Thursday, August 20, 2009

No pilots to man SA Air force

A drastic shortage of pilots has effectively wiped out the state of combat readiness of the SA Air Force, a Democratic Alliance MP said on Thursday.

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David Maynier said 29 out of 60 of posts for combat pilots were currently vacant, while 58 out of 167 helicopter pilot posts were open.

"This is why the Air Force is effectively grounded, with planes spending more time in hangers than in the air," Maynier said.

"The drastic shortage of pilots in the defence force has effectively wiped out the state of combat readiness of the South African Air Force."

Training time


Maynier said it took 17 months to train a combat pilot, 16 months to train a helicopter pilot and 12 months to train transport pilots.

He said 48 of 156 transport pilot posts were vacant.

"The DA calls on the minister to urgently implement a plan to recruit and retain pilots that work."

A reply from the defence minister's office said all vacancies in SAAF were planned to be filled by means of "specific recruitment drives".

One of these included the Military Skills Development System (MSDS) which aimed to train young pilots, air traffic controllers and technicians.

Unique allowances

Personnel with specific skills could also be re-appointed and members of the reserve force effectively utilised.

The ministry said the introduction of "unique allowances" such as the Military Aviation Career Incentive Pay and the Technical Incentive Payment (TCIP) were being used to retain members with specific skills.

"It is planned to transfer the remuneration system of members to an occupational specific dispensation," the ministry said.

The SAAF plans to recruit 747 MSDS members and 40 skilled members this year.

Hat tip: Black Coffee - Who asked what has happened to the once fearsome SAAF, renowned for the ability to strike anywhere in southern Africa at will. Indeed BC, like everything else, it's another symptom of a very ill patient receiving treatment from Dr ANC.

5 Opinion(s):

Anonymous said...

I know the reason for this. A few years back, one of my friends' boyfriend was a flighter plane instructor at Langebaan. He was so frustrated with the level of blacks being foistered on him to train that he eventually changed careers to become a helicopter pilot. Other qualified white pilots left to go work in the commercial sector as a) they got paid more and; b) there was none of the black AA crap to deal with. Foei tog, what's happened to SA's mighty Defence Force that once put fear into countries?

Anonymous said...

I know the reason for this. A few years back, one of my friends' boyfriend was a flighter plane instructor at Langebaan. He was so frustrated with the level of blacks being foistered on him to train that he eventually changed careers to become a helicopter pilot. Other qualified white pilots left to go work in the commercial sector as a) they got paid more and; b) there was none of the black AA crap to deal with. Foei tog, what's happened to SA's mighty Defence Force that once put fear into countries?

Pensioner said...

One guy phoned John Robbie on 702 this morning and said that his son had applied in 2007 and after going through all the tests (which he passed)he was told that his arms are to short (he is 6'3"tall).
Go figure.

Anonymous said...

don't you know it. Either his arms are too short, or his legs are too long,but his knuckles don't drag on the ground as they should for him to qualify!

Mad Kiwi said...

Eish, nobody left to drive the flymasheens...