Training pilots without actual airplanes

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Datadriver, Nov 16, 2022.

  1. Datadriver

    Datadriver Line Up and Wait

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  2. Salty

    Salty Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Might as well. These days, they're more likely to be drone pilots most of their career anyway.
     
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  3. asicer

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  4. Pugs

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    They're going to end up with a pilot in the "fleet" who is capable of meeting their training standards but deficit in all the things that surround flying. Things like.

    Dealing with Base Operations and ground procedures at a strange field.
    Dealing with controllers that act well, like humans, and not a single instructor playing ATC
    Aircraft issues that don't down it but require working around the issue to get it home.

    I just can't see them replacing those sorts of things and thinking they will produce a complete aviator. I learned as much on my first T-34C cross country as the ten flights before that I think (although that was a while ago)
     
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  5. sourdough44

    sourdough44 En-Route

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    The military version of ‘ab-initio’ type training, get them over minimums then learn in the multi-piloted plane.
     
  6. RingLaserGyroSandwich

    RingLaserGyroSandwich Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It doesn’t sound as bad to me after reading the article. It all comes down to the implementation.
     
  7. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser!

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  8. guest user

    guest user Pre-takeoff checklist

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    This does not seem to be ab-initio training, but after initial training.

    You would still do initial training in the T-6, but then use the simulator for the ones not selected for fighters or bombers. These trainees would get the simulator treatment for 75 days for 'more advanced flight skills' and then move on to their specific non-fighter / bomber aircraft training.

    So, if the non fighter / bomber pilots weren't already looked down upon in the USAF, this is certainly not going to improve the image.
     
  9. Pinecone

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    Yeap, not totally replacing aircraft. Everyone gets the same training in the T-6, aircraft and sims, then the crew aircraft guys go to the T-1A. Now that will be sim.

    But remember, after the sim training they go to aircraft specific training, which is a mix of sim and actual aircraft. Then, they go to a squadron, where they will be a co-pilot for a good bit of time.
     
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  10. Sierra_Hotel

    Sierra_Hotel Line Up and Wait

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    Yeah, not seeing the issue here.
     
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  11. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    It’ll be interesting to watch it play out. If initial/mission qual training in the tanker/transport/bomber space ends up having to add a few live fly sorties to the syllabus, any savings on the AETC side will be a wash.
     
  12. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Final Approach

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    *giggles* You taxpayers are gonna love what they got cooking up over here in the brain trust./sarc
    I'm too close to this one to talk inside baseball with y'all, the internet is not really all that anonymous anymore.

    I'll keep my comments generic. All I'll say is, there will be imho a further bifurcation of what it means to be .mil trained after this process is complete. We'll all wear the same wings, but they won't be the same to those who understand what to look for. And that's really caustic; I don't like the rabbit hole where that leads to but I'm not in a position to push back. I just salute and do my job until I get my freedom papers. Don't shoot the iron major type of thing.

    The short and skinny of it is that herbivores are eventually going to be trained in-kind with that the airlines do. And it will be a diluted product, but according to the brain trust, the important part is that it'll be good enough. And in fairness to them, they're probably right, at least as long as we don't get challenged by a peer air defense adversary in the near future.

    The difference of course is that the airlines, and I mean major airlines, have experienced and historically TPIC-seasoned product as the input; the AF has young neophytes as the input. So that's the only experimental part of the whole thing. In reality, you're looking at what the regional airlines face in training as a benchmark for the AF. IOW, a lot of unspoken and unpaid OJT going on at the line/squadron level, while calling everybody "full CMR" in the process. The numbers look good on paper, but behind closed doors is a bunch of slicked wing O-3s in the left seat of airliner-based platforms and T-props, de facto flying single pilot while the co-pilot learns to walk, and hope's the plan. That's where the savings of this approach are likely to get paid, while telling you taxpayers we're saving you money.

    The article doesn't cover this part, but the 11F/11B won't be like that. They'll get the gold plate. T-6 to T-7A, to include a USN styled blend of intermediate and and advanced strike (IFF will get blended into Phase III, 11Bs will be cut loose early) before hitting the B-course, in a touch screen avionics 4.5 gen fighter datalink/threat picture emulator with an airshow demo drag index and power ratio that overspeeds the g-damned gear even at 20deg NH if you take off full grunt (see avatar). #404FTW And I just went six to midnight thinking about level turn G-x's :D

    As a casualty of the "one drop rule" caste system myself, I would like to see less division amongst our flying core. This is going to widen the chasm imo. Second tier effects I don't think senior leadership is tracking, at all. I'm too close to the retirement check to care make much extra fuss about, plus I got my hands full keeping people alive these days given the greening of the inputs that we incurred as a result of the decisions made in FY12-17. I digress.
     
  13. TCABM

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    Yuck. And bad for the force.

    ETA: lemme guess…brought to you by Doss Aviation.
     
  14. simtech

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    I'm seeing the changes here and whats going on....basically I'm told train them to 750 hours for the airlines...I have waay more thoughts on what I see but I'll keep it to myself and I'm just a lowly T6a simulator tech.
     
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  15. WDD

    WDD En-Route

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    There has to be other areas where the military can be more efficient / cut costs other than training. Simulators can reinforce real flying skills, but it can't substitute. Far too many things that aren't in the simulator that will trip someone up when it's time for flying in the real world.
     
  16. Pinecone

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    Again, they are getting real airplane time in the T-6, and then in training for their assigned aircraft, then a good number of hours flying as a copilot.

    And the hours that are being replaced by the sim are in an aircraft that is ONLY flown for training.
     
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  17. Sierra_Hotel

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    With you on this one, Pinecone. But I definitely didn't consider the further divide it will cause like hindsight mentioned. If they did it for everyone it would be one thing, but splitting it for fighter/bomber and others is pretty ****ty. But then here I am applying for the Civilian Pathway to Wings program that excludes fighters/bombers :oops:
     
  18. Pinecone

    Pinecone Cleared for Takeoff

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    I don't see that as an issue.

    Fighter/attack/recce pilots already look down on heavy pilots. :D

    Seriously, other than bar bantering, I never saw any real divide. I do recall, at assignment drop night, anyone who got a transport got a spoon stuck in their sleeve pocket of their flight suit. To stir their coffee and eat their soup. :D
     
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  19. Sierra_Hotel

    Sierra_Hotel Line Up and Wait

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  20. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Final Approach

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    All due respect, back then everybody went through T-38s, and had twice (by volume output) the number of pilot training bases that remain today. A good half of them passed by the skin of their teeth, many (by modern attrition standards) more washed out, and others unnecessarily died too. I understand why folks of that generation would find the divide merely a matter of bar bantering given that very different ground reality. We're now regressing back to a paradigm of excess deaths on the T-38 as a result of the reintroduction of a less vetted quantity by both experience and undergraduate training background themselves. Don't shoot the messenger.

    There's a lot more that I could expand on, but I wish to remain somewhat anonymous on this forum regarding this topic, since it cuts into my IRL present livelihood.

    BL, the bifurcation is real and goes beyond bar-banter about heavies vs pointies. There's a fundamental hollowing of competencies across the rated aviator force, and putting increased weight on a T1-trained majority T-6 cadre to issue silver wings after 80 hours to neophytes, to then put them through simulator-heavy follow-on training, is not something I consider in the interest of our combat lethality, let alone our safety record in garrison in the first place. I'll defer my expanded comments for a different day and time. I retire in 5 years; my 'I love me' memoirs to publish shortly thereafter. :D
     
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  21. Sierra_Hotel

    Sierra_Hotel Line Up and Wait

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    Definitely appreciate your insight.
     
  22. MarkH

    MarkH Line Up and Wait

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    I am not a CFI, not an expert in human factors, nor am I particularly familiar with what it takes to fly jets (having 0 hours of turbine time myself).

    But, isn't this basically what happens with commercial pilots in every country that is not the US?

    A few hundred hours in a piston single, 2 dozen hours in something with 2 piston engines, then some sim time and the pilot is sent to the line?

    I don't see how this training is different from an EASA Frozen-ATP pilot being promoted to right seat.

    If I am missing something please explain, but it seems there are a lot of pilots flying today (even in the US) who never piloted a jet until they hit the airlines, and in countries that don't require 1500 hours, I'm sure the pilots don't have much more time than the Air Force pilots have logged when they exit the Texans.
     
  23. MarkH

    MarkH Line Up and Wait

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    I am under the impression that current AF pilots have 150-200 hours before they transition out of piston trainers. How incorrect is that impression?
     
  24. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Final Approach

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    Very. IFT is a 14 sortie syllabus. Used to be the USAF paid civilians to gobble up the allotment for a PPL under the old program. 40-50 hours. Then the gravy train came to a stop, and went into IFS screening like the old days of Hondo Air Base, with several changes that yield the present hodgepodge of initial accessions flight time at UPT entry. If the applicant has their PPL on their own anyways, then it's straight to UPT. I have no idea how much time powered flight cadets get at the academy in the Cirri.

    Suffice to say, numbers vary, it's not a set number, and certainly not 200 hours.

    ETA: Talking about USAFA cadet accessions. Not Guard and Reserve, or civilian airline pilots under some of the niche onesy twosie weird duck programs that get turned on and off again with the shift in winds. For instance, I showed up to UPT as a CFI/II, CSEL with about 400 hours of piston time, but many of my peers in the Guard/Reserves cohort had barely a PPL. It really runs the full spectrum depending on what demographic you're talking about.
     
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  25. MarkH

    MarkH Line Up and Wait

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    Thats concerning, especially considering the weight given to military vs civilian pilot training.
     
  26. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Final Approach

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    In fairness, the value added the civilian sector historically assigns to military applicants stems from their rated winged experience on a per capita basis, compared to civilian experience. That includes the training and demonstrated experience in their major weapon system. It's partly the reason some airlines inject a multiplier to my military hours printout. But more specifically, it's the level of perceived training and quality control/standardization compared to part 91/91k and 135/134.5. It's the same reason other-121 is/was generally regarded as the preferred pool for major airlines, good bad indiff.

    The angle you bring up though, is relevant to raising the legitimate question of whether two pre-ATP military guys, one 11F/B and one 11M/H/R/S, should be considered "known quantity" equals, when it came to qualifying for an R-ATP by military competency. Which is essentially the failed argument Republic Holdings tried to pitch the FAA. In the present circumstance, the system says yes, the two .mil are the same. My argument raises the rhetorical question of whether that could still be legitimately be answered in the affirmative, in the paradigm where they intend to take mobility/t-prop track students through, vis a vis their 11F/B counters. To be clear, that is a significant departure from the current baseline separation of undergraduate experience between 11F and the rest. The delta based on the new chasm could be as high as 175 hours less to their first MWS, compared to their 11F/B peers. That's not insignificant, unless you are in the camp that believes what we do in undergraduate pilot training is ultimately superfluous and can be "table-topped" with virtual reality goggles.

    From the FAA's perspective, DoD wings are DoD wings, and will likely be given the same credit. But as the meme intimates, "bold move cotton.....".

    I don't have a problem necessarily with experience impostors coat-riding on the reputation old-syllabus silver wings afford the newer collective. I just have a problem with the bifurcation of core competencies within the same occupational rating, internal to the service. I think it's going to be caustic, and not in the interest of anybody, never mind downline and interoperability staffing needs going forward.
     
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  27. TCABM

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    Leafeaters will be demoted to second class citizens a la xSOs, panel navs, and the E-3/E-8 backend crowd (who never should have been rated to begin with).

    Then, you gotta wonder what AFSOC is going to do, because they can’t afford proficiency questions amongst their sister service counterparts although it’s already acknowledged the 160th is *the* standard to measured against for lift, but as for the the gunships…..

    And then there will be the pre-/post- divide not just in the MAF, but across the rated force until the post-change pilots have a chance to prove themselves against their 11F peers for time to IP/SEFE, etc. across all the career milestones.

    ETA: i can’t even imagine what it would be like for the FAIP’d guy in this new environment.
     
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  28. tobnpr

    tobnpr Filing Flight Plan

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    I just came across this same article in the AF Times (before I saw this thread)- and immediately wondered what your take on this might be, lo and behold...
    Granted, heavies aren't high-performance aircraft- but going FULL sim and zero hours flight time eventually? Doesn't strike me as a recipe for success.
     
  29. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Final Approach

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    In fairness to the brain trust, they're not advocating for zero hours. But they are trying to align to what I consider an MPL standard of training; they're just never going to concede that publicly. They're also struggling to align the messaging that they're not in fact trying to increase production by reducing training, instead of expanding capacity via additional UPT basing. Latter which is a non-starter for HAF and their fat amy budgetary bias.

    The argument that most pro-MPLers miss when constantly referencing the airlines, is that the mission competencies of many .mil heavies, are a lot more involved than that of commercial ACMI or pax 121, by quite a bit more risk factors. Not least of which includes kinetic weapons employment for some. It's not airline flying (ferry flight), though it may resemble it the majority of the time. To encapsulate the entirety of the non-CAF as basically Strat Lift, is a complete misread.
     
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  30. TCABM

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    Doesn’t even need to be weapons employment.

    Let’s talk HAAM or formation airdrop or tanking or short and soft field under NVG, or any of the other myriad high performance missions big blue does with heavy aircraft.

    Hell, combat departures and arrivals are near-max performance everyday maneuvers for that matter.
     
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  31. Pinecone

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    That comes from the UPT program. These are programs before UPT that are used to weed out those that at mostly liking to wash out of UPT.

    In my day, if you had a PP or higher, you went straight to UPT and the T-37. If not, you went to Hondo for FSP. I did not go there, but it was about 15 hours in T-41A (straight tail O-300 C-172) with contract instructors. But to Mil training standards and formats. So they learned bold face and things not common to civilian training. IIRC, in the time allotted you had to solo or you washed out. This program was very successful with FSP grads having a higher rate of graduating from UPT that other sources (including Air Force Academy programs),

    Once in UPT the real training started. In my day you did about 4 - 5 months in the T-37, soloing. And adding instrument and formation training. And doing some cross countries. Then to the T-38 for the same things. Typical grad was about 200 hours of jet time, depending on how many repeat rides due to not performing to standards.

    We had a few special students that were 0 time and did not attend FSP. Those that graduated had around 240 -50 total jet hours. I graduated with 170 hours. Hmmm, how much does 15 hours in a C-172 cost versus 70 hours in jets (at the time the T-38 was about $1000 an hour)??
     
  32. Pinecone

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    Where are they proposing that??

    The current proposal has the same T-6 time. Then same transition training into the operational aircraft (sim and actual aircraft) and the same right seat time once operationally.

    All that is being changed to sim only is the T-1A segment, which is a lot of CRM, cross country and instrument training.
     
  33. Sundancer

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    I was a maintainer decades ago - I remember USAF doing a cursory F105 fam program for many-motor pilots then shipping them off to SEA. I don't know how well that worked out; I assume some did fine. Others maybe not so good. The point was the AF treated pilots as interchangeable commodities back then. Later, in the 80s, I was enlisted aircrew - us sweaties learned not all pilots are created equal - not at 300' AGL in the dark - we learned to "shop" crews when deploying.
     
  34. nauga

    nauga Administrator Management Council Member PoA Technical Administrator

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    I love POA. In this thread we have "Training pilots without actual airplanes," and in this thread we have "Training airplanes without actual pilots."

    Nauga,
    who answered, "No," but is willing to learn.
     
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  35. fasteddie

    fasteddie Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Fat Amy = The F-35 Program. In other words, the Air Force will cut whatever it takes to keep feeding money to their #1 priority, the F-35.

    I've found Air Force decision making much easier to understand if you always think "What choice will drive more dollars to the defense contractors?"
     
  36. TCABM

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    No different than the F-22 “tax” years. Cut everybody’s flying except the schoolhouses to pay for F22.

    There’s something in there about both Congress and the Departments being good stewards of taxpayer dollars that’s always getting missed.