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Buccaneer flown by RAF pilots in 1966?

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Buccaneer flown by RAF pilots in 1966?

Old 9th Aug 2020, 15:06
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Buccaneer flown by RAF pilots in 1966?

History tells us that 12 sqn introduced the buccaneer to the RAF in Oct 69, but I can remember an A2 QFI leaving 6 FTS in early 66 to go to buccaneers. Would there have been raf pilots e.g. 'in training' raf qfi' s flying on the type as early as 66?

Last edited by Cerney218; 9th Aug 2020 at 17:08.
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Old 9th Aug 2020, 15:58
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There could have been RAF officers flying with FAA squadrons "on exchange" in the 1960s - there certainly was in the 1970s when it was ramped up considerably during the final cruise of HMS Ark Royal for the Phantom FG1 as well.

There are 2 x RAF officers in each of these photos - may both be Navs though.

809 Sqn 1963-1966:

Click on individual photos to zoom in:

https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...pPUml6eXhHVkln

801 Sqn here in 1966-67:

https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...ZTYmNGUnVNNWpB

801 Sqn here in 1968-1970 (both Navs):

https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...Q4aU9Hdm82Xy13

Last edited by RAFEngO74to09; 9th Aug 2020 at 16:13.
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Old 9th Aug 2020, 16:06
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IIRC, Air Cdr Fraser, Cmdt CFS was an erstwhile Mk1 Bucc driver; he survived that, only to remove some of his toes with a lawnmower....
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Old 9th Aug 2020, 17:12
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Thanks for the photos. Very interesting but I note that 2 seems to be the limit.
Any more too much of a good thing perhaps
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Old 9th Aug 2020, 17:23
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At least one RAF crew killed flying the Buccaneer in 1966. Doubtless there were others on trials units prior to OCU/Sqn service.

https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/55103

LABS system trials

Last edited by ORAC; 9th Aug 2020 at 17:33.
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Old 9th Aug 2020, 18:31
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April 1965

...
April 1965 - first RAF crew commenced three year FAA Buccaneer exchange - 800 Squadron - Eagle - Beira patrol, then instructing on 736.
Graham Smart, Graham Pitchfork - viz 'Buccaneer Boys' by Air Cdre Graham Pitchfork.

...
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Old 9th Aug 2020, 18:39
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The photos were all Mk1 aircraft.
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 04:56
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The third photo depicts a Mk.2.
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 07:46
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If you read Tom Eeles' excellent book A Passion For Flying, you will note that he volunteered to fly the Bucc in 1966 and spent a couple of years flying with 801 NAS on Victorious until 1968.
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 11:10
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In the 60s the RN was unable to fill its flying posts wholly with its own people, and RAF pilots and navs were loaned to the RN to fill the gaps. This was quite separate from a small number of exchange postings. Not just on the Buccaneer - at the end of my Chivenor course in 1966, a couple of pilots were asked to "volunteer" to fly the Sea Vixen.
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 12:15
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Originally Posted by kenparry View Post
In the 60s the RN was unable to fill its flying posts wholly with its own people, and RAF pilots and navs were loaned to the RN to fill the gaps. This was quite separate from a small number of exchange postings. Not just on the Buccaneer - at the end of my Chivenor course in 1966, a couple of pilots were asked to "volunteer" to fly the Sea Vixen.
Navs too, one of my F4 instructors was Dorman-Jackson aka Super Nav. He said he exited a Sea Vixen after a particular arrival on board before the pilot realised the undercarriage had collapsed.
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 12:15
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Originally Posted by George Richardson View Post
The third photo depicts a Mk.2.
True, I didn't check the last link.
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 13:12
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PN - yes, I did say "pilots and navs" - and AFAIK some, for both skills, were not really volunteers. I seem to recall some unsubtle arm twisting going on.

KP
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 14:19
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RAF aircrew with the FAA

There was, of course, one famous RAF member of 809 (and for all I know he lurks here), who, making his first deck landing, managed to bolt/wave off 5 times in a row, in a very public manner, for the "Sailor" series. Would like to have witnessed that de-briefing (the real one, after the camera crew left the briefing room). To be fair to him, it does seem to have taught him quite a lot! He never did it again.

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Old 10th Aug 2020, 15:31
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Originally Posted by idle bystander View Post
There was, of course, one famous RAF member of 809 (and for all I know he lurks here), who, making his first deck landing, managed to bolt/wave off 5 times in a row, in a very public manner, for the "Sailor" series. Would like to have witnessed that de-briefing (the real one, after the camera crew left the briefing room). To be fair to him, it does seem to have taught him quite a lot! He never did it again.
Aaaah! That was wonderful telly in stored perpetuity here:


The scene in the control tower had all the atmosphere of a cocktail party or even garden fete. All very English and a joy to behold.

And yes, the Bucc pilot had real balls to keep on trying and emerge with a sense of humour for the camera.

Last edited by Wig Wag; 10th Aug 2020 at 18:37.
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 16:45
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A history of the Bucc can be found on Thunder & Lightnings

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Old 10th Aug 2020, 16:53
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Originally Posted by Pontius Navigator View Post
Navs too, one of my F4 instructors was Dorman-Jackson aka Super Nav. He said he exited a Sea Vixen after a particular arrival on board before the pilot realised the undercarriage had collapsed.
No real reason to ask again why intelligence washes back?

Heh heh!
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 20:21
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My neighbour, sadly deceased, David Howard RN was a Bucanneer Sqn commander and thankfully wrote "Sea and Sky" prior to his passing. It's a candid account of his life and focussed very firmly on his aviation exploits interwoven with the personal, domestic difficulties that his military career presented.

Sea and Sky, David Howard, ISBN 978-0-9568482-0-8
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