Flight lieutenant

Flight lieutenant is a junior commissioned rank in air forces that use the Royal Air Force (RAF) system of ranks, especially in Commonwealth countries. It has a NATO rank code of OF-2. Flight lieutenant is abbreviated as Flt Lt in the Indian Air Force (IAF) and RAF, and as FLTLT in the Pakistan Air Force (PAF), Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) and has sometimes also been abbreviated as F/L in many services; it has never been correctly abbreviated as "lieutenant". A flight lieutenant ranks above flying officer and below a squadron leader and is sometimes used as an English language translation of a similar rank in non-English-speaking countries.

Flight lieutenant
Shoulder and sleeve insignia of a flight lieutenant from the Royal Air Force
Service branchAir forces
AbbreviationFlt Lt / FLTLT
NATO rank codeOF-2
Non-NATO rankO-3
Formation1 August 1919 (1919-08-01) (RAF)
Next higher rankSquadron leader
Next lower rankFlying officer
Equivalent ranks
Related articles
HistoryRoyal Naval Air Service

The rank originated in the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) in 1914. It fell into abeyance when the RNAS merged with the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War but was revived in 1919 in the post-war RAF.

An RAF flight lieutenant is the equivalent of a lieutenant in the Royal Navy and a captain in the British Army and Royal Marines. The equivalent rank in the former Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF), Women's Royal Air Force (WRAF) and Princess Mary's Royal Air Force Nursing Service (PMRAFNS) (until 1980) was flight officer.


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