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Alseides    0

I recently got selected for Reserve RPA pilot training.  I noticed that the threads with information on what training is like are a little dated.  Would anyone be willing to share what their experiences at the courses at Pueblo, Randolph, and Holloman were like?  Or has not much changed?

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viper154    92

I can only speak for Holloman, MQT at Cannon and what I have seen the last few years. Holloman expect to be there 6-8 months. Some weeks you won't fly at all, some you will have a event almost everyday. Some days you will go in early as 3am, and some days you will go in at 3pm and leave at 7. I didn't find Holloman to be a difficult course, but I went through  as a prior manned guy. From talking to the MQT instructors here at Cannon their has been a noticble decrease in "product" from the school house. The RPA pipeline has been opened to absolute full capicity the last 2 years and that has allowed some slow swimmers to make it though the course, or people that maybe should have been washed out earlier make it through. 

That being said, take advantage of every ride and if you find yourself struggling find a instructor that you like and ask for extra help on your own. Just skimming by at Randolph or Holloman might be ok but it's going to hurt you in the long run. 

 

Otherwise have fun in San Antonio, it's a good place, Holloman is decent if you enjoy outdoor activities and making day/weekend trips around. ABQ is good to see once, Carlsbad Caverns is cool to checkout, their are lots of great hiking/camping locations within a few minute to few hour drive. 

Are you 2nd SOS? I can't think of any other reserve units off the top of my head. 

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Alseides    0

Thanks for the info.  I will be headed to the 91st ATKS.  I have my PPL and I have been on aircrew but I was not rated in my prior service.

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viper154    92
On 8/6/2017 at 1:26 AM, Alseides said:

Thanks for the info.  I will be headed to the 91st ATKS.  I have my PPL and I have been on aircrew but I was not rated in my prior service.

I would expect to skip Pueblo having your PPL. From what I have read on here they won't allow you to go if you already have it. That seems to change though so don't quote me. 

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Alseides    0
On 8/8/2017 at 8:49 PM, viper154 said:

I would expect to skip Pueblo having your PPL. From what I have read on here they won't allow you to go if you already have it. That seems to change though so don't quote me. 

I was originally going to skip Pueblo.  Then they changed their minds and now I am going.  The reason is because it has been awhile since I last flew.  I think IFS is 6 weeks?  Also, you mentioned Holloman is 6-8 months.  Is Randolph about the same amount of time?

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klean    0
6 hours ago, Alseides said:

I was originally going to skip Pueblo.  Then they changed their minds and now I am going.  The reason is because it has been awhile since I last flew.  I think IFS is 6 weeks?  Also, you mentioned Holloman is 6-8 months.  Is Randolph about the same amount of time?

How long has it been since you flew? Months or years?

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viper154    92
17 hours ago, Alseides said:

I was originally going to skip Pueblo.  Then they changed their minds and now I am going.  The reason is because it has been awhile since I last flew.  I think IFS is 6 weeks?  Also, you mentioned Holloman is 6-8 months.  Is Randolph about the same amount of time?

I think RPA IFS is 6-8 weeks, and I think Randolph is 3 months. I'm a prior manned guy, I didn't go through either  

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DeskPop    1

I went through the pipeline about 6-7 years ago, but I was recently instructing at the FTU at Holloman, so I was able to ask the students going through how things have changed:

IFS is now IFT ("training" instead of "screening"), since the washout rate was too high as a screening program, and lasts approximately 6-9 weeks, depending on weather and your performance (i.e. repeating rides or double turning events). EX: At Pueblo, my class had 4 of 8 wash out and the class behind me had 7 of 8 wash out. When I went through, we would do stand-up briefs every morning, but I'm not sure if that's still the case in the new kindler/gentler course. The syllabus is pretty similar to what you would accomplish for a PPL, with a solo, some night flying, and some cross countries. What it leaves off from a true PPL program is the final written exam, a night cross country, the FAA certified flight exam, as well as a stupid rule (not sure if it's still in effect) where we weren't allowed to actually touch wheels down at any cross country airfield, you could only do low approaches. Your cross country flights would then be a three legged flight out to two airports, but you would only log one takeoff and one landing at Pueblo. Work-around would be to do a few patterns at Pueblo to log more and make it look like a true cross country in your logbook for FAA purposes. If you're going to IFT, hit up the Doss website and start memorizing the Boldface and ops limits. It'll be one less thing to worry about when you get there.

RIQ, RPA Instrument Qualification, (4 weeks 8 weeks) is done in T-6 simulators and consisted of the contact and instrument phases of a UPT syllabus, leaving out formation. It's structured to replicate UPT with intense stand-up briefs every morning, fire hose method of teaching, and long days of academics and events. Front loaded with academics and CBTs, I took an instrument ground school course before going to Randolph and did well.

RFC, RPA Fundamentals Course, (4 weeks) is low threat, no daily stand-ups, and includes some introduction to RPAs using very rudimentary desktop computers/simulators. I believe there's a series of structured sims you'll accomplish using unofficial/abbreviated checklists to get you used to how things will be at Holloman. This is also where you'll first work with a Sensor Operator going through their basic course.

Your time at Randolph will be highly dependent on how quickly they schedule you for courses. I was in an early group, so we spent no more than a week or two in between classes. As with any training pipeline, there's a chance for backlogs and longer waiting time between courses.

Holloman is slow. Much slower than the previous courses. Go with an expectation that events will be feast or famine where you'll do an event every day of the week on top of academics, and the next week (or two) you'll sit and do nothing. It's been that way since I went through 6 years ago, so I doubt it's going to change anytime soon. Whatever your orders say, tack on an extra month or two. If you go during monsoon season (Jul-Oct) or winter (Jan-Mar), expect it to be even longer due to weather cancels. The toughest part about Holloman is not the course itself, but the motivation to stay engaged when you're not scheduled for events and your stuck in the armpit of America. With prior aircrew experience, use that to mentor the younger, inexperienced guys. Go to the squadron bars for class graduations and/or go to the club for crud and cheap drinks. Once you hit shift work, the squadron event stuff doesn't happen. There's also skiing in Ruidoso in the winter and hiking in the summer. Advice: just don't go to El Paso with a personal weapon and "accidentally" find yourself across the border in Juarez, it won't end well (actually happened).

Edited by DeskPop
Fixed RIQ length

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nsplayr    599
On 8/31/2017 at 8:26 AM, DeskPop said:

I took an instrument ground school course before going to Randolph and did well.

 

Which course did you take?

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DeskPop    1
17 hours ago, nsplayr said:

 

Which course did you take?

I started with Gleim's online course while deployed to Al Udeid in 2010, but didn't have the time/motivation to stay on the self paced stuff to fully complete it. I then took an in-person course at Offutt's aero club after getting back when I found out tuition assistance would cover the cost.

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Alseides    0
On 9/5/2017 at 7:43 AM, DeskPop said:

I started with Gleim's online course while deployed to Al Udeid in 2010, but didn't have the time/motivation to stay on the self paced stuff to fully complete it. I then took an in-person course at Offutt's aero club after getting back when I found out tuition assistance would cover the cost.

Small world, I did my PPL at Offutt's Aero Club.  I'll need to check if I have any of my GI Bil left after finishing grad school.  Thanks for the info about the courses, I really appreciate it.

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