Author Topic: Helicopters and Money  (Read 79589 times)

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Offline Hamish Seggie

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Re: Helicopters and Money
« Reply #25 on: March 24, 2008, 21:17:28 »
A very interesting discussion.
Regarding NCO pilots.....I would think that you'd want some fairly sharp young MCpls/Sgts. Just an opinion.
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Offline benny88

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Re: Helicopters and Money
« Reply #26 on: March 24, 2008, 22:08:47 »
For those proposing it,
Would Pilot NCO be a remuster occupation?

 Also, if you allow direct entry, you could have like 18 yr olds flying helicopters in combat, and this isn't WWII. One thing about getting the degree and the length of flight training for pilots is that the approximate minimum age to be operational is about 25, IIRC.
 
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Re: Helicopters and Money
« Reply #27 on: March 24, 2008, 22:11:06 »
Also, if you allow direct entry, you could have like 18 yr olds flying helicopters in combat, and this isn't WWII. One thing about getting the degree and the length of flight training for pilots is that the approximate minimum age to be operational is about 25, IIRC.
 

Age ?

So what ? I have seen some really mature 18 year-olds and i've seen some real babies that are 40+

Offline benny88

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Re: Helicopters and Money
« Reply #28 on: March 24, 2008, 22:13:28 »
Age ?

So what ? I have seen some really mature 18 year-olds and i've seen some real babies that are 40+

   I know that age doesn't equate with ability, and there are exceptions to every stereotype, but I'm freshly 20, and think I need some seasoning to before I am ready to fly in combat, to be honest. And not just flight training, but general experience.
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Re: Helicopters and Money
« Reply #29 on: March 24, 2008, 22:18:18 »
   I know that age doesn't equate with ability, and there are exceptions to every stereotype, but I'm freshly 20, and think I need some seasoning to before I am ready to fly in combat, to be honest.

I've never been to Afghanistan but i had just turned 19 the first time some locals ( Serbs)  decided that i should be at the receiving end of automatic fire while i was in the middle of a minefield. I did rather well too. You should give yourself more credit. You would be surprised what you can do under fire pressure.

Offline benny88

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Re: Helicopters and Money
« Reply #30 on: March 24, 2008, 22:24:28 »
I've never been to Afghanistan but i had just turned 19 the first time some locals ( Serbs)  decided that i should be at the receiving end of automatic fire while i was in the middle of a minefield. I did rather well too. You should give yourself more credit. You would be surprised what you can do under fire pressure.

   Thanks for that Aviator. I know I could take care of myself and my troops if I'm lucky enough to ever lead any, and hope I would be a credit to the CF. However, if the CF had the CHOICE (which it would in the NCO pilot issue) on whether I should be in combat and in sole control (I know we have no single-pilot helicopters, but the US Army WO's fly in them) of a multi-million dollar helicopter I still think it would be advantageous to give its pilots more experience.
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Offline Eye In The Sky

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Re: Helicopters and Money
« Reply #31 on: March 28, 2008, 15:42:41 »
To the question of making Pilot NCOs a remuster occupation, I am sure that would work.  I would like to know at what percentage the COTP currently is able to fill all the positions for remuster only MOCs such as FE, SAR Tech and AES Op.  If they aren't meeting the requirements of current MOCs available only to remuster types, I would bet a weeks pay that the CMs of the current remuster MOCs would not be happy to have Pilot NCO added to the list.  Who knows, the ones that didn't make Pilot might accept their 2nd choice of MOC "B".

As for the experience of the NCO Pilot, if he has enough experience.  I am more concerned, myself, that  (a) the selection process would weed out the non-suitable applicants (b) the training process would weed out more non-suitable applicants and that the ones who made it through selection AND training would be the ones we would be looking for.  From there, the relevant experience would come thru the OTUs or whatever would be set up.  As for general experience, I am not so concerned if Pilot Bloggins can balance his cheque book and cook veal;  Mrs Bloggins can provide that training  ;D.

I would mostly care about his/her ability to fly the aircraft to support 'the' mission safely, effectively and aggressively or however pilots are supposed to fly helicopters.  Thats not within my lane.
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Offline Blackadder1916

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Re: Helicopters and Money
« Reply #32 on: March 29, 2008, 01:31:13 »
I recall a similiar discussion a couple of decades ago  in the Mess when some British Army helicopter aircrew (2 pilots and 2 observers) were visiting the base.  One of the British pilots (a Captain) was defending the position of NCO pilots against arguments from Canadian pilots (well, actually one rather obnoxious fellow).  The Base Commander (Colonel, a pilot) was siding with the Brit, agreeing with his position that the technical aspects or the tactical requirements of actually flying did not require the education, training or experience of a commissioned officer.   We didn't get the opinions of the other Brit aircrew; the observers (being Sergeants) were probably in the WO & Sgts Mess; the other pilot, who the Captain said was probably the better technical pilot was (being a Corporal) either in the JR's or more likely was smart enough to head off base in search of a livelier atmosphere.  When questioned why the pilot of a helicopter was a Cpl and his observer a Sgt (supposedly all the observers were Sgts) the Brit Capt stated that the observer had the important job in a scout helicopter and therefore needed to be someone with significant experience, all the pilot did was drive the thing.

http://www.army.mod.uk/aac/recruiting/soldier_career.htm
Quote
Aircrew training
There is also the opportunity for all AAC soldiers to apply to train as an Army helicopter pilot, subject to suitability, aptitude and medical status. You must have attained the rank of Lance Corporal and be recommended for promotion to Corporal. Army pilot selection comprises of aptitude tests, a very thorough medical, Flying Grading and finally a selection interview. The earliest that you could expect to start pilot training is some 4 years after completion of your basic Groundcrew training.

A limited number of personel may also apply for Aviation Crewman training, where you will be employed as a Doorgunner, Systems Operator or Winch Operator. Selection is similar to pilot training except that you need only be a Class 1 Airtrooper to apply for Avaition Rearcrew, and there is no requirement to undertake Aptitude testing or Flying Grading, however you will still need to pass the medical and interview process

ARMY AIR CORPS AIRCREW SELECTION AND TRAINING
Quote
Army Aviation Training

The School of Army Aviation at Middle Wallop in Hampshire trains Army pilots using the Army's front line aircraft, the Islander, the Gazelle, the Lynx and the Apache AH Mk 1. It also trains soldiers to support these aircraft on the ground, to protect its operating bases, to provide communications between the ground and aircraft, and to arm and refuel them. The training activity conducted by SAAvn is divided into ground training and flying training.

Ground training is conducted by 2 Regiment AAC and consists of:
  • Phase 2 training to provide special to arm training for recruits on completion of their basic training at Winchester Army Training Regiment, and,
  • Phase 3 training to provide career progress courses for trained soldiers.

Flying training is conducted by Flying Wing and consists of:
  • Army Flying Grading
  • Operational Training Phase of the Army Pilots Course
  • Conversion to the Army Air Corps operational aircraft

The AAC Centre at Middle Wallop is under the ownership of the Army Training and Recruitment Agency (ATRA). There is also a detachment of 132 Aviation Support Squadron, Royal Logistics Corps, which comes under the Joint Helicopter Command, based at the AAC Centre. The Headquarters of the Director of Army Aviation is also based at Middle Wallop. There are 12 Attack Helicopters allocated to the School of Army Aviation for training purposes.

HQ DAAvn (Director Army Aviation) is responsible for providing advice and support on Army Aviation and AAC training matters. In this regard HQ DAAvn is responsible for the training policy for both aircrew and groundcrew. The School of Army Aviation (SAAvn) undertakes AAC Special-to-Arm training. AAC Soldier Basic Training takes place at ATR Winchester.

The AAC recruits pilots from three main sources:
  • Direct Entry (Officers only)
  • The ranks of the AAC (Corporals and above)
  • Officers and soldiers from other arms and branches of the Service (Corporal and above)

Officers join the Corps after completing the Commissioning course at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Unlike the all-officer Navy and Air Force helicopter pilot establishments, almost two-thirds of AAC aircrew are non-commissioned officers. Within the Army, NCOs, of at least LCpl rank with a recommendation for promotion, from within the AAC and from the remainder of the Army may also apply for pilot training. NCO pilots spend the majority of their service flying and many go on to be commissioned as Officers, normally to fill specialist flying appointments such as flying instructors.

There are three phases to selection for Army pilot training:

Aircrew Selection tests are conducted at RAF College Cranwell. These tests are common to the three Services and last two days. Army candidates require a minimum aircrew aptitude score of 80/180 to progress onto the next phase. RAF/RN require higher scores, but the Army is able to accept a lower score at this point, as Army candidates also have to pass Army Flying Grading which the AAC considers a far more accurate indicator of potential to be an Army pilot.

Army Flying Grading (AFG) is conducted at Middle Wallop. This consists of 13 hours, over a three week period, in a Slingsby Firefly 160. The aim of this course is to test aptitude in a live flying environment and to identify whether students have the capability to become an Army pilot.

Students who have successfully demonstrated the necessary flying potential at AFG will progress onto the final phase at the Pilot Selection Centre. This is run by HQ SAAvn and selection includes aptitude tests, a medical, and finally a selection interview.

Flying training

There are several stages in AAC flying training.

Groundschool

The Army Flying Course starts with four weeks of groundschool instruction at RAF College Cranwell. Students learn the basic building blocks of aviation - such as Meteorology, Principles of Flight, Aircraft Operations, Navigation and Technical instruction.

Elementary Flying Training (EFT)

EFT is the first element of Army Flying Training at RAF Barkston Heath. This phase consists of 40 flying hours of elementary fixed- wing flying training over 14 weeks on the Slingsby Firefly (260).

Aeromedical and Survival Training

After EFT, students complete a week of aeromedical and survival training at RNAS Yeovilton, Lee-on-Solent and Plymouth.
 
Defence Helicopter Flying School

The Defence Helicopter Flying School (DHFS) at RAF Shawbury provides basic single-engine helicopter training for the three Services and some overseas countries. The DHFS also provides advanced twin-engine helicopter training for RAF aircrew and other special courses for the three Services.

At the DHFS, much of the training effort is contracted out to FBS Ltd - a consortium of Flight Refuelling Aviation, Bristow Helicopters Ltd and Serco Defence. All DHFS military and civilian instructors are trained by the Central Flying School (Helicopter) Squadron. The single-engine basic flying course incorporates some 36 flying hours over nine weeks on the Squirrel helicopter with the instructors of No 660 Squadron. Army students complete nine weeks training before they leave to start their Operational Training Phase at Middle Wallop.

Operational Training Phase (OTP)

The penultimate phase is conducted at the School of Army Aviation at Middle Wallop. Training is focused on converting helicopter pilots into Army pilots. It starts with a week of tactics training, preparing students for the military part of the course. The OTP phase involves 82 flying hours in 18 weeks, and is conducted on the Squirrel helicopter.

Conversion to Type (CTT)

The final phase is conducted at the School of Army Aviation at Middle Wallop. Before being posted to a regiment, students have to convert onto an operational helicopter type. The Conversion to Type (CTT) course takes around nine weeks. At Middle Wallop, Apache aircrew and ground crew training is conducted by Aviation Training International Limited (ATIL).

Conversion to Role (CTR)

Once a pilot has been converted onto type at Middle Wallop, he or she will proceed to a Regiment. At the Regiment a special CTR course will be held to bring the pilot up to combat ready status.[/size]

 
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Offline dan_282

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Re: Helicopters and Money
« Reply #33 on: March 30, 2008, 14:19:22 »
NCO pilots would be the best thing ever..I suspect the possibility is rare though..

I couldnt see this happening within a decade, they havent even decided on an attack helicopter type, or one in general..

if they were to come out tomorrow and announce it, id sign up for AVN on the spot..

Offline Bograt

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Re: Helicopters and Money
« Reply #34 on: March 30, 2008, 15:20:43 »
There are allowances under the current system to provide opportunities for candidates that do not posses a degree to go through pilot training. The understanding of course is that the member would complete their degree after wings.

I am not opposed to the concept NCO pilots. I am sure it has been looked at by more senior pay scales than me. But opening the gates to more senior NCOs may not provide the desired effect. The problem is not just the number of available candidates but it is the training system. Moose Jaw is unable to train more than 100 members a year due to:
  • Number of IPs
  • Number of A/C
  • Housing
  • you name it

I believe next year they are pushing for 130. With 15-20% attrition at phase II, you can see that it is difficult to keep up with the demographics. The FRP devastated the CF and we are seeing the effects now. As a result we are loosing a generation of experience at the various leadership levels (career Captains to Senior Officers). If a member is committed to becoming a pilot in the CF let them demonstrate this by:
a- acquiring a commercial ticket at an approved school.
b- completing x number of years post secondary.

Instead of revolutionizing the CF pilot system, why not provide opportunities for NCO members to be commissioned from the ranks after achieving wings standard? Since beginning the training system I have always been told that I was a officer first and a pilot second. I am not convinced that this should be changed.

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Offline beenthere

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Re: Helicopters and Money
« Reply #35 on: March 31, 2008, 00:28:13 »
I can recall several discussions over the years where commissioned polots--captains wanted a system where they could be left at captain rank forever and be nothing other than pilots with occasional postings to a relevent ground job such as Base Ops or something similar. Those who wanted to could continue in the regular system with all of the career enhancing courses and postings and continue upward through the ranks. Apparently someone made an official proposal of the idea  and it was nixed. I don't know anything about the proposal or the reason why it wasn't entertained but that was several years ago (early 90's) and lots of things have changed so anything is possible.
But not lately. If I could do it all over again I would  change one thing.

Offline JimMorrison19

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Re: Helicopters and Money
« Reply #36 on: June 15, 2008, 11:01:02 »
IIRC the reason why a lot of countries only allow commissioned officers as pilots dates back to WW2 - something about captured officers whose craft were downed being treated better by the opposing forces. Seems to me like this only makes a marginal amount of sense in certain situations, but it might be some sort of factor in any decision to start allowing NCO pilots.
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Offline Old Sweat

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Re: Helicopters and Money
« Reply #37 on: June 15, 2008, 11:44:45 »
John Terraine discussed the issue in The Right of the Line, The Royal Air Force in the European War 1939-1945. In May 1942 Canada raised the issue at the United Nations' Air Training Conference, citing the inequalities in pay, transportation, staus, messing, etc among individuals performing the same duties, along with the POW issue. While supported by both Australia and New Zealand, the RAF refused to even consider it at the time. Terraine appears sympathetic to the Canadian proposal, noting that the RAF "was still, in 1942, speaking the language of a small regular Service recruited in a country where inequalities found far readier acceptance than in the overseas Dominions."

Online Colin P

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Re: Helicopters and Money
« Reply #38 on: November 18, 2008, 22:28:45 »
Most of the civilian helicopter pilots do not have degrees, they spent all their money and time learning to fly helicopters and working up north. Some do have degrees and some come to the profession from other careers.

Offline arctic_front

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Re: Helicopters and Money
« Reply #39 on: November 23, 2008, 19:21:33 »
Being as I work in the civilian helicopter world, I have worked with both civilian-only and ex-military pilots.  Both can fly a helicopter.  Some ex mil types really struggle in the civilian world due to lack of some types of training, aka, long-line experience, and I'm pretty sure an experienced civilian pilot would have some difficulty with night time formation flying with NVG's.  Either way, both started out not knowing either how to fly, or the intricacies of the harder parts of the job.  Until a civilian pilot has accumulated a min. of around 1000 hours, he is not given the harder jobs.  By that time, he has proven himself worthy, and shown his maturity.  Same could be said for a soldier who re-signs up for another stint.  Either way, a degree in basket weaving or liberal arts sure doesn't sound to me like something very 'useful' to be a officer or a pilot.  A 1000 hr. civilian pilot would make a better prospect for a WO grade helo-pilot than some recent college/university green horn that has to learn from the bottom.  A piece of paper with B.A. after his name, doesn't make him pilot material.  Spending thousands of dollars to 'see' if he can be a pilot sounds like a waste of resources.  I'm speaking strictly rotary-wing here, not the jet-jockey's who may require a higher education in physics or calculus to fly a fast mover.

Like any field, on the job training is where you really start to learn, the school part is just so much theory and book learning.  My point is, a good set of hands on the stick is better than a head full of university mush.

Just  my humble opinion as a civy helicopter AME.

Offline SeaKingTacco

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Re: Helicopters and Money
« Reply #40 on: November 23, 2008, 19:25:22 »
Quote
Either way, a degree in basket weaving or liberal arts sure doesn't sound to me like something very 'useful' to be a officer or a pilot.

And you would be wrong- but thanks for coming out!

Offline Strike

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Re: Helicopters and Money
« Reply #41 on: November 23, 2008, 19:46:30 »
I'm speaking strictly rotary-wing here, not the jet-jockey's who may require a higher education in physics or calculus to fly a fast mover.

Like any field, on the job training is where you really start to learn, the school part is just so much theory and book learning.  My point is, a good set of hands on the stick is better than a head full of university mush.

Just  my humble opinion as a civy helicopter AME.


Really?  And you think there's less physics required to fly a helo?  You do know that the wings on a jet are fixed, right?
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aesop081

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Re: Helicopters and Money
« Reply #42 on: November 23, 2008, 20:14:07 »


Just  my humble opinion as a civy helicopter AME.


You fix them. How does that qualify you to speak about what is required for a person to fly them ?

As SeaKingTacco said, thanks for coming out.

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Offline arctic_front

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Re: Helicopters and Money
« Reply #43 on: November 23, 2008, 21:33:59 »
Sea king Taco....  please enlighten me as to how a liberal arts, or any other degree, is necessary  to flying?

FYI,  I have also flown them too...  as they often have the co-pilot sticks in the other side.  Flying a helo does not require a head full of math as you suggest....  because i know how they work, just as well as any pilot does, in a lot of cases, better than they do. Your welcome.  Civilian pilots do not require even a high school education to fly them, just enough smarts to pass a few tests, so where does the university degree come into this?  Or, the math? 

Just because they are painted green doesn't change the aerodynamic principles involved in making a heavier than air machine lift off the ground.  Fixed or rotary wing.  I am just a little surprised that you assume that an AME is too stupid to understand complex subjects such as ring-state vortices, retreating blade stall, or settling with power.  I also know plenty about navigation, weight & balance, avionics and instrumentation.  How do you even know that I don't have a degree?  The 'E' at the end of AME stands for what, do you suppose? 

I'm not knocking the pilots who went to school to get a degree in a relevant subject, even a B.A., so why do you think it's ok to bash me because I am a lowly 'grease-monkey?'  Sounds pretty elitist on your part.  You'd be surprised at the things i have 'know' about aerodynamics to get that letter 'E' in my 'lowly' title.  I made reference to university degrees as not being entirely relevant to actually flying a helicopter.   Nothing more.

Flying requires eye-hand co-ordination, quick reflexes and decision-making skills.  A degree in nuclear physics or aerodynamics it does not.  I'm open to any legitimate criticism as to why you believe I am wrong.

I work as an aviator, same as you.  People die in my end of the aviation spectrum, same as you.  I work on the same equipment ( UH-1 or Bell medium/Bell Kiowa/206) as some in this forum are familiar with, so I think i have a reasonable and knowledgeable  contribution to the subject.  23 yrs worth of hands-on with helicopters is not irrelevant, be it from a pilot's perspective or an engineer's. 

(Am I under the mistaken impression that a 'forum' is a place to voice opinions openly and read and respond to other's?  )


Offline Eye In The Sky

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Re: Helicopters and Money
« Reply #44 on: November 23, 2008, 21:44:55 »
What about maintaining tactical/situational awareness "the air picture".

IMO, there is a LOT more to military aviation than the aspect of making an aircraft physically fly.

Pilots are not just pilots in the Air Force, they are Commissioned Officers in the military, and there is a whole other aspect to that not involving flying.

IMO, the problem here is your thinking is 1 dimensional and centric to the flying aspect alone.  Not tactics, war fighting, and the military Officer side of the equation.

Food for thought.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2008, 21:50:49 by Eye In The Sky »
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Offline MCG

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Re: Helicopters and Money
« Reply #45 on: November 23, 2008, 21:48:30 »
... doesn't sound to me like something very 'useful' to be a officer or a pilot.
Sea king Taco....  please enlighten me as to how a liberal arts, or any other degree, is necessary  to flying?
I can't speak for the piloting side, but the demonstrated ability to think critically does have a significant value for being an officer.  It is true that having a degree is not proof of intelligence, and the absence of a degree is not even suggestive of an intellectual deficiency.  However, in general, a degree indicates some formal effort has been made toward the betterment of an individual's critical thinking capability.  This first step is of great value, and it is built-upon thought an officer's career.

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Re: Helicopters and Money
« Reply #46 on: November 23, 2008, 21:49:10 »


FYI,  I have also flown them too...  as they often have the co-pilot sticks in the other side. 

Well, in that case i can add pilot time in the CH-146, CT-142, CT-114 and CP-140 to my logbook....sweet !

 ::)

Quote
because i know how they work, just as well as any pilot does, in a lot of cases, better than they do. Your welcome.

I'm glad you know better, you're supposed to. But then again, theres a difference between what technical manuals say, and what happens in real flight.


Quote
 so where does the university degree come into this?  Or, the math? 

Pilots are officers. Officers have degrees. Is that simple enough for you to understand ?

Quote
Just because they are painted green doesn't change the aerodynamic principles involved in making a heavier than air machine lift off the ground.

It certainly changes the scope of responsabilities of the pilot/crew.

Quote
I am just a little surprised that you assume that an AME is too stupid to understand complex subjects such as ring-state vortices, retreating blade stall, or settling with power. 

I'm certain that you understand it well. While you understand it, others actualy live it. Theres a key difference there.


Quote
I also know plenty about navigation, weight & balance, avionics and instrumentation. 

I know plenty about aircraft maintenance. Thats why i am trained to do basic AFRP and A, B, A/B checks on my aircraft. That doesnt make me a technician does it ?

Quote
so why do you think it's ok to bash me because I am a lowly 'grease-monkey?' 

I never insulted your background. I question wether it made you qualified to speak on pilot / aircrew requirements.


Quote
I work as an aviator, same as you. 

You work IN aviation, same as me.

http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&defl=en&q=define:aviator&sa=X&oi=glossary_definition&ct=title


 
« Last Edit: November 23, 2008, 21:53:19 by CDN Aviator »

Offline SeaKingTacco

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Re: Helicopters and Money
« Reply #47 on: November 23, 2008, 22:02:50 »
Arctic Front,

I'm not dissing AMEs.  You just came to a perfectly natural and ill-informed conclusion that Officer Aircrew (I'll leave the NCMs out of this for now to keep things cleaner) don't require degrees.  If by this you mean "to fly an airplane, one does not require advanced education" you are perfectly and completely correct.  Officers (which all pilots are in the CF), however, require degrees, because when you take the fullness of a typical pilot's career into view, actually flying duties form a small portion of what they are required to do.  By this, I mean staff work, leadership, tactics, etc.  As Aircrew advance in rank, their higher level eductaion comes more and more into play.  In short- aircrew in the CF are Officers first.

You could have avoided most of the pile-on which you have suffered here by simply rephrasing your initial post on this topic in the form of a question ie- "why do pilots in the CF require degrees?"

Cheers.

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Re: Helicopters and Money
« Reply #48 on: November 23, 2008, 22:50:04 »
Yet the US army seems quite happy have NCO's fly their gunships, and since they fly far more helo's and different types than any other western country, one can consider them SME's on the subject. So clearly we know from both the largest Western military and from civilan use that university degrees are not a critical requirement of the job. Considering the skill shortages facing the military, one would think they would bend over backwards to get trained pilots. Training them to work in the tactical environement would also likely be cheaper than working raw recruits through the current system only to find they can't fly well and may also be tactical dunces as well. The current system worked in Canada, due to the small numbers required, as our role and fleet begins to expand again, new ways of doing the job need to be given fair consideration.

Offline MCG

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Re: Helicopters and Money
« Reply #49 on: November 23, 2008, 22:55:49 »
Are you sure the US has NCO pilots?  A US Warrant Officer is not an NCO.