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Odds Of Flying Air Force One  
User currently offlineKingAirMan From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 291 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 9 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 9248 times:

I am thinking about going into AFROTC here at school.

Does anyone know how hard it is to get a flight slot for the VC-25A ? That would really be one incredible experience . I think its the only plane in the AF that I would want to fly

Regards

Kingairman

14 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineFlyf15 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (7 years 9 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 9258 times:

Flying the VC-25A is not something you get a slot out of pilot training to join. Think of it as being a Thunderbirds pilot, only for the heavy transport guys.

User currently offlineCurmudgeon From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 695 posts, RR: 22
Reply 2, posted (7 years 9 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 9230 times:

Quoting KingAirMan (Thread starter):
I am thinking about going into AFROTC here at school.

Does anyone know how hard it is to get a flight slot for the VC-25A ? ...... I think its the only plane in the AF that I would want to fly

Maybe, in light of that, you should examine your ROTC motivation a little more carefully.



Jets are for kids
User currently offlineFuturecaptain From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (7 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 8901 times:

Well, the president can choose his own pilot if he wants. So, have your best friend become president and your chances are very good.

User currently offlineGoaliemn From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 463 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (7 years 9 months 4 weeks ago) and read 8800 times:

Quoting Curmudgeon (Reply 2):
Maybe, in light of that, you should examine your ROTC motivation a little more carefully.

I agree on that.. AF1 is something you don't "get" to fly. Its something you're specifically chosen to fly.

A friend of my dad's used to work ground maintenance on AF1. Its a very elite group and they have many backup crews pre-picked and pre-screened.


User currently offlineFlysherwood From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 1115 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (7 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 8685 times:

You should also know that the person who flies Air Force One is a Full Bird Colonel or higher in rank. There are not that many people who even achieve that rank before mandatory retirement.

User currently offlineKPIE172 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 20 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (7 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 8613 times:

My grandfather's good friend was the Marine 1 pilot for many years. Before getting the nod to fly it the Secret Service / FBI callled almost everyone he knew and interviewed them. As I understand it, he had already had many many years under his belt and was the base commander of Okinawa either right before or right after.

Long story short, he was very experienced, very qualified, well respected and it was still a miracle he got to fly the pres.



Blue side up!
User currently offline102IAHexpress From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 1156 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (7 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 8538 times:

Cool thread.
So the odds of piloting Air Force 1 are more remote than say piloting a space shuttle mission?


User currently offlineAKelley728 From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 2191 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (7 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 8529 times:

Quoting KingAirMan (Thread starter):
I am thinking about going into AFROTC here at school.

Wait, you're thinking about it? What year of school are you in (your profile says you are 21-25)? I was in AFROTC many years ago, and if I remember, you can't just joing AFROTC if you're a junior or senior (there is a downselect between sophmore and junior years). Those that are currently in AFROTC can correct me.

Those that I knew that wanted to be pilots started going to AFROTC from their freshman year, and most had AFROTC scholarships. Even then the competition is tough for 'pilot' slots. Plus I had heard that the AF selected only a small % of it's pilot candidates from the ROTC ranks (most are filled with Air Force Academy students). Anyway, you can't just join AFROTC and expect to become a pilot in the AF. I would talk to your local AFROTC recruiter, but I say your chances of becoming a pilot, much less flying VC-25, are virtually zero.


User currently offlineBeech19 From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 936 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (7 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 8441 times:

Quoting KingAirMan (Thread starter):
Does anyone know how hard it is to get a flight slot for the VC-25A ? That would really be one incredible experience . I think its the only plane in the AF that I would want to fly

I'm an USAF Brat... so i'm speaking from a somewhat educated view...

Keep dreaming... no offense but if the VC-25 is the ONLY a/c you would want to fly in the USAF then you shouldn't even be allowed into AFROTC and you have not a single chance of getting in a plane with the USAF flight training, let alone even being chosen by hand by the president to fly him all over the world.
Its not what you know for that honor, its WHO you know. That "who" being the POTUS.



KPAE via KBVY
User currently offlinePJFlysFast From United States of America, joined May 2006, 463 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (7 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 8429 times:

Great choice in choosing the military! We need people with high hopes and dreams ! Dont give up wanting to fly the president I am sure that you can if you put the effort into it and really work hard. My father was not in the Air Force but he did get to fly Jimmy Carter after he left office. Of course they checked him out to and he was very qualified!

User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3520 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (7 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 8359 times:
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Quoting Flysherwood (Reply 5):
You should also know that the person who flies Air Force One is a Full Bird Colonel or higher in rank. There are not that many people who even achieve that rank before mandatory retirement.

Not necessarily true. If you want to command the PPG (Presidential Pilot Group) then yes you need to be a bird col. The head of the PPG has got a number of lesser ranking pilots, that also fly AF1, working for him.

Quoting Beech19 (Reply 9):
Its not what you know for that honor, its WHO you know. That "who" being the POTUS.

I doubt many, if any, PPG Commanders were personal friends of the President prior to being selected for the job. More likely the Air Staff or HQ AMC picked a group they thought were qualified and sent them to WHMO (Pronounced whammo - White House Military Office) for interviews & vetting.

The other pilots in the PPG are picked by their Commander and come from a variety of places but primarily from other units in the 89th Airlift Wing.

Oh and BTW: If you want to be the PPG Commander it's probably best that your career goals do not include Brigadier General rank or above. Most folks who go work AF1 finish their careers there and there are no General officer positions.



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User currently offlineVzlet From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 835 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (7 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 8329 times:

In the latter years of the 20th Century, I was in a couple of classes with an AF1 co-pilot. He was a major at the time and, most interestingly, had operational experience only in C-9s when he began training on the VC-25!


"That's so stupid! If they're so secret, why are they out where everyone can see them?" - my kid
User currently offlineMoose135 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2314 posts, RR: 10
Reply 13, posted (7 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 8292 times:

Quoting AKelley728 (Reply 8):
Those that I knew that wanted to be pilots started going to AFROTC from their freshman year, and most had AFROTC scholarships. Even then the competition is tough for 'pilot' slots. Plus I had heard that the AF selected only a small % of it's pilot candidates from the ROTC ranks (most are filled with Air Force Academy students). Anyway, you can't just join AFROTC and expect to become a pilot in the AF. I would talk to your local AFROTC recruiter, but I say your chances of becoming a pilot, much less flying VC-25, are virtually zero.

Don't know how it is these days, but when I was in college (20-odd years ago) I joined AFROTC as a Junior, and received a pilot slot. (Actually, they started a unit at my school, part of a detachment at a nearby college).

Back then, you could get a scholarship or a pilot slot, but not both. I did an extended Field Training (6 weeks vs. 4 weeks for 4 year cadets) and completed the final two years of the AFROTC program, went through UPT and ended up flying KC-135s. I think somewhere in the neighborhood of 20% of those in my graduating/commissioning class had pilot slots.

Flying AF1 is a great goal, but as others have said, it's a long road, and takes not only skill, but a fair amount of good fortune as well. Good luck whatever you end up doing!



KC-135 - Passing gas and taking names!
User currently offlineVenus6971 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 1442 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (7 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 8126 times:

Quoting Moose135 (Reply 13):
Flying AF1 is a great goal, but as others have said, it's a long road, and takes not only skill, but a fair amount of good fortune as well. Good luck whatever you end up doing!

From my prior experiance in the 89th, if you want to be a 89th pilot get your time in the T-tail mafia,C-5 or C-17 3000 hrs plus plus alot of Acft CC time to include IP time. Apply for a special duty , go throught the interviews and vetting process and get selected for the C-40 and C-32 flight flying again as no nothing co pilot for about 2 years then upgrade to AC flying around the Vice President and other cabinet members, congressman, . Get hand selected by the Presidential Pilot office and forget ever going above Lt Col before you retire. Why promote a Lt Col to Col when he is more or less doing the job of a Senior Capt with no other command experiance besides squadron additional duties. It always amused me that the Army's C-20 flight at Andrews had Warrent officers flying their jets and the AF had O-5's flying theirs. No wonder the USAF is getting hammered with a 40,000 plus personnel cut.



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