UPT pipelines?

Center_Mid

Well-Known Member
How are pilots getting posted out of UPT these days? Mostly fighters? Mostly cargo? Helos?

Is it still easier to make aircraft commander in cargo these days (compared to bombers)? It seems like that's how it worked around 1992-1993. How about stick time? Still lots for the C-drivers and not so much for the F- and B-drivers?

AF pilots out there: where would you rather go if you came out of UPT right now - fighters, heavies, or helos?
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
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How are pilots getting posted out of UPT these days? Mostly fighters? Mostly cargo? Helos?

Is it still easier to make aircraft commander in cargo these days (compared to bombers)? It seems like that's how it worked around 1992-1993. How about stick time? Still lots for the C-drivers and not so much for the F- and B-drivers?

AF pilots out there: where would you rather go if you came out of UPT right now - fighters, heavies, or helos?

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There'll always be more heavy assignments available versus fighters, simply because of more crews needed for heavies. My class started out with 32 guys and we graduated 16, not including 1 that went to helos and one that went to T-44s (USN King Air 90, for C-130 follow-on). Of the 12, 4 went fighter route. Of the 8 going the transport route, 1 got bombers (now bomber guys come out of the fighter track).

I'd personally stick to fighters, prefer single-seat anyways.
 

Visceral

Well-Known Member
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My class started out with 32 guys and we graduated 16

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These days, it seems if you've got a pulse you can get a slot for UPT. I listened to all the new co-pilots coming into my squadron who said they didn't actually want a pilot slot, but were given one. These were mostly Academy grads. It made me nauseated remembering how in the early 90s guys were fighting viciously for slots as most of the Air Force was undergoing RIFs.
 

Center_Mid

Well-Known Member
Wow. That is a change. The RIF monkeys were running wild in '92-'93 and everyone was selling their grandparents for a slot. It's hard to imagine guys now getting "pushed" into UPT. Who wudda thunk?
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
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My class started out with 32 guys and we graduated 16

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These days, it seems if you've got a pulse you can get a slot for UPT. I listened to all the new co-pilots coming into my squadron who said they didn't actually want a pilot slot, but were given one. These were mostly Academy grads. It made me nauseated remembering how in the early 90s guys were fighting viciously for slots as most of the Air Force was undergoing RIFs.

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You ain't kidding. To add to what you write: Guys aren't washing out of UPT anymore. For the first time ever, a number of guys have been washing out of the A-10 initial qual course for a myriad of reasons, but normally for inability to multi-task, low SA, or safety. A-10 qual has traditionally been considered one of the easier initial qual courses, compared to the F-15/16. As it turns out when the washout paperwork is being completed, that the guys in question were having all sorts of flying problems throughout their UPT career, but the UPT bases seemingly "passed the buck" to the LIFT (initial fighter training 6 week course) and RTU (A-10 training) squadrons.

Regards the Academy guys: From what I understand of the Academy, if you're qualified for a pilot slot, you pretty much get one (with the exception of the same early-mid 90s time when the AF didn't need pilots), whether you want it or not. I knew guys that didn't want to be pilots, but were grilled during job selection at the Academy regarding why they had no desire to fly, and pretty much forced into it. I too was in ROTC at Riddle during the 89-90m timeframe and remember well when a pilot slot was highly coveted; at the time, there only 100 available nationwide for ROTC.
 

Center_Mid

Well-Known Member
I was at the Academy in 1992-1993 (before my eyesight fell out of PQ) and the superintendent (a 3-star) told my class of 1,000 that we'd only have 200-225 slots upon graduation. A lot of guys left after that. I stuck it out until it was clear that my eyesight would bar me from UPT.

I later heard from an F-16 guy that the eyesight standards to enter UPT were changed so that you could have correctable vision instead of mandatory 20/20 up until you score your wings.

No regrets here, but that's a hell of a change.
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
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I was at the Academy in 1992-1993 (before my eyesight fell out of PQ) and the superintendent (a 3-star) told my class of 1,000 that we'd only have 200-225 slots upon graduation. A lot of guys left after that. I stuck it out until it was clear that my eyesight would bar me from UPT.

I later heard from an F-16 guy that the eyesight standards to enter UPT were changed so that you could have correctable vision instead of mandatory 20/20 up until you score your wings.

No regrets here, but that's a hell of a change.

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Yup, you're correct. Funny how all of a sudden the USAF has figured out that they let go/RIFd too many pilots. Overall experience level is lower than it used to be. USAF has to throw bonus money at people in order to get them to stay, etc.

Far cry from the early 90s.
 

ROSWELL41

New Member
I just got my PPL last week. I'm 17 and will be headed into the Purdue flight program and NROTC in two weeks. I just wanted to ask approximately how many UPT slots their are for NROTC annually. Also, does the board value all of the training and certificates earned when considering an application for UPT?
 

Mike Lewis

Shadow Administrator
Staff member
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Wow. That is a change. The RIF monkeys were running wild in '92-'93 and everyone was selling their grandparents for a slot. It's hard to imagine guys now getting "pushed" into UPT. Who wudda thunk?

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And I remember the whole "banked pilot" fiasco. I had two pilots fresh from UPT who were assigned to my unit as engineers. They did a great job under the circumstances, and surprisingly had a positive outlook considering that all of their hard work and training was rewarded with a non-rated assignment.
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
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I just got my PPL last week. I'm 17 and will be headed into the Purdue flight program and NROTC in two weeks. I just wanted to ask approximately how many UPT slots their are for NROTC annually. Also, does the board value all of the training and certificates earned when considering an application for UPT?



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Unfortunately, I'm not as familiar with NROTCs quotas as I am with those of the USAF. Training and certificates certainly help show you have the general ability for flight, but th first thing to insure is that you keep the highest academic scores you can and maintain them.
 
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