Joining the RCAF at 37 years old

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WaldoPepper
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Re: Joining the RCAF at 37 years old

Post by WaldoPepper »

I do appreciate this discussion and the replies thanks guys. Unfortunately I do lack a degree, and still wish to fly for a living (I consider 250 hours a year doing something else while flying on the side). Interesting information 👍
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B208
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Re: Joining the RCAF at 37 years old

Post by B208 »

Gannet167 wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 3:18 pm
To be a pilot in the RCAF, you have to be an officer. We can debate the merits of the policy, but officers need to have at least at university undergraduate education. There are sone who don't but they're the exception and they are supposed to attain it. A RCAF pilot does not simply fly. In fact, it can be a relatively small part of the job. As a pilot and officer, you are required to fulfil a lot of management and leadership roles. A 60 hour work week isn't unusual, while flying 250 to 350 hours a year. Some fly far less.

A ton of hours of civilian flying isn't valued because it doesn't mean much. I've taught guys with 5,000 hours, lots of types, all the licences and they were dreadful, some barely pass, some fail out. There's a reason why you can't be hired off the street and given an initial course on type. Old dog, new tricks and all that. You have to go through the air force training because the flying can be so different. Many 10,000 hour guys that would be "their loss" couldn't necessarily complete the training. Their experience, while maybe relevant and valued by a civilian operator is really irrelevant to the air force and a significant amount of the flying it does.

I've never heard of a different pay grade for civilian experience. I don't believe it's a thing.
The RCAF pays varying levels of lip service to the degree requirement. There are a whole bunch of guys in right now that joined under CEOTP without degrees. They are supposed to work towards getting one, and every now and again the RCAF will make noises about kicking them out. However, the RCAF is so short on pilots that they aren’t kicking anybody out right now or in the near future.
In fact, they are working like hell to mitigate the degree requirement; hence the Seneca and U of Manitoba programs. Long story short, no potential applicant should let a lack of a degree deter them from applying.
It is true that previous flying experience has limited applicability in Moose Jaw. However, once you get out of the training system your real world flying experience will help you quite a bit.
With regard to the pay differential for a semi skilled pilot; I got it (a whopping extra incentive level as a 2Lt) and one of the OJTs I’m looking after right now also got it. I’m not sure what the exact rules are regarding who qualifies for it, but I suspect it depends on how the clerk who does your enrolment offer interprets some CBI.
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GhostRider6
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Re: Joining the RCAF at 37 years old

Post by GhostRider6 »

Gannet167 wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 3:18 pm
To be a pilot in the RCAF, you have to be an officer. We can debate the merits of the policy, but officers need to have at least at university undergraduate education. There are sone who don't but they're the exception and they are supposed to attain it. A RCAF pilot does not simply fly. In fact, it can be a relatively small part of the job. As a pilot and officer, you are required to fulfil a lot of management and leadership roles. A 60 hour work week isn't unusual, while flying 250 to 350 hours a year. Some fly far less

A ton of hours of civilian flying isn't valued because it doesn't mean much. I've taught guys with 5,000 hours, lots of types, all the licences and they were dreadful, some barely pass, some fail out. There's a reason why you can't be hired off the street and given an initial course on type. Old dog, new tricks and all that. You have to go through the air force training because the flying can be so different. Many 10,000 hour guys that would be "their loss" couldn't necessarily complete the training. Their experience, while maybe relevant and valued by a civilian operator is really irrelevant to the air force and a significant amount of the flying it does.

I've never heard of a different pay grade for civilian experience. I don't believe it's a thing.

I got the same message as above from a recruiter.

The recruiter was a Navy petty officer. When looking into CEOTP the navy PO said... “ you will have absolutely no clue how to fly our aircraft and we’ll need to start training you from scratch.” - I found this a bit odd.

What is so different about your aircraft in the CF? Do your C130’s fly entirely different from a civilian C130 aerodynamically? Sorry but I’m I’m not understanding this piece...

SOPs.. and mods can change from aircraft to aircraft but hypothetically speaking a dash 8, C130 will fly pretty similarly from one airframe to another...

I assume you are saying tactical flying is different than line flying. - which I can understand.

I find the “ old dog new tricks” comment interesting. So pilots civilian pilots don’t change companies/ SOP’s ? Aircraft types? We do.. frequently.

How were these experienced civilian pilots bad? What did the experiences civilian pilots lack next to their counterparts off the street?

It’s the military, and like any company, they’re allowed to hire who they want.

I’m curious because I was interested in this route as well..
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Outlaw58
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Re: Joining the RCAF at 37 years old

Post by Outlaw58 »

Speaking from the perspective of a former military flight instructor.

There are many reason why military flying training is done the way it is (reasons that are forgotten / not known, surprisingly, by the current generation save for few older pilots like myself).

The most compelling reason however is that military flying involves trusting low experience pilot with somewhat complex to very complex aircrafts to do flying that is often unique to the military which often requires to fly the aircraft to the limit of the pilot's competence and/or aircraft itself.

During training, pilots are asked to perform tasks that may seem trivial to most pilots like take-offs and landings, stall sequence, autorotations (for helo-drivers) and other fairly simple tasks but to be executed in a very procedural ways. Doing so provides the trainer and the standards officer with a lot of info such as skill-level of the candidate, ability to perform a task in a specific way and willingness to accept the military's way of doing business (only to name a few). Acceptable performance in these areas also provide a measure of assurance that the trainee will be successful in the latter stages of training when that training becomes very expensive and a failure would be very costly to the RCAF and thus to the tax-payers.

Another reason is that forcing pilots to do flying tasks the military way which is not necessarily the way THEY would do it, is that it provides the leadership with some measure of assurance that the pilots under their command will perform their tasks in a theater of operations where a large number of other units operate and where the success of the operation depends on each pilots/crews performing their tasks within a set cadre.

This very rigid way of training somewhat explains why training candidates with no former flying training often yields better results that with candidates having flying experience. A little bit can be beneficial but too much is more often than not a hinderance in cases where the experience acquired diverge too much from the military way of training/doing business.

It is a complex topic to explain succinctly on an online forum but I hope it shed a bit of light on some of the reasons military operate and train the way they do.

58
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DSoup
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Re: Joining the RCAF at 37 years old

Post by DSoup »

Yet we'll take a Hungarian pilot who flew under the soviets and allow them to train future fighter pilots at 417 Sqn? Who is more likely to be flexible to doing things the RCAF way?

I think the RCAF are now beggars instead of choosers. If we really want to set ourselves up for success we would allow PLARs and stream people to platforms they are compatible with. I'm not saying they should or can skip Moose Jaw, I am saying that not all of Moose Jaw is relevant if you're not going to be going to a tactical community and we can probably proficiency advance someone through some phases reducing the burden on the training system. If you know this person is not going to ever fly forms - you can probably cut that part out of the training course. Sure you won't be able to assess their hands and feet flying or managing an element, breaking off and rejoining, following lead through freq changes- but who cares?

A guy with 10 000 hours, multi engine turbine time is probably going to be successful as an Polaris or Challenger pilot, probably not as a hornet pilot. We should recognize that, put it as a limitation on the initial enrolment and let them in. (before we go there re: form flying above - Yes I realize the tanker is flying form with the hornets, but let's be honest, who is doing most of the formation flying? I think some time as an FO before upgrading to AC would solve that problem).

We used to do this with guys with Commerical Helo licenses to fly as reservists in Borden, not sure what the outcome was there, but a precedent exists for some outside the box thinking here. the RCAF is bleeding pilots, and if some fool doesn't realize that they are making more money to work less hours on the civvy side, then why shouldn't we take them?

As for "no one has ever joined the forces not knowing what they were going to do". In 2008 or 2009 we enrolled an entire class of ROTP/RMC and didn't tell them what they were going to be until after BMOQ. So....yeah, it's been done.
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flyingcanuck
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Re: Joining the RCAF at 37 years old

Post by flyingcanuck »

Wonder if someone in the forces can answer. If we have x amount of pilots, and we have a shortage, why do they still make those pilots do things like work desks and other office jobs? If they were flying more that would solve the shortage no? I don't get it.
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Outlaw58
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Re: Joining the RCAF at 37 years old

Post by Outlaw58 »

Finding pilots to fly the Polaris, Globemasters, Challengers, and hercs is not a problem. They form a small percentage of the cockpits and there are no shortages of volunteers within the ranks to fly them.

Finding Hornets, Griffons and to a certain extent Cyclone drivers, with the number of cockpit to fill and training bill is a whole other issue. In that regard, previous military experience (Canadian or otherwise) is actively sought and capitalized on when possible. Previous civilian experience however is well...as I described above.

58
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AuxBatOn
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Re: Joining the RCAF at 37 years old

Post by AuxBatOn »

flyingcanuck wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 1:56 pm
Wonder if someone in the forces can answer. If we have x amount of pilots, and we have a shortage, why do they still make those pilots do things like work desks and other office jobs? If they were flying more that would solve the shortage no? I don't get it.
In an organization where Combat (or at least operations in a military sense) is your raison-d’être, you need flyers in staff jobs to properly advise and steer the organization. You cannot let people that have never been subjected to the “system” make operational and strategic decisions on the employment of force.
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Zaibatsu
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Re: Joining the RCAF at 37 years old

Post by Zaibatsu »

Operational decisions.

Strategic decisions, like whether or not to bomb ISIS or deploy ground troops instead, are usually made by people as far removed from the military as possible.
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AuxBatOn
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Re: Joining the RCAF at 37 years old

Post by AuxBatOn »

Zaibatsu wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 4:03 pm
Operational decisions.

Strategic decisions, like whether or not to bomb ISIS or deploy ground troops instead, are usually made by people as far removed from the military as possible.
Strategic would be the Comd RCAF level and his staff. Operational would be 1 Cdn Air Div or 2 Cdn Air Div.

What you are thinking is political.
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Victory
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Re: Joining the RCAF at 37 years old

Post by Victory »

Outlaw58 wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 7:22 pm
Speaking from the perspective of a former military flight instructor.

There are many reason why military flying training is done the way it is (reasons that are forgotten / not known, surprisingly, by the current generation save for few older pilots like myself).

The most compelling reason however is that military flying involves trusting low experience pilot with somewhat complex to very complex aircrafts to do flying that is often unique to the military which often requires to fly the aircraft to the limit of the pilot's competence and/or aircraft itself.

During training, pilots are asked to perform tasks that may seem trivial to most pilots like take-offs and landings, stall sequence, autorotations (for helo-drivers) and other fairly simple tasks but to be executed in a very procedural ways. Doing so provides the trainer and the standards officer with a lot of info such as skill-level of the candidate, ability to perform a task in a specific way and willingness to accept the military's way of doing business (only to name a few). Acceptable performance in these areas also provide a measure of assurance that the trainee will be successful in the latter stages of training when that training becomes very expensive and a failure would be very costly to the RCAF and thus to the tax-payers.

Another reason is that forcing pilots to do flying tasks the military way which is not necessarily the way THEY would do it, is that it provides the leadership with some measure of assurance that the pilots under their command will perform their tasks in a theater of operations where a large number of other units operate and where the success of the operation depends on each pilots/crews performing their tasks within a set cadre.

This very rigid way of training somewhat explains why training candidates with no former flying training often yields better results that with candidates having flying experience. A little bit can be beneficial but too much is more often than not a hinderance in cases where the experience acquired diverge too much from the military way of training/doing business.

It is a complex topic to explain succinctly on an online forum but I hope it shed a bit of light on some of the reasons military operate and train the way they do.

58
It's weird to read this when we had an ex-Hornet pilot join our airline and they wouldn't follow our SOPs and ultimately had to be let go unfortunately. They treated even the most basic procedure with utter disdain and wouldn't comply since they had their own way of doing it. Someone like that could never fit in at a modern commercial operator where strict procedural compliance is not optional.
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DSoup
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Re: Joining the RCAF at 37 years old

Post by DSoup »

Outlaw58 wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 2:51 pm
Finding pilots to fly the Polaris, Globemasters, Challengers, and hercs is not a problem. They form a small percentage of the cockpits and there are no shortages of volunteers within the ranks to fly them.
We still need bodies though. If we can get someone to the Polaris in half the time it would otherwise take, that means it frees up someone else to go Tachel or Fighters.

It would cost us less and reduce our average time to train.
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AuxBatOn
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Re: Joining the RCAF at 37 years old

Post by AuxBatOn »

Victory wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 5:50 pm
Outlaw58 wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 7:22 pm
Speaking from the perspective of a former military flight instructor.

There are many reason why military flying training is done the way it is (reasons that are forgotten / not known, surprisingly, by the current generation save for few older pilots like myself).

The most compelling reason however is that military flying involves trusting low experience pilot with somewhat complex to very complex aircrafts to do flying that is often unique to the military which often requires to fly the aircraft to the limit of the pilot's competence and/or aircraft itself.

During training, pilots are asked to perform tasks that may seem trivial to most pilots like take-offs and landings, stall sequence, autorotations (for helo-drivers) and other fairly simple tasks but to be executed in a very procedural ways. Doing so provides the trainer and the standards officer with a lot of info such as skill-level of the candidate, ability to perform a task in a specific way and willingness to accept the military's way of doing business (only to name a few). Acceptable performance in these areas also provide a measure of assurance that the trainee will be successful in the latter stages of training when that training becomes very expensive and a failure would be very costly to the RCAF and thus to the tax-payers.

Another reason is that forcing pilots to do flying tasks the military way which is not necessarily the way THEY would do it, is that it provides the leadership with some measure of assurance that the pilots under their command will perform their tasks in a theater of operations where a large number of other units operate and where the success of the operation depends on each pilots/crews performing their tasks within a set cadre.

This very rigid way of training somewhat explains why training candidates with no former flying training often yields better results that with candidates having flying experience. A little bit can be beneficial but too much is more often than not a hinderance in cases where the experience acquired diverge too much from the military way of training/doing business.

It is a complex topic to explain succinctly on an online forum but I hope it shed a bit of light on some of the reasons military operate and train the way they do.

58
It's weird to read this when we had an ex-Hornet pilot join our airline and they wouldn't follow our SOPs and ultimately had to be let go unfortunately. They treated even the most basic procedure with utter disdain and wouldn't comply since they had their own way of doing it. Someone like that could never fit in at a modern commercial operator where strict procedural compliance is not optional.
I know pretty much all fighter pilots that got out in the last 10 years and I have a hard time believing it. If you want to PM me the name, it’d make it more believable...
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B208
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Re: Joining the RCAF at 37 years old

Post by B208 »

I can think of one or two Hornet guys whose personalities make them .......well suited ......to single seat aircraft. ;)
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Gannet167
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Re: Joining the RCAF at 37 years old

Post by Gannet167 »

In fairness, I've flown with a number of fellow crew members in muti crew cockpits, both in and out of the RCAF, who would also fit that description.
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frosti
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Re: Joining the RCAF at 37 years old

Post by frosti »

GhostRider6 wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 12:18 pm

I got the same message as above from a recruiter.

The recruiter was a Navy petty officer. When looking into CEOTP the navy PO said... “ you will have absolutely no clue how to fly our aircraft and we’ll need to start training you from scratch.” - I found this a bit odd.
Probably because the Navy PO was talking out of his/her ass about a trade they knew nothing about. They are in no way shape of form qualified to give advise or experiences other than their own employment history. It's a shame that a lot of possible recruits are potentially turned away because of this attitude. My recruiter was an Army Cook so everything he said about the Air Force I took with a grain of salt.
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Gonzodriver
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Re: Joining the RCAF at 37 years old

Post by Gonzodriver »

frosti wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 12:17 pm
GhostRider6 wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 12:18 pm

I got the same message as above from a recruiter.

The recruiter was a Navy petty officer. When looking into CEOTP the navy PO said... “ you will have absolutely no clue how to fly our aircraft and we’ll need to start training you from scratch.” - I found this a bit odd.
Probably because the Navy PO was talking out of his/her ass about a trade they knew nothing about. They are in no way shape of form qualified to give advise or experiences other than their own employment history. It's a shame that a lot of possible recruits are potentially turned away because of this attitude. My recruiter was an Army Cook so everything he said about the Air Force I took with a grain of salt.
"Army Cook"..."grain of salt"......I see what you did there!
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AirFrame
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Re: Joining the RCAF at 37 years old

Post by AirFrame »

Gonzodriver wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 10:02 pm
"Army Cook"..."grain of salt"......I see what you did there!
Army cook? I would have found that hard to swallow as well.
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