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Instructing or Glider towing

Old 30th Jan 2014, 10:30
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Instructing or Glider towing

Hi Guys,

I recently finished my CPL/ME/IR training and I'm currently at a cross roads and would like some advice. Whilst I'm applying for the airlines, my 260hours is well short of the 1000+ some carriers are asking for and I really can't afford to go to Ryanair. I therefore feel that i have two options open to me at present:

Instructing- I've visited my local flying school where I underwent my PPL training and spoke to the MD who told me that if I do the FI course, I can instruct on a part time basis with his school. However, the current cost of an FI course is around the 8000 mark and I'm struggling to justify spending this much after spending such a large chunk of my cash on modular cpl/me/ir to fly VFR at weekends only.

Glider towing- I'm a reasonably experienced glider pilot (Silver) but haven't done much in the last couple of years. My gliding club is currently short of tug pilots and the tug master has told me that I can become a tug pilot on their pa25 on a voluntry basis if I complete my tailwheel differences training and do some dual towing on another clubs piper cub.

I'm really at a bit of a loss on how to get my hours up in the most productive way that will make me more attractive to the airlines. I realise that I am one of thousands of newly qualified cpl/me/ir holders who are all jostling to get into an airline job.

Basically, if you were in my situation, which do you think would be the best course to take?
The Flying Stool is offline  
Old 30th Jan 2014, 11:21
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Instructing or towing

Tail wheel differences will cost about 800 and guarantee some hours,instructing 8000 and no guarantees of any students.No brainer.
I would also look again at ryan air before you hit that magic 30(out of 22 collegues who got in there over last 7 years all but 1 under 30) in Europe this age does seem to be all or end all with 0 hour cadets.
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Old 30th Jan 2014, 15:55
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I personally think you should take into consideration the type of flying you will do. Instructing will make you develop certain skills whereas glider towing does not.
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Old 30th Jan 2014, 16:16
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Is there any flying life after CPL skill test?

Hi all,

I came up with almost the same options:

1. Stick to my local club and build hours flying with friends or make nice trips
over US sharing costs with another pilot;

2. Towing gliders/parachute jumpers/air taxi/ferry flying around my area;

3. FI course, preferably with a job after;

4. Bush flying in Africa/Latin America/Asia.

Applying to airlines in the same time is a must (of course, if your goal is to fly heavy irons).

And please, guys, try to avoid to discuss about "too old...", "modular vs integrated", "p2fly" etc in this thread.
maximus610 is offline  
Old 30th Jan 2014, 16:25
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As someone who went to the airlines from flying instruction, and who carried on instructing I would suggest that unless you have a passion for it you would be better served by the tug pilot role. The F.I. is a large investment with little return and there are too many instructors about that have no real interest in the job other than the hours, if you feel you have that real interest in passing on your knowledge then it's a challenging and rewarding role( not normally in the financial sense).
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Old 2nd Feb 2014, 11:57
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Air Taxi is not an hour building option, minimum requirements for single pilot ops under JAA/EASA ops was 700 total time, with at least 40 hours p1 multi, quite often 1000 hrs total with 200 multi is often asked for. Besides there are not many ait taxi companies left these days.

As for ferry flying again a lot of insurance companies will require more hours than a fresh qualifier will have.

Tug towing jobs and para dropping jobs are quite rare, plus these days there isn't an abundance of FI positions. However the tail wheel time is useful, with a few hundred hours tail wheel you may be able to get onto a para dropping job on a turbine tail dragger (PC6 Porter, Stork, or Beaver).

In turn single turbine experience could get you into a company like Zimex, or flying a PC12 or TBM 850 for a fractional ownership syndicate.

However you did say your interest was airline, these days if that is your interest you are better served finding a high paying non flying job to fund a type rating.
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Old 2nd Feb 2014, 12:41
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Building hours and skills.

Would not be fair at all to say that glider towing does not add to your skills base when compared to instructing. Both clearly are valuable, but each employs a different range of skills.

Those in professional flying who have not been involved in gliding and towing don't really appreciate what it's all about. T'was ever thus.

Towing will get you flying every day you can, and rapidly build your handling, judgement and general airmanship. It is also usually a lot of fun, and done in an environment of support, supervision and camaraderie that might be difficult to find in many flying clubs.

It's unusual to find anyone who did a season of towing and didn't get a great deal from it. Later on it's frequently looked back on fondly as some of the most fun flying you did in your career. And as tail-wheel time, well, just rather more satisfying and testing than plonking on nose wheels every time .. . ;o)

Good luck and crack on as well as you can. It is a bit of a race against all of the other competition to get the first job. There are quite a number of bursaries available that are attached to gliding - you might be able to bag something to help cover the costs ?
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Old 2nd Feb 2014, 14:10
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Both or either.

just get flying.
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Old 2nd Feb 2014, 17:51
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Flying Stool,

Who did you do your CPL/IR training with? Have they been able to give any career advice/ application guidance with any airlines?
Lew747 is offline  

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