a 500-pound bomb, aimed and fired by a pilot at Creech Air Force Base in the Nevada desert, striking two insurgents in Afghanistan...
It went on to briefly touch on the fact that since the military wants more UAV's it will need more pilots, it also mentioned that there is discussion on whether only "certified" pilots should pilot armed UAV's.
(If you are interested, the article is here: http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/05/23/drone.wars/index.html )
It got me to wondering what is a pilot for a UAV? And the bigger question: Are they a pilot? How much piloting do they do, how much skill is required, what training and certification do they go through? I know remote piloting it not just a simple thing but of course UAV's do a lot of the flying via internal systems. And of course most modern pilots don't do as much flying as they used to, it is more managing the flight systems (via the FMC or other some such system) on board the aircraft. (I do not mean to equate this to "yank and bank" flying utilized in dog fights or critical flight situations, just the normal flying that most pilots do.)
So what are the requirements for being a UAV pilot? what kind of training does it take? Do you have to be a flight rated pilot in order to do it (was that a requirement in the past)? Do they have control to land or T/O the drone? Or are they really more like RIO's?
Thanks for any information