16 and want to be a pilot within the RAF Watch

Jack Harvey
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Currently doing my A-Levels at a sixth-form college and have been interested in aviation for years. I started to use a flight simulator and have accumulated nearly 1,500 hours in General Aviation, Commercial and Military aircraft. I recently took a introductory flight lesson in a Cessna 172 at my local airfield (about 45 minutes from where I live) and thoroughly enjoyed it. I am currently in the process of joining the air cadets for the experience, opportunities and discipline. I hope that after my A-Levels I will join the RAF and head off to Officer college and proceed down the path of a fighter pilot. I have no medical issues, good vision, average GCSE grades, very good knowledge with aircraft and systems and a lot of determination.

My question is if there is anyone here who is or has been in the same position and if they have any advice to give.

Any input is greatly appreciated, thank you.
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Fathema29
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Can’t give u no help coz I’m still in high school but I just wanna s ya that sounds AWESOME !! 😁
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RV3112
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(Original post by Jack Harvey)
Currently doing my A-Levels at a sixth-form college and have been interested in aviation for years. I started to use a flight simulator and have accumulated nearly 1,500 hours in General Aviation, Commercial and Military aircraft. I recently took a introductory flight lesson in a Cessna 172 at my local airfield (about 45 minutes from where I live) and thoroughly enjoyed it. I am currently in the process of joining the air cadets for the experience, opportunities and discipline. I hope that after my A-Levels I will join the RAF and head off to Officer college and proceed down the path of a fighter pilot. I have no medical issues, good vision, average GCSE grades, very good knowledge with aircraft and systems and a lot of determination.

My question is if there is anyone here who is or has been in the same position and if they have any advice to give.

Any input is greatly appreciated, thank you.
My grandfather, father and brother were all in the RAF. I have great respect for anyone who chooses that as their vocation.

I can't help specifically with the pilot role itself, other than to maybe focus on general fitness for the fitness test.

Just remember it's a big commitment (12 years service at least), and it does involve constant relocation and upheaval for your future family. These are not meant as negatives, just things to bear in mind. Good luck!
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by Jack Harvey)
.............
Make sure you are also getting involved in team sports and leadership. You chances of getting in straight from school without outstanding evidence of leadership ability are slim. The majority of school leavers will be told to come back in a year or so, which usually means after university.
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ColourOfAsh
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
Make sure you are also getting involved in team sports and leadership. You chances of getting in straight from school without outstanding evidence of leadership ability are slim. The majority of school leavers will be told to come back in a year or so, which usually means after university.
Building on this, volunteer in your local community. Leadership opportunities and evidence of these are highly regarded. Have you joined the air cadets? It may only be for a year but it will provide opportunities to talk about leadership and development that you have undertaken. Fitness as previously mentioned is highly important , you want to be doing well above the green (minimum) pass. The role of pilot is highly competitive and there is going to be a long wait for you to join, and many stages of selection. Good luck on your journey.
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RAF_Adam
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(Original post by Jack Harvey)
Currently doing my A-Levels at a sixth-form college and have been interested in aviation for years. I started to use a flight simulator and have accumulated nearly 1,500 hours in General Aviation, Commercial and Military aircraft. I recently took a introductory flight lesson in a Cessna 172 at my local airfield (about 45 minutes from where I live) and thoroughly enjoyed it. I am currently in the process of joining the air cadets for the experience, opportunities and discipline. I hope that after my A-Levels I will join the RAF and head off to Officer college and proceed down the path of a fighter pilot. I have no medical issues, good vision, average GCSE grades, very good knowledge with aircraft and systems and a lot of determination.

My question is if there is anyone here who is or has been in the same position and if they have any advice to give.

Any input is greatly appreciated, thank you.
Hi Jack

As long as you meet all of the entry AND eligibility criteria listed on the role page on the RAF Recruitment website you'll be able to submit an application for the role, when you're ready. It's how you do at Officer and Aircrew Selection (OASC) that will determine whether you become a pilot in the RAF.

In addition to your studies you should try and gain leadership and teamwork experience as that will help you as part of the process. You'll be applying to be an officer, so expected to show maturity and lead people etc.

You will also apply to be a pilot, the RAF will decide which type of aircraft you'll fly (Fast Jet, Rotary or Multi-Engine etc). You can give a preference, but it's decided on a number of different factors at the time you apply. Once you're streamed it's unlikely you'll switch. Although you may fly different aircraft types during your career. Puma and Chinook, for example, or C17/Voyager etc. But again, may depend on operational need and your own career path. The RAF also trains all of its pilots from scratch, so you don't need any former flying experience prior to application, but if successful it will certainly be of benefit when you start flight training.

Also make sure your fitness is as good as it can be in readiness for your application. The base fitness standards are not massively high. However, you're against other people applying for the most applied for and competitive role in the RAF.

Kind regards
Adam
RAF Recruitment
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Schleigg
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(Original post by Jack Harvey)
Currently doing my A-Levels at a sixth-form college and have been interested in aviation for years. I started to use a flight simulator and have accumulated nearly 1,500 hours in General Aviation, Commercial and Military aircraft. I recently took a introductory flight lesson in a Cessna 172 at my local airfield (about 45 minutes from where I live) and thoroughly enjoyed it. I am currently in the process of joining the air cadets for the experience, opportunities and discipline. I hope that after my A-Levels I will join the RAF and head off to Officer college and proceed down the path of a fighter pilot. I have no medical issues, good vision, average GCSE grades, very good knowledge with aircraft and systems and a lot of determination.

My question is if there is anyone here who is or has been in the same position and if they have any advice to give.

Any input is greatly appreciated, thank you.
Hi Jack

It's fantastic that you have such a passion for aviation and spent so much time learning about it using the resources you have at your disposal. Keep up your enthusiasm. To address your points:

- The RAF will teach you how to fly. Time spent on Flight Simulator will give you the edge on recognising instruments and (depending on how seriously you're using it) some procedures, however it's a far cry from being strapped in to a noisy aircraft wtih a helmet on and doing sorties where flying the aircraft is the most basic aspect.

- Joining straight from school is possible, but have a backup plan for if you are unsuccessful at any stage. Not only will this benefit you should the worst happen, but it also shows maturity.

- Come to terms with thte fact that you may not become a fighter pilot. Could you fly rotary or heavy? Additionally, the training system is undergoing a huge overhaul at the moment and there are massive delays for student pilots. This could mean you'll spend a fair amount of time (years) doing something completely unrelated to flying before you reach the front line.

- Concentrate on becoming a rounded person. Pilot aptitude is important, but being the full package is more important.

HTH

S
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Jack Harvey
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(Original post by RAF_Adam)
Hi Jack

As long as you meet all of the entry AND eligibility criteria listed on the role page on the RAF Recruitment website you'll be able to submit an application for the role, when you're ready. It's how you do at Officer and Aircrew Selection (OASC) that will determine whether you become a pilot in the RAF.

In addition to your studies you should try and gain leadership and teamwork experience as that will help you as part of the process. You'll be applying to be an officer, so expected to show maturity and lead people etc.

You will also apply to be a pilot, the RAF will decide which type of aircraft you'll fly (Fast Jet, Rotary or Multi-Engine etc). You can give a preference, but it's decided on a number of different factors at the time you apply. Once you're streamed it's unlikely you'll switch. Although you may fly different aircraft types during your career. Puma and Chinook, for example, or C17/Voyager etc. But again, may depend on operational need and your own career path. The RAF also trains all of its pilots from scratch, so you don't need any former flying experience prior to application, but if successful it will certainly be of benefit when you start flight training.

Also make sure your fitness is as good as it can be in readiness for your application. The base fitness standards are not massively high. However, you're against other people applying for the most applied for and competitive role in the RAF.

Kind regards
Adam
RAF Recruitment
Thank you very much for your input, I do apologise for the long period in which it has taken me to apply.

As of two weeks ago I joined the Air Cadets at 129 Squadron near to where I live. Currently I am in my probationary period before I get enrolled as a Cadet. Whilst I am with the Cadet force I want to do as much, and gain as much experience through events as I can. Furthermore, once enrolled, I plan to start the Gold DofE and participate in the Nijmegen March in Holland 2020 course which I believe would be very beneficial to my skills and development as a Cadet.

In addition as of the start of December last year, I have been running 2.5KM everyday and going to the gym 3 times a week to build up my strength and endurance.

Is there any more opportunities that are available to 16 year olds that you could recommend for me?

Kind regards,

Jack Harvey
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Jack Harvey
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(Original post by Schleigg)
Hi Jack

It's fantastic that you have such a passion for aviation and spent so much time learning about it using the resources you have at your disposal. Keep up your enthusiasm. To address your points:

- The RAF will teach you how to fly. Time spent on Flight Simulator will give you the edge on recognising instruments and (depending on how seriously you're using it) some procedures, however it's a far cry from being strapped in to a noisy aircraft wtih a helmet on and doing sorties where flying the aircraft is the most basic aspect.

- Joining straight from school is possible, but have a backup plan for if you are unsuccessful at any stage. Not only will this benefit you should the worst happen, but it also shows maturity.

- Come to terms with thte fact that you may not become a fighter pilot. Could you fly rotary or heavy? Additionally, the training system is undergoing a huge overhaul at the moment and there are massive delays for student pilots. This could mean you'll spend a fair amount of time (years) doing something completely unrelated to flying before you reach the front line.

- Concentrate on becoming a rounded person. Pilot aptitude is important, but being the full package is more important.

HTH

S
Thank you very much for all the information and pointers you have provided. I have taken into consideration the possibility that it could not work out and started looking at other options as backups.

Once again, thank you.
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Jack Harvey
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(Original post by ColourOfAsh)
Building on this, volunteer in your local community. Leadership opportunities and evidence of these are highly regarded. Have you joined the air cadets? It may only be for a year but it will provide opportunities to talk about leadership and development that you have undertaken. Fitness as previously mentioned is highly important , you want to be doing well above the green (minimum) pass. The role of pilot is highly competitive and there is going to be a long wait for you to join, and many stages of selection. Good luck on your journey.
Thank you very much for your reply. Unfortunately I live in a very small town with not that many opportunities available. I have however managed to get a job at a local activity centre on the weekends. Furthermore, I have joined 129 Squadron Air Cadets and currently am on my probationary 3 month period and will be taking many opportunities within the Cadets to develop my character. I am also very focused on developing my fitness at the moment being in the form of endurance and strength training.

Thank you very much for your wishes.

Kind regards, Jack Harvey
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Jack Harvey
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(Original post by Fathema29)
Can’t give u no help coz I’m still in high school but I just wanna s ya that sounds AWESOME !! 😁
Thank you
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Jack Harvey
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
Make sure you are also getting involved in team sports and leadership. You chances of getting in straight from school without outstanding evidence of leadership ability are slim. The majority of school leavers will be told to come back in a year or so, which usually means after university.
Thank you. Hopefully the Air Cadets will provide me with opportunities to develop leadership factors. I'll also take a look at university courses that could be associated, or provide beneficial elements to becoming a Pilot.
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Jack Harvey
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(Original post by RV3112)
My grandfather, father and brother were all in the RAF. I have great respect for anyone who chooses that as their vocation.

I can't help specifically with the pilot role itself, other than to maybe focus on general fitness for the fitness test.

Just remember it's a big commitment (12 years service at least), and it does involve constant relocation and upheaval for your future family. These are not meant as negatives, just things to bear in mind. Good luck!
Thank you, my entire family are all very supportive of me pursuing a career in the services. And the service period of at least 12 years for me is no issue. I love being dedicated to something, especially when I am so passionate about it.

Much appreciated for you input.
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Drewski
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Take your time. Don't put pressure on yourself to be perfect straightaway. You won't be.

Relax and enjoy cadets. Don't be too worried about it being the step to an RAF career.
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Jack Harvey
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(Original post by Drewski)
Take your time. Don't put pressure on yourself to be perfect straightaway. You won't be.

Relax and enjoy cadets. Don't be too worried about it being the step to an RAF career.
Thanks for the support :thumbsup:
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