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I'd have to agree with frenchy on this one. Not only would using a jet box be easier on a student but it would also be a lot more cost effective for the initial training (IE. learning to hover). Now I havn't got the slightest on how you boy's do things....But I cannot see how cutting out ones solo time can be benificial. Thats the time when you develop your skills without having to worry about pleasing your instructures. Plus learning to think independently & build your PDM skills at the same time.

There's no one there to save your *** if you screw up.

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Hey guys,


Why is the CF going to more complex A/C for training? They want a retractable gear A/C for PFT, and multi engine helos for AFT. What happened to the common sense approach of teaching the basics? I cannot see the advantage of cramming NVG and all that crap into a basic 100 hr course. What's the point of learning the autopilot when you can't hover yet? I can compare it with my 1 hr of longline training when I did my CPL. Very interesting, but completely useless to a guy with 3 hours total slinging time...


As for helicopter solo time, I agree w/ AOG. It's a completely new A/C to most CF pilots coming through the sausage factory. They have to develop their hands and feet, along with their confidence.


Why not actually take a step back and use piston machines for the ab initio portion? If you want to save money you could farm it out to a civvie company? It's not much different learning to sling stuff with a 300 as it is with a 206 or bigger machine...The crew stuff could then be taught in the later phase.

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I agree with using a simpler single engine beast for initial helo training. The point however is that pilots get to solo during the Harvard II phase of training. Currently pilots going multi-engine fixed wing never solo again. Fixed wing guys get their wings on the King Air and then we throw them into a C130, so why not take the kid out of the Harvard II, into the Griffon and then the Sea King? The thought process for helo guys is that we do not operate any single pilot helos anymore so why train to that level, we are always in a crew of two pilots.


As I said before most of us common slugs prefer the idea of starting students on the Jet Ranger and going into the more complex machine after being able to solo and fly a decent hover.


But as to why teach all that more advanced stuff so early, it's not really that early if you understand how we train anyhow. Pilots now just get their wings and go to the Griffon OTU, Operational Training Unit, and have to learn basic NVG, hoisting and slinging. It would save us some time at the individual OTU for each aircraft if the student already had those basic skills.


I am learning that our progression is very different than a commercial pilot's. Civilian pilots graduate with a licence and endorsement on the 206. Their career progression is then usually many thousands of hours in the bush flying light singles before moving up to a Bell 204/205 and sometime after 12 to 18 years of flying they get to an S76 or S61 or similar machine.


In comparrison the military will take a brand new pilot from Wing graduation, put them into an S61 for around 500 hours and then make them the aircraft captain with full IFR tickets and send him off to the Persian Gulf flying off the back of a ship. It is very common on our squadrons to have pilots with less than a 1,000 hours as captains on the Griffon or Sea King. A very different progression as you can see. The exception is the Cormorant because that community is not accepting pipeline pilots for the time being, until their own guys all convert successfully onto the Cormorant and gain more experience.


So you see military pilots will never again fly solo after receiving their wings except for the few flying Griffons in Cold Lake or Bagotville and the units can check them out on that. So I believe that is the reasoning mostly. Another reason is financial, if they can save money by cutting out solo hours and going right into the Griffon it is very feasible that we will at least try to do it rather than get new equipment.

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I should have joined the military and learned how to parallel park an 18 wheeler from the get go.

A bit acerbic today? :wacko: That is exactly what happens to a young fellow who joins the Military to be a Heavy Equipment Driver. He also carries a DND-404 and does not need a Civ drivers licence of any kind. Much in the same way that we don't have any form of licence from TC. The Mil equivalent is the Instrument Rating Test.


I remember one afternoon back when I rode side-saddle in the Sea Beast. We flew one to CYQM so the A/C could write his INRAT. Unfortunately he failed. The TC inspector wanted to know how were were going to get back to CYAW after the pilot failed the exam. "I'll be filing IFR" was his reply. "Not on my wacth" or words to that effect was the reply from the TC inspector. He even tried to intervene with ATC; however, Mil Standards are not in his bailiwick and the IRT overrides any TC exam when operating a mil aircraft. The CARS amplify thusly.








102.01 These Regulations do not apply in respect of


(a) military aircraft of Her Majesty in right of Canada when they are being manoeuvred under the authority of the Minister of National Defence; :D

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Hey VR,


I'm not trying to argue directly with you, just trying to wrap my brain around the CF's logic, so if something sounds inflammatory it's not pointed at you!


So here goes...I hear what you're saying about never going solo once operational, but it seems to me like, as an analogy, there's one guy doing the maze from the beginning and one guy doing it backwards from the end. They're both assuming that they're gonna meet but it might take a while, with quite a few wrong turns...


I realize that most of these changes are $$$driven and are out of the hands of the people who must actually implement these savings, but where will the CF draw the line? The multi guys are continuing on a fixed wing platform, with the main difference being more engines (and a focus on IFR). The helo guys are learning a completely new type of flying. As you know the bulk of it is close to the ground/water where an increased comfort and flying skill is needed to give one a fighting chance should the shite hit the fan. An extension to the AFT course could include NVG and slinging to reduce pressure on the OTU but cutting basic hours seems dangerous to me. I'd rather see the Harvard cut right out of the syllabus and more hours added to the helo course, but that's another can to open.

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VortexRing, when I was with the government I was involved with the original training scheme in Portage from day one. The unit I was attached to issued the contract on behalf of DND, I was a technical adviser.


Prior to leaving around 2000 the system you are talking about was being tossed around. At that time they were looking for a civilian operator to supply twin engine helicopters for training ( twin means one engine and another one, for the newf's).


My reccomendation at the time was the following, again with the idea of saving bucks was the following.


Excluding, rescue, all army pilots be trained in Penticton or someplace similar in the twin engine aircraft. More expensive initially but a saving in mountain training eventually. The biggest advantage of this is that the student really appreciates all the nuances of the machine at altitude and different wind configurations.


Maratime pilots will always be operating at sea level, Army pilots are sent everywhere including hight terrain without prior notice, which at times is asking a pilot with a minimum experience, which relates to exposure to a risk not only the aircraft, but everybody on board. Remember the same as on civvy street the Captain is always responsible, so give him the training to work with.


It would be nice if all helicopter flying was carried out at sea level.


I agree with the concept, but it should be carried out as above.


Lufthansa I believe have there own traing school and send pilots straight from the school to the airline.


My thoughts only and can be used.


Cheers, Don

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You guys are exactly right on many counts and I don't take the comments as sarcastic or offensive. This type of exchange is exactly why military pilots should join the much discussed professional association in other parts of this site.


Fully Articulated will agree I am sure when I say that decreasing experience is a major concern for us. As for where to train pilots, our helicopter pilots must have a common base because whether they fly a Sea King or a Griffon, they could easily operate over water or in high mountains. Even scarier to think about, I remember guys getting posted to Labs in Comox and going on a SAR in the mountains and neither guy had a formal mountain flying course, just a unit check out. The mountain flying course is a much cherished plum that is often used as a carrot to get guys to progress in other areas of their careers when it should be mandatory for all helo pilots in the CF, that's another matter......


There is much the military can learn still but as noted before a lot is $$$ driven, or rather not driven due to lack of $$$.


We (line pilots) absolutely agree that helo drivers should learn on a Jet Ranger like machine before moving up. As for cutting out the Harvard II, that will never happen because that phase is where we teach instrument flying and it serves as a selection process for us to decide if students will go on to fighters, helos or multi. Remember it is still a 50/50 chance for pilots as to where they will go. Just because you join after getting your multi IFR as Seneca college and after having flown a couple thousand hours with some charter outfit on Navahos or a similar type, it does not mean you will go multi-engine, you could very easily find yourself in a Sea King.


That issue alone is one of our big problems, guys get sent to a community they want nothing to do with because that is where we need pilots at the time. Then the grown ups are surprised when these kids split as soon as their 9 year commitment is up :wacko:


You think you guys are confused, try it from our end when you are flying with a young pilot who hates the machine, hates the job, hates where he lives, hates everything about his professional life and is counting down to his release and getting back into a plank aircraft.


There is no easy answer, well there is to you and I but not to the grown ups and the bean counters. We have for years asked for a way to attract, recruit and train pilots directly into a community and keep them there. Taking pilots directly into seperate streams would be significantly more infrastructure and overhead, that means more money, that means it'll never happen.


All of this is why I am such a strong believer in HELICOP, a program I strongly supported and promoted while I was a Reservist out west. We had pilots walk in with a helicopter licence wanting to fly helicopters, not the CF18 or the C130. We trained them ourselves at the squadron, they got their wings with us, we then trained them on the Griffon and several have deployed to Bosnia and gone on to great jobs plus continue their association with the Reserves. We got highly motivated pilots, they got a 412 endorsement and instrument rating, I feel it is a win/win. Why this cannot be used similarly for multi-engine fixed wing I'll never understand. Why not take some King Air charter guy and train him or her as a Reserve C130 driver. The CF needs more programs like that with understanding and supportive units which allow the pilots the flexibility to serve as a Reservist and to fly commercially.


I think that is the way ahead for us but hey I'm a heratic, always trying to use common sense, geeezzz :blink:


Thanks for all your inputs guys. I really hope the contract in Portage gets renewed and that the Jet Ranger is still part of the equation but don't be surprised to see 412s start doing autos to touchdown near Portage with students with 10 hours of helo time and an instructor.


I give that foolish idea less than a year before they ball up an airplane.


Oh and Winnie, you give me enough heads up, no promises but if there is any way I could work out permission to take you or anyone else for a spin I'll do it. We are not allowed to let folks take the pole in the hover but in forward flight no problem, you can jump up front and try the beast out. I'll get you a flip with Fully Articulated, he knows the beast 1000 times better than most drivers out here ;)

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