RAF Pilot/Weapon Systems Officer (WSO) Questions

Watch
bwobs
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 10 months ago
#1
Hi,
I'm interested in joining the RAF as a pilot but am not yet sure I will be able to due to my eyesight which is effectively on the boundaries of the restrictions (6/12 or 20/40 vision is what I have read).
- If one eye is within the limit and one is marginally out will this completely
end any chances of being a pilot?

Due to this, I was looking at WSO as a plan B.
- What sort of day to day jobs would a WSO do?
- I hear most go to ISTAR, but is there any chance whatsoever that I could
be streamed to the transport or helicopter fleets?
- Does anyone know what the required CBAT score is for WSO?
- How much travel will a WSO do?

Cheers
0
reply
bwobs
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#2
Report Thread starter 10 months ago
#2
(Original post by AlphaTango)
I would recommend you apply for Pilot and find out if you meet the medical standards or not, the eyesight requirements are constantly reviewed and are more flexible than they used to be.

WSO will not be on transport/rotary.
WSO day to day depends on the platform you operate on. If you look at the roles of the ISTAR platforms you’ll have an idea of the roles.
CBAT scores are amended frequently as are the stanines and the tests themselves. I could tell you it’s 50 or it’s 150 and it wouldn’t make any difference to you or your score.
Travel will also depend on platform.
I will definitely give pilot a go and see what happens, do they become more flexible with eyesight depending on how desperate the RAF are for pilots? Or if there is a very good candidate who is marginally off the visual standards then they'll let them in?
Do you know which of the ISTAR platforms get the most travel? Thanks again, and sorry for all the questions!
0
reply
BareFacedLoady
Badges: 7
Rep:
?
#3
Report 10 months ago
#3
(Original post by bwobs)
I will definitely give pilot a go and see what happens, do they become more flexible with eyesight depending on how desperate the RAF are for pilots? Or if there is a very good candidate who is marginally off the visual standards then they'll let them in?
Do you know which of the ISTAR platforms get the most travel? Thanks again, and sorry for all the questions!
I would definitely say go for your first choice. If a medical issue rules you out of that you will be offered alternative roles that you have qualified for based on your CBAT.

I would however say that the medical regulations are strict (appeals are able to be submitted), but ultimately, pilot is a very competitive role as it is. It's totally up to the discression of the medical board, and their decisions are for the good of the service, and yourself.

Almost certainly as a WSO you'd be based at RAF Waddington on one of their platforms. Check out the recruitment website for more details, and take these questions into your AFCO when you go in... they'll appreciate that you've put the effort in to thinking up questions, but make them relevant and put some effort into finding the answers for yourself.

All the best
1
reply
Drewski
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#4
Report 10 months ago
#4
(Original post by BeardedLoadie)
Almost certainly as a WSO you'd be based at RAF Waddington on one of their platforms.
There'll be a fair few based at Lossie!
0
reply
RAF_Adam
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#5
Report 10 months ago
#5
(Original post by bwobs)
Hi,
I'm interested in joining the RAF as a pilot but am not yet sure I will be able to due to my eyesight which is effectively on the boundaries of the restrictions (6/12 or 20/40 vision is what I have read).
- If one eye is within the limit and one is marginally out will this completely
end any chances of being a pilot?

Due to this, I was looking at WSO as a plan B.
- What sort of day to day jobs would a WSO do?
- I hear most go to ISTAR, but is there any chance whatsoever that I could
be streamed to the transport or helicopter fleets?
- Does anyone know what the required CBAT score is for WSO?
- How much travel will a WSO do?

Cheers
Hi

As has already been advised (you have a wealth of experience and advice in this forum!) the best thing to do is to submit an application and go through the process and see what happens.

The WSO role is primarily on ISTAR platforms, although there may be a few roles elsewhere, but if you're looking at rotary then it's highly unlikely.

We don't give out CBAT details, just do the day at Cranwell, you'll be advised on the day what you've scored for.

As a WSO you'll be Aircrew, so you're likely to be in the air a substantial amount of time and it's likely that you'll get to travel for exercises and potential operational deployment etc.

Kind regards
Adam
RAF Recruitment
1
reply
BareFacedLoady
Badges: 7
Rep:
?
#6
Report 10 months ago
#6
(Original post by Drewski)
There'll be a fair few based at Lossie!
My bad! How could i forget! Exciting times for those guys
0
reply
EconWarrior
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#7
Report 10 months ago
#7
(Original post by RAF_Adam)
Hi

As has already been advised (you have a wealth of experience and advice in this forum!) the best thing to do is to submit an application and go through the process and see what happens.

The WSO role is primarily on ISTAR platforms, although there may be a few roles elsewhere, but if you're looking at rotary then it's highly unlikely.

We don't give out CBAT details, just do the day at Cranwell, you'll be advised on the day what you've scored for.

As a WSO you'll be Aircrew, so you're likely to be in the air a substantial amount of time and it's likely that you'll get to travel for exercises and potential operational deployment etc.

Kind regards
Adam
RAF Recruitment
A few roles elsewhere?

Where else would that be?
0
reply
Drewski
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#8
Report 10 months ago
#8
(Original post by EconWarrior)
A few roles elsewhere?

Where else would that be?
I'm guessing that with the expansion and development of UAVs, and with the procurement of Protector, there may be the opportunity for a few WSOs to join that fleet.
0
reply
RAF_Adam
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#9
Report 10 months ago
#9
(Original post by EconWarrior)
A few roles elsewhere?

Where else would that be?
Hi

Have a good read through the RAF website at the fleet of ISTAR aircraft and where they can be based. As I stated, it's going to be mostly on those platforms, it states that on the role page too. The other areas are likely to be speacialised later in your career. But I don't see there being any on the Rotary fleet and certainly not Fast Jet. As Drew has stated, there could be opportunities in the RPAS area later in your career.

If you're looking for something more 'hands on' which could encompass different types of aircraft then look at WSOp rather than WSO. I'm fairly sure BeardedLoadie will be able to tell you info about the varied aspect of the role.

Kind regards
Adam
RAF Recruitment
1
reply
BareFacedLoady
Badges: 7
Rep:
?
#10
Report 10 months ago
#10
(Original post by RAF_Adam)
Hi

Have a good read through the RAF website at the fleet of ISTAR aircraft and where they can be based. As I stated, it's going to be mostly on those platforms, it states that on the role page too. The other areas are likely to be speacialised later in your career. But I don't see there being any on the Rotary fleet and certainly not Fast Jet. As Drew has stated, there could be opportunities in the RPAS area later in your career.

If you're looking for something more 'hands on' which could encompass different types of aircraft then look at WSOp rather than WSO. I'm fairly sure BeardedLoadie will be able to tell you info about the varied aspect of the role.

Kind regards
Adam
RAF Recruitment
Happy to answer any questions!
0
reply
Khal_6
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#11
Report 2 months ago
#11
(Original post by bwobs)
Hi,
I'm interested in joining the RAF as a pilot but am not yet sure I will be able to due to my eyesight which is effectively on the boundaries of the restrictions (6/12 or 20/40 vision is what I have read).
- If one eye is within the limit and one is marginally out will this completely
end any chances of being a pilot?

Due to this, I was looking at WSO as a plan B.
- What sort of day to day jobs would a WSO do?
- I hear most go to ISTAR, but is there any chance whatsoever that I could
be streamed to the transport or helicopter fleets?
- Does anyone know what the required CBAT score is for WSO?
- How much travel will a WSO do?

Cheers
Hi!
I'm literally in the exact same boat (or plane). I wear glasses and I'm going for pilot in the RAF. Recently done my CBAT and passed for Pilot comfortably. However, because of my eyesight, I'm expecting to be tuned down for pilot and offered another branch (if I make it to medical examination!). I've considered LASEK surgery, but you have have 12 months between the procedure and applying, and also be 22 at time of application - I'm 20.

I think the best way to go about it is just go for pilot until they tell you no. I've got an upcoming phone medical assessment before my interview so I'll be finding out more about the circumstances (with glasses). I'm also considering RPAS and WPO. Best of luck with your application, and I'll drop an update if I get any key info regarding eyesight and pilot.
0
reply
Drewski
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#12
Report 2 months ago
#12
(Original post by Khal_6)
Hi!
I'm literally in the exact same boat (or plane). I wear glasses and I'm going for pilot in the RAF. Recently done my CBAT and passed for Pilot comfortably. However, because of my eyesight, I'm expecting to be tuned down for pilot and offered another branch (if I make it to medical examination!). I've considered LASEK surgery, but you have have 12 months between the procedure and applying, and also be 22 at time of application - I'm 20.

I think the best way to go about it is just go for pilot until they tell you no. I've got an upcoming phone medical assessment before my interview so I'll be finding out more about the circumstances (with glasses). I'm also considering RPAS and WPO. Best of luck with your application, and I'll drop an update if I get any key info regarding eyesight and pilot.
A former cadet of mine now on a UAS wanted pilot but his eyesight was slightly off - not enough to need glasses, but enough that he knew - and he failed for pilot. He has, however, passed for RPAS.
0
reply
Ikaruss
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#13
Report 2 months ago
#13
I'm no medical expert, but I would think anyone who is able to watch the telly or play computer games would be good to go for RPAS pilot. And lockdown is perfect conditioning for 8-12 hours in a portacabin.

Anyway, back to the original 8 month old thread. All the best people start off wanting pilot and end up as WSOp (or AEOp in old money). Travel? In 2020-2030 timeframe you can look forward to anywhere near the Arctic Circle or Malaysia. If the former, take spare bottles of whisky for bartering. For the latter, take a trip to Singapore. As an officer - afternoon tea at Raffles. Other ranks - Bugis Street (pronounced Boogee).
1
reply
Ikaruss
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#14
Report 2 months ago
#14
Hi AT yes, I was aware that RPAS pilots did EFT, but I have no idea if there are medical relaxations compared to a candidate accepted as a full on pilot. I've read all the Prune stuff suggesting that RPAS pilots may get the chance later in their career to crossover to other platforms (prob not FJ), and I'm sure that would probably be necessary to keep people motivated. Doing a full service career on RPAS does not sound like my idea of fun.

Yes, I'm quite sure the RAF will go down the road of reviewing their aircrew medical entry requirements to reflect changing roles and levels of recruitment. As far back as I can remember the pilot medical was predicated on the basis you would make it into the cockpit of a 9g fighter - not many people do, and a lot of good potential aviators have seen their dreams dashed on the rocks as a result of minor imperfections. My colleague always bemoans the fact she was in the wrong place at the wrong time to apply to the RAF as a pilot. Times change.
0
reply
Khal_6
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#15
Report 2 months ago
#15
(Original post by AlphaTango)
Whats your prescription?
R/L | Sph -2.50/-2.25 | Cyl -2.00/- 1.50. It doesn't meet the requirements on AP1269A. On top of that I believe the combined visual acuity of both eyes is 6/20.
Last edited by Khal_6; 2 months ago
0
reply
Khal_6
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#16
Report 2 months ago
#16
(Original post by Drewski)
A former cadet of mine now on a UAS wanted pilot but his eyesight was slightly off - not enough to need glasses, but enough that he knew - and he failed for pilot. He has, however, passed for RPAS.
Yes this is what I'm prepared for and I expect this. Although I do wonder - since many officers are now on hold periods(min 2 yrs), would they allow (during this time) to have corrected vision?
0
reply
Drewski
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#17
Report 2 months ago
#17
(Original post by Khal_6)
Yes this is what I'm prepared for and I expect this. Although I do wonder - since many officers are now on hold periods(min 2 yrs), would they allow (during this time) to have corrected vision?
Those holds aren't often all in one go, so it would disrupt your training, my gut feeling is no. Double check though.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Do you have the space and resources you need to succeed in home learning?

Yes I have everything I need (212)
56.68%
I don't have everything I need (162)
43.32%

Watched Threads

View All
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise