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Showing content with the highest reputation since 01/22/2019 in Posts

  1. 21 points
    I think the General's article raises some interesting possibilities to improve UPT. Better said, I think he is offering some valid ways to improve the transition from UPT to today's modern fighter/attack platforms. However, I think he's forgetting the basic goal of UPT. We still need to produce pilots with strong foundational skills in basic aviation before we start giving them extra "toys" to play with. The problem with making changes to syllabi and training programs in aviation (military or civilian) is the guys making the changes are usually the old guys who were trained one or more "generations" in the past. They always seem to apply their perspective of how challenging it was to adapt to new technology when most of the time, the young guys do fine. What’s actually harder is being able to go backward once someone had become proficient with new tech. I've seen it over and over again. F-15 FTU syllabus changes to include advanced subjects and tactics that had traditionally been left until arrival at the ops units. Old guys are highly skeptical and swear the students will flail because when they had to learn the same stuff 10 years into their careers, their ingrained, semi-hardened brains found it a challenge. Surprise - the students eat the shit up and adapt because they don't know any different and they come out the other end more lethal than their instructors were when they were LTs. Airline X decides to put new hires into the right seats of the latest Boeing or Airbus wide-bodies because 1 - there aren't any more 727 Engineer seats to stick newbies into and 2 - they need to fill the seats. Old guys lose their minds again considering the impossible task of learning the ropes at a major airline while getting through right seat training on the modern marvel that is a 21st century airliner with a glass cockpit and all the bells and whistles. Surprise again - new guys (most anyway) from all kinds of backgrounds deal just fine with all the magic that the old guys stared at like a pig looking at a wristwatch. My point is that new pilots rarely have difficulty adapting to new technology that reduces workload, enhances SA and allows easier human interface. But, once you give them those new toys and train them to use and rely on them from day one, they have no ability to retrograde back to more basic methods. When my airliner computes a descent to hit waypoints at specific speeds and altitudes down track, I do the math and compute my 3:1 descent in my head to make sure the jet's plan is reasonable. It's just a habit developed before I had all the magic. A "child of magenta" probably doesn't have that same habit and may not even have the ability to do it. He's never needed to. So, when Murphy strikes in that scenario or any number of potential problem areas in civilian or military flying, if a pilot has no old school skills and is completely reliant on technology to do his job, he's less capable - period - dot. I laughed when I saw the side by side picture of the T-X and F-35 cockpits. YGBSM. The fact that both cockpits utilize similar displays and automation isn't going to matter on "Stanley's" UPT sorties when he's trying to figure out how to develop contact flying skills, land out of an overhead, not kill his classmate during a rejoin or shoot an approach to mins. I guaran-fucking-tee that his first sortie in an F-35 is not going to be any easier because he had a moving map or some other sensor display in his T-X while he was still earning his wings. Anyone can go from round dial steam gauges that actually required an instrument scan and some mental challenge to maintain positional awareness and overall SA to the latest, greatest glass cockpit. Going back in the other direction is a far different story. UPT needs to produce pilots with solid, basic aviation skills. Skipping over those by handing Stanley a glass cockpit with a moving map, HUD and whatever other toys are available isn't going to do that. I have no doubt he'll do just fine with them, but there's benefit to learning this job from a basic level first. You produce pilots who don't just take the information presented to them as gospel and blindly follow it - but have the ability to understand how to back it up, QC it to ensure it makes sense and flex to another option if it doesn't. I've seen pilots blindly follow steering bars on a flight director into oblivion because that's all they've ever done. Another is unable to transition to a round dial ADI because they're a HUD baby and it's now tits up. I watched a guy in the sim completely pork a way an approach because he chose not to use DME to the field, mis-interpreted his NAV display and lost SA on where he was. A bearing pointer and DME is a beautiful thing if you know how to use them. My point is that the General's concern seems to be how can we introduce more shit to Stanley sooner so he'll be more familiar with the F-35 or F-22 cockpit if and when he finally gets that far. I think students will adapt to those environments just fine when the times comes. There may be an opportunity to help begin their transition later in UPT or during whatever we're going to call the IFF phase. But not at the expense of creating a generation of pilots who start out from day one completely reliant on the most advanced cockpit we can field. Maybe the General needs to take a peek at the existing F-15C or A-10 cockpits. They sure as hell would be about 10 steps backwards for a UPT student who just got winged in an F-X and now has to figure out how to fly round dial steam gauges so he doesn't kill himself on his first ILS to mins. Anyway..... just my old guy two-cents. I still see some value in swinging a weighted bat in the on-deck circle before I'm up.
  2. 14 points
    Folks, the AF is full retard. The $35k per year bonus is laughable. Laughable in that the AF has spent millions on training each and every one of you and thinks a $35k per year retention bonus is all you are worth. On Feb 14th, us DAL folks get a 14% (of our gross income) profit sharing check. And, DAL puts 16% of our gross income into our 401k’s every year. I work 14 days a month (wide body FO), I maxed out my $55k limit 401k in 2017 and 2018 (including my contributions over and above DALs 16%), and my profit sharing check will be over $32k. You guys are doing yourself and your family a dis-service by working for an employer that has no respect for you, treats you like ass, and grossly under pays you.
  3. 11 points
    Long story short: Go fly with an instructor once or twice, build a rapport with the place you'll be renting. All that certification stuff is great, get your mil comp, etc. But I know plenty of dudes who went into flight schools or FBOs like a big swingin' dick with their new wings and have almost killed their family, or been asked not to rent from the airport again. If you didn't start in GA or haven't flown GA in a while its really worth it to humbly go fly with an instructor for a ride or two, and just listen to them. The whole time you might be making fun of their multiple knee boards with information on the closest 69 airports, or the way they make radio calls like their flying AF1, but it'll be worth it in the end. UPT doesn't teach much about VFR flying with the rest of the civilian populace, and if you think you can take a rental airplane on an IFR adventure in the weather, I'd strongly advise against it. Not a holier than thou type of speech, it's just embarrassing to go rent from somewhere and hear from the school about all the AF guys who said they knew what they were doing and subsequently did not.
  4. 10 points
    I can't do a decent job explaining it but i'll try. First let me say I have an inclination toward cynicism. Be it innate or just bitterness over organizational failures I've seen in the AF. My bullshit detector for insincere platitudes and pep-talks is always on high gain. I also know that the SWA culture is often derided as a "cultish" by outsiders. It kinda is, but I'm buying it. It all goes back to Herb. He knew most everyone's names, he hugged and even kissed all his employees, dudes included. Yeah I know, sounds gay. He drank, smoked, and threw wild parties. He was serious about cutting through the B.S. and making airplanes fly. His philosophy was "Take care of the employees first, and the customers will come." Herb is gone and SWA is a big airline now with big airline problems. Many aspects of the old SWA culture has dwindled, but a lot of it still exists. I won't go into everything, but there's books written on it and it's Fortune magazine's 11th most admired company in the world, behind #10 FedEx, and I can see why. Here's just a few things. When I walk in the pilot lounge to check in for my trip, I get a hug from the ladies in the base coordinator office. If the Chief or Asst. is walking thru, he'll stop, handshake, crack a joke and visit. I often get hats, pins, cards, and other things in the mail for no good reason. All the company communications emphasize real positives. FAs often bring snacks, we often buy ops agents and gate agents coffee, new Captain upgrades typically serve hot dog lunches in the lounge one day. SWA throws big parties several times a year. The header of every paycheck says "Deposits made possible by your Southwest Customers." Maybe all this exists at other airlines too, I don't know. I just know I like where I'm at and I'm over 10 years in. I could just show up and get a paycheck for flying airplanes, and there are many pilots who do, but it's a heck of a lot more fun if there's an over-arching atmosphere of fun and positivity. And it doesn't feel fake when the company has the numbers to prove it's success. I know that all sounds touchy-feely and it probably doesn't count for much when most people just want to get paid big bucks as quick as possible for working as little as possible. But once you've experienced it, it counts for something.
  5. 10 points
    Go with your thoughts on gun control.
  6. 10 points
  7. 9 points
    I'm so glad I'm separating and DGAF about promotion stats anymore. Reading this thread makes me want to kick a puppy. Good luck fellas.
  8. 9 points
    While luvvy actors and the liberal elite give each other a pat on the back for being so wonderful (i'm talking about Oscar nominations, if that's not clear), this video reminded me of the people who really make the world go round.
  9. 8 points
  10. 8 points
    Remember, the house of cards is almost entirely predicated on every officer self-enforcing 100% productivity in the hopes of getting promoted. There is no external mechanism for getting you to work more than the minimum. Here's a little pick-me-up for the next time you don't want to do some pointless project gathering data for a commander who will just take the CYA option anyways: Put all the numbers into Excel, but don't use borders, colors, or formulas. Add/subtract/multiply/divide things by hand and type them into the cells if necessary. Don't resize columns or rows to make the numbers fit, just leave the scientific notation. When you get the email back asking for conditional formatting, notes, categories, borders, etc, simply point out that you have no idea how to use Excel, since the Air Force offers no course on it at PME. There is no way to "teach" it reliably. Every formula they tell you to Google is one bad keystroke away from taking longer to fix than just do themselves. Mediocrity is a liability for a commander or DO that intends to make general. You have been freed from more than just your dreams of being a LtCol.
  11. 7 points
    Everyone's gotta make a call on what's best for them and their families -- I certainly don't begrudge anyone deciding to get out or deciding to stay in....but trading information that can strengthen your record, PRF, and chances for promotion on future boards is worthwhile to me and I appreciate the discussion. To those bouncing to greener pastures, fly safe and hook me up with a buddy pass....Cheers!
  12. 6 points
    That’s a trap if I’ve ever seen one. If... then maybe... “Hey man if you let me bang your wife, I may be able to hook you up with Kate Upton.” -AFPC Sent from my iPhone using Baseops Network mobile app
  13. 6 points
    If you guys read through the Green New Deal, you'd know that the pilot hiring wave is about to hit a brick wall, with furloughs all but inevitable. In an unrelated note, Ocasio-Cortez's campaign contributions were released and her largest donor was the Aircrew Crisis Task Force.
  14. 6 points
    CSO’s or any other non-pilot Officers (and plenty of E’s) can do plenty of non-flying jobs and kill it on the outside. Don’t sell yourselves short.
  15. 6 points
    His logbook shows 340 hours of "time". However, he was paid for the equivalent of 850 hours.. So he made 510 hours of credit without actually flying. I have a friend that sits reserve at home on wide bodies. Last year, he worked around 23 days. So he probably logged about 100 hours of actual flying time (probably less). However, he makes a minimum of 75-ish hours a month as a guaranteed minimum, per the contract with his company. So he made around 900 hours of flight pay (credit) last year, while only actually flying 100 hours. There are a lot of permutations and ways to get "credit hours" but hopefully you get the idea. For example, deadheading: when the company needs to send you somewhere to go fly a plane, you are in the back as a passenger on a company ticket,... but you are paid like you actually flew the jet. Two weeks ago, I deadheaded from SFO to Honolulu. Sat in 1st class, worked on my computer, and slept for almost 3 hours. It was almost a 6 hour flight. When we arrived, I got in the cockpit and flew the jet back. That was about a 5 hour flight. So I logged 5 hours of time... but was paid for 11 hours of time for a single day out-and-back. The contract between the pilot and the company is a very important legal document. It defines how you will get paid, and for what. And vacation, number of hours per day guaranteed, reserve rules, et... I know corporate pilots that make bank. Big bank. However, the actual dollars that show up in to your account are only one piece of the puzzle. The contract defines all of those pieces. In the military, I was proud to be the guy at the top of the 30-60-90 day flying time sheet posted in Ops. In the airlines, it's the complete opposite.
  16. 5 points
    The Air Force doesn't define who you are. Great day when I realized that.
  17. 4 points
    My whole family are union service job blue color Ohio/Penn democrats. Any time I open my mouth with what or why those people would possibly vote for Trump or sit out an election because of the complete scizm in the dem party toward extreme left loonacy the coastal loons all dismiss it as “your family must be racist or something.” No they were promised a bill of goods with Obama and none of it happened. Because to those people the most important thing for our government to be concentrated on isn’t social progress and global warming. It’s sound foreign policy for their deployed sons/daughters, it’s not trying to hobble manufacturing jobs through ridiculous cafe restrictions or corporate taxes, and it’s not telling s bunch of nurses if they think there are limits on when abortion becomes wrong they are evil, and it’s not telling a guy who worked as both a cop and a military officer he can’t have a gun to defend his family because he might be a mass shooter waiting to happen. Until the democractic party learns that lesson I’m more than happy to watch them get their butts kicked in the greater electorate. But it’s just easier to hit the button that dismisses loss to a person like Trump as part of some secret army of racists so they probably won’t learn anything.
  18. 4 points
    This is exactly what I have seen in AFRC the last couple of years. Once guys hit 2nd year airline pay, the reserve job becomes a money loser - if you drop an airline trip for mil duty. If you do your mil job around your airline trips, sure you make that extra reserve money, but most guys would rather just have the time off. Plus, the general ass-pain of the reserve job wears on folks. Little things, like - logging into a computer: Insert CAC, wait 10 to 15 secs for the computer to recognize it. Enter PIN, wait 69 seconds. Here comes the stupid pop up, oh, here is another, and, another. Finally, after 5 minutes, there is the desktop screen, click on Outlook, it opens, updates mailbox, 3 minutes later you can read email, blah, blah, and on and on. Oh yeah! Don’t forget the self aid buddy care, fire extinguisher training, trafficking in human persons, unexploded ordnance, etc, the same exact BS briefings you have sat through over and over and over and....
  19. 4 points
    Never been a UPT instructor but I always hated UPTs system and felt anything could be better. The more and more I recollect on my experience there, the AF never taught me to fly. They handed me a book, a disk full of CDs and a syllabus and I taught myself how to fly, after which my progress was graded by an "instructor." (This is not a knock on IPs, they are great Men and Women who do the best with the tools they are allowed.) My understanding is UPT NEXT uses new technology in the VR and sim spaces to increase repetitions before students get in the plane. Working off my perception of how UPT was, it makes sense that if you give the students better tools to teach themselves you will get a better product.
  20. 4 points
    It's also important for people to realize there's a large spectrum of opportunities that exist between being a commuter and living in domicile. You don't have to commit to one or the other for your entire career. We have "in-domicile" people that walk 10 minutes to work, ride the train for an hour and a half, drive a couple hundred miles, or sit in bumper to bumper traffic for hours. Some commuters two-hop across country or take a 45 min flight each way. There are people who commute to live on the farm, lakehouse or in the mountains part of the year and sit-reserve in domicile out of a home, condo, apartment, RV part of the year. Some regularly change domiciles just for something different. I can sometimes modify trips to start or end at my commute airport. Families are a the biggest consideration and I've got two years until the kids are in college. I've been a commuter for 10 years and I would do it again without hesitation to live where we wanted. However, I intend intend on keeping our home while living in-domicile part-time elsewhere in the future.
  21. 4 points
    So far so good. Michelle wouldn't feel safe without one so they built one before moving in.
  22. 4 points
    Goddamn all this talk reminds me with shivers what AD goes through...a mystical journey with ever-changing rules shrouded in secrecy where success is mostly a question of luck and timing. Mercy on your souls for staying with AD. I know not everyone has a choice to exit early. Best of...luck to those who remain. It’s literally the sharpest tool in your bag.
  23. 4 points
    Since Hacker brought up the Regionals, I'll add some more (current) information, since I think the incredibly recent turn of the Regional industry (read, last two years) is going to be the nail in the coffin for the Guard/Reserve side of the house. I'm a Guard baby (Captain) and quickly got sick of only being able to snag 150-300 hours of flying time a year, due to the increased AD-Lite mentality of the Guard and all the extra admin duties and responsibilities that get thrown on you. I snagged a job at a Regional (that takes me an hour-and-fifteen-minutes to get to the employee parking lot) just after they more than doubled pay from what Hacker was talking about. Since that time two years ago, two-to-four other Regionals have jumped their pay WAY up... Endeavor is currently leading the way with $50/hr first year FO, $60/hr second year FO, and $93/hr third year CA pay. In 2018 I deployed for a couple/few months, took a two month AGR gig, and flew the line at the Regional as an FO... I live in my Guard city, take a short drive to the airline, and between the two gigs I made $100,000 and blocked ~700 hours... Let me reiterate, I'm an FO at a REGIONAL. They're FORCE upgrading people here at like 18 months (due to the shortages), so by the time I upgrade to the higher money in a couple months, I'll already be able to hold a line in domicile, due to all the guys junior to me already being forced to the left seat. I was doing the math with the CA I'm flying with on this trip yesterday, and (assuming I do the minimum AFTP/RUTA count for 2019 and maybe another month's worth of Orders at some point, and then upgrade around April) I'll probably make close to $120,000. This guy's a LCA who drops trips every month and he makes $120K. Add the minimum amount of Guard work and you're pushing $150,000... at a REGIONAL. Just wanted to throw that out there, because I keep trying to tell my leadership that THIS may be an even greater threat to our ranks than the imminent mainline hiring... I know we're losing senior IP/EP types, but what's going to happen when that trend continues, and then the young guys are bouncing AS WELL? No longer is it a huge pay-cut for the younger Lt's/Captains to hit the Regionals for the block hours. It's a pay bump (not to mention a GUARANTEED paycheck vs. Guard bumming), and it's infinitely easier to build those hours as well. I'm doing 85 block this month, and 90 next month. I was the high-time pilot in the Squadron at one point this year with 75 hours... in three months. Big AF, the Guard, and the Reserve have no idea...
  24. 4 points
    It's all in the work rules.
  25. 4 points