Friday 7 December 2007 by Peter Burness. No comments
Aircraft 1914 - 1918, Training

P00731.003 Trainees, instructors and staff for the Australian Flying Corps first flying training course which began 17 August 1914. They are pictured in front of a BE2A aircraft in a hangar at the Central Flying School, Point Cook, Victoria.

Some Australian pilots qualified at courses at Point Cook, Victoria, and at Richmond, New South Wales; however, from 1917, most were trained in England. It took about 8 months to produce a pilot, commencing with classes in practical work and theory before handling aircraft.

D00497 Class of instruction in the theory of aerial gunnery (Vickers) at No. 5 (Training) Squadron, Minchinhampton.

After about 3 hours dual flying, candidates made their first solo flight. Pupils might then spend time with more advanced trainers like the Avro 504K. A candidate could complete about 20 hours flying, including some long cross-country flights and some night-flying, before qualifying as a pilot and being allowed to wear the ‘wings’ insignia.

REL32621 Australian Flying Corps embroidered pilot’s qualification brevet worn by Second Lieutenant J. J. Pengilley, No. 3 Squadron, AFC.

The training for observers concentrated on weapons, shooting, visual observation, navigation, and photography. Air mechanics were trained as carpenters, welders, blacksmiths, engine fitters, riggers, electricians and machinist and for other trades.