Wednesday, 24th April 2019


RAF pilots fly fast-jet and multiple-engine planes and helicopters for the Armed Forces. They transport RAF officers and crew to different locations, such as high security areas, airfields, rural areas or offshore sites.

RAF pilots who want to work in the military can have a number of tasks either in combat or in general operations. Generally they will be used to ferry service men or VIPs into high security or remote, offshore areas.

The operational flying and navigation duties of an RAF pilot can be similar to that of a commercial pilot, but official procedures will be carried out in a very different way.

RAF pilots will need to perform the following basic checks and procedures:

  • Checking weather conditions and airspace restrictions of the flight path
  • Filing flight plans
  • Working out fuel requirements and maximum loads
  • Checking the helicopter's equipment and instruments in cockpit
  • Carrying out safety checks
  • Communication with air traffic control and gaining clearance to take off

The other working premises of an RAF pilot will depend on the aircraft that they specialising in flying. Once training has been completed, most RAF pilots become operational front line pilots. As the pilot of a Typhoon, the primary role will be air-to-air combat or ground attack. In a C-17 transport aircraft, pilots could be sent anywhere in the world on military support or humanitarian aid missions.

Flying a helicopter for the RAF could involve anything from ferrying troops into combat zones to carrying out search and rescue missions. In some cases, in bigger helicopters, pilots may work in a team with co-pilots.

It is a very exciting job but requires a vast amount of training and expertise.