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FTA Shoreham VS Stapleford or BCFT

Old 24th Jun 2014, 09:57
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FTA Shoreham VS Stapleford or BCFT

Before someone says this has already been discussed... I believe that it hasn't properly.

I have recently been looking into the "Flight Deck Programme" at FTA based in Shoreham which is an integrated course taking around 12-14 months. Of course this isn't a CTC or a OAA or FTE. I visited them recently and was informed that their class sizes are around 5-10 and they operate diamond DA40 and Diamond DA42s with many with G100 glass cockpits. I quite liked to relaxed environment at the school (certainly more personal than CTC or OAA).

It appears in the previous year a handful of graduates from FTA have progressed onto a job with an airline (with graduates securing jobs at the likes of EasyJet, Ryanair and Monarch).

My question is would people be more inclined to go for the FTA integrated course (which has been running for 3-4 years now) or with perhaps a more established school for a modular course (e.g Stapleford or BCFT)? In addition do people know whether many students leaving Stapleford or BCFT are able to secure jobs with airliners? On the Stapleford website, they do have a list of "recent" graduates but I am not sure of the time frame.

Any helpful responses would be welcomed
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Old 24th Jun 2014, 23:58
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I've heard good things about Shoreham to be honest (Not had a visit mind). If you search around the forum, I'm sure you will find plenty of good things said and minimal negative reviews(which is the key thing to look for to be honest. Most people take the time to vent frustrations rather than post positive experiences - just google Royal Mail (or indeed, any other currier service) reviews for example).

The thing with this integrated course - its about 10k more expensive than doing it modular at the same school... So why bother? You can do a modular course full time although you will have to do all the leg work (e.g.: manage your own hour building, etc).

Also look in to "structured modular" courses - they offer the same structured approach (so the FTO will do the leg work, you just fork out the cash) as integrated but at the cost of modular.

BCTF, PAT (both Bournemouth) and Aeros (Gloucester) have some links to Flybe and offer modular courses. (BCTF and PAT in particular are well respected from what I've read).

Also google something like "Good UK Modular flight schools" and click on any link that links back to PPRuNe. Have a look through these thread, compile a list of the FTO's that are frequently mentioned and then search for some reviews - it may take an age, but it's worth the time.

With regards to job opportunities. CTC seem to have Easy all sown up these days (for the 200hr pilots anyway) - along with others (Monarch, BA. But these guys are not exactly the primary source of jobs for the guy with the fresh CPL+IR licence). Ryanair apparently take on low hour direct entry pilots, but they stopped all recruitment last year I believe (not sure on the current state and your guess is as good as mine for what they will be doing in 2 years).

Last edited by dbowler92; 25th Jun 2014 at 00:10.
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Old 28th Jun 2014, 09:20
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It's good that you visited, I've been down there myself, I quite liked the informal nature of the place and the fact that the classes are small.

Also, you do all your flying in the UK, so no moving around. Shoreham is also a beautiful town.

However, in terms of costs, once you add in living costs, the integrated Flight Deck programme isn't must cheaper than CTC, OAA or FTE.

I don't think FTA has quite the same close relationship with some airlines like say CTC, but some its graduates are clearly making their way into big airlines, and small ones, like Air Arran in Ireland.

So, it probably comes down to personal choice. FTA is still on my shortlist ... I need another visit there (and other places) to make final decision.
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Old 28th Jun 2014, 11:20
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Some of this is generalising a bit but IMO is largely true:

Very few schools apart from the often called "Big 3" (that is, FTE, CTC and CAE) have strong connections with airlines. Yes maybe the CFI is ex-airline and can maybe send a CV in the right direction but this cannot be relied on for employment afterwards. Unless you are (part-)sponsored/tagged by an airline, for planning purposes you should really assume that you will be on your own after training for finding employment. At least this way if the school can give a genuine lead, it's a bonus.

Next, there is the large debate about modular vs integrated. Everyone and their dog has an opinion on this and really it's up to you to read and decide. My general belief is that self sponsored integrated is not worth the large additional cost of modular, and I would say this is especially true with one of the lesser known / airline affiliated schools like FTA.

One school I visited in the same geographical area as the ones that you mentioned was PAT in Bournemouth. I thought they were very friendly, helpful professional and relaxed. The only reason I didn't train there was due to making the decision not to train in the UK.
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Old 30th Jun 2014, 19:47
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If you want the best chance for an airline, go to ctc and do their integrated course, they have the sim's and the contracts etc.

Stapleford are very good if on budget, modular and want to get through quickly as they are very organised. Some of their IR instructors, also fly commercially on their AOC and head of training very experienced airline pilot. Stapleford maybe cheaper than training at shoreham. When considering Southend is local for ILS training, where you can do vfr general handling on the way back. Stapleford does not charge for landing / circuits like shoreham, which is now very expensive. Do your own research and make a informed decision that works for your situation.
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