Where can I find the average age of a U.S. Navy carrier pilot?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Don Black, May 28, 2003.

  1. Don Black

    Don Black Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 1998
    Messages:
    1,480
    Likes Received:
    0
    I made a bet with a friend that the average aircraft carrier pilot has been enlisted in the Navy (not ROTC) for more than two years. Can anyone point me to some websites that can help me prove this please? Thx!
     
  2. Patrick_S

    Patrick_S Producer
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2000
    Messages:
    3,272
    Likes Received:
    101
    I wouldn't be surprised if it turns out to be very difficult to find a web page that will prove you are right. I doubt that the Navy makes the kind of information you are looking for readily available.
    (Now that I've written that someone will probably provide several pages to prove your point. [​IMG])

    I think common sense would say that you are correct but that won't win you a beer.

    Good luck in your search.
     
  3. Kirk Gunn

    Kirk Gunn Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 1999
    Messages:
    1,609
    Likes Received:
    0
    I was watching a Wings documentary last night following a newbie F/A-18 pilot around a carrier. It stated he went through 2+ Million dollars worth of training to get that far. I would say at least 2 yrs.

    "there are old pilots and bold pilots, but not many old, bold pilots"
     
  4. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 1998
    Messages:
    2,041
    Likes Received:
    0
    They go through many, many months of training at several different places before ever going on a carrier. I wouldn't be suprised if that training lasted for close to two years. They are also under a committment to stay in the navy for more than two years to repay the navy for their training. It would be incredibly stupid of the navy to have the majority of their pilots attached to a carrier be so poorly experienced as your friend implies.

    There are other things to consider also. It takes thousands of hours of experience before being accepted to the Blue Angels. Those guys all have more than a few years of experience, and lots of guys are going to hang around a while to see if they ever get in. Only experienced pilots go to Top Gun, and lots of people go there every year. It takes a few years to reach a decent rank. It takes a few deployements before being allowed to train other pilots. Deployments on a carrier often last for two years or more. Therefore its infeasible that the experience of the navy pilots is so poor.

    I think its routine that after the pilots go through pre-flight, flight, and then their specific aircraft training that they are deployed to a squadron currently on land. There they receive even more training, and eventually go on a sea deployment with that squadron. Now the majority of any squadron has got to have people that have had at least one deployment, because who's going to train the new guys? That means the majority have been out of training (well, they're always training but you know what I mean) for over 1 year. So even if training only takes 1 year, most of the guys have at least 2 years.

    In short, your friend is wrong. Very wrong. I'll check with a friend who's brother is a navy pilot tomorrow and see how long he was in the navy before his first carrier deployment, minus his time at Annapolis. Of course pilots who didn't go to Annapolis would need a few extra months in the navy for basic training and OCS.
     
  5. Walt N

    Walt N Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2001
    Messages:
    417
    Likes Received:
    0
  6. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 1999
    Messages:
    2,312
    Likes Received:
    0
    First, pretty much without exception, you aren't flying off a carrier unless you are an officer. You won't become an officer without a degree. You don't become an officer without going through OCS, and you don't become a flyboy without going through flight school. That adds up to about two years of active duty after college right there, without ever being deployed. So, about the youngest carrier pilot you'll ever see is about 23. And, generally, they put a guy that young in the back seat.

    The "average" carrier pilot has the rank of Lieutenant (O-3). It takes a minimum of a couple of years to get there. Many are Lieutenant Commanders (O-4), which is typically not achieved until at least 6 years of service, and typically 8-10.

    So, yes, the "average" carrier pilot has been on active duty for more than two years, probably more like five.

    There are other ways to become a pilot, but none are easier or quicker than the "regular" way I mentioned above.

    Todd
     
  7. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2001
    Messages:
    8,180
    Likes Received:
    377
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    Real Name:
    Chuck Mayer
    Navy Pilots are officers. There are several years of training to be assigned to a RAG (Replacement Air Group). The average age of a US Navy Pilot who actively flies is around low 30's/upper 20's.

    A real pilot could countermand my estimates, but I have a few acquaintances who do this for a living. They are my age, but not the average age...it skews just a wee bit older.

    Take care,
    Chuck
     

Share This Page