First time aef

im sure this has probably been covered before, but i just wanted some advice here.
im going flying this weekend,and while excited, im quite nervous.
anyone got any advice, and general tips/ dos and donts for on the day?

That thread there is fairly recent and has some good points. They were asking about gliding but there are similarities.

There is arguably a lot less to do when not flying at an AEF, so no harm in bringing some homework or a good book for when you’re not flying!

Most importantly, don’t forget your AV Med forms!


Firstly, relax and enjoy it as much as you can. Remember it’s an Experience flight, not a lesson. Sure you’ll learn stuff but don’t feel any sort of pressure to take it all in and come out of it a rival to Red 5. Make sure you’re having fun.

Taking that a bit further, don’t be afraid to speak up. No point sitting there feeling sick, or with no idea what’s going on. Ask. It’ll be pretty obvious when the pilot is busy and it’s time to keep quiet.



Couple of things I’d suggest.

  1. Take food and drink. Some AEFs (like mine) are not in a position to provide any. Drink and eat in moderation throughout the day.

  2. Take sunglasses. The Alpha helmet for cadets does not have a smoked visor.

  3. If you need any form of medication ie inhaler, take it with you.

  4. As mentioned, take something with you to do. It can be a long day.

  5. Have a think about what you’d like to do on your trip. If you’d like to do aeros or be shown how to fly the aircraft (AEF pilots are not instructors unless they are QFIs on the aircraft) or just to go and do some sightseeing then ask the pilot when you get in.

Most of all, enjoy your day. I’ve seen thousands of cadets over the years get into an aircraft very nervous and then have massive smiles when they get back.

You’ll love it.


Make sure you’ve had breakfast (if a morning slot) or lunch (if a PM slot). Almost all the cadets I’ve seen be unwell from flying have gone up on an empty stomach.


thanks guys!!
the main concern i have is i currently dont have a beret for a few different reasons. im worried the staff wont understand why,and because i am a cpl, ill get into trouble and set a bad example for my cadets.

Don’t stress, these things happen. Explain the issue to the escorting staff at it should be fine. Not having a beret isn’t going to stop you flying.

^ that, and once you’re there you’ll likely be in a FOD area and not wearing them anyway.


On a scale of 1 to 5000 in terms of severity that barely registers as a 1. Your airside so no need for headdress. It’s all a little bit more grown up regarding those things,

What you will need is a good attitude and an abundance of enthusiasm. Those are non-negotiable.

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This most especially, though all @Scrounger 's advice is top notch.

Don’t feel pressurised to do aerobatics if you don’t want to - either because you’re a bit nervous (which is fine and normal) or because you are a bit prone to it (e.g. rollercoasters make you feel sick) - enjoy your first flight.

I have a pilot’s licence and have been flying for 22 years, but on my first few flights I felt sick every time and I still sometimes do if someone else is flying not me - especially aeros.