I want to fly.

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by TheShinyMac, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. TheShinyMac macrumors 6502a

    TheShinyMac

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    #1
    Flight. I love it. I love the planes, I love every single aspect about it.

    What are my options in order to fulfill my dreams?

    Coast Guard?

    Navy?

    Airforce?

    Private Education?

    I'm only in my sophomore year of highschool.
     
  2. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #2
    well one thing that has to be ask what is your vision.

    For example I could never of gone the military route because my vision is crappy. Uncorrected I see like 20/300-400'sh. Corrected better than 20/20. My uncorrcted vision would of made me ineligibly for military flight. Also would not of been able to fly any of the fighters and really only some of the much larger planes because I am to tall.

    If military talk to the recruiters hey can help you out.
     
  3. TheShinyMac thread starter macrumors 6502a

    TheShinyMac

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    Apr 3, 2009
    #3
    I've luckily have 20/20 vision.
     
  4. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #4
    well military is generally good as that way the government takes on all the cost and you will build up a lot of hours. Learning the fly is not cheap.

    Go talk to a recruiter they will find out everything for you.
     
  5. TheShinyMac thread starter macrumors 6502a

    TheShinyMac

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    Apr 3, 2009
    #5
    Just talking to the recruiter keeps me obligation free right?
     
  6. Doc750 macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 11, 2010
    #6
    dont sign anything ... really do your research before you agree to anything. THey tell everyone their going to be a pilot
     
  7. steve2112 macrumors 68040

    steve2112

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    Feb 20, 2009
    Location:
    East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
    #7
    You aren't obligated until you sign paperwork. They may call you constantly, but you won't be obligated to anything.
     
  8. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

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    Location:
    "No escape from Reality..."
    #8
    Get a head start by joining Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program...
     
  9. filmbuff macrumors 6502a

    filmbuff

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2011
    #9
    Oh, boy, asking about flying on a Mac forum :rolleyes:

    I just got my Private Pilot's License and I'm in the ROTC and here is what I can tell you:

    Definitely get into the Air Force ROTC. Pick a college that has one, and start first semester. Not only do you have a decent chance of getting your college education paid for if you keep your grades up, but it is actually pretty fun. Good grades + good physical fitness + good leadership will get you a commission, and a chance to get a Rated (pilot) slot. The time commitment when you graduate ranges; nothing if you aren't on scholarship, and if you do get selected for flight training there is a ~10 year commitment.

    Personally I love flying so much that I couldn't wait to graduate and possibly get a flight slot, so I went for my Private Pilot's License (and will probably keep going for Instrument, Commercial, etc.) I expected to finish it in a couple of months and it ended up taking a year. Nobody does it in the minimum number of hours. The flight school quoted me about $6000 for the whole thing, but I expected it to be more like $8000. In total it ended up costing me $10,000 so be prepared for that. If you want to be an airline pilot without going through the military then basically the only way is to pay $60,000+ for flight training, so most new pilots have tons of student loans.

    Good luck, research, and don't give up!
     
  10. TheShinyMac thread starter macrumors 6502a

    TheShinyMac

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    Apr 3, 2009
    #10
    Community discussion, is this not it?
     
  11. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

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    Hogtown
  12. dmr727 macrumors G3

    dmr727

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    #12
    It's not as bad of an idea as you may think - there are a number of professional pilots on this board, as well as a couple working towards that goal.

    To the OP - you're young enough that there's no need to feel pressured to make a decision yet. My advice would be to find a way (a birthday present from your folks is one good method!) to take an introductory flight lesson at your local general aviation airport. Prices tend to be about a hundred bucks, depending on length. Find ways to hang out at the airport. Talk to everyone!

    And no matter what, have fun!
     
  13. cantthinkofone macrumors 65816

    cantthinkofone

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    Jul 25, 2004
    Location:
    Missouri, USA
    #13
    WHAT do you want to fly? I would start there.

    A friend of mine is a Black Hawk (lawn darts) mechanic in the Army. He was told that with his vision (20/15 he claims) he couldn't be a pilot in the Army. Now before I burst your bubble, he has told me some other things that I know aren't true. Not things specific about the Army or aviation just general things. I believe he is misinformed about some things.

    SO....Like others have said I would go talk to a recruiter. Tell them straight up your not there to join. Their job is to get people to sign enlistment paperwork nothing else. They will lie about anything to get you to join. That is what they are there for and thats what they get paid to do. Tell them straight up not to BS with you like every other idiot that walks through the door. Ask what the requirements are from the Navy, Air force, and Army recruiters. Tell them what you want to do and when they start giving you the speech remind them you are keeping your options open for now.

    Taking private lessons would be your best bet if you were to enlist. That way when you get to flight school it would be that much easier for you. Good luck!
     
  14. StealthRider macrumors 65816

    StealthRider

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    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    Yokosuka, Japan
    #14
    You're going to have issues with the timing, as the military is in a draw-down situation right now in the aftermath of the Iraq war. That said, don't go for any one branch just because someone recommends it.

    Marine Corps: they give flight contracts to college kids through the PLC and OCC programs. You can Google for details, but essentially, you go to Officer Candidate School in the summer during college. You don't get paid for school.

    Navy: your mileage may vary, but NROTC is a good option if you have perfect vision and don't mind ships. Every person from my unit who has competed for a pilot slot has gotten one, and 4/5 of the ones I know personally are in the jet pipeline right now. To apply, go to the NROTC website during the summer after your junior year and fill out the application online. There IS a Marine Corps Option program as well, so bear that option in mind.

    Army: your chances are slim if you go through ROTC.

    Air Force: see above post.

    I will go against the grain and tell you to NOT pay the money for a private pilot's license. There is no benefit in the area of pilot selection, and at best it will save you about a month of training, during which you'll be doing nothing important while you wait for the real training to begin. Lots of money for very little gain.
     
  15. filmbuff macrumors 6502a

    filmbuff

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2011
    #15
    You can get laser eye surgery now people! The Air Force has been using PRK for years and they are probably going to approve Lasic soon. You can be disqualified if you go out and do it on your own without approval, but there are also waivers for that.

    Basically vision should be the least of anyone's worries.
     
  16. StealthRider macrumors 65816

    StealthRider

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    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    Yokosuka, Japan
    #16
    Do NOT get Lasik if you go Navy. It looks like it might be approved soon, but there are potential issues with high-G maneuvers and corneal tearing...unpleasant. PRK is the only authorized procedure ATM.
     
  17. Xeperu macrumors 6502

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  18. TheShinyMac thread starter macrumors 6502a

    TheShinyMac

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    Apr 3, 2009
    #18
    I mentioned earlier that I have 20/20 vision so that won't be an issue for me.
     
  19. 184550 Guest

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    May 8, 2008
    #19
    I am the only one who clicked in here thinking it was the other kind of 'flying'? :p
     
  20. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    Jun 27, 2007
    #20
    Angry Birds + Little Wings ftw! ;)

    Yeah I took an aviation class in HS. Seems to be an expensive hobby.
     
  21. alphaone, Mar 1, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2011

    alphaone macrumors 6502

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    #21
    You're definition of not terribly expensive and mine are polar opposites then. It is very very very expensive to learn to fly. Depending on the airplane you learn in (how new it is, how nice it is, etc.) and the instructor (you do get what you pay for to a degree) just getting your private pilot license will run you about $10k average. And that's just the first license in a long series depending on what exactly your goals are.

    To the OP: I wouldn't ask about it too much on this forum, there are some knowledgeable people but I would say you would get a more complete response on an aviation careers forum such as jetcareers or airlinepilotcentral. Hell even airliners.net would be better. You really need to figure out how much you want it. Do your research and develop a clear plan, including alternatives and backups, and expect that plan to evolve as you go along. You will find some people who are bitter for whatever reason and will try to convince you not to do it, listen to what they have to say as long as it's rational and take it under advisement, but don't necessarily not do it just because they tell you not to.

    If you're curious, I took the private route. The military can be a way to get the cost down, but once you're in you're at their mercy to an extent and you have less control over your future.

    -Commercial pilot, CFI/CFII
     
  22. dmr727 macrumors G3

    dmr727

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    #22
    This is true, but to the OP, really be careful not to let the strong opinions you'll find there steer you in the wrong direction. There's a wealth of knowledge, but there's a whole lot of white noise you'll have to sift through to find it. It's like someone trying to decide between an iPhone and a Droid, and coming to this site to get an answer. The answers are there, but if you're not careful, you'll simply come away thinking everyone that owns either phone is a complete choad. :D
     
  23. alphaone macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2003
    #23
    That's what I tried to say after that bit. Simply, decide for yourself then set out to accomplish your goal the best way you know how.
     
  24. eljanitor, Mar 1, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2011

    eljanitor macrumors 6502

    eljanitor

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    Feb 10, 2011
    #24
    There are many options available to you. The Air Force is what I would recommend personally as a future goal, however threes nothing wrong with Naval Aviation either. All branches of the armed forces have pilots but you have to be willing to become an officer to be able to qualify for any type of pilot training.

    If you have money you can pay for flight lessons which can be very expensive for the average person, and over time you will be able to fly small planes on your own.

    Some of the advantages of exploring what the military may have to offer you is that they also can provide a college education for you vs paying for it on your own. The military like any branch of service takes into account certain physical and mental aspects before they let you earn anything, and just because you may choose to join a branch of the military does not guarantee that you will become a pilot. That is completely up to you and it depends on your drive to become a pilot.

    Not everyone qualifies to fly the F-22 or the F-18, so this is something to keep in mind if this may be a motivation for you. As I said in the military you have to qualify and earn the right to fly such aircraft. Nothing is handed to you in the military, and you have to demonstrate that you have what it takes and the desire to be part of such an organization.

    Also any qualified pilot (civilian or otherwise) can never do drugs, so if you like to party you had better change that in your life. The only reason I say this is not that I think that you do drugs. It's just that it is a huge temptation for people your age, and the facts are that pilots that do drugs loose their licensees usually permanently. Not to mention the military would never let you join if that's what you like to do in your spare time.

    Always ask the military recruiters questions and research what other people who are serving, or have served say to you. It's good to know what you may be getting into, and not everyone who joins a branch of service ends up liking it so keep that in consideration when you listen to peoples stories. However if everything goes well for you and you are motivated, you might end up fulfilling your dreams of being a pilot, as well as possibly also being able to pilot some of the worlds most amazing aircraft.

    I also recommend checking out the various ROTC programs that are available to you, and the Civil Air Patrol is also a good way to get involved in aviation and also let you see partially what joining a branch of service would be like. I hope this is helpful information for you, and I wish you the best.
     

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  25. TheShinyMac thread starter macrumors 6502a

    TheShinyMac

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    #25
    I have been thinking of the Air Force recently. Being paid to attend college is a major plus too. I'd say my drive to become a pilot is extremely high. I will speak to those close around me with aviation experience. I just have to find some recruiters in the Boston MA area. Btw, drugs are no temptation for me. I have seen those effected by their use and never want to subject myself to the consequences. I really appreciate your detailed response.
     

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