29th Jul 2012, 12:19
What protection is there for security bonds paid to FTO s. Is there any risk to this money ?. Advice please
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29th Jul 2012, 12:19
What protection is there for security bonds paid to FTO s. Is there any risk to this money ?. Advice please
29th Jul 2012, 15:00
My daughter is looking at CTC and OAA. The warnings are never to pay in advance yet this seems to be the norm with these schools.
29th Jul 2012, 15:44
Great advice City Flyer. Do you know how stable FTE Jerez is in terms of finance and ownership capital?
29th Jul 2012, 16:21
I agree with city flyer's comments above.
I would also add that in the case of CTC (OAA may have similar arrangements) the bond monies are paid in monthly instalments. There is a payment prior to the commencement of the ground school and there is a further payment for the foundation course.
These payments are made in advance of the training received so to that degree there is always an element of "risk." However the payments whilst keeping the training organisation in credit, are in my opinion kept at a reasonable level and only at a short term period (month or two) in advance of the services provided.
There are also some elements of "bond protection" provided as a part of the course and the details of these can be found on the FTO's website.
29th Jul 2012, 17:02
Many thanks for your help. My daughter of 16 has already fallen victim to a failed school (lost £2000).She has picked herself up and should have her PPL soon however.I am worried about her choice of career as there is sooooo much negativity within the forum. A sign of the times or has it always been like this?.
29th Jul 2012, 17:03
I have sent you a pm - we did speak after your daughters issues with ppl.
It is easy to guarantee your money 100%. Pay as you go. There are organisations which offer this now.
With the recent number of 'established' and 'stable' schools who have went belly up I find it incredible that students are still happy to part with their hard earned cash.
You are the customer and you have a choice. If the only way to get on a course is to risk your money up front you need to ask why. There is no guarantees of jobs, or even passes for that matter!
29th Jul 2012, 17:26
There is no guarantees of jobs, or even passes for that matter!
That is very true. However the schools being mentioned have particularly good placement records with specific airlines. They are usually providing courses that are intended to lead to a "cadet placement" with an airline.
Whilst airlines usually recruit from a variety of sources, they also usually only do so at specific levels of experience. Obtaining that experience often proves to be the "catch 22" for many people. You only have to read these forums, and research generally to become aware of that point.
At the CPL/IR post graduate stage, a transistion to an airlines cadet programme is usually tied to a specific course of training and then with only a small number of training schools.
I am not sure how anybody "guarantees their money 100%" these days? I might be inclined to say leave it in the bank, but I am not sure that would be true either. There is always an element of risk, and of course you should sensibly do whatever is necessary to minimize that risk.
Your daughter and yourself should research carefully and look at all of the options. Importantly you should decide what it is you are looking to buy?
If it is CPL/IR training that leads to the likely issue of said licence, then their are many options and price points available to consider. If it is a course of training that leads to the best likelyhood of an airline cadetship, then your choices are significantly more limited, and the price points are more expensive.
As I say, it really depends what you want, and that needs very serious consideration. I would reiterate the point about "no guarantees" but I would also be very cautious of anybody gesturing their forefinger towards something they have to sell which might be priced attractively, when that particular product isn't really what you are interested in buying.
29th Jul 2012, 18:02
I generally agree with your comments.
However, dealing first hand with young guys who HAVE been sold a promise (in their eyes) to be left with huge debts is sometimes quite hard to stomach. Especially when it transpires that parents have remortgaged their home on the back of it all!
Seeing their buddies (who took the cheaper modular route) advancing as quickly or even sooner hits home hard when they are looking for another £xx,xxx.xx to fund a type rating when their 'dream' requires a different direction.
I appreciate that for every broken dream I hear about there are several successes....but a promise is a promise!
I think there are too many organisations happy to 'over promote' their links with specific airlines. The issue is simply what the candidate should expect; and the honest reality is that nothing can be certain.
For the difference in cost I would be looking for some guarantee! Maybe being Scottish my expectations are too high!
29th Jul 2012, 18:24
I am worried about her choice of career as there is sooooo much negativity within the forum. A sign of the times or has it always been like this?
Sorry, I re-read the post and realised that I hadn't answered the entire question.
Well, in many respects you are right to be concerned. For a great many young (and not so young) people this is an attractive career. That attraction isn't always justified, and certainly is fraught with risk, disappointment and heartache. It is difficult not to be negative when the costs are so high and the attrition rate is also so high. Obviously, the prospect of being an "airline pilot" is attractive on so many levels to people looking towards future careers.
The realities of course are often much more mundane. In providing honest answers to such a huge wave of prospective hopefulls it is very difficult to temper positivity and enthusiasm with what must nevertheless be truthful answers. That truth is often perceived (rightly) as "negativity" but it is nevertheless essential.
I think it has always been this way. However I think as times have changed, so have peoples expectations. In many ways it is a good thing that youngsters have a wider range of expectations and opportunities. On the flip side of that statement I am also dismayed at what I call the "X-Factor generation" of people who seem to feel entitled no matter how unrealistic their expection, or how unwilling they are to achieve the ethos necessary to succeed.
Any answer or opinion I give on these forums is done so in the expectation that in 90% of those who might read it, it is futile and pointless. However I am content that in the remaining 10% who accept or reject it, it serves some useful purpose, even if as a catalyst for argument or objection.
There are enough people reading these forums, who are serious and motivated, and looking for honest comment and opinion. I am sure you and your daughter are two of them. Like yourself I am a father, with children looking to a future in commercial aviation. I work with a lot of young people who have come into airline flying through these routes. I have worked in this sector of the industry for quite a long time now. I certainly don't have all of the answers, and even more certainly don't have all of the answers that people always want to hear. However I do like to encourage people to find a route to the goals they have. That route may (and often is) a compromise based on their own situation (financial and otherwise.)
There are a lot of success stories, and those are usually founded on a strong ethos of the all attributes that would be found in most other walks of life. A succesful and rewarding career in aviation is prefectly achievable and worthwhile for a great many people. Internet forums do nothing to filter out the numbers that might fall into that category, and it follows that much of what you are likely to read reflects that fact.
Nevertheless this is a good as place as any to do some research, and research you really must.
29th Jul 2012, 19:15
The only way to be certain of security is 'pay as you go'.
If banks have loaned students the money to progress with schools have have went bust (with all of their insight) what chance does the average punter have to be assured their investment is safe?
I think there will be a shift to all schools offering pay as you go, soon.
29th Jul 2012, 19:17
Flystrathclyde, and other kind contributors
Again thanks for your advice.She is as you know now with Leading Edge Cumbernauld, but due to the dismal weather has not flown in some months. It is fortunate that my daughter has a plan to go to Uni first (aeronautical engineering ) before diving into CPL training. Perhaps the anticipated revival within the industry will have materialised by the time she has finished her degree !!. We are looking at PERTH structured modular scheme also PAYG.
29th Jul 2012, 19:26
Neither OAA nor CTC have presented any financial concerns nor caused students any issues.
Not entirely true - I was hearing of financial problems for CTC before the buyout.
The trouble with non aviation companies (i.e not CAE) is that if the business isn't profitable they're also quicker to wind it down.
That post just came off in favour of Oxford - which it wasn't meant to - it was just the rumours I have heard (After all it is a rumour forum ;) )
Genghis the Engineer
29th Jul 2012, 19:45
I'm sure you've noticed that even in Scotland, university graduates end up with substantial debts. Whilst Aero-Eng is a good, solid, employable degree - it's also aimed at working in a particular fields and the crossover to flying is not substantial.
Doing one then the other is a hellishly expensive occupation, and if the flying goes wrong then the gap, potentially of several years, between finishing education and looking for a graduate job is, whilst not terminal, not particularly enhancing to the career start either.
Another factor worth thinking on is that a professional pilot's career ends (medical permitting) generally at 65 at the moment, and in all likelihood that will drift up towards 70 in the next few decades. In other words, somebody in their late teens or early 20s really has no need to hurry.
In my opinion, then there are two sensible options for somebody like your daughter:
(1) If they are far more serious about the flying than the engineering, duck out of the degree and get on with the flying training [albeit that the modular/PAYG routes are much cheaper to achieve the same licences than the integrated routes]. If having a degree generally seems a good idea (although it really is not important to a pilot working in the UK or Europe), then there are cheaper part time routes that can be pursued
(2) Finish the degree, probably look to do a PPL earlier rather than later, get a job as an aeronautical engineer, then look to doing the ATPL writtens then CPL flying self funded and paying for it as she goes along.
Both of these seem to me more rational than running up big debts for a degree, then bigger debts doing an integrated course. The decision as to which however is the best route sits with your daughter depending upon her strongest motivation. If it's really strongly for the flying, it's (1), if it's equally for the flying and engineering then it's (2).
Either way, there's a 40+ year career after in the chosen direction, so really no need to hurry.
[Qualified both as a flying instructor, and as a university lecturer in aeronautical engineering, so I hope that I know something about this.]
29th Jul 2012, 19:49
I also generally agree with your comments, however I think we are dancing around some fundamental truths here, which need to be addressed.
I have yet to read a contract that contains any "guarantees" of future success or airline employment. Obviously this is because it cannot conceivably be within the gift of any FTO to make such promises. As your comment in brackets rightly makes clear "in their eyes" is because those "promises" are simply not there for anybody else to read.
I would find myself in broadly general agreement if the question being asked on these forums so often was, "how do I obtain a licence that lets me progress to becoming a flying instructor, or a commercial general aviation pilot?" However it isn't. It is usually "how do I become an airline pilot with 250 hours and a CPL/IR?"
15 years ago you didn't need to hold a commercial licence (usually) to be a remunerated flying instructor in the UK. You obtained the low number of qualifying hours with your PPL and subsequent course, and then having obtained a position, used the job to build up the hours needed to progress up the ladder to a CPL/IR at 700+ hours. Even then, airlines were rarely scouring the length and breadth of the land looking for such people. It was often a slow progression through air taxi, general aviation, further instructing, and third/second level airline jobs towards the prime real estate.
In the USA and most of the rest of the world, it was different. The CPL equivalent was an "aerial work licence" aquired with a low (250) number of hours, which was required for all forms of basic aerial work and flight instruction. Airline flying opportunities usually required an ATPL equivalent (ATR) the clue being in the name I suppose. It also required a similar number of hours as in the Uk. To that latter end there was a broad convergence of expectation and opportunity.
Around a decade and a half ago, the advent of European "harmonisation" and particularly the JAA, meant the Uk was brought into line with regards to the licencing requirements in most of the other ICAO signatory nations. The obvious major change (as it relates to this discussion) being that remunerated flight instruction was no longer possible on a PPL. The hour requirements for a CPL were signifiicantly reduced (for non-approved courses) from 700+ hours to only 250 hours. In both essence and fact, the CPL became the new "aerial work" licence.
Unfortunetaly (or not depending on your point of view,) this all happened around the same time as a a credit fuelled economic apogee, and significantly the growth of new lo-cost airline carriers in that same market. It is hard to forget the more flamboyent (and still so today) CEO's boasting to the media how they didn't need two pilots, and the travelling public was being forced into yet more unnecessary cost as a result. Unscrew that right hand cockpit seat and throw it in the skip! They were told, no they couldn't do that. Next, the stewardess can sit there when necessary, so we still don't need the co-pilot. wrong again! Then came, we can sell the seat to anybody prepared to sit there provided they have the most basic of licence and experience. Well, the response they got was, yes in theory you can. They did a bit of that, and so the idea was born that this was the new super cheap, career lite equal opportunity playing field.
In reality this wasn't an idea that spread. However many aspects of what it embodied where picked up throughout the industry. Many of these aspects (most significantly the cost savings) have helped evolve the reality of the employment market as it has progressed over that decade and a half, and how it stands today.
Most airlines in the marketplace today that recruit at this level (200 hours,) do so from affiliated and recognised FTO's providing an integrated course of training towards such placements. Rarely (if ever) do they employ at this level outside of such programmes.
For other recruitment it has become a very constricted market. Experienced pilots (however you want to define experience, but I would throw out a figure of 2000 hours+ including at least 500 hours of turbine time,) find it hard to progess or move across companies, in part because of the "cadet programmes." Were it not for some of the strong demand in specific Asian and middle eastern markets, that constriction would be even more pronounced.
These changes (evolution) have fuelled a lot of very unrealistic expectations. They are expectations that have kept a lot of FTO's afloat through very difficult economic times. A lot of marketing should come with more than a pinch of salt and some very serious heath warnings. This is why I advise people to research very carefully and as fully as they can. What they think they may be buying into, very often isn't.
The question, can I become an airline pilot with a CPL/IR and 200 hours? is truthfully answered by saying....... Yes, but the opportunities to do so are usually very restricted and very expensive. The same answer held true 30 years ago, and then it was just as possible.
These days, it is in a lot of peoples interests to muddy the waters so that people can convince themselves (with significant encouragement) that all you need is 250 hours and a CPL/IR and the airline world is your oyster. It never was and it isn't today.
Be realistic in your goals, Research the market properly and honestly. Know what you are buying. Know that there are simply never any guarantees.
29th Jul 2012, 20:54
Great advice and again thank you. She does have plenty of time at 16 and will have her PPL by November this year all going well.
29th Jul 2012, 23:02
Bealzebub - your post should be a sticky!
20th Dec 2012, 12:15
No cadet programme - no future. :=