REME Aircraft Tech to Pilot?

I am not in the army just yet but am due to start basic soon.

I have been offered a job as an air tech and after much deliberation decided to take it.

I have always wanted to be a helicopter pilot (my dad was one) and working with helicopters was always where I wanted to end up.

I decided on a trade instead of joining as groundcrew and working my way up; like my dad did.

Working on the aircraft will be a great job and I will really enjoy it I'm sure - yet as I am in a trade I am worried that I will never get to apply for pilot selection.

So my question is:

Should I meet the prerequisites; will I be able to apply for pilot selection?

And if the answer is: "It all depends"

Does anyone know of any air techs that have done it?

My old man told me that anyone can apply from anywhere given the correct prerequisites yet can find it harder if they are in a trade.

This isn't a do or die question - It's just that if I would like to know as much as I can before I go.

Thanks in advance for any answers.


You have to be qualified for Cpl, then you can apply to the AAC as a pilot. You have to be under a certain age also (32?). I think that's about it.

I do know of one lad that wanted to do transfer from REME to AAC as a pilot, but I don't know if he got there in the end?


It's 100% possible, from any branch/trade/cap badge. As mentioned above, you need to be LCpl recommended for Cpl, and meet the specified age/medical requirements.

However as you're not even in yet, I suggest you focus more on your immediate goals of passing basic training and - particularly as you are considering a technical trade with a fairly rigorous academical ciriteria to pass - passing your phase 2 training, whatever you decide upon.

I wouldn't say it's "harder" to go for pilot selection if you're in a trade CEG, it all depends on what your particular unit heirarchy is like. The sad reality is that some will view your application to go pilot as a "betrayal", as you want to leave and go do something else. Ignore this, and fight for what you want. However, as mentioned, concentrate on actually getting in first, you may find you actually like bending spanners and want to stay where you are. Put the dreams of going pilot on the back burner for a bit, and don't even mention it during the recruitment process, especially if you aren't applying for AAC.

I know plenty of ex REME tech pilots, and the hardest thing for them is all the grief they get from those in their former glorious trade for becoming splitters.
It goes without saying that I will throw myself 100% at the air tech role and as stated may even end up staying and giving up any dream of becoming a pilot anyway.

Thanks for the sound advice. I will be concentrating fully on all tasks at hand and will be easier now I don't have to wonder too much about whether I can eventually go for pilot selection.

Understand about the "betrayal" aspect. Would feel as though I am a bit too; but I have always wanted to be a pilot ever since I can remember.

Pilot is well and truely on the back burner now. Thanks.

Bring on March 11th!
youve missed out the bit about how he might not actually want ot fly once he's taken part in the repair process XD, especially if the grade of some of the A/E type's hasnt gotten any better, they used ot be more intersted in drinking and playing sports than actually bending spanners...

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