Free flight academy for youth

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Air Force Recruiting Service Detachment 1 is accepting application for the AIM HIGH Flight Academy (AHFA). This three-week flight training program will be held in Milton, Florida, during the summer for high school students and Air Force cadets who are 16 - 23 years old.

This free flight opportunity for youth will receive 15 hours of free instruction in an aircraft. Student lodging, travel, and food is all 100% paid for by the U.S. Air Force during the summer session. There is no military service commitment or obligation, nor does program completion justify acceptance to military service.

“Many times, flying is cost prohibitive for youth and their families,” Maj. Kenneth Thomas, AIM HIGH Flight Academy director of operations said. “AIM HIGH Flight Academy is that opportunity to change a student’s life whether that’s through aviation or our mentorship. We are here for the students and whatever they need to achieve their dreams.”

AHFA is a robust flight academy structured to ensure students learn everything necessary to achieve up to 15 flight hours and potentially complete their first solo flight by the conclusion of the academy. To accomplish this, a rotation of three segments is incorporated into each day to include flight simulator time, academic classroom time, and flight time.

Students are assigned flights and a wingman within that flight to study and fly with during the academy. There will be time for one-on-one mentorship with flight commanders, character development, and supplemental “tips and tricks” which includes chair flying, emergency procedure practice, and how to conduct “stand ups.”

Summer 2022 AHFA dates:

May, 28 2022 – June 18, 2022
June 25, 2022 – July 16, 2022
July 23, 2022 – August 13, 2022

The application window will close on December 10th and applications must be submitted through Application instructions and details about the flight academy are posted on the website.

Please email any additional questions to or use the “Contact Us” function on the website.

Frequently Asked Questions:

- Who may apply?
Applicants between the ages of 16 and 23 who are a full-time student in High School, College, or an enlisted member of any service enrolled in school full-time. College applicants must be currently enrolled in AFROTC or the United States Air Force Academy to be qualified.

Applicants must understand they are volunteering for a scholarship to a public flight school contracted by the United States Air Force.

Applicants must be at least 16 years old by June 1, 2022 and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better (on a 4.0 scale) to submit a package or to be nominated.

- What is the application process?
Students must complete the application online at by filling out basic applicant information and attach their signed nominations to the application entry. If under the age of 18, a parental or legal guardian must sign for approval.

Students must have an endorsement from their high school principal or counselor verifying they’re an enrolled student, their GPA, and are in good standing as well as an endorsement from a nominating organization.

Incomplete applications will not be accepted.

- My nominee was selected, now what?
Selected high school students and alternates will be notified with additional instructions.

These students must obtain a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Student Pilot Certificate and an FAA Class III flight physical within the prescribed critical dates. The AIM HIGH Flight Academy program will reimburse the selected students for the cost of the actual physical. Non–US citizens will have to apply for and pass a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) check to continue in the process.

A verified passing physical is required before the student is matched to a flight program. Students will be allowed to provide their preferred flight program dates although needs of the program will dictate final matches.