I took six young women to Paris, and all I got was ...

The author has the enviable task of introducing six young ladies to the City of Eternal Love. What kind of events will unfold as they make their way through Malta and Morocco?

By Sean Mendis

It all started with a rather cryptic email from HH on Thursday afternoon.

"Do your crew have visas to operate from France?"

Hmm, I thought. That's a rather strange question. My curiosity was piqued. I replied.


Yes, I'm a man of few words when it comes to email.

The plot began to unfold with the next reply.

"Thing is, we need a 767 with crew to operate on Sunday two rotations out of Paris. Please call urgently to discuss."

I called. We talked. The price was extremely right. The deal was struck.

Now the problem. We need to actually deliver the goods.

I called the French Embassy. I know one of the consuls there casually.

"I need French visas for my crew."

"Sure, no problem."

"How long?"

"Oh, its usually two weeks but we can do it in 3 days for you"

"I need them tomorrow"


"I'm serious"

"Come in at 9am and we'll see what we can do. Make sure everything is ready."


Now to find a crew. Just my bloody luck, we have a bunch of crew going through a training program this weekend and with leave, rest periods and everything else factored in - Eric from crew sked tells me that we have only 7 possible options that are able to do this trip.

I make the phonecalls.

"Do you want to go to Paris this weekend?"


"We've got a charter. Interested?"


Lather, rinse, repeat. I wonder why the enthusiasm level is so different than the time I asked for volunteers on that troop charter to Darfur.

A few hours later, I have my list. P, V, M, MC, T and R. A very good bunch (but then again, all my crew are good at their jobs!). More importantly though, they all get along very well with each other. Crew chemistry is a very key element when doing ad-hoc operations, since flexibility is essential.