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CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Aviation & Flying Activities  |  Topic: Keys to Successful CAP Flight Operations for the Leader and Aircrew
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NIN
VIP

Posts: 4,682
Unit: of issue

« on: March 19, 2017, 11:11:03 AM »

A good friend and former commander of mine, Col Bill Moran, wrote this white paper. I thought it might be instructive to the broader audience.

As Linda Richman would say: "Discuss!"
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Darin Ninness, Lt Col, CAP
Sq Bubba, Wing Dude, National Guy
I like to have Difficult Adult Conversations™
The contents of this post are Copyright © 2017 by NIN. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.
FW
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 2,145

« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2017, 01:22:25 PM »

Excellent paper.  It would be appropriate to expand on this by creating a "step by step" plan for wings to recruit desired CFIs, and  motivate pilots and aircrews to engage.  I agree there are many online opportunities to enhance our knowledge, however nothing beats flying and reviews with an instructor to maintain our skills, and improve our knowledge.  Aircrew meetings are only as good as the contact. Many wings only have teleconferences for reviews.  I think this should be augmented with actual face to face meetings.

Dealing with actual implementation has always been a problem for CAP.  The reason, IMHO, is due to a failure to change our culture, or a lack of training funds which would allow for actual training and improving proficiency.  Col Moran knows this, and has shown a way for all of us to move forward.  Bravo for his insight.

"Professionalism" requires commitment from a motivated volunteer force.  That simple fact will never change.  I was committed a while ago... ;D
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NIN
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Posts: 4,682
Unit: of issue

« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2017, 01:40:29 PM »

I was committed a while ago... ;D

Did the judge ever rule on that? ;D

I agree with you on this: a professional pilot corps is essential to ensuring stewardship of our fleet and the accomplishment of the missions assigned to us by the Air Force, our governmental partners, and of course, CAP itself.   I frequently hear anecdotally about people who can't seem to fly in CAP planes due to "additional hoops" that they have to jump thru, or roadblocks placed in front of them before getting in the cockpit. Its just ... maddening.

I think we're doing a better job of rooting out the "flying club mentality" in recent years.  My wing had a problem many, many years ago where we had a unit that seemed to always have most of the airplanes assigned to it and all of the "prime" missions wound up being flown by members of this unit.  I used to joke that we might as well paint their names on the door of the plane, since nobody else seemed to be allowed to fly the planes.

From a flying hour standpoint, we suffered because the aircraft didn't get hours on them like they needed.  And the wing suffered in terms of pilot and mission development outside of a very specific geographic area.  Kind of hard to encourage pilots to join, get qualified, remain qualified and accomplish the mission when they were > 1 hr away from a plane you could seldom schedule...
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Darin Ninness, Lt Col, CAP
Sq Bubba, Wing Dude, National Guy
I like to have Difficult Adult Conversations™
The contents of this post are Copyright © 2017 by NIN. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.
Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award
***
Posts: 28,069

« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2017, 02:07:23 PM »

I frequently hear anecdotally about people who can't seem to fly in CAP planes due to "additional hoops" that they have to jump thru, or roadblocks placed in front of them before getting in the cockpit. Its just ... maddening.

It is, but to be fair, in some cases it's because expectations aren't set properly.

There are far too many places where "You ain't flyin' my airplane until >I< check you out personally...", etc., but in a lot of cases it's also on the respective member
to make a second phone call or follow up on a voice mail, etc., which in today's universe seems a Rubicon for some people.  These pilots are used to looking out the
window, seeing blue sky, and being in a rental wearing shorts 20 minutes later, that's never going to happen in a CAP paradigm, but an hour or two in a golf shirt
is more then a reasonable expectation nowadays, and it takes about 20 minutes to complete the sortie paperwork, again, too much for some people, even when the
guv'mint is paying the gas.

Now, back to the former issues, far too many unit ccs are unwilling or unable to press upstream when a nonsense answer comes down, because "I'm just here for
the kids and I don't want any trouble..."

Aircraft access issues are a top-down problem that "echelons above reality" have the data to intervene on but choose not to.

It doesn't take much effort to geo-plot your membership vs. the aircraft, and then cross-reference the ones with low hours to see
why you have issues, but there you go.
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"The man who does more than he is paid for will soon be paid for more than he does." - Napoleon Hill.
The contents of this post are Copyright © 2017 by eclipse. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.

Briank
Member

Posts: 61
Unit: GLR-OH-064

« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2017, 03:11:23 PM »

It's a really hard problem.  I'm finding that out more and more every day.

Aviation itself is really hard.  There's never enough planes to go around (rentals around here you have to book over a month ahead to have a shot of getting a couple hours, and by then plans change, weather happens, etc.), it's expensive, and it's a big time sink.  After my work arrangements changed I left the flying club I was in because flying there each time was increased by 1 hour and 10 minutes of travel time.  I simply don't have an extra hour of time to give during the weekdays for a proficiency flight (and weekends are a whole 'nother availability issue with members taking trips in addition to proficiency and training).

CAP is even harder.  Since paperwork was mentioned, it's not tons, but there is an extra few minutes which can be the difference between proficiency flights fitting or not in a busy weekday schedule.  Travel issues, there simply are not as many CAP planes as there are clubs and rentals in a given area, so you can expect longer travel times (average) to and from the airplanes.  Mission use of the airplanes on weekends really cuts the training/proficiency availability.  There's only so many flight assets that we can afford, and that just means that some places simply aren't going to have flight activity.  I'm in one of those places where we can't get airplanes because we don't have pilots.  We can't get pilots because we don't have airplanes.  As I've said before here (and in person for those I've met IRL), I'm at a year and a half in CAP now which is still a newb for CAP, but an eternity for flight proficiency.  I enjoy CAP, but I joined as a pilot to fly and I so far still have not been able to get in the front seat and fly a CAP plane even once.  I'm trying to work something better out, but so far the only officially approved plan I've been able to work out involves a 5 hour round trip drive every time I want to fly.  I don't have those extra 5 hours of time available for every single flight.  If you do, great, but I don't and I certainly can't do any recruitment with travel times like that.

I'm currently in a position where I can theoretically have a little more leverage to do some good for Flight Operations, but it's an immense time investment with no results to show so far.  I still have hope, and a vision of what things could be, but well, it's quite the hard problem!
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scooter
Seasoned Member

Posts: 200

« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2017, 10:00:59 PM »

The man said it right. Excellent paper. :clap:
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CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Aviation & Flying Activities  |  Topic: Keys to Successful CAP Flight Operations for the Leader and Aircrew
 


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