Lantern Swinger
Fighter Pilot (1981) TV Series. Fighter Pilot is a BBC television documentary series that was broadcast in the UK on BBC One, from 9 September to 28 October 1981. It was about the training of fast jet pilots in the Royal Air Force and followed the progress of six candidates as they went through the three-year programme. The BBC and the RAF first agreed to work together on a documentary in 1978, when there was a poor level of recruitment and a shortage of pilots in the service. At the time it cost £1 million to train a pilot (£4 million in 2011). The training process, from selection to operational service has a high drop-out rate and only one of the six original candidates went on to fly fast jets.Three of the candidates were airmen who already served in the RAF, while the others were from civilian backgrounds (qualified nurse, zoologist and milkman/farm worker). The series was produced by Colin Strong, who closely followed the candidates for three-and-a-half years. To gain a detailed insight in to the process, he undertook the RAF basic flying training course himself and flew solo in a Jet Provost.

Password: RAF

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Lantern Swinger
For all who wish to re-live Fighter Pilot (1981), the full episode synopsis is below.

Fighter Pilot (1981) S01E01 – Dreams – Aired 9th September 1981 – The series begins in May 1978, when thirty-one applicants arrive at the Officer and Aircrew Selection Centre at RAF Biggin Hill. Six of the candidates are offered pilot training.

Fighter Pilot (1981) S01E02 – Officers And Gentlemen – Aired 16th September 1981 - In September 1978, the candidates arrive at the RAF Officer Cadet Training Unit at RAF Henlow for their 18-week officer training course.

Fighter Pilot (1981) S01E03 – Graduation – Aired 23rd September 1981 - Five of the candidates graduate from the Officer Cadet Training Unit.

Fighter Pilot (1981) S01E04 – Going Solo – Aired 30th September 1981 - In March 1979, the five officer cadets move to the Basic Flying Training School (BFTS) at RAF Linton-on-Ouse, where they learn to fly the Jet Provost.

Fighter Pilot (1981) S01E05 – Chopped – Aired 7th October 1981 - All of the five candidates make their first solo flights.

Fighter Pilot (1981) S01E06 – Fear Of Failing – Aired 14th October 1981 - The candidates progress through the basic flying training course.

Fighter Pilot (1981) S01E07 – Wings – Aired 21st October 1981 - In March 1980, the remaining candidates move to the Advanced Flying School at RAF Valley for 21 weeks of advanced flying training on the Hawk T.1.

Fighter Pilot (1981) S01E08 – Sport Of Kings – Aired 28th October 1981 - In October 1980, the remaining candidates moves to the Tactical Weapons Unit (TWU) at RAF Brawdy, to learn the art of aerial warfare on the Hawk.

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