My friend Alex Wood, from Brazil, has recently looked into another option to fulfill his dream of learning to fly. He, like many of us, is figuring out the best avenue to realize his dream within his resources available. And what should he come upon? —The Royal Air Force.
Alex Wood says…
“Commonly known as RAF, the Royal Air Force was formed in 1918, and it is the oldest independent air force in the world. The RAF has taken a significant role in British military history, playing a large part in the World War II and in more recent conflicts.
Is one of the most capable and technologically sophisticated in the world. In 2012, 827 airplanes were operated, making it the largest air force in the European Union, and the second largest in terms of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) after the USAF. Most RAF aircraft and personnel are based in the UK, with many others serving in the Middle-East and recently in Libya.
Everyone one that has British citizenship can apply and be part of the team. I mean, everyone, from all kinds of backgrounds. They accept even people with the lowest academic grades. There are more than 50 different type of careers, but it isn't everyone that can become a pilot. To be an Airman/Airwoman you have to hold 5 GCSE grades from A-C, and A-Levels from A-C as well, with Bs on math and English. However, they do accept applicants with Cs on math.
Not only a good grading is necessary, but you have to be fit to start applying (not like an athlete, but capable of resisting duty programs). Also, not only UK residents are eligible, but residents from countries that has, at least dual British nationality, or has part in the European Economic Zone and the Commonwealth can apply for a job either. For those who are interested in the salary, they are high, and for pilots, the monthly salary after training is approximately £34.700.
The minimum age requirements for eligibility is 17 years old. When accepted, you will have to undertake very high-standard training sessions.
Certified by Queen Elizabeth II, and one of the most respected in the world, the RAF also has their own aerobatic team—The Red Arrows. Appreciated for their formation, they did an astonishing performance at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, at the London Olympics Opening Ceremony, and at the Queen's Golden Jubilee (escorting a British Airways Concorde fly-over). The team has a large fleet of the Hawk T1A powered by Rolls Royce. The Hawk T1A reaches 42.000ft in less than 10 minutes!
A large variety of transport aircraft are also in the fleet. C-17 Globemaster III, VC10, Hercules, A400M, A330, A340, small transport aircraft. But the Airman/Airwoman cannot select where he/she wants to be. During the selection process, the recruiters will check where do you fit according to your height, weight, fitness and aptitude (in general).
Personally, I think applying for your national air force is a good idea to start a career in aviation. After 12 years of service, you can apply for a job in an Airline Company. Some airlines are recruiting pilots from the armed forces, an example is British Airways. Not only because it may be a differential in your curriculum, but it will build up your own confidence and many skills such as maneuvers, emergency procedures and intellectual skills, which are more than a requirement nowadays. Also, if you don't have financial conditions to pay a course, the air force may be a great option.
Please, let's make 1 minute of silence in honor of the heroes that have lost their lives in combat.
Are you interested in joining the RAF? Do you meet all the requirements? Check out their website HERE. And if you want to join your national air force, contact your local office or apply on their website.
Hope you enjoyed the journey,
Alex… Thank you for a great post!!! I enjoyed the journey and know when, and if, you go this route we’ll be hearing much more about it. Thank you!