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RAAF Flight Screening Program (Merged)

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RAAF Flight Screening Program (Merged)

Old 23rd Apr 2018, 08:26
  #3641 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 96
Great write-up Tayra, but I think I should definitely bear some of the brunt for some of the comments made recently.

I too have been receiving lots of emails and messages which were either thanking me for my input or asking me to elaborate on further points. However, I felt as though there’s a line where if you paint too-perfect a picture of the ASP tests, then you run the risk of creating a false representation of what is actually being tested. This would only come to the candidate’s own detriment.

Truth be told, the best way to prepare for the ASP is to actually have a physical copy of the darn thing and practice it and it alone. Seeing that this isn’t an option, we’ve always said things along the lines of “practice your mental arithmetic, practice aptitude tests in general, get used to reading, understanding and answering questions quickly and accurately, get a good night’s sleep, have good nutrition every day in the weeks leading up to the day, etc”.

If one was to read all posts starting from the 10th of March they’d see that all the clues are there. We have given a lot of info and insight without running the risk of getting ourselves into any kind of troubles with DFR. Some of us completed the ASP soon after it started and we didn’t have anyone we could ask for help or insight. Yet, we still passed! We’ve also come back to this thread to pass on any info we can.

However, when you do come back to this thread it does make it hard when you get shot-down for actually trying to help others. I was always warned of the negativity on this forum and am surprised that there are officers who spend their time on here trying to belittle one another or other aspiring pilots.

It’s funny when you read some of the negative comments from certain users on this forum. It’s easy enough to click on the “see user’s other posts” and see all of the other negative comments they make on other threads. It’s kind of like a toxic thread for a minority of disgruntled RAAF pilots to congregate and complain about things while having a bunch of aspiring pilots visit the thread and think to themselves “shit, this isn’t what I expected an ADF Officer to be!”.

With all of this being said, I was very surprised with a recent interaction between two users: Bullethead and Finestkind.

Bullethead: ”I completed my RAAF pilot course in 1976 and the scrub rate then was around 30% and the selection process was nowhere near as thorough or sophisticated as it appears to be these days which makes me wonder what benefit there is in having the RAAF flight screening process when the end result over the last 40+ years is essentially unchanged.

Finestkind: “BH, I have different figures. Srub rate was around 50+% in 80's and 90's. When all thru PC9 started scrub rate went up. Flight screening was introduced with the pass rate fluctuating between 55% and 65%. So definitely an improvement. But stats like photo's do lie. What do I mean? The old planning style of putting double the number you wanted on course to get the number you needed stuck. This simply means if we the RAAF had just put on the better risk people rather than filling the seats by placing high risk people on course the scrub rate would have been far less.

BulletHead: “G’day finest, Thanks for the extra info, I wasn’t aware of the increase in the scrub rate in the 80s and 90s.

I mean, c’mon. Holy shit. One bloke made a statement, and another didn’t entirely agree with it yet they still kept it civil and both learned something from the interaction . Bullethead even thanked Finestkind for the extra info too. This must be a first for PPRuNe!

Tayra, I don’t know if you’d be keen, but I’d love to see a new “Aviation Screening Program” thread started so new candidates can find it easily through a simple google search. I’d like to see you make the first post with some of your insight into the ASP. Possibly with a follow-up from “SHT” too which I think would be invaluable.

Last edited by hansfalkenhagen; 23rd Apr 2018 at 08:38. Reason: quotes
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Old 23rd Apr 2018, 23:28
  #3642 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Perth
Posts: 3
Ok, so I seem to have struck a chord with a couple of you, which believe it or not is a good thing!

I spent a bit of time prior to replying here, as itís easy to have an emotional and defensive response, which letís face it is fairly natural, but often it will skew the message trying to be sent. So instead I have thought hard about how to make my points in a constructive way for all who read, and hopefully I will hit the mark....

Firstly a little background as to what I am about to say.

I obviously know a lot of RAAF pilots, I have been around the traps for a while, and I can tell you there are good ones, not so good ones, nice ones and not so nice ones, a mixed bag really. But whilst we all have our differences, fundamentally we are all very similar people, with very similar values. You could put this down to recruiting and the psych assessment if you like, and I would attribute part of this to that, but I would attribute the majority to our shared experience of a combination of basic training and pilots course. Usually even the most cocky amongst us are humbled very quickly on course, as it is easily the hardest thing you will have ever done and everybody struggles at some point. It is a very humbling experience, and excellent character building!

Like I said we all think in a very similar way, we all have the same pride (think slight superiority complex) due to what we have undertaken and achieved. Now because we all think the same, one of the things I can tell you is that none of us outside of PSA, and probably within, have much faith in the fact that a test designed by psychs can be more effective than
putting somebody on pilots course for 2 weeks (FSP) and seeing what actual flying/ learning aptitude they have. At FSP if you were an absolute weapon, and got a good wrap from your QFI, the OSB was almost a formality. Now I am not trying to start a discussion on the merits of FSP vs ASP, nor diminish anybodyís Achievements of passing ASP here, as from what I understand it is very hard with a high failure rate, I am merely building towards a point.

Now this is all just my opinion, but I know it is shared by many of my peers and I see no real reason why it would differ in the eyes of the people on your board, shy of towing the party line.

The point I have been building to, is that the OSB has always been a big part of the process, but I believe now more than ever it will be a much bigger discriminator than in the past, as every FSP candidate automatically sat a board, whereas it doesnít sound that way for ASP. They also had a report and recommendation from an actual QFI vs just a test score. What this means for you guys out there, is you need to be well prepared and check your egos at the door as your job just got a little harder as they donít know as much about you and your personality before you walk into that very scary door.

Now this brings me to the ultimate goal of this post, you are going to be assessed by people like me, with the same experience base, and the same expectations. We would be looking for the same things. I would like you all to think about the following 3 things:

Perception is reality. We only get to see you for a short amount of time, especially now with the introduction of ASP.

Respect is hard earned and easily lost.

Good bloke factor. Apologies to any ladies reading this, it applies to you too I just donít really know how to word that. This will go a long long way in your favour.

Ultimately what the OSB are asking themselves throughout your interview, is would I want to be on Squadron with this person? If the answer is yes, you will get recommended.

Now back to having struck a chord....

On course we will often do a thing called buddy debriefing, where you will bring a buddy into your debrief and he listens to all your debrief points, warts and all, then you theirs. The aim of this not to embarrass, but to hopefully learn from others mistakes and triumphs, which may prevent you making the same mistake.

Now make no mistake about it, 80% of a debrief will focus on where you went wrong, the route cause and how to fix it. So students need to learn to accept constructive criticism very early on, and take whatís said in the debrief for the learning opportunity it is or they wonít last long. The biggest barrier to success is a student who believes they know more than the instructor, doesnít accept their mistakes, and instead makes excuses. They wonít see through their own defensiveness and take the lessons on board, and in turn they wonít learn and improve. I have seen many a student like this suspended from course. Their own ego is their undoing.

The reality is as a student you donít know what you donít know. You need to trust in your QFI, they want to see you pass, if for nothing else than failing you is way to much hard work 😉

Now to Tayra and Hans, please consider this post your buddy debrief. You have both done some great work on here in helping others, and it sounds like more behind the scenes, I congratulate you on that and encourage you to keep it up, goes towards that good bloke factor(again sorry ladies)!

However from what I have seen you both also have had tendencyís to at times be the student with the barrier mentioned above, in that I have read some interactions with a combination of knowing better and with me excuse making and blaming others.

Now it is difficult to sometimes ascertain tone through writing, which can potentially skew what you are trying to say, I understand that, and I am only going off what I have read. In person you guys may be 180 out, but it would be remiss of me not to address this. Some of what you have written has bugged some fellow Aircrew and if I am being honest myself. Now remember as I said earlier we all think the same way. My concern is that if I have seen it here, it could come out in group activities at the OSB, which is basically being assessed by us.

As I said earlier respect is hard earned and easily lost, please remember that on here next time before biting back at somebody else. If they make an overly negative comment, take the high road and ignore it. Please donít diminish all the good work you guys have done on this thread!

Not just to you two guys, but to everybody, read through the above again and take a critical look at yourselves and make an honest assessment. Does he make a valid point? Could I have handled that better? How could I react next time etc... The key to improvement is accepting that you can make mistakes, assess them and try to find a way from letting them re-occur.

So in finishing, please donít take the debrief as a dig, but as a debrief is supposed to be taken. You can rest assured that you have both helped a lot of people out there, both intentionally and unintentionally.

I am on here as I am trying to help, and I would honestly like be nothing more than to see a post from you guys telling us all you will be starting some time soon.


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Old 24th Apr 2018, 01:35
  #3643 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Perth
Posts: 3
Hey guys, sorry just a quick addition of a story that might help to add a little context to where I am coming from....

A little while ago we had a student that was pretty solid with flying, but he was very difficult in debriefs. He was quite sure of himself and more often than not would become very defensive with the QFIís points, and displayed a few of the tendencies that I previously mentioned. He very quickly got a bad rep amongst us and people didnít really want to fly with the guy. So my boss came to me and asked me to talk to him and sort it out.

Now I can tell you it was expecting a very difficult and awkward conversation, and this is pretty much word for word what I said....

ďDude your flying is solid, but in the debriefs most QFIís think you are a bit of a dickĒ

Sounds harsh, but I am a rip the band aid off when it comes to bad news kind of guy. Now thatís how it started, and I obviously elaborated with some pretty specific examples.....

So what was the reaction on the other side of the conversation..... he was completely mortified! He had no idea that he was perceived that way, and he was especially embarrassed that the QFI body had that view of him.

The good news here was his reaction, he clearly wasnít intending to come across that way and had not realised how he was being perceived.

The result was he changed the way he operated, people became happy to fly with him and he ultimately got better. He actually thanked me for having that conversation when he got his wings.

I guess take what you want from that story, but hopefully there is a lesson there that everybody can benefit from.

Perception is often reality.

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Old 24th Apr 2018, 03:31
  #3644 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Australia
Posts: 1
Originally Posted by hansfalkenhagen View Post
This must be a first for PPRuNe!
It is nonsense like that which unfortunately cheapens your argument. Aside from that, however, some good points, decently presented.

Folks like yourself and Tayra have been immeasurably helpful in passing on info regarding ASP and the wider recruitment process. However that doesn't exempt you from reproach. All that carry on about whether someone should apply themselves equally to both Mission and Pilot testing at ASP a couple pages back was unnecessary, and clearly left a sour taste in a lot of users mouths. Now that doesn't particularly excuse some of the thinly veiled sledges thrown around since, but there is a fairly clear cause and effect that goes on.

Something to bear in mind is that these are potentially your future colleagues and superiors you're interacting with here, it could be beneficial to try and not look like a prick before you're even through the door (that stands for everyone). Whether they're in the wrong or not, getting into a shouting match through the medium of an "anonymous" online forum is not the appropriate course of action.

Perhaps a clean slate couldn't hurt though. And seeing as good as all of this thread is now outdated, an ASP specific one would make life easy for future candidates.

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Old 24th Apr 2018, 14:05
  #3645 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 96
SHT & FarQues;

Thanks for these posts. I think I and many others will benefit from it. This is what constructive criticism/recommendations should all be about. It has given much for me to think about and much for me to take on board.

Originally Posted by FarQues View Post
All that carry on about whether someone should apply themselves equally to both Mission and Pilot testing at ASP a couple pages back was unnecessary, and clearly left a sour taste in a lot of users mouths. Now that doesn't particularly excuse some of the thinly veiled sledges thrown around since, but there is a fairly clear cause and effect that goes on.
I remember reflecting on this and thinking it was a bit of a dick move. To elaborate on what I tried to say; both the Pilot and M.E tests are held on separate days but you won't actually know which test is which. For this reason I do urge everyone to still try their best for both tests!

Nevertheless, best of luck to everyone still in the process.
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Old 25th Apr 2018, 13:58
  #3646 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Adelaide
Posts: 5
HI all,

Just passing on some info I have received.
It seems both Air Force and Navy OSB invites are going/gone out (Good luck to everyone!). The dates are; 14th-18th May for Air Force, 21st-25th May for Navy.

All the best.
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Old 27th Apr 2018, 20:10
  #3647 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Yokohama
Posts: 37
Originally Posted by tayra View Post
From my research and what I could squeeze out of those who are close to the new selection and training systems down in Sale; the ASP is not as good a predictor of success on pilots course up until wings level (it is, just not to a huge degree of statistical significance) as it is a predictor of successful completion of an operational conversion. Even though it is still a huge waste of money for someone to scrub out at BFTS or 2FTS it's relatively small compared to losing someone in their final weeks at 2OCU. At least with the new air academy it's very simple (or is intended to be) for someone to slot straight into another role should they fail early on.
I have always wondered, what would happen to someone who successfully got their wings, passed fast jet training, yet failed their operational conversion course onto a JSF/Rhino/Growler? Would they be kept on as a pilot still within the RAAF, just sent off onto a conversion course for a different, non-fast jet airframe (i.e. C17/P8/tanker/C27 etc)?
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Old 28th Apr 2018, 02:03
  #3648 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Canberra
Posts: 121
Some examples I'm aware of people who completed 2FTS:

* "failed" during OCU, ended up as a QFI at Pearce at 79 Sqdn
* "failed" during training at 76 Sqdn and had a long (and successful) career in a variety of RAAF squadrons before joining the airlines
* "failed" after 2FTS during training on a non-fast jet type. Never flew operationally
* a couple who only ever flew one operational tour ... possibly just weren't cut out for the type of flying expected of them.

These 'failures' are relative - most would seem to be good pilots perhaps not suited to the demands of flying required by the RAAF

On a more optimistic note, I know of many more that were successful all the way through and served multiple operational tours.

From my observations, 2FTS means you have your "L" plates ... you'll then do a type conversion, possibly an operational conversion, and then (for non-fast jets) start on the process of training for your captainancy - and then might switch types and start the process again. It seems you never stop learning in the RAAF

layman is online now  
Old 28th Apr 2018, 08:57
  #3649 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: The wrong time zone...
Posts: 647
Would they be kept on as a pilot still within the RAAF, just sent off onto a conversion course for a different, non-fast jet airframe (i.e. C17/P8/tanker/C27 etc)?
Absolutely, positively - yes. And, probably the conversion of their preference.
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Old 28th Apr 2018, 21:48
  #3650 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Yokohama
Posts: 37
Thanks for the quick responses guys! It is fantastic to hear direct from past and present RAAF pilots themselves as to the ins and outs of these sorts of things.

All three of you have confirmed what I had hoped was the case; that after getting your wings yet subsequently not quite meeting the grade for a particular airframe conversion, you are still a pilot who the RAAF is committed to finding a role that you can fulfill and that you won't be out on the street looking for a new job.

Couple further question; given now it appears fast jet training will ultimately intend to be streaming graduates out into either Super Hornets, Growlers or JSF; would this be determined largely due to slots in squadrons that are available, or would a bunch of other factors go into determining which of the three airframes the RAAF decides is for you?

Growlers for instance seem really interesting in what they do, yet with 12 (now 11) Growlers, compared to 24 Rhinos and an incoming 72 JSFs, would this make a Growler slot probably the most competitive of the bunch to get in?

And would the focus on the RAAF be more to train up new pilots onto JSFs, and source Growler pilots from existing Rhino pilots who perhaps can convert relatively quickly across to the Growler platform?

Again, I have no idea how it is going to work with the three fast jet platforms, and if the RAAF will go all out and have three conversion courses running at all times for new pilots, or try to save $$$ and try to do what I mentioned above; i.e. sourcing Growler crews from existing Rhino/ex-Hornet single seat pilots, and given the numbers split between the three fast jet platforms, instead focusing a LOT more on training up new pilots for the 72 JSFs coming rather than the existing 24 Super Hornets?
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Old 30th Apr 2018, 00:18
  #3651 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Australia
Posts: 220
I don't know what the current way of doing things is but in the past, the guys who performed the best on Intro Fighter Course (76SQN) went to the single seat, the Classic Hornet, the others the Pig.

That's not to say the Pig pilots were worse pilots, but just they way it generally worked out.

I guess the thinking is that the Nav will help do some of the duties...
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Old 3rd May 2018, 02:47
  #3652 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Yokohama
Posts: 37
Originally Posted by Slezy9 View Post
I don't know what the current way of doing things is but in the past, the guys who performed the best on Intro Fighter Course (76SQN) went to the single seat, the Classic Hornet, the others the Pig.

That's not to say the Pig pilots were worse pilots, but just they way it generally worked out.

I guess the thinking is that the Nav will help do some of the duties...
Thanks Slezy9. Interesting to know that. I often wondered if the instructors etc over the course of fast-jet training may indeed have a "top" fast jet that they stream the best performers on to. Also, if your own interpersonal skills as observed during the course of flight training would be a determinant in them ultimately deciding if you'd be better as a single seat pilot or working together with a fellow ACO/Nav.

Certainly makes it interesting with the three fast jets now, especially given how something like the Growler is quite unique in the RAAF now. Curious to see what sort of pilot they'd be thinking would be more suited for an EW role in the Growler as opposed to a more traditional strike role in a Rhino or JSF. And then again, who'd be better in a single seat strike fighter role (JSF) as opposed to a multi crew (Rhino).

Last edited by 13Beast; 3rd May 2018 at 02:48. Reason: typo
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Old 3rd May 2018, 02:58
  #3653 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2003
Location: SAUDI
Posts: 216

Times may have changed. in my day you were posted to an aircraft type, hence F1-11. Nothing to do with your performance on fast jet conversion etc.
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Old 3rd May 2018, 09:40
  #3654 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Aus
Age: 27
Posts: 321
I suspect you’re vastly over analysing the posting process.

Best performers get first preference, worst performers get last. Everyone gets something. You gotta be in it to win it though.

Last edited by junior.VH-LFA; 3rd May 2018 at 12:46.
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Old 3rd May 2018, 11:17
  #3655 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: The wrong time zone...
Posts: 647
I suspect you’re vastly over analysing the posting process.
13 Beast - I also humbly suggest you're concerning yourself with this stuff at a SERIOUSLY early stage in the process - get in, and give it your best!
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Old 3rd May 2018, 18:22
  #3656 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Yokohama
Posts: 37
Thanks guys. Sure, I may be thinking far ahead, but this is all part of my enthusiasm and looking forward to what may eventuate if I worked hard enough and made it that far. Most definitely am aware that there is a LOT of hard work and hurdles to even make it that far, and focusing on tasks week by week in flight school, listening to the QFIs, helping/sharing with my peers, staying positive and motivated and always putting in the hours hitting the books and working on improving my flying and working on my weaknesses is the way to go. Making wings is a tremendous achievement in itself, let alone being one of those skilled few to be selected to go on to fast jet training.
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Old 3rd May 2018, 22:36
  #3657 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: The wrong time zone...
Posts: 647

You've got a good attitude - you'll do well!
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Old 7th May 2018, 03:58
  #3658 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 7
Hi All,

This thread has been a goldmine of info. I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who has contributed. I have ASP at the end of this month and the advice given through this thread has really given me some perspective on what to expect. It has also helped me formulate a study plan so I can be Better prepared then I would have been.

Once again thanks all.
BordZ is offline  
Old 7th May 2018, 10:45
  #3659 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Sydney
Posts: 2
Hi guys and gals,

I recently graduated uni with a Bachelors in Comp Sci and started the long application process for Pilot/ACO with my assessment day in a few weeks time. This thread has been incredibly helpful with providing material for preparation as well as insights into what the later stages of the process are like (ASP/OSB).

I originally wanted to apply for ACO as sitting behind a screen has always been my thing and I didn't think I had the competitive edge to make it through the pilot process. However I have since changed my mind and am now applying for both positions.

I was curious about those that have applied with a university degree, how much weight did this carry throughout the process? I am wondering as my grades in uni weren't exactly stellar (Credit Average) and my maths is a bit lacking as I only did General Maths in Year 12. I realise I am only still in the early stages of the process with my assessment day coming up but was curious if they went into much detail about your performance and extracurriculars at uni.

cryptoniqht is offline  
Old 7th May 2018, 12:12
  #3660 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Wollongong
Posts: 1
School Subjects for Pilots

Hi all,

I am currently in year 11, and was wondering whether anyone would be able to let me know whether doing advanced (2 Unit) mathematics would still make me a competitive pilot candidate?

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