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The Forgotten Modular ATPL Student

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The Forgotten Modular ATPL Student

Old 16th Sep 2023, 12:59
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Grrr The Forgotten Modular ATPL Student

Hi guys,

It would appear that most cadetships this year (except the initial TUI MPL scheme) have excluded Modular ATPL students from applying.

I am assuming there are many other students like myself with minimal financial backing, but have made a conscious effort to obtain a PPL, and embark on the ATPL journey.
Being considered as over qualified for cadet opportunities, and also under qualified for schemes such as BA's Whitetail programme (CPL ME IR and UPRT required to be eligible), I see a disadvantage in the window of opportunity for modular students.

I am a determined modular student, working full time, with a mortgage and bills to pay - I will still struggle to make it to the flight deck without taking a significant loan to cover latter parts of my training.

I'm sure there are many other people in the same boat as me, so I though this thread would be useful to discuss any upcoming opportunities for modular students with some ATPL exams under their belt!
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Old 16th Sep 2023, 14:25
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What exactly do you mean by "Cadetship"? Do you mean airline jobs or integrated training courses?
Modular is cheaper. Finish your modular CPL/IR and apply for jobs - there has probably never been a better time to become a pilot.

Last edited by rudestuff; 16th Sep 2023 at 14:49.
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Old 16th Sep 2023, 15:06
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By cadetship, I mean a cadet programme that will take you from zero to fATPL or MPL.

Modluar is cheaper yes but I still have to find £X,000 to get a CPL ME IR after I finish my ATPL theory examinations.
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Old 16th Sep 2023, 16:41
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Gotcha. Presumably paid for by someone else? I'm sure those exist but I wouldn't count on it. How many hours do you have? Plan to pay your own way. The good news is there's probably never been a better time to become a pilot. You mentioned 'determined' - that's exactly what you need to be. Your life should revolve around finishing those ATPL exams and making this happen. You mentioned a mortgage - can you sell the house or remortgage it? You can save the money in a couple of years but borrowing is just more convenient as it gets you into the job quicker. It's a limited duration career, which means every year you waste you're losing out on a final years salary. Do you want to miss out on £200k for the sake of a £25k loan?
If your credit rating is any good then you'll have no problem securing funding.
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Old 16th Sep 2023, 22:52
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I think the Air France cadet programme has several entry points depending on what stage of training you are at and I don't believe they necessarily view more advanced training as either an advantage or disadvantage. The only point at which I don't think you can apply for their programme is if you have started an MCC/JOC because upon completing one you become eligible for their newly-qualified pilot entry point. Quite a clever system if you ask me.

One point I think is worth making is that with these "fully-funded" cadet programmes you are still paying for your own training through having a reduced salary, for example I believe the TUI programme has a base salary of £32k for four years. Compared with a direct entry salary, you are £18k down, the difference once you move from SO to FO is something like £25 according to PPJN. If you've already started it may simply be worth seeing it through to get that higher starting salary.

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Old 17th Sep 2023, 07:24
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Originally Posted by FuturePilot_123
Hi guys,

It would appear that most cadetships this year (except the initial TUI MPL scheme) have excluded Modular ATPL students from applying.

I am assuming there are many other students like myself with minimal financial backing, but have made a conscious effort to obtain a PPL, and embark on the ATPL journey.
Being considered as over qualified for cadet opportunities, and also under qualified for schemes such as BA's Whitetail programme (CPL ME IR and UPRT required to be eligible), I see a disadvantage in the window of opportunity for modular students.

I am a determined modular student, working full time, with a mortgage and bills to pay - I will still struggle to make it to the flight deck without taking a significant loan to cover latter parts of my training.

I'm sure there are many other people in the same boat as me, so I though this thread would be useful to discuss any upcoming opportunities for modular students with some ATPL exams under their belt!

Itís always been that way. Youíve never had access to the big ticket sponsored schemes with ATPL exams.

Itís a gamble - you either wait out and hope for one of those spots, or crack on with Modular or integrated. Iím sure thereís plenty of integrated students with a few exam passes annoyed that they canít apply as well. Just how it is.

Youíve made the right call going Modular. Iíve said it before, rudestuff speaks an awful lot of sense regarding career earnings and taking credit now to get ahead. What good is feeling righteous and noble about not borrowing but spending 4 years less as a training captain on training captain money? Not all debt is Ďbadí, ask anyone with a mortgage!
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Old 17th Sep 2023, 10:18
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Originally Posted by rudestuff
Gotcha. Presumably paid for by someone else? I'm sure those exist but I wouldn't count on it. How many hours do you have? Plan to pay your own way. The good news is there's probably never been a better time to become a pilot. You mentioned 'determined' - that's exactly what you need to be. Your life should revolve around finishing those ATPL exams and making this happen. You mentioned a mortgage - can you sell the house or remortgage it? You can save the money in a couple of years but borrowing is just more convenient as it gets you into the job quicker. It's a limited duration career, which means every year you waste you're losing out on a final years salary. Do you want to miss out on £200k for the sake of a £25k loan?
If your credit rating is any good then you'll have no problem securing funding.
thank you for this message rudestuff. Although a difficult situation to accept, itís good to consider it from this perspective. I have always ignored the salary at the end of cadet schemes as I just want to get my foot in the door flying for an airline.

I would be taking a a significant pay cut if successful cut on a cadet scheme but this is the career path I wish to take for the rest of my life so Iíve never thought twice about it. Good to see it from this perspective, a 30k loan for a higher starting salary seems sensible.
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Old 17th Sep 2023, 10:21
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Originally Posted by VariablePitchP
Itís always been that way. Youíve never had access to the big ticket sponsored schemes with ATPL exams.

Itís a gamble - you either wait out and hope for one of those spots, or crack on with Modular or integrated. Iím sure thereís plenty of integrated students with a few exam passes annoyed that they canít apply as well. Just how it is.

Youíve made the right call going Modular. Iíve said it before, rudestuff speaks an awful lot of sense regarding career earnings and taking credit now to get ahead. What good is feeling righteous and noble about not borrowing but spending 4 years less as a training captain on training captain money? Not all debt is Ďbadí, ask anyone with a mortgage!
it hasnít always been that way. 4 years ago I was applying to cadet schemes with no experience whatsoever, and there were successful candidates with ATPLs complete. This has only come about this year..

I hear your point, it makes sense. Although difficult to ignore sponsorship opportunities!
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Old 17th Sep 2023, 10:23
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Originally Posted by Chris the Robot
I think the Air France cadet programme has several entry points depending on what stage of training you are at and I don't believe they necessarily view more advanced training as either an advantage or disadvantage. The only point at which I don't think you can apply for their programme is if you have started an MCC/JOC because upon completing one you become eligible for their newly-qualified pilot entry point. Quite a clever system if you ask me.

One point I think is worth making is that with these "fully-funded" cadet programmes you are still paying for your own training through having a reduced salary, for example I believe the TUI programme has a base salary of £32k for four years. Compared with a direct entry salary, you are £18k down, the difference once you move from SO to FO is something like £25 according to PPJN. If you've already started it may simply be worth seeing it through to get that higher starting salary.
thanks for this reply Chris! I will look in to the Air France schemes.

It makes sense when you compare with direct entry salary.. are you on the modular training route too?
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Old 17th Sep 2023, 13:06
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Originally Posted by FuturePilot_123
it hasnít always been that way. 4 years ago I was applying to cadet schemes with no experience whatsoever, and there were successful candidates with ATPLs complete. This has only come about this year..

I hear your point, it makes sense. Although difficult to ignore sponsorship opportunities!
Talking about the UK?

The last cadet schemes, as in paid for not just some fluffy marketing spin for buying a type rating, were back in 2015 sort of time with BA and Virgin. And you couldnít apply with passes.
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Old 17th Sep 2023, 18:11
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Originally Posted by FuturePilot_123
thanks for this reply Chris! I will look in to the Air France schemes.

It makes sense when you compare with direct entry salary.. are you on the modular training route too?
I'm not modular yet though I have a PPL. I've been wanting airlines to fund ab initial training for the past decade whilst I've been saving up so the modular route is an option. I'm in a position now where modular is just about affordable without debt but I do wonder if some airlines, given their target audience, might say "sorry Chris but you've worked too hard and earned too much over the past decade, these programmes are for people who can't afford training". That's be a bit ironic to say the least.

The big advantage with fully funded cadet programmes is that the airlines have some serious skin in the game and you've got a conditional job offer right at the start of the process. You don't have to spend £60k then go job hunting.
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Old 17th Sep 2023, 20:35
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I suspect it's more about the sponsoring airline waiting to have full oversight of the training program, which they can't have if someone turns up with half the course done already.
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Old 17th Sep 2023, 20:43
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Originally Posted by Chris the Robot
...for the past decade whilst I've been saving up so the modular route is an option. I'm in a position now where modular is just about affordable without debt
A decade??? You must have some serious distractions but well done for sticking to it. I still assert that a motivated, non-smoker, non-drinker with no kids could achieve a fATPL in 2-3 years starting with no money and using 50/50 borrowing and saving.
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Old 17th Sep 2023, 20:51
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Originally Posted by rudestuff
A decade??? You must have some serious distractions but well done for sticking to it. I still assert that a motivated, non-smoker, non-drinker with no kids could achieve a fATPL in 2-3 years starting with no money and using 50/50 borrowing and saving.
Provided I get approved for a loan in the coming months I'll be living proof of this. Managed to spare a few pennies for beer on the side too.
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Old 17th Sep 2023, 21:05
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Originally Posted by FuturePilot_123
Hi guys,

It would appear that most cadetships this year (except the initial TUI MPL scheme) have excluded Modular ATPL students from applying.

I am assuming there are many other students like myself with minimal financial backing, but have made a conscious effort to obtain a PPL, and embark on the ATPL journey.
Being considered as over qualified for cadet opportunities, and also under qualified for schemes such as BA's Whitetail programme (CPL ME IR and UPRT required to be eligible), I see a disadvantage in the window of opportunity for modular students.

I am a determined modular student, working full time, with a mortgage and bills to pay - I will still struggle to make it to the flight deck without taking a significant loan to cover latter parts of my training.

I'm sure there are many other people in the same boat as me, so I though this thread would be useful to discuss any upcoming opportunities for modular students with some ATPL exams under their belt!
Loganair
TUI
DHL
BA CityFlyer
WizzAir
BA Euroflyer
Jet2
Eastern Airways

All airlines that have taken on people like you, and indeed me, without asking for a penny for type rating.

BA are tagging Modular guys and girls at Skyborne, LE, L3, CAE and FTE.

Get your blue wallet and suck it up that we didnít have mom and dads house to re-mortgage; the opportunities are there.
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Old 17th Sep 2023, 21:35
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Be careful with taking out loans to pay for training. There are many CPL fATPLs in the UK who cannot get a job and who have not been able to for years. The common path is to get your instructor rating and instruct for PPL but that pays pennies.
Modular in the UK now runs around £70-80k not including any type rating.
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Old 17th Sep 2023, 23:07
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Originally Posted by rudestuff
A decade??? You must have some serious distractions but well done for sticking to it. I still assert that a motivated, non-smoker, non-drinker with no kids could achieve a fATPL in 2-3 years starting with no money and using 50/50 borrowing and saving.
I didn't have the luxury of living at home since my parents moved around quite a bit before retiring in the sticks. I'm very reluctant to borrow, there's probably a fair few who did in Autumn 2019 who then lost the day job/had a severely reduced income during the pandemic. I wonder where they are now? What I do have though is an enjoyable non-aviation career which I'd want to do for the next 35 years if aeroplanes didn't exist.

What I'd do is go part-time after another couple of years in my current job at the tail-end of the inbound recession and possibly do modular then. If there's lots of fully-funded schemes it may be better to wait a bit longer, we'll see.
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Old 18th Sep 2023, 16:00
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Originally Posted by Chris the Robot
I didn't have the luxury of living at home since my parents moved around quite a bit before retiring in the sticks. I'm very reluctant to borrow, there's probably a fair few who did in Autumn 2019 who then lost the day job/had a severely reduced income during the pandemic. I wonder where they are now? What I do have though is an enjoyable non-aviation career which I'd want to do for the next 35 years if aeroplanes didn't exist.

What I'd do is go part-time after another couple of years in my current job at the tail-end of the inbound recession and possibly do modular then. If there's lots of fully-funded schemes it may be better to wait a bit longer, we'll see.
As above, there is lots of schemes available right now - you should be applying now if you have the opportunity to do it. If family or work isn't a blocker to applying to the schemes, I wouldn't suggest waiting / holding off for the "perfect scenario" - it won't happen. If you're serious about doing it, it's never been better in terms of recruitment and opportunity of these schemes.

Don't leave it too late, to when you might have a family, people dependant on your income and actually you can't disappear for 6 months for sunny weather flying (trust me, I know what I'm talking about).

There is nothing wrong with going modular, you just need to accept that you will be paying all of the cost yourself. It seems to be pretty common now that most don't want more then 3 different ATO's, expect 85%+ on ATPLs and first time on IR.

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Old 18th Sep 2023, 17:51
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Originally Posted by ManFlex40
Loganair
TUI
DHL
BA CityFlyer
WizzAir
BA Euroflyer
Jet2
Eastern Airways

All airlines that have taken on people like you, and indeed me, without asking for a penny for type rating.

BA are tagging Modular guys and girls at Skyborne, LE, L3, CAE and FTE.

Get your blue wallet and suck it up that we didnít have mom and dads house to re-mortgage; the opportunities are there.
I hear you. But having only passed some ATPLs I am still a fair distance away from the finish line - and I would still hugely benefit from a funded CPL ME IR, aUPRT, APS MCC. This is my point, Iím excluded from all cadet schemes having done a few ATPL exams.. however, I am still a fair distance from the finish line (and will no doubt have to take on significant debt to get me over it).
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Old 18th Sep 2023, 18:14
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Originally Posted by FuturePilot_123
I hear you. But having only passed some ATPLs I am still a fair distance away from the finish line - and I would still hugely benefit from a funded CPL ME IR, aUPRT, APS MCC. This is my point, Iím excluded from all cadet schemes having done a few ATPL exams.. however, I am still a fair distance from the finish line (and will no doubt have to take on significant debt to get me over it).
If I'm honest - the cadet schemes are astronaut selection level. BA is taking 70 on this intake, likely 5-10,000 will apply.

Now I'm not suggesting you aren't good enough OR "you don't stand a chance". In maths terms, just over 1% of people that apply will get offered (less <1% if towards 10k). For many people, it has taken multiple attempts to get through - there is lots of blogs that confirm this.

Are you going to continue holding out hope for that, or can you start now and plan effectively to make it happen?

Good luck.

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