A life where you are always living on the edge, where every day brings new thrills and adventure- where you need to be a dare devil to survive. If this appeals to you, then you will surely want to know how to become a navy fighter pilot. This is a career for those with a passion for flying, with nerves of steel and with a love for challenges. You just need to read on to know more about this exciting profession which can become a way of life for you.
The first and foremost thing you will need is a degree as all pilots are officers and every officer must be a degree holder. Therefore it is important for you to complete your 4 year college degree with above average grades to be in competition.
There are 3 ways to get commissioned as an officer
- OCS: Officer Candidate School: If you have just graduated or are about to, you could opt for this 12 week intensive training course. Apply for OCS only if you are sure about your aim of becoming a fighter pilot in the navy
- U.S Naval Academy: This is suitable to those who want a taste of a tough, disciplined and intense military type experience while in college. The competition is tight but if you get through, you will be paid to attend
- ROTC: This will be less rigorous than the Naval Academy but here you will not know what exactly you will be doing in the navy until you clear your senior year. Join here only if you can afford to be flexible with your aim
If you decide to get your commission in the navy through the OCS, you will begin flight school after 12 weeks. However if you attend the Naval Academy or the ROTC, then you would need to graduate before being able to progress to flight school.
- API – Aviation Pre flight Indoctrination: This is a six week course focussing on the theoretical aspects of aviation and culminates with land and water survival training. There will not be any flying lessons at this stage but the valuable lessons you learn here will hold you in good stead throughout your aviation career
- Basic Flight training: This course lasts for 9 months and is the rough equivalent of a private pilot license. Here your aptitude for flying will be thoroughly tested and your performance will determine the kind of aircraft you will get to fly. Only the top ten percent of the class will be granted their choice of aircraft. This is the most important step of your training. There are 3 kinds of aircraft that you could be assigned, helicopters, jets or transportation aircraft.
- Advanced Jet flight school: If you reach this level successfully you are already among the top elite as you have performed better than most of your classmates at flight school. Now you will be taught the fundamentals of fighter aviation and also about how to land on an aircraft carrier.
What is the job profile of a fighter pilot?
As you decide to embark on a daring, challenging and thrilling career, it would be useful to know exactly what your duties and responsibilities will be as a fighter pilot. Following are some of the routine tasks that you will be undertaking in your professional career:-
- Using radio equipment and contacting control towers for take off and landing instructions
- Pilot airplanes to transport people or cargo, while strictly abiding by all the regulations and procedures
- Choose routes, altitude and speeds to ensure the smoothest operations
- Conduct tests and evaluations to assess equipment and systems
- Plan flight activities and make evaluation reports
So what are you waiting for? Now that you know how to become a navy fighter pilot, get going, fasten your seat belt and prepare for a fascinating career ahead of you.