Flying Alternatives

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Packerfan735, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. Packerfan735

    Packerfan735 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2008
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've always wanted to be an astronaut... ALWAYS... so i would like to attend the academy, graduate, and go to flight school... but in order to do so, i need perfect vision.. i have this now but before i accept i would like to know what i could do after the academy if i were to have an eye poked out or something tragic happened to where i could not fly..
     
  2. packermatt7

    packermatt7 USAFA Cadet

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Messages:
    804
    Likes Received:
    1
    There's so many jobs available in the Air Force, I'm sure you wouldn't have a hard time finding one you liked. It has every job that the civilian world has, plus more.
     
  3. Packerfan735

    Packerfan735 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2008
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    0
    i know but im having a hard time finding a good one... i have to have this planned out before i accept my appointment... any suggestions?
     
  4. starvinmarvin_09

    starvinmarvin_09 USAFA Cadet

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2009
    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    0
    Who says you need to have it planned out and set in stone? Circumstances change and things don't always go as planned. I have no idea what I want to major in or what exactly I want to choose for my AFSC. Don't think that you have to have everything decided now because there are some cadets who only decide on majors and AFSCs the day of the deadline of the choices.

    I'm keeping an open mind because I know that if I'm going to be the best officer I can be, i'll need to love what I do.
     
  5. Packerfan735

    Packerfan735 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2008
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    0
    hahahah i know i know... but i have to have SOME kind of back up plan...
     
  6. J.NordicSkier7

    J.NordicSkier7 Candidate

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    0
    We should make a wanna-be astronaut club!!! I'm in the same boat, and you know what, I don't even have perfect vision. You don't need perfect vision to be an astronaut, you know. Just pilots, I think. And I believe there is a thread somewhere about how corrective eye surgery is available if your Pilot Qed except for vision. Don't stress out so much. There are plenty of backup plans available even within the "confines" of chosing the Academy.
     
  7. packermatt7

    packermatt7 USAFA Cadet

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Messages:
    804
    Likes Received:
    1
    I want to be a pilot as well, but I hardly know about many of the jobs in the Air Force. You'll be exposed to them while at the Academy.
     
  8. Just_Some_Guy

    Just_Some_Guy Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2009
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    You don't have to have perfect vision to be a pilot, needs to be correctable to 20/20 though.
     
  9. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    4,963
    Likes Received:
    872
    There's a lot more to going to the academy and becoming a commissioned officer than flying. I am all for figuring out a backup in case you don't get a flying slot. I.e. there's a lot of reasons you might not get a flying slot. And having a backup job in mind is good. But if you think that if you can't think of a good backup job and you are questioning accepting an appointment in case you don't get a flying slot; then maybe you really need to think hard whether to accept the appointment. Part of you should want to attend the academy and become commissioned as an officer no matter what the job you get is. Not saying that you shouldn't be trying to aim for what you want to do, but if you are thinking that it's pilot or whatever 1 backup (Which you can't seem to figure out); or you don't want to go to the academy and be an officer; them maybe you should indeed look at your other options.

    You could choose pilot and 2 other backups and I can give you scenarios where you might not get any of the 3. The #1 factor in your job is your OPA (Overall Performance Average). This is the combination of your cumulative GPA (Grade Point Average) 60%; MPA (Military Performance Average) 30%; and PEA (Physical Education Average) 10%. This OPA (Your class ranking) is then the main ingredient when the board meets to determine your job. Assume for a second that an injury or whatever disqualifies you from being a pilot. Approximately 500 of the 1000 will be offered a pilot slot. So your backup job you want is "Intelligence". Unfortunately, let's say they only have 12 opening for that. And maybe your class ranking puts you at a point in the list that all 12 slots were chosen by others before it was your turn. Well, then what. My point is; you should have 3-4 jobs in mind that you'd really like to do. By all means Aim High. But if you are reconsidering taking an appointment because you can't quite get the guarantees you want, then maybe you should really think hard about what you really want.

    Here's a decent web site with air force officer specialties. It describes them pretty good. Maybe it will help you find something you like. best of luck.... mike....

    http://usmilitary.about.com/od/officerjobs/a/afoffjobs.htm
     
  10. AFAplease

    AFAplease Appointee

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is this really true? My ALO said if you graduate and are qualified, they ask you if you want to be a pilot or not. If you are qualified and want to, you go to flight school basically.
     
  11. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    4,963
    Likes Received:
    872
    Yes and no. Basically; if you want to be a pilot and you are qualified, then yes; you will be offered a UPT slot. The 500 is because believe it or not, at least half of the cadets don't want a flying slot. Some because they have other interests. Some because they want a FIVE AND DIVE. (Do their 5 years to pay back their obligation; then get out). But you are basically correct. If you are qualified and want to fly, you should have no problem getting a UPT slot.

    Realize however that the word "QUALIFIED" is a loose term. In theory; if 1000 students graduate, and your class rank is #1000; you could still get a UPT slot. Will you? Hard to guarantee. Put it this way. If your ranking was in the top 500, you'd have a much better chance.

    Also; realize that just because you got a UPT pilot slot doesn't mean you WILL become a pilot. There are some that fail out of flight school. There are some that wanted to be a pilot their whole life, but the first time they go in a plane, they puke their guts out and realize maybe they don't want it so bad. Or those that get into the altitude chamber and freak out. I don't know the wash out rate in UPT; but 100% don't graduate and become pilots. Some take other flying jobs. Some go into non flying jobs.

    But if you are qualified; and you want to fly; you pretty much will be given a UPT slot. My previous post was to basically mention that there are 101 scenarios that make it where you don't get your #1 job.
     
  12. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,236
    Likes Received:
    272
    The vast majority of those who are medically qualified and want a pilot slot will get one from USAFA. There are usually about 50-80 who get on the alternate list (and some of them have nav slots).

    Don't be near the bottom of your class, and you will have a VERY good chance.
     
  13. air_power

    air_power Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've heard the same from my ALO too. The whole reason why I wanted to go to the AFA was to have the best chance of getting a pilots slot.

    From my understanding of every resource I have communicated with about this subject, as long as you are medically qualified, you get a pilots slot if you want after graduating from the academy.
     
  14. Matt7

    Matt7 USAFA Cadet

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2008
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    My dream is to fly too, but I would need the PRK. Do they accept cadets into upt with the prk?
     
  15. flashback12

    flashback12 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you're otherwise medically qualified, the Academy will do PRK for you normally early in your junior year - but if you have PRK done in the civilian world at any time you're automatically disqualified.
     
  16. Matt7

    Matt7 USAFA Cadet

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2008
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ok sweet thanks!
     
  17. AFAplease

    AFAplease Appointee

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    0
    Excellant post christcorp thanks for the clarification!
     
  18. sooner

    sooner Candidate Appointee

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2009
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    0
    Totally true from what I've heard, its part of the reason I prefer the Academy to ROTC, but even people who go ROTC have a pretty good chance if they're qualified. As far as I know everyone at my det. who applied for pilot/nav got a slot, and only one person up at OK State didn't. I'm not sure if that's true for other schools but...
     
  19. JustCallMeDan7

    JustCallMeDan7 USAFA Cadet

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Messages:
    213
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am hoping to become a pilot, but if that doesn't work out, thats perfectly fine with me. Thats why I have been looking into alternatives.....

    Im having a hard time finding information on Air Force Troops. I want to know what my alternatives are in that direction....possibly Security Forces? Or is that mainly an enlistment job and Air Force Academy Officers tend to not be security forces? Thanks...
     
  20. PDub

    PDub Prospective

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    Messages:
    646
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dan, look in CC's post on page one, which has all of the commisioned officers' careers explained in detail. I am considering SF as well.
     

Share This Page