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 recently attended a BA aptitude test day and was unsuccessful in getting as far as the interview stage.
Gutted and ashamed as I was I am still keeping my flying career dream alive by keeping up with the aviation industry news, BA news and get involved with anything I can with flying.
Prior to the aptitude day with BA I spoke to a senior at BA to ask about whether or not they would recommend I start flying as a hobbie if nothing else. (So as to satisfy my craving - and hopefully let BA know I really am keen). I was told not to have any flying lessons since they would rather teach from scratch.
Does anyone have an opinion. What did you do or would you do in my position?
(Currently an 18 year old student studying for a degree in computing watching a student loan go to waste sitting in the bank doing nothing)
I would not be put off flying just because BA says so. Go and have a trial lesson if you like it, go over to the US and use a pro school like Pan Am flight
or.. if you don't want to do any powered flying, go gliding - its cheap, teaches good manual flying and is logged seperately - gliding might also look good in interview since it involves that magical phrase : TEAMWORK!
StephenM, If you have your heart set on BA - well you're going to have to change it! Look at the options; Wait to re-apply to BA and the possibility that you may never get in. Or start your own flying career off yourself using your student loan which will then give you an insight to aviation, background knowledge and most of all contacts. If BA don't want you and you hold on for them, you are limiting your options. There are other sponsorships out there - British Midland, Air 2000, Aer Lingus to name but a few. They usually want requirements such as a PPL and 150 hours (requirements do vary). However, you have got to look at the option that you will never get a sponsorship - its a hard reality but one you have to concider. This one I didn't like either. But after BA were not interested and other were out of my requirement level (ie not enough PPL hours) I decided on the self improver route. Your student loan will get you started just like mine did. 3 years worth of this, plus UAS flying the grob might build your hours to around 150. Then, with your degree, you can apply for a Professional Studies loan from HSBC for the rest of the amount of your training (make sure you get a good degree and put together a good business plan of how you're going to pay it back). Or you can get a Career Development Loan from Barclays (max £8,000) you can get this too but don't tell both banks!! Now you should have a CPL/IR and done it off your own back. You are now employable by most (subject to hours) and you're not looking at sponsorships anymore. I did all of the above except the UAS flying, I have my IR test next Thursday and I stopped looking at Sponsorhips after I got to 150 hours. There are other ways. Good luck, if you want any advice, email me.
Best Regards, Homer
------------------ Duff, Duff, that Wonderful stuff. Ummmmm Doughnuts
U could put the loan in an ISA and wait try for BA again and gain good interest whilst you are at Uni. You are lucky to be able to spend your student loan on flying, I am in my final year at University and to be honest need the student loan to eat etc.
BTW Barclays say that I can get £15k with the career loan(not sure if it is the same one, the bloke went through loads of different options) so the goal posts do move at times.
Said it before, I'll say it again. BA don't want pilots, they want revenue maximisers and managers of the future. They can get all the pilots they need as DEs. If you want to fly, go for it. It can only improve your chances with anyone else and if BA end up rejecting you for getting a PPL, well, that says it all really.
Having seen some of the ab-initios come back from the states at OATS I can't believe that they are gfenuinely happy with the standard of training out there. A PPL (or any flying) helps a LOT. Remember, 'they' don't teach you to fly - OATS/WMU/CABAIR(?) do.
Try for Aer Lingus/BM/A2K etc. They seem to have a better grip on reality and are nicer people to work for (IMHO).
...proceeding below Decision Height with CAUTION...
I think BA want to teach you from scratch because many PPL's pick up bad habits after gaining their licence.
What I have continued to do, since gaining my PPL, is fly with experienced pilots (commercial, military etc) and asked them to openly criticise anything or everything that I do. It keeps you on your toes and improves your flying skills.
I recently sat BA aptitudes and unfortunately failed. I've got my heart set on BA - Therefore I am willing to wait a year to reapply to BA. Fortunately, I will reapplying around September, which means I can apply to all the other airlines at the same time as well. As mentioned here, don't be picky - you can't afford to be with sponsorship. In my opinion, if you really want to fly, you should ultimately be willing to go self sponsored if the sponsorships don't work out........sorry to waffle!...
About the flying - a PPL will never be looked at as a dissadvantage in BA. Its an advantage as it is with all sponsorships. BA only dont like people with about 150+ hours and more ratings than a PPL. So if you can do some flying go for it.
I think some people are missing the point here. If you want to fly, why does it have to be with BA? An airliner is an airliner is an airliner. At 36,000ft and 550mph, are you going to be thinking about who you work for? A real pilot, I believe, would not be put off by being turned down by any airline, would try with all options, then if that fails, do the self improver route / pay themselves through. I got a PPL(A) after my PPL(H) and don't want to fly fixed wing. I'm in the middle of my CPL's and having to pay for it all myself. A wannabe does what he can to get what he wants. Nobody can put someone off a chosen path if they want it enough. In the aviation game, it's not always what you know it's quite often, who you know!!! Good luck with whatever option you take.
well, 7 years ago, airliners has ever accepted me in their cadet program.now i fly the "lines".maybe not a b737, but small turboprops with an FAA license. at this stade of your life, u have 2 choices, invest 80'000 $ in a JAA school for 250 hours and no job, or go to the USA, pay 25'000 $, fly as a cfi , do your ATP and you will see.
This site seems to have become more and more about 'who's on this apptitude'..'failed stage 1' and 'who's got through to stage 2?' etc etc. The fact of the matter is, that the chances of a sponsorship with BA are bloody slim to say the least. As previous posts well demonstrate the odds are well against 90% of applicants. AND THEN... you are prepared to wait a year for another go. Get a life!! If you want to fly for a living ..GET ON WITH IT!! Whilst the odds for Sponsorships with other Airlines may be better, they can cost you a small fortune, and even then you can spend a couple of years tied to a school (of your trainer's choice) instructing with no gtee of that promised job. Self sponsorship can be done. If you want to fly, the first thing to do is learn to beg, borrow or steal enough to be in charge of your own destiny. It can, and is being done by many of us. Whilst it's bloody tough, it's also very satisfying.
On reflection, perhaps 'steal' is not one of the best ways to finance your training, as to the best of my knowledge, HM prisons don't offer flight training as a rehab course!
The "senior at BA" has misled you, if you don't start flying and hang around for a sponsorship, you'll soon be posting "Am I too old?" threads. Not one of the pilots I know in BA would support the view that "BA prefer to train from scratch" and that you'd pick up bad habits doing a PPL prior to joining. Go and get on with it, who knows .. you might not like it!
StephenM, how about continuing with degree studies (computing degree would give an excellent safety net if the flying option eventually falls down), but invest what time & money you can in getting your PPL (initial training in the USA is much cheaper & very popular). Then, perhaps instructor rating....
At the same time, push for direct-entry sponsorship into whichever airlines will take zero/few hours. Keep trying for BA. Consider the RAF - not as much money as airlines, but fantastic flying at times.
I think that the only reason why people like BA is because of the oppotunity to fly concorde. (well for me anyway.) It is a big dream of mine to fly it one day. The only airline who can do this apart from Air France is BA. Although if I get a sposorship from another airline instead I would definatly go for it.
If anyone wants to fly they are better getting on with it, rather than waiting for BA or someone similar to sponsor them.
It may take longer and cost more money but you will get to the same destination. Sponsorship is merely a shortcut, albeit a very attractive one. Please don't be disheartened if you do not get sponsored. Only 1% of applicants are lucky enough to achieve this holly grail.
I can confirm that BA do not like too much experience when it comes to selecting people for their cadetship. A PPL is more than sufficient. They prefer to build pilots in their own image. Some of the best cadets arrive with zero flying hours!
As for BA itself, again, please do not discount other companies. Many are superior employers to the worlds favourite airline, they just don't have as large a marketing department!
Yes, BA is one of two companies that fly concorde, but once you get started you will soon realise that an airplane is an airplane, and it's money and lifestyle that count. My colleagues who have flown the aircraft admit it is very nice, but the allowances are lousy!
So in conclusion, go for it, don't hang about, if you are determined enough you will get there, but keep the application coming, the opportunities are out there.
HW (ex BA cadet, numerous airlines, piston, turbo, jet jock)
Some people here seem to think us guys/gals who are willing to wait a year for another shot at sponsorship are sitting on our backsides doing bugger all.
Its all about your personal circumstances. Many people applying for sponsorships are undergraduates who would leave their degrees if sucessful with an airline. Therefore, waiting a year may just mean that they finish their degree and apply after graduation. Makes perfect sense to me. If you have no luck with sponsorships THEN do it yourself. You'd be crazy, at a young age not to give sponsorships a good bash. Waiting a year or two when you're about 21 for example maybe worth it in the long run. Just my opinion.
Have to disagree with you on the point re flying experience v BA selection.
It is not necessary to have a PPL or a great bunch of hours to join BA (as we all know from countless other threads). What it is VERY important to show is your motivation to fly and life in general. If you had a PPL/IR and 400 hours in your logbook, you will definitely NOT be penalised because of it. It shows you have probably made great efforts to fulfill your desire to fly (naturally the way you funded all this flying may be explored). It is appreciated that nearly no-one can afford this sort of flying, which is why it doesn't come up as a joining requirment.
Taking it one step further. When Cadet A joins they are not going anyway near BA and it is up to the flying schools to 'level' everybody. It is true that some people develop bad habits as time goes on, but if the flying schools can't iron out those snags then they won't be getting their contracts renewed. So these people that say, a 'BA Training Capt said to me....' are talking the proverbrial bollox. By the time the BA Training Capt gets to see them they are all at the same standard, no matter what their previous experience.
So, in summary, if you've got a bunch of hours or are considering the consequences of doing a PPL before applying to BA, then go ahead. You will NOT be penalised at selection. Pontius guarantees!!