Military pilots aren’t flying as much as they used to. Rising operational costs and poor choices in the past to purchase aircraft that are too expensive to practically operate mean that many fly less than 10 hours a month. This is contributing to a shortage of skilled military pilots, which threatens our national security. Maj. Carl Forsling (USMC), a retired pilot who flew both the CH-46 helicopter and MV-22 tilt rotor, recently wrote an article for Task & Purpose arguing pilots need a minimum of 30 hours a month in the air to develop their skills beyond the basics, to gain a true mastery of tactics.
“If you haven’t mastered what I like to call the blocking and tackling skills, the idea that you can somehow run some trick play of these amazing abilities we advertise in the military without being able to handle the fundamentals of blocking and tackling and doing the running plays if you will, you’re never going to be able to get those higher level skills to the point where you can execute those missions safely and effectively if you can’t doing the basics, the meat and potatoes…blocking and tackling stuff…of military aviation.”
CDI spoke to him about this and the effects of limited flight hours on morale and pilot retention.
Correction: In this podcast we mistakenly referred to Carl Forsling as a lieutenant colonel; his correct rank should be major.