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UK MFTS on or off the rails?

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UK MFTS on or off the rails?

Old 22nd Feb 2018, 17:26
  #141 (permalink)  
 
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I agree, the Phenom is the wrong aircraft for the job. What should have happened in my opinion is 45 should have been given the shiny new building and a new sim and the Kings Airs replaced with new ones. Ascent are trying to run a civilian company like an air force sqn without the ability to impose military discipline on the civilian workforce. But then I guess this is what happens when you put senior RAF officers with no commercial experience into commercial positions. They have no idea what to do with people when they "run out of rank"...... In the civilian world its called work place bullying......
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Old 22nd Feb 2018, 18:46
  #142 (permalink)  
 
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With only 5 x Phenom about which to worry, why on earth is this 'training organisation' now having to advertise for a Chief Pilot 'Responsible for the delivery of all flying aspects of ME Pilot training at RAF Cranwell', whose 'essential' experience must have been as an A2 QFI 'or civilian equivalent'. What, pray, is the civilian equivalent of an A2 QFI? I see that they're also having to advertise for ME instructors - isn't that rather too late at this stage?

Anyone with half a brain would have ensured that they had secured the relevant assets before exposing themselves to liabilities.

Are the Phenoms doing much flying yet? Or is that a silly question.

What an utter goat this is....

Last edited by BEagle; 22nd Feb 2018 at 19:16.
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Old 22nd Feb 2018, 19:24
  #143 (permalink)  
 
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They are advertising for ME Instructors because they can’t keep the ones they have......

No the aircraft have not flown.

They have interviewed a lot of people for the chief pilot role including candidates with both Phenom experience and civil Senior ATO Training management experience. What they mean by civilian equivalent is an Air Force A2 Wing Commander that’s just leaving the Air Force and therefor a civilian.......

Although I understand that the preferred candidate has now very wisely withdrawn from the running. Not suggesting for a moment that they were just playing the HR process to demonstrate they were following governance for a moment......

I mean what Wing Commander would jump ship to run a team of 4 civvie Instructors?

The other thing they badly mismanaged for the civilian guys was expecting them to give up civilian qualifications that were hard won in order to operate under some sort of log book sign off and an assurance they were legal to fly........
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Old 23rd Feb 2018, 17:22
  #144 (permalink)  
 
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It does appear that Ascent seem to think it is a foregone conclusion that the current incumbents of the instructor positions are desperate to come across and grateful for whatever they get.

Most probably will go across, but only in the short term. Phenom, Airbus 135/145...goodness me, some lovely types to put on the old licence...and then get a far higher paying position in the real world, with much better T's and C's.

This could have been fantastic. Flying as a civilian but doing it to mil regs and limits sounds almost too good to be true! However, if you speak to current Cobham civvys working on the DHFS contract, they say that Cobham 'get it'. They pay the going rate. Ascent pay less. Cobham give a decent leave allowance. Ascent give less.

Wherever Ascent is concerned, 'Less' seems to be the answer.

That is why people will walk as soon as they can. That is, of course, if they actually fit in the aircraft and are offered a job in the first place😕
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Old 23rd Feb 2018, 21:26
  #145 (permalink)  
 
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To this day I am unsure if Ascents attitude is ignorance or arrogance.

They do not have a single person actually qualified to fly the Phenom. They have a few people who have done the CAE course in Dallas that never completed the whole course and don’t hold type ratings who to this day (apart from a couple of people who did some test flights at Embraer) have never flown the aircraft. These same people are being told to write the Training course because LM who are actually paid to produce the course have not done so. Those part trained people were asked to produce a second generation of pilots in order that Ascent could make the second generation write the manuals..... This resulted in at least one Instructor having the strength of their convictions and quitting.

Trying to change contracts of people AFTER they have done the training and bond them for a type Rating they don’t hold? Trying to change contracts from a 7:30-17:30 to 06:00-00:00 with no overtime payments or time off in lieu. Contracts that automatically elect people out of the working time directive (illegal).

I have said this before, expecting civilians to tow the line like military personal who have little choice is not the way to engender staff loyalty.
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Old 24th Feb 2018, 06:50
  #146 (permalink)  
 
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TBH, if you're not directly involved or a shareholder, I would leave it to those who are to try to sort it out rather than getting so het up with something you aren't involved with.


Just a thought.
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Old 24th Feb 2018, 07:12
  #147 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by just another jocky View Post
TBH, if you're not directly involved or a shareholder, I would leave it to those who are to try to sort it out rather than getting so het up with something you aren't involved with.


Just a thought.
Itís a discussion group and I suspect that a good many on this thread are or (now were) directly involved..... Just a thought....
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Old 24th Feb 2018, 09:38
  #148 (permalink)  
 
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***************
Lionel Lion:

So you've bought an aircraft that no-one can fly and now sits in the hangar doing nothing whilst looking to outsource pilots for courses....wow

No wonder the military doesn't have any money...
***************
Meanwhile, on a tropical island just off the coast of Wales. All of the students were sent home on a six month gardening leave before Xmas, as there is nobody to teach them.

Then, only 3Ĺ months later, they are told to come back. They will need to get back up to speed and try to start learning the aircraft again. In the next 12 to 14 months, all of the experienced QFIs at Valley will be gone, some from Valley and some from the RAF.

Can it really be true that the Ascent contract has no provision for QFI training, only Pilots? That would mean that it's not Ascent's fault that their are no QFIs to teach the students. Who wrote this contract? I wonder if it is the same people who signed up for aircraft carriers that cost the same to not build, as to actually have them?

With Ascent being paid to produce new pilots out of Valley, to go to the squadrons, they will be able to get their money. When the well runs dry they can say that it is not their fault, and no doubt there will be a penalty clause, as the school is all geared up for students but has no teachers.


Maybe at that point Babcock can come along and (at huge cost) save the day with a host of recently ex RAF QFIs with Hawk experience. Maybe not, if by then the guys have gone to the airlines or Tabuk, to be treated like grown ups.
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Old 24th Feb 2018, 12:07
  #149 (permalink)  
 
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http://battle-updates.com/raf-valley...-advisory-ltd/

Howard Wheeldon FRAeS wrote this after a visit to RAF Valley:




Initial teething problems included contractor issues, periods of low aircraft availability and, difficulties in retaining sufficient numbers of Qualified Flying Instructors (QFIís). However, by 2014 the partnership between Ascent and 1V(R) Squadron was working very well and despite retention issues remaining, my recent visit confirmed that this first stage of the MFTS process is working very well. For that, 1V(R) Squadron and Ascent along with BAE Systems deserve significant praise.

The retention issue remains and with the need of a programme such as MFTS to maintain extremely high training standards, the exodus of highly-trained flying instructors to several Gulf States that have been better able to offer what are considered more attractive remuneration packages to Qualified Flying or Weapon instructors is a problem observed by many sections of the UK military.

Clearly, we need to get more trainees through the system and it may be that an additional Hawk TMk2 Squadron at Valley could be required to meet the need to increased fast jet pilot training ANF to fully embrace International Defence Training (IDT) requirements.

It is very necessary that we must accept that within the innovation and prosperity agenda more IDT will be required.

Finally, to repeat my greatest concern here, we need to do a lot more in respect of training trainers more quickly and importantly, putting more effort in to support them and retain them.

So, that was almost a year ago, and still nobody seems to have addressed the issue.
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Old 24th Feb 2018, 12:30
  #150 (permalink)  
 
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This all seems far too much like the KFC fiasco with DHL - 'of course we can deliver what you want at lower cost..........ooooops we appear not to have any chicken'
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Old 24th Feb 2018, 12:35
  #151 (permalink)  
 
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Crab, I think it's more like.... We have some Turkey, but it's in the wrong warehouse / not ready / past its sell by date and basically not fit for purpose.

Just like the staff at DHL, the guys at the coal face in Anglesey, have been told to say and write nothing derogatory about this farce.
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Old 24th Feb 2018, 15:20
  #152 (permalink)  
 
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Well, only a month to go for the RW service to start at Shawbury and the same issues with courseware have been noted in the runup to that event,
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Old 24th Feb 2018, 16:21
  #153 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by airpolice View Post
Crab, I think it's more like.... We have some Turkey, but it's in the wrong warehouse / not ready / past its sell by date and basically not fit for purpose.

Just like the staff at DHL, the guys at the coal face in Anglesey, have been told to say and write nothing derogatory about this farce.
The same message went to the staff on ME as well along with threats about posting on social media after realising that they could not identify culprits on a certain anonymous website even if they suspect they may know who they were.......
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Old 24th Feb 2018, 18:21
  #154 (permalink)  
 
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So, unless it really is as bad as some privately say, why are the staff not allowed to talk about it?

Are they perhaps trying to hide an even bigger fur cup?

Maybe it would be easier to accept if this was the 1970s Soviet war machine, where nobody talked about anything. However, the MOD/ASCENT/various business partners keep telling us how well its going.

Why can't we hear it from the horse's mouth?

Is there to be no open and frank discussion on the topic?

No wonder they can't retain staff. I've recently been told that the return of service for the guys holding for a Valley course (with no start date in sight) will not begin counting down until they get to the front line. In practical terms, they have been taken hostage by the UK Armed Forces.

Maybe that's just one reason for the forces of darkness to make them afraid to use the very freedom of speech, that the RAF was formed to defend.

Last edited by airpolice; 24th Feb 2018 at 22:30. Reason: To BOLD the last line.
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Old 24th Feb 2018, 18:43
  #155 (permalink)  
 
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And there is the conundrum.

In the last 18-24 months, Ascent have hired some seriously talented people. Ex CFI's, CFS personnel, Training Officers etc...basically the people you would hire if you owned the company - they are utterly superb.

Ascent hired them because they realized that their own staff were unable to do the job they were hired for.

Ascent had the chance to get all of the right people from day one...but they stayed true to form and hired the cheapest...it is all their HR 'experts😒' care about...HR lady who apparently knows far more about military flying training than anyone who actually does it)

They hired these experts (and they ARE experts - no tongue in cheek here) to 'test and adjust' the courseware to get it ready for Apr 18 (RW).

And here is the point...

These experts, hired FOR THEIR OPINION have been Officially told by Ascent to keep schtum and keep their mouths shut. Fact. This, in an organisation paid by the MOD???? It beggars belief!

I know many of these people. They say the aircraft are completely unfit for purpose. The courseware is written by morons. They say Ascent has no idea whatsoever about instructor training, or development, or a hundred other things that need to happen to make MFTS work.

Why did Ascent hire experts for their opinion and help, then tell them to shuttup?

Could it be that the answers are inconvenient?

Last edited by ethereal entity; 24th Feb 2018 at 19:02.
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Old 24th Feb 2018, 19:01
  #156 (permalink)  
 
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Could it be that the answers are inconvenient ?
Yep. They hired civilian experts who told them the same thing then effectively managed out more than one of them when they did not like the responses.

You have a bunch of ex senior officers with absolute zero commercial civilian experience thinking they can run a civilian contract as if it was an Air Force squadron. In the words of one of an ex group captain on the payroll “I realise I am Air Force institutionalised”.......
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Old 24th Feb 2018, 21:48
  #157 (permalink)  
 
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I've seen quite a few of those "I'm a Sqn Ldr / Wg Cdr" types - very many didn't last long in commercial circles.
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Old 25th Feb 2018, 06:51
  #158 (permalink)  
 
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I have heard rumours (and this is a rumour site), that a lot of rearcrew cannot sit upright in their designated crash seat in a certain helicopter without their head hitting the cabin roof.
I have also heard it was suggested that they sit slightly slumped to alleviate the problem.....
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Old 25th Feb 2018, 07:17
  #159 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by high spirits View Post
I have heard rumours (and this is a rumour site), that a lot of rearcrew cannot sit upright in their designated crash seat in a certain helicopter without their head hitting the cabin roof.
I have also heard it was suggested that they sit slightly slumped to alleviate the problem.....
Regrettably, this is the case.
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Old 25th Feb 2018, 07:37
  #160 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by bose-x View Post
Itís a discussion group and I suspect that a good many on this thread are or (now were) directly involved..... Just a thought....
I get what you are saying, even with the sarcasm, but the propensity for people who are not involved and cannot affect any outcomes to get involved in discussions they know nothing of never ceases to amaze me.


As you say, some are or were involved, but the vast majority aren't, so how are they supposed to tell the wheat from the chaff in these threads? I'm on the inside and I know there has been a lot of bolleaux typed on here, followed by incorrect supposition and ludicrous predictions of the end of the world (as we know it).
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