how to become a pilot in air force

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Thank you for your interest in becoming a fighter pilot in the Vermont Air National Guard (VTANG)! We are seeking highly motivated men and women to join our team. The Vermont Air National Guard is not currently accepting applications for Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT). We concluded our last board in March 2021 and expect to hold another board in 2-3 years. This will be a selection board to hire new F-35 pilots into the VTANG.

Application Packages

Pilot application package must be submitted in full, the VTANG will not accept partial packages — all contents must be accounted for upon delivery to the 134th Fighter Squadron (FS). Candidates will be notified if they are selected for an interview based on the candidate’s ability to meet the outlined prerequisites and the competitiveness of their application. All interviews will be held in person at the 134th FS located in South Burlington, VT.

Prerequisites for Pilot Training Applicants

Must be in good overall health
Must be a U.S. Citizen capable of obtaining a Top Secret clearance
Age: Air Force regulation mandates that any student attending UPT must start flight training prior to their 33rd birthday
Must possess a 4 year college degree (or have at least 90 credit hours completed)
Degree must be obtained before being sent to Officer Training School (OTS) for officer commissioning
Must have taken, and received the results from the following tests:
Air Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT)
Test of Basic Aviation Skills (TBAS)
To schedule the AFOQT and TBAS tests, contact any Air Force or Air National Guard Recruiter. Military members may contact the local base training office to schedule the AFOQT and TBAS tests. Flying experience is NOT required, though any civilian time should be submitted for consideration.

Required Application Items

Cover Letter
AFOQT Scores
Letters of Recommendation (Three Maximum)
Most recent 2 OPR/EPRs if current serving in the Armed Forces
College Transcripts
Copy of pilots license and most recent logbook page (if applicable)
Current Photograph (within last 6 months)
Mail completed application package to:

158th Operations Group Administration

ATTN: Pilot Selection Board

108 NCO Drive

So Burlington VT 05403-5870

Summary of Selection Process and Pilot Training:

This hiring board will select an undetermined number of applicants for pilot training and follow on F-35 training. Once selected, applicants will be scheduled for a USAF Class I Flight Physical at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. A current FAA physical does not meet USAF standards. When the physical is complete packages are sent to higher headquarters for approval and assignment of dates for Officer Training School (OTS), Introductory Flight Screening (IFS), and Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training (SUPT). Typical timeline to begin training is 6-12 months and OTS, IFS, and SUPT will take approximately 18 months.

After completion of SUPT, new pilots will attend Land and Water Survival at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. These two courses take approximately three weeks to complete. Pilots will then attend Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals (IFF) lasting about 3 months. Finally, pilots will attend the F-35 Basic Course (B-Course) lasting approximately 9 months at either Luke AFB or Eglin Air Force Base.

Upon completion of the B-Course, pilots will return to the Vermont ANG, where they will complete their initial Mission Qualification Training (MQT). During MQT pilots will continue to further their skills to become combat ready fighter pilots. Officers will remain on continuous active duty from the time they begin SUPT until they complete MQT.

After completion of all MQT requirements, the now combat-ready F-35A pilot has the opportunity to revert to a Drill Status Guardsman (DSG, part-time status) or compete for a full time position if one is available. Pilots are required to perform monthly ground and flying duties as required for flying currency and minimum training standards, or as directed by the unit Commander. This entire process will take approximately 3-4 years.

How To Become an Air Force Pilot
By Indeed Editorial Team
April 28, 2021

The United States Air Force is a branch of the military primarily responsible for aerial transportation, warfare and surveillance. The Air Force employs some of the most advanced aircraft in the world to carry out various missions. The pilots who skillfully operate these aircraft go through extensive testing and training. In this article, you will learn about how to become a United States Air Force pilot, including skills needed, minimum requirements, and answers to frequently asked questions about the career path of Air Force pilots.

What is an Air Force pilot?
Air Force pilots fly aircraft such as fighter jets, bombers, tankers, transport planes and unmanned aerial vehicles (known as UAVs) for the United States military. Pilots master aviation skills, conduct flight operations from transportation to combat missions, and train and lead flight crews.

How to become an Air Force pilot
Becoming an Air Force pilot requires you to meet strict physical, visual, medical and academic requirements. Here are the steps you can take to become an aviator:

Join the Air Force
Earn a bachelor’s degree
Meet officer qualifications
Attend officer training school
Pass initial flight training
Pass undergraduate pilot training

  1. Join the Air Force
    If you are not yet a part of the military, the first step is to contact an Air Force recruiter station and join the service. Recruiters will make sure you meet the basic eligibility requirements. You can become a pilot as a member of the active duty Air Force, Air Force Reserves and Air Guard.
  2. Earn a bachelor’s degree
    The United States Air Force (USAF) does not require pilots to have specific degrees, but aviation or science-related majors like aerospace engineering, computer science or chemistry are helpful. Those who enroll in the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) in college and those who attend the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) become Air Force officers after graduation. Generally a GPA of 3.4 or higher is ideal, but above 2.5 is required.
  3. Meet officer qualifications
    AFROTC and USAFA graduates immediately become officers and complete this step as part of their programs. If you enlist in the Air Force, you must be between the ages of 18 and 28 to pursue officer training, and you must appear before the military board before the age of 29 to get commissioned as an officer. Aspiring pilots must enter flight training before the age of 30, though waivers are possible up to the age of 35 in some cases.

Once commissioned, applicants must take the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test, which includes 12 subtests. The subjects include:

General science
Instrument comprehension
Verbal analogies
Applicants must receive at least a 10 for quantitative testing and at least a 15 for verbal testing. Applicants must also pass physicals and background checks.

Related: Technical Skills: Definitions and Examples

  1. Attend officer training school
    During this training program, applicants must pass the Air Force Physical Fitness Test, and attend classroom lessons and in-field training exercises. Applicants are trained in land navigation, first aid, self-defense, tactical marching and base defense tactics. Officer training school is currently located at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama.
  2. Pass initial flight training
    After applicants attend and pass officer school, they begin their Initial Flight Training. This training program assesses ability to learn the required skills and introduces applicants to aviation basics. Before entering IFT, officers must have a flight physical and get a student pilot certification.
  3. Pass undergraduate pilot training
    Once officers pass IFT, they enter the Undergraduate Pilot Training program, which teaches navigation, formation flying, aerobatics and how to use the instruments in an aircraft. Once this portion of training is complete, officers are assigned to an airlift/tanker track or bomber/fighter track. Some officers may get selected to operate unmanned aerial vehicles. Assignments are based on officer preferences, training evaluations and availability of aircraft.

After officers are assigned to a track, they begin specialized training to develop the skills required for their particular aircraft. As pilots remain in the service and master their aviation skills, they advance in rank, and receive greater responsibility and leadership experience valuable to future employers.

Air Force pilot minimum requirements
Air Force pilot candidates go through extensive tests, which determine if they’re physically and psychologically able to perform pilot tasks correctly. Candidates must also meet the following qualifications:

18-30 years of age (waiver up to 35 years old possible)
At least 5 feet 4 inches to 6 feet 5 inches tall
Seated height between 34 and 40 inches tall
At least 20/40 vision in both eyes for near vision and 20/200 for distant vision; must be corrected to 20/20
May not be colorblind, have had laser eye surgery or have poor depth perception
Must have perfect hearing
Must withstand several G’s of pressure without passing out or getting sick
No history of hay fever, asthma or allergies after age 12
Healthy weight
Related: Soft Skills: Definitions and Examples

Important skills for Air Force pilots
Piloting advance military aircraft requires a number of technical and soft skills. Here are some of the most important:

Operation and control of complex equipment
Monitoring the operation of complex equipment
Active listening
Critical thinking
Complex problem-solving
Reading comprehension
Judgment and decision-making
Time management
System analysis and evaluation
Math and reasoning
Quality control analysis

Air Force Age Limit For 2021
Posted onLast Updated: April 10, 2021 AuthorCraig S. Comments(26) 42376 Views
Active Duty Air Force Age Limit
Like the other branches of the military, the minimum and maximum age you can join the Air Force will depend on which career path you take. (ie officer or enlisted)

Here are the minimum and maximum age limits for the Air Force in 2021:

Enlisted: The minimum age to join as an enlisted is 17, and the maximum age is 39.
Officer: The minimum age to join as an officer is 18, and the maximum age is 39.
Exceptions are made for those with healthcare experience, attorneys, clergy, and prior military enlistment. A waiver will be required.

In this scenario, the minimum age is 18 and the maximum age is 48.

Air Force Reserve Age Limit
To join the Air Force reserve, the age requirements are as follows:

Non-prior service: 17 – 39 years old
Prior service: Your adjusted age must be less than 40. *

  • How To Calculate Your Adjusted Age

For prior service Air Force reserve candidates, your adjusted age must be less than 40 years old.

You can calculate this by simply subtracting your years of service from your age.

So for example, if you served for 10 years in the active duty Air Force, and you’re 48 years old, your “Adjusted Age” would be 38.

This would make you qualified to serve in the Air Force reserves.

Related Article: Does The National Guard Pay For College?

Pilot Age Requirements / Limit
Just like with the height and weight requirements, there are different age limitations for pilots.

While the minimum age for pilots is 18, it’s very uncommon for a pilot to be that young.

The average age for Air Force pilots entering flight school is around 23 years old.

Before earning a slot at Undergraduate Pilot Training (aka UPT), the candidate must first meet with a selection board.

This board will determine whether or not you’re competitive enough for a slot in UPT, and must be conducted before you reach 29 years of age.

You must also be enrolled in UPT before the age of 33.

With that said, age waivers are available for potential pilots up to the age of 35.

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