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Becoming a pilot After COVID-19

Old 6th May 2020, 16:24
  #101 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by TRENT210 View Post
it seems to work quite well in the rail industry
Please explain further.

Whenever this issue has been raised before the counter argument raised is that to try and stop a private individual signing a contract with an private ATO would amount to restraint of trade (or something along those lines).
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Old 6th May 2020, 18:11
  #102 (permalink)  
 
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If I'm not wrong, the union at SAS managed to curtail the airline's plans to have a subsidiary in Ireland, so it can be done. I believe TREs/TRIs/LTEs can revert back to normal flying duties if they wish to do so? If they refused to sign off people who had gone down the P2F, or the self-funded with 200 hours career routes, what would an airline do? Likewise, there's a lot of action short of a walkout which pilots could take to make their displeasure at the situation clear, overtime bans, instructor bans, work-to-rule to name a few. I appreciate that the industry is it dire straits and industrial action is probably the last thought on most pilots' minds, however if/when the industry begins to recover, you will need to take a firm stance on protecting whatever T&Cs you have left.

Since the railway has been mentioned, it's very rare on the mainline in Britain that a strike is actually called, usually an overtime ban does the trick. If people tried to buy their way into a train cab, then I think the instructors would refuse to teach them. If there were any reprisals, then all the instructors would simply hand their instructor tickets back and revert to normal driving duties, so there would be no trainees at all, paid or unpaid.

Edited to add:
If this seems a bit too militant, then BALPA et al should lobby for a test similar to the DLR in Germany to be introduced as a pre-requisite to airline employment or even to hold an ATPL. if there was a minimal pass percentage (single digits if possible) and a very limited number of attempts allowed, it would filter out so many people that supply/demand would be controllable. We have something like that on the railway, it's actually the law that you must pass it (it varies slightly from one country to another) to hold a train driving licence anywhere in the EU, about 10% who reach the tests actually pass them.

Last edited by Chris the Robot; 6th May 2020 at 18:28.
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Old 6th May 2020, 18:51
  #103 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by wiggy View Post
Please explain further.

Whenever this issue has been raised before the counter argument raised is that to try and stop a private individual signing a contract with an private ATO would amount to restraint of trade (or something along those lines).
My point is, and correct me if I’m wrong, can you train to be a train driver without being trained by the company that’s employing you ?

Like is there a school where I can hand over a pile of cash to get a train driving qualification and then go out, CV & Licence in hand, to all the railway operators and look for a job?

Don't get me wrong I don’t agree with banning self funding because the chances are I wouldn’t be employed As a pilot right now. I’ve never had the interview skills and academic mind to beat potentially thousands of applicants for airline sponsorships. All I had was the work ethic and determination to do it on my own.
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Old 6th May 2020, 19:35
  #104 (permalink)  
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Well the industry could follow the FAA way and bring in an hours requirement.

The pre-JAA CAA self improver route required 700 hours to hold a CPL (the BCPL was obtained at 150 hours and that was used for Aerial work or Instructing to get the hours), that originally was the key advantage of the Integrated course it allowed you to hold a full CPL at 200 hours without needing to obtain 700 hours. However in the CAA days the Integrated course (or whatever it was known as in those days, CAP509 course I believe, sightly before my time) was mainly limited to sponsored Airline students. So the UK had an hours requirement in the past so why not bring that back.


The FAA have the 1500 hour rule in place. While I will agree there may not be much relevance of GA flying to Airline flying, the FAA situation has shown the 1500 hour rule led to an artificial shortage, but it did nearly double First Officer salaries at Regional Airlines.

The other advantage of having an hours limit is it removes the wannabe Airline Pilot who doesn't really have a true passion for flying; I am certain there are a small number who are only interested in flying airliners who will soon be put of by the idea of two years or so of instructing or glider towing.


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Old 6th May 2020, 20:08
  #105 (permalink)  
 
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That would work equally well I think so long as the "new CAP509" had an "airline pays" requirement, or like BOAC at Hamble, included an extended amount of time in a real aircraft to the extent that no reasonable trainee would be able to afford it themselves.

I think one of the most important things is to normalise whatever T&Cs improve so they become an expectation rather than a rarity. One of the reasons I suspect training courses were sponsored in the past is that most airlines had one, therefore it was much easier for the board to justify to shareholders, it was simply an accepted cost of doing business. So, when one or two airlines began to recruit lots of cadets who had paid their own way, the shareholders of the other airlines could better put senior management under pressure to also expect cadets to pay. I have heard some people say that BALPA was very BA-focused to the extent that it didn't react in the other airlines until it was too late, though I don't know first-hand is this is true. In the US, the massively higher salaries after the 1500 hour rule presumably became accepted as the going rate, though I guess this may change once the recovery starts.

I know this is all probably a long way off but if the pilots do ever see an improvement in T&Cs, they need to make sure to hold on to them.
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Old 6th May 2020, 22:21
  #106 (permalink)  
 
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Having seen people pay huge training sums to be a glamourous named “white tail” there will still be a long queue of gullible children and parents getting mugged off by the big ato’s.

nice glossy brochure saying wages are 100k a year, they will not know any different...

I bet the brochures are already getting reprinted now, saying its the best time to train now as in 18 months everyone will be crying out for crews.

These kids want that instagram picture of the cloud and raybans.
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Old 7th May 2020, 06:55
  #107 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by felixflyer View Post
Because what they are sold is a dream, a fantasy. Have a look at all the marketing from the big schools and its all images of pilots walking through the terminal in uniform. This is what a large number of wannabes want. They will say it's all about the flying and they just love to fly but if that was the case why are so many already in their 30's with 50k available for pilot training but not even a PPL? Any marketer knows you sell the dream not the reality..
Right, so how should the websites and ads for flight schools look like, just black text on a white background? Wouldn't you expect a medical school to feature a surgeon with fancy white jacket and gloves? And what should a person who undertakes +60k£ flight training want if not flying jets and walking through terminals wearing a fancy pilot uniform? You also gotta fancy flying to some degree to bare through an endless amount of touch & go. And to your last bit, because flying for fun is ridiculously expensive!
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Old 7th May 2020, 10:19
  #108 (permalink)  
 
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My point is that whilst the job is still seen as a prestigious career that image can be used to sell to those who want the status that comes with it rather than just being paid to fly. Once the T&C's are driven down to rock bottom levels and we start seeing min wage pilots then that image will cease to exist and with it the ability to sell £100,000 courses to get there.

It will then be left to those who just wish to be paid to fly and would do so no matter what.

Flying for fun is expensive which is why you need a well paying job or business to finance it. There will be opportunity in the coming years if you know where to look and it might be the case that this route is better than doing it as a career for many.
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Old 7th May 2020, 10:36
  #109 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by tsvpilot View Post
And what should a person who undertakes +60k£ flight training want if not flying jets and walking through terminals wearing a fancy pilot uniform? !
That comment nicely makes the point felix and others have been making upthread...
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Old 7th May 2020, 12:58
  #110 (permalink)  
pug
 
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Originally Posted by felixflyer View Post
My point is that whilst the job is still seen as a prestigious career that image can be used to sell to those who want the status that comes with it rather than just being paid to fly. Once the T&C's are driven down to rock bottom levels and we start seeing min wage pilots then that image will cease to exist and with it the ability to sell £100,000 courses to get there.

It will then be left to those who just wish to be paid to fly and would do so no matter what.

Flying for fun is expensive which is why you need a well paying job or business to finance it. There will be opportunity in the coming years if you know where to look and it might be the case that this route is better than doing it as a career for many.
Whilst I know where you’re coming from, most of what you’ve said was also said 12 years ago, and prior to this current situation the market for new opportunities has been the best seen in many years. Obviously this is a game changer, for how long who knows? And it’s irritating to see the ‘pilot shortage’ mantra trotted out, but flying schools are businesses too and have to make a living somehow.

I think the onus is on the student to apply due dilligence, but it’s not necessarily a time to stop training altogether.

Last edited by pug; 7th May 2020 at 16:47.
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Old 7th May 2020, 18:20
  #111 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by wiggy View Post
That comment nicely makes the point felix and others have been making upthread...
And the point is, or better the problem is? There is something wrong about wanting to fly jets after undertaking training that qualifies you to fly jets?
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Old 7th May 2020, 19:16
  #112 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by pug View Post
Whilst I know where you’re coming from, most of what you’ve said was also said 12 years ago, and prior to this current situation the market for new opportunities has been the best seen in many years. Obviously this is a game changer, for how long who knows? And it’s irritating to see the ‘pilot shortage’ mantra trotted out, but flying schools are businesses too and have to make a living somehow.

I think the onus is on the student to apply due dilligence, but it’s not necessarily a time to stop training altogether.
Over the next few years, if people have any financial sense, then integrated courses are going to be rare. Self-funded modular approaches after the next few years no doubt will pick up because that’s allays been the smartest route to a flying job.
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Old 7th May 2020, 21:23
  #113 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by tsvpilot View Post
Right, so how should the websites and ads for flight schools look like, just black text on a white background? Wouldn't you expect a medical school to feature a surgeon with fancy white jacket and gloves? And what should a person who undertakes +60k£ flight training want if not flying jets and walking through terminals wearing a fancy pilot uniform? You also gotta fancy flying to some degree to bare through an endless amount of touch & go. And to your last bit, because flying for fun is ridiculously expensive!
Maybe not but you need a big "buyer beware" notice very visibly on the brochure as historically more than 50% of the time a student completes training to face a glut of Pilots.

I understand that the MPL's are a bit different.
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Old 7th May 2020, 21:45
  #114 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by polax52 View Post
Maybe not but you need a big "buyer beware" notice very visibly on the brochure as historically more than 50% of the time a student completes training to face a glut of Pilots.

I understand that the MPL's are a bit different.
Surely if anyone is to pursue a career in flying (or any other sector which requires significant financial investment), then the onus is on the prospective student to make that call?

Im not trying to defend the FTO’s, but I do wonder how many flight training graduates are out there now that did nothing but buy into the glossy brochures? I tend to think not many given the significant financial outlay. Perhaps I’m just naive?
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Old 8th May 2020, 06:19
  #115 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by pug View Post
Surely if anyone is to pursue a career in flying (or any other sector which requires significant financial investment), then the onus is on the prospective student to make that call?

Im not trying to defend the FTO’s, but I do wonder how many flight training graduates are out there now that did nothing but buy into the glossy brochures? I tend to think not many given the significant financial outlay. Perhaps I’m just naive?
Not just the FTOs though was it?

Every six months or so somebody would be on here breathlessly linking to an article claiming the world would be short of 100,000, 500,000 or 1,000,000 pilots within the next...and it wasn't just those who were actively looking at sitting in the seat that got carried away - there's no doubt some parents saw funding their nearest and dearest as a financial investment and were looking for a return, rather than a way of facilitating their offspring get into a personally rewarding career.
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Old 8th May 2020, 11:10
  #116 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by portsharbourflyer View Post
Well the industry could follow the FAA way and bring in an hours requirement.
The post-Colgan hours requirement in the States was a knee jerk reaction.

It is not a regulator's job to improve pilot Ts&Cs. As long as it was being done safely, the CAA couldn't give a toss if the two people at the front were getting paid nothing, or indeed paying to be there. There is no plausible safety case for a return to the BCPL days, therefore it will not happen.
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Old 8th May 2020, 11:11
  #117 (permalink)  
 
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Confirmation bias is a powerful thing. A good sell, once made, is actually very difficult to unsell!
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Old 8th May 2020, 13:54
  #118 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
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Work your way one step at a time

There is a lot of good information here. I'll share a few thoughts.

Flying is expensive. Try to pick a reasonable way to manage the costs.

Join a glider club. You can learn to fly inexpensively. Become a glider instructor. You will gain knowledge and influence w/in the club. Find out what's required to be a tow pilot in the glider club. Get a PPL and pursue those requirements. If it helps, instruct in TMGs to get hours to be able to tow. Once you've established yourself you can fly as a tow pilot. EASA doesn't count glider flying 1:1, but being "tuggie" counts.

Flying is not cheap. But you can make it more affordable. Never borrow for training money you can't afford to pay back without the new job. Get a job and live well within your means. Fly gliders. Get a PPL. Research your options. Be a tow pilot. Or a skydive pilot. Work. Save money to pay as you go. Instruct. When you fly, practice to the highest standards you can - if +/- 100 feet is OK, work to stay +/- 50. Maintain high standards from the beginning.

You will read people say, "I've spent 100,000 Pounds, Euro, Dollars and have been looking for a job for three years." When I was a young Army officer an old retired Sergeant told me, "Plan your work, and work your plan." That advice has worked for me for the last 35 years! I saw a sign recently "A goal without a plan is just a dream." Make a plan. Make the goal into reality. Without being destitute at the end. Work through the next couple years. It will be OK.

Good luck!

Last edited by LTCTerry; 8th May 2020 at 18:58. Reason: Typo correction
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Old 8th May 2020, 17:13
  #119 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
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Wise words!

Originally Posted by LTCTerry View Post
There is a lot of good information here. I'll share a few thoughts.

Flying is expensive. Try to pick a reasonable way to manage the costs.

Join a glider club. You can learn to fly inexpensively. Become a glider instructor. You will gain knowledge and influence w/in the club. Find out what's required to be a tow pilot in the glider club. Get a PPL and pursue those requirements. If it helps, instruct in TMGs to get hours to be able to tow. Once you've established yourself you can fly as a tow pilot. EASA doesn't count glider flying 1:1, but being "tuggie" counts.

Flying is not cheap. But you can make it more affordable. Never borrow for training money you can't afford to pay back without the new job. Get a job and live well within your means. Fly gliders. Get a PPL. Research your options. Be a tow pilot. Or a skydive pilot. Work. Save money to pay as you go. Instruct. When you fly, practice to the highest standards you can - if +/- 100 feet is OK, work to stay +/- 50. Maintain high standards from the beginning.

You will read people say, "I've spent 100,000 Pounds, Euro, Dollars and have been looking for a job for three years." When I was a young Army officer an old retired Sergeant told me, "Plan your work, and work your plan." That advice has worked for me for the last 35 years! I saw a sign recently "A goal without a plan is just a dream." Make a plan. Make the goal into reality. Without being destitute at the end. Work through the next couple years. It will be OK.

Good luck!
A great advice from LTCTerry.
You will glide through the crisis, by the time it is over, you will be meeting the requirements with low expenses and no debt.

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Old 8th May 2020, 17:29
  #120 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
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I think people need to ask themselves why they want to become a Pilot in the first place?

Although it may sound stereotypical and there will be exceptions to what I’m about to say but...

From my current colleagues and pilots I met through training there is a marked difference in job satisfaction between the Integrated pilots and the modular pilots.

My modular trained colleagues seem to love aviation and the job whether they’ve been in it 2 years or 20 years.
They were the ones taking trial lessons at 15 and getting PPL’s at 17 or they’re ex mil or midlife crisis guys who went into flying at 35+

However a lot of integrated pilots I’ve met seem to become dissatisfied very quickly. Almost like they woke up one day, thought being a pilot is a cool job, ready a glossy brochure and asked their parents for £100k. 18 months later they’re waking up at 03:00, flying the magenta line to Alicante and bored out of their tree.
A few years down the line and despite what their Instagram shows it’s turned into “just a job” that pays well.

If you or your parents are loaded and you don’t mind laying out £100k at testing the waters To see if the job and the lifestyle suits you then by all means go for it. But if it’s going to financially set you back I’d have a long hard think why you want to fly in the first place. I’ll let you into a secret... nobody looks at you as you walk through the airport in your uniform.

I’ve been flying for a living for 2 years and I still get excited when my alarm goes off at 3am, I still get excited when crewing ring me at 6am to pull me in off standby, after 2 days off I can’t wait to fly again but I that’s because I’ve wanted to do this job since I was 5. I’ve worked office, customer service and restaurant jobs, 60 - 70 hours a week, to pay for this career.

If you just want a well paid job; work in IT, become a train driver because I guarantee it won’t cost you £100k to become one. You can fulfil your Instagram ego by learning to fly helicopters and dropping into the local pub on a Sunday afternoon.

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