Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Military Aviation
Reload this Page >

USAF Pilot Retention Rates & Bonuses

Military Aviation A forum for the professionals who fly military hardware. Also for the backroom boys and girls who support the flying and maintain the equipment, and without whom nothing would ever leave the ground. All armies, navies and air forces of the world equally welcome here.

USAF Pilot Retention Rates & Bonuses

Old 22nd Nov 2017, 16:10
  #21 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: BOQ
Age: 75
Posts: 478
You know, there's got to be better, easier to comprehend metrics for the problem than those mumbo-jumbo military accountant percentages.

How about how many scheduled code-1 F-16s sit on the ramp each day for lack of pilots?

A possible solution would be to go back to the 'universal pilot' philosophy and be willing to cross-train TTB folks into fighters for a tour....with Auto-GCAS what could possibly go wrong? Talk about motivational....I recall the morale increase when I supported the Tulsa ANG transition from C-124s to F-100s....and every one was given the chance if they wanted it. Nobody turned it down.

In addition you could allow the fighter guys one tour in heavies just before retirement to prepare them for the airlines.
OK465 is offline  
Old 22nd Nov 2017, 20:48
  #22 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: florida
Age: 76
Posts: 1,059
Salute!

No universal assignments, Okie!!! None, nada, nyet, noway.com a different The single seat jets need folks with different skill sets than the multi-crew olanes.

Was there in early 70's and saw it. Wasn't a month or two until first fatality on a night range mission - single seater outta The Beach.

OTOH, I helped check out the Ohio C-119 guys in the A-37, and they adapted for the most part. The plane was easy to fly and we had experience with the Vee that had never even had a driver's license!!

The move for some Reserve units was challenging, but the Guard was less of an effort back then because most of them flew old fighters.

I do like the idea of a two year tour in "heavies" for the fighter pilots, but the other way around could be challenging. Several of my buddies did it and one even flew over Hanoi in LBII. The another made stars and had a great career after I checked him out in the Sluf.

It is still the ops tempo and the uncertainty the pilots face that are the drivers. I only saw it from 1966 to 1975. The next generation saw it from 1991 and onward. Plus, there's no firm path as I went thru.

Gums opines...
gums is offline  
Old 22nd Nov 2017, 21:31
  #23 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: BOQ
Age: 75
Posts: 478
I do like the idea of a two year tour in "heavies" for the fighter pilots, but the other way around could be challenging.
You may have just managed to offend a large portion of military aviation.

From my experience in transport category, the difference is not so much in the skillset required......but the mindset.

That one can work with.
OK465 is offline  
Old 26th Nov 2017, 05:26
  #24 (permalink)  
Ecce Homo! Loquitur...
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Peripatetic
Posts: 9,924
UK has a similar problem and scheme - though smaller in both numbers and compensation....
MoD offers helicopter pilots £70,000 to stay

Experienced helicopter pilots in the forces are being offered a £70,000 “golden handcuff” deal to stay in their jobs for six years.

Figures from the Ministry of Defence show that 1,049 helicopter pilots left the air force, army and navy during the past five years, with only 508 joining up. The army, for example, lost 201 helicopter pilots, including Prince Harry who flew as an Apache helicopter co-pilot and gunner in Afghanistan in 2012 but left in June 2015. To train an attack helicopter pilot takes four years and costs about £3.5m. The army recruited 131 pilots during the five years.

The figures have fuelled fears that helicopters could be mothballed or squadrons axed in the government’s defence review, which will be published early next year. “These figures are unsustainable,” one defence source said. “At this rate, manning squadrons will be impossible.” Kevan Jones, Labour MP and a former defence minister who obtained the figures, said they raised “questions about the government’s handling of the defence budget”.

Insiders say pilots are being poached by the commercial airline industry, which is in the grip of a pilot shortage. “The problem the MoD has is that it can’t compete financially or in quality of life with civvy street,” the source said. To entice them to stay, the MoD introduced a £70,000 payment in April for pilots with seven or more years’ experience who agree to stay for a further six years. The money has to be repaid if they leave before then.

The MoD said it “has sufficient helicopters and pilots from all three services and is able to meet all of its operational commitments and tasks at home and overseas”.
ORAC is offline  
Old 26th Nov 2017, 17:04
  #25 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: at home
Posts: 559
This is not a 70 Grand bonus.

This is the start of the new flying pay scheme. Ie, a new joiner will not get any flying (retention) pay whilst they are under their 6 year return of service post their first OCU. They then get what they would have got in Retention pay as a lump sum, but only if they agree to stay in for another 7 years.
high spirits is offline  
Old 26th Nov 2017, 17:45
  #26 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: UK
Posts: 197
No, it was a retention attempt to keep pilots way past that point.
Rotate too late is offline  
Old 26th Nov 2017, 22:26
  #27 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Dirty South
Posts: 345
Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
Experienced helicopter pilots in the forces are being offered a £70,000 “golden handcuff” deal to stay in their jobs for six years.
Funny. As the good General alluded to in a quote on the first page - ‘they can’t compete with the airlines for the money’.

A guy at my humble airline made £70,000 in July. Flying a 737. That’s obviously atypical, but it’s definitely do-able. It seems obvious from Gums and OK465 posts that this problem has been around for a while. It’s also appears that the solution is obvious, to all but the people who are able to change the system; Stop screwing people around, and let them do what they joined for - Fly.

The ‘Dear Boss’ letter -

Dear Boss, I Don't Just Quit, I Give Up | Small Wars Journal
JPJP is offline  
Old 26th Nov 2017, 23:19
  #28 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: florida
Age: 76
Posts: 1,059
Salute!

No offense to the "heavy" crews, Okie. There is a "mindset" issue to be sure, but in my career it was the fighter pilot that needed the "help". They call it crew resource management nowadays ( CRM). I flew a "crew" jet for two years, 400 hours in the VooDoo interceptor. After that it was single seat for another 3000 hours.

My "heavy" friends could be determined soon after starting pilot training. A few had actual "touch" or "feel" problems. In other words, my roomie had problems just trimming the plane and nailing approach speed within 2 knots. I was blessed to have a "natural" feel. That meant I could look around, make radio calls, navigate and so forth. My roomie went to buffs, but after a few years got a chopper assignment in 'nam, so his "feel" got better.

I am not an elitist, but I feel that we are not all born equal and have equal flying skills WRT "hands". The CRM issue is real, and I appreciate it. So we fighter pilots have it easy. Fly the jet, hit the tgt or other jet, navigate and come back. So back when the earth was still cooling our IP's actually had an input to our assignment. They called it "fighter qualified" or some such. Ten years later we had the "equal opportunity" movement and it didn't work. Not only piss poor fighter pilots that could not multi-task, but I counseled a tanker guy that graduated number one but they gave him a KC-135 and he wanted out. Good ending to that story ( upon request).

It ain't the money!!!!!!

The "Dear Boss" letters have been around since the 70's. And none have mentioned $$$$$.

My feeling is our country is trying too hard to "help" other folks and there is no end in sight nor clear results. Oh well.....

Gums sends...
gums is offline  
Old 27th Nov 2017, 19:38
  #29 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: BOQ
Age: 75
Posts: 478
How about enlisted pilots as a solution?

With USMS I flew with ex-enlisted types who had various jobs in the military....and who did their service, had gotten out and financed their own aviation careers as civilians. They were dual current in DOJ 727s & Hawker 800s and were very good. Would have made fine military pilots.

I don't recall ever using my college education as such when flying. In fact, one of the better fighter pilots I ever flew with had been a music major.

In addition, with enlisted pilots you would save money associated with the lower pay grades.
OK465 is offline  
Old 27th Nov 2017, 20:39
  #30 (permalink)  

Champagne anyone...?
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: EGDL
Age: 50
Posts: 1,408
And your enlisted pilots will be even keener than the officers to leave the military once they learn of the even bigger relative pay rise they’ll get if they jump ship to an airline....
StopStart is offline  
Old 27th Nov 2017, 20:50
  #31 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: BOQ
Age: 75
Posts: 478
You just tack a bigger commitment on them. They won't notice 'cause without a college education, they can't count anyway.
OK465 is offline  
Old 27th Nov 2017, 22:35
  #32 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: florida
Age: 76
Posts: 1,059
Salute!

I am not sure that a CW3 would want to bail out real quick, but it has to do with the "contract" for "x" years.

The U.S. Army had thousands of those CW folks during 'nam, and we still have them. In other words, we had "technicians" or "mechanics" and they were not dedicated career military types that wanted or desired "flag" rank ( like me! heh heh)

If the warrant officer folks like being constantly deployed to the sandbox far into the future, great. Somehow I don't think they want that and will bail soon as they can. It ain't about the money!!! Dammit!!!!

To keep on and keeping on you, have to really have faith that you are contributing to some noble cause and not just "doing your job".

I fully agree about pilots. navigators, systems operators and other crew positions that do not need to have a person with a college degree in social studies!!! So no requirement to have a college degree, and I could have done just as well in my training with just a high school education and being able to read and write and do simple math.

Gums opines...
gums is offline  
Old 30th Nov 2017, 11:08
  #33 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: UK
Posts: 97
"Not only piss poor fighter pilots that could not multi-task, but I counseled a tanker guy that graduated number one but they gave him a KC-135 and he wanted out. Good ending to that story ( upon request)."

Hi Gums,
I'm curious, please could you expand on this story? I'm intrigued!
Thanks
small_dog is offline  
Old 30th Nov 2017, 13:18
  #34 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: florida
Age: 76
Posts: 1,059
Salute!

No problem, Small. It's one of my successes as a counselor and instructor at Air University.

Most here know that a staff job or something akin is a requirement if you wish to keep advancing or just stay in! So I took my turn in the barrel at Squadron Officer School, Air University. I had already been selected for the middle management charm school but an overseas assignment screwed that up. So I volunteered to go back to SOS as an instructor. This was in the height of the USAF equal oppo days and during the infamous effectiveness ratings that required half of all the officers to be rated in the bottom 50%. No kidding, you Brits, it killed the careers of many folks like me that just wanted to fly but had to get promoted to be a "keeper".

To the point: A fellow instructor asked me to counsel a young man who was clearly a natural born leader and team player in his section. He told her that he was gonna bail as soon as he could, even tho his unit had sent him to the junior officer school at AU. I agreed and we talked and talked and talked.

He was an Academy grad and at the top of his pilot training class, ditinguished graduate and all that. They gave him a KC-135 assignment!!!! GASP. At the time, the war was over and no easy way to get out of your "track". A few years later the equal oppo crapola went away or was drastically revised, and I helped several youngsters get into the Viper. Did it again about 4 or 5 years ago for a helo troop ( a Warrant Officer in the Apache) and helped him get into a guard outfit, then get commissioned and then fly the Viper.

Anyway, I could not actively help with his assignment, but I pointed him at one way he might break the mold. Volunteer for an assignment at the USAF systems HQ in Dayton or as an instructor at USAFA. He did both and only flew a bit after that, then became a professional educator. He did well, contributed to USAF, and eventually became the Dean of Faculty at USAFA and other universities after getting out( as a Brigadier).

During the war, many folks converted to fighters after initial assignments in transports or buffs or as basic training instructors. It was easy to volunteer to get shot at, and you could just about name your plane. A close friend went from C-130 to O-1A to A-37 to A-7D, and so on. Another went from an AC-47 Spooky to the A-37 to A-7D to F-117. And the beat goes on. All that went away after 1973. I was blessed and squirmed my way into the Viper when my tour at AU was over due to my high time, combat experience and good recommendations by folks already at Hill.

So that's it.

Nowadays they track the pilots early on. In my time, your class standing for assignments was pretty much determined shortly after finishing T-37's. I was always in the top 3 in my class, and was pretty sure I was gonna get my fighter.

Gums sends...
gums is offline  
Old 30th Nov 2017, 14:39
  #35 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: UK
Posts: 97
Hi Gums!
Thanks for that! Very interesting!
Thanks again!
small_dog is offline  
Old 7th Dec 2017, 08:37
  #36 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 2,180
Enlisted USAF pilots ?


https://www.airforcetimes.com/news/y...-lead-to-that/

Enlisted USAF pilots ? Well, apparently not:


"Air Education and Training Command said in a Thursday release that although its new Pilot Training Next program will include some enlisted airmen, it is not intended to create enlisted aviators."



https://www.airforcetimes.com/news/y...combat-pilots/
bafanguy is offline  
Old 9th Dec 2017, 04:16
  #37 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: surfing, watching for sharks
Posts: 3,459
Kudos to the AF, this is a sea change for them as they’ve kept many positions Officer only. The USMC (maybe the Navy as well) has enlisted Navs on its C130s while the USAF (at least in the 90s) had officers doing the same job.
West Coast is offline  
Old 9th Dec 2017, 12:24
  #38 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Germany
Posts: 1,958
Originally Posted by Rotate too late View Post
No, it was a retention attempt to keep pilots way past that point.
Thats funny, I didn't get an offer of 70K, despite having lots more experience (and years done) than those having had the offer.

And time to do till contract end as a result of repeated tinkerings with my pension.
VinRouge is offline  
Old 9th Dec 2017, 16:11
  #39 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: UK
Posts: 197
Originally Posted by VinRouge View Post
Thats funny, I didn't get an offer of 70K, despite having lots more experience (and years done) than those having had the offer.

And time to do till contract end as a result of repeated tinkerings with my pension.
o

Errrrrr, hence the retention ATTEMPT.......

Switch on lofty.
Rotate too late is offline  
Old 9th Dec 2017, 20:07
  #40 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Uranus
Posts: 819
When the RAF looked at NCO pilots recently during a planning exercise they worked out more expensive than officers over a predicted 20 year period (2016 figures used):

OR-6 Sgt starts on ~£35k and after 20 years as an OR-9 MACR earns about £48k

OF-1 Fg Off starts on ~£31k and rises to top of Flt Lt on £47k

After 2.5yrs the officer promotes to Flt Lt on ~£39k and the Sgt is either on £36k but promoted to FS about 3-5 years later starting on ~£38k. However, the 2.5yrs that the Sgt gets paid ~£4k more, and the MACR gets £1k+ per year towards the end of the 20 year period means that the NCOs are likely to be ahead by ~£20k over the period.

The RRP(F) is exactly the same for officer pilots as it is for the Army. They also get a retention payment of £70k but at a different point. So no savings to be had there.

Finally, an officer’s quarter is cheaper to the military as the officer pays more for a quarter than a SNCO will pay for theirs per month. Further, the SNCOs get free uniforms, so more money costs there. Plus also, most SNCO aircrew have the education quals for officer entry anyway.

So overall, SNCO/WO pilots worked out more expensive than officer pilots!

Not sure if the same applies to the US military, but it’s worth doing the maths (math!) first.
The B Word is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.