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Taking the leap?

Old 15th Aug 2013, 22:27
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Taking the leap?

Hello,

I'm in a bit of a tricky situation. I can't decide whether to take the leap and do my pilot training.

I'm now eighteen; I've wanted to be a pilot since I was four and it's just stuck. It's all I can see myself doing as a career. I have considered (and applied, and promptly failed selection for) NATS air traffic control as a career. I am aware of the risks of becoming a pilot - I have done my research and know about the salaries, T's & C's and situation of the job market.

I plan to do my training at CTC - I have done the whole Modular vs. Integrated thing to death, spoken to some airlines about which they prefer and have decided on an integrated course. I've been to see about five different flight schools, and CTC was the stand out one for me. I know I could save a chunk of money by going elsewhere, but they didn't have the ties to the industry and I just wouldn't feel as happy spending the money there. While I'm on the subject of money, it wouldn't be done via a BBVA loan - it would be funded through a far more flexible route. Also, thanks to the Pilots' Apprenticeship Scheme, 42k can be put on the student finance system, which means until I earn above 21k a year I don't have to pay anything back.

I'm in the process of getting my Class 1 medical, and plan to try selection soon, after having prepared with some online tests. At least if I fail selection it will solve the dilemma once and for all!

I'm also looking into Higher Design/Engineering Apprenticeships in the Aerospace industry but really can't see myself going for any of these, despite the obvious financial benefits.

With all that in mind (assuming I get the medical and pass selection) something is still stopping me from saying "Yes - I'm signing up".

The issue is that I don't know what it is - if you were to ask me to sign on the dotted line for my training tomorrow, I wouldn't do it.

Hopefully I've explained this clearly, but the bottom line is that I would appreciate any sort of help making this decision, be it some pertinent (possibly even abrupt?) questions, some personal experience - anything! (assuming it isn't modular vs integrated)
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Old 16th Aug 2013, 12:19
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Hello Buggington,

I think that with your age you should go for it! this is the time in your life when you have no family worries and no financial debt (yet!). And with your choice to go with ctc wings you will have a great advantage when getting airline placement. If you are a ctc wings cadet, you will get to go out to New Zealand and get a gap year at the same time! You have obviously done your research so I can't think of any reason for you not to do it.

I am intrigued to know, How does this 42k student finance thing work?

Last edited by smartguy; 16th Aug 2013 at 12:24.
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Old 16th Aug 2013, 12:49
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Smart guy - While I remember, did you get my PM?

The student loan bit is new. It's through the Pilot's Higher Apprenticeship scheme, which aimed to bring more talented people into the industry (rather than those who had 100k burning a hole in their pocket).

The first course starts in September with CTC (I don't know if ay of the other training companies are doing anything with it yet) and the course is exactly the same. All that's happened is that someone's been through the CTC course and said that it meets the requirements for a degree, so when you do a CTC course you can opt into the degree.

Because there's now a degree involved, it's classed as education and so you're eligible for the student funding (including maintenance grants etc) for three years (two for the main CTC course and one for the type rating).

So that's basically the degree thing - 42k on student finance (best loan you'll ever have - suck on that BBVA ), getting a degree and all without doing anything extra.

I notice there's very little on this forum about it - maybe somebody needs to make a sticky about it to raise awareness. When the Higher Apprenticeship people were at CTC the room was nearly empty, even though the scheme could help you massively.
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Old 16th Aug 2013, 13:26
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finance

I heard that you can just put 9k a year on the student finance which in two years is 18k not 42k. Where did you get your information?
I hope it's like you said.
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Old 16th Aug 2013, 14:03
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future-pilot,

I believe it's the normal 9k tuition plus the maintenance loan (which is up to 5k depending on personal circumstances and family earnings). Which would come out at around 42k for the whole lot. Still leaves a big gap up to the current CTC wings cost of 69k and of course all the living allowances and potentially a TR depending on how it will work.
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Old 16th Aug 2013, 16:43
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Kermit's right, it hasn't been mentioned that it's actually three years; two years in CTC doing the main course, and then an extra year for the type rating. 3 years at 9k a year is 27k.

As Kermit says the extra 15k could come from maintenance loans, which until now I had forgotten were income dependant.

This leaves between 27-42k to find, not including the type rating. A lot more manageable than a flat 69k.
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Old 16th Aug 2013, 17:58
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Buggington,

You appear to have thought things through very carefully, researched thoroughly, and are capable of presenting your thoughts well. These are skills that will shine through during an airline selection process.

I completely understand your hesitance to sign up - I'm not sure what I would do in the current circumstances. There is some age old advice that I was given ten years ago when I was where you are now. That is that pilot training, however you do it, is a risk. Even chaps who sign up via the military can fail a check ride and end up as an RAF officer doing "other duties". Those on tagged schemes can find their airline going bust or revising their recruitment needs mid way through the course. It's a minefield.

The advice I received was to fully understand the risks you face, make a plan that mitigates the worst of the risk and have a backup, should the worst occur. There is no risk free method. Pilots are required on a day to day basis to assess and manage risk.

I was unaware of the new rules about apprenticeships, but it does sound like a huge step forward. I can only encourage you to pursue your ambition in a considered manner. It's an amazing job and I know I wouldn't be truly happy doing anything else.

Best of luck

Last edited by Artie Fufkin; 16th Aug 2013 at 18:01.
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Old 16th Aug 2013, 22:14
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Artie - thanks for that. I'm capable of presenting my thoughts over the internet where I can reorder my words, but in person it all falls apart

I need to come up with a new backup. The original backup was Air Traffic Control, but this was before I knew that out of the 3000 that applied per quarter, 20 actually got the job! That's quite a failure rate, and I was one of the 2980 unlucky ones.

I think an Aerospace Engineering Apprenticeship might be a backup at the moment, but it's not something I'm too keen on yet. I think I might need to visit some of the companies and see what I think of them. Anyway, that's not pilot related.
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Old 17th Aug 2013, 12:23
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What extra work is required for the degree aspect? I'm intrigued as to what the other 18 months of this three year thing are filled with.
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Old 17th Aug 2013, 12:48
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You don't have to do any extra work to obtain the degree. You never have to go the university you just do the 18 months integrated training course like everyone else has done but you get a degree at the end of it. You get a BCs with honours in professional aviation and pilot practice and all the other licenses that you would normally get. The good thing about this is it then gives you access to the government student loans of upto 42k, of course this is only part of the 100k it will cost you to go to ctc!
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Old 17th Aug 2013, 13:12
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Hi,

If you don't mind, could someone please either post or PM me details of where i can read more about this Pilot Apprenticeship Scheme? Entry criteria, age etc
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Old 17th Aug 2013, 16:55
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You don't have to do any extra work to obtain the degree. You never have to go the university you just do the 18 months integrated training course like everyone else has done but you get a degree at the end of it. You get a BCs with honours in professional aviation and pilot practice and all the other licenses that you would normally get.
An honours degree for getting a pilots licence eh? Whatever next? Just goes to show how cheapened an honours degree has become.
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Old 17th Aug 2013, 18:16
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Smartguy's hit the nail on the head.

Steve - I think that's the wrong way to view it. As I understand it, a lot of subjects are covered.

Regardless, google aviation skills partnership. You should be able to find some info on there, although there isn't much. Your best bet is to see them at the next CTC open day.
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Old 17th Aug 2013, 19:57
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Lots of subjects are covered I'm sure - I have the licence to show for it. It does not however, in my opinion, equate in any way to the obtaining of an honours degree.

In terms of financing it though, it is a massive step in the right direction.
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Old 17th Aug 2013, 20:07
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One thing to consider - whilst you say airlines prefer integrated over modular, did those airlines mention that they prefer their own "cadets" that they have tagged for their recruitment needs?

There is a world of difference between modular v integrated v "tagged" students WRT employment after finishing.
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Old 17th Aug 2013, 22:01
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Airlines such as easyjet take on 200+ pilots a year and they only have 20 or so cadets on each of their tagged schemes. Therefore they are going to need more pilots to fill the 200+ spaces in their cockpits...where are they going to get them? Experienced pilots and Untagged integrated student! Not modular students! They will take the untagged integrated student from places like the ctc hold pool so the pilots can be put on ctc flexicrew contracts etc...
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Old 17th Aug 2013, 23:20
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Snail: I wouldn't know the answer to that. When I check there weren't as many of these tagged schemes around, but as you say there would clearly be a massive difference.

Smartguy: When I visited CTC last week I was told that their hold pool had been taken from 150 cadets down to around 30 cadets. I presume the vast majority of these went to EasyJet. Not sure what can be gleaned from this fact, but I thought it was worth putting out there.
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Old 18th Aug 2013, 03:37
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Buddington,

So CTC told you that the hold pool is nearly empty so you should start training straight away while the wait is short?

Guys, OAA and CTC and whoever else are only interested in getting bums on seats any way possible. They are there to make money. Not get you a job.

You should ask how many students who graduated in the last 12 months have "meaningful" employment. OAA seem to think that the Lion Air pay to fly scheme is a job.

Smartguy. Do you work for CTC? Easyjet hire people from all over Europe. They may only take 50 odd from the UK meaning non tagged employment may only be 30 people for the whole country! As about 1000 people obtain a CPL every year in the UK that makes the odds of you being picked up by Easy pretty slim. Also, as Ryan aren't recruiting right now what do you suggest people do if Easy don't pick them up?
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Old 18th Aug 2013, 07:13
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Calm down pilotchute. The person who told me the hold pool had shrunk was actually a cadet who was due to finish training in a couple of months. Seeing as the training takes at least 18 months, it would be stupid to start training based solely on this advice because the hold pool would have changed by the time I finished my training.

It doesn't take much to work out that CTC and OAA are profit making organisations - I for one have always ignored their "statistics". Asking about meaningful employment would probably be a waste of time - they're never going to turn round and say "only 32% of our ex cadets are earning above 16k a year", are they?
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Old 18th Aug 2013, 07:53
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Bug,

Borrowing money for flight training at this point in time is madness. Holding onto the belief that Easy is still taking guys on and basing your decision on the hiring practices of one airline wouldn't be a good idea. Easy can turn off the tap anytime they like. Ryan just did it.

On another thread someone said that out of his ATPL ground course in 2012, 6 out of around 60 people are actually flying and being paid for it right now.

Plenty of OAA and CTC integrated guys out there looking for work. A lot have already given up. You have to remember that plenty of people who graduated in 2008,09,10,11 and 12 are all out there looking for jobs too.

I just lifted this off the CAE Website so have amended my post to include it.

The overall worldwide fleet of aircraft will almost double; airline traffic almost triple by 2028.

29,000 new airplanes will be delivered worldwide by 2028.

Industry experts predict the overall global pilot demand for the next 20 years is about 20,000 pilots per year.

The problem with these three statements is virtually none of this will be happening in Europe. 90% of new aircraft orders are going to either the Middle or Far East. Almost all the 20,000 pilots required per year will be going to the Middle and Far East. Guess where all the traffic increases will be?

My last beef is that in the "Airlines we work with" section. Ryanair has been listed twice and apparently CAE work with not only Susi Air but Lion Air also!! What a load of rubbish. They cant even spell the names of some Airlines properly. I know they aren't going to tell you that only 30% of the grads are working but listing half truths and very questionable info on your website has to give you an indication as to what sort of business they are. All of this is to convince you that now is best time to get you to part with your money. Clearly it isn't

Last edited by pilotchute; 18th Aug 2013 at 08:10.
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