Author Topic: what pilots do when they are not flying?  (Read 46657 times)

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Offline GO!!!

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Re: what pilots do when they are not flying?
« Reply #25 on: November 22, 2006, 17:50:30 »
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.  ::)

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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.
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Offline BulletMagnet

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Re: what pilots do when they are not flying?
« Reply #26 on: November 22, 2006, 18:18:21 »
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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Offline SupersonicMax

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Re: what pilots do when they are not flying?
« Reply #27 on: November 22, 2006, 18:34:41 »
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

Offline BulletMagnet

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Re: what pilots do when they are not flying?
« Reply #28 on: November 22, 2006, 18:43:18 »
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.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2006, 19:04:02 by HitorMiss »
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Offline Michael O'Leary

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Re: what pilots do when they are not flying?
« Reply #29 on: November 22, 2006, 18:48:40 »
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/index.php/topic,51970.0.html

Offline C1Dirty

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Re: what pilots do when they are not flying?
« Reply #30 on: November 22, 2006, 21:00:45 »
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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.

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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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Re: what pilots do when they are not flying?
« Reply #31 on: November 22, 2006, 21:42:01 »
So..........

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

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Re: what pilots do when they are not flying?
« Reply #32 on: November 22, 2006, 22:13:46 »
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.
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Re: what pilots do when they are not flying?
« Reply #33 on: November 22, 2006, 22:40:18 »
PM Inbound.

right back at you

cheers

Offline SupersonicMax

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Re: what pilots do when they are not flying?
« Reply #34 on: November 22, 2006, 22:42:58 »
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

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Re: what pilots do when they are not flying?
« Reply #35 on: November 22, 2006, 23:27:09 »
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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Offline Ditch

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Re: what pilots do when they are not flying?
« Reply #36 on: November 23, 2006, 11:16:40 »
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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Offline fbr2o75

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Re: what pilots do when they are not flying?
« Reply #37 on: November 23, 2006, 11:37:12 »
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??

Offline SupersonicMax

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Re: what pilots do when they are not flying?
« Reply #38 on: November 23, 2006, 13:52:58 »
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.

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

+1

Max

Offline peaches

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Re: what pilots do when they are not flying?
« Reply #39 on: November 23, 2006, 14:11:10 »
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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Offline Strike

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Re: what pilots do when they are not flying?
« Reply #40 on: November 23, 2006, 19:44:14 »
Let me get back to that ground fog incident.

You see it in the early morning or early evening, and sometimes it will role in in the middle of the night when the temperature on the ground drops just enough to match the dew point.  You'll usually see it when driving past a swamp or marshy area.

Although you can see the helicopter and they can see the LZ, they can't see the ground, which means they can't land.  Imagine a 1.5-2 foot stump/post/peg/whatever, sticking out of the ground exactly where the aircraft tends to land, but they can't see it.  An easy way to kill a good day -- and now you have to take care of at least 3 less than impressed aircrew who can't go anywhere until the MRP shows up/

HOM, I'm sure you've seen the same type of weather when running the road to the heliport in the early morn.

GO!!!, as for you, I have NEVER heard you say ANYTHING positive about the AF.  Sure, you have issues with the tac hel Sqn nearby, but they are dealing with far bigger issues than YOU and your guys, so give it a break already.  They have a priority right now and you are probably not on the top of their list of people to please.

I could sit there and yammer on about bad grids, LZs that were suposedly fit but were sadly lacking by a good 20 feet, and FAC that couldn't control worth beans (maybe why the 18 had to do 5 runs?).  However I won't, because it would be illogical to paint the whole Army with a negative view, because that would mean that EVERYONE sucks, which is stupid.  (Well, everyone except HoM that is. ;D)

I hope I never have to work with you because if I had to put up with that attitude at all there would be a quick little stop to let you out and find your own way home.  Harsh, I know, but I'm sick of the negativity.
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Offline GO!!!

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Re: what pilots do when they are not flying?
« Reply #41 on: November 23, 2006, 20:30:15 »
Strike,

I can see where you are coming from with the "too much negativity" comment, but in all seriousness, easily 4/5 of my experiences with the Canadian Air Force can be easily categorised as negative - from the airbus, to hercs and griffons, parachuting, rapelling, helocasting, airmobile, extractions, insertions - it always seems that we are the very last priority, and no matter how well we prepare and how nice we are, there is almost always seems to be someone in a wedge saying that that day's event will not be happening - then hopping in his rental and driving away.

I'm not saying that there are'nt bigger issues, or ones transparent to me that are at play - but when 90% of the a/c I am supposed to be transported in are "notional" LSVW-146s, piloted by tpt platoon, and probably half of our jumps are stop dropped for a whole host of reasons - what am I to think?

It might sound too negative, but it's the truth from my vantage point.
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Offline Strike

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Re: what pilots do when they are not flying?
« Reply #42 on: November 23, 2006, 21:19:46 »
Quote
then hopping in his rental and driving away.

Or in my case, stomping off to my tent.  Other than transiting aircraft I've only had one Ex where I was lucky enough to stay in a hotel.   ;D

I guess I was a little rough too.  I'm a little cranky after being grounded for awhile and on meds that don't seem to do anything...which brings an answer to what we do when we are not flying.

Right now, I am catching up on quarterly and semi readings.  Sooooo much fun, let me say.  Although there is always something new to learn and the only way you can find out what ammendments have been made.

I also learned that the BGA-100 CF Flying Orders refer to UAVs as Uninhabited Aerial Vehicles (which annoys me to no end) whereas the 1 Cdn Air Div Orders refer to them as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (much prefered in my opinion). UFI, I know.

I also pick up any weekend duties that are required and can put a little more attention to my secondary duties.

Seems to be the consensus from the pilots that have posted already.
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Offline GO!!!

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Re: what pilots do when they are not flying?
« Reply #43 on: November 23, 2006, 22:15:34 »
I was thinking - it's too bad we can't do unit/job exchanges between the elements.

It would be pretty interesting to be the aircrew, and see what has to be done in terms of pre - flight checks, while they were put through the paces of a flight refresher, and then dressed, full kit, with snowshoes and whites >:D to wait for the plane. 

Given the op tempo of some units, it would probably be tough - but it would definitely lead to a greater appreciation of what the other half is doing!

Speaking of the "other half" would anyone from 408 care to comment on the goings - on at CMTC on this last rotation? Rumour has it that there were a few hitches with the VIP schedule...
« Last Edit: November 23, 2006, 22:22:33 by GO!!! »
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Offline probum non poenitet

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Re: what pilots do when they are not flying?
« Reply #44 on: November 23, 2006, 22:39:45 »
I was thinking - it's too bad we can't do unit/job exchanges between the elements.

Like, say, take a company sergeant major from an infantry battalion, and make him a Steward for a day?
"Here's your sandwich, you hairy &*$%!"

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Re: what pilots do when they are not flying?
« Reply #45 on: November 23, 2006, 22:46:47 »
Just as long as it doesn't include having them sit in the cockpit for a flight.

"Wow, that's a lot of buttons and switches.  What are these two red handles that say 'Fire' for?  Do we pull them to 'fire' up the engines?  Oh, and why do I keep getting an 'OVER TRQ' light?  What does that mean?"

 ;D
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aesop081

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Re: what pilots do when they are not flying?
« Reply #46 on: November 23, 2006, 22:52:52 »
Just as long as it doesn't include having them sit in the cockpit for a flight.

"Wow, that's a lot of buttons and switches.  What are these two red handles that say 'Fire' for?  Do we pull them to 'fire' up the engines?  Oh, and why do I keep getting an 'OVER TRQ' light?  What does that mean?"

 ;D

Must be nice to only have 2 engines to worry about !!

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Re: what pilots do when they are not flying?
« Reply #47 on: November 23, 2006, 23:20:33 »
Just as long as it doesn't include having them sit in the cockpit for a flight.

"Wow, that's a lot of buttons and switches.  What are these two red handles that say 'Fire' for?  Do we pull them to 'fire' up the engines?  Oh, and why do I keep getting an 'OVER TRQ' light?  What does that mean?"

...or listening to pilots in flight racks

"ow! this harness hurts!, what?? pull myself up on those straps? are you nuts? what about my manicure? reserve chute? what do I need that for? pilots don't make mistakes - that's why we're pilots! this is hard - should'nt the aircrew be doing this?"

 ;D
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Re: what pilots do when they are not flying?
« Reply #48 on: November 23, 2006, 23:40:59 »
Like, say, take a company sergeant major from an infantry battalion, and make him a Steward for a day?
"Here's your sandwich, you hairy &*$%!"

"What??  You want WHAT!!??  You didn't pack for this flight didja?  DIDJA!!??  You think I make up kit lists for my own frriggin' use?? GET OUT!!!  Big friggin' deal 40 thousand feet.  OUT!!  NOW!!!!"

Sign me up...
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Offline Loachman

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Re: what pilots do when they are not flying?
« Reply #49 on: November 24, 2006, 12:30:53 »
it always seems that we are the very last priority, and no matter how well we prepare and how nice we are, there is almost always seems to be someone in a wedge saying that that day's event will not be happening
Unfortunately, that is all too true.

Tac Hel exists, as I have stated here several times, to support you guys on the ground.

Unfortunately, our ability to do that, with everything else thrown in, and undermanning of aircrew and groundcrew, seems to be less and less each day/week/month/year.

It frustrates us too  - especially me, as one of the guys trying to te-up support for ground units. I spent more than one year in the militia as a private. While I have not had the pleasure of meeting Mr Taliban face-to-face, I did enough to get far more than just a taste of your side, and that is my principle motivation in my current function.

Saying "no", or, even worse, "about those helicopters that we said you were getting...", gives me absolutely no job satisfaction at all. And the shortage of resources increases my workload as I attempt to find support elsewhere (we are fortunate here in that I have four Squadrons to draw from at times) or negotiate alternate days or times back and forth between interested parties.

I do this while remembering the good old days, when we were flying two or more trips a day and couldn't find enough real missions to support, finding a serviceable helicopter was not a challenge, and neither was finding qualified and current crewmembers (especially aircraft captains).

We do the best that we can with what we have to work with, both personnel and equipment. I cannot speak for 408 Sqn, but they were handed the TUAV job a couple of years ago and that has drawn off a significant number of techs and more experineced pilots. I'd bet that those guys would much prefer to be flying helicopters than doing the UAV thing.

I'd like to be able to pick up every single tired, hungry, cold, wet, and muddy Soldier and bring him/her back from the middle of nowhere, but we just don't have the means to do that.