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becoming a fighter pilot

Last post 09-30-2014, 2:47 PM by FlightRVSM. 31 replies.
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  •  01-31-2006, 2:12 PM 3189 in reply to 1700

    Re: becoming a fighter pilot

    This will be my first post here, so let me introduce myself. I'm a retired type, 74, retired TWA 1987, LCDR USNR.

    Since this is a "So you wanna be a Fighter Pilot" thread, I was one. Way back in the 1950's I flew Panthers, Cougars, and Banshee's. Went to sea on the USS WASP CVA 18 with a Banshee Squadron, VF-152, now I'm married to oneSmile

    How did I get to be one? I started dreaming about it when I was 6. Honest. By the time I was in High School, I still had the burning desire. I got sort of a break when I tested positive for admission to the USMMA, Kings Point NY. I shot my way out of there in 1953 with a 3rd Mates ticket, a BSNS, and an Ensigns Commission, USNR.

    They frowned upon Merchant Marine types going to flight training [8o|], but I DID get orders to Navy Flight Training in Pensacola. (Long story.)

    This is THE way to go. College is paid for, in fact, they pay YOU! Room and board too. Then you get paid to train, in my case the SNJ-5, a real handful I had to master in 15 hours.

    Time to sign off, it's nearly Happy HourStick out tongue
  •  02-02-2006, 4:10 PM 3192 in reply to 1700

    Re: becoming a fighter pilot


    In addition to the many pieces of good advice on this post, let me tell you what I think is your greatest asset right now. Your post said: "I am a freshman in high school." This means that you have options. I joined the Marines out of college and had only one real option (OCS). You've got the Service Academies, ROTC, and OCS available...and that is a good thing.  Do yourself a favor and gather as much info as you possibly can before making a decision.

  •  05-24-2006, 3:02 PM 3364 in reply to 1700

    Re: becoming a fighter pilot

    This is my first time to this site so I'll introduce myself as well. 

    I am currently an AS200 Cadet in the AFROTC at a univeristy. That means, I've been in the program for 2 years now.  I thought I'd offer a little insight into that program for all of you young high school students interested in becoming a fighter pilot.  It too, has been my dream to be a fighter pilot for the USAF since I was a kid and first saw a plane. I also had the dream to attend the US Air Force Academy, but was denied two years in a row.  That still wonders me.  During my interviews, the officers told me I was exactly the type they were looking for and was fully qualified.  So it was a shock when I didn't get my appointment.  Though devastating, it didn't stop my dream. 

    I was awarded an AFROTC scholarship for Electrical Engineering.  Since I've joined the ROTC, I've heard that most people prefer to get a ROTC scholarship over an academy appointment.  In any case, the AFROTC still offers many great training/learning opportunities.  You simply go to a college or university of your choice (with an AFRTOC program) work toward a degree, and take ROTC classes at the same time.  It's a lot of fun, but also demands time and effort.

    In end effect, I wish to graduate with my engineering degree and commission as 2nd Lt with a pilot slot.  You compete for pilot slots your junior year in college.  I have buddies each year that get pilot slots.  It's real, and totally possible.  In a couple years it'll be my turn, and I'll have my pilot slot.  Once you have that slot, you are scheduled to go to IFT or UPT (if you have ur private pilot license).  But getting that slot is the critical thing in college.  You have to do well in academics, take the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT) and score well on the pilot and navigation sections as well as the academic portion.  Cadets previously were allowed to take it twice, and the second scores all count.  However, the Air Force really frowns on that now, as many cadets typically studied for the pilot/nav sections and failed the academic portions.  I scored very high without studying anything, but there are books out there to prepare you if you wish to study for it.  The Air Force prefers to see cadets only take it once now.  We also do physical training (PT) in the ROTC program, which is actually fun.  You will have a physical fitness test (PFT) to pass each semester.  If you are athletic, in shape and can run well, you can ace the test.  That is a big factor for a pilot slot as well.  When you go to field training (FT), if you prepared well, and perform well while there, your FT score will also be weighed in to determine if you get a pilot slot.  Normally, the summer after your second year (so right now for me) you'd go to Field Training for 4 weeks. There as a cadet, you will be proven physically, mentally, and emotionally in a leadership development course.  I hear its the most fun you'll ever have that you don't want to have again.  The biggest factor however is the commanders rating.  Be active, show leadership and discipline and your commander will over time get to know you and see your potential as a future fighter pilot if that is your dream.  The stars are within OUR reach.  We can do it.  Live for it.  Follow your dreams and don't let disappointments along the way slow you down.  Keep your momentum and you will succeed. 


  •  04-10-2007, 4:31 PM 4174 in reply to 3189

    Re: becoming a fighter pilot

    dear Dirtyed
     My name Is Pablo
    Iam 14yrs old
    and I want to join the us airfoce and become a fighter pilot when I grow older
    what do you think I should right now to get started?

  •  04-27-2007, 8:44 PM 4255 in reply to 3189

    Re: becoming a fighter pilot

    hey my name is Eric and right now i'm in the Af stationed at grand forks. I want to ask you if i am heading in the right VFR (lame). Am 19 years old and enlisted. I want to become a fighter so i am persuing a degree through embry riddle with a combination of classes, online, and cleps. As of now i am a junior in college going for professional aeronautical science degree with a safety minor. I am deploying next month and hopefully i will be able to finish college and obtain my private pilots by the begining of next year (Being in North Dakota and a services troop or a cook, gives you alot of spare time). I just took my afoqt and waiting on the scores. My question is, with all of this, is this the right way? Or, am i way off track?Huh?
  •  05-01-2007, 7:10 PM 4260 in reply to 4255

    Re: becoming a fighter pilot

    It sounds right to me.  I would talk to your supervisor to find out who to talk to about getting into OTS when you finish your degree.
  •  05-22-2007, 12:43 AM 4321 in reply to 1700

    Re: becoming a fighter pilot

  •  05-22-2007, 11:34 AM 4340 in reply to 1700

    Re: becoming a fighter pilot

    You can become a pilot through the US Air Force, Navy, Marines, or Army (helicopters only). 

    For Air Force, you need to be an officer.  That means you will need to go through the Academy, ROTC, or OTS (which include at least a Bacchelor's degree).  After commisioning as an officer, you would need to be selected for Undergraduate Pilot Training.

  •  06-15-2007, 4:17 PM 4422 in reply to 4340

    Re: becoming a fighter pilot 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.
  •  06-22-2007, 10:03 AM 4437 in reply to 3159

    Re: becoming a fighter pilot

    i want become a fighter pilot in india . what i want to do. i request u to reply me sir i

  •  06-22-2007, 10:40 PM 4448 in reply to 4437

    Re: becoming a fighter pilot

    I do not know anything about the selection process for the Indian Air Force.  Your best bet would be to talk to someone in your Air Force.
  •  08-18-2007, 4:47 AM 4633 in reply to 4448

    Re: becoming a fighter pilot

    Hey, I'm a 19 year old male from South Africa.

    I was able to fly an F-1AZ Mirage since the age of 16. I wanted to fly aircraft since I was six and strived to become a pilot since then. I never intended to become a fighter pilot, I planned on going into commersial. But recently I changed my mind. Only problem now is that I'm about to imagrate to New Zealand. So obviosly I'm going to have trouble becoming a fighter pilot.

    Some tips for the younger kids:

    To all you freshmans. You have to work your asses off! Maths, science and georgraphy is the key! Go to the next and nearest airshow near you and get as much information about flight schools as you can. I know the same has to go for the US than for SA... There are flight simulation programs out there that has get togethers atleast once a week. Those organizations normaly has peple who come to their areas to show every one the configurations of a HUD's (Heads Up Display) and the cockpit itself. While you are young you can get the chance to know the in's and out's of MOST aircrafts (especialy fighters). You can take up your rep by gathering information on aircraft as you go along.

    I joined a group in my city called "VACS": Virtual Aviation Club Swartkop. Most of them are old men who are ex-veteran pilots and can no longer fly anymore. So they try to still live out their dreams, in simulation. These kind of clubs offer training for people of all ages! So try finding a virtual aviation club in your area.

    For older people who are already in colleges and universities: The guys that spoke earlier in this forum know what they are talking about. And try to find pilots you can talk to about this more. You can never have too much information! You can learn the basics of lying right now. The internet is a huge place with information on EVERYTHING.

    Here is a site you can get allot of information from fighter aircraft:

    Try thy this F/A-18 information URL:

    Good luck to all!!!

  •  01-07-2008, 11:51 PM 5053 in reply to 1700

    Re: becoming a fighter pilot

    hey i am alsoa freshman in high school and i do what to be a fighter pilot but my grades in math and science are that good if i keep that grades i have could i still get in

    i am trying so hard to get those grades up and up and up they are slowly going up but i need to no really bad


  •  01-07-2008, 11:53 PM 5054 in reply to 5053

    Re: becoming a fighter pilot

    when i do join what would i tell my parents because they dont want me to join beause they are scared
  •  01-10-2008, 2:35 PM 5067 in reply to 5054

    Re: becoming a fighter pilot

    First off, which service?  Secondly, which route (academy, ROTC, OTS, etc)?  In the USAF, you don't just enlist and go to flight training.  Commissioning programs are competitive and require applications (usually lengthy).  Getting a pilot slot is also very competitive and lengthy. 

    Grades (or prior military experience) are important to get into commissioning programs.  College grades also help determine order-of-merit, which influences your chances of getting a pilot slot.

    I recommend looking at and as start.

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