View Full Version : Whats the hurry these days?

1st Oct 2008, 00:19
Hi, I'm 18 years old, just finished A-Levels and am looking for a full time job at the moment (Just to paint the picture).

I am more than aware of the amount of routes into the flight deck including the pricey integrated way. I'm always reading about people on here lending vast amounts of money and running off to the states or new zealand or whatever with all these FTOs and coming back in a year or 2's time with loadsss of debt and no guarentee of a job.

I may sound really stupid here and there will probably be an obvious reason for it, but does no one just want to take their time with the ATPL? Work, your gaining experience and saving money and flying over a few years? I do apologise if this thread is a waste of time, but I know for sure that I dont just want to rush through my training as quickly as possible, I want to enjoy it and make the most of it.

Anyone else have a view on this topic?

1st Oct 2008, 02:26
Well you can take your time doing the training, I guess thats why the modular route is there. You can also work while doing the ATPL ground school via the distance learning route, though you will need alot of discipline. There is a deadline of I think 18 months to finish all of your ATPL's from your first exam, and also after finishing the last of the 14 exams there is also a 36 month deadline to finish off your CPL/IR, or else if you want to do the CPL/IR after the period, you will have to re-do all the exams again. There is also alot of part-time training (flying), so you can probably try that out if you want the working route.

But just a word of warning: when you start, you don't want to stop. Flying is just so addictive.


1st Oct 2008, 09:22
I do apologise if this thread is a waste of time

Far from it. It's a very sensible plan - I only wish more 18 year olds thought the way you do.

Get a full time job to pay for your flying and build some life experience while you're at it. One thing that many wannabes fail to appreciate is that once you've made it to a right hand seat, flying soon becomes just a job. Admittedly much better than most jobs, and you'll enjoy going to work every morning, but it's still just a way of paying the bills. You will be shocked how quickly this happens - I'm talking months rather than years.

Boredom follows routine, as sure as night follows day. Let's say you move aircraft type and company for a new challenge and more money every three years or so. Let's say that's three years in a turboprop, three years for a low-cost jet carrier, three years for a charter airline. You've now got 5,000hrs or so, and your CV appeals to the big guys. You join EK / VS / BA. If you started in your early twenties, you'll now be in your early thirties - with another 30 years of long-haul flying ahead of you. You will be bored silly, but once at the top of tree there are few places left to go. I got my first job aged 36, so following that logic, I'll be pushing 50 before I have to worry about boredom (by which time I'll probably have much better things to worry about . . .)

Coming back to training, if you pace yourself and work full-time to fund the flying, you'll reduce your debt exposure, have life experience and maturity, hopefully a fall-back career in case you ever lose your medical, and - and this is the bit that gets overlooked - some perspective on working in the real world which you can bring to your flying. You won't spend your entire career knowing nothing except the inside of a flightdeck. You're more likely to appreciate how lucky you really are.

1st Oct 2008, 09:31
George, there are a few of us that are doing it the way you suggest at Newcastle. And one of the instructors there has done it this way. Is definately the easiest way to do it imho.
I'm currently enrolled on the Bristol Groundschool (www.bristol.gs (http://www.bristol.gs)) distance learning ATPL's, and I never thought i'd get the motivation to do the course because I got so so bored reading the books for the PPL exams. But this course somehow is so well structured, lesson for lesson, week for week, that it seems to keep you interested and motivated.
The flying school at Newcastle as a facebook group, which is well worth joining.

1st Oct 2008, 09:59
I guess the reason some will go integrated is due to the marketing on the FTO's behalf. And of course the rumour that the airlines prefer integrated to modular.

As for taking your time, well I have read some posts where integrated students are defending their corner by saying that chances are they may land an airline job before modular students, giving them over 500hr on type more than a modular student who started the same day (one enrols on integrated the other starts his/her PPL) So in theory they should be one year ahead on the pay scales too and should get to the LHS seat first too.

So you could spend 80k and get a job paying 30k pa in 2 years time, or pay 45k for your fATPL and then have to work as a flying instructor for maybe 2 years on 20k pa before getting a job with an airline paying 30k+

For me the later route is my preferred choice, I have a good job at the moment which will act like a backup plan should the airlines be on their knees again, and it gives me a chance to complete my fATPL training debt free. There would be nothing stopping me working as a FI/air taxi for 15k pa as I don't have a 1,000 a month loan bill coming from HSBC like the integrated students will.

Good luck - you're thinking along the right lines so far :ok:

Lost man standing
1st Oct 2008, 18:43
You'll be a better pilot for it too, and more employable. I know that the main problems I have had with pilots is lack of life experience (not necessarily my youngest crew, just those that had never had to learn to make decisions, or have the breadth of experience on which to base their choices in new circumstances). Having to make decisions about your training, having to work and perhaps live independently.

1st Oct 2008, 18:53
I would say there's no sense rushing into it, but once you start, the more frequently you fly, the less your hard won skills will fade/erode between flights. If you go modular and do the PPL and hour building in the UK, the weather will provide more than enough restraint to the pace, so much that you will be very frustrated with it by the end. So delay the start, but go at it hammer and tongs once you start.

1st Oct 2008, 18:55
L'aviateur, glad to hear that ATPL's are more engaging than PPL exams. PPL air law is currently driving me potty!

And I have to agree with all of the above. It may sound a bit hippy, but I've always enjoyed the journey as well as the final destination. While there may be sound reasons for some people to cram everything into a year I don't feel the need to. So I'm not going to!

( and I say this as a postgrad professional for whom in theory the clock ticks ever louder...)



1st Oct 2008, 19:19
Yea, i'd agree that taking a full time job for a couple of years is definately worth it...earning money and so less of a loan needed. If its pace you want...have a look at the foundation degree Kingston university offers at Cabair. Includes going from 0 to frozen ATPL spread over about 2 years. You also get a foundation degree in aviation studies and a choice to do an additional year for a full honours degree. So it offeres a back up plan if finiding that first job prooves difficult at the end of your training!

All the best,


1st Oct 2008, 19:20
Hmm... Best post I've seen in this section in a long time--congratulations for your mature, careful analysis.

1st Oct 2008, 21:41
Great post.

Almost identical plan to myself so I can fully relate to what you are saying.

I am also 18, however I am in full time employment with a part time job on the side. The aim, as it is with yourself, is to save necessary funds for modular training. I am however considering doing an online university course to form some kind of back up plan in case things go tits up. I opted not to go to university earlier this year due to the debt that I would be in when finished and I did not want this hanging over my head before starting into pilot training. At least this way I am earning money to put towards these future expenses.

All the best with the job hunt GeorgEGNT


1st Oct 2008, 22:59

Before I start I'll tell you a bit about me:

16 left school 6 months into my A Levels (didn't want to be there)
17 got a job with easyJet at Luton checking in passengers
18 got a job with easyJet as Cabin Crew and started my PPL
19 got the job with a big scheduled and charter airline as an Operations Officer - finished the PPL
20 left the airline for college where I started my A Levels again! (actually wanting to study this time - hopefully allowing me to get decent grades!)I've chopped and changed but all for good reasons - to build experience!

For many people impatience plays a bit part. Personally I think it's best to gain a degree from the University of life before pursuing a career with so much stress and responsibility! I am mature for my age yet I know there are so many things out there that I'm yet to experience!

There are lots of things I want to do before I start training that I wont be able to do when employed! Yes, FTO's like to you start your training asap and say "the quicker you start training, the quicker you're earning money and the quicker you become a captain" but hey, you don't miss what you don't have!

By the age of 20 I had experience working for a handling agent, I was cabin crew for a year and a half and I worked in a busy operations department! Hopefully building a good foundation to a career as a pilot. Although they're not essential it's experience the guys and girls who went straight into training haven't got. I left working in the industry a month ago, and I'm now at college doing the A Levels I didn't do when I was 16/17/18. I want the A Levels to give me other options and something to fall back on.

It's a very unstable world we live in and you never know what's around the corner! Look at what happened to the OAT grads who walked into XL only to be walking back out again a few months later now at the bottom of the pile when it comes to experience!

Life is about what choices you made and how you deal with the bad hands fate gives you! Just try to put yourself in the best position you can, just in case...

Leaving the well paid airline ops room, playing with planes and passengers, wearing the pilots uniform and staff travel was a hard decision but I'm glad I did it, I'm loving college and have met some great people. Don't be in a rush to do anything - when you rush you make mistakes. Some people make 75,000 worth of mistakes.


1st Oct 2008, 23:17
Whats the hurry these days?

I hate my day job. I get a good package but I absolutely hate it :( I really want to get in the right hand seat as quickly as possible.


2nd Oct 2008, 11:33
Whats the hurry these days?

George - I dont want to sound patronising but your only 18... try saying that when you've been working a shitty/any job on terra firma for a few years. Its hard to keep yourself motivated to work unless you have some progress toward your ultimate goal to show for it.

But your point is a valid one...From the day you take the first ATPL exam, time is not on your side.

2nd Oct 2008, 14:12
I hate my day job. I get a good package but I absolutely hate it http://static.pprune.org/images/smilies/sowee.gif I really want to get in the right hand seat as quickly as possible.

Don't you think most people hate their jobs? Even if they say they don't?
There are even many many pilots who don't enjoy working even though they had a dream of becoming a pilot as a kid. There is one thread about pilots who are tired of the routin job.



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