CG Aviation

Discussion in 'Coast Guard Academy - USCGA' started by Packer, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. Packer

    Packer Member

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    What is the basic process for a USCGA graduate to become a pilot, fixed wing or rotary? Roughly how many pilot slots are given out in a given year?
     
  2. TwinsDad

    TwinsDad Member

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    From memory assignments to flight school upon graduation from the past three years were as follows:
    2011 20 candidates
    2010 7 candidates
    2009 either 14 or 16 candidates

    To receive a flight school assignment upon graduation, second class cadets request and given a flight school physical I believe during the spring semester. It is basically a routine physical but is extended to include items such as vision applicable only to pilot applicants. During the spring session of second-class year for the fall session of first-class year a flight aptitude test is taken by cadets interested in the flight program. I understand that the applicants are interviewed by a flight selection board comprised of pilots for consideration.

    Assignment to flight school for qualified applicants is made based on a review of the cadets academic and military record at the Academy as well as well as the flight aptitude test and interviews. I have read that the number of cadets assigned flight school is limited to 1/10 of the graduating class but in actuality is usually less based on the needs of the Coast Guard.

    The first part of flight school begins at Pensacola Florida where Coast Guard, Navy and Marine flight students learn the basics of flying on fixed wing aircraft. After basic fixed wing flight school is completed, assignments are made to would finance flight school. Cadets are permitted to request helicopters or fixed wing and assignments are made based on US Coast Guard need with the highest scoring cadets getting their preferences. Some years, the majority of the cadets are assigned to fixed wing whereas other years to helicopters. After basic flight school cadets that helicopters proceed to Mobile Alabama for flight instruction. Fixed wing pilots proceed to another Coast Guard installation for their advanced instruction.

    My son is a first-class Cadet and was one of the eight cadets selected for an aviation internship this summer. During his internship which was spent at a US Coast Guard air Station. He had the opportunity to log over 30 hours an aircraft, including turboprop, jet and helicopter. While most of his time on the aircraft was meant as an observer, he did get the opportunity to spend several hours behind the controls and got to fly all three types of aircraft. He described it as and awesome experience. He also qualified as a "duck" which is the person in the water to be rescued during practice rescue operations as well as qualified in the control tower. He definitely wants flight school upon graduation but personally prefers helicopters over fixed wing.

    Some cadets preferred to spend a few years at sea and then attend flight school. I believe that flight school adds an additional eight years to the basic five year enlistment. Most cadets signing up for flight school are sure that they want to spend their career in the Coast Guard service.

    Hope this quick overview is helpful.
     
  3. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    They are very competitive.

    The Class of 2011 had 20 cadets selected for flight training.

    The Class of 2010 had 7.

    The Class of 2009 had 23.
     
  4. Packer

    Packer Member

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    Thanks Luigi and TwinsDad. Great information.
     
  5. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Two jets left...both in Washington D.C....

    if you're going to fly for the Coast Guard it will be in one of two helos, MH-60 Jayhawks or MH-65 Dolphins, or likely one of two fixed-wings (both props) HC-144 Ocean Sentries or HC-130 Hurcules. The HU-25 Falcon was retired. There are two jets in Washington for the Commandant.
     
  6. BruceRTalbot

    BruceRTalbot Member

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    One of which made a very nice low pass during R-Day swearing-in ceremony. . .
     
  7. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Commandant's plane flew in for R-Day?
     
  8. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    I thought the Commandant's plane was the C-37A (Gulfstream)?

    I think the plane that flew over at R-Day was a HU-25 (Guardian) from Air Station Cape Cod
     
  9. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Right, so the plane you saw for R-day is/has been retired. The HC-144 is the replacement.
     
  10. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Yes, Cape Cod won't get their first HC-144 until sometime next year.

    Air Station Cape Cod has (had) 4 HU-25 jets, and the first one to be retired flew its last flight on June 6, 2011.

    They had a big ceremony to commemorate the occasion, and will put it on display at the front gate next to the HU-16 Albatross.

    They still have 3 HU-25 left at Cape Cod, all of which will remain active until the first HC-144 arrives.
     

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