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Flight Evaluations and downgrades


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41 minutes ago, uhhello said:

Wondering what is the usual throughout MDS in regards to downgrades.  Are they common in your MDS or are they debriefed unless they rise to the Q3 level?  

It’s not uncommon in the MAF to have downgrades on a Q-1. Stupidest Form 8 I ever saw was from my Sq/CC at the -135 FTU. He gave some initial qual pilot student four downgrades and four commendables on a instrument sim check, as a Q-1. I would’ve just called it a day with a Q-1 and verbally debriefed it. The back of the Form 8 looked like a book chapter.

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I would bet downgrades are pretty common in most communities. Not really something to be concerned about though unless you're consistently getting them or if multiple could rise to the level of a q2 or 3. 

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13 minutes ago, Pooter said:

I would bet downgrades are pretty common in most communities. Not really something to be concerned about though unless you're consistently getting them or if multiple could rise to the level of a q2 or 3. 

Yeah not a big deal in the slightest until it's a trend, just had a discussion with some buddies and we were talking about it.  

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It’s not uncommon in the MAF to have downgrades on a Q-1. Stupidest Form 8 I ever saw was from my Sq/CC at the -135 FTU. He gave some initial qual pilot student four downgrades and four commendables on a instrument sim check, as a Q-1. I would’ve just called it a day with a Q-1 and verbally debriefed it. The back of the Form 8 looked like a book chapter.

We had an OG policy at one point that every form 8 had to have at least 2 comments: 2 commendables, 1 downgrade and 1 commendable, or two downgrades. F*cling stupid.


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Neither are common is AFSOC, but they aren’t particularly uncommon either.  It’s not a big deal; if someone has 2 or more I do inquire if we need to get them some targeted training.  Never in my life have I seen a silly policy about a mandatory number.  Evaluators discretion works great… if you pick the right people to be evaluators.  Which we mostly do.

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The only advice I have for evaluators out there is to honor the booze bribe, you dumbasses. I was going to downgrade a dude one time (and I’m a huge Santa Claus evaluator so it was bad) and he produced a nice bottle of bourbon at the end. Q-1, no downgrades! 

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51 minutes ago, Danger41 said:

The only advice I have for evaluators out there is to honor the booze bribe, you dumbasses. I was going to downgrade a dude one time (and I’m a huge Santa Claus evaluator so it was bad) and he produced a nice bottle of bourbon at the end. Q-1, no downgrades! 

Unfortunately the booze bottle to your evaluator tradition is slowly going the way of the dinosaur; have been told some FTUs are actively discouraging it.  Lotta young guys don’t do it anymore.

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1 hour ago, DirkDiggler said:

Unfortunately the booze bottle to your evaluator tradition is slowly going the way of the dinosaur; have been told some FTUs are actively discouraging it.  Lotta young guys don’t do it anymore.

In todays culture of hyper vigilant moral enforcement its simply too risky for it to get pegged as bribing (which it is) and end your career. Just a different AF than 15 years ago. 

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2 minutes ago, FLEA said:

In todays culture of hyper vigilant moral enforcement its simply too risky for it to get pegged as bribing (which it is) and end your career. Just a different AF than 15 years ago. 

It’s not bribing.  If you Q3 the evaluator doesn’t get the bottle, the evaluatee drinks it instead.  Things like this is just weak dick leadership at Sq and Grp level.

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Downgrades establish unit trends.  Trends can be sourced from flight evals, testing, instructor meetings, aircrew feedback, etc.  Units should tailor training to “close” trends once the training has been completed.  Flight supplement evals and ground supplement evals are used to randomly gauge the unit members knowledge of open trends.  These flight/ground supp evals are recorded for trend closure but don’t list the members name specifically that was given the supp eval.  They are just a random snapshot to see if the training has been sufficient to close the trend.  Trends are closed twice a year and are recorded via the Stan Eval Board (SEB).  

Downgrades on a Form 8 don’t matter for the individual (other than pride).  The overall grade matters.  Downgrades are key to the unit’s trends program and are actually vital to identifying bigger picture issues in the different communities.  

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1 hour ago, DirkDiggler said:

It’s not bribing.  If you Q3 the evaluator doesn’t get the bottle, the evaluatee drinks it instead.  Things like this is just weak dick leadership at Sq and Grp level.

You’re literally offering something to someone hoping for a positive outcome in your favor. That’s literally the definition of a bribe. 

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Downgrades don’t matter but are very common in the MAF. Didn’t see a whole lot of them in AETC but they still existed. Not sure about other communities. But when it comes to Q-3s, the MAF is by far the worst. Commanders at all levels in many of its MWS’s have weaponized Stan/Eval. Seems to be their go-to punishment of choice; has been for years. 

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13 minutes ago, Sua Sponte said:

You’re literally offering something to someone hoping for a positive outcome in your favor. That’s literally the definition of a bribe. 

not a bribe. not even close.

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I think I've given more Q1s with downgrades than I've given clean Q1s, but I've also never given a Q3, and honestly do not see the point of a Q2.  That's an evaluator with no guts.  Either put your instructor hat on and fix it in the debrief, or have the guts to Q3 them and defend your decision.  Had a couple of cases that could've been argued into a Q3 by strictest interpretation of the Vol 2, but in my perspective the benefit of the doubt goes to the evaluatee.  So, noted it, gave a downgrade in the appropriate area, debriefed it, and we moved on with life.  At the end of the day, even with a downgrade your 942 is going to say Q1.  

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coz
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41 minutes ago, Sua Sponte said:

You’re literally offering something to someone hoping for a positive outcome in your favor. That’s literally the definition of a bribe. 

Wrong.  The evaluator doesn’t get the bottle and also doesn’t even know what he or she is getting until after the grade is announced.  How can you  be bribed by something unknown to you?

  I’ve thankfully never had to Q3 anyone (have hooked several people on rec rides at the schoolhouse, which is really a gift when it comes down to it) but if someone really did that bad on a checkride where I had to Q3 them, I wouldn’t give a shit if they had a bottle of Redbreast 27 waiting for me.
  Why would anyone jeopardize the safety of their brothers and sisters and pollute the aviation gene pool by passing someone who is incapable of hacking the mission for a bottle of booze?

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28 minutes ago, DirkDiggler said:

Wrong.  The evaluator doesn’t get the bottle and also doesn’t even know what he or she is getting until after the grade is announced.  How can you  be bribed by something unknown to you?

  I’ve thankfully never had to Q3 anyone (have hooked several people on rec rides at the schoolhouse, which is really a gift when it comes down to it) but if someone really did that bad on a checkride where I had to Q3 them, I wouldn’t give a shit if they had a bottle of Redbreast 27 waiting for me.
  Why would anyone jeopardize the safety of their brothers and sisters and pollute the aviation gene pool by passing someone who is incapable of hacking the mission for a bottle of booze?

Unless they change your grade to a Q2 as you go to hand them the bottle the next day, very awkward 

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30 minutes ago, DirkDiggler said:
  Why would anyone jeopardize the safety of their brothers and sisters and pollute the aviation gene pool by passing someone who is incapable of hacking the mission for a bottle of booze?

That’s the key. 
the evaluator is the last line of defense goalie. 
exspecially in a training squadron. 

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5 hours ago, DirkDiggler said:

Unfortunately the booze bottle to your evaluator tradition is slowly going the way of the dinosaur; have been told some FTUs are actively discouraging it.  Lotta young guys don’t do it anymore.


We continue to get softer everyday.

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Q1 with some downgrades are not uncommon. Downgrades are not a big deal and as alluded to earlier are important, IMO, to capture trend data.

I've seen more commander directed Q3 for shenanigans than Q3s resulting from a scheduled checkride. Both circumstances still very rare.

I personally take a big picture approach to evals. I'm not going to curb stomp a dude/dudette with a Q3 for a single bad day. Other than a "big three" area, nearly everything is debrief-able. But errors in those areas would probably warrant a Q3 independent of a scheduled checkride.

 

 

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1 hour ago, 08Dawg said:

I think I've given more Q1s with downgrades than I've given clean Q1s, but I've also never given a Q3, and honestly do not see the point of a Q2.  That's an evaluator with no guts.  Either put your instructor hat on and fix it in the debrief, or have the guts to Q3 them and defend your decision.  Had a couple of cases that could've been argued into a Q3 by strictest interpretation of the Vol 2, but in my perspective the benefit of the doubt goes to the evaluatee.  So, noted it, gave a downgrade in the appropriate area, debriefed it, and we moved on with life.  At the end of the day, even with a downgrade your 942 is going to say Q1.  

Q2s if they screw up but don't violate safety or cause mission impact. I've given two Q3s. One for safety and one that would have caused mission impact. I had to intervene both times. This was pre AFSOC when you had to sell a Q3 to the CC or DO.

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2 hours ago, Sua Sponte said:

You’re literally offering something to someone hoping for a positive outcome in your favor. That’s literally the definition of a bribe. 

No, it’s a Honorarium.

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2 hours ago, uhhello said:

Any ACC/fighter world guys wanna give their 2 cents

Viper SEFE.  Never given a Q3 to a US pilot.  I've seen only 2 Q3's in my 19 years - both FTU students.  Q1 no hits is by far the norm.  Probably because our community is made of pretty awesome pilots...

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