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RAF Pilot First Tour?

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RAF Pilot First Tour?

Old 13th Dec 2020, 14:08
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RAF Pilot First Tour?

What can a newly qualified RAF pilot expect from his first tour?
The lad is prepping for his OASC board and he knows one of the questions asked of him will be, 'What happens on your first tour?' Sensible answers please - and comedy ones, if they are really funny - for all three pilot streams to the following questions, and anything else you can add to;

How many hours will you fly?
Likelihood of a deployment?
Secondary duties?
Typical day on squadron?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 13th Dec 2020, 15:58
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How many hours will you fly? Not enough
Likelihood of a deployment? High but on the ground
Secondary duties? Loads
Typical day on squadron? D&I trg, RAFFT, HF trg, DSI trg, IM passport or any number of other box ticking courses to show how on top of the admin the CO is

On the plus side though the trg pipe line is so long you should be home to spend time with your grand children.

Will still beat working for a living though and Iíd still do it all again.
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Old 13th Dec 2020, 17:22
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Why is he not doing the research himself? Genuine question....
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Old 13th Dec 2020, 17:47
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He just did.
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Old 13th Dec 2020, 18:30
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Bearing in mind that in the current regime, you may arrive on your first squadron as much as seven years after joining up; think long and hard if this is worth the time and effort. If you do think it's worth it, go for it, give it your all and I wish you the very best of luck.
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Old 13th Dec 2020, 19:23
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Personally I'm baffled as to why OASC interviewers would ask such questions. Yes, sure, candidates can show their commitment by having done some research, but I don't think it's fair on some sections of the applicant pool to ask questions like these where research requires access to knowledgeable people through UAS, ATC or personal connections, or enough avgeekery to know about this site. Asking questions where the answer isn't readily available in the public domain gradually starts narrowing the candidate pool down in ways which might not be in our best interests. After all, we can teach people all the service knowledge we want once they're in. And their first Boss and career manager can tell them what's expected of them on their first tour, which might be so far in the future that a great deal could have changed. We can't always teach them other attributes which might have been better screened for at interview.

Last edited by Easy Street; 13th Dec 2020 at 20:27.
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Old 14th Dec 2020, 07:52
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Originally Posted by Sky Sports View Post
What can a newly qualified RAF pilot expect from his first tour?
The lad is prepping for his OASC board and he knows one of the questions asked of him will be, 'What happens on your first tour?' Sensible answers please - and comedy ones, if they are really funny - for all three pilot streams to the following questions, and anything else you can add to;

How many hours will you fly?
Likelihood of a deployment?
Secondary duties?
Typical day on squadron?

Thanks in advance.
The OASC interview is 12 minutes long. He won't get into any of this detail.
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Old 14th Dec 2020, 08:01
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Originally Posted by muppetofthenorth View Post
The OASC interview is 12 minutes long. He won't get into any of this detail.
5 mins if your dads Air Rank ...... 😉
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Old 14th Dec 2020, 08:26
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SkySports

I have to ask, firstly, how does he know these questions will be asked and, secondly, why would the interviewer ask him what the job will entail in such detail? Wouldnít your lad be there to find out rather than tell the interviewer?!

Iím all for being prepped but maybe he should try to relax instead off trying to have an answer for every conceivable question. They probably want to see the real him not someone who has practiced for an exam.

If the interviewers are worth their salt they will be able to take the interviewee to a subject they are not prepared for and watch him think on his feet.

I realise it is nearly 22 years since my one and only visit to OASC but I didnít go to UAS (I was an Air Cadet but had left 4 years before OASC), didnít know anyone who had done the job, hadnít heard of PPRuNe and did not obsess over every detail. It seemed to work out fine though.

I wish him luck regardless of what I have said above. Ignore anyone who says itís not as good as it used to be. If he gets to fly heíll still have a blast.

BV
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Old 14th Dec 2020, 08:59
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Originally Posted by muppetofthenorth View Post
The OASC interview is 12 minutes long. He won't get into any of this detail.
He has been on various online forums etc. such as The Student Room and Reddit and there is lots of shared info on there about OASC. He has private messaged a few people who have been on the board in the last 2 months and first tour life is something that is being asked.
It is only 15 minutes long, but it is a very very quick fire interview / quiz.

Thank you to Critical_Al for the detailed ME answer. Just need one for FJ and Rotary now.
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Old 14th Dec 2020, 09:49
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Originally Posted by Sky Sports View Post
He has been on various online forums etc. such as The Student Room and Reddit and there is lots of shared info on there about OASC. He has private messaged a few people who have been on the board in the last 2 months and first tour life is something that is being asked.
It is only 15 minutes long, but it is a very very quick fire interview / quiz.

Thank you to Critical_Al for the detailed ME answer. Just need one for FJ and Rotary now.
I'm active on TSR and Reddit. This level of detail is uncommon in the extreme.

There's no way he can know now what amount of hours he'll be flying in ~5-7 yrs time.

Knowing he'll have secondary duties, knowing there'll be some flying, some sim training, some deployments, but all dependant on fleet and political situation, will be sufficient for the 30 seconds he'll have to cover the area if it comes up. He might not even get that question.

Knowing MIOT and training path is more important. Everything else can (and will) change.
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Old 14th Dec 2020, 15:11
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On further reflection, I wonder whether the intent of such a question would be to ensure that the candidate is fully cognisant that they are likely to be deployed at some point, to ensure that they have their eyes wide open to the lifestyle when joining up. If so, that would be a useful thing to communicate.

As for some of other requested detail, flying hours and types of training are often discussed on here in *general* terms, including by me on another current thread. However, specifics about the type and volume of training being done by particular front line units are potentially sensitive information that shouldnít be shared, especially on a public forum.
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Old 14th Dec 2020, 22:00
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Originally Posted by Easy Street View Post
On further reflection, I wonder whether the intent of such a question would be to ensure that the candidate is fully cognisant that they are likely to be deployed at some point, to ensure that they have their eyes wide open to the lifestyle when joining up. If so, that would be a useful thing to communicate.
In which case, a quick run through Mrs Bloggs 'At Home' Etiquette/Protocols would surely also be advisable....

Jack

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Old 15th Dec 2020, 11:33
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Has he looked at the pinned thread at the top of the forum? As BV said, it's some time since I went through OASC (24 years ago for me), but I don't remember needing to know this amount of detail. Yes you need to know what the job you are applying for pertains to, and need a good understanding of current affairs, but I doubt they expect him to know all the ins and outs. Do RAF Career Advice Offices still provide practice interviews (do they still exist)? Has he tried contacting a relevant Sqn to see if they will host him for a day (I visited a couple of Sqn's and even managed to bag a few trips on MEs)? What they will be looking for is someone who is proactive in his approach, explaining that you got your info from your dad asking questions on an open forum may not be what they are looking for (they do generally ask what you know and how you know it).
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Old 15th Dec 2020, 12:09
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Originally Posted by Sideshow Bob View Post
Do RAF Career Advice Offices still provide practice interviews (do they still exist)?
Has he tried contacting a relevant Sqn to see if they will host him for a day (I visited a couple of Sqn's and even managed to bag a few trips on MEs)?
In order;
No. Yes (though 99.9% of the application is done online). Not remotely likely these days.

Last edited by muppetofthenorth; 15th Dec 2020 at 12:25.
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Old 15th Dec 2020, 14:14
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Typhoon first tour: expect 500 hours.

You won't come out of the OCU fully combat ready so will be on a work up straight away. Typhoon is a true jack of all trades now so lots of different weapons and skill sets to be learned. It will be busy.
In a three year first tour expect to go to OP SHADER twice for around 2-3 months at a time. Go to the Falklands once or twice for a couple of months at a time. Do an Eastern European Air policing det for a few months. Do an overseas exercise a year (Red / Green Flag / Middle Eastern equivalent).
Whilst in the UK you will be always working toward your next qualification, whether that be pairs lead / 4s lead etc. By the end of 3 years most Junior Pilots will attain a pairs lead with the qualification of being able to instruct Combat Ready work up serials for new guys straight out of the OCU.
You'll sit QRA once or twice a month between sims and live flying.

In Summary, my recently expired 3 year first tour consisted of 11 detachments equating to around 450 days away.
The best and most rewarding flying is done when overseas. In the UK you will be busy working up for your next qual and sitting Q / remaining current for Q. This can be frustrating as all the priority for spare parts etc goes to high priority overseas Exercises / Ops and as a result a lot of training will be done in the sim. Opportunities to take leave will be limited and very much have to fit in with the Squadron's OP / Exercise / QRA plot.
There is a lot of bureaucracy when it comes to online courses etc but you can easily get all these done on your QRA shifts. The same can be said for secondary duties.

Caveat many overseas operations have been curtailed recently due COVID.
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Old 15th Dec 2020, 22:04
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Just be aware that on the first day the Boss may not be the Boss. At least not until you get to the bar! A spoof on the new boy can take all sorts of different forms. Just be ready 😂😂😂😂
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Old 15th Dec 2020, 23:46
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Originally Posted by newt View Post
Just be aware that on the first day the Boss may not be the Boss. At least not until you get to the bar! A spoof on the new boy can take all sorts of different forms. Just be ready 😂😂😂😂
Well he hasn't been to OASC yet so I guess he has a year or so to prepare for that
;-)
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Old 16th Dec 2020, 07:33
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Thank you LS8C1

With regard to the depth of knowledge required, the simple answer is that there is no 'end stop' to the knowledge that a candidate can have. With the new 'quick fire' interview they will ask a question on a subject and if you know the answer, they ask another slightly more in depth question and so on until the candidate says, 'I'm sorry, I don't know that'. They then change the subject and repeat the process. One recent candidate who answered every first tour question asked of him then started getting questions about 2nd tour and IOD courses!
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Old 16th Dec 2020, 07:44
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SkySports

With regard to the quoted candidate the big question is, did he get in?

Being a poindexter and answering a bunch of (seemingly) esoteric questions wonít necessarily guarantee success of course.

Iím glad your son wants to be prepared (although getting Dad to do the donkey work doesnít show a huge amount of initiative) but just remind him that the interview is one short part of the process.

Anyway, assuming the process hasnít changed markedly he should enjoy it in a perverse way.

BV
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