Officers advanced training school - flying accidents



Officers advanced training school - flying accidents


Covers accidents rates past/present, causes and percentage rates, prevention - approach to problem, interviewing new crews, improvements of flying discipline, engine handling, carelessness, general training, reporting of flying accidents followed by appendixes on action by a unit commander to reduce the probability of accidents and the aircrew refresher. school



Temporal Coverage




Seven page typewritten document

Conforms To


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[date stamp of No. 1 Officers Advanced Training School JUN 1945]
Appendix “A”: Action by a Unit Commander to reduce the probability of accidents.
Appendix “B”: Copy of A.M. Letter on the subjects of the Aircrew Refresher School.
References: C.D. 430
A.P. 1921
[underlined] Accident Rates, Past and Present [/underlined]
1. Owing to training methods, types of aircraft used and time available during peace years, the accident rate reached its lowest point in 1935. Due to expansion, re-equipment and the outbreak of war this rate had doubled by the end of 1939. The accident rate continued to rise during the following two years until in the winter of 1940-41 the rate was four times that of 1935. Extensions of training, improvements in night flying facilities and progress in other directions, undertaken in 1941, have resulted in a considerable reduction. Although gratifying, it is not yet satisfactory. The enormous amount of flying which is carried out today results, even at the reduced accident rate, in the destruction of a very great number of aircraft.
[underlined] Causes and Percentage Rates [/underlined]
1. (a) While taxying – 15 percent of M.A.F. yearly rates
During take-off – 11 percent “ “ “ “
During flight – 28 percent “ “ “ “
During landing – 40% “ “ “ “
While stationary – 6 percent “ “ “ “
(b) Common factors to all types of accident are engine handling, breaches of discipline and carelessness. These are faults within our control and should be the subject of attention of Unit and Flight Commanders.
[underlined] Prevention – Approach to the Problem [/underlined]
3. The problem is not an easy one to solve because there is no one cause of accidents apart from carelessness, which appreciably affects the whole field. It is necessary to devote equal attention to all possible causes as no one factor in itself provides the answer. Every effort must be made to eliminate the stupid accident, such as those which occur when taxying, but it must be appreciated that the flight accident – although only 28 percent of the total – causes 75 percent of the fatalities.
4. When embarking on an accident prevention campaign the Unit or Flight Commander should first “put his own house in order” by attending to the following:
(a) Supervision and guidance of Flying Control.
(b) Familiarisation of newly arrived pilots with aerodrome layout, lighting, local geography, etc.
(c) Regular and intelligent use of Link Trainer.
(d) Sound briefing before all flights.
(e) Crew order books complete and up to date.
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[underlined] Interviewing New Crews [/underlined]
5. This should be done before flying on the unit begins. Interview provides an opportunity for ascertaining pilots’ and crews’ familiarity with flying regulations generally; allows commander to make his feelings on the subject of accidents known.
[underlined] Improvements of Flying Discipline [/underlined]
6. Flying activities near the aerodrome should be watched closely by the Commander or his deputy. Slight breaches of discipline should be dealt with immediately and firmly. Attention of all aircrew to be drawn to each offence, however trivial. Talks and discussions at regular intervals on Flying Regulations. (K.R., App. XXVI).
[underlined] Engine Handling [/underlined]
7. Regular discussions on this point should be held at which pilots and other aircrew should be allowed to put forward suggestions. Besides being constructive, this often uncovers dangerous tendencies. Interest in range flying should be stimulated by encouraging competition in this respect and will result in better engine handling generally. Observations by members of the maintenance staff often provide indications of recurring faults amongst pilots and crews. Full use should be made of existing Engine Handling Courses. On completion of these courses the Commanders should ensure that pilots have not misinterpreted points arising out of the course.
[underlined] Carelessness [/underlined]
8. Accidents due to carelessness can be reduced by insisting upon the following:-
(a) Adequate preparation for flight.
(b) Good starting-up and taxying drills.
(c) Good cockpit drill.
(d) Strict adherence to Flying Regulations.
(e) Good R/T drill.
(f) A high standard of crew discipline.
In addition, the Commander in co-operation with the Engineer Officer should watch carefully any tendency towards carelessness by members of the maintenance staff.
[underlined] General Training [/underlined]
9. Aircrew should not be allowed long periods of inactivity. A programme of training should be held in readiness for periods when there is little flying. Such programmes should be drawn up with the object of increasing the individual’s efficiency and improving his knowledge of his aircraft.
[underlined] Reporting of Flying Accidents [/underlined]
10. All flying accidents (not attributable to enemy action) must be reported on the Form 765(c) if they result in:-
(a) Damage to aircraft beyond normal capacity of unit to repair within 48 hours.
(b) Damage to any aircraft that necessitates the replacement of any of the undermentioned (A.M.O. A.1348/43):-
Engine Propellor Nose Wheel
Undercarriage leg Tail Wheel Aileron
Tailplane Rudder
Elevator Wing
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(c) Death or injury (i.e. individual in sick quarters for more than 48 hours) of any person.
11. In cases of accident which result in death, or when circumstances are doubtful, or on occasions when so ordered, a Court of Inquiry or Investigation will be held. In such cases the proceedings are recorded on the Form 412.
12. It is important to remember that the Form 765(c) and Form 412 are the only sources of information, concerning flying accidents which are available to the Air Ministry. Therefore it is of the utmost importance to complete these forms accurately and fully in order that as much statistical data as possible may be supplied to provide the means of preventing future accidents.
[underlined] Amendments to this Precis [/underlined]
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[underlined] Individual Record Sheets [/underlined]
1. Keep the fullest possible written records of the abilities and deficiencies of all pilots and aircrew. Discover previous accident histories and whether faults have been properly corrected. Make instructors and flight commanders take an interest in this record, contribute to it and work from it.
[underlined] Special Attention to Individual Deficiencies [/underlined]
2. See that plenty of check dual is given where deficiencies may exist, as in approaches and landings, instrument flying, navigation, engine handling.
[underlined] Link Trainer [/underlined]
3. See that pilots make good use of the Link Trainer, both as a routine and to check any deficiency in instrument flying. Note particularly that pilots should do regular practice on the Link, not merely put in the prescribed number of hours during a spell of bad weather and then leave it for several weeks. For the Link Trainer the mott is “Little and Often”.
[underlined] Pilots’ Notes [/underlined]
4. See that all pilots read, absorb and remember their Pilots’ Notes, also all other official literature, pamphlets, notices, etc.
[underlined] Engine Handling [/underlined]
5. Check up that all pilots know the finer points of engine handling and apply their knowledge in flight. Petrol consumption is one important aspect of engine handling and can reveal lack of skill or of care in engine handling if carefully checked.
[underlined] Maintenance [/underlined]
6. Check up that maintenance staff carry out minor repairs and modifications not amounting to unserviceability and that aircraft are kept clean. Pilots and all other aircrew must be made to take a real interest in their aircraft and to realize the vital need for intimate co-operation with maintenance personnel.
[underlined] Reminder Notes [/underlined]
7. Keep a book of special reminder notes, which pilots and aircrew should read before doing any exercise or flight that contains risk of special forms of accident, e.g., to remind pilots not to let their engine get too cold when practising single-engine flying, to check up the hills when doing a cross-country and to look at the location of airfields near the route to act as emergency landing fields.
[underlined] Accident Prevention Meetings [/underlined]
8. Hold periodic meetings as small and as informal as possible at which everybody is encouraged to make suggestions on how possibilities of accidents could be prevented. A surprising number of the deviations from correct routine procedure, which result in flying accidents, are made in good faith by people who imagine they
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have found a better way of doing something than is given in the instruction. Some of these ideas may be sound and should be forwarded to Group Headquarters for consideration: most are bad and should be stopped but not with a heavy hand if they arise out of informal discussions.
[underlined] Special Information [/underlined]
9. The accident prevention meetings could be used to check up that all pilots and aircrew know the special information that they should know – recognition procedure, flying control and safety procedure, (Darkie, Searchlight homing, etc.) the position of danger areas, special peculiarities of the aircraft and engines flown. Navigation, Engineer, Meteorological and Control Officers should come to those meetings periodically and ask questions.
[underlined] Airfield Condition [/underlined]
10. Frequent inspection of the condition of airfield and runway surfaces is most important for the prevention of airfield accidents. Particular attention should be paid to soft or rutted ground near runways and hard standings, drains not properly filled in, flints and sharp pieces of metal lying in runways, sharp edges of runways, unnecessary obstructions near the perimeter track, over-narrow gaps in hedges through which aircraft have to taxi.
[underlined] Amendments to this Appendix [/underlined]
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[underlined] CONFIDENTIAL [/underlined]
[underlined] THE AIRCREW REFRESHER SCHOOL [/underlined]
I am commanded by the Air Council to inform you that the Aircrew Refresher School will form on 5.8.42. Its purpose is to provide a special disciplinary and refresher course for aircrew personnel both officers and N.C.O’s whose carelessness or disobedience of orders has contributed to, or whose tendencies in these directions are likely to contribute to, avoidable flying accidents. The formation of this School has been decided upon as a measure towards combating the high incidence of such failures, and the object of the course is to inculcate in those attending it a sense of responsibility and appreciation of the damage to the war effort caused by negligent and careless action.
The course will not be regarded as a punishment; its object is to imbue those who undergo it with a proper appreciation of the importance of their contribution to the war effort, and remind them of their responsibility to avoid detracting from this by carelessness or lack of discipline. It should not be used as a means of disposing, without disciplinary action, of a case of serious breach of orders which would normally be dealt with by court martial or under Section 47 Air Force Act.
[underlined] Instructions for Entry [/underlined]
2. There are no set intake dates and officers and N.C.O’s may be sent to the School at any time. It is desired to avoid delay or formality in attaching entrants, and with this object in view, authority is vested in station commanders to send to the School those under their command who will benefit by this course of instruction. No formality in detailing an officer or N.C.O., is necessary beyond a prior notification by signal to the School. The signal should give the number, rank and name of the entrant with the date and time of arrival at the School. A confidential report stating briefly the reasons for an entrant’s inclusion on the course should be sent by the station commander to the Commanding Officer of the School, within 24 hours of the despatch of the signal.
[underlined] Duration of the Course [/underlined]
3. Officers and N.C.O’s will remain at the School for approximately 3 weeks, but the course will be curtailed in the case of these who show clearly that they have learned its lessons. Output from the School will be twice weekly on Tuesday and Friday.
[underlined] Allotment of Vacancies to Commands [/underlined]
4. It is not proposed to allot vacancies to Commands in the first instance. The School will accommodate 100 Officers and 100 N.C.O’s in separate squadrons. It is proposed to accept entrants from all Commands up to the capacity of the School. In the event of the total capacity being filled Commands will be notified by signal that the School is full, and further intakes will be controlled by the Officer Commanding the School, to whom application for vacancies should then be made by telephone. This procedure will be reviewed in the light of experience gained of the requirements of each Command and further instructions will be issued if found necessary.
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[underlined] Attachment to the School [/underlined]
5. All entrants are to be attached and not posted to the School for the duration of the Course.
[underlined] Medical Fitness [/underlined]
6. No Officer or N.C.O., whose medical fitness will debar him from taking part in P.T., drill and swimming, is to be sent on the course. Medical fitness is to be confirmed in the report sent in accordance with para. 3 to the Officer Commanding the School.
[underlined] Syllabus of Training [/underlined]
7. Drill, physical training, unarmed combat and swimming form an important part of the syllabus. Lectures will be given on flying regulations particularly those concerning safe flying. Instructions will be given on the duties and responsibilities of Officers and N.C.O’s and lectures will be included on character, leadership training, and the importance of good discipline. A synopsis of the syllabus showing the allocation of hours to each subject is given at Appendix “A” to these instructions.
[underlined] Reports [/underlined]
8. A report on the progress made by each entrant will be sent to his Commanding Officer by the Commanding Officer of the School on the termination of the Course.
[underlined] Instructions for Entrants [/underlined]
9. Detailed instructions for Officers and N.C.O’s attending the Course are given at Appendix “B”.
[underlined] Dominion and Allied Personnel [/underlined]
10. Members of the R.C.A.F., R.A.A.F., R.N.Z.A.F. and Allied personnel serving in the R.A.F. Squadrons or Dominion Squadrons may be sent to the Aircrew Refresher Course.
I am, Sir,
Your obedient Servant,
(signed) R.C. Richards


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