To play devil's advocate, in the case of MANPADs your aircraft would be safe at an altitude of 20,000 feet in the scenario that the threat was from a SA-24, a newer Russian MANPAD (which is higher end of the MANPAD threat). So, this threat is entirely mitigated with proper intelligence on said threat.
Also, no one said that fighter pilots don't have a hard job, etc etc. The point was that HA/RA is assessed by mission, not task.
Sorry, I was on my phone with small screen earlier...I thought Light Guns said the part you did.
I can't talk about operating altitudes, etc of course. Or if there are/aren't any Grinch systems in the JOA. However, I wouldn't necessarily agree that FL200 is completely safe. I go by what I can source from the stuff we source it from and I know different people have different numbers from different sources/methods.
Flying in that JOA, I'll compare it to going to someone's house you don't really know for a party or get together. Just before you go in, the doorman stops you and says "there are 50 other guests here. There may be 4 or 6 of them who are armed, with perhaps a knife or mini-crossbow that we think can fire up to 20 to 30 feet. We don't really know what rooms they are in or floors they are on, but we think there are here
You can decide how you would think once entering that house. Me, I like to plan
for the worst, hope
for the best.
All this stuff about HA, RA. I know, us whiney aircrew and our
crybaby tears over money. Its pretty simple, really. There is HA/RA levels for IMPACT - Iraq and ones for IMPACT - Kuwait. Crews flying into Iraq/Syria should get the Iraq one for each day they are in the JOA, and the Kuwait one for the days they don't. Pretty simple math, I could do it. lets say you did a 100 day ROTO, and flew 35 missions. 35 days at the IRAQ HA/RA and 65 days at the Kuwait one. Why is that such a big deal?
The folks who are static in Erbil (to me, anyone not TacHel or CANSOF, in general) , how close are they to the meat grinder and at what risk (from what I've been told and can see, they are living more comfy than the CC LSA folks). No one seems to mind they are getting the higher HA/RA. But, when a flyer mentions it everyone is "oh stop bitching" and
. Is there potentially more risk to being in Erbil to CC? Sure. I can buy that.
Is there more risk to operating in the airspace over ISIS held territory? Sure there is. People need to remember that planes break, just like cars. Sometimes that means you will have to put down NOW. Sometimes it means you can't maintain your altitude and will have to fly lower over some of the Badlands to get to a spot you can land. Has that happened...perhaps not. Does that mean it won't happen? Definitely not. There is a risk that something will go wrong and when it does, it can be fast and put you down in places you don't want to go, or you go BOOM or you fall out of the sky. If those things weren't likely or possible to happen, we wouldn't practice, prepare and be kitted out for those situations
. Anyone who has had any kind of airborne emergency (Mayday, Pan-Pan kinda of stuff) will likely agree things tend to go bad fast and you start worrying about things like gravity and altitude and *distance to a safe spot* really really fast. Nothing will wake you up like hearing "Smoke in the cockpit. CLIMB
" (300' over the deck XXX miles from a runway, feet wet in late November and your brain is trying to remember those "survival time in the water numbers PDQ).
AIRCRA covers that normal risk associated with flying, in Canada, or anywhere outside the JOA wrt IMPACT in this instance. If I go down 900nm south of Iceland, there is the risk of biting it on the ditching, or before you can get picked up, or whatever. In the IMPACT JOA, you risk being burned alive, or put in a cage and dunked in a lake, or whatever other inventive way they will come up with for your wife to get her SISIP cheque.
I remember when I was a green DEU guy in Halifax years ago, seeing an Aurora flying overhead and thinking "man those guys have it easy". Now I do that job, and while some parts are easier, some are lots harder. I had 2.5 *no-fly* months in 2016, I still logged 750 hours flying. We max out at 1000 per year. I dunno, maybe I've just gotten soft since I switched the green DEU for the blue one.
For some perspective, my busiest month in theatre, my AIRCRA equalled $2.76/hour (monthly rate divided by hours flown). Obviously I wasn't doing the job for the money, right? So when I am making a cool $2.76/hour more for flying over the mobile BBQ party in Iraq & Syria. Can that be a piss off factor at times, when you do the math and realize how much extra you are making, knowing the risk you are taking (worst case scenario) every second the wheels are in the well? Yup.
Change it to RA for Iraq the days you are in Iraq, and Kuwait the days you are in Kuwait. Seems to make sense to me. It ain't all about money, but that is the ONLY perk I can show, give to my wife for being away. Money doesn't make the world turn, but it helps pay for nice things and trips when you are on your post-D leave...anyone who goes away (hopefully) understands the equally important *marriage maintenance* stuff. Coins and certificates for the I LOVE ME wall don't mean much to a spouse. A trip to Cuba sure does.
Finally... zero time flying over ISIS, but I did get to drive around Jordan, Lebanon, and the west bank in an unarmoured SUV without a weapon in areas with active ISIS elements working (and in the case of Jordan in a country with 2 x recent terrorist attacks on westerners).... without the tax free the fin clerk in Camp Canada gets
And I don't agree with that one single bit. It isn't up to me, but if it was, you'd be getting the proper RA for that, and the tax free gig too.
As I said last page, I think...the whole methodology is messed up. Whatever the RA is I was getting, I'd be telling anyone who'd listen guys like you should be getting more. I advocate a lot of the *flying is dangerous and aircrew don't have it as easy as it may seem* stuff, but I also don't think we have it the hardest or most dangerous. Being over them isn't the same crap as being that up close and personal. Hats off to ya and your crew.