PPL at USAFA

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by USAFAmom1, Oct 19, 2013.

  1. USAFAmom1

    USAFAmom1 New Member

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    My son is a cadet at USAFA and has expressed interest in getting his PPL. I would really appreciate any feedback that could be provided to the following:
    With their busy schedules would they have any quality flying time?(would it really be worth paying for it while he is a student?) How much schooling is required to get their PPL after their military pilot's license? Does the Academy offer any discounting for cadets to get their PPL?
     
  2. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    The Academy has a cadet flying club that owns and rents out a Cessna 152 and 172. I am not sure how it works for having a flight instructor to take lessons from at the cadet airfield. If a cadet were to pursue a PPL outside the Academy it would be at the normal cost. Time-wise it is do-able for upperclassmen as long as they are willing to give up enough free time to do it. My son didn't get his PPL at USAFA but the time he spent snowboarding would have easily given him the 40 hours of flying required for the PPL.

    If your son wants to fly at USAFA the best thing to do is to try and get Soaring in the summer after Doolie year and then take Powered Flight as a class later. That way the AF pays for everything. The hours in the planes at USAFA can be logged but not as instruction time since the instructors are not FAA CFI.

    After my son finished UPT he was able to go down to the FAA office in San Antonio and get his Commercial Instrument rating by showing his logged hours and taking a written test. Since he was in T-38 instead of T-1 he has a centerline thrust limitation to that rating. To get his PPL he would only have to go and take the test and get checked out in whatever plane he wants to fly.

    Stealth_81
     
  3. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Is he doing this to get an IFS waiver? If so, pm hornetguy because he knows what is needed for the waiver. If it is for fun, than he can always take some lessons during his breaks at home.
     
  4. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    Pretty simple on the waiver. If you have the FAA Private rating or higher, you will receive the waiver.

    I don't know your son's motivations, but if he wants to do it because he'd like to have his PPL (regardless of IFS) and is willing to make the investment, the cadet airfield has a nice program. I know of at least one person who did it there.
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    What I meant was when to apply for the waiver, and how long it will take to receive the waiver.
     
  6. USAFAmom1

    USAFAmom1 New Member

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    Can you tell me what an IFS waiver is? He just wants it for pleasure, they are so busy, though, I really wanted to weigh the benefit of the full cost in relation to their available time to fly, before making a decision.
     
  7. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    Super easy. Day 1 you get asked 2-3 times if you have your PPL. Give them a photocopy of your license and, voila, they process a waiver. it's that easy!
     
  8. USAFAmom1

    USAFAmom1 New Member

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    And, is there any benefit at all to having you PPL while a student at USAFA? Or would it be strictly for his own personal benefit?
     
  9. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    IFS is initial flight screening run by Doss Aviation in Pueblo, CO. It's designed to introduce people to flying, give them some hours, and see if they can hack it. If you listen to those who go through it, it's used more as a haze (lightly) for eliminating those who don't show potential or won't put in the necessary work. Some people believe you should go to it to gain the experience of AF flying and get additional hours. I (among most) take the other view - it's an elimination round meant to eliminate, not provide hours. Another metaphor - you take the tournament "bye" rather than risk another chance at elimination. I have my PPL with ~100 hours so I was good with getting the waiver. Means I can stick around Del Rio more instead of going up to Pueblo for 4-6 weeks.

    I was supposed to go to IFS 14 Nov. Waived now. Supposed to start UPT in Janurary....hoping to bump that up (50/50 shot thanks to the shutdown).



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Initial_Flight_Screening
     
  10. USAFA10s

    USAFA10s USAFA Class of 2012 WPAFB

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    I did not do anything down at the airfield (other than jump in the summer after 4 dig year) however I can speak to the amount of free time available at USAFA. The answer there is, it depends. What year is he? What is he majoring in/planning on majoring in? Does he want to hold a high level cadet leadership position? Join a club? Does he work out efficiently? Study efficiently? These are all things he needs to consider before deciding if there is enough free time. Everything at USAFA is a trade-off of some sort, but if he does not believe his classes will get more difficult and time consuming (i.e. he is not an engineering/physics/math/comp sci major) and currently has a lot of time to kill, then getting a PPL now might be a good choice. If he already is struggling with some classes or anticipates a difficulty increase, it might be good to wait.

    I saw SO MANY 4 degrees get involved in many different activities, only to end up on academic probabtion and forced to quit because they did not realize how much studying they should have been doing or because they had not yet learned how to study efficiently. Bottom line, grades, fitness, and MPA should come first. Any leftover time? Go for it.
     
  11. USAFAmom1

    USAFAmom1 New Member

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    Thank you all so much for your feedback! It really helped!
     
  12. Buff-IP

    Buff-IP USAFA '88 Pilot

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    I never had a PPL...and I never would have had the time or money to get one at the zoo...but if he can do it without his grades suffering, then go for it.
     

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