Aircrewman help

Discussion in 'The Fleet Air Arm' started by uwotm8, Oct 8, 2013.

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  1. Hello this is my first time posting on this forum so appologies in advance if this is in the wrong place. Bassically im thinking of applying to be an Aircrewman in the Fleet Air Arm early next year and i was hoping a few serving or ex-aircrewman could give me a bit of insight as to what life on ship and at an air station is like? also i was wandering once a deployment on board ship is over do the aircrew leave the ship before it returns to its home port or do they come in on the ship as well? and also is there much time to go home and see the family? I currently live in portsmouth and im worried that, if it is the case that aircrew leave ship before it docks, i wont be able to see my family much as i would fly out from culdrose to meet the ship, be away away on a 6-9 month deployment and then fly back to culdrose before the ship returns to portsmouth (or plymouth). I dont have any commitements in portsmouth like children or anything but i dont want to hardly see my family. Especially since my brother is already in the navy. Sorry for any spelling mistakes im in hurry at the moment :p
     
  2. Next please
     
  3. face2.jpg ......
     
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  4. You will need to be excepted by their Lordships and pass your RAUT first!!!!!!! :sad5: Hands to flying stations in Pompey or Guzz harbour, is only for the Old and Bold amongst us :-? Malta harbour and hands to flying stations is for Sir only
     

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    Last edited: Oct 8, 2013
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  5. Don't believe Scouse, he sold his Wafu Pinkie Birthright for a pair of shiny wings.:toothy4:
     
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  6. OP, you haven't said if your considering direct entry or are currently serving. I am assuming you haven't joined yet. If this is the case and are considering a career in aviation.

    Try the RAF. As an ex RN aircrewman we simply do a job, worrying about family and flying on and off the ship isn't a consideration. What you going to do if they post you away from the West Country?

    Seriously - chose something else - you have too many negatives already!
     
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  7. Ive realised my post looks dumb but im not at all bothered about where i would be posted and how much time i would have off to see family i was just curious. The main thing i want to know is what aircrewman get up to day to day and what deployments are like for them. The thing i mentioned about flying on and off ship, what i meant by that was after a deployment onboard ship do the aircrew simply return to their NAS or do they stay with the ship for however long? Because ive heard different things from different people, some say the aircrew stay with the ship even when not on deployment and others say that the aircrew go straight back to their NAS as soon as the deployments over, before the ship even gets to its homeport. Whatever actually happens im not bothered in the slightest im just curious as to what actually happens. Thank you
     
  8. As an aircrewman you are attached to a naval air squadron not a ship. An Aircrewman is an integral part of the constitution of a crew of a helicopter so if an aircraft flies off, it is normal for an aircrewman to be part of the crew. Even if you are supernumerary, (not designated as crew), it is inevitable you will go with the squadron and not stay with the ship.

    The day to day duties of an aircrewman are numerous, although you fly, ground work is crucial, there used be a ratio of 4 hours preparation to every 1 hour flown, you will find yourself almost certainly preparing for something, preparing lectures for training, secondary duties, duty aircrewman, assisting the duty officer to run the flying programme. There is recognition training, asw training if a pinger. As there is no where to go on board an aircrewman normally keeps himself busy if he has the right motivation.

    The thing you need to focus in the near future, are the tests to become an aircrewman. The largest hurdle is the medical. For that there is no training or preparation that will prepare you for possibly the strictest medical you will ever have. You will either pass and know you are A1 fit OR, you will walk out of the medical with a list of specialist appointments!!!!

    Good luck, but seriously, if family will be a problem, then I am serious about the RAF.

    An example. I left home one morning at 7am as usual, said bye to the wife and kids. I knew I only had a 4 hour training sortie, 11 am to 3 pm. So - home by five.

    Seven weeks later I saw my wife. My training flight turned into a search for a possible soviet submarine in the Kyles of Lochalsh!!!!!! From Prestwick to Benbecula to Stornaway then embarked on the Argus!!!! Life as aircrewman is NOT 9 to 5!!!
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2013
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  9. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    This is the bit that many joining the FAA fail to fully appreciate prior to joining.

    With the notable exception of those drafted to a carrier as part of the permanent air department (usually drawn from NA(SE), AET, NA(HM) & NA(AH) ) of course.

    Many people joining the Fleet Air Arm are initially surprised how little of their service career is actually spent on ships, at sea. Once the ship returns to base port, as Waspie alludes, you return to your air station with the aircraft.

    When (if) the new carrier(s) enter service, it's inevitable the government will want to send it (them) overseas to try and suggest we are still a "Blue water Navy" with global strike capability (when the aircraft finally arrive) rather than just a UK coastal defence force. Obviously, therefore, all FAA can realistically expect a fair bit of sea time when compared to the preceding decade - maybe as much as six months deployed every 18 months, or even one-off slightly longer deployments. This will affect everyone, not just Aircrewmen, of course.

    Recently, a mate of mine saw both of his sons join the service as AETs. They both got the hump when they were told by Sultan that on average, they probably wouldn't realistically expect to be serving on a ships flight at sea, until about four years after joining. Things will change once the squadrons start serving afloat on deployed ships, but during this transitional period, I doubt there will be a shortage of time ashore with at least three weekends off out of four - plenty of time to commute home each weekend, for those not intending moving their families closer to the air station. Pompey to Cornwall is a doddle compared to the commute frequently endured by Scottish Woos on the same squadron.
     
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  10. I joined the navy as a AET or NAM in old money. It was indeed four years before I was drafted to my first ship, the previous HMS Albion. Even then it was in AMP in Singa's so I was shore based again in Simbang until completion of repairs.

    Yes - life as a WAFU is fraught with shore bases and clicky beds!!!!!
     
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  11. You forgot the Early Chops:confused2:
     
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  12. And free Mars Bars!!


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  13. Don't get me going about the 'nutty allowance'. What a bonus!!!!!!!! Become a fat bastard on the cheap!!! I loved that job!!!!!!:hungry:
     
  14. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Whoopsie, no-one noticed my deliberate error: NA(Metoc) is now WS(HM).
     
  15. Thanks a lot Waspie and Ninja_Stoker that really helped. I already knew a lot of time would be spent ashore and im not bothered by that and i can easily make the commute from Cornwall to Portsmouth on my Kawasaki Ninja ;) I am seriously considering the RAF but my family has a strong tradition of being in the Navy, my dad, grandad and great grandad all served in the navy and my brother is currently deployed. Im probably not going to apply until mid next year anyway so i can build my fitness up so i have plenty of time to come to a decision. btw do any of you know who the guys in the back of the lynxs are? On the royal navy website it says theirs a crew of 3 and on a few docs ive watched there has been a guy in the back usually on the MG but it also says on the RN website that aircrewman get streamed either CHF or ASW Merlin, no mention of the Lynx :S Anyway thanks again.
     
  16. It may well have changes since my time on a Lynx flight but the guy in the back was normally just one of the flight groundcrew. Ours was the AEM(AE) read AET for modern navy.
    He was trained by the Flight commander and received a little extra money for the duties. Referred to by the rest of the flight as "The Winch Weight":w00t:
     
  17. Alright thanks :) Also i was wandering since i don't have any A-levels only GCSE's i cant apply to be a pilot but if i was to get A-levels while in the RN is it possible to then apply for pilot training while already serving in the Navy as an Aircrewman? I know im thinking to fair ahead but i just want to be sure of what job progressions are available since i have always been interested in becoming a pilot.
     
  18. What does that mean? WS? I think I know the hydro / met malarkey bit :)


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    Last edited: Oct 10, 2013
  19. You could study for the relevant educational qualifications required for pilot whils serving in any branch of the RN, even occifer steward.
    Whether you possess the aptitude and skills required for pilotof course is a matter between you and the relevant board.
     
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  20. okay, so as long as i got the relevant qualifications i would be eligible to apply for a job change?
     

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