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British Airways Future Pilot Programme.

Interviews, jobs & sponsorship The forum where interviews, job offers and selection criteria can be discussed and exchanged.

British Airways Future Pilot Programme.

Old 10th Jan 2014, 20:11
  #1881 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Manchester
Age: 39
Posts: 120
Back from OAA - great to meet everyone there today, and the best of luck to all. A thoroughly enjoyable and challenging day. Now begins the waiting - again!
JDA2012 is offline  
Old 11th Jan 2014, 10:55
  #1882 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 58

Hi Junio, good luck on Monday.

The easiest way to get there is take the tube to Hounslow Central, 5 minute walk. Exit the station and turn right (under the bridge), walk 2 or 3 hundred yards, and you'll see Clovelly Road on the left which leads to the Civic Centre. It's the road with loads of purple signs.......you can't miss it. Go throughout the car park and it's the first building, entrance 'Lampton Park Conference Centre', with a small sign next to it saying 'Flight Training Europe'. It's very easy to find.

Last edited by 123breath; 11th Jan 2014 at 10:58. Reason: Grammar
123breath is offline  
Old 11th Jan 2014, 12:08
  #1883 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Somewhere
Posts: 2
Amateur Experience At OAA

Complete waste of time/effort/money at OAA. A lot of the staff lacking in professionalism and basic manners.

Some of the many failings of the day:
- Interview: Captain from BA completely not aligned with the target audience of the programme. Supposed to be open to "people with little or no flying experience". Soon as he figured I had not taken a flying lesson he wasn't interested and continued to bring this up through the rest of the interview. Both interviewers did not introduce what their roles were so I had to stop and ask before the first question. Arrogant and patronising tone of captain was a reoccurring theme throughout the 45 mins. This guy was clearly lacking in life skills and an appreciation of anyone who has a background in anything other than flying. Why send someone old school like this along if you are looking to change your recruitment policy and bring in people with other life experience?
- OAA Staff: Guy that runs the show comes into room looking for feedback in front of all other applicants in the middle of the process. Yes I'm sure that's the best way to get open and honest feedback. Dear oh dear.....get a grip. Ladies that were running the day were pleasant enough but the explanations before the tests etc. were amateur hour and no clear guidance on timings. They also spent a lot of time talking about how bad CTC/Jerez are. Funny thing was-right behind her work men were patching up and relaying the hut style/portakabin roof above a class that was going on for future pilots. I wouldn't be too proud of the facility- It's a bit of a dingy place to be honest. A lot of the day was spent hanging around doing nothing. Thank god I didn't waste two days annual leave on it as I understand that was the format last year.
- Testing: Maths/Physics test covering all things learned and fully tested about 10 years ago at high school. Why not just look at exam results? Clearly OAA/BA thinks it knows better than Her Majesty's Inspectors. Numeracy test is fair enough and I understand they need to rank people but is that the best they can do??? Also why do the 225 question personality profile on that day and make it sound like a time constrained challenge? Sounds like they needed to plug some things in to justify taking people out of work for the day and charging 250.
- Competency interview was embarrassing- HR (further reinforcing the stereotype label of Human Remains/Hardly Relevant) person was looking for what appeared to be part-time job type examples (e.g. Customer Service- whilst flipping burgers at Burger King I burned a bun. The customer complained and I arranged a fresh whopper and free side of fries- clap clap well done you can be a pilot now). . As soon as you mentioned anything remotely business orientated she didn't have a clue and/or wasn't interested. It had to be on her level of understanding/mental capacity it seemed.

Overall I thought the day was a really poor reflection on OAA and BA. Would be hilarious if I got through now.

Best of luck to all.
Funkid is offline  
Old 11th Jan 2014, 13:31
  #1884 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 394
To be honest, how could you know for certain that you want to be a pilot if you've never even had a trial lesson before? While the BA FPP is open to those with no flying experience, I'd be quite surprised if anyone made it onto the programme without at least half an hour in the air. It's not prohibitively expensive, and at least then you can say that you've done it and loved it as much as you thought you would.

I think there are several good reasons for doing the maths/physics tests. Firstly, skills deteriorate over time, and that's one of the reasons for having to apply to university within a certain time-frame (for some subjects) after having acquired the entry qualifications. Secondly, testing every candidate on the same tests establishes a level playing field; from which a much more reliable representation of everyone's current (and relative) maths and physics skills can be determined. What good reason exists for not doing that? If you're as good at each as your qualifications suggest you are then you won't have a problem. If not; my first point is reinforced. The last thing any FTO wants is to take on candidates who will need to relearn a lot of basic high school maths and physics.
G-F0RC3 is offline  
Old 11th Jan 2014, 14:00
  #1885 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Manchester
Age: 39
Posts: 120
As already noted, I enjoyed the day at OAA; there was uncertainty in some areas but I approached everything positively (if pushed, my only worry coming out of the process was that I may have been too enthusiastic/ambitious in the interview). Better to repair the roof than to drip on the students, and I'm sure qualifying pilots will have to deal with worse distractions - good practice

I will not be drawn into a game of one-upmanship, but I have flight time in the (very) low three-digit range and almost everyone I chatted with on the subject had at least a couple of hours flying or gliding experience. Whilst the programme is indeed open to all, I would agree that going in with no experience at all would seem to be a distinct disadvantage and perhaps a tactical error.

One chap had flown all the way across the Atlantic to be there and held a Masters Degree in Aerospace Engineering, and another had come from Singapore. "Competitive" does not begin to cover it! Still, an experience in itself, and one which I value regardless of the outcome.
JDA2012 is offline  
Old 11th Jan 2014, 14:18
  #1886 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Somewhere
Posts: 2
GFORC/GDA- I don't disagree that it's an advantage to have some flying experience but the guidance from BA is clear: "designed to select and train aspiring pilots, who currently have little or no flying experience".

All I'm saying is that if I had known that I would have needed to pick the "30 min flight experience" rather than the "paintballing experience" from my red letter day I probably wouldn't have bothered coming along. If that's what BA thinks sorts then men out from the boys then good luck to them.
Funkid is offline  
Old 11th Jan 2014, 15:19
  #1887 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: EGLL
Posts: 47
Interesting perspectives.. I think they state that no flight experience is necessary, but it helps if you have some. I think they do judge if you have had the opportunity to fly but not taken it up.. Even one launch in a glider would help...

I think earlier in the thread someone said BA are not looking for the extremes of someone who spends every minute at their local general aviation airport washing planes to afford to fly and the other extreme of someone who doesn't care about flying but could win the apprentice! It the best mix of the above who get selected.

Are Oxford giving out timelines for notification of those through to the final stage? I wonder if BA need to review, or if the flight schools (using BA's selection criteria) decide?
LastPastthePost is offline  
Old 11th Jan 2014, 16:23
  #1888 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Winchester
Posts: 5,913
Arrogant and patronising tone of captain was a reoccurring theme throughout the 45 mins. This guy was clearly lacking in life skills and an appreciation of anyone who has a background in anything other than flying.
You may well be aware of the fact that this is a funny old job and a very strange working environment. It's not university, it's not an office. Day in and day out though training you are one on one with a teacher/examiner in a quite alien and intense environment and that does come as a surprise to some folks. I've seen (military) students "hang up their headsets" after 10 -15 hours or less with the admission that the job really wasn't what they thought it was going to be and they really weren't enjoying their place of work.

BA/the FTOs are looking to allocate a precious resource. I suspect if I had been in that captain's shoes I would have been investigating the same point, the one that G-FORC3 has already made - " how could you know for certain that you want to be a pilot if you've never even had a trial lesson before?"

In case I lack life skills I hope that doesn't sound arrogant or patronising, and no, before anybody asks, it wasn't me asking the questions
wiggy is offline  
Old 12th Jan 2014, 23:28
  #1889 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 36
Wiggy's observations really hit the nail on the head. Such comments have been posted quite frequently - if a prospective candidate takes the trouble to read this thread from the very beginning. I, Wiggy and several others have often tried over the last few years to guide candidates using our own knowledge and experience. Some have heeded our advice, others have clearly chosen not to do so.

Whilst I do not have selection experience (other than my own), I have helped to train previously successful cadets. The selection procedure is designed to find the very best candidates from those applying by utilising a number of criteria.

The clearly defined, minimum academic qualifications required are the first filter. These academic achievements determine whether a candidate has the ability to successfully complete the licence theory and any future type rating exams. They do not need to be set as high as might be required, for example, for a medical degree, merely to ensure that the course material can be absorbed, understood and applied.

The psychometric tests serve to ensure that the candidate can demonstrate, for example, hand /eye co-ordination and spacial awareness, and that these will then allow steady progress during the flight phases of training, both initial and advanced. Given enough time almost anyone, given a degree of application, can learn to fly an aircraft. Time, however, is money and trainees who find it difficult to acquire the necessary skills in the time frame available become a liability to the school and the future airline.

The interviews, essays and group exercises can help to determine motivation, application, personality and team working skills. As has been said before, BA is not recruiting pilots per se, but future airline captains, who will require commercial awareness and man management skills of a high order. Some recent posts have clearly demonstrated in the writer significant shortfalls in areas such as individual initiative, resourcefulness and, sadly, a distinct lack of appreciation as to the potential effects of posting on a forum such as this.

In my personal experience there have always been those who, although successful in making commercial aviation their career, have sadly managed to slip through the selection procedure. The days of the autocratic captain, for example, have hopefully almost disappeared but, on double crewed long sector flights, one often had the opportunity, as one of the captains, to observe the sad lack of man management skills shown by an immediate contemporary - often a good friend. A brilliant pilot does not always indicate an effective man manager. All airlines will do their utmost to ensure that your face, as the applicant, fits with their company; and that will almost certainly be a reflection of your personality. A pilot interviewer will not take long to discover whether or not he or she would want to spend twelve hours with you on a flight deck, or spend time in your company, down route and off duty.

Assuming that you possess all of the above skills plus determination, motivation and an amiable personality, what else can you offer which will make you stand out from the other candidates in such a competitive arena? I will let you judge the qualities which you think may ensure your success.

Encouragement and assistance have always been my motives for contributing to the debate. Sadly, I would also have to add that I would advise the disaffected, the arrogant and those perhaps mature in years, but immature in outlook, to seek employment elsewhere. I have had the pleasure of meeting some of the successful FPP candidates from previous years - those who contributed to this thread always had sensible, considered and helpful information to impart. Some current posters would do well to re-read their own contributions - the eventual unsuccessful applicants are really not too difficult to identify.

Good luck.
FullTanks is offline  
Old 17th Jan 2014, 14:15
  #1890 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: London
Age: 28
Posts: 1
Rejection at application stage

Hello all,

I'm writing here in the hope of garnering some advice after my application to the FPP was rejected at the initial stage.

CTC was my chosen school and I ensured that I completed the application form with great care. I submitted the application 7 or 8 days after the window first opened. I felt that I performed adequately in the multiple choice questions and I also paid great attention to constructing coherent, informed and well structured essay responses.

It was with great disappointment that I received the rejection email from BA recruitment in December and I subsequently re-read my submitted application in the hope of spotting where I went wrong. I was unable to spot any mistakes or areas lacking so I emailed and spoke on the phone to CTC twice in the hope of attaining some feedback. As was to be expected due to the thousands of applications they had received they were unable to provide me with any feedback.

I am under no illusions as to how competitive the FPP scheme is and appreciate the quality of the successful candidates will be exceptionally high. However I was particularly disappointed that my application didn't even make it past the paper sift stage.

I have spent the last decade attempting to increase my chances of being successful in my desired career as a pilot. I undertook flying scholarships with air cadets, played sport, completed my Gold D of E, ensured I performed well at A-levels (AAB), went to a good university, and most recently made sure that I've played an active role within the University Air Squadron.

While there will be numerous candidates with far better CVs than mine I still felt despondent that I was rejected at the initial stage. I've evaluated and reflected on my application and what may have let me down, but have been unable to reach any conclusions as to what these weaknesses may have been - and therefore have little idea what to do differently if FPP runs again at the end of 2014.

Some ideas I've had that may have contributed to my application being rejected are:
  • My University course is a humanities one (I know officially this isn't a precluding factor)
  • I didn't do maths A-level and only got a 'B' at GCSE
  • CTC appears to be the school that has received the most applicants
  • I performed to a lower standard than I thought in the multiple choice questions
  • The 'qualities' I outlined as being required by BA pilots in my essay answer were not what markers were looking for
  • The CTC staff members simply didn't like the sound of me when looking at my application!

As you can see I've racked my brains for where I went wrong and sought feedback from CTC so I can try and learn from the process, however I have been unsuccessful in doing so.

If you've read this far - thank you. This is a final (and likely frivolous) attempt to try to get a better understanding of what I can learn from the process. If any of what I've said above stimulates a suggestion as to why my application may have been rejected - please do let me know. I really want to explore every avenue in order to better my chances of succeeding next time round at what really is an unrivalled opportunity.

I look forward to any possible replies. Thank you.
wannabe_123 is offline  
Old 17th Jan 2014, 14:23
  #1891 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Liverpool
Age: 32
Posts: 35
If it's any consolation wannabe_123, an application of mine was excepted some months ago on the 100% self funded CTC wings course, but not for the BA course. My thinking is that there are a very small amount of positions and there are bound to be some extremely high quality CVs that soak these up.
TShan1 is offline  
Old 17th Jan 2014, 15:58
  #1892 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: egll
Posts: 322
Now i'm no expert, but from reading your outlined possibilities I would say that not having done maths for A-levels is probably the most likely reason.
momo95 is offline  
Old 17th Jan 2014, 20:33
  #1893 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Who knows!
Posts: 39
There are plenty on the FPP that didn't do maths at A-level momo, so unlikely to be that.
Nelson15 is offline  
Old 17th Jan 2014, 21:42
  #1894 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: England
Posts: 265
FWIW at my selection day degree you did, doing Maths at A-Level didn't seem to matter. Whilst most of my fellow applicants had done some sort of engineering degree (thus requiring Maths at A-Level) there were a fair few candidates who had degrees in completely unrelated topics, not done further than GCSE maths and had little to no flight experience. Having said that, this was OAA so CTC may have been different.
LadyL2013 is offline  
Old 17th Jan 2014, 22:09
  #1895 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: London
Age: 32
Posts: 2
Hi wannabe,

I have no official insight into why you didn't get past stage one. However, I would say that you seem to be doing everything right. So don't beat yourself up. I know you mentioned that flying was your dream, but you have a great attitude and whatever you find yourself doing, you'll probably be damn good at it. Chin up.
bjornebye is offline  
Old 17th Jan 2014, 22:21
  #1896 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: UK
Posts: 10

Bad luck on not getting through selection. I agree with the last 3 posters: your application sounds strong, but remember that a huge component of luck is needed in any application process that whittles thousands of applicants down to tens. The selection process cannot possibly claim to identify the best x candidates. There will inevitably be fantastic applicants who don't make it through, and seemingly average candidates who do. The only things the lucky ones have in common is that they have the attributes and abilities that BA is looking for. If your application had been read by another person, or even by the same person on a different day, things might be different.

To try to prove my point that there is no formula for the perfect application, here are some examples:

- There are plenty of guys/gals on the FPP with degrees that are non-technical; there are other people with relevant masters degrees, and some with no degree.

- There are people who didn't excel at school/university, only just met the academic criteria for selection, and plenty who didn't do maths A-level.

- There are people who have given up seriously high-powered careers, and others who haven't yet had any sort of career.

- There are people who take part in unusual sports / hobbies, and others who have "boring" pastimes.

- There are people who had significant flying experience when they applied, and others with only 1 hour in a light aircraft.


So don't give up, keep developing your skills, and good luck with your next application.
Sound As A Euro is offline  
Old 18th Jan 2014, 22:11
  #1897 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 394
Friday was the last assessment day at FTE. The suggestion is that they assessed around 350 candidates. Should find out who is making it to the next phase within the next few weeks.
G-F0RC3 is offline  
Old 19th Jan 2014, 09:20
  #1898 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: EGLL
Posts: 47
From what I recall, the last date for Oxford on the booking website was the 17th too..

They did 5 weeks @ 100 / 120 candidates a week. So would be approximately 600 for Oxford...

I seem to remember last year that BA sent out the invites to final selection for all the schools on the same day on the 22nd February.. So might be closer to a month until we find out.
LastPastthePost is offline  
Old 19th Jan 2014, 18:56
  #1899 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: london
Age: 30
Posts: 12
OAA had actually mentioned at the assessment day that they are assessing around 850 cadets.
aviator-P is offline  
Old 20th Jan 2014, 12:41
  #1900 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: UK
Posts: 20
I do remember looking at the booking schedule for OAA and I noticed that their final selection day is 21st January. I was just wondering if anybody had received any updates since 18th December. I know that the email from OAA stated that they would write again towards the end of January but I can't help but refresh my emails.
squird02 is offline  

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