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Soaring and Wings of Blue

msliconmslicon Registered User Posts: 98 Junior Member
Is anyone here in either the soaring or wings of blue club?
Can you join as a 4-dig? If so, how long is it typically before you can fly?
Can you be involved in both at the same time?
How often and for how long to they meet? Is it time consuming?
How often do you get to fly?
Does it cost a lot?
I am considering joining soaring and/or wings of blue and would appreciate any insights from current cadets.
Thank you :)
Post edited by mslicon on

Replies to: Soaring and Wings of Blue

  • zachogdenzachogden Registered User Posts: 334 Member
    Adendum:

    Are health requirements for soaring/flying at USAFA similar to or the same as the normal PQ/NQ requirements, or are they a bit more lenient? Specifically, my vision probably makes me pilot DQ'd, does that mean I wouldn't be able to glide?
  • hornetguyhornetguy Registered User Posts: 3,187 Senior Member
    vision is fine, you would just fly with glasses/contacts.

    4 digs are not involved. The only flying program 4 digs can get into is the flying team which is VERY selective, like 5 per class.

    You apply for Wings of Green (pre-cursor to WoB) after jump and/or summer. Soaring IP is the same as well. Best thing to do as a 4 dig is make connections and talk to people in those programs so they can help you out and put in a good word when the application process comes around.
  • raimiusraimius Registered User Posts: 2,360 Senior Member
    Yes, you can participate with poor vision.

    Soaring and Jump are done after your freshman year. To get onto Wings of Blue, you need to complete Jump and Wings of Green. Wings of Green is the lengthy selection process and is very competitive.

    For soaring, if you want to be on the team or be an Instructor Pilot, that involves a HUGE time commitment, as does Wings of Blue.
  • zachogdenzachogden Registered User Posts: 334 Member
    Thanks to both of you. Are jump and WoG/B classes or in the same category as sports? I think I remember someone telling me that jump is a class, but I'm not sure.
  • raimiusraimius Registered User Posts: 2,360 Senior Member
    The basic programs (soar and jump) are like classes. They are often taken as a summer program, but can be taken during the year. IP and WoB are more like sports, in that you are given permission to miss a lot of activities for them. They also eat up a LOT of time. Your class schedule will be tailored to fit them into your day.
  • AFDAD2010AFDAD2010 Registered User Posts: 545 Member
    WoB is highly competitive and I believe the primary way to get in is by interview. Teamwork is very critical so a lot depneds on how well you fit in with the current team. As said, you start with WoG and then move to WoB. There is a competition team (those guys land on quarters) and the demo team, which are the ones you've seen landing in stadiums with the game ball. I'll never forget the USAFA/West Point football game. Our guys landed first and much more accurately than the army's team. It was a foretelling of things to come! (USAFA won the game easily).
  • hornetguyhornetguy Registered User Posts: 3,187 Senior Member
    Yes, all the WoG peeps at the WP game pretty much landed spot on on the 50 yd mark. The first 2 WPers were really off, almost hit each other it looked! The final WP guy with the flag hit so hard he went to his knees. AF side let out a big "OOOOOOoooOOOOO" lol
  • eagle36eagle36 Registered User Posts: 1,548 Senior Member
    it is possible to fit both jump and soar into your schedule by doing one in the summer and one during the year. if you do not do jump your first summer, your only other chance is during senior year, but spots are very limited.

    you cannot do both soaring IP and WOB.

    For WOB: (i'm interested, so have asked many questions of current members)
    -you must take jump summer after 4 dig year. during your session, you need to complete all 5 jumps to earn your wings, and therefore "passing" the program with wings. before school starts the following fall, they will have "tryouts". this consists first off of a physical training session to make sure you can meet the physical challenges of jumping often. following that is an interview, which supliments what they have learned about you from you taking the class. they want people who can jump, but more importantly who can work together, want to be there, and "are doing it for the right reasons". It not just about performing the best. they want the people who will make the team enjoyable. they also do look at mpa and gpa and such too, so you need to keep those up.

    as far as time commitment, depending on the team (comp or demo) they also give up leave. i believe comp gives up all except summer leave, and demo gives up spring break and possibly some of winter.

    so if you think its something you want to do, talk to people who are in it when you are here. its definitely answered a lot of my questions.
  • usafaskydiverusafaskydiver Registered User Posts: 29 New Member
    Mslicon,

    I am a member of the wings of blue, and so far pretty much all of what the others are saying is absolutely true.

    "-you must take jump summer after 4 dig year"
    Yes, as eagle36 said the tryouts immediately follow the last summer period and are held about 1-2 days prior to the first day of class. Since AM-490 (the class that will get you your first 5 jumps and jump wings should you complete the training) is in very high demand and as such it is competitive to get based on grades. I would plan on aiming for near a 3.0 or above in both GPA and MPA to make your chances better.

    Also, for tryouts, they have changed things lately so that it is more based on numbers. If you have very high numbers it may acutally help you more than how well you do in the interview... well at least to a point.

    Personality is also a very big issue. Not necessarily so that you fit in, but rather so that you can command the respect of those you will be teaching. As a junior i have helped instruct a Brigadier General, a Major General, and a few Colonels and Lt. Colonels. If you do not have the propper attitude to be confident in what you know, and to sell the information as best as possible, then it will be hard for them to respect you as an instructor. The best teachers are confident, and are all very approachable as well as having a passion for teaching. This is the primary reason that the interview process is used.

    I will be more than happy to answer any other specific questions about the WOB or even the Soaring IP program as i interact with them quite often as well.

    Blue Skies...
  • AFDAD2010AFDAD2010 Registered User Posts: 545 Member
    So USAFAskydiver: were you one of the guys at the West Point game? That was amazing! What in the world is it like to drop out of the skies at NIGHT?? And thanks for sharing with the cc crowd!
  • usafaskydiverusafaskydiver Registered User Posts: 29 New Member
    I wish that had been me! But i am a junior right now (about to get my ring tomorrow!!) and those demonstrations are reserved for the seniors. I will be doing those jumps next year however.

    Also, i have done night jumps within the past year and that was very interesting. We jumped into the Ft. Carson Airborne drop zone which is very desolate. At night it was like jumping into a black hole since the springs lights were all on but there was nothing where we were jumping into. Plus the dropzone has a very uneven terrain with about waist high grasses. So everyone was worried about their ankles and such on landing since it was hard to guess where the ground was. It was an amazing time though!
  • usafaskydiverusafaskydiver Registered User Posts: 29 New Member
    Actually the most difficult part about a night jump is keeping your eyes adjusted to the dark, it takes a long time for your eyes to dialate and if you see any bright lights before exiting it kinda ruins your night vision. So we turn off all of the plane's interior lights, we sit outside the hangar where it is dark for about half an hour before boarding the plane, and we wear glow sticks on our front and backs to know where others are. Its quite scary the first time you do it!
  • cdk0089cdk0089 Registered User Posts: 253 Junior Member
    Wow, that sounds pretty intense. I'm definatly interested, I just wish there was some way I could do both WOG and GLIDERTRAINER, but I know I cant...:(
  • usafaskydiverusafaskydiver Registered User Posts: 29 New Member
    Ya that is a tough issue. I do know that if you become either a soaring IP or WOB, you can take either basic soaring or basic freefall during the school year your junior or senior year, but as far as doing both, unfortunately it isnt possible. If it was i definately would have done both!
This discussion has been closed.