Trainee pilots in the RAF spend years flying desks rather than actual aircraft.
Leaked documents have revealed that RAF recruits are practicing on desks while they wait months or even years to learn how to fly warplanes.
Fast jet pilots in the Royal Air Force (RAF) are facing lengthy wait times for training slots as a result of a shortage of aircraft and instructors, according to an internal memo from May and slides from a top RAF meeting in July.
According to Sky News, the “crisis” backlog could result in an insufficient number of pilots being available in the future to fly Typhoon and F35 squadrons as well as other front-line aircraft.
The delays occur at a time when war in Europe and rising Russian and Chinese threats to the world are causing unrest.
According to the documents, 347 trainees—or more than half of the 596 people enrolled in aircraft training—are waiting for a training course slot or are enrolled in a “refresher course” as a result of delays in between training phases.
For a Chinook helicopter, there is a two- to three-year waiting list for training.
Source: According to Sky News, an internal memo and meeting slides from RAF officers
They are known as “holdies” because they are still waiting for a training program as they wait outside RAF bases, military headquarters, and even the Ministry of Defence in London.
As a result, newly qualified pilots are now, on average, 29 years old, up from the early 20s.
An anonymous former senior air force officer called the delays a “scandal” and a “crisis” in a statement to Sky News.
However, a RAF spokesperson claimed that “most trainee pilots will experience a hold at the start of their career” and that training times have “steadily improved” as a result of the recent hiring of sufficient numbers of instructors.
According to an internal memo, the RAF was allegedly considering asking up to 30 recruits to resign voluntarily because of the issues.
Asking the staff to leave was mentioned by the RAF as one option under consideration, but no final decisions had been made.
Because instructors had to take time off to defend UK airspace, training sessions had to be rescheduled. This incident happened at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire.
The army and navy are also said to be suffering, as well as other aircraft like military transport planes and helicopters.
In their first year, RAF pilots are paid a minimum of £30,000 on average, and after completing specialized training, they are paid an average of £42,000.
The RAF stated it would like to have pilots by November.
Short Summary of Nokia News.
Over half of people in the flying training system are waiting for a training placeInstructors have had to reschedule training to protect UK airspaceIt could mean not enough pilots are available to operate future frontline planes Trainee pilots are waiting around in UK military buildings ‘on hold’ for a space There is an engine problem in the Hawk jets used by recruits for training. This could increase training delays by a yearConcerns about qualified pilots who have left the RAF for better-trained jobs in a ‘damaging drain’ Only 11 trainee UK pilots are scheduled to learn how to fly an F35 or Typhoon this year, despite there being 43 slotsLimited training space is being taken up by the UK’s commitment to train pilots from Qatar and Saudi Arabia