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BBC Series - Fighter Pilots

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BBC Series - Fighter Pilots

Old 21st Oct 2015, 23:50
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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There was a time when 5 Os would have done it.
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Old 22nd Oct 2015, 00:16
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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M2 - and that was the problem that has led us to where we are.

Five "O" Levels, including Maths and English, and a bit of hand-to-eye co-ordination at OASC at the age of 18, was the sole foundation to climb the greasy pole and ultimately run the air force.

And that's where the RAF is: fecked'
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Old 22nd Oct 2015, 00:29
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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Yes: 5 O-Levels, including Maths, English and a science subject, IIRC.

Reading this thread has reminded me that earlier this year I failed to notice the demi-centenary of my appearance at OASC. Judging from the Fighter Pilot video, little can have changed in the following 14 years. That includes the naivety of the majority of the candidates, myself included! No doubt today's handful of hopefuls are far better briefed, if not more worldly wise, than we were.
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Old 22nd Oct 2015, 07:31
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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Back on topic, sort of, getting a degree and then going to work as a milkman hardly stamps you as someone dying to fly fast jets does it?
Not sure how you work that out...I thought many of us old pharts had filler jobs at one stage or an other - maybe it's not as common now. I suspect (but can't remember) that JM did the milkman bit briefly either during Uni or whilst waiting for his RAF training to start.

As a kid I was "dying to fly fast jets", and perhaps even be an astronaut .......ending up doing one but not the other . Hidden in the front end of my CV, along with a Science degree, two fast jet tours and a CFS tag is my summer jobs (pre Uni) of working in a factory making lollipops and picking Blackcurrents...I didn't realise doing such menial work made me unworthy ........................
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Old 22nd Oct 2015, 07:37
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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Ok wiggy, of working in a factory making lollipops
- or being a milkman...


You know what they say - "it only takes one goat..."
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Old 22nd Oct 2015, 07:58
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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It may only have required 5 O-Levels but you could join Direct Entry aged 18 and be on your first squadron aged 20! Would not happen now after years at university and gap years! They must be nearly 30 by the time they reach their first squadron now!
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Old 22nd Oct 2015, 08:39
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Have a mate who's son is 18, joining next year. Possibly on a Sqn at 20?
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Old 22nd Oct 2015, 09:01
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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Wiggy said:

Not sure how you work that out
Yeah,not sure what made me write that, dick head thing to say.

I apologise.

You make the grade, you make the grade.
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Old 22nd Oct 2015, 09:14
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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I apologise
No need, I do understand - the TV series was designed/edited to provoke exactly those sorts of comment.

I don't know if JM posts/visits here, and I haven't seen him in decades so I certainly can't speak for him, but I think the milkman tag became a real and perpetual pain in his **** .

Around 5 plus years after the series was aired and during the very early days of our CFS course we trooped along to a "Meet and Greet" with some of the CFS wheels and their wives. Very first comment one of the "Mrs Wheel's" made to John was something along the lines of: "Ah, so you're the milkman".

Poor b*******.

Last edited by wiggy; 22nd Oct 2015 at 09:48.
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Old 22nd Oct 2015, 09:20
  #50 (permalink)  
 
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Some of us have flown fast jets then become a milkman (briefly!). I thought of John every morning when I fired up the float.
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Old 22nd Oct 2015, 10:31
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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Have a mate who's son is 18, joining next year. Possibly on a Sqn at 20?
Unlikely, with all the holding it's taking around 5 years to get to a Sqn, sometimes more. With the dog's breakfast that is MFTS coming in & its procuring of ac in almost negligible quantities I can't see things getting any faster or more efficient particularly if we wish to increase throughput to man all the extra ac we're 'promised'.
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Old 22nd Oct 2015, 16:20
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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Comment.

I have enjoyed reading this thread. I didn't see the programme at the time but I was made aware of it when I was working at Barkston Heath at various times in the period 2010-13. JM was a QFI there at the time and I had many an enjoyable break in the crew room with JM discussing past events as only ancient aircrew can. I have looked on U Tube and it certainly brings back memories.

I was a 5 O Level direct entry Nav. In at 17 on the squadron at 19, 3 tours and out after 8 years. I was talking to a young Flt Lt at Coningsby last year and he had been holding there and was just on his was to Valley for the FJ course. I think he said he had been in > 5 years.

I also note I was commissioned at 17; tempus fugit.
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Old 22nd Oct 2015, 17:18
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Well, I have never had O-level maths, made Pilot with CSE grade1 Maths.

OAP
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Old 22nd Oct 2015, 20:00
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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Well, why not a milkman - it's the early bird that catches the worm !

And do not forget:

♫...Ernie, the fastest milkman in the west...♫

Good training for a FJ.

D.
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Old 22nd Oct 2015, 20:14
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Perhaps they should have made the milkman into a Creamie?
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Old 22nd Oct 2015, 21:49
  #56 (permalink)  
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Holds are not all bad. Think why there are holds.

The system predicts, not too accurately, the number of trained bods required on the front line. The establishment for the OCUs is based on intake, expected wash out to give the right output.

Now if the board at OASC gets a higher than norm success in good recruits who pass IOT with less than the normal failure rate, who then pass the flying training it is inevitable that there will be a holdup somewhere in the system.

Decades ago the output of 2 ANS exceeded the capacity of 1 ANS to cope. On our course of 18, 16 were back coursed after the first 4 weeks. The course ahead of us similarly 'lost' 14 back to our original course and so on.

Holds may be frustrating but they do suggest superior selection and instruction provided the washout rate in OCUs does not rise.
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Old 22nd Oct 2015, 22:16
  #57 (permalink)  
 
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PN: I don't believe our holds are caused by an excess of quality pilots passing but are bottlenecks resulting from aircraft unserviceabilities (such as Tutor props falling off). The flying training system can't cope so trainees sit around idle waiting for a slot.
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Old 22nd Oct 2015, 22:48
  #58 (permalink)  
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Ken, I said
The system predicts, not too accurately, the number of trained bods required on the front line.
To some extent aircraft availability is part of that equation. Holds have been a feature far longer than Tutors. Late entry of aircraft in to Service is another.
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Old 22nd Oct 2015, 23:08
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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The 'system' also made 120 pilots, some already with their wings, across the whole of FT redundant then a few years later invited them to come back in as the RAF needed them. Rather amazingly after such a lesson in loyalty a few accepted. I would suggest that the 'system' is even less able to predict its needs than you suggest!

('System': aka a group of seemingly otherwise intelligent senior officers who collectively couldn't organise the proverbial high spirited drinks party in a factory for the manufacture of alcoholic beverages).
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Old 22nd Oct 2015, 23:10
  #60 (permalink)  
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Ken, you know why it happened and you know it was not a military decision.
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