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RAF QFI Instructor Grades

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RAF QFI Instructor Grades

Old 3rd Sep 2022, 09:07
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RAF QFI Instructor Grades

Hi All

Could someone explain to me the different QFI instructor “grades”. I know there’s B2,B1,A2 and A1. I’d just like to know what they mean and the experience you need for each level etc?

Thanks in advance
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Old 3rd Sep 2022, 10:07
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You just need a pair of clean white gloves.
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Old 3rd Sep 2022, 10:13
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B2 = Just graduated as an instructor. Restricted privileges and not able to send solos. Required to be re-assessed after a period of experience (6 or 9 months? - it's been a very long time).
B1 = Standard/average instructor.
A2 = Upgraded to "above average" following further assessment by a CFS examiner.
A1 = You know more than the examiner.
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Old 3rd Sep 2022, 10:16
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If you know the relative density of the fluid in the turn and slip, alongside the rate of expansion under thermal variance of said fluid, then you qualify at the basic lower grade, - it gets deeper beyond that, probably into the BS EN ISO chemical spec of the bolts used in the elevator trim tabs...
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Old 3rd Sep 2022, 11:05
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Subject knowledge is important, but more important by far is the ability to impart it…the clue is in the final word of the qualification. Sadly, in my extensive experience, examiners place much more emphasis on the former.
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Old 3rd Sep 2022, 11:38
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B2s are able to identify, describe and wash with water. A1s can walk on water. Welsh A1s don't even get their feet wet.

CG
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Old 3rd Sep 2022, 11:39
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.................and after A1, you might be eligible for consideration for a QWI course...............
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Old 3rd Sep 2022, 12:07
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Thank you all for your very useful replies.
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Old 3rd Sep 2022, 15:00
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Not to forget the two A1s in an F4, who landed in the undershoot while pattering away to each other......
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Old 3rd Sep 2022, 16:13
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Originally Posted by 57mm View Post
Not to forget the two A1s in an F4, who landed in the undershoot while pattering away to each other......
...doubtless still muttering - 'speed with the control column, rate of descent with power'
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Old 3rd Sep 2022, 16:40
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Not to forget either the Staish, who decreed summary punishment for the next pilot to land in the undershoot, only to do so himself......
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Old 3rd Sep 2022, 17:41
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When I went through CFS on the Bulldog in 1990, the course consisted of 6 weeks of groundschool. Then 27 weeks of flying, accumulating some 84 hours of flying. Graduates from the course were graded B2 and you were then monitored by your CFI flying with you about once per month, with another session in Standards after 6 months. Within the next 3 months you would be reassessed and normally upgraded to B1, which was 'average QFI' standard. After another 18 months, including a few more Standards visits, you would be encouraged to attempt an 'A2' upgrade. This required a fair bit of pre-course study, then 2 hard weeks at Standards flying about a dozen flights of 'A2 work-up' interspersed with theoretical knowledge and 'student' briefings. If deemed satisfactory (which was never guaranteed), you then went to CFS for Exam Wing assessment. This required a 'primary' teach, including a full 'student' brief, then the flight itself during which you would also need to demonstrate aeros before a 'secondary' teach. In my case it was 'Stalling 2', then 'Instrument Flying' and finally short-field grass landings. After that you had a quick debrief, then a long session of theoretical knowledge grilling. Your genial CFS 'trapper' would then, if you were lucky, advise you that you were to be recommended to Commandant CFS for award of the 'A2' (Above Average) QFI category...

'A1' QFIs were 'Exceptional' and very rare!

On leaving the unit at which you were teaching, if you were posted to instruct on something else, you started as 'C-to-I' (competent to instruct) before being assessed by Staneval for confirmation of QFI category on the new type.
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Old 3rd Sep 2022, 18:41
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In the 1960s and during liquid refreshment in the bar at Tern Hill on a Friday, an A1 QHI became involved in a squabble with the CFI. The event degenerated and the CFI said something like: "I'm removing your A1 cat immediately". On Monday the now uncategorised pilot (not withstanding a DFC) refused to fly. CFI tried to persuade said instructor that it was just bar time banter but the 'victim' insisted that only a formal board could restore the A1 category. It took something like the AOC to restore order but it was great fun whilst it lasted!

The story about the QHI being struck on the head with a shoe by an irate wife and a fight between the lady's husband (wg cdr) and the said QHI (flt lt) resulting in wg cdr being posted away and QHI getting a tour in Hong Kong is another story!!!

Old Duffer
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Old 3rd Sep 2022, 18:59
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Interested to read BEagle's account of the fixed-wing method of upgrading to A2 - a LOT of time and training given to the candidate. I don't know if it's still the same (as I left the service some time ago), but in the rotary world (same instructor categorisation system) all preparation was done in the QHI's own time - no work-up or outside assistance, and preparation only possible using your own Staff Continuation Training. However, as my A2 was done while on the Chinook OCU I don't know if things were done differently at 2FTS; I don't think they were. The actual CFS Exam Wing assessment followed exactly the same procedure as for the QFIs.

There was also the massive kudos (yeah, right... ) of having 'cfs' after your name in the Air Force List for A2, and 'CFS' for A1.
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Old 3rd Sep 2022, 19:38
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The Aircrew Instructors' Course (AIC) at Scampton in the early 90s was a bit quicker. As described by the Course instructor, "We took the year long degree course to be a school teacher and removed all of the kids' psychology and namby pamby bits and expanded what was left into two and a half weeks". It was basically a Ground Instructors' GIT course but with the emphasis on briefing and demonstration technique. You graduated as either B1 or B2 and then had assessments later on the squadron/OCU to gain A2 then A1.
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Old 3rd Sep 2022, 19:41
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I recall a gifted test pilot whose career was blighted by his 'less than complimentary' pre acceptance report of the Hawk. He languished at CFS and specialised in refresher flying for VSOs one of whom, after receiving his debrief and being asked for comments replied by awarding him with an instant A1. It was well deserved and recognised as such by those who knew him.
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Old 3rd Sep 2022, 20:06
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beardy,RDC, perchance....?
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Old 3rd Sep 2022, 20:28
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Originally Posted by Thud_and_Blunder View Post
Interested to read BEagle's account of the fixed-wing method of upgrading to A2 - a LOT of time and training given to the candidate. I don't know if it's still the same (as I left the service some time ago), but in the rotary world (same instructor categorisation system) all preparation was done in the QHI's own time - no work-up or outside assistance, and preparation only possible using your own Staff Continuation Training. However, as my A2 was done while on the Chinook OCU I don't know if things were done differently at 2FTS; I don't think they were. The actual CFS Exam Wing assessment followed exactly the same procedure as for the QFIs.

There was also the massive kudos (yeah, right... ) of having 'cfs' after your name in the Air Force List for A2, and 'CFS' for A1.

It certainly did require a lot of self study for the QHI A2. As someone who held both QHI & QFI qualifications, I can say that as was usually the case, a helicopter pilot is left very much to his own devices, or at least was in the 1980s. My QHI upgrade was carried out by a visiting CFS examiner and in my case it involved giving a 45 minute lecture on helicopter icing. At the time there was no helicopter icing section in any of the RAF Air Publications (!) so I had to visit Boscombe Down Handling Squadron in my own time to glean sufficient information to feel confident (I’m eternally grateful to Geoff Connolly for his assistance). I subsequently worked full time in my office over three or four weekends and in the evenings making up OHP slides and preparing the lecture. I was upgraded to A2….just before I was posted to a fixed wing tour! I was pleased to discover on my return to helicopter instructing some years later that 33 Sqn, who held the Norway commitment, had stolen my notes and slides and were using them to brief their pilots about winter ops. But the swines wouldn’t give them back!
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Old 3rd Sep 2022, 21:08
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Originally Posted by Wensleydale View Post
The Aircrew Instructors' Course (AIC) at Scampton in the early 90s was a bit quicker. As described by the Course instructor, "We took the year long degree course to be a school teacher and removed all of the kids' psychology and namby pamby bits and expanded what was left into two and a half weeks". It was basically a Ground Instructors' GIT course but with the emphasis on briefing and demonstration technique. You graduated as either B1 or B2 and then had assessments later on the squadron/OCU to gain A2 then A1.
That old BS never gets old, does it. Though I will admit it's the only memorable line from 2 weeks at Newton. Mind you, skipping over the 'kids' psychology' does kind of explain the behaviour of certain 33 and 230 Sqn JPs!

CG
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Old 3rd Sep 2022, 21:32
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QUOTE=ShyTorque “I’m eternally grateful to Geoff Connolly for his assistance”

Geoff did my helo famil when I arrived at Shawbury. It made an incredible impression on me. I can remember that sortie in its entirety like it was yesterday, over 35 years on. An outstanding instructor
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