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US testing the concept of single pilot C130 and KC46 assisted by a lone loady

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US testing the concept of single pilot C130 and KC46 assisted by a lone loady

Old 14th Mar 2023, 13:01
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US testing the concept of single pilot C130 and KC46 assisted by a lone loady

They are doing trials in the sims to see if feasibly if ever needed

The U.S. Air Mobility Command is expanding the limited-aircrew employment concepts it has been exploring with aircraft like the KC-46 Pegasus to include the C-130J Super Hercules. The initial plan is to get select C-130J pilots and loadmasters trained on exactly how a flight utilizing only one of each would be executed, which will include the loadmaster helping the pilot fly the aircraft. All of this is part of an effort to prepare Mobility Air Forces for emergency scenarios where a threat or series of factors would require reduced crew operations.

Undergoing training on what has been dubbed the ‘one pilot-one loadmaster’ concept for C-130Js has been aircrew from the 19th Airlift Wing’s 61st and 41st Airlift Squadrons based out of Little Rock Air Force Base in Arkansas. These exercises will be held on the ground in a flight simulator at first, with the goal of eventually getting all pilots and loadmasters within the units trained on the concept in this environment.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...d-by-air-force
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Old 14th Mar 2023, 16:17
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As a QFI on the C130J I would frequently fly the sim by myself when preparing scenarios for teaching crews, it was no big deal when everything was working ok. The problems start when you’re dealing with complex emergencies or indeed if the sole pilot needs to visit the toilet. The ALM would as a minimum need to be able to do the R/T, input a change of course into the CNI-MU, deal with an inflight emergency and all whilst making the pilot a cup of tea…!!

Having done pilot incapacitation sims where the ALM sat in the co’s seat after the former was ‘killed’ even very experienced ALMs could be a drain on my capacity as they weren’t really trained for the task. I always felt that they were more useful in the middle seat where they were more comfortable. If they were going to sub for a lone pilot they would need a considerable amount of extra training in which case you might as well use a pilot. Sitting in the RHS is also where young co-pilots learn their trade prior to becoming captains.

I once had to start up an ac as the spare frame for a v important formation sortie, with the ALM outside on the long lead it felt very lonely on the ac all by myself…
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Old 14th Mar 2023, 17:02
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Yeah that'll work well. NOT!
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Old 14th Mar 2023, 17:53
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I'm guessing you didn't read/register this bit .....

for emergency scenarios where a threat or series of factors would require reduced crew operations.

If a ground crew "Chiefy" can fly an H model half way across the atlantic on his own (including take of ......) .. a suitably trained loady will be substantially more capable .....
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Old 14th Mar 2023, 18:29
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Originally Posted by ExAscoteer2 View Post
Yeah that'll work well. NOT!
It might be safer to train the co-pilot to perform loadmaster duties. But I know there's a shortage of pilots, not loadmasters.
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Old 14th Mar 2023, 19:02
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During the course of my flying career, both military and civilian, I saw the demise of many aircrew trades. My flight deck crews, other than we two pilots, started out with a navigator, signaller, and flight engineer. Eventually there was only the two of us left, but mercifully our cabin crews remained. Of all those departed specialisations, the ones I missed the most were the flight engineers. As KS says above, no problem when everything worked, but a godsend, both in the air and on night stops down route; to analyse faults, perform in flight workarounds, and organise possible rectification on the ground. Worth their weight in gold!

Apologies to the others for any hurt feelings. I missed you too!
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Old 14th Mar 2023, 20:02
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Wouldn’t it be easier to X-train a pilot to be a qualified loadmaster?

Strange concept in any case.

”Hat , coat, cane, door !”
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Old 14th Mar 2023, 20:15
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Oh oh. Double asymmetric.

'Nuff said!
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Old 14th Mar 2023, 20:19
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When either of the two pilots drops dead mid-air, or becomes incapacitated , (on a two pilot aircraft)....what happens?

Do we actually need this new program and expenditure of funds or could we just do a review of Incident Reports to determine the outcomes of all of those?





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Old 14th Mar 2023, 21:57
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Would they upgrade the LM badge to a full set of wings?
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Old 14th Mar 2023, 22:03
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I recall, back in the dim past of the Wessex, some of the loadies could fly the thing better than a lot of the pilots.
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Old 14th Mar 2023, 22:52
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I recon somebody is forgetting something....the human tendancy to screw things up now and again!! Another more darker part of me is thinking that there is lots of signals in recent months that somebody somewhere is expecting a very big confrontation in the next few years.
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Old 14th Mar 2023, 23:53
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Of all those departed specialisations, the ones I missed the most were the flight engineers.
Always the best moose-trappers down route too!
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Old 15th Mar 2023, 09:03
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Originally Posted by Herod View Post
I recall, back in the dim past of the Wessex, some of the loadies could fly the thing better than a lot of the pilots.
Thank you Herod

When we ran short of pilots over the Water we would fly with 2 Crewman and 1 Pilot. The Left Hand Seat crewman were all checked out by QHI's and written up as SQAMs (Suitably Qualified Aircrew Members). Our duties normally consisted of the Navigation, Radios etc but we were capable of taking control in the event of pilot incapacity for whatever reason. Most would get hands on when away on task to spell him on transits etc.
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Old 15th Mar 2023, 11:06
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Originally Posted by NutLoose View Post
Would they upgrade the LM badge to a full set of wings?
Upgrade?

CG
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Old 15th Mar 2023, 11:24
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Surely, if it was that difficult, the loady would be doing it all already, single handedly, and still making the brew.?
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Old 15th Mar 2023, 12:06
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Some of the comments here reveal the stark differences in philosophy and training between transport fleets and rotary fleets; it seems that pilots that come third out of three at streaming seem to consider themselves the most irreplaceable?
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Old 15th Mar 2023, 12:17
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There's a commissioned Loady who went one better - on a STANEVAL trip, he briefed the sortie, was put in the RHS from where he flew/operated the entire task and handled simulated a/c emergencies. He was awarded a D Cat - as a pilot; RAF was then obliged to give him the full formal wings course. I made my one-and-only visit to Cranditz for the Flying Supe course while he was there; his QFIs were bitching and moaning that he was guaranteed an OCU slot at the end of course, we pointed out that he already had more operational experience than most of them (creamies and ex-AT seat-fillers) and was already a proven asset. He went on to thrive in the civvy flying world, top bloke.
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Old 15th Mar 2023, 12:46
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Originally Posted by minigundiplomat View Post
Some of the comments here reveal the stark differences in philosophy and training between transport fleets and rotary fleets; it seems that pilots that come third out of three at streaming seem to consider themselves the most irreplaceable?
Cruel-but-Fair Scale... 10.

CG
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Old 15th Mar 2023, 20:31
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Some of the comments here reveal the stark differences in philosophy and training between transport fleets and rotary fleets; it seems that pilots that come third out of three at streaming seem to consider themselves the most irreplaceable?
That’s something of an arrogant suggestion I believe, that being rotary puts you ahead of ME pilots in a Top Gun ‘who’s the best pilot’ style of Willy-waving. Of the non-FJ streamed pilots choice had as much to do with it as aptitude, on my BFT students could request an early streaming to rotary after only some 50 hours, long before they’d demonstrated any brilliance in aircraft handling to set them above the mere ME potential also-rans.

Many ME pilots came from more esteemed backgrounds, such as FJ pilots with medical issues (lost bang seat cat for example) or in my own case I was re-streamed from FJ and chose comfy beds over sleeping bags, I don’t believe that put me at the back of a metaphorical queue behind those sky-gods streamed straight from BFT.

I suspect the issue is more that handling a large complex aircraft with multiple engines and systems as well as potentially a large number of pax is seen by those who have flown them as more in need of a bigger crew than a simpler type, even if the latter might be a bit trickier to actually handle.
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