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72 Sqn trouble

Old 29th Mar 2021, 08:26
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72 Sqn trouble

Saw this on Facebook and thought it might cause some debate

LincsFM is offline  
Old 29th Mar 2021, 11:01
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Are Facebook/ PPRuNe really the ideal venues for airing these types of issues?
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Old 29th Mar 2021, 11:15
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Originally Posted by Ken Scott View Post
Are Facebook/ PPRuNe really the ideal venues for airing these types of issues?
Yes!! The Dasor system does not work and allows middle management and senior officers to "paper over the cracks" whilst effecting zero change.

This dasor could read across to many fleets at the moment.

Sad times.
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Old 29th Mar 2021, 11:16
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Originally Posted by Ken Scott View Post
Are Facebook/ PPRuNe really the ideal venues for airing these types of issues?
My thought exactly... But if the powers that be have fingers in ears and are la-la-la-ing, the professionals being put at risk may feel they have nowhere else to go.

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Old 29th Mar 2021, 11:33
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I can sympathise with those in this situation. In the 80s I worked on an RAF training unit with similar issues. The courses got well behind the drag curve (putting the Boss's future career path in danger) so it was announced that to get maximum usage from the available aircraft there would henceforth be two shifts, early and late.

We all ended up working both shifts....and some weekends.
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Old 29th Mar 2021, 12:28
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In this day and age stuff like this should be long gone. I'd never have thought it'd be going on in the RAF of 2021.
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Old 29th Mar 2021, 12:52
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It seems that continuity (or the severe lack of it) has been a major problem for a long time. This from ten years ago :-

'No blame' Over RAF Tornado Crash - PPRuNe Forums

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Old 29th Mar 2021, 12:55
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If not Facebook and PPRuNe, where? If a student and/or QFI died as a result of this situation you'd be the first screaming for heads to roll.

This should not be swept under the carpet and hidden. Ascent is being paid an inordinate sum of money to provide this service, and to hear their PR you'd think all was rosy. It is not and as a contractor they need to be made accountable and to sort it out.
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Old 29th Mar 2021, 13:10
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Time for AOC 22 Gp and CAS, yes, CAS, to get up there and get to the bottom of this.

A totally outrageous situation, never ever saw anything remotely like this in my days as a QFI.
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Old 29th Mar 2021, 13:17
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Maybe this is just what it needs. Public airing of the issues and red faces all round with any luck. The problem I foresee is the UK has previous form in shooting messengers rather than fixing the problem, especially where someone is making serious money out of the problems.
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Old 29th Mar 2021, 13:50
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None of this should surprise anyone. It was always a foregone conclusion that MFTS would fail spectacularly - it could go no other way. The reason is this - prior to MFTS, the MOD ran its own FT system, and the driving force was Standards. The system was honed to provide the best quality training possible. This is no longer the case. MFTS is now run for a profit, plain and simple. Is there anyone who seriously believes that a profit driven system will provide a better prodect than a quality driven system?

Now, when you start to drill down into this, the reasons are clear and obvious. Ascent is a 'Special Purpose Vehicle' - a company 'invented' to run the MFTS contract. It has no other purpose and is not bidding for anything why would they care about their reputation? They only existed to get the MFTS contract, and they achieved that. Job done. Also, Ascent is just another way of saying "Lockheed Martin and Babcock'. These are 2 companies that are not known for being charities - they exist to make a profit, and quite right too, why shouldn't they?

I have heard many describe the Ascent management as thoroughly incompetent and clueless. In fact, I have never heard them described as anything else. However, whether they are or not is dependant on what yardsick you use to judge them. Bear in mind they are not (poorly) paid to care about standards. They do not care about quality - quality costs money. They are paid to help Ascent make a profit and to defend the contract. They want to provide the cheapest solution they can to maximize the corporate profit. This means buying as few as possible of the cheapest airframes they can. It means employing as few people as possible and pushing them as hard as possible. It means minimizing flying and cutting corners wherever possible. Judged against this remit, the management suddenly look a lot less incompetent. They are doing what they are paid to do. The real issue is that this was blindingly obvious to everyone apart from the Senor officers who decided to implement this system. The sheer incompetence and dereliction of duty of those officers cannot be overstated.

Ascent have provided H135 for rearcrew training that are too small. H145's that 3 years after arrival still cannot teach overwater winching. Phenoms that are inferior as trainers to the aircraft they replaced, Hawks with insufficient these Texan woes are only to be expected. The MOD have got precisely what I and so many others told them they would get.

To the issue at hand. The DDH has 2 choices here. He either has the moral courage to do the right thing and to be seen doing it, or he protects his career. He should ground 72 Sqn immediately and launch a full and open investigation into the claims made here. If there is an accident and this is not addressed, he will quite rightly go to prison. I also have no doubt that he is was already aware of everyhing said here, but just kept looking resolutely out of the window rather than addressing the issue at hand. The genie is now out of the bottle and he no longer has that option. I pray the Press pick this up.

The parents of the students on 72 Sqn should all call the Stn Cdr at Valley and demand an inquiry - a public one. They should be calling their MP's and demanding a full public enquiry. They should be writing to newspapers.

The MOD wanted this system, and they must now accept responsibility for abject failure that it is.
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Old 29th Mar 2021, 13:54
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For the uninitiated perhaps you could explain the following:

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.

b. If there so little flying going on, and with an ever shrinking front-line, what is filling these 11 hour days?

Many thanks
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Old 29th Mar 2021, 15:19
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Since when has 72 been an (F)? I thought that that was reserved for a defined small number of squadrons. Or is this another change to the RAF that I have missed?


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Old 29th Mar 2021, 15:44
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Nomenclature is determined by history as much as it is by current role. II(AC)Sqn does very little by way of army co-operation these days.
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Old 29th Mar 2021, 16:02
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Smoke and Mirrors Mogwi
How to make the RAF appear more potent with the stroke of a pen..

On 13 November 2020, No. 72 Squadron became No. 72 (Fighter) Squadron to reflect its former role as a fighter unit.[24][25]
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Old 29th Mar 2021, 16:08
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The number of roles offered on Ascents employment vacancies show it’s definitely not a competitive employer
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Old 29th Mar 2021, 16:27
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Originally Posted by sangiovese. View Post
The number of roles offered on Ascents employment vacancies show its definitely not a competitive employer
They have had QHI and QHCI vacancies at 202 for many months - they cannot fill them. The pay, terms and conditions at Ascent are dreadful. They survive (sort of) from the willingness and desire of those leaving the forces, and also the ex-Cobham people, to remain in the same location. I am willing to bet you cannot find anyone who can say, with honesty that they are proud to work for Ascent. It pays the bills and keeps them where they want to be, and that's it. That said, a LOT of Ascent people have quit since MFTS started, and I have not met one who did not find far more rewarding and lucrative work elsewhere.
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Old 29th Mar 2021, 16:39
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Back in 1976, it took a fatal accident involving a solo Hunter student before 'fatigue' became an issue. If I recall correctly, the working day thenceforth was to be no longer than 8 hours.

I've done a fair bit of flying training scheduling, both 'strategic' (e.g. course scheduling) and 'tactical'. Strategic was OK, provided that fellow instructors had given me their availability (i.e. not on leave, on a course etc.) so I could build the course tasking in plenty of time and tell the squadron our day-to-day needs for the following week, bearing in mind GDT/ODT/CCS and other 'service diversions'. All went swingingly until some Boss tried to insert his "I'll get smartie points from this" personal wish for a co-pilot to captain course for some chosen one into the game plan, which buggered the whole plot. The only other problem was when some instructor or other would suddenly announce that he wanted a week on leave despite having already been scheduled.... That was all done using chinagraph boards....and then came some infernal IT system which made scheduling MUCH slower. At Brize it was known as STARS and was utterly appalling!

'Tactical' scheduling was the sort of thing needed for exercises. First go and talk with the Engineers to find out availability of jets, then Sqn ops to find out how many crews were available and also establish the RS requirement. Then build the crew call-out sequence; Rule No. 1 being to allocate the Boss to the first available jet to keep him out of the way! Again that went well until some eager beaver Flt Cdr wanted everyone in at Taceval Part 2 startex, which totally blew the plan if peacetime fatigue rules were to be respected.

'Tactical' scheduling was also need for day-to-day UAS planning. At around 16:30, speak to engineers and find out how many aircraft would be available the following day, also check the diary to know which students were coming. Try to match students to their normal QFI where possible, then check weather to see what effect that might have. With the assistance of one of the students, write QFI and student / exercise no. on magnetic plaques and put them on the board, allowing time between sorties for brief/debrief, dual to solo, duty QFI in tower allocation etc.... Quite a multi-dimensional art and often opitmisation rather than total solution was the only outcome.

Sorry for rabbitting on, but the art of successful flight training schedule is not something learned overnight, nor can IT systems cope adequately with the plethora of competing inputs with which the programmer has to deal.

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Old 29th Mar 2021, 17:08
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Timetabling in any setting is often described thus: "For those who have done it properly, no explanation is required; for those who haven't, no explanation is possible!"

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Old 29th Mar 2021, 18:36
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Posts: 488 just what are these competitive salaries being offered by Ascent to Hawk and “Texan” QFI s. ?

.. and 72 WAS a fighter squadron, last with Javelins, its now an FTS, so why do they persist with F ?
RetiredBA/BY is offline  

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