Author Topic: Any chance to become a pilot now?  (Read 39892 times)

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Offline Fireball

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Any chance to become a pilot now?
« on: September 04, 2007, 19:53:42 »
Hi Folks,

I apologize upfront for the length of this email but I do need some opinion so please bear with me.  My lifelong passion to become a pilot started when I was 12 years old and circumvented half the globe on an extended family trip when I was 11 years old.

Backstory:
Grew up in NB, NS and joined the air cadets from age 12-17.  I took many courses related to theories of flight, airframe, etc...but was never academically astute enough to win a power/glider scholarship.  At age 17-21 I joined the Communication Reserves (made it to Corporal) which coincided with my last year of high school and first year university (I dropped out after year one due to academics).  I'm now an account manager with a high profile IT company drawing an exceptional salary (6 figures) in Toronto but that itch to become a pilot has returned in a bad way!  I'm now married, 32 years old and I've finally been able to see clearly what I need to do for the rest of my life - pilot military aircrafts.

Anyway here is my dilemma - 32 with no university degree but a burning desire to drop my current career which has taken me 10 years to build and pursue my passion.  University degree - I'll go back! Getting in shape - no problem!  Eyesight - I'll get laser surgery!  Wife & family - They will support me!  So whats the problem you ask?  Well by the time I earn a degree (or start pursuing one) I'll be too old (IMHO) to be selected for fixed wing (I'm talking CF-18s) duties.

Obviously I'm not about to drop things tomorrow and then try and join the Air Force but is there a hope in hell for someone at my age to become a military pilot at this point or have my dreams been dashed by my own lack of focus & procrastination?

Your opinions are more than welcome.

Cpl Jay

p.s A note to all younger folks - do not chase the dollar signs like I did.  You'll end up with money eventually but it's a soul destroying experience that robs you of your youth and passion.  It's like I just woke up out of 10 year slumber and realized I've wasted all those years - except for meeting my wife whom I am absolutely crazy about.

Offline Ex-Dragoon

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Re: Any chance to become a pilot now?
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2007, 19:55:35 »
Have you searched and have read other threads about becoming a pilot?

Lots of information out there
I will leave your flesh on the mountains and fill the valleys with your carcasses. I will water the land with what flows from you, and the river beds shall be filled with your blood. When I snuff you out I will cover the heavens and all the stars will darken. Ezekiel 32:5-7
Tradition- Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid
Former RCN Sailor now Retired

Offline Meridian

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Re: Any chance to become a pilot now?
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2007, 19:57:15 »
Pilot is open currently for CEOTP.

Research it, and the pilot trade generally on this board, and you will see tons of answers for you.

Offline Loachman

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Re: Any chance to become a pilot now?
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2007, 20:11:18 »
...but was never academically astute...

...I dropped out after year one due to academics...

Should you manage to get into the pilot training programme, you are going to have to seriously overcome that issue.

Offline SF2

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Re: Any chance to become a pilot now?
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2007, 20:11:26 »
At this point in time, laser eye surgery is not acceptable for pilots.  However, they have lowered the admission levels to V2 - which you may currently fall under.

Offline Fireball

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Re: Any chance to become a pilot now?
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2007, 20:57:02 »
Wow!

Thanks for the quick response everyone.  Keep the info coming.  As per some of the suggestions, I have done a little bit of research and CEOTP or DEO are probably the best way to go for someone my age.  What exactly constitutes V2 vision requirements by the way (ie what are the exact numbers)?. It just so happens that my wife is a practicing optometrist (yep, I scored in that dept).

As for my age - haven't seen anyone comment on that yet.  If I were to go DEO I'd be 36-37 years old.  If I go CEOTP then I'd be eligible to apply next year - maybe.  I know the competition is tough.  If I were deciding on candidates I know I'd pick the person best suited to the role but this is no VISA ad - the world is not perfect and I'm not a perfect candidate.

As for my lack of academic achievements.  That could change with a lot of hard work.  I'm taking steps immediately to start down the right path.  Starting tomorrow I'm going to get back into top shape (going to go for a jog, lift weights again), explore academic/private pilot options and going to visit the recruitment centre.  I just hope I don't get laughed at.

Am I chasing a white elephant at this point in my life?  I certainly hope not but I understand that 10 years ago I would have been a better fit.

Cpl Jay

Offline Ex-Dragoon

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Re: Any chance to become a pilot now?
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2007, 20:59:42 »
But have you did any searching on this site and read the testimonials that others have stated before you?
I will leave your flesh on the mountains and fill the valleys with your carcasses. I will water the land with what flows from you, and the river beds shall be filled with your blood. When I snuff you out I will cover the heavens and all the stars will darken. Ezekiel 32:5-7
Tradition- Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid
Former RCN Sailor now Retired

Offline Fireball

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Re: Any chance to become a pilot now?
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2007, 21:02:29 »
That's an excellent question.  I am looking through some of the forums but I would more than welcome a direct link to some of the testimonials, etc.  I have conducted a couple of searches thus far (I am new here and still figuring out the website navigation).

Sincerely,
Cpl Jay

Offline ark

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Re: Any chance to become a pilot now?
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2007, 21:02:53 »
As for my age - haven't seen anyone comment on that yet.  If I were to go DEO I'd be 36-37 years old.  If I go CEOTP then I'd be eligible to apply next year - maybe.  I know the competition is tough.  If I were deciding on candidates I know I'd pick the person best suited to the role but this is no VISA ad - the world is not perfect and I'm not a perfect candidate.

http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,58128.0.html

I hope this helps.

Offline Meridian

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Re: Any chance to become a pilot now?
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2007, 21:04:35 »
Well, you could just apply and see.

CEOTP is competitive alone, and Pilot is even more competitive... Just search PILOT here and read some recent threads as Ex-Dragoon has suggested.

Your academics need to be high, and its easier if you are already accepted/completing a degree and have solid University marks.   Take some fall courses now, even if they arent part of a degree, most universities will let you take one or two...   School starts now, but missing the first week isnt a big deal.  Get the grades up, apply to a university for a degree program, and then apply to the forces.



Offline Fireball

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Re: Any chance to become a pilot now?
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2007, 21:18:39 »
OMG!!!

Some of these stories are amazing!  I had no idea there was such a variation in age for new pilots.  It definitely is giving me some hope now.  About 2 hours ago I thought this was a lost cause.  In the course of a few minutes I've gone from skeptic to believer!

Now I have some work to do.  The first one is convincing my wife that our plans to settle down will have to wait a bit.  Of course she being an eye doctor, she can work anywhere I get posted and make enough to sustain us both while I go through training.  I'll have to give up my sports car (2007 Infiniti G35 - anyone want to buy it) and in time find a way to rid ourselves of the mortgage but I'm willing to make that sacrifice (my wife has to factor into the plans as well).

I've got that burn I haven't felt in a long while but I am going to be very methodical in my approach and first talk to a recruiter and some universities.  I should really speak with Seneca about their aviation program as well.

Thank you all and keep it coming.  I'm soaking up this info like a dry sponge.

Cpl Jay

Offline Meridian

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Re: Any chance to become a pilot now?
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2007, 21:54:20 »
My own advice is to slow down.

First:  Do you just want to be a pilot?  Or do you want to be an Airforce Pilot?
Huge difference. Think about it. Seriously.  Write out the differences, and do plus/minus for each difference.   Then walk away.  Then think about it some more.   Which do you really want?


IF and only IF you want to be an AIRFORCE pilot....  then you absolutely must have a university degree.   Put the pilot dream on park, and get the degree done.   Or at least get it on a good solid path.  Not a "I'm going to talk to universities path", but a real solid "I have a GPA of 3.5+ after 4-5 courses" path.  In the meantime, meet with a trainer, and get physically fit - You should be doing this as an IT Account Manager anyway...  helps the golf swing.

If you don't want the military life, and you dont want to be an airforce pilot, then go figure out private pilot training.

Btw, Im looking for a hot sports car... but I like low-ball offers. Like insulting low :P



[edited because I can't spell advice]
« Last Edit: September 04, 2007, 22:33:53 by Meridian »

Offline Fireball

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Re: Any chance to become a pilot now?
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2007, 23:09:43 »
Trust me Meridian,

Airforce pilot is what I want to be.  Private/commercial aviation isn't in the picture but if that is the route I must go in order to qualify then so be it.  I'm one for action plans so once I commit to something I will follow through with it.  I know have a reason and clear picture what I need to do.  Getting a degree is the utmost priority - in reality I should have one anyway to advance in my current position.

As for military life - I've had a taste of it in the Reserves (did two tours of duty at CFB Halifax and CFB Borden on Class B callouts).  I deal with negotiations all the time in my current positions - trust me - a low ball offer won't insult me but my car is my baby ;-)

I'm already in decent shape BTW.  I need to increase muscle mass and decrease fat by about 6-7% (I'll be ripped then).  I will have to get a trainer and go hardcore but I bulk up quickly (less space in the cockpit) so more cardio and less on the weights.

I need to find out V2 requirements to even consider Military Pilot - If I am a V3/V4 then no amount of wishful thinking is going to make it happen.  Also...I know there are height and dimension requirements.  I'm 6' and 189 Lbs - wondering if I can fit into a CF18 with full kit.  Hmmmm....

Cpl Jay


Offline Moody

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Re: Any chance to become a pilot now?
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2007, 23:41:00 »
Quote
I need to find out V2 requirements to even consider Military Pilot - If I am a V3/V4 then no amount of wishful thinking is going to make it happen

Go to the recruiting centre and apply for Reg Force Pilot. They will have you complete a Vision Acuity test with a civilian doctor.  Good luck.

EDIT: Actually, you will complete a basic vision test at the recruiting centre the day of your medical. Then, if you are V2 or better, you will have the vision acuity test with a civilian doctor.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2007, 23:57:07 by MG »

Offline Terminator

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Re: Any chance to become a pilot now?
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2007, 00:21:06 »
  Eyesight - I'll get laser surgery! 

Hate to burst the bubble.... but laser eye will not be accepted in the RCAF. It is currently accepted in USAF, but not in RCAF. The reason for this is that there are night vision problems that occur after the surgery, or at least have a chance of occurring. The CF does not want to take chances, and unfortunately will not accept any applicant without 20/20 as they will invest over a million in your 2 year pilot training. Now you cannot get the surgery and say you haven't, because they will find out. Your eyes have to be checked by an approved optomolegist who checks the back of your eye (with some blue light) to see scaring that occurs after laser.

Now if it is only one eye that is weak, that is OK if your other eye can adjust for a 20/20. My left eye is weaker, however my right eye is above 20/20, and so I was able to pass (mind you it took 2 optomolegists and 1 optometrist to do so).

Check with your local Recruiters medic, I don't want to be a reason a possible candidate did not make it.

 
May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won't. - General George Smith Patton, Jr.

Offline Breacher41

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Re: Any chance to become a pilot now?
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2007, 03:20:22 »
R.O.S

   YOU should NOT be giving advice with regards to Medical Standards currently needed to be a pilot applicant with the CF, seeing how you are also an applicant at the moment.
Also, the information you've given is wrong.


    jzaidi1, the information with regards to the vision category being dropped from V1 to V2 is correct. Best bet is to talk with your local CFRC. Don't take ANYTHING written on here as the absolute gosspil. Because it is not.


   All the best to you.
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Offline C1Dirty

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Re: Any chance to become a pilot now?
« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2007, 07:55:57 »
http://www.toronto.drdc-rddc.gc.ca/medical/visreq_e.html#_Toc30396226

jzaidi1

From what I've seen, CEOTP guys seem to have at least started some post secondary schooling and most seem to have a commercial licence (CPL).  I think the U of Winnipeg has a distance-learning Military Studies program.  You may be able to apply for advanced standing based on some of your mil/IT training to date. 

Keep in mind
-a CPL will run you upwards of $20K (+ 5K for a PPL)
-if everything works out you may end up flying transports or helos, only a 1/4 or so go fighters
-the G35 is a beautiful automobile

Dirt
 


Offline Terminator

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Re: Any chance to become a pilot now?
« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2007, 12:16:20 »
   YOU should NOT be giving advice with regards to Medical Standards currently needed to be a pilot applicant with the CF, seeing how you are also an applicant at the moment.

This whole board is filled with good, and sometimes good hearted, but not so good, advice. I was talking from experiance from a year ago. I have been told this information many times. I was unaware that standards have changed, since the same standard has been around since the Second World WarI do agree some things have changed, but the laser eye issue HAS NOT. How do you MedTech explain this artice by the DND dated July 25th. (http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/newsroom/view_news_e.asp?id=2407)
Quote
Applicants who have had corrective (laser) eye surgery are not eligible for entry into the pilot occupation.

And my advice is probably a lot better then most as I have had 4 tests on my eyes by the military and 1 for the military to provide a third opinion. I did also state to go to the Medic at the recruiting station to verify my information. And no I am not an applicant for pilot at the moment, long story, will write it when I finally get into the CF. So  bla :P MedTech, lol just joking, I know you also want to help this guy out. 

I am glad they did make alterations to the standards, as I had known many good candidates that had been denied with very small deviances from the perfect vision.  :cdn:





May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won't. - General George Smith Patton, Jr.

Offline Breacher41

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Re: Any chance to become a pilot now?
« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2007, 13:26:19 »
How do you MedTech explain this artice by the DND dated July 25th. (http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/newsroom/view_news_e.asp?id=2407)

I don't know what I have to explain. I already said that the vision category has been dropped from V1 - V2. That's the BIGGEST change so far for Pilot applicants.
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Offline Aden_Gatling

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Re: Any chance to become a pilot now?
« Reply #19 on: September 05, 2007, 13:46:51 »
R.O.S.,

This was the 4th reply to the original post:

At this point in time, laser eye surgery is not acceptable for pilots.  However, they have lowered the admission levels to V2 - which you may currently fall under.

Your post was unnecessary (wrt laser surgery) and incorrect (wrt vision standards).
There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.

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Re: Any chance to become a pilot now?
« Reply #20 on: September 05, 2007, 13:53:38 »
Can we move along now ?

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Offline Fireball

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Re: Any chance to become a pilot now?
« Reply #21 on: September 06, 2007, 00:10:35 »
Folks,

Thanks for all the help and great advice.  My wife just infomed me that I absolutely do not meet the vision requirements to become a pilot (she is an Optometrist after all).  I'm -5 in one eye, -4.75 in the other but no where near 6/12 or 6/18 uncorrected.  Corrected I am 20/20.  Despite this setback I will go ahead with the education and private pilots license in hopes the CF changes the rules eventually.  The change can only mean good things for myself but to tell you the truth it's so damn disheartening.  I'm not one to sulk, have to suck it up and carry-on, right?

If anyone knows of anything different in terms of vision requirements or know another way to become a combat pilot then I am all ears.  Would the US be willing to sign on a Canadian citizen as an air force pilot (I know I know...I shouldn'y bring the USAF into this forum - dumb question)?

Cpl Jay

Offline volition

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Re: Any chance to become a pilot now?
« Reply #22 on: September 06, 2007, 08:07:48 »
Short answer, is no! You need to be a citizen of the Us of A. Maximum age is 35, and that's in the army Warrant officer program. In Europe, most of the country's maximum age for pilot is 25.
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Offline Moody

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Re: Any chance to become a pilot now?
« Reply #23 on: September 06, 2007, 08:36:10 »
jzaidi1,

You could really enjoy flying off the island or in Brampton and until you have given that a chance, don't feel so bad about it. You make good money; why not get an aerobatic rating once your PPL is out of the way? Trust me, it is loads of fun!

Good luck with your studies and ratings.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2007, 08:39:43 by MG »

Offline Meridian

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Re: Any chance to become a pilot now?
« Reply #24 on: September 06, 2007, 18:16:36 »
You could also look into AirNav, Flight Engineer roles, etc if you want to be up the skies....