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jb747

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Did you have any more faith in an ocean ditching in your A-4 or were you always taught to eject if that was inevitable?
Intentionally ditching an A-4 (or any similar aircraft) would effectively be suicide. You would always eject. Bang seats can cause their own issues, but you’re infinitely more likely to get to talk about it afterwards.

What about an unpowered landing on land away from an airport - i.e. using a long road?
I wouldn’t even have tried a flameout approach to a runway. Whilst you may get away with it, about the time that the outcome starts to become evident, you fall out of the bottom of the ejection envelope.

Out of interest why does being at night make an ocean ditching so less likely to lead to a good outcome? Assuming you had a perfectly working aircraft (except for the engines), would the radio altimeter and other instruments not give you enough information to pull off a good enough flare and wings-level landing to make the contact with the water similar to day time, or do you need a lot more visual clues to get it perfect enough to have a chance? I would have thought waves were the biggest threat, regardless of time of day.
Where are you getting the electricity from, to run the radar altimeter. You need the visual queues to align yourself with the wave motion. Water is incredibly deceptive with regard to judging the height. You‘re unlikely to get that right. The chance of getting a reasonable flare is minimal (even Sully didn’t manage that, he just mushed into the water when the energy ran out). Probably the best bet would be to just fly into the water at a fixed, low rate of descent. But you can’t do that without engines.
 

straitman

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I wouldn’t even have tried a flameout approach to a runway. Whilst you may get away with it, about the time that the outcome starts to become evident, you fall out of the bottom of the ejection envelope.
A good example of this difference in performance during an engine out approach. The CT4A that jb747 and I instructed on had the low key position abeam the threshold on downwind at 1500 ft AGL. I don't know about the A4 but the Mirage low key position, if you were silly enough to try, was abeam the threshold on downwind at 10,000 ft AGL.

Where are you getting the electricity from, to run the radar altimeter. You need the visual queues to align yourself with the wave motion. Water is incredibly deceptive with regard to judging the height. You‘re unlikely to get that right. The chance of getting a reasonable flare is minimal (even Sully didn’t manage that, he just mushed into the water when the energy ran out). Probably the best bet would be to just fly into the water at a fixed, low rate of descent. But you can’t do that without engines.
Slightly different but it illustrates the point. Hovering a helicopter over water without auto hover is very difficult. In September 1968 one of the RAAF SAR pilots at Williamtown took a couple of his fighter pilot mates up one night to show them that it was next to impossible to manually hover over water at night. He proved it well and truely when they all got to go swimming.
 
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albatross710

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Slightly different but it illustrates the point. Hovering a helicopter over water without auto hover is very difficult. In September 1968 one of the RAAF SAR pilots at Williamtown took a couple of his fighter pilot mates up one night to show them that it was next to impossible to manually hover over water at night. He proved it well and truely when they all got to go swimming.
Thinking about the difficulty, In the mid-1970's wasn't there one "spider rider" in an Iroquois off the Qld coast doing over sea rescue and got hit by a wave? ended up on the beach? My memory is hazy in that one.

Question for JB747 & others what do you think are the career options for pilots given the likely reduced demand for pilots currently and some recovery over the next 4-5 years. For instance

  • School graduate thinking of a career
  • Recently graduated commercial pilot
  • Airline FO without seniority
  • Senior Airline FO
  • Wide body captains


Alby
 
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42 different people were on the course and of those 14 Air Force and 4 Navy members
that’s a huge cull rate. What’s the reason?


In a Squirrel, the control forces are relayed to the rotor blades via hydraulic servos –
do those servos have a linear response throughout the entire range or were there “sweet spots” where they were more or less responsive?
 

straitman

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Thinking about the difficulty, In the mid-1970's wasn't there one "spider rider" in an Iroquois off the Qld coast doing over sea rescue and got hit by a wave? ended up on the beach? My memory is hazy in that one.
Alby
Spida Rider was the best helicopter pilot I have ever known. Your story is close but not quite right. Rather than relay it wrongly I’ll ring him tomorrow and get the correct story.
 

jb747

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Thinking about the difficulty, In the mid-1970's wasn't there one "spider rider" in an Iroquois off the Qld coast doing over sea rescue and got hit by a wave? ended up on the beach? My memory is hazy in that one.

Question for JB747 & others what do you think are the career options for pilots given the likely reduced demand for pilots currently and some recovery over the next 4-5 years. For instance

  • School graduate thinking of a career
  • Recently graduated commercial pilot
  • Airline FO without seniority
  • Senior Airline FO
  • Wide body captains
Ah, to have an accurate crystal ball. If only I had one.....

Basically the demand is going to be much lower for an appreciable time. I'd expect those who are already qualified, will find the seats opening up again over the next 2-5 years, but the overall number required will be lower. At the older end of the scale, there will be a large jump in people who don't come back. The loss at the older end will eventually balance with the reduced requirements.

For your points though:
  • School graduate thinking of a career - Think of something else. It has always been my advice to kids to get some other qualification that will feed you, simply because the vast majority who like the idea of becoming a pilot, will not actually achieve the goal. There will be nothing for you within a decade.
  • Recently graduated commercial pilot - I hope you listened to the point above. You're in the worst position. There is no reason for any airline to train you, as there are already vast numbers with the training, and experience, who are available.
  • Airline FO without seniority - Wait it out. You'll get back in.
  • Senior Airline FO - Same, wait it out.
  • Wide body captains - This is more about age than what they fly. The older blokes will probably make their own call, on whether they want to come back or not. Many won't. Not all are 'older' though, and they'll have to wait it out too.
 

jb747

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that’s a huge cull rate. What’s the reason?
The RAAF pilots' course historically had a failure rate of around 50%. There was never one reason for people to miss out. Basically the standard was set, and you had to reach it within the allocated time. Some people who missed out had perfectly good careers in civil aviation, but that does not mean they should have been allowed to stay. It was not a 'touchy-feely' course in any way.

My course started with 40. 18 graduated. 2 were back-coursed medically.

Most missed out in the early stages. Not just flying related, but some people really were not suited to the RAAF/RAN.

do those servos have a linear response throughout the entire range or were there “sweet spots” where they were more or less responsive?
I don't know. The 'tale' you're looking at was posted by me, but I didn't write it. My helicopter knowledge is limited, but I'd expect any system that had 'sweet spots' would be totally unsuited to being in an aircraft flight control system.
 

clipped_wings

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  • School graduate thinking of a career - Think of something else........There will be nothing for you within a decade.
  • Airline FO without seniority - Wait it out.....You'll get back in.
  • Senior Airline FO - Same, wait it out.
  • Wide body captains - Not all are 'older' though, and they'll have to wait it out too.
@jb747 is the first point due to the last three and it will simply be a case of supply and demand for pilots? Or do you think airline travel beyond 10 years may be headed for a metamorphosis that no amount of current training will serve?
 

albatross710

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One for your air-to-air gunnery days, when doing live firing at towed targets what are the procedures to avoid hitting the towing aircraft.

Was just reading online that the Canberra would operate with a 1,500 ft cable to the banner. doesn't sound very far. Then I'm reading in this Mirage book about their operations

For application gunnery, a circular pattern was set up in the air to
air range approximately 40 nm west of Butterworth by the tug flying
an orbit at 10,000 feet.
After a few weeks of circular tow, the programme normally
included a week of more exotic offerings. These included butterfly
and combat banner. Butterfly required hits on both sides of the
banner in the minimum time; combat banner allowed the tug to
manoeuvre freely in the role of an enemy fighter.
 

jb747

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@jb747 is the first point due to the last three and it will simply be a case of supply and demand for pilots? Or do you think airline travel beyond 10 years may be headed for a metamorphosis that no amount of current training will serve?
If they get Covid under control, in whatever way, air travel will eventually recover. But, I think AJ's dream of point to point will end up being the way it pans out. That pretty much rules out the quads. Density will have to go down for all flights (Ryanair won't be happy), and whilst it will never be social distancing, the days of packing them in like sardines are also likely to go. Conversely, the fares will rise, and I expect quite dramatically. All of that will affect the need for pilots, and aircraft.

But for our youngster just looking to start out, right now there's a large (huge) excess of pilots over demand. They are all well qualified, and very experienced. Someone with no experience, and requiring an airline to train from scratch is unlikely to get a run in such an environment. Some airlines will take them if they pay for the seat, but at the end of the training, they fall into the outcast bucket, and they still have virtually nothing to bring to the table.

I wouldn't be surprised though, if the longer term effect is that it makes flying such an unattractive profession, that the pilot shortage that has been continually forecast, but has been avoided by outside occurrences (9/11, GFC, CV19) eventually comes to fruition.

Of course this is just me crystal balling. Ask me in ten years.
 

jb747

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One for your air-to-air gunnery days, when doing live firing at towed targets what are the procedures to avoid hitting the towing aircraft.
Don't pull lead on it helped....

Was just reading online that the Canberra would operate with a 1,500 ft cable to the banner. doesn't sound very far.
We used the same length. The A-4 could also tow a target that was used by the ships, and for that the tow was 20,000'. And when they cut loose with the 5" guns, that wasn't far enough.

I only flew against targets pulled by Learjets. We would have an RSO (one of us) in the Lear, and he approved every pass, and could chastise, or send home, anyone who wasn't doing things properly. Straight and circular tows were more or less the same. We didn't use a manoeuvring target. Neither our gunsight, nor our role in life, really called for it.

The basic pattern had you abeam the Lear about a mile offset, and 2,000' higher. That position was called the 'perch'. When cleared in you'd turn level until the nose was just past the Lear, then overbank to about 135º to get the nose down, and pointed about half way down the tow. Then reverse the roll towards the Lear, and watch the target coming up the gunsight. You'd be pulling towards the tow aircraft, at a couple of g. As the target came up the sight, you'd need more and more 'g' to hold a reasonable lead picture. It was always a good idea not to run into the target. You were pointed down, and not allowed within about 30º of the Lear, so it was safe enough. As your 'g' hit about 5, you'd cease fire, release the 'g', to go past the target, then pull about 6-7g to head parallel to the Lear. Pass next to it, very close aboard (mostly to upset the civvy tow pilots). As you flew past, you needed to pick up the next shooter, who'd be cleared in as you pulled across the Lear back towards the 'perch'. Again a level, high g turn, and as you went past the shooter, you'd pull hard up, and turn, and end up back in the perch. It was actually done with up to four shooters in the pattern.

From the Lear, you could hear the guns going off, and you could see tracer passing by. The RSO watched the inbound shooters, and would could call anyone off if he started to see too much lead. Every approach was watched.

It was hard work. The flights weren't normally long, 'cos you'd run out of ammo (200 rounds), and we didn't do other things either side of the shoot. Basically, lots of g, momentary rest, then more g. Rest. More g. And so on.
 

flyer89

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If they get Covid under control, in whatever way, air travel will eventually recover. But, I think AJ's dream of point to point will end up being the way it pans out. That pretty much rules out the quads. Density will have to go down for all flights (Ryanair won't be happy), and whilst it will never be social distancing, the days of packing them in like sardines are also likely to go. Conversely, the fares will rise, and I expect quite dramatically. All of that will affect the need for pilots, and aircraft.

But for our youngster just looking to start out, right now there's a large (huge) excess of pilots over demand. They are all well qualified, and very experienced. Someone with no experience, and requiring an airline to train from scratch is unlikely to get a run in such an environment. Some airlines will take them if they pay for the seat, but at the end of the training, they fall into the outcast bucket, and they still have virtually nothing to bring to the table.
I’d agree with most of that. I know 5 people who’ve lost various flying jobs and I fear they’ll never return to it even though they are quite young. I went from being very optimistic at the start of this pandemic to very pessimistic. In 3.5-4 months the amount of havoc this has wreaked is incredible. I feel the clock is ticking for the industry. I’m not sure it can withstand another 12 months of this.
 

clipped_wings

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If they get Covid under control, in whatever way, air travel will eventually recover. But, I think AJ's dream of point to point will end up being the way it pans out. That pretty much rules out the quads. Density will have to go down for all flights (Ryanair won't be happy), and whilst it will never be social distancing, the days of packing them in like sardines are also likely to go. Conversely, the fares will rise, and I expect quite dramatically. All of that will affect the need for pilots, and aircraft.

But for our youngster just looking to start out, right now there's a large (huge) excess of pilots over demand. They are all well qualified, and very experienced. Someone with no experience, and requiring an airline to train from scratch is unlikely to get a run in such an environment. Some airlines will take them if they pay for the seat, but at the end of the training, they fall into the outcast bucket, and they still have virtually nothing to bring to the table.

I wouldn't be surprised though, if the longer term effect is that it makes flying such an unattractive profession, that the pilot shortage that has been continually forecast, but has been avoided by outside occurrences (9/11, GFC, CV19) eventually comes to fruition.

Of course this is just me crystal balling. Ask me in ten years.
Always refreshing to hear the perspective of a Pilot. Thank you for sharing. See you in 10 :cool:
 

straitman

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straitman

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If they get Covid under control, in whatever way, air travel will eventually recover. But, I think AJ's dream of point to point will end up being the way it pans out. That pretty much rules out the quads. Density will have to go down for all flights (Ryanair won't be happy), and whilst it will never be social distancing, the days of packing them in like sardines are also likely to go. Conversely, the fares will rise, and I expect quite dramatically. All of that will affect the need for pilots, and aircraft.

But for our youngster just looking to start out, right now there's a large (huge) excess of pilots over demand. They are all well qualified, and very experienced. Someone with no experience, and requiring an airline to train from scratch is unlikely to get a run in such an environment. Some airlines will take them if they pay for the seat, but at the end of the training, they fall into the outcast bucket, and they still have virtually nothing to bring to the table.

I wouldn't be surprised though, if the longer term effect is that it makes flying such an unattractive profession, that the pilot shortage that has been continually forecast, but has been avoided by outside occurrences (9/11, GFC, CV19) eventually comes to fruition.

Of course this is just me crystal balling. Ask me in ten years.
The RAAF and others are still training plenty of pilots as they still have high needs. I suggest that this is where most pilot training will be for a long time.
At the same time they are getting multiple calls per day from pilots asking for jobs again. There are a few people out their wishing they hadn’t burnt their bridges.
 

jb747

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With all of the discussion about the retirement of the 747s, and OEJ's last joy flights, I had a look at my log book to see how often I'd flown her. The answer, I was somewhat surprised to see, was exactly once, for just under 15 hours, LA to Melbourne. 27 May 2007.

Then I looked at my log to see hours in rank and across the various fleets. And we end up with this....
As percentages...
Macchi 1.2%
A4 1.4%
CT4 3.0%
747 SO 8.5%
747 FO 5.0%
767 Capt 34.3%
744 Capt 15.1%
380 Capt 26.2%

OEJ was .0673%

That's what an extremely lucky career looks like.
 

flyer89

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With all of the discussion about the retirement of the 747s, and OEJ's last joy flights, I had a look at my log book to see how often I'd flown her. The answer, I was somewhat surprised to see, was exactly once, for just under 15 hours, LA to Melbourne. 27 May 2007.

Then I looked at my log to see hours in rank and across the various fleets. And we end up with this....
As percentages...
Macchi 1.2%
A4 1.4%
CT4 3.0%
747 SO 8.5%
747 FO 5.0%
767 Capt 34.3%
744 Capt 15.1%
380 Capt 26.2%

OEJ was .0673%

That's what an extremely lucky career looks like.
I’ve heard that among others they are standing up “number 1” for the final flight of OEJ. If it’s who I think it is that’s a start date of April 1980. I’d imagine his breakdown wouldn’t be as diverse as yours. One long and impressive career nonetheless!
 

Kerrodt

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With all of the discussion about the retirement of the 747s, and OEJ's last joy flights, I had a look at my log book to see how often I'd flown her. The answer, I was somewhat surprised to see, was exactly once, for just under 15 hours, LA to Melbourne. 27 May 2007.

Then I looked at my log to see hours in rank and across the various fleets. And we end up with this....
As percentages...
Macchi 1.2%
A4 1.4%
CT4 3.0%
747 SO 8.5%
747 FO 5.0%
767 Capt 34.3%
744 Capt 15.1%
380 Capt 26.2%

OEJ was .0673%

That's what an extremely lucky career looks like.
I'd beg to differ on that last point.

I think that's what the career of a highly focussed, dedicated, skilled, well trained and exceptionally good pilot looks like.
 

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