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UK MFTS Fixed Wing Flying Training : The Future

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UK MFTS Fixed Wing Flying Training : The Future

Old 18th Aug 2017, 20:29
  #201 (permalink)  
 
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OAP.

The simplest way I can think of to answer your question is to state that the input standard and output requirement have both changed drastically. It is therefore nigh on impossible to compare the past with the present.

You can read into that what you will. None of us can serve for long enough to state categorically if it is for the best or not. All I can say is that in my personal sphere of influence we are still producing students that meet the output standard.

I'm sure that in 20-30 years time I too will be appalled by the 'yoof of today'. For now I'm willing to give the system a chance.

BV
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 20:36
  #202 (permalink)  
 
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Having read my post maybe I could add an example to explain what I mean. 30 years ago a single seat fighter pilot had to fly in a cockpit that was not ergonomically designed in an aeroplane that was probably not very forgiving. He (deliberately worded as such) was also probably employed in a single role.

The single seat fighter pilot of today gets to fly an aeroplane that can largely look after itself but must deal with multiple systems and sensors. He/she will be fulfilling multiple roles at once.

Do we all believe that the training system should remain unchanged or move with the times?

I may be deluded (I am more than willing to admit when I'm wrong) and can only speak for the FJ world, as I continually state, but the current system works as well as it ever did.

Based on my experience I can only suggest that those in the other streams give the system a chance and it may just turn out alright.

BV
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Old 19th Aug 2017, 05:37
  #203 (permalink)  
 
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The simplest way I can think of to answer your question is to state that the input standard and output requirement have both changed drastically. It is therefore nigh on impossible to compare the past with the present.
Which is terribly convenient for those trying to foist a 'streamlined' training system onto those who should know better.

Unfortunately it will take time and effort to identify the real shortcomings of the new and shiny system and eventually the wheel will have to be re-invented.
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Old 19th Aug 2017, 07:16
  #204 (permalink)  
 
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The simplest way I can think of to answer your question is to state that the input standard and output requirement have both changed drastically. It is therefore nigh on impossible to compare the past with the present.
To quote General Sir Anthony Cecil Hogmanay Melchett:

“That's the spirit. If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through”
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Old 19th Aug 2017, 08:19
  #205 (permalink)  
 
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BV
Thanks for your comments which, seem to fit the "less training needed" POV.
Although I have not flown the Typhoon or F35, I don't think that the war-winning military type flying skills requirement has changed that much. Certainly, the need for IT / Interface skills has grown, but the core hand, eyes, ears, stick, brain capability within the dynamic flying environment remains. The comprehensive flying training I received certainly built the mental workload to the maximum within the military flying workplace (bum often to the sun / moon at the same time etc...).
Overall, I suggest that the RAF needs FJ pilots with the greatest depth of flying skill, experience and ability possible. Cruising around and pressing buttons on a nice day is not what it should be about.

OAP
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Old 19th Aug 2017, 11:48
  #206 (permalink)  
 
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The trouble is that once upon a long ago, the RAF set the standard for flying training. The civilian training system followed and removed those areas felt unnecessary and, most important, uneconomic. Over the years, civilian training has evolved under unrelenting commercial pressure to provide the minimum training possible at the lowest possible cost. Look at UPRT - it started out as a desire to train pilots how to diagnose and recover from situations out of the norm. As this was going to be expensive - simulator envelopes needed expanding in order to accurately replicate more of the envelope (and perhaps have a stab at some outside the envelope conditions) - this has been dumbed down to UPRT avoidance training. This is just one example of how civil training is entirely cost driven. The RAF used to train for excellence. This has in itself been watered down over recent years, but there is a huge element of risk in following civilian 'best practise' for military training in order to reduce costs. Now, I have had no sight of what the MFTS syllabus offers but what I do know is that since leaving the RAF, I have been exposed to a huge disparity in the quality of the civilian pilots I have flown with. The best are as good as anything the RAF has to offer, however I have flown with some qualified pilots (including Captains) who are nowhere near as aware or capable as someone fresh out of 45 Sqn (standard of 5 years ago!). I await to see (from afar) what MFTS produces....
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Old 19th Aug 2017, 11:51
  #207 (permalink)  
 
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I have instructed only in a very narrow band of advanced training (flight testing) and have done so for many years. It has been interesting to compare the skill sets that our students (who are 'above average' front line pilots) have at the start of the course. Based on this I have come to the following conclusion:

Today's military pilots have the same ability that they always have. However, 'ability' relates to the potential to learn skills, and the skills required to operate military aircraft have changed over the years. Obviously, front line pilots have the required skills for the present which demonstrates that the flying training system is providing adequate training. I think that where the angst is generated amongst pilots of an older generation (mine!) regarding flying training is that the stick and rudder skills and, perhaps, judgement that were needed 30 or 40 years ago are not needed to fly modern aircraft. Therefore, why teach them? It is interesting how the perception of the Tornado has changed. When it entered service it was 'the electric jet' but now, compared to Typhoon and F-35, it is the platform that 'needs to be flown'. There is a very similar analogy in the commercial aviation world. However, there is then an interesting debate to be had when it comes to operating in degraded flight control system or cockpit display modes modes which may well require the handling and piloting skills of older aircraft. Big picture, do you spend time and money in training to cater for a low probability event or do you accept the cost of a loss if a pilot does not have the skills to handle certain infrequent events? This is the AF447 conundrum.

For many years I held the view that 'in a decade true stick and rudder skills will reside only in sport aviation'. Perhaps that decade has now passed? What would be interesting to know is if and how the Red Arrows' training has changed over the years to cater for any differences in skill sets between pilots trained in the old way and those trained more recently. That may well be the best metric for demonstrating changes in pure flying skills.
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Old 19th Aug 2017, 12:56
  #208 (permalink)  
 
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"what I do know is that since leaving the RAF, I have been exposed to a huge disparity in the quality of the civilian pilots I have flown with. The best are as good as anything the RAF has to offer,"

But that is partly due to the far greater number of pilots who are trained commercialy cp the RAF. Back in WW2 there were some great RAF pilots but I'm willing to bet a lot were average asthey had thousands of aircarft to fill. When you have a very small number of aircraft that don't fly v much (cp a commercial operation) you choose a very small cadre of the very best. When you need dozens of pilots to fly around Europe 24/7 you are by definition going to have a broader range of abilities.
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Old 19th Aug 2017, 13:30
  #209 (permalink)  
 
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LOMCEVAK
Always a pleasure to read your take! Yes, I agree that the successful RAF pilot students probably do have similar ability to learn and perform as they ever did. However, the cost and military importance of the aircraft that they will operate has grown enormously. I suggest that their piloting abilities and experience when moving into the seat of a £150,000,000 F35 should be grounded in a comprehensive depth of military flying training, not a "minimum cost package". Certainly the training should have proven that the student has faced similar (or greater?) demands on their flying skills and decision making under stress such that they represent virtually no training risk on the hugely expensive frontline FJ.
As for the AF447 conundrum. This should be a warning for all modern pilot training systems. The airlines will make the commercial decisions that fit the regulations. The military should ensure that their training produces the standard of product that is essential on the frontline.
Combat flying by pressing buttons, yes the GR1 Tornado could fly at LL , bomb the target all IMC without touching the controls after T/O, until landing. However, it is now regarded as a "hands-on" airframe. Maybe the F35 etc is different? Maybe an F35 can operate LO in a benign scenario and drop weapons casually from medium level and tootle home for tea and medals? Or, will our tyro have to operate dirty and observable, in a heavy threat environment and have to tangle with some Su30's on the way home? Cheers

OAP
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Old 19th Aug 2017, 14:05
  #210 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by BEagle View Post
UPRT is not part of a basic flight training course; please see EASA Opinion 06/2017 for a more complete explanation. And direct the attention of 22Gp to the topic....

I wasn't suggesting it was. Incipient Spinning & Stalling (and UP Recovery) are what UPRT appears to be about, and they are all taught at EFT. Is that easier to understand?


Please get off your high horse of outrage. It's a very unpleasant symptom of this place and it gets boring listening to outsiders rant on about how bad decisions are, that nothing works and that new kit is rubbish etc etc.
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Old 19th Aug 2017, 14:12
  #211 (permalink)  
 
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OAP,

I think that the fundamental difference between 'then and now' is that back in the day the fast jet combat role involved flying an aircraft that could depart, that you could exceed g, IAS and Mach limits, that required rudder co-ordination, and where the weapons went where you pointed the aircraft (or followed a radar). Therefore, the emphasis in training was upon gaining the skills to enable a pilot to manage such an aircraft. Now, most combat aircraft have envelope protection for most parameters, FADEC engines, and precision guided munitions. The operational requirements are far more concerned with avionic system and sensor handling. Therefore, the training needs to reflect that. Even though training aeroplanes do not typically have envelope protection, the training syllabus needs to lead far more into the use of weapons systems that the trainee will employ.

Personally, what I enjoy about flying is controlling a machine that allows direct control in 4 degrees of freedom and can generate very high rates in them. It is the precise control of the aircraft's flightpath, especially when close to the ground or to another aircraft, that is the challenge that I seek and that gives me satisfaction. When I started military flying, those skills were what was needed and what was taught; that is why I joined the RAF. Those pure piloting skills are no longer the prime requirement of a military fast jet pilot; the emphasis has changed to sensor manipulation and system operation. Therefore, the training system has to accommodate that.

The bottom line is that we need to train pilots for the requirements of today rather than train for pure piloting excellence as we once did. But be sure, I am so glad that my flying career spanned the years and the generations of aircraft that it did!
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Old 19th Aug 2017, 14:24
  #212 (permalink)  
 
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FCL.745.A is:

A new advanced UPRT course is introduced to enhance students’ resilience to the psychological and physiological aspects associated with dynamic upsets. The course is mandated for ATP integrated and MPL training courses, and as a prerequisite for the first single-pilot class or type rating in multi-pilot operations, multi-pilot aeroplanes type rating and single-pilot high-performance complex aeroplane type rating training courses.
It is not the same as those 2-3 hours of stalling and spinning of that 'common core ' EFT course; I note that fully-developed spinning is 'demo only'.... And even flapless and low-level circuits are dual only.
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Old 19th Aug 2017, 15:26
  #213 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by BEagle View Post
FCL.745.A is:



It is not the same as those 2-3 hours of stalling and spinning of that 'common core ' EFT course

So what is it that is more dynamic about it than you would find in stalling/spinning/UP recoveries? Do they cross the event horizon into a black hole or something or is it just another wodge of fancy words to describe something you & I both know very well and British military flying students are introduced to at the earliest stages?
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Old 19th Aug 2017, 15:36
  #214 (permalink)  
 
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It lovely to see the paradigm's being broken here! Old versus new.
If the negative the statements on this thread were put into a ground crew thread of the same sort of changes - your mechanics and technicians would still be taught how to straighten wooden battens ready for the next F35 flight.
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Old 19th Aug 2017, 15:59
  #215 (permalink)  
 
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BEagle.

Remind me when you last flew a military FJ? You can prattle on about EFT and ME all day long since I (unlike you) won't pretend I know anything about a part of the system I am not involved with.

Call me arrogant but when it comes to the current RAF FJ training system I feel fairly confident I know more about it than you.

Your posts used to be respected on this forum but you are increasingly sounding like a bitter old man with a grudge.

Sorry to be blunt but I'm afraid it needed saying.

BV
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Old 19th Aug 2017, 16:49
  #216 (permalink)  
 
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x...........

Last edited by goldcup; 13th May 2019 at 06:57.
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Old 19th Aug 2017, 17:19
  #217 (permalink)  
 
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BV, I haven't actually been commenting about the FJ training system! Your comment about input and output I took to be generic - it is equally applicable to EFT output to ME.

The need for something akin to FCL.745.A advanced UPRT prior to flying the Phenom I believe to be essential.

I'm well aware that Hawk T2 training is, by all accounts, working entirely satisfactorily. But I am frankly astonished that ME and RW pilots of the future might never have flown aerobatics during training.

I harbour no grudges, merely regret at the direction some training is taking and sadness that many ab initio pilots simply won't have had the training experiences of their predecessors.
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Old 19th Aug 2017, 18:09
  #218 (permalink)  
 
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I had occasion to visit IV(R) Sqn at Valley this week. FJ training ethos has certainly changed since I last saw it some thirty years ago but, without doubt, the quality of the training and that of the students remains exceptional.
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Old 19th Aug 2017, 19:57
  #219 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Cows getting bigger View Post
I had occasion to visit IV(R) Sqn at Valley this week. FJ training ethos has certainly changed since I last saw it some thirty years ago but, without doubt, the quality of the training and that of the students remains exceptional.
Lordy, don't let the truth enter this debate. The naysayers will revolt!
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Old 20th Aug 2017, 05:18
  #220 (permalink)  
 
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While the Grob 120TP might be proving to be a success, I'm still wondering whence the next generation of QFIs will come....
I was around at the start of flying training contractorisation and it was clear at the time the plan was for the new units to be staffed by ex-RAF QFIs. Only a very few did these jobs because it was looked from the offered remuneration that the contracts had gone to the lowest bidders, and there seemed to be an expectation that the QFIs would work for less because they had an RAF pension! Nearly all of my peers (similar age and experience) went to the airlines.
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