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Tayside Aviation degree Program

Old 30th Mar 2019, 17:20
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Tayside Aviation degree Program

Good evening all,

I went along to the Tayside Aviation open day today as I’m looking to start my flight training towards a career as an airline pilot. The owner gave a presentation and focused on their degree program which seemed attractive and something not offered by other flight schools. Does anybody have any experience of doing this degree through middlesex university?

The school have links with loganair too it seems which seems a plus. However I was speaking to a few instructors (I think they were halfway through their course or so) and some mentioned on retrospect they would not have done the degree. It works out much more expensive and you do a flight instructor rating first then it seems the school will decide when you do your instrument flight course. Apparently this is a way of trapping you into working for the school as you can’t apply to airlines without the instrument flight course?

I was also told in a roundabout way that the degree is a bit of a Mickey Mouse degree ? Maybe I should do a uni degree first then go down the flight training route or maybe a degree isn’t required at all?

The presentation seemed very good however having spoken around a bit after to “real students” It doesn’t seem as colourful. I also noticed the twin engine flying course is done on an older steam gauge aircraft compared to the more modern Diamond aircraft at other flight schools. Would this be an advantage or disadvantage doing things in a traditional aircraft?

I also heard that that many have dropped out of the degree and found themselves jobs with airlines so bypassing the flight instructor route all together? I also noticed a lot of the instructors there were degree students, I am paying a lot of money for flight training so my concern was I might be getting taught by inexperienced instructors and this may actually cost more in the long run if I need for lessons etc?

The place seemed okay though, I’m dubious about the degree but it would be great if anybody here could share any experience of training at the school, more specifically and personal experience on their degree program would be appreciated?

Thanks reading,
S
Flyguy199 is offline  
Old 31st Mar 2019, 11:08
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I would be very careful with a program like this. At face value it may seem cheaper but by the time you are paying your university fees, the course will be getting on for integrated prices.

Also so the fact you need to go an instructor rating means that the instrument rating is done when it is convinient for the school. In other words because you are then working for the school you no longer become a customer as such. If the school is busy your IR will be delayed as they need you to instruct.

You would be far better doing modular. You remain the customer at all times and you can save on university fees/FI course. It will be much cheaper- you will also be in employment much quicker meaning you are earning airline wages sooner and not flight instructor wages.

If other students you’ve spoken to at the open day are not happy with their course alarm bells should be ringing.

Flyer350 is offline  
Old 3rd Apr 2019, 18:27
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Can anybody else give any comments about the Tayside aviation degree or Tayside aviation in general?
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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 20:18
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My son did an engineering degree @ Aberdeen University coupled with the UAS. He has now embarked on the modular ATPL. I would strongly recommend a conventional degree and taking ownership of your flight training. This type of degree as advertised is not academically rigorous and has zero credibility imho.Good luck anyway.
olster is offline  
Old 3rd Apr 2019, 20:25
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Tayside Aviation: did an Sep Renewal some years ago with a bad tempered instructor who is still there. So bad I was compelled to complain to the md and was given a couple of hours free flying that I never bothered to take. I also witnessed one of their cadets being ripped a new one in the reception area by a middle aged bully / instructor. So appalling I nearly intervened / walked out. The kind of training I thought was extinct in the 1950s. It may / should be better now. However, based on my experience I would not recommend Tayside. I would highly recommend ACS @ Perth if Scotland is where you wish to train.

As above, good luck.
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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 21:16
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I agree with the comments above regarding the credibility of such a “degree”.

I beleive to some extent Tayside Aviation is living off it’s old reputation. I have no experience with ACS but I do know some people who have trained there recently who only sing its praises.

The instructors at Tayside Aviation are generally inexperienced only instructing to try to get onto the airlines.
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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 21:54
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Their ‘links’ to Loganair are extremely questionable. There is nothing formal in place and Loganair recruit regularly from a host of other schools. Their aircraft and instructors and not on par compared to what’s available at ACS down the road which is getting fantastic reviews. Speak to any degree student off the record about their experience especially with their ground school and I believe you may get a true sense of what’s going on. Once a brilliant school now targeting a degree slant as they know parents will be paying for a course worth a lot of money and will want something of substance beside it to validate the expense. Don’t waste your time, Pathway for your ground school in Rosyth with amazing ex RAF and airline instructors followed by ACS for your flight flight instruction good luck!
plane-driver is offline  
Old 4th Apr 2019, 07:48
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Yes I agree with the above re the “links” with loganair. In fact I beleive many people on the degree course left their degree early and applied to loganair of their own back and are now employed there. Had they not done this they’d still be working away as instructors earning very little.

Because the airlines are so heavily recruiting at the moment, the need for instructors is at its all time high. As a result Tayside will try to keep you instructing there for as long as they can. Due to the fact you don’t do your IR until after your instructor course you are entirely at their mercy.

Take control of of your OWN training would be my advice.
Flyer350 is offline  
Old 4th Apr 2019, 08:40
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Never had any training at ACS however their operation, aircraft and facilities run from Perth do seem slick and nicely presented.
Having had experience training with tayside I can confirm that all instructors I've flown with have the highest level of professionalism and standard but can still create a fun/pleasant atmosphere on the ground. Pre and post flight briefs are all very comprehensive and everyone pitches in should others need help. Regarding the degree, say what you will. 100% employment with airlines and instructor placement putting everyone in a flying job- The academia, in fairness might not be the most taxing piece of work- however why send your son/daughter to a university waste 3 years paying for something that has no relevance?? That airlines wouldn't care about? and the part that really matters e.g (flight training) hasn't even been touched on yet? ACS Flight Training? Tayside Aviation? its a choice. each have equal advantage. If you already have a degree ACS may be for you? Analysis the facts and judge what's best for you that way instead of rumour. it's a big decision at the end of the day with a lot of money involved.

The Degree cost £50,000 which includes full time ATPL GS 5 day weeks (on site), required hour building, CPL, FIC, MEP, IR and the MCC. One course- 3 years, 1 instructor work placement (instead of being put in a holding pool working at Tesco with an airbus type rating) seems pretty good in my opinion. Last time I checked you won't find that kind of flight training that includes and FI and everything required for airline ready for under £55,000. Other schools courses may be equally as good but can only say on personal experience- there is a lot of un just slating on here and wouldn't want anybody to miss out for the sake of negativity.
Aviationdaily95 is offline  
Old 4th Apr 2019, 12:14
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Hons Degree programmes for commercial flight training were introduced as a fudge to allow cadets to unlock up to £27,000 worth of student loans, as well as means tested bursaries. As flight training schools are commercial enterprises first and educational institutions second, UK government would never recognise a cadet enrolled on a flight training course as a 'proper' student and so no government funding was available. The workaround was to get ATOs to partner with educational institutions in order to unlock student loans. There shouldn't be any extra study involved, as an integrated flight training programme was deemed to meet degree-level criteria, meaning that as long as you passed the course then you would automatically be awarded an Hons Degree.

I do not know how the Tayside degree programme works, but that is the principal behind it.

To the OP, the most critical issue faced by ATOs currently is a lack of instructors. Pretty much every UK ATO is suffering instructor shortages currently, and flight training programmes are regularly being delayed as a result. If Tayside has a full complement of instructors then they are the exception rather than the rule at the moment, so certainly not worth ditching them just on the basis of a couple of unsubstantiated, negative posts on PPRuNe, even if they are genuine.

That said, the most protected form of commercial flight training programmes out there at the moment are airline-mentored programmes, where you are preselected before you enter training. It doesn't give you a 100% guarantee of employment on graduation, but it is the best currently on offer, at least until the new First Officer Apprenticeship goes live. Have a look here: https://www.instituteforapprenticesh...officer-pilot/

The issue with the new apprenticeship is that no airlines have actually signed up to it yet, which is exactly what happened last time such a scheme was announced. Jet2 was supposed to be the launch airline for the last scheme, but pulled out at the last minute. As government and the scheme's creators didn't want to lose face, it morphed into the Hons Degree programme that you see today. The new programme has one advantage over the last, in that UK airlines are now obliged to pay into a new apprenticeship fund, so they are in effect already involved, but whether any are prepared to back this up by actually running apprenticeships, only time will tell.
jez d is offline  
Old 4th Apr 2019, 13:57
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I can assure you that my experience with Tayside are true. I have worked for airlines for 40 years and continue to do so for a well known airline as a B737 TRE. I am also involved with airline recruitment. I know exactly what the airlines are looking for and it is not a Mickey Mouse piece of paper. A proper degree obtained by effort is a different matter. The most impressive ‘customer’ that came through an LPC with me had worked in Tesco’s for 12 years stacking shelves in order to finance his dream. Now that is impressive, symptomatic of real resilience and character. Resilience is a big word in airline recruiting circles. An extreme case but admirable nevertheless.

Another Tayside anecdote: I was keen to fly the Grob with the view of revisiting aerobatics. This I duly did and allowed myself to be persuaded to purchase 10 hours ‘up front’ for £1k. Due to the day job (airline captain) it took nearly a year to finish the hours. Towards the end I was coerced to pay more because the prices ‘had gone up’. Left an unpleasant taste I can assure you. The anecdote I previously quoted I actually understated quite considerably. It also consisted of the aforementioned instructor moaning about me loudly to a cast of acolytes and unbeknownst to him in front of my then 11 year old son. This referred to me as ‘an arrogant airline pilot’, who knew? The psychological subtext you can guess and always a possible accusation for airline pilots @ flying schools. I believe that I am anything but arrogant by the way. Fortunately for him he had gone flying and I was unable to speak to him directly after my son, visibly outraged, had told me the story. I confronted the CFI with expletives deleted included. Hence an apology and the free flying offer I disdainfully turned down. These anecdotes are ‘unsubstantiated’ but you have my word they are true. The upshot is that my son finished his ppl @ ACS, Perth and I have only got good things to say about the standard of instruction. Caveat emptor I would say.

cheers
olster is offline  
Old 4th Apr 2019, 14:00
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The best asset Tayside had was their IR instructor Ian Weinstein who also left to join the team at acs some time ago, visit both schools and make up your own mind
plane-driver is offline  
Old 4th Apr 2019, 14:19
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Olster, I wasn't trying to besmirch your good name and I am in no way trying to suggest that Tayside is any better (or worse) than the competition, but given the general state of the training industry at the moment, I'd reckon it would be a struggle to find a single school which doesn't have instructor-related issues in one form or another.

As Olster wisely states, caveat emptor !
jez d is offline  
Old 4th Apr 2019, 14:30
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Cheers Jez, no problem. In fairness, I am sure that there are undoubtedly good instructors at both organisations. My experiences at Tayside were sub optimum and after the last event I described they were extremely and appropriately apologetic. If it were Tripadvisor it would not have been a high rating...!

Best wishes
olster is offline  
Old 4th Apr 2019, 15:52
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Originally Posted by olster View Post
Cheers Jez, no problem. In fairness, I am sure that there are undoubtedly good instructors at both organisations. My experiences at Tayside were sub optimum and after the last event I described they were extremely and appropriately apologetic. If it were Tripadvisor it would not have been a high rating...!

Best wishes

Every time I have been in there always seems to be young instructors sitting around talking about students in an open environment. It is not good for prospectus customers so I can only say I quite beleive your story Olster and to be honest it doesn’t surprise me.
Flyer350 is offline  
Old 4th Apr 2019, 18:09
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Worked at Tayside as an instructor many years ago now but good to see the Tayside bashing from along the road at Perth continues. Always found any time was at Perth Airport they had a real thing against Tayside whereas no one at Tayside ever mentioned Perth (ACS or Tayflight as it was). I personally always found the airfield at Perth to have a more private pilot feel run by older guys out for a jolly in their microlight etc but Dundee more professional and commercial - certainly has a better sim and aircraft always well maintained. Can’t comment on the Degree as had left by then but best advise go check out both schools in person - personally wouldn’t make a decision based on an anonymous forum.
FlyingEngineer is offline  
Old 4th Apr 2019, 18:37
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No axe to grind ref the modern Tayside. Of course they will have good instructors. My honest appraisal was they took me for considerable amounts of money while one of their instructors b1tched about me behind my back and in front of my son. For no good reason just a misguided perception. Slag me off no problem but upset my son and you will get a ‘come outside’ moment. Hence the tense conversation with the cfi resulting in an apology to me. However of course you are right, do not base a decision on PPRuNe. But it should be understood that the current ACS is not the same as its predecessor: it is a modern ATO with CPL / IR training etc. It’s not a case of partisanship.

Cheers

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Old 4th Apr 2019, 18:48
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Having flown at both schools I think flyingengineer may have a valid point and I am being guilty of his point raised ha however ACS has changed management in the last couple of years and it's main focus is as a commercial entity. Maybe pop along for yourself and ask for a tour of the new facilities, new Alsim etc. I would say Dundee's runway is a lot easier to use then flying into Perth fitting in-between gyrocopters etc but that's also part of the fun of getting to see different things also. Back down South now and I will always miss flying from both.
plane-driver is offline  
Old 5th Apr 2019, 15:58
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Hons Degree programmes for commercial flight training were introduced as a fudge to allow cadets to unlock up to £27,000 worth of student loans, as well as means tested bursaries.
This is not wholly accurate. There were Honours degree programmes with commercial flight training around in the UK BEFORE tuition fees were introduced - and the first ones offered did not qualify for student loans.
Groundloop is offline  
Old 5th Apr 2019, 18:11
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Flyguy199.... I have never really been convinced with aviation degree programs in conjunction with ATPL and flying training, I really do not think it would make any difference if you are going to have a career as a pilot. However, having a university degree prior to pilot training may benefit you in the long term, especially if it is a subject like physics or aeronautical engineering and on that basis I can think of a number of people who have made it right up to the top had degrees before training as pilots. In fact a former fleet captain of BA and the Concorde fleet had a PhD (chemistry I think). On the other hand I can think of a number of other pilots who have become fleet captains or management, having subsequently gained aviation management degrees (BSc/BA hons or MSC). As previously mentioned, if you do a degree the UAS is an option, but the UAS is there (funded by taxpayers) for those with a serious interest in military aviation, of course it might inspire you to apply become an Army, RN or RAF pilot.
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