Jump to content

High School To Flight School


Recommended Posts

Hello everyone,

 

I am a junior in highschool and am currently 16 years old. Flying helicopters in the Army is what I have wanted to do for the past 5 years. I know everything I need to get into the WOFT program. I plan to go in when I turn 18.

 

Because I will be 18 I will have no prior experience. I want to show this board that this IS my future and I am the perfect one to transport anything desired from pt A to pt B. This is the thread that, hopefully, someone will decide to help me on. I am still a little young but will be contacting my recruiter soon. But now is the time for me to get the ball rolling. I will do whatever it takes to get me more qualified as an individual for the program. To help anyone understand more about me..

 

4.3 GPA

Honors Student

National Honors Society

Excel in computers and electronics

Confident and Disciplined

Some Volunteering

Great Team worker

 

Some personal facts

White, 6'2, Brown Hair

 

Please contribute if you can, as this is my future and I want to make sure it happens right.

All appreciated.

Thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, I figured. I thought it would help as far as posting my personal achievements and such since everyone is different.

 

But what do you think I can do to prepare

I am:

-physically fit (run cross country)

-smart 4.3GPA

-father is retired Special Forces so I can learn a lot from him

 

but other than that I am sort of stuck until I get a packet. I guess I could study for the tests and learn the helicopters. Maybe talk to some pilots, thats why I came on here. I just dont want to waste time and get to be 18 to find out that I could have been preparing all along.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Check out some local flight schools around you. Talk to all the pilots, students and CFI's at the schools and then start some flight training if you can. I have learned from other military guys that the military will only pay 60% of your flight training when you get out. You will need to be a PPL(H) before they will pay though. (Any military guys who have gone this route, please feel free to jump in and correct me if I'm wrong.) So why not get your PPL(H) certificate now. You then can transition over to civilian once you get out to continue your aviation career. Hope this helps ya. Good luck

 

Steve

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bulletcart,

 

I want to help you as much as I possibly can. I am 20 years old, finishing my last year of college, and applying for the May or June WOFT Boards. I wish I had done this 2 years ago, but I went to college instead. Anyway, I've been where you are, and I want to help. Feel free to PM me with ANY questions you have, I am always available. I have a blog here: www.autorotational.blogspot.com if you are interested in seeing where I'm at in the process.

 

Since you'll only be 18 when applying, you simply have a less "stellar" or "experienced" resume than most others who will be applying at older ages. This should not be discouraging. Rather, (especially since you are starting this so young) this should only further motivate you. You should be doing everything you can to improve that resume. Show them that no matter your age, you are the most driven applicant they've seen in awhile. Your age should only further impress them. I know it sounds idealistic, and probably naive, but I say it to motivate you. Strive for the best, always.

 

Here are some things I can think of off the top of my head that you may want to look into. These are things that either I have done or wish I had done, or considered doing. They are just suggestions, ideas, you in no way should feel obligated to do them, but they may spark your interest.

 

1) As yzchopper said, talk to local CFIs, pilots, etc. I did, and found a CFI that was willing to take me under his wing. You never know. Anyway, look into getting that PPL(H). At age 18, that will look great, not to mention give you confidence at the controls. If money is an issue, look into getting your PPL(H) WRITTEN test done. It obviously costs a lot less, you can learn most of the stuff on your own, or do free online courses that will teach you the material. Here is a link to online (FREE) ground school I am looking into: http://www.faa-ground-school.com/

Personally, I am aiming to take my PPL and Commercial Written tests before I go before the board, even if I haven't taken my PPL checkride yet. It shows drive and dedication, and there is really no downside.

 

2) Your GPA implies you are a driven student - why not take some college courses? Obviously you are still in high school, but look into the Running Start program if that exists in your area. You can also look into online college courses through your local community college. College credits cost money, but they illustrate a drive and willingness to learn.

 

3) Check out FEMA's Independent Study Program. I have been involved in Search and Rescue / Emergency Management since I was 13, so this naturally was appealing to me. Basically, they are free online courses that you take through FEMA that you can convert to college credit (by paying a fee per credit, of course) through Frederick Community College. If you do enough courses, you can get an Associates Degree of Applied Science in Emergency Management. All online, and the only money you pay is to convert it to college credit, which you can do slowly and spread the cost out over time. Or you can easily choose not to convert it and thus not pay anything.

 

4) Volunteer. You say you have done some volunteering - while your focus should be on school and maintaining that stellar GPA, volunteering is a great thing, regardless of applying for WOFT. You'll feel better knowing that you've helped those in your community. Some ideas are: USO (United Service Organization), Search and Rescue, Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, etc.

 

5) This can be seen as hypocritical, since I'm not exactly at the peak of physical fitness, but I'll give you the advice anyway. Don't just be physically fit, be at the height of physical fitness. Make a 300 APFT your minimum. Hey, why not start now? I waited too long, got out of shape in college, and am paying for it now, trying to get back into the swing of things. I wish I had taken my own advice.

 

6) Leadership. Try to get into some leadership positions that you are interested in. You said you are into computer stuff, is there some sort of computer club you could get into at school? That said, don't try for those positions if you aren't really into them...i.e. don't be President of the Math club if you really hate math. The board will see right through that.

 

7) How long until you are 17? If not long, you may as well study up for the ASVAB and take that when you turn of age...just one more thing to knock out early. It is valid for I THINK two years, someone correct me if I am wrong. After that you can look into taking the AFAST. Hey, it's just a couple less things to stress about. I don't think a recruiter will even talk to you if you aren't 17 though, so don't get discouraged if they shut you down.

 

8) A lot of folks will probably say this is stupid advice and that you have plenty of time to get it done, but why not knock out the "Why I want to be an Army Aviator" essay and resume? As time goes on, you can edit the essay to make it better and update your resume as you become involved in more things, but having the basics for each will, again, be one less thing to worry about. At the very least, writing the essay will be a good exercise - why DO you want to be an Army Aviator? Rhetorical question, don't answer it here, but it's one thing to think it and another to write it down in words.

 

That's all I can think of for now. I'll add more if something else occurs to me, but I hope this helps. Feel free to criticize it as much as you want - I realize some of it will definitely not appeal to you, or you may think is stupid and irrelevant. Whatever, to each his (her :) ) own.

 

That said, FEEL FREE to PM me and ask questions, I will always be available to help another aspiring aviator. Keep in mind that even though I'm four years older than you, I'm really not much further in the process yet, so I can't offer you a current aviator's perspective or anything. So take all my advice with a grain of salt. All I can give you is what I wish I would have done, things I am planning to do, or things I *have* done that I am proud of.

 

Good luck,

Lindsey K.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey BulletCart,

 

I wish you the best of luck in getting set up with WOFT. I actually put a packet last year and aced the board, but I never made it to the selection board because my flight physical got kicked back. To make a long story short, I wasn't within the refractive parameters for my cycloplegic refraction. After a long discussion with aeromedical at Ft. Rucker, I learned that if I got PRK eye surgery, I could potentially get a waiver and reapply. It's just one of those technicalities.

 

I had been planning on going through WOFT for a very long time as well, and I wanted to make myself as strong as a candidate as possible. Even though it's considered 'High School To Flight School,' it's very, very competitive. Here's an article by CW5 Reichard regarding some changes that may be implemented into warrant officer recruiting, as well as the state of WOFT selections. It kind of gives you an idea of a what you're up against. Don't let it discourage you though! You sound like your strong academics, potential for strong LORs, and maturity for your age will go a long way. When I went through the interview, I had accrued 60 college credits under my belt, and because of a business I had ran on the side throughout high school, I managed to finance a few ratings worth in flight training. Between some very strong letters of recommendation, college credit, previous flight training, the board took a liking to me before I actually sat down for the interview. After about a 45 minute interview, they had all written me recommendations for the selection board -- and more than anything, they were impressed with my accomplishments for my age. So if there's any tip I can give you, it's this: let your weakness (your age) become your advantage!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Definitely don't let your age get in the way. We had a guy in my WOCS class that was straight out of high school so it definitely happens. As far as advice goes, I would definitely recommend getting a few hours under your belt. I wouldn't necessarily go all the way to your private pilots license but I would maybe get to the solo. My reason for this may sound somewhat cynical. I went to civilian flight school prior to joining the Army. I had friends in school with me that (like me) wanted to be aviators their whole lives. After just a few flights, quite a few of them decided that flying wasn't for them. I'm the opposite. I absolutely love it. There's just no way to know for sure until you actually try it. If you try it and don't like it, you've saved yourself a 6 year commitment. If you try it and love it, well now you just have that much more to be excited about when you come join us. Good luck.

 

Blake

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, also, you may want to look into the Civil Air Patrol...if you find a good squadron there are LOTS of opportunities for cadets to include aerospace education, emergency services/SAR, radio operations, etc. Besides, you will be taught Drill & Ceremony, have an opportunity to perform in your Squadron Honor Guard, be able to go on some extremely interesting and informative encampments, and meet a lot of cool folks. I was in for a few years when I was younger, and have regretted leaving ever since. Check it out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just want to go ahead right off and say thank you very much for your fast response. I really appreciate the help. A couple of you said that I could PM you, I will take that offer and you will be hearing from me soon. I believe there was a question of my age on how close to 17 I was. I will be turning 17 in October of next year.

 

I will be making this my home base for the next two years and will update as new things happen. So right now I am going to make a rough outline of my timeline.

 

Present-end of 11th grade: get good grades, look into clubs for 2nd semester. Contact some local pilots and get to know them. Will also be trying to take some college classes. There is a beginners pilots ground course. Prop planes, but I think it could help. Not sure If I can get into it considering its in the morning. Also I am going to pick up four books on the Chinook, Blackhawk, Apache, and Kiowa. I am going to study these aircraft inside and out. The more informed the better..

11th grade summer: Try and get 100-200hrs of volunteer service and make some money. Begin studying for the ASVAB. Take college courses.

12th grade: Study for ASVAB more, continue studying aircraft. Possibly meet in person with some real Army pilots and get acquainted. Get my damn braces off so I can talk clearly.

12th grade summer: (cant apply till October when I turn 18) Get packet, study hard. More college. Volunteer more.

 

So thats the basic outline I have so far. Of course I will still be working with electronics and computers during this. As well as physical training and other things.

 

So again thanks and I will be contacting you guys shortly with more specific questions.

 

I dont know if I should pm you guys or just post it on here because some of my questions might be really short and I dont want anyone to think that I am wasting their time.

 

Thanks

 

oh yeah. I am in highschool, forget girlfriends I want to fly.

 

one more thing. I play FSX. Flight simulator.. and they have helicopters on their that I can fly with a joystick pretty well. I am getting the hang of it. I know that doesnt count for anything, but just wanted to add. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I dont know if I should pm you guys or just post it on here because some of my questions might be really short and I dont want anyone to think that I am wasting their time.

 

 

Feel free to PM.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You won't know and can't get the answer if you don't ask the question. It does not matter how long or short it is or if you think it is a stupid question. Any question is a good question... you just need to ask. Good luck.

 

Steve

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is a quick question that is bugging me.

 

What is the best time to get my packet and when can I get it? I know they have certain times for boards where they select new pilots. But are those randomly selected or is it always a certain date. Can I get a packet before I am 18, or even get one now so I can see everything I have to fill out, or would that be too early and the packet would expire. Do packets expire?

 

Thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is a quick question that is bugging me.

 

What is the best time to get my packet and when can I get it? I know they have certain times for boards where they select new pilots. But are those randomly selected or is it always a certain date. Can I get a packet before I am 18, or even get one now so I can see everything I have to fill out, or would that be too early and the packet would expire. Do packets expire?

 

Thanks

 

I wouldn't worry about the paperwork now. That is, literally, the least of your concerns. The "packet" mainly consists of things like your ASVAB and AFAST scores, your letter, your resume, letters of recommendation, PT score, a passed flight physical, interim security clearance, etc.

 

The best thing you can do with the time you have is build a STELLAR resume. Like someone said above, make your age your advantage. They won't expect you to have a lot of things on your resume at age 18. So blow them away. Don't approach it like "oh, well they don't expect a lot so I can relax." Do the opposite. They don't expect a lot? Great - that means they will be even more impressed with what I will have - and I will have a lot. Get in great shape, keep yourself busy, and make some good contacts. Those are the things that will help you get accepted, not filling out the paperwork two years in advance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To answer speshul's question:

I am a newbie at the acronyms, but I am assuming you are talking of Army Physical Fitness Test? In an article I read from Lindsey, it posted that the average score for applicants is 270+. With that said I am shooting for a perfect 300 and I have two years to do it. I am already in decent shape running wise but upper body I haven't done much on. I can run a mile in 7.00 (on high school cross country) and as far as the pushups and situps go..

Push ups- I can get to 40 in a minute before my arms collapse and go to sleep

Sit ups- About 45 in a minute before I my stomach feels like its turning inside out

 

So obviously I have the speed, not really worried about this part considering I have two years and am taking ample steps to reach my goal.

 

UPDATE:

I will be buying books on the different versions of the Army Helicopters to study and learn as much as I can about them. I will also be buying ASVAB study books along with the other test I have to take. The GT or something along those lines?

If anyones interested, I just got my report card for the 3rd quarter

Chemistry Hnrs-98

Discrete Math Hnrs-96

Spanish 1-99

IST II (upper level engineering class)-95

GPA's

1st quarter-4.5

2nd quarter-4.25

3rd quarter-4.5

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I second everything Lindsey just mentioned -- emphasis on everything. That's excellent advice. In regards to what speshul said, definitely getting a 270-300 (or even the extended scale) will definitely be something that will blow the board away. This is especially important if you have limited athletic experience during your high school years; you need to be able to prove you're physically capable of being a warrior.

 

As far as if "packets" expire, there's a couple things to keep in mind:

 

- Your ASVAB score is good for 2 years from the date you take it.

- Your AFAST score is good indefinitely.

- Your MEPS physical is good for 2 years as well.

 

I am unsure how long your security clearance is good for, and unofficially, your letters of recommendation are good for 90 days after the date from which they're dated. I say unofficially because, according to CW4 Avery (the 153A recruiter @ Rucker) said they prefer to see it. If it's a preference, I'd say go for it. I'm not sure how long your APFT is good for, but I'd imagine not any longer than six months -- I'd definitely give yourself as much time to train for it as possible, if not the day before your packet gets submitted for review from USAREC. Obviously your essay is good indefinitely.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I second everything Lindsey just mentioned -- emphasis on everything. That's excellent advice.

 

Aww, I'm blushing. :D

 

I am unsure how long your security clearance is good for...

 

I've read that a SECRET clearance is good for 10 years, but I don't think they'll let you start on it this early. It costs money for them to do it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To answer speshul's question:

I am a newbie at the acronyms, but I am assuming you are talking of Army Physical Fitness Test? In an article I read from Lindsey, it posted that the average score for applicants is 270+. With that said I am shooting for a perfect 300 and I have two years to do it. I am already in decent shape running wise but upper body I haven't done much on. I can run a mile in 7.00 (on high school cross country) and as far as the pushups and situps go..

Push ups- I can get to 40 in a minute before my arms collapse and go to sleep

Sit ups- About 45 in a minute before I my stomach feels like its turning inside out

 

So obviously I have the speed, not really worried about this part considering I have two years and am taking ample steps to reach my goal.

 

UPDATE:

I will be buying books on the different versions of the Army Helicopters to study and learn as much as I can about them. I will also be buying ASVAB study books along with the other test I have to take. The GT or something along those lines?

If anyones interested, I just got my report card for the 3rd quarter

Chemistry Hnrs-98

Discrete Math Hnrs-96

Spanish 1-99

IST II (upper level engineering class)-95

GPA's

1st quarter-4.5

2nd quarter-4.25

3rd quarter-4.5

 

Okay, a few things.

 

1) Those are f*cking good grades. Pardon the language, but they are. Keep it up - not many are that dedicated to school.

2) I'm not going to say "don't do it," but to me there is literally NO point to buying books on the different Army helos and studying them. Zero. Zilch. Unless it will further motivate you or something. The board probably won't give a crap if you tell them "I've been studying the Apache, Hawk, Hook, and Kiowa." They'll probably just look at you funny. If there is any helicopter you should be studying if you are going to do it anyway, it's the TH-67. That's the helicopter they use in flight school. That knowledge will be USEFUL. Once you finish up BWS and select your aircraft, that's first of all so far away from now that the knowledge you pick up now on those airframes will be LONG gone, and two, you will only be picking one airframe, so it's not really useful to know it all. If you are going to buy books on helos, buy FAA PPL(H) written test study guides. Buy the FAA Rotorcraft Flying Handbook (though that's online for free) . Buy a book on aviation weather. A FAR/AIM. That kind of stuff. No one will care that you know a Blackhawk can sling load so and so pounds of weight. Again, I'm NOT saying you shouldn't do it, but I am saying that it probably will not help you on the boards. What's the point of knowing the insides of those four helos if you never get picked up to fly them? See what I'm saying?

3) I want to re-emphasize the resume. This is where you are going to pop out to them. Look into those clubs for next semester. Look into volunteering. Look for ways to demonstrate leadership potential and experience. That is "where the money is," so to speak, not reading a book about the Apache.

 

Again, take all my advice with a grain of salt.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bullet,

 

So right now I am in ROTC and came into it completely out of shape and over weight. I sounds like you are good on your runs. Best advice I can give you for running is do a variety of cardio/distances. The APFT(yes, Army Physical Fitness Test) is a very good way to start and to prove that you are truly committed. For your run to get a 100 on you need to be able to run 2 miles in 13 minutes or less. Cross country sounds like an excellent way to get you in shape. If you aren't there quite yet run laps at a 1:30 pace around a track that is about 400 meters. If you complete each lap at that time it should get you a 13 minute run. Of course you take breaks in between each lap you run. Then the next time you go out to run on the track take a smaller break in between laps. Do that until you can run it without taking breaks.

 

As far as push ups and sit ups, its all about doing them. Find the standards somewhere on line and do them correctly don't cheat yourself it wont help you if you do. The best thing for improving these is technique and building the muscle memory of performing them correctly.

 

Push ups: This is the biggest problem I am having because I have maxed out my sit ups and am around a 90 on my run. I still haven't gotten above a 60 on my push ups. So you are ahead of the game. Basically you have 2 minutes to complete as many push ups as you can. This means having your feet no more than 10 inches apart and your body straight. Hand position doesn't matter except if you have them too close together you are using your triceps more then your chest. Too far apart and you aren't utilizing your triceps to their full potential. If you can find a sweet spot for your hands so that when you are done your chest and triceps have been used to their full potential. You must keep your body straight look out about 4 feet in front of you so that you go far enough down so that your upper arms are parallel to the ground and make a 90 degree angle with your forearms. Then when you push up off the ground make sure your elbows lock out to be a complete set. If you have a camera around get it out and have someone or film yourself doing a set of 10 push ups to the army standards. Watch the tape and look at where you are having deficiencies and fix them. Then when you have the right technique down have someone time you for 2 minutes where you will max. Once you have your max number of push ups that you have done to standards take it and divide by 3. So if you did 30 in 2 minutes your set will be 10. That set that is 1/3 your max you will do a minimum of 8 times throughout the day. This gives you twice your max and then a little more so that you improve. Or if you have a goal you want to reach like 10 points higher then what you want to get do twice that amount of push ups throughout the day. You will see yourself improve in no time. Once you got the hang of doing them properly start doing wide armed push ups and diamond push ups to isolate your chest and triceps.

 

Sit ups have a little bit more to the standards. I trust that you can find a link the standards. Same thing here find your max and do twice as much and add 10 throughout the day so you get good muscle memory. The thing with sit ups is that only 10% of them actually use your abs. The other 90% are your hip flexors doing the work. My abs don't get sore anymore its just my legs that do. So if your abs are sore start doing crunches. Lay on the ground, with your legs making a 90 degree angle. Put your hands behind your ears and pull your body up and hold it up for a good 3 seconds then let yourself down and repeat. Do those until you really feel a burn. These will do the most for your abs.

 

Sorry about cutting this short but I got to go study for my finals. I'll log on later if you need any extra help. The biggest thing though is just developing that muscle memory. If you need any more tips or work out routines to help you out I am here. It looks like you know what you are doing so it shouldn't be tough for you. Just don't cheat because you only hurt yourself. I see a few people in my battalion cutting their sets short because they are too tired in the morning to do PT. Any way sorry for my rambling I hope it helps.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the advice speshul. I will try your training routine out. :)

 

Yes, Lindsey I have pretty good grades. To be honest though, I don't study that much. I am somewhat dedicated to school even though I don't like two of my classes. Regardless, I still need to get good grades and learn the subject matter which I do well. The only reasons I wanted to study them was for a scenario like this..

 

Mr. X- Hi, what do you want to do when you get out of highschool?

Me- Oh, I am planning on becoming an Army Helo pilot.

Mr. X What helo do you want to fly?

Me- The Apache sir.

Mr X. *Asks a Apache specific question*..

Me- ? Your guess is as good as mine?

 

You are right, I don't need all four books. I think Ill take your advice and just get one book on the Apache, and I am already getting study guides for the different tests. I asked my parents for a gift card to a bookstore to buy some books that you mentioned. ;dont have any specifics now.

 

Oh, about the high school clubs: I know I will be volunteering, but I don't know of any clubs. The only sport I do is cross country and I am not in band or anything of that nature. I am in the engineering academy at my school which is sort of a club. I am not really sure of what clubs are in my school to be honest. Like you said, I am really mature for my age compared to others in my school. I like computers and electronics and they like going to the movies.. I play flight sims and they play Call of Duty( it is a great game) I don't think they have a computer club. I guess I am somewhat a nerd. Strong nerd.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll throw in my 2 cents about PT. PT is VERY important. A lot of people in the Army base how good a soldier you are by your PT score. It may seem silly, but many people look at it as the primary thing that shows your motivation. Just keep at it and keep improving. Speshul gave good advice... especially for the run. As far as pushups and situps go, I personally have to have specific goals. Go to a site called hundredpushups.com. It also has a sister site called twohundredsitups.com. This helped give me specific goals and REALLY improved my scores. I can max the pushups every time now and can get within 1 or 2 on the situps (that's always been my weak point). Good luck.

 

Blake

Link to comment
Share on other sites

UPDATE:

 

Hey everyone,

 

I wanted to post a question that I have which will probably be the most important one I'll ask for two years. Its more that I want your opinion and advice:

 

Board Questions Me:

Why should we accept you before college and why shouldn't you go to college before applying.

 

My answer:

As helpful as college may be in ones life; it is not helpful to me in the sense of getting this position. I am confident that I can learn material in college. I am also sure that I can learn material in flight school without college. I am a smart student and am 100% positive that this is my future. I want to serve my country and do not need college to do that. I DO plan on going to college in the future but know that the country comes before my education.

 

Well, my wording sucks but hopefully you get the jist of it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...