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  • Ex-military pilots in civil aviation

    This is a trend that seems to be overlooked.

    Originally posted by Switzerland's SUST
    - In particular, the air operator’s flight crews who were trained as Air Force pilots seemed to be accustomed to systematically failing to comply with generally recognised aviation rules and to taking high risks...
    But it comes into play in one accident after another. I think the problem is mostly contained to cultures where military pilots are given a certain deference, like in central and southern Asia.

    How does the industry get the cowboy out of the flyboy? Or is is just too ingrained?

  • #2
    All pilots bad [period]

    Airliners should be operated by discussion forum participants, instead.
    Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

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    • #3
      If you want to fly airliners you just need to catch the tide right. I remember when to get on with the airlines you needed 4+ years of college and 2000 hrs experience. Then some years later it was no college and 500 hrs experience. When this pandemic goes away and businesses start back up the airlines will be filling seats, however now and in the next few years to come they are going to have many retires and they'll be looking for pilots again.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by kent olsen View Post
        If you want to fly airliners you just need to catch the tide right. I remember when to get on with the airlines you needed 4+ years of college and 2000 hrs experience. Then some years later it was no college and 500 hrs experience. When this pandemic goes away and businesses start back up the airlines will be filling seats, however now and in the next few years to come they are going to have many retires and they'll be looking for pilots again.
        I realize that there has been a pilot shortage for some time around the world. I have more or less agreed with Gabriel that the CTPL should involve some significant schooling in the area of aerodynamics and physics, but I know that's not going to provide enough pilots. I have no problem with culling experienced pilots from the military if they can embrace a strong safety culture, but there seems to be something needed in the way of transitional training, not just in type but also in philosophy and discipline. It seems to me that there are still ex-military pilots who don't see the difference between a stable approach and a strafing mission. It is the lack of risk-aversion and the presence of bravado, two qualities very much needed in combat pilots but very deadly in commercial aviation. So a sort of mental reprogramming is needed. Caution must rule over confidence. The other issue is right-seat experience on type. In certain cultures, we keep seeing low on-type hour ex-military pilots going over to the left seat very quickly, or even starting there. I remember a very unsettling account of this in South Korea after the SFO 777 crash.

        But I don't see any evidence that this issue is being addressed despite It being certainly pointed out in numerous accident reports.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Evan View Post

          I have no problem with culling experienced pilots from the military...
          That's a relief.

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          • #6
            We know that Tom Cruise is going to buzz the tower every time, but I’d think twice before suggesting that the military is lax in their attention to detail and procedures.

            Ice Man is also a pretend figure, but probably better exemplifies what you need to go playing with a multi-million dollar version of a Pitts. (See footnote)

            Footnote: At least within Hollywood’s ability to be accurate.

            Does a carrier landing not_call for one hell of a stabilized approach?
            Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by 3WE View Post
              [I]Does a carrier landing not_call for one hell of a stabilized approach?
              I've been through a few carrier landings at MDW in the 90's. They didn't feel all that stable.

              But, perhvps it helps to know that my concern comes from the findings of official reports, not Hollywood.

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              • #8
                Absolute statements are almost always false. It's not ok to put all ex-military pilots in the same bag.
                First of all, we would need to know the proportion of of pilots that are ex-military, the proportion of incidents and accidents caused by them, and see if the two proportions are statistically significant. There is no shortage of incidents causes by non-ex-military pilots, including accidents caused by overconfidence and disregard to safety policies.
                Also, we would need to see if there are confounding factors like, do these accidents happen in specific airlines, countries and cultures? You know, the number of drowning accidents is closely correlated with the sale of ice-cream. Is that because of ice-cream?

                --- Judge what is said by the merits of what is said, not by the credentials of who said it. ---
                --- Defend what you say with arguments, not by imposing your credentials ---

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Evan View Post

                  I've been through a few carrier landings at MDW in the 90's. They didn't feel all that stable.

                  But, perhvps it helps to know that my concern comes from the findings of official reports, not Hollywood.
                  Indeed. It’s terrible that the HR departments hire military pilots because they see Iceman as reality, when instead they could hire folks who flew checks and gave 172 lessons.

                  And yeah, why be stabilized when you are landing at Midway...I’m sure the ex fighter jocks say phugoid and just wing it.
                  Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Evan View Post

                    But, perhvps it helps to know that my concern comes from the findings of official reports, not Hollywood.
                    Is that so? Could you please list all of the reports which brought you to that concern? For the record, lest you accuse me of bias, I'm NOT ex-military.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Gabriel View Post
                      ...It's not ok to put all ex-military pilots in the same bag...
                      Well...some people tend to put ALL pilots in the same bag, so dumping on ex-military ones is just an extension...

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Gabriel View Post
                        Absolute statements are almost always false. It's not ok to put all ex-military pilots in the same bag.
                        Agreed. That is why I didn't do that. However, there is a bag in which we can place ex-military pilots who retain a risk-prone and confidence-weighted incongruity with proper airline safety culture. That is the bag that concerns me. And, yes, it is right next to the bag of non-military pilots with safety culture issues, but those pilots are not the topic of discussion. As I said previously, military pilots have been groomed on missions that involve a different, more risky reality. They can develop a risk-prone, task-completion mentality that sometimes overrides civil aviation safety cultures. There is also the issue of checklist and CRM discipline which, by some accounts, is not adhered to as strictly in military aviation. So, the question I'm putting out is: what, if anything, is the industry doing to contend with these things? The problem, as I said, is more pronounced in certain cultures. I don't think North America or Western Europe are as affected as other places in the world.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ATLcrew View Post
                          Could you please list all of the reports which brought you to that concern?
                          It this were my only job, sure, I would do that. You know, research is work. Why are you always asking me to do it for you. Look into it ATL. I'm not making it up.

                          One easy place to start is the first post of this thread. I didn't write that finding. There are plenty of other incidents, but it seems that the phenomena is only recently being identified.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Evan View Post

                            It this were my only job, sure, I would do that. You know, research is work. Why are you always asking me to do it for you. Look into it ATL.
                            I see. So, it's not "your job" to back your own words up. Do I have that about right? Have you heard of accountability? Look it up, Evan.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Evan View Post

                              As I said previously, military pilots have been groomed on missions that involve a different, more risky reality.
                              Based on what "research", Evan? Rhetorical question, carry on.

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