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  1. #26
    Non Temetis Messor The real Jack's Avatar
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    Would any bods in non flying appointments(senior officers) still fly occasionally to keep proficiency (and the allowance) ?
    Everyone who's ever loved you was wrong.

  2. #27
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The real Jack View Post
    Would any bods in non flying appointments(senior officers) still fly occasionally to keep proficiency (and the allowance) ?
    Or to maintain a trained pool?

  3. #28
    Non Temetis Messor The real Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    Or to maintain a trained pool?
    I don't want a debate about it I just wondered if there's desk pilots on flying allowance.
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  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by The real Jack View Post
    I don't want a debate about it I just wondered if there's desk pilots on flying allowance.
    I would expect so, it's normal practice in real air arms, I will find out and get back to you..
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  5. #30
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    Yes, pilots who get ground positions do fly when possible in order to maintain their skill level, they may also be called to flying status, depending on circumstances, because of a current pilot shortage, some ground appointments do however prevent people from flying, this is more prevalent with higher ranks... this seems typical of air arms which actually have a defence role..
    Have a better one....
    "We will hold out until our last bullet is spent. Could do with some whiskey"
    Radio transmission, siege of Jadotville DR Congo. September 1961.
    Illegitimi non carborundum

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  7. #31
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    All Don pilots rotate to ground posts every few years in their careers and they are slotted in for recurrency because if a guy was on a two year ground slot, all of his flight qualifications would lapse and he would require expensive retraining so he or she will be kept current. In some air arms, a pilot could be retrained on a new type as part of a posting out after completing a tour. It all depends on what the manpower needs are. In the Don, every flying pilot would have a nominal ground job as well, ie, he could be Mess Officer or he might hold a post in a Unit Establishment as a trainer/instructor which would have a significant ground element.

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  9. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
    All Don pilots rotate to ground posts every few years in their careers and they are slotted in for recurrency because if a guy was on a two year ground slot, all of his flight qualifications would lapse and he would require expensive retraining so he or she will be kept current. In some air arms, a pilot could be retrained on a new type as part of a posting out after completing a tour. It all depends on what the manpower needs are. In the Don, every flying pilot would have a nominal ground job as well, ie, he could be Mess Officer or he might hold a post in a Unit Establishment as a trainer/instructor which would have a significant ground element.
    This is largely correct, except that you can't compare the AC with other large air arms, the scales are just too varied. Also despite the fairly large exodus in the last few years I would imagine that the AC still has a surplus of Pilots. The total amount of flying is low and most pilots in flying appointments only fly circa: 200Hours PA. Pilot Officers in non flying appointments will get little or very often no flying hours and for some guys this can be for a number of years.
    Almost all Pilot Officers will have a desk job in addition to their flying and many of these jobs would be considered "Full Time" employment in line units such as Adjutant, staff appointments etc.
    As Pilot Officers get more experience they also get promoted and from the rank of Capt onwards the desk "flying" will start to take over from the actual flying. This is despite the fact that they now have the skills and experience that the flying side of the organisation requires. For Guys who are stuck in ground appointments they are treading water in their Flying career waiting for a flying slot to materialise.

    This is why I think many guys have left in the last couple of years, these guys are Pilots and are passionate about flying and as they advance in their careers they move further away from the aircraft.
    I don't think there is a simple answer and the AC certainly hasn't figured it out, ultimately the AC needs a significant proportion of each group to leave otherwise promotion becomes glacier.

    Nothing to do with the EC-135 but maybe help to understand the career!!

  10. #33
    Space Lord of Terra morpheus's Avatar
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    What they need is a bigger fleet and more operational flying hours. (yes... if theres a need that is)
    * Aircraft being operated Overseas
    * More interoperability with naval and army units
    * Increased maritime surveilance
    * Offer tactical lift capability to the battlegroups and possibly qualify for some increased funding from the EU
    oh i know... its all pie in the sky...
    Just thinking now, the AC are the only service not operating any kind of UAV.
    "He is an enemy officer taken in battle and entitled to fair treatment."
    "No, sir. He's a sergeant, and they don't deserve no respect at all, sir. I should know. They're cunning and artful, if they're any good. I wouldn't mind if he was an officer, sir. But sergeants are clever."

  11. #34
    Commandant Come-quickly's Avatar
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    Expanding the 135/635 fleet would seem the obvious way to expand RW operations, they're cheaper to fly and purchase and you could add recce pods and weapons pods for a recce + Escort type package (we'll tell the Shinners that it's for attacking Israel).
    "It is a general popular error to imagine that loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for it's welfare" Edmund Burke

  12. #35
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    "NATO compatible hardpoints.."

    Rabble rabble rabble!!

    "Possibly for deployment overseas..."

    RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE!!

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  14. #36
    Commandant Come-quickly's Avatar
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    It's all about branding braaaah "Anti-Capitalist Warheads" , Anti-Israeli cannons, mother of seven disappearing capabi....wait they're pretending to regret that one aren't they?
    "It is a general popular error to imagine that loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for it's welfare" Edmund Burke

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  16. #37
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Using the latest available figures (http://forum.irishmilitaryonline.com...1#post413646):

    If we say Comdts, Capts & Lts are all pilots and flying ranks (Comdts are Sqn OCs, and these figures include all appointments (not just flying):

    The establishment for these ranks is 149, the strength is 116 (and that includes anyone on career breaks)

    AC officers of these ranks are 22% under establishment.

    Each squadron should probably have an non-pilot Admin Offr (and maybe others) to free up pilots.




    The changes to the pensions probably hasn't helped, the pilot retention scheme is also gone.
    Last edited by DeV; 18th August 2014 at 12:17.

  17. #38
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    @Dev, every unit and subunit in the Don has no shortage of administration staff and throughout the DF, Privates/airmen, corporals and sergeants carry out routine admin that would carried out by secretaries, office administrators and office managers in civvy jobs. Pilots doing ground jobs are largely carrying out the ground portion of flight related jobs, such as being Flight safety officers or flight instructors dealing with the tuition of cadets and so on, but they have to share the usual routine stuff with everybody else, just like aircraft mechs doing Guard or doing a foreign tour. Because the Don does not operate like an airline, in the sense that an airline's beancounters will extract every second of the 900 flight hours per year, then Don pilot hours will vary considerably. The different aircraft generate different flight hours because of the varying mission types. At one stage in the 80s, the Cessnas were the busiest of them all and their pilots were getting 240 hrs per year, which was regarded as huge for a Donner.

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  19. #39
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    So not unrelated jobs

  20. #40
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    @Dev, they could have. It was quite common for a young pilot to have a pure ground job, as well. Kept them on the run the whole time. A guy could be a heli pilot by day and have a Mess or Admin function as his other job. If there was a big event on, like an airshow or a public gathering such as a reunion, a young officer would find himself detailed to do any kind of job that his bosses felt like giving him. An example that I saw at first hand was a young officer being detailed as a translator for the French Patrouille team, on the basis that he'd done French in school. He openly admitted that his French was shite but between us, we managed to cope with the French crews, many of whom spoke very good English anyway. It amused us that the best the Don could do was lob in a scared Louie, with poor French rather than ring the French Embassy or even Alliance Francaise and ask for help. In fact, it got well out of hand when the Swedish arrived but thankfully, most of them spoke excellent English. In short, the guy got stuck with a shit job, which was par for the course for young Officers....

  21. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
    @Dev, every unit and subunit in the Don has no shortage of administration staff and throughout the DF, Privates/airmen, corporals and sergeants carry out routine admin that would carried out by secretaries, office administrators and office managers in civvy jobs. Pilots doing ground jobs are largely carrying out the ground portion of flight related jobs, such as being Flight safety officers or flight instructors dealing with the tuition of cadets and so on, but they have to share the usual routine stuff with everybody else, just like aircraft mechs doing Guard or doing a foreign tour. Because the Don does not operate like an airline, in the sense that an airline's beancounters will extract every second of the 900 flight hours per year, then Don pilot hours will vary considerably. The different aircraft generate different flight hours because of the varying mission types. At one stage in the 80s, the Cessnas were the busiest of them all and their pilots were getting 240 hrs per year, which was regarded as huge for a Donner.
    You mentioned one of the only aviation related ground jobs that there is in being the flight safety officer. The rest of the ground jobs are largely unrelated. For Comdt's who are not Flying Sqd commanders they are employed in staff officer Jobs in ACHQ or as Sqd commanders in non flying units, and for Capt's they are employed in a variety of staff and admin jobs in the various sub units around the base. These jobs are their gazetted appointments and will take up a significant if not the majority of their time, flying will be a secondary role for most except those instructors in FTS and the guys flying the GS aircraft. All the other types of jobs mentioned such as being a Liaison Officer to a visiting crew will be done in addition to the normal job.

    The pilot body of the AC carry's out all the administration and staff roles that any normal similar sized unit would require and in addition they also fly, comparing it to an airline is unfair and also pointless but so is comparing it to larger air arms which have dedicated streams of Admin officers to carry out all those roles.
    Last edited by Charlie252; 19th August 2014 at 13:02.

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  23. #42
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    Well, the Don never lacked Admin officers and enlisted admin staff and I can name quite a few of them from memory and they did a huge amount of the thankless stuff and went largely unthanked for it. As mechs, we were glad they were there to do it because it saved us a huge lot of bother, such as the administration of leave/courses/sport/clothing/tools/spares and a million other things that we hated having to deal with. We slagged the shite out of them but good administrators were/are worth their weight in gold (and, conversely, bad ones were an absolute menace). As for piloting or spanner-wielding, how hard would it be if we had to do all that as well as our real jobs? As an aside, it is important to get home to outsiders that there is a huge amount of non-flying work related to being a pilot in the Don and it's the kind of thing that has to be mentioned to teenagers getting careers guidance. It's not all about flying (or fixing or shooting guns,etc,etc)

    regards
    GttC

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  25. #43
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    The point I'm making is it an efficient use of resources to have a pilot as say Sqn Adjt/Admin Offr?

    Would it be better to have a non-tech / non- pilot in the role?

    Or would the job require a pilot in it?

    I'm thinking free up pilots for rosters & currency training (see AAIU reports on currency not being maintained in some procedures), as well as saving flying allowances (on non-operational pilots)
    Last edited by DeV; 19th August 2014 at 17:45.

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  27. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    The point I'm making is it an efficient use of resources to have a pilot as say Sqn Adjt/Admin Offr?

    Would it be better to have a non-tech / non- pilot in the role?

    Or would the job require a pilot in it?

    I'm thinking free up pilots for rosters & currency training (see AAIU reports on currency not being maintained in some procedures), as well as saving flying allowances (on non-operational pilots)
    Agree, but the amount of flying available may be the limiting factor.

  28. #45
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    @dev, every unit has an Adjutant already and he is effectively the link between the CO and the men in his unit for admin/discipline/orders,etc,etc. If you divvied up the pilot's non-flying duties and gave them to everyone else, you'd have a mutiny on your hands. Everyone has to share the routine workload otherwise you'd end up treating one trade as special and damning the rest. I'll give you an example: Heli Flight techs were exempt from Guard duties as they used to serve on the Border, either in Finner or Monaghan, with the Alouettes. They also did what was known as "GP", ie, the guy in the back of an Alouette. Needless to say, this pissed off everyone else as what would have been Heli's share was picked up by everyone else. Also, there were other trades and persuasions that also managed to get themselves exempted from Guard duties, so the overall amount of people who did it was quite small. It got so that an airman or Corporal in the other hangars and subunits could end up doing a guard a week, which meant a loss of two days to the job (24 hours on, 24 off), which meant four a month, eight days lost per month. Productivity was appalling, as you can imagine. Eventually, the tide of complaints was such that the RSM compelled every airman and NCO, regardless of unit, trade, sporting proclivity or exemption to do a guard duty. That is, he spread the pain and people started to feel human again and actual aircraft productivity went up. It took about ten years for that to happen...which is why, everyone does the fun bits and the dull bits, to spread the load.

  29. #46
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Would the Adjt also be a pilot (who has to maintain currency (at a cost (not just financial but flying hours are limited so operational pilots (and aircraft) have more hours available to them).

    Adjt would be a full time job anyway (that Offr shouldn't have time for flying) as would say being a recruit platoon commander, but being on a Captain GoH could be 1-2 hours a day for 2 weeks (or whatever), same with Int Offr (a few hours a week) or Mess Treasurer.

    Why?
    Pilots available for rostering 24/7
    Very expensively trained resources
    More available in order to log more hours & maintain currency in all procedures

    Maybe the maintainers could be doing 24/7 duties in the hangers to get aircraft out of routine maintenance quicker (especially the longer maintenance).

    But point taken on duties, everyone should do their share.

  30. #47
    BQMS Meatbomb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post

    Maybe the maintainers could be doing 24/7 duties in the hangers to get aircraft out of routine maintenance quicker (especially the longer maintenance).
    Would make a massive difference and be far more efficient.
    24/7 maintenance is the norm now for all large commercial operators. There would be massive resistance to this from within though.

  31. #48
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    Dev, the Adjutant would be a non-pilot and a large barracks or camp might have a Camp Adjutant, to whom Unit Adjs report. To use a political metaphor, he'd be the Chief Whip, acting as guard dog to the Taoiseach and keeping the troops in line. He'd have a Military role as a Company or Platoon Commander and an admin role as organiser in chief. No event in a barracks would happen, be it military such as range practise or administrative like preparing for a GoH, unless it passed across his desk and he allocated manpower in discussion with the relevant unit heads. Now, a pilot could function as an Adjutant on a ground tour, such as if he, in the Don, was doing a rotation through the Recruit Training Depot or the Apprentice School. It's quite a pivotal position because it suits those who love moving and shaking and acting indispensable and being managerial. The Adj tends to know everyone and also knows where the bodies are buried.
    With regard to shifts for techs, it has happened in the Don but not in the scale practised in other air arms. The whole tech side underwent a radical overhaul in the last 20 years, to an extent practically unrecognisable to my generation of the 80s/90s. Being on shifts is normal because the changes in the fleet, such as the adoption of the Casas demanded it and the need for a 24/7 routine for helicopters. The Don learned a lot from the operation of the Garda helis, as well as from the need for 24/7 air ambulance and so on. It's not quite on a par with civil aircraft engineering in airlines or the kind of operation practised in the RAF and USAF, who have had shifts in aircraft engineering since the 1950s and who make extensive use of civil contractors such as Marshalls or BAe, but it's getting more and more like it as time passes. It's a hell of a lot better than it was, as the older breed fade out and a lot of the entrenched ideas die out.

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  33. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
    Dev, the Adjutant would be a non-pilot and a large barracks or camp might have a Camp Adjutant, to whom Unit Adjs report. To use a political metaphor, he'd be the Chief Whip, acting as guard dog to the Taoiseach and keeping the troops in line. He'd have a Military role as a Company or Platoon Commander and an admin role as organiser in chief. No event in a barracks would happen, be it military such as range practise or administrative like preparing for a GoH, unless it passed across his desk and he allocated manpower in discussion with the relevant unit heads. Now, a pilot could function as an Adjutant on a ground tour, such as if he, in the Don, was doing a rotation through the Recruit Training Depot or the Apprentice School. It's quite a pivotal position because it suits those who love moving and shaking and acting indispensable and being managerial. The Adj tends to know everyone and also knows where the bodies are buried.
    With regard to shifts for techs, it has happened in the Don but not in the scale practised in other air arms. The whole tech side underwent a radical overhaul in the last 20 years, to an extent practically unrecognisable to my generation of the 80s/90s. Being on shifts is normal because the changes in the fleet, such as the adoption of the Casas demanded it and the need for a 24/7 routine for helicopters. The Don learned a lot from the operation of the Garda helis, as well as from the need for 24/7 air ambulance and so on. It's not quite on a par with civil aircraft engineering in airlines or the kind of operation practised in the RAF and USAF, who have had shifts in aircraft engineering since the 1950s and who make extensive use of civil contractors such as Marshalls or BAe, but it's getting more and more like it as time passes. It's a hell of a lot better than it was, as the older breed fade out and a lot of the entrenched ideas die out.
    The adjutant in the flying wings is a pilot officer, it is not considered a "ground tour" such a term really doesn't exist in the AC and in the Adjutant would typically also be a sqdn pilot trying to fit his flying duties around his office job. Pilot Officers would also be the adjutant in non flying units and again trying to fit there flying into their schedule. Depending on which aircraft type the pilot was on and how over strength the AC may be pilot wise on that aircraft may make a position such as a staff officer a non-flying appointment but only by virtue of the fact that the flying duties are well covered by the remainder of the typed pilots. The next Pilot to hold that same appointment may be more in demand on the flying side and therefore continue to fly. Their have even been cases of a Sqdn Commander in a Heli Sqdn who's flying is on the CASA, or OC FTS who was a Lear Pilot.

    In reality there are no hard and fast rules and the Pilots are moved around and utilised as the AC see's fit, they then try and keep their flying career on track as best they can. Typically Pilots who are commanders on the CASA, G-IV or Lear can be posted anywhere and still maintain there flying status for others with lesser experience or where there are abundance of type qualified pilots it can be very different.

  34. #50
    CQMS spider's Avatar
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    Sorry to interject in a discussion which I am absolutely not qualified to comment on.

    But...was this 'double hatting' not an issue which arose in the aftermath of the PC-9 accident?

    That the OC of the Squadron involved was also a pilot on the Government Jet...and in fact wasn't himself qualified to fly the aircraft type he was on paper commanding?

    Page 33 ff http://www.aaiu.ie/sites/default/fil...2011_016-0.PDF

    So why not have clearly defined flying / 'Staff' tours?

    EG a helicopter pilot serves a tour flying...then administering...before returning to flying in a more senior position etc etc

    How many pilots does the Irish Air Corps need to meet its daily obligation's?

    How hard would it be for non operational pilots to remain current?
    'History is a vast early warning system'. Norman Cousins

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