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Dual flying qualification - pilot/navigator

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Dual flying qualification - pilot/navigator

Old 10th Feb 2019, 01:03
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Phil Leckenby, two tours on Vulcans 44 and 101 then a flying instructional tour at Cranwell, where he lost his left eye in an RTA. Fought admin and medical establishments and went to Finningley to nav school. Graduated and did two tours on Buccanners as an navigator, one with the RN and one on 12 Squadron of film fame.
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Old 10th Feb 2019, 06:45
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Of course there was 'Pippa', who was initially a V-bomber pilot and was subsequently unsuccessful at TWU during FJ cross-over training after the Vulcan left service. Rather than go back to being a ME pilot on another type, he elected to become a FJ navigator and was quite successful, if less than popular.

But when he took a Gp Capt position with the Air Cadets, presiding over the death of Air Cadet gliding, he wore his pilot badge rather than his nav brevet...
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Old 10th Feb 2019, 07:03
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Wensleydale View Post
Before WW2, the pilot was responsible for everything to do with the aircraft and the observer "observed". At the beginning of WW2, a directive from Bomber Command stated that each bomber had to carry two pilots and two WOps in case the primary was incapacitated. On 4 seat aircraft, such as the Hampden therefore, the observer role was carried out by a junior pilot who gained experience from the aircraft nose before being given his own crew. Indeed, breaches in flying discipline by pilots often led to a spell as observer for the unfortunate miscreant. One pilot at Waddington was peeved when he had to air test his Hampden rather than go to the outdoor swimming pool in Lincoln with the rest of his Squadron. He therefore treated the pool to a very low flypast which was unfortunate because the chap on the diving board who had to jump in to avoid the Hampden happened to be his Squadron Commander. The result was a month restricted to flying as observer. Shortly after, the pilot (Dave Romans) was on a raid when he felt the aircraft begin to reach the stall and dive. He made his way through the tunnel under the pilot to find his pilot slumped unconscious over the controls. Unable to move him, Romans collapsed the back of the pilots' seat and sat on the prone body of the pilot to bring the Hampden back under control. The wireless operator eventually noticed what was happening and pulled the pilot from under Romans allowing him to safely bring the aircraft back to Waddington. Unfortunately, the pilot later died - he had been hit by a piece of flak shrapnel that had punctured his skull, just behind his ear. Dave Romans was awarded an immediate DFC - and got his captaincy back. The two pilot rule was later rescinded as there were insufficient pilots being trained to cover losses of two per aircraft.
I think before the war all multi engined bombers ( aside of the Hampden) carried 2 pilots. The change back to single pilots was more to do with the expansion of the force and the introduction of the 4 engined heavies/ flight engineers being introduced.
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Old 10th Feb 2019, 07:07
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Originally Posted by langleybaston View Post
I believe there was more than one medical doctor with wings but have no examples. One of my sons-in-law qualified as a doctor, did his PPL, but decided to go on to be a consultant orthopaedic surgeon, with income roughly that of an air commodore with power to add.
Good decision.
I had the pleasure of taking a winged lady doctor up from CFS in 92. Can't remember her name however.
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Old 10th Feb 2019, 07:25
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The SMO at South Cerney in 1965, a Wg Cdr Cheshire (no relation as far as I know) wore pilot wings.
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Old 10th Feb 2019, 08:25
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I think before the war all multi engined bombers ( aside of the Hampden) carried 2 pilots. The change back to single pilots was more to do with the expansion of the force and the introduction of the 4 engined heavies/ flight engineers being introduced.
That is true - however, by a quirk of the "rule book", it also applied to the Hampden for a while....the two pilot Hampden rule disappeared before the introduction of the flight engineer. On a similar subject, I have vague memories of introducing the Sentry into RAF Service, with some wag from Group insisting that the Sentry crew carried out regular parachute drills iaw the 11 Group Flying Order Book. There were many rules that didn't specify FJ crew only and the documents had to be amended quite quickly.
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Old 10th Feb 2019, 08:30
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In the Australian Army in about 1970, we had a Chaplain with pilot wings, and, slightly earlier, one with SAS wings. The SAS Chaplain also had WW II naval gongs.
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Old 10th Feb 2019, 10:47
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At RAFC in 1968, the senior CofE god-botherer had pilot's wings and kept his hand in flying the JP. "Going up to be a bit closer to the Boss", as he put it.

At one time, the chaplaincy branch had members with enough varied brevets to crew a medium bomber.
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Old 10th Feb 2019, 11:06
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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And there were Rocks that flew through the air, or pilots who became Rocks.
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Old 10th Feb 2019, 11:44
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Gp Capt SMO at the Towers '63 time was also pilot qualified, as was Goeffrey Dhenin who flew a Canberra though at least one of the nuclear test clouds and went on to be an Air Marshal. Oddly, called in at a small French airfield (Pons-Avy) one day and got talking to a guy there, turned out to be Dhenin's son in law
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Old 10th Feb 2019, 12:21
  #31 (permalink)  
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With the move to high altitude and more extreme flight conditions it was thought beneficial to train doctors who wanted to specialise in AvMed to fly. Remember aircraft in the 50s were either pressurised or pressurised to much lower pressures than now.

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Old 10th Feb 2019, 12:26
  #32 (permalink)  
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.....and there was a tanker navigator who became a RAF Dental Officer.
Retired and living in Plymouth the last I heard. He came to a couple of the V Force reunions at Newark and kept us amused with his tales of his time as an RAF dentist.
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Old 10th Feb 2019, 13:12
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Tankertrashnav View Post
Retired and living in Plymouth the last I heard. He came to a couple of the V Force reunions at Newark and kept us amused with his tales of his time as an RAF dentist.
Glad to hear he is OK, he was a fine chap. Even though I was a bit apprehensive about letting someone who resembled a navy stoker loose in my mouth.

YS
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Old 10th Feb 2019, 13:33
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Originally Posted by Yellow Sun View Post


Glad to hear he is OK, he was a fine chap. Even though I was a bit apprehensive about letting someone who resembled a navy stoker loose in my mouth.

YS
I seem to recall that he did do an exchange tour, as a Dentist, with the fishheads.
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Old 10th Feb 2019, 13:41
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by BEagle View Post
Of course there was 'Pippa', who was initially a V-bomber pilot and was subsequently unsuccessful at TWU during FJ cross-over training after the Vulcan left service. Rather than go back to being a ME pilot on another type, he elected to become a FJ navigator and was quite successful, if less than popular.

But when he took a Gp Capt position with the Air Cadets, presiding over the death of Air Cadet gliding, he wore his pilot badge rather than his nav brevet...
He was 'initially' an F4 nav and QWI both in ground attack and air defence roles long before becoming a Vulcan copilot. He was entitled to wear the badge appropriate to the role he was executing.

Last edited by beardy; 10th Feb 2019 at 13:52.
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Old 10th Feb 2019, 14:00
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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Thanks for the correction, beardy, it's important to get the facts straight!

But if Pippa held such a high qualification in the art of 'triggernometry' as an FJ nav, it is surprising that he chose to wear his pilot's badge during his time with the Air Cadet Organisation?

The F-4 QWI course was a very tough one! During my OCU course at Coningsby, one of their students was asked by his instructor "Who do you think you are to turn up and bash off a quick 12 hour day?"
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Old 13th Feb 2019, 21:38
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Tankertrashnav View Post
I was reading the obituary of Ward Thomas, founder of Yorkshire Television, and it said that he trained as a pilot and navigator in South Africa, before being posted to 100 Squadron as a Lancaster pilot and then as a navigator on 550 Squadron. There is a photograph of Thomas with his crew on 550 where he is clearly wearing a nav brevet. The obituary goes on to say that he subsequently flew as a pilot with Swissair until 1953.

My question is - was there any system of "dual training" where you could come out with both qualifications? It seems unlikely to me, I am more inclined to think that the obit writer has got it wrong and that he was "remustered" as a nav after his time on 100, or perhaps he was always a nav. Indeed he may well have flown as a navigator with Swissair, not as a pilot as the writer assumed.

Anybody have any info on this?
I can only answer for the dark blue but, having greatly enjoyed all the interesting responses to date, I hope that I may be allowed to highlight the question TTN actually posed, namely “... was there any system of "dual training" where you could come out with both qualifications?”. I take this to mean where aircrew were specifically trained for the dual role, rather than the myriad of responses relating to people going from one sub specialisation or branch to another for whatever reason, either consecutively, on transfer, or subsequently in the big outside world - even a flying "fang farrier"!

Bengo’s response is therefore really the only one that’s completely on track, whereby a limited number of seaman specialist officers sub specialised as aircrew did indeed qualify as (F) rather than (P) or (O), and I decided to have a look to see what I could find. I therefore started by selecting the 1980 Navy List and the 1981 List of Retired Officers, which seemed good places to look for an indication of those shown as (F) whom some PPRuNers might have met or known. Unfortunately, however, there is no indication of sub specialisation shown either for officers on the Flag List or the Captains’ List in either volume, or the List of Retired Officers, or indeed on the latter on the Commanders’ List, although I am confident that there must have been some still around, as evidenced by dipping into a 1945 Navy List which showed quite a few (F)s, coupled with the explanation at the end of my sixth paragraph.

Moving quickly on, I was therefore quite surprised not to find a single solitary (F) in the Commanders’ and Lieutenant Commanders’ List for General List (Full Career) officers and only one Commander (F) and one Lieutenant Commander (F) on the Supplementary List (Extended Medium Career Commissions), M J Holmes and R Warren respectively.

That’s enough about the general, now to the particular, and I’m glad to say that I recalled one very interesting (F), namely Commander David “Shorty” Hamilton, whose death at the age of 91 was in fact recorded by Lordflasheart in 2017 at Commander (F) DMAH (Shorty) Hamilton RN, RIP and whose flying career ranged from Tiger Moths to command of of 892 and 899 Naval Air Squadrons flying Sea Vixens, after service in 700Y Naval Air Squadron, the first Sea Vixen Trials Unit.

I would like to think that the three links shown below, which contain several references to his (F) qualification, will prove worth reading by those interested. The first is his own account of his naval career, including war service in HMS WHELP with the Duke of Edinburgh, then participating in the post war sinking and destruction of the 221 surrendered U-boats whilst serving in HMS OFFA and "lording" it over the Kriegsmarine immediately post war, before going on to solo after six hours dual in Tiger Moths at RAF Yatesbury, followed by Harvard time at RAF Ouston (a thread on which coincidentally was resuscitated in this forum as recently as 3 February). His views on the bombing of Germany, including Dresden, are also stated.

The first link is also notable for containing the entry, "1948 - After Aerodrome Dummy Deck Landings [ADDLS] at Milltown carried out first deck landings on board HMS Implacable in the English Channel on 22 June. After leaving OFS became member of the first pilot cross qualification [F] course and graduated as Observer [Navigator]. The Admiralty had decided that future COs should have dual qualifications."

Commander Shorty Hamilton RN, Fleet Air Arm -

https://www.seavixen.org/aircrew-car...horty-hamilton

https://navalairhistory.com/2017/11/...d-hamilton-rn/

As a personal footnote, and a nice surprise when I saw it, I had the pleasure of sailing off Sydney many times in the yacht NIRIMBA whose picture is shown at the end of the first link.

Jack

Last edited by Union Jack; 13th Feb 2019 at 21:49.
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