Clock ticking as Royal Canadian Air Force looks to stop hemorrhaging experienced pilots

National Post
Royal Canadian Air Force Commander Lt.-Gen. Al Meinzinger James Alexander Michie

Royal Canadian Air Force Commander Lt.-Gen. Al Meinzinger waits to appear before the House of Commons public accounts committee on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Monday, December 3, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

The Royal Canadian Air Force is currently experiencing a shortage of experienced pilots. And is that such a shortage of experienced pilots is forcing the Royal Canadian Air Force to walk a delicate line. It is found between having enough experienced aviators available to train new recruits and conduct missions in the air.

There is no doubt that this has caused the top commanders to juggle to put those who are still in uniform.

It should be clarified that such a shortage is basically caused because veteran aviators leave for commercial jobs or other opportunities outside the army.

However, within the army, there have not been enough new pilots to replace the number of those who have left. In fact, the auditor general discovered that while 40 combat pilots left the Forces recently, only 30 new ones were trained. Therefore, a contract for a new training program is currently underway that will allow the air force to increase the number of new pilots trained in a given year when necessary since the current program allows only a fixed number to be produced.

The voice of experience

For his part, Air Force Commander Lieutenant General Al Meinzinger described the balancing act during a recent interview with The Canadian Press. In the same way, I assure that many pilots of today probably have less experience than their counterparts in similar positions 10 years ago.

In such a way Meinzinger has said, “To (support) your training system … you have to attract experienced pilots to those positions, but you must have experienced pilots in the squads to season the youngsters who join the units.”

Likewise, he expressed, “So it’s a bit of a delicate balance, and when you’re in a situation where you do not have that much experience, speaking in general terms, you have to balance that very carefully.” Hence the idea of retaining so much talent how can us? “

It is really necessary to solve the problem caused by scarcity. Otherwise, this could be seriously critical if the air force should be ready for the arrival of replacements for the CF-18.

Source: The Canadian Press, Lee Berthiaume | National Post

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