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Table of Contents

RAAF Meteorological Service



Chapter 1: The Weather Factor in Warfare

Chapter 2: Establishing and Developing the RAAF Directorate of Met. Services (D.Met.S)

Chapter 3: Recruiting and Training of Personnel

Chapter 4: Meteorology in Aviation
The RAAF Meteorological Flight
Hazards Galore

Chapter 5: The Met. Retreating

Chapter 6: The Met. Advancing

Chapter 7: The Met With the Army and the Navy

Chapter 8: Divisional Offices of the Bureau of Meteorology During the War

Chapter 9: Research and Instrumental Development

Chapter 10: The End, Aftermath, and Beyond

Appendix 1

Appendix 2

Appendix 3

Appendix 4



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The RAAF Meteorological Flight (continued)

Heffernan recounted two forced landings he had made whilst on meteorological flights. In the first one he landed on a disused trotting oval about three miles south of Williamstown (Vic). The second was caused when the air vents on the fuel tanks of the aircraft became clogged with ice. No air could enter the tanks, no petrol could flow, so the engine stopped. He managed to glide down and land near Werribee.

Wing-Commander Eric Read, AFC, described what the well-dressed pilot wore on meteorological flights which went to altitudes high for those days—and cold, in a virtually open cockpit:

  1. 'Normal underclothes;

  2. Normal uniform less jacket;

  3. One or more woollen pullovers according to your particular choice—usually personal belongings, because the service issue you could shoot peas through;
  4. Fur-lined Sidcot flying overall suit;

  5. Fur-lined pull-on flying boots;

  6. Leather fur-lined flying gloves with a pair of silk gloves worn as a liner;

  7. Flying helmet and goggles;

  8. Knee-pad strapped to leg, either left or right, depending upon right or left-handed; and Parachute.'[32]

On landing, the pilot consulted a Cloud Manual to accurately identify clouds, then rang this information to the duty officer at the Meteorological Bureau, Melbourne. Read recollected that during one flight at 16,000 feet, he had noted a cloud formation away to the south-west which had individual towering pillars of cumulus. On consulting the Manual, he identified them as altocumulus castellatus. 'Ha-Ha', I thought, 'this will stump the Met. boys—but not so. The officer praised me for noting the formation, and then went into a long dissertation of the observation, as it indicated a region of high instability, important for the subsequent forecast. I never tried to be smart again!'

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Joyce, J. 1993 'The Story of the RAAF Meteorological Service', Metarch Papers, No. 5 October 1993, Bureau of Meteorology

© Online Edition Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre and Bureau of Meteorology 2001
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