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STOIKY

"We're not training commercial pilots."

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Since starting UPT I've noticed a pretty steady berating of the airline industry by the staff. Just about every briefing I attended as an APT'er or now while in Phase 1 has included shots fired at the airlines--specifically, the pilots themselves. Everyone from my flight commander on up has said something at some point: airline pilots are "puppets" or "bus drivers", military pilots are "much better trained in all aspects of flying" and if you wanted to fly for the airlines, "you wouldn't have come here". We have a lot of guard/reserve guys in our class and most, if not all of them, have said they're planning to head to the airlines when eligible. But none of them have been disrespectful or boasted about it. All of the active duty appear focused on getting the airframe they want--not career goals a decade or more away. I'm the oldest AD student in my class and have lofty goals of maybe working for the majors after my UPT commitment is satisfied, but I understand that's a ways off and dependent on a lot of variables (many of which are unknowns at this point). That said, we [the students] are not starting off conversations with the staff by saying "Hi, I'm Lt so and so, and I'm just here to use the USAF as a stepping stone to SWA". It's not like that at all from what I have observed and I am just wondering what prompted all of this lecturing about the airlines? Admittedly, I expected the occasional comparison or jab. However, this is habitual. Almost scripted?

Any other UPT studs or recent grads on here pick up on any of this? Gray Beards/Veterans, was it like this 10-15 years ago when you started pilot training? If this is a recent phenomenon, do you think it's connected to the Air Force's pilot exodus?  

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Doesn't really matter.  Fly a great jet and don't pass up an opportunity to shut up.  Encourage your classmates to do the same.

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Prior UPT IP,

This surprises me, and I have to believe you just have an aggressive flight commander or something.  When I spoke to students at UPT I always framed the discussion around keeping doors open, making sure you checked your boxes so long as you found it acceptable while in so that you had the opportunity to stay in and be promotable or get out.  That means doing SOS/ACSC, that means getting your ATP, that means playing the volunteer for XYZ crap job for OPR fodder, as well as keeping your records up to date for future applications. 

Your IP's if they are making statements like this have failed in their role to be leaders / role models.  I've had commanders in the past make statements like this, and they are all eating their own words now because they believed the economy would remain stagnant and the that military's gravy train would forever be to coveted to give up for uncertain job prospects outside.  Their leadership was based on attempting to frighten their squadrons to shut up color and enjoy their pay check. 

Fact of the matter is we train pilots, period.  Good ones at that (well mostly when we can push back on the all important PFT).  That means we produce great Military pilots, that equates to great Airline pilots.  Am I going to miss military flying once I hang up my green flight suit for good? Sure.  Am I going to regret making a decision that protects my families future and my own sanity? No. 

Don't sweat these remarks too much, hopefully they are the exception not the rule.  If they become the rule then maybe it is time to run as fast as you can.  (Though your commitment is 10 years so maybe getting jaded now isn't the best idea =P)

    

Edited by DirtyFlightSuit
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"Though your commitment is 10 years so maybe getting jaded now isn't the best idea =P"

I definitely didn't mean to come off as jaded. Just a little surprised. And like Nunya said, it really doesn't matter. One of the duties I had in my civilian job involved trend analysis--just noticing a trend, that's all. Was curious to see if anyone else had experienced something similar or if I'm simply reading too much into it. I'd say it's safe to say that everyone in my class is here because the Air Force offers a very unique mission set and type of flying you can't do anywhere else. Thanks for the input!

Edited by STOIKY
Accidentally quoted someone's entire response.
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Us airline guys will just have to settle for the "puppet" and "bus driver" pay/schedule versus the T-6 triple-turns your Flt/CC and IP's are doing in the July heat.  We all make decisions and we have to be ready to face the consequences.  Now, back to boat shopping...

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55 minutes ago, nunya said:

Doesn't really matter.  Fly a great jet and don't pass up an opportunity to shut up.  Encourage your classmates to do the same.

This. 

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3 hours ago, STOIKY said:

Everyone from my flight commander on up has said something at some point: airline pilots are "puppets" or "bus drivers", military pilots are "much better trained in all aspects of flying" and if you wanted to fly for the airlines, "you wouldn't have come here".

Whether they leave the USAF at the 11, 15, 20 or 28 year point, 80% of the people saying this will eventually fly for the airlines.  

Enjoy your time in UPT.  If you don't, you only have yourself to blame.  

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3 hours ago, STOIKY said:

"Though your commitment is 10 years so maybe getting jaded now isn't the best idea =P"

I definitely didn't mean to come off as jaded. Just a little surprised. And like Nunya said, it really doesn't matter. One of the duties I had in my civilian job involved trend analysis--just noticing a trend, that's all. Was curious to see if anyone else had experienced something similar or if I'm simply reading too much into it. I'd say it's safe to say that everyone in my class is here because the Air Force offers a very unique mission set and type of flying you can't do anywhere else. Thanks for the input!

Not meant as a jab, more as a warning.  I've had a great AF career, with only a single 6 month span where I was truly unhappy, for the rest of the near 12 years its been amazingsauce.  With that said, with all the VSP, RIF, TERA, etc going on I know my overall attitude changed somewhat.  This doesn't make my decision to bail any less valid, but it made my time left in the AF less enjoyable for me.  I am, and was jaded more than necessary, and if I could some how avoided that I would have been happier for it I'm sure. 

I have heard FAIPs already trying to pursue the Airline thing or at least talk about it, and while it is always good to keep an exit strategy in mind, if its effecting your day to day then it isn't helping much, especially with so much time ahead of you and them.

My last couple of years in should not be any thing but great as well, but knowing its ending, and why I chose to end it soured me to it to some degree and I regret that.

 

Edited by DirtyFlightSuit

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The Grass Is Always Greener... sometime that's 100% true and sometimes someone comes and pisses on your grass when you least expect it. Life is all about timing. For some of us going to the airlines right now is what I would consider very good timing. For those that are still wet behind the ears and have at least 10 more years ahead of them in the military - you have no idea what the airline industry is going to be like in 10 or 12 years when you're ready to make that decision. The airline industry could very well be in the crapper in 12 years like it was 12 years ago.

 

Join the military to fly military aircraft and be ready for everything that comes along with that. I think we'll see things get better in the Air Force because I don't think our leaders have a choice anymore. Will it get better during my career? Probably not, but I'm guard now and have a little bit more flexibility with my military career. I can say though that it's to the point where coming in and doing the military thing is just for a paycheck and for a retirement at this point. It's just not that fun anymore and that's unfortunate because it's supposed to be one of the best jobs in the world, right?

 

As far as the IP's go at UPT, I'm sure some of it is airline pilot envy. I'm sure a lot of it is jealousy because they're not in the right place at the right time so it's Human Nature for some to put something down that you can't have. In reality probably somewhere around 40% of airline pilots are veterans of the military so I'm not quite sure why they would take the time to put airline pilots down. In a lot of ways airline pilots, even ones that weren't in the military, are vastly superior aviators.

 

On the other hand constant talk about commercial flying and insinuating that the Air Force is going to be your stepping stone to the airlines can be a distraction and at the end of the day you're there to learn how to fly military aircraft and eventually focus on your MDS/WS mission. Do your time and do it well because the country and quite frankly the rest of the world depends on you.

 

Sent from my SM-G930T using Tapatalk

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7 hours ago, gearpig said:

If an IP is lecturing you on the airlines, remember it's not about you. It's about him trying to rationalize why he's there and many of his peers are not.

Shack. I'll admit I'm on the fence right now as I approach 15 TAFMS, but options are a good thing right?  It's entertaining to watch some dudes argue so strongly one way or another when you know it's all just an attempt to pat themselves on the back for making the "right" decision. 

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3 years ago most of my IPs were trying to get their ATPs before the rules changed, and they talked about it openly. The Reservest IPs boasted about their airline jobs, and the rest enphisized keeping your options open. 

 

Keep your options open, don't close doors, and  take a look around and ask yourself why someone is talking down on another jet/track/job. Usually the guys talking shit are the most ignorant or have a alternate agenda. Or they are just assholes. 

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Out of curiosity, which base is this at?  I know at the one I'm currently instructing at it's the opposite, people are openly discussing their applications and helping each other get hired.

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1 hour ago, ViperStud said:

Shack. I'll admit I'm on the fence right now as I approach 15 TAFMS, but options are a good thing right?  It's entertaining to watch some dudes argue so strongly one way or another when you know it's all just an attempt to pat themselves on the back for making the "right" decision. 

From the guy getting the best deal of anyone.  :)

 

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58 minutes ago, matmacwc said:

From the guy getting the best deal of anyone.  :)

 

I wouldn't consider living down the street from you as any kind of good deal. Most people plan to avoid such things. :)

Edited by ViperStud
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In a lot of ways airline pilots, even ones that weren't in the military, are vastly superior aviators.


Not saying you're wrong, I'm just curious about your opinion...in what ways? Interesting you'd phrase it with "a lot of" and "vastly"...

I feel like that very strongly worded generalization is unlikely, but I wouldn't doubt many cases on an individual basis.

I think we miss the mark with basic airmanship often in the Air Force, but civilians have proven to be no different.

Just curious,
Bendy


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10 hours ago, gearpig said:

If an IP is lecturing you on the airlines, remember it's not about you. It's about him trying to rationalize why he's there and many of his peers are not.

 

This.

Just realize the Air Force owns you for 10 years following pilot training.  Big Blue can't even figure out what they're doing with personnel 10 months from now.  Lecturing UPT studs about the evils of separating and going to the airlines is ridiculous.  Just smile and nod and carry on with life, it's not your problem right now.  You're just a captive audience for others to hear themselves talk to.  Focus on the flying and enjoy, you're the future of the service.

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2 hours ago, ViperStud said:

I wouldn't consider living down the street from you as any kind of good deal. Most people plan to avoid such things. :)

I'm talking about your paid 3 month European vacation…..and Bendy and Evil can suck it for liking your post.  Living down the street from me is a gift, I expect worship.  Now how do I like my own post.

Edited by matmacwc
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I'll give you one reason. Airline pilots have one job; to be professional pilots. 100% focus (or at least the opportunity to...) on flying. Flying in the Air Force is an additonal duty. Being a good pilot is all about proficiency and experience (and a lot of genetics along with it). From what I've seen over the years, there are a lot of pilots in the AF who could take or leave the flying thing and it sometimes shows in the cockpit. I'm sure this varies from community to community, but I would agree that basic airmanship is a weak area in the AF. Of course by the time you ever have a chance to peak in the cockpit, it's time to push paper.

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Proficiency and experience...okay, I'm with you on the conceptual level...good qualities that make a quality aviator.

Hmm...I've yet to hear a newly minted airline guy mention how nice it is to finally get to focus on flying. Seems like they just talk about all the days off and money. Maybe I'm just hearing what I want to hear. Haven't heard how nice it is to finally have all this extra time to spend with those young first officers that have just so much left to learn about being a great aviator. Again, as has been mentioned, maybe my desire to rationalize my own choices biases me to read/hear only what fits my narrative.

I'm not an airline pilot, so it's an honest question when I ask...when a pilot isn't actively flying (and totally, of course, is almost completely focused on improving the first officer's basic airmanship while they are), what time is spent focused on this that would/could make them vastly superior aviators?

This other world is foreign and bewildering,
Bendy



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13 hours ago, STOIKY said:

Since starting UPT I've noticed a pretty steady berating of the airline industry by the staff. Just about every briefing I attended as an APT'er or now while in Phase 1 has included shots fired at the airlines--specifically, the pilots themselves. Everyone from my flight commander on up has said something at some point: airline pilots are "puppets" or "bus drivers", military pilots are "much better trained in all aspects of flying" and if you wanted to fly for the airlines, "you wouldn't have come here". We have a lot of guard/reserve guys in our class and most, if not all of them, have said they're planning to head to the airlines when eligible. But none of them have been disrespectful or boasted about it. All of the active duty appear focused on getting the airframe they want--not career goals a decade or more away. I'm the oldest AD student in my class and have lofty goals of maybe working for the majors after my UPT commitment is satisfied, but I understand that's a ways off and dependent on a lot of variables (many of which are unknowns at this point). That said, we [the students] are not starting off conversations with the staff by saying "Hi, I'm Lt so and so, and I'm just here to use the USAF as a stepping stone to SWA". It's not like that at all from what I have observed and I am just wondering what prompted all of this lecturing about the airlines? Admittedly, I expected the occasional comparison or jab. However, this is habitual. Almost scripted?

Any other UPT studs or recent grads on here pick up on any of this? Gray Beards/Veterans, was it like this 10-15 years ago when you started pilot training? If this is a recent phenomenon, do you think it's connected to the Air Force's pilot exodus?  

Your instructors should be focused on giving you great training, not preaching to you on what to do with your life in 12 years. If the Air Force offered an overall great QOL package, pilots wouldn't be leaving at historical rates. My advice: do your best, don't piss anyone off, be positive, and don't close any doors. 

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44 minutes ago, Gazmo said:

 Flying in the Air Force is an additonal duty. 
 

Only if you make it that way or if your leadership sucks in my opinion.  Hiring civilians for squadrons is a step in the right direction though to your point.  Being merely adequate at ground duties that don't impact people's lives (training, etc) is good enough.  Ball wash doesn't matter.  The only thing that does is flying and the duties involving or related to flying such as instruction to make guys better, mission planning, debriefing, etc.

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just be glad they let our old asses into UPT

Edited by 12xu2a3x3
fat finger

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24 minutes ago, F16Deuce said:

Only if you make it that way or if your leadership sucks in my opinion.  Hiring civilians for squadrons is a step in the right direction though to your point.  Being merely adequate at ground duties that don't impact people's lives (training, etc) is good enough.  Ball wash doesn't matter.  The only thing that does is flying and the duties involving or related to flying such as instruction to make guys better, mission planning, debriefing, etc.

Unfortunately in some communities flying can become an additional duty depending on what your ground job is. 

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2 hours ago, F16Deuce said:

Only if you make it that way or if your leadership sucks in my opinion.  Hiring civilians for squadrons is a step in the right direction though to your point.  Being merely adequate at ground duties that don't impact people's lives (training, etc) is good enough.  Ball wash doesn't matter.  The only thing that does is flying and the duties involving or related to flying such as instruction to make guys better, mission planning, debriefing, etc.

At least in my nook of the Air Force, I'd say it's mostly a leadership thing: where dudes are forced to "pick their path": being good in the cockpit, or being good in the office.  It's impossible to do both unless you are Chuck Yeager and can slave it out OPR/PowerPoint/excel sheet after another, get in the cockpit once a month and kill it- but that's a rarity.

Now, there are those folks that just don't hack it in the cockpit and just don't try.  

It really comes down to good leadership setting priorities: zero acceptance of less than 100% in the cockpit, allow an OPR or two to make it to the group late, not giving a rat's behind if the sexual assault prevention training monitor doesn't get green dot status slides in every Friday on time. 

 

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