Application Process

The Red Tail Cadet Program is exclusively for Ferguson Florissant School District high school students only. Completed applications and recommendations must be submitted by January 2nd, 2024. No exceptions!! All applicants are responsible for submitting three letters of recommendation by a teacher, counselor or school administrator by the deadline date.

There is a student portion of the application and a parent portion. Please make sure all fields are completed by the appropriate party.

Program Requirements

  • Currently classroom enrolled in Ferguson-Florissant School District

  • Grades 9-11

  • Between 16-18 yrs old (must be at least 16 years old on or before July 1, 2024)

  • Outstanding character

  • Must hold a minimum GPA of 3.25 on 4.0 scale

  • Additional consideration will be given to applicants with advanced placement or college- level courses

  • High achievement in STEM programs

Physical Condition

  • All applicants' medications must be disclosed and shall not disqualify such applicant according to ADA standards.

  • Applicants' prior medical procedures must be disclosed and shall not disqualify such applicant according to ADA standards.

  • Applicants must successfully complete a FAA medical exam.

Program Info:

Reigniting the heroic legacy of young African-American pilots (Tuskegee Airman), the Red Tail Cadet Program (RTCP) seeks to enhance and transform the lives youth through aviation education and career path opportunities, so that they may more positively impact their community. The RTCP offers a unique, premier aviation youth outreach program that enables youth to obtain flight hours toward a private pilot’s license and start an aviation career path. Such an effort can be accomplished through supporting the Flight Training, Life Skills, Leadership Development and Educational Assistance programs. The potential Cadets must be highly motivated, academically astute (must excel in high level math & science), community involved with the aptitude for success in such a rigorous program.

The Red Tail Cadet Program will be a challenging, total immersion, semi-residential, 6-week summer program that will develop cadet skills through classroom instruction, live flight training, flight simulator training, financial literacy and life skills seminars, and leadership development training. During the Spring semester, the RTCs will complete a weekly piloting ground school taught for 4-6 weeks by a Certified Flight Instructor and is a requirement to continue eligibility into the summer sessions. Cadets, in good standing, will continue to receive enrichment and mentoring opportunities throughout their High School experience as a member of the Red Tail Cadet Program. Cadets can expect to become strong mentors in their schools and outstanding public figures with in the St. Louis Community and beyond.

Application Steps

The application process is a tiered multi-step/ multi-round process that will yield the best fit candidates to becoming a Red Tail Cadet. In each step, the best applicant pool will be determined to move on to the following step. Applicants will be notified of their status and whether or not they move on to the next round.

  1. Online applications and all 3 recommendations must be submitted by January 2nd. Applicants will be chosen to move on to round 1 of interviews and given a packet of information that they will be tested on.

  2. 1st round of interviews and test over informational packets for chosen applicants.

  3. Applicants that were chosen to move on will receive an online Cessna course including orientation to the program. Applicants will have 3 weeks to learn the material and progress through a portion of the course independently.

  4. 2nd round of interviews and test over online Cessna training.

  5. Applicants chosen to move on will schedule and need to pass a FAA medical examination which is much like a sports physical. This must be acquired prior to scheduling a Test Flight.

  6. Applicants must schedule and successfully complete a Test Flight in a Cessna 172 airplane with a Certified Flight Instructor at Elite Aviation. This will include an in aircraft evaluation similar to a first flight lesson.

  7. The 2024 Red Tail Cadet class will then be chosen. An alternate candidate may be selected. Individual merit through out the process is essential.