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Aircrew Deaths 1939 - 1947: Effectively Searching The Database
UNDER DEVELOPEMENT

Search on this database can be very powerful and useful. With a few simple techniques you will be able to extract information that you never thought you could find.

Creative researchers are likely to find golden threads to research through an imaginative use of the power and flexibility now offered. The data has always been there of course, but seeing the connections has hitherto been problematical: sometimes the needle gets hidden in the haystack. This facility changes that.

To get started, put a name in the Search box, for example Brown. (you don't have to capitalize names so brown will work the same way as Brown). The result is all the Browns in the database. This will include entries which have Brown anywhere within its contents, not just the Name column. From this first Search you can become familiar with the layout of the database which will enable you to conduct more complex Searches.

You can perform a Search for almost anything (3 characters or more) in any column. So now replace Brown with USA and now you see all those from the USA in the database. You will normally read the Notes column to find the results of this particular search. Now put Brown AND Camel in the Search box. This will find all records of Browns who were associated with the Sopwith Camel. (The AND is known as a Boolean operator, and tells our Search Engine you want to find entries that meet both specified criteria. (You don't have to capitalize AND incidentally: Brown and Camel will work just as well, as will brown and camel). Other than in the case of capitalization, however, spelling IS important.

Note that a Search on 'Sopwith Camel' will look for all occurences of the string of letters 'Sopwith Camel'. This will miss all occurences where ONLY Camel is mentioned, so the rule is: make your Search as simple as you can, don't add words where they are not needed. Be aware that the compilers of the data on which the database is built will have used shorthand descriptions on many occasions, thus 'Bristol' may have been used rather than 'Bristol fighter' so if you search for 'Bristol fighter' you will miss all entries where ony the word Bristol is to be found. If you MUST look for 'Bristol Fighter' then you MUST separate with words with the Boolean operator AND, thus Bristol AND fighter.You can have up to FIVE dependencies in a single search! For example Smith AND Camel AND Balloon AND France would find all Smiths who flew the Camel and had some connection to balloon and France.

If you are familiar with other Boolean operators, try those.

Brown and Camel = all entries that contain BOTH Brown and Camel. It will ignore any entry that only has Brown, ditto one that only has Camel. The entry must have both. You can have up to 5 dependencies. Thus Brown and Camel and Arras and Righthofen and Albatros will only find entries that have ALL 5. Clever use of these dependencies can find fascinating discoveries.

Brown or Camel = all entries that contain EITHER Brown OR Camel. This will be a longer list than above because you've got all the Browns whatever they flew, and all the Camels whoever flew them.

(Brown or Smith) and Camel = entries that have Browns who flew Camel plus entries that have Smiths who flew the Camel. The placement of brackets is important. Thus Brown or (Smith and Camel) will find all Browns entries plus all entries that contain BOTH Brown and Camel. Can you see the difference? The first one finds Browns who flew Camel PLUS Smiths who flew Camel, whereas the second finds Smiths who flew Camel PLUS Browns who flew anything.

There are some limitations.

You can't search for any single letter or number. You can't search for 7 for example, or B

You can't search for 2 letter or 2 number combos. You can't search for SE for example, or 54. You CAN search for 3 letters or numbers, thus KIA and 300 both work.

Also, certain characters cannot be used in a search and if they are, they are ignored. The hyphen is one such character, thus a search on SE-5 will fail because the hyphen is ignored leaving you with a search on SE, which is less than 3 characters. In this case, search on SE5.

SEARCHING ON PLANE Be careful in your spelling.

Note that German special characters may be important. You may prefer to search using the appropriate German characters, and whilst normally this will find both Gotz and Götz, for example, you might want to check with and without the specials just to be sure.

We would like to hear from researchers who find interesting connections through our Search Engine. Caring is Sharing! Perhaps you would like to contribute a story based on your research? We'll be happy to publish you.



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