The Air Force Is Having Trouble Finding People Willing To Pilot Drones

08.22.13 5 years ago 8 Comments
Won't you be a buddy to this adorable little guy?

Won’t you be a buddy to this adorable little guy?

Albeit the implications are pretty terrifying, being able to fly a drone would still be pretty cool, right? You’re the commander of a flying death-dispensing robot. Find a man at the age of twelve who did not want that as a job title. And if he still wants it, the Air Force is hiring, since nobody wants to pilot a drone.

The problem is essentially this: If you become a drone pilot, you will never be anything else, because it will eat your life and career. Why? Because sending out death robots has become really popular in the military. Combined with the fact that adrenaline junkies get bored with playing video games pretty quickly, there’s a mounting drone pilot shortage:

One of the factors behind the shortfall is a high rate of attrition among drone operators, which is three times higher than for traditional pilots, it said. Another factor is the intense tempo of operations for drone missions over the past decade. The constant drone flights mean operators, unlike their counterparts, lack the time for additional education and training to attain a higher rank, undercutting their career prospects, the author wrote.

It makes sense: People don’t generally join the Air Force to not fly planes, and anybody who’s played Microsoft Flight Simulator knows that actually flying a plane via computer can be a bit boring if you’re not really, really into it.

However, the problem with this is that it means the military will eventually start looking into completely automating these things, which would mean we would have flying death robots that can think and make independent decisions. That doesn’t seem like it would end well. Hey, Air Force, maybe consider recruiting more porky nerds? We know some guys who’d probably fly Predator drones for bragging rights!

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