A sergeant pilot was a non-commissioned officer who had undergone flight training and was a qualified pilot in the air forces of several Commonwealth countries before, during and after World War II. It was also a term used in the United States Army Air Forces, where they were commonly called flying sergeants. After World War II, non-commissioned pilots began to be phased out and today all air force pilots are commissioned officers. In the United States, the Flight Officer Act ended enlisted men's chances of undergoing flight training.
In Commonwealth air forces, a sergeant pilot (pilot IV, III or II from 1946 to 1950) could be promoted to flight sergeant pilot (pilot I from 1946 to 1950) and warrant officer pilot (renamed master pilot in 1946). Many went on to be commissioned. There were still master pilots flying helicopters with the Royal Air Force at least into the early 1970s. Corporals, sergeants, staff sergeants and warrant officers may still qualify and operate as pilots in the British Army Air Corps.
Footnotes[edit | edit source]
- "No. 45459". 27 August 1971. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/45459/page/
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