Army Air Corps Watch
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- CV Helper
Are you sure it's the route you want to go down? There's no guarantee you'll get AAC after Sandhurst, and those who do get a slot have high aptitude despite the 80 requirement because of how competitive it is.
- Community Assistant
The RAF is an organisation whose raison d'etre is to operate aircraft, everything is designed around that function (putting cynicism aside for the moment!). By becoming aircrew in the RAF you are effectively operating at the top of the organisational pyramid.
In both the Army and the RN, aviation is a non-core part of the organisations business. That's not to say that it isn't important to the overall scheme, but it is far from central, with all the organisational pressures that could bring. The culture that you live, operate and survive politically in is very different as a non-core entity than in the core.
Following on from this is the difference and diversity of jobs you can do, whilst RAF aircrew don't tend to shuffle round a lot between aircraft types, they can. Then there are a range of staff jobs in the RAF, not appealing at this stage in your career, but maybe more so if you want promotion or a family life at any point in the future. How diverse and sustainable is your flying career in the AAC?
And RAF aircraft fly a full spectrum of duties (eg Hercs = route, aeromed, air drop, para, specialist etc). I guess rotary off a ship could produce a diverse list - based on being rotary - off a ship though!
Then there is the type of flying. Why do you want to fly? Because the type of flying most people are exposed to in either mil or civ basic training is very very different to operating in a battlefield helicopter. I think you have to be very certain about exactly what it is that gives you a buzz in flying, and that it will be satisfied in the AAC or RN.
In no way do I mean to suggest that flying in the AAC or RN is 'not as good' as flying in the RAF, just that it is very different. For a number of reasons the idea that RAF>AAC>RN is a logical progression is really not wise and needs to be explored very carefully.
The RAF aren't going to take me as a pilot end of story. RN pilot is plan B.
I know how the AAC works and differs and that there is no garuntee slot. But it's an option and to me, a better option than the airlines.
I just don't know much about what the AAC do flying wise - I know apache act as chinook escorts and that's about it! My Dad was far from happy when I mentioned the AAC!!!
Thanks for the advice guys, keep it coming!
There are 2 routes to flying in the AAC- commissioned and NCO and 2 choices of craft to fly- Lynx and Apache. I think everyone starts on Lynx. For NCO you just pop along to AFCO and apply, sit the BARB test and go from there: 12wks phase 1 at Pirbright then phase 2 at Middle Wallop- the School of Army Aviation. You can't start flying training until you reach Lance Corporal (about 4 years) and pass aptitude testing and flying grading. There may, however, be exceptions if you have previous flying experience.
Officer route: As you know you have to apply for a commission and place at Sandhurst. The recruiting Officer will put you in touch with AAC. The AAC like you to have sat the aptitude tests at Cramwell and to go on a familiarisation visit where they can offer you 'sponosorship'. Once you have passed AOSB you can do your flying grading before going to Sandhurst. Although you can not be guaranteed AAC if you have done all of this before going then you have a pretty high chance of getting an offer.
I hope this helps and just say if you need any more gen. The apache is a beast of a craft and it doesn't just act as chaperone to the Chinook!!
As an Officer in the AAC you will very quickly be commanding a flight of craft and groundcrew. As your career develops you can become an Instructor, Test Pilot, Adjutant (if you fancy desk job) or Squadron 2IC. There is aldo the opportunity to do commercial pilot licences or exchanges with the RAF/RN!!
Canyou tell I'm a big fan of the AAC
I recently left the AAC to pursue career as an airline pilot- PM me if you want a better picture.