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  1. #1201
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    Some cadets were kept on and retreaded as ATC candidates;others went straight to the Army. It wasn't about getting the message, it was about utility. A failed cadet was effectively a fish out of water and had to be found somewhere to fit into and in some cases, they were used as errand boys on doing the mundane shite until something better came up. They were usually slid sideways as soon as possible.

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  3. #1202
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    Many of the army line officers who transfer to the Air Corps do so because they are sick of going overseas of being transferred to the other side of the country when they return. That's the only reason.

    I don't blame them however.

    There has been a serious increase in the number of wings course failures since the course has been ran as a young officer course and not a cadet course. To me, it is indicative of officers just being happy being commissioned, anything else is a bonus. There is a plethora of line 2Lts & Lts in baldonnel, much more than the establishment allows for.

    What is worrying about that abinitio training in the US is that the provider has no incentive to cut a student if they arent up to a certain standard. As a customer the AC (DoD) pays a price for a product (a qualified pilot) and they'll only be able to assess the end product once they return to Baldonnel.

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  5. #1203
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck View Post
    What is worrying about that abinitio training in the US is that the provider has no incentive to cut a student if they arent up to a certain standard. As a customer the AC (DoD) pays a price for a product (a qualified pilot) and they'll only be able to assess the end product once they return to Baldonnel.
    Both the US Army and the RAAF are professional who are intent on having a good relationship with us. They are just as likely of not more likely to wash someone out as we would. Training foreign pilots relies on the training nation having a good reputation, sending rubbish back home will not maintain that. Do we send half trained officers back to Malta?

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  7. #1204
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    Quote Originally Posted by EUFighter View Post
    Both the US Army and the RAAF are professional who are intent on having a good relationship with us. They are just as likely of not more likely to wash someone out as we would. Training foreign pilots relies on the training nation having a good reputation, sending rubbish back home will not maintain that. Do we send half trained officers back to Malta?
    The two pilots in Australia are not abinitio, they are both fully qualified pilots in multi engine aircraft. Not comparable.

    Once you monetize anything, it muddies the water. The customer wants a completed product, and the "manufacturer" wants to avoid losing any possible future business.

    As to your last question. Passing a cadet course is not difficult. A flying course is an entirely different ball game, and the numbers reflect that.

    Any officer that commissions and returns to Malta achieves the same pass mark as Irish officers. I'm sure some excellent officers have returned to Malta along with some really poor ones. But all met the same standard.

    Although I see where you are coming from its not really possible to draw companions between Cadet School training and sending officers abroad to do abinitio training in the US.

    Maybe they will all return and be excellent pilots and more power to them if they do. I have my doubts though and when the organization has been crying about a "pilot shortage" for the best part of a decade, it can be very easy to allow things to slip through the net to massage the numbers. As with all things in the Defense Forces, there is a senior officer somewhere who is banking on this being a successful and hopefully get promoted off the back of it. Solving the "pilot shortage" will mightily impress the civvies on the interview board.

    It will be interesting go see whether they are winged in the US or whether they will have to do any consolidation in Ireland before receiving their wings.

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  9. #1205
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    I had a instructor who worked for one of the screening companies, flying the T-67-M200, which didn't last long in US service. For American candidates, the system was very regimented and a lot of the screening /training was very traditional "West Point" kind of stuff. It's probably old hat now but it was based on the induction procedure for the various Military services, where candidates are hustled everywhere, expected to memorise absolutely everything and act as if they are in Boot Camp. This was used as a basic filtration system. Every aspect of their educational/sporting/school/recreational lives were minutely examined and testing was continuous and candidates were given a kind of "three strikes and you're out" survival system. Missing a Memory item on a checklist three times, on any checklist, got you a "review", which was about two heartbeats from being chopped and they were relentless and ruthless. Even though many of the candidates had previous flight training and many had PPLs, that was no guarantee of success. It was also designed to be independent and not subject to outside interference and was subject to the Air Force's constant review. It was designed to reduce the future "chop" rate of cadets,as the in-service failure rate was costing a fortune. Bear in mind that the US Armed Forces have used civilian screening since before WW 2 so they must be happy with the outcome. Also, the way their current fleet is changing and evolving, means that there are pilot and aircrew shortages for some categories and a shortage of airframes for others.

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  11. #1206
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    I can cast some degree of light on this. Foreign students at US military schools ae generally treated the same as the rest of the US students as far as the subject material goes. IE they have to meet the same standards for tests, exams, etc. Foreign students may be given additional testing to help them when struggling, this typically applies for language barriers with students who are non native English speakers. However, despite the urban legend of "foreign student XXX failed the course & was executed upon returning home", they are not carried across the line. Will they get plenty of encouragement, yes, but freebie, no. Foreign students are managed the same as the American ones. They'll do PT, ranges, fitness with their fellow classmates. If passing the US fitness test is a course requirement, they they'll do that too. Interestingly, in addition to graduation certificates, they'll be awarded the US Army basic pilot badge. That should be an interesting "foreign badge discussion" :-)

    All the schools have a foreign military detachment who handle this sort of thing administratively, make coordinations with home military, sort out things like leave/passes and admin issues. These are some of the most patient & understanding NCO's in the Army and a few Irish LT's would be a welcome break from dealing with limited English speaking students who see this as a holiday, not a school. The Egyptian officer in my course was incensed he had to get up early & run, made all sorts of complaints to the school. It went to the embassy in DC, he was basically told "stop embarrassing us you twat, and get on with it". The later arrest by the local police dept. for solicitating a prostitute was a little trickier I'm sure but we never saw him again. The other lads were grand, just got on with it, still in touch with one of them actually.

    The cost of the school, is what it costs to train a US pilot. It's all the flight hours, fuel, lodging, food, and even a breakdown of instructor cost, busses to the flightline, loan of kit, etc. Everything, by US law has to be accounted for. The salaries & allowances are a matter for the sending nation. The basic airframe at "mother Rucker" is the EC-145, they'll get that license, day/night/hoist certifications on it just like the Americans. US pilots, then are streamed to a conversion course based on type after finishing IERW (initial Entry Rotary Wing). Prior to starting IERW, US pilots have to graduate the dunker/swim course and SERE, (all hosted at Rucker), so the Irish gang might have had that pleasure too :-)

    As far as a "business case" for the US, foreign students are cost neutral, by law the military can't make a profit, only cover costs. Foreign students are admitted to schools based on a US need to foster a relationship with the sending nation, be it tied to a strategic relationship (think all the NATO countries), foreign military sales (F-35's for example) or a desire to build/maintain goodwill. I would imagine Ireland falls in the "goodwill' category as other than Javelins, Ireland doesn't buy much from the US. New approvals take time, has to go through Dept of State & Dept of Defense at the highest level & it takes time.

    Fort Rucker is in rural Alabama, bit of a shitehole TBH, outside the usual tattoo shops, dodgy bars & pawn shops, it's hours from anywhere nice, and even then we're talking Montgomery, AL, noting to write home about. Upside is, keeps you focused on flying, downside is weekends will get tedious. It's generally a 9 month course, and majority of instructors are contractors, with a few officers & warrants thrown in for good measure.

  12. #1207
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    Thank you for the informed response Irishrgr.

  13. #1208
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck View Post
    The two pilots in Australia are not abinitio, they are both fully qualified pilots in multi engine aircraft. Not comparable.

    Once you monetize anything, it muddies the water. The customer wants a completed product, and the "manufacturer" wants to avoid losing any possible future business.

    As to your last question. Passing a cadet course is not difficult. A flying course is an entirely different ball game, and the numbers reflect that.

    Any officer that commissions and returns to Malta achieves the same pass mark as Irish officers. I'm sure some excellent officers have returned to Malta along with some really poor ones. But all met the same standard.

    Although I see where you are coming from its not really possible to draw companions between Cadet School training and sending officers abroad to do abinitio training in the US.

    Maybe they will all return and be excellent pilots and more power to them if they do. I have my doubts though and when the organization has been crying about a "pilot shortage" for the best part of a decade, it can be very easy to allow things to slip through the net to massage the numbers. As with all things in the Defense Forces, there is a senior officer somewhere who is banking on this being a successful and hopefully get promoted off the back of it. Solving the "pilot shortage" will mightily impress the civvies on the interview board.

    It will be interesting go see whether they are winged in the US or whether they will have to do any consolidation in Ireland before receiving their wings.
    Try 3 decades

  14. #1209
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    Quote Originally Posted by na grohmiti View Post
    While the details were in the public domain, the scale and reasoning was not. From a rotary wing perspective, it looks as if the Air Corps is no longer self-sufficient. For a supposedly neutral country that is a bad move, and big decisions need to be made quickly, before the blue uniform becomes an extinct species.
    While life on civvy street may not be all rosy in the garden, those who make the transition are probably happy to take the pay cut, for the work/life balance that a civvy job brings. Mate of mine still laughs when he tells of when he left the NS as a techie(spark, but with IT) going to a civvy job when he was sent on training courses where he didn't have to share a room with 10 others, and when the course overran and he missed connecting trains and had to get taxis he wasn't out of pocket, and didn't get a bollicking from the boss for letting something that was beyond his control happen. He did enjoy, 2 weeks after starting his new job, getting a phonecall from the Orderly room telling him he was on a GoH the following week, and the audible confusion from the other end when he told them he would have to clear it with his boss first.
    The DF, as an organisation, treats it's people very poorly. Not as a matter of policy, but because of the number of people who have shit days, passing the shit on to those below. Pay is just the final straw. Fix that first, then fix the rest.
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  15. #1210
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    Quote Originally Posted by irishrgr View Post
    I can cast some degree of light on this. Foreign students at US military schools ae generally treated the same as the rest of the US students as far as the subject material goes. IE they have to meet the same standards for tests, exams, etc. Foreign students may be given additional testing to help them when struggling, this typically applies for language barriers with students who are non native English speakers. However, despite the urban legend of "foreign student XXX failed the course & was executed upon returning home", they are not carried across the line. Will they get plenty of encouragement, yes, but freebie, no. Foreign students are managed the same as the American ones. They'll do PT, ranges, fitness with their fellow classmates. If passing the US fitness test is a course requirement, they they'll do that too. Interestingly, in addition to graduation certificates, they'll be awarded the US Army basic pilot badge. That should be an interesting "foreign badge discussion" :-)

    All the schools have a foreign military detachment who handle this sort of thing administratively, make coordinations with home military, sort out things like leave/passes and admin issues. These are some of the most patient & understanding NCO's in the Army and a few Irish LT's would be a welcome break from dealing with limited English speaking students who see this as a holiday, not a school. The Egyptian officer in my course was incensed he had to get up early & run, made all sorts of complaints to the school. It went to the embassy in DC, he was basically told "stop embarrassing us you twat, and get on with it". The later arrest by the local police dept. for solicitating a prostitute was a little trickier I'm sure but we never saw him again. The other lads were grand, just got on with it, still in touch with one of them actually.

    The cost of the school, is what it costs to train a US pilot. It's all the flight hours, fuel, lodging, food, and even a breakdown of instructor cost, busses to the flightline, loan of kit, etc. Everything, by US law has to be accounted for. The salaries & allowances are a matter for the sending nation. The basic airframe at "mother Rucker" is the EC-145, they'll get that license, day/night/hoist certifications on it just like the Americans. US pilots, then are streamed to a conversion course based on type after finishing IERW (initial Entry Rotary Wing). Prior to starting IERW, US pilots have to graduate the dunker/swim course and SERE, (all hosted at Rucker), so the Irish gang might have had that pleasure too :-)

    As far as a "business case" for the US, foreign students are cost neutral, by law the military can't make a profit, only cover costs. Foreign students are admitted to schools based on a US need to foster a relationship with the sending nation, be it tied to a strategic relationship (think all the NATO countries), foreign military sales (F-35's for example) or a desire to build/maintain goodwill. I would imagine Ireland falls in the "goodwill' category as other than Javelins, Ireland doesn't buy much from the US. New approvals take time, has to go through Dept of State & Dept of Defense at the highest level & it takes time.

    Fort Rucker is in rural Alabama, bit of a shitehole TBH, outside the usual tattoo shops, dodgy bars & pawn shops, it's hours from anywhere nice, and even then we're talking Montgomery, AL, noting to write home about. Upside is, keeps you focused on flying, downside is weekends will get tedious. It's generally a 9 month course, and majority of instructors are contractors, with a few officers & warrants thrown in for good measure.
    Excellent post

    Would expect no less that foreign students have to meet the same standards as domestic students
    RE: dunker course, I think there is a dunker in NMCI in Cork, which the Air Corps pilots and crews have to complete? Someone in the know can confirm this one
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  17. #1211
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    It is geared more for the Offshore industry, but is available for their use. Any aircrew who routinely operate in small aircraft over water should do it.
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  19. #1212
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    Quote Originally Posted by na grohmiti View Post
    It is geared more for the Offshore industry, but is available for their use. Any aircrew who routinely operate in small aircraft over water should do it.
    I heartily agree. I've flown over water many times and the prospect of ditching in the Irish Sea or the Atlantic is not to be taken lightly. Any time I fly over water, we go through the emergency drills before we take off. Trying to get out of a Cessna or a Cherokee in the sea would not be easy.

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  21. #1213
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
    I heartily agree. I've flown over water many times and the prospect of ditching in the Irish Sea or the Atlantic is not to be taken lightly. Any time I fly over water, we go through the emergency drills before we take off. Trying to get out of a Cessna or a Cherokee in the sea would not be easy.
    Heli's being top heavy presents an extra complexity. Hard enough to get out of the back seat in a C172 in normal conditions.
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  23. #1214
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    Quote Originally Posted by Truck Driver View Post
    Excellent post

    Would expect no less that foreign students have to meet the same standards as domestic students
    RE: dunker course, I think there is a dunker in NMCI in Cork, which the Air Corps pilots and crews have to complete? Someone in the know can confirm this one
    All FW and RW pilots and aircrew complete dunker training on a periodic basis.

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  25. #1215
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    The Full FOI documents, as mentioned in the article above can be found at https://www.thestory.ie/2021/01/05/d...-and-security/
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  27. #1216
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    Just glancing over the document, I have a question. If ab-initio heli training is to be done in the US, does this mean RW candidates will no longer do Wings course on PC9M? Surely starting on helis when you are going to stay on helis makes more sense in the current situation?
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  28. #1217
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    Quote Originally Posted by na grohmiti View Post
    Just glancing over the document, I have a question. If ab-initio heli training is to be done in the US, does this mean RW candidates will no longer do Wings course on PC9M? Surely starting on helis when you are going to stay on helis makes more sense in the current situation?
    Appears to be RW focused so I assume that they have sufficient FW instructors

  29. #1218
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    Quote Originally Posted by na grohmiti View Post
    Just glancing over the document, I have a question. If ab-initio heli training is to be done in the US, does this mean RW candidates will no longer do Wings course on PC9M? Surely starting on helis when you are going to stay on helis makes more sense in the current situation?
    The current officers undertaking helicopter training in the US are qualified pilots who have completed a wings course on the PC-9.

    Historically all students were stranded FW or RW after passing a FW based wings course. I don't believe there is any intention to change this at the moment. But I do agree with you.

    To be clear. As of today, there is no FW/abinitio officers training in the US. The article is wrong.
    Last edited by Chuck; 6th January 2021 at 02:07.

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  31. #1219
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    Even if we do not have any ab-intro pilots at Rucker the price is a fantastic deal, 4 for €850,000, that is hard to beat.

    So rather than everyone focusing on that they should be focusing on why the AC system is failing (other than pay etc). Do we really need to have RW pilots first qualify as FW, yes it is currently the requirement but should that remain so? What other nations do the same? The Yanks don't, neither do the Brits. That is where the debate should be especially as if the AC as to do more EAS/SAR etc it is RW pilots it needs, and as many as quickly as possible.

    Just out of interest, if anyone does know which other EU nations that first requires their RW pilots to first qualify on FW, I would be interested.

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    Looking at it from my uneducated eye, there would presumably be lots of transferable skills that would make the RW training easier and quicker if FW qualified first. Also, with smaller air arms like the AC, I would guess that there would be far greater flexibility if everyone could fly fixed-wing. It’s not like all the AC pilots are being trained on fast jets AND Rotary.
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    Every potential pilot has to be screened and that's what initial fixed wing training is about. It also includes instrument flight training, which is the same regardless of FW or RW. Remember,it's the vacancies downstream that determine the amount of people sent for RW or more FW. Unfortunately, both streams need gaps filled so cadets will be streamed as early as possible. Anyone going overseas will be very carefully filtered before they leave the country. The last thing the Don wants is some guy/girl coming back and wanting out early or failing to deliver. I'll bet any candidate for overseas will be given a few laps of the parish to see if they can actually "do" rotary. You'd be surprised how many people, otherwise capable of flying an aeroplane, are not fundamentally suited to RW,especially military RW. I recall going up in a four seat heli, as a pax, with a very experienced FW guy being given a go up front and he was quite unnerved by the whole thing. He hated being airborne at such slow speed and hovering really threw him and the inherent vibration was the final nail on the head.

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  35. #1222
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    AAC Pilots in the UK (after Sandhurst) commence pilot training on the Airbus H135 Juno, before moving on to Wildcat or Apache. RAF, RN and AAC pilots all train on RAF Junos (some move on to H145 Jupiter if going mountain flying or ASW). It would be ideal if we were able to stream into this training school.
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  37. #1223
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
    Every potential pilot has to be screened and that's what initial fixed wing training is about. It also includes instrument flight training, which is the same regardless of FW or RW. Remember,it's the vacancies downstream that determine the amount of people sent for RW or more FW. Unfortunately, both streams need gaps filled so cadets will be streamed as early as possible. Anyone going overseas will be very carefully filtered before they leave the country. The last thing the Don wants is some guy/girl coming back and wanting out early or failing to deliver. I'll bet any candidate for overseas will be given a few laps of the parish to see if they can actually "do" rotary. You'd be surprised how many people, otherwise capable of flying an aeroplane, are not fundamentally suited to RW,especially military RW. I recall going up in a four seat heli, as a pax, with a very experienced FW guy being given a go up front and he was quite unnerved by the whole thing. He hated being airborne at such slow speed and hovering really threw him and the inherent vibration was the final nail on the head.
    I'm no pilot but I have been told it's like going from a motorcycle to a quad. The instincts you have developed on 2 wheels work against you on 4. The question begs though, is FW screening any advantage to RW pilots?
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  39. #1224
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    Quote Originally Posted by na grohmiti View Post
    AAC Pilots in the UK (after Sandhurst) commence pilot training on the Airbus H135 Juno, before moving on to Wildcat or Apache. RAF, RN and AAC pilots all train on RAF Junos (some move on to H145 Jupiter if going mountain flying or ASW). It would be ideal if we were able to stream into this training school.
    All British forces RW pilots complete elementary FW flight training first

  40. #1225
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    All British forces RW pilots complete elementary FW flight training first
    EFT on a side by side piston prop is a lot more practical than in a tandem armed TP, don't you think.
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