Aviation History and Nostalgia Whether working in aviation, retired, wannabee or just plain fascinated this forum welcomes all with a love of flight.

Vulcan Crew Briefing?

Old 22nd Dec 2018, 16:27
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Lincolnshire
Posts: 0
Question Vulcan Crew Briefing?

Evening All

In the operational days of the Vulcan, how long did take the crew to do the preflight planning & briefing before take- off ?
GLIDER 90 is offline  
Old 23rd Dec 2018, 09:03
  #2 (permalink)  
I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Lincolnshire
Age: 77
Posts: 16,696
Standard show time was take-off -3 hours. Captain would have gone to Met first. The nav plotter, depending on his confidence and competence might arrive as much as 4 hours before.

Detailed planning would have taken place in the days before.
Pontius Navigator is offline  
Old 23rd Dec 2018, 10:38
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 1998
Location: uk
Posts: 220
The best part of the briefing was take off - 2hrs, in the aircrew feeder
Busta is offline  
Old 23rd Dec 2018, 12:00
  #4 (permalink)  
I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Lincolnshire
Age: 77
Posts: 16,696
Originally Posted by Busta View Post
The best part of the briefing was take off - 2hrs, in the aircrew feeder
Then the replan, delay meal, scrub, and debrief😀
Pontius Navigator is offline  
Old 23rd Dec 2018, 13:40
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Age: 76
Posts: 323
In my experience good crews would all talk to each other during the planning phase both on the day and, as PN says, mostly in the case of the two navs, a day or so beforehand. The captain, unless it was a GSU trip, would then say "Do we all know what we're doing?" then off to the joys of the feeder.
Barksdale Boy is offline  
Old 23rd Dec 2018, 14:29
  #6 (permalink)  
I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Lincolnshire
Age: 77
Posts: 16,696
Originally Posted by Barksdale Boy View Post
The captain, unless it was a GSU trip, would then say "Do we all know what we're doing?" then off to the joys of the feeder.
Put another way, the Captain's job was the safe execution of the sortie requirements of the rear crew, planned as economically as possible or by the plotter. The plotter would also allow for pilots' playtime at the end of the sortie. During low level flying the pilots did have to work a bit harder.
​​​​​
Pontius Navigator is offline  
Old 23rd Dec 2018, 17:35
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Hertfordshire
Age: 67
Posts: 282
If a captain knew a week before his regular co-pilot, say, would not be available, when would he look for a replacement? On the day of the flight, or earlier?
Hipper is offline  
Old 23rd Dec 2018, 17:46
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Hertfordshire
Age: 67
Posts: 282
Another question please!

All aircrew needed to carry out various training (continuity training I think it was called) in order to keep on top form for their various responsibilities, and to learn to use new equipment or tactics I guess. How was this managed? For example, was each crew aware of the training they required and, say, a monthly meeting would be held for the five of them to decide how to fit the training into whatever flights they were due to carry out.
Hipper is offline  
Old 23rd Dec 2018, 18:22
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 486
Originally Posted by Hipper View Post
Another question please!

All aircrew needed to carry out various training (continuity training I think it was called) in order to keep on top form for their various responsibilities, and to learn to use new equipment or tactics I guess. How was this managed? For example, was each crew aware of the training they required and, say, a monthly meeting would be held for the five of them to decide how to fit the training into whatever flights they were due to carry out.
Certainly at Marham we had to do Target Study (or whatever it was called that year) studying the ‘War Plan’ for Tankers.. This involved going in the ‘vault’ which was a kind of huge safe in the middle of the Ops Block building which gave the crew unparalleled opportunities for playing ‘kierki’ all morning without the risk of being disturbed.
NRU74 is offline  
Old 23rd Dec 2018, 18:33
  #10 (permalink)  
I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Lincolnshire
Age: 77
Posts: 16,696
Originally Posted by Hipper View Post
If a captain knew a week before his regular co-pilot, say, would not be available, when would he look for a replacement? On the day of the flight, or earlier?
A copilot, as it happens, was the one non-essential member of a constituted crew. If a regular copilot was not available then the most suitable copilot would be allocated by the sqn planner but let's look at numbers. We have 11 to start with less our 'sickie' and in the QRA days two involved, and 2 on leave. That leaves 6. We can discount the one or two that flew late the night before, 2 others already rostered to fly that day and the one rostered to fly early the next day. Typically that means the replacement self-selects.
Pontius Navigator is offline  
Old 23rd Dec 2018, 18:38
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Quite near 'An aerodrome somewhere in England'
Posts: 25,677
Crew Basic Training Requirements (BTRs) were defined for a 6 month period and it was up to the Captain to decide when they should be completed. He was also responsible for making sure that the navigators' and AEO's trainng requirements had been achieved. Woe betide any Captain whose crew members failed to achieve their BTRs! This included Target Study, EW training, nuclear weapon rig drills etc. etc.

In 1977 we didn't have any of this girly 'detailed planning days in advance' nonsense. On the day of flight, the pilots would go to the Met Off at around T/O - 4 hours to decide where we would fly to optimise the sortie time available. Back to the Main Briefing Room and we would tell the rear crew the mission outline - usually hi-lo-hi to wherever the LL Wx was best. The Nav Rad would have to sort out the LL targets (usually a minimum of 2), the co-pilot would agree the visual IPs and the Nav Plot would then get on with constructing and planning the overall route and flight plan. Meanwhile the Captain would check all NOTAMs and any new orders, the co-pilot would prepare the 50 thou IP-to-target maps and do the take-off performance planning whilst waiting for the Nav Plot's timings; the AEO would also check whether any Fighter Affil. or EW runs could be included. Gone were the days of the pilots acting as glorified taxi drivers for the lower deck occupants - the sortie was a crew event! Which often included some CT when we returned, but probably no more than an instrument approach and a visual circuit for each pilot.

At about T/O -2:15 we would hold the Crew Brief; if the Captain wasn't self-authorising, the Auth would turn up to listen to the brief and sign the Auth Sheets.

At about T/O - 2:00, the crew would go to the aircrew feeder for a pre-flight meal and to collect the in-flight rations, then go to the changing room to change into immersion suits and to collect bone domes, life preservers and PECs. Then onto the crew bus to be taken to the jet, aiming to be there at T/O - 1:00 at the latest.

After the F700 reading, we'd get on board to do the pre-flight checks whilst the Captain did the walkround. The co-pilot did the fuel levels / CG calculation using the slide rule, which had to be completed before his half of the challenge/response checks were called for. The lower deck did whatever checks they had to do, while the AEO was the checklist reader.

Normal engine start was at abut T/O - 0:20 as there were quite a few after start checks to be completed. Then taxy out was at T/O - 0:10.

A smoothly worked system which was also great fun.

At Scampton, if we landed after the OM bar was open, we'd stop by for a 'crew round' in the Scruffs' Bar. Beer was 20p per pint, so everyone chipped in £1 and we quaffed 5 pints each. Bear in mid that this was in the 1970s and we simply didn't know any better.

I had a wonderful 3 years on the Tin Triangle at Sunny Scampton - probably the best QoL time in my RAF career. Very little niff naff and triv., we were trusted just to get on with things. Our Boss could spot the old 'QRA queens' who weren't much interested in tactical low level flying, fighter affil. and EW runs and soon advised them to think again! The rest of us competed for good bomb/nav comp results aiming to be selected for Giant Voice, which meant several weeks in Louisiana, or for Red Flag at Nellis.

Happy days!!

Last edited by BEagle; 23rd Dec 2018 at 19:06.
BEagle is offline  
Old 23rd Dec 2018, 18:40
  #12 (permalink)  
I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Lincolnshire
Age: 77
Posts: 16,696
Originally Posted by Hipper View Post
Another question please!

All aircrew needed to carry out various training (continuity training I think it was called) in order to keep on top form for their various responsibilities, and to learn to use new equipment or tactics I guess. How was this managed? For example, was each crew aware of the training they required and, say, a monthly meeting would be held for the five of them to decide how to fit the training into whatever flights they were due to carry out.
No monthly meeting. As I said above, typically the plotter would put the sortie together from individual inputs from the rest of us. Quite a few trips were determined by engineering needs. The aircraft needed ECM certification or bomb sight calibration. The aircraft offered was loaded with practice bombs so a different sortie had to be planned.

For the rest w e would bid to fit in a number of bombing runs, navigation stages, circuit requirements, fighter affiliation etc and fit in as many of these as possible.
Pontius Navigator is offline  
Old 23rd Dec 2018, 20:17
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Oxford
Age: 82
Posts: 331
Glider 90,

In the late '60's and early '70's (certainly at Waddo), we were expected to appear in Ops. four hours before take-off to plan the sortie. Generally the Capt. would check/pick up met. info. before this. A fairly long time scale but you must remember that there was a pre-flight meal involved as well !!

Bill
Bill Macgillivray is offline  
Old 23rd Dec 2018, 21:04
  #14 (permalink)  
I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Lincolnshire
Age: 77
Posts: 16,696
The Nav Rad would have to sort out the LL targets (usually a minimum of 2),
But sorting out was from a selection of targets that had already been prepared in the days before the flight and had not been attacked in the preceding period.
Pontius Navigator is offline  
Old 23rd Dec 2018, 22:23
  #15 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Lincolnshire
Posts: 0
Thanks BEagle and everyone else, i lived under the flightpath of the Scampton based Vulcans in the 70's & 80's so have a great interest in the aircraft and it's operations.
GLIDER 90 is offline  
Old 24th Dec 2018, 07:54
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Hertfordshire
Age: 67
Posts: 282
My thanks too. Very informative.
Hipper is offline  
Old 24th Dec 2018, 15:31
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: UK
Posts: 1
As an ex single-seat nuclear delivery pilot I find this thread fascinating.
dook is offline  
Old 24th Dec 2018, 19:40
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Oxford
Age: 82
Posts: 331
dook,

And so you should ! I remember the brilliant exchange posting to a "RN Scimitar" squadron many years ago, "nuke" capable" and great fun! Did not seem to take as long to brief as when I was on Vulcans, but things do change (and I went with them!).

Happy Christmas to all "mates", and evreyone else on PPRuNe!

Bill
Bill Macgillivray is offline  
Old 24th Dec 2018, 19:42
  #19 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Oxford
Age: 82
Posts: 331
I know, spelling mistake!! Blame the malt !!
Bill
Bill Macgillivray is offline  
Old 25th Dec 2018, 10:26
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: somewhere in the middle
Posts: 242
The Nav Rad would have to sort out the LL targets (usually a minimum of 2),
When you are / were choosing the targets, do you mean choosing a bombing range, or another airfield, or something else?

Merry Christmas all!
thetimesreader84 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.