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The percentage of students that get jets.

ManWitQuestions

New Member
Disclaimer: I am not in the navy or any service as a pilot/aviator
I have been lurking on these forums for a while while doing research on piloting careers and I came across several threads where someone asks about the percentage of students that get jets. Everyone without fail responds 42%. I thought this was simply a joke at their expense and to say that they shouldn't be thinking/worrying about what air frames they may or may not fly if they join the navy. This led me to perform more research and to my surprise the number of new pilots that received jets recently does in fact fall at just above 43%. Worth noting that this may change due to a larger gap in the number of pilots to the number of approved pilots that is seen in fighter aircraft compared to other aircraft types (49% of authorized pilot slots for the navy are fighter slots as of 2017).
Source is GAO-18-113 Appendix III
 

DanMa1156

Land of the Milk and Honey.
pilot
Contributor
Disclaimer: I am not in the navy or any service as a pilot/aviator
I have been lurking on these forums for a while while doing research on piloting careers and I came across several threads where someone asks about the percentage of students that get jets. Everyone without fail responds 42%. I thought this was simply a joke at their expense and to say that they shouldn't be thinking/worrying about what air frames they may or may not fly if they join the navy. This led me to perform more research and to my surprise the number of new pilots that received jets recently does in fact fall at just above 43%. Worth noting that this may change due to a larger gap in the number of pilots to the number of approved pilots that is seen in fighter aircraft compared to other aircraft types (49% of authorized pilot slots for the navy are fighter slots as of 2017).
Source is GAO-18-113 Appendix III

Dude, awesome research, you should change your name to ManwithAnswers, I suspect. However, using the Ctrl-F function and doing a super quick read (actually fairly interesting and I'll be coming back to this) I think what you read is that F/A-18 DH Selection rate was 49% in 2017 and that left that 48% short of their goal. I'm curious to see if you read a different passage. This is different from the % of people that get to be "fighter" or "jet" pilots in the Navy.

The data on page 41-42 of the report might be a slightly better comparison since it's a head count of the positions available for pilots to fill, so let's take a look at the data:

1548 fighter pilots
~1210 Maritime Pilots (P-8)
~430 Surveillance / Transport Pilots (E-2, C-2, C-130, C-40)

This does, in fact turn out to be 48.5% - so awesome work if that's what you looked at. However, and this is a big however, here's what the study looked at: "we compared authorizations and pilot staffing levels for Navy first operational tour, Department Head, and Command positions for all fixed-wing, cockpit-operated aircraft communities."

So that tells me they excluded helicopters, which make up 50-60% of Navy pilots nowadays if I recall correctly. So, now you're looking at ~25% selection to the "fighter" F/A-18 and E/A-18 communities.

I applaud your efforts in researching what I assume is your desired future career, but you just never know, and you're right, people are do get perturbed with the question, because you never know what will happen. Last summer, when the T-45s weren't flying, I think they were selecting only 1 jet guy per week from each squadron or training wing. Some dudes will get an all helo draft. We have one guy in my training squadron who didn't even have helicopters on his selection sheet, but got them after a strong need for helicopter students during his week, and his CO reccomending it since he failed a PFA and "deserved helos." (It literally said that on his selection sheet in the CO's comment section. To this day, I don't know if he was insulting helicopter pilots or just wanted this student to get his last possible choice).
 

DanMa1156

Land of the Milk and Honey.
pilot
Contributor
This is why I'm so fucking glad I'm not a Primary instructor. Imagine working for that buffoon.

...Fight me.
Ha, I texted my old roommate who is in that squadron and his response was basically "ha, that's hysterical. Yeah, that sounds like him." He thought it was more of the fact the student was not well liked and the CO wanted him to get his last choice than it was a slight against helicopter pilots.
 

ManWitQuestions

New Member
Dude, awesome research, you should change your name to ManwithAnswers, I suspect. However, using the Ctrl-F function and doing a super quick read (actually fairly interesting and I'll be coming back to this) I think what you read is that F/A-18 DH Selection rate was 49% in 2017 and that left that 48% short of their goal. I'm curious to see if you read a different passage. This is different from the % of people that get to be "fighter" or "jet" pilots in the Navy.

The data on page 41-42 of the report might be a slightly better comparison since it's a head count of the positions available for pilots to fill, so let's take a look at the data:

1548 fighter pilots
~1210 Maritime Pilots (P-8)
~430 Surveillance / Transport Pilots (E-2, C-2, C-130, C-40)

This does, in fact turn out to be 48.5% - so awesome work if that's what you looked at. However, and this is a big however, here's what the study looked at: "we compared authorizations and pilot staffing levels for Navy first operational tour, Department Head, and Command positions for all fixed-wing, cockpit-operated aircraft communities."

So that tells me they excluded helicopters, which make up 50-60% of Navy pilots nowadays if I recall correctly. So, now you're looking at ~25% selection to the "fighter" F/A-18 and E/A-18 communities.

I applaud your efforts in researching what I assume is your desired future career, but you just never know, and you're right, people are do get perturbed with the question, because you never know what will happen. Last summer, when the T-45s weren't flying, I think they were selecting only 1 jet guy per week from each squadron or training wing. Some dudes will get an all helo draft. We have one guy in my training squadron who didn't even have helicopters on his selection sheet, but got them after a strong need for helicopter students during his week, and his CO reccomending it since he failed a PFA and "deserved helos." (It literally said that on his selection sheet in the CO's comment section. To this day, I don't know if he was insulting helicopter pilots or just wanted this student to get his last possible choice).
Good catch on the fixed wing bit. So it would be lower than I projected and more like the 25% you stated. Also where I pulled my data from for my figuring was on page 42. Specifically the section talking about first tour milestone authorization, which I took to mean newly minted operational pilots. Using the numbers given I figured out the number of authorized pilot slots to be just above 1053, with about 523 being fighters resulting in the 49% of authorized being fighters. Then I subtracted the shortages from each category from the 1053 total to get 883 actual pilots. The actual number of fighter pilots was 387, so I took 387/883 to get the 43% value.
 
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