FAA pilot officer application process


Lantern Swinger
Just a quick one.

I'm trying to find out about the application process to be a pilot officer with the Fleet Air Arm, but most of the info I've found is a bit fragmented or generalised towards all officer applications within the navy.

Can anyone give me some step by step points on what happens? I'm aware of the general process, such as FATs, AIB etc. It's more the very first stages I'm interested in.

I asked about joining the FAA as a pilot, and I was told that I need to discuss it with a certain person who spends most of his time at the Manchester AFCO (I'm in Leeds).

So I filled in a form which wasn't an application as far as I'm aware, but it had questions about interview availability.

So I've filled this in and posted to 'OCLO'(?) in Manchester, and haven't a clue what the next step is. I'm guessing there will be some kind of interview involved next - but what is this all about? Is it still more of a 'discussion about a potential navy career', rather than a beginning of actual application where I need to really knuckle down and prepare for all the questions I might have fired at me.

Thanks, Stuart
OCLO is the Officer Careers Liaison Office. If you haven't visited your ACLO (Area Careers Liaison Officer) yet, the first step is a very general chat about what options are available to you, and what needs to be done. Preparation is never wasted, so arm yourself with information about your chosen branch, but don't worry about being tested on it in depth. I'm sure that one of the recruiting chappies will be along in due course to expand and set your mind completely at ease. Good luck with your application, when it comes to it.
From someone applying for a commission, I've been told that you need to meet with an officer before you apply to be one rather than just walk in and get an application form that potential ratings do...


Lantern Swinger
Thanks for the info. When I mentioned joining the FAA I was handed a load of paperwork and an application form. Then when I said pilot he said it was a different process for officers and took all the paperwork back.

So now I know all I've done so far is request an informal chat, what happens next?

After meeting with the ACLO and discussing all things navy, do I get the ball rolling from there? And what stages are there in the process?

Is it application form - FATs - AIB - and onwards? Or is there a filter interview before the aptitude tests, like with the RAF?

I'm guessing the ACLO could tell me all this but hey I might as well do as KD suggested and get to learn what I can!

Oh and another question seeing as I've started. If I were to make it as far as AIB, what sort of ratio of info would I need to know with regards to what the ships do? Should I aim to know all things to do with aircraft carriers and ships that can hold helicopters back to front, or is it best to have a broad knowledge of the roles of all the ships and learn as much as I can, regardless of the main ships I would use in the specific branch I'm aiming for?

I can't guarentee that this is exactly the process that you will go through, but this is what I have had to do so far in my application to be an Aircrew Officer.

1. RN presentation at careers office - with a bunch of other officer candidates, just a powerpoint presentation and a dit about the various branches and jobs available, etc.

2. RT test - the standard tests done by all officer and rating candidates. Maths, English, mechanical comprehension, etc. There will be plenty of info on this on the site, just have a trawl through.

3. Sift Interview - A formal, one to one interview with your careers officer. Mine lasted about an hour, motivation for joining, Navy knowledge, etc. Again there'll be plenty of info around this site. Following this I was given my full bundle of application forms.

4. Flying Aptitude Tests - This is where it gets tough! Two days up in RAF Cranwell, one day of testing. 5 hours or so in front of a computer screen doing barrages of tests. Lots of useful info on this here http://www.navy-net.co.uk/cpgn2/Forums/viewtopic/t=11868.html.

5. Medical - At your careers office, or at a GP nearby. Pretty standard height, weight, etc. Questions about any ilnesses or medical conditions you might have. Basic vision and hearing tests.

6. Admiralty Interview Board - Not going to go into details, both because I haven't sat it yet and because there is more than enough info on the site.

7. Aircrew medical - A much more in depth medical, done at Haslar the afternoon after your AIB finishes. I haven't had it yet, hopefully somone else may be able to advise you on whats required.

7. BRNC - Assuming you are succesful enough at AIB to win an Aircrew place.

I belive if you fail FATs then you will be pulled back in to discuss your options, I.e waiting and retaking the tests, going into another branch, etc.

Timescale wise I initially expressed interest in about July last year, and I'm due to start AIB on 8th February. There were some delays when my application forms went walkies though so I suppose it's possible that it could all be done quicker for you.

Hope this helps, PM me if you have any other questions. I should stress though that this is all based only on my experience, if you want definitive information the only person you can get it from will be your careers officer.
hmmm i didnt do an RT test, and i dont think i watched a powerpoint presentation either, i watched a video, but there were no other candidates about.

im just waiting for FATs date, but ive heard they're probably going to do medical before FATs now.
not sure how true the rumors are tho.
Hi flyingpikey,

I guess they probably only bother doing the presentation if there are a few candidates, otherwise I suppose the a video and a chat will suffice.

Of the four people on my FATs only one had had a medical before the tests, I don't think its a requirement to sit the tests, but if there is time I suppose they will probably tryto get it done before hand.

I'm on the same road as you at the moment, slightly ahead of yourself but not as far on as prowle4763.

I passed my Sift on March 20th and by March 27th had a nice pack of application forms in my letterbox.

Next stage is for me to get all these forms completed and an eye test done, send everything off to my ACLO and wait to get dates for my Medical -> FATS -> AIB.

As the rest of the guys have said, be prepared when you go to the interviews. Better to be over prepared than under prepared. Same approach for your dress code - over dressed than under dressed!!



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