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.
fishy: Hows that desk job in sunny CBR going ol' mate?
Don: yes direct entry pilots are still taken by the bucketload - you can keep him in the will for now not all ADFA grads wear rings you know, me being one of them... you would never catch me wearing something as tacky as that.
FTI: its a hard decision with regards to the hours deabte. Many say to get as many as you can, some say to get 0 because you will learn bad habits. From experience, i can say 0 is bad - i really struggled in the first 20 hours of pilots course up to GFPT as i really didn't have any knowledge of even the basics - ie all these guys had 20 hours under their belt and radio calls and emergencies etc were the norm for them - my first emergency went something like this "and practice (throttle being retarded to idle)" - (me shpeeling cxlists but not flying the aircraft) - mate, you will be glad to know your mum will see you soon - at your funeral.
I recommend 20 hours - if you get too many then yes, you will learn habits in flying techniques that will hinder you on pilots course. Seen plenty of guys go through with 500 hours+ civvy but get scrubbed for using "incorrect techniques" ie, they couldn;t get out of their civilian flying habits.
There is only one way to fly in the military, and if you do it any other way you will fail.
In terms of your age, to put it simply, i don't see it as a factor at all - my best mate on course was 28 - an ex techo who re-roled - and he did very well.
As for dealing with the AIRCDRE in Amberley, i think it will be very beneficial to you. I flew with a WGCDR QFI briefly for 3 flights (family friend) before i got in - i didn;t learn how to fly off him but i certainly did get a grasp for 1) the QFI 'quack' and how it sounds and what they expect you to do 2) the no nonsense approach to military flying.
It's always good to see an old post return from the dead, as it were. Good to see it's diverged in a few directions, too...
SOMAT, BEagle and Allan907;
How true! The Kids today can be quite trying with their "groovy" text. We had a bit of and English language war whilst on pilots course. No sooner had someone written something up on the whiteboard then everyone else would instantly critique the grammar, spelling and punctuation. Sad I know, (actually, very sad) but I guess it shows recruiting was successful when it was looking for "competitive, young people". I once had a discussion with one of the other guys about the importance of good English (I said it was important, he said it was not). My argument was along the lines that people will judge you by your written style if they have not met you. For example, when I see someone who writes "yo dude u r gr8" (etc) I immediately picture a moron with a back to front baseball cap, white tracksuit driving a Hyundai with more bodykit and stereo than engine. I also think "******", but I have been told I am too judgemental...
Your story sounds similar to mine. I applied numerous times and was eventually successful. Just keep bashing away at them. Eventually you will annoy enough people and they will let you in just to shut you up. As for the flying experience I'd say, and there is no right answer here, 20-50 hours would be about right. Any less and you'll be like Cougar fighting to catch up, any more and you'll be spending your time eradicating civvy habits. Still, there are exceptions.
I'd also like to know what became of the originator of this thread.
Yeah, I am very well aware that we Aussies can be rather lax with our grammar, language, spelling etc.
It comes from not caring too much about what every other person thinks. That said, there is a level of personal pride that should be taken with what one puts on a public/semi-private forum. Perception is reality.
Also, for your input into my quest. Thankyou, and to all those above Itchy that posted. Your advice is timeless, and invaluable. I cannot begin to tell you how much your advice has helped me just in the last two weeks to know how close I am to being completely successful in this pursuit. I have the drive, the desire and the ability. All I now need is the hours in the log book (and not in the logbook - thanks for that advice to whomever it was that gave it, sorry I can't remember while typing this...), the team sport and the contacts within the R.A.A.F. and possibly the Cadet framework.
I have by no means given up. I will keep all posted over the course of my next application how I go, so as to give you some results of your advice, and how well taken it was and will be.
FTI, congrats on passing the med and psych, however, you are looking at the next stages in too fine a degree of detail.
Firstly, flying hours. The recruiters are not looking at your flying hours in any other sense than how it indicates your motivation to FLY, so demonstrate that by flying as much as possible. Any different scaling that they may apply to pilots with more than 20 decimal 000 hours will not adversely affect an applicant who actually uses his/her extra few hours of experience to achieve the higher standard, so DO NOT UNDERRATE YOURSELF !
Their suggestion that you come back in six months or six months more is a measure of how their recruiting cycle works, not their assessment of how long it should take you to get up to scratch ("the next bus leaves at 0900, but how long it takes you to earn the bus fare is up to you"). I suggest that you do the same thing as are they, that is to look at you, yourself, as an entire picture, and then expose yourself to a range of productive experiences that will later lead to their correct assessment that you will be a valuable RAAF Officer and Pilot after Pilot's Course. A two-three year timeframe may be appropriate depending on what you decide.
Playing team sports, etc ? A good suggestion but it may disregard the fact that people play sports according to preference not necessity. They may be saying that you need to practice fitting into a group, however another way to this end is doing amateur boxing. Here, you would be in a club where you get to know a lot of people very well because you are always hitting each other, you are competing against other clubs, your fitness level is at the highest of any sport, and of most relevance, boxing adds a solidity to your character and confidence that is not available in other sports - you will realize that there are dumb footy players but there are no dumb boxers J.
Again, it's incorrect to see success in your path through the selection process requiring you to worry about every fine detail needed to thread your way through some impossible maze at the end of which is the realization of that which you have dreamed. Rather, concentrate on truly knowing yourself through the objective achievement of hard physical and intellectual goals; the most useful of the latter being leadership roles where understanding of yourself and others will come by the bucket load and not according to your own timetable and preferences.
Good luck ! Nothing beats that first time looking out on the wing and seeing a Red Rat ! I hope I haven't cut too close to the bone but if I have then get over it.
I haven't seen this thread for 2.5 years. I posted then, above, as Rene Rivkin, until the real Rene (enjoy Silverwater Jail, idiot) found out and made PPRuNe change the name, so now I guess I'm Rene's law-abiding twin brother ! I too would like to know what happened to Hornetboy, and what some of the other (by now well traveled and dusty ..) RAAF dudes like Trashy and Surditas have been up to ! Allan907, you should just see some of the stuff that gets written on Oz civvy pilot's job applicationsÖ
Hope that you have enough for the bus fare to the jail each week to see your bro'! Or has he managed to pull another flanker, or put a bung in the right trouser pocket, and even now is doing penance in a multi-million dollar hovel somewhere?
I can quite believe you about the civilian pilot applications. I am in that world now and fully understand. What I was getting at was the comparison between the RAAF and RAF. The standard of English for the RAAF (or RAAF wannabee's), as evidenced on this thread, seems to be immeasurably higher than that for the RAF.
I still have problems coming to terms with a post made by a character calling himself 'Flyer1997'. He is obviously a pilot under training at RAF Valley in North Wales and starts his post off with "There is a rumer at Vally". Ye Gods! If the system in the UK is so bankrupt with basic education - or that the RAF selection system is so desperate for commissioned officers that they have to stoop that low - then I give in. The only up side to the whole thing is that, by and large, when the chips are down the modern generation is able to step up to the crease just as well as their forebears in Vietnam, Korea, WW2, WW1, Boer War, Agincourt etc.
[SIZE=1]Apologies to all those living veterans whose campaign I may have missed [/SIZE=1]
Funny you should talk about intelligence. I've met some not so bright people who express themselves very well and some intelligent people who have dreadful diction and expression. I don't believe I am alone in assuming someone is a moron if they display poor grammar, punctuation and spelling, either that or laziness. Still, Allan907 is spot on when he says the young folk stand up when called. You'd be hard pressed to criticise the way the guys (and girls of course!) are going about things over in the Sandpit. Anecdotal evidence, but backed up by quite a bit of experience, in the military flying schools shows that military pilots need to be intelligent, but not too intelligent. The usual example is engineers, who fail pilots course at a higher rate then non-engineers because engineers are trained to analyse problems in detail. eg: Situation: your aeroplane is on fire. Non-engineer reaction: "Hmm, I think I'll eject. Yes, that sounds like a good idea. Those flames a rather big and scary" Engineer reaction: "Ah, a fire!. Well now, that's very interesting. I wonder if is the turbine, or the oil supply or maybe some bleed air? Of course, it could be a false indication. No, there seem to be large flames coming out of the cowling. Of course, that could be from something else and maybe the engine is fine. And what an engine it is! There little turbo-props are just sensational! Lightweight, powerful, not really prone to catching fire..." I've overdone it a bit, but you get the idea. As for DE vs Academy, aside from not having a degree, you don't seem to be too disadvantaged by going DE. You can't sit around the crewroom reliving your days back in the Div or go "Shazaam!", but the career people don't discriminate against you if you are DE. You even have some advantages, as in four and a half years in a SQN as a PLTOFF thence FLGOFF where you are given zero responsibility and not expected to do anything sensible except fly aeroplanes. You even only get given secondary duties that aren't that important and no-one cares about.
Kev Riv: Are you serious? I imagine you are because your name has been changed.
Allan, they may be able to stand up to the crease, however they won't know much about the wars you mentioned because History is taught about as well as Grammar. Brother Rene is still getting a new brain turmor every Friday afternoon just before weekend detention is due to start.
Surditas, how are you 2.5 years later ? Yes, I'm serious because it worked for me, although spending five hours a week hitting people can cause one to instead aspire to an Army career and disregard Knuck-ism. The point is that an individual's motivation and valid self confidence are big winners in a gregarious but stressed group environment, and can be generic solutions to a multitude of different problems.
So sorry to hear about your kin. So sad, yet so wealthy.
You could almost afford to buy yourself a Pig if you believe Rene's own press releases!!
Seriously though, I value your input into this situation. Thankyou, and I am not in the least worried about your post cutting too close to the bone - I am willing to do whatever I have to to win the day in this endeavour! I will be reapplying as soon as I can log some more hours. I have just changed employment, and have also gained a position as a Paintball/Skirmish refereee on the weekends! Money for flying now nowhere near an issue with regards to being able to afford it. Good fun as a Ref, working with an ex super-trooper, and a fantastic environment to learn how to keep your head in a situation of extreme pressure. Not sure if the recruiting boys would look at this as a valid "team" exercise though. Part of my employment is that I must acquire a firearms license. Part of this is training in simulation exercises with a small team rescuing hostages etc. As mentioned, good fun, good character training, but maybe not a team sport as such in the eyes of the recruiters...
Next time Rene decides to get an attack of the clots in the Cebrebral region, take him boxing - give him a real one to ponder over... Sorry...
I DID go overseas last year, but it was on deployment to the MEAO which is (thankfully) not Saudi. Back again now in sunny Oz. Kev, things are going well with me. Career is humming along and I'm getting plenty of flying. What else does one need?
Since I last posted on this thread I have managed to get through the Assessment Day stage of the selection process. The Pilot Testing, medical and Defence Interview were ok but the Psych hammered me for over an hour and a half. However, I have been recommended for the next stage and was wondering how long it normally takes to get onto Flight Screening? I understand that not everybody who has got this far even gets a shot and that the time can vary between these stages, but am just after a general idea.
Also, what sort of notice does one get between "You are joining Course X at time Y" and time Y?
So sorry for not replying sooner but I havenít been perusing the boards of PPRuNe as often lately, and in fact only caught this thread by chance. I decided I would take a day before posting a reply so I could gather my thoughts before blabbering pointlessly. Forgive me if I still do
Iíll try and keep the life story as short and un-complicated as possible. I re-did my tests one year later, having done my Night VFR for some instrument practice, among other things. Got through the aptitudes this time, which felt great. Only had to do the pilot specific tests this time. Then the psych, again, was a really nice person - no grilling, no excessive probes, etc. The Defence Officer asked me vastly the same questions as the psych and seemed to be happy enough. Then came the medical and the doc was also a great bloke, very supportive. But due to a medical issue I was medically ďpendingĒ till the specialist examinations. As it worked out, I was accepted for FSP, but was scheduled for specialist medical assessments before that. And shortly after getting the call of acceptance for FSP, I got a letter of rejection based on a specialist report.
Disappointing? Yes. Guts ripped out? Absolutely. But then I got the chance to travel across the world for almost a year, and I truly cherish that experience, along with the rest of my university experience; couldnít imagine having missed all that. Iím now one semester from completing my degree, having stuck it out after all. And I now realise how unprepared I really was 2 and a half years ago. I have learnt that the good Lord (personal belief) knows time a lot better than I do. And all this time also allowed me to gather a lot of information and come up with a plan of action. I have just recently lodged an appeal as a starting point.
That brings me back to the present. Sorry, no big news yet. But Iím hanging onto the dream. And to the guys in my situation, especially those that have already tried a few times like FTI...yeah it does get hard sometimes. There have been times when everything seems too hard and the dream just seems like too much trouble. But you really need to gain perspective. Iíve been honoured to meet and learn from people from all corners of the globe. But as Iíve listened intently to their stories, one recurring thing that pi**es me off the most is hearing so many people say, ďSure I dreamed of doing that, but I didnít think I could have made it, so I did this instead.Ē And to some degree I understand where theyíre coming from, but it pi**es me off. Wherever youíre from, whatever the dream, remarkable people seem to give in all too easily, not fully realising that you only get one go at life. And if youíre not pushing for every moment of it to be the very best it can be, then youíre wasting it.
If I get in the RAAF, Iíll give it everything, but if I donít, at least Iíll know Iíve exhausted every single avenue and fought every battle. Thanks to Cougar and Rivkin and Surditas and Trash and everyone who gave me pearls, and yeah, Iím still working on things.
Sorry for my tardiness in replying - I guess you didn't need my advice! Well done and good luck with the interviews.
You mentioned that you started the process again in May and only just received an invite to FSP. My question is, did you do the pilot specific testing in May aswell? I'm just trying to get an idea of how long I could be waiting.
I've been thinking a bit lately about the fact that when I joined (five or so years back) that they (recruiting, psych, board etc) asked me questions along the lines of "So, if Australia went to war, what would you think." Of course, I gave the standard reply "Signed on the dotted line blah blah duty blah blah mine is not to reason why blah blah" which seemed to keep everyone happy. Whilst answering the question I was thinking "Go to war? No chance in the world is Australia going to be at war in my lifetime." Events have proved me wrong. I know that all of my mates who joined prior to Sep 11 didn't think they'd be in a shooting war, either. That's not to say people are upset about it. Quite to the contrary, I think most people in the ADF have had a good time at the war. After all, it's why we joined, even if we never thought it would happen. I'm interested to know what people joining today think of the question "So, if Australia went to war..."
Coran, were you told how well you went, or it was just a pass/fail? Thanks feel free to pm me if you have any Q's about interviews, and good luck with them.
because i did initial aptitude assessment last year- i didn't have to re-sit those. so my process may have been somewhat different and i think they changed some things anyway. last year it was about 2 weeks between initial aptitude and pilot testing. this year i did pilot testing i think on 28th April and then interviews/medical on 10th may. I didn't get an invite to FSP, i understand it's a generic letter sent to all applicants for their FSP preferences before their file gets sent off. Have you received any communication at all since your interview? did you provide passport photos on initial application, because otherwise they should have contacted you, at least about changing recruitment office premises (if you're in VIC). Depending on whether you're applying DEO or ADFA, there are something like 14 FSP course until the end of this year, with 7 to 9 candidates chosen for each. this is from memory, figures may vary.
as i understand, the time will vary depending on how good your score was and how strong the recommendation- i.e. whether you're on the top of the pile at FSP paper selection board or not. if you are, then the next few courses are quite soon; if not- well, keep your fingers/toes crossed that your file floats up to the top somehow.
if you'll have any more inside info, do share!
Surditas, my psych looked at me more intently i think when asking that Q. my reply was somewhat similar to yours, i.e. i don't particularly have any desire to kill anyone, but blah blah duty, defending my country, rather have active role.. etc. yes, i've held a gun, no i won't faint when i see one. yes i'm aware i may have to fire it.
response to Mum - "they won't send me, i'm a girl" (ha!)
response to self/your Q - i still don't think that there'll be a "real war"- i.e. involving Australia on its own turf and to full capacity, meaning that if i'm in the pilot's seat, most danger i'll be in would be coming from my own incompetence and our allies' ..(i'm not aware of any OZ choppers down in afganistan/iraq) i may be proven wrong, as you were.
wouldn't want to really (be proven wrong, or kill if am) ...
a friend was deployed to afganistan, had a blast. can't say i'm joining for the war though. for me it's a possible price to pay.