Aircrew Officer Pilot

Hi everyone im a newb but being an AOP is basically my dream job, even though ive only recently thought about it as a career, ive always been fasinated by flying.

im currently in my first year of university studying engineering but not out of interest, more so because its a good degree to have. i really enjoy climbing, kayaking, swimming and ive recently started boxing. i also used to play rugby for a local team and for school, do you think it would be a good idea to start again for the university, due to the team work required?

ive already been to my local armed career office and was told to think about joining the URNU or the RNR, but not to let it get in the way of my studies, do you think i should join one of the above? i used to be in sea cadets and really enjoyed that.

im also going to have some flying lessons (not many as they cost a bomb) through the next few years just to give me experience in an aircraft. i have been reading through the AIB/FATs threads on here and have been practising the various tests there are. i plan to apply for these test once i finish my 2nd year so ive got plenty of time to practise. What do you think of my plan? should i do anything else e.g. a part time job? any help will be much appreciated. thanks


Lantern Swinger
Book Reviewer
Raven said:
ive already been to my local armed career office and was told to think about joining the URNU or the RNR, but not to let it get in the way of my studies, do you think i should join one of the above?
Hello and welcome. If the AFCO have already told you to think about joining the URNU or the RNR it might be a good idea to think about it. They are the people who know what they want in a recruit and they give the best guidance for what is best for what you want to join as.
Standfast a few exceptions ( Supermario) the vast majority of posters on this site can give an opinion but they won't have the answers to your questions and may just be spouting shite. ( me included :lol: )

Best of luck
Bugger URNU or RNR, do that if you want to become a fishhead. If you want to be a pilot on the other hand, scout out nd join your nearest University Air Squadron, there are several ex UAS at BRNC, and it'll give you the advantage at grading. Wish I had whilst I was at university, instead I made like a tool and joined the TA, which is why grading will be that little bit more difficult for me over my compatriots.

Good luck with university, get into the UAS (it won't interfere with studies as its tailored around you being a student), and at every step of the selection procedure make it clear you will not be interested in a career as an Aircraft Engineering Officer, because with an engineering degree that's what they'll suggest and try nudge you towards.

in my humble opinion, anyway.

Start giving some thought to leadership skills - can you give examples which might show that you possess them?
Definately do look at the URNU or indeed the UAS if there is one near you. You may come up against a bit of a hurdle with the UAS if you are already into your first year, some won't recruit anyone but freshers due to the sheer number of applicants and limited places combined with training costs. The URNU runs a flying camp with the FAA during the vacations which you can normally get a place on with no issues which will give you some useful exposure. There are also a number of Adventure Training opportunities such as climbing, parachuting, white water rafting etc. that you can take it upon yourself to organise providing not only sporting fun but another tick in the box for AIB.

I wouldn't worry about flying lessons, they aren't looking for pilots they are looking for those with the aptitude to become pilots, your time would be better spent further widening your portfolio of non-academic experience to help you at the AIB. Keep up with the sports, try and find a volunteering role of some kind, a non-sports society is good if you can find one you enjoy because it helps for all your answers not to come from the same pot if you see what I mean.

The other thing I would say with regard to all these things is try and get yourself into positions of responsibility, if you join an URNU then try and get the Senior Mid position, if you join the rugby team try and be the treasurer or the Social Secretary or at least be responsible for something. You will be competing against loads of graduates, all of whom were in clubs at uni, you have to be able to better that and show you have led and organised and shown the qualities they are looking for.

I would also make sure you apply early, a year before you would aim to start ideally because if you don't it can be a painful wait with the current state of the job market, it's a long process and the novelty of having lots of spare time soon wears off.
Thanks everyone, very helpful indeed.

Im in swansea university. They actually have a real flight simulator there and after my exams im going to see if i can have a go.

As for societies, theres one (cant think of the name of the top of my head) which plans events for charity so that would be great.

the only leadership ive experience was when i played rugby for school, i was the second captain so only it was a miniscule role real (although every little counts). I was talking to a friend and he might be able to get me a part time job which will enable me to progress to part time assistant manager by this time next year, so im definately going to try for that.
Soleil beat me to it but do check out Wales URNU, transport is provided from Swansea or at least it used to be, failing that you get a travel allowance so it won't cost you anything. I promise you that you could not find a more fun extra curricular activity at university.

You will be too late to apply as a full member this late in the year but they are always welcoming to associate members who can go along to drill nights but won't get paid or go on sea weekends etc. Its worth dropping them an email on [email protected] and heading along to see for yourself.

If you enjoy it you can apply to join fully next year.

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