Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentMilitary · 1 decade ago

How does one go about becoming a test pilot?

I am 20 years old and in my third year of environmental engineering. I want to get my masters in aerospace engineering which will take an additional three years. I really just decided that I would like to get into military aviation. I understand that this was a very late decision since I have no background with cadets or anything of that nature. Is it too late for me? I was on the USAF website reading up on qualifications and procedures. Also, is there an "ideal" degree and is a masters even a significant advantage? Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you.


I meant that I would like to eventually become a test pilot. I know that you don't just start there. So how do I get my "thousands of hours" as a fighter jock?

Update 2:

So are you saying that degree difficulty is not taken into consideration? I don't understand... my GPA is only 75%.

3 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Your best bet is to beat feet over to the nearest AFROTC detachment. If there isn't one at your school, there maybe one nearby with a crosstown agreement. Take a look at under crosstowns. I have two cadets who came in as college juniors and are working on their masters now. One will finish prior to commissioning and the other won't.

    Major is irrelevant. GPA is everything. The pilot board looks at Commanders ranking (GPA is a factor), GPA, AFOQT, PFT and PICSM (again GPA is a factor). A lot of my aerospace science cadets do not get picked up but my business majors do.

    Source(s): AFROTC instructor
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  • 1 decade ago

    Don't forget that there is also a test pilot program through the Navy. I have a friend who got jerked around by the Air Force and went Marine instead. He said it was the best thing that ever happened to him. He is currently flying F-18s and could apply for the Navy test pilot program in about three years (hours and experience pending). Your flight skills would be tested in the Air Force, but in the Navy and Marine Corps you get to land on a moving runway, during Low Light, in the middle of the ocean without being a test pilot. If you are interested in the quality of instruction, I have friends who went to joint primary training at Vance AFB. Listening to their experiences, they were shorted compared to Navy primary training. They also tend to have more difficulty adjusting at Navy advanced flight schools, Jet or Helo.

    Source(s): Navy Primary and Advanced Flight Schools
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    One starts by being O-4 or above, with many thousands of hours flying military aircraft.

    The price of a brand new F-35 is right around $ you think they are going to hand the "keys" to a noob?

    An MS is good...a PhD is aeronautical engineering, or a similar discipline. The days of Chuck Yeager are over...sadly.

    Source(s): EDIT: How? Simple. Get a BA/BS. Get commissioned. Get through UPT. Get through fast mover school. Get certified in your a/c. Get about 3,000 hours, including a couple of combat tours. Get an advanced degree. Get promoted to O-4. Get ready to compete with about 1,000 other jocks who are equally qualified with you. Simple, eh?
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