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Training the Trainers (TtT) in the Commercial Twin Turbine World

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Training the Trainers (TtT) in the Commercial Twin Turbine World

Old 16th Oct 2011, 12:28
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Training the Trainers (TtT) in the Commercial Twin Turbine World

Much written of late about the need for better training (IHST) but not a dicky-bird about training the trainers. I've spent much time of late considering the trajectory of this TtT situation.

30 years ago in the UK it was difficult to get to be a TRE unless you had been a QHI (military trained helicopter flying instructor). Different these days of course with the demise of the military.

We recognise that not all QHIs are brilliant and not all commercially trained FIs are duffers, far from it, there are some really good guys out there doing the industry proud. That said it is a reality that military FIs the world over generally get 2 or 3 times the training than is delivered to their commercially trained colleagues and 99% of them will immediately be employed in a continuous training role that reinforces their experience. Not only is this not the case with those obtaining the CFI or FI rating but those seeking to build hours to qualify for a position in the market are actually teaching despite their lack of 'real-world' experience.

If we are heading for a situation where the top end of the market is dominated by new twins that require simulators then the guys and gals of the future are the SFIs (sim instructors) and this sector of the instructor market arguably is the one that receives the least training and preparation for what from a technical point of view is a far more demanding job. Is this acceptable?

30 years ago when I joined the ranks of the commercial trainers having been a QHI for 5 years we could imagine that the global distribution of helicopter flight instructors was for the sake of argument made up, say, of 50% QHIs, 25% FIs, 24% TRE/TRIs and 1% SFIs.

In 10 years time this could change to 10% QHIs, 10% FIs, 10% TRI/TREs and 70% SFIs.

If the former mix produced for the sake of argument a global population competence of 95% - that is, 95% of all professional pilots were capable of passing an ICAO proficiency check applicable to their task - what would happen to competence levels if the latter situation developed?

Bear in mind that all you need (as a qualified commercial pilot) to be an SFI is 3 days in a classroom doing a 'Teaching and Learning' course, the flying part of a TRI course and a bit of time learning how to work the sim. Somebody with no previous experience of instructing could be doing your type rating 4 weeks after starting work and that situation could apply to the vast majority of instructors conducting vital TR courses in centres around the world.

Have we got our heads ....... in the sand or what?

G.
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Old 16th Oct 2011, 13:59
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Geoffers,

Unfortunately, outside of the military, the world is driven by annual profits and losses, thus, the bottom line is the target that the owners of these new helicopters will be focussed on, not the quality of the individuals delivering the training.

Many establishments turn newly qualified pilots into instructors who then teach the next batch of student pilots. This is cheaper than hiring well qualified instructors and with quality supervision, the system works (whether we like it or not).

I think you will find that the SFIs of the future could follow a similar route if your estimation of 70% SFIs is accurate. I doubt very much that a business will hire an experienced pilot/TRI at great expense if it is not necessary.

I hope we never get there, the one thing I enjoy most about sim sessions is that, even if your SFI doesn't have tons of time on type, they are generally well established and experienced pilots with lots to offer. Long may that be the case.

TM
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Old 16th Oct 2011, 14:44
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HiHover

That is exactly my point. Business will track the regulations. How about we take a look at the regs and examine whether or not they are up to the job.

Teaching in the sim was once considered to be the realm of the sick, lame and otherwise unemployable but if we continue to think like that it could come around and bite us in the posterior.

There has to be a change of mindset otherwise I fear that we will enter a spiral of decreasing competence. There is no requirement for an SFI to be trained on the correct operation of (let alone the teaching of) FMS, TAWS, EGPWS, Radar because they are not part of the 'basic' aircraft.

An SFI does not have to be type rated on joining the training organisation so in the space of those 4 weeks I mention the poor guy has to achieve the impossible and may then be thrown in at the deep end with no further help or mentoring.

I have said before on another thread that I have a sense of reducing competence amongst the scores of pilots I see every year and although I see the odd chap who should never have been allowed a licence most ARE capable but show signs of poor training. It may have been possible to get away with second rate training in the past but modern machinery is complex and is less tolerant of the ignorant.

G
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Old 16th Oct 2011, 15:12
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Geoffers,

I hear what you're saying and I don't disagree, but good luck selling that to big business. If it interferes with their profits you won't get through the front door.

I guess it could also be argued that modern technology which may make helicopters more complex, does in fact make them more tolerant of the ignorant. Therefore, unless the accident rate goes through the roof, there is little on which to base a change in regulations.

Don't get me wrong, I'm with you on this, but I think a more compelling arguement may be needed to divert the current course. Supply and demand will have a huge influence and if, as you suggest, 70% of training could be delivered by SFIs then a natural level will evolve for that new SFI animal. And the final tidying up will be done at the jobsite by company trainers/supervisors.

TM
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Old 17th Oct 2011, 00:07
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Does anyone use a simulator for training any (all?) levels of flight instructors?
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Old 17th Oct 2011, 02:37
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Gents,
FSI's should have FI qualifications and time on type.
Gets a bit boring listening to, this is what the simulator does I am not sure about the aircraft; I only have 6 hours on type!

"And the final tidying up will be done at the jobsite by company trainers/supervisors"

There is just the problem of primacy, that what is first learnt is retained; a bit of a problem when crew are taught the wrong thing / method to start with.
Tidying up can be hard work when different sim instructors in the same organisation teach different methods!
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Old 17th Oct 2011, 04:50
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In Canada, any commercial pilot with more than 10 hours on type can do a type conversion. It works very well - certainly better than some of the so-called TREs and training captains I have met in JAA land.

phil
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Old 17th Oct 2011, 08:28
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Peroni & Paco

Tell me if I am wrong but aren't you both agreeing with me and recognising that the current requirements to work as an SFI are simply not good enough.

Peroni - I'm afraid that when a new type comes on the market you need SFIs right away, maybe earlier, and they will NOT have any serious time on type. It's not feasible to expect any other scenario and because that situation will pertain for a number of years you will get a situation where low-time SFIs are teaching and that can be acceptable if all the other elements in his preparation, mentoring, supervision and standardisation are in place. However such 'best practice' is not mandated by regulation and as HiHover as already pointed out nobody will spend money if they don't have to.

Shawn - It's the other way around. I am not supposed to teach from a pilot's seat. I am obliged to teach from the IOS seat with no flight controls but to qualify as an SFI I need to do a TRI course in the aircraft (or have an FI rating) but then I have to teach the same manoeuvres using only my voice and a good pre-flight briefing. That's not to say that on occasions I don't hoof the copilot out of his seat and give a quick demo when all else has failed. But it's not the way the course was designed and approved.

If the regulators are not paying attention then somebody else has to pick up the batton. IHSP? OGP? BHAB? HAI? We may be sleepwalking into what could become a serious problem when all the negatives that Peroni alludes to and Paco observes become the 'norm' as the role of the SFI expands.


G.

Last edited by Geoffersincornwall; 17th Oct 2011 at 10:59.
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Old 17th Oct 2011, 13:41
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Horrors abound.....you mean there is any other route to being a FI/AHI/QHI/TRE/IRE than via CFS in the UK? Aw now...tell me it ain't so!

The Coloured Pencil Mafia and the Gregorian Chants of "Quick Stop, Quickstop....Go!" have been an impediment to progress in the UK as there is more than a single way of doing things.

Add in the knuckleheaded attitude of most large Operators that convinces them they each have the unique way to salvation and one begins to understand why the helicopter industry suffers from poor training.

Compound that with the inability of most management to allow independent third party evaluations of their operations in general and their training departments in particular....and there is little hope of real improvement.
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Old 17th Oct 2011, 14:54
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SAS

Whatever the mix was before, good and bad, it resulted in a situation we now have. You can chuck rocks at CFS and any other organisation that takes your fancy but it and many other training establishments around the globe all made a contribution to the status quo. This is not a we have it right and you have it wrong thread. It's about the future and if we are happy that the future is looking good or not so good.

My assertion is that, with a move towards the same situation that pertains in the FW world, where the vast majority of training takes place in simulators, it puts the SFI at the centre of the training world. If all SFIs were FIs you could argue that we are in safe hands but unfortunately you can make an SFI out of a non type-rated, greenhorn CPL(H) in four weeks and have him as YOUR SFI on your next TR. If I was a CP I would be nervous at that prospect but that's the reality and that's going to be the trend.

SAS - take that 'Kick-the-Brits' cap off and put back on the one you earned as a long-serving experienced and valuable member of the helo' community and help me open a few eyes to the need for a greater focus on the selection, training and preparation of the guys that are destined to play an increasingly important role in the training of future generations of chopper pilots.

G.
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Old 17th Oct 2011, 15:32
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Geoff,

Absolutly agree with your initial comments, the negatives that I allude to were there to support your initial comments.

I am now however confused
"Peroni - I'm afraid that when a new type comes on the market you need SFIs right away, maybe earlier, and they will NOT have any serious time on type. It's not feasible to expect any other scenario and because that situation will pertain for a number of years you will get a situation where low-time SFIs are teaching and that can be acceptable if all the other elements in his preparation, mentoring, supervision and standardisation are in place".

So what you are saying is that the manufacturer only wants to spend the minimum amount of money on their FSI's, it is not just the operators!
My AW experience showed anything but standardisation between FSI's

Don't you have test pilots who have extensive experience on type when first certified?

As I don't like to just mention negatives I would like to add a positive.
The simulator is a great tool and the AW139 is a nice machine to fly
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Old 17th Oct 2011, 15:51
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Peroni & Paco

I don't like to talk about the specifics of my workplace because I am not a spokesperson nor a malcontent and I don't want my arguments to be lost in any internecine war based on 'we do it better'. I'm concerned about the global picture and where it is going.

Suffice it to say that Test Pilots are very very busy people working on experimental or post production test flying for the many new products and their development sub-types. They are not necessarily flight instructors either and are not frequent visitors to the simulators not least because the sims are working flat out coping with the demand for TR and Recurrent Training.

Recent developments in my world include the management getting to grips with the needs of the Synthetic Flight Instructors (or SFIs - not FSIs) and many issues raised in the past are being addressed by a team reinvigorated by the recent changes in personnel. A lot to do still but we are trying to address the fact that simply doing what the regs require is not going to be enough.

If we get it right and make sure that the SFIs of tomorrow are well prepared and given what they need to do a good job then we will I'm sure step-up to the plate but we cannot be sure that this will be the case if either the regulators or the operators or the customers sit on their hands and say that 'it's not my problem'.

G.
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Old 18th Oct 2011, 14:38
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What I was wondering about was giving the FI course mostly in a simulator. You can do a lot of outrageous things in a simulator to make sure the instructor knows what he/she is doing without endangering anyone.
Lots of good potential for watching instructing technique, etc.
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Old 18th Oct 2011, 18:21
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Geoffers - I agree wholeheartedly, and from where I sit, for the last few years I have known that there will be an almighty shortage of pilots over the next 3-5 years, possibly even sooner. What that means is that there will be a lot of quick promotions, and if we don't train the new guys properly from day 1 (what I am trying to achieve here) we will be having the same old accidents all over again, especially as these guys will be TREs etc later on. Taking up Shawn's point about being able to do weird things, this means that SFIs should have the experience to know what they are getting themselves into, even if it is in a sim. You can't teach what you don't know.

I am in discussion with one or two major players in the industry about this.

Phil
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Old 18th Oct 2011, 18:37
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ken Mac ( not seen you in 30 years, remember clyde helis

Geoff

Unfortunately it appears its not not about professionalism and competence anymore, its all about P and L and shareholder dividendsfor the operators and most staff care more about their per diem on training than they do about the quality of training!!

Sad as that is , That is what I have seen develop over the last 30 yrs, 30 yrs ago you would go on a training course without any per diem, you would be happy to get the training and opportunity to improve, try getting someone to do that now!!! Even though the modern aircraft is extremely complicated and all training may result in lives saved ( possibly even one's own life)

We are becoming culurally corrupt!!

KM
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Old 18th Oct 2011, 18:38
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apologies for the typos!
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Old 18th Oct 2011, 19:31
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T the T

Shawn - I'm just beginning discussions with others in the same line of business about this kind of use for the sims. We don't necessarily need big expensive level Ds but something optimised for use in non-license-related activities. T the T and Operational Training (role related). My own feeling is that we are limited to a great extent only by our imaginations once that mighty tool has been delivered to our back-yard. For sure if we end up with the next (and future) generations being taught solely by fast-track sim instructors we will be the poorer for it. The odd FI will find his or her way into the mix but I was always told that you should have safety by design, not by accident - excuse the pun. We need to see FIs as the norm not the exception. The amount of remedial teaching I have to do on a TR would make you cry and much of it is way beyond the average Joe who's had the benefit of 3 days Teaching & Learning in a classroom. They have the potential but don't get the chance to make use of it because they have never been shown how.

Paco - if what you are saying is that you simply can't teach 'experience' then I agree entirely. Selling the role of the SFI to the guys and gals you want is a tough job though. Let me see now........
1. you won't get much 'real' flying,
2. you will spend all hours of the day and night (I finish at 0315 tonight by the way) in a darkened box that jumps up and down like a demented flea,
4. vomit will be an ever-present part of for daily routine,
5. everyone will think you are sick, lame or otherwise unemployable
6. your employers think that you are two a penny and there's a replacement SFI waiting behind every tree in the Shetlands.

Kennethr - Good to hear from you. Yes the focus is on TODAYS P&L and not unfortunately on TOMORROW'S P&L because if it was they would care about where we are heading. What ever happened to Joe?

G.
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Old 12th Nov 2011, 18:48
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wow...
a few hours in multicrew and you can be a s92 instructor...
I was going to post it in "jobs" but this thread maybe more appropriate
  • Job Role: Flight Instructors
  • Job Hours: Full-Time
  • Location: Farnborough
  • Job Position: Permanent
  • Company: Flight Safety International
  • Salary:
  • Job reference: 9708
  • Posted Date: 09 November 2011 14:55:49
FlightSafety International is the world’s premier professional aviation training company and supplier of flight simulators, visual systems and displays to commercial, government and military organizations. We provide more than a million hours of training each year to pilots, technicians and other aviation professionals.

We operate the world’s largest fleet of advanced full flight simulators at our expansive network of Learning Centers located in the United States, Canada, France, Japan, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

We are currently seeking a Sikorsky S92 Ground and Simulator Instructor based in Farnborough.

The Ground and Simulator Instructor is responsible for delivery of training to Customers receiving Initial, Recurrent or technical Pilot training courses.

Successful applicants will receive full training and a competitive benefits package.

Prior to hiring, the applicant must possess one of the following qualifications:

ATPL or CPL (JAA/EASA preferred) and

• FAA Flight Instructor Certificate (CFI – Certified Flight Instructor) (currency, not required); or
• Ground Instructor Certificate with an instrument rating and an advanced rating (AGII); or
• A rating equivalent to either of the above, issued by another country’s aviation authority; or
• Documented military Flight Instructor training and experience; or

Required Experience

• 1000 hours minimum Rotary multi crew hours

EDUCATION AND/OR EXPERIENCE: (Minimum Requirements)
Higher Education preferred, or three years' related experience and/or training; or equivalent combination; equivalency years experience substitution must be in Aviation field.
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Old 12th Nov 2011, 19:17
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As I was saying ........

....... This is just the kind of recruiting policy that worries the hell out of me. No teaching experience required, no type rating required, not even similar type experience required. If the candidate has seen nothing more than a Robo he would qualify for the job as S92 SFI. Yes this is possible because some schools grant MCC status to CFIs because they count being together with any kind of student pilot as Multi Crew.

Let the spiral of decline begin.

G.
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Old 13th Nov 2011, 03:54
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I'm curious how a CPL holder could qualify for thisjob?
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