View Full Version : Should I risk it?

26th Feb 2003, 10:10
Not my first post but I have had to change my name!!

I shall be 37 yrs old next month and I currently work in security for HM Government which pays me £45-50000 pa. I have passed the ATPL theory and now have to make a decision regarding my career. Do I spend another £20000 to get my ATPL and attempt to enter a seriously insecure aviation industry that is only likely to get worse with the impending Iraq conflict or do I delay my training until this is over..bearing in mind age is not on my side. The other thought which is very strong at the moment is to give up the dream for the financial security of my family as spending 20-25 grand would just about take all our money and even with the remote possibility of a job at the end would pay significantly less than what I earn at present.
Your advice would be appreciated

26th Feb 2003, 10:16

Why not do the CPL and IR part-time, while keeping your current job? That way, in a couple of years' time you'll be able to look for a job as a pilot - but you'll have maintained your financial security throughout. And if that magical pilot job doesn't turn up, you've still got your current job for as long as you need it, too.

What's more, on that salary, unless you've got a huge mortgage, you should find you have no problem paying to stay current while you're waiting for your first job.

This is exactly what I'm doing, by the way - just got my ATPL exams done, CPL later this year, IR next year, but keeping my current job for the reasons I've given above.

Good luck!


26th Feb 2003, 10:52

I hold a UK CPL/IR with PPL, Night, IMC and Multi Instructor ratings and about 2600 hours, all achieved part-time while working for HMG. The part-time route has to be a serious option (in my opinion), particularly, as you say, in the present climate. Best of luck.

Regards, GT.

Swinging the Lead
26th Feb 2003, 16:04
Lot of us about,

I also work for HMG - I have managed to get everything part-time,
you have to throw leave at the problem but it is managable.

My advice would be to stay in, go to the states to get your CPL (or somewhere else sunny) within your leave period. You can get an FI(R) course part time and then build your experience. You have a three year window to get your CPL/IR after your exams.
The IR will be challenging to do within time as five weeks is the accepted norm. (Resettlement leave?).

If the picture suddenly improves with your CPL under your belt you can get your IR quite rapidly on the way out. - You've done all the hard slog of the exams, reward yourself with some flying!

26th Feb 2003, 16:58
stay with Her majesty service
the job market for low-time pilots is completely ****ed up in Europe. I also know several 737 pilots with 1000s of hours on type who cant find an airline job in the current market
They dont tell you this at Oxford and other places
The JAR ATPL is a complete scam. There are simply no jobs at all for wannabes. Even FI positions are hard to get.

26th Feb 2003, 22:59
com'on piperindian, it s plenty of job and the pilot shoertage is here.
I receive so many calls from airlines that I had decided to install an answer machine.
, I dont answer anymore to save stamps when they write me.
last week, I had 4 places on B747, and 3 on A340 job propositions.
so please, dont tell me there is no job for a JAA pilot with less 300h TT.

27th Feb 2003, 17:18

I'm really interested in how your able to do your CPL/IR part-time as I'm just sorting out my plans now.

I'm now looking at BGS DL, using 6 weeks of hols from work (1 from this year) to do the refresher and exams, but I won't have any more holiday time left to allow me to do the CPL or IR on a full-time basis.

Are you completing yours in the evening and\or at weekends?

IF this is possible, then it's going to make my bank manager and the other half MUCH happier:}



Sorry - GT I'd be really interested on how you did it aswell!

(or does one need a job with HMG?;) Just kidding)

28th Feb 2003, 09:18

Sorry, no easy answer to that.

As far as the ground-school is concerned, there is no way around it - you will need to take time off work. For most schools, Bristol included, this means 6 weeks (well, 5 weeks and 3 days - you don't actually need to take off the Friday of the exam week). If you're really pushed for time, then have a look at LGU. When I started investigating, their shorter brush-up, and the way they scheduled the modules, meant you only needed 2 weeks and 4 days off - they've since re-organised their course into 3 modules instead of 2, I think the total time off work is slightly longer now, but still shorter than others. I decided that I'd prefer the extra brush-up time that Bristol offer, but it was a close call.

Once it gets to the CPL/IR, it is possible to do these at the weekend - if you ask around, you'll find a few schools who do this - but I don't like the idea, personally. I'm planning on going somewhere sunny :) later this year to do the CPL - it has to be somewhere sunny because I will be taking 3 weeks off work, and I have to do everything I can to maximise my chances of getting a CPL in this time.

I will be doing the IMC rating over weekends between now and then. The IMC is not required for an fATPL. But, since I'm going to be flying at weekends anyway (just because I love flying) I figured I may as well do something useful while I'm in the sky. The benefits of the IMC when it comes to the IR are obvious - there's no hours reduction, but knowing a lot of it already is bound to help. I also think it will help with the CPL, since it will get me into the habit of having to fly very accurately.

The IMC also opens up another option when it comes to the IR, and one which I will investigate next year: although it doesn't reduce the hours for a JAA IR, it does reduce the hours for an FAA IR. So, although the total time and cost might be higher, I may end up doing an FAA IR, then converting this to a JAA IR later in the year - the advantage of doing it this way is that I won't need to take 4 weeks off work in one go, which my boss probably wouldn't be too happy about.

So no, it's not fast or easy. It's going to take me a couple of years - and I'm fortunate enough to be working with more annual holiday than most (6 weeks). But - the market is so bad at the moment, that I'm really not in any rush. Who knows - by the time I actually have my fATPL, the war in Iraq may well be over, the market will be picking up again, and everyone will be begging to give me a job! (Oh look, there's a flying pig.... ;) )

Good luck!


28th Feb 2003, 12:33
Thanks FFF, that's very helpful.

I'm inclined to agree you in regards to the current climate. The general feeling seems to be that it's going to take a little longer than first thought for the industry to recover.

I can take 6 weeks to start with (I have some holiday to rollover), but after that it's down to 5. Anything I can have in place as a plan B is a good thing, as I get older and frustrated as each day passes by (I have been waiting to start all this for 3 1/2 years now :rolleyes: ). I also don't want to have to complete the ATPLs only to look at the market and realise I can't leave my job and carry on with the training (especially with the 3 year limit). Besides, if I don't get going soon, the girlie will definitely be leaving me for someone else! She's sticking by me bless her, but I don't know how much more "Can't do that, gotta save and plan for the flying" comments she can take!

The IMC is a lot of extra money but in addition to the points you made, I would also think it's pretty handy to have this side of the hemisphere. Anything one can do to stop the disappointment of arriving at the airfield, only to find that there's no hope of getting up! :{

Thanks for the info on the FAA\IR, Iíll take a look at that.

Good luck with the CPL, sounds like you've got your work cut out, but it'll be lots of fun! (ooo and luuvvvverly weather:D )



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