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Guest ShortThrow

Hey everyone,

This is my first post on this site and it seems awsome from the little time I've been around. Currently I go to a CC in Minnesota and am looking to upgrade. I've alot of reading about ots and things of that sort and I think I've decided that ROTC is the route for me, I think...

Anyways, right now I'm taking mostly business related classes because when I registered I wasn't very serious about joining the AF. Now I'm really considering joining somehow and like I said I think ROTC is a good path. Now I realize business isn't really the number one sought after degree by the AF lol, so I am looking at schools to transfer to and get into a more appropriate field. I have done alot of searching on this site but my searching skills have always been my downfall lol,

From the searching that I have done the only two school I found mentioned are UND and ERAU.

So my questions are as follows:

1. What are some other top school that I should consider transfering to that specialize in Aero?

2. Considering those schools, How hard will it be for me to get accepted as a transfer considering I have around a 3.1 and a f/t job?

3. If aero isnt my major of choice, and besides meteorology, what are some other majors that the AF looks upon as being an advantage or benificial?

4. I am still slightly confused about all the processes required to become a pilot. More specifically the private flying liscense part. So if anyone could offer up general advice for me that would be great. Im sure all of you are sick of newbish threads like this but the AF and rotc websites do offer up too much insight haha.

Thanks I appreciate it.

[ 14. January 2006, 20:07: Message edited by: ShortThrow ]

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Guest sleepy

Waller hit it.

Mind if I throw in my unsolicited opinion on aviation schools? There is an aircraft ownership forum I frequent (even though I'm no longer an aircraft owner--it sold!!! Woohoo!) where the question was recently posed about good aviation schools. ERAU did not receive the stellar marks one might expect it to receive. In addition to UND, WMU (Western Michigan) was also given a thumbs up from some of the old hats. Remember what you paid for that.

Now, my copy&paste opinion, which is sure to piss off many. That is not my intent, so if you want bother to finish reading, you might realize how full of shit I am.

No ties to ERAU or any other aviation school, but here's what I would say to your boy.

[Foghorn Leghorn voice]I say, I say, now listen to me, dawg:

Do NOT go there. Through my job I have met a large sampling of ERAU/other av. school grads. The ONLY one I have EVER met who was not a complete tool now runs an FBO, does maintenance, and crop dusts. He does not fit the av. school pilot grad goes-to-corporate or goes-to-regional or goes-to-AirForce stereotype. Everyone one of these grads can rattle off the regs verbatim, or spout off something about the physiological effects of decompression at altitude after consuming alcohol 36 hrs prior to pulling chocks, or explain in words they can't spell why more rudder input is necessary during engine out flight in a twin. But this is stuff that any "professional" pilot should know to a "lesser" (i.e., sensible and understandable) degree. The knowledge obtained from an avition degree, coupled with 50 cents, might buy one a newspaper.

And the aviation grad will certainly need the newspaper! College is, among other things, designed to make someone a more interesting person. Don't get me wrong...I like airplanes. I like to talk airplanes. I like to work on airplanes. And above all, I like to fly airplanes. But aviation is not the end of what I know. Because of college, I know how to read good books, how to engage in intelligent conversations, how to tell dirty jokes, and, at the risk of seeming pompous, I know how to think. (I'd never make it as an airline pilot!) Perhaps one can learn these things at an aviation school, but I'm not holding my breath.

By all means, go to college. It is the only time in your life when you can live like an aristocrat. Study something in college that is both useful and is something that you would have a hard time learning anywhere else. If you want to do the aviation thing, do it because you want to, not because you need a degree. You can learn the same stuff and more that you'd learn at the school from a 200-hour wonderboy just by hanging around the old farts at the airport for a heck of a lot cheaper. That's where I have enrolled.

Granted you didn't necessarily say you wanted to do the professional pilot thing. From what I can tell, the AF mostly wants you to have a degree. Your major will only come into play if you are in some kind of specialized AFSC (pilot must not be that specialized :eek: ).

I'm missing the game, and my buzz is waning. BS spew is through. Best of luck!

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Guest cbire880

You degree does not matter if you want to be an Air Force pilot. This fact has been reiterated many, many times. Do something you enjoy and will excel at! GPA will weigh heavily on ROTC pilot selection.

As far as aero science degrees...If you want to fly in the civillian world, then the aviation schools are a decent way to get your ratings quickly and probably land a CFI job to build time. Just remember, if you lose your medical or decide the airline salary sucks, you will have NOTHING to fall back on. Therefore, if you are going to be a military pilot, get a degree in something useful other than flying an airplane. The Air Force will teach you everything you need to know about that.

When it comes to the private pilot ticket, it really won't help you a whole lot in ROTC selections unless your commander weights it in his ranking(probably not gonna happen). OTS is an entirely different beast though. You'll almost definately need it there to be competitive.

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Guest ShortThrow

^ thanks, that was some good info. This site is awsome.

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I tried the ERAU thing for a year and hated it! My brother went to Penn State so I saw how good a normal school can be, and how much fun you can have. I have a degree in something other than flying yet I still have all my ratings. At all the FBO's I've been to, there were instructors from ERAU, UND, Purdue, and those that just learned from the side along with comair types. I've flown with them all and I can't say anyone is any better than the other, although I can say which type I didn't like drinking beers with. Sorry ERAU.

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Guest Demeeta652

The only way college major can make any real difference (as far as I know) on your career as an Air Force pilot is if you are interested in being a test pilot. You have to have either an engineering, physics, or mathematics degree to be eligible for test pilot school. I know technical degrees tend to get better ROTC scholarships and a couple extra points on the commanders rating. However, non-tech degrees tend to have a little higher average GPAs which can make a difference. There's definitely no right or wrong degree to pursue. Just keep your personal aptitudes in mind before you decide. There, I’ve put in my 10^(-2).

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Guest Hoser
Originally posted by ShortThrow:

1. What are some other top school that I should consider transfering to that specialize in Aero?

Daniel Webster College

DWC is an aviation school (offering both flying and aero eng) located in Southern New Hamsphire. It's a small school, so if you are looking for more personal interaction, you can get it at DWC. They've recently revamped their aircraft fleet, and just got a B-737 sim too.

Hoser

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Guest cbire880

I'll second ecugringo's comments about a "normal school". Happy Valley is definately the happiest drunk place on earth. If you are into engineering, their aerospace program is great too. PM if you want any details.

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There are actually several out there that have programs. Auburn, Western Michigan has a good one i hear, Middle Tenn state, Ohio State. Theres more I just can't think of right now.

Before I went to ERAU I was warned by several instructers and former students that it sucks, I didn't listen and found out the hard way. But I'm not gonna totaly bash it, it does have a good program that is over priced. But I think it's safer to go to a big school near an FBO and do it that way. Another thing about ERAU is you compete with a hell of a lot more people to get a pilot slot through ROTC. AT ECU our ROTC unit gave them out to whoever wanted them.

I also knew a US Air capt that went to Daniel Webster. He had a lot of good things to say about it.

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Originally posted by ecugringo:

Another thing about ERAU is you compete with a hell of a lot more people to get a pilot slot through ROTC. AT ECU our ROTC unit gave them out to whoever wanted them.

This is just TERRIBLE advice. You gotta' figure out how the pilot process works if you're going to try and make an affect on somebody's future.

ShortThrow, I go to Riddle-Daytona right now, and have for nearly half-a-freakin'-century...if you've got any real questions about Riddle, let me know.

[ 15. January 2006, 11:42: Message edited by: RWaller52 ]

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Ditto ^

The biggest problem with ERAU pilots is known to be the cocky attitudes most of them have. BUT- don't blame this on the school. You gotta figure, who goes to ERAU? Typically its guys from rich families who were given opportunities to do things alot of kids didn't have. Personally, I think that the attitudes are brought IN to our school, not created. And to justify my background, I'm an Aero major at ERAU who flew on campus. The attitude you come out with is TOTALLY dependent upon you.

Now, as far as the school goes, I would say the Aero degree program is EXCELLENT. The flying isn't terribly hard, but the checkrides/orals usually are. You'll get to use state of the art ADSB screens and the latest GPS. You'll get to fly in the most intense flight training area in the United States (ERAU hasn't had an accident in over 5 years too).

But flying is flying. You can learn that from anyone, anywhere. Where you really earn your money's worth is in the classes you take. The classes are geared towards airline flying, but I think they've done wonders for my longevity as a pilot. The Flight Safety and Flight Technique Analysis classes alone are outstanding examples of this.

The Professors in the Aero department are great. They're all pilots, of course, and they all have ways to tie the material into actual situations that they have been in. Sometimes there are interesting crossflows between classes as well. Last semester we studied airborne radar in one of my meteorology classes, and talked about radar shadows and the pitfalls of it. In my very next class, Flight Safety, my Professor talked about being caught in a Category 5 thunderstorm in an MD80 because of radar shadows.

Does the social life suck? It COULD be a hell of alot better. You don't want to touch the locals with a stick. The girls on campus aren't that great. There aren't a whole lot of them. But again, it depends on you- most of us get along just fine.

And traditionally we've had one of the best ROTC programs in the nation.

We also offer a couple different meteorology majors if that's what you're interested in.

That's my speel. I don't know enough about UND to make a good comparison, so I won't just guess and throw out heresay like most people.

Good luck!

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You are right that it is the individual that makes how their attitude is, and you are right on where it comes from. I dont know how the ROTC selection works....But the vast majority of the cadets wanted pilot slots and I'm pretty sure the vast majority didn't get them. And for a school with only 4500 students and have something like 400 in a ROTC unit makes for stiff competition.

I know at ECU the unit was somewhere around 75 students in ROTC from a school of 25,000. And very few of those cadets were after pilot slots. I couldn't do ROTC I wish I did. The Lt Col of the Det told me if I had time to do it, and with my ratings, if I wanted it I would have no competition. That's how it was explained to me from cadets and the Lt Col. I knew a lot of cadets at ERAU that were going in teh AF and wanted to be pilots and spent a lot of money there, but were never going to fly for the AF.

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ECU, you're taking wild guesses and you're inaccurate in your assumption.

We had about 380 cadets in the wing last year, but that doesn't mean 380 applied! Our numbers for pilot/nav slots last year was somewhere in the neighborhood of 53 pilots and 14 navs, or something close to that. Out of those 53 pilots, NINE were selected for ENJJPT (I think that's a record). I'm not exactly sure on our numbers of who competed for slots, but I believe our selection rate was about 75%. Typically we categorize 70-80% of all who apply from here.

So saying the "vast majority" didn't get slots would be a very, VERY inaccurate statement. But you are right in saying that the competition is high.

We're starting to get off topic. ShortThrow, pretty much all of your questions can be answered by searching.

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Guest ShortThrow

Thanks for all the response. I know I should search . I do appreciate you guys answering tho and not just flaming me. Does anyone know if a regular eye doctor can give the same extensive evaluation that the AF does once youre ready to begin training?

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Well I was there about 5.5 yrs ago, that was the case when it was explained to me. anyway I didn't mean to spread innacurate info. It's just how things change from time to time.

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Originally posted by ecugringo:

Well I was there about 5.5 yrs ago, that was the case when it was explained to me.

No it wasn't. I was here 5 years ago, this April, as well, and it wasn't explained to me any different than how things are now. Who explained it to you?

Originally posted by ecugringo:

It's just how things change from time to time.

Dude, you're not gonna' find anyone more cynical about Riddle-Daytona than me, but when you dish out bad info, I'm gonna' call BS. Just let the people who actually stayed at Riddle long enough to make an educated comment about the place answer the kids who are seriously needing good advice about their futures.

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1. I think it'd be hard to get a civilian doctor to do all the eye crap that the AF will do for your FC1...why would you want to anyways?

2. Getting a pilot slot depends about 1% on where you go and 99% on your personal performance. Pilot slots come from GPA, PFT, AFOQT, PCSM (BAT test/flight hours), and Commander's ranking. All of those you can control. If you have the money, you can go to ERAU and fly nice equipment, get all your ratings, etc...but it's gonna cost you up the ass. Or you can go somewhere else, get your license and ratings for cheaper on your own time (but maybe with drawbacks such as not as new equipment), and maybe not major in aviation science (because you're pretty screwed if military or civilian flying falls through). Sticking with your buisness degree might be a better idea because at least you have another career to turn towards if flying doesn't work out...it's just better planning for worst case scenario to not put all your eggs in one basket. Thirdly, you by no means need any ratings at all past your private. Everything else will be taken care of in UPT or through some exams/checkrides for APT and such down the road (after you retire from the military to go fly civilian...if you choose to do that). If you have the money to get your instrument and such, great, but if not, you're certainly not screwed for military flying. Just seems to me schools like ERAU are great if you plan on going into civilian flying, or just don't care about tuition costs, but other than that, why not go to a regular college with a good business school and still get your pilot slot?

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Guest ShortThrow

Ok thanks again everyone for the great info. Im thirsty for this knowledge right now so I appreciate it.

Another question:

I have been chatting with someone currently in the AF (non pilot or nav) and they say it is much better to have some type of engineering degree when going after or into upt. As I may or may not have stated earlier, those kinds of things arent really my bag. Am I screwed or at a substantial disadvantage over those who are getting engineering degrees? This is the one thing that I am worried about when considering rotc and going after a pilot slot. :( :(

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ShortThrow you will hear this advice spoken many times on this site. When it comes to a major pick something that interests you and then go kick a$$ in it. I am a Political Science major, many of my ROTC buddies who aren't engineers and a few that have changed majors from engineering are Poli Sci or History. Reread brabus' post above your last "Pilot slots come from GPA, PFT, AFOQT, PCSM (BAT test/flight hours), and Commander's ranking." Since I want SF (and there goes any credibility I might have once had) I need to worry about all of that but the PCSM. If you area an engineer and have a 2.2 odds are you will be beat by out for a slot by a guy that has the same numbers everywhere else but is a Criminal Justice major with a 3.5 GPA. That is how it has been explained to my class by our Col.

[ 15. January 2006, 22:55: Message edited by: Vandal905 ]

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Originally posted by ShortThrow:

I have been chatting with someone currently in the AF (non pilot or nav) and they say it is much better to have some type of engineering degree when going after or into upt. As I may or may not have stated earlier, those kinds of things arent really my bag.

This is bad advice. If you don't want to do engineering, I can't describe to you how bad of an idea this is. Your GPA and college life will suffer incredibly!

Originally posted by Vandal905:

Pilot slots come from GPA, PFT, AFOQT, PCSM (BAT test/flight hours), and Commander's ranking...If you area an engineer and have a 2.2 odds are you will be beat by out for a slot by a guy that has the same numbers everywhere else but is a Criminal Justice major with a 3.5 GPA.

I can't agree enough. This guy is COMPLETELY right.

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Guest ShortThrow

Alright thanks alot guys, I called the two ROTC dets that I am interested in and left messages. Hopefully things will go from there. I can't wait to get involved.

Thanks again!

Il be sure to post in this thread if I have anymore questions instead of starting another, and trying to search. Haha

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Guest cmaston

ShortThrow

The advice here is good. I don't remeber what the perecentages are, but you can find a breakdown of of how you will be stacked for a flight position. Every school is rated equally and a GPA in basket weaving is the same as a GPA in aerospace engineering.

It sounds like you mean aeronautical sciences when you say "aero". If you when aero eng. or aerospace engineering then you have to go to Georgia Tech if you want to be a real engineer (Couldn't resist hitting on the Happy Valley plug). At Tech almost everyone who wants to fly does (Pilot or Nav). Its all about hard work and being a standup cadet.

I decided not to take a Nav slot out of ROTC and got one on Active Duty. Once again be a hard charger & be the guy the higher ranking officers can count on to get stuff done.

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Guest Murdoc

I go to Riddle but im an aero. eng. and i love the program. I do agree however that the pilots are gay

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Guest Bulldog

I also go to Riddle who unfortunetly chose to study Aerospace Engineering. I've hated it for 5 years now, but I got my pilot slot and I'm out in 2 months!! My advice is study something that your going to enjoy. Also look for something that you can always fall back on, the Air Force is looking for new ways every day to decrease numbers and you might have something unexpectedly happen while your in college, which may DQ you from the AF. I've known a few people who have gone 4.5 years of ROTC to find out they had a hole in their heart, or had something show up in a blood test that disqualifies them from commissioning.

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