FORTY-SIX years ago today, the fishermen of Bias Bay, in China, 40 kilometres north of Hong Kong, woke up to find a Vampire had landed on their beach. It bore little resemblance to Count Dracula. The Vampire F3 VG703 was a British fighter aircraft from the Vampire Trials Unit on a demonstration flight to the Far East. The pilot, Flt Lt George 'Kiwi' Francis AFC, ran out of fuel and was forced to make an emergency landing on a small sandy beach close to the water's edge. The Royal Air Force News explains what happened next: 'Pleased with his good fortune he jumped out to inspect his aircraft and was promptly surrounded by a fierce-looking gang of curious Chinese. They appeared friendly so Francis put them to work pushing the Vampire out of the tide's reach. 'They did not understand at first so he placed his hands on the wings, shouting 'Heave Ho!'. 'The Chinese caught on. They chanted 'Heave ho!' too, for it sounded like 'very good' in Chinese. 'And with this encouragement from the strange birdman who had arrived in their midst without the noise of an engine, the gang quickly moved the Vampire up the beach.' Kiwi Francis had radioed RAF Kai Tak. Shortly afterwards an RAF Sunderland aircraft landed on the bay as the British cruiser HMS Belfast sped to the rescue. The Vampire was loaded aboard a Royal Army Service Corps landing craft, guarded by a detachment from the Buffs, before being hoisted on to HMS Belfast. The Vampire was the first jet aircraft to visit Hong Kong, with a little help from the Royal Navy, the RASC, the Buffs and the fishermen of Bias Bay; although technically it was not the first to land here. It was certainly the first jet aircraft to take off from Kai Tak, when, 48 hours later the Vampire flew away, piloted by that indomitable birdman Kiwi Francis.