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Drone Pilot Ejects From Office Chair

The Air Force later issued a statement admitting that he was part of a new program dubbed “Balding Eagle,” utilizing seasoned military airmen to fill the government’s growing need for drone pilots. ( Mehr...

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preacher1 2
Years of training kicks in as automatic. Regardless if he is 6000 miles away, he's sitting in the cockpit rather than being detached as some are.
isardriver 2
not to argue, agree re automatic reactions from years of training, however, not knowing where you are leaves doubt about situational awareness. must be stressful in a box, knowing you can be at home soon with your family, and knowing that if you get shot out of the sky, you're still safe and sound in your box, not to mention the heroic awards one can acquire whithout the dangerous of ever setting foot on dangerous ground or airspace.
preacher1 1
I can imagine getting used to a new situation and that training does call for adaption to a new situation. There may be something to those early warning signs of the bober jacket and helment. Being a bird, he may have been a hot
isardriver 1
awesome - box pilots
joel wiley 1
I think this is the source:

The Colonel's bailout was reportedly after an electrical fire disabled the drone. After the bail, the article continues with " His then un-piloted drone, ...reportedly crashed into an Afghanistan hillside some 6,741 miles away". As if remaining in the chair would have altered the situation?

So, we have a 65 yo retired Colonel (Lt or Bird?)who retired in ????, has been working as a drone pilot for ??? months. Does the ND ANG have a procedure checklist for 'your drone just short-circuited over hostile territory in <insert theater>?

I agree with Pete Schuster and Preacher's comments on situational awareness (my expertise in that area is limited to the ability to spell it). If his instinct was to eject, his flight hours weren't all in a 737, CJR, or C-xxx. Maybe he didn't have the necessary schizophrenic skills to instantly shift from 'in-country' to 'lunchtime- how about Mickey Ds today'.

On to the subject of ironic humor: was Colonel VanWatermulen currently type certified in the civil service ergonomic chair he was flying? The ones California State civil servants fly are built by Prison Industry Authority. I can attest that they come in several configurations, tricky to fly, and are all different.
donhun1313 1
You have had your leg expertly pulled


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