Frequently Asked Questions
If you have questions about becoming a future military pilot, we can help.
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Thank you for visiting our future military pilot Frequently Asked Questions page. Flight School Wingman understands that you’ve probably got loads of questions regarding being a military pilot and how to achieve your dream. To help you, we have constructed a list of some of the most frequently asked questions by aspiring military pilots/aircrew. If any of you have any new questions, then Flight School Wingman would be delighted to answer them for you! Check out our free “knowledge base” or book a Military Pilot Career Guidance support call.
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All of the three services will have broadly similar entry requirements/standards. However, each service will have its own individual aircrew requirements at a particular point in time, which may mean it is harder (or easier) to join a particular service at that point in time.
It really doesn’t matter! Many military pilots started their careers straight out of sixth form, whereas other chose to gain a degree at University. Gaining a degree may give you more future options throughout your military career (and beyond) but if you are determined to join the military, then leaving school and joining up is a totally valid and well trodden path!
The two training paths are essentially completely separate. If you choose to join the military (at any stage, with or without previous flying experience) then you should expect to complete all of the military flying training pipeline. Some of this training may be completed alongside civilian pilots undergoing commercial flying training, but the courses and training will differ.
Military pilots don’t have to complete ATPL exams like their civilian counterparts, bu this doesn’t mean that there isn’t any groundschool to be completed. Each stage of the training pipeline will require you to complete study and take exams for the type of aircraft you are about to fly and the workload can be high!
Fast-jet training is probably the hardest course that any pilot, anywhere in the world can complete. It is an extremely demanding course of several stages – each building on the former. You will typically spend 5-6 years training to become a fast-jet pilot and not everybody makes it through. Those that are unsuccessful will find themselves “chopped” and usually re-streamed to multi-engine or rotary aircraft (if in the RAF) or rotary (if in the RN).
Yes, and no. The type of aircraft you ultimately fly will depend on your performance throughout flying training. Generally speaking, those pilots that perform the best throughout their training will be streamed and be successful in joining a fast-jet squadron. “Streaming” usually happens at the end of the EFT (Elementary Flying Training) stage. However, the RAF MFTS (Military Flight Training System) offers those that choose to opt for multi-engine flying from the outset, the chance to have their multi-engine training “fast-tracked”. All pilots should be prepared that at any stage of flying training, your training may be terminated if you don’t make the required standard, or you may be streamed to another branch of the Service.
Absolutely! It’s very common for aspiring military pilots to apply to more than one service. It should be noted however, that joining as a pilot from the outset is only possible if you apply to join the RAF or Royal Navy. You should give careful consideration as to why you want to join a particular Service though, as all of the services have a different ethos, which may suit you more than another…
An AFCO (Armed Forces Careers Office) is where your journey to becoming military aircrew will begin. We recommend visiting your local AFCO if you are looking toward a career as military aircrew. Your AFCO will also conduct your initial filter interview, which will determine whether you are progressed to the full selection board for your chosen Service. You should prepare for your AFCO interview seriously. Check out our range of military selection preparation services here.
This topic is something that surprisingly, many aspiring military aircrew don’t give any thought to. When you join the Armed Forces, you must be prepared to go to war – it may not happen, depending on the geopolitical situation during your time in the Armed Forces, but you must be prepared to do so.
Whether you are attending the OASC, AIB or AOSB, you can be assured of an extremely thorough selection process. You will be assessed in a range of areas that test your leadership, teamwork, motivation, courage and values and intelligence. You must prepare thoroughly – competition is extremely fierce. If you’d like to learn more about the process and how to prepare, then purchase our Military Pilot Selection Prep eBook here. If you have an upcoming selection board, then we strongly recommend you consider attending some training with Flight School Wingman – you can learn more here.
The reality is, you should probably know which type of career path you want to follow. The two career paths are very different and bring very different challenges. You should absolutely not set out on the path to becoming a military pilot unless you are 100% committed to the career. The training is tough and the job places you and your military colleagues under pressures that do not occur in everyday life. If you’d like to discuss more about military life, or what it’s like being a military pilot, then you might like to consider booking a Military Pilot Career Guidance Support Call with Flight School Wingman. You will speak with a former military pilot, who will give you the full picture on being a military pilot and officer. Book your service here.