back to article US pilots will go to VR drone ops straight from training

The new head of the US Air Force, General Norton "Norty"* Schwartz, has said that in future some rookie pilots will go straight from training school to remotely flying robot planes. Flight International, reporting on a speech made by the general at a recent convention, said that the move to send pilots straight from training …

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why not just drop the medical restrictions

there will be a lot of people out there with the capability to do this but who would not have passed the USAF entry medical, why not reset the medical bar to remove the bits that are now irrelevant and allow them to train as drone pilots ?

Surely that is better than trying to get the gung-ho athletic types to spend their lives behind a VDU ?

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Gold badge

What did they expect?

You advertise for a high-adrenalin job, you get that sort of candidate. Flying these drones sounds more like a desk job, or machine-operator type of post. Start advertising it as such and you might get recruits who are willing to do the job once they've completed their training. (They probably won't be able to fly *real* aircraft, but that doesn't, or at least shouldn't, matter.)

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Pirate

Well....

I'm sure that not only are the military pilots reluctant to go straight from flight training to a computer playing FSX with a real thing outside, but any pilot would be. The only problem is if we send the barely-made it types to UAV school and the "he didn't have to study" pilots to fly real planes, maybe the rate of crashed UAVs will go up? Maybe not, but ask any real piot - the simulator (or computer) is a hell of a lot harder than flying the real thing.

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Joke

latency

Planes are to be "piloted during missions from control stations in America." That seems a tad far-fetched (or at least sub-optimal) given the inevitable latency issues involved. Mustapha helluva network.

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Stop

It's a dull job

Not necessarily just because it's a drone, but because of the communication latency, the drone is flying itself. All the pilot is doing is issuing it a few instructions. It is much more similar to programming an auto-pilot than actual piloting. The problem is (and this is me talking as an ex-RAF type), the flyboy side of the military is run by pilots. Anything that dilutes their necessity is seen as a big threat - hence why many air force bosses drag their feet over UAVs despite them being the future of the air force in many ways. it's also why they are keepings pilots flying them. Unfortunately, pilots join the air force to fly. When they don't fly they just leave. Often when they don't fly at the sharp end they leave as well. You can get great money as an airline pilot.

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RE: why not just drop the medical restrictions

It is not so simple..

If you sign up with a medical condition or are more likely to get one while active duty, the Veterans Administration will eventually be footing the bill.

In essence the medical screen is a lot of things including a test to see how much of a return (or loss) on investment one would be.

And then of course there is a lot of entrenched tradition.

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Alert

Alternatively...

Why don't these flyboy's just start getting smaller? Two birds, one stone, job done.

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Anonymous Coward

Those magnificent men in their

flying machines - they go up diddly dum dum they go down diddly dum dum.

The military is about military advantage, it is not about oohhh let me fly my plane, no it is about having the most effective kill or submission ratio.

Robotics is the way of the future without a shadow of a doubt, it is far more effective.

The way of the cockpit pilot is dead. And don't worry it will be done to cars soon as well, probably as a pre cursor.

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Anonymous Coward

re. latency

"Planes are to be "piloted during missions from control stations in America." That seems a tad far-fetched (or at least sub-optimal) given the inevitable latency issues involved. Mustapha helluva network."

They are already doing this, and have been for years. Even RAF remote drone operators are based in the USA.

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Forever peace?

So it's first flyboys, next soldierboys?

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Alert

Unless....

"Our crews rely on us to provide them an environment that may not be totally safe".

It would seem that at least some of them, destined to go to the ground control centres in America straight from training, are out of luck on that one.

Unless there is something we dont know about the ground control centres....

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Silver badge

Just a minute there

Given my hours of flight experience (fighter and helicopter) on BF2, I'm sure that I could hold a Predator flying level over an 8-hour shift.

I'd take the job, no problem ! I'll even stay in a nondescript, blue-coverall outfit - no need for shiny wings that I do not merit anyway.

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Sims versus the real thing

"...Maybe not, but ask any real piot - the simulator (or computer) is a hell of a lot harder than flying the real thing."

I'm a pilot..and I fly the real things, not simulators (although I do use simulators for training) and I can tell you that flying the real thing is harder than the sim....especially when doing an approach to land in crappy weather and with turbulence !

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n
Unhappy

sad

remote killing is easier:

RV1: "I just pwned 'bout 60 civilians dude!...must have been another "computer error" hehe! "

RV2: "haha.."computer error"....what a noob!....watch me light up this fuel depot next to the school.....its called "collateral damage in the heat of battle" hehe"

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