Military AircrewA forum for the professionals who fly the non-civilian hardware, and the backroom boys and girls without whom nothing would leave the ground. Army, Navy and Airforces of the World, all equally welcome here.
Magic, you are already 80% of the way there since you have been given the ok for further selection as Nav aircrew, do have a personality, and can spell !
If you want to be a military pilot though, you need to show a big big motivation level for that during the selection process. It qualitatively adds to your overall rating regardless of your test results. The reason is that if you hit hard times on Course then that may be all that carries you through regardless of how well your test/interview/profile results were at the start. For that reason you shouldn't join as something else to get your foot in the door as there are other ways, or be wavey about career streams. So, if you get offered Nav, EngO, ATC, or anything else just treat it like an offer to join Army Catering and tell them politely thanks but you will reapply later for Pilot after you learn and do a few more things to raise your suitability, then go out and do just that. On your application form, write 'Pilot', then draw a line to the bottom of the page !
If your written tests let you down, then get hold of similar tests and practice or get someone to make up some (a lot) based on what you have seen, and practice them. Apply for non Government jobs that may have similar tests and use their selection procedure as more practice. Find out which Uni's etc run HR and psychology courses that may include this type of selection/testing then go through their libraries to see what you can find. Stay in contact with people going through the selection process (too late now this time ?) and get your own little syndicate of like-minded people so you can compare notes - everyone will pick up separate ideas. Some people want to run their own race on the belief they will grease in so good luck to them. The Internet would be a good info source if you do enough searching.
The best source of information will be the Recruiting Officer who is handling your application. I would preface any enquiry by telling him its now Pilot or nothing (except civvy pilot once you are too old to reapply). On that point, you should find out if you can have 'too many' civvy flying hours, if success takes a while and you plunge into a civvy flying career. If you do and go bush, you will rack up 500 hours with a couple of years. Remember that the Recruiting Officer is employed by the ADF to fill slots on training courses with people who will pass and then rip into the job, not to get everyone into the job they really want. If he/she needs (eg.) Navy Observers more than RAAF Pilots and thinks you wouldn't mind and could do it, then expect the big sales pitch.
Don't go IntelO if you want to be aircrew. Trash n'Navs has his own view <img src="smile.gif" border="0"> on Spooks, based on being receiving intel products so that he can safely go out and about in his Herc ! The other parts of the intel process are a lot more interesting than assessments of the % chance of some disaffected local digging a concealed C130-nosewheel width hole to a certain depth, before Friday 1300Z, in some airfield in a foreign land ! The actual reason to avoid Int is that the ADF may be unwilling to later send you in harms way (ever..) if you have a head full of Int training and material. If you get captured you will end up telling them the lot - its not TV.
In your reply to Cougar you mentioned stress as an ATC - it shouldn't be a consideration since an ATC can hand over to some else if everyone is talking to him at once, whereas a pilot can hand over nothing when everyone is shooting at him ! Stress and patience during the selection process ? Lets just say that not everything will be all that it seems... this is so that they get to see you at no notice under big personal stress or perhaps under none at all, and rightly so. Cups of tea and biscuits will end at some point. Its 'depth' not 'technique' that will get you past this - and that means life experience - enough said and you work out the rest.
Surditas's five year path through the Army Reserve and back to the RAAF is a good example of the time frame and content of a Plan B (!) to make your self a very good bet for a Wings Parade. At the moment you are looking at 12 months to the next selection and regard that as some sort of timeframe, so perhaps you are trying to fit everything into those 12 months. Don't. What is the real objective - to be a RAAF pilot or to hammer away, year by year, at the selection process ? Remember that 50% of people who get on Course don't pass it - you have to have what it takes to pass the selection process AND the Pilots Course AND OCU. Take your time and pack in enough content to overkill any barriers, both internal and external, to these objectives. Maybe years not months but what do you want ?
Reserve service is excellent because you see the Military, and it sees you and writes eval reports about you. You also get to know people who can help you along later, but no, don't become Rudolf the Brown Nosed Reindeer - that won't help... Get into a proper Reserve unit with proper roles and tasks - and the indicators of that will be the unit telling you that they need to see you for X number of days per year which will be a lot more than the advertised minimum, plus that they will expect you to do some full time unit courses with no days away. The more courses the better - that all produce course reports that will follow you forever and testify to your abilities.
What other contact can you have with the RAAF ? I did a lot of gliding at a RAAF Gliding Club, and the things I learned there about selection, courses, plus the refs from the RAAF guys who were instructors were invaluable., eg., other applicants had refs from KFC; I had a ref from a RAAF Pilot who had done a tour as a senior instructor at Pearce. The point though, is that I genuinely wanted to be in a RAAF Gliding Club, not to be in a position to have someone slide a good reference into my hand.
The key point here is that you don't want to leave anything to chance or luck in the selection and training process. Don't confuse "giving it your best shot" with comprehensively positioning and configuring yourself to get into a Squadron. "Giving it your best shot" is ok for the Under 18's school footy team but it ends there. Ten years down the track would you expect to leave the lives of the people under your command, or mission success, up to chance or luck, or accept the same from people above you ? No. Start now. THAT is really the what this is all about, since that will be what is evaluated in the step that you haven't seen yet - the Board interview. Its this that you want to find out the most about, from the Recruiting Officer.
The selection process you have seen so far is really there only to provide a short list for the Board. You will get to front up to a couple of Pilots of Squadron Leader / Wing Commander rank. Their job is to see if they want you working for them. They are visualising you in the units they run / used to run. Do you fit ? If you get selected then it means that you will. As well, there will be a pysch, and Education Officer and maybe someone else. They are specialists who will look at you from their own technical points of view, for any odd bits poking out that may get in the way later.
Treat the Board as the opportunity to enter a group of people that you genuinely and confidently know are doing the things that you should be doing and living the life you should be living, not as some stressful interrogation to find all your hidden flaws and thus pronounce you a complete dud ! Regard it as being Day One in the RAAF because when you walk in that door that's where you'll be ! Remember that in the end, the job is to get rid of the other side's ORBAT and/or willingness to use it, and to have great Dining In nights, and not get military training for an airline career.
All the above posts are great, but copy down and laminate the last line in Trashy's post above.
My background ? I did/learned all the above, applied for RAAF Pilot, passed every selection test, got a Board Interview on my first go, go in, passed every ground school exam, every flying test, and gave it away half way through Peace because my fiancé was spitting the dummy and walking. In the end she was more important. Regrets ? Only about what I don't know. Army Infantry was great, after, and I did more hard yards there than I could have ever done as a knuck.
By the way, did you see the Army nurse too and do you think she compared you more favorably than the Indian's <img src="smile.gif" border="0"> ?
Wow that's really helpful stuff RR. Thanks a whole bunch. Printed it up for further reference. lol
First, Cougar, I'm really not sure how old that newspaper article was. I actually read it behind a glass protector at the recruiting centre, and figured it couldn't have been that old. But hey, if you're right, then it looks like both the women failed hornet training. Bummer. Do u fly hornets Cougar?
RR, unfortunately, I didn't get the opportunity to have the army nurse compare my....uhh....talents. That's the thing. I didn't even reach the medical, and I didn't get a full psychological interview, because I got cut off so early. You seemed to be quite adamant against applying for nav or anything else when I really want pilot. But I feel that even if I were to decline the positions, it would be a good learning experience. The nav medical would be similar to the pilots one, just like the nav/air defence psych interview, and OSB, if I should get that far.
I do want to be a pilot very much. But I'm applying for these other positions to.... 1.) Keep my options open. 2.) See what I can learn; ie so I don't need to wait till next year's selection process before I find that I too "lack life experience", or something of the kind.
Do you think that applying for these positions with the possibility of not accepting them will greatly jeopardize my chances of becoming a pilot? For example, if I were to fail somewhere along the process, will the pilot board next year have doubts about letting me fly when I can't even be nav/air def? And if I should pass and decline, will the RAAF lose faith in my responsibility as an officer and motivation as a pilot? And obviously, if I should pass and come to accept, well....
Just looking at Mr Rivkin's (excellent) post and your reply. I have entered the null zone between waiting for tea in the mess and going flying so I thought I would throw in my (further) two cents worth.. .First, DO NOT apply for other categories (Nav/Airdefendo) unless you would be happy doing those jobs. The selection experience would be valuable to you (up to a point) but ADF Recruiting might be a little upset being used as a rehearsal. The recruiters, if they were any good, would pick up on the fact that your heart wasn't in it and you would probably fall short before the Board. When I was at recruiting the last time they asked me "If you don't make pilot, would you want to be a nav" I replied "nup" and they said "Stick to your guns, we are hunting for navs at the moment". I am damn glad I did stick to my guns.. .Oh, just because you can't be a nav doesn't mean you can't be a pilot. A few blokes here at the Sqn were told they "didn't have the maths" for nav, but they could be pilots.. .Back to Rene. He is spot on in saying the Board will look at you trying to imagine you in a Sqn. They will look at how socially adjusted you are (you don't have to be an extrovert: there are quiet knucks and rowdy trashies), how you deal with setbacks, how you deal with stress, how well you are able to study, how stable is your home life (look at what happened to RR, on his way to jets, but had to make the big sacrifice) I was lucky: single whilst on pilot's course (although I tried to change that every Saturday night ) and I am very lucky to have a supportive girlfriend now. But it also what your parents think, too. If your dear old mum is terrified of you spudding in one day then that could be detrimental. The biggest thing they are looking for, though, is your grit and determination to succeed as a pilot and, to a lesser extent, as an officer. As for succeeding as a pilot, it is not just getting your wings (bloody fantastic as that is) but it is passing Hornet/Pig conversion or conversion onto another type, working as part of a crew if your aeroplane comes so equipped and progressing to captaincy in a reasonable time if you don't go fast jets.. .Ideally, they want all of the above, plus someone who will stay on in the RAAF for as long as possible. I am early in my RAAF flying career and want to stay in as long as I can. I don't especially want to rise to be CAF, but I do like the flying we do and I love the camaraderie and the feeling of belonging to an organisation that does something worthwhile.. .If you decide to join the Reserves like I did and Rene R did after leaving the RAAF, do, as he suggested, join an arms (fighting) corps. You will get a taste of the operational end of the military as well as having a great time. Infantry would be my first choice, followed by tanks thence guns (artillery). Me, I was in (RR will s******) RASIGS (Signal Corps) which was basically taking radios and computers into the bush. I did all the infantry stuff in officer training. It was bloody hard work, but really rewarding. If the RAAF hadn't of happened for me I was going to transfer to infantry or go Sig Commandos. Reserves are not for everyone, but it worked for me.. .What happened to me after recruiting?. .Did Officer Training School at Point Cook (a doddle after the Army) then headed over to Pearce for the flying bit. I wanted (and still do) to become a Pig driver, but I was a bit hot and cold on pilot's course doing some things really well and others not so well. The flying itself was fantastic: aeros, low level, formation really cool, cool stuff that you can do as a civvy pilot, but it costs you heaps of money. The instructors were all professional and the all of us on course became good mates. Having my wings pinned on was one of the best days of my life. I ended up flying the Draggie in Sale and got my initial captaincy last year. It ain't jets, (and I am still trying to get there) but we do low level, formation and other fun stuff, just not, obviously, aerobatics.. .My advice in a nutshell? Find out precisely where you went wrong, identify what you can do to fix it, fix it and reapply as a pilot. I they turn you away, try again etc until they tell you that you are not suitable. If that is the case, apply for nav, or Airdenfo, or ATC. Keep in mind that the selection board is not really something you can rehearse for too much. If you are right for the job then they will accept you.
Mate,. .There was a guy on my pilots course (167!!!) that applied 7 times and went through the whole testing process. All is say is try try and try again... determination is a quality they are looking for.... .Good luck, and it is the best job around.
1 - MMSBGTST. Mustard Mud S**t or Blood just Grit your Teeth and Stay There. You learn it on PLT's course and it works. DO NOT give up - ever. Well, maybe when they take your medical off you....
2 - Don't apply for any position in the RAAF thinking it will impress a Recruiting Officer. As said above, they have a job to do for the ADF and they will fill holes wherever and whenever they can. Their priority is to RonnieRAAF not you. I have heard some horror stories about what people have been told about changing category after joining up.
As RR said, walk away, fix what needs fixing, do whatever you need to do to make you competitive THEN reapply. It shows more about you as a person than butting your head against a wall every year or settling for second best.
Just a quick thank you message to Surditas and Trash in particular for the helpful, lengthy advice. Been really busy (and lacking a lot of sleep this week) so I'll finish this off later, but thought I should take the effort to thank you ASAP for helping me out so much. Hope you get your ride cougar! Thanks also to 2muchROSO.....that was encouraging.....well.....the first part to the story anyway <img src="smile.gif" border="0">
Anyway, will come back to say more soon. By the way I got my number one and two university and TAFE positions I applied for, and my number one college. It's for commercial flying, but at this stage that's the best I can do. So pretty happy. I had to find out from my friend as she was congratulating me because she actually had the time to read the paper!!
Phew! Tough week. Thanks so much once again to the guys who have given me all that advice. Look this has been so helpful, and I appreciate every single contributor. I still have a fair bit of thinking to do, and I'll have to have another chat to my recruiting Off before I make up my mind. I know, with every pound of flesh in my body, that I want to be a RAAF pilot, but I'm in a unique situation right now, with a lot of external considerations/responsibilities to keep in mind, on top of those mentioned. I hope to God I make the right decisions somehow. Thanks to you all, and feel free to email me any time, for anything. You guys are great.
Good luck franksandbeans. That's two more golden chances for ya. And RR, man....I don't know what to say. You really loved the girl huh.
Mate, if memory serves me correctly it is no taller than 100cm sitting height, that is for aircrew. I think if you have a look at www.defencejobs.gov.au that should help you out with all the other info you need.
I have to write a submission with my application to show that my subjects studied at uni meet the Yaer 12 English requirement for entry to the ADF. Has anyone on this forum had to do this, or know anyone who has successfully done this? Any advice or help would be appreciated.
Mate, I am a Australian Army pilot and although I had completed y12 English, I had not done the req'd physics subjects. I was granted a waiver due to my trade training in physics. I have assisted a number of people trying to become ADF pilots (im assuming that you are trying to be a pilot) and I know that all applications are looked at, and providing you can show that you have had a good level of further training after school, in all cases waivers were given. The entry requirements are only a guide (mostly to stop bums wasting recruitings time). However the aircrew medical is very strict. Most of all dont take every word of a recruiting officer as gospel. These people are placed in recruiting positions with little or no training, & through no fault of their own cannot be expected to know every aspect of another corp! Unless you are very lucky and have a Aviation officer in your area! Best of luck
Concur to some degree with Bigdog about believing the recruiter,so why don't you get it straight from the horses mouth(s) and organise a visit to your local aviation base and talk to the aircrew about it all, unless you are remote area oz most capital areas have a big enough place to visit, ok, maybe not Melbourne.
As for the english, talk to the recruiting people as they're the ones that want you, and they should help out. Drop us an email if you have no joy.
We get loads of visits here and I've seen a few of them return as aircrew, so it does help.
Thanks guys. I should have mentioned that I am applying as a pilot in the ADF. I found the corporal at my local recruting office very helpful, although a little deficient in specific knowledge on pilot careers, he went out of his way to help me.
When I called my local base I was told I need to organize a base visit through the recruiting office. When I called recruiting, they said that I could only do a base visit when I had a test date.
You guys might be able to help me with this one. When an experienced pilot goes to flight screening, what sort of flying do they put you through? I know they put you through a different syllabus to ab-initio, but I just wanted to know what to expect.
I spoke to the recruiting people in Sydney about what should be included in the submission, I just wanted to hear what other people had included that worked for them. It's good to hear that the education requirements have some flexibility and that I'm not wasting my time.
Mate good to see that you are being pro active about it. Some people expect all the info to find them!..... As far as Flight screaming goes, you would be better asking "oldpinger" as I suspect (by his profile) that you may be seeing him sometime soon face to face.? I can't comment on it as I did not go through that process when I joined up. I see by your profile that your listed in NSW? is this still the case? if you are anywhere near Townsville I would be happy to give you look around. (although im currently in East Timor till Dec).
Thanks bigdog. Used to fly up your way last year (beautiful Mission Beach). Now I'm back in NSW. Never know, I might end up your way again in 2 years. Good luck in East Timor and thanks for the comments.