Military or Private? (which training option to choose)

Chief Captain
ceetee Chief Captain

I have just got home from a Careers Exbo at my college, and spoke with representatives of both private air schools and the RNZAF airforce. I thought I might ask for advice concerning which option to pick for my pilot training (if there are any RL pilots in the house)

I have my heart set on flying and am seriously going to start training as soon as I have left college (at the end of 200😎.

I know there are certain pros and cons, like with the airforce you have a 10 year contract, and the chance of actually flying an aircraft is very low- where as if you went privately you have more airtime but it costs a lot of money and time before you actually make a steady income.

Money is not really an issues at the moment as my parents have offered to lend me the money to gain my PPL- but after that I think I would struggle.

My question for you is: what do you think I should go for- Military or Private?

Perhaps some a RL pilot with different experiences can give me some inside knowledge that would help me make an informed decision.


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Pro Member Chief Captain
hms_endeavour Chief Captain

If i were you and i knew i would be able to get into the af,I'd do that. Not only is the flying alot faster, cooler, and more fun, but you also don't need to pay for the training nor for an apartment or house(you'd live on a base).Then,after that, you can change to private or commercial or whatever you want.

Pro Member Chief Captain
liam (Liono) Chief Captain

If it was me, personaly I would join the Air Force. But the is my honest opion at the end of the day.

You choose what you think is best for you. With the Air Force you will get at least some income but if you went private you will have to find income for a house/apartment, food, bills & then your lesson.

So what I'm trying to say is go for the Air Force.

The choice is yours

Good Luck with what ever you choose.


Flightcheck Guest

What many people do not know, if you want to join the air force just for the purpose of gaining your PPL and you plan on leaving the AF as soon as you've completed your contract, you have to re-train when you get out to fly another aircraft.

But if you just wish to fly, or want to fly the fast ones.
The air force would be a nice choice.

Flightcheck Guest

Adding to the post above, I have been told by an employee at my Flight School, that you can join the Air Force, and apply for Pilot and if you can't get it, either medical or other reasons, you can choose another job or opt out of the AF.

This is the RAAF so I'm not sure if it's the same for the NZ AF.
Maybe you could look into it?

Pro Member Trainee
astraGTE Trainee

i personally would choose the airforce training stick with them for 10 years and getting a job as a comercial pilot would be a dodle!

Flightcheck Guest

Sadly Astra its not that simple 😞
Sure there are ex-air force pilots doing commercial routes today, but more and more airlines are leaning towards the pilots with degree's now.

Guest Ed Guest


I'd be curious to know how many of those giving you advice on your career actually have any experience or background in the matter. Remember, advice that you get on a discussion forum is worth exactly what it costs you. This is a flight SIM site, and actual pilots are in the minority here. Military pilots are pretty much non-existent here.

I'm a veteran of US Navy service, not a pilot, not a combat veteran, but a veteran all the same. I get a bit upset I hear people talking about military service strictly in terms of the training they will receive. There's a hell of a lot more to it than that. No country's armed forces exist for the purpose of giving technical training to the young men and women of that country; they exist for the purpose of defending (and extending the influence of) that country. They give you the training you need to serve that purpose, and if you happen to die in the process, they'll give your family a few dollars and a neatly folded flag. You're a valuable resource, but you ARE expendable. You are expected and required to give your life in defense of your homeland. Or to take someone else's life and homeland, if that's what the politicians in office this year want.

It's not a matter of joining so you can learn to fly (if you can even qualify). It's a major life commitment to hazardous duty, assignment to remote locations, and complete, total obedience to those in authority over you (which is everybody with one day in rank more than you).

I think that if you want to learn to fly, you should learn to fly. Joining the armed forces under any circumstances and with any promise of training is something totally different; just don't confuse the two.

Just my opinion, and worth every cent that it cost you.


Pro Member Chief Captain
CrashGordon Chief Captain

I think Guest Ed is right on this one. Entering the military is a lot more than getting training.


Check out this forum:

They have real certified pilots and trainees their. They can give you the best and cheapest ways to get you to where you want to be.

Pro Member Chief Captain
CRJCapt Chief Captain

I agree with ED, I just wish that I could have written it as eloquently as he did. 🙂

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