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  • 30

Air Force Looks At Sharing Pilots With Airlines

Submitted
The Air Force is considering allowing its dwindling pilot population to moonlight as airline pilots as a way of keeping them available for active duty. Senior brass are reportedly giving pilots more latitude in shaping their own careers with active duty flying as part of the mix. (www.avweb.com) More...

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nsarkhosh
nsarkhosh 5
Not a bad idea. Keep current and enjoy what a pilot likes to do, fly and fly more. But what would the Pilot Union think of that? May be Air Force should let us to fly their planes too? I take the F-22
gearup328
Peter Steitz 4
I thought we were already doing this with the ANG and Reserve.
btweston
btweston 1
I guess you didn't notice the words "active duty" hidden deep down in the first sentence.
gearup328
Peter Steitz 2
Yep, I had to give it a second look and reconsider the "active duty" definition. ANG and reserve pilots are not on active duty unless called up and activated, hence, weekend warriors. They are allowed to pilot commercially and given time off to fulfill their training. If called up and deployed, their airline must hold open the position and seniority until returning. I know this for a fact because I gave training to returning pilots. Active duty AF pilots like I used to be, were never allowed to pilot commercially while on active duty, which was all the time. Who's manning the AF fighters, bombers and transports while those pilots are gone to fly commercially? This is opening a Pandora's Box in my opinion.
asegm08
Alcides Segovia 3
Honestly I would be more than happy to join the Airforce. My issue is that with the mandatory 4 year college degree I really can't afford to go to college while currently paying for my flight training on top of work.
guybac
Guy Bacon 2
Try ANG. Used to be commission and 2 years AA degree = flight school
fiveninerzero
fiveninerzero 3
Not anymore. Demand is so high that no Guard unit will hire somebody without a degree. The Army is the only service that will send anyone to fly without a BA, but you'll be flying helicopters which isn't so bad anymore because you can backdoor the RATP at 750 hours which will get you to the airlines so much sooner.
btweston
btweston -1
Uh... does not compute. The article is about a pilot shortage.
gearup328
Peter Steitz 1
btweston. You're saying that allowing this would keep AF pilots from permanently jumping ship? Maybe it's worth a try. However, I think there will be many variables to consider. Flight time limitations, crew rest, training, currency to name a few. Since I retired, crew rest regs have been completely revamped and even given their own part in the CFR's. Also, major airlines all have seniority issues. Just how would these AF pilots fit in. Hypothetically, let's say your airline has you scheduled for a 4 day trip and your AF unit has exercises at the same time. This would be a scheduling nightmare for the airline as well as your AF unit.

I could see this concept as easing the pilot shortage for the airlines but really pissing off the young students who are spending $$$$$$ to get the magical number of hours to get hired by a regional airline. The knee jerk reaction of Congress to make just the number of hours to get hired has thrown a wrench into the whole hiring situation. I could imagine many student pilots simply giving up and becoming farmers (joking). TRAINING is the answer as I have stated here on Flightaware in another thread. Just my opinion and that's what this board is all about. I'd like to toss around this concept in the future.
jimg45
Jim Gardner 1
Seriously? If you don't understand what is being said I hope you don't fly!
Shenandoah
David Webb 3
Poorly written article...

My God, who in the Air Force is that uninformed to not know that a huge percentage of Air Force missions are carried out by pilots who fly for the airlines AND the Reserves and Air National Guard.

I was doing that in the sixties...which included a year in Vietnam. People were doing that for years before me and have been doing it ever since.

Now, if the writer is saying that active duty pilots will be allowed to fly for the airlines simultaneously, or otherwise, then the host of issues that would pop up out of that arrangement would probably be unworkable...

The answer to USAF and other military pilot retention is two-fold. Pay your pilots more and fly them more. If a guy is qualified to be a "fighter pilot" let him stay in the cockpit. Don't put him behind a desk, or worse yet, assign him to fly a freakin' drone.

Another answer is quit getting in wars in the Middle East or anywhere else that last decades. I know Guard pilots who have been to the ME a dozen tours or more...

When Trump is in office, a lot of this is going to change for the betterment of the fighting forces in this country.

That is all...
btweston
btweston 3
Right. Rather than reading and understanding the article, just say what you think, whether it is relevant or not. Just ignore the fact that the article is specifically about active duty pilots that can't just be replaced by weekend warriors at a whim. After all, you know way more than the people who organize the Air Force for a living. Then say something dumb about Trump at the end, because he has a real plan. It's just a secret. But it's great because he's smarter than everyone else.

Poorly written comment.
sailsomsen
Hugh Somsen 1
Yep, it's called the Air Guard and AF Reserve
sailsomsen
Hugh Somsen 2
One minor malfunction to that concept, is OPTEMPO. A USAF 05 Cardiologist informed me that he had to get out, his wife would divorce him if he went to Afghanistan for a 7th mission.
btweston
btweston -1
Nope, that's not what this article is about.
sailsomsen
Hugh Somsen 3
Yes it is, what with high OPTEMPO, folks are fleeing. Cant keep them if they are overworked and don't have programs to keep them flying.

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