Flying Grading

They will practice Circuits progressively towards the end of the 12 Hours aiming to be able to land the aircraft unassisted all under the careful gaze of the Squadron’s highly experienced Qualified Flying Instructors.

Finally, in the 13th hour they will fly with the Squadron Commanding Officer and complete a test that includes Departure, Climb, Level Off, Turns, Stall, Spin, Aerobatics, Recovery and 3 Circuits.

If the student impresses with his/her progress throughout the course and performs with only limited prompting from the Commanding Officer in the Final Handling Test (FHT) then he/she will pass.

The FHT is more an assessment of the pilots rate of progress and temperament to ensure it matches the fast pace of learning expected from them at 703 NAS where they will undergo Elementary Flying Training.

The extensive experience of the senior aviator assessing the pilot allows him/her to assess the pilot whatever his/her previous experience. Grading in this way has greatly enhanced the Royal Navy’s ability to select pilots with the greatest potential for success through the Flying Training pipeline when building aviators of the future.

Successful pilots continue their flying training with 703 NAS at RAF Barkston Heath. Those deemed unlikely to complete the Elementary Flying Training Course successfully are reconsidered for other duties within the Royal Navy and have the choice to resign from training.