Non-Commissioned Pilots in the RCAF Discussion

dapaterson

Army.ca Myth
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
145
Points
630
They tend to get put aside when we hire experienced folks. I know 4-5 pilots that were hired from the French Air Force, Belgian Air Component and Royal Navy. Their journey was rather quick.
Less "put aside" than "staffs in the recruiting and PLAR systems ordered to do their jobs effectively".
 

SupersonicMax

Army.ca Veteran
Mentor
Reaction score
33
Points
530
Less "put aside" than "staffs in the recruiting and PLAR systems ordered to do their jobs effectively".
More like pre-established processes. Those processes were established when the program was stood up back in the early 2010s. They were not given citizenship but rather a fast-tracked permanent residency.
 

Eye In The Sky

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
10
Points
430
Is that new? I recalled getting Annual and Theatre PERs pre-OTU.
It isn't new, and it isn't new that mbrs who were actually on the BTL received PERs, either. It also isn't new that people who supposed to get PERs were told they weren't entitled to a PER "because they weren't MOAT qualified" (which actually had nothing to do with the equation at that time). LRP isn't exceptional at understanding/applying CFPAS policy.
 

Attachments

  • BTL - OFP.jpg
    BTL - OFP.jpg
    97 KB · Views: 7
Last edited:

Eye In The Sky

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
10
Points
430
The problem for aircrew (not just pilots, but also ACSO and AESOp production) is not at the winged grad level. We have an ample supply of on OJT folks in all three aircrew occupations waiting for the Cyclone OTU. That is where the bottleneck exists. There are just not sufficient quantities of trained and experienced aircrew to simultaneously carry out operations at sea and have a sufficiently large enough instructor cadre (we need both simultaneously. If you shutdown sea going deployments to feed the school house, in a year or so your pool of future instructors will have dried up, because no one will have gained the operational experience and development they need to be an instructor) to beat down the backlog. This is what as known as a wicked problem- there are no magic solutions besides time and patience (Well, maybe culling the number of staff jobs that have to be filled would help some. And better aircraft serviceability). Interestingly, the MH fleet is not really short of pilots relative to the other aircrew. Our problems lie more at the ACSO and AESOp level. My sense is that introducing a WO pilot stream would not help 12 Wing.

What if the trg and staff from 402 were re-allocated to their respective fleets and the "common to all" training at 402 was incorporated into the fleet OTU/MOAT courses? 402 doesn't produce OFP aircrew...is there continued justification for its existence (other than it will be swept into the FAcT dustpan)?
 

dimsum

Army.ca Fixture
Mentor
Reaction score
74
Points
530
What if the trg and staff from 402 were re-allocated to their respective fleets and the "common to all" training at 402 was incorporated into the fleet OTU/MOAT courses? 402 doesn't produce OFP aircrew...is there continued justification for its existence (other than it will be swept into the FAcT dustpan)?
We're straying from the topic, but how would ACSOs and AES Ops get streamed to those fleets? Purely their preference? Pick from a hat?
 

Eye In The Sky

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
10
Points
430
Well, officially, 402 isn't a "selection school". I've advocated before for the need for a (stronger) selection process and used the SAR Tech selection as a successful RCAF implementation of "test the mbr for suitability before investing training and YFR into them". Needs of the service, posting preferences, QOL considerations (spouse job, etc) could . I can't speak for ACSOs, but AES Ops the "needs of the trade" trump all else anyways. In recent times, people who wanted MH were fed to LRP because of the OTU situation. In the future, if say, FWSAR needs an infusion of button monkeys, that is where they will go...despite all else.

If OTU is the bottleneck, what resources do we have "now" that can be reallocated to the OTUs? Or do we just maintain the orbit on the status quo, expecting FAcT to solve the issue? I'm speaking to all MOSIDs that FAcT is (supposed to be) addressing, so it kind of makes on 'on topic'?
 

SeaKingTacco

Army.ca Fixture
Donor
Reaction score
22
Points
430
We're straying from the topic, but how would ACSOs and AES Ops get streamed to those fleets? Purely their preference? Pick from a hat?
It is a reasonable question. The Nav School prepared me not at all for the Sea King OTU. I could have basically had some Met/ air regs ground school, skipped the CT-142 and graduated from 406 Sqn as a TACCO with about the same results. Now, the course content has changed somewhat since then...

So- is the juice of the basic flying schools worth all the squeeze? Can we do more at the OTUs (assuming resources get shifted back to them) and less at Portage/Moose Jaw/Winnipeg? How much do we need to keep selecting during aircrew training and how much do we train?

I get that a jet ranger/CT-142/Harvard 2 hours are way cheaper than Cyclone/Aurora/CF-18 hours, but what is the balance that needs to struck between basic air sense/aircraft handling and the advanced stuff?
 

BurmaShave

Jr. Member
Reaction score
2
Points
130
It is a reasonable question. The Nav School prepared me not at all for the Sea King OTU. I could have basically had some Met/ air regs ground school, skipped the CT-142 and graduated from 406 Sqn as a TACCO with about the same results. Now, the course content has changed somewhat since then...

So- is the juice of the basic flying schools worth all the squeeze? Can we do more at the OTUs (assuming resources get shifted back to them) and less at Portage/Moose Jaw/Winnipeg? How much do we need to keep selecting during aircrew training and how much do we train?

I get that a jet ranger/CT-142/Harvard 2 hours are way cheaper than Cyclone/Aurora/CF-18 hours, but what is the balance that needs to struck between basic air sense/aircraft handling and the advanced stuff?
From a new pilot perspective, I think we need to go the other way. The multi-engine course is super short; it's basically an exposure course. 5 clearhood (basic aircraft handling) rides, test, 2 night flights, 2 nav trips, 2 round robins, 2 cross countries, final test. I have less than 50 hours multi-engine (plus 50 sim, you basically do the course in the sim first and then confirm in the aircraft). Everything else, I'm learning on my next airframe. King Air is under $2k per hour. Globemaster is 25x that. When I was in Portage, there was pushback from the OTUs 'cause too many people were sucking/failing; they wanted a 150 hour multi-engine course.

Right now, we already train at a pace that, by civilian standards, is absurd. 18 hours on the Grob (and by the end of it, you're doing loops), then right onto 1100hp of Harvard. 100 hours of that - covering basic flying, aerobatics, instrument (blind) flying, 500ft navigation, and formation flying - and then (in my case), you're on to the aforementioned multi course. So here I am, a winged pilot with 160 hours. 160 hours isn't even enough for a commercial pilot's license (the "can fly crappy bush planes" one, not the 1500 hour "can fly for Air Canada" one).
 

SeaKingTacco

Army.ca Fixture
Donor
Reaction score
22
Points
430
From a new pilot perspective, I think we need to go the other way. The multi-engine course is super short; it's basically an exposure course. 5 clearhood (basic aircraft handling) rides, test, 2 night flights, 2 nav trips, 2 round robins, 2 cross countries, final test. I have less than 50 hours multi-engine (plus 50 sim, you basically do the course in the sim first and then confirm in the aircraft). Everything else, I'm learning on my next airframe. King Air is under $2k per hour. Globemaster is 25x that. When I was in Portage, there was pushback from the OTUs 'cause too many people were sucking/failing; they wanted a 150 hour multi-engine course.

Right now, we already train at a pace that, by civilian standards, is absurd. 18 hours on the Grob (and by the end of it, you're doing loops), then right onto 1100hp of Harvard. 100 hours of that - covering basic flying, aerobatics, instrument (blind) flying, 500ft navigation, and formation flying - and then (in my case), you're on to the aforementioned multi course. So here I am, a winged pilot with 160 hours. 160 hours isn't even enough for a commercial pilot's license (the "can fly crappy bush planes" one, not the 1500 hour "can fly for Air Canada" one).
Thanks Burmashave. I asked my question because I am genuinely curious what the basic school’s flying syllabus is these days. So, it seems we cannot get much more efficiency in time out of the 2/3 CFFTS mill.
 

dimsum

Army.ca Fixture
Mentor
Reaction score
74
Points
530
It is a reasonable question. The Nav School prepared me not at all for the Sea King OTU. I could have basically had some Met/ air regs ground school, skipped the CT-142 and graduated from 406 Sqn as a TACCO with about the same results. Now, the course content has changed somewhat since then...
That's fair. There was a post on Vector Check about a separate rotary Pilot trg system without Harvard II, so maybe there's a reasonable proposal for a separate MH TACCO/AES Op training stream as well that bypasses the flying portion of Nav school.

Mods: We can split the ACSO/AES Op discussion from this.
 

Zoomie

Army.ca Veteran
Mentor
Reaction score
0
Points
410
We had Phase 2 Grob for a while - helo pilots identified early on during Phase 1 that they wanted to fly fling wing - they never went to MJ (ever). Spent their entire training in Portage after doing Ph2 in the Grob vice H2 - I suspect we could skip the Grob completely.
 

SeaKingTacco

Army.ca Fixture
Donor
Reaction score
22
Points
430
We had Phase 2 Grob for a while - helo pilots identified early on during Phase 1 that they wanted to fly fling wing - they never went to MJ (ever). Spent their entire training in Portage after doing Ph2 in the Grob vice H2 - I suspect we could skip the Grob completely.
I actually never, ever understood why we sent all of our pilots to Moose Jaw and gave them fixed wing time, when 50% of them are destined to be rotary wing pilots, forever. Would that not be an obvious solution to some of the throughput issues- have two streams of rotary pilot and fixed wing pilot? Honest question- not trolling.
 

Good2Golf

Army.ca Legend
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Mentor
Reaction score
57
Points
630
There are phases of flight where aircraft and helicopters behave near identically, particularly when it comes to instrument flight. The speed at which instrument flight unfolds, particularly at Harvard (or Tutor for us old guys) speed, is both a good training and to some degree filtering element. Over my career, much of what I used in real life (esp. IFR) was mentally tied right back to Ph.2 (CT-114 for me), and not Ph.3 (CH-136 and CH-139).

Regards
G2G
 

dapaterson

Army.ca Myth
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
145
Points
630
I actually never, ever understood why we sent all of our pilots to Moose Jaw and gave them fixed wing time, when 50% of them are destined to be rotary wing pilots, forever. Would that not be an obvious solution to some of the throughput issues- have two streams of rotary pilot and fixed wing pilot? Honest question- not trolling.
Question was raised 20+ years ago in a pilot occupational analysis. Recommended that pilot be split into two occs. Rejected by the Air Force to permit easier movement between a/c types.

And so here we are...
 

Eye In The Sky

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
10
Points
430
So, in an attempt to re-establish the datum ...

  • is there any value (fiscal and/or operational) to having NCM and Commissioned pilot trades in the CAF?
  • if there is value in NCM pilots, what fleets would they realistically be posted to?
 

SupersonicMax

Army.ca Veteran
Mentor
Reaction score
33
Points
530
So, in an attempt to re-establish the datum ...

  • is there any value (fiscal and/or operational) to having NCM and Commissioned pilot trades in the CAF?
  • if there is value in NCM pilots, what fleets would they realistically be posted to?
I think it's been well argued that in our current environment, NCM pilots would not help with any of our issues therefore there is no value in creating a pilot NCM trade. A dual stream (at the officer level - this should be addressed in the next pay review for pilots) would fix the issues an NCM pilot stream could potentially solve (career captains).
 

Eye In The Sky

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
10
Points
430
A dual stream (at the officer level - this should be addressed in the next pay review for pilots) would fix the issues an NCM pilot stream could potentially solve (career captains).

What is the general consensus of what the Pilot Capt rates should look like, compared to now (Pilot, Capt Basic = $6687/month, Capt PI 10 = $9941/month)?
 

Eye In The Sky

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
10
Points
430
My next question is related to trg/OTU bottleneck. If anyone has insight into the pilot side of the FAcT project, would you give FAcT a thumbs-up, or thumbs-down rating (overly simplified but...) and why? Training in FAcT is supposed to (the last I heard) converge and include "crew" training for the involved trades...if it isn't going to work well for one, that will impact the others.
 
Top