Join the Discussion

Ask questions, find answers, and connect with the BogiDope community.

Home Forums Air Force Sponsorship without PPL?

  • Sponsorship without PPL?

    Posted by Alec_A on October 11, 2023 at 11:39 am

    Hey all,

    I’ve been seriously considering a career change for the last year and knew I wanted to do something in the aviation industry. I come from a family of military and commercial pilots and they all recommended the Reserves as a great way to fly and serve.

    I’ve been prepping for the last few months, speaking with former reservists, taking AFOQT practice tests, and doing as much research as I can – I’m as confident as I can be that this is the path I want to take.

    I connected with a local recruiter and they told me that a PPL and 100 hours of logged flight time were required before taking the AFOQT/TBAS or starting the application process. After talking with them some more, they admitted that it wasn’t actually required but sponsorship without a PPL would be nearly impossible – they recommended I postpone our conversation until I had at least my PPL.

    At the moment I work full-time to support my wife in medical school – I would love to get my PPL but with the cost of flight training near me and my work schedule its not viable. I’m 24, have a bachelor’s degree, ran competitively in college, and am familiar with the basics of aviation (I have about 15 hours of flight time but its not formally logged). Is my recruiter right? Is a PPL basically a necessity to get sponsored or is it worth pushing to proceed without it?

    Thanks in advance.

    Alec_A replied 1 month, 1 week ago 4 Members · 4 Replies
  • 4 Replies
  • yahoo

    October 11, 2023 at 11:48 pm

    what’s up Alec. having your PPL is not a mandate to get sponsored, but like your recruiter said its elusive.

    a sponsorship is arduous enough to attain. In UPT boards many qualified applicants with checks across all their boxes apply; if you compared them to someone who doesn’t have a PPL, it is quite obvious who they’re going to choose. (the reason for that is because of competence, and they want to make sure the candidate knows what they’re getting into. can you imagine if you hired someone without a PPL and spent money to train them, for them to quit and say “aviation isn’t as cool as top gun portrayed it.”) if you are hoping to get hired without one, I would definitely try to connect with the unit. maybe they will like you enough and hire you without it.

    Its been done before, however, I would recommend trying to get your PPL, because you want to be as competitive as possible.

    having a PPL can also give you some GK when taking the tests.

    just my 0.02 cents.

  • aisy

    October 19, 2023 at 4:15 pm

    Hey Alec,

    In the same boat as wanting to start applying to pilot positions in ANG/Reserve.

    I obtain a PPL with a bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Science, and a lot of squadrons/recruiters/units encourage me to apply. Although, I think the PPL may be a requirement as the someone who is helping me get tested for the AFOQT and TBAS needed copies of my license and log book to create my profile or account🤷🏽‍♀️.. but it was never in conversation because I had already obtained the license. If you’d like, I could inquire to the person i’m working with? Let me know. And let me know if you need any assistance on getting started with PPL training. I’m training with an airline cadet program right now getting the rest of my civilian ratings, I could possibly help you get started wherever you may be.

  • Snip

    October 20, 2023 at 9:01 am


    “I connected with a local recruiter and they told me that a PPL and 100 hours of logged flight time were required before taking the AFOQT/TBAS or starting the application process.”

    This is completely false information.

    Passing the written FAA exam that you must take in order to obtain your PPL will help you prepare for the pilot portion of the AFOQT. Also, certain skill sets that are tested in the TBAS are similar to some of the skillsets required in flying aircraft (obviously) but, once again, one is not a prerequisite for the other. Having some flight experience shows the passion for aviation that you bring to the table but I’ve known candidates who were selected sans a PPL. More of an outlier scenario but it’s possible.

    I would recommend disconnecting from this local recruiter.

    Good luck!



  • Alec_A

    October 20, 2023 at 11:53 am

    Thank you all for the advice. I completely agree that a PPL/Flight hours would help boost my PCSM score, unfortunately its just not feasible at the moment.

    The recruiter for my region got replaced and the new sergeant I’ve been talking to has been more receptive. I’m pushing to take the AFOQT/TBAS and then pursue my PPL and flight hours to increase my PCSM score if needed.

    I figure the rush process is long enough, I’d prefer to have a packet and start talking to people instead of postponing everything until I can get my PPL.

    Thanks again

Log in to reply.