• Crew - Pilot

    Personal particulars

    Height - Heavy bombers 1943- 5ft 7in tall
    Other - inside leg of 41in

    A combination of alertness and steadiness – promptness in decision – imagination , sense of humour – punctuality - attention to detail – power of observation good education and all round interests in mechanical bent and a love of flying. Strong personal and a gift for leadership.


    He generally had about 200 hours of flying before he took command.

    Physical position and conditions in plane

    Location of pilot

    He had a high – backed seat on the LHS of cockpit. His parachute pack served as a hard cushion.

    Only piece of armour protection is behind the pilot, protecting his head.

    In front:

    • Panel instruments for monitoring flight
    • Controls and switches
    • Dials, switches and markings glowed with radial paint to overcome problem of darkness
    • The controls for the elevator and ailerons.
    • Pedals for rudder control were on the floor in front of him.
    • No power assistance!

    On his right:

    • Four throttle levers
    • Propeller speed control levers


    He had dual responsibility…flying and leader of crew/regardless of rank. Example was key to confidence….therefore essence of leader. Authority and /discipline were essential in air…had to maintain authority on ground, too.

    In flight duties

    Along with engineer -

    • Started engines
    • Cockpit checks: set altimeters, check instrument vacuum settings, check temp ad pressure settings, bomb doors closed, radiator shutters opened, auto-pilot off, check hydraulic pressure, set compass, set trim settings, propeller pitch fully fine, set fuel selection, booster pumps on, set flaps for takeoff.
    • Taxi along runway – difficult in itself! Balancing between the correct power settings and brakes pressure made it very difficult to keep plane on runway.


    A typical uniform consisted of a helmet, oxygen mask, parachute, boots, shirt, trousers, tie, gloves, a whistle and an escape kit.

    AWM 069824Warrant-Officer H.G. Carter, Pilot, at the controls of "G for George". 069824