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Thread: Training flight "Solo if fit"

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    Default Training flight "Solo if fit"

    Hi all,

    what is the correct meaning of such a training flight recorded in RAF Log Book of an Wellington pilot as "Solo if fit"?
    The very first solo of pilot trainee with the instructor still on board?

    TIA

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

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    Pavel,
    I would take it to mean that so long as he was medically fit for flying, he was considered capable of flying the Wellington aircraft solo, that is, WITHOUT an instructor accompanying him for the duration of the flight. However, depending on the period of war that this took place, it was possible that the "instructor" was not really a qualified instructor in the technical sense, but more like a reasonably experienced Wellington pilot, perhaps completed an operational tour, or at least have a reasonable working knowledge of flying Wellingtons as a delivery pilot. Still, in the legal sense such pilots were not trained and qualified flying instructors - in the first two or three years of the war the task of converting new pilots to fly a new-to-them aircraft type was considered to be a task that any moderately experienced pilot on that type could accomplish.
    David D

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    Hi David,
    many thanks for your post.
    I think it fits the story - it was the second half of 1941 and the OTF of 311 Sq has "instructors" who were not the real instructors but only members of the unit who were pre-war transport pilots with a big experiene and with previous operational experience with 311 Squadron.
    So my conclusion is that any new trainee had few flights "Dual" with one of such an "instructors" at first and then he would go for flight "Solo if fit" alone...

    Thanks

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

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    Similar situation in 148 Sqdn later in the war (1944) when a number of Stirling crews were posted to them from 624 Sqdn - experienced pilots converted them to Halifaxes via circuits-and-bumps on an elderly dual-control a/c.

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