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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?
    German 1: Private Schnutz, I have bad news for you.
    German 2: Private? I am a general!
    German 1: That is the bad news.

  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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