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.
Thought I would "bump" this thread, and see what current thoughts were on the CTC Takeoff scheme now that it has had some time to bed in. Do people reckon it's worth the premium over traditional modular providers?
Are there any examples of people who have been through Takeoff and succesfully achieved employment with an airline or corporate operator as a low hours cadet?
My hour building is largely finished and I'm getting through my ATPL exams, so I'm weighing up options for CPL/IR training (probably to start this summer). I note the Takeoff MCPL/MEIR offering isn't that much more expensive than, say, Stapleford's CPL, MEP, MEIR course. It also offers more twin time as the entire course is done on the DA42.
If there is a genuine advantage to going with CTC, I would consider it. If, on the other hand, you're just paying for the name and end up in no better a position, I'll stick with one of the traditional modular providers.
The other consideration for me is that I work full time and would ideally like to avoid taking 3 months off work in order to train - although this is probably doable if absolutely necessary.
Grateful for peoples' thoughts!
Last edited by taxistaxing; 26th Dec 2012 at 16:58.
I like yourself have also been considering CTC Takeoff.
BUT.... you seem to be missing some crucial information (you don't mention it here):
To book CTC course, the waiting period is about 12 months currently, or longer (I spoke to them in August 2012 and the waiting time was 10 months THEN)
CTC is about £7000-£8000 more expensive for the CPL/ME/IR when you factor ALL the additional costs in, compared to other modular training places e.g. Flying Time at Shoreham.
Having completed the course, you get the option of being put into a "secondary" holding pool - AFTER passing selection and completing AQC/JOC course (current time in the pool is 12-18 months (in Aug.) ). Integrated pilots are placed into the "main" holding pool for selection first, then once the "main" pool is empty are pilots then taken from the "secondary" pool.
This was research I obtained and was told directly by CTC staff.
In an ideal world CTC would be an option, but common sense is telling me that for my circumstances I make quite good savings doing it at Shoreham (locally), living in comfortable accom. with the girlfriend rather than a cheap student house/flat and using any additional sums on something else and with the "hope" of getting into an airline during that 12-24 months in the secondary holding pool.
OH.... don't forget you can still do your AQC/JOC with CTC after doing your training with another provider (after passing selection tests) and still end up in that holding pool.
Each to their own. Hope this helps if you didn't already know of this information and I wish you all the best with your CPL/IR and maybe hear you on the Airwaves.
Last edited by Cirrus_Clouds; 27th Dec 2012 at 10:52.
My understanding is that only those who gain their professional licenses through CTC Take-off are eligible for AQC selection due to the reduced need for this source of pilot with the current supply of integrated cadets.
Not according to what I read the other week. They will accept external people soon who already have CPL/IR.
CTC stated to me that if I did my training with them through CTC Takeoff, CTC will pay for the selection fee (approx. £197) for the AQC/JOC course.
Even if you do you training with them, you have to go through this test and complete this course successfully to be placed into their holding pool.
I wasn't impressed when they mentioned the current lead time in the hold pool was typically 1-2 years, let alone the waiting period of 12 month before you can actually start a course with them, "but we do have excellent links with easyjet etc etc" ... both those statements from them cancelled each other out; making it sound great in one aspect, but not so great in the other, which again questions whether the extra money spent is value for money.
Also note the AQC course has just gone up from £7800 to £9360 (incl. accom), which I was informed about when I spoke to them.
There are people here, like me, who would think it's best to get into a holding pool than nothing and hope for the best. Already these extra costs within CTC amount up to quite an extra sum that would pay off nearly half the funds towards a self-funded TR (which I don't intend to do).
There are positives and negatives with CTC as I see it currently, question is, whether it's really worth it.
Cirrus Clouds I certainly wasn't aware of the 12 month lead time before starting the course! That puts me off as I'm keen to crack on with the CPL this summer.
Hopefully they let you sit the selection tests for the AQC programme before you start the training? Otherwise you're running the risk of paying extra for CTC and still being turned down for the hold pool!
Last edited by taxistaxing; 29th Dec 2012 at 00:59.
No problem. Your in the same situation like me, I am also aiming to complete the training within the next 4-6 months.
The things I mentioned above did put me off also. They can't be doing that bad if there is a massive queue of people at the door waiting to do the course. That's ok if you're prepared to wait more than a year.
I am personally still questioning the holding pool scenario, haven't decided if I will pursue that or not, seeing as people are sitting in it for up to 2 yrs, but can change with supply and demand, so could be longer......
CTC mentioned to me after CPL/IR training I would have to sit the AQC/JOC test, even if I did prior training with them. I guess it's a way they sort best of the best. You may be able to do this test before the CPL/IR, you would have to ask them.
This situation reminds me of Oxford a bit. You pay much more to do the course and if you look at their graduate stats, most have gone to Ryanair, where you pay another £30,000 for the TR.
We all need an open wallet but also need to see beyond the glossy brochures and reading the finer details.
The other important point I've just recalled, as long as you meet CTC STANDARDS throughout your training and the requirements for the AQC, then you can be put forward. ... so it's based upon many factors, which in some ways are in your control and not.
I am in a similar position to you guys, I have passed 6 ATPL exams and will complete the remaining 8 next year (distance learning). I am looking to begin CPL.ME/IR full-time in early 2014. I am also facing the dilemma over which modular training route to pursue when the time comes, but having looked at the lead time stated in the posts above if I want to use CTC I will have to make a booking soon.
My current plan is to carry out my training at a traditional modular school, followed by an FI rating to allow me to fly and build experience whilst trying to gain the elusive first flying job. However, I am currently 35 years old with a young family and a mortgage to pay. I have factored the low FI wages into my financial planning and will have saved enough to supplement the FI income for up to 12 months. After that time I will have to return to my old industry to make ends meet again.
The CTC Takeoff route sounds attractive, purely for the hold pool aspect and future employment opportunities. Being slightly older than the average candidate I am beginning to wonder if the CTC route would be better placed to provide me with well paid employment in a shorter time frame than my current plan. Although the course is more expensive, from a financial viewpoint it is actually better for me, I am fortunate that my employer has provisionally sanctioned a 6 month sabbatical in 2014 which would allow me to return to a well paid job straight after flight training whilst awaiting a hold pool call or pursuing other avenues.
My current plan of following the FI route was to allow me to gain further experience and keep current whilst job hunting which is something that I would hope the airlines still value. Although financially the CTC route would be easier on the pocket in the long term. What I want to know is, what do people do once they are in the hold pool? How do they stay current with their flying skills and knowledge?
Does anyone have an insight into the preferred path or any successes/non-successes from an airline recruitment point of view?
Are there any indications of a maximum waiting period in the hold pool?
You will be getting close to 40 by the time you complete training. Are you sure that EZ will take you at that age?
I seem to recall someone posting about this a while ago and I think CTC pretty much said that it was unlikely? Have you asked CTC directly about his?
Obviously the difficulty with this is that CTC may say that EZ will take you on as they have to be careful about anti-ageism laws. But the reality maybe that at some point through your training, probably as late as the AQC, that for whatever reason they say that you don't make the grade. I personally know an integrated CTC student who was cut during the AQC phase, so it does happen.
You mention well paid employment. You do know what the first flexicrew contract pays? A lot of flexicrew guys didn't get their contracts renewed this winter. They will probably get picked up again in the spring but who is to say that they won't get stood down again next winter?
Another factor to consider is when do EZ stop taking delivery of new airframes and their current expansion stop? I don't know when that is but it is likely to be in the next couple of years? Things may look very different in a few years time and there may no longer be a route into EZ via CTC by the time you complete your training?
I know that you don't just mention CTC Takeoff in your post but you need to consider more factors than just time periods. The pressure during training is high enough without the added pressure placed on you to pass everything first time and within minimum hours, just to keep jumping through CTC's hoops with the EZ carrot dangling!
You are in a fortunate position to be able to afford to do a FI ticket and instruct for a year. If I were you I think I would seriously consider going to another modular provider and saving a whole bunch on the course price and AQC. You could afford to instruct for say 2 years and increase the chance of you finding a RHS job in the meantime?
How much do CTC charge for the TR post AQC if you make it out of the hold pool by the way? I would be very wary about banking on making it all the way into the RHS with EZ by close to the age of 40. Good luck with your choices.
119.35, very good post. You've raised some very valid questions and many of the answers are "unknown" and the terms of training are very much in CTC control and can cut you loose/come up with any excuse at any point, especially at the end when they have got what they wanted out of the deal.
Here's a sample from the FAQ from CTC link above:
"There are no guarantees but, since 1994 when the original 'ATP Scheme' started, all those who reached the ATP Database pool of short listed pilots were placed with an airline. It is just the timing that is hard to predict. As we mentioned before, on successful completion of the AQC course to CTC Wings standard, you will be placed in the ATP Database' to await type rating training and airline placement.
The ATP Database serves to augment the CTC Wings Cadet numbers and we will put CTC Wings ATP pilots forward for placement when we are unable, for whatever reason, to place cadets with our partner airlines"
This again highlights your being treated as a second class student (if you want to call it that), with Integrated students spending much more and get preferential treatment (not surprised and if vice versa, all hell would break loose).
There are just too many IF's and BUT's with CTC's terms. If you have the money to spend and your willing to risk much more than you need too, then that's up to you.
There are many other ways in to becoming a pilot and EZY are only 1 airline out of the 1000's of companies out there around the globe.
The cost of AQC + FI is approx. £16,000. This is equal to a TR with some providers (who may assist with the finance) and not far off Ryanair TR - which ISN'T a Flexi contract.
Having invested £££££ and £££££ in your own training only to find e.g. EZY don't need you is not only a kick in the teeth but questions why bother with them in the first place, when you have a mortgage and loan to pay back.
Do it the most sensible way to get the most out of it.
You also need to ask yourself what other type of flying would you be prepared to do if not via CTC and with their partner airlines?
Would you accept a flying job if not via CTC contacts, even if you are within the holding pool?
I know of many modular students from the past who made it into the RHS of not necessarily an A320 or 737 but smaller either Turboprop or Business Jet, who then progressed further into the likes of an A320 in the Middle East etc. So the whole world doesn't revolve around CTC or OAA/CAE, it's about how one job can benefit another, or by a stepping stone way of doing things.
Last edited by Cirrus_Clouds; 29th Dec 2012 at 18:43.
C_C - you're spot on. There are just too many ifs and buts.
The premium you pay for your cpl/me/ir through CTC, the cost of the AQC and a FI ticket is extremely close to Ryanair TR money.
Why not go modular through another FTO and if you don't fail any flight tests, have a crack at Ryanair. Would I prefer to work for EZ, you bet (Flex T&Cs aside). But aside from the first 6 months, you are on proper money with Ryan and not on a 8 month 'flex' cycle with EZ.
And if EZ recruitment is slowing down, will they ever empty the integrated holding pool and get to th AQC pool? And besides, you can always go down the AQC route at a later date (if CTC still accept non 'Take-off' cpl/ir?).
The problem with the CTC route is that as soon as you have started, you are committed to paying a premium for your training. You then have the pressure of jumping through hoops as a 2nd class citizen and treading water for a long time in the pool. What happens if you get lucky and get a job with another operator? You've just blown nearly the equivalent of a TR! (premium for training + AQC).
Plus, should you make it all the way through to the RHS with EZ, you have to factor in working for peanuts for the first 8 month contract with the real possibility of being stood down for the winter to make way for the next batch of CTC cadets.
There are just so many variables. But with the possibility of your first job being on a A320, now that's something quite special. So it's not all bad but you pays your money and take your chances or whatever the saying is!?
Thank you both for your balanced and thought provoking posts. I have certainly learnt some new information from your observations.
The modular FI route has always been my intention and would be a better fit for my character. I have no great desire to reach the RHS of an A320, I would be far more interested in a long term progressive career with a regional TP operator or charter operation. I was half-drawn to the CTC route purely because of my age, from reading some posts on here it would appear that age can be a barrier in a lot of cases. However, as 119.35 points out, there are no guarantees in either route so I think I will stick with my original plan, it will certainly be more enjoyable and the extra flying experience will stand me in good stead.
Age certainly can be a barrier, but generally not so much of an issue in TP and Private Charter operations.
DCS136, I think you have a sound plan and you would be wrong not to explore all avenues which obviously includes CTC Take-Off. I considered it at the time when it first came out and then they were actually offering a discount on the initial courses believe it or not!
I tend to look at training as very much tailoring what's best for you and not what might be considered the best training at the time. Although, if you're 21 and footloose and fancy free, then that's different. But generally career changers have considerations such as partners, mortgages, children and whether that all illusive first job will pay the bills.
Flight instructing used to be a well trodden route into TP operators. It's not as reliable as it once was (what is!?), but it is still a very sound route in. We might get lucky and 'Mad Jock' might say a few words about it?
I would consider going through one of the FTO's that Flybe favour. You never know, in a couple of years time when you are doing your cpl/ir, Flybe might start taking candidates from their preferred modular providers again. And besides, they are all good FTOs, else Flybe wouldn't use them. Or Humberside for Eastern?
Another main consideration that a lot of people over look is what are you are you going to do with your new blue book? You need to have a plan. A lot of people think they will send out a load of CVs and hey presto. This rarely works and how many recruitment online applications have there been this year into airlines that have accepted fresh 200 hr CPL/IRs!?
DCS136, you've obviously considered this as you mention about wanting to instruct. A lot of people see this as a default route into the RHS or if all else fails without really wanting to become an instructor. So it is refreshing to see someone actually want to do it! But getting a FI gig isn't easy either. But leading nicely back into your choice of FTO, a FI with a 1000 hrs plus is an entirely different proposition to a new 200TT pilot. You are no longer in the bottom pile of CVs and where you trained and whether you got first time passes in everything no longer matters. Try and instruct at a regional that has TP and Private Charter operators that you can get to know. But don't under estimate how hard the cpl/ir are and the pressure that it will put you and your family under. It's no walk in the park and you need to have a very supportive missus!