Join the Team
All team members are Air Force Academy Cadets. Therefore, the first step to being on the team is being accepted to the Academy. After completing Basic Cadet Training (BCT), cadets attend an event known as Blue Rush, where the Flying Team offers a sign up sheet to those cadets interested.
An FAA Private Pilot's License (PPL) is required to be a member of the team. Most members have a PPL before arriving at USAFA, but some members complete their PPL training during their freshman year at the Academy. After signing up at Blue Rush, the remainder of fall semester freshman year is spent taking tests that simulate NIFA tests. These test results are used to determine aptitude and improvement in applicants.
At the beginning of springs semester freshman year, the team makes cuts from the applicant pool based on GPA (2.75 minimum), military performance, and physical fitness. The remaining pool of applicants receive invitations to interview with the team. After another round of cuts following interviews, the remaining applicants are invited to spend time with the team and participate in tryout flights in the team's T-41 aircraft. Once tryout flights are completed, the team selects the final nine freshman who will make the team.
Tips for the Tryout Process
- A good academic record during the first semester is a significant advantage. Our GPA minimum is a hard cut-off.
- We look for previous experience with some competitive team (i.e. sports, debate, etc.) as a significant factor.
- The team seeks out people that show good character and would be great teammates.
- During the tryout process, do not be discouraged if you feel like you do not do well in ground testing. Few cadets make the team already proficient in ground events. We value improvement in scores over time nearly as much as we value a "high score."
- Your previous civilian flying experience is valuable, but it means less than the factors mentioned above. Do not be discouraged if you do not have much flying time.
- Reach out to us! We are happy to talk with prospective team members, no matter where you are at now.