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RAF pilot OASC and OIT

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    Hi everyone,

    I am a recent graduate with a 2:1 law degree but I have had a sudden change of heart, back to my original plan of becoming a pilot. My fitness levels etc are great, my extra-curricular, experiences, societies, scholarships, awards etc... are immaculate but I have a couple of issues/questions. I am well aware they are not recruiting at the moment, but I am doing my application and I am 101% committed and ready that this is for me.

    1. I do not have any tangible evidence of being involved with aeroplanes or flying before this- I was not a cadet and I do not have a pilots licence (primarily because it is 10k to do it). Do you think this will affect my application drastically and indeed negatively? And is there anyway I can justify my reasons for joining i.e. my interest in flying and aeroplanes.

    2. I am a little concerned that all my achievements are pretty focused towards law (at least the work experiences are) would this again make them negatively question my commitment to a career as a pilot?


    Thanks in advance.
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    (Original post by nab208)
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    1. No flying experience is not a negative. No PPL is, actually, a bonus. Not having been involved with cadets/AN. Other organisation like it is, again, not necessarily a bad thing, providing you have done something with your life. The RAF wants active, engaged, enthusiastic people with wide interests and abilities. It's up to you to prove that you are that person. In order to do that, you need examples.
    2. It would make them wonder what was going on, certainly, but career changes are nothing new. Just prepare good answers as to why you're doing it/why you've changed your mind, etc.

    I know you say that you know they're not recruiting, but do you actually appreciate what this means? For at least this year, if not the next and possibly the year after, the RAF is not recruiting any new Pilots. It doesn't matter how strong an application you ight have, if they're not recruiting, you're going nowhere.

    If and when it does open up again, you'll be up against people who#ve wanted this since they were 5 and have done everything possible to get them close to it. You have to make the RAF believe you're a better candidate than them.

    Can you do that?


    Search the forum, there are thousands of bits of info about how to make yourself sound better.


    [And it's IOT ]
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    If you actually enjoy law and don't mind doing it as a profession I would say stick to that. Pilots aren't likely to be recruited in the foreseeable future, and even when recruitment opens up again there is no guarantee that you will get selected.

    You can try your luck and go for the army and try for fleet air arm, but then again no guarantee for you to be selected or passing Sandhurst or then passing FAA interview and being accepted.
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    (Original post by Big Jaffa Cake)
    You can try your luck and go for the army and try for fleet air arm, but then again no guarantee for you to be selected or passing Sandhurst or then passing FAA interview and being accepted.
    Two separate things. If you want to fly with the Army you're heading for the AAC, the Army Air Corps. It's a confusing path with a few different ways in.
    If you're heading for the FAA, the Fleet Air Arm, then you're heading into the Royal Navy.

    The two services are separate [even if certain sections of flying training are done in the same place].
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    [QUOTE=Drewski;37099297]

    I know you say that you know they're not recruiting, but do you actually appreciate what this means? For at least this year, if not the next and possibly the year after, the RAF is not recruiting any new Pilots. It doesn't matter how strong an application you ight have, if they're not recruiting, you're going nowhere.

    If and when it does open up again, you'll be up against people who#ve wanted this since they were 5 and have done everything possible to get them close to it. You have to make the RAF believe you're a better candidate than them.

    Can you do that?


    Thank you for your response, really helpful! I realise what your saying about it being a long time for me to wait (but for a training contract it is a 2 year wait at the moment too) but I spoke to a couple of RAF careers people and they were all under the impression it would be some time between July 2012 - November 2012 that recruiting for the IOT would happen... so I possibly did not appreciate it would be 2-3 years.

    In terms of convincing them that I want it badly, I guess I would have to demonstrate this through my qualities and therefore my experiences- i.e. leadership, resilience, how I handle extreme pressure, teamwork, commitment that sort of thing? Also my reasons for changing career path, there are a handful of reasons which I think would stand up to most if not all questions (I do not think this would be too hard to alter the angle of my CV away from law either.)

    I have a meeting with recruitment on Monday to officially sign up so I guess I will have to see how that goes and see what type of time frame they give me!

    Cheers N
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    Also to Big Jaffa, thanks for your response. I am interested in the RAF mostly, though I would consider the Fleet air arm, but it is mostly the multi-engine and fast jets that really fascinate me....well more speed than engines
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    (Original post by nab208)
    Thank you for your response, really helpful! I realise what your saying about it being a long time for me to wait (but for a training contract it is a 2 year wait at the moment too) but I spoke to a couple of RAF careers people and they were all under the impression it would be some time between July 2012 - November 2012 that recruiting for the OIT would happen... so I possibly did not appreciate it would be 2-3 years.

    In terms of convincing them that I want it badly, I guess I would have to demonstrate this through my qualities and therefore my experiences- i.e. leadership, resilience, how I handle extreme pressure, teamwork, commitment that sort of thing? Also my reasons for changing career path, there are a handful of reasons which I think would stand up to most if not all questions (I do not think this would be too hard to alter the angle of my CV away from law either.)

    I have a meeting with recruitment on Monday to officially sign up so I guess I will have to see how that goes and see what type of time frame they give me!

    Cheers N
    They're guessing.

    They could be right, of course. But even if they are, that's late this year to get the system started. You've got the P2 Presentation, the Filter Interview, OASC [now in 2 parts], the Fam Visit and then to start IOT. That process is likely to take a minimum of 6 months, assuming you get through all the bits.


    Again, search this forum. Countless people have gone through it before, there are tonnes of info available.

    And, again, it's IOT.
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    Just to put your mind at ease, I joined up from a pretty similar situation to yourself. I hadn't gone to cadets, joined a UAS or done much flying before - yet here I am. My degree was in Music, pretty much as far removed from aviation as you can get.

    As long as you can prove you've got initiative and you've kept yourself busy in life you are in with as much a chance as anyone. Like you said:
    (Original post by nab208)
    I guess I would have to demonstrate this through my qualities and therefore my experiences- i.e. leadership, resilience, how I handle extreme pressure, teamwork, commitment
    And just a pointer, you mention your interest in 'flying and aeroplanes' and how much you want to be a pilot... You're going to need to convince them you want to be a pilot in the RAF, not just any old pilot.

    And for God's sake, it's IOT.
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    Thanks for the response, it has been a long week ... IOT it is! I have literally exhausted all the literature that I can find on the net, I shall have a look around this site at other people's experiences. Btw, Tommmo when did you join?

    I have a variety of reasons as to why I am applying to be a pilot and more specifically the RAF.

    1. My interest in flying was pretty much the same as any other (at the time) young lads reason, I went to an air show and went ape for it!

    2. The reason I want to join the RAF rather than any other military pilot position is three fold; my grandfather was in RAF intelligence fighting the Japanese, this rubbed off in a big way. secondly, I am looking at this as a long term (if indefinite) career path, so I have thought carefully about which particular route is best suited to who I am and what I want in my life. The Navy pilot the reason I am not so interested is that I am not sure whether I could do up to 6 months on a ship (that is because I have the option not to do that where I stand, if I had to I would). I am not interested in the army because they have no fast-jet stream, pretty much as simple as that.

    2. I was originally going in to the military (Royal Marines) but I did not feel I was old nor mature enough to undertake the training, I then looked at the RAF which suited me more because I enjoy operating machines more than hand to hand combat.

    3. The reason I studied instead of going in to any military was because I felt I needed to strengthen if indeed exhaust my academic ability to demonstrate to any future employer or career path that I have the brains to do it...law I guess is not a bad one for that! And also I think if all fails, there is the soulless and dull career of being a lawyer.


    Cheers for the comments guys, big help!
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    (Original post by nab208)
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    I've not been in long. Joined Oct 2010, there was only one IOT course behind me with pilots on.

    In an interview situation I wouldn't mention not wanting to join the Navy/Marines due to age/maturity/preference, always focus on the positives in an answer. You don't need to lie and say you've wanted to join the RAF since you were a wee nipper, but don't put yourself down by effectively saying you didn't think you were up to Marines training or would be able to handle being on a boat. You're there to convince them you want to join the best Air Force in the world and they'd be mad not to take you as you'll be the best Officer ever to grace their AFCO and will be CAS in a tour or two.
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    (Original post by Tommmo)
    I've not been in long. Joined Oct 2010, there was only one IOT course behind me with pilots on.

    In an interview situation I wouldn't mention not wanting to join the Navy/Marines due to age/maturity/preference, always focus on the positives in an answer. You don't need to lie and say you've wanted to join the RAF since you were a wee nipper, but don't put yourself down by effectively saying you didn't think you were up to Marines training or would be able to handle being on a boat. You're there to convince them you want to join the best Air Force in the world and they'd be mad not to take you as you'll be the best Officer ever to grace their AFCO and will be CAS in a tour or two.

    Hi there Tommmo, thanks for the advice- I am not too bad with interviews and I always focus on the positives, I just thought I would tell you all the reasons that I did not want to join the other forces- mostly in answer to an earlier question. I do have a couple of questions specifically for you if you don't mind! Firstly, how are finding the training anything that they do not tell you? and secondly, do you think that the IOT course behind you is the last for a while or do you think they will start to get things moving again and push the recruitment for new pilots? Also, do u know when they are going to officially introduce the F-35 in to service?

    Best N
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    I can't comment on training as I've not even started flying training, and won't for well over a year. Some of my colleagues have training dates of 2014, so if they're not even training the people who are in until then it's highly unlikely they'll be taking anyone new in for a while.

    This is all just guess work but I'd say the next batch of flying training would be mid-late 2014, so they'd probably want them coming out of IOT end of 2013/start of 2014. So it's possible the next IOT intake with pilots could be early/mid 2013. Don't take this too seriously though, as I said... guesswork.

    And as for the F-35, there will be an announcement shortly.
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    (Original post by nab208)
    do you think that the IOT course behind you is the last for a while or do you think they will start to get things moving again and push the recruitment for new pilots?
    IOT is for everyone [well, every RAF Officer], just because no Pilots are going through atm does not mean nobody's going through IOT. The courses are very small, but they're still on.
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    (Original post by Drewski)
    IOT is for everyone [well, every RAF Officer], just because no Pilots are going through atm does not mean nobody's going through IOT. The courses are very small, but they're still on.

    This is a fair point and in fact I approached this one with the RAF recruiter. I asked if it was possible to commence IOT with a view to undertaking a different Officer role and then change to do the pilot course once I had completed IOT- She did not actually give an answer. My point was basically, is it possible to commence IOT with an initial view of becoming an ATC for example and then switch to the fast-jet stream once I finish my IOT?

    Also I did a bit of digging in to family history- it appears I have quite the military background which I guess stands me in good stead- one grandfather was a Squadron Leader and then in RAF Intelligence the other was a Dr in the Army. My great grandfather was an Admiral and the other was the Brigadier of the Army...not a bad military background- I guess this is worth a mention in the interview?
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    (Original post by nab208)
    This is a fair point and in fact I approached this one with the RAF recruiter. I asked if it was possible to commence IOT with a view to undertaking a different Officer role and then change to do the pilot course once I had completed IOT- She did not actually give an answer. My point was basically, is it possible to commence IOT with an initial view of becoming an ATC for example and then switch to the fast-jet stream once I finish my IOT?
    In exceptional circumstances it used to be possible. But nowadays, when the branch isn't open to recruitment it'll be all-but impossible. And you don't pick fast jet, if you're Pilot you get what you're given and what the service needs - although there might be abit of choice after a year or two.

    Also I did a bit of digging in to family history- it appears I have quite the military background which I guess stands me in good stead- one grandfather was a Squadron Leader and then in RAF Intelligence the other was a Dr in the Army. My great grandfather was an Admiral and the other was the Brigadier of the Army...not a bad military background- I guess this is worth a mention in the interview?
    In the old days, yeah, nepotism had an effect, but unless your dad is Chief of the Air Staff then it won't do any favours for you. No harm in mentioning a military background - it suggests you udnerstand the lifestyle - but don't even think about mentioning it from the point of view "they were in, therefore I have a right to be in" because they'll let the door hit you twice on the way out.
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    To back up Drewski, who is being unusually polite - about the same chance of moving from ATC to Fly (P) as winning the lottery. And your military heritage means nothing, unless you can say you were an Army brat or similar and actually grew up with a parent in the forces. Military ability isn't necessarily inherited.
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    (Original post by threeportdrift)
    To back up Drewski, who is being unusually polite - about the same chance of moving from ATC to Fly (P) as winning the lottery. And your military heritage means nothing, unless you can say you were an Army brat or similar and actually grew up with a parent in the forces. Military ability isn't necessarily inherited.
    Threeportdrift...I think you misunderstood my tone and indeed my point. To suggest that I would think I would be a great candidate for the military because of my family history is simply the daftest comment I have ever seen. I think if you read what I said, it would be good to mention it (as Drewski said) in the interview- it does not add meat to the bones of my application but it does suggest that I have spoken to family and friends and therefore have considered my career step properly. Also I am not sure whether you went to military school or not but the vast majority of them i.e. RHS, require someone in your family to have been in the military which suggests that it is of relative importance certainly in terms of being educated by a military academy and therefore potentially with an application to join the military.
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    (Original post by nab208)
    Threeportdrift...I think you misunderstood my tone and indeed my point. To suggest that I would think I would be a great candidate for the military because of my family history is simply the daftest comment I have ever seen. I think if you read what I said, it would be good to mention it (as Drewski said) in the interview- it does not add meat to the bones of my application but it does suggest that I have spoken to family and friends and therefore have considered my career step properly. Also I am not sure whether you went to military school or not but the vast majority of them i.e. RHS, require someone in your family to have been in the military which suggests that it is of relative importance certainly in terms of being educated by a military academy and therefore potentially with an application to join the military.
    How many military schools do you know that exist these days? Other than Welbeck I can't name one - and you certainly don't require relatives in the Forces to go there. RHS?

    3pd is right, it doesn't matter at all. I've got no military experience in my immediate family - certainly nothing that would have meant I'd be better at my job - and I got in.
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    (Original post by nab208)

    Also I did a bit of digging in to family history- it appears I have quite the military background which I guess stands me in good stead-
    Why? How? What is the necessary link that would 'stand you in good stead'?


    (Original post by nab208)
    one grandfather was a Squadron Leader and then in RAF Intelligence the other was a Dr in the Army. My great grandfather was an Admiral and the other was the Brigadier of the Army...not a bad military background- I guess this is worth a mention in the interview?
    Assuming you are 21ish, your parents are likely to be 45ish, and therefore your grandparents 65-70ish. Therefore, your grandfathers served during the 1970's and 80's. There is little advice they can give you that is relevant to the Armed Forces in 2012 given the change in operations, the change in the size of the Armed Forces etc.

    You also mention their rank, and not any conversations you have had with them, which doesn't make is sound as though you have been brought up from knee-high listening to their stories. Your argument is presented in the form of 'there is 30-40 year old military experience in my family, so I guess that will help me at interview'.

    I don't see the logic of your comment about military schools at all. Military schools are educational establishments for the children of serving or deceased members of the Armed Forces, not recruiting tools.
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    I like the idea that you had to do some digging to find out what your grandad used to do? Surely that's something you learn at a younger age.

    You need to go away and research the recruitment process as you seem to have no idea. It's good you have the academic requirements and have been active outside of education. But the fact you seem to think you have to fly before you join is naive, bringing up family in the forces will get you laughed out the AFCO you will get asked about your families opinion on you joining but that is it really. You can't change to pilot from another job at IOT as has been stated

    Not to mention that they aren't recruiting pilots for the foreseeable future. As drewski stated you need to show you wanted but be honest don't spew the I saw a plane at 5 always wanted to do it blah blah if it isn't true, doing research of the RAF understanding the recruitment process, training process and what they are looking for and that will show your commitment.

    Go away and read through this forum everything is here that you need.

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