By Richard S. Marken, William W. Taylor, John A. Ausink, Lawrence M. Hanser, C. R. Anderegg
What skills make sure even if a fighter pilot is skilled? Surveys of specialist pilots published that, whereas flying time is part of the adventure wanted for either wrestle and employees jobs, different issues also are very important. The Air strength must degree and credits varieties of experience-including time spent in complicated simulator systems-when revising its definitions of pilot event.
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Extra resources for Absorbing and Developing Qualified Fighter Pilots: The Role of the Advanced Simulator
To answer to these questions, we surveyed experts in ﬁghter-pilot training to determine how well the current RDTM ﬂying-hour deﬁnition of experience corresponds with how they evaluate a pilot’s level of experience. 1 The apparently objective RDTM system for measuring experience in terms of ﬂying hours is actually based on a subjective judgment of training experts about the criteria that should deﬁne an experienced pilot. We have spoken with several training experts who now believe these criteria do not give a good indication of the experience levels of the current crop of ﬁghter pilots, illustrating the subjective nature of these criteria.
Summary. Red Flag, the aggressor program, ACMI, gun cameras, and video recorders all combined with the increasing availability of ﬂying hours for training to improve both the quality and quantity of training and dramatically improved the operational training environment that was available at the start of the Gulf War. The superior performance of the Air Force’s ﬁghter force in that war speaks to the quality of the prewar training program for the participating pilots. Since the Gulf War, however, the Air Force has had less “quantity” training, as seen in the decline of sorties available for training.
However, the Air Force was able to ﬂy itself out of the resulting decline in pilot experience, with an impressive reversal in the ﬂying-hour trend. Along with the new ﬁghters came a steady increase in UTE rates and ﬂying hours. The resulting increase in sortie resources, coupled with the improved aircrew management options the RDTM system brought, enabled an increase in the average ﬁghter pilot’s annual ﬂying hours from 150 to 230 between the mid-1970s and the mid-1980s. 9 We have seen that factors such as low UTE rates and sorties that do not contribute to the development or maintenance of ﬂying skills can degrade the training environment, and we have seen that improved aircrew management methods increased UTE rates, which helped overcome the post-Vietnam training problems that developed in operational ﬁghter units.