king of nowhere

if fighters are so important, why give them to cadets?

6 posts in this topic

so, we're told that acclivity rings are so hard to come by, they are more rare than pilots. A fighter is literally worth more than its pilot.

Now, in those conditions, you'd expect they'd try hard to not lose fighters.

Instead, they routinely give the fighters to inexperienced pilots, even though they have better pilots. In fact, based on the book one may conclude that most fighters are shot down while piloted by cadets.

Let's look at the numbers given. it is stated in the book that in their five years career, about half pilots are shot down; some of those get to eject. Anyway, for every two full pilots, the DDF can expect statistically to lose a fighter.

We only have skyward flight to estimate cadet losses, but we are led to believe it's quite a common flight. We know the other groups have similar losses, though we know not how many are shot down and how many leave.

In skyward flight we have bim, morningtide and hurl that are shot down and die. spin is also shot down, though she ejects. So we have 4 fighters down. We also have two graduates, jorgen and fm. We can expect one of them will be shot down in his career.

So, we have 4 fighters destroied while piloted by cadets, and only one while piloted by a pilot. while those are too small numbers to be statistically accurate, from what we see 80% of DDF fighters are destroied while being piloted by cadets.

Yep, that girl who ejected a few weeks before graduation (vigor, the one who was going to take spensa's place when she was stuck in the cave; but we know there are other similar dropouts), she totally failed. We clearly cannot trust them with a fighter. Instead, let's take a new recruit and send her in battle instead. That's certainly going to lower fighter losses!

It's not even like they need to fly for experience; while they need to start combat training eventually, I doubt a few more months in the simulator would hurt, and I doubt the DDF lacks the resources to keep a couple dozen more cadets with a slower turnover.

I hearby petition admiral ironsides to stop this inane practice of kicking out cadets who eject, stop this practice of sending cadets with only a couple months training into battle, build a couple more simulation rooms so they can train more cadets at the same time, and only send to battle people who are actually qualified. I'm sure this would reduce losses, both of pilots and of fighters.

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42 minutes ago, king of nowhere said:

so, we're told that acclivity rings are so hard to come by, they are more rare than pilots. A fighter is literally worth more than its pilot.

Now, in those conditions, you'd expect they'd try hard to not lose fighters.

Instead, they routinely give the fighters to inexperienced pilots, even though they have better pilots. In fact, based on the book one may conclude that most fighters are shot down while piloted by cadets.

Let's look at the numbers given. it is stated in the book that in their five years career, about half pilots are shot down; some of those get to eject. Anyway, for every two full pilots, the DDF can expect statistically to lose a fighter.

We only have skyward flight to estimate cadet losses, but we are led to believe it's quite a common flight. We know the other groups have similar losses, though we know not how many are shot down and how many leave.

In skyward flight we have bim, morningtide and hurl that are shot down and die. spin is also shot down, though she ejects. So we have 4 fighters down. We also have two graduates, jorgen and fm. We can expect one of them will be shot down in his career.

So, we have 4 fighters destroied while piloted by cadets, and only one while piloted by a pilot. while those are too small numbers to be statistically accurate, from what we see 80% of DDF fighters are destroied while being piloted by cadets.

Yep, that girl who ejected a few weeks before graduation (vigor, the one who was going to take spensa's place when she was stuck in the cave; but we know there are other similar dropouts), she totally failed. We clearly cannot trust them with a fighter. Instead, let's take a new recruit and send her in battle instead. That's certainly going to lower fighter losses!

It's not even like they need to fly for experience; while they need to start combat training eventually, I doubt a few more months in the simulator would hurt, and I doubt the DDF lacks the resources to keep a couple dozen more cadets with a slower turnover.

I hearby petition admiral ironsides to stop this inane practice of kicking out cadets who eject, stop this practice of sending cadets with only a couple months training into battle, build a couple more simulation rooms so they can train more cadets at the same time, and only send to battle people who are actually qualified. I'm sure this would reduce losses, both of pilots and of fighters.

I was given the impression by the book that they just don't have enough trained pilots to give new pilots time to train. I mean I think the logic is if you include even those you kicked out, you would risk losing even more fighters due to lack of skill/knowledge on top of lack of experience. But I didn't actively crunch numbers so I could be off. 

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the problem is that they don't make any realistic assessment of the cadet's skill. you survive training? you pass. you got shot down? you fail. that way you don't get the best pilots, but the luckyest ones.

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They were fighting a losing war, didn't have any good strategies, and were not desperate.  At that point, decisions stop making sense.

 

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On 1/31/2019 at 3:38 PM, Pathfinder said:

I was given the impression by the book that they just don't have enough trained pilots to give new pilots time to train.

Same.

Also, I believe a big part of the reason they risk giving fighters to inexperienced cadets is due to their culture of hero-worship centered on ace pilots.  The experienced pilots have substantial sway over the entire community, consciously and subconsciously.  They're not just celebrities, they're heroes of the people, symbols of humanity's perseverance and strength-- keeping them happy and safe is key to keeping up the public's morale.  Plus it's just natural to accommodate them.  Catering to ace pilots is ingrained in the culture.  Look at the respect and awe shown to anyone with a pilot's pin, or even a simple cadet's pin.

"If Alta is in dire need, if a lifebuster is spotted, then of course we'll call on our ace pilots for duty.  But for routine patrols and scavenging missions...  Well, haven't the ace pilots already done so much to help the DDF in their time in the sky?  Haven't they already risked their lives plenty of times before now?  Don't they deserve some time off?  Why risk wearing them out or ruffling an ace pilot's feathers over a simple scavenging mission?  Besides, this will give the cadets some valuable field experience.  We have a few flights of experienced pilots on call; that'll be enough."

They don't want to see their heroes shot down, so they rationalize the decision to send inexperienced cadets instead.  Even if, on paper at least, fighters are worth more than their pilots, it's easy to justify keeping the ace pilots "in reserve", AKA in safety.  Plus, any pilot or cadet with an ounce of true bravery and skill will be able to guide a damaged fighter into a safe landing, so they can salvage the acclivity ring later.  Win/win.

The Defiant culture has a huge impact on practically every decision made by practically everyone in the book.  Practically.  And giving fighters to cadets was one of those decisions so influenced.
(That last sentence had grammar much.  Yes, yes.)

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On 31/1/2019 at 11:38 PM, Pathfinder said:

I was given the impression by the book that they just don't have enough trained pilots to give new pilots time to train.

they have at least some reserve pilots: cadets who got shot down shortly before graduation. they still have more experience that skyward flight did for most of the time. they may not have enough, but it would certainly be rational to send all those available.

I like zath's explanation's more. yes, FM counterculture movement is really needed

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