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spitfirejock
27th Jun 2019, 19:40
I have posted a few times on this forum including on the thread entitled "the worst decision", I thought I would start a new thread to see if anybody can shed light on the question posed above?

I am baffled. I read the doom and gloom often posted about instructor pay, and would agree, it is very often far too low, but isn't this cause and effect? The instructor shortage is real unless I am living in another world, maybe I am?. Surely pay directly affects the number of people willing to become instructors so schools must (and have) increased pay dramatically otherwise they will simply be unable to meet current demand which is higher than it has ever been.

I recently had an inquiry from an airline pilot who after 4 years, didn't like the lifestyle and wanted to come back into instructing. He advised me that, as a senior FO we was taking home about 4,000 GBP a month and would love to make the jump but assumed that instructor pay was far less than he could live on. By the end of the call he was astonished (I think) when I indicated current instructor pay was very similar although I reminded him newbies do start at around half that but can move up quite quickly if they are good. So, where have all the instructors gone? I remember a time when I would get least one CV a day, lucky now to get one per month!

So for the person who originally posted the thread that it was his/her worst decision to become an instructor, I would strongly argue that is not the case for many who have enjoyed fruitful careers as instructors, and in particular today, its a great career step with plenty of options to earn good money. With airline retirement age now up to 67 and rising, (55 in my time) whats the rush, spend a few years enjoying flying and teaching, then move on....please!

I wont argue that a senior captain in a descent airline is always going to be paid a lot more than the most senior instructor, but as I found out, there is more to life than just pay. Lifestyle, home life, being at home more with the family are all factors (plus less jet lag and cataracts), and for me, as an fairly old timer, I would much rather 'fly' the aircraft than sit back bored and manage a modern jet, especially one with a sidestick (sorry Airbus lovers), or maybe even one with an auto stall recovery system!! Bring back aircraft that need a pilot to recover from a stall, preferably one trained by an instructor that knows how to teach it properly!

SJ

BigEndBob
27th Jun 2019, 21:03
Might make a decent wage doing CPL/IR training in the UK, but PPL training should be kept part time if you have and alternative well paid job.
As sole trader/instructor/examiner with a receptionist i can only afford to pay myself the equivalent of £20 hour if i average out my hours.
I could not afford to employ another instructor.
Why do i do it, i can survive and enjoy being my own boss and enjoy the company of folks who want to be there and not clock watching.

MrAverage
28th Jun 2019, 08:41
My situation's very similar, except that I cannot afford a receptionist! I'm the proverbial chief, cook and bottle washer.......

BigEndBob
30th Jun 2019, 22:27
My receptionist works virtually for free. Of independent means.

ACW599
1st Jul 2019, 08:02
By the end of the call he was astonished (I think) when I indicated current instructor pay was very similar although I reminded him newbies do start at around half that but can move up quite quickly if they are good. As the youngsters say, "in your dreams".

In the PPL world the going rate is more like £20-25 per flying hour -- which amongst other things means that if you don't fly due to weather or unserviceability, you don't earn. In an average month that equates to a lot less than £4,000.

All 12 of the staff at the establishment where I instruct are ex-airline or ex-military, doing it for love. I doubt we could afford to do the job otherwise. . .

hueyracer
1st Jul 2019, 19:20
At least in Germany, most instructors lost their jobs because now there are "plenty" of "experienced" instructors working at the LBA, who "need" to maintain all their ratings and currencies by working at Flight Schools for free.........

:mad:

Meester proach
3rd Jul 2019, 21:01
As has been alluded to before, you cannot survive on £25-30 an hour - maybe if you are a cpl ir multi you might do better but it still will probably only hit the bottom end of airline pay . When I did it I was living at home with my folks, doing the self improver route ( does that exist anymore ?).

As for actual flying , I’d argue that it’s probably just as repetitive as airline stuff . There’s only so many trial lessons you can do before it gets really boring and hands on in a C152/ Pa28 is, TBH, not as exciting as a mixture of hands on, AP in a jet .

Spunk
4th Jul 2019, 20:33
hueyracer I think that counts more for the FEs.
I think that in the past 10 years we had a lot of young and unexperienced FI(H) being employed by start-up flight schools sponsored by Daddy. The flight schools are history by now, the young FI s are beyond 1500 hours and moved on to the 2 big EMS companies.

Whopity
6th Jul 2019, 07:57
Traditionally we had recreational instruction and commercial instruction. In their wisdom the CAA disolved the Panel of Examiners who presided over recreational instruction and effectively combined it with commercial instruction. This survived for a number of years but with increasing costs and additional licensing requirements it has become an un economic model. The recreational flyer has suffered huge increases in cost caused by fuel, the cost of aircraft, maintenance and aerodrome operating costs, the only area where any saving can be made is at the instructor level. Some countries still regard recreational flying as a "Club" activity where qualified members train other members at minimal cost, no it won't pay instructors a living wage but it is not intended to, get a real job and instruct as a sideline. If you want to earn a living wage you need to become a "Commercial Instructor. Unfortunately, we don't train "commercial instructors", only apprentice instructors who need to gain experience teaching recreational pilots before they can move on to commercial training. The European regulations that have morphed out of JAA rules have largely scuppered any natural progression for instructors wanting to progress up the commercial tree; the cost and opportunity to obtain the required levels of experience are simply unrealistic. All this has been predictable for the past 20 years but its only as we run out of existing experience that we start to realise the aviation industry has shot itself in the foot by producing an unsustainable model.

KeepCalm
6th Jul 2019, 19:52
As for actual flying , I’d argue that it’s probably just as repetitive as airline stuff . There’s only so many trial lessons you can do before it gets really boring and hands on in a C152/ Pa28 is, TBH, not as exciting as a mixture of hands on, AP in a jet .

This... +1
Depends on how much you like either activity.
Then also... recreational vs. commercial instruction are completely different worlds. Especially when it comes to integrated ATPL instruction, the syllabus has become inflexible. Also there are plenty of restrictions (for instance many aerodromes do not accept light aircraft or training flights -or landing fees are high enough to prevent it-).

In my case, I miss it, and I'm trying to find a place where I can instruct some of my days off.
But I reached a point after about 7 years where I needed a break (4+3 yrs with a 5 year gap in the middle). Mostly I needed to fly myself, go from A to B. I targeted a couple of aerial work companies but joining an airline was easier right now and long-term it seems a more stable option.

Also most schools need to improve the conditions offered (not just salary), and become more serious and honest.

Aware
7th Jul 2019, 07:07
Flying always been a hobby for me as have a business outside aviation. Had a break from aviation for 6 years but renewed ratings licenses last year. The change on returning is quite unrecognisable better conditions feeling valued etc, will it last probably not but I don’t see many instructors coming through the system. Flying pay has increased, I went for interview at commercial flight school as SEP CPL instructor and have accepted , part time employed contract salary is extremely reasonable for the role, together with all benefits you would expect from employment.

As my Wife’s says you are getting paid to do something you love, little bit more productive then sitting on your flight simulator at home pretending to be working !

Can it last until I retire in a few years hopefully.

Aviation is the hardest industry I have ever been involved with, it’s extremely hard nosed and I admire ex students of mine who have endured it to obtain some good jobs but global downturn which is approaching 2020 2021 will have an impact on many things I feel so I will not completely trust aviation to provide stable income for the long term especially not at my age it can all change in a heart beat.

But for now times are good.

Bridgestone17
10th Jul 2019, 18:45
There are several non current but highly experienced instructors around and due to no fault of their own have been forced out of the industry. Cabair shed a few experienced CPL/IR Instructors when it went bust. Some experienced guys from another CPL/IR school were got rid of when there was a clearout in favour of younger, cheaper, inexperienced Instructors so leaving the the older ones "high and dry". I know some of them would like to get back but they simply cannot afford to go through the renewal process. Medical renewals and seminar costs plus refresher training to renew SEP, MEP, IR plus FI are all costly and are financially beyond them. These are at just 2 ATO's that I know of and I think there may be others. What a waste of talent!

blastcalvey
23rd Jul 2019, 13:44
You summed it up. A waste of talent. To anyone that can bear the reality please see my final post on the " the worst decision".

BigEndBob
24th Jul 2019, 22:23
I remember when the CAA bought out the 70hr P1 rule for multi engine. Just about killed off MEP, other than those wanting to go commercial.
Not done any MEP training since. I'm sure the number of experienced MEP instructors is way down for IR training.

Whopity
24th Jul 2019, 23:38
I remember when the CAA bought out the 70hr P1 rule for multi engine.
Totally agree with your comment, but it was not the CAA that made this change, it was the start of the European rules invented by the JAA.

18greens
26th Jul 2019, 13:17
I remember when the CAA bought out the 70hr P1 rule for multi engine. Just about killed off MEP, other than those wanting to go commercial.
Not done any MEP training since. I'm sure the number of experienced MEP instructors is way down for IR training.


what was was the 70 hour rule?

Whopity
26th Jul 2019, 16:44
what was was the 70 hour rule?
Before you can obtain a MEP Class rating you must have 70 hours PIC.

UAV689
26th Jul 2019, 17:54
I think schools need to start to bond future fi’s.

its too risky for a school to pay themselves outright, and if an fi leaves with an outstanding bond, a small school is pretty defenseless to stop it

a perhaps better scheme would be to offer to pay the course, or portion of it, in monthly wages.

Ie, future fi pays full price for course, say 7k. School repays fi with extra £200 a month for 3 years, which is about 7k. If the fi leaves in 1.5 years, half the cost is paid by the fi initial course, the other by school in a not to crippling monthly sum.

Manwell
30th Jul 2019, 01:05
Where have all the instructors gone? They're waiting for the student to be ready before they appear.... Any decent instructors would have gone into hiding to avoid teaching the wrong thing as mandated by the "authorities". Either that or they had learned as much as instructing could offer, and went off searching for more challenges. Some of the shortage is possibly created simply through the power of suggestion. There doesn't have to be a shortage of something to ensure demand drives prices up. Oil is a classic example of the market being manipulated by talk and nothing more.

blastcalvey
5th Aug 2019, 15:02
After reading the many responses in the threads on instructor pay and prospects one can only draw the conclusion that instructing is not a recognised profession.

​​​​​Why, as put forward by some, would an instructor for instance have to want to be a commercial pilot and therefore have a plan for progression other than as a teacher?

The implication here is that an instructor is paid almost nothing because it's only a phase in a career path and not a profession in itself.

This leads one to think that actually, the only way to continue as an FI is to go commercial or get a non flying job and instruct part time.

And that implies that an instructor must have a job that pays enough to allow him/her to subsidise the students and schools! That's not what other professions have to allow for though.

So how can flight training be called a professional qualification? Does a car mechanic have another job so he can fix your car at a discount rate? Or does your osteopath work in a bar part time so that he can drop the price of fixing your back?

When an FI goes to get the qualifications he needs, he pays professional rates. But when he charges himself out to the student he recieves less than half what he should be earning.

My suggestion then, is on each hours flying, the FI should give the student about 20 minutes on the controls and only give half the available information in his briefings and general patter.

See how long it takes and how much it costs to learn to fly then.

Flight training is a job. Cut it with rose tinted specs if you want but it's a job. And it's a job that few can do well and requires tremendous commitment

So why are today's crop of instructors hell bent on giving those skills away so that tomorrow's instructors never even step forward?

Do you really want to fly that much? While you try to shove wet spaghetti up a cats behind? Personally I'm done with being insulted by the industry. Good luck if you think it's acceptable.

UAV689
5th Aug 2019, 17:01
After reading the many responses in the threads on instructor pay and prospects one can only draw the conclusion that instructing is not a recognised profession.

​​​​​Why, as put forward by some, would an instructor for instance have to want to be a commercial pilot and therefore have a plan for progression other than as a teacher?

The implication here is that an instructor is paid almost nothing because it's only a phase in a career path and not a profession in itself.

This leads one to think that actually, the only way to continue as an FI is to go commercial or get a non flying job and instruct part time.

And that implies that an instructor must have a job that pays enough to allow him/her to subsidise the students and schools! That's not what other professions have to allow for though.

So how can flight training be called a professional qualification? Does a car mechanic have another job so he can fix your car at a discount rate? Or does your osteopath work in a bar part time so that he can drop the price of fixing your back?

When an FI goes to get the qualifications he needs, he pays professional rates. But when he charges himself out to the student he recieves less than half what he should be earning.

My suggestion then, is on each hours flying, the FI should give the student about 20 minutes on the controls and only give half the available information in his briefings and general patter.

See how long it takes and how much it costs to learn to fly then.

Flight training is a job. Cut it with rose tinted specs if you want but it's a job. And it's a job that few can do well and requires tremendous commitment

So why are today's crop of instructors hell bent on giving those skills away so that tomorrow's instructors never even step forward?

Do you really want to fly that much? While you try to shove wet spaghetti up a cats behind?Personally I'm done with being insulted by the industry. Good luck if you think it's acceptable.

spot on.

I work part time as an fi lucky to have a well paid main job, I recently left my old school to go a school which pays a lot more. The owner/manager response was “why are you going there, you don’t need the money”.

I replied with “correct, I don’t. But it is also not my job to supply you with cheap labor in order for you to make a profit!”

it it is rife across the industry from fo to airlines. Owners know we love it, so therefore think they are doing us a favor by giving us a job!

Bigpants
13th Aug 2019, 08:51
Interesting thread, I recently approached AOPA about renewing my FI certificate and they were very helpful but frankly after looking at the requirements I was discouraged. Aged 62 I was originally an RAF Instructor on the Hawk with a ppl from a Flying Scholarship so did my first civil instructor training at Coventry with Piers and was tested by Hector Taylor at Nottingham in 1987. Piers was a first class trainer, Hector a very sharp old man who missed nothing and the CAA a sensibly run regulator.

I trained pilots at a variety of flying clubs while in the RAF, last renewed my FI with Ted Girdler down at Manston in 1995 and then dropped it as I progressed into civil aviation. I did my first Airbus Tour at Excalibur later in 1995 and flew with Hector's son. In 2004 I briefly renewed my rating at Humberside but did not instruct as I was busy and did not want to steal time off new pilots running through the self improver/modular route.

I have been a QSP on the Tutor since 2011 and for a number of years owned and flew my own tail-wheel aircraft. Today, on a 50% airline contract I was tempted to re-qualify but the process is a pain, the costs are irritating and the flying schools often badly run and exploitative. I love flying but the industry is ugly and the over regulation of everything associated with GA extremely tiresome.....just not worth it.

ACW599
14th Aug 2019, 09:11
In similar vein, the economics of being an FE at PPL level don't look very appealing given the cost of obtaining the rating and the renewal costs. Does the income cover these?

seaduck
18th Aug 2019, 09:49
Maybe this is a UK only problem?
In Germany there is still a high demand of FIs.
I am myself the Head of Training of a big german ATO.
We pay 60k Euro plus for qualified instructors (CPL/ IR / CRI MEP).

Are we talking about the UK only or do you see it as a European problem?

Ascend Charlie
19th Aug 2019, 05:23
Is this thread aimed at somebody whose only aim is to teach?

If so, there is a bit of a worry attached. Such a person has just finished his/her basic licence, and then does a further 40(?) hrs of flight training to qualify as an instructor of the lowest grade. This instructor requires a lot of supervision from the start, and only after a number of hours, is allowed to teach with minimal supervision.

But what is he teaching? After a basic licence, all he has done is cover each flying sequence in detail ONCE, with some further revision before the test. He knows the syllabus, having seen it all in a canned situation, under the watchful eye of an instructor, and has most likely never been in a situation where some real piloting skill and decision-making has been needed.

Where is the depth of experience? It ain't there, so the partially blind lead the totally blind around the circuit or the canned nav trips or the few permitted confined areas again and again. He might build some hours, but they are not particularly worthwhile hours, and if the blind student puts the half-blind instructor into a real pickle, there might be a little whoopsie.

To be an instructor, one should first have flown in the real world, on your own, no Grade 1 watching and correcting, and where your dumb decisions have to be lived with. Do your apprenticeship properly.

There are a lot of good instructor jobs around, I was paid around $750 per hour of flight (not counting the endless hours of long briefs, debriefs, class lectures and simulator time). Only real reason to leave was my inability to tolerate the attitude of the foreign students, who had paid their money and expected the knowledge to be poured into their heads and never required to show that any of it stayed there.

Parson
19th Aug 2019, 07:00
Is this thread aimed at somebody whose only aim is to teach?

There are a lot of good instructor jobs around, I was paid around $750 per hour of flight....

I'd be interested in some of that :). What would be your suggestion, experience wise then?

Ascend Charlie
19th Aug 2019, 10:01
Get your 15000 hours up, and the job is yours for the asking.

Parson
19th Aug 2019, 12:49
I wasn't asking what your experience was, more what experience you think a (say) PPL instructor should have?

Meester proach
19th Aug 2019, 21:24
Get your 15000 hours up, and the job is yours for the asking.
$750 an hour ? 15000 hrs required ?

i smell something and it’s not roses .

Ascend Charlie
20th Aug 2019, 01:02
Mr Proach, take an annual salary, divide it by the hours flown, and you get a number.

Spunky Monkey
2nd Sep 2019, 20:01
I have an FI renewal coming up, either a flight test of a seminar.
The examiner knows his stuff, it is a worthwhile lesson as well as a test.
The seminars are generally hosted by some very very skilled and knowledgeable people.
However by the second day they are tiresome. After doing two of these they are irksome.
I am looking at a third one shortly, I am thinking of letting my rating go than spending £450 on the course, hotel, food, fuel etc.
Really, is that the best way to keep an instructor interested? Especially when they are on £20 an hour, before tax.
Some of the lectures in the seminars are just completely pointless.

So why not every year an examiner comes to the school, sits through a couple of lessons, gives the blurb that the CAA want you to know and then picks a couple of names out of the hat and do a flight test with them.
Then get the school to cough up, or better still the CAA.
As you can bet your next pint, they are not going to charge their staff to do a career development course or a personal growth retreat.

BigEndBob
2nd Sep 2019, 20:33
Seminars are ok for someone that's been out of instructing for quite a few years, but if current a waste of time.
The written stuff they provide should be provided by the CAA, even if it's a pdf online.
Just do the flight with the FIE instead.

beamer
3rd Sep 2019, 08:37
Retired now but having got back into GA I was contemplating trying to get an FI rating in the UK. Reading some of the replies on thus thread, I am somewhat discouraged !

Whopity
3rd Sep 2019, 09:39
The latest Part FCL amendment, yet to be ratified, proposes a change to the Seminar requirement:
“FCL.940.FI — Revalidation and renewal
(a) Revalidation
(1) To revalidate an FI certificate, holders shall fulfil at least two out of the three following requirements before the expiry date of the FI certificate:
(ii) they have completed instructor refresher training as an FI at an ATO or at the competent authority.
and for Renewal:
If the FI certificate has expired, applicants shall, within a period of 12 months before the application date for the renewal complete instructor refresher training as an FI at an ATO or at a competent authority
There is no indication of what that refresher training might consist of or its duration. No doubt it will be for the ATO to decide.

Parson
3rd Sep 2019, 09:43
Looking forward, say 10 years - will there be a shortage of MEP instructors? (if not one already).

BillieBob
3rd Sep 2019, 10:08
More than likely there will be an accompanying AMC laying out the broad structure of refresher training, as there is currently for the content of the seminar.

It is interesting that the EC have changed the wording (and effect) of this amendment from the original EASA Opinion. In its Opinion, EASA made clear that the change in wording was simply to align the requirement with other instructor ratings [sic] and that the wording in the associated AMC would indicate that the refresher training should be held as a seminar. There was also a requirement that, should the FI certificate have lapsed by more than 3 years the instructor should undergo training following a syllabus established by an ATO, implying that this training was distinct from the seminar.

The EC have now removed the link between the training and the seminar and have also removed the 3 year cut-off between the two types of refresher training in the event of renewal, consequently confusing the issue. However, since the declared intention of EASA is that the term 'refresher training' should be synonymous with 'refresher seminar' unless specifically stated otherwise, it would seem logical that the seminar will survive in all cases. The again, when was logic or common sense ever of value in dealing with the EU?

The actual text from Opinion 5/2017 is:

The requirement in (a)(1)(ii) is amended to align the text with all other instructor ratings by replacing ‘refresher seminar’ with ‘refresher training’. To avoid too many changes in the training programmes, the AMC text to this requirement is amended with a wording that indicates that the refresher training for the revalidation and renewal of the FI certificate should be held as a seminar. Regarding ‘renewal’ in (b), the requirement is aligned with the other instructor certificates for text-standardisation reasons. To date, the requirements for the renewal provide regulations for a renewal after any lapsed period of time. These requirements were taken over from JAR-FCL 1 where licences had a validity period of five years. This is no longer the case. Therefore, it seems to be appropriate that in the case the instructor rating has lapsed for more than 3 years, the instructor has to receive instructor refresher training as a flight instructor in an ATO following a training syllabus established by the ATO and pass an assessment of competence. The details to be considered by the ATO are detailed in the amended AMC1 FCL.940.FI and FCL.940.IRI, and were aligned with the AMC for other instructor ratings. The significant difference from other instructor certificates to require more training for the renewal only after the rating has lapsed for more than 3 years was specifically introduced to avoid unnecessary burden on GA. The period of 3 years was chosen because an instructor rating is valid for 3 years.

excrab
3rd Sep 2019, 12:34
Reading Whopity’s post #34 above seems to have simplified the renewal process. I am planning to renew my SEP instructor rating, and from what I had read I expected to have to carry out refresher training at the discretion of a training organisation, and an instructor test, and attend a seminar. From post # 34 this seems not to be the case and I just have to do the first two. Is that actually the case ?

Whopity
3rd Sep 2019, 15:40
All you need to renew at the moment is a Assessment of Competence and a Seminar in a 12 month period. The refresher training at a trainng organisation has not been with us for some time. Training as required to pass the test and can be done with the examiner. If your FI rating is still in the front of the licence the FIE or Seminar provider can sign you up, or if not the FIE can give you a temp certificate..

Meester proach
5th Sep 2019, 05:45
Retired now but having got back into GA I was contemplating trying to get an FI rating in the UK. Reading some of the replies on thus thread, I am somewhat discouraged !

I’m not retired yet, but was thinking of renewing , but with all the hurdles financial and otherwise I’ll have to wait until the schools are so desperate they offer to part fund it !


maybe wait until the air cadets are up and running and try and become a SLMG instructor ?

Talkdownman
8th Sep 2019, 09:09
I have only just stumbled upon this and the "worst decision" thread, and I empathise with a lot of blastcalvey's sentiments.

I have been an FI for over 30 years and thoroughly enjoyed it, but part-time only because I needed the day job to keep me afloat. I am now 'retired' from the day job and would like to contribute to relieving the apparent 'shortage problem', but have been unable to secure any part-time work at my local aerodrome (which has three fixed-wing schools). For me the problem seems to be 'part-time' and, dare I say, age. One of the schools emphasised that they needed full-timers continuously on-site, and had no need for part-timers. Another has kindly 'kept' me on their books' for part-time work, but not called me since my previous renewal. I have been offered work, but some significant distance away where commuting costs render that as totally impractical. There are limits to how much of my own funds I am prepared to spend to teach wealthy students, therefore I have accordingly allowed my FI rating to lapse. If there really is a 'shortage' then it's more the industry's loss than mine.

Meester proach
16th Sep 2019, 04:42
I have only just stumbled upon this and the "worst decision" thread, and I empathise with a lot of blastcalvey's sentiments.

I have been an FI for over 30 years and thoroughly enjoyed it, but part-time only because I needed the day job to keep me afloat. I am now 'retired' from the day job and would like to contribute to relieving the apparent 'shortage problem', but have been unable to secure any part-time work at my local aerodrome (which has three fixed-wing schools). For me the problem seems to be 'part-time' and, dare I say, age. One of the schools emphasised that they needed full-timers continuously on-site, and had no need for part-timers. Another has kindly 'kept' me on their books' for part-time work, but not called me since my previous renewal. I have been offered work, but some significant distance away where commuting costs render that as totally impractical. There are limits to how much of my own funds I am prepared to spend to teach wealthy students, therefore I have accordingly allowed my FI rating to lapse. If there really is a 'shortage' then it's more the industry's loss than mine.


Thats strange, I’m surprised they don’t want your experience. There seems to be weekly ads at UKGA.com for instructors .

Whopity
16th Sep 2019, 14:52
maybe wait until the air cadets are up and running and try and become a SLMG instructor ?
They've all gone now together with the instructotrs. They replaced them with gliders but it appears have no instructors!