1st Parachute Battalion War Diary Appendix 3 Balloon Training Nov 1941


COPY. 1 PBd/E/26.G




When parachute dropping takes place the following instructions will be carried out:-

1). SMOKING in the vicinity of the balloon, whether close hauled or flying, is strictly forbidden.

2). N.C.O. i/c Balloon Crew will contact Operations Room Bowlee for permission to fly the Balloon and to carry out training.

3). The N.C.O. i/c Balloon Crew can at any time decide against flying the Balloon if in his opinion local conditions are not suitable.

4). No dropping will take place in a wind exceeding 15 m.p.h.

5). The Balloon will not be moved from its mooring, neither will dropping take place when the number of Army and R.A.F. present to assist the Balloon Crew totals less than 20. These men must at all times be ready to help on the Balloon handling Guys when called upon to do so.

6). No one, other than a member of the Balloon Crew will touch the Handling Guys until ordered to do so by the N.C.O. i/c Balloon Crew.

7). When assisting with the Handling Guys the rope must be held in a normal grip, and on no account must it be looped round the arm, body or leg.

8). No one, other than members of the Balloon Crew may touch or mount the winch without permission of the N.C.O. i/c Balloon Crew. Apart from other considerations there is danger in receiving static discharge unless conversant with winch regulations.

9). No live drops will take place until a minimum of 2 dummies have been dropped from 500 ft to check direction of drift and until the R.A.F. Parachute Instructor present is satisfied that the Balloon is so positioned as to avoid a parachutist drifting into an obstacle.

10). The maximum number of dummies it is permissible to carry in the Balloon car is three and one passenger or two dummies and two passengers.

11). The maximum number of persons permitted to ascend in the Balloon at one time is five, one Instructor and four pupils. No pupil may enter the car without an Instructor.

12). The maximum height from which live dropping is permitted is 500 feet. This altitude must not be exceeded without special authority.

Continued/sheet 2

13). Before an ascent is made, the N.C.O. i/c Balloon Crew will satisfy himself that everything is in order. It is the responsibility of the R.A.F. Parachute Instructor to make further inspections of the flying wires and car attachments and no one shall be permitted to enter the car until the Instructor i/c Crew has given the order to do so.

14). Telephone inter-communication between Balloon Car and winch must be tested before ascent.

15). No Instructor may ascend in the Balloon Car without wearing an observer type parachute or para-suit.

16). Before ascending the Instructor will enter the Balloon Car followed by four pupils, and will attach statics of each pupil’s parachute to the snap hooks on the overhead cross-bar of the Balloon Car and position the safety pins.

17). Pupils will be numbered and will take up their positions before leaving the ground and will not be permitted to move about or stand up once the ascent is commenced.

18). When the Instructor and pupils are positioned the former will give the order to the N.C.O. i/c/ Crew, “READY FOR ASCENT” and the latter will pay out the winch.


19). The N.C.O. i/c Balloon Crew will telephone the Instructor when 500 feet has been reached and will stop winch giving the signal “500 FEET, WINCH STOPPED” to the Instructor, who will signal back, “MESSAGE RECEIVED, ABOUT TO COMMENCE DROPPING”.

20). When ready to commence dropping the Instructor will give the order ÄCTION STATIONS”, followed by the order, “NO 1, NO 2, NO 3, NO 4” and the pupils will drop in the order stated and only when their numbers are called out.

21). When all the pupils have dropped the Instructor will telephone the N.C.O. i/c Crew to “CLOSE HAUL BALLOON”.

22). The Balloon Car are to be covered over when not in use and particular care taken to see that the overhead cross-bar is kept clean and free from rust.

23). Powered aircraft dropping parachutes at Tatton Park will not operate when Balloon is being flown. Arrangements will be made for inter-communication between P.T.S. and the Balloon site, and O.C., P.T.S. responsible for ensuring that all information regarding this matter is passed.

Signed L.G. Harvey.

Group Captain, Commanding

Central Landing Establishment,

Royal Air Force, Ringway.

Courtesy of Bob Hilton

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