The town of Bushire in Persia was already lighted up when I reached it. I found the airfield by spotting a hangar. A motorcar was moving slowly across the middle of the airfield, and as I flew over it low, to look at the surface, the car stopped and disgorged two or three women, who fled for their lives in different directions, leaving the car stranded. Had I been touching down as they thought I must surely have bowled over one of them.
When I landed and taxied towards the hangars I had been in the air for eight and three-quarter hours to cover a distance of 772 miles at a speed of 88mph.
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Groupon Australia Trip
As I switched off the motor my 8s 6d alarm clock sounded. The Imperial Airways mechanic was intrigued, and asked for an explanation. I said that I used it to tell me when it was time to land, but I fear he thought I was joking. After a short snooze I went off to the shore for a bathe. The sea water was like a soothing balm after the beating my nerves had taken in the open cockpit from the roaring exhaust.
It was a clear moonlit night, and I noticed two goats standing on the edge of a large log, solemnly watching me. They remained motionless so long that I became curious to know why. After drying myself by a run up and down the beach I dressed and went over to investigate. I found that the goats were two wheels and the undercarriage of a DHA aeroplane, lying on its back and dripping petrol. I filled my cigarette lighter from the petrol. I found out that a Persian military pilot had flown this aeroplane into the top of the wireless mast an hour before I arrived. He nearly pulled off an excellent landing afterwards, but ran out of flat land and somersaulted over a bank on to the seashore. The aeroplane was wrecked, but he escaped.
I was lent an old campbed and fell asleep listening to the same charming tune from my private orchestra. I slept comfortably till 5 o’clock when the camp-bed split in the middle, and dropped me on the floor with a bump.
I got into the air at 6.15 a.m. and after 250 miles passed Qais Island, which Marco Polo visited in 1271. I refuelled at Jask at 1 o’clock after a 560-mile run. Then I flew on to Chahbar, where I landed after nine hours in the air to cover a distance of 740 miles at 82mph. Hackett, in charge of the radio station, was the only European there, and he was very pleased to see the first European for several months. He told me how Alan Cobham had landed on his flight out to Australia when his mechanic was killed by a pot shot from an Arab while crossing the desert.