Aussies Target Teens For Fighter Pilots

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Every kid's dream, every parent's nightmare? The Royal Australian Air Force is said to be looking in malls, skateboard parks and high schools to fill the cockpits of its fighters. The air force is reportedly planning a recruiting drive aimed at teens as young as 13, according to the Weekend Australian. "The importance of influencing, where possible, 13-to-17-year olds is now recognized as a more effective strategy for fast-jet pilot recruiting," the paper quoted an air force report as saying. Apparently it's easier than simply retaining the existing pilots by paying them more. The report says almost two-thirds of Aussie fighter jocks quit after their compulsory 10-year service because of low pay and poor management. Wages range between $46,500 and $72,500 (USD) depending on experience. When you consider the millions of dollars it takes to train a fighter pilot, there might be something to that accusation about management. However, the air force is denying there's a pilot shortage and says it has enough to meet its needs.