AET flying?

Discussion in 'The Fleet Air Arm' started by Kyle.L.19, Nov 14, 2008.

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  1. Hey guys, just recently passed my interview for AET, i got my fitness test next week and got told i could be in within 2~3 months.!

    Ok my question is, i heard some people have had the chance to fly in some of the Harriers or Tornado's especially the RAF engineer's.

    Is this true? I suppose working with rotorary or fixed wing on one specific aircraft for a long time, but will i have the chance to fly in the aircraft ive worked on?

    Many thanks

  2. Kyle, if you want to fly, Id look at a career as an officer in the Fleet Air Arm, or alternatively, the RAF have Non Commisioned aircrewmen/women (weapon systems operators). You also get promoted to Sergeant after 15 weeks.
    Ive no doubt you may get a few flights in your career as an AET, but its not a given mate.
  3. The only flight youre really guaranteed as an AET is probably a crabair one out to Afghan atm!
  4. flying in a harrier is hugely unlikely (they only have one seat!), chances are if you're rotary wing you'll embark/disembark your ship (when/if deployed to one) by helicopter. You should be able to wangle yourself a flight on squadron families day also (assuming you're not working).

    question you have to ask yourself though, is if you'd like to fly in a machine you and your snaggy bastard mates have been pulling bits off and putting back on for months on end? I bloody wouldn't!
  5. Things will most certainly have changed since I left 23 years ago.
    However I expect it all depends on which squadron you are on and their flying commitment.
    When I was on 764 sqdn (Hawker hunters) one AWI course finished more quickly than normal. The maintainers were then given the opportunity to have a flight. it was great.
    When working on station flight at Lossiemouth I frequently flew in the old Seaprince.
    As duty LREM one weekend I got a flight in a tiger moth.
    Hopefully these opportunities still exist.
    My one regret is that all the time I worked on Buccaneers I never got a flight. I would have loved to have gone off the cats and landed on a carrier just once.

    However if you go to Lynx small ships flight you will probably get tired of flying in the thing. Most of the flight fly at some stage or other, plus we all did the dunker. :w00t:
  6. Cheers thanks for the input guys.

    I want to work my way up through the ranks, and a eyesight of VA3 is a bar entry to aircrewman and the likes!

    I suppose you won't get much flight opportunites in the Harrier like you said one seater lol!!, however rotorary wing does sound like i may get a flight time in one :)

    thanks for the info guys
  7. You could always be a flying maintainer- you will get to fly on check test flights all the time and get paid a little bit more for the privilege!
  8. How do you go about being a flying maintainer?

    Is it a possible AET sub route?
  9. Not an expert on this one, but i think you can just ask to do it after reaching a certain rate/ qualification. Best ask at the AFCO or wait for an engineer type to come along :thumright:
  10. Lynx flights used to have two maintenance personnel nominated to fly. On my flight (HMS Manchester) the M1 was one and the other was the NAM(AE) now known as an AET.
    The chief (M1) was used when needed to check airborne defects, the AET was known as the Winch Weight and acted as air-crewman. He was trained locally by the flight commander. Things may well have changed since my day though.
  11. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    There are few AET's that don't get the opportunity to fly in the aircraft they maintain.

    There is a distinct logic. Any pilot with an ounce of intelligence (OK, appreciate that narrows the field) would ensure the person who fixed the aircraft should be on a maiden flight.
  12. Thanks for the input guys

    NS , how coem only few are not allowed? they nominated on experience or rank etc?

    And maiden flight, is flying the personnel to the required destination? ie, Their home-base or a Carrier?

  13. Flying maintainers are usually grubber senior rates (Mechanical trade) but not always, since SMRs on flights might be pinkies/greenies but also FM trained, since they need the check test flight data from vibro analysis to make adjustments after major component changes like engines, gearboxes, or rotorheads. Its an adqual of sorts, usually on top of NDT, requires you to pass an aircrew medical (eyesight reqt is not as stringent as for pilot/obs).
    As Slim points out, they need winch weight for wet winching (winchex/sarex) so on a flight you can end up with your own orange suit. They also need a spare for door gunning, rapid roping, casevac, mail runs, load lifting etc if the FLOBS is busy on ships duties or in the front, so in short, yes you can find yourself flying and sometimes even getting paid for it as an AET. Usual caveat applies of course, dont expect it as a right, but since zoomies have only a few twinseat trainers and Merlins and Seakings have loads of room, your chances of jollies and working in flight increase. Also, if you go on mountain flying training to RAF Valley with your sqn, the crabs are usually very hospitable with offering available rides in their Hawk trainers (subject to weather, fuel, flying reqd), since they have plenty of SE to fit visitors. You would be very lucky to get a jolly in a Tornado or Jag since there's usually a whole sqn of crabs waiting their turn to play Goose...
  14. The winch weight as you so eloquently call the chap wasn't trained by the FC. He had to complete SMAC255.

    I know cos I was the bloody instructor!!!! :thumright:

    Kyle if you want to fly as a casual flyer, (Jollies), just keep pestering people. It's how I ended up an aircrewman.

    A flight here a flight there. Then a flight maintainer as a leading hand, doing in flight tracking and test flights etc. Got to like the flying lark so much I changed trades to crewie.

    You never know - you may hate flying. But ya can't tell till you try it. :thumright:
  15. Thanks waspie :))

    I will keep pestering as you put it :)

    But im VA3 in eyesight which always brings me down :( !!

    DAM EYESIGHT!! i only wear glasses for driving too!!

    Thanks again :)
  16. Thanks for the update Waspie, however when I was on Manchester flight in 82/83 the Flt Cdr did the training. Observer by name of Boris Johnson (not the Boris). Bit of a cowboy but not a bad egg.
  17. .Chance of becoming a flying maintainer as a AET is next to zero (Esp in JFH). Maybe as you rise the ranks chances may get better.

    There are chances to fly, in my career I got a back seat in a Hawk, Canberra. Had chance of a Harrier but never did. Loads of Seaking Flights, many hours in Tristrars (Afghanistan) and VC10's. Drunken trips across the pond in Hercs.

    First flight of my life was in a Wessex from Predannick to Culdrose (5 min flight).

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