Play / pause Flying the Gnat

Flying the Gnat

  • Douglas McGregor
  • Interview by: Jess Boydon


I was I went to Cranwell and did

but then off we went for training

We moved to the Gnat which had just

And so we were pretty much

to go through on the Gnat

which actually was quite

You walked out.

It looked simple because actually

was lower than you standing alongside it.

It was that small.

And sometimes if, for instance,

all you need to do is put enough

it very happily and change the wheel.

But anyhow, we learned to fly

and then unusually there was this habit

your advanced flying training,

or two would be sent off to be a 'creamy'

Now suddenly become an instructor.

And I was selected to be

So therefore,

A have a reasonable amount

but also to be a creamed off instructor.

People were very good on the instructor

because they were all yet in their late

because they normally gone out

So I didn't have that experience

The idea was to impart that knowledge

that Gnat to young people

one could empathize very easily

The Gnat was not entirely a service


morning was to say, what's the situation

And the answer

It was all the aircraft when the hangar

And I got airborne in one one day

and when I selected the undercarriage

they didn't come down.

The hydraulic track is split wide open.

And so I now had to land this aircraft

Now, it's an interesting experience

how close to the ground the Gnat was

I was going to land the aircraft

and you had to plant it down on this,

you know, you're going quite fast

And so there is your bum about five inches

along the runway with sparks and flashes

Except in this case, the wind

forced the aircraft

And at this stage it seemed very sensible

down enough, open the canopy before

I think it's heightened awareness

literally immediately

And therefore, the pupil

and standing on the wing waiting for it

so you can step off it just in case

During the all the flashing and grinding

But all was well,

  • Douglas McGregor

    © RAF Museum

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