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How to Justify Untagged/Whitetail Integrated Training These Days?

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How to Justify Untagged/Whitetail Integrated Training These Days?

Old 20th May 2018, 17:24
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How to Justify Untagged/Whitetail Integrated Training These Days?

It's quite remarkable IMO how the low-hour recruitment market is moving towards modular training. Even just a couple of years ago an integrated course was seen as by far the easiest way to get an airline job. A certain "big 3" flight school refers to people following this route as whitetail cadets. Courses cost upwards of 100,000 when modular can be done for around half of that.

Simple question, why on earth would anybody choose this route at the moment and how can the major training organisations continue to justify such high prices? Focusing on the main UK airlines and how they currently recruit low-hour pilots:

BA - tag some L3/CTC cadets part way through training.
Virgin - only low-hour recruitment is via their MPL
EZY - rumours on here suggest they're not hiring as many from the hold pools like they used to. Sponsored type-rating scheme seemingly open to all schools.
Jet2 - pilot apprentice scheme open to all candidates
Ryanair - long history of recruting from all backgrounds and now offer bonded type ratings
Flybe / BA Cityflyer - both hire from a range of backgrounds including modular
TCX - hire cadets through IAGO which is open to both modular and integrated
Thomson - rarely hire cadets but recently opened applications for all backgrounds

Clearly, "whitetail" candidates are eligible to apply for most of the schemes. However, in the vast majority of cases, the airline they apply to would also consider a modular candidate.

The "big 3" flights schools have historically justified extortionate prices based on their favourable reputation amongst the airlines and ability to get cadets jobs soon after graduation. Increasingly the evidence just doesn't seem to support this. If you remove airline links from the equation, then the question boils down to "Are L3/FTE/OAA etc 2x better than modular judged on training quality/reputation alone". Personally I doubt this, whatever the marketing people might try and say.

Just to note, I'm not looking to start either untagged integrated or modular training at the moment so there's no ulterior motive here, just personal interest.
ManUtd1999 is offline  
Old 20th May 2018, 22:27
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I don't think that the sponsored type rating scheme at easyJet will be open to modular candidates, although I would be glad to be proven wrong?
MaverickPrime is offline  
Old 20th May 2018, 22:27
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The Whitetail route still seems popular as the bank of mum and dad are still willing to foot the £100,000+ bill when they're led to believe it's the only available option for becoming an airline pilot. With more options than ever arising for modular students, I hope L3 hopefuls are seriously considering what they're really getting for their money (instagram bragging rights sitting in an A320 simulator?).

My problem is not the quality of training from L3, it's that they have been able to drive the costs of training through the roof and discouraged a lot of talented people from becoming pilots due to the perceived cost and marketing hype that's extruded from the mouths of recruitment staff.

I'm a modular student so you could say I'm biased towards it, however I'd like to think I'm not. I've weighed up my options and I can complete my training debt free in a timeframe not far off an integrated student. What I would like is for recruitment to consider both integrated and modular students equally and hire the best candidates for the job, not the ones that can afford to go to a privileged, expensive ATO.
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Old 21st May 2018, 09:09
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Amy Johnson Flying Initiative

"Between now and 01 June 2018, we’re opening our doors to all inexperienced cadets, who have trained at either our approved ATOs or outside them."

The gender requirement doesn't appear to be there.
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Old 21st May 2018, 10:04
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If you can afford to do so, then going to one of the "big 3" is the quickest way to achieve licence issue.
Simply nuckle down, get on with the work, pass all the written exams first time with an average of 90% or better. Complete the flying within syllabus hours, and excel in the MCC phase, and most importantly of all be a TEAM PLAYER.
You are then ideally placed to be recruited


That is one reason why you would choose one of the "big 3".
The aviation market can be a fickle place and the sooner you become marketable the better, as when the bubble finally bursts those with a job and experience will survive. Those who do not will unfortunately languish in the wilderness.

Those who for what ever reason, decide to go down the modular route accept that it will take longer (Integrated typically 60 weeks total including the MCC), and if you are working then you have a potential safety net, and probably less debt to worry about.

Each training route has it pros and cons; however a modular customer who achieves high marks in the written exams and excels in the flying / MCC are really worth considering for employment. A certain determination has been demonstrated.

It is MARKET FORCES, simply SUPPLY & DEMAND which drives the whole process

Last edited by parkfell; 21st May 2018 at 15:01.
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Old 21st May 2018, 10:14
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Modular route is not necessarily the longer route. It took me 16 months from "zero-to-hero".
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Old 21st May 2018, 11:38
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Originally Posted by Banana Joe View Post
Modular route is not necessarily the longer route. It took me 16 months from "zero-to-hero".
I am curious as to how you did that? Care to detail a little bit? Also what is your current situation? I am looking at my options and your testimonial would be helpful.
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Old 21st May 2018, 13:50
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I think Aer Lingus tend to prefer integrated as opposed to modular when recruiting whitetails (I may indeed be wrong) but that's about it other than the list ManUtd1999 put together.

Otherwise, I fail to really see the benefits of integrated unless you're backed up by an airline with a conditional employment contract at the very least..

You complete all of your training with one provider but you can do that with modular too. I hear at CTC people fly about 5 hours a week on average, surely at least 10 hours/week is possible right? I recall seeing the RAF Fighter Pilot documentary from 1981 and they were averaging 10 hours a week in fast jets!

The integrated-only airline list is nowhere near as long as it was. CTC's current partners for non-BA Whitetails are Wizz, Turkish and Royal Brunei, a quick look at the T&E forums on here doesn't portray any of them in the best light. No UK bases (except possibly Wizz at Luton in the future).

Far less flexibility with integrated, if the industry slows, then at least with modular you can stretch your training out over a longer period, likewkse, if things pick up you can probably smash more than 5 hours/week in.

The integrated schools can get funny about results when it comes to recommendations time, one second series pass can mean you're at the back of the queue, ot so I hear. I know modular can be e same but at least you can transfer or possbily alter your training to follow a slightly different path.

Out of interest, does anyone know what happens if you fail on a mentored programme, do you get any of your money back? Did the loan guarantee offer any additional protection in the BA/Virgin programmes?
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Old 21st May 2018, 15:08
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I still wonder why in 2018 there is people willing to pay for an integrated course over 100k while Europe is full of fantastic ATOs that offer best quality training at an HONEST price. And actually you fly even more. At the end you will get the SAME piece of paper and the same job too, (if you are good). Stop feeding these flight schools that steal money, go for the honest one. We are living in the best period for low hour pilots, there are a lot of oppurtunities but you don t need to pay more than 100k for a pilot job.
oldkarim is offline  
Old 21st May 2018, 15:51
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Originally Posted by Chris the Robot View Post
Out of interest, does anyone know what happens if you fail on a mentored programme, do you get any of your money back? Did the loan guarantee offer any additional protection in the BA/Virgin programmes?
I think if you fall below the airline standards then you're transferred onto white tail. At L3 if they 'deem you to fall below the standard required to be an airline pilot' then 'performance protection' will kick in and they will cease training and refund you all training fees minus £5000.
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Old 21st May 2018, 15:54
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Originally Posted by gfunc View Post
Amy Johnson Flying Initiative

"Between now and 01 June 2018, we’re opening our doors to all inexperienced cadets, who have trained at either our approved ATOs or outside them."

The gender requirement doesn't appear to be there.
It would appear that ezy have finally smelt the coffee....
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Old 21st May 2018, 18:09
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Originally Posted by parkfell View Post
If you can afford to do so, then going to one of the "big 3" is the quickest way to achieve licence issue.
Simply nuckle down, get on with the work, pass all the written exams first time with an average of 90% or better. Complete the flying within syllabus hours, and excel in the MCC phase, and most importantly of all be a TEAM PLAYER.
You are then ideally placed to be recruited


That is one reason why you would choose one of the "big 3".
The aviation market can be a fickle place and the sooner you become marketable the better, as when the bubble finally bursts those with a job and experience will survive. Those who do not will unfortunately languish in the wilderness.

Those who for what ever reason, decide to go down the modular route accept that it will take longer (Integrated typically 60 weeks total including the MCC), and if you are working then you have a potential safety net, and probably less debt to worry about.

Each training route has it pros and cons; however a modular customer who achieves high marks in the written exams and excels in the flying / MCC are really worth considering for employment. A certain determination has been demonstrated.

It is MARKET FORCES, simply SUPPLY & DEMAND which drives the whole process
You can train just as fast if not faster doing modular if you have the application and drive for it. And if the concern is about market decline and being left without a job surely that’s another reason not to spend the 100k+ for ctc etc having to pay back that loan would be tough..
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Old 23rd May 2018, 01:03
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I guess the question is whether or not getting access to those airlines who only recruit from hold pools is worth it. At the moment at L3 for example, Royal Brunei, Wizzair and Turkish Airlines aren't (for me at least) really worth the extra £30,000 or so the integrated course will cost. When EZY was the main recruiter I would probably say it was worth it though as they have relatively good T&Cs. There is also the chance of being tagged for BA while going through training which some white tail candidates were recently although this was sheer luck/timing.
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Old 23rd May 2018, 13:32
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There's the smaller regional airlines too, Loganair would be attractive for some, as would bmi Regional (though I hear they have had some connection with Oxford), Eastern and Stobart (who now have jets). When you consider the reduced living expenses of their regional bases (as opposed to anything in London) and the fact that you're effectively paying 50% tax on anything extra you earn elsewhere, I reckon there's some decent offerings there. Not everyone wants 40-ish years in an Airbus/Boeing.

Cityjet have opened their €107k scheme, which brings up the question as to whether a mentored programme for a rare type (presume RJ85/SSJ) is worth it. Naturally there will be a few (rich) takers though when you compare the interest in the Aer Lingus thread against the recent TCX thread (half of which was criticism of the "scholarship" they were offering), you'd have thought the airlines would have cottoned on by now. If you want a good field of applicants, make it available to everyone.

Whitetail-wise, I hear FTE Jerez are placing people well at the moment, though the risk in my opinion is far too great. After all, the industry can turn in an instant.
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Old 23rd May 2018, 19:37
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End of 2014/ early 2015 CAEOAA were approached by Tcook and Monarch desperate for 20-30 cadets each to start ASAP. I'm not saying things haven't changed 3 years, but.. I think it will always be true that an airline can go to the big 3 and say "25 cadets, type rate them by this date" and the ATO can go to the hold pool and start assessments in days. That will never happen at the small schools, in my opinion.
Out of the modulars I trained with some have taken 7+ years to get RYR in the best case. 7 years later Pilatus. 7 years later bush flyings. 7 years later ATP cargo. 7 years later private jets. 7 years later still not flying. From what I saw, Modular is not a very affective route if Airlines are the aim.
To minimise training risk, it costs - the places with the most seats available when the music stops will always be the big 3. Isn't threat mitigation what we do?
Disclaimer - The big ATOs should be marched through the town followed by a nun with a bell crying "SHAME!" for their antics.
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Old 23rd May 2018, 20:22
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I guess the question is whether or not getting access to those airlines who only recruit from hold pools is worth it. At the moment at L3 for example, Royal Brunei, Wizzair and Turkish Airlines aren't (for me at least) really worth the extra £30,000 or so the integrated course will cost.
That's the key point I think. If you've got the money then integrated was probably worth it when leading airlines were recruiting only from the major integrated schools. Increasingly this isn't the case, removing their USP.
ManUtd1999 is offline  
Old 24th May 2018, 10:43
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The Modular route is a perfectly good path to follow with the ultimate aim of joining an airline.

In common with the Integrated route, you must come up with the goods, and retain your technical knowledge for the interview. It goes without saying that you must be a TEAM PLAYER, and be capable of passing the "beer test".

Post the light ac flying for licence issue, the MCC course provider is critical. EASA have recently published the new enhanced APS/MCC style of course. Ryanair look upon it in a favourable light I am told.

TITAN recently took on half a dozen or so brand new FOs, and they were all from the Modular route.


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