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72 Sqn trouble

Old 31st Mar 2021, 14:08
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by MaxReheat View Post

a. Who are these 'schedulers'? In ye olde days the program was hacked out 'in house' ie on the squadron. Don't tell me the RAF now suffers from the same affliction the airlines do ie workloads and lifestyles determined by a spotty-faced clerk who knows all the rules but never has to live with the reality and the consequences of their output.
Airlines now use some very good optimisation software for aircraft and flight crew scheduling. The days of the 'spotty-faced clerk' as you put it are well past , Maybe ASCENT could take a leaf out of that book.
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Old 31st Mar 2021, 15:40
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by RetiredBA/BY View Post
....but please use youíre where you mean youíre not your.!!

I see it made the Daily Mail today,
Link

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...ying-much.html
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Old 31st Mar 2021, 16:06
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by plans123 View Post
Airlines now use some very good optimisation software for aircraft and flight crew scheduling. The days of the 'spotty-faced clerk' as you put it are well past , Maybe ASCENT could take a leaf out of that book.
Yes but airline planning works on CAT 3B weather minima mostly and 98.5% aircraft availability. Also a huge amount of statistical data to schedule. Planning training that way isnít a job for too much IT
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Old 31st Mar 2021, 17:06
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by sangiovese. View Post
Yes but airline planning works on CAT 3B weather minima mostly and 98.5% aircraft availability. Also a huge amount of statistical data to schedule. Planning training that way isn’t a job for too much IT
.....
........yes, and in commercial aviation, proper airlines certainly, you get a fixed roster, ( mostly) you can plan your life and you get vastly better pay than the RAF.. A senior captain, earns more than the CAS, a line captain can easily earn more than an air rank officer, enabling a better standard of living for you, your family, gets a better pension and has FAR more control over his life. Add some very nice aircraft to fly, some very nice routes on longhaul and time to do your own thing, got my vote.

Yes, things are difficult at the moment due CV, but they WILL get better, back to normal.
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Old 31st Mar 2021, 17:20
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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But retired, you don’t get to runaround in a respi...gas mask, while carrying a musket..
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Old 31st Mar 2021, 18:13
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Paul Rice View Post
30 per cent of professional pilots throughout the world are unemployed with little to no chance of finding work in the medium term. 17 % of professional pilots are furloughed with little to no chance of significant numbers returning to work in the short to medium term. Those remaining at work are braced for further job losses and deep cuts to their terms and conditions of employment. While a 11 hour working day is a long duty period its not exceptional and 12 1/2 hours is a regular typical flying duty in the civilian sector. If your only flying 140 hours per annum you have it easy. 100 flying hours per 28 days is the summer target for the airlines and these hours are spread through deep nights, very early starts, late starts with time zone disturbances thrown in. You report 12 QFIs to 12 student QFIs and 22 students. That divides up to less than 3 students per instructor which seems very reasonable and manageable. If students are not flying often enough and your concerned about continuity and safety, then as the QFI you do not send them solo and if the course foot print over runs so be it. If your concerned about flight planning software and other dispatch issues deal with them your not flying much you have all the time in the world to resolve these problems. While the report highlights domestic problems within your Squadron these concerns should have been managed domestically in house using the established chain of command. This report should not have been published in an open forum and it borders on mutiny if it has been published by a military officer. It certainly brings the service into disrepute. Frequent shift changes not getting home when you expect to get home bluntly "thats life in a blue suit" please be thankful that your on salary right now, that your flying a wonderful aeroplane with a ready supply of talented highly motivated and aptitude selected students. Your the QFI you know what the problems are fix those that you can, recruit colleagues to fix those that you cant and when you have done all that you possibly put the kettle on have a cup of tea and chill out. Seriously enjoy being on salary.
I'm sure the Instructors at Valley will be really pleased to have their 'reality checked' by a commercial pilot. The two are quite different and if you served in the military you would well know that. Flight instructor duties are numerous and flying is just one of them. They don't rockstar up to the airport, get handed their flight plan, do a quick weather check and go on their merry way, fly for 7 hours on autopilot, land at their destination and take a crew bus to the hotel. An 11+ hour day is easily achievable with only a couple of relatively short (1-1.5 hour) sorties when numbers are low and you also need to man the auth desk, be duty pilot, rehash training documentation that the RAF has paid someone else to write, etc. All duties that the average 'commercial' pilot does not need to worry themselves about.

We are all, military and civilian, aware that times are very hard for many. But the idea that we should 'just be happy to get a salary' is non-sensical, especially when the roots of this problem were established well before the pandemic. The current situation should not be used as an excuse to ignore, belittled, or ridicule individuals for speaking out.

I remember my time at Valley as a welcome reprieve from the frontline where 12 hour days were the norm. Although students were keen to get out of the island as quickly as possible, the instructors were mostly happy and the flying was plentiful if a little monotonous. I'm truly sorry to hear how things have turned out.
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Old 31st Mar 2021, 18:44
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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The claims Ė in a bombshell document obtained by the Daily Mail
Now where might they have sourced that document? Exactly why I stated at post #2 that Facebook & on here werenít the forums to raise this. Washing our dirty laundry in public might make the author feel better and that Ďhe didnít have any other option as the senior officers wouldnít listení but the DM has managed to roll this up with the totality unrelated Hawk crash at Culdrose to make a major safety point against the RAF (& the FAA but they probably donít really see thereís a difference).

Something of an own goal as I see it.
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Old 31st Mar 2021, 18:46
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by plans123 View Post
Airlines now use some very good optimisation software for aircraft and flight crew scheduling. The days of the 'spotty-faced clerk' as you put it are well past , Maybe ASCENT could take a leaf out of that book.
Does the contractor want to make that sort of investment, especially if the contract term is limited and only when it was got its feet well under the table ?
With widespread introduction of drones imminent in the next 20 years and with a lack of unequivocal guidance at the last contract let about this prospect . . . planning not possible. This is Duncan Sandy's missile paper re-visited . . . but behind the scenes.
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Old 31st Mar 2021, 19:00
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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Maybe 72 Squadron could push the message through the good offices of 32 ?, TBA style:-

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Old 31st Mar 2021, 19:17
  #50 (permalink)  
 
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I have no knowledge of how the RAF Truckie Fleet did it's scheduling - other than to observe that they never went U/S at Deci, Belize, PSAB or Mount Pleasant - but only at Bermuda, Nassau, Nice, Las Vegas etc etc. A challenge for the programmers.............perhaps a predictable challenge!

I have absolutely no idea (or interest) how Commercials do their programming.........

I have done a bit of fast-jet programming - and I do not believe there is a computer programme that could cope with the various demands required to run a successful flying schedule.

Happy to be proven wrong, but the variables - in no particular order - of jet availability/serviceability, aircraft fit, range availability, weather, pilot ability, required supervision, desired progress towards combat readiness requirements, necessary check rides, currency requirements for AAR, night flying, QWI/QFI/IRE checks etc etc - the list is almost endless........It requires someone with a flexible and understanding brain to cope. No matter how clever a computer can be programmed, I do not believe it could do better than an experienced and knowledgeable human.

If Valley has a problem - only those actively involved can resolve it. No external advice from Commercial or Truckie experts can do it. Or from has-beens.

To my old-fashioned way of thinking, this is a very strange way to highlight a problem, but if that is the way of the world, then so be it - I hope (feel sure?) that the modern hierarchy of the RAF is sufficiently familiar with this trendy way of doing things that they are aware and will resolve.

I really do hope so.

As an aside, on my first operational squadron, we had an SAC Ops Clerk who could have very easily run the whole flying programme with due consideration to all of the above...........

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Old 31st Mar 2021, 20:10
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Dominator2 View Post
MFTS has put the RAF Flying Training system into total disarray. The reason is the Senior Officers responsible for signing off on Contracts that are worthless. The only interest that Ascent has is to make a fast buck. Right from the outset the company never resourced enough assets to fulfil the REAL requirement. Not enough QFIs, not enough aircraft, not enough engineers, not enough Ops staff, not enough hours in the day!! How would they even expect 95% serviceability from their aircraft? How could they expect to run a Training Programme on flying for 16 hours a day with no factoring for weather.
You forgot 'the wrong aircraft'. Is any of the Ascent platforms actually able to deliver the same quality of training as its predecessor? I don't know much about the Avenger, but both rotary types have major problems for their intended usage, the Prefect appears to be beset by limitations and is an absurd elementary trainer for helicopter pilots, the Phenom seems to have engines in the wrong place for proper asymmetric work, leaving only the Hawk - which owes any success to being a sexed up version of the original!
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Old 31st Mar 2021, 21:35
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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It has been clear for quite some time that this contract will not deliver. Is not Ascent simply fulfilling its CONTRACTUAL obligations? I believe that the root cause of this debacle is with those who proposed and drew up the shambles of a contract and those who approved it, signed it off and then awarded it to the cheapest bidder.

Now we are here, what are the options? Without radical action, very few I imagine. Hence the frustration which will ripple down the pipeline for years. Because of the delays in the system the age of first tourists is increasing all the time, how many promotees will have had more than 2 tours? Senior officers will have had less and less front line experience compared to their predecessors. The age profile of each rank will increase. Which intake years will be able to provide a future CAS who has had the breadth and depth of experience required to be an effective leader of the RAF? I would imagine none of the last 5 years and none of the next 5 of the aircrew cadre.
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Old 31st Mar 2021, 21:35
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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......​ leaving only the Hawk - which owes any success to being a sexed up version of the original!​​​​​​
While true, the reality is that the T2 was procured by MoD prior to the formation of MFTS and Ascent, allowing them to take no credit for its selection and leaving them with virtually a 100% unsuitable fleet platform choice.

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Old 1st Apr 2021, 00:14
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Ken Scott View Post
Now where might they have sourced that document? Exactly why I stated at post #2 that Facebook & on here werenít the forums to raise this. Washing our dirty laundry in public might make the author feel better and that Ďhe didnít have any other option as the senior officers wouldnít listení but the DM has managed to roll this up with the totality unrelated Hawk crash at Culdrose to make a major safety point against the RAF (& the FAA but they probably donít really see thereís a difference).

Something of an own goal as I see it.
Not sure the DM got the information from here. That article clearly mentions male Squadron Leader as the whistleblower. The article copied in this thread makes no mention of these extra snippets.
As for own goal... if it gets the flight safety processes and flying training pressures looked into and problems get solved then it is as good as any England penalty in a world cup against Germany. It says a lot about a situation and the desperation felt when the only way to get a response is via social media.

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Old 1st Apr 2021, 07:06
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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The Hawk was in this situation until March 2020.....

🤦🏼 The Hawk was in this situation until March 2020..... that should read ďThe Hawk was in this situation from 2011 until 2020Ē. Whilst I feel for the guys on the Sqn and Iím sad the lessons donít appear to have been learnt. There is no immediate fix to this - welcome to MFTS BFJT. You could always PVR like we all did. 👍
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Old 1st Apr 2021, 07:38
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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Ex-FJ
I must have been dreaming when I was U/S in MPA, Goose etc. Not only that but the times I have been U/S in Bermuda were down to the FJ serviceability states.

The AT/AAR world tries to chose it's (sic) routings to maximize payload /minimize hours etc-a point totally lost on a certain SLOPs at Goose who knew f all about the rules we worked under.
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Old 1st Apr 2021, 08:25
  #57 (permalink)  
 
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Whilst not making light of the problems mentioned above and there definitely appears to be one of fatigue amongst others. Yes it's soul destroying for the students to get so little flying and the programme slipping behind for lack of airframes etc. But just maybe they should look at 72's not to distant past. 84 Pilots, 38 Crewman, 26 Wessex, 3 Pumas & the occasional Chinook. 365 days a year tasking for 33 years (1969-2002). Crews scheduled for 21 days then 7 days off, exceeding the 28 day total hours in the 21 day period and having to go to SMO for an extension. SH Ops, SAR and training all programmed on 3 large chinagraphed boards. Different problems admittedly but nobody complained they just got on with it!
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Old 1st Apr 2021, 12:29
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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I was a very young Ops Clerk on 72 in 1979, the crews would come in and tell you what they wanted to do the next day and I wrote it on the board behind the Ops desk, the operational stuff came in separately. It was a big squadron.
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Old 1st Apr 2021, 13:13
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ex-fast-jets View Post

I have done a bit of fast-jet programming - and I do not believe there is a computer programme that could cope with the various demands required to run a successful flying schedule.

Happy to be proven wrong, but the variables - in no particular order - of jet availability/serviceability, aircraft fit, range availability, weather, pilot ability, required supervision, desired progress towards combat readiness requirements, necessary check rides, currency requirements for AAR, night flying, QWI/QFI/IRE checks etc etc - the list is almost endless........It requires someone with a flexible and understanding brain to cope. No matter how clever a computer can be programmed, I do not believe it could do better than an experienced and knowledgeable human.
I can think of two companies off the top of my head that could provide software to do just that. But it all boils down to if you put [email protected] in - you get [email protected] out.
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Old 1st Apr 2021, 17:51
  #60 (permalink)  
lsh
 
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Whilst a computer might be able to produce an initial basic & efficient flying programme,
I do not think that it could ever replace the myriad of more subtle inputs that an experienced programmer can provide.
There is an awful lot more to consider than just "bums on seats".

lsh
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