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Air Force And Becoming A Pilot?  
User currently offlineRolo987 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 293 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 5678 times:

I am currently in college and I am possibly interested in becoming a pilot. I was told that possibly joining the Air Force could be a way to eventually transition to become a commercial pilot without the near $100,000 it costs to go to flight school. Can any one help me out with this?

Thanks.

36 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBucky707 From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 1028 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 5653 times:

yes, you can learn to fly in the Air Force. Very difficult to get accepted for pilot training, and then once you are there the washout rate is substantial. Also, right now the commitment to the Air Force is ten years after finishing pilot training.

Having said that, its well worth it. I loved flying in the Air Force and if they would have let me keep flying, I would still be there.


User currently offlineDeltaGator From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 6341 posts, RR: 13
Reply 2, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 5650 times:

There are more pilot spots in the Navy and they land on carriers instead of those sissy runways.  Wink Either way you'll have a tough go of it. A good chunk of those flight assignments go to Academy grads and not to ROTC folks coming out of college.


"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
User currently offlineOttoPylit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 5625 times:

Quoting Bucky707 (Reply 1):
yes, you can learn to fly in the Air Force. Very difficult to get accepted for pilot training, and then once you are there the washout rate is substantial. Also, right now the commitment to the Air Force is ten years after finishing pilot training.

Yes, there is still the substantial payment to the government for the cost of training you, considering you make it all the way through flight training.

Quoting DeltaGator (Reply 2):
There are more pilot spots in the Navy and they land on carriers instead of those sissy runways

No, they have a controlled crash on a carrier. There is a difference. You know you have a Navy pilot when your 763 slams onto the ground and you swear you've chipped a tooth. Personally, I think the only reason anyone joins the Navy as a pilot is because they are afraid of landing in a crosswind(considering carriers turn into the wind for launch and recovery). LOL



OttoPylit


User currently offlineDeltaGator From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 6341 posts, RR: 13
Reply 4, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 5623 times:

Quoting OttoPylit (Reply 3):
Personally, I think the only reason anyone joins the Navy as a pilot is because they are afraid of landing in a crosswind(considering carriers turn into the wind for launch and recovery).

Touche!

But runways also don't bounce up and down on the high seas either.

Quoting OttoPylit (Reply 3):
You know you have a Navy pilot when your 763 slams onto the ground and you swear you've chipped a tooth.

It appears that Delta employs a fair amount of ex-Squids based on that guideline.  

[Edited 2006-06-25 15:25:27]

Edits: spelling

[Edited 2006-06-25 15:26:16]


"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
User currently offlineOttoPylit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 5594 times:

Quoting DeltaGator (Reply 4):
But runways also don't bounce up and down on the high seas either.

I'll refer you to the band Dos Gringos for my answer on this one. They are a couple of F-16 pilots who create songs based around flying. One off their latest CD, "I Wanna Land On a Carrier" speaks of strapping their Vipers to the catapults and watching those suckers fly. But then they look at the other side of the coin, and I quote, "your still stuck on a boat, in the middle of nowhere, with 5,000 other men. Join the Navy, I don't think so. Living on a boat, I don't think so. I thought about the Navy, but decided to pass, I love my 5 star hotels and per diem out the ass" in reference to the USAF taking good care of their people on TDY. rotfl LOL In case your interested, their website is:

www.dosgringosrocks.com

Quoting DeltaGator (Reply 4):
It appears that Delta employs a fair amount of ex-Squids based on that guideline.

Yea, normally if I have a hard landing, while that Squid up front is patting himself on the back, I'm cursing his Navy ass while dialing my chiropractor on the cell phone.  laughing 

Their not all so bad, but any Ooohs and Aaahs you may get on a landing come from a nice and easy greasejob, not carving your initials into the runway.



OttoPylit


User currently offlineJamesbuk From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 3968 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 5585 times:

Are you more likely to get free training if you already have a PPL when you join the Air Force?

rgds --James--



You cant have your cake and eat it... What the hells the point in having it then!!!
User currently offlineLt-AWACS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 5554 times:

Quoting DeltaGator (Reply 2):
There are more pilot spots in the Navy and they land on carriers instead of those sissy runways. Either way you'll have a tough go of it. A good chunk of those flight assignments go to Academy grads and not to ROTC folks coming out of college.

actually when the Pilot numbers went back up in the late 90s AF ROTC gets literally 100s of flying billets now. The bigger/better units get several each cycle (normally enough to cover those interested and qualified). ROTC, OTS and academy grads all get the same commission now as well. No more Regular for academy and ROTC DG with the rest getting reserves. Now they all get reserves, though congress is looking to switch all to Regular commissions instead.

Your PPL only helps your PCSM score which is one way you are evaluated for UPT-undergraduate flying training. The Air Force will train you its way, not the civ way.

That being said the Air Force is cutting 20,000 officers over the next two years so accessions are also being slightly affected. Make sure you have all of your stuff perfect when you send it in and interview.

Ciao, and Hook 'em Horns,
Capt-AWACS, Veni, Vidi, Bibi


User currently offlineRolo987 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 293 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 5527 times:

Lt-AWACS, what is a PCSM score? How does the Air Force evalutate people to become trained for flying?

User currently offlineLt-AWACS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 5514 times:

http://www.aetc.randolph.af.mil/sas/pcsm/PCSM_exp/PcsmExplained.htm

you also have to take the AFOQT, which is the Air Force Officers Qualifying Test. and the BAT test, a video game-esq reflex test.

If you do apply, when you fill out your AF form 215 (the application) do not check navigator or air battle manager if you only want to be a pilot-check only UPT and ENJPT.

Ciao, and Hook 'em Horns,
Capt-AWACS, Actions speak louder than Bumperstickers


User currently offlineOttoPylit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 5502 times:

Quoting Lt-AWACS (Reply 7):
Your PPL only helps your PCSM score which is one way you are evaluated for UPT-undergraduate flying training. The Air Force will train you its way, not the civ way.

Has anything changed since the T-6 Texan II came out as far as getting you through Phase I of the training? After the USAF retired the T-41 Mescalero, they were sending fresh students to local FBO's to get their initial introduction to flying out of the way before moving on to the T-37's. Since the introduction of the T-6, I don't know if that has changed, since the T-6 is also replacing the T-37, something I feel strongly against.

Tweety Birds FOREVER!!!!





OttoPylit


User currently offlineAirWillie6475 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 2448 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 5458 times:

Forget about being a military pilot, not only does the job suck now at days and former mil can't get flying jobs anywhere but you've got a better chance at winning the lottery than being a mil pilot. Plus I have no idea where you got the 100K figure. It's more like 30k to 50K. Stay the civilian way and you will actually get to fly rather than serve time for 10-15 years for Uncle Sam.

User currently offlineRolo987 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 293 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 5440 times:

I got the near $100K figure from a Delta Connection Academy information packet. Approx. $62K plus housing and other costs. What I wanted to know was if it would be easier to find a job with a commercial airline or if you would gain much more flying experience if one were to go into the Air Force or the Navy as DeltaGator mentioned instead of going to a traditional flight school.

User currently offlineAirWillie6475 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 2448 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 5422 times:

Quoting Rolo987 (Reply 12):
I got the near $100K figure from a Delta Connection Academy information packet. Approx. $62K plus housing and other costs. What I wanted to know was if it would be easier to find a job with a commercial airline or if you would gain much more flying experience if one were to go into the Air Force or the Navy as DeltaGator mentioned instead of going to a traditional flight school.

Dude, DCA is the worst school out there, do a little research. You don't have to look for a big flight school you can go to your local airport and do the SAME training at DCA for about 30K. As far as the latter part of the question, the answer is no, there are military pilots right now in the streets contemplating about leaving the pilot proffesion beause nobody would hire them. There are thounsands of CIV pilots with 4000+ hours experinece. Airlines prefer those guys. Airlines put emphasis now on multicrew experience and lots and lots of hours. Most military pilots don't have both of those requirements. A lot endup going to the regionals first so what's the point?


User currently offlineOttoPylit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 5397 times:

Quoting AirWillie6475 (Reply 11):
Stay the civilian way and you will actually get to fly rather than serve time for 10-15 years for Uncle Sam.

How do you get to the thought that if you become a pilot in the military that you won't get to fly? Sure, there are some rated pilots out there who unfortunately get stuck flying a desk, but those are in the minority. And to have the chance to fly an F-15, feeling like I'm at the end of a spear a few times a month or flying a C-152 every day, I'll take the F-15. Granted, if you become a military pilot, you will not fly everyday, and you will have other duties(unless you become an Army Warrant Officer, but thats getting off topic). The price to pay to serve your country proudly and fly some of the aircraft that keep America at the forerfront of technology and warfare.

Quoting AirWillie6475 (Reply 13):
DCA is the worst school out there, do a little research

I can agree with you there. If you want a good school, choose one that doesn't have the "We're big and can screw you" attitude. I would recommend that the best choice out there is All ATP. Their prices are not much higher than what you would normally pay and you get more out of it than the "guaranteed" job interview with Comair, after we suck as much money from you as we can.

Quoting AirWillie6475 (Reply 13):
you can go to your local airport and do the SAME training at DCA for about 30K

From 0 hours to the few hundred(minimum) accumulated to "possibly" get a job with any affiliated regionals of your flight school(such as COEX with ATP, etc.), it is almost guaranteed to be much more than that. Unless you can finish your hours and exams in the minimum time, it will definately be more than that.

Quoting AirWillie6475 (Reply 13):
there are military pilots right now in the streets contemplating about leaving the pilot proffesion beause nobody would hire them.

They are hired by the military. They would leave that? Then what to do? If they dropped the military thinking that the airlines would be hiring in the middle of economy slumping, that was their fault and big mistake.

Quoting AirWillie6475 (Reply 13):
Airlines prefer those guys. Airlines put emphasis now on multicrew experience and lots and lots of hours. Most military pilots don't have both of those requirements. A lot endup going to the regionals first so what's the point?

Actually, no. Take my carrier, for instance. 95% of Delta's pilots are ex-military. They usually choose military over civilian due to top notch training, excellent skills, and discipline instilled via the military. About 90% of my Air National Guard units pilots are also airline pilots. Most Delta, a couple United, one FedEx, and even one Corporate pilot. These men have been flying fighters since they first entered the military. Most have flown F-16's and F-15's, a few old timers even flew F-106 interceptors, and a couple flew A-10 Warthogs. All single seat fighter aircraft.

Now, don't think you can finish your military training and then be off to the airlines. It don't work that way. First, you will pay your debt to Uncle Sam. If you choose to go the way of the active Air Force or Navy, its a minimum of 10 years, no if's, and's, or but's about it. Once you get to that point, your already halfway to retirement, you will probably just decide to suck it up and deal with it. At that point, you may try to get into the Guard or Reserves, but they tend to "hire from within" if possible, so that may not always be a chance. However, by that time, you will have accumulated many, many hours in at least 3 different types of equipment through training to your primary aircraft. So never just think, "Let Uncle Sam pick up the tab and I'm off." Uncle Sam won't stand for it, and neither will the taxpayer.

Quoting AirWillie6475 (Reply 13):
A lot endup going to the regionals first so what's the point?

I've known 2 military pilots who had to start out at regionals. And that was mainly because they were already in the Air National Guard and wanted another flying job ASAP. They did not have the hours usually preferred by the airlines, so one had to start at Mesa and the other at ASA. They stayed there for about 2 years before moving up to mainline Delta.



OttoPylit


User currently offlineDeltaGator From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 6341 posts, RR: 13
Reply 15, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 5347 times:

Quoting OttoPylit (Reply 14):
(unless you become an Army Warrant Officer, but thats getting off topic).

IIRC you need to be careful of being a Warrant Officer since they can RIF you back down to an E-7 level level just for the Hell of it and take away the flight duties.

Quoting Lt-AWACS (Reply 7):
OTS and academy grads all get the same commission now as well. No more Regular for academy and ROTC DG with the rest getting reserves. Now they all get reserves, though congress is looking to switch all to Regular commissions instead.

It's all quite weird. A good friend of mine who is an Annapolis grad was commissioned into the Reserves though he has been active duty from day1. hat never made much sense to me.



"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
User currently offlineLt-AWACS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 5338 times:

A reserve commision and being in the reserves are two different things. I am on active duty and had a reserve commision for years, though it is transitioning over to a regular commision. It all goes into how congress can fire you and other things.

Ciao, and Hook 'em Horns,
Capt-AWACS, Hermano bebe, que la vida es breve


User currently offlineDeltaGator From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 6341 posts, RR: 13
Reply 17, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 5333 times:

Quoting Lt-AWACS (Reply 16):

Ah, I see. Hopefully Congress doesn't fire you guys. Keep up the good work.



"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
User currently offlineN766UA From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 8227 posts, RR: 23
Reply 18, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 5270 times:

Quoting OttoPylit (Reply 5):
I'll refer you to the band Dos Gringos for my answer on this one

DOS GRINGOS ROCKS!!!

If you're already in school, you could do ROTC in 3 years (depending how much time you have left) or do OTS when you graduate. You have to have a bachelors with high grades and do well on your AFOQT if you want a shot at flying, though. I'm doing ROTC myself, but my vision isn't the greatest on paper (though in real life I can see better than anybody) so I'm just holding out for any kind of flying officer slot. But hey, where there's a waiver.. there's a way!



This Website Censors Me
User currently offlinePlanespotting From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3526 posts, RR: 5
Reply 19, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5209 times:

Quoting AirWillie6475 (Reply 11):
Forget about being a military pilot, not only does the job suck now at days and former mil can't get flying jobs anywhere but you've got a better chance at winning the lottery than being a mil pilot. Plus I have no idea where you got the 100K figure. It's more like 30k to 50K. Stay the civilian way and you will actually get to fly rather than serve time for 10-15 years for Uncle Sam.

hey now, I know from personal experience that mil pilots do get the jobs when they're done with their commitment. Southwest, AirTran, FedEx, UPS, etc...basically all the major airlines that are hiring right now have extremely high minimum requirements that many pilots can only get through years of commuter flying...or the military!



Do you like movies about gladiators?
User currently offlineN766UA From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 8227 posts, RR: 23
Reply 20, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5203 times:

Dude, are you stupid, AirWillie? Military pilots get hired first! There are far more self-made civilian pilots looking for work than military guys. Oh yeah, and I'll take my 24k guranteed a year right out of college (plus hazard pay, pilot pay, etc.) over a civilian's 17k if i'm lucky enough to land a job.

[Edited 2006-06-26 06:27:37]


This Website Censors Me
User currently offlineUAL777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 1550 posts, RR: 5
Reply 21, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 5200 times:

Quoting N766UA (Reply 20):
Dude, are you stupid, AirWillie? Military pilots get hired first! There are far more self-made civilian pilots looking for work than military guys. Oh yeah, and I'll take my 24kguranteed a year (plus hazard pay, pilot pay, etc.) over a civilian's 17k if i'm lucky enough to land a job.

That is not entirely true. The guy who passes the sim ride gets hired. It also depends on how many internal reccomendations you have from guys already there.



It is always darkest before the sun comes up.
User currently offlineN766UA From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 8227 posts, RR: 23
Reply 22, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 5184 times:

Quoting UAL777 (Reply 21):
The guy who passes the sim ride gets hired. It also depends on how many internal reccomendations you have from guys already there.

In general military pilots are better trained, have more hours, and have alot of turbine/ME time, plus they're military... the company knows they're commited. Although there are exceptions, the military guy almost always has the leg up.



This Website Censors Me
User currently offlineLt-AWACS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 5175 times:

and the military guy most likely knows someone in the company (not that civilians don't). Pilots from my old squadron all went FedEx for example. Its who you know these days.

Ciao, and Hook 'em Horns,
Capt-AWACS, Actions speak louder than Bumperstickers


User currently offlineAirWillie6475 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 2448 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 5146 times:

Quoting N766UA (Reply 20):
Dude, are you stupid, AirWillie? Military pilots get hired first! There are far more self-made civilian pilots looking for work than military guys. Oh yeah, and I'll take my 24k guranteed a year right out of college (plus hazard pay, pilot pay, etc.) over a civilian's 17k if i'm lucky enough to land a job.

NO "dude" are you stupid? I know to someone who doesn't know anything military seems like a sure thing but it's not the case now. Do you know a lot of military pilots? I know that many military pilots don't meet the requirements to land a job at a major, a lot are also too old now at days because commitments have become longer.


25 OttoPylit : My brother is a WO2 in Alaska flying Dustoff and SAR missions in the UH-60 Blackhawk. As a Warrant Officer, your "job" is to be an experty in whateve
26 Jamesbuk : Anybody see My Q above? If you have a PPL are you more likely to be hired by the Airforce/RAF? Rgds --James--
27 N766UA : Like you, apparently? I know alot of military guys, I also know alot of airline guys... the airline guys always complain about military guys taking t
28 B52murph : Or...in the case of the US Air Force...you can get 'Force Shaped'...our new buzzword for RIFd as a Lieutenant because there just isn't a job for you.
29 N766UA : Only up to about 20 hrs. of flying time is taken into consideration for a USAF pilot slot as the number of points you can get for it tops out. I dunn
30 IH8B6 : And your info source is what? Your flight instructor? The flights school owner? For being 16-20 you sure know alot about who airlines want and about
31 Lt-AWACS : No the PCSM goes to 200+ hours which is how you can max out not 20 (unless something changed in the last two months or so). the codes below are copie
32 N766UA : Yeah, you're right. My brain left out a zero, but either way it tops out so there's no sense in getting a whole ton of hours. PS- I love block counti
33 DeltaGator : You gotta love the HR peckerwoods who sit around and think up these words. They all mean the same thing...you're out of a job. Do they really think w
34 N766UA : Well, I'd agree, but from what I've heard from a few guys this isn't neccessarily good to the AF. They want you to fly their way, and the less time y
35 DeltaGator : Very true. The military has a good way of making you do it there way...whether it makes sense or not...and usually in triplicate. You just have to lo
36 Jhooper : I know there was a time when they'd wash out every other guy, but it's really not that way anymore. Perhaps, it works in cycles, but my class (last y
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