Want to be a pilot or an aviator?

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Mark Conley

Active member
Good evening...

So, you want to fly? First understand one very important thing..you must start when you are very young to plan, educate, and prepare your self for this type of profession. No person in his right mind would trust a multi-million dollar aircraft (made by the lowest bidder of course) to just any person...Theres a quite a lot of trail you have to go through.

A warning to the reader: these are general guidelines. There are exceptions to every rule: Nothing is graven in stone. You must talk with a professional officer recruiter (you know, the guy that you know lies when ever his or her lips move? That person!) to get where you need to go. And the younger you talk with one, the better your roads going to be.

Theres a physical thing. You must be in good health. You must not have been involved with certain drugs that could make you unpredictable (LSD and Butyl Inhalants are just two recreational use drugs that will get you canned at the start). In some cases, such as fighter pilots, you must have perfect, uncorrectable vision. You cant be too small, and you cant be too large ( you have to fit in the cockpit people, and be able to reach the controls): each service has its own height requirements.

You have to be of the right moral fiber. Got a lot of traffic tickets? maybe it wont stop you from getting in the service, but it could dissuade a reviewer from selecting you due to your taking too many risks ( and that you are one unlucky person to get caught at it so much). Convicted of a felony? Forget it. Convicted of a misdemeaner? Forget it. Are you a social person? do you join clubs, have a life outside the home? If you were a Boy Scout...did you make Eagle? If you were a girl Scout...did you lead a group of girls to sell the most cookies? (I'm not kidding..it takes leadership and sales skills to sell cookies). Did you excel? or did you stay at the bottom of the pack?

Start off by deciding what you want to fly. Is it fixed wing or rotary wings you want to try for? Believe it or not, the Army lets Warrant Officers fly their helicopters...and that only costs you as little as two years of college and a lot of sweat in a warrant officer school in the United States. Choose the road you wish to go down early.

The biggest question from most people is: do you have to know how to fly first? Absolutely not! It helps...but it is not required. They have schools that teach you that. All you really have to have on that point is the desire to put up with a lot of things so that you can fly.

Choose Your Path Carefully. You need to start on the preliminaries long before you even step foot in any type of aircraft.

There will be more posts to follow as th information becomes available. Be patient, this topic will be built over the year or so... :D
Good post Mark, but it's not possible to vote when you have locked the topic.. ;)
Yes I understand that one. I started flying when I was 12 and I have not set foot on the ground since.
(lol, just a pun)
anyways for those that want to be pilots, and are too young to join the reg forces, join cadets if you are unsder 19. it is the best organization to get into. I joined just afgter my 12 b-day and I have had an awesome time since. been a great thing for me. boosted selfesteem and moral. I also earned my g.p liscence for free.
That is an added bounus
According to my Airforce recruiter the navigator is turning into a thing of the past. Only the older aircraft have them and even those are just being flown by GPS.
You mentioned that inorder to become a pilot you can't be too small or to large, I'm on the smaller side 5'5 16years old, would my height restrict me from becoming one?
I am not sure on that one. I come from the Canadian Armed forces, and for me to qualify for my JPL, I had to bge able to reach the furthest control and reach the pedals on the CF-118.
I also have some experience with the cadet organization, and for me to qualify as a tow pilot of the Bianca Scout plane, I had to do the same thing.
Check it out, you never know. I still think that you will grow more, so dont be too upset if you cant do it now.
Navy Pilots

Conley, you sound like a good source of information about Pilots, and from what I can tell in your writing and attitue about flying you seem like you have flown before, Navy Pilots, how do they get selected? and how do they apply for Pilot's Training? Do they all come from the Academy? or ROTC? is it possible to go straight in from the civilian world with a Aviation degree, single engine, multi-engine and IP ratings and become a Navy Pilot? I know that the Army, assuming I pass my phyiscal and other required tests will let me fly, is the Navy the same way? or are they picky about selecting their own from ROTC, Academy, and OCS? thanks much
Are you sure you need perfect vision? I've read some fighter pilots say they fly with their contacts.

flying has got to be one of the greatest accomplishments (one of the greatest) that man has made. I love to fly and have flown before and this guy wrote a very interesting post.

It is also a very rigourous thing, flying, streefull, hard, flying jets can be one of the most dangerous things there is to do other than jumping onto the trainplatform or diving off the bow of the 76 while it is moving.

76=the uss ronald reagan for all of you out there that have know idea what an aircraft carrier is or haver never been on one or never will be on one or whatever. :drill:
Getting in a little late on this...

sinkhole said:
Are you sure you need perfect vision? I've read some fighter pilots say they fly with their contacts.
In the US, unequivocably yes. You must start out with 20/20 vision or better with no astigmatism. If your vision degrades over the course of your career, they may work something out -- they're not going to waste all that money they spent on your training. (Note: in the US Navy, you must only have perfect vision if you want to pilot jets; you can be correctable to 20/20 if you want to fly helos or be a Naval Flight Officer.)

Also, think about it...do you really want to be pulling 9 G's with contact lenses sliding around on your eyes? :shock:
Well I always wanted to be a pilot, fast jet, tornado style, but ive decided to become a weapons systems operator linguist, it means dossing about in awacs listening to the arab transmitions and reporting intel, and should give me a good look see wether i really want to be a pilot.
Eye requirements and Navigators for the USAF

The USAF does not require perfect vision for any of its flyings spots. Eye surgery IS allowed, but only photorefractive keratecomy (PRK) not LASIK, and it must be done through the Air Force (ROTC, the Academy or OTS). You are also allowed a VERY minimal amount of astigmatism, even after the surgery. Once you are in flight training, however, your vision does not even need to meet those requirements. You are allowed glasses, especially after flight school, mainly because they have already spent too much money on you.

As for navigators; yes the traditional role of navigator is being phased out due to GPS and onther technologies. The new name for the position in the Air Force is CSO, or Combat Systems Officer. This title includes Weapons Systems Officers (WSO, or the guys in the back of Strike Eagles), true navigators, bombardiers, and the new position of UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) pilot.

Being an Air Battle Manger, or ABM, is another way to get in a plane. ABMs are the officers that sit in the back of an AWACS and direct traffic, bombing and all such matters.


i heard somewhere that if you have broken a bone at one time in your life you not eligeble to be a pilot is that true???
I heard that deaf people can do the pilot. So, I would be glad if y'all help me to find the information and required in the pilot. I want to be a commerical airline pilot.
Pilot Height

Im not sure about in the US.. but in Aus the height for a pilot is about 183~193cm.. (about 72~76in)..

Hope this helps..