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Gaining An R.A.F Pilots Brevet In WW II

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Gaining An R.A.F Pilots Brevet In WW II

Old 9th Aug 2008, 16:36
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I hope that two pictures of the A.T. 6 cockpit will appear below, but thought it better to print now as I am still learning how to use photobucket. No matter what I do, as yet, I cannot control the size. Both pictures were taken with a "five bob" camera, the pic of me was taken by holding the camera at arms length,and pointing at me.
Looking at the photo , it appears that I am wearing an early type flying helmet with the leather zipped earphone covers ( must have "acquired" it ) . We were issued with the later rubber ear cup type. The leather type, I think were better, as they reduced the sound entering the ears. Didn't prevent me from becoming quite deaf though.



Will explain pictures in my next contribution.

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Old 10th Aug 2008, 14:03
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paid three shillings and sixpence per day
There were good times ahead, though. By 1955 that had shot up to four shillings per day.
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Old 10th Aug 2008, 15:40
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There were certainly good times ahead, V.E day. V.J day. and waiting for demob.
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Old 10th Aug 2008, 17:00
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Quote:
paid three shillings and sixpence per day
There were good times ahead, though. By 1955 that had shot up to four shillings per day.

That's what made me join then !!
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Old 10th Aug 2008, 17:02
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I am now using M.S Word as suggested by Fareastdriver, it’s much easier and I can save my work as I progress. Would recommend this method (see previous post.) So back to Cedar Rapids.

I can’t remember much about this visit , only that it was a six hundred mile each way train journey, and what happened at the police station. Hardy’s mother and father treated Bill and me like royalty, and nothing was too good for us. Hardy got his Pontiac on the road, and insured it for both of us to drive. Bill didn’t have a licence, and could not drive. It may surprise you , but very few of the English cadets had driving licences at that time.

Petrol, or gas as we had to call it is was only a fraction of the U.K price so we spent the days exploring the area. One day when I was driving, I stopped in Cedar Rapids. A policeman suddenly appeared and asked who was driving, I said I was, so he asked for my licence, as I was committing an offence parking in front of a fire hydrant. I gave it to him, and he seemed mystified, we were told to stay by the car and wait while he found out what to do with this peculiar licence. He returned and told us to follow him to the police station, which we did. We went in to the police station, and told to sit down, and wait. While we waited we discussed the possibility of being told to stay in Cedar Rapids, and being A.W.O.L etc. After a while we were taken upstairs and entered a door marked Chief of police. We were politely asked to sit down in front of a table laden with cookies , coke, coffee, cigarettes , and heaven knows what. We spent the next hour being questioned on England, the war, bombing , rationing, ad infinitum. This was followed by a tour of the police station, and being introduced to all the staff, after which we departed to thanks, good luck and the usual y’all come again boys.

That’s all the printable bits I can remember about our “furlough“, so back on the train to Ponca, all bright eyed and bushy tailed, impatient to start advanced training.

On our first day back, we were introduced to the A.T 6, known as the Texan, we were told it had a wing span of forty feet (to us a massive forty feet, bigger than the Spit, and Huricane ), fitted with Pratt and Whitney radial engine, and with more sophisticated equipment than the P.T 17. These included, a constant speed prop, a gyro compass, artificial horizon, retractable undercarriage . two way radio (we found we could tune in to radio Ponca City W.B.B Z, when night flying, and listen to our favourite country and western music , Rose of San Antone, Waiting round the water tank, and many more).

I will study my flying log book and describe the advanced exercises next.
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Old 12th Aug 2008, 02:06
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I cannot control the size.
Check you PMs
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Old 12th Aug 2008, 16:32
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Just practicing printing photo of "entering the beam in bad vis" Following Fareastern's instructions. At the same time I thought it might give some modern aviators a laugh.


More evenings spent revising and memorizing .


i have replaced this scan, after removal by photobucket.

Last edited by cliffnemo; 6th Sep 2009 at 17:40. Reason: Replacing picture
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Old 16th Aug 2008, 18:05
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Although I said I would describe the advanced exercises next, in actual fact . the first exercises were initially the same as the ones described during preliminary training., but in a different aircraft and a new instructor Mr Chronister. He was the first instructor I met who always wore cowboy boots for flying, he explained the curved back to the heel rolled on the floor better making it easier to control the rudder pedals. He demonstrated the use of the various controls, radio. Throttle, mixture control. Tank selection switch, and the extra instruments including gyro compass, and artificial horizon. Use of flaps., and retracting under carriage. On our first take off ,he explained procedure for checking fuel supply, start up on number one tank, run engine to check full revs, then check for mag drop, taxy out on number two tank, change back to number one for take off. Think I mentioned before that two of our cadets were killed because on changing over from number two to number one prior to take off , the pilot didn’t push the control knob over far enough, leaving it half way between, they took off and the aircraft crashed.
However, where we relied on visual signals , aldis/vary pistol for permission to land etc, we now had the use of two way radio, and were instructed to call the tower for permission, using the words “ Hello Darr tower, this is 295 on the base leg, wheels down and locked , pressure up, gas on reserve, permission to land over” when the airfield controller would reply “ 295 land when clear, out “.
One of our oppos was having trouble, he was the shortest in the flight, and on his first trip in the A.T 6, found he was not sitting high enough to see out of the windscreen.. The flight mechs raised the seat for him, but then he couldn’t reach the rudder pedals. They then put blocks on the pedals but this was considered unsafe so he was “washed out” and returned to Canada.

For the first four hours we carried out previous excercises but mainly concentrated on “circuits and bumps” after which I had to sign a statement to the effect that I was familiar with the fuel and hydraulic system., recommended speeds, local traffic rules etc. Later I signed to say I fully understood the procedures for action in the event of fire, and abandoning aircraft. After this I flew my first solo.in the A.T 6. Now free to explore Kaw lake (169 miles of shore line) the Arkansas river, Free as a bird.
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Old 16th Aug 2008, 22:32
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I thought it might give some modern aviators a laugh.
Hardly a laugh, Cliff. I assume that your 'Beam Approach' is an SBA, or Standard Beam Approach. It is possible that the present generation might not realise that there were no Instrument indications, other than passage over the outer or inner beacons as per Outer Markers etc. The sole input was aural, dot dashes or A's to the left, dash dots or N's to the right, and a steady tone on the beam, with a Cone of Silence over the transmitter. On that basis let downs were done to amazingly low minima, given no ILS or Radar let downs until much later, hence the complex pattern in Cliff's notes. Sorry if I pre-empted your own explanation, Cliff. I never performed or witnessed such a procedure myself, but have seen a RadioRange (a similar en-route aid) utilised. We were entering the Hawaiian ADIZ in the early 60s in a Hastings. ATC required us to report TACAN Gate Delta, no TACAN. Then instructed to report established inbound on the Diamond Head VOR 180 Radial, no VOR. They then demanded to know which inbound aid we could use. "Tell them the RadioRange" the Captain told the Signaller, and so it was. On our last day at Hickam, preparing to leave after some days of repeating the procedure we were accosted by a man from the FAA. We were the first notified uses of the facility in some half a dozen years. It was scheduled for closure, but this couldn't happen if it was in current use. Could the Captain sign this disclaimer saying that he had no further planned use of it? He happily did so, though what the next crew were left with I'm not sure! The Nav's station was essentially unchanged from the Halifax, but they thus happily navigated us around the world.
Great posts Cliff, please keep them coming. I think it is the minutiae that makes it all so fascinating, and your amazing memory for detail. Thank you indeed!
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Old 17th Aug 2008, 10:56
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THANKs TO CHUGALUG 2

No need to apologies for pre-empting , I need all the help I can get, also I feel as if I am talking to some one when I receive a reply. It is also satisfying and encouraging.

Question.
What happened to Chugalug 1, still in the glasshouse.?
Do the present generation indulge in Chugalug, or is it banned by " health and welfare" ?

P.S If this appears twice, apologies and, no extra charge. Composed, and submitted the first one, but it has not been seen since. Did see a screen saying database error though.
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Old 17th Aug 2008, 12:31
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I suspect Chugalug(1) was like me, ex Dan-Air. Anyway I was told it was not available when I registered with PPRuNe, but (2) was offered instead. Chugalug was a discreet R/T greeting by us to Maastricht ATC, having been created by our very pro-active Ops Director and staff. In a number of memorable 'liaison' visits to them, involving much quaffing of best Scotch, etc, the phrase was coined. The response was invariably "Chugalug, Dan-Air XXX, you are cleared direct to the Frankfurt VOR", or wherever. Direct routings were the prize for all this, saving time and money. Happier days, when initiative was rewarded instead of bringing down PC strictures about correct procedure which would be the result these days, no doubt!
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Old 17th Aug 2008, 12:37
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I thought it might give some modern aviators a laugh.
This modern aviator remembers flying beam approaches. Tern Hill in 1961.

What did give me a laugh was one 'I know it all' modern aviator informing another that the Ns were heard in one earphone and the As in the other. As neither of them weren't going to experience it I let it go.

Your'e doing a grand job cliffnemo, keep it up.
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Old 17th Aug 2008, 14:02
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I was at Ternhill in 1955/6, but I can't remember doing any beam approaches in the Piston Provost. The link trainer maybe! It must be a sign of getting really old.
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Old 17th Aug 2008, 15:21
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Brakedwell:
It must be a sign of getting really old.
With Cliff's indulgence I think that on this thread at least we can all feel like young sprogs again as he leads us through the experience of learning the craft in time of a very hot war indeed. The sheer scale of this national effort, the perils that were faced by all and especially these brave young men, the complexity of planning needed resulting in the thousands of fully crewed, fuelled, serviced, and bombed up aircraft available night after night is mind numbing. Fortunately for us Cliff's generation was up to that challenge. Time they were properly remembered and honoured for such sacrifice by we later generations.
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Old 17th Aug 2008, 15:34
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Drink, Chugalug. Chugalug

Think my question has confused Chugalug 2. sorry.
The fourties definition of Chugalug. = A game played by mess members usually after 2200 hrs when one group of members challenged an other group to a drinking race. After pint glasses were refueled , the two groups faced each other. After the referee shouted start, yes shouted as everyone else was singing at the top of their voices ,drink chugalug, chugalug. chugalug, the race started. The first man on each side then had to drink his beer as fast as possible and then turned it upside down on his head, followed by no 2 etc. . Last to finish bought a round of drinks for the winners.
Fastest pint I witnessed was four and a half seconds.
Hope you don't think this is off thread. Don't think so. We don't seem to have any pedantic types on our blog every one seems cheerful and helpful.

Last edited by cliffnemo; 17th Aug 2008 at 16:01.
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Old 17th Aug 2008, 18:52
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Mea Culpa, Cliff, I thought you were asking why I used the tag, as if that mattered! Indeed the old mess games were still around in my day, and I believe still are. Hicockalorum, mess steeplechase, I believe there is an unhealthy interest in Artillery as well!
Interestingly this definition has the phrase originate circa 1936;
"To drink a container of beer without pause, My Lord"
"No doubt popular with the younger generation!"
"Quite so, My Lord".
chugalug - Definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
Your game I remember as 'Do You Know the Muffin Man', but like Brakedwell I've probably misremembered!
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Old 18th Aug 2008, 10:50
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All Good Fun

Two jokes I hadn't heard.
A 95% loop.
Di Da in left ear and da dit in right ear.
Keep them coming.

Yes chugalug 2, "Do you know the muffin man" was also sometimes sung during the game in W.W 2.
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Old 18th Aug 2008, 23:31
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Brakewell

Remember the 'coffee grinder' on the centre consol. Tern Hill had a beam approach though we used the TBA that allowed you to change frequencies. Delving into the grey matter it was on runway 23 with the Ns to the north and As to the south.. Different from cliffnemo's illustration becuse it had an inner and outer marker. No requirement to find the cone of silence as ATC would give you steers. Once overhead outbound on the beam descending to 1,200ft confirming you range on the inner marker. At the outer marker a teardrop turn that brought you back to the outer followed by a descent on the beam. Not below 300ft until the inner then full flap 1,200rpm and you arrived at the touchdown markers that also doubled in the spot landing contests. It worked every time. It has been reputed that on late Friday afternoons the touchdown markers were the first visual indication that you had reached the runway, not that I ever did it.

Last edited by Fareastdriver; 19th Aug 2008 at 08:20.
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Old 19th Aug 2008, 08:34
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Fareastdriver

You have an excellent memory! I checked my first log book and the Link Trainer sessions consisted of Pattern B's, Beam Orientation, Free Beam Let Downs, CDTC's using above and Full Beam Patterns. Unfortunately I only logged exercise numbers on Provost sorties.
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Old 19th Aug 2008, 10:22
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My experience at Fetwell was probably fairly typical of what has been mentioned so far.

We started using the TBA at about 20 hours on the Harvard, IRT at about 40 hours, and flew a total of about 20 hours TBA on the Harvard phase.

Sorting out the orientation was the major initial problem, but once that was mastered it was relatively easy aid for a novice to use, and accurate.
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