Soaring vs UAS

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by AVT, Jul 31, 2012.

  1. AVT

    AVT USAFA 2015

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    I was selected for Soaring Instructor Upgrade this fall, but I also have the opportunity to go to UAS Instructor Upgrade.
    In UAS, a crew of 3 people work together on missions. This involves team coordination and heavy task saturation by having to communicate with ground forces, command, etc. We also have to memorize a lot of information relating to various aircraft specifications.

    I may not be pilot qualified, and I have already strongly considered being a CSO.

    Obviously, soaring is the better pick for pilot training.
    If I do become a CSO which program would better prepare me?
     
  2. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    My brother was a USAFA soaring instructor and loved it.

    The task saturation with UAS isn't as bad as you might think, especially with a crew. You'll learn just as much, if not more, about managing a cockpit and coordinating the sequence and timing of critical actions as a soaring IP than as a UAS guy.

    Whenever you have the chance to fly for free, take it. The skills you talk about learning with UAS flying were created and refined in real aircraft first. You'll learn them there, and get to hone a skill than can provide you lifelong enjoyment (flying gliders).
     
  3. AVT

    AVT USAFA 2015

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    Thank you for the great response.

    I would not be able to do a semester abroad to Russia if I became a Soaring IP
    Would spending three months there and bettering my language skills serve any purpose when I graduate?
     
  4. greentrees

    greentrees Member

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    Not sure that is correct. DS's freshman roommate spent a semester last year in Germany/Austria and is a soaring IP.

    Russian is a critical language; I'm sure AF would love for you to become more proficient
     
  5. nbbgolfcmdr

    nbbgolfcmdr USAFA Cadet

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    Yupp. You can do a semester somewhere else and keep your IP slot.

    Buddy of mine is going to West Point for a semester, but teaching 251 (Basic Soaring) this go at the Academy.

    Russian's crazy--definitely kicking my butt, but it's worth it. Keep with it, but CSLIP during the summer's another option. Those guys and gals loved it.
     
  6. academania

    academania USAFA Cadet

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    AVT,

    I'm currently a soaring IP and wouldn't trade it for anything. I don't know how to say this without sounding biased, but teaching someone how to fly an airplane is one of the most rewarding things the academy lets you do. Among the things you get to do in upgrade: fly a sailplane BY YOURSELF 8 times, put a sailplane into a spin and recover it yourself multiple times, and release off tow 300 ft off the ground, turn around, and land opposite direction. It's thrilling, terrifying at times, a ton of hard work, but so worth it. Not a lot of people get to say, "I teach people how to fly." It's also a great leadership opportunity. You learn a lot about yourself and leading someone when you're hurtling toward the ground at 70mph and someone who has only had 30 minutes of time in the plane is trying to land it. I'm not bashing UAS in any way, just my 10 cents.

    If you do end up doing it, the best thing you can do is work hard and STAY POSITIVE. The last thing folks down at the airfield want to hear is you complaining about the complications of the program when at the end of the day, you get to become the youngest instructor pilot in the Air Force for free!

    Good luck bud.
     

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