How bad is the Aircrew Pilot/Observer Qualification pipeline?

I'm currently getting fit/studying up to apply to the RN and I have family and friends currently in the navy, all having passed out of Dartmouth last year. What I have been hearing, however, is that pipeline for Pilot and Observer is pretty jam-packed and can take up to multi-year for qualification.

I have an intense desire to be a Naval Officer, then Pilot next, but I'm worried that applying in for the FAA (presuming that I even pass the FATs) that I'll be on holdover for well... a significant amount of months.
If it's as bad as is suggested would it be wise to indicate a desire for Warfare Officer also?

I'll add that its been suggested to me it's not uncommon for FAA to swap and head back to BRNC for IWOF and then going on from there. Is that an option?
 

Alfacharlie

War Hero
I'm currently getting fit/studying up to apply to the RN and I have family and friends currently in the navy, all having passed out of Dartmouth last year. What I have been hearing, however, is that pipeline for Pilot and Observer is pretty jam-packed and can take up to multi-year for qualification.

I have an intense desire to be a Naval Officer, then Pilot next, but I'm worried that applying in for the FAA (presuming that I even pass the FATs) that I'll be on holdover for well... a significant amount of months.
If it's as bad as is suggested would it be wise to indicate a desire for Warfare Officer also?

I'll add that its been suggested to me it's not uncommon for FAA to swap and head back to BRNC for IWOF and then going on from there. Is that an option?
Can’t you call your local AFCO??
 
Well, ideally, I was hoping for information a bit closer to the process and in the FAA stream, unless you mean the question as to switching streams.

I could and likely will, but I was hoping that this site would give me some insight that I wouldn't necessarily get from a Careers office.
 

Waspie

War Hero
Well, ideally, I was hoping for information a bit closer to the process and in the FAA stream, unless you mean the question as to switching streams.

I could and likely will, but I was hoping that this site would give me some insight that I wouldn't necessarily get from a Careers office.
Reading your comments above, you have better contacts than we have. This is an UNOFFICIAL naval forum. Populated by either wannabe's or has beens such as myself.

Your AFCO can and will give you the latest up to date information. Coupled with your friends and family who have gone through and are, I assume!! Still serving, your better off info wise than we are!!

One of our group has a good knowledge base and seems to have access to BR's etc regards recruiting matters but as I said - you are better placed than we!
 
Ah! Fair enough! I knew it was unofficial but fair enough!

I'll certainly get in contact with them and see if I can't pick up any further info. Yes, one is currently in ground training for Observer and I certainly hope they other is as I waved him off this morning!

My apologies, thank you none-the-less though!
 

Waspie

War Hero
Ah! Fair enough! I knew it was unofficial but fair enough!

I'll certainly get in contact with them and see if I can't pick up any further info. Yes, one is currently in ground training for Observer and I certainly hope they other is as I waved him off this morning!

My apologies, thank you none-the-less though!
No apology needed. It's rare to have someone better placed than us!!

Good luck. It's a grand life.
 

soleil

War Hero
OaksandTea

I know that you say that you are getting fit and studying so that you can apply, but my advice to you would be to apply now unless there is some reason which I haven't been able to discern as to why you should wait.

Something which is really difficult to predict at the moment is how pipelines are likely to be, for Pilot for instance; I'm not even sure that the people planning intakes to BRNC could really tell you; I suspect that the real impact as far as intakes and how this impacts on further pipelines won't be really possible to assess until the autumn.

I do know that there are candidates who were ready to join in May but who couldn't because of the pandemic. Those candidates will be lined up for the autumn and I suspect that the intake is already full. At the moment, BRNC is still considering how to create the intakes it needs if it is to supply exactly the right number of people for the jobs available.

I would have thought that, if there is a problem with the Pilot/Observer pipeline being jampacked, this will be being addressed at the moment and efforts being made to calibrate the intakes so as not to make things worse.

Something which does strike me is that there is a real possibility that there will be a rise in applications in August when the A Levels come out and I would advise anyone thinking of applying for Pilot to consider biting the bullet and getting on with it now, rather than waiting.

I wouldn't advise fretting about things in the future over which you don't actually have any control; focus on the things which are more immediate and about which you can do something. Rest assured that, if there is a problem with Pilot pipelines, it is being addressed by people who know about these things and who are paid to deal with them.

I don't think that it is a bad thing to think of Warfare Officer as your alternative, it's logical and sensible. A good many Pilot applicants don't make the cut for various reasons, so it's good to have a back up. There will be a moment for addressing this around the time of your AIB, but that is some time in the future.

Something I would advise is not to let the idea of having to wait for the job you want most to be a deterrent. There was a moment, about 7 years ago, if I remember correctly, when all FAA waiting times went haywire and I remember clearly being told the wait for AETs to join was 36 months, 3 years and I was pleased when I heard from some of the applicants who had waited for 3 years that they were about to join; others had fallen by the wayside.

I think that it's in your interests at the moment to appreciate just how difficult things are going to be in terms of calculating intakes and moving people through pipelines. The last few months have been extraordinary and I think that it's beneficial to consider the impact this will have on people joining - the ones who flourish are going to be the ones who realise that there will be moments when things are a bit out of kilter and who accept that and take it in their stride. It's going to be a bit unpredictable at times, but the ability to take on board the unpredictable and roll with it will be a good asset to have as an Officer; dealing with the unexpected in the Navy is definitely an asset, as you will find out.

 
I suppose my reticence in applying is that I'm not confident I could pass the fitness tests well enough at the moment and if I go now I worry that I'll come across as not taking the whole thing seriously. I want to be able to go as soon as they pull the trigger, as it were.

Yes, I've been reading up on the BRNC recruitment issues, based on what I've read on here the indication is a competitive bumper end of summer intake. I don't anticipate being at the level I want to be by then. But you do make a very good point that with this delay and the other issues there'll be much greater competition for spaces.


And you're absolutely right about fretting about the future is a wasted venture, especially as I haven't even made it in yet!

Ah, understood... I do worry that saying I have an interest in multiple streams makes me appear like I lack focus rather than being flexible or eager.

I can absolutely appreciate that any delay shouldn't be a deterrent though with any flying duties I suppose there is a hard cap, flying medicals at the very least, that always hang like a sword of Damocles. But you're right, it is something to think about!

Finally, you're right, this is more or less unprecedented and I do trust that the best preparations and measures are being put in place to try and maintain some semblance of normality in training... and, of course, if you can make it through to the other side of this then you'll be all the better for it.
 

Waspie

War Hero
I suppose my reticence in applying is that I'm not confident I could pass the fitness tests well enough at the moment and if I go now I worry that I'll come across as not taking the whole thing seriously. I want to be able to go as soon as they pull the trigger, as it were.

Yes, I've been reading up on the BRNC recruitment issues, based on what I've read on here the indication is a competitive bumper end of summer intake. I don't anticipate being at the level I want to be by then. But you do make a very good point that with this delay and the other issues there'll be much greater competition for spaces.


And you're absolutely right about fretting about the future is a wasted venture, especially as I haven't even made it in yet!

Ah, understood... I do worry that saying I have an interest in multiple streams makes me appear like I lack focus rather than being flexible or eager.

I can absolutely appreciate that any delay shouldn't be a deterrent though with any flying duties I suppose there is a hard cap, flying medicals at the very least, that always hang like a sword of Damocles. But you're right, it is something to think about!

Finally, you're right, this is more or less unprecedented and I do trust that the best preparations and measures are being put in place to try and maintain some semblance of normality in training... and, of course, if you can make it through to the other side of this then you'll be all the better for it.
As you have read by 'soliel's' reply. She is the one that has the knowledge!! We do have an ex recruiter on here but he doesn't have as much contact as he did. Soliel is a more frequent poster and is more understanding than some of us old uns!!!
Good luck again and if you want pilot or observer then go for it. Aim for your dream job but by all means have a fall back option. (Warfare).
 

Latest Threads

Top