How many pilots started out as.......

............blokes from other units.

Just curious, as I recall several of our lads (1Para) moving over while I was in.

No names, just %'s would do. :)
Just before I got out the corps seemed to be full of Para reg Blokes, mostly good eggs.
You may find the % is v high, possibly in the region of 65-70%, it is reducing though. Although nowadays the push is towards AAC rodneys.

Browsing over recent pilots course photos (past year), the % of young AAC subbies must be about 70%+ per course. Every picture tells a story as they say.

I feel NCO and E3 (non AAC on pilots course) will be extinct within five years at the rate of closure we are on. This is not, I believe, a good thing (copyright Barney). I'm not anti officer but the army wide officer corps will not allow these young thrusters to become professional aircrew. They will still do one to two tours at most and then move along the career profile of their peers in other arms. Every officer should strive to be staff material otherwise they can kiss their career goodbye! A reg officer who goes QHI is considered to be a failed officer, very other rank.

With the reduced flying hours/experience we are all coming to terms with, we will find true blue Sqn commanders with a very shallow barrel of useful knowledge.
Imagine the streamed first tourist AH officer who, wheather he likes it or not, still disappears off to JDSC (or whatever its called this week) then becomes SO3/2 brew boy to SO1 paperclip procurement desk at Whitehall. He has no choice really. If he wishes to stay around for a while, he must follow the party line. It is just about bearable at present because we have 'spec aircrew' don't we? Ah, SNCO's! The sages in the sqn who can steer and slap the professional officers.
Will they be there in five years, ten years or should we call ourselves Janice and wear a blue uniform?? Clearly their system works :p

Answers on a postcard to the usual address
Cheers gents

Lordy, your point ref non-AAC personel and NCO's being phased out appears to be the way forward for the Navy / RM chopper pilots as well.

I understand they are also making it an officer only course.

Don't want some jumped up OR having all the fun do we :mad: or am I just being cynical ;)
Nicely put lord flash...

In a decade or two we'll be marching past the cenotpah and the BBC chap will comment:

"Those chaps are former SNCO pilots...remember when we had such a thing!!!!"

To which other BBC chap will reply:

"Blimey Roger...what a fantastic memory you have!!!!"

Wasnt it the other 2 services that only canned nco crew because of air launched nuclear weapons....havent seen many of them around for hmmmmm a decade.
Some good points flashing around here (forgive the pun Lordy)

Looks like the Lt Blue is now paying the price for the relentless pursuit of Regimentation over Aviation. Main causes:

The outflow of senior DE Capts and Majors because they wanted to fly and not waste away in Allied Rapid Rat Race HQ and G something or other.

The need to ramp up officer pilots to a: replace the resulting shortfall above and b: train up young chaps to fill all the Flt Comd and Flt 2IC slots in the new Attack Establishments. Who then join loop above!

The need to address forecast Pilot shortfall in about 3 years. Self inflicted injury on this one. The amount of LE NCO's who cannot get sub promoted as there are still no LE Cadre courses (supposed to have been 2 completed by now), net result..only a trickle of AAC NCO's coming forward for pilot training.

Other arms NCO's now realise the potential career trap in coming flying..2.5 years on the APC another 9 months wait for Lx CTT...3 year tour before application for transfer...if un-successfull...5 years away from parent late promotion :(

LE's approaching max overload trying to fill the gaps..but strangely, still have no proper career structure ???

Oh..and PES A...that's working then?

Hence % reducing all the lets have some real debate then :D

The debate about reintroducing SNCO pilots is one which is re-visited every few years in the RAF.  However, according to the RAF powers that be there is no point because:

  a.   Very few pilot applicants at OASC who pass pilot aptitude do not also have the requisite leadership scores to be an officer.

  b.   We do not have a problem meeting pilot recruitment quotas from afformentioned applicants.

Personally, whilst the RN and RAF have insisted on all pilots and navs/observers being commissioned for about 40 years now, I think that the RAF is missing a large and untapped supply of high quality blokes by insisting on commissions for pilots.  

It strikes me that it's a fantastic opportnity for squaddies to apply for pilot trg and then go wazzing around in helos for a few years.  In the RAF, we currently have a large number of applicants for NCO aircrew (AEOp, Air Eng, ALM and Air Sig (all now part of the WSOp branch from 1 Apr 03)) from serving airmen.  Working very closely with Airmen Aircrew I strongly suspect that many of these also have the skills required to be a pilot.  If, as you say, your current E3 system is being allowed to whither on the vine, I believe that it'll be a great loss to your Corps.

I have to say that I believe that there will have to be a huge mindset change in the wider Army towards Aviation.  Once AH and Sentinel (aka ASTOR) get established, their complexity and nature demands professional aircrew with a career focused upon that specialisation.  

I'm a strong supporter of AH being owned by you guys.  However, lack of a professionally experienced core of AH aircrew due to pressures to get career ticks elsewhere in the 'mainstream' Army will merely give ammunition to those within the RAF (actually fewer than I think many of you believe) who covet Longbow.

Additionally, I assume that the E3's give your Corps a far broader experience base of the needs of the wider Army and additional cred within those communities.  Surely, in these days of increased jointery and combined  ops, this must be a good thing.

I believe that NCO pilots are one of your Corps finest assets.  Don't let them go!  It is the rest of the Army's perspective upon Avn that needs to change, not your Corps' career structure.

Walks sideways out of firing line after having spouted crustacian for possibly too long...

magic mushroom, I dont believe that you've spoken out of turn at all.....

But the reality is that we are taking that step, or at least it appears that we are. You also need to consider that this approach is being done as stealthily as possible so as not to alert the wider audience.

We could just be scare mongering but I have to admit that it has concerned me for 12 months or more and the former AAC that was proud of its ancestry and indeed its NCO pilots is rapidly giving way to the Psychology Degree brigade that already frequent both other services.

There are still those that are in upper echelon jobs that will remain old school and loyal to the bone, but even those are spreading a bit thin nowadays.

Who knows what's in store, maybe in 5 or 6 years time when the shortage of pilots is over, (although I feel that it will only get worst, given present feelings) maybe we'll be told straight that were no longer needed.

I only hope I'm wrong.
MM & Muttley,

Sound debate..and perhaps some well founded fears from Muttley. "5- 6 years and see if we are still wanted". Is that NCO pilots or the AAC you refer to?

I would suggest that NCO pilots are safe for as long as the AAC exists. All AAC DE Officers must accept that they join NOT to fly :eek: NCO's are and will remain Specialist Aircrew as the executive flying cadre. So for the Navy and Air Force its worth reminding them the AAC actually have ..they just call them Non- Commissioned Officers :p

If you read between the Defence (or Treasury) policy lines...the real issue is not one of Officer v NCO pilot.....but ...Is the JHA coming of age and going to actually COMMAND..instead of being an Agency ??? and fully integrate FONA..and, after much rear guard action..the AAC :eek: :eek: :eek:

The Corps needs to get out of 16 Special Needs Bde syndrome and take a cold look at the real debate....Can the Treasury / MOD still continue to accept 3 different lines of funding for a variety of functions in BH support, despite JHC being established for several years? Rank of pilots across all 3 services, being just one issue.

Why have a seperate 1* functional head at Wallop covering the same functions that could easily be executed in sunny Wilton? No Einstein required to work out that a Regt Col with a few retired recruiters could pitch tent at the Museum and cover people aspects, whilst the other desks move 18 miles West and crack on with improving op capability, instead of sailing round the bouy on numrous issues.

Think of all the tasks currently undertaken by JHC and those still repeated by AAC, CHF & SH. Imagine "real" joint Standards, Tactics, Flight Safety (we already fund DASC), Equipment Development, CIS..the list goes on.

Training could be the big beneficery. SAAvn could eject from ATRA and get on with proper training..fully prioritised, resourced and funded through a functional J7 desk. Remember, when AG needs cuts via ATRA...flying training is easy target. I suspect that DGATRA would drop Army Flying like a hot potatoe given the chance. Could mean OCU's instead of CTT's..but that would be no bad thing. It might actually improve the readiness cycles for the FA units...all resources can be focussed on delivery of Op Capability..instead of individual training for CTR. Might even mean coherent trade training for theres a radical thought!

Too radical for the AAC?

Worth noting that the RAF jumped in JHC feet first from the start and have taken effective control. A ** and a multitude of key Staff posts etc, etc. By clinging onto "Army ethos"...the opportunity for the AAC to influence JHC has diluted. If the bean stealers and planners are now re-igniting full jointry...the AAC should sieze the day.....ditch the unachievable aim of becoming a Combat Arm..and become pivotal as an Attack Aviation Bde in a proper JHC.

As a future singular Army Corps the writing might just be on the wall....dont wait until your backs are against it before you read it!    
Reality Check,

If I could have a penny for the amount of times ive heard the following in reply to a question regarding aviation matters:

Wallop   "You really need to speak to JHC about that one."

JHC   "No, thats a matter for middle wallop"

And vice versa