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Becoming a Pilot through the USAF

Last post 10-30-2010, 2:11 PM by milpilot. 2 replies.
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  •  07-01-2009, 1:04 PM 7925

    Becoming a Pilot through the USAF

    This question is for current/past pilots that went through the USAF.

    Q: I'm currently a 3rd year College student majoring in Biology. I plan on joining this year my schools USAF-Detachment program. I would like to know more about what I can expect in Flight training school. Once completing the training what would be a normal day as a pilot. When your not flying what are your duties. Do you pick, or does someone pick for you. Can you continue your education, example get a Ph.D

    As a student and aspiring pilot. As important as becoming a pilot is, so is my education. I want to not only become a pilot but also a scientist. How does someone balance both while being in the USAF. What can I expect while serving my 9yrs. What are the cons.

    Thank you in advance for taking time to read and answer my questions. I really appreciate it.
  •  07-15-2009, 12:47 AM 8001 in reply to 7925

    Re: Becoming a Pilot through the USAF

    You are going to go through ROTC, correct?

    You need to do well in that.  Various factors (GPA, PT scores, your commander's recommendation, etc) will determine your ranking.  If you rank well, you will have a good chance at getting a pilot training slot.  Once you get a pilot training slot, you can go to UPT (pilot training) after graduation. 

    UPT is about a year long.  It starts with ground school, then moves into flying.  Expect a lot of studying and 12 hour work-days.  Your duties, other than flying, will depend on what your squadron needs.  It could be something as simple as running the squadron snack shop, or something more complicated.

    The Air Force will help pay for your schooling, but your duties may determine what kind of schedule you can take.  Also, you may incur extra time commitment since they will pay for your schooling.

  •  10-30-2010, 2:11 PM 9745 in reply to 7925

    Re: Becoming a Pilot through the USAF

    The type of aircraft you end up flying will dictate your schedule after pilot training.  If you end up flying tankers/cargo, you will probably be deploying on a regular basis.  This will make it very difficult to attend schooling. If you end up flying fighters, you will probably deploy much less, but can still expect many 12 hour workdays.  This will also make it difficult to attend schooling.  I'm not trying to tell you that it can't be done, but that it will be difficult. 

    You could also consider the Air National Guard or AF Reserves.  Depending on what aircraft that your home unit flies, you could be employed full time for up to about 2 years from the time you start pilot training.  After which, you could fly part time (a few days each month) and attend school fulltime.  That way you could have the best of both worlds.  Just another option to consider.


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