View Full Version : Becoming an airline pilot, sane or insane?

Princess Fiona
9th May 2005, 20:17
I was wondering just how many people are out there trying to secure that elusive first flying job, whilst keeping up the credit card payments (used to fund the soaring training costs as the bank has turned you down for a loan), mortgage, car etc, etc..

If you are crazy enough to instruct and receive unreliable and poorly paid wages for doing so, just to build up the hours to make you look more appealing to the airlines, then how many are you?

Also, why is there such a difference in attitude from airlines towards Modular and Integrated?

I'm merely wondering, as I think the conditions (from my own observations) e.g. course fees, lack of funding (e.g. government subsidies) job prospects for low houred, non-type rated pilots are appalling.

I considered the idea of becoming a Commercial Airline Pilot after forking out a heck of a lot for my PPL and IMC just prior to Sept 11th. The job market dropped like a vicor's pants at a tarts party, but seems to be picking up now, so I may reconsider this hefty investment, but what stops me is when I look at places like www.ppjn.com and the respective airline websites, they want so much more than the standard training gives you (i.e. more hours, especially multi), meaning you would have to be lottery jackpot winner to get the experience necessary under your belt.

Is this an area where Government help is needed. After all, this government did remove the NVQ Tax Relief for training, and it is a soupson more expensive to train here in the UK than it is elsewhere, all making for some serious debt with dodgy job prospects for newly qualified pilots?

Princess Fiona

9th May 2005, 20:21
The job market dropped like a vicor's pants at a tarts party

Nice. I like this Princess very much.
(Best of luck with it all :ok: )

Solid Rust Twotter
9th May 2005, 20:27
You enjoy aviation and you're prepared to do just about anything to fly.

No one in their right mind would pass up the opportunity to take advantage of someone like you, to your detriment.:(

9th May 2005, 20:29
Agreed, as someone who had a flying job, lost it and is now spending every penny I don't have on training...........

It's all worth it in the end!:ok:

P.S. Anyone want to buy a kidney?

9th May 2005, 20:32
What shape is your liver in? :E

Onan the Clumsy
9th May 2005, 20:34
Don't know, but I can guess at the shape of his kidney.

9th May 2005, 20:36
I'm sure we can reach an agreement on both if you can pay cash! Liver's in great shape, almost perfectly preserved.

9th May 2005, 20:56
almost perfectly preserved

You mean pickled :}

Now, back to these pilot folks.........

Onan the Clumsy
9th May 2005, 21:06
I have run the same equation several times and the results have stopped me from following through.

I saw a column that likened flying to show business and it made a lot of sense to me. What other industry would you hvae to pay to go to an interview? Just so you could get a job that paid peanuts? After you spent tens of thousands of dollars on training?


9th May 2005, 21:17
After you spent tens of thousands of dollars on training?

You really think David Caruso spend tens of thousands on his acting training :E

Solid Rust Twotter
9th May 2005, 21:23

I reckon they just hit him with a bucket of horse tranquilisers before he steps in front of the camera.

9th May 2005, 21:44
By my reckoning, flying as a commercial pilot is unsurpassed as a way of enjoying life, having great experiences, and mastering a fine craft while making a living.

That said, it is risky. And when you think you have it made, the rug can be pulled out from under you and you find yourself on the street. And we are one of the few professions where, when you've reached a level of experience which would qualify you as a master, you don't go to a new company and assume the level of pay and benefits you have achieved. You go to the bottom of the list at the new company unless you move into a management position.

The future doesn't look as golden as it did when I started out 30 years ago. But that may mean the opportunities will improve one day when enough bright young candidates choose another field and airlines have to compete for talent. Don't hold your breath waiting for that.

I built my time in the air force, which is the cheapest way to get good jet time, and obtain the discipline and other attributes being a good pilot requires without paying for it.

It doesn't take a genius to do this, but determination and refusal to let discouragement lead to defeat are mandatory.

9th May 2005, 23:38
I built my time in the air force, which is the cheapest way to get good jet time, and obtain the discipline and other attributes being a good pilot requires without paying for it.

New Zealand viewers take note.

10th May 2005, 02:34
the discipline and other attributes being a good pilot requiresWhen was that ever a requirement? Does anyone know a pilot who has it??? :confused:

10th May 2005, 02:47
Good point, XX. I meant the discipline to learn procedures, memorize numbers, remain in control of stressful situations, those sorts of things. I should have qualified that it doesn't necessarily extend to discipline in any other facet of a pilot's life.

Maude Charlee
10th May 2005, 07:48
My girl, you will never get anywhere in this industry if you continue to post sensible stuff on Jet Blast. Begone, and get thee hence to the wannabees forum.

10th May 2005, 13:05
Maude, we have to be inclusive now. Princess Fiona isn't necessarily a girl, maybe just someone who made some lifestyle choices;)

Princess Fiona
10th May 2005, 20:33
Thanks for the replies chaps.

What can I say, I suggest ebay as a really handy way of flogging your vital body parts ... I don't believe they have a 'try before you buy' policy.

What I had hoped for, from the posting was to get an idea of what you have to go through to get that convetted right hand seat, (then left after some time on type), and to use this ammo to get some changes to help us. I was thinking of lobbying the Government (I know it's probably a waste of time, but you have to start somewhere). I think we're heavily disadvantaged for assistance in our chosen careers for several reasons, possibly by the perception that the career is open only to 'toffs', secondly the cost of training here, compared to abroad is astonishingly high, not to mention the attitude of some airlines insisting on CAP509s rather than modular etc,

Anyway, again, thanks for the replies.

10th May 2005, 20:59
Hey Fi. why not ask Shrek...isn't he an ogre achiever?? You know how green with envy he gets at airline pilots......

Princess Fiona
11th May 2005, 19:10
He's too short for his weight, and wont fit into the flight deck :)