The RCAF is hoping to bring back retired pilots as contract instructors to deal with a pilot shortage. The drain of experienced pilots to retirement and early departure for flying jobs with airlines and other careers has left the Air Force with a tricky human resources issue. Most of those leaving are the most experienced pilots and they’re needed as both frontline and instructors. Lt. Gen. Al Meinzinger, commander of the Air Force, told the Canadian Press that to ensure experienced pilots are available for the various missions and to respond to threats, he will start hiring contractors to teach new pilots.
“It’ll be a small number in the order of nine to 10 for phase one,” Meinzinger told CP. “And what that means is I won’t have to post in that number of equivalent experienced pilots to teach at the school houses. Meaning they can stay out at the line units.” Meinzinger said changes to the current training program to allow more pilots to be trained are also forthcoming and retention programs aimed at keeping experienced pilots in the military are also being implemented. The Air Force has already hired 49 retired CF-18 maintenance technicians to pick up their tools again and fix the fighters in Bagotville and Cold Lake. They are also training and mentoring young Air Force techs.