Ray Seaver - Culture shock of flying Meteors

Running time
1 min 44 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


It was a bit of a culture shock. One of the things that I thought of later on was that when we got our wings, we had 185 hours of flying. By the time we'd done our operational training we got ourselves another 50 plus odd hours. So we're sort of 250 hours which is aero club kids' stuff really and then the next thing we were hit with was this twin-engine so-called high performance jet fighter aeroplane and until that point the Mustang didn't have a dual trainer, the Vampire didn't have a dual trainer, so we were just thrown into those and told 'Here you go, just fly'.

Luckily the Meteor had a training aeroplane, so we were able to get some better instruction and it was a twin-engine aeroplane. So, it was the first time any of us had flown a twin-engine aeroplane which brought in other considerations in terms of flying technique and what happens if one engine fails and that sort of thing.

So we did a little bit of gunnery and air to air fighting in Japan to prepare us and then it was over to Korea and by the time we got to Korea we had something like 300 hours which was really very little flying experience to be doing what we subsequently did. We were all, you know, 21 years of age. So, it was a fairly steep learning curve initially but, yeah, that's the way it was.

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