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Old 03-03-2019, 10:00 AM   #101  
All is fine at .79
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Joined APC: Sep 2016
Position: Paahlot
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Story time, somewhat anecdotal as I’m paraphrasing.
Guy I know his wife is a senior FA.
So he told me this:
Two newbies were *****ing and moaning and instagramming their displeasure with the schedule or a trip.
So senior FA grew fangs and claws and picked out their eyeballs and sucked their skulls dry after telling them it took her 25 years to bid Xmas off.
Morale of the story for everyone looking for instant satisfaction?

Be afraid very afraid.....of the Lead.

And oh...stop crying about how hard it is, that too.
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Old 03-03-2019, 10:03 AM   #102  
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No one cares how hard you had it back when gas was a nickel and you walked uphill both ways to get to work. I wasn't an airline pilot then because it didn't make sense economically, and it barely does now.
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Old 03-03-2019, 10:03 AM   #103  
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Originally Posted by rickair7777 View Post
She wasn't the only one, and not the fault of the young ladies in question. They were along for the political ride. They probably would have been fine naval aviators on other platforms, but the tomcat was hard to land on the boat and hard to fight. And dangerous obviously.

I knew several RAG instructors whose careers were terminated because they refused to sign off women who were not up to the task. 100% success was expected of the women, but the historical pass rate was much lower... something had to give.
Found a summary of the training record for Lt. Hultgreen and another identified female aviator. All I can say is wow, especially for the unidentified pilot. Can't believe how far they went to qualify them?!

LT. KARA S. HULTGREEN, USN: Excerpts of F-14 Training Records
In June of 1993, Navy Lt. Kara S. Hultgreen began F-14 (Tomcat) transition training from the retiring A-6 community, and her training quickly established an unusual pattern. Instructors included some positive remarks for encouragement, but throughout her training at Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) VF-124, records accompanying the full-length version of this report indicate that Lt. Hultgreen struggled with the F-14.

NOTE: As indicated in VF-124's official grading criteria, various kinds of "safety of flight - downs," or "pink sheets" are given to document and correct serious errors in performance or attitude among aviation trainees. In the highly-competitive environment of naval aviation, as few as one or two downs may result in dismissal of the trainee, depending on the seriousness or patterns of the offenses, and other factors such as low cumulative scores.

DOWN NO. 1: 29 OCTOBER, 1993 - While on her third flight in the familiarization phase of her F-14 training, Lt. Hultgreen received a safety of flight - down for a near mishap while landing at NAS Fallon Nevada. Despite a briefing on the hazards of landing at high elevation, she came on the brakes too aggressively, and blew both main mount tires.

FIELD CARRIER LANDING PRACTICE: 28 FEBRUARY - 4 APRIL, 1994 - At the completion of her first series of Field Carrier Landing Practice (FCLP) periods, (field landings preparing for shipboard qualification) Lt. Hultgreen had the lowest landing grades of the nine pilots in her group. Her cumulative field grade was 2.82,which is below the conventionally accepted minimum required to attempt carrier qualification (CQ). The June, 1992 FRS Grading Criteria and Issues Manual rates a score of 2.90 as "Unsatisfactory Performance."
NOTE: A review of flight training records dating back to 1986 reveals only four other cases where individuals were allowed to attempt carrier qualification with field grades at or below 2.82. All of these students had unmarred performance records in previous phases of F-14 training, and were needed in the fleet during a period of pronounced military build-up and severe pilot shortages.

DOWN NO. 2: 22 MARCH, 1994 - While preparing for her first attempt at carrier qualification Hultgreen received a safety of flight - down, primarily because she failed to make timely power corrections to fix glide slope deviations.

DOWN NO. 3: 31 MARCH, 1994 - Lt. Hultgreen received a second pink sheet in phase for "making power corrections that were erratic and unpredictable. " The down was significant, in that the primary reason for FCLP is to gain confidence that the Landing Signal Officer (LSO) can predict and trust in the reactions of each pilot.

NOTE: Two downs in a single phase normally justifies a Field Naval Aviator Evaluation Board (FNAEB) and possible dismissal from F-14 training. Downs No. 2 and 3 indicated problems in technique similar to those evident on the day Lt. Hultgreen crashed.

FIRST CARRIER QUALIFICATION ATTEMPT: 12-13 APRIL, 1994 - As acknowledged by the Navy, Lt. Hultgreen failed to qualify "at the boat" on her first attempt because she failed to achieve minimum scores for qualification, which were 2.60 for all phases-day, night, and overall-plus a boarding rate (percentage of attempted landings successfully achieved) of 60 percent.

NOTE: Navy officials were widely quoted in November of 1994 saying that it was not unusual for a pilot to disqualify (DQ) on their first attempt, and that about 25 percent of aspiring F-14 pilots fail to qualify on their first try. But the carrier disqualification rate for West Coast Category 1 (initial training) pilots since January, 1986 was just over 13 percent. Inclusion of additional disqualifications in 1994 brings the percentage to about 16 percent.

Following disqualification, Lt. Hultgreen was required to complete another FCLP workup in preparation for a second try at CQ.

DOWN NO. 4: 9 MAY, 1994 - Lt. Hultgreen received another safety of flight - down during the conventional weapons phase of her training. She failed to safely perform a pop-up delivery maneuver with simulated bombs. If she had been carrying live weapons, the too-shallow dive and bottom-out altitude well below the fragmentation zone would have destroyed Hultgreen and her aircraft.

On numerous runs during this flight, Lt. Hultgreen also continued to press the target without having the proper symbology on her heads-up display (HUD). On several runs she unknowingly left the HUD in landing mode for the entire run on target, and on two runs attempted to simulate bomb release without proper symbology on HUD, while engaging incorrect switches.

SECOND CARRIER QUALIFICATION ATTEMPT: 19-27 JULY, 1994 - During the 5 week work-up period prior to her second try at carrier qualification, Lt. Hultgreen earned cumulative scores improving to 3.24. Her second CQ overall grade was 3.10, which was widely described as above the 2.99 average.

Category 1 pilots (first tour in the F-14 aircraft) require a total of 20 passes at the ship to carrier qualify. During her second carrier qualification Lt. Hultgreen received a total of 32 practice landings, which raised her overall average and boarding rate.

Lt.Hultgreen's second try(second look) CQ average of 3.10 was higher than the 2.99 average of other pilots on their first try, but below that of other pilots since 1986 on their second look, which was 3.13.

OCTOBER 25, 1994 - Lt. Kara Hultgreen was killed while attempting a landing on the carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in clear daytime conditions off the coast of San Diego. Her back-seat Radar Intercept Officer (RIO) successfully ejected from the rolling aircraft, but she was killed instantly when she was ejected into the water at low altitude, a fraction of a second later.

PILOT B: Excerpts of F-14 Training Records
Pilot B reported to VF-124 at the same time as Lt. Kara Hultgreen, but she did not have the tactical jet flight experience that benefited Hultgreen. Instructors provided considerable encouragement, but significant problems were evident from the beginning.

DOWN NO. 1: 27 OCTOBER 1993 - Before she actually flew the F-14 aircraft, Pilot B received an unsatisfactory grade on her FABT 170 safe-for-flight simulator test. She landed 4,000 feet long during a simulated emergency landing, and her hook missed the arresting gear. Rather than take the plane around for a second pass, she stayed on the ground, ran off the runway and into the water at North Island and was simulated "killed" when she failed to eject.

NOTE: Starting with this failure at a critical early stage of training, a precedent was set that continued throughout Pilot B's F-14 training. Whenever she encountered problems, she received extra training, specialized one-on-one tutoring, and a series of special concessions not normally afforded other individual pilots in a single course of instruction.

DOWN NO. 2: 15 NOVEMBER 1993 - Pilot B received a signal of difficulty - down when she failed to secure the right engine upon entering the refueling area at NAS Miramar. Despite the obvious hazard posed by her inattention during this incident, which should have triggered a more severe safety of flight - down, Pilot B was allowed to continue without any action being taken.

Note: Ground refueling of the F-14 is normally accomplished through "hot pitting," during which ground crews attach a fuel line to a probe just forward of the engine intake, while the plane is still running. A pilot's failure to secure the right engine during this process, which takes place in a high-noise environment, can result in a crewman being sucked into the intake and killed.

INTERMEDIATE TO ADVANCED TRAINING - During March and April of 1994, Pilot B's classmates were required to "double cycle" their training; i.e., complete one tactics flight and one field practice (FCLP) flight during a single day. Since Pilot B was unable to perform effectively in both tactics and FCLP, the commanding officer (CO) of the squadron had her tactics training deferred so she could concentrate on CQ-a luxury not afforded to any of her classmates.

After her tactics training was postponed, Pilot B's performance did improve marginally. Her FCLP summary sheet for the period 28 February - 4 April shows that at 2.889 she had the second lowest field grades in her class, only slightly higher than Lt. Hultgreen's.

DOWN NO. 3: 7 MARCH 1994 - Pilot B received an unsatisfactory safety of flight grade on her third field carrier landing practice event, CQPF 030, for "overshooting starts" and "finessing a low. " Failure in these areas indicates deficiencies in the most critical skills needed for safe carrier landings, including the ability to predictably follow the instructions of the Landing Signal Officers.

DOWN NO. 4: 21 MARCH 1994 - On 21 March 1994 Pilot B received her first unsatisfactory performance grade in the tactics phase when she scored a 2.85 on tactics flight TAPF 060. The VF-124 standardized grading criteria states that any grade below 2.90 is unsatisfactory and documentation of the failure is "required. " Nevertheless, the commanding officer of VF-124, who was the instructor on the flight, elected to change the grade from unsatisfactory to incomplete, and annotate it, "Count this as a warmup. "

FIRST CARRIER QUALIFICATION ATTEMPT: 12-13 APRIL 1994 - Pilot B failed her first attempt at carrier qualification with a day grade of 2.46 and a night grade of 1.25, with a 0% boarding rate-the lowest night grade in the history of the training squadron, excluding incompletes. A Landing Signal Officer described her performance as "well below average" (LSO's emphasis).

NOTE: A Human Factors Board (HFB) convened on 19 April, 1994 found no mitigating psychological or physiological factors causing Pilot B's poor performance, but was divided as to recommending a Field Naval Aviator Evaluation Board (FNAEB), which normally would have been convened for any student receiving two consecutive unsatisfactory performance grades during a single training phase.

The commanding officer elected not to convene a FNAEB. Pilot B was given another full FCLP work-up cycle and was allowed a second attempt at carrier qualification. No student, in the history of the west coast F-14 FRS, has ever been allowed to attempt re-qualification with a cumulative field grade (rounded up to 2.89) as low as Pilot B's. In fact, training records indicate that other students with first-time field grades higher than Pilot B's have been permanently disqualified after their first CQ.

DOWN NO. 5: 24 MAY 1994 - Pilot B failed her FABT 180 Naval Aviation Training and Operational Procedures Standards (NATOPS) check-a flight simulator session to certify that she was qualified to fly the F-14. She made numerous basic procedural errors, such as failure to properly check hydraulic and flight control systems and to follow standard operating procedures. In actual flight, any one of these errors could result in a serious emergency or loss of an aircraft.

Despite her three downs in phase and five total in training to date, squadron training and operations officers failed to convene an HF13 or FNAEB. Instead, Pilot B was again provided extra trainer periods and specialized one-on-one tutoring, and was allowed to continue flying.

DOWN NO. 6: 21 JUNE 1994 - Pilot B's tactics training resumed, and she received another unsatisfactory performance down on 21 June, 1994, on her TAFF 160 flight. Her grade sheet for the event indicated that Pilot B "seemed to have lost her grasp of basic tactical concepts: positioning, mutual support, visual responsibilities, weapons employment, engaged communications and maneuvering. "

A second Human Factors Board was convened on 22 June, 1994 which found no mitigating psychological or physiological problems. Still, no FNAEB was convened by the squadron CO. Pilot B was not required to refly the event at which she had failed.

FINAL STAGES - TACTICS - The tactics flight phase is an 18-sortie syllabus that takes approximately 4 weeks to complete. In Pilot B's case, as the complexity of the missions became increasingly difficult, it took over 32 flights and 3 months to complete.

On 25 occasions when it appeared she might be progressing toward an unsatisfactory grade, Pilot B claimed aircraft problems and aborted the mission. Of these incidents, 23 either could not be duplicated, or were signed off by subsequent pilots as non-existent. This tendency to ground good airplanes became so pronounced during the latter stages of tactics training that it became necessary to have an extra aircraft turned up and ready so that Pilot B would have no choice but to complete the scheduled event.
NOTE: Based on a cost per flight hour of $2700, and an average of 1.1 flight hours per tactics sortie, Pilot B's 14 extra tactics flights cost the Navy about $41,580.00.

DOWN NO. 7: 27 JUNE 1994 (UNRECORDED) - Pilot B received another unsatisfactory grade when she scored 2.875 on her last tactics hop (TAPF170), but this flight was not recorded. Despite the standard Grading Criteria, which designated 2.90 as an "unsat" grade, the CO directed the flight instructor not to record the flight as a down, and then reflew it with her himself. Contrary to Manual requirements she then "passed" this event with a score of 3.03, even though she had failed the two previous events with no reflys, and no FNAEB.
SECOND ATTEMPT, CARRIER QUALIFICATION: 19-27 JULY, 1994 - Pilot B qualified for carrier landings on her second try. Her CQ phase summary sheet for that period states that she earned an FCLP grade of 3.17, a CQ day average of 2.92, and a night average of 3.00. Her overall CQ phase average was 3.01 and she was ranked 5 of 7.

Again, comparative ratings are misleading because Pilot B, like Lt. Hultgreen, was able to raise her qualifying average by being afforded 8 more passes at the ship than the 20 required.Her class ranking was also skewed by comparing her second try performance against others on their first try, whose average was 2.99.Compared to the 3.13 average for all second look pilots since 1986, her 3.01 score is considerably below the mean average.

PRESENT TIME - Pilot B deployed with the carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in April of 1995.

Last edited by FlyinLion; 03-03-2019 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 03-03-2019, 10:05 AM   #104  
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Originally Posted by bh539 View Post
No one cares how hard you had it back when gas was a nickel and you walked uphill both ways to get to work. I wasn't an airline pilot then because it didn't make sense economically, and it barely does now.
Well said!
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Old 03-03-2019, 10:07 AM   #105  
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This is starting to take a very misogynistic turn.
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Old 03-03-2019, 10:28 AM   #106  
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Originally Posted by BrownDoubles View Post
Absolutely 100% incorrect assessment; human factors were completely discounted. You may want to do some research on the investigation findings. Yanky 72 was an absolute mechanical failure and nothing, not a thing could have been done by that crew to save that aircraft, crew, or the combat warrior passengers on board.
Please reference post #82. I was referring to human error which in the context of accident investigation can refer to an error by any person involved with the aircraft or its operation not just the aircrew.
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Old 03-03-2019, 10:38 AM   #107  
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Originally Posted by TiredSoul View Post
This is starting to take a very misogynistic turn.
It’s muddling the line for sure...
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Old 03-03-2019, 04:07 PM   #108  
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Originally Posted by TiredSoul View Post
This is starting to take a very misogynistic turn.
I disagree. This is not an attempt to disparage anyone of any gender. But I've looked up at (or flown in) too damn many missing man formations during my time as a backseater in tactical aviation, and sat on too damn many mishap boards. And it hurts, deep in your soul to see the folded flag handed to the spouse with the kids beside him or her trying desperately to be brave when their whole world has been shattered.

The onus is on the trainers and the commanders to keep junior aviators out of situations they can't handle, not on the newbie's to turn down what they can only perceive as a "golden opportunity."

Everyone, regardless of their gender, deserves better trainers and leaders than those that pushed people who weren't ready into a dangerous situation to further their own careers at the risk of their subordinates lives.
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Old 03-03-2019, 05:54 PM   #109  
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Originally Posted by bh539 View Post
No one cares how hard you had it back when gas was a nickel and you walked uphill both ways to get to work. I wasn't an airline pilot then because it didn't make sense economically, and it barely does now.
Nice attitude snowflake.

We all knew it was a low paying job for years to build time and experience that would hopefully pay off some day.

You sound like a quitter.
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Old 03-03-2019, 06:10 PM   #110  
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Originally Posted by TiredSoul View Post
This is starting to take a very misogynistic turn.
No one is blaming the female pilots for the obvious special treatment they received. This is all on the CO's and politicians that forced it.
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