10/24/2008

The military's "virtually insatiable" demand for drone aircraft has led to a shortage of pilots capable of flying the planes from thousands of miles away. To meet the need, the Air Force will relax its recruitment standards, allowing military personnel with no flight experience to become drone pilots after nine months of training. Until now, the Air Force has used experienced fighter pilots to operate the drones, but "the pipeline that produces manned operators is full," according to a program official. Within three years, the Air Force hopes to have 50 unmanned aircraft flying continually over Iraq and Afghanistan.

Related Summaries