AF Pilot...

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Lukas21, Feb 21, 2018.

  1. Lukas21

    Lukas21 New Member

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    How different is the route to becoming an Air Force pilot when going to the AFA or becoming an officer through AFROTC. I know that your chances of receiving a pilot slot are better through the Academy, but are the options about the same if you go through ROTC? How do they differ? Thank you!
     
  2. Humey

    Humey Member

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    I have a son in AF Rotc and he got a pilot spot last year. From what I have read, if you are in AFA and you qualify, you pretty much have a 100% shot at a pilot slot. Of course getting into AFA is extremely difficult so that is the difficult part. If you are in Rotc, you are competing with every other Rotc member who wants a pilot spot. AF Rotc cadets are ranked based on GPA, PT scores, the PCSM score which is a combination of the pilot score of the AFOQT Test (think SAT but includies piloting and navigation questions) plus the TBAS test (computerized flying skill test). The PCSM calculation also includes actual flight hours so the more hours you have flown the higher the PCSM score will be. The rank also includes Commanders Evaluation plus how you did in Field Training, which a one month basic training you do in Mississipi/Alababam in the summer between Sophomore and Junior Year. All of this information is given to a board and they decide who gets a pilot spot. Because of this PCSM score, many if not most (of course not everyone)t of those selected already have a private pilot license. My son does. So in conclusion, kill yourself to get in AFA and if you qualify medically, you will qualify to be a pilot. On the other hand sign a form and you are in AF Rotc, you then have to compete with 2000? other cadets looking for the same position.
     
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  3. Lukas21

    Lukas21 New Member

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    First off that was extremely helpful so thanks a ton! I'm definitely working on the killing myself to get in to the AFA part right now, I am planning to apply for AFROTC as well so if I don't get in I have that option. My biggest overall goal in the end is to be flying for our country's air force, so either route I take hopefully will end up leading me there, I am pretty sure I'm good for medical stuff so hopefully that won't be a problem.
     
  4. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American 5-Year Member

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    The 100% guarantee at USAFA is false. The number of slots offered varies yearly. It has been high recently and most that were phys locally qualified received pilot slots. Most, not all, even in these boom years.
    Past years have had more disappointed pilot hopefuls than as of late. There is no guarantee.
     
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  5. JakobF

    JakobF HS Sophomore USAFA aspirer.

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    Considering that the Air Force is down 1500 pilots I'd say you'd have a good chance either route but, I would encourage you to go the Academy. Though through AF Rotc you may have a chance to get a flight/pilot contract which will gurantee you go to pilot traning if you meet all requirements. Search up Academy Admissions on youtube and watch thier videos about AFA to see if youd like it. Good Luck!
     
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  6. raimius

    raimius 10-Year Member

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    USAFA and AFROTC bot get about the same number of pilot slots, but AFROTC has more cadets. From past experience, USAFA cadets who need medical waivers seem a bit more likely to get them.

    That might change as the AF is short on pilots and trying to increase production in the next few years.
     
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  7. FMHS-79

    FMHS-79 Parent

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    JacobF - Reducing the USAF pilot shortage is not as simple as allocating more pilot slots. While the FY19 budget includes funding to increase the number of pilots from 1,200 to 1,400 per year, I doubt if there will be enough slots to cover all those who qualify from AFA, AFROTC, and other commissioning mechanisms.

    The lives of AFA and AFROTC cadets are dramatically different. I would not suggest applying to the AFA simply as it may provide a higher probability for a pilot slot. Make sure that the highly regimented structure of the AFA is one which you can excel within.
     
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  8. Humey

    Humey Member

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    That is probably true, but I can only speak about today. I dont know yesterday and I definitely dont know what will happen in the future but as it stands, just about anybody who wants it and qualifes will more than likely get it. Is it 100%, of course not, nothing is 100% but the chances of getting it through AFA is probably a lot better than getting it from Rotc. Someone wrote, AFA reprsents 20% of commissioning officers and yet gets 50% of the pilot spots. Pretty good odds.
     
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  9. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American 5-Year Member

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    Humey said, "in AFA and you qualify, you pretty much have a 100% shot at a pilot slot."

    That is what I reacted to... and for sure, In past years qualified kids that requested pilot have been disappointed. If someone goes to USAFA dead set on pilot, he's going for the wrong reason. You must have a desire to serve.
     
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  10. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    <quote> Someone wrote, AFA reprsents 20% of commissioning officers and yet gets 50% of the pilot spots. Pretty good odds.
    </quote>
    Sounds like a 50-50 proposition (of a sort) either way
     
  11. Humey

    Humey Member

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    you are right, i shouldnt have said 100%. Like I said nothing is ever 100%. I was going for the effect
     
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  12. Lukas21

    Lukas21 New Member

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    I agree, I have both the desire to do both. Since a little kid I've wanted to fly any aircraft but primarily fighters. I also think it is greatly important though to give back to our country as serve, after all it has given to me. I would honestly say I may be a bit disappointed if I may not end up getting to become a pilot, but that would for sure never discourage me from wanting to become an AF officer and contribute in another way, as I know there are various routes to go through and lots of great options. Either way however it unfolds in the future I'm 100% confident in wanting to serve as an officer
     
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  13. Humey

    Humey Member

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    not really, if they commission 6000 2nd LTs every year (making up a number) that would mean there are 1200 from the academy and 4800 from Rotc. We will ignore OCS for now. The 1200 have to fight over 500 slots while the 4800 members have to fight over 500 spots. That 500/1200 42% chance for the academy grads and 500/4800 or 10.4% for the Rotc guys. I realize not everyone wants a pilot spot so that would affect the percentages, but you get my drift.
     
  14. Humey

    Humey Member

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    Please undertand that your plane type selection doesnt happen until you reach UPT. The classes are about 25-30 and included National Guard, Reserves and foreign pilots. From what I see out of any group they give fighters to maybe 4-5 guys and that includes the foreign pilots and National Guard guys who automatically come in with their selection. In other words, when you get hired by the guard, you already know you will fly an F-16 or whatever. When you go to UPT, that guy if he passes will be one of those automatically selected for fighter. The tops students get first choice on their planes. My point being, the odds are you wont get a fighter unless you are one of the top studends in your UPT class. Lots of the guys come in wanting fighters but wind up wanting Heavies because of the better lifesytle or so they say
     
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  15. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Well, I did say "sort of". I knew when you ran the numbers another way it would not work out that way. Nevertheless, ROTC still gives someone "on the ball" a fair shot at pilot.
     
  16. Humey

    Humey Member

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    I agree, my son isnt close to be an A student but he scored well in all of the other areas and got a spot. I also thinking the timing works for him due to the pilot shortage
     
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  17. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Spoken like a true CPA! :D
     
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  18. JakobF

    JakobF HS Sophomore USAFA aspirer.

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    I've actually heard from an AF ROTC Cadet that right now the pilot selection rate is very high and for aspiring pilots to not be discouraged from going into AF ROTC.
     
  19. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator 10-Year Member Founding Member

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    Yes, right now the selection rate is high. However, you need to remember that the people who are graduating UPT right now are 2015 and 2016 college grads, which means they entered AFROTC in 2011 or 2012. The timeline from college freshman to UPT graduation is very long and things can change very quickly while you are in that pipeline. This years entering freshmen will get their wings in 2024 or 2025 so one can only guess where the pendulum will be at that time. Airline hiring is expected to peak around 2023 so there may not be as many O-4s separating to go to the airlines at that time so it will affect demand.

    It has been 11 years since my son entered USAFA and it has been back and forth a couple of times since then. Even within a year group the selection rate to pilot can be affected by changes in the AF demand for pilots. In 2013 they were offering incentives for some pilots to separate from the AF and by 2015 they were screaming about the pilot shortage. Even once you get out of UPT things can change. At different times C-17 pilots were given one tour in that plane and then were sent to be UPT instructors because they weren't needed and C-130H pilots were sent directly from the schoolhouse to RPAs when the "H" model was being phased out because they weren't needed anymore. That has happened to several of my son's classmates. It is the same with fighters. My son's UPT class had one fighter drop for his entire T-38 class of 8 pilots, but now there are some classes with 4 or 5 fighters (how they will get them all through FTU and into operational units is another topic for another time).

    All you can do is apply, do your best, and hope that when the time comes there is something that you want available.

    Stealth_81
     
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  20. Christcorp

    Christcorp 10-Year Member

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    There are 2 variables at the academy that I didn’t see mentioned. If it was, I apologize for restating it.

    1. Of the 1200 +/- going into the academy,about 800+/- initially speak of wanting to fly. Probably higher. But after a couple years at the academy, understanding military life better, and realizing there’s a minimum 10 year commitment after graduating to become a pilot, many who were excited about being a pilot change their mind and don’t apply to be a pilot. Throw in those who aren’t qualified to be a pilot and the number competing for a pilot slot drops even further. In average years, the academy doesn’t fill all its pilot slots and actually gives more back to rotc. So in reality, at the academy, if you still want a pilot slot, and you’re qualified, you do have an almost guaranteed shot at it. Maybe not 100%, but pretty close to it. Like I said, many years, the academy doesn’t fill all its pilot slots and gives more to rotc.

    2. This variable is very important. At the academy, your major has absolutely no impact or even considered when applying to be a pilot. You can major in engineering, behavioral science, history, management, communications, etc. Pilots are of every major the school offers. Rotc on the other hand isn’t like that. It’s really difficult getting into rotc if you want to major in management or history. Then, if you do have such a major, competing for a pilot slot with such a major makes your odds even lower.

    So in the end, if you can get an appointment to the academy, you graduate, and you are qualified, a pilot slot is so much easier to attain. And I would go as far as saying almost guaranteed. They barely get 500 or so who want to be pilots come the 3rd year. Many have changed their mind and the academy has a difficult time filling all their pilot slots.
     
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