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Old 22nd Feb 2011, 15:03
  #3 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: South
Posts: 133
Guys, let me give you some advice from my perspective.

At 16, the idea of being in your early twenties without flying is horrific. However, that is more than likely going to be the case no matter what route you take.

Should you go to uni? If you ask anyone a few years older than you, and anyone in the know, the answer is most likely "if you can, then yes". Here's why:
1. You will have something to fall back on, and indeed be able to get a decent well paid job whilst you wait for the first flying job.
2. You will have fun. Do not fall into the trap of thinking you need to be flying for a job by the age of 19. Relax, get out of your parent's house, and grow up. It will take most of university to grow up and learn who you actually are.
3. You get out of your parent's house, and get the opportunity to do things you would not otherwise be able to. The level of maturity of people I know who went to university was far above that of those who didn't, until at least the mid twenties.
4. You will actually have things to talk about in interviews. (Insert aircraft operator here) want their pilots to have life experience. Most pax do not want to see a mid pubescent kid with acne and bumfluff flying their aircraft.
5. Just to reiterate, you will grow up. I can't drill this down enough.
6. If you take a look at most pilots these days, a degree is a given. The competition for jobs is high, and anything you have which puts you higher in the food chain is worth having.

As for the lack of maths and physics, if you passed GCSE and are willing to put the work in then there shouldn't be a problem at all. There are a stable of several good flying schools, with anything above PPL you will probably want to be at one of them. You will be investing upwards of 40k. Not something you really want to risk.

My conclusion - Go to university if you can. Well and truly worth it. Save up between now and uni and you can afford to do your PPL one summer whilst you're there, hour build for fun for the rest of your time there. Come out, get a half decent job and continue. You'll still be in a plane by your mid twenties and you'll have a much better grasp on life than the other route.

Just my tuppence though...
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