Pilot in the Canadian Forces

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Ashbringer
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Re: Pilot in the Canadian Forces

Post by Ashbringer » Tue Oct 19, 2010 3:44 pm

Bushav8er wrote:
Big Pistons Forever wrote:The reality is that a recruiting office posting is not career enhancing and it is a boring and tedious job, therefore many of the folks in the position are bottom third of the merit list slugs or coasting on a terminal posting. Also it is important to understand that the recruiting staff have no investment in your success. They do not work for the Air Force (or Navy, or Army) they work for the Recruiting Group section of the Military Personnel Command, so say screwing up someones enrolement, which subsequently makes a problem for you or the Air Force will not directly affect any recruiter and they do not have to listen to the wishes of the services. In the old days each service ran their own recruiting offices and answered to the chief of the Air Force, Army and Navy, so it was easier to hold organizations accountable. My advice is to triple check everything they say and don't believe anything that is not written down in official correspondance ( ie has a RDIMS reference, file number, or an e-mail with a Military rank and address (@forces.gc.ca)). Your file will not generally not move very quickly unless you hound them. When, not if, your file gets stuck and stops moving makes sure you understand what the hold up is and whether they are waiting on anything you need to provide and which they forgot to tell you. Do lots of research before your first visit to the recruiting centre and be polite but firm and clear in what you want. Ask early and often "what can I do to expidite the process".
What? So the beach condos with golf courses at Basic (training) isn't correct?? :shock:
A classic example of recruiters spreading false information. The correct answer is that the beach condos with golf courses are at AFT....
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trampbike
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Re: Pilot in the Canadian Forces

Post by trampbike » Tue Oct 19, 2010 4:31 pm

Alpha Crit, thanks a lot for taking the time to post your story. Now I'm even more motivated to not screw up my interview tommorow... :)
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Re: Pilot in the Canadian Forces

Post by Bushav8er » Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:01 pm

Honestly, you can't go wrong with a military career.
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Re: Pilot in the Canadian Forces

Post by tbonecanucks » Thu Oct 28, 2010 9:11 pm

Hey trampbike,

I'm just wondering how your interview went. I applied for ROTP last year, but missed the medical and interview deadline due to their failure to advise me of them. Tough break. I am re-activiating my application some time in November, and hopefully I can get my interview and medical done with pretty soon thereafter. Maybe we can help each other out. Let me know.

Hopefully your interview went well. Cheers.

Travis
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trampbike
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Re: Pilot in the Canadian Forces

Post by trampbike » Fri Oct 29, 2010 8:20 am

It went very well. I'll be scheduled for ASC Trenton as soon as they get my blood test results (this should happen next week).

PM sent
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Re: Pilot in the Canadian Forces

Post by bubby » Fri Oct 29, 2010 10:18 pm

To keep it short, ivebeen flying in the military for fifteen years since training which took 5...yup 5 years. I've got about 5000 hrs total,so not bad. The most satisfying part of the job is the type of flying. Used to fly the cp140. The worst part but most relaxing was transiting out before going operational and employing the aircraft tactically. The straight and level cruising was boring 15 yrs ago. 300' overwater at night and 45deg bank low level in cloud. Dangerous? Yup...challenging? Yup...boring...no. It's been hard on the family cuz when the call comes...you're gone...often not knowing when you're coming home...but when you are on missions, tactical flying and just plain doing stuff that would land you in jail in the civvy world, it's pretty damn cool! Negatives? Lack of a reliable schedule, alot of admin crap that after 20yrs I still don't see the point to, constantly changing rules that are not always for the best, and most important for me is the lack of value placed on the old guys and experienced pilots by the leadership. It's a young mans game and no matter what you fly, it's some cool flying that you just plain can't legally do elsewher. Wher else can you legally take a 138000 pound aircraft down to 100' and 408kts? I'm no expert but I'm pretty sure someone would be pretty pissed if you tried that in an embraer. Overall, if you want to be a military pilot it's a pretty great way to go. If you want to build hrs for a civvy career go somewhere else it's not for you.

On a side note, unless you finish1st at brt there's about 60-70 % chance you will fly helos . If you are ok with that great if not don't join

Overall I'd do it again in a heartbeat. No complaints, but after 20 yrs it's time to move on before I don't enjoy it.
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Re: Pilot in the Canadian Forces

Post by Expat » Fri Oct 29, 2010 11:01 pm

Helo Flying can also be fun. I have been on a few patrol flights, as VIP/observer, and really have gotten wild rides...Full ahead in an Apache, 20 meters above ground, in afghan canyons, with abrupt 30 degrees banking turns... :smt040
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Moose47
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Re: Pilot in the Canadian Forces

Post by Moose47 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 7:56 am

>>>Helo Flying can also be fun. I have been on a few patrol flights, as VIP/observer, and really have gotten wild rides...Full ahead in an Apache, 20 meters above ground, in afghan >>

20 meters, holy shit that's nose bleed altitude. I miss flying so low that the altimeter reads zero feet. LOL

Take care Expat and keep a round in the chamber at all times.
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Re: Pilot in the Canadian Forces

Post by Expat » Sat Oct 30, 2010 8:18 am

On the first of these rides, I almost sh*t myself... I thought we were going to slam on a canyon wall.
After the landing, I wanted to see the face of that Top Gun! Son of a gun... The pilot took off the helmet, and long blond hair fell out! A Spanish blonde chick!!! :shock: :smt040
If I had known before, I would have passed out... :lol:
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Expat
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Re: Pilot in the Canadian Forces

Post by Expat » Sat Oct 30, 2010 8:22 am

Moose47 wrote:>>>Helo Flying can also be fun. I have been on a few patrol flights, as VIP/observer, and really have gotten wild rides...Full ahead in an Apache, 20 meters above ground, in afghan >>

20 meters, holy shit that's nose bleed altitude. I miss flying so low that the altimeter reads zero feet. LOL

Take care Expat and keep a round in the chamber at all times.
Flying very low is a tactic, as the bad guys do not have time to aim at you, and you're gone...But you also have to go fast... :D
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Re: Pilot in the Canadian Forces

Post by trampbike » Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:04 pm

I was just called today to schedule the simulator test in Trenton (ASC).

For those interested in the selection process, here is mine step by step:

Recruiting Center: Montréal
Regular/Reserve: Reg
Officer/NCM: Officer
Program: ROTP (Civie-U as first choice)
Trade Choice 1: Pilot
Trade Choice 2:
Trade Choice 3:
Application Date: May 13th 2010
First Contacted: September 14th
References contacted: Mid-October
CFAT completed : September 28th
Medical completed: October 20th
Interview completed: October 20th
Optometrical tests: October 22th
Blood test and ECG: November 3rd
Contact for ASC: January 12th 2011
ASC: January 24th
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Re: Pilot in the Canadian Forces

Post by trampbike » Tue Apr 19, 2011 10:57 am

Little update: I was accepted today! :D I'll finish my meteorology degree at UQAM (Montréal) through the ROTP program, and then it's the big adventure: boot camp, PFT, BFT etc!

As for which aircraft I would want to fly, I really don't care. It looks like everyone involved in the selection process only wants to fly for the CF, no matter what we would fly if we pass all the training. I think I would prefer going rotary over multi engine, and maybe prefer fighter over rotary, but it is seriously not a big deal. I'm sure every platform offers it's very own challenges and joys.

Good luck to everyone wanting to join, it's a long road. For me it's really just the beggining of the adventure, but I'm so happy I made it through the selection!
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Re: Pilot in the Canadian Forces

Post by AuxBatOn » Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:41 pm

trambike,

Congrats! The biggest step is out of the way. Not get ready to take some abuse and suck it up for a while. It gets better after Basic Training, believe me. And the reward is worth every effort you put into it.

Use your experience wisely. It can help you a lot if you want. Just don't rely only upon your civilian background to put your though flight training.

Good Luck!

PM for any questions at any time.
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Re: Pilot in the Canadian Forces

Post by Flyboy757 » Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:48 pm

Congratulations..... let the fun begin! You will absolutely love flying the Harvard II in YMJ. I loved being a Sim Instr on it. A lot of hard work ahead...keep focusted, you`ll do great.

Flyboy 757
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Re: Pilot in the Canadian Forces

Post by Rockie » Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:54 pm

Don't accept the word "no" from the first, second, third or even fourth guy you talk to. Keep attacking it from different directions and with different recruiters and medical people.

If I stopped trying at the first person to tell me "no", not only would not have been a military pilot, but I wouldn't even have had a commercial licence.
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Re: Pilot in the Canadian Forces

Post by Moose47 » Tue Apr 19, 2011 6:24 pm

Flyboy 757 - do you remember Captain Don Nicks from FIS and later an instructor with the civvie contractor at the Jaw? I worked with Don here at 22 Wing while he was doing a ground tour at Fighter Group H.Q. Believe it or not, prior to that we were in the same kindergarden class at R.C.A.F. Station Saskatoon. I won't tell you the year!

Cheers...Chris
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Re: Pilot in the Canadian Forces

Post by Blakey » Wed Apr 20, 2011 5:21 am

Alpha Crit wrote:I did my basic wings training on the Tutor jet in Moose Jaw. My first operational tour was on Grumman Trackers with 880 Squadron out of Shearwater, Nova Scotia. It was a great first tour. Lots of good, hard IFR in nasty weather. Our primary role was sovereignty patrols of Canada's coastal waters out to 200 miles. Basically, we'd be given a large chunk of ocean to patrol. We'd head out for about 6 hours, typically, with two pilots and one AESOP (radar operator), and record everything that was happening in that chunk of ocean. Lots of down low ops ... we'd typically be at 100' on the radalt while the copilot read the names off the fishing boats. One thing to note, this was the 70's, so no fancy nav stuff. It was all a "dead reckoning" plot with a big sea chart, an E6B "confuser", and a pencil. Lots of work for the cojo. Nav errors in the order of 70 nm after a 6 hour patrol were not unusual. Eventually, we got Omega nav, but that was towards the end of my tour. I remember being shocked at how quick the upgrade to "crew commander" came. One day you're an innocent copilot, next thing you know you're a young 20's "crew commander", mixing it up with the Soviet intelligence gatherers in the North Atlantic.

As far as secondary duties went, each squadron had a flight safety section, a training section, an operations section, and what have you. You might find yourself manning the ops desk, or preparing a flight safety lecture, or designing a better way to deliver weaponry. In the Tracker, we had the ability to drop the Mark 54 depth bomb, and to fire 2.75" rockets. Every six months or so, we'd have a RocketEx or BombEx where we'd all have to head out to the range to qualify. Tons of fun. In the late 70's, I had the opportunity to fire high explosive rockets at a part of an oil tanker that had broken up off the east coast, and had become a hazard to navigation. Also had lots of great trips to Bermuda for various naval support exercises.

My second tour was instructing on the Beech Musketeer in Portage la Prairie. There was a set of heel marks from Halifax to Portage, because I did not want to go. That's one thing about military life ... you go where you're needed, not necessarily where you want to be. That being said, I quickly discovered that I enjoyed instructing, and was quite good at it. Chris Hadfield, Canadian astronaut and soon-to-be commander of the International Space Station, was one of my first students. As far as secondary duties went, I was appointed as Course Director (essentially ... "Mother") to all the students who came through. I also tried out for, and made, the Musket Gold formation demonstration team. Essentially, we'd do our job during the week, and on weekends would head off to Duluth or "Upper Rubber Boot" Saskatchewan, wherever the next air show was, and do our 4-plane formation show. Tons of fun! Ended up leading the team the next year. I ultimately did three instructional tours in Portage, one teaching new instructors, and the last as Chief Flight Instructor of #3 Canadian Forces Flying Training School. I certainly learned the value of top notch instruction, and to this day have a lot of time for pilots with a solid instructional background.

In the late 80's, I did a tour on T-33 jets out of Comox. Again, had a wonderful time. Lots of fleet support stuff. We had the ability to stream targets behind the aircraft on 10,000' of cable, so that the navy could shoot at us. Didn't care so much for that part of the job! I'll tell ya, the words "Cease Fire! ... Bores Clear!" take on new meaning in your life in that role. We also had threat emitters in the nose of the aircraft that could simulate the signals of various Soviet missiles. We'd typically depart Comox, head a hundred miles or so out to sea, then turn around and head for Seattle or Portland or wherever, and wait to get intercepted. I especially enjoyed seeing the F-4 Phantoms coming out, because with their smoke trail in full-AB, you could see them coming the whole hundred miles! Once intercepted, we'd mix it up for a bit, then be escorted back to whatever base they came out of for debrief. That's another thing about military life, often times when you head in to work in the morning, you have no idea where you're going to end up that night. Ended up being Deputy Commanding Officer of the squadron, so got quite involved in personnel management, writing evaluation reports, that type of stuff. I was promoted to Major at that point, and just prior to departing the base, was tasked to lead the "Bad Guys" on a Base Defense Force exercise. Essentially, I recruited a team of "infiltrators" from various other military agencies, and coordinated incursions onto CFB Comox to test their defensive capabilities. Learned a lot on that little escapade, like how tough it is to get a young "Commando" to play dead when he still has bullets left in his gun.

Overall, the military was a great experience, and is a great career for the right person. Like I said, it has its negatives, but the positives far outweigh them. I've been flying in the commercial environment for the last several years, and like every professional pilot here, have had my share of ups and downs. It's always paid my bills, and I've considered myself fortunate to have earned a living doing something I truly enjoy. I have a cushy little retirement job now, flying a PC-12 and a Citation jet out of Kelowna, and will do it until I can't. Until then, I'll keep having fun. When the career end does come, it'll have been a great run!

Fly safe, all.

Alpha Crit
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Re: Pilot in the Canadian Forces

Post by snowbear » Wed Apr 20, 2011 7:28 am

Can you kill on demand? Can you die on command? That is all your country will require of you. When you try to get a civilian job you will need to find a company with ex military pilots because the rest will not like your skill set. Check the eye surgery thing very carefully. I know more guys who have had medicals lost than those that are successful

Good luck with your choice
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Re: Pilot in the Canadian Forces

Post by trampbike » Wed Apr 20, 2011 8:05 am

AuxBatOn wrote:trambike,

Congrats! The biggest step is out of the way. Not get ready to take some abuse and suck it up for a while. It gets better after Basic Training, believe me. And the reward is worth every effort you put into it.

Use your experience wisely. It can help you a lot if you want. Just don't rely only upon your civilian background to put your though flight training.

Good Luck!

PM for any questions at any time.
Thank you very much AuxBatOn. Do you know that you are the one who made me apply again? In a post on the francophone section of this forum you told me that ROTP was never closed (I was told otherwise by a ill-informed recruiter in 2008!) and that they were still hiring pilots... That's when I started to gather information by myself about the pilot job in the CF, and without this spark, I probably would have finished my CPL and my degree before even thinking about trying to apply again. You saved me 2 years and a ton of money! :D
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Re: Pilot in the Canadian Forces

Post by TheCheez » Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:44 pm

snowbear wrote:Can you kill on demand? Can you die on command? That is all your country will require of you. When you try to get a civilian job you will need to find a company with ex military pilots because the rest will not like your skill set. Check the eye surgery thing very carefully. I know more guys who have had medicals lost than those that are successful

Good luck with your choice
^someone who has no idea what he's talking about.
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Re: Pilot in the Canadian Forces

Post by Flyboy757 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 3:20 pm

snowbear wrote:
Can you kill on demand? Can you die on command? That is all your country will require of you. When you try to get a civilian job you will need to find a company with ex military pilots because the rest will not like your skill set. Check the eye surgery thing very carefully. I know more guys who have had medicals lost than those that are successful

Good luck with your choice


^someone who has no idea what he's talking about


Totally agree with your response Cheez. Snowbear totally unaware of the facts.
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Re: Pilot in the Canadian Forces

Post by DirectorF » Wed Apr 24, 2019 1:47 pm

Hi,

Could you update us on your situation? Did you get the surgery and how did it go.I am a little worried about my vision as well.
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Re: Pilot in the Canadian Forces

Post by confusedalot » Mon Apr 29, 2019 2:38 pm

snowbear wrote:
Wed Apr 20, 2011 7:28 am
Can you kill on demand? Can you die on command? That is all your country will require of you. When you try to get a civilian job you will need to find a company with ex military pilots because the rest will not like your skill set. Check the eye surgery thing very carefully. I know more guys who have had medicals lost than those that are successful

Good luck with your choice
Ummm, respectfully I think you have it the other way around. A CF background is a fair sized plus with the serious operators.

Never been military (I actually got accepted decades ago but the scare stories of getting jammed behind a desk made me squeam)

Wonder to this day how it would have all turned out.
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Re: Pilot in the Canadian Forces

Post by Meatservo » Tue Apr 30, 2019 9:02 am

confusedalot wrote:
Mon Apr 29, 2019 2:38 pm
snowbear wrote:
Wed Apr 20, 2011 7:28 am
Can you kill on demand? Can you die on command? That is all your country will require of you. When you try to get a civilian job you will need to find a company with ex military pilots because the rest will not like your skill set. Check the eye surgery thing very carefully. I know more guys who have had medicals lost than those that are successful

Good luck with your choice
Ummm, respectfully I think you have it the other way around. A CF background is a fair sized plus with the serious operators.

Never been military (I actually got accepted decades ago but the scare stories of getting jammed behind a desk made me squeam)

Wonder to this day how it would have all turned out.
I know it was a few years ago Snowbears comment was made, but it's still visible to others and confusedalot already commented, but I think it's important to speak up when someone says something incorrect. Like a large percentage of Canadian pilots, I was an air cadet in my teens and gave serious thought to a military career. And honestly I guess I'm a bit of a Canadian Forces fanboy. I will always owe the CF a debt of gratitude because I was a little peice of shit when I was in my early teens and the instruction I recieved in their youth program, while some progressives deride it as nothing more than military indoctrination, was what gave me a goal to focus on, and they gave me a pilot's license and frankly they gave me my career, even though I have always been a civilian. During cadets I read the book "Bush Pilot with a Briefcase" by Grant McChonachie and decided to focus on bush flying. I have worked side-by-side with RCAF pilots in the high arctic, and I now have a few friends who are current or former RCAF pilots. I can say that that statement "the rest will not like your skill set" is total bullshit. A pilot is a pilot. In the civilian world with a bit of imagination you can do almost any kind of flying and some people become very good at it and very experienced. In the military the training is absolutely excellent and military pilots invariably find that they fit in quite well when they enter the civilian flying life. I have never met a former military pilot who wasn't an excellent airman, nor have I met one who looks down on his civilian counterparts for their experiences.

As for the killling, well I think you'd have to have quite a morbid turn of mind to be the kind of person who joins the forces because he expects to kill people. I have never killed anyone but I expect finding yourself in a position where having to do so is a possibility is probably nothing but unfortunate. As for the dying, well if you're a pilot for long enough you're going to gather quite a collection of dead friends over the years whether you're military OR civilian, so developing strategies for avoiding death yourself and accepting it when it happens to others is an adult skill you'll need no matter what you decide to do.
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Re: Pilot in the Canadian Forces

Post by confusedalot » Tue Apr 30, 2019 6:49 pm

Good post, I too was an air cadet and never regretted the experience. They gave me a private pilot licence. And a whole lot more.

Most respect current and former CF staff, but alas, some just don't get it.
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