Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Skinn_Full, May 30, 2011.

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  1. Good evening all! I realise this is a much discussed topic and having read various threads and gleaning some excellent information, I thought I'd post my own thread and get some advice that's more specific to me!

    Well, I'm currently a JNCO in the Infantry and it's all good, however, I'd really like to give a career in Aviation a shot, be that military or civilian will become clear in the next few months I would imagine! Ideally I'd like to stay in the Army and become a Pilot (NCO) in the Army Air Corps. I meet the entrance criteria, regarding rank, age and time served, as far as I'm aware? Education wise, I'm sitting on 10 GCSEs and 3 'A' Levels, I doubt that will have any bearing on an application, but I'm sure it won't be a hinderance either. I'm aware of the Apttiude and medical tests, grading and interview, although any extra Int. on those would be good too!

    What are the career prospects like in the Corps? Are there many Pilot NCOs compared to Officers? Is promotion course based, on merit, time served, all three?? Are the Corps looking to recruit NCOs as Pilots at the moment? Questions., questions I know!, but if anyone can give me an over view of a Pilot NCO's career/ daily life in the Corps, I'd be much obliged.

    Cheers folks,
  2. Promotion goes as follows; If you are a JNCO, you will become acting (or local, not too sure which) on the course. On successful completion you keep the rank (subject to completing various SNCO courses). Promotion after that is based on merit (and a bit of the other two).

    Be aware, you may be the best fecking pilot in the world but it means very little on a promotion board. You will still have to prove yourself in areas such as organising bbq's, playing sport and feltching the COs dog etc, etc. The Corps is trying to rationalise its whole approach to promotion though. Ie - newly qualified pilot= Sgt. Aircraft Commander= SSgt. Spec Inst qual; QHTI, EWI HWI etc= WO2. The QHI route has already sort of rationalised this process. B1= SSgt, A2=WO2. As for officer v SNCO balance.

    Typically, we run at 35% to 65% (biased towards SNCOs) although this balance was fucked up a few years ago when the Corps turned the NCO tap off and almost exclusively recruited DE AAC officers. The plan was to fill Apaches with all the little darlings. Only one problem with the plan - it was bollocks. Add to that, once those young DE officers reached mid seniority Capts and found themselves flying a desk as SO3 Bog Roll Procurement, they all either banged out or transferred to the Navy or RAF. This left a very large gap in our traditional gene pool - SNCO pilots. We are starting to get that balance back now so for you, youre in a good position.

    First tip would be to get your arse to an AAC unit and see how we do business day to day. On the interviews and selection process, you will actually get fucked off if you've not bothered.

    I came from the Inf 20 years ago and do not regret it one little bit! :-D
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Thanks for that Flash, I've sent you a PM!
  4. One minor stumbling-block that many retreads have discovered is having to overcome your parent arm's reluctance to release you, although in Flash's case this wasn't such an obstacle. Just don't take 'No' for an answer.

    Best of luck with the career change - can't recommend it highly enough.
  5. Thanks for the input, as I have already mentioned to Flash, if I were requesting a transfer to another Infantry Regiment, the whole process would get very messy indeed, lost paper work etc, however I think I may fare better as obviously the AAC is my propsed destination. Let's hope they're not too 'reluctant' to let me go, assuming I get to that stage! ;)
  6. I remember many years ago, doing the selection phase ie Biggin Hill, medical and aptitude, then on to Wallop for more Tests and the Interview.

    Never in my life have I experienced anything that comes close to that Interview, I was briefed by my OC(AAC) as to what to expect but that's what stuffed me, that and my age - 34

    I know for a fact that my Results were top notch, clever fcuking Bleep and all that but what could I really offer the AAC?

    Never regret it, just a bit too old, aah if only.
  7. One stumbling block where many get tripped up on even after completing aptitude tests and even the strict medicals. All are then screened by an MO before allowing next phase. The AAC has strict policy on hay fever of all things. Must be 4 years in the clear without medication. That can take a lot people past 30 years of age if they have to wait.
    I reckon a lot of excellent guys are turned down like this. Pity that.
  8. Very much so but its done for a reason. As you can appreciate, we need the fittest (medical) people on the course we can possibly get. Wouldn't be a terribly great situation to be in having a hayfever attack whilst solo as a student?
  9. Point taken. What does concern me though in all this is that I would imagine many would just lie about hay fever if they have nothing on their med recs. Not everyone goes to MO for tabs etc as they are readilly available over the counter. I bet many have got in like that.
  10. Probably. Its not called a 'seasonal cold' for nothing ;-)
  11. I understand though that the RAF allow them in with hay fever if ok when medically controlled. I wonder why that is?
  12. Because the RAF have no standards?
  13. Couldn't argue with that!!
  14. Thanks for that, Flash. Laughed so hard I fell off my chair.
  15. Reading between the lines of Cloudbursters comments made me think a bit! I feel for these young guys wanting to get into AAC.
    In all seriousness though. I have heard some guys try to give advice and say that the hardest part of getting into Army Pilot with the AAC is passing the aptitude tests and medical. After that mostly all get through.

    I cannot really believe that but only a gut feeling of mine. You guys obviously would have some idea of the sort of percentage of guys getting onto next stage after aptitude tests etc who actually pass out as Army Pilots eventually. I am talking about NCO level. I would imagaine the interview would be severe possibly.