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Does the RAF still have an all-weather capability?

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Does the RAF still have an all-weather capability?

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Old 16th May 2018, 20:52
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Does the RAF still have an all-weather capability?

Does the RAF still have an all-weather capability? I only ask because there seems to have been difficulty with the RAF100 and 617 Sqn 75th flypast of the Derwent Dam today. I quite understand that safely flying the Lancaster in poor weather was not possible but, even I could have flown a Tornado through at 200' IMC TFR. Yes, the Typhoon got there but, why was there any doubt? Don't tell me the Typhoon is not IMC LL capable?

OAP
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Old 16th May 2018, 21:07
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I won’t then. But it was never designed for that, and low level is sooooo last century!
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Old 16th May 2018, 21:11
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Originally Posted by Timelord View Post
I won’t then. But it was never designed for that, and low level is sooooo last century!
OK, tell me that it is then. If so, why was there any doubt about it?

OAP
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Old 16th May 2018, 21:16
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Sorry OAP, not making myself clear. The Typhoon is not IMC LL capable. It was never part of its spec and there is little perceived need for it these days. Although the GR1/4 has been on ops since GW1 that was the last time it used low level in anger. I was told that even the F15E people no longer train for it.
Anyway, even if the Typhoon WAS IMC LL capable it would not be legal there!

TL

Last edited by Timelord; 16th May 2018 at 21:56.
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Old 16th May 2018, 22:18
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What a total and utter farce, the RAF couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery, I stood there listening to the moaning and bitching about the Lanc not coming, but could understand it as the weather was overcast, with a strong wind over the dams, the Typhoon was then people were told coming to do two passes over the dams, so people stayed and carried on moaning for the two odd hours to be told it too was cancelled well after its supposed ETA of 12.05, that in itself surprised me as I thought either it had gone tech or the RAF had stopped issuing aircrew watches to save money and precise timing was something they no longer practice.

People upon being told it was cancelled then started to rush back to their cars to avoid the traffic and as they were walking through the thick wooded area the Typhoon passed overhead, the comments re the RAF range from the brown smelly stuff to utter disgust and loathing, and were venting their anger at a willing press, some even rushed back to try and capture the supposed second none existent Flypast.

What a total PR disaster, there must have been thousands of people there, numbers airshows dream off these days, some I talked to had travelled over a hundred miles and taken days off work to see this, the RAF 100th and Dambuster 75th anniversary event, thank God the RAF 75 years ago had the grit and tenacity to battle through to the dams, because the Current RAF appears to have lost that skill.

i just hope they do not continue to repeat this farce across the country, because they appear to have lost a lot of supporters in the crowds today. Perhaps next time they should ask the Luftwaffe to do it for them.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-derbyshire-44143634

it wouldn't have said it would have been IMC, as the cloud base was well above the surrounding hills, I would have said well over 500ft I will post a picture for you later, so you can play Spot the RAF

Last edited by NutLoose; 16th May 2018 at 22:36.
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Old 16th May 2018, 22:33
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They had a North Easterly crosswind at Coningsby of 18 to 22 knots most of the day. I know I was stood out in it (it didn't feel like spring that's for sure)

And the treasured item that PA474 is wasn't even pulled out of the hangar.

As for the Typhoon well it got there, having read some stuff on various forums (admittedly not regarding this) several words spring to mind for the moaning minis.... None of which are repeatable here. Remember they don't ave hangars full of em now and we only have one left....
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Old 16th May 2018, 22:46
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The general consensus was they could understand the Lanc not turning up, it had been posted on the web it might not make it due to weather the night before, people understood that and I tried to explain to those near me that it was not necessarily the weather at the dams that could be the issue, more the weather at Coningsby, the kicker was the failed replacement Typhoon appearance which was a mega downer for the crowds, who then got kicked in the nuts by it turning up as people were leaving after they had announced it wasn't coming, it would have been better if he simply didn't bother to turn up, but the fact he did after people had sat or stood waiting up to six to seven hours and then we're not in a position to see it really turned the proverbial knife.

i was easy with it having been at the EMA Vulcan farce and knowing these things happen,and had a plan B to fall back on, a lot of disappointed folks didn't.

several words spring to mind for the moaning minis.... None of which are repeatable here. Remember they don't ave hangars full of em now and we only have one left....
Those moaning minis as you call them pay for the RAF, those moaning minis can often be the voice and public opinion that prevents swaging cuts to the armed forces, you should remember that.
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Old 16th May 2018, 23:15
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Yes, they pay for it via taxes, but not all up here in Lincolnshire like the RAF and some of them probably would be out celebrating more cuts, and I suspect that might the case elsewhere also. All I can say for them is something and Off

Thankfully I am not one of the miserable *************
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Old 16th May 2018, 23:21
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Yes, they do have an an all-weather capability.

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Old 17th May 2018, 00:25
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Does the RAF still have an all-weather capability?

With so many cuts since 1990, I am not sure the RAF still has an all day capability.

It's even worse in the Royal Navy - working weeks were cut to just Tuesday-Thursday some years ago.
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Old 17th May 2018, 02:24
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Nutloose

So you estimated the cloud base and it appeared to be 500’ above the hills. It must have been legal eventually for the Typhoon to get through.

Derwemt Dam is a grade one nightmare to reach in foul weather. The flow arrows, controlled airspace and the vaguaries of Peak District weather make it somewhere most of us avoid on anything but a perfect day.

Despite all of this, in the future the RAF should ignore all the laws of VFR flying and press on regardless to make a flypast for the pleasure of several thousand people. After all, flouting rules in order to make a public flypast would go down very well in the post Shoreham world.

I can guarantee that those involved will have made every effort to get there but nobody can change the weather. It sounds like communication was the only thing that they could have controlled better.

As for all weather calability, that was the Tornado’s job, not Tyohoon as already mentioned. Also, to be clear, even the Tornado would not have been allowed to engage TFR through the Peak District.

Rules are rules I’m afraid.

I get that you and many other people were annoyed but at least there is not a Typhoon shaped crater somewhere in the side of a hill.

BV
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Old 17th May 2018, 04:40
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Nutloose,

Your comment above cannot go unanswered and quite frankly boils my pi55. To even suggest that the 'RAF of Today' don't have the 'Grit or Tenacity' is down right offensive.

Why don't you ask the Typhoon and Tornado crews amongst others who battle day and night over Syria and Iraq, as we speak, to Air to Air Refuel in thunderstorms at night over the most dangerous places in the world in order to drop bombs and kill ISIS about their ''Tenacity".

You clearly think that PR is all the modern RAF should care about, but you don't mention the recent strikes carried out by Tornado and Typhoon against Assads chemical weapons facilities, is that not enough PR?

At the end of the day your story reads like this:

1) RAF Plan Lancaster flypast.
2) Weather precludes Lancaster flying
3) Typhoon does flypast

You got your flypast, now stop slating the 'Modern RAF' and let us crack on with killing the enemy.

Mr Vice.

*Rant over, no hard feelings. There is a War to get on with.
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Old 17th May 2018, 05:19
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Originally Posted by Timelord View Post
Sorry OAP, not making myself clear. The Typhoon is not IMC LL capable. It was never part of its spec and there is little perceived need for it these days. Although the GR1/4 has been on ops since GW1 that was the last time it used low level in anger. I was told that even the F15E people no longer train for it.
Anyway, even if the Typhoon WAS IMC LL capable it would not be legal there!

TL
Re bold above; can I take issue with that. There have been numerous times when individual Tornados have used the IMC LL capability on ops since GW1. Indeed I used it in Afghanistan but it has been used at other times also.

The rest of your post however, I agree with.
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Old 17th May 2018, 05:57
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I understand that the Lanc not turning up was very disappointing (but couldn’t be helped) but I can assure you that the pilot of the Typhoon did their utmost to get through on time. They were on time on track until an impassable bank of cloud met the granite 15nm north of the target.

If the weather isn’t passable/legal then it is foolish/dangerous to press on (especially if there is no gap at all between the granite and the clouds...). I concur that with hindsight it would have been better not to turn up rather than to work very hard to reroute and get there with minimal fuel (enough for only one pass) and cause this level of disappointment/upset.

The messaging was poor but was a simple mix up by well meaning people (not all RAF) doing their best. I can understand the disappointment and anger from the public but am surprised to see it on this forum. The person that I feel for most is Johnny Johnson who was planned to be on the Lanc
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Old 17th May 2018, 06:12
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One should always remember the adage, time to spare, go by air. It will be some time before air runs as smoothly as bus and train

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Old 17th May 2018, 06:18
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Originally Posted by Bob Viking View Post
the vaguaries of Peak District weather
BV
Interesting word there, U or non-U, that dreaded auto correct of course.
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Old 17th May 2018, 07:07
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Radio 4’s Sarah Montague got flown south along the Derwent run in a GR4 a couple of months ago and the

Watching it from about 12:30 you can see that the valley is much too twisty and narrow for a fast jet to stay within. Also you can see that the cloud base directly over the dam is less likely to be a problem than the cloud base over the high moorland to the north. Fast jet low flying rules require a minimum of 500 feet vertical clearance from cloud, and with the minimum flying height being 250 feet this means a cloud base of 750 feet above ground is the absolute minimum needed for legality. These rules are in place to allow ‘see and avoid’ against light aircraft and helicopters, which can quite legally potter around ‘clear of cloud in sight of surface’ in much worse conditions. The only place in the UK where the IMC capability of Tornado can legally be used for sustained low flying is the segregated airspace R610 over the Highlands.

Flypasts usually have to be higher than 250 feet as well; this would have compounded the weather issue and maybe required a cloud base as high as 1000 feet above ground. To be honest, given the descriptions given, it sounds as if things were being pushed a bit. The pressure of an audience is the one thing that worried me most as a flying supervisor, much more than anything on operations; people can take surprising and unwarranted risks in the heat of the moment, as the litany of display accidents in recent years amply demonstrates.

Last edited by Easy Street; 17th May 2018 at 07:21.
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Old 17th May 2018, 07:13
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Well, the Lancaster is up today, just flew over Scampton village heading SW.
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Old 17th May 2018, 07:15
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Originally Posted by just another jocky View Post
Re bold above; can I take issue with that. There have been numerous times when individual Tornados have used the IMC LL capability on ops since GW1. Indeed I used it in Afghanistan but it has been used at other times also.

The rest of your post however, I agree with.
JAJ - OK, how about “ Hasn’t delivered weapons in anger at L L since then”

TL
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Old 17th May 2018, 07:15
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Quite clearly the RAF wasn't going to risk the priceless Lancaster in such conditions of wind and low cloud and it was courteous of Milly to explain the reason.

The Typhoon mate did well to find a way through vile low level weather en route in order to achieve a fly past in such conditions. Weather in that area has always been difficult and rock-filled clouds are not something to be risked.

Whoever made the announcement that the Typhoon wouldn't be able to make the original time was either misunderstood or had been mis-briefed. Which was a pity; nevertheless the Typhoon pilot should be congratulated.

But the whingeing and moaning from a few vociferous spotters and snappers who weren't able to 'capture' the flypast is unbelievable.
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