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Type Rating Effect

Old 13th Jan 2012, 17:14
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Type Rating Effect

Hi guys,

I'm in the final stages of preparing to go for my self sponsored training later this year and I was just curious at your thoughts regarding the type rating and the effect of turboprop on later job transfer.

I've seen a lot on here regarding turboprop however at a stage where it is rare to even get an airline job in this cyclical industry, assuming I did take up a turboprop job and eventually reached between 1500-2000 hours, what effect do you think this will have on transferring to jets and in particular the big airlines such as Emirates or BA? I know there is no defined answer and I have looked around the forums but I was just concerned as to it's true effect and how such a turboprop type rating may affect my chances with other airlines operating predominant Boeing and Airbus fleet?

Put it this way; if you were assumingly offered a long term turboprop job as your first job would you take it if you have long term goals of switching to jets and the big airlines?
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Old 13th Jan 2012, 17:50
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Are you for real?
If your are, get ready for a bashing, it will come.
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Old 13th Jan 2012, 18:19
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Yeah that is a bit of a funny question. No one in their right mind would turn down a job flying turboprops just because they want to end up in jets. You sound really silly.

Grab anything you can, while you still can.

Lets put it this way - how can having 2000 hours of turboprop time be worse for getting a job on jets than having no time in anything?

Do you have a choice? You sound almost as if you have the luxury of picking which job you want.

Good luck anyways!
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Old 13th Jan 2012, 18:27
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I cannot believe you are asking this question?

What is your motivation to become a pilot? Hundreds of guys and gals would bend over backwards to have a job offer flying the garden shed, let alone a Turbo-Prop.

Your attitude sucks.
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Old 14th Jan 2012, 01:31
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Nice and friendly members of PPRuNe as always...

Genuinely sorry if I hit a nerve but if you look at the question it asks how it would affect you if you were to transfer to another airline with jets alone. Say if someone sitting next to you did have an A320 TR and you had an ATR rating. That was all! As I said it's rare to find a job in this industry as it is. I just wanted to know how your type rating could affect future moves...
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Old 14th Jan 2012, 02:41
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Depends on the company that you are applying for and the equipment they operate and the current opening that they have. A lot of conditions should be accounted for. It doesn't mean that since you have rating but "0" time on type means that you would always be the first to get in line, it doesn't work that way.
Just keep on flying
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Old 14th Jan 2012, 08:29
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If you want to fly jets get an A320/ 737 type rating instead of the ATR. Since you are saying what if an A320 driver was compared with an ATR driver for an airline that operates jets...

But I'm guessing you don't have an option right now and hence your question appears strange to say the least. You should be comparing a guy with an ATR rating Vs a guy with no experience on turboprops/ jets, in which case the former would have the advantage. Some people try to get as much multi-engine time as possible as it will be an advantage when applying for an airline, never mind 2000 hours in turboprops!

If I am understanding this situation wrong, pardon my ignorance, perhaps you could shed some more light on the situation you are in. Have you got an option of an jet a/c rating Vs the ATR?
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Old 14th Jan 2012, 12:17
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My personal opinion as a TP driver

I propose giving AEPilot a little bit of leeway. They acknowledge that it is a difficult market to get a job and rare to get an opportunity in today's climate. It is a question that could benefit many of us - from those seeking their first foot on the ladder, to experienced turboprop pilots wondering if they are slowly dissappearing down a dead end.

AEPilot: If you are in the final stages of preparation for your type rating I suspect many people reading your post would be surprised this due diligence has not been carried out already, which may explain the reception to your post. I invite everyone to share any useful advice and add to, or contest, my opinions Ė they are after all only my experience and perception of the industry and not definitive in any way.

if you were assumingly offered a long term turboprop job as your first job would you take it if you have long term goals of switching to jets and the big airlines?
In answer to your hypothetical question, my answer would be an emphatic yes. If you are not working and you are offered a paying job, take it. A long-term turboprop job will offer you many things irrelevant to the aircraft type. Whilst not being an exhaustive list, and other more experienced pilots can no doubt add to this, I'd suggest just some of the benefits to be:
  • a salary;
  • regular instrument flying;
  • exposure to a commercial environment (operating in busy airspace, operational stresses, operational considerations, etc...);
  • SOPs;
  • multi-crew experience;
  • contacts;
  • ability to renew a rating each year;
  • and much more
Probably the greatest benefits of all will be job security for you to be able to concentrate on learning the ropes and not worrying whether you'll have a job in a month or two. A multi-crew aircraft flown with robust SOPs will provide an invaluable foundation for your continued development as an airline pilot.

Consider that as pilots we're constantly evolving and learning, especially for the first few thousand hours. Look on those first few thousand hours as your apprenticeship and get your head down to learn from every pilot you fly with, not just chasing hours. I may be digressing here when I say that I believe this industry is making an unpleasant bed to lie in by moving away from cadetships and apprenticeships, where pilots had a structured environment in which to develop. The emphasis now appears to be on chasing Ďhoursí and accumulating ratings to leap up the pole as fast as possible rather than gaining experience. I doubt aviation is alone in this respect, however I do feel the transfer of financial burden to the prospective pilot is accelerating the need to move up the career ladder rapidly to access a salary that can repay the training costs. I'll leave it at that as arguing about who was at fault for this is akin to closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.

I was just curious at your thoughts regarding the type rating and the effect of turboprop on later job transfer
Turboprop experience would be preferential to no time at all, and there are always different shades of turboprop experience. A C208B is a turboprop. An ATR72 is a turboprop. You could move up on several turboprop types and transition to jets. I believe that flying a modern glass turboprop of a reasonable size (ATR/Dash) would be favorable if looking to make a transition to jets. Flying a Cessna Conquest alone might be less favorable, although excellent experience on itís own. The caveat for this is that, as you state, no one can really say what are, or will be the requirements for airlines at a given time as those requirements are not static and very much dependent on other factors such as candidate availability.

If there were a multitude of jobs on offer and you could pick and chose, I would advise you to get a jet rating as it will be the quickest path to flying a jet. Obviously I would advise you to go for a position which bonded you over any form of self sponsored type rating. Going straight to jets, I think youíd miss an important part of building a foundation as a pilot; however turboprop time, and multi-engine charter work, etc.. seems to be incredibly undervalued by airlines. The advantage of several thousand hours of turboprop time will not translate into an advantage over a low hour pilot with a jet type rating. Take a look at any recent recruitment. How many experienced turboprop guys got an interview compared to low time guys willing to fund a type-rating?

I disagree with Bearcat when they say "You should be comparing a guy with an ATR rating Vs a guy with no experience on turboprops/ jets, in which case the former would have the advantage." I wish it were so however personally, as a turboprop airline captain, I feel that my experience does not open any doors with jet airlines and does have me questionning the value of commercial operating experience over the financial ability to pay for an SSTR. I feel experience is incredibly valuable however I don't work in HR for an airline, plus I could be accused of being somewhat biased. I can see the short term financial benefits for airlines in favouring individuals willing to self sponsor. So my personal opinion is that the turboprop route does appear to be a bit of a cul-de-sac, unfortunately, unless you are in a company that operates both turboprops and turbojets, where you could stay put for a fair while and work up. I believe itís unhealthy for the industry and a shame, but no doubt others who can take advantage of the situation will feel it is beneficial. Cíest la vie! On the positive side, I really like my current employer, have a good lifestyle, and live in a great place.

Again, nothing is black and white and there are many grey areas. If I were starting again, Iíd aim on getting into an operation like FlyBe and staying there for a long while to go through the turboprop stages, onto the jets and eventually jet command. Then have a look around and see if the grass is greener elsewhere. The life you have, and your circumstances in ten to fifteen years, may be very different and may not benefit from moving to another jet job somewhere else. Iím sure every airline has its faults, but they certainly seem to be one of the good ones.

The current pressure on the pilot to self fund each and every stage of career progression has not been explored here, and therefore some may advocate as direct route as possible to jets. Whilst this view is valid, it strengthens my belief in companies that will take you up through the ranks.

Good luck!

Last edited by Jetdriver; 16th Jan 2012 at 11:42.
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Old 14th Jan 2012, 20:48
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Thank you @Beacat F8F and @Journey Man! Your advice is much appreciated!

My current situation is that I have been offered a place at an FTO on an integrated scheme ready to go. Yet with the way the industry is I thought it would be crucial to get onto an airline scheme which is what I am in the midst of attempting to apply for at the moment. As people have said any job is better than no job, and I couldn't agree more!

The airlines I'm looking at include Easyjet, Flybe etc but as an example with Flybe if I were fortunate enough to get past the application stage when it reopens and to progress onto the Embraers, would this particular type rating affect going over to the big airlines like Emirates, Qatar and whatnot whose fleet are predominantly Boeing and Airbus? From what I've seen this all appears to be a grey area because who knows what is going to happen 10-15 years from now. I know at the moment Qatar accept turboprop within their fast track hours but again this prerequisite appears to be disappearing fast!

Either way any job in this industry is like gold dust so as others have said, if I were offered one, take it and that's exactly what I'd do! I was just curious as to what paths experienced pilots have taken in the past and how this may or may not reflect the present and the future.

Just hypothetically though and on a completely separate note, if one were to be able to afford self sponsorship would you advise they do this in the climate we are currently in to get to the potential jet job first? Additionally if you could afford to fund a jet TR later yourself after and along with the thousands of hours of turboprop time how would this be seen to an airline? So let's say several thousand hours on an ATR plus an A320 type rating. This may seem completely random and by no means am I in a position to afford this, yet I'm just curious.

Finally, @Journey Man I genuinely don't mean to be intrusive however just so I can get a big picture of your experience do you mind me asking who your employer is in confidence?

Thank you again everyone! I genuinely did not intend to hit a nerve earlier and I hope you all understand the true meaning of my question. We all have aspirations and as a young and very intrigued individual who has yet to be trained, my aspiration is to hopefully one day be operating and commanding the jumbo and beyond.
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Old 15th Jan 2012, 19:34
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The advantage of several thousand hours of turboprop time will not translate into an advantage over a low hour pilot with a jet type rating. Take a look at any recent recruitment. How many experienced turboprop guys got an interview compared to low time guys willing to fund a type-rating?
I cite the recent Jet2 recruitment drive. Many TP drivers seem to have been overlooked in favour of low-hours chaps and chapesses.

If, as you state, your intention is to go "Jumbo and beyond", get onto a jet as fast as you can. If it means overlooking a TP job, so be it.

Me personally? I'd rather be earning £20K a year in a flying job whilst looking for another flying job than earning £40K a year in another job (when the only flying you'd do is that to required to renew an IR and MEP).

Flying TPs might be sh*te, but it's not that sh*te.
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Old 15th Jan 2012, 21:33
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Flying TP's is probably the best airline job going in terms of fun. I meet many jet pilots who all say the best time they ever had was flying a turboprop. Many go back to it later in their careers as theyre thoroughly bored sitting behind Mr Boeing and Mr Airbus autopilots. I also meet jet pilots who've never flown TP's. A lot of these guys all admit to feeling as though theyve missed something in their careers by starting directly on jets.

The money could be better of course but then again money isnt everything. Job satisfaction is much more important in my opinion. You can actualy make good money in a TP job, but you have to get to at least Line Training Captain status or better still, TRE status.
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Old 16th Jan 2012, 09:08
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I fly ATRs and a lot of the captains here are ex-747/340 who felt like having fun a last couple of years before heading home. And by the looks of it they're having a blast.

Don't look down on Turbo prop experience, some Dash fly better than jet planes. Get a few hundred hours TP and then get on a jet when you can. Just know that without solid contacts, it might prove much harder to find a position on the bus or boeing compared to a TP operator
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Old 16th Jan 2012, 21:03
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I fly ATRs and a lot of the captains here are ex-747/340 who felt like having fun a last couple of years before heading home. And by the looks of it they're having a blast.

Don't look down on Turbo prop experience, some Dash fly better than jet planes. Get a few hundred hours TP and then get on a jet when you can. Just know that without solid contacts, it might prove much harder to find a position on the bus or boeing compared to a TP operator
Just out of curiosity, what makes TPs more fun than jets to fly?
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Old 16th Jan 2012, 21:10
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They're just funny!

You can land and make some nice procedures to landing in certain airfields only with turboprop or small bizjet, and that's what makes them funnier than heavy jets.
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Old 16th Jan 2012, 21:20
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Don't know as I haven't flown any jets yet!!!
But I do enjoy the short and numerous sectors ( max 1hr flights where I work), good amount of "hand's on" flying and a safe mix of conventional flying and FMS use.

EDIT: Whereabout do you fly Jerry Lee?
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Old 16th Jan 2012, 21:29
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Unfortunately I'm not flying yet, but a pilot who works in Australia that flies now on the 737 told me (not on PPRuNe, on another forum) that sometimes turboprop are funnier.
Shorter sectors gives you what you just said.
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Old 17th Jan 2012, 11:50
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Just out of curiosity, what makes TPs more fun than jets to fly?
Probably more sectors in a day, so more take off's and landings. Less automation so more hands on flying. You can fly it like a light twin, 'pole' it round the sky to your hearts content. We fly low level VFR quite often....all good fun! Or you could sit for 8 hours watching an FMS fly you across the Atlantic......and back again the next day...ILS to ILS.....yawn!!

I fly regularly with guys who've been on TP's for years. You could offer the Boeing 777 or Airbus A380 job tomorrow and they wouldnt touch it with a barge pole. They couldnt hack it because theyd be bored out of their minds. Yet ironically its the 'big jet' job that all the 'wannabes' seem to aspire to. Possibly its a salary thing.....maybe its just ego.
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Old 17th Jan 2012, 21:56
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I often wonder why wanabees are so obsessed in flying jets (ego?) and that some look on flying turboprops as some kind of last resort. Flying turboprops (OK talking working for one of the bigger operators - Eastern, Loganair, Flybe etc..) you get everything that you would from flying a jet. You fly complex, modern, fast aircraft in and out of big airfields, get vectored for an ILS, speak to the same ATC, fly the same holds and at pretty much the same speeds below FL100. You also follow SOPís deal with ground operations ie LMC, flight dispatchers, baggage handlers, in the same way you would as if flying a jet. And yes, turboprops even have cabin crew!

Other advantages are; lots of take offs and landings with less of the boring bit inbetween, lots of variation away from the ILS (flew a VOR/DME, NDB/LOC and a visual approach today) also much more opportunity to hand fly-my company actively encourages it.

I suppose it all depends on what you want from the job. I love the flying bit, hand flying a visual approach or an NDB approach to minimums. I donít particularly enjoy sitting in the cruise, twiddling the heading bug and programing the FMS so thatís why turboprop flying suits me.

Not slagging jet operations off and have the same respect for a jet driver as a turboprop but remember turboprop flying is not tootling about at 140kts VFR at 2000ft in something that looks like a Seneca! Remember a turboprop IS a jet with a propeller stuck to the front.

PS; the above post with reference to jet2 is not very accurate as several colleagues of mine have recently left for Jet2 and several others are in the hold pool, the whole ďrushĒ thing to get out of turboprops is rubbish.
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Old 18th Jan 2012, 11:41
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Well said FlyingEngineer old bean that's the spirit
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Old 18th Jan 2012, 13:02
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Not to take away from what many others have said here, and just adding a possible reason for what some call Shiny Jet Syndrome.
Most low hour aspiring pilots have to face the fact that they will have to self-sponsor a TR. The debate as to the rights and wrongs of this is valid, but is viewed by most "wannabes" as irrelevant as it is the way things are at present.
If we look at the jobs available in the UK at the moment for low hour pilots we can see the following costs for TRs:

Jet2.com: £18000 over 3 years
Ryanair: £23400 up front
Easyjet: difficult to work out fully, but either integrated at CTC or their ATP scheme. Either way, a lot!
Eastern: £15000 - 17000
West Atlantic: circa £15000
Loganair: £15000 over 3 years

Looking at these figures I find it quite easy to see why someone would aspire to getting a jet TR early. If you are willing to pay for a TR then you may as well spend the little bit extra and get a widely used one (A320/B737) as opposed to a niche turbo-prop rating. If you did go to somewhere like West Atlantic and gain 3 years experience there's nothing to say you won't still have to pay for a TR to move onto jets (if that's your desire!).
I think in summary there are 2 arguments here. I for one think that we are worse off for losing the natural progression associated with working your way up to a jet job, and experience gained on turboprops is invaluable. However, I can fully understand the desire to get a jet job as early as possible.
I am sure that someone will now attempt to castigate me for advocating SSTR, but I am not attempting to do that. I think we don't have to agree with something to understand it, and I personally can easily understand why someone aspires to fly a jet as soon as possible.
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