Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Military Aviation
Reload this Page >

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

Military Aviation A forum for the professionals who fly military hardware. Also for the backroom boys and girls who support the flying and maintain the equipment, and without whom nothing would ever leave the ground. All armies, navies and air forces of the world equally welcome here.

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

Old 24th Mar 2014, 22:03
  #5341 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a

And quite right, too. The old tail-dragger landing technique was an entirely different animal. It was fine so long as you'd had to do it from your very first day, as all we WWII pilots had done, and we'd just grown up with it, it was second nature to us.

In MPN11's case, if the Navy wanted tailwheel pilots (which they didn't) for the carriers, then starting them on a Tiger made sense. As they didn't, they should have used the Jet Provost like everybody else. Was the RAF using the Tiger in the primary trainer role as late as '62 ?

Old 24th Mar 2014, 22:25
  #5342 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: South of the M4
Posts: 1,638
Received 15 Likes on 6 Posts

if the Navy wanted tailwheel pilots (which they didn't)
Don't forget the Navy flew Supermarine Attackers in the 1950's as witness this one I photographed at Biggin Hill's 1954 ROC "Recognition Day".

Warmtoast is offline  
Old 24th Mar 2014, 23:05
  #5343 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a
Danny adds to the Gaiety of ther Nations (York, anyway).

It really all happened so simply and so easily. It was a nice sunny Spring day, and I was running back to York at lunchtime off morning watch. Nothing unusual until I passed Bootham Bar, then suddenly there seemed to much less traffic than normal, and there were several police cars dotted about.

Following my usual route I turned right towards the Museum Garden gates, then left into Lendal. On the corner there was a handful of chatting police doing nothing in particular. Nobody took any notice of me, or put a hand up to stop me, and I'm certain there were no "No Entry" signs. Into Lendal I tootled. This was very familiar ground; "Lloyds-the- Money" on the right and the GPO down the end.

Fifty yards ahead came out from the left, and turned left ahead of me, a large old gleaming black Roller (later I learned it was the Lord Mayor's car). I tucked in behind it and looked through the wide back window. Dead centre was a huge full- bottomed wig above scarlet and ermine. Behind me a white police Jaguar closed in, leading another two or three police cars and sundry followers. It was, it seemed the Opening of the Assizes, and I had inadvertently inserted my Isetta into second position in the official procession.

Of course I realised that I was, shall we say, a little "de trop", and get-out-quick might be a good idea. But My Lord's driver had his clog down now (maybe My Lord had lingered too long over coffee and cigars), and had wound the Roller up to about 35 as we swerved left at the Mansion House, past Terry's lovely mahogany restaurant - (and "Betty's" opposite) - and round to the right. He could afford to do this (although the old lady heeled over rather alarmingly), as the route had been cleared for him: every possible escape route for me was sealed-off by a traffic policeman.

And not any old policeman. All the main crossings were manned by at least two-pips, all stiffly to attention and frozen at the salute in their best No.1 SDs. They wore that expression of shock and horror that Bateman depicted so well in his cartoons. I considered returning the salutes, but on second thought discarded the idea as inadvisable.

And now we were running into Piccadilly, where it seemed that most of the good folk of York had assembled to see the show. Suuddenly realising that they'd "put in the clowns", they reacted with delight: cat-calls, cheers, thumbs-up and waves (to which I replied with gracious regal nods and limp lifts of the wrist). I could sense teeth grinding in the front seats of the Jag on my tail. Clifford's Tower loomed up ahead; things were getting serious now.

What could they get me on ? There must be something in tne medieval statutes to meet the case. It was clearly Contempt of Court, and probably lèse-majesté. I racked my brains for case law, but could only come up with a tale I'd read or heard long ago. The chronicler of the time had recorded it in the mixture of English and Norman-French then current. It told a sad story as follows:

It seems that this litigant, dissatisfied with a judgment: "ject un brickbat à le Justice, que narrowly mis'd". Promptly arraigned before the said Justice, he was (not surprisingly) found guilty and "immediatement hangé". I did not think they would go so far with me, but a session in the dungeon and a grovelling apology to My Lord seemed on the cards. And now we'd passed the Tower. This was it . In a few moments now I absolutely knew what would happen. My Lord would turn left into the Assize Court: the white Jag would have me.

But I was spared. Unbelievably, the Jag and the rest of the entourage followed the Roller into the Courts. Greatly relieved, I scooted out of York as fast as my little wheels could carry me. Of course, I wasn't out of the woods even now. The Jag passenger had been hammering the radio, the followers had had ample time to engross my number on vellum if they wished. I might yet have to fear a summons in the post. But it didn't happen.

Goodnight, all.


....After the Lord Mayor's Carriage comes...
Old 24th Mar 2014, 23:26
  #5344 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a

The Attacker was withdrawn from FAA service in 1954 (Wiki). MPN11's travails date from 1962. Nice pic, though. Didn't the deck behind get a bit warm, though ?

Old 24th Mar 2014, 23:56
  #5345 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Nevada, USA
Posts: 1,601
Received 39 Likes on 26 Posts

I don't imagine the Attacker got the deck as warm as one of these !

RAFEngO74to09 is offline  
Old 25th Mar 2014, 00:27
  #5346 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a

Saints preserve us ! Sooner 'em than me ! Did a Phantom on that rig ever "break off the surly bonds of earth" and go flyabout ?


EDIT: Suddenly realised that the thing was intending to do just that ! (noticed heads in cockpit).

(Time I went to bed !) D.

Last edited by Danny42C; 25th Mar 2014 at 00:33. Reason: Add Text !
Old 25th Mar 2014, 04:46
  #5347 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Wide Brown Land
Age: 39
Posts: 516
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Just a quick one. ANZAC Day approaches downunder (oh, ok, and everywhere else too), and so begin the usual stories on the television news.
This one's a bit different though, and it concerns a former 463 Squadron skipper of my acquaintance named Bill Purdy.
He still flies.
And on ANZAC Day he will be leading a fly-past of the Sydney ANZAC Day march in a Tiger Moth. His PPL is still current. I've told him it's one of the better excuses for missing the annual lunch that I've heard!
The story is here, with some footage, if anyone is interested:
Veteran WWII pilot Bill Purdy still flying Tiger Moths at 90 - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

kookabat is offline  
Old 25th Mar 2014, 07:49
  #5348 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: West Sussex
Age: 82
Posts: 4,754
Received 207 Likes on 65 Posts
Excellent story, Danny. One of your best! Your Isetta was an essential part of the scene of course, I can't think of anything else that could have contrasted more with his Lordship's regal conveyance. Brilliant!
One must pay tribute to Mr Plod of course. No doubt these days you would have been lucky to escape with your life, and even so your liberty would have been greatly curtailed. Perhaps they didn't want their own failings to be aired in court, or simply saw the same humour in the incident that the good folk of York did.
Whatever the explanation for your deliverance we can be sure that it wouldn't apply these days, more's the pity.
Chugalug2 is offline  
Old 25th Mar 2014, 18:20
  #5349 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Co. Down
Age: 82
Posts: 832
Received 237 Likes on 74 Posts
@kookabat: your Aussie clip brought tears to my eyes. What a wonderful story, I'm so glad Mr Purdy will fly the Tiger Moth in tribute to the many thousands who having trained on them would never return.

As to the Tiger Moth, it sorted the pilots from the drivers. It exaggerated mistakes yet forgave most of them. I speak as one who trained on Aircoupe, Colt and C150 before I learned to fly with the Tiger.

Those trained on Tigers will seldom land halfway down the runway and run off the far end, they will seldom stuff the nosewheel onto the ground in the optimistic hope the brute will stay down (OK it will, when the nose gear is wiped off/buried in the grass) and they will seldom spin in on turning to finals. Though I suppose most people do this only once.

@Danny: your stories are a constant delight, and as Chugalug says, the Isetta was one of your best. Sir, I salute you.
Geriaviator is offline  
Old 25th Mar 2014, 19:24
  #5350 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Location: Location!
Posts: 2,297
Received 34 Likes on 26 Posts
Danny - Your Isetta upsetta my drinka!

Union Jack is offline  
Old 25th Mar 2014, 19:45
  #5351 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Too close to the M6
Posts: 117
Received 3 Likes on 2 Posts
Thank you, Danny, Sir.

You've made a young man very happy.

One small comment on a different subject - you do try to do a "two-pointer" in a glider (or sailplane).

You try to land on the wheel and tailskid at the same time. Same technique, "look well ahead" although you couldn't see a thing in a Hurricane.

Last edited by gzornenplatz; 25th Mar 2014 at 20:16. Reason: Noticed earlier note.
gzornenplatz is offline  
Old 26th Mar 2014, 00:20
  #5352 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a

Thanks for the link ! (what a wonderful old chap - shows there's hope for us yet). Must be due to a diet of wallaby steaks and XXXX.

As far as I can see, the Chipmunk took over (as a primary trainer in the RAF) from the TM in '52. But (shamelessly lifted from Wiki - underlining mine):

..."History of the Royal Naval Flying Training Flight..... Chipmunk aircraft".

"Since 1949 the Britannia Royal Naval College at Dartmouth has run Tiger Moths for recreational flying, as well as running summer flying camps. Later on, Auster, De Havilland Chipmunk, Miles Messenger and Miles Gemini aircraft were also introduced. After grading of potential aircrew was introduced, these aircraft were employed during the week for assessing future aircrew and at weekends for recreation. By this time the aircraft were based at Roborough Airport, on the outskirts of Plymouth. By 1966 the flight had stabilised at 12 Chipmunk aircraft"....

Obviously they were running the TM there in '62 as a Grading School; this would have been MPN11's Waterloo. As I've said before: he would have been much better off with no previous flying at all, as all the experience (in landings) he had would work against him now.... It was a pity.....D.

Chugalug, Geriaviator and Union Jack,

Thank you once more for the kind words - glad to have raised a chuckle or two on a dull day !...D.


Thanks as above. But your: "you do try to do a "two-pointer" in a glider". Aces like you maybe - rabbits like me just get the damn' thing down anyhow !
Curious about "gzornen". Looks like German, but rings no bells (haven't got a dictionary handy, Google no help). Reminds me of Benny Hill's priceless: "Squarebashingerplatz" !....D.

Goodnight, all. Danny.
Old 26th Mar 2014, 10:22
  #5353 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: South of the M4
Posts: 1,638
Received 15 Likes on 6 Posts

As far as I can see, the Chipmunk took over (as a primary trainer in the RAF) from the TM in '52
Not quite. When I arrived at 5 FTS (RAF Thornhill - S. Rhodesia) in August 1951 Tiger Moths were still in use there as seen here from my photos.

And this one landing over a shortly to be retired 3ANS Anson.

5 FTS received its first Chipmunk in September 1951 - this is it.

5 FTS was allocated 27 Chipmunk T.10s. Built at Hawarden near Chester, they were crated and shipped out to Durban in South Africa and transferred to rail trucks for the journey to 394 MU at RAF Heany near Bulawayo where they were assembled, flight tested and then flown up to Thornhill.

Tiger Moths were all gone by October/November 1951 ISTR. Some were sold locally at £5 a pop!, but there weren't many civilian takers. The two seen in the photo below were on their way to the Royal Rhodesian Air Force in Salisbury and were the last to leave 5 FTS. Any remaining were broken up for scrap.

Last edited by Warmtoast; 26th Mar 2014 at 10:39. Reason: To add photo of last two 5 FTS TMs
Warmtoast is offline  
Old 26th Mar 2014, 10:51
  #5354 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Often in Jersey, but mainly in the past.
Age: 79
Posts: 7,799
Received 131 Likes on 60 Posts
I might have done better with one of these ... 727 NAS Flying Grading | Royal Navy
MPN11 is offline  
Old 26th Mar 2014, 16:28
  #5355 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a

Lovely pics ! The dear old Tiger in all its glory. Takes you back ! Yes, I think we were still using them in UK EFTSs in '51 (and what's this about retired Ansons ? I thought the Anson was immortal. Some mistake here; friend of mine boasted of having conned, as a civvie rep for Avro, AM into ordering enough Anson spares to keep all Annies going well into the 22nd century)....D.


Thanks for the link - very informative, tells me everything about the aircraft I might want to know, except WHAT IS IT ? When I were a lad, there were Tiger (Gypsy ?) Moths and Piper Cubs, and that was about it. Now there are so many different puddle-jumpers that I've completely lost track.

Having said that, it looks very nice (but wouldn't those elegant spats get bunged up with mud ?). Good to see that their Lordships had come to their senses at last, but too late for you, I'm afraid. Still, the RN's loss was the RAF's gain....D.

Cheers, both. Danny.


BTW, was very interested to re-see: "The Battle of Midway" (the second, Charlton Heston one - ITV4 last Saturday PM) . Good to see the Japanese shown as intelligent beings and not (as usually) mere neandertals. The intricate chess-game of tactics between Admirals Yamamoto and Nimitz was fascinating; the climax, in which the SBD "Dauntless" dive bombers demolished three of the four Japanese fleet carriers (with incredible speed: I've seen seven and a half minutes quoted) better than any Hollywood fictional triumph. Might be worth a look on iplayer (ignore the histrionics and utterly irrelevant love-story).

Naturally, I have an old professional interest in this; but it is always been a mystery to me why the American public have let it all pass from memory. For it was their equivalent of our "Battle of Britain". From that day in June '42, the back of Japanese air power in the Pacific was broken, as US shipyards could outbuild them three to one; their defeat in the theatre was certain, however long it took.....D.

Last edited by Danny42C; 26th Mar 2014 at 17:29. Reason: Add Text.
Old 26th Mar 2014, 16:41
  #5356 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: East Sussex UK
Age: 66
Posts: 6,995
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Danny ...

The current UK Mil Basic Trainer is known as the Grob Tutor ... It's plastic !

More here ...

RAF - Tutor T Mark 1

Cockpit ...

Grob Cockpit

They're not owned by the Mil ... Hence both Civilian and Mil dual Reg Numbers ... UK Government PFI contract

PS ... Thing wins the £5

Last edited by CoffmanStarter; 26th Mar 2014 at 17:44.
CoffmanStarter is offline  
Old 26th Mar 2014, 17:22
  #5357 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: 23, Railway Cuttings, East Cheam
Age: 68
Posts: 3,115
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Nice to see that the Tutor has a thrust of 180lbs...
thing is offline  
Old 26th Mar 2014, 17:29
  #5358 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: South of the M4
Posts: 1,638
Received 15 Likes on 6 Posts

and what's this about retired Ansons?
Sorry, retired is the wrong word - returned is better as all Thornhill's 3 ANS T21 Ansons were returned to the UK in late 1951 except for one which was retained at Thornhill for search and rescue work as seen below practice dropping a Bundu/jungle survival pack.

The dear old Tiger in all its glory
...and in inglorious mode as seen here!

Last edited by Warmtoast; 26th Mar 2014 at 17:41.
Warmtoast is offline  
Old 26th Mar 2014, 18:13
  #5359 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a

So that's what it was (you learn something new every day) Thanks, CS ! Always thought Grob just made powered gliders. Don't know anything about these - what did you do about prop drag when in the glide mode - was there a freewheel or something ?

"You know you're getting old when you can remember the first (Avro) Tutor:"

Avro Tutor
Old 26th Mar 2014, 18:22
  #5360 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a

Poor old Tigger ! May I use that, please, in the (very unlikely) event of my winning the CapCom ? (don't hold your breath).


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.