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Oldtimer/Lowtimer

Old 20th Oct 2018, 11:09
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Oct 2018
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Oldtimer/Lowtimer

Hello fellow Pilots. I'm a 46 yo Dane with 300 hrs logged. For the past 5 years I've been searching for that first job opportunity worldwide however it never showed up. I was invited for ONE interview and assessment only through the whole period of time but the Airline then withdrew the invitation. Given the fact there's a huge lack of pilots all over the world I'm wondering whether there's an Airline or GA hiring "mature inexperienced" pilots?

Rgds J
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Old 20th Oct 2018, 16:08
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Join Date: Oct 2005
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My situation is similar to yours, older low time pilot who qualified a while ago. I have also had one interview and sim assessment and to be honest I completely messed up the sim and it came as no surprise when I received the thanks but no thanks reply.

I was invited to an assessment last year but was away on holiday with my family and was unable to attend and they did not have alternative dates available.

I was invited to another assessment the year before that but my luck struck like a bolt of lightning, I picked up some sort of virus and spent 24 hours before the assessment either sat on the toilet or with my head down the toilet. Again no alternate dates were offered when I was forced to cancel.

The training school that I did my training with contacted me about 18 months ago with a view to recommending me to a well known regional airline which I was delighted at. We went through the list of requirements and I was ticking every box until we came to the bit that required at least 50 hours flight time in the previous 12 months which I do not have so the recommendation did not happen.

I recently spoke to an airline pilot recruiter who told me that the reason I had not been called for interview for a Pilot Apprentice position is that my flying currency is not good enough.

From this you can see that there are those willing to take on the older applicants but my luck and flying currency have not been good.

I do not believe that age is a huge issue but flying currency is, it’s not enough to have the CPL, MEIR and medical all in date and current, you need to be in regular flying practice. This is fine if you have just finished training or are working as an instructor, para dropper or survey pilot etc but to pay for the sort of currency they require is pretty prohibitive.

My final point is that there may well be a shortage of experienced rated pilots with 1000 hours or more in the book, there is not and never will be a shortage of low hours individuals looking for their first job. In the UK the flying schools are churning out low hours ladies and gents at a large rate. The training capacity is well in excess of demand at the moment, we recently saw the demise of a fairly large training organisation (PTT) but we would have to see more go before there is a balance between training capacity and demand. I am sure that the situation is similar across many other nations.
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Old 20th Oct 2018, 23:32
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Join Date: Feb 2018
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Chaps - the time for recruitment is currently is better than it has been for a long time. Frankly it is not about time to despair - go out and make contact - attend fairs and speak to the airlines and do things out of kilter to get that lead. Use linkedin and many other items. Fly for fun because you got your license to fly and enjoy it.

If you keep going and keep trying you will always feel you gave it your best and its fate the decides whether you get in or not. Be happy and keep going. There are opportunities out there ..... But be prepared to sacrifice a lot ......

You can work in flight ops, as cc, ops something to give you the leveredge....

But I totally understand that with family commitments and kids and the rest - its makes it even more difficult - but its comes down to how badly do you want it.

good luck
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Old 21st Oct 2018, 10:17
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Join Date: Dec 2014
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There are loads of jobs out there, I do t see that age against experience will disbar you.....
i presume you’ve been trying easy, Ryanair, Norwegian, Flybe, eastern, loganair, West Atlantic,jet2,,,..?

keep plugging away, I went through a lot of interviews before getting my break ..
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Old 21st Oct 2018, 10:45
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Join Date: Feb 2013
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Magicmick
A very good analyses ,indeed.
For anyone in Pilot1972s category , You need to set a deadline and go for a big push!
A friend of mine did( actually his wife set the deadline).
He asked for advice, did not listen, spent a little cash and spectacularly failed!
He still married , a happy man and has a life!
Nuvel!

For those of You that wants is bad, here is a few things to consider.
Make a budget for the next say 24 to 28 months, then ad 50%, If you can do that: Go for it!
Use Your non aviation experience for all its worth.
Start as a cabin crew? That will cure You!
Invest in a proper MCC course that is connected to an airline.
Pester local airlines ( 1972: DAT Sunair , Norwegian, RYR at CPH)
Go to 2019 Paris airshow and make contacts and get inspiration.
Find ANY way to get 50 hrs a year.

If You are above say 40 year , have no experience and dont have a job , say within 28 months, it was not supposed to be.
The marked is better then I have seen it the last 30 years.
So now is the time to act.

Good luck to all.
And
BluSdUp
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Old 21st Oct 2018, 19:01
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Join Date: Apr 2012
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It does surprise me that many of the airlines appear at least to be less favourable to older applicants. I've known people aged 50-55 change career into a safety critical industry and perform as easily as well as and in many cases, better than, people in their twenties.

At the end of the day, if you've got a house and family, you're presumably going to be satisfied with a nice regional base, a decent work/life balance and a decent salary. I've noticed many of the low-cost/regional operators lose a lot of their younger folk to the world of BA/Virgin and overseas operators. Upping sticks to London/SE or commuting to start in a very junior position on a heavily seniority-based roster is presumably not too appealing with a family and kids in tow. Surely it is better to recruit a 45 year old who's going to stay for 15-20 years than a 20 year old who will probably move after 4-5 years?

I do wonder, does previous safety critical experience lengthen one's shelf-life from an airline's perspective? Is a 45 year old ex-copper going to have an easier time in the job market than a 40 year old ex-accountant?
Chris the Robot is offline  
Old 21st Oct 2018, 21:50
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Join Date: Oct 2005
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Amen Chris, your points make perfect sense and if you ever get involved in airline recruitment then let me know and I’ll fire my CV at you.

In all seriousness, I know that I will never get into the left hand seat of the latest 4 engine Boeing or Airbus flying across the globe for a large flag carrying national on a six figure salary so I am not looking at treating a regional operator as a stepping stone or some sort of advanced training organisation.

My mortgage is paid off and our son is at an age where he can be reasonably independent without me being behind him and we are not planning on having any more. If I could manage a right hand seat in a turboprop or narrow body jet flying passengers or cargo with people that I enjoy working for on a stable(ish) roster and provide a reasonable standard of life for my family with reasonable promotion prospects then I would have a smile on my face that would make the Cheshire cat look like a manic depressive.

I am sure that there are many more mature low hours ladies and gents who would feel the same way. Sadly the airlines run their recruitment campaigns as they feel fit and I cannot influence that.

Good luck to the old and low timers currently seeking work.
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Old 21st Oct 2018, 23:23
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Join Date: Apr 2018
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Originally Posted by BluSdUp View Post
Magicmick

For those of You that wants is bad, here is a few things to consider.
Make a budget for the next say 24 to 28 months, then ad 50%, If you can do that: Go for it!
Use Your non aviation experience for all its worth.
Start as a cabin crew? That will cure You!
Invest in a proper MCC course that is connected to an airline.
Pester local airlines ( 1972: DAT Sunair , Norwegian, RYR at CPH)
Go to 2019 Paris airshow and make contacts and get inspiration.
Find ANY way to get 50 hrs a year.

If You are above say 40 year , have no experience and dont have a job , say within 28 months, it was not supposed to be.
The marked is better then I have seen it the last 30 years.
So now is the time to act.

Good luck to all.
And
BluSdUp
At age 46 starting is hard, and I would say some of this post is absolute nonsense.

"Invest in a proper MCC course that is connected to an airline." Absolute BS talk. You can go to MCC course at Oxford, does not mean you going to get any connection to an airline. They take students that pay up to £150.000 for full course, don't think that a short cut MCC course is going to be deciding if you get a job or not.

" completely messed up the sim" - Magicmick, this is the reason I always would recommend people to invest in at least 4 hours or more in a full motion sim before any interview. As an older person you will discover it becomes harder to get up to speed on SOP's and management of a fastjet, for the airlines this means extra money on sim time.

I would say set realistic goals, try to go for Instructor rating, start working as an instructor and gain experience / hours with this. It's not easy to get job in todays market with low hours, RyR, is probably impossible, as they are quite ageist, or have at least been that in the past.
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Old 22nd Oct 2018, 10:38
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Join Date: Oct 2005
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Hi 2unlimited, I agree that getting some good sim time is a must before assessment, in my defence the call to the assessment came at short notice, RYR called me late on a Friday afternoon with instructions to be at EMA for 0830 the following Tuesday. I spent that evening researching sim training providers that could help, sadly all of them were booked up and could not provide training at such short notice. My MCC had been in a TP sim so the assessment was my first exposure to a swept wing jet sim and I was miles behind the sim.

On the day there were 8 of us, myself and 7 Oxford integrated gents, at the time Oxford were pushing a lot of their grads towards RYR, I spoke to a few of them and they told me that during their MCC and JOC at the end of their training they were practicing only RYR assessment routes. After their assessment they had to report back to RYR what sim route they had and what questions they were asked in the interview, the implication was that if they failed to do this then Oxford would be unlikely to recommend them to other airlines. This showed in the sim as the Oxford lad that I was paired up with performed way better than me.

There were those that told me that I had dodged a bullet by avoiding RYR but I disagree but it is what it is and I cannot go back in time and redo it.

Last edited by magicmick; 22nd Oct 2018 at 13:04.
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Old 22nd Oct 2018, 22:41
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Spain
Posts: 52
You will find that OAA mainly favour their intergrated cadets and not the modular ones.

you have to invest and go into the sim for extra hours and be doing that regularly to avoid last minute panic

as you do get older it takes time for sure but i disagree that its impossible - the assessors are looking at learning curve - so if you are older and have extra practice - you will be on the mark to say the least and then its luck on the day.....

keep trying and keep going- it is a good market and RYR are seriously wanting cadets - there are options overseas also - don’t knock any opportunity
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Old 22nd Oct 2018, 23:49
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Join Date: Apr 2018
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Originally Posted by magicmick View Post
Hi 2unlimited, I agree that getting some good sim time is a must before assessment, in my defence the call to the assessment came at short notice, RYR called me late on a Friday afternoon with instructions to be at EMA for 0830 the following Tuesday. I spent that evening researching sim training providers that could help, sadly all of them were booked up and could not provide training at such short notice. My MCC had been in a TP sim so the assessment was my first exposure to a swept wing jet sim and I was miles behind the sim.

On the day there were 8 of us, myself and 7 Oxford integrated gents, at the time Oxford were pushing a lot of their grads towards RYR, I spoke to a few of them and they told me that during their MCC and JOC at the end of their training they were practicing only RYR assessment routes. After their assessment they had to report back to RYR what sim route they had and what questions they were asked in the interview, the implication was that if they failed to do this then Oxford would be unlikely to recommend them to other airlines. This showed in the sim as the Oxford lad that I was paired up with performed way better than me.

There were those that told me that I had dodged a bullet by avoiding RYR but I disagree but it is what it is and I cannot go back in time and redo it.
Good and bad news, I know many in their late 30's / early 40's who have got jobs. I was in my early 40's myself, and commuted half the globe for 2 years in crap conditions, before I got the job I wanted. I also know guys did the same, and now have their command with BA, equally I know a guy in his late 40's, who decided he would only be an instructor. My CPL instructor was 48 when he got his first jet job, however he did have thousands of hours instructing, and few hundred hours turboprop.
Another friend, is an architect, looked impossible for him to get a job, and now has already had 2 jobs on the A320, in his mid 40's.

The sim profiles for the selections are fairly "standard", and can be found on various sites if you invest a few pounds. It's difficult to go and "practice" to much in advance, as you have no idea what the sim check will be on, 737, A320 or other. As these are very different to fly.
For sim assessments they are not expecting a perfect flight, if you are not rated, you won't get engine failure on take off etc.

First you should do is get various profiles from a couple of companies, as most will not vary a lot. Network so you find instructors / sims that could be able to take you on short notice, as many times the sims are fully booked.
Don't limit yourself to UK only jobs, we can still work within the EU. All the guys I know got their first jobs in Europe. It's hard work if you have family to commute, expect possible break up of relations for many, as it takes it's toll.

Invest in a couple good add-ons for the Prepare3D v4 flight sim on a good computer, to practice procedures on your own time, there are some amazing Boeing and Airbus add ons. Get some "tutoring" from airline pilots who can get you up to speed, because thats the biggest issue for some of us older guys, getting up to speed quick enough. If I had done this when I was 20, and nothing else to think about in my life, it would be very easy, but now we have family, children, mortgages, friends, social life etc. it gets more complex. Any outside disturbances / problems, can have massive impact on performance.

Before my first selection, which I passed, I went to stay 10 days in a cheap hotel all alone, to prepare myself mentally. I spent money on preparing for interviews, sims etc., as you will as an "older guy" get scrutinized more than someone in their early 20's. You have to do and say what you have to say, to get that first job, as that is the magic ticket for the future jobs.

If you or anyone else in this age bracket want further advice please feel free to PM me. I am always happy to help with advice. The job market is definitely better now than before, and I do believe age is not such disadvantage now as it was maybe 10 years ago. But it's painful to start, and it took me 6 years before I could earn a salary that I could live on, before that I had to supplement my income with other sources of income. Of course personal circumstances are different for us all.

To be fair, RyR might seem attractive when you desperate looking for that first job, but nearly any airline is better than working for them. The way they treat you is appalling, I have met guys who left, and during Cruise hours we talked, and I asked if it was as bad as we hear, and they said it was worse. The problem is that you might not see it if that's your only airline, but when you leave, you will discover the grass is actually greener on the other side when it comes to RyR.
Out of principle I will not even fly with them as a passenger, never will I set my foot on a Ryanair flight again.
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Old 23rd Oct 2018, 09:06
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Join Date: Oct 2005
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Great advice, thank-you so much. Now that my son is old enough that I do not have to be around all the time (he'd rather I wasn't) then I can look at further flung places, as I have served in the military before (engineer not pilot), as a family we are used to me not always being there. If I had got into RYR then I have no doubt that I would have moved on at the first opportunity but it would have served a purpose.
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Old 23rd Oct 2018, 11:13
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
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But how do you achieve the 50 hrs in the past 12 months requirement?
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Old 23rd Oct 2018, 15:15
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Join Date: Oct 2005
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I suppose the only ways to maintain that sort of currency are to buy an aircraft, become a member of a syndicate, pay to hire an aircraft, get work as an instructor, para drop pilot, glider tow pilot, survey pilot, ferry pilot etc etc
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Old 24th Oct 2018, 12:45
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Join Date: Dec 2014
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Would have thought you’d be banging on Flybe doors if you live in Somerset.
i don’t see age as a particular impediment , airlines are getting down what desperate esp the smaller ones where younger guys will move on , as they know full well, have shiny jet itis
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Old 25th Oct 2018, 23:38
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Originally Posted by Meester proach View Post
Would have thought you’d be banging on Flybe doors if you live in Somerset.
i don’t see age as a particular impediment , airlines are getting down what desperate esp the smaller ones where younger guys will move on , as they know full well, have shiny jet itis
Banging on the doors of FlyBe is not the way it works in 2018.
Each time there are thousands applying for jobs, with little or no experience. The airlines are not desperate for low experienced guys, that's not where the problem is.
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Old 26th Oct 2018, 10:51
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Join Date: Apr 2008
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Sadly 2unlimited is right. They have no shortage of potential low hours recruits at Flybe among other airlines as well.

I have had several attempts to get in there, once directly where I did get an interview but ballsed it up with a borderline fail but I was told to try again in 12 months. The second time was after completing an MCC/JOC with an organisation who said they would put me in front of Flybe or other airlines. They did, and I got rejected by Flybe for not having the 50 hours they now require. The fact that I had been doing some scenic flying on the south coast plus the sim hours (which counted towards the 50) saw me just get over the line but it still wasn't enough. This is where the training organisation probably should have pushed back, but they didn't so I am still here in my office in London writing this post. I have since spoken to Flybe HR directly and they have said that would see me if I can get the 50 hours, so it's not totally dead in the water, but the long and the short of it is that there are plenty of low hour guys and girls out there and this is not where the airlines are struggling, so they can be a little more selective. It's their train set so it's their rules essentially.

As another 46 year old low hours (380 hours) pilot with a missus and a small child to consider, I can relate only too well to what the guys on here are feeling. I have had a total of two interviews out of many applications, Flybe being one of them. In fact most applications have been met with little more than silence, so it is hard to make progress if you don't know where you are falling down.

I have been to several of the Pilot Careers days at Heathrow and Gatwick and spoken to many HR people directly including Eastern and West Atlantic, both of whom I would happily fly with. Eastern want 1000 hours due to insurance because of a lot of their route network and I know that West Atlantic won't look at you unless you have a 737 TR. Skydiving and some of the smaller survey operations want a minimum of 500 hours too, again due to insurance. That's the catch, at least with what I have found.

For me, the cost of keeping current on top of ridiculous child care cost has meant I have been out of the air since I did my MEIR reval at the start of the year which isn't exactly helpful for job hunting but that's life. I am about to move out of the UK due to getting a new job in my current line of work which will see me in central Europe. Happily there is a large airport nearby which have several FTO's and clubs based there. The self hire flying will be cheaper and so will an instructor rating from what I have seen, so I will get back up into the air again soon enough with any luck. There also appears to be a need to teach aviation English so it might be another way in, even if only part time. It isn't what I had in mind when I started this little adventure 10 years ago but hey, it is what it is. I may still be able to crack the regional or busjet market in time, but for now I have to be happy with what I have done to get here and hopeful that it may still pay off one day, but I have to pay the bills in the meantime..

Apologies for what turned into a long rambling post, but aviation is a little more interesting than financial operations so I may have gotten a little carried away...

Best of luck to all of you out there though. Hopefully something will come up.

AngusR
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Old 26th Oct 2018, 13:20
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Join Date: Oct 2005
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Amen to everything that Angus has written, could have been my words except for the financial career part. At the moment Flybe are recruiting direct entry Captains but not F/Os which indicates that they have no shortage of inexperienced F/Os and that the F/Os that they have are leaving before they have the experience/ recommendations to be promoted to command internally.

Interestingly RYR are trying to temp TP pilots with ATR or Dash8 ratings away from their current employers so the likes of Flybe and Stobart might lose some people.

Virgin Atlantic are inviting applications from anyone with a Boeing rating to fly their shiny new 787s so we might see RYR and Jet2 losing people to pastures new as well.

I think Angus and I both qualified at the wrong time when recruitment was in a lull (it was pretty buoyant when I started training) we both had commitments which meant we had to find well paid work outside the flightdeck while keeping ratings and medical in date. However by the time recruitment picked up then we were out of currency, a bit of a vicious circle but it is what it is. Good luck in the new job and flying job hunting Angus
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Old 26th Oct 2018, 23:53
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I am not sure if I am misunderstanding some of the posts here, however I do see a trend that everybody is looking for UK jobs.
First of all, RyR have been semi-ageist for long time, they do take in the occasional old-time, to make their stats look ok, but that's it.
They are desperate for guys to come now, so they even don't make you pay your TR, if you come in with experience.
However FTO's like CTC and Oxford, have their hands deep in with many airlines, and their guys will be getting priority. And regarding that, more and more airlines are considering doing their own training, so they get the guys they want. Which will make it harder for self-improver route, which me and many others did.

At the moment the market is quite good, but not if you only have 300 - 400 hours, it has never been good for this, but it's not impossible.
There are people considering leaving RyR, Jet 2 etc, but there is also the fear of job uncertainty, Virgin is a great company, but they do have a history of suddenly laying people of. So people think twice before they do this.
Also when you go fly Boeing with RyR, to go to other better companies, they will still make you pay your own TR if converting to Airbus etc. So there are many considerations people make before they leave a safe and secure job, even if they are unhappy with their company regarding some of their TC's

Now what I am lacking / missing in many of these posts, where are guys saying they would apply for companies such as Small Planet, Wizz, Air Baltic etc just to mention a few. There are jobs out there, but if you limit yourself to the UK for your first job, unless you have very good connections, I would say simply forget it.
There hundreds, if not thousands of experienced guys working abroad in Europe, ME, Asia, who are desperate to come back to UK as soon as jobs are available. These are FO's with 1000 - 2000 hours or more on Boeing or Airbus or other large jets.

I admit I am not 100% in touch with the recruitment requirements in these foreign companies at the moment, as I am not looking for a new job, but these are the places you have to go if you want to get that first job. Enjoy the pain for 1 - 2 years, get the experience and than try to come back to the UK.

Of course there are companies like Logan Air, Eastern etc., but if you want to do this, the minimum would at least be that you working as an instructor and than maybe you will get a chance when you have around 1000 hours or more on SEP.

I am talking out of personal experience, where there is a will there is a way. If you already invested all the money for your ratings etc., you can't limit yourself to UK borders only, as I would say you have cut off at least 98% of your potential market.
Of all the modular guys I know, I know of none who have got their first job for a UK company when they was late 30's / early 40's.
The young ones did get RYR, and now they are paying £30.000 for a TR to get out of RYR, that should tell you all what you would want to know about RYR.
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Old 27th Oct 2018, 20:46
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: London
Age: 48
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In response to your question 2unlimited, I have tried the likes of Wizz, Norwegian, Luxair (multiple times), DHL in Leipzig, Brussles Air, DAT, ASL and Air Dolomiti plus any others that I have seen where a European language hasn’t been stipulated. So I have certainly been up for moving onto the continent for a first job, but so far to no avail.

I can’t say for certain, but I would be willing to hazard a guess that the situation there is probably similar to the UK in terms of getting an initial job for someone in our age group. Looking at any threads on here that I have seen that relate to any of those I have mentioned, people are getting interviews or assessment slots so there is some level of activity going on, but so far just not in my direction. But I am only speculating and have nothing solid to go on.

An FI rating is probably the best path that someone like me could follow I think. Even instructing part time will get the required hours in a year that a lot of airlines seem to require while not committing yourself to living on the minimum wage. I think if anyone out there is at the point of trying to decide whether to go down the enhanced MCC/JOC route or an FI rating, I would probably recommend the latter. You will get hours up quickly and break the 500 hours mark faster, but some of the smaller operations appear to like people with that qualification. But again, this is based on the experience I have had so far.

I am curious to hear if any others out there have had a similar experience.

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