JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH -- Application packages for the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School selection board are due by May 25.
The board, set for July 23-25, will consider Total Force officer and current Air Force civilian applicants to attend training as early as July 2019. Officers may apply to become a test pilot, test combat systems officer or test remotely piloted aircraft pilot. Both officers and civilians interested in flight test engineer positions are encouraged to apply. Applicants from all aircraft types and backgrounds must have strong academic and technical experience.
“Test pilot school ensures Air Force mission dominance by training officers and civilians to lead and conduct full-spectrum testing and evaluation of aerospace weapons systems,” said Capt. Bradley Diedrick, assignments officer at the Air Force’s Personnel Center.
Diedrick pointed out a few changes to this year’s application process. Air Force Materiel Command approved a reduction in the flying hours required in the experience eligibility requirements for test pilots, CSOs and RPA pilots.
“Instead of 750 hours total time in a single-pilot major weapons system, it’s now 500 hours,” Diedrick said. “For a dual-pilot MWS, it’s 750 hours instead of 1,000. Applicants for flight test engineer aren’t required to have flying hours.”
There are also new application forms this year. Diedrick said applicants should use the forms attached to the TPS Personnel Services Delivery Memorandum on myPers or available on the TPS website, rather than the forms posted on the Air Force E-Publishing website.
He said civilian applications for flight test engineers are handled much like the military application process for test pilot positions with minute differences detailed in Air Force Instruction 99-107 and the TPS PSDM. Civilians compete directly for flight engineer spots and the selection board racks and stacks them in the same pool as military applicants.
The USAF TPS trains pilots, CSOs and flight engineers to develop, test and evaluate the newest aircraft and weapons systems. In addition, the school conducts exchange programs with the U.S. Naval, United Kingdom and French test pilot schools to train fixed and rotary wing pilots and flight test engineers.
Program graduates will earn a Master of Science in Flight Test Engineering through Air University.
Find additional information about rank requirements, eligibility criteria, process and other specifics on myPers using a CAC-enabled, .mil computer. Select “Any” from the dropdown menu and search “Test Pilot.”
For more information about Air Force personnel programs, visit the AFPC public website.