Telecommute To War?

If you work at home you aren’t necessarily a telecommuter; but if you’re a telecommuter you probably work at home.

Clear? I didn’t think so.

Look at it this way, fundamentally the difference is whether you work for someone else or are self-employed. If you work for an organization that lets you work from home (or anywhere else, for that matter) then those days when you don’t go to the office you’re telecommuting. If you’re a freelancer or you run your own business and operate it from out of your house, you’re a work at home type but don’t telecommute.

So?

We just wanted to be sure you’re clear on that so you don’t think our military flyers have decided to sit out the war. Why would you think that? Well, some of them do stay home when they go to war.

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Two of the pilots that used to fly for our home-based aviation business were also military pilots. Both have been reassigned now and fly the Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). But here’s the amazing part. They fly UAVs over Iraq and Afghanistan from a cockpit in a building right here in the United States. At the end of the day they head home to mama and the kids. In essence they telecommute for the military.

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Yeah, I know, strictly speaking they’re not working from home, as in their house; but as far as all the men and women overseas are concerned they’re working from the place they call “home.”

There’s an unexpected plus to all this, too. You’ve heard how telecommuters tend to be more productive? On occasion these crews can do the job of four. A crew of two controls one bird from engine start at the end of the runway, through preflight checks, takeoff and enroute climb, and then they turn it over to an autopilot that flies a predetermined surveillance route. Then they take an other one into the air, and another, and another. There may be instances where one crew has flown more, but I know that they have flown at least four at once.

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Wonder if they day will come when airliners are flown from the ground? Pilots will probably accept the arrangement before passengers will.

Another of our boys, a civilian airline pilot, used to commute from San Diego to Newark to go to work. He’d fly around the world for a week or ten days, with stopovers for rest, and then commute home transcontinental. He, for one, would much rather toddle over to a home office to fly than commute across the country, we suspect.

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