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Professional pilots who are also in the TA?

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Professional pilots who are also in the TA?

Old 3rd Jul 2001, 22:28
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magpie
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Question Professional pilots who are also in the TA?

Are there any pilots out there who manage to combine their full time job with service in the TA? I am wondering just how sympathetic employers are to this sort of thing and whether the jobs are compatible?



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Old 3rd Jul 2001, 23:40
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iflyboeing747
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What is TA..?
 
Old 4th Jul 2001, 00:03
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supermunk
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Magpie,

I think that you will find that there are fundamental problems with employers and any branch of the Reserve Forces, this includes TA, RAFVR, RNVR etc. Whilst there are many sympathetic employers, there are many who will categorically state that any reserve committments must be taken totally in your own time. I have first hand knowledge of a UK company who's chairman was the local Lord Lieutenant, when asked about the possibility of unpaid leave for RAFVR service, replied within 4 hours that you had to take this time within your normal leave entitlement. What would happen if you had to defend the country wasn't considered. As I said, there are many companies who will consider applications of this nature but I think that you probably have to take the luck of the draw. The whole situation is most unsatisfactory with the Government on one hand wanting more reservists across the board, but refusing to give volunteers any support, and most companies not wanting to know. (Although most of them in a recent survey appreciated the leadership skills and discipline that resulted from reserve forces involvement)
 
Old 4th Jul 2001, 00:53
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magpie
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My apologies. TA is the name for the UK's reserve army ie the Territorial Army. It would be interesting to hear from pilots who are not based in the UK as to whether they have the opportunity to join the reserve forces of their respective countries, and whether their employers support them.

Some interesting points you raise Supermonk. It is frustrating to know that employers are generally not willing to support the TA. Of course providing that you work it in with your flying duties, and there is no conflict between main job and the TA, I presume no company would actully say no. In that case it is only at annual camp time that there would be a real problem, when you would need 2-3 weeks off. Not many people want to use up the bulk of their annual leave, even if they are getting paid!




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Laugh it up, fuzzball.
 
Old 4th Jul 2001, 01:24
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Pilot Pete
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I did ten years in the T.A. including during my flying training but once I found my first job flying it quickly became evident that it would not be possible to do both.

My first flying job was air taxi with a lot of standby. My current employer advertises that they will give time off (paid) for Reserve duties, but again, with the roster working over 7 days of a week, getting enough weekends and two weeks off in summer (our 'high' season) to make it worthwhile would be difficult. Even if you manage to make the time you have to seriously consider the consequences of spending a weekend training with little or no sleep and then reporting for flight duty the following day. I recall being shattered many a time on a Monday morning when in my old 'desk job'.

I was in the T.A. during a period of vast change for the Reserve forces and it changed into a very serious force demanding an equally serious commitment from its members. I regularly did over 100 days a year with the T.A. and without that kind of commitment the Reserve forces find it difficult to run a 'complete' training program. It was extremely rewarding and enhanced my personal skills and taught me many more. It also made me very fit!

Hope the above puts it into some sort of context for you, and good luck with whatever you decide.

PP

ps. Forgot to mention; contact the Employers Liason Committee via the TAVR HQ (used to be at the Duke of Yorks just off Sloane Square) as they have a list of all the UK's employers who 'actively' promote the Reserve forces within their companies. Alternatively, your local T.A. centre will have leaflets with them listed.

[This message has been edited by Pilot Pete (edited 03 July 2001).]
 
Old 4th Jul 2001, 02:30
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BEagle
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The sad fact is that the deceitful UK government hates having to pay for anything. Hence rather than having adequate professional (as in full-time paid) armed forces, they hope that they can con part-time reservists into doing more and more. They can't even afford to pay for military pilot training or VC10/TriStar replacements to provide the rapid deployment which Bliar wants to promote; instead it's supposed to be done by mercenaries.

The enthusiasm and dedication of TA personnel should be admired; sadly few are prepared to give them the support they need.
 
Old 4th Jul 2001, 02:35
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twinboom
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Well during the Gulf "live firing excercise" in '91 a certain Monarch 757 captain and TA officer went there as an FAC - no idea what their current position is.

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Old 4th Jul 2001, 03:17
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pax domina
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Both of the pilots I am best acquainted with (okay, I know that sounds awful, but it is innocent and you all know what I mean), one fr8k9 and one SLF type, serve in the US Air National Guard in addition to their "day jobs" as professional pilots. I'm e-mailing this link to both of them, in case they'd like to chime in with their experiences.

Unfortunately, putting "TA" in the subject line, rather than "reserves", may limit the number of folks from this side of the pond who will take a look at this thread.

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pax d - narcissistic, short-sighted, ill-bred moron
 
Old 4th Jul 2001, 13:18
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Wycombe
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Ok, I'm not a Pro. Pilot (a mere PPL/IMC), but I am a current UK Reservist, and my Reservist role is heavily avation related (RAuxAF).

Suffice to say (and I could go on for hours here) that despite recent Govt legislation, most employers are still anti-Reservist (and will remain so) because:

1. They don't perceive any benefit from
their employees being part of the Reserve Forces

2. They are unclear about the compensation they will receive from MoD when their Reservist staff are called up

Although NELC are working to address this, it is a very difficult nut to crack.

I have been called up once during my 15 years service (4 months in early '91). At the time, my Employer (who IS generally supportive) made up my salary and guaranteed my job for a Year, but I was in a small minority (and there is no guarantee it would happen if the balloon were to go up again)

Things haven't changed that much, as we had a limited mobilisation for the Balkans more recently (in which I was not involved) and many of the same issues that arose in '91 came around again.

As BEagle says, proper legislation and funding is the only thing that will resolve this and make us more usable (although I enjoy being a Reservist, I am not in a position where I can take action that will jeopardise the job that pays the mortgage).
 
Old 4th Jul 2001, 23:20
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Gash Handlin
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Firstly I'm not professional pilot so feel free to disregard the following.

I'm currently in the TA and I'm trying to find all the bits of paper I was given when I joined so I can give you more informed answers.

In general all of the above is true except that the current legislation makes it a legal obligation for your employer to keep your job open if you are called up (and I think the govt provide compensation to cover your absence). But siknce the Strategic Defence Review the TA has become a more integral part of the regular army and is no longer only liable for call up for major conflict. It depends on your unit's role but we were close to getting called up for the foot and mouth crisis.

However there appears to be no legislation compelling your employer to give you extra leave for your annual commitment which is only supposed to be 2 weeks, 3 or 4 weekends and x number of parade nights per year.

I'm currently going through the process of getting a commision and I HAVE to do something every other weekend and I could really use 8 weeks for the courses and camps (2 weeks Sqaudron annual camp, 1 week pre commisioning course with the University Officer Training Corps, 3 week commissioning course at RMAS, and 2 weeks troop commanders course if succesful) needless to say I'm having a nightmare with my boss who is being pretty unhelpful for most of the reasons given by Wycombe and that was just when I asked for two weeks off for annual camp!

Pilot Pete also made a VERY valid point.
My normal weekend consists of:-

finish work at 1700
Race home collect Kit and get to unit.

Fri night usually spent preparing to move out of TA centre and get on road by around 0001hrs, If you're lucky you're NOT driving so you can get some kip on the road.

Usually 2-3 hours drive followed by parking and hiding the vehicles. Then depending on sentry duty sleep until 0530 when reveille and breakfast.

We then work on various tasks until they are done, this can and does go on until the wee hours (last time it was 0330 on sunday)

Reveille is 0530 again and then you would usually work and travel back to arrive at your TA Centre for mid afternoon. Then its strip out and store the kit and vehicles and off home for tea and medals.

I usually find I'm fit for work by mid wednesday and I just work in an office!!

But all of that aside you can do as little or as much as you like, it all depends on what you want out of being in the TA.
 
Old 5th Jul 2001, 03:17
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HomerSimpson
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Im in the same situation as Gash Handlin. Im in the TA presently going throught the mill for my commission. I have a CPL/IR but presently no job. I guess that once I get a job, depending where it might be, my TA career my have to be shelved. However, there still are plenty of Engineer Regiments out there across the country, so maybe I'll be in luck. However, that all depends if the employer allows time off for annual camp and gives me a suitable roster which allows one or two weekends now and then.

The next problem that faces me is if I'm called up. Earlier ths year our Regiment dealt with the foot and mouth problems in Cumbria. It wasn't a call up, but there were quite a few people who went. Also 2 years ago, our Regiment was 24 hours away from being sent to Bosnia/Kosovo. Im not sure how an employer would take it if Id been employed then. (I was in Uni at the time).

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Old 5th Jul 2001, 05:52
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Old and Bold
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Most of the helicopter pilots in the AAC (v) are commercial pilots they just fit in as and when. Bit of a contrast though flying a 747 then hoping into a gazelle doing low level sorties...

Hmmmmmmmm The spice of life
 
Old 5th Jul 2001, 11:51
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Wycombe
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Gash....

You are quite right that under the Reserve Forces Act of '96, the employer legally has to hold "a" job for the called-up Reservist.

Unfortunately, though, not all employers are as switched on to the Reserve Forces as others....I know of at least 1 colleague who was sacked following call-up for Kosovo, despite what the law says!

Again, you are right, employers are entitled to MoD compensation if their emloyee is called-up, but, as I said NELC have still got a long way to go before awareness of this reaches an acceptable level.

Bear in mind (and you might find this unbelievable) that some Reservists (and I know some!) have chosen not to inform their employer of their reservist status at all, so the first the employee may know is when a
letter lands informing them that their member of staff has been called-up! Employers are hardly likely to be "on-side" in these circumstances.

Recently at my unit, we have been asked to do some form-filling concerning in connection with an "Employers Notification" Programme. This info will be used by NELC to proactively communicate with our Employers to raise awareness (and hopefully deal with some of the issues raised in the para. above).

From what we have been told, the TA have apparently decided not to participate in this initiative!!
 
Old 5th Jul 2001, 23:09
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magpie
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There are conflicting stories doing the rounds regarding the willingness of TA soldiers to allow details of their employers be known to the Army. In the South West almost no soldier has declined to give his or her employer's details. However, there are stories (and not just apocryphal ones)from other regions that when the Army wished to write to the employers to commend the efforts of the soldiers for their work during the foot and mouth epidemic, 30 - 40% of the soldiers declined to have a letter sent.

It is easy to jump to conclusions as to why this is, but whatever the reason, it is disappointing that they feel they have to hide their very important role.

Let us hope that there are continued initiatives to keep the TA in the public eye, and have more events that encourage the great and the good (?) of the commercial world to be sympathetic to employees who wish to join.


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Laugh it up, fuzzball.
 
Old 6th Jul 2001, 01:16
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Gash Handlin
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Wycombe,

Thanks for the legal clarification.

Your point about TA members not telling they're employer appears to be quite common, there are several in this situation in my unit. Which is a sad reflection on how some members of the general public seem to view people who want to do their bit for their country.

I actually had to get permission from my employer before the TA would accept my application because I work for the police (but as a member of civilian support staff) and you would have thought the police would have been supportive of my service. However even though the force has a policy of allowing unpaid leave on top of your 4 weeks annual leave it all depends on the approval of your line manager and if he says he can't support your application for leave you don't get it. I'm currently looking into making a complaint about not being given time off but it's a tricky balance of which career is more important, TA or Civvy job.

Magpie,

I've just read your profile and I assume your looking at options for continuing military flying if you leave the forces? Have you talked to peopole on the military forum? If you're thinking of TA AAC I understand the waiting list is as long as a long thing!
 
Old 6th Jul 2001, 14:12
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yeoman
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Sadly had to pack it in once I started flying full time. The usual problem, no weekends and using leave for camp etc. Only way round it was a Brigade staff job, doing days in the week. Stuck it for a year but it was no real fun. Support frm employer? Nil. NELC really are doing no more than appealing to a company's better nature. My employer doesn't have one.

Would be interested to chat with some guys/gals with similar experiences so pull up a sandbag and email [email protected] !
 
Old 6th Jul 2001, 20:01
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OLD_EGG_BOUND
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If you join a specialist TA unit as opposed to your local independant unit the commitment is only for 19 days PA which must contain one continuous camp of at least nine days. There are no parade nights to worry about.
 
Old 7th Jul 2001, 19:48
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Hello Magpie. I was in the Regular Army for 17 years and like a lot of people who put themselves on th pilot job market between 1991 and 93, I was licenced and out of work. I joined the TA to pay the rent and it was a life-saver for me. When I eventually got a job I found that our lifestyle simply doesn't lend itself to being in the full time TA, or playing for the village cricket team, or singing in the local choir, etc. etc. What I did was join an organisation called the Central Volunteer Headquarters, CVHQ. Their commitment is for 19 days a year, a camp of 15 days and 2 training weekends. The role is as watchkeepers in operational HQ's. Very interesting and worthwhile. I fly for Airtours and they give me 2 weeks unpaid leave a year to do my camp, the Army pay me 120 per day anyway so I don't lose out and I have some challenging fun. If you want more detail, E Mail me at [email protected]. happy to tell you more. Ironically, can't get a job with the TA flying in any capacity. !!!
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