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Which Route ?

Old 13th Dec 2007, 10:52
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 79
Which Route ?


I realise this has been asked many many MANY times before but I seem to of come to a dead end.

I have been reading these forums for the last 4 months, many different threads to see peopleís opinions and views on various subjects regarding flight training but I am still having problems deciding which way I would like to go.

Let me give you some background. I am 23, I have a good 2:1 degree in Computer Science and I have a steady graduate job in a very large and international company.

I have wanted to fly for as long as I remember (like most) but money has also been a worrying factor.

I have applied for various FTO's, some with the opportunities of mentorship or some sort of placement scheme , e.g. CTC , Netjets. Both I have been invited to the assessment days but as of yet I have not attended. I have also started a RAF application and it is up to me to push to the next step as well (obviously, have to be in training before my next birthday)

Following this I now have come to these conclusions:

Option 1) Push on with RAF, see how far I get. Obviously very stiff competition. Chances of being selected before I turn 24? More then likely low due to RAF's University Air Squadrons (which I never joined) - tied in for 12 years is it? life style etc etc

Option 2) Push on with CTC or another FTO, not just with mentorship. Take out the loan via HSBC (or whatever agreement is with) and complete my fatpl course.

Option 3) Continue working here and try and pursue a modular route. Obviously this saves a large amount of money but getting the money in the first place is a big factor.

Option 4) Continue working for this company for a year, then look at fATPL courses this time next year, after the recent industrial developments have eased.

Option 5) Forget the "dream" and continue working were I am now. Room for career advancement is good (as is the wage).

I would like to hear your opinions and views.

Many thanks

Last edited by 4KBeta; 13th Dec 2007 at 13:51.
4KBeta is offline  
Old 13th Dec 2007, 11:45
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: West London
Posts: 257
If you have always wanted to fly, why not go and do some? You can have some lessons, which will look good with prospective employers. If after everything you end up staying in your current job, you can at least get a private pilots licence and fly for pleasure.
Grasscarp is offline  
Old 13th Dec 2007, 13:11
  #3 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Wirral and Leeds, UK
Age: 32
Posts: 45
You need to ask yourself whether or not you actually want to be in the RAF and fly fast jets, or is it just a route into civil aviation.

If you do want to join the RAF then go for that first, if that fails try CTC, OAT etc and look into the financing options.

If that route fails then you can continue with your graduate job and go the modular route.

That is personally what I would do, whether or not you agree with that is up to you.
Shakuri is offline  
Old 13th Dec 2007, 13:57
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: N/A
Posts: 1,082
I'd carry on with the CTC application but donít count on it as your future route. Of the options you listed, 3 and 4 sound the most sensible.

Meanwhile, have you thought about obtaining your PPL? Yes, it can be very expensive in the UK but itíll show people like CTC that youíre serious about a career in flying.

student88 is offline  
Old 13th Dec 2007, 14:19
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: UK
Age: 40
Posts: 140
Hey 4kBeta,

I don't want to worry you, and I could be wrong, but if your 23 I think it may already be to late for the RAF - I think you have to have completed all your RAF training before your 24th birthday.

Like I say I could be wrong but you might wanna check that with your local AFCO.

If I was you and you're in a good job, I would hord your money like a demented squirrel, or summat and save enough to do your Commercial training in the states. It'll take away alot of the worry if you know you've got the money saved up, rather than getting a loan.
Pace152 is offline  
Old 13th Dec 2007, 14:20
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Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Give Current Ops a shout.
Posts: 950
Thumbs up

Firstly welcome to PPRuNe.

And secondly, I think you should very quicky bin the idea of option 5. If you have always wanted to fly, you will kick yourself for the rest of your life wondering what if, so that leaves you with 4 options.
The bottom line with this business mate, is all the options will work, however, you have to make a decision that is right for you and your circumstances. It would appear from your post that you are in the process in making some mature decisions, which is something positive.

Another thing to consider is the recruitment, selection and the demand for pilots has a tendancy to change. You will have probably noticed that alot of people with low hours, are sliding into the right hand seat of a jet. I guess one of the reasons for this is it is no longer necessary under JAR to obtain 700 hours to get CPL issued. Therefore this is making the flight instructor route less attractive and now a shortage of instructors. I do not really know much about the RAF, only that I was too old when I applied . However, I am sure you will receive first class training, but as you said the competition is very stiff. This fact is not just applicable to the RAF though, it is applicable to the whole industry.

Personally, and this is only my opinion, so please do not jump down my throat (fellow PPRUNERS), if money is an issue go down the modular route. As you say you will save yourself a few quid and at the end of the day you will still pop out of the end of your training with CPL/IR with frozen ATPL. One piece of advice I would give you, is think beyond the end. Make sure, once you have finished your training keep current, one way or another, or you will get on the saw tooth learning curve, and it will cost you a lot more money! The modular route will give you the oppotunity to be shrewd with those hard earned dollars, and pick and choose where you want to go.

I know it is difficult mate, but we have all been in your situation. One thing I noticed when I started out some 13 years ago , is as you move forward, things tend to fall into place, you meet people along the way and you develop a tremendous amount of experience. You are only 23, so you have plenty of time on your side. I was 20 when I did my PPL, and had my first flying job at 30 as an instructor and first airline job at 32. Thinking about option 5 again, I can tell you its the best job in the world, so put the idea out of your mind .

All the best with your quest, cheers.

Last edited by CAT3C AUTOLAND; 14th Dec 2007 at 16:41.
CAT3C AUTOLAND is offline  
Old 13th Dec 2007, 14:24
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: UK
Age: 40
Posts: 140
Hey Cat3C,

I'm about to under go my JAA CPL then JAA FiC, just out of interest would you recommend the instructor route as a good way to improve your chances with the airlines?

Thanks for any advice!
Pace152 is offline  
Old 13th Dec 2007, 15:14
  #8 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Glasgow
Posts: 281

It depends on what you want to do really. I fly airliners, I like it. I know many people that do but don't like it. They could've come from a FI background too. For many the airlines offer more money, a simple way of looking at it but - to many it is looked upon as a career progression. Hmmm.

Many companies, such as NetJets, are proving to be popular especially with the likes of ex-Mil chaps that "want to have some fun" rather than 8 hrs on your todd flying in a straight line to the states.

If money is not an issue, more so WRT servicing your training debt, then I would've loved to gone down the FI route. This for two reasons. Firstly, to keep flying whilst further developing my skills. Secondly, to use this experience to build hours that are worthwhile.

The choice is yours, it's really up to you mate.

Best of luck.

L Met
londonmet is offline  
Old 14th Dec 2007, 08:00
  #9 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 79
Many thanks for the replies and different opinions, exactly what I was after.

CAT3C , I assume you took the modular route so one further question, how did you raise the money for the modular route?

Obviously I realise working and being sensible with money / using it wisely but was there any other techniques? Not committing to modular with the comment

To be fair I am actually in an idle location to do either a integrated or modular i , CabAir (10 min) OAT (45 min) , think you can guess were I live. If only it was a simple decision.

Cheers again.
4KBeta is offline  
Old 14th Dec 2007, 16:40
  #10 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Give Current Ops a shout.
Posts: 950

Personally, and again it is only my opinion, I would recommend the instructor route to anyone for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it is alot of fun, and you meet some great people. Secondly, one thing I found, is not only did it improve my flying skills, it also improved my spatial awareness, which is one thing I found I was farily up to speed when I joined the airlines. Another thing it does for you, is it keeps you in the loop with whats going on, and builds experience. Also, I found it gave me alot to talk about in the airline interview, and I could talk from experience with alot of the questions that were asked of me, typically 'give me an example of....' type questions.

I know alot of people will argue that having a 1000 hours on a light single is of little value when it comes to flying airliners, which I agree to a certain extent, but disagree in other areas. It gives you skills that you probably don't even know you have gained until you move on and do a different type of flying. Instructing worked for me and my circumstances.

4KBeta, I raised the money through working in the Aerospace Engineering industry for around 4 years of hard saving, along with a small loan from the bank to finish of my IR.

Hope the above helps chaps, all the best.
CAT3C AUTOLAND is offline  
Old 1st Aug 2010, 21:16
  #11 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 79

Well this is bringing up an old thread, over 2 years and counting.

In the end I took option 4, I still work in IT for a large Engineering company which have been fair to me.

Unfortunately, my saving hasn't really panned out ,though I have travelled to Japan & Australia since this post, so I will not complain about that.

Something I lacked before was experience, now having a firm foundaiton within my company this has been resolved. Due to this, I am once again investigating going the modular route. I am still fully aware of the market trends and take any positive sights openly.

This was just an update to say that dreams s are never forgotten!
4KBeta is offline  
Old 2nd Aug 2010, 10:20
  #12 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Ho Chi Minh City
Age: 39
Posts: 10
Positive thoughts!

Before the usual rabble come along and start throwing abuse in your general direction I will try and start with a positive note.

If like me it was always your dream to fly then don't let anyone talk you out of it or deter you from achieving you goals, however as has been stated so many times on here give it some thought and consideration and don't go running off to the first FTO that gives you a brochure. I can see that you have already postponed your plans and given due consideration and that is excellent.

I can give you some advice (as can others on here) that is positive and not start ranting about the lack of jobs.

There are no jobs out there at the minute....FACT. But things will change as they always do and if you are not in a hurry then the modular route is perfect as you can work, save and then fly and do the whole thing in stages which also allows you to absorb all the information that is thrown at you during the various stages.

The UK is a very expensive place to learn to fly.....FACT. However that said the level of training received is much better than that you would receive in the USA (I did the USA thing for my PPL and struggled for a while upon return to the UK with various elements that were badly taught / not taught at all) and I am talking about the good schools! My opinion take it or leave it.

Never pay up front for any scheme with any FTO, if they go bump then bye bye savings, always set up a payment plan or just top up an account as and when you run low.

Try not to string the training out over too long a period, do your PPL as quickly as you can then do your hour building over a longer period. Then do your ATPL's as quickly as you can followed by your CPL. Think about the career path at that time, don't just rush into doing an IR as most of the time you would be better off doing an FI rating (no jobs at present but see above) and working up some experience first.

Please ignore the ultra negative comments that usually get thrown around on here, but also go into this endeavour with eyes wide open and realise that the overall cost is high and the chances of gaining employment soon after training are slim. So long as you are under no false illusions of what you are embarking upon then no-one can berate you for it.

Best of luck with your training, please PM me if you want some more positive advice.

smangnall is offline  

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