Life as an Instructor Pilot


What is life like as an Air Force Instructor Pilot (IP)?


The tasks and responsibilities of an Instructor Pilot can vary greatly depending on if you have previously flown a Major Weapons System (MWS) or are beginning your flying career straight out of UPT as a First Assignment Instructor Pilot (FAIP). That being said, all Instructor Pilots begin this assignment by attending a course called Pilot Instructor Training (PIT).

Pilot Instructor Training is completed at Joint Base San Antonio – Randolph. It is roughly a 4-6-month training course created to develop, train, and support Air Force Instructor Pilots. During PIT, pilots are educated on how to effectively teach students in the T-6 Texan, T-1 Jayhawk, or T-38 Talon. During PIT, experienced aviators learn how to communicate and instruct others to become proficient to fly. This includes instructors learning how to productively communicate with student pilots.

PIT can be a challenging experience. There are both physical and mental demands put on instructor pilots. Because of this, it is important to stay in a quality military PIT pad in San Antonio. Royal Retreats Crash Pads offers multiple military PIT pads both central to downtown San Antonio and closer to JBSA Randolph. Each of our military crash pads is fully stocked and furnished, which alleviates some of the stress during PIT. Our San Antonio military PIT pads provide all the comforts of home and the services of a hotel-like stay. Whether you choose to travel solo, bring your family and pets, or share the house with a roommate, our military crash pads include all of your needed amenities. We make it our mission to provide you with incredible military PIT pads for the best TDY lodging experience in San Antonio.

With all the services and amenities provided, our San Antonio military PIT pads make it a breeze to focus on and complete Pilot Instructor Training and get you back to your home base. Following your completion of PIT, you will head to your assigned duty station as a newly minted Air Force Instructor Pilot. After in-processing, your role will require you to complete Theater Indoctrination (TI). In TI, new Instructor Pilots fly with experienced IPs to learn the flow, techniques, and ropes of the local area.

After TI, your squadron will consider you an ‘inexperienced IP’ as well as a ‘Line IP’. Typically, you will fly 6-9 sorties per week with the more advanced student pilots in your squadron while you build up your instruction hours, gain experience, and get the hang of the whole IP job. As you continue to grow as an IP – in experience, knowledge, hours, and leadership – you will begin instructing students of all levels assigned to your squadron. Roughly a year into your role as an IP, you will be considered an ‘experienced Instructor Pilot’ and begin to be picked for leadership positions, either within your current squadron or in other flying squadrons on base.

Are you looking for a comfortable military PIT pad for your TDY in San Antonio? Contact us today!

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Choose a Crashpad close to your Airforce Base

Joint Base San Antonio, Tx


"Royal Retreats CrashPads has strategically located properties to service all JBSA locations: Randolph AFB, Lackland AFB, Kelly AFB, Medina Annex (John A. Chapman Annex), Fort Sam Houston & Camp Bullis. Whether you are looking for something close to base, or near downtown attractions, Royal Retreats CrashPads has something for you. Please contact us to determine which of our San Antonio properties best suits your needs."


The Barney

The Barney is a cozy, family-friendly military crash pad located just outside Downtown San Antonio. It is conveniently situated with a 12-minute commute to Lackland Air Force Base and a 14-minute commute to Fort Sam Houston.


This beautifully designed property is just 9 minutes from Fort Sam Houston Walters Gate! This property has a fully equipped gourmet kitchen with entertaining in mind.

The Refugio

An incredible military crash pad in San Antonio, situated in Downtown Lavaca Historic District with a quick 11-minute commute to Fort Sam Houston and an easy 17-minute commute to Lackland AFB.

Refugio Studio

A quaint, homey San Antonio military PIT pad, located conveniently in the Lavaca Historic District of San Antonio, it boasts an 11-minute commute to Fort Sam Houston and an easy 17-minute commute to Lackland AFB.

Miners Point

Our Miners Point property is 11 minutes away from Lackland AFB. It is in a great, quite location but still only minutes away from stores and Restaurants.


La Vaca is one of our Military PIT Pad in San Antonio, conveniently located near Randolph AFB and Fort Sam Houston. This Crash Pad is part of our Cottage Collection and offers a spacious and modern open-concept living space with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths.

The Jeff Studio

This beautiful TDY Studio is located in a great neighborhood and is perfect for your next Temporary Duty in San Antonio. The location is ideal, only a few minutes away from the Forum shopping center, I35, Randolph AFB, and more!

Kirtland Air force Base from far away

Kirtland AFB


"Royal Retreats CrashPads has strategically located properties to service near Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Whether you are looking for something close to the base, or near the best Albuquerque attractions, Royal Retreats CrashPads has something for you. Please contact us to determine which of our Albuquerque, NM. properties best suit your needs."


The Pioneer

Our exclusive crash pad, the pioneer, is situated at Volterra HOA area of Albuquerque, a short travel distance to Kritland’s main gate.

The Zena

This magnificent home is located in the Northeast Heights of Albuquerque, a 5 mile / 12-minute commute to the base.

The Columbia

The Columbia is well-constructed fully furnished house that provide you with optimum comfortability during your stay on TDY to Kirtland Air Force Base.

The Manzano

The Manzano is a bright and airy military crash pad located in the Bel-Air neighborhood of Albuquerque, NM, with a straight shot 10-minute commute to Kirtland Air Force Base.