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"So You Want To Be A Pilot" Merged Thread 2002 - 2018

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Black Wolf

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Thank you, those trades sounds very interesting. I will definitively look into it all more as to know what is the best option for me.
 

GarryB

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A previous poster mentioned that this thread is getting stale.  Is the interest in piloting in the air force starting to wane?

As a former CF pilot who joined in the days of zero jobs on the "street" I have to wonder if the CF will have, and is having problems attracting qualified candidates during the current unprecedented time of growth and shortages in the airlines.  I read a study the other day that predicts that Canada will be require 6,000 pilots in the next 20 years.  Where are they going to come from?

Loved my time in the air force, but given the realities of the commercial aviation industry, I am concerned that the CF may have some serious problems attracting pilot recruits.  Gone are the days of pensionable service being bought back with credit towards Air Canada's pensionable service, new rules requiring 3 years of duty after an OTU, a Liberal government that is generally ambivalent to the military, greater number of helicopter positions than fixed wing, agonizingly long delays on updates to the fleet, etc, etc.

I wish the air force the very best and will watch with great interest to see how the Canadian military (and commercial aviation for that matter) tackles the strain that it will no doubt face.

 

Carf

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GarryB said:
A previous poster mentioned that this thread is getting stale.  Is the interest in piloting in the air force starting to wane?

That could very well be true, but there's also the fact that internet forums are becoming a thing of the past.
 

Overboard

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Hello Everyone,

Passed ASC for pilot last week and am really looking into the lifestyle of the trade right now. I was hoping someone could answer a few of my questions about what it's like to be a pilot right now.

1. How likely would it be to get Cyclones/Cormorant if I went heli?

2. Is it easy to swap between air frames within your community?

3. How easy is it to transfer between bases within your air frame?

4. How often do aircraft fly to actually do their job instead of training (Real SAR, Operations for Tac Hel, etc)?

5. How is social life on the more rural bases like Cold Lake and Greenwood?

6. Post CF, would transitioning to become a medivac or coast guard pilot be easy?

7. Also post CF, would ministries like Global Affairs or think tanks like the Asia Pacific Foundation be interested in former pilots?

Many Thanks!
 

mariomike

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You may also find these discussions interesting and informative,

How is a Pilots aircraft chosen?
https://army.ca/forums/threads/120167.0

How do Pilot promotions work?
https://army.ca/forums/threads/114690.0

Life of a Pilot: The Off-Duty Aspects 
https://army.ca/forums/threads/108851.0

Life as a CF pilot 
https://army.ca/forums/threads/94311.0

Time away from home for Pilots
https://army.ca/forums/threads/119510.0

A day in the life of... a pilot 
https://army.ca/forums/threads/97209.0

Pilot life after CF 
https://army.ca/forums/threads/58038.0

 

Overboard

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Thanks for those resources MarioMike! I still have a few specific questions if anyone can answer them.

1. How likely would it be to get Cyclones/Cormorant if I went heli?

2. Is it easy to swap between air frames within your community?

3. How easy is it to transfer between bases within your air frame?

4. How often do aircraft fly to actually do their job instead of training (Real SAR, Operations for Tac Hel, etc)?

6. Post CF, would transitioning to become a medivac or coast guard pilot be easy?

7. Also post CF, would ministries like Global Affairs or think tanks like the Asia Pacific Foundation be interested in former pilots?
 

Loachman

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Overboard said:
Thanks for those resources MarioMike! I still have a few specific questions if anyone can answer them.

There are no specific answers.

The variables are infinite.

Everybody's career and experience are different.
 

RADOPSIGOPACCISOP

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Overboard said:
Hello Everyone,

Passed ASC for pilot last week and am really looking into the lifestyle of the trade right now. I was hoping someone could answer a few of my questions about what it's like to be a pilot right now.

1. How likely would it be to get Cyclones/Cormorant if I went heli?

2. Is it easy to swap between air frames within your community?

3. How easy is it to transfer between bases within your air frame?

4. How often do aircraft fly to actually do their job instead of training (Real SAR, Operations for Tac Hel, etc)?

5. How is social life on the more rural bases like Cold Lake and Greenwood?

6. Post CF, would transitioning to become a medivac or coast guard pilot be easy?

7. Also post CF, would ministries like Global Affairs or think tanks like the Asia Pacific Foundation be interested in former pilots?

Many Thanks!

From my understanding:

1. Cormorant is difficult. It's the most desired air frame in rotary wing. Cyclone is easier, however they are still working out alot of kinks in their training and there may be a big backlog when you go to do your OTU (kind of like the issues Chinooks have been having)

2. It's difficult. It takes a long time to get proficient in an air frame. They want you to get to aircraft captain as quick as possible, and once you are there they want you to stay in the CAF as long as possible. They don't have enough trained people to let them float between air frames. It does happen though, but it's rare and usually done for a bonafide reason.

3. Easy. It will likely happen during your career naturally. If you ask you can likely get posted more often. Generally you'll do one or two flying postings, followed by a static staff or HQ posting. and then the cycle repeats.

4. You're looking at about 300 flying hours for Tac Hel per year. Multi engine is going to be higher since their flights are usually longer. Fighters is pretty low in hours, ~140-160 hrs a year, but your time is going to be spent doing alot of planning for those flying hours.

5. Rural AF bases do a good job promoting the military family. They're generally a tight knit community and there's lots of planned events for families.

6. CAF pilots are well sought after. If you have a good number of hours (~1500) you should have no issues getting a job when you leave the CAF. It's a little harder for rotary wing that most fixed wing pilots, but if you are willing to move where the work is, you will do well.

7. I don't know about this one.
 

Seahawk

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Hey,
I am interested in serving as a reserve pilot in the CAF...  :nod:

Basic questions:
1) How hard is it to pass the CFASC for the Pilot trade?
2) This might be a stupid question: how strong does your math have the be to be a pilot in the Air Force?
3) How long do these two courses take: Primary Flying Training + Prerequisite Training Course?
4) How long is the Basic Helicopter Course?

Reserve??
1) Have you ever heard of people who got pilot training as a reserve member?
2) On forces.ca it says that “This occupation has a limited enrollment in the Reserve Force for unskilled applicants and is greatly dependent on previous flying experience.” What kind of flying experience are they looking for? If I want to be a reserve helo pilot, will I have a better chance of getting the training if I first get a PPL or CPL for helicopters?
3)    What do reserve helo pilots do other than train?
4)    Are there Tac helo squadrons in Ontario that accept reserve pilots?

Thanks in advance! 
 

SupersonicMax

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There used to be a pilot training program for reservists but I believe this doesn’t exist anymore.  Reservist pilots are, for the vast majority, ex-ref force pilots that retired from the ref force and still wanted to serve.
 

baboonass

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Hello... I have done some reading and compilation of resources from this forum and external resources, trying to summarize where I am now / where I need to be in order to plan forward. I am also exploring ways where any part of the process may be expedited with the right amount of prerequisites.

Would appreciate greatly if the experienced members would correct where necessary, or assist with some queries that I may have to fill in the blanks :

Age
No issue as long as able to complete first engagement prior to CRA of 60

DEO Career Process Flow
Recruitment (CFAT, Interview, Screening) -> CFASC & Medical -> Offer & Enrollment -> BMOQ -> SLT -> Phase 1 (PFT) -> Phase 2 (BFT) -> Phase 3 (AFT, Wings upon graduation) -> Phase 4 (Transitional
& FLIT) -> Operational Squadron Assignment - > Combat Readiness -> Element Lead -> Section Lead -> Mass Attack Lead

Is Phase 1 PFT waived and candidate moves to Phase 2 BFT with a PPL / CPL?

CFASC Study Resources Recommended
Online : Pilot Aptitude Tests, Speed-Time-Distance - Would there be a scratch paper and pen/pencil available for mathematical questions or only mental arithmetic?
Math Skills : Any specific other math skills required? Angles? Calculus?
Books : From the Ground Up

Health
Vision for Pilot - V2 - Approved correction techniques : WFG PRK, WFG Lasik or Epi-Lasik,  WFG LASIK with femtosecond keratome
Force Evaluation Fitness Test - Sandbag Lift, Intermittent Loaded Shuttles, Sandbag Drag, 20 meter rushes
BMOQ - Timed Run, Push-Ups, Chin-Ups, Sit-Ups, Hand Grip, Floating & Swimming

Second Language Training - May be expedited with prior language classes?
What is the minimum target / passing proficiency for reading, writing and oral - A-A-A or B-B-B or C-C-C or a A-A-B mixtures?
Is there an approximate equivalent of those grades in Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) / IELTS or TEF?

Finances (Regular Force and Class C Rates after March 2017)
DEO with no prior commissioned member service - Second Lieutenant, Pay level C @ $4083 monthly
Upon getting wings, promotion to Lieutenant
Captain (if achieved 3 years since commission, exceptions apply) @$6687 monthly

There are many other tangible considerations - financial shortfall during training & preliminary years of service, young kids, relocation of the family... but that is something I need to figure out myself vs the intangible satisfaction of giving back to my country.

Many thanks in advance for your kind replies.
 

Carf

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Just gonna throw in what little I can contribute here:

DBoon said:
DEO Career Process Flow
Recruitment (CFAT, Interview, Screening) -> CFASC & Medical -> Offer & Enrollment -> BMOQ -> SLT -> Phase 1 (PFT) -> Phase 2 (BFT) -> Phase 3 (AFT, Wings upon graduation) -> Phase 4 (Transitional
& FLIT) -> Operational Squadron Assignment - > Combat Readiness -> Element Lead -> Section Lead -> Mass Attack Lead

Is Phase 1 PFT waived and candidate moves to Phase 2 BFT with a PPL / CPL?

It won't always go CFAT, Interview, Screening, ASC, Medical - for me, it went ASC, medical, interview and phase 2 medical.


Second Language Training - May be expedited with prior language classes?
What is the minimum target / passing proficiency for reading, writing and oral - A-A-A or B-B-B or C-C-C or a A-A-B mixtures?
Is there an approximate equivalent of those grades in Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) / IELTS or TEF?

I've heard from a current pilot that SLT is a low priority item nowadays and you'll only go through it if you've got nothing to do while waiting for courses.


Finances (Regular Force and Class C Rates after March 2017)
DEO with no prior commissioned member service - Second Lieutenant, Pay level C @ $4083 monthly
Upon getting wings, promotion to Lieutenant
Captain (if achieved 3 years since commission, exceptions apply) @$6687 monthly

DEO with prior service (commissioned or not) can lead to higher than base level C pay. Your past employment/education may also get you a non-basic increment pay offer. I received a non-pilot offer at pay incr 2 for 2LT, I assume due to my graduate degree.
 

Scott1867

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I was wondering if anyone knew if there was an age requirement to become a pilot?  I am 31 and have my Private Pilot License and was wondering if there was a cut off.  I know some militaries have a window in which you can join and outside of that window you cannot. Anyone have an idea?

 

kratz

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Scott1867 said:
I was wondering if anyone knew if there was an age requirement to become a pilot?  I am 31 and have my Private Pilot License and was wondering if there was a cut off.  I know some militaries have a window in which you can join and outside of that window you cannot. Anyone have an idea?

No.

You are not too old at age 31. Most pilots will earn Obligatory Service terms of service of 7 years, not including subsided education programs. There is nothing stopping you from applying and trying.
 

Melbatoast

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Scott1867 said:
I was wondering if anyone knew if there was an age requirement to become a pilot?  I am 31 and have my Private Pilot License and was wondering if there was a cut off.  I know some militaries have a window in which you can join and outside of that window you cannot. Anyone have an idea?

As an older guy who has successfully done it (older than 31), I would say that's a good age. Not detrimental, anyhow.

Age isn't much of a determiner, it's more life situation: bringing a spouse and two kids to Moose Jaw has much more of an impact on how you cope with training than your calendar age. As well, the older you get the higher the stakes seem. That results in higher perceived pressure - this is something I heard from any number of instructors. I had my moments, but Ph1 was easy, Ph2 also was in retrospect, but Ph3 was a gut check.

Here I am though, made it. You have as good a shot as anyone else.
 
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I'm currently 15 years old now, and I'm aspiring to join the air force when I grow up as a pilot. I'm starting to prepare for this pathway now - Getting fit is the main concern for me, and I'm doing good academically as of now but I fall short on one thing... Mathematics. I'm sure you guys have to talk about that subject a lot, so I'll add a bit more to this thread.

So, starting with mathematics. To be as honest as I possibly can, I'm an idiot in math (I'm probably being a little dramatic there, but that's what I think of my performence in that subject). I was wondering how this would affect my career as a pilot in the air force, is it really that important or will I learn a lot of that stuff in training? Do I need to take academic level math in Grade 12 (calculus and vectors), or will I be fine just sticking with college level math all the way up to grade 12?

For my courses in high school, I'll be taking math (probably college level, unless I need to take university level), physics, physical education and maybe even co-op for the reserves. Are there any particular recommendations you guys have for courses to take in high school though? Any particular college majors that aren't necessarily required, but are recommended for a career in the air force?

I appreciate any help in the slightest, and I'm sorry if I sound like a moron on this. I'm really only beginning trying to go down this pathway, and I want to make sure I know everything I can before I make a commitment. 
 

dimsum

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I'm sure others will chime in with more specific tips, but plan on take courses that will get you into university.  Aside from the Seneca program which is a minority, you will need to get into (and finish) university to become a Pilot with the RCAF.
 

mariomike

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TrueNorthStronk said:
I fall short on one thing... Mathematics.

So, starting with mathematics. To be as honest as I possibly can, I'm an idiot in math (I'm probably being a little dramatic there, but that's what I think of my performence in that subject). I was wondering how this would affect my career as a pilot in the air force, is it really that important or will I learn a lot of that stuff in training? Do I need to take academic level math in Grade 12 (calculus and vectors), or will I be fine just sticking with college level math all the way up to grade 12?

For reference to the discussion,

Do I have to be good at math to be a pilot?
https://army.ca/forums/threads/107157.0
2 pages.

See also,
https://www.google.com/search?rls=com.microsoft%3Aen-CA%3AIE-Address&rlz=1I7GGHP_en-GBCA592&ei=ec67W5CnDaPSjwTPva6IBg&q=site%3Aarmy.ca++%22want+to+be%22+pilot+math&oq=site%3Aarmy.ca++%22want+to+be%22+pilot+math&gs_l=psy-ab.3...15066.25938.0.27397.13.13.0.0.0.0.165.1023.12j1.13.0....0...1c.1.64.psy-ab..0.0.0....0.A2mAPHzH9IY
 
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