Compiled by Willie Bodenstein



Status on GA / RA flight operations in Level 3 - Update

Further to Communique June #3 sent on Sat 20 June, our attempts to obtain a go ahead on the flight proficiency system has unfortunately not been successful at this time, with another week having gone past, however, that said, the Level 3 Phase 2 industry proposal submitted to the DoT is gaining traction for implementation from the 1st of July, where GA/RA is planned to be more flexible. The detail of what this will entail is not yet known, other than it contains our proposal which included GA/RA local flying as well as sport flying in all our disciplines. We will continue to work with the DoT & CAA on details as they come to hand.

Thus, we wait a little longer, with good news in the offing. The maintenance flight system is working well, with a resurgence of applications on their next flight cycle and will continue to be supported. Details available on the Aero Club and CAASA websites.

Overall, we recognise the frustrations experienced by all aviators. We are doing our collective level best between all parties to get us airborne, each allowance we get is a pathway to achieve a return back to normality.


Dear All,

The South African Model Aircraft Association (SAMAA) Management Committee (SMC) would like to circulate the following communication to our members at a time when our country is sadly entering the peak period of reported COVID-19 cases and resulting deaths.

It will be noted from the latest Government Gazette issued at 23:00 last night, that all forms of recreational flying are still not permitted. In short, the flying of any model aeroplane during this period is considered a criminal offence and any offender runs the risk of being arrested by the SAPS.

It is sad that despite our communications last Friday to all our members and the respective Club Chairpersons, that certain irresponsibly and selfish modelers took to the skies at a registered SAMAA airfield last Saturday. This illegal flying was witnessed by an inspector from the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) who duly informed the Aeroclub of South Africa (AeCSA), and who in turn informed the SMC about the transgression. The rest is history.

When the SCM contacted the Chairperson of the relevant club to investigate the reported transgression, the Chairperson in no uncertain terms informed the SMC that it is not his responsibility to "police" flying activities at his club. This was subsequently followed by a derogative whats-app being circulated to members against the SMC Chair. As a SMC, we cannot condone this type of behaviour and lack the of oversight by a SAMAA registered club.

On a more positive note, our application for relaxation of restrictions to allow model flying under level three is at an advance stage with high-level meetings happening in the next few days to consider our request. A possible date of 01 July 2020 has been mooted as a date on which we can resume with recreational aviation.

However, the transgression by a selfish few over the weekend may just result in our application being turned down. The question posed to the SMC was that "if you cannot manage your clubs and members under the current regulations, how are you going to manage any restricted flying activities, if approved"? We have impressed on all concerned that the actions by a few rogue modellers should not be held against those compliant members that have been patient for the last 3 months. It must be clear to all that if our application is approved, that it will not be "flying as usual". Certain of the proposed restrictions might include:

a) Limited number of members (still to be agreed upon) allowed to fly at a club at any given stage; b) No members of the public or children allowed at clubs; c) It is strongly suggested that no SAMAA member younger than 16 years of age should be allowed at the club, but the discretion is left in the hands of the club and responsible parents; d) Compliance officer to be designated by the club and to be present at a club at all relevant times during permitted flying hours (to be agreed upon) and to enforce all restrictions. More than one compliance officer can be nominated to operate in shifts; e) Temperature screening at all clubs and the recording of full names, address and contact particulars in a COVID-19 compliant register; f) Sanitising of all club facilities before, during and after use by members at the expense of the club. Documentary proof in the form of photos and MSDS of chemicals used to be submitted to SAMAA); g) Demarcated areas (2 meters) in the pit facilities and flying lines; h) Face masks and social distancing a must; i) No drinking of alcohol or social braais at the club (you arrive, fly and leave); j) Clubs to submit COVID-19 registers to SAMAA every Monday morning; k) Club to follow up and report to SAMAA and the regulatory authorities any COVID-19 positive tested members and assist with contact tracing of members, if required. Failure to report these instances is a breach of the COVID-19 regulations; l) Club activities to be suspended, in the case of a positive member being identified, until such time as an assurance is given to SAMAA that the facilities have been re-sanitised and that proper self-monitoring and self-isolation have been implemented towards the affected members; m) If your club is situated in a district that is classed as a "hot spot" and moved to regulation four or five, all flying activities will be suspended; n) If your club is in a different municipal district / or province (given the 5 km travel restrictions and restrictions for inter provincial travel), your club, in conjunction with the SAMAA office, will issue the relevant travel permits to members, after due consideration; o) All the above activities to be at the cost of the relevant clubs / members.

If our application is successful, SAMAA will circulate all the agreed upon regulatory restriction to the club chairpersons. In the interim, we call on all clubs to draft and submit your detailed COVID plan to SAMAA for approval. The relevant chairperson should inform SAMAA how the club and its committee will manage compliance to the agreed upon restrictions and their own COVID plan.

Clubs that believe that they will not be able to sufficiently manage their members and ensure compliance to the agreed upon restrictions and its own COVID plan, will not be allowed to operate when the restrictions are lifted. Any club that does not submit a COVID plan will not be allowed to open for flying. Any club that flaunts current COVID legislation, SAMAA guidance, agreed upon regulations and their own future COVID plan, might run the risk of being de-registered as a SAMAA registered field until such time as compliance is assured, or the country moves to level zero. We encourage our members to adhere to the current no-fly policy and not too hamper our ongoing efforts to have the restrictions lifted.

We will inform all members immediately upon receiving any positive news from the regulatory authorities. In the meantime, we urge all Chairpersons to maintain the lockdown of clubs and to encourage members to remain calm and patient, which is in the best interest of us all.

The buck stops with you. Please be safe out there,

Kind regards.

D Potgieter SAMAA Chairman


Due to Covid 19 and regulations regulating travelling as well as restrictions controlling the number of people congregating together, no aviation events will take place in the foreseeable future. Pilot's Post will advise our readers as soon as this changes.

1 July
EAA Chapter 322 monthly meeting due to Covid 19 will be a Zoom Meeting.
Contact Neil Bowden E-mail: neil1@telkomsa.net

16 July @ 18h30
Eaa Flying Legend Talk Show with Karl Jensen
Eventually, we will be able to enjoy an interview of Karl Jensen hosted by Scully Levin. We have been waiting for this Talk Show long before the March 2020 date that was set for the event before lockdown. Even with the current restrictions, we have joined the revolution and for the time being, will be hosting Talk Shows virtually, until such a time that we are able to gather at the Auditorium in person.

Diarise now and we will keep you informed and circulate the meeting details to all members at a later stage.

EAA of SA Auditorium Team


It is not the end of the Silver Falcons. The Silver Falcons based at Air Force Base Langebaanweg is currently not participating at any Airshows due to COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings, which include Airshows. Photo © Willie Bodenstein

The main purpose of the Silver Falcons aerobatic team is to enhance the image of the South African Air Force (SAAF), encourage recruitment and instil National Pride.

In accordance with the amended Regulations on Disaster Management, the SAAF have cancelled all events until further notice.

At present, the SAAF members are under continuous staff and instructors training.

The Silver Falcons will resume training as per the training schedule of Central Flying School at Air Force Base Langebaanweg.

Issued by the South African Air Force (Air Office), Director Corporate Staff Service


Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD), Africa's premier aerospace and defence exhibition and airshow, scheduled to take place16-20 September 2020, has been deferred to 21 -25 September 2022 as a result of the current global COVID-19 pandemic.

This decision follows a series of events which included the close monitoring of the pandemic's global rollout as well as its prevalence in South Africa. The organisers announced the deferment to September 2022 following consultations with the Department of Defence (DOD) and other key stakeholders associated with the biennial flagship event.

The Show organisers advised that several factors were taken into consideration in arriving at the decision, which include - amongst others:
? The absolute need to ensure the battle against the Covid-19 virus is won and to further safeguard human lives, ? The severity that the pandemic has imposed on the global aviation and defence exhibition sector ? A decision by the DOD to put a hold on all foreign activities and events (inbound and outbound missions) ? South African borders remaining closed with no travelling anticipated to take place by September 2020.

The announcement also comes at the time when South Africa is currently under level 3 lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which restrictions include the prohibition of any public gatherings, a trend also seen around the world during lockdown phases.

"We are aware that the deferment of AAD 2020 comes as an additional setback to the international defence and aerospace industries, and in particular the South African industry, given that AAD Expo is identified and diarised as a platform to showcase the latest advances and technological innovations that the world's best in aviation and defence has to offering. . However, everyone's health, safety and security come first; we can and will only proceed with giving you the best of AAD when it is absolutely safe to do so. We can assure you though that we are already working and planning on delivering an enhanced AAD2022", said Exhibition Director, Leona Redelinghuys.


"This decision was not made lightly. It's difficult to capture the sadness we feel for our September Family who we won't have the chance to see this year. However, we need to approach this with safety for all involved as our highest priority," Fred Telling, CEO of the Reno Air Racing Association, said in a news release. Photo © ThisisReno.

"We recognize and appreciate the great responsibilities Nevada's government leaders bear as they weigh health concerns against economic well-being for Nevada as a whole. With the June 24 announcement that the state of Nevada will remain under Phase Two guidelines for the foreseeable future, we cannot feasibly move forward with planning our event."

Tony Logoteta, COO of the Reno Air Racing Association, said many considerations were factored in to make the decision to cancel this year's event. Besides the uncertainty around the state of the pandemic in September and safely hosting a large event in that climate, they took a look at the long-term ramifications

"Beyond health and safety, our primary focus has to be the long-term viability of this iconic event rather than a high-risk gamble on the current year," Logoteta said. "It's been a challenging year for everyone and we have seen the financial effects across all revenue streams. It's time for us to take a step back and assess our situation so that we can work toward ensuring the future of air racing beginning in 2021."


The first CTSL Permit to Fly has
been updated into an EASA Restricted Type Certificate airplane. The German aviation authority (LBA) has just awarded it a new certificate of airworthiness. Photo © CTSL

"The total upgrade included changes to make the aircraft compliant to the applicable Type Design and the same comprehensive checks which we do with a newly produced aircraft. Moreover, the conversion can be used to upgrade the aircraft with the latest optional items like electric trim or LED landing lights, said Flight Design CEO, Daniel Guenther.

The conformity inspection and update were much more of an effort than we all estimated. Even after receiving an EASA Form 52 for the airplane, a lot of detail work was required."

The Flight Design team thanks the authorities involved in this and especially the great cooperation of the customer. We are sure that the next conversions will be quicker and are looking forward to getting many more during the next months.


After a successful Fall semester of providing flight training for Baylor University aviation sciences program using a fleet of 10 Tecnam aircraft, Universal Flight Concepts (UFC) has entered into a purchase agreement to add an additional 18 aircraft to its Waco Texas location serving Baylor University in 2020. Photo © Tecnam

UFC's program allows Baylor students to experience a one-of-a-kind integrated pilot training system with modern Tecnam aircraft and Tecnam model specific simulators. Students move from the 2 seat P2008, to the P2010 4 place single, to the P2006T four seat twin as they progress through the program and ratings.

The additional aircraft will bring the Baylor University Location to 13 P2008, 13 P2010, and 2 P2006T.

When asked about the selection of Tecnam aircraft for this university program Gordon Jiroux, Ph.D., president and CEO of Universalsaid, "We share in Baylor's belief that all student training must be innovative and comprehensive, with complete dedication to safety. The selection of a modern efficient all Tecnam fleet maintains a continuity for the students which also benefits our drive for quality, safety, efficient learning, maintenance and dispatch."

"We are proud of the confidence and trust that UFC has shown in expanding their Tecnam fleet to 28 aircraft. We look forward to a continued partnership with UFC in training the next generation of aviators." said Giovanni Pascale Managing Director of Tecnam.

"TECNAM's ongoing commitment to practical innovation in piston aircraft has been recognized by the increasing adoption of the Tecnam fleet by high demand flight training operations like UFC. Our partnership with UFC has been instrumental to confirming flight school operations in the US, and we are excited to expand that relationship with these additions to the UFC fleet." Said Shannon Yeager Tecnam US Director.


NASA's development of a little electric airplane began in 2016, when staff at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Centre and Langley Research Centre took delivery of a modified Tecnam P2006T fuselage that would be used to build the X-57 (aka Maxwell). Image © NASA

Electric aircraft technology testing at NASA's Electric Aircraft Testbed began around the same time.

Toward the end of 2019, more than 3 years later, NASA received the first full version of the X-57 Maxwell from Empirical Systems Aerospace (ESAero) of San Luis Obispo, California. It was still based on the Tecnam P2006T, an Italian 4-seat twin engine light aircraft. The first iteration had two 60 kW electric motors, but it was noted at the time that the final version of the electric airplane would have 14 electric motors and propellers, 12 of the motors being attached to the wingtips.

"For more than 70 years, this location has been home to many historic X-planes, or experimental aircraft, responsible for expanding the envelope and pushing the limits of aviation - a tradition that NASA is keeping alive through the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate," Matt Kamlet of NASA wrote.

"The X-57, which is NASA's first piloted X-plane in two decades, is seen here in its final all-electric configuration, known as Modification IV, or Mod IV. This configuration will feature a skinny, high-aspect ratio wing, designed to boost efficiency by reducing drag in flight and electric cruise motors with five-foot diameter propellers on the wingtips, to recover energy that would otherwise be lost to wingtip vortices."

One of the unique features of the X-57 Maxwell is the row of 12 "high-lift motors and propellers" that run along the wings of the plane. They help the plan take off at industry-standard speeds. "These motors will activate during take-off, spinning the propellers and will deactivate during cruise mode, at which point the propeller blades will fold in to the nacelles, as seen in two of the above images, reducing drag."

One thing NASA is using the X-57 for is to help create certification standards for electric aircraft.


Russian Helicopters started serial production of Mi-8AMT Arctic helicopters for civilian customers. Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant made the first rotorcraft which is ready to start operation. Photo © Russian Helicopters.

The Mi-8AMT helicopter in its Arctic version completed the flight-test program and the procedure of acceptance by an independent commission of the Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsiya). The rotorcraft's main features include a unique system for heating transmission parts, designed by JSC National helicopter center ?il&Kamov». The system provides for quick start of engines in extremely low temperatures, even if the helicopter is deployed without a hangar for a long time.

The system for heating transmission parts is complemented by an improved system for thermal protection of the cargo cabin and special thermal insulation shutters in sliding doors and cockpit doors. Special covers protect the helicopter from low temperatures, high humidity and strong winds, if it is deployed without a hangar for a long time. The helicopter systems have Teflon hoses, which are resistant to freezing temperatures, instead of rubber hoses.

The helicopter is equipped with two additional fuel tanks, which allow it to fly long distances. This in very important for northern districts with low population density. The Arctic version of Mi-8AMT can fly up to 1,400 km. An emergency floatation system can also be installed on the helicopter to fly over a vast area of waters in the Arctic.

When the helicopter was designed, great attention was given to ensuring that it is capable of flying over the Arctic terrain with few features, in the conditions of polar night, harsh weather and when satellite and radio signals are lost. For that purpose, the rotorcraft is equipped with a special navigation complex.
The complex includes several navigation systems for locating the helicopter, a radar with horizontal and vertical sweep of information on the weather, a digital autopilot and radios with a wide range of frequencies. The helicopter is capable of automated hovering, flying a planned hovering route and landing. The navigation system considerably reduces the load on the crew and ensures greater safety of the flight.


Gulfstream Aerospace has sold the last commercially available Gulfstream G550™, clearing the way for production of the award-winning business-aviation icon to wind down. The final commercial aircraft will be delivered to a customer in 2021. Photo © Gulfstream

"The G550 set the standard for subsequent aircraft and the industry," said Mark Burns, president, Gulfstream. "With more than 600 in service, the G550 has earned its place as a leader in business aviation. Its technological innovations and safety enhancements earned the G550 development team the prestigious Robert J. Collier Trophy in 2003. While manufacturing of the G550 will end, our industry-leading support of the aircraft will continue. With more than 30 company-owned and factory-authorized service centres on five continents as well as the ability to produce and procure parts, we are well-prepared to continue offering G550 owners the highest level of support."

Announced in 2000, the G550 entered service in 2003 as the launch platform for the transformational Gulfstream PlaneView™ flight deck. Its tremendous range and high-altitude capabilities put the aircraft at the top of its class as evidenced by its more than 55 speed records.

"Over the past decade, Gulfstream has solidified its reputation for delivering high speed and ultralong range," Burns said. "And we know that's what our customers want: the ability to regularly and comfortably fly at Mach 0.90, so that's where we'll continue to place our focus. Our newest large-cabin offerings, whether the high-speed Gulfstream G650ER or the next-generation Gulfstream G500 and Gulfstream G600, continue this heritage by offering exceptional safety, innovation and performance, making them ideal for both commercial and special missions' operations."


The first of five new NATO surveillance drones began test flights over the Mediterranean Sea this month, nudging the alliance toward a new capability meant to relieve the demand for U.S. equipment. Photo © NATO

The flights took off from Sigonella air base in Sicily, Italy, the future headquarters of the Northrop Grumman-made Global Hawks of the Alliance Ground Surveillance program. The planes are owned by a collective of 15 NATO members.

While the initial aircraft has already completed at least one nine-hour flight over the Mediterranean Sea, it remains to be seen if the aircraft can get clearance from Italian regulators to fly over land, where air traffic is more crowded and a mishap could be catastrophic.

The alliance's supreme allied commander for Europe, a job currently filled by U.S. Air Force Gen. Tod Wolters, has tasking authority over the new capability. The North Atlantic Council also gets a say in cases of missions outside of NATO territory.

The general idea is to use the Italian airworthiness approval to fly anywhere. "The beauty of the European airspace is that once you're certified in Italy, you can fly across the European airspace," Grand said.

He noted that the certification currently in effect is provisional and that the scope of the process is "likely to expand over time."

For now, high-flying military surveillance drones traversing the continent must obtain permission from national airspace authorities for a restricted flight corridor to protect nearby civilian traffic. Such is the case, for example, when U.S. unmanned aircraft fly reconnaissance missions close to the Baltics.


Geely acquired the Massachusetts-based flying car company Terrafugia in 2017, subsequently establishing a research and development team in China focused on urban air mobility. Image © Geely

According to an earlier Geely communication, work on the TF-2A design started last year. The company plans to launch a full-scale TF-2A prototype "in the near future."

In addition to subscale demonstrator flights to optimize the TF-2A's aerodynamic configuration, Geely has also launched flight testing of a metal frame test bed with a MTOW of 600 kg (1,320 lb.) and four lifting propellers powered by a high-voltage ground power supply. According to the company's post, the test bed - which made its first flight on June 8 in Hangzhou, China - will be used to verify functions including vertical take-offs and landings and hovering flight, as well as test the dynamic response, stability, functional coordination, and preliminary safety and reliability of each system.

The fully electric TF-2A is expected to have a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 1,200 kilograms (2,645 pounds) and a payload of 200 kg (440 lb.). It is targeting a maximum range of 100 kilometres (62 miles), a cruising speed of 180 km/h (110 mph) and a service ceiling of 3,000 m (9,840 feet).


Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, and Boeing [NYSE: BA] delivered the first CMV-22B for fleet operations to the U.S. Navy on June 22. The V-22 is based at Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission Squadron (VRM) 30 at Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego. Photo © Willie Bodenstein

"This first fleet delivery marks a new chapter of the V-22 Tiltrotor program providing enhanced capabilities and increased flexibility to the U.S. Navy as they conduct important operational missions around the globe," said Shane Openshaw, Boeing vice president of Tiltrotor Programs and deputy director of the Bell Boeing team.

This aircraft is the third overall delivery to the U.S. Navy. Bell Boeing delivered the first CMV-22B at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in February for developmental testing, followed by a second in May. The Navy variant V-22 will take over the Carrier Onboard Delivery Mission, replacing the C-2A Greyhound.

"The CMV-22 will be a game-changing enabler to the high-end fight supporting the sustainment of combat lethality to the carrier strike group," said U.S. Navy Capt. Dewon Chaney, Commodore, Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission Wing. The multi-mission capabilities of the CMV-22, already recognized, will be realized in Naval Aviation's Air Wing of the future. The arrival of this aircraft is the first of many steps to that becoming reality."

The CMV-22B carries up to 6,000 pounds of cargo and combines the vertical take-off, hover and landing (VTOL) qualities of a helicopter with the long-range, fuel efficiency and speed characteristics of a turboprop aircraft.

Bell Boeing designed the Navy variant to have the expanded range needed for fleet operations. Two additional 60-gallon tanks and redesigned forward sponson tanks can cover more than 1,150 nautical miles. The CMV-22B also has the unique ability to provide roll-on/roll-off delivery of the F135 engine power module, enhancing the Navy's readiness.


The Global 5500 aircraft has the longest range, the largest cabin and the smoothest ride in its class Featuring three spacious living areas and Bombardier's patented Nuage seating collection. This aircraft is the ultimate business tool for safe and efficient travel. Photo © Bombardier

Bombardier is very proud to announce the entry-into-service of the innovative, long-range Global 5500 business jet, which was recently delivered to an undisclosed customer. This high-value aircraft represents the gateway into Bombardier's flagship large-cabin Global family, offering world-renowned performance, comfort and the smoothest ride.

Last year, Bombardier announced that the Global 5500 aircraft can fly 200 nautical miles more than planned and its new range of 5,900 nautical miles is 700 nautical miles more than the nearest competitor at the same speed.

The new Global 5500 business jet offers a unique blend of innovation, style and comfort. With its next-generation wing technology and purpose-built engines, the Global 5500 aircraft flies faster and farther, with the smoothest ride. Meticulously crafted with exquisite finishes and high-end craftsmanship, the Global 5500 aircraft features ground-breaking innovations including Bombardier's patented Nuage seat, the first new seat architecture in business aviation in 30 years.

Taking total performance to new heights, the Global 5500 aircraft boasts an impressive range of 5,900 nautical miles (10,928 km), able to connect Sao Paulo to Paris or Los Angeles to Moscow non-stop* and has a top speed of M 0.90. An optimized wing ensures the smoothest ride.

The Global 5500 business jet is equipped with Bombardier Pur Air, a sophisticated air purification system available exclusively on Global aircraft. The system's advanced HEPA filter captures up to 99.99% of allergens, bacteria and viruses and completely replaces the cabin air with 100% fresh air in as little as one-and-a-half minutes.


Greenville Downtown: A National Transportation Safety Board blames the co-pilot's wilful decision to fly a plane with a faulty brake system led to the crash that killed him and another pilot at the Greenville Downtown Airport nearly two years ago. The Dassault Falcon 50 jet's nosedive off the end of a downtown airport runway into a ravine split the plane apart, killing both pilots and severely injuring a health-care executive and her husband. Neither pilot had the proper credentials to operate the Falcon 50, according to records from the Federal Aviation Administration. Before the accident flight, the airplane had been in long-term storage for several years and was in the process of undergoing maintenance to bring the airplane back to a serviceable condition, which in part required the completion of several inspections, an overhaul of the landing gear and the resolution of over 100 other unresolved discrepancies," the NTSB report states. Photo © NTSB

USA, Zavalla, Angelina County: Piper PA-32R-301T Turbo Saratoga SP with only the pilot on board impacted trees and terrain while on approach to a private airstrip in Zavalla, Angelina County, Texas. The airplane sustained unreported damage and the sole pilot onboard received fatal injuries.

USA, Coconut Creek, Forida: A Bell 206L-1 Long Ranger II with only the pilot on board on a calibration flight impacted wooded terrain under unknown circumstances in Coconut Creek, Florida. The helicopter sustained substantial damage and the sole pilot onboard received non-life threatening injures.

USA: Centerville, Davis County, Utah: A Sonex LSA with two on board force landed to open field terrain in Centerville, north of Skypark Airport Bountiful, Utah. The airplane was partially consumed by fire and the two occupants onboard received serious injuries. One first responding individual on the ground received minor injuries. One of the occupants died from the injuries sustained in the crash.

30 JUNE 1943

Royal Air Force Bomber Command has lost 3,448 aircraft, about 1,600 of them to German night fighters and about 20,000 aircrewmen on night raids since the beginning of World War II

The aircrews of RAF Bomber Command during World War II operated a fleet of bomber aircraft carried strategic bombing operations from September 1939 to May 1945, on behalf of the Allied powers.

A total of 126 squadrons served with Bomber Command. Of these, 32 were officially non-British units: 15 RCAF squadrons, eight RAAF squadrons, four Polish squadrons, two French squadrons, two RNZAF/"New Zealand" squadrons and one Czechoslovakian squadron.

Most aircrew were aged between 19 and 25, although some were as young as 16 and at least one was in his sixties.

In the first half of the war completion of training at an OTU would mean each crew transferring to an operational squadron and beginning their operational tour. Assignment to a squadron was simply a process of making good recent losses and a squadron which had lost three or four crews in the previous week would expect the "feeder" OTUs to have replacement ready in the system to cover the losses. This effectively meant that any crew could go to any squadron within Bomber Command.

During 1942 particularly, any maximum effort attacks such as the 1,000 bomber attacks on Cologne on the night 30-31 May 1942 and Essen on 1-2 June 1942 required more aircraft and crews than Bomber Command had available in its operational squadrons so crews at OTUs who were near the end of their courses and were rated as efficient, participated in the operation.

Midweek Update

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