5.21.2008

R&W's Question of the Month

While reading the latest issue of Rotor and Wing (yes, I read it. I'm such a nerd.), they posed the following question:


Which is amore critical issue today, the supply of pilots of the supply of mechanics?





Thoughts?




Pau.




- hfs

9 comments:

A Soldier's Wife..... said...

Vicious cycle maybe? But then I know not a thing about aviation....so that is purely a guess based on zero information....

Okay I'm going back to my corner....

~ASW

BillT said...

In which sector -- military, commercial, or public (gummint agency)?

Since R&W is civil-market pub with a strong military leaning, the question could refer to either area, but I'd bet Ye Olde Editor had the civil sector (business, EMT, LEA, etc.) in mind.

So the answer would be a resounding "It depends..."

Pogue said...

I don't really have enough experience to speak to the military side, but on the civilian side I would say qualified pilots are the big shortage coming up. The civilian world pretty much requires 1000 hours to get a turbine job, and 2500 + to get EMS or ENG work (always exceptions, of course.) It costs about $70,000 to just to get to where you can get hired in an entry level job. With the notable exception of BillT & friends we've hit the point where the Viet Nam vintage pilots are now starting to leave the industry. The Army is paying very competitively and has much better retention than it used to, so the supply line of pilots is pretty thin. On the mechanic side the costs for civilian training is much more manageable and easier to get financing for. The school I fly out of has two mechanics and an apprentice that support 12 school helicopters that fly lots of hours plus customer birds. I'm not sure how many Army helicopter mechanics get out and get their A&P license, but I'm at Ft Eustis right now going through a Blackhawk repairer course and I can tell you they're running classes in three shifts, round the clock. A lot of these guys are hoping to get selected for pilot training down the road. (If it sounds like I'm burning the candle at both ends, yes, thank you, I am. :-))

Homefront Six said...

I was coming at it from a military perspective. The reason being, MacGyver's unit has pilots coming out its ears (and a few other places, especially with more than a half-dozen WO1s coming fresh out of flight school). Yet they only have 3 Flight Engineers. Not sure how many Crew Chiefs but THREE FEs total.

And, since the majority of FEs are brought up from the ranks of the mechanics in the maintenance unit, I would think that the lack of mechanics is a bigger problem than a lack of pilots, at least for the double rotored side of the house.

And we won't even go into the debate over the GSAB transition...

Homefront Six said...

Pogue ~ you're there with a good friend of mine. He's permanent party on the Blackhawk side of the house. He just got there in March from Hawaii. Not sure if you know him though.

From what I've seen, not a lot of the mechanics/CCs/FEs get their A&P while they are in. Until recently it was all out of pocket. A few months ago, Embry-Riddle started offering the A&P training (read: test prep) to FEs and CCs here for free. Pilots with prior crew experience were allowed in on the deal as well. You bet your butt MacGyver took advantage of the offer! One more thing to pad his resume if and when he decides to be done playing Army (though I suspect that is many years from now). A&P is a wonderful thing to have and he encourages all of his FEs and CCs to pursue it just like the pilots and senior crew he knew in Alaska did for him.

Pogue said...

Since I've only been here two weeks I pretty much don't know anyone... If your friend is working the 15T side I'll probably run into him - you can email me his name at ngpogue at mac dot com if you like. If he's in another area chances are pretty slim. There seem to be more programs for the A&P now, I know I'm planning on getting it. Just another tool in the toolbox.

kevin said...

First of all I want to thank you for your military service!!! You are a great American!!!

I am a new soldier in the Army National Guard (Airborne 11 Bravo Hoo Ahh!!!) and am gearing up for my first deployment to Iraq at the end of this summer with the Washington National Guard. I have recently had a book published called “Homeless Across America.” It is my story of a trip I took last summer before going to boot camp at Fort Benning Georgia. I had actually lost my house as a result of a nasty divorce and I decided that with the time I had before leaving for my training I would drive a loop around the country and see what it was I, and you were fighting for. I can attest that after finishing my journey I was even more confident that I had made the right choice to join your ranks and as Toby says beside my brothers and my sisters proudly make a stand!!! If you feel so inclined please check out my blog at http://homelessacrossamerica.blogspot.com/ Again, thank you for your service and thank you for going before me. May God bless you and God Bless America!!!!!

ps- david McCullogh is a great writer but yes, he is lengthy. I have read "Truman" and "1776" but have yet to crack open my 20 pound "John Adams!" I mention Mccullough in my book and visit the Truman Library on mhy travels. If you like Mccullogh I believe you'll like "Homeless Across America."

Mary said...

Mechanics - they keep 'em working so pilots can keep flying without worrying about "mechanical failure"

BillT said...

Pilots *always* worry about mechanical failure.

Parts wear out before they're supposed to, bad parts slip past the manufacturers' QC, and sometimes, despite the best efforts of the ground guys, something breaks just because it decided the pilot was overdue for a fright...

This Lousy World

I'm currently reading Brené Brown's new book, "Braving the Wilderness" and have come to the conclusion that she is my...