Can having a PPL help you get an appointment?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by AirForceAllTheWay, Nov 13, 2015.

  1. AirForceAllTheWay

    AirForceAllTheWay Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2015
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    1
    First time posting, long time reader. I have two questions and was wondering if anyone could help answer them. Does it help to have a ppl going into the academy?
    Meaning does it help get an appointment? Also does anyone know about how many cadets have a ppl? Thanks so much for taking the time to answer.
     
  2. FalconsRock

    FalconsRock Parent

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2015
    Messages:
    772
    Likes Received:
    537
    Okay, I searched the acronym list and cannot find PPL. What exactly is it? :scratch:
     
  3. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2008
    Messages:
    2,364
    Likes Received:
    1,831
    Private pilot's license.
     
    FalconsRock likes this.
  4. AirForceAllTheWay

    AirForceAllTheWay Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2015
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    1
    Sorry I should have just written Private Pilot License. (PPL)
     
  5. 2018DAD

    2018DAD Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    87
    This subject has been answered numerous times. Two short answers: search forums and no it really doesn't help. Nice to have, can open opportunities for flying team and or flight experience prior to soaring program and the flying club....all available AFTER appointment. Your whole candidate scoring will have the most impact, while it is the Air Force, at this point they are more interested in whether you have what it takes to graduate and commission! Plenty of time for flying later!!
     
  6. AirForceAllTheWay

    AirForceAllTheWay Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2015
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thank you for taking the time to answer. I did do a search and unfortunately had nothing come up on the search term "entering USAFA with a private pilot license at 17". Thanks again for responding.
     
  7. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2007
    Messages:
    2,580
    Likes Received:
    800
    Short answer: No. It won't "help you get in."

    Do you have the academics, athletics, leadership, they desire in their applicants?
     
  8. AirForceAllTheWay

    AirForceAllTheWay Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2015
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    1
    Appreciate your input. Thank you for taking the time to answer. I was just curious.
     
  9. buffalo

    buffalo USAFA 2013

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Messages:
    780
    Likes Received:
    60
    That's very specific search criteria. Making the search a little more generic will yield more results.

    But not to worry. Most questions on here have probably been asked at some point, so there wouldn't be much to chat about if questions aren't posted.
     
  10. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2007
    Messages:
    2,580
    Likes Received:
    800
    My eldest son got his PPL on his 17th bd - before he was licensed to drive a car. I asked him: "Son, I can't do the stress of teaching you to drive and having you learn to fly at the same time, so choose one for now, and one for later."
    Son: "Mom, you can drive me anywhere I want to go - including to pilot training and flight school, so... duh."
     
  11. 6KDogwhistle

    6KDogwhistle Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2014
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    29
    Doesn't hurt to have a PPL but it won't have any effect on your total "score" for admissions.
    I'm assuming you want to fly in the Air Force. My 2 cents... it can help or it can hurt you. From my experience, it can help more than it can hurt you. Most people with some prior flying experience before attending SUPT have a leg up in the T-6 phase because they have some sense of airmanship. It's also a confidence builder. Case in point: I had about 400 hours in various bug smashers before going to pilot training. I had my instrument rating and some pretty extensive acrobatic flying experience; it was my hobby when I was in college. For me, flying the T-37 came very easy so I didn't work hard-not recommended; I was a bit too confident at times but I kept my head low and learned the Air Force's way. When I got to T-38s, we were all on the same playing field and I had to get my butt in gear. Strangely though, I did better in T-38s than I did in tweets.:cool: Lesson learned-don't get cocky! On the flip side, I've seen ex-commuter pilots with 1,500 hours wash out . Some just don't have the psychomotor skills, some can't control the "helmet fire", and some can't/won't adapt to the way the Air Force wants them to fly.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2015
  12. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,809
    Likes Received:
    956
    I agree with 6K.

    I will add that currently the reason you see many going for their PPL is due to two facts (later on)
    1. As a cadet, be it USAFA or AFROTC. They will take an exam known as the TBAS. If they even have the minimal hours it will give them a boost in their score. The TBAS is part of their score that goes into their larger score. Think of it like the WCS for an appointment, there are certain % assigned to certain aspects, just now for the rated board when they are cadets.
    ~ Do not confuse this with the WCS, just showing that selection boards will not end just because you received an appointment.

    2. After being selected for UPT they can get IFT (Initial Flight Training) waived if they have a PPL. In other words they will go straight to UPT and not the short TDY to Pueblo CO before starting UPT.
    ~ That is what they currently do, nobody know what it will be like next year, the year after that, or to say the very least 5 years from now.

    I agree. The pace at UPT is faster than one might think. Even so at IFT, aka IFS. Basically it can go like this:
    They arrive at Pueblo on Weds. Class starts Thursday. Bold exam Fri. Fail that and you get a chance to retake on Monday. However, the class will still move forward. Monday is more academics. Tuesday is academics and a sim. Wed. another exam
    ~~ The students that passed the exam on Friday, were able to spend the entire weekend studying their academics that would be starting on Monday. The student that failed is now behind the 8 ball compared to their peers because they will be studying to pass the previous exam.

    The student with flight hours can have a leg up in the very beginning, but I think overall it does average out later on, because flying is not just academics and briefings as 6k stated in their post.

    Good luck.

    PS, JMPO, I think that the only way a PPL can help is from a different aspect.
    ~ The candidate that is taking the most rigorous course load, strong class rank, strong ACT/SAT, involved in sports/clubs, volunteers/works and has found the time to get a PPL, may show the ALO and MOC committee just that little more umph when they decide their rack and stack.

    However, if you said to me that this is the shining star in their resume, than I think you need to reevaluate.
     
  13. AirForceAllTheWay

    AirForceAllTheWay Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2015
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thank you for taken the time to give me a detail explanation and answer. I really appreciate it!
     
  14. AirForceAllTheWay

    AirForceAllTheWay Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2015
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thank you for taken the time to give me a detail explanation and answer. I really appreciate it!
     
  15. Norfolk63

    Norfolk63 privateer

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    63
    If memory serves, the USAFA application asks if a candidate has a Private Pilot License.
    USNA's app does.
    Also, if you're Qualified Not Selected and go to a university that has a flight program (such as Embry-Riddle), having your PPL in hand will save you 3 semesters and approx. $20K in tuition and fees).
    Food for thought.
     
    fencersmother likes this.
  16. AirForceAllTheWay

    AirForceAllTheWay Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2015
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thank you! I appreciate the suggestion.
     
  17. B52LTA

    B52LTA Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2015
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    9
    The USAFA application does indeed ask if you have a PPL and how many hours. If it didn't matter it would not be on the application.
    All things being equal with two qualified candidates for a SA spot. It stands for reason that the candidate with a PPL would get the nod
    over a candidate equally qualified without a PPL. As stated above it can't hurt. And if it didn't matter AF would not include it on the application.
    My DD has applied to USAFA in hopes of one day being a pilot. We live in CA and it is very competitive. She is fully qualified and awaits a nomination. Good luck to you.
     
    AirForceAllTheWay likes this.
  18. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2007
    Messages:
    2,580
    Likes Received:
    800
    B52, of course it "matters." Just like being on the football team, having a job, teaching inner city adults to read, being in band, participating in local politics... yes, they all matter. Having your PPL won't matter any more than any of those other things.

    In fact, I would venture to say that teaching inner city adults to read over a period of four years in high school might matter more on an application than getting the PPL. Sure it shows dedication (and the money to finance it), but other activities carry equal weight. Remember, USAFA is interested in the entire person. And, while it may certainly count in an applicant's favor to have the PPL, it is not a eureka! ticket.
     
  19. time2

    time2 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Messages:
    1,059
    Likes Received:
    270
    How many 'points' (if any) you get on your application for having a PPL is something only the admissions committee knows. I searched on "private pilot's license" and found 59 threads relating to this overall topic on here.

    Search engines on various website work differently. If you have trouble finding a topic, try a shorter phrase or reword the topic to see if that gets more hits.
     
  20. Buff-IP

    Buff-IP USAFA '88 Pilot

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2013
    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    2
    I think having a PPL would more likely help you get a nomination.

    Also remember that sending folks to UPT (flight school) is no longer important to USAFA.
     
    B52LTA likes this.

Share This Page