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The CTC Wings (Cadets) Thread - Part 2.

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The CTC Wings (Cadets) Thread - Part 2.

Old 5th Feb 2011, 13:07
  #3761 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Paris
Age: 33
Posts: 5
Verbal and numerical reasoning tests

Hi there,

Sorry to bother you but I've seen you know quit a lot about tests and interviews.
Actually, I'm going to join FTE Jerez within a few weeks but I need to pass a Verbal Reasoning and a Numerical Reasoning test first.

I did many many exercises but not the kind of exercises they give us during the tests in FTE where you need to calculate the altitude, speed, quantity of fuel, distances etc...

So, do you know where I can find this kind of exercises ? If you do, please let me know because my tests is Feb 19th.

Thank you very much for your help ....

Best regards

Moises is offline  
Old 5th Feb 2011, 15:05
  #3762 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 1999
Posts: 2,264
How / when exactly is the security bond repayed to you? The information from CTC is about as clear as mud when it comes to YOUR money.
Probably never! Other people will be able to give you a better explanation, but this money represents your training costs. As such it becomes their money and not yours. However it is very dependant upon what happens to you at the end of the course, as to what happens to this "bond."

In better times, certain partner airlines would take a number of cadets on a six months probationary period. During this time those cadets were not paid a salary by the airline, but received a small sum of money from their bond (around 1000 or so, a month) in addition to expenses (flight pay, allowances etc.) from the customer airline. At the end of the probationary period, those cadets who were kept on by the airline were paid a salary, (usually a cadet level salary for a two or three year qualifying period.) Their training bond was also part of the package in that it was (in effect) purchased by the customer airline. It then provided a level of security for the airline. These "bond" sums were then repaid to the cadet in monthly amounts over a fixed period.

In recent years, there have been very few airline customers prepared to adopt these arrangements. Indeed there have been very few customers at all. In order to keep things moving, new customer arrangements have been agreed with various airlines. These arrangements with names such as "flexicrew" have often been on significantly less favourable terms to the cadet. However, they have provided a significant source of employment and experience in a marketplace that has become very arid.

With these schemes, the "bond" is not transferred or purchased by the customer airline. In fact there will usually be additional training expenses for the costs, or contributions towards type rating training. In this case, the "bond" is transferred to the training provider in respect of the candidates training costs. Similarly if the individual finds their own employment, or if after a time period there is no employment the "bond" is transferred to the training provider.

In other words, this isn't "your money" it is "their money." The bond is surity that the (non-foundation course) training costs will be paid. If a customer pays the training provider for your placement at completion of the course (or within an agreed period) the bond is transferred to that customer, who may repay it to you at a rate to be decided by that customer.

To be clear, the bond may turn out to be a good way of ultimately reducing the training cost burden. It also comes with a limited range of protections in the event that the cadet fails to complete the course (for a number of defined reasons.) However it would be a mistake to regard the "bond" as your money. It is money deposited to cover your training costs. Only in very defined (and currently remote) circumstances, will you be reimbursed any or all of these monies, and only if the bond is adopted by a customer airline utilizing this scheme.

The BBVA loan, is a secured loan that is secured on an acceptable UK property. Guarantors (usually parents,) would be required unless the applicant could satisy the requirements themselves. The loan is unlikley to be offered unless there is sufficient equity in the securing property, such that after the proposed loan and any existing mortgages are taken into account, there is still around a 30% margin betwen the total charge (debt) and the value of the property.

On top of this the guarantors financial position would be taken into account, to reasonably ensure that they could meet the payment obligations themselves, if the main applicant defaulted. In other words, it doesn't matter what your position is at the end of the course. It doesn't matter whether you declare yourself bankrupt or not. Any default in the loan repayment terms, will require the guarantors to satisfy those terms. Failure to comply resulting in the secured charge (the property) being exercised (sold) to repay the debt (capital, interest and any other legal charges.)

These loans are variable and tied to the UK base rate at a fixed difference (usually plus 2.5%.) With a base rate of 0.5% that makes the repayment levels (for illustration purposes) look relatively attractive. It would be a wealthy person who could predict with any certainty where rates will be in 18 months time or indeed in three or four years time. However base rates of 4% or 5% are most definetaly within the realms of probabilty within the shorter timescale. This would give a repayment rate of 6.5% to 7.5% possibly before a single penny of any loan is repaid. Any applicant needs to satisfy themselves (and the bank almost certainly will,) of the affordability criteria in those and possibly worse circumstances.

Other people will be able to give you a better account of their experience, but I have read (carefully) the paperwork, with my spectacles "rose tint" removed. These schemes may work well for individuals and I am certainly not criticising them. However the terms of the contracts should be read very carefully, and completely understood by anybody entering into them.
Bealzebub is offline  
Old 5th Feb 2011, 17:41
  #3763 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: ABZ
Posts: 218
Great post Bealzebub - and interesting username!

In all honesty I don't think the CTC Wings route will suit many, at this point in time ....I also have concerns about the direction in which the industry I currently work in and love, is heading...
Smell the Coffee is offline  
Old 5th Feb 2011, 18:20
  #3764 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Everywhere
Posts: 788
the prospect of 95,000 debt after 2 years of interest build up scares me sh*tless
That's a healthy way to approach it. Fearfully. As Bealzebub and others have said, this stuff about the bond being repaid to you on placement harks back to a past era. CTC may pretend that this is the basis of your training agreement, but that is simply bolleaux swinging breezily in the face of current reality. Go in expecting to have to find nearly 10k for a type rating for placement, and if a non-Orange partner airline comes along and asks for cadets (offering to pay for type rating) under the old terms and conditions, then see that as a very unlikely bonus, much as winning the lottery would be.

Also, as a side note, expect this all to change by the time you get placed - those of us who signed up for the 'old' arrangement have seen many changes over the last 3 years. As you are no doubt already aware!
The African Dude is offline  
Old 6th Feb 2011, 07:53
  #3765 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Spain
Age: 30
Posts: 314
Thanks for the brief summaries guys! Actually I was going for the Wings ATP selection but I've read it is the same as the Cadets up to Phase 4. Some good info there.
Mohit_C is offline  
Old 8th Feb 2011, 00:19
  #3766 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 398
To any past or present CTC students, how did you manage transport when you were in the UK? As I understand it, they furnish you with mini-busses when in NZ but on an open day, they said that we should bring our cars if we can.

Has anyone got a rough idea of how many is needed, also, would it be really worthwhile to bring your own car if you can? Are parking spaces limited (at their accomodation)? Also, will everyone be studying at a different pace, therefore the flexibility of your own car would be perhaps be beneficial.

Basically, how did you manage it? Also, can anyone give me a rough idea of where the Southampton accomodation is? is cycling to Nursling in the realm of possibility, although I should imagine it isn't as where ever it is, you would most likely have the motorway to contend with!
giggitygiggity is offline  
Old 8th Feb 2011, 02:26
  #3767 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Anywhere and Everywhere
Age: 33
Posts: 3
Thanks Bealzebub + co, plenty of food for thought there.

I have a plan B should I find myself without employment at the end of training, so I guess my situation means I won't completely dismiss the idea just yet. I don't really share CTC's optimism about the industry picking up, yet I know the best time to be completing training would be on the economic upturn. If it ever really comes.

Decisions decisions...

Is anyone else thinking about starting with the June intake? It would be good to speak to some other prospective cadets if so!
markwalker92 is offline  
Old 8th Feb 2011, 04:31
  #3768 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 1999
Posts: 2,264
I believe that apart from possibly a week or two at the start of the course, they utilize commercial letting from private landlords. In other words they rent a few houses in nearby towns and a group of 4, 5 or 6 of you share the house, each with your own bedroom.

Because of the travelling distance, it is important that there are enough people with their own transport in each of the property locations, so that you can share lifts. An early excercise in team building perhaps? I believe that the group then share the petrol/running costs on whatever basis they agree. Failing that I suppose you share a taxi each day.

On the subject of what happens at the end of the training, I think this is a vitally important point.

Far too many people labour under the illusion that once you have a CPL/IR and 250 hours, you are somehow just what airlines are looking for. This (for the most part) really isn't the case and never has been. Historically, recognised approved training courses that led to cadet entry programmes in a few airline companies, enabled a few aspirants to utilize the recognised training programme, to transistion to an airline first officer programme.

Without the benefit of these programmes, aspirant airline pilots, would normally require an absolute minimum of 700 hours, (and usually many hundreds if not thousands of hours more,) through general aviation type work. Then they would find themselves in competition with military leavers, and career changers for whatever jobs became available.

Changes that came about with the introduction of JAR, removed some anomolies in the UK licencing regime, that brought the requirements for licence issue more into line with those that existed in much of the rest of the world. This reduced the hour requirement for a CPL down to the 200 hour level. It also meant the CPL was the benchmark requirement for most aerial work jobs, such as flight instruction (which previously could be undertaken with only a private licence in the UK.)

This caused many to believe that airlines who sought experienced applicants previously, would now beat a path to their door when they only had 200 hours. Apart from one or two vocal CEO's who saw this as a loophole that helped them get one step further to eliminating the F/O's role completely, it was just nonsense. Many airlines did introduce or expand their cadet programmes to take low houred entrants, but rightly, and as they had always done these cadets came from full time, integrated and recognised training establishments that the companies themselves maintained a relationship with.

So back to my point what happens at the end of the training?

Well hopefully you have your CPL/IR with your ATPL ground examinations completed. You have an MCC/AQC type (Airline CRM) course completed. and then what?

Does the FTO open the window and throw its new fledgings into the sky to the chant of "fly my little ones" as most of them fall to the ground? Does the FTO have a number of airline customers who recognise and integrate with it's training programme, so that some/many/most of the fledglings are taken under the wing of the airline for further training?

Where I think this training provider does stand out is at this end of the market. Yes it is a commercial business that must make a profit in order to stay in business, and as such will spin it's marketing to ensure that remains the case. Yes it will project a rosy future when conventional wisdom may from time to time be less optimistic. However as long as it continues to maintain a relationship with it's end user airline customers, then that is where the advantage lies.

As and when any upturn comes in the economy generally, and specifically as it might affect pilot recruitment, then you will see more experienced pilots achieving renewed employment or better placements. You will see more military leavers being recruited and you will see more GA pilots moving up through the system. However you will also see an acceleration in these types of integrated programmes as more cadets are brought through the system.

The difficulty is always going to be with 200 hour CPL/IR holders who don't have this type of recognised programme to assist them. There is a lot of competition out there. There always has been, and in evolving ways there always will be. It has always been about finding that advantage that will make you stand out, or seem attractive at the right time. Anybody with the very aspirational and very difficult aim of finding an airline placement with only a couple of hundred hours under their belt, needs to ask themselves seriously, where might those advantages be found?
Bealzebub is offline  
Old 8th Feb 2011, 08:42
  #3769 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 24

To be completely honest I haven't read the whole 100 and something pages of this forum, but was just wondering if there is anyone who lives in NZ that has applied/been through CTC. I have just placed my application in and am waiting eagerly. I sort of know what to expect, but I'd like some info on the process for someone in NZ. Cheers
alexWCD is offline  
Old 8th Feb 2011, 12:30
  #3770 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: England
Age: 32
Posts: 73
Beazlebub, its great, and refreshing, to hear a perfectly balanced response such as yours. I see far too much negativity on this forum with no real reasoning as to why they are being negative. So thank you for that.

I agree that CTC stick out from the rest with their relationship with the partner airlines. They have certainly nailed that part on the head, and from my own experience of the company, and their members of staff, they do seem to actually care about their students.

I would like to make a few comments about what CTC said to us on our selection day. Firstly, and probably most importantly, Lee Woodward, the director of the CTC Wings Cadet program, stated that they have only not been able to place one of their cadets with an airline after the type rating phase, and that is due to the fact that the cadet was type rated on the 757. As we all know, there are not a lot of these flying around in Europe anymore. He also stated that the company will be supporting the cadet with a different type rating in order to help them to be placed with an airline. This is not in CTC's contract, but it shows the companies dedication to their students. I doubt any other FTO would be willing to do such a thing.

Secondly, he also told us that he was in the process of speaking to the partner airlines regarding cadet placement over the next year or two, and that he had to tell their partner airlines that CTC would not have enough cadets to meet the needs for those airlines. This can only be a good thing right? I'm not saying that things are improving, and I am definately skeptical about the "pilot shortage" that will we face over the next few years, but I do trust CTC as a company, and I'm very glad that I will be completing my training with them rather than the other FTO's.
pipersam is offline  
Old 8th Feb 2011, 17:14
  #3771 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Oop north
Posts: 1,059
and from my own experience of the company, and their members of staff, they do seem to actually care about their students.
The staff, on a personal level, yes. I can't remember any occasion from my time on the course where, if I had a problem, the door wouldn't be answered. I remember a few instructors in particular who took their students to heart and really cared about their progress. You, as a person, will be looked after by the staff and instructors.

However. I remember when I was out in NZ and there were a few delays to my flying towards the end of the course due to weather / occasional aircraft unserviceability / etc. Normal stuff. I asked my IFR instructor if I'd be given any priority during the next week over other training flights, given my departure date from NZ had already passed and I was due back in the UK for ATPL exams. (he was a standards instructor and had staff to train as well.) His response... "Remember, to this company, you are a great big walking pile of cash. It's in their interests."

And that's the key point. To the company, when you sign that contract, you are a great big walking pile of cash. CTC is not a charity. They look after you because most of the staff are nice (note, I said 'most') and also because they have a duty of care, especially in NZ where you're thousands of miles from home - and because if they don't, and something goes wrong, it might result in many more walking piles of cash walking elsewhere with their business. The staff care about you as a person; the company cares about how many numbers you can add to their bottom line. You are just another statistic on their spreadsheets. Literally, if you ever happen to peruse the company's accounts.

Speaking of cash... at this talk you attended on selection day, did they breach the subject of how long some people had to previously wait between finishing AQC and starting type rating, and how some have gone bankrupt? I was chatting to one Flexicrew pilot not so long ago who was having to borrow money off his sister to meet his repayments because his contract pay wouldn't cover it as well as his bills. It's nice to hear of the 'support' for the 757 guy, whatever exactly that entails, but once you take out that loan you're on your own money-wise - don't expect a great deal of help if you don't get a 'placement' and you end up with the bank banging your door down. And what about statistics regarding FULL TIME, PERMANENT employment as opposed to Flexicrew 'placements'? Did they give you anything on this?

Don't get me wrong, there's plenty that's good about the course - the year in NZ, the quality of instruction (particularly the latter stages), the facilities, the general atmosphere, etc. You'll have a great time. But it's important to know the other, less-good bits and form a balanced opinion before you sign on the dotted line. Believe me, it's a mind-boggling, eye-watering amount of money, although it doesn't quite boggle your mind until it's time to start the repayments. You won't be thinking about it too much when you're enjoying the scenery doing a cross-country across NZ in a 172 with a mate on board, but you will be thinking about it very much once it's time to actually get a job, you receive the contract and do the maths.

If you decide it's for you - which you may well do - then good luck to you. Go in with your eyes open and you'll have a great time.
Zippy Monster is offline  
Old 8th Feb 2011, 19:36
  #3772 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Everywhere
Posts: 788
I agree with what Zippy Monster has said, particularly with regards to the very memorable experience that CTC offers.

However, regarding the following -
he also told us that he was in the process of speaking to the partner airlines regarding cadet placement over the next year or two, and that he had to tell their partner airlines that CTC would not have enough cadets to meet the needs for those airlines
...LW has been trotting out this line for a long time and very rarely is it backed up with some kind of evidence in the form of placements, easyJet excluded.

The industry is moving, with many pilots heading to the Middle East and BA amongst others, so choose based on fact rather than what CTC management tell you. They are very good at sounding sincere, and why do you think that is?

Good luck, and if you choose to enrol, best of luck with your future.
The African Dude is offline  
Old 9th Feb 2011, 00:52
  #3773 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: England
Age: 32
Posts: 73
Speaking of cash... at this talk you attended on selection day, did they breach the subject of how long some people had to previously wait between finishing AQC and starting type rating, and how some have gone bankrupt?
Not particularly at the selection day, but certainly at the open day they did touch this subject thoroughly. We even had a session with John Monk, a 757/767 training captain for BA, and he made it particularly obvious that there will be more than likely delays, setbacks etc. He even told us that he had been made jobless three times during his career as a pilot, and that we should prepare for that.

Obviously, and I completely agree with you, CTC buff things up to make it all look pretty and attracting, but they certainly don't lie about the issues, or even obscure them as much as some people think they do.

I personally think that with a little appreciation and understanding about the drawbacks, and by preparing yourself for such occurances, it shouldn't be a major problem. For me, yes I am borrowing a large amount of money for the course, but luckily I have my parents support, and I have made the neccessary precautions to try to minimize any "downtime" that I may occur before gaining full employment by an airline. Ideally, I will do my type rating and go straight into employment by an airline, but I know that at the moment that is unlikely and I may have to fly as flexicrew, or even worse go do another job whilst I wait for a placement. For me it's worth it, because theres nothing else I want to do more than be a pilot.
pipersam is offline  
Old 10th Feb 2011, 04:59
  #3774 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 398
Cheers for the info on transport arrangements etc. Bealzebub! We're already in negotiation. My solicitor could have done with your explaination on what exactly happens with regards to monies paid to CTC as it took him a while to understand it and I am convinced he is still a little baffled by it all. Again, cheers for all of the useful info.
giggitygiggity is offline  
Old 27th Feb 2011, 15:55
  #3775 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: kent
Age: 34
Posts: 2
CTC placements

Just for those of you who are considering starting at CTC but are in doubt as to getting a job at the end, this year they have placed 88 pilots so far, 80 to easyjet on flexicrew and 8 to Monarch very recently, know of any other flying schools that can match that in the current climate? I am also waiting to be placed and i have no worry what so ever i am in safe hands.Yes i am paying back a loan on a regular income but so what? I knew the risks and took them on, dont go into it blind, prepare for the eventuality you may have to pay your way before you get anywhere near a jet, and your time will come.If you have a place at CTC already and you are serious that this is what you really want to do with your life then dont turn it down, i think you may regret it.
giggs85 is offline  
Old 27th Feb 2011, 17:37
  #3776 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: North of the Border
Posts: 25
The devil is in the detail....

giggs85, what you need to be asking is CTC is how many of these 88 placement are wings cadets. The majority it seems are from there flexi crew pool of type rated pilots. If it was the case they were just wings you would be on a type rating course already.
Highland Kilt is offline  
Old 28th Feb 2011, 07:33
  #3777 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: kent
Age: 34
Posts: 2

Highland Kit: Im assuming you dont know exactly what place i am or was in the hold pool so you wouldnt know wether i should have been offered a type rating or not.I do know however that i was once 90+ in the hold pool not so long ago, and as most of us know each other, know who has been offered type ratings, most of whom have started them already, and these are people not so far in front of me, so yeah maybe ALL wernt wings but i know for a fact that many of them are.The point im addressing is that people are being offered ratings now in numbers that are reducing the hold pool considerably, there is a steady flow, things are moving along, and i would not be worrying if i was somebody starting out now with the hindsight i have as a finished wings cadet.Im not worried about employment, and things are a lot better now than when i started my training.
giggs85 is offline  
Old 1st Mar 2011, 05:52
  #3778 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 398
In the offer pack I recieved from CTC, they said that it would be possible to gain a PPL during training in order to take your friends/family flying in NZ, I would be quite keen to do this. Does anyone know how this can be achieved. As I understand it, the instructors would have to arrange a skills test and you would have to pay a license issue fee. Has anyone ever done this, is it simple, or is it not worth bothering?
giggitygiggity is offline  
Old 2nd Mar 2011, 16:54
  #3779 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2006
Location: London
Posts: 21

It is possible to sort out an NZPPL - you don't get one as part of the course if you follow the integrated JAR syllabus, though all of the syllabus items (with the exception of low flying) are covered. There is an aeroclub on the airfield who, worst case, can do it, however as CTC NZ are quiet at the moment there is probably enough capacity for them to do it for you in house. The delaying factor is getting the relevent fit and proper person documentation through the NZCAA and subsequent receipt of the license paperwork, which could take a month to turn up, which might be worth bearing in mind if you are planning on particular visit dates.
greenfreddie is offline  
Old 2nd Mar 2011, 18:30
  #3780 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: lyon
Age: 33
Posts: 17
can anyone tell me how long it takes from submitting your cv to getting apositive or negative answer for the ctc wings?
flyingmam254 is offline  

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