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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 14th Oct 2017, 00:03
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Evans Times obit

[QUOTE=ICM;9923902]Sidevalve: That link contains a 'Share Token' that permits it to be seen beyond the Times paywall. Or does that not work outside the UK? If not, I'll see what can be done about putting it here.[/QUOTE
Got it ok in the US
Tks
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Old 14th Oct 2017, 06:06
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As is evident from HarryM's wonderful post of flying Harold Wilson when he was PM and his role with the Central Flying School's Transport Command Examining Unit he too was a Cat A pilot.

How fortunate those following this thread are to have contributions from such a highly skilled pilot.

This from Flight International in June 1957.

https://www.flightglobal.com/FlightP...20-%200871.PDF
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Old 14th Oct 2017, 16:37
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Re starting techniques, a reminder of posts relating to my father's service in France, winter 1939/40, when 12 and 142 Sqns were based in a field at Berry-au-Bac, under canvas in temperatures down to -20C. The RR Merlins in their Fairey Battles objected to these low temperatures and had to be run for 10 minutes every hour to prevent the oil from solidifying. They had only a few trolley-accs so each engine was started by three men on a rope, with a leather cap placed over the airscrew tip, hopefully thrown off as the engine fired.

Note the empty bomb trolley, the aircraft were bombed up during daylight hours, and the bowser trailer with its rear compartment containing a Lister or Petters donkey engine for petrol pumping. Similar trailers were still fuelling 9, 12, 101 and 617 Sqn Lincolns at Binbrook in 1950.
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Old 16th Oct 2017, 17:54
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Gaining an RAF pilots brevet in WW2

Two stories from the past.
In the 80, s an ex RCAF Spitfire pilot invited me to have dinner with another ex Spitfire pilot---a Pole.
Dinner was at the rotating restaurant at the top of the tower overlooking Niagara Falls. The Pole was I/c maintenance of the tower and his duties included photographing any who chose to commit suicide off the tower.
A few years later I got a newspaper account of a court case. The Pole had taken friends up in a Cessna, low flown over his garden and beheaded ,with his wing tip, his next door neighbour---an ex RCAF WW2 bomber pilot.
Convicted of manslaughter the Pole spent several years in jail
Next newspaper account--now out of jail -the Pole had helped a friend start his aircraft by swinging the prop. It kicked back, hit him on the head and he was killed.
On to the next.
An ex USN WW2 pilot dabbled in aviation reporting. He was invited to participate in a record breaking flight by two KC135, s.
The aircraft were to leave Westover base in Mass.Both were to overhead NYC and proceed to
London. The second aircraft would then return to NYC without landing in London.
It was a hot summer day and the flights were to leave in the early evening.
Paul was assigned to the round trip 135 and during an afternoon briefing it transpired that the gross weight on that aircraft was a record.
That aircraft never got airborne and all on board were killed.
The next issue of Time had a photo of the steps up to the ill fated aircraft. Paul was coming down with his luggage!
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Old 16th Oct 2017, 18:08
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Originally Posted by DFCP
On to the next.
An ex USN WW2 pilot dabbled in aviation reporting. He was invited to participate in a record breaking flight by two KC135, s.
The aircraft were to leave Westover base in Mass.Both were to overhead NYC and proceed to
London. The second aircraft would then return to NYC without landing in London.
It was a hot summer day and the flights were to leave in the early evening.
Paul was assigned to the round trip 135 and during an afternoon briefing it transpired that the gross weight on that aircraft was a record.
That aircraft never got airborne and all on board were killed.
The next issue of Time had a photo of the steps up to the ill fated aircraft. Paul was coming down with his luggage!

Details the flight number of the one that crashed.

Crash of a Boeing KC-135A-BN Stratotanker at Westover AFB: 15 killed | B3A Aircraft Accidents Archives
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Old 17th Oct 2017, 11:03
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roving (#11383),
..."How fortunate those following this thread are to have contributions from such a highly skilled pilot"...
This goes for almost every topic which is aired on this wonderful Thread - there is always someone "on frequency" who genuinely knows everything about it and is willing to share that knowledge with us.
 
Old 17th Oct 2017, 14:53
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Apology

To all readers - re my recent #11376, checking back on previous posts I find it to be a virtual repeat of one posted early January 2015 and so must crave forgiveness for inflicting boredom on followers of this thread (will in future take more care!).

Roving, in reply to your #11381 I never visited KL in a TCEU capacity, only occasionally in my FEC Sqdn Hastings.
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Old 17th Oct 2017, 15:25
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Esteemed Harry, your last:

"To all readers - re my recent #11376, checking back on previous posts I find it to be a virtual repeat of one posted early January 2015 and so must crave forgiveness for inflicting boredom on followers of this thread (will in future take more care!)".

I can't remember what happened at 20.15 yesterday, so I am not bored by something that you posted "early January 2015."

"Crave forgiveness" indeed! A good tale is always worthy of repetition, please do not deprive us of any of your memories - post away Harry!

Ian BB
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Old 17th Oct 2017, 16:41
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Harry, I join Ian's sentiments. As I said earlier, I read and re-read your stories which delight everyone on this thread, please keep 'em coming!
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Old 17th Oct 2017, 17:12
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Ian BB & Geriaviator, your kind comments are much appreciated. Rest assured that further scribblings will appear, but first I must run a check on what has gone before - to repeat oneself once is perhaps excusable, but definitely becomes boring if done habitually!
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Old 18th Oct 2017, 12:59
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harrym's style of writing reminds me of my father.

These skilled pilots are invariably very reserved.

My father could make a point in an understated way but which left no-one in any doubt as to his opinion.

This being an example.

I recall after the accident at East Midlands I telephoned my father the following day. He just simply and quietly said 'I hope they turned off the correct engine'.

In those few words he of course provided the explanation that the subsequent AAIB enquiry established.

In early 1951 when the Korean war drained the pool of Royal Air Force fighter pilots, the Aux Air Squadrons were pressed into service. 613 Squadron equipped with Vampires was the first in the North West to be called-up.

As this newsreel at 8mins 31 secs makes clear, in 1951, Royal Air Force Vampires patrolled over Holland.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djINBkPEb-o&t=519

Vampires, like Spitfires, unless fitted with drop tanks had a limited range.

One day he was patrolling over Holland in bad weather. Fog, I think he said, and the fighter controllers could not give him a fix. When eventually he worked out where he was he knew that he had insufficient fuel for a normal flight back to Ringway.

"So what did you do?" I asked

He replied " I knew that I would use much less fuel if I took it up to the ceiling and at that height I could glide it in, if I ran out of fuel before I got back".

He then demonstrated using his hand his near vertical descent into Ringway to ensure sufficient speed for a safe landing.

No ejector seats on that model of Vampire of course, as Danny will attest to.

Although he said he had had several "incidents" when he was at the controls, the only other two he shared were:

1. In the late 1940's, again with 613 Squadron, he was performing a barrel roll in a Spitfire near Chester, when he lost a spark plug which had not been tightened properly. He managed to get it down at Hawarden. He did admit that he had chain smoked a few ciggies after that flight.

2. When taking off at Shawbury in a Jet Provost, with an observer, in the 1960's, there was a problem with the engine -- at the time he suspected a birdstrike -- but he later said it was 'something else'. without saying what the something else was. He knew that the safety barrier was up and made the instant decision to make full use of it. He hit it at speed. There is a photograph in this link of the Shawbury safety barrier after someone else made full use it.

https://goo.gl/fE5TZR

His crash landing in helicopter into the jungle of Malaya, when travelling as a passenger, I will leave for another time.
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Old 18th Oct 2017, 19:57
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roving (#11392),

Thank you for the links, which gave (may I say), a rather "over-egged" description of WWII flying training ! Good fun to watch, though, haven't worked my way through them all yet, treat in store !

..."These skilled pilots areinvariably very reserved".. Lets me out, then - I can "talk the hind leg off a donkey" !

..."I hope they turned off the correct engine''... The 1989 Kegworth disaster, I take it (Wikipedia gives an account of it). Having absolutely no knowledge of the aircraft involved or civil procedures, it seemed to me at the time that the crew would've been much better off without vibration meters on the panel. Then (I would have supposed), they would've cleared the airway, pulled back both to Flight Idle, then advanced the thrust levers one at a time to see which was the "bad" engine.

There were stories (which Wiki does not repeat) that pax saw flames coming out of the (defective) No.1, drew the attention of the cabin staff, but it was not reported to the Flight Deck.

Be that as it may, they mistakenly decided that the No.2 was at fault, closed it down and diverted to Castle Donington. On the descent the No.1 (which would be on much reduced power), behaved itself, and it was only at the very end, when they increased power on it, that it died the death. There was no time to restart the "good" No.2, the Wiki picture shows how close to safety they got - but not close enough. RIP.

I must emphasise that the only twin I've ever flown was the Meteor, and it would be a dumb bunny indeed not to know which one had gone on that!

Hindsight is all too easy: which of us cannot put a hand on heart and say: "There, but for the Grace of God, go I ?"

Yes, your Dad would go much further high up, and the Vampire would glide quite nicely, but whether he would reach Ringway would be in the Lap of the Gods. ..... No "bang seats" for us, as you say. ..... Do not remember any Auxiliary Squadrons being "embodied" in 1951 to allow Regular squadrons to "have a go" in Korea (I was with - but not "on" 608 at the time). ISTR that only RAAF Meteors took part in that, and they were so outclassed by the Mig-15 (powered by reverse-engineered "Nenes" [kindly supplied to Russia by the Attlee Govt, and passed on via China], that they were delegated to Ground Attack).

Lost a plug in a Stearman in training once: the noise and vibration are horrendous ....... Yes, barriers work ! ... Know nowt about helicopters.

Danny.
 
Old 19th Oct 2017, 11:42
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Danny

https://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarch...613%20squadron

In fact the London Gazette records that the year before, in early 1950, my father's war substantive rank was restored. This may be because 613 AAF became at that time as Reserve Fighter Command Squadron.
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Old 19th Oct 2017, 12:39
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roving (#11394),

Ah, there we have it ("early 1950") - I did not come into contact with 608 until October, 1951. Don't remember anything said about it. But thanks for the link all the same.

The redoubtable Sir Basil put paid to my aspirations of a General List P.C. in 1952. Not that it would have mattered, CMB would have put the stoppers on me in any case.

C'etait la vie !

Danny.
 
Old 19th Oct 2017, 18:00
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Ancient Aviatores.....

.....last week whilst visiting family in Kent I (very) briefly met a 94 yr old ex-RAF pilot called Buster. He would fit in here a treat. Apropos of not a lot my friend asked him if he'd had his flu jab. No, he hadn't and explained that he'd been taken off usual flying duties to pilot Horsa gliders for Arnhem. He got a bad attack of flu and missed the op. All his fellow course members were killed.
"I owe my life to flu" he said "so I'm never going to have a jab!" Not a view I'd completely support but I understood what he meant.
He had gone through the Arnold scheme too. I'm not sure that he has a computer so how I could let him read bits of this thread I'm not sure (see my location).
Any suggestions?

The Ancient Mariner
PS Both the ladies with us agreed that he had a wicked gleam in his eye and might have been a bit of a tearaway as a young man (which they seemed to approve of!)
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Old 21st Oct 2017, 10:41
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Rossian (#11396),
..."Any suggestions?"...
Can someone living nearby get the old boy over and show him what he's missing ? (I assume he has no internet connection).

Bet they'll have to wrestle the lap top away from him ! (that's how I was sucked in). I'm 96 next month, if I can do it, so can he. Which Arnold Class was he in ?

Danny42C (class of).
 
Old 21st Oct 2017, 11:35
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Originally Posted by Rossian
.....
I'm not sure that he has a computer so how I could let him read bits of this thread I'm not sure (see my location).
Any suggestions?
Anybody that you know have a tablet or even a smart phone? These gadgets are able to access the internet via a mobile phone signal, and, although probably not ideal, would at least be able to show him this wonderful thread
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Old 21st Oct 2017, 12:40
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A bit more info on where in Kent might allow someone to contact Buster.......
Be a shame if his memories were to be lost forever...
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Old 21st Oct 2017, 12:52
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Buster.....

....thanks for your responses chaps. I have found a lady who pops in to see him from time to time and she has volunteered to fetch him over to her place to use her PC. I will send her details of how to get to this thread.
Where? Within 5 miles of Heathfield-ish E Sussex. I don't have his address and obviously wouldn't pass it out without his permission.
He definitely doesn't have a computer and no it skills. But he still climbs ladders to the top of his apples trees and they are big. Nurse!!
I have another possible thread to follow to get to him. I shall pursue it later this PM.
I rather enjoy trying to knit people together at long range. When it does work it's quite satisfying.

The Ancient Mariner
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Old 21st Oct 2017, 14:52
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Some Beverley blues

This is part one of some musings on that unique, loveable and occasionally exasperating monster the Beverley; part two, with some reflections on its operation, to follow shortly.


"Sure as Hell won't replace the airplane" one bemused Yank is said to have expostulated on first beholding a Beverley; well maybe not, but equally certain was that, in its time, no mere aeroplane could conceivably have taken its place. During a relatively short life it performed more useful work, in often arduous and highly demanding environments, than many other types achieve in life spans several times the length. This year has seen the sixty-first anniversary of its introduction to service, a good time to recall memories fond or otherwise.

With a glider ancestry dating back to WW2, the Beverley was a development of the General Aircraft Company's GAL 60 Universal Freighter. Before this aircraft could make a first flight its parent company was taken over by the Blackburn Aircraft Co, who conveyed the prototype in pieces to a new home at Brough; here it was duly assembled, and a successful first flight carried out in June 1950. By this time the Air Ministry spec to which it was built had been upgraded, and to meet this an improved version was produced and first flown in June 1953; with four Bristol Centaurus engines in place of the original Hercules, plus other changes such as rear clamshell doors and a tail boom offering passenger accommodation, this resulted in an initial RAF order for twenty aircraft that was later increased to a total of forty-seven.

The first unit to re-equip with the Beverley, no 47 Sqdn of RAF Abingdon, received its initial delivery in March 1956; the following year 53 Sqdn was similarly equipped, and for the next decade the noisy giant was a familiar UK sight as it bumbled its way around the Thames Valley and many other areas. In the same year the Beverley became established at Dishforth, where 242 OCU became responsible for crew training; here, 30 Sqdn also re-equipped with the aircraft but moved to Nairobi two years later. The first overseas unit to acquire them was 84 Sqdn at Aden in mid-1958, followed by 48 Sqdn (Singapore), where they were later transferred to a newly-formed 34 Sqdn. From these four bases the Beverleys not only carried out multifarious tasks within their respective theatres, they also ranged far & wide; distant places that witnessed unlikely arrivals of this strange creature included Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and South Africa.

Despite its many virtuous qualities, even the Beverley's most fervent aficionados would hardly claim speed as one of them. However reports of trains overtaking it can possibly be discounted, although an encounter with to-day's TGV or equivalent would be a different story. Short hauls were no great hardship, but of necessity it had frequently to undertake long-range flights for one reason or another; that many of these derived from the RAF's absurd attempts to use it as a Hastings replacement, was of little consolation to those who suffered hours of mind-numbing boredom as a result.

For the pilots tedium was alleviated by the need for hand-flying, no autopilot being (initially) fitted; after all, was it not designed for short-range work? (pity no-one told Transport Command). The Navigation & Radio empires were adept at upholding the noses-to-grindstone principle, arguably with some less than essential tasks. Running up and down ladders with trays of refreshment kept the quartermasters fit & alert, the flight deck's thirst-provoking climate in particular seeing to that. Flight engineer? - for its first few years of operation there were none, but their omission was soon seen as a gross error and they gradually became established and valued crew members.

The Centaurus engine's voracious and legendary thirst for oil was a constant nuisance, so that during the longer "drags" it was necessary to hand-pump this commodity from the reserve tank to the engines - a task accomplished in a noisome hole in rear of the flight deck, where both temperature and decibel readings were normally off-scale. It was an exhausting chore, rendered worse by the impossibility of using oxygen in an oily environment. Visitors to the flight deck were encouraged, in the sly hope that they might then be conned into becoming oil pumpers; sometimes the ruse was successful, but unfortunately seldom worked a second time. Why an electric pump could not have been provided (with the hand pump as back-up) is another of those little Beverley mysteries - along with the lack of a galley, no autopilot etc etc.

Versatility was the Beverley's main attribute, and this applied not only to loads carried but also to its operational usage. Designed as it was for short range, short-field work, its slow cruising speed would hardly have suggested it as ideal for longer stages, yet here again it proved its worth where no other type could cope: helicopters to Aden, artillery pieces, cattle (!), bulk fuel and a radar scanner during the Suez affair, state coaches for a ceremony in Helsinki, large vehicles anywhere----even dismantled fighter aircraft (Hunter/Gnat), you name it the Bev took it. With today's B747 freighters, not to mention the Guppy variants, this is now commonplace stuff, but we are describing a time sixty years ago; even today's C130 might have a problem coping with those lumpy, bumpy, inadequate strips that the Beverley took in its stride.

But the Bev did not have to land to discharge its load. Much liked by parachutists, especially for an easy exit provided by the tail boom hatchway, vast tonnages of freight were also delivered by 'chute. This was achieved by removal of the rear clamshell doors, thus providing a 10ft x 10ft exit from the similarly dimensioned 40ft long cargo hold, from which palletised loads were extracted by drag 'chutes. The aircraft's capabilities in this direction were of particular use during the Indonesian crisis, where Borneo's jungle-covered terrain necessitated much re-supply by airdrop. Loads delivered were of infinite variety, ranging from a single item of more than 40,000lb to a consignment of cats required to combat rat infestation. During early trials on Salisbury Plain, a Saracen armoured car thus delivered contrived to emerge without deployment of parachutes; perhaps it is there yet, a buried artefact for the delectation of future archaeologists?

It's perhaps pertinent to mention here that the clamshell doors were an Achilles heel of the basic design; for, as compared with the C130's bottom-hinged rear door that could be operated in flight and also served as a loading ramp on the ground, the Beverley's doors had to be removed before flight and substituted (for aerodynamic reasons) with a pair of fixed deflector plates. All of this took time, with the resultant drag degrading the already indifferent performance even further, while there remained the problem of vehicular access; this taken care of by a pair of narrow portable ramps that had to be carried on board and then manually fitted as required.
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