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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 2nd Mar 2014, 22:52
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Danny

Pulleys and ropes reminds me of The Bricklayer's Lament - by Gerard Hoffnung as told to the Oxford Union way back in 1958.
One of the funniest story's you're likely to hear. It can be found on YouTube here:
The Bricklayer's story begins about 9 min 15 sec in.

But keep listening as there is another very funny story about the letter from a Tyrolean landlady responding to enquiries about accommodation in her hotel (starts at 18.30 in). Example: "We have a French Widow in every bedroom affording delightful prospects" etc. etc.
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Old 2nd Mar 2014, 23:14
  #5242 (permalink)  
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Warmtoast,

Ta ! Will have a look tomorrow....Cocoa time now....Danny.
 
Old 3rd Mar 2014, 08:08
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When I was on Hastings I have a (very) vague memory of walking back to Wildenrath from a 'Rosen Montag ? night in Wassenburg. It was very cold and only the alcoholic antifreeze saved us ! Forgive the spelling.
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Old 3rd Mar 2014, 09:44
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That'll be a Davy descender. We had loads of them in College when I was an undergraduate. Crazy scary looking really. Couple of chums of mine managed to get a ride on one once when they came round to inspect it. A bit like throwing yourself out of a perfectly serviceable aircraft, why would you parachute for fun?

Are they made to be the right length so that they come to a stop just as your feet touch the ground? Don't you end up with broken legs?

Davy Descender - Descent-Controlled Escape System

500.

We had one in our room one year - fourth floor. But no training was ever given; can only imagine the carnage if they'd ever had to be used in anger. I'd always imagined a gentle descent, rather than parachute speed. And presumably your speed is dependent on your weight.

Last edited by Reader123; 3rd Mar 2014 at 10:07.
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Old 3rd Mar 2014, 11:07
  #5245 (permalink)  
 
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These photographs of a rusting trailer in a quarry in Malta were posted on Facebook recently and eventually identified as this.



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Old 3rd Mar 2014, 18:24
  #5246 (permalink)  
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Reader123,

So it's a Davy Descender ! (Isn't this the beauty of this - and all the other - PPRuNe Threads, that a fifty-year old question can be answered in a moment by Someone who Knows somewhere round the globe !) Thanks !

My recollection is that the line had a few feet of slack in it, so you landed at a parachute rate of descent, the object of the exercise being to get people out as fast as possible. Admittedly there might be a few broken ankles, but when the option was free-fall (as happened in 9/11), and the terminal velocity of the human body is about 176 ft/sec, it was acceptable.

Your: " presumably your speed is dependent on your weight." Not at all sure about that, I'd suppose that the brake would be effective at a given rpm and that any excess would prompt it to bite so much harder that any acceleration would be minimal. And then what about a small child coming down ? Would that be much slower ? (don't know).

The free-fall case was settled by one Galileo centuries ago, with the aid of the Leaning Tower of Pisa (IIRC).

I'm with you 100% in the matter of jumping out of a perfectly good aeroplane for no good reason. Utter folly !

Parachutists, step forward. Is 10ft/sec about right ?......D.


Warmtoast,

Marvellous story well told. However, one told in various forms many times before and since. Laurel and Hardy did it very well with a donkey as I recall, the animal ending up on a roof !.....D.


ricardian,

Could it just be......an old ACR7C with antenna squashed flat on top ? The caravan below looks much bigger than mine (air-con, Malta gets hot in summer ?). Did Luqa/Takali ever have an ACR7C, anybody know ?....D.

Cheers, all. Danny.
 
Old 3rd Mar 2014, 18:42
  #5247 (permalink)  
 
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WOW ... a Malta relic. Could be ex-Hal Far of course.

Oh, please let them get that to the Aviation Museum at Ta'ali and do it up. Although they're submerged in work, and relics, and bits of kit. The volunteers there must have an horrendous time keeping it going.

there's a few pics of that Museum here ... Malta GC meets Sgt Braille | Holidays 4 Heroes
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Old 3rd Mar 2014, 18:45
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Danny42C, its a "Radar No 4 Mk 7"
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Old 3rd Mar 2014, 18:47
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Air Traffickers retire to the Bar ...
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Old 3rd Mar 2014, 19:36
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Mods. Could you shrink Richarian's pictures down a bit.
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Old 3rd Mar 2014, 20:07
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Picture size reduction

A quick fix when overlarge pictures are shown is to reduce them by


Control and Minus


Unfortunately it reduces the text size too, so don't forget to regain the correct size on later pages by


Control and Plus
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Old 3rd Mar 2014, 20:26
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ACR7C ?

ricardian,

(from #5234):

"In the mid 1950s a 424, of the Airfield Control type, was sold to the Vickers Aircraft Company and was installed at their test airfield at Wisley in Surrey.
TYPE 424 Airfield Control Radars were supplied to over 45 Civil and Military Authorities, a quantity of 22 in the UK and others to countries such as India, New Zealand, Ceylon and Brazil. Total sales were approximately 125".

I think we've got an ident !

Amen to anyone who has an idea to shrink text width !

Danny.

Last edited by Danny42C; 3rd Mar 2014 at 20:29. Reason: Correction.
 
Old 3rd Mar 2014, 22:32
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Danny

Amen to anyone who has an idea to shrink text width !
The problem is caused by posts of pictures bigger than the recommended sizes. PPRune's recommended sizes are given here:
http://www.pprune.org/spectators-bal...your-pics.html

Right-click a photo and then click on properties shows the size of the photo. As stated in the link above the recommended max size is 850 x 850 pixels, recent photos posted in this thread are way over the recommended size. e.g. there is one sized 1536 x 2048 pixels and others at 1200 x 797 pixels. This causes the page to expand to accommodate the photo resulting in text running way over to the right of the page.
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Old 3rd Mar 2014, 22:47
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Sorry Warmtoast, was not aware of the size limitations for images
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Old 4th Mar 2014, 19:33
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Decenders

After the Piper Alpha disaster, we got decender things offshore which I can't remember the name of.


It consisted of a thing that resembled a baby's nappy which you stepped into, then the mechanism connected to a ring on the front. A rope hung in a bag at the side. This rope came up through the mechanism and you attached the end to a strong point on the rig. As you stepped off, the rope fed out of the bag and as it passed through the mechanism, it slowed your rate of decent. It was possible to grab the rope, and with modest additional downward pressure, to stop completely. The theory was that you stopped just above the water where you would be seen by rescuers in a boat, and it would be a simple matter for them to pluck you off like apples.


Luckily, I never had to try it in anger, but I do remember leaping (?) off a scaffold tower in a warehouse while being trained in it's use. I remember being quite impressed with the thing - if only I could remember what it was called.
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Old 4th Mar 2014, 23:19
  #5256 (permalink)  
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Danny gets back to work again.

The Course ended; we were now deemed fit to take up our (Subsidiary) duties as Fire Officers on our various Stations (no extra pay, though). However SATCO, justifiably aggrieved by losing me for two weeks before I'd even started, demanded that I put Fire Officer on the back burner for a while, reasonably pointing out that that Section seemed to run well enough in the hands of our very capable Sergeant. It had managed quite well without me so far and could do so a bit longer. In fact, he mused, it didn't seem to matter much whether there was an officer there or not (this is uncomfortably near the truth, as in many other Sections).

Examining my F 5994 closely with a magnifying glass, it appears that on 22.12.62., a S/Ldr Anderson, (LEO) turned me loose in Tower, Approach and Radar, so he would certainly have been SATCO (but I haven't the faintest recollection of the man). I think two of the Controllers were Lieutenants RN; chatting to one, I was surprised to hear that he was, effectively, only on a "ground tour" from the Seaman Branch and would be going back to sea duties at the end of it.

"So", I said, "when we hear of 'Ark Royal' going aground ?" .... "Again ?", he said (alluding to an unfortunate incident in Plymouth Sound the previous January).

IIRC, there was nothing out of the ordinary in Tower or Approach (usual CR or CA/DF), or in the local procedures, to frighten the horses. But the Radar was a weird beast of a kind that I'd never seen before, and only vaguely heard about. This was the ACR7C, which I believe I've written about before some time ago, but no matter as the tale is worth retelling.

This came to us in two guises: the 7C (Cossor), which was the mobile version, and the 7D (Decca), which was a fixed installation with the console in the Tower (like the later AR1). Ours was the mobile one, IIRC it was sited somewhere in the "cocked hat" in the middle of the three wartime runways. (I think we only used two of these, Wiki gives 03/21 (2,000 yd) and 10/28 (1400 yd). Placed where it was, it could cover all approaches. (p.262 #5234 has a full description and pictures).

Obviously it had to be mounted in some sort of vehicle. Wiki shows a Commer "Cob" with a 7C on the back, but somehow I can't remember a prime mover at all. I think the console (one 12-in PPI tube) was with its operator in something about the size of a rest caravan. [See Posts #5233 #5234 p.262]

There were no other vehicles, just an external diesel generator to power the radar, and a 40-gallon drum of derv - and I'm quite sure about that as it figures later in my tale.

Of course the ACR7 had no Glide Path, it wasn't a Precision Radar, just a PPI runway approach aid. But these are not to be sneezed at. Both MPN-11/CPN-4 and MPN-1 can be used in this mode, although a PPI approach in the MPN-1 would have to be done from one of the Director positions, as talkdown has no search radar console, only a precision centreline and the "Errormeter", which was operated by the Tracker. I never did one on the MPN-1 (not necessary as it could move round to cover both approaches to the [Strubby] main runway), nor on CPN-4, but at least one on AR-1 (and that was under strange circumstances indeed).

ACR7 had originally been designed for the entirely different purpose of marine estuary control. And as all vessels afloat within 20 miles are more or less on the same plane (pace Union Jack, but even 100 ft between wave crest and trough does not subtend much at 10 miles), they were quite content with a very shallow radar lobe. The PPI only had a range of 20 miles, IIRC, but we never had to do any searching as all our customers were handed to us on a plate by Approach.

Aircraft, on the other hand, have the awkward property of going up and down, so as to square this circle and modify the kit for RAF use, they mounted their aerial so that the mid point of the lobe could be raised from ground level to something like 10 above horizontal, IIRC in about seven stages. So when someone was coming in on a QGH, you were monitoring Approach, knew the height and had a rough idea of his range in the turn. In the hut you had a graph from which you could read off the best elevation "stud" to use - but after the first dozen runs you could guess with fair accuracy on which one of these your man would show best.

In my next Post, I do not need to describe our PPI "Talkdowns" (for those who fancy they have heard the tale before are quite right - below is an edited copy of my Post to ACW418 last July (p.198 #3954 - or it was that serial number yesterday).

"You are of course right - you were in the hot seat, and you know ! IIRC, we used two methods, the "Continous Descent" (with a height check every mile), and the "Step Down". This involved only two (?) steps down, from 1500 ft at 5 miles, to 900 ft; he would hold you at that height till you reached 3 miles, then tell you to descend to whatever MAA was in force. Or something like that, but memory fades. I can well imagine that the first method would be just as hard work for the pilot as hugging a glidepath in GCA, but would have thought the second needed much less brainwork (and was just as safe).

The PPI was impressive. Of course it was a very narrow lobe radar, so you could be really accurate. It was the only gear wth which I've been able to see the runway lights ! And I still recall the sharp-cut little square blip. The story was that it was first designed as an estuary radar, and of course all ships are (for practical purposes) in the same plane. The same thing went into towers as the ACR7D (Teesside Airport had one), but the 7C was a truck".

As I can recall no particular triumphs or disasters directly attributable to my tenure in the ACR7C, I will next time launch out instead onto my Subsidiary career as a Fire Officer.

Goodnight, all.

Danny42C.


The bad workman always blames his tools

Last edited by Danny42C; 4th Mar 2014 at 23:26. Reason: Spacing.
 
Old 5th Mar 2014, 08:36
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After the Piper Alpha disaster, we got decender things offshore which I can't remember the name of.
That was an emergency abseiling kit designed to be idiot proof. I cannot remember it being used in anger.

I was involved after the Piper Alpha being on the primary support helicopter. During the following morning I had to take the off duty OIM (Offshore Installation Manager) plus others on a recce of the platform whilst it was still burning to get a close up of what was burning and where. Later in the day the same with Red Adair an others.

The pictures taken at that time by Time Magazine and others were from my aircraft.

Last edited by Fareastdriver; 5th Mar 2014 at 15:51.
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Old 5th Mar 2014, 14:32
  #5258 (permalink)  
 
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Descender thingy = Donut or equivalent

(pop DONUT into your favorite search engine)

Standard issue on many offshore oil & gas or windfarm installations.
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Old 5th Mar 2014, 16:36
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Thanks Smeagol, the details of the device can be found in this brochure:-


http://www.donutsafetysystems.com/pdf/Donut%202007.pdf


Looks like a canny bit of kit. One thing that would concern me though is fire resistance, particularly of the tape, and particularly the bit of the tape that is secured to the oil rig. Do you know if it is capable of retaining its strength in the sort of high temperatures that Piper Alpha sustained? Given that it is designed to keep personnel suspended above the sea so that they may be easily sighted, remain reasonably warm and dry, and can be picked off by rescue craft, such qualities would appear essential, yet the blurb merely speaks of the 'high strength' of the tape, and the 'extreme heat' that it mentions is merely that of the Middle East, Far East and Australian environments.


Strange that such vital properties of an escape system from such potentially inflammable locations are not mentioned. A bit like selling Fire Doors with no mention of the duration of the fire resistance that they provide...


Danny, perhaps as you have just done the RAF Fire Officers Course you might have a view? I have a suspicion that it might well be down to our old friends from the "Tripped or fallen at work? Then dial 0870****** and we will get you rewarded".


If you make no claims for your product then presumably you cannot be sued for not meeting them, which is almost as pointless as the Victorians' advertising copy that knew limits in claiming miraculous properties for their medicinal compounds.
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Old 5th Mar 2014, 18:04
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Penny for the Guy ?

Chugalug,

I'm not really a good witness in these matters - having had a go in one fifty years ago and never set eyes on the kit since. I'd never thought about them being used on blazing oil/gas rigs (for a start, you'd have to forget about the nylon line I suggested). We really had in mind just old fashioned British brick/concrete/stone edifices when eight floors was a skyscraper to us, and we didn't have "towering infernos" - we had no towers !

I don't know how high they proposed to go with the Davy idea, but I imagine it would be a bit hairy when you got past ten floors. (Does the DONUT system have anything like the the Davy centrifugal brake ?)

"Tripped or fallen at work ?" .....Hard luck, old chap - should've looked where you were going ! (always the stiff upper lip).

Can nobody get our page back to proper width, so I can read it without sliding it from side to side ? (Or is the fog just in my cockpit ?)

Danny.
 

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