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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
    So, are you saying that literally NO air arm between here and Australia would conduct a service swap / exchange for two pilots? Not even little ol' Malta, with whom we have close connections? Or the French? Or the Swedish? Two countries from which we have bought many weapons and conducted UN ops with? Not even a tour of Mali with the French!!?? All the way to 'Stroilya, to fly King Airs??!! Why only two? Kind of pointless to send only two. All it takes is a bad pint in King's Cross and you're down 50% of the available strength. You'd think even the Swiss would offer a couple of slots in their world-class air force, given the steady business we have given their prime manufacturer. Or even Spain, considering how many euros we have given Casa. I don't know. Maybe the Minister is scrabbling around, looking for a good news story...
    No, I am not saying that. I am saying that Dev once again claimed that, and I quote, "there is a lot of places closer to home where it could be done". Which is nothing more than hyperbole unless it can be actually proven.

    For all you, Dev or I know there may well have been a shortlist of options and the RAAF were the ones that ticked the most boxes.

    I personally don't get the faux outrage over it being in Australia. Sure it would be great to hop over to the UK or mainland europe to do it, but if it can't be done that way then so be it. So long as all stakeholders are happy with what they get from the agreement does it really matter?

    It seems you're damned if you do and damned if you don't.

    Would you have the same reservations if they decided to send a few techs over aswell?

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  3. #27
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    I think this is a great initiative, although I have a suspicion that the fact that it’s free made it very attractive to the civil side of DOD. I’m sure there were options closer to home, but at a significant cost.

    The question though is how many experienced pilots will have left before these two guys get back, surely a more robust and sustainable plan needs to be put in place...

    IMHO the chronic under funding of the AC by successive government going back decades means that there is no easy solution, there is a shortage of missions and airframes particularly on the fixed wing side. You can’t have missions without aircraft and you can’t have aircraft without missions.

    Maybe time to take all the toys out and decide what are going to be the roles of the AC for the next 20 years

    This is going to take time to fix but more importantly money, I haven’t heard any mention of significant increased spending!

    IF they want a credible military air component they must first admit its expensive and resource it accordingly

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  5. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Auldsod View Post
    Billy Hedderman who released a book last year transferred from the Irish Army to the Australian Army. Not an Australian citizen either but surely same deal with RAAF?

    He was a ARW officer to be fair.
    In exceptional circumstances, if a position cannot be filled by an Australian or one with FEVY's citizenship requirement may be waived and applications may be accepted from Permanent residents with prior relevant military experience who can prove they have applied for citizenship. An ex ARW officer would be a perfect example of that or a Cat A fast jet pilot with QWI or QFI credentials. The bar is pretty high.

  6. #29
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    My understanding is that Hedderman joined as a regular infantry officer and had ambitions to complete the ADF SOF course prior to his injury. He received citizenship some time after initially joining.

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  8. #30
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    To extrapolate the thinking, I think there is a serious case to be made for cadres from all the specialist disciplines in the AC to be sent away for professional training and development and to acquire experience from a suitable military air arm.

    I would argue that this should start now and continue for the foreseeable future as a way to bridge the current experience gap. Maybe cancel traditional overseas tours for the next few years and focus on building core skills.

    The RAAF is a super organization and has huge capability’s in all aspects of military aviation, maybe leaning on them and others is the only way forward.

    It all comes down to Money and political will

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  10. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie252 View Post
    To extrapolate the thinking, I think there is a serious case to be made for cadres from all the specialist disciplines in the AC to be sent away for professional training and development and to acquire experience from a suitable military air arm.

    I would argue that this should start now and continue for the foreseeable future as a way to bridge the current experience gap. Maybe cancel traditional overseas tours for the next few years and focus on building core skills.

    The RAAF is a super organization and has huge capability’s in all aspects of military aviation, maybe leaning on them and others is the only way forward.

    It all comes down to Money and political will
    Fully agree. If there is scope to do exchanges abroad where it is mutually beneficial, then its a no brainer.

    Of course it will not suit every individual and would require careful management. Both pilots will likely be in contract so there is no ability to abscond as has been suggested here or elsewhere because they got used to the sunshine. Some form of gauranteed service return would be needed in return otherwise the DF gets nothing in return.

    I bet there would be a pretty high uptake from specialists, DF wide, to up sticks and move abroad for a year or two.

    The reservations in this instance are I expect because:

    1. Its AC Personnel
    2. They are officers

    The usual stuff.

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  12. #32
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    Why just officers surely all ranks and specialty’s, huge scope for SARO’s, loadmasters, atc, technicians, operations staff etc

    The Crux of the problem may be is there enough in the AC of a challenging and interesting nature that would mean guys would want to come back and make a career of it.

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  14. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie252 View Post
    Why just officers surely all ranks and specialty’s, huge scope for SARO’s, loadmasters, atc, technicians, operations staff etc

    The Crux of the problem may be is there enough in the AC of a challenging and interesting nature that would mean guys would want to come back and make a career of it.
    Absolutely it should be an option for all ranks of specialist trades. I thought that was inferred from my post but perhaps I should have been clearer.

    The reality is, pilots in contract have no choice. Have you heard of a pilot in contract purchasing their discharge, because I haven't.

  15. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck View Post
    pilots in contract have no choice. Have you heard of a pilot in contract purchasing their discharge, because I haven't.
    No, it is technically possible but the amount is at the discretion of the minister and there is no amortization

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  17. #35
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    Correct. The fear of the unknown. Ask the question and you may aswell hang up your boots.

  18. #36
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    Why the hang-up about Australia being a long way away - anybody there could be back in 48 hours tops, and if they were any closer, what would be the advantage? It’s not like they would be called back from Italy or Switzerland to cover sick leave, is it?
    'He died who loved to live,' they'll say,
    'Unselfishly so we might have today!'
    Like hell! He fought because he had to fight;
    He died that's all. It was his unlucky night.
    http://www.salamanderoasis.org/poems...nnis/luck.html

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  20. #37
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    The alleged pilot shortage in the Don, is, as always, selective. The Don may be short of, say, Casa Captains or Learjet Captains but it may not be short of PC-9 instructors or 135 Captains. If a pilot is engaged in ground duties, at home or abroad, he is, by default, unavailable but that is, in itself, an organisational self-inflicted wound, as the organisation insists that he cannot be promoted unless he fulfils a UN deployment, so he is out of the frame for at least a year. Unlike a civvy airline, a Don pilot cannot simply ramp up the hours and take his turn at a Command slot, he has to stick by the rules of Military promotion. When it comes to pilot numbers versus airframes, you are not talking like for like. All of the pilots (and non-pilots, in fairness) watch all of the available slots all of the time and thou shalt not promote or otherwise elevate a junior above a senior, lest a fellow pilot takes thee to the High Court and smites thee down. This applies to all of the DF, across all ranks and trades. When I was a mere underling of a Corporal, I had a slot in a subunit of Engineering Wing (as it was then, sensibly, known) and that was it. It was predetermined before I even entered my NCOs course. I could not consider going sideways to Heli Flight or BFTS, as those slots were already sold off. That's how it worked. Skills and ability had little or nothing to do with it. The political jousting and infighting for prime pilots slots is often quite a sight to behold, given that it is even more rigidly controlled than the seniority in legacy airlines. It was quite an eye-opener, to see it in action.

  21. #38
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    @GTTC, as with everything context is key. I think it might be about time that people were made aware that when you post, you refer to a quite a short period of service in Baldonnel that ended almost 20 years ago if I am correct based on some previous posts. I am sure you have some former colleagues which are still in but as always there is two sides to everything and you are quite obviously being fed one side and one side only.

    Your post is mostly fallacy if I am to be blunt about it. Of course all personnel (officers and enlisted) watch for vacancies and try and anticipate moves which will benefit them the most. This is the same in almost every public or private industry in existance.

    Have you any evidence whatsoever of any officer taking another officer (or the minister) to court because they werent promoted or 'given a slot'? There was one case recently concerning a former army engineer who took a case but aside from that I don't know of any other. That was to do with not being included in a promotion competition than anything else.

    Plenty of pilots have not been selected for command and there has been many instances or 'Junior' officers getting command of aircraft ahead of those senior to them based on suitability and competence. The same can be said of officers picked to become instructors. Seniority is not a deciding factor. Despite the picture you are trying to paint.

    While I cannot completely refute all that you say, due to the fact that it was based on experience accrued almost two decades ago, you need to accept that the organization has changed substantially, not just the Air Corps but the wider DF.

    Your posts are sometimes disingenuous and mostly serve no other purpose than to influence others who have no direct exposure to the organisation.

    Maybe the next time you decide to call into Baldonnel, you take the time to talk to people (other than techs) and perhaps you will notice a difference.

    For the record, many of your posts seem to shed a negative light on the officer body, regardless of corps. I don't know your individual circumstances but the consistent mud slinging, without any rebuttal, is getting quite tiresome. And I am not quite sure what you hope to achieve by it.

    Also - your point about officers engaged in ground duties being 'unavailable' is complete bollox. There have been countless instances of AC pilot officers who have been detached to various areas such as the MilCol, J3/5, DFHQ, etc who are doing a full time external appointment but who still maintain a presence to ensure maintenance of rosters and currency. This is in addition to all of other officers who have full time ground appointments in Bal who still fly on a regular basis. Its been a long time since you looked at CS4 I bet. care to guess how many full time ground appointments are allocated to the pilot stream?
    Last edited by Chuck; 27th July 2019 at 01:24.

  22. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck View Post
    My understanding is that Hedderman joined as a regular infantry officer and had ambitions to complete the ADF SOF course prior to his injury. He received citizenship some time after initially joining.
    And he joined as an infantry captain

  23. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck View Post
    No, I am not saying that. I am saying that Dev once again claimed that, and I quote, "there is a lot of places closer to home where it could be done". Which is nothing more than hyperbole unless it can be actually proven.

    For all you, Dev or I know there may well have been a shortlist of options and the RAAF were the ones that ticked the most boxes.

    I personally don't get the faux outrage over it being in Australia. Sure it would be great to hop over to the UK or mainland europe to do it, but if it can't be done that way then so be it. So long as all stakeholders are happy with what they get from the agreement does it really matter?

    It seems you're damned if you do and damned if you don't.

    Would you have the same reservations if they decided to send a few techs over aswell?
    Where numbers are low yes you are damned if you are damned if don’t.

    I’m not outraged I’m surprised ..... and we all know that the RAAF would hope to gain 2 new pilots permanently.... you’d assume this would be accompanied so the families might decide to stay.

    It is a positive step but I have reservations due to the duration, cost (travel, Accomodiation, subsistence? Etc) and risk of loosing those pilots permanently

  24. #41
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    I think the cost stuff is just galaxy - housing costs in Australia are no more, and often a lot less, than in Dublin, or the UK, or France, or Switzerland, or Sweden. If the pilots (and thier families?) We're at RAF Valley or Waddington, or Lossiemouth, they'd be back and forth every other weekend, but in Australia, because it's such a long way, they might well only return once a year.

    I don't know if you've had the pleasure of taking two children on a 24 hour flight, but it's not much fun...

    Personally I'd think that doing an 18 month/2 year exchange tour in somewhere like Australia, Canada, the US, France or Sweden would be a huge recruiting draw for the type of people the AC (and wider DF) needs to recruit, rather than stay at home types who want to live on the same street as their mum's till they die...

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  26. #42
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    Chuck, any idea what new skill sets are envisaged which can be transferred back home? I assume there is some such plan behind it,

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  28. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    ..... and we all know that the RAAF would hope to gain 2 new pilots permanently....
    The RAAF regularly provide specialist training to a number of foreign military forces from around the Asia Pacific and Middle East. They do not and cannot under Australian immigration law actively recruit from these International defence cooperation programmes.

    The exceptional circumstances of Mr Hedderman can be distinguished because I understand he choose to self migrate to Australia and join the ADF and the only reason he got accepted in Australian service was that he was; 1) on a permanent residency visa; 2) had an application in the pipeline for citizenship; and 3) most significantly and the bit which relates to exceptional circumstances - he had previously been an officer of an elite military unit whom he could bring into the ADF his specialist skills, perspectives and experience once he had achieved citizenship, had satisfied stringent ASIO security vetting, into what was an obviously going to eventually benefit the ADF in his career in the Australian special forces community.

    The Air Corps will send out two of their own, whom will gain invaluable training with what is regarded as one of the most professional, well resourced and capable air forces in the world, whom will return to Ireland no doubt highly motivated to impart their skills and experience for the benefit of the AC. I think this is an excellent, forward thinking move of the AC to do this. As I have said before, I cannot think of a better air force for the AC to develop this training relationship with.

    The Australians are not doing this as a some kind of cunning recruitment scam to steel the best of others, but because they actually holdfast to the core principle of building collective security amongst the international community through defence cooperation and their foreign assistance programmes is their vehicle to build this capacity.

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  30. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anzac View Post
    The RAAF regularly provide specialist training to a number of foreign military forces from around the Asia Pacific and Middle East. They do not and cannot under Australian immigration law actively recruit from these International defence cooperation programmes.

    The exceptional circumstances of Mr Hedderman can be distinguished because I understand he choose to self migrate to Australia and join the ADF and the only reason he got accepted in Australian service was that he was; 1) on a permanent residency visa; 2) had an application in the pipeline for citizenship; and 3) most significantly and the bit which relates to exceptional circumstances - he had previously been an officer of an elite military unit whom he could bring into the ADF his specialist skills, perspectives and experience once he had achieved citizenship, had satisfied stringent ASIO security vetting, into what was an obviously going to eventually benefit the ADF in his career in the Australian special forces community.

    The Air Corps will send out two of their own, whom will gain invaluable training with what is regarded as one of the most professional, well resourced and capable air forces in the world, whom will return to Ireland no doubt highly motivated to impart their skills and experience for the benefit of the AC. I think this is an excellent, forward thinking move of the AC to do this. As I have said before, I cannot think of a better air force for the AC to develop this training relationship with.

    The Australians are not doing this as a some kind of cunning recruitment scam to steel the best of others, but because they actually holdfast to the core principle of building collective security amongst the international community through defence cooperation and their foreign assistance programmes is their vehicle to build this capacity.
    Lets hope so

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  32. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    Where numbers are low yes you are damned if you are damned if don’t.

    I’m not outraged I’m surprised ..... and we all know that the RAAF would hope to gain 2 new pilots permanently.... you’d assume this would be accompanied so the families might decide to stay.

    It is a positive step but I have reservations due to the duration, cost (travel, Accomodiation, subsistence? Etc) and risk of loosing those pilots permanently
    As I have already explained, the AC won't be sending pilots who are out of contract because they can leave at any time unless some form of an undertaking is received prior. There is essentially zero risk of losing these pilots and they will return.

    I'd appreciate Dev if you could answer the question that I directed to you. You made a statement and I'd appreciate if you could clarify it. If you aren't willing to clarify it I think it would be fair to withdraw it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tempest View Post
    Chuck, any idea what new skill sets are envisaged which can be transferred back home? I assume there is some such plan behind it,
    The loss of experience has been well publicised in the media. It cannot be replaced overnight and there isnt much scope to increase hours into guys due to the lack of airframes and servicability.

    What you could potentially have with this arrangement is pilots returning with 7/800 hours after two years. The same amount of hours could take 4-5 years to achieve in the AC if you are looking at averages. If suitable these pilots could then be looking at command a lot sooner. That's my own thoughts on it.

    Air Arms have always generally have a much lower hours output per pilot due to the nature of being a military officer in addition. If you are looking to replace a aircraft captain with 2000hours it could take you 10-12 years for a replacement to build up that time. On the surface at least this looks like it will address this.

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  34. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck View Post
    No, I am not saying that. I am saying that Dev once again claimed that, and I quote, "there is a lot of places closer to home where it could be done". Which is nothing more than hyperbole unless it can be actually proven.

    For all you, Dev or I know there may well have been a shortlist of options and the RAAF were the ones that ticked the most boxes.

    I personally don't get the faux outrage over it being in Australia. Sure it would be great to hop over to the UK or mainland europe to do it, but if it can't be done that way then so be it. So long as all stakeholders are happy with what they get from the agreement does it really matter?

    It seems you're damned if you do and damned if you don't.

    Would you have the same reservations if they decided to send a few techs over aswell?
    Yes of course. It's a very long way to go for such a small cadre. If the system sent more than 2, you'd get a better return for your money / time / loss of use of assets. The notion that it is somehow "free" is also wrong. The taxpayer will take a hit, one way or the other. You cannot relocate a local asset without it having an effect. Every time the Don sends people over to Spain or Switzerland, the flying and maintenance system has to reshuffle itself and despite the fact that they are 20 odd years at it, it still has a hit. I'll happily take your word for it that the DoD got a good deal from a willing partner, despite it being half a globe away.

  35. #47
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    I know of several pilots, back and then and currently, who were on ground rotations and had to engage in catch-up to get their IR or ME or other ratings renewed. One guy was in the Aptce School, for God's sake. He hadn't even left Training Wing, as it then was, and he was raging because he could not get renewed, despite making strenuous efforts to do so. He only got sorted when he was formally returned to the operational side. There was some slip up in the system (maybe a lack of a QFI). I also noticed same when I worked on the turboprops; pilots were coming in at odd hours and times to get renewed, because they were dropping out of currency or renewal and it happened more than once.

  36. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck View Post
    As I have already explained, the AC won't be sending pilots who are out of contract because they can leave at any time unless some form of an undertaking is received prior. There is essentially zero risk of losing these pilots and they will return.

    I'd appreciate Dev if you could answer the question that I directed to you. You made a statement and I'd appreciate if you could clarify it. If you aren't willing to clarify it I think it would be fair to withdraw it.



    The loss of experience has been well publicised in the media. It cannot be replaced overnight and there isnt much scope to increase hours into guys due to the lack of airframes and servicability.

    What you could potentially have with this arrangement is pilots returning with 7/800 hours after two years. The same amount of hours could take 4-5 years to achieve in the AC if you are looking at averages. If suitable these pilots could then be looking at command a lot sooner. That's my own thoughts on it.

    Air Arms have always generally have a much lower hours output per pilot due to the nature of being a military officer in addition. If you are looking to replace a aircraft captain with 2000hours it could take you 10-12 years for a replacement to build up that time. On the surface at least this looks like it will address this.
    Bearing in mind I have no idea who you are......

    I was talking about the withdrawal of a duty rotary and fixed wing aircraft and the fact that people are also double/triple jobbing, duties, GoH's, overseas, long career courses etc etc, which will then have a knock on effect to their availability for flying duties.

    I should have phrased it better, it is a whole AC effort to get aircraft on ops - pilots, techs, ATC, CRS, etc etc. The more seen operations (ie EAS & GASU) get the resources that are available but that shortfall of personnel has to be felt somewhere surely?? Are the same amount of hours available to support army exercises etc ?

    CS4 for the AC doesn't have any excess in it that is for sure.

    I'm happy to withdraw it

    But does that mean the AC has sufficient strength of pilots to complete its taskings ?

  37. #49
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    Over the past 24 months reduced Flying Officer numbers and associated changes in the pilot roster system, has necessitated the standing down of 24 hour rosters for certain aircraft types. This has been compounded by restrictions in the availability of Air Traffic Controllers (which is considered in a separate paper). This has led to reduced availability for “as available” operations and restrictions around the use of Casement Aerodrome for fixed wing aircraft.
    SLAs with defined commitments have been met to-date. However, there is a significant risk that if the number of experienced Flying Officers continues to reduce, certain of these
    services will also be impacted.
    Source: https://paycommission.gov.ie/wp-cont...Submission.pdf

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    Thank you for that. I appreciate that the PSPC report states that the standing down of the standby roster was due to to the loss of pilots. It then mentions ATC was was also a significant factor. The truth is somewhere in the middle. The lack of ATC was the straw that broke the camels back in this instance IMO.

    I will now answer your question. 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.

    I personally think that a more beneficial way of looking at the pilot situation (and this could be adapted for techs/ATC etc) is to look at the flight hours across the entire pilot stream.

    For example (and these are random numbers):

    2010: 80 pilots, 100,000 hours of experience
    2020: 65 pilots, 40,000 hours of experience

    The narrative will state that the AC is down 15 pilots but the much more concerning aspect is the drop in overall drop in corporate knowledge and experience. I dont think any commentators have looked at this.

    You could lose 5 pilots which 15000 hours between them and the narrative will say that there is 10 new pilots commissioned so in effect, the AC has a 'surplus ' of 5. But those 10 pilots will have about 150 hours coming off a wings course. So you have a deficit of 13500 hours of experience.

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