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I've just lost my virginity!

Old 17th Jan 2012, 21:56
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Devil I've just lost my virginity!

Hopefully the thread title isn't to misleading here; as it suggests, Ive only recently took my second lesson towards my PPL. After reading the forum for a few months, I've decided now is the time to get some valuable opinions from some of the very experienced members on the forum.

OK well I will tell you a little bit about myself so I can hopefully get a more realistic answer. Im currently 30 years old, 31 on 6th February (feel free to send a card) All my life I've wanted to be a pilot, however I was told growing up by my parents they they could not afford it and there was 'no way I'd ever be a pilot.' Now, I understand my father was just saying those things maybe because he wouldn't want to see me disappointed if I didn't make it. Anyway, I grew up left school, went to college, the british army, came out and have worked as a truck driver since. I know it may sound stupid, but the dream of being a pilot was always there, but for years it never came up, I accepted that 'I'd never make it as a pilot.' Recently, things have changed in my life and its made me assess what I really want to do, and then I eventually decided to at least go for my PPL.

I've had 2 lessons. I am TOTALLY AWARE that I am probably the newest noob on the forum so please don't criticise in that sense. It's the best feeling in the world. However, I try to be realistic and while I understand it's never to late to get your licence... from a commercial point of view, Im almost 31 year old, add a few years on for me to save and go for my commercial licence, I will be about 35 with minimum flying hours. I love the feeling of flying, I regret I never decided to try back when I was 18 - but honestly, am I to late to get into commercial aviation? My thinking is simple: Compared to a 20 year old who has finished pilot school, or a 25 year old who has finished modular, surly an airline looks towards those where they have a good education etc and know nothing but aviation - rather than a 30-something year old bloke who has only decided to use his balls now to chase his lifetime ambition.

Im asking because good or bad; I'm starting now. I really value the opinions of people on here, even though if I'm honest half of the time I have no clue what people are talking about... I'm getting there. My plan currently is to go and complete my PPL by the end of this year - hopefully, by the end of the summer. Then, progress (but I'm not sure how as yet) but it will be modular, as I have no money and I'm paying as I learn.

What I'd like to know:
Am I less attractive to airlines being as old as I am (or will be?)
What jobs are 'usually' available if no airlines are interested?
Could you offer any tips, resources, guides, things to learn which you think could help me in any way... even a little bit of advise?

Thanks to everyone who has read this, and good or bad, I look forward to reading your comments and deciding on my course of action.
HappyDJ is offline  
Old 18th Jan 2012, 07:26
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Nice post, and congratulations on popping your flying cherry. As with the real thing, the chances are there is no going back now; when you aren't flying you'll be thinking about it.

For my opinion - Start with the PPL and look no further than that at the moment. Tell your flying school and most importantly your instructors that you are considering going commercial afterwards, but only work to get the PPL.

When you've got that, see how you like it. The joy with the modular approach is that you can actually do this. You might find that actually, you'd rather just sit with a PPL and pop over to France every now and then.

Continuing towards the CPL, what kind of job can you expect? It's impossible to say. A look through these forums will show a large amount of pessimism with the occasional nugget of optimism. The truth is, everyone is different. One 20yo person may spend the rest of their lives trying to find a job, another may start modular training at 40 and land an airline job at 42.

One of the main faults with pilots, and a number who post here, is that they think that having a license to fly is a license to have a job. It is possible to learn to fly, but still be completely useless in a commercial cockpit. If you are capable, and your history would point that you probably are, then there's no reason you couldn't end up with a job.

I'd suggest working towards the PPL, enjoying that for what it is (a massive commitment and achievement ladder) and seeing how the world looks when you finish. A lot can change in the time it takes to learn about Class D airspace and what to do when the big fan at the front stops.

However, to answer the bullet points:

1. Impossible to say, everyone is unique. Network with commercial pilots and ask them, they can give you a better answer than any sciolist here.
2. The airlines are the pinnacle. Instructing, aerial work, air taxis, coastguard, and smaller commercial outfits are all valid options. Research this as you learn your PPL during 'rest breaks'?
3. The PPL confuser is a godsend for the PPL Ground exams. There are a number of threads on this if you search for 'reading' or 'books'. Above all, your instructor!

Hope this helps.
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Old 18th Jan 2012, 07:52
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Congratulations, you'll never stop thinking about flying now! I'm flying at Newcastle, which flying school are you using?
I am in a very similar position as your self (well 3 years older). Enjoy each part of the PPL, and look at a few ratings you can add to improve your flying skills.
Only time will tell if the job prospect will improve
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Old 18th Jan 2012, 08:51
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Happy DJ

I attained my PPL back in 2009 at the grand old age of 35 with no intentions what so ever of taking it any further other than as a hobby! However, flying has always been in my blood! To be honest, when im flying is when im happiest and to be a commercial pilot has always been a dream! So i figured i would go for it but remain slightly realistic as to my options and those i am in competition with! I have both age and low hours against me! That said i believe i have many life experiences and knowledge going for me and im not dissillusioned enough to think BA are going to be knocking on my door headhunting me! Since gaining my PPL i have done the AOPA aerobatics course and the IMC! I have also completed all 14 ATPL ground school exams with first time good passes! Now i am saving in preperation for the CPL course followed by a FI course and then IR! I am in a fortunate position in that i have a secure job and can slowly afford to do these courses and follow my dreams but the one and only thing i would stress to anyone is the financial cost! Its not cheap by a long shot and after all the training and the cost you may only have a piece of paper to show for it! That said, and if you can afford it, dont be lying on your death bed in fifty or so years full of regret! Life is for living and i am thouroughly loving the journey to CPL!
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Old 18th Jan 2012, 09:14
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Nice post, and congratulations on popping your flying cherry. As with the real thing, the chances are there is no going back now; when you aren't flying you'll be thinking about it.
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Old 18th Jan 2012, 14:03
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Welcome to PPRUNE mate.

I didnt get my first airline job until I was 32, and know a number of people older than me that also got their first job in their 30's.

4015 is spot on with his/her advice. The industry has changed so much over the last few years and is continuing to change, so it is difficult to advise you.

If you have the drive, determination, passion and financial stability, I would go for it, life is too short to think 'what if?'. It wont be easy, but the personal rewards and job satisfaction is worth it. Only my opinion of course, but I love the job.

All the best with what you decide and enjoy that PPL!
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Old 18th Jan 2012, 15:22
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Welcome to the "flying club!"

I would go with whatever previous posters have put. I am slightly younger (27) and have had my PPL for 2 years. I love flying and dream of flying commercially but cannot afford it and dont have enough disposable income to allow me to follow the modular or integrated route.... yet.

My advice would be, get your PPL and enjoy it. Add on the extras (Aeros, Complex single, tail wheel etc) and then see how the industry is doing.

Main thing is follow your dream. You will read many negatives on here saying you are wasting your money blah blah blah but if you dont try, you have to live with yourself knowing you didnt try and you will forever more wonder what could have been...

Best of luck!
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Old 19th Jan 2012, 06:52
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Listen to no one but that little man inside you who says you CAN!! put in the hard work along with it and you WILL make it!
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Old 19th Jan 2012, 08:54
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It is fantastic to see such a nice positive thread, congratulations on taking your first steps!!!

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Old 19th Jan 2012, 18:55
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Thumbs up

Congratulations, there is nothing quite like seeing the world slip away from beneath your wheels and there is no thrill like trying to safely make it back down again. The challenge and pressures of commercial aviation are different but so too are the rewards. It is difficult to get a break for that first job and you will lose your job if you lose your medical. If you can complete your licences and ratings without risking your future financial wellbeing then go for it! If completing the training will leave you with massive debts which you will be unable to pay unless you can get straight into an airline job, then I suggest you think long and hard before you commit to the path of commercial aviation.
All the best and safe flying whichever path you choose.
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Old 19th Jan 2012, 21:44
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If it's something you love doing, just go for it. If you don't you'll always wonder what if. There's a lot of people on here that will say don't go for it, some will say your nuts and some will refer to dreams as 'dreams' as if people don't have a passion for something.

But those who don't buy a lottery ticket won't win the lottery. 3 Ps will get you there: positivity, patience and passion.

I said to myself: if I don't put 100% into the PPL and I don't enjoy every moment, I won't go commercial. Well I put 100% into ans f**king loved it!

There's a lot of good advice above. Best of luck!
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Old 19th Jan 2012, 21:44
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THANK YOU to everyone!

It's really good hearing everyones thoughts, comments and advise on everything. I was a little worries that I'd get a normal "check out the sticky's" and "this is another one of those threads" but not a single one!

Ill try and reply to you all as its the least I can do:

I have let my instructors know about my intentions and I think thats good advise as it seems to be very easy to get caught up in everything else. I think I'm just very excited about ACTUALLY going for the thing at last! I will also make sure to checkout the PPL confuser. Thanks very much fro your long detailed reply

Thanks very much. I'm learning with Northumbria Flying School. Are you using the same school? Your totally right, when I'm not there I'm thinking about it every minute and talking about it every other. Im loving what I'm doing so far and It seems you are to so best of luck with everything!

Thanks very much for the detailed reply and the good financial advise. I will defiantly take things on board. It's really good to actually hear how you done each stage and I wish you the best of luck with the additional courses but it seems you don't need it :o) Finally, I couldn't agree more, thats one of the reasons why I decided to go for it is because I was sick of people telling me I couldn't. I didn't want to be one of those people wishing 'what if' even though I'd been doing it for years. Thanks for the advise

Not sure what to say to yours apart from I agree with what you agree with lol

Thanks for the welcome. You mention you didn't get your first airline job until 32. Would you mind telling me your history? e.g. When you got your PPL and how you went about the whole process? Thanks very much for your comments and yes 4015's advise seemed very good. It's great to see that you love your job!

Thanks for the welcome. Keep saving and you already have your PPL and what I believe to be a good age so very, very well done! Im sure as you keep saving you'll progress pretty quickly. I will look into the extras you mention and talk with my school about them and see if there able to help once I have my PPL. Good luck with your future plans!

Without sounding like I'm seeking sympathy (which I promise I'm NOT) - I can't tell you how much I WISH my father had that attitude either when I was younger or even now. Thank you.

Thank you and I'm really enjoying my teeny little steps as I'm going. I totally agree, like I said at the start of this thread I wasn't expecting to much in terms of comments as I know there are some on here who are pretty blunt to the 'noobs' but defiantly a feel-good positive thread.

and last but not least...

Thank you for the financial advise. It seems from all the research that I've done that the finances are defiantly the thing which can both help and hinder you (if you have none) I don't mind admitting, I'm working every hour god sends so I can afford 2 lessons a week for my PPL. However, over the next couple of weeks I have decided to not take any lessons. The reason I decided this was because I owe a few bills, so I thought it's better to get myself into a position where I can get 2 lessons a week rather than 1 and the only 'bill' in theory is my lessons (e.g. I won't owe any debt) So hopefully starting february, Ill be back on with my training twice a week minimum.

Again, a huge massive thank you to everyone. I've decided I'm going to create my own little journey in the form of a regular blog. I know people make them for everything nowadays and I figured it MIGHT be at least interesting to follow and maybe even help out future pilots who can read it while I'm ahead in terms of training. It's just something I've been thinking about: From a guy with no money and just a lifetime ambition... how far can I go. I'll document everything in the hope it provides interesting reading for people and also maybe help someone?

Thanks again for everyones help and comments its been really great getting such a response!
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Old 20th Jan 2012, 08:10
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I'm learning with St. Georges, enjoy the flying and good luck with your PPL.
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Old 20th Jan 2012, 14:55
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Happy DJ,

You are welcome mate.

I did my PPL in 1995, in the US, I was at college at the time. Left college in 1997 and worked as an Engineer and various other jobs to supplement my income for 5 years. Saved up a stack of cash which funded my training. All my training was fitted in around work.

Worked as an instructor for a couple of years before landing an airline job.

If you need to know anything else, drop me a line.

All the best.
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