The Nation

The Air Force and Navy are losing experienced pilots at an increasing rate in a manpower drain that officials attribute to stepped-up hiring by commercial airlines. Figures covering fiscal 1985, which ended last Sept. 30, show the pilot retention rates of both services declined for the second consecutive year. The Air Force's retention rate dipped to its lowest level in four years. The continuing exodus of pilots had been predicted last year by the Pentagon during budget hearings before Congress.

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