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PBNA-Boosher
02-08-2005, 08:54 AM
bThe Ditching Tutorial:
What to do and how to do it when you're hit!


You're lining up the shot. The enemy plane is just filing into your gunsight. Your fingers are hovering over the trigger, savoring the moment before you turn his plane into shreds.... WHAM! KACHUNK! SLAM! BOOM! "*Insert expletive here*"

Well, you said it was never going to happen to you. You're too good of a pilot. You're invincible, you're a fighter pilot. Well, I hate to say it... but we told you so... So here you are, your plane is badly hit and the enemy is still behind you. What do you do?

This tutorial will cover everything you need to know about ditching and bailing, so that in the events of your plane getting hit, you will know what to do.

STEP 1: Evasive maneuvering-

If you die, there is no need to ditch the plane, correct? So you first have to get out of the way of the enemy plane behind you. Use whatever maneuvers possible. While you're getting away, if you can, start moving onto STEP 2, but for now we'll concentrate on getting away. Negative G maneuvering usually helps a lot, especially since the enemy doesn't expect it. It also throws off gunnery, because it makes the bandit have to fire underneath your plane to hit you. Inverted barrel rolls, split S's, anything you can. But this tutorial is not on evasion. Let's move onto STEP 2.

STEP 2: Identify the Extent of the Damage-

This is generally a given. First and foremost, what is the status of you and your crew, if you have a crew. Say you are the pilot of an SBD-3 dauntless and you just fended off an attacking A6M2 Zero successfully. During the attack your gunner destroyed the Zeke, but in the process, recieved heavy wounds. You were lightly wounded. The first thing in your mind should be the saving the life of what crew you have left. You know that you are fine, you were hit lightly. It's probably only a foot wound and you can survive the trip home. But since your gunner has several holes in his abdomen and chest, he is in critical condition. This process is the most important step in the damage assessment. It determines whether you're going to bail-out of the aircraft or ditch more than anything. In the situation in the Dauntless, considering I am over the open ocean, I would decide to ditch the aircraft. Inside most planes, or attached to every aircrew member is some form of life vest (Mae West) or a life raft. The life vest is always attached to the crewmen, but the raft itself is located in the plane. Not knowing whether I was in a shark infested area, The safest thing to do would be to get in the life raft. This would require the ditching of the aircraft.
However, the status of the crew isn't the only damage assessment you must make. The extent of damage on the plane itself can also be a very crucial factor. For example, if your Hawker Hurricane is missing its landing gear, 1/4 of the left wing, an elevator, and an aileron, you might think twice about ditching the plane. However, if the plane was only missing 1/4 of the left wing, it might still be possible to save the plane by ditching it. All in all it's up to you to decide what to do in your situation, but I hope I've offered some help in the decision. Now for STEP 3.

STEP 3:

Part A:
Ditching your aircraft-
Okay, here's the situation. A P-47 has just raked your Bf-109 heavily with .50 caliber shells. Your pilot is fine, but your right wing is filled with gigantic holes and you're missing your left elevator. The P-47 has broken off for home, and you're gliding 2 miles above the Normandy coastline. You decide that you will ditch the Bf-109 because the damage is not horribly extensive to the control column, and if necessary you can use flaps to provide extra lift in that final flare on the ground. However, you realize that the bullet holes and oil spreading on the front of your canopy might make things hard for you when putting the plane safely on the ground. However, since your plane has been hit, it is crucial to no longer trust the gauges. They may be reading unreliable information because your engine might not be providing enough power to make a vaccuum for the instruments. Therefore you must judge your altitude by eyesight alone. Peeking out the side of your plane, as you cannot see over the oil leaks and shot up nose of your airplane. You decide that you are around 800 meters off the ground. Setting up your Bf-109 for best glide speed, again, using your eyes to judge it, you aim for a point on the Normandy beaches that looks flattest. You keep your landing gear and flaps up, because the last thing you want right now is a dramatic drop in speed. With the giant holes in your right wing, a loss of speed will mean a huge drop in lift, causing a gigantic pull to the right which your control column may not be able to handle. As soon as you feel 500m above the ground, kill the engine if it hasn't died already. Remember that this is the crucial bail out point. So you must make the decision to stay in the plane and ditch or bail now. There is no point of return from here. Deciding to continue with the ditch, you continue the glide, trying to keep your speed above 220 kph. Finally at 50 meters, you should drop your combat flaps and use what pressure on the stick you can to continue your glide. At no time should you drop below 170 kph in airspeed. Finally, when you feel just above the ground, throw in the rest of the flaps and put yourself down on the ground like you would for a normal landing, but DO NOT PUT DOWN YOUR LANDING GEAR. If you put down your landing gear for a crash landing, it will snap and your plane will be even more damaged than it needs to be. With your flaps now all the way down, all you have to do is flare the plane at the proper altitude for landing. MAKE SURE YOU LOOK OUT THE PART OF YOUR CANOPY THAT IS NOT COVERED IN OIL. IF YOU NEED TO, SIDESLIP THE PLANE INTO ITS BELLY LANDING SO YOU CAN SEE OUT THE SIDE WHILE STILL MOVING FOWARD. THIS WAY YOU WON'T HIT ANYTHING WHEN YOU TOUCH DOWN. Touchdown like you would if you had your landing gear, except make the flare a little more shallow. Then, depending whether you landed in allied or enemy territory, pop the canopy and run like hell back to your airbase. Also beware that sometimes, if the ditching is particularly rough, your engine may start burning. If this happens STOP THE PLANE AND GET OUT AS FAST AS YOU CAN. There's no telling when it will explode, and generally you will have less than 30 seconds to get out.

Part B:
Bailing out of your aircraft- (Fighters)
So, where was I.... oh yes. WHAM! BANG! KACHUNK! THWACK! (etc...) Your airplane is hit, hard! You hear something falling off the aircraft, but it's still handling fine. You maneuver and force the enemy to overshoot. Checking the damage, you realize that your P-38 is missing 1 engine, 1 aileron (the other aileron is heavily damaged), the remaining engine is on fire, you're slightly wounded, the horizontal rear stabilizer is missing from your plane, and your guns are all jammed. There's only one choice for you. You have to exit the airplane as fast as you can in a way that will cause the least harm to you. Generally, there are at least 3 ways to exit a fighter aircraft when you bail out:
1. Roll the plane over on its back and drop out of the cockpit

2. Undo your seatbelt, open the canopy, push down hard on the stick and be forced out of the plane by Physics

3. Undo the seatbelt, climb onto the wing and slide off or jump out of the cockpit. (This makes you vulnerable to hit the tail of the plane and seriously injure yourself)

Given this situation, it would be best to hold the plane steady and climb onto the wing, then having the prop wash blow you off of it. The P-38's twin boom would allow you to slip underneath it with ease. Contrary to popular belief, unless you jumped right out of the plane, climbing out on the wing and sliding off puts you in no danger of hitting the horizontal stabilizer. When bailing out it is crucial to make the decision about how its best to bail. Those few seconds can mean the difference between life and death. I've noticed that when you roll over and push down on the stick, you can get out of the plane much more quickly.

Bailing out of your aircraft- (Bombers)

For a bomber with multiple crew members (3 or more) it is best to be able to hold the plane straight and level for bailout. It gives the crew maximum time to get out. However, in many situations it cannot be helped. For example, sometimes, we have all noticed, if the pilot is killed, the bomber spins wildly out of control. In a bomber you just have to decide when. That's the most crucial part. It's not a matter of how.

I hope this tutorial will help most of you in your quest to run away now to live to fight another day.

PBNA-Boosher
02-08-2005, 08:54 AM
bThe Ditching Tutorial:
What to do and how to do it when you're hit!


You're lining up the shot. The enemy plane is just filing into your gunsight. Your fingers are hovering over the trigger, savoring the moment before you turn his plane into shreds.... WHAM! KACHUNK! SLAM! BOOM! "*Insert expletive here*"

Well, you said it was never going to happen to you. You're too good of a pilot. You're invincible, you're a fighter pilot. Well, I hate to say it... but we told you so... So here you are, your plane is badly hit and the enemy is still behind you. What do you do?

This tutorial will cover everything you need to know about ditching and bailing, so that in the events of your plane getting hit, you will know what to do.

STEP 1: Evasive maneuvering-

If you die, there is no need to ditch the plane, correct? So you first have to get out of the way of the enemy plane behind you. Use whatever maneuvers possible. While you're getting away, if you can, start moving onto STEP 2, but for now we'll concentrate on getting away. Negative G maneuvering usually helps a lot, especially since the enemy doesn't expect it. It also throws off gunnery, because it makes the bandit have to fire underneath your plane to hit you. Inverted barrel rolls, split S's, anything you can. But this tutorial is not on evasion. Let's move onto STEP 2.

STEP 2: Identify the Extent of the Damage-

This is generally a given. First and foremost, what is the status of you and your crew, if you have a crew. Say you are the pilot of an SBD-3 dauntless and you just fended off an attacking A6M2 Zero successfully. During the attack your gunner destroyed the Zeke, but in the process, recieved heavy wounds. You were lightly wounded. The first thing in your mind should be the saving the life of what crew you have left. You know that you are fine, you were hit lightly. It's probably only a foot wound and you can survive the trip home. But since your gunner has several holes in his abdomen and chest, he is in critical condition. This process is the most important step in the damage assessment. It determines whether you're going to bail-out of the aircraft or ditch more than anything. In the situation in the Dauntless, considering I am over the open ocean, I would decide to ditch the aircraft. Inside most planes, or attached to every aircrew member is some form of life vest (Mae West) or a life raft. The life vest is always attached to the crewmen, but the raft itself is located in the plane. Not knowing whether I was in a shark infested area, The safest thing to do would be to get in the life raft. This would require the ditching of the aircraft.
However, the status of the crew isn't the only damage assessment you must make. The extent of damage on the plane itself can also be a very crucial factor. For example, if your Hawker Hurricane is missing its landing gear, 1/4 of the left wing, an elevator, and an aileron, you might think twice about ditching the plane. However, if the plane was only missing 1/4 of the left wing, it might still be possible to save the plane by ditching it. All in all it's up to you to decide what to do in your situation, but I hope I've offered some help in the decision. Now for STEP 3.

STEP 3:

Part A:
Ditching your aircraft-
Okay, here's the situation. A P-47 has just raked your Bf-109 heavily with .50 caliber shells. Your pilot is fine, but your right wing is filled with gigantic holes and you're missing your left elevator. The P-47 has broken off for home, and you're gliding 2 miles above the Normandy coastline. You decide that you will ditch the Bf-109 because the damage is not horribly extensive to the control column, and if necessary you can use flaps to provide extra lift in that final flare on the ground. However, you realize that the bullet holes and oil spreading on the front of your canopy might make things hard for you when putting the plane safely on the ground. However, since your plane has been hit, it is crucial to no longer trust the gauges. They may be reading unreliable information because your engine might not be providing enough power to make a vaccuum for the instruments. Therefore you must judge your altitude by eyesight alone. Peeking out the side of your plane, as you cannot see over the oil leaks and shot up nose of your airplane. You decide that you are around 800 meters off the ground. Setting up your Bf-109 for best glide speed, again, using your eyes to judge it, you aim for a point on the Normandy beaches that looks flattest. You keep your landing gear and flaps up, because the last thing you want right now is a dramatic drop in speed. With the giant holes in your right wing, a loss of speed will mean a huge drop in lift, causing a gigantic pull to the right which your control column may not be able to handle. As soon as you feel 500m above the ground, kill the engine if it hasn't died already. Remember that this is the crucial bail out point. So you must make the decision to stay in the plane and ditch or bail now. There is no point of return from here. Deciding to continue with the ditch, you continue the glide, trying to keep your speed above 220 kph. Finally at 50 meters, you should drop your combat flaps and use what pressure on the stick you can to continue your glide. At no time should you drop below 170 kph in airspeed. Finally, when you feel just above the ground, throw in the rest of the flaps and put yourself down on the ground like you would for a normal landing, but DO NOT PUT DOWN YOUR LANDING GEAR. If you put down your landing gear for a crash landing, it will snap and your plane will be even more damaged than it needs to be. With your flaps now all the way down, all you have to do is flare the plane at the proper altitude for landing. MAKE SURE YOU LOOK OUT THE PART OF YOUR CANOPY THAT IS NOT COVERED IN OIL. IF YOU NEED TO, SIDESLIP THE PLANE INTO ITS BELLY LANDING SO YOU CAN SEE OUT THE SIDE WHILE STILL MOVING FOWARD. THIS WAY YOU WON'T HIT ANYTHING WHEN YOU TOUCH DOWN. Touchdown like you would if you had your landing gear, except make the flare a little more shallow. Then, depending whether you landed in allied or enemy territory, pop the canopy and run like hell back to your airbase. Also beware that sometimes, if the ditching is particularly rough, your engine may start burning. If this happens STOP THE PLANE AND GET OUT AS FAST AS YOU CAN. There's no telling when it will explode, and generally you will have less than 30 seconds to get out.

Part B:
Bailing out of your aircraft- (Fighters)
So, where was I.... oh yes. WHAM! BANG! KACHUNK! THWACK! (etc...) Your airplane is hit, hard! You hear something falling off the aircraft, but it's still handling fine. You maneuver and force the enemy to overshoot. Checking the damage, you realize that your P-38 is missing 1 engine, 1 aileron (the other aileron is heavily damaged), the remaining engine is on fire, you're slightly wounded, the horizontal rear stabilizer is missing from your plane, and your guns are all jammed. There's only one choice for you. You have to exit the airplane as fast as you can in a way that will cause the least harm to you. Generally, there are at least 3 ways to exit a fighter aircraft when you bail out:
1. Roll the plane over on its back and drop out of the cockpit

2. Undo your seatbelt, open the canopy, push down hard on the stick and be forced out of the plane by Physics

3. Undo the seatbelt, climb onto the wing and slide off or jump out of the cockpit. (This makes you vulnerable to hit the tail of the plane and seriously injure yourself)

Given this situation, it would be best to hold the plane steady and climb onto the wing, then having the prop wash blow you off of it. The P-38's twin boom would allow you to slip underneath it with ease. Contrary to popular belief, unless you jumped right out of the plane, climbing out on the wing and sliding off puts you in no danger of hitting the horizontal stabilizer. When bailing out it is crucial to make the decision about how its best to bail. Those few seconds can mean the difference between life and death. I've noticed that when you roll over and push down on the stick, you can get out of the plane much more quickly.

Bailing out of your aircraft- (Bombers)

For a bomber with multiple crew members (3 or more) it is best to be able to hold the plane straight and level for bailout. It gives the crew maximum time to get out. However, in many situations it cannot be helped. For example, sometimes, we have all noticed, if the pilot is killed, the bomber spins wildly out of control. In a bomber you just have to decide when. That's the most crucial part. It's not a matter of how.

I hope this tutorial will help most of you in your quest to run away now to live to fight another day.