View Full Version : RAF 'Career' Pilots

27th Sep 2012, 22:50
Just read Javelin from the cockpit and there is mention of 'career' pilots. What is your interpretation of this phrase?

air pig
27th Sep 2012, 23:47
The RAF has two aircrew career paths, professional aviator who do not rise to command ranks and those who will become squadron commanders and above.

Ron Cake
28th Sep 2012, 16:29
As Air Pig indicated, there were two main career paths for pilots in those days. The Supplementary List, in broad terms, offered a career to age 38 or 16 years service but with limited promotion prospects. The General List offered a full career to age 55. It was made up of ex Cranwell cadets plus Supplementary List officers who transferred to the General List by way of a yearly competition. They were often given the more demanding ground tours and it was expected that from among them would emerge officers of the highest ranks. There may also have been a few short service commissions available in the days of the Javelin.

So, refererence to 'career pilots' almost certainly means those on the General List.

28th Sep 2012, 19:35
There was always the Branch List. This was made up of ex Warrant officers and Senior NCOs who had earned a commission later in life.

They had their own tie. On it was a ladder with just two rungs at the bottom.