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Old 03-01-2021, 02:42 PM   #1  
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Default Back After A Year How's It Looking

Hey folks!
BAck after a year I thought I had left this dream for good. But it seems I just can't shake the aviation bug.

For now I have decided to pursue my undergrad about 2 years left. Then a PA(Physician Assistant) program it's about 2-3 years. Then Air Force PA either through HPSP or direct commission. Cuz no way in hell I can pay all that debt.

My questions are
1) How is the industry looking. Rebound/Recovery or a long a$$ drought/decline for a long time?

2)Can I learn to fly in the Air Force if I'm an officer but not a Pilot?? One gal on YT said AF has a flight club/school??

3) Anyway I could transition to being a pilot in the Air Force after I serve my 3 years AD and 3 years Rsrv
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Old 03-01-2021, 04:16 PM   #2  
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1) I’d say there’s some indication of bookings picking up / signs of life, if you will. Imo it’ll really depends on how the virus vs vaccine situation plays out…hard to know for sure what the recovery will look like.

2) Many air force bases have “Aero Clubs”…it’s basically an FBO on the base where you can rent planes and take lessons for a bit of a discount. Just to be clear though this is a civilian run operation and even if you’re active duty you still have to pay to rent the planes, get the instruction, etc. So even if you’re assigned to a base that doesn’t have an Aero Club you can still go downtown (or where ever) and get lessons on your own..basically the same thing (arguably better...less paperwork, less hoops).

3) I’m not exactly sure how it works for the medical folks. For all other officers (Finance officers, Navigators, etc.) there are active duty UPT boards…so these officers can put in a package (commander’s recommendation, AFOQT scores, etc.) and, if chosen, head off to UPT (incurs a 10 year commitment last I knew). The boards were held every six months or so back in my day but it all depended on how many pilots were needed…I recall for awhile there were none (not sure what the current situation is). I'm sure theres some process for medical folks and - maybe it's the same? just not sure about that one.
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Old 03-01-2021, 04:37 PM   #3  
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1) I’d say there’s some indication of bookings picking up / signs of life, if you will. Imo it’ll really depends on how the virus vs vaccine situation plays out…hard to know for sure what the recovery will look like.

2) Many air force bases have “Aero Clubs”…it’s basically an FBO on the base where you can rent planes and take lessons for a bit of a discount. Just to be clear though this is a civilian run operation and even if you’re active duty you still have to pay to rent the planes, get the instruction, etc. So even if you’re assigned to a base that doesn’t have an Aero Club you can still go downtown (or where ever) and get lessons on your own..basically the same thing (arguably better...less paperwork, less hoops).

3) I’m not exactly sure how it works for the medical folks. For all other officers (Finance officers, Navigators, etc.) there are active duty UPT boards…so these officers can put in a package (commander’s recommendation, AFOQT scores, etc.) and, if chosen, head off to UPT (incurs a 10 year commitment last I knew). The boards were held every six months or so back in my day but it all depended on how many pilots were needed…I recall for awhile there were none (not sure what the current situation is). I'm sure theres some process for medical folks and - maybe it's the same? just not sure about that one.
I'm assuming these aero clubs may be few and far between, right? I think AF academy has one, no??

How does the guard/reserve route work for 3). Same 10 year commitment??

If things pick up then I think training on my own>regional>major may be a faster route. If things stay same or get worse then UPT is a safer bet.

Through no fault of my own if this aviation bug inside stays just a dream. At least I'll have a good stable career. To jump back into.

Also, I heard LCCs and ULCCs will lead the charge in recovery.
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Old 03-01-2021, 04:38 PM   #4  
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One other thing wrt #3...Flying guard or reserve is a nice alternative to active duty particularly if you're gunning for airlines...
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Old 03-01-2021, 04:47 PM   #5  
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I'm assuming these aero clubs may be few and far between, right? I think AF academy has one, no??

How does the guard/reserve route work for 3). Same 10 year commitment??

If things pick up then I think training on my own>regional>major may be a faster route.

Through no fault of my own if this aviation bug inside stays just a dream. At least I'll have a good stable career. To jump back into.

Also, I heard LCCs and ULCCs will lead the charge in recovery.
​​​​​​Yes I believe the USAFA does have one. And yes, prevailing wisdom is LCC's will lead (but things can always change)

Guard/reserves - NOT a 10 year commitment. I'm not sure the specifics on this though since I was active duty. Hopefully a guard person will chime in. Without a doubt though this is a sweet way to go if you want to have the experience of being a mil pilot while getting an early start in the airlines.
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Old 03-01-2021, 05:16 PM   #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordie H View Post
​​​​​​
Guard/reserves - NOT a 10 year commitment. I'm not sure the specifics on this though since I was active duty. Hopefully a guard person will chime in. Without a doubt though this is a sweet way to go if you want to have the experience of being a mil pilot while getting an early start in the airlines.
I'm pretty sure it's going to work out to about a ten year obligation all said and done, but only about the first 2-3 should be full-time active duty for initial training, the rest would be weekend-warrior status. Not counting whatever dets/deployments/mobs you might get sent on.
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Old 03-01-2021, 05:21 PM   #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordie H View Post
3) I’m not exactly sure how it works for the medical folks. For all other officers (Finance officers, Navigators, etc.) there are active duty UPT boards…so these officers can put in a package (commander’s recommendation, AFOQT scores, etc.) and, if chosen, head off to UPT (incurs a 10 year commitment last I knew). The boards were held every six months or so back in my day but it all depended on how many pilots were needed…I recall for awhile there were none (not sure what the current situation is). I'm sure theres some process for medical folks and - maybe it's the same? just not sure about that one.
Other than physicians who could apply for very limited flight-surgeon/pilot slots, they probably will not allow other medical professionals to just re-designate to pilot. Degreed medical pros are a perpetual recruiting and retention challenge for the mil. They can always find somebody else to fly.
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Old 03-01-2021, 05:58 PM   #8  
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Originally Posted by rickair7777 View Post
I'm pretty sure it's going to work out to about a ten year obligation all said and done, but only about the first 2-3 should be full-time active duty for initial training, the rest would be weekend-warrior status. Not counting whatever dets/deployments/mobs you might get sent on.
Thanks for the clarification - l meant the active duty part (upt, seasoning, etc)...but having said that I didn't know what the overall commitment was either so good to know. Most guard guys/gals I've known have stuck it out for at least getting a retirement...they seem to enjoy it (depending on the commuting situation)

Last edited by Gordie H; 03-01-2021 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 03-01-2021, 06:23 PM   #9  
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Other than physicians who could apply for very limited flight-surgeon/pilot slots, they probably will not allow other medical professionals to just re-designate to pilot. Degreed medical pros are a perpetual recruiting and retention challenge for the mil. They can always find somebody else to fly.
Thanku for your valuable input Rick. Always good to hear from senior/well informed guys on here.

How you holdin up in this roller coaster??
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Old 03-01-2021, 07:04 PM   #10  
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Thanku for your valuable input Rick. Always good to hear from senior/well informed guys on here.

How you holdin up in this roller coaster??
Good, all things considered. Best downturn I've had so far, personally.
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