Stirling Services - Aircraft Assault
So where do you reckon is the best place to sit on a passenger jet? Over the wing next to that escape exit because you get a bit more leg room? Or how about an aisle seat, so you can stretch your legs out that way? Even better, what about the seat right by the doors, there’s always loads of room there too, eh?
Wrong, wrong and wrong… you don’t want to be anywhere near any of those, ever. Because as Team HEXUS learnt, should things go horribly wrong and you end up in the middle of a hijacking, these have to be the most dangerous places to sit.
Yep, HEXUS and Stirling Services were at it again, this time getting some real training in how to mount an assault on a hijacked jet, sitting on the tarmac and full to the brim with gun toting terrorists, and let me tell you, having experienced just how hard it is to get into these planes, I have nothing but respect for the guys who actually do this for real.
The day started off innocuously enough with Team HEXUS gathering at a disused airfield near Oxford where we were met by the instructors from Stirling Services, led by John ‘Mac’ MacAleese, who showed us around their pride and joy, £40,000 worth of Boeing 727 fuselage. Now it may not look much for the money, but these things are pretty much stripped of their interiors before being scrapped, with all the bits being recycled. To keep things as authentic as possible Stirling Services had to fork out to have the all the seats, the panelling and even the galleys left in place so that once you’re inside, all the obstructions of a real plane are there.
Now we’d be making our assaults in teams of four, but for that HEXUS needed backup and in this case a few phone calls to various companies we knew resulted in an assemblage of faces that was pretty much a ‘who’s who’ of the hardware industry. In no particular order we had Intel’s Nick “Sureshot” Knupffer and AMD’s Sean “Psycho” Stacey. For the GFX guys ATI’s Andrzej “Double-Tap” Bania was outnumbered by NVIDIA’s Adam “Hair-trigger” Foat and Chris “Wildman” Ayres. Then there was Corsair’s Chris “Speedy” Gibson, ASUSTeK’s Michael “Sniper” Littler and ARMARI’s Dan “Bullet-time” Goldsmith. MicroDirect’s Steve “Trigger-Happy” Lofters was there along with more2’s Kevin “Gung-Ho” Tarrant, SCAN’s Jason “Hardcore” Livesy, Vivendi’s Rob “Don’t Push Me” Donald and ECS’ Keith “Lock’n’Load” Williams. This cream of the computer world was backed up by Team HEXUS’ own task force, headed up by David “Loose Cannon” Ross with Paul “Rambo” Dutton, and me, Nick “Bullet Magnet” Haywood. (Ed. surely Nick “Beserker” Haywood ?)