Just Curious.....

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by buff81, Mar 6, 2010.

  1. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

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    Do USAFA Cadets do any piloting while at the Academy or is that afterwards? When do they actually get in the plane and learn to fly it ?
     
  2. goldfarb1

    goldfarb1 Candidate

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    Yes there are several different ways that I am aware of...

    1. Offer private pilots license instruction at the airfield.
    2. Fly gliders over the summer.
    3. Flying team if you already have pilot license.
     
  3. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    UPT! That is if you mean not on your own dime for PPL, or flying Gliders on the AF dime, which do not have engines.

    The AFA is not about giving you flight time, it is about academics. Don't go there if you think that flight time is a part of your curriculum.
     
  4. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Pima is so correct. Of the 1300-1400 cadets that enter basic training, about 85 won't make it through to becoming a cadet. (Except this past year, they were a little lenient because of the Swine Flu). Of the remaining; about 950-1000 with make it to graduation day 4 years later. Of those, approximately half will elect and be selected for UPT. (Under-graduate Pilot Training) Not all of them will graduate UPT and become pilots. And most will even have to wait to even start their UPT training, because of the back-log, air force needs, and economics.

    At the academy, there is definitely flying opportunities in gliders. And if you already have a PPL and want to spend the money, you can fly on your own. And then there's the occasional "Ride" if you get to visit the "Right" base during the summers. While flying is definitely the stereotype of what an "AIR FORCE" is; it isn't as automatic as a lot of people want to believe. And going to the air force academy is definitely not about becoming a pilot. If pilots was all the air force and academy thought about, it would be so much cheaper to offer it to all the OTS applicants applying to the air force who have already paid for their own college education. The academy is about giving a high level education and training individuals to become commissioned officers in the air force.

    But yes, it's possible for "some" flying during the academy. My son, as well as many other cadets, have the opportunity to fly gliders. That isn't too hard to get. But you'll only get like 5-10 flights. "Can't remember". After that, it's pretty difficult for most cadets to any flying at the academy unless they do it on their own.
     
  5. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    Actually, that is incorrect. Flight time is a part of the USAFA curriculum for Juniors and Seniors in the Powered Flight program.

    The program started two years ago and expanded greatly last year with the Air Force purchase of 20 Diamond DA-40 aircraft to be based at USAFA. The program will continue ramping up and by 2012 will be training 750 cadets per year. I worked at AirVenture Oshkosh last year in the USAFA booth with two of the pilots who returned to the Academy to teach the course as instructors(one from B-52, the other from C-130).

    http://www.aetc.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123085224

    http://www.diamondaircraft.com/news/news-article.php?id=41

    Stealth_81
     
  6. Lilly

    Lilly Member

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    For what it's worth

    DS, a C4C was selected for USAFA flying team. He had twin engine rating prior to USAFA. Told me he was informed that he will get almost 100 hours of flight training this summer (AF style) as part of the flying team program with the goal of becoming part of the first class of "cadet powered flight instructors."

    I don't know anything else about it, but if they are training cadets to become instructors, stands to reason that more powered flight may be in the works for cadets.
     
  7. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    There is the flying team (very competitive, and you need a PPL already)

    Soaring has two programs. Basic soaring (roughly 10 rides, so 3ish hours of flight time) and Soaring IP (cadet instructor pilot for gliders). IPs get a lot of glider time, but the selection is competitive and a huge commitment.

    Powered flight offers about 13 hours of flying time, over 10 flights.

    The aero club rents planes and does training all the time, but it would be on your dime.

    So, yes there are good opportunities. At the same time, Air Force pilot training is completely done AFTER graduation.
     
  8. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

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    No worries! I'm a couple of years late in applying to the USAFA! :biggrin:
    I'm the mom of a West Point cadet. He is going to be jumping out of helicopters this summer and it got me to wondering if the USAFA cadets that are interested in piloting get to do any while they are there. I was just curious.....
     
  9. mtnman17

    mtnman17 USMA Appointee 2015

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    So when I was told every USAFA graduate has the knowledge to pass the PPL written test, and all the solo/instructor flying hours taken care of, they just have to pass the test, thats not true?
     
  10. CadCandMateus

    CadCandMateus Recent Grad

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  11. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    AFA cadets can get their jump wings also if that is what you are asking. Yet, many opt not to jump out of perfectly good airplanes for the risk of injury and losing a chance for UPT or UNT. Jumping out of a perfectly good aircraft is counter intuitive to their natural thought process.
     
  12. Gasdoc

    Gasdoc Member

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    Some would argue that jump is the purest form of flight and the argument not to to jump so not to put a potential UPT slot at risk could apply to most ICs and a host of recreational activities pursued by young adults.

    Jump may be the most sought after summer program at USAFA - to get it you have to be pretty good.
     
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    AAHHH YOUTH!

    Find me a flier who would willingly risk their wings, and I will say they are doing it only to get a good deal. Once you have those wings (not jump) you do everything to make sure you don't lose them, and that includes not jumping out of a perfectly good airplane.

    FYI, Bullet has the real deal jump wings with the toilet bowl not the AFA wings...YEP, he did it for the good deal! And he will tell you he only jumped when they said you had to. We saw 2 people lose their pilot rating because of bad jumps. One when he was at Benning training for jump school, and the guy shattered his ankle, the second at Bragg when he shattered his wrist. Both requried surgery and pins, both required that they meet a Med FEB. Youth allows you to believe you are indestructible. Age allows you to accept that actions may have unforeseen consequences.

    It may be sought after, but as a wife who knows the bad that can happen, I would strongly suggest to our DS not to go down this route. TRY SOARING INSTEAD!

    Of course as a spouse it was always very funny to go out to the jump zone and watch the guys jump, because inevitably one would land in a tree and we all would say "Oh that's our hubby, because only he would land in the trees!" Of course as we said that he would approach. It is also interesting that guys fall at different rates and after enough times watching them you can figure out by the speed that they fall to know if that is them.
     

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