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    Hi everyone,

    I've recently applied to be a pilot in the RAF, however 5 years ago I got a hairline fracture in a vertebrae. I've had absolutely no problems with this and I even went to a festival 2 weeks after the accident! I've had no recurring problems or anything it's as if it never happened. This is worrying me because I don't know if I should keep quiet about it until asked specifically, or just tell them outright. I'm even considering going to the doctors and getting it checked to make sure it's all fine, as I was even told the damage done wouldn't cause any permanent damage or weakening of the spine.

    I also have a plated collarbone, which again has caused me no issues, this was about 6 years ago when this happened and I was given the option to get the plate removed, but I chose not to. After speaking to 2 RAF pilots they've both said the collarbone wouldn't be a problem, but I am yet to ask them about my vertebrae as I've only just realised today that it could be a problem!

    Does anyone know what to do? I rang the AFCO and they said don't worry about it unless it gets pulled up. I checked the medical forms that I need to fill out at my P2 presentation and the only question on there related asks about any back pain over the past 3 years, which I haven't.

    Thanks in advance!

    Matt
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    (Original post by MattMurphy77777)
    Does anyone know what to do?
    The "Medical conditions that preclude entry - RAF" file that you can find on the internet does list "Any spinal fracture" as one of those conditions.

    BUT the file is 4 years old.

    So, what can you do?

    Easy: apply.
    At some point your medical records will be seen and, if it was ever diagnosed / x-rayed / seen to in any way, it'll come out and they'll investigate to the current guidelines.

    Don't make problems for yourself. The system is there for a reason. Use it.
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    (Original post by Drewski)
    The "Medical conditions that preclude entry - RAF" file that you can find on the internet does list "Any spinal fracture" as one of those conditions.

    BUT the file is 4 years old.

    So, what can you do?

    Easy: apply.
    At some point your medical records will be seen and, if it was ever diagnosed / x-rayed / seen to in any way, it'll come out and they'll investigate to the current guidelines.

    Don't make problems for yourself. The system is there for a reason. Use it.
    It was X-rayed and diagnosed so yeah they will see it. I saw that that file was 4 years old that's why I wanted to post on here to see if anyone knew more about it

    I think the complexity of the problem should be looked at, as I think it's quite unfair to say to someone oh you can't do any role in the RAF because you once had a hairline fracture!

    I'm just worrying about spending all this time getting to OASC and that letting me down.

    Thankyou Drewski, we'll just have to see how it goes!
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    (Original post by MattMurphy77777)
    I think the complexity of the problem should be looked at, as I think it's quite unfair to say to someone oh you can't do any role in the RAF because you once had a hairline fracture!
    And it will be, but it will be in relation to the idea that you could end up going fast jet and sitting on an ejector seat.

    If the medical decision is that your back may not stand up to the stress of that (and guys who went in without back issues are* only allowed to have 2 before they're told not to fly anymore) then there's not a lot you'll be able to counter with.

    I get that you've not had any problems, but the stresses you might face in a flying career are extremely different to those you do face in everyday life, hence the standards being stringent.


    *Were? That certainly used to be the case. Guys who had ejected twice could elect to carry on flying, but it would be at their own risk.
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    (Original post by Drewski)
    And it will be, but it will be in relation to the idea that you could end up going fast jet and sitting on an ejector seat.

    If the medical decision is that your back may not stand up to the stress of that (and guys who went in without back issues are* only allowed to have 2 before they're told not to fly anymore) then there's not a lot you'll be able to counter with.

    I get that you've not had any problems, but the stresses you might face in a flying career are extremely different to those you do face in everyday life, hence the standards being stringent.


    *Were? That certainly used to be the case. Guys who had ejected twice could elect to carry on flying, but it would be at their own risk.
    Yeah this is where I'm getting confused, as I'm not sure if it would rule me out of ALL RAF roles or just fast jet. Personally, I would love fast jet, but I've applied to be a pilot so if I got multi-engine or rotary I would be just as happy! Both of these don't have ejector seats so I'm wondering how it would affect that.
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    (Original post by MattMurphy77777)
    Yeah this is where I'm getting confused, as I'm not sure if it would rule me out of ALL RAF roles or just fast jet. Personally, I would love fast jet, but I've applied to be a pilot so if I got multi-engine or rotary I would be just as happy! Both of these don't have ejector seats so I'm wondering how it would affect that.
    If you go in as a pilot they assume standards for FJ until you're streamed otherwise.
    That's why the size and weight restrictions are also in place.
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    (Original post by Drewski)
    If you go in as a pilot they assume standards for FJ until you're streamed otherwise.
    That's why the size and weight restrictions are also in place.
    Okay, so do you think they could potentially say I'm not fit for FJ but I would be for the other two? Or if I'm unfit for FJ is that an immediate strike off? Or should i just wait and see.... haha! Sorry for 101 questions just very 2 minded at the minute
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    (Original post by MattMurphy77777)
    Okay, so do you think they could potentially say I'm not fit for FJ but I would be for the other two? Or if I'm unfit for FJ is that an immediate strike off? Or should i just wait and see.... haha! Sorry for 101 questions just very 2 minded at the minute
    *IF* the rules are as they are on the old sheet, and with Capita as they are trending to be quite pedantic, then they're more likely to say unfit for any flying, than unfit for some.
    Where you'll end up is depending on the needs of the service, with more DJ coming online in the next few years, the likelihood is that the majority of pilots will be needed to go that way.


    However, none of this is certain and the only way you'll know is by applying. So find out.
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    (Original post by Drewski)
    *IF* the rules are as they are on the old sheet, and with Capita as they are trending to be quite pedantic, then they're more likely to say unfit for any flying, than unfit for some.
    Where you'll end up is depending on the needs of the service, with more DJ coming online in the next few years, the likelihood is that the majority of pilots will be needed to go that way.


    However, none of this is certain and the only way you'll know is by applying. So find out.
    Right so just go for it and see! I'll post back here once I know.

    Worst comes to worst I'm going to look into CTC wings and attempt to go commercial.

    Thankyou Drewski, appreciate it
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    Matt,

    I agree with Drewski. The only way to get a definitive answer is to apply and, if necessary later on you can attempt to appeal the decision.

    As for being choosy, you have to remember that for a lot of people being a pilot in the RAF is (rightly) a dream job. Cranwell historically would have (bearing in mind I haven't seen figures since the doors reopened in 2013) thousands of applicants for 1-200 places per year - and these would be the ones who passed the basic academic criteria to reach OASC. They could therefore be very picky on the medical, and hence some conditions that could cause problems later on (for example knee problems, even if fixed), under physical stress or in other climates/environments (e.g. Asthma) etc can afford to be filtered out without losing to much quality from the pool.

    As for type specific medicals - you are recruited as a pilot medically fit for all roles to be disposed of as you appear fit through training. Therefore you need to be medically fit for all types. Later on in a career a pilot may become "multi pilot ops only" or "non fast jet" (just examples) for medical reasons, but this is just using a very expensive asset as best as possible within a new medical limitation.

    Either way, good luck!
 
 
 
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