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Thread: Wellington bomber bail out.

  1. #1
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    Default Wellington bomber bail out.

    Hi All,

    Can anyone tell me the order in which a crew of Wellington bomber crew bailed out. Was there a hatch at the front of the aircraft like in a Halifax in which the Bomb aimer removed before he bailed out followed by the Navigator etc.

    Cheers,

    John.

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    Default Re: Wellington bomber bail out.

    Hi John,

    From the Wellington Pilot's Notes (Mk III and X to XIV)

    "When abandoning the aircraft by parachute the main entrance hatch and the starboard push-out panel immediately aft of the the beam guns should be used as exits. A foot lever at the starboard side of the main entrance hatch enables the door to be opened independently of the door release handle. To gain access to the starboard push-out panel, a wooden guard or cover, fixed to the frame by press studs, must be pulled away. The cover is inscribed PULL OFF COVER FOR ACCESS TO EMERGENCY EXIT"

    The main entrance hatch was under the nose just forward of the pilot. The rear gunner's parachute was generally hung in the rear fuselage, so whilst it was possible to leave the aircraft by rotating the turret and dropping out, it might also be an option to leave via the push-out panel.

    No order of departure specified or likely, apart from the well documented norm of the pilot staying at the controls until he judged everyone else had left, often with tragic
    consequences.

    Peter

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    Default Re: Wellington bomber bail out.

    Hi Peter,

    Many thanks exactly what I was after, we had a request from a German lad who had a Wellington crash near where he lives. He is writing a booklet on the crashes from his area.

    This was a Wellington from 158 Sqn that crashed on 15 April 1942.

    Cheers,

    John.

    Assistant Archivist 158 Sqn

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    Default Re: Wellington bomber bail out.

    Interesting in that I have a description written the wireless operator on a Mk II Wellington where he tells of helping the front gunner bundle up the navigator )who it seems had managed to release his parachute on board) and tossing him out. I wouldn't have though there was room at the main entrance hatch but if the "kick out" panel on the aperture for the (non-existant) belly turret was used then this would have seemed practical. I've seen the panel aft of the beam guns on a MkI and can't see how anyone in full kit could get through it!

    Rick

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    Default Re: Wellington bomber bail out.



    I took this photo in the NA some months back. It shows the escape procedure for Wellington II.

    I'm not sure exactly what would cause a 'Normal' parachute drill, rather than 'Emergency'. I would say any use of parachute is an Emergency!

    edit: higher quality link: http://www.rafcommands.com/galleries/members/IMG_2708

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    Default Re: Wellington bomber bail out.

    Hi James,

    Thanks for the link, Iíll pass it on.

    Cheers,

    John.

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