United States Air Force Academy

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Aviation inspiration

Early Path to Wings

Cadet Candidates working with a sailplane at the U.S. Air Force Academy airfield.

Cadet candidates interested in aviation careers can take advantage of voluntary airmanship opportunities at the Prep School through the Early Path to Wings program. From simulator training and orientation flights to private pilot certification, we have an array of airmanship experiences to inspire all flying enthusiasts.


Private Pilot Certificate Scholarship

This targeted program affords high-achieving cadet candidates the opportunity to obtain their Private Pilot Certificate through the Academy’s Aero Club.

Cadet candidates who obtain their Private Pilot Certificate will have the requisite credentials to tryout and participate in the Academy Flying Team. Team members log over 300 flying hours and gain an Undergraduate Pilot Training-style experience giving them a significant advantage in competing for a pilot slot.

Orientation Rides

It is the goal of the Early Paths to Wing program to provide every cadet candidate who wants one, an orientation ride in a powered-flight aircraft or a glider.

Lunch & Learn Aviation Forum

On a reoccurring basis, a rated officer interacts informally with approximately 12 cadet candidates who have expressed interest in a rated career field. The rated officer provides lessons learned from their experiences as an aviator and allows cadet candidates to ask questions they may have about the Air Force Rated lifestyle and experience.

Contact Us

Major Seung-Min T. Baik
Air Officer Commanding, Bravo Squadron
U.S. Air Force Academy Preparatory School
(719) 333-5828