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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, jazzdude said:


 

 




What benefits (to the operational units) come from having fixed wing training prior to rotary training? Aside from it's easier to teach a stud that already has flight time in a formal training pipeline?

 

Airmanship. T-6 training is designed to take a dude with zero flight time and get them to be comfortable in a turbine powered machine flying in close proximity to other aircraft IMC. 

At Rucker, we take that baseline understanding/knowledge and build on it with a RW perspective (for example, training  "wingman consideration" in helo form). 

Also, the intangibles should not be forgotten.  FW training makes our community more understanding when we integrate with assets like HC-130s, A-10s, F-16s, etc. A baseline to integrate upon, if you will.

Edit: I.E. FW energy management (sight pictures, stalls/spins considerations, pattern flow), FW limitations, FW advantages (f/ mission command upgrades). 

Edit #2: Forgot to mention earlier, HH-60 and CV-22 both train ACM and build on fundamentals of aerobatics. We cannot execute any g-related training due to system limitations of the H-1. 

Edited by norskman
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We do/did this with ENJJPT (heavies out of that seems to have been driven first by FTU backups followed by pilot production targets). Guard/reserve units can hire off the street for their mission/airframe, essentially tracking and assigning the stud prior to starting UPT.

What benefits (to the operational units) come from having fixed wing training prior to rotary training? Aside from it's easier to teach a stud that already has flight time in a formal training pipeline?
Guard and Reserve units can afford to be selective with whom they hire for UPT. The masses of pilot candidates coming from ascension programs may have no idea (better or worse) what they are getting into when they sign 10 years of their life away.

The Air Force also looses flexibility with a T-6 track. RW pilots would have to have a FWQ course in order to transition to other airframes that don't have spinny wings.

Finally its way harder for post-AF flying jobs when you don't have a FW track to get the civilian licenses.

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On 5/1/2020 at 3:04 PM, joe1234 said:

It's not even about instruments -- it's about experience with a more relevant type of flying. At a certain point the efficacy of flying a single engine trainer starts to drop way off. Back when we had a single track system, the heavy FTU's had waaaaay more sorties in the actual jet, so you had time to catch them up to speed. But because of the "new normal", those sorties got cut down because the vast majority of dudes didn't need a top off from UPT in order to learn about things like how to fly as a crew, aircraft performance, and OEI climb gradients or whatever. They just needed to learn how to fly the plane and do the mission since they already had that other exposure in T-1's.

The fighter TX guys were generally okay because they were already experienced and so the FTU instructors don't need to teach them so much how to handle the plane, and you can top off the heavy crew jet stuff. But if you heavily cut T-1's, at what point do they get exposed to that? At the FTU, where it's way more expensive? On the line? But then how can you even pretend a guy with no clue about those concepts is even remotely qualified? Somebody has to eventually pay that bill. Hell, send them to an ATP flight class in Arizona if you have to.

T-38 students that drop heavies do just fine in FTUs without ever having learned “how to fly as a crew.”

 

Heavy FTUs have less time in the jet now because sims can accurately replicate flight.

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T-38 students that drop heavies do just fine in FTUs without ever having learned “how to fly as a crew.”
 
Heavy FTUs have less time in the jet now because sims can accurately replicate flight.


I was a T-1 guy and didn’t learn how to fly as a crew until I got to the 135 FTU. I was also one of the first classes that had 28 sims and 3 flights. A lot dudes got more than 3 flights because they didn’t get enough time in the jet to go to their checkrides.

And that syllabus passed the buck to the Ops units. I think the FTU is now 5 or 6 rides and a check.

Some jets fly like the sim, the 135 isn’t one of them, IMHO.


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38 minutes ago, Right Seat Driver said:

 


Some jets fly like the sim, the 135 isn’t one of them, IMHO.


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The Buff is also not one of them. Its aero model is a known liability. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, LookieRookie said:

Heavy FTUs have less time in the jet now because sims can accurately replicate flight.

Replicate, that's a bold statement.  They polish up procedures, techniques and establish a base of knowledge to make flight training more effective by getting the student to a level of proficiency and confidence that important stuff is emphasized over switchology but they are not going to give a young pilot at that point in their training what they really need, real world experience.

Quality pilot training costs money, deal with it AF.  

Edited by Clark Griswold
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18 hours ago, jazzdude said:

We do/did this with ENJJPT (heavies out of that seems to have been driven first by FTU backups followed by pilot production targets).

 

I was going to say this and offer a different perspective. I’m an EN grad and went through when the “universally assignable” thing became real. There were several (I’d say about 30-40%) of Americans in my class that were stoked because they realized they didn’t want anything to do with fighters*. This really drove the importance of track select home and that not everyone was like me and wanted to be a fighter pilot. If the AF goes helo direct, how would they select guys that are actually sure that’s what they want?
 

*Caveat is that during that time people were really afraid of getting RPA’s as lower performers so that may have had something to do with it. 

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48 minutes ago, Danger41 said:

how would they select guys that are actually sure that’s what they want?

I think this is the same concept as a wider problem with the rate of UPT adjustments moving track/specialization earlier and earlier in the syllabus. Yes, there is benefit to devoting more time to specialized skills, even in the T-6 as is happening now. However, I think it's forcing decisions to be made at such an early point in their aviation career that they honestly have no idea what they want (or at least no relevant data to base it upon)

Couple that with not having an appropriate cross-section of exposure to different MWS mentalities, and they're making ill-informed decisions at best

 

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5 hours ago, Danger41 said:

 If the AF goes helo direct, how would they select guys that are actually sure that’s what they want?
 

Great question, I fear that we would be "Plan B" for most dudes in the commissioning pipeline. The default would be UPT, followed by UHT for the vast majority no doubt. 

 

22 hours ago, Breckey said:


The Air Force also looses flexibility with a T-6 track. RW pilots would have to have a FWQ course in order to transition to other airframes that don't have spinny wings.
 

Also, this. We have had plenty of dudes in the past couple of years flow back into FW assets. 

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, LookieRookie said:

T-38 students that drop heavies do just fine in FTUs without ever having learned “how to fly as a crew.”

They're not without their various issues, but even that is when they're trickling in a few at a time. When it's 100% of the new guys, it becomes a way bigger problem and now the FTU has to address it with what limited resources they have.

Edited by joe1234

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On 5/3/2020 at 5:45 PM, joe1234 said:

They're not without their various issues, but even that is when they're trickling in a few at a time. When it's 100% of the new guys, it becomes a way bigger problem and now the FTU has to address it with what limited resources they have.

Address what? How to teach the crew concept to T-38 grads? I don’t think it’s a big deal really. I was one. My initial qual partner was also a T-38 grad (there were quite a few of us a decade ago...thanks Gen Lorenz and your “universally assignable” policy). Yes, it took a few whacks across the knuckles or a jab to the back of the shoulder from the sim IP with his pointer stick the first couple of sims, but we had it figured out pretty well after doing a few of them. 
 

It’s not a very difficult transition when coming from flying a fast jet where you have to think miles ahead of the aircraft, to a slower one where you share cockpit duties with another pilot. And that’s not intended to be a jab at the T-1 grads; most of them were pretty good pilots in my community.

Also, T-38s have sent guys to bombers for decades...their FTUs are more than well adapted to teaching the crew concept to a bunch of fighter pilot wannabes. 

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On 5/8/2020 at 11:38 AM, WheelsOff said:

Address what? How to teach the crew concept to T-38 grads? I don’t think it’s a big deal really. I was one. My initial qual partner was also a T-38 grad (there were quite a few of us a decade ago...thanks Gen Lorenz and your “universally assignable” policy). Yes, it took a few whacks across the knuckles or a jab to the back of the shoulder from the sim IP with his pointer stick the first couple of sims, but we had it figured out pretty well after doing a few of them. 
 

It’s not a very difficult transition when coming from flying a fast jet where you have to think miles ahead of the aircraft, to a slower one where you share cockpit duties with another pilot. And that’s not intended to be a jab at the T-1 grads; most of them were pretty good pilots in my community.

Also, T-38s have sent guys to bombers for decades...their FTUs are more than well adapted to teaching the crew concept to a bunch of fighter pilot wannabes. 

Absolutely not a big deal. The only time I’ve seen any issues is now, only because we got a batch of new copilots and more than half were 38s. And the issues are more just they group think themselves into studying the wrong stuff and want to be weapons officer Lts because they incorrectly think that makes them a kind of fighter pilot. Figure out TOLD and how to make a chart, don’t skip straight to integrated large formation low level mastery. Gotta get the boring basics first.

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2 hours ago, MCO said:

Absolutely not a big deal. The only time I’ve seen any issues is now, only because we got a batch of new copilots and more than half were 38s. And the issues are more just they group think themselves into studying the wrong stuff and want to be weapons officer Lts because they incorrectly think that makes them a kind of fighter pilot. Figure out TOLD and how to make a chart, don’t skip straight to integrated large formation low level mastery. Gotta get the boring basics first.

So the implication is that they didn’t know the basics? Not that Lts can’t be interested in more advanced tactics.

I just want to make sure I understand your intent.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, LookieRookie said:

So the implication is that they didn’t know the basics? Not that Lts can’t be interested in more advanced tactics.

I just want to make sure I understand your intent.

Yes. Don’t get me wrong I’m all for their interest in getting better at advanced tactics. But they are spending no time studying or understanding the basics that are way more likely to get them into trouble. I was also a few deep when I wrote that. Ive never seen a real issue with 38 guys in the Herk.

Edited by MCO
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20 hours ago, MCO said:

Yes. Don’t get me wrong I’m all for their interest in getting better at advanced tactics. But they are spending no time studying or understanding the basics that are way more likely to get them into trouble. I was also a few deep when I wrote that. Ive never seen a real issue with 38 guys in the Herk.

I hear you.  This is a constant struggle.  However, we are always going to have a steady stream of copilots whose GK is trash..but at a certain point, we aren’t going to be able to use that as an excuse.  When shit hits the fan, these guys better know the basics and then some, a lot more than that.  Speaking for tac airlift here but the next conflict will demand that they are masters of their craft but are also able to understand integration, datalink, degraded ops, you name it, 6-9 months after they show up to the squadron all while getting the goods to our brethren on the ground.  

Want to know why the MAF is so far behind the CAF? Why we rightfully get all the ATIS jokes? It’s because our copilots struggle through something as simple as TOLD or comms while their peers are putting warheads down range.  Got it, different mission sets..but I firmly believe we don’t challenge our copilots enough.  Many of them will rise to the challenge, and those who don’t will be left behind. 

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, dream big said:

I hear you.  This is a constant struggle.  However, we are always going to have a steady stream of copilots whose GK is trash..but at a certain point, we aren’t going to be able to use that as an excuse.  When shit hits the fan, these guys better know the basics and then some, a lot more than that.  Speaking for tac airlift here but the next conflict will demand that they are masters of their craft but are also able to understand integration, datalink, degraded ops, you name it, 6-9 months after they show up to the squadron all while getting the goods to our brethren on the ground.  

Want to know why the MAF is so far behind the CAF? Why we rightfully get all the ATIS jokes? It’s because our copilots struggle through something as simple as TOLD or comms while their peers are putting warheads down range.  Got it, different mission sets..but I firmly believe we don’t challenge our copilots enough.  Many of them will rise to the challenge, and those who don’t will be left behind. 

All of that. But it’s not a straight apples to apples argument here. Our job is to put cargo where it’s needed, and if you dodge all the SAMs and then put her into the side of a mountain on the instrument approach in shitty weather you still failed. No kidding minimum length heavy weight TOLD can be a pretty complex discussion, especially when you add in combat factors. I’m pretty sure most fighters don’t get hung up on TOLD and climb out performance because it’s not something they ever need to worry about to the same degree. They also don’t have to talk on the radios to 10 different countries in one flight with shitty radios and different accents and procedures and not all of them necessarily friendly with us on a routine basis. Just like I don’t worry as much about taking down a complex IADS with enemy fighters in play even though it’s way cooler and more exciting because I’m a side show during that if I’m even in the air. It’s just life. agree to disagree.

I think the MAF is behind the CAF because the MAF refuses to take a risk, and has extra time on its hands not studying in a vault and uses it worrying about how to make general instead of be a good pilot.
 

Back to the original topic, I think a herk pilot could come from either of our current training platforms and do fine, but depending what you take out of the heavy track syllabus I think it could put a real strain on the tac training at the school house.

 

edit to add: The starting point was a group of copilots straight out of the school house that are ignoring half the GK they need to succeed, and my theory was because they were all 38 studs coming in together, nothing more. If you knew my background you’d know I’m for being tactically proficient.

Edited by MCO
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4 hours ago, MCO said:

I think the MAF is behind the CAF because the MAF refuses to take a risk, and has extra time on its hands not studying in a vault and uses it worrying about how to make general instead of be a good pilot.
 

This is it right here. As a Lt, I went to red flag and saw fellow Lts flying fighters be more or less get locked in the vault for 12 hours, my intro to 130s was the sq/cc asking if I had completed my masters yet, and then scolding me because I hadn’t even started it. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, yzl337 said:

This is it right here. As a Lt, I went to red flag and saw fellow Lts flying fighters be more or less get locked in the vault for 12 hours, my intro to 130s was the sq/cc asking if I had completed my masters yet, and then scolding me because I hadn’t even started it. 

Yup, get on that AMU master's son... that AAD is how Eisenhower & MacArthur won WWII.

What a tool.

If we wanna fix this (non-operational mindset in the MAF), we need to train the pilots and leadership of the MAF at the beginning and middle of their careers in programs that incorporate training, scenarios and exercises to contemplate and seriously consider moderate to high end threats, operations in austere environments, limited support, etc...

My two un-requested cents:

Phase III at SUPT extended with a "MAF IFF" to teach tactics, employment and planning for mobility / C2 / ISR asset employment in low support and contested environments.  Get'em while their young and impressionable to think tactically, operationally and strategically on Air Mobility.

First tour would have operator designed graduate education.  We had the "Blue Book" and GRACC, some meaningful lessons there but a lot of fluff.  Refine that program and extend that idea of a guided study and professional knowledge development.  Also, get a proficiency training aircraft, aerobatic and cheap to fly.  Doesn't have to be fancy but there to practice the skills much less expensively than the big iron, simple aircraft with no training wheels to keep SA high.

Second tour would be ideally be a bounce in another MAJCOM either at the pointy end or near it.  Light Attack, Combat something in AFSOC, bomber tour, etc...  something other than moving the stuff or showing up with gas to build experiences in an officer who will likely go back to those communities to keep that culture focused on mission relevant support vs bullshit.

Three phases, in the first 8 or so years of a MAF aviator's career to build the mindest and experience needed in the MAF's operational and organizational leaders.  Phoenix programs and the like happen after these phases, that is when the career track sorting should begin.

Edited by Clark Griswold

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1 hour ago, Clark Griswold said:

 

  Also, get a proficiency training aircraft, aerobatic and cheap to fly.  Doesn't have to be fancy but there to practice the skills much less expensively than the big iron... 

Put say... 6-9 T-6's at each MAF base like the old ACE program from YEARS ago.  When I was a young maintainer at a SAC base in 1981 and we had something like 4-6 T-37s,  for all the young Buff and -135 newbys to get some extra stick time.  Why wouldn't such a program succeed today?  

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44 minutes ago, Stitch said:

Put say... 6-9 T-6's at each MAF base like the old ACE program from YEARS ago.  When I was a young maintainer at a SAC base in 1981 and we had something like 4-6 T-37s,  for all the young Buff and -135 newbys to get some extra stick time.  Why wouldn't such a program succeed today?  

The ACE program was a great program for getting young SAC crews great experience and confidence with minimal expense compared to paying for hours in their primary jet. I wore out the Tweet when I was in ACE back in the mid to late 1980s. Flew that sucker to all four corners of the US in my time in ACE (Loring AFB, Homestead AFB, NAS Miramar, and NAS Whidbey island (t&g and RONed at Fairchild)). All different trips with different Co's planning and flying it all. Not much better experience to be had for young pilots and once we were off station we flew VFR at times as well as the official IFR flight plans that were "encouraged".

It would still be a great inexpensive way to build hours and experience for today's MAF and even crewed CAF pilots.

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2 hours ago, Clark Griswold said:

Yup, get on that AMU master's son... that AAD is how Eisenhower & MacArthur won WWII.

What a tool.

If we wanna fix this (non-operational mindset in the MAF), we need to train the pilots and leadership of the MAF at the beginning and middle of their careers in programs that incorporate training, scenarios and exercises to contemplate and seriously consider moderate to high end threats, operations in austere environments, limited support, etc...

My two un-requested cents:

Phase III at SUPT extended with a "MAF IFF" to teach tactics, employment and planning for mobility / C2 / ISR asset employment in low support and contested environments.  Get'em while their young and impressionable to think tactically, operationally and strategically on Air Mobility.

First tour would have operator designed graduate education.  We had the "Blue Book" and GRACC, some meaningful lessons there but a lot of fluff.  Refine that program and extend that idea of a guided study and professional knowledge development.  Also, get a proficiency training aircraft, aerobatic and cheap to fly.  Doesn't have to be fancy but there to practice the skills much less expensively than the big iron, simple aircraft with no training wheels to keep SA high.

Second tour would be ideally be a bounce in another MAJCOM either at the pointy end or near it.  Light Attack, Combat something in AFSOC, bomber tour, etc...  something other than moving the stuff or showing up with gas to build experiences in an officer who will likely go back to those communities to keep that culture focused on mission relevant support vs bullshit.

Three phases, in the first 8 or so years of a MAF aviator's career to build the mindest and experience needed in the MAF's operational and organizational leaders.  Phoenix programs and the like happen after these phases, that is when the career track sorting should begin.

Going to be completely honest here. There was a great oppurtunity for this in RPAs but most people only gave that prospect a single glance. 

Regardless, I don't see that coming back and I don't see AFSOC opening pipelines for the MAF to inflow in Mass like that. They have their own culture and community to worry about. I also don't think the MAF has it that bad. Try C2ISR if you want to find a community of absolutey complacent military aviators. Sad to me because we are in the CAF and should care about that stuff more. Took me a tour in RPAs to appreciate it myself. 

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4 hours ago, yzl337 said:

This is it right here. As a Lt, I went to red flag and saw fellow Lts flying fighters be more or less get locked in the vault for 12 hours, my intro to 130s was the sq/cc asking if I had completed my masters yet, and then scolding me because I hadn’t even started it. 

Yepp, that was my intro to my first ops Sq 10 years ago from my Sq/CC, who on top of telling me to get my masters also assigned me my first task of making sure all the bulletin boards in the Sq had 4 corner thumb tacks instead of two because that is apparently a rule...this from a Weapons Officer.  He was a real piece of work.  
 

Sidetrack I know but too good not to share

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1 hour ago, Stitch said:

Put say... 6-9 T-6's at each MAF base like the old ACE program from YEARS ago.  When I was a young maintainer at a SAC base in 1981 and we had something like 4-6 T-37s,  for all the young Buff and -135 newbys to get some extra stick time.  Why wouldn't such a program succeed today?  

Shoe Clerks running interference inside the AF

53 minutes ago, FLEA said:

Going to be completely honest here. There was a great oppurtunity for this in RPAs but most people only gave that prospect a single glance. 

Regardless, I don't see that coming back and I don't see AFSOC opening pipelines for the MAF to inflow in Mass like that. They have their own culture and community to worry about. I also don't think the MAF has it that bad. Try C2ISR if you want to find a community of absolutey complacent military aviators. Sad to me because we are in the CAF and should care about that stuff more. Took me a tour in RPAs to appreciate it myself. 

Copy and sorry to hear that. 

I can't say that I was always gung-ho while flying heavies on learning about the high end threats and tactics to evade or mitigate them and saw why the community or many in it eschewed it as they had a hundred other things on their plate, another rotation to get ready for where the operational environment was unchanged from the last 6.9 rotations ago and the leadership they dealt with did not put much value in it other than what was necessary to look good on an ORI. 

You're probably right about the MAF being not that bad, likely getting better as AMC is exercising / planning for near peer fights:

https://www.airforcetimes.com/news/your-air-force/2019/09/25/air-mobility-command-exercise-tests-ability-to-operate-in-degraded-combat-environments/

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One of the best parts of the U-28 flying assignment is the companion PC-12’s and support to take those things basically anywhere you want. I took one to the lowest and highest airports in the US in one day. This was staging out of Scottsdale and being based in Hurlburt. Oh, we also did the VFR Grand Canyon routing with the special part 93 procedures. This was all as the IP and upgrading 3 young guys to AC. Pretty amazing opportunity to build well versed aviators and awesome growth opportunities for those dudes.

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Posted (edited)

Recently went through the HC- schoolhouse being -38 trained. My stick partner was also -38 trained, and we didn't have many CRM issues, rather a pretty big personality conflict. Personally, once I realized that being more proactive as both PM/PF rather than just doing what the checklist said things got exponentially better, and was a pretty good primer for going to my OPS unit. Also studying* effectively** as I had 2 other aircraft to compare to when it came to systems, terminology and application meant I was translating relatable things rather than starting from zero. I didn't understand TOLD outside of the basics and SEROC post UPT, and after the schoolhouse and a few conversations with IPs it clicked.

For the most part all of the new copilots that have come in the last year and a half are up to speed and willing to learn. We have three separate syllabi to complete post Kirtland before we're CMR, and I got those done fairly quickly due to manning and IRF requirements.  

Edited by Chef16
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