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Would you do it again?

Old 21st Mar 2021, 19:54
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EXCRAB
Council house...luxury....washing glass IN a pub!
Spoilt mate.
Prefab moi..collected the empty bottles from outside the pub, washed the labels off in a cold water tank on the top of an ack ack gun emplacement and filled the things up with bleach which my old man had diluted...no elf and safety. 12 years old.
9,000 hours and 20 years to get into the LHS.
Wouldn't miss it for the world. Made some good friends at the tropical medicine hospital as well.
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Old 22nd Mar 2021, 11:00
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Because there are so few topics in this forum I thought I might throw this in here... What are people's opinion of this video on YouTube: "Should you still become a pilot | ALL STAR PILOT COLLAB | FILIPINA PILOT [email protected]"

(Sorry for the spamminess of sending a title - I haven't made enough posts here to be able to post a URL yet)

Basically, it's 30 minutes of various pilot influencers saying that there has never been a better time to start flight training than now. The reason? Because the market will be growing again in 2-3 years when the pandemic passes.

My issue with this is that when airline traffic does pick up again, airlines will be growing from a far lower starting point than the size they were at in 2019. So it won't be growth as such, but a slow rebound to 2019 levels. This surely means that all these jobs will go to those who were furloughed during the pandemic, no?

Is it me, or is now an incredibly foolish time for a young person to begin flight training with the expectation of being hired in 2-4 years? Do you think the people in this video really believe what they are saying? The cynic in me says that many of them don't, but that they know they wouldn't grow as pilot influencers if they told their largely young and pilot-aspiring audience to hold off on the dream for a few years.
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Old 22nd Mar 2021, 11:23
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The problem with that video is in the title. Star pilots my arse...Especially the First Officer that calls himself Captain

Regarding flight training, start now if you wish but do it modular and keep your day job, don't get into debt. Start at your local aeroclub and after the PPL sign up at an ATPL ground school. There is plenty of time to begin your CPL-ME-IR modules at the right time after you will have passed ATPL exams. 36 months if I remember well.
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Old 22nd Mar 2021, 16:10
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Thanks for your response about the modular route, makes a lot of sense to me.

Regarding your other reply, I'm curious - what makes you so sure that pilotless passenger aircraft are more than 40 years away?

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Old 22nd Mar 2021, 16:19
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Thanks for this info. I find it incredibly irresponsible that these people are telling young people to jump into aviation right now. Of course, it's up to young people to do their due diligence too, and to know that pilots are not qualified to discuss what is essentially an economic matter. Still, it's grating to see grown adults doing this.
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Old 23rd Mar 2021, 09:30
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Let me give you some point regarding pilotless aircraft.

Let's go to arithmetic and Airbus/Boeing production.

Usually aircraft model is been produced for 20-30 years. A320 from 1990 till today, 737NG from 1998 till 2019,A330 From 1994 till today.

Average airframe lifetime:

Narrowbody (320/737) - 20 years as passenger and, 10-15 more years as a freighter (if converted, like 737-400 or 737-800)

Widebody (330/747/767/777) 20-30 years as passenger aircraft and 10-25 more years as freighter (if converted, like 767, 777)

Today the following narrowbody and widebody airplanes are still in production:

a320 (including NEO) - plenty of orders. Will be produced up to mid 2030-s I assume

737MAX - till the end of 2020-s it will be in production

a330-900 and a350 - pretty popular - will be produced for along time up to 2040 I believe

777-X - passenger and freighter versions will be in production for a long time (let it be 2040)

787 - popular and reliable - still enough orders - assume production untill mid 2030-s

767F - will be produced at least untill 2025-2027.

Also we should notice E190E2 and C300/A220, as well - these new models will be in production for next 10 years, at least (I assume until 2040 also)

Boeing is about to launch it's NMA program, but this is still on early stage. Let's assume it also will be 2-pilot aircraft - this roughly give us 2030 as production start and 2050-2060 as production finish for that model.(Absolutely theoretical, but let me to speculate).

Let summarize this info.

We have classic 2-pilot scheme as a "gold standard" for Airbus and Boeing (as well as Embraer). Tons of these manned aircraft are produced right now and will be produced for the next 20 years at least. Even if production of these aircraft will be ceased, they will fly up to mid 2060 (this is the worse case).

If you are 15-30 person, who are about to become a pilot, the risk to be replaced by unmanned passenger aircraft is insignificant.
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Old 23rd Mar 2021, 12:13
  #67 (permalink)  
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Well summarised. Without wishing to derail the thread, I think it would take a paradigm shift to even reduce the flight deck to one pilot, let alone gain the confidence of the travelling public that flying on an automated or remotely operated commercial aircraft is safe enough. I suspect it would take a century of developing land and sea based automated passenger carrying transport before there is the large scale demand from the travelling public for such air services to be viable.

I think there are more direct threats to the profession; the erosion of T&C’s paired with an ever increase in training costs - with most of the risk being picked up by the trainee. Add to that the climate change argument and the risk of far more restrictions (taxes etc) on air travel to reduce demand, will inevitably reduce the opportunities available.

I personally believe there will be a spike in demand once COVID is fully under control, it’s how long it lasts and how sustainable it is that is the question.
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Old 25th Mar 2021, 17:24
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For those who have currently been pilots for 5+ years, are you glad you became a pilot?
Jammysticks - I’ve over a decade in a previous career, and the same again flying for airlines. I’ll try and answer your questions.

1) Does the job get boring after a few years? From what I understand, after you've become familiar with the aircraft, routes, procedures, etc, there is little intellectual challenge or room for creativity. Have you found this to be the case, and if so, how significantly does it impact on your enjoyment of the job?
Short answer, no. Crossing the ITCZ at night doing Mach 0.84 is never, ever boring. In fact I’d suggest being bored in the cruise is probably a good thing. Any job can get a bit ‘samey’ eventually, but as already mentioned, flying offers good opportunities to refresh the experience every now and then. Depending on where you end up, it may be possible to change base, seat or aircraft type. Or airline, obviously. Any of these can bring new challenges and enjoyment.

The intellectual challenge is there every time I fly, which is one reason I still enjoy the job. Familiarity with the aircraft, routes and SOPs comes with experience, but operating safely and efficiently as a crew in a highly dynamic environment is still a satisfying workout for my brain. Even now it gives me a buzz that I can jump into an aircraft with 2 or 3 other pilots who I’ve probably never met, and fly it 5,000 miles. And if the passengers find it boring, I’ll take that as a compliment.

What has changed is my perspective. When I started off I was overjoyed to have achieved my dream, and fizzing with excitement. I can still remember scraping the ice off my car at 4am and driving to work with a silly big grin on my face - and that was 3 or 4 years into the job. The novelty has long since worn off, and I could spend all day listing the downsides of flying, but fundamentally I still enjoy it; the mental challenge (see above), the views, the opportunities to travel the world and do things I’d never have done in my previous life (e.g. jungle trekking in Malaysia, snorkelling in the Red Sea, cycling across the Golden Gate bridge, dining al fresco in Rat Alley in Hong Kong...). And I’m lucky enough to have a salary that funds a decent lifestyle, even when part time.

2) How realistic a possibility do you think it is that the job will be lost to automation in the coming decades? Of course, only somebody who is both a pilot and an AI expert could answer this with a high degree of certainty, but I would still like to get a sense of what the general sentiments are on this!
I fly one of the most modern airliners out there. It can autoland but there’s a big long list of system / technical failures that will prevent it doing so. It can plan a vertical path from top of descent to touchdown, but invariably, real-world considerations (weather, traffic, ATC vectoring or speed control, etc etc) will require human intervention to manage the flightpath efficiently and safely. Interpreting the weather radar is art as much as science. And that’s before we get on to some of the more entertaining software glitches and gotchas. It’s a state of the art aircraft, but the tech has a long, long way to go before we’re flying 200+ passengers around in pilotless airliners. I’d be surprised if it happens in my lifetime.

3) What surprised you about the job, good or bad? What might I not be factoring into my considerations here?
Good stuff: The teamwork, camaraderie and social life of regional flying – still the most fun I’ve ever had at work. The fact that I never stop learning, and that I’m still enthusiastic about my job (as are colleagues with 20-30 years experience). The way aviation is an incredibly small world, and everyone seems to know (or know of) just about everyone else. The views from the office window. 1st class desserts.

Bad stuff. Fatigue. Constant erosion of terms and conditions. The lack of job security – even in an airline that until last year had never made a pilot redundant. Being checked in the sim every 6 months. The knowledge that a problem at my annual medical could mean game over. The way rostering can make or break your quality of life. The inability to attend family get-togethers unless planned a year in advance.
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Old 25th Mar 2021, 17:27
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Constant erosion of terms and conditions. so ture !
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Old 25th Mar 2021, 20:22
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Also of course the nature of the job has changed beyond recognition in a short time.
Fair comment. My first airline job was in 2008, and imho the industry has got worse even in that time.

A small example:

2009: 450 block hrs (full time). Regional, no night flying, few night stops. A very easy life.

2015: 750 block hrs (God only knows what the duty time was). Middle East, constant night flying, regular fatigue. Not fun.

2019: 720 hrs. Long haul, every trip is at least 1 night out of bed, circadian rhythm wonders what hit it. LHR-CHS, 2 days off, LHR-NRT, 2 days off, LHR-MAA? No problem because EASA says it's legal.

I'm now part time, which has restored my enthusiasm (not to mention quality of life). Before COVID, my part-time (75%) block hours would have been around 450-500 per year - i.e. what I was doing full time when I started. There's progress for you.

Other opinions are available; the best advice I could give any wannabe is to ask as many questions as possible, to as many people as they can, and make up their own mind if this is a career for them.
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Old 25th Mar 2021, 21:55
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Long haul and regional is a bit like comparing apple to oranges though. At my lot, the quality of life on the long haul fleet is quite good. 3,5 trips on average per month, with a decent amount of days off between duties. 600-650 hours per year.
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Old 4th Jul 2021, 11:40
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Very interesting thread. My answer is no, and I will explain why.

25 years as an airline pilot, of which 20 in the middle East, 16 as a widebody Captain. I can confirm all the pros and cons given before by previous posters.
End of 2019 I resign from my employer to relocate to the Old Continent, LHS for a big LCC, decided on a comfortable start date in April just to take a few months off to move back from the sandpit, relax a bit and get ready to start the new adventure. March 2020, hello Covid, joining is cancelled but don't worry we'll call You soon. Chaos explodes, thousands of pilots are made redundant worldwide, HR stops replying and finally comes back with something like "well it's messy my friend, good luck !"
Time goes by, no-one is hiring, recency expires, no last flight within 12 months to apply for one of the very few jobs around the world and all the jobs are on the A320, which I hadn't flown for 20 years (although I have about 14k hours on A330/340/380).
I've got dozens of former colleagues in my position. Just find me another field where this could have happened.
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Old 4th Jul 2021, 16:56
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So you’ve not worked or payed income taxes in the new continent you have moved to for 16 years, all of a sudden when it suits you, you expect the red carpet to be rolled out and LHS jet job to be given to you on a plate ahead of possibly command ready FO’s, and then moan to us all when it doesn’t work out. These things happen in life mate, do something different career wise if you don’t like aviation anymore and it doesn’t go your way all of the time.
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Old 4th Jul 2021, 18:38
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The heck You talking about ? LCC’s hire DECs in addition to the huge amount of internal upgrades and cadets they train on a daily basis. It’s just they can’t (well couldn’t) cope with the demand of training.
I wasn’t paying income taxes in Europe because I wasn’t living in Europe, nor was my family.
Anyhow my point was that no-one gives a damn fix in our industry when it comes to send people home. I acted responsibly, left my job for another one and got screwed. If you think that this is just the way it goes than I realize why our industry has come to such terms and conditions.
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Old 5th Jul 2021, 01:29
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I agree with Icehouses. We went East as mercenaries, to the Far East in my case. I'm not expecting any special treatment when I return to Europe, jumping the queue into the left seat.

9 years from PPL to tax free wide body command as well in Nickler's case... I think he might have used up his share of luck.

Go find something else to do. This industry is buggered anyway.
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Old 5th Jul 2021, 15:40
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The amount of stupidity of some posts is puzzling.
Point 1 I did not get any "special treatment". In 2019 Airline X was advertising for Direct entry Captains, I applied, went to the interview, passed it, got the contract, got it cancelled because of covid. Fair enough ? If You don't want DECs joining then go complain to airline managers.
Point 2 from PPL to Widebody command it took many more years, but this is completely irrelevant. I started 25 years ago RHS in a charter lot, then moved to the sandpit and ended up staying there 20 years. There is no luck involved mate, just using wisely the opportunities you are given in life and making informed decisions. I am no special case, tons of other colleagues have followed the same path, but for those who look from the outside it is far easier to talk about "luck" rather than hard work and commitment; it's always the same story.
The industry is treating us like garbage, people get fired and replaced within a few weeks with cheaper more desperate commodities. Again if You think this is the way it should be then I understand we have no future whatsoever.
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Old 10th Jul 2021, 22:06
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I wouldn't change much. Different for me compared to a lot on this thread, joined the RAF which was brilliant, in most ways. Certainly for life experience and employability outside aviation. On the whole loved seeing a lot of the world, and flying in some of the most dynamic situations you can really find yourself in whilst flying these days.

Transitioning to the airlines was reasonably straightforward, but only have one company to base my experiences on, and they've been great to be honest!

Unfortunately there is quite a lot of luck involved; I've been lucky with timing both with joining the RAF and with joining an airline pre-COVID.
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Old 11th Jul 2021, 08:59
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100% Yes Through the ups and downs. I'll go through the same again.

This path took me to wonderful places, I met wonderful colleagues, I met my love, gave me more money that I needed to enjoy life and when I sit in that seat all worries and problems disappear and I'm left to enjoy the wonderful views and challenges ahead.
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Old 11th Jul 2021, 11:09
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Yes, I would do it again, and personally I am optimistic for the upcoming opportunities we might possibly have in the future when things do pick up.
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Old 12th Jul 2021, 08:29
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I would do it again .... as long as the conditions improves post covid ...
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