Aircraft selection for Aviation Branch

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by USMA $WAG, Apr 18, 2013.

  1. USMA $WAG

    USMA $WAG Member

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    I was just curious as to how process works in regards to getting assigned to an aircraft if you branch aviation. Do you have any say in what you want to fly? Can you do fixed wing?(I know there are only a few options in that regard)How does the decide? Thanks!
     
  2. USMATx2017

    USMATx2017 Member

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    My brother has a WP friend who married a fellow cadet and she branched aviation. As I understand it, you branch aviation, get to your training post, and that is where you put in a request for your aircraft. Depending on how well you do in ABOLC influences whether you receive what you requested.
     
  3. USMATx2017

    USMATx2017 Member

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    As an aviation officer, however, and for the level of commission you receive, fixed wing is not likely. Unfortunately for those who wish to fly fixed wing, the Army's fleet is far more focused on helos.

    However, if you get to West Point and find out there is no chance you will be able to fly fixed wing aircraft, assuming you stay at the point and graduate, you can cross commission to another service branch like Navy or Air Force where your chances of flying a fixed wing air craft are significantly greater.
     
  4. 845something

    845something Member

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    Once you get to flight school and get your rotary wing license, you will be assigned an airframe. Sometimes there is a choice among them all, sometimes the needs of the Army trump that and everyone in a class is assigned a particular airframe.

    After your initial assignment, there is a chance to fly fixed wing, but it is very limited. This will either be leer or Gulf Stream jets for VIPs or surveillance aircraft.

    The ability to cross to a different service at graduation is very limited. Don't count on it. In fact if you really want to fly jets/cargo planes and have a choice of West Point or reapply another year to Air Force or Navy, you should turn down West Point and try again for one of the other SA. Don't ignore Coast Guard as they do a lot of flying as well AND Merchant Marine allows you to commission into any service.

    Additionally, be mindful of what you ask for. The AF Fighter community is seeing their flight hours cut drastically and a focus on diverse experiences (ie non-flying jobs) right now. You need to talk to some of the current officers in that service both junior ones to see what experience you will have and senior ones if possible about what they forecast for the future.
     
  5. 845something

    845something Member

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    Once you get to flight school and get your rotary wing license, you will be assigned an airframe. Sometimes there is a choice among them all, sometimes the needs of the Army trump that and everyone in a class is assigned a particular airframe.

    After your initial assignment, there is a chance to fly fixed wing, but it is very limited. This will either be leer or Gulf Stream jets for VIPs or surveillance aircraft.

    The ability to cross to a different service at graduation is very limited. Don't count on it. In fact if you really want to fly jets/cargo planes and have a choice of West Point or reapply another year to Air Force or Navy, you should turn down West Point and try again for one of the other SA. Don't ignore Coast Guard as they do a lot of flying as well AND Merchant Marine allows you to commission into any service.

    Additionally, be mindful of what you ask for. The AF Fighter community is seeing their flight hours cut drastically and a focus on diverse experiences (ie non-flying jobs) right now. You need to talk to some of the current officers in that service both junior ones to see what experience you will have and senior ones if possible about what they forecast for the future.
     
  6. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    The USCGA reps will tell you that a higher percentage of their grads get flying seats than any of the other service academies.

    I've not tried to fact check that, but given what I've read about the smaller and smaller number of pilot slots at USAFA it sort of makes sense.
     
  7. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    This post above is largely incorrect. AV lieutenants and warrant officers, for about the last ten years, have been assigned to fixed-wing slots during aircraft selection. The slots are limited and do not come down in every class, but they do occur.

    Secondly, should you receive a fixed-wing slot, it will almost certainly NOT be a jet slot. Lears and Gulfstreams are EXTREMELY rare. The vast majority of slots will be for a C-12 variant (Beechcraft Super King Air) or, god forbid, the remaining DHC-7 fleet, a.k.a the Four Fans of Freedom.

    Bad information is worse than none at all.
     
  8. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

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    My son is currently in flight school. There are several parts to it...selecting airframe is one of the last parts. He is about 9 months in at this point and expects to select his airframe sometime this summer. He (and most of the 2LTs I've met from his class) loves to fly and will be happy with whatever he gets, although he hopes for a Kiowa.
     

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