Applying for pilot roles in Navy and RAF simultaneously

jnc90

Midshipman
Hi all - I'm currently a short way into my application for FAA pilot, passed all initial stages and waiting for FAT's/AIB dates. A couple of months ago I decided to apply for RPAS pilot in the RAF also, FAA pilot is still very much my first choice though.

I've not been through any recruitment stages for the RAF role as of yet but they have asked me to attend a P2 presentation at the AFCO and also booked me in for the CBAT's on March 3rd.
I've asked this question to both the RAF recruiters and Navy recruiters - will my scores at the CBAT's, whether pass or fail, carry over to my Navy application.

The Navy guy seemed fairly confident that it would and if I passed I wouldn't need to sit them again for the FFA Pilot role. The RAF guy was less sure and after chasing him up a few times I'm still waiting for an answer from him.

I'm surprised how quickly I've been booked in for the CBAT's with the RAF, I thought that maybe they had taken my medical and fitness pass forms from the Navy but apparently not.
My worry is that sitting them with the RAF will somehow jeopardise my Navy application - can anyone ease my worries while I wait for a reply from RAF?

Also, does anyone have any inside knowledge if the pass criteria would be the same for both roles?

TIA :)
 
Hi all - I'm currently a short way into my application for FAA pilot, passed all initial stages and waiting for FAT's/AIB dates. A couple of months ago I decided to apply for RPAS pilot in the RAF also, FAA pilot is still very much my first choice though.

I've not been through any recruitment stages for the RAF role as of yet but they have asked me to attend a P2 presentation at the AFCO and also booked me in for the CBAT's on March 3rd.
I've asked this question to both the RAF recruiters and Navy recruiters - will my scores at the CBAT's, whether pass or fail, carry over to my Navy application.

The Navy guy seemed fairly confident that it would and if I passed I wouldn't need to sit them again for the FFA Pilot role. The RAF guy was less sure and after chasing him up a few times I'm still waiting for an answer from him.

I'm surprised how quickly I've been booked in for the CBAT's with the RAF, I thought that maybe they had taken my medical and fitness pass forms from the Navy but apparently not.
My worry is that sitting them with the RAF will somehow jeopardise my Navy application - can anyone ease my worries while I wait for a reply from RAF?

Also, does anyone have any inside knowledge if the pass criteria would be the same for both roles?

TIA :)
In reverse order

Q3 & Q2 - I suspect not. Highly unlikely that, on this thinly populated & UNOFFICIAL RN site, there is anyone qualified or high enough up the food chain to provide accurate & authoritative responses. Even if those of that ilk were to notice your queries I'd doubt that they would be bold enough to pop their head up over the parapet as their PERSEC would be at serious risk.

(Perhaps, if you are really lucky, our Agony, but fragrant, Aunt [ @soliel ] might just have a relevant Phone No. at her beautifully manicured finger tips. Warning -she's not just 'anyone' though don'tcha know? :WINK: )

Q1 - Keep chasing that RAF guy seems to be your best bet in the knowledge that virtually none of that tribe populate or visit us at RR.



HTH & Fair Winds, perhaps you'll let us know how you get on IDC? Could be cited as a Reference for future similar inquiries.
 
Navy test for Observer as well unlike the RAF. Be mindful that if you do fail for the RAF there is a time restriction on when you can present for CBAT again despite which service you apply for. Timescale of which I can't be 100% sure, best speak with the AFCO.
 

jnc90

Midshipman
So Steely eyed fighter pilot in the RN or Playstation operator in the RAF? hardly the same :)
Yep take your point. As I say the RN role is still very much my preference of the 2. Sadly I'm over the age limit for other pilot roles in the RAF or Army so can't apply to any of those positions as a second choice. Initially didn't apply for the RPAS pilot as I thought the same as you but the role does appeal to me a lot more after some good research plus the way the aviation industry is going there is likely to be a very promising future for unmanned and autonomous aircraft, so potentially not a bad option long term.
 

jnc90

Midshipman
Navy test for Observer as well unlike the RAF. Be mindful that if you do fail for the RAF there is a time restriction on when you can present for CBAT again despite which service you apply for. Timescale of which I can't be 100% sure, best speak with the AFCO.
Thanks for the info. I think it's 1 year to re-attempt if you fail. By all accounts it's the exact same test so for the observer roles wouldn't the Navy just look at my scores and asses themselves if I scored high enough for observer but not pilot?

It's difficult to get a firm answer. My RN recruiter seemed confident that I should go for the CBAT's and my scores would transfer across. I still can't get an answer from the RAF guys in the AFCO. Going to speak to the central team too but it's difficult to know who is giving me the correct info and I'm anxious of going off incorrect info and jeopardising my RN application now.
 

clonmel

Lantern Swinger
Hi all - I'm currently a short way into my application for FAA pilot, passed all initial stages and waiting for FAT's/AIB dates. A couple of months ago I decided to apply for RPAS pilot in the RAF also, FAA pilot is still very much my first choice though.

I've not been through any recruitment stages for the RAF role as of yet but they have asked me to attend a P2 presentation at the AFCO and also booked me in for the CBAT's on March 3rd.
I've asked this question to both the RAF recruiters and Navy recruiters - will my scores at the CBAT's, whether pass or fail, carry over to my Navy application.

The Navy guy seemed fairly confident that it would and if I passed I wouldn't need to sit them again for the FFA Pilot role. The RAF guy was less sure and after chasing him up a few times I'm still waiting for an answer from him.

I'm surprised how quickly I've been booked in for the CBAT's with the RAF, I thought that maybe they had taken my medical and fitness pass forms from the Navy but apparently not.
My worry is that sitting them with the RAF will somehow jeopardise my Navy application - can anyone ease my worries while I wait for a reply from RAF?

Also, does anyone have any inside knowledge if the pass criteria would be the same for both roles?

TIA :)
I've never worked at OASC but a close friend used to be one of the Board Presidents, or something similar.

For RAF pilot / WSO (navigator in old money) competitive CBAT scores begin at around 145 - 150, principally influenced by the fact that they have hundreds of bright young things from the University Air Squadron (UAS) system piling through the door.

For the FAA, that score is c120, and the AAC have in the past accepted aspirant pilots with scores in the 70 region. That's not RN- or Army-bashing, it's just a statement of fact.

Rest assured, if you have sat the aptitude tests for one Service, it will be on record somewhere and will be shared with the others.

PS - JFH has it right in one aspect; the RPAS pilot stream in the RAF - why? Though it could lead on to commercial RPAS flying quals in later life (not as ridiculous as it sounds, BTW) if that is what you are after.
 

MAXtmpu

Midshipman
Hi all - I'm currently a short way into my application for FAA pilot, passed all initial stages and waiting for FAT's/AIB dates. A couple of months ago I decided to apply for RPAS pilot in the RAF also, FAA pilot is still very much my first choice though.

I've not been through any recruitment stages for the RAF role as of yet but they have asked me to attend a P2 presentation at the AFCO and also booked me in for the CBAT's on March 3rd.
I've asked this question to both the RAF recruiters and Navy recruiters - will my scores at the CBAT's, whether pass or fail, carry over to my Navy application.

The Navy guy seemed fairly confident that it would and if I passed I wouldn't need to sit them again for the FFA Pilot role. The RAF guy was less sure and after chasing him up a few times I'm still waiting for an answer from him.

I'm surprised how quickly I've been booked in for the CBAT's with the RAF, I thought that maybe they had taken my medical and fitness pass forms from the Navy but apparently not.
My worry is that sitting them with the RAF will somehow jeopardise my Navy application - can anyone ease my worries while I wait for a reply from RAF?

Also, does anyone have any inside knowledge if the pass criteria would be the same for both roles?

TIA :)
I did the same as you with my application to the RN which started in July 2019, so my information should hopefully be up-to-date.

First of all, yes, your CBAT results for pilot apply across all three services. However, if you sit the RAF ones first, you will have to go back to RAF Cranwell to sit the RN's short battery of Observer tests. Perhaps if you flag this up when you go down, you can ask to sit the Observer tests whilst you are there. Hopefully they won't get all arsey about it.

According to the RAF staff in my filter interview, the RAF just increased the cutoff score for pilot to make it more competitive. I'm unsure what the cutoff has increased to (they couldn't say) or if the Navy has followed. It was previously 112.

The RAF guys were unsure about CBATs applying across all three services for me too. In fact, they insisted that I needed to go back to Cranwell after passing for the Navy, to which I insisted that they check with Cranwell because I was told by RAF Cranwell that scores applied across every service. They weren't happy that I was right.

The RAF send you to CBATs first because its such a great filter for candidates. I personally felt that the Navy were more interested in me and my personal development than the RAF were throughout recruitment - but thats just my experience.

Scoring for the CBATs (aside from the recent cutoff change, which I cannot give you any solid info on) is identical across all three services for pilot. RPAS is an RAF-only role, however.

Finally, don't worry about applying to both. Applying to both is actually wise - you'll get to learn more about each service and decide where you think you might best fit. The RAF were also VERY slow compared to the Navy. I applied to the RAF in September, sat CBATs through the Navy in October, and the RAF sent me for the initial filter interview in January, at which point I had an AIB date. After passing AIB, I decided that I did everything I could to get into the Navy and that because it was my first choice, I cancelled my RAF application. Perhaps a bit foolish as I am waiting for selection, but I knew fairly quickly that the RAF wasn't the organisation for me regardless.

I hope this information helps. Ask me anything else that comes to mind, and best of luck!
 

clonmel

Lantern Swinger
According to the RAF staff in my filter interview, the RAF just increased the cutoff score for pilot to make it more competitive. I'm unsure what the cutoff has increased to (they couldn't say) or if the Navy has followed. It was previously 112.
According to my oppo the RAF have never (in his time at OASC, anyway) had a cut off of 112 for pilot scores.
 

MAXtmpu

Midshipman
According to my oppo the RAF have never (in his time at OASC, anyway) had a cut off of 112 for pilot scores.
Perhaps so. I'm going off of the CBAT wordpress blog and my RAF AFCO, which both led to believe 112 was the on-paper "pass" mark. Maybe a competitive score is essential to getting invited to OASC?

I never got the opportunity to be invited to OASC as I withdrew my application before the medical and fitness tests were to take place, so I don't know the details.
 

clonmel

Lantern Swinger
Perhaps so. I'm going off of the CBAT wordpress blog and my RAF AFCO, which both led to believe 112 was the on-paper "pass" mark. Maybe a competitive score is essential to getting invited to OASC?

I never got the opportunity to be invited to OASC as I withdrew my application before the medical and fitness tests were to take place, so I don't know the details.
Errrrm, RAF applicants do the CBAT battery as part of their OASC selection, unless I am massively mis-informed.......
 

MAXtmpu

Midshipman
Errrrm, RAF applicants do the CBAT battery as part of their OASC selection, unless I am massively mis-informed.......
If I understand your question correctly, I think the answer is that they don't anymore. Now CBATs are the first stage of the application process (well, after a presentation at the AFCO). Interview, medical, and fitness all take place prior to the invite to OASC. Invites to OASC are conditional on good performance throughout the previous parts of the process.

OASC is of a very similar format to AIB now I believe - with no CBATs and a political discussion amongst the team thrown into the mix (yikes!!).

I could have misunderstood your question, so please berate me if so.
 

jnc90

Midshipman
Rest assured, if you have sat the aptitude tests for one Service, it will be on record somewhere and will be shared with the others.

PS - JFH has it right in one aspect; the RPAS pilot stream in the RAF - why? Though it could lead on to commercial RPAS flying quals in later life (not as ridiculous as it sounds, BTW) if that is what you are after.
Thanks for this and all the other info very helpful :)
As for why go for RPAS pilot simultaneously - both roles really appeal to me, the more hands on and exciting nature of pilot in the Navy is still my preference but I certainly wouldn't turn my nose up at RPAS pilot if I don't make it for the Navy role. Not sure if pass criteria would be all that different but no harm in putting an application in. And like you say, in the next few decades remotely piloted aircraft is going to really take off (boom boom) so potentially not a bad line of work to be in, thinking long term.
 

jnc90

Midshipman
I did the same as you with my application to the RN which started in July 2019, so my information should hopefully be up-to-date.

First of all, yes, your CBAT results for pilot apply across all three services. However, if you sit the RAF ones first, you will have to go back to RAF Cranwell to sit the RN's short battery of Observer tests. Perhaps if you flag this up when you go down, you can ask to sit the Observer tests whilst you are there. Hopefully they won't get all arsey about it.

According to the RAF staff in my filter interview, the RAF just increased the cutoff score for pilot to make it more competitive. I'm unsure what the cutoff has increased to (they couldn't say) or if the Navy has followed. It was previously 112.

The RAF guys were unsure about CBATs applying across all three services for me too. In fact, they insisted that I needed to go back to Cranwell after passing for the Navy, to which I insisted that they check with Cranwell because I was told by RAF Cranwell that scores applied across every service. They weren't happy that I was right.

The RAF send you to CBATs first because its such a great filter for candidates. I personally felt that the Navy were more interested in me and my personal development than the RAF were throughout recruitment - but thats just my experience.

Scoring for the CBATs (aside from the recent cutoff change, which I cannot give you any solid info on) is identical across all three services for pilot. RPAS is an RAF-only role, however.

Finally, don't worry about applying to both. Applying to both is actually wise - you'll get to learn more about each service and decide where you think you might best fit. The RAF were also VERY slow compared to the Navy. I applied to the RAF in September, sat CBATs through the Navy in October, and the RAF sent me for the initial filter interview in January, at which point I had an AIB date. After passing AIB, I decided that I did everything I could to get into the Navy and that because it was my first choice, I cancelled my RAF application. Perhaps a bit foolish as I am waiting for selection, but I knew fairly quickly that the RAF wasn't the organisation for me regardless.

I hope this information helps. Ask me anything else that comes to mind, and best of luck!
Excellent mate, thanks very much for all the info - very helpful!! Good to hear from someone who has gone through it recently too. Will make sure to mention to them when I get there for the CBAT's re the observer tests. If I did need to go back and sit separate tests for Observer then hopefully it wouldn't mean sitting everything over again.

I was surprised how quickly the RAF booked me in for the CBAT's as I have been going through all the initial stages with the Navy for 3 months without any sign of the FAT's, where as the RAF put me in for them straight away. Could work out well though if it means it speed up my RN process.

I intend to play it the same as you, if I was to make it thorough the FAT's an AIB then would cancel my RAF application also but long way to go before I can think of that.

Any idea of when you could expect to start training? Hope it's soon for you as I'm sure you're itching to get going now!

Thanks again :)
 

MAXtmpu

Midshipman
Excellent mate, thanks very much for all the info - very helpful!! Good to hear from someone who has gone through it recently too. Will make sure to mention to them when I get there for the CBAT's re the observer tests. If I did need to go back and sit separate tests for Observer then hopefully it wouldn't mean sitting everything over again.

I was surprised how quickly the RAF booked me in for the CBAT's as I have been going through all the initial stages with the Navy for 3 months without any sign of the FAT's, where as the RAF put me in for them straight away. Could work out well though if it means it speed up my RN process.

I intend to play it the same as you, if I was to make it thorough the FAT's an AIB then would cancel my RAF application also but long way to go before I can think of that.

Any idea of when you could expect to start training? Hope it's soon for you as I'm sure you're itching to get going now!

Thanks again :)
No worries mate! Glad I can help.

Don't worry about having to redo all of the tests if you have to return to sit the rest of the observer battery. Its only 1 or 2 more tests that are basically wrapped up in half an hour iirc. Sadly, the Navy require that you do them even if you pass for pilot because you may be offered observer instead of pilot at selection, so they need all aircrew candidates to have sat all aptitude tests. Its just a pain because travelling to Cranwell isn't easy for everyone! Be firm (but not too firm) with the RAF when you're asking to take the RN's Observer tests, they might not be keen on you doing it whilst you're there on an RAF day. You might not be able to be debriefed on your Observer score either should any Navy staff not be there on the day, as the Navy candidates sit their tests on a Wednesday I believe. The RAF are on a different day (and I don't even think they have the courtesy to debrief you on the day you sit them!).

Sitting those RAF CBATs will likely speed up your application with the Navy. Let your ACLO know what your CBAT date is so that they could arrange a careers discussion to take place soon afterwards. That way, you'll be forwarded to AIB sooner rather than later which is key because of the large backlog of candidates waiting for AIB at the moment. I sat my careers discussion in November and had to wait until January to get an early February AIB date.

Should I pass my Aircrew Medical then I am hopeful to be selected for May entry into BRNC. I decided to bin the RAF application because I had passed everything that was within my control and if I fail now, there is no reason that the RAF would be able to consider me over the Navy. Navy was always first choice anyway, like yourself. Fingers crossed!! Its a dream job that I've been working on for eight years now, but I know I've done my best regardless of the medical result.

Feel free to message me about AIB, FATs/CBATs, or anything else.
 

clonmel

Lantern Swinger
If I understand your question correctly, I think the answer is that they don't anymore. Now CBATs are the first stage of the application process (well, after a presentation at the AFCO). Interview, medical, and fitness all take place prior to the invite to OASC. Invites to OASC are conditional on good performance throughout the previous parts of the process.

OASC is of a very similar format to AIB now I believe - with no CBATs and a political discussion amongst the team thrown into the mix (yikes!!).

I could have misunderstood your question, so please berate me if so.
I sit corrected, you are absolutely spot on. I was going by 2017 / 18 information.
 
For RAF pilot / WSO (navigator in old money) competitive CBAT scores begin at around 145 - 150, principally influenced by the fact that they have hundreds of bright young things from the University Air Squadron (UAS) system piling through the door.

For the FAA, that score is c120, and the AAC have in the past accepted aspirant pilots with scores in the 70 region. That's not RN- or Army-bashing, it's just a statement of fact.
Is this gen? I would assume that this is down to the FAA also having grading as a net?
 

jnc90

Midshipman
No worries mate! Glad I can help.

Don't worry about having to redo all of the tests if you have to return to sit the rest of the observer battery. Its only 1 or 2 more tests that are basically wrapped up in half an hour iirc. Sadly, the Navy require that you do them even if you pass for pilot because you may be offered observer instead of pilot at selection, so they need all aircrew candidates to have sat all aptitude tests. Its just a pain because travelling to Cranwell isn't easy for everyone! Be firm (but not too firm) with the RAF when you're asking to take the RN's Observer tests, they might not be keen on you doing it whilst you're there on an RAF day. You might not be able to be debriefed on your Observer score either should any Navy staff not be there on the day, as the Navy candidates sit their tests on a Wednesday I believe. The RAF are on a different day (and I don't even think they have the courtesy to debrief you on the day you sit them!).

Sitting those RAF CBATs will likely speed up your application with the Navy. Let your ACLO know what your CBAT date is so that they could arrange a careers discussion to take place soon afterwards. That way, you'll be forwarded to AIB sooner rather than later which is key because of the large backlog of candidates waiting for AIB at the moment. I sat my careers discussion in November and had to wait until January to get an early February AIB date.

Should I pass my Aircrew Medical then I am hopeful to be selected for May entry into BRNC. I decided to bin the RAF application because I had passed everything that was within my control and if I fail now, there is no reason that the RAF would be able to consider me over the Navy. Navy was always first choice anyway, like yourself. Fingers crossed!! Its a dream job that I've been working on for eight years now, but I know I've done my best regardless of the medical result.

Feel free to message me about AIB, FATs/CBATs, or anything else.
Thanks for the advice again MAX :) Went to the RAF P2 presentation yesterday and asked there about the whole CBAT/FAT's thing, she seemed pretty sure they wouldn't let me do the observer tests on the day but no harm in asking politely when I get there.

Also, forgot to ask before - which role is it you're going for? Also pilot?
 

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