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-   -   OFFICER and AIRCREW 'CANDIDATES' PLEASE READ THIS THREAD FIRST! (https://www.pprune.org/military-aviation/405176-officer-aircrew-candidates-please-read-thread-first.html)

Pontius Navigator 25th Mar 2013 21:42

Just seen the latest Cranwell graduation list. Just 23 officers and a third are for ATC. With the continued reduction in the number of airfields one wonders why we need so many ATCO.

Melchett01 25th Mar 2013 23:15

You sure it's not Air Training Corps?

cjordans75 28th Mar 2013 23:28

Evening chaps,

Standard question - is there any hope of pilot recruitment re-commencing in 2013? Sorry to clog up this thread with another wannabe's blight.

I applied when I was 17 and after OASC it was suggested I get some life experience. I have since gained a degree and worked on oil rigs, but always with the focus of returning to try again. Damn the defence spending cuts!

I am now 24, so its getting towards last chance saloon.

Anyway, if someone has some genuine knowledge of when the pilot trades may open up it would be great to hear from you.


airborne_artist 31st Mar 2013 17:08

cjordans75 - applying to the Royal Navy would be your only realistic option right now.

CheapAsChips 1st Apr 2013 07:51

cjordans - I understand that pilot recruiting will start again later this year with entry into officer training from next April. You will need to register with the RAF Careers Info line to make sure you are in with a shout. Details can be found at www.rafcareers.com. Good luck!

PBI 1st Apr 2013 21:40

The first three pilots begin IOT this month.

wannabe_ 5th Apr 2013 09:51

Shoulder subluxation
Hi there

Like so many others I've had my heart set on being an RAF pilot from a very young age. I'm a 2nd year UAS cadet and was over the moon after recently passing the Aptitude test for Pilot.

Unfortunately since the summer of 2011 I've suffered from a shoulder dislocation/ subluxation on two occasions. I have made the decision not to get these incidents treated due to the concern that the RAF would rather take on a candidate who hasn't suffered from shoulder instability.

However recently I have realized that I may need to seek medical treatment as my shoulder will only likely dislocate again in future (with more ease).

The reason i'm posting on here is in the hope that some advice from people with any knowledge of the area i've talked about, may help me to reach a decision on whether to continue to hide the problem or whether to seek treatment (and likely surgery). A simple answer of 'going to see what your GP thinks' isn't going to help as a visit to the GP will result in this problem being put on my medical records permanently.

Thanks in advance.

cjordans75 6th Apr 2013 21:59

Thanks for the messages.

I have since been into the careers office, and was quite suprised to hear that pilot recruitment was meant to begin on 1st April (I did question the April Fools!) but has been delayed and they think it could be any day now.

I then signed up for the Info Line as suggested by CheapAsChips. However, when I spoke to the call centre chap they said pilot recruitment wont be until 2015... a conflict of knowledge there somewhere.

Either way, I can but hope. And in the mean time, the running shoes are getting a good workout.

MrFlibble 6th Apr 2013 22:50

Go to your doctor, get it treated, and let the medical people decide if it's serious enough to warrant considering on your application.

The alternative is to not tell them. At which point your shoulder could dislocate during PT, or a field leadership exercise on IOT. Or during flying training - or on ops - in control of an aircraft, when you could put yourself (or others) in danger.

It might be something that can be fixed, and if corrected might not even be an issue for a Medical board. But even if it is a problem after being fixed up, you should get it checked and be honest. The alternative isn't ideal, imo.

Pontius Navigator 7th Apr 2013 08:02

Originally Posted by MrFlibble (Post 7780296)
The alternative is to not tell them. At which point your shoulder could dislocate during PT, or a field leadership exercise on IOT.

I suspect should your problem reoccur at this point a medical discharge would be highly probable. You would be untrained, non-commissioned, and effectively a cheaper option to discharge. You would probably get medical treatment to stabilise you but not much else.

I know an airman aircrew applicant that got shin splints; that was what happened to him.

BlakeyC1 13th Apr 2013 18:12

RAF careers: Just how competitive really is it?

I'm currently looking into becoming an RAF pilot, piloting is a career path that has amazed me since I was a young boy and I guess that dream could possibly become a reality one day (provided I keep working my ass of to get there). I recently heard that all RAF recruitment has been on a bit of a stand still for a while now but that the RAF may possibly be recruiting again in the next couple of years. This does not worry me as I still need to get my degree (i'm in college at the moment) so I've got a few years anyway.

I'm friends with a few Ex-Squadren leaders who flew during the Gulf War and they said they couldn't recommend the career path highly enough for me, I'm currently training to get a PPL you see and I just love it, any career which will pay me to be in the air sounds too good to be true.

Is it really as competitive as they say? I hear it's a lot easier for Cadets to get into the RAF, unfortunately my parents always assumed the Aviation dream was just a phase for me so I was never allowed to join the Air Cadets. I'm currently sitting my AS-Levels in Chemistry, Biology, Computing and German. I got off to a rocky start in those AS Levels but that was due to some issues I was having with my family, that's all sorted now and I'm back on track and looking to get possibly an A and 2 B's (definitely not going to pass German) I'll then carry on these AS-Levels to A2 and aim to get even better results. Would you say that'd be enough to get through the paper sift?
It's 2 C's or above but given how competitive it sounds I guess i'll need much higher than 2 C's.

Both of these Ex-Squadren leaders said a 4 year degree is ideal, this is something i'm planning on doing anyway as it'd be a great experience for me, I'm looking at a software development course but I'm open to suggestions, which courses would you say are the best for someone looking to get recruited into the RAF?

Also, should things in my A-Levels not pan out as i'd hope i'll be going back and sitting a Level 3 btec in Software development which is apparently equivalent to 2 A-Levels, this is just a backup plan but would that be enough?

As for health and fitness i'm completely healthy and fit, I was born with an issue on my bones called hereditary multiple extoses which basically are just bone tumours, they've stopped growing and are just lumps on a few of my ribs, that in no way inhibit any bodily functions. I don't see this as being an issue and neither does my family, any thoughts?

Also would having a PPL and a lot of flying experience be beneficial to my application or does it not have any effect?

lj101 13th Apr 2013 20:32


Multiple Hereditary Exostoses produces bone deformities, shortened stature, bony growths, limb length discrepancies, and tumors. Symptoms also include difficulty moving joints, loss of motion, and fatigue. MHE can stretch or compress nerves, causing motor and sensory difficulties and pain; irritating muscles and tendons, and creating severe fatigue in the person afflicted. The tumors associated with MHE can cause an array of additional issues.

Without wanting to dash your dreams, why not ask at the RAF careers office as to their advice.

Pontius Navigator 13th Apr 2013 20:39

Originally Posted by BlakeyC1 (Post 7791988)
I'm currently training to get a PPL

Shows keenness and commitment but what will be significant is how you financed this.

Is it really as competitive as they say?
No it is more competitive than that :)

Would you say that'd be enough to get through the paper sift?
The paper sift removes those below the minimums. Higher grades just makes you potentially more competitive but what really counts is your personal qualities, aptitude, medical fitness and leadership skills.

I'm looking at a software development course
A degree is a degree but the quality is also important, a 2.1 in a science subject may be seen as more suitable than a 1st in underwater basket weaving.

I was born with an issue on my bones called hereditary . . . bone tumours,. . . . I don't see this as being an issue and neither does my family, any thoughts?
No one here can give you any positive guidance on your medical condition, that is up to the docs at OASC. What is true though is that someone who is 100% is seen as less of a risk than someone who is 99%.

Also would having a PPL and a lot of flying experience be beneficial to my application or does it not have any effect?
None whatsoever, see above.

Good luck.

airborne_artist 14th Apr 2013 11:17

I hear it's a lot easier for Cadets to get into the RAF, unfortunately my parents always assumed the Aviation dream was just a phase for me so I was never allowed to join the Air Cadets.
This is not really true. It may be easier for an air cadet to acquire some of the knowledge, skills and experience but former air cadets are certainly not given an easier ride at OASC.

A well-used time at university that incorporates a challenging degree, ideally science-based, plenty of personal/leadership development (UAS/URNU/OTC or sports/outdoor clubs etc) and some voluntary work would be close to ideal but still no guarantee of a pass.

Melchett01 14th Apr 2013 15:40


Sorry to dash your hopes, but I would suspect that without some form of corrective surgery and then a review by the med board at OASC, you might be seen as too much of a risk. And when the intake is as low as it is, anything that makes you stand out as a risk will count against you.

I speak from experience having dislocated my shoulder 3 times. After investigations the surgeons decided against operating as it would cause more damage and a longer recovery time than if they did nothing other than pack me off for physio. Whilst I avoided the hassle of surgery and a long recovery, I now have a marker on my medical records - something they do when there is a point of interest that needs monitoring.

I wouldn't say doing nothing is not an option, but I think in the current climate you may find your application is a protracted one, with a lot of waiting whilst they decide how much of a risk you might be to an expensive aircraft and its crew / passengers.

Pontius Navigator 14th Apr 2013 18:02

Just thought I would throw some numbers up to gauge the competition.

In 1961 the UK Male population was around 25 millions, the RAF was 158,000 and the officer aircrew intake was around 1,500 per year.

In 2011 the UK population was around 63 millions (women are now equal with men). The planned strength of the RAF is 33,000 by 2015.

The UK eligible population has increased by two and a half. The size of the RAF has shrunk by about 5 times. The competition appears to have stiffened by 12.5 times, but in reality the number of aircrew needed has reduced even more.

Education requirements now include A-levels and the candidates presentation at OASC is stiffer. The best will continue to be accepted but the good of yesteryear may not be good enough for pilot.

mymatetcm 14th Apr 2013 19:24

10 pilot slots this year allready 1500 apllicants in the mix

sljmaster 26th May 2013 21:53

Question about joining the RAF?
I've looked all over the internet for this and can't find it, and it's probably not worth me calling up the recruiting office for it. I'm currently doing A-Levels, my main goal is to become a pilot but failing that I want to look at other options in the RAF because I love aircraft and want a job to do with them.

My question is, what is the job title of the people who are flying in the helicopters on the missions they go on and on the gun if it's equipped? And the job title of the navigators in the helicopters, or does the pilot do all of this?

lj101 27th May 2013 05:47


To try and prevent you being mauled by some posters - we don't train new navigators anymore so that path will not be an option. This branch may be of interest as below.

Weapon Systems Operator - Aircrew jobs - RAF Careers

The only time I flew in the Lynx in Iraq as you describe, the lads with the machine guns out of the door were British Army. I'm pretty sure crewmen/women in the RAF have done similar but I've never seen it so don't write with knowledge.

Go and have a chat at the RAF careers office closest to you for the most up to date information. Good luck.

MG 27th May 2013 07:25

The RAF's helicopter crewmen, who are WSOs, as the link above describes, are all trained to man the guns fitted in a hostile environment. However, that is just a small part of their job as they load the aircraft, assist in the navigation, etc.

The RAF's green helicopters used to have navigators, and there are still one or two flying, but it's not a career route open any more, not least that we stopped all navigator (Weapon System Officer) training about 3 years ago.

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