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Hello everyone!

I want to be a French fighter pilot and I would like some advice from retired fighter pilots about how you should do things if you were at the same age as you were when you entered the army but having all the knowledge you have now.

Thanks for reading. If you see anything that can be improve (even the question), let me know! It's the same for questions or/and remarks, let me know!

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    $\begingroup$ Contact the french air force They have several recruitment path and have a dedicated service to answer those kind of question. $\endgroup$ – Manu H Feb 11 at 14:37
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    $\begingroup$ Dear @O'Schell, your question seems to be odd for Stack Aviation. I suggest that you consider querying about objective and not opinion-based subjects. In your case, you may approach the question by asking what are the official French fighter pilot requirements. I am sure that plenty of people in this community will help you out. $\endgroup$ – ppinto Feb 11 at 14:43
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    $\begingroup$ @O’Schell - some suggestions to narrow the focus of your question might be - “What can I do now at my age/education level to prepare...?” Or - “What is my next step to...?” Or - “How can I better my chances to be selected to...?” Or - “How beneficial would it be for me to...?” Who, What, When, Where, Why and How questions may get you a better response. $\endgroup$ – Dean F. Feb 11 at 15:28
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    $\begingroup$ Your question was closed because it is considered as too subjective by the community. I strongly encourage you to modify it as Dean F. suggested so that it is obvious that the answers apply to everyone and not just you. $\endgroup$ – Manu H Feb 12 at 15:45
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    $\begingroup$ 1. The codified list of aviation regulations for your country (the FAR/AIM or Title 14 CFR in the U.S.). 2. The POH/AFM for the most popular training airplane in your area. 3. An actual checklist for inflight use for said training aircraft. 4. A life-sized, detailed poster of the cockpit (specifically the panel, pedestal and overhead console) of said aircraft. 5. Stick and Rudder by Wolfgang Langewiesche. The first 3 of these can be found for free online in the U.S. $\endgroup$ – Dean F. Feb 12 at 16:29
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The third point in your original list is a clear red flag:

I'm a huge fan of airplane (but I'm not the type of guy loving learning every thing by heart)

I don't mean to put you off with what follows, but honestly, you've got to love learning everything by heart in the military in general, let alone the airforce.

Becoming a professional pilot is demanding, becoming a military pilot even more so. Both require high intellect, the ability to learn and memorize things easily and preferrably, especially in military aviation, a burning desire to do so.

On top of that, to make it as a military aviator, not only do you have to be enthusiastic about aviation in general, but you have to have just the right mindset: utmost dedication for the military way of life, deep patriotism, and absolute altruism. Any succesful military person is first and foremost a soldier, only in addition to that can one be something more.

The guys and gals at military aviation operate on a whole different level from an average pilot. You simply are not going to make it if you are not all in. About aviation and more importantly about military.

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  • $\begingroup$ Hooowaaah, Airborne!! Well said. Now, go do push-ups till I get tired. 😉 $\endgroup$ – Dean F. Feb 11 at 15:38
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    $\begingroup$ Yes, being 100% dedicated sucks. Studying sucks. Learning things by heart sucks. Things not coming to you easy sucks. Embrace the suck!! $\endgroup$ – Dean F. Feb 11 at 15:42
  • $\begingroup$ Oops, just realized you were picking on me for referencing the wrong point @DeanF. 😂 Fixed now... $\endgroup$ – Jpe61 Feb 11 at 17:55
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    $\begingroup$ Yes, I am shameless. $\endgroup$ – Dean F. Feb 11 at 18:01
  • $\begingroup$ No, wait, the Q was edited 'bout the same time I answered... well, anyway, matches now. $\endgroup$ – Jpe61 Feb 11 at 18:02
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Study. Study. Study

I am not sure if the phrase “learning every thing by hearth” in French is the same as the English phrase “know by heart”. I figure that your question just has a typo. You will need to learn to love learning.

Admittedly, I only know American military pilot experiences second-hand. But, I have flown with military pilots on the civilian side. What will be common in aviation in general is that you need to love to learn. And some of that knowledge, you need to learn to know by heart. Just remember, it’s not impossible. Millions of people have done it before you. You, also can do it.

Almost everything you do in an aircraft has a checklist. That checklist combined with the rest of the AFM and supplements is your airplane bible for the moment. There is very little you should be doing that is not found in a checklist. I often tell new pilots to go through the full checklist even when they fly the simulator or chair fly.

Most of the checklist is a “Do then Verify” list. That means you will have to memorize a lot of procedures so that you can perform the memory items when speed is of the essence. You use the checklist to make sure you have done everything to standard and not missed anything.

This is just one example of knowing it by heart. Committing things to memory and muscle memory. Practicing and rehearsing and practicing and rehearsing. And when you are done practicing and rehearsing, practice and rehearse some more. A lot of civilian pilots have a background with that type of discipline. People who have excelled at a musical instrument comes to mind.

You can teach yourself that discipline by practicing it everyday in whatever you do. Build great study habits and stick to them. Practice deliberate and precise driving. Refine your fundamental skills and techniques in whatever sport you enjoy. Or, figure out a way to start flying now. Be purposeful and diligent in even the little things in life. No, especially the little things in life.

Hope this helps.

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  • $\begingroup$ The thing about military way of practising and rehearsing is, that it more often than not includes some sub-par elements deliberately induced into the process 😉 $\endgroup$ – Jpe61 Feb 11 at 16:02
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    $\begingroup$ It’s called training. And, training doesn’t start until someone is miserable.🙂 BTDT. $\endgroup$ – Dean F. Feb 11 at 16:07

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