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Fighter Pilot

  • Thread starter Thread starter Bo
  • Start date Start date
There are fighter pilots with only a basket weaving degree from Seneca, you don’t need a real degree.
Ben Affleck couldn't even read and he was a fighter pilot  ;D


Unless you are an Engineering Officer of some sort, they literally don't give a shit what degree you have.

In fact, I'm not even sure why you need an engineering degree to be an engineering officer, everything they need to be able to do is either taught to them on course, in which case anyone with a head in their shoulders, engineering or degree or not, should be able to do it, or it's admin/management type work, which no one is taught at all.
Rmcmomf18 said:
My son did extremely well in air crew selection and is currently at rmc. He wants to switch out of engineering. How many fighter pilots in the RCAF are not engineers? And does not being an engineer affect the selection process for the f18’s? Will he be at a disadvantage in his career as a flighter pilot regarding promotions, etc. ?

The RCAF will select whomever they need into whichever branch of the RCAF they feel appropriate (fighter, transport, maritime patrol, trainer, search and rescue planes and helicopters, ship-based helicopters, ‘army’ helicopters and even special operations pilots).  Pilots do not have any particularly exceptional educational requirements...in fact, ironically, amongst the least demanding education requirements for officers....

Skills and aptitude, that’s a different story. I know a guy with an arts degree in history and he could put the skid of a black helicopter within half a meter of a hover spot above the deck of pitching ship in 60 km/h winds...

Your son should make his choice as to what he wants to do, but most importantly to learn to do that well...to do anything he does well!  There is a classification called Aeronautical Engineer (AERE).  The officers supervise technicians who fix the aircraft that pilots break. If you really want your son to be an engineer, perhaps suggest he might be fixing things that pilots break than being a pilot himself.



p.s. Your son really doesn’t have much say as to what aircraft he would eventually fly, assuming he passes all the way through pilot
Rmcmomf18 said:
Thank you G2G. I don’t know any fighter pilots. Appreciate your comments, it helps 😊

You’re very welcome, Rmcmomf18.

I know a few...they’re not bad when you really get to know them. ;D

Seriously though, the ranks of CAF officership is replete with many who initially desired to be pilots, or more specifically (depending on a number of factors at the time, C-130 Hercules, or CP-140 Aurora pilots, etc.) a particular type of aircraft.

Good to have a goal to aim for, but it should be your son’s own goal, and your goal, understandably, is to support him as best as possible to help him achieve that goal. The general trend of such goals tends to change over time.  In the 80’s, the trend was that most seemed to want to be fighter pilots, myself included.  I watch ‘Top Gun more than a few time when it came out in 1986.  The CF-18 Hornet was just a few years old - and considered a leading edge, modern aircraft.  I ranked very highly in my training, but was chosen by others for a pilot stream over which I had no choice.  In the end, I had a rewarding flying career of more than a quarter century, and truth be told, wouldn’t change a thing, even if given the choice for a ‘re-do’, ‘coolness’ of the CF-18 at the time notwithstanding.

These days...I don’t know. The CF-18 isn’t what it used to be.  It may be still cool, but it’s more than a third of a century old.  By the time it finished serving the RCAF, it will be close to half a century old.  To out that in perspective, if the RCAF did that with a World War II era Spitfire, it would still be flying after the Berlin Wall was taken down in 1989...seven years after the CF-18 itself entered into service!

Anyway, I hope your son is successful
First during his studies at RMC, and then through pilot training. I hope he gets support from you and others, and that he himself finds the drive and motivation to succeed, including in whatever academic program he pursues.

Thanks again G2G. Your absolutely right. I just want my son to make an informed decision. He’s a smart cookie, I know he will. I just have to wrap my head around all this. 🤕Thanks again. Take care
Son of Rmcmomf18, perchance? Welcome to the Site.
I'm not a pilot, but I work for and with them regularly on the CP-140 Aurora long patrol aircraft.  I'll just add a few things, from the perspective of a non-fighter type.

Fighters are fast, and might make other fleets seem less...attractive.  But our pilots are challenged in many ways that fighters pilots may not be.  Aurora pilots come off their course as First Officers (FOs) and immediately start working towards their Long Range Patrol Captain upgrade.  They start to learn, understand and master the flying aspect and the tactical aspects of the entire set of mission profiles LRP crews do.  Anti-submarine, Anti surface warfare, Search and Rescue, overland missions, support to other departments and agencies, counter-drug operations are the ones that immediately come to mind.  Once they are LRP Captains, they usually start working towards the LRP Crew Commander qualification;  they are then responsible for the entire LRP crew and all of the leadership, administration and training of the entire crew (assisted by a few other key people on the crew). 

Once they are LRP Captains, they are involved in the training of newly arrived FOs; once they are LRP CC, they are involved with the training of FOs and LRP Captains.  Some of them move into the Standards and Training Office and oversee the entire group of Pilots on Squadron.  From there they can move onto being Aircrew Flight Commanders (Major rank), Standards and Training Flight Commanders, etc and other positions such as Squadron Deputy Commanding Officers.  As Senior Captains and Majors they can also be selected as Air Task Force Commanders (in the Aurora fleet, at least).

Multi-engine can be 'lower and slower' flying, but flying 100' off the ocean at 220kts tracking a submerged contact (on exercise, or 'non exercise') is also pretty thrilling.  As our pilots progress, they are presented more and more responsibility and leadership function on the crew and Squadron.  I'll never be one myself, but I can imagine it must be pretty satisfying to land a CP-140 Aurora after a 12+ hour mission that was executed with great results as not only a pilot but as the crew commander. 

They also get to see a lot of places during their flying tours;  and - they always get their own hotel room at my Squadron (this becomes important as your time on Squadron ticks by!).

Fighters are cool and do cool things, for sure, but the other fleets are also demanding, rewarding and satisfying as well.  I've done some cool missions with LRP pilots as well.  I think you could talk to aircrew from the other fleets and get similar info to mine above.  If you get selected, make it thru trg and don't get fighters, don't for a second doubt that you won't be challenged and rewarded as well.


Cheers and good luck!
Forget that crap.

Tac Hel is the only worthwhile pursuit.

EITS' idea of "low" is almost nosebleed altitude. Why would anybody want to fly that high?

Hotels? Pfffffftttttttt!!!

Modular tentage is w - a - y more luxury than anybody needs.
I remember a time back in charm school (aka military college) when I asked my classmate about his Plan B if he failed pilot training.  He looked at me as if I had grown another head and told me "I don't need a Plan B".

He has had a lovely 27 year career as a MARS officer.
I'm 18 I can't seem to find direct information on what do I need to become a fighter pilot
I need to know what education I need because I know a secondary 5 is not enough to become a Pilot ( I'm from Qc)
I'm simply looking for clear steps, instructions and requirements on how i can reach the pilot job
pierrezzz7 said:
I need to know what education I need because I know a secondary 5 is not enough to become a Pilot ( I'm from Qc)
I'm simply looking for clear steps, instructions and requirements on how i can reach the pilot job

See also,

The "So You Want To Be A Pilot" Merged Thread 
56 pages.