Requirements of becoming a pilot
Note- This is general information to become a CAF Pilot. Additional information is available and all seriously interested candidates are encouraged to contact a local unit or the CAF directly at 877-767-7175.
1. Join the CAF
Joining the Commemorative Air Force is the first step to getting involved and keeping these magnificent aircraft flying. You do not have to currently be a pilot or have a military background in order to be a member of the CAF. Many member’s become pilots after joining the CAF. In order to participate at the unit level, one must first become a CAF Colonel, to do this go to or call 877-767-7175.
If you aren’t already a licensed pilot, you need to be first in order to fly CAF aircraft. Several members pursue a pilot’s license once they join. Spending time at the airports and knowing many pilots often makes that process easier. Aircraft types have different training requirements including .
3. Ground Training
In order to work with the CAF’s aircraft, we require our volunteers to be familiar with the aircraft and our organization’s operation policies. Each year CAF units offer ground training for the aircraft, generally in the late winter early spring, one must be a CAF member to attend ground school, but does not have to be a pilot. There are many crew positions needed on an aircraft which require ground training, such as a scanner, loadmaster, engineer and more. If you are interested in attending a CAF ground school, please check the CAF’s online calendar at for additional information.
The process of becoming a pilot includes completing/having the following paperwork. Request for Aircraft Qualification, A Flight Experience Resume, the necessary FAA certificates, medical and latest Biennial Flight Review (BFR), A hold harmless form and a Sponsor letter. (These documents are available to CAF members, click here to login for these forms) This information is then reviewed by the CAF Unit’s Flight Evaluation Board (FEB) for approval. The paperwork is then forwarded to CAF Headquarters for review and approval. A transition letter will be issued for the candidate to proceed with flight training.
5. Flight Training
Once you are qualified by the Flight Evaluation Board, you can then complete your flight training and receive a check ride for your qualification level. There are different levels of qualification depending on the aircraft you wish to fly and how you wish to fly it.
You do not have to be a pilot or mechanic to become a sponsor or member of the aircraft team. The highest level of aircraft support is the Aircraft Sponsor, who for a donation of from $1, 500 to $10, 000 becomes a sponsor of a chosen aircraft and is eligible for selection as a pilot-in-command or other flight crew member, if he or she is qualified. Many non-pilots chose to become Aircraft Sponsors to express their support of a favorite aircraft, realizing the expense of keeping them flying.
The following defines the minimum requirements to receive a CAF pilot rating; tail wheel experience is not required for tricycle airplanes. Tailwheel aircraft, pilot must have 10 hours and 10 landing in a tail wheel aircraft in the last 12 months (Fighters 10 & 10 in the past 6 months).