View Full Version : All rather depressing

9th Jul 2001, 14:19
I regularly read through the wannabe's threads and have found some very useful information.
But the problem is that I want to be an airline pilot. At present i have no flying history bar the aircadets and I do not have the funds available to pay for an atpl.
At present I work in the engineering side of the aviation business, I am only 25 years old and have a good standard of education. I am physically fit and consider myself as having all the natural attributes to make a good pilot.
The actual question I am trying to ask is, Is there any hope? If I apply for sponsorship my chances are very slim due to the sheer number of applicants. If I self finance I will be in a very large amount of debt . On top of all this I have to compete with the ever increasing numbers of pilots working their way through the system.
Still I think about flying every day and the urges are only getting stonger. What should I do? Several of the threads have been painting a negative picture of the business and have done nothing for my self confidence. :confused:

Simon W
9th Jul 2001, 14:25
I think you just have to think positive. My general impression is that if you manage to get a atpl then eventually a job will come along. As you say, sponsorship is a long shot and self financing will get you into large debt but these are the risks you have to take in this game. I am in the same kind of situation as you, I'm doing my PPL at the moment but don't really know whether I want to go the whole hog and try and make myself a new career (will cost me alot of money and I don't know if I'll enjoy flying as much if it became a job rather than a hobby)

Not really an answer to your problem but just my thoughts.



9th Jul 2001, 14:29
Have a look at this thread

I was in nearly the same situation as yourself 4 years ago should be finished by xmas.

And if your not very good with computers there is other solutions suggested :)


9th Jul 2001, 14:48
I did what you are doing right now for years. I am eleven years older than you and have JUST decided to go for it. You'll see the numerous answers to my question posted on the Wannabes board. Obviously the sooner the better but unlike myself and many other wannabes here, you have a several years ahead of you to get into the game. So start saving your pennies everywhere you can and get yourself a plan. Just think, a five-year plan will have you graduating with a 'frozen'ATPL by the time you're 30. I will be almost 38 (all being well) when I get to that stage.

If you carry on like you are, you're going to can the idea and probably never be happy in a career. Everytime you're doing a job in a different area you will be wondering 'what if'. It will take a lot of money it's true. Just focus on the fact that you don't have to pay it all at once. There's now a modular route so you can keep your day job for much of the process.

Anyway, you will be getting this advice from a number of sources so I'll finish there.

Think positive and ensure you get what you want. Best wishes etc...


9th Jul 2001, 15:05

Chin up mate. Yes it's tough, tougher still to get the first break by all accounts, HOWEVER, it's tough for everyone, if you accept that from early on then it's a good start. You say you're 25; I'm not having a go but you really should be banging off as many sponsorship apps as you can find, you have age pretty much on your side, use as many chances as you can get to apply to these sponsorships. Yes they're hard to get (you don't have to tell me that) but who gets them ??? Probably guys like you and me who also think "Christ they're hard to get".
I got to the last 10 interviewees for a sponsorship that took on 4 guys, out of what, say about 1000 applicants ?!? I didn't get it unfortunately but maybe with a bit of extra effort at the interview or something it might be a different story. All's I'm saying is that they are attainable, when you get to say the last 10 places, it really is anyones on the day (yes I was both surprised and very pleased to get that far), please don't let numbers put you off.

Failing sponsorship, save a bit, get a loan (I'm afraid debt kinda comes with this territory, again another fact to accept early) and go modular, get to the stage where you can do the AFIC then build on that and earn your way thru as an instructor.

If you read enough on Pprune, the unerring message that is constantly there is dedication and persevarance, if you really want to fly for living, it's pretty much only the medical that CAN actually stop you, full stop.

Good luck with it, and get those sponsorship forms when they get advertised !!

9th Jul 2001, 15:16
I would agree with everything that everyone else has said but I would add one more thing. Beware PPrune.

Now I think that Pprune is the best thing since sliced bread BUT I also am wary of looking at it too much. The reason..it can get a wee bit depressing to listen to some of the contributors listing everyhting that can and will go wrong in your chosen career path.

The info you get from here is invaluable but make sure you read some of the posts with a pinch of salt. Whilst it can be great for letting you read the advice of your elders it will also let you read all the ramblings 'mostly anonymous' of those people who have grudges and axes to grind.

So overall - read as much as you can but beware the bitter and twisted.

;) ;)

9th Jul 2001, 16:29

These are all wise words, especially those of potato head.

If you decide to 'jump in' then do make sure you know how deep the water is.

I started late at 40 and now three years later I am still instructing and looking forward to my first airline job.........would I change anything?.........well yes actually, but now I am in this deep I might as well keep swimming!

It is very easy to become bitter and twisted and you will read many such accounts.

Open your eyes, take a long hard look at your self, and if you really do want to fly then have a bash!

I regret not doing it 20 years ago, but at least I have another 20 years left!

Make a decision and act upon it.

Good luck


9th Jul 2001, 17:06
Many thanks to all those who took the time to reply. It has helped me regain my self confidence. Now is the time to go out and achieve.
The point raised by GonvilleBromhead is indeed very valuable. That is the only thing that can truely stop you is the medical. I shall now be going out and obtaining a caa medical.
Personally I will fly anything, of course I have my preferances. I am aware of the pressures of the job and the sometimes unsociable hours that have to be undertaken.
If I am to start training to get that seat I want to do it 100 percent. If this means writing to everybody, getting into debt and a large amount of work so be it. You can understand my fears about comitting when you read so much doubt.
Many thanks as it is rather refreshing to read positive words of advice. :D

9th Jul 2001, 17:45
First thing I would suggest mate is a shot at BA, you can apply at age 25 and 26, so you have two shots at that.

Apart from that just go for it. I haven't started either yet (just left Uni) but do not want to be in the position in 50 years time and regretting not giving it a go.


The Greener Grass
10th Jul 2001, 01:19

Let me say first and foremost - Apply to all available sponsorships. You really have nothing to lose save (possibly) a couple of hundred quid and a few days holiday.

I was in nearly your situation 18 months ago (albeit with age less on my side).

I applied to sponsorships - having put a load of effort in, and suprised myself by getting to the final stages of two of them before "not being taken further".

You say you have some earlier aviation experience - which is good. I would say get some fresh hours - even just 5 at your local club, as they will do wonders for you if you get an interview.

I wished I had, and remember a question at interview along the lines of "So you honestly had never thought of being a pilot 12 months ago?" Which I had of course, but the answer would have been far more convincing if I had done some training before I arrived at that stage, or had some other aviation related background.

Also unless you are naturally very academic you will need to practice mental arithmetic e.t.c. to get you to interview stage - I am sure this helped me in the initial stages.

If it all turns to s***, then don't let 'em get you down. It got to me for about a month, and I came out of it stronger after that more determined than ever. You will need extraordinary determination in the face of numerous PFO's.

In this situation the modular route is excellent for the more finacially challenged amongst us who have a reasonable job at present. I don't regard it as salary any more - I think of it as flying hours earned per month (sad or what)!!

As for myself I am having one more pop at sponsorhips I am eligible for this year, and will go modular otherwise, having recently achieved my PPL.

And finally Potato Head is dead right - dont let this I have XXXX hours and can't get a job get to you.

Nobody can guarantee any thing in this business, but there are ways you can shorten the odds over A N Other. Research at the beginning can do wonders.

Enough of my ramblings tonight. Email me if you want any more detailed advice - not that I am a pro, I just have been in your situation - that's all.

Send Clowns
10th Jul 2001, 02:39
Glad to see you're going for it NigelS. Hope you find a way too, Jobsworth - the debt is not huge over a 30-year career!

To both of you : the best of luck :D

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