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Old 27th Sep 2004, 13:04   #1 (permalink)
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This topic has been copied from another (live) topic about jobs for those with 250 hours. It is locked because it now forms part of the 'Read this before you post' archive at the top of the main Wannabes forum.



Some words of advice (hopefully) to wannabes at all levels …..

1). Jobs versus experience.

Empirically there are, at present, more pilots (please select which of the following categories you fall in to) with:
  • The Basic fATPL (it being the very least one needs to have prior to being able to apply for employment).
  • Low hours per se and/or a modest number of hours on a type that is not pertinent to airline operations.
  • A jet type-rating but little or no experience on type.
than there are jobs.

Aviation is somewhat of a cyclic business (with peaks & troughs typically every seven years) though quite where we are now is very much subject to crystal ball gazing and tealeaf reading.

2). Making applications.

Applying for employment as a pilot does not entitle one to a reply, and certainly not if you application was unsolicited, i.e. the airline has not advertised for applications, you just thought you’d send one in anyway on the off chance.

Replying to the hundreds, and/or thousands, of applications takes time and requires that somebody is assigned to the task and, ergo, that costs money; and airlines hate (neigh, loathe) spending money, unless they absolutely have to.

Do not feel diss’d just because you don’t get a reply to your CV from an airline that is not recruiting.

3). Who you know.

Having a friend who works within an airline is perhaps the best way to move your CV to the top of the pile.

That’s not to say that not knowing anybody makes it impossible – it just makes it harder.

Remember also that this is perhaps the biggest and hardest ‘old boys (&girls) club’ that it’s possible to join – indeed it’s probably easier to join the Masons/Lodge.

4). Keeping current.

Keeping current is important, but however that does not mean hiring a C150 from your local flying club and doing a few half-hearted aerobatics and/or a trip down the coast for an hour or so.

Needless to say (but I will) if you are not regularly practicing the privileges of your IR your instrument flying skills will soon get rusty and, when one does finally get a break, you can be pretty sure that an airline assessment will involve a sim check.

To stand any chance in a simulator assessment you’d be well advised to have spent time keeping your instrument scan up-to-speed as well as continuing to develop your skills (both piloting & CRM/multi-crew).

So, rather than spend a couple of hundred £$€’s hiring the proverbial spam-can, why not get together with your mates and hire a proper/real jet simulator (there are, I’m sure, plenty of PPRuNer pro-pilots who would be willing to help drive the sim panel for you).

Indeed, many moons ago, ‘Raw Data’ used to do just this (using the Trident sim up at Biggin Hill) wherein many of the people he helped are now gainfully employed & seasoned jet airline pilots.

5). Whether or not to buy a type rating?

Just remember, and say after me..... ”THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES WITH ANY OF IT!”

6). CV’s.

When you write a CV remember that we already know the following about you:
  • You were born
  • You have a name
  • You probably live somewhere
  • Your piloting experience and ratings fit anywhere between having the a fresh off the press fATPL and/or low hours and/or a modest number of hours on a type that is not pertinent to airline operations, and/or a jet type-rating but little or no experience on type.
  • You’ll tell us that you’d make a super employee and will sell your soul to the devil to work for XYZ airline (you’ve got to sell your soul as that’s all you’ve got left after paying for all your training)
  • etc
Now, and I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news if you don’t already know this, there are hundreds of folk out there who fit a similar description to the above, and who are chasing the same job as yourself.

So, you need something that will levitate your CV to the top of the pile (not withstanding any mates who already work within your targeted airline) – certainly so when you think that your present flying background and/or your ratings are not going to be of all that much interest to a bloke reading it (somebody who is probably a TRI/TRE/RETRE/etc with several thousand hours in his logbook).

You have to ask yourself “If I can’t differentiate my flying experience” (because that is what everybody else I’m competing with has too) “then what is it that I can do to promote myself?”…. if you can crack that then you’ve got it cracked!

Lastly on CV's, if you're using a mail-merge program then for gawds sake make sure that the Chief Pilots name is correct w.r.t. the airline you're applying to (go figure!), and you'd also be advised to keep your CV short (1 page is usually enough)!

7). At the end of the day.

There’s a lot of truth when people say that you should hang-on and don’t give up – wherein for many it was dogged termination, coupled with perseverance and staying power that saved their day.

However, on the flip-side, the harsh reality is that some people will never attain their ambition of becoming an airline pilot.

They will have spent their money (more than likely a lot of it too), they will have done the hard work and all the courses, they will have passed all the exams – they’re probably very creditable pilots – but that lucky break just does not come their way.

Nb. This is something that the training industry – from the bottom and upwards – are loathe to broadcast as, I’m sure you’ll understand, it’s bad for business. But it is, nonetheless, true.

So, might I invite one and all to remember some of the above points when you’re being tempted to purchase those rose-tinted glasses, you know the ones, they’re inscribed ‘You too can be an airline pilot… just sign here!’

Finally, and all together now.....: ”THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES WITH ANY OF IT!”

Last edited by scroggs; 21st Oct 2004 at 14:14.
Puritan is offline  
Old 27th Sep 2004, 19:17   #2 (permalink)
Join Date: Sep 2004
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A very wise ex raf navigator once told a ground school class at cabair who were frustrated at not being able to get 75% in the lead up to their exams "the thing you really need to know about aviation...is when it starts going wrong, you sadly cant give up and go home"

I have been staggered that more people are not doing as suggested above and hiring 737 sims. I got 8 hours 737 200 sim in dublin with a training captain for about the hourly hire price of a twin. And no, i am not going to tell you who and where...I had to find it out and and guess what...? suddenly I knew a bloke who worked for an airline...who had a mate who worked in an airline that was recruiting, who i bought a beer, who got me an interview, which i passed and got a job. Edited for effect, but dont go thinking it is impossible to make contacts in an airline.

Remember, contary to what your mum tells you, you aint special and you dont deserve anything. You got what you deserved after studying for all those exams and now you have a little blue book.... put the same effort into getting an interview as you did in the exams and maybe you will deserve an interview.

Then, you maybe offered a job but you have to pass the type rating (which I found harder than the IR) to prove you deserve a paid job.

Is anyone with me?
easyswimmer is offline  
Old 28th Sep 2004, 09:50   #3 (permalink)
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Just felt I would like to add my vote for Puritan's comments. Many wise and true words were imparted there and anyone looking (or about to qualify and start looking) for their 'first break' would do well to read and take on board those comments.

It is not impossible with 250hrs to get interviews and jobs. Indeed, in a strange twist from years back, low houred (with a 'commensurate' age) pilots are probably more in favour now than the 'traditional' FI with circa 750-1000hrs. Certainly, jet operators seem to like these candidates, mixed in with candidates who already have airline experience.

Through my course I come across a wide variety of pilots, from those yet to qualify, to the vast majority who have 'low hours' (ie mainly single piston time in varying amounts up to a couple of thousand hours) through turbo-prop regional pilots all the way up to jet captains with significant experience (3 of whom have flown for flag carriers) and although they are all targetting different areas of the pilot recruitment market, the one thing that stands out about those who go on to be successful in their chosen 'target' airline(s) is DETERMINATION.

From my point of view there appears to be little to differentiate between these guys on paper, save the obvious hours/ experience/ age etc. Characterwise, there are very few whom I feel would not be able to make it. They all have plenty of desirable qualities and I have only met one or two whom I would not like to share a cockpit with!

Several of my 'low houred' clients have gone on to be successful at airline selections and are now flying (or in training) with UK airlines. Probably about half have gone on to some sort of type rating scheme (where they have to contribute or pay in full) and the other half have got jobs with no requirement for self-funding the type rating.

So it can be done, is being done and will continue to be done. Those who are doing it are getting lucky, but without fail, they all put themselves in the position to get the lucky break.
I have applied to about 50 airlines, taxi company etc etc and I haven't been accepted to any interview yet..
This is not meant as a dig, but if 'applying' to 50 outfits via an application/CV is all you have done, then you are not doing enough to get the 'luck' element. I am not saying that you won't get a phone call tomorrow from some recruitment department inviting you to interview, but there are hundreds of Wannabes who will testify to having done much more than this and they still haven't got the break.

I try to instill in my 'low houred' clients that they must be doing an hour or two a day researching, networking, telephoning etc etc and being pro-active in trying to find an opportunity. It all comes down to 'how much do you want a job flying aeroplanes?' The one thing that is guaranteed is that IF YOU ARE NOT DOING ENOUGH, SURE AS HELL SOMEONE ELSE WILL BE. This leads to the obvious situation where they are more likely to get the break.

So just briefly going back to the determination thing again, those who are determined stand out as good candidates, those who say they 'really want to fly for a living' but aren't doing enough to make it happen, are deluding themselves and are just not demonstrating one of the qualities that is a pre-requisite for pilots of transport aircraft.

Which category do you fit in...........?

Pilot Pete is offline  
Old 28th Sep 2004, 20:50   #4 (permalink)
Join Date: May 2002
Location: England
Posts: 251
What amazes me is that no one on these forums ever seems to point out the obvious, get of your backside and get a job within the industry or chosen airline.
It is reasonably easy to score a job, particularly in spring in ops or despatch. Once in you can make contacts, and it is easier to keep your ear to the ground in the correct environment instead of sitting at home whinging that no one replies to your CV’s.
I too sent out many CV’s with little or no response, I even cultivated contacts I had made in the industry, which led to job offers however I was never able to accept due to only having 300 hours and not meeting the requirements for single crew ops.
If nothing else you will learn more about the industry which is becoming a favoured trait in most modern airline, it is desirable to have a wider understanding of how the whole operation works. I believe Lufthansa insist that new starters spend 6 weeks in every department before being let loose on the flight deck.

All I can say working in operations led me to an interview and sim ride, which has led to a F/O job where may I emphasise the company pays for all uniform and training costs just like the good old days before the Lo-co revolution in emptying pilots wallets.

In all I don’t think it would harm anyone to expand there experiences within the industry, it will make you a better line pilot and it may land that all important first flying job.

I believe at present Eastern and Rockhopper are offering a 6 month secondment in operations leading to line flying, why not try it out you never know you may have some fun!

Good Luck All!

p.s. Hope it goes well Ham dont worry about your age my compny seems to prefer 25-35, ish like the man says "good egg" recruitment, all the best!
RED WINGS is offline  
Old 28th Sep 2004, 21:31   #5 (permalink)
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A very good point Red Wings. I know several pilots who have made similar moves to you and found their way into a flying position through another non-flying job with an airline.

And skyman68, equally I know many, many pilots like you who just keep sending out the CVs, which is just not enough. It's too easy to say 'no' or even ignore your CV. What have you done to enhance it over the period you sent '1000' odd CVs out? This must be at least a couple of years? Have you built any more hours and networked any contacts? Have you tried to get a job with an airline in a non-flying role? If you still have the same CV two years after qualifying and it didn't work for you then I fail to see how, short of being 'lucky', it is going to work for you now. You must do whatever to enhance it. You say
Most companies want first officers with 1000-1500 hours on jet and must be current
which may well be their Christmas Wish list, but reality is somewhat different. There are a large number of airlines here in the UK that have (and are) employing pilots with significantly less than that and believe it or not, some don't even charge for the type rating.

I feel for anyone who has a licence and can't get a job, but to be honest skyman68 all we ever see of you on these forums is negative comment about how 'unfair it is', how you 'won't do x,y,z' etc etc. Your attitude will be reflected in your applications, so I would strongly advise you to get over how 'unfair' the industry is and start being more pro-active about securing yourself a position. You seem to have decided that you won't(can't?) spend any more money on something like an FI rating and that's that. Well, as I said in the last post; someone else WILL be going the extra mile and funding their FI rating, building hours and getting themselves into a position where they do start to get some response from their applications. If you can't fund an FI rating then I question your judgement about coming as far as you have in this industry only to let it all fall by the wayside. I was in a similar position several years back and looked at my options; 250hrs, frozen ATPL/IR and no-one interested in employing me. I quickly realised that my ONLY option was to keep enhancing my total time by way of instructing, so I fished out my credit cards and scraped together the sum required to get the rating, and yes, it was on my credit card statements for some time to come, but what was the point in spending the £50k if I was just going to sit back and let it all slip away for the sake of another £4k?

It sounds to me like you have all but given up on securing a paid flying position. If you don't shake yourself out of the negative mood that you display constantly on here, you will not get a break and will have wasted all that self-investment. Rest assured there are plenty more positive guys out there doing their utmost and finding those jobs that you desire.

I wish you well.


Last edited by Pilot Pete; 29th Sep 2004 at 10:21.
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Old 3rd Oct 2004, 18:43   #6 (permalink)
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It is reasonably easy to score a job, particularly in spring in ops or despatch. Once in you can make contacts, and it is easier to keep your ear to the ground in the correct environment instead of sitting at home whinging that no one replies to your CV’s.
Don't they care that you are going to try and leave the job as soon as you've started?
Cabotage Kid is offline  
Old 15th Oct 2004, 09:01   #7 (permalink)
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 1,432
37 yrs old, 430 hrs, interview (and sim) with one airline last week and interview with different airline next week. There's a rumble.....
Megaton is offline  
Old 15th Oct 2004, 10:58   #8 (permalink)
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 24
HP.... have you funded your own type rating? Or did you get the interview without a rating and by sending CVs out with a bit of persistence afterwards?
Johnny Hotspur is online now  
Old 15th Oct 2004, 11:13   #9 (permalink)
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 1,432
No type rating just persistence and developing relationships with the companies concerned. I have been applying for nearly 7 months now but it's all starting to happen. I believe I'm on a shortlist for a third job as well!

I don't think there's a definitive answer because everyone will find their own route to a job. I've had tremendous support from friends in the industry who have put the word about on my behalf. More importantly, when I felt like giving up this summer, they assured me that the job market was picking up which I knew objectively but it didn't feel that way.

If I can get interviews then it should be easily be possible for everyone else. Patience and persistence are the key.

I am a very happy man today.
Megaton is offline  
Old 18th Oct 2004, 14:50   #10 (permalink)
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: uk
Posts: 149
what I have done, I worked my ass for years to get my hours. FI, skydiver's pilots, ....
and noone is interested by my CV. after months of research I have been unable to get an interview.

I have contacted my friends, who have all between 1000-2500h of flight time . Some are ex- cargo pilot, ex-flight instructors, they do not find any job. I have friends who actually fly for airlines(2% of my friends have found a job after 10 years), they can not get a job for me, and are deeply sorry about my position, and they are worried to loose their own job.

what is the point to spend so much money in this JAR training, when there is no job.if you have around 250h, good luck!your chance are very slim, close of 0.1% to get a job as a pilot.

look at own many students want become an airline pilot and are ready to fork a fortune for a return evaluated at 10% of your income. Aviaition is a ripp off, if you consider to become a professional pilot, I would suggest to do another job!

I am not happy at all about my position and about our futur!
good luck to all of us.

and please, do not believe people telling they got a job with 200h, these people come from schools trying to give you some fake hopes!personaly, I do not know one pilot who got a job with 250hours.
I can easily say:" hey guys, I fly a falcon jet and I have only 300hours"...that is Bullock!
skyman68 is offline  
Old 18th Oct 2004, 20:40   #11 (permalink)
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Posts: 1,695

We all have a view of this industry tainted by our own position, be that one of success or one of 'still trying'. I feel genuinely sorry for all those guys out there who are having a hard time getting employment, but your comments are quite frankly way off the mark. Just because you don't know many people who have got jobs with 250hrs, or 1000hrs piston, or any other combination of 'non-airline' experience doesn't mean that everyone claiming to have got a job is a liar from a training school trying to drum up business!

I have met a broad range of Wannabes over the last 2 years, ranging from 250hrs all the way through to captains of large jet transports with a whole career behind them. I will say it again, that I have personal experience of pilots who have gained employment over the last 12 months in a large number of UK airlines and several from abroad too. Proportionately those with experience have found it easier to get selections and then get jobs, but a fair number of 'low hours' pilots that I know have got jobs too, many of these being the ones who post on here telling their good news; the ones that you claim
these people come from schools trying to give you some fake hopes
I dispute your figure of
if you have around 250h, good luck!your chance are very slim, close of 0.1% to get a job as a pilot.
You are claiming that 1 x 250hr pilot in 1000 gets employed. A popularly banded figure on these pages is that there are approximately 1200-1400 pilots seeking employment in UK airlines. Let's say they are all 250hr pilots (which of course they are not), then you are claiming that only 1.2-1.4 of them is going to get a job! So let's just look at how many pilots CTC placed last year. I personally know of 10 and suspect it is at least 3 times that figure, so your claim is totally flawed purely based on the number placed through the CTC ATP Scheme. I personally know about 10x250hr pilots who have gained employment in the last 12 months, and granted I know more who have not, the point being that your 0.1% figure is completely inaccurate.

I have contacted my friends, who have all between 1000-2500h of flight time . Some are ex- cargo pilot, ex-flight instructors, they do not find any job. I have friends who actually fly for airlines(2% of my friends have found a job after 10 years)
Well, strangely enough if they have circa 2500hrs TT they probably qualified around the same time as me, maybe a little after and out of all the people I trained with at Oxford (on the old self improver upgrade course), which amounts to about 15, 14 of them are now flying for airlines and one is still instructing.

So like I said at the start, many of us view this industry from our own introverted position, mine is completely different to yours, but the thing that gives my view more credibility in 'the big scheme' of things is that I am now involved with dozens of pilots who are seeking employment and a large swathe of these have found airline employment and many continue to do so........... This year has been better than many over the last 4 years and the trend seems to be continuing.

Good luck.


Last edited by Pilot Pete; 19th Oct 2004 at 00:33.
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