View Full Version : Odds against pilots
20th May 2012, 22:45
First of all sorry if this in the wrong section but by looking at the others this section seems most appropriate.
Secondly I am VERY new to aviation with only 2 hours logged towards my ppl but you have all been where I am now so although I have little knowledge I feel it's the right time to be asking questions!
I have been looking around the forum, Talking to other pilots and instructors and from what I can gather the odds are stacked HEAVILY against new pilots, I was always led to believe pilots earn tons of money and it's for employers highly desirable.
This just doesn't seem to be the case, From the little I know it seems to become commercial a potential pilot would need to spend there own/parents/grandparents (and everyone else in the family's) money to get there, Also it's not cheap, When you do manage to get there and get your commercial (Sorry I dont know the acronym) you need to pay a load more of your own money to learn to fly THEIR planes, Only to be rewarded with a salary matching that of a manager of a clothes store (Newly trained FO £21K give or take?)
All that and thats if your lucky enough to be able to fund the training and get a job in what would appear to be a jobs market that doesn't favour anyone!
Thats my evaluation of it and it seems like these people dont actually want pilots as all the odds in this career are very much against you,
Luckily for me I am doing my ppl because I enjoy it and although I would like to go commercial it wouldn't be for the money it would be because I enjoy flying (Which I do) but if I couldn't get a job it wouldn't matter too much as myself and my partner own a relatively succesfull company, Even with that in mind though I cant afford commercial training, At least not unless it was spread out (Modular?)
Anyway thanks for reading and any clarification or disagreements welcome :ok:
20th May 2012, 22:56
The problem you state is about earning little money as commercial pilot. That's not the case. The case is that you'll have 0.001% chance of even landing a job. You'll most likely end up being unemployed, hopelessly unemployed with a huge ammount of debt.
Of course, miracles happen, and there's a slight chance of getting a good job with good pay.
But seriously, is the risk worth the potential gain?
20th May 2012, 23:11
You are right, it is not the job it used to be....then again everything is supply and demand. I think it is a wonderful career, albeit hard to break into. Unfortunately many people will almost fly for free to get experience, which I cant blame them, but the airlines look at it like that is how it should be.
It is a great job! There are a few jobs that pay good, but they are fewer and farther between.
20th May 2012, 23:32
Like everything in life, it requires luck and who you know unfortunately :(
However, with the airline industry hopefully improving in the next few years, airlines will be hiring more widely again! Fingers crossed.
20th May 2012, 23:42
I think you're only partially right. The odds are also stacked against the experienced FO. These guys might have loss their jobs through airline collapse so they need to apply around for jobs only to find captains are wanted. Bugger. Another airline will offer for FOs, great he thinks, then he realises that this airline wants a young guy out of training who will work for nothing and pay for type rating and base training.
The likes of Ryanair and easJet are perfect examples of this. However companies like Monarch do take on both experienced FOs and new ones.
Whether it's fair to say new pilots have it harder than experienced FOs, I don't think it's true but not false either. It's hard.
But we must all remember that the economy is rubbish (we're even in another recession I think?? the UK that is), this must be expected.
My view is, baring in mind I'm not a pilot, that once everything is fully recovered and new airlines open up and exisitng ones expand they will be taking experienced pilots, there will be opportunities for new pilots out of flight school. You'll then see a reduction in the number of people who take Ryanair as their first and best option, and maybe a reduction in p2f. It's supply and demand IMO.
One thing that will change forever IMO is brand new FOs salaries. I think they are going to stick below 30k for ever now. But I do believe this is justified as a brand new FO you could be a death trap and you have to be watched very very closely initially.
A lot of people are extremely pessimistic about it all. They may have experienced things that give them the full right to think that. And whilst I agree people do struggle, I always wonder how much effort people really did to get a job. How well are they presented? Do they have the right personality? I know more people to get a job flying commercially then those that haven't within 12 months of finishing training. And this is from a modular school.
I really don't think it's as bad as people make out on here. As I said, we have a shit economy and becoming a pilot has always been hard. Now add on to the fact some countries have 25% unemployment. I think some people forget how bad a recession is then complain there are no jobs - no sh*t! Ok fine there are some jobs about, but you see my point.
Just make sure you know what you're getting into. It'll be a struggle at first, but guess what? So is acting, singing, becoming a footballer. They are very hard to get into, but when you get into it and you become good and experienced at what you do things pay off.
Be prepared to work as a baggage handler. My advice is don't finish training then go and work in fashion whilst waiting for your job. You have to surround yourself with aviation.
You seem to have the right expectations about this career, so now ask yourself is this really really something you want to do deep down? Or is it something you like the thought of and really want it just like how I really want a brand new car.
21st May 2012, 06:44
Roope, 0.001% you are talking out of your arse! Its a shocker to find scare monger tactics going on in this forum. :=
People who want to achieve will, those who sit at home with a crap cv and moan on here because no one has offered them a job yet won't. Simples. In this industry you need to be pro-active. I know a few people both, experienced and newly qualified frozen ATPL who have all landed decent jobs with decent airlines, all within the last year or so.
At the end of the day, its you decision. If you want it bad enough, you'll go for it.
The thing is, nothing in life is guaranteed. If you don't try, you will never know.
21st May 2012, 08:16
@<hidden> 0.0001% sounds more like a frustration then reality! i did my flight training with 18 people, finished in 2009. Now ALL of them have jobs
It's hard but not impossible. Besides you also did the assessment with RYR and you said it was very easy so pretty sure you have the job now to
21st May 2012, 08:53
Thanks for all the replies, As expected opinions are varied and thats obviously due to personal experience so I think you are probably all right in different circumstances,
To the guy that wrote about theres a lot of work in any career like acting, football etc thats fair enough but to become a footballer my parents dont need to remortgage their house! Infact 99% of other careers pay YOU to train and then offer a fairly decent salary after that, It just seems this industry is a bit backward and theres obviously many reasons but the airlines have certainly got it the way they want it!
It would appear pilots no longer seem to hold a high level of respect from employers and they manage to get away for paying peanuts for pilots (Not monkeys)!
23rd May 2012, 13:42
I totally agree, if you work hard at it, keep your sight on the goal and be positive about putting yourself out there to get a job then I believe you will be rewarded.
I started training a couple of years ago and now have a PPL, IMC, 14 ATPL's and my CPL. Just ready to start the IR. I've done it all while still working so everything up to date is paid for in full and I don't have a penny of debt. It has taken a lot of hard work, focus and management on my part but I've never once thought negatively.
Keep your head up and and believe in yourself.
25th May 2012, 20:14
Ricky, Im in exactly the same boat, however I've nearly completed the IR. Ive done it all modular whilst holding a full time job. Because I'm dedicated to achieving my goal and not living off "other peoples" money, I'm happy to say I've completed everything, first time with high pass rates. These people who are handed everything, who skirt through their training, and don't care if they pass first time or what % they get, are probably most of the people on here moaning that their parents money hasn't bought them straight into an airline. WHEN i land a flying job, i will always know i did it by myself for myself, now thats an achievement.
Ricky I've PM'd you.
25th May 2012, 20:29
Andy_20, totally agree mate!
These forums are full of too many mummy's boys spending everyone else's hard earned money on their own dreams and putting everyone at risk. I work full time while doing my flight training, I work extra overtime every week trying to save money so I can get up in the air.
I know it's going to take a little bit longer than usual to get to where I want to be but I also know at the end of it I'm not going to be as desperate and riddled with debt like most of the people on these forums.
The industry is hard, but so is every other industry. Go to your local supermarkets and see the amount of graduates and qualified professionals working rubbish jobs waiting for the right opportunity to appear.
You work hard, get good marks, limit your risks and you'll get a job no problem. Several of my friends are working with some top regional and European airlines getting good money allowing them to live a pretty good lifestyle.
26th May 2012, 00:35
you have two hours?
give up now...learn something else and earn a good living, instead of playing golf, take a flying lesson now and again.
it is expensive, might not work out well...you could get an illness or injury which could stop you from flying.
30 years ago I was offered a job with apple computer...if i had taken it I would be rich...but I'm just a pilot now. EVERY ONE OF MY PILOT FRIENDS (major US carrier) resents the way the profession has gone, and hate going to work.
26th May 2012, 21:47
Aviation is not just a job, it's a status. For this reason, after WWII it has become something available only to "sons/friends of somebody". Luck and miracles might not actually exist in aviation, everything is preset. But if one doesn't know anybody and has to do it all by himself, with his own money, the good side of it is that he spends a lot but all in one shot... other jobs make you spend the same money in a 10-30 years range. :} So keep doing it.
27th May 2012, 19:59
Andy talks a lot of sense.
I have been flying for quite a while now, and have come across plenty of up and coming pilots.
As Andy has already stated, those people who are focussed motivated and pro active will achieve their goals, those people who dont have the drive, sit on their ass and think the world owes them a living will fail. That is just life and it doesnt just apply to the world of aviation.
In my opinion, flying as a professional pilot is a great job.
Enjoy your flying.
28th May 2012, 13:48
EVERY ONE OF MY PILOT FRIENDS (major US carrier) resents the way the profession has gone, and hate going to work
Pretty sad,eventhough I am working as an expat,ie very far from home,I still looooove going to work.
30th May 2012, 14:34
I think you have to see past some of the negativity on this forum - remembering that the economy is on its knees, and things will improve in the future (although there is no end to the gloom currently in sight, what with the developments in Greece).
Modular is the way forward for me. I've revalidated my PPL after a long break and I'm now hour building and starting the ATPL exams through distance learning. I've wanted to fly since I can remember and have only just now, in my late twenties, established myself in a (non-aviation) career where I'm lucky enough to be able to afford the training and a decent lifestyle (ironically a better lifestyle than I could probably afford if I reach my end goal!). Integrated training is therefore a complete non-starter for me and I suspect a lot of other people due to the loss of earnings.
My approach is to follow my nose through the training, build up contacts whereever possible, taking it a step at a time. I'll hopefully get the CPL done next year and then take it from there depending on the state of the market. You only live once and I don't want to leave it until it really is too late, without at least knowing I gave it a shot.
30th May 2012, 14:58
Taxistaxing speaks a lot of sense, as have a couple of others on here.
In my opinion if you can't get on to the BA FPP, or can't get the loan even if you do get on to one of the easyJet/Monarch/Flybe MPL's, then modular is definitely the way forward.
It WILL take you longer than integrated, and you will be slightly disadvantaged when looking for a job as the major players that hold all the cards with contracts (CTC, Oxford) will prioritise their cadets over modular learners.
However, you WILL have a far smaller loan than the £90k+ from going integrated (maybe even no loan at all) as a reuslt of it being cheaper to go modular, and you can 'pay as you go', and should still have a good job as a back up whilst you are waiting for that opportunity to arise, so need not panic if it takes 12 months before one opens.
30th May 2012, 21:21
modular or integrated , same crap ., you will probably not get a job. with 200h hour, it' s so low, that you can not consider yourself a pilot, then you must buy a type rating, then line training, it will never end.
spending all your cash just for the hope to fly an airbus for a few months.get a life instead.have you talked to your gf?
Europe will die eventually and you want spend in this training with 0 futur?
are you mad?
31st May 2012, 08:05
a320renewal, "hours so low you cannot consider yourself a pilot"? doom mongering at its finest. Think you need to brush your teeth as theres so much crap is coming out of your mouth. :ugh: idiot
Europe will die? wont ever happen. "Probably wont get a job", well you definitely wont get a job unless you try will you!
Tiger, seriously if you want it bad enough (like me) you'll work out a way and go for it. Please please, do not listen to around 99% of the BS that is spoken on this forum. It's brilliant in some areas but you find people who just want to put the industry down and talk people out of trying. Granted, at the moment the industry isnt looking fantastic, but we're in a double dip recession. The industry works in peaks and troughs so it will improve in time.
The only thing here that is guaranteed, if you dont try you definitely wont get a job.
31st May 2012, 13:41
Well said Andy.
There is a lot to be said for doing things for yourself instead of coming out of school and expecting your parents to pay your way through training.
Like yourself i went through Bristol GS and got really good first time pass rate, unlike a story a flight examiner told me a few weeks ago of a young guy who started at Oxford (paid for by parents) and was shocked to find that he actually had homework to do after a day in class!!! And that's the type of student that the best in the business is turning out!!!! :-0
Can you really expect a guy like this putting in the hard work to get a job after training???? Watch out McDonalds here he comes!!!
31st May 2012, 14:18
I have no problems with people going through the integrated route. If we're all honest, we'd all love to be in a situation where we could go through the integrated route in some form or another. Lucky them really.
However, i totally agree that SOME of them expect everything to handed to them on a plate. I was shocked when i saw integrated people coming out of the ATPL exams laughing that they knew they may only scrape through. Their loss in the end, having spent alot of other peoples money and not even trying to achieve the highest possible standards in training. I am in no way saying this is the norm for everyone whos gone through the integrated route.
Anyway back to the orginal thread. I'd say go for it... its only money at the end of the day! lifes too short to not taek chances :ok:
4th Jun 2012, 13:28
It's very rare that I surface on here, just been trying to keep my head down and my mouth shut for the best part of 18 months. Thinking if I did then maybe my luck may change and land a RHS job but what a load of nonesnce.
Integrated or modular doesn't matter. I never had the money so saved and went modular some have it or take loans and go intergrated. This industry really is who you know and that's that. I used to be really positive and think fair jobs for all but that's not the case. I've seen many people who are preselected before a job spec is written and that's fact.
We have ruined our own industry. You want a job then go brown nose the right people because sending your CV isn't going to do you any good. Those people on here that know me know I've tried everything and still am but the way things are playing out infront of my eyes disgusts me.
4th Jun 2012, 13:45
Kash. You really have just answered your own question. Go and get a job at a flying club/operator doing anything. In a dispatch office, cleaning a/c, refuelling, working a club bar, whatever.
It is here where you meet people, contacts. It does work. It worked for me and many others.
Best of luck.
4th Jun 2012, 15:19
I work ops, I do agree here is a great place to meet and make contacts which is a great benefit along with others of this site.
4th Jun 2012, 17:38
I seem to recall answering some of your threads a couple of years ago, and as best as I could, telling you the way the world was. It hasn't changed much.
18 months ago.....Well 20 to be exact, I followed a group of 25 "wannabes" through a course of approved training at an integrated flying school. I was interested (because of my own experience) how this group would actually progress. At that time the market was looking pretty bleak, and even for graduates of this and similar programmes, the prospect was of "holding pools" for indeterminate amounts of time. Nevertheless, this is where it seemed that any growth was likely to occur.
Over that time interval, one dropped out of training. Two completed and moved to the far East into a well known cadet programme. The rest all joined two UK airlines and have now either completed or are about to complete their line training. For most of them the prospect of full time contracts being offered (subject to ongoing satisfactory performance) is looking very good indeed.
That is a snapshot. Outside of these cadet programmes, it is very difficult indeed to find any form of airline placement. Most airlines are simply not interested at recruiting at this level. Those that do, tend to subcontract the selection process to other organisations, and make application a commercial process.
I have said it on other threads, but will say it again. It is a very steep hill to climb into the right hand seat of an airliner, with low experience. For the majority of people it is too steep. Beyond airline cadet programmes (and their integrated training) the "stepping stone" progression through the various aspects of aerial work and entry level jobs is still an option. It is often a long and frustrating option, but it is there. The obvious problem with this method, is that more airlines are utilising cadet programmes as a greater proportion of their right seat recruitment. The remainder is therefore being competitively fought for, by very experienced and often type rated pilots.
I don't know whether you have looked at instructing, or refreshed your search for entry level jobs (sending CV's simply isn't good enough). However there are no more guarantees now than there were 18 months ago. Moaning about the world or the way things are, is pointless.
People are getting jobs, but it is as hard as it ever was. For those who think they can slide into the right hand seat of a 737 or A320 with 200 hours, they had better understand how that happens before they start writing cheques.
A lot of people simply don't want to believe what you tell them, if it doesn't mesh with their idea of the way they think the world should be.
Good luck, and I hope your wife has finally forgiven you! ;)
4th Jun 2012, 20:35
Your right moaning about how the world works isn't going to change my situation. And just sending CV's out are not going to help much. That's why I headed down to Africa and tried my luck. Currently sitting in an ops room for the past 18 or so months hasn't helped either. I remember someone I spoke to before taking this job who advised to be careful as you could become too good in ops and that's what I feel I have done to myself. The company now don't see me as a potential pilot I think instead just a guy who is okay at ops.
I'm renewing my MEIR again this week and have not looked for any flying jobs for a while thinking id get in with the company I am working for. I'm back to square 1 again I suppose. I think that's what's made me a bit bitter to be honest but I have to suck it up and get on with it I suppose.
4th Jun 2012, 23:53
I am trying to think where I was at your age. 29. Just on the cusp I think between starting flying and getting paid versus cleaning aircraft for pocketmoney!
Everyone thinks things are so much different and so much harder these days? I think not. It was never easy and a lot of work and time and money had to be thrown at this at any time.
You are now in the right place. I was a very good hangar rat. That did'nt mean I had to stay a hangar rat for ever and I didn't. Right now times are hard but hang in there, GENTLY make your mark and you'll be surprised what can happen!
5th Jun 2012, 17:41
Here's the deal. Paying cash for a licence which enables you to carry out atrade for which ther is limited demand is a gamble. As with all gambling, the common sense rule is to never bet more than you can afford to lose.
If you get that, you need never be disappointed about not getting the job.