How To Become A Pilot In The RAF


Read our section on how to become a civil pilot? Got to the part where it starts casually throwing around figures like £40000 for the privilege of throwing yourself on a seething mass of fellow unemployed aviators, and decided that perhaps there is a better career out there for you?

Well, there is another option which provides a soothing balm to both of those rather major issues; become a pilot in the armed forces! The kindly British public will pay for your training, and there is a decent job at the end of it. Sure you might get shot at, but you can’t have your cake and eat it.

This article looks at how to apply to become a pilot in the RAF – although the procedure is similar if you want to join the army or navy as well.


  1. Introduction
  2. Initial Armed Forces Careers Office (AFCO) Visit
  3. Officer Presentation
  4. Filter Interview
  5. Officer and Airman Selection Centre (OASC)
  6. After OASC

So what do you need in order to get the ball rolling on this flying business? Well, (assuming you are going for officer selection) educationally, you need to have achieved five grade C or above GCSEs and two A-levels. It does not matter what the subjects are. You also need to be at least 17 and a half, but younger than 26 (apologies to elderly people).

Muriel was angry upon hearing she would never be a wing commander.

Muriel was angry upon hearing she would never be a wing commander.

Things that will give your application the edge will be extra curricular activities, like getting involved in school clubs, sports, Duke of Edinburgh award and being a member of the Air Training Corps. Just do as much of this as you can, understandably the RAF does not want a trembling, pasty faced applicant (who can only list Orc – level 70 on World of Warcraft as their achievements) to be flying their equipment.

Initial Armed Forces Careers Office Visit

So you meet the requirements – now you just need to register your interest, and get this job application train into motion. To do this, you will need to go to your nearest Armed Forces Careers Office (AFCO), and speak to the RAF people there. They will probably sigh and roll their eyes at the prospect of another pilot applicant (450 per place) so do have a look at some of the other jobs available in the RAF. If you are a Weapons Systems Officer/Operator then you can still get to go flying – and strangely most of the other jobs involve some kind of aviationally related aspect, so give them some serious thought.

However, this website is pilot orientated, and it is through this dingy vein that we shall endeavour.

Officer Presentation

Once you’ve spoken to the staff at the AFCO, filled in the forms, got all the leaflets and DVDs, and asked all your questions, you will now need to attend a presentation on officer selection. This is about an hour, and will cover many aspects that you will need to know for the interviews that lie in your murky future. So make notes!

The slides will cover general RAF stuff, like how it is structured, and who the key people are – but it will also cover the qualities you need to become an officer and how the selection process will run from this point onwards.

You don’t need to do any prior research into the RAF before this presentation, as the only questions ask to the assembled wannabes is name that aircraft. However, it is also your opportunity to ask questions which you won’t even know need asking unless you have done some research. So do some research.

Filter Interview

Following the presentation, you will need to book a filter interview. This interview is a one-to-one with the office commander at the AFCO, and will basically go through your life so far; achievements, awards, education along with dates. Sounds stupid, but make sure you know you before you go into the interview – otherwise you will look like an idiot.

You will also be quizzed on the RAF, what will be expected of you as an officer, what will be expected of you as a pilot and what lies ahead in the officer selection side of things. All the questions will be posed to you in a quick fire way, so make sure you are ready for that when you go in. Don’t get flustered because they go all Anne Robinson on your ass.


Make sure you know all the aircraft in the RAF, where they are based, and what is planned for them in the future. You’ll need to know where the RAF is based in temporary and permanent bases, and what aircraft area being used in those operations. Know how long you will need to be in the RAF for, and how much you will be paid when you have finished training. Know where, for how long, and in what aircraft you will be doing all the various stages of training in for fast jet (Typhoon, Harrier, Tornado etc.), multi engine (Hercules, Globemaster, Nimrod etc.) and rotary, as you could end up flying any of these. Know the contents of the key slides in the presentation, like officers qualities and key duties as an officer.

This all may sound hardcore, but the awesome combination of the RAF website, and the warm guiding hand of Wikipedia will answer pretty much everything you need to know.

I also forgot to mention you will need to know about a broad range of both national and international current affairs, as you can be asked on this as well.

Officer and Aircrew Selection Centre (OASC)

Assuming you safely navigate your way through the treacherous waters of the filter interview, your application will be sent to RAF Cranwell. You will then either get a letter inviting you to OASC. Or you will get a letter telling you to try again next year. Or you will get a letter telling you to piss right off.

OASC is the last stage in officer selection before you are admitted into the exclusive military aviationally related club that is the RAF. It is also the hardest part, stretched over a total of four days during which you will be grilled, prodded and jostled at RAF Cranwell.

Your first day at OASC will be an arrival and welcoming brief. Not too hard, just sit and listen. You then get dinner. Not too hard, just sit and eat.

Aptitude Tests

The following day, things get slightly more ‘eventful’ – starting with half a day of aptitude tests. These range from reasonably standard numerical reasoning tests; to the slightly more hardcore keep-the-red-diamond-in-the-middle-with-your-inverted-joystick-and-rudder; to the soul crushing cancel-the-coloured-diamonds-while-doing-calculations-and-remembering-a-combination-of-alphanumerics-changing-every-15-seconds.

Your brain may begin to dribble out of your nose at this point.


For a full description on what aptitude tests there are going to be; click here! Although be prepared to adjust your eyes to quite a unique colour scheme.

Once you have completed the aptitude tests, you will be led into a room where you will be debriefed on your results. There are certain standards you must meet, depending on the branch you have applied for, so you will be told if you results were less than optimal (read: crap) for your chosen branch. However you will also be advised as to which branches you did well in.

Exercise Phase

The next item on the merry road of OASC is the exercise phase – where long periods of group discussion/planning exercises are interspersed with short, sharp opportunities to be all Action Man in a hanger. But you probably won’t be the greatest hero of them all.

He might have some problems passing the medical too.

He might have some problems passing the medical too.

You will be peeled away from the main wannabe force and placed into a team of around five people, and be issued with overalls and bibs. Fashion is not a priority in the RAF, and they do not require you to look fabulous. The group discussion will be on a range of subjects which will probably divide the group. You will be expected to voice your opinion and show that you are capable of both listening to others and contributing in a constructive way.

There will also be a group planning exercise, where your group will be presented a fictional scenario (probably set in Khabezikistan). This scenario will mean you have to be good at problem solving and speed distance time questions. You will be given some time to come up with a solution on the scenario individually, and then you will be given time to develop the plan with the rest of your group. You will then be probed by the board (pleasingly, not literally) as to your chosen solution – they will probably pick it to shreds and you will all weep.

An individual planning exercise is also thrown into the mix. This is pretty much the same except you are flying solo on this one – so you will have to present your solution and answer any questions in a manner which is not meek and feeble.

Your Action Man impression makes a welcome appearance at this point, in the hanger exercises. You will get a presentation on the basic rules of the hangar, as well as some tips for how to succeed in your goals. In the hangar, your goal is to get from one side of the room to the other using the equipment given, without touching the floor. Basically the kind of game you played in your front room when you were eight. If you think it will help, you are more than welcome to imagine the floor as hot lava, although I would try and keep this to yourself.

Not a good look

Not a good look

There will be both a leaderless and a leader led version of hanger action. In the leaderless version, the board are looking for your ability to work as part of a team and voice your opinions, as well as how you learn from your mistakes and your problem solving.

You will then take it in turns to lead the group. You will have to come up with a plan, and you will be responsible for making the group perform that plan as you see fit. They are looking for how well you encourage and support at this point. When you are not the leader, they are looking for how well you perform as part of the team.


The interview at OASC is very similar to the filter interview that you did in the comfort of your home AFCO. This time there are double the number of RAF officers in attendance. Sadly, this does not mean double the fun.

Again, it is talking about you and your achievements, what’s occurring at the RAF now and in the future, and what will happen if you manage to pass OASC and go on to Initial Officer Training (IOT) and beyond. They may also casually bung in a few domestic and international news stories into the fray to keep things exciting. As before, it will be conducted in the style of Anne Robinson.

During the interview, you are being assessed on how you express yourself, convey ideas, your motivation for joining, as well as more quantitative measures like your physical fitness and what activities you have done out of school/work.


You need to be sure you are actually going to fit in the planes having gone through all this. And once you are in the aircraft, you also need to be sure that you are not going to slump over the controls randomly. Your training would cost far too much for that!

This is more in depth than even a class 1 professional pilot civilian medical and you can find the requirements on the RAF website.

Open Wide! I'll leave it for you to decide to which orifice I am referring.

Open Wide! I'll leave it for you to decide to which orifice I am referring.

Fitness Tests

You need to be pretty fit to join the RAF. They test for this at OASC by conducting a bleep test (where you run between sides as a bleep gets ever faster), and then seeing how many press ups and sit ups you can do. Make sure that you can pass this – it would be a shame to fail on something you can improve easily.

To help you, there will be a leaflet that the RAF have put together which you will get after your initial AFCO visit (remember that from all the way up there?). This will give you an exercise regime that will get you up to at least a minimum standard before trying to join.

After OASC

Once the four days of excitement are over, you will go home and get your results within 3-4 weeks. If you are in, you can look forward to Initial Officer Training and a decent career!

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46 Responses to “How To Become A Pilot In The RAF”

  1. Henry says:

    Hi, I’ve done hours and hours of searching and it’s quite safe to say I’ve finally found what I’ve been looking for. I’m nearly 17 my (current) life goal is to become a fast – jet pilot. This article has significantly helped me in raising my awareness of the copious amounts of selection tests you go through just to know if your the right sort of character! I’m quite worried actually, haha.

    Anyway, this article has really been a help to me and I’ve bookmarked it :)

    Thanks a lot!

  2. profpilot says:

    Kindly indeed Henry. Glad to be of help – although a warning: I didn’t actually manage to get into the RAF (something to do with portraying the interviewing officer as Anne Robinson). Perhaps you should distance yourself from such an abject, miserable failure.

    Good luck with the whole fast-jet thing though!

  3. Henry says:

    Oh right? What did they say to you? Is this the filter interview your referring to?

  4. adam says:

    i have my filter interview soon.
    i am in a resonbale fitness shape
    and in the ATC and know lots about aircraft and stuff
    im applying for the 6th form scholor ship

    any tips of what else i should revise

    (on a school comp. keys dont work sorry for spelling0

  5. profpilot says:

    I’m not sure if the interviews are different for the sixth form scholarship (but I know the competition is even harder to get it). So I shall blindly ignore this fact and give you an answer based on my experience. If you’re in the ATC, I should imagine that there will be RAFey people there who will be able to help out some more.

    For my filter interview, I was asked about the aircraft for the branch I was interested in going in, where they were based, what they are doing at the moment. I was then asked about RAF operations, where they are permanently based, where they are based now, what they are doing there (like why are we in the Falklands? As of last week you can now add ‘guarding the 6bn barrels of oil there for us’ onto the slightly less impressive ‘guarding the desolate rock from people who enjoy the tango for us’.)

    Then I was asked about officer qualities, and RAF values. So essentially pretty much everything talked about at the presentation that you do beforehand. It’s also all there on the RAF website!

  6. Adam says:

    Thank you you have made my life a Little bit easier


  7. Sam says:

    Good helpful site, just bookmarked it too. I too am looking to become a pilot, of the rotary variety anyhow, but really, any flying position in the RAF is just the best job in the country… Currently i’m in the sixth form, yr 13, with my exams in June next year :/. If last year is anything to go by i wont hold out too much hope for them, buuuut i am retaking a few of them at the same time, so maybe il bump my grades up a bit. Now i know what they have in store. Haven’t even spoken to the AFCO yet, so we shall see how that goes. This new shuffle of the RAF though, hows about that for current affairs :o hopefully its for the best and the new Chinooks will need crews…

    Henry, and Adam too, keep us informed, could be useful. If ya would :D cheers guys, and good luck:D

  8. profpilot says:

    Glad you’re finding the site useful.

    Also, you have an awesome name.

    That is all.

    Sam (aka profpilot)

  9. Sam says:

    Haha, yup, it’s awesome. Wonder if the AFCO’s see it that way:/

  10. Henry says:

    I’ve been doing a lot of reading and still haven’t found a few answers to some questions I have.

    1. I’ve always wondered about the streaming process of becoming a fast jet pilot, multi – engine pilot or helicopter pilot. What sort of qualities do a fast jet pilot have? I’m assuming you need good hand eye – coordination but where would you be assessed on something like this?

    2. Hopefully next year when I’ve finished school I get into university and doing a Beng in Aeronautical Engineering with Pilot Studies, and also obtaining a NPPL/PPL. (ALSO hopefully getting into a UAS). Would all this help my interview? (Providing I get accepted) I’ll probably still do it as I do have a genuine passion for flying but my main ambition is to become a fast jet pilot rather than commercial.

    3. When I was about 14 I stopped doing regular sports and realised that isn’t a good lifestyle to have if you want to join the RAF, I’ve started playing Hockey and Badminton regularly and that 3 year gap is haunting me. Will this be a disadvantage?

    4. I’ve had every opportunity to join the air cadets but never did, will this also be a big disadvantage?

    PS Sorry for the long overly detailed questions but i’m just quite curious haha.


  11. profpilot says:

    Welcome back Henry! I guess you really must have bookmarked this page…

    I’ll try and answer your questions as best as I can – but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re right! I am literally a random person who has a website with many weird and wonderful photoshops; that doesn’t mean I know any better than anyone else.

    1) I don’t think you have much say in what you are streamed into – it’s more what spaces are available when you reach that particular (although admittedly awesome) fork in the road. I believe all pilots have the same fundamental skills as you all start your basic training together, and also can move from fast jet to multi after a while too. You get assessed for things like hand eye co-ordination during OASC (there’s a link in the passage above somewhere that goes through all the tests and what you have to do).

    2) I can’t see why that wouldn’t help in an interview. Demonstrates commitment, as well as all the other stuff that any degree would show like capable of learning, self motivation blah blah blah. If you are in the UAS then you will also be a bit of a known quantity to the RAF so that is a double tick in the box. Unless you come to become known as an idiot known quantity (but I’m sure that won’t happen. You’ve already proven yourself wise and knowledgeable seeking enlightenment on Also, don’t do any double ticks in boxes. That will invalidate your form.

    3) Doubt it. Get involved in the UAS and other extra curricular stuff at uni and I’m sure that will send the interviewer dancing round that room.

    4) Well it’s certainly not a plus, but I also don’t think it is a big negative either. Although it would give you a taste on what the whole RAF thing is, so it’s probably a slight downer from that point of view. I seem to remember reading somewhere that 40% of RAF officers have never been in the ATC, but that could have been a dream (albeit a tedious dream).

    I think it would be a good idea to double check questions 1 and 2 with your local AFCO, as they will be able to give you good advice from the horses mouth. They’ll probably say you don’t have to go to university, in which case you need to think whether you actually want to study the course you have chosen and experience university life. From my own personal experience of skipping uni (and now in the process of applying as a mature student) I would say do it. But that’s me.

    Questions 3&4 aren’t really as important – they’ve already happened. Not a lot you can do about it so why worry yourself?

    Sorry for my equally detailed answer!


  12. Henry says:

    Thanks, really do appreciate the replies!
    I hope this website is still around in 3 – 5 years time haha.

    We had an RAF Careers office in my hometown, 2 minutes away from me but that got moved to a train ride away which is frustrating. Yeah I had bookmarked this page as soon as I found it, the most useful website i’ve found so far.

    I think I’d have to go to uni and gain some experiance with the UAS and the course i’ve picked, I’d have no chance getting in at 18, my only qualifications i’d have is a levels, DoE (Gold) and basic first aid! I’ll definatly contact the raf themselves and get some advice on what to do. They’ll probably tell me to cut my hair first.

    I also had a think about why I primarily want to join the raf. I don’t think I have a very good reason. It’s partly because my whole family have had jobs associated with avaition. Theres other reasons to like a healthy, disciplined lifetsyle, etc etc. But it’s the fast jet side of it i’m mostly intrested in, i’d be slightly pissy if i made it all that way and found out i’ll be flying cargo around! ;)
    But its the whole flying experiance that mostly intrests me, a commercial pilot isn’t the same as a fast jet military pilot.

  13. I Agree With Everyone It Was Straight Forward And As If I Was Acctuly ,
    Speaking To You But Im Abit Scared About The Medical Bit,
    And WHere That Hands Going But,
    If It’s A Chick Den Fair Enough….Lmao…Jokin lol,,No Seriously Does That Acctly Happen.??

  14. profpilot says:

    I don’t think so.

    Although I did hear mention of a hefty implement entitled the ‘Orifice Buster 3000′. I’m not too certain as to what that might be used for though I’m afraid.

  15. Steph says:

    btw…. you DO NOT NEED TO BE YOUNGER THAN 23!! I’m 23 at the moment and only plan on joining around 25 as I want some experience in the working world first… the maximum age limit for joining depends on which branch you’re going into.

  16. profpilot says:

    For general officer if my memory serves right you’re quite correct, yes. But to become a pilot (which is the main thrusting of information for this site, hence all the aeroplanes) then the upper age limit is 23. Although it’s higher for the army and navy, and there is talk of raising the limit in the future – so don’t weep just yet oh-so-elderly-24-and-above-year-olds!

  17. Henry says:

    It’s been ages, but i’ve still been checking up!

    To update, I went to a RAF AFCO 2 days ago and found out a lot of information. The process of being streamed into multiengine/helicopter/fast jet duties is mostly to do with how quick you are, literally, and how quick you can learn.
    I also asked about the competativeness, he told me out of around 9000 that applied last year, 45 were picked. The RAF had 56 slots available and they didn’t find people of high enough calibre to suit the job. He emphasised going to uni won’t be a massive advantage as it’s not required, and that as an 18 year old applicant i still have a high chance of getting in as long as I show a lot of extra curricular activities.

  18. profpilot says:


    Thanks for keeping us posted! I was told that you got streamed into whatever was available at the time, but as she told me this after the bulk of the horrific filter interview, that could well have been a quick answer to shut me the hell up.

    From what I’ve read, I would agree with the extra curricular activities part – do as many as you can. So if you’re reading this, and you’ve got time to add to your CV with something (by volunteering at something, or becoming Duke of Edinburgh Rambo Action Man Adventurer or something similar) then do it!

    Good luck with the rest of your application Henry – let us know how it turns out!

  19. Rush says:

    Hey all.

    I read above that the cut off age for applying is 23. According to their website, and with the RAF staff i talked to on the phone to confirm what i read on the RAF website, The latest you can apply is at the age of 25. See link below:

    I was told that you can be accepted as a pilot applicant as long as you pass all stages before your 26th birthday.

  20. profpilot says:

    You’re absolutely right – must have changed in the last six months or so.

    Post altered! Thanks for keeping me up to date!

  21. Ed says:

    Hi, i just wanted to know all the possible extra curricular activities that could boost my CV seeing as i missed my chance to join the air cadets.

  22. profpilot says:

    I fear that listing all the possible extra curricular activities would be a very lengthy venture indeed.

    Think about what sort of things you enjoy, and then research into what sort of groups/societies/cults engage in that activity/interest/bloodlust in your local area. Doesn’t have to be a specific genre of interest like just sports or just physical stuff; what they’re looking for is for people who have shown commitment, teamwork, maybe a sprinkling of leadership, and someone who’s played an active part in something outside of stuff you have to do (like school or work).

    Even if it is some weird group like the “Ilford Stick Insect Mating Society”, you don’t need to be Alistair Campbell to spin positive aspects and learnings from being part of that group. I have no experience in the no doubt complex arena that is stick insect reproduction, but I could guess that it probably takes

    • patience
      probably some kind of aspect in hand-eye co-ordination (ew)
      good judgment (to select only the finest specimens – the studs of the stick insect world)
      experience in gaining specialist knowledge
      ongoing commitment (looking after the hatchlings)
      interpersonal skills (talking to your fellow breeders)
  23. I could go on. But then I realised I was thinking about positive traits in not only a make believe society, but a make believe stick insect breeders society. That made me evaluate how I was spending my time, and I chose to move on.

    So – join some kind of group you will enjoy being a part of! There will be positives no matter what kind of club it is.

    That’s what I’ve gathered anyway. I’m not an RAF recruiter.

  • Henry B says:

    (Name changed to Henry B as I’ve noticed other Henry’s on this website)

    To Ed, the impression the AFCO gave me was that the extra curricular stuff was pretty much more important than what A levels you get/have. (To a certain extent, obviously)

    Just to list some of the things I’m doing:

    Gold Duke of Edinburgh
    Peer Mentoring and working with younger students
    I’ve applied to become the Vice Chairman of the sixth form committee
    Next year i’m applying to do the EPQ: theres a link to show you what it is

    I’m not sure if this is enough, but I row from 3 – 5 times a week making out – of – school commitments difficult.

    Hope that helped

    Well now that you’ve mentioned it, all the stuff i’m doing is mostly within school eg sixth form comittee, volunteering
    Is that a problem in any way if they’re specifically looking at what you’re doing “Out” of school?

  • profpilot says:

    How’s this for a speedy reply? God, really is quite amazing.

    When I said do things outside of things you have to do, I meant just your bog standard lessons – from enthrallingly exquisite english to masterfully magnificent music. So the fact you are doing so much extra on top of that can only be a good thing, even if it is in school. I don’t think they would differentiate between extra-curricular stuff in school and outside school. If you’re worried, you could always twist it to your advantage by saying that you are contributing and improving a facility that has provided you so much. Although don’t get too sentimental and start weeping, that wouldn’t look too good.

  • Henry B says:

    *basks in the infinite wisdom of profpilot*

    yeah I see your point, still have a year left before I even consider to apply so it’s not as if i’m in a massive rush to get everything done

    Although a 25% cut in costs (public sector) means that the number of potential officers (those that attend the 3 day OASC) will probably decrease
    So in a way time is running out for us!

  • jas a says:

    im only 11 years old and had a passion to work for the R.A.F of a long time now thanks to this website i know what grades i need to have to get into flying planes

  • Adam W says:

    Hey, Profpilot, I am currently 14, I Joined the Air Cadets as soon as I could, currently working on my DofE awards and plan on getting my gold. I also am working towards my PPL so far so good, got 6 hours and I am ahead in my lessons, I plan on Joining my local UAS which happens to be a 5min drive away (YUAS) however since it is quite a time in the future I don’t know too much infomation on how to apply etc. Also, can the things such as marksman badges in the ATC be put on a CV?

    Is there anything else you can reccomend me doing which will give me the edge in the filtering?

  • profpilot says:

    Glad I could help Jas!

  • profpilot says:


    I was never a part of the elite aviational corps that is the ATC, however they are very closely related to their elders in the RAF. I should imagine that there is some kind of mechanism by which the head honchos of your local ATC can advise the RAF of your brilliance, so there’s probably no need to put the fact you can hit a pea at 1000 yards on your actual CV. The best people to ask this to would be your local ATC though.

    If you’re just wanting to put that fact on a CV for a normal job though, I would discourage that. Especially if it is in healthcare.

    As far as joining your local UAS is, then you just need to mosey on down during freshers’ week once you’ve started at whichever university you go to. For YUAS (which is my local UAS too! I’m in York), you can see joining instructions there.

    My only other advice would be to carry on as you are doing; get very extra-curricularly minded, go for your gold DofE, and all the ATC bells and whistles, plus anything else you can think of (like if you’re good at some sport, do that a lot, and captain something if you can). PPL shows you’re committed, so carry on that, even if you don’t finish it by the time you apply. You might also find the immensely brilliantly awesomely fantastic videos of some help.

    Good luck with it all

    ( big cheese)

  • Adam W says:

    Thanks alot for all the help, This is definately been bookmarked for later in life, Is it worth starting to learn all the details on selection process etc now, or give it time?

  • profpilot says:

    You can start to learn now if you want, but there’s not all that much to learn.

    By the time you’re in the age group to apply, then things might have changed from what they are now. Just recently for example, the maximum age limit was raised; the whole RAF selection thing is by no means set in stone. In a few years, who knows what might have to happen to be selected. Perhaps there will be some kind of sorting hat (oooohhhh! Harry Potter reference! You’re fourteen, you must appreciate that…)

    I might keep this website current with the latest facts (I do feel a little honour-bound), but then again, I might just let it fall destitute into the gutter. Who knows. Whatever, bookmark away Adam!

  • Adam W says:

    Yeahh yeahh, agreed, and nice stereotyping there… I’m pretty sure all 14 year olds get off to harry potter :) .

    In my opinion (Which probably isn’t much) I think you should keep it updated and out of interest do you own a PPL?

  • profpilot says:

    Well, yes, who doesn’t get off to Harry Potter.

    Yes I have a PPL. Or rather I did until a couple of months ago. When you are on minimum wage flinging trout around; the whole PPL/CPL/ME/IR shebang is very hard to keep current at £5.83 per hour.

  • George says:

    Hello Profpilot,

    I have recently started looking at the route of becoming a pilot in the RAF. I have been finding it difficult to think of things to mention if I was to get a filter interview. But I have thought of the following:

    Member of Scouts from 2004 til 2008
    Go jogging daily
    Went on a hours flying experience in a light aircraft, which I enjoyed and which got me interested in flying

    Would it be useful to research current news articles at the time of my interview to do with the RAF?

    Thanks for your help!


  • profpilot says:

    Hey George,

    Basically anything and everything outside of school can be listed, then try and skew it into an RAF example (see my stick insect society comment to Ed example above).

    Yes, knowing about current events is definitely a good idea – doesn’t take long to see the main themes of the week, just go on the BBC (as it is awesome), or buy one of the weekly newspapers for a highly selected juicy fillet steak of current affairs cut savagely from the overall cow’s carcass of the weeks news.

    Hope that all helps,


  • George says:

    Thanks a lot for your help! I have bookmarked this page incase I have any more questions :D

  • Henry B says:

    I’ve been hearing that as of January 2011.
    Now, candidates will travel to Cranwell to sit the aptitude tests only for a day. On sucessfully gaining the marks needed to continue the application for their selected trade candidates will then, if considered competitive enough, be invited to complete the further three days of OASC at a later date.

    Navy are doing something similar as well

  • profpilot says:

    Hi again Henry B!

    Thanks for keeping me up to date. I’m obviously absolutely thrilled that this article needs revising. Bloomin RAF.

    I’ll put it on my to-do list, and hopefully update it for Christmas…

    Thanks again -


  • Henry B says:

    No worries! I have an Aeronautical engineer in my rowing squad who happens to be in the RAF applying to become a pilot, ASWELL as an Ex RAF pilot who i’ve spent countless hours harassing for information, so if you ever need any sort of assistance in this article, just let me know and I’ll see what I can do. I’ve learnt all sorts of juicy information you don’t find out about on the web from these gentlemen!

    Henry B

  • Liam W says:

    found this website so helpful, cheers!
    ive been to a university open day recently and have found out very late that there are several things i need to do to improve my application!
    one of these is to finish my dofe, as i have not had the opportunity to do it in school and got advised a while ago that the air cadets would not help my application i am unsure of where to complete it… i am 17 years old and am in the sixth form, could anyone advise me on where i could complete my dofe?
    also, i have coaching badges for a few sports, will they help towards my leadership etc.?

  • profpilot says:


    Sorry for the late reply – thanks for the kind words about the site. Glad you’re finding it useful.

    I don’t know where you’re based in the UK, but if you Google DofE centre you’ll be able to find something nearby I should think. Coaching badges are probably exactly the RAF are looking for; it shows commitment and talents such as leadership and communication. Really the more you can talk about the better, just don’t mention any websites with photoshopped weeping babies and cats that might also mention their organisation within it. That doesn’t seem to work too well.

    Good luck!

  • James says:

    Hey there PP, I’m intrested in joining the RAF but currently keeping my options open for which career I choose. Currently I’m 16 years old and just completed my GCSE’s and in the next couple of months will be starting my college course, which is Public Services level 3. Was this a suitable qualification to be a pilot or do the RAF frown upon Btecs?

    Thanks James

    also the new requirements to be an RAF pilot is a B in maths, just a heads up :)

  • profpilot says:


    I wouldn’t have thought the RAF would frown on anything too much – as it states you need 5 GCSEs or their equivalents. Since you have got part of an equivalent to that, I can’t see that they can turn their noses up at it. The best way to find out is to go into an AFCO an find out about all there. However, let’s not forget that I was rejected from the RAF – so you shouldn’t take my words as gospel! I always feel slightly uneasy about coming on the mammoth in size military side of the website (which is comprised of this page) as I don’t really know all that much about it…

    I know the RAF were changing their recruitment process – I’ll take a look after I get back from holiday in a couple of weeks. Thanks for the heads up though, sorry I can’t really be all that helpful!


  • Daniel says:

    recently getting my results i am unlikely to get into medicine at uni which is what i wanted firstly but have always been interested in becoming a pilot and this website has been immensely useful. Do you think i stand a chance at becoming a fast jet pilot later on in life if i have got 3 A stars and six A’s at GCSE and regarding fitness i run x-country and do athletics and cricket. Please get back to me regarding my chances

  • profpilot says:


    Quite a few fast Jet pilots trainees have just been laid off, which isn’t exactly a great thing if that’s what you’re wanting to get into. However, I doubt it’s impossible; if you’ve just done your GCSE’s then the situation might have improved in a couple of year when you’ve done your A-levels.

    Again, I’d like to stress I am some random guy who runs a tedious flight training info site, and am not some kind of font of knowledge. There are no concrete qualifications that will get you in the RAF, and I think most of the decision is made using your performance in all the various interviews in conjunction with your qualifications and additional information. Therefore, if you’re the right kind of candidate, you’ll get in with worse results than you have – so it’s possible. Do plenty of extra curricular activities and you’ll be in the best chance of getting a job that you want.

    However, the people who will be able to give you the best advice are going to be sat in your nearest AFCO office.

  • Henry B says:

    It’s been 3 years since I’ve posted on this article. Good to see it’s still around. The external link to the aptitude tests doesn’t work anymore? Does it still exist?

    Kind regards,

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