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Discussion on the SAAF and other southern African air forces.
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 Post subject: Re: Pilot slot criteria
PostPosted: 17 Apr 2012, 10:41 
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Joined: 03 Aug 2006, 18:21
Posts: 155
Location: Pretoria
I'll attempt some answers to some of the questions, but am open to correction.

Firstly, being a large government organisation, the SAAF can not have a pilots course that aren't somewhat representative. So, although it is not true that "a white male has no chance of getting selected" as some would like to let you believe, if you sit with 80% applicants of a minority race group, some of the possibly successful candidates in that group might be replaced by good candidates from another demographic.

To answer your questions about flying hours and pay, I'll point out some critical differences between civilian world and the SAAF. Most importantly, the SAAF works on a budget as determined by government, while civilian companies' (or individuals') income is dependant on how much work they do. Therefore, if the defense force is struggling with the budget, some of the non-essential flying of the SAAF may be cut. Therefore pilots of aircraft like C130, Oryx, BBJ will rarely complain about hours (unless it is about too much flying from time to time). In contrast, as long as the contracts are good, pilots for civilian companies fly many more hours (often up to the maximum allowed by CAA per month / per year). If however the contracts expire (as happened during the recent recession), civilian companies can't keep pilots if the don't fly enough. Job security in the SAAF is therefore much more than for civilian pilots. Even if you fly 0 hrs in the SAAF, you will still get paid at the end of the month.

Now, regarding pay, the average pay in civilian sector stays higher than for the SAAF counterpart. Whether it is "enough" or not, is really up to yourself, but if money is a large consideration, I would rather suggest you follow your chosen career path as per your university studies and stay out of aviation alltogether. If you want to get into aviation for the love of flying, my personal suggestion would be to try the SAAF. The flying is much more rewarding (again, I stress this as my personal opinion), and there are some very dodgy jobs out there in civvie street, especially for junior pilots. 16 years sound like a long time when you're 20, but ask any 35 year old how quickly it goes past. If you choose to leave the SAAF at this stage, you should be in a good position to accept some "less dodgy" jobs in civilian sector. That is of course if jobs are available at that stage, depending on the global financial situation. If not, at least you are assured of a salary come next month.

Lastly, the number of pilots needed for each of the 3 lines, vary from year to year. Your personal choice does carry some weight and it is in the SAAF's best interest to place you in the line that you are most suited to (personality types of pilots in the different lines differ vastly).

Now final lastly, and most importantly: As Roger mentioned, military aviation takes a lot of commitment. There are lots to complain about in the SAAF, but to a certain number of people the benefits of flying for the SAAF far outweighs the problems. A crude test for whether you are one of these people is that if you don't already know most of these randomly chosen concepts: SAM, BVR, HUD, Casevac, CAS, Indirect Fire, C&C, LTKGIH, you might not find military flying as fulfilling.


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 Post subject: Re: Pilot slot criteria
PostPosted: 17 Apr 2012, 11:55 
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Joined: 29 Jun 2004, 17:19
Posts: 7547
Excellent post and welcome back AS32. =D>

For those that do not know, both Maverick and AS32 know what they're talking about. :wink:

Another acconym that you will know if you don't already: HKGK :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Pilot slot criteria
PostPosted: 17 Apr 2012, 12:53 
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Joined: 18 Mar 2012, 13:01
Posts: 41
Location: Auckland Park
You people seem racist. what does it matter what your race is alex asked a lot of other questions but you are trying to get it clear of the race question.


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 Post subject: Re: Pilot slot criteria
PostPosted: 17 Apr 2012, 12:57 
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Joined: 18 Mar 2012, 13:01
Posts: 41
Location: Auckland Park
From a previously disadvantaged individual, the SAAF still seems like the most white organization in the SANDF. I have no hope in them calling me for pilot navigator course.


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 Post subject: Re: Pilot slot criteria
PostPosted: 17 Apr 2012, 12:57 
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Joined: 29 Jun 2004, 17:19
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nkoosie [-X

Nothing posted here is racist, affirmative action is a reality in South Africa and if you're previously disadvantaged, then your chances of being selected, provided you meet the minimum criteria, are much better than some of your fellow South Africa citizens.

Now, move along ...


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 Post subject: Re: Pilot slot criteria
PostPosted: 30 Apr 2012, 11:20 
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Joined: 03 Feb 2009, 21:58
Posts: 10
Thanks for that information AS32. That sheds a lot of light on the topic. The main reason why this is such a difficult decision to make is because I've essentially spent the last 4 years learning as much as I can about military and civil aviation. Funnily enough I also read Robert Shaw's Fighter Combat Tactics and Maneuvering which worked a charm in Falcon 4 :P. I love anything to do with aviation but I'm just scared that the instabilities of the aviation career could come back and bite me.

The only thing I really can do is think about it and make my decision near the end of the year, but seriously thanks for your help guys, I really appreciate it.


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