Posted on March 5, 2019
The backlog in the Military Flying Training System (MFTS) has doubled over the past year.
Three hundred and fifty pilots, including helicopter and fast-jet pilots, are waiting to fly because of a shortage of planes and instructors.
The MoD says there are enough trained air crew for current front-line needs.
The BBC has been told training which should take three years is taking six or seven, with trainee pilots spending their time doing office jobs rather than flying.
The multi-billion-pound training contract is run by Ascent, a partnership between Babcock International and Lockheed Martin. “It’s a huge contract and it’s fundamentally failing,” said one source. “There are so many elements that aren’t working. It’s not doing justice to the young trainee pilots. They do initial officer training and then everything stops for at least a couple of years.”