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2019 U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School applications due May 29

By Kat Bailey | Air Force’s Personnel Center Public Affairs | April 3, 2019

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas —

Application packages for the 2019 U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School selection board are due by May 29.

The USAF TPS selection board will convene at the Air Force’s Personnel Center at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph July 29-Aug. 2, and will consider Total Force officer and current Air Force civilian applicants to attend training as early as July 2020. 

Test pilot, test combat systems officer and test remotely piloted aircraft pilot positions are open to officers, while flight test engineer positions are open to both officers and civilians. Applicants from all aircraft types and backgrounds may apply, and all applicants must have strong academic and technical experience. 

The Air Force has expanded the list of eligible Air Force Specialty Codes for the experimental flight test engineer course to include officers from the 17D, Cyberspace Operations Officer, and 13S, Space Operations Officer career fields, to help support multi-domain operations,. Officers with a 17D or 13S core AFSC are highly encouraged to apply for TPS.

“Test pilot school ensures Air Force mission dominance by training officers and civilians to lead and conduct full-spectrum testing and evaluation of aerospace weapons systems,” said Maj. James McDonald, AFPC assignments officer.

According to McDonald, civilian applications for flight test engineers are handled much like the military application process for test pilot positions, and specific instructions are detailed in the TPS Personnel Services Delivery Memorandum. Civilians compete directly for flight engineer spots and the selection board considers them in the same pool as military applicants. Any Department of the Air Force civilian selected for TPS will be required to sign a mobility agreement as well as a five-year Continued Service Agreement.

The USAF TPS trains pilots, CSOs and flight engineers to develop, test and evaluate the newest aircraft and weapons systems. Program graduates earn a Master of Science in Flight Test Engineering through Air University. In addition, the school conducts exchange programs with the U.S. Naval, United Kingdom and French test pilot schools to train fixed and rotary wing pilots and flight test engineers. 

McDonald said applicants should use the new forms attached to this year’s TPS PSDM on myPers or available on the TPS website at https://www.edwards.af.mil/units/usaftps, rather than the forms posted on the Air Force e-Publishing website. Also new this year is a template for a Resume of Flying Experience.

Find additional information about rank requirements, eligibility criteria, process and other specifics on myPers. Select “Any” from the dropdown menu and search “Test Pilot.”

For more information about Air Force personnel programs, visit the AFPC public website at http://www.afpc.af.mil/.