Military Flight Training Introduction?

vsnick

New Member
I was wondering if any of you could offer any info about the different branches of the military and what type of introductory flight training that they have. I have currently graduated college, so I have the degree, and fairly good grades. I have looked into the WOFT program through the Army and it seems like a good deal. I always wanted to fly fixed wing but I would not be complaining if I was getting paid to fly helicopters. I guess there is also a slight chance that I could fly fixed wings. I have also talked to a recruiter about the AF reserve program but he just kept trying to get me to enlist and I told him without a guarantee for flight i have no interest. He seemed to not have my best interests in mind so I quit talking to him. Anymore info about this program would be appreciated, especially how to get in. I won't make this post to long but I also heard that the Marines have a guaranteed flight program.
Any info you guys can provide would be more than helpful. I am at a crossroads right now as to if I am going to start my training as a civilian or find the right place for me in the military.
 

shooter13

New Member
If the recruiter is telling you to enlist then you are probably talking to the wrong recruiter. I am not sure how the AF works but in the Navy there are two different recruiters. One to recruit officers and one for enlisted.
 

C650CPT

Well-Known Member
vsnick
I can give you my take. My background is I am a CW3 in the Army National Guard, I have flown Rotary Wing ( UH-1 + AH-1s) and fixed wing ( C-12 / BE-200 ). I have done one Active Duty tour with the guard and since then I have flown corporate in Jets and helicopter ( C-550 + BH-222UT ) and my present job flying a C-650.

To answer your questions
Introductory flight trainin in the Army is in Helicopters. It is great training, undoubltly the best in Helicopters. Going through flight school as a Warrant has gotten better than when I went through all 13 mos. as a canidate ( no bar ). It is a great time, made some life long friends. It is a good deal, but in my opionion not the best deal. The WOFT programm allowed me without a 4yr. degree to still achieve a life long goal of flying for the Military. If you want to fly for the Army, then the Warrant Officer route is the one you should exclusivley consider. The Commissioned guys have way too many extra duties to concentrate on thier flying career, and to advance in thier Military Career they ofter have to abandon thier aviation goals.
Since we are talking about the degree issue, what it does for you is open up other opportunities, ie: Air Force / Navy. I would counsel you on seriously considering these other branches with your stated goal of flying fixed wing. Yes there are mostly Warrants flying fixed wing in the Army but the numbers are not in your favor. It is extremely hard to get a fixed wing slot in the Army, and if you do score a fixed wing slot it most likely will be a career flying King Airs. It is obviously working for me, but is it what you really want. Again you have that degree that opens up other doors.
The Money is not in Helicopters, I know!!!
I would recommend that you contact an Air National Guard Unit, they have thier own in house recruiters and are constanly seeking out qualified applicants, the other advantage here is that you can target the type of plane to fly,ie: go to a C-130 Unit and you know you will be flying a C-130, go to a tacticle Unit and fly fighters etc...
I hope this helps you a little, remeber this if you flunk out of pilot training the service may still "own" you. I have a friend who flunked out of Marine / Naval training and is now a supply officer. Get every thing in writing!
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
650,

Don't USAF helicopter pilots get their initial training at Rucker? If so, are they trained by the Army instructors, or is there a separate USAF cadre?
 

ShoreFly

Well-Known Member
MikeD,

Currently, USAF helo pilots start with the tweet at UPT, then go to Ft. Rucker for their SUPT. They are trained by DOAC (Dept of the Army Civilians).

Finally, the initial mission qual training for all AF helo types is with the good 'ole 58th SOW at Kirtland AFB, NM.
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
[ QUOTE ]
MikeD,

Currently, USAF helo pilots start with the tweet at UPT, then go to Ft. Rucker for their SUPT. They are trained by DOAC (Dept of the Army Civilians).

Finally, the initial mission qual training for all AF helo types is with the good 'ole 58th SOW at Kirtland AFB, NM.

[/ QUOTE ]

Now I remember. But I always wondered why the helo guys went through Tweets first, rather than direct to helos. Navy does the same thing with guys going through T-34s prior to helos, if I'm not mistaken.
 

MDPilot

Well-Known Member
A long time ago (when I went to UPT) helo guys went straight to Rucker. But they would get stovepiped in their career, since the helo world was so small, resulting in senior Capt or Majors going to a fixed wing qual to break out of the helo world. Then it was too expensive to have a separate fixed wing course, so the AF decided to send those senior guys thru regular UPT. As you can guess, that upset the system a bit, having guys with 10-12 years experience (usually senior to all the IPs except for the top 3 in the squadron) as students. It was finally decided that it was cheaper to send everyone through Tweets first, then split the helo guys off, this would result in everyone being fixed wing qualed to start with.
 

vsnick

New Member
THanks for the advice C650CPT. Some very helpful info and I have also become aware of the get everything in writing approach. I found there is a Armed Forces Recruiting office close to my home and i will drive up there sometime this week and hopefully they can help me figure out my options within the different branches of the Military. I will keep you posted. Take care
 
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