R.A.F. Aircraft - Damage Categories

Pre 1941  
Cat.U Undamaged
Cat.M(u) Capable of being repaired on site by the operating unit
Cat.M(c) The repair is beyond unit capacity.
Cat.R(B) Repair on site is not possible; the aircraft must be dismantled and sent to a repair facility.
Cat.W Write-Off
1941 - 1952  
Cat.U Aircraft Undamaged
Cat.A Aircraft can be repaired on site
Cat.Ac Repair is beyond the unit capacity, i.e. may be repaired on site by another unit or contractor
Cat.B Beyond repair on site, i.e. repairable at a Maintenance Unit or at a contractor's works
Cat.C Allocated to Instructional Airframe duties
Cat.E Aircraft is a write-off
Cat.E1 Aircraft is a write-off but is considered suitable for component recovery
Cat.E2 Aircraft is a write-off and suitable only for scrap
Cat.E3 Aircraft is burnt out
Cat.Em Aircraft is missing from an operational sortie (missing aircraft categorised "Em" after 28 days)
  In addition to the above the cause of the damage is sometimes indicated by a prefix or suffix, thus;
FA Flying Accident
FB Operational Loss
GA Ground Accident
T Technical Cause
EA Enemy Action

F.A.A. Aircraft - Damage Categories

F.A.A. aircraft were allocated to the R.A.F. until late May, of 1939. Due to this the damage category codes used were the same as the R.A.F., up to 1941, they were as follows :-
Pre 1941  
Cat.U Undamaged
Cat.M(u) Capable of being repaired on site by the operating unit
Cat.M(c) The repair is beyond unit capacity.
Cat.R(B) Repair on site is not possible; the aircraft must be dismantled and sent to a repair facility.
Cat.W Write-Off

The Royal Navy at a latter date produced its own system of categories for the subsequent classification of accidents to F.A.A. aircraft. This initial system followed the same lines as the R.A.F., but used different code letters. An Admiralty Fleet Order (No.2725/42) was issued in June of 1942, with the following codes.

S Serviceable
X Serviceable by using local resources
Y Considered worth repairing, but not locally
Z W/O, to be S.O.C.

As the war continued the Admiralty increased the number of sub-categories, with the issue of Admiralty Fleet Order (No. 4362/43) issued in September, 1943, this system was introduce to more fully show the extent of damage to airframes.

S Serviceable, within 48 Hours
X.1 Unserviceable, but repairable within 14 days
X.2 Unserviceable, but repairable locally, but owing to (a) lack of spare parts, (b) need of modification, (c) extent of the repair will not make the a/c serviceable within 14 days
X/C Unserviceable, and needs a repair party from contractor
Y.1 Major damage requiring repair in a Naval Yard or Contractors Site
Y.2 A badly damaged airframe which requires major work for serviceability. These airframes were recommended for disposal to a repair yard or contractor’s for a "Category B" overhaul.
Z W/O, to be S.O.C.
Z.1 Beyond economical repair, to be S.O.C, and to be reduced to spares
Z.2 Beyond economical repair, to be S.O.C, and disposed of as scrap

In November, 1944 the Admiralty again changed the system by the issue of Admiralty Fleet Order (No. 6125/44), which applied to any accident including forced landing and/or engine failure.

SS No damage
LQ Light damage, repairable with local resources
LX Light damage, repairable by station or ship
LC Light damage, repairable by station or ship, but with contractor’s party
LY Light damage, not repairable locally
HX Heavy damage, repairable by station or ship
HC Heavy damage, repairable by station or ship, but with contractor’s party
HY Heavy damage, not repairable locally
ZZ Lost, not repairable, or beyond economic repair.

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Hawker Hurricane -  "Defender Of The Empire"

- 1997 - Colin James Pratt-Hooson
Last Updated : Saturday, July 20, 2002 01:41:24 PM