Got myself a piece of history

You already may have noticed my (light) fascination by Flying the Hump airlift operation in CBI Theater during WW2.

While browsing internet to search for more info about how the pilots were flying in such hostile environment, I stumbled on CBI Letdown & Departure Procedures - an official military publication for the Hump pilots.

I could not resist of course…
…and the shipment arrived today:





I think it is pure gold.


I agree!!
I would love to have a closer look at some of the charts…

I am thinking how to scan the pages without destroying the binder itself. It seems that the pieces that hold the pages together are there for the last almost 80 years and making them loose might make them a part of the history for good :grimacing:

Which plates are you interested in? I can take a picture and share, of course.

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Yes, do be careful! Pictures of the pages will do just fine.
Are there departure procedures for Delhi? If so, let down and departures for that airport. Are there other navigation charts, other than let down and departure?

I am off in a minute with friends for some quality time :grinning:

Happy Hour Drinking GIF

but will check, take pictures and share tomorrow, OK?

There are really just letdowns and departures, nothing else. But there are also some additional charts on top of what is in the table of contents. I will check for Delhi particularly.


Yeah, no rush!
I didn’t know these charts existed until you posted about them! :slight_smile:
Funny how they look just like charts do today…

These days using high resolution camera images (ironically what was done back in the days of film) is the best option if you don’t have a fully loose-leaf book. It usually gives you better image clarity and tone than scanning, and you can do it without damaging things.

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Interesting how similar that looks to modern IAPs. Makes sense.

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It is surprising. That’s one of the charms of aviation. Standards, techniques and traditions have changed little in 80 years given the rapid changes everywhere else. When I got my dad’s old flight bag there was a moldy old Jepp binder with several “AN” charts which were still in use in parts of the US in the ‘50s. Having nothing but static and a morse tone to keep you off the rocks must have been unnerving.


Different times. My grandad had an 8th grade education yet; flew (with a buddy) his own air-show - they called them ‘barnstormers’ then; got commissioned in the US Army Air Corp. as an IP; drove corp. planes around after that for a major US company. From what I can tell he was a 'hoot to be around.

A hundred years later and, no way. And to your point, all of that done with simple nav gear/systems. They didn’t know any better and just got on with it.


In the binder, there is only Radio Range Navigation approach for Delhi. No other charts for it, sorry :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


This airport is called Safdarjung Airport today and is surrounded by the city. It was probably less populated during the war, but it’s still incredible to think that they descended to 300’ above ground, to fly visually into the runway.