Professional Pilot Training (includes ground studies)A forum for those on the steep path to that coveted professional licence. Whether studying for the written exams, training for the flight tests or building experience here's where you can hang out.
My daughter is 20 and is considering training to become a Professional Pilot. I'm unsure as to which route it would be best to advise her to take, with regard to achieving the aforementioned.
I don't feel she has the necessary qualifications for direct entry into UK airlines, with only two A Levels. Equally she isn't exactly thrilled with the idea of taking the 'self-improver route' and probably 5 years minimum needed to achieve the hours required.
This leaves me with either a UK organisation such as Atlantic or Oxford...but I'm absolutely not thrilled with the idea of forking out 60k circa.
The current dollar exchange rate makes for a tempting booking on a commercial course with someone such as: American Flight Safety in Florida, but I'm unsure as to the on-going benefits in her achieving a FAA CPL/IR/ME for use here in Europe. I'm told that limitations in the use of N registered planes are currently being considered, with knock-on effects to licensed aircrews.
In order to help the decision along, I've tried to focus upon a likely employer and their potential requirements from a newly qualified CPL/IR. I very much feel the Biz Jet market place is very much on the up, especially with the anticipated takeup of the VLJ product. I'm therefore leaning towards the American route, in the hope that there will be a significant increase in the amount of N Reg planes flying from Europe.
My question is: Am I right to encourage her down this route....or am I whistling in the wind?
I know many people who are working in the UK on FAA licences only, they all fly business jets rather than the airlines. Another thing they all have in common is experience, they have all done a year or so of instructing or air taxi, prior to getting the jet jobs.
The best bet is, if she isnt wanting to go to the airlines with minimum hours is to convert the FAA licences to JAA on return to the UK and apply to an airline like RyanAir, yes you'll have to pay for the type rating, but it gets you on the ladder.
Anything is possible, but its very hard to get the job on minimum hours, there are already a lot of people trying to do the same.
Try to talk her into doing a little instructing to gain some experience first. There are a few schools in the States that will allow you to instruct for a year after completing the course, this should mean that you could gain <1500 hours on return to the UK.
The following is my personal opinion, take it with a grain of salt.
If your daughter has any legal right to live and work in the United States, then I say go for the FAA certs. After she finishes training she can elect to either get the experience or hop right into the airline business in the regional disguise as they are in dire need of warm bodies to fill their cockpits.
Upgrade time on the regional side is pretty quick these days which gets you the experience needed but also put you at the same level of experience with alot of other people. Though most of these pps aren't going to ever leave the US, which gives your daughter a key advantage.
Reverting back to the notion your daughter probably has EU right of work and no US ones, I suggest carefully considering getting the JAA or looking into getting FAA and converting to JAA. Though from info I gathered in the recent past, the total figures come out to about the same.
Please note that there is some kind of provision in the JAA that allows you to get a JAA ATPL quicker if you have an FAA ATP and a certain number of hours or maybe type rating - i'm not so sure - but it's a lead, try to follow it see where it leads you up as I haven't.
Flying N registered airplanes in the UK or in any other part of Europe for that matter is like finding a true US McDonalds french fries on a sidewalk in Britain in my eyes. Chances are slim and grim, and mostly these postions while not occupied will require a great amount of hours - ones that i'm not sure some Cessna or Twin recip engine instruction will help her in landing that job. Been through that game myself here. It ain't as easy as people are claiming it to be.
In anycase, don't let your daughter give up on her dream - make it happen. It really becomes a job at the end of the day, but I can tell you it's a far better job than anybody that sits next to you on the tube on your way back home. True it wasn't what it used to be, but so goes for the world and the people in it.
Good luck to her and to yourself while supporting her - it's gonna be an interesting road!
I was faced with a similar predicament myself and chose to go modular, get my FAA licences and convert to JAA. The result very much depends on what spin you want to put on it.
Here are the facts:
- Did all my CPL and IR training on multis.
- Have FAA Multiengine CPL & IR but no green card.
- Have JAA ME CPL & IR and no job But then only recently qualified.
- Overall, the route I took cost 10% more than doing straight JAA ME CPL and IR courses in UK, but gave me 60% more hours (265% more aircraft hours), and came to an average per hour of less than 70% of UK courses.
Would I do it again? Modular, definitely; FAA, no I'd train where I was going to test. Hope that helps
I just got back in April after 18 months in Florida where I gained my FAA ratings up to my multi commercial.
I have always wanted to fly and when myself and my dad decided that it was possible for me to train we were advised that the FAA was the best way. We flew over to Florida and looked at a number of schools around Daytona and Orlando and of course the people at the schools reinforced that the FAA way was the best, telling of cheaper fuel, 360 flying days a year (which even there is not true), the speed in which students finish the course and thus enabling them to become instructors logging hundreds of hours. When we came back a quick look at the prices of the UK schools which at the time I was no where near being able to afford and the fact that it was raining (not much has changed!!!) I got my visa and in september 2005 I was on my way to Daytona.
The reason that I came back to England was basically I was adviced to by people working in the Uk aviation business, saying why was i flying in America if i want to fly in Europe!? I was going to stay out longer and instruct like my friends have but after finishing my last few flights for my commercial and logging the 100 hours P1 I needed I moved back and started a full time class room ATPL. Since moving back and pretty much coming to the end of my ATPL's I have had quite a few negative comments about the FAA way and how bad the training was which I think is a bit harsh.
I actually think that there is a lot to be said about the FAA system works having experienced it. They do more flying and less theory, in 18 months I logged over 350 hrs, 100 of which are multi. I was flying in and out of one of America's top 25 busiest airports (movement wise) so I am use to busy airspace. The airspace is all controlled so you can fly VFR IFR 24 hours a day, I logged 50 hours night which is a lot more than the people i know training here and of course its a lot cheaper living and flying out there, I only paid one landing fee, that was at Miami where I took my seneca on the way back from Key West it had to be done and what a feeling that was.
Did it save me any money, after ATPL's and converting NO, infact I will have probably spent a similar amount of money as if I had gone to Oxford, my friend went to Oxford and 18 months after he started he was employed to fly a 737 for a charter airline, he loves it and is on good money. Did it prepare me for my Theory here?? NO!! but then I do sometimes feel like I am being taught how to build the plane rather than fly it. Would I do it do it all over again?? yeah I think so, I have some great memories, I have done things that I would never have dreamed of, made some great friends (mostly Europeans) and I lived the life of an American for nearly 2 years, more than what a lot of people I went to school with. But would I recommend it?? sadly NO I dont think I would. Although America is pretty geared up for flying if your daughter wants to fly in Europe then I would suggest training here, you have to give yourself the best opportunity's of getting a job, I am not aware of any one who walked in to a job after doing there training in America, I am sure there are!! If she wants to stay in America, well I have some friends who have managed extending there stay, wether they stay for ever I don't know, to me its just putting off the ATPL's and the bad weather.
If you both do decide that it is the right thing to train there then make sure you do your home work on the school, some one once pointed out that there were no American's at my school, that was because they had all got fed up with the ever increasing prices and the management so they bogged off, unfortunatly, I had a visa which pretty much limited to the place's that i could train to the one!! Also look at JAA schools in America, I beleive that Oxford and another UK school sends its students to do most of the flying in America, that proves that the America can't be that bad!!!
I am sorry , I have typed more than I thought but I hope that this helps, If you have any more questions don't hesitate to ask, its a big decision and one that you need to get correct!!
Hi there - I would strongly advise doing JAA - if she returns to the UK with an FAA licence and 300 hours I think it is highly unlikey she will be able to find any work. N registered aircraft in the UK rely on a legal provision that allows US owned entities (companies or trusts I understand) to base N registered aircraft in the UK. As such, they are mainly bizjets. It doesn't mean that all bizjets are on the FAA register, just some. I know little about where they get their crews, but I guess they use people recruited in the US or very high hour types over here with FAA tickets...really not sure but I would try to find out if I were you - the bizjet forum here would be a good place to begin.
The airlines won't be allowed to hire her with an FAA licence to operate G registered equipment.
Have a look at companies like EFT in Florida - they will do JAA training in the US (another twist!) but it needn't cost the the earth.....
Good luck and I hope your pension stays intact :-)
As one who's gone through the mill in Australia and worked many years in the outback etc and then converted the ATPL to a JAA one a couple of years ago I have some thoughts.
The so called "self improver" route, that is instructing and the like may not look nice on paper as it's comparatively poorly paid is actually a lot of fun. You actually learn how to fly and what it's about versus tapping away at the FMS and following the magenta line. The guys we have that's come through the GA route flying king airs are excellent operators and are generally more customer focussed than those who have only known airlines and the locked cockpit door.
I wonder if your daughter just wants to become an "airline pilot" versus a "pilot"? The VLJ market will have some very tough competition from Netjets (who use a CS reg = Portugal) and other companies. With the bizjet market, you're more of a multi tasker in comparison to the airline pilot.
GA will teach and condition you to programme changes, get you used to sorting out luggage and catering, customer relations and other things that is part and parcel of the GA/bizjet world. Also gives you a better insight and experience to deal with the various issues airline guys deal with too. Can't have too much experience.
So, I'd ask your daughter exactly what she wants with respect to a flying career and does she know what the bizjet world is about? About her A levels? Let the airlines decide whether or not she's got enough. The airlines can't say "yes" if you don't apply. At 20 she may need to bring something else to the table of course, and she has a lot of time to absorb the inevitable recruiting down turn that follows a hiring boom.
2 licenses are better than 1. The FAA license will open up some doors in the bizjet world but the FAA and JAA license will open up even more. Have you considered Australia? There's an Australian flight school in Perth (Oz Perth, not the Scottish one) that runs a JAA course and the IR is done in the UK in Cranfield? The FAA license isn't that hard to gain if you already hold another national license. (I currently hold an Australian ATPL and a JAA ATPL and a permit from the FAA to fly an N reg Hawker).
I don't quite understand the comment "five years for self-improver." I have known people do the whole modular course in 9 months - ok they were clever but it can be done.
With an FAA licence you still have to do the JAA ATPL exams.
I am a JAA CPL/IR flying business jets and I am looking at gaining my FAA ticket purely because I have been offered work on an N reg flying private stuff.
I would suggest going modular in the UK with someone well tried and tested - eg Bristol. You don't need to look at instructing if you go down this route - airlines are taking modular folks aswell - especially with a TR.
David, Obviously this is just another opinion...... but I would really really try to go the jaa route, to be fair which ever way you shake the stick you are going to spend approx £50-60k ( ive stopped adding it up!!!) its very much a case of what you save on one hand the other hand is busy paying out, the problem with just the FAA route is she is limiting herself to a very narrow market within the uk/europe, or she will have to convert to a jaa licence which just adds cost and time.
The fact is she is unlikely to walk straight into a airline job whichever route she takes, so as other fellow pruners have said an instructor rating maybe a good idea or some other form of aerial work, obtaining the licences is one thing but then whilst job hunting you need to keep them current and valid.
When i was picking my way through the minefield of decisions I asked some advice from a friend of mine who is a very very experienced pilot both airline and GA and I quote "dont worry to much about it mate, whichever decision you make will turn out to be the wrong one" .
If she really really wants to fly and live in the uk or europe go with the JAA its expensive and hard, but rewarding. The same guy also said "there is a job out there for everyone" Good Luck with the minefield .
Hi david , its quite sad to me seeing that YOU are the one posting this thread towards helping come up with the best plan to help your daughter . Are you sure she wants to become a pilot ....? if she is ,she must know ,she is about to join a very though and expensive busines ,where many people would do ANYTHING to get your money . I did my training in FL USA and change into JAA in Spain , it cost me 120.000 Euros everything ,now 12 years later have everything ready but no job . I would do the training in USA but getting a JAA licence , yes you can do that .
check delta academy in florida .
and good luck
some one once pointed out that there were no American's at my school, that was because they had all got fed up with the ever increasing prices and the management so they bogged off,
You are right. To be exact, Indians and Taiwanese have "flooded" these places. Price increased because all schools want to earn extra from these foreign students. One of the reasons is that a school rather trains a >US$20K package deal foreign student than a part-time student. Besides, a successful foreign student graduated from the flying course often recommend to his/her own friend. This cycle is continous. So, more foreign students and fewer Americans. That can't be helped.
Now, both Taiwan's and India's aviation markets are booming and thus lots of India Nationals and Taiwanese are coming to the States for flying. Since it is a lucrative market, flyings schools have been resorting numerous ways to "milk" these cash-rich Indians and Taiwanese. Senerio could be getting worst as filthy rich Mainlander Chinese are heading to U.S. for flying courses.
Not long ago, the Chinese Vice Premier, WuYi, visited U.S. and the U.S. VISA for Chinese mainlanders may no longer be a problem. Nevertheless, Mainlander Chinese are gearing-up. Soon...all of us will be seeing the Mainlander Chinese flooding the U.S. flying schools.
Getting the FAA ticket only is the the equivalent of taking the UK driving test on an automatic. Savage limitations as to what you can fly/drive in the Euro market.
Qualification for qualification the return on investing in licences rather than other careers does not pay off over time the way it used to. My first jet job in 1989 paid £25,000 basic which bought a 3 bedroom semi in the southeast outright in 3 to 4 years.
The desire to fly has to be an absolutely burning one.