Looking at an officer career in the AAC in about 6 years, after going to university doing aeronautical engineering. If anyone could tell me anything about it it would be much appreciated.
Seriously consider the RAF. You obviously want to fly judging by your choice of degree subject, and the RAF will let you fly for your whole career if you want to. You will have no dodgy, biased and unfair issues with flying pay dissparity between the services.
If you commision into the AAC you are likely to be flying a desk after a few years, and don't believe all you hear from the recruiters about things changing for officers in the future.
Should you be unsucessful at flying training with the AAC then i'm affraid thats
you finished. The RAF may allow you to go down the multi engine route.
Whatever you choose to do, good luck and enjoy the flying.
You'll do 2 - 4 years in the cockpit if you're lucky.
Given the low flying rates due to secondary duties/ unservicabilities/ going uncurrent due to courses/ hours restrictions you'll be very lucky to get 1000 hours.
If you do hit that mark, your next conversation with your Adj will basically consist of him telling you you've had your stint up front, it's now time to get down to the meat of why you're employed as an officer. ie. Management, planning and co-ordination (I know, I know....)
To be fair the Corps doesn't hide that you are employed as an officer as your primary duty and an aviatior second. They just refuse to accept it's a bone system that costs them a lot of people.
Your call at the end of the day, depends where your focus lies. Bear in mind (and it is a trivial point after the fact) that the army pilots course can be half as long as anyone else's, mainly due to no fast jet streaming. Plus you do have options after serving four years from wings.
They may change things for Apache crews, if I was being cynical, I would say they'll cut back airframes rather than extend flying time for officers. I could well be wrong, but no-one currently knows, so don't listen too hard to any rumours or anything they'll tell you at the recruitment door.
S_H - dare I suggest you're joining for the wrong reasons? Join up, bit of occifer training, bit of flying & zipping about, then leave as a chopper pilot? You'd need a bit more motivation and sounder reasons than 'you'll give me a license' fella.
I'm only speaking as Light Blue here of course - the Army chaps would probably take exception to that approach as well tho.
Sorry, may have sounded a bit like that.
Becoming an officer is something I have wanted to become for a long time, as is flying helicopters, so i view the Air Corps as being the best way to achieve both. With more than just flying the AAC can offer me what I want, and will leave me with great experiences when I leave.
Also what are promotion prospects for graduate officer in the AAC?
I know I wear light blue and I used to wear khaki, but if you want rotary-wing, I'd suggest Navy is the route.
Even today, though they never admit it, the RAF look at you like you're from Mars if you don't want to fly sharp, pointy things that go at Mach 2. Thus, every rotorhead and trash-hauler in my outfit is a failed fast-jet pilot.
I joined up as I wanted to be in the Army, and I wanted to fly, in that order. At the time of recruiting I didn't know if the Army flew space shuttles or hot air balloons!
Army training is, in the main, excellent. It will set you up fantstically for pretty much anything afterwards, though it may induce arrogance and a disdain for anyone with a) Long hair and b) Slovenly manners (ie RAF types).
However, career progression is like flying hours in the corps, hit and miss. Nothing is guarenteed, lots is promised. Currently the powers that be view the corps as not having a retention problem, so see it as fine to stall flying pay and reduce terms and conditions. So you can see why a large numbeer of DE (Direct Entry) officers leave at their first opportunity.
You guys sure are good at trying to put me off. But I have my mind set on flying helicopters for a career, and only the AAC can guarentee this. And surely, by spending time in ops etc. it would make me a more rounded person within aviation. Have just had a Squirrel (number 34- Shawbury?/Wallop?) fly right over the house. Have seen some close up of AAC, such as at my local airfield, Eaglescott in Devon, where Gazelles and Squirrels practice drop offs. Intollerence for long hair and bad manners? thats a goog thing surely; last latin teacher was a major, true gent, and a brilliant guy!
Any other ways you guys can think of trying to discourage me?
I'd agree that you're not guaranteed to go rotary in the RAF as requirements vary over time. Last I heard was that the majority of aircrew were being streamed fast jet or rotary, with only a very small number going multi engine. However, given the current PVR rates on the Nimrod and C-130 force, that could swing back soon.
However, I'd say you were as good as guaranteed rotary in the RN as only a very tiny minority go fast jet. The advantages of flying Navy are that they seem to value their aviators more than the AAC and there is arguably more variety in the sort of flying they do (Commando/ISTAR SK, small ship ASuW Lynx, ASaC SK7, ASW/ASuW/ISTAR Merlin and SAR). Don't forget there is always the option of RM pilot although you have to do time as a troop commander before transferring to pilot first.