APC - the pinnacle of your career?

Hi all,

Just a question out of idle curiousity for the front seaters out there, do you consider that successfully passing the APC and then going on to fly was the pinnacle of your Army career?

Did you also consider that it was worthwhile in the end and has it opened many doors for you?

My curiousity has been tweaked by finding out how many pilots that I used to fly with, don't fly any more, and haven't continued into the aviation industry on leaving the air corps behind.

Do many non AAC pilots complete the course and then after completing their time bar, go back to the Royal Signals for example?

I remember an old WO2 once likening flying a lynx around the north German plain as being about as exciting as driving a bus, at the time I thought that there was no way that one could ever get bored with flying but I guess that's not the case with all people.

No hidden agendas or anything with my query, just idly wondering if anybody out there passed the APC and then found that army flying wasn't the be all and end all that they always thought it would be.
As an ex Bootie, I know that nearly ALL NCO Pilots have carried on Flying be it FW or RW. A few Officers have gone off to do other stuff.

Was it the pinnacle? Not sure I do know it was the start of a load of great jobs (and some crap ones to). I certainly was in no rush to go back to a Commando Unit afterwards..not many others were that keen either!

Was it boring? Sometimes like watching paint dry, but on the whole it was very varied and we certainly got around the bazaars. Spent 5yrs with the AAC in NI which was great fun.


Interesting questions, Issi, and I can only try to answer them from my own perspective.

Having been groundcrew, then Aircrewman Obs before progressing on to complete the APC, it looks like career progression, but I found being an Observer gave me much more satisfaction. As Timex will testify I'm sure, our APC may well be typical in that it was a lot of hard work, cajoling the previous course for advance notice of likely pitfalls, and answers to upcoming exams, but it was also immense fun.

For personal reasons, after a couple of years airtesting Lynx with a few NI tours thrown-in, the job satisfaction had gone, and I moved on, finally leaving to begin a new career in a non-aviation environment.

In contrast to your WO2 friend, I thoroughly enjoyed the two flying tours I did in BAOR, flogging about at someone else's expense. I travel to work these days in a Super Puma, but I can see the bus driver analogy in the type of flying that is the pilot's lot. There are many more fortunate in the aviation business, Timex among them, who do a far more interesting job, and I have great respect for them. Equally, there may be more who have moved on, having successfully completed the second-hardest course the Army have to offer. (The hardest course has got to be B3 Chef)
Wasn't the pinnacle of my career! Got binned 8 weeks from wings!

Something to do with having the coordination of a busted flip flop.

Of the 12 on my course, 8 passed and at least 3 are now flying with airlines and one with PAS.
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