What can I do to become a Pilot?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Dchoi, Sep 1, 2013.

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  1. Dchoi

    Dchoi New Member

    Sep 1, 2013
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    So I'm new to all this, So I want to start off with a couple questions.
    1) Is joining the Air force very beneficial to becoming a commercial or airline pilot?
    2) If so what can I do to guide myself into that path?
    3) Does every college provide ROTC?
    4) How can I become a commissioned pilot
    5) Are there other ways to become an airline or commercial pilot of any sort
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

    Oct 21, 2010
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    I don't normally respond when someone makes the same post in multiple areas of the forum, some of which aren't even appropriate for the topic.
  3. Reaper

    Reaper AFROTC Cadet (AS400) 5-Year Member

    Apr 12, 2011
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    If you're trying to become an Air Force pilot just so you can become an airline pilot you're gonna have a bad time.
  4. Pima

    Pima 5-Year Member

    Nov 28, 2007
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    I agree with kinnem. In the future don't post the same question on every forum you think might impact you, it tends to frustrate/irritate posters.

    As far as the subject questions go...take time to investigate by using google because almost every answer is a key stroke away. However, here's some things.

    AFROTC is not at every college, but again if you take time to investigate you will find what colleges do and do not have AFROTC.

    The thing that you must understand is for AFROTC you must go to summer field training (SFT). As a sophomore in college you will meet a selection board for SFT. If not selected you will in all likelihood be dis-enrolled from AFROTC. Basically, it is officially over for you regarding any commissioning in the AF.

    After you complete SFT as a junior you will meet another board for rated slots. Just like SFT you will compete against every cadet in your yr group on a national level. The twist here is that you are competing for a rated board. That means pilot, CSO, RPAs and ABMs. You get what you get. IOTW, the closest thing to piloting you might get is a drone at a desk, even if you requested pilot. You cannot just apply pilot, you must apply for all 4.

    There are a lot of other steps just to make it to this point, such as scoring high on the AFOQT, and than your TBAS, having enough flight hrs to assist in your PCSM score (score for rated boards) and of course passing your class 1 Flight physical. There are cadets that pass the AFROTC DoDMERB physcal to go ADAF, get a pilot slot and get to Wright Pat AFB to only be disqualified medically. Additionally, you will need to get through your TS clearance too.

    All of that is done before you are a senior in college.

    OBTW, additionally, your cgpa, and physical fitness will matter in college. On avg., for a non-tech major to get a pilot slot it is over 3.4. A tech major and it is usually in the 3.0-3.1 range. Not as easy as one may think, especially when AFROTC between PT/LLAB/det. job and being active in military fraternities can take up about 20-30 hrs a week outside of the classroom as you rise through the ranks.

    EX: Cadet Flight Commanders wright reviews for all of their cadets within their flight. They attend weekly meetings with the cadre.
    ~~~~ You need a strong job in the det., because your Commander's rec and how they rank you out of the det. is worth 50% of your score for the boards.

    ~~~~ Your SFT ranking is worth a percentage also. If you rank the top 1% you will get more points than if you are in the bottom 50%. Again, your Commander will see the ranking and will place that into their decision for their rec come the other boards.

    I hope you can see, it is not a snap to get a pilot slot, and you will not know even if you get one until you have completed almost 3 yrs of college.
  5. Bullet

    Bullet 5-Year Member

    Jan 9, 2008
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    Welcome to the forums. Lots to be learned here on all the questions you've asked, and since you're new here and pretty young, I would recommend you're first step would be become familiar with the "search" function, especially for questions 2 - 4; Pretty basic and general question that have been asked (and answered) dozens of times before. After that search? Well, come back here with any more questions you may have on more specific areas. We'll gladly help!

    But you ask a couple of questions on how being an AF pilot (or military pilot in general) can help you become a airline pilot in the future. I have dozens of friends who went that route (military pilot to commercial pilot), so let me provide some insight.

    The Airlines are looking for folks with hundreds (if not thousands) of hours of flight time when they are hiring. How do you get those hours? Basically two choices: either get the hours on your own (and pay for them yourself, which will cost you TENS of thousands of dollars), OR join the military as a pilot and have UNCLE SAM pay for those hours (and pay you to get them). But remember, Uncle Sam doesn't like to give anything away for free, AF pilots have a service commitment of 10 years once they complete pilot training.

    So, those are the basics of each path. I will say that the airlines will hire guys straight out of the military for the larger carriers and larger birds. Most civilian pilots at the start of their careers are getting hired by the Regional carriers to fly their smaller turbo prop puddle jumpers (think 12 - 15 passengers between two hole-in-the-wall local airports), and they are paid MISERABLY for it (between $25K - $30K annually). They are taking these low paying, small plane jobs to build up their flight time so they can later go fly for the bigger airlines on bigger planes.

    A little secret: many military pilots are being hired by the bigger airlines, but start off on their regional carriers as well for very little money as well.

    So really, the choice is: do it by yourself, paying a lot of money while making very little money until you get enough experience to fly the bigger jets for the bigger airlines, or join the service to get that experience, but sign you life away for 10 years minimum (which doesn't include the year in pilot training, so it is 11 years minimum).

    Nothing wrong with having an ultimate goal of becoming an airline pilot, and going the military route to get there. But Reaper was simply reminding you that there will be a LOT of steps in that military route, each with their own challenges. Have that ultimate goal, but focus on getting those first steps right, which for you are getting commissioned in the AF with a pilot training slot. Again, search these threads for that route and the challenges along the way.

    Best of luck to you!

  6. gojack

    gojack .... 5-Year Member

    Jul 1, 2010
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  7. kp2001

    kp2001 10-Year Member

    Jun 9, 2006
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