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Choosing the right course

Old 14th Sep 2013, 14:13
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Thumbs up Choosing the right course

Good afternoon everyone

My name is Amar, I am Swedish and I just joined this forum
I am currently finishing my last year of education (international Baccalaureate) and I have a dream of being a pilot but after looking up things I feel like giving up.

I am now in the stage of selecting the best aviation academy for myself

Which one is the best academy of those three (OAA, CTC, FTEJEREZ)?
I have done so much research about them but i can't take a final decision

I hope i get some answers, thanks!
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Old 15th Sep 2013, 10:21
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amarbond

From the school you chose, I suppose you want to follow the integrated route. If you thing that doing the integrated will get you in the RHS seat then you are completely mistaken. Here's what you have to do, go somewhere exotic, do your PPL in 3 months, then go to a modular school in the UK and do the rest. CTC has a very good modular school, and Oxford, FTE stopped offering the modular course. This way you will be able to fund your TR, and other types of training that you might require in order to successfully land a proper job. There are very good modular schools in the UK, it's hard not to find one, but if I was to choose one from the schools you mentioned for integrated, then I would have chose FTE because you do all the training at one place.
DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY TO GET A LICENSE WHICH YOU CAN TAKE WITH MUCH LESS IF YOU GO MODULAR.
make some more research in the forum, and begin with the modular vs integrated thread, which you obviously did not read.
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Old 19th Sep 2013, 10:27
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@gpiper

Thank you very much for this interesting information
Trust me, I have done so much research about the modular training

But, It seems to me that integrated is only a "bit" more expensive but you still get the same license faster. Also the fact that airline companies prefer integrated course. I am lost on what to do about my dream.

However those famous aviation academies take care of their integrated students more than the modular ones.
Ftejerez, the training is conducted in Spain for the whole course.
But OAA has their training in U.S which I think is way better.

Cheers mate
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Old 19th Sep 2013, 15:13
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From the school you chose, I suppose you want to follow the integrated route. If you thing that doing the integrated will get you in the RHS seat then you are completely mistaken. Here's what you have to do, go somewhere exotic, do your PPL in 3 months, then go to a modular school in the UK and do the rest.
How is he completely mistaken? I am presently flying with a cadet from one of the training schools he has already mentioned. All of our other cadets are from integrated training schools. Other airlines with established cadet programmes either wholly require or show bias towards many of these same schools integrated programmes.

Beyond the cadet programmes, there isn't much of a market in the airline world for 200 hour wannabes. These forums are testament to that reality.

I said this 4 years ago, and nothing has happened to change that viewpoint. Indeed the current evolution of this market segment towards MPL only reinforces that advice.

The course or training regime anybody embarks upon will largely be governed by their resources and ability. Another reality that is neither new nor likely to change anytime soon.
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Old 20th Sep 2013, 12:44
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there isn't much of a market in the airline world for 200 hour wannabes.
Couldn't agree more.

The way I see it, you have three options if you want to be a pilot:

The easy way (if you can afford it) - integrated.
The hard way (cheapest) - modular.
The long way - via the military.

All routes can and will work eventually, but it depends what you want to do.

I would recommend CTC the highest out of the bunch you mention because you WILL get a RHS soon after you finish the course with them, they have the best links to airlines with an incredible uptake success compared to all the others.

Schemes such as BA Future Pilot etc are worth their weight in gold and should NOT be overlooked.

The agricultural modular route with a bit of instruction or tug flying etc along the way appeals to me but can be a difficult time, financially and will require you moving all over the place.

Then of course there is the military route, which speaks for itself but will put a 10-20 year delay on the process.
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Old 23rd Sep 2013, 13:53
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Hi Bealzebub

"Other airlines with established cadet programmes either wholly require or show bias towards many of these same schools integrated programmes"

I don't quite understand why would there be any difference between someone who paid for an integrated course or someone who paid for a modular course, at the end of the day do they not both have the same licenses and have followed the rules and passed all the exams and obtained the required hours ?
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Old 23rd Sep 2013, 14:44
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Because, the steep transition that these cadet schemes require goes well beyond simply licenses, hours and rules.

Airlines that operate ab-initio cadet schemes want candidates who are likely to become on-line and productive within a time/cost budget. It is expensive to train cadets who themselves are on an extremely steep learning curve. It is therefore very important that those candidates are likely to succeed without a great deal of additional or remedial training. It is consequently very important that there is a low attrition rate.

The principle FTO's in these types of cadet programme, not only screen the most likely candidates, but they also provide full time, monitored and verifiable training to the airlines. They do that in a format which is usually compatible with their partner airlines own training regimes. The training itself not only leads to licence issue, but it does so in an environment which is tailored to the same operating philosophies as many of the airline customers.

The airline wants a seamless, continuous, and full time trained candidate. They want someone who is not likely (in most cases) to find the transition to their own operations overwhelming or unduly difficult. The airline expects the candidate to be well prepared for this transition. It also expects the FTO to provide cadets to a consistently high standard, such that the attrition (or failure) rate is kept low.

At this level, having the same licence, passing the same exams, having the required hours simply isn't enough. These programmes represent a fast track route into the pinnacle levels of the profession, and it is important for those companies offering the programmes, that the selected candidates are not only those most likely to be successful, but also those that have trained in the methodology and environments that is likely to ensure that success from their point of view.
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Old 23rd Sep 2013, 17:55
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I don't know about airline cadet 'tagged' schemes, but I assume beazlebub is correct as that's what I'd expect.

As for untagged integrated vs modular, I personally do not see a difference in training. But, as much as I hate to say it, integrated students do get jobs more than modular. As I said, I don't think it's a difference in training (usually) but more of a business thing. You scratch my back I'll scratch yours. Or, if it's not a business thing, it could just be that integrated schools pump out more pilots than the typical modular. So obviously the ratios are different.

I did go modular, I did get a jet job. But I was lucky. I'm not being biased about the level of training either, I've seen both very good and very useless pilots both from modular schools and the 'big three'. From people I've spoken to who went to OAA, they all say less than 30-40% of people get jobs out of an untagged integrated course. Modular (at any school) is less than that. I'm not saying do not go modular, as I'm happy with my choice. But you need to know what to expect.

I do disagree with the one of the posters above, referring to integrated as the easy way. A lot of integrated students are unemployed, and have been for a while.

Of course, if you are a bloody good pilot, it doesn't matter what route you take. A job will probably come eventually, as you will impress the right people with your skill.

Disclaimer: No figures are official. All based on opinion/word of mouth.

Last edited by pudoc; 23rd Sep 2013 at 17:59.
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Old 23rd Sep 2013, 21:04
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thank you Bealzebub and pudoc for sharing your thoughts on this matter, Its very difficult trying to decide on either modular or integrated as for most of us the funding is the real problem , for me going integrated means an extra 5-6 years of savings . I think in an ideal situation where money is not an issue integrated is the best way to do it, and as someone above said programs like the BA pilot program are indeed worth their weight in gold
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Old 23rd Sep 2013, 21:20
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If you are on a tagged cadet scheme the choice is easy.

If your not on one you in the same boat as everyone else.

Ryanair sucks up the majority of both types that go straight to jets.

The real advantage with modular is that you can work and train at the same time. You can also time your entrance into the job market. ie speed up if things are good or slow down if we hit another 9/11.

Realistically if you haven't got a job after 1-2 years after getting your blue book you going to have to do something pretty drastic to get back into the market as most employers will go for the fresh meat out of school that are current.
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Old 23rd Sep 2013, 22:35
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Honestly now

For me the new MPL is waste of money for two reasons. One most MPL programs require that you pay the full amount for the training which comes up to 115K GBP, and two, your license will not be released until you have 1200 hours. (Speaking for Qatar Cadet, Monarch, and other who will follow) What happens if you are kicked out from the airline at 1199 hours? or if the airline bankrupts? You don't have a license! Good point, you get a job right away, bad points, you are at risk of loosing everything, it costs so much money that in then end you need to think twice even if you make it through the selection. I know many guys who actually made it through the selection and did not accept the airline's contract because it was ******.

Another thing, I totally agree with mad_jock, like Ryanair there are dozens of airlines who take low houred pilots, no one tells you that the airline market is only open in the UK, there are low houred hiring airlines all over Europe.

I am surprised that certain people still believe that being an untagged integrated will get you anywhere better than being a modular student, especially when I know and everyone knows, that there are people who are in the holding pool of the big 3 for more than 2 years( after all, being in the pool for 2 years is considered normal, that's what the big 3 say once you decide to do your training there), and most of them end up doing the instructors in modular schools.

Integrated is good for young people who have no problem financing on their training and want a college styled training. I would say they will receive top of the class training which some modular school can offer and they will then be members of the long holding pool and hopefully they will get hired by a partner airline. I give them 10% chances at most that they will land a job quicker than modular students.

Last point if I make, BA and Easyjet so far are the only airlines that expressed their preference to Integrated over modular, which one of the two is hiring now??(Both are actually firing pilots) You can get in any airline you want if you got hours anyway, regardless if you are integrated or modular.

Last edited by gpiper; 23rd Sep 2013 at 22:38.
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Old 24th Sep 2013, 01:34
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For me the new MPL is waste of money for two reasons. One most MPL programs require that you pay the full amount for the training which comes up to 115K GBP, and two, your license will not be released until you have 1200 hours. (Speaking for Qatar Cadet, Monarch, and other who will follow) What happens if you are kicked out from the airline at 1199 hours? or if the airline bankrupts? You don't have a license! Good point, you get a job right away, bad points, you are at risk of loosing everything, it costs so much money that in then end you need to think twice even if you make it through the selection. I know many guys who actually made it through the selection and did not accept the airline's contract because it was ******.
Most courses require that you pay the full amount for training. As for your comment that "your licence will not be released until you have 1200 hours", that is abject nonsense! The Multi Crew Pilots Licence (MPL) is a licence. It is issued upon completion of the course requirements just as with any other licence. It is transferable to any airline operating an approved MPL programme. At 1500 hours the licence may be converted (subject to the same criteria as a CPL/IR) to an ATPL.

Although it isn't new, the MPL is likely to see a resurgent growth as the weak economy recedes. We have just taken on our first course of MPL cadets and other courses are now in training. Other airlines already have, or are increasingly likely to switch over to this method of competency based ab-initio training in the near and medium term future. It is very likely that it will become the mainstream route for ab-initio cadets into airline cadet programmes. Principally this is because those same airlines have already, or are in the process of, switching over to competency based training throughout their internal induction and recurrent methodologies.

Our MPL cadets are on the same terms and conditions of placement and subsequent employment as our current non-MPL cadets. Within 15 months to 24 months (depending on fleet) they are on exactly the same conditions as the rest of our pilot contingent. Is there a risk? Well yes, there is always a risk, I am not sure I can tell you where there isn't one, but on the basis of a sensible assumption of "risk" I cannot see why you would be at any greater or lesser exposure.

If you don't like it fine. If you don't like the perception of "risk," fine. Likewise if the sponsoring airlines T&C's don't fit in with your idea of the realities of the marketplace, fine. But this is likely to be the growth medium for ab-initio in the very near future and beyond.

I am surprised that certain people still believe that being an untagged integrated will get you anywhere better than being a modular student, especially when I know and everyone knows, that there are people who are in the holding pool of the big 3 for more than 2 years( after all, being in the pool for 2 years is considered normal, that's what the big 3 say once you decide to do your training there), and most of them end up doing the instructors in modular schools.
Most of our cadets and those of many other airlines cadet programmes come from these major FTO's. Their "holding pools" are tidal. By that I mean that airline recruitment is both variable and highly seasonal. Most recruitment occurs in the Winter and Spring when the greatest number of training tracks are available. When you couple this with the fact airlines plans are often influenced by rapidly changing global events and in turn market conditions, it can be very difficult (if not impossible) to guarantee, or even forecast with any degree of certainty, what will happen two years hence. Nevertheless, that is broadly speaking, how long the ab-initio process takes for an integrated full time course of training with the major FTO's. It is therefore not surprising that so called "Hold pools" comprise candidates for varying lengths of time. I know that we took cadets last year who didn't spend one single day in a holding pool. This year we have taken on cadets who have spent anything up to 12 months waiting for a placement.
That is simply the nature of the beast.

Last point if I make, BA and Easyjet so far are the only airlines that expressed their preference to Integrated over modular, which one of the two is hiring now??(Both are actually firing pilots) You can get in any airline you want if you got hours anyway, regardless if you are integrated or modular.
No they aren't, and no they aren't. Many airlines with cadet schemes want people who are likely to be successful on the very steep learning curve that is the reality between ab-initio training and airline flying. Cadet schemes are hungry consumers of available training resources, and few airlines can afford the extra resources of remedial training and failure as a result of the steep transition in candidates who haven't been trained towards an early airline environment. That is why these schools are partners. Their syllabi and methodologies dovetail well into airline operations, and this makes the difficult transition easier for the potential cadets. It also deals with the early selection criteria, the monitored and verifiable training regime, as well as the continuation and consistency of training.

If you really believe that "you can get in any airline you want if you got hours regardless of if you are integrated or modular," then I am afraid you are deluding yourself. Take a wander over to Terms & Endearment. Here you will find many, many well experienced pilots being squeezed out of the market by the expansion of cadet schemes at one end of the scale, and the lack of movement at the upper end of the market in part caused by the 10 year extension to most senior pilots working lives.

I think you need to do a little bit more research...Honestly now!
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Old 24th Sep 2013, 13:54
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Bealzebub

M8 I believe you are dreaming.. Your encouraging words about the integrated being the best option for me are false. I don't know which airline you work for or where you trained, but for the 1200 hours I am very certain that your license is not issued until you reach that amount of hours(A friend of mine attended and passed the selection for Qatar). Further more, where I work going through the modular route did not get me in a trouble finding a job, found as soon as I finished my training.

I never disagreed on the fact that integrated students tend to find jobs quicker than modular, but you are making it look like they are far far better than the modular route, where in reality it's only 10-15% better. If you got the money then go for it and be prepared to support your self for another 2 years when you don't find a job, considering that you paid 100K for your training too.

You know what, if I come with 2000 hours on an Airbus, which means I worked roughly 5 years in an airline, name me an airline which will not hire me if I make it through their selection. Easyjet will beg anyone with 2000 hours, BA will not refuse to give a chance to someone, but at the moment none of them hires. For them is doesn't count where you trained once you got 2000 hours, because it means you are more than capable to fly an Airbus.

You said airlines look for people who most likely will be successful on the steep learning curve, then tell me now what good has that brought to you after you found a job?

Bealzbub my m8, if you thing I need to make more research fine, you got your opinion I got mine, I am registered in this forum so I can give an opinion to the people who want to pursue their dream, I used to be in that place years ago, I don't have anything to prove. I regularly open new threads for people who want to pursue what they love, based on what they can afford.

Last edited by gpiper; 24th Sep 2013 at 13:54.
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Old 24th Sep 2013, 14:09
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Yes, well I am afraid you are simply wrong! You need to do more research on the MPL. The licence is issued with fewer hours than the CPL but that is because of the significant use of airline simulator training.

You can believe and opine to your hearts content, I am only providing a realistic picture of what is happening in this segment of the airline market. If that doesn't fit with your window on the world then that is fine.

I work closely with cadets, know the product and the training regime quite well. That has been the case for over 15 years of my last three decades of airline captaincy. I work in an airline with a long history of cadet (and other) recruitment, and we are now evolving into MPL cadet training programmes.

From this vantage point it is easy to provide realistic and accurate information. What anybody wishes to do with that information is entirely up to them. It is free! It is accurate, it is qualified, and it is informed.

You are spouting drivel!
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Old 24th Sep 2013, 14:19
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Bealzebub

You got every right to express your opinion no matter how accurate it is, it's up to the person who reads it whether or not they will agree with you. Don't forget that the Cadet and the MPL is not available to everyone, some people can afford it, some people can't pass the selection, but that doesn't mean they are not capable of doing what they always wanted.

If I am spouting drivel, then that is what you believe, and others to judge.
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Old 24th Sep 2013, 19:14
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From this vantage point it is easy to provide realistic and accurate information
well there are a lot of us that disagree with you.

In fact your information is based on the requirement of all the training providers of your cadets having a steady stream of fresh meat paying full wack to sustain your preferred method of training. The fact that a lot of them fail to get a RHS in anything doesn't seem to bother you.

If you not on a tagged scheme your pretty much pissing money into the wind paying for the expensive course.

Wannabies have no doud't if it wasn't for your money getting put into the system outside the tagged schemes there wouldn't be the training providers to provide them.

Its good to see more and more wannabies seeing through your misinformation.
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Old 24th Sep 2013, 22:17
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An airline wouldn't kick you out at, for example, 1499 hours if you need 1500 to get the ATPL. Reason being, it's in the airlines interest to keep you.

The reason why P2F schemes will boot you off is for the next load of people to P2F. Whereas you aren't P2F, you've been training for 18 months for this airline. Plus nobody would join another MPL with that airline if everyone got booted off before getting an ATPL.
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Old 25th Sep 2013, 09:47
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Beazlebub,

Just out of curiosity, what are your learned thoughts on those of your many colleagues who have come through the modular/self-improver route?
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Old 25th Sep 2013, 11:26
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After 500 hours you can't tell the difference between how anyone was trained. They can either do it or they can't.

Do understand though that there is more than one reason why airlines like cadets.

The first as Bealzebub states is that they get a known quantity through the door into the training dept.

The other reasons are financial.

They get quite large tax offsets against the training.

They get to claim the VAT back for the training.

They get to reduce the employer NI contributions for that employee.

Of course the company gets all that, the cadet doesn't get to see any of it and they pay the full wack.

Be assured if it was cheaper to get modular/open market in that's what they would be doing.

This is a well pedalled sales line from the big schools when approaching airlines to start cadet schemes.

Unfortunately the schools have been looking at the short term of bums on seats. They haven't realised that if they sow up all the "jobs" there is no point going for their product because there basically is no jobs which prefer their products which aren't already spoken for. At least before the cadet scheme's there was a chance that people could get one of these jobs so it was worth paying the extra to be in with a chance.

Now there is no point. Your only chance is Ryanair if not on a cadet scheme. 6 months out the door, your grades aren't the best or they just plain don't like you, and the school will wash their hands of you. Then your in the same boat as all the modular but with less chance because most of the smaller airlines the training dept and CP is from a modular background.
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Old 25th Sep 2013, 15:22
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Beazlebub,

Just out of curiosity, what are your learned thoughts on those of your many colleagues who have come through the modular/self-improver route?
A very off topic and slightly strange question? My thoughts about what particularly?

If you turn the clock back 15 years or more, you would have found the well trodden path to an airline career was travelled by two major groups of applicants. They were the military career changers (leavers) and the self improver CPL/IR's. A small section of the marketplace was satisfied by the "approved" ab-initio training schools (commercial and linked) into a small number of specialized airline cadet programmes. Hamble (BEA/BOAC/BA) was perhaps the most famous, but there were others (Oxford, AST Perth,) that satisfied the requirements of a small number of airlines cadet programmes. These were expensive programmes even in those days, and in some cases provided the fast track input into an airline career.

Outside of the small number of these programmes, recruitment was satisfied almost wholly by the military leavers and the "self improvers." Taking the case of the latter, what was meant by the term "self improver?" As I recall it was often used in slightly derogatory terms, but in reality it meant somebody who had worked their way up through the system, often through a number of "stepping stone" jobs. The basic licence itself involved nearly three times the experience levels of todays "modular CPL," at around 700 hours! Even then , that was not nearly enough to qualify for most airline vacancies. Most "self improvers" went through the "stepping stones" of flight instruction, air taxi, aerial work jobs, until they found themselves at the door of the second and third tier airline operations, where many got their first look in at heavy turboprop experience. For most "jet jobs" the vacancies were satisfied by these "self improvers" obtaining promotion from the turboprops, or by jumping ship when they had amassed the requisite experience sought. This experience was minimally in the 2000-3000 hour range (often more) with at least 500 hours turbine time.

As I mentioned, the term "self improver" was often used in a derogatory manner, but in reality the "self improvers" were just that. They improved themselves through what was more often than not a difficult and demanding self financed apprenticeship. It took time to work yourself up to the experience levels demanded of the first tier operators. Nevertheless, a lot of people achieved their goals, and the industry requirements. Indeed it was the most common route into an airline career. The fast track "approved" programmes provided a small market segment, but even four decades ago, they were doing so at the 250 hour level.

So back to your question? My thoughts on the many colleagues who came through the "self improver route?" My answer. I have only the greatest respect for them and anybody else who has worked their up through a system that has always been extremely challenging and one with a very high attrition rate. As I have already stated, it was the principal route into a first tier airline career, and whilst (as is always the case) some were lucky, well resourced, and seemed to have the advantages, most worked extremely hard to get where they are.

However.......

That isn't todays reality. With the introduction and harmonisation of J.A.R. The CPL/IR became more of a basic licence. In effect it became an "aerial work" licence. This brought the system into line with that existing in most other ICAO nations, and particularly the USA. The "modular" requirements in terms of flying experience was slashed by two thirds. The licence became a benchmark requirement for aerial work jobs that (in the UK) could previously have been done with merely a PPL (such as flight instructing.) Obviously it was now much cheaper and easier to obtain a CPL than it previously had been. This opened the floodgates as more and more people were seduced or enticed into obtaining a licence that they believed was the benchmark qualification for the right hand seat of an airliner. Two problems with that. The first, even the previous 700 hour licence was never the benchmark for those type of jobs. The second, the number of hopefuls expanded exponentially. You only have to wade through these forums to see that more than a decade later, people still believe this.

The one aspect that didn't change (fundamentally,) was the previously niche "approved school" fast track CPL/IR. This was a full time course of integrated training geared specifically towards the very steep learning curve of a low hour airline apprenticeship. Established and new operators moved into this market around 15 years ago and expanded the concept to provide the selection and quality that airlines found attractive in new recruits. Such was the success (pre-recession) of some of these schools, that money was freely available to fund many of those candidates who were successful at selection. Airlines have always needed to maintain a supply curve of experienced pilots to satisfy their left seat requirements. This was always achieved by the induction experience levels of those well qualified military pilots and similarly experienced "self improvers." However, at around the same time the licencing system was undergoing its JAR induced metamorphosis, another major regulatory change was taking place. That change, was the extension of a pilots career by anything up to 10 years! This took pressure off the airlines to maintain a linear experience curve, and allowed them to switch a much more significant segment of their recruitment over to the cadet input.

First tier airlines never had a particular requirement for 700 hour CPL/IR's. A few took "approved" 200 hour fast track cadets. The majority they sourced from the experience growth of those 700 hour CPL's. That is to say when they had "stepped" through the system and "self improved" to the 2000-3000 (500 turbine) base level. The reality is that has changed little. They certainly don't have a requirement for 250 hour CPL holders, and the problem is, that the exponential hoards of these new wannabes in many cases simply cannot find the stepping stones with which to amass their experience. Even when the lucky few do, the growth in "cadet programmes" and the competition awaiting them at that level, simply increases the difficulty in finding jobs at any ascending level.

Many wannabes have cemented the idea that you get a CPL/IR and you are fair game for the airline vacancies that might arise. That was never the case, and God knows (for all the reasons I have proffered and more) it certainly isn't the case now. The cadet programmes do provide a fast track opportunity, indeed they always have. However the idea that "it is the same licence so why bother" simply fails to take into account the realities.

In two decades the world has moved on. In airline recruitment things have moved on. At the ab-initio level airlines are increasingly looking towards tailored input. The current evolution into MPL training programmes is simply the natural evolution of that tailored input. If my son or daughter came to me and said "what is the quickest and most likely route into the right hand seat of a first tier airline? (or indeed any airline with a good career horizon,) then I would give them the same advice and observational background that I would on these forums.

It doesn't bother me one bit what anybody actually decides to do. I completely understand the limitations, differences in aspiration, and the practical and economic realities that underscore and usually define an individuals choice. I see what I see from a good vantage point. I (and many others) have watched the evolution of the market for three decades and more. Take it on board, discard it, argue it, ignore it. It makes no difference to me. However read these forums and a few others in the neighbourhood and the context and reality of the comment and advice should become clear.

These forums are often a pit of gloom of despondency, when in fact there are a few bright spots out there. They may be few and far between, but they do exist. I know they exist because I work with them everyday. I am truly pleased for anybody that succeeds at their goals however they achieve that success. I understand why some rail against the system and simply close their eyes to reality, but unfortunately it doesn't change that reality.

Last edited by Bealzebub; 25th Sep 2013 at 15:44.
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