Air Force pilot training compromised as instructors refuse to serve

Almost half of the instructors for the helicopter pilot’s training course have refused to report for duty, thousands of reservists have announced they are suspending their service.

The Israeli Air Force has reduced the number of flying hours in one part of its helicopter pilots’ course, after nearly half of the reservist instructors have refused to report for duty in protest against the government’s judicial overhaul legislation.

Eighteen of the course’s 40 instructors have notified their commanders that they will no longer be volunteering for reserve service, and air force sources said that they expect others to follow their lead in the coming days.

The 45 percent drop in the number of available instructors has reduced flying time in one segment of the course by five hours, five percent of the required time for proper training. Despite cutting flying hours, the air force has not extended the duration of the course. If more instructors stop reporting for duty, the number of flights taken will drop as well.

Israeli Air Force Pilot Training Compromised as Instructors Refuse to Serve in Protest of Netanyahu’s Judicial Overhaul (Haaretz)
Almost half of the instructors for the helicopter pilot’s training course have refused to report for duty in protest of the judicial overhaul, leading to reduced flight times and concerns in the air force

Israel’s army readiness, Air Force cohesion at risk over judicial overhaul rift (Al-Monitor)
Senior IDF officers fear that not only the operational readiness of the soldiers could be damaged by the refusal of reservists to show up for duty, the cohesion and the spirit of the whole army could take a serious blow.

Photo: Three pilots stand in front of an F-16 fighter jet as it takes off from the Israeli Air Force’s 117th Squadron, which was closed on September 30, 2020. (IDF)