Question Regarding Aviation

Discussion in 'Life After the Academy' started by Full Metal Bulldog, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. Full Metal Bulldog

    Full Metal Bulldog Citadel Class of 2016

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    What exactly entails how one chooses the Aviation branch? I know that in order to get selected, a cadet must place Aviation in his first choice branch because of the special requirements. Aside from the flight physical, what else is an exclusive select for Aviation? If you place Aviation as your first branch, and aren't selected, does this negatively impact the rest of your choices?

    Last but not least, what are the most popular airframes that folks select during flight school?
     
  2. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Besides passing the Flight Physical you would have to pass the SIFT (Aviation Apptitude Test)

    You will need to be high on the AD OML, to have a good shot 15% or higher.

    Listing Aviation will not hurt your chances for other branches on your list. your PMS will be able to counsel you on your chances for Aviation. That being said it changes every year, there have been some years when Aviation did not fill until it reached down into the 40% mark. I wouldn't count on that right now.

    As far as Airframes go, it all depends on what you want to fly. Selection can change from class to class. In my son's class the Fixed wing went first, the one Chinook went next, Kiowas and Apaches went next the remaining were Blackhawks. Some Blackhawks were selected before the Kiowas and Apaches were gone.

    The class after my son's had people that were forced Apaches because all the Blackhawks went first. It really just depends on the class and what's available.

    Right now Chinooks are the hardest to get, there are very few slots and they go high on the list.

    There is also trading that goes on, if one person received an Apache and another a Blackhawk they can switch with permission if they haven't started Advanced training. No one seems to trade out of Kiowas.

    My son went in with the idea of one airframe and then changed his mind halfway through. A lot depends on the type of mission you want to fly.

    There will be a lot of opportunities to explore your options before selection.

    Study hard, get as close to 100 on your written exams, on some tests the average was 98. Do well at flying and keep in shape. The higest single amount of points given for one item on the OML is the final APFT before selection, 100 points. This is where a lot of people drop and a few jump up the OML.

    I'm sure Scoutpilot will be able to give you some good information, being the resident Army Aviator on this board. Just thought I would pass along how it went for my son who is there now and like you was AROTC.
     
  3. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    I am sure Scout will correct me but I have had the opportunity work with a lot of pilots and I was able to pick the brains of a few LTs, CW4s and CW5s regarding air-frame popularity. Basically there responses were the same in that no one air-frame was always the most popular, it depended on the graduating class and slots available from the big Army. Most of them said the Apache was often the least popular because of the lack of flight hours apparently (I do see them parked a lot)? Blackhawks and Chinooks were really popular with Kiowas fluctuating in order depending on the class. You pick what you want based on what mission you want to fly apparently. They also said not to goof off in flight school and do all the extra events for OML points because they all count at the end!

    Apparently if you go Chinook and migrate into the 160th you are in for a good time haha

    Once again I am waiting on Scout's critique because I am not an expert in this area!

    EDIT: Random, but a pilot told me that MI guys can go fixed wing? Anyone confirm or deny?
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2013
  4. Full Metal Bulldog

    Full Metal Bulldog Citadel Class of 2016

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    Thanks, that was very helpful! I have heard from some AROTC cadre and aviation-branched seniors that the SIFT will be significantly changed starting next year. Does anyone know anything about this?

    Aside from the allure of flying, why do ya'll think aviation is so popular?

    I originally thought that my preferred MFE branch would always be armor. Then I saw the instrument of war that was the Apache :cool:
     
  5. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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  6. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    You most certyainly do not want to goof off during flight school, that being said they have a very high graduation rate, just don't get behind.

    Not sure what the extra events are, son said there was not much you could volunteer for, though your were volunteered for things from time to time. During Bubble time you get real good at Funeral Duty, Directing traffic at the 4th of July Celebration, and marching in the Peanut Festival Parade, just a few of the fun things he got to do between each phase. Of course there were many trips to Panama Beach, Destin, Atlanta, New Orleans, Tallahasee, and so on. They had more time to play then I would have thought, as long as they managed their time well.

    I'm sure Scoutpilot will expand on the allure of the Aviation Branch, son has yet to experience that part.
     
  7. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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  8. Full Metal Bulldog

    Full Metal Bulldog Citadel Class of 2016

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    Well UH-60's sure look like fun now....
     
  9. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Try that in a OH-58 with the doors off, now that looks like fun.
     
  10. BDHuff09

    BDHuff09 Member

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    I know of a Major who flew fixed wing aircraft, and from what he told me he began as a regular rotary-wing pilot and later switched to flying reconnaissance planes over in Korea. He made it sound like it wasn't the sort of thing that you could just start out doing right off the bat. He said he worked with MI when he flew fixed wing but when I talked to him (in June) he was still wearing aviation insignia on his ACUs, so I'm not sure if he switched to MI and back or was just assigned to an MI unit while he was in Korea.

    But I'm sure Scoutpilot could provide a more accurate answer to your specific question.
     
  11. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Scout will answer this better, but my son's class had 2 fixed wing slots at selection. Those that selected fixed wing first are going through the UH-60 Advanced Course, then onto Fixed Wing school.

    Geez, where's Scoutpilot when you need him anyway?
     
  12. Full Metal Bulldog

    Full Metal Bulldog Citadel Class of 2016

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    Perhaps buying a new pair of Ray-Bans or jamming out to Danger Zone :cool:

    In all seriousness, thanks guys for participating in this thread so much. It's been helpful just reading the conversation, I think I'm considering Aviation more than any other branch now (and my pursued branch choices have fluctuated a LOT)

    Back to topic, my JROTC instructor was a retired O-4 who was MI and always talked about how cool the fixed wing community was, he wasn't a pilot but he apparently was very involved with that community. I'll see if I can contact him and ask if he knows which branch they exactly belong to.
     
  13. nick4060

    nick4060 Member

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    No offense to Army Aviation intended here...they have some truly awesome capabilities. But if someone is interested specifically in airborne ISR, the Army isn't really the service for them.
     
  14. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Well said on all counts, with the possible exception of the 160th part. Most Chinook pilots in the regiment didn't come from the Chinook community in big Army. Plus, I don't think that aircraft is much fun. But, opinions vary.

    As for the fixed wing thing, two points. One, flying fixed wing means you have to go to the MI career course, but you stay aviation. Secondly, they offer fixed wing on a limited basis out of flight school now as well as transition courses later in one's career.

    Why do people choose aviation? I mean...it's aviation. The allure of flying is like the allure of a beautiful redhead...if you don't get it, I can't explain it to you. :wink:
     
  15. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    I think you're thinking of the recent change from the AFAST to the SIFT. The SIFT was just introduced last year. It's a fairly simple test if you understand the concepts. I didn't study and I did pretty well on it.
     
  16. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    That very much depends what sort of capability you're looking for. The Army is rapidly expanding capabilities in ISR.
     
  17. Full Metal Bulldog

    Full Metal Bulldog Citadel Class of 2016

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    What's the typical career path of an Army aviation officer who's a fixed wing aviator? With rotary aviators, I know there's the standard MFE positions of Command and Staff officer roles, what about fixed wing?
     
  18. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    All of this aviation talk is making my hair grow long, and my head grow big....:wink:
     
  19. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Don't forget that new found swagger.
     

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