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theoriginalturk

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  1. I know how that community feels. But perception is reality, and the public's perception is pretty obvious. I only ask because 14 CFR § 61.73 is very specific that 18x are not to be counted as pilots, and if RPA drivers were trained to the same standard as UPT, there would be no need to differentiate them from the 11x community. Being A coded, Its good its to know that theres always a future in the Air Force for drone operators, as long as its at the only RPA wing, out of the active duty force, or Canon. The RPA community was an unwanted child that was dropped on its head by allegedly qualified leaders of a flying organization. Its been suffering ever since. Its one of several communities suffering. The Air Force has other obligations outside of manned flying and the leadership crisis certainly extends to manned pilots.
  2. So where do RPA officers fall then? They’re not pilots and their machines aren’t airplanes.
  3. Ive got years to think about mine, and I think about this a lot. I think the key is to be genuine, demonstrate why and how’ve you’ve been an asset that the Air Force should continue to invest in. If that’s not enough, and the AF dosent value you or I, at least we don’t have a ~12 years ADSC. Personally if I’ve given it everything I had an I’m a non-select, I’ll work on my aviation aspirations on the outside. Just like the majority of the manned folks do anyway.
  4. Thats a great anecdote, but statistics dont lie and its no longer 2017-18. It could be helpful though, if youd be willing to share some more info about your story. Howd you go from being hired by a heavy unit to a fighter unit? What were your AFOQT scores like? Howd you get interviewed at heavy and or fighter units with the closest number to zero hours of flight time? Who were your letters of Rec? What was your GPA, educational background? What kind of leadership positions did you occupy? Who did you work for prior to the AF? There are always outliers, like yourself. With out more published data, people can begin to falsely believe theyre in the outlier category.
  5. You should see the curriculum and product on the RPA side. I’d laugh if it wasn’t such a bad joke.
  6. I wonder if there was another “pilot” group that could benefit from a legitimate pipeline, with shared experiences with the rest of the Flying Air Force? Of course the first step would be to stop systematically delegitimizing and disenfranchising them.
  7. Aetc recently did a podcast about it recommend checking it out https://www.aetc.af.mil/News/Article/2205699/rpa-training-next-on-latest-the-air-force-starts-here-podcast/ or you can read more about it here https://www.airforcetimes.com/news/your-air-force/2020/06/22/ai-infused-training-coming-for-drone-pilots-sensor-ops/#:~:text=The Air Force is expanding,Force's Pilot Training Next program. in short, it does nothing to address legitimate grievances in the pipeline. What it’s trying to do though, is be more integrated with sensors and shorten the pipeline even further for “competent” students. also the program was tabled do to covid shenanigans in 12th AF with regards to RPAs: so once there done fully un-f*cking it it may return.
  8. That would honestly be hilarious, especially in light of the systematic delegitimization of the training pipeline.
  9. It is back, they got a good laugh at the studs going through pipeline that had no flying experience and no IFT. Its anyone’s guess as to what the future of the Air Force will look like and future budget allocations or force shaping.
  10. For real though. Between this thread, the thread about whether or not your MWS affects your career opportunities, and the amount of fighter aircraft falling out of the sky, I feel like I'm taking crazy pills. What will it take for RPAs to be taken seriously? Why were they bound by MTCR regulations so coalition partners couldn't have access to American products? I certainly do not know know. If someone could lift the glass ceiling off RPAs that would be great.
  11. Id vote for you Ive had a tough time reconciling this exact point for myself, and some days are better than others, but its a perpetual battle of imposters syndrome. Its sucks when people ask what i do, and i tell them I fly for the Air Force, only to see their hype melt away when I then tell them what I fly. Through the conversations ive had with civilian and military pilots alike over the past few years, its clear that we are not held in high regard by most other pilots or public enthusiasts (there are some that are professional, but alot are still openly hostile and believe that we are garbage and so is our MWS. Its self evident that there is a huge lack of investment into branching out of our niche, which given the technology we have today we could easily do, then big AF turns around and spends monies on things like the F15X or the KC46 and continues doing business the old way despite harping about contested environments at every opporutnity) In aviation, people value training and competence, and RPAs seem to receive the least amount of training in the quickest span (given our responsibilities) with the least cohesion. I'm not fond of self-defeating or victim mentalities, and I understand that the 18X career field is still so new that we dont have alot of organic leadership but its tough to see if there still is a glass ceiling (it is undeniable there was one several years ago). It feels disingenuous if we are not interchangeable with pilots for opportunities or training then we should drop the word pilot from our vernacular; new wings, new training, new word. Personally I'd feel like more of a pilot if at the end of FTU i was able to walk over to the airport and rent a C172 and take my wife for flight. While 18xers are qualified to take a 10,000lb multi-million dollar machine thats the size of an a10 and can be loaded with thousands of pounds of ordnance, we are less a less qualified than a 16 year old civil air patrol cadet in terms of being a pilot in the eyes of the FAA (or alot of our peers for that matter), the organization who sets the standards for aviation in the best country in the world, and thats embarrassing.
  12. That's the official line. However the sims are not FAA certified, and neither is the course, otherwise youd be able to get FAA credit for it like people do for going through UPT. On that note why the are we even training in T6 sims? Why the heck should i care learning to sim fly a plane that has nothing to do with our mission? Yes. Although instructors at Randolph are aware and there is allegedly something in the works to address it, although its almost 100% going to be nonsense. When IFT does get canceled COIVD has shown alot of the hidden cards on the table. We will be systems and information technology operators. Gen Holmes has suggested it with the future direction ACC wants to take RPAs, everyone on this board says it every time the topic comes up, we arent pilots. For along time there was nothing but disrespect for 18xers and we are dangerously close to slipping back into the old way of doing business (although we'll have better manning). Eventually it would be beneficial for our own sanity if we take that word off of our AFSC. It could be even better if we consolidated the various RPAs enterprises across the services most likely centralizing it out of the USAF. Our near peer Russia and our sister services are much more open to developing these capabilities than we are. Good thing we keep spending lots of money on projects like the KC-46, or deliberately make it difficult to integrate RPA with low-income allies and then tout the need for a manned armed overwatch light attack aircraft to fill the exact niche. Personally if the bonus is still there I'll probably take it to the max and punch out at 20, if its anything less than other pilots ill take my chances outside.
  13. So you claim you went through the AD process how did that work out for you? Did you put pilot only? How do you suggest OP strong arm AD recruiters as a civilian? Do you believe that recruiters are hurting for manned pilot recruits, especially given the economic environment? Should recruiters work with applicants who are unwilling to work with them? What should op tell recruiters from different regions when they ask why hes trying to apply from a different region? What will he do if they have a similar unwritten regulation? I'm just curious what your answers to these questions might be. Obviously recruiters goals are to commission people, and we are short officers across the board. There never was a student pilot shortage, and even if OP listed more than just pilot if he was in the most qualified pool of candidates he would be considered for his top pick of manned pilot regardless of whatever else he put on the list. Listing pilot only dosent give you bonus points, or make it any more likely that you get that slot. This section of the forum seem to have a habit of conflating the exception-to-the-rule, with the actual rules.
  14. That’s good advice. It’s also good to note there was never a shortage of pilot applicants. The influx of new Lt pilots being attributed to AFPC experimenting with trying to outgrow their attrition problem. Like you said the private sector has takin an enormous beating. Apparently it’s better to be lucky than smart at HAF and AFPC.
  15. Short term I wonder how thats working out for the 18x contractors with the combination of economic downturn and the Air Force is cutting its contracting CAPS and the Marines are operating their own MQ-9s to fulfill their mission requirements. Also h eres a quick pic of that UPS airline. I'm sure it pays more than most quad copter jobs, but i wonder how it compares to Active duty major or even senior captain pay for an 18x.
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