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Department of Defense

"Training" Flights Home To See Relatives

I was a contract egress mechanic for six years after leaving the Navy. I worked at 3 flight training bases to include two in Mississippi and one in Florida. The pilots in training had a certain curriculum they had to follow according to the aircraft platform they were heading to. One part of their curriculum is cross country flights where they do so many legs, refuel and head back to home base. This was an expensive part because of the fuel costs and man hours if we had to repair an aircraft a few states away. My idea is bordering honor and ethics. Each holiday and weekends, numerous students and instructors would use this cross country system to fly home to see relatives. Countless times these aircraft would break to where their 2-3 day trip would turn into 5-6. We as mechanics had to get travel orders, travel pay, book flights and a rental car to get this aircraft home. I can't count the times I went to rescue and aircraft just to find nothing was wrong. They get a free stay at home while we were spending tax payer dollars on a wasted trip. The overtime on these trips adds up because of the travel to and from home base. These companies bid a contract on a certain dollar amount but detachments and rescues were paid by the government. I was a military member and I'm all for these guys seeing family on the holidays, but using a system and tax payer money to do so is wasteful. Every holiday I had to spend my own money to see family, these students and instructors should do so as well, these multimillion dollar aircraft aren't there for their personal use. The "training" flights are expensive. No military aircraft should be used as a personal taxi. Everyone that has ever been in a squadron knows these aircraft are used in some manner that is wasteful. Save tax payer money by keeping more control on these aircraft and eliminating departments use or lose budget.

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Idea No. 7153