What are peoples thoughts on IF?

What I mean is why do we make it such an important currency when in real time it is nothing more than a 'limited emergency procedure'. Now I know QHI types will be up in arms at that statement but let me try and explain my thoughts and put across an argument.


1 hour/6 months actual
5 hours/6 months sim
1 hour/8 weeks sim
6 app/6 months
IRT/13 months

This gives us a limited IR. (No procedural)

I say emergency because in real time, it would be very rare that we would plan to go actual for a task/mission given the current fit of our aircraft. UK maybe, but unless we get invaded, pointless. I don't see that taking Brig Massingbird-Smythe to a cocktail party in weather that bad would be worth while launching in the first place.
I agree, it's a valuable tool should inadvertent become the order of the day.

Consider this;

Only just recently has an NVG check been brought in, not before too long if you ask me. I would consider NVG Cat III (the aim of the Corps standard to be at?) to be more important to our role and more risky due to the sortie profile. Yes, we have similar currency requirements for NVG as for IF but why do we have Mortal currency of 1-hour/six months? One reason would be emergency following NVG system failure?

Somebody who write's the flying programme for the Sqn might find it somewhat restrictive, mainly due to the lack of airframe hours per pilot to go around. The main currency to keep in check is IF. If we are lucky enough to have an aircraft given that has 6 hours a day for the Sqn, it would have to be prioritised. A pilot that goes uncurrent IF cannot task, so it has to be ensured his IF is put above doing useful Tac training.

I do not suggest for one minute that we s h i tcan IF in total but look at hours spent gaining and maintaining currency in this field when it's not what we are about. We do not operate all weather aircraft, so why sacrifice scarce flying hours maintaining it? Mortal is only an hour in 6 so why can't IF be rationalised?

Solution; Fit the cabs for IF or reduce currency.

Please give your thoughts.


Completely agree with you Flashy. Lots of hours spent wasted on long transits with the holds in finished off with an approach without hood where you can see the field from 6NM away.  An utter waste of everyone's time, airframe hours etc.

Duty rumour has it that the new JHC NVG currency will be 4 weeks plus 1 hr mortal. Now what do you reckon to that?


Hmm but how is it going to work with block leave, bearing in mind that that is 1 hour NVG and 1 hour mortal in 4 weeks.
Mmmm, didn't know about the 1 hour mortal! Should make for alot of uncurrent bods!

I did a survey just recently with regards to min JHC requirements and projected aircraft servicability and shall we say the figures didn't quite add up to what they wanted! I feel this will only serve to aggrivate the situation. Goalposts, mobile.

Like I said before, make the cabs 'S' and we'll do the job. If I have to maintain 30 hours a month currency, I'd be happy but setting unrealistic targets with current availabiltiy is something I'd expect from Regt Ops!!!! Blinkered, shortsightedness and gross incompetence. (Oops, I only meant to think that, not say it!)
Whilst I agree with you regarding the amount of IF required,  I have to say that some pilots need this amount of IF training.  Having done numerous IRTs (these I feel are a must!) it is quite apparant that the junior members do suffer from skill fade and on occasions put themselves in potentially hazardous situations (by junior I mean both pilots and AC Comds).
The system doesn't allow for experience to be taken into account when deciding the currency requirements...maybe a relaxation once green rating is achieved....why not bring back Master Green and so on. for the new NVG regulations....ain't gonna work with the amount of flying time on the airframes.....just means that every other trip will be a re-cat,  giving even more NVG hours to the likes of me...and not where it's needed the more junior line pilots log book..

Summer is gonna be a mare.....only 30 mins per night in the fixed wing region!!!!

Something has got to give.

Hows Dishforth?
I agree with your sentiments, wingover. Would say 1 hour in 6 be effective for someone who struggles anyway with IF? No, probably not. As you say, a streaming system might be the way ahead. As you know, IRT is a pass/fail test. How about grading? Realistic grading.

Your hands are tied by the system presently. If someone scrapes a pass, it's a pass. But if graded as 6 monthlies then areas can be identified and worked on maybe? I think the whole shooting match should be re- thought. As opposed to copying and pasting JSP RAF to JSP Army.

I hear Master Green is coming back in.


Dishforth = excellent, well certainly in the past .... oh say 3 months or so!

Agree that there should be flex in the currency requirements for new pilots/ac comds and our beloved 'veteran' pilots. Maybe master green/ IF hero is the way forward although if that is going to be the way forward why just apply it to IF currencies? Spread the hours where they are needed to the junior guys.

Anyone else heard the 4 week NVG currency rumour?
Let me add another 'hand grenade' into the equation. Why is it we are the only service to have QHI/IRE's and not just regular bloke, line A/C (who has a bit of time in his log book) as IRE (as per selection for PSI)? Would this off load already over worked QHI's?

As B P'dine would say, "Is that a good fing or a bad fing?"
"Good fing or bad fing" ....are we looking at IF becoming totally sim based..more than likely. Most AH IF trg (for NVS / NVE skill sharpening I believe is the excuse) is FMS based, along with PNVS flying. Although I expect someone will come up with a mission that tracks and holds on the ADF at Compton Abbas! £42mil and only fitted with ADF..mmm.. does that mean this rotary platform was designed to operate NOE at all times and dispense with cloud bumping! Highly likely.

LATS (if somebody sorts out the looming hours deficit and contract problems) will probably become the IF platform for those (Lynx) types as well. So it looks like all IF in the future can be hived off to low cost Sims (FMS £2600per / hr!). Problem solved then.

With only the grey bomber required to operate in Class A airspace and 109 with a partial exemption..not much requirement for Lx / Gz to thrash around the IFTA's really. Dont hold out much hope for FGR based units either, as JAR and DBFS requirements begin to bite. IF will only be allowed within the airfield perimeter shortly.

If you are not going to fit the kit...stop playing at it.

Ditch ratings...they only encourage pilots to chase them for street cred..what is the difference in ratings...couple of feet, couple of knots and a few degrees of skill! Anyone become a book / knowledge expert for M Green.

Concentrate on aviation fieldcraft, EW and tactical applied flying skills...please.

Did the JHC geezers who came up with the formula for the rumoured NVG currency..just finish doing the last FRI package..cos thats gonna work as well then!!  ???  ???
Sorry guys, but it needs to be done. If only for that unlikely occasion when you go inadvertant. My current job only gives me .5 every 3 months and it's not enough (mind you it used to be .5 every 6). It just convinces me that I don't want to accidently bump into a cloud.

5 hours in 6 is probably about right, although I can recall a few people on IRTs where it wasn't.

Sumo, you don't have to fly with the holds in, and obviously you get more benefit with a hood.

Anyway, if you didn't have to fly for IF currency, then you'd get even less flying than you do now!!



I was one of the guys who went inadvertent in Bos and was so glad that we had the IF currency and all the ups and downs and twirls etc to back up my pants filling return to VMC.  It taught me that it was not a minima and that at every opportunity I should try and make sorties into a composite exercises, eg Low Level follwed by inadvertent with a GPS letdown or radar recovery.

It is not a rumour that the NVG currency is changing, it is fact.  1.5 hrs per 31 days.  See your local QHI mafia for details.


War Hero
IF is another of our armoury of skills and I know that in some places it can be hard to maintain meaningfull curreny(actual) and this does leave people wary of the skill, I used to use IF options In the UK doing 2-3 hours on task flying actual if poss finishing with QGH/SRA/PAR/TACAN at the end and it really makes you comfortable in that enviroment and more able to cope when things are really shoite (like when the IF plan flies out of the side window!) but I can remember trying to get an auth on a well planned and thought out IF transit for a task and being met with questions like"what would happen if you had an engine failure?" and statements like"you shouldn't fly like that when you can fly at 150'agl"', this does blunt ones enthusiasm a bit.
Maintaining any skill requires many hours of hard work and I worked hard as I'd initially found it quite difficult to do, I used to be surprised tho at people flying with me pre IRT to brush up their TACAN skills as it seemd at one point that I was the only bod practising it but it was still being assesed on test(quite rightly)
NVG and mortal need raised currency as the few times I nearly DNCO'd terminal were in the inky poo, both Gog's and MK1, we used to do really demanding Mortal flying but NVG killed that off as we  were always chasing the higher NVG currency requirement.
The valid point already well made is that it needs flying hours which need investment  which needs...............
some of the bean counters need to be sat in the back down route gull on gog's in arrse vis with a flapping junior driver and overextended AC Commander to realise were money is well spent,
Keep safe chaps
and remember ....don't take off with AFCS disenged....!
sorry floppies!
It was not so long ago that no IF was done, talk to some of the old and bold in standards and they will tell you the reasons that we are doing IF. 2 dead in NI when they went inadvertent! Also I read an article a few years ago, think that it was called 176 secs to death, that gave a count down from entering cloud to hitting the deck.
With the lack of training hours this may look like a waste of hours, but I believe that it is a skill that has to be maintained. Its not to bad for our fat friends in the Lynx fleet cos you have all those nice things to help you fly, and can always get your IF in the simulator.
Gents and possible ladies.

AH with only an ADF; just about sums it up.  Careful you don't fit compatible nav/comms kit or else it might interest the JFACC.   Sympathy to those who realise the need to maintain decent IF currency but don't have the resources.

For the rest of you I suppose a low level thumb crawl through Europe will suffice.  PS, its traditional for each ac to have a map.
Guin, I'm not against IF, if anything totally for it as it's a part of making us mil aviators and the obvious factors that enable us to be safe/get the job done. My point was in these times, should we compromise and what should that be? Answer to the first should be no, we shouldn't compromise but the facts are the way things are going, we will all be tres good at IF (because of the currency requirements) but suffer from our core roles of tac LL wazzing and zooming (yuffamism!). I have some v good pilots who are able to do really good PARS/SRA's but are found to be wanting when it comes to green stuff and op'ing the cab where it matters.
'Lets go out and do some ARP's/Recces/Bat Form/ACT', usual answer- 'Mmm, cant, need to bash the IF circuit to get me currencies'.
Let me re-iterate, I'm all for IF currencies and the reason why we have them but lets look ahead. Can they, for the time being, be relaxed, with individual rational thought. Can't remember the last time we (as a Corps) pushed the Tac side of life. We aren't Rig pilots but a mil force without the kit!

Your thoughts, your care with your fancy shoes and expensive cologne!
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