View Full Version : Ground Schooling - Too much work?

13th Jul 2010, 08:56
Morning all,

Just looking for some opinions. PPL/NQ done, hour building ongoing and I'll have enough hours to start the IMC soon (I'd like to do this for comfort/confidence when going a little further afield, rather than waiting for the IR).

I'm working full time and also doing a degree on a day-release basis (two years left, finish June 2012). My salary is crap to say the least, the only reason I managed to get this far is because I'm still living with my parents (to the disgust of my girlfriend) so money is a big obstacle as I'm sure it is with many on here.

Trouble is, I'm 23 next week and my original plan was to wait until I've got the degree, then do the ground schooling with Bristol or similar. After speaking to someone with far more experience than me however, they reckon that my 'window' for getting into the airlines will be slammed shut by the time I'm 26.

What would you do? I've read that the workload for the ATPLs is extremely heavy, so I'm not over the moon about taking it along side my degree. I'm not really fond of the idea of integrated training as I don't like the debt. If I'm going to borrow anything, it'll be for the type rating. Nothing else if I can help it. I have a six month window in each summer where I could possibly do the two modules for ATPLs, though I'm unsure on everyone's views on this/the likelyhood of me doing well etc.).
I've heard a lot about people temporarily giving up flying whilst studying for ground exams. This, to me, doesn't sound like the best plan but I do feel this might happen to me if I try and squeeze the exams into the summer windows. Again, any views/opinions would be greatly appreciated.

I guess the alternative (suggested by my FI, he says I have a strong aptitude though I think he might say that to all his students) is to get as fit as possible and try for the RAF. Though that IS drastic and a very long shot from what I gather.

Ideally, as I said before, I'd have a full professional career to fall back on (with a degree to match, not even on a student loan), no debt up to fATPL stage and therefore the perfect contingency plan if it all goes tits up.

Sorry for the long post,


13th Jul 2010, 09:50
I'd say quit the bull to start, get your head together with regards what you want and stop listening to hearsay...

13th Jul 2010, 10:09
Window slammed shut by 26? He is pulling your plonker. Absolute cobblers. There are many, many pilots you'll find on this forum (and others) that got their first start well into their 30s. THIS is the reality, so if I were you, I would continue your plan - as it sounds well thought out and you have PLENTY of time.

What I WOULD say however, is that if you COULD complete your training by 26, then looking at the current state, this may well put you into an excellent position in terms of when the industry may be starting to look healthy again in terms of recruitment (indeed it may EVEN be slightly late).

I would ALSO add, before someone jumps on this, that this is A) a different story altogether and B) Depends so much on so many different factors that it could - and most probably will - change before your 26th. But - IN MY OPINION, based on the current trajectory, being qualified in 3 years wouldn't be so bad...might even be a bit late.

ford cortina
13th Jul 2010, 10:21
26, Bull:mad::mad::mad::mad:.
I was 38 yes a old git at 38 before I got a nice job on the Airlines flying a 737 NG.

As for being qualified soon....:ugh::ugh::ugh::ugh: I would not rush at all, it may take two years before any real improvement, but remember there are a LOT of very experienced pilots out there all over the world, who would love to come back to their home countries, that in mind you as a new qualified pilot will find it hard to get a job.
Best of luck.

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