Ditching Procedure (Lancaster)

Pilot

Warns W/Op to take up Ditching Position then re-establishes intercom with Air Bomber and Navigator

Pilot

Lowers flaps to 25 and turns into final approach position according to state of sea and switches on landing lamp if ditching at night.

Pilot

Warns Crew 'Brace for Ditching' & disconnects intercom

Nav

On receiving warning, disconnects intercom and shouts 'Brace for Ditching'

Nav

W/Op

Engr

Brace for impact with hands behind neck, backs against the main-spar and feet against the flapjack

B/Aim

Disconnects intercom and warns Mid Upper and Rear Gunners

B/Aim

MUG

RG

Take up ditching positions with arms around each others necks and feet against flapjack

Pilot

Secures harness and braces feet against rudder bar
There will be two shocks as the aircraft ditches. First will be a milder shock as the tail hits the water, this will be followed by a more violent shock as the front hits.

Once the aircraft has settled commence evacuation to dinghy

Evacuation Procedure

Try to keep as dry and avoid jumping into the sea. In winter, survival time in the sea can be as little as two minutes

Pilot

Climbs out through roof hatch and inflates Mae West then crawls over the top of the fuselage then drops down onto starboard wing

Nav

Climbs out through mid ditching exit with his satchell and lifeline (handed to Nav by W/Op) and climbs onto starboard wing

W/Op

Holds lifeline and climbs out through mid ditching exit and climbs down onto starboard wing

Engr

Operates manual dinghy release and follows W/Op through mid ditching exit and climbs down onto starboard wing

MUG

Collects No's 4 & 7 emergency packs

RG

Operates rear dinghy manual release, holds lifeline and crawls along top of fuselage then climbs down onto starboard wing

B/Aim

Follows rear gunner

Nav

Holds dinghy steady whilst W/Op climbs aboard and starts to apply leak stoppers where necessary. Nav then climbs in and assists W/Op

RG

Steps into dinghy

B/Aim

Climbs onto starboard wing and holds Lifeline

Engr

Climbs onto starboard wing and stands with Pilot. Then collects emergency packs from MUG

MUG

Hands Radio and kite assembly to Pilot

Nav

W/Op

Fend dinghy off and continue leak stopping if necessary

B/Aim

Climbs into dinghy

Engr

Hands emergency packs to Rear Gunner and climbs into dinghy

Engr

RG

Haul in the emergency stowage pack from the sea and stow

Pilot

Hands radio to Rear Gunner and climbs into dinghy with kite assembly over his shoulder

MUG

Climbs into dinghy

Cast Off

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