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    • Mike

      PhotoBucket are no longer permitting 3rd party hosting   01/07/17

      As most of you are now painfully aware, Photobucket (PB) are stopping/have stopped allowing their members to link their accumulated years of photos into forums and the like, which they call 3rd party linking.  You can give them a non-refundable $399 a year to allow links, but I doubt that many will be rushing to take them up on that offer.  If you've previously paid them for the Pro account, it looks like you've got until your renewal to find another place to host your files, but you too will be subject to this ban unless you fork over a lot of cash.   PB seem to be making a concerted move to another type of customer, having been the butt of much displeasure over the years of a constantly worsening user interface, sloth and advertising pop-ups, with the result that they clearly don't give a hoot about the free members anymore.  If you don't have web space included in your internet package, you need to start looking for another photo host, but choose carefully, as some may follow suit and ditch their "free" members at some point.  The lesson there is keep local backups on your hard drive of everything you upload, so you can walk away if the same thing happens.   There's a thread on the subject here, so please use that to curse them, look for solutions or generall grouse about their mental capacity.   Not a nice situation for the forum users that hosted all their photos there, and there will now be a host of useless threads that relied heavily on photos from PB, but as there's not much we can do other than petition for a more equitable solution, I suggest we make the best of what we have and move on.  One thing is for certain.  It won't win them any friends, but they may not care at this point.    Mike.
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Beardie

A sobering thought about early days flying

54 posts in this topic

Just reading an article in the second volume of Cross and Cockade by Wing Commander T. F. W. Browne. He relates that as a student pilot, when he was due to take his first flight in the Sopwith Camel the two students ahead of him both spun into the ground and were killed on their first attempt at turning. He himself didn't get off the ground losing control and going over on a wing.

 

Brings it home just how brave these young lads were. I wonder how many modern trainee pilots would take their turn after seeing the folks before them die.

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Youth has a belief in immortality and 'not me'

A tale told [which I believe is true] is of a platoon of US paras on the eve of D-Day being told 'nine out of ten of you won't be coming back' upon which one of the paras looks at his mates and says 'you poor [barstools]'

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It's one thing though to expect losses on the battlefield but it seems all the more awful that much of the losses of airmen during the Great War were at the learning to fly stage. Would young folk nowadays join the RAF if they were told that half of them would die just learning how to do it.

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Posted (edited)

Yes, many would because that's the nature of young people. More importantly, would any military organisation or nation accept a 50% loss rate in training?

 

I don't believe the story of those three pilots is representative of WWI training and may not be even true in itself. War stories have a nasty habit of being significantly exaggerated.

 

Edited by 3DStewart

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The numbers of men killed in training accidents is another of the myths of the Great War.  The idea of a 50% loss in training is ridiculous, there would certainly be questions asked of any organisation which killed half of it's trainees!  There was an interesting thread on Great War Forums on just this subject, link: http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?/topic/240115-rfcrnasraf-training-deaths-100-years-on/#comment-2410887

 

 

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Thanks for the link 593,interesting stuff on there,does anyone know what DCNK stands for on MikeMeechs post #14....

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Posted (edited)

Really we have accounts of young people today doing even more unbelievable things so I'd say that quite a few young men would have no problem jumping into an aircraft after two have crashed...

Fortunately statistics were a bit different as shown in the link above, in any case military flying has been for many years much more dangerous than many other jobs and in all cases there was never any lack of volunteers. The uncle of a girlfriend of mine is a retired Air Force general and a former F-104 pilot and she told me how her grandma would only go to sleep when she had heard he was back from any mission as she had seen him go to too many funerals of fellow pilots. And that was in peacetime. Yet every year the Air Force Academy received more than 100 requests of admission for every place available and this even with a set of very strict admission requirements.

Accident rates for early jets in particular were very high, a Metor or Vampire pilot may have had a great job but it was a dangerous one. Still I'm sure we'd have all loved trying it. Honestly I'd do it at my age today, I'd have been even more eager when I was young.

Things have fortunately changed though, and today the human life, at least in parts of the world, is given a higher value. Looking back at WW1, those who fought were sure brave, particularly because at the same time were seen as disposable material by their commanders. Of course that was the mindset of the days and the attitude of every individual to life and death was different from today's. Those who fight today are IMHO no less brave as they put their life at stake anyway. However the "system" around them try to increase the chances of survival while at the same time trying to decrease the chances of the enemy. Not a bad thing I'd say

Edited by Giorgio N
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17 hours ago, Beardie said:

Would young folk nowadays join the RAF if they were told that half of them would die just learning how to do it.

I think the answer to that Beardie is, yes, they probably would. I know the thinking among curmudgeonly old git's of a certain age (why is everybody looking at me???) is that the youth of today has got no sense of duty and won't get out of bed unless someone makes it worth their while, but time and again I've been pleasantly surprised by the way a lot of youngsters step up to the mark when called upon to do so. I think that a good example is that there was no shortage of recruits for the services during the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, even when there were many coming home in body bags or badly wounded. I know that you were differentiating between actual conflict and training, but I think it all boils down to the same thing. At that age, they are looking for adventure, and to hell with the risks.

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Indeed 593 that is new information to me. To my shame I haven't done any real study of casualty and loss rates to date but I have heard the figure I mentioned bandied about over and over again. I guess one should always look carefully before you leap. Interestingly, in that thread you supplied there are quite a few references to Camels spinning in so, in the case of Browne, it may be a true account of what happened during his own experience.

 

Anyway the whole point of starting this thread was not to disparage anybody who has served their country since the Great War or to argue over the actual statistics it was merely to salute the fellows who dared to take to the air in those early days.

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To add a slightly different perspective..

An ex-RFC Camel pilot lived locally and I am told that when he had a visit to his old Squadron around 1980 he made the comment that no way on earth would they ever get him up in one of them.

Unfortunately he died before I could meet him so have no information on what aircraft he was referring to

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Posted (edited)

5 hours ago, Vince1159 said:

Thanks for the link 593,interesting stuff on there,does anyone know what DCNK stands for on MikeMeechs post #14....

 

Not 100% certain, but I believe it signifies "direct (detailed?) cause not known." It crops up with some frrquency in accident reports of that era.

Cheers

 

Edited by thorfinn
clarity
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12 hours ago, Vince1159 said:

Thanks for the link 593,interesting stuff on there,does anyone know what DCNK stands for on MikeMeechs post #14....

 

One of the earlier records shown in the post shows 'Died Cause Not Known'.  FRANSHAM, Agnes May, 15323, Worker, WRAF (QMAAC) 16.03.1916. Died Cause Not Known.

 

The Camel was a notoriously difficult aircraft to fly, particularly for inexperienced pilots; if I had been Wing Commander Brown, and had seen two pilots spin in to the ground, I would not have been exactly filled with confidence!  All credit and respect to those early fliers.

 

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I gather Wing Commander Browne never actually got the chance to take a Camel into the air, he says that, within a couple of days after his crash, he was transferred to learn to fly Handley Page bombers.

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In a strange turn of events a program called "WW2 Air Crash detectives" was on the Boob tube tonight and they were talking about the 'horrendous losses in training'  of US pilots during the Second World War. They quote a figure of over 15 thousand lost in training. Is this accurate or an overestimation like the WW1 figures?

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Posted (edited)

15 hours ago, Beardie said:

They quote a figure of over 15 thousand lost in training. Is this accurate or an overestimation like the WW1 figures?

 

Saw that.  I would think those figures are probably close to the mark as USAF records are probably still largely complete and the deaths would mostly have been in the US which would mean it was unlikely that many incidents were missed or double counted.

 

Currently building VMC's1 Sopwith F1, aka Camel, and this from the kit notes.

 

"The Pup2 was relatively easy to fly with somewhat benign characteristics, however the F1 was not.  The powerful Clerget rotary engine created strong gyroscopic forces that coupled with the torque made the aircraft able to turn right very quickly but with a nose down tendency. These dynamic forces made the aircraft manoeuvrable and a fearsome foe -  but tricky to fly. This often ended in disaster for inexperienced pilots.

 

 

1 - Stick and tissue job so it won't turn up in RFI here. :)

2 - F1 was the replacement for the Pup which which couldn't cope with the newer Albatros DIII

Edited by TheLurker
Typo
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18 hours ago, Scimitar said:

To add a slightly different perspective..

An ex-RFC Camel pilot lived locally and I am told that when he had a visit to his old Squadron around 1980 he made the comment that no way on earth would they ever get him up in one of them.

Unfortunately he died before I could meet him so have no information on what aircraft he was referring to

Ryanair?

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8 hours ago, Beardie said:

In a strange turn of events a program called "WW2 Air Crash detectives" was on the Boob tube tonight and they were talking about the 'horrendous losses in training'  of US pilots during the Second World War. They quote a figure of over 15 thousand lost in training. Is this accurate or an overestimation like the WW1 figures?

 

The USAAF alone lost more than 13thousand men in accidents within the continental USA and statistics are pretty clear on this. However the problem is to determine how many were during training and how many during other missions (transfers, patrol and so on). The number of casualties I've seen listed for trainers alone are around 3500 fatalities, with more than half of these occurring in advanced trainers. Heavy bombers were the most affected, with accidents in B-24s alone provoking around 2800 casualties, fighters also had their good share of accidents but wih a much lower number of casualties.

Sure a number of missions involving front-line types would have been related to training, only knowing this aspect it would be possible to understand how many casualties occurred during training.

The breakdown of casualties by type is very interesting as goes to show how some types were indeed more likely to suffer fatal accidents. The P-51s for example seem to have been way less "dangerous" than the P-47, with casualties on the Mustang less than 1/3 of those on the Jug

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1 hour ago, LotusArenco said:

 

Fatal air accidents in Britain 1786 - 1939. http://www.rcawsey.co.uk/Accindex.htm

Sobering indeed.

 

Just had a look though and was shocked. I though that the 1938-1939 would be a shorter list, but it goes on, and on. 

Unbelievable that those are 'acceptable' casualties in peace-time.

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12 minutes ago, Gorby said:

Just had a look though and was shocked. I though that the 1938-1939 would be a shorter list, but it goes on, and on. 

Unbelievable that those are 'acceptable' casualties in peace-time.

 

Interesting that 65 Sqn, Hornchurch had two sets of fatal mid-air collisions within less than a month. I wonder whether the CO was called to account for this.

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The one that got me wasn't even military personnel:

 
                          2.8.39 ?
  Trespasser walked into propeller, Croydon

 

 

What a dreadful way to go

Anthony William Richard De Ferriere Mackeson (37) killed

 

.

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There are a number of unfortunate accidents.

 

One I saw was a passenger in a Fairey seaplane that was dragged out and killed by his parachute during catapulting and there was another where a Lady something or other was killed jumping out of her plane when the throttle lever broke during take-off.

 

Another was a plane that crashed into a river estuary after colliding with 'pedestrians' on a beach.

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Thing is that the whole time these things were happening they were all learning, trail blazing. even pre and post war (WW2) passenger flights were a gamble. Radial engine Cowling flaps opening for no reason inflight and fall out of the sky. No weather radar , comms not that great and when they did ,no centralised comms. in the USA for instance.

 

Seeing those casualty rates I wonder how long the Aeroplane would last if it was invented today. The legal profession (and media) would have a field day.

 

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Track down and read a copy of this book.

The early days of airline operations & on through to post WW2.

Beautifully written and an eye opener.

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fate-Hunter-Gann-Ernest-Paperback/dp/B00IIAZEDW/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1500150517&sr=1-1&keywords=fate+is+the+hunter

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