Someone had to ask before long!


Firstly well done on establishing your own site, no mean feat I hope its is as successful as others out there.

Maybe if I explain my situation my question will become self-explanatory. Please bare with me I am looking for genuine advice from people who are in the know.

A year ago I left another of the services after failing FJ training (that narrows it down!) At the time I wasn't offered any other stream because things were and still are dire in with regard to pilot training pipelines across all the streams. Simply they had nowhere to put me so it was easier to offer me another branch instead. I rejected this (maybe rather pig headed) and took my chances with a job in the city in the meantime.

Having made a few Navy chums during flying training they suggested that I make an application to the Navy with the view to potentially get back into flying through the FAA. I have been sponsored through 6th Form and University and performed at above average and above in all aspect of flying training up until my FJ failure. I was even described as "the Golden boy" by my last Station Commander. In short I feel that I have plenty still to offer as an Officer and as a pilot (especially given a slightly dubious failure at FJ)

I have received mixed advice from various recruiting offices, the last of which was that I would not be suitable for further FAA training.

Is anybody here in a position to advise me if this position still stands?

Many Thanks in advance,


Age may be a concern r u still under 26? – However, the Navy is recruiting more than the RAF. I’m a little out of touch with recruiting so I’m not sure of targets? Observer cat is always short – if you don’t want to hold a stick it’s a fantastic career. Many re streamed pilots have made it through this route. As one myself I spend a fair bit of the time in the front left. Some of course will always advocate no pole no vote. Direct approach can always work – Ring the usual recruiting numbers and ask.

Yes still make it through the various hurdles including age. It was through the usual recruiting circles that I have received mixed messages. My first recruiting Officer welcomed me with open arms and seemed to have been informed that a transfer would be easy. However, he was just handing over to a new RM Officer who gave me different information.

Observer was suggested but not sure I would want to be fall into the stereotype of the failed or wanabe pilot. There far are too many good Observers and for that matter WSO's for failed pilots to drag down the branch.

At the moment I'm going down the Army selection route (not necessarily AAC) I'm determined not to spend my most productive years behind a desk!


thoughts - if you're going down the route of army officer, be prepared to spend plenty of time behind a desk after you've done your first tour - Regardless of cap badge.

If you're only doing the tarts and vicars course then you could find it very hard at first when you get to regiment, known a couple of guys that transferred across that way who were out of their depth.

Mind you they were w*nkers!

Cheers Jungly,

Totally aware of the man management element of the Army, but depsite that being pretty much desk based the opportunity to lead any troops is not only an honour but also a vast improvement on my current situation.

In my current civvy job I have just been checked out and signed off for "wiping my arse unaided" Check ride of course is monthly!

Not to pigeon hole myself in the Army box is anyone aware of the current Navy recruiting situation?


If you do join the FAA looking to go back to FJ, then you'll end up at Cott/Witt working with Crabs anyway. JFH isn't the bed roses that it's made out to be. The raf are basically uniformed civil serpants in their outlook, they are more job protectionist than any Union, are overmanned to f**k and can't even wipe their own a*ses without consulting a wing commander and forming "Wiping a*se commitee" to be headed by an Air Commodore. Go Lynx/Junglie/Merlin and avoid the crabs at all costs.
I think I would be being totally unrealistic to think that FJ would be an option. So I wont be in daily contact with my friends going through 20!

Rotary is equally appealing in either service. The army (if I choose to go that route) are willing to forget my previous sins as an RAF pilot would the Navy do the same?

As for IOT I would rather do the full course than to slide in the back door of the back of a poorly run 6 month IOT at Cranwell.
The son of arguably the most famous Sea Harrier pilot ever in the RN (wrote famous book about it over the Falklands, "Jaws" connection, etc) started off in the RAF and although he passed FJ training (ended up on Jaguars, I think), he saw the light and applied for transfer to the FAA, who accepted with open arms. In sum, the RN are always desperate for decent pilots. Not entirely the same as your situation, but a good indication that the RN would jump at the chance, assuming you're good enough, especially that they'd be getting a pilot for who the RAF had already paid a fair chunk of the really expensive training!

Speak to a RN ACLO - they'll tell you what to do, and how likely you'd be to succeed. Assuming you've already done Cranwell (is it still called JEFTS?), then you'd be a shoe-in for Shawbury after a few weeks of navalisation at BRNC. Probably, IMO, etc.

Thanks very much that is exactly the type of response I was hoping for. I have got some interesting decisions to make over the next few months!

I am conviced the military is my home so now I need to decide which particular service!

May I enquire to your background?


The former Crab mentioned above did the "tarts and vicars" course at Dartmouth, so if you do get accepted you'll only have to fester at Dartmouth for 7 weeks or so.