Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Jet fighter pilots not training enough? Says who?

No one at Kwandong University, that's for sure! I have chosen to treat the frequent visit of the fighters overhead with humour, and gradually raise the volume of my voice as they cross overhead, until I am nearly screaming at the students (really, it's funny - Really, it's not scary). Many days, I do so three to five times. Those pilots from the 18th fighter wing in Gangneung seem to get enough training.

Still, the Chosun Ilbo has an editorial on the subject.
South Korean fighter pilots trained 131 hours each on average last year, according to files compiled by the parliamentary Defense Committee for this year's National Assembly audit. Between 2004 and 2006, pilots trained an average of 134 hours each, and 132 hours in 2007.

But Air Force regulations require 240 hours of flight training a year for pilots to stay in top shape. At least 180 hours of flight training a year is required for pilots to stay in satisfactory shape and 150 hours to maintain the minimum required skill level. So the average flight training hours logged last year were 19 hours short of even the minimum.
The editorial describes why South Korea needs a strong and well-trained air force and I cannot argue the point: indeed, living close to the DMZ, as I do, I want the same things the editorialist does.

Still, the reasoning for why the Air Force is not training enough is simplistic. The editorial describes rising fuel costs as the reason pilots don't train enough. Yet, my understanding is that maintenance is the main and unchanging cost and delay. State of the Art equipment need several hours of care for each hour of use. Overuse a fighter jet and pay by having time lost to repairs or loss.

I want the fighter pilots to train as much as they can but I want them to do so over the ocean and not my university.

1 comment:

usinkorea said...

In a few years, you'll get a check in the mail once a successful law suit is won against the noise pollution. I've seen that two or three times in the last few years...