View Full Version : Will it go back to the old times?
20th Feb 2012, 12:40
I'm just trying to get an idea of what the current situation will lead us to...
Do you remember the old times? When everyone with a licence would easily get a job (obviously, relatively easy)? I have a friend who was hired by Ryanair and all they asked him at the interview was if he liked their cabin crews!! :hmm:
Anyway, here came 2009 an everyhing went down hill: companies went burst, loads of experienced pilots around, no recruitment from anyone...
Three years have passed... Things are starting to go back up... but just how good will they get?
Unfortunately I finished my CPL/IR training JUST in time for this economic nightmare... Had one interview with RYR and (:mad:) I failed it!
I let my IR/ME rating expire last year because with the job I have now, I cannot afford £1.600 renewal fees every year... Also let my medical expire...
I'm waiting for some better times to renew everything... Because paying all that money for "maybe" a one only chance of interview in a year... looks a bit crazy...
Do you think I'm doing the right thing? Anyone else feeling this way, or in my same position?
20th Feb 2012, 13:48
no.... i am in the same situation.... no job , no money , nothing.....but with all the licences and medical current......keep your licences current because you never know what will happen in the future, you must be ready for an immediate assesment and if you are not current you can lose maybe the only chance to get a job
That s only in my opinion
20th Feb 2012, 13:57
Do you remember the old times? When everyone with a licence would easily get a job (obviously, relatively easy)?
Yes, I do remember the old times. When I got my CPL/IR in 1990 there were no jobs for years to come. And when I got my ATPL in 2001 it was even worse (9-11 was two weeks before I did the MCC course). I had to change my plans many times during the last 20 years, did other work than flying and when flying, it was mostly on piston twins and instructing on singles. Flying as "safety pilot" with self flying businessmen and things like that. Not much money, but a lot of precious flying experience ( and fun and good times!). And cheaper than to keep current at my own expense.
Do you think I'm doing the right thing?
No. Never ever let your license lapse. Forget about the airlines (especially if over thirty and without flying hours, sorry to say that!). There are more jobs in general aviation anyway, and if they become awailable, then always at very short notice. Only a valid license and some recent flying experience will get you one of those.
I know this is easier said then done, but if your current job does not allow you to maintain your license, you need a different job.
Never stop networking. Call your buddies from the flying school regularly, keep talking to your old instructors. Follow every rumour!
20th Feb 2012, 14:00
It looks like that if you want to join the airline, you have to pay for it for the first stage.
Old pilots blame new pilots for this situation when maybe the fault is theirs to not have stopped the trend several years ago.
I disagree with the two statements above about forgetting the Airlines if over 30. I started the Thomas Cook Cadet Scheme at 30 and I was by no means the oldest on the course, there was a 43 y/o who got a jet Airline job within 2 month of qualifying.
I say its all about the level of commitment you show and how far you're willing to go to get your job. And tarts not just your first job, but any subsequent job. I managed to get a job with another Airline when I was 33 and I only had 800 hours in total, with about 500 on jet.
I've been told many times that I would never make it and I'd never get a job, but I'm now unfrozen, working for a good company and have the future to look forward to.
Most of the time you only get the doom and gloom on PPRUNE and its because the people who post are the ones that have been in your situation and have been unlucky (I have no idea about the other two posters above me and it is in no way meant as offensive towards them)
Don't let anyone other than the Chief Pilot of the Airline you're applying to tell you that you are too old.
Don't let your licence lapse, if anything it shows lack of commitment. OK, maybe you can't afford it, you need to then dig out that credit card or sell whatever you can/work as hard as you can to get the money.
It will pay off
21st Feb 2012, 06:52
yes keep your license valid
Perhaps it is cheaper at a certified simulator. You might meet new
People there. Fly skydivers or do bannertowing etc. Just keep in
Touch with flying. You might meet airplane owners who needs
A safety pilot etc. It is all about making a network/contacts.
My case. It took me 9 years from start of flightschool to land
A rh seat in a a 320.
I flew 14 different types in general aviation and Beech 1900in the
States. Than Fokker 50 in Europe.
Now a Capt at a lcc on the 320 in europe at age 37.
Generate options. Start with a valid license......
21st Feb 2012, 20:38
This thread is a good example for new guys considering their options on what to expect from their future employment aspirations.
I dont want to state the obvious but guys, when you take the plunge, and with all due respect you MUST appreciate what is on the cards when you have finished all your professional training, i.e. yes you will have to keep a medical current, yes you will have to keep your MEP IR current. Of course all this costs money, so you must have a plan in place in order to finance this.
If you accept this fact when you start, it will not come as a surprise. The industry and recruitment trends have always been the same, in terms of peaks and troughs.
Please dont get me wrong, I know how you feel I have been in the groove you are talking about, it is frustrating, but come on guys, it should not come as a surprise.
Another thing, you must appreciate that you and thousands of other pilots are waiting for the right time to 'renew' everything, however, its sometimes not just about having a current licence, it's about standing out from the crowd, which Falck and P-T touch on.
Commitment, persistence and determination and willing to go the extra mile is key, and will pay off in the end.
fade to grey
24th Feb 2012, 08:17
I think the last time 'anyone with a licence could get a job ' was 1987 or thereabouts.
At least when i did my licence, it was n't such a huge financial gamble as it is these days - £15k covered my CPL/IR ;)
25th Feb 2012, 13:51
Got my first airline job (F/O on Jetstream 41) in 1999 at the ripe old age of 39, am now 737-800 captain.......don't give up guys & gals!!!;)
Dont give up.. things are getting better now. You really need to be current though otherwise when you do get the call you wont be able to attend an interview an could miss out on a golden opportunity.
26th Feb 2012, 13:27
1:stay current no matter what
2:keep fit & healthy (no medical=no licence)
I'm a few years looking for a job with no success. Currently working for an airline in ops, but being hindered by my management when flying positions come up as I'm considered very good at what I do. Not giving up though!
I'm determined to get something, network like crazy and keep my skills sharp. Guys n girls, I know the industry isn't in the best shape right now, but if this is REALLY what you want, stay with it.
my 2 cents worth,
1st Mar 2012, 10:58
I don't know who told you £1600 for an IR renewal, but talk to the guys at Airways Flight Training (Exeter) (other professional flight training establishments are available!) and they can sort you out with an IR renewal on their Beech Duchess sim for circa £200 IIRC. But revise first - NDB holds, Procedural approaches, your minima, memory checklists and radio calls, etc.
When I first renewed one year after my IR I hadn't flown and was well rusty... had to retake! Now several years later I am an F/O on a nice big turboprop. Your licences are worth nothing without validation and an airline will overlook you. You have to be in a position to sell yourself!
Also, I mention Airways because they have an AME right next door who can do your Class One renewal for you at the same time! (not simultaneously of course, that would be distracting) ;-)
All the best :ok:
1st Mar 2012, 14:33
As others have pointed out networking is this situation is vital. Keep the licence valid because as someone said jobs come up at very short notice. I nearly lost out because of that on one occasion.
Ironically while I've given up on airline aspirations, age, ratings etc. I have never been so well connected, thanks to my current position. I now have an established reputation as a 'good stick' and would garner a number of good references from senior airline Captains and others. Plus my hours have built up nicely.
But I know pilots who turned up their nose at my job. They couldn't see beyond the low pay and dodgy hours. So they stay home watching 'Ice Pilots' or 'X factor' having completely missed the point.
You have to stay in the loop.
1st Mar 2012, 19:56
Pay-to-fly wannabes, and their poor parents' re-mortgages, have ruined the industry.
1st Mar 2012, 20:20
Pay-to-fly wannabes, and their poor parents' re-mortgages, have ruined the industry.
I would say its more the im alright Jack existing experienced Pilots and Union's who have done nothing to stop it that are to blame. They saw it coming, then watched it happen. You cant blame the job hunters for playing the only game they've been dealt. Now the union's and older Pilot's complain about the erosion of salaries and terms and conditions:rolleyes:
1st Mar 2012, 20:26
Yes you can. I do. I see the girls standing by the road and think of pay-to-fly.
These people are stupid enough to pay to do something other people are paid to do!
1st Mar 2012, 20:44
I dont think you get my point.
1st Mar 2012, 20:51
Mike, I do completely. You don't understand airline economics and management, and I'm not about to waste my time explaining it here.
This is market forces versus market stress, raised to the power <unreasonable expectation>.
1st Mar 2012, 21:16
I really dont need a lesson in employment management and market forces, I can assure you. I didnt sail up the river in a banana boat.
The point I was making was that you want to blame the next generation of Pilot's for the degredation of terms and conditions of Pilot employment rather than those who've allowed it to happen. Pilot's, Balpa, have all sat with their thumbs up their backside's whilst watching Pay to Fly schemes and the likes unfold. The day Pay to Fly hits BA is the day there'll be an uproar. Again, I dont blame the players, I blame the game.
1st Mar 2012, 21:25
Mike, please don't put all those apostrophes in, it makes it difficult to read you.
If you understand what you say you do, you would understand that pilots and BALPA have no legitimate effect in the market, and so you can't blame them.
This topic has been done to death before, and frankly I can't be bothered. I have had a wonderful career, flown many types, small, medium, and large, still get to have fun in little aeroplanes and big ones, and have never paid for a type rating in my life.
Pay to fly is a terminal cancer in the industry. There will be no outcry. The public want cheaper flights and the industry enables them.
You're far too late with your BA remark. Do you know what is going on?
Before long I will retire and be able to listen to my music sipping my wine looking out over the vineyards.
1st Mar 2012, 21:38
I would suggest you just enjoy sipping vino in your retirement then as your really not getting what im saying. Im sure everyone else does.
1st Mar 2012, 21:51
I'm not retired yet and I do understand you.
I just believe your argument doesn't hold any water.
1st Mar 2012, 22:02
Ok let me put it another way.
Do you blame the next generation of pilots just now for applying for Pay to Fly type schemes and Type rating/Line Training type schemes....Yes or no?
Do you think the current experienced pilot base and the unions have done anything to help stand up and prevent the so called rot? Or have they just sat blissfuly happy instead dreaming of drinking vino in retirement?
1st Mar 2012, 22:08
Yes, they enable the worst aspects of economic endeavour, fundamentally against their own best interests;
Yes, they have made noise about it but as mere enablers/providers in an overstocked and highly pressurised market they are unable to influence outcome;
No, they are, every one of them, heartily peed off, both with the situation and their own lack of influence.
Pay to fly = Turkeys voting for Christmas
1st Mar 2012, 22:27
Well we obviously have varying views on it frontlefthamster. The next generation didnt create the current situation so I cant blame them for it. You see it differently.
1st Mar 2012, 22:38
Ambitious shysters made it possible, the wannabes made it real, in droves...
1st Mar 2012, 22:41
Ambitious shysters made it possible, the wannabes made it real, in droves... .....and nobody did a sodding thing to prevent it!
1st Mar 2012, 22:56
Mike, Mme Hamster is calling me to bed, but to conclude...
This is because (in a nutshell):
The pilots and unions don't run the airlines.
The managers do run the airlines and are only concerned with making value for shareholders whilst achieving compliance with regulation.
The regulator works down to compliance, not up to excellence, and without any test for what we might call professional reasonableness.
The fare-paying public don't know, and probably, after the spin-doctors had had their input, wouldn't care, what's going on.
Modern aviation is incredibly 'safe' even done to what I would see to be a shockingly low standard.
I don't want to labour the point, but This nightmare is only real because idiots will pay to do a job which professionals have been paid to do for years Just what the long-term consequences are, doesn't bear thinking about.
1st Mar 2012, 22:58
...and if I may ask:
In our capitalist society...
In your opinion, WHO should have done WHAT to prevent it, and WHY?
1st Mar 2012, 23:04
Yeah as i said about 5 posts ago, I dont need an explanation on the economics of how it all works, a 12 year old can work out the driving forces behind it all. I do believe however you are wrong for blaming the so called 'idiots' as you refer to them as. They werent the ones who sat around watching it all unfold and did nothing. But alas we go full circle in this discussion....goodnight flh:)
1st Mar 2012, 23:07
...and if I may ask:
In our capitalist society...
In your opinion, WHO should have done WHAT to prevent it, and WHY?
Well im a member of 2 flying unions and im still waiting for the slightest hint from either of them about the so called 'cancer'. Plenty info on discount shopping and timeshare in florida though;)
1st Mar 2012, 23:09
Perhaps tomorrow you'll answer my last question. I'm interested to see what you say.
Ah, your last post crossed with mine. Years ago, feeling let down over pay negotiations, I voted myself a small rise by leaving the union. I left the operator shortly afterwards to fly bigger machines for more money.
Seriously, who should have done what, and why? And, perhaps more importantly, how would it have stopped this awful pay-to-fly horror?
1st Mar 2012, 23:14
I've answered enough sorry Flh. Seeing the woods for the trees springs to mind.
1st Mar 2012, 23:17
Yes, I didn't think I would see a cogent answer to that question.
As I say, cheers.
2nd Mar 2012, 10:49
This seems to have got a bit of the subject raised by the OP.
Don't want to get into a personal discussion, but one of the protaganists stated that he/she was a member of two unions and was still waiting for the slightest hint from them about the so called cancer.
You are not a member of the union, you are the union. Have you suggested that the union form a group to look into the problem. Have you volunteered to give up some of your time for nothing, like your union reps do for you, in order to form that group. Have you lobbied the CAA or members of parliment or whatever you have in the country you live in. Either do that or don't moan that "no one has done anything", because you are the same as them. Sorry to have a go at you but I have been a (voluntary and unpaid) union rep in the past, and too many people thing all you have to do is pay your dues and things will be done for you...they won't.
To answer the OPs question I think the answer is no. I got into flying commercially in the "old times". I washed aeroplanes and cut grass and answered telephones in exchange for flying hours. I sold my motorbike to pay for an instructors rating, then instructed for six years, then flew single crew at home and abroad for another six before I was lucky enough to get into the right hand seat of a two crew aircraft and could finally afford to pay a mortgage. Since I started instructing in 1982 there have been a few blips, but probably no more than three years in total, when it has been "easy" to get a job, but it has always been a slog - the difference now is that everyone starts off thinking that they are fully qualified because they have a frozen "ATPL" rather than a CPL or BCPL, and they have had lots of spin from Oxford/Cabair/FTE/etc about being "airline pilots" rather than just "pilots".
Unfortunately, having seen how the industry works for 30 years I think it is safe to say that we will never go back to the good old days. There never were any good old days, just different ones.
2nd Mar 2012, 11:03
Answer this one simple question.
If wannabes weren't prepared to pay for these PTF, CTC, flexi, or whatever the hell you want to call them schemes, would they exist?
I agree with frontlefthamster.
Wee Weasley Welshman
2nd Mar 2012, 11:56
Trust me all airline pilots have watched the Pay To Fly tumour grow with increasing apprehension and concern. It all started with paying for your own MCC back in 1999 and way back then those on the flight decks just knew that this process would creep up and up to paid for type ratings, paid for base checks, paid for line training etc etc.
We did all know. We did all do nothing. Because there was nothing that could be done.
There is no legal right to strike in the UK. There certainly is no right to strike because somebody else is willing to apply for a job with another company on terms you don't like. Or your own company come to that. The contract terms between your employer and their next recruit are none of your legal business. Go on strike if you want but it will be illegal and you will be sacked and sued and lose your home. Which is why you've never heard such mumblings from BALPA or anyone else on the matter.
The real blame, and this is a view settled over decades of being involved with Wannabes, lies with people's willingness to spend a bit more than the other guy to give them the advantage. Very common human trait. Sometimes commendable and useful but in this instance harmful. House price inflation provided turbocharging to the engine and the rapid growth of LCC's with well mapped growth schedules provided the chassis.
The Wannabes themselves yanked open the drivers door and did the driving themselves.
Europe will have its Colgan Air. After which the regulator will probably follow the FAA and tighten up slightly on minimum pilot requirements. Even after that though the Wannabe financial arms race will not be over. Here's why:
Your Son is bright and doing well in school and expresses an interest in aviation sustained over a couple of years by his membership of ATC/Gliding Club/PPL et al. He's doing his A-Levels and so your are all thinking about University. He has no particular yearning to enter medicine or law or similar professions nor the military. Uni is going to cost 3 * £9k fees + 3 * 5k rent/living expenses. That's £42k for a likely 2:2 or 2:1 from some red brick somewhere that isn't OxBridge in something or other discipline.
Pilot training is going to cost double that but only take 18 months tops. Lets say Junior can work (and do a bit of travelling maybe) for 2 years after A-levels and live at home and earn £14k a year. It is possible with a bit of shift work and bar job, easily. Two years of that and he's matured a bit, learned how hard working at a boring job is, and had £28k towards the £42k you haven't sunk into Uni.
Suddenly the premium of a CPL/IR Frzn ATPL from CTC/OATS over a degree doesn't look very big. Enough Dad's will be persuaded by these sorts of figures to ensure that there will be queues around the block for £80k pilot training courses for years to come. Many recent graduates spend time unemployed and then time on unpaid internships and trainee schemes. For the CTC/OAT graduate this takes the form of pay by the hour flex cadet work experience/evaluation in the RHS of a B737/A320.
It ain't no different really.
Its not going to go back to how it used to be.
2nd Mar 2012, 12:51
And there endeth the lesson. Unfortunately WWW is spot on.
Have to agree with WWW, hamster, et. al.
Maybe BALPA could have could have made more noise about P2F, but IMHO the average paying customer wouldn't give a stuff, they just want the cheapest ticket..still do.
As for Industrial Action by BALPA members over the issue - how? UK Labour Laws, much reformed by Meryl Streep :rolleyes: and subsequent governments have contains stringent criteria as to what constitutes Official Industrial Action (IA) and draconiac penalties for those who indulge in Unofficial IA. If you work for company A you can't go on strike over company B entering into a commericial arrangement with an individual.....
2nd Mar 2012, 15:43
He's training to become an airline pilot... (http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1967/1967%20-%200386.html?search=hamble)
From airline sponsored training, a full time contract and final salary pension.
Nowadays risking absolutely everything for the chance of achieving a flexi-crew/pay by the hour seasonal contract with zero pension is the considered route.
Calling Dr Emmett Brown and his Delorean
2nd Mar 2012, 16:47
I have to disagree with WWW on this one.
Senior pilots are mostly to blame for the situation we find ourselves in at the moment. By senior I mean the senior captains and training captains that allowed the situation to develop and the rampant rate at which this decay has spread.
It only would have taken a few meetings with one another (over a cold one) to discuss the problem and seek to resolve the issue from within. But no, let’s sit on our butts with our senior salaries, moan about it and blame the wannabe pilot.
Senior pilots could have done something to put a spanner in the CTC machine and other past PTF schemes a long time ago. Time to look into the mirror before you point any fingers I'm afraid. You guys shouldn’t be casting stones whilst living in glass houses!!
2nd Mar 2012, 18:41
I wanted to stay out of it initially, as I was curious to see what everybody else had to say on the ORIGINAL question/subject, BUT...
No, I really cannot see it going back to whatever it was before (I've started my aviation career only too recent to remember "golden days" of '70 or '80s). The reason not being in aviation per se, as aviation is only a small cogwheel in the whole greedy economic machine. The problem, in my own humble opinion, is global. And aviation is just another collateral damage so certain minority of individuals can enjoy ABSOLUTELLY (with a capital A) everything.
And on P2F subject, as it became somewhat a secondary subject. How on Earth can anybody blame anyone else other then an impatient over-eager rookie that wants to sit next to the "big guy" in the cockpit of a shiny jet???????? Seriously...
Someone mentioned "it had been creeping up on us for ages" and "they saw it coming, nobody did nothin"... Don't mean to sound rude, but how is that an argument?? I mean, just because there is an opportunity, do we all have to jump for it, even though it's clearly a suicide?? Here's an example: You walk by jewellery shop every day and see all the shiny bits and bobs and whatnot. Do you pick up the first brick you can find and ram it through the window to steal what's there?! Of course you don't. Cause you're not :mad: stupid...
You see, I've wanted to fly planes since I... well you know the story. Now when I finally have the money and time to do it, there is no force in universe to make me do my training and then to pay THE MOST expensive airline ticket ever, just to get to see lights flashing up front... The thing that physically prevents me to do so is a little thing called "self respect".
Anyone daft enough to pay to work for someone really deserves it. As I can't really think of worse punishment than that.
2nd Mar 2012, 18:47
But when the commercial team want to do something which is lawful, profitable, seen as satisfactory by the regulator, and not going to be a PR disaster, there are very few arguments left. Of course, if airline A does it, but B does not, B is at a commercial disadvantage...
The argument played out in G-DHJZ was aired (read the report carefully to understand what I mean), but of course the insurers took care of that one...
...and the others.
Air Accidents Investigation: Airbus A320, G-DHJZ (http://www.aaib.gov.uk/publications/bulletins/december_2008/airbus_a320__g_dhjz.cfm)
By the way, you are aware that CTC was started by a group of 'senior pilots', aren't you?
2nd Mar 2012, 19:58
You need your head examined.. Seriously.
"Sitting next to the big boys of a shiny jet". What a silly comment to make.
I'm ex-modular and clawing my way up the ladder with GA stuff. I'll settle for the safety pilot gig or rhs of a small tp but those slots are not empty as those pilots can't get a look in to the jet jobs. This is because some greedy, corrupt senior captains have gotten into bed with the airlines i.e. ctc and the cartel is locking up everthing tighter than a pigs ear. I really wish the people will stop using the shiny jet argument to enhance their point of view. It's getting old and tiresome.
2nd Mar 2012, 20:02
Of course, if airline A does it, but B does not, A is at a commercial disadvantage...IMHO that's where the finger ought to be put. As long as the golden rule (he who has the gold makes the rules) goes largely unchallenged, so will perversions like paying to work (not only in aviation: Desperate Youth Pay For Internships (http://gawker.com/5140742/desperate-youth-pay-for-internships)). Funny how the argument seems to focus on whether young p2f cadets or seasoned pilots are to blame, especially as neither of these groups benefits from these development or can do a lot about it.
2nd Mar 2012, 21:04
My comment might have been out of line and I do apologise if you found to be so. But it ain't silly and the only thing my head needs right now is a haircut.
At the age of 39 (as it says in your profile) I think you might intelectually be in a different position than your average 17 to 25 year old wannabe who thinks that only job in aviation worth doing is "flying big shiny jets"... That's the profile of people I was talking about. And that would be the profile of people who would P2F. I do however respect people who appreciate that getting to RHS of 737 should take a GA like route whilst gaining valuable experience along the way...
2nd Mar 2012, 21:31
Marx explained how capitalism exploits the workers through lack of regulation.
There is, to my knowledge, no similar work on the theories of prostitution for no profit or promise of gain...
Perhaps I finally have the title for my retirement treatise..?
There is a crucial difference between interns and co-pilots:
Interns are of limited value; they fill some small gaps, but the positions are all about gaining experience, networking, and finding a career path. Interns will make up at most around 5% of the workforce in the organisations they serve, and when paid, are paid a very small amount, but probably a reasonable or significant proportion of that which might be paid to longer-term employees doing similar work. Internship has parallels with post-graduate qualification.
Co-pilots, conversely, are necessary to the operation of the aircraft; typically forming perhaps 40-45% of the pilot workforce, feeding expansion and providing a means of addressing attrition
There is considerable economic risk in replacing a significant number of co-pilots with pay-to-fly prostitutes. There is less risk in having a small number, and there is probably some profit if the deals are done well.
2nd Mar 2012, 22:00
As an old timer on my leafy perch, reading the recriminations and who did or didn't do what to whom, I am struck by some of the material and very relevant omissions that so many of you have allowed to cloud your historical perspective.
In "the good old days" you couldn't get a CPl/IR with 250 hours, it took much more than that. At least 700 hours, and even then airlines weren't really interested in you. Actually that isn't entirely correct. You could get a CPL/IR with 250 hours, but only through a very limited number of "approved" flight training schools. The main players in those full time, 2 year courses of integrated training were: BOAC/BEA at Hamble; CSE at Oxford; and AST at Perth. The latter two establishments provided integrated courses of approved training for both private individuals, and also in conjunction with a few airlines ab-initio sponsorship programmes.
Hamble closed, and what became British airways elected to contract out their ab-initio programmes to the other commercial integrated providers. However this type of airline ab-initio regime existed for decades. It was never a particularly major part of the overall recruitment pond, and it happily sat in its own little corner of the industry.
With the advent of JAR and all things European, the licensing system changed. The CPL was intended to become (what it had always been in most other countries) an "aerial work" licence. As part of that harmonisation the requirements were slashed to 200 odd hours for all. No more instructing on a PPL. Now you needed the CPL to legitimize that avenue of pursuit.
For the full time ab-initio courses, there was little change. The new incarnations and evolutions of the old "approved schools" were now Oxford (under new ownership), FTE and CTC.
The big change came in the "self improver" end of the recruitment pond. Here there was a perception that 250 was the new 700! Now anybody with 250 hours and a CPL/IR could fling themselves at the door of airlines, who would all be hungry to snap up the feast of keen new applicants. Strangely that didn't happen. Now to be fair, there was a very vocal young Irishman who seemed to court much publicity with outrageous declarations that "two pilots were an unnecesssary waste of money, that simply thwarted the bargain hungry traveller from being guaranteed a seat to anywhere in Europe for only 99P! Despite his much publicised declarations that two pilots was simply one too many, and cabin crew could do the F/O's job just as well, and anybody with the basic licence could sit in the seat and even pay to sit there. The truth is that the regulators could only find no absolute objection to the last two. Their only real concern was that the pilot in the left hand seat had experience to compensate.
Believers in this new religion flocked to part with their cash. The feeding frenzy to obtain this 250 hour CPL/IR spread from Florida to Puddlewick-on-the Marsh, as every flying school in Christendom (and beyond) became an "Academy" of airline qualification. As every airline then realized that the public now wanted to fly everywhere for 99P, it slowly dawned on them that wasn't really possible without employing the same or similar methodology as that young Irishman.
So they all realized they had to cut their wage bill. That was going to take time, and it had to start from the bottom up. Most of them weren't too happy to go down the anyone with a licence route, so they turned to the big 3 full time training schools to satisfy a ramped up ab-initio programme, that had always existed in one form or another. In reality even the Irishman was sourcing many of his new recruits via this route.
As this evolution of the new regime started to grow, fuelled by a plethora of plentiful, obtainable, unsecured and cheap money, we watched from the leafy branches in awe as the feeding frenzy took place in the pond beneath us. You think we were going to stick our hand in that melee? Then came the recession. Banks stopped lending (even to one another.) Airlines stopped recruiting. What recruitment did occur, was confined to one or two of the new reality airlines. Those airlines turned up the heat even more, by driving down their costs wherever the opportunity existed.
For the next few "ice age" years, recruitment outside of these limited markets was glacial. However the industrial realities hadn't gone away. This period was utilized by the major players (training schools and airlines) to put in place the necessary investment and expansion, to dominate the growth that they expected once the ice started to melt. To some extent that ice has started to melt, and guess what? Once the real thaw sets in, there are going to be some very upset people who failed to heed the reality that was already happening a decade previously.
So, whinge, bitch, recriminate all you like. For many years now, some of us have been shouting from these leafy perches. Only a few chose to listen. If it is any consolation at all, the new realities have now started to reach these upper branches. So perhaps it won't be the wonderful sunset we all envisiged when we were in our twenties. For those of you in your twenties, adapt to the new realities. This is an evolution. It may not be the evolution that any of us would have wanted, but it is one you are going to have to live with. The old days have gone.
2nd Mar 2012, 22:04
Completely agree with you that co-pilots are more important to service provision than interns (let alone that co-pilot is a more safety-sensitive job than any internship). And I also agree that after all a widespread use of inexperienced p2f pilots might not only pose a safety but also an economic risk. However, it won't show up in any quarterly financial report, as long as no plane goes down, so why only make some profit with a small number when you can make a bigger profit with a bigger number?
3rd Mar 2012, 16:43
why only make some profit with a small number when you can make a bigger profit with a bigger number?
Perhaps that's the next step... But, one way in which P2F may end is if those attracted cease to be attracted, because they see that there really is no hope of a decent job, let alone career. I think that this may be how it will end, if the economic situation continues to be unfavourable to growth.
One thing that is not helping this to come to pass is that all the wannabes who have become willneverbes (and hopelessly, terminally, broke) soon lose interest in dialogue (and anything that is even close to aviation) and retreat from debate...
A pool of experienced co-pilots is a healthy source of commanders, of course, and this is another reason not to fill every RHS with a P2F idiot (sorry for the terms I'm using - if they are offending anyone - but I don't want to stop using them, because they reflect how I and others feel, very strongly).
People will only pay to fly if they can be deceived into thinking there will be a job at the end of it; there needs to be a big pool of co-pilots to satisfy this aim.
Bealzebub, I'm not sure how far you can see from your perch, but perhaps you do know that new starters with airlines now arrive at their airlines with fewer than 150 hours logged (this is happening routinely on aircraft up to 757/A320 family types). MPL trainees never even go solo on the way to their ATPLs.
There has never been a more exciting time to be a base trainer!
3rd Mar 2012, 17:45
There has never been a more exciting time to be a base trainer!
Never a truer word spoken! Standards have dropped immensely; even within the larger 'reputable' schools. I have a genuine belief that people aren't trained to 'fly' aircraft anymore, they are programmed to pass flight tests. A necessary step on the way to achieving the overall objective of programming the FMS and engaging an autopilot at 400 feet.
A recent thread on the T&E section discussing Flexi-crew and Easyjet berated the overall standard of new line FOs. I think I remember reading that the company's part A has seen some major adaption, placing many restrictions on the type of parameters and conditions in which they may operate the aircraft.
The AAIB report on the then My Travel A320 G-DHJZ paints a sobering picture of the type of standard that exists. I can assure you that this isn't a remote incident or a simple case of the one that slipped through the net with a fist full of dollars. A European Colgan Air type accident is a real possibility :uhoh:
3rd Mar 2012, 18:18
MPL trainees never even go solo on the way to their ATPLs.
3rd Mar 2012, 18:31
Forgive me, they do not necessarily do so.
Wee Weasley Welshman
4th Mar 2012, 08:56
In years gone by far fewer people had access to the kind of credit now commonly available and houses were not so high a multiple of average earnings.
These two facts go a long way to explaining the rise of six figure training spends.
Of course when BoE base rates go back to 6% - and they absolutely will - then the both the housing equity and loan serviceability collapses and the model reverts closer to 'the good old days'.
Of course there will be no jobs at that point because the UK consumer/passenger is just a junkie addicted to cheap money. The withdrawal symptoms will be similarly unpleasant and many airlines will go bust. People totally forget that we are still in emergency measures with 1/2% base rates which has never been seen before.
4th Mar 2012, 10:25
You are not a member of the union, you are the union. Have you suggested that the union form a group to look into the problem. Have you volunteered to give up some of your time for nothing,
Good God, i tire of hearing that hackneyed, Utopian kack.
Yes *I* did address it with the recipient of my 'membership' funds, up to and including the highest level. Very interesting and persuasive and would be passed to the legal team was the 'smoke blown up my ass' response; Offered to donate my own time and expense in assisting with the challenges. More smoke blown up my ass and thanks for the offer.
Nothing, no further action or response was made, offers were rejected or ignored and the situation marches on regardless.
I cancelled my BALPA subscription.
WWW is, once again right. And BLAPA? Does what is good for BLAPA not for the good of those who pay for their existence.