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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 11th Jan 2018, 18:10
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Originally Posted by Dsrsia;
My Father returned to UK found himself on an Instructors Course at 12 P AFU at Grantham June 42 on Oxfords. He instructs on DH82 at Cambridge 22 EFTS until Mar 43, then Oxfords 11 P AFU, then Blenheims at Woodvale until Nov 44. He then goes to 1655 MTU 7 is posted to 162 Squadron at Bourn Jan 45. Survives his 30 visits to Germany, the last one being 2 May to Kiel which I believe was the last ops by Bomber Command. 162 then moves to RAF Blackbushe and operates the ADLS service. He ends after taking part in the Battle of Britain flypast in Sept 46 and starts commercial flying in Malta on Consuls the civilian version of the Oxford.
Only the very best students on each course were creamed off to be trained as instructors.

Becoming a PFF Mosquito pilot further supports that view. Not only was it very fast but was often flown at a very low altitude.

In your father's logbooks will be assessments made by his C.O. which will include assessments of his ability as a pilot.

Re-formed at Bourn, near Cambridge in No 8 (Pathfinder) Group, on 17th December 1944, it soon established an excellent record as a Mosquito light-bomber unit of the Light Night Striking Force (later known as the Fast Night Striking Force), and the end of the European war found it half-way through conversion to being the second of the H2S marking squadrons for the force (the other being No 139). Aircraft of the squadron had, in fact, done much of the marking during the series of 36 consecutive night attacks by Mosquitos on Berlin.

During its brief wartime career with the Pathfinders, No 162 Squadron logged a total of 913 operational sorties (898 successful and 15 abortive) involving 4,037 flying hours.
https://www.raf.mod.uk/history/bombe...62squadron.cfm
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 20:59
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Long Ago.

Dsrsia (#11759),

Thank you for the mine of information about your Father's career. This is exactly the right place to air it publicly. A few points to add to the story:
Danny you mention your correction to the upper age limit for Arnold Scheme as being 23
When I signed on the dotted line in November, 1940, the limits were 17 to 23 (my amendment was to a Typo of 33) And a School Cert minimum.Later the age limit must've been raised: wasn't there a baronet of 60 serving as an air gunner?
Another document dated 20 Oct 41 by AVM McKean US Air Liaison Mission, Ottawa states that the Course could be reduced to 24 weeks but must do 200 hours flying
. He is speaking of the BFTS Course. The Arnold Programme was split into three different places,involving two moves which took a week each. The BFTS Course was all in one place, they could well afford to "lose" two weeks and still put in 200 hrs (the same as the "Arnold".
Next time I go to Kew I could photo parts of the file and pm them to you & Ian want
. Can't speak for Ian, but I would have to say "Thank you - but no thank you - I've far too much on my plate. But anything you could turn up which throws light oh the enormous "washout" rates (40% plus) in the Arnold Scheme would be welcome.
Instructors Course at 12 P AFU
"Advanced Flying Units" were the old SFTS at home, now largely out of a job: but doing various instructional duties: another was running "acclimatising" courses for pilots from overseas training into the changed conditions of wartime Britain.
"Posted to 162 Squadron at Bourn Jan 45. Survives his 30 visits to Germany
What a terrifying lot is packed into those simple words!
Also Vol 5 of the RAF magazine published by the UK Cadets, Darr-Aero-Tech, Albany, GA. Nov 1941. Contains about 80 photos of the students with short biographies & instructors plus various poems such as Flying Instructors Lament, The Boys at Darr, The Ghost of a Solo
. Cliffnemo (Clifford Leach RIP), the founder of this Thread, went to BFTS at Darr Field.

Danny.

Last edited by Danny42C; 12th Jan 2018 at 12:23. Reason: Addn.
 
Old 13th Jan 2018, 08:03
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Today's Telegraph posts the Obituary of one of the legends of Bomber Command, Wing Commander Reg Reynolds.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/obituarie...rlin-obituary/

https://www.dnw.co.uk/auction-archiv...&lot_id=258501
Attached Images

Last edited by roving; 13th Jan 2018 at 14:17. Reason: added detail
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Old 19th Jan 2018, 03:07
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No post for 6 days? What! Not on!

Ok, I hope you don't mind but I'm going to post a few video links to revive this thread. Apologies if it's stuff you've seen before.

This one is for Danny, I know you've been there and done it! Poor "Smith", he got a caning....!


This one is about how to perform "acrobatics", cringe (I thought it was called aerobatics?!) in a PT-19. Think you flew those also Danny?


Finally an AT-6 training video...


Danny, did you get to watch these movies before they "let you loose"?!

After watching these I reckon maybe I could do it haha! Remember! Stable approach, stable approach!

Best wishes everybody,

Michael
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Old 19th Jan 2018, 12:49
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Tales of Valour ?

Octane (#11765),

Thanks ! What a treat ! No, I've never seen these training films before. The last one was clearly intended for circuits round a carrier, or a dummy "land" carrier. I reckon 500 ft is a "low level" circuit for Navy pilots, we used the normal 1,000 ft. [Union Jack, are you on frequency ?]

I've been less than complimentary about the Valiant ("you had to be valiant to fly it") - my assessment:

"The BT-13 was very awkward in the air. You started a turn to the left with a bit of left stick and ease back. The thing skidded and you had to use rudder to bring the nose round. Then the nose would drop, and you had to take off bank to avoid losing height. It left you with crossed controls (left rudder and right stick), crabbing round uncomfortably. And in right turns, vice versa. This aircraft should never have gone into production. I have never flown anything with worse harmonised controls. It had a lot of dihedral and a big fin, so it was stable enough. Straight and level flight was fine. Turns were the problem".

"(It was) a training aircraft which was best forgotten (and largely has been). It might have been designed to show the student how cross-grained an aircraft can be, and yet fly
".

I would take issue with the text on several points, but that is for another day.

Danny.
 
Old 19th Jan 2018, 13:00
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It might have been designed to show the student how cross-grained an aircraft can be, and yet fly
Reminds me of the Bristol Sycamore that I learned rotary flying with.
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Old 19th Jan 2018, 16:29
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I reckon 500 ft is a "low level" circuit for Navy pilots
Danny, when I went through the USN system training in the T-28, normal circuits were at 1,000' and carrier circuits 325', the cross wind portions were always flown as a continual turn on both. Operational squadrons don't know.
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Old 20th Jan 2018, 11:36
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megan,

Ta ! - I can see it would make sense, as there would be nothing outside the carrier except the sea, and the approaches could be much shorter (there being much less height to lose).

Or am I talking nonsense ? (could be),

Danny.
 
Old 21st Jan 2018, 00:39
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FCLP practise onshore was also flown at 325' Danny.
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Old 21st Jan 2018, 15:06
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megan,

I live and learn ! But why the odd 25 ft ? Wouldn't a round 300 ft be easier to fly ? To allow for the height of the flight deck above the waves, I guess. But why not do what we all actually did - just zero your ALT on the runway/deck before take off, I don't think the Navy flew for very long, and they mostly landed back on the ship they started from. And the ship would always give them a QFE anyway.

Strange seem the ways of the True Blue.

Danny.
 
Old 21st Jan 2018, 20:01
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To allow for the height of the flight deck above the waves,
That was so that they knew how much height they had to recover when they were catapulted off the deck with the flaps up.
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Old 22nd Jan 2018, 05:32
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But why the odd 25 ft
No idea Danny. The 325' was AGL or ASL as applicable.
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Old 22nd Jan 2018, 11:46
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Carrier pilots tend to operate off land runways as though they were embarked at sea, lest they develop bad habits. When the carriers went into port at Singapore in the '60s they flew off beforehand to land at RAF Changi. Thereafter they would always land with arrestor hooks deployed which ploughed long grooves into the runway, much to SATCO's distress.

The accident rate while they were so deployed was an eye opener for we transporters but par for the course it seemed for the FAA, and merely occasioned yet another keg or two of beer for the consumption of all and sundry.
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Old 22nd Jan 2018, 12:37
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Bit puzzled by that. I flew off carriers into Changi many times but never ever landed with my hook down.

Last edited by Schiller; 22nd Jan 2018 at 12:52.
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Old 22nd Jan 2018, 13:04
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I believe that it was agreed that full on "carrier" landings were not conducive to the best interests of the runway, let alone SATCOs apoplexy, and that they should modify the landing config as you suggest.

I was there 63/66 and the runway gouges were quite early on in that period. I had forgotten that the practice was later altered. Thanks for the reminder, Schiller.
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Old 23rd Jan 2018, 11:37
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The following verse from "The Song of the A25" (the Dark Blue version of our 765C) may be apposite:

(Singing "To ra la to ra la to ra la ly ay"):

♫ "They gave me a Seafire to play with one day,
Came in to Land with my Hook stowed away,
Over the Flight Deck the batsman gave "Cut"!
And we float-float-float-float-float-float-float-float- float- PRANG........"

"Cracking show - I'm alive,
But I've still got to render my A25 !" ♫

I'm sure Schiller (Jack, where art thou ?) will put me right.

Believe it or not, we actually had a chap on 20 Sqn (ca 1950 - no names, no pack drill), ex FAA, who had come in on a Seafire with his hook down all right, but bounced over all the wires and the barrier to land on two other parked Seafires on the far side (all three Cat 5, he was OK). Left the Navy, joined the RAF, redeemed himself by saving a Spitfire under adverse circumstances. Story somewhere on here.

Danny.
 
Old 23rd Jan 2018, 12:22
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Rather less exotic, but the Tiger Moth tailskid while perfect on grass gives neither braking nor steering on tarmac. With a tailwind the old girl would take off across the apron like a stately galleon, its captain having to switch off, jump out and grab the tail. This is why many TMs have since been fitted with brakes and tailwheels a la Stampe.

Many years ago the local quarry kindly welded a tungsten drill tip along an old skid, after which the TM handled almost as well as it did on grass. Unfortunately it cut a groove along the tarmac, not appreciated by the airport management even when I pointed out that I was merely improving the expensive runway anti-skid grooving they had paid for the previous year. It was made clear that while I would be given a Wheeled Welcome in future, my Tungsten-Toed Tiger would not.

Last edited by Geriaviator; 23rd Jan 2018 at 12:36.
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Old 23rd Jan 2018, 23:19
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A few years back (OK, 42 years to be precise) I flew a Cessna 150 in formation with a Tiger Moth into Melbourne's International Airport.

The TM was to be used in a photo shoot with a Qantas 747. As the TM only had a very short range radio, the radio-equipped escort was needed to safely navigate controlled airspace.

We got a bit of a chuckle out of being advised that we were "number 2 behind the 727 and to maintain separation". There was no way we could have closed the gap, even at Vne.

Then the TM pilot came on with a request to "land on the grass". This was initially granted but then quickly overridden by another controller, with the admonishment that "we don't do that here".

The reason for the request became very clear once the tail skid touched the runway, with sparks going in all directions. The sparking continued throughout the taxi to the terminal, where the TM was parked with significantly less tail skid that it had enjoyed prior to the landing.

Fortunately, Qantas engineers came to the party and welded on a double thickness plate to get us on our way again.
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Old 24th Jan 2018, 11:32
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Long ago on this Thread I retold a story from my Line Manager in the pre war C.S. (a Captain in the RFC in WWI, flying Sopwith "Camels") about a chap who reasoned that, if he reversed the direction of his tail skid in the air it would greatly shorten his landing roll. He devised a way to try this, and it worked fine.

Only his aircraft parted in the middle: the front half (with him in it) went slap into the side of a hangar.

Danny.
 
Old 24th Jan 2018, 14:33
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Good one Danny. It rather reminds me of Bob Newhart's sketch about the driving instructor. He reviews the previous instructer's notes with his new pupil before commencing her second lesson:-

How far had Mr. Adams gotten in the lesson?...
Backing out...
I see, you were backing out at seventy-five and that's, that's when he jumped....
Did he cover starting the car?...
And the other way of stopping?...
What's the other way of stopping?...
Throwing it in reverse...
that's, that would do it, you're right, that would do it...
https://monologues.co.uk/Bob_Newhart...Instructor.htm
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