CHAPTER 6

FLYING-HOUR PROGRAM

The DA flying-hour program is a consolidation of requirements from subordinate commands. Aircraft are assigned to TOE units to meet combat requirements. During peacetime, these aircraft are used to train aviation and ground units for combat. Aircraft are also assigned to TDA units to meet other essential mission requirements. This chapter provides guidance for developing FHPs for TOE or TDA aviation units.

6-1. RESPONSIBILITIES OF COMMANDERS

The high costs associated with aviation require that commanders with aviation assets calculate a flying-hour program. They must base the FHP on the minimum number of flying hours needed to maintain individual, crew, and unit proficiency. They also must include those hours required to train supported units to ARTEP mission training plan standards. To achieve the ideal balance of readiness at the lowest cost, commanders must consider--

• Crew member density.

• Annual crew member turnover.

• Number of aircraft assigned.

• Mission support requirements.

• Number of hours necessary for aircraft maintenance.

• Current status of aviation and supported unit training.

6-2. FORMULATION OF A FLYING-HOUR PROGRAM FOR TRAINING

The number of flying hours required for training depends on the number of assigned crew members. Total training hours required for each crew member are listed in the appropriate ATM. When computing flying hours for their unit's FHP, commanders must consider only pilot hours for each aviator. They also must consider the hours required to train a nonrated crew member in actual aircraft handling. If a compatible simulation device is available, they subtract the hours flown in the simulation device from the total training-hour requirements for each crew member assigned. In the example that follows, arbitrary data is used to show how the commander of a UH-1H unit determined the number of training hours required.

a. Example. Flying hours for individual aviators were based on the sample numbers given below. Actual numbers for each unit may vary.

(1) UH-1H aviators assigned--52 (based on the current TOE).

(2) Annual aviator turnover rate--33 percent (derived from past replacement experience).

(3) Estimated number of newly assigned aviators to undergo qualification, refresher, or mission training--17 (33 percent x 52).

(4) Qualification training planning factor--70.5 hours.

(5) Refresher training planning factor--37 hours.

(6) Mission training planning factor--18 hours.

(7) Continuation training planning factor--48 hours (pilot) for FAC 1 aviators and 30 hours (pilot) for FAC 2 aviators.

b. Steps. The steps below show how to calculate aviator training requirements. (Assume that a compatible simulation device is not available and that all newly assigned aviators will be placed in FAC 1 positions.)

(1) Determine the number of hours required for newly assigned aviators.

(a) Qualification training requirements--aviators (2) x qualification training hours (70.5) = 141 hours.

NOTE: Qualification training requirements will most likely be based on historical data available in the unit. Active Components have a relatively low requirement for qualification training while some Reserve Components have a high requirement.

(b) Refresher training requirements--aviators (15) x refresher training hours (37) = 555 hours.

(c) Mission training requirements--aviators (17) x mission training hours (18) = 306 hours.

(d) Continuation training requirements--aviators (17) x continuation training hours (48) x 3/4 = 612 hours.

NOTE: The fraction 3/4 used in (d) above is the estimated portion of the training year remaining for newly assigned aviators to complete continuation training.

(e) Total hours for newly assigned aviators--qualification training hours (141) + refresher training hours (555) + mission training hours (306) + continuation training hours (612) = 1,614 hours.

(2) Determine the number of hours required for the remainder of the unit's continuation training (continuation training hours (48) x aviators (35) = 1,680 hours).

(3) Add the number of hours in (1)(e) and (2) above to determine the number of training hours required (1,614 + 1,680 = 3,294 hours).

6-3. FORMULATION OF ANNUAL FLYING HOURS FOR MISSION SUPPORT

a. Operational requirements fall into 10 general areas.

(1) Combat, combat support, and combat service support.

(a) Logistics.

(b) Firepower.

(c) Maneuver and troop lift.

(d) Command, control, and communications.

(e) Intelligence, reconnaissance, and security.

(2) Training and training support.

(a) Formal resident flight training.

(b) Support of installation training activities.

(c) Support of Army service schools' programs of instruction.

(d) Technical aviation operations and aircraft maintenance training.

(3) Executive and staff transport (support of local administrative, executive, and inspection functions).

(4) Support of assigned crew members, staff personnel assigned to flying duty, or RC crew members.

(5) Research, development, test, and evaluation.

(6) Aerial photography and mapping.

(7) Aeromedical evacuation, crash rescue, or search and rescue.

(8) Intelligence and classified projects.

(9) Attaches, missions, and Military Assistance Advisory Groups.

(10) Special missions unique to location or operation.

b. Supported units must project annual support requirements and report them to their aviation commanders. These requirements should identify the hours of support needed in each of the general areas above.

c. In all aviation units, collective training should be coordinated with operational missions. This normally will not require additional flying hours.

d. Because of safety and standardization considerations, aviation units require some flying hours solely for individual training. In this chapter, these hours are called individual training hours. They are required for training and evaluating newly assigned crew members and conducting special training that cannot be done during operational and collective training missions.

e. Commanders must determine how to satisfy both training and support requirements. After forecasting hours for operational and collective training missions, they should design missions that can accomplish aviation training and still meet operational requirements. If operational requirements exceed the training hours available, commanders may increase their total flying-hour requirements or decrease the flying hours available for operational missions or training.

f. Factors that influence a commander's decision include budget constraints, the nature of operational missions, the present level of training readiness, and maintenance support capabilities. Commanders should remember that any decrease in individual training hours will result in a loss of individual proficiency and a corresponding decay in unit readiness.

g. In addition to programming hours for training and operational requirements, commanders must estimate the hours necessary for maintenance. As a rule, 5 percent of the total number of hours in the FHP is an appropriate estimate of the maintenance hours required. Commanders may adjust this estimate based on variables such as aircraft age and local flying conditions (sand, dust, and so on).

(1) Figure 6-1 shows the first step of the two-step process for computing an FHP.

(2) The 56 hours of support time in Figure 6-1 cannot be flown during individual training. In this case, the commander decides that he cannot reduce individual training hours without a decay in unit readiness. However, he can reduce mission support by 56 hours or add 56 hours to the FHP. The commander elects to increase the FHP to cover the operational requirement. In Figure 6-2, he adds 5 percent for maintenance and completes the second step of the process.

Total mission support hours required
2,200
Installation support
300
Ranger training support
600
Infantry division support
1,300
Individual training hours required
1,150
Total mission support and individual training hours required
3,350
Total training hours required
3,294
Difference (hours)
-56

Figure 6-1. Sample FHP computation (first step)

Total training hours required and operational hours (3,294 + 56)

Maintenance hours required (3,350 x .05)

Total hours

Hours programmed as follows:

Individual training

Maintenance

Installation support

Ranger training support

Infantry division support

Total hours

3,350

168

3,518

 

1,150

168

300

600

1,300

3,518

NOTE: The FHP for a unit with 20 UH-1H aircraft assigned is 14.66 hours per aircraft per month.

Figure 6-2. Sample FHP computation (second step)

6-4. EVALUATION OF THE FLYING-HOUR PROGRAM

The aviation unit's desired status should be achieved by training and measured during evaluations. Evaluation results may reveal a need to increase or decrease flying-hour requirements. Commanders must allocate sufficient flying hours to subordinate units and implement policy according to this publication to ensure maximum combat readiness.

6-5. MANAGEMENT OF RESOURCES

a. Reduced training resources may result from several different factors. Flying hours, ammunition, and repair parts allotted to a unit training program may be taken away suddenly because of budget constraints.

b. Commanders are expected to manipulate available resources through imaginative and skillful managerial techniques. Within the given constraints, they are expected to maintain an appropriate level of combat readiness. When reallocating resources, commanders should allow for reinforcement so that less experienced crew members may continue to build their skills.

c. Commanders should manage simulation devices intensively to derive the maximum training benefit from them. They should consider the use of classrooms, terrain boards, and terrain walks as tools to reinforce individual, crew, and unit fighting skills.