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Australian Army Aviation Corps Flying School

Application: Pilot applicants must have completed Year 12 with good passes in English, Mathematics (Tertiary Entrance Level) and two other academic subjects. Minimum 16.5 years of age for selection process, 17 years of age is actual serving age.

Selection: Before training can begin, potential pilots must pass a battery of tests to determine their suitability to fly in the realm of military aviation. This includes aptitude testing, a multitude of hand-eye co-ordination tests, psychological evaluation, and numerous medical examinations (including ophthalmological and dental examinations) to maximise the service longevity of selected potential pilots.

Flight Screening: Suitable applicants are further scruitinized via the Flight Screening Program (FSP), to deem if they are suitable to fly. The FSP involves a two week flying course at the Australian Defence Force to assess the suitability of the candidate in the air environment under conditions of intense flying and instructing. The candidates are also assessed for their officer qualities in addition to their ability to handle their platform in airspace.

Officer Cadet Training: Once the candidate has passed the FSP the new recruit is enlisted as an Officer Cadet (rank OCDT) and begins their initial officers’ training at the Royal Military College, Duntroon (RMC-D) in Canberra. At RMC-D the new recruit studies subjects such as Army tactics, military customs and ethics, drills, first aid, communication, weapons training, service discipline law, and leadership and management training for 2 months (Specialist Service Officer Pilot Scheme). 

Basic Flight Training: Upon graduating from RMC-D the pilot trainee begins their basic flight training course at the Basic Flying Training School (BFTS) in Tamworth for fixed-wing flight training of approximately 6 months duration on the CT-4B trainer aircraft (PAC CT / 4 "Parrot"). The BFTS course encompasses both an extensive ground training program (such as airmanship, aerodynamics, aircraft systems, aviation medicine, air power, air traffic control, radio, meteorology, navigation, morse code, instrumentation, and cockpit systems, etc.) as well as an intensive flight training course (including general flying, instrument flying, night flying, navigation, aerobatics, formation flying, and emergency handling).

Basic Helicopter Training: Upon graduating from BFTS, students begin their Basic Helicopter Training at the Oakey Army Aviation Centre in Oakey, Queensland, which is composed of the Helicopter Conversion Course (HCC) of 3 months duration followed by the Helicopter Tactics Course (HTC) of 3 months duration. Upon completion of this Basic Helicopter Training course, pilot recruits are awarded their provisional Army flying badge ("flying wings") and promoted to the rank of Second Lieutenant.

Operational Helicopter Training: After being awarded their flying wings, pilot trainees move on to their specific type of aircraft for Operational Helicopter Training. Although the type of operational aircraft flown is somewhat influenced by the trainee’s preference for a particular aircraft, this decision is primarily at the discretion of the Qualified Flying Instructors (QFI’s) that have closely observed the student’s temperament, abilities, aptitudes and strong points in airmanship.  Training to fly an operational helicopter requires that a student pilot undergo the Operational Type Transition Course (OTTC - of 3 to 4 months duration) and the Regimental Officers’ Basic Course (ROBC - of 3 to 6 months duration depending on aircraft type) to effectively transition or convert the new pilot to their new role in the appointed aircraft type. The OTTC consists of up to 50 flying hours of transition training to acquaint the newly appointed pilot to their designated aircraft type. The ROBC consists of 30 to 40 hours of tactical flying (depending on helicopter type) to effectively teach the new pilot to opearte the aircraft in support of Army and ADF units. Upon completion of the ROBC, graduating trainees are promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and are posted to an operational aviation unit.

The entire process takes about 2.5 years.

Updated On: 12.02.13