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charlizesen1
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Civilian aviation to military?

Wed Feb 26, 2020 12:55 pm

For those that have a PPL, Instrument, and Commercial rating that then want to go into some sort of military aviation job, will they have to re-train for all those ratings, or is there a different type of flying standard that the military uses when training their pilots?
 
Moosefire
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Re: Civilian aviation to military?

Wed Feb 26, 2020 3:02 pm

Speaking only for my USAF experience, you start at the beginning (no credit for prior ratings). It’s generally a positive experience that makes the training easier and the finished product is solid standardization for new pilots.

Other militaries may be different.
MD-11F/C-17A Pilot
 
VSMUT
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Re: Civilian aviation to military?

Wed Feb 26, 2020 3:07 pm

It would probably be country dependant, but in most of the west, definitely different kinds of training, and you would be put through 99% of the training at least. They might give you a pass on the 1 or 2 most basic flight lessons, but that's about it.

We had a drop-out from the military at my flying school (which says more about the military standards than him). He had flunked before getting off the basic trainers. He had to be retrained from ground up, requirements and skills in the military vs civil side was just too different. The further you get in the process, the more they diverge. A recruiter even told me once that military pilots are at the bottom of the pile these days, they aren't compatible with commercial aviation.

Granted, all my examples are going the other way, but I really doubt the military sees civilian experience as an advantage either.
 
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DeltaMD90
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Re: Civilian aviation to military?

Wed Feb 26, 2020 3:21 pm

VSMUT wrote:
A recruiter even told me once that military pilots are at the bottom of the pile these days, they aren't compatible with commercial aviation.

Granted, all my examples are going the other way, but I really doubt the military sees civilian experience as an advantage either.

What was that recruiter smoking?

It isn't a knock against civilian pilots but in the military, you'll be flying highly capable aircraft from day 1 vs Cessnas. The quality of training is just no comparison. The different environments and missions a military pilot will fly can't be replicated

Granted, there are some things military guys have to learn when going to the airlines but it's nothing crazy.

Take a look at the average hours at any airline for a brand new military pilot vs a brand new civilian pilot. It changes month to month but the military guys have around a third or half of the time.

To answer the OP, at least in the US military and as far as I know, civilian licenses won't get you anything except an easier time through flight school (unless you form habits you refuse to shake)
 
RetiredWeasel
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Re: Civilian aviation to military?

Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:03 pm

Have to agree with DeltaM90. Military pilots who are getting out at the 10-15 year point and even retired ones around age 41-43 are immediately gobbled up by mainline carriers if they have no black marks on their record.

Regarding recruits into military aviation:

There is backlog of men/women who are fully qualified (physically, test scores and college degrees) that are waiting for pilot training slots in the military. The problem is the training pipeline is not big enough and is just barely keeping up with those aviators who are getting out to join the airline after the initial commitment. I'm not sure if having a commercial/instrument rating will cut any corners now days, but when I went through, my 200 hours/commercial rating did waive the screening process of 20 hours or so in a C-172. Day one, though, in the primary trainer (T-37), my previous experience helped very little.
 
VSMUT
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Re: Civilian aviation to military?

Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:08 pm

DeltaMD90 wrote:
It isn't a knock against civilian pilots but in the military, you'll be flying highly capable aircraft from day 1 vs Cessnas. The quality of training is just no comparison. The different environments and missions a military pilot will fly can't be replicated

Granted, there are some things military guys have to learn when going to the airlines but it's nothing crazy.

Take a look at the average hours at any airline for a brand new military pilot vs a brand new civilian pilot. It changes month to month but the military guys have around a third or half of the time.


Thank you for pointing out why military and civilian aviation are so different. Not all too surprising coming from an American, given that the US also thinks 1500 hours in a Cessna 172 gives you all the prerequisites to take command of an airliner. In case you didn't notice it yet, most big schools in Europe start aligning students with airline-specific requirements from day 1. Airlines can get tailor-made pilots that can pretty much go straight to the line with minimal training. Not so with ex-military.
 
RetiredWeasel
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Re: Civilian aviation to military?

Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:17 pm

VSMUT wrote:
Thank you for pointing out why military and civilian aviation are so different. Not all too surprising coming from an American, given that the US also thinks 1500 hours in a Cessna 172 gives you all the prerequisites to take command of an airliner. In case you didn't notice it yet, most big schools in Europe start aligning students with airline-specific requirements from day 1. Airlines can get tailor-made pilots that can pretty much go straight to the line with minimal training. Not so with ex-military.



With the big 3 mainline airlines here in the US, it doesn't matter what aircraft you have previous experience in the military flying C-5s to F-16s, or if you came out of low cost carrier flying B-737s, the training is the same and the same duration prior to becoming a line pilot. Depending on the needs of pilots at the time, 1500 hours in a C-172 is not going to make you very competitive.
 
airbuster
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Re: Civilian aviation to military?

Wed Feb 26, 2020 9:12 pm

RNLAF (Netherlands) used to have some civilian rated pilots integrate into the transport wing. A classmate of mine at the KLM flight academy didn’t get into KLM but managed to get into the Coast Guard which is a Air Force position.
FLY FOKKER JET LINE!
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Civilian aviation to military?

Wed Feb 26, 2020 10:28 pm

VSMUT wrote:
DeltaMD90 wrote:
It isn't a knock against civilian pilots but in the military, you'll be flying highly capable aircraft from day 1 vs Cessnas. The quality of training is just no comparison. The different environments and missions a military pilot will fly can't be replicated

Granted, there are some things military guys have to learn when going to the airlines but it's nothing crazy.

Take a look at the average hours at any airline for a brand new military pilot vs a brand new civilian pilot. It changes month to month but the military guys have around a third or half of the time.


Thank you for pointing out why military and civilian aviation are so different. Not all too surprising coming from an American, given that the US also thinks 1500 hours in a Cessna 172 gives you all the prerequisites to take command of an airliner. In case you didn't notice it yet, most big schools in Europe start aligning students with airline-specific requirements from day 1. Airlines can get tailor-made pilots that can pretty much go straight to the line with minimal training. Not so with ex-military.


Actually, the two are quite alike—strong selection process, structured training backed by a checking program not swayed by money and a standardized product—the pilot. 1,000-2,000 hour USAF pilots are flying very complicated missions far beyond any 1,500-hour Cessna 172 pilot and likely beyond a standard EU-trained airline pilot. Anyone for a multiple AAR flight into a combat zone? A 1LT with maybe 1,500 hours total did it in a C-5.
 
TTailedTiger
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Re: Civilian aviation to military?

Thu Feb 27, 2020 3:57 am

DeltaMD90 wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
A recruiter even told me once that military pilots are at the bottom of the pile these days, they aren't compatible with commercial aviation.

Granted, all my examples are going the other way, but I really doubt the military sees civilian experience as an advantage either.

What was that recruiter smoking?

It isn't a knock against civilian pilots but in the military, you'll be flying highly capable aircraft from day 1 vs Cessnas. The quality of training is just no comparison. The different environments and missions a military pilot will fly can't be replicated

Granted, there are some things military guys have to learn when going to the airlines but it's nothing crazy.

Take a look at the average hours at any airline for a brand new military pilot vs a brand new civilian pilot. It changes month to month but the military guys have around a third or half of the time.

To answer the OP, at least in the US military and as far as I know, civilian licenses won't get you anything except an easier time through flight school (unless you form habits you refuse to shake)


Aren't/weren't there CRM issues with military pilots? Isn't that what's wrong with airlines like Korean Air where the FO would allow the captain to crash the plane instead of speaking up?
 
RetiredWeasel
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Re: Civilian aviation to military?

Thu Feb 27, 2020 4:59 am

TTailedTiger wrote:
Aren't/weren't there CRM issues with military pilots? Isn't that what's wrong with airlines like Korean Air where the FO would allow the captain to crash the plane instead of speaking up?


CRM is not an issue with ex-military pilots. It is emphasized in training and even single seat fighter guys adapt quickly. Just an opinion, but at my former airline, you could probably count on two hands the number of pilots (both ex-military and civilian training) that didn't make it through IOE due to inability to crew coordinate. (Over 20 years). The Asian crew culture back in the 80's,90's was a different story. Captain was god and the FO or FE were lucky to be acknowledged. From what I understand, that lack of CRM has improved quite a bit during the last 20 years.
 
rfields5421
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Re: Civilian aviation to military?

Thu Feb 27, 2020 5:45 am

TTailedTiger wrote:
Aren't/weren't there CRM issues with military pilots? Isn't that what's wrong with airlines like Korean Air where the FO would allow the captain to crash the plane instead of speaking up?


CRM is a very important part of military flight training. This isn't 1943 where the highest rank guy is always right. I've seen senior cockpit crew members taken off flight stats back in the 1970s for trying to use rank to force a decision.

The specific type instance you mention has occurred in airlines, and military, in almost all nations. The root cause is usually the confidence level of the FO. Frankly, getting fired beats dying every time.

There may be cultural bias to not conflict with superiors in some national cultures. And some airlines Europe and North America in the past have promoted that culture.

The main difference I see between current US military training and civilian airline training is the US military requires extensive proven proficiency in manually flying the aircraft. But they don't have to justify flight hours and salaries on non-revenue training flights.

No airline sends a new pilot out to learn to make dozens of manual landings of a C-17 sized aircraft, taking dozens of flight hours. They could not stay in business requiring that level of training.

Someday the bean counters might force the US military to cut back on training hours of new pilots.

Back many years ago, if a pilot missed not making two night carrier landings within a 60 day period, he was required to spend about six to ten flight hours practicing day, and then night carrier landing techniques on a land runway, before being allowed to 're-qualify'.
Not all who wander are lost.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Civilian aviation to military?

Thu Feb 27, 2020 7:32 am

RetiredWeasel wrote:
TTailedTiger wrote:
Aren't/weren't there CRM issues with military pilots? Isn't that what's wrong with airlines like Korean Air where the FO would allow the captain to crash the plane instead of speaking up?


CRM is not an issue with ex-military pilots. It is emphasized in training and even single seat fighter guys adapt quickly. Just an opinion, but at my former airline, you could probably count on two hands the number of pilots (both ex-military and civilian training) that didn't make it through IOE due to inability to crew coordinate. (Over 20 years). The Asian crew culture back in the 80's,90's was a different story. Captain was god and the FO or FE were lucky to be acknowledged. From what I understand, that lack of CRM has improved quite a bit during the last 20 years.


Adding to this, one issue with Korean carriers back in the day was that many senior military pilots could get a direct entry captain slot, entirely bypassing years of being an FO, and thus missing out on the visceral understanding of what an FO's work is like at an airline.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
slcguy
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Re: Civilian aviation to military?

Thu Feb 27, 2020 2:49 pm

Starlionblue wrote:
RetiredWeasel wrote:
TTailedTiger wrote:
Aren't/weren't there CRM issues with military pilots? Isn't that what's wrong with airlines like Korean Air where the FO would allow the captain to crash the plane instead of speaking up?


CRM is not an issue with ex-military pilots. It is emphasized in training and even single seat fighter guys adapt quickly. Just an opinion, but at my former airline, you could probably count on two hands the number of pilots (both ex-military and civilian training) that didn't make it through IOE due to inability to crew coordinate. (Over 20 years). The Asian crew culture back in the 80's,90's was a different story. Captain was god and the FO or FE were lucky to be acknowledged. From what I understand, that lack of CRM has improved quite a bit during the last 20 years.


Adding to this, one issue with Korean carriers back in the day was that many senior military pilots could get a direct entry captain slot, entirely bypassing years of being an FO, and thus missing out on the visceral understanding of what an FO's work is like at an airline.


Don't mean too criticize Korean carriers, but I think a GA Cessna pilot or Military pilot would know how to keep up the power/speed and maintain a proper approach path in good conditions. Whether the landing is good or not, who knows. Asiana 214 proves not all pilots are capable. Relying on automation you don't fully understand is not wise.
Last edited by slcguy on Thu Feb 27, 2020 3:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 5640
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Civilian aviation to military?

Thu Feb 27, 2020 2:56 pm

TTailedTiger wrote:
DeltaMD90 wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
A recruiter even told me once that military pilots are at the bottom of the pile these days, they aren't compatible with commercial aviation.

Granted, all my examples are going the other way, but I really doubt the military sees civilian experience as an advantage either.

What was that recruiter smoking?

It isn't a knock against civilian pilots but in the military, you'll be flying highly capable aircraft from day 1 vs Cessnas. The quality of training is just no comparison. The different environments and missions a military pilot will fly can't be replicated

Granted, there are some things military guys have to learn when going to the airlines but it's nothing crazy.

Take a look at the average hours at any airline for a brand new military pilot vs a brand new civilian pilot. It changes month to month but the military guys have around a third or half of the time.

To answer the OP, at least in the US military and as far as I know, civilian licenses won't get you anything except an easier time through flight school (unless you form habits you refuse to shake)


Aren't/weren't there CRM issues with military pilots? Isn't that what's wrong with airlines like Korean Air where the FO would allow the captain to crash the plane instead of speaking up?


Haven’t flown 2-6 ship formations, I guess. Being a wingman is all about CRM, mutual support, backing up lead’s navigation, visual lookout. Rarely, do fighter guys fly solo.
 
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SierraPacific
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Re: Civilian aviation to military?

Thu Feb 27, 2020 4:39 pm

As someone who is an instructor on the civilian side, do not pay for your ratings beyond a PPL if you are just going to join the military. It is a waste of 40k-80K and time to do that IMO.

I have heard the same stories about military pilots not being the cream of the crop anymore when it comes to HR hiring but that is not in my wheelhouse so I cannot comment on that but I do know regional classes have many fixed-wing military pilots that aren't there by choice.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Civilian aviation to military?

Thu Feb 27, 2020 8:15 pm

SierraPacific wrote:
As someone who is an instructor on the civilian side, do not pay for your ratings beyond a PPL if you are just going to join the military. It is a waste of 40k-80K and time to do that IMO.

I have heard the same stories about military pilots not being the cream of the crop anymore when it comes to HR hiring but that is not in my wheelhouse so I cannot comment on that but I do know regional classes have many fixed-wing military pilots that aren't there by choice.


Certainly, the hiring stats don’t back that up—multiple offers to most ex-Mil pilots. I know about a dozen who were at a legacy within months of leaving AD. At last count, 11 of the pilots I put thru UPT in the Reserves are at legacy carriers including FDX and UPS. Barely a civilian hour among them prior to hiring.
 
BravoOne
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Re: Civilian aviation to military?

Thu Feb 27, 2020 8:31 pm

I think you will find that most of the military pilots that have signed on with the regionals have a gap in their recent flying and the regionals are willing to overlook that. This gives them some recent flight experience and also gives them Part 121 time as well.

I do think there is a small, but never the less valueable edge in obtaining at least a Comm SEL when you apply for either the USAF or USN flight training programs. Anything that improves your class standing can be a huge benefit in the final outcome.
 
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SierraPacific
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Re: Civilian aviation to military?

Thu Feb 27, 2020 9:16 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
SierraPacific wrote:
As someone who is an instructor on the civilian side, do not pay for your ratings beyond a PPL if you are just going to join the military. It is a waste of 40k-80K and time to do that IMO.

I have heard the same stories about military pilots not being the cream of the crop anymore when it comes to HR hiring but that is not in my wheelhouse so I cannot comment on that but I do know regional classes have many fixed-wing military pilots that aren't there by choice.


Certainly, the hiring stats don’t back that up—multiple offers to most ex-Mil pilots. I know about a dozen who were at a legacy within months of leaving AD. At last count, 11 of the pilots I put thru UPT in the Reserves are at legacy carriers including FDX and UPS. Barely a civilian hour among them prior to hiring.


Sure, I never said that they were going to be stuck there but just making the point that it isn't a 100% lock to go from AD to legacy without a step in between to get some 121 time first. Bravo makes a great point about the circumstances that may cause military pilots to end up at the regional level.

I have no dog in this fight but just wanted to add what I have seen.
 
rfields5421
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Re: Civilian aviation to military?

Fri Feb 28, 2020 2:14 am

I know one guy who went for an E-6 USAF Reserve C-17 crew chief to becoming a USAF Active Duty Pilot at age 30. He is not a senior Major, and most of his flying is in C-17's.

He got his PPL when he was sixteen, had near a 1,000 hours in Cessna's and such. The reason it took so long was he had to complete a college degree, and then the program only takes a half-dozen or so people per year. His PPL flight hours gave him a solid understand of what aircraft instruments do. How to read and understand them. The concepts and some practice at navigation. He soloed in the T-6 on his seventh training flight. His USAF instructor at Laughlin AFB in Del Rio had actually flown with him in a base flying club C-182 once on a cross country flight to McDill in Tampa.

But Alan said the T-6 was such more of an airplane than the Cessna. He said it was like driving his wife's mini-van, and moving directly into an Indy Car. Concepts were the same, but everything was very different in the T-6. Even the sight picture of a visual approach, turning final. Faster landing speed. He was a little disappointed at how less powerful the T-1 (Beechjet 400) was for that training. Said an empty C-17 takes off like a rocket. Hopes someday he can get a chance to fly a B-757.

But he hopes to stay in the USAF and fly for 30 years. He had 9 1/2 years when he was commissioned, and that was 13 years ago. He could retire now if he wanted, at 43, but he loves the C-17. He has also done one tour as in instructor pilot in the T-1, and a cross-training year in C-5's. He's flying his dream.

And that is wonderful.
Not all who wander are lost.
 
BravoOne
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Re: Civilian aviation to military?

Fri Feb 28, 2020 5:08 am

rfields5421 wrote:
I know one guy who went for an E-6 USAF Reserve C-17 crew chief to becoming a USAF Active Duty Pilot at age 30. He is not a senior Major, and most of his flying is in C-17's.

He got his PPL when he was sixteen, had near a 1,000 hours in Cessna's and such. The reason it took so long was he had to complete a college degree, and then the program only takes a half-dozen or so people per year. His PPL flight hours gave him a solid understand of what aircraft instruments do. How to read and understand them. The concepts and some practice at navigation. He soloed in the T-6 on his seventh training flight. His USAF instructor at Laughlin AFB in Del Rio had actually flown with him in a base flying club C-182 once on a cross country flight to McDill in Tampa.

But Alan said the T-6 was such more of an airplane than the Cessna. He said it was like driving his wife's mini-van, and moving directly into an Indy Car. Concepts were the same, but everything was very different in the T-6. Even the sight picture of a visual approach, turning final. Faster landing speed. He was a little disappointed at how less powerful the T-1 (Beechjet 400) was for that training. Said an empty C-17 takes off like a rocket. Hopes someday he can get a chance to fly a B-757.

But he hopes to stay in the USAF and fly for 30 years. He had 9 1/2 years when he was commissioned, and that was 13 years ago. He could retire now if he wanted, at 43, but he loves the C-17. He has also done one tour as in instructor pilot in the T-1, and a cross-training year in C-5's. He's flying his dream.

And that is wonderful.


Great story!
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Civilian aviation to military?

Fri Feb 28, 2020 6:15 am

rfields5421 wrote:
I know one guy who went for an E-6 USAF Reserve C-17 crew chief to becoming a USAF Active Duty Pilot at age 30. He is not a senior Major, and most of his flying is in C-17's.

He got his PPL when he was sixteen, had near a 1,000 hours in Cessna's and such. The reason it took so long was he had to complete a college degree, and then the program only takes a half-dozen or so people per year. His PPL flight hours gave him a solid understand of what aircraft instruments do. How to read and understand them. The concepts and some practice at navigation. He soloed in the T-6 on his seventh training flight. His USAF instructor at Laughlin AFB in Del Rio had actually flown with him in a base flying club C-182 once on a cross country flight to McDill in Tampa.

But Alan said the T-6 was such more of an airplane than the Cessna. He said it was like driving his wife's mini-van, and moving directly into an Indy Car. Concepts were the same, but everything was very different in the T-6. Even the sight picture of a visual approach, turning final. Faster landing speed. He was a little disappointed at how less powerful the T-1 (Beechjet 400) was for that training. Said an empty C-17 takes off like a rocket. Hopes someday he can get a chance to fly a B-757.

But he hopes to stay in the USAF and fly for 30 years. He had 9 1/2 years when he was commissioned, and that was 13 years ago. He could retire now if he wanted, at 43, but he loves the C-17. He has also done one tour as in instructor pilot in the T-1, and a cross-training year in C-5's. He's flying his dream.

And that is wonderful.


"Mini-van to Indy car," is on point. The speed is what gets you. Going from a 172 to an A330, things happen a bit... faster... You need to be waaaay more ahead of the airplane.

Empty airliners are much like that description of the C-17. Ridiculous climb rates.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
e38
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Re: Civilian aviation to military?

Sat Feb 29, 2020 4:06 am

charlizesen1 (original poster), I would like to try to put the question you asked back on track.

With regard to your question, "will they have to re-train for all those ratings, or is there a different type of flying standard that the military uses . . .?"

charlizesen1, my responses are strictly based on the United States Air Force, and may not be completely up-to-date.

Now, please understand, the United States Air Force does not award ratings or certificates to pilots as does the FAA, such as private pilot, instrument, commercial, etc. Once an individual completes the basic Air Force pilot training program, Undergraduate Pilot Training or UPT, the Air Force simply awards the individual the aeronautical rating of "pilot."

I knew many Air Force pilots who spent an entire career flying many different types of aircraft--and had accrued many flight hours (perhaps 10,000 + hours) who had absolutely no interest in flying after their military career and they pursued no FAA rating at all--no PPL, no Instrument rating, no Commercial certificate, yet they still flew sophisticated aircraft and in many cases flew thousands of people (military personnel, their families, and DoD civilian personnel) all over the world while they were in the Air Force (which I also include Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard). They simply had no FAA ratings or certificates.

The Air Force curriculum is somewhat different than the FAA curriculum. It is somewhat complicated to explain, but this is it in very basic terms.

The UPT program generally lasts about a year and is comprised of the following five categories:
1. Contact (these are maneuvers very similar to what is in the FAA PPL curriculum--basic takeoffs and landings in VMC conditions, stalls, slow flight, as well as aerobatic maneuvers and in some cases, spin recovery).
2. Instrument (almost exactly the same curriculum as the FAA instrument rating).
3. High altitude navigation (the basics of getting from Point A to Point B).
4. Low altitude navigation.
5. Formation (two-ship and in some cases four-ship).

Following the completion of UPT, the new pilot will generally be assigned to a specific type of aircraft with additional training (up to six months or a year) depending on the particular aircraft assigned.

Now, how does the FAA equate the training an Air Force pilot receives to the FAA certificates? Well, in my case, I wanted to get some type of FAA equivalent certificate for my Air Force training. So, after graduation from pilot training, I took my graduation certificate and aeronautical rating of "pilot" to the FAA (Flight Standards District Office--FSDO); they gave me a 100 question Military Competency Exam (also called a Military Equivalence Exam), and then issued me an FAA Commercial Pilot certificate with full Instrument rating. (This was on my own time). In general, that's how the FAA equates a year of Air Force pilot training to civilian flying--Commercial certificate with instrument rating.

Finally, to answer your question, a person with multiple FAA ratings--PPL, Instrument, Commercial, ATP, CFI, CFII--still would still have to complete the entire UPT program; there would not be any "shortcuts" or "exceptions" for people with multiple FAA ratings.

e38
 
BravoOne
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Re: Civilian aviation to military?

Sun Mar 01, 2020 3:52 pm

Just to throw another wrench in e38''s well written response from my own experience. I was a Calif ANG pilot flying the C97 out of VNY. We had a couple of FAA Inspectors in our two squadrons, and they were able to issue B377 type ratings to pilots as they did their annual proficiency check rides. This was not without some potential risk as if you failed that ride you were exposed to having to tell your airline employer that you have failed this checkride and now were not qualified to fly your normal airline aircraft.

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