Jump to content

Biting the Bullet

Showtime 1-1

Recommended Posts

Hey guys, I haven't been around here at all for a while, and there's a pretty good reason for that. The long and the short of it is, I have my application in to the Royal Military College of Canada, through the Regular Officer Training Program, to be trained as a Pilot in the Air aspect of the Canadian Armed forces.

The paperwork for the original application was ridiculous, and it took a week of work and research to fill out. After I got that in, there were the aptitude tests with their ridiculous time limits which were supposed to judge both our knowledge and how we handled pressure. Then there was the interview. Oh, the interview. An hour-long interrogation of why I am stupid enough to want to be a pilot, interspersed with warnings that I'll never make it.

Somehow, I managed to get through all of that, and then moved on to the medical hurdles. Mandatory Category 3 medical, plus examinations by two Canadian Forces physicians, sight, hearing, reaction, range of motion tests, a full eye exam with dilated pupils and everything (turns out I'm 20-15, which apparently is pretty good), then blood tests (bucket O' fun!), cardiograms, orthodontic and orthopedic release forms, and a few tests which just seemed silly.

I got all that in, and after a couple weeks, got a call from the Recruiting Center telling me that I had been selected for Aircrew Selection at CFB Trenton from the 28th to the 4th. Basically, I'll be flying flight sims for three days so they can see if I have any aptitude for flying airplanes, then a couple days of physiological tests in Toronto. They say there's a 45% success rate, which leads to a 75% success rate in Pilot training. I guess I really get a chance to see if I have the Right Stuff.

Anyways, my transport orders came in yesterday, outlining commercial flights to Toronto from my home town here, and back again a week later. $900 in airfare, government-funded. Yes! Finally on the right side of the Government's spending!

Anyways, my semester in school is sinister (Chem 12, Physics 12, Calculus 12, English 12, Religious Studies 12), and I'm also applying for the Glider Pilot Scholarship through the Air Cadets in case the Pilot Training falls through, which means more paperwork, medicals and interviews, but somehow, everything is falling into place. If I can find any free time, I'll post an update or two on how things are going. I really miss just being able to sit down and play Starfox, almost as much as I miss hanging out here with all you guys.

Asper, I'm about to TOTALLY upstage you. :razz:

Rebel_Gunman, if you're still around, hi!

P.S.- Silver is still hanging around, but I don't think either of us have time for any RP. I SINCERELY appologise to everybody I let down in the SF: TNG RP, I sort of just disappeared all of the sudden and left you high and dry. Especially Fira. I'm so sorry!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm really glad on your behalf Showtime! This is possibly one of the most awesome career fields one could possibly get into. Just be prepared that there will be both upshots and downsides.

As for that last remark...


I expect regular updates on your progress! Best of luck you hotshot!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

I Passed! I PASSED! I freakin` passed Aircrew Selection! I`m part of the 45%! YEAAAAHHHHH!!!!!

My first session in the CAPSS trainer (Canadian Automated Pilot Selection System), which is basically a Link trainer, was actually quite fun. Fly the instruments, fly the instruments, then look over your performance graphs. I guess I must feel at home in small, dark, cramped cockpits. =P

My second and third sessions in the sim were on tuesday, and it sort of burst my bubble. Standard rate turns are a pain when your turn rate indicator and ball have minds of their own... then adding climbing and descending to the mix, and my graphs which were so smooth on the first day turned into undulating masses of shame. It looked like I had Parkinson`s syndrome.

I collected myself for the fourth and final session on wednesday, though. We were to first fly two circuits at constant altitude doing standard rate left turns, then we had to do three traffic patterns, taking off, climbing and flying the circuit, descending, and finally landing. We had a display to show where we were in the pattern, but otherwise we were still blind. To make things even more interesting, in order to pass, you had to put the thing down and keep it on the runway which you couldn't see. And did I mention that the controls are so sensitive, actual movement isn't necessary? It`s practically pressure-sensitive.

Anyways, the takeoff was okay, then things started going to hell at the first climbing turn. Turn rate too low, way outside the path, gotta correct, remember to level off at circuit altitude, don't forget about the throttle, watch that damned bank, okay, turn back to intercept uh-oh i gotta make another turn right now the damn thing is settling come on you dog keep the nose up.... ...and so it went.

Remind me to tell you all about Bob, the CAPSS voice. I have some good stories to share once I have some time.

By some miracle, I managed to put the sadistic little trainer down on the invisible runway in the same place three times in a row. All my classmates seemed to outclass me as far as I could tell, but i guess my graphs held some integrity after all.

That afternoon we left for Toronto for medical tests, to begin the next day.

The medical testing was supposed to be done over two days, but we managed to git 'er dun in one killer, eight-hour day last Thursday, which involved a LOT of waiting. I'm glad I brought a novel along, because I finished it in the waiting room alone. The other guys played cards, built towers out of whatever, read whatever they could find, slept, played on their phones, and we pretty much just sat around a lot. It was a big change of pace from CFB Trenton.

We each got a cardiogram, a heart ultrasound, a really strict hearing test, some vision tests, a breathing test, a basic medical examination and history check, and then the crown jewel of the CFACSC Medical Testing, the Anthropological Body Scan. One at a time, we went into the room, stripped down to our skivvies, donned a pair of olive-drab overshorts, paper slippers and a red hairnet, then sat in a blue room where we were scanned to see if we actually fit in the airplanes we want to fly so badly.

All of this was much to the amusement of the two junior NCOs who were assisting the doctor there; They never hesitated to remind us how stupid we looked. For example,

Me, trying to lighten the mood while I'm sitting there being scanned: "So, what website are you posting these pictures to?"

Staff NCO, dryly: "Facebook. And Twitter."

Me: "Oh really? Any comments yet?"

NCO: "Yeah, Bob from Regina says 'mmmm, I'd like some of that'".

Me: =(

So we all went out for dinner after that raja was over, sort of a "so long, good luck" dinner as some of the guys were leaving the next day. My roommate and I had our hotel for two more days, and our flights left on the Saturday, so for the next couple days we just lurked around Toronto, just having a good time. Man, was it ever a good time...

Anyways, here I am back home, hoping that in a few weeks I get a letter offering me a spot at RMC, and later Pilot Training. Fingers crossed...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds good Showtime. Now, let's hope that letter comes crashing down into your postbox in the not too distant future.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Well, I'm back again.

Long story short, they offered me a career as an engineer supervisor, but I wasn't merit listed high enough to be a pilot. So, I'm going to school to be a civil Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (airplane mechanic) so I can save up enough to get my private pilot license.

On another note, this summer, I'll be going to CFB Comox for the Royal Canadian Air Cadet Glider Pilot Scholarship Program. Six weeks living on-base, and I'll get my glider pilot license too. Awesome.

Anyways, there's a bit of a lull in my workload before finals here, so I thought I'd post an update. So much has changed on the site, it's gonna take me a while to get used to it!

By the way, Asper, if you're still around, drop me a PM. Thanks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, that sort of sucks Showtime. But, if one hits the wall, one can always go around it somewhere...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...