Looking for help.

Hi there guys, without sounding sycophantic, this seems like the only place where I can get information. I am interested in becoming a pilot, and I am exploring all possible options while still at school. I have been to Cranwell for RAF OASC and passed, but I am very concious that the RAF is far from the only place to learn to fly. I am drawn towards the Army due to the fact that flying is not the main aspect of the job, and this diversity is very much more appealing to me. I have done quite a bit of research into the AAC, but would appreciate any thoughts on what you guys think is the best service (bias aside!!). The main question I have is on employability after service, and what difficulties there are in converting military flying time into civilian qualifications. For instance, can rotary hours be used against obtaining fixed wing qualifications that are accepted by the airlines? What are the difficulties and costs involved? I have trawled the web for information, but everything is very vague, particularly the CAA website. I tahnk you in advance for any information or guidance you can give.
Consider wisely the route you should choose grasshopper! Thew choice of service is a personal thing, you need to really examine the pros and cons of each service, BEFORE taking the plunge. There could be much angst downstream, if you plunge into either. Nuffsaid there.

On your main Q..if you are intending to get a licence under the new JAR, then sadly they have decided to split rotary and fixed wing hours. You will only be able to amass rotary time for JAR CPL / ATPL (H) and vice versa. That said there are some CAA agreed exemptions for mil pilots and you will need to contact their licencing dept. Try the website under Crew Licencing, get CAP doc and telephone for details for QSP to Civ transfer. The key problem is the amount of flying hours required..and certainly in the current Army Flying climate..that will take many moons to accrue, especially AH! RAF SH supporting Army in Iraq for the next 10 years...potential there to rack the the tally up..but do not get married until you have ATPL and white shirt with the airways first :cry:

Good luck
2000hrs military as rule of thumb and then you can do a military bridging course followed by a couple of exams. Certainly an easier road than starting from scratch. Problem you will have is if you are commissioned, to attain 2000hrs in the AAC is going to take you along time unless you manage to go QHI or are posted to one of very few "fun" tours where there is a lot of flying. As a rule of thumb, work on about 150-200hrs per annum. FCL at Gatwick house are the people to speak to for the up to date regs or go to the "other" web site (PPRUNE) and search on the military forum and you will get all your answers. A regular contributor who generally gives sound although RAF biased advice is Beagle, drop him a pm.
Keen2fly, Sloppy Link gives you a good heads up to have a look at the PPrune website:


Well worth browsing the various forums. There are a lot of topics posted by people like yourself finding out about the various options. Have a looksee for yourself. There are plenty of professional flyers who are willing to give you advice, including civil and military forums...

The CAA website is a bit of a muddle, but the page you need is http://www.caa.co.uk/application.aspx?categoryid=33&pagetype=65&applicationid=11&mode=detail&id=1591
That link will take you to the LASORS 2005 download page(5.4Mb pdf file)

This will tell you all you need/want to know about licensing.

This link http://www.tgda.gov.uk/More.htm will take you to the 'Training Group Defence Agency' website where you will find a link to the CAA accreditation information pages. (Presently out of date, being updated, but no great changes expected).

Basically, at the moment, rotary hours will not assist in getting an 'A' licence. Army wise, only Islander hours will be of benefit along that route.

In a nutshell;

Eligibility and Credits.
To qualify for credits under the military accreditation scheme, a QSP(H) must have a minimum 2000 total flying hours on military aircraft. Additionally, 1500 hrs must be First Pilot of military helicopters (maximum of 500 hrs under supervision, as P2 or in a flight simulator). QSP(H)s who have recently left MOD employment are eligible to claim credits for a period of 12 months from their last day of Service. Ex-QSP(H)s on flying duties under Defence Contracts who fall outside this 12 month rule can claim credits until 1 Oct 02. All helicopter pilots will be required to undertake a Rotary Bridging Course to qualify for a common set of JAA exam exemptions.

ATPL(H) to ATPL(A) Bridging.
A proposal made by the MOD to allow read-across from military helicopter theoretical credits to ATPL(A) credits has been turned down by the CAA pending ongoing consultation among JAA member states on the implementation of such (civilian) bridging arrangements. However, the credits negotiated through the military accreditation scheme are at ATPL(H) level and it is therefore anticipated that Service pilots wishing to secure an aeroplane licence will, in due course, be able to take advantage of any civil 'helicopter-to-aeroplane' bridging arrangements.

If you want to be a civi helicopter pilot with little cost to your own pocket and a good time, (Well, it used to be!), along the way, the AAC is the way.

If you want to be a civi airline pilot, then RAF transport I think would be the way.

As for the Navy, if Rum Bum and Baccy are your thing, fill your boots!

As Fullwit said, "There are plenty of professional flyers who are willing to give you advice, including civil and military forums...", why not pop into your nearest Air Ambulance, Police AOU, or heli operator and meet the people. You'll find us all a nice bunch really, and you can get a free brew or 2 out of them. Don't forget the biccies!.

Hope that helps,
All the best,

There is no guarantee that you would get into the AAC if you went to Sandhurst, and you would be looking at aa minimum of about 3 years as a soldier before you could start flying training.

If flying is your main priority, I would recommend the Navy or RAF, as the Army is very fond of telling you that you are a soldier/ officer first, pilot second.

Its more of a gamble getting into the AAC if flying is what you are after, but if it pays off for you it is well worth it.

Good luck

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