Aztec Aviation Organization (AAO) Helps Cadets Fly High

Friday, March 1, 2024

Gen Cantwell Visiting AAO
Gen Cantwell Visiting AAO

Amidst the roar of the engine and the vast expanse below, an Air Force pilot reflects on the hours spent in simulated missions and ground school lectures, each moment a testament to the support and guidance gleaned from dedicated mentors of the Aztec Aviation Organization.

Aztec Aviation Organization (AAO) is a cadet-run club affiliated with the Air Force ROTC Detachment at San Diego State University. AAO specializes in preparing Air Force ROTC cadets for USAF pilot selection and training. 

Current military pilots and alumni of the AAO training pipeline attest that this program provides a head start in proper study habits, emergency procedures, and how military flying is done. Cadets experience the thrill of being behind the controls of powerful aircraft, mastering their operation long before the pressure of Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) sets in. AAO training is an invaluable advantage at UPT. Former Air Force pilots volunteer their time to instruct and ensure the proper quality of training.

There are two main curricula taught by AAO. The first is a general aviation ground school taught by licensed private pilots. It occurs during fall semesters and consists of 9 lessons and a final written examination. In the end, graduates of this course can confidently plan out a cross-country flight and utilize basic aviation concepts in their own flight training. 

The second curriculum is a course utilizing advanced flight simulators. It focuses on teaching good military flight training habits through checklists and aircraft operational limits. This simulator school is taught during spring semesters and ends with a mock checkride for the students.

Aztec Aviation Organization makes the AFROTC Detachment at SDSU unique and produces some of the most successful student pilots nationwide. AAO boasts a 100% graduation rate from USAF pilot training with many alumni graduating at the top of their UPT class. 

AAO is very fortunate to have Eddie Baca, a current United Airlines pilot and former head of T-38 instruction for the USAF, teaching cadets selected for pilot training how to be successful at UPT. Baca offers an immense wealth of knowledge about USAF pilot training and is committed to helping every cadet perform to the best of their ability.

The AAO also partners with the Civil Air Patrol to for incentive flights and specialized instruction. Merit-based flight scholarships are available, and regular social and volunteer events foster a vibrant community centered on a love of aviation.

For more information about becoming a United States Air Force officer, please reach out to AFROTC Detachment 075 at [email protected] or 619-594-5550.

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