood
ambition to become an RAF pilot. After a period as co-pilot on the tanker
variant of the Valiant bomber, a sudden change of circumstances
resulted in most of his subsequent service flying being as a
helicopter pilot. The helicopter most in use at this time was the
Whirlwind, a good aircraft but of limited performance and lacking the
technical aids enjoyed by later types of helicopters.
He next flew in the little-known
Borneo Confrontation of the 1960s. Living in primitive jungle bases
alongside loyal and friendly natives, the Whirlwind crews supported
the land forces operating along the Indonesian border with long and
hazardous flights over dense, frequently uncharted, jungle.
Most of the Author’s remaining
helicopter service was in the Search and Rescue role, firstly from
RAF Lossiemouth, then from RAF Valley, flying in the mountains and over
the surrounding seas of the Scottish Highlands and Snowdonia. Many lives
were saved by Geoffrey and his crewmen in weather
conditions frequently exceeding the safety limits in which they were
supposed to operate.
His final postings were as an instructor and as
commander of the Search and Rescue Training Unit at Valley. This period
culminated in his traumatic involvement in the immediate aftermath of
the explosion of the Pan Am airliner over Lockerbie.
From Borneo to Lockerbie is an exciting flying
memoir enhanced by the Author’s natural modesty.