What to do...?

Discussion in 'The Fleet Air Arm' started by scimitar123, Nov 5, 2008.

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  1. I am soon to take my FATs and have applied for both pilot and observer with pilot as a strong preference. Recently upon attending a JSAT course I had the opportunity to speak to some Aircrew officers on holding having completed BRNC. They advised me that a great deal of those getting offered observer at the moment are those who, as I have, put down both pilot and observer as their choices, where as those getting offered pilot are only putting down pilot as their choice. Consequently they advised me that if I really wanted to be a pilot I should change my choices (assuming I pass FAT).

    I was wondering how much truth there is in this and does anyone have any direct recent experience? Personally I do have a very strong preference to be a pilot, however if this were not possible I would take observer. If putting down observer as a second choice really does make the likelihood of selection in that branch much greater then I have some serious thinking to do.

  2. I doubt it makes any difference. You get three scores for each of P, O and ATC on completing FATs, and so long as at least one of them is a pass then you can go to AIB. Once you've completed and passed AIB you go into a pool and places at BRNC are drawn from the top of the pool (effectively three pools - P, O and ATC).

    If you are much higher in one pool than the others then that's your best chance of a place, but just passing, partic in P, is not enough. P scores of less than 130 (pass = 112, ISTR) are not enough, as there are more than enough high-passing applicants. BRNC places are awarded just on the basis of your FATs - so a very high AIB score makes no real difference.

    You have 12 months to get a place at BRNC - you then have to re-take AIB, and with permission, that you can re-take FATs as well, as long as you were within 10% of a pass in any of P, O and ATC. Fail FATs by too much and you can't re-take at all.
  3. Do you happen to know the entry dates for pilot and observer at BRNC?
  4. AA, are you saying that, with a FAT score of 126 for pilot and 124 for obs, there is no chance of me getting into BRNC even with an AIB score of over 200?
  5. Roco - yes, I'm afraid I am. Obs is the more likely of the two for you, but I know personally of a lad with 120 P score who passed AIB and did not get a place at BRNC after waiting for the full two.

    He's now got a GD(P) place at Cranwell, though....
  6. I'm afraid I find this hard to believe, and it makes little logical sense. If you have several people in the sift with high aptitude then the only thing that separates them is their AIB score, so it must count!
  7. High aptitude and an AIB pass guarantees a BRNC place. The issue is at the other end, where if they were struggling for numbers, a very good AIB plus lowish aptitude might help, but they are not struggling, so it's back to aptitude. 130 really is the limit.

    I've spoken quite recently with the FAA SO3 at DNR and he confirmed this.
  8. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Same story here- my understanding is we are after good pilots, observers & ATCs who display a strong natural flair & inherrent ability. AIB will determine the level of potential to be trained as an effective Naval Officer & a strong AIB pass will sway the balance if two individuals score identically at FAT, but AIB does not assess you with regard the skillset required to be trained as Aircrew/ATCO.

    A high AIB pass is useless if you fail FATs & want to be aircrew.
  9. However, right now guys and girls are going to Cranwell, getting a FATs pass, going to AIB, and then not getting to BRNC as they scraped through FATs.

    I'm not sure that the Service is being totally open with them that a FATs score of less than 130 (pass is 112 for P I think?) is technically a pass, but next to worthless in terms of getting to BRNC. For that matter, boarding them is a waste of money, unless they have already expressed an interest in warfare/logs.
  10. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    It's well above my payscale, but as there is no shortage of high quality applicants, possibly the bar may be raised to enable realistic expectations across the board in months/years to come.

    AFCO-wise, we are busier now than we have been for many years & if the news today, with regard high street stores folding continues, then the outlook is a deeper recruiting pool in which to skim the top layer off.
  11. Regarding the 130 "pass" mark, if FAT scores are used to discern the ability of a candidate to undertake flying training do they see it as black and white as below 130 and your out? i.e. would they take into account an aeronautical engineering degree or flying experience?

    Cheers, Robert
  12. Here's an idea, listen to the man in the know. a_a happens to have spent a large amount of time in the job that you want to do. He is, in this instance, completely correct. As for your dilemna, I put down both, and got pilot. Just putting down pilot, in my opinion, as well as in that of quite a few others, just shows a lack of maturity.
  13. Neither will make any difference - and think about it, if a guy has flying experience and still scores below 130, then that's not good really, is it? They want aircrew, not engineers, and the degree subject is irrelevant in the Navy's eyes. One of the best guys I flew with had a law degree - he was the second straight through harrier pilot, and the first to get onto a squadron.

    It's second time around for me - I passed FATs and AIB in early 1978, and was at BRNC in April of that year. Now my daughter wants to complete the set (as I had followed my Dad), so I've been digging around and speaking to literally everyone I know to get the low-down. As Ninja says, the bar may actually go up.

    If you have low FATs then I'd suggest the AAC as an option. Lots of guys go AAC officer (pilot only - no lookers in green) and then transfer to either shade of blue when they get "offered! a desk by the Army. Quite honestly the idea of being an Apache commander sounds good to me, and if I was starting again, now, I'd think hard about the AAC.
  14. *cough*
  15. a_a, I know you from pprune. ;)
  16. As much as anything else, there are employment law issues, but the service is explicit with candidates that getting over the thresholds puts the candidate in contention to be selected for training. In employment terms, if there is a declared pass mark, and that has been accredited, then the candidate has to be given the opportunity to move to the next stage. the service could find itself on the wrong side of litigation should someone be told that they'd got past the accredited pass mark, but weren't going to be taken forward. That would be a waste of money and the cause of yet more governance that would give the boarding process less freedom to select the most appropriate candidates.

    For what it's worth, there is an element of encouraging the best from people by loading the AIB with significantly more people than are required. I'm not sure of the marginal cost per candidate, but I don't imagine it's that high, so the additional investment to cultivate the level of competition is probably worthwhile.
  17. Are we talking about 130 being the pass mark for pilot or does this include observer aswell?

    Apologies for the bombardment of questions but I may want to concentrate my energies on observer entry by the looks of things!
  18. For what its worth I think you are trying to be far too "cute" with all this. Just put down pilot and observer - do the best you can on FAT and AIB and see where that takes you. What the Navy wants is mustard keen people who are full of potential that they can develop through training. They do NOT want clever Dicks who try to manipluate the system.
  19. Since when were FAT scores so easily obtainable?

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