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Old 14th Feb 2018, 10:55
  #23 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: 100m South of the 45th
Age: 54
Posts: 34
The Other Side of the Bank of Mum and Dad Story

I find reading some tales of funding (I just tripped over 120k, re-mortgaged the parent’s house, had it lying behind the sofa, just put my hand out and asked etc.) quite depressing reading and I bet is off putting to many of more mortal means.
Here is a tale of everyday folk and how as a family we funded a modular course.
We are a normal family, no big salary, no deep savings pot and little in the way of assets, Our house has a normal mortgage, very little equity and we can afford few luxuries. A bank would view us as a poor risk for a loan.

Our eldest son from 8 years old has wanted to be a pilot, dreamed of nothing else and studied everything aeronautical. At that age the only sort of flying possible was in the virtual world and so started years of flight simulation, including building cockpits from scratch using reclaimed materials. This even went up to a full size cabin of a 737, which was later sold on to fund part of the ATPL course fee.

Every penny of birthday and Christmas money from aged 12 (he requested strictly no presents, cash only) and odd job money was put away and by 16 he had 1200 euros saved.

All through the flight sim years he kept networking and went to the World Air Games here in Turin, even winning a medal in the Virtual World Air Games and was interviewed on TV.

Through continual networking and searching he found 6 scholarships offered for 12 hours of flying and PPL theory, the competition and selection was intense and quite stressful for a 15 year old (and not much different for the parents either!). On receiving the call that he had been selected he ran outside and yelled at the top of his voice, the next-door neighbour’s dog dropped dead on the spot of a heart attack!

At 16, started with PPL and continued over the next 2 years flying whenever he had money saved up and we could chip in with the odd hour here and there. The total PPL cost was 8800 Euros of which 2200 was the scholarship. So we had to find about 3k per year through economies, no family holiday abroad, shopping at discount stores and eating out limited to very special occasions only. Difficult but not impossible.

Hour building was a mixture. Some hours in Italy as and when we could scrape together enough for an hour here and there. About 1400 Euros whilst still in high school.

Then in South Africa including a bush pilot course. Total 8k Euros funded by part time work and a small legacy from his grandfather.

2 years of ATPL in Luton cost 6k all in, living in a dirty room in a shared house and maximum economy with one trip back home in that time, at the end to save further money has was sleeping on floors at friend’s houses, budget was 35/week total. Transport was by foot and at the end a 35 bike.

In between all of this a GA spares website was set up and through a lot of hard work and networking things started to move. The last 30 hours were done in Romania at a cost of around 4k Euros including flights and living, funded from part time work and web site earnings.

The biggest lump was the NVFR, MEIR and CPL at Bartolini. Around 21.5k Euros for course, living and flights. That was by far the biggest chunk to find. The second car was sold (nothing extravagant a Ford Fiesta) and a relative passed us a crash damaged 8 year old Renault Megane for nothing. I managed to patch that up to keep going for three years. I sold a number of items that I had built over the years and my collection of model railway items went as well. This plus the funds from the car, part time work, website earnings and further economies we just scraped through.

Unable to fund a type rating our son (now 24) is working in ground operations for a freight operator, using his salary to gain a flight instructor rating and flying hours to keep current, looking and hoping for the next lucky break.

I know that some will read this and say lucky b*gg*r has the bank of mum and dad. It’s been a struggle for us all but with team work and determination anything is possible.

Last edited by ilvaporista; 14th Feb 2018 at 11:05.
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