USAF Initial Flight Screening Program
Initial Flight Screening (IFS) is the Air Force's initial pilot and Combat Systems Officer (CSO) flying screening and training course located in Pueblo, Colorado.
USAF IFS Information, as of 24 April 2009
Daily Schedule at IFS
Each morning, the Formal Briefing is led by one of your flight mates followed by the Stand Up Emergency Procedure (EP) that is performed by a randomly chosen flight member. The rest of your day is usually spent either flying, in the cockpit trainers they have downstairs, working out in the gym, the cafeteria, or in the flight room. You are required to complete 12 hours of Physical Training (PT) by the time you leave and they take the sign-out sheet away at 1500 so usually people try to get as much done early as possible.
After the day was over, we were free to do whatever we wanted, and most of the time we simply studied.
Download Study Material
Additional gouge has been removed upon request by IFS cadre (Updated 3/24/2012).
--Thanks to Jack Raine, 17Feb2011
The flight syllabus introduces a number of maneuvers and procedures in order according to their difficulty. During your flights you will learn several basic maneuvers, patterns, and arrivals/departures. Most of the things you will need to know you will learn in the first four flights, the next six are practice. The maneuvers you learn include civilian style steep turns, S-turns, power on/off stalls (straight and turning), turns-around-a-point, and slow flight and military style normal approach, no-flap approach, and simulated force landing approach.
There is only one check ride now - at the very end of the course. You receive an overall grade for each ride as well as an individual grade for each maneuver performed. There was a 3 flight continuity, so you got a chance to practice each maneuver/procedure fairly often. The maneuvers included ground operations, landings, patterns, arrival/departures, stalls, turns/steep turns, basic control, climbs/descents, basic instruments, inflight checks, and simulated forced landings to name a few. Overall there was about 35 different maneuvers / procedures that they could teach you, with all but 5 requiring a proficiency check to pass the course.
The standards for a checkride require you to perform most maneuvers to "Fair" standards. What does this mean? That you can perform them safely without IP intervention or help. From most that I have talked to the consensus seems to be that the hardest part is the landings, not area maneuvers. The IPs will not approve you for solo until you can pass your checkride so keep in mind that if you solo, you SHOULD be able to perform everything to standard during the checkride. Overall, it is a hard program but it is not impossible, the main mission is to see if you are able to learn to fly the AF way - are you trainable on a fixed Air Force timeline. The standards themselves were realistic, and the syllabus introduced them at a good pace. Studying each night was recommended, but you could pass without killing yourself. The best thing to get out of this program is that the daily schedule mirrors a day in Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) - from the morning formal brief, to standup, to flights, etc. It is a bit strange living since everything is inside so unless you are flying you do not go outside and the hotel rooms have no windows, however, Doss Aviation does an excellent job. All the employees are great and the food is excellent for cafeteria food. Last, the IPs (at least the ones I dealt with) do an excellent job.
Overall, I can only speak to the program as I saw it. When I attended we were based out of the local Best Western Hotel, and we were bused to the flightline for each flight. We were given a tour of the new facility, which should be operational by now. The building had the capacity for almost 200 people, and there were hangars for the planes right on the property. There was also a dedicated taxiway from the hangars out to the flighline. There was also a workout facility and chow hall, so there is no need to go to a separate gym like we did. The original IFS class back in 2006 only had 1 flight of 15 students.
Thanks to Shawn Alcock (2006) and Patrick Godfrey (2009)
A Diamond DA-20 aircraft awaits students of the Air Force's new Initial Flight Screening program on the flightline of Pueblo Memorial Airport in Pueblo, Colo., Wednesday. Visit the new IFS 306 Flying Training Group / Det 1 official website. New students pre-arrival checklist are posted on this website in addition to the DA-20 Boldface, Ops Limits, and more.
- HQ AETC/A3FI.
- An active duty service commitment will not be incurred as a result of attending this course.Waiver Authority:
- 306 FTG/CC for syllabus waivers
- HQ AETC/A3F for entry prerequisite waivers
Pueblo, Co USAF
Comm (719) 423-8340
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