Joining the RCAF at 37 years old

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WaldoPepper
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Joining the RCAF at 37 years old

Post by WaldoPepper » Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:35 pm

Can a 37 year old, ~10,000 hours, join the Air Force and fly?
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valleyboy
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Re: Joining the RCAF at 37 years old

Post by valleyboy » Tue Oct 08, 2019 2:23 pm

It will be difficult - i had a friend who likely had 6 or 7 thousands hours and mid to late 20's.He was accepted and actually did the boot camp, stood first in his class but when push came to shove they would not even say that he would be a pilot. He didn't like that prospect so he quit and went back to civilian flying. Pilot experience means nothing to the military in the grand scale of things, in fact they prefer candidates with no stick time.
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schnitzel2k3
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Re: Joining the RCAF at 37 years old

Post by schnitzel2k3 » Tue Oct 08, 2019 4:34 pm

valleyboy wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 2:23 pm
It will be difficult - i had a friend who likely had 6 or 7 thousands hours and mid to late 20's.He was accepted and actually did the boot camp, stood first in his class but when push came to shove they would not even say that he would be a pilot. He didn't like that prospect so he quit and went back to civilian flying. Pilot experience means nothing to the military in the grand scale of things, in fact they prefer candidates with no stick time.
How recent was that, because that is not the tale I've heard, as of late? My understanding is that they are willing to pay above rank rates for experienced pilots who can zip through IPT and free up the instructors or become instructor pilots themselves.

Just don't have any grand illusions of becoming a hornet driver. Most guys by their mid-30s are retired from flying fighters full-time.
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WaldoPepper
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Re: Joining the RCAF at 37 years old

Post by WaldoPepper » Tue Oct 08, 2019 4:49 pm

Well that’s just it. From what I’ve heard from ex forces pilots who now fly on the airlines there’s a shortage in the forces... I have no grand illusions of flying fighters or front line ops etc. But where is the need? IHercs, SAR?
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valleyboy
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Re: Joining the RCAF at 37 years old

Post by valleyboy » Tue Oct 08, 2019 5:42 pm

It was a few years ago but the pit fall is you might not get even transport command and be on a 2 otter in YK or flying a helicopter. I understand training is based on equipment requirement, so if they need helicopter pilots that's where you go. This is all second hand. Very simply drop in and talk to a recruitment officer. Ask the hard questions. You do have the option of starting and bailing if you find things are not as advertised.
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TT1900
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Re: Joining the RCAF at 37 years old

Post by TT1900 » Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:57 pm

Absolutely, maybe!

If you meet all requirements (aircrew selection, fitness test, medical, etc) you can certainly join the RCAF and fly. First step is a recruiting centre.

Some of what has been written above is true; you may be assigned to a platform/community you don’t want. Its all about timing.

If you have specific questions about the process, positives, negatives, or pilot training, feel free to PM me. I’m currently an instructor in Moose Jaw so can provide one perspective. Naturally, individual experiences vary.
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B208
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Re: Joining the RCAF at 37 years old

Post by B208 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:45 am

WaldoPepper wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:35 pm
Can a 37 year old, ~10,000 hours, join the Air Force and fly?
Yes.

I joined at 35. The physical training during basic was a challenge but other than that my age wasn't much of a problem. PM if you have further questions.
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B208
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Re: Joining the RCAF at 37 years old

Post by B208 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:59 am

valleyboy wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 2:23 pm
It will be difficult - i had a friend who likely had 6 or 7 thousands hours and mid to late 20's.He was accepted and actually did the boot camp, stood first in his class but when push came to shove they would not even say that he would be a pilot. He didn't like that prospect so he quit and went back to civilian flying. Pilot experience means nothing to the military in the grand scale of things, in fact they prefer candidates with no stick time.
Not so. By the time you get to BOTC (Boot Camp) you have a firm offer of a trade. The only things that would change your trade after you enrolled would be failure of your training courses or a medical issue. The RCAF does credit previous flying experience on your offer of enrolment (usually results in a slightly higher pay grade while you are going through training) and may allow you to skip the first phase of pilot training depending on your licenses and experience.
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valleyboy
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Re: Joining the RCAF at 37 years old

Post by valleyboy » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:22 pm

All I know is what happened in this particular case. He joined to fly F 18 and worked hard to do well in all aspects of classes. He came in top of class. They would not guarantee a position as an F18 candidate and maybe because he wouldn't back down they also told him he might not even get a pilot assignment and might end up as non flying crew member. He bailed.

He had deported as left seat in a 705 operation to pursue a dream and ended up going back to civilian life.
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schnitzel2k3
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Re: Joining the RCAF at 37 years old

Post by schnitzel2k3 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:03 pm

That sucks. Hopefully he's happy flying civilian.
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TT1900
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Re: Joining the RCAF at 37 years old

Post by TT1900 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:48 pm

valleyboy wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:22 pm
All I know is what happened in this particular case. He joined to fly F 18 and worked hard to do well in all aspects of classes. He came in top of class. They would not guarantee a position as an F18 candidate and maybe because he wouldn't back down they also told him he might not even get a pilot assignment and might end up as non flying crew member. He bailed.

He had deported as left seat in a 705 operation to pursue a dream and ended up going back to civilian life.
I suspect you’re not being told the truth. Nobody is sworn in, let alone begins basic training, until they have been offered and accepted an occupation, in this case pilot.
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valleyboy
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Re: Joining the RCAF at 37 years old

Post by valleyboy » Thu Oct 10, 2019 5:50 am

Possibly there is always more to a story. All I know is he made it to the end of his initial courses and could not be guaranteed a fighter seat and he left. I do know that helicopter was being tossed around and he didn't want that possibility. I'm not sure if this means anything but it was circa 1990. I know things change and time marches on.
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Re: Joining the RCAF at 37 years old

Post by AuxBatOn » Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:59 am

valleyboy wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 2:23 pm
It will be difficult - i had a friend who likely had 6 or 7 thousands hours and mid to late 20's.He was accepted and actually did the boot camp, stood first in his class but when push came to shove they would not even say that he would be a pilot. He didn't like that prospect so he quit and went back to civilian flying. Pilot experience means nothing to the military in the grand scale of things, in fact they prefer candidates with no stick time.
You won’t be guaranteed any class of aircraft (fighters/trainers, multi-engine or helo) until you finish your basic flying training.

If your buddy was really top of the class, he would have gotten his first choice.
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AuxBatOn
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Re: Joining the RCAF at 37 years old

Post by AuxBatOn » Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:07 am

schnitzel2k3 wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 4:34 pm

How recent was that, because that is not the tale I've heard, as of late? My understanding is that they are willing to pay above rank rates for experienced pilots who can zip through IPT and free up the instructors or become instructor pilots themselves.

Just don't have any grand illusions of becoming a hornet driver. Most guys by their mid-30s are retired from flying fighters full-time.
1- Nope, civilian experience doesn’t count for much. It may get you a marginally better pay during training but not after. What we are short of is experienced military pilot. We will take foreign pilots with credit for their time.

2- It’s not true that most fighter pilots are retired in their mid-30s. Some may retire but it’s not because they are forced out.
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Re: Joining the RCAF at 37 years old

Post by valleyboy » Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:20 am

Code: Select all

If your buddy was really top of the class, he would have gotten his first choice.
But you can't quit once you commit to flight training. I don't think he liked the odds. I think he understood that he had to do well but at the time they indicated he would be sent to where he was needed at completion of flight training and I believe F18 slots might not had even been on the table.

cheers
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schnitzel2k3
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Re: Joining the RCAF at 37 years old

Post by schnitzel2k3 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 3:11 pm

AuxBatOn wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:07 am
schnitzel2k3 wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 4:34 pm

How recent was that, because that is not the tale I've heard, as of late? My understanding is that they are willing to pay above rank rates for experienced pilots who can zip through IPT and free up the instructors or become instructor pilots themselves.

Just don't have any grand illusions of becoming a hornet driver. Most guys by their mid-30s are retired from flying fighters full-time.
1- Nope, civilian experience doesn’t count for much. It may get you a marginally better pay during training but not after. What we are short of is experienced military pilot. We will take foreign pilots with credit for their time.

2- It’s not true that most fighter pilots are retired in their mid-30s. Some may retire but it’s not because they are forced out.
1. Clearly military experience trumps civilian, but having spoken with the recruitment personnel, I was advised civilian experience will help regarding pay and getting through initial flight training. Obviously having a degree is still essential.

2. Huh, news to me. So at 37 years of age, you think this guy has a shot at snagging a seat in the Hornet after 3-4 years of training? I guess it depends on openings and numbers, but I don't see a 40 year old going into the hot seat anytime soon. Particularly regarding the very physical aspects of the job. The investment in training will not pay off in time.

Just to clarify, I didn't say they were forced out; the demands of the job and lack of flying generally causes those pilots to move on, or take on other roles in the Forces, essentially retired from flying fulltime. I think the average fighter pilot age is sub-30, as per a LCdr I interviewed with a few years back. How many pilots do you know are north of 35 and flying wing fulltime?

Just Maverick, I thought so...😁
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Re: Joining the RCAF at 37 years old

Post by AuxBatOn » Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:50 pm

I know a couple of 50 yo Hornet drivers and several in their 40s. I am myself in my mid-late 30s and have no intention of stopping.

LCdr is not a RCAF rank.
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schnitzel2k3
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Re: Joining the RCAF at 37 years old

Post by schnitzel2k3 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:08 pm

AuxBatOn wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:50 pm
I know a couple of 50 yo Hornet drivers and several in their 40s. I am myself in my mid-late 30s and have no intention of stopping.

LCdr is not a RCAF rank.
Unfortunately LCdr was my interviewer. Didn't get my pick of interviewers, took the information he offered with some level of confidence that it came with some basis of truth.

Enjoy the dream brother, I am jealous.
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Re: Joining the RCAF at 37 years old

Post by B208 » Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:28 pm

valleyboy wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:20 am

Code: Select all

If your buddy was really top of the class, he would have gotten his first choice.
But you can't quit once you commit to flight training.
cheers
Not correct. You can quit anytime before you get your wings. You get your airframe selection at the end of Moose Jaw.
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Waldo Peppar
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Re: Joining the RCAF at 37 years old

Post by Waldo Peppar » Sat Oct 12, 2019 6:29 am

Readers please note, there is a WaldoPepper and a WaldoPeppar on AVCanada.....I am WaldoPeppar, thia is not my thread.
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jakeandelwood
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Re: Joining the RCAF at 37 years old

Post by jakeandelwood » Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:45 pm

They will recruit someone with 0 flight experience and a university degree over a experienced civilian pilot with 10'000 hours and no university degree. Their loss I guess.
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TT1900
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Re: Joining the RCAF at 37 years old

Post by TT1900 » Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:51 pm

jakeandelwood wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:45 pm
They will recruit someone with 0 flight experience and a university degree over a experienced civilian pilot with 10'000 hours and no university degree. Their loss I guess.
Seems to be working out...
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Re: Joining the RCAF at 37 years old

Post by jakeandelwood » Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:11 am

Of course it works out, the military is funded by endless tax dollars. Cost and time to train pilots is not important. I should have said "taxpayers loss" not the military's loss in my above post
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Re: Joining the RCAF at 37 years old

Post by B208 » Sun Oct 13, 2019 11:07 am

jakeandelwood wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:45 pm
They will recruit someone with 0 flight experience and a university degree over a experienced civilian pilot with 10'000 hours and no university degree. Their loss I guess.
No the RCAF does not think like that. People who are not in the RCAF should really stop spreading third hand information that is just not accurate.
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Re: Joining the RCAF at 37 years old

Post by Gannet167 » Sun Oct 13, 2019 3:18 pm

To be a pilot in the RCAF, you have to be an officer. We can debate the merits of the policy, but officers need to have at least at university undergraduate education. There are sone who don't but they're the exception and they are supposed to attain it. A RCAF pilot does not simply fly. In fact, it can be a relatively small part of the job. As a pilot and officer, you are required to fulfil a lot of management and leadership roles. A 60 hour work week isn't unusual, while flying 250 to 350 hours a year. Some fly far less.

A ton of hours of civilian flying isn't valued because it doesn't mean much. I've taught guys with 5,000 hours, lots of types, all the licences and they were dreadful, some barely pass, some fail out. There's a reason why you can't be hired off the street and given an initial course on type. Old dog, new tricks and all that. You have to go through the air force training because the flying can be so different. Many 10,000 hour guys that would be "their loss" couldn't necessarily complete the training. Their experience, while maybe relevant and valued by a civilian operator is really irrelevant to the air force and a significant amount of the flying it does.

I've never heard of a different pay grade for civilian experience. I don't believe it's a thing.
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