Elementary Flying Training

For all military pilots of the United Kingdom the first stage of training is Elementary Flying Training. For Navy pilots this is done on the Grob Tutor aircraft at 703 Sqn at RAF Barkston Heath. Thereafter, you’ll be streamed to either helicopters or fast jets.

The Defence Elementary Flying Training School was established in July 2003 as a Military Flying School for Army and Royal Navy student pilots. It comprises 703 Naval Air Squadron and 674 Squadron, Army Air Corps and is supported by a civilian contract. The School uses a fleet of civil registered Grob Tutor basic trainers. The instructors are a mixture of civilians and serving officers from the Navy, Army and RAF.

703 Sqn is located at RAF Barkston Heath in Lincolnshire, a satellite airfield of RAF Cranwell. During EFT you will complete 55 hours of flying training.  The syllabus consists of instrument flying, navigation (including a cross-country land-away), aerobatics, formation and low level. Should you choose to do some additional exams you will even qualify for your Private Pilot’s Licence!

While at 703 Sqn you will be accommodated at Daedalus Officer’s Mess at RAF Cranwell along with both Army and RAF aircrew students and Royal Navy observer students so the social life is lively to say the least! You’ll also be able to enjoy all of the excellent sporting facilities there and make friends from all three services for the rest of your career.

After successfully completing the course you will be streamed to helicopters or to fast jets. The former will require a move to RAF Shawbury to undertake Rotary Wing training with your RAF and Army counterparts, after which you will be streamed to one of the helicopter OCUs of 848 NAS (Commando), 702 NAS (Lynx), 771 NAS (SAR) or 824 NAS (ASW Merlin).

Should your skills highlight you to be a future Joint Strike Fighter pilot then it’s off to join your RAF counterparts at RAF Linton-on-Ouse on the Tucano before going onto the new Hawk T2 Advanced Fast Jet trainer aircraft at RAF Valley in Anglesey.

703 Naval Air Squadron

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750 Naval Air Squadron

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