Aspiring test pilots have until June 5 to apply for Test Pilot School, the Air Force said Friday.

The school's selection board will convene from July 20 to July 24 to choose candidates for the July 2016 and January 2017 classes, according to a release from the Air Force Personnel Center. The classes take 48 weeks long, the release said.

The board is looking for pilots who fly fighters, multi-engine aircraft, helicopters and remotely piloted aircraft. It's also looking for combat systems officers, including navigators, electronic warfare officers and weapons system officers, as well as military and civilian engineers.

The Test Pilot School seeks to train officers and civilians to develop, test and evaluate new aircraft and weapons systems as experimental test pilots, experimental test CSOs, experimental test RPA pilots and experimental flight test engineers, the release said.

The school is held at Edwards Air Force Base in California. According to a fact sheet on Edwards' website, the course is broken into four branches: performance, flying qualities, systems and test management. Graduates earn a master's degree Master of Science degree in flight test engineering, the fact sheet said.

"Human lives and millions of dollars depend upon how carefully a test mission is planned and flown," the school's fact sheet said. "The comprehensive curriculum of Test Pilot School is fundamental to the success of flight test and evaluation."

The fact sheet said the selection board will consider factors such as education, flying background, experience and officership.

Stephen Losey is the air warfare reporter for Defense News. He previously covered leadership and personnel issues at Air Force Times, and the Pentagon, special operations and air warfare at He has traveled to the Middle East to cover U.S. Air Force operations.

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