The U.K.’s Royal Air Force is looking for a few good men to pilot remote drones in Afghanistan. No, you don’t need to know how to fly a plane. Just be halfway decent at videogames.
The RAF, otherwise known in the non-UK parts of the world as “The British Top Gun,” needs to cut costs over in Afghanistan. Their solution to the problem? Replace highly trained Tom Cruises and Val Kilmers with some kid who knows how to fly a Banshee in Halo.
“We don’t necessarily need highly trained pilots,” RAF Wing Commander Richard McMahon told the Daily Mail. The old pilots were highly trained, having undergone rigorous flight courses before getting their hands on the controls of the sophisticated Reaper planes, remotely controlled unmanned flying machines that can carry laser-guided bombs and air-to-ground missiles.
Now, however, the RAF believes that they can make due with “lower grade” pilots who have only completed 30 hours of basic flight training, gamers particularly. Sounds crazy, but the RAF claims that according to studies, the best pilots for Reapers are more often than not young “video-game players” as opposed to actual experienced pilots.
The new hires will be conducting sensitive missions in Afghanistan. Considering that the Reapers can apparently cause severe damage with all the firepower they’re carrying and that a single “oops didn’t mean to press that button” mistake can cost lives, I really hope the RAF is sure about this.[Via GamePolitics]