Author Topic: what pilots do when they are not flying?  (Read 46058 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline weiss

  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • 130
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 51
what pilots do when they are not flying?
« on: October 12, 2006, 23:27:12 »
Hello people,

I was always wondering what do pilots do when they are all done flying for a day.  I mean, is there any non-flying duties they are assigned to?  Briefing, de-briefing, pre flight checks - this is all understandable - anything else?  Like aircraft maintenance co-ordination or parts inventory maybe?  Another thing - I have heard a few times from F-18 pilots theres a lot of paperwork.  Is it really a lot? What kind of paperwork? 

I am still waiting for my security clearance, 18 months almost.  I wouldn't ask those silly questions but there is a question in interview preparation guide about pilots duties and I realise I have no answer.

Thanks beforehand for that incoming avalanche of related and thoughtful replies.

Weiss

Offline Loachman

  • Former Army Pilot in Drag
  • Directing Staff
  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *
  • 211,017
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 7,266
Re: what pilots do when they are not flying?
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2006, 00:10:32 »
Other than work on their investment portfolios or skive of to the Mess to begin another night of debauchery as soon as the boss isn't looking??

Everybody on Squadron has at least one secondary duty, and these can vary from interesting and essential to tedious and nitnoid.

Air Cadet Liaison, Unit Emplaning Officer (organizing long-range deployments), Fire Warden, Flight Safety Officer, NBCW Officer, Sports Officer, Unit Information Officer are a few that come to mind. All of those come with paperwork.

Anything to do with aircraft maintenance is done by the maintenance organization, which will vary from one flying community to another.

Offline Calculator Jockey

  • New Member
  • **
  • 100
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 27
Re: what pilots do when they are not flying?
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2006, 00:31:14 »
After working in a Squadron, I can tell you the pilots are extremely busy (they are not just flying the jets ~  perhaps one to two missions a day with perhaps only a couple of hours up in the air) Yes lots of work on the pre flight and post flight briefings. Some of them are at the Hangar before even the ground crew show up and leave way after everyone else has gone home (even noted in at work on the weekends too). They have positions like Ops O, SWAT O, Scheduling, and in a training Squadron they are instructors at the same time trying to do all their other duties plus keeping their flying hours up as well and maintain their own quals. They are constantly on TD away from their families, just like the army going away on exercise; same concept.

As for Fire Warden that was usually delegated to a NCO, Flight Safety Officer was an actual position as Ops O, etc., no such thing as Sports O (that is the Officer's Mess Committee and not part of the Sqn duties), Unit Information Officer is usually given to the Log O. But yes Air Cadet Liaison perhaps as noted a few of the pilots being sent out on various trips to the Cadet Units. As far as deployments are concerned, every exercise had an OPI and was given to one of the Captains to run with and usually was rotated through the pilots so that they would all have the experience of doing this.

I had the same questions too when I first got there, but after seeing what these men and women go through in a course of a day, a week, a month, I have a total new respect for what they do. 

Hopefully there are some fighter pilots (or perhaps some of the OJTs that have done time in a Fighter Sqn) in here that can chime in and really add to this thread. And I am sure this holds true with the Herc pilots, Tac Hel, etc. as well not just the Fighter community.

Just 0.02 cents from a clerk's point of view.

CJ

Offline Loachman

  • Former Army Pilot in Drag
  • Directing Staff
  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *
  • 211,017
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 7,266
Re: what pilots do when they are not flying?
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2006, 13:14:14 »
I was speaking for Tac Hel.

The situation may vary between squadrons within our community, as well.

I'd agree that mission planning, briefing, and flying account for the bulk of the time, and NCOs have secondary duties too, but a lot of that has to do with overall personnel shortages.

And, yes, there's a lot of time away - everything from tents to hotels.

Offline flames9

  • New Member
  • **
  • 360
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 49
Re: what pilots do when they are not flying?
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2006, 15:50:39 »
As a former AESop, been around the bus drivers.  Yep they put in long hours, especially the young pilots, always somethign to do with OJT (on the job training), secondary duties etc.  Someone has to order the extra pillows for Acoustics

Offline Freight

  • Member
  • ****
  • 620
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 225
Life is not a dress rehearsal. Decide, then do.

Offline GO!!!

  • Fallen Comrade
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *
  • 0
  • Posts: 1,851
  • Often have I regretted my speech, never my silence
Re: what pilots do when they are not flying?
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2006, 16:20:41 »
Wow, the guys that made that video sure are overworked with their secondary duties  ::).
No leader was ever hated for being too hard, but a great many were for attempting to appear that way.

Offline Trunk Monkey

  • Member
  • ****
  • 1,785
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 121
Re: what pilots do when they are not flying?
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2006, 00:08:00 »
Hmmmm....they are complaining they are not flying :P

Offline career_radio-checker

  • Hello everyone, my name is CRC and I am an army.ca - aholic.
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • 220
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 453
Re: what pilots do when they are not flying?
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2006, 00:27:43 »
Hmmmm....they are complaining they are not flying :P

Well since the door is open to making fun of fly-boys I thought I'd bring back to life the best aviation joke I read from this forum.

>How can you tell a pilot is done talking about himself?
>
>
>He starts talking about his jet.  ;D
How could anyone not fall in love with Canada's baby seals?... They make really good gloves.

Offline GO!!!

  • Fallen Comrade
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *
  • 0
  • Posts: 1,851
  • Often have I regretted my speech, never my silence
Re: what pilots do when they are not flying?
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2006, 19:40:03 »
Well since the door is open to making fun of fly-boys I thought I'd bring back to life the best aviation joke I read from this forum.

>How can you tell a pilot is done talking about himself?
>
>
>He starts talking about his jet.  ;D

I heard one like that but the second line was;

"his vital signs are absent"
No leader was ever hated for being too hard, but a great many were for attempting to appear that way.

Online Good2Golf

  • Directing Staff
  • Army.ca Legend
  • *
  • 202,420
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 10,750
  • Dammit! I lost my sand-wedge on that last jump!
Re: what pilots do when they are not flying?
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2006, 19:52:17 »
Well since the door is open to making fun of fly-boys I thought I'd bring back to life the best aviation joke I read from this forum.

>How can you tell a pilot is done talking about himself?
>
>
>He starts talking about his jet.  ;D

Q: What's the difference between a fighter piilot and his jet?

A: The jet stops whining after it gets back to the hangar.    ;D

Offline 23007

  • Member
  • ****
  • 20
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 127
  • Breakfast of Champions
Re: what pilots do when they are not flying?
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2006, 23:09:33 »
-How do you know if there's a fighter pilot at a party?

-He'll tell you!
Flying Whirley Birds

aesop081

  • Guest
Re: what pilots do when they are not flying?
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2006, 12:10:28 »
Q: whats the difference between a pilot and a pig ?

A: You dont see the pig walking around drunk at 3am after the bar looking for a pilot.

Offline RiggerFE

  • New Member
  • **
  • -30
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 30
  • If it isn't broken, don't fix it!
Re: what pilots do when they are not flying?
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2006, 20:25:02 »
Quote
Now, the problem arises when we get to the air force. Were I to say the same thing to them....
they would get me a three year lease with an option to buy... enough said.

Or just lock it up and go home

Offline uncle-midget-Oddball

    Back to work in one week... Finally.

  • I dance on street corners for money.
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • 7,065
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 699
  • Why dont you knock it off with them negative waves
Re: what pilots do when they are not flying?
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2006, 20:48:25 »
What does a pilot do when he's not flying???

Well, he gets in his car and starts making propellor sounds swerving through traffic on the highway making machinegun sounds to the car ("bogey") in front of him on the way home. Once home he sits on the living room floor with a beer and his 2 year-old son's toy biplane doing the same thing as in the car.
What are you doing?

I'm drinking wine and eating cheese, and catching some rays, you know.

Offline GO!!!

  • Fallen Comrade
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *
  • 0
  • Posts: 1,851
  • Often have I regretted my speech, never my silence
Re: what pilots do when they are not flying?
« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2006, 22:45:51 »
And let's not forget topless volleyball, that's the official sport of pilots right.

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.

I want to run the rest of the CF like we do the Air Force - it would sound a little like this;

OC - GO!!! I need a recce ptl to this GR to confirm a suspected taliban OP.

GO!!!- well sir, I'd love to, but that would entail me staying up more than 8 hours consecutively - which would necessitate 3 days off for me and my men immediately afterwards to return our circadian rhythyms to normal. Also, I noticed that there are no hotels on the objective, or any plan for rental SUVs - so I believe I would be remiss in my duties, because we would not be properly rested for the return trip. It would be unsafe for me to go any longer than 8 hours without sleep in a proper hotel. Additionally, I cannot work in any type of inclement weather, or at night, so the met rep is far more important than the mission sir!




No leader was ever hated for being too hard, but a great many were for attempting to appear that way.

aesop081

  • Guest
Re: what pilots do when they are not flying?
« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2006, 23:03:28 »
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.

I want to run the rest of the CF like we do the Air Force - it would sound a little like this;

OC - GO!!! I need a recce ptl to this GR to confirm a suspected taliban OP.

GO!!!- well sir, I'd love to, but that would entail me staying up more than 8 hours consecutively - which would necessitate 3 days off for me and my men immediately afterwards to return our circadian rhythyms to normal. Also, I noticed that there are no hotels on the objective, or any plan for rental SUVs - so I believe I would be remiss in my duties, because we would not be properly rested for the return trip. It would be unsafe for me to go any longer than 8 hours without sleep in a proper hotel. Additionally, I cannot work in any type of inclement weather, or at night, so the met rep is far more important than the mission sir!






GO!!!

I realize that your experience with the AF has limited itself to only certain organizations...

So i will issue you this challenge.  PM me for unit details and i will personaly arrange a flight for you and you can show me where we dont fly for the reasons you mentioned above.  If we cancell for any of those reasons i will let you decide if it was a valid decison based on whatever criteria you think applies.  I will take you to the mission breif so you can see what the objective of the mission is and you can feel free to critique whatever decision our crew takes.

Fair enough ?

Offline mr peabody

  • Member
  • ****
  • 4,430
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 160
Re: what pilots do when they are not flying?
« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2006, 23:37:55 »
 I don't know which flying unit you've spent your time with GO, but if you think the whole air force runs that way then you have a lot of learning to do.  The flight crews here spend long days flying in some pretty shitty weather; 10 hour flights performing work that leaves little to no room for error.  I've had the pleasure of spending a bit of time in the pilot's seat, it's not easy.
" Those who live by the sword, get shot by those who don't. "

Offline 3rd Horseman

  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • 370
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 661
Re: what pilots do when they are not flying?
« Reply #18 on: November 21, 2006, 23:47:08 »
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.

I must admit that CDN Aviator has a point, but I have also found that what GO has said has occurred throughtout my time. I have also seen the full up warrior pilot risk it all. I think they just have a great gig going and don't give it up too easily until the chips are down and then they show their stuff.
Sanctuary is as hard to find and as difficult to walk on as a razors edge

Offline BulletMagnet

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 10,113
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 2,010
  • I'm not just disobedient, I'm careful
Re: what pilots do when they are not flying?
« Reply #19 on: November 21, 2006, 23:48:02 »
He is likely talking more along the lines of certain Tac Hel groups, I have seen some dodgy call's myself from some of them...
"Often have I regretted my speech, never my silence" Cpl Jordan Anderson 1981-2007 RIP

When the going gets tough I take a nap...It's easier that way

aesop081

  • Guest
Re: what pilots do when they are not flying?
« Reply #20 on: November 22, 2006, 01:16:44 »
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.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2006, 01:20:01 by cdnaviator »

Offline Loachman

  • Former Army Pilot in Drag
  • Directing Staff
  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *
  • 211,017
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 7,266
Re: what pilots do when they are not flying?
« Reply #21 on: November 22, 2006, 01:28:15 »
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.

Offline Ditch

  • Established 1998
  • Mentor
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *
  • 27,572
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 2,393
  • I routinely step in it, but like conflict...
Re: what pilots do when they are not flying?
« Reply #22 on: November 22, 2006, 02:21:25 »
+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-******.
Per Ardua Ad Astra

Offline BulletMagnet

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 10,113
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 2,010
  • I'm not just disobedient, I'm careful
Re: what pilots do when they are not flying?
« Reply #23 on: November 22, 2006, 09:11:39 »
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.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2006, 09:30:46 by HitorMiss »
"Often have I regretted my speech, never my silence" Cpl Jordan Anderson 1981-2007 RIP

When the going gets tough I take a nap...It's easier that way

Offline Loachman

  • Former Army Pilot in Drag
  • Directing Staff
  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *
  • 211,017
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 7,266
Re: what pilots do when they are not flying?
« Reply #24 on: November 22, 2006, 11:44:37 »
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.

Quote
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.