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Everything posted by Zulu

  1. I was going through some of the common interview questions and it seems that the questions "Officer or pilot first?", "Why you?", and "What can you bring to the squadron?" or some variation is almost always asked. From things that I've read/ talks that I've had with pilots, I know that pilots usually have other roles in the squadron besides flying, especially if they are full time. However, I don't fully know what a pilot will be doing during the hours/ days they are not flying or briefing/debriefing for a flight. So in general, what are some of the things pilots do when they are not flying? What are some of the roles that pilots can have as officers in the squadron? For me, is there a way that I can be useful to the squadron as an engineer? I have heard that there are Maintenance Officers, but I'm not sure if those positions are generally held by non-pilots. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  2. Found the reason: 'There was a quiz on marking various timezones. Scott O'Grady put down his answer, but used the wrong time zone. The time zone he was supposed to use was 'Zulu', or GMT. Hence, his callsign.' http://www.f-16.net/callsigns-Z.html
  3. No idea. Just a username I’ve used for awhile now.
  4. Test Pilot School - AD vs ANG

    If my ultimate goal is to become a test pilot, would I be better off going AD or ANG? It seems like it is entirely possibly for ANG pilots to apply and get accepted to TPS. I know that there are huge benefits to the ANG (knowing your aircraft and location), but could AD potentially be a better option? One of the reasons I don't want to go AD is because I want to fly fighters, but if I my larger goal is to become a test pilot, it wouldn't matter if I was assigned heavies, right? Also based on the requirements to apply for TPS (Less than 9 years and 6 months in service, 12 months AC in a MWS, 750 hours of being an IP in a MWS), would it be easier/faster to achieve these hours going AD? Please let me know what you think/ where my thinking might be wrong. Side question: What kind of assignments do test pilots get after TPS? Do they incur an extra service commitment and usually stay at Edwards?
  5. I am an engineering student applying for both AD and ANG slots. If I am fortunate enough to get selected for both, I am not sure which one I would go with. Here is what I think the pros are for each: ANG: Fixed location Known aircraft Ability to work another job AD: Ability to see more of the world (is this true?) Don’t have to worry about another job.
  6. AD vs ANG

    Thanks for the reply brabus. From what I’m hearing, seems like the chances of getting a full time position are fairly good. Combined with the opportunity to go on an AD tour, this gives me very few reasons not to try and go Guard. I do have some plan B/C ideas as to what I could do as a part timer, just none of them sound as nice as being full time at this point. Who knows what life could look like in a few years though and how my opinion could change. Can only try to plan for the best.
  7. AD vs ANG

    Thanks for the advice. I’ll try to do this with the units that I talk to in the future.
  8. AD vs ANG

    Thanks for the detailed reply. I did not know that some units have so many full time positions and sometimes struggle to fill them. When interviewing / talking with units, should I be up front with my interest in having a full time position and wanting to know what their situation is? From what I have read, I thought many units look down on this as it makes it appear that the candidate is unnaware / doesn’t understand that they need to have the ability to support themselves financially in another way. I also did not know about the 3 year tour on AD. Very interesting and could be a solution if I don’t get a full time position but wanted to be full time.
  9. AD vs ANG

    Reviving this thread that I created half a year ago to ask another question about AD vs ANG. I know a lot more now than I did when I started browsing the site, and I really see the benefits of going Guard like most of the people on the site do. However, the main thing I’m struggling with about the Guard is that it is a part-time job. I realize that there are full-time positions available, but from what I have read they are generally hard to get until you have some serious time with the unit or are prior AD. Does it not suck not being able to do what you love full-time? I’m assuming most of you got into the military flying business because you knew that was exactly what you wanted to do. Or do days that you are not working at the Guard basically equate to days you would not be flying in AD, meaning that you are basically just replacing non-flying AD days with a different (hopefully more enjoyable) job? I guess it’s just hard for a young hopeful like me to see how having a part-time military flying job is better than being full-time. Being on the outside, I’m looking in at the job I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember. I could see myself doing it full-time for awhile, but it’s hard to think why I would want to jump in, be full time for ~4 years (training and seasoning), and then be only half in and back to a partial boring life like before. (I’m trying to paint a picture of what it sort of feels like as a hopeful so maybe it’s easier to understand what I’m thinking) A lot of the discussion on the site is about how AD sucks, but it’s hard for a guy like me to even follow the discussions. Do I really just need to trust you all that the AD “bullshit” is not worth it and that I’ll spend my entire AD commitment hating life and wondering why I didn’t go Guard? Hoping somebody may be able to shed some light on this. Let me know if there is anything I’m not considering / if I am thinking about this in the wrong way. Thanks. Edit: Just wanted to add that I really appreciate all the answers / help that I’ve already gotten over my time using the site. Was so excited when I found out that a forum existed where I could go and read / ask questions about military flying from guys who are already doing it. It’s been a huge help already.
  10. Test Pilot School - AD vs ANG

    I understand that UPT is challenging and that I am likely getting ahead of myself, but I’m just trying to get as much information as I can to try and figure out what path I want to take.
  11. Test Pilot School - AD vs ANG

    Thanks for the detailed reply. Seems like if TPS is my end goal, it may be better to go AD. Hard to know exactly what I want at this point though. I'm just going to be so happy if I get a slot anywhere. Follow on question. Does your assignment after TPS usually involve flying the same type of aircraft that you flew before TPS? That is, if you flew fighters before, you will likely be testing fighters after?
  12. UPT vs UFT

    What is the difference between Undergraduate PILOT Training and Undergraduate FLYING Training? From doing some reading, it seems like UFT is for those who are already officers, whereas UPT boards include OTS and pilot training. I cannot find this explicitly written anywhere though.
  13. UPT vs UFT

    The whole reason I originally made this thread was because I read about having to apply for all 4 positions, and I wasn't sure if this also applied to civilian applications (initially was confused about UFT vs UPT, but now understand they are the same). Here is the 2018 UFT Board thread: In the thread, Pred69 says this: So I guess everyone now has to apply for all positions. So what happens if you do not get selected for pilot but that is all you wanted? You turn it down and never get to apply again? Probably going to pursue the Guard route until age would force me try for AD then...
  14. Today I went in to get my third class medical renewed so that I could continue getting hours. While talking to the cool Doc, he suggested that we just bump me up to a first class medical since I was qualified. He thought that this might be something good to have on my record while applying for pilot positions. How similar is the FAA First Class Medical to the FC1 required for Air Force pilots? I'm assuming the FC1 is much stricter. Is it even worth mentioning that I have a first class FAA medical while applying to ANG units? Does this just look dumb or will it make them not have to worry that I am not medically qualified? Any thought would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  15. Two similar questions here, both having to do with civilian employer requirements for holding your job. I am going to be a senior in college majoring in mechanical engineering. I am planning on applying to some guard units that I am interested in, but also for a full time engineering job. My scores are good, but I'm not sure any guard unit will pick me up on my first application as I am pretty young. My question is, are civilian employers legally required to hold my job for me when I get back? I know that they are legally required to when you deploy in the guard, but I'm not sure how this works with pilot training. Also, I think ideally I would like to fly full time for the guard. But if I am not able to fly full time (let's say I fly something like 5 times a month, something more than the typical drill weekends and 2 weeks required) are they required to keep my job? I didn't think in any of these circumstances an employer would be required to keep my job, but reading another post made me wonder. Just trying to figure out what my options are so that I have a job before I am picked up by a unit and hopefully can find something that works if I am part time with a unit. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  16. I'm 20 years old and will be applying to UPT boards soon. About a year ago I started having back pain. Not sure what causes it but it comes once every few months and only lasts a few days to a week. Really only hurts to try and bend over and touch my toes. Not sure how to go about this. Should I try to visit a chiropractor? Or should I try to just ignore it because it probably isn't too severe. Basically just want to minimize my chances of getting DQd and I don't know if going to a chiropractor could increase them. If I went to a chiropractor, I would need to tell them about it right? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
  17. Chances at an ANG Fighter Squadron

    Somewhat similar boat to you. I am 20 and looking at ANG wings. 1. Study for and take the AFOQT and TBAS ASAP. You can retake the AFOQT after 1 year so you want to get your first one done as soon as you feel ready. You have a lot more hours than me so your PCSM (combined AFOQT and TBAS) score should come out to be pretty good. Either contact the ANG wing about this or a local AFROTC detachment. I did mine both at the AFROTC detachment at my college and they were very helpful. 2. If you want PRK/LASIK, try to get that done soon too. I had mine done in May and I have to wait 6 months to apply to make sure the surgery went okay. Also check the medical section on the forum to find out the details to see if you even need it. If you are 20/30 and 20/40 without the glasses on, you don't. If you do need it, make sure you get the appropriate form and go over it with your doctor so that everything is documented before/during/after the surgery. 3. As long as you didn't admit to smoking marijuana like 100 times, you'll be fine. An AD recruiter told me they are getting easier and easier on marijuana rules every year and you can admit to smoking something like 20 times now before it matters. This is AD though. An ANG wing may personally care more. I don't know about enlisting before trying to apply to a UPT board. Really depends on the specific ANG wing. Some wings only hire from within. Try getting in contact with other wings with airframes/locations you are interested in and seeing if you can visit. You can then decide where you feel you would like it/fit best and if it would be worth it for you to enlist to try to increase your chances.
  18. IFS

    What determines if you will go to IFS? I heard before that if you have your PPL you are generally not sent, but I have now read some posts and even a book with a guy who had 800+ hours and multiple ratings was still sent to IFS. I am going to be getting some more flying hours soon, but I am not sure about getting my PPL. Should I want to go to IFS? And in order to go to IFS should I refrain from getting my PPL?
  19. I have 3 questions all related to first assignments after UPT. 1. Lets say you really want to fly Eagles or Raptors. You do well in UPT, but none drop so you get selected for Vipers instead. After your first assignment, are you able to switch over? How likely is this and what is the process like? 2. Let's say you don't do as well as you would've liked to in UPT and get assigned to a C-17. What are the chances for then switching over to any fighter? I assume this is very low. 3. Finally, why is it seen as a bad thing to be a FAIP? Do you not get a lot of hours? Does the Air Force not select the better pilots to be instructors?
  20. Thanks for the great response. Seems like having a part time flying gig wouldn't be as bad as I thought.
  21. Just to clarify, does USERRA require them to hold my job for me after ~2 years of training and ~3 years of seasoning? That seems like way too stupid (not sure if this would even be a good thing) to be true. Especially since I would be volunteering for the guard, and it's not like it's a required deployment after already being in. Also if I'm flying 5 times a month (let's just say every Monday), they are also required to have a job for me Tue-Fri? If this is true, I doubt any typical salaried employer would hire you knowing you are going to be flying 5+ days a month, which means that you would need that job before you started flying, which was 5 years ago... I guess do any part time pilots hold traditional jobs that aren't flying for the airlines? Seems nearly impossible that an employer would be required to put up with that shit.
  22. Can somebody explain what being an alert ANG fighter wing entails? I understand what the purpose of an alert base is, but how does it change the life of a pilot? Do you get to fly more hours comparatively to a non-alert fighter wing? Are there more full time AGR and ART positions available? Do you have to spend nights at the base?
  23. PRK and LASIK Information

    I have been in contact with an AD and ANG recruiter who have told me different things about the time I need to wait after having eye surgery. One says it is 6 months and the other 12. Also, is this time measured from the date of my surgery to the date of my application, MEPS, or FC1/MFS? Any help would be great.
  24. Alert

    Thank you for the reply! Very helpful. I may be understanding you wrong and maybe it differs by unit, but while you are on alert orders for 3,6,12 months or whatever it is, are you actually required to be at base 24/7? Or do you work in shifts and are only required to be there maybe 12 hours?
  25. Alert

    Why? What's so great about being on alert? That's what I'm trying to figure out.