26 décembre 2018 | Local, Terrestre
The Canadian Forces says it is bringing in new initiatives to boost the numbers of pilots and the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff Lt.-Gen. Paul Wynnyk recently outlined some of those for Members of Parliament.
At the Commons defence committee Feb. 28 Wynnyk pointed out the issue of pilots who are assigned to staff jobs but who want to keep flying. He suggested there could be changes that will allow that but didn’t provide many details.
Wynnyk did note that the call will be sent out for retired pilots to come back to the RCAF. “We’re reaching out to retired individuals from the Canadian Forces and seeing if they’d like to join and particularly making it more flexible for pilots who have retired to go into the reserves to perhaps look at ways of getting into Cold Lake, Bagotville, or wherever we need to fly them,” he told MPs. Wynnyk also mentioned “potential bonuses” but didn’t provide details.
Late last year RCAF commander Lt.-Gen. Al Meinzinger told MPs the reasons behind the fighter pilots leaving but money appeared to be low on the list of issues forcing pilots to leave. “Certainly the feedback from those who are releasing is it’s a question of family, challenges for their family,” Meinzinger explained to the Public Accounts committee. “There’s a dimension of ops tempo, work-life balance, predictability in terms of geographical location, and then typically fifth or sixth are comments about financial remuneration.”
“We find that, unless there’s a degree of predictability and positive career management over that individual, we often find individuals who are vexed,” Meinzinger further explained. “They come up to a point where they may not have anticipated they were going to move, or we’re asking them to move their family to a location where perhaps their spouse cannot find employment.”
Another factor is that some fighter pilots are not happy being streamed into administrative jobs. They want to keep flying. “We find a lot of individuals often don’t wish to move to headquarters and work in an office versus work in an aircraft,” the RCAF commander acknowledged. “We recognize that and respect it. But that dialogue, which must happen at the margin, before we force an individual to move, is very, very important.”
The U.S. Air Force has had mixed results with its bonuses offered to stem the exodus of various pilots to commercial aviation jobs. Last year the USAF announced that, for the first time, some bomber, fixed-wing combat search-and-rescue, special operations, mobility and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance pilots would be eligible for the same maximum bonus that were previously given only to fighter pilots, Stephen Losey of Air Force Times wrote in December 2018. That maximum is $420,000 but to receive that a pilot must commit to serving 12 more years.
“But turning on the cash spigot appears to have had limited effect,” Losey wrote. “According to statistics provided by the Air Force, the overall percentage of eligible manned aircraft pilots agreeing to take the bonuses — known as the take rate — increase from 44 percent in 2017 to 45 percent in 2018. That halted two years of declines, after the take rates dropped from 55 percent in 2015 to 48 percent in 2016, and to 44 percent in 2017.
But even though the take rate ticked up, overall number of pilots signing up for retention bonuses dropped from 476 to 418, the statistics showed.”
Losey’s article is here:
26 décembre 2018 | Local, Terrestre
24 juillet 2018 | Local, Aérospatial
6 février 2018 | Local, C4ISR