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RAF to Commercial

Old 12th Mar 2019, 13:20
  #21 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: DAVER
Posts: 71
Get your ATPL!! It at least gives you options. I assume you are leaving at your AFPS15 exit point of 40 years; if not, and you are taking an option, you can give two years notice (with the ability to, usually, easily recind), giving you access to resettlement. You'll need to do your 14 exams, with Bristol Groundschool crammers being the answer, but with a combination of one ELC plus your Resettlement money (it's around £500 without as many restrictions as an ELC) the course should only cost a few hundred bucks. Also, by doing the crammer and exams whilst on GRT this entitles you to accommodation, transport and subsistence; check the night subsistence rate with your friendliest adminner and book the best hotel you can. You also need a class 1 medical.

You should be able to open your licence in the sim if the E3 is recognised by EASA, although not sure what level of sim the E3D has. If not, on the aircraft; you just have to pay for the examiner. Even if you have to do it outside of work, it's not prohibitively expensive, these guys should be able to assist and provide further info: https://www.ukflying.com/

Leaving in the last few years has improved my lifestyle (and wallet) immeasurably, but you do, of course, miss the camaraderie of Sqn life. You don't miss the desert! There are outfits out there in the airline and corporate world who will value your experience; you don't have to become a two stripe seniority nigel, although that lifestyle may work for you. As mentioned above, Jet2 is very mil friendly.
Ascoteer is offline  
Old 12th Mar 2019, 14:28
  #22 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: uk
Posts: 735
I'm not ex-mil but would like to comment on the age aspect. I entered aviation at 38 and it was no issue. In fact, I have come across folks up to nearly 50 starting with us.
Second point, if you had your licence right now, my UK current employer would be extremely interested in you.
But,as has been said above, timing is difficult. One minute feast, next famine.
macdo is offline  
Old 12th Mar 2019, 18:01
  #23 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: England
Posts: 17,784
The industry is recruiting like hell and has been for a while. Your biggest problem is that we may well be at or near the top of the sine wave. Early 90’s recession, Sept 11th, Banking Crisis, all occurred with roughly ten year gaps. 2020 is ten years since the last recession ended. Several airlines are looking fairly wobbly and I can imagine the current European slowdown turning into a recession quite easily.

Its all about timing. Which is largely about luck!

Good luck,

Wee Weasley Welshman is offline  
Old 13th Mar 2019, 16:10
  #24 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: uk
Posts: 66
Do you have a very strong preference as to where you and your family live?
If you’re currently living in the Lincoln area unless you get a long haul job you will need to move. Modern short haul rosters and long daily commutes don’t mix well.
If your flexible in location go for it. Within 5 years you should be on £70k plus and should be able to make £100k in the medium term which for most of us is a very good deal.
boxmover is offline  
Old 13th Mar 2019, 23:12
  #25 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Home
Posts: 41
Get on with doing your licence and in the meantime, hand your notice in. You will be snapped up quickly instead of the youth of the day. Good luck!
richardthethird is offline  
Old 14th Mar 2019, 17:56
  #26 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: London
Posts: 36
A bit off topic on your thread kk, but what
military rank is the captain and FO on board? I can read somewhere that the chief of the operating crew (not including the cockpit) is lt.col, but cant find anything on the Cockpit Crew.
Easyheat is offline  
Old 15th Mar 2019, 20:15
  #27 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: South of Watford
Posts: 774
Knockknock I left the RAF in 2000, I flew down the back. I got my F/ATPL and CPL/IR whilst still in. My squadron were superb at releasing me for courses. Compared to me you are in a lot stronger position. When I started applying for jobs I would say the cycle was in a very similar position to now. After a few months I started with Flybe on the Dash 8. A few months later the twin towers attack happened. I stayed in my job but felt very vulnerable for a while. Within 18 months I had job offers from Britannia, Air 2000 and easyjet. I chose the colour orange and have been there since and approaching a point where I can retire. Someone else I knew in the RAF, a pilot, followed me out the door less than a year after me. He missed the boat and having tried various routes he got into ad hoc performance C charters but gave up and got a job in IT. He was and still is a good operator and fine company.
What Iím trying to say is there is a fair element of luck and it is all about timing. I feel we are approaching the end of this economic cycle so if you are going to do it then commit and get through your training quickly and have a plan B.
Good luck.
pitotheat is offline  
Old 20th Mar 2019, 21:56
  #28 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Sleaford
Posts: 5
RAF to Commercial

Originally Posted by knockknock View Post
Evening Gents,

Long time stalker here and itís finally time I thought Iíd post on here.
Iím 39 years of age, and considered a ďyoungĒ and junior pilot within the RAF. Iíve served for 15 years now and fulfilled a childhood dream but I think itís time for me to finally move on, and Iím contemplating ďsigning offĒ.
Iíve gone from the mighty heights of the Beech Texan, Grob Tutor and T2 Hawk in training, to winning hearts and minds with the GR4, before moving onto the right seat on the E-3D where I am currently, and looks like I will be stuck for the foreseeable future.
I get that this isnít the 80ís and 90ís where progression from RAF to civvy street was relatively (used loosely) straight forward.
At the ripe old age of 39 I get that in civvy terms, Iím fairly old, and will be joining the bottom of seniority with young lads and lasses probably half my age.

With a young family, leaving the military to join the well-trodden path to Commercial aviation is quite daunting and venturing into the somewhat unknown, but itís something I am incredibly passionate for.
The cost of earning my ATPL, even with my ďLearning CreditsĒ still has a significant cost associated to it, at my age, is this a worthwhile investment? Is the demand there for old boys like me to take the seat that could be given to a 20 year old straight out of CTC?

Not only that, i donít know how I feel about signing off (1 year notice period) without having signed on the dotted line with somebody, which I understand would be difficult without an ATPL, so Iím not guaranteed any income when I leave the gates for the last time.

Iím going to stop now before I end up rambling nonsense, but any advice would be very much appreciated, of course the tíinternet isnít really coming up with much apart from 14 year olds asking if they do 4 years in the RAF will they be able to fly a 747 for BA after, and the resettlement folks here arenít exactly the most helpful on the planet.

Thanks in advance
Give me a PM I'm ex E3 now civi....
mattrbrown is offline  
Old 20th Mar 2019, 22:01
  #29 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Sleaford
Posts: 5
RAF to Commercial

I left the E3 fleet for TUI last year...give me a message...
mattrbrown is offline  
Old 28th Mar 2019, 14:40
  #30 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Manchester, UK
Posts: 1,903
Have s serious think about doing ATPL BEFORE you leap. In job hunting youíre not even at square one without it. As has been pointed out, civvy street is prone to its ups and downs and itís been up for a while. Be aware that many of your new colleagues will be early-twenties. This isnít necessarily an issue but some ex-servicemen make it so.
ShotOne is offline  
Old 9th Apr 2019, 20:01
  #31 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: England
Posts: 31
I'm in the process of leaving, I think the fact that airlines welcome an application from me even without a licence speaks volumes when considering their attitudes towards ex-military pilots.

Someone further up the thread mentioned that getting your licence is easy. Trust me, it isn't, especially when working around your current RAF role. All in all it took me about 18 months from commencing ATPL GS to getting my licence in hand. It will take over your spare time whilst you're doing them.

Let me know if you have any questions, my background is subtly different however....

Last edited by banterbus; 6th Jul 2019 at 22:34. Reason: Spelling
banterbus is offline  
Old 10th Apr 2019, 11:30
  #32 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: uk
Posts: 501
Bbus. Have you got a job to go to now?
deltahotel is offline  
Old 10th Apr 2019, 12:50
  #33 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 94
Having just made the jump from the RAF (ME background) to BA, I'll chip in a few bits of advice, some of which have already been mentioned.

Get you licence or at the very least get it started. It's not quite the walk in the park you might think; especially if you're balancing RAF tasking, family life/kids and ATPL study. Also, the questions are changing to 'fill in the answer' rather than 'multi guess' meaning that although the BGS question bank is still great, you need to have a working knowledge of the subjects.

Go on a Prep Course (Airline Prep or Flight Deck Wingman) and get your CV written for you. I thought I was in a good position here but it turned my CV writing skills weren't that great! The prep courses give you great advice (and practice) at the group problems and the interview questions.

Revise the company and your answers to the competency questions. Nothing like fluffing your lines in the interview to derail things. Also, the last Annual Report of whichever company you're looking at is extremely useful reading.

Sim Checks. Most people I know (all ME) still went for a practice sim before an assessment. Places and prices vary but I would thoroughly recommend it for two reasons. Firstly, it frees up capacity/allows clarity of thought during the real thing (which is frankly a very stressful day anyway) due to you knowing where to look, what to do and what to say. Secondly, it allows you to get a handle on flying raw beacon nav which most of us in the military hardly ever do.

Finally, the best advice I have is not to rush in to an assessment. Better to give yourself a few days extra to prepare rather than **** it up and have to wait another year to apply.

Good luck in your job hunt.
skaterboi is offline  
Old 1st Nov 2019, 16:35
  #34 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Lincolnshire
Posts: 2

As someone who's been lusting into the aviation career all my life I was wondering if you former RAF boys recommend that route? Self funding is beyond out of the question as I'm not from a wealthy family. Looked into raf pilot and actually applied today with the intention of a multi engine plane and do my 12 years then hopefully make the leap to commercial aviation by the time im about 33-34?

Do you think I am going about this the right way?
Oawakefield99 is offline  
Old 2nd Nov 2019, 09:55
  #35 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Winchester
Posts: 5,428
Well itís one way of doing it, it is a well worn path.

You do need to be aware that because the taxpayer is picking up the tab for your training, and the nature of the military flying the attrition rate through the selection process and then through training is almost certainly a lot higher than in the civilian world....Iím not trying to put you off with that statement, but you need to be cognisant of the fact.

...applied today with the intention of a multi engine plane
Not sure what the situation is now but you didnít used to get much if any personal choice as to what you ended up flying, you went where the RAF/Treasury had the slots, ability allowing.

Good Luck

wiggy is offline  
Old 2nd Nov 2019, 10:03
  #36 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: between the M6 and M25
Posts: 122
This route would certainly work and I wish you luck. The RAF now have several types of aircraft that are on the civilian register. So in the future, getting your ATPL and the transition to the outside should be easier than it used to be. The Military training is very good plus the pension is as a good as any outside.

I spent 23 years flying in the RAF and looking back I would not have changed that. If I had went straight into civilian airline flying from college / uni sure I would have earned more money (possibly) but you get to work as part of a great team, the flying is different/ interesting and most people will make friends for life.

it seems to me the rating is the most important factor civilian employers seem to value. They do recognise the military experience but there are some very talented and capable boys and girls who have struggled to gain civilian employment down to this. You can expect your military hours to be factored down as they put more value on commercial jet airline experience. Which btw I can totally understand as the job is very different.

JliderPilot is offline  
Old 2nd Nov 2019, 14:04
  #37 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Europe
Posts: 102
Hour factoring

In my humble opinion, based on 20 years of civil(ian) flying, military flying hours should indeed be factored as the flying is quite different. The military hours should count twice as much. In my opinion. (Edit typo)
Blackcoffeenosugar is offline  
Old 2nd Nov 2019, 14:22
  #38 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Uk
Posts: 2
Originally Posted by Oawakefield99 View Post
As someone who's been lusting into the aviation career all my life I was wondering if you former RAF boys recommend that route? Self funding is beyond out of the question as I'm not from a wealthy family. Looked into raf pilot and actually applied today with the intention of a multi engine plane and do my 12 years then hopefully make the leap to commercial aviation by the time im about 33-34?

Do you think I am going about this the right way?
Iím not sure ....would you be purely trying to go military to eventually go civilian ? Bare in mind the propensity of our leaders to get us involved in wars . Why is self funding out the question ? Go modular , get a reasonable job, save up....like I did.

Its not all spoilt rich kids ( although thereís a few around )
Meester proach is offline  
Old 2nd Nov 2019, 15:57
  #39 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: uk
Posts: 50
BA managed path still works for many RAF pilots.
Brize guys know the score
Phantom4 is offline  
Old 15th Nov 2019, 17:48
  #40 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Eastbourne
Age: 81
Posts: 55
Get your ATPL/IR as quick as you can. Then get out whilst the airlines are recruiting. Best thing I ever did. Doubled my salary and no 'Sir' to anyone! Good luck, you have a lot to offer.
Four Turbo is offline  

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