15th Jul 2012, 14:45
I'm considering taking my 12 year option and am keen to hear from anyone who has recently gone from military Rotary to civil Fixed Wing employment. Amongst the lifestyle choice and a few other things, I'm considering it based on the likely rise in training costs come the September licence acreditation release. If the RW ATPL is going to require similar funds as a FW ATPL, making the change could becomes more of an option.
Anyone who wouldn't mind offering some general advice/insights into the practicalities I would welcome any PM's.
Robert G Mugabe
16th Jul 2012, 08:18
Firstly I am not a new leaver.
I did however go from military rotary to civil fixed wing.
My general advice is do not take your 12 year option. Stay in the military if you can to accrue a pension,maintain a salary and keep some self respect. There are very few fixed wing jobs for ex military people as teenage wannabes are prepared to pay up to £100,000 for contract jobs.
If you have had enough of the military and really have to leave retrain in something else and take up gliding.
16th Jul 2012, 14:16
I did it, but about 7 years ago. However, I left after 16+ years with a pension (which is a useful safety net and helps with the mortgage) and a lump sum (which helps cover the costs, which are not be be underestimated!).
However, I think I would have struggled to find a job in the UK in the present industry. Most airlines that are recruiting are only doing so from the cadet schemes of the major flying schools, and onto temporary/self-employed contractor/slave-like terms of employment, with poor job security and lots of mobility. In the near future, the new MPL course graduates will come on line, and several airlines have already undertaken to take these guys on.
I suspect that any other recruitment may be driven by a need to balance the inexperience that this system creates - and to an airline that means inexperience on type/class of aircraft/type of operation. There are plently of type-rated people out there looking for jobs, either because they have been made redundant by the likes of BMIbaby or Thomas Cook, or because they are looking for permanent jobs to get out of easyjet Flexicrew or Ryanair/Brookfield contracts etc. The only bright patch may be Jet2 - I believe they were still recruiting ex-mil guys through their Self-sponsored Type Rating scheme, but I don't know what the current state of play is.
If you feel adventurous, there may be jobs available elsewhere in the world. I'm told there are lots of jobs available in Asia, but most of the ex-pat contracts require minimum hours on type. Stelios has announced he is setting up Fastair in Africa to do easyjet style low cost ops using A319s - perhaps there will be jobs going there.
Of course, that's the situation now - it may be completely different in 2 year's time. But I would be surprised if new entrants to the industry saw their lifestyles improving.
So, it is possible to go from Mil RW to civilian FW. But the licensing path is not the hard bit - finding a job at the end is! BALPA used to run an Employment Conference every year. I think it is now run by FLYER magazine, but it may be worth going along to guage how things are. (If you need it, associate membership of BALPA is available pretty cheaply while you are serving (unlike full BALPA membership!))
Consider carefully. Good luck.