Aircraft Controller

Discussion in 'Joining Up - Royal Navy Recruiting' started by BellaDonna, May 13, 2009.

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  1. Hi,
    I join the Navy as an Aircraft Controller soon, is anybody else joining as one? Are there any Aircraft Controllers on here who can tell me what it's like? I have read everything I can find on it but would like to know what you think, how much time you spend away, if you go to Iraq or Afghanistan etc. Is there many other girls in this branch?

  2. Hi

    I am also joining as an AC. are you joining on 12th July by any chance?

    There are a few people on here with in depth knowledge, i think you spend the first 2 or 3 years on frigates or destroyers so probably quite a bit of time away.

    I was told by someone who is in the navy that there is quite a lot of females in the AC branch.

    Hopefully there will be someone along soon to answer your question better.
  3. Hi Webby, I go to Raleigh in September. I heard the first 3 years is at sea too but thats ok. Thats partly why I'm joining. Glad there is a lot of girls. I've heard that getting promotion is quite quick but only if you are very clever as you have to be clever to get in the branch do you know if this is true?
  4. yeah promotion to leading hand is within 2 years (that is what i was told), obviously you have to prove yourself etc.

    I was told that next entry for AC after July was October 18th
  5. Oh ok, I haven't got my date yet but the careers office told me it would be around September so probably October then. Are there any Aircraft Controllers on here that have been in for a while?
  6. i think there are a few but i do not know all of their names. leave it a day or two and someone will see this thread and give u a reply
  7. "I heard the first 3 years is at sea too but thats ok. Thats partly why I'm joining."

    really! wanting to join the navy to go sea - strange idea that :)
  8. Same here, going as Aircraft Controller after being told I had great FAT scores. Been told im going in July too, but my ACLO is sorting my offical date out. Seems like alot of Ac's are joining at same times, thinks that the point, so we can train together in Phase 2 etc, as what Webby said kinda gives that point?
  9. The AC branch is a new direct entry branch. Basically that means that all the guys and girls doing it now have transferred from another branch in the RN after doing 3 to 4 years in their original source branch. This means in honesty that you will one of the earliest ones to go through the new system.

    1. As an AC you will be right at the core of flying operations both on ships at sea and on Royal Naval Air Stations ashore. The Fleet Air Arm provides the Royal Navy with a unique multi-role airborne capability that can operate at short notice, in all environments, day and night, over land and sea. Its work includes combat, submarine hunting, anti-smuggling and anti-terrorism missions; transporting troops and equipment, undertaking reconnaissance, assisting in the medical evacuation of patients, and providing crucial aid in humanitarian relief efforts. You will be trained to the highest possible standards to provide tactical control, Air Traffic Control Safety Services, mission planning and command aviation advice to the aircrew and Command Team to allow them to carry out day-to-day flying operations safely, expeditiously and effectively.
    2. Pay and Conditions. You will find that Royal Navy pay compares well with similar civilian jobs. As well as basic pay, we offer extra money for special skills. The Royal Navy reviews rates of pay each year and your pay will increase if you are promoted.
    3. We offer most people the security of an 18-year Full Career. Some people even have the opportunity to serve for longer and could go on to age 55. If you are over 36 when you enter service, the engagement will be shorter (a minimum of 18 years), taking you to the age of 55. However, if you decide to leave the Royal Navy, you can submit 12 months notice two and a half years after the end of your initial professional training. However, please be aware that despite the Navy’s best efforts, there can inevitably be delays in training due to a variety of reasons and therefore these figures do not include any period of holdover waiting for courses to start
    4. Promotion. There are excellent promotion opportunities for all ACs and due to the training and nature of the job can be swifter than some other branches. With training and experience, you could be promoted to the rate of Leading Hand, and then Petty Officer, Chief Petty Officer and ultimately, Warrant Officer 1. To qualify for promotion you have to be selected at a promotion board. The selection is based on merit, so if you have the potential, you can be promoted quickly. If you have the aptitude and academic ability, there are also opportunities to become a Commissioned Officer.
    5. Transferring Your Skills. During your time in the Royal Navy, you will have the opportunity to gain all kinds of skills, from the technical know-how to do your job, to personal qualities like teamwork, problem solving, self-confidence and leadership. Plus many of the qualification you get in the Royal Navy are recognised and valued externally. These might include NVQ’s and there are opportunities to study for GCSEs and A-Levels. You will also be able to earn Marine Safety Agency Certificates in Firefighting, First Aid, Sea Survival, Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities.
    6. All the skills and qualifications you can gain are recognised and valued by businesses outside the Royal Navy, and you will find they open up a wide range of opportunities for you if you do decide to leave.
    7. When You Are Not Working. You will enjoy a hectic and varied social life in the Royal Navy. There is a fantastic array of sports and team games on offer. You can try activities such as diving, sailing and gliding. The Royal Navy even offers adventurous training – such as jungle expeditions, skiing, mountaineering and parachuting – designed to build your character and self-confidence. A lot of the training for this is free or subsidised, and at the end you get certificates that are recognised outside the Royal Navy.
    8. What are we looking for. It is vital that you have commitment, enthusiasm, and common sense. Aviation related work demands a special type of person. You need to be able to live and work in testing environments dealing with an ever changing workload often under pressure.
    9. Before you are accepted for training, you will need to undertake a series of tests and interviews. These give us a chance to see if you have the right qualities to be in the Royal Navy. But they also give you the chance to see if a career with the Royal Navy is right for you. They will include:
    a. Recruit Test. The test lasts for approximately one hour and is based on reasoning, numeracy, literacy and mechanical comprehension. You can see some examples of the questions you will be tested on at
    b. Interview. After the test, there is an interview with a Royal Navy Careers Adviser. On completion you will be issued with Medical questionnaire which will be sent by the Careers Adviser to Naval Air Branch doctors, who will asses your suitability to continue entry into the Air Branch. If successful you will be booked on a Flying Aptitude Test
    c. Flying Aptitude Test. You will be required to attend the Officer & Aircrew Selection Centre RAF Cranwell where you will undertake the same tests as the potential Pilots, Observers and Air Traffic Control Candidates to see if you’ve got what it takes to join the Fleet Air Arm. If successful, you will then be required to attend the Institute of Naval Medicine in Alverstoke, Gosport. to complete a full RN/ATC medical.
    d. Fitness Test. During the selection process, you will also have to do a fitness test in which you have a complete a 2.4km run within a set time.
    e. If you are successful, you must complete a security questionnaire and then your application is sent to the Ministry of Defence for approval. When a final decision is made, you will be informed by post.
    10. Once you have been accepted, you will take part in a challenging but enjoyable nine-week course at HMS RALEIGH in Torpoint, Cornwall. Although HMS RALEIGH is based on shore, it is in fact treated as if it were a ship. Here you will learn the basics of marching, staying organised, teamwork, firefighting, security and weapons handling, and you will start to apply those skills in exercises on Dartmoor.
    11. We strongly recommend that you start to build your fitness levels before you arrive for training – you will feel more confident and enjoy the training much more.
    12. You can find out more about HMS RALEIGH at and in our Careers Publication entitled Warfare – A guide to Royal Navy careers.
    13. After basic Phase 1 training, you will then attend the AC Specialisation Grading Course (ACGC) for 1 week. The next stage would be the 5 week Naval Air Traffic Assistants Course (NATAC) followed by 12 months of Consolidation Training at a Typed Air Station as an ATC Assistant in the rate of NA2(AC).
    14. Now professionally trained you will attend the Helicopter Controller Non-tactical (HCNT) course and the Warfare Specialist Course in order to qualify and prepare you for a 12 month period on board a Frigate or Destroyer as the ships controller.
    15. On-The-Job-Training. During this 12 month period, you will be providing an Air Traffic Control Service to different types of helicopters and consolidating all your previous training. Once you have gained this valuable experience you will be trained in the warfare roles and tactics of all NATO Maritime aircraft and promoted to Leading Aircraft Controller. This promotion to Leading Hand is one of the fastest in the Royal Navy and demonstrates the early responsibility you will be given

    Hope this helps you

    • Like Like x 1
  10. I was also wondering, reading Supermario's post, do Aircraft Controllers only work with helicopters, as there was no mention of fast jet???
  11. No jets until a long long time down the line, no helicopters for quite a while either!
  12. As a second draft for a killick, you could find yourself on a Harrier Squadron, but not before.

    You will also control fixed wing a/c at sea though.
  13. So reading Supermario's post it suggests that each flight now has two AC's one tactically trained and the other one not?! Does that mean that the tactically trained AC now just gets the other one to do all the flying briefs and who looks after the flight deck nets? Easy life.........back in my day etc etc
  14. Indeedy, with the current training pipeline new ACs could get a harrier squadron at about the 4.5-5 year mark, still a long way off for those who've not even drawn their first set of bats yet.
  15. Killick does the tactical, Able does the sootaxs, flyexs and gash sorties. Oh yes, and the briefs and flight deck. :lol:
  16. easy life! can I sign up again?
  17. Right now we'd bite your fcuking hand off!
  18. although I'm ten years out of date on the tactical front, but must be like riding a bike......
  19. You can say that again Monti, they are even letting silly old farts like me do FTRS.

    And to all the Newbie ACs - Welcome to the Branch, i will probably be the one taking you for 'The really interesting Aeronautical Publications Lecture' please dont fall asleep during it... its not that bad honestly!
  20. witsend

    witsend War Hero Book Reviewer

    LOL,,,,,I hated some subjects, which put a sleeping spell on me. Did'nt matter if I had 8 hours kip the night before, it was the same old scene, head bowed, hand shading the eyes pretenting to be reading the course doc.

    Lister are you on 75 or 05 pension? I only ask because I met a guy recently who had come back in (signed for a year) who had taken the 05 pension before leaving on his OE1. He was reading a DIN??? and it (I shall try to find the facts out this week) said FTRS on 05 do not receive payments towards there pension pot or something along those lines. Having been back in three 3 months and been overpaided he now owed £1000???. He phoned someone who deals with the pensions, who was also unaware of these rules but on being informed of the DIN confirmed them. I know I am short on facts here and this I don't believe effects anyone on 75, but I shall try and find out the DIN this week and pass it on.

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