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Pilot Jobs On The Way Out?

by John M. White |

Over the skies of Arizona a bizarre array of aircraft are invading their airspace. These are UAV’s, or unmanned aerial vehicles, and they are being tested for use in wars, border patrol, law enforcement and – yes – commercial freight and passenger transportation.

Imagine climbing aboard an aircraft, locating your seat, sitting back to relax while a crew – on the ground at the airlines headquarters – prepares for takeoff, hundreds or even thousands of miles away from the aircraft itself!  But for the resistance of the venerable FAA, it could be happening right now!

UAV’s are more and more in the news because they are being used by the military over Iraq and Afghanistan. They are flown by pilots at airbases right here in the USA, and can fly thousands of miles without any pilots (or anyone) on board at all. They can depart from US air bases, navigate halfway around the world, complete a mission and return to their US air base.

Raytheon spokesman Don Newman, who is the director of unmanned systems, predicts that companies like UPS, DHL and FedEx will eventually use unmanned aircraft, followed shortly thereafter by the major air carriers.

The FAA reluctance is being addressed and approval of standards for using unmanned aerial vehicles in the National Airspace System is expected to occur as soon as 2010.

That’s right folks, its all about money!  The USAF says it costs $ 700,000 to train pilots while a UAV operator can be trained for $ 13,000.  Doesn’t that make you feel real safe, Hersch?

Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch! JetAviator7

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