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TnkrToad last won the day on February 1 2017

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  1. Copy all on requirements creep, but it's a pretty freakin' huge leap in both purchase price and hourly operating costs between an SR-22 and a T-6 or T-1. Considering the investment the AF makes in each of its pilots, (flying an F-22 is a couple of orders of magnitude higher per hour than an "expensive" SR-22), the added margin of safety would certainly be justifiable. Granted, flying at/around USAFA presents a relatively extreme example (combine high altitudes with frequent turbulence and rotor from the Rockies just to the West--who've thought this might cause issues?), but one can just imagine there would be more than a few Zoomies who might take the keys to the SR20 and make a trip back to C-Springs...after at least partially getting over their PTSD from the place. They might even take a trip out there over the summer, and even better think little of taking an "adequately powered" SR20 through the mountains. Pulling closed in the T-53 can be scary enough on a hot summer day with generally lighter cadets, with the seats removed, no luggage, when flown by folks who've had the inherent limitations of the airplane beaten into them in PIT (not to mention once they start flying as IPs). Put a couple less-than-skinny 30ish year old AD pilots in the airplane, along with even a minimal amount of luggage, a part-timer's appreciation of the SR20's performance limits...add rotor/turbulence/downdrafts, and life can get really sucky (sts) really fast. I'm confident this discussion is nothing more than a neat mental exercise--minimal likelihood anything like this idea being discussed would ever happen--but the amount of risk an SR22 would mitigate would more than compensate for the additional cost. TT
  2. Please, if we're going to talk about getting a GA aircraft as a companion trainer, never mention the SR20 (T-53) again. The plane is underpowered. USAFA flying ops are routinely terminated early during the summer, because the T-53 won't climb for crap. Hit 9,500' DA (a routine occurrence at USAFA), and you're done for the day. Ops are substantially restricted at 9,000 DA. On a hot day, pulling closed when dual with a cadet (who tend to a bit lighter than the average winged AF pilot) can be eye-opening enough. Throw a couple "body by AMC" types in the airplane, and performance limitations are all the more apparent. The SR22--the SR20's more powerful cousin--would be awesome, though. Better power, longer range, and the same CAPS system that has saved so many folks who put themselves in a bind. It certainly ain't cheap but (as discussed previously in this thread) it's operating costs are fractions of pennies (if not fractions of pennies) on the dollar compared to many of the airframes flown by AF pilots. TT
  3. Sooo...for someone who still needs to do the whole ATP CTP & ATP Practical, any recommendations for a good program? In Colorado, so looking at FTI in Denver, but if there are better options (lower cost/same or better success rate), I'd love to hear folks' advice. Apologies if this is the wrong thread--did a search, and this seems to be the best place to ask.
  4. BLUF: hell yes, it's a fighter pilot's Air Force. By Pawnman's logic, MAF pilots (& CSOs even more so) should be running the Air Force, due to how "overmanned" the community is/has been. Obviously, the AF overstates MAF manning--ask any tanker or airlift bubba from the past decade or two how overmanned their flying units really were, relative to OPSTEMPO--but being on the right side of the AF's "Red Line/Blue Line" charts should give MAF folks a huge advantage when it comes to career development opportunities. I have no experience and few special insights into the RPA community, but in talking with some friends, this is likewise true with the 18Xs. Plenty of 18Xs who've done their time in ops units, who could fill CAF staff billets, but they're not allowed to do so, because that would give them too much of a career advantage. BTW, the historical record backs up my personal experience: fighter pilots running the Air Force is old news. Fighter, attack, pursuit, or observation (read single-seat) pilots led the Air Force and its antecedents (Army Air Service, Army Air Corps, Army Air Forces) from the air arm's establishment in the First World War until the first born-and-bred bomber pilot--Gen John Ryan took over in 1969. Fighter pilots took control of the service again in 1982, when fighter pilot Gen Charles Gabriel took over. So for the past century or so, fighter pilots have been running the Air Force for all but about 17 years (1969-1982, as discussed above; and 2008-2012--when Norty Schwartz, a SOF pilot, ran the service). Schwartz only got the job because SecDef Gates fired Buzz Moseley over the fighter pilot's all-too valid advocacy for buying substantially more F-22s. Note: I don't include Curt LeMay (CSAF from '61 to '65) as a bomber pilot, because he spent the first 8 years of his career flying fighters. It is still very much a fighter pilot's Air Force, with predominantly fighter pilot senior leaders taking care of their own tribe. TT
  5. Just recently closed on a VA Cash Out Refi in Colorado with Jon, et.al., at Trident. As has already been shown multiple times before, they are awesome! Got a great rate (3.25%), and the process couldn't have gone smoother. Lisa, Elena, and Taylor were a pleasure to work with. Definitely give Jon a call, if you're looking at buying or refinancing. TT
  6. So....I take it they’re not letting heavy MWS folks go to OSA on their second or third flying assignments now? The number of hours required for prior MWS folks to upgrade to AC in OSA is minimal (at least it was in the C-21, way back when I flew it); how is it possible to have no ACs? Only way I can figure is if nobody’s getting released to OSA assignments. If the option of going to OSA for a few years to at least briefly get away from the airlift/tanker grind disappears, retention will get even tougher in the heavy MWS communities. TT Sent from my iPhone using Baseops Network mobile app
  7. Let's look at it this way--at least the take rate shouldn't get much worse than the mid-30s! - 10% = bottom of the barrel folks; they face prospects staying in than pursuing civilian employment - 25% = in-res IDE types, and/or folks with other sweet gigs worth staying in a little longer for (USAFA faculty, C-37s in Hawaii, etc.) -- Note: those selected for IDE likely weren't the top 25% of their year group; just the top 25% those who bothered to stay on AD Sooo...we'll have somewhat bright and shiny types with neat ideas, but the only folks they'll have to lead will be: (1) old, bottom-dwelling knuckle draggers, (2) competent folks who are in operationally irrelevant assignments (USAFA, etc.), and (3) inexperienced younguns who can't wait to reach the ends of their respective pilot training ADSCs. Sounds like a winning formula to me. TT
  8. The operative word is "few"--which is the point I was trying to get at. If pilots are so few/such precious commodities that they can't be let out of the cockpit, and there are too few Navs/CSOs to backfill, from whence will the AF get its current and future ops staff types? I've generally assumed that RPA pilots would be the next most likely folks to fill the void--at least in the CAF. Weird thing is, talking to a buddy familiar with the RPA world, is that excess RPA FGOs are being told they can't go to staff, due to the rated staff allocation plan--leaving them nowhere to go but back to ops units where they're not needed. So best I can tell, staffs are getting shorted, while RPA folks are getting screwed out of staff opportunities that their community can afford to let them go to . . . in order to ensure that 11X & 12X types continue to run ACC. Additional conclusions: - Status quo will continue--pilots and navs will continue to run the service, and RPA drivers will continue to get screwed - Navs ascendant in ACC?--given that Navs are generally more likely to stay in than pilots, and usually can be more easily released to staffs than pilots--without negatively impacting ops squadron missions--we will perhaps see proportionally more Nav/CSO types in senior leadership/staff billets than before in ACC - MAF community is hosed--at least in my experience, most high-quality MAF pilots are getting out, and CSOs (much less high-quality ones) are almost nonexistent already. Everything AMC flies is manned, so RPA bubbas are no help . . . MAF leaders will be selected by virtue of one's willingness to stay on AD and fog a mirror. Not generally a formula for long-term success TT
  9. To pile on, the net loss of pilots is only part of the story. In my mind, the even graver issue is the hemorrhaging of highly experienced pilots--which has been ongoing for some time now. A reasonable proxy for experience is looking at how many Command Pilots and Master Navs the AF has; after all, it ain't that hard to reach that milestone, if one has even a remotely ops-credible flying career and bothers to stay in until the min 15 yrs of rated service. Per the data in RAW, we had almost 2,800 Command Pilots at the end of FY08; ten years later, we have barely 2,100. In the same time, the number of Master Navs dropped from 1,300 to less than 600. If you go back a little further, in FY04, we had almost 3,700 Command Pilots and 1,900 Master Navs. Clearly, we've had a massive brain drain over the past decade and a half or so. So, doing math in public, we have as many as 2,900 Senior Pilots and/or Navs filling command, staff, or Wg/OG flying billets that a decade and a half ago would've been filled by more deeply experienced Command/Master aviators. Conclusions? (1) You shouldn't be surprised by questionable rated management decisions, when AF commanders and their staffs are largely devoid of experience (2) To the extent that recent mishaps are due to crew inexperience, you can count on things getting even worse. Commanders gotta have their flyers on staffs; units will continue to get robbed of experienced aviators, leaving flying units ever-younger TT
  10. Looks like you're right; BPZs were 122 out of 1,224 total selected in the CY17 board (I realized I transposed the BPZ & APZ numbers in previous post--went back & fixed it). Quality control is gonna be tough. The pool of quality APZs will be used up, and Big Blue won't be able to promote any more high-speed BPZers than they already are (maxed out at 10%). For those who meet the board in the zone, it'll be "no major left behind"--especially if the promo opportunity increases to 91%. TT
  11. I don't think the increased promo opportunity is as significant as you think. I suspect the overall promotion opportunity will increase by just 6%. The overall promotion opportunity for the CY 17 O-6 LAF board was 85% (1,224 selected, out of 1439 IPZ eligibles). It just so happened that 122 were selected BPZ, and 57 were selected APZ, which meant just 72.6% (1,045 out of 1439) were selected IPZ. A 6% increase in promotion eligibility (from 85% to 91%) wouldn't be anything to sneeze at, but I don't think we're looking at a 15% increase in promotion rates to O-5 next board as you suggested in your post. My (highly uneducated) guess---The AF will dip ever-further into the BPZ pool: - They will have already promoted any quality APZ types, leaving the choice of selecting bottom-of-the-barrel (but experienced) IPZ types or high-speed (but less experienced) BPZers. Seems more likely Big Blue will go with the youth movement. I know current CCs & DOs (as well as ADOs, etc., that work for them) have far less experience than their predecessors did 5 or 10 years ago, but it'll get even worse. TT
  12. Perhaps, but this is an issue for all kinds of programs, activities, & clubs at USAFA—cadets are constantly bombarded with various opportunities. USAFA has 12 T-6 sims; the first ones showed up in ‘02. They’re pretty old, visuals are limited, and don’t have motion; but I’m told they fly like the real thing. I flew Tweets, so have no basis for comparison. Biggest problem is USAFA leaders reject the notion that the institution is, in part, a trade school. Training is a four letter word to USAFA educators—in their minds, if cadets have free time, they should be taking more engineering classes, dammit! TT
  13. Might be shocking to some, but this is being actively worked. AETC is pushing hard to get more Pilot Training Next-type gear to pre-commissioning sources. BTW, USAFA has had T-6 sims for over a decade and a half; they’re grossly underutilized. Few cadets—even those wanting pilot slots—use the sims. Prolly has something to do with all the other stuff they have on their plates. TT
  14. Navs aren't just Wg/CVs in the MAF . . . tanker nav just took command at Scott: https://www.military.com/daily-news/2018/02/01/new-wing-commander-named-after-colonel-accused-sexual-misconduct.html TT
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