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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck View Post
    T Do I think there is a pilot shortage? No. Do I think there is a large experience gap developing that needs to be addressed. Yes. Does the AC have an officer (all streams) shortage? Yes.

    I'll put it this way. The AC 'fleet' is the smallest it has been in decades. I'm not sure if it is mentioned in the annual report because In haven't read it but the average for pilots is circa 150 hours per year. Some higher (those on EAS etc), and some lower for various reasons. Having a CASA down on maintenance for 6 months is going to have a significant impact on the entire cadre of CASA pilots.
    Would be interesting to know how many hours are flown by the AC "fleet" per year.

    I have a suspicion that the hours flown on the PC-9 to support Wings Courses will increase the total and skew a proper analysis of the actual operational output. 2018 shows under 1000hrs for maritime patrolling.

    The fleet is small and has too many types, and there does not appear to be any plan to expand or consolidate.

  2. #52
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    If they are down to an average of 150 hrs/yr, then that is chronically inadequate. That's the borderline of ME-IR or QFI skills being insufficiently exercised. Not even tooling around for a few hours in a spare Cessna is going to improve that. I recall when 300 per year was regarded as very bad and fellas were filling in on the Cessnas to get air time. That's institutionally bad.

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  4. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
    If they are down to an average of 150 hrs/yr, then that is chronically inadequate. That's the borderline of ME-IR or QFI skills being insufficiently exercised. Not even tooling around for a few hours in a spare Cessna is going to improve that. I recall when 300 per year was regarded as very bad and fellas were filling in on the Cessnas to get air time. That's institutionally bad.
    I don't EVER remember when 300hrs per year was considered bad, occasionally the odd CASA Pilot or on a couple of occasions GIV Captains exceeded this amount but in reality 200hrs per year was normally considered a good year.

    Now given the relatively benign nature of the flying(they are not flying front line fighter aircraft) even the 200Hrs per year was Low, however it created another problem because when a couple of Commanders from a particular fleet left the FO's did not normally have sufficient hours for upgrade.

    Command normally required 1500Hrs and so you can see it could take at least seven years to get the Minimum experience and often more given ground appointments etc.

    This has been a perennial problem in the AC going back many decades, this time it appears that the system is actually broken and the attrition exceeds any ability of the AC to recover

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  6. #54
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    It's some years ago, but I think it was @tempest who dug out some figures from the DOD that showed that the PC-9M's were being flown at about one third of the rate that the decision to by them was based on...

  7. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by ropebag View Post
    It's some years ago, but I think it was @tempest who dug out some figures from the DOD that showed that the PC-9M's were being flown at about one third of the rate that the decision to by them was based on...
    I could safely bet that there are no more than 2-3, if even that, who are achieving 300+ hours a year over the last 5 year period.

    As C252 says, if you have FOs on multi engine aircraft who are only doing 150 hours a year then it can take considerable time to upgrade someone.

    There is no doubt that pilots being tied up in ground jobs is impacting their availability but I would not suggest that this is the single root cause of the low hours.

    The reality is, there is a small fleet which will and I only getting smaller. The AC wont ever have a fleet of more than 30 aircraft again. I just can't see it.

    You have a small ageing fleet, repairs take longer due to the shortage of technicians, there is limited scope to conduct ops & training due to ATC restrictions.

    There is only so many hours to go around unfortunately and in the absence of purchasing newer aircraft and increasing the fleet size and addressing the maintenance issue, this trend will continue. At best it'll maintain current rates, at worst it will decline even further.

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  9. #56
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    what's up with ATC?

  10. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
    what's up with ATC?
    It is currently not a 24/7 service and has not been for some time.

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  12. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
    If they are down to an average of 150 hrs/yr, then that is chronically inadequate. That's the borderline of ME-IR or QFI skills being insufficiently exercised. Not even tooling around for a few hours in a spare Cessna is going to improve that. I recall when 300 per year was regarded as very bad and fellas were filling in on the Cessnas to get air time. That's institutionally bad.
    I did a little digging in a scrapbook. The Silver Swallows pilots of 1988 were Kevin Barry (qualified 1979 and had 2,200hrs); Jack Killock (qualified 1979 and had 2,100 hours); John Mulvanney (qualified 1983 and had 1,100 hours); and Pearse Mc Crann (qualified 1982 and had 1,800 hours).

    The 1989 figures given show Barry now up to 2,300 hours, Mulvanney up to 1,300 hours. Newcomers John Kelly qualified 1984 with 1,300 hours and John Hurley qualified 1983 with 1,600 hours.

    In 1990 Mulvanney was on 1,600 hours.

    Barry, in 1989, ten years after qualifying, had averaged 230 hours annually. The last qualified, Kelly, had averaged 260 hours annually.

    All of these guys were getting at least 40-50 hours a year by being in the Swallows.

    Make of all of that what you will, but if averages are now as low as 150 hours, there might be a strong case for establishing a formal display team again to give hours, a few perks and challenges, and to improve formation training, which is not at a high standard these days.

  13. #59
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    I wonder is formation training of the type normally seen with military jet aircraft more difficult with turboprop trainers? Surely the rotating mass at the front reduces stability somewhat?
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  14. #60
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    Doesn't seem to affect eg. The Blades or Jordanian Falcons etc.

  15. #61
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    Pilots get used to the effects of torque and p-factor very quickly and it becomes instinctive to correct for it.

  16. #62
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    I flew in Fougas and Marchettis with all of those named pilots and they were all superb handlers. The problem with low hours is that skills like instrument flying, formation, instruction and so on need a lot of hours to stay sharp and current.

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  18. #63
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  20. #64
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    They might get a chance to fly in some proper military aircraft while there.
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  23. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by na grohmiti View Post
    They might get a chance to fly in some proper military aircraft while there.
    As passengers maybe.

  24. #67
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    A change in the AC 2020 cadetship is that the AC Cadets will do the full cadetship (as in a full 17 months in the DFTC (increased from 15 months)), they will then be commissioned and start flight training

  25. #68
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    At least if they washout during flight school, they'll still make a good transport officer.
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  27. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    A change in the AC 2020 cadetship is that the AC Cadets will do the full cadetship (as in a full 17 months in the DFTC (increased from 15 months)), they will then be commissioned and start flight training
    Thats a significant change. I am speculating that it is driven by the long delay that has been mentioned for flight training. At least as an Officer you are somewhat useful while waiting for flight training, whereas Cadets aren't.

    Thats my guess anybody actually know the reason for the change.

  28. #70
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    Do many Cadets leave during the first few months of their training when the "other job they applied for months ago" turns up.
    Would a delay of 17 months before commencing the expensive flight training solve the above problem if it exists.

  29. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by sofa View Post
    Do many Cadets leave during the first few months of their training when the "other job they applied for months ago" turns up.
    Would a delay of 17 months before commencing the expensive flight training solve the above problem if it exists.
    Well it means that are paid more after 17 months than they would have been as cadets

    Also means that those who don’t make the grade can be retained

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  31. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    Well it means that are paid more after 17 months than they would have been as cadets

    Also means that those who don’t make the grade can be retained
    Ultimately the cadet gains the most from the arrangement once they can stomach the Cadet School for the full duration. AC cadetships in recent years have taken over 3 years from start to finish.

    The post 2013 entrant contract calculates pension entitlements based on a career average earnings as opposed to previous ones whereby it was calculated based on an officers highest earning year.

    So now instead of spending potentially 3/4/5 years on the cadet scale, they move and begin progressing through the officer scale.

    There is the issue now though that the 12 year undertaking will begin upon qualification and presntation of wings as opposed to commissioning.

    It will be interesting to see how it develops. Previously you could expect someone who was promoted to captain, after four years (graduate) to have maybe circa 600/700 hours of experience.

    Depending on how long the wings courses are taking, you could see the same graduate getting promoted to captain with well under 500 hours.

    Time will tell whether its a prudent move long term.

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