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Enough is enough

Old 19th Mar 2011, 04:16
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Enough is enough

Dear all,

I am a very long time reader, first time poster. Also I have had a go with the search button for "IR revalidation" but it turned up nothing, so forgive me if this has been answered before. Just post me a link, please.

I'm going to make my post in two parts here. The first is why I am asking, the second is what I am asking.

So in 2006 I had my own home, a great job and nice girlfriend. But I cashed in all my chips and began integrated flight training in Jan 2007. Well you guys know what happened at the back end of that year. Now I am not here to moan. I may now be unemployed, 33, living with my mum, totally broke, single and unable to get work of any sort ... even McDonalds don't want pilots, but I am one of the lucky ones.

One of my friends never found pilot employment and his wife just left him because he keeps chasing his dream, ploughing any money he has into it. He had 2 young kids with her. I know a young woman who trained and having not found a job in 3 years and heavily indebted, is severely depressed. But rather than seek help because she is afraid taking anti-depressants will invalidate her medical (which in all honesty doesn't get used anyway) she sits around cutting herself and removing her hair strand by strand in case an airline might call.

But as I say I am lucky. I have my health, my sanity and whilst I don't have two pennies to rub together, I have no debt.

I thought I'd mention that to deter the ever optimistic noobs who will tell me to hang in there and keep my chin up, because I just want an honest answer.

I have an fATPL + 500 hrs, but am never going to afford a type rating. I'm also quite sure there will be no opening of flood gates, desperate airlines grasping for anyone that can spell pilot or that I will win the lottery. I can't afford the pound each week. So waffle over ... my question

My license is up for renewal again. Now having been sold a dream that 4 years on is still only that, I kind of resent paying an annual tax to a flight school to renew my license. I am forever told of the horror letting it lapse.
"If you don't get a renewal, you have to revalidate ... with a CAA guy!" shock horror.

I have to get back in the aircraft again this time around anyhow and I don't care who sits next to me. What I am thinking is I will just snowball flying and get on with my life. If I carry on waiting about, I won't have one. I'm sick of applying for jobs that take hours to fill in online apps and never hearing a reply. I'm tired of searching through thousands of jobs that always want more experience than I have. I have kissed enough arses and gotten nothing in return. I just want to fly in my spare time for fun and have a life now.

However if a miracle should happen and 16000 pilots are killed in a freak accident at a pilot's conference, I would like to be able to go get my license revalidated. Long story short, what is the difference between renewal and revalidation in terms of effort and cost? I couldn't give two hoots that "An airline might not view that very well on your CV", that bridge when it comes.
I'd rather someone who knows the answer gives it than idle speculation (here's hoping), and that its not answered by either a troll or an air school stooge pretending to be an ex student. I would ask my old school but they would undoubtedly try to terrify me into doing it.

Thanks to anyone who helps, any link to back up your advice would be awesome. I just can't find a definitive answer
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Old 19th Mar 2011, 08:29
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I'll sticky this for a while.

WWW
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Old 19th Mar 2011, 14:24
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Good post

"If you don't get a renewal, you have to revalidate ... with a CAA guy!" shock horror."

Are you sure about that? I know someone who took three years out to regain his sanity away from aviation. Everything had expired. He renewed his license, sat and passed a medical and did another type rating. No CAA guy in attendance in the sim.
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Old 19th Mar 2011, 14:38
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hang on in there and keep your chin up.

alternatively, if you have no debt, why not get a loan, pay for a type rating and actually get a job?

there will now follow posts from the 'don't pay for TR' brigade, but these are the times we are in, like it or not.

good luck
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Old 19th Mar 2011, 15:35
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Bungle Bear - Maybe he doesn't want any debt, by taking a punt on a TR.
After all that is one expensive gamble, however if you are gambling with your parents money, then crack on...

I have decided to take some time out from flying full time for a year or two. To concentrate on having a life and paying some debt, spending some time with my doris and my family.
You will quickly realise that the cruise can be immensely boring, endless early starts and late finishes, weeks away from home, rubbish pay and bullying managers will eventually take their toll.

One piece of advice if I may. Take the stress out of job hunting. Take a job that will interest you as a stop gap, earn some cash, you will be amazed how a bit of coin in your pocket will make life feel better.
Set an evening aside once a week to send out those CVs and chasing letters.
Then set a couple of goals for the next two years.
Say... save up for the IR renewal, then a longer term goal of say the FIs course. You will be amazed how much your flying will improve and you may realise that flying is more than just A-B and back 2 times a day.

A clear mental state is one of the most important keys to success.

Regarding your female friend who is suffering. She should see her local GP for assistance. There is some excellent counselling that is free, that will really help.

Good luck
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Old 19th Mar 2011, 16:15
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Seems to be slight confusion on renewing and revalidating. Revalidation is annual and can be done in a FNPTII every other year, ie one year FNPTII the next in an aircraft.

Renewal before 5 years has lapsed needs to be done in the aircraft with a CAA approved examiners (same really as revalidation just it is in aircraft) Renewal after 5 years has to be done with a CAA Staff examiner.

http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/175/srg_lt...ection%20E.pdf

For a job you will need a valid IR, quite usually at the time of application. For the first type rating you need a valid IR on the day that you start the course. You don't after you have the first one.

I would sit down with a piece of paper and try to come up with a plan. If you want a break then go for it, park everything and return. A few months away from the should I should I not revalidate, filling in countless numbers of application forms and feeling miserable might pass and you might come back with a new enthusiasm or decide to walk away. Main priority is feeling happier.
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Old 19th Mar 2011, 16:46
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Mate If you have no debt, then you should be able to afford to go and work for peanuts pushing A/C in and out of hangers at your local flying club, work their bar, find work in an ops department ect. That is if you can't find a job flying a 172 for an aerial photography firm or tow gliders.... you get the idea.

Believe me, the money might be rubbish but the in involvement aviation scene and a lot of the people you meet, will hopefully make this period one of the most rewarding and interesting of your aviation career as well as getting your foot on the first rung of the ladder.

On a side note please can you get your friend to seek some help. As has already been said, there are some good people out there to talk to.
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Old 19th Mar 2011, 16:52
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Nice one...

Sour and hard facts in your post. I guess pilots all around are facing the same be it in Europe, Asia, America or anywhere else untill you have a pot of Gold. But it is true. For a year I didn't get any jobs either. They used to reply back with saying your over-qualified for the job or "Your a pilot, get a flying job, not a desk job".


We have a CAA which is a mix of FAA and JAR and buncha other authorities around the world.

A renewal of the license happens when one is flying and keeping his skills current by doing atleast the minimum 3 T/O and landings every 90 days plus, a PPC, IPC, Route Check, Ground Refreshers. This allows you to get a renewal at the end of the year.

A revalidation occurs when one gets a license issued and doesn't fly for more then 2 years (could be 5 not sure). This includes some flight training and re-examination of your CPL or ATPL exams.

Last edited by jackcarls0n; 19th Mar 2011 at 16:54. Reason: Correction
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Old 19th Mar 2011, 19:10
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Every wannabe should read this!
Good luck with whatever you do!
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Old 19th Mar 2011, 20:17
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Reminds me of myself many years ago.

You need currency to show any prospective employer you can fly. It's that simple.

The only way to do it is to find som e way of not paying for your hours...that means towing, instructing or other GA pondlife jobs.

I got my FATPL in 1991...couldn't have been a worse time and I like you never got a bite or reply to most of my CV and applications.

I renewed for the next four years, several hundred pounds to fly a Senneca III for an hour and a half, until I managed to save up enough for an FI rating. This got me 800hrs in a year and the interview I so desperately dreamed of.

By the way, I fixed fruit machines, cut trees down and got five stars at Mcdonalds on the way. Mcdonalds don't care a jot if you're a qualified pilot. They want regular reliable and normal looking humans. that's all.
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Old 19th Mar 2011, 22:19
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Thank you all for your replies. I think I have enough information regarding renewal.

Also thank you for the support, but I think its now time to reassess. I have been doing the 'pond life' jobs for some years. Its why I never managed to save up, and it has still not brought me one jot closer. I got 500 hours and it was good flying too, all over Europe albeit SEP, but this is insanity.

Most pilots think that there is something special about them, I was no different. That when the interviews come you have that x-factor they will be looking for, as you are better than everyone else, and they will spot it. Well I never even got an interview. I prided myself on what a good pilot I am, and a massive part of being a good pilot is making good decisions. Is forsaking all else, hell-bent on a career that may never come to anything a good decision?

My career is like a bad approach. The woman was yelling "whoop whoop, pull up, pull up" ages ago, but I ignored her and dropped the gear. I'm now past the inner marker and the runway still seems as far away as ever. There's a very slim chance I'll land it and be a hero, but the odds are against it. Should I just plough on, nose first into the asphalt because of pride, blind faith and reluctance to face the truth? Or do I have the strength of character to firewall the throttle and yell "going around" so I can try another approach? One that is safer and where no one will get hurt.

I always thought I would be that guy, who would make the tough call, and get the decision right. Well ... this is my chance ... because enough is enough. Going Around!
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Old 20th Mar 2011, 00:34
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It is a depressing truth we face, I have been done that route several times in other careers in the past.
Having been self employed all my life since I was 20, I learned to live with this pressure early. It has hard not knowing what will happen tomorrow, you constantly see the bar get changed, for what you need to get in or not. If you haven't been used to pressures like this, it can really get to you. You are kind of lucky, but still I feel for you and all the others that are less fortunate.

We can all have regrets in our lives, I have a few, if I had followed my dream, instead of using my senses in 1991, today I might have been captain with a major airline like my friend who dared the step, and had the money to loose that time.
With this uncertainty in life we can not ever know what is the right step, right time, the right move to do, to make sure all goes good.
Personally I have one hope, one person, who has told me he will try to get me a job, it is 50 50, and the good thing I will know very soon. I will get a yes or no, I am prepared for the no, as this is the most likely outcome, still I will be very disappointed, even knowing the most likely outcome, but as long as there is life, we cling on to a positive outcome.
I might be one of the lucky ones in many ways, but I have many negative factors with me too. Debt free, good, a back up business, good, my age, very negative, no time to waste.

It seems like it is a game of russian roullette we are playing, companies coming toying and playing with our feelings, our emotions, our dreams.
Telling us to pay our TR, pay few hours for line training, maybe if we like you we will give you a job!
For them our money, our 30.000 is pocket money, for us it is one or more years of hard work.

I have heard of companies offering assessments, they will know how many pilots they will need to employ, so if they do plan to give 1 or 2 pilots a chance, they should not make 12 pilots go trough their TR and line training which they make the pilots pay themselves.

Would they be so squander this money on training extra pilots in the old days, when they would pay for the line training themselves?
Would they pay your training and just dispense you like trash! Expensive trash!

Having been self employed all my life, had people work for me, I would never treat my staff with such contempt and ignorance!

The other day I met a pilot, who had a great job on a private jet 737, we talked about getting into jobs etc., and got on to the topic of paying for line training and your own TR. And he told me he would not like to fly with a pilot who had done this, as it degraded every-bodies conditions, terms etc. Still talking to me he could understand, that due to my age I would want to find a way into the business.

But I don't want to have to go that route, but it easy for the experienced pilots in their jobs to tell us newbies what we should do, what I have noticed is that most pilots fully established, does not really know what it takes to get a job today.
There are a few that care, but most of them probably don't have time, they don't have interest of this anymore, which is natural.
There are even plenty of pilots that take advantage of newbies, with so called sim training, etc. Also many pilots are used to recruit us to these TR/line training programs, so my question for this why do these well paid pilots, make money on the naivety of new pilots, and then they complain of their degraded terms and conditions!

Should the profession take a better look at itself, and clean up from within. I have just finished my IR, and I am already fed up with it, I believe many are involved in backhanders to help each other, FTO;s , TR companies etc. It stinks, I am sorry, it is the truth as I can see it.
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Old 20th Mar 2011, 05:24
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My career is like a bad approach. The woman was yelling "whoop whoop, pull up, pull up" ages ago, but I ignored her and dropped the gear. I'm now past the inner marker and the runway still seems as far away as ever. There's a very slim chance I'll land it and be a hero, but the odds are against it. Should I just plough on, nose first into the asphalt because of pride, blind faith and reluctance to face the truth? Or do I have the strength of character to firewall the throttle and yell "going around" so I can try another approach? One that is safer and where no one will get hurt.
It is better to have failed than have the regret that you never tried in the first place. I have a friend who wants to make it big in Hollywood, the guy has been struggling to get roles. He recently got a break in a Mcds tv advert. Will he make it? No one knows, but at least he's trying like you. So, hang in there. A few years down the line you will look back and wonder how you made it through.
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Old 20th Mar 2011, 05:46
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Son,keep in mind that aviation is filled with the biggest losers on earth.
it 's all about politic, stealing job, jealousy, envy, and egoism.
it s 100% me me me,...and **** you all!

I am disgusted by all of you!

when you will be punching your FMS at FL300 all day long, on your 737, will you be more happy?. no, you will complain about the job on the 747 you want for or why you are not captain after 3 years.

"don't ask what aviation can do for you, ask what you can do for aviation".
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Old 21st Mar 2011, 00:12
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How can anybody justify entering a market that is already flooded with qualified pilots? I think ppracticalybroke has "got real" the expensive way and is demonstrating continuing sanity by not getting into debt. Noobs (or should it be knobs) suggesting that "following your dream" is a rational course of action are deluded. Not until the thousands of currently unemployed are absorbed by expansion and retirement will it make sense to train as a pilot. So my advice would be to save for a bigger revalidation in a few years time; and what's so bad about being tested by the CAA.

The important thing is to avoid debt and try for a life outside aviation for a while. I'm sure it will pick up and your current position will mean that you'll be one of the first few thousand into work. But I can't tell you when. My own company will be employing 80 or so pilots (the names of the next 200 or so are already known) so we still have a log jam of 120. My crystal ball predicts four years as being the great rush... But I won't be betting my own money!
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Old 21st Mar 2011, 04:44
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My view is if you don't have the license you wont get the job when things do move. Breaks can come quick when natural attrition, and no one being trained because of the glut. Hang on in the there! Things in all probability, will come right.
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Old 21st Mar 2011, 11:34
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How can anybody justify entering a market that is already flooded with qualified pilots?
I know where you are coming from but why should someone give up on their lifelong dream of becoming a pilot just cos there's too many pilots?
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Old 21st Mar 2011, 12:21
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I don't wish to be over critical here- its easy to be. I have a friend in a very similar position. You just have to get flying!!! Work in your local flying club, wash planes, take in the atmosphere- meet people who are retired airline pilots, test pilots and have been there and done that! As the previous post says tow gliders, save alittle money, fund a FI rating. None of these things will allow you to sit in the RHS of an airliner, HOWEVER you will meet people, and one thing leads on to the next. You might just be in the right place at the right time when that Falcon co-pilot suddenly leaves or when the small turbo prop regional airline or air taxi company on the airfield needs a new co-pilot.

Instead to many people want to go straight from flying school to flying a B737 on 45K a year. A facet of modern society I believe.

I realise its easy to give advice my friend. Best of luck!
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Old 21st Mar 2011, 14:17
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Capt Unreg - quote taken from the Op's 2nd post:

"I have been doing the 'pond life' jobs for some years. Its why I never managed to save up, and it has still not brought me one jot closer. I got 500 hours and it was good flying too, all over Europe albeit SEP, but this is insanity."

Your advice normally would be sound, but he has been flying!
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Old 21st Mar 2011, 15:17
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Granted but only for 500 hours though or even only for 250 hours if 500 hrs is his tt. Maybe ppraticallybroke should tell us exactly what "pond life" jobs he means. Yes life is a lottery sometimes- with employment, with relationships, with health and life in general.
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