Future pilot, hopefully

MerlinMK3

Midshipman
Hi,
I am nearly 15 now and am pretty set on joining the navy to fly helicopters. What can I do to increase my chances? Will have a private helicopter license help?
Many thanks in advance



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slim

War Hero
Rich kids who can afford to get a private helicopter licence could in my day almost guarantee getting a commission.
Sorry son I think you are now in an age where this does not apply :(
 

MerlinMK3

Midshipman
Ok, so once I have the Merlin Q, is it certain I will be posted to a front line Merlin squadron or is there still a lot more training were I can knocked from the course.

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SONAR-BENDER

War Hero
If mummy and daddy can afford to pay (unless you have a massive private income as a 15 year old!) for you to learn to fly, then qualify, on a helicopter, then great. It is a start. A very good start!

HOWEVER, you also need to apply to the RN and pass an AIB. It is possible (despite holding your rotary wings) that you will fail to qualify for the RN academically. You could also fail medically or practically at the AIB or just be such a knob that they don't select you!

By all means learn to fly - lots of jobs for helo pilots around other than the RN!

Good luck!
 

fishhead

War Hero
No doubt someone with greater knowledge(not difficult I know) will correct me but should you have successfully jumped through all the necessary hoops required to be accepted as an RN pilot having a civilian licence would not fast track you and the service would require you to be trained their way to ensure there were no poor practices being employed.
 

Waspie

War Hero
No doubt someone with greater knowledge(not difficult I know) will correct me but should you have successfully jumped through all the necessary hoops required to be accepted as an RN pilot having a civilian licence would not fast track you and the service would require you to be trained their way to ensure there were no poor practices being employed.
Just to follow on from this. One of my flight commanders was a qualified pilot prior to joining. He was trained by Bristows but sadly had no place to go once qualified. (Pilot). He then together with his educational Quals, A levels, degree etc. apply to join the RN. However, that was all after Uni and however long Brostows pilot training was so by the time he joined up he was the better side of 24 years of age.
So my young Padewan, you still have a mighty long way to go.
Don't run before you can walk. Nice to have dreams, plans, but try and be realistic. Small steps. Finish school, get college behind you. (A levels). Maybe take a few flying lessons. Radio procedures etc. A few good price books on the ground work needed. It's not all flying.
 

clonmel

Lantern Swinger
Hi,
I am nearly 15 now and am pretty set on joining the navy to fly helicopters. What can I do to increase my chances? Will have a private helicopter license help?
Many thanks in advance



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Hi MerlinMk3
At 14 years of age you are clearly too young to be considered for full-time military service, but there are a number of things you can do to strengthen your case.

From the outset, don't get hung up on having a private helicopter licence; very very few student pilots in the Army, Navy or RAF have ever touched the controls of a helicopter before starting the RW pilots course at RAF Shawbury, and most of them pass the course!!! Instructors will know if you have previous handling experience (you are mandated to tell them prior to joining) and it will be taken into account. Throughout the flying training courses, you are being assessed more on your ability to absorb, rationalise and act upon information [that is coming at you like water out of a fire hose] than anything else. Instructors can teach you how to fly a Squirrel, Gazelle or whatever; they can't teach you to learn & recall information under pressure.

From the age of 14, some things are within your grasp. Thrash school. If / when you walk through the door of an AFCO looking to become a pilot, you are applying for one of the most competitive entry routes into the UK armed forces. Currently the minimum educational qualifications are 5 GCSEs and two A-levels totalling 180 UCAS points.

https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/careers/joining/get-ready-to-join/royal-navy-officer/am-i-eligible?gclid=Cj0KCQjw2v7mBRC1ARIsAAiw34-_iFtHpEoAnNw4sOWsRTNXwY15gj3cTJlMEvS-ePIeT7JL8QTP808aAmX9EALw_wcB

Bottom line though, is that most if not all aspiring pilots will have way in excess of these minima, and you will be in competition with some very high achieving guys & girls from some of the UK's best universities. Don't be intimidated by that, but it's a fact of life. So, go hell for leather at school, such that they day you finish your final exam, you know you have given it your very best shot. I didn't, I walked out of school with 5 Scottish Highers all at grade B, and I inwardly kick myself even now, some 25+ years later. Also, whilst at school, get involved in some manner of extra curricular activity - be that cadets, or one of the after school clubs, etc. Reason for this is that AIB (and the other Services' equivalents) will want to see solid evidence of excess capacity and that you're not just a bookworm. I was in the cadets at school with a bloke who went on to become a 1* in the Navy, a bloke who became a Gp Capt Tornado pilot in the RAF, numerous blokes who became Marines, Paras, AAC pilots, RAF navigators, one ended up as one of the technicians on Richard Noble's Thrust II SSC!!!!

You then have to decide if you want to join as a Direct Entrant (DE) or as a graduate. For f**k's sake, go to university for 3 or 4 years. Get drunk, go to parties, shag accommodating girlie students, join the URNU or UAS or whatever, and enjoy the life!!! I joined as a DE and was streets behind the graduates on the courses I was on, and it took me some time to catch up. Each branch of the Armed Forces run a lucrative Bursary scheme, not as good as the old University Cadet scheme but there you go, this will pay some of your tuition fees etc and leave you with a few quid in your pocket.

Then you have to apply and get in to the RN. This entails passing the Admiralty Interview Board, no mean feat in itself, and then passing the Flying Aptitude Tests* at OASC RAF Cranwell, BRNC, flying grading, elementary and advanced flying courses leading to the award of your wings. The AIB through to wings stage is years away for you yet, but you can get on the path now.

So, in sum:
Thrash School, get as good as you can GCSE and A-level results. Join the ATC or Sea Cadets or CCF.
Go to university, get drunk,shag birds
Join one of the military university organisations - you will make lifelong friends
Try to get sponsorship from the military
Join and realise your dream!!

* Don't get hung up on the FATs at OASC. They are largely the kind of thing you can do or you can't, but prepping yourself by practicing mental arithmetic, puzzle book type exercises, computer games involving spatial orientation can help a little.
 

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