The badge is intended to be worn by non-Service Pilots who qualify to fly RAFAC Air Experience Flights. There are no changes to this badge.

This point seems to be inaccurate as there are no non-Service Pilots qualified to fly RAFAC Air Experience Flights. All pilots on AEFs are commissioned in to the VR(T), are regulars or are from another branch of HM Forces (such as the RN or AAC), or is it being suggested that RAFAC CFAVs with the appropriate qualifications (PPL ?), are going to be permitted to join AEFs and fly Tutors ?

My cadets flew with a pilot who told them he flew for Virgin Atlantic.

Of course, he may have been spoofing them.

I seem to remember that VGS pilots that meet certain criteria could become AEF pilots with no prior Armed forces service? If that was the case, there should be no issues with AEF-direct entrant pilots?

There was one at cosford recently ATPL holder.

That may be the case, but they are all commissioned officers in the VR(T), and hence surely they are ‘service pilots’ ?

You’re misinterpreting the term. In this context, ‘Non-Service Pilot’ simply means someone who has not graduated as a military pilot via a conventional UK regular service route to solo.

Such individuals (SQEP= Suitably Qualified & Experienced Persons) could (and do) come from a range of backgrounds that are equal to or exceed the standards expected from ex-regular service pilots. Whilst not recruited in large numbers, these individuals can be outstandingly-good pilots and always at a level far in excess of simply an outstanding PPL.

Specific types of individuals (including eg CPL/ATPL instructors) that I’ve heard of have included former regular service pilots from Commonwealth & Allied nations, former regular Navs&WESO[p]s, defence contractor test pilots, MoD civil service/ SAvO pilots, government contractor pilots (eg ex-BondAvn/PAS), and selected exceptional individuals on the basis of appropriate personal logged experience/proven capability & high motivation.

It is NOT under ANY circimstances a route via which keen NPPLs or PPL(M)s who think they’d probably be able to fly in formation could simply stroll into…

Nor would I imagine a future time when the VR wings would ever be blanket back-issued to anyone that didn’t meet all the examined/ checkflighted/ competencied requirements of a SQEP…


Thanks for the clarification

What about EASA PPLs :crazy_face:

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To bring this back a little to topic… proposed changes to RAFAC wings badges are still in discussion but will be happening at some point.

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I hope any changes to the RAFAC flying badges are as good looking as the above.

I also wonder how the space badges will compare to any changes to the flying badges.

I finally wonder if the space syllabus will be challenging enough and in depth enough to link into some sort of BTEC or other official qual, if not straight away maybe in time…

I thought there was not going to be a space badge, rather they would get an OU branded certificate (which in the grand scheme of things may be slightly more use).

@tmmorris are you allowed to give any hints about what sort of changes are being mooted? Considering we only just had the PTS changes I wonder why we need to make changes?

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Because the PTS was poorly thought through and they’re just realising?

On this note does anyone know the medical requirements for VGS instructor? Does a history of asthma rule you out like it would for powered flying?

Certainly the new badging is more logical and the aim is to make a clearer distinction between badges for solo flying, and badges for lower levels. I don’t think I can say more!


I’ll find out.


I’m excited by this potential change ha

Agreed, my comment was more referring to outwith the flying syllabus.

Here you go…


And for cadets:

Just add blue, silver or gold colouring.


They’re the same as for a qualified service pilot, except for colour perception which is one grade lower. History of asthma is a bar.

Thanks. Very frustrating as I’m now at the point where I have more free time at the weekends and was thinking of putting my previous civilian gliding instructor experience to use at the VGS (Obviously I’d have needed to requalify - but that’s not even an option now)

Thanks @tingger I was about to post that having spoken to a colleague.

Maybe worth a conversation with them, though, in case you can get CFMO signoff.