Fatigue Grounds F-15s — Pilots Get Rusty

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Many of the Air Forceís F-15 pilots will lose their currency in coming weeks as the Air Force looks for fatigue damage that has already brought down one of the aging fighters. As they do their best to stay in flying form in simulators, the pilots are up against Air Force rules that require at least one landing every 30 or 45 days, depending on experience, to maintain currency, according to The Air Force Times. Most F-15s were grounded after the Nov. 3 in-flight breakup of a Missouri Air National Guard Eagle. The planes were returned to service briefly in November before being grounded again for more inspections. Pilots who didnít get a flight during the brief window in November will likely have to get current before returning to operational status when the planes are cleared to fly. In the meantime, Gen. John Corley, the commander of Air Combat Command and an F-15 pilot himself, is urging pilots to do whatever they can to keep their edge. "While I know that a number of you will lose currencies and the ability to maintain the proficiency that the world has come to expect," Corley wrote in a letter to the pilots, "I ask that you don't lose your focus. Trust that your leadership is keeping a watchful eye and will be poised to execute a plan that will put all of you back in the air as fast as safely possible." F-15 pilots normally fly nine to 12 times a month. To become current, pilots will have to demonstrate proficiency with an instructor shadowing them.