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More Drone rumours

Old 21st May 2019, 18:48
  #41 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: waterskiing 2 miles behind the ac...
Posts: 14
Not trying to be obstinate over this just to troll. I have a serious point to make. I have been on both sides of this particular fence.

I take issue with your point above about pilots being employed primarily as weapons system operators as opposed to needing ‘hands-on’ poling skills. Although I didn’t qualify as CR (that’s another thread entirely!) I did a lot of low level flying, trooping and IFR on Chinooks. I won’t bore you with the details but it takes tolerance to fatigue, sweat, vibration, spatial awareness and G to do it; not to mention CRM, leadership in the air and a hard-to-define notion of having ‘skin in the game’.


My ground tours involved targeteering and approving PW4 from Reaper in a CAOC, and Stormshadow on GR4 from the UK. Not going to say too much more on that, but I never thought for a minute that I was ‘flying’ my bomb as it hit the target. And nobody I worked with who didn’t wear wings claimed that they were doing the same job and taking the same risks as the tonka crews.

Just my view is all. (Ditto the AF Board. Self-selecting, self-serving management-speak gurus the lot of them).
Training Risky is offline  
Old 21st May 2019, 18:54
  #42 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Scotland
Posts: 429
HG, that was sarcasm!

TL
Timelord is offline  
Old 21st May 2019, 19:59
  #43 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 413
Originally Posted by Timelord View Post
HG, that was sarcasm!

TL
So you DO trust the Air Force Board?!?
heights good is offline  
Old 21st May 2019, 22:47
  #44 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 413
Originally Posted by Training Risky View Post
Not trying to be obstinate over this just to troll. I have a serious point to make. I have been on both sides of this particular fence.

I take issue with your point above about pilots being employed primarily as weapons system operators as opposed to needing ‘hands-on’ poling skills. Although I didn’t qualify as CR (that’s another thread entirely!) I did a lot of low level flying, trooping and IFR on Chinooks. I won’t bore you with the details but it takes tolerance to fatigue, sweat, vibration, spatial awareness and G to do it; not to mention CRM, leadership in the air and a hard-to-define notion of having ‘skin in the game’.


My ground tours involved targeteering and approving PW4 from Reaper in a CAOC, and Stormshadow on GR4 from the UK. Not going to say too much more on that, but I never thought for a minute that I was ‘flying’ my bomb as it hit the target. And nobody I worked with who didn’t wear wings claimed that they were doing the same job and taking the same risks as the tonka crews.

Just my view is all. (Ditto the AF Board. Self-selecting, self-serving management-speak gurus the lot of them).
I may not have explained things well, apologies.

I am not saying for a second that pilots just operate systems, quite the opposite in fact as that is what Easyjet guys do. My point was that it is mission management, working as a crew and understanding the big picture that is the hard bit. Flying a circuit, understanding rules of the air, RT, nav are taught as part of the PPL syllabus. Operating a low level, whilst not a civilian skill is not overly difficult with a bit of practice.

Regarding spatial awareness, you have shown a real lack of understanding of the nuances of RPAS with your comments, as do a lot of others. It is way easier to look out a window, have your crewman tell you or ATC give you a steer when trying to work out where you are or what threats are abound. Try doing that in a CAS stack with a 2D TV screen, no ATC, a foreign JTAC, 500' separation, one frequency and 20+ assets. The assets are all trying to chat whilst your working hard to stay within a tiny piece of airspace, typing in mIRC to get a clearance, you mIRC drops out (again!) whilst trying to engage a moving target in a piece of airspace you are not yet cleared in... Yes, some of those problems are not unique to RPAS but are made WAY more difficult. SA is something that is really easy to lose and something that all crews work hard at not losing. Oh and it's worth remembering, there is no wingman to offload things to when you lose capacity and no nav aids (not equipped), no TCAS (not equipped), no A-A radar (not equipped), no 2nd/backup radio (not equipped), no A-A TACAN (not equipped).....

CRM - Try operating with a crew of 500! Joking, kind of. It's a very different kind of CRM to tell a Wg Cdr Red Card Holder that their interpretation of the situation is frankly, insane. Or tell an American JTAC as politely as you can, go f*ck yourself as we are not bombing the school bus regardless of what his ROE is. How about foreign ATC who have just cleared you through the SID of an international airport whilst clearing a 747 to do the same as "you will see it on TCAS". How about negotiating why your unmanned aircraft is now flying itself home and cant be steered to avoid the new traffic he has given you avoiding action for. How about the brand new LEGAD that is 'concerned' that your interpretation of CDE is wrong, despite the fact you had the same argument with the previous five LEGADs, and were correct.... The list goes on and on and on. Oh and as you have a radio, mIRC, several phones, an intercom to the DA, IntO and Ops so they can ALL chime in.... Often all at the same time! It is THE most unique CRM situation of any platform.

Skin in the game - Thats relative, it is difficult to perceive a scenario on the Chinook fleet where you could inadvertently kill innocents in glorious technicolour with 500 witnesses for the War Crime tribunal!

Regarding fatigue, constant night flying whilst trying to maintain a family life, working most weekends and 100% Op flying for 3 yrs more than takes it's toll, and then some.

StormShadow or PW4 planning is clearly not flying any bomb. Much the same as when you plan a GR4 sortie, the same happens for RPAS, you have had no part in the actual 'dropping' you merely did CDE planning or programmed a bomb.

Worryingly, PW4 is not cleared on RPAS, see my paragraph LEGADs

I will reiterate, if you are able, go for a visit to Waddo and see for yourself the nuances, rather than preconceived ideas. This is why senior leaders make questionable decisions as they dont understand even the basics of the platform. Hopefully AOC 1 will change that. It is NOT an easy airframe to operate, it's very cerebral with some very unique 'isms'.

I understand there are those that want to rubbish the airframe, but please do that from a position of understanding, not opinion based on preconceived notions or biases.

heights good is offline  
Old 22nd May 2019, 08:55
  #45 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: waterskiing 2 miles behind the ac...
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Originally Posted by heights good View Post
Skin in the game - Thats relative, it is difficult to perceive a scenario on the Chinook fleet where you could inadvertently kill innocents in glorious technicolour with 500 witnesses for the War Crime tribunal!

Regarding fatigue, constant night flying whilst trying to maintain a family life, working most weekends and 100% Op flying for 3 yrs more than takes it's toll, and then some.
With these two comments, I will retire from this debate. I'll leave it to others to explain better than me why 'being there' and aircrew fatigue are not and never will be relative, it's binary. Piloting an aircraft that if mishandled could crash into an orphanage is just not the same as operating one remotely which then crashes into same orphanage because the link failed. No matter how good you are at multitasking on mirc chat.

Originally Posted by heights good View Post

Worryingly, PW4 is not cleared on RPAS, see my paragraph LEGADs
That's my bad entirely, I meant PW4 and Brimstone from GR4 and Hellfire from Reaper, monitoring PID/POL via Reaper. No plans to travel north of Watford ever again...thanks for the offer though. Not having a go at the aircraft or the operators either, vital capability.

Last edited by Training Risky; 22nd May 2019 at 08:59. Reason: spooling
Training Risky is offline  
Old 28th Aug 2019, 06:10
  #46 (permalink)  
Ecce Homo! Loquitur...
 
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https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/r...ards-zmr735j5d

RAF drone operators reap rewards

Operational service medals have been awarded to RAF drone operators for the first time, but without the ribbon clasp for danger in the line of duty.

Members of the RAF Reaper Force have received the Operational Service Medal Iraq and Syria for their work in the Shader campaign against Isis. Their medals will not have the “Iraq and Syria” clasp that goes to the pilots of manned aircraft.

The 36ft Reaper drone has a top speed of 290mph and a ceiling of 30,000ft when armed. It can carry two 500lb [email protected] bombs and four Hellfire missiles. Reapers were responsible for more than 1,280 of the 4,013 deaths of Isis fighters in RAF strikes in Iraq and Syria between September 2014 and January this year.

Before presenting the medals, Air Vice-Marshal Harvey Smyth, said: “It’s absolutely right and proper that they get recognition because their contribution to the success of the operation is just phenomenal.”

In the same ceremony, some Reaper officers received pilots’ wings. Air Vice-Marshal Smyth, who presented the wings, said: “What you do remotely piloting an air vehicle is equally as challenging, is equally as dynamic as flying a fast jet. It’s just different.”

ORAC is offline  
Old 18th Oct 2019, 19:57
  #47 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: 4 Civvy Street. Nowhere-near-a-base. The Shires.
Posts: 560
Today was XIII Sqn's turn for recognition. 50+ members of the Stabbed Cats receiving the Shader OSM (without clasp) at a ceremony held at RAF Waddington.

Congratulations to all of them for a job well done.
camelspyyder is offline  
Old 19th Oct 2019, 10:12
  #48 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: UK
Posts: 16
So if you get streamed Pilot - ISTAR out of EFT, does that encompass MQ-9B, Poseidon, Wedgetail, Rivet Joint, Shadow and Sentinel, or only the MQ-9B?

The...Bird is offline  
Old 19th Oct 2019, 18:50
  #49 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: England
Posts: 14
Originally Posted by The...Bird View Post
So if you get streamed Pilot - ISTAR out of EFT, does that encompass MQ-9B, Poseidon, Wedgetail, Rivet Joint, Shadow and Sentinel, or only the MQ-9B?
At the moment the MQ-9B route is that platform only with the possibility to move to P-8, E-7 etc through competitive selection post TRoS on MQ-9, I'm not sure how it works with those going to MQ-9B from a "Pilot" selection route (of course there is the recruitment distinction of "Pilot and RPAS(Pilot)" currently)
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Old 19th Oct 2019, 19:33
  #50 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Welwyn Garden City
Age: 59
Posts: 1,238
Originally Posted by Bob Viking View Post
FWIW I couldn’t care less what badge the RPAS pilots wear. If it has been deemed appropriate for them to wear the RAF flying badge then so be it. As a current RAF pilot it doesn’t offend me in the slightest.

Times have changed. I mean no offense to BEagle and Timelord but I don’t think it matters what long-since retired pilots think. Reaper is a vital part of our current frontline inventory. The people who fly them are pilots.

Has anyone ever become annoyed that WW2 Spitfire Pilots got awarded the RAF flying badge after such a short training regime?

BV
Mr Viking,

I think the point about Spitfire pilots, or any world war 2 aircrew, isn't the length of time they spent learning to achieve perfection. They earned their wings even if the first day they flew into the wild blue yonder, they never returned.

FB
Finningley Boy is offline  
Old 20th Oct 2019, 02:20
  #51 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Near the coast
Posts: 1,757
FB

I am in violent agreement with you.

That post (from nearly six months ago) was not intended to criticise the bravest of the brave. I think you are taking it slightly out of context.

BV
Bob Viking is online now  

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