I have always wanted to be a pilot for both the RAF and Commercial airlines. Would it be possible for me to serve, for say 6 months in the RAF, and then when not deployed work as a commercial pilot. Just asking this as I saw a video a few months ago of a US Air Force member who works for United when he is not working for the USAF. Thanks - Jay.

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ What you probably saw was an Air Force Reserve pilot working for United, active duty cannot hold another job. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Nov 23 '19 at 15:04
  • $\begingroup$ I agree it was probably a reservist, but active duty military members may hold another job, it just cannot conflict with military duties. Flying for a commercial airline would likely not work out, but I have known several people who worked as CFIs on the side. $\endgroup$ Nov 23 '19 at 19:11
  • $\begingroup$ Ok, thank you for this information, I was just interested. $\endgroup$ Nov 23 '19 at 20:33
  • $\begingroup$ I expect the Royal Air Force Reserves would consider someone who is already qualified for the aircraft. Most likely someone who has just left the full time RAF with transport experience. $\endgroup$ Nov 25 '19 at 9:24

Basic officer training in the RAF takes 30 weeks, so you're already over your six months, even before you start pilot training.

When you sign up you enlist for a minimum period which varies according to your speciality. Six to twelve years is typical. Source

Assuming you get through pilot training and make it to a squadron, you're not going to just sit around and wait for a war. There's ongoing training, exercises, active deployments and other duties that will take up your time. Whilst there will be periods where your working life will be 9-to-5, there will also be periods where you'll be working nights, weekends, public holidays, and away from home.

I don't know what the RAF policy on second jobs is, but for practical reasons I can't see that you would be able to drive buses for easyJet or the like.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.