Coverall Aircrew Mk 14A

97JP02 24th Dec 2010 21:08
Coverall Aircrew Mk 14A

Just came back from a cancelled gliding scholarship and while I was at the VGS, I was issued a Mk 14A growbag to use. Does anyone know what the set of poppers going down are for? Was just a little curious and none of the VGS staff could figure it out themselves.

It's only Me 24th Dec 2010 21:23
Long long time ago... They were for the AR5 Nuclear Biological Chemical (NBC) respirator, which was very heavy and uncomfortable.

davejb 24th Dec 2010 21:54
...and had the somewhat unexpected effect of making your flying helmet arrangement rise up on your head until it became very difficult to see out of the faceplate until all was securely fastened.

I often wondered how much the RAF paid for what was obviously a pair of black marigold gloves.... I'd guess £50 a pair....

I remember doing a dinghy drill in AR5, which was even more surreal than most dinghy drills.


Spot 4 24th Dec 2010 22:05
At 4:21 of this video: EndlessVideo - RAF N&Z Aviation Aircrew AR5 MkIII NBC Hood/Mask/Respirator
You will see two chromed pins akin to domestic knife blades. They were inserted into two recepters that press studded onto the flying suit front to stow the oxy tubes out of the way. Flying in this kit was bloody dangerous as periphial vision was none existant.

So if you can imagine a nylon board about 4"x2" approx bent longways through 90` with 3 studs on one side and a sleeve pocket on the other, you get the idea of what was once attached on those studs.

davejb 24th Dec 2010 22:18
You will see two chromed pins akin to domestic knife blades. They were inserted into two recepters that press studded onto the flying suit front to stow the oxy tubes out of the way.
Eh? I don't remember anything like that? The only dodgy thing about it - and I did exercises in this stuff...we removed it before actually taking off mind - was that initially it had the disconcerting habit, (I was told), of letting the LOX through the O2 connection whilst still a bit liquid....which (obviously) was sorted out rather quickly.

The only knife blade I remember was my original Mk1 dinghy knife, which I failed to let SE grind down to an orange peeler right up to the day I handed my kit in on retirement. (Sorry all you safety types, but I never intended to stab the dinghy with it, whilst I figured it might come in handy if we ditched and I needed to kill something.... even if it was only the co pilot!)


Background Noise 25th Dec 2010 07:54
Think the press studs were for use when not wearing an LSJ?

Lottery Winner 25th Dec 2010 18:41
The studs were for the AR5 kit as pointed out above.

Background Noise 25th Dec 2010 21:40
Yes - but for non LSJ wearers was what I meant.

davejb 25th Dec 2010 22:24
Hazy memory, not least because we removed the kit when doors closed ready to go, and only wore AR5 on a couple of Tacevals a good few years ago... but I don't remember removing the LSJ, which I think I'd have rather spotted as we used to fly over water all the time, often at low level. So I'm fairly sure the LSJ was worn at the same time, over the top of the AR5 bits...

I also vaguely recall doing a dinghy drill in a swimming pool wearing it all, back when we were fitted for it, although I can't remember where we went to get it any more.


just another jocky 26th Dec 2010 07:23
I believe BN is correct...for C130 crews IIRC. Certainly not used by Tonka crews as the studs weren't fitted to our flying suits.

LSJ was worn with AR5 for FJ crews, but no use, or need for studs.

That's according to my rather hazy memory this morning (and hangover :yuk:).

richlear 26th Dec 2010 07:45
AR5 madness

I was on the Nimrod AR5 trial crew. I remember a week at N Luffenham learning barf drills and so on followed by a few trips from KSS wearing the whole gear. We wore them throughout the trip including brief & debrief. We had special in-flight rations we could eat through the straw - sadly no pureed DCS though.

We did a few trips including one AAR sortie where we had a safety pilot onboard. The thing I remember most is the sense of isolation from the rest of the crew and how wrinkly my fingers were after 8 hrs in a pair of washing up gloves...

Background Noise 26th Dec 2010 08:36
We used to regular walk-throughs, and fly in them every so often. The boss even worked hard at getting us single-seat approval to fly in them once the rip-off face plate came in.

Couldn't get rid of mine for ages as stores at bases which didn't use them refused to take them back until it just got left with them.

You could (up till 22 Nov) have bought yourself one to go down memory lane: Ebay AR5. Is this the one you're on about that attaches to a flying suit - the tubes all look a bit different to the ones I remember.

This might help (bring out the cold sweat): YouTube AR5

Spot 4 26th Dec 2010 10:06
I still have mine. Issued in 1987 with a shelf life of 10 years and not been able to return it to stores as no unit I have been on was able to produce a serviceability chit for an item that is clearly lifex and therefore u/s. It has been in my garage loft for the last 10 years along with its handbag attachment. Only missing the battery pack.

Pontius Navigator 26th Dec 2010 15:06
Spot, put it on eBay, someone will buy it. I sold a set of 1966 Acrylan Pile underwear, an old pair of socks, a pair of LW Flying Boots circa 1970 and black flying boots circa 1980 c/w Shackleton scuffed toe caps.

The Old Fat One 26th Dec 2010 16:25
Weird thing.

I was Nimrod aircrew from 1977 to 2003 and yet I never saw, touched or even signed for any bit of AR5. Sure I heard of it (didn't sound like a whole lot of fun) and was told on several times I would have to do a course on it (never did), but it seems a little odd that it came and went and I never even laid eyes on it.

I did have a flying suit with the poppers though...does that count?

ShyTorque 26th Dec 2010 16:44
Never flew in AR5 kit? During the Cold War in the early 1980s, we on Support Helicopters certainly did. We used the "hissing handbag" placed on the floor under the jump seat.

During one trial in the field, I spent three days wearing it, including sleeping in it overnight in a barn. The flying helmet was removed and to hold the mask in place we wore a nylon head harness instead. As you slept, if the mask came only slightly off your nose, a jet of cold air blew in your eyes. Trying to fly next morning was horrendous because your eyelids were stuck together with dried tears!

Crew briefing for multiple aircraft sorties was almost impossible. There was no proper comms system to plug into, once away from the aircraft intercom.

If you really want to think about nightmare scenarios, consider night low level flying wearing this stuff, on NVGs.

Glad that's all in the past! :}

ramp_up 26th Dec 2010 17:06
During GGW2 we conducted a number of sorties in the stuff of up to 6 hrs. Really fun returning to the Ark Royal and waiting for the squippersto get us undressed before we boiled in our own juices. That soon ended as it was seen by command as a moral downer to those on board Ocean as they didn't have the capability. So from then on we flew with under the seats. Good job there was no WMDs.

davejb 26th Dec 2010 18:43
AR5 made you look like a Tie fighter pilot, but was only good for the first 15 seconds while you did your world beating Darth Vader repertoire, then it became boring, and about 2 mins later boring turned into horrible.

The helmet, at least on my head, tended to climb until the eyepieces were at forehead level - it only stayed put under a cloth helmet, which used to hurt my ears dreadfully...

From the dinghy drill I recall it wasn't bad as scuba gear for a short time.

The marigold gloves gave your fingers trench foot (I know, I've had it) as your fingertips boiled in your own juice. Anybody who thought it a good idea to fly in this crap, 'for practise', should be shot - like much of our gear it was very uncomfortable, and once you knew how to don it etc you should have had the odd refresher and that's it.... one reason why people are so bad at drills etc is because they aren't stupid enough to avoid being bored by them.

At night, in NVG - shoot THAT b*****d twice, first time in the nuts. (2nd time 20 mins later).

As for PN's

and black flying boots circa 1980 c/w Shackleton scuffed toe caps.
I asssure you that every pair I ever owned, included the ones I now wear in snow and paddock, were/are of that variety courtesy of Norman too - the ESM position crates, Loral and ARAR/ARAX, both seemed designed to scrape toecaps.

Happy New Year! Anyone finished the turkey yet?
(Thought I'd get in early)


Tashengurt 26th Dec 2010 19:32
If it's any consolation to those of you who had to wear it, washing out a bag of someone elses sweat and snot wasn't exactly my dream job either.

Mal Drop 26th Dec 2010 21:00
I've done sims in it, flown in it, done dinghy drills in it and was Unit Aircrew Training Team for it on the the Herc - venerable and ubiquitous workhorse (or whorehouse depending on Squadron) of the Royal Air Force. They were for securing the manifold taking the hose assembly from the Personal Ventilator to the hood.

davejb 26th Dec 2010 22:02
If it's any consolation to those of you who had to wear it, washing out a bag of someone elses sweat and snot wasn't exactly my dream job either.
Not that this is likely to be much in the way of compensation, but you only got the bit at the end - for most of the time inhaling/absorbing the 'sweat and snot' was about all you could do with it.

I can but say thankyou, just in case any of it was ever mine.


Tashengurt 26th Dec 2010 22:17
Thanks Dave but unless you were at Leuchars it probably wasn't yours.
Incidentally. I had the dubious pleasure of doing one of the few 'live' de-contams during GW1. It descended into farce when another crew in normal gear mooched into the LHA right in the middle of it. I think the whole thing had been sparked by a CAM reacting to fuel or something.
As for the press studs, any FJ bods will likely not recognise them because the manifold slotted into a receptacle fitted onto the LSJ. No press studs, just the odd broken fingernail taking them off.

Talk Reaction 27th Dec 2010 09:09
What I can't understand is why anybody on a fleet that didn't fly in it would ever agree to wear it to the damn jet!!! You must have been into some dodgy private scenes!!! :hmm:

davejb 27th Dec 2010 11:16
It's known as 'Taceval' and 'doing as you are told' old chap.


NutLoose 27th Dec 2010 22:34
Had one chap in Germany I believe had to cut the facepiece out of an AR5 with his aircrew knife when it all went pearshaped in a Jag Tbird...

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