Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmack
This is one reason why it is so cool to have a former jet pilot as a forum member. I love getting the real stuff instead of...
"Looks like he lost control."
(Hmm... I noticed that this forum has an "Ignore" function enabling one to filter out the clowns, and wow... it's possible to see that there actually is some sense going on behind all the noise. I've been doing internet forums since '88 (starting with listservers, like majordomo, years before the web) and this is the *first* time I've ever blocked (and I've been on some very extreme forums... check out some of those anchored in eastern Europe some time). Ugh, talk about a moral dilemma... I don't know what's worst, state and/or corporate imposed censorship, or self-censorship. *Sigh*... but in this case it's working, just so I can follow the thread.)
So... Juan's a real pilot? Cool.
Hey Juan, I have a question: What's your opinion of drones?
Just so you know where I'm coming from, there's a branch of the family in the States who are red-white-and-blue through and through (which means we've had some interesting discussions during the family reunions), and that branch is also dug into a long tradition with the USAF, i.e. an uncle flew in Korea, a cousin flew in GW-I, etc., and we'd do things like spend an afternoon bird-watching outside China Lake, etc. etc., and everything was cool, but there's something new.
Specifically, a cousin's kid (what is that, nephew once removed?) is a drone pilot, which means he's punching a clock in the US doing sorties over eastern Afghanistan/western Pakistan (I'm guessing) and my cousin (his mother) tells me that his wife (who she's friends with) says that he's going loopy.
That was never a problem with my uncle nor my cousin who flew in-situ. No PTSD, no weirdness's... they'd just do their missions and come home, so there's no family history of this.
She says that he acts almost like there's some sort of split-brain dis-awareness of his immediate reality when he gets home, and he's starting to drink, which was never a big problem with that branch of the family.
She also says that he gets very edgy watching TV sometimes, and she thinks he's a hazard behind the wheel if there's too much going on in his peripheral vision.
So I started wondering... on one hand you'll hear people say that drones are better because they're safer for the physical life of the pilot, which sounds good, but what if there's something about drone piloting where we're trading physical risk for mental risk, such that although the physical survival rate of pilots is guaranteed with drones, we're going to end up with loony-bins full of drone-vets?
Do you have any opinions about that, or have you heard anything about this?
The question's pertinent to the thread because I know people against the F-35 purchase who are playing drones as their main card.
Last edited by Omicron; Aug 11th, 2010 at 07:45 PM..