New Delhi: The Indian Air Force is short of 363 pilots, a shortage that has lingered on for nearly five years owing to a lack of basic trainers.
As per data, the sanctioned strength of aviators in IAF as on January 1, 2012, was 3,783. However, the force has only 3,420 in its ranks. The constant delays in the procurement of basic trainers are further making it difficult for the force to cover up the shortfall. Overall, the IAF is short of 800 officers.
IAF has been doing without a basic trainer aircraft since its entire fleet of initial trainers HPT-32 was grounded in June 2009, following a series of crashes and over 100 engine failures. It had lost about 11 flying cadets to these aircraft. Three years after the grounding of the fleet, the IAF's selection of Swiss Pilatus aircraft is yet to get approval from the Cabinet Committee on Security.
Presently, IAF is training its rookie pilots on Kiran Mk-II, that used to form the second stage of training for IAF pilots. Thereafter, the pilots are either sent to British-built Advanced Jet Trainers (AJTs) or MiG-21s. Now, in view of the recent spate of accidents involving MiG-21s, IAF has decided that no more pilots will be trained on these Soviet-vintage jets after 2012....more
11:21 AM, Apr 30, 2012
Recession may be over for the airline sector but for the country's national carrier Air India, its problems are only multiplying. A new RTI document has laid bare the airline's claim that it suffers from a shortage of pilots. Air India has the largest fleet in the industry, but information obtained through the RTI Act now shows that Indian Airlines pilots are under-utilised despite the airline's complaints of a pilot...
10:01 AM, Feb 18, 2011