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How do civilan pilots view military pilots

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How do civilan pilots view military pilots

Old 27th Sep 2016, 22:03
  #101 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Wor Yerm
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  • I have seen that they can all fly very well. They are well selected and properly trained.
  • They understand the importance of appropriate planning; difficult conditions = more planning, simple equals close to bugger all.
  • They are generally a pragmatic bunch.
  • The older generation of single-seat fast jet pilots have a high proportional of arseholes amongst their numbers. Still many good guys though.
  • The older generation of multi-crew pilots are very easy to get on with.
  • Modern fast jet pilots are team players and are also easy to get on with.
Piltdown Man is offline  
Old 28th Sep 2016, 01:24
  #102 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: UK
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I was fortunate enough to be awarded a flying scholarship back in the 80s - so started my flying at a civilian club, albeit paid for by the RAF. However I was aware that each flight was monitored closely and a failure to make the required standard could have led to the flying being terminated. After a reasonable period away from flying I was again fortunate and offered a career as a pilot in the RAF. I actually enjoyed the marching/saluting/running up and down hills bit. As far as flying training is concerned the biggest difference is the standard you are required to meet for each phase of training. The phrase "every ride is a chop ride" while obviously not entirely true - certainly has some validity in a military flying career - certainly more so than those friends of mine who trained down a PPL route and, although the 'failure' of a trip would mean much more personal financial cost, it wouldn't necessarily end one's training. As a pilot who was by no means gifted on Basic flying, Advanced flying on the Hawk and subsequently rotary training and operations - the scrutiny military pilots are under is constant and bloody demanding - even single-seat, as you are being judged by either the rest of the formation or the Cine/video evidence on return. As also stated elsewhere, flying an aircraft - be it a Harrier, a Herc or a Puma, is only a very small part of the training. Once this is achieved, it is the operating the platform that is the big difference compared to much GA flying - and not just a single aircraft, but planning ahead for your whole formation. These skills then have to be completely mastered for when we subsequently take these aircraft to war, there is so much else going on that if the basics of operating the whole package aren't second nature then it makes life far too difficult to cope with the threats.

Because this is how we operated day to day - it certainly, hopefully, leads to confidence in one's own ability. The very fine line to tread is not to turn this confidence into arrogance - for a number of reasons - but mostly in my experience and arrogant pilot/nav/WSO(p) is a dangerous operator, and there is no need to be arrogant. There are, unfortunately a few in the military who really believe they have a reason to feel superior to other operators in the airspace and for this - I can only apologise. To be fair - most military pilots realise that - while what we do is a job - its not just us out there and a healty respect must be garnered. We are fortunate/have worked hard enough/been in the right place at the right time/whatever to find ourselves doing a job that many people would love to do. We get paid to do that job and nothing in the way of fuel, landing fees, insurance, engineering etc etc etc comes out of our own pockets. When I started GA flying again the price of all these things certainly shocked me and many military pilots are, while not unaware, probably don't realise that, for example - at certain airfields - each touch-and-go is paid for.

As far as a military pilot looking at GA - its probably similar to how any professional looks at a non-professional doing their work as a hobby. Its easy to dismiss them as 'amateurs' and 'getting in the way'. - and sometimes, some of the GA fraternity only re-inforce that image. The issue of "ignoring the MATZ dimensions because I only have to legally recognize the ATZ" is, to me, utter foolishness yet it seems to constantly rear its head. Saying this I am fully aware that no military pilot is perfect. I have made some horrific navigational errors (amongst others) - often at quite fast speeds and had to face the music. Military pilots cock up constantly - and anyone from the military who thinks we don't is far worse than any GA pilot.

I think mutual respect is obviously the name of the game. The best pilot (at handling an aircraft and putting exactly where is should be) I have ever witnessed was a GA pilot and I was truly in awe of his skill,spacial awareness and handling ability. However I have also witnessed a 10-ship of helicopters, at night in fairly poor visibility at low level, hit a nebulous target somewhere in Iraq at a time +/- 5 seconds, come under fire from small-arms and RPGs - deliver its 'cargo' then split into 4 sections, support a ground operation, exfil said cargo and return to base. This was led by a fairly junior squadron pilot who again - did nothing but fill me with utter confidence and awe in his operating ability.

We share the airspace and we are all losers if conflicts cause more restrictions, or poor operations on either party causes two aircraft to come together. There is always more we can do to learn about each other's way of doing business.

I may have painted a one-sided view of how I see it - but hopefully we will all continue to evolve and develop a mutual respect.
Lafyar Cokov is offline  
Old 28th Sep 2016, 12:07
  #103 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Suffolk u.k.
Posts: 48
My grandfather was in the fleet air arm and my uncle was a captain for an airline - but it was really the Air Training Corps that I joined at 13 that made me want to fly.

I was lucky enough to have many hours training on Grob Tutors, with incredibly friendly air experience flight ex-RAF pilots. On the various camps and trips we went on I again was lucky enough to meet an array of military pilots and gain lots of air experience in both helicopters and fixed wing.

Their enthusiasm and love of flying rubbed off on me but I would never pursue a military career, however have now completed my PPL. I never felt looked down upon or patronised by them.

More recently a few friends from back at school are now in various roles in the RAF and on catching up with them we have only spoken of the different experiences that we have had - I am often around biz jets for work (although I only have a PPL, but I can look and dream and chat with the crews) and they seem as interested in these as I am in what they fly and I get the feeling this isn't just out of politeness but are genuinely interested.
Brad2523 is offline  
Old 28th Sep 2016, 13:46
  #104 (permalink)  

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A very good and accurate post, imho.

I began my flying career some forty three years ago by being trained to PPL standard by civilian instructors (never actually held a PPL though), then on acceptance by the RAF, pulled apart and trained again by military QFIs and QHIs. I later became a military instructor myself, on both fixed wing and helicopters, then became a civilian pilot again twenty years on from there. I'm now a confirmed civvy, after another 23 years, have done more time out than in.

I'd say there are good and bad pilots on both sides of the fence and never dismiss anyone's training background and experience out of hand or out of personal prejudice.

However, it should be borne in mind that military pilots are required to operate the aircraft in any number of challenging roles, rather than just managing to fly an aircraft from A to B. It's a very different ballgame when you know there are people out there who desperately want you dead! I've seen many good military pilots not make it through the operational part of an Operational Conversion Unit. They could cope with the aircraft but not the military job it was actually there to do. The pressure on young military pilots in training is immense and doesn't finish once on the squadron. Looking back, my first "proper job" was as a front line battlefield helicopter captain (single pilot back then) at the age of 23. I look at my own sons, all being now quite a few years older than I was back then and I can only wonder how on earth I managed to do it, or how the RAF trusted me to do it.
ShyTorque is offline  
Old 29th Sep 2016, 09:11
  #105 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: U.K.
Posts: 460
With RAF, airline and light aircraft flying life I would estimate that the Ace/W----r ratio is about the same in each category.
Croqueteer is offline  
Old 29th Sep 2016, 10:16
  #106 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Lechlade, Glos.UK
Posts: 683
I'm a GA pilot who flew for the military for 39 years. I'm an ex QFI on Bulldogs, Chippies, VC10s, Hawks & Jaguars. I have know many rubbish military pilots, but all are very well trained and most are efficient, skilled and motivated. However, one highly decorated USAF Colonel once described the archetypal fighter pilot as all balls and no brain who thinks he is God's gift to women. Not quite true, but many do think they are Gods . I suppose the same may be true of some F1 drivers. My view of GA pilots is of a curates egg. Some are very good and highly skilled, some are grossly over confident whereas some are very under confident. Some are useless and/or dangerous. Additionally, if you read my article in the last LAA magazine you will know my views on GA pilots who wear beach clothing to fly; shorts, sandals and short-sleeve shirts. Such pilots have no idea how to survive a fire. Worse still, they allow their lady passengers to wear high-heels and short skirts. If your car breaks down you stop and call the AA. If your aeroplane breaks down there is a chance you end up upside down in a field and possibly on fire. What has this got to do with my thoughts on GA pilots? Some are not very professional; something that military pilots, on the whole, are.
sharpend is offline  
Old 29th Sep 2016, 10:21
  #107 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: UK,Twighlight Zone
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OK, why has a 10 year old thread been dug up again? This is a new record for resurrection?
S-Works is offline  

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