Experts say about 90% of the commercial airline pilots hired in 1992 had military flight experience, compared to just 28% of those hired last year. Though the decline in veteran resumes is viewed with alarm in some quarters, pilots say it makes little difference in practical terms. Though commercial training might be more condensed than military service, "A civilian pilot can make the same cool decision as a military pilot can," according to military veteran and airline consultant Brad Bartholomew.

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