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Dom

Chances & Application Recommendations

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 Hello all,

I'm looking to like to apply for various pilot slots in near future. I have no military experience, although I have several contacts who do. 

AFOQT Scores: Pilot: 80 | Nav: 96 | Acad Apt: 87 | Verbal: 63 | Quant: 96

PCSM Score: 38 (No Flight Time)

Age: 26

GPA / Major: 3.70 / Mechanical Engineering

LOR: USCG Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class, Former Supervisor, Personal friend from college.

Prof Experience: 1.5yrs

I'm looking at starting my PPL next month, and retaking the TBAS (felt like I could definitely improve). Besides that any general recommendations? I'd actually prefer to fly heavies, and I'm open to ANG, Reserves, or AD.

Thank you for your responses/feedback!

 

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Letters of Rec need work. An E-4 should not be used for a letter of rec, nor a personal friend from college. Any contacts with old professors? Current boss? I'd recommend getting your pilot license as well(at least start flying). Helps improve your packet and you find out if you really wanna do this. Also will put you in contact with tons of people as you start hanging around the airport and networking. Could even get your flight instructor to write you a letter of rec.

 

Edited by jonlbs

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11 hours ago, jonlbs said:

Letters of Rec need work. An E-4 should not be used for a letter of rec, nor a personal friend from college. Any contacts with old professors? Current boss? I'd recommend getting your pilot license as well(at least start flying). Helps improve your packet and you find out if you really wanna do this. Also will put you in contact with tons of people as you start hanging around the airport and networking. Could even get your flight instructor to write you a letter of rec.

 

I agree with jonlbs Get a college professor or Dean of engineering to write you one. No personal friends or Family! 

Your have to wait 180 days to retake the TBAS I think. get your ppl and flight time under your belt. It will help you with "air-sense" stuff when retaking the TBAS.

 

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What is your 201+ PCSM? Knowing you max score will help people give advice about retaking the TBAS.

Overall, you AFOQT scores are pretty good, but you pilot score is average, so that isn't doing wonders for your PCSM either. If you are going for fighters, you'll probably need to retake your AFOQT as well.

Flight time will help, even if you can only get past your solo. When I was rushing, I heard multiple guys that didn't have PPLs get asked if they'd flown at all, and then if they solo'd.

As for your Letters of Recommendation, I agree about replacing the E-4 recommendation, but think it depends with your friend. I had a friend as one of my recommendations, but he was also AD Air Force. If your buddy is an entry level ass scratcher at whatever company he works for, I'd find someone else.

If you DO get your PPL, your CFI will be a good recommendation.

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On 7/14/2019 at 8:23 PM, jonlbs said:

Letters of Rec need work. An E-4 should not be used for a letter of rec, nor a personal friend from college. Any contacts with old professors? Current boss? I'd recommend getting your pilot license as well(at least start flying). Helps improve your packet and you find out if you really wanna do this. Also will put you in contact with tons of people as you start hanging around the airport and networking. Could even get your flight instructor to write you a letter of rec.

 

@jonlbs Thanks for your recommendations. I'll substitute those LORs for something more suitable (i.e. flight instructor, college professor). Slated to start flight school next month. In your opinion should I still rush for units while working towards PPL or wait until I have that under my belt?

 

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On 7/15/2019 at 7:47 AM, CharlieHotel47 said:

I agree with jonlbs Get a college professor or Dean of engineering to write you one. No personal friends or Family! 

Your have to wait 180 days to retake the TBAS I think. get your ppl and flight time under your belt. It will help you with "air-sense" stuff when retaking the TBAS.

 

@CharlieHotel47 Thanks for your response. I'll try to get some LORs from those you mentioned. I'm past the 180 days, but I'll take your advice on waiting to retake the TBAS again until I get some flight time under my belt.

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22 hours ago, N730 said:

What is your 201+ PCSM? Knowing you max score will help people give advice about retaking the TBAS.

Overall, you AFOQT scores are pretty good, but you pilot score is average, so that isn't doing wonders for your PCSM either. If you are going for fighters, you'll probably need to retake your AFOQT as well.

Flight time will help, even if you can only get past your solo. When I was rushing, I heard multiple guys that didn't have PPLs get asked if they'd flown at all, and then if they solo'd.

As for your Letters of Recommendation, I agree about replacing the E-4 recommendation, but think it depends with your friend. I had a friend as one of my recommendations, but he was also AD Air Force. If your buddy is an entry level ass scratcher at whatever company he works for, I'd find someone else.

If you DO get your PPL, your CFI will be a good recommendation.

@N730Thanks for your feedback. My 201+ PCSM is 81. What's considered a good PCSM for fighters? Got it, thanks for the advice with getting LORs I think most of the feedback was about getting LORs from flight instructors or college professors. 

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Rush ASAP. You are getting there on the age curve, so don't waste any more time, though because you said you would prefer heavies, I've seen more age waivers for them. I would say the target PCSM for any airframe will be 80+. This doesn't mean 201+ is 80 but your base score is that. Otherwise, your scores and GPA are decent and I would say you have a pretty good shot at getting picked up! Also, I've heard that a lot of units want to see that you have at least solo'd. so keep that in mind.  

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On 7/16/2019 at 2:10 PM, PrivateFighterPilotLicense said:

Rush ASAP. You are getting there on the age curve, so don't waste any more time, though because you said you would prefer heavies, I've seen more age waivers for them. I would say the target PCSM for any airframe will be 80+. This doesn't mean 201+ is 80 but your base score is that. Otherwise, your scores and GPA are decent and I would say you have a pretty good shot at getting picked up! Also, I've heard that a lot of units want to see that you have at least solo'd. so keep that in mind.  

@PrivateFighterPilotLicense Thank you for your feedback! Does the AF require age waivers now? My understanding, from browsing these boards, is that the cutoff is 33, maybe I'm wrong? Realistically my PCSM will be somewhere in the 60/70s once I've solo'd, possibly retaken the TBAS. This along with obtaining another LOR from my CFI would take me into mid-Oct. Should I be sending ANG/Reserve applications out before this date?

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On 7/16/2019 at 11:51 AM, Dom said:

@N730Thanks for your feedback. My 201+ PCSM is 81. What's considered a good PCSM for fighters? Got it, thanks for the advice with getting LORs I think most of the feedback was about getting LORs from flight instructors or college professors. 

Knowing that your 201+ is similar to your pilot score, I'm not sure the TBAS is the issue. I'd seriously consider studying your ass off and retaking the AFOQT.

Everyone I was with at fighter interviews had pilot scores in the mid to high 90s (a couple were around 90), similar PCSMs. I've was also told by a couple of units that they look at the 201+ score and consider that as well.

Your quant score is awesome, so I can only imagine that the actual pilot sections were where you didn't do quite as good as you could have.

As for your age, I think you are ok. I got hired earlier this year am a little older than you. Units cover a sepctrum, some don't care at all, some take it into consideration, and for some it is a deal breaker. But that's not something you can control, so focus on the aspects of your package that you can.

Also, when it comes to retaking the TBAS or AFOQT, my comments are just my point of view. I was picked up, but I'm not one of these guys who have been on hiring boards. So if one of the more experienced guys or moderators come in and say differently, take their advice over mine.

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16 hours ago, Dom said:

@PrivateFighterPilotLicense Thank you for your feedback! Does the AF require age waivers now? My understanding, from browsing these boards, is that the cutoff is 33, maybe I'm wrong? Realistically my PCSM will be somewhere in the 60/70s once I've solo'd, possibly retaken the TBAS. This along with obtaining another LOR from my CFI would take me into mid-Oct. Should I be sending ANG/Reserve applications out before this date?

Yeah definitely take this all with a grain of salt since I'm still on the circuit. Since you're aiming for heavies, the age waiver has more potential, especially since it is up to 33 now. Fighters is a different story though, and this isn't official just a guess but just because the policy is waivers up to 33 doesn't mean that your age isn't counting against you.

 

There is nothing wrong with sending out your package as is right now. It will give you a lot of insight on tailoring your cover letter/resume to specific units, and even possibly getting feedback on your application. It will only help you, and if you can rush then do so. If you get rejected, keep going because it sends a good message to the squadrons that you have persistence. Good luck man, hope we both get picked up soon.

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16 hours ago, Dom said:

@PrivateFighterPilotLicense Thank you for your feedback! Does the AF require age waivers now? My understanding, from browsing these boards, is that the cutoff is 33, maybe I'm wrong? Realistically my PCSM will be somewhere in the 60/70s once I've solo'd, possibly retaken the TBAS. This along with obtaining another LOR from my CFI would take me into mid-Oct. Should I be sending ANG/Reserve applications out before this date?

My understanding is the same as yours in that an age waiver/Exception to Policy is NOT required for candidates that have not yet reached their 33rd birthday. I believe there's a link/thread on here somewhere with the actual policy. From lurking on here, it appears an ETP is possible for qualified candidates 33-35. Age is not something I would be "concerned" about if I we're you as I'm 35 and a wannabe also. You have a solid package and what seems like you've already identified the  areas you can improve with your package. Happy Hunting!!!

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Yeah definitely take this all with a grain of salt since I'm still on the circuit. Since you're aiming for heavies, the age waiver has more potential, especially since it is up to 33 now. Fighters is a different story though, and this isn't official just a guess but just because the policy is waivers up to 33 doesn't mean that your age isn't counting against you.


Waivers aren’t required unless you’d be 33 when you start training, that’s the change. The limit was raised from 30 to 33.


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7 hours ago, N730 said:

Knowing that your 201+ is similar to your pilot score, I'm not sure the TBAS is the issue. I'd seriously consider studying your ass off and retaking the AFOQT.

Everyone I was with at fighter interviews had pilot scores in the mid to high 90s (a couple were around 90), similar PCSMs. I've was also told by a couple of units that they look at the 201+ score and consider that as well.

Your quant score is awesome, so I can only imagine that the actual pilot sections were where you didn't do quite as good as you could have.

As for your age, I think you are ok. I got hired earlier this year am a little older than you. Units cover a sepctrum, some don't care at all, some take it into consideration, and for some it is a deal breaker. But that's not something you can control, so focus on the aspects of your package that you can.

Also, when it comes to retaking the TBAS or AFOQT, my comments are just my point of view. I was picked up, but I'm not one of these guys who have been on hiring boards. So if one of the more experienced guys or moderators come in and say differently, take their advice over mine.

@N730 Great information, I'll keep the PCSM scores in mind if that seems to be the glaring issue with my App. In the next few months I'm sure I'll get many different angles on the importance of various factors as I rush. Congrats on getting picked up and thanks for sharing your perspective!

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Springboarding from what N730 said about the AFOQT, a jump from 80 to 99 in the pilot section of the AFOQT can increase your PCSM 10 or more points. That's something you can study for and achieve if you put in the time and effort. If you want a slot badly enough, it's a no brainer to retake that.

The table reading section is what usually gets people. There are resources to practice a table incredibly similar to what they have on the real AFOQT. If you can legitimately finish that section, do as well as you did on the math again, and have general pilot knowledge, you'll be in great shape.

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5 hours ago, PrivateFighterPilotLicense said:

Yeah definitely take this all with a grain of salt since I'm still on the circuit. Since you're aiming for heavies, the age waiver has more potential, especially since it is up to 33 now. Fighters is a different story though, and this isn't official just a guess but just because the policy is waivers up to 33 doesn't mean that your age isn't counting against you.

 

There is nothing wrong with sending out your package as is right now. It will give you a lot of insight on tailoring your cover letter/resume to specific units, and even possibly getting feedback on your application. It will only help you, and if you can rush then do so. If you get rejected, keep going because it sends a good message to the squadrons that you have persistence. Good luck man, hope we both get picked up soon.

@PrivateFighterPilotLicense Great advice, I'll keep that in mind with the age thing (seems like each squadron has their own preference) and I really can't change that part of my application anyway. Good point, nothing to lose. Same man, best of luck to you!

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5 hours ago, Unit#8192 said:

My understanding is the same as yours in that an age waiver/Exception to Policy is NOT required for candidates that have not yet reached their 33rd birthday. I believe there's a link/thread on here somewhere with the actual policy. From lurking on here, it appears an ETP is possible for qualified candidates 33-35. Age is not something I would be "concerned" about if I we're you as I'm 35 and a wannabe also. You have a solid package and what seems like you've already identified the  areas you can improve with your package. Happy Hunting!!!

@Unit#8192 Solid, thanks for providing more info on that. As I stated earlier really can't do anything to change that part of my app anyways. Goodluck to you as well!

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8 minutes ago, Fly For a 62E said:

Springboarding from what N730 said about the AFOQT, a jump from 80 to 99 in the pilot section of the AFOQT can increase your PCSM 10 or more points. That's something you can study for and achieve if you put in the time and effort. If you want a slot badly enough, it's a no brainer to retake that.

The table reading section is what usually gets people. There are resources to practice a table incredibly similar to what they have on the real AFOQT. If you can legitimately finish that section, do as well as you did on the math again, and have general pilot knowledge, you'll be in great shape.

@Fly For a 62E That's something I'll seriously consider (especially to bump up +10 PCSM). My thought is after putting some significant time towards my PPL I'd be better prepared for the general pilot knowledge section... therefore being better prepared to retake down the road. Appreciate the feedback!

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On 7/20/2019 at 1:21 AM, Fly For a 62E said:

Springboarding from what N730 said about the AFOQT, a jump from 80 to 99 in the pilot section of the AFOQT can increase your PCSM 10 or more points. That's something you can study for and achieve if you put in the time and effort. If you want a slot badly enough, it's a no brainer to retake that.

The table reading section is what usually gets people. There are resources to practice a table incredibly similar to what they have on the real AFOQT. If you can legitimately finish that section, do as well as you did on the math again, and have general pilot knowledge, you'll be in great shape.

I had a PCSM of 42 with a pilot score of 69.  I retook the AFOQT and TBAS and now have a '97-pilot' score and it increased the PCSM to 71. Retaking the TBAS bumped me from a 71 to 78.  So, 28 points on the AFOQT equaled 29 points on the PCSM.  The TBAS (doesnt give you a score) was 7 points.  Got a few more hours of flying (USAFA hrs, IFS when it was still called screening, and some at the Aero Club) and am now sitting at a 82.  Hope that helps. 

 

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45 minutes ago, CCT beat me once said:

I had a PCSM of 42 with a pilot score of 69.  I retook the AFOQT and TBAS and now have a '97-pilot' score and it increased the PCSM to 71. Retaking the TBAS bumped me from a 71 to 78.  So, 28 points on the AFOQT equaled 29 points on the PCSM.  The TBAS (doesnt give you a score) was 7 points.  Got a few more hours of flying (USAFA hrs, IFS when it was still called screening, and some at the Aero Club) and am now sitting at a 82.  Hope that helps. 

 

@CCT beat me once Great insight! I was wondering what you did differently the second go around when studying for specifically for Pilot section of the AFOQT and the TBAS? Congrats btw that's a really good jump! Thank you for your feedback

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Well, the first time I took the AFOQT was on a Silver Saturday at USAFA.  We were told a week prior that the scores were not part of the calculus when we got our AFSCs.  Everyone who was qualified got a slot that year - to include me.  I was one of the dudes yanked out in 2014 when they changed the CCT (cone contrast test).  I now have a FC1 again, and retook the test with a slightly more concerted effort considering it now counts!  Hopeful for the FY20 board.  

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On 7/22/2019 at 11:53 AM, CCT beat me once said:

Well, the first time I took the AFOQT was on a Silver Saturday at USAFA.  We were told a week prior that the scores were not part of the calculus when we got our AFSCs.  Everyone who was qualified got a slot that year - to include me.  I was one of the dudes yanked out in 2014 when they changed the CCT (cone contrast test).  I now have a FC1 again, and retook the test with a slightly more concerted effort considering it now counts!  Hopeful for the FY20 board.  

@CCT beat me once Understood, going through the USAFA pipeline. Best of luck to you in regards to the FY20 board!

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