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RAAF Flight Screening Programme

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RAAF Flight Screening Programme

Old 15th Feb 2006, 11:30
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My son went through RAAF direct entry a few years ago and learned much from PPRuNe, and much from listening to people already in the military.

Lesson 1: In the military you're in an adult world and expected to act like one. If you can't take advice, you can always look back upon your (short) time in the military and realise the few months you spent there weren't entirely wasted. During training you often only get told things once - if you haven't been listening, you get scrubbed. Around 50% of people who started on Flight Screening, then BFTS, then 2FTS, didn't make it.

Lesson 2: I work in a different professional area but, people who cannot write usually do not get employed or, if they do, don't last long.

Going on my son's experience, it is worth the effort, but be prepared to learn from all.

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Old 15th Feb 2006, 13:41
  #282 (permalink)  
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I spent 13 years in the RAAF including 5 years instructing at 2FTS on the Macchi and PC9. My information may be old but hopefully, still relevant. As others have said, you will definately need to address your spelling and sentence construction when you are writing an essay otherwise you will draw unwarranted attention to yourself. Having said that, just about all the military (and civil) pilots I have ever met have been terrible at English and grammar so it's not that important, but you are trying to create the impression to a selection board that you have your act together. At the end of the day, they try and teach you how to write at Officer Training School and through other various avenues but if you have the raw skills, you will find it a lot easier.
At a selection board, they are trying to get a feel for how you will cope with the demands of flying training. It would help to be very familiar with the types of aircraft that are flown, where they are based, what squadrons operate them, a general understanding of the role of each aircraft and how they operate together and with other air forces. Having a knowledge of basic aircraft flight principles would be helpful. Try and find out what the role of a junior officer in the military is. When I went through it was just to drink heaps of piss and be a fool. When caught, you just had to say "guilty as charged sir" . Things have changed somewhat however and an officer is expected to not only perform his primary duty but also any number of secondary duties, some of which may be quite a task. In your annual Officer Evaluation Report, your performance in these secondary duties is reviewed. They are also trying to find out how motivated you are. The course is long and difficult and in 5 years instruction, I rarely met a student who didn't lose motivation at some stage. Motivation is essential. You can have the best aptitude score but if they don't think you are motivated to see it through, you won't get selected.
The flying training system is a lot better than what it used to be. The days of the abusive, angry instructor are long past. If you put in the effort, the system will do its best to pass you. To pass does require steady progression and you definately do have to have an ability to take criticism in a mature fashion and to go away and learn from the debrief. If you make it on to the course, you will generally have the raw ability - it's what you do with it that counts. I had a student once with low ability but the tenacity of ten men. He recently finished an F/A 18 exchange with the US Navy. Layman is correct when he says you are operating in an adult world. Integrity is paramount. If you can't be trusted in small things, how can you be trusted with that Hercules for a week overseas?
When it comes to dealing with psychologists and writing essays, be yourself. These people can spot bull**** a mile away.
Anyway, I hope to have helped. Best of luck with it all.
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Old 15th Feb 2006, 17:55
  #283 (permalink)  
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As an Ex GD RAAF, I'd like to offer you some advice to help your quest.

Don't bite the hand that feeds you.

Go and read your first post, would you invest the time to help you, after reading that?

You may not realise it, however you have stumbled into the best source of information that you could possibly have. So be very humble, go back edit you first post, do it properly and admit you were wrong to Like this do That.

Who knows someone reading this forum might be on your board or instructing you down the track......

Then and only then you will get the help that you ask for and perhaps more than you could imagine.

Over to you.
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Old 15th Feb 2006, 19:27
  #284 (permalink)  
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Like thisdo that, you didnt help me at all
wrong attitude buddie ....

take notice of the posts above or you are going to "blow it"
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Old 15th Feb 2006, 20:25
  #285 (permalink)  
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As a longtime Oz tri service flying instructor my advice to you is don't waste your time - you might have the aptitude but you don't have the attitude.
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Old 15th Feb 2006, 20:58
  #286 (permalink)  
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Welcome to the viper's pit young lad.

This place is a good source of info. Some of it is ill advised and under informed though. Regardless, the trick is sort out the wheat from the chaff. Something you will get used to should you get beyond the next step.

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Old 16th Feb 2006, 01:48
  #287 (permalink)  
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I just want to say sorry guys.

I know it seems i have the wrong attitude, but if i did, i wouldnt be on this forum seeking help. I know my written communication is poor, so next time i will go over what i write thoroughly. English was most worst subject at school.

I do appeiciate all the help given to me, but please dont think i have the wrong attitude. At the moment all i think about is being in the airforce as a pliot.

For the past monthes i've been on the defense jobs website's and other websites doing research on the profession i wish to persue. I came across this forum and realised i can recieve advice from people in this industry or from people in the same postion as me.

Once again i do apologise. I seek help and i'll i want to do is learn, that is why im on this forum. I've learnt a very big lesson in just a few posts!
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Old 16th Feb 2006, 02:05
  #288 (permalink)  
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Showing improvement already JOJO.
In attitude not English!
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Old 17th Feb 2006, 01:30
  #289 (permalink)  
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Firstly I have passed through all the process in the recruiting stage, to where I am waiting for an offer to join. Iím expecting this to happen within the next month. So I havenít been in the services but I have had very recent access to the recruiting process.

Most of this is pretty general but enough that you should get an idea. A lot of this stuff is written in the other thread anyway.

To answer your questions directly. Yes you will have to do a written essay, you get about 10 minutes. It isnít an outrageous guess as to what the topic is about. Your medical you have no control over so donít worry about it. Your psych testing you have no control over so donít worry about it.

For the defence interview you should prepare by knowing what is going on with the ADF at the moment. Example, what aircraft, where they fly from, are any deployed overseas, any current events etc. If you are as keen as what you say you are, you should know all this stuff anyway. I didnít actually get asked any of these sort of questions, but I know some people that have.

Tamworth, Iím not sure what you are doing to prepare for the flying side of things, however certainly get some hours. Also one or two hours of aerobatics probably wonít hurt but you donít need to be getting all Redbull air-race. I had 5hours on C152 and 2hours in a Pitts and felt that it was enough.

Here is the point that the guys above were trying to make. At this stage you will undergo a lot of constructive criticism about how you flew. If you donít take kindly to that criticism (e.g. improve your grammar/English as above) and donít take this criticism on board you might as well not waste your time because they will can you. The instructors are reasonably short but are very fair. You donít get a lot of positive feedback. If they donít criticise something you have probably done it reasonably well. Try to think of and ask pertinent questions to help yourself improve. Remember you only get one chance from here.

For the Selection Board (at Tamworth after the flying) you will definitely want to prepare. Not just in your RAAF knowledge, but also what you know and think about yourself. There is a days worth of group activities, and then the board proper. For the board they are going to put you under pressure to see how you react to it. I just treated the board as a debate. They will try and point out a perceived weakness; you need to try to counter that somehow. Once again though, everyone had a different board, as the board members adjust to the situation/your answers. The guy who got the kickass for the board, walked out thinking he had failed.

Like the guys above have written - attitude is important. When I went to flight screening (which is the first stage where I felt that I was directly competing against people) I believed that I wanted to get into the RAAF more than any of the other 8 people on the program. Note that I didnít think that I was better than everyone else - I had the least flying hours of all the people there for example. I just thought that I wanted it more and was determined to show that. Our bunch on FSP was a cool bunch of people who wanted to help each other more than compete, so try to get that attitude happening if you can, as you can all practise and share information together.

Also I would say that you donít sound super confident in what you are doing and why you are doing it. If you found the aptitude testing and the break stressful I would be worried. It isnít necessarily easy but what is there to worry about? You canít affect it while you are sitting waiting in the room. Better to put in 100% first time around, and then be done with it. Leave nothing to chance by preparing better than the other blokes.

Oh yeah and you can always use MS Word to check your posts before you submit them. Spell Check is your friend.

p.s. this turned out way longer than I thought it would!
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Old 17th Feb 2006, 02:15
  #290 (permalink)  
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If you are chasing some relevent flying experience, Aerotec in Toowoomba specialises somewhat in preparing people for Tamworth. They have a CT4-E which is good fun to fly, and similar to the aircraft you will use (although aeros with the air-conditioning on is rather civilised).
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Old 17th Feb 2006, 02:32
  #291 (permalink)  

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The instructors are reasonably short
Oh I dunno, that blonde dude in the corner office wasn't very short!

Spell Check is your friend
Yes, however ...

"Aye heave aye spiel checquer own may computer."

Chuck that into Word and it won't complain a bit. Eyes open, brain on.

Congrats to you, flighthappens, perhaps I'll see you around at Tamworth some day.
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Old 17th Feb 2006, 05:09
  #292 (permalink)  
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JoJo636 - I was a "blunt", ie non-aircrew, for 30-odd years in the RAAF, then discovered the [un]civil industrial world, and in all that time I've come to realise that being able to accept criticism, good or bad, and being able to determine future action accordingly is one of the strongest suits you'll need in the hand of cards that fate will deal you.
You appear to have made a good start, and as the other respondents have done, I wish you well in your chosen career, in which, unfortunately, you will need a good grasp of "English as she is spoke" to make the impression that will elevate you above the [allied] others.
Nunc est bibendum!
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Old 18th Feb 2006, 10:36
  #293 (permalink)  
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As a recent flying instructor at BFTS , and having sat on a few pilot selection boards I offer the following advice;

Understand the career you are looking at undertaking. You will probably be involved in military operations. How do you feel about this ? You may drop bombs in anger, deliver special forces behind enemy lines etc.

Know the RAAF structure, its aircraft, squadrons and bases. Know the names of the RAAF Commanders.

Know the role of a pilot in the RAAF. (More paperwork (blunt stuff) than flying these days)). What "secondary duties" or other roles does a pilot have in the squadron?

What do you want to fly? Why? What if that doesn't happen? What if you fail pilots course?

Study current affairs and know changes occuring in defence. (alot happening at the moment!!)

But most importantly, be HONEST. INTEGRITY is essential and a requirement. If you don't know, say "I don't know".

Flight Screening in Tamworth;

Work hard and give 100%. A keen, eager attitude shines.
Listen to directives and perform tasks as requested. Pilot candidates must be adaptable to the RAAF way of flying.
Show leadership yet humility.
Enjoy! PM John Howard is paying.

Hope this helps. Good luck !
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Old 18th Feb 2006, 19:50
  #294 (permalink)  
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Having sat on a board or two and having given Bloggs a bit of lip from the back seat occasionally, I can totally agree with Hugh (Above).
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Old 21st Feb 2006, 06:11
  #295 (permalink)  
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Flight Screening Tamworth

Hey does anyone know if the ADF Pilot Selection Agency has commenced any 2 week courses for 2006.

I have noticed that on the website they have not as yet updated the flight screening wall chart?
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Old 21st Feb 2006, 15:05
  #296 (permalink)  
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RAAF Pilot Application -

For jojo636...., Enjoy.... For all other readers - Health Warning read at your own peril.....
The item below may not be of much importance to you at this time..., felt that you could benefit from the information, if only to be aware of what is happening with the RAAF's current support issues and its resource/logistics planning visions for the future. Its a bit dry to say the least, but gives you a 'feel' for what is in the pipeline from the logistics and resource perspective. Always good to read up on the latest 'happenings' and be aware of where the defence money is being spent when attending interviews etc....! By the way...., this was released on the wires today 21 Feb 06.
It has been reported that THE Defence Department will upgrade its troubled human resources systems to run the latest version of PeopleSoft software in a project expected to cost more than $100 million.
The controversial upgrade of PMKeyS (personnel management key solution) has been approved by Cabinet.
Oracle has indicated it will continue supporting the PeopleSoft platform for five years, but Defence is understood to have chosen to upgrade rather than replace its existing systems.
The PMKeyS upgrade is one of three core defence projects worth a reported $335 million over the next several years, covering its human resources, accounting and supply chain platforms.
Defence technology contractors had been concerned that any delays in deciding the future of the PMKeyS systems could have delayed plans for full integration of the three systems.
Defence had already announced it would proceed with a Mincom upgrade of its standard defence supply system and would upgrade its Roman financial software through SAP.
The integration of the three core platforms is expected to create what Defence chief information officer Air Vice-Marshall John Monaghan is calling a virtual enterprise resource planning system.
Plans for the upgrade may be pushed back following the change of minister resulting from Rob Hills retirement announcement.
The final draft of a project to upgrade the SAP-based Romans financial management systems is awaiting approval from newly appointed Defence Minister Brendan Nelson.
Despite continuing problems with PMKeyS, the Defence Department said there would be "no complication" with the upgrade.
The original PMKeyS project ran two years late and almost $40 million over budget, and has been the subject of damning Australian National Audit Office reports.
It was also found to have incurred indirect costs of more than $90 million.
The National Audit Office found the system had struggled to account for more than $700 million worth of personnel leave. "Defence is upgrading the PeopleSoft product currently in use to version 8.9," a department spokesman said. "Oracle advises that it will be able to support the product past the end of the decade."
The spokesman said there were "no delay implications" for the departments plans to integrate its human resources, supply chain and accounting systems.
The redevelopment of the systems, to create a virtual enterprise resource planning system, is seen as the most immediate challenge facing Air Vice-Marshall Monaghan in pulling Defences foundering systems together.
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Old 21st Feb 2006, 21:52
  #297 (permalink)  
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Hi again Joe,

I had the same problem when I joined, in that you can't be good at everything and for me that meant that English was by far my worst subject at school. But I wanted to be a pilot so I had to pass that test so here's what I did.

I thought, what are they going to ask me to do?

Write an essay, probably by giving me a topic and a limited period of time.

Now what's the subject going to be?

I picked three potential topics:
Defence of Northern Aust
Characteristics of a good leader
Why did I want to be a pilot

I then took my time and wrote out, with help, how I would answer those questions. I then practiced and practiced until I could do it perfectly.

Then I did the test, and low and behold I got characteristics of a good leader and I aced it!

It was the best of all my assessment scores, I always have a smile on my face when I think, if only they knewÖ. Mind you they found out later when I had to do the bloody writing skills cse

Hope this helps and if this is what you want to do, then it will require all of your commitment.

P.s I would like to say that I did this a while ago (1987) so please don't think that you will be asked to write about one of these topics specifically.
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Old 3rd Mar 2006, 06:08
  #298 (permalink)  
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Just had Pschology and Defence Interview today for ADF Pilot. I'm 33 and they keep telling me I've got next to no chance of being picked up by RAAF (My first preference) because of my age.

I say never tell me the odds!!

They do however recommend me for SSO Army Pilot.

Does anyone know if there is still any glimmer of hope for me to be picked up by RAAF on flight screening despite my age (some what discrimination). I realise I may not be suitable for FJs but would be more than happy to fly multi-engine props.

Should I continue to stick with my first pref. of RAAF or forget it completely?

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Old 3rd Mar 2006, 06:27
  #299 (permalink)  
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Go for it, I reckon, otherwise you'll never know.
If you stick to your guns, it shows determination, as long as you're not negative about the other options.
If I had to interview someone who was saying 'Well, I'm going to do my damndest to be a RAAF pilot, but if for some reason that can't happen, I'd still really like to fly military aircraft, so give me a shot', I'd think, fair enough and good luck.
Of course there may well be reasons why they can't, or don't want to take various people in different circumstances, but if you're up front, positive and motivated, I don't think you can go wrong.
Both services have their own cultures, to coin a buzzword, but in the end you're flying good machines (mostly) and getting good training.
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Old 3rd Mar 2006, 10:28
  #300 (permalink)  
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Give it a go. At 33 years old you are likely to more more stable, and less worried about pimples, cars and girls. A bit of maturity (I'm assuming here) never hurts.
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