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Becoming a pilot in Ireland... With a twist

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Becoming a pilot in Ireland... With a twist

Old 31st May 2012, 16:35
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Question Becoming a pilot in Ireland... With a twist

Hello all, I'm a long time reader, first time poster. I have spent quite a bit of time on here and other aviation forums , reading through old topics and the stickies and while many of my questions have been answered, I still have a lingering few. First though, I'll share a bit about myself. I'm a recent college graduate who received a 4 year degree in Aviation Management, from one of the lesser known aviation oriented colleges in the US. For those who dont know, the degree is essentially a business degree with an aviation focus. I live in the US and currently have an FAA PPL single land and sea with about 200 hours to my name. I am very familiar with the process of becoming an airline pilot in the US, however I am also an Irish citizen, and my ultimate dream job would be becoming a pilot and living in Ireland.

My current job as an customer service/ramp agent for a US regional airline is only until the end of the summer, as our company has lost its contract to a lower bidding company. I have been seriously thinking about starting my flight training again with the goal of eventually moving to Ireland. I have reserached schools here in the US and those in Ireland, some of whom complete part of the training in the US as well.

So I dont keep going on forever, here is a quick summary with my questions. For someone who is a US and Irish citizen with the goal of flying in Ireland, what would be the best way to go about this? Also it seems that most European flight schools airline training programs leave you with a fATPL and a CPL, which is different from the US model of getting a CPL then CFI, building time instructing and applying to a regional, then getting your ATP. How do graduates of these programs gain enough experience and hours to be hired by European airlines? Will having and FAA PPL help at all? Thanks for any help and advice!
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Old 1st Jun 2012, 11:21
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3 main carriers in Ireland.

Aer Lingus - you just missed the boat. They took on cadets for an ab initio course which got underway a few months back. Should be joining us early next year. In the past have recruited for direct entry pilots. Haven't seen or heard anything about any more recruitment for next summer. We seem to be surviving by using contract co-pilots who are 99% made up of ex captains that are returning to fly from the RHS.

Aer Arran - have lost a shed load of pilots to Oz. Consequently have been recruiting for both DEC and FOs. Doing an MCC course through Simtech and of course having a strong performance will put you in good stead. Think you still have to pay for an ATR type rating in some shape or form.

Ryanair - check out the long running thread. Don't expect an Irish base though and you will need a spare 30k for a type rating plus all the other add on costs to survive the training.

Cityjet - no longer in the mix as lost its work for Air France so wouldn't expect them to be recruiting at all.

There is also Air Contractors on the cargo side but not sure if they need anyone, but suspect not.

Last edited by MCDU2; 1st Jun 2012 at 11:22.
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Old 2nd Jun 2012, 15:47
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I've got no idea why you'd want to live in Ireland if I'm honest, the place is in meltdown right now with all of the government cuts. I've got a huge amount of family based over in Ireland right now and the majority of them are moving away over the next few years.
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Old 2nd Jun 2012, 19:51
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Thumbs up

The new Ireland is in Australia. Head that direction instead
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Old 2nd Jun 2012, 20:45
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stay in the USA, EU stinks and will for the next 10 years, but these idiots don't know it and don't want to listen(too big to fail?), the EU boat is already full of water. We can not pay our interests, and even if we pay back, we are still in debt.
Unemployment rate goes up, criminality goes up, immigration goes up,...all trends go to the wrong direction.

tell me one thing which goes well in europe? even the rich are leaving.

USA will recover faster than EU, much faster. I believe the end of Europe will start in summer 2012 after the games of london.

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Old 2nd Jun 2012, 22:24
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a320renewal,

You've obviously not got a clue about what you're talking about. The USA is having big problems as well and would be affected by any problems the EU faced especially since the EU as a whole is the US's biggest trading partner.
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Old 3rd Jun 2012, 20:23
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The USA is having big problems as well and would be affected by any problems the EU
I have lots of family in Ireland as well, and I am aware of the problems the EU is facing. The aviation industry is turbulent in both markets, and everyone is waiting for the pilot shortage which has been promised since the Wright brothers, however I'm simply trying to think outside the box, and use the options I have available to me. I could certainly go the commercial, CFI, US regional route many of my friends are going, I was simply looking for something different. I will give a closer look at Australia as it seems there are plenty of topics here on the forum here.
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Old 4th Jun 2012, 13:15
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I'm Irish, I did my training in Florida almost two years ago. I cannot find work as a pilot. I have applied for hundreds of jobs and exchanged 1000's of emails in the last 2 years with employers. The jobs simply are not there not with my level of experience anyway (270tt).

I read a thread on here that RYR have stopped hiring Irish pilots since last May.

3000 people applied to Aer Lingus in Dec 2010 for 20 FO jobs.

Aer Arann want you to pay 17000euro to do an ATR type rating and after that you may not be offered employment.

This is the reality, it should be an easy choice!

If you want my advice go to Australia and do the JAA training in Perth or Adelaide. There are many opportunities out there bush flying and charter flying. You may pick up a job a lot faster than here. You may then apply for the visa for residency. The money flying in Oz is also better than the US.

I hope this was of some help and Good luck!

P.S The weather is crap most of the time here in Ireland.
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Old 4th Jun 2012, 14:20
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Stay in the US for now. If you want to move to Europe, you have to be flexible enough to live anywhere in the EU/EEC, so limiting yourself to just one country might leave yourself frustrated or disappointed.

Stay in the US for now, work your way up through a regional where you will get type rated and eventually command time, (plus a free type rating). It will make a conversion easier and if an opportunity presents itself to move to Ireland, then take it. Just my 2 cents

Last edited by zondaracer; 4th Jun 2012 at 16:17. Reason: Added free type rating
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Old 4th Jun 2012, 14:51
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Keep an eye on the Aer Lingus site, and relevant news as related to Aer Lingus developments, as there is a good chance of expansion on long and short haul, and the current cadets are only to replace contract co-pilot numbers based on the current schedule.
It can be a good career, but you need to be determined.
Good luck.
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Old 6th Jun 2012, 17:32
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There is more opportunity over here in the US than Ireland for aviation. Get all your ratings and work here, maybe do your ATPLs via distance learning and then enter the Irish market with plenty of experience. I'd like to return home to Ireland to fly someday also.
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Old 9th Jun 2012, 17:25
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Thanks again for the advice. One thing I dont understand is what pilots in the EU do to build hours. Here in the US many pilots I know flight instruct, fly single engine part 135 flights, banner tow, give scenic flights etc. However on here I see many forums with pilots who have 250 hours, a fATPL, complaining about how they cant get a job with an airline like BA because they dont have enough hours?
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Old 9th Jun 2012, 17:40
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Thanks again for the advice. One thing I dont understand is what pilots in the EU do to build hours. Here in the US many pilots I know flight instruct, fly single engine part 135 flights, banner tow, give scenic flights etc. However on here I see many forums with pilots who have 250 hours, a fATPL, complaining about how they cant get a job with an airline like BA because they dont have enough hours?
Mainly because in the USA there are a lot more GA jobs than in Europe. I've never seen a banner being towed in the UK for myself, scenic flights are often done by small operators and you'd be very lucky to get a job with them. Whereas in the US I know there are a lot of companies that do pipe line inspections and that hardly exists in the UK.

It's a different ball game over here. We have very little GA jobs compared to the US.

How do we build hours to get to BA? Work for Ryanair.
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Old 9th Jun 2012, 18:07
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I'm in Europe and I'm thinking of coming down there for training and maybe if I'm lucky enough, live there! I would never think of coming to Europe if I was an American with FAA licenses!
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Old 9th Jun 2012, 22:40
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One thing I dont understand is what pilots in the EU do to build hours.
Pilots in the EU do the same thing to hour build as in the US... but there are some differences:
1. In Europe, it is possible to get hired at an airline with minimum hours, so less guys are inclined to hour build at low paying GA jobs, and some guys don't need to hour build
2. GA is small in Europe, so there are less opportunities to hour build in General Aviation. There are also quite a bit of low hour pilots without jobs.
3. Instead of hour building in GA, some guys resort to just buying a type rating, and some even resort to paying for hours at an airline to gain hours on the type

For what it's worth, I have seen banner towing in Spain along the beaches in Summer. I've also known guys here to do fish watching, touristic flights, aerial surveying, aerial photography, traffic reporting, parachute ops, glider towing, and instructing here in Europe.

I would never think of coming to Europe if I was an American with FAA licenses!
Haha, that is exactly what I did, and all my friends think that I'm crazy. Having said that, I would have been a lot further along and would have spent a lot less money had I stayed in the US, but I have no regrets.

Last edited by zondaracer; 9th Jun 2012 at 22:42.
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