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Re: becoming a fighter pilot

  •  06-15-2007, 4:17 PM

    Re: becoming a fighter pilot

    Okay...here to dismiss myths and everything else wrong in this forum.  I'm currently in USAF UPT and only have 4 months or so until wings, flying the T-1.  First off, the Navy doesn't fly anything stealth....only the AF.  You have to be an AF officer to fly any USAF aircraft, which means you need a college degree and some sort of commissioning source (USAFA, ROTC, or OTS).  If you go to the Academy, a pilot slot is pretty much guaranteed.  With ROTC, you better work your butt off to make sure you get one...and with OTS, you're kind of "hired" before you start OTS.  I'm a ROTC grad, so I don't know too much about OTS.  After you finish your 4 years of collegiate level academia, and have a pilot slot, you'll most likely go to a casual base while you wait for pilot training.  Once at UPT, it's 6 months in the T-6A, then another 6 in either the T-38, T-1A, or the Navy T-44.  Everyone wants to be a fighter pilot until they actually fly and realize how difficult it can be.  It's not like Top Gun....sorry.  But flying is still a blast.  If you go the fighter route, you'll go to IFF (Intro to Fighter Fundamentals) for 3-4 months to learn BFM (basic fighter manuevers) and other tactics.  From there you go to your main training base for your aircraft (usually 6-9 months).  You're constantly going through upgrades and checkrides, but the minimum time to become a fighter pilot in the sky over the desert is roughly 2 years after college.  Then you'll be a wingman for about 2 years before being upgraded to "flight lead".  There are multiple hurdles and chances to screw up becoming an Air Force Pilot, and even more so to be a fighter pilot....the road is NOT easy, but is worth it in the end.  Study hard, be personable, athletic, have good core values, and things should work out.  Good luck all.
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