RAF Medical/Academic Requirements

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Airwalker
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#1
Report Thread starter 16 years ago
#1
Hi,

I've got a few questions regarding careers in the RAF which I was hoping someone might have an answer to.

Ever since I was young I've always wanted to be a pilot in the RAF, but I've got a rather complicated medical history that might prevent this from being possible. I hope you guys might be able to shed some light on this.

When I was about twelve years old I developed M.E. Though it was a fairly mild case as M.E goes, the illness nevertheless resulted in prolonged tiredness, sleep disorders and headaches. During a four year period I both recovered and relapsed several times. However, I am now seventeen (eighteen in October) and have been symptom-free for approximately one and a half year's time.

The impact the illness had on my education was a complete inability to attend school lessons during roughly seventy-five percent of the time I was ill, and thus has resulted in my repeating of year ten in school in order to complete GCSE coursework. It was agreed in the early stages of my recovery that I should take a limited number of GCSEs to prevent futher relapses due to excessive strain, therefore this summer I sat Maths, English and French GCSE exams only. Predicted grades are nevertheless straight A's, but the amount of GCSEs I can attain will be limited to four. I am prepared to study for and sit a Physics GCSE exam should it be required for me to have any hopes of joining the RAF. I also suffer from occasional mild hayfever - whether this is of relevance I don't know.

I plan to study for either two or three A levels before applying to university, after which I'd ideally like to apply to the RAF. However, the reason I'm writing this now is ultimately to discover whether I'd be wasting my time even applying in view of my medical background. I'm aware that they tend to be very particular about their choice of pilots and I highly suspect that my medical history will reduce my chances of acceptance somewhat drastically.

Any input on this would be very much appreciated. Thanks for taking the time to read this.
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Scorg
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#2
Report 16 years ago
#2
Without knowing the exact answers that your looking for, I think it maybe a good idea to visit an AFCO and talk about this with them. This is the best way to get the answer you require.
Although some other forum members may have the answer for you.
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Weena_no9
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#3
Report 16 years ago
#3
Hayfever for one is a issue, but again only your AFCO will be able to tell you whether your case is serious enough or not. As for M.E. No idea, that's not the kind of thing that get mentioned due to it's rareness. Again you'll have to ask your AFCO.
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Airwalker
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#4
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Hmmm. Well I'd hate myself for the rest of my life if I didn't even try, so I'll take your advice and go and see what the score is at the AFCO.

My hayfever has been gradually improving during the three years I have suffered from it, and is well controlled with medication. I can only hope I have become immune by the time I finish university - but I guess even then my chances are slim.
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icklecathy
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Report 16 years ago
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(Original post by Airwalker)
Hmmm. Well I'd hate myself for the rest of my life if I didn't even try, so I'll take your advice and go and see what the score is at the AFCO.

My hayfever has been gradually improving during the three years I have suffered from it, and is well controlled with medication. I can only hope I have become immune by the time I finish university - but I guess even then my chances are slim.
I think any history of hayfever rules you out of any flying roles, or it could be that you have to have been clear for a min number of years. As has been said, the AFCO know best, but you should def try.
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Airwalker
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#6
Report Thread starter 16 years ago
#6
Heh, I certainly didn't see hayfever being the bigger problem. Its interesting though, because my uncle has been piloting Tornados in the RAF for over thirty years and he suffers from hayfever as much as I do.

As you said, I expect the case will be that you have to be symptom-free for a certain amount of time - as is the case with Asthma. Still, having checked the RAF Careers website it doesn't mention anything about hayfever in the eligiblilty section.

Is there a number I could perhaps call or somewhere I can email to find out what the requirements are? The nearest AFCO is rather a long way away.
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icklecathy
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Report 16 years ago
#7
(Original post by Airwalker)
Is there a number I could perhaps call or somewhere I can email to find out what the requirements are? The nearest AFCO is rather a long way away.
Just ring the AFCO.
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js_atco
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#8
Report 16 years ago
#8
Hayfever - You must be free from wheezing symptoms for at least 4 years. The way things are in the RAF at the moment, anyone currently suffering from any degree of hayfever will more than likely be excluded from flying branches. Why? Because they have so many applicants for so few places, they can afford to be really picky.

Get down to your AFCO, they know a great deal.
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Big Cheese
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#9
Report 16 years ago
#9
Ring 01400261201 then when you get through to the operator, ask for medical reception at OASC.

I've rung them a few times for different bits and bobs, and you'll be getting an answer straight from the horses mouth.

Good luck
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Rhys
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#10
Report 16 years ago
#10
Keep your hopes up. I know a Herc pilot who has M.S, he is retiring this year though. I also know of a NCO with M.E.
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Airwalker
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#11
Report Thread starter 16 years ago
#11
Heh, thanks... thats quite reassuring. I was beginning to get a little depressed

Anyway, I haven't yet had the chance to call the AFCO and I'm off to Scotland this weekend for a wedding. I'll give them a ring when I get back and let you know what they say.

Thanks to everyone who has replied.
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midnight
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#12
Report 16 years ago
#12
I recently asked the AFCO about medical history and the chances of being able to join (although not for the same medical condition) and they've sent me guidance notes for the application form and it doesn't say anything about ME under the medical conditions that make a person unsuitable for enlistment. Hope you manage to phone them and get the info you need
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