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Old 7th July 2010, 20:46
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Broncazonk Broncazonk is offline
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Weather Related Forced Bailouts

The Luftwaffe was forced to fly in some pretty dangerous weather during the winter of '43/44 and '44/45. And while many sources hint about and talk around the issue, how common was it for Luftwaffe fighter pilots to 'abandon the aircraft' for a parachute when they couldn't find or see the runway due to bad weather? Landing a Bf-109 with wing-mounted 20mm's in snow, fog and ice with zero or near zero visibility was probably not a very fun thing to do...

Bronc
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Old 9th July 2010, 15:26
Peter Spoden Peter Spoden is offline
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Re: Weather Related Forced Bailouts

Hello,

Since nobody is answering this thread, I try it. During 1943/44 in NJG 5 and NJG 6 we fighters had the strict order to parachute and to leave the aircraft when after mission we were above all clouds, having no radio contact with the groundstation instead of trying to fly through the clouds in bad weather conditions and looking for groundcontact. There were too many losses in doing this. I jumped out 4 times, many pilots and radio-operators did more.

At night 26/27 of march1944 after mission and complete radiofailure we flew with Bf 110 above a solid cloudbase to the South and I told my crew to bail out because of no fuel. The radio-operator BF Schmiedler behind me refused instantly this order and told me that by jumping already 10 times his legs would break once more and would not heal again. With a lot of luck I made a belly landing near Stuttgart, all three WIA and several weeks in hospital ( check war diary NJG 6 by Kock),

Peter Spoden
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Old 9th July 2010, 15:53
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Maximowitz Maximowitz is offline
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Re: Weather Related Forced Bailouts

I remember reading of that incident in your excellent book. Were your radio operators as fortunate as yourself to survive the war?
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Old 10th July 2010, 03:46
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Re: Weather Related Forced Bailouts

Thank you Peter for your reply. I very much appreciate hearing from you on this topic!

Did pilots develop a "sentimental attachment" to their aircraft? They took you into battle and sometimes saved your life, was it hard (did you have regrets) bailing out of them due to weather and losing the aircraft?

Were pilots too "loyal" to their aircraft and risked their lives trying to save them?

Or, was it a very matter of fact 'this is the nature of air combat' and I am under orders to jump out?

What was most feared from winter weather? Wing icing, snow/fog at ground/landing level, flying in ice/snow clouds?

Bronc
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Old 10th July 2010, 08:53
Peter Spoden Peter Spoden is offline
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Re: Weather Related Forced Bailouts

Dear friends,

Of course, there are “sentimental attachments” to the aircraft you fly, like driving your old car. The same in airlines. I still remember the good old DC3 D-CADE I flew as a young Cpt. 55 years ago.

However as a fighter pilot, when the ship is on fire or imminent danger, you jump out right away, not asking much.

In the prop time ice, snow and fog at the ground were still dangerous.
Concerning my radio operator Kurt Schmiedler, he died early because of the many wounds he had received. With the other fellows I am loosing contact. The old warriors fade away slowly, on both sides.

Peter
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Old 11th July 2010, 02:56
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Re: Weather Related Forced Bailouts

Thank you for your reply Peter, much obliged.
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