IAF pilots are on bench says the BBC

The BBC in its latest “revelation” claims that the IAF lacks enough planes and has hence put a lot of pilots on bench.

How did the Beeb come to know of this?

“Classified documents seen by the BBC show that in all about a third of the IAF’s 2,500 pilots have been assigned ground and administrative duties.Of these, 450 fit and trained pilots simply lack planes, the documents say.”

The same old “Sources” who cannot be held accountable.

Growing numbers of IAF pilots have been refused permission to quit in recent months.

Connecting two unrelated issues. Lack of Planes is a issue of availability, purchases etc… and Pilots being allowed or not being allowed to quit is a policy decision. The Beeb is a champ in yellow journalism.

The Indian Air Force had “no comment” on the BBC’s findings.

Rightly so… The IAF is not accountable to foreign tabloids but the people and the Government of India.

The IAF has about 790 aircraft in total, including 340 fighter planes.Only half the fleet is available at any given time while the rest are being serviced, the documents show.

Oh really!! Does the Beeb know how complicated modern planes really are? They all need constant servicing and maintainance. This is not a special case with the IAF.

By 2010 the air forces’ transport fleet will be reduced by nearly 40%.The IAF, which currently has 34 squadrons, plans to reduce that number to 28 by 2013.

Speculation being passed off as fact. What are your “sources” now?

Some of the pilots put on ground and administrative jobs by the force spoke to the BBCThey said the jobs they had been given contradicted claims by senior officials that pilots who wanted to leave the IAF could not do so as it would create a shortage of pilots.

Pilots who are not being allowed to fly for some reason or have been put into postings they don’t like. It might be because of medical or professional related issues. Does anyone really believe that such grounded pilots would give a neutral and unbiased perspective. Wouldn’t they try to blame the establishment for their woes like any other disgruntled employee?


“Whatever the authorities might say, the fact is that the air force is overstaffed in terms of pilots,” one of the pilots, who has served in the IAF for 15 years, told the BBC.

IAF overstaffed with pilots!! Go Beeb go!! turn the accepted logic on its head.

Another serving pilot with more than a decade of service said: “In every air force station, you would find fully competent and medically fit pilots posted to various ground administrative jobs. “The average utilisation rate of pilots in terms of flying hours per month is very low, as much as five to six hours a month,” he added.

Well i really can’t fight this logic. I give up 😦 . The Beeb wins.

No! No, let me try again :). The key word here is AVERAGE. It includes every pilot on the payroll. Some pilots fly more, some fly less depending on a host of factors. Example – Fighter pilots might clock more flight hours than say a Transport Aircraft Pilot or maybe some pilots have been grounded for medical or disciplinary reasons.

How much lies and half-truths can one point out when the whole foundation of the story itself is a fabrication?

Reminds one of the Piltdown Man story.

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2 Comments

Filed under Indian Military, Media, National Security

2 responses to “IAF pilots are on bench says the BBC

  1. Anonymous

    I recall reading somewhere about a US super-carrier where they stated that for each hour of flight their fighters needed 16 hours of servicing.

    Perhaps you can track down the details.

  2. Tom Alter

    Beeb has opened a pandora box. it appears Indian airforc force is insulated from environmental relities. an ostrich like mentality. They need to come up with something concrete rather than millions of dollars spent answers — how much?? is not the pilot paying it off in way when he serves the air force?? Can he not have a change of mind or heart after serving a decade, two deacde, three decade … does he always have to have a compassionate reason?? maybe he wants to write poetry or just chill. What then?? Boy inian air force seems from the dark ages. Guys u r in bondage till we decide.

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