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Scooter14

Doing Well in UPT

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The UTDs can be extremely helpful...I highly recommend you take whatever time you can get to use those. The biggest thing is prioritizing...MSFS should be very low on your list. The amount of time you spend awkwardly changing radio freqs w/ the mouse, etc. could be better spent just closing your eyes and visualizing in your head. I'm not just a "hater," I've BTDT, but my opinion is just different than Aloha's. Best thing would be to form your own opinion, but I caution you to not spend a bunch of time on MSFS...I really believe you'll gain much less than what you would by just "old-fashioned" chair flying and studying the pubs. The best thing you can do for yourself during Phase I is go to the T-6 UTDs every day and spend an hour running all the checklists. That will help you a lot once you hit the flight line; and you will have time during Phase I to do this.

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For the T-6, it's a full-up cockpit trainer. It's hooked to a computer, so basically it's a fully functioning sim, just w/o a screen (so works well for practicing instruments when you get to that part of Phase 2). All the switches/buttons function as the do in the real aircraft, screens display what they would in the real a/c, etc. During Phase 1, it's worth it's weight in gold for you to practice starting the plane, flipping the right switches in the right order, looking at the screens for the engine displays, etc. There's a sim specifically designed in phase 1 w/ a sim instructor to show you how to work it.

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Guest southerncal

As a recent graduate I'd like to add my two cents on something which I haven’t really seen talked about much in these forums... In my very humble opinion, the number one thing you can do to prepare for UPT has nothing to do with studying, reading, getting gouge, or any of that. THE number one thing you can do is to make sure your life is in order.

Make sure your relationships are strong. If you are married, take time to talk to your wife (or husband) about what the upcoming year has in store. Don't sugar coat it one bit. Come up what you think will be a realistic plan of how your daily tasks around the house will be re-divided. Commit to spend time with them. For me, this meant that from Friday night to after church on Sunday, NO studying (unless I had a checkride coming up). You are about to spend a year reading thousands of pages about flying; spend some time reading about how to make a successful marriage, or attend a marriage building seminar. Some people might think that this sort of thing is :rainbow: or for people with a bad marriage, but believe me, it is worth it.

If you are one of those people with a ambiguous-don't-know-where-this-is-going relationship, try to figure that thing out before pilot training.

If there is bad blood between you and a family member or good friend, try to get it settled.

Get your finances in order. Get out of credit card and other debt to the max extent possible. You do NOT want that hanging over your head during pilot training. If you are starting in March, get your taxes done early. Make a realistic budget early, and include plenty of money for having a good time.

Stay in shape. If you are not in shape, get there. Pilot training is physically demanding, even if you never pulled more than 2Gs, simply because of the lack of sleep, poor nutrition, and high stress you will be subjecting your body to.

Make important decisions and promises to yourself (ie, I will under no circumstances, drive if I have had more than 1 beer. etc)

Get in touch with the Higher Power, and get squared away with Him.

A few weeks before I was going to start UPT, I was struck with two horrible tragedies that I would not wish on my worst enemy, about 40 days apart. The best decision I made was to take a huge chunk of emergency leave, and get things taken care of (as much as it was possible anyway). I started UPT two classes later than I would have, but in the long run that time was nothing. Looking back, I perhaps should have even waited longer to start, as the events affected my ability to train in phase II. However, in the long run, I got my dream assignment, so I guess things worked out.

So this is a little long winded, but what I am saying is that, you WILL have time to learn what you will need to know during UPT. But UPT is not a bubble, life, including the bad stuff, can still effect you there. Focus now on going into UPT at the best physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels of your life, and then worry about studying the boldface.

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I am a UPT instructor, S-Cal has got it right. And be a good bro, we are watching your bro act. Flight CC ranking is 30% of your Phase III MASS score, we can raise you up or sink you, we know who the non-team players are. As far as studying before you get to UPT, BOLDFACE at a maximum, we will tell you how and what to learn, you'll only start your own bad habits if you go further than that. Live on base, don't drink off base, it's only a year.

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Does having Flying experience help or hurt you at UPT? I know there is IFS but other than that.

Just recently finished up Phase II and this is what I saw in regards to prior experience...

-Private with a decent amount of hours proved to definitely help in the Contact Phase.

-Instrument Rating DEFINITELY helped in the instrument phase.

-No amount of hours or ratings will help in the Formation phase. This is the true equalizer because 99% of the dudes at UPT have never flown formation. I saw some people who had only 25 hours at IFS struggle through the Contact Phase, but then really pick it up by the end and excel in the Formation Phase.

Aside from that I can't really tell you how it affects Phase III yet, but my guess is that the majority of the no time dudes have caught up to the experienced dudes.

my .02

Also keep in mind no amount of hours will help you if you have a piss poor attitude and think you are better than everyone at UPT because of your experience. I really didn't see much of this though. Most of our high time dudes were pretty humble about it.

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Does anybody know off the top of their head how heavily the phase I academics are weighted toward mass score? ie. if somebody doesn't do well on a Weather test for example (i'm just saying, you know hypothetically) how badly would this hurt them?

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Does anybody know off the top of their head how heavily the phase I academics are weighted toward mass score? ie. if somebody doesn't do well on a Weather test for example (i'm just saying, you know hypothetically) how badly would this hurt them?

I wouldn't sweat one test. One test won't affect your mass score that much. What will affect your mass score is if you get worked up over one test and let it bring you down. It is just like daily and check rides when you screw up one manuever, let the bad stuff roll off your shoulder and press. If I remember correctly from eight years ago, academics is ony 10 percent of the mass. There are in excess of 500 questions (including EPQs) so if you missed 10 questions on that one test you dropped in the mass by 0.2 percent. My #s aren't exact but you get the point.

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Academics are the smallest part of your MASS (including stan tests), but realize that doing well on these things looks good on you. So in the end, while they may be only 10%, they also might impact your flt/cc ranking (positively or negatively). Academics is something you can control...so don't be the guy who barely passes test and/or keeps failing stan tests. There's no excuse...especially w/ all the "help" out there.

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Guest ibreon

how much of a part does previous flying experience contribute? i think i want to fly fighters, but i have no flying experience whatsoever...

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how much of a part does previous flying experience contribute? i think i want to fly fighters, but i have no flying experience whatsoever...

I'm just about to solo and I have about 200 hours prior experience with an instrument rating. So far, it has helped some but not an immense amount. Having the IFR rating definitely gave me a leg up in the instruments academics and in the sims, but it also highlighted me to the instructors and they expect me to be good at that stuff. In the presolo contact stuff it hasn't helped too much, honestly. Maybe that I have a little bit of a clue what's going on and a small amount of air sense (not much SA yet though), but the flying is WAY different, the radio calls are totally different, and the expectations are just as high for everyone.

I can't speak to how it will contribute to my overall success or failure during UPT, but my previous flying experience has helped some. It definitely helped at IFS because that was essentially civilian flying with a different traffic pattern. IFS, however, is pass/fail so being the best with 6900 hours or showing up with 0 hours doesn't matter. As long as you work hard and aren't UNSAFE you'll do fine. That's basically what they've looked for at UPT so far, too. "Is this dude unsafe? Will he kill himself or someone else if he's flying by himself in the pattern or to/from the MOA." If you're safe, you'll succeed, if you're unsafe, you won't.

Back to your question -- it depends. It definitely helped on some of the academics tests, but it has hurt in some other areas from using previous techniques that don't work. For example, I had a bad habit of a high flare on landing. I flared early and settled to the runway just like I did in a C-152 and Piper Warrior. Problem is with the T-6 that's not how to land. So, I had some negative transfer and got hosed on my first few flights for ending up in a sinking flare situation. After a few debriefs and clarifications I realized (through some IP insistence and demonstrations while airborne) that I was doing that from my previous flying. I didn't know it, didn't realize it, and now I don't land like that anymore. So, weird things you didn't think would be an issue become issues, I guess is my point.

Also it's important to recognize that you will be instructed as if you had 0 hours when you show up. If that chaps your ass and you get an attitude about the "remedial" instruction then you are doomed to failure. Having a good attitude and being humble about your previous flying experience (and all other things) as well as helping out the guys who are struggling in the flight is the most important thing, I think, about previous flying experience. but for you, with 0 experience, don't worry about it. The program is designed for 0 hour dudes to succeed. There are lots of guys, some on this board, who showed up with 0 hours and got what their first choice out of UPT. You just gotta work hard and study up. If you know the procedures the IPs will teach you techniques. Don't waste time you could be learning techniques having them teach you the procedures you should've already learned.

HUGE CAVEAT: Remember, I'm just a STUD, in the baby class, and I haven't soloed let alone earned my wings, so take what I said with a big grain of salt. There are many more experienced people here who will have better perspective than I do. I'm just telling you my experience in UPT thus far. Whether you still want to track t-38s and MAYBE get a fighter after T6s depends on whether you a) like pulling g's and strapping into an ejection seat b) like wearing a helmet, mask, harness, and g-suit every day to fly, c) don't suck at formation, and d) want to be a fighter pilot after meeting some and learning what the days are like behind the glamor of it all. There's a lot more to it than I ever thought there would be, and it's way different than I expected. There is definite appeal to both sides. Don't pigeon hole yourself to flying fighters because you saw Operation Red Flag or Top Gun and you think want to fly a pointy-nosed jet around.

Hope that helps.

I know your question is relating to have no experience, but I kinda answered it from the other direction. Sorry for being a little verbose. PM me if you want more info (not that there's much more to say...)

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I have a theory that just about everybody flying for the AF has thought that they wanted fighters at one point or another. Phase 2 does a great job of making up your mind one way or the other. I personally was very gung ho fighters for YEARS, but now that i'm a few weeks away from track I want to fly herks. Funny how that happens. The story is the same for most of my class. Those that still want fighters have always wanted them, those that don't probably did at one point along the way.

Granted there are a few that will tell you that they're heavy dudes through and through and that they've never wanted to fly anything pointy, but in my limited experience they're somewhat rare.

Just do your best, keep your options open and don't decide anything until after formation solo.

Good luck.

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As far as flying experience goes, people get all wrapped up about it. Initially, the guys with tons of hours seemed to be ahead with switchology and general flying knowledge, but guess what, the majority of people eventually caught up. I'm sure it helps with regards to air sense, etc...but as far as final class standing goes (at least in my class) it didn't mean shit. The people that did the best in my class were the ones that picked up AF flying (i stress AF) quickly. That coupled with good attitude, being a good classmate, some luck, and some politics in your favor dictated your overall performance...

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For the most part, as long as you keep a good attitude towards UPT, instruction, etc, prior flying time can only help you. With the exception of one guy, all of us who got fighters in my class had prior flight time ranging from 80 hrs to 900 hrs. I think it helps and strongly suggest anyone get time. Not only will it help you, but it will be fun. Obviously experiences differ between classes, but bottom line is it's never a bad idea to get flight time.

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I agree with Bender on this subject.

Everyone starts out wanting fighters, believe me I did... Talk to all of your instructors about their previous airframes(Sorry FAIP's) and go into it with a very open mind.

Look at me, started out wanting A-10's(and would still like to fly one someday, just to shoot the gun) went Herks and haven't looked back.

Overall in order to really have "a say" in what you want there is essentially one thing you have to do... Don't Suck, oh yeah the positive attitude really doesn't hurt

cheers :beer:

Edited by Dead Last

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I'm commissioning this coming June and will more than likely have a good 6 months before my EAD date comes around.

I have next to no prior flight experience and I wanted to ask you guys if getting 20 - 30 hours in a DA-20 prior to my EAD date would be beneficial for me going into IFS and UPT in general...?

Right now I have no intention of trying to go -38's and honestly helos look really badass and most appealing to me. I have heard rumors that pilot trainees at UPT can be guaranteed a helo slot if the trainee commits to the slot prior to completing UPT. Is this true?

Thanks for all the info and I can't wait to get into the real Air Force and the f*** out of ROTC...

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I'm commissioning this coming June and will more than likely have a good 6 months before my EAD date comes around.

I have next to no prior flight experience and I wanted to ask you guys if getting 20 - 30 hours in a DA-20 prior to my EAD date would be beneficial for me going into IFS and UPT in general...?

Right now I have no intention of trying to go -38's and honestly helos look really badass and most appealing to me. I have heard rumors that pilot trainees at UPT can be guaranteed a helo slot if the trainee commits to the slot prior to completing UPT. Is this true?

Thanks for all the info and I can't wait to get into the real Air Force and the f*** out of ROTC...

First...Nothing, NOTHING is ever guaranteed. Helo slots are hard to come by and growing in popularity (No UAVs...yet) In T-6s everyone competes for their follow on training (-38s, Toners, T-44s and Helos) You can walk in day one and tell everyone you want Helos but at track select (If you make it that far, again not guaranteed) you had better done better than everyone else who put it higher than 3rd choice. Then maybe then you could say it is quasi-guaranteed.

As far as getting hours...it could probably help some, but don't break the bank doing it. I know plenty of guys that showed up to UPT with only IFS experience and finished top of their class. Also seen some with lots of time that don't have wings today. Again...

I showed up with hours and ratings. It helped and I got my dream assignment but in the end the only thing different between me and most of my bros is a lot more debt.

Hope that helps...Good Luck

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Guest Hueypilot812

I'll throw my 2 cents out there...

I had the pleasure to go through pilot training twice...once with the Army and once with the AF. Both programs are similar in overall mindset (as opposed to Navy training) in that they run heavy on a timeline. I'm sure you've read often that a good attitude will lead to good things. That is true, and the best thing you can do is simply try your best, have a good attitude and ask questions. Don't be afraid to do that last thing...your IP won't think you're stupid for asking questions, in fact they'll be glad you care enough to ask about the things you aren't sure about. Do NOT sweat whether you're going to make it. Worrying will only degrade your performance, and just believe that if it's meant to be, it's meant to be. Focus on the phase of training you are in, don't get caught up worrying about the next year's worth of tasks or else you'll feel overwhelmed. Just take it one day at a time, and before you know it you'll be finishing Phase I, Phase II and Phase III just like that.

Don't get caught up in class rankings, who's better than who, etc. Just realize that everyone who graduates gets to wear the same wings. Don't show up wanting to only fly one type of airplane. Show up prepared to fly ANY airplane. If you have that attitude, you'll stress less and you'll be happier with the outcome. Have a few choices from each track as your goal. Nothing like watching the "fighter-or-bust" types practically cry on track select night because they got a T-1. Me personally...I liked the A-10, C-17 and C-130...those were my top picks in each track (I had already flown helos so I didn't necessarily have a top pick for that track). Either way, whatever track I went, I had a goal to work towards. In the end, I put T-38s third, only because I had already flown helicopters and thus put them last. At some point in Phase II, you'll decide for yourself if you'd rather be a fighter guy or a heavy guy...there were several that arrived at the start wanting to fly Vipers, Eagles, etc, and by track select were saying "screw that stuff" and opted for heavies.

Bottom line...arrive with a good attitude and ready to fly any aircraft the USAF assigns you to, even if it's an E-3. I'd rather fly AWACS than sit at a desk with the other shoe clerks, trust me on that. Having an open mind and a good attitude will reduce your stress level and you'll actually be able to ENJOY pilot training! It's a fun, yet very busy year. Nothing they teach is rocket science, but there's a lot of stuff to absorb. Finally, just accept that a small number of people aren't going to be cut out to do it, and if you're one of them, then that's just the way it is. Give it 100% and if they wash you out, well at least you can say you tried your best. If you have that mindset, you won't stress every time you fly or do a stand up. Anyways, hope this helps some of you!

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Guest ski&fly fast

I know this has been discussed earlier, but how much does Phase 1 really matter in UPT? I have heard 10 percent and it can weigh into your flight commander ranking, but does it really come down to the stud that got 100's instead of 98's? I have heard from some that the key is to just make sure your passing them and doing your best, but others say it can really get that close, anyone want to weigh in on this??

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Guest pilotapplicant

I am just finishing T-6s at ENJJPT. I don't remember the exact breakdown but all of T-6's is worth 25% of your total score. Of the T-6 portion the five check rides make up well over 50%. Academics make up 10%. That means that academics in T-6s account for 2.5% of your total score. The transition check which is the first T-38 check ride is worth 30% or your total grade so one day of flying in T-38s has more impact on your ranking than six months of flying T-6s. Daily rides and commander ranking are both very small percentages. That being said you need to work super hard and be well prepared for all your daily rides and academics so you can learn as much as possible. This will insure that you do as well as possible on your check rides. I also believe that commander ranking follows closely overall performance so if you learn quick and fly well you will get a good commander ranking(this is because most everyone is a hard worker with a great attitude so in that regard almost everyone is pretty equal).

As far as ranking for academics is concerned most students will do really well on all the academics. I would estimate that most people missed a total of 8-10 questions over the course of ALL T-6 academics so it may be only one or two questions separating the top couple of students from the middle of the pack.

In my opinion our flight has a couple of top performers that tend to standout above the rest but I would guess that number 3-8 are all really close and may be separated by just a couple of EPQ questions or daily ride grades. I would guess that this will continue to be the case in T-38s.

All you can do is to study hard and be as prepared as possible everyday.

Goodluck,

Pilotapplicant

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I know this has been discussed earlier, but how much does Phase 1 really matter in UPT? I have heard 10 percent and it can weigh into your flight commander ranking, but does it really come down to the stud that got 100's instead of 98's? I have heard from some that the key is to just make sure your passing them and doing your best, but others say it can really get that close, anyone want to weigh in on this??

I would say its less between those who get 100s and 98s and more between those who get 98s and 88s. I was by no means an academics superstar and that hurt me with the flight commander ranking. If your right in the middle of where the other guys then you are doing a ok.

And don't think because you failed a test your dream of a -38 is over, in my class we had one guy who failed 1 test and another who failed 2 also get one. Not ideal but it can be done.

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Most of you have a gross misunderstanding of how academic scores go into the big picture. It doesn't matter if your average is 1% away from the top dude. It doesn't matter if it is 10% away. It matters where your average RANKS within your class. You might have a 95% average, but that doesn't mean you get 95% of the available points. If a 95% makes you the last dude in your class, then you get the min...and the difference in points between the top and bottom dude (sts) in a class is way more than the difference in academic percentage.

The top guy gets the max points. The last guy gets the min points. Everyone else is in between. It's COMPETITIVE and while it may look like close enough is close enough, it is not.

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ENJJPT is a different syllabus with a different MASS I think.

Danny Noonin is right...the mass is all relative scores. And, your Phase 1 academics only count towards your track select. once you get to Phase 3 everything is a clean slate and you start all over with new academics and everything.

So, how much does academics count? 10% of your T-6 MASS. Checkrides are 40%, daily rides are 25% and flight commander ranking is 25%. Those are all relative scores as well, but different downgrades count for different amounts on checkrides and daily rides. For example, if you get 3 downgrades on your aerobatics and someone else gets downgraded on Ground Ops, GK, and EP, even though you both got 3 downgrades you did better than he did because he made bigger mistakes that are weighted more. Except they don't let us see that black magic math, so that's just what IPs tell me.

Hope that helps.

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Or you just forget about all this nonsense and put 169% effort into every damn thing you do. Whether that be a stan test, academic test, daily ride, sim, checkride, etc. Who cares what the event is or how the percentages work, just work your ass off and it'll pay off. Now, it is smart to prioritize, such as having a checkride the next day is more important than the test you have in the morning. If chairflying more for your checkride and only get a 96% on your Instrument test vs. studying more for your test and getting a 100%, but now you get 10 downgrades on your checkride...well the choice is obvious. Outside of these unique situations, I think you guys are better served by not worrying about the point breakdown and just put max effort into everything.

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The point is:

Some dudes are fat dumb and happy with their 95% academic average if it's "pretty close" to the top guy. It doesn't matter if 95% is a good score or a bad score relative to 50 years of UPT students. It only matters where it ranks in YOUR class. If the top guy has a 97%, most of the class has a 96%, and you have a 95%, then you get the min points. You don't get 2 points less than the top guy. There is a curve.

Brabus is spot on about not worrying about it and about prioritizing the more important things like checkrides.

But every dude comes home dead tired one night with a test/EPQ the next day and has to make a choice...watch Seinfeld reruns and unwind or study a little extra for that test. Maybe a couple questions over the course of a thousand won't make a difference. Maybe it will. I've said it before: I watched a kid miss a T-38 by one spot. When we looked at the numbers, if he had gotten THREE QUESTIONS more correct, he would have gotten that slot. Do you think if he knew that going in he might have studied a little bit more? You bet.

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