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Rycast

Private Pilot License

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Hey everyone,

I've been considering applying to OTS for a while now. I've been studying various AFOQT books, reading about things online, talking to pilots, etc.

I contacted a recruiter, and he sent me some generic OTS documents. What really struck me was this:

Pilot – This program is for those individuals who are interested in a flying career.  You could be trained in a variety of aircraft including tactical fighter aircraft, bomber aircraft, cargo aircraft, and reconnaissance.  Most people who apply for this program have previous flying experience and some have their private pilot’s license.  As part of the application process there is some additional testing required. If you do not have your Private Pilot or Commercial Pilot’s license there is a 1% chance that you will be selected.

I haven't moved forward with the process, mainly because I don't have a Private Pilot's License. I only have an hour of flight time.

I'd like to get my PPL before applying, but is it really necessary? I'm sure it would improve my chances, but I'm wondering how true the "1% chance" thing is.

I realize this has been discussed somewhat in other topics, but I haven't seen anyone directly address how OTS is currently dealing with pilot hopefuls who do not have PPLs.

Thanks in advance for any replies.

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Exactly what document was the source of that quote?  I can't verify statistics, but that number seems overly pessimistic to me.  I recall tracking several rated boards a few years ago and the pilot selects ran about a 50/50 ratio for PPL or no PPL. Of course, that didn't indicate what flight experience they did have (i.e., 40 hours but no PPL vs. no time what-so-ever) nor did it reveal what the percentage of PPL applicants were selected was vs. the percentage of 'no PPL' applicants selected, but within the pilot selects overall, half had PPLs and half did not.

However, I will state that in my opinion a PPL is a very important factor in pilot slot selection, particularly in the middle of the field where everybody's package is pretty similar (that middle 60 or 70 percent).  The fewer the slots available, the more critical it becomes as a determining factor as the number of available slots gets eaten up by the top 20%.

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Hey HiFlyer, thanks for the reply. Glad to hear this might not be entirely accurate.

I've attached the document in question (with references to the officer recruiter removed - not sure if that matters).

The quoted paragraph is on page 6.

Do you think it would be beneficial for me to take the AFOQT now, or wait until after I have my PPL? I'm wondering if taking the test will require me to complete my application immediately.

OTS Info.doc

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I took the test a year ago and am just now starting the application process. Having some flying experience may help a little, but if you study hard enough, then it shouldn't be much of a factor. The TBAS, on the other hand, would be better to hold off until you get a little bit of flight time (again, not necessary though).

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Yeah while having a PPL is definitely a good thing in helping you get selected, I'll tell you that in my UPT class 2 of 23 had PPLs coming into it (we did have a bunch of academy guys so that messes with the ratio).  So the 1% thing seems to be a scare tactic to try to get you to get it.   The PCSM score takes into account your flying experience in hours. So, the more hours you have the higher the boost to your PCSM score is.  Once you take the TBAS and get a PCSM it'll have a breakdown with it that shows how different numbers of hours will effect your score.

As was said earlier though, the OTS selection boards are very competitive.  Having the PPL or a number of flight hours will help set you higher than the others (especially considering they will be doing the same thing).   Just remember if flying is your goal, Apply to all the boards not just the active duty one.  Find guard and reserve units and apply to their boards as well (flight time will matter there too).   I went to OTS with a bunch of people who tried a few times and gave up, never even putting the research in to realize there were other boards or getting the flight time to raise their PCSM scores.  They were pretty disgruntled about not being selected... but in my opinion if they were good enough and they put the work in, they would be.

If you have flight hours you prove that you'll put the work in and that this is something you really want to do and not just a "oh pilot seems cool."  You'll have actually flown.

 

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Interesting, thanks for the replies. Sparky: so the disgruntled people you mentioned that were at OTS were not selected as pilots, but had been selected for other jobs? Were you one of the 2 people with a PPL?

I've been trying to find a reliable source for upcoming boards and dates (whether active duty or reserve / guard), but they seem to be hard to find. I guess a recruiter is the best source of this information?

My recruiter seems to have gotten bored with me (he won't respond). In any case, I feel that I'm ready for the AFOQT, but maybe I'd be better off to get more hours in.

Update: my (new) recruiter has informed me that I'm eligible for the flying board and that they will send out AFOQT invites later. She sent me a bunch of paperwork for my application package, along with a due date. I assume this is for an upcoming board? What happens if I miss the due date?

Edited by Rycast

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From what I know you will apply to a flying board which includes CSO, and RPA along with Pilot. If you get your PPL you can apply for only Pilot if you so choose (from my understanding)

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Exactly what document was the source of that quote?  I can't verify statistics, but that number seems overly pessimistic to me.  I recall tracking several rated boards a few years ago and the pilot selects ran about a 50/50 ratio for PPL or no PPL. 

However, I will state that in my opinion a PPL is a very important factor in pilot slot selection, particularly in the middle of the field where everybody's package is pretty similar (that middle 60 or 70 percent).  The fewer the slots available, the more critical it becomes as a determining factor as the number of available slots gets eaten up by the top 20%.

Yea seems like another hump in the application process that's there to separate those who really *want* it versus those who think it's just cool or w/e their reason may be. That being said, it is an obvious sign of interest and commitment to the field so get it if you can, you might learn more about yourself and what you really want to do along the road. For me obtaining my PPL is what really triggered my pursuit of flying with the military. Before, flying for the military just seemed like a childhood dream.

Edited by Idontknownanything
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But that's thousands of dollars! We don't have the money to just go and buy a pilot slot!

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But that's thousands of dollars! We don't have the money to just go and buy a pilot slot!

 

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using Tapatalk

 

 

I was in the same boat...for what its worth; ~$12k to know for sure I gave it everything I can to chase my dreams, I'll never look back with any regret, whether I get picked up or not...

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On 11/23/2015 at 1:15 AM, argo said:

I was in the same boat...for what its worth; ~$12k to know for sure I gave it everything I can to chase my dreams, I'll never look back with any regret, whether I get picked up or not...

Couldn't agree more, 22k in debt for all my ratings, 27 years old and will know if I got a slot in about two months-ish. For what it's worth, if someone wanted it enough, then they will give it their all to stand out among the rest. It's not given, it's earned. 

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