Author Topic: Drone Pilot Shortage worries US officials- article  (Read 9786 times)

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Offline Dimsum

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Re: Drone Pilot Shortage worries US officials- article
« Reply #25 on: September 15, 2015, 01:01:21 »

Oh, and we had to wear CADPAT AR combat clothing like the rest of the peasantry. Those Heron wankers, when they showed up, however...

Yeah, that was one rotation (and not mine).  That changed right quick.  Of course some were miffed that as aircrew, we weren't wearing flying suits but those complaints generally went away as the summer wore on.   :nod:
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Offline Dimsum

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Re: Drone Pilot Shortage worries US officials- article
« Reply #26 on: September 18, 2015, 21:46:31 »
James and Welsh (Sec of the AF and USAF Chief of Staff): 'No doubt' enlisted airmen could be drone pilots

Quote
Welsh and James said that the Air Force is wrestling with the potential pitfalls of having enlisted pilots on the Air Force's organizational structure, such as conflicts regarding supervision and the fact that an enlisted drone pilot would be paid less than an officer doing the same job. Some of those difficulties caused the Air Force to scrap its enlisted flying corps in the past, Welsh said, so the Air Force is considering holding a beta test to do "due diligence."

Welsh said the Air Force is considering enlisted drone pilots to help satisfy the growing need for the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability that drones help provide. But while those needs are growing, tight budgets are limiting how much the Air Force can grow its officer ranks.

...or, bring back USAF Warrant Officers, which are technical specialists that won't compete with Officer command postings.

http://www.airforcetimes.com/story/military/afa/2015/09/15/james-and-welsh-no-doubt-enlisted-airmen-could-be-drone-pilots/72328234/
« Last Edit: September 18, 2015, 21:58:54 by Dimsum »
Philip II of Macedon to Spartans (346 BC):  "You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city."

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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: Drone Pilot Shortage worries US officials- article
« Reply #27 on: September 18, 2015, 22:05:35 »
Warrants would be a good solution,but one that the USAF wont pursue.They will want to use aircrew to operate UAV's as there will be fewer planes for them to fly.

Offline Dimsum

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Re: Drone Pilot Shortage worries US officials- article
« Reply #28 on: September 18, 2015, 22:12:24 »
Warrants would be a good solution,but one that the USAF wont pursue.They will want to use aircrew to operate UAV's as there will be fewer planes for them to fly.

Fair, but I meant aircrew Warrants like the US Army.  Or commission (warrant?) those "enlisted" folks into some RPA Warrant Officer stream.  Problem solved.
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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: Drone Pilot Shortage worries US officials- article
« Reply #29 on: September 19, 2015, 19:44:52 »
I know what you meant,but its not USAF culture.They discontinued their Warrant program in 1959.

Offline Dimsum

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Re: Drone Pilot Shortage worries US officials- article
« Reply #30 on: July 07, 2016, 12:02:17 »
Necropost but the USAF is starting their Enlisted RPA Pilot program on the RQ-4 Global Hawk soon. 

Quote
The Air Force recently selected the first 10 enlisted Airmen to attend RQ-4 Global Hawk pilot training, marking the first time since World War II enlisted Airmen will be behind the stick.

The first combined enlisted and officer training course will begin October 2016, with the first enlisted Airmen expected to graduate in 2017.....

Enlisted pilots will undergo the same rigorous Air Force training as current RPA pilots with respect to flight training, rules, and responsibilities.

The new enlisted pilots will begin their Undergraduate RPA Training with the RPA Initial Flight Training where they will learn to fly a DA-20 Falcon. From there they will attend RPA Instrument Qualification and Fundamentals Courses before finishing with Global Hawk Basic Qualification Training. At the conclusion of this training they will be rated, instrument qualified pilots who are Federal Aviation Administration certified to fly the RQ-4 in national and international airspace and mission qualified to execute the high altitude ISR mission.

From the article, it looks like they will be re-treads from Staff Sgt and above who are already aircrew.

http://www.af.mil/News/ArticleDisplay/tabid/223/Article/828066/af-selects-first-enlisted-airmen-for-global-hawk-pilot-training.aspx
Philip II of Macedon to Spartans (346 BC):  "You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city."

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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: Drone Pilot Shortage worries US officials- article
« Reply #31 on: July 07, 2016, 19:15:09 »
The problem is pay.I think any kid out of high school could fly a drone its too much like a video game.A USAF Staff Sergeant is an E-5 with base pay of $2200 a month plus allowances for food and housing.Is that going to attract the talent ? If the Army,Navy or Marines ran the program Warrant Officers could be used.A WO1 has a base pay of $3000 plus benefits.The real money goes to a commissioned officer which is where USAF culture is.

http://www.military.com/daily-news/2015/04/07/air-force-details-bonuses-for-fighter-drone-pilots.html

The Air Force has announced bonuses for select fighter and drone pilots.
The categories of pilots eligible for the bonus – which go as high as $225,000, with half of it paid up front in a lump sum – include 11F fighter pilots, 11U remotely piloted aircraft pilots and 11X pilots who agree to move into the 11U specialty for their entire career.
Some "uncommitted" manned aircraft pilots and those who have switched to becoming drone pilots could see lower bonuses, according to a report in Air Force Times.
These include pilots whose undergraduate flying training active-duty service commitment expired before fiscal 2015, or those who completed 11 years of aviation service by then. These pilots are eligible for a $15,000 a year bonus for each year they extend their contracts. The extensions could be for five years, or until they hit the 20-year mark, up to nine years.

Now the USAF is hiring civilian contractors to be drone pilots. :D

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-fg-drone-contractor-20151127-story.html

Offline Dimsum

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Re: Drone Pilot Shortage worries US officials- article
« Reply #32 on: December 23, 2016, 13:16:38 »
A bit of a sensationalist headline (there are definitely worse jobs than RPA crews, but tell that to manned aircraft Pilots) but the lack of training and quals is a bit scary.

Quote
...The U.S. Army and the Air Force both need a lot of pilots and technicians to keep the drones flying — literally tens of thousands of people altogether — but it hasn’t been easy filling those job slots. Worse, the two branches started cutting corners during training, according to the Government Accountability Office, or GAO, a congressionally-mandated watchdog.

Often, the Army wasn’t even sure if its pilots were qualified to fly drones. On top of that, it was approving new flight instructors who haven’t finished their own training.

There’s a lot of reasons for the shortage of good pilots. The most obvious is budget cutbacks across the military.

To get around the forced cuts, known as “sequestration,” the Pentagon has employed some tricky accounting to keep the cash flowing to its pet projects — such as the F-35 Lightning II. Personnel levels have also fallen across all branches.

But the less obvious answer is that no one wants to pilot drones. It’s an awful job where a pilot — instead of sitting in a cockpit — sits inside a metal box in front of a computer screen for hours. Drone pilots are overworked, over-stressed and pissed off.

No wonder the Pentagon can’t find good pilots...

https://warisboring.com/piloting-drones-is-the-worst-job-in-the-military-8492289d8b8d#.gft53ywym
Philip II of Macedon to Spartans (346 BC):  "You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city."

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Offline Eye In The Sky

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Re: Drone Pilot Shortage worries US officials- article
« Reply #33 on: December 23, 2016, 21:33:41 »
Simple solution; let the drones fly themselves  ;D and have pilots for RPA/UAVs!!

 >:D
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Offline Dimsum

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Re: Drone Pilot Shortage worries US officials- article
« Reply #34 on: May 05, 2017, 18:13:39 »
Necropost but the USAF is starting their Enlisted RPA Pilot program on the RQ-4 Global Hawk soon. 

From the article, it looks like they will be re-treads from Staff Sgt and above who are already aircrew.

http://www.af.mil/News/ArticleDisplay/tabid/223/Article/828066/af-selects-first-enlisted-airmen-for-global-hawk-pilot-training.aspx

Update:  They've graduated.

https://www.airforcetimes.com/articles/first-enlisted-rpa-pilots-graduate
Philip II of Macedon to Spartans (346 BC):  "You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city."

Reply:  "If."