BC Sport Bikes Forum banner

1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Get to da choppah!
Joined
·
1,133 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm seriously considering the armed forces as a potential route to obtain my pilot's licence (my ultimate career goal is to be a commercial pilot). I could probably afford (by working my ass off) to pay for civilian flight training, but I know the skills taught in the air force are not only huge assets to the aviation industry, but also valuable life skills.

I was hoping any pilots on the board (military as well as civilian) could share their experiences, with regards to training, building hours, finding work, and how they feel towards the industry now.
What do you feel are the positives and negatives of a military aviaition training path?

Civilian training followed by enrollment in the air force reserves is something else I've considered. I think the only thing holding turning me off is the idea of leaving my home, girlfriend, friends, bike :) behind to spend the next 4+ years of my life in Quebec, Cold Lake, Moose Jaw, Portage La Prairie... I've spent time in the boonies as a geologist, but it was hard for me (8 weeks in a camp was my longest stint).

If one were to enlist in the armed forces, attend the Aircrew Selection Centre in Ontario and be deemed inelligible for military service as a pilot, would they still be commited to a career in the armed forces? I am not exactly keen on a military life that does not involve piloting an aircraft.

Again, any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks!
 

·
More than meets the eye
Joined
·
1,327 Posts
k_vist said:
I'm seriously considering the armed forces as a potential route to obtain my pilot's licence (my ultimate career goal is to be a commercial pilot). I could probably afford (by working my ass off) to pay for civilian flight training, but I know the skills taught in the air force are not only huge assets to the aviation industry, but also valuable life skills.

I was hoping any pilots on the board (military as well as civilian) could share their experiences, with regards to training, building hours, finding work, and how they feel towards the industry now.
What do you feel are the positives and negatives of a military aviaition training path?

Civilian training followed by enrollment in the air force reserves is something else I've considered. I think the only thing holding turning me off is the idea of leaving my home, girlfriend, friends, bike :) behind to spend the next 4+ years of my life in Quebec, Cold Lake, Moose Jaw, Portage La Prairie... I've spent time in the boonies as a geologist, but it was hard for me (8 weeks in a camp was my longest stint).

If one were to enlist in the armed forces, attend the Aircrew Selection Centre in Ontario and be deemed inelligible for military service as a pilot, would they still be commited to a career in the armed forces? I am not exactly keen on a military life that does not involve piloting an aircraft.

Again, any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks!

You might not get as many flying hours as you expect going the CF route.

As for Aircrew selection, you hiring into the CF is contigent on passing Air crew selection, you fail aircrew you are out.
 

·
builder of bikes
Joined
·
4,802 Posts
If I wasn't colour blind I would have done this day one out of high school.

You need to speak to a recruiter.

Do it.
 

·
Get to da choppah!
Joined
·
1,133 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Pvt. BLOGGINS said:
You might not get as many flying hours as you expect going the CF route.
Would you mind elaborating on this?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
Like Pvt. BLOGGINS pointed out, you won't get as much flight time in the Air Command as you might think. Pilots outnumber Aircraft no matter what type of aircraft you're looking at.

I'm also going to assume you have a BA? In order to be a pilot, you're going to need to be an Officer and in order to be an Officer, you need to either have a BA or be in the process of getting one.

I'm an Air Force Officer, but I teach in the CIC though may very well changing into a RESO program while I finish my BA. I was accepted to the Royal Military College of Canada, and was planning to go the pilot route until I failed the eye exams. I was offered various other positions, but decided not to go that route.

Also, if the Military life isn't for you UNLESS you're flying you're going to have some issues. Because you're going to be getting a _lot_ of that "Military Life" before you end up anywhere near a cockpit.

Tex.
 

·
Get to da choppah!
Joined
·
1,133 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Texas said:
Like Pvt. BLOGGINS pointed out, you won't get as much flight time in the Air Command as you might think. Pilots outnumber Aircraft no matter what type of aircraft you're looking at.

I'm also going to assume you have a BA? In order to be a pilot, you're going to need to be an Officer and in order to be an Officer, you need to either have a BA or be in the process of getting one.

I'm an Air Force Officer, but I teach in the CIC though may very well changing into a RESO program while I finish my BA. I was accepted to the Royal Military College of Canada, and was planning to go the pilot route until I failed the eye exams. I was offered various other positions, but decided not to go that route.

Also, if the Military life isn't for you UNLESS you're flying you're going to have some issues. Because you're going to be getting a _lot_ of that "Military Life" before you end up anywhere near a cockpit.

Tex.
I'll be graduating from UBC with my BSc this spring. I'm fairly certain I'd be fine making it through Officer Training and Basic (I assume that's the "military life" you were referring to). I think I'm more concerned about spending the rest of my career in the forces far away from good ol' Vancouver. Granted I know basically nothing about Cold Lake, Moose Jaw, Portage La Prairie, etc. but I know they're not exactly bustling metropolises (is that the plural of metropolis?... metropoli? :laughing). Long story short, my family, my girlfriend, and my friends mean a LOT to me, and I'm not sure I could up and leave them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
622 Posts
Im heading for the same thing. Half done my BA now.

I think the best thing for you to do is talk to a recruiter as Cos said.
 

·
More than meets the eye
Joined
·
1,327 Posts
k_vist said:
Would you mind elaborating on this?
People have this idea, that if they go into the military they will get all these crazy flying hours.

Maybe if you were in the states... This is Canada and we have NO budget.
No Budget = No flying time

2nd you never actaully get your pilot's licence in the military.... You become a military avaitor on your 404's... to transfer your skills in Civi street you have to challenge the exams when you leave to get your civi street licence. (not hard but a pain).

You also have to be ready for military life, which means a lot of "cock" (when I mean "cock" I mean you get dicked around alot) , a lot of yes sir, no sir. Having been in the military, either you like it or you don't.
 

·
Gear Driven Cams
Joined
·
4,411 Posts
Pvt. BLOGGINS said:
2nd you never actaully get your pilot's licence in the military.... You become a military avaitor on your 404's... to transfer your skills in Civi street you have to challenge the exams when you leave to get your civi street licence. (not hard but a pain).
When you transfer your military license to a civilian license, you get a Commercial license and not a Private license. That's good if you were planning on heading into commercial flying anyway, but it means you have to write the Commercial written test. You'll have studied all kinds of *flying* stuff in getting your miiltary wings. But you won't know squat about commercial operations, and i'm told that a lot of the test covers that kind of stuff. As Bloggins says, not *really* hard, but it is a pain.

You also have to be ready for military life, which means a lot of "cock" (when I mean "cock" I mean you get dicked around alot) , a lot of yes sir, no sir. Having been in the military, either you like it or you don't.
Pilots get treated a lot better than mechanics, but there's still a chain of command and you will be working within it. If you can handle that, you may do well.
 
B

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
k_vist said:
I'm seriously considering the armed forces as a potential route to obtain my pilot's licence (my ultimate career goal is to be a commercial pilot).
My girlfriend's father is a retired Lieutenant-Colonel who served as (I think) squadron commander for the 416 Tactical Fighter Squadron, and retired from the 4 Wing at Cold Lake, AB. I'm not positive of all his air force background, but I think he flew and trained the CT-33 Silver Star, CF-101 Voodoo, and CF-18 Hornet. After retiring from the Air Force, he was Branch Manager for an investment firm in Edmonton for many years. Until last month, that is, when he won the federal election in Edmonton-Central as the Conservative candidate, beating out the deeply-entrenched Anne McLellan, our ex-Deputy Prime Minister.

I don't have any specific advice or recommendations for you; my point is that I think joining the Air Force could be a pretty solid career decision. :thumbup

 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,946 Posts
cosworth said:
If I wasn't colour blind I would have done this day one out of high school.
No wonder you said not a word when your friends painted your gixxer pink.
 

·
Get to da choppah!
Joined
·
1,133 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Pvt. BLOGGINS said:
People have this idea, that if they go into the military they will get all these crazy flying hours.

Maybe if you were in the states... This is Canada and we have NO budget.
No Budget = No flying time
How many hours would you estimate the average Canadian Air Force pilot will have logged by the time his inital contract with the armed forces is completed?
By doing your PPL/CPL through a civilian school, you log roughly 205 hours through the course. Anything beyond that is a matter of renting a plane on your own time. Although I have no adversion to the civilian route, per say, the armed forces route may provide a bit more motivation/drive/opportunity/guidance. That being said, learning at a flight school while working a "normal" job would maintain the type of lifestyle I am accustomed to and enjoy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
272 Posts
Go for it, dispite cut backs I still think it's a good way to go if you can. I spent 25 years in the military with the last 6 being aircrew.(SAR Tech at 442T&R Sqn.) in Comox. I always had the greatest faith in most of the pilots I flew with and in some hairy situations.
You will be flying Tudor jets during basic flight training, where else can you get that. As for the Military Life, I found it more like a regular job. Aside from basic training etc. I usually only had to put on my dress uniform once every 2-3 years, usually for a change of command parade etc.
You can drive to work in your flying suit most days. I used to run to work a lot then shower and change there.
Aircrew gets treated with a lot of respect, never have to share hotel rooms(must get your 8 hrs. sleep) unless your at the bar all night,ha ha.(8 hrs. bottle to throttle was the rule) this rule was broken once or twice.
If I had it to do again I would only sooner in my career. I think the pros out weigh the cons. Cheers RoscoeP
ps. another saying... There are old pilots and bold pilots, but there are no old bold pilots!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,733 Posts
k_vist said:
I think I'm more concerned about spending the rest of my career in the forces far away from good ol' Vancouver. Granted I know basically nothing about Cold Lake, Moose Jaw, Portage La Prairie, etc. but I know they're not exactly bustling metropolises (is that the plural of metropolis?... metropoli? :laughing). Long story short, my family, my girlfriend, and my friends mean a LOT to me, and I'm not sure I could up and leave them.
My cousin's husband (cousin in law?) is a new pilot, not military, and they're currently in Yellowknife because that's the best chance for him to get flying hours. Even up there, he's having to do several years of ground crew before he'll get in a plane. So, going the commercial non-military route may not allow you to stay here in sunny Vancouver!

RoscoeP: "8 hours bottle to the throttle" is a good phrase, applies to motorcycles as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,432 Posts
Lots of good stuff here. Go talk to a recruiter, start going through the application process, and find out at your medicals if you can make aircrew.

You can always turn it down at the last minute like I did, if you think you have a better option out there, or if they don't offer you what you want.
 
J

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
k_vist, you can expect about 400 hours a year flying with the armed forces.(IF YOU MAKE IT)

The armed forces is truly a personal choice, however for me it wasn't an option as I have a problem with authority! :evilgrin ha ha (Not too mention I didn't want to leave Vancouver, and my job)

I honestly believe that doing your CPL through a local flight school is a faster route to achieving your dream as a commercial pilot, providing you can train at least 2-3 days a week. What I'm saying is......you need to be committed, and just go for it and get it done!

If you are serious...you better start now, as the wave is starting to build back up again. We were at a VERY low point for awhile with no movement, but things are starting to pick up again. It seems to run in cycles. (every 5 years or so)

Networking is also key in our industry, so start networking like a mad man...could save you 1 year up in Yellow Knife. :flashy

Visit aviation sites like Jet Thrust.com (http://www.jetthrust.com) or AvCanada (http://www.avcanada.com). They are the top 2 Canadian Aviation sites in Canada.
 

·
Get to da choppah!
Joined
·
1,133 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
RoscoeP said:
I spent 25 years in the military with the last 6 being aircrew.(SAR Tech at 442T&R Sqn.) in Comox. I always had the greatest faith in most of the pilots I flew with and in some hairy situations.
SAR Tech, hey? That's awesome, how did you like it? I'm currently a volunteer spotter for CASARA out at Boundary Bay. I've heard awesome things about SAR Techs, and I can't wait to volunteer to be a victim the next time those guys do an excercise in Pemberton.

Where have you been stationed during your career? How did you find the military base/small(er) town life? Did it have profound effects on your immediate family?

Squint said:
My cousin's husband (cousin in law?) is a new pilot, not military, and they're currently in Yellowknife because that's the best chance for him to get flying hours. Even up there, he's having to do several years of ground crew before he'll get in a plane. So, going the commercial non-military route may not allow you to stay here in sunny Vancouver!
Yeah, I've come to realize that's a very real possibility aswell. I've heard time and time again about having to put in your grunt-time on the ramp, and how little flying you'll likely actually get done in the early years. I guess deep down I keep hoping to be one of the exceptions. :)

Jet Blast said:
k_vist, you can expect about 400 hours a year flying with the armed forces.(IF YOU MAKE IT)

The armed forces is truly a personal choice, however for me it wasn't an option as I have a problem with authority! ha ha (Not too mention I didn't want to leave Vancouver, and my job)QUOTE]

I really like the sound of 400 hours a year, seeing as how most major airlines are requiring a minimum of 1500 hours! I'm not sure I'd mind "less" hours in a chopper (I've also strongly considered rotary) or a fighter, considering what you're getting to fly!
Again, the kicker is the same for me: not wanting to leave Vancouver, and my job (and my girfriend). What was your own timeline from the start of training to full-employment? I've definitely got no lack of drive or commitment, this is a dream of mine and I'll get there one way or another. I plan on focusing solely on this as soon as I grad from UBC!

Thanks for all the info guys! Keep it coming :) This is all very encouraging. I'm checking out the websites, and I'll be chatting up a recruiter shortly :thumbup

Cheers
 

·
Gear Driven Cams
Joined
·
4,411 Posts
RoscoeP said:
You will be flying Tudor jets during basic flight training, where else can you get that.
Not unless you can turn back the clock. The only people flying Tutors now are the Snowbirds, and anyone joining the military today is unlikely to ever get to fly one. By the time you've gone through flight training and put enough time in that the team would want you, they won't be using Tutors anymore. As sorry as that day will be when it comes.

If you go for basic flight training you will be flying turboprop-powered Harvard II's.

As for the Military Life, I found it more like a regular job. ... If I had it to do again I would only sooner in my career. I think the pros out weigh the cons.
I don't know anyone who's been an air force pilot who doesn't think they made a good choice. They all now think they had the best time of their lives when they were flying for the Queen.

More than a few say that the movie Top Gun wasn't a huge stretch of the truth when it comes to the life away from the planes. They all agree that the flying shenanigans were largely things that they would have liked to do, but would never get away with.

ps. another saying... There are old pilots and bold pilots, but there are no old bold pilots!
So very true.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
106 Posts
the big thing that has not been said that might make a difference is that the military will pay for your training and pay you at the same time, good luck getting a deal like that on the civilian side. jer
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
Top