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current employment outlook

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current employment outlook

Old 22nd May 2017, 17:51
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current employment outlook


i'm very close to committing on my training however i'd appreciate the input of those with much more experience of the industry than myself.

i'm currently 43 family man,a carpenter and looking for a change(i've had enough of working in the rain/snow/cold winters and the effect the job has on your body).i've been interested in avaition since i was a child but i've never had the finances to seriously consider it,however,we recently sold our house,made some good gains and now have the finances to allow me to do it,however whilst i don't need to go into debt to do it i'd be hoping for more than just certificates on the wall at the end of it.

the course i'd be commiting to is based in roskilde,denmark.iv'e been for a chat with them and they said if it were 5 years ago i'd probably be wasting my time and money but at the moment the prospects for low hour pilots are as good as they've ever been and whilst there are no guarantees things are looking good.they also said they are struggling to get instructors and with the rating there could be a position with them until other things turn up.

iv'e read countless webpages over the last month or so all with contradictory opinions/advice but the most recently updated pages generally seem to feel there may a pilot shortage approaching.

I have no particular direction in mind as i was unsure what was possible for low hours.

any thoughts/advice appreciated
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Old 22nd May 2017, 18:04
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The market indeed is in the best shape it's been in since before 9/11. Lots of airlines are taking on new guys.

However, the market could change overnight, and thus the predictably of you getting a job after training in 18 months remains the same; unknown!
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Old 22nd May 2017, 18:56
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you've got to be in it, to win it. I got my first fixed wing jet job at 39.
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Old 22nd May 2017, 20:08
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What experience/hours did you have when you got it?how long ago was that?
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Old 23rd May 2017, 12:12
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thanks for the advice,

i'm not necessarily looking at the airlines,in fact,until recently i'd not given them much consideration as i assumed i wouldn't meet the requirements
until much further down the line.

I'd be quite happy with any flying job that paid a reasonable wage,and reasonable conditions and didn't keep me away from home for excessive periods of time,chasing the higher paying jobs doesn't interest me that much when the employment terms and conditions make you hate the job your in(as seems to be the case with some of the threads i'm reading on here)
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Old 23rd May 2017, 12:32
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I understand where you come from, same story here but I live in the USA and I got my licences already (got them back in 96 ). I haven't flown in years and have been working as a carpenter ever since. I'm slowly working on getting current again and get the cfi ticket (not much of a financial investment) but i'm not doing this in hope that down the line i'll work somewhere as an airline pilot. It's a young man's game unfortunately. Of course you'll always hear the success story of an older career changer here and there but those are the exceptions. Flight School are in business to make money out of you, nothing more. They will tell you what you want to hear. For them today is always a great time to start. If you have the funds to do it without debt, I would still think twice before pulling the trigger. You probably worked hard for what you have and the odds are against you.
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Old 24th May 2017, 09:50
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Given your age and a family you realistically need to think about job security and that really only comes from working for an airline. If you chase the rainbow with the exotica of bush flying in Africa and the like it will severely impact on your family life and the money is not great. Similarly hour building by doing Flying Instructor jobs is good for the younger person with time to spare but can be seasonal and is not in the same category as airline pay.

The aviation market is, and always will be, cyclical. In my experience it is about a 10 - 12 year cycle but hugely effected by global events. 9/11 (2001) caused a slump.

You need to factor in your time through training which depends on the route you take - modular or integrated - so when you qualify you are able to present yourself in a good market.

I wish you luck with your future - but I do urge you to make sure you are not wearing the rose-tinted glasses when looking at an aviation career. It is a really great career - that I have enjoyed for decades - but it is after all it is a job and needs to have sufficient remuneration to compensate for the disruptive lifestyle.

Good luck

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Old 25th May 2017, 20:18
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Yep, what he said.

Firstly, the mythical ‘pilot shortage.’
For what it’s worth, there has never been - and will never be - a shortage of people who want to be pilots. Never, ever, ever. Ever. Sometimes, when the job market is really good (as it has been for the last 2-3 years) industry expansion means there can be a shortage of experienced commercial pilots to fill positions where experience is required. That is very different to a shortage of wannabes. True, recruitment further up the ladder ‘trickles down’ and results in openings for newly qualified pilots, but I say again – there is never a shortage of people chasing the dream.

Secondly, recruitment cycles.
This industry is very, very cyclical. I’m old enough to remember Abba the first time round, and off the top of my head I can recall airline recruitment falling off a cliff in 1990 (Gulf War 1), 2001 (the 9/11 terrorist attacks) and 2008 (the global financial crash). That’s an 11 year cycle and a 7 year one. And 2008 was 9 years ago. . . Not so far off HWB’s 10-12 year cycle.

IMHO, timing is by far the most important factor in successfully finding that first job. Qualify when the industry is healthy, like what I did in 2007, and you might wonder what all the fuss is about. (I’m another career changer, and was incredibly lucky to be picked up by an airline within a couple of months of passing my IR). Qualify after the industry peaks – after airlines stop recruiting, and let alone after one or two go bust and dump hundreds of experienced pilots on the job market – and you will find it very, very difficult to get any sort of job. That includes instructing.

My crystal ball is as bad as anyone’s, but my gut feeling is that we are at, or very close to another industry peak. All it needs is an economic downturn or some global event, and there will be little or no recruitment for several years. Regarding your situation, if you were already committed to training, I’d say qualify as quickly as possible to get your foot in the door. However, if you are thinking about starting out, I would caution that the next downturn may not be far away, and to plan your training to be as flexible as possible. By that, I mean being able to slow down training if necessary to wait for an improvement in the job market.

One final point, your age. There is nothing stopping you getting a commercial job in your mid-forties, however, as HWB says you need to be brutally honest about the earnings potential versus the cost, and calculate whether it works for you and your family. I know more than most that money isn’t everything, but you still need to pay the bills, and you need to be sure that your plan works financially. Highly paid jobs for newly qualified pilots are pretty rare, and although the earning potential rises with experience, it’s much easier to justify the investment for a 30-40 career as opposed to a 20 year one.

I don’t mean any of that to sound negative – just realistic. Having worked in offices for nearly 15 years, flying aeroplanes still beats having a proper job.
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Old 26th May 2017, 07:21
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thanks for all the replies, i appreciate the input.

the next intake starts in september so i have a bit longer to research/decide.

its a definate risk and if i don't do it soon then i'll get to the point where i may as well forget about it and do a ppl for pleasure.

being a bush pilot in the remote areas of the world would have appealed when i was younger(still does actually) but anything like that would be an unrealistic move for the family.I'm also have permanent residency in new zealand and its possible we may return there in the future so that could be another possible market?
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Old 26th May 2017, 13:08
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Forget the research. Nobody can predict the future. G SXTY has summed things up very well. You have to decide if you wish to gamble, because that is what it is, your cash and 18 months of your life to prepare for a market that may no longer exist. And consider this, even if you get a job in an airline, the initial (net, after loan and training repayments, etc.) pay is now so little you may not be looking at a useful income for a three or four years after you start training. Can your family afford that? And this is the "up side". Now consider the "down side". If you get to the end of the training all you will have is a a few pieces of paper and a severe lack of cash. But unlike most unemployed pilots, you will at least have a worthwhile skill.
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Old 28th May 2017, 14:59
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Stay where you are ! Do not spend your hard earning cash on this so called industry .
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Old 28th May 2017, 19:54
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I recommend you do your PPL to get a feel of what it's like. You may want to take it further and take it into a career or simply fly for fun.
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Old 31st May 2017, 12:06
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Tough decision!

Hi Deedle,

Great to read your post. I guess you could say I'm potentially in a similar position. I'm a 43 year old decorator, always loved flying and wanted to be a pilot. Don't have the cash to hand to fund training, but I do have a btl flat that would more or less create that if I sold it.

I like a risk as much as the next man, but that's a big old binary right there! My flat is my "second pension", added security in case my SIPP tanks with the "adventurous" mix of shares I've put in it..

It's really difficult, isn't it?

Could have a great flying job I really loved, not too bothered about airlines as I have a young family too so would accept a lower salary. And no regrets when I'm older because I went for my dream.

Vs I spunk all the money on a bit of paper, my pension goes pear-shaped and the flat I sold ends up being worth £1m by the time I (don't) retire, a bitter old man.

So, in the meantime I took up gliding about two years ago. I'm lucky enough to live near Lasham so couldn't be much better. I fly on average twice a month, but often have cheeky days off in the week when weather's good. Like you, I expect, I'm self-employed.

I've got 60hrs P1 now (no tittering from anyone please!) and aim to do my NPPL this autumn, which you may or may not know can be done in 15hrs once you reach a certain standard in gliding.

What I'm saying is, if you're not sure, why not see if there's a gliding club near you? Or any other kind of cheapish flying? Odds are you'll meet a few airline pilots or people involved in the industry, they're all friendly.

I'd love to do my CPL eventually and maybe some instructing, start with trial flights in gliders and just see where it takes me.

I do not believe it's impossible, but it is potentially a very large gamble. Depends on your attitude to risk and how much you like having money for a rainy day/retirement.

Really good to read your post and glad it's not just me
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Old 11th Jun 2017, 11:40
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As you probably understood, there are no real answer, just bunch of opinions. Let me offer you mine analyse of the situation.

1. Right now it´s a peak in aviation. How long will it last? Hard to say. Probably for another year or so. if you are lucky, you might get a job in an airliner. But you might just miss it. How long before another "good times"? Few years. That means, you will be close to your 50s and chance of getting airline job will be quite slim.

2. There are different "peaks", depending on the region. Europe is slowest. In USA/Asia, they come earlier and finish later. Getting first airliner job over there might be hard, but small aeroplanes/instructing is a valid option.

3. Now, you have to consider. Are you willing to move from Danmark to Indonesia? What about your family?

4. Work stability. Even in Europe is very popular (amongst companies) to make pilot self-employed and hire them via 3rd part. Zero job security. In Asia, you might get fired the same day for no reason.

5. Money. Only "good" money is in biz/airliner. Instructing, most likely, won´t be enough for you. It´s a good choice for 18-25 yo, without family. So, unless you can rely on your wife/have a lot of money saved, your life quality might decrease.

6. Where will you instruct? In Danmark, I would think, there are very few students. You will fly a couple of hours a week. And that is during the summer. In winter, probably, not even that.
For instructing you need to go to USA/Spain/England/Poland. You will have to rent apt there. Will your family stay in Danmark? Then you need to pay for 2 apt (bills, at least).

That´s main things to consider.
If you are willing to move away and let your life quality decrease (unless you have a lot of money saved and don´t need to work anymore) - go for it. You will find an instructing job for sure.
if you are lucky, you might end up flying "big and shiny".

Another possibility is to take FI license and have it as a hobby, next to your normal job. You will be able to fly and really enjoy it. There is no risk for you involved.

Anyway, good luck!
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Old 11th Jun 2017, 15:08
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My advise, if you are really interested in the airlines then that is what you need to aim for until you achieve it!

Unfortunately there does not seem to be any point in trying to build up hours instructing or on something like a Kingair, because you'll still have to enter most airlines as a cadet, even if you have those extra hours.

I would recommend you at least do your MCC/JOC with one of the big names. Its not enough anymore to just have the technical skills. Increasingly, HR want to have their say in most recruitment processes, so you will need to learn the competency interview BS technique to break through HR. If you do the MCC/JOC with the likes of CTC/KURA/Wings Alliance, they will give you the interview training (teach you how to play the interview game) you will need and if you are lucky you might just be able to take advantage of their airline connections. IMHO, if you can land the aeroplane in a 50kt crosswind, in CATIIIb conditions, with no wings or engines, but can't give an example of a time when you delivered excellent customer service etc etc; then you haven't a hope of getting into most airlines!
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Old 11th Jun 2017, 22:15
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Don't do it. That's all the advice you need.
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Old 13th Jun 2017, 18:45
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do it.

It's probably "ME first or FAMILY first".
I chose me first and worked as a GA pilot world wide. Financed all my own training, I did not have a trade skill as fallback, I ran a separate small business to get the money.I never got a sniff at any airline. The family moved with me to various contracts. The marriage was concluded with divorce.
I do not regret my choice.
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Old 14th Jun 2017, 00:50
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If I were to go down the modular route, I'd want to be in a position where I could remain in my existing employment at the end of my training until I'd found a position as a pilot. it may be possible to instruct, if you choose to do an FI rating, around your day job. Many instructors do exactly that.

You'd be able to keep your CPL/ME/IR current using the funds from the day job and sit out the any challenging industry conditions. I don't know how strict the airlines are around theory recency but so long as you can remain current with the actual flying I imagine you'd stand a decent chance when conditions got better.
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Old 14th Jun 2017, 22:00
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I'll let you know

I'm 40 in September, just finished the ATPL Exams and start the CPL next Monday........

Fingers crossed it will all go to plan and I'll get a job.
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Old 15th Jun 2017, 07:33
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Good luck with your training, be sure to have a Plan B to fall back on when you complete training and be prepared for Plan B to turn into Plan A.
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