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View Full Version : USAF to try civilian to AF track


NoDrop
12-01-2017, 08:01 AM
https://www.jqpublicblog.com/desperation-move-air-force-to-experiment-with-partial-training-of-pilots/


Voski
12-01-2017, 10:15 AM
This.... seems like a bad idea. But I'm not a doctor.

ExAF
12-01-2017, 11:00 AM
What could possibly go wrong.:rolleyes:


cougar
12-01-2017, 12:46 PM
Real world mirrors TheOnion...

https://entertainment.theonion.com/blue-angels-hold-first-ever-open-tryouts-1819570388

awax
12-01-2017, 12:58 PM
Yeah General, trading a warrior ethos for a powerpoint deck seems to be working out, eh?.

F4E Mx
12-01-2017, 01:03 PM
Brigadier General James Stewart , probably the most famous USAF pilot after Chuck Yeager, never went to Army AF UPT school. He already had a Commercial rating and a lot of flying experience so the Army sent him to Instructor Pilots school instead. The AAF had a Service Pilot program in WW II for experienced pilots and who were over the age limit for the regular program. They were supposed to be in non-combatant flying duties like instruction and cargo flying. Stewart maneuvered his way around that limitation as well.

galaxy flyer
12-01-2017, 03:21 PM
Assuming they go to heavies, the first night AR will sort it all out.

GF

tomgoodman
12-01-2017, 04:28 PM
Brigadier General James Stewart , probably the most famous USAF pilot after Chuck Yeager, never went to Army AF UPT school. He already had a Commercial rating and a lot of flying experience so the Army sent him to Instructor Pilots school instead. The AAF had a Service Pilot program in WW II for experienced pilots and who were over the age limit for the regular program. They were supposed to be in non-combatant flying duties like instruction and cargo flying. Stewart maneuvered his way around that limitation as well.

Charles Lindbergh went to the Pacific as an ďadvisorĒ who was not supposed to fly in combat....but he did anyway, and shot down enemy planes. :cool:

Lindbergh In World War II (http://www.charleslindbergh.com/history/b24.asp)

35Right
12-01-2017, 10:25 PM
I didnt go through UPT, so help me understand. The first step in AF pilot training is IFT in Cirruses in Colorado Springs to get the student to their first solo. Second step is the T6 for more advanced maneuvering and instrument fundamentals. At that point students track either T1 for mobility or T38 for tactical. They dont get their "wings" until the end of T1 or T38 training, correct?

Again, i'm not a military pilot but i was in a fighter squadron as a support officer and thats what i gathered about the UPT process.

This program is just taking somone who already knows how to fly and is instrument rated and moving them directly to the T1 track. I dont see the problem with that? They'd just be skipping a few months of IFT and T6 flying.

rickair7777
12-02-2017, 05:43 AM
Brigadier General James Stewart , probably the most famous USAF pilot after Chuck Yeager, never went to Army AF UPT school. He already had a Commercial rating and a lot of flying experience so the Army sent him to Instructor Pilots school instead. The AAF had a Service Pilot program in WW II for experienced pilots and who were over the age limit for the regular program. They were supposed to be in non-combatant flying duties like instruction and cargo flying. Stewart maneuvered his way around that limitation as well.


Easier for Jimmy Stuart to work the system than for Joe Blow.

ExAF
12-02-2017, 06:46 AM
It's been a few years, but my memories of UPT seem to recall that there was more to it than just learning to fly a plane.

Sliceback
12-02-2017, 06:47 AM
Civilian comm/instr/CFIís might need a month of indoc/intro to learn some of the USAF training systems, flight rules, etc, to catch up with the T-6 students. Give them a handful of T-6 flights for exposure to aerobatics, formation and USAF flight training standards and expectations.

Itís a band-aid and not a fix.

tomgoodman
12-02-2017, 07:22 AM
It's been a few years, but my memories of UPT seem to recall that there was more to it than just learning to fly a plane.

I also recall that any student who told the IP that he already knew how to do something would be kicked so hard he would leave a vapor trail. :p

Barnstormer
12-02-2017, 08:27 AM
Prior civilian time has no correlation to how well someone will do in UPT. Had a student that was the Chief flight instructor at a large Southern University flying program. I thought he had never flown a plane before showing up at UPT. He didn’t make it. Wasn’t the first high time flight instructor that couldn’t cut it.
Had a student from Central America, first airplane ride was to the States, second was dollar ride in T-37. Smoked the program.
If you come to UPT to be an Airline Pilot it’s not easy. People that come because they want to kill and break things do much better.

N261ND
12-02-2017, 04:01 PM
Has increasing the max age been considered? I would gladly give up my 200K/year airline job and go active duty tomorrow to defend the best damn country on the planet if I could. 🇺🇸

Sliceback
12-03-2017, 07:22 AM
Prior civilian time has no correlation to how well someone will do in UPT. Had a student that was the Chief flight instructor at a large Southern University flying program. I thought he had never flown a plane before showing up at UPT. He didnít make it. Wasnít the first high time flight instructor that couldnít cut it.
Had a student from Central America, first airplane ride was to the States, second was dollar ride in T-37. Smoked the program.
If you come to UPT to be an Airline Pilot itís not easy. People that come because they want to kill and break things do much better.

Prior experience absolutely matters. Former ANG unit had approx 50% of candidates graduate #1 or #2 in their UPT (back when classes were 64 and graduated 45 +/-). Only one candidate didnít get FARíd but he did get his wings. Experience level was at least comm/inst/CFI w/800 has TT. Top was 4000 TT.

In my UPT class guys with comm/inst experience were about 15% of the class but they took about 50% of the top slots at the end. But proving that prior experience isnít a guarantee a guy with 1500 TT washed out (Uncle Joe type of experience).

Spoke with a 17 yr UPT IP, 3yr UPT squadron commander, and asked his opinion. He said prior experience absolutely mattered but a weak candidate wouldnít be helped. And a stud that didnít want to adjust to the USAF expectations, or reached a personal limit like T-38 fright, or flying right next to other a/c, wouldnít do well.

He said, with only 17 yrs of observation, that he didnít think getting your ratings with Uncle Joe as your instructor had nearly as much value as going through a good 141 program like ERAU, Perdue, etc.

UAL T38 Phlyer
12-03-2017, 09:28 AM
I "only" had 15 years as a 38 IP. I agree on some; differ on others.

My opinion: prior time helped with general air-sense, and was most applicable to primary. Less helpful in the T-38. Mirrors my own experience as a student (I had my private and less than 200 hours).

Most prior-time guys had no or little aerobatic experience. If they did have any, they were not prepared for the much larger radii of military maneuvers...or the humongous ones in the T-38. Airspace planning and the necessity to rapidly transition from one maneuver to the next are foreign to most civilian-background students.

I had two students who were IPs at large 141 schools. One had 3000 hours in C-172s. :eek: the other had 2000 in various GA.

The 3000 hr guy was a great kid, smart, great air sense, but so firmly established as a 110-kt pilot, he was always behind the jet.

A few years later, I told the 2000 hr student that all his prior time would actually be negative training for T-38 stick forces in the flare. His arched eyebrow said "Really? You're full of it," but he said nothing. (Great kid with a great attitude; stick and rudder skills were average to slightly above).

Six months later, when I said the same thing to the new class, and got a similar reaction, I asked him to offer HIS opinion.

"He's 100% right," he said.

Point being, sometimes, too much GA is negative transfer. Guys with prior GA jet or Part 121 time generally did pretty well.

Right now, off the top of my head, I can only think of two guys who had prior time, and graduated as the Top Stick of their class....and one was in my UPT class.

Hacker15e
12-03-2017, 09:43 AM
My experience as a UPT '38 IP mirrors UAL T38 Phlyer's opinion.

By the time most studs got to that point in the program, there was little difference in skill between those with prior-to-UPT experience and those without.

The biggest thing was that those with experience had been able to get through T-6s with a lot less effort than they needed in the T-38 program, and they were usually shocked at how hard they had to work in Phase III. I, too, have seen the thousand-hour regional airline pilots nearly wash out, and the "I've never been in an airplane before" students get DGs at graduation. Neither of those are generally true, but nor are they outliers.

That being said...I'm surprised this thread hasn't been over-run with civilian-only folks chanting at how there's no difference between them and military-trained pilots, and how this experimental program will show once and for all that UPT is a waste.

tomgoodman
12-03-2017, 01:14 PM
Our class had a Navigator (F-4 backseater) who somehow got a UPT slot. He graduated #1 and went right back to the F-4. :cool:

Hacker15e
12-03-2017, 01:48 PM
Our class had a Navigator (F-4 backseater) who somehow got a UPT slot. He graduated #1 and went right back to the F-4. :cool:

I saw that quite a bit with Navs/EWOs/WSOs of all flavors. Most of them did very, very well in UPT.

Their knowledge and familiarity with AF flying regs and procedures, as well as general air sense, comm, etc, gave them a natural leg up.

One of my friends with whom I flew Strike Eagles with (and who was a former E model 'pitter) told me, "you'd be surprised what you can learn when the rest of your class is still trying to figure out what an ILS is."

awacs
12-03-2017, 02:02 PM
Assuming they go to heavies, the first night AR will sort it all out.

GF[/QUOTE]

What this guy said. Have a friend that got me in the C-17 sim. Sim operator, and IP in the right seat for support.

The best I could do was 12 feet to the probe. Itís hard work. On the other hand, I did land on the assault approach.

Awacs

Albief15
12-05-2017, 04:20 AM
I saw that quite a bit with Navs/EWOs/WSOs of all flavors. Most of them did very, very well in UPT.

Their knowledge and familiarity with AF flying regs and procedures, as well as general air sense, comm, etc, gave them a natural leg up.

."

I wasn't the 3000 hour regional guy, but was a 700 hour CFI. I will agree that about 3-4 rides into T-37s I realized "okay--I am not going to wash out. I can get this..." And primary was...fun. I still screwed up stuff, stressed like crazy, and at no point did I think I was head and shoulders above my peers--but at that point the outcome (wings) was never in doubt.

T-38s...well...holy *(&. Like everyone else I was told it wouldn't help, and I was smart enough to believe them. The good news was the confidence gained in tweets and staying off SMS and bad-boy lists probably gave me enough "halo" to skate a bit when someone else might have busted. I still managed to bust the contact check for TP stalls (any late 80s guys from CBM remember "Skeletor" May? He got me too....) But yeah...some of our folks who just hung on "bloomed" in the T-38 and ended up graduating near the top of the class. Some of us who never worked that hard in tweets found out what being way behind an jet felt like, when others already figured out how to catch back up.

My thoughts are some GA can help...but show up with an open mind and closed mouth. Some basic acro and spins would be a good start. Don't try to make everything you are taught "reframe" to your reference, but instead just roll and do it the military way. A few attempts and you'll understand why they do it that way and the sooner you just adapt the easier you'll be ready for the new stuff.

Those WSOs who showed up didn't just have air sense, they have Air Force sense. They knew how things worked, and how to be an officer, and what a CBPO did, and what a flight commander did, and how to play crud, etc etc. Sometimes I think the challenge (and fun!) of UPT wasn't just learning to fly, but to work in the (almost) real Air Force. My own example--when I went to IEU to get my flight suits on day 2 or 3 of class, my AF brat friend laughed at me for stepping out in my flight suit which I had put on OVER my blues. Honestly--I had never worn one, never worked where guys wore them, and thought they were like the coveralls I saw my dad wear on the farm. So I stepped out with them over my blues...to a lot of laughs. Just learning to be Air Force was tough for me--spinning a tweet was no big freakin' deal. A few years later I was a FAC in Desert Storm, and not long after that sitting alert in a 4x4 loaded F-15 in Alaska. So--I had a LOT to learn--fast--and it wasn't just about flying. Fortunately those people who taught me were some of the best and greatest I've ever met, and a few are (thankfully) still friends even now.

Dirty30
12-05-2017, 04:56 AM
I wasn't the 3000 hour regional guy, but was a 700 hour CFI. I will agree that about 3-4 rides into T-37s I realized "okay--I am not going to wash out. I can get this..." And primary was...fun. I still screwed up stuff, stressed like crazy, and at no point did I think I was head and shoulders above my peers--but at that point the outcome (wings) was never in doubt.

T-38s...well...holy *(&. Like everyone else I was told it wouldn't help, and I was smart enough to believe them. The good news was the confidence gained in tweets and staying off SMS and bad-boy lists probably gave me enough "halo" to skate a bit when someone else might have busted. I still managed to bust the contact check for TP stalls (any late 80s guys from CBM remember "Skeletor" May? He got me too....) But yeah...some of our folks who just hung on "bloomed" in the T-38 and ended up graduating near the top of the class. Some of us who never worked that hard in tweets found out what being way behind an jet felt like, when others already figured out how to catch back up.

My thoughts are some GA can help...but show up with an open mind and closed mouth. Some basic acro and spins would be a good start. Don't try to make everything you are taught "reframe" to your reference, but instead just roll and do it the military way. A few attempts and you'll understand why they do it that way and the sooner you just adapt the easier you'll be ready for the new stuff.

Those WSOs who showed up didn't just have air sense, they have Air Force sense. They knew how things worked, and how to be an officer, and what a CBPO did, and what a flight commander did, and how to play crud, etc etc. Sometimes I think the challenge (and fun!) of UPT wasn't just learning to fly, but to work in the (almost) real Air Force. My own example--when I went to IEU to get my flight suits on day 2 or 3 of class, my AF brat friend laughed at me for stepping out in my flight suit which I had put on OVER my blues. Honestly--I had never worn one, never worked where guys wore them, and thought they were like the coveralls I saw my dad wear on the farm. So I stepped out with them over my blues...to a lot of laughs. Just learning to be Air Force was tough for me--spinning a tweet was no big freakin' deal. A few years later I was a FAC in Desert Storm, and not long after that sitting alert in a 4x4 loaded F-15 in Alaska. So--I had a LOT to learn--fast--and it wasn't just about flying. Fortunately those people who taught me were some of the best and greatest I've ever met, and a few are (thankfully) still friends even now.

I agree with a lot of this, I showed up as a 0 time guy, went to IFS barely knowing what an attitude indicator was, and made it through UPT just fine. In my class, the guy that was a commercial pilot washed out, and the guy who went to the academy to get a free education, made a spontaneous decision close to graduation to become a pilot and won all the awards in UPT. It's hard to say who's going to do well sometimes.

Like Albeif, I thought UPT was stressful, and adding the officership part to it just added on more pressure if you were new to the service and learning how everything worked. It was the best worst year of my life, and in a way I'm glad I went in with no flying time, I was a clean slate.

HoursHore
12-05-2017, 05:12 AM
As far as the other side of UPT, the T-1, I'd say this program will work fine. All the guard/reserve guys I had with prior experience did well, and we're usually top of class. An easier solution would be to allow students to proficiency advance, and skip some sorties once theyre ready. It's basically what the old FWQ program.

Vito
12-05-2017, 05:29 AM
Albie,
Whenever I fly with a fighter bro at UPS I'll ask about his flying experience prior to UPT and the vast majority had previous time. You hit the nail on the head with your "Halo" comment. Those studs who were quickly crowned with a halo in tweets really had to screw up bad to lose it. I went to CBM (87-04)and flew with "Skeletor" before he was an examiner. He's at my airline now.
BTW have you read Ray Wright's book, "If you ain't a Pilot". It's about UPT at CBM and Skeletor is mentioned often. Best book I read in the last 5 years.

Adlerdriver
12-05-2017, 12:45 PM
Albie,
Whenever I fly with a fighter bro at UPS I'll ask about his flying experience prior to UPT and the vast majority had previous time.
Hmmm - not my experience in my circle. A lot of guys I flew with in the Eagle on AD and especially in the ANG were zero hour types (or close to it), myself included. I muddled my way through Tweets and the light bulb came on early in the T-38.

I think it boils down to the individual. Our 3000 hour commuter pilot was lucky to end up with wings. Some guys can really benefit from and apply prior flight experience without running into issue with prior habits or techniques while other clearly cannot. I would guess that there are probably less zero hour guys who make it if they don't get a light bulb moment and struggle all the way. The zero guys who shine are probably more like Forest Gump. "Damn Gump! That was the best rejoin I've ever seen, why did you fly it like that?"
"Because you told me to." :D

BeatNavy
12-06-2017, 04:01 PM
http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/your-air-force/2017/12/06/enlisted-combat-pilots-the-air-force-is-launching-a-test-that-could-lead-to-that/

CFIs skipping T6s, enlisted pilots...seems like big blue is really reaching here. Lots of ways they could fix the shortage without these extreme measures IMO.

rickair7777
12-06-2017, 04:06 PM
http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/your-air-force/2017/12/06/enlisted-combat-pilots-the-air-force-is-launching-a-test-that-could-lead-to-that/

CFIs skipping T6s, enlisted pilots...seems like big blue is really reaching here. Lots of ways they could fix the shortage without these extreme measures IMO.

What is the point of enlisted pilots? Not saving money.... any who can meet the standards will be off to bigger and better things just as quickly as officers.

Do they want pilots without degrees? Typically this kind of program is so competitive that the winners have degrees anyway. Plus the airlines will likely overlook a missing degree if you have fighter time.

Sliceback
12-06-2017, 06:42 PM
Wonít the demand for additional duties, and non-flyingvassignmrnts, increase if there are enlisted pilots and fewer officer pilots?? Or are they going to change the requirements for non-flying officer/pilot assignments so that the enlisted pilots can do them?

tailwheel48
12-06-2017, 09:28 PM
What is the point of enlisted pilots? Not saving money.... any who can meet the standards will be off to bigger and better things just as quickly as officers.

Do they want pilots without degrees? Typically this kind of program is so competitive that the winners have degrees anyway. Plus the airlines will likely overlook a missing degree if you have fighter time.

There are plenty of perfectly capable Air Forces around the world that don't require candidates to have a degree to be selected for pilot training. And they get commissioned on graduation.

PleaseComplete
12-07-2017, 04:48 AM
Give me an age waiver and I'll be in class tomorrow morning to fly AF helos. :)

AFTrainerGuy
12-07-2017, 05:35 AM
So... there are two separate experiments going on here. All led by a CC who believes that eventually we can train pilots without airplanes and he is going to revolutionize pilot training with all that knowledge heís learned through Air University.

1. Direct T-1 track
2. UPT Modernization Test (T-6ís to Fighters with VR and such thrown in)

Iím sure they will both be successful because those chosen to run these tests will make sure of it. They will cherry pick the applicants and fill in the gaps where needed to ensure success. Then the slippery slope will start. Lesser and lesser qualified candidates will go through it until eventually we will have to admit that the programs arenít such good ideas (once this CC is gone). Finally, the next guy will have to attempt to clean up the mess and overall we will suffer because of it. Standard Air Force story.

rickair7777
12-07-2017, 05:42 AM
There are plenty of perfectly capable Air Forces around the world that don't require candidates to have a degree to be selected for pilot training. And they get commissioned on graduation.

Apples to Oranges, can any of them gain air superiority over our AF?

The AF does not have the same problem as the regionals, there are plenty of potential applicants who meet the current standards. Their problem is retention of skilled and experienced mid-grade, and even senior officers.

Frankly our military is trending far more technical than when I started. The F-35 is more network router than airplane.

I have no problem at all providing a path to flight training, commissioning, and college for exemplary enlisted (that's how the USN program worked, college after first sea tour). Great incentive to keep good folks in, and tracking up and right.

But that's not going to solve the shortage. Neither is creating a cadre of enlisted-only pilots... they would have an even greater pay and prestige incentive to go airline, since they won't have eagles or stars in their eyes.

tailwheel48
12-07-2017, 06:31 AM
Apples to Oranges, can any of them gain air superiority over our AF?



Sheer numerical advantage goes to the USAF.

But, pilot to pilot, I would contend that the NATO air forces, Israeli Air Force, RAAF and several others are just as good.

Airbum
12-07-2017, 06:33 AM
Apples to Oranges, can any of them gain air superiority over our AF?

The AF does not have the same problem as the regionals, there are plenty of potential applicants who meet the current standards. Their problem is retention of skilled and experienced mid-grade, and even senior officers.

Frankly our military is trending far more technical than when I started. The F-35 is more network router than airplane.

I have no problem at all providing a path to flight training, commissioning, and college for exemplary enlisted (that's how the USN program worked, college after first sea tour). Great incentive to keep good folks in, and tracking up and right.

But that's not going to solve the shortage. Neither is creating a cadre of enlisted-only pilots... they would have an even greater pay and prestige incentive to go airline, since they won't have eagles or stars in their eyes.

+1. For me. I donít see the problem this will solve.

Bonepilot469
12-07-2017, 06:50 AM
+1. For me. I donít see the problem this will solve.
This will solve the current CC's problem.
Screw the future CCs!
Same old Air Force story.

rickair7777
12-07-2017, 07:22 AM
Sheer numerical advantage goes to the USAF.

But, pilot to pilot, I would contend that the NATO air forces, Israeli Air Force, RAAF and several others are just as good.

Man-to-man, yes.

As a joint force, no.

KA350Driver
12-07-2017, 07:41 AM
The bureaucracy is incapable of fixing the problem. Itís almost pointless to even discuss it. The top brass are too stuck in their ways that staff tours at pointless and outdated combatant commands and quintuple redundant battle staffs in theater are an absolute must for anyone to promoted. The entire DOD is married to an outdated rank structure that leaves no room for officers or enlisted regardless of their job in the military to have any say in their career path.

This problem could be solved by having two distinct career tracks. A flying track and a command track. Let Academy grads and those who demonstrate significant leadership and managerial skill go into the command track while those that are content to just fly pointy nosed jets or simply serve their country without putting up with more nonsense than they do flying or those that just donít have the mindset or capabilities to command can go the flying track. Pay and benefits for both tracks would need to be similar.

PleaseComplete
12-07-2017, 07:57 AM
The bureaucracy is incapable of fixing the problem. Itís almost pointless to even discuss it. The top brass are too stuck in their ways that staff tours at pointless and outdated combatant commands and quintuple redundant battle staffs in theater are an absolute must for anyone to promoted. The entire DOD is married to an outdated rank structure that leaves no room for officers or enlisted regardless of their job in the military to have any say in their career path.

This problem could be solved by having two distinct career tracks. A flying track and a command track. Let Academy grads and those who demonstrate significant leadership and managerial skill go into the command track while those that are content to just fly pointy nosed jets or simply serve their country without putting up with more nonsense than they do flying or those that just donít have the mindset or capabilities to command can go the flying track. Pay and benefits for both tracks would need to be similar.

Warrant Officer. :cool:

KA350Driver
12-07-2017, 08:03 AM
Call it what you want. Warrant Officer, flight lieutenant, whatever. The point is pay should be competitive and non flying duties should be kept to a minimum, in not non existent. And thatís only part of the solution. The other half of the equation is reducing the amount of staff positions that exist. Most of them only exist for the sole reason of having enough staff position so officers have somewhere to go to check their staff tour box. Maybe we should be questioning whether or not a box should even exist next to ďstaff tourĒ in order to get promoted. Maybe we should be questioning whether or not these staffs are even necessary.

Vincent Chase
12-07-2017, 08:22 AM
The bureaucracy is incapable of fixing the problem. Itís almost pointless to even discuss it. The top brass are too stuck in their ways that staff tours at pointless and outdated combatant commands and quintuple redundant battle staffs in theater are an absolute must for anyone to promoted. The entire DOD is married to an outdated rank structure that leaves no room for officers or enlisted regardless of their job in the military to have any say in their career path.

This problem could be solved by having two distinct career tracks. A flying track and a command track. Let Academy grads and those who demonstrate significant leadership and managerial skill go into the command track while those that are content to just fly pointy nosed jets or simply serve their country without putting up with more nonsense than they do flying or those that just donít have the mindset or capabilities to command can go the flying track. Pay and benefits for both tracks would need to be similar.


Exactly what the AF needs! Some arrogant shoe clerk on the "leadership track" telling pilots where, when, what, and how to fly.:rolleyes:

If you think about your proposal above, it wouldn't work. You think top brass is too stuck in their ways? Try making them in charge of flying when they don't do any flying. And why the hate for Academy grads? I've met a few. They're not all cut out for leadership roles!

JTwift
12-07-2017, 08:26 AM
The other half of the equation is reducing the amount of staff positions that exist. Most of them only exist for the sole reason of having enough staff position so officers have somewhere to go to check their staff tour box.

My last base had two OSSs (that's a lot of S).

One was entirely unnecessary, and everyone knew that it was kept around because it's a spot for another CC and DO position.

KA350Driver
12-07-2017, 08:37 AM
Exactly what the AF needs! Some arrogant shoe clerk on the "leadership track" telling pilots where, when, what, and how to fly.:rolleyes:

If you think about your proposal above, it wouldn't work. You think top brass is too stuck in their ways? Try making them in charge of flying when they don't do any flying.
The USAFís ability to pick quality candidates to fill those leadership roles is their own problem and one for another discussion. There are general officers in the Army who donít know how to shoot that tell junior soldiers how, where and what to shoot on a daily basis. There are hospital administrators in the civilian sector that donít know which end of the stethoscope goes in their ears that tell doctors how, when and whom to treat. Letís not pretend that this challenge doesnít exist anywhere else in the world and that, in fact, many other professions and industries have managed to overcome it. There is no perfect solution to any problem, but what weíre doing now is quite literally insane.
And why the hate for Academy grads? I've met a few. They're not all cut out for leadership roles!

I have no hate for the Academy grads. Simply put it out there as a possible pool of officers that can lead and manage the Air Force. If they canít cut it then get rid of them or keep them in the cockpit. Where the leadership ultimately comes from is irrelevant.

Hacker15e
12-07-2017, 09:45 AM
But, pilot to pilot, I would contend that the NATO air forces, Israeli Air Force, RAAF and several others are just as good.

Having fought and flown with, against, and beside all three of these at one time or another, the RAAF is the only one that fits the bill in this particular case of individual competency.

There's an argument to be had over the IAF, but certainly not "NATO air forces" as a general statement.

rickair7777
12-07-2017, 10:29 AM
The other half of the equation is reducing the amount of staff positions that exist. Most of them only exist for the sole reason of having enough staff position so officers have somewhere to go to check their staff tour box. Maybe we should be questioning whether or not a box should even exist next to “staff tour” in order to get promoted. Maybe we should be questioning whether or not these staffs are even necessary.


Going high, big philosophical picture...

The services (especially the Navy) have plenty of folks on staff/shore tours doing work which could be done by contractors/GS/retirees.

But there's a reason for that. Our culture dictates that operational tours are hard. But that makes us good warriors. In some cases adding manpower would alleviate workload. But in many operational cases, a warfighter who trains 14+ hours/day is going to be more effective than two warfighters who train 8 hours/day. So operational tours probably need to be challenging to build hard warriors.

With that assumption, you have to allow for decompression, that's where your shore, staff, educational, and other random duty tours come into play.

Not sure about other services, but the navy is about three on, two off for operational vs. shore duty.

So just because a particular job is underwhelming, doesn't mean it's fraud, waste, and abuse... maybe it's just that poor guy's turn for a well-deserved break. Of course it's up to the services to properly manage how much of their force is doing what and when, to achieve a good ROI for tax dollars.

tomgoodman
12-07-2017, 10:42 AM
What is the point of enlisted pilots? Not saving money.... any who can meet the standards will be off to bigger and better things just as quickly as officers.

Yes, and why would an enlisted pilot be any more tolerant of queep and SJW annoyances than an officer pilot? :confused:

Albief15
12-07-2017, 10:25 PM
Yes, and why would an enlisted pilot be any more tolerant of queep and SJW annoyances than an officer pilot? :confused:

Exactly.

A pilot on an officer pay rate sees the airlines and says "more money, less BS, why not?"

So the idea is an enlisted guy will look at say "even MORE money than I make, less BS, but I'll stay because...well...I'm ENLISTED..."

I don't think it solves anything.

C-17 Driver
12-08-2017, 03:42 AM
As for the "fly only" track, be careful of what you wish for. Remember, in the AF, there is no union. Our only "contract" is our 11-202v3 & 11MDS-V3.

I have over 10 years active duty, and over 11 in the Reserve and have flown a lot of airlift over the years. I have gone on orders (short term voluntary activation) to fly missions. I would argue that while on these orders, I was on a "fly-only" track. It wore me out. They wanted to turn and burn us as much as they could to the point where our Post-mission crew rest was calculated down to the minute before they alerted us. Thankfully, this was only for 45 or 60 days at a time. I cannot imagine maintaining a lifestyle like that for several years.

I am not saying that the "fly-only" track will be like what I experienced, but there is nothing to stop them.

"You wanted to be on the "fly-only" track, well here ya go. You'll fly only and be gone 40 weeks a year. Time at home will be pre/post mission crew rest...etc"

I'm still a huge advocate of the fly-only track. However, under current rules (AFIs), it would burn people out quickly.


just my $.02

C17D

HoursHore
12-08-2017, 04:55 AM
There is a fly only track. It's called retiring as a Major.

KA350Driver
12-08-2017, 05:41 AM
Going high, big philosophical picture...

The services (especially the Navy) have plenty of folks on staff/shore tours doing work which could be done by contractors/GS/retirees.

But there's a reason for that. Our culture dictates that operational tours are hard. But that makes us good warriors. In some cases adding manpower would alleviate workload. But in many operational cases, a warfighter who trains 14+ hours/day is going to be more effective than two warfighters who train 8 hours/day. So operational tours probably need to be challenging to build hard warriors.

With that assumption, you have to allow for decompression, that's where your shore, staff, educational, and other random duty tours come into play.

Not sure about other services, but the navy is about three on, two off for operational vs. shore duty.

So just because a particular job is underwhelming, doesn't mean it's fraud, waste, and abuse... maybe it's just that poor guy's turn for a well-deserved break. Of course it's up to the services to properly manage how much of their force is doing what and when, to achieve a good ROI for tax dollars.


Full disclosure: Iím not a military pilot. But how much flight time does an average military pilot fly? My google searched tell me about 150 hrs a year for fighter guys. Iíd assume itís more for heavy pilots. I realize that there is a lot of time that goes into mission/training planning as well. Letís call it 3 hours of planning to every 1 hour of flying. That gives us 600 hours of actual mission oriented work per year. The average American works about 2000 hours a year. Now, Iím sure that there is plenty of other worthwhile tasks that must be accomplished aside from flying and mission planning but Iím quite sure that a lot of the asspain and headache that wears pilots out to the point that they need a break with a staff/educational tour is self induced nonsense by the military. Workload can absolutely be reduced to the point that an operational tour isnít so much of a grinder. When the Air Force figures out how to do this it will go a long way towards solving the problem.

Vincent Chase
12-08-2017, 06:50 AM
Full disclosure: I’m not a military pilot.

This explains a lot. There's so much more to being a military pilot than just flying 150 hours a year like google told you.

KA350Driver
12-08-2017, 07:06 AM
This explains a lot. There's so much more to being a military pilot than just flying 150 hours a year like google told you.

Yeah, thatís the problem. I laid that out pretty clearly in my post. Youíre welcome to correct me on the numbers I got from the internet if theyíre wrong.

And for the record this isnít an Air Force problem or even a military aviation problem. Itís just a military problem. Good officers leave the service from every branch and military specialty for better opportunities in the civilian sector every day and their complaints are the exact same as aviators. Aviation isnít special in this regard.

My bonafides or lack thereof as a military pilot are completely irrelevant to this discussion. As are yours. In fact, I could make the argument that the military leadershipís or military pilotís should hold less credibility because they are the people responsible for the current problem. Now, that may be taken a bit too far but I could certainly make that argument.

galaxy flyer
12-08-2017, 07:17 AM
Stipulating that many who make General in the AF donít have huge backgrounds in the cockpit; at least, wearing wings means theyíve likely been there on a dark night being asked to make the AR and get the mission done. Itís always easier for the man who doesnít have to do it, but having been there helps.

Put me down as opposed to ďfly onlyĒ; but there is a case for it.

KA350

My C-5 unit had precisely 4 pilots per plane; try running them 24/7 with 60% of the average airline manning. And every operation requires augmented crews that come out of that 4 pilots. In combat support ops, itís a lot more than youíre guessing.

GF

BFMthisA10
12-08-2017, 08:39 AM
Full disclosure: Iím not a military pilot. But how much flight time does an average military pilot fly? My google searched tell me about 150 hrs a year for fighter guys. Iíd assume itís more for heavy pilots. I realize that there is a lot of time that goes into mission/training planning as well. Letís call it 3 hours of planning to every 1 hour of flying. That gives us 600 hours of actual mission oriented work per year. The average American works about 2000 hours a year. Now, Iím sure that there is plenty of other worthwhile tasks that must be accomplished aside from flying and mission planning but Iím quite sure that a lot of the asspain and headache that wears pilots out to the point that they need a break with a staff/educational tour is self induced nonsense by the military. Workload can absolutely be reduced to the point that an operational tour isnít so much of a grinder. When the Air Force figures out how to do this it will go a long way towards solving the problem.
Showed up around 9am for a 1.2 hour sortie a few days ago. Managed to get some email cleared in the 45 spare minutes between landing and debrief, but when it was all said and done I was headed home when the debrief ended at 5.
Pretty typical, and that wasnít a heavy planning day for my role in the mission.

Vincent Chase
12-08-2017, 09:45 AM
Now, Iím sure that there is plenty of other worthwhile tasks that must be accomplished aside from flying and mission planning but Iím quite sure that a lot of the asspain and headache that wears pilots out to the point that they need a break with a staff/educational tour is self induced nonsense by the military. Workload can absolutely be reduced to the point that an operational tour isnít so much of a grinder. When the Air Force figures out how to do this it will go a long way towards solving the problem.

Oh, you still don't get it. The AF can make life rosey for pilots? The AF is not the entity that causes their problems. It's the NCA. Your assumptions are that the typical Air Force pilot only flies around the flag pole and spends 3 hours trying to figure out how to do that. The reality is that the National Command Authority sends each pilot on an all expenses paid trip to (insert your best guess of a craphole here) every 18 months or so. It's not the Air Force that sends them. It's far above that. The Air Force is merely a force provider. They're trying to figure out how to provide the best capable force given the requirements of the NCA. The problem is so much bigger than you apparently are assuming.

Vincent Chase
12-08-2017, 09:48 AM
My bonafides or lack thereof as a military pilot are completely irrelevant to this discussion. As are yours. In fact, I could make the argument that the military leadershipís or military pilotís should hold less credibility because they are the people responsible for the current problem. Now, that may be taken a bit too far but I could certainly make that argument.

This is what I'm talking about...you seem to think because you haven't been there, you know how to fix the problem. You also seem to think that because I've been there, I'm unqualified to explain. In your view, I'm the one who made the problem in the first place. Not sure you'll ever understand, so I'll stop trying to help.

KA350Driver
12-08-2017, 10:47 AM
[QUOTE=Vincent Chase;2479913]Oh, you still don't get it. The AF can make life rosey for pilots? The AF is not the entity that causes their problems. It's the NCA. Im well aware of how missions are passed down. Thank you. Your assumptions are that the typical Air Force pilot only flies around the flag pole and spends 3 hours trying to figure out how to do that. Youíve yet to correct me. Feel free to educate me. The reality is that the National Command Authority sends each pilot on an all expenses paid trip to (insert your best guess of a craphole here) every 18 months or so. It's not the Air Force that sends them. It's far above that. The Air Force is merely a force provider. Once again, weíll aware of whatís going in the world and how the NCA works. They're trying to figure out how to provide the best capable force given the requirements of the NCA. Theyíre failing miserably. Otherwise we wouldnít be having this discussion. The problem is so much bigger than you apparently are assuming.No, itís exactly as big as Iím assuming. Youíd know this if you bothered to read all of my posts.

KA350Driver
12-08-2017, 10:58 AM
This is what I'm talking about...you seem to think because you haven't been there, you know how to fix the problem. You also seem to think that because I've been there, I'm unqualified to explain. In your view, I'm the one who made the problem in the first place. Not sure you'll ever understand, so I'll stop trying to help. The Air Force, and all of the services certainly shoulder a lot of the blame for this problem. Weíve already established that the Air Force doesnít have a shortage of people that want to fly, they have a shortage of people who want to stay in. Most of that is due to the self induced ass pain placed on pilots, and all officers for that matter. There are thousands of pilots sitting in staff positions right now that could be flying airplanes. Most of those staff positions are redundant and useless and really only serve as a block to be checked before the next promotion. They add virtually zero value to the warfighting ability of the service. I could walk into any JOC, Combatant Command or higher headquarters right now and find 8 field grades out of 10 that serve no function whatsoever other than arguing over the color and font of their power point slides.

The deployment cycle, while part of the problem, only plays a small role in the current shortage of pilots.

ducgsxr
12-08-2017, 11:08 AM
Full disclosure: Iím not a military pilot. But how much flight time does an average military pilot fly? My google searched tell me about 150 hrs a year for fighter guys. Iíd assume itís more for heavy pilots. I realize that there is a lot of time that goes into mission/training planning as well. Letís call it 3 hours of planning to every 1 hour of flying. That gives us 600 hours of actual mission oriented work per year. The average American works about 2000 hours a year. Now, Iím sure that there is plenty of other worthwhile tasks that must be accomplished aside from flying and mission planning but Iím quite sure that a lot of the asspain and headache that wears pilots out to the point that they need a break with a staff/educational tour is self induced nonsense by the military. Workload can absolutely be reduced to the point that an operational tour isnít so much of a grinder. When the Air Force figures out how to do this it will go a long way towards solving the problem.
This ranks in the top 5 most uninformed posts about the scope of the duties and obligations as an officer/aviator in the US Military. Iím sure others will chime in but flying related tasks cover about 1/3 of my job as a Naval Aviator.

KA350Driver
12-08-2017, 11:12 AM
This ranks in the top 5 most uninformed posts about the scope of the duties and obligations as an officer/aviator in the US Military. Iím sure others will chime in but flying related tasks cover about 1/3 of my job as a Naval Aviator.
So what exactly do you disagree with me on again?

tomgoodman
12-08-2017, 11:39 AM
So what exactly do you disagree with me on again?

I think he disagrees with you on the credibility of opinions based on Google study in lieu of experience. As a Trojan lady named Cassandra once lamented: ďbeing right donít mean squat if nobody believes youĒ. ;)

Adlerdriver
12-08-2017, 11:45 AM
So what exactly do you disagree with me on again? I'm sure for starters, it's the 3:1 flight hour to work ratio you began with. In a typical operational fighter squadron during non-deployed training operations, I would estimate the typical workday is at least 10 hours whether the pilot is flying or not. Complex missions and double-turning sorties can easily stretch that to 12-14.

Complex local training sorties can involve pre-mission planning the evening prior and another 1-2 hours in the morning prior to the briefing (which starts 2 hours before takeoff). After the ~1.5 hour mission, the re-construction of events and debrief will go at least 3 hours after landing.

You're also ignoring the reality that every pilot holds some other non-flying position in the squadron from senior leadership down to the brand new guy who is either stocking the bar or studying his a$$ off in the vault. Those additional duties typically require an equal amount of attention on non-flying days or may just add to the end of an already long fly day.

Deploy a squadron to a forward operating location for real world combat operations and the work load only goes up from there.

KA350Driver
12-08-2017, 11:49 AM
I think he disagrees with you on the credibility of opinions based on Google study in lieu of experience. As a Trojan lady named Cassandra once lamented: ďbeing right donít mean squat if nobody believes youĒ. ;)

Oh, well seeing as how Iím not a military pilot, google is really my only option to learn. If only there a forum of military pilots on the internet or something who could give me the straight scoop. In fact, I specifically asked ďHow many hours does a military pilot fly per year and what I got was ďYouíre opinion is invalid because I flew for the military and you didnít!Ē

KA350Driver
12-08-2017, 12:01 PM
I'm sure for starters, it's the 3:1 flight hour to work ratio you began with. Just for clarification the 3:1 flight to work ratio was specific to flying:briefing/debriefing. Not other non-flying related tasks. In a typical operational fighter squadron during non-deployed training operations, I would estimate the typical workday is at least 10 hours whether the pilot is flying or not. Complex missions and double-turning sorties can easily stretch that to 12-14.

Complex local training sorties can involve pre-mission planning the evening prior and another 1-2 hours in the morning prior to the briefing (which starts 2 hours before takeoff). After the ~1.5 hour mission, the re-construction of events and debrief will go at least 3 hours after landing.Thank you for the info. So the flying:brief: debrief ratio would be closer to 6:1 youíd say?

You're also ignoring the reality that every pilot holds some other non-flying position in the squadron from senior leadership down to the brand new guy who is either stocking the bar or studying his a$$ off in the vault. Those additional duties typically require an equal amount of attention on non-flying days or may just add to the end of an already long fly day. Iím not ignoring these. In fact Iíve specifically stated several times that many of these additional duties ARE part of the problem and some of the self-induced pains in the neck that pilots donít want to deal with.

galaxy flyer
12-08-2017, 12:02 PM
Those staff positions aren’t necessarily worthless; lots of bureaucratic tasks that have to get done. Staff work is often the means to increase manning; develop regulations; investigate accidents; manage acquisition programs; contracting. The USAF budget is $135 billion and “wings” aren’t called the “universal management badge” for nothing.

Back to flying time, heavy drivers get about 300-400 hours a year; close to a thousand when contingencies are in full swing. Like I said, it’s hard to fly them at airline rates with 2 crews per plane.

I ran a corporate operation after the military and it’s surprising similar—jobs like training management, safety, standards have to be done and it’s all “out of hide”. We had an 80+ page OM, a 35 page SMS manual and an ERP. We ran ERPs annually. All that has to be done, civil or military. The difference in the airlines is a lot of that is done without involving the line troops.

GF

Sliceback
12-08-2017, 12:17 PM
All that has to be done, civil or military. The difference in the airlines is a lot of that is done without involving the line troops.

GF

Thank goodness. Thatís why guys leave. Fly then go home. A bigger paycheck shows up two weeks later.

The only mandatory TDYís are when the wife drags you shopping, or on vacation, against your will.

Adlerdriver
12-08-2017, 12:33 PM
Just for clarification the 3:1 flight to work ratio was specific to flying:briefing/debriefing. But you then went on to compare the 2000 hours the average American works with the result of applying your ratio, which makes no sense. Why would you parse out only the flying related work of a pilot to make that comparison when it's very likely that whether flying or not, that pilot is spending 2500-3000 hours a year at work.

So the flying:brief: debrief ratio would be closer to 6:1 youíd say? Highly dependent on the type of aircraft, specific mission and many other factors. This ratio you're using is kind of your "thing", it's not a common way of looking at this. Most fighter pilots show at the squadron at 0700 (earlier if they're flying that morning) and stay until 1600-1700 (longer if they're in the pm go and debriefing). Basically, they show up for work and stay all day like anyone else, maybe get lunch if they have a chance or bring it with.

Iím not ignoring these. In fact Iíve specifically stated several times that many of these additional duties ARE part of the problem and some of the self-induced pains in the neck that pilots donít want to deal with. As I said at the start, you did ignore them with your strange 2000 average American hours to 600 flight duty hours.

USAF pilots have been battling the issue of additional duties since Thuds and F-4s were going "downtown". It's not a new problem and if the last 5 decades are any indication, nothing is going to change.

Brillo
12-08-2017, 12:43 PM
I ran a corporate operation after the military and itís surprising similarójobs like training management, safety, standards have to be done and itís all ďout of hideĒ. We had an 80+ page OM, a 35 page SMS manual and an ERP. We ran ERPs annually. All that has to be done, civil or military. The difference in the airlines is a lot of that is done without involving the line troops.

GF

My experience is in Marine Corps aviation, but the Navy is fairly similar. A lot of those ancillary duties do fall into the category of "throwaway jobs" like making the coffee or planning the squadron Christmas party. However, most officers have two to three of those and typically don't even factor them in.

When it comes to ground jobs and statements like "only 1/3 of my time is directly related to pilot duties" (which is true by the way), military pilots start referring to things like being the operations officer, maintenance officer, logistics officer, admin officer, etc.

Imagine being a pilot at your base or airline and performing those duties, and in addition to that you are also responsible for all crew scheduling, route planning, daily/weekly/monthly/yearly schedules, etc.

Imagine being a pilot at your base or airline and performing those duties, and in addition to that you are also responsible for all the maintenance of all the aircraft (and all of the maintenance personnel). Phases, inspections, ordering parts, assigning aircraft to the flight schedule, etc.

Imagine being a pilot at your base or airline and performing those duties, and in addition to that you are also responsible for all of the Human Resources functions of the entire organization. Taxes, vacations, contracts, payroll, etc.

Imagine being a pilot at your base or airline and performing those duties, and in addition to that you are also responsible for all of the logistics/facilities functions of your organization. Catering, fueling, equipment maintenance, every single building and all of the maintenance on those, all of the IT, and taking care of the "apartment building" in which half your employees live.

Essentially, every function at your airline (besides flying) that is done by someone specifically hired to do that job is done by a pilot in the military (or at least directly supervised by that pilot).

That doesn't even factor in any military specific, operational concerns. Additionally, the traditional employer/employee relationship doesn't exist. You are an officer leading Marines and sailors, so for every single one of your "employees," if they have an HR problem, you have an HR problem. If they have a home life issue, you have a home life issue. If they wreck their car, you're figuring out how they get around.

Not trying to do a "woe is me" here. You stated you wanted to know this info, so I'm just throwing it out there. We all knew this and signed up for it and are glad to do it. We're also looking forward to the day we can just focus on being a pilot.

galaxy flyer
12-08-2017, 12:49 PM
Many years ago, my brother was a JO in VF-211. I was a 1Lt visiting for Xmas. While on our way to a squadron party, he had to stop by a enlisted troopís apartment and make sure his holiday finances were ok. Evidently, this guy was beyond normal late teenage irresponsibility. Imagine, an airline pilot stopping by a ramperís house to balance his checkbook.

GF

galaxy flyer
12-08-2017, 12:56 PM
Adlerdriver,

In my C-5 unit, one of my pilotís dad was a P-51 pilot in Europe during the ďBig OneĒ. Weíd swap stories, but what stuck with me was his comment, ďyou guys beotch about the same stuff we did in Ď43Ē. Never changes.

GF

Mink
12-08-2017, 03:04 PM
My experience is in Marine Corps aviation, but the Navy is fairly similar. A lot of those ancillary duties do fall into the category of "throwaway jobs" like making the coffee or planning the squadron Christmas party. However, most officers have two to three of those and typically don't even factor them in.

When it comes to ground jobs and statements like "only 1/3 of my time is directly related to pilot duties" (which is true by the way), military pilots start referring to things like being the operations officer, maintenance officer, logistics officer, admin officer, etc.

Imagine being a pilot at your base or airline and performing those duties, and in addition to that you are also responsible for all crew scheduling, route planning, daily/weekly/monthly/yearly schedules, etc.

Imagine being a pilot at your base or airline and performing those duties, and in addition to that you are also responsible for all the maintenance of all the aircraft (and all of the maintenance personnel). Phases, inspections, ordering parts, assigning aircraft to the flight schedule, etc.

Imagine being a pilot at your base or airline and performing those duties, and in addition to that you are also responsible for all of the Human Resources functions of the entire organization. Taxes, vacations, contracts, payroll, etc.

Imagine being a pilot at your base or airline and performing those duties, and in addition to that you are also responsible for all of the logistics/facilities functions of your organization. Catering, fueling, equipment maintenance, every single building and all of the maintenance on those, all of the IT, and taking care of the "apartment building" in which half your employees live.

Essentially, every function at your airline (besides flying) that is done by someone specifically hired to do that job is done by a pilot in the military (or at least directly supervised by that pilot).

That doesn't even factor in any military specific, operational concerns. Additionally, the traditional employer/employee relationship doesn't exist. You are an officer leading Marines and sailors, so for every single one of your "employees," if they have an HR problem, you have an HR problem. If they have a home life issue, you have a home life issue. If they wreck their car, you're figuring out how they get around.

Not trying to do a "woe is me" here. You stated you wanted to know this info, so I'm just throwing it out there. We all knew this and signed up for it and are glad to do it. We're also looking forward to the day we can just focus on being a pilot.

Excellent snapshot. Just to pile on...take all of the above, and pack it up and move it to an "expeditionary" location or onboard an aircraft carrier a couple of times a year.

Fluglehrer
01-14-2018, 08:35 AM
I still managed to bust the contact check for TP stalls (any late 80s guys from CBM remember "Skeletor" May? He got me too....)

I worked with Skeletor in Scorpio flight for a few months just before he went to check section.
My favorite student post-checkride critique of "Skeletor": "Lt. xxx has a picture as large as the dot on the TV set after you turn the screen off".



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