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Just your honest opinion

Old 23rd Apr 2021, 20:57
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Just your honest opinion

Hello everyone,

As the title says, i would like to know all your opinions. Please, just be polite and don't let's start a out-of-tangent arguing.
I'm CPL/ME-IR+PBN. No MCC, no UPRT but both to be done this mid-summer. I'm 39 turning 40. My flight time it's about 1.300h., just 50 in multiengine. All my time done in a air work company (i mean, not doing instruction but air spraying and firefighting aerial coordination). My ATPL examns wasn't perfect as i repeated two subjects and i know this is a "No GO" for Ryanair and others. I kept myself as sharp as i could, bought the ACE and using flight simulator at home whenever i could.
From my point of view, (AND AWARE ABOUT COVID STRUGGLES) i think i'm gonna have a hard time for becoming airliner (i mean, harder that others). Against me it's my age, not too many flight time, no IFR experience, barelly no experience in multiengine. And having 1000+ flight time in single engine i think it's gonna be more a con than a pro as airlines as RYR looks for young, fresh cadets. Am I right?

Please, could you give me some advises? where should i head to get the more chances to become an airliner pilot?
Thanks to all of you.
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Old 24th Apr 2021, 09:34
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To be honest, I would still apply to Ryanair, let them tell you no rather than rely on hearsay.
You might be useful for the Aerial fire fighting fleets.
Have you considered bizjets? Yes, hard to get into but you might fit their profile better.
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Old 24th Apr 2021, 11:46
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Apply to everyone, every operator you can think of. I sent out dozens and dozens of CVs when I was starting out, (and I was not much younger than you are now). Seriously, send out as many CVs with covering letters as you can, Call in favours from friends and family. Ask all the people you know or are acquainted with in the flying industry for help, recommendations, and introductions.

Forget failures, as long as you passed all the exams in the end - I wouldn't even mention it. They get thousands of CVs and need a way to reduce the pile. Don't give them a reason to put yours in the bin, I doubt they will even check.

Highlight your transferable skills from your previous employments, and the flying you have done. Flying fire aircraft is a particular skill that should help you stand out amongst all the C172 equivalents out there.

Write to the chief pilot in person of a selected few airlines you really want to work for. Put on a tie and take your letter in person to the head office.

Your first job might be quite - night mail or cargo in ancient turboprops - but stick it out and then move on when you can.

I did most of the above. I also drove 240 miles straight, 4 hours in the car, just to chat with a fleet manager. He told me he wasn't interviewing until next week, but when I got there he interviewed me anyway and I got my first flying job.

In the meantime, build up your hours by glider towing, do your MCC etc, and look into all the air taxi and mail operators.

Good luck !
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Old 24th Apr 2021, 11:54
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Who told you that you can not be a valid candidate for Ryanair? That's real BS. Yes, they look at exam results but they also look at the bigger picture. And this applies to many other operators, not only Ryanair. Age might play a part, maybe not. I personally know at least three guys that were over 35 when they joined Ryanair. This was pre-Covid.

You need to get your MCC. Maybe an APS-MCC.
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Old 24th Apr 2021, 12:13
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I would agree with all of the advice you have already been given and congratulate you on using the “aerial work” route to get where you already are. If that opportunity is still available to you then I would hang on to it and keep building that experience. From what you have written, you look like a determined individual who has gone out looking for stepping stones to progress to your eventual goal. If you can, keep working and amassing experience. Keep sending out CV’s. Go knocking on doors.

Your experience will stand out from so much of the “I have a CPL and 200 hours, now where’s my A320/737 job?” That you see on these forums. The problem is getting the opportunity to present it. The world is going through a metamorphis at the moment and the next few years are likely to see a lot of changes. It’s very hard to envision of scenarios where terms and conditions don’t take a significant retrogressive step. Experience will be available to recruiters at truly knockdown prices for the foreseeable future. At the entry level I think we are moving back into an era where aspirants are going to have to work to get there and actively seek out entry level opportunities no matter how elusive those opportunities might be. The good news is that you are already quite some way down that road.

On the subject of your examination failures, you live and learn! We all make mistakes and the secret is to learn the lessons of those mistakes. If a company makes that a bar to recruitment I would raise an eyebrow about their wider safety philosophy, but since there is nothing you can do about it....move on! In reality, I would be surprised if the fact bore much similarity with the rumour or popular folklore.
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Old 24th Apr 2021, 14:20
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I agree with above. You have life skills which will show in a job interview and you have flying experience better than most fresh face cadets. It's always worth a try to every airline.
I owe a fantastic airline job on the fact that I wasn't employed and the airline had a type rating starting in 3 weeks. Everyone else was employed and needed to give lots of notice. I could start straight away and I did!! Right place, right time is the moto. Keep yourself in the rightpface all the time and a chance should come your way!
Good luck
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Old 25th Apr 2021, 12:10
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Hello,

First of all, thank you very much for all your responses and all your points of view, i really appreciate all of them. Thanks!

Well, i always have heard that Ryanair HR filters all applicants that doesn't pass all the subjects at the first attempt. In fact, recently i've been in Ryanair's career's site and they ask about a form of all your results and all the attempts during your ATPL exams. Even i have a friend of mine (ex-RYR pilot) that have told me about it. This fact, plus the fact about my age and all the circumnstances i have explained before, made me to loose any hope in being selected in a near-mid time future. Wish i'm wrong!

And yes, i can bring other "pros" that couldn't being brought by fresh cadets (some more flight time, more matureness, a natural inclination for looking for life stability rather than a higuer sallary or so), but i don't know until wich point airliners' HR staff/airline policy looks for this "assured long-term worker" rather of a young cadet easy to mold and paying the same money for the same type rating. But as all of you pointed, i will try, of course! It haven't been easy to be here, sure all of you know the suffering, the desperation moments, the almost give-up days..so i won't quit myselef of trying, that's why i asked for your opinion as or sure, your point of view will be so interesting. and most important, sure you could give me the best advices about where to apply, what can i expect, etc. I'm not too much into airline industry, so i have barely few contacts on it to guide me. In general aviation i move as if i was at my home, but airline it's a little "far" from me right now.

Fortunately, I'm lucky enought! ..meanwhile i have seen how lots of pilots have been grounded, i kept flying. Please don't take this words as a cockiness but as i am very aware of all the pilots grounded and all the dramatic situation. What im trying to say it's that if i'm asking for a airline pilot position it's not because of the 3 bars on my shoulders instagram's pics but because an honest feeling of professional satisfaction. Some of you proposed about glider towing: thanks for the advise my friend! wish i could!! I was a glider pilot before CPL and towing it's a "wish", but thank to God, i still have a job flying so no need it to gain more flight time. Again, luckily.

As BananaJoe points, i will do MCC-UPRT. 99 per cent sure it will be APS-MCC. I will give my best this year to get both of them!

Firefighting by plane it's funny! in fact, my company it's one of the major Air Tractor operators in the world. It means, soon or late i will have the chance of seating on it if everything goes normal. I've been involved on this kind of operations (some years back-seating Air tractor on fire missions, some others as grund staff). But never was were i pointed my shoot. Gives you a decent sallary, but as we all know, sallary it's not the most important side of a job. Of course, if the years go by and can't be airliner i will not reject an eventual offer. Better flying rather than going back to a factory as many years of my life.

Redsnail, yes! i considered..bizjets are just amazing! When i was younger, i was flight dispatcher-handler in VIP aviation for a while! Relly impressive to see a Gulfstream, or a Global... recently, Vistajet was looking for some pilots. Unfortunatelly, one of the requirements was ELP level 6. And all the offers i see on internet have the same killing words: "rated". But of course, i will try. Do you think it could be easier to get a position in Business aviation rather than airliners?

Cargo planes? love them too! and just like you, i have worked very hard so it doesn't scare me night shifts, early mornings load or download... What do you think? Could be the best chance to fly an airliner?

Bealzebub, i really appreciate enormously your words! yes, i'm so determinated person (all of you knows how hard it's this business when you came from a very humble family).. and yes, i followed the aerial work way but if i must to be honest, i was on the right place at the right moment: i was ground stuff at my company (basically, 12-16 hours per day cleaning Air Tractors, refuelling, cutting the grass etc etc). Once i was done with my CPL (no ifr, no multi), two fellows were promoted to firefighter pilots so two pilot positions were available. As my boss knew me and the other pilots (the ones i cleaned, assisted, refueled their planes) they spoke to my boss well about me, i was offered to do a flight test, and i don't know how but i succeed (really, the worst flight and the worst landings of my life!). Later, with the increased sallary, i could afford to save enought to do my IFR rating, plus the ME. And that's an interesting question i would like to ask you..I started my PPL in 2004, from 2005 to 2015 i manage to get my time building, 2018 i did my CPL and just in 2020 i finished my IFR-ME. It took me lot of time (you know, money stuff..). It's gonna be a "con" the fact i needed such a long time to complete my formation? How to front this during a HR interview?

Finally, i would like to thank you again for your answers. You are very kind and polites!

Warm regards!
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Old 25th Apr 2021, 12:36
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If they still exist, you might try West Atlantic, a cargo company flying ATPs and B737 Classic and NG freighters, who used to be based at East Midlands, UK. I think they recently went through big changes as a result of Brexit, but they were a very happy and accommodating company, who were more pragmatic than some of the big airlines. They are more likely to look at your actual flying experience.

As far as HR interviews are concerned, it seems to me that you have really kept going and kept pushing to get your qualifications, despite having to work or whatever, so you couldn't devote full time to your studies. Any reasonable HR department would see how determined you are and would give you due credit for your hard work and persistance.
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Old 25th Apr 2021, 13:10
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Uplinker,

thank you again for your warming response, wish HR stuff share your point of view as basically it's the true. If you can see all my effort, sure it's because it wasn't easy for you as well.
West Atlantic..i think they merged with Swiftair (a cargo company) recently. Swiftair career website specifically anounces that they are no longer accepting CV's due the great number of applicants. But as long as i heard, even if they merged they keep their own management, so it could be a good chance to keep the eye on it.

Right after my lunch i will research about them!

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Old 26th Apr 2021, 10:25
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How to answer the "why did it take you so long to get qualified?"
Easy. "I was not in a position to take on board such a huge amount of debt with no real guarantee/collateral to support such action."

The bizjet world is comparatively small compared to the airline world. Often it is a case of who you know. It is rare for those new to the industry to step into a Global or Gulfstream. You're more likely to find yourself in a Mustang or an Excel. Right now, it's very busy in the bizjet world. Rich folks want to travel but not in the same cabin as the general public.

As to English. When I was doing the pre-interview phone calls for a large Fractional bizjet company, I interviewed a French Air Force pilot. His knowledge was excellent but his English a bit of a struggle and I knew that's one of the things the interviewers will focus on. So, I recommended to him to practice his English, watch English tv, visit England (if he could) just to get more comfortable with conversational English. He had 6 weeks. He did it and was successful. I appreciate that this is different to ELP-6 but it would be a help.
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