Saturday, 12 May 2012

12 may 1982 - More practice

Logbook entry:  ESM Surface Search  2.00 hours
                         Ships communications check  1.00 hour
                         ESM Surface Search  1.00 hour (Night)

So lots more flying.  Surface search was one of our key roles.  Go out and see what's over the ships radar horizon, identify it and plot it.  We did lots of this to keep in constant practice.  The aircraft in this time had no sophisticated plotting aids. Bob used maps, the radar screen and a chinagraph pencil.  Because the workload was so high the pilot became involved in a lot of stuff.  For example I usually operated the Orange Crop and TANS (Tactical Navigation System).  Quite often flying the aircraft seemed a secondary task.  The communications check was to ensure our long range HF radios were all working, which required us to go a long way away and make sure all was well.  We also decided we needed to get fully in the  practice of low flying - a good way of keeping out of the way of the bad guys.  Our normal minimum was 50 feet using our radar altimeter.  We decided to change that to make it our maximum height.  Bloody good fun but you really had to concentrate especially if a big Atlantic swell was running.

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