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RAF Recruitment

Old 22nd Oct 2022, 14:03
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RAF Recruitment

Hi all.
I've dreamt of being an RAF pilot since a child. After finishing my A-Levels in July, I'm now on the hunt to become a pilot.
I've been following the RAF recruitment page for a while, and the pilot recruitment hasn't been open for many months.
Does anyone know what is happening with it, and whether they will be opening within the next 6 months or so?
I've got the decision of whether to enter commercial flight training instead, which is a big money commitment, something that will be hard for myself, so I'd rather go through the RAF.
At the same time, I don't want to be waiting around this time next year waiting for the RAF to be recruiting pilots.

If anyone has any information on this topic, I would really appreciate the help!
Callum
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Old 22nd Oct 2022, 19:25
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Callum,

I’m afraid that I don’t know anything about RAF pilot recruitment at the moment but In addition to my own time in the RAF I have two pilot sons: One in the RAF and one in the commercial world, and their worlds are completely different. The only reason for you to join the RAF is because you are desperate to be a military officer and pilot. If you only want to be a pilot then invest in the commercial route. I advise against joining the RAF just to get free pilot training but if the RAF is your goal have you considered university and joining a UAS whilst you wait for pilot recruitment to open up. Good luck whatever you decide.
TL

Last edited by Timelord; 22nd Oct 2022 at 19:49.
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Old 23rd Oct 2022, 07:59
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Given the economic situation it may be a very long time before the RAF opens up a significant number of new posts - and training seems to drag on forever
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Old 23rd Oct 2022, 08:59
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Callum

I will take you at your word and assume you are genuine.

I cannot offer any practical guidance on the current recruitment timelines and practices. What I can tell you though (I have just left the RAF after 23 years and 7 fast jet flying tours) is that you should follow your dream. I saw TopGun when I was 12 and it decided my life plan. I think youíd kick yourself if you didnít give it a go.

BV
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Old 23rd Oct 2022, 12:09
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I'll back Bob up on this. No matter how remote the chances are of getting in, if it's your dream you have to try, otherwise you'll regret it for the rest of your life.
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Old 23rd Oct 2022, 12:27
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As a child I was given mainly negative encouragement from joining the RAF as a pilot. Despite that, I was successful in getting accepted after a few major setbacks (nil pilot recruiting was the main one and the RAF offered me a commission as a navigator because that’s what they needed back then). I subsequently managed almost two decades as a pilot before taking my option to leave at the age of 38 then flew for over another two decades in the civilian world.

I’ve been very lucky because I’ve never had a day’s unemployment. If I’d not followed my dream things would no doubt have been very different.
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Old 23rd Oct 2022, 12:43
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Callum,

Iíll also back up what bob said. No matter how few the RAF are recruiting, you only need there to be ONE place available to be in with a shot.

So donít fall at the first hurdle. I, like many of my colleagues had a lifelong dream to join the RAF as a pilot. Iím very lucky to be doing my job (and often wonder how/why I got here). If your heart is set on it then give it your all. You also have time on your side-in a few years the recruitment may be a different picture in terms of numbers.

You can always leave the military at a later date. However, if you go down the civil route, in a few years time the door will be closed to a military career due to age.

If you do decide to join, do so because you want to be a military pilot, rather than as a stepping stone. Make the most out of your time in the military. Many then subsequently have a second career in the civil world, having enjoyed a military career first.

Good luck!
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Old 23rd Oct 2022, 16:36
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I will add that you need to be honest with yourself about your goals. As an RAF pilot you will likely fly around 30hrs per month as a very rough average (could be 100hrs in wartime, or less than 10 on a Fast Jet Sqn). That leaves a LOT of time to do all the other duties the military will require of you, many of which have nothing whatsoever to do with flying.
You will be told where you are posted, be offered dreadful housing, and may be sent to some complete sh!tholes where you will live in tents for months on end whilst people try to kill you.
The military has a massive problem with retention for a reason.
If that sounds good to you, then go for it.
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Old 23rd Oct 2022, 19:39
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Callum, if you feel the way you apparently do about the Royal Air Force, then go for it at the first opportunity! (and kep trying). I would not attempt to be a career advisor but you must try for what you desire. Took me four attempts at Hornchurch (refer to historical notes!) to succeed for pilot acceptance in the RAF but well worth it! Good luck. Bill.
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Old 23rd Oct 2022, 22:30
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Originally Posted by Baldeep Inminj View Post
I will add that you need to be honest with yourself about your goals. As an RAF pilot you will likely fly around 30hrs per month as a very rough average (could be 100hrs in wartime, or less than 10 on a Fast Jet Sqn). That leaves a LOT of time to do all the other duties the military will require of you, many of which have nothing whatsoever to do with flying.
You will be told where you are posted, be offered dreadful housing, and may be sent to some complete sh!tholes where you will live in tents for months on end whilst people try to kill you.
The military has a massive problem with retention for a reason.
If that sounds good to you, then go for it.
Actually, Chinook pilots are averaging around 10 hours a monthÖ.and a very good point about retention! And I wouldnít have missed the last 30 odd years in the Mob for all tea in China!
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Old 24th Oct 2022, 00:18
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Callum,
if it’s your dream, apply. Keep pushing and make them be the ones to tell you “no”. Don’t just count yourself out. Who knows when things will pick up, but don’t convince yourself that the door will not open for you. In the end, if it doesn’t, you’ve still got the civvi option.
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Old 24th Oct 2022, 08:18
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Those of us who were fortunate enough to have joined in the days of massive recruiting, flying scholarships etc. probably don't fully appreciate how very difficult it is these days to join the RAF as a pilot. But if that's your ambition, just go for it and look forward to the day you receive your 'Wings'!
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Old 24th Oct 2022, 08:52
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Originally Posted by Bill Macgillivray View Post
Callum, if you feel the way you apparently do about the Royal Air Force, then go for it at the first opportunity! (and kep trying). I would not attempt to be a career advisor but you must try for what you desire. Took me four attempts at Hornchurch (refer to historical notes!) to succeed for pilot acceptance in the RAF but well worth it! Good luck. Bill.
For me, 1 x Hornchurch and 3 x Biggin Hill. On one occasion the Barman in the Candidates' Mess said "Hello, Sir, back again?". And at interview, with a fat file on the desk in front of him, Sir said "Hello Mr. MPN11, I see you've been here before ...". Finally made it into the system, and managed 30 years [albeit non-aircrew].

Persistence and determination.

Good luck to the OP. It's not a bad life!
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Old 24th Oct 2022, 11:48
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Callum, what type of RAF pilot do you want to be?

Remember that should you be successful in your application, you will be likely be offered what the RAF needs at the time. So if you wanted to be FJ, you could end up rotary for example.

If you don't really mind, go for it, though be prepared to wait some time. Remember too, that you are unlikely to fly a lot and the downside of that is building time and experience - something that will become quite important if you want to continue flying once you leave.

I think it is important these days, to weigh up the 'negatives' as well as the 'positives' involved with joining the RAF, so that you make an informed decision when following your ambition. This includes a Plan B should things not go as planned.

However, as most posters have said, it is worth pursuing your dream. It (quite rightly) won't be easy, but you don't want to be left with regrets.
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Old 24th Oct 2022, 13:07
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The fact that you consider the commercial route as an alternative inclines me to suggest (as inferred by others) that you need to think about why you want to do either. If it is 'only' to fly, there are many ways of doing that, many of which involve more time actually flying an aircraft.

Soaring is 100% hands on flying, and making the optimum use of the aircraft and the air around you. Aerobatic flying explores the capability of the aircraft's extreme envelope. Get a good job that lest you afford to indulge your passion. Military flying uses the capability of the aircraft to achieve a task. All of these will place you in a group of like minded people, with some similar characteristics.

Commercial airline flying is quite different in many ways. I can only suggest that you talk to as many people as you can with first hand experience of all the above, and decide where you would best fit in (or aspire to).

If it is military flying, good luck with OASC, make sure you are well prepared and at least you will learn a lot about yourself.
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Old 24th Oct 2022, 13:28
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.........and the flip side of the coin. I failed OASC for pilot twice back in the eighties. Though life worked out really well, I'll forever regret not trying a third or even fourth time. I had no help or advice as to how to improve my chances but you have a fabulous pool of collective guidance here........make the most of it! All the very best whatever you choose.
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Old 24th Oct 2022, 18:30
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RN has flying training slots

Originally Posted by CallumMorton View Post
Hi all.
I've dreamt of being an RAF pilot since a child. After finishing my A-Levels in July, I'm now on the hunt to become a pilot.
I've been following the RAF recruitment page for a while, and the pilot recruitment hasn't been open for many months.
Does anyone know what is happening with it, and whether they will be opening within the next 6 months or so?
I've got the decision of whether to enter commercial flight training instead, which is a big money commitment, something that will be hard for myself, so I'd rather go through the RAF.
At the same time, I don't want to be waiting around this time next year waiting for the RAF to be recruiting pilots.

If anyone has any information on this topic, I would really appreciate the help!
Callum
Hi Callum

A young, close friend visited an RAF recruitment office (Armed Forces actually but who cares - well you might!) in last 2 weeks to be told that despite his recent Flying Scholarship and excellent CCF activites there are no RAF flying slots coming up. BUT... The RM recruiter in the same office said the RM DOES have slots.

Good luck
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Old 25th Oct 2022, 10:18
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Been reliably informed that pilot hasn't opened up to the general public for recruitment for the last 2 years, and that the only new people in the pipeline were those applicants who came through the UAS system.

And while that avenue is likely to close too, it still represents the best chance for developing yourself, furthering your career options, and getting some flying done.

Go to university, join a UAS, hope to join the RAF as a pilot in the years to come.
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Old 25th Oct 2022, 11:24
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Callum,
With something like this, if you don't try you'll regret it as you'll never know 'what might have been'.
I went through OASC in 1970 and failed, to be told to come back in a while and try again. In the ensuing period I found a job a loved, and a lady to go with it, so never went back.
However, I did end up with a great career in the offshore industry that gave me a challenge every day, and, eventually, the funds to earn a PPL.

As the others have said, try it and see what happens. If you need to make multiple attempts as MPN did. If nothing else it shows the reviewers you have the tgenacity to keep going after something you think worthwhile.

Good luck!
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Old 4th Jan 2023, 23:41
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Hi Callum,

I find myself in a similar position to you, although Iím a couple years older it seems. Due to finish my Degree off in 5 months from the University of Portsmouth. As a young child I was besotted by aircraft of all types, but much more often than not, Military. I dismissed my dream as unrealistic before deciding to set off to Uni but over the last year I have conceded to the fact that I just canít shake it. Iíd be lying if I said I donít think about just how great the odds are almost every day. Despite such odds and the doubts that creep in, pursuing this dream has been much the only thing spurring me forward - at a pretty critical time in my life no less - and seeing all the replies above the majority from men who have already walked the path is incredibly motivating and I want to say to anyone of them who read this just how much respect I have for them.

As soon as the train strikes subside and allow me to get back to Portsmouth Iím getting a haircut, putting a smart shirt on and walking into the Armed Forces Careers Office to see what happens. God I want to be a pilot and god I only want to be a pilot in the forces.

Good luck to you Callum, in whatever you do, the guys above are right, weíve got to commit to our dreams before they escape us.
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