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Are military trained Helicopter pilots overrated?

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Are military trained Helicopter pilots overrated?

Old 24th Mar 2003, 17:02
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: U.K.
Posts: 9
Attention ex military pilots

Hate to burst some peoples egos but have to get this off my chest as I come up against it all too regularly.
In case it hasnt been stated before, ex military pilots are NOT by birthright better that civvie trained pilots.
I have flown all over the world on single and two crew operations with pilots from all backgrounds and experience levels, good ones and bad ones. Most of the the good ones would have been good even if they were thrown a helicopter and told to figure it out for themselves. The bad ones will still be bad regardless of all the resources and institutions through which they may have progressed. Furthemore the most annoying people to work with are those who are crap but have never realized it because they still believe the BS they were told on day one.
So regardless if you are ex army ex navy ex North Sea or ex space shuttle lets all not lose sight of the fact that we are all only as good as our next flight and either way none of this is rocket science.
Bunnion is offline  
Old 24th Mar 2003, 17:44
  #2 (permalink)  
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My, my.......Someone sure got your shorts in a bunch.....I guess by that you mean you were not a Military Pilot and one who was and you thought less qualified, got your job..... Its the only reason to come off with this thread as most people know that Military or not does not mean one is a skygod.
Well in the words of my immortal High School Football Coach. "Nothings Fair" live with it.
Thankfully when I graduated from Army flight School I was not on the bottom of the class.......HOWEVER the guy who was, still had the same wings.
Another little diity was what do you call the guy who graduates last in his class at the worst Medical School in the world..........you got it......"Doctor"
B Sousa is offline  
Old 24th Mar 2003, 18:38
  #3 (permalink)  
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I could not put it better myself!!!!!!!

Last edited by bosher; 25th Mar 2003 at 09:47.
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Old 24th Mar 2003, 22:01
  #4 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: SW England
Age: 65
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Ah, bless....!

I could not of put it better myself!!!!!!!
No, clearly you could not - perhaps English is not your first language?

(by the way, I don't take this as seriously as the 2 "B" contributors, but couldn't resist the temptation to comment)
Thud_and_Blunder is offline  
Old 24th Mar 2003, 22:09
  #5 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2003
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At last, a chance to state my opinion that if all the qualified heli pilots in the world disappeared overnight, within a year heli operations would be continuing as ever.

Mind you, learning NVG would be...entertaining.
Hilico is offline  
Old 24th Mar 2003, 23:07
  #6 (permalink)  
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Location: Hibernia
Posts: 45
Let's put this to bed forever. Military pilots are better because:-

1. They are selected.
2. They are better trained.
3. They have more general experience.
4. They are better looking!!

AllyPally is offline  
Old 24th Mar 2003, 23:25
  #7 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2001
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AP I can't dispute that :
a) They are selected.
b) They are better trained.

But I think that more experienced is questionable, and we won't even go near better looking.

There are career civilian pilots who have done it all: mountain, vertical reference, offshore, IFR, night ect.

I have flown with some very excellent military pilots but I have also flown with some military pilots where I have asked myself the question; if the military has such high standards how did this guy get through.

Just my thoughts .
IHL is offline  
Old 25th Mar 2003, 04:13
  #8 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Andover, Hampshire
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Bunnion, I dont think that ex military pilots think that they are better than civilian pilots. It may be that they have a broader range of experience. Military aircrew training is superb and very intense. A student pilot does not move on to the next stage of training until he/she has mastered the previous stage. Military aircrew training is not driven by financial expediency as are most civilian flight training centres.

So, bottom line Bunnion, there are good and bad in military aviation and civilian aviation, get used to it, and get over it.
KENNYR is offline  
Old 25th Mar 2003, 05:32
  #9 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2002
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Good spray Bunnion; what prompted it? Did an ex-mil pilot:
a. Steal your job?
b. Steal your girlfriend? or
c. Drink all of your beer?
d. All of the above?
Gibbo is offline  
Old 25th Mar 2003, 06:16
  #10 (permalink)  
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Can't see the problem here, ex-mil pilots don't think they're better than their civvie counterparts, the civvie pilots think that for themselves, inferiority complex or what?

Why do they...
Steal your job? they don't, you lose it.
Steal your girl? better looking, more interesting, etc.
Drink your beer? never! To diluted with tears.

Need I go on?

Come on Bunnion, get a life.
Old 25th Mar 2003, 07:46
  #11 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: hong kong
Posts: 83
Ask any of the civilian operators in PNG their opinions of ex military pilots particularly Australian and British and also their capabilities on the recent fires in OZ with one or two exceptions.

Nothing personal but the ex mil guys could not do the job that involved making decisions that wern't already written in some SOP manual that had been learnt parrot fashioned and with at least 2 or 3 crew to assist.

There were exceptions though and that was the ex US military guys working for Columbia.

I do not feel the slighest concern that a military or ex militay pilot will be a threat to my job security as a VFR airwork line pilot unless my ex military boss reads this.

Make us feel insignifcant now with your replies and then allow us to challenge you to put your money where your mouth is single pilot VFR whatever task you choose
Captain Lai Hai is offline  
Old 25th Mar 2003, 09:35
  #12 (permalink)  
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From an Ops boys perspective...95% of my freelance pilots are Ex-Mil guys and I can't fault them, some of them of course are away with the fairies and believe the sun shines out of their rears but at the end of the day they go where I ask them with minimal hassle, they always look the part, they're confident in their abilities and I'm yet to have a punter grumble. Having said that my guys have been around the civvie circuit for a wee while now and know the commercial constraints of running a charter company. A couple of times now I've tried fresh faced guys who have just left the services, complete disaster, it would appear that unless somebody is sat in the l/h seat telling them which direction to go and where to land they couldn't find a landing site even if it had coloured smoke grenades and a great big arrow from the sky. Once the punters are on board it is then decided to take the pretty route therefore throwing my profits clean out of the window, and if a light comes on, oh jesus, pan call, mayday mayday mayday, oh hold on it's just the interior light. Having wittered on far too much, from my view I like having Ex Mil guys on my books they just need to have been in the civilian world for a while before I'll touch them. As for civilian trained guys, I'm not too sure, I haven't encountered too many and the ones I do know seem oddly nervous and unsure about things, but as I said I don't know too many...
Tallguy is offline  
Old 25th Mar 2003, 12:17
  #13 (permalink)  
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My reply is way off the point of the thread unless you're a military pilot but perhaps you're familiar with the saying regarding those in glass houses...........

I could not of put it better myself!!!!
Perhaps you meant "I could not have put it better myself!!!!!

Tricky language that English.
Capt Hollywood is offline  
Old 25th Mar 2003, 13:48
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> Tricky language that English

Especially for the English. I've been in the UK for five years now and am utterly amazed at the number of words I used to mispronounce
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Old 25th Mar 2003, 14:49
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Capt Hollywood

Thud-and-Blunder was commenting on bosher's bad English. (Which bosher has since edited). Even a dull ex-military type like me realised that.

Sorry you've been shafted in some way Bunnion. I hope you get over your bitter and twisted episode.
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Old 25th Mar 2003, 16:44
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Ok, ok, we get the idea already.

I am NOT ex-mil, however, ex-mil pilots are some of the most talented and capable individuals I have had the pleasure to spend time in a cockpit with.

I think I can safely say that for every tosser ex-mil pilot Bunnion has come across, I could introduce one civvie pilot who should have never been allowed to get within 100 yards of a helicopter.

That both backgrounds have their advantages and shortcomings should be obvious, even to someone who feels, for whatever reason, as having been slighted by a member from the "opposite" side.

Some of the best operations I have come across are those having a mix of ex-mil and civvie pilots on their roster's. But to single out one group only as somehow being "less" than the other group, well what can I say, I certainly wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of all the abuse I'd be expecting.

One man's opinion.
Joker's Wild is offline  
Old 25th Mar 2003, 17:15
  #17 (permalink)  
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It's all a matter of percentages. If you put 100 helicopter pilots in a room, then about 90 of them will be ex-mil and 10 will be ex-civilian (give or take, YMMV). Of those, if 10% are the proverbial "bad apples," then one civilian guy will stink while nine of the ex-mils will qualify, thereby giving an erroneous impression that there are more "bad" ex-mil guys than civilian.

Let us acknowledge that the military provides better training and discipline. What the individual pilot does with this is pretty much up to him/her, and a lot depends on the talent of that particular person.
PPRUNE FAN#1 is offline  
Old 28th Mar 2003, 08:40
  #18 (permalink)  
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Maybe its just that the ex military pilots are prepared to tell you that they are better!
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Old 28th Mar 2003, 14:57
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When the guys get back from the Gulf after you've been watching what goes on from the safety of your armchair - than ask some of them if they think there is any difference between Mil and civvy pilots.
We are better trained because of the bloo*y dangerous stuff we are asked to do (without overtime or time off inlieu or BALPA) and because our passengers are not fare paying and can't complain, frequently fly in conditions any licensed operator would be shut down for.
I know there are good and bad in all walks of life but if you really think that an ATPLH that allows you to do corporate work or fly between oil rigs (even in bad wx) is the same as going through the mill of Military training so you can go and get shot at in the desert for Queen and country then I suggest you ask how many civilian pilots have died in the Service of their country.
Are you just an wannabe mil pilot Bunnion?
crab@SAAvn.co.uk is offline  
Old 28th Mar 2003, 17:50
  #20 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: UK
Posts: 80
I have read this topic with interest. I am ex-military and work for a large civil company. All I can say is that there are good and bad from both walks of life.

What annoys me is that the ones having a go at the ex-military are those that have never been in the Services and therefore have no idea of what training and flying experince military pilots have to go through. When you talk to them and tell them of some of the things you have to do (such as underslung loads day and night, NVG, etc), some of them look gob-smacked that you were even allowed to do anything so stupid! I found some of the training captains (those civil trained) in my Company really had an anti ex-military chip on their shoulder and didn't want to listen to any ideas you had that might improve things. It can take a number of years for you to be accepted by these individuals.

However, on the other side of things, I can see the resentment the civil-only pilots have when I saw the attitude shown to them by some of the older ex-militery pilots (fortunately now most retired). I cringed at the attitude shown by these guys to the younger pilots, both civil and ex-mil.

I think todays training for military pilots is now more similar and compatible with civil flying than it ever was with regard to such things as CRM. There will be things the military pilot does that civil do not because of the nature of the job and/or because that type of flying is not allowed by the civil authority of that country. At then end of the day you train for the job you are going to do be it in the military or in civil life.

There are some excellent pilots from both worlds and also some pretty awful ones (and we can all think of some from both worlds).

What is more important is that by telling each other of our experiences in either world we can all learn something. At then end of the day whatever out training background, we have a CIVIL licence, that makes us all civil pilots!!
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