Sift interview

Discussion in 'The Fleet Air Arm' started by alexxhartt, Jun 17, 2014.

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  1. I had a sift interview for Aircrew Officer Pilot in February and I was told I needed to strengthen some areas and return in 6 months. One question I failed was "When you are not flying, what will you be doing?" I was naive enough to overlook this when revising for my interview last time, however I cannot find anywhere what the answer is. Obviously if a pilot gets only so many hours flying time per month they won't be sitting on their arses the rest of the time, so could someone please help me out? As a lieutenant I know they would be in command of a group on a ship but I need more information. Any extra tips for the interview would be greatly appreciated also. Thanks in advance, Alex
  2. Until a qualified officer person pops up I will have a stab.

    I was an aircrewman, (non officer aircrew) albeit a while ago.

    Officers have many secondary duties other than being a stick shaker and naval officer. They may be a divisional officer, (DO), they will be responsible for the welfare of a group of ratings, including their annual and interim reports. The squadron you are on will most certainly designate you jobs, covering the host of aviation and non aviation matters. You may be Intelligence Officer, Unit Security Officer. Operations officer, There are a plethora of additional tasks - you will not be siting on your arse thats for sure. When embarked there will be additional duties again. Sport should figure in there somewhere to, you will need a certain level of fitness other than right hand work in at the wardroom bar.

    Something for you to ponder upon until a qualified officery or careers person pops along. If its any consolation I failed my first interview for aircrew under similar circumstances. But I was in a position to remedy my flaws from within!

    Good luck.
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  3. Thank you very much! Regardless of qualification I appreciate the response and not just directing me to another site of thread. So there isn't a designated job as such, one will be allocated depending on skills of the crew and needs of the ship?
  4. Common sense ffs!
  5. I'm not sure what you mean by that, I'll assume you're in the navy already? Because I don't have the opportunity to see what happens in the navy (yet) it's not so common sense. Only common amongst people in the navy. Please only answer if you are willing to input to the question.
  6. :happy1: Anyone for popcorn????
  7. Like I said, I'm a long time out of the system.

    However, if I had a chap who was weak in a particular area I would designate him a role that would bring those skills up to strength. EG, you could be a great pilot but have weak leadership skills, then the role you are given would ensure the leadership part of your duties are challenged and brought up to a good standard. Like I say, an example.

    The same goes with your flying roles. As a junior member of the team, assuming you are part of a crew and not a singleton pilot. You would as the junior member, be partnered with more experienced crew members and that would include the rating aircrew. As a junior aircrewman I would often fly with the senior observer or operations officer back seat to bring my back seat skills up to speed. Likewise up from in the drivers seat, you would find yourself next to the senior pilot or QHI, (Qualified Helicopter Instructor).

    Remembered a few additional duties whilst I'm typing.
    Recognition, you need to spend time keeping up to date with who are the good and bad guys, from a visual perspective.
    Also, the squadron is inspected at least yearly by, (helicopter world) Rotary Wing Standards Flight or whatever they are called these days! To that end you will find yourself not only attending lectures to prepare but to give presentations on set subjects which span the whole aviation spectrum. From Theory of flight to aircraft systems, navigation and the air traffic procedures. (A loverly subject).

    The one thing I would say as an aircrew officer - be flexible. You will became a master of everything!!!! But it won't happen overnight!
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2014
  8. Waspie has hit the nail on the head and I have little to add but the stock answer is that you are a Royal Navy Officer first and Pilot second (even if aircraft things do take up the majority of our time). When not flying I reckon about 40-50% of my time was dedicated to my divisional work. I still believe it is one of the best systems in the armed services and it is very important that you ensure everything is done correctly for the men and women in your division, as they are relying on you to get it right and make sure their professional career is properly advanced. The personal aspects of members of your division can also take their toll on your time and dealing with banks on their behalf, lawyers, married quarters offices etc certainly makes sure you shouldn't get bored. In my mind there is very little that is more important (especially in peacetime) than looking after your division properly; not just for the good of the personnel within it but also for your development as an RN officer.

    As Waspie mentioned, your professional studies continue throughout your career and it really goes without saying that it is up to you to ensure you are thoroughly versed in every detail of your aircraft's systems and operational procedures; so you'll be sitting with books on your lap for a fair bit of your career.

    Your 'secondary duties', as the Junior Service calls them, will be both professional and non-professional. I've been the squadron SURVO (survival officer), making sure that everyone is up-to-date with the various survival drills that have to be carried out six-monthly, yearly and biannually and liaising with the station survival section to make sure everybody's gear is correctly serviced. I've been the Confidential Books Officer, which is a real pain if anything ever goes missing form a top secret document. Add Recognition Officer to the list, as well as Electronic Warfare Officer and you can see that there's always something to get your teeth into (I will stress that I did not do ALL of these jobs at the same time). You'll also have non-professional duties, such as Rations Officer or Social Fund Officer.......get the Mars Bars or the dining out night wrong and prepare to meet the wrath of your colleagues :wink:

    Finally, as your career progresses you'll become more qualified in your aircrew role and this will take a decidedly large slice of your time. As an Air Warfare Instructor or Qualified Flying Instructor (Helicopter Instructor), you'll be teaching. This can be on a front-line squadron, where you're normally keeping everybody on their toes or on one of the training squadrons where, obviously, it's up to you to make sure the new guys receive their initial instruction. Perhaps you'll be an Instrument Rating Instructor and be responsible to training and testing pilots on their instrument flying skills and knowledge or something similar to a Radar Training Officer (as was), where you're making sure everybody understands the theory and application of the systems in your aircraft. All in all, as your list of qualifications increases so does the amount of time that you have to dedicate to those roles, so there's always plenty to do when not slipping the surly bonds of Earth.

    As I'm sure you'll appreciate, however, it is not all work and there is plenty of opportunity to socialise, keep yourself fit and enjoy hobbies that the RN will very often not only facilitate but in many cases almost pay for.
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  9. That was such a helpful post, thank you so much. I'll take all that on board, again thanks!

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