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possible career change as a woman at age 34

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possible career change as a woman at age 34

Old 21st Aug 2015, 09:10
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possible career change as a woman at age 34

Hi

I have been an air traffic control assistant for 13 years and have saved enough money to pay for a ppl and cpl. I have always wanted to fly. I am considering now investing in my flying with the aim to make a career change to become a qualified flight instructor. I am 34 years old. I just simply want to become a flight instructor. Can I please have feed back: I will be investing every penny I have saved into this venture. Do flight instructors at least make enough money to put food on the table,pay for petrol cost,rent ect? And,are flight instructors in demand in both Australia and Uk?

I am married and I am in the fortunate position of not needing to work,but I want to and currently do work (as an ATCA). I could also use my investments on an aviation degree instead. But my heart has always been to fly.
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Old 21st Aug 2015, 14:52
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In my opinion - do a PPL, then re-assess.

With a PPL, you'll know if you have the passion and application for a professional career in flying (and the aptitude). If you didn't enjoy it, you'll still be a much better ATCA for the training, and the degree added to that will make you a good ATC manager.

Here in Britain, I really hope that your age and sex would be irrelevant as young as your 30s - but I really can't speak for South Africa.

G

Last edited by Genghis the Engineer; 21st Aug 2015 at 15:42.
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Old 22nd Aug 2015, 23:05
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Duplicate thread, see: http://www.pprune.org/african-aviati...-age-34-a.html
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Old 2nd Sep 2015, 07:47
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Career change

Hi
First point: i am rooting for you!!!!
Second point: i am a training captain and i firmly believe that you need experience to pass on experience which translates in the fact that imho instructors should not be teaching right at the completion of the cfi course since even though they can compensate for the lack of experience with enthusiasm, they are lacking experience!
What is experience for me: well even though i could truck on for ever experience for me is situational awareness and the ability to priorityze which can not be bought!
One point that plays in your favour and that makes me root for you is the fact that u will not be a hour builder, but u will a career instructor thus focused from day one on improving your teaching skills!!!
But as suggested if i were u i would go for the ppl first, baby steps can take you a long way!
As for you being a woman, you should stay were u belong: in the kitchen!! Lol just kidding!!! For me it is not even a point to be raised, actually based on my personal experience if you can get over the fact that you are a woman and thus you have to perform better than men to gain your collegue respect, you will do an outstanding job! I had a few woman instructors and i learnt a lot from them, they are normally very procedural which i love, and of course knowledgeble, if they can refrain from falling in the trap of DONT SCREW WITH ME JUST BECAUSE I AM A WOMAN!! .
And to show you how much i root for you, i promise to you that if you become an instructor you can put me down for a couple of hours in a single engine, which i am positive you will fly it far better than i would!!

Happy landings and if there is anything i can help you with, please do not hesitate to contact me!

Baobab
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Old 2nd Sep 2015, 08:59
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"What is experience for me: well even though i could truck on for ever experience for me is situational awareness and the ability to priorityze which can not be bought!"

baobab72 - situational awareness may be relevant experience for an IRI but hardly for a ppl instructor.
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Old 3rd Sep 2015, 09:01
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I disagree - situational awareness is a vital skill, whether you fly a 747 or a rubber band model, and all forms of aviation in between.

G
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Old 3rd Sep 2015, 12:12
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Gengis - I know what you mean, but I hardly think a newly qualified FI needs to spend 50/100/200 hrs or whatever 'gaining SA' just to teach ppl standard.
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Old 3rd Sep 2015, 12:28
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No, 1000 would be better. But it does come with all of the other stuff we learn as we build experience.

G
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Old 3rd Sep 2015, 14:08
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So are you saying a newly qualified instructor shouldn't be allowed to teach until they have 1000 hrs?

Last edited by Parson; 3rd Sep 2015 at 14:09. Reason: typo
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Old 3rd Sep 2015, 15:05
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Nope, I'm saying that the current minimum hours to become an instructor in most environments, is very minimal.

I'm not sure I'd have been a very good instructor when I only had 300 hours - would you?

At about 1000 hours, I'd probably built up enough real flying experience that I could start thinking about taking on that sort of role effectively.

There are bound to be exceptions - the RAF creamies being the classic, but I don't think treating that as the norm is particularly valuable. The pilot who really uses their hour building to build genuine experience, can probably get to the point of being a good (enough?) instructor in a few hundred hours. But, I wouldn't take that as a given.

G
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Old 3rd Sep 2015, 15:17
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Agree with the principle of the more hours the better. So how would it work for an aspiring career instructor then? Say gets CPL & FI and has 200 TT. Where/how does the other 800 hours come from? Would they have to pay for it themselves and, if so, is that a realistic requirement for a job with a starting salary of 12-15k?
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Old 3rd Sep 2015, 16:35
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That's a perenial problem isn't it. In an ideal world, we'd have the most experienced pilots teaching the next generation, not those just out of school themselves.

I don't have an answer to that - other than that we should look for the very highest standards of flying in those who wish to instruct - which means displaying competence that arguably goes well beyond their apparent experience.

Not easy, but we have to try. Giving them an excuse, like saying that a high standard of situational awareness isn't necessary in PPL instructors however, isn't acceptable. The PPL is the foundation on which everything else is built, and new pilots need to get a very good one.

G
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Old 3rd Sep 2015, 18:06
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I wasn't saying that ppl instructors shouldn't have good SA - every instructor I have had has always known where he/she is.

It's not really something that is taught per se, but part of pretty much everything you do from your first lesson. I was just picking up on the previous comment re deficiencies in FI competence and coming from an airline captain, I assume he was basing that on experience of FOs and therefore IFR flying.

We seem to be off topic but is a valid discussion. A more worrying thought for me would not be instructor experience but an MPL with 200hrs in the RHS of a regional jet. No doubt well trained to operate the a/craft but someone who may never have been stuck in a light aircraft, on their own having to make to make decisions like real weather diversions, dealing with a rough running engine etc.
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Old 3rd Sep 2015, 18:26
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Agree with the principle of the more hours the better. So how would it work for an aspiring career instructor then? Say gets CPL & FI and has 200 TT. Where/how does the other 800 hours come from? Would they have to pay for it themselves and, if so, is that a realistic requirement for a job with a starting salary of 12-15k?
The answer is simple.

Before one can be a flight instructor he/she must have xx number of hours as a commercial pilot.

Instead of 200 hours make it 2000 hours.
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Old 3rd Sep 2015, 20:43
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Originally Posted by Parson
I wasn't saying that ppl instructors shouldn't have good SA - every instructor I have had has always known where he/she is.
Is that what you think SA is all about?

G
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Old 3rd Sep 2015, 21:19
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Well, that and knowing what phase of flight you are in, thinking ahead, configuration of the aircraft, overall purpose of the flight, likely contingency plans to be needed et al. Maybe I didn't explain my point very well...
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Old 3rd Sep 2015, 22:13
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Perhaps not. SA is massively more than just navigational awareness.

I think whilst the numbers he uses are a bit big - and there are other types of pilot than "commercial" of course, Chuck has a point.

Pilots do need some significant experience of (shock) doing stuff with aeroplanes so that they have experience to draw upon, and enough spare capacity to deal with all the stuff that can go wrong during an instructional flight - or they will struggle to be good instructors.

G
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Old 3rd Sep 2015, 23:22
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Genghis, I used commercial flying because it evolves flying in various conditions dictated by the need to turn a profit for your employer.

Most other kinds of flying are driven by want to fly rather than maybe flying when you may not want to.

Experience will give you the capability of knowing when to say no based on risk assessment, which is based on past experience with the conditions that may affect the flight you are asked to do, such as the weather pattern for the intended flight among many other factors.
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Old 4th Sep 2015, 01:08
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Originally Posted by Genghis the Engineer
In my opinion - do a PPL, then re-assess.

With a PPL, you'll know if you have the passion and application for a professional career in flying (and the aptitude). If you didn't enjoy it, you'll still be a much better ATCA for the training, and the degree added to that will make you a good ATC manager.

Here in Britain, I really hope that your age and sex would be irrelevant as young as your 30s - but I really can't speak for South Africa.

G
The best advice so far IMO.

With respect to the thread drift about low hour instructors, I find it a bit tiresome that once again we seem to be stuck in the binary

Low hour instructor = crap instruction

high hour instructor = great instruction

There are many qualities that make for good instruction, the total time of the instructor is just one.

Experience becomes more important as one moves to more complex flying but for ab initio a high number of flying hours is not IMO terribly important.

The PPL is not rocket science. It should focus on the foundation principals of how to fly an airplane. A well taught 300 hr instructor who is properly supervised is completely able to properly teach a PPL.

I agree the concepts of SA are important but before you can apply them you have to be taught the basic principals of weather, navigation, engine management etc etc. That is what a PPL course is for.

Done properly you will have a license to learn safely, AKA, a PPL.
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Old 4th Sep 2015, 06:40
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Genghis - yes, as I alluded to in an earlier post when I said that SA is pretty much part of everything you do from your first lesson.

BPF - couldn't agree more.
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