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14 years old, dream career is an Airline Pilot.

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14 years old, dream career is an Airline Pilot.

Old 1st Apr 2010, 22:37
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: The United Kingdom.
Posts: 24
14 years old, dream career is an Airline Pilot.

So, I'm a 14 year old girl in England and my absolute dream job is to be an Airline Pilot. I'm currently doing my GCSE's, however I am doing them a year early and I am on target for A's and B's.
I'd love to be an Airline Pilot and I'd work my ass off to get there, I want it SO much.
I know it costs an absolute bomb to train and there are so little jobs at the minute, but who knows what it could be like in 10 years time?

Does anyone have any advice for me as a wannabe Airline Pilot?
Thank you.
Omlaaay is offline  
Old 2nd Apr 2010, 03:27
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: A long way from home
Age: 41
Posts: 373
The other two posters have got it right. I'll just add my own tuppence worth:

A degree isn't everything. Really what's important is that you don't only have aviation. You need something to fall back on if you don't get the dream job straight away. And a job which can fund your training. Unless you've got pots of money and can pay for full time training, you'll need a job. That's why these guys have suggested getting a useful degree. 90% of the time a degree is the right way to do this although there are other careers which pay well but a degree isn't necessary for. Before going into aviation I worked in IT. I earnt more in IT than I ever will as a pilot and that was without a degree.

Basically you need a "Plan B"

OK, rant over! Good luck.
welliewanger is offline  
Old 2nd Apr 2010, 11:21
  #3 (permalink)  

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Omlaaay, I wish I’d been as passionate about flying when I was 14!

The above advice is all good. Some more thoughts for you:

Any flying training is expensive, while commercial training is astronomically so. There are plenty of schools out there who would love to get their hands on £60k+ of your cash, and they will waste no time in selling you a dream. Always be sceptical, and always remember that any careers ‘advice’ you receive from a flying school should be taken with a large pinch of salt. Their primary aim is to make money by getting you to part with yours (or your parents’). I have met far too many teenagers who have been taken in completely by the schools’ marketing hype, and are setting themselves (or their parents) up for £60-£100k of debt without any certainty of a job at the end of it. Not a great start to your adult life.

At 14 you have all the time in the world to qualify, and more importantly, to earn the money with which to train. (I got my first airline job aged 36, with minimal debt, and I still have a 25 year career in front of me). I would echo the advice to get the best grades you can at school, join the air cadets, and if you are academically minded, consider going to university. A degree will not improve your chances of being a pilot, and will cost money and time which could be spent on flying training. But – and it’s a big but – a degree in a marketable subject (such as engineering, business studies, etc ) will give you a very useful plan ‘B’ should anything scupper your flying ambitions.

Many people who start flying training will never make it as a commercial pilot, for all sorts of reasons. Even if you’re the best pilot in the world and walk straight onto an Airbus with 200hrs, your future still depends on your airline not going bust, not to mention the medicals that you must pass every year (and eventually every 6 months) for your entire career. This is can be a very precarious career – as witnessed by the number of experienced jet pilots who have lost jobs recently with XL, Zoom, Flightline, Thomson, to name but a few – and if for that reason alone, it would be very wise to have qualifications or a trade to fall back on if it all goes wrong.
G SXTY is offline  
Old 2nd Apr 2010, 13:04
  #4 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: The United Kingdom.
Posts: 24
My 'Lifeplan' to becoming an Airline Pilot (Hypothetically speaking)

Okay, so my dream is to be a Commercial Airline Pilot. I have a total passion for it, and I am only 14 years old. I'll work my ass off to get there.
As I know training is super expensive, and most of the advice I have been given so far, people have said, have something to fall back on and find a job first so I can pay for training without getting in a tonne of debt. After taking this into consideration, I decided to plan out my life. Yes, I know you can't just plan your life out, and stick to it. But hypothetically speaking, if I could go down the route I have decided, is it a good idea?:

- Join Air Cadets
- Go on a Trial Flight
- Finish GCSE’s
- Get a Weekend Job
- Do A-Levels
- Get a Part-Time Job
- Get a PPL
- Go to University and get a Degree in something ICT related (My ‘Plan B’)
- Get a Job that takes advantage of my recent degree.
- Pass ATPL
- Get CPL License
- Look for a job as a Airline Pilot
- If there isn’t any, continue with my current profession and keep looking.
- If there is, quit current job and begin the start of my career is an Airline Pilot.

What do people think to this? Honest opinions please.

You probably think I'm totally naive to try and think of my life like this, but if you fail to prepare than prepare to fail?
I know there's not many piloting jobs out there at the minute, but who knows what it could be like in 10 years time? And at least I'd have a 'Plan B' to fall back on.

Anyone have any advice for me to become an Airline Pilot? If there's any pilot's out there, please can you tell me how you became one?

Thank you so much.

Omlaaay is offline  
Old 2nd Apr 2010, 13:15
  #5 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: UK
Age: 55
Posts: 124
I wish you the very best of luck but I also feel very sorry for you. The Industry has gone done the hill rapidly over the years and I think the term "career" now only applies to a select (and lucky) few. You are only 14 now so have a few years to go. Unless the industry changes for the better,which I somehow doubt, I would think long and hard about it before jumping in. Enthusiasm and a passion to fly? Well...most pilots have that. Unfortunetly whats needed these days is a very fat and full wallet. As previous posters have stated..make sure you have something else to fall back on. Its helped me numerous times!!

I really hope that in 10 years time,you have a fantastic flying job and you can tell me that I was wrong and was talking . That would be gr8 but somehow I doubt it if the current trend continues.

Whatever you decide my friend I sincerely wish you the very best of luck.

alphaadrian is offline  
Old 2nd Apr 2010, 13:24
  #6 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Southend (SEN/EGMC)
Age: 27
Posts: 196
I'm not an Airline Pilot, but like you Omlaaay, I really, really wanted to fly commercially for an Airline. Here's what i tihnk you should do:

Join the Air Cadets

They'll provide you with opportunities to fly, meet instructors, visit RAF bases, etc. It will also show employers that you can work in a team, that your very keen on aviation, that your determined, responsible, etc.

(It's not everyone's cup of tea, but it will probably help to some extent in the future when it comes to interviews)

Work hard for your exams

You said that you were predicted A's and B's. That's excellent stuff! Excel in all of your subjects, obviously, but try extra hard for very good grades in Science, Maths, English and Geography (if you take it).

Book a Trial Lesson

A trial lesson is a short flight in a General Aviation aircraft, important because you'll be spending a lot of time in them before you fly a Boeing/Airbus!

Have an alternative career plan

As others have mentioned, its very wise to have a good idea of different jobs your interested in doing, incase you fail a medical, etc. This is what I have had to do, I turned Epileptic last year which forced me to look into different careers. Maybe consider ATC? Or Engineering-which is what I intend to do.

Some interesting sites:

SmartCockpit - Airline training guides, Aviation, Operations, Safety-Airliner flying manuals, information about aircraft systems-very interesting!

APST IPAS-An aptitude test designed for potential Pilots which focuses on co-ordination, numeracy, spatial ability, etc.

Ask Captain Lim-An ex Singapore Airlines B777 captain who has answered questions from many people about different aspects of flying.

Southend Flying Club - Groundschool - Principles of Flight-A flying club at my local airport that has some online groundschool stuff

Hope this helps, and the very best of luck in achieving your dream!


aviatordom is offline  
Old 2nd Apr 2010, 13:39
  #7 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: The United Kingdom.
Posts: 24
My 'Lifeplan' to becoming an Airline Pilot (Hypothetically speaking)

Okay, so I'm 14 years old and my absolute dream career is being an Airline Pilot. I am absolutely determined as hell, and I would say I am pretty 'intelligent' as I am taking my GCSE's a year early and already have a couple of full GCSE's under my belt.
I know that training to become an Airline Pilot is sooooo expensive and that there isn't always a job waiting at the other end, from all the advice I have received so far, I realised how important it is to have a 'Plan B'.
Because of this, I decided to think of ways to take my life in order to peruse my career, but I tried to think of it as realistically as possible, therefore not joining a flight school at 18 and leaving with a £80,000 debt - that is totally stupid and would never work.

This is what I came up with:
- Join Air Cadets
- Go on a Trial Flight
- Finish GCSE’s
- Get a Weekend Job
- Do A-Levels
- Get a Part-Time Job
- Get a PPL
- Go to University and get a Degree in something ICT related (My ‘Plan B’)
- Get a Job that takes advantage of my recent degree.
- Pass ATPL
- Get CPL License
- Look for a job as a Airline Pilot
- If there isn’t any, continue with my current profession and keep looking.
- If there is, quit current job and begin the start of my career is an Airline Pilot.

You may think this is totally naive of me, but I know it is not possible to make life decisions as big as this at such a young age and stick with it. I know circumstances will most likely change and I will have to alter my plans accordingly. I just wondered what people's opinions were on taking this route?
And if anyone has any other advice that would be greatly accepted.

Thank you sooooo much in advance, you've helped me loads.

Omlaaay is offline  
Old 2nd Apr 2010, 13:47
  #8 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 3

Well its a pretty impressive start with your list, good show already. Air cadets is the way to go, get in there, you will get flying time with them.

You will get alot of advice pretty soon on this forum! All I will add is, presently the industry is very low but expect some kind of recovery by 1st to 2nd quarter of next year but I reckon you know that. Not going to affect you though, as you are years away, so your timing is good.

Yes, another back up is a very good idea, just say, you lose your medical, its not over though, as plenty of work to be had in ground instruction in various forms, so perhaps plan B with an eye also on that, so as to stay in aviation. Once you get in aviation and start flying, generally nothing else will do.

Non of the study is rocket science just volume of study. If you have such a passion for aviation you will enjoy it immensely, like myself. Select flight schools very carefully and don't hand money over first, this forum will point you in the right direct regarding that. Ground school, I would personally recommend Bristol Ground School and the forum will probably say the same. Lastly, network, clubs are a good start, a lot of airline guys tend to hang around them on their time off, as they like to talk about themselves and what they do!

Most of all, enjoy the journey, nothing else like it.

PlainTalk is offline  
Old 2nd Apr 2010, 14:46
  #9 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Ireland
Age: 33
Posts: 98
Your very well educated emily well done. im 22 now and looking at doing my ppl soon either here in Ireland or in Florida. The problem i have is i have a 10 month old son and a household too keep going at the same time. thats just life though. things like this come up all the time. my advice would be too save as much as you can. stay living at home for as long as you can and keep debt free until you have at least your ppl done. ie no cars, holidays etc. i know it sounds boring but life has ways of turning things upsidedown quick. good luck in any case
IrishJason is offline  
Old 2nd Apr 2010, 15:28
  #10 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: UK.
Posts: 352
The Air Cadets was possible one of the best decisions I ever made in my life, I got a real buzz from it.

The second best decision I made was going to University, so I think you've got an excellent plan ahead of you.

The only thing I would add is make sure, as you get older, that you network with people in the industry.
Aerouk is offline  
Old 2nd Apr 2010, 15:31
  #11 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Asia
Posts: 73
If your a British citizen and planning on going to Uni in England then I suggest you join the University Air Squadron in your first year. It is still a way off for you yet, but bear this in mind as it is the perfect way to start your career in aviation and doesn't cost a penny. In fact you even get a small bounty for your 'troubles'!

If you manage to get in (there is a selection process, but don't be put off by this as it is good experience either way) then it will be down to you whether you want to join the RAF after graduating or move onto a commercial airline / instructing / general aviation etc..

Best of luck!

jimsmitty01 is offline  
Old 2nd Apr 2010, 16:14
  #12 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Moon
Posts: 229
Christ you seem intelligent,
It’s a very good idea to have a back up plan (ie a second career) behind you, because you cannont predict the future,
I did as you are saying, but a little different, I left school at 16, got a job, Got qualified in my job, saved every penny, took every course going, now I’m in a position to pay for my flying outright, no debt, and when I qualify, if I can’t get a job, ill go back to what I was doing,
I think its absolutely essential to have a back up career, you get these young lads who come straight out of oxford expecting to get a job straight away, because they have been told a lie by the school, most struggle to pay back there debt and end up in a big black hole,
I am just finishing my ATPLS then starting the Cpl in June,
Hope it all goes well for you and good luck,
flyvirgin is offline  
Old 2nd Apr 2010, 16:30
  #13 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cheshire
Age: 35
Posts: 28
I would echo the sentiments previously about the Air Cadet Organisation, you certainly won't regret it providing you take every opportunity you can and work hard. It really is an organisation that you get out what you put in, with interest. The opportunities for flying are brilliant, you would need to look at that "weekend job" and see if they could be flexible. I've sadly seen a number of enthusiastic cadets fall by the wayside whenever money dribbled into their bank account!

I didn't take some of the opportunities on offer, and have kinda regretted it, apart from the fact that now (as an RAFVR[T] officer on an ATC squadron) I have a chance to develop similarly minded young men and women, no matter what their eventual goal is.

Best of luck, and if you need any advice about joining the ATC etc, feel free to pop a PM or two my way.
wnjmurphy is offline  
Old 2nd Apr 2010, 17:00
  #14 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Sunny Solihull
Age: 64
Posts: 214
Emily you certainly seem to have got your head screwed on. Bags of common-sense which regretfully isn't very common.

An excellent & logical plan and represents the least risk approach.

As an instructor with the ATC I recommend you join NOW and get involved in all squadron activities, get noticed for the right reasons. You will find that the academic side of the Corps is a good grounding for the PPL. The Corps also offers various gliding and flying scholarships (subject to selection).
Joining the ATC not only does it show your interest in flying; it also shows leadership potential to future employers.

The only thing I would suggest is that PRIOR to starting your PPL go down to Gatwick and get a Class One Medical as you need it eventually for ATPL/CPL.
Class Two okay for PPL training but you must look beyond.

Best of luck and please PM me for any further advice if you wish.
RichardH is offline  
Old 2nd Apr 2010, 17:39
  #15 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: England
Posts: 29
Hi Omlaaay,

I find myself in an almost identical situation to yourself. I'm 14 at the moment and in Year 9 (take it you're in Yr10/11). Just chosen my options including an early GCSE and two AS Levels in Yr11.

I've got no real advice for you but I'll throw a few ideas on the table to help you out. I first flew aged 13 when I took a trial lesson. I'm now saving for a PPL and trying to get some part time holiday work down at an airfield somewhere (anyone who knows of any P/T work at Gamston/Netherthorpe could you please get in contact via PM please ). I'd say take a trial lesson because if you like it, then the thought of going flying again is good motivation for exam revision and a damn good reason to try at school.

Then there's getting advice. If you have a Facebook Account, add Captain Alan Carter, he puts alot of info up on his page and photos/vids from his job for all to see. He also gives advice when is asked and is a very good man for doing so. I went to a seminar called "Efficient Sector" hosted by two Thomson 757 FO's and it was very good. I got a lot of advice and continuing support from them. The £50 was very well spent.

I wish you all the luck in the world and hope that someday we'll both be working on the flightdeck.
Cpt. Sunshine is offline  
Old 2nd Apr 2010, 18:00
  #16 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: The United Kingdom.
Posts: 24
Thank you to everyone's advice.

I'll be joining the Air Cadets as soon as the letter comes through the post.

I'll also try and get a First Class Medical after I go on a Trial Flight.

Thank you to everyone wishing me good luck.
Omlaaay is offline  
Old 2nd Apr 2010, 18:18
  #17 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: uk
Posts: 139
Join the Air League as well you can get a bursary from them for Approx £800 and it looks good on CV.
JohnnyPharm is offline  
Old 2nd Apr 2010, 18:51
  #18 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Inside the roster matrix
Posts: 608
Air Cadets will give you a Gliding Scholarship and possibly a flying scholarship. You could then become a Staff Cadet at your local VGS (gliding school) where they will train you to become an instructor on the Grob motor glider.
Try GAPAN nearer the time as they have scholarships:
Flying Scholarships 2010 - GAPAN
Air Cadets - Home
RAF Odiham - 618 VGS
YouTube - 212 Risca Sqn Air Cadets Recruitment Video

I'm not Welsh - the vid just looked one of the better ones!

Get stuck in....the rest will come with 110%!

I joined at 15 and today at 36 - I still can't shake it. If it wasn't for the ATC, I wouldn't be an airline pilot. You will learn leadership, citizenship, teamwork, pride, marksmanship, satisfaction....you complete the list after 6 months.

YouTube - ATC - air cadets recruiting video

See the site for N. Sheffield Sqn and S.Sheffield Sqn

Last edited by PAPI-74; 2nd Apr 2010 at 19:01.
PAPI-74 is offline  
Old 2nd Apr 2010, 19:16
  #19 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Inside the roster matrix
Posts: 608
Flybe.com | Careers | Pilots | Pilot sponsorship

Some airlines offer sponsorship or part sponsorship. As you can imagine, thousands apply, but someone has to get it - why not you....
PAPI-74 is offline  
Old 2nd Apr 2010, 20:58
  #20 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Southend (SEN/EGMC)
Age: 27
Posts: 196
Update from me:

I don't want to sound soppy/stupid, but do everything that you can to protect your dream. I didn't, maybe some of that wasn't my fault, but maybe I could have avoided it being taken away from me, I still get really annoyed with myself some days because of it, maybe it wasn't meant to be, perhaps it was-i'll never know.

You have nothing stopping you-protect that dream and chase it!
aviatordom is offline  

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