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Knowing what you know now about this game, wud you have done it all in the 1st plce?

Interviews, jobs & sponsorship The forum where interviews, job offers and selection criteria can be discussed and exchanged.
View Poll Results: Was flying training a bad decision for you?
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Knowing what you know now about this game, wud you have done it all in the 1st plce?

Old 19th May 2008, 19:05
  #1 (permalink)  
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Knowing what you know now about this game, wud you have done it all in the 1st plce?

In 2005 an optimistic and naieve 25 year old embarked on getting his FATPL from scratch, with the dream of becoming an airline pilot.

Three years later, after having had my money sucked out of me by everyone from the CAA to Bristol Question Bank, Transair to Pooleys;
having put 100% into all my training;
having tenaciously followed every sniff of a job;
having invested 15,000 pounds in what is now a useless type rating on the hollow promise of a job from a two bit airline;

I sit here, can of super tennants in hand, a broken man.

My question: knowing what you know now about this dirty game, would you have done it all in the first place? yes or no?

My answer, a resounding NO!

Moderators, any chance of making this into a poll?

(ps, forgive me for the poor grammar in the title of this thread, but I had to write it like that to make it fit in to the allowed amount of characters.)
Treeshaver is offline  
Old 19th May 2008, 19:27
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
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I have done it and would do it all over again.

With everything in life it comes down to the decisions you make. I have to question your reasoning on purchasing a TR without a job on the end.

I am searching for a job, have been for a few months, if something doesn't come up by the time limit I have set myself, I will go get an instructor rating and start instructing to build some experience.
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Old 19th May 2008, 19:29
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
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Hi Treeshaver,

sorry to hear such bad news. Keep on trying.
As soon as you get into this business its worth it. I know, it is hard from your point of view right now, but don't give up. Things can change from one day to another.

I was looking for a cockpitjob for nearly three years (with a type rating, just as you probably) - and then one afternoon there was this phonecall from abroad: "We are looking for an F/O, do you want to give it a try? When are you able to join a simulator screening? Tomorrow? Very good, see you tomorrow..." And this was my step into "this game". I couldn't believe it and I thought it's a bad joke. But in meantime I am long haul F/O and I really enjoy this job.

Until now I have spent nice and ugly times in this job and not everything is easy - but in a whole I would do it again. So don't give up!
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Old 19th May 2008, 19:49
  #4 (permalink)  
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Epsilon Vaz, read my post again.

"Chin up" optimism aside I really fell that I have reached the end of my patience with this whole escapade. If id put the last three years of my life into something realistically achievable, who knows where id be.
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Old 19th May 2008, 20:47
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Join Date: Oct 1999
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Three years? My friend that is nothing, merely your first attempt. It took me a lot longer to achieve anything Even now, it hardly pays the bills. I know it feels bad but it's merely a setback. If I listed my setbacks, you would rip open that can and slit your wrists. You would need a really big violin to accompany my tale of woe! If my life was a movie it would be a disaster movie.

Have I ever given up? Well yes actually, several times but I kept being drawn back. Now I fly for a living (almost) and am enjoying it. The future looks optimistic buy my experience tells me there are no certainties. Even now I look to a future without flying.

Would I do it again? The answer is a definite maybe. Right now, ironically I would walk away if the right ground job opened up and I would simply instruct on my days off. I would miss flying but everything comes to an end. Age knocks the edge off enthusiasm.

No 'chin up' optimism from me. The only reason to give up is if you don't enjoy flying anymore. If you do, just pick yourself up and try again. Persistence eventually pays off.

Oh and by the way, don't drink that Tennents, it's Pee.
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Old 19th May 2008, 20:51
  #6 (permalink)  
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Its pee, but its strong!

Sorry for the negative vibes people, just feeling a bit down about it all at present. Recent events have conspired very much against me. Ill soldier on, nothing else to do!

Why does flying have to be the be all and end all?
Its like fancying a girl who always turns you down. Your brain keeps telling you u'd be better off just cutting ur losses, but somehow you just keep coming back for more punishment.

Oh yeh, and just to confirm, I did purchase my tr with the definite promise of a job attached to it. A promise which turned out to be hot air.
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Old 19th May 2008, 21:01
  #7 (permalink)  
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Treeshaver - thanks for sharing this with is. Unfortunately there is a positive bias on PPRuNe due to human nature. The bias is that when people do well, get a job, achieve the dream (or know someone who just has) they post on here for all to see and revel in.

Posts such as yours are very rare despite your situation being very common.


It might indeed be the best option to cut your losses. Particularly as we enter the recessionary phase of the economic cycle.


WWW

ps You have your poll, its the least I could.
Wee Weasley Welshman is online now  
Old 19th May 2008, 21:13
  #8 (permalink)  
 
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Which TR and which Company? Might be worth warning people.

WWW apparently my wife was at pony club with yours.
African Drunk is offline  
Old 19th May 2008, 21:18
  #9 (permalink)  
 
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Oh yeh, and just to confirm, I did purchase my tr with the definite promise of a job attached to it. A promise which turned out to be hot air.
If 99.9% of the supposed jobs that I have been offered turned out to actually exist then I would probably be a test pilot for Boeing, Airbus or NASA by now.

Mercenary Pilot is offline  
Old 19th May 2008, 21:28
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2008
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fingers crossed for the rest of us in the training process
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Old 19th May 2008, 21:29
  #11 (permalink)  
 
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Try instructing mate - Its always sniffed at on this forum but its fun, it keeps you current, generally improves your flying and when you hit the magic 1000 hrs figure, employers start returning your calls and even calling you out of the blue.

So its generally a crappy wage, you're the same age as me, stick with it for a year to 18 months and something will come up. It has for every instructor I know.
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Old 19th May 2008, 21:51
  #12 (permalink)  
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Kanu, what you say is true, I love flying but have identified a different career which I think am now going to pursue. Im not in a bad position, I have a decent degree and I'm going to venture into the world of graduate recruitment, something which I was desperate to avoid three years ago!
I hate to eat humble pie but I can't put my life on hold for ever. Otherwise I'll be a penniless old man, still drinking super tennants on a monday night waiting for the phone to ring / email to be sent. Lets face it, we're on the verge of a recession and low hours pilots will be the first to be hit.

Ill get an FI rating and instruct at weekends, send a couple of CVs out a week perhaps but I aint gonna let it eat out my soul anymore. Hell, maybe I'll be able to look at a plane again without my stomach turning!

Looking forward to being a normal person again,

Treeshaver.

ps, when looking at the results of this poll, just remember that those who have walked away from aviation will generally not be here to vote.
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Old 19th May 2008, 21:58
  #13 (permalink)  

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I don't think there is a positive bias on PPRuNe, certainly not on this forum. If it's biased at all, it leans toward the negative. Why? Because the vast majority of ex-wannabes who now fly airliners don't touch this forum with a bargepole. They used it for advice and support when they were training and job hunting, now they have jobs, they've moved on. To put it bluntly, they're not wannabes anymore and they have no interest in posting here. Ergo, you'll find relatively few people saying; "come on in, the waters lovely." By contrast, you'll find lots who dream of being a pilot and have yet to start, others in the various stages of training, and of course those who have qualified but have yet to find a job.

Yes, when I got a job I posted about it on here - but no-one else on my type rating course did. So that's 12 other success stories you won't hear about.

Treeshaver, I feel for you mate. In terms of finding a job, I'm at the other end of the lucky scale - I finished my IR, sent off less than 10 applications, had interviews with 2 airlines and got the job I dreamed of. All in the space of 3 months - I know I've been very fortunate.

On the other hand, it took 7 years of my life to get from trial lesson to the IR. It cost me 45k. I left my job to train full time, my marriage broke up - partly because of the stresses and strains imposed by commercial flying training. Out of money, I was forced to go back cap in hand to my old company, and spent another 2 years in a job and a lifestyle I hated, cursing the fact I wasn't flying. It was the worst two years of my life, and I was stressed to the point that my health was starting to suffer.

Then last year, with less than 12 months to run on my ATPL credits, it was 'now or never'. I bit the bullet, jacked in my job - again - and threw myself into commercial training. It worked out, and I got a job very quickly. The point I'm making is that I had to go through a world of grief to get to this stage. It's been a very costly journey, financially and emotionally. I know others who've had it much worse.

This aint an easy game. We know the risks when we start off, there are no guarantees at the end of it. Some people fall on their feet and get lucky, inevitably some people are unlucky and/or struggle. But if there's one thing I've learned in the time I've been flying, it's that the truly determined ones always get there in the end. I could have walked away from this on several occasions (and I very nearly did). It was only a stubborn pig-headed refusal to give up that got me through.

So to answer your question, yes - I'd do it again in a heartbeat - in fact I wish I'd done it 10 years ago. But by God it's been tough.
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Old 19th May 2008, 22:57
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This happens in every industry...

Go to your local McDonald's and see how many of them are graduates! (or call centres) all awaiting that dream job to appear.

Things at the moment are tough, but those who stick in there and keep themselves motivated will succeed. Quitting is the easy part.
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Old 19th May 2008, 23:20
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I wouldn't do it all again - not because I didn't succeed in getting where I wanted to be (I'm now flying longhaul jets in the arab gulf), but because I got here and found that it wasn't worth tuppence of all the years of hard work it took.

The joy that used to be found in the actual craft of flying the plane, pretty much all wears off after the first decade. These days, mostly it feels more like being a sales rep driving his 20th trip of the month down the M6 in the mondeo. I admit I still do enjoy going on a few of the "destination" trips and getting out and about, but I find myself becoming increasingly despondent at missing out on so many precious moments of my kids' childhood, and the fact that on the whole it's just as much of a rat race, as it is working for any other big horrible soulless mega-corporation run by accountants and computers. And once you've got your head around it, flying these big modern jets is about as intellectually challenging as scanning groceries at Tesco. Sad but true, the 21st century airline pilot has more in common with David Brent than Chuck Yeager or Antoine de St-Exupery.

Basically at the sad old age of 35 I'm now seriously trying to save enough money to have a mid-life career change and get OFF the jets and into a more interesting and less stressful occupation. At the moment my plans are alternating between a diving instructor in fiji, or a trance music DJ in Goa
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Old 20th May 2008, 07:08
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African Drunk - I think my wife was in pony club with half the damed county, I'll drop you a PM.

This is turning into an intersting thread. You see people who've not made, who have but it cost them dearly in time or money or health or reltionships. Then you see people who've made it but are then unsure whether its really worth it.

Personally I love the job and had a comparatively painless journey to destination. Even so I'm looking to go part time and develop other interests both business and domestic. At the end of the day you work for your kids and the most valuable thing you can give them is your time. Not money.

Once this is understood and part of your life then the attractions of job that can see you away from home for long periods, and an income that hangs off the thread of your next medical/economic cycle/simcheck, suddenly seems less attractive than it did when you were somewhat younger and more thrusting.

There's an old old anecdote that doubtless many of you will have read before but I'll repeat anyway. It goes something like this.
Wee Weasley Welshman is online now  
Old 20th May 2008, 07:40
  #17 (permalink)  
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My only comment to this is the original poster is complaining he can't find a job when it is apparent he hasn't been doing any flying since qualifying (I assume this as reference to doing an instructor rating has been made).

If he had been a full time instructor for the last two or three years then I would feel sympathy. But if you sit around with a 250 hour CPL/IR making no effort to further your flying then you cannot expect to get employed.

I will add is I do still keep close contacts with colleagues from my previous industry, incase I do change my mind one day. But if ever I do get fed up of flying, I will always think if I wasn't doing this I would be stuck back in the design office. If ever do go back to the old career in the event that I no longer want to/can't fly at least I will be satisfied that flying wasn't for me.

Better to have tried then to be forever thinking what if?

Remember no one asked you to become a pilot it is voluntary. Also if you hadn't have done your training you can bet you would be on this forum in ten years time asking am I too old to train?

Last edited by portsharbourflyer; 20th May 2008 at 07:52.
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Old 20th May 2008, 07:43
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Treeshaver.....

I agree with GSXTY on this, most people who have managed to get a good flying job don't spend much time on PPRuNe. As a consequence these forums can indeed look gloomy, filled with negative/depressing/desperate stories that can easily grind you down.

I really do sympathise with you................If I had my time again I would NOT do it!

However......................I am now captain on a small turbo prop and it just has to be the best job in the world! I get paid to do something I would pay to do!

I felt like chucking it all in on a few occasions (did actually for 2 years) but in the end I had to give it 'one last go'. Fortunately it worked.

My advice would be to put a time limit on it, say perhaps another 2 years. If no success by then.......cut yer losses and quit, at least you tried.

Are you able to start the new career but keep the flying on the back burner?

What ever you do I wish you well.

Cheers

UTF
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Old 20th May 2008, 08:03
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I most certainly wouldn't do it again. The sentiments of Luke are shared by myself. I'm considering going back to my old career.

This is a career for the young single person, with money to blow and little ties to a family.

Your life is owned by crewing and rostering, and I find myself wishing I had more time with my young family, and certainly wish I had more money. I spend an abnormal amount of time worrying about the cost of living, and I don't have any debts to pay off.

The industry has been ruined by a variety of factors, bean-counters, but also through the willingness of those to work for free, pay for a TR and line training. The likes of CTC have alot to answer for.

As a result, and as an F/O, you are treated as a mere commodity. I can only see conditions deteriorating to such an appalling level that no sensible person would consider it. The time will come when captains are not in short supply too, and the same will apply to them. I flew with a captain the other day, 17 years as a skipper on jets and 15K+ hrs who was considering paying for a 777 rating so he could go long haul and have a 'better' quality of life. I think it's a mad state of affairs. Does experience count for nothing anymore?

You don't want to be asking yourself 'what-if?' but you also need to avoid the 'what was I thinking?'
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Old 20th May 2008, 08:03
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Join Date: Oct 1999
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spent another 2 years in a job and a lifestyle I hated, cursing the fact I wasn't flying.
Did that myself.

The point I'm making is that I had to go through a world of grief to get to this stage. It's been a very costly journey, financially and emotionally. I know others who've had it much worse.
Ditto

Sad but true, the 21st century airline pilot has more in common with David Brent than Chuck Yeager or Antoine de St-Exupery.
Absolutely.

At the end of the day you work for your kids and the most valuable thing you can give them is your time. Not money.
With one little sprog already here and another on the way. I regret all time away from him. On top of that, the type of flying I do is that much more risky than you being an 'Bus driver over the Atlantic. I have had pause for thought, wondering if the risk is worth the reward now that I have responsibilities. Even now I am tailoring my career expectations and would hope to avoid a flying job that takes me away a lot. Suddenly Ryanair looks attractive (gulp!)

So there is a common experience here in this thread among people who do fly for a living. It not easy and many fall by the wayside. But if you really want it you will get there eventually.

Remember at the end of the day, It's just a bloody job. I always say that for all the trials and tribulations of becoming a pilot. It's not a sad story. I enjoyed every minute of it, bar a flight test or two. Nobody should have any sympathy for sad pilots. We are all volunteers.

Now I have to go, I have an aeroplane to ferry for maintenance. But, you know, I'd rather stay in bed. Having said that I will enjoy the trip once I get going.
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