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The CTC Wings (Cadets) Thread - Part 2.

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The CTC Wings (Cadets) Thread - Part 2.

Old 10th Sep 2018, 10:16
  #4821 (permalink)  
 
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Hi everybody,

if you join the academy now where do you perform the practical part? Is up to you or to them the choice of the location of the training?

Thanks.
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Old 10th Sep 2018, 14:47
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Originally Posted by TheSkylander View Post
Hi everybody,
if you join the academy now where do you perform the practical part? Is up to you or to them the choice of the location of the training?
Thanks.
It's not up to you. L3 place you where they can fit you in. If you're a whitetail (Wings) cadet, it could be UAE, Portugal, NZ or (if you really draw the short straw) Bournemouth.

​​​​​​
Originally Posted by Lordflasheart View Post
The RAF cadets were only due to start in August 2018, so I would suggest any ‘Bournemouth woes’ prior to August are due to some other cause.
...
It seems likely this group of students is being trained at Bournemouth on the DA42, on a hastily competed contract, necessitated by failure of the RAF to fund and procure enough crystal balls for their now civilianised flying training system (MFTS)
..
The RAF started in August and have drastically impacted the availability of instructors, especially now that there are two RAF courses running in the facility. The previous woes were down to a combination of factors; firstly, L3 switched maintenence provider which could not keep up with the workload and subsequently left L3 with 0-1x DA42s available for a period of time. The second factor is that nobody wants to be an instructor these days. The low hour requirements that allow cadets to get jobs with airlines is killing the instructor game across Europe and is affecting all of the 'big' integrated schools. Unfortunately, L3 keep taking on further contracts (such as the MOD) for what I can only imagine are marketing/prestige reasons and are subsequently having to use contractors/external schools just to handle the workload.

It's a mess.
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Old 10th Sep 2018, 22:49
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Originally Posted by Seosan View Post
It's not up to you. L3 place you where they can fit you in. If you're a whitetail (Wings) cadet, it could be UAE, Portugal, NZ or (if you really draw the short straw) Bournemouth.​​
Awesome. Thanks.
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Old 19th Sep 2018, 10:12
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RAF students at L3 Bournemouth.

..........

The press releases for the L3/MoD contract referred to ‘100 students over three years’ for multi-engine flying, commencing in August 2018. They will have done elementary and basic flying training. Their L3 course is touted as ‘similar to CPL/IR with MCC.’

On the published numbers, that would suggest something like - Six or eight students on a four month course of 60 hours, with a course joining every two months. That would barely fit with the report above, that there are already two RAF courses running at Bournemouth, so perhaps an early surge has been agreed on the grounds of national security. Given also the apparent temporary shortage of DA42’s and instructors, that would clearly mitigate against the civilian licence candidates who have to provide from their own resources.

The problem for the RAF is that the competition for ‘ME flying training’ that L3 won, must have been initiated several months ago. This might be either to fill a perceived shortfall of contracted capacity within the existing MFTS arrangements, or because of an ‘unanticipated’ additional requirement for ME pilots because of recent changes to RAF equipment plans. Either way, one wonders why they did not simply try to expand the existing MFTS contract on the Phenom 200, bearing in mind the decision to go outside the established MFTS would have been made before the little bit of Phenom embarrassment in July.

So - Is anyone please able to say roughly -
  • How many RAF students are on each separate RAF course at L3 ?
  • How long each course is planned or expected to last ?
  • What the course interval might be ?
LFH

............
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Old 29th Sep 2018, 16:43
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Originally Posted by Lordflasheart View Post
..........
  • How many RAF students are on each separate RAF course at L3 ?
............
8 people per intake. I should have made myself clearer; they split the first intake into two lots of four in an attempt at reducing the impact on civvies.

Last edited by Seosan; 29th Sep 2018 at 16:45. Reason: phrasing
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Old 1st Oct 2018, 09:17
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........
Thank you Seosan, that makes sense.

We are now also being told that because of certain shortcomings in the UK MFTS fast jet training process, a number of lucky RAF student pilots will be sent to Texas for their advanced flying training before attending the Typhoon operational conversion.

LFH

........
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Old 2nd Oct 2018, 00:20
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I have finished L3 in recent months and have been lucky enough to secure employment as an integrated whitetail cadet. Despite performing well throughout training, I got the job on my own - literally not one person from the "dedicated placement team" helped me secure employment. Here's my thoughts on events since the latter stages of my training.

Employment

At the moment L3 have "placed" very few people. Realistically at the moment, the only options have been Turkish airlines or Wizzair - or if you speak French, Easyjet as Air France are taking a lot of their pilots - The majority of people who have secured employment have done so on their own back, despite obtaining credible results. There was very little support and to quote on their website that there is a "dedicated Placement team" is absolute nonsense - airlines come to present at Southampton and such and invite people to apply - BUT in no way shape or form do L3 offer interview advice / feedback for interviews etc - You are very much left to your own devices - anyone who disagrees with this has been indoctrinated to the high heavens! This is a common misconception with the academy. The only other option is to interview for an instructor position with L3 - this isn't really placing either as why would you spend >£100,000 to become an instructor?

Post - Training Costs

L3 don't state very clearly what cash is required post training. An Easyjet type rating costs in the region of £32,000 on top of the ungodly amount of cash that is required already - And this doesn't include accommodation and living for a couple months either in Southampton or Burgess Hill near LGW. Furthermore most of the whitetail cadets (despite being successful early on) won't start Type ratings 4 to 12 months later. This is a struggle as A. finding work can be tricky and B. Interviews themselves are expensive. Airlines such as Thomas Cook ask for £760 for interviews! And that doesn't include hotels / travel.

Bournemouth

Is an absolute disaster at the moment. Some CP's have been given delays of 5 months or more. The whole point of doing an integrated course is to fly as often as possible (weather permitting). So why pay >£100,000 to stay in some terrible accommodation for such long periods when you could save £60,000 and do it modular? L3 decided to close Phoenix at the wrong time because they were keen to avoid contractual & finance issues with Lufthansa who run the training centre at Goodyear airport - instead of phasing Goodyear out they weren't patient, and jumped to Ponte Sur in Portugal which is still having teething problems months on. BOH has taken a huge hit because of this and has been over-capacity for months. This has led to disgruntled staff and cadets - L3 have been full of empty promises. Whilst it occurred throughout some other phases of training, when you were in Bournemouth it genuinely felt like you were constantly at school and were spoken to like a 15 year old frequently which was highly unprofessional - a view shared by many from my time there, and multiple cadets who are currently there just now. Not only this but some people waited over 2 weeks between the penultimate flights and CPL & IR tests! *Remember it's an integrated course apparently...*

*Make no mistake - if you are a whitetail cadet you will constantly be delayed because L3 prioritise Easyjet cadets & RAF*

Furthermore the introduction of the RAF will only make things worse. To keep cadets sweet they are being offered a couple hours of sim time in the B737 - 300 / 700 to give them something to do in the 2/3 weeks where they don't fly...

Maintenance

BOH have some of the oldest DA42s and have been plagued with issues for a very long time. L3 have also had a change of maintenance providers which have also caused more delays...

Social Media

Do not let peoples Instagram and Blogs paint a rosey picture of training with L3 - it is far from it. The main reason they do this is to get free marketing through cadets - many millennials who don't know any better do this innocently through instagram and blogs. It has even been rumoured that some people have obtained employment just because they have a social media presence. This is because if they sit there without a job for too long it looks bad on L3 when they constantly rattle on about a 98% placement rate - I wouldn't be surprised if that is 98% of around 30 people - as I have said the majority get jobs on their own backs, particularly when Easyjet are not hiring.

I appreciate many cadets will have different experiences, however L3 is far from the finished product.

I must also re-iterate that I have a job & I am obviously delighted to have secured employment - I just feel it's right that before people invest an astronomical amount of money into a flight school that they know what they are getting themselves and their families into.

Last edited by MrZed; 2nd Oct 2018 at 17:31.
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Old 2nd Oct 2018, 09:19
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I think the lack of investment from the airlines is appalling. How about underwriting the loans for selected trainees? I can see no advantage spending that amount of money, being treated like a child versus the modular self paced route. The training providers and certain airlines have developed a cosy little scheme to rip off trainee pilots and their financial backers, usually naive parents. Plus vat for flight training? Where is the support from Balpa?
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Old 2nd Oct 2018, 14:59
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Glad someone said it
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Old 2nd Oct 2018, 18:18
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Regarding what MrZed said about social media influencing certain candidate's success when it comes to securing a job. I have noticed that a prominent L3 blogger recieved an offer from easyJet, who had a fail on the CPL skills test and a partial for the IR. From what I was told only suitable candidates were put forward to easyJet by L3, as in, first time passes on the skills tests and a solid ATPL theory result.

To me this looks rather fishy as there are many cadets from L3 that meet the basic requirements, yet they have been sitting tight for well over a year looking for an offer from Easy. This leads me to believe that certain individuals are given a more favourable outcome based on social media presence and followers.
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Old 5th Oct 2018, 11:46
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Originally Posted by BaronVonBarnstormer View Post
It seems to be yes. Although around the water cooler you hear of some pretty poor situations for some CPs. The powers that be are certainly aware of it, and the communication about the situation has been good. From the sounds of it the loss of Phoenix came at exactly the wrong time, hence the ripples are still being felt. Two new flying training locations have just come online and are alleviating the delays.



More aircraft are leaving the maintenance contractor at Coventry and heading over. Again, things should be on the up from now on.
Please, I beg you, do not give undue weight to the comments made from the user above (And similar comments). In absolutely no way are the delays suffered by L3 cadets (especially those on the integrated whitetail course) getting better. It is without a shadow of a doubt that the delays are only getting worse; CP’s are being delayed before training, during training and more recently inbetween phases of training. Most CP’s, if not all, are taking a hit of up to 4 months to begin IR phases with L3 admitting to these cadets that they don’t know how or where they will provide this training post CPL.

Furthermore, the communication from L3 has been absolutely shambolic to put it lightly, our CP has been given delays whilst in New Zealand that we have not been informed about until we enquired ourselves. When L3 feels as though they have subjected their customers to enough torment they send the occasional email to remind people that they are well aware of the delays they are suffering yet continue to make absolutely no changes to their intake of cadets/policies/training. To help take the edge off the brutality of the delays L3 offer to give cadets £25 per week of delay after the first 5 weeks of delay. Ludicrous.

The facilities are overcrowded, made only worse by the fact that the schedulers are unable to get the most out of the resources at an increasingly testing time.

Things are most definetly not ‘on the up’ as this user has explained. Do not be fooled by The false advertising from L3, it is simply lies to get hold of your money and not provide the training you signed up for.


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Old 5th Oct 2018, 15:01
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Hi everyone, I just applied and went for the online interview for Whitetail cadet at NZ. I have read the above posts and it seems like the situation at L3 is dire regarding the UK side. Is there any reviews or feed backs for the NZ side? Many thanks.
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Old 6th Oct 2018, 12:17
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Originally Posted by Buden2 View Post


Please, I beg you, do not give undue weight to the comments made from the user above (And similar comments). In absolutely no way are the delays suffered by L3 cadets (especially those on the integrated whitetail course) getting better. It is without a shadow of a doubt that the delays are only getting worse; CP’s are being delayed before training, during training and more recently inbetween phases of training. Most CP’s, if not all, are taking a hit of up to 4 months to begin IR phases with L3 admitting to these cadets that they don’t know how or where they will provide this training post CPL.

Furthermore, the communication from L3 has been absolutely shambolic to put it lightly, our CP has been given delays whilst in New Zealand that we have not been informed about until we enquired ourselves. When L3 feels as though they have subjected their customers to enough torment they send the occasional email to remind people that they are well aware of the delays they are suffering yet continue to make absolutely no changes to their intake of cadets/policies/training. To help take the edge off the brutality of the delays L3 offer to give cadets £25 per week of delay after the first 5 weeks of delay. Ludicrous.

The facilities are overcrowded, made only worse by the fact that the schedulers are unable to get the most out of the resources at an increasingly testing time.

Things are most definetly not ‘on the up’ as this user has explained. Do not be fooled by The false advertising from L3, it is simply lies to get hold of your money and not provide the training you signed up for.



As with everything on PPRuNe you should take all posts with a pinch of salt, even my own. I wrote that based on my experience at the time and what I had been told/found out what was going on. Since then more has come to light, I'll admit the situation is far from ideal for a number of cadets, but again I can only comment on my own experiences. However, all that can be said for certain is that the delays are present, and will affect the majority of cadets in the system. How long it will take for the problem to be rectified is up to L3. Even if all CP intakes were cut off now, that would not alleviate the pressure for another 6 months. The fact is it takes time to hire, train and retain instructors and other employees, so there will be no overnight fix for the issues. If I was in the driving seat I would be looking at how Phoenix could be resurrected (excuse the pun).

Last edited by BaronVonBarnstormer; 8th Oct 2018 at 22:57.
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Old 8th Oct 2018, 07:10
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As a current L3 cadet, I can only echo Buden2's comments. I would currently not advise signing up for any course with L3, until they have solved the current delays, and created enough resources to carry out the training they promise. There are currently cadets being given delays of up to 6 months spread out between the CPL LST, IR training, AQC for whitetail, and for easyJet tagged ATPL students, and for partway through core phase and between core and basic phases for MPL students.

For some this includes a 3 month gap between CPL LST and IR training, leading to serious concerns about competency levels and the risk of not achieving a first series IR pass. Given that most here have chosen the integrated route for the speedier timeline, and the skill benefit of continuous full time training, despite the extra cost over a modular, many feel lied to and woefully let down by L3.

These delays are obviously also delaying the start of a career, and hence delaying the point at which cadets can start to earn an income to start paying back loans/mortgages, and in effect lopping months of earning potential off of the end of a future career. L3's current response is to offer £25 per week to delayed cadets to 'compensate' them for the delay.

While I appreciate the difficulty the loss of Phoenix, and the continued instructor shortage, has created, that should be a factor that L3 have to bear, rather than a cost to essentially be passed onto the cadets. All the while L3 are continuing to take on new cadets and only further the current problems, without having the decency to advise them of the delays that exist, or give any idea of how they are being resolved.


ps, L3 has various social media and internet policies that I'm very close to breaching, hence the new account for anonymity as I feel that L3 should not be able to continue ripping off future cadets by taking them on without any hope of fulfilling the promises/timelines they advertise. If anyone wants to contact me via PM I will be more than happy to give further details, and to prove who I am if they feel that is required to add weight to my post.

You can’t use the Private Messaging system, add url links or images until you have an established posting history.
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Old 8th Oct 2018, 22:00
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From the posts above it sounds like a pretty sad state of affairs all round. 3-6 month delays, limited airline links yet still 2x the cost of modular......

The 25/week refund is insulting more than anything else. We're talking about life-changing sums of money invested here, both for the cadets and often their families. In my opinion they are entitled to significant refunds if the course is not delivered as advertised. I would have hoped that L3 would be prepared to write off a bit of their profit to do the right thing but there you go.....

Has anyone been to an L3 open day recently? I'd be interested to hear their take on it. I believe trading standards would take a pretty dim view if they are continuing to advertise and sell courses based on timescales which they know they can't meet. That said, I'm sure the contracts cadets sign have plenty of get out clauses.
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Old 12th Oct 2018, 10:07
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Originally Posted by ManUtd1999 View Post
The 25/week refund is insulting more than anything else. We're talking about life-changing sums of money invested here, both for the cadets and often their families.
Yep, even before you consider the lost earning potential, the extra cost over a modular route, for what is turning into a poorer course is ridiculous.

And I wouldn't be surprised if things get worse before they get better. L3 are still taking on cadets, and the delays keep being handed out, so I have no idea how they ever think they'll catch up. The past few days they've handed out stand downs between foundation and advanced phases for some students (for those who haven't been through L3 training, foundation is the SEP VFR phase reaching a roughly PPL equivalent level, and advanced starts SEP IFR then the moves up to MEP IFR and VFR, leading to the CPL skills test), and those students have been told to expect further delays between CPL and IR training. Chatting to some of the instructors they seem to be thoroughly embarrassed, and shocked by the delays being handed out, and more and more seem to be looking for a way out.

I would have hoped that L3 would be prepared to write off a bit of their profit to do the right thing but there you go.....
This has given me a huge chuckle, one of very few recently!
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Old 13th Oct 2018, 11:20
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Did they give any reasons for this delay ?
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Old 13th Oct 2018, 11:58
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I’m currently in ground school at L3 and I was wondering if other schools are experiencing delays?

L3 keep telling us that the instructor shortage is an industry wide problem but surely other companies are not handling it as badly.

Here at Coventry we are running out of classroom space there are so many cadets. People being told they have to study at home during study weeks because there is nowhere for them. And with the newest CPs at max capacity I don’t know what they are planning on doing when people need to be recoursed to them! Surely if a company is struggling to keep to timings they should not be taking on more and more cadets.
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Old 13th Oct 2018, 16:12
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Hi, at which location have they handed out stand downs? Which is the best location to be in?
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Old 13th Oct 2018, 16:38
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Originally Posted by anotherplanet View Post
Hi, at which location have they handed out stand downs? Which is the best location to be in?
As far as I'm aware it is equal across L3. We've heard of problems/delays coming from all of the flight training centres for one reason or another.
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