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Thread: Specialist Aircrew Category

  1. #1
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    Default Specialist Aircrew Category

    Hello All,
    Can anybody tell me when the Branch, sub-Branch, or Trade, of “Specialist Aircrew” came into existence? As far as I am aware they had limited promotion prospects but – provided they stayed fit – they would be employed solely in an aircrew capacity?
    Who would have been accepted into such a category?
    Is such a thing still in existence today?
    TIA
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    It was certainly established by the mid 70's Peter.
    The modern equivalent is the 'PA' spine (Professional Aviator).
    Basically it would be the RAF pilots who just wanted to keep flying and were not bothered about climbing the greasy pole of promotion to senior ranks.
    Their promotion prospects were limited to Sqn Ldr rank.
    Spec Aircrew/PA do have a different pay structure though and receive extra salary/flying pay compared to 'normal' Aircrew Officers.
    Last edited by bvs; 29th March 2020 at 19:09.

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    Actually thinking about it - I met some spec aircrew on my first sqn so must be earlier than mid 70's.
    A little googling suggests spec aircrew may have been introduced 1968/69 but not 100% sure.
    Last edited by bvs; 29th March 2020 at 19:22.

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    Very briefest mention in Jefford, Observers and Navigators of starting in 1970.
    With scope far wider than the main title suggests, the second edn is as great achievement as the first, on the history and sometimes boggling variations in the long history of aircrew categories, quals, badges and so on.
    Monumental and wholly admirable, but sadly unindexed.
    Can't now find the mention.

    Don Clark
    www.211squadron.org
    Toujours à propos

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    Many thanks for your replies - much appreciated.
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Just to update/confirm about the date of introduction of 'Spec Aircrew'

    Introduced by DCI (RAF) S60 on 1st April 1970.
    Initially up to age 55 but presumably the upper age limit was increased later :)

    These are the earliest LG entries I could find for spec aircrew.


    9426 SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 25TH AUGUST 1970

    Specialist Aircrew
    Flight Lieutenants designated Specialist Aircrew:
    G. T. BENBOW (585314). 1st Apr. 1970.
    J. M. IDE (4042612). 7th Apr. 1970.
    B. J. CONCHIE (584543). 27th Apr. 1970.
    P. A. W. FORRESTER (1683353). 3rd May 1970.
    D. C. BINGHAM (2498611). 7th May 1970.
    W. J. J. CONNING (2538824). 16th May 1970.

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