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Parachute Training for Aircrew

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Parachute Training for Aircrew

Old 12th Dec 2015, 14:10
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Parachute Training for Aircrew

I am curious about para training for aircrew. When I went through we practised para rolls at least a couple of times per week during initial training but little thereafter. We did regular escape drills and dinghy drills, including the beloved sea drills, but para rolls?

I know in Cyprus our flt cdr thought to use the Regiment jump rigs. One well rehearsed sprained ankle and that put an end to that.

What training is done today? Just in pre-flying training or a a regular event?

I ask as at my tender age I put my para roll training in to good use possibly twice a week.
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Old 12th Dec 2015, 14:17
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FJ aircrew normally practice parachute drills on the synthetic para trainer as part of their unit SERE training (dry/wet drill, etc) . Not sure on currency period though.
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Old 12th Dec 2015, 15:03
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I put my para roll training in to good use possibly twice a week.
That'll be the vino collapso then.

I thought one time when this was all resurrected was when the Westland crew got out of a Merlin (1994?). I seem to recall a blade dug in a few feet from the pilot's head, but they were all safe. The parachute programme was resurrected literally the next day and given to my oppo, presumably because of the similarity with is Under Slung Loads programme.
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Old 12th Dec 2015, 15:06
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At 5FTS Oakingtone we had to practice bailing out of the Varsity forward hatch wearing a chest parachute (while parked on the apron, I hasten to add!). You had to open the cockpit inner floor door and then the outer door with the handle thus exposed. You then slid gracefully to the ground, with both hands on the facing hand grip as you swung out. Somehow I must have caught the ripcord on something as I dropped out of the hatch. Red face and a white canopy that billowed everywhere! Told to gather it all up, go to the parachute section and handover chute and five bob (which was the agreed fine for such misfortune).
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Old 12th Dec 2015, 15:37
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Chug, I guess we had egress drills on the Varsity too but l had more in mind the forward left, backward right etc as floor exercises supervised by PJI s.

Certainly egress training had its m ok moments. The only realistic one in a Nimrod involved classes climbing out the which IIRC was only practised before the aircraft went in the shed.

The Shack, OTOH, involved the full fig, harnesses, canopy, dinghy and usually buddy-buddy. I had to fight off one helpful soul who tried to fasten a dinghy to my chest. And then I tried unsuccessfully to PULL the beam window out. I flatly refused to try the upper hatch.
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Old 12th Dec 2015, 15:46
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PN - me too. Have to tell you, last night had two large bowls of duck casserole for supper on the marble central work top. Picked them up and turned clockwise to go to sitting room - but unknown to me Murphy (the dog) had laid down right behind me. As I went over (him) I managed with amazing fighter pilot (not) reflexes to place both bowls on the worktop by the window, as I made my way to the floor. Landed OK (considering "no hands"), and very little of the casserole spilled out of the bowls. Only casualty was a wine glass I must have caught with my clothes as I passed the lower shelf on unit. No bruises this morning so all very lucky, but still makes me laugh - better than Del Boy going through the open bar flap! And injury avoided by a judicious roll onto the stone floor
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Old 12th Dec 2015, 16:40
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Don't know about parachute training, but the helicopter "dunker" at HMS "Vernon" was interesting. It rolled inverted and turned nose-down as it did so, sinking all the while.
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Old 12th Dec 2015, 17:06
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At 5FTS Oakingtone we had to practice
At Oakington before the advent of Varsities we already had the experience of the ejector seat rig. Parachute drills we did at Ternhill where we practises pulling ourselves out of a Provost T1. The Meteor flight had to learn to bail out under the wing if in the front seat and over the wing if in the back.

We all had parachute handling so that we would cope on the ground. They would pick a breezy day and we would stand on the upwind end of the sports field with a parachute on and pull the rip cord.

There would be a short interlude where you failed miserably to control it before you were flat on your face being dragged across the field by the parachute with the instructor PTI running beside you shouting;
"Pull the lower cords and spill out the air."

Fat chance; the only relief was when the chute collapsed over a shed in the other corner.
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Old 12th Dec 2015, 17:46
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FED, for the F4 we were dragged, on back, on front, and finally at sea.

Strange no mention, aside from Stitch, about LANDING training.
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Old 12th Dec 2015, 18:22
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Herod possibly forgets that the Dunker was programmed to roll the way the blades would turn you during a ditching. Unfortunately, the Sycamore blades went round the other way from most other aircraft of the day.

The sheer terror when they turned the lights out to simulate a night time ditching!!!

However, I am sad to relate that I was on my sea survival course at Mountbatten when we lost a Master Pilot in the water.

Old Duffer
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Old 12th Dec 2015, 18:24
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On the Victors rear crews practised escape drills twice a year from an old cockpit, going through the seat swivelling, cushion inflating and finally exiting through the door onto some conveniently placed rubber mats. I dont ever recall practising landing on dry land though either, and I think we just did the sea drills at the start of tour.
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Old 12th Dec 2015, 19:38
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It is beginning to sound as if it was an aircrew initial training thing which assumed less or no importance with the change to all branch officer training. Also, from the stats shown on the Meteor thread, the need for landing training without aircraft assistance was much more likely.
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Old 12th Dec 2015, 19:47
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'Course, Loadies of a certain vintage had to do the real thing. I seem to recall the second (of only 2) jump was referred to as the 'money jump'. I think because it MIGHT have ushered in FLINS- flying instructional supplement or somesuch!

We did ours with a company of Paras who would carry on for the whole 15 ish jumps and get a cherry berry. We also had to parade each morning, and I distinguished the whole of the RAF by 'falling out'* in the wrong direction!

CG

Or was it 'dismissing'?
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Old 12th Dec 2015, 20:22
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A slight aside if I may gentlemen. I was fortunate enough to fly in most of the beasts I worked on in my RAF career. Every one accompanied by a briefing regarding abandonment of the aircraft, whether by bang seat or manual separation. As one who enjoyed membership of the RAFGSA, and a few hundred hours of gliding, I can't ever remember a briefing on abandoning a glider. I have to admit, it would have taken a major problem to have made me jump, but no one ever told me how to do it. I also remember wearing a parachute on air test in Albert from Colerne (early 70s) the briefing being, if you see the Nav go out of the crew door, follow him.

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Old 12th Dec 2015, 20:28
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As an Air Signaller destined for Valettas in 1952 I attended a course at RAF Abingdon where I did the Forward/back/left/right roll training followed by zooming down in para harness from a tower to practice the technique. We graduated to a balloon jump where we volunteered the smallest of our four pupils to go first; we could hardly refuse thereafter. This gave us the certification as Despatcher, which was followed by a refresher course at MELF Ferry Point in the Canal Zone in 1954, courtesy of 16th Independent Para Bde group.
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Old 12th Dec 2015, 20:53
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I did my parachute training at RAF Abingdon in 1959 and took these photos. My logbook records one balloon decent that took place the end of the course.






Whilst I was at Abingdon, Bridgette Bardot was there too filming her "descents" for her part in the film "Babette Goes to War".






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Old 12th Dec 2015, 20:57
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Warmtoast,


Thank you for showing your photographs; they brought back memories! My collection from Abingdon went up in smoke, unfortunately.


Does your log book also record 'Light wind, fair flight, good landing'?
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Old 12th Dec 2015, 21:07
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No mention of winds at all.
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Old 12th Dec 2015, 21:26
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Well I can still do the parachute roll after all these years! Did the Abingdon course and the worst part was the balloon jumps! Did a water jump in Cyprus! Then did it for real! Not sure how I landed but it was a nice soft ploughed field!
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Old 12th Dec 2015, 21:42
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During the early part of my time instructing on the Bulldog, it was normal to leave the parachute in the aircraft after landing, which meant routinely undoing the seat harness, then the chute QRB, before climbing out.

We were required to carry out an abandonment drill once a month, when we practiced climbing out taking the chute with us. After a fatal accident involving another QFI who fell out of his parachute harness after abandoning his spinning Bulldog, I decided that every time I climbed out of my aircraft, I would take my chute with me and then put it back in the aircraft for the next occupant. It was likely that he inadvertently unlocked his chute harness as well as the seat harness, so force of habit rather than emergency training took over.
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