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School For Air Force

Instructors

By A STAFF

CORRESPONDENT

WHEN Australia went to war

. in 1939, the R.A.A.F. wel- comed just about everyone who knew how to fly an aeroplane. It

was desperately short of men who could teach the thousands enlisting how to become pilots.

Some men given this job .wanted to fly in the war, not at a training camp. But in 1939 there was no alternative for them.

Now the R.A.A.F. is making sure it will not be caught like that again.

At East Sale, Victoria, the "post- graduate" station of the Air Force, is the Central Flying School for in-

structors.

A Tough Course

Here the R.A.A.F. takes already experienced and highly qualified pilots and puts them through a six months course that is one of the toughest, and at the same time one of the most sought after, in' the ser-

vice.

Average age of the men selected for the course is 27, average flying u'me, "over 1,000 hours," average rank, Flight-Lieutenant.

The course-20 officers take it each time-lasts six months.

Trainer-instructors do two hours ground work for every three in the

air.

In the air they learn how to teach pupils to fly every sort of plane the Air Force uses-Tiger Moths (basic trainers still, but to be replaced in time), Wirraways, Ansons, Oxfords, and advanced planes like Mustangs, Dakotas, and Lincolns. (The sta- tion has now taken delivery of its first jet fighter).

On the ground they learn how to be a classroom teacher.

To pass out of Central Flying School as a graded instructor an offi- cer has to pass a series of examina- tions designed to prove whether he can teach as well as fly.

Art Of Teaching

He learns how to get the best out of all pupils, how to handle the "know-all," the value he can put on the quickness of some pupils, xhe reason for the slowness of others.

He learns how to handle the nervous pupil in the air, and how to talk clearly to pupils, which is very important in the air.

An officer doing the course goes up with one of the staff instructors and pretends the staff man is his pupil.

These staff instructors-there are about 17 of them-are responsible for the general standard of flying throughout the R.A.A.F.

After six months at the school under the staff instructors an officer, if he passes the course, is graded himself as an instructor.

He then goes back to an opera- tional station as a flying adviser to other pilots, or to a basic training station or to a citizen air force squadron as an instructor.

Digitisation generously supported by
Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation
Digitisation generously supported by

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