How to become an F-16 pilot?

So you want to be a Viper driver, mechanic, loader, avionics technician...? Here you will learn that you will need education, hard work and steadfast dedication.
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Caesar

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Unread post16 Dec 2003, 21:32

I love the F-16 Falcon and eversince I was 5 years old I've always dreamed of going into the airforce. Now I am a 16 year old freshman at a small high school in Ohio and all I want to know is what does it take to be a F-16 pilot?

I've kinda messed up my freshman year by only having a 3.7 g.p.a. as of now. And being in a small town we dont have any ROTC or Civil Airpatrol cadet programs, so I sort of feel at a disadvantage. Although I am an honor student and have a good job as a life guard at the local YMCA I really want to know what can I do or should be doing to be a pilot...
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Habu

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Unread post16 Dec 2003, 21:47

Well if you've got the money, you can do anything....

But since you're in HS, and don't have any ROTC programs nearby, get into a college that does. Go to UND, SIU, WMU, or even ERAU if you have to. Or you can do what I did and go to Mt.SAC out here in CA...my alama mater ;) They're one of the few 2-year schools that have an unrivaled aviation program and flying team. They also have an ROTC program, and have an agreement with SIU to get you bachelor's degree in aviation management. A bachaelors being required to be a pilot.

And of course, there's always the Academy. Another suggestion would be to get your private pilot's license before you get into the AF. Why? Because all the AF is gonna do is send you right back out to a civilian flight school to get it. Only the USAFA does initial flight trainning from the start. All the flyign services are doing it now, sending you to a regular FBO to get your FAA license, save the Academy and the Army chopper jocks.
Good luck!
Do your homework, Tiger!
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ysslah

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Unread post17 Dec 2003, 01:39

Hmm... I'm currently in HS in PA. I'm gonna apply to ERAU next year and fly P-3 in the navy(Hopefully :mrgreen: _
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Habu

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Unread post17 Dec 2003, 02:07

Which ERAU? DB or P?
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elp

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Unread post17 Dec 2003, 16:26

Also read all the pilot interviews:

http://www.f-16.net/modules.php?op=modl ... es&secid=9
- ELP -
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Infinity16

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Unread post18 Dec 2003, 15:53

I'm a junior in HighSchool right now and I have choosen the harder route by graduating from college first then applying to OTS. I woulden't recommend that but if for some odd reason you screw up your high school grades you always have this backup although much harder.

Theres a good chance that F-16s won't be as common anymore but that's just my guess.
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MKT

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Unread post18 Dec 2003, 21:01

OTS isnt a good recommendation in order to becoming an F-16 pilot. OTS hardly gets any pilot slots anymore. The Academy and ROTC take almost all of them up. The deputy director for ROTC southeast region told me last year they only got 10 pilot slots a year.

Good luck!
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Habu

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Unread post18 Dec 2003, 21:41

I didn't event think OTS existed anymore...
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F16Rooster

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Unread post18 Dec 2003, 23:05

I applied to ERAU. They gave me quite a hefty scholarship but it was only half as hefty as the flight fees so I went to Middle Tennessee State Univ. instead as their aerospace program is much cheaper and nearly as good (especially with our new Diamond DA40s :rolleyes: )
Now I'm in ROTC trying to get a pilot slot. So the longlost moral of this story...go to a university with an ROTC program and work hard and youve got a good shot. I dont work so hard and it's looking good for me :D
Oh yeah, 3.7 is fine for a freshman GPA. But, the higher you get, the better chances youll have of getting accepted into ROTC(which as of recently is VERY selective if youre not of certain lineage) Good grades go along way in your PICSM (Pilot Candidate Selection Method... I think) score. Oh, and get in shape.
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Cylon

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Unread post19 Dec 2003, 00:51

I never did any ROTC in HS. I joined AFROTC in college (non-scholarship, initially). Got a pilot slot. Gotta have good grades and decent athletics (don't have to be an all-star, but can't be a slug either).

THEN, you gotta do well in UPT (Undergraduate Pilot Training). After that, go through IFF (Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals). If you pass that, you're on your way to Luke or Springfield, or Kelly for Viper training.

It doesn't take a lot of money. It takes a lot of hard work focus. REMEMBER, you're trying to become an officer first.

Cylon
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Gums

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Unread post19 Dec 2003, 02:56

You young sprogs. Listen to Cylon!!

He is much more current than I am and knows what he's saying.
  • OTS does indeed exist, and is cranking out 2 LT's at Maxwell AFB as we speak
  • Don't make no difference if your high school has only 23 grads. We have a doolie at USAFA from Blountstown FL, which isn't a vacation mecca or metropolis. About 70 miles of where I reside, in middle of nowhere.

    So write your U.S. Rep and both Senators. Get the physical and paperwork. Try for the Blue Zoo or USMA or USNA. If you don't pass the pilot physical, you may pass the basic officer version and could still be doing something neat. Think about it.
  • As Cylon points out, ROTC at college is a very good option, and beats OTS for pilot training slots. You can try for an ROTC scholarship or join once at school. The former is much better, as you get financial aid. Get with school counselor or get on the 'net! Same for USAFA.
  • If you really want it, then you must work for it. This is from the horse's mouth. As Cylon states, you don't have to be a genius or Chuck Yeager. But you do have to better than all those other gomers in order to get a fighter slot.
  • The F-16 will be around for another 10 or so years. Even if USAF discards them, the Reserve and Guard will have them. And I know a young lady who recently joined the reserve, then went to OTS, then to pilot training, and the beat goes on...
Then there's the Joint Strike program. Even if the Viper is phased out, you'll have an easy access to the JSF or even the Raptor. Not too shabby, IMHO.

Send a PM to me or maybe Cylon for more help.

out,
Gums
Viper pilot '79
"God in your guts, good men at your back, wings that stay on - and Tally Ho!"
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MKT

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Unread post20 Dec 2003, 04:22

To respond to Habu... of course OTS still exists. If you don't go to the Academy or ROTC or enlist... how do you get in the Air Force? If you wanna refresh yourself on what they do, go to their main website: http://ots.afoats.af.mil/
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Habu

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Unread post21 Dec 2003, 06:55

Was a figure of speech guys...relax...
Do your homework, Tiger!
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STBYGAIN

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Unread post22 Dec 2003, 12:19

Cylon, you flying Vipers now? Where at?
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Habu

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Unread post22 Dec 2003, 17:42

STBYGAIN wrote:Cylon, you flying Vipers now? Where at?


:lol: :lol: :lol:

a Cylon flying a Viper? Quick! Alert Captain Adama! Put the Galactica on high alert! :P
Last edited by Habu on 22 Dec 2003, 19:32, edited 1 time in total.
Do your homework, Tiger!
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