Notes From The Virtual Front Line

Andrew Sullivan —  Apr 4 2012 @ 6:17pm

Jefferson Morley profiles the humdrum but deadly world of drone piloting:

Finding people to pilot the drones has proved unexpectedly difficult. The ground control station had many flaws that required work-arounds, such as accessing fuel gauge information and creating more work space. Accidents were common. One pilot mistook the "kill engine" button for the adjacent landing gear switch, resulting in the crash of a $4.5 million Predator drone.  The pilots of traditional manned vehicles who moved in remotely piloted aircraft did not always make the best drone operators. A lot of people dropped out of the program and retention was low. There are reports of post-traumatic stress disorder and many more of sheer boredom.