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Any serving Aircraft handlers on here? or anyone applying?

NateDogg

Lantern Swinger
Hi there,

I am nearly at the end of the selection process I can see the light! passed RT, interview, medical, fitness test, just waiting on my PRNC date. Just wondering if there are any Aircraft handlers on here? The firefighting side is what attracted me to it and the chance to hopefully get transferable NVQ qualifications in firefighting to come out on civvie street in the future. Have read up all I can online but would be good to hear from anyone first hand who knows what its like as a handler.
 

NateDogg

Lantern Swinger
I've heard different things. I'm hoping the firefighting training is similar to civvie street and transferable later in my career if I decide to leave. Be nice to get set up at an air station abroad somewhere. Just done 3 years in Australia I'm hoping later down the line these qualifications could get me back there on the skilled migrant list as a firefighter or possibly at a major airport. But not sure if it will be a lot more of the handling side instead. Any info is appreciated
 

Sumo

War Hero
:):)
We're thinking of different words beginning with W, mind you another word for that begins with M o_O
mutant from to many watchers on the kettle. I was thinking more general like the SM club? There may he more than one meaning for sm:)
 

Trainer

War Hero
Book Reviewer
@NateDogg , in all seriousness the promotion prospects for chockheads are not great. I've seen quite a few 3 Badge ABs in my time. That means 12 years non promoted.

Mind you , in a previous life I did meet a WO Chockhead. Surprising which means it has stuck in my memory.

Feel free, other correspondents to correct me on this... it's only my experience...
 

NateDogg

Lantern Swinger
Thanks for the reply, well that doesn't sound promising, I've looked into other branches but its still the firefighting qualifications what is keeping me interested in AH. My AFCO seemed to think there's a lot of handlers who transfer to civilian firefighters after service. My maths GCSE let me down I passed all other subjects so maybe once I am a few years in and resit my maths I might see for myself if another job would suit me better or which is better for promotion. Naval Police sounds awesome but again its the maths grade doing me over. Does anyone know if Handlers get to travel a lot or would I be mostly at an onshore air station?
 

Captain Birdseye

Lantern Swinger
Hi Natedogg.

I'm applying to the RN next year for the role of an Aircraft Handler...the main reason is that I want to serve on the RN's new QE class ships with the RN's new F35 fighters.

I've done a load of research on the role, and as an NAAH, you/we will be based at either Culdrose or Yeovilton while on base and as for on ship, it could be anywhere depending on where you're drafted.

Coming out of the RN is what worries me too as I'll be left with no qualifications except an HGV licence. I have been considering other roles as well.

P.S) Being as I'm now 30 years old, I want to progress as quick as I can...being a 3 badge AB sounds horrific.
 
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Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
Last Chockhead brief I had, the branch manager stated there was a move away from spending pretty much an entire career sitting in an airstation in a crewroom waiting for something to combust. There were plans afoot to get NA(AH) personnel serving afloat on ships flights on frigates and destroyers -whether that aspiration saw fruition, I know not. Those aspiring to earn skills and qualifications which directly convert to a civilian fire/rescue service job are equally as likely to achieve this in a non-FAA branch.
 

Captain Birdseye

Lantern Swinger
Last Chockhead brief I had, the branch manager stated there was a move away from spending pretty much an entire career sitting in an airstation in a crewroom waiting for something to combust. There were plans afoot to get NA(AH) personnel serving afloat on ships flights on frigates and destroyers -whether that aspiration saw fruition, I know not. Those aspiring to earn skills and qualifications which directly convert to a civilian fire/rescue service job are equally as likely to achieve this in a non-FAA branch.

Interesting! I hope what you've just said is going to become true. Although an Aircraft Handler is there to predominantly make sure that everything is safe and the aircraft is secure etc while on base, it's good to know that AH's can/will be deployed. Being on a base for the duration of your RN career doesn't sound fantastic :confused:
 

NateDogg

Lantern Swinger
Yeah being stuck in a room at an air station throughout my career doesn't sound like living the dream, I'm hoping for the same to get to travel and the chance to work on board one of the 2 new carriers, I've heard the QE carrier is doing a round world tour but not sure what the chances are of getting on. Cruising through the med working with f35 fighters sounds pretty epic. I'm looking at other roles too but it's hard to say from an outside view of what I would enjoy. Again it is the firefighting side what interests me more and possibly use that to move overseas back to Australia or NZ after my RN career. Looking into other roles and doing some more research to make sure it's the right choice for me. I've read that you can change branches/ trades further down the line if granted so it's good to know there's back up plans if it doesn't seem AH is going in the right direction
 

Captain Birdseye

Lantern Swinger
Yeah being stuck in a room at an air station throughout my career doesn't sound like living the dream, I'm hoping for the same to get to travel and the chance to work on board one of the 2 new carriers, I've heard the QE carrier is doing a round world tour but not sure what the chances are of getting on. Cruising through the med working with f35 fighters sounds pretty epic. I'm looking at other roles too but it's hard to say from an outside view of what I would enjoy. Again it is the firefighting side what interests me more and possibly use that to move overseas back to Australia or NZ after my RN career. Looking into other roles and doing some more research to make sure it's the right choice for me. I've read that you can change branches/ trades further down the line if granted so it's good to know there's back up plans if it doesn't seem AH is going in the right direction

I feel the same way you do Natedogg. I was thinking of applying for an AET. However, being as I've sat the RT twice, I was informed just today that I'm no longer able to take the RT again, and an Aircraft Handler is the only role out of all of them open to me that I want to do. My RT expires in September 2017 and my score wasn't high enough for an AET. There is currently a 14 month waiting list for NA(AH).

I'm just concerned with the lack of promotion, and the fact that you don't come out with much after you leave except an LGV/HGV licence. That being said, I can't think of anything better than working with aircraft on the flight deck.

Be warned though, don't expect that you can change branches...once you sign up for the branch and role that you have applied for, it is quite difficult to change. Also, you won't be able to marshall aircraft on the flight deck or on base *until* you reach Leading Hand.
 
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