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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 8th Dec 2010, 15:57
  #2121 (permalink)  
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I have scanned and append below pages from the Haifax pilot’s notes which Fredjhh was kind enough to post to me. The first two pages are part of the list of contents to give you an idea of subjects covered. If any would like to see any of the pages, or ask any questions, I am quite happy to scan and post them. I also include a scan of the Beam approach page as we have been previously asked questions on this subject.

John Hunt (Elvington Halifax) informs me of a book just published entitled ‘Home is the Halifax’ I think he said the author is Ian Robinson, and describes the full history of the build.

Just found this in Google.
Home Is The Halifax is published by Grub Street and costs £20. Ian Robinson will launch the book at Sherburn airfield on August 12 and it can be pre-ordered through Amazon.
I am having trouble copying the other two scans from Photobucket, wil post tomorrow.

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Old 9th Dec 2010, 08:11
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Pilot's Notes can be obtained for many aircraft here:

Flight Manuals: Aircraft and Helicopter Flight Manuals on CD

In the left column click 'Alphabetical Listing...' and then select the aircraft. They have listed 'Handley Page Halifax'.

I've bought CDs of the Vickers Valiant from them and I got exactly what they said.
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Old 9th Dec 2010, 11:03
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VMT to Tow1709 and Brian Abraham for facilitating the wonderful input from Peter Brett and Col Griffin. Absolutely spellbinding stuff and, like so many others of us, I am most grateful to them for sharing their incredible experiences to add so vividly to the stirring contributions from Cliff, and Reg of blessed memory.

Thank you most warmly gentlemen all for that you have done - both "then" and now, and my best wishes to those who are fortunately still with us.

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Old 9th Dec 2010, 15:53
  #2124 (permalink)  
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Halifax pilots notes.

Scans of Fred's Halifax pilots notes.
Hold down CTRL and + increases size on my Windows Vista, and have just found out, hold down CTRL and rotate mouse wheel will increase and decrease size of characters.
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Old 15th Dec 2010, 19:46
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More of Peter Brett's experiences in Norway after the war

It was in Kristiansand that I met up with a couple of Royal Navy types, a Lieutenant-Commander and a Lieutenant, the latter being equivalent to my rank of Flight-Lieutenant. They were stationed at Kristiansand with an MTB (Motor Torpedo Boat).

On a few weekends, I spent Saturday afternoons with them “patrolling” the Skaggerak. This consisted of getting out of the fjord and then opening up flat-out. Since this craft was driven by two Rolls-Royce Merlin engines and was capable of some fifty knots it was quite an experience. We would burble out of the harbour and cruise gently down out into the open sea, when the skipper would say something like “Here we go lads, hang on” and open up both throttles fully. The change was dramatic. Suddenly the exhausts bellowed, the stern settled and, unless you were ready for it, you were pushed violently backwards to the aft of the bridge. Within seconds the boat was “up on the step” and thumping across any swell there was. After returning from the trip, and when safely moored to the quay again, we repaired to the tiny “wardroom” where we disposed of some navy gin and tonics.

On other weekends I went to Olso where there was a very good Officers’ club. This had been run by the German army and had just carried on under new management when we arrived. However the staff were so used to dealing with German officers that they still referred to us by the equivalent German ranks. I remember being called over the Tannoy as “Leutnant Brett - bitte”. We all found various things about Norway that were interesting and somewhat strange to us. One instance was that it was, at that time anyway, impossible to buy a deck of playing cards. It was evidently illegal to sell them. You could buy all sorts of other games but no ordinary playing cards.

I had two amusing experiences in Oslo. The first was when I was strolling along the main street up towards the Royal Palace, when I noticed that all the military personnel were turning to face the road and saluting. This phenomenon proceeded down the road towards me. Before it reached me I realised that everybody was saluting a cyclist who was riding down the road. It was King Haakon who evidently often bicycled down into town from the palace!

On another occasion, I was walking along a fairly narrow pavement (sidewalk to you Americans!) two German NCO’s were walking towards me deep in conversation. People were stepping off the kerb to let them pass and I nearly did so myself. It suddenly occurred to me that that (a) we had just won the war and (b) I outranked them anyway. I did not stop until they were practically touching me. Obviously they were used to people stepping aside for them, and they both looked up with scowls. I was at least six inches taller than either of them and put on what I hoped was a quizzical expression complete with raised eyebrow - Roger Moore style! The change in their expressions as they took in the uniform and officer's rank badges was a sight to behold. They both sprang to attention and, after some confusion when they nearly gave me a Nazi salute, gave a very creditable normal salute (which I returned) and they then did a smart left turn to step off the kerb into the gutter to go around me. I then noticed all the local Norwegians in the vicinity had been watching this little scene and were now grinning broadly and making appreciative gestures. I waved and smiled back and walked on, feeling I had done my bit to preserve the dignity of the RAF.

The times that I went over to Kristiansand, I travelled via the cross fjord ferry. This was a craft of I think about 300 tonnes driven by a diesel engine. The odd thing about this engine was that, in order to go from forward to astern and vice versa the engine had actually to stop and restart in the opposite direction. This would not normally of be of any consequence but the skipper, who had obviously done this journey several times a day for many years, had developed a rapport with the engineer and knew exactly how long it took to go from full astern to full ahead. On leaving Kristiansand the ferry had to back away from the quay on a curve towards the other side of the basin, then, as the stern approached the far quay it would go full ahead on the opposite tack to finish up pointing out of the harbour mouth. The harrowing part was, when having gone full astern to back away from the quay the engine would slow down and stop whilst we were still travelling backwards at a fair old speed towards the opposite stone quay. The engine would then start to thump and slowly increase revs in the ‘ahead’ mode. In the several times I travelled this way, the ship always stopped and then commenced going ahead when the stern was what seemed to be about three feet from the solid stone quay!

Being the beginning of winter, it was very cold and there was usually a biting wind blowing up the fjord. Consequently, the first passengers aboard made a bee-line for the funnel and crowded round it as it was the only source of heat on the vessel.

More soon ...TOW
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Old 23rd Dec 2010, 11:07
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A Merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year to all.
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Old 23rd Dec 2010, 15:30
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Cheers Cliff! Same to you! Thanks again for your contributions to this thread, it's by far the best thing on PPRuNe!

Merry Christmas and happy new year, everyone!
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Old 24th Dec 2010, 08:55
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To Cliff and all the other contributors and their families: a very happy Christmas and a good New Year.

Thank you for such an interesting thread, and thank you for starting it, Cliff.

It has everything, history, personal stories, technological stuff. Brilliant!
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Old 24th Dec 2010, 10:38
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Old 24th Dec 2010, 14:05
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A very big thank you...

... from Peter Brett to all those who have sent him greetings cards. He was really delighted to receive them, and they are much appreciated.

There is just one more installment of his memoirs to come, and I will try and post it during the next few days.

A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all the contributors and readers on this thread.

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Old 26th Dec 2010, 20:37
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Thank you to all the veterans for their posts. I have just come to the (current) last page after a fascinating and moving three months working through the thread.
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Old 27th Dec 2010, 15:56
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I recently had the opportunity to sit in the cockpit of the rebuilt Halifax at the RCAF Museum in Trenton, Ontario. They've done an outstanding job on this aircraft that was submerged in a Norwegian fjiord since the war. Now I've been flying aircraft for fifty years now, and I must say I was shocked to see how poor the visibility was from the pilot's seat. With close to 23,000 hrs in my various logbooks, I am somewhat in awe of the pilots --- most quite low time-- being able to land and take-off with so little forward visibility. I have known pilots who flew these aircraft during the war and I was always very impressed with their very quiet low key manner when I got them to talk about their war time experiences, but they never spoke of this lack of visibility. Unfortunately, they're gone now and I can't talk to them about what I saw or more correctly, couldn't see.....
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Old 28th Dec 2010, 19:48
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I don’t remember having viewed the outlook from the pilot’s seat as being restricted.
After flying the Whitley for over a year, the height difference was the most noticeable aspect. I seem to remember that just before touch-down, as the nose moved up, I looked out the left to judge the height from the ground.
I have in the past year, sat in the re-constructed Halifax 111 at the RAF museum in Elvington, and every thing came back as if yesterday.
My first flight was one hour with a screened pilot who demonstrated the flying characteristics, including stalling, flying on three engines, then on two port engines, and a three engine landing. Then I had two hours circuits and bumps with a couple of three engine landings, before being sent off solo. The next lesson was one hour of night landings, then to Dusseldorf as second pilot.
The Halifax 1 & 11 had terrible rudder problems, and the torque from the Merlins accented this. With both ports stopped it was an awful strain, but could just be kept flying, - provided there was no other damage. fredjhh
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Old 29th Dec 2010, 10:06
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I am hoping we may soon have another contributor al as follows.( Search for ' 91 Year Old Spitfire Pilot Needs Your Help (Multi-page thread 1 2 3 4)
VIProds #67 (permalink) VIProds )

Cliff, Alec is not my Father. He is a friend & we both belong to the North Lincs Branch of the Aircrew Association. I have started filming speakers (with their permission) that we have at the monthly Branch meetings so that the Branch can archive the DVD's for posterity. Once Alec's story is completed, I will be sending three DVD's to the ACA archives at Elvington.

I have just started to read your thread for the first time, so can see many entertaining hours ahead of me. I will be going over to Alec's later in the week & will see if he is happy with me transcribing his story for "Gaining a pilot's brevet in WWII".

P.S. My father was actually an RSM in the Cameron Highlanders, I am sure his kilt flew on occasions, but he certainly didn't. END QUOTE.
Fingers crossed.
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Old 29th Dec 2010, 10:09
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New contributor ?

Sorry a duplicate. I hope I have just deleted it.
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Old 2nd Jan 2011, 07:57
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Desert Island Discs - Tony Iveson

Sunday 2 January 1115

BBC - BBC Radio 4 Programmes - Desert Island Discs, Tony Iveson

>>Kirsty Young's castaway is the veteran RAF pilot Tony Iveson.

Aged 21, he survived being shot down in his Spitfire over the North Sea during his first taste of combat in the Battle of Britain. Unusually for a fighter pilot, he then went on to join Bomber Command and the famous Dambusters squadron, sinking the German battleship The Tirpitz and winning a Distinguished Flying Cross.

Aged 89 he returned to the skies, becoming the oldest man to fly a Lancaster bomber: "Well, I got out of that aeroplane and looked at it and it and thought how did we do it?" he says. "I know it was a long time ago and I was young and fit and a professional flier. But I thought about some of my friends who had been lost and it was an emotional experience."<<
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Old 3rd Jan 2011, 14:00
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A marvellous thread.

Would there be any interest in the ramblings of a Metman spanning 41 years of almost continuous service with [ie on airfields] the RAF? An outsider's privileged close-up?

If so, would start a new thread.

You name it, I closed it: Nicosia, Topcliffe, Leeming [failed], Guetersloh, Finningley, JHQ as senior forecaster, Bawtry, JHQ as CMetO, Brize [failed] and a million dets.
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Old 3rd Jan 2011, 14:52
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Yes please, and could you also give a "refresher" on the Tephigram?

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Old 3rd Jan 2011, 20:42
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Yes please! The more experiences that are shared the richer we all are.
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Old 3rd Jan 2011, 21:10
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langleybaston yes please.
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