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Seeking Application Advice


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Hi everyone,

I'm interested in joining the RCAF as a pilot. First off, I'd like to give you a bit of background information. I am currently 25 years old and I hold a bachelor's degree in music performance (finished with an overall GPA of 3.7). After music school, I worked some odd jobs then I thought about what I really wanted from life so I decided to  enroll in my local flight school then covid came around. I was only 9 hours into my flight training, however, the experience reaffirmed my decision that I wanted to pursue being an air force pilot. I wanted to get more flight experience so I had decided to go to Confederation college for their aviation program but it was cancelled as a result of the pandemic. Fast forward, I decided rather than "sit on my ***" I should go back to school and now I'm studying electrical engineering at one of the premier engineering programs in the country. I still can't take my mind off of being a pilot though and was hoping to get some advice about making this happen and what I can do that would make my application the strongest it can be.

1) Drop out of engineering and apply as soon as possible. Work out, study/prep for the CFAT, and start working on learning French while waiting for application to be processed.

2) Drop out of engineering and go to Confederation College (21 month program) for their aviation program which is scheduled to resume Fall 2021. I would be 28 once the program is finished, however, I would have quite a bit of flight experience and have my commercial pilot's license. I have heard from some that having civilian aviation experience is beneficial while others have told me the exact opposite.

3) Finish my degree in Electrical Engineering. (I am weary about this option as I will be close to 30 years old when finished and I am worried this will hurt my chances of being selected for the pilot occupation). I have heard that having a background in STEM is desired for pilot applicants.

Additionally, could anyone discuss their experiences working as a pilot in the RCAF? I have heard that unless you join in your early 20s your chances of being selected as a fighter pilot seriously diminish. While this is the most desirable stream for me, I would love to have any pilot position in the RCAF.

Hey there,

Been in the selection process since 2018 now for PLT. I been talking to a lot of people over the years, even to a Commanding Officer in charge of training in coldlake; age doesn't really matter as long as you can get the minimum required years from your profile of entry. People starting phase I and II in their 30s is really common. I come from STEM background myself, with a bachelor and a master in engineering, and i can guarantee you it really helped for passing the ACS in Trenton. Especially if you want to be a fighter pilot, the learning curve seems incredibly steep and you need strong study habits/discipline. (You can watch the jetstream episodes from the canadian airforce on youtube; it gives a good idea!). IMO i think finishing your Electrical Engineering degree would be ideal and then go DEO if you cant already get in with your bachelor of music (might be admissible). But ONLY if you dig the stuff and you enjoy your classes so far; doing what you want the most is best. Plus, at the moment the recruiting is really slow for pilots; huge backlogs so it might be perfect timing to wait a couple years. Good luck in your progress!