Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps - Career / Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC) Selection - Rated Candidates - Flight Indoctrination Program (FIP)

Flight Indoctrination Program (FIP)

Prior to 1991, AFROTC also conducted a Flight Instruction Program (FIP) parallel to the Pilot Indoctrination Program (PIP) at USAFA. Although often touted as a means for AFROTC cadets to earn a free FAA Private Pilot Certificate while in college, the actual intent of the program was to provide an additional flight training screening process for prospective USAF pilot candidates who had no prior flight experience.

In AFROTC, FIP consisted of two blocks, the first being a private pilot ground school course taught by an aeronautically rated USAF officer assigned to the AFROTC detachment's cadre. The ground school course was also given an AS400 series designation and open to all AFROTC cadets in their senior year regardless of selection or non-selection for USAF undergraduate pilot training. Cadets who had prior civilian flight training and/or civilian pilot certifications could also enroll in the FIP ground school and the course was also offered as option for Army ROTC cadets, Naval ROTC (NROTC) midshipmen on both Navy and Marine Corps commissioning tracks, Naval Aviation Reserve Officer Candidates (AVROC) and Marine Corps Platoon Leaders Class-Air (Marine PLC-Air) officer candidates slated for flight training in their respective services following graduation.

The flying portion of FIP was typically conducted by civilian instructors under USAF contract at a nearby civilian airport, normally employing light general aviation aircraft such as the Cessna 150 / Cessna 152 series, Cessna 172, Piper Cherokee, or other similar aircraft. Since FIP was designed as a washout/attrition device, AFROTC cadets who already held an FAA Private Pilot's Certificate or greater were not eligible for any actual flight time via FIP. Those cadets without prior flight experience initially received 38 flight hours, but post-Vietnam War defense cutbacks in the mid-1970s resulted in FIP being reduced to a "safe for solo" program with 25 hours of funded flight time. FIP was discontinued in 1991 when it was replaced by the single-site Enhanced Flight Screening Program (EFSP) at Hondo, Texas.

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