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Xdc
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How intensive is the g force training is required for a cargo pilot?

Thu Mar 19, 2020 3:08 am

So I really want to join the Air Force as a cargo pilot. I meet all the physical requirements and other requirements to join. However, my main concern is with my tolerance to g forces. I know that different people have different tolerance to g forces, and I don’t really know if I can pass it considering that I’ve never never had any experience with high g forces (besides occasionally roller coasters, which were fine). I’ve also heard that all pilots have to experience the ejection seat, and since I have a sensitive back the combination of these events may be bad for my back. So if some cargo pilots could share their experience I would greatly appreciate it.
 
Ozair
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Re: How intensive is the g force training is required for a cargo pilot?

Thu Mar 19, 2020 4:04 am

Xdc wrote:
So I really want to join the Air Force as a cargo pilot. I meet all the physical requirements and other requirements to join. However, my main concern is with my tolerance to g forces. I know that different people have different tolerance to g forces, and I don’t really know if I can pass it considering that I’ve never never had any experience with high g forces (besides occasionally roller coasters, which were fine). I’ve also heard that all pilots have to experience the ejection seat, and since I have a sensitive back the combination of these events may be bad for my back. So if some cargo pilots could share their experience I would greatly appreciate it.

Cargo aircraft don't typically pull more than a couple of Gs, so less than the average roller coaster.

I've also never heard of pilots testing an ejection seat other than for fit. If you eject you usually hurt something no matter who you are so that seems like a bad idea to me…
 
ThePointblank
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Re: How intensive is the g force training is required for a cargo pilot?

Thu Mar 19, 2020 6:05 am

Ozair wrote:

I've also never heard of pilots testing an ejection seat other than for fit. If you eject you usually hurt something no matter who you are so that seems like a bad idea to me…

Correct. Ejecting is an incredibly traumatic event for the body, and often, I've heard of pilots that have experienced an ejection loose a few centimetres in height as a result of the ejection.

If you are found to have suffered too many injuries, they will ground you, and will either assign you desk duties, or if they can find another fit, they will transfer you to fly something more benign, such as a transport, or a helicopter.
 
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seahawk
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Re: How intensive is the g force training is required for a cargo pilot?

Thu Mar 19, 2020 7:27 am

Can you sign up as a Cargo pilot, I thought this happens only after basic training, which means you need to pass the same tests as all pilots.
 
Xdc
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Re: How intensive is the g force training is required for a cargo pilot?

Thu Mar 19, 2020 9:14 am

seahawk wrote:
Can you sign up as a Cargo pilot, I thought this happens only after basic training, which means you need to pass the same tests as all pilots.

Yeah I was wondering how much of the basic training involved experiencing g forces.
 
rlwynn
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Re: How intensive is the g force training is required for a cargo pilot?

Thu Mar 19, 2020 9:15 am

The military would laugh at somebody with a concern about a sensitive back.
I can drive faster than you
 
mmo
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Re: How intensive is the g force training is required for a cargo pilot?

Thu Mar 19, 2020 10:44 am

The USAF doesn't work like that. If you go through the T-6 phase and are Bomber/Fighter qualified you will be handled accordingly. If you are Tanker/Transport qualified, you will to the T-1. While there is some latitude on assignments, the USAF will put you where you are needed.

If you have a "sensitive" back, my advice would be to avoid the military. During the T-6 phase, you will be pulling Gs. If your back is "sensitive" my guess is you would not even make it to UPT as the back would be a disqualifying condition.
If we weren't all crazy we'd all go insane!
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: How intensive is the g force training is required for a cargo pilot?

Thu Mar 19, 2020 2:33 pm

What’s a “sensitive” back? Were you clinically diagnosed or “just a feeling“? The T-6 program for UPT is probably a 4-5 G environment, but there is a seat, so seat training. I lost about 1/2” probably less but measuring it isn’t that accurate in an ejection. Plus got “Waiver for non-ejection aircraft” in my records, yes, they have a rubber stamp for that.
 
aumaverick
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Re: How intensive is the g force training is required for a cargo pilot?

Thu Mar 19, 2020 3:41 pm

Two points:
1) If your "sensitive back" is a medical diagnosis, you're going to have a hard time getting a waiver. If its not a real medical diagnosis, I'd keep that one to yourself.
2) If you want to fly heavies, look for a NG or Reserve unit and see if they have a pilot slot available. You'll still go through the normal pipeline for training, but you'll be committed to the unit and the aircraft.
I'm just here so I won't get fined. - Marshawn Lynch
 
Canuck600
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Re: How intensive is the g force training is required for a cargo pilot?

Thu Mar 19, 2020 8:03 pm

If you have a real back issue you might even pass military admission medical let alone a flight medical
 
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LyleLanley
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Re: How intensive is the g force training is required for a cargo pilot?

Thu Mar 19, 2020 8:40 pm

The rest of the advice on here is excellent, but I'd also add there are a couple of reasons for you to get your back checked out by either an orthopedic doctor and/or a sports medicine doctor before ever setting foot in a Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS).

1.) MEPS doctors look for service-disqualifying physical conditions. They're also used to people hiding things from them, so they search accordingly. The flight surgeon who would certify your initial FC1 physical is similarly thorough, and similarly on guard for dudes who don't want their life's dream shattered. The odds of you getting things past both of them is not in your favor. As much as I wanna tip my beer to you and wish you godspeed, you squeaking past them is not at all likely.

2.) Assuming you do squeak by and get to OTS, if you have weird back issues they're very likely to come up in the physical portions and, assuming you don't get medically disqualified from serving entirely, you'll most likely get your pilot slot taken away. There are few things more sad than a dude who joins for aviation or some other dream job (PJ/CCT for instance) only to settle for something they didn't want.

3.) Assuming a miracle happens and you squeak past all the grown-ups, your back will only get worse with time and it will come back to bite you in the a$$ later on. Maybe it will only require a waiver and you can keep flying, but it can very likely ground you, which leads you back to the misery of reason #2.

Bottom line: get it checked out by a serious doctor. Don't try to WebMD your way into this.
"I've sold monorails to Brockway, Ogdenville, and North Haverbrook, and, by gum, it put them on the map!"
 
Xdc
Topic Author
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Re: How intensive is the g force training is required for a cargo pilot?

Fri Mar 20, 2020 5:32 am

Thank you all for your advice. I haven’t been diagnosed with any back conditions except of minor scoliosis. That hasn’t caused problems for me though. I say that I have a sensitive back because after years of study and sitting in awkward positions led me to having a more sensitive back when I don’t sit straight. I’ll definitely gets this checked with a physio
 
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Hydrahawk
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Re: How intensive is the g force training is required for a cargo pilot?

Sat Mar 21, 2020 8:21 pm

It all depends of the max allowable Gs the T-6 is rated for. When I was in the T-37, it was 6G; for 3-5 seconds.
 
Reddevil556
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Re: How intensive is the g force training is required for a cargo pilot?

Sun Mar 22, 2020 4:10 am

Xdc wrote:
So I really want to join the Air Force as a cargo pilot. I meet all the physical requirements and other requirements to join. However, my main concern is with my tolerance to g forces. I know that different people have different tolerance to g forces, and I don’t really know if I can pass it considering that I’ve never never had any experience with high g forces (besides occasionally roller coasters, which were fine). I’ve also heard that all pilots have to experience the ejection seat, and since I have a sensitive back the combination of these events may be bad for my back. So if some cargo pilots could share their experience I would greatly appreciate it.


If you are worried about your back from previous posture issues I suggest core strengthening and strength training. Yoga can be really good for back issues. Instead of flying planes, I was the idiot that jumped out of them. I have back issues from that line of work, but it can be managed. I will also second the advice about guard/reserve units. Only way to have a lot of say in your assignment.
Jumped out of: C130H, C130J, C17A, C212, CH47, and UH60. Bucket list: C160, A400, C2
 
RetiredWeasel
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Re: How intensive is the g force training is required for a cargo pilot?

Sun Mar 22, 2020 7:11 pm

As others have said, Undergraduate Pilot Training involves flying an aircraft with an ejection seat. All pilots fly the T-6 even if their goal is to fly cargo aircraft. You will do aerobatics in the T-6 and if you are unable to handle 5-6 gs without pain, then you won't make it through the primary phase. And if you're serious about military flying, there are several places on the internet where you can get an idea what your training involves and how the process works.

After getting an OK from a doctor then, if you're still concerned and uncertain about pain during g-forces, go to your local airport and dish out some money to go up with an aerobatic pilot, in an aerobatic aircraft. Explain to the pilot you want to experience (4-5g's for at least 4-5 seconds) to see if your back can handle it. Read up on the straining maneuver prior to taking that ride also to combat grey/black outs. Don't let airsickness or apprehension deter you. Many pilots get through that. Just check out the possibility of pain. JMHO.
 
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smithbs
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Re: How intensive is the g force training is required for a cargo pilot?

Tue Mar 24, 2020 4:17 pm

I'll ditto the above comments. Sitting at a desk and commuting long distances in a car certainly take a toll, but they can be dealt with - strength training, chiropractic, etc. Also, in the USAF/ANG you'll have to pass the fitness tests, which includes sit-ups. You'll want to get comfortable with banging those out. But if you focus I'm sure you'll overcome, and you'll be better for it.

And also, yes, try to find a Reserve/ANG heavy unit as your sponsor and get in that way. You'll still go through training but your destination is set.
 
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smithbs
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Re: How intensive is the g force training is required for a cargo pilot?

Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:56 pm

To go along with what I mentioned, you'll want to take a look at the USAF fitness test and work yourself up to reliably pass it. It will be a regular feature of your life so long as you are in the service. :)

To be honest, it's not super hard (be quiet over there, Army!). A young 20-something could pass without really training. But after that age, you'll want to devote some regular exercise time to it.
 
737tanker
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Re: How intensive is the g force training is required for a cargo pilot?

Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:19 pm

If you are looking to avoid Gs and ejection seats you should look into the USN or USMC. They do their primary training in the T-6 then their advanced training is done in the T-44. That sends them into the P-8 for USN and the C-130 for USMC.
 
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LyleLanley
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Re: How intensive is the g force training is required for a cargo pilot?

Thu Mar 26, 2020 5:30 pm

But ‘needs of the Navy’ means he’ll get helos. And they pull a lot of g’s when they crash, ahem, “hard-land”.
"I've sold monorails to Brockway, Ogdenville, and North Haverbrook, and, by gum, it put them on the map!"
 
mxaxai
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Re: How intensive is the g force training is required for a cargo pilot?

Thu Mar 26, 2020 6:07 pm

LyleLanley wrote:
But ‘needs of the Navy’ means he’ll get helos. And they pull a lot of g’s when they crash, ahem, “hard-land”.

Helos don't have ejection seats, though. So win-win, I guess?
 
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Moose135
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Re: How intensive is the g force training is required for a cargo pilot?

Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:03 am

737tanker wrote:
If you are looking to avoid Gs and ejection seats you should look into the USN or USMC. They do their primary training in the T-6 then their advanced training is done in the T-44.

The Navy doesn't equip their T-6s with ejection seats?
KC-135 - Passing gas and taking names!
 
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LyleLanley
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Re: How intensive is the g force training is required for a cargo pilot?

Fri Mar 27, 2020 11:44 pm

Oh yeah, the mighty T-6 also has a seat! Maybe you were thinking of the Turbo Weenie?

My vote if you really wanna fly cargo planes is to save your cash (or marry into it), take flying lessons, and get hired at a real cargo airline. You’ll make hand-over-fist way more money along with a far higher QOL. If you really want the AF experience I can send you a bunch of inane powerpoints and feedback sheets to pretty up whilst keeping you in the office 12 hours a day.
"I've sold monorails to Brockway, Ogdenville, and North Haverbrook, and, by gum, it put them on the map!"
 
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DeltaMD90
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Re: How intensive is the g force training is required for a cargo pilot?

Tue Mar 31, 2020 2:07 am

Don't know too much about USAF UPT but know a good amount about the USN/USMC/USCG. You'll fly the T-6 at first and you'll pull some Gs, but it shouldn't be more than 4-5 which isn't bad for most people. If you don't want jets, you almost certainly won't get them.

If you want fixed wing though, just know the USN/USMC/USCG have a lot of helos. Needs of the military... Most get their first or second choice but at the end of the day it's up to Uncle Sam

And I wouldn't worry about the ejection seat, you would never do a trainer anywhere near as violent as a real ejection, and if you're worried about a real ejection you probably shouldn't even fly (I don't have the stats to back it up but I'm pretty certain pilot deaths > pilot ejections.)

The big wildcard is your "back problems." If it's bad enough, military service probably isn't for you. If it's mild, stretch and work it out. Keep on doing that. Many pilots end up in that same boat, cockpits aren't the most comfortable places
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: How intensive is the g force training is required for a cargo pilot?

Tue Mar 31, 2020 2:49 am

Far more pilots were saved by the seat than killed.
 
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DeltaMD90
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Re: How intensive is the g force training is required for a cargo pilot?

Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:36 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Far more pilots were saved by the seat than killed.

You're saying there are more successful ejections than pilots killed? (Killed from anything, not from failed ejections?)

I find that hard to believe. Especially since ejection seat aircraft are just a fraction of aircraft out there
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: How intensive is the g force training is required for a cargo pilot?

Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:58 pm

Well, I’m saying from ejection seat equipped planes, more pilots are saved by the seat than killed. Not the pilot universe, just the ejection seat group. Heck, in my transport squadron, we had 2-3 “saves” from fighter ejections much of the time. In the fighter squadron, it was always 3-5 “saves” still flying. We had an ex-USN A-7 guy with 3 successful ejections. His medical records from the injuries was wheeled in on a hand cart, no joking.
 
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LyleLanley
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Re: How intensive is the g force training is required for a cargo pilot?

Wed Apr 01, 2020 4:51 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
We had an ex-USN A-7 guy with 3 successful ejections. His medical records from the injuries was wheeled in on a hand cart, no joking.


I’d love to buy a few rounds to hear that guy’s stories... you’d think by ride #2 he’d second-guess. I wonder if the flight doc (or his wife!) forced his hand after #3.
"I've sold monorails to Brockway, Ogdenville, and North Haverbrook, and, by gum, it put them on the map!"
 
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DeltaMD90
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Re: How intensive is the g force training is required for a cargo pilot?

Wed Apr 01, 2020 10:05 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Well, I’m saying from ejection seat equipped planes, more pilots are saved by the seat than killed. Not the pilot universe, just the ejection seat group. Heck, in my transport squadron, we had 2-3 “saves” from fighter ejections much of the time. In the fighter squadron, it was always 3-5 “saves” still flying. We had an ex-USN A-7 guy with 3 successful ejections. His medical records from the injuries was wheeled in on a hand cart, no joking.

Gotcha. I was just responding to the tangent about being afraid of ejection seats, saying you're more likely to die as a pilot (overall) than have to eject. If there is something to be scared about, it's not ejecting. Not even sure if that is what OP was talking about.

I met a couple of pilots who ejected, all simulator instructors who ejected decades ago. Doesn't sound fun lol. What I find crazy is the fact that you literally lose an inch or so of height afterwards

It's always a relief pinning the seat after each flight. Always the risk of a student derping out itching themselves or something and sending you on a wild ride. Really don't want that Martin Baker tie, no thanks ;)

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