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Widening the Training Pipeline: Are Warrant Officer Instructor Pilots the Best Solution to Increase Pilot Production?
The United States Air Force is struggling to cope with a worldwide pilot shortage that has left the service over 2,000 pilots short of what is needed to man its squadrons fully. With pilot retention declining in a time of unprecedented airline hiring, the service is desperately trying to find ways to increase pilot production. To recover from the current shortage, the Air Force has determined it needs to increase annual production from 1,200 to 1,600 pilots per year. Despite identifying a need for increased production, the service has yet to pinpoint an exact method to accomplish this task. A 33 percent increase of students will necessitate an increase of undergraduate pilot training (UPT) instructors, where the Air Force intends to find additional instructors given the current pilot shortage is unclear. This research paper seeks to fill this gap in knowledge by answering the question, are warrant officers the best solution to increase UPT instructor manning to achieve the overarching goal of producing 1,600 pilots per year? [Maj Aaron R. Ewing / 2020 / 33 pages / ISSN ISSN 2687-7260 / AU Press Code: WF-77]