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Everything posted by theoriginalturk

  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. 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.
  4. You should see the curriculum and product on the RPA side. I’d laugh if it wasn’t such a bad joke.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. That would honestly be hilarious, especially in light of the systematic delegitimization of the training pipeline.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Good read with a lot of the current info about the state of the enterprise. Also confirms the 19th AF putting the axe on IFT for 18xers https://taskandpurpose.com/news/air-force-drone-school-falling-apart?fbclid=IwAR1i_EI5qXk-cF2YAe3XZ0Yaz2KY6heHOpE3NfofK-VN2vkvWruNLf1452A
  16. https://warontherocks.com/2018/04/trust-troops-and-reapers-getting-drone-research-right/
  17. Speaking of killing flight training, RPA operators will no longer be going to IFT. So no stick and rudder time, and no background in aviation for robot operators in your stacks. May the odds be in your favor
  18. Just wanted to give future RPA prospects an update. Expect to no longer go to IFT. Thats right! you'll be delivering world class air power; ISR, air interdiction, close air support, as well as strike coordination and reconnaissance, dynamic targeting, and combat search and rescue while never logging a single hour of real flight time. Be a pylot without ever having touched an aircraft. Fly. Fight. Win.
  19. Just from sheer statistic on how many RPA guys there are and the availability of contract jobs that pay at least as much as active duty O pay; they are pretty saturated. You have an edge coming from UPT you can apply for CONUS contractor positions, because you have a CPL. A lot of RPA guys think that they can apply for those positions when in reality they can only apply for the OCONOS positions, unless they shell out the money and get their CPL. On pay; depending on what position you get it can be between 200-300K I would recon that specifically RPA contractor jobs don't have a great future outlook. AF just cut 10 CAPs of Contractor lines this year. Marines are operating their own MQ-9 lines and will probably look to less to contractors. The Army has their own stuff as well etc. If it dosent contribute to the future fight I would expect less of it.
  20. Its been cancelled without a re-slot. Got a re-slot for RIQ though. Heard from my afsoc brethren its the same over there. Some people are getting re-slots and some arnt. Not alot of standardization, apparently our "training" wasnt really that important, I guess I can see where the FAA was coming from.
  21. Yes. As you guessed manned aviators are more important. If you needed IFT and you're an RPA or CSO you're SOL. All the guys who got to IFT before are gone and they're continuing their respective pipelines (at least as well as they can). There has been chatter they may just axe IFT in general for RPAs, but its 100% rumor. At least the thunder birds flew over my house for 10 seconds yesterday. Edit: additionally the number of RPA students being affected is almost in the triple digits, and there are rumors that someone higher up may waive a magic wand and waive IFT away. I can only imagine that this would further reinforce the stigma of being an RPA "aviator" and our lack aviation credibility for our community. The only time we get to be in a command of a "real" airplane, and poof* there it goes.
  22. I believe this analysis of the opening of the article is gratuitous and misrepresents the spirit of the article. In regards to RPAs from the author, "The Air Force seems intent to simply refuse to purchase or integrate commercially available modifications that would answer each of the concerns, then claim the aircraft are not viable. " which is a sentiment that is widespread here and on other aviation forums. The Col. in the story seemed to try and get the General to think along the lines of, "perhaps given the disparity in production, perhaps more missions and/or opportunities could be given to the RPA community given our cost and retention advantages". Either missions in the form of more capable RPAs or opportunities to alleviate manning issues in our sister 11x community. The generals immediate refusal to even consider such an idea is partially what the whole article is about. The sentiment of being emasculated and being second rate is so widespread in this community that the best way to cope is to just joke about it. Its not perceived emasculation, it is woven into the very fabric of URT. There was a thread a few weeks ago about an RPA guy who was feeling pretty down. Best piece of advice on that thread was for the Lt. to buy his own plane and pursue his aviation development on his own dime and time. No one purposed any type of solution coming from big blue to alleviate these sentiments. Are RPA "pilots" actually pilots? Seems like we still haven't even answered that basic question.
  23. Review the IFT welcome guide here https://www2.l3t.com/doss/pdf/arrival_guide.pdf Memorize the boldface for emergency procedures verbatim, as well as the operational limits that are bold. Pages 10-11 Visit https://www2.l3t.com/doss/incoming_students/index.htm If you have your RIP and 2992 send em to the HARM for the unit you'll be in processing with. Five days from zero day, they can put you on AOs and send a CMS to finance for flight pay.
  24. Is that you John Wayne? Is this me? I cant help but feel a cruel aura of irony hanging over this thread even if the sympathy displayed here is genuine. Sure things are getting better compared to what they were, but the way the Air Force treated the RPA community in the past makes for great reading and gives good insight on the attitudes held by that aviation community regarding "drone" "pilots" that are alive and well to this day (especially if you happen to find yourself in this community). However the Air Force is still way behind the curve in the RPA enterprise, especially in comparison to where we could be if resources were considered as seriously as they are for the B21 or the F35 or the KC46. Creating the 18x career field and placing it under the 11xers will forever stain us. AF doctrine is all about effects over platforms up until you bring up being physically in a a cockpit or not.
  25. 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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