Good training and 10 years to get enough hours and experience to join the airlines seems like a good deal compared to some mates who have been plying their trade in the GA world for the same amount of time and still paying off their CPL costs.
For those who want to be top brass, good on em'. For everyone else it should be treated as a means to an end.
Yeah, that's fair enough in today's rapidly building supply vs demand for bodies to fill big jets...........i've jumped ship
Just a bit of motivation for the young fella Some people have their hearts set on that kind of flying. Just got back from a flight today....the computer flew 99.6% on autopilot!.......and I was eating for about 85% though, which IMHO was a mighty fine compromise Makin' up for lost Frozo time.
The hands on tactical stuff you do in most RAAF flying squadrons, not necessarily fast jets.....is something which provides a great means to an end if you're headed to the airlines....albeit in a lengthy 10+yrs. Just options to tick personal aspiration boxes in life.....whatever floats your boat.
I just see the way commercial aviation is going WRT paying for your own conversions and being stuck on very LOW initial wages, trying to pay that loan back on top your mortgage, car loan and possibly even a family to burn that hole in your back pocket..........living tight for 10yrs anyway??
It's going back many many years since I was QFI in the RAAF and now also long retired from airline flying. But one thing I have always wondered was the high scrub rate during RAAF training during the lead-up to graduation as a pilot. Of the countless trainee pilots scrubbed in my era (18 years RAAF service - all flying posts), a high proportion continued to fly in GA and eventually made a command in the major airlines.
It struck me that the RAAF using tax payer's money, held no instructor accountable for the scrubbing of a trainee pilot for perceived lack of the Right Stuff to be a RAAF pilot. One Wing Commander who was CO of several RAAF flying schools during his career had a terrible reputation for scrubbing trainee pilots even though some had come within a few weeks or even days of the Wings Test.
He scrubbed one unfortunate because the trainee had brakes trouble in a Wirraway and stood the Wirra on its nose when the brakes seized during the landing run. The brake calibration was later found to be well out of tolerance because of a error in the RAAF Manual of Servicing. The trainee pilot was within two weeks of graduation. But there was a happy ending as a few years later he was a Boeing 747 captain with Cathay Pacific.
Top brass never questioned The Wing Commander's decision or had a good look at his history of scrub rides. This Wing Commander with his penchant for instant scrubbing of young trainees must have cost the RAAF (tax payers) hundreds of thousands of dollars or maybe Pounds Sterling.
Screaming skull RAAF instructors abounded in those far of years and yet they were never brought to heel by their superiors. At No 1 AFTS Point Cook there were three Warrant Officer QFI's who had a fearful reputation as screamers in the cockpit. But not even the Commanding Officer was aware of this. I knew this because only a few years back I had coffee with him in Sydney (he is 88 years old and still going strong) and we chatted about the good old days and his time as CO of Point Cook. He was astonished and almost disbelieving when I mentioned the three Warrant Officers under his then command. He had no idea that shouters and screamers were in the ranks of his QFI's.
The current cost of training a RAAF trainee pilot is quoted as hundreds of thousands of dollars - yet when a trainee pilot is scrubbed, there is no questions asked of his instructors because they are not held accountable. Of course there will be trainee pilots who will fail because no matter how good the instructor is, the trainee pilot simply cannot make a satisfactory grade within a reasonable time limit.
But there was (in my time, anyway) ample evidence that some trainee pilots could flourish with a change of instructor - yet the CFI or CO could scrub you depending whether or not he still had a hang-over from a night on the piss at the Officers Mess. I kid you not - it happened occasionally. There was simply no accountability.
I was fortunate to have a series of wonderful instructors during my training - others lucked out by being allotted a bastard instructor. Then it was out on your neck with 24 hours notice back to civvy street with nowhere to live - no job waiting for you - no money - and maybe only 18 years old. A frightening prospect.
RAAF CFI's and CO's could scrub a trainee on gut feeling - the usual excuse being the unfortunate trainee could not hack it in a wartime scenario. No lawyers in those days to bring you up sharp and explain your actions. No accountability for tax payers money thrown away on a perhaps ill judged decision to scrub a trainee pilot. I wonder if things have changed in the RAAF since then?
Things have indeed changed in RAAF training, certainly wrt how fair we are to students. These days students are provided with numerous instructors (not just one bastard QFI as you put it) and if we feel that the student QFI/instructor relationship is not at it's best the student will generally get an instructor change with no questions asked. Students are given several stages of warnings and remedial assistance to ensure they come up to speed. Generally, if they are suspended from course they normally come to understanding that the system has been fair and equitable to them. I say generally because there are still individuals out there who despite all this still seem to think that it is the system that is at fault and not them. At the end of the day we usually suspend students for their capacity and rate of learning. The majority of wings graduates end up doing the same job as their commercial pilots bretheren for the most part but they work autonomously more often and are placed in command slots a hell of a lot sooner.
Things have indeed changed in RAAF training, certainly wrt how fair we are to students
Welcome news indeed. I agree with Centaurus in his recall of earlier times. But the RAAF should always keep in mind that despite the best efforts of flight commanders there will always be the occasional screaming skull instructor who should not be in the job. His airline check captain equivalent is not so much a screamer nowadays but no less bad news as a nit-picking pedantic who can get right up your nose.
Based on my now slightly dated experiences of the system, the days of indiscriminate scrubbing are well and truly gone, although I'd hazard a guess there are still a number of instructors around who tend to be overly harsh on students, and there probably always will be despite everyone's best efforts. That's not to say it should be all love and touchy-feeliness in the cockpit - my view is that we're after an atmosphere that's supportive and tolerant, but also expects the student to be well prepared, doing their best and willing to take constructive criticism. Personalities are complex, and there always seems to be the odd student who has a wide gap between his or her ability and the perception of it. Understandably, no one wants to be labelled a failure, and it can be hard on all concerned at that time when Bloggsy is bouncing around the lower end of the scoring each flight and it's becoming apparent they're not really hacking it. Some of the people who do get scrubbed can accept it and move on quite quickly, while others go into denial and take a long time to come to terms with it. No training system can be perfectly fair and equitable, and some people no doubt have been scrubbed over the years that shouldn't have (and vice versa), but it's by no means done at a whim as perhaps it may have been in days gone by.
A worry has been rumors that 2FTS has been cut down to 100 hrs from about 130 and that Instrument flying is down to somthing like 10 hrs in which to reach the standard. This is also where i have heard most get scrubbed.
With BFTS cut down to 66hrs from 100 and FORM now only done at 2FTS it seems hard to believe that the learning curve can be made any steeper.
Surely if hours are cut from the course the standard must be adjusted accordingly.
Screaming and teaching thru fear in intimidation is just a cop-out for poor instructional ability.
It is a little worry that the syllabus is being whittled away, but in today's exodus from the RAAF and huge pressures from above to pump more out with less in order to play catchup.....something has to give. There just aren't the bodies and airframes to crank up output in the traditional way. There are certain items that can go and would't have much impact.
Form in an underpowered CT4 is a joke anyway There have been plenty of tail end charlies at BFTS over the years who didn't have time to do any Form flying and had a slightly retailored package at 2FTS to bring them up to speed. They went just fine. There have been students that have done the form package at BFTS and had a real hard time in the PC9.
Same with learning IF on the CT4. It's great to understand the concepts of an IF world, but can really instill bad habits within students (eg: SRS)....especially when they hit the twitchy PC9 in comparison. A student could look away from the CT4 dash panel for about 10 minutes and you'd still be at your altitude.
Low level nav in a CT4 is pointless. When you now have a 20kt headwind with 2 knots of speedup potential....can't help being late.
You could throw 500 CT4 hrs at someone and it won't do much more in helping them with the PC9. I think you'll find the old 1FTS syllabus was about where things are now. Amazing how the wheel turns.
"I think you'll find the old 1FTS syllabus was about where things are now."
Just had a look at the old log book - out of 1FTS with 64.5 hrs (no form either, only the Army guys got it) and out of 2FTS with 223.4, probably about average. The 1FTS flying included 6.3 IF and a GF23 with none other than FLTLT Shepherd. Guys on course used to be wary of him, but as I recall he was firm but fair, notwithstanding the 'Is he looking at me funny because I've stuffed up or is that just the twitch' factor.
1. Its a big wheel and it keeps on turning. 2. Change gives the illusion of progress. 3. When all else fails lower your standards. 4. The only acceptable word that may be screamed in the cockpit is 'FLARE!'
I find it difficult to believe that the RAAF still has no simulator training on pilots course. Would save a heap and improve quality without messing around with different syllabi every 5 mins. (not to mention be infinitely safer than flicking black and yellow levers in flight) I think in the decade I was around the QFI world there were at least 13 changes to the 'curriculum', not one of which could be pinpointed as the 'change made the difference'.
They have some great cockpit procedural trainers at 2FTS which are nothing more that million dollar cardboard cutouts with a few knobs and switches! They could have been easily been turned into full IF simulators, but oh no.....cost too much??
The return they would get from such an investment would WELL outweigh the cost. ESPECIALLY in todays tightening "syllabus".
I say "syllabus" becasue it really pi$$es off the new revolution of edumacation officers in the RAAF that like to rewrite and complicate things!! Curriculum was their new buzz word
I heard ACO's were to be put into ground jobs that are occpied by PLT's. One graph I have seen showed that FLTLT PLT's out number FLTLT ACO's but SQNLDR ACO's Out number SQNLDR PLT's. Guess when you have NAVS in charge its going to cause problems.
What planet are you living on JOKER? Feel free to take the desk jobs, then you'll definitely get to see why you want to get out. This flying club has been running on the back of Navs doing the master race's groundjobs for them since Dicky Williams left.... just remember that the big decisions that are/aren't getting made are still the responsibility of senior pilots, so it's a bit rich to suggest that it's due to having
Navs in charge.
BTW the only reason that your SQNLDR numbers look the way they do is the fact that the Nav branch has been de-valued and disowned with the introduction of the ACO concept invented by (Yep, you guessed it) A PILOT! These days the options for Navs are much better thanMcDonalds and better paying than the Red Rat....Must be time to bang out!
I would rather shoot myself than sit in an office until I retire.
Slezy, It is a choice between an office wearing blues (with the Equity/Diversity/Staff Skills/Etc etc ) or an office wearing normal clothes outside the sheltered workplace; and what is more, the office will most likely be in the same City for the duration of your Kids' schooling