Question about aviation

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Coach62, Feb 4, 2016.

  1. Coach62

    Coach62 Member

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    How important would it be for a new plebe to go into the academy with some private flight lessons, up to a solo if he wants to be a pilot? Would it be much of an advantage in getting a pilot spot?

    There is a local retired Navy guy that give aviation scholarships for kids that want to be an aviator.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. USMC_Ordie

    USMC_Ordie Member

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    I don't think so... It would make a difference though if they go through ROTC , then it adds to their overall pilot score.

    Academy cadets are different I believe.

    DS is at USAFA, he got 4 glider flights as a freshman, then was able to solo this past summer.

    not this summer but next... He is slated for Jump, and will also get a chance at powered flight as an applicant for a rated job.

    All for $0.
     
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  3. Coach62

    Coach62 Member

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    I guess I should add that I did some work today for a retired USMC aviation instructor. He thought it was important, BUT he was not familiar with the academy aviation program.

    From his perspective, it was very important, but again he did not get students via the academy, his students just came up through the ranks. Had he taught students that came through the academy his perspective might have been very different.
     
  4. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    Search on "Private pilot license," and that will bring up germane threads.
     
  5. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    If one wants to get a pilot slot, the most important thing is to maintain your health since the standard is rather high. Many students are eliminated each year for a host of medical reasons.

    Once your health is under control, the next thing you need to do is focus on is building an "aviation resume". Basically, you need to show the academy that you have an interest and aptitude in aviation. Did you ask for aviation cruises? Did you manage to get any aviation-related experiences with any squadron during summer training? i.e. backseat ride, ejection seat trainer, parachute training, etc. All these experiences give you something to intelligently talk about when you have your aviation interview. It makes it appear as if you have the motivation to get these experiences and that you know what you're getting into.

    My understanding is that they now have a flying club at the Naval Academy. Try to get involved with that.

    Ultimately, you will have to take the ASTB (Aviation Selection Test Battery). That test specifically tests for aviation aptitude. It's something you can stufy for as I have seen study guides for sale in the Midshipman Store. Here some online sample questions to give you a feel. http://www.futureofficer.com/links4.html

    Your flying experience (especially a private pilot license) will add to your "aviation resume" but will be no guarantee if you do not continue with the other things I've mentioned.

    Finally, class standing cannot be completely ignored. That can play a role.

    With the advent of Lasik eye surgery, the competitive field gets larger but that is offset by many midshipmen who are turned off by the extremely long commitment - 8 years after the date of their winging, and the winging could easily take two years. That's a minimum of 10 year s in the Navy, twice as long for your average SWO selectee whose obligation starts ticking down from the moment they graduate.
     
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  6. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    I would not say that it is a requirement or much of an advantage. Memphis is right in the fact that with eye surgery now pilot spots are more competitive. The must haves to even compete for aviation are passing your Pre-Commissioning Physical 2/C year for pilot and passing the ASTB. They hold prep courses at USNA for this and there are books and materials to help study. I think the other factors that would be more important than flight time in high school would be class standing, aviation cruise evaluations and how you do at Powered Flight for summer training. Aviation Cruises gets a Mid exposure to squadron life and they get an eval that should provide an evaluation on how a Mid did during training and how they would fit into that community. It also shows that a Mid wants a career in aviation and gives them talking points for their service assignment interviews. Powered Flight is a training block where Mids essentially get a month of focused training that covers alot of the ground school basics and even getting to solo. From the Mids who I have talked to who have completed this course they say it is a great help for flight school and it is a very hard training block. I would imagine how a Mid does during this block would be a huge factor in getting aviation. This is all paid for by USNA and trained per Naval Aviation regs. I would also say participation in the USNA Flying Squadron shows an aviation interest and could only help in one's knowledge and future.
     
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  7. Rocket17

    Rocket17 Member

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    Advantage? Probably not, but... If a kid does some flying, before hand, she/he will have a much better idea of what it's all about. The experience will either rule out that service selection or really boost the kid's motivation toward aviation. I flew a lot with my Dad as a kid, starting about age 9. Mom wouldn't let me solo so I graduated from USNA, soloed a T-34 at Fairhope, AL, IIRC, and flew single engine jets off carriers. Including a combat cruise to SEA, sorry Mom!

    As a BGO, doing a BGO interview, I would consider a candidate's aviation experience a big "positive" given the dedication, time and effort it takes. Certainly not a deal breaker, but a "positive" for the interview, IMHO.

    Aviation scholarships. Great! I'd say take advantage. But don't lay out a lot of bucks for a PPL. Let the Navy do that. My obligation was only 5 years but it was so much fun I stayed for 9.

    My Wife found an interesting series on Amazon Instant Video... streaming. Prime, so no charge. It's called "Carrier" and a real good look at Navy life. I'm having "flashbacks" watching it. Some good and some bad :) Filmed aboard USS Nimitz. My last ship, when it was very new. You might check it out.

    http://www.amazon.com/All-Hands/dp/...e=UTF8&qid=1454801592&sr=8-2&keywords=carrier
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2016
  8. TheSavage44

    TheSavage44 Member

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    There is a strange and complicated rubric that is used for selecting Pilots/NFO's. You earn 'points' based on certain wickets you hit during your time at USNA. Having previous flight experience/private pilot's license would help but only a little. I'd definitely suggest joining VTNA once you're at USNA
     

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