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Old 07-27-2008, 11:24 AM   #1  
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Default Civilian Test Pilot Opportunities?

Just wondering if anyone knows much about being a test pilot in the civilian sector? What kind of jobs are out there, what does your typical day on the job entail, and how is the pay?

Thanks!
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Old 07-27-2008, 01:05 PM   #2  
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I'd bet that the big companies, i.e. Gulfstream, Cessna, etc., prefer, if not require, prior test pilot experience. Military test pilots are probably their best bet.
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Old 07-27-2008, 01:40 PM   #3  
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From what I understand, an engineering or math degree is usually required. There is a National Test Pilot School in California as well as ITPS in England, however the prices are designed more for government/large corporation budgets (i.e large fortune).
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Old 07-27-2008, 01:55 PM   #4  
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I'd bet that the big companies, i.e. Gulfstream, Cessna, etc., prefer, if not require, prior test pilot experience. Military test pilots are probably their best bet.
Yeah that's the reason I am asking. I am in UPT right now trying to figure out what I would like to fly. As of right now FAIPing is at the top of my list, but I've been told that FAIPing really hurts your chances of becoming a test pilot in the military so I'm considering not putting FAIP as one of my top choices. I'm just trying to figure out what kind of oppurtunities are out there for military test pilots after the military considering military test pilots usually log a lot less time than your average MWS pilot/IP.
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Old 07-27-2008, 01:57 PM   #5  
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From what I understand, an engineering or math degree is usually required. There is a National Test Pilot School in California as well as ITPS in England, however the prices are designed more for government/large corporation budgets (i.e large fortune).
Yeah I got my undergrad in Aerospace Engineering and my GPA was pretty solid so I figure I at least have that going for me. I'm guessing there's a lot more that goes into getting selected for TPS though.
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Old 07-27-2008, 02:01 PM   #6  
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Yeah that's the reason I am asking. I am in UPT right now trying to figure out what I would like to fly. As of right now FAIPing is at the top of my list, but I've been told that FAIPing really hurts your chances of becoming a test pilot in the military so I'm considering not putting FAIP as one of my top choices. I'm just trying to figure out what kind of oppurtunities are out there for military test pilots after the military considering military test pilots usually log a lot less time than your average MWS pilot/IP.
NASA...........
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Old 07-27-2008, 02:56 PM   #7  
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Yeah that's the reason I am asking. I am in UPT right now trying to figure out what I would like to fly. As of right now FAIPing is at the top of my list, but I've been told that FAIPing really hurts your chances of becoming a test pilot in the military so I'm considering not putting FAIP as one of my top choices. I'm just trying to figure out what kind of oppurtunities are out there for military test pilots after the military considering military test pilots usually log a lot less time than your average MWS pilot/IP.
In the USN being a SERGRAD comes and goes with the demands of the service and since they usually only do it for a couple of years and then get their choice of aircraft assignment; that was always the bennie that made getting the slot bearable - but I don't ever remember anyone CHOOSING to be a sergrad vice getting out into the operating forces. Is this common practice now days?

FLY6584 - if I may ask - why is FAIPing one of you top choices? Btw - since you typically get a WHOLE LOT more hours instructing than in the fleet - you'll at least come out with probably more total hours; that is why I do know that many people chose the training command as follow on orders after their first tours if they plan on getting out - for the total time (twice as much as they will get in the fleet!)

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Old 07-27-2008, 03:37 PM   #8  
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In the USN being a SERGRAD comes and goes with the demands of the service and since they usually only do it for a couple of years and then get their choice of aircraft assignment; that was always the bennie that made getting the slot bearable - but I don't ever remember anyone CHOOSING to be a sergrad vice getting out into the operating forces. Is this common practice now days?

FLY6584 - if I may ask - why is FAIPing one of you top choices? Btw - since you typically get a WHOLE LOT more hours instructing than in the fleet - you'll at least come out with probably more total hours; that is why I do know that many people chose the training command as follow on orders after their first tours if they plan on getting out - for the total time (twice as much as they will get in the fleet!)

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I've got a couple reasons...

First off my wife is working on her Masters at a school nearby and won't be done for another year which isn't a huge deal especially considering how long you can wait for follow on training dates, but I do know she would like to take her time and get some internships done also.

Secondly I like the fact that FAIP's who go on to follow assignments in the Heavy world spend very little time in the right seat usually uprgrading to AC very quickly.

Lastly I have actually had a ton of fun in UPT and really enjoy what I am doing right now not to mention as a FAIP it seems like you are pretty safe from UAV's for the time being. I've also got all of my IP's telling me I've got FAIP written all over me. Haha.
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Old 07-27-2008, 06:32 PM   #9  
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You need to be an aircraft commander of a major weapons systems with (I think) 300 hrs to even apply. I started in the OV-10A Bronco, and it didn't count. I don't think any training airplanes do either.
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Old 07-27-2008, 06:44 PM   #10  
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You need to be an aircraft commander of a major weapons systems with (I think) 300 hrs to even apply. I started in the OV-10A Bronco, and it didn't count. I don't think any training airplanes do either.
Yeah which is why I think it is harder to do if you start out as a FAIP.
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