Warthog: I'll concede I have a limited sample size (my brother and his co-workers, who fly F-16's and F-15's), but NONE of them WANT to go into UAVs. They sneer at the UAV guys. BUT it's getting harder and harder to get flying time with budget cutbacks. Entire units are at risk of losing their current status in their aircraft, which means when the sequester lifts, they all need to go to a different base to re-qualify in a jet they should be allowed to fly every week. They'd love to be flying ever day, even in a war zone, but the sad fact is most of the Air Force has been parked on the ground for a while now. If offered a chance to actually do something on a day-to-day basis as a UAV pilot for full pay+, or sit at a desk and get paid 75% of your prior salary not to fly, some of them conclude they have to take the UAV assignment to feed their families. That huge retention bonus is a myth that is not available to any of the guys who are currently in and flying. The system appears, at least to me, to be entirely broken.
Dubya's_Coke_Dealer: Why do we put humans in these planes anyway, a 12-year-old with an Xbox controller could do the job?Oh yeah, for macho, and elite, and spending lots and lots of money we don't need to.
Brick-House: I wonder how much of this is related to BOB and his policies related to the military.
Molavian: I thought drone pilots weren't real pilots, or something.
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