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Aviation Preflight Indoc (API)

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Well-known member
Dec 2, 2001
I am scheduled to report into API in early July. Any suggestions on how to prepare for the swim stuff? I am already swimming twice a week and can swim about 80% a pool length or so underwater with one breath.

Any suggestions? Thanx!
Congrats on the flight slot. Back in 1990 I worked in the pool while waiting to start API. The best advice I can give you is to keep going to the pool, mostly so you're used to being in the water. As far as swimming under water is concerned, as long as you're not a wuss, you'll hold your breath as long as it takes to stay in the program. While you in the pool practice treading water a lot. Try it using hands and legs, and try it using only your legs. The idea is not to make you a SEAL, but to build up leg strength for when you have to tread in full flight gear. The mile swim is not big deal because they give you a ton of time to complete it. I used the breast stroke and finished in less than half the time they give you. Don't worry too much about the water survival stuff. They don't just throw you in the water with full flight gear the first time. You'll build up on just about everything you do. First in swim suit, next with flight suit, then boots and SV-2, lastly putting the helmet on. The instructors there are very good and if need be you'll be held back and all you'll have to do is concentrate on your swimming until you get it down. And one last thing, the swim stuff is pass/fail so no part of it factors into how you rank in API.

Hope this helps. If you have any more questions don't be afraid to ask.
Practice treading water and drown-proofing in a pool wearing heavy boots. If you can to each for five minutes, you'll have it made (the current requirements are much less). Get comfortable in the water wearing boots and gear.

API Swims

Hi Skywiz,
As the other Naval Aviators said, there are a couple of things that could get you into trouble in the pool at API. The swims at API are not designed to make you a SEAL, but to give you the skills to survive an open-water survival situation. If you've already been swimming frequently, and are solid to start with, it shouldn't be too tough. It has been over 20 years since I went through NACCS, and some things have changed over the years, but the toughest event for most people was the dreaded "1-mile" swim in a flight suit. However, if you pace yourself and are adequately prepared you'll do fine. I was the first guy out of the pool in my class, but I was a competitive swimmer growing up.
By the way, if you have trouble with any aspect the instructors are excellent in NASC (at least when I went through), and will help you as much as possible, however, ulitmately you must demonstrate proficency to get the "stamp" in your NATOPS jacket:)


P.S. COD driver...You in VRC-30?

Ditto the above.

Word to the wise is relax and enjoy yourself. No, REALLY.... you've got to work pretty hard at it to wash out of API.

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