Air force flying??

DCA22

Well-Known Member
Hey guys hows everyone
I've always wanted to fly in the military but am a little unsure of how the process works. I would be interested in flying any fixed wing but in particular the heavies. Are the physical requirements for flying the heavies the same as for flying the fighters. would you say getting a slot for the transport aircraft is easier than for the fighters? Any advice from someone who's gone through it would be great. thanks

I have no prior military experience
I have 3 more semesters of college, AERONAUTICAL SCIENCE
I've got my private w/instrument, and will be working towards my commercial soon. Not sure if i will go for my CFI.

GPA=3.4
 

germb747

Well-Known Member
Welcome DCA22,

You probably already knew this, but in order to attend Air Force pilot training and earn your wings, you must first be commissioned as an officer. There are generally 4 ways to do this in the Air Force; 1) Air Force Academy; 2) Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC); 3) Officer Training School (OTS); and 4) the guard/reserve (who either attend OTS with their active duty counterparts or the Academy of Military Science (AMS) specificially for guard memebers. With only 3 semesters of college left, I'd say that probably rules out the ROTC option, but you're always welcome to drop by the local detachment and see what they say. The academy is probably out of the picture for you too, unless you want to start college all over again ;). That pretty much leaves OTS and/or the guard/reserves. I don't need to tell you the slots are extremely competitive, but if you really want it that shouldn't stop you from puttting out for it (didn't stop me). All things being equal, your GPA is competitive enough. You also need to take the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT) and strive for an 80 or higher on the pilot section. Visit airforceots.com for more information on getting selected for that program; you'll have to find a good recruiter (they're rare, don't settle for a mediocre one) who will help you submit a package to a board of officers who will convene to select the best candidates. They use the "whole person concept", so they'll be looking at way more than test scores and GPAs; they'll be looking at your whole life to see whether or not you have leadership potential. Being an officer is a lot more than just being a pilot--you can be the best stick, but if you can't lead airmen you're not what the military is looking for. If you are selected by the active duty Air Force, you won't know whether you're going to fly fighters, bombers, tankers, or airlifters until you're well into the program already, so don't even worry about it. In other words, at this point you're just competing to get there, you're not competing for a specific assignment yet. The guard/reserves work a little differently; get ahold of a book called "Flying in the Guard/Reserves" by Air Inc; if nothing else it'll give you the hard-to-find contact information for the various units. The reserves have a board similar to the active duty board to select the best candidates; you can either submit an "at large" package or be sponored by a unit. Each unit runs their hiring process a little differently, but basically you submit a package, get to know the folks in the unit ("face time"), and if you're lucky they invite you to an interview, and if you're really lucky they sponsor you to the national board. Each unit may have approximately one or two slots they can sponsor per year.

To get in (medically), the standards are the same regardless of airframe--you'll have to pass a Class I flying physical and Medical Flight Screening in San Antonio. I don't know specifically what the standards are, but they're in a regulation I've already posted in another thread (do a search of the forum--there is a wealth of knowledgable people here and I suspect they probably haven't chimed in yet because this topic comes up practically every other week on JC and they're tired of making duplicate posts). The physical fitness test you have to take is standard for the Air Force (pushups, situps, 1.5 mile run)--minimum 75 to pass. In additon, at UPT they give what's called the Fighter Aircrew Conditioning Test (FACT). I'm fairly certain the fighter community takes this test regularly, but as a heavy driver, I haven't taken this test since the first time it was administered. In additon, I only now have to pass a Class II physical, so now that I'm already in my airframe, the standards are somewhat less rigid than they are for the fighter guys.

Other guys feel free to chime in; there are people here who know way more than I do, but I hope this helps.
 

fish314

Well-Known Member
Well, here's how it works in the USAF. You need to become an officer first. That means one of three routes. First, you can go to the USAF Academy, but that's not much of an option since you've only got three semesters left. It's not a place that you can really "transfer" into.

Route #2 is ROTC. I was an Academy guy, so I don't know a whole lot about it, but I think you can sign up for ROTC with some of your college already completed.

Route 3 is OTS, in which you'd already have your bachelor's degree. I think that's usually for people who have already enlisted, but you may be able to join straight into OTS.

Next step is getting a pilot slot, and there is no guarantee (that I know of) that you would get a pilot slot if you sign up through any of the three routes above. Getting pilot slots at all is difficult, and there is no differentiation between a heavy pilot slot, and a fighter pilot slot, and a helicopter slot.... They are all just pilot slots, and how you do in the first phase of training compared to your classmates determines the route you take.

Once you get a pilot slot, there are two phases, T-6's and then T-1's (if you want to fly heavies, that is). The competition for heavies is MUCH less than the competition for fighters, but either way pilot training is tough regardless of which way you track. The physical requirements are exactly the same for either track (although you won't have to do the centerfuge).


One thing you may want to think about is the Air National Guard, or the Air Force Reserves. Through those routes, you would get hired by a particular unit, and they do hire right off the streets with a guarantee of a pilot slot occassionally (depending on the unit). You would get a comission through a program called AMS, but that route may be the best option for you because there's more of a guarantee that you would get where you want to (pilot training).
 

germb747

Well-Known Member
Next step is getting a pilot slot, and there is no guarantee (that I know of) that you would get a pilot slot if you sign up through any of the three routes above.
OTS is the exception; everyone knows on TD-0 of OTS what Air Force Speciality Code (AFSC) they've been selected for; for pilot trainees that's 92T0. I went to OTS, and on that first day, the upperclassman in charge of us (LFC), asked me "what's your AFSC", and I asked her, "what's an AFSC"? :D. In essence, you know what you're being offered before you have to sign on the dotted line; I guess the reason for that is because the whole purpose of OTS is to quickly graduate officers, especially in high demand career fields, in order to supplement the other commissioning sources (it's only a 90 day program). The OTS classes are 1/2 the size as they were when I went through, so the program can quickly adapt to the supply and demand needs of the Air Force, whereas the other sources produce a more steady stream of officers (who take 4-years to get through their respective program). I think OTS is more or less ROTC field training + leadership lab + aerospace studies classes - the college degree (which you must have as a prerequsite).

Either way, it's exceptionally competitive and timing has alot to do with it.
 

DCA22

Well-Known Member
thanks guys

Thanks for the responses, very very helpful.

I had spoken to a recruiter but it appeared to me like he wasnt to knowledgeable in regards to aviation. At the end he told me that regardless of everything if I had strong recommendation letters (senators, governors, current air force pilots) i would be chosen over someone who has a 4.0 gpa and perfect scores on everything else. Will definitely look into the reserves and the guard.

thanks to everyone.
 

bravodelta79

New Member
Re: thanks guys

I got picked up by a AFRC C-130 unit in May from the "off the street" method (i.e. non-prior).

If you have specific questions, ask away. You'll want to start by calling all the units you're interested in flying with and asking around for the "person in charge of the pilot boards". A good number to call is the local recruiting number on base. They can usually find who the person is you need. You can find that recruiter number on just about all their unit web sites.

Good luck.
 

mjg407

Well-Known Member
Re: thanks guys

you can also check out www.baseops.net for the latest job openings.

BD79 how long was your UPT for the Herc? Also do you know a Herc guy call sign Jez?
 

bravodelta79

New Member
Re: thanks guys

I just had my interview in May of this year. I just got through MEPS and waiting to go to Brooks. No UPT or OTS for me yet.

:)
 

TankerToad

New Member
DCA22, if you're interested in reading a reasonably thorough journal of what it's like to go through UPT, I actually have a website I maintained throughout UPT for anyone who wanted to read a "day in the life" account of what it was like. Plenty of pictures up as well. The link is www.joelsuptjournal.com. Pass it on to others who may have similar questions! Also, as mentioned above, baseops.net is a great place to look. T6driver.com will give you a great deal of current gouge on the program. Hope this helps!
 

EASuperhornet

New Member
Welcome DCA22,

You probably already knew this, but in order to attend Air Force pilot training and earn your wings, you must first be commissioned as an officer. There are generally 4 ways to do this in the Air Force; 1) Air Force Academy; 2) Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC); 3) Officer Training School (OTS); and 4) the guard/reserve (who either attend OTS with their active duty counterparts or the Academy of Military Science (AMS) specificially for guard memebers. With only 3 semesters of college left, I'd say that probably rules out the ROTC option, but you're always welcome to drop by the local detachment and see what they say. The academy is probably out of the picture for you too, unless you want to start college all over again ;). That pretty much leaves OTS and/or the guard/reserves. I don't need to tell you the slots are extremely competitive, but if you really want it that shouldn't stop you from puttting out for it (didn't stop me). All things being equal, your GPA is competitive enough. You also need to take the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT) and strive for an 80 or higher on the pilot section. Visit airforceots.com for more information on getting selected for that program; you'll have to find a good recruiter (they're rare, don't settle for a mediocre one) who will help you submit a package to a board of officers who will convene to select the best candidates. They use the "whole person concept", so they'll be looking at way more than test scores and GPAs; they'll be looking at your whole life to see whether or not you have leadership potential. Being an officer is a lot more than just being a pilot--you can be the best stick, but if you can't lead airmen you're not what the military is looking for. If you are selected by the active duty Air Force, you won't know whether you're going to fly fighters, bombers, tankers, or airlifters until you're well into the program already, so don't even worry about it. In other words, at this point you're just competing to get there, you're not competing for a specific assignment yet. The guard/reserves work a little differently; get ahold of a book called "Flying in the Guard/Reserves" by Air Inc; if nothing else it'll give you the hard-to-find contact information for the various units. The reserves have a board similar to the active duty board to select the best candidates; you can either submit an "at large" package or be sponored by a unit. Each unit runs their hiring process a little differently, but basically you submit a package, get to know the folks in the unit ("face time"), and if you're lucky they invite you to an interview, and if you're really lucky they sponsor you to the national board. Each unit may have approximately one or two slots they can sponsor per year.

To get in (medically), the standards are the same regardless of airframe--you'll have to pass a Class I flying physical and Medical Flight Screening in San Antonio. I don't know specifically what the standards are, but they're in a regulation I've already posted in another thread (do a search of the forum--there is a wealth of knowledgable people here and I suspect they probably haven't chimed in yet because this topic comes up practically every other week on JC and they're tired of making duplicate posts). The physical fitness test you have to take is standard for the Air Force (pushups, situps, 1.5 mile run)--minimum 75 to pass. In additon, at UPT they give what's called the Fighter Aircrew Conditioning Test (FACT). I'm fairly certain the fighter community takes this test regularly, but as a heavy driver, I haven't taken this test since the first time it was administered. In additon, I only now have to pass a Class II physical, so now that I'm already in my airframe, the standards are somewhat less rigid than they are for the fighter guys.

Other guys feel free to chime in; there are people here who know way more than I do, but I hope this helps.
I'm considering a military flying career only! and I'm wondering if its worth enlisting into the air force if i have mild asthma. of course i'll see an aviation medical examiner to test if i am fit to be an airman, not just for military, but even for civilian.

I'm just concerned with this. i read on the AFROTC website that the standard pre-requisite for AF airmen is to have no history of hay-fever or asthma after the age of 12...

is this sort of issue wavered depending on the severity of the asthma and hay-fever, or is it a definite NO!?

thank you,

P.S: sorry if it seems i am hijacking your thread, i just have the same interest as you, and i figured might as well "hit two birds with one stone"
 

EASuperhornet

New Member
OTS is the exception;.... the college degree (which you must have as a prerequsite).

Either way, it's exceptionally competitive and timing has alot to do with it.
For my position, Coming straight from Canada, my father insisted that i go to RMC (Royal Military College) in kingston ontario. The piloting program there is demanding "not that the US one isn't," just my reason for not following through is because the market for piloting careers is slim compared to the US because we don't have as much equipment, but with what we do have, we fly the hell out of it!

In my position, a recent college graduate with a communications DEC, which is a certificate from our college in canada that state i have completed a 2-year pre-university program. Most of my friends went off to university to continue their studies in communications, or film studies. Myself i would like to pursue a different major entirely. Which is why i made another thread "Aeronautical/ universities (help needed)."

I understand everything is a step to get one step closer to the "goal."
My goal is to get one foot in the door in the aviation industry. Originally I'd like to follow in the footsteps of a family friend of mine who once honorably discharged from the green barret from Nam, went to westwood college and gained his A&P license for as little as $8,000. few months later he landed a job with McDonald Douglas working on the F18's and eventually E/A SuperHornets, thus my screen name...

I'm wondering whether before i even think about piloting in the air force (which btw i'm not picky bout what i fly, i just want to live my dream), should i really consider taking a major at UCM in aviation technology. Will that bachelor of Science make my dream more into a reality once im finished. OR should i continue onto my original escapade of finding a school with an A&P program?

hmm..i seem to be all over the place, im sure you all figured that out already. just im really passionate bout what i do, and i just want to make sure im making the right career decisions... Course i understand ppl make 2-3 career changes in their lifetime, im just hoping i start off on the right path in taking my career down the path to fly...

Sincerely,

Tony
 

MDPilot

Well-Known Member
Besides the physical disqualification for asthma I referenced in your other post, all officers in the US military must be US citizens. If you are a Canadian citizen (as it appears), you should be checking out the requirements (physical and otherwise) for the Canadian military.
 

EASuperhornet

New Member
Besides the physical disqualification for asthma I referenced in your other post, all officers in the US military must be US citizens. If you are a Canadian citizen (as it appears), you should be checking out the requirements (physical and otherwise) for the Canadian military.

I'm an american citizen born abroad. (dual):nana2:
 

Hacker15e

Dunning–Kruger Observer
I'm an american citizen born abroad. (dual):nana2:
I have a friend who what dual UK/USA citizenship who is competing to go to USAF Officer Training School currently.

If he is selected to be an officer, he will have to give up that dual citizenship and become a US citizen only.
 

EASuperhornet

New Member
I have a friend who what dual UK/USA citizenship who is competing to go to USAF Officer Training School currently.

If he is selected to be an officer, he will have to give up that dual citizenship and become a US citizen only.
oh snap! u think that would be the same situation for US/CANADA?:bandit:
 

VF-213

New Member
You may not like to hear this but I've seen this thread repeated many times.... young fellow wanting to join the military but only if he gets to fly.

Question: what do you offer the miltary?
You wear the uniform selflessly, serving the nation as an officer - its not about you. Your hierarcy is: nation, service, self.

If the above sounds too binary for you, the military probably isn't a good fit.

I apologize if this seems curt but forewarned before you dream of drilling holes in the sky at mach 2.

Curious, why the superhornet? Its a long way from a AF heavy....
 

EASuperhornet

New Member
You may not like to hear this but I've seen this thread repeated many times.... young fellow wanting to join the military but only if he gets to fly.

Question: what do you offer the miltary?
You wear the uniform selflessly, serving the nation as an officer - its not about you. Your hierarcy is: nation, service, self.

If the above sounds too binary for you, the military probably isn't a good fit.

I apologize if this seems curt but forewarned before you dream of drilling holes in the sky at mach 2.

Curious, why the superhornet? Its a long way from a AF heavy....
The Super hornet has always been a favorite of mine. It's smaller size and aerodynamic capabilities, not to mention it packs a punch...mmmm:panic: "oh and its my country's main fighter jet." I had some american favorites too... like the A10 Warthog, F117, F16,E6,Tomcat(but from what i heard from a friend of mine who worked on them, they are unsafe)

hmmmm..i have no problem serving the nation, even though i wasn't born here, and don't know much bout the american way of life. but as long as if it was a contract, binding both sides to an agreement. I get to fly, and I serve you, puppet me if you must. But like hacker said, its not all flying. so if im grounded permanently well i wont be to happy, but as long as i get to "punch holes" once in a while, im a happy citizen:hiya:
 

VF-213

New Member
From you last post the military is not for you. There is no "contract" for you to fly. I personally know of incidents where guys who went out on float flying Tomcats and Greyhounds came back flying desks permanently.
In the Navy, unless your daddy is a Vice or higher no one gets more than one look. Keep in mind you are competing against some 4000 grads of the Naval academy. Further you have a lot of very bright young people across the nation, already in the Navy hoping to get the nod (about 875 slots)
As I had indicated in my earlier post, it isn't about you...its about service to your nation. If you don't believe being an officer leading a crew breaking down pallets of supplies is as important as flying a F 18, the Navy is the wrong place for you.

Two corrections. Canada flies the F 18A & B not the super hornet. Your friend that told you the Tomcat was dangerous is frankly an idiot (clearly he never flew it) The Tomcat served the Navy over 30 years with distinction.
 
Top