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JimNtexas

Costs of training USAF Pilots

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Anyone know about what the current cost of just UPT is? Didn't see it broken down by that in the article.

Asking for a friend.

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Anyone know about what the current cost of just UPT is? Didn't see it broken down by that in the article.
Asking for a friend.


370k for T-6, 469k for T-1, 1.2M for T-38 per the report


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The report also neglects to consider upgrade costs. You can’t replace a 4-ship lead with an FTU grad, nor a MAF IP with a co-pilot. Both require a significant investment above and beyond UPT and B-course.


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The report also neglects to consider upgrade costs. You can’t replace a 4-ship lead with an FTU grad, nor a MAF IP with a co-pilot. Both require a significant investment above and beyond UPT and B-course.


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You can’t? Why hasn’t anyone told AF leadership? Someone quick, do a survey.
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Thought it would be fun to add the 18X URT cost just as a comparison. Kinda shows where the RPA guys stand in the food chain.
648899483_ScreenShot2019-05-05at10_54_16AM.thumb.png.d5e7b118a44889a706f952eca05b9b58.png

That number isn’t anywhere near accurate, but yes, training an 18x is a lot cheaper than an 11. That’s why we have URT.


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I was just making a point. I'm willing to bet that the total cost is absolutely less the 100K. I got my numbers from the GAO "The Air Force spends considerably less to train RPA pilots than it does to train manned-aircraft pilots. Specifically, Air Education and Training Command officials estimate that the Air Force spends about $65,000 to train each RPA pilot to complete Undergraduate RPA Training. Conversely, these officials estimate that the Air Force spends an average of $557,00" Which seems reasonable compared to the estimates given above.

Its also safe to assume that they receive less training after URT as well, as AETC's page states "Unlike traditional pilots who would expect to be wingmen or co-pilots in initial combat mission ready status, the RPA pilots are immediately solo and in charge of their mission upon reaching mission ready status." Which I would assume would happen shortly after URT. Also according to the CC of the 432d Wing "Today, the “vast majority” of upgrade training for RPA crews happens on “combat lines,” Cheater said". I'm  just saying they seem to do a lot with less.


https://www.gao.gov/assets/670/662467.pdf

https://www.aetc.af.mil/Flying-Training/

http://www.airforcemag.com/MagazineArchive/Pages/2019/March 2019/For-MQ-9-Crews-2019-is-Time-to-Reap-Just-Rewards.aspx

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Sick first post bro, welcome to baseops! No doubt you earned mad props and street cred with the airframes that aren't represented by a poop emoji. 🌈

Your second bet is still wrong though. The satellite links alone used by RPAs start between $5K-15K per hour and move well upward based on type/location. See below...

Rough URT Lodging/Per Diem Costs: $80(per day) x 8 (months) x 30 = $19.2k

Satellite Cost for 50 hours flight time in IQT: 50 hours x $5k/hour = ~$250k conservatively

*There are way more static overheads costs for each aircraft/CAP, IFS, and the training at Randolph.

 

7 hours ago, theoriginalturk said:

I was just making a point. I'm willing to bet that the total cost is absolutely less the 100K. I got my numbers from the GAO "The Air Force spends considerably less to train RPA pilots than it does to train manned-aircraft pilots. Specifically, Air Education and Training Command officials estimate that the Air Force spends about $65,000 to train each RPA pilot to complete Undergraduate RPA Training. Conversely, these officials estimate that the Air Force spends an average of $557,00" Which seems reasonable compared to the estimates given above.

Its also safe to assume that they receive less training after URT as well, as AETC's page states "Unlike traditional pilots who would expect to be wingmen or co-pilots in initial combat mission ready status, the RPA pilots are immediately solo and in charge of their mission upon reaching mission ready status." Which I would assume would happen shortly after URT. Also according to the CC of the 432d Wing "Today, the “vast majority” of upgrade training for RPA crews happens on “combat lines,” Cheater said". I'm  just saying they seem to do a lot with less.


https://www.gao.gov/assets/670/662467.pdf

https://www.aetc.af.mil/Flying-Training/

http://www.airforcemag.com/MagazineArchive/Pages/2019/March 2019/For-MQ-9-Crews-2019-is-Time-to-Reap-Just-Rewards.aspx

 

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1 hour ago, GoodSplash9 said:

Sick first post bro, welcome to baseops! No doubt you earned mad props and street cred with the airframes that aren't represented by a poop emoji. 🌈

Your second bet is still wrong though. The satellite links alone used by RPAs start between $5K-15K per hour and move well upward based on type/location. See below...

Rough URT Lodging/Per Diem Costs: $80(per day) x 8 (months) x 30 = $19.2k

Satellite Cost for 50 hours flight time in IQT: 50 hours x $5k/hour = ~$250k conservatively

*There are way more static overheads costs for each aircraft/CAP, IFS, and the training at Randolph.

 

 

 AD guys aren’t TDY to Randolph (for the most part) so It’s just however much more BAH is for San Antonio than the UPT bases. 

I left RPAs last year but there was a heavy emphasis of making IQT SIM only, which would also cut costs. 

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47 minutes ago, viper154 said:

 AD guys aren’t TDY to Randolph (for the most part) so It’s just however much more BAH is for San Antonio than the UPT bases. 

I left RPAs last year but there was a heavy emphasis of making IQT SIM only, which would also cut costs. 

What?  There are more TDY students there for PIT than anything else, your data on the mig is incorrect.

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9 hours ago, theoriginalturk said:

. I'm  just saying they seem to do a lot with less.

Except fly airplanes.

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1 hour ago, matmacwc said:

What?  There are more TDY students there for PIT than anything else, your data on the mig is incorrect.

TDY for PIT, yes. The RPA school at Randolph is a PCS, most their guys are brand new Lts that need a first base. I think some the guard/reserve guys and late rates got it to be a TDY. 

Something might have changed, I never went through the RPA schoolhouse, and I left drones for a real cockpit again last year so my info may be dated. 

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3 hours ago, viper154 said:

TDY for PIT, yes. The RPA school at Randolph is a PCS, most their guys are brand new Lts that need a first base. I think some the guard/reserve guys and late rates got it to be a TDY. 

Something might have changed, I never went through the RPA schoolhouse, and I left drones for a real cockpit again last year so my info may be dated. 

Na, think your right. I'm a UPT dude too, so I didn't do the Randolph stuff. Makes sense that they weren't TDY, so subtract $6k from my math.

Sim heavy was cancelled due to poor fidelity and debrief capability, but there are definitely still around 50 non-sim remote control drone hours in the current syllabus. The real and only point for my post was that the turk dude was wrong with his google ranger skills.

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16 hours ago, GoodSplash9 said:

Sick first post bro, welcome to baseops! No doubt you earned mad props and street cred with the airframes that aren't represented by a poop emoji. 🌈

Your second bet is still wrong though. The satellite links alone used by RPAs start between $5K-15K per hour and move well upward based on type/location. See below...

Rough URT Lodging/Per Diem Costs: $80(per day) x 8 (months) x 30 = $19.2k

Satellite Cost for 50 hours flight time in IQT: 50 hours x $5k/hour = ~$250k conservatively

*There are way more static overheads costs for each aircraft/CAP, IFS, and the training at Randolph.

 

 

Thanks man! Been a long time lurker, but as that old SOB Gandhi said “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. ... We need not wait to see what others do.” So I've decided to dip my toes in this community, and as far as I can tell there are almost no 18Xs that are active in this on this forum, only 11Us. Hopefully through dialogue I'll continue to gain insights that may prove useful at some point in the future.  

Such as, was I aware that URT dudes get limited time on "real" reapers, and I've heard that the data link is indeed expensive. I'll add your anecdote to my collection, and validate it whenever I can. If they are indeed as expensive and numerous as you say it would be an interesting point that could be leveraged one day.

Is there a big difference between "real" and "Simulated" RPA hours? Absolutely not. Its borderline hilarious that they would spend 250K training 18Xs without them even hitting the requirements for a PPL during training.

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https://www.businessinsider.com/air-force-plan-to-revolutionize-pilot-training-2019-5?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=EBB+05.07.19&utm_term=Editorial+-+Military+-+Early+Bird+Brief&fbclid=IwAR3gx6O-yrw7QphGG9TME3z3GsHqNgQ1J0FDMQ_-a9gEQuHpiBsWrpNaF7M

in a nutshell: The trainer fleet is aging, funds are drying up, aircraft are prone to breaking, weather sucks, the only good range space is in the South Pacific, and pilots are leaving because they are dissatisfied and lack of sense of purpose.

The answer is virtual reality flying.

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To help clear up some of the chaff above, I'm at URT right now and this info is CAO right meow:

  • Sim only here at RND
  • All active duty are PCS'd to RND except enlisted pilots, who are here TDY along with Guard/Reserve students

The AF (hopefully) has a relatively "all-in" cost per flight hour for the MQ-9 that would allow comparison of flying that vs a different manned asset. I'm not sure what that is, but I'm assuming it's less than average even given the 6-9 miracles it takes for me to control the aircraft from the NV desert via space.

My opinion is everything could be even cheaper by sending guys to an FAA puppy mill and spitting them out with a PPL and Instrument Rating in about a month. Close Doss and the RIQ portion of URT, and make the RFC portion maybe a week or 2 longer to add in some 202v3 and etc. "blueing" for the young LTs. Or have Doss be the "puppy mill," but actually spit guys out with a PPL and Instrument Rating. We spend an inordinate amount of time and employ a fairly large herd of ORFs (old retired farts) for the purpose of having studs hand-fly the T-6 sim, when that has extremely limited relevance to flying an RPA.

The VR sims used in the URT-Next small group trial are also significantly cheaper than the more traditional sims here at Randolph, so great, do that instead of or in conjunction with the above if the training results are comparable, which they seem to be so far based on a small data set.

The reason RIQ exists, IMHO, is so that A) we can appropriately haze new AF pilot trainees, and B) so the AF can tell the FAA "all of our pilots are instrument rated," even though we leave here with no actual instrument rating nor even an Form 8 checkride so 🤷‍♂️

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