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Thread: Air Force faces 2000 pilot shortage

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    Veteran Member bajisima's Avatar
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    Air Force faces 2000 pilot shortage

    Top Air Force leaders and lawmakers are warning that a pilot shortage of 2,000 could cripple the service, leaving it unready to handle its responsibilities.

    “With 2,000 pilots short, it’ll break the force. It’ll break it,” Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said on Thursday during the annual State of the Air Force news conference.

    The Air Force needs 20,000 pilots minimum to fly its wide range of aircraft, including fighter jets, helicopters, transport planes, support attack planes and cargo aircraft. At the start of the year, it said it had 18,500 pilots, well short of its minimum. As of last week, the shortfall has jumped to a full 2,000 — meaning about 10 percent of its positions are unfilled. The majority are fighter pilots.

    The problem is not that the Air Force is having trouble recruiting. It’s that airlines are offering bigger paychecks, and pilots are leaving when they are up for reenlistment. The Air Force has tried to get its pilots to stay by offering contract extensions of just one or two years with $35,000 bonuses. That’s much less of a commitment than the five- and nine-year extensions typically offered.

    Even with those numbers, it’s a deal for the Air Force.

    “You do the math. It takes ten years to raise a fighter pilot, it takes you $10 million,” Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said last week. With 1,000 pilots leaving the Air Force, Goldfein said, “$10 billion of capitol investment that just walked out the door. So we’re first and foremost looking to retain everyone we can.”

    Air Force faces serious 2,000-pilot shortage | TheHill

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    Veteran Member Moorhuhn Wanted Champion Hollywood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bajisima View Post
    Top Air Force leaders and lawmakers are warning that a pilot shortage of 2,000 could cripple the service, leaving it unready to handle its responsibilities.

    “With 2,000 pilots short, it’ll break the force. It’ll break it,” Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said on Thursday during the annual State of the Air Force news conference.

    The Air Force needs 20,000 pilots minimum to fly its wide range of aircraft, including fighter jets, helicopters, transport planes, support attack planes and cargo aircraft. At the start of the year, it said it had 18,500 pilots, well short of its minimum. As of last week, the shortfall has jumped to a full 2,000 — meaning about 10 percent of its positions are unfilled. The majority are fighter pilots.

    The problem is not that the Air Force is having trouble recruiting. It’s that airlines are offering bigger paychecks, and pilots are leaving when they are up for reenlistment. The Air Force has tried to get its pilots to stay by offering contract extensions of just one or two years with $35,000 bonuses. That’s much less of a commitment than the five- and nine-year extensions typically offered.

    Even with those numbers, it’s a deal for the Air Force.

    “You do the math. It takes ten years to raise a fighter pilot, it takes you $10 million,” Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said last week. With 1,000 pilots leaving the Air Force, Goldfein said, “$10 billion of capitol investment that just walked out the door. So we’re first and foremost looking to retain everyone we can.”

    Air Force faces serious 2,000-pilot shortage | TheHill
    Make the minimum enlistment longer. If they want those fat airline jobs they will have to give the AF more time.
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    Civis americanus borealis Singularity's Avatar
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    There's no way the Pentagon has enough money to fix this in about 2 seconds. Let's be realistic here.

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    New Member LT Greenbean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hollywood View Post
    Make the minimum enlistment longer. If they want those fat airline jobs they will have to give the AF more time.
    99.99% of pilots are officers. there is no "enlistment" for them. they "branch" such as "aviation" or intelligence, or logistics...etc. their contracts are not enlistments. thats only for enlisted airmen
    glad i was able to clear up your confusion
    Thanks from Southern Dad

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    Established Member NeoVsMatrix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LT Greenbean View Post
    99.99% of pilots are officers. there is no "enlistment" for them. they "branch" such as "aviation" or intelligence, or logistics...etc. their contracts are not enlistments. thats only for enlisted airmen
    glad i was able to clear up your confusion


    I highly question you having any ability to talk to this topic, as it pertains to the USA.

    But why don't you share with us what the little neighborhood gang you're running is playing these days ? fighter pilots ?

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    New Member LT Greenbean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeoVsMatrix View Post
    I highly question you having any ability to talk to this topic, as it pertains to the USA.

    But why don't you share with us what the little neighborhood gang you're running is playing these days ? fighter pilots ?
    which part of my post are you calling incorrect?

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    While I am in no position to contradict the Secretary of the Air Force, I am surprised by the expressed shortfall, especially regarding fighter pilots. I am surprised for two perceived reasons. First is the increased use of drones, reducing the need for fighter pilots. Second is the downsizing or merging of the large airlines that pay the higher salaries. Many are going to the hub system where they fly from hub to hub and the smaller more local airlines complete the passenger's journey. These smaller airlines do not offer as high salaries.

    As a resident of Annapolis, I had a neighbor nearing retirement and was a fighter pilot. He was assigned to the Academy until his nearing retirement. I asked him if he was going to go work for an airline upon his retirement. His response: the airlines don't want me, I was a fighter pilot, they preferred transport pilots that have experience working with a crew; plus they think we are too crazy to be trusted flying a passenger plane.

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    New Member LT Greenbean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheWahoo View Post
    While I am in no position to contradict the Secretary of the Air Force, I am surprised by the expressed shortfall, especially regarding fighter pilots. I am surprised for two perceived reasons. First is the increased use of drones, reducing the need for fighter pilots. Second is the downsizing or merging of the large airlines that pay the higher salaries. Many are going to the hub system where they fly from hub to hub and the smaller more local airlines complete the passenger's journey. These smaller airlines do not offer as high salaries.

    As a resident of Annapolis, I had a neighbor nearing retirement and was a fighter pilot. He was assigned to the Academy until his nearing retirement. I asked him if he was going to go work for an airline upon his retirement. His response: the airlines don't want me, I was a fighter pilot, they preferred transport pilots that have experience working with a crew; plus they think we are too crazy to be trusted flying a passenger plane.
    unfortunately, thats usually the case. my father had the same problems coming out of the air force. in the 90s they were worried fighter pilots flying commercial planes wouldnt get the adrenaline rush they used to, and would put the passengers in danger by doing something stupid

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    Established Member NeoVsMatrix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheWahoo View Post
    While I am in no position to contradict the Secretary of the Air Force, I am surprised by the expressed shortfall, especially regarding fighter pilots. I am surprised for two perceived reasons. First is the increased use of drones, reducing the need for fighter pilots. Second is the downsizing or merging of the large airlines that pay the higher salaries. Many are going to the hub system where they fly from hub to hub and the smaller more local airlines complete the passenger's journey. These smaller airlines do not offer as high salaries.

    As a resident of Annapolis, I had a neighbor nearing retirement and was a fighter pilot. He was assigned to the Academy until his nearing retirement. I asked him if he was going to go work for an airline upon his retirement. His response: the airlines don't want me, I was a fighter pilot, they preferred transport pilots that have experience working with a crew; plus they think we are too crazy to be trusted flying a passenger plane.
    median / average salary for AF pilots is around 107k... civil pilots average is based on plane size is between 104k and 121k.

    Doesn't seem like that big a disparity to me.

    Also wondering how the AF is "surprised by that".. and would not have seen this trend coming a long time ago.

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    Veteran Member Micro Machines Champion, Race Against Time Champion Tedminator's Avatar
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    First; the USAF should reinstate warrant officer rank like back during ww2 and start allowing non commissioned officers to pilot aircraft again, similar to how the US Army allows non comms to fly helicopters etc. Also, the USAF needs to train more enlisted airmen to fly drones.. imo a drone doesnt need an officer trained/retained to the tune of millions of dollars to drive one of those machines.


    Second..
    A Navy pilot's take: The Air Force doesn't have a pilot crisis, it has a leadership crisis. Foreign Policy
    Last edited by Tedminator; 14th November 2017 at 08:13 AM.
    Thanks from Chief and Hollywood

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