Thousands of young people dream of becoming a pilot for the Air how to become a pilot Force, and there are several reasons that justify these dreams. For one thing, serving the country is a truly noble objective for anyone to have. Of course, there are several ways for a young person to offer service for their country but none of them come with as much excitement and novelty as being an Air Force pilot.
There are a few different methods you can follow in order to get your pilot training, and the most popular one is to study at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. Upon graduation, you automatically become a commission officer and will be just a few steps shy of becoming an accredited pilot. The biggest problem, however, is that the AFA has a very meticulous screening process and only accepts approximately 900 applicants annually. You would really have to stand out from the rest of the applicants if you are hoping to get a slot in this prestigious academy.
If you don’t get admitted to AFA, don’t lose hope because there are other ways to get your Air Force training. What most aspiring pilots do is to just take up any 4-year bachelor’s course in a college or university that also offers a Reserve Officers Training Corps or ROTC program. Most universities offer this program so you shouldn’t have problems at all.
However, it’s not enough that you sign up for the ROTC program – you will have to excel in it as well in order to be a commission officer and be qualified for flight school upon graduation. Unlike in the AFA, where every graduate automatically becomes a commission officer, only a few selected individuals will be able to attain this standing after completing the full ROTC training. Therefore, you do need to exercise a lot of effort if you want to use this program as a stepping stone towards becoming a pilot for the Air Force.
Also, being part of the ROTC program means that you would have to take one or two military courses per semester, in addition to the regular courses included in your major. This means that you would have to balance your time carefully so that you can perform equally well in your ROTC program and in your academic courses.
Now, if you had already finished your bachelor’s degree before deciding to become an Air Force pilot, and you did not enroll in the ROTC program when you were in college, you can still get Air Force pilot training by attending Officer Training School in Montgomery, Alabama. Although it’s fairly easy to get into the school – you just need to have finished a 4-year college course – they do have severely limited pilot slots so if you want to secure one of these slots for yourself, you would really have to apply yourself well and be completely focused on learning how to become a pilot.
Once you have become a commission officer, you can proceed with the next step in Air Force pilot training, which is the Undergraduate Pilot Training. The training goes on for approximately one year and will familiarize you with the different kinds of aircraft that are used in the Air Force.
Although you will already learn the basics of flying each of these planes during the undergraduate training course, you will only begin to train extensively during the second phase of the training, during which you will have to master flying the particular type of aircraft that you will be assigned to for your first flight mission. The length of this subsequent training will depend on the type of craft that you will have, but it will typically last for another 2-9 months.
By this time, you will already be a bona fide Air Force pilot, although the training will be far from over. Even when you already have several years of experience, you will have to continue training with various types of aircraft in different base stations so that you can keep increasing your rank in the Air Force.