View Full Version : Air Cadets : in the UK

5th Dec 2006, 20:19
hey all,

well for a long time now ive been meaning to join the Air cadets,but 'apparently' there two types, The RAF cadets and the normal air cadets organisations. Now i must stress i do not know this for fact,so please correct me if im wrong and a bit of info along the way.

I apparently cant join the RAF cadets cause the max age to join in 16.9 years of age, which isnt fair:mad: as im 17

now a friend has told me this is nonsense and that i can join the air cadets, but which of the two? , :confused: .

5th Dec 2006, 21:01
The "RAF" cadets only exist as part of a CCF (Combined Cadet Force). These are attached to schools. You can't join a CCF unit unless you are a pupil at the school.

The "other" branch is the ATC, "air training corps". Unfortunately the maximum age for new joinees is 16 years and 9 months.

You might like to try the territorial army, or maybe volunteer as a civilian instructor with the cadets, tho I'm not sure what the age limit is.


5th Dec 2006, 23:23
You should have joined back when you were 13 and 3 months like I did :ok: ... While other people my age were out drinking/smoking on street corners I was in our ATC hut revising 'Principles of Flight' and finishing the night off with some drill. :rolleyes:

Loved it! made some good friends and got some good flying time in :cool:

But you need to join before your 17 as said above. If you are already in the ATC and a Warrent Officer then I 'think' you can stay until your 18.


Vortex Thing
6th Dec 2006, 01:03
:D Or you coulod just go to uni next year when u fininish your As and join the OTC, UAS or URNU like others your age.

6th Dec 2006, 10:48
Alot of it depends on what your hoping to achieve. The Air Training Corps organisation is probably not the right solution for you at 17 as the only way you can now stay past the age of 18 is promotion to f/sgt, unlikely in a year, it took me 6 to get CWO. You arenīt elligible to become a civilian instructor or ASgt until your 20 so thats out of the window for a few years. If the flying is what motivates you, as it did me your best bet maybe trying to get some work at a flying school or seeing if your local sqn will fast track you (the latter does tend to lend you to falling out with many of the younger but more experienced cadets). Again you could probably expect the first 6 months to be doing drill, learning the rifle and getting a small amount of aircraft knowledge, but it would be in lessons with cadets typically aged 13-15, this is why there is a cap on the maximum age for joining. Also its unlikely your going to get much if any flying in a year, perhaps 1/2 hour g/h in a grob115 or 109.

Sorry i canīt say anything positive on the matter, but best of luck.

6th Dec 2006, 13:16
i think UAS is your best bet . i joined the ATC when i was 14 i think untill about 16 . It was ok , lots of little hitlers i fyou know what i mean . Still managed to log a few flights , shoot a few rifles but also march around lots of car parks for long periods of time !
The drills still haunt me to this day haha stop check t, l , v, off on the left ! doh .

7th Dec 2006, 09:38
If your over 17 1/2 you could join your local RAF reserves?

Felix Saddler
7th Dec 2006, 09:49
I was in the ATC however i have now left as im over 18. Was alot of fun and an invaluble experience. I would recomend the UAS as you are now too old for the ATC. Good luck buddy


8th Dec 2006, 23:11
huhm late reply,,,but anyway,cheers for the replies really informative.

well so far its 100% clear that i cant join the ATC. but i think ill join the UAS when i get to university,,mean while im just gona try see if i can join a flying club,,but not like a full member, might get a temp job, or voulenteer:O , its better than nothing i guess.

8th Dec 2006, 23:13
:D Or you coulod just go to uni next year when u fininish your As and join the OTC, UAS or URNU like others your age.

noted:ok: , and ill do some research on this,

Frank Plummer
13th Dec 2006, 13:43
Hey folks,

A quick question regarding the RAF-funded Air Training Corps, or the British Air Cadets. Having been interested in flying commercially as an airline pilot, I've joined the ATC to get prior flying expirience beforehand in both powered aircraft, and gliders. I'm hoping to apply for the CTC Wings Cadets course once I've left university and have my PPL. Would they approve of me having prior flying expirience & PPL, thanks to the ATC?

Cheers in advance.

13th Dec 2006, 14:26
I don't really think you'll find a simple answer. But I would go with yes.

I have a good couple of hours on Chipmunks / Bulldogs / Viking Gliders but have not got a PPL yet for the simple reason that some/most schools prefer to start teaching from a blank sheet as opposed to correcting yor bad habits.

CTC will probably not take you on the cadets scheme is you already have a PPL but if you have a PPL/ATPL/CPL etc then you can join the other course they do ;)

I'd say you experience in flying has shown that you have been interested in flying from a young age and can only be seen as a good thing :cool:

Good luck

13th Dec 2006, 14:45
A quote from the CTC Wings Cadets FAQ page

'As a guide, pilots holding a current ICAO PPL or equivalent will undergo the short Foundation Course. Pilots with less experience than this will be required to complete the long Foundation Course.'

There is no reason why they shouldnt take you onto the prgramme with a PPL but you have to be aware that they train you to be an airline pilot from the start, not just to fly piston aircraft which is wot a PPL does.

As a former cadet myself, i personally think that you are doing everything in your favour

Good luck

Frank Plummer
13th Dec 2006, 15:58
Cheers for the prompt response guys.

Seems like all is fine. My squadron present an oppurtunity to get a PPL, which I'm all for. The "Short" Foundation Course on CTC, I presume, isn't as long as the "Long" one, hence the name. I don't mind spending loads of cash, several years training, if I can reach that stage at one point.

One more thing. I have a good couple of hundred hours flying on VATSIM, and I can safely say that I am fluent in IFR and VFR termenology. Of course, this is in no means a formal qualification, but my training manager on there, would he be able to write a reference for me (as he is a real life pilot)?

13th Dec 2006, 20:37
wow! someone actually included the URNU in wth the OTC & UAS - can't tell you how rare that is! Vortex Thing, you've made my day!!

I did two years wit Liverpool URNU and it's the best thing since sliced bread, and quite possibly beats it!!!!! the UAS and OTC are also very good tho but wouldn't have done any other cadet force! miss the socials & traf night every minute!!!!!!