Navy to Cut Aviator Training

By  | 

Navy officials say they're cutting back pilot training because of high retention and low attrition rates and the looming retirement of some aircraft.

That includes the last of its F-14 Tomcat fighters of "Top Gun" movie fame.

About 160 fewer pilots will be trained this year, down about 13 percent from the 1,200 student aviators who usually win their wings each year.

The Navy will increase standards to weed out students, starting with aviation pre-flight indoctrination, a ground school student aviators attend at Pensacola Naval Air Station before advancing to flight training.

The Navy needs fewer new pilots, in part, because it is phasing out the Tomcat and S-3 Viking anti-submarine aircraft.

The Navy also recently decommissioned two squadrons of EA-6B Prowler electronic warfare planes.

The Tomcats are being replaced by F/A-18E and F/A-18F Super Hornet fighters.