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Thread: Darky, I.F. and how they work

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    Default Darky, I.F. and how they work

    In an earlier thread on the loss of Oxford LX745, the accident report says, in part:

    F412 - Co pilot’s error in breaking cloud without knowing his posn & failing to use “Darky”. Lack of I.F. considered to have no bearing on accident. All W/T personnel to be checked for efficiency before flying. A.O.C. agrees althought says “don’t agrre lack of I.F. practice had no bearing”. Pilots must do 2hr I.F. & 2hr Link every month. A.O.C. in C. concurs."

    Can someone translate the acronyms for me and explain how "Darky" worked? I know it was a VHF instrument but that's all.

    thanks.
    David

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    I.F. = Instrument Flying
    W/T - Wireless Telegraphy
    A.O.C. = Air Officer Commanding

    Darky was the universal call-sign for a homing system. Most RAF stations operated a permanent Darky watch on a common radio frequency with a transmitter/receiver of limited range to avoid too much overlap and interference with other stations. By taking bearings and comparing them by telephone with adjacent airfields, they were rapidly able to fix a lost aircraft's position by triangulation. In areas where RAF coverage was poor, Royal Observer Corps posts were also equipped with darky sets.

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    A description of Darky

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=jzzl8wUn52cC&pg=PA194&lpg=PA194&dq=S.4636 8&source=web&ots=CZivLuIVkQ&sig=JQbIrT0zoON5wZ6eKD 5zhOeVN2k&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=re sult#PPA64,M1

    I.F. is probably Instrument Flying

    A

    EDIT: Dave beat me to it :)

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    Thanks gentlemen, most interesting. So my guy was flying the plane, with an instructor sitting beside him of more than 700 hours experience - and no one thought to use this system to fix their position? I guess, since there was a w/op on board, they thought they had it covered. What a shame.

    The time of the crash on the report was established by the time of their last radio transmission, so they were trying to figure it out. They must have really been fooled by the winds, as suggested on the earlier thread.
    David

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