Discussion in 'Main Forum' started by picklesuit, Nov 5, 2011.
Large, multi-engine aircraft, that doesn't go on a boat. Yup. I think your logic is sound.
This how it's done in kc-130 fleet squadrons as well. Only the squadron NATOPs instructors can do so.
I realize that it's different strokes for different communities, but after reading your explanation it's even more amazing (surprising) how you guys work. I realize that we in the 60 world aren't tactics gurus but the nugget can still land the helo if the world goes to shit with some ep and the other pilot is no longer able to fly.
I think it has to do with the "dreaded 3 engine landing" mentality. Both airframes (KC-130 and P-3) have four engines. Every other example is a 2 engine a/c. An engine loss in a 60, 46, C-2, E-2, F/A-18, etc... is a serious god-damn deal. So by the time you're signing for it, you better be able to handle it. Hell, they can have two engines shit, and be at where we're at in takeoff configuration...
At one point someone (forget who, but it was a PPC) tried to tell me that losing 1 engine in a P-3 was way worse than losing one engine in the E-2.
^ Of course it is. You have to do all the stupid safety messages and reports for a P-3 non-event vice a real problem in the E-2.....
Umm, no. Landing 3-engine isn't hard at all.
I do three-engine landings in the -60 all the time and it's definitely survivable. I used to do one-engine landings in the T-34 all the time, too. So if one of you guys wants to write up the air medal, that's cool.
I've been single engine to the boat at least 19 times.. 14 as a plan. 5 as a "oh, the other spinny thing.. no longer spining"
I've done it a Hell of a lot more than that. No spinny thing, though.
Yeah, but you have the Oh-Shit Handle.
Harriers take off with at least two emergencies every time they leave the boat - min fuel, and single engine. Those boys have balls... Especially when they were having a lot of rollbacks...
Same rule applies to us WRT the engine pulls. Three engine landings are a non-event with us, though. The only time we get any pucker factor is if we lose our rudder and one of the outboard engines, or we lose more than one on the same side. We practice both scenarios in the jet during 2P and AC upgrades, but never to a landing. I've heard of guys flying home from Cali on three engines because the WX at Travis was shitty. The blurb in the 3710 about four engined aircraft with a precautionary shutdown has saved us alot of ass-pain. Lose an engine doing bounces at Lincoln for something precautionary in nature? You'll still sleep in your own bed that night (probably).
Just some philosophical thoughts on advanced quals, community SOP, community dogma, and flight hour budgets-
Yes, it hurts everyone when there are restrictions on what the stick monkeys are allowed to practice. The community pays a price on collective proficiency by doing that to stretch old aircraft and keep them flying for a little longer, a little longer... so how do you balance that?
Speaking as someone with a decent amount of experience in instructing experienced pilots on advanced emergencies, I "get" the institutional approach of "airframe/community X"'s standardization program that restricts practicing certain maneuvers and emergency procedures to advanced qualifications. Here is why:
Good or bad pilots, with about a few years of flying and about several hundred hours, while training on how to instruct advanced emergencies, are capable of getting the aircraft into trouble in ways that... umm... that can get far more "sporting" faster than you realize how deep a hole you've just dug. They can also do so in ways that put the exciting mistakes of new guys (flight students, nuggets, etc.) to shame. The right time to abort some particular advanced maneuver might actually be while it doesn't seem all that messed up and there is only a subtle hint. 99% of instructing a someone on how to handle any given emergency is not all that much different from when you were the new guy and learning that EP, but- it's that other 1% of the time that can really sneak up on you. So it makes different sense to community X or Y on whether to restrict emergencies A, B, or C and who is allowed to demo, introduce, practice, or simply never attempt them.
I maintain that any newly minted aircraft commander could train to an acceptable standard to instruct just about any emergency that is in your aircraft's playbook. It's not a question of brains or hard work. It's not a question of "you don't know what you don't know" - someone else already knows what you don't know, it's written down somewhere, and you can learn it. It's a question of where the community wants to spend the money and the time.
(Last thought- it never hurts to have a look over the fence at how community Z does business...)
You know, I would like to get all pissy pants, go VP about this....but I really can't...
Having done Primary with the Chair Farce in Enid, America, and seeing how they do business; and having taken two trips through VP-30 as a student (one as an E, one as an O) the similarities are there. Boldface EP's (memory items, chapter 11 of NATOPS), long, theoretical discussions based in conjecture (almost any "pilot training"), as well as an appreciation for the ability to regurgitate minutia (foaming space in the oil reservoir...I shit you not) sometimes it is hard to see how we train pilots actually relates to piloting...
But the actual flying we do far outpaces the Chair Farce way of practicing...lots of EP's, practice emergency landings (2-engine, 3-engine, no-flap, etc.) bailout/ditching/FOUO drills for the tube slugs...I think we do a good job of preparing for the worst and it was proven succesful during the Masirah, Oman ditching of a P-3...
So, yes, we have a lot of self induced ass-pain, but it has a reason...
I guess the question I keep coming back when reading these comments is "when is a NATOPS qual not a NATOPS qual?" I'm POSITIVE it has everything to do with my lack of understanding (and that will certainly be pointed out in short order), but it seems like there are a lot of "NATOPS-qual-buts". Every person who takes the controls of an aircraft should have the ability to land it safely in each of the known abnormal configurations (No flap/No Slat, reduced thrust, etc) - otherwise what is going on at the FRS? Too much time on tactics, not enough airplanes, too much time spent memorizing the amount of foaming space in the oil reservoir?
Yes, I'm writing from the perspective of being the only dude with controls in my aircraft so its admittedly apples and oranges, but it seems like young dudes with wing show at some FRSs and are immediately set back several steps instead of being nurtured and trained.... Just my two cents.
It's not a NATOPS qual when it's a Patrol Plane Copilot qual. A 3P can't sign for the aircraft and isn't expected to land in every configuration from either seat. I can see where the balancing act takes place at VP-30 with respect to EPs. I think there is a little too much minutia memorization and not enough time in the plane but I think almost any pilot would argue for more flight time. I don't know many P-3 pilots that would prefer to fly less and memorize more BS. If I had my druthers I would have loved to been introduced to all the funny landings in 30. We cover the 3 engine pretty well but everything else is only demonstrated.
As someone who has repeatedly (REPEATEDLY) been stuck behind a P-3 doing EPs in the pattern, I know you guys practice much more in the spirit of Naval Aviation than the spirit of the AF. But it's been a while since I could get a dig in at VP, and, well, the time felt right. Maybe it's been a while because I'm not currently sharing airspace with P-3s...
One thing, though. You mentioned FOUO drills. Is that a specific PQS? Do you have to get separate quals for each kind of paper shredder? What's the ORM sheet look like when practicing shredder ops? What's the boldface?
Good question and it leads to a few more: What belongs on a NATOPS qual? Why? And when does excluding certain things from a NATOPS qual, for the sake of not bending metal during training, become putting the cart before the horse?
I have an overly simplistic response- it depends on how you choose to define "known abnormal configurations" and then where you draw the line on that.
Across all of the helicopter communities we practice flight control malfunctions a few different ways- in the simulator pretty much anything but in the aircraft only specific things and those you do in only specific ways--some things to touchdown/full stop while other things terminate in a low approach--and it varies by airframe. Particularly tail rotor malfunctions, but also stuck trim, runaway trim, hydraulic system malfunctions... it depends. And the way each community might practice things in the aircraft usually only covers a specific possibility that doesn't include every realistic variation... for better or for worse. You can broadly apply that to any community for specific emergencies that are peculiar to their aircraft (fuel imbalance, split elevator designs or multiple rudders, props that don't always feather when they should...).
I agree with you though- an FRS NATOPS qual is so you can assume someone can handle a realistic problem with the aircraft... that's kinda the point of having those programs.
FOUO is Fire Of Unknown Origin. Basically you smell smoke or fumes in the tube and you activate the fire bill. It gets very chaotic, especially in the flight station because you have the most uncomfortable O2 mask on and are trying to fly the plane while running checklists and helping the guys in the back determine what could be on fire. Also, the TACCO is leading everyone in the back while they go through all the equipment racks to find out what's burning. Hard to explain how busy it gets without being in that situation but they are not fun.
One quote I've heard that I like is with one engine and an ejection seat, your decision matrix is pretty easy. With four engines and parachutes while hundreds of miles from land, it gets a little more complicated and you have to do what it takes to bring your plane back in one piece, partially because it's what's keeping you alive.
As for the quals issue, we typically have three pilots on board. The 3P has a basic copilot qual coming out of -30 and it allows them to be a copilot for any situation essentially and allows them to know how to land the aircraft in limited situations. If on a tactical flight with three pilots and there's a big enough emergency, the PPC will throw the 2P in the seat for more experienced backup. The 2P can sign for the aircraft (but never does) and can handle any emergency from the left seat only and limited situations from the right seat. If a 2P were to sign for the plane, they'd only be in the left seat. A PPC can land from any seat in any situation and handle all emergencies we train to, and is expected to handle everything else.
not to be a smart-ass, but we could start with the ones that have checklists in the PCL..?
I guess the underlying point of my previously posted rhetorical question was - if the fleet is seeing continually reduced flight hours then why doesn't the fleet demand a better product from the FRS? Instead of being forced to teach and train 3Ps around the field (and thereby pissing off Devin), why not capitalize on the separate pot of flight hour money that drives the FRS? Its been done before by other communities - if you want to see a FRS skipper jump, have a group of fleet COs start whispering about the quality of the product.... Then again there might not be an appetite for that level of cultural change. Back to my hole
No shit. Harrier Dude(s) redefine insanity every time they roll down the tram line.
I'm glad I took the time to really get to know these nutjobs and get a peek into their world early on my first MEU; when my 2- and 3-engine peers bitched about the shipboard "needs" of AV-8s...of which there are many...I was able to slap 'em back in line.
What always blows my mind is how they're able to balance that elephant on the end of the pencil over a moving vessel...often with no chance of a go-around...with the ridiculously low number of hours they fly.
What is this PCL you speak of?
I haven't seen one of those since I turned in my T-34 version at the end of Primary. We always fly with a full copy of our NATOPS, all 1500ish pages of it. We drag along Vol. II (another 1500, different pages) for the tube trolls when we fly tactically.
There is just no way to teach all of that in ANY FRS. So, we say "what is the bare minimum we can send this guy out with to take off and land safely in 90% of common situations." This is the 3p (Copilot) NATOPS check. It takes 6 months to train a CAT I for this (and really, it takes about 3 months, but due to a/c age and availability it drags out a bit longer).
You wanna sign for a plane? You best be learning that extra 10% and 50% more minutia. This takes another 18 months, although could probably be done faster with more airplanes and flight hours to go around.
Our community has decided it is more beneficial to get guys through the FRS faster and train them up in the fleet, than to have a 2 year RAG syllabus producing fully-qual'd pilots (I suspect part of this was done as a QA issue to minimize VP-30's ability to corrupt new pilots, but I digress). This doesn't work in other communities for obvious reasons of fewer seats with their own control sticks.
I was thinking a little more basic than that- more like what gets included in those checklists. (And what gets removed when it turns out it just doesn't ever happen after years and years and thousands of flight hours.)
Now that's a really good question.
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