Aviation career options

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by PaddyyD, Sep 13, 2010.

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  1. PaddyyD

    PaddyyD Member

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    I am hopefully going to be attending USNA next year if I get an appointment, and was just wondering if anyone was familiar with how likely/difficult it is for graduates to get pilot slots. I definitely want to go into aviation, and I understand probably not every graduate gets what they want. I'm more interested in flying something like the Hornet than anything else. That being said, I still wouldn't have anything to complain about if I were able to fly some heavier aircraft instead if I couldn't fly a Hornet. Preferably not helicopters though, I'm more interested in planes.

    Thanks
     
  2. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    Why??
     
  3. PaddyyD

    PaddyyD Member

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    nothing against helicopters...I've definately looked into it and have made up my mind that I want to fly either cargo or jet planes.
     
  4. CurrentMid

    CurrentMid Member

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    First - you need to make sure you get Pilot as your service selection - do well on the ASTB - you only get three attempts and it is competitive so minimums don't cut it. Have a decent OOM (GPA plus Military/Conduct/Physical Fitness Grades determines your overall rank in your class. Do well in IFS (Flight Screening) - not required if you already have your private license. There have been numerous this summer who have failed as they have raised the passing grade. If you fail your choices are few - SWO is the norm. Pass API (Preflight classes including aerodynamics, survival tactics etc.) Then the real fun starts - Primary. If you want to "almost" guarantee your platform be first in your class at the end of primary. Anything less and it is a gamble. It's all about the needs of the Navy. If there are no spots for jets/fixed wing for your graduating class you are not getting them even if you are #1 in the class (happened to a relative of a friend of mine)

    You need to be open to all platforms as anything can happen after primary.
     
  5. usnajosh

    usnajosh Member

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    I have been trying to gain admission into USNA for almost two and a half years. I have met many aspiring and current mids through various congressional interviews, and admissions info days. I would say over half of the people I have talked to said they wanted to go for aviation. Each graduating class has about 250-300 pilot slots per year. No, not every one will get what they want, but I would bet that if you work hard enough to get into the Academy, you will continue to work hard to get a slot. If you don't get a pilot slot, you can always go for navigator.
     
  6. CurrentMid

    CurrentMid Member

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    Please NFO - Naval Flight Officer
     
  7. 1964BGO

    1964BGO Member

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    While it could change on a dime d/t needs of the service, recent graduating classes have been producing about 350 aviators (Navy and Marine). About 300 pilot selectees and about 50 NFOs. If you want aviation, your best bet is to plan on working your tail off to place as high in your class as you can. But, in the final analysis - be flexible!

    Your job 1 at this point in the game is to do your best to earn an offer of appointment!
    Best wishes.
     
  8. marvin7794

    marvin7794 Member

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    I think I got a 4/5/4 on the ASTB, and for some reason or another they let me into the program. Maybe I slipped through a crack, or actually I think they told us that the ASTB was just a check in the box. Most of service selection seems like magic anyways. It's worse than putting your fantasy football team on auto draft.
     
  9. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    I second the comments about being flexible. A Marine friend of mine (quite a few years ago) finished #1 at flight school. He wanted carrier-based jets. The USMC said, "We need great OV-10 Bronco pilots and so the top two in the class are going OV-10." Guess what he did?

    He was OK with it -- flexibility.:smile:

    If you enter USNA, you must be prepared to go into any of the warfare specialties. Your OOM, the needs of the USN/USMC, medical considerations, testing, etc. can alter your choices.

    Also, the same is true at USAFA -- there is a rumor that anyone who wants to be a pilot can be. I don't believe that's true any more than it is for USNA. I'll defer to a recent USAFA grad on that, but be sure to check it out before you assume anything. The USAF has "needs" as well and they may not jive with yours.
     
  10. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    On the family list-serv, I was surprised to see a lot of discontent parents regarding their midshipman's service selection. Maybe it was just that those who were unhappy were the most vocal.

    I find this very disappointing. Back in my day, we just didn't sweat service selection that much. Most people got what they wanted and those who didn't get what they wanted already had a good idea that they wouldn't. For instance, an English major with a 2.2 GPA who wanted subs probably wasn't going to even get an interview. If you lost your 20/20 uncorrected vision, you were NOT going to be a aviator. No surprise there, either.

    Other than that - most people got what they wanted. I was the ONLY guy in my entire company who even SELECTED naval air. There weren't even any NFO's selections in my company. Of course, back then, subs was VERY popular. Not so much these days - apparently.

    If somebody wanted to go Marine Corps - they went. Nor was there extensive testing or interviews (other than subs) for the various service selections.

    Yes, you have to be flexible ... ESPECIALLY these days.
     
  11. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    I don't wish to hijack this thread, since it is in the Naval Academy section, but I wanted to clarify. Almost everyone at USAFA who wanted a pilot SLOT for the class of 2011 got one. There is a big difference between getting a slot and becoming an Air Force pilot. Before you go to start UPT, there is Initial Flight Screening, and some of the ones with slots will not pass this. Once you arrive at UPT there is another physical, and some do not pass. During UPT itself, there is historically a 15-25% washout rate, and then during SUPT there are more candidates who don't make it. I don't have the exact averages of how many with slots actually make it to pilot, but you can see that just getting a slot doesn't mean you will be a pilot.

    Stealth_81
     
  12. agolson

    agolson Eagle43

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    Are you saying that all Naval Academy pilot candidates are successful with not washing out.
     
  13. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    Certainly not. I am simply stating that recieving a pilot slot from USAFA is only the first step in becoming a pilot. I know very little about the Naval aviation pipeline.

    Stealth_81
     
  14. PaddyyD

    PaddyyD Member

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    Thanks for all the info and advice everyone!

    I'll definitely keep it all in perspective, but as for right now; I'm going to take 1964BGO's advice and just focus on getting an appointment first.
     
  15. CurrentMid

    CurrentMid Member

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    There have already been some '10 that have not passed IFS this summer.
     
  16. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    All USNA pilot selectees don't become pilots. However, they have passed all of the initial screening and thus, if they wash out, it's probably due to a medical issue or their unsuitability as a pilot once they get in the seat.

    As for the OP, I agree that you should focus on obtaining an appt. But, if the ONLY thing you want to do is fly, consider whether USNA or any other SA is for you. There are lots of hurdles, some of which you can control (your OOM) and some which you can't (such as injuries). Just be PREPARED to go SWO, subs, USMC, etc. if aviation doesn't work out for you. If you can live with that, you're golden.:thumb:
     
  17. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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