Now, this seems like a reasonable decision. Flight simulator hours are much cheaper than actual aircraft flight hours. To me this seems more like a case of "penny wise and pound foolish". Sure, simulators don't require fuel or hours of maintenance between flights, and are a great way for pilots to practice procedures and keep their skills sharp without all the usual cost involved.
|Super Hornet simulator. Just as good as the "real thing"?|
|What happens when you cut pilot training.|
So which is the better bargain? Saving a few dollars by restricting flight time? Or saving multi-million dollar aircraft and the aircrews' lives by allowing them to train and practice in the real thing?
If the RCAF bought an aircraft that was so expensive to maintain and fly that is has to cut flying hours, then it simply bought the wrong aircraft. I'd rather see pilots getting real flight time by flying Defence Ministers from fishing trips than sitting at glorified XBox. The F-35 would be an example of an aircraft too expensive to actually fly, along with also being a case of "in for a penny, in for a pound".