Train Our Pilots   [open pdf - 30KB]

From the thesis abstract: "Marine heavy helicopter squadron commanding officers receive no training and have little incentive to maintain their aircraft for future generations of Marine aviation. A Squadron Commander's operational success vice the material condition of his aircraft is the general metric by which his performance is reviewed. Operational readiness and material condition, while often linked, are not equivalent. In addition, the brevity of a Squadron Commander's tour evokes no incentive for him to maintain the long-term health of his aircraft. The data systems used to track and record aviation maintenance are complex, and there is currently no requirement for a commanding officer to learn these systems or how they can be fouled. Without an understanding of how the data are generated and what the common errors in interpretation are, the commander cannot make an accurate assessment of his maintenance department's performance. As the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) continues to draw operational commitments, senior leaders are placing more pressure on squadron commanding officers to achieve the mission. To balance preservation of the Marine Corps' heavy lift helicopters against mission accomplishment, Marine pilots who are responsible for the work in their maintenance departments need training in maintenance and maintenance data systems. This training would educate the younger pilots, who have a vested interest in the longevity of the aircraft, on how to evaluate their maintenance department's performance. Training the Assistant Aircraft Maintenance Officer and Quality Assurance Officer will lead to an improvement in the material condition of the aircraft because it will train them to understand and interpret where their squadron is falling short according to data generated within the maintenance department."

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