Pilots & Aircraft

How To Become An Airforce One Pilot?

The President of the United States travels anywhere around the world at moment’s notice. This means only the best pilots are needed to transport such an important individual.

Fortunately, Presently the U.S. Presidents have multiple transportation options along with flying aboard Air Force One. Moreover “Air Force One” is designated any aircraft of Air Force carrying the President, but standard practice is to use aircraft which is able to transit Commander-in-chief also.

VC-25 aircraft

However, this refers to one of two extremely modified innovative Boeing 747-200B series aircraft, having tail numbers 28000 and 29000. VC-25A is the designation of Air Force B747.

For long-range travel is capable of refueling midair, and with advanced Avionics, it makes it electromagnetically compatible, Secure communication and navigation, and make it capable of the mobile command center in attack on the U.S. Its capabilities include:

  • The longer range for presidential travel
  • Self-sufficiency at airports around the world
  • Mobile command center
  • Aerial refueling

General Characteristics

Air force one landing
Photo by Tomás Del Coro

Primary Function: Presidential air transport

Contractor: Boeing

Power Plant: 4 CF6-80C2B1 jet engines

Thrust: 56,700 pounds, each engine

Length: 70.7 meters

Height: 19.3 meters

Wingspan: 59.6 meters

Speed: Mach 0.92

Ceiling: 13,746 meters

Maximum Takeoff Weight: 374,850 kilograms

Range: 6,800 nautical miles

Crew: 30

Passengers: 71

Inventory: Active force, 2; ANG, 0; Reserve, 0

The Requirements

You have to strictly comply with the following requirements for becoming mainly an Air Force pilot: academic requirements, visual, physical, and medical. 

  1. Join the Air Force
  2. Earn a Four-year bachelor degree
  3. Meet officer Qualifications
  4. Attend officer training school
  5. Pass initial flight training 
  6. Pass undergraduate pilot training

Pass a selection board to become a part of the military by contacting an Air force recruitment station. They will make sure that you meet and comply with the eligibility requirements. 

You can not be a civilian and expect to fly the president and his companions. These pilots had to serve in the military for their country first in order to get the necessary skills and prove to others that they are capable of bigger missions.

The 89th Airlift Wing

president airplane

The 89th Airlift Wing transport president, the members of Congress, and other VIPs by their 15 business jets and 2 iconic Boeing 747-200Bs. The pilots allocated to fly the president and members of PAG (the Presidential Airlift Group), this set of teams operates within the 89th Airlift Wing.

Presidential Pilot Requirements


 The extraordinary experienced, high-ranking officer’s pilots. Such as Lieutenant-Colonel or Colonel are eligible for Presidential Pilot. These are highly skilled airmen that have multiple hours of experience and solid career record. 


Age Requirement

A position requires a minimum of 22 years of service in the U.S. Air Force.

Other Requirements

The 89th posted detail on their Facebook page regarding Presidential Pilot requirements:

“Moreover, to being tremendously skillful airmen, these staff members will be informed with the sensitive information. However, they required the highest and toughest security clearance comprises checking and inspecting the backgrounds of their close family members and friends too.”

The Commander of the 89th AW Col. Casey D. Eaton said “Every single one of you is here for a reason because you are incredible airmen. You do not just move people and stuff, you give the President of the United States options”.


Presidential Aircraft and Operation

President aircraft and its entourage include aircraft and support of the President, the Vice President, U.S. Secret Service agents, Military Assistant to the President and designated public figures of White House, these all members visit and transit along with each location which is visited by the president. 

You as a pilot, provide security to this advanced group visit, and as their visit consists of several days in advance of the trip for security aspects and the supporting services availability.

If the advance group defines that mandatory airspace restrictions Washington headquarter of the U.S. contact FAA Headquarters to established procedures and request the necessary regulatory action with the air traffic manager to advise for Service Area office of the regulatory proposal. (See 14 CFR Section 91.141 and FAA Order JO 7610.4, Special Operations.) And thus they limit the space for this particular operation.



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