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RAF Air Traffic Control?

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RAF Air Traffic Control?

Old 26th Aug 2019, 17:04
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Question RAF Air Traffic Control?

Hello All

1/ How many staff were there on a typical RAF flying station in Air Traffic Control in the 60's & 70's era?
2/ Did you work in the tower to gain experience first before moving downstairs to the approach & radar side?

Regards
Glider 90




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Old 26th Aug 2019, 17:49
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My wife could answer that but she will have nothing to do with this site.
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Old 26th Aug 2019, 19:52
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Originally Posted by dook View Post
My wife could answer that but she will have nothing to do with this site.
Which is probably because of the amount of time you spent here?
#mywifeto

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Old 26th Aug 2019, 19:58
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No - a completely different reason.
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Old 26th Aug 2019, 20:18
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Shawbury training in the 70s covered Local (Tower), Director, Approach and PAR. I believe that postings were based on demonstrated performance but I 'failed' the course after a contretemps with one of their 'smiling knife' instructors in the simulator sequence. The 'ground school' and flight line instructors were excellent but the sims were a different breed entirely! 'Chasing the wires' on the PAR was one of life's more challenging exercises!
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Old 26th Aug 2019, 20:19
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Fair enough
But then our wifes differ in opinion.
#thatisnotaproblem
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Old 27th Aug 2019, 12:49
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Glider 90

No such thing as a "typical RAF flying station" in the 60's and 70's. Staffing would depend on intensity and type of flying, opening hours, if the place was radar equipped, if it was talk down equipped, if it was 24/7, QRA etc etc etc.

But I did have a Flying Prevention Branch girlfriend for a while, and I tended to have to talk to them during working hours anyway.....

Controller positions would be Local, Approach, Director and Talk Down, each with an assistant and working on and off shifts, so there could be a fair few of them. Then there was a SATCO, DSATCO, Supervisor, Switch Board Op, Admin Sgt, Runway Controllers in their caravan, and we would have a guy in the tower when flying was in progress as Duty Pilot. Then there was Ops, Flight Planning.

They were rated in each position, only those who had done the Area Radar course at Sopley were sat behind a radar screen in my day, ab initio would start out in Local.
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Old 27th Aug 2019, 14:11
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Thanks much appreciated, I always imagined that in that era you would have more controllers on a busy flying station as you say. Rather than in todays airforce as technology has changed so much you would only need a handful. ( Maybe wrong! )
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Old 28th Aug 2019, 07:12
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I remember a position called 'Monitors' which listened to 121.50 and other frequencies, NATO Common being one. The position soon became defunct with various upgrades to comms … BTW I'm going back over 50 years!
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Old 28th Aug 2019, 10:06
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For many years, only officers and Warrant Officers were allowed to do approach/radar/director, SNCOs could only do local.
And of course, no station ever had its full complement available for duty, there were always one or two away on courses or detachments overseas - in '86 at Akrotiri practically every controller I spoke to was on detachment, even one from LJAO. .
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Old 28th Aug 2019, 10:28
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Originally Posted by chevvron View Post
For many years, only officers and Warrant Officers were allowed to do approach/radar/director, SNCOs could only do local.
And of course, no station ever had its full complement available for duty, there were always one or two away on courses or detachments overseas - in '86 at Akrotiri practically every controller I spoke to was on detachment, even one from LJAO. .
I'm trying to remember, at Lyneham, a designated Master Diversion Airfield and with 60 based C130's, of a dayshift we would have an approach contoller, a zone controller, a PAR talkdown controller who also doubled as something else that I cannot recall, then upstairs we would have a FS local controller and a Sgt ground controller along with some five assistants and BCU etc.

Of a nightshift we would drop down to just two radar controllers and iif upstairs a ground controller were required then one of us assistants would do that inbetween doing BCU, 'Stop Follow Me', sitting in a freezing cold hut on the end of the runway etc.
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Old 1st Sep 2019, 04:23
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On night shifts at a certain JATCRU,they used to show 'educational'fims.'Debbie does Dallas' being one I vaguely remember.
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