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Best way forward for 15 year old .

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Best way forward for 15 year old .

Old 20th Dec 2020, 11:49
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Best way forward for 15 year old .

Hi ,

Been loitering reading a lot over the last few weeks but just joined today. Apologies if in the wrong placem
My son just turned 15 ( we are Midlands based UK ) and he wants to be a commercial pilot. He has been in air cadets etc a long while and done some 737 simulators etc and is hooked.
Anyway he will have to do a Modular route to become a commercial pilot and work to save up in-between. We are aware of costs and etc and he's still not put off.
So my question ( sorry for the waffle ) at age 15 is it worth him starting lessons for his ppl now so he can qualify at 16/17 or is it better to save up and wait until he is actually 16/17.
We are trying to help him as much as possible andd our funds are limited , not looking for something cheap and cheerful as I don't feel that's always best but I want whatever we do to actually be useful for him and count towards his goals.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 20th Dec 2020, 15:24
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May I suggest you start him off flying gliders at a club. It puts him in an environment where working together is expected through good weather days and bad while being exposed to many different age groups.
Rather then showing up for your flight lessons and leaving from home again.
Get him to find a parttime job to finance the glider flying and find out if he has the correct wish/motivation ratio.
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Old 20th Dec 2020, 16:20
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Stay at School.

If it's any help, this is what I did when I was 15. Been told it was the wrong way to go. Probably right, for this day and age. My CV is a catalogue of what not to do.

From a poor family. At 15, left school with nothing (can do 12 x tables, that's it). did menial work, to pay for flying lessons. So, soloed 16, first job instructing 20. 10 years ag flying and retired, from that at 31.. In the meantime got UKATPL. Finished up flying heavy 4 engine Jets, LHS.
Now looking at the above I wouldn't have the academic qualifications required to get into a Recognised flying training outfit, to begin flying training.

What I did and still have is, the drive, determination and ability to take hard knocks and pick myself up, dust myself down and try again. Also had a certain ability, which cannot be taught in the classroom. you are born with ability. If you can ride a bike, you can be taught to fly an aeroplane.

Hope that helps.
. .

Last edited by RichardJones; 20th Dec 2020 at 19:30.
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Old 20th Dec 2020, 17:08
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Originally Posted by B2N2 View Post
May I suggest you start him off flying gliders at a club. It puts him in an environment where working together is expected through good weather days and bad while being exposed to many different age groups.
Rather then showing up for your flight lessons and leaving from home again.
Get him to find a parttime job to finance the glider flying and find out if he has the correct wish/motivation ratio.
Thanks , he already had a little job and is looking for another and is saving. Will get him to look into the gliders.
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Old 20th Dec 2020, 18:59
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Originally Posted by Evewidow View Post
Thanks , he already had a little job and is looking for another and is saving. Will get him to look into the gliders.
A lot of clubs give Juniors very cut-price flying, and the Juniors at our club always seem to be enjoying themselves. There are also a lot of scholarships of various kinds available which you should investigate

Junior Gliding - British Gliding Association
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Old 20th Dec 2020, 19:11
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Originally Posted by RichardJones View Post
Stay at School.

If it's any help, this is what I did when I was 15. Been told it was the wrong way to go. Probably right, for this day and age. My CV is a catalogue of what not to do.

From a poor family. At 15, left school with nothing (can do 12 x tables, that's it). did menial work, to pay for flying lessons. So, soloed 16, first job instructing 20. 10 years ag flying and retired, from that at 31.. In the meantime got UKATPL. Finished up flying heavy 4 engine Jets, LHS.
Now looking at the above I wouldn't have the academic qualifications required to get into a Recognised flying training outfit, TRTO to begin flying training.

What I did and still have is, the drive, determination and ability to take hard knocks and pick myself up, dust myself down and try again. Also had a certain ability, which cannot be taught in the classroom. you are born with ability. If you can ride a bike, you can be taught to fly an aeroplane.

Hope that helps.
. .
Thanks for the info he is planning on doing a levels and staying in school till 18 as wants a back up plan and is very academic anyway he is just keen to speed the process up and get started .
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Old 20th Dec 2020, 20:21
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Originally Posted by RichardJones View Post
Stay at School.

If it's any help, this is what I did when I was 15. Been told it was the wrong way to go. Probably right, for this day and age. My CV is a catalogue of what not to do.

From a poor family. At 15, left school with nothing (can do 12 x tables, that's it). did menial work, to pay for flying lessons. So, soloed 16, first job instructing 20. 10 years ag flying and retired, from that at 31.. In the meantime got UKATPL. Finished up flying heavy 4 engine Jets, LHS.
Now looking at the above I wouldn't have the academic qualifications required to get into a Recognised flying training outfit, to begin flying training.

What I did and still have is, the drive, determination and ability to take hard knocks and pick myself up, dust myself down and try again. Also had a certain ability, which cannot be taught in the classroom. you are born with ability. If you can ride a bike, you can be taught to fly an aeroplane.

Hope that helps.
. .
ALL OF THIS ^^^

Me? Iím a one trick pony, all I know how to do and actually be qualified for is...flying.
Assume another worldwide black swan event before your son is 30 and potential loss of Class 1 medical before 45 with 20 working years to go. Plan accordingly.
Your son is in a perfect position to continue his education and do modular training side by side for the next 7-10 years.
It sounds harsh but do not send your son to an integrated school at 17, youíll set him up for failure.

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Old 20th Dec 2020, 20:33
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Originally Posted by B2N2 View Post
ALL OF THIS ^^^

Me? Iím a one trick pony, all I know how to do and actually be qualified for is...flying.
Assume another worldwide black swan event before your son is 30 and potential loss of Class 1 medical before 45 with 20 working years to go. Plan accordingly.
Your son is in a perfect position to continue his education and do modular training side by side for the next 7-10 years.
It sounds harsh but do not send your son to an integrated school at 17, youíll set him up for failure.
He is staying at school to do his a levels after GCSEs he is academic and does know he needs a back up plan. Not ruling out university but he would rather not add a uni debt on top of flying debt at this stage. But never say never. He just wants to make sure any money he spends on flying now is useful and will help his career if that makes sense.
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Old 20th Dec 2020, 21:19
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Definitely take your son to a gliding club and do anything to support him in that pursuit. Though I didnít follow that route, I wish I had. I started flying gliders 10yrs after I became a commercial pilot, but now recognise I missed out on some great opportunities in the gliding world. Thereís a lot to be gained being surrounded by like minded people/pilots in those formative teenage years and thereís no doubt also a good social scene amongst youngsters in gliding.
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Old 20th Dec 2020, 21:28
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I would also add pay by card where possible, that way you have some recourse to getting your monies back if any of the schools etc fold... not trying to be a downer, but practical, also look out for the likes of....

https://www.airpilots.org/scholarshi...-scholarships/

https://careers.ba.com/work-experien...ng-scholarship

https://careers.ba.com/future-pilots

I wish good luck to him

I would also add when starting his ppl look at getting his class one medical done, no point blowing a load of money to find later he can’t hold a commercial licence.
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Old 20th Dec 2020, 21:51
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Just to give you a realistic idea on pricing £58K going modular in the UK from zero to RHS Jet via Flybe in 2019, encourage him to take his time and enjoy the ride
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Old 20th Dec 2020, 23:09
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Just a bundle of random thoughts:

Start with glider license and venture into powered gliders aka ďTouring Motor GlidersĒ.
This will lead to a Private Pilot license that may lead to an opportunity to become an (unpaid) glider tow pilot.
Flying vacations to the likes of Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, South Africa, Canada or the USA for cheaper time building.
As a side note, the FAA (USA) counts glider time for 100% towards a Commercial Pilot certificate and the ATP as the FAA considers any airborne time.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/14/61.129

With careful planning during the time building stages most requirements can be met relatively cheaply.
After gaining the PPL you need to consider the flying required to maintain your skills at a reasonable level. For the sake of the discussion letís say 50hrs/year.
Thatís between £6-£7k/year.
Heíll need a job on the side that pays a significant portion of this amount.
How much you are willing or able to help financially is between you and your son.
Be very careful when it is appropriate to take out a (small ) loan.
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Old 21st Dec 2020, 00:08
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To the extent possible, take your son to simply be around the airport, glider, powered whatever... Being in the environment is a good way to learn by osmosis and be around the people who are doing it. I was an airport kid from about 11 years old. People gave me menial tasks, and took me flying - and I learned! When it came to formal learning, I had a good understanding, and could articulate the basics. This made my primary training much more advanced training from the beginning. Indeed, my instructor let me land on my first formal lesson, 'cause some of the other pilots I'd been hanging around with, and done some flying with told him he could. So as I waited to be old enough to hold each license, I flew, and learned more advance things.

By always being around the airport and pilots, people who had planes got to know me, and provided flying opportunities. Mentor your son to be mature and agreeable around pilot people (who aren't always totally mature anyway ), and grow any opportunity which may present itself. Being a pilot requires serious dedication, and care for expensive equipment, but it also depends to some degree upon "who you know"...
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Old 21st Dec 2020, 00:12
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Amen. Couldn't agree more.
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Old 21st Dec 2020, 00:23
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Flying is a cruel mistress, asking much and often giving little in return. I have been flying professionally for 34 years and the current downturn is the 4 th of my career. Fortunately I had a second career and when flying stalled out I could switch over.

That being said I was always an aviation geek and I had a subscription to flying magazine when I was 9. Of my peer group all the ones who really, really wanted to fly ended up with good careers, albeit with some very hard times on the way. The ones who were not fully invested in flying all seemed to drop away when things got hard.

I fully support the recommendation to get involved in gliding ASAP. The foundation hands and feet skills gained will serve your son well, regardless of what he ends up flying. I would also suggest he look at the RAF. The military still has the best training available and a secure future with a guaranteed pension.
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Old 21st Dec 2020, 02:35
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Not familiar with the UK GA scene but the only advice I would give is do not pay cash up front, pay as you go. The GA scene here has a fair share of those who are failed used car salesmen, one school was still cashing the cheques on the day they folded of students who had paid up front for courses, $14,000 for a muti instrument rating for example. Lot of money for a youngster who earned the cash stacking shelves at a supermarket. A couple of local kids flew home for Xmas in one of the schools aircraft and thinking that the school was in some difficulties I contacted the local aero club where they refueled promising them that I would pay the fuel bill if the school did go bust and the bill was unpaid. It came to pass, paid the aero club and deducted the amount from that owed by the youngster when the administrators demand turned up. Trading while insolvent, a no no.
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Old 21st Dec 2020, 04:01
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Get your son to study hard and make it into a STEM subject at university. It will give your son a professional polish that opens doors while applying for jobs. The stated minimum requirements on a job are often exceeded by the person who is hired, particularly when the economy goes bad. A STEM degree may allow for an aerospace design/engineering role in the future if he changes his mind, and will provide career backup if, heaven forbid, his health has a small wobble in future years. Technology change means the role of a pilot in 30 years time when your son will be mid-career is likely to be different to what it is now

Plus, most students find university rather good fun

Last edited by davidjohnson6; 21st Dec 2020 at 04:12.
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Old 21st Dec 2020, 13:50
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Also, let's have a sensible talk about the allure of a flying career vs the reality. It will be a very expensive mistake to make, paying for the licences, only to find the job is less rewarding than hoped for. Being 'forced' to take stock in the downturn, along with building experience via gliding and ppl flying in an affordable (whilst recognising the financial sacrifice) will be good for him. If all of that and the hour-building seems to be, 'just a drudge en route the prize', he may be in for a shock.


CG
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Old 21st Dec 2020, 15:14
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Good info posted above

Incredibly good advice above. Consider rereading it. You may want to share these posts with your son, too.

Your son is old enough to solo a glider (14 is minimum) and will soon be old enough to be a glider private pilot (16). Every bit of experience in gliding makes for a better airplane pilot. Imagine if six months before his 17th birthday your son starts flying airplanes with an instructor and takes his checkride on his 17th birthday. He can take that checkride with the confidence that a year of real pilot in command experience provides because he has taken Mom, Dad, siblings, and cousins for glider rides. Even if he chose to "just" fly gliders for the rest of his life, soaring is a great experience, and the UK offers wonderful places to explore. Many clubs heavily subsidize (subsidise?) youth glider flying.

Under EASA rules (and I'm "assuming" under future CAA-post-Brexit rules) only some of the glider hours are credited towards the minimum to be an airplane pilot. So what? The brain knows what it knows.

As mentioned above, a glider pilot can add on Touring Motor Glider which looks like a glider cross bred with an airplane. This is a great transition to airplanes.

Glider flying can transition into being a glider instructor.

Moving into airplanes from gliders is easy/intuitive. Your son could become a tow pilot in a glider club.

The airline industry is likely to be slow for a couple years, then return to current growth patterns. If your son pursues education and a career, he can fly on the side and have a dream and a safety net. If the goal is "250 hours for a 'frozen ATPL" then that's "only" an hour a week for five years. He'll only be 20 in five years. Plenty of time to prepare for life and an airline career.

If your son is eligible, consider the Air Cadets - this is a great way to get subsidized flying, mentorship, and exposure to many other leaders in the community besides parents and teachers.

Look into gliding. If he can't manage a glider or loses interest, then think how much money you've saved on airplane flying! After he completes glider training, start putting "an hour a week" into some sort of savings plan. Carrot and stick. If he loses interest then you are not out the money. If he remains interested then your budget can support the training.

The harsh reality is that only about one in five people who start private pilot training finish*. I've been told that there are multiple pilot program graduates for each airline slot available in the UK. 100K in training (regardless of the currency!) does not guarantee a job. Help your son grow with options that will ensure his success better than planning for a single point of failure.

Maybe I'm not the best example, but I'm 60 and have retired from the Army, retired from science teaching, and am retiring next year as a Civil Servant. I've been flying airplanes since I was 18. Gliders since I was 51. I became a glider instructor a couple years later. An airplane instructor this year, and this weekend finished training to fly right seat in a Cessna Citation business jet. Your son doesn't need to wait that long.

Here's a crazy thought in closing - if you have any interest in flying as well, you and your son could join a glider club together. You'll find you will learn material faster with your adult brain, but he will master the glider faster. Maybe go do a week-long course somewhere. Many of the bigger UK clubs offer this while letting you "join" as a daily member. Great opportunity for time with your son at an age that's not always easy to ensure. PM me, and I'll share some experiences as a very pleased guest at multiple UK clubs.

Raising teenagers isn't easy. Both of mine survived to get university degrees and careers. Either because of or despite my advice! They are both mid/late 20s and seem to think they got good advice, though neither one flies, so something went wrong! Good luck

Terry

*US statistic. No idea what the UK counterpart is.
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Old 21st Dec 2020, 18:58
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I don't think this has been mentioned, but your son needs to make sure he can pass a Class 1 medical before getting too excited about flying big airline jets.

Better to check this now - I don't know if there are age restrictions to getting a Class 1.

Good luck !
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