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Primary flying training duration

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Primary flying training duration

Old 28th Jun 2020, 19:42
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Primary flying training duration

Can anyone remember how long primary flying training lasted in the late 60s, and was there a ground school element to the course.

Last edited by Cerney218; 28th Jun 2020 at 20:33.
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Old 28th Jun 2020, 21:22
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Thirty hours Chipmunk before JP. Aircrew Officer Training School for ground subjects.
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Old 28th Jun 2020, 21:32
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Certainly up until '66, it was ab initio JP. 160 hours or thereabouts. I believe the Chipmunk came in soon after that, as a cheaper way of weeding out those who passed Biggin, but couldn't cope with an aeroplane. Prepared to be corrected. Graduated JP course May '66.
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Old 28th Jun 2020, 21:35
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How does that compare with now. How many hours can you expect on EFT, BFJT, AFJT and type conversion to Typhoon or Lightning?
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Old 28th Jun 2020, 22:52
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To put it in context, a new name has been added to the list of those entitled to wear the Battle of Britain clasp, sadly posthumously.
  • Sergeant James Eric William Ballard has joined the ranks of Churchill's 'The Few'
  • Had nine hours of flying time before joining 610 (County of Chester) Squadron
  • Follows discovery of logbook, which shows an operational sortie flown in 1940

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...-80-years.html
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 09:09
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PFS ChurchFenton 256(2) course. 19 Jan - 8 Apr 1970. Flying from 4 Mar. 30rs total, 4.20 solo.

Thence to Leeming
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 14:36
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Originally Posted by NutLoose View Post
To put it in context, a new name has been added to the list of those entitled to wear the Battle of Britain clasp, sadly posthumously.
  • Sergeant James Eric William Ballard has joined the ranks of Churchill's 'The Few'
  • Had nine hours of flying time before joining 610 (County of Chester) Squadron
  • Follows discovery of logbook, which shows an operational sortie flown in 1940

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...-80-years.html
I assume that was nine hours on the Spitfire - obviously wasn’t total.
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 14:56
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Originally Posted by Busta View Post
PFS ChurchFenton 256(2) course. 19 Jan - 8 Apr 1970. Flying from 4 Mar. 30rs total, 4.20 solo.

Thence to Leeming
A vintage time to be there!
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 15:24
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Slightly earlier in 1956. ITS Kirton Lindsey 3.5 months. Ternhill - Piston Provost 9 months - 62 hrs dual/60 hrs solo. Swinderby - Vampire T11 and FB5/9 10 months - 70 hrs dual/50 hrs solo. (Inc 1 month extension due to grounding of single seat Vampire 5 and 9.
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 16:39
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Along with a few others, I did an "experimental" Primary course in 1968. We did 60 hours Chipmunk at Linton with the RN HSP (pre-helicopter) Course, which included 12:30 solo (a pretty good ratio - better than PFS - of about 21%). All - with a lot of ground school - in about 5 months (8th July to 22nd November)

We then joined a (shorter) ex-UAS Course at Syerston on the JP. Oh, and just to completely muck up any comparisons/conclusions, we (the non-UAS bit) only flew the JP 4, on which I did 141 hours (probably should have been less - there was a LOT of flex!), which included 42:30 solo (30%!). And that lot took 8 and a bit months; 15th December to 28th August.

Chipmunk to JP4 was a sporting transition - kind of 11+ direct to A level........ But somehow I went solo after 6:30 dual - the quintessential frightened teenager!!
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 17:58
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Chipmunk to JP4 was a sporting transition - kind of 11+ direct to A level...
Having never even owned a motorbike, I guess ab initio JP was like going from Reception class to A level !! Managed somehow, probably credit goes to my instructor.
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 18:12
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Originally Posted by Busta View Post
PFS ChurchFenton 256(2) course. 19 Jan - 8 Apr 1970. Flying from 4 Mar. 30rs total, 4.20 solo.

Thence to Leeming
PFS students were in short supply - my two at the time were OC Nazall and APO Mayes.
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 18:44
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My Dad died last year aged 85, and I now have his logbooks.
He was Fleet Air Arm.
Basic training between Feb 56 and March 57 was 6 months/135 hours on Provost T1, at Syerston, followed by 6 months/115 hours on Vampire T11/FB5 at Valley, before going on to Gannets, and eventually anti-submarine helicopters via Hiller12, Whirlwind, Wessex.
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 18:46
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How does that compare with now. How many hours can you expect on EFT, BFJT, AFJT and type conversion to Typhoon or Lightning?
Can anyone help with this?
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Old 30th Jun 2020, 08:37
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While we are on the subject of training, does anyone know when flight cadets stopped doing 2/3 years of combined IOT and BFT at Cranwell? Was it 1973? ISTR Cranwell became a 18 week course running concurrently with OCTU Henlow, then all at Cranwel in 1981?
I have checked wiki and OldCranwelians but can't see a definitive answer.
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Old 30th Jun 2020, 09:46
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My instructor was Msr Etherayes!
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Old 30th Jun 2020, 09:47
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The change at Cranwell was before 1973. By 1971, the University cadetship scheme was in full flow, and the Cranwell cadet scheme had ended. The University Cadetship started with a quick (4-6 weeks?) initial Officer Training Course at Cranwell, which the guys (yes, all male) left as Acting Pilot Officers, then 3 years at a University, with UAS membership and Chipmunk(later Bulldog) flying. This was followed by a "proper" IOT course at Cranwell, then a JP course to wings standard.
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Old 30th Jun 2020, 09:57
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Originally Posted by kenparry View Post
The change at Cranwell was before 1973. By 1971, the University cadetship scheme was in full flow, and the Cranwell cadet scheme had ended. The University Cadetship started with a quick (4-6 weeks?) initial Officer Training Course at Cranwell, which the guys (yes, all male) left as Acting Pilot Officers, then 3 years at a University, with UAS membership and Chipmunk(later Bulldog) flying. This was followed by a "proper" IOT course at Cranwell, then a JP course to wings standard.
Not quite. The last flight cadet entry (101) graduated in Feb 73, by which time the Graduate Entry Scheme (GES) was in full flow with the first (1GE) having graduated in Aug 71. Also, there were women on the GES from the start.
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Old 30th Jun 2020, 15:18
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Originally Posted by Paying Guest View Post
Not quite. The last flight cadet entry (101) graduated in Feb 73, by which time the Graduate Entry Scheme (GES) was in full flow with the first (1GE) having graduated in Aug 71. Also, there were women on the GES from the start.
No female pilots though.
By 1978 the DE BFT/AFT/TWU pilot training system I went through was as follows: April to Aug '78 IOT RAF Henlow; Sept '78 1FTS Linton, 4 weeks GS, 134 hrs JP3A till July '79, then 64 hrs JP5A til Sep '79; 4FTS Valley Oct '79 to May '80 with 98 hrs Hawk T1; 1 TWU at Brawdy from May to Sep '80 with 71 hrs Hawk T1, then to Phantom OCU in Nov '80. So, total of about 20 months and 367 hrs jet time (including lots of non-course gash trips) from start of IOT to hitting the OCU.

Last edited by Proudlion; 30th Jun 2020 at 15:48.
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Old 30th Jun 2020, 16:56
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1956 89 hours JP1 and 2 at Hullavington then 120 Vampire at Swinderby then 40 minutes conversion to taildragger prop Chipmunk.Now that was a sporting transition.
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