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Becoming a Navy Pilot

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Flight School
Unless you hold a recreational or private pilot certificate (or higher) or have completed a solo cross-country flight in a civilian aircraft, you must undergo introductory flight screening. As part of this screening, you are required to take 25 hours of instruction at a certified flight school, completing at least three solo flights, one of them cross-country. Once you’ve accomplished this, you can enroll in the Navy’s program for aviators, initially in Florida.

Aviation pre-indoctrination: For six weeks, you’ll study aerodynamics, aviation physiology, engines and navigation in a classroom setting at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola. You’ll proceed to training that includes learning how to use special devices to cope and survive if an aircraft mishap casts you into the water.

Primary flight training: At Whiting Field in the Florida Panhandle, you’ll start your hands-on instruction with a T-34C, a turboprop painted orange and white that is the Navy’s main trainer. By the end, you’ll have spent more than 100 hours aloft in the T-34 or in flight simulators, learning night flying, flying in formation, aerobatics and basic flight skills.

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