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Pilot Shortage Deepens, USAF is SCREWED.

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I believe it, but there is a lot to unpack.

First I would assume 17 hours/month doesn't include msn planning. My info is 5 yrs old now, but in the C-17 world we would msn plan a training local the day prior. A random route low level through through Alaska, with a tanker rendezvous, plus assault landing and pattern work could easily take 5+ hours to plan and brief for a 5 hour sortie. Airdrop and formation even more time. No experience with fighters, but I would guess they take just as long to plan for sortie that is less than 2 hours. Back of the napkin math would mean that heavies are working 35-40 hours per month on flying stuff and fighters up 80 hours. In the dream world of a 40 hour work week (160 hours/month) that mean heavies spend 75% of their time doing non-pilot stuff, fighters are 50/50.

Next problem. I hate averages, primarily because Wing Kings have used it to beat the sqdns claiming we were are not over worked. Problem is there are too many pilot the schedulers can't touch. Rotating exec desk at the sq/gp/wg takes up 2-4 pilots, Wg FSO, ADOs, schedulers, just off the top of my head. When some logs ZERO hours than brings down the average fast. Give me the entire stats, Mean, Median, and Standard Deviation. I would bet it shows a small group of pilots are carrying a disproportionate load of the flying hours.

Take everything with a grain of salt. I've been flying a desk for almost 5 years.

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2 hours ago, RASH said:

It wasn't that long ago (ok, 25 years) we were logging 10-15 hours a week...

And ridiculing those nations who flew only 10-15 hours a month. 

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Can’t run to the airlines if they can’t fly on Active Duty... kinda liking cutting off your nose to spite your face.

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10 hours ago, Jaded said:

True, but includes both downrange sorties and RPA flying. Not joking. 

If so that’s scarry. Unit dependent but the average RPA MCE line guy is logging between 20-40 hours a week (or more) depending on unit/manning.   

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1 hour ago, Guardian said:

I didn’t think they logged any flying hours.....I kid I kid.

Airlines don’t count them, so, you are not wrong. 

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I’m confused, are we upset that some of us are only getting 17 hours a month (or less/ barely staying proficient due to random exec or wing job); or cynical because some of us that were lucky* to stay in the flying squadron are actually flying 3 times a week? 

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On 3/2/2018 at 8:48 AM, RASH said:

It wasn't that long ago (ok, 25 years) we were logging 10-15 hours a week...

 

On 3/2/2018 at 11:03 AM, SurelySerious said:

And ridiculing those nations who flew only 10-15 hours a month. 

 

4 hours ago, dream big said:

I’m confused, are we upset that some of us are only getting 17 hours a month (or less/ barely staying proficient due to random exec or wing job); or cynical because some of us that were lucky* to stay in the flying squadron are actually flying 3 times a week? 

 I thought the sentiment was it’s probably not a good thing for the overall airmanship, proficiency, and lethality of our force that we’re down to such low flying hours. Did no one else a while back sit there thinking, “wow, they must be really bad,” when we used to read about how other countries were flying the similar amount of hours to what was mentioned? If your airframe has viable sims for training, I’ll buy some trade off there; I would also venture to say that the reality is just reduced flying related activity, though. 

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Spoke with an old f-100 pilot who said back in his day they sometimes needed waivers to fly 90 hours a month.

Back when pilot main duties were flying.

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Hell, I’ve been waived above 120 hours per month downrange several times between 2010 and 2013...obviously different than home station steady-state, but we always seemed to fight the Global War in Hours with gusto where I grew up. While in operational squadrons bar napkin math says my average hours were a little over 30 per month over a 5 years span.

At the end of my AD time as an instructor with heavier shop responsibilities, unfortunately I was sometimes trying to fly less at home station just to keep the machine running, and it sucks that that felt necessary. The problem was that shop work doesn’t always shrink when flying hours grow, you just end up working more.

I agree though that monthly flying below a certain threshold is bad. Would love to see shredouts that break that one big average being thrown around down by MWS, unit, rank, crew position, etc.

Edited by nsplayr

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14 hours ago, dream big said:

I’m confused, are we upset that some of us are only getting 17 hours a month (or less/ barely staying proficient due to random exec or wing job); or cynical because some of us that were lucky* to stay in the flying squadron are actually flying 3 times a week? 

They screwed the numbers to make it look good, when we know it isn't.  

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I had 47 hours one year when farmed-out to a "fly-once-a-week" support job. Typically local training sorties were 4 hours. You do the math...

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9 hours ago, nsplayr said:

Hell, I’ve been waived above 120 hours per month downrange several times between 2010 and 2013...obviously different than home station steady-state, but we always seemed to fight the Global War in Hours with gusto where I grew up. While in operational squadrons bar napkin math says my average hours were a little over 30 per month over a 5 years span.

At the end of my AD time as an instructor with heavier shop responsibilities, unfortunately I was sometimes trying to fly less at home station just to keep the machine running, and it sucks that that felt necessary. The problem was that shop work doesn’t always shrink when flying hours grow, you just end up working more.

I agree though that monthly flying below a certain threshold is bad. Would love to see shredouts that break that one big average being thrown around down by MWS, unit, rank, crew position, etc.

U-28’s are definitely an outlier in this discussion. I remember when sequestration hit and we didn’t slow down one iota. That’s not even counting the PC-12 flying that we have trouble filling the lines sometimes because crew availability is tough to pair against available tails.

 

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Air Force management has finally achieved its apotheosis in incompetence when it has both a massive pilot shortage and a shortage of hours flown by the pilots it does have.

At this point they should just change the Air Force song to Yakety Sax and give all the planes back to the Army.

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For the academy grads:
 
a·poth·e·o·sis
əˌpäTHēˈōsəs/
noun
 
  1. the highest point in the development of something; culmination or climax.
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On 3/7/2018 at 8:48 PM, joe1234 said:

Air Force management has finally achieved its apotheosis in incompetence when it has both a massive pilot shortage and a shortage of hours flown by the pilots it does have.

At this point they should just change the Air Force song to Yakety Sax and give all the planes back to the Army.

 

FBEC25BC-CA34-4AA5-A12A-ABDED3E4054E.gif

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Part II - https://warontherocks.com/2018/03/air-force-in-crisis-part-ii-how-did-we-get-here/
How was leadership allowed to let this happen?  I've never seen the damage put together so clearly.


Simply poor leadership. While the Captains back in the day we’re talking about this the leadership was busy with Blues Monday, green boots, SAPR, morale sweeps of squadron bars etc.
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9 hours ago, 17D_guy said:

Part II - https://warontherocks.com/2018/03/air-force-in-crisis-part-ii-how-did-we-get-here/

How was leadership allowed to let this happen?  I've never seen the damage put together so clearly.

Agreed.  This dude nicely summarizes thousands of angry Internet rants.  I’m hopeful the clowns in charge read and heed, but doubt they will.

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One of the crisis managers on Facebook posted that they just revised their projections this week - AFPC has determined that they need to up production from 1400 pilots to 2000 pilots per year.

They produced 1200 last year.

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7 minutes ago, Jaded said:

One of the crisis managers on Facebook posted that they just revised their projections this week - AFPC has determined that they need to up production from 1400 pilots to 2000 pilots per year.

They produced 1200 last year.

No sweat. They're cutting the T-6 syllabus by approx. 13 hrs, changing Phase 1 and 2 to a Navy style syllabus, and eliminating sorties/requirements and other training from the -38 side all to up the production. Should have plenty of "qualified" pilots on their way to the CAF in no time! 

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