Future pilot, hopefully


War Hero
As you have a few years before becoming one the navies bringers of death from above.
Use the search facility on here and scour the threads that are related to the subject you are interested in. There has been a great deal of questions regards pilot, pilot training and such. Get to know or at least get an idea about what you are trying to achieve. Good and BAD. Being a pilot as you may learn, isn't just about sitting in high tech mil jets and helicopters and charming the ladies. A great deal is done on the ground and NOT aviation related.
Good luck on your chosen career path.
That's me - over and out!!! (Bad RT). Out!
Just to add - Always have a Plan B and/or C as a back-up to fall back on.

Then, should any of Plan A's doors found to be locked shut, you'll already know which other ones to turn towards.


War Hero
Get Speed, Distance, Time calcs under your belt. Lots of practice needed. They'll have the answers on paper, you have to work it out in yer noggin. Get edu quals, team playing sporty things and appear confident. Best of luck. :cool:


War Hero
...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...
Interestingly, those commencing flying training below the age of 21 statistically have a higher success rate than older students.

As a result, the RAF have placed greater emphasis and funding on recruiting non-graduate aircrew. The Service also gains from the greater return of service from these individuals. For the recruit, they avoid having the financial burden of university fees hanging over them for decades; there are also ample opportunities to study for degrees while in service (I’ve gained 2 masters during my time in having joined up at 18).

So I would say that both non-graduate and graduate entrance offer equally viable methods of entry.

For me, the advice I’d give is to practice time/speed/distance calculations and to join the Air Cadets if you want to fly in any of the services. It’s by far the best funded youth organisation with extensive opportunities for gliding and powered flying scholarships leading to a PPL.



War Hero
As a result, the RAF have placed greater emphasis and funding on recruiting non-graduate aircrew.
Yes, I have similar thoughts about not going to university unless required.

In my mind if being a Royal Navy pilot is what you want to do then you should take the very first opportunity to join up. Apply for a 6th Form Scholarship (if they still do them); not necessarily to get any money but to sit the AIB early and get a guaranteed place once you've finished your A levels. If that's not possible then apply to join while studying for your A levels so that you can join the RN as soon as possible afterwards.

Of course, many potential RN officers just don't have the maturity etc at 16/17 to pass the AIB (cue inevitable 'or ever' comments :) ) and will be advised to 'come back later'. This, in my mind, is the time to go to university and read something useful.

If university is something you really want to do then crack on have a great time. However, if it's not then join up as soon as you're able and get going through the pilot training pipeline. It takes long enough as it is and 3 years drinking and shagging at university is not going to get you into the cockpit of a Merlin any quicker.

As for a helicopter licence: there is no need to have one and the RN is going to start you at the beginning anyway and train you how they want you trained. However, if you want to be a pilot it is a good idea to be able to point to the efforts you've gone to before the AIB which show how great your desire is. It's no good telling them you really want to fly when you've never even been in a light aircraft and have no idea what flying is all about. As has already been suggested, join the ATC and do some air experience flights. Go gliding because it's relatively cheap and you can solo younger that powered flying (I think that is still he case). See if you can get any flying scholarships etc and do some powered aircraft flying and even progress to PPL level if you have the time and money. However, realise that having a licence is NOT a prerequisite.

As for a helicopter licence, no I wouldn't spend the massive amount required. You'll be flying fixed wing to start with, so that is useful experience to have because you need to pass the elementary/basic flying before they sling you in an egg whisk. Again, by all means go and have a couple of lessons if you can afford them (did I say how horrendously expensive they are :oops: ) as it'll (a)be great fun and (b)mean you're able to point the AIB to the fact that you've had a bit of tuition in a chopper, that you thoroughly enjoyed it and that it confirmed where you want to make a career etc.

We, too, had an ex-Bristows guy on our course, with a CPL(H). We were slightly in awe of this chap who already had a good deal of experience but by the end of EFTS we had all been taken back to the beginning and trained the forces way and he was no further ahead than any of the guys who joined on the same date. It is true that when he went to Culdrose and started the Gazelle course he was a considerable way ahead and didn't take up half the airfield to hover BUT it didn't take that long before the other guys 'caught up'. He ended up flying anti-submarine Sea Kings. He always wanted to go Command Role and you would think his previous experience would have allowed that but, despite all that Bristows time, he didn't have what the RN was looking for and it was others on the course who went 'Jungly', despite some of them having only a few air experience flights under their belt when they joined.

The rest of the advice you have received is sage-like. School is top priority and good results. Join the ATC/similar youth organisation (the RN doesn't want academics, it wants people who mix with others and can be part of a team). Get some flying experience when you're able.


I was just wondering, which helicopters do the best helicopter pilot end up flying? Wildcat, Merlin Mk2 Anti-sub, the Mk3 Jungly or the Sea King MK7
Many Thanks
Play computer games that require hand/eye coordination.

The most successful applicants at the Flying Aptitude Tests are 18 year old, male, gamers.

Source: previous FAA Officer recruiter (for 24 months).


War Hero
Surely at least up to 50% of any Ship's Company* are (at some time and place) 'the helicopter pilot'?

* Stand fast submariners - we have other claims to fame when trapping........
Ain't that the truth.
You can eliminate 50% of that number when you take them up for a 'jolly'.

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