View Full Version : ulster flying club laying off 15 instructors

31st Mar 2009, 20:50
I was up in the North of Ireland recently and heard that the club had decided to get rid of their 15 mostly part time Fi's in favour of a full time newly qualified boy the CFI has taken a shine to. Looks like even the flying clubs with a bit of history are taking the ruthless approach.
I did my ppl there a few years ago and I had nothing but the highest regard for my instructors.
Not the place it used to be.

Nearly There
31st Mar 2009, 21:41
15 instructors replaced by one person! maybe more to it than just the CFI taking a shine to somebody, it would certainly aid in continuity of training.

1st Apr 2009, 11:24
I'm currently training at UFC, nearing the end of my PPL. UFC is the largest flying school in Northern Ireland, but they do sometimes have problems with instructor availability. However I haven't heard anything about them replacing 15 part time FIs with one full time guy, will maybe find out when I'm down there at the weekend. Also I wouldn't have thought that just one instructor (plus the CFI) would be sufficient?
With the possible exception of one person with whom I only flew once I also have nothing but the highest regard for the quality of instruction I have had at the club. So not sure I can agree with "not the place it used to be", although I have only been there for 2 years.

Am aware it's April 1st BTW :p

1st Apr 2009, 19:52
I've been a member of the Ulster Flying Club for about 6 years. From when I joined until about 2 years ago there were two full time instructors (CFI + one other) plus a number of part time instructors. After the last full time instructor got a job flying jets (though thankfully he still instructs part time) the club didn't hire another full time instructor, instead the part time instructors covered the hours.

Now it looks like the club may return to having 2 full time instructors. The suggestion that 15 part time instructors will be laid off is, in my opinion, nonsense. There is no way one full time instructor could cover the hours of 15 part time. I would be surprised if any of the part time instructors are laid off.

As Nearly There points out, having another full time instructor will help with continuity of training.

2nd Apr 2009, 08:23
I'm afraid dublinflyer is accurate in his assesment. I'm one of the 15 that are affected. I've been an instructor down at UFC for some years now and I can definately confirm there's a lot of ill feeling at the way this has been handled. Over the years I've juggled my days of full time work to help the club out when they were desperate for a QFI, I'm only one of many part timers that has received a call from Jan over the years, with her pleading for me to help her out. Let me just add that, it's Jan that runs that place, she's the one that knows the full score and doesn't get the credit she deserves.

Anyway, here we are in seriously difficult times in the avaition sector. A lot of guys out of work and now we find we have a oversupply of instructors. Too many instructors, not enough work.
You can now understand why so many guys are disappointed and annoyed, after helping this club out over so many years, now being cast aside and told we're surplus to requirements.

You also need to appreciate the unique situation of UFC. It has been the experienced Jet, turbo prop, business, cargo, etc pilots contributing there part time efforts to the club that has brought a rich experience. The part time FI's are there because they have a passion for passing on their vast experience, love teaching and giving something back. ( lets face it, you're definately not there for the money.)

I'm afraid that the real losers here will be the students and members who will be receiving their training from a newly arrived AFI with extremely limited experience.
The manner in which this has been rushed through, a lot of committee members "ignorant "of whats happening has left a bad taste. It has bordered on the illegal. The normal employment laws ignored. Hodgkinson and Harrison seem to be pulling all the strings.

Are there some very annoyed instructors down there, Absolutely. By the way, not one instructor was aware of what was happening until this new guy showed up. How's that for keeping your club members and instructors in the dark.
Here's one instructor that won't be rushing in when they're pleading for someone to come in and help.

2nd Apr 2009, 22:50
This is grim. As much as I want to go off on a rant, whats the point? I thought a new chairman might bring about good changes, but the Ulster Flying Club has a monopoly and due to the lack of competition there is little incentive to change the piss poor management and shocking working conditions.

:ugh::ugh::ugh::ugh::ugh::ugh::ugh::ugh::ugh::ugh::ugh::ugh: :ugh:

3rd Apr 2009, 15:18
Doesn't sound to hopeful for me either. I am just about to embark on a FIC at Andrewsfield and hope to be complete in June. I trained at Newtownards and always wanted to attain a FI rating as I always aspired to be as good as the guys that taught me (they know who they are). I don't like to see them mistreated.

I now face doing all this and then getting very little hours - I would be happy with a few a weekend and for a half decent removal time of my FI(R) but I understand and respect the 'pecking order' and that I would be the new guy. It seems I'm the 'newer' guy and now further down the order than I thought but that's life I suppose. (shouldn't have wasted my dough on those expensive MEIR and MCC and just done CPL & FIC first!!!)

Ok I can't expect hours but a few would be nice - outlook=bleak, entusiam=low, more money for little gain ( but there's always the risks)

More fool me!

3rd Apr 2009, 17:20
Well I was down at the club today and talked with my instructor about this. Apparently there *is* a new part time AFI joining the club, but he is not being taken on full time. And the club will continue to use the services of its existing part time FIs.
The numbers don't seem to add up. How could one full time FI take the place of 15 part time FIs? Not when 3 instructors sometimes fly at once! And what about holidays/sickness - who covers for that?

3rd Apr 2009, 17:24
I'm missed??? Wonders will never cease! As much as I love home and flying from Ards, working for another club in England has well and truely opened my eyes.

I don't understand why part timers are being pushed out.... some don't fly for months and only come in when needed, with no committment to or from the club. What is the benefit of getting rid of instructors who only work when needed? Surely thats what any company needs?

Hope everyone is doing well and hope the UFC gets its act together..... if there is a full time FI and the post hasn't been advertised there may be legal issues? :}

Cows getting bigger
3rd Apr 2009, 19:00
Sounds like you guys need to have an instructors' meeting (with CFI and new guy).

3rd Apr 2009, 19:44
Wow, I didn't anticipate such a response. Just happened to pass comment on the dealings of a major flying club in Ireland who I felt was treating some of their employees pretty shabbily and was defending some flight instructors with whom I have the upmost respect for.

Sure there's loads of people sadly losing their jobs at the moment,just look at bombadier this week. It's a blood bath down south of the border as well. My comment was simple... It's sad to see, especially when you weigh the numbers involved, be it 15 or 1000.

3rd Apr 2009, 20:57
A load of stir over nothing then?

3rd Apr 2009, 21:23
I personally hope it is a load of stir over nothing. I've got to know many of these guys pretty well over the months/years and have a lot of respect for them. It's been a privelige to benefit from their collective experience and I would hate to see something like this happen to them.

4th Apr 2009, 09:47
Can somebody enlighten me as to what connection if any that Albert Harrison has with UFC.
PM me if prefered.

4th Apr 2009, 17:08
Hi Solar, Albert is the new chairman.

4th Apr 2009, 17:28
The Ulster Flying Club • View topic - Anyone know anything about this? (http://www.ulsterflyingclub.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=72&p=320#p319)

Ties up with what I was told yesterday, apparently.

Cows getting bigger
5th Apr 2009, 15:19
Well done chaps. You've just made yourselves and UFC look like a bunch of amateurs.

cant fly wont fly
5th Apr 2009, 16:44
cows getting bigger states that the guys make them selves look like a bunch of ametures,firstly can i ask what flying qualifications you have before you make that comment.The guys down at ards do an amazing job flying various students over hundreds of hours and every student that goes through ards flying club and has been trained by one of their instructors have passed the ppl test first time everytime so how can that make ametures.

As for the goings on i will have to agree with the guys, morale is low because some guy has been brought in through the back door so to speak

bosses at the club are getting themselves tied in knots because the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing they tell one person one thing and then go tell the complete opposite thus forgetting what they have said, Albert ya need to sort it mate,where did the new instructor originate from? as far as im led to believe he just appeared now he is doing the paperwork and things that a cfi should be doing and may i ad being arrogant with comments to students and how long has he been there? a week some what confusing isn't it the instructors at ards are by far the best around and have gave up countless hours of there own time to come and help out people who have an interest in flying and would like to someday get to the stage that those guys are at.I for one am proud to say i know the guys down there and each and every one of them do a fantastic job KEEP UP THE EXCELLENT WORK MEN!!

it just remains to say take a meeting with the cfi and head men and blow it all in the air and see where ya all stand and if needs be go down the legal route


5th Apr 2009, 19:57
I did some ppl training there a few years ago with Ronnie (remember him who's face did not fit with you know wHo) anyway he appeared to be forced out by you know wHo, who was more interested in talking to me than flying with me (ok so I'm blond and perhaps he thought I should be lap dancing not flying) so I went to another school and completed.

There was always enough a$$h0les around Newtownards to ensure that when things were going well they could step in and upset things.

Sad to say but it is a bit like many a golf club, the people who should run things are kept out by a few people who have this ambition to be seen and heard and tell everyone how much they know. Well all I can say that in the last few years as a corporate jet pilot I am glad I moved on from you know wHo, who is probabily still in that dangerous time in a pilots life where he does not know what he does not know.

Anyway good luck boys, have some huggs and kisses from a local blond who moved on.

D xoxoxo

6th Apr 2009, 18:09
I agree with cant fly wont fly. Dawmb know what who your talking about. Folks its not all the committee, but unless they know they cant do anything. Club members there is power in numbers . I have heard so many people say they know this and that, and continue to bury there heads in the sand. We are just as guilty are we not. I leave this quote think about it.

All that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing.

6th Apr 2009, 19:53
The UFC committee, with the support of the members and staff, need to put the CFI and Chairman on a short, tight leash. They are both making decisions they are not authorised to make, to the detriment of the club.

Talking to instructors and staff over the last week has revealed a lot of disturbing events.

A new full-time AFI was appointed, with that only being later retracted when the other instructors protested. The result, probably, being only to delay the inevitable.

The cfi then lied about agreeing to this!

This instructor has zero experience, despite what you may read on the club forum, as ppl flying has nothing to do with instructing, and a few hundred hours spread over twenty years is less than most PPLs do anyway.

A newly qualified FI Restricted, with no add-on ratings, is the least qualified, least experienced, least deserving person this position could be awarded to.

There are many local instructors with much more experience who would have loved this job and were not even told it was available. One who months ago was told it would be his had to leave the country to get full time work as he could not afford to live on the number of days he was getting. The two main part time FIs there at the present only found out after his appointment. And there are many more at St. Angelo and Eglinton.

The new instructor was sneaked in, without the knowledge of the committee, the staff, the other instructors, or the members (who own the club!).

This instructor was brought in five days a week for two weeks, despite the fact the club was fully crewed on those days. His name was not in the diary and he was not asked to come in.
He then put in a pay claim for ten days, and despite him having done f##k all, it was paid. Money the club can not afford to be paying out.

In a decade with the club I have never known such ill feeling. If something is not done about DH and AH, there will be no club left as there will be no instructors willing to come in.


7th Apr 2009, 07:20
Excellent and very honest post ,UFCI. Couldn't agree more. Very well put.
Incidentally, I'm confused, U220, you posted a post earlier on that was very accurate and an interesting observation where the chairman of the Ulster flying club was responsible for cost cutting and closures at eglinton, derry airport.
The post seems to have been removed, can you enlighten us?:confused:

7th Apr 2009, 23:11
Have to agree with you UFCFI. As much as I am willing to give any new instructor a chance it seems clear that this guy has been brought in at the wrong time and in the wrong way. It also seems that his attitude isnt what I would expect of someone with his very limited instructing experience. If he thinks a couple of hundred hours with a PPL is going to hold any weight with a group of experienced instructors, many of whom have multiple thousands of hours instructing as well as flying jets, turboprops, multi engine piston then he better wise up.

I get the feeling that our new chairman has been hoodwinked into thinking that there are problems with our team of instructors and has taken his focus off more important issues at the club. As far as I am aware from the point of view of the only people that matter in this respect, the students and the members there has only ever been a problem with one instructor at the UFC and you only need to read DawnB's post to know wHo that is!!!

8th Apr 2009, 14:37
I was local to the flying club, and "relatively' enjoyed my time while flying there. I had a number of instructors, and the 2 or 3 regular instructors of mine would bend over backwards for each and everyone of their pupils. I find it offensive to hear that they and many other instructors are being treated the way they are.

Through word of mouth from the people it involves, , I believe the "back room" staff and management need to sort out what really matters. With these antics of theirs, they might end up running the club into the ground, and then shoot themselves in the foot with no club to work for.

I think it's a case of getting new management, new CFI and a new chairperson is what the club needs. How often have I driven 60 mins to the club to find that my regular instructor has been told not to come to work so they can put in another instructor (or in reality management have gone tipex happy, and removed “certain” instructors that some pupils have specifically booked a slot with) just to screw the instructor over, or the fact that I turn up for a ground school exam and no exam was left out, because you know wHo decided to take the day of early, and because he is incompetent and can't tell the difference between his head and rear.

As for sneaking in new staff to screw over instructors that have bent over backwards for you know wHo, I think he needs to grow a set and give the respect the other instructors deserve, and tell it to their face!

It is the premier flying club in the province, don't ruin that, the instructors are a big part of what make it what it is!

8th Apr 2009, 16:36
Surely enough has been said.

So why dont the club management (if there is one) just thank you know wHo for his time as whatever he was, and say FAREWELL old boy.

Wot about someone local being CFI and someone with a business head be chairman (opps sorry A....t)

God I am nearly 40 almost old enough to be a committee member but I am a little over qualified so will have to wait till I fail the old medical and have forgotten how to fly.


9th Apr 2009, 14:28
Clarification of the situation now on UFC forum
The Ulster Flying Club • View topic - Anyone know anything about this? (http://www.ulsterflyingclub.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=72&p=320#p319)

Ties up with what I was told yesterday, apparently.

This thread has now been moved to the 'member feedback' area of the UFC forum (which is only accessible to forum members).

cant fly wont fly
9th Apr 2009, 17:04
The time has come to knock it on the head it's all getting a bit out of hand i strongly dissagree with the statement that lufbrauni has left it states that management are tippex happy and screw instructors over so people can't fly with regular instructors my opinion is BULL**** have you ever been in a job wher you hear the sayin **** trickles down with approximatley 20 fi's at newtownards and 7 days a week it is impossible to get them all to work in the same week and only with four fricking aircraft,

the office staff do there damdest to accomidate students and instructors all year round these so called pilots come to learn to fly and don't realise what goes on behind the scenes to get them flying if your in a job and asked to do something and share work equally by your boss then you do it if you are't happy with what you have then i suggest that you learn to fly elsewhere all the instructors at ards have all done the same instructor rating and all read of the same hymn sheet

you say grow a pair i think that you need to grow up and stop being so silly and bringing office staff into a debate that involves flight instructors

i think this has gone on long enough and is being sorted out so now is the time to call it quits before it goes to far

10th Apr 2009, 05:17
Think I may have hit a nerve! Calm down, before you burst a blood vessel.

It's not my intentions to offend back room staff, I'm just saying how it was seen from my perspective. Even though I finished my PPL here in Scotland with less hinderances, at the end of the day Ards is where I got all my other hours and I'm grateful for that. But in hindsight, it could have been smoother.

I just didn't expect the **** to hit the fan in such a manner if ever at all.

cant fly wont fly
10th Apr 2009, 12:59
the s..t is bound to hit the fan when you post stupid childish things about staff that are doing what they are told by the bosses, before you post i suggest for future reference that you find out exactly what is going on and not to go on hear say and rumours and not to involve the office staff in debates on a pilots web site,

10th Apr 2009, 14:40
It's not just a website just for pilots if you haven't already noticed. Although it is so aptly named. It involves all aspects of aviation, cabin crew, deck crew, ground crew etc. But if you beg to differ with that, then why are you posting on this website, from what I gather your not a pilot either.

Best bet is to take it as ones opinion, take what you like of it, if not any at all.

20th Apr 2009, 23:40
On a quick ring around it would appear that many other ...... students over the last few years have had a similar experience to me so please do not be afraid to stand up for yourself.

Please put your compliants in writing to the board, if someone is not fit to hold a position of trust then the board should remove him. I just wonder about the very young students (14-17) who may not be strong enough to stand up against .....................


cant fly wont fly
24th Apr 2009, 14:11
DAWNB you need to be very careful what you are saying on a public website, people will read between the lines and know exactly what you are saying.and it is classed as slander and definition of character.

If you have a problem or have something to complain about then you speak to management at the flying club

it boils back down to the comment made previously HAVE YOU GOT THE BALLS