Poll

Considering this thread, please indicate your preference wrt CH 147 crew:

Sr/Jr FE.  The status quo currently and how the job was performed in Afghanistan from 08-11.  Also the US Army system.
FE/LM.  The system formerly used by Canada.  Still used by the UK and abandoned by the US Army after trials years ago
Sr FE/Tech crewman (AVN).  Although TCs have gotten a bad rap on the CC 17, there is feasibility to this system.
None of the above.  If using this option, please indicate your solution below.

Author Topic: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate  (Read 57485 times)

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Offline HeavyHooker

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CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« on: August 14, 2011, 15:33:50 »
Does anybody out here have anything more solid on whether or not the backender situation for the Foxtrots has been squared away?  Obviously both FEs and LMs are fighting to get their men on the new birds and some bitterness has snuck into this debate.  It really breaks down to whether we want to stick with what has worked for us in Afghanistan with a Sr/Jr FE team in the back with one DG or revert to the old system (with our old Charlies) of having a FE/LM team.

The Americans swear by their system (2 FEs) and the Brits swear by theirs (FE/LM).  I know that most pilots favour the 2 FE system we have been flying so far but that may just be being familiar with it.  2 x LM were deployed on Roto 11 with the CH 147 guys but not 100% sure what conclusions were drawn from that experiment if any.

My take is that the 2 FE system gives you more maintenance and systems knowledge to backstop the front enders and it also brings Tac Hel experience to a new Sqn to which I doubt any remains in the LM trade.  FEs are qualified Transportation Dangerous Goods (Air) but are not experts in the field.  Bringing on the LM trade would bring that wider range of skill sets although it would drastically increase the FEs workload.  The LMs would bring a significantly expanded Dang Goods background as well as being much more familiar with the req'd pw that goes along with TDG. 

As far as W&B, it is not really an issue with the 147 under most regimes.  Imagine picking up a board with equal force from both ends (as opposed to picking up only from a pendulum in the centre like a normal helo).  Now that you have it suspended from two points, imagine hanging a mass from the bottom or adding weight to the centre of the beam.  Not going to put you out of C of G all that much is it?

Now that I have laid out my thoughts (not sure how clearly my W&B example plays out though) I would love to hear other point of view on the validity of both systems and which you favour and why.  I have tried to lay out the pros for both while leaving politics and empires behind but I know that plays into all replies so lets try to remain gentlemanly throughout!

aesop081

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2011, 15:39:11 »
(not sure how clearly my W&B example plays out though)

I'm not sure what you are trying to say ?

That it would be better with FE/LW as it relates to W&B ?

Better with FE/FE as it relates to WB ?

Either way i don't know why you even bring it up in your post as it is a non-issue either way, and wouldn't be regardless of aircraft type.

Offline HeavyHooker

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2011, 16:00:10 »
The reason that I brought it up is because I have heard the argument in favour of the FE/LM system is that the LM would do the W&B and Dang Goods and all associated PW with that.  I am in favour of the 2 FE system wrt to W&B because there just is not much to do for W&B so the extra pre-flighter would be more of an asset.  Also, with the CH 147 having the unique characteristics that it has with two rotors, W&B is pretty much a non-issue for most regimes.  You have to work to get the Chinook out of CofG is what I was getting at and just trying to form a mental picture for anybody not familiar.

And for the record, I am in favour of the 2 x FE system.  The Americans have been flying it for almost 50 years and have a very solid grasp of it.  All of our guys have trained in the US under that system so it makes sense to keep it if you ask me.

Offline Ditch

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2011, 16:16:48 »
W&B is not a LM-only skill.  I know that is not what you are implying - it's just the idea that only LM's can do it.

 FE's do it quite well on machines bigger and more complicated (WRT CoG) than the current LM-crewed fleet.

I personally feel that FE's have more to offer to a crew than any other NCM crew member.  They can be the jack of all trades and still offer a highly proficient technical background.  As a front-ender, I rely on a FE 100%.

Now if the discussion is whether having LM's onboard will put a 'Hook out of its CoG - that is another discussion.
Per Ardua Ad Astra

aesop081

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2011, 16:29:03 »
Zoomie has good points but, in the end, this FE vs LM issue is "inside the box" thinking. Either may very well be the best solution but i think we may be limiting ourselves.

Perhaps an "aircrewman" MOS with a core training package followed by speciality training for whatever airframe the member is posted to fly ?

Offline HeavyHooker

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2011, 16:52:37 »
Aviator, I like the way you are leaning.  The aircrewman idea has merit and IMHO, with the next gen fixed-wing aircraft not requiring either FE or LM (or NAV for that matter), I believe that this is what the FE trade is trying to accomplish and I am sure that the LMs out there would love to branch out into as well.  It would allow them to do more than "elementary" tasks (fuelling, marshalling, etc) as the P series handcuffs them to as it stands now.  A hybrid trade is an excellent idea as it would allow "aircrewman" to decrease their numbers as a whole.  I would think that the number of working bodies would be similar AF wide but the Sr Leadership could be trimmed significantly by merging the two trades. 

That is perfect world scenario I am thinking and the politics and kingdoms involved in it as well as merging schools and training standards would be only the tip of that iceberg that would prevent it from happening. 

Aviator, were you intending a merge of the trades idea or more of a "train an FE in a LMs job" and vice-versa?

aesop081

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2011, 17:30:47 »


Aviator, were you intending a merge of the trades idea or more of a "train an FE in a LMs job" and vice-versa?

I think it would be worth exploring the "FE/LM/AES Op/AC OP flying positions" worlds and see where we can gain as an Air Force. Amalgamations have traditionally (it seems) done poorly so it does give me a moment of pause.

There are, however, significant overlaps in knowledge and duties that may make looking at a combined "aircrewman" MOS worthwhile. What i mean by that is :

- Centralized MOS with an initial training course in core knowledge and skills
- Upon graduation of this course, members are assigned to specific airframes for training ( a guy going to C-17 will train for the job an NCM does on that aircraft, a guy assigned to a CP-140 will either do wet sensors, dry sensors or the FE jobs, etc...)

- Member can be reassigned in his/her career to gain broader experience
- Once member reaches a certain rank ( say WO) member can be moved around as a "flying supervisor" of sorts between fleets managing the various specialties within the new MOS.


Even if we are not willing / doesn't make sense to go that far, why not created a "Helicopter crewman" MOS that combines FE and LM skills as it relates to helicopter operations ?

This is just a quick jot down of a quick idea. I know it sounds an awful lot like some failed attempts at amalgamation but i think it at least warrants a long, well thought out, detailed look. What i am saying is that we should not limit ourselves to FE/FE or FE/LM..........
« Last Edit: August 14, 2011, 17:39:51 by CDN Aviator »

Offline Ditch

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2011, 18:34:22 »
Concur 100% with the above comments.

I think that the biggest disconnect within the aircrew MOSID's right now is the link between LM and Traffic Tech.  Cut that link, rename the trade - make it ubiquitous to every platform with specific MOSID substructure for each fleet (much like the current MOS set up within the Pilot trade).  The FE/LM/AESOP mafia is extremely strong and old-school.  It will take time and a CAS with firm resolve to make substantive changes.
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Offline Infanteer

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2011, 18:47:26 »
Even if we are not willing / doesn't make sense to go that far, why not created a "Helicopter crewman" MOS that combines FE and LM skills as it relates to helicopter operations ?

Sounds like an Army Air Corps trade to me.... :stirpot:
"Overall it appears that much of the apparent complexity of modern war stems in practice from the self-imposed complexity of modern HQs" LCol J.P. Storr

aesop081

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2011, 18:52:06 »
Sounds like an Army Air Corps trade to me.... :stirpot:

But why ?

The CF employs helicopters in roles other than Tac Hel and the need for NCM aircrew extends well beyond the army's influence.

 :P

Offline GAP

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2011, 19:25:02 »
Sounds like an Army Air Corps trade to me.... :stirpot:

Well, if you want it done right...... ;D


 :whiteflag:
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aesop081

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2011, 19:29:36 »
Well, if you want it done right...... ;D


 :whiteflag:

Indeed, this Army aviator did it "right" ..........

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xT0uc5m9bFk

 >:D

Offline GAP

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2011, 19:34:35 »
Indeed, this Army aviator did it "right" ..........

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xT0uc5m9bFk

 >:D

And at treetop level too!!
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I´m not so sure about the universe

Offline Ditch

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2011, 20:03:46 »
And at treetop level too!!
Which is pretty high for TacHel - our Air Force aviators do it just clear of the skids.
Per Ardua Ad Astra

aesop081

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2011, 20:07:10 »
Any aviator can be the one to "do it right"

That Army aviator crashed it............

Offline GAP

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2011, 20:58:09 »
Any aviator can be the one to "do it right"

That Army aviator crashed it............

Yeah, well....even they have their learning deficits..... ;D

ps....betcha next time he doesn't!!
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I´m not so sure about the universe

Offline HeavyHooker

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2011, 08:33:20 »
So back to the initial post, does anybody have anything solid on whether LMs will be on the new 147s?  Any input as to whether that battle is still being fought or has it been won for one system or the other?

I concur that there is a better way if you can get the "unions" for each respective trade to back down and give a little but in the mean time, something has to be decided for the initial standup of the Sqn next APS.

HH

Offline benny88

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2011, 08:50:00 »
    I think the idea of some sort of amalgamation has merit. And I also agree that the link between traffic tech and LM is pretty tenuous. But what of the link between AVN/AVS tech and FE? Can we train all NCM aircrew to the FE standard without them having that tech trg and experience?
The people trying to make this world worse, are not taking a day off.

Offline HeavyHooker

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2011, 09:45:42 »
In my admittedly biased opinion, it is easier to train an FE to do a LMs job as we already have the familiarity with the TDG and W&B and in fact are already qualified.  In order to train a LM to be an FE, they would have to become 'A Level' technicians first, which would take a few years.  With the AVN/AVS trades being undermanned as it is, I can not see them being able to take on that task of training LMs.  I hate to be the one to point out problems without solutions, but we are just short of guys all around.

Would the feasibility of a Sr FE/Tech Crewman combination be worth looking at?  This is closer to the way the US Army run their CH 47 and UH 60 fleets.  A technician who wants to fly is made a Crew Chief (another name for Tech crewman if you ask me) and then works his way to become a Flt Eng (or Sr FE in this example).  This would free up more FEs for other fleets (also undermanned - and yes I am looking at you SAR/CS Sqns) and the maintenance background would still be there to backstop the front-enders when needed.

Thoughts?

Offline Scoobs

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #19 on: August 31, 2011, 20:47:24 »
Current standard crewing is x2 pilots, one FE, and one LM.

Also, be careful about FEs having the technical background that they used to.  Although I am somewhat sure that no FEs have come in straight from the street yet, there is no more requirement for them to come from one of the tech trades (primarily AVN, sometimes AVS).  Also, most authorizations (very different than quals) have been removed from Tac Hel FEs due to a lack of currency, i.e. they just weren't getting down on the floor to do 300 hrs or 600 hrs enough and thus currency became an issue.

I'm not even going to try to wade into the debate of which combo is best!  I know better than that!!  :)
Variety is the spice of life...

Offline HeavyHooker

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #20 on: September 01, 2011, 21:56:42 »
Scoobs, where did you hear about the current standard crew config?  I know that it was discussed that the LMs would be on the new CH 47s but I did not think that an official decision had been made yet.  And with the memo wrt the standup of the MHLH Sqn not having an LMs on listed, I thought that their union had lost the battle.  Has anything changed from that memo?  I am not totally in the loop as of right now (holidays!!!!) and am wondering if I have missed anything.

And as far as the current standard crewing, as of Roto 11 EOB last week, LMs were not flying in crew positions at all.  That I have verified as fact.  I am not sure where you got that figure.

One other thing is that the prerequisite for the FE trade for the COTP (only way available - direct entry was squashed) is to have a level A signature as an AVN Tech.  The one change that is coming, but not yet there, is that AVS Techs will be accepted on a trial basis to attempt to alleviate the strain on the undermanned AVN trade.  And as far as authorizations, all it takes is a trip through a 150/300/etc with your tech assessor to get re-qualified and SAMS authorization.

Offline Scoobs

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #21 on: September 02, 2011, 23:45:59 »
I'll re-check on the manning, i.e. about the LM question.

Good to know that the direct entry was quashed.  That will alleviate some of my concerns about future FEs lacking technical knowledge/experience.

As for authorizations for FEs, it used to be this way, but is not anymore (trust me, I was recently a SAMEO/SMM at a Tac Hel unit).  FEs are no longer coming down to inspections and a "top level" decision was made that all Tac Hel FEs would lose most of their authorizations.  My SAMS, as like others, were directed to remove the FE's authorizations.  This is simply reality as the FE trade is so short right now, the ability to come down to the floor vice being needed in the a/c was severely impacted.

I never mentioned anything about LMs operating in Afg as I have no personal knowledge of this.  I am not sure why you refer to this?
Variety is the spice of life...

Offline HeavyHooker

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #22 on: September 03, 2011, 12:28:31 »
Current standard crewing is x2 pilots, one FE, and one LM.

I thought that you were referring to Afghanistan crews with the above quote.  That is why I brought it up.  Sorry for any confusion.

The authorizations is odd and it seems to differ between units.  I know that one Sr FE/STA at one of the Tac Hel units is trying to bring back "Stables Days" like in the old days but I am not exactly sure how much backing he is getting from the brass because that would impact Flying Ops.  This would allow our FE Tech Assessors to maintain currencies as well as all A level TX'd quals that the guys hold (ie. 150, etc).  I definitely agree that FE's are not on the floor enough to maintain their currencies as it stands now but I still hold out hope now that Tac Hel's Afghan role is done that things may return to some semblance of normalcy. 

Or at least normal until the next big thing.....

Offline Ditch

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #23 on: September 03, 2011, 19:25:04 »
This would allow our FE Tech Assessors to maintain currencies as well as all A level TX'd quals that the guys hold (ie. 150, etc).
With the new changes to the FE MOSID - the return to the servicing/maintenance floor for Snr NCO FE's is almost guaranteed. 
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Offline HeavyHooker

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #24 on: September 03, 2011, 23:47:39 »
Good point Zoomie. 

The transition to AMSup will hopefully bridge some of the gap between FE and AVN.  There is some serious resistance to that in the upper echelon of the FE trade and the AVN trade as well.  FE's don't want to stop flying when they reach WO so Sr FE's are still fighting this.  For what its worth, I don't think it will take hold and stay, but thats just my $.02 so who knows...

Offline Ditch

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #25 on: September 04, 2011, 10:41:55 »
There is some serious resistance to that in the upper echelon of the FE trade and the AVN trade as well. 
Resistance is futile... :-)

In all reality, the airborne NCM trade is changing dramatically.  With the almost elimination of the FE position on most modern fleets - a move to a "jack of all trades" MOSID is near.  Just take the FWSAR recommendations - FE and NAV/ACSO have been replaced with Tech Crewman and Sensor Operator.  Notice that it doesn't specifically state any MOSIDs that we currently have - just a generic recommendation.  That leaves it up to the AVN/FE/LM/ACSO/AESOP mafias to fight it out for positions on the new platform.
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Offline HercFE

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #26 on: September 04, 2011, 22:59:52 »
I have been watching this  thread for a while and have held my tongue in check as not to infer my personal feelings. My belief is the FE trade needs to under go a huge paradigm shift. We are no longer a person in the cockpit that manages fuel and pressurization. We are now airborne operations NCMs  conducting task from anything from MX15 operations to rigging and dropping SAR Bundles to SAR techs on the ground. We also carry out tech duties on the ground and airborne as well as traditional FE duties such as fuel management, pressurization and weight and balance. The FE trade is very dynamic and does not need to be pigion holed. You have a huge pool of people that have a technical background  that can be employed in a vast variety airborne and ground duties.We should use them instead of creating new positions.
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Offline Ditch

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #27 on: September 05, 2011, 12:48:14 »
IMHO - I concur 100% with what HercFE just said.  I would much rather have a FE that knows how to strap down a load in the back, operate an EO/IR, conduct weight and balance and de-snag an aircraft.  The maintenance background that Canadian FE's bring to the plate is an essential element to an effective SAR crew.  TAL crews (C-17, J Herc) can get away with just 2 pilots and 2 LMs - FWSAR needs the full skillset for its rapidly changing mission.
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Offline Scoobs

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #28 on: September 07, 2011, 23:21:50 »
Cofirmed: current (emphasis on current as we all know that things can change in the CF rather quickly) manning for the new Chinook is x2 pilots, x1 FE, and x1 LM.

No, I say again, no, tech crewman is currently part of the crew.
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Offline HeavyHooker

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #29 on: September 08, 2011, 05:34:41 »
Ack.  Thanks Scoobs!

Offline beenthere

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #30 on: September 14, 2011, 10:30:13 »
I flew on CH-113As and CH-147s with the FE&LM combo and it worked very well. Each had their own special training and background to draw from and they worked together. The FE helped the LM with the passengers and load tie down and other related jobs and the LM helped the FE with his duties. On a fuel stop the LM refueled the aircraft while the FE did the after/before flight checks,tightened up the leaks and did the paperwork.
On field operations the LM liaised with the customers and checked that sling loads were rigged properly and checked that cargo loads were within legal standards etc.
Neither myself or any other FEs had ever rigged sling loads,didn't know much about cargo regulations and we didn't have time to get involved in that aspect of the mission as keeping the aircraft in flying condition was usually a full time job.
 On away from home operations such as in the Arctic or other remote locations we often crewed up with 2 FEs and 2 LMs as one of each wasn't enough to keep the show on the road.
I doubt very much that we ever had any more than 3 or 4 senior FEs on the Squadron at any one time and that was only at the beginning of the CH-147 operation when all of the FEs were from the Squadron's former CH-113A operation. Even at that we were pretty green. There was a huge learning curve. Our experience in remote operations and being able to fix things rather than send for a repair crew was our greatest strength.
The LMs  had to work outside the box in rigging unconventional loads and deciding if we could carry some of the things that we were tasked to move.Many of our taskings involved slinging things that were one of a kind moves of large loads that required a lot of rigging and reriging in order to get the load to fly right. That kind of work requires someone who can dedicate their knowledge and efforts to the task.
People who came to us from the TACHEL  world were about as green as the recent FE "recruits" as they had mostly served as cabin boys who looked after the passengers and had a notable lack of experience on the technical side of operations.

My choice would be for the FE&LM combo as they each bring their background training,knowledge and experience to the operation and given the right training and experience they would complement each other to make a great back end team.
But not lately. If I could do it all over again I would  change one thing.

Offline HeavyHooker

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #31 on: September 14, 2011, 13:37:19 »
I understand what you are saying "beenthere" but the issue I have is that FE's today all have their TAMS course and rigging loads is not that complicated.  The pams hold your hand and walk you through the different loads to be honest.  C of G and Wt & Bal are equally simple.  Strapping down loads is not complicated and for the last 3 years, FE's have done all of this with no incidents.

When you bring on a LM and take out an FE (or Tech CM for that matter), are you gaining or losing?  You are bringing on somebody who is qualified to do all of the things that an FE is qualified to do but you are losing years of technical experience that can sometimes make or break a mission.  I don't think that there is a single person who operated out of CHF(A) in since 2008 that would prefer to have an LM over an FE, apart from the LM's who were there as observers of course.

I just can't see the reasoning behind it other than one union is better than another and each trade fights for its own survival.  When you take away the politics behind this whole discussion, and cast it solely in the spot light of common sense and what is right for the airframe, I just honestly can not see the benefit of an FE/LM team.  Again, my two cents.

HH

Offline beenthere

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #32 on: September 16, 2011, 10:41:14 »
Rigging loads for the army support role is obviously not complicated as over time a pretty much fool proof system has been developed.The CH-147 never had a problem with C of G or Wt & Bal as you would have to work very hard to build a load that would fall outside the limits. Not an issue.Same goes for load tie down.The army support role is the easy part.

However, once you go outside of that role and get tasked with moving big and unusual loads which don't have any slinging points or instructions you're getting into a whole new game. When we got the first CH-147s we started getting tasked to move all of the things that had been accumulating for years all over the country because there had been no way to move them. There's no way that the same people (FEs) who had a full time job keeping the aircraft running and fixing snags on an away from base operation can also figure out a plan to rig a load that has never been slung before without losing their sense of priority. The aircraft has to be working properly in order to sling the load and the load has to fly properly or the aircraft can't move it.

Common sense will tell most people that there's no way that the same people can look after both ends of the operation.
To give an example of the industrial equivalent a crane operator on a construction project operates a huge crane that is maintained by a mechanic who knows all about how the crane works to lift a component that has been rigged by iron workers who have rigged it to lift so that it will stay level while the bolt it into place. A couple of years ago I watched a team install new blades on a huge wind powered generator and that's exactly how it works.

Given that in the military people get moved away from a job just about the time that they become proficient and experienced we must assume that whoever goes out to do something that's outside the box will be doing something that's totally new to them so it's best that there be a split in specialties.

Forward thinking: The board of inquiry concluded that the crash was caused because the FEs who rigged the tower for sling loading were not aware that the sling that broke was damaged because they hadn't realized that it could come in contact with the sharp surface of the steel brace. They had been involved with trying to rectify an engine oil pressure problem with the helicopter and had been distracted from the rigging task when they positioned the sling over the sharp side of the brace.

That's exactly what will happen when you try to make someone an instant jack of all trades in a system where everyone is just passing through on a 3 or 4 year posting. 


But not lately. If I could do it all over again I would  change one thing.

Offline beenthere

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #33 on: September 16, 2011, 12:53:01 »
Sounds like an Army Air Corps trade to me.... :stirpot:
I started flying on CH-113As with army aviators. At the rate that they were destroying the CH-113A fleet it would have become extinct by the early 1990's rather than living on to retirement for some and a civilian career for others.
But not lately. If I could do it all over again I would  change one thing.

Offline Loachman

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #34 on: September 16, 2011, 13:18:47 »
And at the rate that RCAF pilots were simultaneously destroying other fleets...

Offline beenthere

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #35 on: September 16, 2011, 13:20:14 »
http://www.colheli.com/ Professional operators usually fly the same aircraft (Chinook) with just a pilot and copilot and they fly a whole lot more than military helicopters do.
However they don't waste their time and money training crews and then moving them on to another aircraft or occupation where they have to train them all over again.
Obviously the military can't operate that way but it certainly shows how the military can complicate a rather simple operation and still not get it right.
But not lately. If I could do it all over again I would  change one thing.

Offline beenthere

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #36 on: September 16, 2011, 13:31:24 »
And at the rate that RCAF pilots were simultaneously destroying other fleets...
Actually the R.C.A.F. started out with 6 and the R.C.A.S.C. started out with 12. I may be wrong but I think that all but 1 of the R.C.A.F. 113s survived to retirement.
As for other fleets each has their own history. The ones with the highest attrition rates were the aircraft where pilots flew unsupervised such as Sabers and T-33s.
 
But not lately. If I could do it all over again I would  change one thing.

Offline Ditch

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #37 on: September 16, 2011, 16:59:56 »
where pilots flew unsupervised such as Sabers and T-33s.
Classic - good one... :-)
Per Ardua Ad Astra

Offline Inverted

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #38 on: September 19, 2011, 08:09:05 »
I'm not normally one to post on-line (I think this is my first post here after reading for awhile) but for once I may have something useful to add.  I'm one of the guys posted Down Under with the Australian Army Chinook Sqn so I'll add another perspective.

The Aussies have both Loadmasters and Aircrewman Technical ((AT) their version of an FE) on the CH-47. The -47 is the only aircraft that they employ an AT on, their Blackhawks and MRH-90 are crewed solely by LM's.

I was a little skeptical of the LM concept when I first got here but I think I was tainted a little by my experience with LM's in Canada.  Just like in Canada, LM is not a direct entry trade, the difference here is that you can apply for LM from any trade; I would say the vast majority come from the Combat Arms with the rest coming from aviation related trades (the Australian Army has some aviation related support trades which work really well, but that's another thread!). The man job of the LM's is to direct/con the aircraft, take care of loading and rigging and keeping the performance data up to date.  The key extra duty they have is that they are the experts on door-gunnery, especially since they -47's here are armed with 2 x M134D's in the forward windows.

The one major problem for the LM's is that they are not allowed to conduct any maintenance related tasks, to the point that technically they are not even allowed to do panel checks after the pre-flight.   

The AT's here operate very much like FE's do in Canada, they do the pre/post flight inspections/user maintenance and in-flight troubleshooting, plus they direct the aircraft and do the same loading and rigging as the LM's, they just do it under the supervision of a LM.

In the end, with the exception of the maintenance tasks, LM's and AT's receive the same training (they both attend the same basic course where they learn to con aircraft, rig loads, etc) and in reality they can work any station in the back of the aircraft.
 
The other key difference here is that the Chinooks are crewed with three back-seaters for the vast majority of all flights, the only time we go with a smaller crew is for test flights, when it's just an AT in the back, or for critical flights and a third back-seater can't be found. The Aussies decided it does no good to train to operate with a crew of 2 when you know that you will always go to war with a crew of 3. So crewing here is normally 2 x LM's and 1 x AT, but it's not unusual to go out with 2 AT's and 1 LM (which I think it the ideal solution). Normally the 2 LM's will man the right and left guns (windows) and the AT will man the ramp (and thus have access to the maintenance panel). This is why the LM's tend to be the gunnery experts.

All that to say I think the ideal solution includes both FE's and LM's with a few caveats:

1) LM must be split away from the traffic tech trade. I think it would be more beneficial to have a number of former Combat Arms doing the job then former traffic techs.
2) LM's must be provided with similar technical training as pilots (if not more). If they can train me to do a pre-flight (to be honest I'd be lucky to identify a hammer 50% of the time!) they can train LM's to do it; and ultimately relieve some of the pressure on the FE's.
3) We should look beyond the 2 man cabin crew and push for a crew of 3 back-seaters, train like you fight.

Anyway my $0.02AUD (which is about $0.015CAD right now, damn exchange rate!! :'(

Cheers :cdn:

Offline HeavyHooker

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #39 on: September 20, 2011, 13:45:06 »
Inverted, thanks for the post from down-under.  I have spoken with a few of the Aussie FE's overseas wrt the M134 mounting system before we mounted ours and their system did seem to work pretty well although when I told them how we operated with two FE's they were obviously partial to our system as it lightens the workload (ie. more people doing pre-flight in stead of sitting in the air conditioning!).  If you are who I think you are, I am pretty sure that I have flown with you as well on Roto 8 when you came over to fly with us Canucks...

A couple of points of concern:

1)  Our LM's must be drawn from the Traffic Tech trade.  Most are career AF guys with no Cbt Arms experience.  When we fly overseas we have a DG on the left gun that must be a cbt arms soldier.  The point is to have a soldier that can advise the a/c which COA to follow on the ground in the event of us having to land outside the wire.  Canadian LM's are all Herc or C17 guys that have zero tactical experience.  If we started taking Infanteers and making them LM's, I think that would be an outstanding idea and that they would then bring so much more to the table in a Chinook crew.  I do not see that happening any time soon however.

2)  Training LM's to do pre-flights.  Without any technical background, this is a tough nut to crack.  Even the pilots that help out with pre-flights, the FE's ask them to only do the less technical aspects.  The phrase that was put to me during my trg went something like "Where are the parts that can kill you, the top and inside the a/c right?  Get the pilots to walk around and check panels."  Now that is a bit harsh as a I know that most pilots are perfectly capable but there still is not that intimate technical background and most FE's would rather just do the check themselves than have someone other than another FE help out.  Also, the P-Series manuals that governs all airworthiness issues dictates very specifically what LMs are allowed to do and any maintenance related activities are forbidden, including checks.

3)  When you say LMs should be split from Tfc Tech and have Cbt Arms troops become DGs why not just bring back Mission Specs to be the Gunnery Experts and have two FE's, who are both qualified to do a LMs job?  We all have the TAMS course for rigging loads, can do C of G and Wt and B and the paperwork involved with all of those things.  With two FEs on board, you have the technical background, all of the required quals, Combat Experience from the last 3 years and the background of working in a Tac Hel environment.  I still think that this is the only plan that makes any sense without giving up more than you gain.

I realize that "beenthere" does not agree but the FE trade has evolved from where it was when he was an engineer on our old B and C models.

I would love to hear more thoughts from all of you.

HH

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #40 on: September 20, 2011, 14:17:02 »

 The point is to have a soldier that can advise the a/c which COA to follow on the ground in the event of us having to land outside the wire.

That may be the intent, to somebody, but it is rather nonsense. There is training in the AF, specifically for aircrews, for what to do should you find yourself on the ground "outside the wire"........combat arms guy not required.


Quote
Without any technical background, this is a tough nut to crack.

CC-130J...............Take a look at what they are teaching the LMs to do. Not that tough a nut to crack.

Quote
I know that most pilots are perfectly capable but there still is not that intimate technical background

I've got allot of hours listening to junior FOs being grilled by ACs about systems, how things work, what does what and how, in excruciating detail. I'm pretty confident that they have a serious in-depth technical background of the birds they fly. Depending on the aircraft you fly, the FE know less than the rest of the crew, hence why i am not always quick to say "the FE knows best".




Offline HeavyHooker

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #41 on: September 20, 2011, 15:42:28 »
Quote
That may be the intent, to somebody, but it is rather nonsense. There is training in the AF, specifically for aircrews, for what to do should you find yourself on the ground "outside the wire"........combat arms guy not required.

Not sure how you can call this non-sense.  If you think that BSERE, ASERE (which way too many waivers were granted and most aircrew did not even have prior to deployment) and CAC - although very good courses - stack up against actual tours on the ground by Cbt Arms troops, than yes, you will have an argument here.  As a former Cbt Arms soldier, I can tell you that there is no comparison at all and a couple weeks in the bush and some stress positions do not make up for actual ground tours on top of being a soldier be their primary job for years.  No way, no how.  I think you would also get some rather heated arguments from the ground pounders out there as well.  If your argument were taken one level further, why have Mission Specs when you can give any aircrew a course on it?

Quote
Depending on the aircraft you fly, the FE know less than the rest of the crew, hence why i am not always quick to say "the FE knows best".

Tell me of an aircraft where the LM knows more than the FE.  This is getting more heated than I wanted when I started this board but I have a hard time believing that - technically speaking - the LM is on an equal footing with the pilots and FE's which is what this entire post is about (CH 147 Backenders).  On every airframe I have flown on, I have had pilots come to me and ask technical questions because they just did not know the answers.  There are definitely situations where pilots will know more than FE's in certain systems but to say that the FE knows less than pilots wrt to systems knowledge is plain BS.  Its just that easy.


aesop081

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #42 on: September 20, 2011, 17:21:17 »
which way too many waivers were granted and most aircrew did not even have prior to deployment)

Unrelated issue. The training exists and it is available. That members are deploying without is a leadership failiure.


Quote
stack up against actual tours on the ground by Cbt Arms troops,

Only one part of the equation. Having tours on the ground an expert does not make.


Quote
As a former Cbt Arms soldier,

As a former combat arms soldier myself i can tell you that i was never trained for situations introduced in ASERE or CAC.  With the exception of those PPCLI guys that teach (or have) at CFSSAT, you would be hard pressed to find a combat arms guy in line units that knows what SAFEs are, knows and understands recovery procedures and has been trained in R2I. Given that, your combat arms crew guy offers precious little insights beyond likely being in better shape and highly likely, a much better shot. If an experience combat arms guy was so critical to the survival of the crew, all our tactical fleets would have them, TACHEL or otherwise.


Quote
why have Mission Specs when you can give any aircrew a course on it?

The role of Msn Specialist was never to be a member of the crew that would know what to do when they hit the ground.

As for LM vs FE on the CH-147, i have no vested interest how it turns out so i will withdraw from that portion.

« Last Edit: September 20, 2011, 17:24:13 by CDN Aviator »

Offline The Gues-|-

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #43 on: September 20, 2011, 19:02:34 »
Unrelated issue. The training exists and it is available. That members are deploying without is a leadership failiure.

Other than the afternoon nav ex, gas hut, PWT 1-3 and basic SERE, I am curious to know what this other training is you speak of.

Only one part of the equation. Having tours on the ground an expert does not make.


As a former combat arms soldier myself i can tell you that i was never trained for situations introduced in ASERE or CAC.  With the exception of those PPCLI guys that teach (or have) at CFSSAT, you would be hard pressed to find a combat arms guy in line units that knows what SAFEs are, knows and understands recovery procedures and has been trained in R2I. Given that, your combat arms crew guy offers precious little insights beyond likely being in better shape and highly likely, a much better shot. If an experience combat arms guy was so critical to the survival of the crew, all our tactical fleets would have them, TACHEL or otherwise.


You are ex Combat Arms and saying this!? I am surprised and somewhat disappointed.  All tactical fleets should employ Combat Arms soldiers for over seas operations.  Why? they are more comfortable on the ground. They have sufficient training and experience and they know why they are there.  In the unfortunate event we went to ground it's the ground guys show.  I wouldn't want it any other way and the impression I received while in theatre was nothing but positive and clear as to why Combat Arms soldiers were employed as part of the crew.  Which can't be said for the LM/FE mix.  LM's just did what the FE's and door gunners were already capable of doing.  The LM/FE caused a lot of friction between the 2 trades but at the end of the day the job got done LM or no LM.  Solution? 2 FE's 1 door gunner for unslung loads, 2 FE's 2 gunners for slung loads.

The role of Msn Specialist was never to be a member of the crew that would know what to do when they hit the ground.

There are Mission Specialists on Chinooks?   wasn't that a NAV position on the Kiowas and/or Griffons? Slight difference from door gunners.  Regardless if it was their responsibility or in their job profile to know what to do when they hit the ground, I'd feel a bit more comfortable with someone who knows what to do on the ground in hairy situations.

It makes more sense to train a Combat Arms soldier in a couple Aircrew skills than train Aircrew in ground tactics.  This has been proven.   When it comes to Chinooks, throw out the LM option, FE's and door gunners live on.  ;D


*edited by mod to fix quotations*
« Last Edit: September 20, 2011, 21:57:33 by Good2Golf »
We aint making goddamn cornflakes here!

aesop081

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #44 on: September 20, 2011, 19:20:48 »
They have sufficient training and experience and they know why they are there.

And no one else does ? Only slightly pretentious. Doesn't take a genuis to know you're on the ground because the aircraft stopped flying  ;D

Quote
In the unfortunate event we went to ground it's the ground guys show.

Far from it. When aircrews hit the ground, it becomes JPRCCs show. At the crash, it is the crew commander's show.


Quote
I'd feel a bit more comfortable with someone who knows what to do on the ground in hairy situations.

Your personal comfort level does not translate into a requirement. I know what to do on the ground in "hairy" situations (background notwithstanding) and am comfortable enough that was training was provided ( BSERE,ASERE, CAC, weapons, foreign weapons, never ending briefings.......  ) was enough to get me from the crash site to the HH-60 or MV-22 and whatever happens in between.

Quote
When it comes to Chinooks, throw out the LM option, FE's and door gunners live on.  ;D

That last part belongs on a badge.......
« Last Edit: September 20, 2011, 19:30:07 by CDN Aviator »

Offline HeavyHooker

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #45 on: September 20, 2011, 20:41:14 »
Quote
Far from it. When aircrews hit the ground, it becomes JPRCCs show. At the crash, it is the crew commander's show.

I know of one, and only one, aircraft comd that said he would ask for "advice from the DG in the event of a crash".  ALL OTHERS - without fail - said in every crew brief the conditions under which we would land outside the wire and immediately following that the DG would direct the defence of the aircraft while the AC and FE secured the kit that needed to be secured.  It was then the SME's show.  This was the unofficial SOP.

Quote
Your personal comfort level does not translate into a requirement. I know what to do on the ground in "hairy" situations (background notwithstanding) and am comfortable enough that was training was provided ( BSERE,ASERE, CAC, weapons, foreign weapons, never ending briefings.......  ) was enough to get me from the crash site to the HH-60 or MV-22 and whatever happens in between.

No, not a requirement but lets bring common sense back for a second here.  The fact that you think you know what to do on the ground in "hairy situations" because of the above few courses and briefings - of all things - is quite scary.  I don't know any infanteers or engineers, tankers or artymen who would say that they are comfortable in the ground in "Hairy Situations" so the fact that you do is only slightly pretentious, if I may borrow that phrase.   >:D ;D

aesop081

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #46 on: September 20, 2011, 20:50:41 »
if I may borrow that phrase.   >:D ;D

Damn....i knew i should have gone for that copyright !!!!   ;D

I have faith in the training i received, the skills i have and the head on my shoulders. We did not need a combat arms guy in Libya to "take over" if case we crashed in bad guy country. We did not have that need because we were properly trained and the CSAR was ready to do what it is supposed to do when s**t hits the fan.

I'm happy to agree to disagree here and say that i wish i was up flying rather than on here talking about it.

Offline The Gues-|-

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #47 on: September 20, 2011, 21:01:18 »
And no one else does ? Only slightly pretentious. Doesn't take a genuis to know you're on the ground because the aircraft stopped flying  ;D

Right.



Far from it. When aircrews hit the ground, it becomes JPRCCs show. At the crash, it is the crew commander's show.


I was specifically talking about "at the crash".  I still disagree.  During our pre-flight briefs there were discrepancies between pilots on who would take charge if we went to ground. AC or Gunner?

 
Your personal comfort level does not translate into a requirement. I know what to do on the ground in "hairy" situations (background notwithstanding) and am comfortable enough that was training was provided ( BSERE,ASERE, CAC, weapons, foreign weapons, never ending briefings.......  ) was enough to get me from the crash site to the HH-60 or MV-22 and whatever happens in between.

That training provided would be more than enough for anyone in order to make it from a crash site to an HH-60 or MV-22, LAV, whatever.  Provided you were just FOB hopping relatively in close proximity to FOBS, Coalition Forces and KAF.  In Afghanistan, with the amount of resources (mostly American) allocated for significant events should only cause modest worry.  It wouldn't be close to enough training if you were going to an isolated FOB or potential hot LZ's and had to extract.  Not to mention where future conflicts will be that include Canadian Chinooks without the luxury of our American counterparts.


[/quote]
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Offline The Gues-|-

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #48 on: September 20, 2011, 21:12:25 »

No, not a requirement but lets bring common sense back for a second here.  The fact that you think you know what to do on the ground in "hairy situations" because of the above few courses and briefings - of all things - is quite scary.  I don't know any infanteers or engineers, tankers or artymen who would say that they are comfortable in the ground in "Hairy Situations" so the fact that you do is only slightly pretentious, if I may borrow that phrase.   >:D ;D



disregard^
« Last Edit: September 20, 2011, 21:45:29 by The Gues-|- »
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Offline Good2Golf

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #49 on: September 20, 2011, 22:39:18 »
...It makes more sense to train a Combat Arms soldier in a couple Aircrew skills than train Aircrew in ground tactics.  This has been proven.

Proven?  ???

Could you post "proof", please?


In the opposite, the higher-speed an aviation unit gets, the more it departs from the "army guy on board, good to go" mantra.  Dedicated "green platoon" training for aviators is the "proven" way to go - proven by 160th SOAR(A), being adopted by some Tac Hel units already in Canada, and quite reasonable to think that such training would be a clear part of the MHLH Squadron operational training regime.  Folks who would dismiss Level-C CAC/R2I training, thinking that having a cbt arms guy/gal on board is a better solution are not looking at things from the aviation self-proficiency point of view. 

To be clear about CH147D DGs...it was decided mutually between CAS and CLS prior to the deployment of the first crews into theatre that door gunners would be provided from the Army as a means of both providing expertise door gunnery skills (and even the DGs needed to learn about on-aircraft effects on gunnery) and secondly to reinforce Air-Land integration as a mutual activity.  There was not the slightest hint of "the door gunner will be a tactical beacon to the 'ground un-aware' aircrew should the aircraft be force down" in any of the discussion between CAS and CLS.  Frankly, the opposite was almost true as it was questioned whether the DGs should in fact undergo CAC training, as being downed with aircrew only would place a combat arms soldier in the situation of operating without mutual support that he might otherwise expect when working within a section or higher within a ground force element.

Lastly, there has been no definitive policy as to the final FE-LM manning concept because both trades are still in enough flux that it would be imprudent to do so.  Anecdotal stories, whether from the far past or more recent times, may provide context within which future decisions will be taken but do not, in and of themselves, prescriptively make a case one way or the other.  I have had LMs in the past who were incredibly professional and through their own initiative spent a lot of time learning much about the CH147, qualitatively more capable than a number of FEs I was crewed with, so much so that those LMs were signed off by the SAMEO to conduct A/B checks on the aircraft, and before one says that couldn't happen in today's environment, P-03 and EITEMS would support such a qualification if the proper training was provided, in much the same way as the C-17 and C-130J LMs do so.

Ironically, I think the most valuable takeaway in the thread so far is that more folks should be prepared to do Level-C CAC/R2I training before they take to the skies overseas.  I can definitively say that had we more time during the initial deployment of the CH147D capability, this would have occurred without question.


Regards
G2G



 

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #50 on: September 20, 2011, 23:46:10 »
Proven?  ???

Could you post "proof", please?


In the opposite, the higher-speed an aviation unit gets, the more it departs from the "army guy on board, good to go" mantra.  Dedicated "green platoon" training for aviators is the "proven" way to go - proven by 160th SOAR(A), being adopted by some Tac Hel units already in Canada, and quite reasonable to think that such training would be a clear part of the MHLH Squadron operational training regime.  Folks who would dismiss Level-C CAC/R2I training, thinking that having a cbt arms guy/gal on board is a better solution are not looking at things from the aviation self-proficiency point of view. 

To be clear about CH147D DGs...it was decided mutually between CAS and CLS prior to the deployment of the first crews into theatre that door gunners would be provided from the Army as a means of both providing expertise door gunnery skills To be clear about CH147D DGs...it was decided mutually between CAS and CLS prior to the deployment of the first crews into theatre that door gunners would be provided from the Army as a means of both providing expertise door gunnery skills (and even the DGs needed to learn about on-aircraft effects on gunnery) and secondly to reinforce Air-Land integration as a mutual activity.  There was not the slightest hint of "the door gunner will be a tactical beacon to the 'ground un-aware' aircrew should the aircraft be force down" in any of the discussion between CAS and CLS.  Frankly, the opposite was almost true as it was questioned whether the DGs should in fact undergo CAC training, as being downed with aircrew only would place a combat arms soldier in the situation of operating without mutual support that he might otherwise expect when working within a section or higher within a ground force element.

Lastly, there has been no definitive policy as to the final FE-LM manning concept because both trades are still in enough flux that it would be imprudent to do so.  Anecdotal stories, whether from the far past or more recent times, may provide context within which future decisions will be taken but do not, in and of themselves, prescriptively make a case one way or the other.  I have had LMs in the past who were incredibly professional and through their own initiative spent a lot of time learning much about the CH147, qualitatively more capable than a number of FEs I was crewed with, so much so that those LMs were signed off by the SAMEO to conduct A/B checks on the aircraft, and before one says that couldn't happen in today's environment, P-03 and EITEMS would support such a qualification if the proper training was provided, in much the same way as the C-17 and C-130J LMs do so.

Ironically, I think the most valuable takeaway in the thread so far is that more folks should be prepared to do Level-C CAC/R2I training before they take to the skies overseas.  I can definitively say that had we more time during the initial deployment of the CH147D capability, this would have occurred without question.


Regards
G2G

Isn't the "proof" of my statement demonstrated by the performance in training and in theatre?  Why fix something if it 'aint broke? 

 Perhaps, I could be slightly bias towards integrating door gunners over LM and there would be no reason to think otherwise.  It seems clear what a door gunner would have to qualify Aircrew side in order to be an effective gunner/LM (IE existing LM requisites which you have stated.)  But, how does aircrew/LM train to be that guy... the "good to go mantra" ?  Or is that mentality and capability not required?

"Reinforce Air-Land integration" through ground element training or actual in flight integration and take what you've learned back to your unit type thing?  Which is valuable to Army/Air Force integration thus being broader than aviation self-proficiency point of view.  All the more reason for permanent door gunning.  Interesting nonetheless



We aint making goddamn cornflakes here!

aesop081

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #51 on: September 21, 2011, 00:41:56 »
  Or is that mentality and capability not required?



Is that mentality somehow limited to Army types ?

Offline Inverted

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #52 on: September 21, 2011, 08:30:27 »
It almost sounds like the discussion of crewing the back of the Chinook has to go back to first principles; what effect do we want the crew in the back to achieve?  Once that is decided then the crewing becomes pretty obvious.

From my perspective in the front the effect boils down to four key points:

1) The crew must be able to direct the aircraft, and provide the word picture to the front of what is going on, when trying to squeeze the aircraft into a confined area, with 10 foot rotor clearance, at night, with minimum illum.  Unless all the crew members can do this they are dead-weight to me up front.

2) Must be able to defend the aircraft with whatever weapons systems are on board, if there is more than one type of weapon they must all be capable of operating it.

3) Must be able to load/unload, rig and/or hook a load, in as short a time as possible.

4) They must be able to conduct adequate maintenance and servicing while in flight or away from the Sqn.  What constitutes this level of maintenance? I would say the highest level would be capable of pulling chip-detectors, determining whether it's real or fuzz and carrying on from there.

How do we accomplish this?

As I said in my first post, I think this can best be done through a mix of FE's and LM's.  Again, I think we should be looking at a 3 man back seat crew, if this is 2 LM/1 FE or 1 LM/2 FE is immaterial, provided they can all achieve points 1 - 3 above. 

Point 4 is going to be the domain of the FE's, but that doesn't absolve them from being just as proficient as LM's with the other 3 points. And it doesn't mean that LM's can not participate in point 4, there is no reason (at least no problem that can't be solved) a LM can not receive the same training and have the same understanding of aircraft systems as a pilot.

And to reiterate what others have said, if you are flying as crew then you are aircrew and subject to the same training requirements as everyone else, CAC/R2I, RUET, Av Med...etc.  So no, now that we are out of the Afghan theatre, you can't just toss an Army guy in and call him a DG. 

That's not to say I wouldn't want some Cbt Arms experience to tap into.  Which is one of the reasons why I think separating LM from Traffic tech (at least on the Chinook) would be a good idea.  I think over time we would attract Cbt Arms guys/gals to the community, bringing their experience with them; we would also attract other trades which would bring other skill sets and experience.

Cheers  :cdn:

Offline Good2Golf

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #53 on: September 21, 2011, 09:48:36 »
Isn't the "proof" of my statement demonstrated by the performance in training and in theatre?  Why fix something if it 'aint broke? 

No.

That we were fortunate that 202 went down very close to own troops and 205 reasonably so does not constitute proof that things were done optimally.  In the future, waivers for Level C CAC training clearly should be the rare exception.  Aviators who have operated far more austerely than the situations the crews of 202 and 205 found themselves in have reiterated the importance of aviation/air-specific training that, while containing many elements of combat arms characteristics (Shoot, Move, Communicate), is optimized specifically for all surviving members of a crew to conduct egress drills and action appropriate to the situation. Some organizations even have gone as far as to establish a "green platoon" within their organization to instill the necessary skills within any aircrew member who sets foot in an aircraft.

We can do his by adopting the same approach proposed by Inverted, a functional analysis of what skills and capabilities are required after a forced landing in a combat theatre.  Absolutely EVERY member of the crew must be prepared to help self and others survive, and while skills that combat arms, and indeed combat support and combat service support soldiers require are useful, those skills are only valuable when each and every member of the crew are so trained.  Imagine the status quo capabilities if the door gunner(s) was(were) killed prior to the aircraft's forced landing? Not the time to be wondering "what would Cpl Bloggins have told/showed us what to do?"

I cannot imagine a unit Commader allowing his or her aviators to be so dependent on the skills of specific individuals of a particular trade/MOSID within the crews.


Regards
G2G

*edited for spelling/grammar and to add a related link*
« Last Edit: September 21, 2011, 14:19:32 by Good2Golf »

Offline beenthere

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #54 on: September 26, 2011, 12:18:25 »
The door gunner and other such stuff is applicable to operations in areas where conflict is the reason for you're being there. A policy for crewing in conflict zones should and no doubt will evolve.

However in the absence of conflict and training for it, the role of the aircraft will be a whole lot different than what it's been for the past couple of years.You have to consider that when you go "outside the wire" in Petawawa it may very well be to a major aircraft accident site in the high arctic during the winter.  That's where the success or failure of the mission will depend on a whole different set of skills and knowledge along with a large measure of good luck. Even deploying aircraft to other places within Canada in the summer has the potential to end up with an aircraft sitting in a farm field awaiting the delivery of a part to get it back in the air.

I recall when a CH-135 had to be slung out of some place in Quebec because of a transmission failure. The failure turned out to be a transmission oil pressure indicator that had malfunctioned. That could have been very embarrassing to the crew of most other aircraft that have at least one crew member (FE) who's supposed to be at the very least a troubleshooter. The crew and even the unit that the helicopter belonged to took the whole issue as just another one of "those things that happen". Through their lack of whatever they actually put the helicopter in danger of being destroyed if the helicopter that was slinging it had to drop it.

If a unit was to deploy 6 helicopters to some place 2500 miles from base with crews that were all trained up for combat but short on aircraft knowledge I would take a guess that 2 of them would arrive at their destination on time.

Take a break during this short interval of peace to hone up on aircraft knowledge. I'm sure that it's going to be very useful and it may even save someone's life.




« Last Edit: September 26, 2011, 12:22:51 by beenthere »
But not lately. If I could do it all over again I would  change one thing.

Offline HeavyHooker

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Re: CH 147 Backenders (FE/LM) Debate
« Reply #55 on: October 20, 2011, 14:44:08 »
beenthere, I have a few issues with the argument you are trying to sell here.  Your mock scenarios are distorted and pedantic.  Lets try to stick to actual anecdotes.  Not fun little made up stories.

Quote
If a unit was to deploy 6 helicopters to some place 2500 miles from base with crews that were all trained up for combat but short on aircraft knowledge I would take a guess that 2 of them would arrive at their destination on time.
This is a little bit ridiculous but I will play your silly game here.  The fact that you think that 4 of 6 aircraft could not complete a cross country is a major slap in the face of those imaginary pilots and FE's.  So you would have at least 6 FE's and an even dozen pilots, not to mention the associated techs that would no doubt be attached to an exercise/deployment of this size.  Lets forget about the techs for the time being (sorry guys, just for arguments sake!) and remove them from this equation.  The combined knowledge of 12 pilots and 6 (possibly 12) Flight Engineers would indeed have a much higher success rate than the one that you are dreaming up.  At least today it would.  I can not speak of what the state of the union was when you were a CH 147 FE back in the day.

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Take a break during this short interval of peace to hone up on aircraft knowledge. I'm sure that it's going to be very useful and it may even save someone's life.
If you think for one instant that we did not have the required systems knowledge just because we stood behind guns in Afghanistan, then you are sadly mistaken.  Especially since we had two FE's on each machine.

Quote
However in the absence of conflict and training for it, the role of the aircraft will be a whole lot different than what it's been for the past couple of years
IMHO, we should never stop training for conflict.  Ever.  We had a much steeper learning curve in deploying the air wing to Afghanistan than we should have.  Will the peace time missions be different?  Of course.  Aid to the civil power missions (ice storms, floods, etc) will be different from conflict and war-fighting scenarios but the fact of our profession is that we train for war, which is the most adverse situation that we could find our selves in.  This may be a seperate discussion however so I will not delve deeper into training scenarios.

HH