Warplanes: October 26, 2002


India is finally increasing the flying hours for its combat pilots. The increase in flying hours will reduce the accident rate and increase the capabilities of Indian pilots. For decades, the Indians followed the Russian custom of keeping flying hours low so as not to wear out combat aircraft. But the Western practice is to give combat pilots 200 flight hours a year or more, as it has long been recognized that the more the pilot flies, the more effective he is in combat. India is trying to scrounge up the money to get flying hours over a hundred hours a year, and close to 200 hours. For decades India has suffered heavy loss of warplanes in training accidents and squadron commanders have long complained that the major reason for this was inadequate flying time for pilots. 


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