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L3 Harris Delays

Old 21st Nov 2019, 09:33
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Nov 2019
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Angel L3 Harris Delays

Hi folks.

Looking at joining L3’s Integrated ATPL course, starting next year - however - I have hears *rumours* that there are significant delays between applying and starting ground school, and ground school to Foundation flight training.

Also, is it true that Tagged cadets on airline schemes are given priority, so all those who are not tagged, are pushed to the back of the line?

I also hear they are sending cadets to Leading Edge, at Oxford, to complete their CPL IR ?

Can any current L3 Cadets, or people in the know please inform as to the updated situation? This makes financial planning very difficult, and the unknown as to when you will start.

Thanks.
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Old 22nd Nov 2019, 16:58
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de minimus non curat lex
 
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Originally Posted by BAW747 View Post
Hi folks.

Looking at joining L3’s Integrated ATPL course, starting next year - however - I have hears *rumours* that there are significant delays between applying and starting ground school, and ground school to Foundation flight training.

Also, is it true that Tagged cadets on airline schemes are given priority, so all those who are not tagged, are pushed to the back of the line?

I also hear they are sending cadets to Leading Edge, at Oxford, to complete their CPL IR ?

Can any current L3 Cadets, or people in the know please inform as to the updated situation? This makes financial planning very difficult, and the unknown as to when you will start.

Thanks.
If you have visited L3, was that a question you asked of the staff and customers you met?

Due diligence? As with any establishment you intend to spent a serious amount of money ?
Read the contract carefully with particular reference to any concerns.
CAVEAT EMPTOR

Do not take a lack of response as a positive statement.

Last edited by parkfell; 22nd Nov 2019 at 20:55.
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Old 25th Nov 2019, 20:32
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CAVEAT EMPTOR - you love that one parkfell 😂
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Old 25th Nov 2019, 23:30
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They are not rumours, I have spoken with cadets who are currently there and delays are up to 18 months!

If you cause a fuss they can make them longer. They pay 'compensation' depending how long you are delayed of £25 once you are delayed 6 months, 9 months £50 and 1 year £75 a week more or less, some have complained and some have got a 'free' type rating or one half price for those on airline schemes.

If your 'tagged' to an airline your delays will be shorter, if your not your delays will be the longest guaranteed!

The delays are likely to continue for some years to come, the smart thing to do would be to stay clear, do your PPL at your local flying club then head over to Europe for CPL etc and get it done in a few months at 33% of the cost!

Or if your certain you want a big player like that, CAE seems to be more reputable and I have not heard anything about delays and are a similar price.
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Old 26th Nov 2019, 12:04
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de minimus non curat lex
 
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Originally Posted by harveyst View Post
CAVEAT EMPTOR - you love that one parkfell ��
Whilst this quote might well be a ‘tongue in cheek’ remark, it is important that the message is heard loud and clear.
As training is expensive, you the customer need to get it right for you first time. It is not a dress rehearsal.

Unfortunately PPRuNe is full of tails of woe where the unwary have been ripped off.
Going back in time in the UK: TRENT, CABAIR (mark 2), to name but two who conducted professional training which ceased abruptly. This list is not exhaustive.

So I make no apology for reinforcing the fundamental message that you must spend your hard earned money wisely. If it looks too good to be true, then probably it is.
Basic fraud advice is mentioned generally in the media.
Listen to MONEYBOX on radio 4 to learn just what can happen to victims.

If it keeps junior birdmen alert and safer, prevents the gullible and vulnerable from making poor choices then it is clearly worthwhile?
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Old 26th Nov 2019, 18:24
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Fully agree parkfell, and thanks for taking the comment in the way it was intended. Lots of very sensitive people on here.
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Old 27th Nov 2019, 01:48
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Join Date: Sep 2019
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Originally Posted by BAW747 View Post
Hi folks.

Looking at joining L3’s Integrated ATPL course, starting next year - however - I have hears *rumours* that there are significant delays between applying and starting ground school, and ground school to Foundation flight training.

Also, is it true that Tagged cadets on airline schemes are given priority, so all those who are not tagged, are pushed to the back of the line?

I also hear they are sending cadets to Leading Edge, at Oxford, to complete their CPL IR ?

Can any current L3 Cadets, or people in the know please inform as to the updated situation? This makes financial planning very difficult, and the unknown as to when you will start.

Thanks.
Not sure on the current delays between applying and ground school but being delayed at that stage is probably the most convenient as you can keep your job etc. and work until it starts. As a white tail you're almost definitely going to be delayed at least 2 months between ground school and basic flying stage. There are some courses that have been delayed as much as 6 months between ground school and flying. I'm not too sure about delays between basic and advanced flying stage, it seems as though these have been kept relatively minimal - probably as you're correct that they are sending some of their cadet to Leading Edge for parts of training.
When it comes to being booked in for flights the priority are the airline funded cadets (Royal Brunei, Hong Kong Airlines, Cathay, Oman Air, Air France), followed by tagged cadets (easyJet, BA, Wizzair) and then white tail cadets, this combined with weather (especially in New Zealand and the UK) means that at times as a white tail you're only going to fly once a week or once every two weeks.
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Old 29th Nov 2019, 14:50
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Join Date: Nov 2019
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Delays between stages have been 11 months for one of the cadets I spoke to. I think its cheaper and better to take hold of your training yourself rather than join a waiting list. I think only do an integrated course if your on a scheme.
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Old 30th Nov 2019, 11:57
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Originally Posted by Gonewiththewallet View Post
They are not rumours, I have spoken with cadets who are currently there and delays are up to 18 months!

If you cause a fuss they can make them longer. They pay 'compensation' depending how long you are delayed of £25 once you are delayed 6 months, 9 months £50 and 1 year £75 a week more or less, some have complained and some have got a 'free' type rating or one half price for those on airline schemes.

If your 'tagged' to an airline your delays will be shorter, if your not your delays will be the longest guaranteed!

The delays are likely to continue for some years to come, the smart thing to do would be to stay clear, do your PPL at your local flying club then head over to Europe for CPL etc and get it done in a few months at 33% of the cost!

Or if your certain you want a big player like that, CAE seems to be more reputable and I have not heard anything about delays and are a similar price.

So you are partly right, but your figures are wrong. We get £35 per week for up to 12 weeks, £65 per week for between 13 and 20 weeks, and £105 per week above 21 weeks. Additionally, we get £5,000 at the end of training for delays of up to 30 weeks, £10,000 for up to 40 weeks, and free type rating of our choice for above. I've personally not heard of anyone of 18months, longest i've heard of is 12months which is why they brought in the type rating package. Delays have reduced massively with the opening of new centres and some outsourcing, with most people seeing around 4-5 months. Also, saying that if you make a fuss they will delay you more is wrong as that would cost L3 more money.

I'd do some very quick research if i were you on here. Its not hard to find information about CAE also having issues such as massive delays between offer and starting because they no longer have capacity in ground school. There is a thread on here about 40 easyjet ATPL's who were dropped because of it, and i'm also aware of 120+ Indigo airline cadets who had to be outsourced from CAE for both ground school and flight instruction this year alone.

Unfortunately, the flight training industry is facing a massive issue on 2 fronts. The first is a reduction in the number of available instructors due to many reaching the retirement age, many going to join airlines and new cadets going straight to airlines and not building hours as instructors. The second is the massive increase in the number of people wanting to be pilots.

Delays are not an L3 issue only. There are delays across the industry at the big flight schools. The big advantage that the likes of L3/CAE give you are employment. Yes, it is a goodish market at the moment and i know there are those who are "anti-integrated" and will say you have no problem getting a job once qualified. However, integrated whitetail students at L3 are getting offers of employment before they have even finished the course. I've seen offers to students from BA, Air France, Easyjet, Flybe, Sun Express, Royal Brunei and Air Astana around 3/4 months from the end of training, so students are walking into jobs just weeks after graduation.
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Old 2nd Dec 2019, 21:28
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Originally Posted by SPDBRD1 View Post
However, integrated whitetail students at L3 are getting offers of employment before they have even finished the course. I've seen offers to students from BA, Air France, Easyjet, Flybe, Sun Express, Royal Brunei and Air Astana around 3/4 months from the end of training, so students are walking into jobs just weeks after graduation.
Hello
Is this still the case even with airlines like Thomas Cook collapsing?
Surely this means airlines are more likely to go to the more experienced pilots rather than fresh cadets?
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Old 3rd Dec 2019, 08:13
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Originally Posted by RyanPerry320 View Post
Hello
Is this still the case even with airlines like Thomas Cook collapsing?
Surely this means airlines are more likely to go to the more experienced pilots rather than fresh cadets?
There’ve definitely been some changes in airlines’ recruitment habits since Thomas Cook went under, yes. The airline I work for started a cadet scheme with a big school in the summer, and took on a batch of cadets. A week after TCX went under, those who hadn’t started a type rating yet had their job offers withdrawn.

On the flyBe thread too, it appears newly qualified pilots are being flat-out rejected at the application stage. I’m assuming because flyBe have the same bases as TCX, they have plenty of experienced people applying in order to keep their home base.

Overall, I’d definitely say it’s more challenging for a cadet to find a job after the demise of Thomas Cook.

I was always told that cadet schemes with premium-priced type ratings will always soldier on in the big schools. The likes of CAE/L3 offer discounted rates to airlines for their sims, providing the airline has a cadet scheme with their school. Everyone’s a winner. The schools get to advertise in their glossy brochures about their “airline connections”, bringing more people through the doors. They also make a fair bit of money selling type ratings. The airlines are happy because they get a cadet pilot and don’t pay a penny for a type rating, plus cheap sim slots for the rest of their crews. The cadet gets their job. That’s why I think these sort of schemes will never end in the big schools. They’re too lucrative. Regardless of the recruitment environment.

So if you’re at a big school, there’ll always be a chance to dip your bread.
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Old 3rd Dec 2019, 10:40
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Whilst this is true, there are other aspects to consider. I would not be surprised to discover that CTC was bought by L3 not for its flying training business but for the type rating business. The flying training side looks like a huge company to us mortals down at the bottom of the food chain but to L3 Harris it is quite likely it's just a 'thing they acquired' along with the sims which if it is profitable will just be allowed to carry on, hardly noticed by the main board. Were it to make significant losses, however, the eye of Sauron might fall upon it and a decision may be taken to dispose of it. Is an MBO on the cards?
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Old 8th Dec 2019, 15:48
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Join Date: Dec 2019
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Originally Posted by BAW747 View Post
Hi folks.

Looking at joining L3’s Integrated ATPL course, starting next year - however - I have hears *rumours* that there are significant delays between applying and starting ground school, and ground school to Foundation flight training.

Also, is it true that Tagged cadets on airline schemes are given priority, so all those who are not tagged, are pushed to the back of the line?

I also hear they are sending cadets to Leading Edge, at Oxford, to complete their CPL IR ?

Can any current L3 Cadets, or people in the know please inform as to the updated situation? This makes financial planning very difficult, and the unknown as to when you will start.

Thanks.
I was offered start dates pretty quickly after passing selection, but that was over a year ago so maybe it's changed now. I also found that ground school ran very well and stayed on schedule. It's at the end of ground school when the delays start to creep in both before and during the basic flying phase i.e. up to a few flights before the CPL test.

The delays are variable. My basic flying phase started a bit late and took a few months longer than it should have, however there are other cadets who've had it WAY worse than me. It is likely that there's some desire to give airline cadets special treatment, but I'm whitetail and personally I've found myself scheduled to fly pretty frequently compared to cadets on airline schemes. A lot of it is also down to the weather especially at this time of year. My best guess at my finish date is about 6 months behind schedule, which is an extra 6 months of living allowance from my parents that I'm going to have to pay back at some point.

It is true that cadets are being sent to Leading Edge for IR as well as to AFTA in Ireland, plus Etihad Aviation Training in the UAE for the basic phase. They claim that rigorous auditing and standardisation ensures that these providers are up to L3's high standards, and I'm sure they are. It does make you wonder though how they can claim to provide world-leading training and charge a premium for it but then effectively admit that the training is just as good at another provider.

I think the majority of instructors were around back in the CTC days and the standards of training are excellent. I believe the problems started when L3 took over and began parachuting people into management positions when they didn't have proper experience of the industry. They also suffered a squeeze in capacity when Phoenix closed down and, I guess wanting to keep the money coming in, were too slow to react and reduce their intake of cadets.

In terms of my general experience, I honestly have no doubt in my mind that L3 are the most incompetent company I have ever had to deal with. At all levels on the admin/management side I find the left hand has no idea what the right hand is doing, and major issues are dealt with reactively while those of us at the bottom are left thinking "how on earth did you not know about this before?" I know of a few cadets who decided to move to other providers, and I seriously considered it myself when I wasn't so far along with the training. I strongly suggest you consider saving a chunk of money and frustration by looking at a different provider.
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Old 9th Dec 2019, 22:51
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Hi CAV !

I must post here since my private message quota of ONE was occupied... Feel free to answer via private message if you are not comfortable with writing publicly.

I have passed L3's tests a few weeks ago and will start my training soon. Now I am aware of the issues you pointed out in your post, and I am aware that I'd better get prepared for some delay. I also have some faith, albeit limited, in what issues the new payment instalement may be able to address, with L3 having a quite substantial cash flow coming in in the next few months.
Now for informational purposes, would you mind disclosing your flight training location? I know the issues are not evenly distribuited and some flight training centers tend to be better structured than others.
Thank you for the clarity you brought to the forum, especially for those who don't have any acquaintances within L3.

Most importantly, enjoy the flying !
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Old 10th Dec 2019, 08:00
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Hmmmm, with those kind of delays and the money involved I would not accept delays of any kind. Who is the cutomer here?

Wiith such courses, you get no paperwork at all until you finish the course.
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Old 10th Dec 2019, 10:43
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"L3 having a quite substantial cash flow coming in in the next few months". Did they tell you that? Playing the devil's advocate, how does restructuring the stage payment scheme to benefit the customer (which is what I assume you are saying) provide better cash flow for the company? It does the opposite. And how also does laying off your training committments to other ATOs do anything other than reduce your profit while simultaneously enabling your competitors?
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Old 10th Dec 2019, 11:23
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They undeniably have issues at some training locations.
Namely, some being hard to provide with skilled FIs because they are in a remote location, others facing low A/C availability. You also have to factor in that they now have two fleets: one being Diamond and the other being the firsts out of 240 Pipers slowly joining in.
Now, I personally think these issues could be (temporarily!) solved with money. And let's just hope management will pull off a long term viable strategy for every aspect of their business, among which type rating and flight training. In the meantime, it indeed puts them in the precarious situation you just described.

About the cash flow, I have regularly checked their website for the past 2 years (alongside other ATOs) and over the course of this summer, the payment installment was revised. Previously it was 5000 upon signature, 5700 one month before start date, and 5300 each month from the 5th month onwards. And a large payment right before flight training. Now, it is 9000 upon signature and a steady 5000 per month until the 16th month.
In my understanding, they will get a substantially larger cash flow for the next 6 months or so.

Last edited by Bego; 10th Dec 2019 at 22:00.
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Old 10th Dec 2019, 21:56
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Ah I understand, they have changed the payment schedule to benefit themselves. Time for me to add to Parkfell's "caveat emptor". Restructuring to get more payment in early, inexplicably laying off revenue to competitors, interesting accounting practices.... president of L3 CTS moved sideways .... the last of the old CTC managers gone.....there is some sort of change coming.

Last edited by Alex Whittingham; 10th Dec 2019 at 22:08.
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Old 11th Dec 2019, 17:33
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Bego,

Good luck to you, you are going to need it.
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Old 12th Dec 2019, 13:42
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de minimus non curat lex
 
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Originally Posted by Alex Whittingham View Post
Ah I understand, they have changed the payment schedule to benefit themselves. Time for me to add to Parkfell's "caveat emptor". Restructuring to get more payment in early, inexplicably laying off revenue to competitors, interesting accounting practices.... president of L3 CTS moved sideways .... the last of the old CTC managers gone.....there is some sort of change coming.
standing by to stand by for the WHITE SMOKE........
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