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How hard is it to become a fighter pilot?

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posted on Nov, 28 2006 @ 05:25 PM
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Umm... that does not really answer the question. What makes him/her ..."better equipped to do his/her job than the equivalent in any other Air arm (ie Air Force, Navy etc) anywhere in the world."?




posted on Nov, 28 2006 @ 05:37 PM
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www.wantscheck.com... is the number one site for pilot info for the USAF. It will tell you every imaginable statistic. There are a few main factors in determining pilot slot selection.
1) RSS - ranking of you against others in your class in GPA, PFT score, and Unit Commander Ranking (Ranking of you against others in your class at your school)
2) AFOQT Scores - there are many test prep materials for the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test
3) Major - Technical is preferred (Engineering, math, physics)
4) Field Training Performance Report (if AFROTC)
Other things to consider are flying time, whether you have your private pilots liscense, TBAS scores.

I'm in AFROTC now and we have 6 graduating cadets with pilot slots, more with other rated slots lke nav and ABM.

You really have to work hard and be involved and keep your grades up during school. If you go to the Air Force Academy, they have more slots open for pilots but it is a lot harder than AFROTC.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Fixed linky


[edit on 28/11/06 by masqua]



posted on Nov, 28 2006 @ 07:14 PM
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Originally posted by Sandman396
I would judge it on the quality of the finished item - ie the pilot.

The newly arrived pilot on a frontline FJ squadron in the IAF or RAF is better equipped to do his/her job than the equivalent in any other Air arm (ie Air Force, Navy etc) anywhere in the world.


So you're making a judgment off of a snapshot of one point in their careers? I don't disagree that the IAF (Israeli Air Force) is probably the best (or that the RAF is very good), but I think it has more to do with the training that the pilots receive after arrival at a squadron.



posted on Nov, 28 2006 @ 07:29 PM
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You would do yourself a pretty big favor by going to the Air Force Academy (easier said than done). They exist to make pilots. My academy friends that wanted to be engineers said they were literally called into the Commandant's office to discuss why they didn't want to be pilots. It was almost to the point where you needed to have a medical excuse such as poor vision for them to not slot you as a pilot. Additionally, I think the USAF operates on the 70/20/10 principle in which roughly 70% of the pilots come from USAFA, 20% from ROTC around the country, and the remaining ones are filled through the OTS boards. Who knows though, the previous CSAF (Jumper) was a product of VMI (and a pilot in his younger years) and the current CSAF (Moseley...also a pilot) came out of ROTC, so maybe the non-academy options are becoming less shunned by the powers that be. Probably not...in fact I think I hear a ring knocking right now. Better get while the gettin's good. Hope that helped some.



posted on Nov, 28 2006 @ 08:57 PM
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Well for those of us who are not citizens and can't compete with the 1500 SAT scores, 4.0 GPA guys, enlistement falls under our only option. That or wait to get citizenship in 2-3 years after highschool and then apply for a ROTC scholarship, but I don't think that's possible.

Shattered OUT...



posted on Nov, 28 2006 @ 09:25 PM
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Originally posted by crusader97
So you're making a judgment off of a snapshot of one point in their careers? I don't disagree that the IAF (Israeli Air Force) is probably the best (or that the RAF is very good), but I think it has more to do with the training that the pilots receive after arrival at a squadron.


Better equipped because of what?
Its all relative..
Nowadays, the big-wigs rarely go .-to-. with each other and so its mostly about some sledgehammer used to squat flies..
Note that the IAF(Israeli I presume) lost many a/c in the Yom Kippur war to fighters/fighter pilots that had been brought in from highly professional airforces like the
PAF.The a2a ratio for THESE pilots vs. the IAF is very very interesting

Good training is totally relative.. It only becomes measureable when the opponents have similar aerial capability. And If you say knock out 5 Libyan/Iraqi/Syrian jets per every jet of yours(assuming that 'you' is Israeli) then again its a relative concept.
It only means that the IAF is that much better than Libyans/Iraqis/Syrians(again presuming that these countries fielded comparable platforms). It doesn't mean that the IAF is better than the SAAF or the JASDF or the PAF(or any AF for that matter) in terms of training or skill level.

Actually the whole concept of comparing training can only be applied to allied forces in the context of learning from each other:

IAF(Israel) and the USAF : Comparable platforms and so training comparision becomes relevant.

L'Armee D'air and IAF(Indian Mirage 2000Hs)
RAF Jaguars(not any more) and (IAF Jaguars)
etc.. etc..

When you put dissimilar forces up for comparision you're comparing everything;
logistics,electronic/ground support,tactical command,platforms,geography,economy,
industry etc.. etc.. along with training and skill.
Its not easy to try and sift out only the training capabilities in such situations and its actually incorrect.
Every AF flies to a combat doctrine specially carved out for their capabilities.
THIS is actually what gets thrown up for comparision during confrontations.



posted on Nov, 28 2006 @ 09:32 PM
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Also I've noticed that the CAS(Chief of Air Staff) has always come from a fighters background.
Never from engg. command,helis or maybe transport even.
Other AFs?



posted on Nov, 28 2006 @ 09:36 PM
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Sometimes some Air Forces might adapt the techniques and strategies that other Air Forces use, such as American pilots using German Luftwaffe tactics from WWII during the Korean War.

You use what suits best.

Shattered OUT...



posted on Nov, 28 2006 @ 09:37 PM
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I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that there has recently been some issues in the Indian Air Force regarding the next CAS. I'm going from memory here, but apparently the tradition is the most senior pilot gets put forward as the CAS successor, and for quite a while now it has been a fighter guy. But the next senior guy this time round is a helo pilot, and this has caused consternation amongst the fighter bretheren.

The Australian Air Force has certainly had non-fighter Chiefs. The current Chief of Defence Force, Air Marshall Angus Houston, is an Iriquois/C-130 pilot. I'll see if I can find the article on the current Indian situation for you.



posted on Nov, 28 2006 @ 09:50 PM
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Originally posted by Willard856
I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that there has recently been some issues in the Indian Air Force regarding the next CAS. I'm going from memory here, but apparently the tradition is the most senior pilot gets put forward as the CAS successor, and for quite a while now it has been a fighter guy. But the next senior guy this time round is a helo pilot, and this has caused consternation amongst the fighter bretheren.


I'm surprised this is public knowledge.. I confirm it though..



posted on Nov, 28 2006 @ 09:51 PM
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The USAF is run by fighter pilots so it's no surprise that it's top commander (Chief of Staff of the USAF) is a former fighter pilot, even the Secretary of the Air Force is a graduate of the USAFA. Gone are the days of LeMay who insisted on heavy bombers before all else.



posted on Nov, 28 2006 @ 10:23 PM
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I'm surprised this is public knowledge.. I confirm it though..


I went back and had a look where I'm certain I saw the article, and it appears to have been deleted. Hope I haven't broken open any Indian secrets!



posted on Nov, 28 2006 @ 11:01 PM
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hehe..
no secret..
just not public knowledge..
Anyways.. Its not about 'senior' fighter pilots soo much than it is about the chief being a 'fighter pilot' at least.
Now in this case seniority has superceded branch..which is right actually..
It is interesting to note that Nawaz Sharif(the PM of Pakistan who was ousted by Musharraf) himself chose Musharraf as chief of staff by superceding 14 other prospective applicants!!

Man did that backfire!!



posted on Nov, 29 2006 @ 01:20 AM
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Back when I first went into college, I talked to the ROTC recruiter there about doing this, and it took him about 5 seconds to tell me that I would not make it for a reason that I have yet to see listed here (Though honestly I skimmed it). He never even bothered to look at my school records or my aviation work experience, it was over that fast.

He asked me my height and then measured my sitting height, from my butt to the top of my .. I was told that I could pursue becoming a tanker, bomber, or transport pilot but that I would never be allowed to be a fighter pilot as my . would be too close to the canopy top. I also believe that I was too tall from my back to my knees in the sitting position, and he told me that my knees would interfere with using an ejection seat, and if I had to eject I would leave my legs below the knees in the cockpit. You would think that I am NBA huge from reading that, but I am only a few inches taller then the 6 foot mark. Considering the amount of work that is involved with becoming a pilot in the AF, and since I wanted to fly fighters not transports, I decided that it was not worth the effort.

So besides other things listed here, such as grades, vision, color blindness, health issues, there are also size issues that you must surpass.



[edit on 11/29/2006 by defcon5]



posted on Nov, 29 2006 @ 01:49 AM
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Yep, height is an issue for fighter pilots. The ejection seat has a number of limits you need to meet otherwise ejection (already dangerous anyways) can be fatal. Weight is another factor as well. And it isn't overall height (though obviously you can't be way too big), it is the seated distance Defcon is talking about. For the vertically challenged (tall and short), as long as your seated measurements work, the seat can be raised or lowered to make sure you can see the HUD ok.

One of the oldest jokes in the book when you are doing a hot turn is (if your replacement is tall) raise the seat to it's max, and move the rudder pedals all the way aft. Then watch him try to squeeze in with his knees around his neck. Or, if they are short, lower the seat all the way down and adjust the pedals all the way forward. And watch your mate get swallowed by the cockpit. Yeah, it's juvenille, but funny as hell!



posted on Nov, 29 2006 @ 02:06 AM
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Defcon, would you mind giving us a year? I'm curious to know if the height and weight limits have increased due to new fighter designs such as the F-22 and F-35.



posted on Nov, 29 2006 @ 02:23 AM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
Defcon, would you mind giving us a year? I'm curious to know if the height and weight limits have increased due to new fighter designs such as the F-22 and F-35.


That was years back; it was roughly 1990, or so. I recall that he specifically mentioned the F-16 (Aces 2 seat) as the aircraft having these limits, this was the main aircraft then, same as now. As this was a bit back, I am sorry if I am wrong on the exact size, but I believe that he told me that the limit was under the six foot mark, but that sitting height was the most important factor. I was lucky that this was in Tampa where, at the time the 56th training squadron was located, and this fellow was very honest and familiar with the requirements. He could have very well let me go through all the trouble of school, and flight school, to find out in the end that I would have to choose another career in the AF. Today, I would be very Leery of most of these recruiters in the US as they just want to get you to sign on the line to get boots on the ground in the military, and they will tell you that you can be anything you want.

Funny part was that I got to fuel a training flight of F-16’s at TIA a couple of years later when they had to emergency divert to my location, as the runway at McDill AFB was closed down due to it being FOD’ed out (blown tire). All the pilots were a good foot shorter then me, and just tiny by comparison. At the time I was about 6’3-4, 200 lbs.

I would imagine that the limits are still going to be based on the seat size, if they use an Aces seat then the requirements are most likely about the same. Besides this if you’re a bigger guy, you would not want to spend 8 or so hours stuck in the cockpit of a fighter, its uncomfortable even for smaller guys, it would be torture on someone that is at the high end of the limits.


[edit on 11/29/2006 by defcon5]



posted on Dec, 3 2006 @ 02:03 PM
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Crusader,

What is the point of a FJ pilot requiring to be trained once he arrives at his frontline squadron??

Does that mean he cannot go to war the next day, week, month etc?

I am not casting aspersions on the raw material available to other countries air arms.

I am simply saying that comparing day one on a frontline FJ squadron the RAF and IAF have a usable pilot fully capable of combat ops.

Cheers

S396



posted on Dec, 3 2006 @ 07:47 PM
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Defcon, that is a good point you brought up that I didnt mention when I made the thread. I'm 6'6 and have big shoulders like an NFL lineman


I remember back in school speaking to an AF recruiter after taking the ASVABs and he measured me and said the same thing about seated height.

In more recent years I have done a little research and spoke with a few pilots at airshows. I remember seeing a show where they interviewed an F15 pilot that's like 6'6 and is one of the only guys to ever eject at supersonic speeds and fly again.

The pilots at an airshow said I could fly something like an F15, but wouldn't fit in an F16. One guy said his flight instructor for F18s was my size, and one of the A10 hog guys told me about Chad Hennings who is 6'6 and 290 lbs and now plays defensive tackle for the Dallas Cowboys, but flew 45 combat missions during Desert Storm in an A10
so I dunno
I guess I'll talk to a recruiter again and see what they have to say.

[edit on 3-12-2006 by warpboost]



posted on Dec, 3 2006 @ 08:43 PM
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Originally posted by Sandman396
Crusader,
What is the point of a FJ pilot requiring to be trained once he arrives at his frontline squadron??
Does that mean he cannot go to war the next day, week, month etc?
I am not casting aspersions on the raw material available to other countries air arms.
I am simply saying that comparing day one on a frontline FJ squadron the RAF and IAF have a usable pilot fully capable of combat ops.

Cheers

S396


I'm simply saying that pilot training (like any job in the military) is a continuous process - it doesn't end when a pilot arrives at the unit. Pilots fresh out of training have book knowledge, but not much experience or proficiency in actually maneuvering according to their nation's doctrine. A nation whose pilots rapidly gain experience (through training exercises and actual combat) will have a tendency to have better pilots, regardless of how well trained those pilots were when they arrived at their unit. Like I said, I don't disagree that the IAF and the RAF are the best in the world, but it's more a result of pilot experience once they arrive at their unit. My experience is more on the helo side of things (although I'm not a pilot), and I know that the average Israeli and British Apache pilots tended to be considerably more proficient (at least prior to OIF) than the average US pilot. Not because of flight school knowledge, but because of their experience through unit training.



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