Author Topic: RCAF aircrew shortage  (Read 14803 times)

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Offline Eye In The Sky

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Re: RCAF aircrew shortage
« Reply #100 on: February 07, 2019, 18:00:27 »
I would VOT tomorrow to do that.

Or you could just go MH!   ;D

You'd even get free swimming lessons as a bonus!!!!!!! 
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Offline Loachman

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Re: RCAF aircrew shortage
« Reply #101 on: February 07, 2019, 19:25:36 »
A quick question:  What is the reason for the fact that pilots have to be officers?  There have been times in the past when NCMs have been allowed to get their wings and fly.  And given the current pilot shortage, wouldn't this serve as a way to maintain and enhance current operational readiness?

While I am generally in favour of NCO Pilots in Tac Hel, how would this solve a Pilot shortage? The training would have to be the same length, it would take the same length of time to achieve the same experience levels to become fully useful, and pay should be the same for the same qualifications and responsibilities. If paid less, these hypothetical guys would be even more likely to jump to the civ world, to which they would be equally attractive.

After all, if someone from the technical trades is allowed to become a pilot, s/he would have the background about understand his/her aircraft's systems.  While I assume pilots are trained to understand same at 2 CFFTS/3 CFFTS, having the extra technical background experience would help a lot.

Aside from what Max has already explained, we are not exactly flush with experienced techs either. It takes a few years to train them and get them to useful levels of experience as well, so yanking them out of their occupations and putting them through another lengthy training and experience-building process benefits neither community.

Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: RCAF aircrew shortage
« Reply #102 on: February 10, 2019, 12:52:48 »
Somehow one has some doubts how successful...

Quote
Clock ticking as Air Force looks to stop hemorrhaging experienced pilots

A shortage of experienced pilots is forcing the Royal Canadian Air Force to walk a delicate line between keeping enough seasoned aviators available to train new recruits and lead missions in the air.

Air force commander Lt.-Gen. Al Meinzinger described the balancing act during a recent interview with The Canadian Press in which he also revealed many pilots today are likely to have less experience than counterparts in similar positions 10 years ago.

Much of the problem can be traced back to veteran aviators leaving for commercial jobs, or other opportunities outside the military, forcing senior commanders into a juggling act over where to put those still in uniform.

The dip in experience as veteran aviators leave for commercial jobs or other opportunities has forced senior commanders to juggle where to put those still in uniform.

“In order to (support) your training system … you’ve got to pull experienced pilots into those positions, but you have to have experienced pilots on the squadrons to season the youth that are joining the units,” he said.

“So it’s a bit of a delicate balance. And when you’re in a situation where you don’t have as much experience, broadly speaking, you’ve got to balance that very carefully. Hence the idea of retaining as much talent as we can.”

Fixing the problems created by the shortage will become especially critical if the air force is to be ready for the arrival of replacements for the CF-18s.

Meinzinger said such transitions from one aircraft to another are particularly difficult — the RCAF needs to keep the same number of planes in the air to fly missions and have senior aviators train new pilots, while still sending seasoned pilots for training on the incoming fleet.

“Ideally you want to go into those transitions very, very healthy with 100 per cent manning and more experience than you could ever imagine,” Meinzinger said.

While he is confident the military can address its pilot shortage in the next few years, especially when it comes to those responsible for manning Canada’s fighter jets, the stakes to get it right are extremely high.

The federal auditor general reported in November that the military doesn’t have enough pilots and mechanics to fly and maintain the country’s CF-18 fighter jets. Air force officials revealed in September they were short 275 pilots and need more mechanics, sensor operators and other trained personnel across its different aircraft fleets.

There are concerns the deficit will get worse as a result of explosive growth predicted in the global commercial airline sector, which could pull many experienced military pilots out of uniform.

“That’s the expectation, that Canada will need an additional 7,000 to 8,000 pilots just to nourish the demands within the Canadian aerospace sector,” Meinzinger said. “And we don’t have the capacity as a nation to produce even half of that.”

Within the military, there also hasn’t been enough new pilots produced to replace the number who have left. The auditor general found that while 40 fighter pilots recently left the Forces, only 30 new ones were trained.

The military is working on a contract for a new training program that will let the air force increase the number of new pilots trained in a given year when necessary, as the current program allows only a fixed number to be produced.

Meanwhile, Meinzinger said the loss of more seasoned pilots means others are being asked to take on more responsibility earlier in their careers, though he denied any significant impact on training or missions. He said the military is managing the situation through the use of new technology, such as simulators, to ensure the air force can still do its job.

“There’s no doubt commanding officers today in RCAF squadrons, they have probably less flying hours than they did 10 years ago,” he said.

“What that (commanding officer) has today is probably an exposure to 21st-century technology and training. So I think that certainly offsets the reduction of flying hours.”

Meinzinger and other top military commanders are nonetheless seized with the importance of keeping veteran pilots in uniform to ensure those climbing into the cockpit for the first time have someone to look to for guidance — now and in the future.

New retention strategies are being rolled out that include better support for military families, increased certainty for pilots in terms of career progression and a concerted effort to keep them in the cockpit and away from desks and administrative work.

Other militaries, notably the U.S., that are struggling with a shortage of pilots have introduced financial bonuses and other measures to stay in uniform. Meinzinger couldn’t commit to such an initiative, but did say that “nothing is off the table [emphasis added].”

The situation may not represent an existential crisis, at least not yet, but officials know it is one that needs to be addressed if Canada’s air force is to continue operating at top levels for the foreseeable future.

“Experience is what allows us to (transfer knowledge) and grow for the future,” Meinzinger said. “And that’s why I talk about it as being kind of the centre of gravity. In the extreme, if you lose all your experience, you can’t regenerate yourself.”

— Follow @leeberthiaume on Twitter.
https://toronto.citynews.ca/2019/02/10/clock-ticking-as-air-force-looks-to-stop-hemorrhaging-experienced-pilots/

Mark
Ottawa
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Offline Brihard

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Re: RCAF aircrew shortage
« Reply #103 on: February 10, 2019, 14:08:36 »
Same dilemma some other trades are facing (MPs come to mind). We train people up with highly transferable skills that are in demand due to demographic pressures, and then we pay them significantly less than their civilian counterparts. Labour is a market, and supply and demand don’t care about our problems. Money talks, so throw enough money at the problem to keep them around. As much as we all love to rip on pilots, they put a ton of time, effort, and smarts into getting pretty good at something few people can do. Can’t blame them if they pay back what’s expected and then gravitate towards a much bigger paycheck.
Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

Offline Dimsum

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Re: RCAF aircrew shortage
« Reply #104 on: February 10, 2019, 15:05:07 »
Same dilemma some other trades are facing (MPs come to mind). We train people up with highly transferable skills that are in demand due to demographic pressures, and then we pay them significantly less than their civilian counterparts. Labour is a market, and supply and demand don’t care about our problems. Money talks, so throw enough money at the problem to keep them around. As much as we all love to rip on pilots, they put a ton of time, effort, and smarts into getting pretty good at something few people can do. Can’t blame them if they pay back what’s expected and then gravitate towards a much bigger paycheck.

Exactly.  Some people think this is the first time it's happened too.
Philip II of Macedon to Spartans (346 BC):  "You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city."

Reply:  "If."

Offline Loachman

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Re: RCAF aircrew shortage
« Reply #105 on: February 10, 2019, 15:42:56 »
The last Pilot Get Well Programme (1997/1998ish) did not do so well. Depending upon experience levels, some Pilots were eligible for a $75000.00 bonus for signing on for another five years, some for $50000.00, and some for none. One-third of the money was to be paid immediately, and one-third on the first and second anniversaries of re-signing.

This caused several problems and irritations.

COs had Captains making more money than them over three years.

It created first-, second-, and third-class Pilots; guess how the latter two components felt.

It put takers into higher tax brackets, so it was not as generous as it seemed (spreading it out over five years did not occur the the grown-ups).

It came with a five-year restricted release period. That meant that those in the "treat-me-nicely" pensionable/almost pensionable segment of their careers could be posted to whatever crappy job or location that needed filling with no recourse.

It was, essentially, a big, fat, wet, juicy, wriggling worm on an enormous sharp, barbed hook.

Only a few who had already decided to stay in for that long no matter what happened swallowed it. The rest did not want to jeopardize their freedom.

I was eligible for the full amount, but did not take the hook - and was damned glad that I did not.

Somebody needs to study the irritants, take them seriously, and relieve them as much as possible. More money would likely help, but it has to be a real pay increase rather than bait, but the irritants have to be corrected.

Rolling Aircrew Allowance into pay would be one possible method of achieving that, rather than double-penalizing people who want to fly by sticking them into non-flying positions while simultaneously stripping them of part of their income.

Offline Dolphin_Hunter

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Re: RCAF aircrew shortage
« Reply #106 on: February 10, 2019, 16:39:11 »
Rolling Aircrew Allowance into pay would be one possible method of achieving that, rather than double-penalizing people who want to fly by sticking them into non-flying positions while simultaneously stripping them of part of their income.

This could work.  Submarine Crewing Allowance works this way.  Submariners get two allowances, however SUBCRA ceases 3 years after a submariner is posted ashore (or out of a submarine position).


Online kev994

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Re: RCAF aircrew shortage
« Reply #107 on: February 10, 2019, 17:24:52 »
Where is this ops trade we are allegedly getting? I would settle for someone to handle some paperwork so I can actually spend some time instructing.

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: RCAF aircrew shortage
« Reply #108 on: February 11, 2019, 00:40:58 »
Where is this ops trade we are allegedly getting? I would settle for someone to handle some paperwork so I can actually spend some time instructing.

You've hit the nail on the head. It seems it's not all about 'carrots and sticks'... which means we're pretty much sc$ewed because that's all we know how to do to motivate people....


Motivating Employees Is Not About Carrots or Sticks

Anticipate roadblocks to enable progress. When you ask anything significant of team members, they will undoubtedly encounter roadblocks and challenges along the path to success. Recognize that challenges can materially impact motivation. Be proactive in identifying and addressing them. What might make an employee’s work difficult or cumbersome? What can you do to ease the burden? What roadblocks might surface? How can you knock them down? How can you remain engaged just enough to see trouble coming and pave the way for success? Employees are motivated when they can make progress without unnecessary interruption and undue burdens.

The bottom line is: Don’t rely on outdated methods and tricks to motivate employees. Talk with your team about the relevance of the work they do every day. Be proactive in identifying and solving problems for your employees. Recognize employee contributions in specific, meaningful ways on a regular basis. Connect with your own motivation, and share it freely with your team. Put away the carrots and sticks and have meaningful conversations instead. You’ll be well on your way to leading a highly motivated team.

https://hbr.org/2017/06/motivating-employees-is-not-about-carrots-or-sticks
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Offline Eye In The Sky

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Re: RCAF aircrew shortage
« Reply #109 on: February 12, 2019, 18:32:06 »
Rolling Aircrew Allowance into pay would be one possible method of achieving that, rather than double-penalizing people who want to fly by sticking them into non-flying positions while simultaneously stripping them of part of their income.

I'd prefer to see the RCAF go with a Professional Aircrew career track, like the RAF does.  Folks in the PA track (the RAF guys I know called it a 'spine'), they go onto a different pay table.   PA never will go to a command level (SCWO, WCWO, etc) but they'll always stay in a flying position of some sort, whether operational and an OTU, etc. 

Because of the separate pay table, they are able to continue to get pay raises and pension benefits that are commensurate, but recognized for their operational/flying abilities, vice their MWO/CWO skills.

Best of both worlds!  Right now my only option to keep flying it to 'opt out' and hope I don't get a ground job.  If they did this with all air/flight crew trades, I think you'd greatly improve the corporate knowledge at the flying sqn's. 
Everything happens for a reason.

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Offline Dimsum

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Re: RCAF aircrew shortage
« Reply #110 on: February 12, 2019, 18:58:31 »
I'd prefer to see the RCAF go with a Professional Aircrew career track, like the RAF does.  Folks in the PA track (the RAF guys I know called it a 'spine'), they go onto a different pay table.   PA never will go to a command level (SCWO, WCWO, etc) but they'll always stay in a flying position of some sort, whether operational and an OTU, etc. 

Because of the separate pay table, they are able to continue to get pay raises and pension benefits that are commensurate, but recognized for their operational/flying abilities, vice their MWO/CWO skills.

Best of both worlds!  Right now my only option to keep flying it to 'opt out' and hope I don't get a ground job.  If they did this with all air/flight crew trades, I think you'd greatly improve the corporate knowledge at the flying sqn's.

I like the idea in theory, but does the RAF have a limit to the PA system?  It might be extreme, but what happens if all (or enough) aircrew take the PA track that no one (or very few) get promoted and posted to those leadership positions? 
Philip II of Macedon to Spartans (346 BC):  "You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city."

Reply:  "If."

Offline SupersonicMax

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Re: RCAF aircrew shortage
« Reply #111 on: February 12, 2019, 19:30:12 »
If we integrate PA, it has to be competitive and only give to the best tactical experts. 

EITS:  you can be removed from the merit list without opting out.

Offline Eye In The Sky

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Re: RCAF aircrew shortage
« Reply #112 on: February 12, 2019, 20:52:34 »
I like the idea in theory, but does the RAF have a limit to the PA system?  It might be extreme, but what happens if all (or enough) aircrew take the PA track that no one (or very few) get promoted and posted to those leadership positions?

The way it was explained to me, there are a certain amount of positions for each trade/rank.  It is a competitive process; some are selected, some aren't and can try again later.

Now that Seedcorn is over, there are less RAF folks around but I will ask for more certainty.
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Offline Eye In The Sky

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Re: RCAF aircrew shortage
« Reply #113 on: February 12, 2019, 20:54:55 »
If we integrate PA, it has to be competitive and only give to the best tactical experts.

Agreed, as some might see it as a way to increase pay/pension because they see that as 'more certain' than promotions.

Quote
EITS:  you can be removed from the merit list without opting out.

Copy that but the effect is still the same;  less pay now and reduced pension in retirement.  Our current system offers only one way for financial betterment.
Everything happens for a reason.

Sometimes the reason is you're stupid and make bad decisions.

Offline Quirky

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Re: RCAF aircrew shortage
« Reply #114 on: February 13, 2019, 10:16:22 »
The RCAF will be a great training pipeline for airliner pilots for the foreseeable future. If I was in the big 2 right now there is no reason why I’d want to make a career of flying for the Forces (postings/aircrew retention problems etc). Unless someone is really passionate about being a fighter pilot, I don’t see a justifiable enough reason(s) to stick it out long term.

Offline Loachman

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Re: RCAF aircrew shortage
« Reply #115 on: February 13, 2019, 16:36:28 »
The last time that that happened was around 1993 or so, just after the Force Reduction Programme kicked off.

Despite Air Command pointing out the impending disaster, higher direction was to pay people to get out anyway. Reductions in recruiting and training were also part of that deal.

The Pilot Get Well Programme followed FRP four or five years later as desperation blossomed.

Somewhere in between, a lot of airline guys lost their jobs when the industry took a downturn. A lot of Res F Pilots in 411 Squadron in Downsview were affected - Air Canada laid off everybody with less than thirteen years' seniority.