Author Topic: Reserve Pilot Tac Hel Req  (Read 25928 times)

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Offline SupersonicMax

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Re: Reserve Pilot Tac Hel Req
« Reply #50 on: August 26, 2007, 20:39:47 »
Using Air Canada widebodies as an example is not the best comparison.  Many pilots are flying smaller airlines and making less money.  And look at the number of hours in their logs - they aren't walking in off the street, Cessna license in hand, and starting at that level.  They have also seen significant pay reductions in recent years as commercial air has undergone structural shifts.

I'd argue that excluding the US and UK from a discussion of Officers as pilots is like discussing macaroni and cheese but omitting Kraft Dinner.  If those two allies can make it work, why can't we?

dapaterson, my wife is a commercial pilot working for a small charter company.  She will be upgrading to Captain on a King Air (9 Passengers), flying mostly Medevacs and some charters.  She will then make about 70 000$ a year, which is about what a 1st year Capt Pilot will make in the Forces.  Her pay will just go up from there and she flies what we use for training. 

Yes, she has many more hours than most CF pilots that started when she did, but her work consists of taking off, 400' Post Take Off check, auto-pilot on. Make sure in cruise she won't get her IFR ticket violated then descend on the approach and disconnect the Auto Pilot at MDA or Decision Height.  Nothing to compare to what most CF pilots do. 

Comparing the 777 to the C-17 isn't unfair in my opinion.  Both are heavies.  The only differences are that the 777 carry passengers.  The C-17 crew might not carry pax, but they might get shot at.

Max

Offline Inch

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Re: Reserve Pilot Tac Hel Req
« Reply #51 on: August 26, 2007, 20:41:36 »
I'd argue that excluding the US and UK from a discussion of Officers as pilots is like discussing macaroni and cheese but omitting Kraft Dinner.  If those two allies can make it work, why can't we?

Only their armies make it work, the Navy, Marines and Air Forces have all officer pilots. We can't make it work for the army because of unification, we simply don't have an army air corps anymore and as a result, all pilots in the CF are officers.
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Offline dapaterson

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Re: Reserve Pilot Tac Hel Req
« Reply #52 on: August 26, 2007, 21:14:53 »
An interesting article on pilot pay is online at http://www.salon.com/tech/col/smith/2006/02/17/askthepilot174/print.html.

SupersonicMax:  The experience is a major differentiation.  And the fact that a first-year Capt in the CF makes the same suggests the CF is overpaying (frankly, I'd argue that the whole CF officer corps, myself included, is overpaid for the work we do, but that's another tangent...)

And I still see no reason why the CF can't have NCM pilots.  If Sgt Chuck Yeager was good enough to be a fighter jock in WW2, I don't see why his modern-day Canadian contemporaries can't hold the same rank.  Except for institutional inertia...


(And mods:  Can this tangent be split off into another thread?  We seem to have lost the bubble on "Reserve Tac Hel Pilots")
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Offline SupersonicMax

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Re: Reserve Pilot Tac Hel Req
« Reply #53 on: August 26, 2007, 21:32:50 »
SupersonicMax:  The experience is a major differentiation.  And the fact that a first-year Capt in the CF makes the same suggests the CF is overpaying (frankly, I'd argue that the whole CF officer corps, myself included, is overpaid for the work we do, but that's another tangent...)

dapaterson:  Experience isn't only hours.  The industry really looks for the type of experience winged CF pilots have.  Majors (airlines it is) will not even look at your resume if you have less that 3-4000 hrs of flying time. However, if you're military, with 1000 hrs, they might take you. CF First Officers make more than beeing the Comms Bi*ch and the coffee server.

 Our qualifications, training and military experience is worth much more than what civies get.  I don't know any school out there that offer basic traning (PPL equivalent) on a 9 million $, glass cockpit, 1100 HP turbo-prop airplane.  We're talking about a high performance aircraft.  You're lucky if you get your training on a Katana in the civy schools. We are VERY competitive for the civilian market. 

And I still see no reason why the CF can't have NCM pilots.  If Sgt Chuck Yeager was good enough to be a fighter jock in WW2, I don't see why his modern-day Canadian contemporaries can't hold the same rank.  Except for institutional inertia...

Pilots are more than operators.  I just finished 200 hrs of ground school (and that's only for BFT, more to come on advanced phases...) and it's a lot of things to know and you can get into big trouble very quickly if you don't know all the information you need to know and that only for the flying aspect.  And in a day to day pilot life, flying is secondary.  It's a given.  They are not evaluated on their PER for the amazing IF skills they have or the great overhead break he did last month.

Pilots employ a machine, it weapons and different tactics in order to accomplish an objective.  They rarely have your boss behind you when you have an unknown in flight.  Theyhave to take the decision themself and in some circumstance, the decision could be life or death.  Not to mention that most pilot will eventually become flight leaders and such and will actually lead people in flight.

According to your reasonning, you are saying that any officer in the CF (except maybe at the general level) could be an NCM. 

Max

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Re: Reserve Pilot Tac Hel Req
« Reply #54 on: August 26, 2007, 21:32:57 »
There probably is no reason why some CF pilots in some roles could not be NCMs, but- why bother?  Sure- some militaries use NCMs as helo pilots.  No military that I am aware of uses NCMs as pilots of fixed wing heavy assets or fighters (I stand to be corrected when evidence to the contrary is presented). We can sit around and lament the loss of the Army Air Corps (and Fleet Air Arm, too, for that matter).  The simple fact of the matter is that we are never going back that way.  Ever.  Therefore- CF pilots are going to remain officers- all of them.

Remember this- I am a Navigator and have no dog in this fight.  ;D

Offline Loachman

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Re: Reserve Pilot Tac Hel Req
« Reply #55 on: August 26, 2007, 21:55:21 »
Don't sit there and try to tell me that it's so different between the infantry and the armoured, training wise. Everyone does Phase 2, or CAP or whatever it's called these days and remusters happen all the time. Where's the value in teaching an artillery or armoured officer how to do section attacks? Waste of time and money, why not just stream armoured officers right into an armoured vehicle, that's where they're going be employed, right?

It's been a couple of decades since I did Phase II Infantry, Portage, or Moose Jaw so things may have changed however Phase II involved those things that were pretty common across the board, ie drill, first aid, weapons, fieldcraft, leadership skills in stressful situations, and simple small-unit tactics. As this course was run by Armour, Artillery, and Infantry schools independently, there may have been some arm-specific training given in each but I do not know for sure. Phase II would equate more to PFS, whereas Phases III and IV - definitely arm-specific, would relate more to BFT and OTU.

And anybody in the field should possess the skills and knowledge imparted in Phase II - Combat Arms, Support Arms, and Tac Hel as well. Operationally, that would be far more valuable than zipping about in a fast aeroplane for a year.

The only difference is that it's not a remuster if a pilot goes from helo to multi or anywhere else. There's far less paperwork.

And far less training time. Besides, how many remusters/reclassifications do you see between Combat Arms components. None at all? They're usually to Int of P Aff or technical trades.

Moose Jaw is no different, it's a common starting place for all pilots.

Other than simply "because it is", why? I'd suggest that, as it precedes Moose Jaw and is also common, that Portage is a more valid "common starting place". And, other than for cost effectiveness, I see no need for a "common starting place" at all. The US Armed Forces have many "starting places".


If I had been told I would only fly helos without the chance of flying something else, I would have said "thanks, but no thanks", and I think plenty of other people would have too. I didn't join to fly helos, helos chose me and while I enjoy it now, I sure as crap didn't join to fly helos.

I did, and if anybody had told me that I'd have had to fly seized-wing...

If we recruited people into specific flying streams, ie helicopter, multi-engine, and jet, I'm sure that there would have been slots available to you and those like you in all categories as well.

You're right, operating a vehicle does not equate to a requirement for a commission. However, the tactical employment of aircraft is not a corporal's job. Just because we're driving doesn't mean we're not making the decisions on weapons release, tactics to be employed or other things like that. Despite popular belief, we're more than drivers.  If you read the orders, an aircraft captain has the same authority over his aircraft as a ship's captain has over his ship. The driver of an AFV is not in command of that vehicle, there's quite a large difference between an aircraft captain and a LAV crew commander. So, no matter what the rank of the person on board the aircraft, the aircraft captain is in command wrt the flying and handling of the aircraft and it's safety. Even if Gen Hillier is on board my aircraft, I'm in command. A slight difference from an AFV commander, no?

The tactical employment of an AFV is not a corporal's job, either, under normal circumstances. It's the crew commander's, and he is a highly experienced Sergeant or possibly Master Corporal. He's not driving, either, although he may have done earlier in his career. You could compare a fighter pilot to a unified driver/crew commander, but the new lone fighter pilot is still operating as a wingman and making no decisions beyond those that involve the safe operation of his vehicle only. He doesn't decide whom to shoot or bomb unless his lead is gone.

The crew commander has pretty much the same authority over the occupants of his vehicle as an aircraft captain has. There's really not a lot of difference, and, where one exists, it's generally because a generic aircraft could be operating at many thousands of feet thousands of miles from anywhere and there is no other authority. My powers as aircraft captain aside, I do not decide everything pertaining to my mission any more than a crew commander does and my responsibility includes carrying out that mission to the best of my ability. If I am flying General Hillier around, and he sees something on the ground that he wishes to inspect closer and I refuse to land and let him off, then it would be interesting to see whose authority trumps whose. Orders or lack thereof aside, if General Hillier goes out on a patrol in the back of a LAV, he's not likely to usurp the crew commander's authority and responsibility for a whole list of reasons. LGen Leslie likes to go out on patrols on exercises, and did when he was in Kabul, and I have heard no tales of him pushing his weight around.

In most battlefield helicopters, there is an aircraft captain (crew commander) and first officer (driver). The sole difference in that regard between the rotary-winged vehicle and the tracked or wheeled vehicle is that the rotary-winged vehicle has a second set of controls so the crew commander can wiggle the sticks when necessary. When engaged in a tactical mission, however, the copilot should be doing that while the crew commander/aircraft captain should be handling the maps and radios and thinking and deciding and directing. It's hard to keep track of what's going on in a fluid battlefield while trying to dodge wires and cows.

In its application to the battlefield, the helicopter is simply a vehicle with a different method of mobility.

There is no requirement for a commission for either the senior driver or the junior one, for any reason.

And as far as I'm concerned, experience is experience. Sure it takes time to build Crew Commanders, Aircraft Captains and Flight leads, but guys from different backgrounds provide a different perspective and possibly a better way of doing business.

And sometimes don't have a clue, or try to impose things that worked well in their previous communities but don't in their new one.

I've seen too many ex-fighter pilots tossed into leadership positions in 10 TAG do just that in the past to see that as any benefit. Only one exception comes to mind.

Now, a cross-trainee from the Combat Arms into Tac Hel is gold unless he's a numpty to begin with. There's far more applicable knowledge and experience there than there is in a fighter pilot with an amended driver's licence. That same experience wouldn't be so helpful in other flying communities, though.

That's the problem with your point of view. I had a commercial licence with an instrument rating, and I learned more than a thing or two wrt decision making when moving at 4 miles a minute. Things I don't think I would have learned if I had gone onto helos having never flown faster than 130 kts.

But how valuable, really, were they? I cannot think of a single thing that I learned in Moose Jaw related to speed and altitude and flying upside-down on occasion that had any bearing on anything that I ever did afterwards. Nothing. Thousands upon thousands of military helicopter pilots around the globe, over many decades, seem to have done quite well without their nations buring up bazillions on zipping around in little neato jets and turboprops.

What you learned in Moose Jaw obviously has some link to flying helos,

Not obviously. Quite the contrary.

I strongly disagree that it was a total waste of time and money. I found all kinds of links between the two, and I think I use far more techniques that I learned in Moose Jaw than techniques I learned in my 200+ hrs of bug smasher time.

Those could have been taught in more economical ways on more suitable course, I'm sure.

Could you teach the Moose Jaw course on a slower platform? Who knows, my personal opinion is that I don't think you would get the same value out of a PFT-E as you would when teaching guys to think at 4 miles a minute.

We are needlessly over-training, especially as pilot training relates to the Tac Hel community. That is my lane and my concern. Other communities vary, and I will not argue so strongly in their affairs.

Offline Loachman

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Re: Reserve Pilot Tac Hel Req
« Reply #56 on: August 26, 2007, 22:18:16 »
A Sgt deciding when to employ his 25mm chain gun is based on what the Capt in the next vehicle over has decided. They determine the tactical employment of their vehicle based on what the Platoon commander has decided the vehicle will be used for.  They're not autonomous like aircraft can and tend to be, thus we're able to make the call ourselves since we've been given that authority, the same can't be said for all AFVs.

There is extremely little difference between battlefield helicopters and AFVs in their tactical employment. An AH company commander maintains similar control over what the individual aircraft are doing in his company when they are engaging an enemy. RAH66 allowed him to do that technologically - he could box off individual killzones and transmit them to all of his aircraft so that none could engage in another's KZ without his specific authority, in order to prevent multiple engagements of one target by several aircraft.

A Sea King may be autonomous, and an Aurora, but a Griffon or an Apache on the battlefield is not.

Neither is a fighter.

And an AC on No 2 helicopter can only make decisions within the authority given to him by his lead or higher.

Our Sergeants are no dumber than any British Army Air Corps Sergeant who wears wings. Our Sergeants are no dumber than I am with my commission. A commission by itself confers no special abilities or smarts.

We select for smarts and natural ability and train for special abilities.

On top of the authority issue, we do live in the real world and the money issue is part of it too. You're not going to retain qualified helo pilots for long if you're only paying them 50-60 grand a year when on the civilian market it's much more lucrative. Despite what illusions people may have about patriotism and serving their country, Canada is still a capitalist society and the almighty dollar reigns supreme, especially when you're talking about a profession as hard to get into as pilot.

That's why we have spec pay and aircrew allowance. Besides, there are not that many helicopter jobs out there that lure people away anyway. Airlines pay much more than any air force, naval aviation component. or army flying corps does yet many elect to continue to serve. Money, for lots of people, is not the driving factor.

I agree on your last point, there's no reason two aircraft types can't be in the same sqn, SAR sqns have been doing it for years. Still though, other than the LCol and HQ types, you still would need to have duplicate Standards officers and technicians for the two aircraft types as well as a few other specialized jobs that are done within a particular aircraft type. That said however, it's not like the Air Force is unique in having a LCol command 100 people, just look at any reserve regiment CO.

In the Kiowa and Twin Huey day, most Tac Hel Squadrons operated two types as well, but that was a peacetime concept. In wartime, groupings would have been doctrinal and we trained that way on major exercises. Kiowa Squadrons would locate closely behind the FEBA as our employment was far more intimate and continual. UTTH Squadrons would locate about 50 KM back. MTH and Maint Sqns would be even further back. Under those circumstances, mixing of types and misions was completely impractical.

Squadrons vary in manning, and many (Tac Hel at least) are over 100 people. A doctrinal wartime Griffon squadron is twenty-four aircraft with a crewing ration of 2:1 or higher to permit 24/7 operations, planning, and liaison with supported units. That's 96 pilots and 48 flight engineers alone.

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Re: Reserve Pilot Tac Hel Req
« Reply #57 on: August 26, 2007, 22:37:06 »
Quote
Squadrons vary in manning, and many (Tac Hel at least) are over 100 people. A doctrinal wartime Griffon squadron is twenty-four aircraft with a crewing ration of 2:1 or higher to permit 24/7 operations, planning, and liaison with supported units. That's 96 pilots and 48 flight engineers alone.

LM, the big 3 are all pushing 300...

There are points for, and points against NCMs as pilots.  The US example is not an analogy because the US Army WO1/WO2/CW3/CW4/CW5 aviators have no equivalency in the CF.  There are also points to be made for "specialist aircrew" (capped at Major / SqnLdr) who will not progress through Command - like in the RAF.  In the end, Canada uses what appears to work best for it...both cases have been made in the past, and neither supported, for whatever reasons folks would like to speculate about.

Cheers
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Offline Loachman

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Re: Reserve Pilot Tac Hel Req
« Reply #58 on: August 26, 2007, 22:49:02 »
I guess I just fail to see why two guys, both aircraft captains and doing the same job should be paid different. I'm sure we both agree that there has to be some pilot officers, considering the only Air Force officers that reach the level of General are either pilots or Navigators, and since there has to be pilot officers and paying two guys differently for doing the exact same job doesn't make a whole lot of sense, every pilot is an officer. As far as I see it anyhow. That's how it works else where in the world, in fact, all pilots are officers in every arm of every military that I can think of, minus the US Army and the Army Air Corps in the UK.

Why pay two guys who are doing a crew commander job any differently simply based upon the method of mobility?

I don't see any complaints coming from British Army NCO pilots or US Army WO pilots that they're being paid less than their zoomie counterparts.

Yes, there has to be some pilot officers - Flight Commanders, Squadron Commanders, their deputies, Ops Officers, and HQ staff types.

Officers exist to lead and exercise command over more than a crew anywhere other than air forces. There is no need for every pilot to hold a commission to command a crew, let alone drive.

Australia and New Zealand also have NCO pilots, at least. And one must also take into account that many armies have different opinions regarding NCOs and Officers. In many, officers are professionals and everybody else is a conscripted amateur. Under those circumstances, putting a two-year-term conscript through pilot training definitely makes no sense.

R
ecruiting is always going to be a problem, the CF needs to be the employer of choice. In order to attract talented people and then keep those that do take the plunge, it has to be fiscally worth it. That's the danger with giving people marketable skills, those same skills will draw a higher wage else where. It's unavoidable. If you look at the pilot pay tables there has been a shift in when you start making the "big bucks". Prior to 1998 you started quite high on the pay tables, now you start out making less than $100 over what a GSO makes, and Lt's no longer get pilot pay.

And for the record, you're not promoted past 2Lt until you get your wings and you're employable. So in effect, it is exactly like you mentioned above, you're earning a living wage while learning the trade, but as soon as you're employable and desirable to outside employers, your pay goes up.

Check the starting pay of airline pilots and what most have to go through to get even that, which is why I elected not to do that when I left the Reg F. It's not exactly a secure and stable job environment, either. Air Canada let everybody with less than thirteen years seniority go back in the mid-nineties when the industry took a down-turn, and airlines are always going TU. Most commercial helicopter pilots spend more time in the bush than Tac Hel pilots, and make less, unless things have changed dramatically over the last decade. The type of flying makes a big difference to some people as well. There are few commercial helicopter jobs that have any appeal to me whatsoever. I did two police helicopter trials and would have stuck with that had either gone permanent - but would also have stayed on as a reservist anyway. Money isn't everything to many pilots, which is no different in the Army or Navy either. Most military officers could make far more in civilian fields if they chose to go that route.

And for the record, you're not promoted past 2Lt until you get your wings and you're employable. So in effect, it is exactly like you mentioned above, you're earning a living wage while learning the trade, but as soon as you're employable and desirable to outside employers, your pay goes up.

We've had Captains show up at our OTUs who've hung around waiting between Wings Grad in Portage and then. The delay was so long that they got promoted even though they weren't "employable", in my definition anyway.

Offline Loachman

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Re: Reserve Pilot Tac Hel Req
« Reply #59 on: August 26, 2007, 22:51:42 »
we simply don't have an army air corps anymore

Absolutely the worst result of unification.

Offline Inch

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Re: Reserve Pilot Tac Hel Req
« Reply #60 on: August 27, 2007, 05:51:02 »
Counter points to all mine, you've convinced me. I see no need whatsoever to have any officers, if everyone can do the job then pay everyone the same and have no commissions and we'll be off to the races.

If you wanted to pay me the same and employ me the same, I don't care what rank you make me. If this is the way Tac Hel drivers think, I'll stay MH, thank you very much.

Then again, how many guys have failed out of pilot training? Guess it's not quite the same as being a LAV CC, but what do I know, I was only a gunner and not a CC.

If you think we're the only ones that do a course on a Turboprop prior to streaming, you're wrong. The USN/USMC does it on the T-34 and the USAF does a similar 90 hr course on the T-6 Texan II before streaming off to Rotary, Jets, or multi. If it's good enough for them, and they train a hell of a lot more pilots than we do, then it's good enough for us.

Kind of ironic isn't it? In my experience, the Tac Hel drivers are the ones that complain the most about who's running the Air Force yet they're also the ones that seem to want NCM pilots. Who do you think is going to run the Air Force when less than half your pilots are Officers?

Anyway, I digress.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2007, 06:14:52 by Inch »
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Offline dapaterson

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Re: Reserve Pilot Tac Hel Req
« Reply #61 on: August 27, 2007, 09:32:48 »
Quote
Quote from: Inch on Yesterday at 20:41:36
we simply don't have an army air corps anymore
Absolutely the worst result of unification.

I'd argue the old work dress was the worst result of unification (at least from a fashion perspective)...
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Offline Rick Ruter

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Re: Reserve Pilot Tac Hel Req
« Reply #62 on: August 27, 2007, 10:55:21 »

What does speed have to do with anything?

I got 170 hours on the Tutor (the odd ED and a bunch of gear-puller trips and a Snowbird practice), and, while I'm glad that I had the opportunity to fly a tremendous little aircraft, none of it translated to what I did from the start of BHT on. It was a waste, from a military and economic point of view, of a year and a pile of money.


Loachman, I'm the product of fast air and then switched to helos and I disagree with your comment above. The 4-6 miles per minute gets you thinking pretty quick and when you get to helos, you have all the time in the world which keeps you IN the cockpit and not skiing behind. As an ICP, I see a big difference between loach drivers, slugs and fast air background. The fastair pilots are much better at IF. Wether you realize it or not, I'm positive the ILS', PARs and TACANs you did in the Tutor helped you in Portage.
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Offline Loachman

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Re: Reserve Pilot Tac Hel Req
« Reply #63 on: August 27, 2007, 15:11:48 »
Loachman, I'm the product of fast air and then switched to helos and I disagree with your comment above. The 4-6 miles per minute gets you thinking pretty quick and when you get to helos, you have all the time in the world which keeps you IN the cockpit and not skiing behind.

Your mileage may vary. I stand by my comment. Nothing that I did in the Kiowa, especially when operating tactically, bore any resemblance to anything that I did in Moose Jaw that I can remember, and certainly nothing that could not have been taught more cheaply on something else, that something else preferably being more relevant.

As an ICP, I see a big difference between loach drivers, slugs and fast air background. The fastair pilots are much better at IF. Wether you realize it or not, I'm positive the ILS', PARs and TACANs you did in the Tutor helped you in Portage.

Again, that IF could have been taught on something cheaper and more relevant. After Portage, I had no use for IF other than achieving my quarterly minima and doing my ticket ride beyond treating it as the emergency procedure that it was for us. Most other Kiowa pilots were the same. Those of us now stuck on the CH146 haven't changed much, either.

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Re: Reserve Pilot Tac Hel Req
« Reply #64 on: August 27, 2007, 15:32:53 »
Again, that IF could have been taught on something cheaper and more relevant. After Portage, I had no use for IF other than achieving my quarterly minima and doing my ticket ride beyond treating it as the emergency procedure that it was for us. Most other Kiowa pilots were the same. Those of us now stuck on the CH146 haven't changed much, either.

I understand as a loach driver that IF wasn't done except for minimums to keep your ticket but the Griffon???

Again, that IF could have been taught on something cheaper and more relevant.

Believe it or not, the Tutor was cheaper to fly then than the Griffon is now and that's what helo guys will get their wings on soon. But it is more relevant, hence logical.

We have different opinions because we started on different airframes. Maybe the 170 hours on Tutor didn't do me as much good as I believed because I put on 1500 hours on T-Bird after that... so my fast air stuff is mostly T-Bird.
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Offline Good2Golf

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Re: Reserve Pilot Tac Hel Req
« Reply #65 on: August 27, 2007, 17:00:21 »
I've regularly filed to get around/over crap that many civy helo drivers had to sit and wait out. 

Everybody has had different experiences during the formative first tour, but IF and thinking at speeds that challenge one's performance are good reasons to keep things the way they are.  Heck, you could probably make a wings program based on the Goodyear blimp, but it would be far less relevant than the "overkill" that some profess exists in the CF pilot production stream.  The time that you would need being on top of things the most and not have had the challenge during training to allow you to handle the situation appropriately would be the deal breaker.  It's always easy to say, "I don't need [XXX] or [YYY] for training, if you haven't been one of the guys to ever need it -- I have, on the other hand, so I don't think the current system is broken.

 mein 2ยข

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