VR-Based Simulators, Trimmed Syllabi: How Vance is Meeting the Need for More Pilots

VANCE AFB, Okla.?The Air Force?s pilot shortage has forced its training bases to get creative to rapidly increase the number of trainees without a matching boost in funding. At its peak, the Air Force was short 2,000 pilots, prompting a series of steps that began in 2016 to grow pilot retention and push more trained aviators through Air Education and Training Command bases.

The 71st Flying Training Wing here must ramp up production from 325 new pilots last year to 400 this year, then grow to 425 pilots in 2020. Vance is trying to do so with the same airspace, the same number of instructors, and the same number of aircraft.


AFWERX, AETC Look to Improve AI Capabilities in Second Pilot Training Next Class

The Air Force is hoping to improve the capabilities of the artificial intelligence coach in the second Pilot Training Next class, which will launch in the next few weeks. Pilot Training Next is a collaborative effort between Air Education and Training Command and AFWERX?the Air Force?s innovation hub. The goal is to find more efficient ways to train the next generation of pilots.


Boeing Wins $9.2B T-X Trainer Contract: Low Price, High Risk

WASHINGTON: Aerospace behemoth Boeing will build the new T-X jet trainer, the Air Force announced this afternoon, beating out the Lockheed/KAI T-50?and the Leonardo DRS/CAE T-100 after years of maneuvering and uncertainty that saw multiple companies drop out of the competition. The first planes will enter service at Randolph Air Force base in 2023, with full operational capability at 2024, ultimately training all jet fighter and bomber pilots at Air Education & Training Command bases around the country.

Air Force zeroing in on cause of T-6 hypoxia problem

JB SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas ? Since late last year, a rash of unexplained physiological events such as hypoxia has caused dangerous breathing problems for pilots of T-6 Texan II training aircraft, and led to multiple groundings.

But now, the Air Force is finding more clues, and coming closer to solving the problem once and for all, said Lt. Gen. Steven Kwast, head of Air Education and Training Command.

?Within the next couple of months, you?re going to see some communication from [the safety investigation board at Edwards Air Force Base in California], that they are starting to really discover the root cause here,? Kwast said in a July 23 interview at his office here. ?We?re finding insights that we did not know before, that will help us understand what?s going on and give us a pathway to solving the problem permanently. We?re getting close, and you should see something soon.?