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Air Force Looking Into Pilot Training Changes To Curb Accidents


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https://www.airforcemag.com/usaf-considering-pilot-school-changes-to-curb-flight-accidents/

I hope it's not just lip service. I went through in '16 and was directly affected by numerous issues to include: break in orders in the middle of UPT (which led to pulling me off the flying schedule, baby kicked out of daycare, wife CAC card no longer working and stuck off base, etc), as well as 8 month break between wings and B-course (during which time I pursued my civilian CFI rating just to keep my hands warm), multiple 40+ day breaks in training at FTU (several of my peers experienced the same or worse) and other issues. Reality is you suck it up and press but big blue should not be acting so surprised that young guys are burning in after years of syllabus cuts, flying hour deficits, tired iron, struggle to maintain or even establish any level of proficiency among new line guys, etc. I hope that current leadership can take the issue more seriously than ever before.

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The ink on the revised, idiotic new UPT syllabus isn’t even dry and now CSAF says, “We may have pushed...a little too far.”  Geebus, ya think?  If only hundreds of IPs told them that ahead of time.  For years.

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Maj. Gen. Wills says the AF needs to focus on human performance optimization in UPT 2.5. I’m just a nobody who knows nothing, but to me this sounds like another thing pulling pilots in training out of the plane, and into something else. While I understand that physical performance can help with combating fatigue and things like GLOC, would that really help curb the accidents? I haven’t read a report yet that mentions fitness or resilience as root causes. Just my two cents.


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If no one has seen it yet, I’d suggest talking to your wing Flight Hour Program manager about the recent interest HAF has shown in pilot seasoning hours. The AF is trying to make up for  the flying hours lost in UPT by the MWS squadrons/wings.

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1 hour ago, Bigred said:

If no one has seen it yet, I’d suggest talking to your wing Flight Hour Program manager about the recent interest HAF has shown in pilot seasoning hours. The AF is trying to make up for  the flying hours lost in UPT by the MWS squadrons/wings.

Which the squadrons have been doing on their own for years already. 

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2 hours ago, JTsundevil said:

but to me this sounds like another thing pulling pilots in training out of the plane, and into something else

Like what? The gym? Specifically designed for pilots and off limits to the rest of the base? With a professional fitness trainer? That doesn’t seem bad to me. 

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4 hours ago, Homestar said:

Like what? The gym? Specifically designed for pilots and off limits to the rest of the base? With a professional fitness trainer? That doesn’t seem bad to me. 

Just don't tell Spang, might hurt someone's feelings they're not invited. 

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22 hours ago, SurelySerious said:

Which the squadrons have been doing on their own for years already. 

 

When you have to redesign your MQT syllabus so much that it looks like a mini B-Course...

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3 minutes ago, BashiChuni said:

waiting for the generals who championed shortening the UPT syllabus to be fired.....

Can't; they're already collecting $10k/mo in retirement pay while sitting on the boards of Raytheon/Boeing/Lockheed for $1 million per year. You know, when they're not on the lecture circuit making $100,000 for talking to organizations about "leadership" and "efficiency."

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On 3/1/2021 at 3:47 PM, SurelySerious said:

Which the squadrons have been doing on their own for years already. 

I don’t doubt that’s the case but this new focus seems like they are asking the MWS squadrons to make up even more. 

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If it’s truly a question of experience in the form of hours and cost of those hours on airplanes, we legit need to look at something akin to the old ACE program and put T-6’s or something like that at bases. You can develop fundamentals in that (instruments, formation, etc) and then use sims to top off other things (radar work, etc). Then have every 4th flight in the actual MWS to get more bang for your buck. 
 

This of course assumes that being good at your actual job is a priority for the AF.

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ACE was the best thing to happen to me as a pilot. I gained more confidence, even in the big jet, from my hours in ACE. I flew the crap out of ACE and ended up with almost 500 hours in the tweet after UPT even during a time they were trying to limit the number of hours we got in ACE. There was nothing like the experience gained from you and another Lt. galivanting around the US in your own Tweet (or if you were at the right base, the T38 ) for 4 or 5 days. I flew into most every state in the contiguous 48 while flying tweets and managed to hit 3 of the 4 corners on different trips (Key West, Miramar, and Loring).

It wouldn't fix the fighter pilot primary mission issues, but would give good basic aircraft skills enhancement and consistency, even to those guys. The fighter guys could fly locals doing formation work reinforcing tactical. The TASS guys were probably proficient at tactical flying when they made the jump from 250 knots flying OA-37s and OV-10s to 500 knots flying F-4s, F-16s and F-15s.

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1 hour ago, Danger41 said:

If it’s truly a question of experience in the form of hours and cost of those hours on airplanes, we legit need to look at something akin to the old ACE program and put T-6’s or something like that at bases. You can develop fundamentals in that (instruments, formation, etc) and then use sims to top off other things (radar work, etc). Then have every 4th flight in the actual MWS to get more bang for your buck. 
 

This of course assumes that being good at your actual job is a priority for the AF.

This if probably fine for fighter-types, but the T-6 is a lousy instrument trainer. Especially right now that it's not certified for RNAV. I mean, you could get a better instrument trainer by downloading MS Flight Simulator.

 

Edit to add: an ACE type program with any aircraft would be great for overall airmanship, I recognize.

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Like what? The gym? Specifically designed for pilots and off limits to the rest of the base? With a professional fitness trainer? That doesn’t seem bad to me. 

I guess I didn’t phrase this correctly, I see no problem with pilots becoming more fit, getting stuff like a personal trainer, coach, etc. But the way I read the article this was another thing that is going to be pushed onto pilots during initial training. At Luke I’m 99% sure they already have something like this. There was a dedicated fitness coach/trainer in a gym that was only for pilots. Fitness is great, but I personally feel like mishaps should be addressed before anything else. I’m not in a big picture position, and again I’m a nobody that knows nothing, just trying to get a better understanding of everything. Thanks for the reply.


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6 minutes ago, JTsundevil said:


I guess I didn’t phrase this correctly, I see no problem with pilots becoming more fit, getting stuff like a personal trainer, coach, etc. But the way I read the article this was another thing that is going to be pushed onto pilots during initial training. At Luke I’m 99% sure they already have something like this. There was a dedicated fitness coach/trainer in a gym that was only for pilots. Fitness is great, but I personally feel like mishaps should be addressed before anything else. I’m not in a big picture position, and again I’m a nobody that knows nothing, just trying to get a better understanding of everything. Thanks for the reply.


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You're right. Luke has been way ahead of the AF on this for awhile. But, seriously, only Luke. This is finally spreading to the rest of the AF, starting at UPT bases. You know, sell the kid a dime bag of professional fitness management, study tutoring, etc at UPT and they'll expect the follow on bases to keep selling.... 

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This if probably fine for fighter-types, but the T-6 is a lousy instrument trainer. Especially right now that it's not certified for RNAV. I mean, you could get a better instrument trainer by downloading MS Flight Simulator.
 
Edit to add: an ACE type program with any aircraft would be great for overall airmanship, I recognize.


I mean, that's the point of having sims...

I'd think the t-6 would make for a decent companion trainer, primarily for building air sense and all around flying fundamentals, and for instrument training as well. Sure, maybe you can't do RNAV, but how you set up RNAV guidance, check/monitor RAIM, and execute/activate missed approaches is very platform centric. However, keeping the LDI centered on a traditional approach while dealing with actual weather and radios and hand flying teaches skills transferable to RNAV approaches and to any other aircraft.

But what gets cut to pay for a companion trainer (and the corresponding logistic tail)? We're not getting more money any time soon.
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1 hour ago, Homestar said:

This if probably fine for fighter-types, but the T-6 is a lousy instrument trainer. Especially right now that it's not certified for RNAV. I mean, you could get a better instrument trainer by downloading MS Flight Simulator.

 

Edit to add: an ACE type program with any aircraft would be great for overall airmanship, I recognize.

Wait, the T-6 isn’t RNAV certified anymore? Didn’t it used to be? T-38 is on hold for the foreseeable future. 

 

Are the AMC arms of the AF RNAV literate? It seems like the AF at-large is not, and I know why the CAF doesn’t care so much but for training purposes ground-based approaches are dwindling at a lot of the places the AF used to rely on. 

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2 hours ago, SurelySerious said:

Wait, the T-6 isn’t RNAV certified anymore? Didn’t it used to be? T-38 is on hold for the foreseeable future. 

 

Are the AMC arms of the AF RNAV literate? It seems like the AF at-large is not, and I know why the CAF doesn’t care so much but for training purposes ground-based approaches are dwindling at a lot of the places the AF used to rely on. 

I was asking this too. I definitely remember using RNAV cross country. 

Maybe he meant certain RNP operations? 

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