An RAF pilot has won the right to sport his traditional handlebar whiskers while on a posting with a US squadron by citing Queen's regs at a tash-hostile American general, the Telegraph reports. Chris Ball and his handlebar moustache. Pic: MOD Flt Lt Chris Ball (pictured), who normally flies Tornado GR4s from RAF Lossiemouth, …
Flt Lt Chris Ball, we salute you.
Makes you proud to be British.
Fly right, Lt Ball.
Three cheers for Flt Lt Chris Ball
And a cup of tea on me...
one in the eye for the sceptics! yay! that'll teach them for dumping our tea in the harbour!!
this is more like the kind of news we expect on a friday, i was getting quite worried that so many articles on the Reg today were serious, i thought maybe it was really thursday.
now, where's our friday afternoon Playmobile Porn?
I've had the privilege to work with some of the Canadian RAF and the Queen's RAF, and tis true they do get to sport far more magnificent stash's than we do. The USAF requires the edges of our mustaches not to extend beyond the corner of the lips, and cannot hang below said point. So unless you've got a yap like Jagger's, an American soldier has to make do with a tiny diminutive lip ferret.
Luckily for all, in the US military it's becoming less and less fashionable to sport the stash. We always have those diehard twits that won't let go though.
To the fellow who fought for his stash: Three Cheers for sticking to the Queen's rule, and for supporting extremely bad taste on your face! :)
Icon because I know they're coming to trim my sideburns.
Has some Balls.
And nice one for the US general for not kicking him out the squadron after having his rank and level of power questioned by a Brit.
Jolly good show old boy.
Just adding "tache growing" to my list of sports to send to Sir Seb for inclusion in 2012 Olympiad, we have a gold medal certainty and he's an amateur to boot.
This is exactly the type of story that makes reading El Reg on Fridays worthwhile.
I salute your...
...right to look like a prick.
I am going to pre-empt the "IT angle" crowd and say this:
There is no need for an IT angle when Her Madge's boys are trumping the septics with their superior facial hair. Let's have more stories about officers from our Queen's armed forces demonstrating their beards, 'taches and mutton choppers to johnny bloody foreigner.
That's SEPTICS not sCeptics. Doesn't really work if you get it wrong.
Well done Sir!
Generations of RAF flyboys salute you! Any chance you can buzz the tower on a fly-by as well, spilling this septic tank's coffee in the process?
Excellent story for a Friday Avo.
"Biggles Flies Undone!"
Says it all I think....
A triumph for common sense
Not only that Flt Lt Ball gets to keep his 'tache, but the concept of putting British pilots into USAF planes must surely be to reduce British forces casualties on the ground.
Does anyone know the actual reason for the strict regulation of mustache size for fighter pilots?
'Fly right Lt Ball'.
Using normal printer spelling makes this light ball in the same way as 'Lt Cyan' etc.
How dare you insult our flyboys. I'm sure his equipment is perfectly heavy.
That's probably why the Village People preferred the Navy
The air force didn't allow the bigger moustaches that they were so fond of.
Tash? Tosh. Try 'tache.
re: One Question
So that they get a good seal on their face mask.
Facial Hairies of the world Salute you
Far too many companies/organisations have tried to wage war on face hair. Never understood why so many men wanted to forgo the joys of facial topiary in favour of baby soft cheeks.
Can't believe no one has gone for a Hairier Jump Jet comment and am not sure I should even attempt to link Paris and Beards in polite company.
And NO Returns
@ Ron: Well it did in 1965.
@ Andy Taylor: Well said. I will never forget what that mealy-mouthed bastard Donal Rumsfeld said on the first day of hostilities in Afghanistan, upon being asked how he felt about the "friendly fire" incident in which a US pilot completely wiped out a force of (unresisting) British commandos.
"They shouldn't have been there".
Way to encourage others to join what was then a coalition of exactly two nations Donny-boy. Way to accept responsibility for a stupid mistake and show the world we weren't just a bunch of playground bullies with an over-inflated sense of our own abilities Donny Lackabrain. Way to say "Thanks for answering the call British Servicemen" Donny F*ckwit.
Watch your back, Flt Lt!
There might be some "friendly" fire with your name on it...
I also hope he insisted they pronounce his rank correctly!
"Does anyone know the actual reason for the strict regulation of mustache size for fighter pilots?"
Modern regulations presumably account for the fact that fighter pilots will invariably be wearing an oxygen mask, though whether the limits are to prevent a risk to a proper seal or just the possibility that the wearer might get a nasty rash I cannot say. The Queens Regs date from a time when having a moustache was considered a bit dashing and extremely fashionable, and all the officers, being posh types, simply would not part with them. So they regulated em instead.
You think the armed forces need a reason for ridiculously stringent regulations concerning the minutia of servicemen's lives?
Length of Tash
I believe the facial hair issue is to do with the snug fit of the oxygen mask, more fuzz equals greater chance of asphyxiation. Lucky for us the jolly Brit fly boys don’t need that overrated oxygen stuff to maintain air superiority!
A sad day for the RAF
So it's true.
We don't have enough aircraft, so we have to cadge flying time off of the yanks.
Mind, the F15 is a very nice place. It does a really good one-engine taxi at air shows.
I am failing to accurately picture the showdown...
without a Playmobil reconstruction.
Good Lad ! ! ! !
Get em told !! Tally-ho ! !
now the next item on Lt Ball's list should be:
" Tower, this is Ghostrider requesting fly by "
/ now where's my biggles cap ??
Just in case our UK cousins didn't know;
These days in the US only two types of men wear that kind of stash;
Cops and gay porn actors.
You could also add wannabe cowboys, but most of them fall into the second group.
My apologies if there are still any actual cowboys out there sporting a bad-ass handlebar (my grandpa was one), but real cowboys are about as common as honest politicians these days.
Just doing my part to sponsor trans-Atlantic cultural understanding.
So he bristled with indignation did he?
Mine's the hair shirt...
The people with the facehair notions have weapons and that's all paid for by taxpayers instead of beer. What's wrong with beer?
"Does anyone know the actual reason for the strict regulation of mustache size for fighter pilots?"
I would expect it would be similar to the rules for firefighters: to ensure a tight seal between the face and the breathing equipment. Boring details though.
I prefer the reason that Naval Officers cannot grow moustaches, and are limited in their choice to full beards, substantial porky choppers or clean shaven faces. Apparently it has to do with Queen Victoria being so distraught by the loss of her moustachioed husband that she banned the officers of her Navy from sporting similar facial attire.
I feel the urge to stand to attention, wave a Union Flag and fire some cannons at those pesky frenchies.
@ Andy Taylor && @Steve Mann
And who killed the most British forces in Gulf War 1?
Yes, the answer is "b".
According to Richard Marcinko's autobiography, SEALs can't have moustaches because of the face mask.
I don't know how much difference it makes in a high altitude environment because I can see how for SEALs, there would be water coming in which would either make you clear the mask (making for bubbles which defeats the object of having a rebreather) or impaired vision.
Do we have anyone with high altitude experience with imperfect air masks?
I thought it was compulsory
Having never met a real RAF pilot i'd assumed that growing a tache was compulsory to the job? Much like if you're in the army you have to shave your head.
Now that this story has told me that it's optional i feel that you've just destroyed my romantic notions of our boys in the air. Never again will i listen to 'take my breath away' with the same pride and admiration.
Yes I remember the stats
Apparently we lost 12 pilots in GW1. 8 of those were to US 'friendly' fire.
does anyone actually know if it was the USAF CO who said that, or the RAF CO who was trying to be completely PC about the matter?
in my (actual) experience in the USAF, including time based at RAF Lakenheath, i find it highly unlikely that any CO or pilot, on either side would give a big rat's ass about anything except how well they could fly. to be sure, it might attract some flak in the"O" club but that's about all. for example, i used to wear climbing boots whilst flying and after a bit the CO stopped ragging me about it. fly the airplane, keep your nose clean and don't make waves!
as for me, if such facial ornamentation was good enough for spitfires & mosquitoes (now there was a real airplane) it should be good enough for an airplane that doesn't even have a propeller.
FWIW: USAF squadron COs aren't usually general officers - of course there are surely some exceptions.
so we can recognize the English poodle in future war on terror flicks.
Thanks for the answers!
I thought about the seal idea, but I kinda figured they might make them be completely clean shaven for a reason like that. Or at the least, his CO would've been like "erm, while it is impressive, the US standard issue gear can't accommodate your moustache, and you'll die" or some such reasoning.
@Neil - The military *always* has a reason for doing what they do... it's just rarely a *good* reason.
@Geof - ROFL
@ Steve Mann
Donny R was always big on taking personal responsibility for those under his command. Look at how he resigned on principle at the appalling behaviour of interrogators at Abu Ghraib!
... isn't a proper moustache unless it can be seen from behind!
- Old RAF proverb.
@By Joseph Boren
may were your at, but even the gay cops in SF have facial hair. Almost every cop I've seen in the last 5 years has been clean shaven.
The real reason
The USAF rule about moustaches is just another skirmish in the war against deviancy, including, but not limited to, hippies, dope smokers, bearded hippies, Godless liberals, non-believers, etc.
A significant fraction of the US population tries its very best to resist time's relentless thrusting of them into the future. Thus, you see aged, retired engineers still sporting an 1960-vintage buzzcut as a way of saying "I repudiate the future."
Another example comprises the young Texas matrons who run around wearing pastel headbands and Big Hair, for all the world as though fashion had stopped in its tracks in 1970.
I think the underlying cause is a bad case of future shock, as described lo those many years ago by Alvin Toffler.
Paris, because there's a gal who happily embraces the future -- and everyone in it.
Now that guy is in *one hell* of a rush.
A little humour there, from / for RAF 1 Squadron Linemen and others?.
They are humourists and love their jobs. Their humour is QuITe specialised and rather Pythonesque at times.
Here are some more Linemen having fun.
Still, flying Tonkas and sporting a tache, eh? -bon skillage!
Oh! Is that the time? -I *must-dash*.
Must be a jet pilot, indeed.
Seems that the 'tache is quite a thing for them:
Spot the reference:
"Brief on shun is better than QR"
lies damn lies
lies damn lies and stistics can t you see that enviro-marxist do-gooders are building mosks on every corner because they government is lying to us when will gordon have another war it s political correctness gone mad
...leather hot pants to set off that gay velcro.
Tell them to pull the other one (youch).
call that a handlebar moustache? i've seen bigger than that on a prepubescent aussie cricketer. pah! - jimmy edwards must be spinning in his grave!