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WW2 Alcohol limits

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WW2 Alcohol limits

Old 24th Aug 2020, 15:21
  #21 (permalink)  
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On one memorable occasion my skipper was sick before take off and slept soundly for the next 4 hours. We had absolute faith in our copilot and departed Goose as scheduled. The Det Com was no doubt aware of our skipper's inebriation though he had help it well until we opened the door and handed the evidence to the groundcrew.

We knew our flight was one of the highest profile ones featuring in the CinCs morning brief. At the very least cancellation would have led to a hats on with the AOC. NO one blabbed and he got away with it. As BEatle said, different times, madness.I

On my first sqn we had an alcoholic; it was the security service that withdrew his clearance that grounded him. We had another in Cyprus, just before BEagles time, who had DTs. No sanctions. And another in the early 80s who chewed Amplex and sprayed breath freshener before getting in to work.

Hard rules set for punishment rather than medical he!p.
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Old 24th Aug 2020, 15:45
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Had an EA6B formate on me during Gulf1...all 4 had a can of Coors in hand.
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Old 24th Aug 2020, 15:55
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Originally Posted by Pontius Navigator
... Regarding smoking, there is ample contemporary evidence of lighting up at the aircraft steps. It may well have given rise to the ritual pee in the pan.
Is that where the Coughman starter originated? 🤪
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Old 24th Aug 2020, 18:36
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DRINK FLYING

One Saturday morning after a heavy night in the bar the crew retired to the bowling alley at Goose. Well breakfast stretched into lunch and, of course, we had few bevvies. I was approached by one of the staff who said that there was a phone call. It was the Det- Com saying there was a big fire threatening the tank farm with the possibility of a large explosion and we needed to get airbourne. I explained that we had all been drinking and was told we could sober up on our way to Scampton!

Fortunately, the wind changed direction, so we retired to the bar.

CB
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Old 24th Aug 2020, 18:53
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Within my own time in the mob (I’m still in), I can recall cycling to work because I was too under the weather to drive - within a couple of hours I would be strapping a jet to my back. It was only in the last 20-25 years that it started to get more serious with respect to breathalysers. 1997/98 seems to ring about true.
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Old 24th Aug 2020, 18:56
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Originally Posted by doubletap
Had an EA6B formate on me during Gulf1...all 4 had a can of Coors in hand.
Yes, but you know what was said about Coors?
"It's like making love in a canoe...f**king near water!"
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Old 24th Aug 2020, 19:11
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Originally Posted by The B Word
Within my own time in the mob (I’m still in), I can recall cycling to work because I was too under the weather to drive - within a couple of hours I would be strapping a jet to my back. It was only in the last 20-25 years that it started to get more serious with respect to breathalysers. 1997/98 seems to ring about true.
In fact it all started to change somewhat earlier than that. Does anyone recall the introduction in the 1980s of blood tests as part of the Annual Medical and the rather curious little form you had to sign consenting to it? Whatever you were told was the reason, one of the motives was to identify the alcohol abusers.

Hard rules set for punishment rather than medical he!p.
Not at all sure about that. I saw more than one officer quietly moved into a non-post as a result of their condition. I felt that people were willing to help but unfortunately the system at large didn't really have the mechanisms or processes to do so. It wasn't until I moved into civil aviation that I witnessed a textbook case of how it should be handled with help, support, access to treatment and subsequent reinstatement of medical, licence and livelihood.

YS
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Old 24th Aug 2020, 19:15
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General Le May was being shown around the latest B47 and as usual he had a cigar going. A young Lieutenant asked him to put it out as the airplane might catch fire.

Le May looked at him and said; "it wouldn't dare!"
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Old 24th Aug 2020, 21:22
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Wartime beer was reduced to around 2% ABV, so relatively weak.
​​​​​​According to various accounts, it took a lot to get drunk. From 1940 until 1944,there was literally no whiskey produced, unless illicitly. So one would imagine it would have been rather expensive.
Beer of course was never rationed, being seen as essential for morale.
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Old 24th Aug 2020, 21:33
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Originally Posted by rolling20
Wartime beer was reduced to around 2% ABV, so relatively weak.
​​​​​​According to various accounts, it took a lot to get drunk..
At 2% ABV I think I’d hit my liquid limit well before my alcohol limit and I’m not a heavy drinker!
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Old 24th Aug 2020, 22:22
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When the inferior VC10 mob were flying OP WARDEN trips from Bahrain, one lot were tested on their way IN to go flying and had to leave the car at the gate as they were over the driving limit. Then they went flying.....
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Old 24th Aug 2020, 23:30
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Originally Posted by BEagle
When the inferior VC10 mob were flying OP WARDEN trips from Bahrain, one lot were tested on their way IN to go flying and had to leave the car at the gate as they were over the driving limit. Then they went flying.....
...remember Simpo’s ‘Sharpeners‘ Beags??
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Old 25th Aug 2020, 04:09
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Originally Posted by Green Flash
I had the great honour to drink in the same pub as Jack and he would often knock off a chapter at the bar on a portable typewriter. The corner of the bar where he sat is now named in his honour with some Lanc and Mossie memorabilia.
One of my favourite authors, he had an easy and humorous style. I was saddened to hear of his death in 1996. I've always been intrigued as to what he did in the RAF between 1945 and 1964. Anyone know?
Back to the thread - he admitted to flying an Halifax as an instructor after drinking too much beer and whisky in a maudlin mood prior to the night detail. The book was Mosquito Victory, if I remember correctly.
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Old 25th Aug 2020, 06:55
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There is obviously a bit on the net and a farcebook book page, but I'm not a farcebook member so cannot read it.
IIRC, I remember from somewhere that he was a member of 44 Squadron, which must have been postwar.
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Old 25th Aug 2020, 08:34
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This doesn't quite answer the original question, nevertheless an intriguing case of ingenuity in challenging circumstances (i.e. mates running out of beer). Would love to see how innovatively the modern day crew would arrange this on, say, F35.

https://www.businessinsider.com/brit...-war-ii-2016-9
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Old 25th Aug 2020, 09:57
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S/L John Hartnell Beavis in his book Final Flight, tells of how on a Sunday morning pre-war, he would fly through the clouds into the blue above and stand up in the cockpit of his Tiger Moth to 'blow away his hangover'!
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Old 25th Aug 2020, 11:37
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Cheese Bobcat, was that when the C124 Globemaster landed in the tank farm? They were lucky, the tanks had just been filled. I saw one tank badly blackened, the wreckage had been removed.
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Old 25th Aug 2020, 12:20
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The RN stopped drinking before flying in the mid '70s I believe. Until then it was perfectly normal, according to ex colleagues, to have a pint or two of lager in the wardroom after lunch and then go off on the afternoon flypro. And not just the helo pukes either, Phantoms and Buccs were still in service then. Apparently the signal 'Effective Immediate' was read out in the wardroom before lunch one day by Cdr(F) completely out of the blue and was not at all kindly recieved.

There are myriad tales since then, some of which must be true, of the OOD entering the bar at close to midnight on a friday or saturday, silencing the revellers and telling all SAR rated crews to report to their squadron for immediate launch.
The technique apparently was to go down the line and ask how many pints each had had and pick a crew from the lowest.
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Old 25th Aug 2020, 12:58
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Originally Posted by meleagertoo

The technique apparently was to go down the line and ask how many pints each had had and pick a crew from the lowest.
I know of that happening (on at least) one night the 80's in the civvy offshore world when everyone had retired to the pub after the end of evening flying but the ops officer had forgotten to tell the pilots which of the late crews was on night standby.

So when the call came in for the standby crew for a casevac everyone laughed and looked for the standby crew only to find there wasn't one.

Then came the "how many pints have you had Bloggs" selection process!!

Would not happen now ( I hope) - should not have happened then.



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Old 25th Aug 2020, 13:51
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12.1.1950- ......The urgently picked crew for Lancaster SW363 was made up of highly experienced Officers and men who had been selected for their extreme competence and abilities – each was an Instructor in his chosen field, and between them, they had the experience and knowledge to carry out the task allocated to them successfully. Due to their positions as Instructors, they were ‘self-briefed‘ before take-off. It was probably unfortunate that on the night of 12th January 1950, when the call came through to find an Aircraft and Crew to ferry Naval Divers from Leuchars to Manston to take part in the rescue efforts for HMS Truculent, all of the Officers had been attending a ‘Dining in‘ night at Kinloss. Although each Officer had been drinking, the Board of Inquiry that followed the crash examined the Mess returns for the evening and decided that no Officer had drunk more than 4 sherrys and that therefore alcohol played no part in the accident. Although in today’s society, driving a Car after drinking 4 sherry’s would undoubtedly lead to complications. Most agree with the Board of Inquiry – the time between the Mess Event and take off, combined with the competence of the Crew and the urgency of their mission, would have left them clear-headed and up to their task. The fault that caused the mid-air fire was certainly beyond their control, and the Officers at the controls of the Lancaster had only seconds to react. Although the Fire Extinguishers hadn’t been triggered, everything else showed that they attempted an immediate ‘wheels-up’ landing.

One cannot today imagine a BOI deciding 4 sherry's played no major part.
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