AEF Instructor

Hi guys, ex-cadet and ex-rockape here, recently made a huge career jump to study/train for a commercial pilot licence. Was wondering if there is any way into instructing for the AEF flights or is it exclusively ex-service pilots?

Would be interested in doing it as part of my hour building (though I appreciate this is highly doubtful) but also post-licence issue, work permitting. Any info anyone can pass on would be much appreciated.


It can still be done, I believe, but I’m unsure as to the exact mechanism.

I thought the route to it had ended with retirement of what I understood to be one solitary non-service Qualified Service Pilot, but I was wrong, apparently there are a few ATPL/CPLs out there that are also VRT AEF Q(NS)Ps on part-time CFAV TCoS.

Here is what the qual brevet looks like (BTI, are you able to fill-in a few more gaps on this one, or even act as a message relay??)


There was a scheme a while back, with successful candidates sporting VR Wings. It’s no longer running I’m afraid. See this post from a thread on pprune …


Ah beaten to it by the venerable wilf_san once again. Didn’t realise the scheme was still open though, great news if it is.


Hi MB, I think BTI knew of someone, still currently-serving as a part-timer, but I’m not certain.

That’s a great quote from Prune, yes, that equals pretty-much what I knew, with the added info that he was initially commissioned into the RAFVR(CC) as an AvO, then transferred RAFR(CC) when the RAFVR officially disappeared in 1997, but intrigingly a full-time non-service QSP would probably nowadays still be commissioned into the VRT despite not being a part-timer (being effectively a civil service pilot required to wear RAF uniform in the discharge of their duties…if they still have SAvOs?).

I wonder if a true ‘no previous’ DE full-timer appointed to such a post would have to do the full ROIT, the SERE, or just the OIC? Possibly still the ROIT…? Hmm, that’d maybe just be for RAFR FTRS…


Appreciate the replies, from the sound of things, its almost certainly not going to be open to a low-hour fATPL holder, if at all with no previous military flying experience.

Was worth a try though, may look at CGI in the future instead.

One piece of advice be it for AEF or VGS - Don’t tell them you’re doing it to build hours.

I believe it is only 10% of hours in a Vigi that would count.

Up to 30hrs TMG, it wouldn’t solely be for hour building though. I’d definitely be interested in carrying on, post licence issue, assuming I manage to land a UK base (or a job for that matter :blink: ).

Best of luck in your new career rockape3

PM sent

[quote]Hello wd11,
I have noticed you have been posting a lot, which is good. Unfortunately most of your posts haven’t added anything to the conversation.
As every post you make results in a link (in you signature block) to your website, it looks like you are posting just to promote your website. This is unacceptable.
Please continue making helpful contributions, ideally ones which haven’t been copied from wiki answers (
Of course you could prove me wrong by removing the hyperlinks on your profile (the moderating team reserve the right to do this ourselves).
-Operation Archway
Immediately after I sent it he posted the rest of wiki answers page. :ohmy:

Good idea, I moved some of his posts earlier but then thought he might be genuine, so didn’t move any more. I think we should ask an admin to remove his links anyway, as we don’t allow links to other websites…

Sent you a PM - I’ll have a look in the latest TGO(E)s in the new year. :slight_smile:

IIRC then one of the pilots on our VGS has an NPPL, which he’s got a glider addon/conversion with, meaning that all the hours he racks up in the Vigi’s keeps his license current… It’s certainly something worth looking into, something I’m actually looking at doing myself once I’ve got my NPPL sorted… In theory, that option should surely be open to somebody holding a much higher rating? :? Hope that may offer some help :slight_smile:

Yes the info for VGS is all on the air cadet website, no previous licence required to instruct at VGS, so that is an option. However, I’m looking for log-able hours, with the industry on it’s knees as it is at the moment, flying for free (or very little pay) and not being able to log more than 30 hours whilst being fun; wouldn’t be prudent. Plus the 2 VGS near me are both Viking so no log-able hours to be found :frowning:

Its not a scam at all; the AEF’s are very short of Pilots and if you have the right civilian qualifications (ATPL/CPl and Class 1) then you can do it - I have indeed just done the training myself. It is great fun and very rewarding. pm me for more if you are interested,
As for the wings, I have got a set of those strange blue coloured things but also a set of the same with a lighter blue wing like the glider pilots…will be useful if the powers that be actually promulgate something about the correct style, or even make them and issue them once a pilot has passed the course

Current airline pilots have to consider duty hrs & flt hrs against their accumulative totals (weekly, monthly & annually); for those who hit the maximum of 900 flt hrs per yr (had a lunch a couple of weeks ago with a BA SFO - take Nov off, can’t fly you, you will have hit 899.9!!), unfortunately it can be a very limiting issue.

Indeed Mike, correct about the flying hours…which is why it is nice being a retired BA airline Captain doing a bit of work at the AEF and a bit of work Instructing at a Flying Club. Less money but a lot more civilised!

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The powers that be probably have more pressing issues to attend to!:slight_smile: Much as it’s encouraging to see some recruitment to the AEFs from the non ex-mil and VGS cadre of aircrew, the numbers are still (relatively) small; probably not many more than the combined (small) staff of 3FTS and 6FTS HQ.:slight_smile:

We need as many AEF pilots as possible and I would love to know what the powers that be have that is more pressing than facilitating this. Forget gliding as they gave up on that ages ago.

Other than producing some of the wonderful sphincter covering posters that have come through the post in recent months and whose turn it is to make the tea/coffee and buy the biscuits.

Hi @CaptainSkyDiver ,

New to the forum, thanks for your comments above. Very interested in your comment above about AEF instructors/your background. My background is ex UAS, ex RAF trainee pilot made redundant due to the SDSR and now commercially flying with and airline with an ATPL. Would be very interested in speaking with you but can’t work out how to PM on here. Would appreciate it if you could get back to me, thanks.