Old 26th Jul 2012, 10:23
  #1 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 16
Talking Beginning of a career. Where to go, where to start?

Hi everyone!

After over 5 years of constant research and information searching into pursuing my career I have decided to write a post here, which I was intending to do last year. I have a folder on my computer with over 300MB of documents and research into my desired career - so I don't come here clueless! lol

There are a lot of skeptical things on here, so I thought I'd ask questions myself even though some of these questions have been answered before - so please don't shoot me down. I'm posting for additional information that I'm after, not what a previous poster asked. Whether it's a few months ago or years ago, haha.

I am 17 years old and am soon finishing Year 12. Since I was 5 my passion has been Aviation and to become an airline pilot, no matter what people or critics say, that's what I want to do and that's what I am going to do.

In 2010, I completed Work Experience at Qantas. In that time I racked up over 4 hours on 734/737NG and A330 simulators. I also conducted in Emergency Procedure training, Cabin Crew training and I even sat into half a weeks worth of a 737 endorsement course. I don't mean to brag, but I love saying this. I could answer the questions that were being asked before the trainees! Which were two New Zealanders being training for Jet Connect 737's. Was a memorable experience.

I initially started flying lessons in 2008 at Moorabbin airport at RVAC in order to gain my SPL. I was nearing the stage to go solo, but I made the decision to wait until I had finished school to fly and gain the ATAR I need, rather than focusing on flying and also due to financial constraints which are still present.

It's coming up to the time where University preferences are needed to be selected. I've been looking at courses for over a year now. Originally Swinburne in Melbourne (My current residence), however, I've looked all around Australia, from courses at ECU in Perth, Griffith in Brisbane and UNSW in Sydney. There are obviously Bachelor of Aviation Flying and Management courses. I am very wary and financially mindful so I don't intend to get myself into well over $100,000 HECS / FEE-HELP debt. So therefore I have been looking at the Management Bachelor Degree. Not only to save me money, but because I have a natural ability in Business.
I know you've all said to not go into a University to endeavor with Aviation. But it's all I want to do, so I do not plan on looking elsewhere - nor am I interested in a trade! I believe, after well researching that you're able to get into a very nice management position in or out of Aviation with a Bachelor of Aviation Management.

Anyway, that's sort of the background and basis of my post and there will be a few parts to this post.

I'm not sure on how to go about with everything. I'm looking at undertaking a GAP year and during that time work and save money, but undertake lessons to gain my PPL at the same time. Then whilst at University, concurrently work and fly towards my CPL then eventually MECIR. Obviously I have no idea how much that workload would be. So I'm asking if to take up that method is a good idea or not? I have a great passion for flying and I don't think sitting around at Uni would be the best idea for me, I get bored at school and I think the same would go for University day in day out.

A second option would be to complete my entire 3 year course, with no GAP year then commence flying lessons afterwards whilst saving during my entire stint at University. That's a path I honestly do not want to take. 3 years is a long time (Even though people will say it's not). But I will still take this option if it's what is better to do.

Option three, the option I know some of you will chose is to commence all of my flying. Gain PPL/CPL/MECIR and ATPL subjects, get experience and go to University AFTER I have a job at University. The problem in my eyes about this option is that once I'm in a aviation / airline job, I'm not going to want to go study. I see why too. But I want a backup in case I cannot pass a medical or become unfit for flying.
I'm quite confused about all of this. So I'd like it if people are able to post their pathways through aviation to the airlines and from or to University. I've read a few peoples pathways on here, but I'd love to hear them again as other threads aren't exactly everything I'm searching about. Plus anyone's recommendations!

Another question is. Either after, or before Uni. Is it a wise idea to join a "Flight Training Academy" such as Oxford, Basair, Airline Academy of Australia etc.? To me, those courses seem very mouth watering and tempting. But the problem I have with them is the extra studies involved in gaining Certificates and Diplomas. There's no problem for extra education, I'm all for it, but is it necessary? Is it a better idea to join a normal flying school and just go at my own pace? The academy's seem to have much better organisation in their training. With systematic approaches to training and theory and good instructors (Correct me if I'm wrong).
Do airlines highly regard academy's? To sort of answer my own question by just the basis of research (But I still would like answers) I believe they do. AAA is a Qantas approved flight training school, Oxford is endorsed by Jetstar and Qantas plus other European airlines and Basair has some airlines behind it I think. I can't remember.

Once all tertiary education plus licences and subjects are complete, what is the likelihood of being accepted into an airline. Note, this will be at minimum 4 years away and I'm actually liking the way Aviation is going at the moment. DOWN! It's like a stock market, it has to go up again. So in my mind, by the time I've completed training Qantas (Probably Jetstar still.... -_-) will be getting 787's, which mean existing pilots will get preference and that'll leave gaps of pilots. Which will probably go right down to QantasLink and regionals. Even Virgin seem to be looking a great way to go. With their "apparent" cadetship commencing at the very end of this year in-taking 8 or so cadets yearly for 777 cruise FO and ATR FO's a result out of it.
I know I'm going very far ahead now. But I know Aviation cannot go down hill forever. Especially with new aircraft plus old, very old Qantas staff which are surely approaching their retirement age, so surely there'll be an influx of "newbies" within the next few years. That's my view of it at least.

My lifelong ultimate goal has been to become an Airline Pilot and as I mentioned, I'm going to do anything to achieve this. I'm willing to do almost anything to do so. So please don't let this extend into an argument over Uni vs Training or anything like that. I'm just asking for additional advice on where to go from here now that it's time to act upon my career. Where have you been and come from to get where you are? What are the best ways to get into an airline position or at least a flight instructor position - really, anywhere to be paid to be a professional pilot? And most importantly, why?

Sorry for all the questions. I really have a lot more. But I don't want to ask too much at once. I want to sort myself out and figure out where I'm going to go before more start coming out of me!

Thanks for any help given. It's all much appreciated and all taken in, I assure you. Although, I think that's the basis of why I don't know where to go! haha!!!
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