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Thread: No copilot ?????

  1. #1
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    Default No copilot ?????

    I was surprised that in the RAF bombers there were no copilots ???
    What was the reason behind ?
    Is case the pilot was hurt/unwell... which was the alternative then ?
    Was there a backup ?
    Thanks

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    They did in the early war years but as war progressed it was a decision to help reduce the manpower demand by the RAF for costly and long pilot training.

    As to backup - in most cases the NB of the PNB group (Pilot/Nav/Bomb) usually some rudimentary flying training either as being washed out of pilot training and re-mustered or from on the job training by pilots who looked to give the crew a backup.

    Ross
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    Thank you Ross !

    For Operation Mallard, resupply in the afternoon of Jun6 1944 (+/-270 gliders), it was decided to reduce to 1 pilot for the gliders.
    In the morning, the crew was complete (pilot/copilot).
    Wasn'it the same for Garden Market ?
    Also cost/manpower reduction...

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    Hi,

    I have read (sorry not able to remember the source now) that in crew of bombers where was also trade Flight Engineer, he was given some kind of basic pilot course to be capable to fly the aircraft (not to land it) to allow the crew to bale our over own territory.
    Not sure how common/real it was but it seems to me as quite good solution.

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    What is your source for stating only one pilot was allocated to gliders for OPERATION MALLARD?

    The operation actually took place during the evening of the 6th, with the landings planned for about 2115 DBST. According to a personal account of the operation the gliders carried two pilots (http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peop...a1951111.shtml) .

    Appendix M of WO 171/1234 lists 2-man crews for the MALLARD gliders from 23 Flight (http://www.pegasusarchive.org/normandy/war_1wing.htm), and there are several references to 2-man crews elsewhere in the link.

    So far as MARKET GARDEN (not GARDEN MARKET) is concerned it appears that only the US glider force opted for a single pilot - but this was due to a shortage of pilots. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operat..._Garden#Market).

    Brian
    Last edited by Lyffe; 23rd July 2017 at 11:46.

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    Blimey - I would not fancy flying a cargo glider for an hour or so as single pilot.
    Even with a normal private glider (especially heavy 2 seaters) the controls can really 'Heavy Up' at Aerotow speeds,long distance tows can be very tiring (both physically and mentally,because one has to keep the glider in a safe towing position/formation).In a fully loaded military cargo glider it must have been really hard work whilst on Tow,there was a very good reason to have the 2 pilots 'up front'.

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    To drift this Thread a bit (perhaps it was MARKET-GARDEN outbound and if you survived to fly home it was GARDEN-MARKET????!!!)

    During VARSITY, a glider carrying a serial from the Ox & Bucks was hit by AA fire and both pilots were killed. A Captain, who was a battalion quartermaster, jumped up and took control of the glider and managed to land it safely and all the self loading freight survived. After the engagement the QM was cited for a DFC, which he did not get. I was told this story by Todd Sweeny, who had been awarded an MC for Normandy.

    Colin Cummings

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