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Aircraft Availability

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New member
Jul 12, 2002
Do you think that the myth is true that there are better aircraft assignments available at certain times of the fiscal year? I have heard that graduating at the beginning of the fiscal year will grant you a much better "drop".
Not true in my experience. Although many things in the military do vary greatly in the fiscal year (especially flying hours), the drops tend to be mostly about the same. There are always a couple slightly better ones and a couple slightly worse ones each year, but it's mostly just luck of the draw. The training pipelines all run year round, so it makes sense that they would all need inputs throughout the year.

Anyway, it's not something you have any control over so why worry about it? Worry about passing your EPQ's and standups, those will actually affect what you end up flying.

It is true to some extent, but it has nothing to do with the fiscal year. A certain amount of aircraft are alloted to each fiscal year, but they are divided evenly throughout the year. The deal with better drops at different times of the year has to do with the timing of the FTU classes, particularly the Strike Eagles, since there are less than four classes a year. AFPC tries to line up the assignments so there is minimal down time between UPT graduation and starting FTU (with survival, IFF, and the fuge jammed in there). Since there are about 69 viper classes a year, you'll always see a bunch of those in the drops. I don't know the ratio of C models and A-10s, but they are somewhere between the Vipers and the Strike Eagles. As a result, you will occasionally see a drop with a fair spread of all aircraft, then maybe a bunch of C and E models with no Hogs, then maybe a couple hogs with one C model and no E's....etc., etc., you get the picture.

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