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what pilots do when they are not flying?

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aesop081

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3rd Horseman said:
GO,

   I think you better bring an extra airsick bag....your being set up.....but it would be fun. Nothing like a whirly bird flight with a pilot trying to teach an army dude how tough it is in the air.

Its not about "showing off" !!  GO!!! stated why he thinks the air force isnt mission orientated.  I am no out to make him sick for the sake of making him sick.  I am offering to take him through the entire process and see for himself.  The airplane in which i am a crew member flies at night, i some seriously bad weather, at low altitude, hundreds and hundreds of miles from shore.  it get rough, specialy at night.  The airplane gets hot....stinks of cordite, its dark and some guys sit backwards or sideways.  We do maneouvres like MAD compensation that makes people sick as soon as the flight starts......Our Crew day is 18 hours....can be extended to 24 hours.  Minimum crew rest is 8 hours after which we are expected to do it again.  We dont control the weather.. there are rules that the military doesnt control such as takeoff minimums and alternate airport requirements.....then if the weather wont permit the mission to be accomplished because we will never see the target.......

Then there's maintenance.  We dont control when things break and have to be replaced.  We ALL want to fly.....sometimes we cant because our 26 year old airplane is having issues.

We run 7 days a week, so weekends and people's leave are not factors.

Flight safety.....well, just like safety comes first in the army.......we have to contend with that too....a multi-million dollar airpane with a crew of 10 deserves no less.  Again we also have federal, non-military, rules to contend with.

Hotels......well, talk to the guys we had in wainwright who slept in tents and shave with frozen water like everyone else.  i have stayed in barracks for 3 of my last 4 exercises.  usualy have rental cars because the airfield isnt located near the barracks.

Yes the metrep is important to the mission.......the ground is GO!!!'s environment, the air is ours...what goes on in the sky affects our mission just as much as ennemy obstacles affect his.

I got 5 days off last month..........

I want GO!!! to come see for himself...........I respect his experience when it comes to land operations.  I want him to come get an education.
 

Loachman

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I have a shade under 4000 hours in Tac Hel, and about 300 or so from training  courses including my helicopter instructor's course. All but 300 of my Tac Hel hours are on Kiowas. I have another few hundred hours of police helicopter time (Peel Region was the hardest work I've ever done in a cockpit).

I have poked fun at other CF flying communities, but I have some appreciation of the challenges of their jobs and the risks peculiar to them.

I have poked fun at other Tac Hel Squadrons, well, one at least - that always seemed to attract more than its share of the "problem children" yet also included many outstanding people too.

I have poked fun at those flying the other helicopter type in my first Squadron.

In turn, I have had similar jokes aimed at me.

That's to be expected. I know that you're all jealous.

But seriously, despite the fact that we're not all brilliant (statistically, half of all pilots are below average, just like half of all Infantrymen), we do the best that we can with what we've got to work with and how we've been trained.

There are serious flaws in both of those areas, and I've given my viewpoints on those in other threads.

Tac Hel also consistently had the lowest experience levels of any of the different flying communities up until a few years ago when others began to suffer from the same thing while our situation actually held, more or less (but did not improve). There are a lot of new guys out there today not getting enough of the right kind of hours to really learn their craft. As well as gaining useful experience, it also seems to take a couple of years for pipeliners to realize where they fit into the overall scheme of things and to become properly motivated.

The guy who signs for the aircraft, regardless of his experience and therefore comfort levels, is responsible for the aircraft and all of its occupants - including you guys in the back. He/she is quite aware of those responsibilities and would much rather err on the side of caution unless there is good and valid reason to do otherwise. Peacetime training is not worth unnecessary risk.

Having had at least my share of close calls over the years, and seen the results of those not so lucky (their mistakes, somebody else's mistakes, mechanical failure, weather, or some such), I have developed one major decision-making aid: "what would the board of inquiry say?"

Whatever I am asked to do, by my customer or my boss, or am contemplating doing, is not a good idea if it won't stand up to the scrutiny of a board of inquiry.

Some of my close calls were completely innocent and natural. Some were due to less-than-wise calls on my part, or things that I did not anticipate or see. Some occurred because I let myself be led into bad situations by those who I thought knew better than me.

None of that has happened since I developed my little reality check.

Initiating a board of inquiry is not mission accomplishment.

I know that there have been times when whoever it was that I was supporting was not happy with getting less support than they were hoping for. I've always explained the reasons as thoroughly as possible. Most understood, but there are some that have not. At least they've all gone home alive.

I went to far too many funerals early on in my flying career to not learn how important that was.

Try sitting up front and seeing what it's all about. It's not ALL fun and games, even if we'd like you to think that.

On our side, we've all seen dumb stuff done by our passengers, including the guy who ran into the nose of my Kiowa in an exaggerated MASH crouch and dented it in, or the senior officer who almost tossed his briefcase through my main rotor, or several that have skipped merrily past the tailrotor completely oblivious to how close they came to being reduced to a bloody stump, or the guys in the transmission seats that decide to break open their rifles in mid-flight over a swamp with the doors pinned back. And, for every time that I've gone to the wrong spot (usually in an area where navigation is tricky), I've been given a wrong grid or town name (Germany), and then some extras.

Half of all passengers are below average too.

I am not happy with some of the unrealistic things that I see happen when we're supposed to be tactical, however usually I understand why. There's generally a reason.

Now, if somebody's got a specific gripe, with dates, times, places, and a detailed description of the event in question, that should be followed up through the appropriate Avn Staff Guy in your Bde/Area HQ, as he was the one who booked the mission and is the link between supported unit/formation and Squadron. Chances are that somebody on the crew(s) has already brought it out in the debrief, but feedback, positive and negative (so long as it's constructive) can only help.
 

Zoomie

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+1 Mr. Loach - an excellent synopsis

Most non-aircrew cannot fathom the concentration and intensity required in the operation of aircraft.  Imagine not getting at least 8 hours sleep and then being shoved into such an environment - any mistakes would be deadly.  I have played the green game and know without a doubt that I could not complete even the most basic task in an aircrew setting while sleep-f*cked.
 

HItorMiss

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I want to clarify "dodgy calls" in Tac Hel...such as back in summer of 02 I remember a week long EX where it rained for the whole time, my 4 man det was covered in mud it was about 0600hrs and we were all laid out for pick up, down came the Helo and was about 2m from the ground when the whole group broke cover and that would be when the helo pulled up and out siting ground fog obscuring the LZ and they wouldn't land.....

Now I assume they saw how dirty we were and called it off, because I saw no ground fog that day not one bit. I will add a caveat that for every bad Helo experience I have seen 10 others that were damn good rides and just impressive tactical flying.
 

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HitorMiss said:
I want to clarify "dodgy calls" in Tac Hel...such as back in summer of 02 I remember a week long EX where it rained for the whole time, my 4 man det was covered in mud it was about 0600hrs and we were all laid out for pick up, down came the Helo and was about 2m from the ground when the whole group broke cover and that would be when the helo pulled up and out siting ground fog obscuring the LZ and they wouldn't land.....

Now I assume they saw how dirty we were and called it off, because I saw no ground fog that day not one bit.

I cannot really comment for a whole bunch of reasons, but mainly because I wasn't there. You may well have been the victim of a less-than-consiencious crew and, yes, that would be my first guess. They may have been going to pick up a high-priced VIP after dropping you off andwanted to stay clean - not a completely valid reason in my mind, but then I don't know that or what their instructions might have been. And then, sometimes, things don't look the same when you're looking downwards through a rain-covered windscreen as they do when you're looking upwards - there may have been a legitimate safety concern, although I'd say that that's not terribly likely. Like I said, I wasn't there.

I will add a caveat that for every bad Helo experience I have seen 10 others that were damn good rides and just impressive tactical flying.

Thank-you. The vast majority of us aim to please, and know full well whom we exist to support and where we fit into the overall scheme of things.
 

GO!!!

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Loachman said:
I cannot really comment for a whole bunch of reasons, but mainly because I wasn't there. You may well have been the victim of a less-than-consiencious crew and, yes, that would be my first guess. They may have been going to pick up a high-priced VIP after dropping you off andwanted to stay clean - not a completely valid reason in my mind, but then I don't know that or what their instructions might have been. And then, sometimes, things don't look the same when you're looking downwards through a rain-covered windscreen as they do when you're looking upwards - there may have been a legitimate safety concern, although I'd say that that's not terribly likely. Like I said, I wasn't there.

"Not completely valid?"

I'll go out on a limb here and say that if it was 4 wet, cold pilots/aircrew left to freeze or walk back in the woods, there would be disciplinary action against the infanteers that left them behind.

My earlier post that seems to have hit a nerve was only half in jest - and my last 3-4 exercises have confirmed it. On the last month long grind in  the only time they could be seen flying was when there were VIPs aboard. The mere mention of c/s H casevac/fire support/airmobile QRF left the platoon rolling in the aisles - never once did it show up for us - not once in a 30 day ex.

I'd also like to extend a hearty congratulations to the CF-18 pilot for whom we stopped a whole cbt team atk for 20 mins to watch him overfly his target 5 - yes five times before missing it  - twice with his 500 pounders. I'm sure CAS like that will come in very handy.  ::)

Most non-aircrew cannot fathom the concentration and intensity required in the operation of aircraft.  Imagine not getting at least 8 hours sleep and then being shoved into such an environment - any mistakes would be deadly.  I have played the green game and know without a doubt that I could not complete even the most basic task in an aircrew setting while sleep-******.
Yes, yes, we all know that you have the hardest job on earth, every mistake kills etc. WTF do you think the rest of us are doing? I would say that you as aircrew can't fathom what happens on the ground between when you drop us off and pick us up, or ridiculous crap like leaving people behind because they are too dirty would'nt happen. Don't even bother with the old standby "I was a private in the reserves for a year - I know what it's like" you don't.

You need to realise that you are a driver - a driver of a device that happens to fly, and that there is a major disconnect if you believe that your tasks are much more difficult or important than what happens on the ground. They are different, but at the end of the day - you exist (in the Green Helo Sqns) to support operations on the ground. If you are not doing that - for any reason - you have failed as far as I'm concerned.
 

HItorMiss

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GO!!! said:
My earlier post that seems to have hit a nerve was only half in jest - and my last 3-4 exercises have confirmed it. On the last month long grind in  the only time they could be seen flying was when there were VIPs aboard. The mere mention of c/s H casevac/fire support/airmobile QRF left the platoon rolling in the aisles - never once did it show up for us - not once in a 30 day ex.

Now thats odd because on Maple Guardian for us I spent so much time recceing HLS and then manning them for incoming casevac and airmobile that I could do it in my sleep, now where did that change I wonder????
 

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GO!!! said:
I'd also like to extend a hearty congratulations to the CF-18 pilot for whom we stopped a whole cbt team atk for 20 mins to watch him overfly his target 5 - yes five times before missing it  - twice with his 500 pounders. I'm sure CAS like that will come in very handy.  ::)
Yes, yes, we all know that you have the hardest job on earth, every mistake kills etc. WTF do you think the rest of us are doing? I would say that you as aircrew can't fathom what happens on the ground between when you drop us off and pick us up, or ridiculous crap like leaving people behind because they are too dirty would'nt happen. Don't even bother with the old standby "I was a private in the reserves for a year - I know what it's like" you don't.

What do you know about it anyways...

Max
 

HItorMiss

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Max,

GO and I have boots with more military experience then you have time in the Military. So when it comes to making an experience call about ground operations We both have been there done that, when it comes to personal experience with being or not being picked up by Tac Hel assets we have done that 100 times over. So guess what if anything what the heck do you know about it? Mr coffee break in the CF and not having left OJT no please regale me with your on the ground soldiering experience or even your great abilities as a Tac Hel pilot.
 

Michael OLeary

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Gentlemen, let's try taking the personal and trade related insults out and debate this based on personal experience and knowledge.  Arguing based on what you simply assume another's tasks and responsibilities might involve is insufficient. Personal prejudices and stereotyping are not a solid basis for discussion.

http://forums.army.ca/forums/threads/51970.0.html
 

C1Dirty

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Ah yes, pilots, who are devoted to the mission, unless it is hindered by rain, snow, darkness, maintenance, fridays, meal timings, crew rest, leave, mondays, cold, weekends, low ceiling, wind, loud noises, or, my personal favorite - flight safety.

Go, I thought it was funny.  By the way you forgot holidays, heat, golf (aka air force PT) and duty day.

Most non-aircrew cannot fathom the concentration and intensity required in the operation of aircraft.

Yeah, I'm all about pretending it's hard too, but the jig's up, everyone has MS Flight Sim now.

 
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aesop081

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GO!!!....i take you you arent willing to take me up on my offer........pitty.  You might have learned a few things.
 

GO!!!

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cdnaviator said:
So..........

GO!!!....i take you you arent willing to take me up on my offer........pitty.  You might have learned a few things.

PM Inbound.
 

SupersonicMax

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HitorMiss said:
Max,

GO and I have boots with more military experience then you have time in the Military. So when it comes to making an experience call about ground operations We both have been there done that, when it comes to personal experience with being or not being picked up by Tac Hel assets we have done that 100 times over. So guess what if anything what the heck do you know about it? Mr coffee break in the CF and not having left OJT no please regale me with your on the ground soldiering experience or even your great abilities as a Tac Hel pilot.

I might not have the ground ops experience but I do have some time in the Hornet including A/G missions (and I was referring to the comment regarding the Hornet dropping ordonnance).  Even as a Backseater, I had the opportunity to see and understand what was going on.  Doing 5 passes before dropping might just be a way to practice and review the procedures before dropping 500 pounds of explosive, don't you think it makes sense?  Missing the target with a Dumb (ie non guided) bomb isn't too hard.  1 milimeter in the HUD at that altitude can make you miss...  Isn't that why they practice?  Anyways, I think I might (correct me if I'm wrong) know a little better than him on that specific subject matter.

Max
 

GO!!!

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SupersonicMax said:
I might not have the ground ops experience but I do have some time in the Hornet including A/G missions (and I was referring to the comment regarding the Hornet dropping ordonnance).  Even as a Backseater, I had the opportunity to see and understand what was going on.  Doing 5 passes before dropping might just be a way to practice and review the procedures before dropping 500 pounds of explosive, don't you think it makes sense?  Missing the target with a Dumb (ie non guided) bomb isn't too hard.  1 milimeter in the HUD at that altitude can make you miss...  Isn't that why they practice?  Anyways, I think I might (correct me if I'm wrong) know a little better than him on that specific subject matter.

Max

The bombs dropped on the date in question were real - my slow infantry mind realises this because they made loud exploding noises and big holes in the ground - in excess of 50 paces from their intended target, and before you say that's within the effects radius for a Mk82 - it may have been, but there was no tgt effects - we checked afterwards.

This was not practice - it was a life fire cbt team atk - that means about 200 men and 50 vehicles - held up so that a jet could miss, twice, and leave yet another objective for us on the ground. The time to get "procedures" straight was long before flying over my head.

To tell the truth, what counts is results. We understand what is "going on" too, and if you cannot get rounds on target in a timely manner - what are you accomplishing? Does the training leave something to be desired? Kit being used beyond it's capabilities? Is anything being done to remedy the situation?

I welcome input from a pilot on why this happened - really - I would like nothing more than to be able to call for Cdn CAS when we go overseas - but what gives?
 

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GO!!! said:
Don't even bother with the old standby "I was a private in the reserves for a year - I know what it's like" you don't.

Whatever you say Junior - I'd say that your exposure to the rest of the CF is pretty myoptic and needs flushing out.  I can confidently say that I have "been there" when it comes to basic green Ops (not just a Private smartass).  Can you say the same about blue Ops?  When you can, then we can talk on an equal basis.

Didn't we all have this same discussion last year?
 

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The bombs dropped on the date in question were real - my slow infantry mind realises this because they made loud exploding noises and big holes in the ground - in excess of 50 paces from their intended target, and before you say that's within the effects radius for a Mk82 - it may have been, but there was no tgt effects - we checked afterwards.

How many rounds have you fired down range in your career that have failed to hit the target??
 

SupersonicMax

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GO!!! said:
The bombs dropped on the date in question were real - my slow infantry mind realises this because they made loud exploding noises and big holes in the ground - in excess of 50 paces from their intended target, and before you say that's within the effects radius for a Mk82 - it may have been, but there was no tgt effects - we checked afterwards.

This was not practice - it was a life fire cbt team atk - that means about 200 men and 50 vehicles - held up so that a jet could miss, twice, and leave yet another objective for us on the ground. The time to get "procedures" straight was long before flying over my head.

To tell the truth, what counts is results. We understand what is "going on" too, and if you cannot get rounds on target in a timely manner - what are you accomplishing? Does the training leave something to be desired? Kit being used beyond it's capabilities? Is anything being done to remedy the situation?

I welcome input from a pilot on why this happened - really - I would like nothing more than to be able to call for Cdn CAS when we go overseas - but what gives?

Dumb bombs mean non guided bombs.  It doesn't mean there is no explosive.  The reason for the 5 passes is to practice procedures.  They don't drop bombs every day.  One of Two range training a year plus some exercices.  In that type of operations, you need to actually practice the procedures before you can get them right (just knowing them by heart doesn't mean you will be able to physically do them).  Of course the sim is there.  But how a sim really preps you?  That's an other story...  Doing 5 passes before dropping 2 Mk-82 can make you practice those procedures.  In peace time, there is no point in trying to rush things if you can't even do it right.  If they were to deploy somewhere, they would spend some time to get their skills up to the level so "it's not other objective for you".  This is training, remember that.  After the mission there is an in depth (and I say, in depth) debrief of what happened and how to make it better.

fbr2o75 said:
How many rounds have you fired down range in your career that have failed to hit the target??

+1

Max
 

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I am not a fighter pilot, but an experienced Air Weapons Controller.  Our CF18 fleet at this moment is heavily tasked, Air Defence alert, BAI training and I can assure you all they are involved in CAS right now.  What they lack are the whiz bang CAS weapon's, JDAM, JSOW, etc...  Upgraded fighters require upgraded weapons, not just AMRAAM.

As for the whole "we don't work" in the Airforce comments, I completed a tour on AWACS in 2005, I can assure you we worked, flew, deployed, extended beyond crew rest routinely.  Nobody gave a damm about holidays, Xmas or golf, fly & fight.  Deploy for 90 days, RTB Tinker, and out again a few days later for another 90.  Granted we were not in the front lines being shot at or chewing dust, but that's not our job.  Our job is to make life a s easy as possible for those folks.  Believe me we did everything we could to facilitate that. If there was a major operation on, everyone would fight to be on that crew, to get the job done.  Land, sea & air combat is different, but combat none the less.
 
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