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  1. #1
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    Contracted Heli Training

    Would there be any merit in the AC considering a similiar type of arrangement which would free up experienced pilots & techs to ensure the operational fleet is so.

    http://helihub.com/2017/03/17/motorf...th-jetrangers/

  2. #2
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Except it would it would be used as an excuse to get rid of the EC135s and more importantly the pilots and techs

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    Except it would it would be used as an excuse to get rid of the EC135s and more importantly the pilots and techs
    The article states the Germans found EC135 "to have been too complex for ab initio pilots", surely their experience isn't unique? With a grand fleet of two, it would seem sensible to try and preserve them - and they do have a role beyond training as any of the ARW ex videos illustrate.

    From memory the AC does send trainees abroad to complete sim training before tackling the EC135.

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    The EC135 was required by the Air Corps after a serious incident involving the GASU heli (Then a twin engine squirrel), when pilot training was considered a contributing factor. One of the main recommendations was that the Air Corps pilots needed other similar type to train on when not flying the operational GASU aircraft. (At the time AC pilot kept current on the GASU aircraft only when it was available, and otherwise flew the Gazelle or Alouette, (Both single engined) when the only other twin engined aircraft in use was the Dauphin, then wholly committed to SAR duties.
    When GASU switched to the EC135, it followed that the AC would also purchase the type for training. While the engines are different, from the front office, both types are identical.
    Well, there's good news and bad news. The bad news is that Neil will be taking over both branches, and some of you will lose your jobs. Those of you who are kept on will have to relocate to Swindon, if you wanna stay. I know, gutting. On a more positive note, the good news is, I've been promoted, so... every cloud. You're still thinking about the bad news aren't you?

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  6. #5
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    Ich habe gar nicht gehört das die EC135 zu komplex war. Die heeresflieger sind sehr zu Frieden mit die EC135.

    Sorry, the German Army and Navy are more than happy with the EC135. It has been the main training helicopter for years. The BO105 were being used for attack helicopter training, to prepare pilots for the Tiger.

    Contracts with service providers are normal as gap fillers, where the Heeresflieger does not have enough capacity .
    Last edited by EUFighter; 19th March 2017 at 01:18.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pym View Post
    The article states the Germans found EC135 "to have been too complex for ab initio pilots", surely their experience isn't unique?
    it would appear it is unique

    With a grand fleet of two, it would seem sensible to try and preserve them - and they do have a role beyond training as any of the ARW ex videos illustrate.
    You'd think so

    From memory the AC does send trainees abroad to complete sim training before tackling the EC135.
    which would be normal because flight hours are expensive and they don't have their own sim

  8. #7
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    The nearest RAF unit equivalent to the Ac is 84 Sqn which is an SAR unit based in Cyprus doing ATCA/ATCP ops with Griffins which are leased in with maintenance supplied by contractors with RAF flight and mgt crews. We are told of chronic shortages of personnel in the AC which act as a glass ceiling to ops as recently unfolded.
    There is little point in acquiring aircraft that cannot be used when needed.
    Is it time to sub out some training and maintenance aspects to allow usable resources to be concentrated on ops.

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  10. #8
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    Over here the majority of our rotary wing instruction is contracted out as is a lot of the maintenance. Most of the FI's are retired or exer's contracted on as civvie instructors, and incidentally so are the majority of the SERE School staff, nearly 90% contract.

    US Initial Entry Rotary Wing (IERW) training is transitioning to the EC 145 (or Lakota as the Army calls it). The overwhelming majority of the pilots I know describe this as a giant leap backwards due to the complexity of the aircraft. Most of them make a very strong case for IERW to continue in the Bell Jet Ranger ( or the TH-67 Creek) as a means to learning the basics in a simple aircraft before graduating to more complex machines. As a non-pilot that makes sense to me, but the Army has decided otherwise.

    Either way, at Ft. Rucker, the overwhelming majority of the flight, maintenance and maintenance training is contracted out. It preserves Army pilots for Army flying and can be expanded or contracted as needs arise. And, yes, it's a 24/7 contract.

    I submit the IAC could do same for the reasons above, keep IAC pilots flying missions, techs keeping operational birds in the air and have the civvies do the training. More cost effective & better use of personnel.
    A

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    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by irishrgr View Post
    Over here the majority of our rotary wing instruction is contracted out as is a lot of the maintenance. Most of the FI's are retired or exer's contracted on as civvie instructors, and incidentally so are the majority of the SERE School staff, nearly 90% contract.

    US Initial Entry Rotary Wing (IERW) training is transitioning to the EC 145 (or Lakota as the Army calls it). The overwhelming majority of the pilots I know describe this as a giant leap backwards due to the complexity of the aircraft. Most of them make a very strong case for IERW to continue in the Bell Jet Ranger ( or the TH-67 Creek) as a means to learning the basics in a simple aircraft before graduating to more complex machines. As a non-pilot that makes sense to me, but the Army has decided otherwise.

    Either way, at Ft. Rucker, the overwhelming majority of the flight, maintenance and maintenance training is contracted out. It preserves Army pilots for Army flying and can be expanded or contracted as needs arise. And, yes, it's a 24/7 contract.

    I submit the IAC could do same for the reasons above, keep IAC pilots flying missions, techs keeping operational birds in the air and have the civvies do the training. More cost effective & better use of personnel.
    A
    More pilots would leave to take up those better paid posts

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    A problem that will exist regardless of the contracting out of AC training.

    Seems to me near future budgets must concentrate on attracting and keeping skills in the AC (and the rest of the DF) then expanding later.
    Bottom line, unless defence spending is at least doubled over the next very few years, there won't be a DF to maintain.
    Last edited by expat01; 23rd March 2017 at 10:21.

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    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by expat01 View Post
    A problem that will exist regardless of the contracting out of AC training.
    Disagree, even if the instructor slot was the exact same pay, the contractor would have much better terms & conditions

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    Quote Originally Posted by expat01 View Post
    A problem that will exist regardless of the contracting out of AC training.

    Seems to me near future budgets must concentrate on attracting and keeping skills in the AC (and the rest of the DF) then expanding later.
    Bottom line, unless defence spending is at least doubled over the next very few years, there won't be a DF to maintain.
    I'm afraid that to a large degree, this argument is looking at the wrong problem.

    The current, and projected, roles of the AC mean that aircrew will do nothing that civilian aircrew on better T&C's, regardless of the pay issue, will do.

    The AC is merely one civil contractor competing for employees in a world of other civil contractors offering a better deal. Unsurprisingly it fails to compete...

    The USP of a military air arm is that you get to do really cool stuff in really dangerous places, you get to fly in a way that you'd never get to fly by getting a job flying race horse owners around.

    The AC's problem is not the pay not meeting the civil level, it's that the job matches the civil job, but with crap pay and crap conditions.

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  17. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ropebag View Post

    The AC's problem is not the pay not meeting the civil level, it's that the job matches the civil job, but with crap pay and crap conditions.
    Unintentional contradiction there?

    Still seems that the answer is either cool toys in a cool playground, or keep the same few toys but pay your staff above contractor rates.
    Because failing a massive glut of pilots on the market, the end result of what is described is either no air corps or you're left with the people nobody else wants.
    Last edited by expat01; 23rd March 2017 at 13:08.

  18. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by expat01 View Post
    Unintentional contradiction there?..
    Not really, good people will do a challenging, difficult, exciting job even if the money is less than they'd be getting elsewhere doing a much less challenging, much more vanilla job. What they won't do is a vanilla job with rubbish T&C's when they could do a vanilla job with much better T&C's by walking over the road.

    The rest of your point i agree with...

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  20. #15
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    Its true. I once traned with a Man who was current on aircraft types the Air Corps were only then hoping to have, having worked his way from PPL up to flying those racehorse owners around europe in an AW 139 at the age of 30, for twice the money he would get flying ministers around in a green painted aircraft of the same type. He also still had time for the Reserve defence force at the end of it.

    The Problem (one of) with the current Air Corps system, is most of its inventory is to train pilots to a level they could easily reach with a civilian operation, and nothing beyond that, except far lower pay.
    Well, there's good news and bad news. The bad news is that Neil will be taking over both branches, and some of you will lose your jobs. Those of you who are kept on will have to relocate to Swindon, if you wanna stay. I know, gutting. On a more positive note, the good news is, I've been promoted, so... every cloud. You're still thinking about the bad news aren't you?

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  22. #16
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    Don't be under the illusion that AC pay is bad for pilots; it's not. You are not comparing like for like, in the first place. There is no Don pilot that will achieve his civvie equivalent of 900 flight hrs per year and compared to a civvy pilot, he pays for nothing; no paying for licensing/medical/recurrency training/car parking/uniform/HOTAC like low-cost airline pilots do. Pilots are among the best paid of all DF officers, much to the jealousy of ordinary line officers and a lot of airline pay is poor for pilots. A huge amount of civil pilots are in debt up to their oxters to pay for their training and type ratings, so it certainly is no bed of roses for civvie pilots. As an example, a friend who is a senior captain with a very well known low-cost airline had to pay for his conversion from the older model of 737 to the newer, a decade ago. Eu25 large, please. That or the dole. Later, he was asked if he'd like to become a Training Captain, as that airline was critically short of them. Initially he agreed, until he was told that he'd not be paid for this new responsibility and that he'd be pulled in on his days off, as required, to do this new duty, for no extra remun. Naturally, he declined and got a mouthful of abuse for declining. So, Ts and Cs may appear to be rosy outside but it's not always so and it suits some AC pilots to sit inside, getting everything paid for, whilst threatening to join the ranks of the departed...

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    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Would the 22 pilots who used to get the pilot retention scheme payment (average over €27,000 each) agree?

  25. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    Would the 22 pilots who used to get the pilot retention scheme payment (average over €27,000 each) agree?
    With what?

    Ooh, I'm getting a message from the spirit world, they're very clear tonight - is there someone here called 'D...' De....' 'Dear ****ing God can you learn to converse rather than just broadcast?'

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    Its beginning to sound like that the AC, in its current incarnation, is a failed institution.

  28. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by danno View Post
    Its beginning to sound like that the AC, in its current incarnation, is a failed institution.
    They were not tasked with providing the Coast Guard with a ready to go top cover.
    If they were I am sure one would be sitting ready to go. But no doubt something else would have being pared back in order to provide it.

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  30. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by danno View Post
    Its beginning to sound like that the AC, in its current incarnation, is a failed institution.
    Being fair to the AC, i think the model is designed to fail. That said, the kind of attitudes many on here report from their experience with the AC have done them no favours whatsoever.

    The image that comes across is of - unlike the NS and Army - a can't do' organisation...

  31. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ropebag View Post
    With what?

    Ooh, I'm getting a message from the spirit world, they're very clear tonight - is there someone here called 'D...' De....' 'Dear ****ing God can you learn to converse rather than just broadcast?'
    That AC pay is bad.

    If that's what was keeping pilots in getting rid of it is hardly likely to retain people

  32. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by sofa View Post
    They were not tasked with providing the Coast Guard with a ready to go top cover.
    If they were I am sure one would be sitting ready to go.........
    I appreciate that and have so posted. Have the fixed wings gone beyond the AC's ability to operate same and perhaps confining it to rotary units (no need for ATC) would be a sounder structure.

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  34. #24
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    The original pilot retention scheme was based on a threat, ie, if you don't pay us more, we'll leave, which pissed off the DF and DoD no end and it didn't apply to techs, who found in 1988, when Qantas came called for Irish techs, that the DoD raised the buy-out cost from 1200 quid to 5000 over night (which was probably illegal) but still people left in droves, as they had had enough bullshit to last them a lifetime. Also, some of the alleged pilots were trying it on, as a few of them were full-time desk jockeys, who flew 1 hr a year to stay in receipt of flight pay. ATCos jumped on the bandwagon when they saw their mess mates getting offered tasty sums to stay.They were staying anyway, but claimed they'd leave....if the AC cannot put up a 24/7/365 Casa, that is down solely to the DoD, who will not put up the funds. It takes a great deal of money to put up and sustain a 24 hr operation; just ask any airline or any airport operator. You need manpower, 24-hr access to spares, 24-hr access to ATC and fire cover and you need standby people to cover sickleave and annual leave. The AC needs to play it's part by proper utilisation of manpower. If you give a guy a course on the Casa, then he or she needs to commit to a 3-yr tour on the aircraft to justify the cost of training. You also need to get rid of Army style NCOs courses, so that it doesnt take 16 weeks to become a corporal trench digger or grenade thrower, to operate a camera in the back of a Casa. If you want, as an organisation, to take on the job, then you have to adapt and dump any wasteful Army and AC practises, such as the ancient 9 to half four mindset and engage fully in a 24/7/365 system. Otherwise, hand it over to civvies...

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  36. #25
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
    The original pilot retention scheme was based on a threat, ie, if you don't pay us more, we'll leave, which pissed off the DF and DoD no end and it didn't apply to techs, who found in 1988, when Qantas came called for Irish techs, that the DoD raised the buy-out cost from 1200 quid to 5000 over night (which was probably illegal) but still people left in droves, as they had had enough bullshit to last them a lifetime. Also, some of the alleged pilots were trying it on, as a few of them were full-time desk jockeys, who flew 1 hr a year to stay in receipt of flight pay. ATCos jumped on the bandwagon when they saw their mess mates getting offered tasty sums to stay.They were staying anyway, but claimed they'd leave....if the AC cannot put up a 24/7/365 Casa, that is down solely to the DoD, who will not put up the funds. It takes a great deal of money to put up and sustain a 24 hr operation; just ask any airline or any airport operator. You need manpower, 24-hr access to spares, 24-hr access to ATC and fire cover and you need standby people to cover sickleave and annual leave. The AC needs to play it's part by proper utilisation of manpower. If you give a guy a course on the Casa, then he or she needs to commit to a 3-yr tour on the aircraft to justify the cost of training. You also need to get rid of Army style NCOs courses, so that it doesnt take 16 weeks to become a corporal trench digger or grenade thrower, to operate a camera in the back of a Casa. If you want, as an organisation, to take on the job, then you have to adapt and dump any wasteful Army and AC practises, such as the ancient 9 to half four mindset and engage fully in a 24/7/365 system. Otherwise, hand it over to civvies...
    The establishment would also need to reflect a 24/7 operation.

    Equally so with officers

    Most career courses are obviously geared towards the army, you could argue that it is desirable for AC personnel to complete army courses but there are also issues that realistically due to the amount of resources required it is not desirable to run a career course for less than 15 students.

    The AC would probably have sufficient numbers to run their own PNCO (ie not army) syllabus, an AC Std NCO Cse every 2-3 years and maybe possibly a SNCO Cse every 3-4 years. But then if you want promotion and can't get the course.....

    On the officers side, you could run an AC YOs Cse, but realistically it would not be viable to run AC JC&S or SC&S Cses. It would probably take a lot of modularisation of the DF C&S Cse syllabii to suit the AC officers completing specific modules.

    If that's the case your looking at completing these courses overseas

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