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Old 10th Jan 2017, 09:51   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: USA
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Pilot Sharing-USAF/Airlines ?

[This involves both airline and military but I put it here so airline people would see it]

Can some of you explain what this article is referring to re sharing pilots between the military and airlines in the UK and Australia ?

Here, we have reserve (and national guard) aviation components of most military branches but they are full time employees of the airlines with occasional commitments to their reserve units (may include overseas deployments).

"The Air Force has already spoken with some airline CEOs about sharing pilots. Australia and the U.K. already have arrangements with airlines and the programs are reported to be successful, the Times reported."

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Old 10th Jan 2017, 10:16   #2 (permalink)
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I suspect it would be the current Air Tanker Ltd/Thomas Cook Airlines setup in the UK. I'm really not sure how the setup works, but it's basically some Voyagers converted to civilian use on damp leases with some crews seconded over.

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Old 10th Jan 2017, 14:43   #3 (permalink)
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It works like that - during a peace time Air Tanker is offering their a-bit-heavier-than-normal a330 to some commercial airlines at silly rates thus damaging the market, and in war time they will be sitting on the ground as civilians cannot go combat zones. A perfect case for MOD - yes we have a modern equipement, yes it costs us much less than otherwise, yes we utilise resources effeciently. All good. Before there is a real war. All well described by General Sir Richard Shirreff in his book
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Old 10th Jan 2017, 16:34   #4 (permalink)
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I suppose sharing only pilots would be a simpler proposition than sharing pilots AND airplanes like the Air Tanker/TC deal.

IIUC, the article in the OP deals with dual roles, civ/mil, for the pilots. We're already doing that here in the USA via guard & reserves. And while the primary employment is with the airline, when the military calls them up, they go and their jobs are waiting for them upon return (as they should be).

[Admittedly, there's a variation on a theme in the case of those zero-time folks who go from the street into a guard unit (vs a reserve unit following full active duty enlistment) with no airline employment. They can be short of the total flight time an airline might require...but I suspect a solution to that is being pondered.]

I just don't see what's discussed in the article as an innovative solution to anything. I was just curious if OZ or the UK had some established arrangement with enough history to demonstrate its efficacy.
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Old 10th Jan 2017, 20:30   #5 (permalink)
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CargoOne. Nice post, but almost entirely bereft of factual correctness.

The few frames, wet leased at oh so secret commercial-in-confidence rates (silly rates???!!), are indeed crewed by civilians. There are, however, a number of them who are reservists, capable of both civil and military operations. There are also two squadrons for existing military frames during peacetime with surge capability including the civilianised frames when required. There are more than enough existing crews to cover surge operations during a military conflict if required.

The General's book is merely agenda driven bovine excrement. The only thing that chap understands about air power is that it delivers the mail when the horses have colic.

Even a quick bit of research and all would have become clear, but hey why bother when a good bit of muck slinging can be had.
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Old 11th Jan 2017, 16:35   #6 (permalink)
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Uncle Peter you're nearly all there. The Thomas Cook frame belongs to ATrS, not the RAF, and is a damp lease. The other frame at BHX is entirely ATrS and crewed by them.
The SR pilots of ATrS are mainly ex RAF, but their T&C's are far from solid. Very few are actually AAR trained/current.
What they do outside the Mil contract is entirely up to them.
In times of actual war, who knows?
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Old 12th Jan 2017, 12:04   #7 (permalink)
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Quick confession, previously involved in this programme on the mil side. All airframes, including the mil ones are owned by Airtanker. All frames will be released to the RAF when the surge requirement dictates. Airtanker has MOD permission to lease the ac when not required for surge ops, so whilst not "owned" by the RAF, they dictate their use. The civilian Ts & Cs are competitive, I don't understand your term "solid", but beauty of a contract is in the eye of the beholder. Upwards of 14 of my ex AAR sqns are now employed on the civilian side and also training. They are currently not required to be AAR trained due sufficient mil AAR trained crews even for max surge capacity. That's not to say it isn't being suggested.
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Old 27th Jan 2017, 14:39   #8 (permalink)
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"Sharing" Update

Article dated yesterday:

"Gen. Carlton D. Everhart, Air Mobility Commander for the service, met this week with top officials from Delta, United and other airlines to discuss the shrinking pool of pilots, and what to do about it."

They appear to be serious about this stuff:

"The meeting was a precursor to one planned for May to be led by Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein and industry executives, Everhart said."

Air Force, airline industry working on joint solution to pilot shortage - News - Stripes

Last edited by bafanguy; 27th Jan 2017 at 16:01. Reason: Increased seriousness level
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