Oh Dear! AET or AH?!?!

Discussion in 'The Fleet Air Arm' started by thebigredman, Jun 24, 2008.

Welcome to the Navy Net aka Rum Ration

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial RN website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Ok then........now i have another dilemma......i'm going for my test on the 1st.........originally i wanted to go in as an aircraft handler........but now im thinking of my future if i ever come out of the navy.......so i was thinking Air Engineering Technician......i definatley want to work with aircraft as im fanatical about them......i figured aircraft handler because you would be there where the action is, helping the planes take off etc, but the most i'd come out with is an HGV license.....and ive heard an NVQ 3 in firefighting which isnt that bad i guess......but as an Air Engineering Technician i would come out with a recognised qualification, but would i miss out on seeing the aircraft in action?

    Hope some one can give me some advice...cheers!
  2. Depends on how well you score in your tests. If you just scrapped through I would suggest AH. If you passed with flying colours then AET, so long as your mechanical aptitude is good.
    Reasons for this are.
    In the old days you could join as an AEM() and then after promotion either go for mechanician or stay in the mechanic stream. After the choice was made the mechanician had a quicker path to CPO and also a far superior training. The mechanics promotion was slower and he often was given jobs outside his trade to do. At the end of their time in the Rn the mechanician was normally better qualified and more employable. However as a POAEM(R) mechanic I started work in an excellent job whilst on my terminal leave.
    Problem today is that those who maybe score enough to become an AET do not have the talent to pass the leading hands course so are destined to remain AETs for the rest of their service life. As an AET your chances in the technical world outside would be very limited.

    Aircraft Handler
    Good job with great mates (well it used to be) you will be trained to move aircraft, fight aircraft fires, rescue aircrew, and perhaps even air traffic control. Their is a structured career path to warrant officer and plenty of opportunities outside at airports and as a fire fighter.

    So the choice is yours, if you believe you have the ability in this new age then go AET if you Fancy working at airports or the local fire service go AH.
    I don't know if the RN Air Traffic Control take handlers these days but if you were lucky enough to qualify tat is another career open to you in the civie world.
    Best of luck whichever you choose.
  3. I'm afraid not, that avenue has been closed. Although why not think about the Aircraft Controllers branch?
  4. There are a large number of ex-AHs manning fire stations at airports such as Heathrow,Exeter,Newcastle & Manchester airports
  5. Do you mind expanding, please? What exactly is so tough about the Killick/ PO courses? Not doubting you, but simply trying to compare them, academically, to a real B/MEng from Glasgow/ Southampton (Upper Yards), compared to a FdEng from Kingston... (ie. what does the Killick/ PO's actually entail?)

  6. Sorry but as I left before the AET came in (well before) I can't answer that. I expect Ninja will be able to equate the LHs course with a comparable civilian qualification though I would be surprised if it came anywhere close to a university BSc or B/Eng academically. I assume that there would be a fairly large portion of the course dedicated to the practical aspect of Engineering.
    Keep reading your posting as I reckon your question will be answered. :thumright:
  7. AH or AET They are chalk and cheese. If you dont know, youve got a problem! I would stick to AH by the sound of how you have phrased the ?
  8. You need to read up on The AH branch, When your on an airbase you guys are usually left to moan while the young AET'S do most of the marshalling. You'll only get involved with Cab moves or being @ the fire station
    You may even be used in the Squadron Reggies office!
    And by the way we don't have planes in the fixed wing respect anymore!
  9. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

    Oh yes we do!

    We may not own them, but we still operate them. Don't forget JSF/JCA (whatever they are calling it this week may also exist at some point) Just because the zoomies are stuck in a very small corner of the smallest county and the big mountainous sandpit doesn't mean they don't exist!

    One day, in the not too distant future (maybe) zoomies will rule the roost again and not be the forgotten few in crabfatland!
  10. we have fixed wing? News to me!
  11. Thanks for your help, I am now leaning more towards the AH side as that is what i wanted originally.......although part of me is still in two minds a little. Having good mates, firefighting and working with aircraft sounds good to me.....we'll see how i do on my test on the 1st. *crossed fingers*

    Thanks Guys.
  12. Don't have Fixed Wing? I wish someone had told me that then I wouldn't have to turn to here at RNAS Cottesmore, does no -one watch that fine piece of programming warship? Or fighter Pilot Afghanistan, no? Ok then.
  13. The RN lost it's fixed wing capability with SHAR, now Matelow's are working alongside Crabs on THEIR aircraft because they couldn't legally make SHAR engineers redundant.
    Altough it's called the Joint Force Harrier those sneaky crabs will still have the rights to the aircraft, no matter what is painted on the tailfin, much to my annoyance!
    Bring back proper Naval Squadron's, no Naval Wings!
  14. Aircraft Handlers, for many years, were regarded as the bottom feeders in the Fleet Air Arm. I for one condemn that opinion which, I believe, is now well and truly consigned to history. The AH branch is a highly professional specialisation of well trained and well led people who, in the branch motto 'Your Life in Our Hands' provides a rapid response to aircraft emergencies as well as first response to structural firefighting, the movement of aircraft at sea and ashore (try that in a carrier flight deck or hangar!) as well as general naval duties. I originally joined as a boy seaman at Ganges, transferred to the FAA as a NAM(AE) and as a Chief Air Fitter(AE) went to Dartmouth as a SD(AV) candidate subseqently retiring as a Lt Cdr. My jobs as an AE in squadrons were great and my appointments as an AV were equally so. I totally agree with the previous post - Best of luck whichever you choose - whatever it is you will enjoy close companionship, friendship and the knowledge that you doing a great job.
  15. thanks again for ya info, i truly hope that ive made the right choice for going in as an aircraft handler. i do believe myself that i have so i guess thats all that matters. if anybody would like to make any more comments about my decision then please do so........the more info i get the better.


  16. A few ramblings for you....

    As a chockhead (handler) you will likely only go to sea in larger types eg carriers or LPD/LPH types like Argus etc. Maybe on an RFA as part of a flight, like some of the Sea king flights used to keep handlers. Dont know if this is a factor for you but it may affect the amount of sea time and deployments you could go on, you might think you are missing out if you are interested in the frigates/destroyers. With the severe shrinkage in the number of future hulls, your options for LSSB (long service at sea bonus pay) will be limited.. Not sure on the numbers, a current chockhead or ninjastoker could advise, but promotion was glacial for a long time, as most stayed in, maybe thats testament to the fun that can be had in the job.

    As an AET you have the fast stream (old tiffs course) open to you from initial training, and from there the possibility of CW (candidate for wardroom, officer promotion). You can go crab or even army (swap draft) if you fear soap. With the ever increasing likelihood of triservice aviation, chances are you will be doing at sometime anyway. I suspect they would still need chockheads afloat as I don't see the other services being able to combine that into one guy. As a CPOAET or WO2 you will be well set for purple (tri service) jobs
  17. Killicks course as was, would produce Jr supervisors, with no formal quals, who would get limited sup status on a squadron. It was equivalent to some of the early tiff training, with more emphasis on the practical than the academic parts. Now under the revised scheme, not even sure what an LAET who is not expected to go upper stream would do, but I expect they are full sup (so I hear) so paperwork and management would feature heavily, with some good old trade training as they no doubt spend their AET time as a grubbers (mechanical trade). Cue LAET indignant...

    PO course is intended to produce full sups, the equivalent of the old tiffs after completion of their apprenticeship. Theres been some trimming of the fat, but its basically the same result, the Tiffs used to get ONC/HNC, (in addtion to the city+guilds for their trade skills), now HNC is an FdEng these days but Im not sure where Sultan are on accreditation etc, current guys on course (or instructors/staff) can give us the buzz as to what they will be getting on completion, but I think you may have to top up some maths etc to get the full FdEng (its the pusser way). Old POWEAs having done pinkie course at collingrad used to get full HNCs as they had enough maths modules, while their WAFU bretheren fell short by one module.

    How does it compare to a BEng/BSc? Maths and EES/LES are about on a level with a first year of a degree. Some specialist modules like comms theory and Radar or Sonar dip into 2nd/3rd year course structure, but leave out the complicated maths or physics, or just simplify them to where you get the gist without having to derive the proof. Usually the computer engineering stuff is hopelessly archaic but you need the grounding in assembly language to go on to higher level systems. But then if you cant understand a 286, z80 or 68000 you will struggle with anything more complicated.

    Put it this way, having done the PO's course you would be well placed to do a degree. The only diff for an MEng is a longer project time, more 3rd year modules, and basically yr 4 is more of the 3rd year modules. PhD however, thats a whole 'nother level of vagueness.....thesis or dissertation at the mercy of your Prof., need to get sponsorship, have to teach or mentor, all this while being paid like a cleaner.

    Caveat> Apologies to any current or recently serving Woos more in the know about WTF is going on with courses and sup status, please correct my wild accusations and inaccuracies as you would any SOB "in-my-day all this was fields". Please change my bag and wheel me back to the asylum.
  18. Big Red, just out of curiosity, what is the waiting time now for Aircraft Handler?
    If you are successful, and do become a Handler, you will be joining one of very best of the FAA branches. Today our Aircraft Handlers Association has more members than any other FAA branch, made up of Retired and Serving members.
    Incidentally, we hold our AGM at the RNA Tamworth Branch each year, usually in March.
  19. I'm guessing you've visited the web site, see signature.
  20. Well done Reda! - although retired from the active list, I'm still employed at Yeovilton so look forward to meeting you. I'm sure that you have made a wise decision.

    Best wishes,


Share This Page