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Drewski
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#4761
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#4761
(Original post by 1J2)
Hi, I have just been reading this and it seems as though there are some pretty experienced people in here and i was hoping to ask for some advice about any extra things I should be doing and what my chances are of getting into the RAF as a pilot.I am currently at Newcastle university studying mathematics with finance, A-levels: three A's in Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry, my GCSEs are 2 A stars 4 As, 3Bs and 1 C (in English language), in terms of extra curricular activities: at university i started playing mens lacrosse and am currently second team captain, At school i played rugby at fullback, I have done the same for a club, And was on the first team for swimming and got half colours, outisde of school and university oi have competed in tetrathlons (shooting(pistol),swimming,runni ng and horse riding) and captained the northern England junior team at 16. Any advice would be very helpful, Thankyou!
Were you in the air cadets? If not, why not? (It's not a problem, but you'll be asked)

Since you're at university, are you in the UAS? If not, why not? (Again, it's not something that will exclude you, but you will be asked about it)
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1J2
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(Original post by Drewski)
Were you in the air cadets? If not, why not? (It's not a problem, but you'll be asked)

Since you're at university, are you in the UAS? If not, why not? (Again, it's not something that will exclude you, but you will be asked about it)
I see, I wasn’t in the air cadets nor am I in the UAS, I was in the CCF at school and I will look at joining the UAS, Thankyou very much!
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1J2
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(Original post by Surnia)
As you'll be applying to be an officer you need to be showing your leadership potential, much more so than taking part in sports, and that is done by taking on positions with responsibility. Within sport, it's not something you have to play, it can be a committee position - treasurer, fixtures manager, organise a charity match? And look outside of sports: volunteering, mentoring, help with uniformed organisations, eg cadets or scouts, part-time job in the holidays?

The sooner you start doing this, the better; it doesn't look good when people have taken on extra activities a few weeks before they apply to the RAF. Just keep the right balance between studies and any extra-curricular stuff; a good degree may be something you need to fall back on if the RAF application doesn't work out. Good luck!
Very helpful yes I should’ve said I am currently a committee member for lacrosse this involves going to meetings and making decisions etc however i wouldn’t call it a leadership position, I will hopefully be changing roles next year if all goes to plan as a treasurer, In terms of volunteering, cadets etc I did expect that to be very helpful and I am going I look into working this around my time, Thankyou very much! Very helpful
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SyZ7OC
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#4764
Did you make it after the 15 years?
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BAA95
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Don't know if anyone could help me with some thoughts I am having. I gave up on my childhood dream of being a pilot in the RAF/FAA. It may be the quarantine talking, but somewhere, deep down, I feel like I will always wonder what if. It was fast jets in particular that always captivated me and somewhere along the line I became disillusioned with the process and my chances of making it.

Fast forward a few years and I am halfway through a medical degree. I do enjoy it (some of the time), but if someone was to offer me a spot down at Anglesey, I would honestly quit medicine tomorrow. I am 24 now and not getting any younger. I have thought of applying to the RN post-graduation since their upper age limit for pilots is 34. But then, they probably have far fewer training spots. The RAF's limit is 25. I have flirted with the idea of taking a year out to apply. But then I imagine they would not view someone dropping out of a degree too favourably.

Any thoughts or advice would be much appreciated.
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Drewski
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(Original post by BAA95)
Don't know if anyone could help me with some thoughts I am having. I gave up on my childhood dream of being a pilot in the RAF/FAA. It may be the quarantine talking, but somewhere, deep down, I feel like I will always wonder what if. It was fast jets in particular that always captivated me and somewhere along the line I became disillusioned with the process and my chances of making it.

Fast forward a few years and I am halfway through a medical degree. I do enjoy it (some of the time), but if someone was to offer me a spot down at Anglesey, I would honestly quit medicine tomorrow. I am 24 now and not getting any younger. I have thought of applying to the RN post-graduation since their upper age limit for pilots is 34. But then, they probably have far fewer training spots. The RAF's limit is 25. I have flirted with the idea of taking a year out to apply. But then I imagine they would not view someone dropping out of a degree too favourably.

Any thoughts or advice would be much appreciated.
I know people who have dropped out of degrees to join the RAF as officers, including as aircrew.

If you're able to articulate why you're choosing that path, the RAF will not hold it against you. They know their age limits make candidates ask questions of themselves, phrase it like that in an interview and you'll be ok.

Better to give it a go than to always wonder, right?
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BAA95
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(Original post by Drewski)
I know people who have dropped out of degrees to join the RAF as officers, including as aircrew.

If you're able to articulate why you're choosing that path, the RAF will not hold it against you. They know their age limits make candidates ask questions of themselves, phrase it like that in an interview and you'll be ok.

Better to give it a go than to always wonder, right?
Thanks for your reply. The heart wants what the heart wants I suppose, I don't want to live in regret.

Would a year out be enough to go through the application process assuming I put one in now?
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Drewski
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(Original post by BAA95)
Thanks for your reply. The heart wants what the heart wants I suppose, I don't want to live in regret.

Would a year out be enough to go through the application process assuming I put one in now?
A successful application can take over a year. The sooner you start, the better.

There's no reason to drop out now or take a year out, though. You can do the application side by side with a degree course. If you can't, you need to think about your time management.

If you get in, then you can consider dropping out.
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BAA95
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(Original post by Drewski)
A successful application can take over a year. The sooner you start, the better.

There's no reason to drop out now or take a year out, though. You can do the application side by side with a degree course. If you can't, you need to think about your time management.

If you get in, then you can consider dropping out.
Your'e right, not sure why I thought I'd need a year out to apply. Are you in the RAF yourself?
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Drewski
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(Original post by BAA95)
Your'e right, not sure why I thought I'd need a year out to apply. Are you in the RAF yourself?
Used to be.
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Surnia
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(Original post by BAA95)
Your'e right, not sure why I thought I'd need a year out to apply. Are you in the RAF yourself?
You would spend very little time actually attending selection activities, so definitely no need to drop out of your degree; you'd be spending more time doing revision and fitness training, but that's on your own clock. Also, you don't know if you will make it through selection, so if you continue with your studies you have a back-up plan.
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BAA95
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(Original post by Surnia)
You would spend very little time actually attending selection activities, so definitely no need to drop out of your degree; you'd be spending more time doing revision and fitness training, but that's on your own clock. Also, you don't know if you will make it through selection, so if you continue with your studies you have a back-up plan.
Thanks for your reply. You're right and with exams out of the way, this is the perfect time to start my preparation!
(Original post by Drewski)
Used to be.
Do you know what the climate is like for pilots these days? I have read that the RAF is failing to meet aircrew requirements due to lack of aircraft and instruction. But what does that mean for new pilot applicants?
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Drewski
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(Original post by BAA95)
Thanks for your reply. You're right and with exams out of the way, this is the perfect time to start my preparation!

Do you know what the climate is like for pilots these days? I have read that the RAF is failing to meet aircrew requirements due to lack of aircraft and instruction. But what does that mean for new pilot applicants?
They'll always need new pilots going through the system.

The numbers are small, the role is ultra competitive, but they're always needed.
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Surnia
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(Original post by BAA95)
Thanks for your reply. The heart wants what the heart wants I suppose, I don't want to live in regret.

Would a year out be enough to go through the application process assuming I put one in now?
Forgot to add to Drewski's response on dropping out. As as ex-recruiter, it's not something that would be questioned at length, but doesn't show a lot of forward planning; if, for example, you were asked to reapply in 6 months because you didn't pass the interview, what would you do in the meantime? How do you show that leadership potential of commitment and responsibility unless you've got things going on outside of uni that you can keep up wherever you are living?

There's very few roles that require a degree, so the undergrads I saw were towards the end of their course or had dropped out as uni wasn't for them, not specifically to join up; I understand yours is a very different case given your age, but you can pull out of your studies if offered a place, not to try and gain one.

Giving up studies or a job to go through selection is not something the Forces advise because of the possibility of failure; I've had people crying and ranting in my office because they're application is on temporary hold, or a permanent stop, or they need to reapply and they have no job to go back to and no wages coming in. The short answer was well, that was your decision.
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BAA95
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(Original post by Surnia)
Forgot to add to Drewski's response on dropping out. As as ex-recruiter, it's not something that would be questioned at length, but doesn't show a lot of forward planning; if, for example, you were asked to reapply in 6 months because you didn't pass the interview, what would you do in the meantime? How do you show that leadership potential of commitment and responsibility unless you've got things going on outside of uni that you can keep up wherever you are living?

There's very few roles that require a degree, so the undergrads I saw were towards the end of their course or had dropped out as uni wasn't for them, not specifically to join up; I understand yours is a very different case given your age, but you can pull out of your studies if offered a place, not to try and gain one.

Giving up studies or a job to go through selection is not something the Forces advise because of the possibility of failure; I've had people crying and ranting in my office because they're application is on temporary hold, or a permanent stop, or they need to reapply and they have no job to go back to and no wages coming in. The short answer was well, that was your decision.
I understand, I think I'll be allowed to put my course on hold if I do get through to IOT and beyond. As Drewski says, it's an ultra competitive path, at least that way I can always return if it doesn't work out.
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RAF_Adam
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(Original post by BAA95)
I understand, I think I'll be allowed to put my course on hold if I do get through to IOT and beyond. As Drewski says, it's an ultra competitive path, at least that way I can always return if it doesn't work out.
Hi

If you've got to IOT then you're in the RAF... ;-)

You've been given great advice here, the decision whether you apply is entirely up to you. As long as you meet all of the entry and eligibility requirements on the role page on the RAF Recruitment website you can submit an application, it's how you do through the different stages of the application process that will determine entry.

Also, one other thing to note, you will apply as a Pilot, the RAF will determine which type of aircraft you'll fly (Fast Jet, Multi-Engine or Rotary). You can give a preference, but it's the RAF that will make the final decision based on a number of different factors. If your heart wants Fast Jet, are you going to be happy in a C17 or Chinook? It's just something to think about as part of the process.

Kind regards
Adam
RAF Recruitment
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