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Lieutenant Commander Wiley. As I understand, the report of the loss gave in effect that it was caught in vertical air currents which broke the ship in two.

Colonel BRECKINRIDGE. Structural failure?
Lieutenant Commander WILEY. Structural failure; yes, sir.

Colonel BRECKINRIDGE. The lessons of that structural failure, were they applied to later ships?

Lieutenant Commander WILEY. They certainly were, both in design and in operation.

Colonel BRECKINRIDGE. And you consider the present ships far superior to the Shenandoah?

Lieutenant Commander WILEY. Undoubtedly far superior.

Colonel BRECKINRIDGE. Commander, what do you think of the experience of the crew of the Akron and their ability?

Lieutenant Commander WILEY. They were as good as any crew, and some of them had been under my observation for 9 years, at least 50 percent of them were of long training, and all of the leading petty officers of long training and service.

Colonel BRECKINRIDGE. What is the system of training in lighterthan-air?

Lieutenant Commander Wiley. For enlisted men?

Lieutenant Commander WILEY. Well, the enlisted men, of course, we have a great many left from the war, and even in the Akron crew practically all of the chief petty officers had been in this service since the war, and had served on the Shenandoah, Los Angeles, and so forth.

In our instructions of the crew, we gave various lectures by different officers, to instruct them, and had certain examinations, and so forth, to see that they had the mental preparation. In addition, about 3 years ago when it became apparent we were to have two more rigid airships, we started an airship school at Lakehurst, a course of 6 months in which they were given practical and theoretical education in that period, and required to have a certain number of hours in the rigid air service. Finally, after a man had the necessary theoretical and practical instruction, and had demonstrated his ability, he was given a designation "qualified for duty in rigid air service." I believe, except in one or two cases, all of the members of the Akron crew on the last flight had this designation.

The course for oflicers consisted first in that the officers were chosen on their records as being good seamen and good officers, and it has come to my knowledge in some way that when a class of 10 officers was chosen, there were generally about 30 or 40 applicants, so there was a good chance to choose the best material. These officers were sent to Lakehurst and given first a short theoretical course of 6 weeks or 2 months, as I remember, and enough to start them in actually flying free balloon and small nonrigid airships. I thought I had a syllabus of that course here some place.

Colonel BRECKINRIDGE. We will ask that that be made a part of the record.

Representative DELANEY. Very well. (The syllabus for the training of student naval aviators is as follows:)




(A) Ground school:

1. Radio training.
2. Preliminary ground school.

3. Advanced ground school.
(B) Flight training.
(C) Mooring and handling.
(D) Gunnery.
(E) Bombing.
(F) Practical aerial navigation.
(G) Outside reading course.

It is the policy to conduct the general course at one station. The naval air station, Lakehurst, conducts the present training school for naval aviators (airship).

An officer when detailed to training in the duties of naval aviator (airship), shall subject to the approval of the Bureaus of Navigation and Aeronautics, be designated a student naval aviator (airship) and at the completion of that training, if found qualified by a board consisting of at least three naval aviators (airship), shall, subject to the same approval as above, be designated a naval aviator (airship).

Upon reporting of a class for training, its members shall immediately appear before a medical examining board to determine their fitness for aviation duty, as prescribed in the manual for the Medical Department, United States Navy, this examination to be in addition to any previous examination they may have undergone.

The course of training outlined herein will require approximately one full year in order that students may profit by the conditions encountered during the several

To that end the following time employment schedule will serve as a guide. I. Preliminary ground school (1 month):

(a) Lectures 4 days per week.

(b) Flight training during time not required by lectures. II. Flight training (3 months): (a) Complete flight training except for final checks and solos in nonrigids

and training in excess of 150 hours in rigid ships. (6) Complete items D, F, and G of general course.

(c) Receive practical instruction in C. III. Advanced ground school ( 4 months):

(a) Lectures 4 days per week.

(6) Flight training during available time not required by ground school. IV. Advanced flight training (4 months):

(a) Complete requirements prescribed for flight training.
(b) Complete E of general course.
(c) Receive special instruction in the following duties:

(1) Mooring officer.
(2) Watch officer (rigid).
(3) Engineer officer (rigid).
(4) Assembly and repair officer.
(5) Communications.
(6) Nonrigid operation (extended flights).

(7) Aerological officer. Failure on the part of the student to complete satisfactorily any portion of his training will be investigated by the qualification board.


QUALIFICATION BOARD A qualification board consisting of three naval aviators (airship) will be appointed by the Bureau of Navigation upon the recommendation of the commanding officer of the naval air station. This board will normally consist of

The executive officer of the naval air station;
The operations officer of the naval air station; and a

Commanding officer of a rigid airship.

Additional members to this board (not to exceed two) may be appointed by the commanding officer of the naval air station at such times as he deems desirable.

The qualification board will meet at the discretion of the commanding officer to determine the fitness of students to continue training and also to pass upon the final qualification of a student prior to being designated a naval aviator (airship)

The following is an amplification of the items outlined in the general course:

(A) Ground school.- A naval aviator of the rank of lieutenant commander, United States Navy, or above shall be detailed as officer in charge of ground school.

Officers shall be detailed as instructors in the ground school in accordance with their special knowledge of the subjects taught.

The ground-school training course shall be as follows: I. Radio training.

Periods will be assigned to radio practice as required during ground school.
The student is required to

1. Send and receive 15 words per minute in the classroom.
2. Exchange messages with the N.A.S. by radio from a nonrigid ship.
3. Get radio-compass bearings while in flight.

4. Show familiarity with other methods of signaling. II. Preliminary ground school.

All lectures will be supplemented by practical works and inspection tours

as practicable. (a) During this period the following lecture subjects will be completed: 1. Aviation history.

2 hours General history of aviation from its conception to its

present development, of both lighter-than-air and

heavier-than-air craft. Outline of course of training. 2. Balloons, free and kite

5 hours Manufacture, maintenance, and operation of. 3. Communications..

5 hours Methods, regulations, and equipment. 4. Instruments

5 hours All instruments in use in airships or balloons except bub

ble sextants. Examinations will be held on subjects

2, 3, 4. (6) Elementary lectures, the scope of which is limited to the

essential points required by the students in order to in

telligently understand practical flight instruction. 1. Aerostatics...

3 hours Lifting gases and their properties. Basic lift equation

and factors affecting it. Thumb rules and definitions. 2. Aerodynamics...

3 hours Basic elements of aerodynamic forces. Stresses and

strains introduced and symptoms of equilibrium and

trim. 3. Aerology

5 hours Routine, data collected and basic information relative

to aerology. Physical indications of bad weather. 4. Ground handling and mooring

5 hours Organization of ground crew. General statement of

problems to be met. P-works to familiarize students

with equipment. 5. Nomenclature.

3 hours Full explanations of terms peculiar to L. T. A. and study

of bureau's approved nomenclature. 6. Nonrigid airships..

3 hours Nomenclature, operation instructions, casualties (their

indications and procedures). 7. Engineering --

3 hours Organization and elementary instruction required so

that students may be able to stand watches under

close supervision while in flight. 8. Rules of the road.

2 hours 9. Airmanship (rigid).

5 hours Organization, standing orders, standard orders used.

Principles of flight.

3 hours

3 hours

20 hours

15 hours

30 hours

10 hours

II. Preliminary ground schoolContinued

(6) Elementory lectures—Continued
10. Navigation

Essential differences between aerial and surface navi

gation, explanation and description of bubble sex

11. Materials, construction, and design.-

Brief description of materials used, stresses, trimming,

and bending moments. III. Advanced ground school. 1. Aerostatics.

Complete course covering entire theory of aerostatics and its

application to balloons and airships. 2. Aerodynamics..

A short course in physics and calculus. Theory of aerody

namics as applied to airships and balloons. Calculation
of pressures required for nonrigids to maintain shape. Use
of coefficients in computation of resistance, drag, and lift.
Stresses put on airships and airplanes due to rudders, ele-
vators, and inertia of body. Various types of airflow,
turbulence, etc. Propeller forces and effects. Decelera-
tion tests. Stresses and strains introduced by flying air-
ships under light and heavy conditions. Same due to
handling airships on the ground. Effect of gusts on aero-

dynamic stability of airships. 3. Aerology

General course covering the subject from first principles to

the prediction of weather. Drawing of weather maps in

flight. Planning extended operations. 4. Airship gases.

Helium, its properties, methods of production, purification,

storage, and use. Hydrogen, its properties, methods of
production, storage and use. Precautions, tests, and rou-
tine procedure. Uses of compressing machines and infla-
tion procedure. Safety precautions in connection with

using airship gases.
5. Heavier-than-air indoctrination.----

General mission and operation of heavier-than-air craft.

Student to have flights in heavier-than-air craft during

his student status. 6. Materials, construction, and design--

Principles of design, cover steps in designing both rigid and

nonrigid ships, practical standards and materials used in
construction of airships and balloons. These include gas
cells, valves, control surfaces, outer cover, etc. Calcula-

tion of stresses. Trimming and bending moments. 7. Aviation engines...

Principles of design. Types of airship engines and appur

tenances. Methods of operation, repair, upkeep, and

routine. Electrical and fuel installation. Airship fuels. 8. I. Airmanship (rigid)

Handling rigid airships on the ground, in flight, and at masts,

under all conditions and emergencies. Servicing from
surface ships. Organization of airship, crews. Routine

underway, in shed and while moored. Maintenance.
II. Airmanship (small ships).

Organization, shed routine, maintenance, and operation

2 hours

20 hours

10 hours

30 hours

15 hours III. Advanced ground school—Continued 10. Photography

of nonrigids and semirigids. III. Airmanship (mooring)

1. Airship bases.
2. Types of masts, description, operation.
3. Detailed discussion of handling rigid ships at a base.

4. Handling of nonrigid ships.
9. Aerial navigation and fleet indoctrination..

Principles and methods including use of aerial navigational

instruments and devices. Employment of rigid airships
as an arm of the fleet. Employment of rigid airships on
naval missions. Scouting doctrine.

15 hours

20 hours

5 hours General procedure in photography as outlined in the photo

graphic manual. 11. Ordnance.

5 hours Instruction in the use of ordnance material in aircraft, em

phasizing flexible machine guns and bombing practice. A written examination shall be given in all courses in which more than 5 hours instruction is given.

(B) Flight training.-The operations officer, a naval aviator (airship), shall have general supervision of all flight training.

The flight officer shall be a naval aviator (airship) and the officer in charge of the flight school. He shall have full charge of the flight training of all students and shall work in conjunction with the commanding officers of rigid airships regarding the training carried out on these ships. The flight training course shall be as follows:

1. Parachutes.
2. Free balloons.
3. Kite balloons.
4. Nonrigid airships.
5. Semirigid airships (if available).
6. Rigid airships.

7. Advanced course in special billets on rigid airships. Students shall be given instruction and check flights and shall solo in accordance with the schedule below and in the order mentioned therein. Before the student has his first instruction flight in an airship he shall inspect the airship in the shed and familiarize himself with the various parts and rules of the ship, such as those for landing stations, etc. In the case of a nonrigid airship he shali practice moving the controls and handling valve ballast lines so their feel may be coordinated. He shall be instructed in the rules of the air and the rules as laid down in the Bureau of Aeronautics Manual. 1. Para utes.

Lectures and practical works in parachute shop in methods of packing,

use, and operation. Tests will consist of each student packing and

dropping one parachute for test purposes. 2. Free balloon course.

Seven flights are required as a minimum. Each flight must be of 1 hour

or more duration. One of the required flights must be made at night and one must be a solo flight without passengers. The student shall have practical work in the inflation, deflation, assembly, and rigging of free balloons. He shall take charge of inflation and rigging of the balloon used by him on his solo flight. The packing of any balloon on its return to the station shall be examined by the flight officer, who

shall hold the pilot responsible for its condition. 3. Kite balloon course.

A minimum of 10 flights and 10 hours in the air are required in kite

balloons. The student shall have practical work in the inflation, deflation, ground and winch handling, bedding down in woods, securing in shed, assembly and rigging of kite balloons. He shall demon

strate his ability to handle kite balloons under various conditions. 4. Nonrigid airship course.

The student shall assist in the assembly and inflation of at least one

nonrigid airship. He shall demonstrate his ability to take charge of the handling party of a nonrigid airship on the ground under various conditions. A minimum of 20 flights and 20 hours in the air at elevators are required by each student. During these flights the student shall spend one hour as radio operator and one hour as mechanician. One or more night flights shall be made by each student, if conditions warrant. After 10 hours' instruction the student shall be checked as to ability to steer courses, keep constant pressure, and fly at a constant altitude. Each student shall make five satisfactory landings under varying weather conditions. Before qualifying in nonrigid airships the student shall make two flights without an instructor or qualified airship pilot aboard. These flights shall be made, if practical between the hours of 1,100 and 1,400 and shall be at least of one hour's duration. They shall conform to the requirements specified by the commanding officer.

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