Civil Air Patrol

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by futureAFA, May 22, 2010.

  1. futureAFA

    futureAFA Member

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    I am 15 in one month, and I want to go to the AFA when I am older, and I have been looking through this site a lot recently, and there is a lot of talk about the CAP. If I do go to the AFA I want to secure a pilot slot, and before then I was thinking about getting a private pilot’s license. Soon I will start doing virtual flight simulators so it might help when I take real flight lessons (and since it looks fun). Can somebody tell me what it is like, and how much flight time I will get (when I am old enough to fly)? Can I get flight lessons or a scholarship for them? Will it interfere with school sports and AAU sport (games are every saturday and sunday from april to august, and one practice a week)? Furthermore the reason it is in this section is that I want to know how much it will help secure a pilot spot, help in being appointed, and how much it will help with the Air Force pilot training (I forgot what the real name for it is)?

    Thanks for all the help you guys (and girls)!
    Sorry for asking so many questions just answer what you want, anything will help!

    PS. If I have a −1.75 correction in both eyes (I wear contacts/glasses) am I pilot qualified?
     
  2. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Easy part first. There's a section in this forum for "Medical" type questions. You should ask the question about your eyes there.

    Securing a pilot slot: No such thing. You can't secure "anything" in the military. But for what it's worth, pretty much anyone who wants to be a pilot, and is medically qualified, (One of the reasons you can't secure anything); can pretty much get a pilot slot out of the academy. However; just because you get to go to UPT, (Undergraduate Pilot training) after the academy, doesn't mean you'll pass. People do wash out. (Another reason you can secure anything).

    Also, probably close to 85% of all incoming cadets come in wanting to be a pilot. However, people change their minds. After a couple of years at the academy, realizing that if you do become a pilot that you have to give the air force a minimum of 10 years, and just normal change of interests; the actual number of cadets who apply for pilot slots is down to about 50%. The average class at the academy will start with approximately 1300-1350 cadets. By the time Basic training is done, there will be about 1250-1300 remaining. At the end of 2 years of academy academics and life, approximately another 200 students will have either dropped out of the academy or let go for academic reasons. On graduation day, 4 years later, the class has gone from about 1300-1350 down to about 1000-1050.

    If you want to get a private pilot's license prior to applying and possibly getting accepted to the air force academy, definitely do so. But do it because it's what you want to do. Contrary to what some people might say, Civil Air Patrol, JrROTC, Scouts, PPL, etc... won't give you edge in getting an appointment. They are definitely good activities to be in; but ONLY if it's because you really want to be in them. In other words, you'll get just as many extra curricular and leadership points if you're involved in, and excel in, things like band, choir, young republicans/democrats, FBLA, FFA, etc... There are literally hundreds of activities that you can be involved in. As long as you're involved with activities you're passionate about, and you excel in them and show growth; especially in leadership roles; then that is what matters. The actual activity doesn't matter.

    I'll let someone with a PPL answer your questions concerning that. But remember, you should be applying to the air force academy because you want to serve your country. Because you want to become a commissioned officer and lead people. Because you believe in the mission of the air force and the military in general. If you happen to become a pilot, that's great. If you change your mind, or the military puts a freeze on and says we aren't going to have ANY NEW pilots for 2 years, (Yes, they've done that before), then you have to be ok with that. In other words, you have to ask yourself; if I CAN'T be a pilot, do I still want to go to the air force academy and be a commissioned officer and serve my country. Even if flying is out of the question. If the answer is yes; then you have the right attitude and should apply. If the answer is no; then you shouldn't apply to the academy. But again, as long as they aren't putting a freeze on pilots, and you are qualified to be a pilot, then you can almost guaranteed get a UPT slot. Passing that course and getting into a plane is up to you. Best of luck. Mike.....
     
  3. futureAFA

    futureAFA Member

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    I DO want to join the Air Force to serve this country and I AM ok with being something besides a pilot, even something like a desk job. The reason I want to join the Civil Air Patrol is because I WANT to not because it will help with being admitted, thats also the reason I want a pilot’s license. I apologize if I came off wrong.

    Trust me if I do not want to join to get a free education, be a pilot, and never come back. I want to get the best education I can, hopefully be a pilot (although I will do whatever I am assigned) and stay in the air force until I retire. I know my ideas will change and I may not want to fly anymore, but I do want to serve my country, its something I believe in.

    Thanks for the answer though! It did help, and I appreciate you spending your time to try and help!
     
  4. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    CAP and getting a PPL are good experiences, if you want to come here. That said, I don't think they weigh any more in admissions than any activity involving similar leadership or commitment.
     

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