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Flying in the Army

The Army Air Corps (AAC) operates both rotary and fixed wing aircraft. The Corps fleet of aircraft is flown by both Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers of the AAC and maintained by technicians of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. Army aircrew are soldiers first and pilots second and this philosophy is reflected throughout the selection and training system.

How do I become an Army pilot?

There are a number of ways of becoming a pilot in the Army, either as an officer or NCO. The AAC accepts applications from both male and female applicants.

  • Officer: The AAC offers an eight year Short Service Commission to a number of officer cadets, post commissioning from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS), each year. Ideally aircrew aptitude tests, aircrew medicals, and the Flying Grading Course should be completed before entering RMAS. If this is not possible officer cadets may be able to complete aircrew selection and medicals during their time at the Academy. Suitable candidates are interviewed by a Regimental Selection Board in week 26 of the course and successful applicants are commissioned into the AAC on their graduation.
  • Officer Assignment from another Regiment or Corps: There is also the opportunity for officers from any regiment or corps to volunteer for a tour with the AAC. You must have completed two years of commissioned service and be on the Army Pilot Course by the age of 30. Officers may apply for a transfer into the AAC during their flying tour. Those officers who do not wish to apply or are not accepted for transfer will return to their parent unit or corps.
  • Non-Commissioned Officer: Any soldier with the minimum rank of Lance Corporal, recommended and qualified for promotion to Corporal, with at least four years service, may apply for the Army Pilot Course. Selection procedures are the same as those for officers. Soldiers not already holding the rank of Acting Sergeant will be promoted to this rank and re-badge AAC on the award of their Army Flying Wings, following Conversion to Type training.