Aspiring pilots who are eager to join the Air Force may have heard of the term “FAIP,” which stands for First Assignment Instructor Pilot.
This term refers to a program in the Air Force that offers newly commissioned pilots the opportunity to become instructors for the next generation of pilots.
In this article, we’ll explore what FAIP is, its benefits, and how to become one.
What is a FAIP?
FAIP is a program that assigns newly commissioned pilots to serve as instructors at Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) bases.
These instructors are responsible for training new pilots on basic flying skills, tactics, and procedures. FAIP is a selective program, and not all newly commissioned pilots are eligible.
These lonely creatures must stay behind at the training base that they have been at for the past grueling year while their best pilot training mates go on to their MWS and see the world.
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Benefits of FAIPing
- Joining the infamous FAIP MAFIA network
- The ability to log PIC and Instructor time immediately following pilot training
- Potential for good follow on assignments post FAIPhood
Cons of FAIPing
- Being a FAIP
- Delayed timeline for follow on MWS
- Staying in the same location
How To Become a FAIP
- Don’t be first
- Don’t be last
- Tell everyone you don’t want to FAIP
To become an instructor immediately following USAF pilot training, the student pilot must demonstrate their flying competence and score and rank well amongst their peers.
FAIPs have proven they are good enough to stay behind and teach the newest student pilots everything they learned over the previous year.
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What is the duration of the FAIP program?
Ans: The FAIP program lasts for 3-4 years, after which FAIPs are assigned to follow-on assignments in a MWS.
What are the eligibility criteria for the FAIP program?
Ans: To be eligible for the FAIP program, pilots must have a pilot’s license, a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, and the ability to obtain a Top Secret security clearance.
How competitive is the FAIP program?
Ans: The FAIP program is selective, and applicants must meet certain eligibility criteria and go through a selective application process.
What types of aircraft do FAIPs train on?
Ans: FAIPs train on various aircraft, such as the T-6 Texan II, T-1 Jayhawk, T-38 Talon, VR, and microsoft powerpoint.
What are some of the challenges of being a FAIP?
Ans: Being a FAIP can be challenging as it requires a significant amount of time and effort to develop teaching skills while managing responsibilities as an instructor and maintaining flying skills. Additionally, there can be challenges related to separation from family and friends, which are common in military roles.