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Everything posted by HiFlyer

  1. It seems to me that there is a problem with the understanding the definition of the terms here. To get a clearance, you first have to have a completed security investigation. Certain types of investigations are necessary for different levels of clearances, and the type of investigation is determined by the anticipated clearance level of the projected duty . For instance a NACLE will allow up to Secret, while an SSBI will allow up to TS and above (i.e. SCI accesses). The investigation type is determined by the sponsor depending on level needed for your anticipated future job. A completed in
  2. Ref the "looking for STEM majors" comment, I've heard that a lot over the last decade, and I'm sure its accurate. But, "looking" is not the same as "accepting only". In the first place, recruiters don't make the board's policy. They certainly try to get the better qualified inputs, but they can't actually say no if you meet all the requirements in the AETC and AFRS guidance. If you have a "soft" major you may take a very small hit on the board's score sheet, but with a strong package you still have a good chance. I was a Poly Sci major (granted, a long time ago), my son was a Gov't/Internat
  3. Well. at least that's an improvement. In my day (granted, that was a few decades ago), they broke everywhere they went. The joke then was that they always flew in formation...C-5 lead, C-141 wingman carrying spare parts.
  4. Rule of life: everybody's experience is different. Don't expect yours to match. But, here's my son's example... 1) Started OTS, June '09 (Alabama), finished in Sept (3 months) 2) Moved to UPT base (Texas), waited for six months to start (attended Introduction to Flight Training in Colorado for a month). Got tired of separation and married GF in Feb '10. Started UPT in April '10, finished in following April '11 on Friday. Move #1 3) Left for survival school three days later (Monday), enroute to C-130H school (Little Rock, Arkansas). Dad and mom flew to Del Rio to help wif
  5. Go here http://www.dossaviation.com/usaf-ift and read it all carefully.
  6. I don't believe there is any official guidance for the 150 minimum other than the waiver rule as noted above. However, you have to remember that the recruiting business is a "supply and demand" situation. When recruiters are undermanned and overworked, they (or their supervision) can add little restrictions onto their local processes to weed out the less impressive applicants so they can spend their limited time on the ones who "look" (not "are") more likely to succeed. When manning requirements were "okay" a few years ago, a lot of the recruiting units adapted a policy of not accepting app
  7. Basically there is no connection between rated selection and having a graduate degree (maybe a little help if it was a M.S. in Aero Engineering but even then not a lot). However, for selection on an OTS board (basic officer training, not necessarily pilot, or even a rated slot of any kind) , an advanced degree might buy you a slight bump on the OTS board score. Once you are selected for OTS, things that help you get a pilot slot include high score on the PCSM, high score on the AFOQT pilot score, good GPA, technical degrees and work experience, actual flight experience (especially a
  8. I agree. Although my experience goes back 45 years, as an OV-10 FAC I usually flew solo and handled things fine (good weather, known friendly locations, minimal bad guy actions, etc.) but when the poop hit the fan (multiple TICs, really bad weather, poor visibility, nighttime, and frequently a combination of most of them) the ability to launch with two guys really helped to figure out things, keep track of multiple situations, keep an extra set of eyes on which way was up and where the high terrain was and track where other dangers were. Two seats for that kind of mission is very helpful, bu
  9. Some thoughts: work hard in college, don't be an Art History major (technical knowledge helps), learn about flying (take a few instructional flights if possible), take the FAA private pilot ground school course, keep your knowledge of basic arithmetic (pencil and paper, not with a calculator...they don't let you use one on the test), keep up with basic physics, chemistry, algebra, and geometry, read a lot...it will help with word association. Don't worry about the actual test until six months before you take it; Do worry about the basic math and science and aircraft knowledge as you go through
  10. In most cases it probably would be better, IF it does what you need and you can afford it. Although I could be accused of being a bit biased after 50 years in the AF recce business (25 with with the U-2 program), I really don't think I am. The GH is a great little aircraft ("little" mostly referring to size, weight, and power) and I think the Teledyne Ryan and Northrop Grumman people did a pretty good designing and building it considering the political constraints they were working under. Can you imagine what a prime would wind up with if a new program started out with "Build us a new fight
  11. A valid question; here's my opinion based on my involvement as an AF O-6 at NSA working airborne programs for the Asst Dep Director for Operations, Military Affairs and post- retirement as a civilian in OSD (DARO, OUSD/ISR, and NIMA/NGA)at the time The answer is that in the very early 90s, Bill Lynn, the Director of DARPA (actually named "ARPA" at that point but returned to its original title of "DARPA" later in the 90s), and Bill Perry, the DepSecDef (not sure if they were in those exact positions in the very beginning, but by mid-90s they were) believed that unmanned aircraft had the po
  12. First, it's almost impossible to predict success because so many of the board's criteria are somewhat subjective and the AF's needs constantly change, which impacts what the board is looking for. With that said, your stats are pretty good. GPA is a little low (below average, but not out of the envelope) but that's not a killer. PPL and hours will help, as will the PCSM. So, I'd say chances are average to better than average, but no guarantees. Also when you say "chances", remember that there's a numbers game in that definition...how many do they need when that board meets vs. how many app
  13. It amazes me that anyone would call stop-loss a "retention tool". Granted, you keep a few people a little longer in the short term, but if the problem is that you are burning out the force, it only accelerates the burn and speeds the increasing percentage of the force that makes the decision to bail out ASAP. Additionally, a lot of potential accessions see the burn and decide to go elsewhere to either fly, or adopt a different career, so not only does retention of the existing force suffer but it makes it harder to get new bodies in the pipeline. Retention means appealing to the force in a
  14. Not exactly an F-15 suggestion, but along the lines of the post-flight write-ups... U-Tapao, 1974: Pilot (Big John, not Tall John) lands his U-2, debriefs with the crew chief and writes in the forms "Aircraft flies sideways" (actually meaning out of trim and flies with a slight yaw), then closes the book and leaves. Thirty minutes later, back at the trailers where we all lived, the Lockheed tech rep (Travis Mason, I believe, a great guy but not much patience and a poor sense of humor) storms in frothing at the mouth, looking for John, yelling loudly something about airplanes not being ab
  15. Actually. I was there the day Tex rolled the -80. I grew up in Seattle and the big event that day was the annual Gold Cup unlimited hydroplane races on Lake Washington My dad, brother, and I went and were sitting on the grass next to the lake (with one or two hundred thousand others). My dad worked for Boeing as a buyer at the Renton plant and was fairly knowledgeable about the program but not an aviator. Midway through the day between heats, they announced the flyby, and the aircraft came from the South (Renton) and as it came abeam the VIP barge near the pits, it smoothly pulled up, rolle
  16. Pardon me if I disagree with ptwob408, but those are all very good "scores". It is important to know that those numbers aren't actually scores in the traditional sense, they're percentiles; your pilot score of 90 means your test score (whatever it was...they don't tell you) in the pilot category was higher than 90% of others in the control group, 89% of those in the group that tested in the Nav category, etc. In other words, your AFOQT scores are pretty much all in the top 15% (except the last, which is near the top 25%). An average for the five of better than 87% of others in the control gr
  17. I don't have any of the stats but keep in mind, based on some post-board comments from past board members and AFRS, that there are at least 15 scored sub-categories, bunched fairly equally into 3 major categories (Education/Aptitude, Experience, and Potential/Adaptability), that are part of the board scoring process. Of those 15 or so, only a couple involve actual hard numbers (GPA, AFOQT, PCSM) while the rest are somewhat subjective evaluation of things like experience, education type/class content, LOR comments, previous job experience, interviewer comments, communication skills, etc.). Dr
  18. The board's package valuation process is far too complicated to make any estimates based on the data provided (yours or anybody's). Much of the package score is based on "subjective" factors rater than simply test scores. Additionally, selection likelihood is heavily based on the number of applicants vs. the slots available. Technically, if 500 applied and there were 500 slots, everyone would be a select. On the other hand, everything else being the same, if there were only 100 slots, only the top 100 would be selects. Based on the info you provided, nothing there will hurt you, and most o
  19. That's pretty much it. The value of the companion trainer is especially good when you have two things: a primary aircraft that is particularly specialized and doesn't operate like most aircraft, and an aircraft so specialized that you don't get to fly it much when not deployed or its unique characteristics preclude you from flying it much at home. The U-2 fits both to varying degrees, and the B-2 probably at least the second. In the case of the U-2 crew force, they fly like heck for two months while deployed, but when home for two or three months between deployments, or more for some, they g
  20. I'll put my two cents worth into this discussion because it's a subject I deal with every day in my job. I think you're attacking this discussion from the wrong end. Rather than discussing airframes at this point, the best approach would be to start with what you want to do. There are already different ideas in this thread about what you're looking for. I'd be getting all the players together (the MAJCOMs that use the finished product (pilots), the training commands, other Services that might want to piggy-back on the new system, the loggies that have to maintain the system, etc.) and spend
  21. 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
  22. Good luck. Just remember that it's usually not the actual flying that causes people problems, it's not studying enough to know what you're supposed to be doing. Study the departure and recovery procedures for each runway, where radio calls need to be made and what they are, required altitudes in the pattern and in transit to/from practice areas. How can you fly a smooth airplane if you don't know where you're going? ...and show up with Ops Limits and Bold Face emergency procedures thoroughly memorized EXACTLY as they are in the examples!!!
  23. The change from IFS to IFT was driven by the new Commander of AETC. He felt that the syllabus and intent of IFS was too inflexible and that (essentially) people who were on the ragged edge of being successful were being washed out because the IFS policy did not allow the school to give them the extra ride or two (i.e., a little additional training) to enable them to succeed. It was a waste of the AF's time and money to wash them out. That policy change reduced the emphasis on "screening" and increased the emphasis on "training". That doesn't mean you can stay and fly forever, and it is sti
  24. Not the best of numbers, but OTS is NOT out of the question...I've seen people get selected with numbers like that. The board's selection score sheet reflects about 15 various scored sub-categories, with a min and max score for each (meaning any single category contributes a max of 5-7% of your score). On the other hand, busy recruiters tend to make initial judgments about working with you based on the "Matrix" score...the total of the A/V/Q numbers. Since the numbers are percentiles a 50 is the middle of the pack and they like to see a matrix score of 150 or better (meaning the top half of
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