Flying?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by SP4C3M4N, Apr 10, 2014.

  1. SP4C3M4N

    SP4C3M4N Member

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    How does the whole process of getting chosen to go to flight school work? How do you get to fly what you want to fly, if you are chosen?
     
  2. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    It is very bad form to come onto a forum and demand we tell you what you want when you CLEARLY have not even attempted to use the search function. Before posting in the future, go to the top right of the user bar, click 'search' and type in: flight training, flying, UPT, etc. and you will have a WEALTH of information at your fingertips.

    If you're not willing to take the initiative, you probably won't be successful in navigating the path that would even let you begin UPT such as attending a service academy.
     
  3. coastiefam

    coastiefam Member

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    ^^^^ Ouch! A tad harsh in your response, don't you think?

    To the original poster, I don't know the answer to your question but I hope you find the answers.

    Sent using the Service Academy Forums® mobile app
     
  4. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    It might have been a little harsh, but the OP only has to look on the AFA forum and about 4 threads after his, there is a thread called Pilot Slot.

    Part if that thread discusses exactly how to get a pilot slot out of the AFA and chances of getting UPT. Thus, I get hornet's post.

    Now to answer one part of the question.

    How do you get what you want to fly?

    You hope and pray that the plane you want is given out on drop night at UPT

    I am not trying be mean, but that is the truth. Tonight at Laughlin they will be dropping plane assignments for those that made it through IFS and than UPT. fencer and our DSs will be two among them. Both of them submitted a list of their top three choices, but I know for our DS his number one choice doesn't drop with every class, his number two choice is probably on every students list and it too does not drop every time, which leaves him with his last choice, but if he scores lower than others that request the same plane he will get whatever the AF needs him to fly.

    Honestly, I am guessing you want a 22 or a 35, many kids your age have that dream. However, the chances of getting either of those out of UPT is going to be about 3%. Yep, 3%. 35s are not even dropping yet, will be by the time you make it through in 6 years,(4 years to commissioning, 6-9 mos. Casual statuss, and a yr at UPT = 6 years) but even at that time they maybe dropping one a class. Add in the fact that 25% of the class will bust IFS, and from there 25% will bust UPT. The top 20-25% will track fighters, and the top grad usually will get that golden egg. Do the math.
    ~~~ Trust me you and almost every kid, including my DS aspired to fly those planes at your age. Hence, theoretically the majority are not going to get the airframe they wanted to fly at the age of 18.

    Right now you have a ton of hurdles to clear, mainly commissioning.

    I would also say that when you wing, you will be HAPPY to fly anything. It is an emotionally, mentally demanding year that you can't even begin to fathom.

    Unless your imagination includes studying 6 days a week, at least 4 hours a night, and that is after working/flying a twelve hour day, including reporting for work at 4:30 a.m. Add on being on a constant roller coaster of getting an EQ on one flight and barely passing on the next. Don't forget the emotional impact in the beginning as you watch your peers be washed out or washed back because they weren't making the cut.
    ~~~ Our DS commissioned AFROTC, 13 of his class went UPT.4 of them will never wing because they failed out of UPT. In DSs UPT class they started with 28, and lost 4 before they tracked.

    Hence, I am not exaggerating when I say you will be happy to wing.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2014
  5. USNA02

    USNA02 Parent

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    Momentary Thread Hijacking

    Pima,

    Momentarily hijacking this thread just to say what an exciting day for your DS and best of luck to him.

    My own DS has dreams of flying but is taking a slightly different path. I regularly stalk :)wink:) your posts as you always provide such good insight as to what lies ahead for DS . . . and me!

    Hijacking done. :shake:
     
  6. MSFaygo

    MSFaygo Member

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    Permission to continue hijack....

    Pima - Good luck to your DS and all others waiting to see how their years of preparation, dedication and hard work will pay off. So many of posters (and lurkers) can only dream about getting to that point. As you have warned so many times, there are many stumbling blocks along the way. Many are anxiously waiting for AFROTC EAs to be realeased - your post is a good reminder - what may seem sooo important is just one of many steps it takes to reach the end! Good luck again to your DS!
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2014
  7. Jayceguy

    Jayceguy Jayceguy

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    Ok, so I did search this, and couldn't find anything. Is there a benefit to getting your PPL at the academy and skipping IFS? Are those cadets looked upon in a better light, so to speak?
     
  8. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    How about a 25% reduction in failing IFS? If you have a PPL then you (currently) are able to skip IFS.
     
  9. HNeedle

    HNeedle Member

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    Yes.

    I got my PPL at the Academy, but still had to go through IFS before the reg changed (actually I was one of the last to go through IFS with a PPL). Getting your PPL gives you practice with the fundamentals of flying, airspace, rules, and radios. You'll have a 40 hour jump (at least!) on your peers in an aircraft, because that's the min number of hours to finish up your license. At IFS, that was immensely helpful. I'd already done everything at IFS dozens of times before, albeit in a C-172 and not a DA-20. The only thing I really learned at IFS that was useful was a basic understanding of how the Air Force and UPT want you to handle emergencies, like boldface, standup, etc.

    At UPT, your headstart isn't as pronounced. You've still got a little better idea of what's going on than your peers, but not a whole lot. The Air Force wants things done a specific way, and you'll have to conform to that like everyone else. You don't have the radio jitters, and you already have a bigger foundation of knowledge than your peers. But by about the end of your first dozen or so rides in the T-6, everyone is equal again.

    You'll hear this a million times between now and UPT. There are guys that go through with thousands of hours, so much experience in everything, etc that may be awful at flying the Air Force way. You may have someone with zero experience at the top of the class. It COMPLETELY depends on the person. You must have an open mind and be completely willing and able to change any techniques you learned and possibly break bad habits.

    I'd say get your PPL because you love flying and want to take your friends and family around on the weekend. You want to rent from the club and get a hamburger in Denver and fly back on a Saturday. The advantage that you have in flying skills goes away pretty early in the T-6, but your knowledge base and experience doesnt. If you stay motivated and try to learn about every single thing you can, you'll do well. I finished at the top of my class and got my number one choice.. I won't attribute a ton of that to having my PPL beforehand, but it absolutely helped.

    Missed the last part of your question.. As a cadet, no you aren't really looked upon any more favorably. I got a lot of "why are you wasting your money getting your PPL now? why not just go to UPT and let the AF training count?" and my answer was because I loved flying and wanted to be good at it! I wanted the experience. I dont know how they're giving out pilot slots now, but having a PPL may even help with that.. refer to other posts on the forum haha
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2014
  10. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    I think there might be a middle ground between no PPL and paying / investing the time for one. I would recommend enrolling in the USAFA soaring program (and trying to solo) and also their powered flight program (again try to solo). This will give you some flying experience and exposure to flying terms/instruments. Most importantly (IMHO) you can decide before IFS (and before AFSC dream sheets) whether you actually enjoy flying. I believe these two experiences will increase your chances of doing well enough at IFS to make it through that course. No guarantees of course, but I think it will help.

    From what I've read.....the best prep for UPT might be IFS. It exposes wanna-be pilots to the AF's fire hose approach to teaching/learning. Whether you go thorough IFS or not, UPT should be quite an experience.

    Good Luck!
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2014
  11. Jayceguy

    Jayceguy Jayceguy

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    Both of you, thanks for your insight. My plan is to do all of the flying opportunities at the academy that don't cost a whole lot (soaring, powered flight). I have plenty of time to figure it out though.

    Sent using the Service Academy Forums® mobile app
     
  12. Dial the gate

    Dial the gate Member

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    There are several people on here (Pima, hornet guy, raimius for helos, fencer, and a couple others I can't think of at the moment, sorry!) that are worth reading most of what they have ever posted. Just a wealth of information for several years following their paths or that of their sons.

    Pima, please share with us the news when you hear! Good luck to you son!
     
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Our DS and fencer's both got their top choices C130J to Dyess. DS couldn't be happier.

    To hear his voice and him screaming in joy has made the last 7 years worth it. The list was dropped alphabetically and fencer called me as soon as she heard from her DS. I knew their last name, and let me tell you it was the longest 6 minutes in my life.

    Back on topic
     
  14. Dial the gate

    Dial the gate Member

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    Wahoo wahoo!!!!!!

    Congratulations to both families and to the sons that have worked so hard and are having their dreams come true!
     
  15. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    I have "known" PIMA and vicariously Bullet for SEVEN YEARS NOW and I think I am just as ecstatic as my son!

    C130J to Dyess!!! MOST EXCELLENT!

    PIMA! all I can say is : LOOK OUT WORLD! Here come the MOTHERS!
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2014
  16. ERAUMattmom

    ERAUMattmom Member

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    +1
     
  17. Jayceguy

    Jayceguy Jayceguy

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    Congrats, Pima!

    Sent using the Service Academy Forums® mobile app
     
  18. buffalo

    buffalo USAFA 2013

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    Congrats! There was also a C-130J drop to Dyess over here last night. Awesome airplane and mission. Something I'm strongly weighing as I head toward track select and phase three.


     
  19. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    Bullet, PIMA, Fencersmother, CONGRATS to you and your sons! :thumb:
    I have a few friends flying C-130Js, and they love it. (C-130 with new engines and avionics...what's not to love?...other than not being able to hover. :wink:)

    To the OP, yeah the search function is always a good place to start. Here's my opinion/experience: http://www.serviceacademyforums.com/showthread.php?t=35795&highlight=rucker&page=2 (Start with post #15 for pilot stuff)
     
  20. SP4C3M4N

    SP4C3M4N Member

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    As long as I fly jets I'll be happy.
     

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