Aircrew Training:

Developing Objective Data to Support Flying Hour Programs

NSIAD-89-99: Published: Mar 9, 1989. Publicly Released: Apr 12, 1989.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Tactical Air Command (TAC) and Strategic Air Command (SAC) flying-hour programs, focusing on: (1) changes TAC and SAC have made to their criteria for rating units; and (2) procedures the Air Force has under development to provide additional quantitative data for base flying-hour determinations.

GAO found that: (1) data exist to develop links between flying activity and measures of operational performance and safety for a wide range of aircraft, but data will not be available for all aircraft for at least 2 years; (2) 5 to 10 years of analysis will have to be completed before the data can be used to design training programs; (3) TAC planned a feasibility study to quantify the change in combat capability by changing the number of aircraft flown; and (4) TAC planned to add specifics to the training required above the mission-ready standard. GAO also found that SAC: (1) is performing a study to provide data to correlate B-52 flying hours and aircrew proficiency; and (2) plans to design a system that will provide combat-capable crews to meet SAC varied and changing missions.