From Night Flak to Hijack: It's a Small World

From Night Flak to Hijack: It's a Small World

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 075096104X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This is the autobiography of Reginald Levy, a British pilot who reached a total of 25,090 flying hours in over 40 years of civil, military, and commercial aviation. He recounts his training and military operations as an RAF pilot during the Second World War. He flies 44 types of aircraft between 1941 and 1981. He takes part in the Berlin Airlift, and in 1952 joins Sabena airline. In 1972, he is hijacked by Black September terrorists, and plays a heroic part thanks to his professionalism and training. Not only does the book offer an insight into the hardships and camaraderie of the war and of the Cold War, it also gives a first-hand report of a Palestinian terrorist attempt. Two of the Israeli commandos who freed the hostages would go on to become Prime Ministers of Israel—Barak and Netenyahu! The epilogue is provided by his youngest grandson.

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applications was due to the fact that Sabena wanted pilots of varying experience, some of them with very few hours, for future training, and had not required current licences so ex-RAF pilots, who were in sedentary jobs and had long given up any thoughts of flying again, had applied. They also required very experienced pilots to fill the immediate requirement and that is where I was lucky. The interview board consisted of the London manager, Mr Stocké, the Operations Manager Mr Stainier, and one

though a driver slumped over the wheel was a normal sight. One of the nicest places we visited was Arusha where an Austrian couple kept a private game park. We were made very welcome and were allowed to handle many of the smaller animals which were kept almost as pets including chimpanzees and a baby gorilla. We all loved Nairobi with its beautiful climate and fascinating small shops and markets but we had to press on to Johannesburg where we visited the Snake Park where I was well and truly

told them that I was going back to the plane and that I held them responsible for the welfare of my family if things went wrong. I saw David Elazar nod firmly when I said this. Once again there was a throng of jostling photographers and press but the Sabena Station Manager managed to grab my hand and slipped me a note saying that Captain Jack Ellis – Uncle Jack – and his wife Joan, were looking after the family in Brussels. I quickly added a few lines to Dora. In actual fact Peter, my eldest

they were all well and had rallied round to support each other during the ordeal. There had been scores of telephone calls from well-wishers, friends, relatives, and, of course, the media. The press had even been to both our parents’ houses in the UK and our names and photographs were all over the national newspapers. They didn’t bother checking facts and I was described as a Battle of Britain hero who flew Spitfires; Dora became Nora and even Deborah (the name published in a book afterwards) and

that their release was being demanded by the terrorists. I then started to read these names, and of course they were Arabic names and I wasn’t used to them and also as I know now, the Israelis were playing for time and kept on asking me to repeat various numbers and this must have taken the best part of an hour if not more. But during this time the hijackers became very, very angry and lost their temper, they said, ‘The Israelis know these people, why do they keep on asking you to repeat them?’

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