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Always wanted to be a military pilot, and the dream's coming true

CplHenderson

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I thought I might as well write up my experience in the recruiting pipeline, in case someone finds themselves in similar shoes in the future.

I had finished my Private Pilot Licence through the cadet scholarship program in August 2015, and I applied to the forces the day after I got home at just 17 years old. My only trade choice was Pilot - I thought long and hard about that, but in the end, I decided that if I didn't make it I would pursue flying in the civilian world.

I applied to both the CEOTP and ROTP entry programs. CEOTP is the only entry program where candidates finish both their university degree and pilot training in four years, as opposed to ROTP where you spend four years on your degree followed by 2-4 years in pilot training. It was stressed to me that it was an academically intensive program, and that the recommended high school average was 85%. In grade 12, I had 79 average, with a 67 in calculus, but I applied anyway.

I had Laser Eye Surgery in September because I didn't meet the vision requirements (I was a V4, now I'm a V1) and passed the aptitude. Interview went fine in February, but my medical was pushed back to March due to a mandatory 6 month wait for my LASIK. Once I passed that, I was off to the Aircrew Selection Course.

Aircrew Selection was approximately seven hours of computerized testing over two days, and it was extremely difficult. I probably flat out guessed a quarter of the answers, and the only comfort I had was that everyone else seemed to have done that as well. I was the first one finished by a margin of about ten minutes, and was incredibly relieved to find out I had passed for pilot.

It wasn't until way later that I realized that I was in a small minority. Out of the two dozen people who were in our intake, only me and one other guy went off to the pilot medical. Some people were testing for other occupations, so maybe some of them passed for pilot as well, but of the pilot applicants it was just us two.

My aircrew medical was again delayed by my laser eye surgery, as the only ophthalmologist at CFEME was on leave or something. It wasn't until this August that she actually saw me and signed off my file, and my aircrew factor was issued about a month after that.

I was convinced that pilot selections were over for the year, and had settled into a gap year, when I was shocked by a phone call informing me that I had been selected for CEOTP. I don't know if they're super short of pilots or what, but my swearing in is next week, and I should be off to the BMOQ serial beginning October 24.

I definitely have a long way to go before my career is certain - for example, I was told Primary Flight Training has a failure rate exceeding 50%, and academic failures at Seneca approach that number. However, right now I can only feel happy that I've made it this far, at just 18 years old.
 

JToyts

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Congrats! Glad to see your dreams are coming true, good luck with all of it!
 

Loachman

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Henderson said:
I don't know if they're super short of pilots or what

Always.

Work hard, but make sure that you enjoy the experience. It's a long haul, but worth it. Do not lose sight of your goal.

Qapla.
 
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