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Pilot Shortage to be Filled by Increasing Number of Instructors

According to nationalist daily Yeni Çağ, 1076 Air Force Command staff members, most of whom had been blocked from becoming combat pilots and instead directed into ground service by personnel affiliated with FETO (Gulenist Terror Organization), were given another opportunity to become pilots. 967 qualified applicants were reexamined, following which 295 were sent for medical examination and physical education. Of these finalists, 281 were deemed ready to fly, and 47 were chosen as flight instructors.

40-60 pilots previously separated from the Turkish Air Force by emergency law decree (KHK) and now engaged in civil aviation will act as flight instructors, bringing estimates of the total number of flight instructors as high as 90. Including the pilots to be trained by these 90 flight instructors, the Turkish Air Force aims to have between 150 and 200 active flight instructors by next year.

2019, not 2026

Because of the mass dismissals following the July 15 coup attempt, the number of pilots available to fly the Air Force’s stock of combat jets has dropped far below global standards. It has been calculated that the cockpit to fighter pilot ratio has fallen to 1/0.8.

If the current conditions continue, that ratio will not meet the global standard of 1.5 fighter pilots per cockpit until 2026. However, thanks to the emergency law decree and the ensuing returns to pilot and instructor service, the global standard should now be reached by 2019.

Yusuf Taner

Edited by WHattı Staff

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