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Astraeus

Old 22nd May 2003, 09:54
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Astraeus

I am thinking of doing a 737 type rating with Astraeus/ Bond aviation in the near future. Is there anybody out there who has actually completed the type rating with them. I would appreciate any feedback

How many aircraft do Astraeus operate?
Have they ever employed from this type rating?

As usual can we keep comments on the subject and not get carried away with the pro's and cons of paying for a type rating.

Cheers
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Old 22nd May 2003, 17:21
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Good post.

Their head of training, Mario Fulgoni, told a colleague of mine that after doing the tye rating - the chances of actually getting work at either Astraeus or any other B737 operator were slim.

I know that some people have got jobs this way. However, I,m not too impressed by any organistion that is unwilling to go on the record and state clear statistics such as "we have carried out x self sponsored type ratings and y are now in employment".

Lets read from the successful and non-successful people and try to build up a true picture.
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Old 22nd May 2003, 19:32
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Astraeus currently operate 6 aircraft :

GSTRA B737-300
GSTRB B737-300 (operates out of KEF for Iceland Express)
GSTRC B737-700
GSTRD B737-700
GSTRE B737-300
GBZZA B737-300

Main base is LGW with 2 aircraft based at MAN, they are rotated between LGW and MAN.

Have people been employed by the company after buying type ratings? Yes, I can think of four straight off.

I also know of others who have joined other companies.

Like everything though - there are no guarantees, if you are going to go ahead with it, enjoy the course, go in with your eyes open and work hard.
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Old 22nd May 2003, 21:15
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I am also concidering doing a 737 type rating with these guys but I have to admit I am a bit concerned that they make no promises and can't give me any statistics from the course.

The other problem is that if you pass the type rating and they don't employ you what are the chances of others doing so!
Will they think that your not that good because astraeus did'nt employ you!

The list of questions goes on and the only people that can answer them are those that have taken the plunge. So if there are any that have completed the course please let us know what the outcome was and if it was worth it?
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Old 23rd May 2003, 05:28
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They offered me the chance to do a type rating ( Self funded of course ), when I asked if I was guaranteed a job they were a little vague to say the least. However I have it on very good authority that they are only recruiting Captains at the moment.

I wouldn't fund a type rating if I wasn't going to get a guaranteed job at the end.
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Old 23rd May 2003, 06:49
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As I understand it, Astraeus offer a type rating on a commercial basis, exactly as your FTO offered you an ATPL course. As your FTO, presumably, didn't offer or guarantee you employment at the end of their course, why should Astraeus? You are, after all, only contracting for a period of training on the B737, at the end of which you will have the B737 on your licence and you will, you hope, be more employable by the various airlines that use that aircraft.

I don't believe that this scheme bears any relationship to the Ryanair or easyJet schemes which are directly aimed at recruiting employees (at the potential employees' own expense), notwithstanding the fact that Astraeus have occasionally employed some of their strongest students.

Scroggs
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Old 23rd May 2003, 17:06
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Well said Scroggs - there are no guarantees in life and it would be unreasonable to expect one.

What I would expect is for Astraeus to have statistics available showing how many people have taken the course and where they are now employed (if at all). I do not think this is unreasonable.

Lets get away from talk about guarantees and obtain hard facts on how successful Astraeus type rated people have been in achieving the dream we all share.

Any FACTS anybody?
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Old 23rd May 2003, 17:54
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Peeps,

Give Astraeus a rest. They are a company, and they are out there to make money. I have spoken to them at length, and at no time did they try and sell me a rating with any sort of promises of a job with them or anyone else if I did one. I feel that in that respect they have behaved honerably. I'm not sure it's anyones business who or how many people they take on, nor on what basis. I would not be surprised if they don't know the fate of former students either.

It's their company and your money. Don't knock them for being in business, just don't give them your money if you don't like what you hear. If there are people out there prepared to pay for it, so be it. I'm not a smoker, but the same applies there.

Splat
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Old 23rd May 2003, 18:39
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Peeps. What are you on about "give Astraeus a rest"?

No one is knocking Astraeus as far as I can see - just trying to obtain information on how successful people who have handed over hard earned money to them have been in obtaining jobs with either Astraeus or anyone else.

Seems like a perfectly reasonable question to me.

I have no doubt Astraeus are a "decent" outfit and fully understand that they need to make money. That doesn't make it wrong to try to obtain more information from them before "investing" in a type rating.

Finally, I would find it odd if they did not know of the success of their graduates. How much effort would be involved in keeping in touch with them after they have finished the course? There are not exactly hundreds of self sponsored people that Astraeus have handled.

All this thread is trying to do is find out how many people have been successful / unsuccessful. Lets stick to this aim.
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Old 23rd May 2003, 20:05
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I'll just ignore your post SPLAT.


No one is knocking Astaeus, I'm just interested in any hard facts
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Old 23rd May 2003, 20:11
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Sorry chaps,

Just felt that there was a slight lean to knocking the FTO.

If you want hard numbers, why not call them up if you think they will have them. I can't see how you'll get them from here.

Splat
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Old 23rd May 2003, 23:59
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Arrow Type rating!

Just thought i would say that i have a mate who has just completed the Astraeus type rating.

He kept his head down, worked hard got on with every one and he now flys for them as a FO. I have also been told that they have recruited two guys from the last course, one with 250 hrs and the other with 600.

He thinks the course was superbly run with great lect.

Even though i think its wrong that some of us are in the position that we need to buy a type rating - i dont think you could go far wrong with Astraeus.

All the best . . . . . .
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Old 24th May 2003, 06:52
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Scroggs,

I find it hard to workout what your position is on self funded jet type rating, you always stood on the side of don't do it!!, but any reference to Astraeus and you endorse them in taking peoples money for a rating, just wondering what is your position on this matter?.
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Old 25th May 2003, 01:59
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Does anyone know how much Astreus is asking for the training?
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Old 25th May 2003, 04:47
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Exclamation

de Trix75, £18800 inc VAT, which includes a few circuits in the aircraft.
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Old 25th May 2003, 06:56
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The 'buy your own type rating" is of course up to the individual as to whether it is worth the risk. It may well increase you chances of getting a job - or maybe not.

Imagine you have just forked out 15-18k on a posh new Airbus 320 or Boeing 737NG type rating, you nip down to WH Smiths on the Wednesday morning, buy your copy of Flight International, turn to the back pages and there is a slew of adverts from regional Turboprop operators, desperate to take on low houred pilots. You send off your cv and you get rejected, not even invited to interview. Why would this be? You have a posh jet on your licence, thats why.

Having an medium range jet type on your licence limits your choice of jobs that you can apply for, smaller operators with turboprop fleets or commuter jets will look at your licence and assume you are going to disappear off to the likes of Easyjet, Ryanair, BMI etc etc as soon as the chance presents itself.

If you have the financial wherewithall to dispose of another 15-18k on top of the 50-80k you have already spent on gettting a CPL/IR/MCC then I guess it is not a problem, but if you have to borrow yet more money to fund a type rating, think long and hard about this course of action. If you don't have a job lined up at the end of the course a Type Rating with very few hours may work against you instead of in your favour.
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Old 28th May 2003, 19:15
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What about the line training they offer?

I am very seriously considering doing the rating with them, but if you are going to spend that kind of money, do you think it is worth spending another £3700 for 12 sectors?
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Old 29th May 2003, 19:55
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i completed the type rating with them 10 weeks ago, tech training was CBT with an instructor there too, nice guy, smart as a brain pie! all the staff were very nice and helpful.
Sim training was in Dublin, instructors were absolute diamonds, very expirienced, very good at teaching, great fun with loads of stories!
I did the LST with a vey famous pilot (i know what an EADI is!)

Base training was amazing the best thing i have ever done to date, againg the captain and safety pilot were wonderful, loads of advice they did everything i could ask for and more.

Overall - a high standard of training in a friendly and relaxed environment. I thoroughly recommend them.

Result - have a job four weeks later at Luton so bollocks to people who say it is not worth it, you need every advantage you can give yourself.
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Old 29th May 2003, 21:14
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eagerbeaver, may I ask what's yout TT and background ?
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Old 31st May 2003, 19:01
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Arrow

I’ll start by getting a couple of things straight.

The JAA B737 Type Rating Training Organisation ( TRTO ) approval is held by Bond Aviation Solutions Ltd, not Astraeus.

Bond and Astraeus are actually separate companies – albeit that there is a lot of symbiosis / joint cooperation between them, certainly w.r.t. sharing of resources, e.g. trainers, buildings, aircraft, etc.

Just to help make the distinction:

The Managing Director of Bond is Mario Fulgoni; he was previously a Captain with Airtours, moving to GoFly where he was Chief Training Captain, and then to BWA where he was Director of Training on BWA’s own B737 TRTO. Aside from being a nice guy ( and a personal friend ), he is a very experienced and good trainer as indeed are all of those in his large team.

The managing director of Astraeus is Hugh Parry, and its Operations Director is John Mahon ( previously chief pilot at Go Fly, and BWA’s Ops Director – he is also an active PPRuNer, aka. hamrah ).


Moving on, if somebody wishes to procure a B737 rating they’re actually applying to Bond Aviation for it.

Their application will initially be dealt with / vetted by Sue Masson ( who ostensibly works for Mario ).

Prior to starting the course Sue arranges for the candidate to attend a pre-course interview, during which the goals and abilities of the candidate are assessed so that their suitability for undertaking the type-rating can be determined.

Nb. This pre-selection interview was introduced because, prior to it, some candidates have struggled with the course ( whilst others have taken it in their stride ) and the last thing that Bond want is for people to not be able to make the grade and thereby waste a lot of time, and money – i.e. they only want people who can pass the course and they don’t want failures, as it’s not good for the candidate, or for Bonds good name.

Bond will try hard to ensure that candidates are paired together for the duration of the course and that, ideally, people with low experience are paired with those with more – albeit not so much an issue with the ground school but it does becomes more relevant during the fixed base, and full-flight simulator components.



Whilst all the candidates should be able to pass the course ( courtesy of having been vetted beforehand ) it becomes pretty obvious, as they progress through it, just who are ( if you’ll excuse the pun ) ‘the high-flyers’ and who are not.


W.r.t. airline employment, unless there is fleet expansion and / or movement in the pilot market the need for pilots will be stagnant – wherein how well one might have done is then of little of no consequence, i.e. if there just are no jobs.

E.g. Astraeus recently introduced a sixth B737-300 to its fleet, and so required pilot to fly it – and of course every company, in any business, wants to recruit the best that it can get

Accordingly Astraeus would have liaised with Bond and asked them for details of pilots who had ‘done well’ on the B737 type-rating course, and some of them have since been given jobs ( mostly as FO’s - although there has been one direct entry Captain, a very capable chap, with a lot of experience on other types and training skills too ).

Aside from ability and dedication, there’s a huge amount of luck involved in getting employed as an airline pilot and thus some would have got the timing just perfect, i.e. finished the course, plus did well during it, and have subsequently walked straight off the course and into a job - be it with Astraeus or other airlines.
Others have finished the course, similarly done well, but the timing was off, i.e. the airlines are not recruiting, and so they have been on the market – from which some have since obtained employment ( be it Astraeus or other airlines ) and some are still looking.

Aside - I think I’ll ask Mario to put a post up here himself to address some of the questions that have been raised.

Rgds,

Tony

IT/Systems Manager & B737 Pilot - Astraeus Ltd.
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