The British Royal Flying Corps
Aviation was just at the beginning of its inception when the war started in 1914. Neither Canada nor Newfoundland had any military planes or air force. Anyone who wanted to fight in the skies had to enroll in the British Royal Flying Corps. Twenty-one Newfoundlanders are known to have joined the RFC, 14 being transferred from the Newfoundland Regiment and 7 others joining directly into the corps in Great Britain and Canada.
“The ground is far, far below and I don't have a parachute. The guys in the blimps have them, but not us. We lose men every day. But I knew I was taking risks and I sure don't miss the rats and the mud of the trenches.”
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flying with no parachutes 4
Flying with no parachutes
Pilots who flew Blimps had parachutes but this was not the case for the Royal Flying Corps. The British authorities thought that pilots who had parachutes would be too easily tempted to bail from the plane during an air strike. First World War pilots had very dangerous jobs, even though they were not at the front firing lines. At least half those serving with the RFC perished during training. In 1916, the average life expectancy of a fighter pilot was 11 days.
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