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RAF Instructors - steely eyed or gentle and supportive ?

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RAF Instructors - steely eyed or gentle and supportive ?

Old 20th Oct 2015, 13:09
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by deltahotel View Post
Agree with your points. Small point of order - I was on Paul Gay's course and don't think he would be considered as a wxxxxr or up for the chop, either or both of which could be misconstrued from yr posts.
deltahotel, my comments were not aimed at any person, and certainly would never denigrate Paul's memory, I merely stated the thoughts of one particular guy from that time. I trust any confusion is clarified.
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Old 20th Oct 2015, 13:16
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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DCF. Thnx. I didn't read that into yr post, but could see how it could have been from yr link to Bigpants post. Probably being overly sensitive.

Rgds
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Old 20th Oct 2015, 14:02
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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Where do I start here? This could run to 20 pages...... Ok the short version.
I was a very very weak student who scraped into rotary, scraped combat ready and then found instructing was great. I ended up as a CFS Sqn Cdr ffs!
Some of my instructors were basically tools, who didn't understand that some people were not naturals. On JPs, no teaching took place, initially it was read the book, why can't you do it? Steve Petherick then saved me with a 5 flight 'Crammer' before FHT. Shawbury was better, but The Puma OCU was shocking!
I still struggle to this day being civil to my old instructors. The mentality was see how much it takes to break them. The percentage of JPilots not getting CR in the Puma force was rediculous.
Then I met the finest instructor that I have ever seen, Jack Robson. Along with a great bunch of crewmen, he mentored me, it finally clicked into place. Jack said that I should instruct, because I would understand the struggle for students. The rest is history.
On CFSH, we adopted the cuddly but firm and fair methods. It isn't a step back, it works so well. If someone struggles, find out why! Don't just chop. If you do chop, look at yourself, was it your fault? Try to improve next time. Don't be a dinosaur. That said, some students are just tossers.......
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Old 20th Oct 2015, 15:57
  #44 (permalink)  
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MPN, yes, ACM I see. I met his son a few years back with Lord Hennessy when he was producing Finger on the Button.
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Old 20th Oct 2015, 16:23
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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Big pants, you do yourself an injustice, I was a Standards QFI at Valley in 1982 and we didn't have any crap Creamies!

During my time at Valley I had great students when I was a B2, didn't need to show them much, but as I progressed up the ladder and became an A2 they got harder and harder to teach. Moral of story stay a B2.

My own experience of Valley in 69 was that there were a lot of tossers on the staff. Still I got out into the real RAF and going back 10 years latter after 3 frontline tours I saw a terrific difference and had great relationships with my studes - if you know what I mean! looking back that was a golden time, great mates, very good studes and Loooooades of flying, none of this 10 hours a month crap.
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Old 20th Oct 2015, 18:25
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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I like to think that I was a decent instructor: but please feel free to disagree. I'll probably delete this tomorrow!
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Old 20th Oct 2015, 18:48
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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Regarding the '[email protected] on your wing' story; I think it was Dan at Valley - not Brawdy...
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Old 20th Oct 2015, 19:26
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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Yes it was Dan W he was OC 2 at 4 FTS, good bloke. Jindabyne, I have no doubt you were a good instructor as we knew each other in the 80s and from our time together that was evident. We did a BOI together. Hope you are well.

The 69ers at Valley that I knew just had a bad superior attitude that wasn't justified. There were obviously good guys as well, but the real toads stood out and it spoiled the overall experience - notwithstanding that I passed and moved on. Whereas my time there as an instructor was one of my favourite tours - what an admission.

PS I worked out who you were when you offered help on the BOI we did, beat me to it.
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Old 20th Oct 2015, 20:26
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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ODNAROT

I was a student during the period (1982) you refer to with respect to creamies.

From my perspective, a creamie took me to the brink of suspension, the Jaguar, F4 and Lightning QFI cadre saved me........and a very benevolent CI (Tim Webb).

I was pretty rubbish but so was the Creamie.

Standards units have a lot to offer, but frequently while they are good at assessing the delivery of sequences, they are not so good at assessing the holistic approach to instruction that is required for real students.

I ended up, after a few front-line fast-jet tours, and instructional tours, as OC Exam Wg. I was unable to change this fixation on delivering sequences by pre-OCU standards units, despite my best efforts.

My point is simply that teaching, adapted to suit the student, is the proper way to serve the student body. We are far better now than ever before, but there is still a long way to go.

I hang my head in shame at my performance at Valley during my first instructional tour; standards thought I was wonderful, my students thought otherwise!

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Old 20th Oct 2015, 20:49
  #50 (permalink)  

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Globe Trotter. I agree that teaching to suit the student is right, and there are always times when the instructor/student chemistry doesn't work. Further to my earlier about my JP experience, I then went onto helicopters. I was having all sorts of trouble, although I got on well with my instructor. The upshot was that I had an assessment ride with the DCFI, who recommended that I be given a bit more time, with another instructor. The chemistry must have been different because all went well thereafter. Funnily enough, the instructor who had given me the assessment became my Squadron Commander at a later stage in a hot and sandy place.

Last edited by Herod; 20th Oct 2015 at 23:19. Reason: Removed reference
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Old 20th Oct 2015, 21:00
  #51 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Globe Trotter View Post
Standards units have a lot to offer, but frequently while they are good at assessing the delivery of sequences, they are not so good at assessing the holistic approach to instruction that is required for real students.

. . .
I was unable to change this fixation on delivering sequences by pre-OCU standards units, despite my best efforts.

My point is simply that teaching, adapted to suit the student, is the proper way to serve the student body.
Was this a consequence of the systems approach to flying training?

Certainly up until about 1989 the nav syllabus was designed to load the student progressively with more procedures to absorb spare capacity and place them under pressure with techniques not employed outside the nav school. From the 90s there was a step changing in training with lots of NEC chopped from the syllabus.
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Old 20th Oct 2015, 21:14
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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Herod

I'm working on it, but not there yet
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Old 20th Oct 2015, 21:40
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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Having done Gliders and PPL in civvy life I quickly learnt to avoid ex RAF instructors at an early age, the previously made point about "why can't you do this already" and "don't do it like that, do it like this" without actually telling you what "it" was meant I learnt where my training money would be wasted.

I am sure most of them are great and most of them have adapted to civvy life, I just wish I had met one of them.
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Old 20th Oct 2015, 22:02
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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Planet Basher.

We have him at our flying club.
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Old 20th Oct 2015, 23:22
  #55 (permalink)  

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Deltahotel, disregard. I've sent you a pm
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Old 21st Oct 2015, 02:51
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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So on what basis is the fast jet/chop/not chop decision made?
Student who can't learn a new procedure immediately - isn't learning quickly enough?
(I assume that is because of the time and cost involved in brining someone up to scratch).
I assume a majority of students would be chopped simply because they couldn't keep up with the aircraft?
Do successful fast jet students stand out to QFIs as having an intuitive feel for the aircraft?
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Old 21st Oct 2015, 06:47
  #57 (permalink)  
 
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Tartare,

Intuitive feel? By no means. All you have to do is keep up with course progress through the initial stages and then show capacity as the complexity ramps up. You really don't need to have a great pair of hands. I was comfortably in the bottom half of my BFTS and solidly course average at Valley. At TWCU something started to click and, while i still wasn't the best handling pilot there ever was, i started to show some extra capacity that had been missing in the earlier stages. Fast forward 5 years and i was a Harrier QWI. thank goodness my instructors in the early years made the decisions they did!
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Old 21st Oct 2015, 07:09
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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I know one individual who was chopped on Chipmunk, went Air Traffic, reapplied five years later and ended up on Harriers.
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Old 21st Oct 2015, 07:24
  #59 (permalink)  
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Haraka, I was going to say may be he grew up, but on second thoughts. . .

Tartare, as Flaps said, it probably more to do with capacity to learn quickly. At NAv school in the late 80s the OC allowed more reflies and remedial training than his budget allowed; he was ex-Buccs and probably being more lenient as a result.

The problem was weaker candidates and further expense down the line at FJ OCUs before being chopped. Their argument was you had to pass a real combat exam first time.
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Old 21st Oct 2015, 19:25
  #60 (permalink)  
 
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What's so surprising about QFIs being different. I reckon I helped the good students to be better but wasn't the best for the weaker ones.
If you passed your IRT with me you would never have a problem with instrument flying.
Remember having a good average student who would lose interest after a few minutes during formation flying and drift out of position so we were about to die. No success with him (despite hitting bone dome several times) but a quick couple of trips with someone else ( a creamie) sorted him out.

As a student on JP1s and Vampires I had very good, pleasant instructors but the QFI I remember best was the feared MP Evans. We were all getting a bit sloppy towards the end of the Vampire course so check flights for all. "What height are you meant to be boy? 1100 sir. Well why aren't you" I was at least 20ft out. Same with the speed. If you can fly at 152 when you are meant to be at 150, why aren't you? That stuck with me for the rest of my career.
When I was a QFI there was a bit of a shortage of pilots so we were getting some pretty poor ones through the selection process. They needed to be weeded. As for the Middle Eastern ones that's an epic tale, 30 hours to solo on a JP. The Russians had never let them get beyond taxiing part 1. The very odd exception, one from Kuwait who came top of his mixed course. Leading a pair of I....is solo formation more than one QFI was heard to boast that they had never caught up.
Remember as an IRE before I did CFS having a new arrival, first tour, as were we all,for his IRT. He was good and then would switch off completely and give up during unusual attitudes. New squadron commander not happy at failure. This guy had already been brown-nosing with boss.
Neil Williams suggested he have a ride with him. Trip went well until start of a BABS approach when idiot pilot trims full nose down but has forgotten that's what you do after lowering full flap in a Canberra which he has omitted to do. Even Neil chickened out of this Stuka approach. Should have been chopped in training but survived a full career in flying. Luck, or were we wrong?
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