Military AircrewA forum for the professionals who fly the non-civilian hardware, and the backroom boys and girls without whom nothing would leave the ground. Army, Navy and Airforces of the World, all equally welcome here.
It's true...well partly. Apparently it's not a full multi course but a FJ x-over with groundschool at Cranwell and then 40 hrs at Kidlington - I don't know on which aircraft though. Makes sense if it eases the burden on the ageing Jetstream fleet though, as long as the instruction is up to RAF standards. Oxford is a much better night out than Lincoln aswell so whoever goes should be laughing!
A good move for OATS as the airline training business cant be to good at the moment ,good for the tax payer as the PA34 has got to cost less to run than a jetstream ,as for training standards most of the management seem to be ex CFS so i dont see it as a problem.
Light twin single pilot IFR is a very chalenging enviroment so it might improve standards.
I doubt that A + C. The standards at METS are very high. The big issue is the Seneca Vs the Jetstream. The Jetstream has quite lot of relevance to military muti engine flying, wheras the Seneca with it's poor handling and dreadful power management system doesn't IMHO. The chaps at Kidlington will use a lot of capacity just coping with the Seneca, learning skills that are of little relevance to their future.
Dan you have the advantage on me having flown the jetstream but i have flown two turboprop transport types and have to say that when an engine fails on a light twin it takes much more skill to fly as the performance is so marginal.
This course can only teach the basics of multi engine flying and the military flying would have to be on another type ,my comments on improving training standards are only based on the asumption that the more types that one has flown the deeper your knowlage and experience it was not ment as a slur on the RAF multi engine training system.
Location: Quite near 'An aerodrome somewhere in England'
WWW - sadly our military training has degenerated rapidly in recent years. The useless T67 and Grob, the clapped-out Jetstream, Tucanos and Hawks forever U/S......
ME trg using the PA-34 is not new; 6 students were put through BAeS at PWK a few years ago. They've all done pretty well, although the FIs were surprised at their poor theoretical knowledge of UK airspace regulations etc - and they worked much harder than their Jetstream colleagues did!
We also had a brief period of ME training on the Beech Baron at Hamble when the 'Pig' was going out of service and the lousy Jetstream was grounded - that seemed to work.
But your overall analysis is, regrettably, quite correct.
Firstly I admit to being a civvy in here. Some information regarding Oxford.......... There is a fleet of 12/14 Senecas, a mix of 2 and 3 bladers. Average serviceability is around 6 aircraft online. There are cases of averaging 1 flight per week. Oxford train Algerian Airforce, BA, BM, Aer Lingus and self sponsored cadets. A priority is given to the BA courses (though this will be denied!) You can sit on the ground for a week due to lack of aircraft whilst BA cadets are given an aircraft and instructor. The type of flying there is mainly procedural (a bit different to military styles!) Kidlington is equipped with NDB and DME facilities, so as for use of Brize, they are needed for ILS training. They are used along with many other airfields ie EGHH, EGBJ, EGTG, EGBB, it is just that they are closest therefore decreasing wasted time in transit. The standards expected by the instructors there are high, it is a commercial training environment, but civilian handling skills and techniques are vastly different to the military's. As with the rest of the industry Oxford as a company has been affected. But a new start may provide opportunities for restructuring and development of the courses and services provided. There have already been rumours of plans for a fleet upgrade for some time, hopefully shiny new toys will be forthcoming. Watch this space.
Anyone know how many slots are going to be made available and how many are going to be trained? Also, are they all NCO aircrew/ navigators on cross-over training who are to undergo training at Kidlington or 'kids-off-the-streets'? My experience of OATS is that the majority of their instructors are ex-mob with a good handle on what the RAF wants and, because they've left,what the RAF needs. Formation flying and low-level nav could be learnt on the Sqn, as it is presently done or as at METS prior to the 'tyros'release to the OCU, sorry I mean 'End User Training Provider'.
Don't remember much about the METS course except for all the bl**dy procedural work!
And as for doing the formation and low level on the OCUs, for the cost of two hours remedial formation on a VC10 you can have 50 hours of Jetstream flying. I have always maintained that cutting hours at the cheaper end of the spectrum is a false economy.
I am an ex-jetstream QFI and have also flown the seneca during the ATPL thing. The Jetstream is a much more demanding aircraft to fly in terms of basic handling and also systems handling/knowledge and when i was there it was a logical progression from the Tucano for most students. By comparison the Seneca is a 'Ford Escort with wings' but i guess that since most students will be coming from a non-turboprop/jet background then it is a logical and more manageable step which seems to work for the airlines. Although formation and low level flying were included in the course syllabus, these trips were frequently dropped to allow extra procedural training in the hours available.
As a Jetstream trained, ex-VC10 pilot now training ATPL students on Jet/MCC course I can not see how we (I mean us as Flight Training Organisations) could provide training that matches the standards of METS when I went through late 85, early 86.
The Seneca is inappropriate, the ATPL syllabus ditto and few if any of the instructors will have the military background required to understand what the "customer" needs.
Won't stop some suit at MoD doing it because it will save 200 quid on his budget during his last year in post (and sod the effect it will have on other budgets!).
Maybe I'm glad to be out of the RAF now.........I remember when there were enough pilots and planes for the task (just). Sad seeing it from the outside.
Location: Quite near 'An aerodrome somewhere in England'
But those days were when we could afford high quality training. Nowadays, the students coming to the VC10 haven't even flown at BFTS - they've just flown the woefully inadequate 'MELIN' course on light ac and then the Jetstream. Hence the standard of ab-initio entrant has dropped further and further........
The 6 who did the 'experimental' BAeS Seneca course at Prestwick also did a lot of jet simulator training - and they have done very well. But they were a hand-picked group, not just an arbitrary selection, and they were trained by some very experienced ex-RAF pilots.
BAeS at Jerez-de-la-frontera would have very little difficulty in providing our ME OCUs with a far better product than the MELIN-lemons, but what we really need is a proper pre-AFT BFTS course for all RAF trainee pilots, not just those earmarked for the FJ world. Some non-streamed hours at UAS/EFTS followed by a core wings course on the Tucano followed by AFT. Rather like we did back in the 70s???
But of course there'll be the usual whine "We can't afford it.........." from the bean counters.