Interesting that this Oxford as D-type roundels, but C-type fin flash. The RNZAF postwar seemed to be confused about these different styles. A-type roundels could also be seen on some RNZAF aircraft postwar, including Corsairs for Japan, and Venturas at Ohakea. David D
Post by Dave Homewood on Aug 24, 2018 15:18:29 GMT 12
For the record the following Oxfords were operated by No. 14 Squadron at Ohakea, as seen in the following people's logbooks:
Dave Cohu - Pilot - with No. 14 Squadron from 1 Feb 1949 to 22 July 1949 NZ1394 NZ2116 NZ2124 NZ2141 NZ2152 (also Harvards NZ1066, NZ1067, NZ1085, NZ1086 and NZ1097, Mosquito NZ2308 as part of training on the No. 14 Squadron course, not sure if any were on strength though)
Tony Williams - Navigator-Wireless Op with No. 14 Squadron from 14 Nov 1949 to 26 Jan 1950 NZ1335 NZ1394 NZ2116 NZ2124 NZ2134 NZ2137 NZ2141 NZ2151 NZ2152 (also Harvard NZ1082, Dakota NZ3551, and Mosquitoes NZ2327 and NZ2337 as part of training on the No. 14 Squadron course, not sure if any were on strength though)
Rod Dahlberg - Pilot with No. 14 Squadron from 15 Feb 1950 to 12 Apr 1950 NZ1394 NZ2124 NZ2134 NZ2141 NZ2151 NZ2182 (also Harvard NZ1082 as part of training on the No. 14 Squadron course, not sure if it was on strength though)
Rod Dahlberg - Pilot back with No. 14 Squadron from 1 Apr 1952 to Sep 1952 before heading to Nicosia with Sqn) NZ2156 (not sure if it was on strength with unit, only flown once on instrument flight) And Harvards (definitely seem to be on strength, flown often between Vampire flights) NZ1023 NZ1063
Post by Dave Homewood on Jul 31, 2019 22:58:01 GMT 12
OXFORD AIRSPEED AEROPLANES
WHAT HAPPENS AT DANGER-POINT
(By Chas. E. Wheeler.)
The pilot officer "revved up" the twin engines, trying each ignition system to make sure that either, independently, would fire all cylinders. The ground staff had pulled away the chocks and taken up their safety positions at the extremity of the wings of the Oxford Airspeed. Then we were off down the runway of Woodbourne Air Station of the R.N.Z.A.F., and into the air.
A bright spot on the instrument board was the green glow of the indicator showing that the landing gear was still down, but the movement of a lever brought hydraulic rams into action, and the retractor comfortably tucked the wheels under the aircraft, adding over twenty miles an hour to its speed through this streamlining device.
A twin-engined, dual-control Oxford Airspeed used in the more advanced training of the R.N.Z.A.F.
"How far are we away from the Sounds?" was the passenger's question after the pilot had completed a careful routine, making sure that everything was right for the flight. "About five minutes," was the answer, a vivid reminder that distances count little in air travel. Observing the strict traffic rule, the Oxford climbed quickly on a left bank, continuing the turn until it was making straight for the mountains which border that complicated maze of waters constituting Queen Charlotte and Pelorus Sounds.
Wisps of light cloud floated above the heights, and the quick-climbing Oxford was soon above them. But for these thin streamers of vapour it would have been difficult, with human senses alone, to realise that we were several thousand feet up. They provided the measuring-gauge of high altitude from which Picton and Havelock could be seen simultaneously, with a wonderful and literally a bird's-eye view of the Sounds.
This was an incidental phase of a flight to demonstrate how easily and safely, in competent hands, aircraft can be controlled. It was shown that, given enough space in which to move, aircraft will fly on an even keel and an almost straight course if the controls are left alone. One of the engines was cut out, its air-screw revolving idly, windmill fashion. The Oxford continued its even course, with only a slight touch on the rudder to offset the drag of the idle engine. Had this process continued, the complete flight could have been made, with a safe landing.
THE PASSENGER GETS THRILLS
However, it was comforting for the passenger to hear again both engines running smoothly, till the pilot cut them both off, and speed dropped rapidly from over 150 miles an hour towards stalling point.
Loss of air-speed (stalling) at a low altitude may be dangerous, therefore pupils of the R.N.Z.A.F. must be taught to recognise the symptoms and know how to take remedial action before the aircraft literally stalls. These symptoms were now about to be demonstrated. As the speed fell below a certain point a strident horn began to sound. Surely something serious was going to happen. The cool young pilot, however, took no active steps, but asked his rather apprehensive passenger to wait for the next signs of loss of speed. The instruments began to vibrate. Thus we had lively audible and visual warnings of the approaching "stall," in ample time to apply remedies. To the relief of the passenger, both engines resumed their healthy purr, the air speed picked up instantly, the horn obbligato ceased, instruments stopped dancing in front of our eyes, and we could check the loss of altitude while all these exciting things had been going on—just a few hundred feet lower, with thousands to spare, the hills being still a comfortable distance below.
The purpose of the flight achieved, the aircraft's course was set for Woodbourne. We circled gently to reduce altitude, seeing the buildings of the station, first as match-box size, gradually developing as we descended, the view of a spacious and well-planned training station. An easy landing, and we went through the final formula associated with all flights. Details of the trip were logged by the pilot, noted by the duty, pilot of the station, initialled by the pilot, and the passenger's helmet and parachute returned to store. The aircraft was meanwhile getting a good run over by the ground staff and refuelling squad.
PRECAUTIONS BEFORE FLIGHTS
One has to go back to the beginnings to complete the story of this flight. It had first to be authorised by the chief flying instructor. The station meteorologist, who provides three times a day a general report on weather conditions and the velocity of the wind at various altitudes, was consulted about visibility over the proposed route. Informed of the intended duration of the flight, he gave the reassuring information that the excellent conditions would not change during that time. Had the route been a long cross-country one, he would have provided within a few minutes, a complete picture of the weather throughout, and also indicated possible developments.
The Oxford Airspeed having been allocated for the flight, the pilot received its "ship's papers," which travel with the aircraft. They gave him a complete history of overhauls and inspections. He could see what had been last done, and when the next inspection was due. The state of its petrol and oil tanks was indicated, certified by the initials of those who did the work. Satisfied that the aircraft was fit for the journey, and that weather conditions suited, the pilot signed a log in the duty pilot's office acknowledging receipt of the instructions for the flight, as detailed in the log, together with an estimate of probable time to be taken. This log is completed when the pilot, on return, signed an entry that the flight had been satisfactorily completed, and actual flying time was also reported.
Not too certain that the "ship's papers" (although actual title of this document not stated) would normally travel with the aircraft as a matter of course. Some of the documents which might be deduced by their purpose as described above would include the Aircraft Servicing Form (Form 700) and the Flight Authorisation Book (Form 1575), neither of which would normally be carried in the aircraft, for very good reasons. However I am pretty certain that the more substantive items such as the aircraft's airframe log book, those for its engines, and magnetos, etc, would definitely reside more or less permanently in the Engineer Officer's office, although these would have to follow the aircraft if it were permanently allotted to another station. I will not comment further on the aircraft's name, but - Spitfires Supermarine anyone? Sorry about that. However the main commentary seems to be pretty faithful to the reality of a wartime flight in an Airspeed Oxford from Woodbourne in 1941, so well worth an airing every now and again even if only to keep us cynical old timers feeling slightly relevant. Incidentally, just in case anybody asks, I have never travelled in an Oxford. David D