• Please take a moment and update your account profile. If you have an updated account profile with basic information on why you are on Air Warriors it will help other people respond to your posts. How do you update your profile you ask?

    Go here:

    Edit Account Details and Profile

Who determines whether someone is flying as pilot or Co Pilot?

DanMa1156

Land of the Milk and Honey.
pilot
Contributor
#76
Yeah, don't disagree about overall flight of a modern helicopter (which the TH-57 is not), what I am saying, with the current version of the 60's that we have - doing mission sets would be extremely challenging while flying. There is no way to properly employ the HCU and the cylic/collective together. It would be difficult to employ the guns and rockets alone as well (albeit it, much easier than the HELLFIRE).

Something else I didn't mention previously is that the safety of taking off of a small boy at night is greatly enhanced by having 2 pilots. Without a second pilot or crewmember in that seat, you'd either have to a) accept taking off into the wind but on the far side of the cockpit and reduced visibility to the boat (my community almost always had the inside pilot take the takeoff) or b) accept being on the inside of the ship but taking a downwind takeoff, not to mention, two eyes on the gauges at night with those optical illusions that have proven so deadly over the years is never a bad thing.
 

HAL Pilot

Well-Known Member
None
Contributor
#77
Back when many of you were still split 50-50 between your parents genitals and the SH-60B Lamps III was just being birthed, the Navy debated making it a single piloted helo with a NFO. The thought process was that the Lamps III was so much more tactically advanced than the Lamps II that it needed the NFO to run tactics and operate sensors more than it needed a second pilot. Then people started thinking about hovering at night 10 feet off the water, hoist/SAR operations, landing on the pitching deck of a small ship, and the fact helo pilots experienced disorientation/vertigo more often than fixed wing pilots especially when conducting the aforementioned type of operations.... So safety coupled with the plan to have a "second" AW back on the ship operating sensors and being a part of the "crew" via data link saved us poor NFOs from the nightmare of being in a helo.

In the late 1980s/early 1990s they also had a few conferences exploring changing the P-3 from 3 pilots/2 NFOs to 2 pilots/3 NFOs. The thought process was that less pilots meant less pilot proficiency and qualification flights saving both money and airframe life. The 3rd NFO would be an inflight relief for the pilots and could sit in the right seat mostly during transits but also during any evolution except takeoff/departure, approach/landing and onstation below a certain altitude (numbers from 1000 agl to 10,000 agl were all tossed around). The comms and understanding the flight instruments parts the NFO would already know and the copilot and emergency procedures parts (since no takeoff, landing, etc.) could all be taught in the simulator. The S-3s flew safely with a NFO copilot why couldn't the P-3? This was tossed around for a year or 18 months before it died from an absolute refusal by the single anchor guys to play. This was probably a better idea than using the NFO as a helo copilot, would have worked, but would have caused more pain than it was worth as all the NFO disappointed pilot wanna-bes would have quit giving a shit about NFO stuff.

They did use NFOs as copilots in C-12s for many years during the 80s and 90s. These NFOs would get the same training as pilots at Flight Safety Wichita (were the C-12 guys went for many years to qualify) with the obvious extra time in the sim for takeoff and landing training. Then they would get some actual takeoff and landing training in the airplane with IPs before they could fly with non-IPs and pax. The NFOs were not supposed to conduct takeoff and landings with pax onboard except in an emergency if the pilot couldn't or was incapacitated. The NFOs did have monthly proficiency requirement as far as takeoff and landing they had to maintain. My NFO friend who did this said he normally had a flight a month where he shoot 3 or 4 approaches and did 10 or so landings/touch and goes. This program died out as the station C-12s started disappearing so that there were more pilots than billets.
 

mad dog

*** liters of dunkin’ ***
pilot
Contributor
#78
Back when many of you were still split 50-50 between your parents genitals and the SH-60B Lamps III was just being birthed, the Navy debated making it a single piloted helo with a NFO...
I remember it well...it was talked about quite a bit at HSL-41 (the west coast RAG) and at HSL-45 even in the late 1980's.

Does this mean I can get NFO wings for all my left seat ATO (Airborne Tactical Officer) time in the SH-60B? :D
 

bert

Enjoying the real world
pilot
Contributor
#79
The reason replacing one pilot with an NFO in the -60 keeps getting rejected is that it couldn't make enough savings over the life of the airframe to cover the upfront costs.

A much-improved AFCS (among other things) allowing a single person cockpit could save more than it cost eventually, but the problem is that the initial outlay and the savings would come from two different pots of money, so there is no incentive for anybody to eat the initial investment.
 

Treetop Flyer

Well-Known Member
pilot
#80
Back when many of you were still split 50-50 between your parents genitals and the SH-60B Lamps III was just being birthed, the Navy debated making it a single piloted helo with a NFO. The thought process was that the Lamps III was so much more tactically advanced than the Lamps II that it needed the NFO to run tactics and operate sensors more than it needed a second pilot. Then people started thinking about hovering at night 10 feet off the water, hoist/SAR operations, landing on the pitching deck of a small ship, and the fact helo pilots experienced disorientation/vertigo more often than fixed wing pilots especially when conducting the aforementioned type of operations.... So safety coupled with the plan to have a "second" AW back on the ship operating sensors and being a part of the "crew" via data link saved us poor NFOs from the nightmare of being in a helo.

In the late 1980s/early 1990s they also had a few conferences exploring changing the P-3 from 3 pilots/2 NFOs to 2 pilots/3 NFOs. The thought process was that less pilots meant less pilot proficiency and qualification flights saving both money and airframe life. The 3rd NFO would be an inflight relief for the pilots and could sit in the right seat mostly during transits but also during any evolution except takeoff/departure, approach/landing and onstation below a certain altitude (numbers from 1000 agl to 10,000 agl were all tossed around). The comms and understanding the flight instruments parts the NFO would already know and the copilot and emergency procedures parts (since no takeoff, landing, etc.) could all be taught in the simulator. The S-3s flew safely with a NFO copilot why couldn't the P-3? This was tossed around for a year or 18 months before it died from an absolute refusal by the single anchor guys to play. This was probably a better idea than using the NFO as a helo copilot, would have worked, but would have caused more pain than it was worth as all the NFO disappointed pilot wanna-bes would have quit giving a shit about NFO stuff.

They did use NFOs as copilots in C-12s for many years during the 80s and 90s. These NFOs would get the same training as pilots at Flight Safety Wichita (were the C-12 guys went for many years to qualify) with the obvious extra time in the sim for takeoff and landing training. Then they would get some actual takeoff and landing training in the airplane with IPs before they could fly with non-IPs and pax. The NFOs were not supposed to conduct takeoff and landings with pax onboard except in an emergency if the pilot couldn't or was incapacitated. The NFOs did have monthly proficiency requirement as far as takeoff and landing they had to maintain. My NFO friend who did this said he normally had a flight a month where he shoot 3 or 4 approaches and did 10 or so landings/touch and goes. This program died out as the station C-12s started disappearing so that there were more pilots than billets.
NFO's in C-12's is still a thing. We don't currently have one, but we did. He was right seat only and never touched the controls with passengers on board. He did get some landings from time to time, and he was very proficient with the box and comms.

It's still in NATOPS.
 

Uncle Fester

Robot Pimp
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
#81
When E-2D was being planned, there was discussion about reducing the crew to four and putting a FO in the right seat as a COTAC type, not least because the D cockpit has a full mission display. Ultimately, it was decided that it's easier/cheaper to train a pilot to do some basic NFO stuff than it was to teach an NFO to do all the copilot stuff. It's just not something the community is comfortable with, though it's a chicken-egg thing (FOs don't do copilot shit because they're not trained to...FOs aren't trained to do copilot shit because they don't do it). I thought it might change with the influx of S-3 pilots and FOs we got during their sundown, but I guess there wasn't a critical mass.

NFOs in helos is perfectly do-able. I don't buy the argument that you need two pilots to safely fly around a smallboy at night when the Aussies and Brits do exactly that with an NFO-equivalent in the left seat. You're flying with a trained, winged aviation officer, not the chaplain or a Middie. If you need the NFO to do copilot stuff, you train them to do it. Whether the juice is worth the squeeze is another question. Even though i think it's a perfectly feasible idea, it fundamentally seems like a solution in search of a problem.
 
Top