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How to Become a Military Pilot

military pilotThe flight training and requirements in order to become a military pilot are extremely challenging. This field demands full dedication, focus, and perseverance.

There are three phases you must complete during your flight training to become a military pilot. Each phase consists of several courses courses and tests.

According to the US Air Force Undergraduate Pilot Training, the phases are as follows:

Phase 1 – Academic Classes and Pre-Flight Training

  • Aerospace Physiology, Altitude Chamber Rides + Test
  • Ejection Seat / Egress Training, Parachute Landing Falls
  • Aircraft Systems Class + Test
  • Basic Instruments Class + Test
  • Mission Planning / Navigation Class + Test
  • Aviation Weather Class + Test

Phase 2 – Aircraft Training

  • 90 Hours of flight training instruction, 22 weeks of training
  • Learn Basic flying skills
  • Focus on contact, instruments, formation, and navigation
  • After 6 months, students choose track (bomber, tanker, multiengine turboprop)
  • Students are chosen based on performance

Phase 3 – Advanced Aircraft training

  • Fighter/Bomber Track – 120 hours, 24 weeks
  • Airlift/Tanker Track – 105 hours, 24 weeks
  • Multiengine Turboprop Track – 115 hours, 26 weeks

Tips and Warnings

Be totally committed

Becoming a military pilot is a serious commitment, it is an area of your life that you must give all or nothing.

Be eligible

Check your eligibility to participate in flight training, you must be in good physical health, including having good eyesight.

Warrant or commissioned officer?

Choose whether you want to be a warrant officer, or a technical specialist, or a commissioned officer, who may move up to higher levels of command.

Background check

All government positions require a background check in order to complete training.

The Fighter Aircrew Condition Test (FACT)

This test determines if an individual’s muscle fitness is qualified to operate high-G aircraft. After this test a student will have a physical fitness regimen specifically designed for him to target weaknesses.

There are 8 exercise events divided into two categories:

Strength Test

10-15 repetitions (50 total, minimum)
Your body weight multiplied by:
.35 for arm curls
.8 for bench press
.7 for lat pulls
1.6 for leg press
.5 for leg curls

Muscular Endurance Test

20 repetitions minimum, 50 repetitions maximum
Abdominal crunches
Leg presses

Your FACT score is calculated by combining the score of the two tests.

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