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Cherokeeflyer

Preparing for UPT

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Hey guys, I'm looking for advice on how to prep for UPT. All I'm doing right now is working out and maintaining currency with my PPL. In your opinions would working on an instrument rating right now be worth the money? 

I'm excited to start this new phase in life and look forward to hearing your do's and don'ts. 

Cheers

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Getting an instrument rating now is probably not worth the money; I didn't have one before I went and I did better than some people who did (and worse than others who had even less time). Enjoy your free time and ability to travel, because with the current environment it seems like you're gonna be stuck on/near base even during the weekends. I wouldn't even really bother wasting money maintaining currency - you're gonna have so many delays and gaps before you start in T-6s that it won't really be relevant, and honestly a single ride in the IFT is probably better prep for flying a T-6 than a dozen hours in a Cessna.

When you get there, find more advanced students and actively learn from them. My biggest mistake at UPT was waiting until I failed at something before getting someone's advice on how to learn it. I went to my dollar ride with very little clue of what would actually be expected on the ride - it's very student driven, the IP isn't going to tell you "OK now go do this, no perform this maneuver, etc." and that threw me.

 

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Cooperate to graduate. Don’t be afraid to talk to guys who are already at the flight line. I thought guys/gals who were several classes ahead of me were somehow mystical creatures... then I got there and realized that wasn’t the case. Most will be happy to help manage expectations and let you know what you can do to prepare for your dollar ride. Academics is nothing too cosmic. Stay in the books and make an actual effort to dig into the regs as soon as you start seeing them appear in academics.


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Not much to really study ahead before UPT. UPT will teach you the AF way of flying. Some stuff crosses over (basic understanding of piloting skills), but it's different enough that any advantage fades quickly.

 

Best thing I can tell you is take the time now to take care of yourself (and your family if applicable). UPT will be a busy year, and generally no leave will be approved except in emergencies, or if you finish the phase early and are waiting for the next phase or graduation (though who knows with all the DOD COVUD travel restrictions).

 

When you do start, do take time for yourself. The advice I got as a student, and the advice I have to my students was to take Friday evening to Sunday morning for myself. Put down the books, hang out with classmates/friends/family, to recharge for the next week and not get burnt out. Study hard, but ask for help from classmates other students, and the instructors. Most will be willing to help if you're putting in the work. FYI, generally my first question as an IP was "what does the book say?" If you can't answer that, it's back to the books first, and then we can discuss what it means and how to apply it.

 

Best of luck to you!

 

ETA: to answer your question, getting your instrument rating probably won't help.

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On 4/16/2020 at 1:26 AM, Stoker said:

it's very student driven, the IP isn't going to tell you "OK now go do this, no perform this maneuver, etc." and that threw me.

Had a guy from New Jersey in my class who would show up like the IP was his personal trainer in the gym. He'd report in and then ask, "So what are we looking at doing today?" He didn't last long in UPT, but he's made a great career in the Air Force and it was funny to watch. 

  • Haha 1

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On 7/9/2020 at 1:45 AM, JBueno said:

Had a guy from New Jersey in my class who would show up like the IP was his personal trainer in the gym. He'd report in and then ask, "So what are we looking at doing today?" He didn't last long in UPT, but he's made a great career in the Air Force and it was funny to watch. 

Whats the correct approach then? Is there a syllabus you should be going over the week/night before to prepare? And how much is self study vs classroom? 

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You’ll have plenty of time to get spun up on the expectations and requirements. Any info you get from here will likely be outdated given the constant state of flux the UPT syllabi are in. Just gotta make sure all of your required maneuvers are up to MIF by the end of each block of training. The classroom stuff will provide the baseline knowledge, but you’ll need to do a deep-dive into the pubs to be at the expected level of GK (general knowledge). You should at a minimum know all of the parameters for all of the maneuvers from the 11-248 and the known pitch and power settings for the various phases of flight and flight configurations. But again, don’t worry about any of that prior to getting through Phase 0 and Phase 1. You’ll also do a deep dive into the 11-217 and the 11-202 and the 11-2-T6-1.


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