CRAB Airways

For anyone who has done more than a few years in the Army (Dont look at your watch STAB's) you would have been at some time or another involved in a stage production put on by CRAB Airways.I only have bad experiences at the hands of these uniformed worms but would be a little bit interested to see if anyone has ever had a positive experience, maybe a flight that actually took off on time or not having to arrive at the airhead a full calander month before flying and please dont get me started on the BSN to KAF for R & R then spend a couple of your days there saga.Test and adjust and in your own time go on....
First flight to Cyprus back in 1969 (Yes, they did have aeroplanes in them days). Lyneham to Malta on Britannia (with propellers) for the first hop about 8 hours. Twas my eldest daughters first birthday that very day and Crab movers gave her a birthday cake with a candle on at RAF Luqa. Second stage to Akrotiri (about 5 hours I think). All took off on time, very polite, no booze but you could smoke. Had to be weighed alongside the luggage at Lyneham. No delays, no hassle and quite exciting in those days.
So. yes, quite a positive move.
In fact, virtually all my flights have been positive (even once breaking down in Malta on way back to UK to attend a course gave us a few days to explore "the Gut" and they laid on transport to tour the island).
Landing at Goose Bay for refuelling when we couldn't get off (well, it was minus 20 odd outside) and hot drinks and food were passed around.
Landing at Dakar in Senegal on way to Ascension Islands. Weren't allowed in the terminal so we all stood on the runway having a fag while the plane was refuelled.
Coming back from the Falklands, Herc to Ascension (managed to get a seat in a landrover so had it fairly comfy). Got to Ascension to be told we'd have a 2 day wait. Couple of hours later, VC10 landed with slight crack in windscreen. Replaced and we all got on back to Brize. RAF aircrew gave me a lift to Swindon station and I have about 10 minutes before the train. Stanley to Cardiff total time was 24 hours.
So, all in all, pretty good service and never lost my luggage once.
I've been travelling Crab Air since I was born in 1958. The old boy was RAF. Travelled all over the World as a kid, and dozens of times as a serving soldier.

Cannot recall any major hassle. Unlike fucking Ryanair.

No complaints from me.
Flew to Cyprus in 1976. Flight delayed for 24 hours on the way there. Flown to South America previously and Northern Ireland with no hassle though. Only thing was on the way back from Guyana, it was in the back of a hercules which was a long and uncomfortable flight. They were talking about diverting to Bermuda because of bad weather. I thought "oh goody" but sadly the weather held up so we didn't. Overall, they got us there ok and mostly on time.
Most of the flights I had where delayed by a couple of hours.

The only flight I got that took off on time was going out to Split in 1995. However, as we all know the universe needs balance so the return flight was 6 hours late taking off!!

I was also lucky enough to have a fight back from Gibraltar where the pilot missed the runway on approach, the UK landing was as right as arseholes, the pilot was some dodgy old git who looked due for retirement.
No real complaints about crabair tbh. Did end up stranded in Wainwright for a little bit after ex pond jump west (or whatever it was called) in 98. But I think that was due to the craft that were supposed to bring us back being diverted for something else (Kosovo just getting going?) so not really the RAF's fault. And anyway whilst they sorted the civvy charter flight that eventually did bring us back we got an extra few days r 'n' r in in Edmonton :).

The worst one I've been on was some squeezyjet (or similar) type charter flight from Stansted to Brugen when me and a few other lads from Btn went over on a course. The moment tyres touched tarmac at Brugen the jet engines literally screamed back into life and we took back off at what felt like a horrifically step angle and went round again to reattempt landing. Fuck only knows what that was about but it scared the living shoite out of me anyway.
1998 - Flying back from Dubai on advance leave party.
Stocked up at duty free on bottle of Smirnoff Absolut citron. There was about 30 or so of us, mostly junior rates, a few petty officers and the most senior one a chief - The CHOPS(M) (Chief Petty Officer Missileman for non-matelots).

Remember having our bags checked on the apron for Aerosols and fag lighters and remember the crabs totally missing mine. All of us boarded the Herc pretty swiftly and we waited while our kit was secured to the deck. Flight took off and after we were given the signal we were free to leave the side seats and crash out on the deck amongst our bags.
Then I got my bottle of vodka out which I proceeded to start swigging neat. Have vague memories of trying to spin dits and conduct conversations in sign language then my next memory is of being in some smoking area next to a taxyway and someone asking me which was my bag. I later learned that we had landed in Crete to refuel and there was some debate amongst the Crabs as to whether I could continue on the flight.
My next vague memory is of being woken up, sat on a side seat and being helped put the belt around my waist. I noticed that to either side of me was a bloke in a flying suit. I did not think anything abnormal but my head was a bit foggy. We then landed at Lyneham and my plan was to spend a few days in Plymouth on the lash before heading up North to see family etc. My mate's missus had driven up to Lyneham to collect us.
I remember loading my bag on the bus and for some reason it did not set off - it was just waiting....then...Two RAF police boarded the bus and said "Can passenger ******* identify himself please". About 29 heads swung in my direction and I stuck up my hand. "Follow me please" I was told as I was led off the bus. My first thoughts were something terrible must have happened at home and I was going to be dropped some sort of welfare bombshell. I identified my bag, was then handcuffed and was led into a waiting car.

I remember being led through the terminal and giving a handcuffed double wave to my mate's missus as she spotted me and shouted as I was being led through - my bag being carried my a RAF plod. I was then taken to the guardroom at Lyneham.

It turned out that I had got shitfaced on the flight and had stumbled as I pingponged to the toilets at the rear. The CHOPS(M) the most senior of our party had become embarrassed with this and had claimed I had verbally threatened him and offered to "give him a knifing".
Long story short... I was treated brilliantly at the guardroom, I rang the bell a few times to be allowed out to smoke some of my well over the limit cigarettes, eventually they let me just sit watching SKY with them, allbeit me wearing a shite green boilersuit and no shoes. In the morning I was brought breakfast and asked if I needed a rail warrant, was pointed to the washing area and I showered. Some crabfat airman then proceeded to start gobbing off at me about water on the floor and talking to me like some recruit. I had a word with the woman SGt RAF police and witnessed this airman get strips torn off him in front of me with him being told to wind his neck in. I was then driven to the train station and proceeded home on 2 weeks leave.

After many interviews with the discipline staff onboard and interviews at HMS Drake it was established that the CHOPS(M) was bullshitting and he could not explain how he heard me threaten him and what I said through 2 sets of earduffs on a cruising Herc.

I had an inch think ream of statements I was given and each and everyone, from all the rest of the lads in my party and - the flightcrew of the Herc, offwatch pilots, loadies the lot - stated that at no point in the flight did I pose a problem.

Because I admitted to drinking and could not deny being drunk I was charged with being drunk on Her majesties flight X**** and was given 2 weeks stoppage of leave.

The CHOPS(M) became even more of a pariah onboard and was not offered to extend on his 22 that was coming up that year. I was later told by the XO who I later met on another ship that it was a direct result of trying to stitch me up.

Fair play to the crabs - they did the right thing by me - and the Crab police were sound as fuck and gave glowing statements also - even ignoring my 1000 cigarettes and second (old style) laminated ID card with a doctored date of birth on it I'd used to drink in the US some months prior.

Any matelots who were Guzz based in the '90s may have known CHOPS(M) T**y La******* - otherwise known as "flaky". Well that cunt tried to ruin my career but ended up ruining his own.

Cheers crabs!

There is another poster on arrse, Bagster who I think, if it's who I think he is will be able to identify with the above.


Book Reviewer
Split to Brize in a Herc with a red wine hangover! Fucking Crabs! Not their fault but fuck em. CUNTS!
Was 'abandoned' by crab air in Croatia. The end of Op Hanwood. Med Bat troops flew out, leaving the 30 Sigs element to be picked up with all parrots and monkeys, by Herc. We shut down the commcen, packed all the kit up and waited on the pan at Zagreb airport. Nothing.

Eventually find out that the aircre had decided to stop off in Italy, and would continue there journey to collect us the next day.


I think there were a few interviews ohne kaffee for them.
My first-ever flight was in 1973 from BZN to Akrotiri by VC10 and the seats were back to front. Missus said it was unusual but crabs said it was for safety reasons if we crashed. So, 450 mph into very large f-off mountain and my seat being backwards will do what? Got there on time anyway.

Next flight was the return flight 2 years later by Brittania and 8 hour non-stop to BZN closely shadowed by an El Al civvy aircraft which popped up not much more than 100 yards off the starboard side and satyed with us for about an hour along the Med. Waving to their passengers so it was close.

Since then, I've flown in Hercs (major bird strike coming out of Gutersloh), corkscrew approaches into Split, many VC10's and a 22 hour flight delay at BZN before another trip to Cyprus on an ageing TriStar but that's life!
I've been racking my brains all afternoon and still can't thnk of anything flattering to say!

Wankers - I spent 6 days at South Cerney on the way to TELIC 1 becuase the plane broke
those bsatard vc10's
flew out for telic3 in one.1/2 hour into the flight and the whole plane go's into darkness,then air crew run past us in BA kit towards the rear.cue a huge waft of burning coming foward.
we turn around to brize and hit fcuking turbulence !!! then the masks drop down like something off final destination !!! had a worried look on my grid at this point.
back at gateway and some fat MOD types spouting off at the crabs,fair one that !!!!
fat civvy giving it 'this is just not on. i'll never fly with you again' then the crab shakes his head at him.
what was we on about? oh yeh, CRAB airways, not bad but some of the birds need a face lift with a shovel
Had a jolly flight in a Herc around the Falklands as well. They did a few manoevres they probably shoudn't have done and provided a great opportunity to launch the contents of my bag meal at the ship through the opened up arse end as we overflew barely missing the mainmast. Was allowed in the cockpit for the landing as well which considering I was halfway through ppl training at the time it gave me a right hard-on!


Had a jolly flight in a Herc around the Falklands as well. They did a few manoevres they probably shoudn't have done and provided a great opportunity to launch the contents of my bag meal at the ship through the opened up arse end as we overflew barely missing the mainmast.
Yes, they were quite fond of that kind of stuff, until they managed to bump into a SK one night.
I've been racking my brains all afternoon and still can't thnk of anything flattering to say!

Wankers - I spent 6 days at South Cerney on the way to TELIC 1 becuase the plane broke

The best game of "on the bus - off the bus" I've ever had the miserable, soul destroying experience of.
They saved me from premature obesity, blindness and alcoholism by driving a Bedford over my Bergen and it's precious cargo of swiss chocolate, pornography and excess duty free brandy while loading for a flight back from Gutersloh in 1987.

I also got a number of excellent and very fast low level helicopter rides off some great pilots. Thank you CrabAir
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