View Full Version : Recruitment woes at BA.

Hot Wings
24th Jun 2004, 11:19
No surprise I suppose but there has been a lack of qualified pilots rushing to join BA! It also appears that A320 rated applicants are not doing well in the BAC111 sim check (6 recent failures from BM).

Anyway, its still worth coming to BA if:

- you want to earn less than the cabin crew
- you want to wait 15+ years for a command
- you want a crap pension
- you want to work every weekend for the next 5 years
- you want to be despised by all other employees (including your own pilot management)

On a more positive note, BALPA is trying to do something about the pension.

24th Jun 2004, 11:58
I’ve just received a letter from the Lord Protector telling me that recruitment has been going very well.

So it’s true then.

I’ll take on the opposition anyday. It’s my management I can’t beat!

24th Jun 2004, 12:43
How can 6 current BM A320 pilots fail the sim, does that tell us something about BM training.No wounder there struggling to recruit pilots.

24th Jun 2004, 12:45
I reckon most blokes on the -400 would fail the B1-11 Sim if asked to do it again now!

24th Jun 2004, 12:54
i flew that sim for my check with NOW, you have to keep your mincies peeled 'cause it can get out of shape very quickly, the seats are awful as well. Having said that i thought it was brilliant sounds like a submarine at crush depth.

24th Jun 2004, 12:56
easy has had exactley the same problem getting Airbus guys (including some VERY experienced ones) through the check on the 737-300.

Fly-by-wire is just so fundementaly different from a conventional aircraft that

1) You can hardly blame the guys for losing their basic skills when they haven't had to use them for years

2) It's ridiculous recruiting Airbus pilots to fly Airbus aircraft on the basis of whether they can fly a geriatric Bac 1-11 (put 'em in a Tiger Moth-That's what I say!!)

Best way to assess an Airbus pilot? In an Airbus sim!!!

24th Jun 2004, 12:59
Had to read this topic twice.

Where is the benefit of examining Airbus Pilots in a BAC1-11 Sim or any other sim not of an airbus orientation?

Its like sitting a pure maths paper when you studied mechanics. They are similar but different...

24th Jun 2004, 13:00
Suppose its down to cost then....but surely BA can afford a few scairbus slots!
eagerbeaver check your PM's

24th Jun 2004, 13:45
I went back on a basic jet after a year flying a Airbus and struggled for the first hour just trying to get my scan going again, let alone the fact that a trip to the gym should be a prerequisite to get the bicepts in shape again:D

The Airbus is a great aircraft but fundementally very diferent from generic jets, so a bit odd if BA want Airbus pilots that they check them in a 1-11 sim:hmm:

Lou Scannon
24th Jun 2004, 14:08
Why an earth don't BA use an old Lightning Sim or perhaps there might be a DC6 one lying around somewhere.

They could fail even more applicants then.

I presume their trainers/assessors are from Marks and Spencers, after all, one management job must be the same as another!

763 jock
24th Jun 2004, 14:29
Can't see the point in advertising for rated people and then sticking them in a 1-11 sim. Surely the idea is to assess their skills on the type which they are bringing to BA for free. :confused:

24th Jun 2004, 14:56
I am sure that there's more to the sim check than to just see if you can pole BAs cheapest sim... more likely they're also assessing you're potential for assimulation into the collective...

Stickle bricks next...resistance is futile, welcome to the Bores.

Human Factor
24th Jun 2004, 14:58
In the past, the 1-11 sim was used to give everyone a level playing field during their assessments. However, that was based upon the fact that no specific type rating was required and the successful applicant would be given a full type rating on his/her new type.

It does seem a bit of a waste of time though if we want A320 rated people who have been flying the jet for x years already. All they need, after the interviews, should be a couple of sim rides to get used to different SOPs. :rolleyes:

24th Jun 2004, 15:00
If anyone followeing this strand has access to a book called "The One-Eleven Story published by Air Britain they will find an enthralling chapter in it called "Flying the BAC One -Eleven" written by a Cpatain Douglas Brown of British Airways. A couple of quotes from it will explain the difficulty that any pilot of a later generation will have in using the 1-11 simulator:
1. "Many converting new Captains more used to Pratt and Whitney press and go techniques spent some time mastering the art of starting twin Roll-Royce Speys, an action requiring some 23 separate switch selections."

2.ATC are more used to dealing with a later generation of aircrfat capable of finding any given spot on the globewith a little button-pushing to the flight management system. On the 1-11 this is transformed into a flurry of maps, a guess at the wind and a rough DR (dead reckoning) heading which strangely enough usually managed yto get us there."

24th Jun 2004, 15:07
Can anyone in the know post the simulator check profile?

Just incase I am called - though I doubt it.

24th Jun 2004, 15:45
Ahh...good old Dougie...mind you he's still a good bloke to fly with (on his one trip a month)

Jet II
24th Jun 2004, 16:34
Just out of interest - who's still got a 1-11 sim. I would have thought that they would have all been scrapped years ago.:confused:

24th Jun 2004, 16:49
This might be of use - Trident Sim (http://www.trident-sim.com) - wherein it's very good value for money and worth it even if only just to say that you've experienced it, but in any event very good ( imho ) for brushing up on basic stick & rudder, scanning, trimming, patern 'A' & patern 'B' exercises, etc.

Jet A1
24th Jun 2004, 19:58
Good old St Thetic in DUB was still going a few years ago at Aer Lingus. Spent many an airport standby flying it around.

Not sure if it is still going. I was told they are not using it nor selling slots any more !

Good fun but !

Carnage Matey!
24th Jun 2004, 22:09
Apparently BA have been inundated with applications. I can only assume that the recruitment staff have a very small capacity bucket if they can be inundated by 165 applications.

Mind you, I fly the 320 for BA now and I don't think I could pass a check ride in a 1-11 without lots of practice.

25th Jun 2004, 01:54
Whilst BA may be seeking to recruit pilots with A320 series on their licence, it is far from the ONLY type BA fly.

Wouldn't it be a good idea to see what the candidate's 'basic' flying skills are like, on the off chance they may wish to try their hand on another type, in the dim and distant future?

On the bright side, anyone flying a 146, RJ100, or similar, probably wouldn't have any trouble flying a 1-11 sim!

If you catch my drift!

Incidentally, I do seem to recall that an element of 'improvement' during the session was taken into account.

25th Jun 2004, 06:35
Well, just to add my two pence worth.... those excellent "managers" at Britannia also put qualified 757/767/737 drivers through a sim check. In a HS125???? What's that about?!?

omoko joe
25th Jun 2004, 13:03
I reckon the key to 'ye olde BA1-11 sim' is to not get wound up about it. It looks intimidating when you come from a bus but it really is a test of basic skills..a bit like a jet powered F27! (perish the thought). The 737-200 sim is much less forgiving.

25th Jun 2004, 13:37
Hi Wheelbarrow

Perhaps a reason why the company uses the 125 rather than valuable time on the 75/76 is because sim slots aren't that abundant. The last bunch of Trainees had to go to Brunei in order to do and complete all their sim work because of a lack of capacity on the 75/76 sims.
Also the 125 is configured to 75 speeds and power settings, unlike the BAC 1-11.

LGW, MAN,LTN,LHR sims are currently used by Britannia for routine checks which reinforce my opinion on how tight the situation is.

I agree though, If you hire type rated guys, you should try your best to check them on a relevant type.


25th Jun 2004, 14:15
Never mind the "shite" flying skills of all airbus pilots and their inability to pole a 1-11 around the tracks.
( sadly include myself as one whose skills are degraded; due to the rules which apply to airbus SOP's ,3hr sim slots not 4hr and a multitude of other factors)

The real confusing thing here is :
Balpa say only a few applications and out of 130 places to fill (this year) - there have been just a handful of suitable guys so far. The company ( well Dear old Lloyd) indicates that they are inundated with applications).

I can see that the "offering/package" is piss poor. What type rated pilot would apply to sit in the RHS for 16 years for the sort of rewards BA are offering? However I would love to know - who is telling porkies? BALPA or BA?

I guess it won't be easy to tell - and we now have the added complication, of all recruitment being suspended, whilst there is a fight over the type of pension offered.

ockham hold
25th Jun 2004, 14:26
By the way: if BA use the BAC 1-11 sim to check an Airbus pilot's skills prior to recruiting him or her for the Airbus, does anyone know what Easyjet use? - A Tupolev sim perhaps?

No, this is a serious question.

Bang Or West
25th Jun 2004, 14:27
To answer your question (don't laugh) until very recently eJ were using a Caravelle sim.

Lou Scannon
25th Jun 2004, 15:16
Perhaps every one turning up for interviews these days should bring along their helmets, goggles and Gosport tubes just in case...

25th Jun 2004, 16:02
The Caravelle went 3 or more years ago, I think the sim check is now carried out on a 737-300.

25th Jun 2004, 16:05
Easyjet use a 737 sim or a 320 sim but usually the 73. The caravelle was a ctc sim used to assess cadets..probably based on the principal that if you can fly that you can fly anything:\

25th Jun 2004, 18:51
Are they using the B111 or the super 111 sim?

I've got the operating notes for both sims ( that is how to operate the sim / a/c not notes on the selection proc . ) going to the highest bidder or to anyone who will give me a ride in a Hawk .

25th Jun 2004, 18:57

Can't do the Hawk but can supply beer for notes. May come in useful at some point. My flat mate agrees too.


25th Jun 2004, 22:41
Can vouch (ouch) for the EZY story. Couldn't fly their 737 sim, I freely admit. Airbuses for 7 years, plenty of steam driven ac before that. But no good for EZY who were recruiting me for their 319s, wanted me to fly a -300??!?

Pilot Pete
26th Jun 2004, 00:38
I'm not so sure it really matters what sim a company put you in for assessment. Perhaps many put you in an 'unfamiliar' type just see how you cope? They don't expect you to be able to handle it as you would an a/c you have a rating on, but perhaps they are looking at basic ability and your 'learning curve'. Do you fly the same profile three times and look just as bad on the last go as you did on the first? Can you assess your own performance correctly and demonstrate an ability to respond to training input? What's your CRM like? What excess capacity do you have when hand flying?

All these things can be assessed in any type and maybe an assessor gets a clearer picture of them all when you are under just a little more pressure due to never having flown the thing before. Possibly, but I suspect it comes down to cost and availability.


26th Jun 2004, 07:44

You are spot on and posted just as I was writing my missive. I was told BA do a computer scored handling exercise, if that is the case it probably explains their problems (If that isn't true then the rest of what I have to say is probably bunk).

A computer based score was probably a good way of doing it when everyone flew jets made of angle iron which required a rapid scan to avoid spearing in. Now you take the AP out on a 330 and all that changes is the FMA until you go straight on at the next corner. Back in the 20s (only kidding) when the system was designed it probably met their requirements neatly, now perhaps they need to re-examine what skill base they are looking for.

Perhaps BA should still use the sim but look at the guys learning curve as it progresses. With a modern jet sim, that takes care of you even when something fails, it is much harder to make that judgement and if you failed a bunch of systems the candidates would cry foul.

EK used the 310 sim so that they got more data about how the guy flies. If he was 310 rated he was expected to fly to a higher standard than a 320 mate who hadn't trimmed a jet for years. (Didn't always work out that way). The key thing is that you can see how a guy operates out of his element and see how quickly he learns and adapts. That is probably a better pointer to how an average mate will cope with the training. Next I'll be advocating that we check out how he or she flies an NDB approach, with dip next to a thunderstorm, whilst getting the sextant out and tuning the DF.


26th Jun 2004, 13:22

I'm pretty certain it is a Super 1-11 sim. It definitely was in the mid 90s.

Don't seem to recall it being particularly demanding then - May have changed! I remember most of the power settings being done by the guy in the RHS. No assymetric, so don't even THINK about touching those pedal things, just both hands on the yoke, and scan!

Attitudes and power settings were given in a table a short while before the check, and available on a clipboard during.

Somebody in recruitment gave me a pretty good piece of advice just beforehand, it went something like this:

You can't act unless you think. You can't think unless you relax, and you can't relax unless you TRIM!

Ergo: Trim, relax, think, act.

The sprag clutch on the very noisy trim wheel, is probably THE most important thing to understand on the whole detail. Have it explained fully!

Apologies if I am a little out of date. These memories are a few years old now!

27th Jun 2004, 03:25
If I may, this is not BY's sim ride... I am not sure BA gives you three attempts in order to assess your learning curve. In one go, however well you do, that learning curve will remain a flat line.
What is the logic behind assessing candidates whom have proved for many years they can pass LPCs/OPCs on their rated type and yet to put them in a more than unfamiliar situation? After all, the day they suffer an uncontained engine failure on the Bus, what will matter the most? Their ability to handle an antiquated 1-11 or their experience on type (In the sim/emergency situations)?
I guess the issue here is more about selection rather than proficiency on type so in that case, a Seneca sim (cheap) could do the trick.

Lost For Words
27th Jun 2004, 09:14
If anyone is looking to hone their steam-flying skills, I think there is a Bac 1-11 sim down at Bournemouth.
I certainly found it to be excellent value for a sneak preview before my BA sim assessment. If I remember rightly, the going rate is about 250 quid an hour. Obviously it would make sense to team up with someone else so you could get 2 hours in the seat for that price.
Otherwise, there is a useful DC9-30 sim in High Wycombe which handles much the same.
Some may call it cheating but I firmly believe that a little practice is worth its weight in gold!

Good luck to you all and don't be put off by the gloom merchants in these columns.


27th Jun 2004, 17:56
LFW there is a very blurred edge between cheating and using ones initiative .

SickBoks u owe me gallons of beer already !

I always thought the words super and 111 were mutually exclusive events .

27th Jun 2004, 22:45
Hadn't flown for 2 years, got fed up with the Queens's desk job, so did a quick ATPL and applied. Found myself in the BAC 1-11 sim, aced it, got in - despite my protestations that I could have done a better sim detail had they tested me on a Harrier sim.

So here is the scenario, Airbus qualified, tested on Airbus sim, recruited. Few years later directed to a Boeing. Fail. Bollocks, whose idea was it to test on an airbus?

Sorry folks, I must not post after closing time!

27th Jun 2004, 23:01

I think I have to disagree with you:

1) As I recall, BA do indeed assess your learning curve. Correct me if you know different!

2) Many pilots pass LPCs, and OPCs on their rated types, who aren't necessarily high quality. Hey, I might even include myself in that number!

3) Their 'experience on type' probably isn't important AT ALL to BA. The only reason they ask for A320 (etc) type rating is because it reduces the training cost! It is NOT the only type BA fly. No doubt many will bid onto an 'antiquated' Boeing (such as a B747-400) As soon as they can.

Better for everyone if their flying ability is assessed, before any committments are made? Saves dissappointment later, don't you think?

28th Jun 2004, 00:25
BA are going about their latest recruitment round as if they are recruiting cadets rather than experienced pilots. I'm not excatly sure what sitting in front of a computer screen for 2 hrs twiddling with a joystick proves to someone with thousands of hours on an ATPL. The similarity to the Borg comment is nearer to the mark than some might realise, from the horses mouth ie at my interview they had only identified 120 people for interview for 125 jobs. Out of that 120 the pass rate is currently about 1 in 20!! Bunch of wank*rs who need a reality check.

Q. If you were Rod Eddington how would you save the company money?

A. Cut out this bollox for a start and reduce the recruitment system to 3/4 of a day rather than 2 days and all the psychbabble rubbish. Let's face it you've got some real tossers working for you anyway so what's this all about?

Still got to go in the 1-11 sim and afterwards told them to fark off, it ain't the company it once was and if you got any kind of seniority in your present company i wouldn't bother, especially if you over 35. Was told in interview that command time at least 12 years and that doesn't take into account the new retirement legislation coming in 2004. quote 'we don't want you joining under any misguided illusions' - fair enough so they want 22 year old A320 type rated people i guess!! Ill thought out and conducted by managers that don't realise that their is a real world out there.

Stand by for another advert asking for any jet type rating, you mark my words.

:mad: :p :O :confused: :=

Human Factor
28th Jun 2004, 07:47
Stand by for another advert asking for any jet type rating, you mark my words.

That's the plan. When we don't get enough of those we'll then go to the training schools and find suitable fATPLs who will be sent to the shorthaul fleets. When we don't get enough of those, there'll probably be some new sort of cadet scheme, although I would expect the "cadets" would have to pay some, if not all, of the costs up front.

Sir Donald
28th Jun 2004, 09:55
Pilot Pete is spot on.

It is not all about having flown for 20 years and knowing the aeroplane inside out.
Must of us here would agree that there are guys out there even today that act as single pilots.Happened to me. Non standard calls that I have never heard of before, CRM -what, and that sort of thing. Also attitude and personality count more than experience especially when you put someone in unfamiliar teritory, you can really see ones ability to delegate and be delegated to.
My two cents worth.

Pilot Pete
28th Jun 2004, 15:31

I was talking 'generic sim assessment' rather any particular company's profile. Again, it doesn't matter if you fly a profile once or three times, they can assess your learning curve as the profile goes on; Do you get the hang of the trim, are you still struggling to get a suitable power setting for straight and level 300kts 15 minutes into the sim? Is your handling improving as the profile progresses etc etc.

Again, we're talking basics; flying ability on 'steam driven instruments', but more importantly I think (in no set order)

Command presence
Scan rate and therefore accuracy
Ability to follow SOPs (perhaps some they sent you a few days before)
Airmanship/ decision making ability
Learning curve
Self assessment/ facilitation
Identification of errors and course of action taken

And I am sure the list could go on. My point is they don't have to put an Airbus rated pilot in an Airbus sim to find out whether he/ she possesses these skills, they just won't expect the 'flying accuracy' related ones to be as good in an unfamiliar sim.

The over-riding factor in my opinion though will be cost and sim availability. I am sure this comes into the planning process when deciding what sim to use for the assessments.


28th Jun 2004, 18:03
All assessments are being conducted on the Super (!) 1-11 sim, just in case anyone is interested.

The 1-11 is the only which is always available.
It 's an even playing field.

Or are you too busy giving your own opinion of how BA should be conducting their assessments ?.

28th Jun 2004, 19:15
Why BA persist with the BAC111 sim I have no idea ....maybe becuase its an unused sim and is free and not costed to the training bill ..... accounts rules as usual !

I did it in 1998, but at that time EAC in Bournemouth sold time on theirs to practice for the BA assesment .... not sure who has one now ...

BA is the least 'handling skills' based airline I have worked for ...... In fact on the Airbus fleet we are banned from ever disconnecting the Auto Thrust .... (because a few people couldn't hack it they ban everyone from flying manual thrust !) ....

As already said, if you are current on older 'ironmongery' you will shine .... if you are on modern 'button pushers' aready then you will struggle ..... Its a ludricous situation when BA prides itself on its 'team skills' and 'CRM' to assess someone on an abacus .....
Didn't we all pass an IR on a light twin at some point in our careers .... surley that proves we have the handling skills if required .... uuuhhmm

28th Jun 2004, 20:17
If there are folk who are still to do an assessment, what about using the Trident Sim at Biggin Hill. This is a steam driven bird and I'm sure it would help those from an Airbus background.
I know its not quite a "Super 1-11" but the trimming aspects ought to be quite similar.

pm if you need the telephone number, but a quick search on these forums should find it.

Good luck

:ok: Goldfinger

Man Flex
28th Jun 2004, 21:27
I think that people are maybe missing the point a little.

This is clearly a declaration of the BA mentality.

I, as an experienced Airbus pilot with several thousand hours on type plus several more hours on more basic aircraft types, would not pay £250 per hour to prepare for an assessment which would be assessing me for a position where I would be flying my present aircraft type.

As some earlier posters have stated; I have already proved that I can fly the aircraft. I have already proved that I can pass numerous assessments in terms of base checks and route checks.

The only concern for BA should be my CRM. If they want to assess this particular personal quality then they are welcome to use an old clockwork aeroplane simulator.

What they cannot expect is for me to have the same manual flying skills that I had several years before I flew a FBW aeroplane with a sidestick.

Is it any wonder that they have had a distinct lack of interest in their recent recruitment campaign?

Nutty Nigel
28th Jun 2004, 22:29
"Is it any wonder that they have had a distinct lack of interest in their recent recruitment campaign?"

Well i am no manager but 450 qualified applicants for 120 jobs can hardly be called lack of interest ! :(

28th Jun 2004, 22:35
Man Flex:
If you arent prepared to pay £ 250 to give yourself a better chance of meeting BAs requirements,- and thats when you are the applicant to join them , not the other way round,- its not likely that you are going to convince them to have you aboard. They are entitled to have their own requirements, for whatever reasons, and if you arent prepared to meet them then its game over. One of the prime requirements must be to be enthusiastic about joining them and a determination to do what it takes to convince them that you are the right person. That includes any sort of test they may wish to set you and how you deal with any obstacles,- including a One-Eleven sim.
Its unlikely that they are going to have problems recruiting as many people as they need, even if they do end up having to pay for type ratings for some.

29th Jun 2004, 10:22
Guys (and Galls)

Do you not think it's think it's probably up to BA to set the standards required to join BA? If they choose to use a 1-11 sim...or any other, it's their choice. Anyway, an assesment of piloting skills in an Airbus sim...how would that work??? I fly the Airbus and I can feel my 'skills' (the few I had) slipping away rapidly. The Airbus sims at Cranebank are at max capacity now anyway so they won't be using them.

There isn't much point moaning either if you've lost the basic flying skills flying Airbus' for another airline. Anyone joining BA can bid to leave their joing fleet after a few years so if you're not up to flying a conventional aircraft now, you probably won't be in 5 years time which will just be a headache/cost for BA later.

Also, the fact that someone has passed LPC's etc in another company or that we all passed an IRT on a Seneca seems a bit irrelevant. There are good pilots and bad pilots in all companies and they all pass LPC's. The idea behind an assesment is to make sure the other comapny gets to keep all the bad pilots.

Sorry if this sounds like I think BA doesn't owe you a living and shouldn't be moulding their recruitment drive to suit your career path but it doesn't and it shouldn't.

29th Jun 2004, 11:32
I second the last few posts here - it's a free market out there so if you are unhappy with BA's recruitment policy then don't apply.

Nobody is forcing you to apply - go and apply to another company. And the point about lack of interest is a complete fabrication. I'm in the know - there are hundreds of applicants.

What I would say is that if you are a pilot in their 20's BA is a very attractive company. You join us, do 5 years on the airbus, then 5-10 years flying around in 747's with 2 days off in Hong Kong, Bangkok, LA, Cape Town etc etc, before coming back for a short haul command by the time you're 40. If you are 40 now, then sure, you need to think long and hard about it, but with youth on your side you will be hard pressed to find a better long term career in the UK.

What I would also say is please don't base a decision on the rumours and misinformation on this web site. Please talk to people that are actually in the know and work for BA already.

29th Jun 2004, 17:31
Heartily agree with mrsmaryhinge et al. There is no doubt that BA is one of the best companies to work for if you're a young'un. Pensions? Schmensions! Lots of folk retiring recently believed the pension mantra and ploughed thousands in, to receive half of what they expected. If you want the opportunity to fly different fleets/routes/lifestyles over your flying career with the same company and accrue seniority on the way, then it's a no-brainer. If you can get in. To think that because you've got a few thousand hours on an electric jet you jump any queue is one of those instant pass/fail points on day one. I

I spent a lot of time researching the BA entry process/requirements prior to Sep 11. I passed the 2 day entry behaviour and got into the hold pool. I was awaiting the sim check and had no doubt in my mind that I was going to chuck a few hundred quid at a steam-driven sim to ensure success. The thing is, how much do you want to join the company? They call the shots. By the way, my Mum has been driving cars for about 50 years, and she's still not very good at it.

If you struggle to manually fly an aircraft, then my advice to you is to p*ss off down the back and make me a nice cup of tea.

Orion Man
29th Jun 2004, 20:30
Nutty Nigel,

I don't think 450 applicants for 120 jobs is an overwhelming success story somehow ! Taken, it is for type rated pilots only and there are a finite number of those out there but a ratio of less than 4-1 is hardly a deluge of applications.

A lot of those applying will not necessarily accept employment with BA given the 15 year command wait and the pension degradation.

Regarding sims, BA is entitled to use whatever means it choses to assess candidates and if you are really desperate to get in you won't mind stumping up £250 for some practice. I guess it all depends how much you want it.

I agree with the posts that suggest it suits young guys in their twenties who, either have low seniority with their current employer or are working for an airline in a precarious position.

Regards Orion Man

29th Jun 2004, 21:50
Well said AbeamPoints - All very true ...

Although you WILL work every weekend for the forseable future in BA and not be able to get even an odd day off for an occasion etc (apart from leave) ..... You will be blessed with a STABLE roster ........ Weigh it up carefully ! (You will also do 2 reserve periods of 21 days each year .... no control whatsoever for 21 days, days off at 12 hours notice).

Any BA command at current figures is 15-20 years ......

You will have to do 5 years before being able to bid to a long haul fleet from, say, airbus shorthaul .....

No final salary pension .......

Salary - OK, new joiners around £40K goes up £1575 per year ....

BA is not what it used to be for DEP's .... a life time to a command with a seniority based roster bid system that will naff you off sitting at the bottom of the pile for years ......

DEP's who joined 5+ years ago have shot up the seniority very quickly with vast amounts of retirements, chaps getting 767 commands within 7 years ..... The tables have turned, this is not the case and will not be if you join now ....... Seniority is EVERYTHING in BA, much more so than any other airlines where all it means is command date ......

The choice is yours !

Nutty Nigel
29th Jun 2004, 22:17
Orion Man
BA is not what it was,that's a very true statement,it was a state owned airline with limitless funds to waste!
Regarding the 450 or should i say 476 which is the true figure this is the refined figure after rejecting the Too old or unsuitable,i would say 476 is a "is an overwhelming success " and so would the majority out there.
A 4 or 5 to 1 selection criteria says loads to me and i have to say its reassuring to see that many people still believe BA is the top job to have,be honest with yourself if this was a real business 10% of the pilots pool would be a natural turnover not retirements.

30th Jun 2004, 08:05
I agree totally with abeam points.
I would think long and hard about joining BA.
I'm 100% confident that the lack of applicants will mean BA drop it's requirement for type rated guys.

It's also interesting to note that one of the cadets is taking BA to court - in order to achieve the right to work 50% !
If she wins, then a whole bunch of guys in both seats will be allowed to work part time (50 or 75%)
In other words rather than have a requirement for 130 DEP's it is a distinct possibility that BA will need 260 DEP's.

For those who did attend the interview - I thought I'd cut and paste one of my earlier posts as a personal opinion of life in BA as a a DEP.

posted 9th May 2004 21:39

If you are looking at joining – then please be aware that hand solo’s post is very accurate.

I’m ex Navy and charter – and since joining BA ( short haul) I have flown with some really nice guys. My net income is higher (despite a seat change) and rosters are far more stable. We have enjoyed some great trips on staff travel and I rarely fly at night.

However –On reflection, I wouldn’t recommend it. In fact I enjoyed life more a few years ago when I was at previous employers.

Shorthaul BA at LHR (at least on the airbus fleet) is not an agreeable rewarding place to work.

Why not?
Well it’s a huge activity – you will rarely fly with the same Captain – and almost never with cabin crew you have met before. It’s difficult to form relationships or friendships with folks. Please believe me, there are some huge ego’s here. “One upmanship” is the name of the game. A lot of the Captains take pleasure in pointing out errors or omissions. The atmosphere on the flight deck is rarely pleasant. I’m afraid just too many of the guys are “spoon fed” from uni – sponsored and sadly now cynical about BA. They are frequently pompous, patronising and have an unrealistic view of their own abilities. Pilots here, can be rude to despatchers, colleagues and cabin crew in a way I haven’t witnessed elsewhere. They have no idea what it’s like to work for anyone other than BA. The relationship between pilots and crew is very poor compared to previous employers. (Though to be fair this may be as much to do with the locked door post 911 policy) .Cabin crew are well cared for by the company and fly half as much as you will! I recently completed a 3 day 10 sector trip whilst our Helsinki stopping cabin crew did just one sector out, standover dayin HEL, then one sector back! The inefficiencies at BA have to be seen to be believed.
The training dep’t encompasses some clever even brilliant guys who have masses of experience, knowledge and ability (along with the usual arrogant and narcissistic rogues!) – but somehow the actual training outcomes are poor.
The company line is that BA is best and we are head and shoulders above other operators. It’s simply not true. I’ve witnessed some really shabby events on line and I’m not impressed. Simple procedures such as refuelling and tech log entries are made so bloody complicated that 95% of the guys do it wrong. SOP’s change frequently and company publications are ambiguous and difficult to follow.

BA’s fuel policy – or rather the dogmatic interpretation of it, causes a lot of stress on line. As an example, you frequently burn 500kg just getting out of LHR during the taxy phase ( only 100 to 200kg allowed on flight plan) and BA sometimes allow only 8 mins contingency on the return sector!
In addition to this, LHR means traffic jams in and out of work, long stressful arrivals where radio frequencies are over congested and arrival separation is rarely more than the min 2.5 miles.

Commuting and “life costs” around LHR are higher than elsewhere in the world! A modest but decent family home with garaging and within a civilized neighbourhood where you can have confidence in the schools costs £600K.

To sum up; I’d say there is more to life than money. BA pays reasonably well – but perhaps it’s arguable that it’s not worth the hassle. You are unlikely to be totally happy at BA. Most flights will be with total strangers. The typical day starts with continual moaning. (despite my diatribe above – I try to be really positive at work!).Cabin crew unions and their participants do there best to spoil the commercial success and the micro – “day to day” running and good nature of the cabin crew. Many pilots are looking for part time so they can spend more time with their families.

You might be happier (albeit poorer) elsewhere!

30th Jun 2004, 09:02
Just a quickie, the BAC 1-11 sim at Bournemouth is no longer in use but they are offering the 727 sim as an alternative. Also, the Trident sim at Biggin went tech last weekend with no timescale as to when it would be back up.



Big Kahuna Burger
30th Jun 2004, 09:29
youve said it all for me.

If I knew then what I knew now, I would have stayed where I was, for all of the well stated reasons above.

Anybody who has a 'decent' jet job, talk to guys who have made the switch in the last couple of years and really pick there brains before jumping ship.

Its not a happy place to work.

30th Jun 2004, 10:59
Reckon the last couple of posts just about wrap this up then!! I was verbally told that had passed but that no contracts would be sent out in the near future due to finalising the T's and C's - ie the BACC are still in dispute over the pension. When i replied that they needn't bother the personnel lady was totally shocked. Anyway i have had my day in court so no more from me on this thread - Wasn't the weakest link but Goodbye!


Orion Man
30th Jun 2004, 17:23
Nutty Nigel,

476 applicants for 120 jobs is still less than 4-1 ! I don't think most people here do think that it has been an overwhelming recruitment success judging by most of the posts on this thread.

There will be a lot of people like MaxOAB who are accepted and will decline and a lot of people who apply more out of curiousity than real desire to leave their current employer to join the reduced T & Cs at BA.

You're right, BA is not the airline it used to be but the terms and conditions did not deteriorate immediately upon privatisation. BAs best years were in the decade following privatisation. The advent of the LCCs has forced a strategic rethink. I have many friends at BA and most think the management has been extremely arrogant and complacent about how good BA is to work for. Perhaps the penny is finally beginning to drop with the lack of interest evidenced in this recruitment drive.

Regards Orion Man

Nutty Nigel
30th Jun 2004, 18:47
Orion man
You have me wrong, BA managers are extremely arrogant but 120 suitable applicants would be viewed as a victory from their perspective.

Also 476 pilots is a good turn out for 120 jobs and that is the truth.Sorry to say it and i have been around but BA is still the number one in the UK if you want a steady job delivering the Goods.

IMHO 476 qualified applicants can no way be viewed as lack of interest!

Going Around
30th Jun 2004, 19:25
So how come BA haven't managed to fill all 120 positions then?

Airbus Girl
30th Jun 2004, 19:50
476 applicants. Pass rate of 1 in 20 was quoted in an earlier posting. So that means that they'll have around 23 pilots who will come through the recruitment assessment process in one piece. 23 will eventually be offered jobs. If, say, 1 in 5 change their minds, then they might end up with around 19 pilots.

19 pilots for 127 jobs. That is just the vacancies this year. They will need some more for next year just to replace the retirees.

To recruit 108 pilots at the current pass rate they will need another 2,160 applicants.

The only way they could possibly get that many is by opening up the recruitment to non-type rated people. Are there really 2,160 frozen ATPL holders out there?

In the 2002-2003 year, there were 163 new CPL(A)s issued and 60 IRs issued. There were 1458 full ATPL(A)s issued, although presumably most of these will be current pilots who have now reached the various hours/ experience requirements for full ATPL issue.

So I think really BA will be looking at the 163 new CPL (presumably frozen ATPL) holders, although only 60 IRs so perhaps only 60 who are current. And the non type rated people flying other aircraft for other operators already. So that would be the turbo-prop/ regional jet operators (probably lots of keen pilots there, but quite a small market) and the low cost carriers whose pilots mainly have B737 type ratings.

I don't know how BA are going to get enough people through the door.

And does the BA assessment work? I personally know someone who struggles through every sim with BA and will not make it through a command course. There must be many others.

How come Virgin can recruit for the A340 and B747 with just an interview? Are all their pilots rubbish?

Perhaps BA should reconsider its assessment. If they like what they are doing then fine, but it seems like they are making a rod for their own backs.

Man Flex
30th Jun 2004, 19:59
I'm sorry, did I suggest that I actually wanted to join BA as a DEP?

No, I haven't applied and have no intention of doing so.

Some of my early commercial flying was in something slightly bigger than a Seneca. Nevertheless it was a manually flown aircraft with basic navigation aids flying during some very challenging weather and into some very challenging airfields. I may sound 'modest' but I have to say that my manual flying skills back then were second to none.

I have had the pleasure in recent years of flying with quite a few ex-rather senior BA pilots (Training Captains and Fleet Managers) who have all said that I would have easily fitted into BA and that the standard there during their time was not as high as the company that I presently worked for.

It seems to me that in most cases the only people that think BA is the only place to work are existing BA pilots who haven't known anything else!

30th Jun 2004, 20:12
I agree with much of the post from Yeovil - a page back .. that's so accurate.

Airbus Girl said; "How come Virgin can recruit for the A340 and B747 with just an interview"
The same way they get away with paying cabin crew £1200 nett when BA pays £2100 nett. The company has an identity, a sense of fun. The pax are well looked after, the employees are proud of the airline. You could join Virgin knowing you will have fun whilst at work.
Young people; who want to do the job properly, have a laugh and make a living.

30th Jun 2004, 21:03
The rumour is that BA's recruiters are not professionally-trained. Which makes one wonder how they can select good professionals from the not-so-good. They do not seem to be performing well thus far.

30th Jun 2004, 23:23
Okay i said no more from me but a point worthy of note (i hope). My company receives about 200CV's a week for no jobs. I would bet that it's the same for most companies. 30% i am told are from type rated guys and gals. When vacancies arise the process is a half day with interview, group exercise and a briefing. Those that are successful then undergo a sim assessment from one of our trainers who looks at basic stuff. I think it is a fair and cost effective system. Why do BA need to put mature pilots through a system designed to see if 18 year olds have the capabilty to learn how to fly? I have been involved in the development of these tests over the years and they only indicate certain traits, they do not say that the individual is going to become chuck yeager! In fact most are designed around the military prospect - an excellent example is the recognition of wing span and deciding wether or not to fire the missile - how relevant is that to a commercial operation? Okay so the capacity test has some merit but after my 3 hour sim detail i underwent yet another micropat test this time with rudder pedals!! So the 1-11 assessment still isn't enough?

The hard truth is that without the final salary pension BA T's and C's are not that attractive unless you are quite young and/or work for a company that is looking a bit dodgy (sorry My Travel guys!) I was more envious of some of the BMI guys that were flying the 330 as well as the 320/321 - seems the perfect job to me.

400 odd suitable for 125 jobs i reckon is piss poor and i agree with other posts, in the past BA would have been overwhelmed with applications but not anymore. The world is a much different place and the legacy carriers need to wake up and smell the coffee!
Yeovil's post i reckon is spot on and worthy of a second read.



Silver Birch
1st Jul 2004, 10:41
This thread... and a number of others on the site (especially the one about BA Wanabees in the recruitment section) are real eye-openers if you're looking for a new employer.

I've done a bit of digging and spoken to a few recent BA employees (got some contacts through mates), and the universal message is a total thumbs-down.

No-way-join-BA if you have any sort of career at the moment.
The seniority system (for absolutely EVERYTHING) dumps all the rubbish at the door of anyone in the bottom quarter of any fleet... and stops you changing fleets too!

I thought that the talk of "no weekends off" and "20+ years to command" sounded like the usual rumour rubbish... but not so.

All the guys I've spoken to say exactly the same thing. Quite a few told me that they wished they'd never joined, and are looking to jump ship... Emirates, Virgin, Easy have all been mentioned.

These guys are all on the old (i.e. decent) pension... how much worse will it get under the new version?

Also, word on the streets is that the only reason that the current pilots are fighting the new pension proposal, is simply in order to protect their own scheme... they are worried that they could be transferred.

If BA offer the pilots something to "ringfence" the old scheme for current employees, my contacts tell me that BALPA will roll over on the new scheme proposals straight away... they don't really care about the Ts & Cs of new joiners (why would they?).

Also, the cost of living in the South East (or commuting) seems to erode any pay increase that people get from being in BA... and the fact that you'll do 900 hours (longhaul) or 800 (shorthaul) with 11 days off a month, makes the package look dreadful.

I wouldn't apply now, for sure.

Yeager's Lovechild
1st Jul 2004, 11:04
Also, word on the streets is that the only reason that the current pilots are fighting the new pension proposal, is simply in order to protect their own scheme... they are worried that they could be transferred.

The word is not too far off the mark.

max nightstop
1st Jul 2004, 12:17
Surely if BA are recruiting pilots for the next 30 years or so they should be testing their aptitude for flying future aircraft. As technology replaces manual skills there are some people who reach a limit of "understanding and managing" rather than not having the hand eye thought coordination.

Ergo, the sim ride should be conducted on, either the space shuttle, or Microsoft Flight sim.


1st Jul 2004, 12:58
Would-be BA employees: "Caveat Emptor"!

"Yeovil" has it in one.

1st Jul 2004, 13:32
So 476 applied?? This is not very good when you consider the whole of the 25 countries in the EU can apply plus all those in the "Colonies" with an EU passport.

In the "good" old days you had to be " British" to join BA now any Pierre ,Fritz or Ivan can apply. The price we pay for being in the EU and English being the language that most Pilots can get by with I guess.

Long Live UKIP!!

Going Around
1st Jul 2004, 16:16
As so well demonstrated when BA had an FO from Finland taking the England squad out to Portugal for Euro 2004:*

1st Jul 2004, 17:17
BA does have many faults but name me an airline that doesn't. The negative postings about length of time to command if joining BA now are true due to the simple fact that many young guys will be senior to you and and will remain so for the next 20 years or so until they retire. The same thing has happened before.

Despite the whingeing and moaning the company has many, many attributes. If thinking about it, do your homework, jump through the hoops and join if it appeals.

If the package becomes so poor against other airlines it will be interesting to actually see market forces at work!

As an aside I don't believe many people in their 20s and 30s even think about pensions. I took great interest around my 40th birthday.:eek:

Orion Man
1st Jul 2004, 17:44

I think people in their 20s and 30s do think more about their pensions now with all the negative publicity and scandals surrounding them. If you don't start thinking about your pension until your 40s, you will never catch up. I am no pensions expert but a money purchase pension is considerably less favourable for an employee as a result of longer life expectancy reducing annuity rates and volatile stock markets.

I don't think people are BA bashing here but rather pointing out that this is a crap deal and the derisory numbers applying is a good indication of that.

Spearing Britney
2nd Jul 2004, 20:21
Does the 476 include those who registered on the website to look at the entry form or those who completed it? I was one of the former, didn't apply and got an email and then a phone call to ask me to complete. Not a company spoilt for choice if you ask me!

A Very Civil Pilot
3rd Jul 2004, 14:39
The BA website no longer has DEP vacancies listed. Perhaps they have found all they need (or else are rewriting the advertisement)

Nutty Nigel
3rd Jul 2004, 15:56
Well it was 476 after the initial selection and thats Pilots with the correct type,experience and within the age bracket,i dont know how many filled in an application form or registered an intrest but i suspect it was in the thousands.

Airbus Girl
I have to answer with dream on to your comment,i can just see the flight crew manager telling RE only 19 pilots were suitable,i think the answer would be something along the lines of " Offer the job to 108 least unsuitable ones then or find another job " .
I well remember the advanced and intricate selection criteria that was used by Lord King for the Dan-Air take-over,they went out of their way to screen the 1 in 20 Dan-Air guys and girls........................i think not,old Lordy have the 737s and the pilots with um as a done deal,a 1-11 sim never showed its head for a moment!

Carnage Matey!
3rd Jul 2004, 16:35
In the thousands? You really must stop attending those management briefings. As of about a month ago the total number of aplication form downloads was only around 400, and that figure came from somebody in recruitment. Are you seriously suggesting that in the subsequent four weeks there was a sudden leap in interest, with thousands more downloading the form and hundreds of suitably type-rated applicants applying en-masse? Seems somewhat unlikely to my cynical mind.

4th Jul 2004, 08:39
A mate who is a BA Balpa rep said that 420 Midland pilots and 150 Virgin pilots had asked for an application form. He expected that some of them were outside BA's age and experience requirements though.

4th Jul 2004, 09:11
The only way 420 bmi pilots could have applied is if several of them applied twice! Don't you know we are shrinking?

As for 150 VS pilots I can't believe that, its probably the 50 or so that are bmi pilots but waiting to be VS pilots !!!:)

4th Jul 2004, 22:29
Mate of mine who has been in the pool since Sept 11th failed the interview 5 weeks ago. He was called up by BA last week, they said that he hadn't failed after all, and that he had done "very well". They are now offering him a Sim Check.

What a shambles!! This shows how well recruitment is really going. Desired numbers have not been reached therefore "standards lowered".

My advice was not to accept if offered the job. I am 36 and joined 3 years ago, prospects here are not good for someone of my age, you need to join before 30 in order to get close to enjoying the lifestyle and career progression that come with Seniority.

I would have been better going for Virgin or staying with my last employer!!

BA's new DC Pension is a joke, their contributions are 12% of PENSIONABLE PAY not BASIC SALARY. Pensionable is about 15K LESS than basic! Compare to Virgin's 15% contribution on both basic salary AND flight pay. No brainer!!

What I remember from the 1-11 Sim was that it was tricky getting a scan going (coming from EFIS 737), but what they were after was decision making, management of medical emergency and subsequent diversion, plus "catching" low QNH altimetry and tail wind low track mile gotcha's. The assessment is an overall thing to see how you will cope with future conversions.

I got a "G" induced stall warning in the hold and still passed!

Human Factor
4th Jul 2004, 22:52
The 12% of pensionable pay equates to about 9% of basic pay. My understanding is that Virgin pays about 15% of basic.

Nutty Nigel
5th Jul 2004, 13:38
I bow to your knowledge but i thought the abatement thing was a NAPs only rip-off,why would pensionable pay not be the basic therefore?

Human Factor
5th Jul 2004, 14:15
Good point. It would appear at this stage though that the 12% contribution for DC applies to the current "Pensionable", giving the 9% approx of basic. I think negotiations are likely to be on going. However, the NAPS "Pensionable" at the top end of the scale is close to Robber Brown's pension cap so if pensionable pay was increased, it would probably become illegal. I'm no way expert enough to how this would effect the new DC scheme, although I'm willing to bet a DC pension would be no where near the pension cap. However, there would probably be murders if the DC scheme was based on a higher rate of pay than NAPS.

Unfortunately, it's a very complicated issue with no easy answers.

5th Jul 2004, 17:36
NN / HF...

Prior to the last BA Pay Deal, Pensionable did equal Basic. There was then this "abatement" discount ~£4.5K.

With the Pay Deal, a separate Pensionable scale was introduced. It was lower than the SH payscale, and common to LH/MH/SH to:
1. Mean all were on a common scale
2. Avoid the Pension CAP limit for Max contributions
3. Allow for the fact that the new Pay Scales included previously non-pensionable elements.

In NAPS now, you still apply the Abatement to the Pensionable scale. With the proposed MPS scheme you do not...

Hope that helps...


Human Factor
5th Jul 2004, 17:51
Fair cop. IMHO, the new joiners deal still remains decidedly second rate compared to the existing one.

Ignition Override
6th Jul 2004, 04:56
The pilots "over here" who have the most trouble with a 60s technology simulator are those who came straight from the A-320 (how about 757 or 744?), and this came from an Instructor Pilot when I upgraded.

A British pilot told me off-the-record that airlines in the UK have little interest in actual piloting skills, or words to that effect. 'He' seemed to imply that using automation was much more desireable.:confused:

6th Jul 2004, 10:23
Hi all
the reason why they withdrew the dep. pilots add from website
could also be,that BA is in talks with BACX and uses suitable
canditates from within BACX pilots community.

Talks have been going on for month as far as i am aware.

Would make sense as BA would have full access to previous
track(training)records and some of the pilots,RJ fleet,already
operate to BA SOP and know how to operate the BA WAY.

Maybe there is somebody out there who knows more about
this as i do!
If you do,please let us know.


Airbus Girl
7th Jul 2004, 08:06
I heard rumour that BA were planning to take on people from BACX. The ad was withdrawn because that campaign already had a "closing date" of 30 June.

I think BA should take a dozen of their 3 year ex-Cadet Airbus pilots and put them in the BAC 1-11 with very little pre-warning and see if they would pass a BA assessment in it.

Would be a very interesting experiment I think.

7th Jul 2004, 09:26

The issue is not from where they come, or their skills, but the contract on which they are employed and more specifically the pension terms and conditions. Without agreement between the BACC and BA there will be new contracts offered by BA without the real prospect of strike action.

7th Jul 2004, 09:40
(You've not flown with a BA cadet have you Airbus girl? These are some of the most stunningly gifted pilots that I have flown with and it is very humbling to watch somebody with such a low flight time operate an aircraft to such a high standard. What is more staggering is that they manage to do this without having the benefit of seeing how other FO operate, flying 3 crew on the Trident was the only way I realised how hard I was going to have to work to just be average. Trust me if you were going to put any BA pilot in the sim the ones you would choose would be the cadets, then our fast jet colleagues who also seem to be unheathly good followed by DEP's then right at the back us old duffers who get a bit upset if the angle of bank exceeds 25 degrees and we are not given hdgs to to intercept an ILS.)

New joiners to BA be aware.

1. You are not going to get a SH command for 12 years plus whatever the 2006 change brings...probably looking at 17 years

2. Unless in your twenties you are NEVER going to get a LH command. Already over a thousand pilots under 30 in the airline and you need to be in the top 1000 to achieve a LH command.

3. Bidline is great if you are in the top 2/3's of a fleet. At the bottom it is not so great. You will work every weekend and have no control over your roster. However once published it is set in stone.

4. This seems to be ignored by a lot of posters but is perhaps the most important part of the BA system. Fot the first five years BA can do anything they like with you fleet wise. The last lot of DEP's who joined all had 747/777 fleets written into their joining contracts, however on day one they were told this had changed and they were now all to go to the 'bus. Some were MIGHTY hacked off with this, especially those who wanted to commute, but could nothing about it. It is not unusual for pilots to complete the ground school and sim course to be tyold that the plan has changed and the fleet they are going to no longer wants them. Back to back type conversions is not fun...but it can and does happen. So whatever fleet you think you might be joining BEWARE. ( The reason BA wants type rated people is NOT soley because of reduced training costs, the difference in training is bugger all, but to ensure that pilots are not just joining for a cheap type rating. A few years ago we got stung by some chaps who got 777 ratings and then went off to fly for Emirates). Remember you join the company not a certain fleet. Whatever is written in your joining contract could be changed on day 1

5. The pension is an insult. You will be retiring on a lot less than the current CSD's. Hopefully BALPA will stand firm on this and ensure a final salary pension but at the moment the leadership, whilst hard working and well meaning, are not giving a strong enough lead for this to happen.

Well thats Me
7th Jul 2004, 12:44
So what you are really saying is the current BA pilots have things so cosy its a raw deal for any DEPs,maybe BA should do something that any other rational industry would allow,you would view it as rash and all be throwing your toys out of the pram.
............. Experience is everything in the flying Club correct?
............. so why not ask for direct entry CAPTAINS !!!

They could even get Mr Oleary in to administer it.

** Shields Up captain **

7th Jul 2004, 13:17
I heard a rumour that people have;

a) turned BA jobs down
b) not turning up to interviews
c) walking out of interviews

Any truth in this?

Human Factor
7th Jul 2004, 13:32
Ok, WTM, you've got a bite! ;)

The problem with Direct Entry Captains into BA is that there are enough qualified people there at the moment waiting for the "Dead Man's Shoes". Not saying this isn't the case anywhere else though.

We took some direct entry captains a few years ago with the take over of CityFlyer. As the CityFlyer aircraft were dispersed elsewhere, a deal was done to ensure that the CityFlyer captains kept their commands, even though they were bottom of the seniority list, with certain restrictions. One of which was if they left LGW shorthaul, they lost their commands, as they were about 1500 places short of holding a command at LHR.

If we were to recruit direct entry captains, a similar deal would have to be done no doubt, and these people would almost certainly have to go to the 'unpopular fleet' at LGW as the popular vacancies (basically anything at LHR) could be covered by suitably qualified current employees. Therefore there would be unlikely to be any movement off the 'unpopular fleets'.

Keep in mind that any DE Captain would have to be paid the market rate for the job (otherwise he or she wouldn't come) so it's actually to BA's benefit to recruit to the bottom of the pile and promote from within. Think about it, an experienced BA co-pilot who has many years of operations under his belt is well paid as a co-pilot. By promoting him, the wage bill to pay him as a captain and then recruit a new junior FO to replace him is likely to be less than to keep paying him a high FO's salary and some new guy as a Captain on broadly the same pay. Also, this would result in a lot of experienced people jumping ship as they were 'passed over' which would cause the overall experience level to decrease on the flight deck and insurance premiums to increase.

I'm sure if BA thought it was in their interests to advertise for DE Captains, they would have done already.

Just my opinion though. ;)

Well thats Me
7th Jul 2004, 13:58
I actually like fishing and i wondered how long it would take to get a nibble.

On a serious note the only point i was making ( not that theres a easy answer ) is the T + C at BA are actually very good ( in brackets good ) its the negotiated scheme that yourselves have with BA via BALPA that make it seem less atractive,for instance if BA were to take on any engineers ( extremely unlikely ) a new starter would be on exactly the same as me after 2 years.its the waiting for command and the 24 incruments plus bidline that makes it look poor to a new starter,as i said initially ( the bit about captains was just bait ) the current employees have conditioned a LIFO scheme for all areas of the T + C which makes it appear not very good.

Human Factor
7th Jul 2004, 14:25
Unfortunately/fortunately, LIFO is a fact of life with many companies. The trouble with any seniority based company is just that.

However, pilots for any big airline (BA sized) are in a seniority based industry. We can't just up-sticks and move to an equivalent position at another company. For example, my next career move would be to become a shorthaul captain. If I left BA to join Air France (for example, assuming I could speak French well enough), I would have to start at the bottom of the pile again, on Pay Point Une and probably as a shorthaul co-pilot. Sure, I could become a Captain in time, but I would put myself seven or eight years behind my current position. If I worked in the City, for example, a sideways/upwards move is the norm between equivalent companies. I think ground engineering works this way too (although not necessarily at BA perhaps?).

The reason we have twenty four pay increments for each rank is recognition of the fact that we can't make sideways/upwards moves with other companies. In a way, it's a loyalty bonus. I'm not saying the system we have is right or wrong. However, it is the system I was recruited with so it will have to do. As things stand, I would be mightily peed off if someone was recruited to BA tomorrow to take a command which I have been waiting for loyally for x years.

Without a seniority system (this is world-wide, not just BA), if I felt I could make a good career move by going to AF, say, I could go there as a shorthaul captain on the best deal for me and perhaps re-join BA in a few years as a longhaul captain if the deal suited me.

The only way to do this is to remove seniority lists from airlines worldwide which will never happen. Just to emphasise that I'm talking about companies of a similar size to BA (AF, LH, AA, etc), not lo-costs or regional operators.

So that is the reason why we keep LIFO and a seniority list at BA.

7th Jul 2004, 19:41
WTM. I don't understand your point about direct entry Captains? We have a massive surplus of guys that are qualified to fly LHS, some with 12 years plus experience. It ain't Captains we need. That's the problem for new entrants, they aren't going to be needed as Captains for a VERY long time. It's only fair that those who apply know the facts. However the main point that seems to constantly missed is that whatever the airline promises it can all change on day one. There were plenty of 777 qualified guys who suddenly found themselves on the 'bus a few years ago despite having a contract that specified 777/747. This is all common knowledge within BA but may not be outside the airline. Only last month 6 guys who had just completed their 747 ratings were told the plan had changed and they were to go back to the 777(which is the fleet with the lowest morale in the airline) and that they would have to re-do their conversion next year. That's no laughing matter....... :p

Well thats Me
7th Jul 2004, 21:17
I see your points and know BA tactics all to well.

The point i was trying to get across is concerning the numerous posts to perspective DEPs,yes there will be little chance of a command if they are middle aged and it will take 24 years to make top pay - However this is all the doing of the current pilot population via BALPA not BA.
I do my share of slagging BA ( most of it justified ) but i feel sure they would happily balance up the incrument scheme if they could,i know what your going to say but i dont believe that they want 24 incruments or the current seniority scheme,it is the way it is but not at the hands of BA.:uhoh:

HF -
Quote " I think ground engineering works this way too (although not necessarily at BA perhaps?) "

BA engineering = same pay and conditions 2 years or 32!

Da Dog
8th Jul 2004, 06:47

Still spreading untruths:yuk:

The pay deal last year tried to reduce the paypoints from 24 to 18, then as a compromise 20 BA would you belive would not move one inch on this point so don't blame BALPA or the Pilots for this!;) Get your FACTS right before you post:mad: :mad:

Well thats Me
8th Jul 2004, 08:29
Da Dog
I cant comment on the exact details but i suspect it would have cost money and thats why they didnt go for it .
- a lower average basic would also affect NAPs pensions, i suspect the proposal to reduce the number of paypoints that BALPA tabled didnt have a lower top end ie it wasnt a averaging over a career exercise rather a lets get rich quicker one.

I am not on a wind-up here ( well i was after a nibble with the DEP Captains bit,) just pointing out that you have a excessively long incrument scheme that makes joining BA unattractive for middle aged people,would you as a group accept a averaging exercise and say 5 - 10 paypoints -- depends when you joined?:confused:

8th Jul 2004, 09:05
back to the 777(which is the fleet with the lowest morale in the airline)

I am on the 777 and that comment is without foundation.

9th Jul 2004, 16:51
well a few years ago i remember when Big airways had a recruitment drive, about the time they spent all the money on 'ethnic tails' and employed an agency who had no idea whatsoever about qualifications etc ! upon informing said DEP recruiter !! that i had several thousand hours on 767's the next question i got was 'did i have a multi-engine rating ? ' - actually did me a favour -but that's life ! :p :p

18th Jul 2004, 12:49
Latest rumour is that, in order to delay the date on which the first pilot is to be recruited on the Money Purchase Scheme - and which will lead to trouble, BA is considering removal of the CRA for all existing pilots (which is what they will have to do by October 2006 anyway).

Hotel Mode
18th Jul 2004, 14:24
Dont think that'll work 90% of the guys i fly with are gagging to retire/ spend crystallised pension etc. Its all ex Hamble guys retiring. Its a couple of years before the majority of the ex RAF etc DEPS get there.

Brookmans Park
18th Jul 2004, 16:21
I could well be wrong but I thought that the "Super!? sim went to EAC at BOH, together with the a/c.

I am glad to say that I have not had the pleasure of the 1-11 in this millenium(just)

If you think the Cranebank 1-11 is bad news then you then you would not want to experience "St thetic" in Dublin

When it started life in the Iron Age the sim thought it was an EI 200 series, it was then told to be a 3/400, fine, but then came the 500 New Leading Edge( for the charter market) , nice quick panel change for the sim engineers, but I never managed to complete a session without a couple of tantrums luckily nobody ever told it to be "a Super 1-11 " although it was quite happy as 1-11-500(old leading edge)which was the original 500 series , which BA "Improved"!

19th Jul 2004, 02:25

..................the words bmi and training department appeared in the same sentence during this thread...................

Obviously an accident of the English language and not a belief that bmi has the organisation or capability to decribe, what occurs, as either training or a department.

Come on lads and lassies, tell the truth............

BA clearly require their aircrew to demonstrate good old fashioned IFR handling skills.

Just wanted to make sure I'm not wasting my time teaching my cadets how to actually operate an aircraft.


19th Jul 2004, 09:10

I think there may be some resentment to your slur on the bmi training department,which is respected within the industry.

Please give us some actual details on which you base your slanderous statement,so that those who are about to experience it can be prepared!

Gerrupta Singh.

6th Aug 2004, 09:00
As an ex-BA driver ( surplus at 55 ) I now fly with lots of young motivated copilots who are (nearly all ) keen to join BA or Virgin.
I am constantly amazed how many excellent candidates are issued with a 'thanks but no thanks' by BA before even being offered an i/view , and now read how few are getting through at all and that BA are 'worried'.
But then again , I am not that surprised really , because I know that the initial applications get nowhere near a 'real pilot ' until they have been summarily treated to a lottery by an agency who are hired by BA to sort the applications. Picture it now , as your carefully worded CV rises to the top of the pile at 4.55 pm on a hot Friday afternoon.........oops , it went in the recycle bin ......never mind , its only someones life and dreams gone up in smoke.
Believe me , this happens a lot , to some excellent candidates , even A320 and B737 rated copilots.
Take my advice and try again , maybe this time it will rise to the top at 0905 on a Tuesday !!!!
Good luck - you will never regret joining BA or Virgin.

7th Aug 2004, 15:18
.... getting back to a question raised many pages previously ....

Does anyone have any info about the profiles that are being flown on the 1-11 during selection at the moment.

ANY info would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks everyone.

7th Aug 2004, 17:56
Seconded Schooner boy, profile info anyone??

Val d'Isere
11th Aug 2004, 06:08
I think there may be some resentment to your slur on the bmi training department,which is respected within the industry.
Your opinion.

Not fact.

Fact is, the new generation of pilot leaves Oxford with 250 hours (or whatever), a small slice of that on a light twin, and then lets a computer festooned aeroplane (e.g. Airbus) mask his lack of skill and experience for the rest of his career.

Said pilot thinks he's the ace of the base, ignoring the massive assistance of a load of microcircuits.

Until, that is, it all goes wrong one dark and windy night, all the microcircuits go "fizz", and our ace is left looking at............

..........a BAC 1-11 cockpit (in essence). :rolleyes:

11th Aug 2004, 11:03
offthread but: an RAF friend of mine did the interview; " L1011 time, very nice... however we'd prefer someone with your background to have some Tristar time..."

11th Aug 2004, 15:27
Nearly 20 years ago I attended the interview, and was told that the phsycometric testing indicated that I was a poor risk for flight deck training. I was then shown the door.

At the time I had done 14 years as a RAF pilot and QFI, and was employed by DAN AIR as a BAC 1-11 captain. Total flying hours just under 10,000.

Still I suppose they knew best, just ask some of my current FOs!

12th Aug 2004, 11:55
Problem is Staircase you were ex DAN Air, they have a BIG problem for some reason with those 6 lettters. Problem I feel eminates from BALPA but I don't wish to reopen that Hornets nest.

Joyce Tick
12th Aug 2004, 13:27
Val d'Isere

Let me tell you about those Oxford guys with <200 hours...

I do around 200 assessments a year for various airlines (which will give the game away to many) and the guys and gals from Oxford and Cabair fly very disciplined and smooth IF and asymmetric - and all raw data.

And I could tell you about some of the pilots I've seen with thousands of hours on bigjets doing the same assessment - but I don't think you'd believe me.

Dark and stormy night? All the automatics failed? I'd be quite happy with one on these well-trained young guys next to me.

..and btw I'm ex-military and no direct connection with above mentioned civilian schools..

12th Aug 2004, 13:43
Just extrapolating your thinking out then a bit Joyce tick.......those of us who fly around in the most awful weather....all on raw data doing it for real, night after night..single pilot or multi-crew....with a couple of thousand hours of this under our belt....should it would seem, make a better fist of things than say a 20yr old with 250hrs?....dont forget that the ability to stump up 20k for a type rating goes a long way as well.
Just a thought



Joyce Tick
12th Aug 2004, 14:11
Not quite sure what you're getting at Haughtney - but obviously the more time you have at raw IF, the better you'd become I would have thought. I also flew Senecas, twin Coms etc for a couple of years and agree that it works wonders for the scan.

I was just a bit mad at Val's put down of low-houred guys in general, when it's the training and disciplines that count more...

12th Aug 2004, 17:28
I was trying to (in a softly..softly way) imply that there are plenty of very competent, disciplined, experienced, and completely dedicated aircrew that never even get the opportunity that a lot of the fresh faced graduates seem to recieve. In a way I was having a bit of a moan, but more than that I am trying to highlight the real situation that I continue to see on a daily basis. It appears those with enough money and contacts will tend to prevail over more experienced, more competent (although the profile might say less suitable because of marraige, kids, or god forbid who they have worked for..etc..) individuals who would bring far more as a member of the flight-deck than just what college, flight school, and type rating they possess. In essence I am convinced that most of the larger carriers here in the Uk are limiting their human resource based on short-term, short sighted, and wholly unsustainable recruitment policies...wheeeeww.
End of rant..(it wasnt ment to be one!)



Oh one last thing........I dont have issues!:D