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Rebranching before phase two training (RAF Officer)

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Rebranching before phase two training (RAF Officer)

Old 9th Oct 2019, 15:18
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Rebranching before phase two training (RAF Officer)

Iím hoping somebody with experience may be able to offer some advice.

I have accepted an offer to enter IOT in the RPAS branch, which is great. However, being a rotary pilot was always the dream - I just happen to be half a year too old for the mainstream pilot branch upon entry.

With that in mind, how feasible is it considering the current climate to transfer branch after graduating Cranwell?

I understand that you are able to rebranch before phase two behinds however is it relatively unheard of?

I passed with a strong aptitude score for Pilot.
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Old 9th Oct 2019, 22:03
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No chance, whatsoever. Sorry.
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Old 9th Oct 2019, 22:14
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Originally Posted by IOTQUERY View Post
Iím hoping somebody with experience may be able to offer some advice.

I have accepted an offer to enter IOT in the RPAS branch, which is great. However, being a rotary pilot was always the dream - I just happen to be half a year too old for the mainstream pilot branch upon entry.

With that in mind, how feasible is it considering the current climate to transfer branch after graduating Cranwell?

I understand that you are able to rebranch before phase two behinds however is it relatively unheard of?

I passed with a strong aptitude score for Pilot.
Two questions. Why would the age limit suddenly cease to apply simply because you had passed IOT? Why would the RAF create a gap in its RPAS pipeline while adding an extra student to the waiting list for pilot training? By all means ask the question but I suggest that good fortune (for instance, a well-timed mass exodus of student pilots) would be required. Donít set yourself up for disappointment.

If you are prepared to take a longer view then the chances are much greater. As an experienced RPAS pilot with bags of operational experience, good annual reports, and perhaps approaching a career decision point, you will have leverage that puts you in a much better position to engage with your career manager and negotiate a sub-branch change that retains your experience in the Service. It might not be the best way of moving up the ranks, but if your dream is to fly military helicopters then itís your best shot IMHO.
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Old 10th Oct 2019, 01:23
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Not going to happen, for a multitude of reasons.

And having experienced both sides of the fence; RPAS all the way!
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Old 11th Oct 2019, 15:59
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Originally Posted by Lima Juliet View Post
No chance, whatsoever. Sorry.
Get through IOT. Get CR on RPAS...then look at Aus Def Force. Max age 44ish.

None of this ageist policy decided by pi**-stained wannabes at Air sat in the corner gurning their way through the DT crossword.

íNot like that in my day so it canít happen.í

...you think I am joking 🙃
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Old 11th Oct 2019, 16:16
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Take the RPAS and watch this space. I’ve heard that Your wings will be issued as “normal“ pilot badge and rumours are that you will be able to apply to cross over. You might not want to, so best of both worlds
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Old 11th Oct 2019, 17:02
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Just to put Jayteetoís comment into perspective. Yes, RPAS pilots wear the same flying badge as the other pilot streams. Yes, there is a plan to offer cross-overs to the manned ISTAR fleets in the future - after completing the 6 year initial training return of service (TROS) and achieving a recommend for cross-over and achieving above average assessments and having the correct CBAT stanines for multi-engine flying. It is only expected to be offered to 1-2 per year, just as there are cross-overs for FJ and RW pilots.

As for my original post - there is no way that you will be allowed to cross-over until you have completed your TROS. You were employed to be a Pilot (ISR) RPAS and so that is what you will be expected to do. You were not successful in achieving entry into the RAF for the other Pilot streams and so why would they change their minds? They wonít. Also, you will have read in the Press that there are significant holds for EFT (1-2 years) and so the annual intake has been wound right back. The RAF will have rejected your application for those places either because you didnít pass your CBAT/Leadership/Interview/Medical stages or that your combined scores were lower than your cohort. Thatís just how it is and hence I say ďno chanceĒ.

gijoe Donít be a chimp. You canít leave until your TROS is complete, which for a first OCU/FTU is 6 years after successful completion. Itís the same for any Aircrew and anyone is free to go if they so wish after that (normal waiting time is 1 year). So if you want to leave a job ~10 years in, then go ahead, slide down the snake in your new service, have to go through a whole bunch of tests/training and start qualification for promotion/pension all over again. The wise person makes that decision to go to Aus before going through all of the RAFís shenanigans!
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Old 11th Oct 2019, 19:39
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Thanks LJ, I didn’t know the details
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Old 12th Oct 2019, 07:33
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If you're that desperate to fly rotary, try the army. They are crying out for pilots.
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Old 13th Oct 2019, 18:54
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Thumbs down

Originally Posted by BVRAAM View Post
Sitting in a GCS in Las Vegas or Lincolnshire is not "going to war" by any reasonable definition..
BVRAAM, that statement is going to set the cat among the pigeons and, dare I say it, upset some who have been fighting the war on terror for almost as long as youíve been alive. Iíd go back and edit if I were you, before someone takes offence.
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Old 13th Oct 2019, 19:05
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Home lover - agree 100%. I also remember from advice received before going to OASC that responses to questions like ďwhy do you want to joinĒ should not be ďbecause I want to find out what war is likeĒ or such like.

Edited to add - rather ironic user name as well given BVR stands for Beyond Visual Range....
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Old 13th Oct 2019, 20:20
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Edited to add - rather ironic user name as well given BVR stands for Beyond Visual Range....
That my friend is the funniest line Iíve read on the web today!
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Old 13th Oct 2019, 20:23
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Originally Posted by BVRAAM View Post
Apply to the Fleet Air Arm - they recently raised their Pilot age limit to 34. Do it quickly before your CBAT expires, I'd suggest to call them first thing Monday morning.
If you really want to be a military helicopter pilot, it shouldn't matter what uniform you wear - you're fighting the same enemy...

EDIT: I say this as somebody not too far from being in your shoes, but I think it goes without saying that IF it is possible for you to join the Royal Navy this late in to your RAF application (you say you have accepted an IOT offer), then if I were you, I'd start to think of a very good explanation for your sudden desire to fly in the Fleet Air Arm, and your reasoning needs to be more complex than simply, "I just want to fly helicopters."

Like in any job, your prospective employer wants to be confident that you're committed to working for them, and loyalty and commitment in the military means everything, as does integrity. How both Services perceive your integrity, depends if you come across as a spoilt brat who couldn't get your way - and since integrity is one of the principles of security, will either Service really want you involved with their most secretive toys? Especially RPAS, which requires EDV Clearance before you get near the OCU.

It's something to think about - make sure you know everything you can know about the FAA as well, because it's a given that, if it's possible for you to go to Dartmouth, they will want you to have knowledge of their Service before letting you in.
If you get this wrong, not only do you risk never being a military helicopter pilot (why would the AAC take you with a bad reputation from the other two Services?), but you will also risk never being a Military Officer - the RN could say no and the RAF may retract their offer - they could simply give your place to somebody who passed the fitness, medical and the CBAT, but didn't quite do as well as you at interview, but is fully committed to being an Officer in the Royal Air Force. Is it worth it?
Yeah, you say that as an older guy who has, presumably, been to war.

Younger guys who haven't been, want to know what it is like. Sitting in a GCS in Las Vegas or Lincolnshire is not "going to war" by any reasonable definition. Although the former location is freaking excellent if you're single.....
I will probably be the same as you in 20 years from now, but at the moment, like the OP, I'd much rather have "skin in the game." That life experience would be invaluable.
Have you been smoking something???
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Old 13th Oct 2019, 22:25
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One wannabe giving advice to another on how theyíll be perceived by serving aircrew, in front of serving aircrew... priceless
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Old 14th Oct 2019, 05:31
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Originally Posted by Easy Street View Post
One wannabe giving advice to another on how theyíll be perceived by serving aircrew, in front of serving aircrew... priceless
There's serving aircrew on PPRuNe? Who knew?
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Old 14th Oct 2019, 07:00
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Originally Posted by alfred_the_great View Post


There's serving aircrew on PPRuNe? Who knew?
You win the internet.
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Old 14th Oct 2019, 07:08
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Talking

Originally Posted by Lima Juliet View Post
Have you been smoking something???
BVRAAM has been ‘smoking’ bad guys! (Only on his PlayStation though - but he can’t wait to do it for real- he’s ‘locked and loaded’!)
We need more keen young steeley-eyed operators like BVRAAM, I think he should be fast-tracked through IOT and posted straight to Lightning ASAP. He clearly has The Right Stuff....

Last edited by Homelover; 14th Oct 2019 at 20:02. Reason: Grammar
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Old 17th Oct 2019, 19:19
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Says the other "conventional pilots" on that course have been holding 2-4 years just to get to EFT ground school. You'll have done your 6 years TRoS before many have finished their streamed training never mind OCU.
Rubbish. There is so much wrong with that statement. The current Pilots on IOT will be waiting around 12 months and the waits are getting shorter. Worst case in recent years is around 2 years.

If you know you're capable show them you're capable. Build some credibility and tell them what you want when the time comes, remember the black hole from the current MSFT mess will be rearing it's head in a few years time and they will have many areas they need to cover.
Also, there is no intention to do RW or FJ crossovers for RPAS drivers. Only MEXO are expected and current RPAS candidates are tested for RPAS and ME aptitude. Please don’t make stuff up and set false expectations.
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Old 17th Oct 2019, 19:37
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Regarding the EFT element, I'm just going from what guys have said getting onto ground school at the moment. I also know a guy who graduated 2 years ago who still hasn't head anything regarding his training... not trying to make anything up.

I've also been told "anything is possible", granted its nothing firm and I'm well aware this type of move isn't common. But an example was given of a guy who crossed to FJ after being on ME. The discussion was all in context of RPAS crossovers and was given by an AVM, so I'd say fairly well substantiated. Again, just going off what I've been told. If the RAF are happy to spread false information to candidates like this then so be it but don't shoot the messenger. And I wouldn't put it down to a "recruitment sales pitch" as I personally made it clear I was past that.
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Old 17th Oct 2019, 20:15
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There is a holdee in our HQ that starts EFT this month - he finished IOT almost 2 years ago to the day. There are students on IOT at the moment who have been told to expect around 12 months from graduating. People starting IOT early next year are expected to have holds of around 6 months when they finish IOT. I’d call your ‘guy’ a fibber if I was you - there is even an app on Defence Connect that allows any student to check their EFT date if they input their Service Number. Also, there are no less than 3x full-time staff looking after the pipeline in HQ Directorate of Flying Training that can give your ‘guy’ his expected start dates any time (although he should have started if he finished IOT 2 years ago!) - sorry, I don’t believe you/him.

Which ‘AVM’ told you that? There are many AVMs in the RAF that know nothing on this subject. You need to go to a source who actually knows real facts rather than some scuttlebutt at a cocktail party.
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