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Thread: Inexact Statistic - How many hours would a Sqn Fighter Pilot do per month in 1930

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    Default Inexact Statistic - How many hours would a Sqn Fighter Pilot do per month in 1930

    You could probably work it out from his log book but AIR 10-1468 Report on Flying Accidents during Jan.-June 1930 allows you to work it out because P/O John Heber-Percy of 43 Sqn had two parachute incidents just over 2 months apart and in each time his hours were recorded


    On April 11 1930 he had 204 hours solo, 4 months since qualifying
    on June 19 1930 he had 256 hours solo, 6 months since qualifying

    So in just over two months he had accumulated 52 Hours which works out about 25 (ish) a month

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    Quote Originally Posted by paulmcmillan View Post
    You could probably work it out from his log book but AIR 10-1468 Report on Flying Accidents during Jan.-June 1930 allows you to work it out because P/O John Heber-Percy of 43 Sqn had two parachute incidents just over 2 months apart and in each time his hours were recorded


    On April 11 1930 he had 204 hours solo, 4 months since qualifying
    on June 19 1930 he had 256 hours solo, 6 months since qualifying

    So in just over two months he had accumulated 52 Hours which works out about 25 (ish) a month

    Paul, which aircraft was he flying on in both the incidents?

    I have logbook pages for an RAF pilot on Wapitis in India for 1933. I can check the numbers for that type using that.

    In operations in the North West frontier in India , I have seen 100 + hours per month flown on the Wapitis in late 30s..

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    P/O. John Heber-Percy was flying the Armstrong Whitworth Siskin both times

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    I have taken notes from about half a dozen inter-war RAF pilot's log books, mainly to check an assertion made in NZ at about that time (1930) that the number of hours flown by the Territorial pilots in NZ was totally insufficient to maintain their skills. This genereal assertion was totally justifiable (they did only about 8 to 12 hours a year from memory), but it was the supposed figure for RAF pilots which I thought was probably inaccurate (overstated). Again from memory, this was stated to be about 40 or 50 a month, but as all the RAF pilot's log books available to me were regulars (as against part-timers in the Auxiliary AF or the Special Reserve), I think the original comparison was quite pointless anyway. I found that typically flying hours for regular pilots over a long period (usually for their whole career, as most were short service commision chaps) was only about 15 to 20 per month, and this included many who were later flying Ansons and such like with Coastal Command etc up till about 1939, as well as an instructor at 4 FTS Abu Suier (on DH4s etc), in 1920s. It was obviously a great problem during the big expansion schemes of the second half of the 1930s that the production of pilots greatly exceeded that of aircraft, so that individual monthly flying hours during this later period did not increase, and could easily go backwards. The only exception I came across was someone in the Egypt/Sudan area on Fairey IIIFs who was on some sort of grand expedition across Africa and managed to fly something like 30 or 35 hours in one month, after which monthly totals reverted to less than 20. So pilots of the interwar era spent a vast amount of time firmly grounded compared to contemporaneous commerical pilots; however I am not qualified to state what monthly hours would be in a modern air force, but perhaps no more than the inter-war chaps.
    I should also add that the monthly figures I have given above are not actual averages as such, but give a good indication; however some months contained little to no flying (on annual leave, etc), so would bring averages down somewhat. If anybody wants some more accurate figures, I could easily provide (within reason!)
    David D

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    In Chas Bowyers book RAF Operations 1919 to 1938 he quotes around 30 hours per month for a Sqn pilot not on operations or on a "tour"

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