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Army Pilot Course

The Army Pilot Course is made up of five phases, with elements of the course being conducted in different locations throughout the UK.

The constituent phases of the Army Pilot Course are:

  • Elementary Flying Training: This lasts for 13 weeks and is conducted at the Elementary Flying Training School, RAF Barkston Heath. It consists of 47 hours flying in the Grob Tutor two seat training aircraft.
  • Basic Rotary Wing Training: This lasts for 13 weeks and is conducted at the Defence Helicopter Flying School, RAF Shawbury. It comprises 35 hours flying in a Squirrel aircraft, covering instruction on basic helicopter handling and introduces cross country navigation.
  • Advanced Rotary Wing Training: This is also conducted at RAF Shawbury and lasts 11 weeks, providing a further 34 flying hours in the Squirrel aircraft. It introduces instrument, flying, night flying captaincy and low level navigation.
  • Operational Training Phase: This course converts a trainee military pilot into an Army pilot by training the student to operate the aircraft within the Army tactical environment. It is conducted at the Army Aviation Centre, Middle Wallop, lasting 22 weeks comprising 91 flying hours and a tactical simulation course. On successful completion of this phase students are awarded their Army pilots brevet (Wings) provisionally, which is confirmed on completion of a conversion to an operational Army helicopter type. Students who fail any phase of the Army Pilot Course will normally be returned to their unit.
  • Conversion to Type Training: After provisionally gaining their wings, students will remain at Middle Wallop to convert to the type of aircraft they will fly once they reach their unit. The length of time at Middle Wallop varies according to the type of aircraft - for Apache this is 26 weeks, consisting of 60 flying hours and 79 simulator hours, and for Lynx this is 10 weeks, consisting of 23 flying hours and 36 simulator hours.

The return of service is six years following completion of conversion to type training.