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Hundreds of US fighter aces reassigned as drone pilots
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Written by Danrok   
Friday, 04 January 2008 11:18

From The Register:

The recent surge in use of remotely-controlled robot aircraft by US forces for the Wars on Stuff has meant that substantial numbers of American pilots are now being pulled off normal flight status and assigned to drone-driving duty, according to reports.

An AP article revealed the trend on Wednesday. Many current American robo-craft require a fully-trained pilot at the controls at all times: examples include the well-known Predator, its bigger brother the Reaper, and the large high-flying Global Hawk.

As the drones can often stay aloft for many hours at a stretch, pilots typically have to work in shifts so as to avoid tiredness. There is often a requirement both for pilots at the robot base in the theatre of war - to handle landing and takeoff - and further qualified aviators in the USA, who handle the aircraft by satcomms during missions.

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