The term “job training” often brings to mind instructional pamphlets and hours of watching cheesy informational videos.
That’s not the case for Pilots in the Canadian Armed Forces, however.
Their training involves practising parachute landing techniques, sea and land survival skills, and operating the oxygen supply and ejection seat of the Harvard II, a turboprop plane used for training.
Sure beats hearing that “the customer is always right” for the 15th time!
Why Canadian Armed Forces Pilots love their jobs
Reporting to work thousands of feet in the air makes being a Canadian Armed Forces Pilot one of the most exhilarating jobs there is. But it’s also the diverse, challenging and rewarding aspects of the job that get each officer up in the morning and excited for the day’s challenges.
“I chose to be a pilot because it’s definitely one of the most fun jobs in the world,” says Diane Baldasero, a Tactical Transport Pilot posted in Trenton, Ont.
She works in the Transport division of the Royal Canadian Air Force, which delivers supplies and humanitarian aid, and participates in search and rescue missions.
“Being a civilian pilot has its own challenges and benefits. But in the military, from the raw planning of the mission to the execution and the military aspect, you’re defending your country and I think that’s really important.”
Pilots can operate a range of aircraft in a variety of roles:
- Search and Rescue Pilots help people in distress
- Fighter Pilots travel internationally to bring lasting peace to areas in turmoil
- Transport Pilots deliver supplies and humanitarian aid
- Tactical Helicopter Pilots support aid distribution and police peace accords
- Maritime Patrol Pilots work with navies around the world to protect our coast and support peacekeeping efforts
Sea King Pilot Peter Curtis, based in Shearwater, B.C., loves the spontaneity of his job: “As a Helicopter Pilot, your mission today could be anything from a humanitarian aid mission in Haiti to a search and rescue mission off the Canadian coast.”
Applying to be a Canadian Armed Forces Pilot
Guess what? You don’t have to be a licensed pilot or even have any flying experience to join the Canadian Armed Forces with the goal of becoming a Pilot.
The opportunity is available to almost anyone, provided you are physically healthy, have or are willing to obtain a bachelor’s degree, and can pass the Forces’ evaluation process and training programs.
Are you a university graduate? You can apply for direct entry to be immediately placed into Basic Training and the first phase of pilot training.
If you’re currently enrolled in an undergraduate program at a Canadian university or interested in attending one of the Canadian Military Colleges, you’re encouraged to apply for consideration to have your education paid for…in full. We’ll give you a moment to let that sink in. Learn more about paid education opportunities from the Canadian Armed Forces.
Your ascent to an exciting career
The Canadian Armed Forces’ pilot training program is internationally renowned, attracting student pilots the world over. Following your initial Primary Flying and Prerequisite Training, you’ll head to Moose Jaw, Sask., to undergo Basic Flying Training.
The bulk of your training will take place during this eight-month phase, and includes classroom, simulator and in-flight instruction. Learn more about Pilot training here.
Near the end of Basic Flying Training, you’ll be assigned an advanced training path that will determine your role as a pilot. Depending on your academic and flying performance, you’ll continue on to train in Rotary Wings (helicopters), Multi-Engines or Fast Jets.
Completion of this Advanced Flying Training earns you your “wings” – and we’re not talking metaphorically. You’ll officially be a Canadian Armed Forces Pilot and awarded your pilot wings. How cool is that?
Then you’ll know exactly how Jameel Janjua, a CF-18 Fighter Pilot posted in Bagotville, Que., feels when he says, “It’s very hard not to enjoy flying 300 hours a year in a $30 million aircraft at one and a half times the speed of sound. It’s really hard to wake up in the morning and not be excited to go to work.”