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Air Force is hiring for civilian T-6 IPs


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I really can't see there being a big applicant pool for this...especially considering all the flight academies popping up with flows into the regional and then flow again into majors. And also, the super awesome locations that any 23 year old CFI would definitely love to live in all while teaching the people they just graduated with and making less money.

It'll be interesting to see how this works out though.

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58 minutes ago, hockeydork said:

Can I have a realistic answer as to if this is a good path or not, or will I get shit on as a civilian contractor?

Could be a good path, depending. No opinion on that. If I wasn't already where I was and I wanted to fly "Air Force", given my personal goals, it may have appealed to me.

Yes, the Air Force will shit on you, but, in the end, you'll learn to love it.

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5 hours ago, disgruntledemployee said:

Its the best they can think of.  And it could work.  Retention plans (if there is even a plan)... ain't working.  Cut they syllabus even more... someone probably got shot saying that out loud.  Hire old dudes... we'll pollute all those young minds, plus old guys make problems for mgmt with no filter, outspoken, opinionated words on how it should be done.  And we got better paying jobs--small pool.

Introduce the young pup CFI.  Maybe they thought of mil flying, but didn't or couldn't.  Easily molded and controlled.  They have no prior bias against UPT ops like FAIPs or white jet assignment peeps.  This fills a need for basic flight instruction.  They probably make better pay than standard flight school stuff, plus the fly a more advanced plane and its turbine time.  And after doing this gig and flying with a few ANG/Res peeps, they might have an inside track to rush a unit.  And since they're civilians, no rank to get in the way and they can be a buddy and not an adversary.  No "sir" in the cockpit. Hey John, lets head up to the area and see how that stall work is coming along.  OK Sam.  Want to join us for 9 holes this evening?

Promise you that the AETCI about Instructor-Student no-frat. will still apply...AETC wouldn't condone that in a thousand years.

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I "applied". I think this will attract the purists who want to fly mil high performance but have some obstacles. The financials of this suck, I know a lot of people who who'd say f that I am not moving there to make that when I could be getting greased by the regional to up to fly for a major.

 

Labor of love right? Maybe I could keep a part time gig with GD remotely to pay the bills a little better. And you know what if this did go down I'm not worried about getting shit on, as long as you aim to fly the best you can, which should be the same standard as any other UPT schmuck, who cares if I have no rank. 

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3 hours ago, hockeydork said:

So I'd like a serious answer on this. I understand the hate toward the idea of it but hear me out.

 

As someone who is "qualified" (Aero/mech engineering, Master's, hockey, 600 hour CFI, 8 years building nuclear subs) but who may have trouble getting a guard slot flying fighters my heart leaped out my chest reading this post and I know I will not be the only one.  To get to fly something like the T-6 that can go upside down with the Air Force even if not in the Air Force is a big friggin deal to me and I know I will not be the only one. Can I have a realistic answer as to if this is a good path or not, or will I get shit on as a civilian contractor? Also any idea on what would happen if you can get a guard slot after you accept or a half way through? 

First off, you won't be a civilian contractor.  You'll be a civilian employee to the government.  Big difference in that you won't be beholden to contact renegotiations and other instability.  Govt civilian has it's pluses and minuses. It will be interesting to see how they manage these people as the civilian structure is much different from the military structure to include performance, feedback and removal from positions.

Will you be shit on as a civilian?  This is a complicated question. Will you get work the mil guys don't want to do?  Depends on how they write the position.  Will you be respected by students and other IPs?  You'll definitely have an uphill battle to earn respect as an IP.  You'll be missing the "been there done that" of the military in general. I would imagine students will avoid going to these guys for mentoring and insight as they will not be relevant for military flying outside the few T-6 hours gained at PIT.

That said, if you can be humble and do the job for what it is, you'll probably have a great time doing something your peers won't be able to do. No reason to pass on it if your motivation is purely for the flying experience.

As for bailing for the guard, I haven't seen a civilian position come with a commitment and I don't know if that's even legal. If you don't have a contract, you can pack your bags at any point.

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40 minutes ago, Magnum said:

As for bailing for the guard, I haven't seen a civilian position come with a commitment and I don't know if that's even legal. If you don't have a contract, you can pack your bags at any point.

Get trained by DAF as a T-6 CAIP (civilian augmentee instructor pilot - you can steal that one), teach for a while, earn some cred, get hired by the Guard, drop mil leave on DAF, profit.

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If this was an option when I was a punk ass 22 year old CFI building hours, I would’ve jumped at this. I know tons of my peers that would have too. A bunch of them flew puddle jumpers from Huron, SD to other upper Midwest garden spots trying to build hours and they were all miserable. This is a fantastic option for young CFI’s.

Acceptance amongst the IP cadre will be interesting. I’ll bet most of the cool IP’s who also are good pilots will be great to work with. I’ll bet a lot of the guys who suck at flying and are burdens to every organization they’re a part of (yet convinced they’re God’s gift to mil aviation) will be a pain. 

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20 minutes ago, Danger41 said:

If this was an option when I was a punk ass 22 year old CFI building hours, I would’ve jumped at this. I know tons of my peers that would have too. A bunch of them flew puddle jumpers from Huron, SD to other upper Midwest garden spots trying to build hours and they were all miserable. This is a fantastic option for young CFI’s. 

 

Same!  I'd have gladly given up my CFI gig making $13k/yr flying 152s/172s in NE Ohio to go make $50k/yr flying a T-6 in Del Rio.  I'd have quit my CFI gig, packed my bags and driven out same day.  Then hopefully executed the plan nunya highlighted.  

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On 6/6/2022 at 10:59 PM, LookieRookie said:

yes per the 19 af/cc commander these are flying billets

 

 

So a prereq of 50 hrs of instruction given (presumably in something akin to a Cessna). Really threw in the towel on this one. When is this turd finally gonna get flushed? 

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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, WheelsOff said:

So a prereq of 50 hrs of instruction given (presumably in something akin to a Cessna). Really threw in the towel on this one. When is this turd finally gonna get flushed? 

I’m not sure it will.  50 hours of instruction is more than a FAIP has when they’re “hired.”  
 

As much as we want to think mil aviation is special, it’s simply not at the T-6 level.  It’s a Hershey bar wing with easy stall characteristics, forgiving landings, and no mission.  As long as these CAIPs stay in their lane and teach stalls, falls, and landings and leave the Blue-ing to the MAF and CAF bros, they’ll be an asset.  


The airlines use instructors that have never flown an airliner.  Certainly isn’t the same as a line pilot teaching you, but as long as they stay in their lane and teach the books, a wise student learns from them, too.

Edited by nunya
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5 minutes ago, nunya said:

As much as we want to think mil aviation is special, it’s simply not at the T-6 level.  It’s a Hershey bar wing with easy stall characteristics, forgiving landings, and no mission.  As long as these CAIPs stay in their lane and teach stalls, falls, and landings and leave the Blue-ing to the MAF and CAF bros, they’ll be an asset.  

The ad says they’ll be teaching in all phases of T-6 training…

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, HeloDude said:

The ad says they’ll be teaching in all phases of T-6 training…

Right, I didn't mean "Contact only" by stalls and falls.  I just mean it's all very basic stuff, especially after the CAIP goes through a multi-year training pipeline.  If a tanker bubba can teach low level nav and a C-5 bubba can teach form (one of my best form instructors was a C-5 guy.  Super chill), there's no reason to write these CFIs off.  They're not teaching 4 ship tactics against SA-69s.  

If we're ok with FAIPs, I don't see any reason to worry about CAIPs.

Edited by nunya
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8 minutes ago, nunya said:

Right, I didn't mean "Contact only" by stalls and falls.  I just mean it's all very basic stuff, especially after the CAIP goes through a multi-year training pipeline.  If a tanker bubba can teach low level nav and a C-5 bubba can teach form (one of my best form instructors was a C-5 guy.  Super chill), there's no reason to write these CFIs off.  They're not teaching 4 ship tactics against SA-69s.  

If we're ok with FAIPs, I don't see any reason to worry about CAIPs.

Totally agree. This is a win… AS LONG AS it allows us to keep more folks in the CAF/MAF and be more selective about who we send to white jets. Fewer veteran aviators means fewer mentors, which means we can’t send the below average folks consistently and expect somebody else to pick up the slack. There’s a danger of fvking this up by not thinking beyond the next OPR closeout… so we probably will. 
 

This is basically a 1/2 priced FAIP who won’t care about the party planning to get ahead of peers. Write the job so the incentives align with quality production, and you’ve got somebody whose job is actually their job. None of these guys have to lie about wanting to be an officer first and fighter pilot second at 22 years old. 

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2 minutes ago, jice said:

AS LONG AS it allows us to keep more folks in the CAF/MAF and be more selective about who we send to white jets.

Unfortunately I think this is about giving the AF bodies for staff while staying under end strength, not keeping bodies in cockpits.  But that policy problem is bigger and different than asking if a civilian CFI can teach T-6s.

Exhibit A

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25 minutes ago, jice said:

…and be more selective about who we send to white jets. 

I might be misunderstanding you…but are you suggesting that this program will make instruction at UPT better by making white jets more selective for AD pilots due to sending less qualified low time CFI’s through some sort of PIT (I’d be willing to bet their syllabus will not be the same as it is right now)?

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, HeloDude said:

I might be misunderstanding you…but are you suggesting that this program will make instruction at UPT better by making white jets more selective for AD pilots due to sending less qualified low time CFI’s through some sort of PIT (I’d be willing to bet their syllabus will not be the same as it is right now)?

No, I’m saying that with fewer green bags walking around we need to send other than bottom of the barrel guys to make sure the pipeline produces something we want. 
 

I’m not concerned about the quality of instruction from the GS hires just because they’re GS hires. As long as they’re provided with valid training, they’re likely to be better than a FAIP or bottom third aviator from any other community because they’ll be able to focus on their j.o.b.

Edited by jice
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4 minutes ago, jice said:

No, I’m saying that with fewer green bags walking around we need to send other than bottom of the barrel guys to make sure the pipeline produces something we want. 
 

I’m not concerned about the quality of instruction from the GS hires just because they’re GS hires. As long as they’re provided with valid training, they’re likely to be better than a FAIP or bottom third aviator from any other community because they’ll be able to focus on their j.o.b.

So a 23 year old, 50 hour CFI, who has never gone through any military training (flight or otherwise) will be better than a 25 year old officer who has gone through a commissioning source, graduated UPT (they still wash people out btw), and has successfully gone through the current PIT syllabus (which also still washed people out)?
 

 

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So a 23 year old, 50 hour CFI, who has never gone through any military training (flight or otherwise) will be better than a 25 year old officer who has gone through a commissioning source, graduated UPT (they still wash people out btw), and has successfully gone through the current PIT syllabus (which also still washed people out)?
 
 


It's primary flight instruction... The T-6 (and T-1) do nothing tactical. And it looks like from the ad that they will have about a year's worth of training (my guess is an extended PIT)

Being a military officer has nothing to do with your ability to fly and instruct fundamental flying skills, especially in phase 2.

Are the IFT Doss CFIs any better or worse than the AD IPs?
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14 minutes ago, jazzdude said:

 


It's primary flight instruction... The T-6 (and T-1) do nothing tactical. And it looks like from the ad that they will have about a year's worth of training (my guess is an extended PIT)

Being a military officer has nothing to do with your ability to fly and instruct fundamental flying skills, especially in phase 2.

Are the IFT Doss CFIs any better or worse than the AD IPs?

 

I wouldn’t call close formation and ET3 “fundamental flying skills”…and I’m pretty sure they don’t teach this in IFT.  A civilian IP can definitely learn/be able to teach it, but it will take much more training since they’ve never seen it in UPT.  Oh, and here’s a data point:  Some T-1 trained FAIPs have gone through CRs at T-6 PIT (and some have even washed out) for lack of formation flying abilities due to the cuts in UPT.

As far as being a military officer, UPT is centered around flight instruction based on the foundation of military bearing, integrity, etc.  If this wasn’t necessary, then mil cap wouldn’t be a thing.  It’s not to say that 23 year old civilian pilots can’t also have these qualities, but there’s no training program to weed those people out who aren’t a good fit.  Just think about people you’ve met who said they’ve wanted to be a military pilot but just didn’t have the qualities we seek in a military officer…there’s a reason why we’re different.  Also, unless they rewrite the rules, you can’t work a civilian more than 40 hours a week without permission, compensation, etc.  This changes the ball game quite a bit.  

Rucker, Kirtland, and other programs have had civilian/contractor flight instructors, but I’m pretty sure the vast majority have been very experienced military pilots in the past, and their instruction has been more/less limited to contact/instrument flying…they leave the formation and other stuff to the mil IPs.

That all being said, my biggest concern is with the comments on this page who think this will make a better IP than those graduating from PIT…and across the board, I just don’t see it.  Do you agree with Jice that these young civilian CFIs with 50 hours of C172 IP time will be better than a UPT graduate going to PIT to be a FAIP?  
 

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2 hours ago, nunya said:

If we're ok with FAIPs, I don't see any reason to worry about CAIPs

You should worry because it represents the continuation of the AF's failure to handle retention. It's great if you're an aspiring CAIP, and I agree, they'll be fully capable of teaching the syllabus.

 

But if you're in the uniform, you should be quite convinced at this point that it will only get worse from here, because no one in charge is seemingly capable of wrapping their head around retention. Making your life better will *always* be the last, and least acceptable option.

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24 minutes ago, Lord Ratner said:

You should worry because it represents the continuation of the AF's failure to handle retention. It's great if you're an aspiring CAIP, and I agree, they'll be fully capable of teaching the syllabus.

I agree.  While it might be a distinction without a difference, I'm trying to separate the tactical question of whether a new civilian cadre can teach T-6s and the strategic question of why do we need to create a new civilian cadre to teach T-6s.

I think the first answer is yes.  I think the answer to the second question is thisthis, and this.

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Other than stop-loss, I don't think they can dream up a retention program to keep people from leaving.  Oh, wait.  They could: 

1. Pay pilots like airlines do.  Never going to happen.

2. Promote to leadership the proper people.  I don't know why, but AF has this dumb ass mentality of promoting too many assholes into command.

And I'll stop there as there's too much to list.  While they might improve on #2, they can't get close on #1.  And then all the other stuff we don't like. 

So they'll try the CAIP (I like it, trademark that) and it will probably work.  Next will be civilian like IPs in the MAF, teaching indoc, local prof, upgrades, etc.  They won't deploy and they can keep the training line moving along.  That will be a tougher job to fill vs airlines, but pay it well and it might work, especially as dudes retire.  Imagine that CAIP hearing they could go to McChord after CAIPing, learn the C-17, and then teach in it.

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Posted (edited)

As a former non-rated officer that jumped into aviation and is actually currently teaching mil students in one of the IFS programs, this sounded like an awesome opportunity. Way better than slinging gear at the regionals, even with the GS-09 starting pay.

But I reached out to AFPC and the program is strictly limited to aviation major students who got their degree and flight training at the same time, and you have to have graduated in the last two years. Bummer. It will be interesting to see how this program does. Having spent some decent time in the civilian aviation world now, I'm not sure this program will get all that many takers in the end. Most civ students want the airlines and nothing else, and those with mil flying interest will probably want to be actual military aviators and not T-6 only instructors. It's a pretty niche group of people that would actually look to do this job.

Selfishly speaking here of course, but it seems a bit of a missed opportunity to not find a way to include folks like myself that have military experience and at least understand some of the demands the students have beyond just flying. I've found that to be super helpful in my current role.

Let's be honest, this is a definitely just a grasp to try and fill IP manning with bodies that cost pennies on the dollar to even a FAIP. 

Edited by kaputt
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