Difference Between a Navy Pilot and an Air Force Pilot

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Pilots in the Navy and Air Force have very similar training and missions, with the primary difference being that many Navy pilots are trained to take off and land on aircraft carriers while Air Force pilots are all land based.

1 Training

The training for both services is very similar and in some cases they train together depending on the type of aircraft.

2 Missions

Both services fly the same types of missions including combat, aerial refueling, reconnaissance and transport.

3 Types of Aircraft

There are some aircraft that are used by both the Navy and Air Force, such as the C-130. Still, many aircraft are unique to each branch of service. Many Navy aircraft are smaller and built to operate on carriers. The Air Force has some of the larger transport planes and strategic bombers not flown by the Navy.

4 Air Force Assignments

Air Force pilots are based at one location for at least a year with temporary tours of duty at other locations that range between a few weeks to a few months.

5 Navy Assignments

Most Navy pilots have a home base plus deployments for longer periods of time on board aircraft carriers.

Bob Rubenstein has been writing technical papers, checklists, newsletters and training manuals since 1990. His work has been used in the Air National Guard, flight training, homeowner associations, and for reports to various government agencies. Rubenstein holds a Bachelors of Science in aviation management from Southern Illinois University.