THE PILOT CRISIS

Combat Aircraft examines the US Air Force’s pilot retention dilemma, and offers an opinion about what needs to be done…

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The USAF is looking at expanding pilot production, possibly adding a new training base to help boost output, but it needs recruits to fill these slots in the first instance.
USAF/SrA Corey Pettis
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Expanding the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve may be a way to help mitigate shortfalls in the active-duty component.
Jamie Hunter

THE US AIR Force is candidly facing up to a dilemma that demands a robust solution — and one that must be found in the near future. A rapid decline in pilot retention has been attributed to a number of factors, one being that the mandatory pilot retirement age is currently set at 65. Not only are age restrictions and a steady deterioration of Vietnam-era pilots creating this gap — so too is a fading interest in even becoming a military aviator.

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