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Aviation Personnel Online books and articles related to WWI aviation personnel

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RFC Pilot Training
RFC Pilot Training
Michael Skeet
Published by Michael Skeet
3 December 1998
Page 12

The Gosport System spelled out exactly what a pilot had to do in order to earn his wings. According to the cadet’s log-book of which I have a photocopy (the handwritten changes were made at some time in early 1918):

A. To graduate a pilot must have:

1. Undergone instruction at a School of Military Aeronautics.

2. Had 20 hours solo in the air. [Handwritten amendment reads: “25 hours solo + dual combined”]

3. Flown a service aeroplane satisfactorily.

4. Carried out a cross-country flight of at least 60 miles successfully--during which he must have landed at two outside landing places under supervision of a R.F.C. officer.

5. Climbed to 8,000 ft. and remained there for at least 15 mins., after which he will land with his engine stopped, the aeroplane first touching the ground within a circular mark of 50 ft. in diam.

6. Made two landings in the dark, assisted by flares (only applicable to B.E. and F.E. 2 pilots; pilots of other machines may do this at discretion of Wing Commanders and Commandant C.F.S.).*

[A hand-written note adds: 7. Passed Gas Course]

B. Pilots will not wear wings until they are qualified for service overseas as under:--

1. Passed tests applicable on p. 6--7. [These are the tests in “A” above.]

2. Have had air experience 30 hours solo, of which not less than five hours must be done on a service type. [Handwritten amendment reads: “Have had dual control instruction + solo air experience amounting in all to 35 hours: of which no less than 5 hrs must be made upon a service type.”]

3. Carried out 15 ‘tail down’ landings on service type. He will then be known as a service pilot and will wear wings.

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