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You Want To Be A Pilot : 2018 - present

kratz

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You can apply anytime.

The length of time for the application process varies. Keep your CFRC aware of your graduation date and any changes in your situation.
 

jsmith

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This thread has benefited me greatly. I have been lurking on here for years. I want to return the favour by transcribing my experience of my Pilot application thus far to the best of my memory's ability.

I graduated from uWaterloo with a Bachelor of Mathematics, took that $50k piece of paper straight to the CFRC and said "put my name in the hat."

6 months later, I got booked for my CFAT. Barely slept that night. The day of, my eyes were black bags. Anyway, passed for all trades. It was considerably harder than what I was expecting it to be. Gut check. Oh well. Let's go with it.

6 months later, I got booked for Aircrew Selection at CFB Trenton. I'm from the Greater Toronto Area. I drove there. Full heartedly ugly cried in the car from happiness on the 401 E, before I even got there. I was just grateful for even being given the chance to pursue my dream. It was becoming realer and realer. Cool.

Sunday:
Arrived Sunday at xx:yy. The accommodation is called Yukon Lodge (65 Yukon St). You can Google it. It's basically a perfectly clean hotel. No wi-fi. There is an Ethernet drop in all rooms. Bring your own Ethernet cable. I tested the speed: 5 Mb/s down and Spotify is blocked... :( You get three (3) meals per day at the Galley next door. I never went. I just went to McD's and Tim's and Canex to buy food. By the way, the base is fully navigable by Google Maps. It's like a university campus. You can drive into it and nobody will care as long as you don't look out of place. Yukon lodge front desk told me to show up at CFASC at xx:yy. Okay. Couldn't sleep. Got maybe 4.5 hours of broken sleep.

Monday:
Black bags under my eyes. Bad sleep. xx:yy, we all (14 to 16-ish of us, I didn't count) show up and sit in the lounge as can be seen in the pictures of CFASC on the CF website and such. Lots of B.C. boys. Cool. Some cadets with glider experience. Only 1 girl, unfortunately... CFASC staff were very friendly. Anyway, we get briefed, they broke it down aka "good luck eh bud. These tests have successfully reduced the failure rate in Phase I of Pilot training. For a reason. They're hard." Okay. 4 hours of computerized testing. Jesus. Designed to discourage and overwhelm. Listen to my advice: Behave like a computer. If there's too much going on, don't react with any human emotion. Do whatever and/or however much you can do. Don't worry about anything that you let slip up 500 milliseconds ago. Just move on. It's nearly impossible to perform great on all the tests. Honest. In aviation, they say when something bad is happening, the first thing you do is "FLY THE PLANE." Adapt that mentality to the tests. That's what they're looking for. They want to know that you have the ability to not lock up mentally and freeze and stare at the screen with an elevated heart rate. If you fail any given objective, just MOVE ON and perform AS HARD AS YOU CAN for the next objective. I felt like I was being KILLED for a SIGNIFICANT chunk of the tests. Make sure you can do reasonably difficult math in your head. Learn all of the mental arithmetic tricks. When I walked out for my first break, the other guys asked me how I was doing and I just said "I refuse to comment. I'll know tomorrow." We had lunch. We got a bus to the control tower. It was SICK. We exchanged questions and comments for a full 20-25 mins. AECs were so friendly and down to earth. They scrambled some Hornets for our entertainment. Just kidding. I wish. They were very very very relaxed in there. That's the attitude you need to pass Aircrew Selection, btw. They had one of the SAR birds circle the tower a few times for us. It was SICK. They let us out on the cat walk outside while the bird was circling the tower. It was SICK, did I mention? I think I did. After that, the bus took us back to Yukon Lodge. The rest of the day is free. Relax, eat, go to bed early. Saw an actual SAR tech in an orange flight suit. Couldn't stop staring. Btw, they sell literally everything in the universe at Canex. Drove to Jiffy Lube to change my car's oil and got a haircut to take my mind off of things. Went to Wal Mart to buy some fruits and food. Got a full 9 hours that night. I was relaxed.

Tuesday:
Wake up, check out of Yukon Lodge, show up at xx:yy and head straight to the testing room. Another 4 hours. I think I found the second day a little bit easier than the first. I don't know. Doesn't matter. We returned to the candidate lounge. They started calling us in one by one to a selection person's office. We were told simply whether or not we passed, and for which trades. They gave us a piece of paper with the result. Result is valid for 5 years. If you fail, you need to wait 12 months before re-testing. You get a maximum of 3 attempts in your life. They will tell you which domains you demonstrated strength in. If you ask, they will also tell you which domains were the worst. Pilots need to pass all domains and achieve a certain overall score. ACSOs and AECs need to achieve a certain overall score ONLY. That means, if ACSO and AEC candidates utterly get murdered in one domain, but perform great in another, you can still consider yourself safe. You're going after an overall score. Each test is weighed differently for all three trades. Therefore, it's possible to pass for AEC, but not ACSO or Pilot, for example. Myself and 3 or 4 others passed for Pilot. I don't have an exact count. Some of the guys made a B line straight to the front door as soon as they were given their results. We assumed they failed. After all candidates were briefed, the successful Pilot candidates were taken to a room with anthropometric measuring equipment. That took all of 2 minutes. They measured some dimensions of my thighs and knees and spine to determine which airframes I can safely fit in. I fit in all airframes. :) Staff asked me what I wanted to fly, I said "it doesn't matter, it's an honour and a privilege to even be here right now." Flight suit guy responded with "good answer." lol. I thanked the CFASC staff for running the joint. It was good. I said bye and walked to my car and drove back home.

Aftermath:
Contacted CFRC. They said it typically takes 2 to 3 weeks after passing CFASC for the first medical and interview to be booked. Followed by a Phase II medical for aircrew candidates. After that, I can expect an offer. A year of waiting in the Competition/Merit list is typical. It's fine. I have a job right now. I told my supervisor EVERYTHING and he is highly supportive. Man wears a Tavares jersey every Friday. lol. I'm grateful.

TL;DR: The tests are discouraging and overwhelming. It's up to you to act appropriately about past failures by disregarding them and focusing on the current objective that matters at that point in time.

I've read many posts like this on forums, but I never thought I'd be in a position to write one myself. I'm grateful.
 

Sub_Guy

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John Smith said:
I never went. I just went to McD's and Tim's and Canex to buy food.

ACSOs and AECs need to achieve a certain overall score ONLY. That means, if ACSO and AEC candidates utterly get murdered in one domain, but perform great in another, you can still consider yourself safe. You're going after an overall score.

The food at the base kitchen is actually pretty decent.

As for the ACSO/AEC did they change things?  Went I went there for my ACS you could pass over all but if you failed a domain it was a headshot (for ACSOs).

 

observor 69

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Thanks for the report Mr.Smith. Nice to read of your experience. Best of luck as you move forward towards your goal.
 

Duffman118

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Hello all,

I have been monitoring this forum for years and am happy to say I recently joined the competition list for DEO at beginning of February. I was just curious if anyone knows when they will start the selection process for the 79 candidates this year and how many people are selected at one time?

Thank you!
 

Redhead8989

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I'm wondering if anyone can give me a proper breakdown of the pilot training?

I'm currently an NCM and looking to apply to UTPNCM this upcoming year. I'll have to go to St. Jean to finish BMOQ as I don't have PLQ. After I finish my degree what is after that?

I know there is an 8 month course in Moose Jaw followed by choosing your airframe type upon completion (fighter, multi-engine or rotary). I would like to rotary on the Cyclones (if possible).

What is the training for this path fir this route?
 

kratz

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PFT (Primary Flight Training) 
BFT (Basic Flight Training) 
AFT (Advance Flight Training) : awarded your Wings upon graduation
Posting to OTU (Operational Training Unit)

There are ideal lengths of time for each phase, but factors such as sick days, weather, aircraft repairs ect...can lengthen your personal experience.
 

Redhead8989

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Thanks! Any idea the lengths of each course? Or locations? All I could find on the forces site was 8 months in Moose Jaw.
 

Loachman

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Just out of curiosity, have you read through this and other relevant threads and still not been able to find out? If you haven't, I suggest that you do. You'll learn far more that way.

I went through this process a few decades ago, and some things have changed since then, but PFT (Musketeer - and I was on the first batch of Musketeers; there was a second buy when those wore out, and then the Slingsby Firefly, and now the Grob) was 2 to 2.5 months long, as was Basic Hel (Jet Ranger), and BFT (Tutor, then, and now Harvard) was ten months for those of us fortunate to go hel and a year for those not. Some of the hel guys are doing an extended Grob course now instead of flying the Harvard, which makes more sense.

Course times have likely not changed too much, but the gaps between courses has. When I went through, it was about a smooth two-year process, with only a few weeks between courses, plus six for Aeromedical, Land, and Sea Survival Training. I'm not sure what the current average is, but it's far less civilized. The OTU wait for one particular helicopter is about two years. Be patient, and bring a book.
 

Mozartkart

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Just thought I'd let every hopeful recruit know that the new DEO pilot numbers have been reduced to 16 for the fiscal year. I believe one person was already selected leaving 15 slots (94%).
 

hiking

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I am curious, where did you get this information ? It is quite a drop from what they announced earlier this year.
 

Mozartkart

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hiking said:
I am curious, where did you get this information ? It is quite a drop from what they announced earlier this year.

Heard a rumour so I called my recruiting centre to ask. They confirmed the drop in DEO Pilot intake numbers. No reason given as to why but I am guessing it might have to do with a training back log maybe? Or maybe they are hoping to entice back experience pilots with their new pilot retainment ideas that they are talking about and don't want to take on way more recruits if they can bring in experience people? Once again the reason is all speculation on my part but the numbers are correct as of at least 2 weeks ago.
 

Loachman

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The former far more than the latter, if for no more valid reason.

The latter will have no more effect that its two-decade-older precedent, and for the same reasons.
 

K1tesurf

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Another thing is that new trade coming out to fill the pilot desk positions will probably greatly
Reduce the positions available for pilots and thus, the recruiting numbers.
 

BurmaShave

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K1tesurf said:
Another thing is that new trade coming out to fill the pilot desk positions will probably greatly
Reduce the positions available for pilots and thus, the recruiting numbers.

Air Ops isn't going to cut recruiting, it's just going (ideally) free up aircrew. Make good some of the shortages.

We're reducing New Wings Grad production for a few reasons. 1, Phase II was overloaded by the push the last 2 years (and ugly winter wx) and needs to unsurge. 2, it turns out a mass orgy of FOs and Wingmen with minimal hours was not the solution to the pilot shortage, and has just made more problems.

Fewer NWGs means fewer enrollees. Remains to be seen how long or drastic the slowdown is. Best of luck.
 

Capfiddich

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Was told from my CFRC that pilot numbers were shortened to a total of 16 for this year with 7 remaining as of today. Quite different from the 15 left from before, after waiting for so long I'm thinking of applying for the other aircrew trades now.
 

Duffman118

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Capfiddich said:
Was told from my CFRC that pilot numbers were shortened to a total of 16 for this year with 7 remaining as of today. Quite different from the 15 left from before, after waiting for so long I'm thinking of applying for the other aircrew trades now.

I know wait times differ drastically based on a great variety of factors but how long have you waited if you dont mind me asking?

I've only just joined the comp list in March and am just trying to get a "rough" idea of the expected wait time.. I assume that the wait just got longer if the above info is correct.

I was also wondering if anyone knows if I need to redo the target interview and pilot medical each year... I did my first job interview last August, my last medical in Toronto was November.

Thank you!
 

Mozartkart

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Duffman118 said:
I know wait times differ drastically based on a great variety of factors but how long have you waited if you don't mind me asking?

I've only just joined the comp list in March and am just trying to get a "rough" idea of the expected wait time. I assume that the wait just got longer if the above info is correct.

I was also wondering if anyone knows if I need to redo the target interview and pilot medical each year... I did my first job interview last August, my last medical in Toronto was November.

Thank you!

I got on the competition list earlier this year so in the same boat as you. You have to redo your interview and basic medical every year (so you'll have to redo your interview in August for example). I think the aircrew medical is good for two years though.
And it is very hard to give you a rough idea of the expected wait time. That depends on a lot of factors and how competitive the merit list is. Some people say if you get on the list it's just a matter of time but that is a very optimistic look. The competition list is just that, a ranked list of applicants that they will select starting with the most competitive. And who knows when they will select those pilots, they could select them all at the end of the year for all we know. So in the meantime keep physical and in good health, but also keep working on your personal life and career. That way if an offer comes, you are ready to go, but if one doesn't come anytime soon you haven't put your life on hold waiting. But if you want an idea of wait times, I know people that were selected for DEO pilot in 3 months, and I know someone who was selected after 3 years so who knows how long it'll take.
 

Capfiddich

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Duffman118 said:
I know wait times differ drastically based on a great variety of factors but how long have you waited if you dont mind me asking?

I've only just joined the comp list in March and am just trying to get a "rough" idea of the expected wait time.. I assume that the wait just got longer if the above info is correct.

I was also wondering if anyone knows if I need to redo the target interview and pilot medical each year... I did my first job interview last August, my last medical in Toronto was November.

Thank you!

I got on the list early last year and been waiting since then. Waiting doesn't mean anything and the people who come after you can take the spot as it competitive so it's a good idea to have back-up plan if it doesn't work.
 

Sub_Guy

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RicoSalva said:
i also want to be a pilot but my parents dont allow me. How can i convince them?

Are you trolling?  Seriously, I don’t know of any adults who wouldn’t let their kids become pilots.

Anyway.  Let them know you are entering a profession that is in demand, well paid, and eventually you might be able to get them free flights (if you move on after your RCAF obligations)..  Plus you’ll be moving out of their house!

My bot senses are tingling..
 
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