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PostPosted: 24 Dec 2013, 02:30 
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Joined: 10 Dec 2013, 20:59
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Hello

I am new to this forum and I joined in the hope of confirming the information I already have and perhaps finding out more. Please comment...

I'm a 23 year old male, I am currently doing the practical phase of my mechanical engineering diploma that I will complete by the end of 2014. I decided to study first in order to have "something" to fall back on. (No one can take away what you know)

I want to JOIN the SAAF as a PILOT, I have tried to do my homework by speaking to current pilots in the SAAF and calling the SAAF recruitment centre in order to find out the nitty-gritty's with regard to joining.

Here's what I found out, PLEASE let me know if you guys know otherwise.

1. According to the SAAF recruitment centre in PTA during November 2013, recruitment of pilots has NOT been cancelled. I was told that the rumors are false as there has been no official order for cancelation and recruitment will continue as per usual in Jan-Feb 2014

2. I was told that if I apply in Jan 2014 I will only be called up for Basics in 2015 but will need to attend the selection process and medicals during 2014 if my application was successful.

As far as I could see this statement seemed true as they encourage matriculants to apply at the start of/during their Matric year... Can anyone verify this, I'm not quite sure when I should apply if I complete my diploma end of 2014???

3. According to the SAAF recruitment office the schedule to become a pupil pilot is as follows: Application, selection process and medicals, 6months basics, 6 month officers formative course, 1 year training at the Langebaan military academy, and then 1year flight training (getting into the cockpit).

I was told that because I have calculus and mechanics (physics) at a tertiary level I will be "credited" for those subjects at the academy.

4. I was told it was best to wait for the newspaper advert in Jan-Feb 2014 and only then send in my application.
I suppose the January newspaper advert would confirm if they are still recruiting pilots...
Also the application should include: The SAAF application form, a certified ID copy, a CV with certified Matric/tertiary certificates and a covering letter.

I would really appreciate any feedback, especially from anyone who has or has attempted to join the SAAF recently.


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PostPosted: 24 Dec 2013, 12:25 
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Joined: 09 Jun 2010, 20:22
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Location: Marina da Gama, W. Cape, S Africa
http://www.saairforce.co.za/recruitment/

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PostPosted: 29 Dec 2013, 23:32 
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Joined: 19 Aug 2010, 00:55
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Location: Pretoria
Thats pretty much how it is. On the application forms are a few numbers you can phone - which is the recruiting office. They will tell you when you can send your application through. The year I did selections they took that whole year doing selections. I got called up earlier that year, turned it down because of studies. After a month or so I sent my application in again , got called up for selections again some time in August and it took about 4 days, each day you do a different test which takes the whole morning, the rest of the day mostly consists of waiting and riding in a bus.

But make sure you send in an application every now and then throughout the year, and call them before you fax it through and after you faxed it call again to make sure they got all your papers. Best would be to hand it in at HQ.

Good luck with selections. I'm going to try and do it again this year


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PostPosted: 30 Dec 2013, 11:36 
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Joined: 07 Apr 2008, 11:50
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Think long and hard about the possibility of adding an extra year to your studies to "upgrade" your qualification to a B.Tech degree - candidates with Bachelors degrees have an "easier" entry than those without.


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PostPosted: 07 Jan 2014, 11:57 
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Joined: 10 Dec 2013, 20:59
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@ Edz thanks for the reply. So the period between your application going in and going for selections can vary depending on the circumstances? Are you still able to get to selections if you were still studying that year? If you have stated on your application that you are still busy with your university studies that year do they know then to make it that you would only go for basics the following year?
When will you be sending in your application this year? The recruitment department says I should wait for the Sunday times advert but other people who have applied before say send it in ASAP. If it's possible for me to take it there in person where would I need to go? I know recruitment office in Pretoria is currently operating from SAAF HQ (apparently they are upgrading the recruitment office in town) SAAF HQ there in Dequaria road (next to the Potgieter street prison) do you perhaps know what building to drop it off at etc?
Apologies for so many questions at once...

@ Roger the dodger thanks for the reply. I have been in deep thought about studying that extra year, I would prefer it actually. Although my reason for haste is because I was told that my age can become a problem if I don't apply soon. I'm 24 in Feb and I thought I should apply before I have missed my opportunity window to do so, I know if you have studied they extend the joining age to 26 but you have to be in the cockpit training before your 28th birthday. I haven't managed to get any straight answers about how strict that rule is. I know of one case where the person was almost 29 before starting flight training but it's hard to determine if that was a special case or because the rule is more of a guideline?

I have also spoken to someone who was recently in the process to become a pupil pilot in the SAAF, he said that they have changed the training regime slightly, once pupil pilots get to the "ground school phase" at the training college he said that they have extended the course by about 2 years as they want the students to also study toward a qualification, parallel to their ground school training. If that is the case nowadays I thought that I might be able to take my qualification that extra year to complete my B-tech.
With that said I'm also unsure if that rule of starting flight training before you are 28 has also changed because of the two years they have added to get a qualification.

Again thank you for the replies!


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PostPosted: 08 Jan 2014, 13:10 
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Joined: 19 Aug 2010, 00:55
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Location: Pretoria
It does vary, sometimes it takes a few month and sometimes a few weeks. You can still do selections if you are studying that year, but that depends if you are willing to miss work for a few days. If you miss a semester test or something you can ask them to write a letter to the professor explaining your absence. I missed a test because of selections and my calculus prof was fine with the letter he received from them, its as good as excuse you can get...no arguing with a letter from the SAAF :)
If you already have the application form(you can get it off of this website) then you can send it in whenever. They keep your papers until they need it.

Basics for the pilot/navigators wont start for the groups doing selections that same year. As with my selections, they took a whole year doing selections and getting candidates and then in November/December they did the interviews and then started with basics sometime the following year.

I'm still deciding whether I should do selections again or not. I had a medical problem so I'm going to have to see a doctor first so that he can tell me if im better now or not, if I am I will send it as soon as possbile, probably some time in February, and then again in March.
The recruitment office...well go to the main gate(cant remember the street names), you will have to park outside...and then just walk through to the main building, you will see it, or otherwise ask for directions. Once you are in then just ask around there is some kind of a reception and I'm sure they will be glad to help you. But hand it in there, it will give you a good excuse to see what it looks like inside HQ.


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PostPosted: 08 Jan 2014, 13:56 
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Joined: 10 Dec 2013, 20:59
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@ Edz okay cool thanks a lot. That helps a lot then I don't have to worry about being called up too soon if I get that far.

If there's a reception I'm sure I could find it. I called this morning but the guy told me don't bring an application because they won't take it.... Again they said wait till march now for the newspaper advert. I think tho I am going to try my luck and take it in anyway.

On a personal note, do you know anyone who has recently joined? If so do you know how they are finding it and if they are still happy about their decision to join etc?

Thanks really appreciate it


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PostPosted: 08 Jan 2014, 22:39 
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Joined: 12 Nov 2011, 09:38
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I joined the SAAF in 2012 as a pupil pilot. I'm currently at the Military Academy in Saldanha. My advice for you would be to finish your degree as then join. With a degree you would most probably only do basics and officers course and Thereafter you skip the whole phase at the Military Academy and go straight onto langebaan to the flying phase. 2 members that joined in 2013 are now going to the flying phase directly since they have a degree.

Advice on joining is to go hand your forms in personally as they might get lost in the post or whatever reasons there might be. As far as my knowledge go pilot selections are on hold at the moment but I might be wrong as I've lost a bit track regarding selections. Just keep phoning!!!

Good luck!!


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PostPosted: 13 Jan 2014, 11:17 
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Joined: 10 Dec 2013, 20:59
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@stoof thanks for the advice, so you strongly suggest I finish my B-te then? How strict are they about the age thing there? What do you guys do exactly at the academy? Do you not also do ground school training there?


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PostPosted: 20 Jan 2014, 20:43 
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Joined: 12 Nov 2011, 09:38
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Yes finish your degree! You won't regret it. It will save you a lot of time and sometimes frustration! But don't get me wrong the SAAF is the best thing that ever happened to me and I do not regret being here for one moment!

The age thing is quite important as they want to train pilots at the earliest age possible! As things currently stand as far as my knowledge go (I might be wrong, so correct me please if I am) you may not commence flying at a age older than 26, but if you are a member with a degree that age limit becomes 28.

Our course are currently busy finishing our degrees and thereafter we will start flying. From now on no member will start flying without a degree.

Yes we are doing ground school at the academy although we will be doing it again once we go to langebaanweg.

Let us know how it goes!!!


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PostPosted: 23 Jan 2014, 12:38 
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Joined: 10 Dec 2013, 20:59
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@stoof thanks for that advise, I want to complete my B-tech although I'm still very nervous I miss the cut off age. I've read on the SAAF website that the age for joining is extended to 26 if you have studied and have a degree or diploma in my case. It also says that you then have to be in the cockpit before your 28th birthday...

Just a question though, would it really not be advisable to complete an extra year studies to get my degree while in the airforce? If so why?
Do you perhaps know if they let people study through say UNISA or do they only let you study there at the university where you guys are???

If I might ask as well do you guys receive some sort of income etc. at the stage where your group is now?

Thanks again
Kind regards


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PostPosted: 15 Mar 2014, 12:30 
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Joined: 10 Dec 2013, 20:59
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Hello

An update on my progress...
Well I was "requested to be at Bosman bus station" about a month ago. First night was quite an experience sleeping in the barracks at Air Force gymnasium in Valhalla. That morning we did measurements etc. in the afternoon we were given the results and only a few did not make the measurement specs. The next morning we went to do our phsycometric testing, I felt nervous but still confident. Honestly the tests are not difficult although time is a big factor and it runs out quickly. After the testing we waited in the courtyard for the results, we were called in and they read out the test number you are given, unfortunately I was not one of the numbers... I have no idea why I didn't make it as an engineering student I am used to exam conditions etc, I thought I tested quite well and managed to make good progress with the test times. As anyone would I felt quite disheartened.

The "cool down" period between selections is 6months and I will definitely give it another bash, please please if you have any advise on the matter or how I could improve or increase my chances please let me know! I would appreciate any information.

Regards


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