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If I get My Private Pilots License

Discussion in 'Military' started by tacomathunder, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. tacomathunder

    tacomathunder [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Does that give me any advantage at all to get a flight slot in any of he branches???

    I want to finish college then get my private pilots license which my father said he'd help me with..... but would this help me at all?
     
  2. Forster46

    Forster46 Very nice how much?

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    Same question here.... I was actually going to post the same thread here eventually. I was going to go to school for two years and get my commercial though.

    Sorry I'm no help!
     
  3. tacomathunder

    tacomathunder [OP] Well-Known Member

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    lol its all good, saving bandwidth this way anyway lol :D
     
  4. brian

    brian Another Traitor

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    Personally, I don't think so anymore.

    None of our pilots even have a PPL unless they got it privately. Not even a single engine rating. Its funny. Now, if you were in a commercial application, say you were an airline pilot... in some cases I believe you can direct commision. Hopefully Brunes can pop in and help on this one before I start talkin out my ass.
     
  5. johnanm

    johnanm Well-Known Member

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    Hi guys. This is from a USAF perspective, can't speak for the others. Flight hours will help but, ultimately you'll be tested on your mental ability and physical coordination/abilities and that will play the biggest role in getting a pilot slot. Being familiar with an aircraft's fundamentals and controls is a good background, but having more than a few hours under your belt is a waste of time. Doing well in school and not making any bonehead mistakes in life is worth far more than having a certificate.

    Just to be clear, more than a few cadets I went to school with had PPL and didn't get a slot. You can train any dumbass to fly a C-172, so if you have one you get a cookie and you've demonstrated some motivation but that's all. The military in general, particularly now and in the future, is looking for superstars; people with character that are well rounded and come with exceptional physical and mental gifts. They find these people using their own methods, which I can elaborate on somewhat if you'd like.
     
  6. tacomathunder

    tacomathunder [OP] Well-Known Member

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    id like to hear, I'm interested in all the info i can get
     
  7. tacomathunder

    tacomathunder [OP] Well-Known Member

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    so in other words it could be a waste of my time to get the ppl if it doesn't mean much
     
  8. Forster46

    Forster46 Very nice how much?

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    Either way, it won't be a waste. Because then you will already have plenty of experience. Whether it matters in the military or not.
     
  9. brian

    brian Another Traitor

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    Get your PPL! Thats ALWAYS worth it!
     
  10. tacomathunder

    tacomathunder [OP] Well-Known Member

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    well i really want to be a pilot in the military, but if they are looking for superstars I'm not one, I'm just your everyday guy who wants to serve his country but doing so flying which is one of my favorite things to do
     
  11. johnanm

    johnanm Well-Known Member

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    http://www.flyingsquadron.com/forums/index.php?/topic/14396-how-to-improve-your-chances/

    http://www.wantscheck.com/PilotSlotResources/ROTCPilotSlot/tabid/60/Default.aspx

    Those two links provide a good summary, the second one is a nearly comprehensive timeline for what to do when doing the ROTC route.


    Your options to become a USAF pilot are:

    ROTC at college
    USAF Academy
    Officer Training School
    Air National Guard

    Can't speak for the last two, and it's very difficult and rare to become a pilot out of those sources anyway. So I'll focus on the first two.

    ROTC - Program at most universities that allows you to train to earn an officer's commission while also earning your undergraduate degree. Training consists of about 5-6 hours a week in physical education, military education and training, and personal leadership development. Easy to have a typical college experience doing ROTC. This is what I chose.

    USAF Academy - Colorado Springs, Colorado. Very strict application process and only about a 10% acceptance rate. This is a military service academy, and you'll be experiencing the USAF way of life every hour of every day for about 10 months out of the year. High quality education with many opportunities for leadership development. Must be less than 23 to enter. Requires a congressional nomination from your Representative or Senator. The whole application to the Academy is a very complicated and lengthy process. I actually was nominated and appointed here, but chose ROTC because I valued normal life. I don't regret the decision at all.


    Either route you'll take, you'll have to compete with your peers to excel in your education and military studies, show physical fitness, and demonstrate high leadership potential and ability. You will be ranked among your classmates, and this will play part of the role in your pilot slot chances.

    You'll also be tested mentally, the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT) will test your knowledge and mental acuity in several different areas. It's similar to the ACT or SAT, except more geared towards specific things such as problem solving, spatial orientation, chart reading, etc. Speed and acuracy will help you here, and there are prep sources to help.

    You will need to have a good GPA. Enough said. Go for 3.5 in a non-technical field or a 3.0 at least in Engineering or the hard sciences.

    You'll need to pass a Flying Class I physical exam located at Wright-Patterson AFB. They will send you here after you get your slot, but it's incredibly intensive and I recommend looking up disqualifying physical conditions right away if you have a history of anything such as asthma or the like. They disqualify people for many many things, but there are waivers for most things depending on severity.

    Finally, there is a test that measures your basic physical abilities related to coordination and control and being able to skillfully command an aircraft. This is called the TBAS - Test for Basic Airmanship Skills, and will factor into your pilot slot chances. I can't say anything about the test because it's a controlled item, but if you can find info out on the net then more power to you.


    That's about it, there are tons of websites with resources to educate you more on each of these topics, so if you're interested in flying Air Force I hope you check them out!
     
  12. johnanm

    johnanm Well-Known Member

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    The military has a specific process for training pilots, and it's not necessarily a good thing to come in with a lot of hours. I've heard many stories about 300+ hour private guys coming in and shitting the bed in UPT because of bad habits in the jet and not having the same respect for the training like most do coming in. That doesn't apply to all those situations, but I spent my money on other things rather than building incredibly expensive hours I didn't explicitly need.
     
  13. tacomathunder

    tacomathunder [OP] Well-Known Member

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    well the AF academy is out of the question for me don't think id get accepted, I'm a sophomore in college already anyway...my school doesn't offer ROTC and the closest one that does is 3.5 hours away so I'm kinda screwed huh? for being a pilot anyway...
     
  14. Taco Gunner

    Taco Gunner Well-Known Member

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    Wow...some "interesting" information. While I am not a military pilot, I have been an USAF enlisted crew member for over 15 years on two different airframes accumulating 3000 hours in the process. In the civilian world, I am an ATP rate pilot with over 4500 hours of flight time, 4 type ratings, and currently flying combat operations in Afghanistan. The flying I am doing now is traditionally flown by the US Army.

    Here is my opinion: get it. It will help with basic aircraft control and simple understanding. Will it guarantee success at UPT? No, nothing will. Will it increase your chances? Potentially. Will it guarantee you get an F-22..nope.

    From the Guard or Reserve perspective, most will require you to have a license prior to even looking at you or will want you to get before attending UPT. Personally, I think this is a great requirement.

    As for teaching any "dumbass" to fly a C172, that is simply an ignorant statement and not borne in fact. At one time, the USAF used C-172's (T41's) to evaluate pilot candidates, many not passing and none were dumbasses. Not everyone can fly..just like I will not be a Doctor.

    A pilots success in either worlds rest primarily with his attitude. I have flown with GREAT pilots who were information sponges and exercised PHd level Crew Resource Management. They ran a cockpit like it should be ran..many of them truly gifted pilots. I have also flown with pilots I was surprised did not wreck on the way from home to the airport. I have flown with former military fighter pilots who tried more than once to kill me with their "skills". And had some water my eye with their stick skills. I would put most of the professional civilian pilots on par with most military pilots...most having started in a C-172 or equivalent.

    If you get a PPL, you will have it and you will have earned it. If you choose to pursue military flying, remember the basics but become a sponge to the military way of doing things (not always the best or most efficient way). I have NEVER known a pilot who entered UPT with a PPL say that it did not help with them. I have known guys with tons of civilian hours excel in training and graduate top of the class...it boils down to that attitude. Just like in an airplane, you keep it upright, you will do fine. You get it unusual and you will spend a lot time righting yourself..if you ever do.

    Either way..best of luck if you choose to get military wings.
     
  15. johnanm

    johnanm Well-Known Member

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    Gunner, I wasn't knocking Cessna, GA pilots, or private aviation at all. My father has spent a lifetime flying on his own dime and much of it has been in the venerable C-172. All aircraft serve a valuable purpose, and that includes trainers/light utility AC such as the 172, Tomahawk, Cub, DA-20, etc. The point I was making was in answer to the OP's question - about the training and certificate itself and how it would help get into UPT.

    I wouldn't call my opinion ignorance. You CAN train nearly anyone to fly a light aircraft well enough to earn a PPL. Not everyone solos at 5 hours and breezes into a cert with 35 or 40. At most centers, as long as you have the $$$ to keep paying your FBO and CFI, they will keep giving you hours and instruction and eventually you'll gain proficiency to get to the point you need to be at. Your PPL doesn't carry a label stating what type of student you were. That's why it's not a requirement for the sources I mentioned.

    tacomathunder - What part of FL are you in? There's a crapton of detachments down there, are you sure there's not a closer one? Being a sophomore is not too late either, you can start the ROTC program right after your sophomore year and not be too far behind. You're just in time to get the ball rolling on that, too.
     
  16. Taco Gunner

    Taco Gunner Well-Known Member

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    Are you a pilot in the military...or the civilian world?
     
  17. johnanm

    johnanm Well-Known Member

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    Should be obvious, also stated earlier in the thread.
     
  18. GIJared

    GIJared FNG

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    From the Army perspective:

    You have two routes to flight school. The commissioned officer route(through either ROTC or West Point) or enlisting with a 'High School to Flight School' contract(You can also enlist in any MOS and apply for the warrant officer program several years down the road, but this is far from guaranteed).

    Having a PPL will not help you earn a flight school slot if you are going through ROTC or West Point. There is an OML based off of criteria like your GPA, physical fitness score, and leadership evaluations that determine the job you receive upon college graduation. A PPL plays no role in this process.

    Now, if you intend to become a warrant officer through the HS to FS program, I believe having your PPL does help. Most guys I know who went through that program had some prior civilian experience(mostly fixed wing). I don't know how that board is done, however, so I won't speculate as to how competitive it makes you.

    Both routes lead you to flight school, but both have significant pros and cons. I went through ROTC. In Army aviation, commissioned officers are primarily leaders and staff officers. Also jokingly known as Real Live Officers(RLO's), most of their flying time is in the first 4-5 years of their career as platoon leaders and, if they're lucky, aviation company commanders. After that, they become staff officers and spend less and less time in the cockpit as the years go by. They very rarely have opportunities to gain qualifications as flight instructors. They fly less, but they gain valuable management experience and have better pay, benefits, etc.

    Warrant officers are primarily pilots. After the first couple years as line pilots, they function as instructor pilots, maintenance pilots, etc, and typically fly a lot more than RLO's. Their experience as instructors makes them more competitive for civilian flying jobs. On the flip side, they make less money and regularly work for brand new college graduate lieutenants who are 10 years younger and don't know what they're doing yet(I was one of them).

    Become an army warrant officer is probably the easiest way to become a military aviator-it doesn't actually require a college degree(having one will make you more competitive for the selection board, however). The army is changing, however, and most warrant officers have degrees or are actively working on them. Promotions are getting more difficult to attain, and degrees play a big role.

    Personally, as I said, I'm a product of the ROTC program. For a junior officer, I've gotten to fly a lot more than average(1,000 hours in 4 years, thanks to deployments), but the writing is on the wall for me. If I stay in, I'll be lucky to log 500 in the next 5 years. I'm going to make a shitload of powerpoint presentations in the meantime(I already make entirely too many). If I do get out, I won't be competitive for a civilian flying job because I'll need(on average) at least 1500 hours to do so.

    This got long but hopefully it sheds a lot of light on the aviation side of the Army.

    I'm not a superstar, and you don't have to be. You just have to be willing to study your ass off, work hard, and have the right attitude.

    Lastly, one more thing about PPL's. They can definitely help you, but they can also hurt you. I've seen a couple guys who had trouble adjusting to the military side of things. A civilian pilot with 1,000 hours isn't considered any different than his fellow flight school graduates with no civilian time when they arrive at their first line unit. That experience can be an asset eventually, but it can be a hindrance if the individual doesn't realize he's a brand new co-pilot and act accordingly. He's a soldier first, and sometimes the PPL guys have issues with that.
     
  19. johnanm

    johnanm Well-Known Member

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    Total shack on both of these. Each service is obviously looking for the best personnel they can get, but the 4.0 engineering student who can max the PFA/APFT and volunteers to help orphans in spare time is rare, so they get to fill the slots up with the best available people who can meet all the other standards. You'll have to compete and work for it, but it's very within your reach! Everyone who ever became a military pilot once sat in your same position more or less. If you really want it, get after it. IT'S WORTH IT! :thumbsup:
     
  20. tacomathunder

    tacomathunder [OP] Well-Known Member

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    thanks guys for the input i really appreciate it, and thanks for your service too!!! one thing that worries me though if not for anything else: I'm a pretty average student, and I'm a business major at this time
     
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