Control of flying notes



Control of flying notes


Description of flying control organisation, history of organisation, aims of organisation. Covers, central and group control and forms of assistance. Continues with Bomber Command organisation, Groups 1 to 8 organisation, Coastal Command and Operational Training Units, Fighter Command and its groups. Continues with other description of organisations, procedures, warnings, night flying and paperwork requirements.




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[underlined] Flying Control [/underlined]

Flying Control is a safety service to ensure the maximum safety for aircraft & crew. Aims at uniformity in procedure, lighting and other airfield equipment.

[underlined] Responsibility of F.C.O. [/underlined]

Must be a good mixer with all air crew
Have a good technical Knowledge (general)
Be able to see things from pilot point of view

[underlined] History & Organisation. 1938-40 [/underlined]

Copied from Imperial Airways scheme & first consisted of 6 Regional Control all of which were governed by air ministry direct.

[underlined] Jan. 1941 [/underlined] Centre taken over by A.M. Sign. I.H.
[underlined] March. 1941 [/underlined] A.D. of Reg. Cent. appointed (w/c. Slater)
School of flying Control opened.
[underlined] Septem. 1941 [/underlined] Director General of A/c safety appointed
Marshal of the Air Sir John Salmon
[underlined] Jan. 1st. 1943. [/underlined] Sir John Salmon retired owing to ill health & place taken by A. Comodor [sic] Haines. D.F.C.

[underlined] Aims During War. [/underlined]

[underlined] 1. [/underlined] To give assistance to any friendly A/c demanding aid.
[underlined] 2. [/underlined] To assist A/c to land as required by pilot
[underlined] 3. [/underlined] To enable a/c to be diverted.
[underlined] 4. [/underlined] The organisation is continous [sic] for 24 hrs.
[underlined] 5. [/underlined] Type I stations are normally in a better position

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to assist a/c and aircrew, should be instructed to [deleted] apply to [/deleted] apply to them first.

[underlined] Central Flying Control. [/underlined]

This is maintained at HQ B. Command Southdown & its object [deleted] as [/deleted] is: [underlined] 1. [/underlined] To advise (B) Comd. Controller regarding suitable airfields for diversions (on larger scale) during the planning stages of operations.
[underlined] 2. [/underlined] To advise & coordinate diversions during ops. when groups can no longer land their own a/c.

[underlined] Group Flying Control [/underlined]

[underlined] 1. [/underlined] To assist the Controller – who is usully [sic] a G/Capt. or W/C. in the control & safety of A/c during ops up that group.
[underlined] 2. [/underlined] To ensure all information is immediately available
[underlined] 3. [/underlined] To generally supervise flyin [sic] control stations in his group. Liason [sic] between (B) Comand [sic] & stations, is also responsible for diversions with his group.

[underlined] Group Flying Control at Costal [sic] Comand [sic] [/underlined] is the same as for (B) comand, [sic] but has special facilities for [underlined] A.S.R.S. [/underlined]

[underlined] Forms of Assistance Available to A/c. [/underlined]

Weather reports
State of Airfield’s
Homing Bearing
Course to steer
Controlled Approaches
Delays due to enemy action.

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[underlined] Bomber Command Organisation [/underlined]

Bomber Com’d. is divided into 8 separate groups Each group consists of 5 parent or main stations and each main station has 2 satelites [sic] macking [sic] a total of 15 station in each group.

[underlined] Staff [/underlined]

[underlined] Base station. [/underlined] Does Ops. & planning
Air Commodore, Group Capt. & Wing Com.
Flying Control. Squdr. Ldr. 2 F/LTS

[underlined] Main station. [/underlined] Group Capt.
Flyin [sic] control. Squdr. Ledr. 2 F/LTs 2 F/O’s

[underlined] Satelites [sic] [/underlined] Group Capt.
Flying control.


[underlined] No 1 Group. HQ’s Bawtry [/underlined]
Main St. Lindholme satelites [sic] Sandtoft Blyton
-“- Elsham Wold -"- Killingholme Kirmington
-“- Binbrook -"- Grimsby Kelstern
-“- Ludford -"- Wickenby Foldingworth [sic]
-“- Hemswell -"- Upton Ingham

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[underlined] No 2 Group HQs Bylaugh Hall Area Covered North Norfolk [/underlined]

Main station. Swanton Moreley satelite [sic] Culton Swannington
-“- Marham -"- Swaffham Downham Market.
-“- Feltwell -"- Methwold Leyton Heath
-“- Fulsham -"- North Creake Little Snoring
-“- West Raynham -"- Sculthorpe Great Marsham.

[underlined] No 3. Group HQs Exling Area Cambridge. [/underlined]

Main stat. Mildenhall satelite [sic] Newmarket Laken Heath
-“- Stradishall -"- Chedburgh West Wickham
-“- Waterbeach -"- Mepal Ely
-“- Oakington -"- Baurn Gransden Lodge
-“- Tempsford -"- Gravely.

[underlined] No 4 Group HQs YORK Area Humber to Flamborough [/underlined]

Main stat. Marston Moor Satelite [sic] Ruthforth Acaster Malbis
Pocklington -"- Elwington [deleted] Leconfield [/deleted] [inserted] Full Sutton [/inserted]
Driffield -"- Lisset Leconfield
Ricall -"- Burn Snaith
Holme on Spalding Moor -"- Melbourne Broughton

[underlined] No 5. Group HQ’s Morton Hall Area Lincolnshire [/underlined]

Main Stat. Scampton satelite [sic] Dunholme lodge Fiskerton
-“- Swinderby -"- [deleted] Swinderby [/deleted] Wigsleigh Winthorpe
-“- Waddington -"- Skelingthorpe [sic] Bardley
-“- Conningsby -"- Woodhall spa Metheringham
-“- East Kirby -"- Spilsby Strubby

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1. [underlined] No 6. Group HQ’s Allerton Hall Area Flamborogh [sic] Hd to Tees

Main Stat. Leeming satelite [sic] Shipton West Tonfield
-“- Middleton St. George -"- Croft Piercebridge
-“- Lynton on Ouse -"- Easingwold Tholthorpe
-“- Topcliff -"- Dalton Dishforth
-“- East Moor -"- Wombalton Streusell

[underlined] No 7 Group H.Q’s Grantham Area Fen district [/underlined]

Main stat. Syerston satelite [sic] Fulbeck Belkeston
-“- Bottisford -"- Langer Saltby
-“- Cottesmore -"- Woolfox Lodge North Witham
-“- North Luffenham -"- Wakenby Essenden
-“- Barkston Heath -"- Folkingham Grimsthorpe

[underlined] No 8 Group HQ’s Wyton [/underlined]
Station Wyton Pathfinder Group.

[underlined] O.T.U’s. [/underlined]

[underlined] 91 Group – 92 Group – 93 Group [/underlined]
Abington – Winslow – Burton Trent

[underlined] Costal [sic] Command [/underlined]

[underlined] Costal [sic] command organisation
Headquarters Northwood
4 groups operational 15, 16, 18, 19. [/underlined]

[underlined] 15. Group. HQ. Liverpool. [/underlined] Area Combined H.Q. No 2
Area: N. Western Corner of B. Isles
Main Control station. [underlined] Sieloth, Squires Gate, Nutts corner, [/underlined] [inserted] N. IRELAND [/inserted] [underlined] Limavady Tiree (Hebrides). [/underlined]

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16 Group. H.Q.’s Shortham. Area Combined H.Q. No 4.
Area: S. Eastern area.
Main Control Station. Thorney Island, Dorking [/underlined]

[underlined] 18 Group. H.Q’s Pitreavie. Area Combined H.Q. No 1. [/underlined]
Area: [underlined] N. Eastern area
Main Control Station. Luchars [sic] Wick [/underlined]

[underlined] 19. Group. H.Q. Plymouth Area Combined H.Q. No 3. [/underlined]
Area: [underlined] Western Area.
Main Control Station. Chiveral, St. Eval. [/underlined]

[underlined] 17 Group O.T.U. Costal [sic] comm. H.Q. Edinburgh.
Rejkavik & Kildardernes. Trelan Area Combined H.Q. [/underlined]

[underlined] Costal [sic] Command Organisation 1. [/underlined]

[underlined] Control’s Q/c [/underlined] at Costal [sic] Command Group. Headquarters at same place as Naval Command’s. Naval & RAF. controlers [sic] with staff & operation’s room. All use the same Group frequency and are in touch with Group to aid Q/c. Group Cont. are in direct touch with [underlined] MF. D/F station [/underlined] (fixing). and are in touch with Fighter Group H.Q. Group Flying Cont. responsibility [underlined] for A/S Rescue operations. [/underlined] All Costal [sic] Comm. Station are to have 1 or more A/C ready for A/sea Rescue work at 5 minutes notice. All costal [sic] a/c are now filled with [underlined] A.S.V. [/underlined] (Anti-surface vessel) aperatus [sic] which is sensitive to vessels passed over & is also used for homing [deleted] from [/deleted] Beacon.

F.C.D. is responsible for this A.S.V. Beacon.

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[underlined] Fighter Command.
H.Q. Stanmore (S/Ldr. Miller) [/underlined]

[underlined] 9 Group H.Q. Preston [/underlined]
Area: N. West England and N. Wales
station: Valley, High Ercoll

[underlined] 10 Group. H.Q. [/underlined] Rudlowe Manor (NR Bath)
Area: S. West England and S. Wales
station: Exeter, Predonnack, Middle Wallop.
Colerne and Fairwood Common

[underlined] 11 Group H.Q. [/underlined] Uxbridge
Area: S. EAST England
station. Tangmere, West Malling, Monston.

[underlined] 12 Group H.Q. Watnell [/underlined]
Area: Midlands & Eastern England
station: Wittering, Coltishall.

[underlined] 13. Group H.Q. Newcastle on Tyne [/underlined]
Area: N. East England & S. Scotland
station: Acklington, Ayr.

[underlined] 14. Group H.Q. Invernes [sic] [/underlined]
Area: Scotland

[underlined] RAF. N.I. H.Q. Belfast. [/underlined]

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[underlined] Fighter Groups. [/underlined]

Group are divided into Sectors, which are again dived [sic] into 3 station. Little or no navigation done in Fighter a/c but they rely on ground Control for practically everything V.H.F. R/T control. He is vectored on his object and is often lost. The Sector has a fixer which is from 3 points and whenever he transmits on R/T in reply to vectors his position plotted.
[underlined] V.H.F. Set in A/C has 4 channels working [/underlined] from 4 buttons
[underlined] Normally known a A.B.C.D. [/underlined]

A. button local control
D. Sector ops.
C. Command Guard.
High Speed. Low Endurance (homing must be accurate) Despatch of A/C is responsibility of F.C.O.

[underlined] F.C.L.O. at Fighter Groups. [/underlined]

Was started by W/cr. Bulmore in 1941 at Boscombe Down, who realised that if a bomber had no communication with ground he was potential lost. F.C.L.O. not just for fighter Command but to assist any a/c of any Command.

R.D/F. station on coast can pick up enemy a/c 60/70 mls away if will be up but not if hedge hopping.

Filter room’s are for plotting and for determination and identification a/c and forwarding thro to Sector Ops room. Movement L.O. is to identify and designate a/c. Group do not intercept, just detail squadrons, then Sector do interceptions.

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Groups controller details squadron to interception. F.C.L.O. waches [sic] operational a/c tracks on plotting table or any he is asked to. If any unusual behaviour or course is noticed will warn stations on it’s track to switch lights on or call on “Darky” to assist them circling, erratic or incorrect track all watched for.

[underlined] Broad I.F.F. [/underlined] is an automatic button for distress call. Beaming or flashing downward Recognition Light or firing Pyrotechnics as advised by R.O.C. or A.A.

[underlined] S.O.S. on M.F. D/F. [/underlined] He can ask army or aerodrome to switch on serchlights [sic] ([indecipherable word] 4 serchlights [sic] on aerodrome) or Canopy (Army serchlights [sic] around aerodrome).

[underlined] Ballon [sic] Barrages [/underlined] can be also handed or illuminated initiate. Serchlights [sic] homing which is provided by Army co-operation.

[underlined] Marine Lighthouses [/underlined] used for a/c loss over sea and out of W/T [deleted] will [/deleted] control will bring him over land from a distance of 30 miles or more. Fighter may be sent up to lead in a lost a/c by intercepting it after being vectored on to it as in case of enemy a/c. F.C.L.O. must watch for landing plotts, [sic] if near to land and no explanation commence A/sea rescue operations.

By day F.C.L.O. acts as Central Bureau (Biuro) for tracing lost last a/c and endeavours to track lost a/c that have failed to reach their destination. Is responsible for taking overdue action. It is essential that responsible for the safety of A/c. advise the F.C.L.O. of A/c missing, overdue, and out of W/T touch

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Information as to type of A/c, W/T call sign. R/T call sign. [deleted] the [/deleted] the last known and present estimated position, petrol [deleted] and course [/deleted] endurance, remaining and any other detail likely to be helpful.

Type of A/c:- So that correct type airfield for size or capability of plan.

W/T call sign:- Enquiries can be made to see if M.F. D/F touch has been made.
R/T. call sign. – So that Darky may be used.
last Estimate Position:- May be help to trace track of A/C.
Petrol endurance:- For length of time available to land A/c.

[underlined] Prosedure [sic] for Fighter sent up to intercept & lead in lost A/c. [/underlined]

During the day time a fighter pilots rocks his wings and fires the colours of the day. At night he flashes his navigation lights and the lost A/C fires his colours of the period and follows him.

[underlined] Liaison with Met. [/underlined]

Patrol work rely to a great extenation [sic] Met. Met. reports and observation and group forecast will be asked for. Befor [sic] excepting diversions, weather should be checked as to tendency with Met. AT Bomber Comm. is leading Met. Officer, Group next, at [inserted] main [/inserted] Station there is a No 1 forcaster. [sic] No 2 do local forcasters. [sic]

Then the station forcasters [sic] or weather recorder.
Observation taken every hour QBA. QBB. QAN, QFE. as 5 vis 3000/5/10 cloud, 150 degrees/15 mph. 1002 m/hr. 1300 hrs. Weather board should be kept up to date. Take own observations cloud base vis etc. Q.F.F. to be obtained from Met. Office by the ordinary aerial barometer.

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1 Bomber Command 15 minutes before the ETA. of you’re A/c. check Q.F.E. with Met. It is their duty if it changes more than 1 miliberes in one hour to let you know. If weather conditions are doubtful a weather report can be obtained from Met. every hour.

[underlined] Snow warning. [/underlined]

As snow plan is kept in every Watch Office in the charge of the F.C.O. (usally) [sic] M.T. must be warned of snow warning to prepare the snow plan.

[underlined] Gale warning. [/underlined]

Warn all Flights [deleted] and [/deleted] in particular the duty flight. See light a/c are in hangers or fastened down.

[underlined] Frost warning. [/underlined]

Warn flights and M.T. to drain radiators etc. to avoid damage to radiators in the case of no anti freezing.

[underlined] Deterioration warning [/underlined]

If forcast [sic] in morning was good & conditions alter rapidly with expection [sic] of an arly [sic] close down, warn flight commanders. You may be asked to watch for the A/c and keep in touch with him.

[underlined] Fitness Code. [/underlined]

By day with 1000 yds vis and cloud base of 500 feet 6/10 Fit anything less unfit.
By night 2000 yds vis. cloud base 1000 feet 6/10
Notify changes of weather state to Group.
Fit Q.G.H. by day was 500 yds vis. cloud base 300 feet but now is according to station’s Q.G.H. standard.

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[underlined] Night flying Lights. [/underlined]

[underlined] Visibility, Navigation, aids. Homing Light, night landing [/underlined] light & emergency sygnals. [sic]

[underlined] VIS: Nav. Aids: (A.S. 4) [/underlined]

Aerial Lighthouses. Code word Occults. [underlined] S.D. 214. [/underlined] In good visibility can be seen 50-60 miles. They are permanent, nav. aids. Occult switch on from dusk to dawn. There are about 50 in this country They flash simple white characteristic letter. Work always. Attached to parent station for admin.
Responsibility of F.C.O. at Station.
Each occult has 3 sites A.B & C. and is varied periodically.

[underlined] S.D.214 Table I parent station Grid Reference [/underlined] and latitude & longitude
[underlined] Table II [/underlined] Monthly amendment list.
[underlined] Table III [/underlined] Gives position to nearest large place in degrees & miles

Two occult can flash the same leter [sic] but must be 200 miles distance between each other. Occult keeps Darky watch on [indecipherable word] freq. F.C.O. must keep up to date list of any occult u/s or flashing red. In order to assist are crew whom briefing to know which occult are working.

[underlined] Mobile Land Mark Beacons’ S.D. 264 (A.S.4.)

Code word Pundit, usaly [sic] station homing light. Operation is responsibility of Station Cmdr. Has three sites. Change & used at discretion of station sites within 3-5 miles, usaly [sic] not used if not night flying.

[page break]

[underlined] S.D. 264. Consists of 3 tables. [/underlined]

[underlined] Table I [/underlined] List Station with Code number
[underlined] Table II. [/underlined] Monthly amendment List
[underlined] Table III. [/underlined] Peace time characteristic letter of all aerodrome.

Pundit is essentialy [sic] a homing light but can be used as that’s aid.


[underlined] Procedure for obtaining assistance: [/underlined]

Aircraft circles the beacon, flashing on his downward recognition light. The letters of the period followed by letter Q. Crew reply by flashing peace time characteristic [deleted] of [/deleted] letter [inserted] on red [/inserted] of this aerodrome and illuminate white T pointing in direction of aerodrome. If for any reason that aerodrome is u/s Crew carry out same procedure but red T will be shown.

If pundit is actully [sic] on aerodrome Crew flash Peace time characteristic letter on white aldis do not display T.

In the event of air raid 3 red glim lamps displayed at safe distance and forming a 25 yds triangle.

[diagram] Request for pundit to be illuminated in ops. Group. Request to be made through own Group. All other commands through [underlined] A.S.4. [/underlined]

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[underlined] Form of Request. [/underlined]

Pundit No ….. required from 21.00 to 2300 date aerodrome can be asked for emergency illumination This is done by phoning direct. Saying [underlined] Request Pundit No [/underlined] ….. [underlined] flashing [/underlined] …… [underlined] from ….. to … [indecipherable word] when finished. [/underlined]

Request for illumination of pundit automatically carryes [sic] the request for night landing lights & vis vis

[underlined] List of reserve Pundit A.M.C.A. 12/42. If pundit goes u/s sent sygnal [sic] A.S.4. Repeated Command, repeated Group, Repeated Station holding spare.
A.S.4. Reply to you by sygnal. [sic]
Repeated Command, repeated Group, Repeated Station holding spare.
F.C.O. is authority for switching on or off of beacon. [/underlined]

[underlined] F.C.O. Responsibel [sic] for pundit Crew: Therefore [/underlined]

[underlined] 1. [/underlined] Briefing crew, see they have full instructions & are familiar with proceedings.
[underlined] 2. [/underlined] One of crew must keep strick [sic] look out always while pundit flashing.
[underlined] 3. [/underlined] See crew have correct (lamps) (red) and correct calm.
[underlined] 4. [/underlined] Must be given letter & colours of period.
[underlined] 5. [/underlined] Test phone when on the plane.
[underlined] 6. [/underlined] When signaling [sic] to a/c stand well clear of beam.
[underlined] 7. [/underlined] Crew must report any request from a/c
[underlined] 8. [/underlined] If enemy raid inform crew (F.C.O.)

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Landing Lights


Ordinary Glim lamps flarepath. Portable lighting.
Red lamps at begining [sic] and end of good ground

Drem Lighting Mark II.



“Control of flying notes,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed December 5, 2023,

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