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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 4th Sep 2013, 19:56
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Oh, sorry Danny, I thought you were an organised bloke with logbooks and things in a fireproof safe (like me ). Anyway, glad you dug that document out from your archive - I'm sure that ill generate further memories to share in the future!

Me? Never got a SPECINSTR endorsement, dammit. Apparently I was blackballed from CATCS for being "too tactical" or something similar, as i was told. However, a few LEO endorsements, and the occasional Distinguished Pass from the dreaded Professional Knowledge exam by the ATCEEB, kept me happy.

However, I have got TWR/AC, TWR/APP, RADAR/PA-TC, RADAR/PA PAR, RADAR RD AR1-PAR, AC (T82 + Remote), assorted AC, AC Alloc, LEO (PK =DP), PA, RA, ADC, Sup(T), Sup (A), LEO, more RA and LEO. Gawd, it were complicated!!!

Who understands that lot, apart from an ATCO?

I guess we crossed the dividing line between "yeah, he's OK" and the well-managed system of today. BTW, my 5984 has a publishing date of 11/63. Perhaps that's when things started getting serious regarding licensing? Oh, yours is even older (as expected!!).

But my 5994 definitely has gold text on the cover!!!

Last edited by MPN11; 4th Sep 2013 at 20:56.
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Old 4th Sep 2013, 21:27
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Jaganpvs,

Jagan

Where to start ? I've already commented on the video clips to Chugalug at the time they first appeared , so will concentrate on the "official" description (the still photos are a nuisance in this context): All quotes in italic, comment in plain text :-

"Indian Air Force Vultee Vengeance dive bombers being serviced before taking off for operations in dusty conditions at Joari and Mamur (Mamura) airfields, India"

No they weren't. They're not bombed up - empty wing racks (in fact, one has practice bomb rack still on). Mambur ? Mamura ? (never heard of that). All these kutcha strips looked alike.

"Crew of aircraft EZ977 boarding and the rear gunner demonstrates the flexible mounting of his twin machine guns."

Checking for "full and free movement", I think !

"Other aircrew are amused by the antics of a pet monkey ???."

I see no monkey.

"During air-to-air footage one aircraft makes a (possibly mock) dive bombing attack".

Chugalug and I discussed this: "mock" is probably right, looks far too low for a full dive.

"Vengeances on runway."

White concrete. Must be "Pesh" - or somewhere like it (all dirt strips in Arakan, except Chittagong, which was tarmac. Terrace cultivation not Arakan.)

"Aircraft take off."

Not with airbrakes out, one won't !

"Various air-to-air shots of formations of aircraft up to six strong."

Box-of-six was standard tactical formation, as being the largest that could attempt to defend itself against fighter attack - which mercifully never came.

i"Aircraft making dive bombing attack with dive brakes open."

And in a gentle (45º) dive, too. Now what on earth was the point of that ? Never heard of such a thing - wouldn't need brakes, anyway.

"A cloud of smoke with impacts."

Seem to be all over the shop, but nowhere near the bridge (if that was the target),

"Twelve Vengeances perform formation flyby before receding into the distance."

C'ést magnifique, mais ce n'ést pas la guerre !


Had a good look, but never flew EZ977. Keep 'em coming, Jagan !

Cheers, Danny.
 
Old 4th Sep 2013, 23:20
  #4263 (permalink)  
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dubbleyew eight,

Harking back to your #4237, I've been giving it a bit more thought. The "freezing to death in a Spitfire" can only have been conjecture, for of course the poor chap's dead (and presumably there were no distress calls). When an unpressurised single seat aircraft comes down from high level, and goes in for no apparent reason, in my book it has "anoxia" written all over it.

As for the engine/prop troubles, as I said I am no engineer, but between the lines there looks like a "runaway prop" story. I never heard of one in a Merlin Spit, but I seem to remember that Boscome Down (?) had a case with one of the early Griffon installations in a Spitfire. The whole reduction gear assembly seized, prop, reduction gearbox and governor wrenched off the shaft. Then of course the whole oil content of the engine sprayed out all over the fuselage and smothered the perspex.

The test pilot was high, and in gliding distance of Boscombe (?) He got the hood open, so he could see a fair amount and got it back for a dead-stick landing. I remember a photo, the Spit gleaming in oil and with a funny "pug nosed" apearance, as you might expect. I suppose the prop assembly was picked up somewhere. (All donkey's years ago, of course).

Cheers, Danny,
 
Old 5th Sep 2013, 11:28
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The last prop runaway I heard about was on a Lockheed Constellation off Belize.
The No1 ran away, the engine caught fire, the propeller came off the prop boss and went into No2. This lost a blade and shook itself off its upper mount and rotated into the undercarriage bay.
The crew went for Belize airport, managed to control the aircraft but the port undercarriage jammed in against the engine in the wheel well. He arrived on the runway with only starboard and nose wheels, one engine on fire, and the other hanging down.
The landing was quite tidy though it slewed off the side of the runway.
The commander was ex 8th Air Force and he and the aircraft had flown together in a previous life with Pan American.
He was heartbroken.
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Old 5th Sep 2013, 11:51
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danny australian colloquial english will be the end of us both. (well me especially)

the pilots would have experienced some cold at altitude making the warm sidcot suit advisable.

pilots didnt "freeze to death."

what happened initially with introduction of the spitfires, according to my reading, was the problem with cold oil in the prop hubs sending them into full fine pitch. the attempt to evade japanese fighters if it was successful caused considerable overspeed of the merlin.
I wish I could remember the information source. it was in the biography of a pilot who flew in the defence of darwin.
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Old 5th Sep 2013, 19:12
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ATC in the Good Old Days.

MPN11,

Organised ? you must be joking ! Your: "who understands that lot, apart from an ATCO ?" You mean to say, there actually are ATCOs who do understand this alphabet soup ? Now, setting aside my silver embossed F5594 (peasants, for the use of), I recall the Dark Ages we lived in previously.

It was a gentlemany sort of ATC, in which it was established that our function was to assist and advise the twin-winged Lords of the Air, but never to utter a word which might be interpreted as a command - for, like ships' captains, they were "Masters under God", answerable only to Him - and the Flight Commander. Indeed, we'd been obliged to forswear our original title of "Flying Control Officers" for the more anodyne "Air Traffic Controllers" to emphasise that very distinction.

It followed that the TWLOTA treated things like Controlled Airspace, NOTAMS etc with scant respect, and there was in those days an Apocryphal Story to illustrate the point.

It seemed there was this Bloggs going about his lawful occasions in a Harvard. He spied a beautiful red Viking (?) a mile or so away. Having time on his hands, he went over and pulled up alongside to have a good look. It is not recorded what the Royal personage thought of this visitation - perhaps it made a pleasant distraction from the tedium of the journey. But the Royal Pilot and the Royal Postillion up front were screaming blue murder on every channel in the box.

It is not recorded what happened to Bloggs - maybe he is in the Tower (of London) yet, and the key thrown away. In the subsequent gefuffle, it was seriously proposed the all future Royal Flights be escorted by an armed Spitfire, "licensed to kill", as they say.

The TWLOTA were forced to promise to be Good Boys in future, and to read RAFACs and NOTAMS and learn all about Purple (and every other colour in the rainbow) Airways, and acquaint themselves with all those other arcane mysteries which it is not seemly for ordinary persons to know.....(the thin end of the wedge was in).

Danny.
 
Old 5th Sep 2013, 19:24
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Indeed, Danny, we generally advise that than instruct. Who could instruct such elevated beings?

Expect in the world of Area Radar, where in the Upper Airspace (FL245+, a modern invention) and during an airways crossing (similar, but not permitted for you Terminal guys either) the ATCO issues MANDATORY instructions. Oh, the poor TWLOTA ... Such indignity!

Below FL245 it was indeed advisory, although with a code of conduct which included listening to the control frequency and not just muting the RT and carrying on regardless ... Which led me inadvertently to giving an RT borrocking to CAS during a dual sortie. That's for another day
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Old 5th Sep 2013, 19:24
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But the Royal Pilot and the Royal Postillion up front were screaming blue murder on every channel in the box.

Now what's the French for "My postillion has been struck by Harvard, sorry Lightning"?

Jack
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Old 5th Sep 2013, 20:17
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dubbleyew and Fareastdriver,

dy, yes, of course we must make allowance for the Wild Colonial Boys - they do tend to exaggerate from time to time, don't they ? ('Ware incoming)

In the bad old days when there were wooden aeroplanes and iron men, it was the practice of those who wished their days to be long in the land to let their newly cranked engine fast-idle until the oil had warmed up by 15ºC before opening up any further. Even then, you "exercised" the prop (went from full fine to coarse and back again) slowly three or four times at about 1600 - 1800 rpm to make sure the prop was responding (and therefore warm oil was circulating properly from the engine through the prop and back) before really piling on power for your mag. checks. (I seem to remember that we checked the mags for a "dead cut" at the same time, as well).

If you do that, I don't see how you can get off the ground with cold oil in the hub. Of course, if you've four-in-hand, it will make the run-up a long one (FED ?), but as a s/e driver, I had a vested interest in my only one !

FED, what a wonderful story ! His Company should have put up a statue to him in the Boardroom, retired him on full pay, and granted him and his close family free first-class travel over all the Company's routes for their whole lives. What he got, I suppose, was a different matter.

Cheers to you both, Danny.

Now back to the ranch....
 
Old 5th Sep 2013, 20:54
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MPN11,

A murrain on Area Radar and all its works ! Never got involved with it - thank God !

Now we're all looking forward to the CAS and the "borrocking" you gave him (please don't change it, sounds far worse than just a plain "bollocking", with which we are all too familiar....D.

Union Jack,

Jack,

Search me - will have to fall back on "Ou ést la plume de ma tante ?" (help, how can I get O-grave ?) *, or: "C'ést magnifique, mais ce n'ést pas la gare" .....D.

Enough, already !

Danny.

* EDIT: You can't, eejit ! "Où" is what you want, of course ! (Serves you right for being so damned clever with MPN11 just now !)....D.

Last edited by Danny42C; 7th Sep 2013 at 00:58. Reason: Correction of Mental Aberration.
 
Old 5th Sep 2013, 22:06
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Seeing that the thread is involved with air traffic and prop runaways here is a song from the past that combines both.


Itazuke Tower

"Itazuke Tower, this is Air Force 801
I'm turning on the downwind leg, my prop is over-run
my coolant's overheated, the gauge says 121
you'd better get the crash crew out, & get them on the run

Now listen Air Force 801, this is Itazuke Tower
I cannot call the crash crew out, this is their coffee hour
you're not cleared in the pattern, now, that is plain to see
so take it once around, again, you're not a VIP.

Itazuki Tower, this is Air Force 801
I'm turning on my final, I'm running on one lung
I gotta land this Mustang, no matter what you say
I'm gonna get my charts spread up, before that judgment day.

Now, listen Air Force 801, this is Itazuke Tower
we'd like to let you in, right now, but we haven't got the power
we'll send a note through channels, & wait for the reply
until we get permission back, just chase around the sky.

Itazuki Tower, this is Air Force 801
I'm up in Pilot's heaven, & my flying days are done
I'm sorry that I blew up, I couldn't make the grade
I guess I should have waited till the landing was OK'd".

It came fro a record by Oscar Brand called 'The Wild Blue Yonder'; still available

Last edited by Fareastdriver; 5th Sep 2013 at 22:11.
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Old 5th Sep 2013, 23:55
  #4272 (permalink)  
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Snoop Danny sees things go from Bad to Worse.

EDIT: Something very strange has happened. My original Post, put in on 5.9.13 and alloted # 4960, has vanished and been replaced by the one I have just put in (ca. 1800 7.9.13. - which has received the same number).

To repair the situation, I've put a copy of the first following this EDIT. As it so happens, the second follows naturally from the first, so no harm has been done.

As this must be the result of some fault of mine - although I have no idea what I've done - and I can only apologise for any part I may have played in this confusion.

Danny42C.





Danny says: Darkness be my Friend
======================

Brevet #4260 P.213 5.9.13.

After my first unfortunate experience with truck-moving, I learned my lesson and it soon became second nature to me, as I suppose we would average a move a week - I don't remember. But every few weeks came round the College and AFS Night Phases of their Courses, and by evil chance, on at least two occasions during my three years, the wind switched mid-session.

Then was the O.C. Night on the horns of an agonising dilemma. Should he scrub the night's programme and risk the wrath of the CFI ? (experience would show that that would be by far the best option). But stay, the time was too tight, there would not be another chance to lay it on again before Course End. And practice GCAs were on the menu. Needs must when the Devil drives !

I am delighted to say that I was not implicated in any way with the disasters which followed both moves. Indeed, one was not GCA's fault in any way, and the other was only marginally to be laid at our door. This is the tale of the lesser misfortune.

At about that time a multi-star arose, smelled the coffee and had a Good Idea. We all have these from time to time, but his was different. He could make things happen. And so the RAF woke up to the knowledge that they were going to have Distance To Run Marker Boards. I have never seen any purpose in these (but then what do I know ?)

It seems to me that, if you've done all things right, touching down in exactly the right spot at exactly the right speed with the nose pointed more or less down the runway, you don't (unless the dumpers or the brakes fail, or the brake parachute doesn't pop out) need to look out for five-four-three-two-one-FINIS). And if you do need to, what comfort is it to you to reel off your impending doom step by step, when you can do nothing about it ? (and the same would apply when it was your own fault). (Perhaps I should say that arrestor-nets were far in the future).

I'm not sure I remember the next bit aright, so bear with me. In order to keep cost down, it was ordered that these simple devices should be constructed from local resources in Station Workshops. What was to hand at Strubby seemed to be 3/4 marine ply and 1/4 angle iron. They designed a hoop-shaped frame of iron about 3-4 ft tall (high enough to reach a Meteor outer wing, anyway); this was pivoted at the base on two short stubs of angle concreted into the ground besides the runway lights. The mating section (about 6 in) was drilled with two small holes about 4 in apart, the upper for the pivot bolt, the lower for a small wooden peg. Paint your board, bolt it to the flat side of the angle and Bob's your uncle.

Of course the board and upper frame had so much leverage against the peg that a good push (or even a playful gust) could bust it and knock the lot down (and a wing would meet the (relatively) soft ply first in any case). Only one row was raised at a time on the left of the runway, the ones on the right struck down as they would present the angle edge behind the board to an aircraft; at runway change all swopped over. They were normally left in position overnight, and this night nobody thought about moving them. The stage was now set.

Contrary to all expectation, the Truck move was carried out faultlessly. The shift must have been 09>27, now all the large obstructions are safely on the South side of the runway. Flying started. A dual Meteor came round on his second roller, eagle-eyed Runway Controller bangs off a red, he overshoots. The T7 has a little white light in the nosewheel door which only comes on when u/c is down and locked (no matter what the greens say). It was out.

Advised of this, the instructor cycles the u/c two or three times, no joy. Crash crews turn searchlights on him as he makes a low run over Tower, O.C. Night. Duty Instructor, Uncle Tom Cobley and all scan the underside intently, looks O.K. Decision: land normally on the grass to the R of the runway, so if u/c does fold, will be out of the way and not interrupt programme running late already.

Pilot lands perfectly, u/c holds up, unfortunately he tucks it in a trifle too close to the lights. Loud banging noise, as of dustbin lids on the Falls Road, as iron edges bite into port leading edge, pretty sort of pie-crust result and one Meteor u/s TFN.

There was nothing wrong with the u/c: just a duff bulb in the door. Ah, well.

The next one would be a humdinger.

Goodnight, folks.

Danny42C.

you can't win 'em all (but it would be nice to draw occasionally)

***************

"And the Burnt Child's bandaged Finger
Goes wabbling back to the Fire".......... (Kipling)

You would think that the first experience would render O.C.s (Night) chary of night moves.

But no. There was another night later, and another wind swing, and they chanced it again. It was 27>09 this time. Again the move of the truck went off without a hitch - but there was trouble with one of the hangers-on. I have mentioned before that sometimes we had a little low-loader trailer to carry the 40-gal drum of derv needed to keep the generator going. A tractor was required to shift this, and of course GCA couldn't expect to have one standing by all the time. On this occasion ours was a bit late turning up from the MT Section; the main convoy was just pulling out onto the taxiway as it arrived.

The tractor driver got his clog down, for of course the runway cannot be used until the final vehicle in the convoy has cleared the last few hundred yards and turned off onto the site. So the driver only took a cursory glance at the drum and its lashings, hooked up and chased after the others.

Our Stirling Moss manqué (ask Grandad) went haring round the taxiway, round the corner and down the runway. Indeed the main party had barely anchored in position when he came along after them. But the narrow turn-off the runway is not marked or lit in any way, and it was a very dark night. He almost overshot the corner, but saw it at the last moment and put the helm hard down. Tractor stayed on its wheels, so did the trailer. He triumphantly brought his ship into port.

Someone said: "Where's the Derv ?"

This was a bit of a quandary. "Well, I know had it when I set off", said the driver doubtfully. What was beyond doubt was that it wasn't there now; the trailing lashings showed all too clearly what had happened. Somewhere on the airfield was a drum of Derv on the loose - but where ?

Of course we had to tell Tower. As all concerned (O.C.Night, Duty Instructor, Flight Commanders, one or two QFIs - who could not live with their consciences if they sent Bloggs off first night solo without a couple more dual rollers - and other Bloggs (unusually quiet and subdued as they contemplated the dark night skies and the T7s on the line waiting for them), not to mention the lesser breeds (ATC for a start), who knew they were late enough with the programme already, and had beds to go to, were not overjoyed at this news.

FIND THE DRUM ! Brief Council of War: the two Crash Trucks, with their powerful searchlights, will sweep the main runway, and then the subsidiaries. Air Traffic van will go round the whole taxiway. If drum not found on tarmac, must be on grass, so quite safe to leave it where it is till daybreak; we can carry on flying. (All search vehicles are in radio contact with each other and with Tower, so search can be called off in a moment).

It was soon found. Crash trucks scanning down runway pick up small reflective gleams. Stop, smell, taste - Diesel ! Into bloodhound mode, follow trail. About a thousand yards down lies drum, on centreline, in a huge lake of diesel (no sign of screw bung, and of course, the hole just had to be at six-o'clock). It had been full to the brim and was now empty. Diesel is death to Tarmac. They might have to resurface part of the runway. We could be out for weeks.

ALL HANDS TO THE PUMPS ! The Fire Truck went straight into action and put foam down. Then they washed it off. Then they put more foam down, washed that off and on and on. The Standby Fire Truck was brought in as water carrier, shuttling water from the nearest hydrant to the worker, which was pumping foam and water as fast as it was brought up.

The Fire Section ran out of Saphonin, got Stores up and took all the stock, then Manby's stock. All round East Lincolnshire SDOs were tumbled out of their beauty sleep to raid their stores and send all they could spare, post haste, to Strubby. Night Flying Programme ? Forget it ! All go home.

Except the poor Pompiers, who laboured on. Came dawn, and with it blessed rain to help them to finish the job. (It was rumoured that this was the doing of the OC(F) in his MQ at Manby, who'd been seen to leap out of bed and perform something like a Rain Dance when he was awakened with the news of the mishap and realised the implications).

Next morning, the Clerk of Works has a look at it, looks grave, sucks teeth. Too big for him, but has a mate down the road who works for MacAlpine, knows all about tarmac. Gets him out, mate (in white coat) looks grave, sucks teeth, pokes it a bit with pencil, scrapes another bit off for the lab. Says will advise result. Meanwhile nothing is to go on the surface. Bad 48 hrs, then All Clear.

Joy in the Land of Strub. (All ATC's fault, of course).

Goodnight yet again, chaps,

Danny42C.


Never mind the Wind and Rain ! - Air Traffic's in the ###t again !

Last edited by Danny42C; 8th Sep 2013 at 18:08. Reason: Unexplained Posting Mix-up.
 
Old 8th Sep 2013, 18:01
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Danny has a quick trip down Memory Lane at Strubby

Gone quiet, hasn't it ? Let's kick it into touch.

Air Commodore "Gus" Walker, in the last year of his tenure as Commandant of the Empire Flying College, decided to sample the Hunter F6 which had recently been allotted to them. There was a difficulty to be overcome. He had lost his right hand in a gallant wartime rescue attempt. However, this had been no problem hitherto: his prosthesis had been variously adapted to connect with the tops, buttons and brake levers on the control columns of all the post-war fighter singles he had flown.

But there was a problem. The Meteor and Vampire both had dual training variants, it had been possible to give him dual instruction before he took off in the single-seaters. But Manby did not have a Hunter T7 - as a matter of fact, I don't think they entered service until much later (than'56). To say that turning him loose solo was a risk was more than an understatement - it verged on folly.

So people had done their best to dissuade the Commandant from this step. But a Commandant is just that - what he says, goes. He took full responsibility for what might happen. The day was fixed, the F6 was flown over to Strubby (with 2,000 yds, a safer proposition than Manby with a mere 1400). "Gus" strapped in and away he went. Crash crews came to full alert (I was on duty in the Tower at the time).

He was airborne for some 30 minutes; fingers were crossed, nails bitten down to the quick and the odd prayer offered up. We need not have worried, he came back into the circuit, did a low overshoot and a roller to perfect his approach and came in for a faultless landing. We all breathed again.

Shortly afterwards, in September, he left us to take over No.1 Group (Bomber Command). I don't think there were any "sinlge-seat" V-bombers, so they would present no problem to him.

And that was my last sight of one of the great gentlemen of the RAF.

Goodnight all,

Danny42C


They don't make 'em like that any more !
 
Old 8th Sep 2013, 20:32
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Danny,

Probably the last throw of the dice before "rules and regs" became the mandatory norm. What a bloke the man was. And, what a shining example of overcoming misfortune in his physical abilities. Having no knowledge of real flying (only gliders for me), its hard to picture and understand all of the problems he faced on that trip. I can only, like many I suspect, marvel at the fortitude of you boys.

Smudge
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Old 9th Sep 2013, 09:26
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Danny, you queried the point of DTG marker boards, and I must admit that I didn't know that the RAF had ever utilised them. It certainly inherited them though, ie when it took over ex USAF bases such as Fairford. I always understood that their point was to measure acceleration on take-off rather than deceleration on landing, but no doubt they provided both features in the event of an abandoned take off (due perhaps because acceleration fell below a minimum requirement).

Although we had them at Fairford they were of no use to us, because we had no graphs in our ODMs to state minimum speeds at distance to go for various AUWs and atmospheric conditions, which I assume that the B47's ODM did. In the meantime they provided the same threat that yours did if impacted, though as they remained in place whichever runway used they must have been frangible in whatever direction impacted, unlike yours.

If ever there was an accident waiting to happen (though not looking for the place as it was already defined) then the Strubby angle iron foldable DTGs must be up there with the best. Could it be that incident (no doubt in company with others) spelled its doom not only as a design but as a concept. I don't recall them at Cranwell South when flying JPs there in 1960, nor anywhere else other than at Fairford.

Incidentally, when that station was re-activated (in 1968?), having been quit long since by the USAF, one of the first buildings to activate was the control tower. Little equipment remained, but gathering dust on the floor was a red telephone. Picking up the receiver, little expecting to hear even so much as a click, our fearless explorer was startled to hear a sharp, "This is Ruislip, who the hell is that?". He hastily explained that the new tenants were now in and replaced the receiver. No doubt it was disconnected soon after.

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Old 9th Sep 2013, 09:40
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They don't make 'em like that any more !
this is what I would call one of the tyrannies of war.
these guys were forged into the people that they were by the survival against the odds of the carnage.
they were just normal people reacting to circumstances.
the trouble these days is that the same normal people exist among the youth of today.
mercifully almost, they are not beset by the carnage of war and remain latent talents untested by circumstances, but they are everywhere around you.
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Old 9th Sep 2013, 09:50
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On the Valiant you had a big performance manual where you could calculate the take off roll according to weight, temperature and height above MSL. On a hot and high airfield you could quite easily hit the minimum distance between the take off point and the end of the runway, 900ft. When you took off from a USAF runway you could check these figures against the Distance to Go boards.
It used to be quite depressing to find out how optimistic the graphs were.
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Old 9th Sep 2013, 18:35
  #4278 (permalink)  
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Smudge,

Your: "Having no knowledge of real flying (only gliders for me)". Now forget that right away, Smudge ! I can tell you that gliding (having only done a little bit, admittedly) is every bit as much real flying as any powered aircraft, with the added problem of a forced landing every time. You can't "go round again" in a glider !

As to the rest, I agree every word. There was a heartwarming story, dating from before I got to Strubby, that a little lad of 9 or 10 had lost his right forearm in a tractor accident on some Lincolnshire farm. "Gus" made a point of visiting him in hospital as soon as he came round from surgery, ("Gus" wearing full kit and regalia), to have a chat and show the little chap that all was not lost - as he had suffered exactly the same injury...D.

Chugalug,

You may well be right about the Distance to Run boards, I don't remember seeing them anywhere else after leaving Strubby, and you would need two people up front to use them for acceleration checks, as the Handling Pilot has no time to play about with stopwatches and gawp at the street furniture as it flashes past. They'd be no use at all to a single-seater driver.

As regards telephones, this recalls the old chestnut: chap rings his mate, crossed line, gets "Do you know who I am ? - this is Air Marshal Somebody-or-other !"...."Do you know who this is, Sir ?"...."No !"....."Thank God for that !"...(hurriedly hangs up)....D.

dubbleyew eight,

A year or so ago, the obituarist of the D.T. put it in almost exactly your words (commenting on the fact that the supply of war heroes was tailing off):

"They were ordinary men who did extraordinary things". I do not doubt that, if the need arose, their descendants would do so again....D.

Fareastdriver,

So they were some use to somebody, after all. Just shows, you never know !

Hot and high ? I remember we only just managed to get the VVs off from Samungli (Baluchistan - 4,000ft) light, and would never have done it bombed-up.....D

Regards to you all. Let's keep the ball rolling,

Danny.
 
Old 9th Sep 2013, 19:38
  #4279 (permalink)  
 
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Danny,
I must admit that the fact that Sir Gus was still piloting in the 50's (or at any time following the loss of his right arm, for that matter) came as a surprise. Having thought about it, surely he must have followed much the same procedure as Douglas Bader (indeed he would have used him as his precedent, no doubt). Thus he would have been boarded at CME and have obtained a medical category that allowed him to fly, even if not A1G1Z1. Then he would have had to demonstrate his ability to fly safely to CFS no doubt, notwithstanding his well earned and much respected status.
That the Hunter could only be operated solo is not the issue here, no more than the Spitfire or Hurricane were in Bader's case. Both men had to show that they could satisfy the medical and operating authorities at the time that they could fly effectively and safely, and both clearly did so. My respect and admiration for Sir Gus has risen even further after what you have told us, Danny. A very remarkable man indeed!

Last edited by Chugalug2; 9th Sep 2013 at 19:41.
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Old 9th Sep 2013, 20:20
  #4280 (permalink)  
 
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How to borrock CAS and survive

As we're talking about VSOs, and as Danny requested the tale, I'll give his keyboard a quick rest.

At a famously busy Area Radar unit near Norwich in the late 70s, I was on watch as Senior Supervisor. The controller on 3A called me over - "We've got Jaguart c/s 03 getting airborne from Colt shortly. I had him yesterday, he was a bloody pain." i had heard something to that effect the day before. So, fearing no man, I said "Would you like me to take him?"

And so 03 got airborne, and was handed over to me for Radar Advisory service for some general handling. In a mood of generosity I cleared him to operate off the north Norfolk coast, about 10-20 miles north of Blakeney Point, between FL50 and FL240. And so he did … he went diddley-up and diddley down and left and right all over the place for several minutes.

However, some Marham recoveries were inbound with Midland Radar (through the Blakeney area), and their controller called me for co-ordination on my track. in the interests of harmony, I planned to either vector 03 away from the immediate area, or put a FL restriction on him for a bit. "03, Eastern" … nothing. "03, Eastern Radar" … still nothing. Midland controller now getting a bit tense … and another landline call from another Eastern controller with a slab of Lakenheath F-4s inbound to their holding pattern (FL180 and up, was it not?) also passing by Blakeney (popular spot for visual nav). "03, this is Eastern Radar, do you read me?" in a slightly higher-pitched voice … still nothing.

By now several other controllers at both Eastern and Midland are taking avoiding action on this "Known Unknown", as the silent 03 continued diddling. Eventually it was getting far too complex to resolve by coordination, so I called 03 on Guard. He almost immediately came up on the control frequency … with a rather curt "Yes, go ahead" or something like that. "03, do you still want Radar Advisory, if so please remain on this frequency, or cancel service and go VFR."

"Roger Eastern, but we've got a sortie to carry out here." I kid you not, those were the exact words. "Roger 03," I replied with acid in my voice, "So had the other 8 aircraft who have had to be directed around you while you were weren't listening to me."

Turns out later that day it was CAS in a T-bird getting some Jaguar time with one of the more senior Colt wheels. I heard no more about it: I wonder whether they discussed it during debrief? Naah, probably not … it was just ATC being a PITA as usual

[retreats backwards towards doorway, vacating stage for Danny again to take us further back in time].

Last edited by MPN11; 9th Sep 2013 at 20:22.
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