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Information on PIT (Pilot Instructor Training)

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Heavens forbid there’s a good deal in the AD Air Force for IPs who have put in 15 plus years deploying or living at crappy UPT bases. 

I spent time as a PIT IP and when I was teaching PIT all the IPs had a ton of experience and were professionals who really cared about the students, regardless if they were passed over or ROAD. I learned a ton from them and haven’t worked with a better group of pilots since. I can’t imagine UPT bases creating a better IP. 

I’m sure there are some pros of turning PIT into UPT... but I think the cons out weigh the pros.

When I was at PIT we proficiency advanced guys/gals appropriately, the students had time to focus on studying ie didn’t have another job in the sq, and when I was going through TI at my UPT base it took FOR..EV....ERRR because the students were behind the timeline and they had priority.

You can try and make sure those things don’t happen if you get rid of PIT BUT all it takes is one IP getting sent to the wing or group before they are done with TI to make it the new norm. Or for student lines to take precedence over TI/IP Qual lines and before you know it all the “efficiencies” are lost. Also if this does happen who’s gonna have teaching this new TI/IP Qual program? I sure hope it’s the Sq’s best and brightest. You dont want some new-ish IP acting like a student and kill the crew. I say if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. 

Edited by Lifer
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While some of that may be sour grapes, my experience tells me that a place full of passed over Majors and ROAD O-5’s leads to some serious stagnation. 


I thought that was the goal for many, at least with all the talk here: fly the line, screw the game, pass on the staff assignment. Seems to be what every mid-level captain at least says they want to do in their career. That results in being passed over for Lt Col. Not a bad thing, just a different path (hmm, like a fly only path that has unofficially existed with continued majors).

It does create a leadership challenge, because guys like that aren't going to be incentivized the way the AF likes to. Probably don't care about quarterly awards and beyond the AF ball/holiday party planner, or taking a job for "career progression." They are also likely the ones to point out the BS, because they don't have as much to lose telling the emperor they have no clothes ("what are they going to do? Pass me over for promotion...again?"). So the typical carrots and sticks the AF likes to use probably won't work. But give them a purpose, let them be the best pilots/instructors they can be, allow them to mentor the younger generation, and you know what, they'll probably be happy and get the mission done. Might even help the retention issue...

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All I can say is that the way I was treated during TI at the UPT base was absolute garbage. No shit I think it took 2.5 months. Literally, getting on the schedule once a week. I had plenty to do at my own squadron; if it's not a priority for them it wasn't gonna be for me either as a hired gun. Complete afterthought. But I was absolutely shocked,  I almost went back to the -6 in disgust (which is funny, went through 38 PIT so quick I was still current for a local checkout in the 6 if I had wanted to LOL). It was not a priority at all to get the TI guys through.

OTOH, I certed at PIT in two weeks to include inprocessing.  I always found that ironic in the context of the accusation of PIT being a halfway house for rent-seekers. Plenty of people hussling when I got here. Granted, a lot of running around in the VR side of the squadron, but that wasn't their fault. Those were just the marching orders of the month.

I'm not defending the merits of in-house PIT versus not. I really could give zero fvcks about that, as the "help". Is it really about this though? Or is it like @Lifer sugests, that this is really about a "good location schadenfreude" type of thing? 

Fwiw, I'd have no quarrel teaching UPT at RND. i enjoyed the mission set. If it wasn't for the location, I would have kept doing it. The idea of getting to do it here is actually something I may look forward to. Intl UPT would suck only because I don't agree with many of our political alliances, so I feel my talent would be wasted/would be half-hearted. I'm not saying I'd turn into an Oskar Schindler, but you know, "consider the effort you're gonna put into this oligarchic, misogynist chain smoking POS" type of thing LOL. At any rate, I'd much prefer life in the RCP to be completely honest.

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The last couple pages of this thread show me why we have effed things up so badly as an AF, and can’t retain pilots.  PIT is somewhat of an oasis from all the BS that is driving people away.  Not that there’s not queep and BS, it’s just that so many pilots here don’t give a crap about playing the AF’s game.

The result is a community that focuses on the mission, pushes back against stupid ideas, and shelves queep to the max extent possible.  Isn’t that exactly what we want and what we have been bitching about not having?

Instead of attempting to embrace that kind of climate in the rest of the AF, a lot of you guys are acting like petulant children shouting “no fair”.  Make your communities “flying clubs” where you don’t give a shit about managing your career, instead of pushing to close ours to make you feel better about your community.  

Or do what I did, and come here and actually enjoy your life.

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I see a lot more complaining about the product of PIT than the “flying club”. The issue is those that don’t care and are ROAD don’t necessarily produce the product the UPT based need.


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1 hour ago, Bode said:

I see a lot more complaining about the product of PIT than the “flying club”. The issue is those that don’t care and are ROAD don’t necessarily produce the product the UPT based need.


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You have the same problem in certain FTU’s as well.

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23 hours ago, Homestar said:

Why does comm need to be involved with your EFB program? Most likely these are iPads than never touch the mil network and use a commercial WiFi network that was probably installed by a contractor pilot and is serviced by contract with the internet provider. 

FIFY.   Yeah, of course we don't want them anywhere near it...I'm just pointing out the massive fail that is IT in the AF.  If there was money on the line we'd have competent dedicated IT support who would make shit happen, and do it correctly...unfortunately this is the government so the people out there with skin in the game are the ones who have to take care of themselves.

2 hours ago, Bode said:

I see a lot more complaining about the product of PIT than the “flying club”. The issue is those that don’t care and are ROAD don’t necessarily produce the product the UPT based need.

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I've been through PIT twice, most recently a year ago, and it was a vastly different environment than the first time circa 2011.  There were O-5s scheduling in the flights, 9-3 everyday, total good deal.  Now not so much, you won't find an IP just sitting in the flight room, they're either flying, briefing, debriefing, or sitting ops sup/SOF...or they're attached staff....or most recently being the lowest paid AF IT techs making VR sims.  Dudes are pulling 12 hr days, double/triple turning, and generally trying to keep the system alive and the product good.

Is doing PIT at UPT bases doable...sure, but it still requires time, money, resources, and people.  At the end of the day all this boils down to is the AF has and will continue to lower standards to make more pilots because that is what makes the spreadsheet turn green.

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So for those who want PIT done in house and to convert KRND to a UPT base, where are we going to generate the extra lines/sims from?  When I left Vance we were turning ~160 T-6 lines and ~65 T-6 sims per day and that was pretty much the max performance we could do.  So if we turn everything to in house, where are we going to get the extra lines/sims for the UP's?  Because I doubt the AF would open KRND to UPT to alleviate the burden on the other bases.  If anything they would just see another place to cram as many students as possible in to help alleviate the pilot shortfall.

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So for those who want PIT done in house and to convert KRND to a UPT base, where are we going to generate the extra lines/sims from?  When I left Vance we were turning ~160 T-6 lines and ~65 T-6 sims per day and that was pretty much the max performance we could do.  So if we turn everything to in house, where are we going to get the extra lines/sims for the UP's?  Because I doubt the AF would open KRND to UPT to alleviate the burden on the other bases.  If anything they would just see another place to cram as many students as possible in to help alleviate the pilot shortfall.

Remove the international workload from the current bases and reconsolidate at RND. From my estimate that would open ~2,000 flight hours per year at each base. (Based on an estimate of 20 students per year at each base and a 100 flight hours per student). Just a thought.

 

 

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40 minutes ago, Bode said:


Removed the international workload from the current bases and reconsolidate at RND. From my estimate that would open ~2,000 flight hours per year at each base. (Based on an estimate of 20 students per year at each base and a 100 flight hours per student). Just a thought.


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But that's not at all what the international UPT being proposed is actually about. This is a very niche good-fairy initiative not related to the international populations currently being trained at non-ENJJPT locations. This proposal relates to adding a different demographic altogether. 

As such, you could just tell the current participating countries that we can't take the load (sts) at UPT bases, and still attain the supposed efficiencies you calculated on the back of your napkin. Of course, we know that's not gonna happen since the DoS treats us DoD folks like the booger-eating uneducated help. So what's more likely to transpire is the Moody UPT re-opening and finally actually doing more with more (much to the AF chagrin).

RND would still be in a position to only be able to serve a niche program in terms of yearly volume, much like it currently does with PIT. RND really doesn't effect efficiencies in terms of pilot production regardless of what mission is based here. Airspace and mx (read: OPM civilian obstructionism) cap the ability of RND to take on a UPT base level of production. Moody can though, and probably will. 

This isn't an argument for keeping PIT here from me btw; I'd much prefer to fly RCP with a UPT stud, if I could do it at this location. But I recognize the production volume isn't in the cards in this slice of Central TX, so the production value would be of limited use versus a traditional non-HQ, UPT base.

 

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But that's not at all what the international UPT being proposed is actually about. This is a very niche good-fairy initiative not related to the international populations currently being trained at non-ENJJPT locations. This proposal relates to adding a different demographic altogether. 
 


I honestly don’t have a clue about this “proposal” you are talking about. This was just myself and a couple other UPT instructors talking the other day. I will say that we shouldn’t sacrifice our effectiveness to give other countries niceties. However, that is a laughable argument in our AF.



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21 hours ago, Bode said:

 


I honestly don’t have a clue about this “proposal” you are talking about. This was just myself and a couple other UPT instructors talking the other day. I will say that we shouldn’t sacrifice our effectiveness to give other countries niceties. However, that is a laughable argument in our AF.



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Oh, ok, I assumed you were informed since you posted on the PIT thread. I don't know why you put proposal in quotes. 

BL, you're not getting rid of ME internationals from regular UPT. ENJJPT won't have them by charter, and if PIT were to change to intl UPT only they're not the demographic slated for it, per AETC's proposal.

 

Edited by hindsight2020

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23 hours ago, Bode said:

I will say that we shouldn’t sacrifice our effectiveness to give other countries niceties. However, that is a laughable argument in our AF.

 

Do you honestly believe that the decision to train/not train internationals at UPT is made at the HAF level?  

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Does anyone here know anything about hours waivers getting approved? I was told a few months ago I was going to PIT in October and that everyone knew i didn't have enough AC hours and were fine with that. I Just found out today that my waiver is still in limbo and may or may not be signed. 

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On 9/11/2018 at 11:32 AM, IDOL said:

Does anyone here know anything about hours waivers getting approved? I was told a few months ago I was going to PIT in October and that everyone knew i didn't have enough AC hours and were fine with that. I Just found out today that my waiver is still in limbo and may or may not be signed. 

I know in 2013 hours waivers were being denied for the T-6. However, who knows in this climate, who knows.

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On 9/11/2018 at 11:32 AM, IDOL said:

Does anyone here know anything about hours waivers getting approved? I was told a few months ago I was going to PIT in October and that everyone knew i didn't have enough AC hours and were fine with that. I Just found out today that my waiver is still in limbo and may or may not be signed. 

I hear that for every Boldface/Ops Limits you correctly accomplish and submit, they waive an hour. 

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How is an hours waiver even a thing? Doesn’t the community train IPs with exactly ZERO hours outside of the training pipeline? 

Seriously. The things we do to ourselves. 

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16 minutes ago, war007afa said:

How is an hours waiver even a thing? Doesn’t the community train IPs with exactly ZERO hours outside of the training pipeline? 

Seriously. The things we do to ourselves. 

Oh boy, this argument again.

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19 minutes ago, war007afa said:

How is an hours waiver even a thing? Doesn’t the community train IPs with exactly ZERO hours outside of the training pipeline? 

Seriously. The things we do to ourselves. 

The difference between a student/IP trainee that has substantial AC time and those that got the  AC rubber stamp is very stark.  So not only are their hand flying skills atrophied due to HUD/Autopilot, but they also lack the decision making ability and confidence required to manage a student.    A student making a bunch of small mistakes in a short span of time can have a dramatic effect on your ability to cope with your own degrading SA bubble.  Now throw in a guy/gal whom never has had to be the one in charge, and they are even more gun shy on making decisions and have a harder time seeing PIT IP's as "stan" and hoping we come out of role to give them a bone.   Very recently I was able to effect a students SA so much that they attempted to land gear up, granted C-17 standard, is not acceptable here, and all it took was one WAE aka Navy Landing to shake him up and effect their "demo"

 

Oh yah, forgot to mention.  FAIPs get away with it easier because they generally don't spend nearly as much time re-learning basic hand flying skills and their recency of experience lets us devote more time earlier in the program to that SA/Decision making problem.

Edited by DirtyFlightSuit
FAIP fun time!

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On 9/4/2018 at 8:53 PM, HeloDude said:

Do you honestly believe that the decision to train/not train internationals at UPT is made at the HAF level?  

Indeed. The Department of State is our real daddy, and they certainly remind us who is the pitcher and who is the catcher in that relationship. I think the Taliban extended us more deference in the field than the rank and file DoS suitcase warrior.

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6 hours ago, DirtyFlightSuit said:

<Summary of instrumental challenges>

Understood. Some guys take more time to teach and vary in air sense. I ask again: why does that guy need a waiver based on number of hours alone?  The syllabus (and from the sounds of it, the instructors) is built around either product showing up to PIT. 

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1 minute ago, war007afa said:

Understood. Some guys take more time to teach and vary in air sense. I ask again: why does that guy need a waiver based on number of hours alone?  The syllabus (and from the sounds of it, the instructors) is built around either product showing up to PIT. 

Furthermore, we are comparing a brand new UPT graduate to an MWS aircraft commander.  I know we all think we're hot shit, but I would bet a pretty penny that most aircraft commanders from any MWS will have more airmanship than the brand new UPT graduate.  It should be the case that the WO is a better aviator than the new 4FLUG just as the seasoned IP is a better AC than the dude who just got his A-code stamp.

I think the point stands that a guy with any aircraft commander time should not need a waiver to be an UPT IP when we send fresh off the press Lt's to do the same job.

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...but I would bet a pretty penny that most aircraft commanders from any MWS will have more airmanship than the brand new UPT graduate...

As a prior Chief of PIT... you would be surprised. I’ll take the FAIP over the C-17 AC nine times out of ten.
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