Class of 2021

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by jackdallen, Nov 1, 2015.

  1. jackdallen

    jackdallen Member

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    Hello Everybody,

    Right now I am a junior in high school in Southern California. It has always been my goal to become a fighter pilot. For the last five years I have been mainly focused on the naval academy and becoming a naval aviator. My goal is to go to one of the service academies. I was wondering if anyone knows if it is more difficult getting a fighter pilot slot out of the USAFA or USNA? I also have not yet contacted my ALO. My district is much more competitive for the USNA than the USAFA. Will my chances be hurt at all if I have not yet contacted my ALO?
     
  2. eaglei84

    eaglei84 upwardbound

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    Numbers I have heard are about 50% of USAFA grads fly and 40% of USNA grads fly. Idk about fighter pilots though, but I'm sure they are rarer.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
     
  3. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    Getting a Navy SNA spot out of USNA is relatively easy contingent on not being a turd, passing the ASTB, and being medically qualified. The ease of getting a Marine Corps SNA spot out of USNA varies year to year, but is completely dependent on getting a Marine spot first.
    Getting a jet spot out of Navy flight school is dependent on the needs of the Navy (as always) and having jet grades. Traditionally, most people who have jet grades and want jets get jets. This is not true in the Marine Corps, where the jet-slot faucet either flows full open or is completely closed.

    Edited to add: Think about what your plan B would be if jets didn't work out, or if aviation didn't work out for you at all. The sea services and the Air Force have very different missions for their aviation assets. Even in aircraft that seem similar across the services, pilots do very different things.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2015
  4. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    No one gets a fighter slot out of USNA. Aviation training, yes, then the competition starts all over again from the baseline, as naval aviation selectees from all commissioning sources start the pipeline. Another sort is fixed vs. rotary wing, a few stops down the pipeline, which dictates the next phase of training. Final sort of a long path is the airframe. That's a very broad overview.
    And, "needs of the Navy" dictate all sorts. You could be the top-graded person in your section, but no jet slots are available at that exact time. The best chance you have to be a Navy fighter pilot is work hard to get into USNA (or NROTC), work hard to get naval aviation as service selection, and work hard to have a shot at a fighter slot. At USNA and NROTC, you also learn about all the other challenging service selections, if aviation doesn't work out as Plan A.

    People who got their commission via OCS and other commissioning programs also join the mix at the start of the pipeline.
     
  5. jackdallen

    jackdallen Member

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    Thanks,
    I understand how navy pilots are selected after primary flight training. Though I was wondering since the Air Force has much more transport and other large aircraft than the Navy if the Air Force typically has more or less fighter slots available after flight training.
     
  6. JestFutureFalcon

    JestFutureFalcon Member

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    I was told by my BGO that there are 300 aviation slots for each usna class and 150 for USAFA.
     
  7. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    If you think about it the AF has way more fighters than the Navy. Even with the F35, the AF is buying a ton more than the Navy and Marines combined. The AF wings about 1100 pilots per year.
    ~ There are 4 UPT bases. Vance, Laughlin and Columbus wing both fighters and heavies (@950). ENJJPT is a different UPT base, they typically drop only fighters. Cadets must apply for ENJJPT after they have been selected for rated. They wing under 200 students per year.

    That being said when you look at winging. It is about 25% go fighter and 75% go heavies/RPA.

    As it has been said what is your plan B if you don't get rated or worse yet, you bust out of UPT? Statistically that is a chance, and probably much higher than you think.
     
  8. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    There are usually about 50% pilot slots from USAFA, or about 500 per year. My son's class (2011) had 551 pilot slots out of 1021 graduates. Your BGO is incorrect.

    Stealth_81
     
  9. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Your BGO is wrong (as Stealth said).

    Now, go change your screen name.
     
  10. JestFutureFalcon

    JestFutureFalcon Member

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    Whooaaaa what's that supposed to mean? All I did was relay what my BGO told me. I never said it was right or not
     
  11. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Also fwiw, next year you will be applying for ROTC scholarships as plan B. So to tag onto Stealth's post. My DS is an AF pilot that commissioned via AFROTC. AFROTC awarded 800 pilot slots for his year group.

    If you add the 2 together they have @1300 annually before adding in OCS, which is the smallest of the numbers. (DSs class at UPT had only 2 out of 27 that winged).

    If you were paying attention to my earlier post you would see that my numbers don't jive if you took those numbers of winging without placing into the equation of the wash out rate from start to finish.
    ~ 25% is not uncommon to wash out during UPT.
    ~ This is why you need to ask what your plan B is if you are 1 of those that are asked to leave UPT, but not the AF.
    ~~ DS's 2 friends that commissioned with him, with pilot slots were washed out at different points. 1 washed out 6 weeks prior to winging.
    ~~~ DS started with 28 for 1st phase (T6) 21 from his original class moved onto T38/T1. 7 washbacks were now in his class, bringing it back to 28 again. Winging they were back down again to 21 if my memory serves me. Basically, 25% from the day they stepped foot on at He!! Rio (Laughlin), left without pilot wings.

    Finally, AF also does their training differently than the Navy. For awhile the AF actually sent some of their pilots to Whiting where Navy sends their aviators. They called the ball on this back in 2013. It takes much longer to wing a Navy aviator compared to an AF pilot.
    ~ Our close friends DS commissioned USNA in May 2012, he winged end of June 2014. He started training in July 2012. Our DS commissioned same month, casual status until April 2013. He winged April 2014. 54 weeks for AF. They are than sent to an airframe schoolhouse. It can take 6-9 months. DS was considered operational in March for the C130. So even operationally he was done with training from start to airframe in less than 2 years.

    The other difference is AF has a program called Initial Flight Training. It is a short course, @ 1 month. You are sent there before you go to UPT. If you have a Private Pilot License they will waive you and you do not need to attend this training. I do not believe that the Navy has a program like this.

    I am not pro-AF or Navy on this issue. I am pro-deciding what if you can't be a fighter pilot. Would you rather fly helos in the Navy or heavies in the AF.

    You might be upset for me pin pricking your bubble, but I have been here long enough to see the numbers here. Very few will get fighters, but I can say that all of them are proud of their airframe.

    Raimius has a great blog, and I strongly suggest you read it. It starts from life at USAFA and ends up to winging at UPT. It is worth the time to read if you are wondering about USAFA and AF UPT. I believe it is his signature line. If not pm him, and I am sure he will shoot the link. I can attest to the fact that what he stated about daily life at UPT is exactly what our DS endured.

    Just to prove I am not all AF, the AF is losing RPA pilots at a very high rate. They have an RPA school, but can't fill fast enough. For the next yr they will be dropping 2 RPAs out of each UPT. I don't believe the Navy is doing that. Thus, it is not just worrying about getting a heavy, but now also getting an RPA
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2015
  12. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    jackdallen should go change his screen name, not you Jest.
     
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  13. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    In one of my sons UPT class, they had 27% washout.
     
  14. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Numbers talk.
    AF plan to have 1700+ F35s
    Marines 420
    Navy 260

    The AF has @310,000 ADAF personnel. The Navy has @ 325,000.

    I get that the Navy has Hornets, but still if my research i s correct it is only another 400.
    ~ The AF has about that same number if you add together F22 and F15Es.
    ~~ I did not place the 16s into the equation because the 35 will replace them.

    OBTW,
    The reason the AF has more heavies is simple...the weight of the plane and the mission. I can attest not only as a Mom of a C130 pilot, but an F15E WSO wife that jumped with the 82nd AB.
    ~ The Army typically hitches a ride with the AF when they want to jump out of perfectly good airplanes. Many Army posts are connected to an AF base for this reason. Ft. Bragg/Pope. Ft. Rich/Elmendorf. Ft. Dix/McGuire come to my mind within seconds.

    The Navy's mission is different than the Air Force.
     
  15. 6KDogwhistle

    6KDogwhistle Member

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    I've been away for a while. My kid wants to join the Air Force and is currently looking at the Academy and ROTC, so I'm trying to get a feel for latest!

    To the OP, here's my .02000009999:
    As many have said, you do not get a "fighter pilot slot" out of the academy/ROTC. If you get a Air Force pilot slot out of the academy/ROTC, you will go off to SUPT (Air Force pilot training). The Navy has their own flight training similar to the Air Force (kindler and gentler than the Air Force IMHO but that's whole new can of worms).
    Generally speaking, SUPT consists of two phases unless you attend ENJJPT. Don't worry about what ENJJPT is at this point: Phase 1=T-6. Phase 2=T-38 or T-1 (note: T-44 and helicopter track will not be discussed). The entire program is 52-54 weeks long. After completion of the first phase (T-6) you will be ranked based on flying grades, academic grades, and flight commander rating (officership). Based on these scores and your "dream sheet", you will go off to the second phase, either to T-38s (fighter & bomber track-F, A, and B designated airframes) or T-1s (heavy track-KC and C designated airframes). Remember, timing and needs of the military is everything; a little luck doesn't hurt either. Typically, 1/4 to 1/3 of the class goes off to T-38s and as high as 2/3 of them get fighters, give or take a few. On the low side, I've seen as low as 1/3 go to fighters and rest went to bombers and/or UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles).
    Take what I'm about to say with a grain of salt. These are the things I've witnessed as a SUPT Instructor Pilot (IP). I know that you are set on flying fighters right now but you really won't know for sure if it is right for you until you are close to finishing T-6s. By that I mean, you may not like pulling Gs, formation flying, low levels, wearing a helmet, G-suit (as strange as it may sound, some people couldn't stand them) etc. Or worse yet, you may not have the stick 'n rudder skills and/or the mindset to fly a single seat jet. For some, the mission and culture of the tactical jet community may not be appealing for them. You will pickup on these things as you progress through the academy/ROTC, summer programs, and pilot training itself. The good news is that if you have the grades, the desire and a good attitude, the IPs & the flight commander will do everything in their power to get you to achieve your goal. As many have said on here, you really need to do some serious soul searching and figure out a plan B incase pilot training doesn't pan out for you. How badly do you want to be in the military to serve and can you be happy as an officer before a pilot? I'm not trying to scare you but here's the reality; in my pilot training class, more than a 1/3 washed out (at times, 50% washout isn't unrealistic but typically 25% washout and/or quit), of which two of them washed out less than 2 weeks before graduation. One of them was my designated formation partner in T-38s. It's really not over until the fat lady sings.:cool:
    I'd keep your options open with the Navy if I were you. Pros: get jet grades, you'll most likely get jets (the ones with tail hooks). No need to worry about getting a S-3 or a EA/A-6 (not that there's anything wrong with those airframes) because the F/A-18s have replaced all of their missions, that is, until the F-35 (yuk!) comes online. Another biggy is that the Navy aviators do not fly UAVs, yet. Best of all, Navy flight training, from what I hear, is much kindler and gentler with whole lot less BS than the Air Force. The Navy tells you what you can't do-everything else is fair game; the Air Force tells you what you can do-that's it! That's right..... you heard it from a Air Force guy! Cons: Depending on the needs of the Navy and your grades, you can be stuck with a helo (again there's nothing wrong with being a rotorhead:p). Personally, I think they fly some of the coolest missions though it's not my cup of tea. Besides, it puts a big kibosh on an airline career in the majors. You have to live on a "boat" for 6-9 months at a time. For me, that was the straw that broke the camel's back. To each his own.
    I'm not here to scare people or crush their dreams. I was just like you when I was your age. The only difference is that I wanted to be an airline pilot vs. a fighter pilot.:D Btw, keep it a secret if you want to be an airline pilot. The military leadership, in general, frowns up on that for obvious reason. My advice to you is to keep your nose clean, kick *** in school (and take AP classes and challenge yourself), get involved in sports, clubs, school leadership opportunities, and community service. Also, a good attitude goes a long way as well as helping out your peers with a genuine heart.
    If you can/are able/want, shoot for an engineering degree at the academy. For one thing, if you attend the USAFA, everyone has to take the same math (upper division calculus) and science (advanced chemistry & physics) classes meaning, you are half way to an engineering degree; put in that extra effort and it can pay big dividends later in life. It's a lot on your plate, especially at the academy (I'm not an academy grad but I played one as an ALO:D) but it will open more doors for you in the future (ie. test pilot school, more opportunities for better non-flying jobs, backup if SUPT doesn't work out). Also, if you go the AFROTC route, you will be more competitive for a pilot slot vs. someone with a non-technical degree. Just understand, an engineering degree WILL NOT help you excel in pilot training; my Aerospace Engineering degree did didly squat for me but it did help me get a pilot slot and better assignments along the way in my limited Air Force career.
    Take it day by day. As the saying goes, life is a marathon so don't burn yourself out early! It's about the journey and it's a good one, at least when I look back at mine. Good luck and God bless!
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2015
  16. 6KDogwhistle

    6KDogwhistle Member

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    The sheer numbers do not matter. Proportion is what matters. If you have, say, 25,000 pilots and there are 5,000 fighter slots, then..... You know what I'm sayin'? Using this logic, there's a better shot in getting fighters in the Navy&Marines (especially now) than in the Air Force, not to mention getting screwed with a UAV in the Air Force.
     

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