Professional Pilot Training (includes ground studies) A forum for those on the steep path to that coveted professional licence. Whether studying for the written exams, training for the flight tests or building experience here's where you can hang out.

Starting to regret it!

Old 23rd Jun 2009, 18:39
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Starting to regret it!

So I've done it, spended around 45k (of which 25k belongs to the Bank) on a peice of Paper that is worth nothing in the aviation industry! In these 1,5years I worked really hard and had to put up with a lot of crap from flight schools!
I spended my hard earend cash plus I'm about 25k in debts! I had a lot of illusions before I started my flighttraining about aviation, to be honest I didn't even enjoy it cos of all the delays and crap I got from the Flightschools I chose. I know It was entirely my own fault that I'm standing there with empty hands and huge debts. My Advise to anyone who is considering comercial flight training is:" Don't do it unless your parents are paying for it or u have huge funds!!, a CPL ME IR with low hours is worth these days!!

Last edited by Ronand; 23rd Jun 2009 at 20:10.
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Old 23rd Jun 2009, 19:04
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What exactly did you think was going to happen?
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Old 23rd Jun 2009, 19:16
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Ronand, yeah it sucks, but trust me, most of us have been there!
Looking for a job at the moment for someone with your level of experience is a tough tough for everyone right now.
Rest assured things will improve..and its then when you need to be johnny on the spot.
In the meantime, drive a van, dig ditches, work in a call centre, do what you need to do....because like I've said, most of us have been there.
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Old 23rd Jun 2009, 19:16
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I hear you. Feeling the same - I'm sure there are a lot of us feeling the same. I never went into it with any delusions of a shiney jet job straight after training, took me three years (was working full time) and been working on my FIC for nearly a year now due to numerous delays and there are no jobs, not even for flight instructors (which were in need when I started training originally).

Sick to death of office work, so I'm frantically trying to finish my FIC so I can get applying for all FI jobs (IR expired and no MCC) so no chance of any airline work in the near future. So for the forseeable future I've applied to be cabin crew which I'm sure I'll love doing, and at the same time get some good experience and have fun.

Think we just have to stick with it, and not dwell on the cost. I've spent about the same (none of of mummy's unfortunately) and I'm pretty broke, but I try not to get too down about it. Just keep telling yourself "it'll soon pick up".
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Old 23rd Jun 2009, 20:21
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We've all been down there. Dreams, then come back to reality. BS from flight schools, pricks you pay to teach you but who only care about building time, countless hours of studying then your license with no job in the end...

BUt believe me it's worth it. I spent nearly 10 years in that sh!t hole. I tried to convince myself to give up more than once and looked for just a job to make a living...but I just could not.

It's not a question of being patient, it's a question of being more stubborn than the bureaucrats doing the hiring.

"After difficulty comes ease".
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Old 23rd Jun 2009, 20:24
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I can just say, if I could turn time back I would never have done it again! First I thought it might help to get a FI rating but I think this is just more wasted money
I got relatives in South america and could get a citizenship so
I'm siriously thinking about just off and running from my debts!
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Old 23rd Jun 2009, 20:41
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Have any of you considered working in Africa

I feel your pains mates, I am also starting the same road you all took, the same mistakes you all made. I have just made up my mind of spending 33k$ in Canada for my PPL, CPL, IR nd Multi Eng. I know it is difficult, but in Africa there will always be paying jobs for us. Try and think or consider working in Africa at least it is best working and earning some few doe that sitting doing nothing related to what you have suffered for and paid heavily for mates. Have a re-think...wish us all luck
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Old 23rd Jun 2009, 20:42
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That would be very irresponsible. Why should other people pay your debts because you have decided to run away from something you have created? It is anything but easy to break into the aviation industry. Many of us have spent many years working very hard doing jobs most people would turn their noses up at....those that run away will never make it because they don't have stamina...Having said that, I hope you persevere because it is worth it.
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Old 23rd Jun 2009, 22:49
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Ronand - It takes a lot of money and effort to obtain an fATPL and we all hoped to land a job straight out of flight school, so I do sympathise with you.

The mistake you appear to have made was failing to plan for the worst case scenario. Did you really spend 45K on your training without considering what might happen if you did not get a job straight out of flight school?

Unfortunately, far too many people start their commercial flying training without having a carefully thought out plan for getting a foot in the cockpit door. A cursory glance at Pprune, a few books like 'Job Hunting for Pilots' by Greg Brown, or a few chats with aviation professionals would reveal that only a very few pilots get a job straight away, whether by stumping up the cash because they still have cash reserves, by knowing someone, possessing extraordinary talent, or by sheer luck.

Before starting training you have to do your research and assume you won't be one of those lucky few. You should only proceed if you possess two other personal characteristics which will become absolutely essential and help your throughout your career: determination and motivation. Given enough time and a modicum of talent, those characteristics will get you a job in the medium term.

That a person would consider giving up on their potential career and running away from debts - and I'll give Ronand the benefit of the doubt and assume he only said it in jest or in order to blow off steam - is a shocking indictment on the type of person joining the industry.
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Old 23rd Jun 2009, 22:59
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Why should other people pay your debts because you have decided to run away from something you have created?
Mate you've got no future. Ever heard of a place called Wall Street?
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Old 23rd Jun 2009, 23:13
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I fear that this thread might run the length similar to "Growing Evidence...."

I suspect more and more may post over the coming months in a similar ilk.

It never has been easy landing that first elusive job, be it night freight, air taxi, or now as an FI. These days, crikey, it's like hens' teeth. However, when you do get there, it's a good job I can't deny it, but this thread "may" serve as a wake up call to some folk. I realise alot of guys training are savvy enough to know that the lack of jobs may grind you down and make other plans in the short term, but there are some on the forum who don't appear to recognise the dire straits the industry is in, and it really is fellas, or who don't want to because they are so eager to get the ball rolling. I know what it's like to want to escape the desk job and pursue the flying career, but at the current time it MUST be tempered with pragmatism, and not the "it won't happen to me" attitude as displayed by some on the forum.

And in no way are my comments aimed at Ronand here, more as a general point. As pointed out, the market was different when starting out. I wish Ronand good luck, would say don't give up on it, but to others, please think about it at this point in time, don't be blinkered by the "dream" or FTO spin.
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Old 23rd Jun 2009, 23:34
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I've worked within aviation as a FE for most of my working life (I'm now 56 years of age) and I'm now considering investing a huge chunk of my savings just to gain a CPL and do some instructing for a living. My current Ops job just doesn't pay my outgoings! I DO feel for all of you youngsters who aren't gloing where you want to go; especially when you've invested so much time, effort, and money into gaining your frozen ATPL... life sucks!

Quite frankly, short term, I believe that you're better off driving a truck for a living; better income and less grief! Willy Walsh wouldn't give you tuppence for your commitment... I was once with BA; in the good years, and, thoroughly enjoyed my FE job. The good years are over; therefore, don't believe for one moment that you'll ever achieve a similar lifestyle to those who have gone before you. A sad fact of life!

The heartache and pain of gaining a 'pass' of your ATPL exams; worthy of your commitment and expenditure, isn't worth anything within this modern age. We might as well gain a degree in 'underwater basket-weaving'... which is probably worth more than the thousands of pounds of your investment into a flying career!

Good luck to you all.
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Old 24th Jun 2009, 00:34
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This thread is remarkably interesting due to the incredible honesty displayed.

I hope everyone here makes it eventually - nobody would wish indebtedness and lack of employment on anyone.

PPRuNe is an excellent antidote to the marketing bull of flight training schools (and Ryanair), and this long history of sensible financial and training advice (with some posters' prescient warnings) must be spread as far and wide as possible.

There is truth in the CAA's statistics, which have a wide disparity between licence issue and employment figures.

The cardinal rules of flight training have to be:
- Have a backup plan;
- Don't get into extraordinary debt;
- Treat FTO marketing with extreme scepticism; and
- Make sure you have proven, strong aptitude when self-selecting.
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Old 24th Jun 2009, 08:00
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I also question the ethics of FIC schools which continue to churn out novice FIs in the full knowledge that there are virtually no FI jobs around these days... Quite what lies they are telling their students, I cannot imagine.

There are also large numbers of people around who, whilst holding all the relevant bits of paper, will never be employable on an airline flight deck (not even Ryanair) because they lack basic interpersonal skills. The CAA has confirmed this.

There really is a case for all prospective airline pilots to be required to take a mandatory aptitude test before being permitted to start a CPL course.
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Old 24th Jun 2009, 08:32
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Some thoughts

I greatly sympathise with all of you having spent 18 months job hunting and falling back on my previous IT career during that time.

There are a couple of issues I think with this industry. The main one is that training is exclusively a private enterprise not run by Government. This leads to flying schools expanding their intake far beyond the numbers of available jobs. As a contrast my wife has recently embarked upon training to become a teacher (PGCE). Now the Government pays a training allowance of 9000 for 9 months tuition and restricts the numbers who can train so that it more closely matches the demand for teachers within the industry. Result is that hopefully everyone with the ability who passes the course should get a job. The starting salary is 21000, with a reasonable expectation of achieving a Head of dept type salary within say 5 years (36k ish). Factor in the fact your training is paid for, a further 5000 golden hello for new science teachers and the fact that you get 12 WEEKS paid holiday a year and you can see how much better this is as a deal than being a pilot nowadays!!

Sadly this profession is becoming a joke in terms of the employment conditions, working hours, salaries, employment prospects etc and many of you would be well advised to explore some potential alternatives that pay better, even if only as a means to support yourselves and have a comfortable lifestyle while you keep current at weekends and wait for the upturn. When the upturn comes you will then have a reasonable job and you can decide if you actually want to leave it to fly.

What I'm trying to say really is you are where you are. You can't get a flying job at the moment so you might as well fill your time doing something decent rather than working in McDonalds - get yourself a second career.

Just recently we had a F/O with 3 years flying under his belt who went back to ATC because the hours and pay were far better - and he'd made it to the right seat of an airliner!! Another left to train as a train driver - all training paid and 50k a year! Another Captain I know and keen sailor is contemplating training as a liner Captain with P&O or whatever because he'd see the world and enjoy the status and tradition - fine dining etc that airline Captains are nowadays denied. Flying really isn't what it used to be, it's hard to see that when you're a wannabe, but ask any airline pilot and they'll agree. Of course we all love the flying bits of the job but if you really look at the workload, the pay, the training costs, the unsocial hours etc in an unemotional manner I'm not sure it makes that much sense as a career nowadays compared to some of the better alternatives.
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Old 24th Jun 2009, 08:45
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I feel sorry for the youngsters in this situation.

When i did my training there were a few guys like me who had businesses and careers to fall back on and walk straight back in to but those poor lads and lasses in their teens and early twenties must surely be getting a bit down in the dumps.

Try to keep your chin up and if you really want that elusive job you have to try that little bit harder than the next guy!
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Old 24th Jun 2009, 08:55
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Maybe the problem is that you spended 45K.

If you had spent 45K, things may have panned out differently.
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Old 24th Jun 2009, 09:05
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I do not agree Desk - Pilot. The hours you work per week in this job are less than average. The pay coupled to the amount of time you spend at work is actually quite good (depends on employer I know). However if you are flying for crap money well I can understand, because in the end it is all about the money.
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Old 24th Jun 2009, 09:07
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You might want to talk to your friend and give him a few friendly pointers.
Another Captain I know and keen sailor is contemplating training as a liner Captain with P&O or whatever because he'd see the world and enjoy the status and tradition - fine dining etc that airline Captains are nowadays denied.
To train from scratch he'd need to go to college, pass the necessary exams, get the minimum qualifications and start at the bottom. His 'Captain' qualification from flying would do nothing for him at sea. He'd be joining many other guys working their way up the ladder. Unfortunately, money can't buy a Master Mariners ticket. Years at sea and experience are required and the chance of ending up as a P&O Liner Master, well, pretty much the same odds as becoming a premiership footballer.
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Old 24th Jun 2009, 09:31
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Helimut, I think he has decided to stay put for the time being anyway but thanks for the pointers.

Regarding Shaun's post I think the hours worked and pay vary so widely in this game that it's difficult to debate. Obviously if you're working in the charter area you're actually paid rather well and seemingly at least in Winter don't work that much. If on the other hand you're talking about a junior FO in the low cost sector which is realistically where most get their first airline job then you will probably be working some sort of 5 on 2 or 3 off type pattern and as the days can be as long as 10 hours duty I'd say that you could be working 45-50 hours a week at unsocial times for a fairly modest wage - say 20k-30k if you're lucky in year 1?

I'm not trying to dissuade people from flying, it's a genuinely enjoyable job and I consider myself very fortunate to actually enjoy the job I have (which is rare amongst my neighbours and friends.) I was really just trying to offer wannabes who currently can't join the party a realistic view of the job and also encouraging them to find something else for a couple of years till things pick up.

Clear skies to all of you.
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