RN Life - Air Crew

Hello all,
Im just after some insider knowledge on the pro's and con's of Navy life before i commit my application to the RN for air crew. Of course, (like most people, im applying for fast jet pilot). Im sure that many answers will be specific to the individual but any help would be great.
1) As air crew, how much time would be typically spent at the air station and based on the ship. Im assuming that i wouldnt even set foot on the ship for duty until fully trained after the 2-3 years, am i wrong?
2) I was told that navy tours of duty are shorter than the RAF due to being based on ship. Is this true?
3) Despite the 2 current RNAS air stations, how common is it for pilots to transfer to RAF stations?, is this a normal thing?

I have many more questions, but i will wait and see what responses i get here.
Thankyou in advance.



War Hero
Book Reviewer
1. Depends entirely upon the squadron and ship's programme. If yours is the squadron that is operating from the duty carrier, then when it goes so do you. Deployments can vary from one - 6 months.

2. No. Each appointment is about 2 years long.

3. If you aspire to FW then training and operating will be from a joint base, likely to be an RAF Station. Why is this important?

These questions are slightly odd and seem biased towards a concern over time away. If you are at all worried about spending time away then this is not the place for you - try Easyjet.
My concern over time away is because i am investigating getting a house near to the station i am based at, once i have passed out.

If based at Yeovilton or Culdrose it seems sensible to look near to those areas where i can commute from. I was curious about the joint station postings with the RAF because to own a house in south west england and then be posted to Lossiemouth would be slighlty inappropriate. Can anyone offer some hindsight or explain what most personnel do with regards to housing?


War Hero
One of the best things to do is simply go ahead & buy if you can.

I bought in my home town, but even if you never live there you can always rent it & it's an investment that generally you will not regret if you intend owning your own house elsewhere at a later stage.

Whereas it's nice to have your own house nearby to where you work, you're going to leave sooner or later. Most pilots don't stay in the service for the full-length career anyway, so your geographic location is not that vital unless you have children.


War Hero
Book Reviewer
Buying a house is a good idea - but where?

At this stage in your aviation career, ie not having even passed grading, I would'nt get too wrapped round the axle over location with reference to air stations.

I would get a house reasonably central so you can weekend easily - you will be too busy for daily commuting. This gets you on the ladder and once your flying career is sorted, then you can re think.
Thanks for the advice, i think its just another thing for me to worry about at the moment, but i couldn't see it happening until 3-4 years in. Its all part of keeping the missus happy!!


Lantern Swinger
Most people apply to be a fast Jet Pilot in the RN?

Christ. Are there that many vastly intelligent people about? Or is my conception of Pilots amiss?
your conception of Pilots is amiss :p though i believe the attrition rate for people walking into AFCO's wanting to be fast jet pilots is 90%. I await correction!

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