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Aerospace Engineer ( AERE )

shane306

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SupersonicMax said:
Another career path for AEREs is becoming a Flight Test Engineer.  If selected, you attend a year-long course outside Canada pertaining to Flight Testing.  You get to fly quite a bit on course (100 hours in about any type, from helicopters to gliders to tail draggers to aerobatic aircraft to western fighters to eastern block fighters).  This is followed with employment at the Aerospace Engineering Test Establishment in Cold Lake for 4 years, where you'll continue flying a fair amount.  These positions are designated flying position so you would officially become an aircrew.

Would you be able to elaborate a bit more on this? I am curious about this possibility. At what phase would AEREs be selected to transfer to it, and what is involved in the job besides flying?
 

SupersonicMax

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After your first tour, you can apply for a position as FTE at AETE.  If your file is strong enough, you write a math exam. If you pass the math exam, you may be invited for a 2-week selection in Cold Lake where you'll be introduced to Flight Testing through academics, flying and reporting.  If successful, you may be asked to attend one of the 5 western, recognized Test Pilot Schools (it comes with a 4-year mandatory service commitment).

Ar AETE, you'll be project officer on new equipment the Air Force is procuring, conducting Engineering Test and Evaluation on it and sometimes, Development Test and Evaluation for equipment that is being fielded.  This means managing projects, coming up with methods to test effectively, flight testing and reporting.
 

shane306

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VanIslander said:
-BMOQ (16 weeks IIRC)
-AERE Prep Phases 1 and 2 (aka APP1 and APP2, basically On-Job Training, length depends on a lot of factors)
-AOBC, the AERE Officer Basic Course, completion of which means you are now a qualified AERE and have reached what's called your OFP or Operational Functional Point (8 months)
-First posting to the various areas of employment open to first-tour AEREs.

If you are direct-entry like I am, you will do BMOQ and then go straight to APP, doing both phases back to back.  I started BMOQ in the fall and arrived at Trenton for my APP just before that Christmas.  I spent almost a year in Trenton doing various OJT things before shipping out to CFB Borden which is where AOBC is run.  AOBC is 8 months long (ish) and runs from November to the end of June, annually.  It's designed to get you ready to hit the ground running at your first posting, with a strong practical focus.  It's a pretty good course, actually.

Can you tell me what sort of stuff is involved during the APP part of your training?
 

VanIslander

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It's mostly on-job training.

You'll shadow technicians at the Cpl or MCpl level, and then at the more senior level.  You should do a rotation through first line facilities as well as second line facilities if they're available at your wing. We did a tour of aerospace industry and DND offices in Ottawa as well.

The goal is to expose you to what work is like on the hangar or shop floor so you're not that officer that says "hey, change this engine.. That'll take 30 minutes right?"

You'll also be doing some desk/study work to begin familiarizing yourself with airworthiness policy, which is basically the entire reason AERE is a thing.

It's your chance to get exposed and immersed before you have too many responsibilities to go out and help turn wrenches.

You may be given one or two special projects that are important but that your chain of command maybe does the have time to spare for.
 

ssrb653

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SupersonicMax said:
After your first tour, you can apply for a position as FTE at AETE.  If your file is strong enough, you write a math exam. If you pass the math exam, you may be invited for a 2-week selection in Cold Lake where you'll be introduced to Flight Testing through academics, flying and reporting.  If successful, you may be asked to attend one of the 5 western, recognized Test Pilot Schools (it comes with a 4-year mandatory service commitment).

Ar AETE, you'll be project officer on new equipment the Air Force is procuring, conducting Engineering Test and Evaluation on it and sometimes, Development Test and Evaluation for equipment that is being fielded.  This means managing projects, coming up with methods to test effectively, flight testing and reporting.

Hello SupersonicMax
I have been recently selected for AERE occupation and I really want to be FTE. You mentioned that if the file is strong enough then you can be selected for a math exam. What makes a file strong to be chosen for FTE. What are some of the things I can do during my training and my first tour to have a strong file so I would have a better chance to write the math exam for FTE selection.

I would really appreciate your input.

Thanks
 

VanIslander

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ssrb653 said:
Hello SupersonicMax
I have been recently selected for AERE occupation and I really want to be FTE. You mentioned that if the file is strong enough then you can be selected for a math exam. What makes a file strong to be chosen for FTE. What are some of the things I can do during my training and my first tour to have a strong file so I would have a better chance to write the math exam for FTE selection.

I would really appreciate your input.

Thanks

"The file" is your application file and as per the AETE intranet site, consists of:

A letter substantiating your interest in applying to be an evaluator;
A letter of recommendation from your Commanding Officer;
A copy of your university transcripts. Candidates must hold a baccalaureate degree or higher in engineering, applied science, mathematics or physics;
A recent Military Personnel Record Resume (MPRR);
A completed Statement of Understanding (Form DND 2830-E); and
Height and Weight (required for eligibility to fly in ejection seat aircraft).

(as well as some medical/admin stuff).

The part that you can influence is therefore your letter expressing interest, and the letter of recommendation from your CO.
 

ssrb653

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VanIslander said:
"The file" is your application file and as per the AETE intranet site, consists of:

A letter substantiating your interest in applying to be an evaluator;
A letter of recommendation from your Commanding Officer;
A copy of your university transcripts. Candidates must hold a baccalaureate degree or higher in engineering, applied science, mathematics or physics;
A recent Military Personnel Record Resume (MPRR);
A completed Statement of Understanding (Form DND 2830-E); and
Height and Weight (required for eligibility to fly in ejection seat aircraft).

(as well as some medical/admin stuff).

The part that you can influence is therefore your letter expressing interest, and the letter of recommendation from your CO.

Thanks a lot for the information. I will keep that in mind when the time comes for me to apply for FTE. I really appreciate all your input
 

Calvillo

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Asking for my child who is interested in being an engineer: do you do significant amount of design and modelling? If so, what platform do you typically use? As well, how about lab works? Material testing, fatigue testing for example. Lastly, do you get the opportunity to get Professional Engineering designation as well as to maintain it?
 

VanIslander

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Calvillo said:
Asking for my child who is interested in being an engineer: do you do significant amount of design and modelling? If so, what platform do you typically use? As well, how about lab works? Material testing, fatigue testing for example. Lastly, do you get the opportunity to get Professional Engineering designation as well as to maintain it?

Very few AERE people do design and modelling. Perhaps if you get posted to ATESS, or a specific subsection within DTAES, you might.

Lab work, not so much.  We do test and evaluation, but we aren't testing material properties. The test and eval conducted in the air force is to assess technical airworthiness or suitability, or else to test operational airworthiness or suitability.

That's pretty much it.

You can get your PEng, and maintain it.
 

Shrinjay

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So it seems like the chances of getting posted to a hard engineering position on your first tour is low, which is fair after all someone needs to do the paperwork and I'm more than willing to put my time in. However, how can you maximize your chances of getting a hard engineering position, or becoming an FTE but that's kind of redundant since that info is already here, after your first tour? Being a good officer, taking courses etc. Would that kind of stuff make you a better candidate or is it mostly luck? Just curious.
 

SupersonicMax

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Shrinjay said:
So it seems like the chances of getting posted to a hard engineering position on your first tour is low, which is fair after all someone needs to do the paperwork and I'm more than willing to put my time in. However, how can you maximize your chances of getting a hard engineering position, or becoming an FTE but that's kind of redundant, after your first tour? Being a good officer, taking courses etc. Would that kind of stuff make you a better candidate or is it mostly luck? Just curious.

Becoming an FTE is redundant?  How so?
 

Shrinjay

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No I meant the information for being an FTE is already out there. I should probably correct that.
 

VanIslander

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Shrinjay said:
So it seems like the chances of getting posted to a hard engineering position on your first tour is low, which is fair after all someone needs to do the paperwork and I'm more than willing to put my time in. However, how can you maximize your chances of getting a hard engineering position, or becoming an FTE but that's kind of redundant since that info is already here, after your first tour? Being a good officer, taking courses etc. Would that kind of stuff make you a better candidate or is it mostly luck? Just curious.

Networking.

There's a cliché that gets repeated a lot, and it's that You Are Your Own Career Manager™.

A strong file will only take you so far.
 

Shrinjay

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VanIslander said:
Networking.

There's a cliché that gets repeated a lot, and it's that You Are Your Own Career Manager™.

A strong file will only take you so far.

Ah, can you elaborate a bit? Is it helpful to speak with the officers of those groups when they visit, or is it something else? Dumb question I guess but I just want to have all the information I need.
 

VanIslander

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Any and everything helps. Get to know the people at the units you want to get posted to. Officers, MWOs, Sgts, whoever.
 

shane306

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Ah, can you elaborate a bit? Is it helpful to speak with the officers of those groups when they visit, or is it something else? Dumb question I guess but I just want to have all the information I need.
Like two years too late but, I work for DRDC for space research as an AERE and there are some hard engineering positions you just need to ask for them. QETE(structural and failure test), AETE (aircraft engineering testing and evaluation), Flight test engineer, DRDC (research and paper writing), the "TEFs" (Operational test and eval), ATESS (structural and design, manufacturing), WSM Mirabel (avionics), DTAES(engineering support and analysis), and the Canadian Space Ops centre (space), and Electronic warfare center (Isnt really engineering, more coding). These are the first that come to mind although I am sure there are more, and realistically there will be at least 1 posting open to newly trained AEREs at at least one of those units, you just need to push for it. That means emailing the person in the position, the aere LCol "Champion" for that field, the CM, your course directors (who have more connections).

If you are determined to get an engineering position, you can get one, for the most part the most pursued positions are at squadrons and operations. The TEFs usually have the most openings, and FOTEF (Fighter operational test and Evaluation) always has empty positions because its in cold lake alberta.
 
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