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Self sponsored TR: Worth it at the moment?

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Self sponsored TR: Worth it at the moment?

Old 15th Aug 2009, 20:20
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Self sponsored TR: Worth it at the moment?

Greetings everybody.

I come here seeking some help/advice.

I've been working as a flight instructor for just under a year now and have around 700hrs. I feel that I'm ready to advance to the next phase in my career and apply for a position at an airline (although have no problem at all continuing giving instruction).
I'm WELL aware that it is not the best time to perform this transition, but, I guess nothing is impossible.

Knowing that most airlines in Europe do not "hand out" TR to anyone, I would like to know if there is any advantage in paying for the TR myself (aka self sponsored) and then apply for a position at an airline?

I understand that there are many risks in doing this, but I believe that among those many risks there can be found some advantage points to help get a good spot. Its not like I have the extra cash to spare, on the contrary. But to move on in this industry I believe we must take a few/many risks.

So, but I would like to know from my fellow colleagues here on PPRuNe is up to which point will this help me out or will it just be a huge mistake and I should just stick to instruction for the time being?

I really appreciate any help or advice.

All the best.
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Old 15th Aug 2009, 20:31
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You:

a) know the answer

b) know the answers you will receive on PPRuNe

And if so, why post the question?
Artie Fufkin is offline  
Old 15th Aug 2009, 20:35
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Have on idea what you're trying to say. Just looking for some advice.

Last edited by maverick_supersonic; 15th Aug 2009 at 20:49.
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Old 15th Aug 2009, 21:05
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This has been continually done to death. If you search the threads or even just look at the last couple of pages in both of the wannabes section then you will get all the information you could ever want. Take lots of time to read the terms and endearment section as well to give you a flavour for what you are getting yourself into. Once you have the industry wide view then you will be better placed to make a decision.
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Old 15th Aug 2009, 21:12
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If you're seriously considering spending upwards of 20k on an SSTR, presumably you have considered which airlines you would then target? I ask because virtually no-one is recruiting, and there are plenty of type rated and experienced pilots who are out of work at the moment.

An SSTR is a very expensive gamble at the best of times - and right now the job market is awful. If you still have an instructing job, I'd suggest you're better off hanging on to that and continuing to build hours that way. When (eventually) airlines start to recruit again, turboprop operators in particular are more likely to be impressed with 1000hrs P1 SEP than a 737 rating and no line experience.
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Old 15th Aug 2009, 23:45
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A handful of individuals have secured summer season contracts by doing A320 ratings with line training packages earlier this year. But these schemes cost around 35000, so a significant amount more that just a type rating.

Also bear in mind none of the schemes can guarentee employment.

If you can afford to lose 35K go ahead, otherwise best stick with the instructing and if you have an instructors job at the moment it is worth hanging on to.
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Old 16th Aug 2009, 00:21
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G SXTY: I aiming for airlines that operate the Aircraft that I'm considering doing the TR, which, in my guess, is quite a few. I wouldn't say that no-one (virtually as you say) is recruiting. In the past 4 months I have heard of at least 3 people getting airline work with basically the same or less experience than what I have so there is hope.

portsharbourflyer: Is that 35K or . Not that its a huge difference nowadays and no, I can't afford to spend that amount of money because I simply don't have it. Just want to get all the facts correct in case I strike gold on day

Thanks for all the replies so far
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Old 16th Aug 2009, 09:12
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I wouldn't say that no-one (virtually as you say) is recruiting. In the past 4 months I have heard of at least 3 people getting airline work
Which rather illustrates the scale of your challenge. When I got my job 18 months ago, my airline was recruiting 10-12 low hours FOs every month. Partly that was due to expansion, but a bigger reason was that the likes of BA, EZ, Netjets and the various charter airlines were all recruiting experienced FOs, and people were moving on. Not to mention FR hoovering up loads of 200hr CPLs. Then came the recession, and the market ground to a halt. Other airlines stopped recruiting, and as a result, so did we. We have not recruited any FOs for over 9 months, and have a well-stocked holding pool. In the meantime, schools are still churning out CPLs and the list of unemployed low-houred pilots is growing ever longer. The consequences are obvious.

You asked whether a SSTR was worth it at the moment, and you also say you want to get the correct facts. The fact is that the job market is on its knees, and the occasional success story excepted (most likely a temporary seasonal contract in any case) there are virtually no jobs out there - because virtually no-one is recruiting. In my opinion, this is an extremely bad time to be spending money on any sort of commercial flying training (not least an SSTR). That's my view as a UK based airline pilot, based on my experience within the industry, and that of my friends and colleagues, but feel free to disregard.
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Old 16th Aug 2009, 09:38
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I (CPL/IR/MCC) speak to operating crew on a daily basis thanks to the stupid vocational choice I made years ago (aircraft despatcher). Included in those crew are training captains and TREs, TRIs etc. What's worse is I see more and more flights being operated by two or three captains, no 2 or 3 stripes to be seen. The one thing they all tell me is DO NOT do a SSTR at the moment. A type rating with no line experience is not a wise investment at moment. You still will have no relevant experience flying the A/C in a relevant environment, as opposed to the hundreds (thousands???) of unemployed flight crew with 1000+ hours on type.

NOTE: This is not my opinion, rather what I am being told by VERY senior crew.
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Old 16th Aug 2009, 10:12
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For the next 12 months at least I would just worry about keeping your job instructing.... a SSTR now would be just pissing money up against a wall. Unless of course you have a cast iron guarantee of a job at the end of it.
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Old 16th Aug 2009, 11:53
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mav, Sorry for hijacking your thread.

I am in the holding pool of a European regional and was told to start my TR by February 2010. I has also been stressed that the company will not pay for the TR and I will have to self-fund it, which is E21k, but all inclusive, e.g. touch and goes in the aircraft, room and board, etc. According to a pilot already flying for them I will be issued a contract before starting the TR which will state that I am guaranteed a job upon successful completion of the TR course. Now, what do you guys make of this? Would you do it?

I've always been the biggest critic of SSTRs but this is a very rare opportunity to get the foot into the door...
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Old 16th Aug 2009, 12:34
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This doesn,t sound right! If you are in a "holding pool" that is normally prior to training and the airline call you out of the pool when your training program has been decided, both type rating, occ and line training. For them to say do the type rating before Feb sounds like you are not in a pool just being considered for selection. Even when people are in a pool, there is no guarantee of a job as they might mess up at any stage. The airlines always state subject to performance.. which is a get out of jail card. some additional training can be possible but they will not take on anyone that is a potential trainimng risk. By the time you leave the pool you should have a full program setting out what happens when..if not ask for one.. if you don't get one you run the risk of having a TR and no hours and NO route to get line training..WHY ,,because there is so little available capacity that you will not be accepted unless you bought the type rating with the line training . The other consideration is that IF you are going to work for this company, they will want to do some of the sim... continuous assessment and the LST to avoid doing another OPC session .. if not smell a rat. Anything to do with Asia is bad news as the agencies are not telling the whole story. Lastly to all.. beware line training packages that just state a cost for XX hrs.. if you get a delay, they may say your costs included " admin" and OPC/ OCC etc.. which can typically eat up 5K and if you get a better offer and jump ship you wont get a refund.. sadly.. Having sounded like the grim reaper! best of luck anyway
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Old 16th Aug 2009, 13:17
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Thanks for the reply. I apologize about the confusion but the situation is not like that. I have passed the airline's selection and am on a waiting list.

The company used to pay for the TR but not anymore and I was asked during my final interview if paying for my TR would be an option for me. I agreed. Though I am still hoping that the company will pay for the TR after all but at this stage they do not.

I have been told by their chief pilot that I can expect to start my TR by February after which I will be hired by the company for a permanent position. Before starting my TR it will contractually specified that after successful completion of my TR I will be hired by the company and do line training, etc. with them, all been paid for by the company. A salary will be paid right after TR. Obviously one can always get kicked out but that can even happen to sponsored cadets.

So it's pretty forward and by all means not a pay-for-line-training scheme I would think.

Still, I initially take the financial risk of putting out 21k... which I find rather disconcerting. But it's that first elusive job.

What to think?
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Old 16th Aug 2009, 16:32
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Great to see so many replies. Thanks everybody!

stefair: Just out of curiosity, which aircraft TR costs 21k? I see most (A320, B737) for at least 25k.
At least you sign a contract before the TR, which is a good thing....in my opinion.

I'm not from the UK so I don't really know how things work over there, but I'm here to learn!

stefair & G SXTY: What experience did you have when you applied for the airline where you work now? Where I come from you either have some of experience (+1000; jet or multi is a huge plus) or you have 200/300 hrs but have the right "connections" - this is something that really upsets me. Does this also happen in the UK?

So, I guess that I will continue with instruction, which is something I really do enjoy doing, best decision I've ever made so far. But I must confess that this does leave me just a little sad as I was really looking forward to a new challenge in my life. I guess the timing is just not right.....

Once again thanks for all help. More replies are welcome
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Old 16th Aug 2009, 17:09
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I had 220hrs TT and had just completed my CPL/IR when my airline started recruiting. Aged 36, modular route, career changer. Like several others I was recommended by my (very small) school - very much a case of 'right time, right place.'

You don't say where you are based, and I can't speak for the whole of Europe, but here in the UK it's a tried and tested route to go from flying instructor to RHS turboprop, then onto jets if and when it suits. Many TP operators like older (mature) instructors, as they are more likely to stick around rather than leave to fly an Airbus at the first opportunity, and lots of P1 hours means they are that much closer to command than people like me. When times are good, TP airlines always struggle to hold onto experienced FOs, and are generally short of captains as a consequence.

Bear that in mind if you choose to pay for a 737 or A320 rating, as it would send a pretty clear message when you're trying to convince the interviewer that you have always wanted a career flying their Dash 8 or ATR . . .
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Old 16th Aug 2009, 17:17
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"Bear that in mind if you choose to pay for a 737 or A320 rating, as it would send a pretty clear message when you're trying to convince the interviewer that you have always wanted a career flying their Dash 8 or ATR . . ."

...One of the major risks of SSTR, getting employed on a different type.

Sorry, forgot to mention.....I'm from Portugal.
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Old 16th Aug 2009, 18:04
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Maverick,

The SSTR + Line training package of 100-150 hours for an A320, that I have seen advertised over the last twelve months have been in the region of 30,000 to 35,000 pounds sterling.

Last edited by portsharbourflyer; 16th Aug 2009 at 23:18.
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Old 16th Aug 2009, 23:05
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Thanks portsharbourflyer. Could you perhaps sent PM the link to that advertisement ?
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Old 16th Aug 2009, 23:30
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I don't need to send you a link by PM, one of these companies is advertising on this website as we write (ATP).

Other companies that have run such schemes in the past but not necessarily at present are Storm, ETOPS Flight and Sigmar/Alteon.

Of course there is Eaglejet.

Before anyone asks, no I haven't had any actual dealings with the above and secondly I am just conveying information.
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Old 17th Aug 2009, 12:45
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It's a Dornier rating (something which also worries me slightly as no one else operates that type).

On application last year September I had about 350 hrs and just started a GA SE job. Was 30 years of age. Trained modular. Been all over the place for my training. Have good highschool grades and an aerospace systems engineering degree as additional qualifications. Maybe that had helped actually get invited for selection. Have nearly 600 TT today and am current. Can't wait to get started because having to wait sucks big time...

If they really call and offer me the job I would only do it as I can offset my type rating and training costs against my future tax bills over there which will proly have paid for my type rating after 2-3 years.

If I were you, don't bother undertaking a SSTR with no job prospects. Hang in your present job and keep looking and don't focus on a jet. Take anything. Things will get better. Germany and France are just coming out of recession and the UK and Ireland are to follow.

I remember the time before uni when the market was f-ed. I decided to get a degree first and during my first year just out of nowhere things got better and all of the sudden all you heard was they are looking, and they are looking, and they are looking. It can change within months, if not weeks.

All looking best of luck.
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