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Military Helicopter Training


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The contract announcement is imminent. Both bidders are offering our current Jet Rangers and a twin. One offer refurbishes some of our Griffons for the school and the other would see some A109s.

 

The problem the military will run into is finding enough pilots as instructors. As it is now we have a difficult time getting 20 pilots from our operational units to come to Portage as instructors. With the new system using the single and twins on NVG we will need 45 pilots. The units just cannot swallow this loss. The new two type system will mean that the Jet Ranger instructors no longer do any cross country trips, no navigation and only basic instrument flying in the local area. We won't even be allowed to take the machines to Winnipeg. Military pilots are not interested in coming to Portage and be completely restricted to the local airfield for four years. It will be impossible to entice pilots for this job, they will only be interested in flying the twin, whichever one is used.

 

A possible solution will be to hire civilian helicopter instructors for the ab initio part on the Jet Ranger and military pilots for the twin phase. Keep your eyes posted on the announcement of this contract for future developements.

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The new two type system will mean that the Jet Ranger instructors no longer do any cross country trips, no navigation and only basic instrument flying in the local area. We won't even be allowed to take the machines to Winnipeg. Military pilots are not interested in coming to Portage and be completely restricted to the local airfield for four years. It will be impossible to entice pilots for this job, they will only be interested in flying the twin, whichever one is used.

This may be outside the box, but why not make the instructors dual-rated - then they could do ab-initio and the advanced training...now there's some incentive to take a posting to Portage. Instead, you're looking for 45 instructors to turn out 45-50 helicopter pilots every year. :blink:

Hmmm...

 

I'm sure I'm not being innovative and that the concept of dual-rating the instructors has most likely been discussed by those at the table but I'd be interested to know what the major stumbling block is...currency, competency on type, cost, disruption of ricebowls?

 

I know I'm over-simplifying the issue Hover-Pig (Sluggo, n'est pas?), but having been in your chair once I know it really wouldn't be that big a deal. And I certainly wouldn't expect a lineup of (qualified) civilian helicopter pilots to suddenly appear at the door to handle the JetRanger instruction part of the school. We're all motivated by the same things really.

 

Anyway, I was just curious...

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Having civilan IP's would not be a new idea or one that doesn't work either. They have been used like that in the US Army for a long time, freeing up personnel. It works just fine and even some of the Advanced Training is done by civilians. There's always ex-military guys around that are more than capable of doing so. The training for Ft Rucker is all done by civilians employed by a corporation under contract to the Army. The name escapes me for the moment. but I believe their initials are "L.S.I".

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No sweat SC, the machines will all be maintained on contract and the AMEs drain the fuel every DI just for you buddy.

 

As for types, the duelling companies are Kelowna Flightcraft using B06 and 412 and Bombardier using B06 and A109.

 

Dual qualification, would work if they do not make the requirements so intense for both types. As the rules are now it would not work and the plan is to make guys either Jet Box drivers only or 412/A109 only.

 

Many things may yet change of course but there exists a good chance the B06 will go to civil instructors which I might add I have no problems with at all. The Air Force is currently very well served by current contractors in both maintenance and flying.

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Chevy II ----- you got it sir! There used to be a member of L.S.I (Butch Grafton) who used to post on the board of the fore-runner of caaviation and he was also a member of LSI.

 

One forgets sometimes that there are a lot of well qualified ex-military pilots floating around out there who would probably be attracted to such postions under the right conditions. Not all, but the vast majority of the L.S.I. IP's are ex-military, although pilots with a civilian-only background are not precluded from employment.

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Dual qualification, would work if they do not make the requirements so intense for both types. As the rules are now it would not work and the plan is to make guys either Jet Box drivers only or 412/A109 only.

Too bad because it would be a nice perk of the job. I instructed in Portage when we had a mixed fleet of CH-136s and CH-139s for one year and the extra hoops we had to go through to qualify on both types were cumbersome considering they were really both just JetRangers of similar flavour. I was just curious if there would be a change in the wind for this contract. For skullcap, I used to drain my fuel on the JetBox DI whenever I was away from base on a x-country. I'm pretty sure it was a requirement of the DI and away trips were the only time pilots did a full DI (called a "B" Check back then) since the techs always did them in garrison. Instructors/students would just do a pre-flight once the techs signed off the "B" Check.

Many things may yet change of course but there exists a good chance the B06 will go to civil instructors which I might add I have no problems with at all. The Air Force is currently very well served by current contractors in both maintenance and flying.

I'm all for civilian instructors taking over some of the instructional duties on the helo course and I may have spoken out of turn when I said you wouldn't get many qualified guys taking the job. It sounds like a nice cushy job on the surface but I think it would become quite mundane :wacko: in short order since all the good parts (nav, IF, x-countries, and basic NVG I presume) of the course will be handled by the military side of the house. I could be wrong though.

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