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inews - 'RAF admits ‘urgent’ need to solve shortage of trained pilots''

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inews - 'RAF admits ‘urgent’ need to solve shortage of trained pilots''

Old 17th Jan 2023, 19:48
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Originally Posted by finestkind
Tend to disagree. It is that complex. It is not just training people. It's maintaining standards whilst having the number to do the job if required, whilst allowing a wastage rate (the correct one) from resignations, retirement, moving up the ladder (off front-line op's), at exactly the correct amount, to train the right amount at the right time, to fill these holes whilst allowing them time to gain experience to.........If it was just training there would not be an issue.............apart from numbers, such as how many do we train. Well let's look at our expected wastage rate which will have to include the economic situation as the (once upon a time) attractive package offered by the airlines will entice our lad's and laddet's to depart. Well, have I got a job for you if you can accurately forecast the economic situation. I mean it cannot be that complex as all investment brokers are millionaires and we never have a recession or market crash. Sorry got carried away and my tongue in cheek was a bit too cheeky.

Having seen the boom and bust over a number of decades with the knee jerk reaction whereby we end up with more aircraft than aircrew or that many aircrew we need to invent new ground jobs to allow the ROSO to be paid back or allow early (which has happened) departure ignoring ROSO. Yes, one of the biggest issues is "admin and business BS for too long - mimicking so much the MoD appears to damage" but that also can be attributed to the nature of the beast, which is the posting cycle. We post SQNLDR/WGCDR/GRPCPT to this post, with no or minimal experience in this area. By the time they become an effective functioning body they are posted out. So, the complexity is compounded by the "time to train" that body in that position whereby they may have a positive impact.

Simply put the complexity or lack of it is probably mirrored by our economic situation.
Thanks finestkind. I was of course simplifying dreadfully, looking only at the training element, to keep it simple. Naturally standards need to be maintained and continuity assured in ops as well as in training; for that your existing leaders should be up to the job. Of course all predictions are best guesses; time was that the Services were able to aim for a slight overestimate on replacement numbers required. No doubt that isn't possible today, with our service people being run ragged trying to fulfil too many operational requirements with too small a group and insufficient resources all round.

I do think a major problem for the RAF in the modern world is the short duration of postings. Increasing those to,say, four year tours would make for a more efficient use of time and resources. Some nations post their people long term to a base rather than moved around constantly. Seems to work well. Is it time the existing system was changed, or at least possible changes thought about?
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Old 17th Jan 2023, 20:44
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Originally Posted by biscuit74

I do think a major problem for the RAF in the modern world is the short duration of postings. Increasing those to,say, four year tours would make for a more efficient use of time and resources. Some nations post their people long term to a base rather than moved around constantly. Seems to work well. Is it time the existing system was changed, or at least possible changes thought about?
Difficult subject. Longer in post, less broad experience, diminution of broad experience in most senior appointments.

Short post, varied experience versus domestic upheaval.

My best staff post began with advice received: "you have a couple of years or a bit longer. Identify one major problem that needs sorting, and sort it. Deal as well as you can with the unknown unknowns as they happen. Try to move during the school holidays".

It worked, sort of.
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Old 18th Jan 2023, 03:22
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Originally Posted by biscuit74
Thanks finestkind. I was of course simplifying dreadfully, looking only at the training element, to keep it simple. Naturally standards need to be maintained and continuity assured in ops as well as in training; for that your existing leaders should be up to the job. Of course all predictions are best guesses; time was that the Services were able to aim for a slight overestimate on replacement numbers required. No doubt that isn't possible today, with our service people being run ragged trying to fulfil too many operational requirements with too small a group and insufficient resources all round.

I do think a major problem for the RAF in the modern world is the short duration of postings. Increasing those to, say four year tours would make for a more efficient use of time and resources. Some nations post their people long term to a base rather than moved around constantly. Seems to work well. Is it time the existing system was changed, or at least possible changes thought about?
Totally agree. I do believe that the RAAF has looked at posting location stability to improve retention and also time in "slot" flying postings, particularly fast jet. Unfortunately, with every solution comes another problem. If memory serves one of the problems of extending a flying posting was adversely affecting the promotion ladder. Any change no matter how small appears to cause seismic tremors. Perhaps we are still in factory mode with human labour and need to sift to technical mode. The RAAF pilot training system has had a shift and it will be interesting to see the result. I remember when knuckleheads were getting min hours due bucket (financial costs) constraints (currency maintained through flight and sim hours) which of course made the departure door look more inviting to times when we had/have more aircraft than pilots to fly.
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Old 18th Jan 2023, 07:18
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Have they considered an add in the SCMP?
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Old 18th Jan 2023, 16:33
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langley

Please forgive my interruption - I have generally given up on this forum, but your post has made me feel the need to comment.

You were a weather person, I think - so what do you actually know about pilot recruitment/retention that makes you feel that you can add worthy comment on this subject?

If I am wrong, and you have something useful to contribute, then please accept my apologies.

If your area of expertise is trying to inform us all of what the weather will do, then please limit yourself to that.

I have my own views of pilot retention issues - but I am many years out of date with such issues, so I do not feel qualified to offer meaningful comment that would help the current situation.
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Old 18th Jan 2023, 16:56
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I know nothing about the pilot recruitment and retention issues, but I can recognise consultancy/management gobbledegook when I see it. Consultants perfectly complement the public sector. If the project for which they have been engaged is successful, Sir Humphrey can glow in his skilful management of that project. If it doesn't, Sir Humphrey can form a committee to conclude that the consultants' poor advice was the cause of said disaster.

Or am I being too cynical?
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Old 18th Jan 2023, 17:06
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Originally Posted by ex-fast-jets
langley

Please forgive my interruption - I have generally given up on this forum, but your post has made me feel the need to comment.

You were a weather person, I think - so what do you actually know about pilot recruitment/retention that makes you feel that you can add worthy comment on this subject?

If I am wrong, and you have something useful to contribute, then please accept my apologies.

If your area of expertise is trying to inform us all of what the weather will do, then please limit yourself to that.

I have my own views of pilot retention issues - but I am many years out of date with such issues, so I do not feel qualified to offer meaningful comment that would help the current situation.
Go for the kill!!!!!
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Old 18th Jan 2023, 21:41
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Originally Posted by Phil_R
I am aware of one young person who spent most of her youth hankering after a career flying for the RAF and as far as I am aware had got through the first stage of doing that.

She's neither male nor white and the related political shenanigans which occurred recently was a big factor in her decision to change course for a career at an airline. She did not wish to be seen as a diversity hire.

It's a bit much when the air arm of the British military is being less fair than an Emirati airline. I mean, people of South Asian descent are routinely treated appallingly in the middle east. Not a great look, is it?

P
Apparently, no-body shoots at ya when yer an Emirats driver. Perhaps she should have applied to join the Gurkhas..

..And, why is it there are no female Isle of Man motorbike racers……………




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Old 18th Jan 2023, 22:33
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Originally Posted by Flying Binghi
Apparently, no-body shoots at ya when yer an Emirats driver. Perhaps she should have applied to join the Gurkhas..

..And, why is it there are no female Isle of Man motorbike racers……………
There are. Google Jenny Tinmouth if you don't believe me.

Was your point that she should have stuck to her guns if she a. wanted to do it, and b. Wanted to prove her worth beyong being a diversity hire and provide a role model for others like her to follow? If so I agree, but easier said than done. If that wasn't your point, then what was?

This is not the thread for it, but I have often wondered why in an RAF where we've had female fast jet, bomber and fighter, pilots for decades, we don't have more.

But then, rally had Michelle Mouton, an awesome group B driver, and a personal hero, but very few since.

I can't remember what my point was now, other than to say that your contribution to this thread was stupid.
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Old 18th Jan 2023, 23:30
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Originally Posted by Darkmouse
There are. Google Jenny Tinmouth if you don't believe me.
Thankyou for that..

Best I can see is her best lap time is about three and a half minutes behind the male best times. That is an off scale difference. She’s not even in the same race as the males. If we convert that to who will be the best in a dog fight, well…


Originally Posted by Darkmouse

Was your point that she should have stuck to her guns if she a. wanted to do it, and b. Wanted to prove her worth beyong being a diversity hire and provide a role model for others like her to follow? If so I agree, but easier said than done. If that wasn't your point, then what was?

This is not the thread for it, but I have often wondered why in an RAF where we've had female fast jet, bomber and fighter, pilots for decades, we don't have more.

But then, rally had Michelle Mouton, an awesome group B driver, and a personal hero, but very few since.

I can't remember what my point was now, other than to say that your contribution to this thread was stupid.

Hmmm… now that you have covered your eyes and ears and are yelling insults I guess we will see no more of you..
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Old 19th Jan 2023, 01:28
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Originally Posted by ex-fast-jets
langley

Please forgive my interruption - I have generally given up on this forum, but your post has made me feel the need to comment.

You were a weather person, I think - so what do you actually know about pilot recruitment/retention that makes you feel that you can add worthy comment on this subject?

If I am wrong, and you have something useful to contribute, then please accept my apologies.

If your area of expertise is trying to inform us all of what the weather will do, then please limit yourself to that.

I have my own views of pilot retention issues - but I am many years out of date with such issues, so I do not feel qualified to offer meaningful comment that would help the current situation.

Interesting comment and seems to be more of a personal attack than a contribution to the thread. Suffice to say that if you need to be in recruiting and retention to make a comment, I would be inclined to ask that your contribution not be considered, considering even with experience it appears that recruiting/retention are failing. Tongue out of cheek, many good ideas come from those with no experience in a specific field as they are not blinded by said experience.
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Old 19th Jan 2023, 07:19
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Originally Posted by Flying Binghi
Thankyou for that..

Best I can see is her best lap time is about three and a half minutes behind the male best times. That is an off scale difference. She’s not even in the same race as the males. If we convert that to who will be the best in a dog fight, well…





Hmmm… now that you have covered your eyes and ears and are yelling insults I guess we will see no more of you..
That wasn't an insult, just a fact. But yes, I'm out, I've said my piece.
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Old 19th Jan 2023, 12:34
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Do we think the recent policy of making 29.5% of the population, the segment from which the RAF traditionally recruited, feel unwelcome and unvalued may have contributed to this issue? Or is it a retention issue caused by exceptionally poor leadership, a focus on social engineering, broken flight training system, and the repeated misuse of the military to cover skills gaps and strikes?

Jeez - tough one.
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Old 19th Jan 2023, 12:45
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MGD

Sadly and predictably I think you are correct on all counts.

BV
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Old 19th Jan 2023, 14:22
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Well, given a member of my team has been selected for FJ training, with a total anticipated hold of less than 12 months - at least until OCU - I imagine facts are thin on the ground in this thread.
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Old 19th Jan 2023, 15:14
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Why not open it up to NCO ranks, its not as if we are tossing nukes about anymore, and Teeny Weeny Airways ( AAC) seem to manage with NCO pilots.

They could also recruit Engineers, after all if it was difficult they would get them to do it anyway.
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Old 19th Jan 2023, 17:01
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"Why not open it up to NCO ranks,"

My God man!!!
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Old 19th Jan 2023, 18:23
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Originally Posted by NutLoose
Why not open it up to NCO ranks, its not as if we are tossing nukes about anymore, and Teeny Weeny Airways ( AAC) seem to manage with NCO pilots.

They could also recruit Engineers, after all if it was difficult they would get them to do it anyway.
Worms

Can

Tin opener

(in that sequence).

My uncle was an RAF NCO pilot. got caught in the "all pilots will be commissioned officers" thing, some years after completing SFTS at Heany. He had some robust views about it. Suffice to say he was supportive of the AACs stance.
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Old 19th Jan 2023, 18:29
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Originally Posted by alfred_the_great
Well, given a member of my team has been selected for FJ training, with a total anticipated hold of less than 12 months - at least until OCU - I imagine facts are thin on the ground in this thread.
You meant to say forum right? Not thread...?
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Old 19th Jan 2023, 20:17
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Originally Posted by NutLoose
Why not open it up to NCO ranks, its not as if we are tossing nukes about anymore, and Teeny Weeny Airways ( AAC) seem to manage with NCO pilots.

They could also recruit Engineers, after all if it was difficult they would get them to do it anyway.
It is amusing, that the RAF is content to eat itself alive in order to appear inclusive and diverse, yet won't allow perfectly capable and suitable people to fly an aircraft because of a badge they wear
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