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.
I would like to thank you for your advice and the time.
I think, I may need a life/career mentor to help me with my decision: Training in Europe Vs. Canada.
The facts: 30 yrs old - Currently making a Gross of $72,000 Gross/6months - No debts. - Dual Citizenship (Greek /Canadian). Mature and experienced.
I want a career in aviation with a strong desire. Not for the prestige or the status, but rather for the joy of flying. At this point of my life, I will have to give up my Marine Navigation Career in order to pursue Aviation. Even though I would love to fly the bush and get the real thrill of flying, I am a bit concerned that i will be living of less than 18,000 year for the next 10 years until I get into an airline, where i will be able to afford and sustain a normal lifestyle (not in poverty) and live my dream. I will be 40 years old by then. No savings. If I was 20, this could have been an adventurous path.
In my research, In Canada flying the bush or instructing is the only way to an airline career. Canadian airlines don't really have anything on the table with cadet programs such as MPL and special training. In fact, it's clear that the major aviation companies such as CAE are investing their money and efforts in producing pilots out of OAA and training foreign students at MFC (Moncton Flight College) and giving them the best training in order to be ready as pilots for a direct entry into the airlines. Meanwhile, Canadians are left out.
In fact, if you google "Canjet hiring foreign pilots" you will note that in 2009, airlines like sunwing and Canjet hired 200 foreign pilots with 737 NG type rating. Apparently they told the media that they posted the vacancies in Workopolis, but they couldn't find qualified Canadian pilots with the 737 NG type rating. Lol "what pilot pays for type rating before getting hired anyway?"
There is plenty of unemployed qualified and experienced pilots in Canada, who are ready, willing to work and train. The question is: Why did they not offer Canadian pilots an opportunity to train on the 737 NG type rating? Who administers these decisions? where is the governing body in Canadian aviation to enforce such things?
I understand Type ratings can range from 20k to 40k but they could have at least given out options to Canadian Pilots to pay it back when hired.
it just seems to me that it's a bit unorganized.
I am skeptical, that even if I sacrifice the next ten years, chances are; I will be like the rest of the Canadian pilots who where not even given a chance to fly for their own countries airlines. I am afraid than one day i will be 40 years old + with over 4,000 hours without a job.
In Europe on the other hand, CTC or OAA charge an awful lot of money, but at least they guarantee MPL and an interview if you're a above 90%. F/O work for peanuts in the first 2-3 years but get the jet time and experience they need to later apply for Emirates etc. Also, Airlines like Cathay Pacific want to see MPL in your certificates. Its also proof that Air Asia did the same to their Cadets at MFC by contracting CAE to train them. This tells me that Asia is now looking at how Europeans train their pilots. (Magenta students) But at least they will have a job.
Please correct me if I am wrong. I don't have enough experience, so i appreciate your feedback.
Im also a EU citizen thinking about training and flying in Canada. To be honest I am not planning paying large amounts of money for training and having trouble building hours. The GA scene isn't that big in Europe.
I read a story about a Dutch guy who went to Harvs air in Canada to get his flight training for 40.000 canadian dollars and stayed to work for them for 2 years. After that he went to perimeter airlines to fly into the cold north of canada for 3 years, now he has enough hours to apply to Air Canada and the likes.
About the MPL: The MPL must be done with an agreement with an airline, because a large portion of the training is taught to the procedures of the specific company. What this means is that you can't just go out and get an MPL on your own and then start applying to airlines. You really get selected first by the airline before you start training.
About Europe: There are definitely more low time pilots than jobs. There are still guys getting jobs with minimum hours straight into a jet or turboprop, but there are also many guys not working or going back to their previous non-flying job. I know guys who have been looking for a flying job for a couple years and some have given up. I also know guys who did find jobs. I know some who have left Europe because they did not find a job here.
"what pilot pays for type rating before getting hired anyway?"
Answer: Some folks in Europe do. I know two guys who bought a type rating straight out of flying school, and another guy who was unsuccessful at the only two interviews which he received (one was in Europe, and the other one he flew half way around the world for) and he is saving up his money for a type rating because he thinks that it will get him a job.
At least you are asking the right questions and you are currently in a relatively good financial situation. It is easy to look at Europe and see that it is possible to get an airline job right away and get blinded by this, but you gotta look at the flipside as well.
I am flying as an airline pilot in Canada and I'm also in charge of the flight training and I can tell you that we are now in a huge hiring wave in Canada. Air Canada, Jazz, Porter, westjet are lowering their requirements. I am pretty sure this will last for a few years. Flight schools are almost empty compared to 10 years ago!
ACP - Big hiring wave in Canada? I'll research it further. Thanks for the positive news.
Zondaracer - Yes thanks for the clarification, actually I should rephrase my sentence, what i meant to say was how come they don't offer such programs for Canadian students? They are clearly in need for pilots with 737 NG type rating (eg. Sunwing and CanJet) why hire others when we have Great Canadian Pilots with excellent experience flying for food?
I looked into Moncton Flight College, i am actually communicating with one of the staff in the program. I am very impressed with him. He seems very punctual and gave me enough details to make the right decision. Anyway, i think flying on the east coast of Canada would be great experience to develop my skills, especially with the harsh weather conditions. If I choose Canada I will go with MFC. They offer the full Integrated course in 12 months with no time wasted. All together 56k CAN. without the instructor course and potentially an instructor job.
Also, the type rating thing......I don't know. I guess the 737 NG is the one to choose eh? lol
Magicspeed - I will look into Harvs air also. Thanks.
guys thanks for the replies. If you have any more advice, I'll take all the help I can get.
ACP - Your comments are very encouraging. I looked into Seneca College, they offer a 4 yr program. After researching on google I came across an article showing Jazz is affiliated with Seneca Students. Apparently they hire students from seneca as cadets. Not sure if that is a myth or truth.
The 4 yr program is not for me. I have already finished Nautical Science in college and went through all the Math, Sciences...etc bridge resource management etc...I suppose this program would be for a kid straight out of high school, to provide them with ATPL and basic life knowledge.
I need an integrated course or modular. Does Jazz, AC. AT really hire pilots with 1000 hrs T.T ? I don't know. I checked out their website through Pilotcareercenter.com and all I see is big numbers like "must have 500 hrs on a Dash 8 - 3000 hrs TT"
It's so discouraging every time I look into the hiring pages.
Do you think flying the bush or instructing for 2 years would give me enough slack to get me in with JAZZ?
Do you think flying the bush or instructing for 2 years would give me enough slack to get me in with JAZZ?
The guy I told you about instructed for 2 years and flew for perimeter airlines for 3. All in all he flied for 5 years before he had the hours needed to apply to Air Canada (Jazz) and westjet. Approx 3000-4000 hours.
for whatever it's worth (I am 8 years older than you thus starting my career change even later, but comparable salary and without a dual citizenship; that is, European with currently FAA CPL ME/IR, GPL and now converting to EASA-land), if I was in your shoes I'd go modular in Canada and keep your current job. As soon as you have the PPL you can start the EASA conversion with a paypment of 1000 GBP, but I doubt you would need it that early. Work up your way (to the ATPL, instructor and the like in whichever flying occupation) and use your spare time at one point to get those nasty 14 exams out of the way. I doubt it will make you a better pilot but it makes you employable in a market that is even bigger than Canada, the European Union.
That nasty theory might at least help you with jet transition etc. at some point hopefully rather sooner than later and will keep you in touch with long-haul jet operations at least mentally whilst flying SEP into the bush or instructing pattern work.
Hitbacker, thank you for taking the time to reply. Your insight is valuable. I believe that the advice you're giving me is a safe bet, at least i am not taking the risk of letting go of my current career. Well, i suppose a safe bet, can be rewarding in the long run but the results may take some time.
May I ask, are you currently flying for someone? It would be helpful to look at your foot steps. Did you also do modular, are you still hanging on to your old career?
Canjet: They did hire training captains/instructors/captains mainly to help in sudden growth in activity and train local crews. Don't focus that much on Canjet in 2009, otherwise you won't see the big picture of the canadian aviation. Never make rules with exceptions.
Training, answer: Canada, for so many reasons I don't even feel the courage to write them all here right now.
Elias, I am sitting in a dull office to provide the cash for the next steps, however - my last checkride was 9 weeks ago, so I definitely need to stay in touch with the activity. Bureaucracy, I'm telling you... Converting and trying to add hours in gliders, motorgliders, dropping loads of paras will be next alongside the exams.
I'd love to get my instructor's rating, but without citizenship it does not seem too viable right now (US, that is - have not checked all visa requirements in Canada yet ;-)).
Thank you for your comments Hitbacker. Yes, i wish you good luck too working your way into Freedom. Yes, I know how frustrating an office can be.
I have made my decision to take on MFC for my training. i will also work my way up, I guess i will have to put the age issue away and pretend I am 20. Hopefully hard work, dedication and good decisions will get us up in the air permanently.