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The worst decision.

Old 3rd May 2019, 21:23
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The worst decision.

Why spend time and money to get a rating that won't even earn you minimum wage or pay your national insurance contribution?

The industry will not pay what instructors need let alone what they're worth.

You can spend a life time gaining the experience you need to instruct and still have wealthy individuals undermining your income because they have other income to prop up the low wages paid to instructors.

​​​Try doing 400 hours a year and living on 12k. See if 600 hours is enough.

Instructing is the way to ruin. Live in a caravan on the airfield if your lucky and forget mortgages or renting proper accomodation.

You'll never earn enough to upgrade your ratings that's for sure. You're not even earning enough to renew your rating.

All your doing is subsidising wealthy students flight training while you live like a pauper.

Forget it. Get a job on a Tesco check out and earn far more for far less effort.

I've tried making it pay for 25 years in case your wondering.

You'd be better off busking in the high street with your dog.
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Old 5th May 2019, 10:14
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And itís taken you 25 years to realise this!! I got out of it after 2 years full time and have never looked back.
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Old 5th May 2019, 12:58
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Unfortunately the scenarios you describe are not limited to instructing and pervade across the entire airline industry. You have people (mainly LHS) underselling their skills happy to enjoy a day out flying from small bases near home relying on other incomes/pensions etc. The companies then pay the RHS even less and undercut the competition which ripples across the industry.
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Old 5th May 2019, 17:31
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It was low paid instructing that got me the experience to get into the airlines, For me it was an apprenticeship that resulted in a £100k + job

In the current airline climate I can’t see how anyone with the ability and drive to fly an airliner cant get a job.
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Old 5th May 2019, 19:09
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Originally Posted by A and C View Post
It was low paid instructing that got me the experience to get into the airlines, For me it was an apprenticeship that resulted in a £100k + job

In the current airline climate I canít see how anyone with the ability and drive to fly an airliner cant get a job.
People get into the aviation industry expecting large salaries from the start.
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Old 5th May 2019, 23:42
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And where exactly do you get the money to qualify as a commercial pilot? I had nothing when I started and I've had nothing since. An apprenticeship is fine if you can raise the money to get the ratings you need to get a job. Presumably you had access to a loan or assetts you could raise money against.
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Old 5th May 2019, 23:44
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What's that got to do with paying experienced instructors less than minimum wage?
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Old 5th May 2019, 23:50
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I guess you went commercial? Question is, how do you go commercial with no money?
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Old 6th May 2019, 07:37
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I have always told new instructors not to rely on instructors wage to survive. Have a good job in the week and instruct weekends.
I have my own school, just me and my receptionist/business partner. She takes next to nothing and i take less than minimum wage.
There is no money in flight training, just do it for the love of it. For me i am my own boss for now. But you won't be in a position to rent, never mind buy a home or support family. I'm single, live my own, in my owned studio flat and could survive on the dole tomorrow and not be much worse off.
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Old 6th May 2019, 07:38
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Originally Posted by blastcalvey View Post
I guess you went commercial? Question is, how do you go commercial with no money?
Unless you have money to pay for ratings, forget an aviation career. It took me from 1978 to 1990 working and living free at my parents to get my ATPL via what was then the 700 hour experience route.
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Old 6th May 2019, 08:09
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I recal an RAF crew where the Captain, a Flying Officer earned considerably less than the Co-pilot a Squadron Leader and even less than the Load Master. In the late 70s an RAF pilot earned abot the same as a bus driver and considerably less than a tanker driver. Thats the real World.



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Old 6th May 2019, 11:51
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Become an electrician, my flying club business partners son takes home 3K a month. And his live in girlfriend 7k month working for Dell, only a little short of what i pay myself for a year.
Flying schools are stuck in the past, but can't see anyway forward.
Non of my young PPL members see any future in instructor, they all go straight to airlines.
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Old 7th May 2019, 14:20
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If all airlines banned their flight crews from doing any flying Instructing on the side and thus removing the ďfor the love of single engined flyingĒ scenario, that might help in upping the terms and conditions for the full time FI.
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Old 7th May 2019, 16:53
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So let's look at some figures.

Present rates seem to be aout £25, rising to £30 - £35 in some places.
Assume 500 hours a year is a sensible maximum, bearing in mind briefings and the weather.
At the £25 hour rate, that's £12.500 a year, that's £4,500 below the minimum adult wage, if you're full time.
Say you think a living wage is £20,000. You'd need an hourly rate of £40.
A lot of full-time instructors struggle to do more than 400 hours a year. That would need a rate of £50.
In order to break-even, a VAT registered school ( and most have to be, even with only 1 aircraft) would need to charge you out at £65 (£50 + £10 VAT + £5 just to cover the admin)
Tuition is only a part of the total cost. A 4-seat aircraft operated with due regard to long-term maintenance and eventual replacement costs at least £170 inc VAT to run. That's a rate of £235 before you've paid for non-flying ops staff and attempted to make any profit. How many schools charge this much for PPL training in a PA28 or C172?
If you were to charge this much, how many customers would you lose?
I remember in Economics at college learning about elasticity of demand. We've always assumed that PPL training is quite elastic, in other words, if the price goes up, demand falls. Is this true? Is there proof? Should we as an industry take a step and increase prices to a proper economic level, say £270 an hour and see what happens?
We operate just under £200 an hour, but we're run by unpaid volunteers (though instructors get £25 an hour) on the basis of being a member's club. If we were a commercial enterprise, we'd be out of business at that rate.

TOO
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Old 7th May 2019, 18:10
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The other problem is the additional expense which is now required to do what I've been doing since I started.

I now have to revalidate my IMC rating every couple of years back in the day it was embedded in my UK CPL. Well actually it still is I just can't use it in a Piper.

There other bits and pieces too. I assume there is a fee to pay if someone added ďdĒ privileges (instruct for the CPL) to an FI rating?

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Old 25th May 2019, 19:08
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Join Date: Dec 2014
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Itís never paid anything much at PPL level but itís either a stepping stone to commercial or people doing it on the side of other jobs ( I donít mean airline people, none of my colleagues do it)

Iíd love to come back to it having done the airline thing as I think id be better than first time round, but the cost of revalidating SEP and FI makes it too much on a whim.
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Old 26th May 2019, 06:50
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Home Counties
Age: 55
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FIís have never had it so good tbh. I have been doing it for years part time on £12 to £20.00 an hour recently been offered a job with a decent salary very good benefits. Funnily enough benefits better than most employed jobs Iíve ever had pension private medical joining bonus etc. Iím lucky it has never been my main income stream but the days of not being paid very well has changed will it last who knows but to get paid to do something Iíve always enjoyed at 55 is something Iím grateful for. As with everything in aviation have a backup plan as things change fast especially as we move towards global slow down. Iím told if you have a FI multi IR with IRI you can earn very good money Iím just SEP and CPL. There is a real shortage, best thing I every did was an FI rating, kept me flying through very lean periods in aviation.
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Old 27th May 2019, 18:38
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Originally Posted by TheOddOne View Post
So let's look at some figures.

Present rates seem to be aout £25, rising to £30 - £35 in some places.
Assume 500 hours a year is a sensible maximum, bearing in mind briefings and the weather.
At the £25 hour rate, that's £12.500 a year, that's £4,500 below the minimum adult wage, if you're full time.
Say you think a living wage is £20,000. You'd need an hourly rate of £40.
A lot of full-time instructors struggle to do more than 400 hours a year. That would need a rate of £50.
In order to break-even, a VAT registered school ( and most have to be, even with only 1 aircraft) would need to charge you out at £65 (£50 + £10 VAT + £5 just to cover the admin)
Tuition is only a part of the total cost. A 4-seat aircraft operated with due regard to long-term maintenance and eventual replacement costs at least £170 inc VAT to run. That's a rate of £235 before you've paid for non-flying ops staff and attempted to make any profit. How many schools charge this much for PPL training in a PA28 or C172?
If you were to charge this much, how many customers would you lose?
I remember in Economics at college learning about elasticity of demand. We've always assumed that PPL training is quite elastic, in other words, if the price goes up, demand falls. Is this true? Is there proof? Should we as an industry take a step and increase prices to a proper economic level, say £270 an hour and see what happens?
We operate just under £200 an hour, but we're run by unpaid volunteers (though instructors get £25 an hour) on the basis of being a member's club. If we were a commercial enterprise, we'd be out of business at that rate.

TOO
Don't think many instructors these days are doing 500 per year. Ten years ago i was doing 600 now it's about 350.
I once did just over 900 in 1993 and got told off by a CAA inspector.
Problem is on an airfield no club wants to make the first move to increase prices.
Also i see adverts for multi seat trial "pleasure" flights by companies not based on the airfield without our over heads.
I will be falling out with a well known gift card company this week.
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Old 27th May 2019, 21:58
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I'm glad you've managed to keep flying through the very lean periods as you describe them. However to accept the rate you've been getting is a classic example of subsidising students and driving down the potential earnings of other instructors. But hey you're on the bus so who cares. And your final comment about good salaries being offered to IR instructors shows that your missing the point. How do you fund those qualifications on an instructors wages?
If you think it's ok to pay professional rates to get professional ratings and then charge half price when you actually work then there really is no hope.
blastcalvey is offline  
Old 28th May 2019, 21:13
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Home Counties
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The pay has only been driven up by market forces, rightly or wrongly instructors have worked for very little, many get very disappointed when things donít go their way I have several of my x students whom have paid 65k for licenses - they were not wealthy who are getting 12 to 20 an hour as instructors just to keep flying - but many who have gone on to get well paid airline jobs, I do find people who always wanted commercial jobs and then have to do FI rating to keep flying are usually an unhappy bunch, however I only ever wanted to be an instructor as itís a second career.

50k probably now to get to CPL FI which is mad. I worked full time to do my licenses with a Family and 2 kids.

Lots wrong with this industry but lots of people who will help. If you PM with your details I would be interested to see your experience and ratings, I maybe be able to help.

its not easy never has been.

Its not all doom and gloom out there.
Aware is offline  

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